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Sample records for affect sensitive ecosystems

  1. Ash in fire affected ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, Paulo; Jordan, Antonio; Cerda, Artemi; Martin, Deborah

    2015-04-01

    Ash in fire affected ecosystems Ash lefts an important footprint in the ecosystems and has a key role in the immediate period after the fire (Bodi et al., 2014; Pereira et al., 2015). It is an important source of nutrients for plant recover (Pereira et al., 2014a), protects soil from erosion and controls soil hydrological process as runoff, infiltration and water repellency (Cerda and Doerr, 2008; Bodi et al., 2012, Pereira et al., 2014b). Despite the recognition of ash impact and contribution to ecosystems recuperation, it is assumed that we still have little knowledge about the implications of ash in fire affected areas. Regarding this situation we wanted to improve our knowledge in this field and understand the state of the research about fire ash around world. The special issue about "The role of ash in fire affected ecosystems" currently in publication in CATENA born from the necessity of joint efforts, identify research gaps, and discuss future cooperation in this interdisciplinary field. This is the first special issue about fire ash in the international literature. In total it will be published 10 papers focused in different aspects of the impacts of ash in fire affected ecosystems from several parts of the world: • Fire reconstruction using charcoal particles (Burjachs and Espositio, in press) • Ash slurries impact on rheological properties of Runoff (Burns and Gabet, in press) • Methods to analyse ash conductivity and sorbtivity in the laboratory and in the field (Balfour et al., in press) • Termogravimetric and hydrological properties of ash (Dlapa et al. in press) • Effects of ash cover in water infiltration (Leon et al., in press) • Impact of ash in volcanic soils (Dorta Almenar et al., in press; Escuday et al., in press) • Ash PAH and Chemical extracts (Silva et al., in press) • Microbiology (Barreiro et al., in press; Lombao et al., in press) We believe that this special issue will contribute importantly to the better understanding of

  2. Ash in fire affected ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, Paulo; Jordan, Antonio; Cerda, Artemi; Martin, Deborah

    2015-04-01

    Ash in fire affected ecosystems Ash lefts an important footprint in the ecosystems and has a key role in the immediate period after the fire (Bodi et al., 2014; Pereira et al., 2015). It is an important source of nutrients for plant recover (Pereira et al., 2014a), protects soil from erosion and controls soil hydrological process as runoff, infiltration and water repellency (Cerda and Doerr, 2008; Bodi et al., 2012, Pereira et al., 2014b). Despite the recognition of ash impact and contribution to ecosystems recuperation, it is assumed that we still have little knowledge about the implications of ash in fire affected areas. Regarding this situation we wanted to improve our knowledge in this field and understand the state of the research about fire ash around world. The special issue about "The role of ash in fire affected ecosystems" currently in publication in CATENA born from the necessity of joint efforts, identify research gaps, and discuss future cooperation in this interdisciplinary field. This is the first special issue about fire ash in the international literature. In total it will be published 10 papers focused in different aspects of the impacts of ash in fire affected ecosystems from several parts of the world: • Fire reconstruction using charcoal particles (Burjachs and Espositio, in press) • Ash slurries impact on rheological properties of Runoff (Burns and Gabet, in press) • Methods to analyse ash conductivity and sorbtivity in the laboratory and in the field (Balfour et al., in press) • Termogravimetric and hydrological properties of ash (Dlapa et al. in press) • Effects of ash cover in water infiltration (Leon et al., in press) • Impact of ash in volcanic soils (Dorta Almenar et al., in press; Escuday et al., in press) • Ash PAH and Chemical extracts (Silva et al., in press) • Microbiology (Barreiro et al., in press; Lombao et al., in press) We believe that this special issue will contribute importantly to the better understanding of

  3. Watershed geomorphology modifies the temperature sensitivity of aquatic ecosystem metabolism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jankowski, K. J.; Schindler, D.

    2015-12-01

    How carbon cycles are regulated by temperature remains a substantial uncertainty in our understanding of how watersheds will respond to ongoing climate change. Aquatic ecosystems are significant components of carbon flux to the atmosphere and ocean, yet we have limited understanding of how changing thermal regimes will alter rates of ecosystem metabolic processes, and, therefore, aquatic contributions to carbon cycles at watershed to global scales. Watershed geomorphology controls the landscape-scale distribution of organic material that can form the metabolic base of aquatic ecosystems, which will likely affect the temperature sensitivity of aquatic ecosystem metabolism. Across 23 streams in a boreal river basin, we estimated how temperature sensitivity of ecosystem respiration (ER), an important component of the aquatic C cycle, varied among streams with different watershed characteristics. We found that geomorphic conditions imposed strong ultimate controls on temperature sensitivity: ER in streams draining flat watersheds was much more sensitive to temperature than streams draining steeper watersheds. Further, we show that the link between watershed geomorphology and temperature sensitivity was related to changes in the quality of carbon substrates across the gradient in watershed slope. These results suggest that geomorphic conditions will ultimately control how carbon processing responds to warming climate, thereby affecting carbon transport and storage, and likely food web responses, in river networks.

  4. Constructing an Eocene Marine Ecosystem Sensitivity Scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'haenens, S.; Bornemann, A.; Speijer, R. P.; Hull, P. M.

    2014-12-01

    A key question in the face of current global environmental change is how marine ecosystems will respond and evolve in the future. To answer this, we first need to understand the relationship between environmental and ecosystem change - i.e., the ecosystem sensitivity. Addressing this question requires understanding of how biota respond to (a succession of) sudden environmental perturbations of varying sizes and durations in varying background conditions (i.e., climatic, oceanographic, biotic). Here, we compare new and published data from the Early to Middle Eocene greenhouse world to understand the sensitivity of marine ecosystems to background environmental change and hyperthermal events. This work focuses on the early Paleogene, because it is considered to be a good analog for a future high CO2 world. Newly generated high-resolution multiproxy datasets based on northern Atlantic DSDP Leg 48 and IODP Leg 342 material will allow us to compare the marine ecosystem responses (including bentho-pelagic systems) to abiotic drivers across climatic disruptions of differing magnitude. Initial results of a benthic foraminiferal community comparison including the PETM and ETM2 hyperthermals in the northeastern Atlantic DSDP sites 401 and 5501 suggest that benthic ecosystem sensitivity may actually be non-linearly linked to background climate states as reflected by a range of geochemical proxies (XRF, TOC, CaCO3, grain sizes, XRD clay mineralogy and foraminiferal δ18O, δ13C, Mg/Ca)2,3, in contrast to planktic communities4. Testing the type of scaling across different taxa, communities, initial background conditions and time scales may be the first big step to disentangle the often synergistic effects of environmental change on ecosystems5. References: 1D'haenens et al., 2012, in prep. 2Bornemann et al., 2014, EPSL 3D'haenens et al., 2014, PA 4Gibbs et al., 2012, Biogeosc. 5 Norris et al., 2013, Science

  5. Assessing climate-sensitive ecosystems in the southeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Costanza, Jennifer; Beck, Scott; Pyne, Milo; Terando, Adam; Rubino, Matthew; White, Rickie; Collazo, Jaime

    2016-08-11

    Climate change impacts ecosystems in many ways, from effects on species to phenology to wildfire dynamics. Assessing the potential vulnerability of ecosystems to future changes in climate is an important first step in prioritizing and planning for conservation. Although assessments of climate change vulnerability commonly are done for species, fewer have been done for ecosystems. To aid regional conservation planning efforts, we assessed climate change vulnerability for ecosystems in the Southeastern United States and Caribbean.First, we solicited input from experts to create a list of candidate ecosystems for assessment. From that list, 12 ecosystems were selected for a vulnerability assessment that was based on a synthesis of available geographic information system (GIS) data and literature related to 3 components of vulnerability—sensitivity, exposure, and adaptive capacity. This literature and data synthesis comprised “Phase I” of the assessment. Sensitivity is the degree to which the species or processes in the ecosystem are affected by climate. Exposure is the likely future change in important climate and sea level variables. Adaptive capacity is the degree to which ecosystems can adjust to changing conditions. Where available, GIS data relevant to each of these components were used. For example, we summarized observed and projected climate, protected areas existing in 2011, projected sea-level rise, and projected urbanization across each ecosystem’s distribution. These summaries were supplemented with information in the literature, and a short narrative assessment was compiled for each ecosystem. We also summarized all information into a qualitative vulnerability rating for each ecosystem.Next, for 2 of the 12 ecosystems (East Gulf Coastal Plain Near-Coast Pine Flatwoods and Nashville Basin Limestone Glade and Woodland), the NatureServe Habitat Climate Change Vulnerability Index (HCCVI) framework was used as an alternative approach for assessing

  6. Assessing climate-sensitive ecosystems in the southeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Costanza, Jennifer; Beck, Scott; Pyne, Milo; Terando, Adam; Rubino, Matthew; White, Rickie; Collazo, Jaime

    2016-01-01

    Climate change impacts ecosystems in many ways, from effects on species to phenology to wildfire dynamics. Assessing the potential vulnerability of ecosystems to future changes in climate is an important first step in prioritizing and planning for conservation. Although assessments of climate change vulnerability commonly are done for species, fewer have been done for ecosystems. To aid regional conservation planning efforts, we assessed climate change vulnerability for ecosystems in the Southeastern United States and Caribbean.First, we solicited input from experts to create a list of candidate ecosystems for assessment. From that list, 12 ecosystems were selected for a vulnerability assessment that was based on a synthesis of available geographic information system (GIS) data and literature related to 3 components of vulnerability—sensitivity, exposure, and adaptive capacity. This literature and data synthesis comprised “Phase I” of the assessment. Sensitivity is the degree to which the species or processes in the ecosystem are affected by climate. Exposure is the likely future change in important climate and sea level variables. Adaptive capacity is the degree to which ecosystems can adjust to changing conditions. Where available, GIS data relevant to each of these components were used. For example, we summarized observed and projected climate, protected areas existing in 2011, projected sea-level rise, and projected urbanization across each ecosystem’s distribution. These summaries were supplemented with information in the literature, and a short narrative assessment was compiled for each ecosystem. We also summarized all information into a qualitative vulnerability rating for each ecosystem.Next, for 2 of the 12 ecosystems (East Gulf Coastal Plain Near-Coast Pine Flatwoods and Nashville Basin Limestone Glade and Woodland), the NatureServe Habitat Climate Change Vulnerability Index (HCCVI) framework was used as an alternative approach for assessing

  7. Ecosystem sensitivity to climate warming: A modeling approach

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Warmer atmospheric temperatures will affect ecosystem functioning directly through changes in metabolic rate and tissue damage of organisms. Indirectly, increased temperatures can also affect ecosystem water balance with increased evapotranspiration (from bare-soil evaporation and transpiration) tha...

  8. Nutrient recycling affects autotroph and ecosystem stoichiometry.

    PubMed

    Ballantyne, Ford; Menge, Duncan N L; Ostling, Annette; Hosseini, Parviez

    2008-04-01

    Stoichiometric nutrient ratios are the consequence of myriad interacting processes, both biotic and abiotic. Theoretical explanations for autotroph stoichiometry have focused on species' nutrient requirements but have not addressed the role of nutrient availability in determining autotroph stoichiometry. Remineralization of organic N and P supplies a significant fraction of inorganic N and P to autotrophs, making nutrient recycling a potentially important process influencing autotroph stoichiometry. To quantitatively investigate the relationship between available N and P, autotroph N:P, and nutrient recycling, we analyze a stoichiometrically explicit model of autotroph growth, incorporating Michaelis-Menten-Monod nutrient uptake kinetics, Droop growth, and Liebig's law of the minimum. If autotroph growth is limited by a single nutrient, increased recycling of the limiting nutrient pushes autotrophs toward colimitation and alters both autotroph and environmental stoichiometry. We derive a steady state relationship between input stoichiometry, autotroph N:P, and the stoichiometry of organic losses that allows us to estimate the relative recycling of N to P within an ecosystem. We then estimate relative N and P recycling for a marine, an aquatic, and two terrestrial ecosystems. Preferential P recycling, in conjunction with greater relative P retention at the organismal and ecosystem levels, presents a strong case for the importance of P to biomass production across ecosystems.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-17

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

  10. Neotropical Amphibian Declines Affect Stream Ecosystem Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Connelly, S.; Pringle, C. M.; Bixby, R. J.; Whiles, M. R.; Lips, K. R.; Brenes, R.; Colon-Gaud, J. C.; Kilham, S.; Hunte-Brown, M.

    2005-05-01

    Global declines of amphibians are well documented, yet effects of these dramatic losses on ecosystem structure and function are poorly understood. As part of a larger collaborative project, we compared two upland Panamanian streams. Both streams are biologically and geologically similar; however, one stream (Fortuna) has recently experienced almost complete extirpation of stream-dwelling frogs, while the other (Cope) still has intact populations. We experimentally excluded tadpoles from localized areas in each stream. We then compared chlorophyll a, algal community composition, ash-free dry mass (AFDM), inorganic matter, and insect assemblages in control and exclusion areas. Additionally, we sampled the natural substrate of both streams monthly for chlorophyll a, algal community composition, AFDM, and inorganic matter. At Cope, chlorophyll a, AFDM, and inorganic matter were greater in areas where tadpoles were excluded than in their presence. Numbers of dominant algal species (e.g., Nupela praecipua and Eunotia siolii) were greater in the exclusion versus control treatments. Monthly sampling of natural substrate indicated higher chlorophyll a and AFDM at Cope compared to Fortuna. Our data suggest that stream-dwelling anuran larvae have significant impacts on algal communities. These results also have implications for predicting the relevance of short-term experimental manipulations to long-term, whole-stream processes.

  11. Sensitivity to Change in Arid Land Ecosystems (SCALE)

    SciTech Connect

    Dr. James Ehleringer

    2001-03-01

    Temporal and spatial components predispose aridland ecosystems of the Colorado Plateau to change. Possible changes in the intensity of summer monsoonal precipitation and increases in soil temperatures are two likely outcomes of climate change predicted by virtually all of the GCM modeling efforts. The deserts of the Intermountain West are at a junction where both of these environmental factors are likely to be significant and could play major roles in influencing ecosystem dynamics and plant community structure. Compounding this situation is that the cryptobiotic soils, which form a crust at the surface, appear to be the primary means of both introducing nitrogen into these ecosystems and stabilizing the surface from erosion. These soils have been disrupted by grazing and other anthropogenic activities, creating spatial heterogeneity and making these ecosystems more sensitive to change. Our climate change project focused on the Sensitivity to Change in Arid Land Ecosystems (SCALE). We focused on establishing new field sites, initiating new rounds of experimental ecophysiological and community-level competition experiments to determine the sensitivity and responsiveness of species to changes in the availability of summer moisture inputs to complement previous research conducted for the DOE. It has been quite surprising to see that in this arid land ecosystem, where water is a primary factor limiting growth, many of the dominant perennials exhibit limited uptake of that summer moisture. The research was concentrated in three main areas: Community-wide responses to water/nutrient pulses; Competitive interactions among life forms; Modeling plant responses to environmental variability.

  12. The negative affect hypothesis of noise sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Shepherd, Daniel; Heinonen-Guzejev, Marja; Heikkilä, Kauko; Dirks, Kim N; Hautus, Michael J; Welch, David; McBride, David

    2015-05-01

    Some studies indicate that noise sensitivity is explained by negative affect, a dispositional tendency to negatively evaluate situations and the self. Individuals high in such traits may report a greater sensitivity to other sensory stimuli, such as smell, bright light and pain. However, research investigating the relationship between noise sensitivity and sensitivity to stimuli associated with other sensory modalities has not always supported the notion of a common underlying trait, such as negative affect, driving them. Additionally, other explanations of noise sensitivity based on cognitive processes have existed in the clinical literature for over 50 years. Here, we report on secondary analyses of pre-existing laboratory (n = 74) and epidemiological (n = 1005) data focusing on the relationship between noise sensitivity to and annoyance with a variety of olfactory-related stimuli. In the first study a correlational design examined the relationships between noise sensitivity, noise annoyance, and perceptual ratings of 16 odors. The second study sought differences between mean noise and air pollution annoyance scores across noise sensitivity categories. Results from both analyses failed to support the notion that, by itself, negative affectivity explains sensitivity to noise.

  13. The Negative Affect Hypothesis of Noise Sensitivity

    PubMed Central

    Shepherd, Daniel; Heinonen-Guzejev, Marja; Heikkilä, Kauko; Dirks, Kim N.; Hautus, Michael J.; Welch, David; McBride, David

    2015-01-01

    Some studies indicate that noise sensitivity is explained by negative affect, a dispositional tendency to negatively evaluate situations and the self. Individuals high in such traits may report a greater sensitivity to other sensory stimuli, such as smell, bright light and pain. However, research investigating the relationship between noise sensitivity and sensitivity to stimuli associated with other sensory modalities has not always supported the notion of a common underlying trait, such as negative affect, driving them. Additionally, other explanations of noise sensitivity based on cognitive processes have existed in the clinical literature for over 50 years. Here, we report on secondary analyses of pre-existing laboratory (n = 74) and epidemiological (n = 1005) data focusing on the relationship between noise sensitivity to and annoyance with a variety of olfactory-related stimuli. In the first study a correlational design examined the relationships between noise sensitivity, noise annoyance, and perceptual ratings of 16 odors. The second study sought differences between mean noise and air pollution annoyance scores across noise sensitivity categories. Results from both analyses failed to support the notion that, by itself, negative affectivity explains sensitivity to noise. PMID:25993104

  14. Drought sensitivity predicts habitat size sensitivity in an aquatic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Amundrud, Sarah L; Srivastava, Diane S

    2015-07-01

    Species and trophic richness often increase with habitat size. Although many ecological processes have been evoked to explain both patterns, the environmental stress associated with small habitats has rarely been considered. We propose that larger habitats may be species rich simply because their environmental conditions are within the fundamental niche of more species; larger habitats may also have more trophic levels if traits of predators render them vulnerable to environmental stress. We test this hypothesis using the aquatic insect larvae in water-filled bromeliads. In bromeliads, the probability of desiccation is greatest in small plants. For the 10 most common bromeliad insect taxa, we ask whether differences in drought tolerance and regional abundances between taxa predict community and trophic composition over a gradient of bromeliad size. First, we used bromeliad survey data to calculate the mean habitat size of occurrence of each taxon. Comparing the observed mean habitat size of occurrence to that expected from random species assembly based on differences in their regional abundances allowed us to obtain habitat size sensitivity indices (as Z scores) for the various insect taxa. Second, we obtained drought sensitivity indices by subjecting individual insects to drought and measuring the effects on relative growth rates in a mesocosm experiment. We found that drought sensitivity strongly, predicts habitat size sensitivity in bromeliad insects. However, an increase in trophic richness with habitat size could not be explained by an increased sensitivity of predators to drought, but rather by sampling effects, as predators were rare compared to lower trophic levels. This finding suggests that physiological tolerance to environmental stress can be relevant in explaining the universal increase in species with habitat size.

  15. Drought sensitivity predicts habitat size sensitivity in an aquatic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Amundrud, Sarah L; Srivastava, Diane S

    2015-07-01

    Species and trophic richness often increase with habitat size. Although many ecological processes have been evoked to explain both patterns, the environmental stress associated with small habitats has rarely been considered. We propose that larger habitats may be species rich simply because their environmental conditions are within the fundamental niche of more species; larger habitats may also have more trophic levels if traits of predators render them vulnerable to environmental stress. We test this hypothesis using the aquatic insect larvae in water-filled bromeliads. In bromeliads, the probability of desiccation is greatest in small plants. For the 10 most common bromeliad insect taxa, we ask whether differences in drought tolerance and regional abundances between taxa predict community and trophic composition over a gradient of bromeliad size. First, we used bromeliad survey data to calculate the mean habitat size of occurrence of each taxon. Comparing the observed mean habitat size of occurrence to that expected from random species assembly based on differences in their regional abundances allowed us to obtain habitat size sensitivity indices (as Z scores) for the various insect taxa. Second, we obtained drought sensitivity indices by subjecting individual insects to drought and measuring the effects on relative growth rates in a mesocosm experiment. We found that drought sensitivity strongly, predicts habitat size sensitivity in bromeliad insects. However, an increase in trophic richness with habitat size could not be explained by an increased sensitivity of predators to drought, but rather by sampling effects, as predators were rare compared to lower trophic levels. This finding suggests that physiological tolerance to environmental stress can be relevant in explaining the universal increase in species with habitat size. PMID:26378317

  16. Sensitivity of global terrestrial ecosystems to climate variability.

    PubMed

    Seddon, Alistair W R; Macias-Fauria, Marc; Long, Peter R; Benz, David; Willis, Kathy J

    2016-03-10

    The identification of properties that contribute to the persistence and resilience of ecosystems despite climate change constitutes a research priority of global relevance. Here we present a novel, empirical approach to assess the relative sensitivity of ecosystems to climate variability, one property of resilience that builds on theoretical modelling work recognizing that systems closer to critical thresholds respond more sensitively to external perturbations. We develop a new metric, the vegetation sensitivity index, that identifies areas sensitive to climate variability over the past 14 years. The metric uses time series data derived from the moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) enhanced vegetation index, and three climatic variables that drive vegetation productivity (air temperature, water availability and cloud cover). Underlying the analysis is an autoregressive modelling approach used to identify climate drivers of vegetation productivity on monthly timescales, in addition to regions with memory effects and reduced response rates to external forcing. We find ecologically sensitive regions with amplified responses to climate variability in the Arctic tundra, parts of the boreal forest belt, the tropical rainforest, alpine regions worldwide, steppe and prairie regions of central Asia and North and South America, the Caatinga deciduous forest in eastern South America, and eastern areas of Australia. Our study provides a quantitative methodology for assessing the relative response rate of ecosystems--be they natural or with a strong anthropogenic signature--to environmental variability, which is the first step towards addressing why some regions appear to be more sensitive than others, and what impact this has on the resilience of ecosystem service provision and human well-being.

  17. Sensitivity of global terrestrial ecosystems to climate variability.

    PubMed

    Seddon, Alistair W R; Macias-Fauria, Marc; Long, Peter R; Benz, David; Willis, Kathy J

    2016-03-10

    The identification of properties that contribute to the persistence and resilience of ecosystems despite climate change constitutes a research priority of global relevance. Here we present a novel, empirical approach to assess the relative sensitivity of ecosystems to climate variability, one property of resilience that builds on theoretical modelling work recognizing that systems closer to critical thresholds respond more sensitively to external perturbations. We develop a new metric, the vegetation sensitivity index, that identifies areas sensitive to climate variability over the past 14 years. The metric uses time series data derived from the moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) enhanced vegetation index, and three climatic variables that drive vegetation productivity (air temperature, water availability and cloud cover). Underlying the analysis is an autoregressive modelling approach used to identify climate drivers of vegetation productivity on monthly timescales, in addition to regions with memory effects and reduced response rates to external forcing. We find ecologically sensitive regions with amplified responses to climate variability in the Arctic tundra, parts of the boreal forest belt, the tropical rainforest, alpine regions worldwide, steppe and prairie regions of central Asia and North and South America, the Caatinga deciduous forest in eastern South America, and eastern areas of Australia. Our study provides a quantitative methodology for assessing the relative response rate of ecosystems--be they natural or with a strong anthropogenic signature--to environmental variability, which is the first step towards addressing why some regions appear to be more sensitive than others, and what impact this has on the resilience of ecosystem service provision and human well-being. PMID:26886790

  18. Sensitivity of global terrestrial ecosystems to climate variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seddon, Alistair W. R.; Macias-Fauria, Marc; Long, Peter R.; Benz, David; Willis, Kathy J.

    2016-03-01

    The identification of properties that contribute to the persistence and resilience of ecosystems despite climate change constitutes a research priority of global relevance. Here we present a novel, empirical approach to assess the relative sensitivity of ecosystems to climate variability, one property of resilience that builds on theoretical modelling work recognizing that systems closer to critical thresholds respond more sensitively to external perturbations. We develop a new metric, the vegetation sensitivity index, that identifies areas sensitive to climate variability over the past 14 years. The metric uses time series data derived from the moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) enhanced vegetation index, and three climatic variables that drive vegetation productivity (air temperature, water availability and cloud cover). Underlying the analysis is an autoregressive modelling approach used to identify climate drivers of vegetation productivity on monthly timescales, in addition to regions with memory effects and reduced response rates to external forcing. We find ecologically sensitive regions with amplified responses to climate variability in the Arctic tundra, parts of the boreal forest belt, the tropical rainforest, alpine regions worldwide, steppe and prairie regions of central Asia and North and South America, the Caatinga deciduous forest in eastern South America, and eastern areas of Australia. Our study provides a quantitative methodology for assessing the relative response rate of ecosystems—be they natural or with a strong anthropogenic signature—to environmental variability, which is the first step towards addressing why some regions appear to be more sensitive than others, and what impact this has on the resilience of ecosystem service provision and human well-being.

  19. Sensitivity analysis of ecosystem service valuation in a Mediterranean watershed.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Canales, María; López Benito, Alfredo; Passuello, Ana; Terrado, Marta; Ziv, Guy; Acuña, Vicenç; Schuhmacher, Marta; Elorza, F Javier

    2012-12-01

    The services of natural ecosystems are clearly very important to our societies. In the last years, efforts to conserve and value ecosystem services have been fomented. By way of illustration, the Natural Capital Project integrates ecosystem services into everyday decision making around the world. This project has developed InVEST (a system for Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs). The InVEST model is a spatially integrated modelling tool that allows us to predict changes in ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation and commodity production levels. Here, InVEST model is applied to a stakeholder-defined scenario of land-use/land-cover change in a Mediterranean region basin (the Llobregat basin, Catalonia, Spain). Of all InVEST modules and sub-modules, only the behaviour of the water provisioning one is investigated in this article. The main novel aspect of this work is the sensitivity analysis (SA) carried out to the InVEST model in order to determine the variability of the model response when the values of three of its main coefficients: Z (seasonal precipitation distribution), prec (annual precipitation) and eto (annual evapotranspiration), change. The SA technique used here is a One-At-a-Time (OAT) screening method known as Morris method, applied over each one of the one hundred and fifty four sub-watersheds in which the Llobregat River basin is divided. As a result, this method provides three sensitivity indices for each one of the sub-watersheds under consideration, which are mapped to study how they are spatially distributed. From their analysis, the study shows that, in the case under consideration and between the limits considered for each factor, the effect of the Z coefficient on the model response is negligible, while the other two need to be accurately determined in order to obtain precise output variables. The results of this study will be applicable to the others watersheds assessed in the Consolider Scarce Project.

  20. Ecosystem carbon storage capacity as affected by disturbance regimes: A general theoretical model

    SciTech Connect

    Weng, Ensheng; Luo, Yiqi; Wang, Weile; Wang, Han; Hayes, Daniel J; McGuire, A. David; Hastings, Alan; Schimel, David

    2012-01-01

    Disturbances have been recognized as a key factor shaping terrestrial ecosystem states and dynamics. A general model that quantitatively describes the relationship between carbon storage and disturbance regime is critical for better understanding large scale terrestrial ecosystem carbon dynamics. We developed a model (REGIME) to quantify ecosystem carbon storage capacities (E[x]) under varying disturbance regimes with an analytical solution E[x] = U {center_dot} {tau}{sub E} {center_dot} {lambda}{lambda} + s {tau} 1, where U is ecosystem carbon influx, {tau}{sub E} is ecosystem carbon residence time, and {tau}{sub 1} is the residence time of the carbon pool affected by disturbances (biomass pool in this study). The disturbance regime is characterized by the mean disturbance interval ({lambda}) and the mean disturbance severity (s). It is a Michaelis-Menten-type equation illustrating the saturation of carbon content with mean disturbance interval. This model analytically integrates the deterministic ecosystem carbon processes with stochastic disturbance events to reveal a general pattern of terrestrial carbon dynamics at large scales. The model allows us to get a sense of the sensitivity of ecosystems to future environmental changes just by a few calculations. According to the REGIME model, for example, approximately 1.8 Pg C will be lost in the high-latitude regions of North America (>45{sup o} N) if fire disturbance intensity increases around 5.7 time the current intensity to the end of the twenty-first century, which will require around 12% increases in net primary productivity (NPP) to maintain stable carbon stocks. If the residence time decreased 10% at the same time additional 12.5% increases in NPP are required to keep current C stocks. The REGIME model also lays the foundation for analytically modeling the interactions between deterministic biogeochemical processes and stochastic disturbance events.

  1. Sensitivity of aquatic ecosystems to climatic and anthropogenic changes: The basin and range, American Southwest and Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grimm, N. B.; Chacon, A.; Dahm, Clifford N.; Hostetler, S.W.; Lind, O.T.; Starkweather, P.L.; Wurtsbaugh, W.W.

    1997-01-01

    Variability and unpredictability are characteristics of the aquatic ecosystems, hydrological patterns and climate of the largely dryland region that encompasses the Basin and Range, American Southwest and western Mexico. Neither hydrological nor climatological models for the region are sufficiently developed to describe the magnitude or direction of change in response to increased carbon dioxide; thus, an attempt to predict specific responses of aquatic ecosystems is premature. Instead, we focus on the sensitivity of rivers, streams, springs, wetlands, reservoirs, and lakes of the region to potential changes in climate, especially those inducing a change in hydrological patterns such as amount, timing and predictability of stream flow. The major sensitivities of aquatic ecosystems are their permanence and even existence in the face of potential reduced net basin supply of water, stability of geomorphological structure and riparian ecotones with alterations in disturbance regimes, and water quality changes resulting from a modified water balance. In all of these respects, aquatic ecosystems of the region are also sensitive to the extensive modifications imposed by human use of water resources, which underscores the difficulty of separating this type of anthropogenic change from climate change. We advocate a focus in future research on reconstruction and analysis of past climates and associated ecosystem characteristics, long-term studies to discriminate directional change vs. year to year variability (including evidence of aquatic ecosystem responses or sensitivity to extremes), and studies of ecosystems affected by human activity. ?? 1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  2. Seeking Energy System Pathways to Reduce Ozone Damage to Ecosystems through Adjoint-based Sensitivity Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capps, S. L.; Pinder, R. W.; Loughlin, D. H.; Bash, J. O.; Turner, M. D.; Henze, D. K.; Percell, P.; Zhao, S.; Russell, M. G.; Hakami, A.

    2014-12-01

    Tropospheric ozone (O3) affects the productivity of ecosystems in addition to degrading human health. Concentrations of this pollutant are significantly influenced by precursor gas emissions, many of which emanate from energy production and use processes. Energy system optimization models could inform policy decisions that are intended to reduce these harmful effects if the contribution of precursor gas emissions to human health and ecosystem degradation could be elucidated. Nevertheless, determining the degree to which precursor gas emissions harm ecosystems and human health is challenging because of the photochemical production of ozone and the distinct mechanisms by which ozone causes harm to different crops, tree species, and humans. Here, the adjoint of a regional chemical transport model is employed to efficiently calculate the relative influences of ozone precursor gas emissions on ecosystem and human health degradation, which informs an energy system optimization. Specifically, for the summer of 2007 the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model adjoint is used to calculate the location- and sector-specific influences of precursor gas emissions on potential productivity losses for the major crops and sensitive tree species as well as human mortality attributable to chronic ozone exposure in the continental U.S. The atmospheric concentrations are evaluated with 12-km horizontal resolution with crop production and timber biomass data gridded similarly. These location-specific factors inform the energy production and use technologies selected in the MARKet ALlocation (MARKAL) model.

  3. Vestibular stimulation affects optic-flow sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Mark; O'Mahony, Simon; Ibbotson, Michael R; Kohlhagen, Stuart

    2010-01-01

    Typically, multiple cues can be used to generate a particular percept. Our area of interest is the extent to which humans are able to synergistically combine cues that are generated when moving through an environment. For example, movement through the environment leads to both visual (optic-flow) and vestibular stimulation, and studies have shown that non-human primates are able to combine these cues to generate a more accurate perception of heading than can be obtained with either cue in isolation. Here we investigate whether humans show a similar ability to synergistically combine optic-flow and vestibular cues. This was achieved by determining the sensitivity to optic-flow stimuli while physically moving the observer, and hence producing a vestibular signal, that was either consistent with the optic-flow signal, eg a radially expanding pattern coupled with forward motion, or inconsistent with it, eg a radially expanding pattern with backward motion. Results indicate that humans are more sensitive to motion-in-depth optic-flow stimuli when they are combined with complementary vestibular signals than when they are combined with conflicting vestibular signals. These results indicate that in humans, like in nonhuman primates, there is perceptual integration of visual and vestibular signals. PMID:21180352

  4. Factors Affecting the Sensitivity of Permafrost to Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jorgenson, T.; Romanovsky, V.; Harden, J.; Shur, Y.; Hinzman, L.; Marchenko, S.; Bolton, R.; O'Donnell, J.

    2009-05-01

    degradation when water is impounded in sinking depressions. Thus, the amount of ground ice and potential thaw settlement greatly affects permafrost sensitivity. Water bodies (lakes, ponds, rivers) have a warming effect on permafrost and often create thawing zones for which their geometry is defined by water depth, sediment texture, and climate. Convective heat transfer associated with groundwater movement can create an unfrozen zone on top or within permafrost. Surface and groundwater flow, and surface impoundment, in turn are affected by topography and soil texture. Because permafrost is greatly affected by these ecological components, permafrost properties evolve along with the successional patterns of ecosystem development, which in turn affects the sensitivity of permafrost to degradation. We explore the relative effects of these factors through modeling and comparison of field measurements. Because there is no single model available that can include all these disparate factors, we evaluate factors separately and use differences in mean annual ground temperatures at the surface and at 2-m depth to compare the magnitude of each effect.

  5. Toxins in transgenic crop byproducts may affect headwater stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Rosi-Marshall, E J; Tank, J L; Royer, T V; Whiles, M R; Evans-White, M; Chambers, C; Griffiths, N A; Pokelsek, J; Stephen, M L

    2007-10-01

    Corn (Zea mays L.) that has been genetically engineered to produce the Cry1Ab protein (Bt corn) is resistant to lepidopteran pests. Bt corn is widely planted in the midwestern United States, often adjacent to headwater streams. We show that corn byproducts, such as pollen and detritus, enter headwater streams and are subject to storage, consumption, and transport to downstream water bodies. Laboratory feeding trials showed that consumption of Bt corn byproducts reduced growth and increased mortality of nontarget stream insects. Stream insects are important prey for aquatic and riparian predators, and widespread planting of Bt crops has unexpected ecosystem-scale consequences. PMID:17923672

  6. Community history affects the predictability of microbial ecosystem development

    PubMed Central

    Pagaling, Eulyn; Strathdee, Fiona; Spears, Bryan M; Cates, Michael E; Allen, Rosalind J; Free, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Microbial communities mediate crucial biogeochemical, biomedical and biotechnological processes, yet our understanding of their assembly, and our ability to control its outcome, remain poor. Existing evidence presents conflicting views on whether microbial ecosystem assembly is predictable, or inherently unpredictable. We address this issue using a well-controlled laboratory model system, in which source microbial communities colonize a pristine environment to form complex, nutrient-cycling ecosystems. When the source communities colonize a novel environment, final community composition and function (as measured by redox potential) are unpredictable, although a signature of the community's previous history is maintained. However, when the source communities are pre-conditioned to their new habitat, community development is more reproducible. This situation contrasts with some studies of communities of macro-organisms, where strong selection under novel environmental conditions leads to reproducible community structure, whereas communities under weaker selection show more variability. Our results suggest that the microbial rare biosphere may have an important role in the predictability of microbial community development, and that pre-conditioning may help to reduce unpredictability in the design of microbial communities for biotechnological applications. PMID:23985743

  7. Does microbial biomass affect pelagic ecosystem efficiency? An experimental study.

    PubMed

    Wehr, J D; Le, J; Campbell, L

    1994-01-01

    Bacteria and other microorganisms in the pelagic zone participate in the recycling of organic matter and nutrients within the water column. The microbial loop is thought to enhance ecosystem efficiency through rapid recycling and reduced sinking rates, thus reducing the loss of nutrients contained in organisms remaining within the photic zone. We conducted experiments with lake communities in 5400-liter mesocosms, and measured the flux of materials and nutrients out of the water column. A factorial design manipulated 8 nutrient treatments: 4 phosphorus levels × 2 nitrogen levels. Total sedimentation rates were greatest in high-N mesocosms; within N-surplus communities, [Symbol: see text]1 µM P resulted in 50% increase in total particulate losses. P additions without added N had small effects on nutrient losses from the photic zone; +2 µM P tanks received 334 mg P per tank, yet after 14 days lost only 69 mg more particulate-P than did control communities. Nutrient treatments resulted in marked differences in phytoplankton biomass (twofold N effect, fivefold P effect in +N mesocosms only), bacterioplankton densities (twofold N-effect, twofold P effects in -N and +N mesocosms), and the relative importance of autotrophic picoplankton (maximum in high NY mesocosms). Multiple regression analysis found that of 8 plankton and water chemistry variables, the ratio of autotrophic picoplankton to total phytoplankton (measured as chlorophyll α) explained the largest portion of the total variation in sedimentation loss rates (65% of P-flux, 57% of N-flux, 26% of total flux). In each case, systems with greater relative importance of autotrophic picoplankton had significantly reduced loss rates. In contrast, greater numbers of planktonic bacteria were associated with increased sedimentation rates and lower system efficiency. We suggest that different microbial components may have contrasting effects on the presumed enhanced efficiency provided by the microbial loop.

  8. Nitrogen Additions Affect Root Dynamics in a Boreal Forest Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, K. M.; Treseder, K. K.

    2004-12-01

    As with many ecosystems, North American boreal forests are increasingly subjected to anthropogenic nitrogen deposition. To examine potential effects on plant growth, we created nitrogen fertilization plots in three sites along an Alaskan fire chronosequence composed of forests aged 5, 17, and 80 years. Each site had been exposed to two years of nitrogen fertilization, with four control plots and four nitrogen plots per site. General observations indicate that aboveground net primary productivity appears to be nitrogen limited in each site. We hypothesized that nitrogen fertilization would positively influence root dynamics as well, with nitrogen additions resulting in an increase in standing root biomass and length. To test our hypothesis, we used a minirhizotron camera to collect sequential images of roots in the top 10 cm of soil in both nitrogen fertilized and control plots in each site. Images were collected monthly during the growing season, with a total of five sampling times between May 2003 and May 2004. We then analyzed the images with WinRhizotron root measurement software. Nitrogen fertilization had varying effects on root biomass among the three sites, with a significant site by N interaction (P = 0.039). A decrease in root biomass was observed in the 5 and 80 year old sites, dropping from 207 g/m2 to 79 g/m2 and from 230 g/m2 to 129 g/m2 for the youngest and oldest sites, respectively. In contrast, root biomass increased from 52 g/m2 to 107 g/m2 in the 17 year old site. (Values are for the top 10 cm of soil only, and likely underestimate total root stocks.) Patterns in standing root lengths diverged from those of root biomass, with a 2.5-fold overall increase under nitrogen fertilization across all sites (P = 0.004). There were no significant differences among sites in nitrogen response. Standing root biomass and length differed from one another in their responses to nitrogen fertilization because nitrogen additions decreased specific root weight (as g

  9. Reinforcement sensitivity underlying treatment-seeking smokers' affect, smoking reinforcement motives, and affective responses.

    PubMed

    Cui, Yong; Robinson, Jason D; Engelmann, Jeffrey M; Lam, Cho Y; Minnix, Jennifer A; Karam-Hage, Maher; Wetter, David W; Dani, John A; Kosten, Thomas R; Cinciripini, Paul M

    2015-06-01

    Nicotine dependence has been suggested to be related to reinforcement sensitivity, which encompasses behavioral predispositions either to avoid aversive (behavioral inhibition) or to approach appetitive (behavioral activation) stimuli. Reinforcement sensitivity may shape motives for nicotine use and offer potential targets for personalized smoking cessation therapy. However, little is known regarding how reinforcement sensitivity is related to motivational processes implicated in the maintenance of smoking. Additionally, women and men differ in reinforcement sensitivity, and such difference may cause distinct relationships between reinforcement sensitivity and motivational processes for female and male smokers. In this study, the authors characterized reinforcement sensitivity in relation to affect, smoking-related reinforcement motives, and affective responses, using self-report and psychophysiological measures, in over 200 smokers before treating them. The Behavioral Inhibition/Activation Scales (BIS/BAS; Carver & White, 1994) was used to measure reinforcement sensitivity. In female and male smokers, BIS was similarly associated with negative affect and negative reinforcement of smoking. However, positive affect was positively associated with BAS Drive scores in male smokers, and this association was reversed in female smokers. BIS was positively associated with corrugator electromyographic reactivity toward negative stimuli and left frontal electroencephalogram alpha asymmetry. Female and male smokers showed similar relationships for these physiological measures. These findings suggest that reinforcement sensitivity underpins important motivational processes (e.g., affect), and gender is a moderating factor for these relationships. Future personalized smoking intervention, particularly among more dependent treatment-seeking smokers, may experiment to target individual differences in reinforcement sensitivity. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:25621416

  10. Reinforcement sensitivity underlying treatment-seeking smokers' affect, smoking reinforcement motives, and affective responses.

    PubMed

    Cui, Yong; Robinson, Jason D; Engelmann, Jeffrey M; Lam, Cho Y; Minnix, Jennifer A; Karam-Hage, Maher; Wetter, David W; Dani, John A; Kosten, Thomas R; Cinciripini, Paul M

    2015-06-01

    Nicotine dependence has been suggested to be related to reinforcement sensitivity, which encompasses behavioral predispositions either to avoid aversive (behavioral inhibition) or to approach appetitive (behavioral activation) stimuli. Reinforcement sensitivity may shape motives for nicotine use and offer potential targets for personalized smoking cessation therapy. However, little is known regarding how reinforcement sensitivity is related to motivational processes implicated in the maintenance of smoking. Additionally, women and men differ in reinforcement sensitivity, and such difference may cause distinct relationships between reinforcement sensitivity and motivational processes for female and male smokers. In this study, the authors characterized reinforcement sensitivity in relation to affect, smoking-related reinforcement motives, and affective responses, using self-report and psychophysiological measures, in over 200 smokers before treating them. The Behavioral Inhibition/Activation Scales (BIS/BAS; Carver & White, 1994) was used to measure reinforcement sensitivity. In female and male smokers, BIS was similarly associated with negative affect and negative reinforcement of smoking. However, positive affect was positively associated with BAS Drive scores in male smokers, and this association was reversed in female smokers. BIS was positively associated with corrugator electromyographic reactivity toward negative stimuli and left frontal electroencephalogram alpha asymmetry. Female and male smokers showed similar relationships for these physiological measures. These findings suggest that reinforcement sensitivity underpins important motivational processes (e.g., affect), and gender is a moderating factor for these relationships. Future personalized smoking intervention, particularly among more dependent treatment-seeking smokers, may experiment to target individual differences in reinforcement sensitivity. (PsycINFO Database Record

  11. Carbon exchange between ecosystems and atmosphere in the Czech Republic is affected by climate factors.

    PubMed

    Marek, Michal V; Janouš, Dalibor; Taufarová, Klára; Havránková, Kateřina; Pavelka, Marian; Kaplan, Věroslav; Marková, Irena

    2011-05-01

    By comparing five ecosystem types in the Czech Republic over several years, we recorded the highest carbon sequestration potential in an evergreen Norway spruce forest (100%) and an agroecosystem (65%), followed by European beech forest (25%) and a wetland ecosystem (20%). Because of a massive ecosystem respiration, the final carbon gain of the grassland was negative. Climate was shown to be an important factor of carbon uptake by ecosystems: by varying the growing season length (a 22-d longer season in 2005 than in 2007 increased carbon sink by 13%) or by the effect of short- term synoptic situations (e.g. summer hot and dry days reduced net carbon storage by 58% relative to hot and wet days). Carbon uptake is strongly affected by the ontogeny and a production strategy which is demonstrated by the comparison of seasonal course of carbon uptake between coniferous (Norway spruce) and deciduous (European beech) stands.

  12. Small but powerful: top predator local extinction affects ecosystem structure and function in an intermittent stream.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Lozano, Pablo; Verkaik, Iraima; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcís

    2015-01-01

    Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators' extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1) leads to a 'mesopredator release', affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2) triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel), conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to 'mesopredator release', and also to 'prey release' despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem's structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers' extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been extirpated, to restore

  13. Small but powerful: top predator local extinction affects ecosystem structure and function in an intermittent stream.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Lozano, Pablo; Verkaik, Iraima; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcís

    2015-01-01

    Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators' extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1) leads to a 'mesopredator release', affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2) triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel), conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to 'mesopredator release', and also to 'prey release' despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem's structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers' extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been extirpated, to restore

  14. How does vineyard management intensity affect ecosystem services and disservices - insights from a meta-analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winter, Silvia; Zaller, Johann G.; Kratschmer, Sophie; Pachinger, Bärbel; Strauss, Peter; Bauer, Thomas; Paredes, Daniel; Gómez, José A.; Guzmán, Gema; Landa, Blanca; Nicolai, Annegret; Burel, Francoise; Cluzeau, Daniel; Popescu, Daniela; Bunea, Claudiu-Ioan; Potthoff, Martin; Guernion, Muriel; Batáry, Péter

    2016-04-01

    Viticultural agro-ecosystems provide a range of different ecosystem services which are affected by management decisions of winegrowers. At the global scale, vineyards are often high intensity agricultural systems with bare soil or inter-row vegetation consisting of only a few plant species. These systems primarily aim at optimizing wine production by reducing competition for water and nutrients between grapevines and weeds and by preventing the outbreak of pests and diseases. At the same time, this kind of management is often associated with ecosystem disservices such as high rates of soil erosion, degradation of soil structure and fertility, contamination of groundwater and decline of biodiversity. Recently, several initiatives across the world tried to overcome detrimental effects of that management style by creating biodiversity friendly vineyards. The consequences of establishing divers cover crop mixes or tolerating spontaneous vegetation in vineyards for ecosystem services (including yield) overstretching local case studies has not been investigated yet. This meta-analysis will provide an overview of all published studies comparing the effects of different vineyard management practices on a range of different ecosystem services like biodiversity, pest control, pollination, soil conservation and carbon sequestration. The aggregated effect size will point out which management measures can provide the best overall net sum of ecosystem services. This meta-analysis is part of the transdisciplinary BiodivERsA project VineDivers and will ultimately lead into management and policy recommendations for various stakeholder groups engaged in viticulture.

  15. Drought-Net: A global network to assess terrestrial ecosystem sensitivity to drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Melinda; Sala, Osvaldo; Phillips, Richard

    2015-04-01

    All ecosystems will be impacted to some extent by climate change, with forecasts for more frequent and severe drought likely to have the greatest impact on terrestrial ecosystems. Terrestrial ecosystems are known to vary dramatically in their responses to drought. However, the factors that may make some ecosystems respond more or less than others remains unknown, but such understanding is critical for predicting drought impacts at regional and continental scales. To effectively forecast terrestrial ecosystem responses to drought, ecologists must assess responses of a range of different ecosystems to drought, and then improve existing models by incorporating the factors that cause such variation in response. Traditional site-based research cannot provide this knowledge because experiments conducted at individual sites are often not directly comparable due to differences in methodologies employed. Coordinated experimental networks, with identical protocols and comparable measurements, are ideally suited for comparative studies at regional to global scales. The US National Science Foundation-funded Drought-Net Research Coordination Network (www.drought-net.org) will advance understanding of the determinants of terrestrial ecosystem responses to drought by bringing together an international group of scientists to conduct two key activities conducted over the next five years: 1) planning and coordinating new research using standardized measurements to leverage the value of existing drought experiments across the globe (Enhancing Existing Experiments, EEE), and 2) finalizing the design and facilitating the establishment of a new international network of coordinated drought experiments (the International Drought Experiment, IDE). The primary goals of these activities are to assess: (1) patterns of differential terrestrial ecosystem sensitivity to drought and (2) potential mechanisms underlying those patterns.

  16. Drought-Net: An international network to assess terrestrial ecosystem sensitivity to drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, M.; Phillips, R.; Sala, O. E.

    2014-12-01

    All ecosystems will be impacted to some extent by climate change, with forecasts for more frequent and severe drought likely to have the greatest impact on terrestrial ecosystems. Terrestrial ecosystems are known to vary dramatically in their responses to drought. However, the factors that may make some ecosystems respond more or less than others remains unknown, but such understanding is critical for predicting drought impacts at regional and continental scales. To effectively forecast terrestrial ecosystem responses to drought, ecologists must assess responses of a range of different ecosystems to drought, and then improve existing models by incorporating the factors that cause such variation in response. Traditional site-based research cannot provide this knowledge because experiments conducted at individual sites are often not directly comparable due to differences in methodologies employed. Coordinated experimental networks, with identical protocols and comparable measurements, are ideally suited for comparative studies at regional to global scales. The US National Science Foundation-funded Drought-Net Research Coordination Network (www.drought-net.org) will advance understanding of the determinants of terrestrial ecosystem responses to drought by bringing together an international group of scientists to conduct two key activities conducted over the next five years: 1) planning and coordinating new research using standardized measurements to leverage the value of existing drought experiments across the globe (Enhancing Existing Experiments, EEE), and 2) finalizing the design and facilitating the establishment of a new international network of coordinated drought experiments (the International Drought Experiment, IDE). The primary goals of these activities are to assess: (1) patterns of differential terrestrial ecosystem sensitivity to drought and (2) potential mechanisms underlying those patterns.

  17. Affective state influences perception by affecting decision parameters underlying bias and sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Lynn, Spencer K; Zhang, Xuan; Barrett, Lisa Feldman

    2012-08-01

    Studies of the effect of affect on perception often show consistent directional effects of a person's affective state on perception. Unpleasant emotions have been associated with a "locally focused" style of stimulus evaluation, and positive emotions with a "globally focused" style. Typically, however, studies of affect and perception have not been conducted under the conditions of perceptual uncertainty and behavioral risk inherent to perceptual judgments outside the laboratory. We investigated the influence of perceivers' experienced affect (valence and arousal) on the utility of social threat perception by combining signal detection theory and behavioral economics. We compared 3 perceptual decision environments that systematically differed with respect to factors that underlie uncertainty and risk: the base rate of threat, the costs of incorrect identification threat, and the perceptual similarity of threats and nonthreats. We found that no single affective state yielded the best performance on the threat perception task across the 3 environments. Unpleasant valence promoted calibration of response bias to base rate and costs, high arousal promoted calibration of perceptual sensitivity to perceptual similarity, and low arousal was associated with an optimal adjustment of bias to sensitivity. However, the strength of these associations was conditional upon the difficulty of attaining optimal bias and high sensitivity, such that the effect of the perceiver's affective state on perception differed with the cause and/or level of uncertainty and risk.

  18. [Simulation of carbon cycle in Qianyanzhou artificial masson pine forest ecosystem and sensitivity analysis of model parameters].

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuan; Zhang, Na; Yu, Gui-rui

    2010-07-01

    By using modified carbon-water cycle model EPPML (ecosystem productivity process model for landscape), the carbon absorption and respiration in Qianyanzhou artificial masson pine forest ecosystem in 2003 and 2004 were simulated, and the sensitivity of the model parameters was analyzed. The results showed that EPPML could effectively simulate the carbon cycle process of this ecosystem. The simulated annual values and the seasonal variations of gross primary productivity (GPP), net ecosystem productivity (NEP), and ecosystem respiration (Re) not only fitted well with the measured data, but also reflected the major impacts of extreme weather on carbon flows. The artificial masson pine forest ecosystem in Qianyanzhou was a strong carbon sink in both 2003 and 2004. Due to the coupling of high temperature and severe drought in the growth season in 2003, the carbon absorption in 2003 was lower than that in 2004. The annual NEP in 2003 and 2004 was 481.8 and 516.6 g C x m(-2) x a(-1), respectively. The key climatic factors giving important impacts on the seasonal variations of carbon cycle were solar radiation during early growth season, drought during peak growth season, and precipitation during post-peak growth season. Autotrophic respiration (Ra) and net primary productivity (NPP) had the similar seasonal variations. Soil heterotrophic respiration (Rh) was mainly affected by soil temperature at yearly scale, and by soil water content at monthly scale. During wet growth season, the higher the soil water content, the lower the Rh was; during dry growth season, the higher the precipitation during the earlier two months, the higher the Rh was. The maximum RuBP carboxylation rate at 25 degrees C (Vm25), specific leaf area (SLA), maximum leaf nitrogen content (LNm), average leaf nitrogen content (LN), and conversion coefficient of biomass to carbon (C/B) had the greatest influence on annual NEP. Different carbon cycle process could have different responses to sensitive

  19. [Simulation of carbon cycle in Qianyanzhou artificial masson pine forest ecosystem and sensitivity analysis of model parameters].

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuan; Zhang, Na; Yu, Gui-rui

    2010-07-01

    By using modified carbon-water cycle model EPPML (ecosystem productivity process model for landscape), the carbon absorption and respiration in Qianyanzhou artificial masson pine forest ecosystem in 2003 and 2004 were simulated, and the sensitivity of the model parameters was analyzed. The results showed that EPPML could effectively simulate the carbon cycle process of this ecosystem. The simulated annual values and the seasonal variations of gross primary productivity (GPP), net ecosystem productivity (NEP), and ecosystem respiration (Re) not only fitted well with the measured data, but also reflected the major impacts of extreme weather on carbon flows. The artificial masson pine forest ecosystem in Qianyanzhou was a strong carbon sink in both 2003 and 2004. Due to the coupling of high temperature and severe drought in the growth season in 2003, the carbon absorption in 2003 was lower than that in 2004. The annual NEP in 2003 and 2004 was 481.8 and 516.6 g C x m(-2) x a(-1), respectively. The key climatic factors giving important impacts on the seasonal variations of carbon cycle were solar radiation during early growth season, drought during peak growth season, and precipitation during post-peak growth season. Autotrophic respiration (Ra) and net primary productivity (NPP) had the similar seasonal variations. Soil heterotrophic respiration (Rh) was mainly affected by soil temperature at yearly scale, and by soil water content at monthly scale. During wet growth season, the higher the soil water content, the lower the Rh was; during dry growth season, the higher the precipitation during the earlier two months, the higher the Rh was. The maximum RuBP carboxylation rate at 25 degrees C (Vm25), specific leaf area (SLA), maximum leaf nitrogen content (LNm), average leaf nitrogen content (LN), and conversion coefficient of biomass to carbon (C/B) had the greatest influence on annual NEP. Different carbon cycle process could have different responses to sensitive

  20. Small but Powerful: Top Predator Local Extinction Affects Ecosystem Structure and Function in an Intermittent Stream

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Lozano, Pablo; Verkaik, Iraima; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcís

    2015-01-01

    Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators’ extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1) leads to a ‘mesopredator release’, affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2) triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel), conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to ‘mesopredator release’, and also to ‘prey release’ despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem’s structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers’ extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been

  1. The sensitivity of the northwest European continental shelf ecosystem to anthropogenic pressures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wakelin, Sarah; Artioli, Yuri; Holt, Jason; Butenschön, Momme

    2013-04-01

    Anthropogenic pressure is exerted on ecosystems in several ways, through direct drivers such as eutrophication and levels of fishing effort and by changes in the physical environment brought about by climate change. Changes in water temperature, the timing and duration of seasonal stratification, circulation patterns and ocean-shelf exchange all impact on shelf-sea primary production. We use a coupled hydrodynamics-ecosystem model (POLCOMS-ERSEM) to study ecosystem sensitivity to climate change and the anthropogenic drivers of river nutrient loads, impacting on eutrophication, and trawling effort on the northwest European continental shelf, with an emphasis on changes in the North Sea. To force the model we use data from a coupled ocean-atmosphere global model (IPSL-CM4) representative of conditions in the recent past (1983-2000) and possible conditions in the near future (2030-2040) under a business as usual emissions scenario SRES A1B. To study ecosystem sensitivity to direct anthropogenic forcing, we adopt two scenarios impacting on river nutrient loads and trawling effort - one where there is rapid economic growth and limited environmental policies and a second where economic growth is constrained by environmental objectives. The sensitivity of the system to each single driver: climate change, increase in river nutrient loads, decrease in river nutrient loads and reduction in trawling effort is explored. The response of the ecosystem to the combined effects of changes in multiple drivers under the two scenarios of economic growth is also studied. The results are relevant to the Marine Strategy Framework Directive descriptors on marine food webs, eutrophication and biodiversity.

  2. Hunger state affects both olfactory abilities and gustatory sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Hanci, Deniz; Altun, Huseyin

    2016-07-01

    Chemical senses such as odor, taste and appearance are directly related with appetite. Understanding the relation between appetite and flavor is getting more important due to increasing number of obese patients worldwide. The literature on the studies investigating the change in olfactory abilities and gustatory sensitivity mostly performed using food-related odors and tastes rather than standardized tests were developed to study olfaction and gustation. Therefore, results are inconsistent and the relationship between olfactory and gustatory sensitivity with respect to the actual state of human satiety is still not completely understood. Here, for the first time in literature, we investigated the change in both olfactory abilities and gustatory sensitivity in hunger and in satiety using 123 subjects (37 men, 86 women; mean age 31.4 years, age range 21-41 years). The standardized Sniffin' Sticks Extended Test and Taste Strips were used for olfactory testing and gustatory sensitivity, respectively. TDI score (range 1-48) was calculated as the collective scores of odor threshold (T), odor discrimination (D) and odor identification (I). The evaluation was performed in two successive days where the hunger state of test subjects was confirmed by blood glucose test strips (mean blood glucose level 90.0 ± 5.6 mg/dl in hunger and 131.4 ± 8.1 mg/dl in satiety). The results indicated statistically significant decrease in olfaction in satiety compared to hunger (mean TDI 39.3 ± 1.1 in hunger, 37.4 ± 1.1 in satiety, p < 0.001). The comparison of gustatory sensitivity indicated significantly higher sensitivity to sweet, sour and salty in hunger (p < 0.001), but significantly higher sensitivity to bitter tastant in satiety (p < 0.001). With this prospective study, we were able to show that both olfactory abilities and gustatory sensitivity were affected by hunger state.

  3. Sensitivity of Prosopis velutina to Summer Rainfall and Consequences for Seasonal Patterns of Ecosystem Carbon Exchange

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Potts, D. L.; Cable, J. M.; Scott, R. L.; Williams, D. G.; Goodrich, D. C.; Huxman, T. E.

    2005-12-01

    Future changes in dryland vegetation composition will interact with climate variability to influence carbon and water cycling in unforeseen ways. Observed increases in the density of woody plants in North America's savanna ecosystems may be an important terrestrial carbon sink and could alter patterns of regional hydrologic cycling. During the 2005 growing season we compared seasonal patterns of Prosopis velutina plant water status and leaf gas exchange in upland and riparian savannas. Previous work suggested the plant size class constrained alluvial groundwater access and that mature individuals were less sensitive to the onset of summer rains at the riparian site. We predicted that at the upland site, where groundwater was unavailable, mature and juvenile plants would respond similarly to the onset of summer rains. Furthermore, we predicted that this increased sensitivity by the dominant vegetation to seasonal rainfall would be reflected in NEE data collected by eddy-covariance at both sites. Results indicate that mesquite performance and the duration and magnitude of ecosystem carbon exchanges are tightly linked to precipitation at the upland site. Comparing upland and riparian sites demonstrates how seasonal pattern of precipitation, plant-available alluvial groundwater and vegetation structure interact to govern ecosystem carbon balance in savanna ecosystems.

  4. Acclimatization of the Temperature Sensitivity of Ecosystem Respiration: Synthesis of a 5-year Global Change Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogle, K.; Ryan, E.; Pendall, E. G.

    2013-12-01

    The loss of carbon from ecosystems (ecosystem respiration, Reco) is a dynamic process and temperature is a key factor governing short- and long-term Reco dynamics. The goal of this study is to evaluate the temperature sensitivity of Reco and to learn how it adjusts to environmental conditions such as temperature and experimental warming. To do this, we synthesized 5 years of Reco data generated by the Prairie Heating and CO2 Enrichment (PHACE) study that was conducted in a semi-arid grassland in southeastern Wyoming. The PHACE experiment consists of 6 treatments involving atmospheric CO2 (ambient, elevated), temperature (ambient, warmed), and soil water (ambient, shallow irrigation, deep irrigation). Thus, PHACE provided a unique opportunity to explore how the temperature response of Reco over daily, weekly, and longer time scales is governed by the experimental treatments and co-occurring environmental variation. We synthesized the Reco data using a semi-mechanistic temperature response model that involves a temperature sensitivity term (Eo) analogous to an energy of activation. We explored how Eo varies in response to the experimental treatments and current and antecedent soil water and temperature within a Bayesian framework that allowed us to incorporate a novel stochastic model for the antecedent variables. For example, antecedent temperature is modeled as a weighted average of past daily temperatures, and we estimated the unknown daily weights that quantify potential lag responses and time-scales over which past temperatures affect Eo. Thus, changes in Eo describe instantaneous responses of Reco to temperature, the antecedent temperature effects describe relatively short-term (days/weeks) acclimatization, and the effects of experimental warming describe longer term (months/years) acclimatization potential of Reco. Our analysis predicted that Eo can vary by a factor of 2 or more over the growing season. Although not significant, the trend was for Eo to be

  5. Does consideration of water routing affect simulated water and carbon dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, G.; Schneiderman, E. M.; Band, L. E.; Hwang, T.; Pierson, D. C.; Pradhanang, S. M.; Zion, M. S.

    2013-10-01

    The cycling of carbon in terrestrial ecosystems is closely coupled with the cycling of water. An important mechanism connecting ecological and hydrological processes in terrestrial ecosystems is lateral flow of water along landscapes. Few studies, however, have examined explicitly how consideration of water routing affects simulated water and carbon dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems. The objective of this study is to explore how consideration of water routing in a process-based hydroecological model affects simulated water and carbon dynamics. To achieve that end, we rasterized the regional hydroecological simulation systems (RHESSys) and employed the rasterized RHESSys (R-RHESSys) in a forested watershed. We performed and compared two contrasting simulations, one with and another without water routing. We found that R-RHESSys is able to correctly simulate major hydrological and ecological variables regardless of whether water routing is considered. When water routing was neglected, however, soil water table depth and saturation deficit were simulated to be smaller and spatially more homogeneous. As a result, evaporation, forest productivity and soil heterotrophic respiration also were simulated to be spatially more homogeneous compared to simulation with water routing. When averaged for the entire watershed, however, differences in simulated water and carbon fluxes are not significant between the two simulations. Overall, the study demonstrated that consideration of water routing enabled R-RHESSys to better capture our preconception of the spatial patterns of water table depth and saturation deficit across the watershed. Because the spatial pattern of soil moisture is fundamental to water efflux from land to the atmosphere, forest productivity and soil microbial activity, ecosystem and carbon cycle models, therefore, need to explicitly represent water routing in order to accurately quantify the magnitudes and patterns of water and carbon fluxes in terrestrial

  6. Sensitivity analysis of a model of CO2 exchange in tundra ecosystems by the adjoint method

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Waelbroek, C.; Louis, J.-F.

    1995-01-01

    A model of net primary production (NPP), decomposition, and nitrogen cycling in tundra ecosystems has been developed. The adjoint technique is used to study the sensitivity of the computed annual net CO2 flux to perturbation in initial conditions, climatic inputs, and model's main parameters describing current seasonal CO2 exchange in wet sedge tundra at Barrow, Alaska. The results show that net CO2 flux is most sensitive to parameters characterizing litter chemical composition and more sensitive to decomposition parameters than to NPP parameters. This underlines the fact that in nutrient-limited ecosystems, decomposition drives net CO2 exchange by controlling mineralization of main nutrients. The results also indicate that the short-term (1 year) response of wet sedge tundra to CO2-induced warming is a significant increase in CO2 emission, creating a positive feedback to atmosphreic CO2 accumulation. However, a cloudiness increase during the same year can severely alter this response and lead to either a slight decrease or a strong increase in emitted CO2, depending on its exact timing. These results demonstrate that the adjoint method is well suited to study systems encountering regime changes, as a single run of the adjoint model provides sensitivities of the net CO2 flux to perturbations in all parameters and variables at any time of the year. Moreover, it is shown that large errors due to the presence of thresholds can be avoided by first delimiting the range of applicability of the adjoint results.

  7. Sensitivity analysis of a model of CO2 exchange in tundra ecosystems by the adjoint method

    SciTech Connect

    Waelbroek, C.; Louis, J.F. |

    1995-02-01

    A model of net primary production (NPP), decomposition, and nitrogen cycling in tundra ecosystems has been developed. The adjoint technique is used to study the sensitivity of the computed annual net CO2 flux to perturbation in initial conditions, climatic inputs, and model`s main parameters describing current seasonal CO2 exchange in wet sedge tundra at Barrow, Alaska. The results show that net CO2 flux is most sensitive to parameters characterizing litter chemical composition and more sensitive to decomposition parameters than to NPP parameters. This underlines the fact that in nutrient-limited ecosystems, decomposition drives net CO2 exchange by controlling mineralization of main nutrients. The results also indicate that the short-term (1 year) response of wet sedge tundra to CO2-induced warming is a significant increase in CO2 emission, creating a positive feedback to atmosphreic CO2 accumulation. However, a cloudiness increase during the same year can severely alter this response and lead to either a slight decrease or a strong increase in emitted CO2, depending on its exact timing. These results demonstrate that the adjoint method is well suited to study systems encountering regime changes, as a single run of the adjoint model provides sensitivities of the net CO2 flux to perturbations in all parameters and variables at any time of the year. Moreover, it is shown that large errors due to the presence of thresholds can be avoided by first delimiting the range of applicability of the adjoint results.

  8. Aspergillus nidulans galactofuranose biosynthesis affects antifungal drug sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Alam, Md Kausar; El-Ganiny, Amira M; Afroz, Sharmin; Sanders, David A R; Liu, Juxin; Kaminskyj, Susan G W

    2012-12-01

    The cell wall is essential for fungal survival in natural environments. Many fungal wall carbohydrates are absent from humans, so they are a promising source of antifungal drug targets. Galactofuranose (Galf) is a sugar that decorates certain carbohydrates and lipids. It comprises about 5% of the Aspergillus fumigatus cell wall, and may play a role in systemic aspergillosis. We are studying Aspergillus wall formation in the tractable model system, A. nidulans. Previously we showed single-gene deletions of three sequential A. nidulans Galf biosynthesis proteins each caused similar hyphal morphogenesis defects and 500-fold reduced colony growth and sporulation. Here, we generated ugeA, ugmA and ugtA strains controlled by the alcA(p) or niiA(p) regulatable promoters. For repression and expression, alcA(p)-regulated strains were grown on complete medium with glucose or threonine, whereas niiA(p)-regulated strains were grown on minimal medium with ammonium or nitrate. Expression was assessed by qPCR and colony phenotype. The alcA(p) and niiA(p) strains produced similar effects: colonies resembling wild type for gene expression, and resembling deletion strains for gene repression. Galf immunolocalization using the L10 monoclonal antibody showed that ugmA deletion and repression phenotypes correlated with loss of hyphal wall Galf. None of the gene manipulations affected itraconazole sensitivity, as expected. Deletion of any of ugmA, ugeA, ugtA, their repression by alcA(p) or niiA(p), OR, ugmA overexpression by alcA(p), increased sensitivity to Caspofungin. Strains with alcA(p)-mediated overexpression of ugeA and ugtA had lower caspofungin sensitivity. Galf appears to play an important role in A. nidulans growth and vigor.

  9. Uncertainties in the temperature sensitivity of decomposition in tropical and subtropical ecosystems: Implications for models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holland, Elisabeth A.; Neff, Jason C.; Townsend, Alan R.; McKeown, Becky

    2000-12-01

    Tropical ecosystems play a central role in the global carbon cycle. Large changes in tropical temperature over geologic time and the significant responses of tropical ecosystems to shorter-term variations such as El Niño/La Niña argue for a robust understanding of the temperature sensitivity of tropical decomposition. To examine the responsiveness of heterotrophic respiration to temperature, we measured rates of heterotrophic respiration from a wide range of tropical soils in a series of laboratory incubations. Under conditions of optimal soil water and nonlimiting substrate availability, heterotrophic respiration rose exponentially with rising temperature. The meanQ10measured across all temperature ranges in these short-term incubations was 2.37, but there was significant variation inQ10s across sites. The source of this variation could not be explained by soil carbon or nitrogen content, soil texture, site climate, or lignin to nitrogen ratio. At the beginning of the incubation, heterotrophic respiration increased exponentially with temperature for all sites, despite the fact that the fluxes differed by an order of magnitude. When substrate availability became limiting later in the incubation, the temperature response changed, and heterotrophic response declined above 35°C. The documented changes in temperature sensitivity with substrate availability argue for using temperature relationships developed under optimal conditions of substrate availability for models which include temperature regulation of heterotrophic respiration. To evaluate the significance of this natural variation in temperature control over decomposition, we used the Century ecosystem model gridded for the areas between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. These simulations used the mean and upper and lower confidence limits of the normalized exponential temperature response of our experimental studies. We found that systems with the lowest temperature sensitivity accumulated a total of 70

  10. Loss of Rare Fish Species from Tropical Floodplain Food Webs Affects Community Structure and Ecosystem Multifunctionality in a Mesocosm Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Pendleton, Richard M.; Hoeinghaus, David J.; Gomes, Luiz C.; Agostinho, Angelo A.

    2014-01-01

    Experiments with realistic scenarios of species loss from multitrophic ecosystems may improve insight into how biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning. Using 1000 L mesocoms, we examined effects of nonrandom species loss on community structure and ecosystem functioning of experimental food webs based on multitrophic tropical floodplain lagoon ecosystems. Realistic biodiversity scenarios were developed based on long-term field surveys, and experimental assemblages replicated sequential loss of rare species which occurred across all trophic levels of these complex food webs. Response variables represented multiple components of ecosystem functioning, including nutrient cycling, primary and secondary production, organic matter accumulation and whole ecosystem metabolism. Species richness significantly affected ecosystem function, even after statistically controlling for potentially confounding factors such as total biomass and direct trophic interactions. Overall, loss of rare species was generally associated with lower nutrient concentrations, phytoplankton and zooplankton densities, and whole ecosystem metabolism when compared with more diverse assemblages. This pattern was also observed for overall ecosystem multifunctionality, a combined metric representing the ability of an ecosystem to simultaneously maintain multiple functions. One key exception was attributed to time-dependent effects of intraguild predation, which initially increased values for most ecosystem response variables, but resulted in decreases over time likely due to reduced nutrient remineralization by surviving predators. At the same time, loss of species did not result in strong trophic cascades, possibly a result of compensation and complexity of these multitrophic ecosystems along with a dominance of bottom-up effects. Our results indicate that although rare species may comprise minor components of communities, their loss can have profound ecosystem consequences across multiple trophic

  11. Loss of rare fish species from tropical floodplain food webs affects community structure and ecosystem multifunctionality in a mesocosm experiment.

    PubMed

    Pendleton, Richard M; Hoeinghaus, David J; Gomes, Luiz C; Agostinho, Angelo A

    2014-01-01

    Experiments with realistic scenarios of species loss from multitrophic ecosystems may improve insight into how biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning. Using 1000 L mesocoms, we examined effects of nonrandom species loss on community structure and ecosystem functioning of experimental food webs based on multitrophic tropical floodplain lagoon ecosystems. Realistic biodiversity scenarios were developed based on long-term field surveys, and experimental assemblages replicated sequential loss of rare species which occurred across all trophic levels of these complex food webs. Response variables represented multiple components of ecosystem functioning, including nutrient cycling, primary and secondary production, organic matter accumulation and whole ecosystem metabolism. Species richness significantly affected ecosystem function, even after statistically controlling for potentially confounding factors such as total biomass and direct trophic interactions. Overall, loss of rare species was generally associated with lower nutrient concentrations, phytoplankton and zooplankton densities, and whole ecosystem metabolism when compared with more diverse assemblages. This pattern was also observed for overall ecosystem multifunctionality, a combined metric representing the ability of an ecosystem to simultaneously maintain multiple functions. One key exception was attributed to time-dependent effects of intraguild predation, which initially increased values for most ecosystem response variables, but resulted in decreases over time likely due to reduced nutrient remineralization by surviving predators. At the same time, loss of species did not result in strong trophic cascades, possibly a result of compensation and complexity of these multitrophic ecosystems along with a dominance of bottom-up effects. Our results indicate that although rare species may comprise minor components of communities, their loss can have profound ecosystem consequences across multiple trophic

  12. Asymmetric warming significantly affects net primary production, but not ecosystem carbon balances of forest and grassland ecosystems in northern China.

    PubMed

    Su, Hongxin; Feng, Jinchao; Axmacher, Jan C; Sang, Weiguo

    2015-01-01

    We combine the process-based ecosystem model (Biome-BGC) with climate change-scenarios based on both RegCM3 model outputs and historic observed trends to quantify differential effects of symmetric and asymmetric warming on ecosystem net primary productivity (NPP), heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of six ecosystem types representing different climatic zones of northern China. Analysis of covariance shows that NPP is significant greater at most ecosystems under the various environmental change scenarios once temperature asymmetries are taken into consideration. However, these differences do not lead to significant differences in NEP, which indicates that asymmetry in climate change does not result in significant alterations of the overall carbon balance in the dominating forest or grassland ecosystems. Overall, NPP, Rh and NEP are regulated by highly interrelated effects of increases in temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentrations and precipitation changes, while the magnitude of these effects strongly varies across the six sites. Further studies underpinned by suitable experiments are nonetheless required to further improve the performance of ecosystem models and confirm the validity of these model predictions. This is crucial for a sound understanding of the mechanisms controlling the variability in asymmetric warming effects on ecosystem structure and functioning. PMID:25766381

  13. Asymmetric warming significantly affects net primary production, but not ecosystem carbon balances of forest and grassland ecosystems in northern China.

    PubMed

    Su, Hongxin; Feng, Jinchao; Axmacher, Jan C; Sang, Weiguo

    2015-03-13

    We combine the process-based ecosystem model (Biome-BGC) with climate change-scenarios based on both RegCM3 model outputs and historic observed trends to quantify differential effects of symmetric and asymmetric warming on ecosystem net primary productivity (NPP), heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of six ecosystem types representing different climatic zones of northern China. Analysis of covariance shows that NPP is significant greater at most ecosystems under the various environmental change scenarios once temperature asymmetries are taken into consideration. However, these differences do not lead to significant differences in NEP, which indicates that asymmetry in climate change does not result in significant alterations of the overall carbon balance in the dominating forest or grassland ecosystems. Overall, NPP, Rh and NEP are regulated by highly interrelated effects of increases in temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentrations and precipitation changes, while the magnitude of these effects strongly varies across the six sites. Further studies underpinned by suitable experiments are nonetheless required to further improve the performance of ecosystem models and confirm the validity of these model predictions. This is crucial for a sound understanding of the mechanisms controlling the variability in asymmetric warming effects on ecosystem structure and functioning.

  14. Asymmetric warming significantly affects net primary production, but not ecosystem carbon balances of forest and grassland ecosystems in northern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Hongxin; Feng, Jinchao; Axmacher, Jan C.; Sang, Weiguo

    2015-03-01

    We combine the process-based ecosystem model (Biome-BGC) with climate change-scenarios based on both RegCM3 model outputs and historic observed trends to quantify differential effects of symmetric and asymmetric warming on ecosystem net primary productivity (NPP), heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of six ecosystem types representing different climatic zones of northern China. Analysis of covariance shows that NPP is significant greater at most ecosystems under the various environmental change scenarios once temperature asymmetries are taken into consideration. However, these differences do not lead to significant differences in NEP, which indicates that asymmetry in climate change does not result in significant alterations of the overall carbon balance in the dominating forest or grassland ecosystems. Overall, NPP, Rh and NEP are regulated by highly interrelated effects of increases in temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentrations and precipitation changes, while the magnitude of these effects strongly varies across the six sites. Further studies underpinned by suitable experiments are nonetheless required to further improve the performance of ecosystem models and confirm the validity of these model predictions. This is crucial for a sound understanding of the mechanisms controlling the variability in asymmetric warming effects on ecosystem structure and functioning.

  15. Not all ski slopes are created equal: disturbance intensity affects ecosystem properties.

    PubMed

    Burt, Jennifer W; Rice, Kevin J

    2009-12-01

    In mountain regions around the world, downhill ski areas represent a significant source of anthropogenic disturbance while also providing recreation and revenue. Ski-run creation always results in some level of disturbance, but disturbance intensity varies greatly with construction method. Ski runs may be established either by clearing (cutting and removing tall vegetation) or by clearing and then machine-grading (leveling the soil surface with heavy equipment). To quantify how these different intensities of initial disturbance affect ecosystem properties, we extensively surveyed vegetation, soils, and environmental characteristics on cleared ski runs, graded ski runs, and adjacent reference forests across seven large downhill ski resorts in the northern Sierra Nevada, USA. We found that the greater disturbance intensity associated with grading resulted in greater impacts on all ecosystem properties considered, including plant community composition and diversity, soil characteristics relating to processes of nutrient cycling and retention, and measures of erosion potential. We also found that cleared ski runs retained many ecological similarities to reference forests and might even offer some added benefits by possessing greater plant species and functional diversity than either forests or graded runs. Because grading is more damaging to multiple indicators of ecosystem function, clearing rather than grading should be used to create ski slopes wherever practical.

  16. Food quantity affects the sensitivity of Daphnia to road salt.

    PubMed

    Brown, Arran H; Yan, Norman D

    2015-04-01

    Road deicing operations have raised chloride (Cl) levels in many temperate lakes in Europe and North America. These lakes vary widely in trophic status, but to date, no one has quantified the interaction between food quantity and road salt toxicity. We examined the effects of food quantity (particulate algal C concentration (C)) on the chronic toxicity of Cl to Daphnia in soft-water bioassays. There was a strong positive linear relationship (r(2) = 0.92 for NaCl and r(2) = 0.96 for CaCl2) between food quantity and Cl LC50. As food quantity increased from 0.2 to 1.0 mg C/L (levels characteristic of oligotrophic to eutrophic lakes, respectively), the chronic Cl LC50 increased from 55.7 to 284.8 mg Cl/L. Salt type (NaCl or CaCl2) did not affect the Cl LC50, Daphnia life history parameters, or the intrinsic rate of population increase (r). The life history parameter most sensitive to Cl was neonate production. Cl did not inhibit egg production, nor was the maternal lipid investment in eggs changed, but egg viability and the subsequent release of live neonates decreased as Cl levels increased and food decreased. Our results suggest the trophic status of lakes should be considered when assessing ecological threat from Cl. PMID:25751457

  17. Genes Affecting Sensitivity to Serotonin in Caenorhabditis Elegans

    PubMed Central

    Schafer, W. R.; Sanchez, B. M.; Kenyon, C. J.

    1996-01-01

    Regulating the response of a postsynaptic cell to neurotransmitter is an important mechanism for controlling synaptic strength, a process critical to learning. We have begun to define and characterize genes that may control sensitivity to the neurotransmitter serotonin in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans by identifying serotonin-hypersensitive mutants. We reported previously that mutations in the gene unc-2, which encodes a putative calcium channel subunit, result in hypersensitivity to serotonin. Here we report that mutants defective in the unc-36 gene, which encodes a homologue of a calcium channel auxiliary subunit, are also serotonin-hypersensitive. Moreover, the unc-36 gene appears to be required in the same cells as unc-2 for control of the same behaviors. Mutations in several other genes, including unc-8, unc-10, unc-20, unc-35, unc-75, unc-77, and snt-1 also result in hypersensitivity to serotonin. Several of these mutations have previously been shown to confer resistance to acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, suggesting that they may affect acetylcholine release. Moreover, we found that mutations that decrease acetylcholine synthesis cause defective egg-laying and serotonin hypersensitivity. Thus, acetylcholine appears to negatively regulate the response to serotonin and may participate in the process of serotonin desensitization. PMID:8807295

  18. Sensitivity of riparian ecosystems in arid and semiarid environments to moisture pulses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, D. G.; Scott, R. L.; Huxman, T. E.; Goodrich, D. C.; Lin, G.

    2006-10-01

    Structural and functional dynamics of riparian vegetation in arid and semiarid basins are controlled by hydrological processes operating at local, landscape and catchment scales. However, the importance of growing-season precipitation as a control on evapotranspiration (ET) and carbon cycling in these ecosystems varies considerably across the riparian landscape, depending largely on access to the near-surface water table. Here we describe key findings from ongoing ecohydrological studies along the Upper San Pedro River (USPR) in semiarid, south-eastern Arizona, USA. Depth to the water table varies substantially across the riparian landscape along the USPR drainage, and is a key factor controlling the sensitivity of cottonwood (Populus fremontii) water-source use, transpiration rate and photosynthetic metabolism to inputs of monsoonal moisture during the growing season. Landscape-scale functional variation in cottonwood forests has been incorporated into spatially explicit ET models for estimating water balance components along the USPR. However, of greater importance for understanding controls on water and carbon exchange processes in the riparian corridor is the conversion of sacaton (Sporobolus spp.) grasslands on pre-entrenchment floodplain terraces to communities dominated by the deep-rooted woody legume, mesquite (Prosopis velutina). Mesquite is now the dominant cover in the riparian corridor and has increased by more than 300% in the USPR basin since 1972. The physiognomic shift from grassland to mesquite woodland on pre-entrenchment floodplain terraces alters the sensitivity of ET and CO2 exchange to inputs of growing-season precipitation. Because mature mesquite shrubs and trees have greater access to groundwater in these habitats than sacaton, ET and gross ecosystem production (GEP) are relatively decoupled from variation in monsoonal precipitation. However, decomposition of litter and soil organic matter in floodplain ecosystems remains highly coupled to

  19. Variations in Maternal 5-HTTLPR Affect Observed Sensitive Parenting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cents, Rolieke A. M.; Kok, Rianne; Tiemeier, Henning; Lucassen, Nicole; Székely, Eszter; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J.; Hofman, Albert; Jaddoe, Vincent W. V.; IJzendoorn, Marinus H.; Verhulst, Frank C.; Lambregtse-van den Berg, Mijke P.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Little is known about the genetic determinants of sensitive parenting. Two earlier studies examined the effect of the serotonin transporter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) on sensitive parenting, but reported opposite results. In a large cohort we further examined whether 5-HTTLPR is a predictor of observed maternal sensitivity and whether…

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

  1. Climate sensitivity of global terrestrial ecosystems' subdaily carbon, water, and energy dynamics.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, R.; Ruddell, B. L.; Childers, D. L.; Kang, M.

    2015-12-01

    Abstract: Under the context of global climate change, it is important to understand the direction and magnitude of different ecosystems respond to climate at the global level. In this study, we applied dynamical process network (DPN) approach combined with eco-climate system sensitivity model and used the global FLUXNET eddy covariance measurements (subdaily net ecosystem exchange of CO2, air temperature, and precipitation) to access eco-climate system sensitivity to climate and biophysical factors at the flux site level. For the first time, eco-climate system sensitivity was estimated at the global flux sites and extrapolated to all possible land covers by employing artificial neural network approach and using the MODIS phenology and land cover products, the long-term climate GLDAS-2 product, and the GMTED2010 Global Grid elevation dataset. We produced the seasonal eco-climate system DPN maps, which revealed how global carbon dynamics driven by temperature and precipitation. We also found that the eco-climate system dynamical process structures are more sensitive to temperature, whether directly or indirectly via phenology. Interestingly, if temperature continues rising, the temperature-NEE coupling may increase in tropical rain forest areas while decrease in tropical desert or Savanna areas, which means that rising temperature in the future could lead to more carbon sequestration in tropical forests whereas less carbon sequestration in tropical drylands. At the same time, phenology showed a positive effect on the temperature-NEE coupling at all pixels, which suggests increased greenness may increase temperature driven carbon dynamics and consequently carbon sequestration globally. Precipitation showed relatively strong influence on the precipitation-NEE coupling, especially indirectly via phenology. This study has the potential to conduct eco-climate system short-term and long-term forecasting.

  2. Irrigation agriculture affects organic matter decomposition in semi-arid terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Arroita, Maite; Causapé, Jesús; Comín, Francisco A; Díez, Joserra; Jimenez, Juan José; Lacarta, Juan; Lorente, Carmen; Merchán, Daniel; Muñiz, Selene; Navarro, Enrique; Val, Jonatan; Elosegi, Arturo

    2013-12-15

    Many dryland areas are being converted into intensively managed irrigation crops, what can disrupt the hydrological regime, degrade soil and water quality, enhance siltation, erosion and bank instability, and affect biological communities. Still, the impacts of irrigation schemes on the functioning of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems are poorly understood. Here we assess the effects of irrigation agriculture on breakdown of coarse organic matter in soil and water. We measured breakdown rates of alder and holm oak leaves, and of poplar sticks in terrestrial and aquatic sites following a gradient of increasing irrigation agriculture in a semi-arid Mediterranean basin transformed into irrigation agriculture in 50% of its surface. Spatial patterns of stick breakdown paralleled those of leaf breakdown. In soil, stick breakdown rates were extremely low in non-irrigated sites (0.0001-0.0003 day(-1)), and increased with the intensity of agriculture (0.0018-0.0044 day(-1)). In water, stick breakdown rates ranged from 0.0005 to 0.001 day(-1), and increased with the area of the basin subject to irrigation agriculture. Results showed that irrigation agriculture affects functioning of both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, accelerating decomposition of organic matter, especially in soil. These changes can have important consequences for global carbon budgets.

  3. Irrigation agriculture affects organic matter decomposition in semi-arid terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Arroita, Maite; Causapé, Jesús; Comín, Francisco A; Díez, Joserra; Jimenez, Juan José; Lacarta, Juan; Lorente, Carmen; Merchán, Daniel; Muñiz, Selene; Navarro, Enrique; Val, Jonatan; Elosegi, Arturo

    2013-12-15

    Many dryland areas are being converted into intensively managed irrigation crops, what can disrupt the hydrological regime, degrade soil and water quality, enhance siltation, erosion and bank instability, and affect biological communities. Still, the impacts of irrigation schemes on the functioning of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems are poorly understood. Here we assess the effects of irrigation agriculture on breakdown of coarse organic matter in soil and water. We measured breakdown rates of alder and holm oak leaves, and of poplar sticks in terrestrial and aquatic sites following a gradient of increasing irrigation agriculture in a semi-arid Mediterranean basin transformed into irrigation agriculture in 50% of its surface. Spatial patterns of stick breakdown paralleled those of leaf breakdown. In soil, stick breakdown rates were extremely low in non-irrigated sites (0.0001-0.0003 day(-1)), and increased with the intensity of agriculture (0.0018-0.0044 day(-1)). In water, stick breakdown rates ranged from 0.0005 to 0.001 day(-1), and increased with the area of the basin subject to irrigation agriculture. Results showed that irrigation agriculture affects functioning of both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, accelerating decomposition of organic matter, especially in soil. These changes can have important consequences for global carbon budgets. PMID:23891536

  4. Ecosystem-based management of a Mediterranean urban wastewater system: a sensitivity analysis of the operational degrees of freedom.

    PubMed

    Corominas, Lluís; Neumann, Marc B

    2014-10-01

    Urban wastewater systems discharge organic matter, nutrients and other pollutants (including toxic substances) to receiving waters, even after removing more than 90% of incoming pollutants from human activities. Understanding their interactions with the receiving water bodies is essential for the implementation of ecosystem-based management strategies. Using mathematical modeling and sensitivity analysis we quantified how 19 operational variables of an urban wastewater system affect river water quality. The mathematical model of the Congost system (in the Besòs catchment, Spain) characterizes the dynamic interactions between sewers, storage tanks, wastewater treatment plants and the river. The sensitivity analysis shows that the use of storage tanks for peak shaving and the use of a connection between two neighboring wastewater treatment plants are the most important factors influencing river water quality. We study how the sensitivity of the water quality variables towards changes in the operational variables varies along the river due to discharge locations and river self-purification processes. We demonstrate how to use the approach to identify interactions and how to discard non-influential operational variables.

  5. Ecosystem-based management of a Mediterranean urban wastewater system: a sensitivity analysis of the operational degrees of freedom.

    PubMed

    Corominas, Lluís; Neumann, Marc B

    2014-10-01

    Urban wastewater systems discharge organic matter, nutrients and other pollutants (including toxic substances) to receiving waters, even after removing more than 90% of incoming pollutants from human activities. Understanding their interactions with the receiving water bodies is essential for the implementation of ecosystem-based management strategies. Using mathematical modeling and sensitivity analysis we quantified how 19 operational variables of an urban wastewater system affect river water quality. The mathematical model of the Congost system (in the Besòs catchment, Spain) characterizes the dynamic interactions between sewers, storage tanks, wastewater treatment plants and the river. The sensitivity analysis shows that the use of storage tanks for peak shaving and the use of a connection between two neighboring wastewater treatment plants are the most important factors influencing river water quality. We study how the sensitivity of the water quality variables towards changes in the operational variables varies along the river due to discharge locations and river self-purification processes. We demonstrate how to use the approach to identify interactions and how to discard non-influential operational variables. PMID:24880221

  6. Calmodulin Affects Sensitization of Drosophila melanogaster Odorant Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Mukunda, Latha; Miazzi, Fabio; Sargsyan, Vardanush; Hansson, Bill S.; Wicher, Dieter

    2016-01-01

    Flying insects have developed a remarkably sensitive olfactory system to detect faint and turbulent odor traces. This ability is linked to the olfactory receptors class of odorant receptors (ORs), occurring exclusively in winged insects. ORs form heteromeric complexes of an odorant specific receptor protein (OrX) and a highly conserved co-receptor protein (Orco). The ORs form ligand gated ion channels that are tuned by intracellular signaling systems. Repetitive subthreshold odor stimulation of olfactory sensory neurons sensitizes insect ORs. This OR sensitization process requires Orco activity. In the present study we first asked whether OR sensitization can be monitored with heterologously expressed OR proteins. Using electrophysiological and calcium imaging methods we demonstrate that D. melanogaster OR proteins expressed in CHO cells show sensitization upon repeated weak stimulation. This was found for OR channels formed by Orco as well as by Or22a or Or56a and Orco. Moreover, we show that inhibition of calmodulin (CaM) action on OR proteins, expressed in CHO cells, abolishes any sensitization. Finally, we investigated the sensitization phenomenon using an ex vivo preparation of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) expressing Or22a inside the fly's antenna. Using calcium imaging, we observed sensitization in the dendrites as well as in the soma. Inhibition of calmodulin with W7 disrupted the sensitization within the outer dendritic shaft, whereas the sensitization remained in the other OSN compartments. Taken together, our results suggest that CaM action is involved in sensitizing the OR complex and that this mechanisms accounts for the sensitization in the outer dendrites, whereas further mechanisms contribute to the sensitization observed in the other OSN compartments. The use of heterologously expressed OR proteins appears to be suitable for further investigations on the mechanistic basis of OR sensitization, while investigations on native neurons are required

  7. Realistic changes in seaweed biodiversity affect multiple ecosystem functions on a rocky shore.

    PubMed

    Bracken, Matthew E S; Williams, Susan L

    2013-09-01

    Given current threats to biodiversity, understanding the effects of diversity changes on the functions and services associated with intact ecosystems is of paramount importance. However, limited realism in most biodiversity studies makes it difficult to link the large and growing body of evidence for important functional consequences of biodiversity change to real-world losses of biodiversity. Here, we explored two methods of incorporating realism into biodiversity research: (1) the use of two-, five-, and eight-species assemblages that mimicked those that we observed in surveys of seaweed biodiversity patterns on a northern California (USA) rocky shore and the explicit comparison of those assemblages to random assemblages compiled from the same local species pool; and (2) the measurement of two fundamental ecosystem functions, nitrate uptake and photosynthesis, both of which contribute to growth of primary producers. Specifically, we measured nitrate uptake rates of seaweed assemblages as a function of initial nitrate concentrations and photosynthetic rates as a function of irradiance levels for both realistic and random assemblages of seaweeds. We only observed changes in ecosystem functioning along a richness gradient for realistic assemblages, and both maximum nitrate uptake rates (V(max)) and photosynthetic light use efficiency values (alpha(p) = P(max)/I(K)) were higher in realistic assemblages than in random assemblages. Furthermore, the parameter affected by changes in richness depended on the function being measured. Both V(max) and alpha(p) declined with increasing richness in nonrandom assemblages due to a combination of species identity effects (for V(max) and overyielding effects (for both V(max) and alpha(p)). In contrast, neither nitrate uptake efficiency values (alpha(N) = V(max)/K(s)), nor maximum photosynthetic rates (Pmax) changed along the gradient in seaweed species richness. Furthermore, overyielding was only evident in realistic assemblages

  8. Determining place and process: functional traits of ectomycorrhizal fungi that affect both community structure and ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    Koide, Roger T; Fernandez, Christopher; Malcolm, Glenna

    2014-01-01

    There is a growing interest amongst community ecologists in functional traits. Response traits determine membership in communities. Effect traits influence ecosystem function. One goal of community ecology is to predict the effect of environmental change on ecosystem function. Environmental change can directly and indirectly affect ecosystem function. Indirect effects are mediated through shifts in community structure. It is difficult to predict how environmental change will affect ecosystem function via the indirect route when the change in effect trait distribution is not predictable from the change in response trait distribution. When response traits function as effect traits, however, it becomes possible to predict the indirect effect of environmental change on ecosystem function. Here we illustrate four examples in which key attributes of ectomycorrhizal fungi function as both response and effect traits. While plant ecologists have discussed response and effect traits in the context of community structuring and ecosystem function, this approach has not been applied to ectomycorrhizal fungi. This is unfortunate because of the large effects of ectomycorrhizal fungi on ecosystem function. We hope to stimulate further research in this area in the hope of better predicting the ecosystem- and landscape-level effects of the fungi as influenced by changing environmental conditions.

  9. Producing fractional rangeland component predictions in a sagebrush ecosystem, a Wyoming sensitivity analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Xian, George; Homer, Collin G.; Granneman, Brian; Meyer, Debra K.

    2012-01-01

    high-resolution remote sensing data (Homer and others, 2012). This method has proven its utility; however, to develop these products across even larger areas will require additional cost efficiencies to ensure that an adequate product can be developed for the lowest cost possible. Given the vast geographic extent of shrubland ecosystems in the western United States, identifying cost efficiencies with optimal training data development and subsequent application to medium resolution satellite imagery provide the most likely areas for methodological efficiency gains. The primary objective of this research was to conduct a series of sensitivity tests to evaluate the most optimal and practical way to develop Landsat scale information for estimating the extent and distribution of sagebrush ecosystem components over large areas in the conterminous United States. An existing dataset of sagebrush components developed from extensive field measurements, high-resolution satellite imagery, and medium resolution Landsat imagery in Wyoming was used as the reference database (Homer and others, 2012). Statistical analysis was performed to analyze the relation between the accuracy of sagebrush components and the amount and distribution of training data on Landsat scenes needed to obtain accurate predictions.

  10. Sensitivity of Spruce/Moss Boreal Forest Net Ecosystem Productivity to Seasonal Anomalies in Weather

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frolking, Steve

    1997-01-01

    Abstract. A process-oriented, daily time step model of a spruce/moss boreal ecosystem simulated 1994 and 1995 productivity for a Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study site near Thompson, Manitoba. Simulated black spruce net primary productivity (NPP) was 139 g C m(exp -2) in 1994 and 112 in 1995; feathermoss NPP was 13.0 g C m(exp -2) in 1994 and 9.7 in 1995; decomposition was 126 g C m(exp -2) in 1994 and 130 in 1995; net ecosystem productivity (NEP) was an uptake of 26.3 g C m(exp -2)in 1994 and 2.5 in 1995. A very dry period for the first half of the 1995 summer was the major cause of that year's lower productivity. Sensitivity simulations explored the impact of 2-month long warmer, cooler, wetter, and drier spells on ecosystem productivity. Warmer summers decreased spruce NPP, moss NPP, and NEP; cooler summers had the opposite effect. Earlier snowmelt (due to either warmer spring temperatures or reduced winter precipitation) increased moss and spruce NPP; later snowmelt had the opposite effect. The largest effect on decomposition was a 5% reduction due to a drier summer. One-month droughts (April through October) were also imposed on 1975 base year weather. Early summer droughts reduced moss annual NPP by -30-40%; summer droughts reduced spruce annual NPP by 10%; late summer droughts increased moss NPP by about 20% due to reduced respiration; May to September monthly droughts reduced heterotrophic respiration by about 10%. Variability in NEP was up to roughly +/- 35%. Finally, 1975 growing season precipitation was redistributed into frequent, small rainstorms and infrequent, large rainstorms. These changes had no effect on spruce NPP. Frequent rainstorms increased decomposition by a few percent, moss NPP by 50%, and NEP by 20%. Infrequent rainstorms decreased decomposition by 5%, moss NPP by 50% and NEP by 15%. The impact of anomalous weather patterns on productivity of this ecosystem depended on their timing during the year. Multiyear data sets are necessary to

  11. Ecosystem structure, function, and composition in rangelands are negatively affected by livestock grazing.

    PubMed

    Eldridge, David J; Poore, Alistair G B; Ruiz-Colmenero, Marta; Letnic, Mike; Soliveres, Santiago

    2016-06-01

    Reports of positive or neutral effects of grazing on plant species richness have prompted calls for livestock grazing to be used as a tool for managing land for conservation. Grazing effects, however, are likely to vary among different response variables, types, and intensity of grazing, and across abiotic conditions. We aimed to examine how grazing affects ecosystem structure, function, and composition. We compiled a database of 7615 records reporting an effect of grazing by sheep and cattle on 278 biotic and abiotic response variables for published studies across Australia. Using these data, we derived three ecosystem measures based on structure, function, and composition, which were compared against six contrasts of grazing pressure, ranging from low to heavy, two different herbivores (sheep, cattle), and across three different climatic zones. Grazing reduced structure (by 35%), function (24%), and composition (10%). Structure and function (but not composition) declined more when grazed by sheep and cattle together than sheep alone. Grazing reduced plant biomass (40%), animal richness (15%), and plant and animal abundance, and plant and litter cover (25%), but had no effect on plant richness nor soil function. The negative effects of grazing on plant biomass, plant cover, and soil function were more pronounced in drier environments. Grazing effects on plant and animal richness and composition were constant, or even declined, with increasing aridity. Our study represents a comprehensive continental assessment of the implications of grazing for managing Australian rangelands. Grazing effects were largely negative, even at very low levels of grazing. Overall, our results suggest that livestock grazing in Australia is unlikely to produce positive outcomes for ecosystem structure, function, and composition or even as a blanket conservation tool unless reduction in specific response variables is an explicit management objective.

  12. Revealing how species loss affects ecosystem function: the trait-based Price Equation partition.

    PubMed

    Fox, Jeremy W; Harpole, W Stanley

    2008-01-01

    Species loss can alter ecosystem function. Recent work proposes a general theoretical framework, the "Price Equation partition," for understanding how species loss affects ecosystem functions that comprise the summed contributions of individual species (e.g., primary production). The Price Equation partition shows how the difference in function between a pre-species-loss site and a post-loss site can be partitioned into effects of random loss of species richness (species-richness effect; SRE), nonrandom loss of high- or low-functioning species (species-composition effect; SCE), and post-loss changes in the functional contributions of the remaining species (context-dependence effect; CDE). However, the Price Equation partition is silent on the underlying determinants of species' functional contributions. Here we extend the Price Equation partition by using multiple regression to describe how species' functional contributions depend on species' traits. This allows us to reexpress the SCE and CDE in terms of nonrandom loss of species with particular traits (trait-based SCE), and post-loss changes in species' traits and in the relationship between species' traits and species' functional contributions (trait-based CDE). We apply this new trait-based Price Equation partition to studies of species loss from grassland plant communities and protist microcosm food webs. In both studies, post-loss changes in the relationship between species' traits and their functional contributions alter ecosystem function more than nonrandom loss of species with particular traits. The protist microcosm data also illustrate how the trait-based Price Equation partition can be applied when species' functional contributions depend in part on the traits of other species. To do this, we define "synecological" traits that quantify how unique species are (e.g., in diet) compared to other species. Context dependence in the protist microcosm experiment arises in part because species loss alters the

  13. Ecosystem structure, function, and composition in rangelands are negatively affected by livestock grazing.

    PubMed

    Eldridge, David J; Poore, Alistair G B; Ruiz-Colmenero, Marta; Letnic, Mike; Soliveres, Santiago

    2016-06-01

    Reports of positive or neutral effects of grazing on plant species richness have prompted calls for livestock grazing to be used as a tool for managing land for conservation. Grazing effects, however, are likely to vary among different response variables, types, and intensity of grazing, and across abiotic conditions. We aimed to examine how grazing affects ecosystem structure, function, and composition. We compiled a database of 7615 records reporting an effect of grazing by sheep and cattle on 278 biotic and abiotic response variables for published studies across Australia. Using these data, we derived three ecosystem measures based on structure, function, and composition, which were compared against six contrasts of grazing pressure, ranging from low to heavy, two different herbivores (sheep, cattle), and across three different climatic zones. Grazing reduced structure (by 35%), function (24%), and composition (10%). Structure and function (but not composition) declined more when grazed by sheep and cattle together than sheep alone. Grazing reduced plant biomass (40%), animal richness (15%), and plant and animal abundance, and plant and litter cover (25%), but had no effect on plant richness nor soil function. The negative effects of grazing on plant biomass, plant cover, and soil function were more pronounced in drier environments. Grazing effects on plant and animal richness and composition were constant, or even declined, with increasing aridity. Our study represents a comprehensive continental assessment of the implications of grazing for managing Australian rangelands. Grazing effects were largely negative, even at very low levels of grazing. Overall, our results suggest that livestock grazing in Australia is unlikely to produce positive outcomes for ecosystem structure, function, and composition or even as a blanket conservation tool unless reduction in specific response variables is an explicit management objective. PMID:27509764

  14. Leveraging atmospheric CO2 observations to constrain the climate sensitivity of terrestrial ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaiser, C.; Richter, A.; Franklin, O.; Evans, S. E.; Dieckmann, U.

    2014-12-01

    A significant challenge in understanding, and therefore modeling, the response of terrestrial carbon cycling to climate and environmental drivers is that vegetation varies on spatial scales of order a few kilometers whereas Earth system models (ESMs) are run with characteristic length scales of order 100 km. Atmospheric CO2 provides a constraint on carbon fluxes at spatial scales compatible with the resolution of ESMs due to the fact that atmospheric mixing renders a single site representative of fluxes within a large spatial footprint. The variations in atmospheric CO2 at both seasonal and interannual timescales largely reflect terrestrial influence. I discuss the use of atmospheric CO2 observations to benchmark model carbon fluxes over a range of spatial scales. I also discuss how simple models can be used to test functional relationships between the CO2 growth rate and climate variations. In particular, I show how atmospheric CO2 provides constraints on ecosystem sensitivity to climate drivers in the tropics, where tropical forests and semi-arid ecosystems are thought to account for much of the variability in the contemporary carbon sink.

  15. Glyphosate herbicide affects belowground interactions between earthworms and symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi in a model ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Zaller, Johann G.; Heigl, Florian; Ruess, Liliane; Grabmaier, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Herbicides containing glyphosate are widely used in agriculture and private gardens, however, surprisingly little is known on potential side effects on non-target soil organisms. In a greenhouse experiment with white clover we investigated, to what extent a globally-used glyphosate herbicide affects interactions between essential soil organisms such as earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). We found that herbicides significantly decreased root mycorrhization, soil AMF spore biomass, vesicles and propagules. Herbicide application and earthworms increased soil hyphal biomass and tended to reduce soil water infiltration after a simulated heavy rainfall. Herbicide application in interaction with AMF led to slightly heavier but less active earthworms. Leaching of glyphosate after a simulated rainfall was substantial and altered by earthworms and AMF. These sizeable changes provide impetus for more general attention to side-effects of glyphosate-based herbicides on key soil organisms and their associated ecosystem services. PMID:25005713

  16. Glyphosate herbicide affects belowground interactions between earthworms and symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi in a model ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaller, Johann G.; Heigl, Florian; Ruess, Liliane; Grabmaier, Andrea

    2014-07-01

    Herbicides containing glyphosate are widely used in agriculture and private gardens, however, surprisingly little is known on potential side effects on non-target soil organisms. In a greenhouse experiment with white clover we investigated, to what extent a globally-used glyphosate herbicide affects interactions between essential soil organisms such as earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). We found that herbicides significantly decreased root mycorrhization, soil AMF spore biomass, vesicles and propagules. Herbicide application and earthworms increased soil hyphal biomass and tended to reduce soil water infiltration after a simulated heavy rainfall. Herbicide application in interaction with AMF led to slightly heavier but less active earthworms. Leaching of glyphosate after a simulated rainfall was substantial and altered by earthworms and AMF. These sizeable changes provide impetus for more general attention to side-effects of glyphosate-based herbicides on key soil organisms and their associated ecosystem services.

  17. Glyphosate herbicide affects belowground interactions between earthworms and symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi in a model ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Zaller, Johann G; Heigl, Florian; Ruess, Liliane; Grabmaier, Andrea

    2014-07-09

    Herbicides containing glyphosate are widely used in agriculture and private gardens, however, surprisingly little is known on potential side effects on non-target soil organisms. In a greenhouse experiment with white clover we investigated, to what extent a globally-used glyphosate herbicide affects interactions between essential soil organisms such as earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). We found that herbicides significantly decreased root mycorrhization, soil AMF spore biomass, vesicles and propagules. Herbicide application and earthworms increased soil hyphal biomass and tended to reduce soil water infiltration after a simulated heavy rainfall. Herbicide application in interaction with AMF led to slightly heavier but less active earthworms. Leaching of glyphosate after a simulated rainfall was substantial and altered by earthworms and AMF. These sizeable changes provide impetus for more general attention to side-effects of glyphosate-based herbicides on key soil organisms and their associated ecosystem services.

  18. Urbanization affects stream ecosystem function by altering hydrology, chemistry, and biotic richness.

    PubMed

    Chadwick, Michael A; Dobberfuhl, Dean R; Benke, Arthur C; Huryn, Alexander D; Suberkropp, Keller; Thiele, John E

    2006-10-01

    Catchment urbanization can alter physical, chemical, and biological attributes of stream ecosystems. In particular, changes in land use may affect the dynamics of organic matter decomposition, a measure of ecosystem function. We examined leaf-litter decomposition in 18 tributaries of the St. Johns River, Florida, USA. Land use in all 18 catchments ranged from 0% to 93% urban which translated to 0% to 66% total impervious area (TIA). Using a litter-bag technique, we measured mass loss, fungal biomass, and macroinvertebrate biomass for two leaf species (red maple [Acer rubrum] and sweetgum [Liquidambar styraciflua]). Rates of litter mass loss, which ranged from 0.01 to 0.05 per day for red maple and 0.006 to 0.018 per day for sweetgum, increased with impervious catchment area to levels of approximately 30-40% TIA and then decreased as impervious catchment area exceeded 40% TIA. Fungal biomass was also highest in streams draining catchments with intermediate levels of TIA. Macroinvertebrate biomass ranged from 17 to 354 mg/bag for red maple and from 15 to 399 mg/bag for sweetgum. Snail biomass and snail and total invertebrate richness were strongly related to breakdown rates among streams regardless of leaf species. Land-use and physical, chemical, and biological variables were highly intercorrelated. Principal-components analysis was therefore used to reduce the variables into several orthogonal axes. Using stepwise regression, we found that flow regime, snail biomass, snail and total invertebrate richness, and metal and nutrient content (which varied in a nonlinear manner with impervious surface area) were likely factors affecting litter breakdown rates in these streams.

  19. Occurrence of perchloroethylene in surface water and fish in a river ecosystem affected by groundwater contamination.

    PubMed

    Wittlingerová, Zdena; Macháčková, Jiřina; Petruželková, Anna; Zimová, Magdalena

    2016-03-01

    Long-term monitoring of the content of perchloroethylene (PCE) in a river ecosystem affected by groundwater contamination was performed at a site in the Czech Republic. The quality of surface water was monitored quarterly between 1994 and 2013, and fish were collected from the affected ecosystem to analyse the content of PCE in their tissue in 1998, 2011 and 2012. Concentrations of PCE (9-140 μg/kg) in the tissue of fish collected from the contaminated part of the river were elevated compared to the part of the river unaffected by the contamination (ND to 5 μg/kg PCE). The quality of surface water has improved as a result of groundwater remediation during the evaluated period. Before the remedial action, PCE concentrations ranged from 30 to 95 μg/L (1994-1997). Following commencement of remedial activities in September 1997, a decrease in the content of PCE in the surface water to 7.3 μg/L (1998) and further to 1 μg/L (2011) and 1.1 μg/L (2012) led to a progressive decrease in the average concentration of PCE in the fish muscle tissue from 79 μg/kg (1998) to 24 (2011) and 30 μg/kg (2012), respectively. It was determined that the bioconcentration of PCE does not have a linear dependence because the decrease in contamination in the fish muscle tissue is not directly proportional to the decrease in contamination in the river water. The observed average bioconcentration factors were 24 and 28 for the lower concentrations of PCE and 11 for the higher concentrations of PCE in the river. In terms of age, length and weight of the collected fish, weight had the greatest significance for bioconcentration, followed by the length, with age being evaluated as a less significant factor.

  20. Can plant phloem properties affect the link between ecosystem assimilation and respiration?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mencuccini, M.; Hölttä, T.; Sevanto, S.; Nikinmaa, E.

    2012-04-01

    Phloem transport of carbohydrates in plants under field conditions is currently not well understood. This is largely the result of the lack of techniques suitable for measuring phloem physiological properties continuously under field conditions. This lack of knowledge is currently hampering our efforts to link ecosystem-level processes of carbon fixation, allocation and use, especially belowground. On theoretical grounds, the properties of the transport pathway from canopy to roots must be important in affecting the link between carbon assimilation and respiration, but it is unclear whether their effect is partially or entirely masked by processes occurring in other parts of the ecosystem. One can also predict the characteristic time scales over which these effects should occur and, as consequence, predict whether the transfer of turgor and osmotic signals from the site of carbon assimilation to the sites of carbon use are likely to control respiration. We will present two sources of evidence suggesting that the properties of the phloem transport system may affect processes that are dependent on the supply of carbon substrate, such as root or soil respiration. Firstly, we will summarize the results of a literature survey on soil and ecosystem respiration where the speed of transfer of photosynthetic sugars from the plant canopy to the soil surface was determined. Estimates of the transfer speed could be grouped according to whether the study employed isotopic or canopy soil flux-based techniques. These two groups provided very different estimates of transfer times likely because transport of sucrose molecules, and pressure-concentration waves, in phloem differed. Secondly, we will argue that simultaneous measurements of bark and xylem diameters provide a novel tool to determine the continuous variations of phloem turgor in vivo in the field. We will present a model that interprets these changes in xylem and live bark diameters and present data testing the model

  1. A climate sensitive model of carbon transfer through atmosphere, vegetation and soil in managed forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loustau, D.; Moreaux, V.; Bosc, A.; Trichet, P.; Kumari, J.; Rabemanantsoa, T.; Balesdent, J.; Jolivet, C.; Medlyn, B. E.; Cavaignac, S.; Nguyen-The, N.

    2012-12-01

    For predicting the future of the forest carbon cycle in forest ecosystems, it is necessary to account for both the climate and management impacts. Climate effects are significant not only at a short time scale but also at the temporal horizon of a forest life cycle e.g. through shift in atmospheric CO2 concentration, temperature and precipitation regimes induced by the enhanced greenhouse effect. Intensification of forest management concerns an increasing fraction of temperate and tropical forests and untouched forests represents only one third of the present forest area. Predicting tools are therefore needed to project climate and management impacts over the forest life cycle and understand the consequence of management on the forest ecosystem carbon cycle. This communication summarizes the structure, main components and properties of a carbon transfer model that describes the processes controlling the carbon cycle of managed forest ecosystems. The model, GO+, links three main components, (i) a module describing the vegetation-atmosphere mass and energy exchanges in 3D, (ii) a plant growth module and a (iii) soil carbon dynamics module in a consistent carbon scheme of transfer from atmosphere back into the atmosphere. It was calibrated and evaluated using observed data collected on coniferous and broadleaved forest stands. The model predicts the soil, water and energy balance of entire rotations of managed stands from the plantation to the final cut and according to a range of management alternatives. It accounts for the main soil and vegetation management operations such as soil preparation, understorey removal, thinnings and clearcutting. Including the available knowledge on the climatic sensitivity of biophysical and biogeochemical processes involved in atmospheric exchanges and carbon cycle of forest ecosystems, GO+ can produce long-term backward or forward simulations of forest carbon and water cycles under a range of climate and management scenarios. This

  2. Importance and sensitivity of parameters affecting the Zion Seismic Risk

    SciTech Connect

    George, L.L.; O'Connell, W.J.

    1985-06-01

    This report presents the results of a study on the importance and sensitivity of structures, systems, equipment, components and design parameters used in the Zion Seismic Risk Calculations. This study is part of the Seismic Safety Margins Research Program (SSMRP) supported by the NRC Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research. The objective of this study is to provide the NRC with results on the importance and sensitivity of parameters used to evaluate seismic risk. These results can assist the NRC in making decisions dealing with the allocation of research resources on seismic issues. This study uses marginal analysis in addition to importance and sensitivity analysis to identify subject areas (input parameter areas) for improvements that reduce risk, estimate how much the improvement dfforts reduce risk, and rank the subject areas for improvements. Importance analysis identifies the systems, components, and parameters that are important to risk. Sensitivity analysis estimates the change in risk per unit improvement. Marginal analysis indicates the reduction in risk or uncertainty for improvement effort made in each subject area. The results described in this study were generated using the SEISIM (Systematic Evaluation of Important Safety Improvement Measures) and CHAIN computer codes. Part 1 of the SEISIM computer code generated the failure probabilities and risk values. Part 2 of SEISIM, along with the CHAIN computer code, generated the importance and sensitivity measures.

  3. Sensitive periods in affective development: nonlinear maturation of fear learning.

    PubMed

    Hartley, Catherine A; Lee, Francis S

    2015-01-01

    At specific maturational stages, neural circuits enter sensitive periods of heightened plasticity, during which the development of both brain and behavior are highly receptive to particular experiential information. A relatively advanced understanding of the regulatory mechanisms governing the initiation, closure, and reinstatement of sensitive period plasticity has emerged from extensive research examining the development of the visual system. In this article, we discuss a large body of work characterizing the pronounced nonlinear changes in fear learning and extinction that occur from childhood through adulthood, and their underlying neural substrates. We draw upon the model of sensitive period regulation within the visual system, and present burgeoning evidence suggesting that parallel mechanisms may regulate the qualitative changes in fear learning across development.

  4. Nitrogen deposition and sensitive ecosystems: a case study from the San Francisco Bay Area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiss, S. B.

    2001-12-01

    Nitrogen deposition from urban smog can greatly affect local ecosystems. This paper examines a complex situation in the Santa Clara Valley, CA where N-deposition from existing, new, and proposed developments threatens an ecosystem supporting numerous rare, threatened, and endangered species. Grasslands on nutrient-poor serpentinitic soils are being invaded by nutrient-demanding introduced annual grasses, driven by dry N-deposition of about 10 kg ha-1 yr-1. These grass invasions threaten the native biodiversity of the serpentinitic grasslands, including the federally-protected Bay checkerspot butterfly. Additional NOx and NH3 sources planned for the region include a 600 MW natural gas fired power plant, industrial parks that may eventually draw 20,000 to 50,000 additional cars per day, 25,000 housing units, and associated highway improvements. Ongoing mitigation proposals include purchase and long-term management of hundreds of hectares of habitat. The situation is a model for understanding N-deposition from a scientific and policy viewpoint. Fundamental biogeochemical questions include: 1) What are the relative contributions of NOx and NH3 to increased N-deposition? NH3 slip from power plant NOx scrubbers can release more reactive nitrogen than is removed as NOx, and modern automobiles release NH3 in addition to NOx. 2) How are N-emissions transported, chemically modified, and deposited on the local ecosystems, and are these processes adequately captured in regulatory models? How do point sources differ from line sources such as a heavily traveled freeway? 3) What are the effects of chronic N-deposition on the ecosystem, and is there a critical load or a steady cumulative effect? 4) What are the effects of management such as fire, grazing, mowing on N-cycling and plant composition? Policy issues include: 1) What are the incremental impacts of individual projects relative to high background deposition, 2) What margin of safety should be built into modeling and

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  6. Sensitivity of Southwestern US Mountain Ecosystems to Climate Variability: Interactions Among Forest Dieback, Fire, and Erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, C. D.

    2004-12-01

    Millions of hectares in the upland landscapes of the Southwestern United States have been affected by forest dieback and severe fire activity since the late 1990s, a period of ongoing severe drought and unusual warmth. Climate regulates physiological plant stress that can directly cause vegetation mortality, and also influences associated insect outbreak dynamics. Climate also interacts with fuel conditions to drive regional fire activity. Current and historic patterns of forest dieback, fire activity, and erosion are described across landscape gradients in Southwestern mountains, particularly the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico. Methods used include inventory and dating of live and dead woody plants to assess demographic changes through time, long-term (since 1991) measurements of ponderosa pine tree-growth at three sites with dendrometer bands, monitoring of herbaceous vegetation along 3 km of permanent transects since 1991, aerial photograph analyses of insect outbreaks and forest dieback and fire activity, and hydrological measurements of runoff and erosion. Similarities and differences in vegetation dieback and regional fire activity patterns between the current drought and the 1950s (when regional drought last affected the Southwest) are explained by changes in climatic and vegetation conditions. The current climate-induced vegetation dieback and pulse of regional fire activity have strong feedbacks with various key ecosystem processes, including water budgets and soil erosion. For example, severe drought and fire both markedly reduce the surface cover of live plants and dead plant materials ("litter"), triggering nonlinear increases in erosion rates once the connectivity of bare soil patches exceeds critical threshold values, particularly during high-intensity summer rainfall events that characterize the Southwestern summer "monsoon". These observations highlight the magnitude, rapidity, and complexity of climate-induced disturbance processes, and provide an

  7. Infant Sensitivity to Distributional Information Can Affect Phonetic Discrimination.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maye, Jessica; Werker, Janet F.; Gerken, LouAnn

    2002-01-01

    Familiarized 6- and 8-month-olds with speech sounds from a phonetic continuum, exhibiting a bimodal or unimodal frequency distribution. Found that only infants in the bimodal condition discriminated tokens from the endpoints of the continuum. Results demonstrate that infants are sensitive to the statistical distribution of speech sounds in the…

  8. Does ecohydrological connectivity affect sensitivity to environmental change?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Our goal is to understand the influences of complex terrain on the sensitivity of carbon and water cycle processes to environmental drivers at different scales. Gravity-driven flowpaths of air and water transport material and energy across and through landscapes, creating connec...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  10. How stock of origin affects performance of individuals across a meta-ecosystem: an example from sockeye salmon.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Jennifer R; Schindler, Daniel E; Seeb, Lisa W

    2013-01-01

    Connectivity among diverse habitats can buffer populations from adverse environmental conditions, influence the functioning of meta-ecosystems, and ultimately affect the reliability of ecosystem services. This stabilizing effect on populations is proposed to derive from complementarity in growth and survival conditions experienced by individuals in the different habitats that comprise meta-ecosystems. Here we use the fine scale differentiation of salmon populations between diverse lake habitats to assess how rearing habitat and stock of origin affect the body condition of juvenile sockeye salmon. We use genetic markers (single nucleotide polymorphisms) to assign individuals of unknown origin to stock group and in turn characterize ecologically relevant attributes across habitats and stocks. Our analyses show that the body condition of juvenile salmon is related to the productivity of alternative habitats across the watershed, irrespective of their stock of origin. Emigrants and residents with genetic origins in the high productivity lake were also differentiated by their body condition, poor and high respectively. These emigrants represented a substantial proportion of juvenile sockeye salmon rearing in the lower productivity lake habitat. Despite emigrants originating from the more productive lake, they did not differ in body condition from the individuals spawned in the lower productivity, recipient habitat. Genetic tools allowed us to assess the performance of different stocks groups across the diverse habitats comprising their meta-ecosystem. The ability to characterize the ecological consequences of meta-ecosystem connectivity can help develop strategies to protect and restore ecosystems and the services they provide to humans. PMID:23505539

  11. How Stock of Origin Affects Performance of Individuals across a Meta-Ecosystem: An Example from Sockeye Salmon

    PubMed Central

    Griffiths, Jennifer R.; Schindler, Daniel E.; Seeb, Lisa W.

    2013-01-01

    Connectivity among diverse habitats can buffer populations from adverse environmental conditions, influence the functioning of meta-ecosystems, and ultimately affect the reliability of ecosystem services. This stabilizing effect on populations is proposed to derive from complementarity in growth and survival conditions experienced by individuals in the different habitats that comprise meta-ecosystems. Here we use the fine scale differentiation of salmon populations between diverse lake habitats to assess how rearing habitat and stock of origin affect the body condition of juvenile sockeye salmon. We use genetic markers (single nucleotide polymorphisms) to assign individuals of unknown origin to stock group and in turn characterize ecologically relevant attributes across habitats and stocks. Our analyses show that the body condition of juvenile salmon is related to the productivity of alternative habitats across the watershed, irrespective of their stock of origin. Emigrants and residents with genetic origins in the high productivity lake were also differentiated by their body condition, poor and high respectively. These emigrants represented a substantial proportion of juvenile sockeye salmon rearing in the lower productivity lake habitat. Despite emigrants originating from the more productive lake, they did not differ in body condition from the individuals spawned in the lower productivity, recipient habitat. Genetic tools allowed us to assess the performance of different stocks groups across the diverse habitats comprising their meta-ecosystem. The ability to characterize the ecological consequences of meta-ecosystem connectivity can help develop strategies to protect and restore ecosystems and the services they provide to humans. PMID:23505539

  12. Parameters affecting the sensitivities of dideoxy fingerprinting and SSCP.

    PubMed

    Liu, Q; Sommer, S S

    1994-10-01

    The goals of the present experiments are (1) to improve dideoxy fingerprinting (ddF) and (2) to utilize ddF as a tool to evaluate the relative merits of different conditions for single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP). ddF is performed by electrophoresing one dideoxy termination reaction through a nondenaturing gel. The ddF pattern can be divided into a "dideoxy component" and an "SSCP component". If dideoxy CTP (ddCTP) is utilized for the termination reaction of ddF, the dideoxy component is abnormal when an extra segment is produced by a sequence change that creates an extra C or when a segment is eliminated by a change of C to another base. All subsequent segments produced by the termination reaction constitute the SSCP component that contains the mutation in a nested series of ddCTP termination products. The SSCP component is informative if abnormal mobility is detected in one or more of the segments. Herein, we utilize 84 different single-base changes in the human factor IX gene to examine the effects of gel matrix, temperature, and different primers on the sensitivity of ddF. The effects of glycerol and cross-linker ratio were examined on fewer mutations. The following conclusions emerge: 1. The sensitivity of the dideoxy component is invariant, but the sensitivity of the SSCP component can vary greatly with gel matrix, temperature, segment size, and sequence context. 2. For a given segment containing a mutation, it is likely that a mobility shift will be seen under some conditions but not under other conditions. By examining the mobility of the SSCP component in > 2200 segments, it was found that some conditions are statistically more likely to result in altered mobility, thereby increasing the average sensitivity of mutation detection by ddF or conventional SSCP. 3. GeneAmp and MDE gels are superior to polyacrylamide gels and electrophoresis at 8 degrees C is superior to electrophoresis at 23 degrees C. GeneAmp at 8 degrees C provided the highest

  13. Quantifying the sensitivity of ephemeral streams to land disturbance activities in arid ecosystems at the watershed scale.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Ben L; Hamada, Yuki; Bowen, Esther E; Grippo, Mark A; Hartmann, Heidi M; Patton, Terri L; Van Lonkhuyzen, Robert A; Carr, Adrianne E

    2014-11-01

    Large areas of public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management and located in arid regions of the southwestern United States are being considered for the development of utility-scale solar energy facilities. Land-disturbing activities in these desert, alluvium-filled valleys have the potential to adversely affect the hydrologic and ecologic functions of ephemeral streams. Regulation and management of ephemeral streams typically falls under a spectrum of federal, state, and local programs, but scientifically based guidelines for protecting ephemeral streams with respect to land-development activities are largely nonexistent. This study developed an assessment approach for quantifying the sensitivity to land disturbance of ephemeral stream reaches located in proposed solar energy zones (SEZs). The ephemeral stream assessment approach used publicly-available geospatial data on hydrology, topography, surficial geology, and soil characteristics, as well as high-resolution aerial imagery. These datasets were used to inform a professional judgment-based score index of potential land disturbance impacts on selected critical functions of ephemeral streams, including flow and sediment conveyance, ecological habitat value, and groundwater recharge. The total sensitivity scores (sum of scores for the critical stream functions of flow and sediment conveyance, ecological habitats, and groundwater recharge) were used to identify highly sensitive stream reaches to inform decisions on developable areas in SEZs. Total sensitivity scores typically reflected the scores of the individual stream functions; some exceptions pertain to groundwater recharge and ecological habitats. The primary limitations of this assessment approach were the lack of high-resolution identification of ephemeral stream channels in the existing National Hydrography Dataset, and the lack of mechanistic processes describing potential impacts on ephemeral stream functions at the watershed scale. The

  14. Municipal sludge metal contamination of old-field ecosystems: Do liming and tilling affect remediation

    SciTech Connect

    Benninger-Truax, M.; Taylor, D.H. . Dept. of Zoology)

    1993-10-01

    Mechanisms of ecosystem recovery following 11 years of sewage sludge disposal were addressed by examining the effects of tilling and/or liming on soil chemistry and the heavy metal (Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn) concentrations in soil, earthworms, vegetation, spiders, and crickets. In 1989 and 1990, subplots in each of three former 0.1-ha, long-term treatments (sludge, fertilizer, and control) were either unmanipulated or manipulated via tilling and/or liming. Liming significantly increased the pH of soil from the long-term sludge and fertilizer plots, and the combination of tilling and liming affected the heavy metal concentrations in earthworms, as lower concentrations of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn were found in earthworms collected from subplots that had been both tilled and limed. However, most observed significant differences in heavy metal concentrations reflected the long-term treatments, as heavy metal concentrations tended to be greater in the soil and biota collected from sludge-treated plots. Thus, heavy metals remained in the soil in forms available to the biota, regardless of the cessation of sludge application or subplot manipulations (liming and/or tilling) for two years following cessation of sludge application.

  15. Microbial interactions affecting the natural transformation of Bacillus subtilis in a model aquatic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Matsui, Kazuaki; Ishii, Nobuyoshi; Kawabata, Zen'ichiro

    2003-08-01

    The involvement of microbial interactions in natural transformation of bacteria was evaluated using an aquatic model system. For this purpose, the naturally transformable Bacillus subtilis was used as the model bacterium which was co-cultivated with the protist Tetrahymena thermophila (a consumer) and/or the photosynthetic alga Euglena gracilis (a producer). Co-cultivation with as few as 10(2) individuals ml(-1) of T. thermophila lowered the number of transformants to less than the detectable level (<1x10(0) ml(-1)), while co-cultivation with E. gracilis did not. Metabolites from co-cultures of T. thermophila and B. subtilis also decreased the number of transformants to less than the detectable level, while metabolites from co-culture of T. thermophila and B. subtilis with E. gracilis did not. Thus, the introduction of transformation inhibitory factor(s) by the grazing of T. thermophila and the attenuation of this inhibitory factor(s) by E. gracilis is indicated. These observations suggest that biological components do affect the natural transformation of B. subtilis. The study described is the first to suggest that ecological interactions are responsible not only for the carbon and energy cycles, but also for the processes governing horizontal transfer of genes, in microbial ecosystems.

  16. Quantifying causal mechanisms to determine how protected areas affect poverty through changes in ecosystem services and infrastructure.

    PubMed

    Ferraro, Paul J; Hanauer, Merlin M

    2014-03-18

    To develop effective environmental policies, we must understand the mechanisms through which the policies affect social and environmental outcomes. Unfortunately, empirical evidence about these mechanisms is limited, and little guidance for quantifying them exists. We develop an approach to quantifying the mechanisms through which protected areas affect poverty. We focus on three mechanisms: changes in tourism and recreational services; changes in infrastructure in the form of road networks, health clinics, and schools; and changes in regulating and provisioning ecosystem services and foregone production activities that arise from land-use restrictions. The contributions of ecotourism and other ecosystem services to poverty alleviation in the context of a real environmental program have not yet been empirically estimated. Nearly two-thirds of the poverty reduction associated with the establishment of Costa Rican protected areas is causally attributable to opportunities afforded by tourism. Although protected areas reduced deforestation and increased regrowth, these land cover changes neither reduced nor exacerbated poverty, on average. Protected areas did not, on average, affect our measures of infrastructure and thus did not contribute to poverty reduction through this mechanism. We attribute the remaining poverty reduction to unobserved dimensions of our mechanisms or to other mechanisms. Our study empirically estimates previously unidentified contributions of ecotourism and other ecosystem services to poverty alleviation in the context of a real environmental program. We demonstrate that, with existing data and appropriate empirical methods, conservation scientists and policymakers can begin to elucidate the mechanisms through which ecosystem conservation programs affect human welfare.

  17. Quantifying causal mechanisms to determine how protected areas affect poverty through changes in ecosystem services and infrastructure.

    PubMed

    Ferraro, Paul J; Hanauer, Merlin M

    2014-03-18

    To develop effective environmental policies, we must understand the mechanisms through which the policies affect social and environmental outcomes. Unfortunately, empirical evidence about these mechanisms is limited, and little guidance for quantifying them exists. We develop an approach to quantifying the mechanisms through which protected areas affect poverty. We focus on three mechanisms: changes in tourism and recreational services; changes in infrastructure in the form of road networks, health clinics, and schools; and changes in regulating and provisioning ecosystem services and foregone production activities that arise from land-use restrictions. The contributions of ecotourism and other ecosystem services to poverty alleviation in the context of a real environmental program have not yet been empirically estimated. Nearly two-thirds of the poverty reduction associated with the establishment of Costa Rican protected areas is causally attributable to opportunities afforded by tourism. Although protected areas reduced deforestation and increased regrowth, these land cover changes neither reduced nor exacerbated poverty, on average. Protected areas did not, on average, affect our measures of infrastructure and thus did not contribute to poverty reduction through this mechanism. We attribute the remaining poverty reduction to unobserved dimensions of our mechanisms or to other mechanisms. Our study empirically estimates previously unidentified contributions of ecotourism and other ecosystem services to poverty alleviation in the context of a real environmental program. We demonstrate that, with existing data and appropriate empirical methods, conservation scientists and policymakers can begin to elucidate the mechanisms through which ecosystem conservation programs affect human welfare. PMID:24567397

  18. Probabilistic Risk Based Decision Support for Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Facilities in Sensitive Ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Greg Thoma; John Veil; Fred Limp; Jackson Cothren; Bruce Gorham; Malcolm Williamson; Peter Smith; Bob Sullivan

    2009-05-31

    This report describes work performed during the initial period of the project 'Probabilistic Risk Based Decision Support for Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Facilities in Sensitive Ecosystems.' The specific region that is within the scope of this study is the Fayetteville Shale Play. This is an unconventional, tight formation, natural gas play that currently has approximately 1.5 million acres under lease, primarily to Southwestern Energy Incorporated and Chesapeake Energy Incorporated. The currently active play encompasses a region from approximately Fort Smith, AR east to Little Rock, AR approximately 50 miles wide (from North to South). The initial estimates for this field put it almost on par with the Barnett Shale play in Texas. It is anticipated that thousands of wells will be drilled during the next several years; this will entail installation of massive support infrastructure of roads and pipelines, as well as drilling fluid disposal pits and infrastructure to handle millions of gallons of fracturing fluids. This project focuses on gas production in Arkansas as the test bed for application of proactive risk management decision support system for natural gas exploration and production. The activities covered in this report include meetings with representative stakeholders, development of initial content and design for an educational web site, and development and preliminary testing of an interactive mapping utility designed to provide users with information that will allow avoidance of sensitive areas during the development of the Fayetteville Shale Play. These tools have been presented to both regulatory and industrial stakeholder groups, and their feedback has been incorporated into the project.

  19. Bi-directional exchange of ammonia in a pine forest ecosystem - a model sensitivity analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moravek, Alexander; Hrdina, Amy; Murphy, Jennifer

    2016-04-01

    Ammonia (NH3) is a key component in the global nitrogen cycle and of great importance for atmospheric chemistry, neutralizing atmospheric acids and leading to the formation of aerosol particles. For understanding the role of NH3 in both natural and anthropogenically influenced environments, the knowledge of processes regulating its exchange between ecosystems and the atmosphere is essential. A two-layer canopy compensation point model is used to evaluate the NH3 exchange in a pine forest in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The net flux comprises the NH3 exchange of leaf stomata, its deposition to leaf cuticles and exchange with the forest ground. As key parameters the model uses in-canopy NH3 mixing ratios as well as leaf and soil emission potentials measured at the site in summer 2015. A sensitivity analysis is performed to evaluate the major exchange pathways as well as the model's constraints. In addition, the NH3 exchange is examined for an extended range of environmental conditions, such as droughts or varying concentrations of atmospheric pollutants, in order to investigate their influence on the overall net exchange.

  20. Using species sensitivity distribution approach to assess the risks of commonly detected agricultural pesticides to Australia's tropical freshwater ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Pathiratne, Asoka; Kroon, Frederieke J

    2016-02-01

    To assess the potential impacts of agricultural pesticides on tropical freshwater ecosystems, the present study developed temperature-specific, freshwater species protection concentrations (i.e., ecotoxicity threshold values) for 8 pesticides commonly detected in Australia's tropical freshwaters. Because relevant toxicity data for native tropical freshwater species to assess the ecological risks were mostly absent, scientifically robust toxicity data obtained at ≥20 °C were used for ecologically relevant taxonomic groups representing primary producers and consumers. Species sensitivity distribution (SSD) curves were subsequently generated for predicted chronic exposure using Burrlioz 2.0 software with mixed chronic and converted acute data relevant to exposure conditions at ≥20 °C. Ecotoxicity threshold values for tropical freshwater ecosystem protection were generated for ametryn, atrazine, diuron, metolachlor, and imidacloprid (all moderate reliability), as well as simazine, hexazinone, and tebuthiuron (all low reliability). Using these SSD curves, the retrospective risk assessments for recently reported pesticide concentrations highlight that the herbicides ametryn, atrazine, and diuron are of major concern for ecological health in Australia's tropical freshwater ecosystems. The insecticide imidacloprid also appears to pose an emerging threat to the most sensitive species in tropical freshwater ecosystems. The exposed temperature-specific approach may be applied to develop water quality guideline values for other environmental contaminants detected in tropical freshwater ecosystems until reliable and relevant toxicity data are generated using representative native species.

  1. Nitrogen and carbon cycling in a grassland community ecosystem as affected by elevated atmospheric CO2

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasing global atmospheric CO2 concentration has led to concerns regarding its potential effects on terrestrial ecosystem and the long-term storage of C and N in soil. This study examined responses to elevated CO2 in a grass ecosystem invaded with a leguminous shrub Acacia farnesiana (L.) Willd (...

  2. Nutrient Enrichment and Food Web Composition Affect Ecosystem Metabolism in an Experimental Seagrass Habitat

    PubMed Central

    Spivak, Amanda C.; Canuel, Elizabeth A.; Duffy, J. Emmett; Richardson, J. Paul

    2009-01-01

    Background Food web composition and resource levels can influence ecosystem properties such as productivity and elemental cycles. In particular, herbivores occupy a central place in food webs as the species richness and composition of this trophic level may simultaneously influence the transmission of resource and predator effects to higher and lower trophic levels, respectively. Yet, these interactions are poorly understood. Methodology/Principal Findings Using an experimental seagrass mesocosm system, we factorially manipulated water column nutrient concentrations, food chain length, and diversity of crustacean grazers to address two questions: (1) Does food web composition modulate the effects of nutrient enrichment on plant and grazer biomasses and stoichiometry? (2) Do ecosystem fluxes of dissolved oxygen and nutrients more closely reflect above-ground biomass and community structure or sediment processes? Nutrient enrichment and grazer presence generally had strong effects on biomass accumulation, stoichiometry, and ecosystem fluxes, whereas predator effects were weaker or absent. Nutrient enrichment had little effect on producer biomass or net ecosystem production but strongly increased seagrass nutrient content, ecosystem flux rates, and grazer secondary production, suggesting that enhanced production was efficiently transferred from producers to herbivores. Gross ecosystem production (oxygen evolution) correlated positively with above-ground plant biomass, whereas inorganic nutrient fluxes were unrelated to plant or grazer biomasses, suggesting dominance by sediment microbial processes. Finally, grazer richness significantly stabilized ecosystem processes, as predators decreased ecosystem production and respiration only in the zero- and one- species grazer treatments. Conclusions/Significance Overall, our results indicate that consumer presence and species composition strongly influence ecosystem responses to nutrient enrichment, and that increasing

  3. Mitochondrial haplotype divergences affect specific temperature sensitivity of mitochondrial respiration.

    PubMed

    Pichaud, Nicolas; Ballard, J William O; Tanguay, Robert M; Blier, Pierre U

    2013-02-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of temperature changes on the functional properties of mitochondria from two sets of D. simulans fly lines harboring the siII and siIII haplotypes in a common nuclear genetic background. We studied four introgressed isofemale lines possessing the mtDNA of siII and the nuclear background of siIII (siII-introgressed) and four lines possessing siIII mitochondria with its native nuclear genome (siIII-controls). We assessed the catalytic capacities of electron transport system (ETS) at four different temperatures (12, 18, 24 and 28 ºC). The impact of temperature on the pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) activity, the mitochondrial respiration (coupled and uncoupled respiration), cytochrome c oxidase activity, as well as the excess capacity of complex IV (COX) were evaluated in these two sets of flies. Our results showed that the temperature coefficient values (Q(10)) measured for mitochondrial respiration in the lower range of temperatures (12 to 18 ºC) showed a 2 to 3 fold increase in siII-introgressed when compared to siIII-controls. This result shows that the impact of temperature on mitochondrial function is different between the two mitotypes studied. The Q(10) results seem to be linked to the apparent COX excess capacity of 193% for siIII-controls that is inexistent for siII-introgressed at 12 ºC. One explanation for these results is that the mitochondria can compensate for the disruption of mito-nuclear interactions at 24 ºC but not at lower temperatures. An alternate explanation would be that siII haplotype confer divergent kinetic properties to the ETS that translate to different temperature sensitivities.

  4. Mitochondrial haplotype divergences affect specific temperature sensitivity of mitochondrial respiration.

    PubMed

    Pichaud, Nicolas; Ballard, J William O; Tanguay, Robert M; Blier, Pierre U

    2013-02-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of temperature changes on the functional properties of mitochondria from two sets of D. simulans fly lines harboring the siII and siIII haplotypes in a common nuclear genetic background. We studied four introgressed isofemale lines possessing the mtDNA of siII and the nuclear background of siIII (siII-introgressed) and four lines possessing siIII mitochondria with its native nuclear genome (siIII-controls). We assessed the catalytic capacities of electron transport system (ETS) at four different temperatures (12, 18, 24 and 28 ºC). The impact of temperature on the pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) activity, the mitochondrial respiration (coupled and uncoupled respiration), cytochrome c oxidase activity, as well as the excess capacity of complex IV (COX) were evaluated in these two sets of flies. Our results showed that the temperature coefficient values (Q(10)) measured for mitochondrial respiration in the lower range of temperatures (12 to 18 ºC) showed a 2 to 3 fold increase in siII-introgressed when compared to siIII-controls. This result shows that the impact of temperature on mitochondrial function is different between the two mitotypes studied. The Q(10) results seem to be linked to the apparent COX excess capacity of 193% for siIII-controls that is inexistent for siII-introgressed at 12 ºC. One explanation for these results is that the mitochondria can compensate for the disruption of mito-nuclear interactions at 24 ºC but not at lower temperatures. An alternate explanation would be that siII haplotype confer divergent kinetic properties to the ETS that translate to different temperature sensitivities. PMID:23054075

  5. Sensitivity of mountain ecosystems to human-accelerated soil erosion. Contrasting geomorphic response between tropical and semi-arid ecosystems.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanacker, Veerle; Bellin, Nicolas; Schoonejans, Jerome; Molina, Armando; Kubik, Peter W.

    2014-05-01

    Human-induced land cover changes are causing important adverse effects on the ecological services rendered by mountain ecosystems, and the number of case-studies of the impact of humans on soil erosion and sediment yield has mounted rapidly. A modelling framework that is specifically adapted to mountain environments is currently lacking. Most studies make use of general river basin models that were originally parameterized and calibrated for temperate, low relief landscapes. Transposing these modelling concepts directly to steep environments with shallow and stony soils often leads to unrealistic model predictions, as model input parameters are rarely calibrated for the range of environmental conditions found in mountain regions. Here, we present a conceptual model that evaluates erosion regulation as a function of human disturbances in vegetation cover. The basic idea behind this model is that soil erosion mechanisms are independent of human impact, but that the frequency-magnitude distributions of erosion rates change as a response to human disturbances. Pre-disturbance (or natural) erosion rates are derived from in-situ produced 10Be concentrations in river sediment, while post-disturbance (or modern) erosion rates are derived from sedimentation rates in small catchments. In its simplicity, the model uses vegetation cover change as a proxy of human disturbance in a given vegetation system. The model is then calibrated with field measurements from two mountainous sites with strongly different vegetation dynamics, climatic and geological settings: the Tropical Andes, and the Spanish Betic Cordillera. Natural erosion processes are important in mountainous sites, and natural erosion benchmarks are primordial to assess human-induced changes in erosion rates. While the Spanish Betic Cordillera is commonly characterized as a degraded landscape, there is no significant change in erosion due to human disturbance for uncultivated sites. The opposite is true for the

  6. Plant Species and Functional Group Combinations Affect Green Roof Ecosystem Functions

    PubMed Central

    Lundholm, Jeremy; MacIvor, J. Scott; MacDougall, Zachary; Ranalli, Melissa

    2010-01-01

    Background Green roofs perform ecosystem services such as summer roof temperature reduction and stormwater capture that directly contribute to lower building energy use and potential economic savings. These services are in turn related to ecosystem functions performed by the vegetation layer such as radiation reflection and transpiration, but little work has examined the role of plant species composition and diversity in improving these functions. Methodology/Principal Findings We used a replicated modular extensive (shallow growing- medium) green roof system planted with monocultures or mixtures containing one, three or five life-forms, to quantify two ecosystem services: summer roof cooling and water capture. We also measured the related ecosystem properties/processes of albedo, evapotranspiration, and the mean and temporal variability of aboveground biomass over four months. Mixtures containing three or five life-form groups, simultaneously optimized several green roof ecosystem functions, outperforming monocultures and single life-form groups, but there was much variation in performance depending on which life-forms were present in the three life-form mixtures. Some mixtures outperformed the best monocultures for water capture, evapotranspiration, and an index combining both water capture and temperature reductions. Combinations of tall forbs, grasses and succulents simultaneously optimized a range of ecosystem performance measures, thus the main benefit of including all three groups was not to maximize any single process but to perform a variety of functions well. Conclusions/Significance Ecosystem services from green roofs can be improved by planting certain life-form groups in combination, directly contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. The strong performance by certain mixtures of life-forms, especially tall forbs, grasses and succulents, warrants further investigation into niche complementarity or facilitation as mechanisms

  7. Macrofauna assemblage composition and soil moisture interact to affect soil ecosystem functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collison, E. J.; Riutta, T.; Slade, E. M.

    2013-02-01

    Changing climatic conditions and habitat fragmentation are predicted to alter the soil moisture conditions of temperate forests. It is not well understood how the soil macrofauna community will respond to changes in soil moisture, and how changes to species diversity and community composition may affect ecosystem functions, such as litter decomposition and soil fluxes. Moreover, few studies have considered the interactions between the abiotic and biotic factors that regulate soil processes. Here we attempt to disentangle the interactive effects of two of the main factors that regulate soil processes at small scales - moisture and macrofauna assemblage composition. The response of assemblages of three common temperate soil invertebrates (Glomeris marginata Villers, Porcellio scaber Latreille and Philoscia muscorum Scopoli) to two contrasting soil moisture levels was examined in a series of laboratory mesocosm experiments. The contribution of the invertebrates to the leaf litter mass loss of two common temperate tree species of contrasting litter quality (easily decomposing Fraxinus excelsior L. and recalcitrant Quercus robur L.) and to soil CO2 fluxes were measured. Both moisture conditions and litter type influenced the functioning of the invertebrate assemblages, which was greater in high moisture conditions compared with low moisture conditions and on good quality vs. recalcitrant litter. In high moisture conditions, all macrofauna assemblages functioned at equal rates, whereas in low moisture conditions there were pronounced differences in litter mass loss among the assemblages. This indicates that species identity and assemblage composition are more important when moisture is limited. We suggest that complementarity between macrofauna species may mitigate the reduced functioning of some species, highlighting the importance of maintaining macrofauna species richness.

  8. Temperature sensitivity of soil carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions in mountain forest and meadow ecosystems in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Junjun; Peng, Changhui; Zhu, Qiuan; Xue, Wei; Shen, Yan; Yang, Yanzheng; Shi, Guohua; Shi, Shengwei; Wang, Meng

    2016-10-01

    An incubation experiment was conducted at three temperature levels (8, 18 and 28 °C) to quantify the response of soil CO2 and N2O emissions to temperature in three ecosystems (pine forest, oak forest, and meadow) located in the Qinling Mountains of China, which are considered to be susceptible to disturbance and climate changes, especially global warming. The soil CO2 emission rates increased with temperature and decreased with soil depth; they were the highest in the oak forest (broadleaf forest) and were lower in the pine forest (coniferous forest) and the meadow ecosystem. However, there was no significant difference in the soil N2O emission rates among the three ecosystems. The temperature sensitivity of CO2 and N2O was higher in the forest than in the meadow ecosystem. The Q10 values (temperature sensitivity coefficient) for CO2 and N2O were 1.07-2.25 and 0.82-1.22, respectively, for the three ecosystems. There was also evidence that the CO2 and N2O emission rates were positively correlated. The soil characteristics exhibited different effects on CO2 and N2O emissions among different ecosystems at the three temperature levels. Moreover, the soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC), specific ultraviolet absorbance (SUVA) and nitrate (NO3-) were important factors for CO2 emissions, whereas the soil ammonium (NH4+) and pH were the major controllers of N2O emissions. Unexpectedly, our results indicated that CO2 emissions are more sensitive to increasing temperature than N2O, noting the different feedback of CO2 and N2O emissions to global warming in this region. The different responses of greenhouse gas emissions in different forest types and a meadow ecosystem suggest that it is critical to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the complex mountain forest and meadow ecosystem in the transitional climate zone under global warming. Our research results provide new insight and advanced understanding of the variations in major greenhouse gas emissions (CO2 and N2O

  9. Assessing the sensitivity of Alaska's Coastal Ecosystem to Changes in Glacier Runoff

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oneel, S.; Hood, E. W.; Arendt, A. A.; Sass, L. C.; March, R. S.

    2012-12-01

    The timing and magnitude of freshwater discharge to the Gulf of Alaska impacts rates of sea level change and the health of near shore ecosystems and fisheries. Glaciers strongly modulate the freshwater flux into this region and contribute to approximately 50% of its annual freshwater budget. It is generally assumed that persistently negative annual mass balances, forced by recent climate changes, are driving increases in glacier stream discharge. However, increases in runoff also depend on increased mass turnover rates, wherein the amplitude of seasonal mass balance increases due to enhanced snowfall and summer melt intensity. To quantify and partition runoff into the Gulf of Alaska we examine 1966-2010 US Geological Survey glacier mass balance and streamflow records from the Gulkana/Wolverine glaciers located in continental/maritime Alaska climate regimes. We compare annual, summer and winter balances with associated discharge magnitudes at each glacier to determine the primary controls on runoff magnitude and timing. We find that both glaciers have experienced increases in runoff and mass turnover, but only the Gulkana Glacier shows increases in stream discharge due to long term changes in annual mass balance. Conversely, Wolverine Glacier runoff is more sensitive to the amplitude of winter accumulation. The data suggest that changes in summer climate forcing are occurring over broader spatial scales than are changes in winter forcing. The analyses demonstrate that care is warranted when formulating assumptions relating glacier volume change to surface water hydrologic processes. Predicting future changes in runoff and implications for sea level rise, water resources and biological resources in this highly productive region requires that we better understand the processes that produce and modulate glacier runoff.

  10. How does wind-throw disturbance affect the carbon budget of an upland spruce forest ecosystem?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindauer, Matthias; Schmid, Hans Peter; Grote, Rüdiger; Mauder, Matthias; Wolpert, Benjamin; Steinbrecher, Rainer

    2014-05-01

    Forests, especially in mid-latitudes are generally designated as large carbon sinks. However, stand-replacing disturbance events like fires, insect-infestations, or severe wind-storms can shift an ecosystem from carbon sink to carbon source within short time and keep it as this for a long time. In Addition, extreme weather situations which promote the occurrence of ecosystem disturbances are likely to increase in the future due to climate change. The development and competition of different vegetation types (spruce vs. grass) as well as soil organic matter (SOM), and their contribution to the net ecosystem exchange (NEE), in such disturbed forest ecosystems are largely unknown. In a large wind-throw area (ca. 600 m diameter, due to cyclone Kyrill in January 2007) within a mature upland spruce forest, where dead-wood has not been removed, in the Bavarian Forest National Park (Lackenberg, 1308 m a.s.l., Bavaria, Germany), fluxes of CO2, water vapor and energy have been measured with the Eddy Covariance (EC) method since 2009. Model simulations (MoBiLE) were used to estimate the GPP components from trees and grassland as well as to differentiate between soil and plant respiration, and to get an idea about the long term behavior of the ecosystems carbon exchange. For 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 estimates of annual Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) showed that the wind-throw was a marked carbon source. However, the few remaining trees and newly emerging vegetation (grass, sparse young spruce, etc.) lead to an already strong Gross Ecosystem Production (GEP). Model simulations conformed well with the measurements. To our knowledge, we present the worldwide first long-term measurements of NEE within a non-cleared wind-throw-disturbed forest ecosystem.

  11. Roles of benthic algae in the structure, function, and assessment of stream ecosystems affected by acid mine drainage.

    PubMed

    Smucker, Nathan J; Drerup, Samuel A; Vis, Morgan L

    2014-06-01

    Tens of thousands of stream kilometers worldwide are degraded by a legacy of acid loads, high metal concentrations, and altered habitat caused by acid mine drainage (AMD) from abandoned underground and surface mines. As the primary production base in streams, the condition of algal-dominated periphyton communities is particularly important to nutrient cycling, energy flow, and higher trophic levels. Here, we synthesize current knowledge regarding how AMD-associated stressors affect (i) algal communities and their use as ecological indicators, (ii) their functional roles in stream ecosystems, and (iii) how these findings inform management decisions and evaluation of restoration effectiveness. A growing body of research has found ecosystem simplification caused by AMD stressors. Species diversity declines, productivity decreases, and less efficient nutrient uptake and retention occur as AMD severity increases. New monitoring approaches, indices of biological condition, and attributes of algal community structure and function effectively assess AMD severity and effectiveness of management practices. Measures of ecosystem processes, such as nutrient uptake rates, extracellular enzyme activities, and metabolism, are increasingly being used as assessment tools, but remain in their infancy relative to traditional community structure-based approaches. The continued development, testing, and implementation of functional measures and their use alongside community structure metrics will further advance assessments, inform management decisions, and foster progress toward restoration goals. Algal assessments will have important roles in making progress toward improving and sustaining the water quality, ecological condition, and ecosystem services of streams in regions affected by the legacy of unregulated coal mining. PMID:26988317

  12. Assessing confidence in management adaptation approaches for climate-sensitive ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    West, J. M.; Julius, S. H.; Weaver, C. P.

    2012-03-01

    A number of options are available for adapting ecosystem management to improve resilience in the face of climatic changes. However, uncertainty exists as to the effectiveness of these options. A report prepared for the US Climate Change Science Program reviewed adaptation options for a range of federally managed systems in the United States. The report included a qualitative uncertainty analysis of conceptual approaches to adaptation derived from the review. The approaches included reducing anthropogenic stressors, protecting key ecosystem features, maintaining representation, replicating, restoring, identifying refugia and relocating organisms. The results showed that the expert teams had the greatest scientific confidence in adaptation options that reduce anthropogenic stresses. Confidence in other approaches was lower because of gaps in understanding of ecosystem function, climate change impacts on ecosystems, and management effectiveness. This letter discusses insights gained from the confidence exercise and proposes strategies for improving future assessments of confidence for management adaptations to climate change.

  13. Using sensitive montane amphibian species as indicators of hydroclimatic change in meadow ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peek, R.; Viers, J.; Yarnell, S. M.

    2012-12-01

    Climate change can affect sensitive species and ecosystems in many ways, yet sparse data and the inability to apply various climate models at functional spatial scales often prevents relevant research from being utilized in conservation management plans. Climate change has been linked to declines and disturbances in a multitude of species and habitats, and in California, one of the greatest climatic concerns is the predicted reduction in mountain snowpack and associated snowmelt. These decreases in natural storage of water as snow in mountain regions can affect the timing and variability of critical snowmelt runoff periods—important seasonal signals that species in montane ecosystems have evolved life history strategies around—leading to greater intra-annual variability and diminished summer and fall stream flows. Although many species distribution models exist, few provide ways to integrate continually updated and revised Global Climate Models (GCMs), hydrologic data unique to a watershed, and ecological responses that can be incorporated into conservation strategies. This study documents a novel and applicable method of combining boosted regression tree (BRT) modeling and species distributions with hydroclimatic data as a potential management tool for conservation. Boosted regression trees are suitable for ecological distribution modeling because they can reduce both bias and variance, as well as handle sharp discontinuities common in sparsely sampled species or large study areas. This approach was used to quantify the effects of hydroclimatic changes on the distribution of key riparian-associated amphibian species in montane meadow habitats in the Sierra Nevada at the sub-watershed level. Based on modeling using current species range maps in conjunction with three climate scenarios (near, mid, and far), extreme range contractions were observed for all sensitive species (southern long-toed salamander, mountain yellow-legged frog, Yosemite toad) by the year

  14. Differences in the Temperature Sensitivity of Soil Organic Carbon Decomposition in a Semi-Arid Ecosystem across an Elevational Gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delvinne, H.; Flores, A. N.; Benner, S. G.; Feris, K. P.; De Graaff, M. A.

    2015-12-01

    Semi-arid ecosystems are a significant component of the global carbon (C) cycle as they store approximately 20% of global soil C. Yet, projected increases in mean annual temperatures might alter the amount of soil organic C (SOC) currently stored in these ecosystems. Uncertainties about the temperature sensitivity of SOC decomposition have hindered accurate predictions of C cycle feedbacks to climate change. This study aims to elucidate how the temperature sensitivity of SOC decomposition varies along an elevational (1000m) and climatic (i.e. mean annual temperature and precipitation) gradient. The study sites are located at Reynolds Creek Critical Zone Observatory in Owyhee Mountains of Idaho, USA. We conducted stratified random sampling of soil up to 0-5cm across sagebrush canopy and inter-canopy areas at four elevations. We hypothesized decomposition of SOC pools at lower elevations to have greater temperature sensitivity (more CO2 respired per unit C) compared to upper due to the quality of C that is inherently more temperature sensitive. To assess the temperature sensitivity of SOC decomposition, we used aerobic laboratory incubations (n=40) across a temperature gradient ((15, 20, 25, 30) oC) at constant soil moisture (60% water holding capacity) for 120 days and measured CO2 respired. Cumulative CO2 respired increased with increasing incubation temperature. Cumulative CO2 respired also increased with elevation as upper elevations support greater amounts of C. However, when normalized by SOC, we found that the temperature response of CO2 respiration was greater in soils derived from lower than higher elevations (p<0.05). These results indicate that the response of SOC decomposition to elevated temperatures differs strongly across the landscape in semi-arid ecosystems.

  15. How a clogged canal affects ecological and human health in a tropical urban wetland ecosystem

    EPA Science Inventory

    The coastal city of San Juan, Puerto Rico is a tropical urban ecosystem woven among a series of interconnected bays, lagoons, drains, canals, and mangroves. As the city has expanded, infilling and urban development by the region’s poorest residents has choked an important c...

  16. Nitorgen Deposition Impacts on a Sensitive Grassland Ecosystem: Conservation, Management, and Restoration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiss, S. B.; Luth, D. C.

    2002-12-01

    Humans have greatly increased the flux of reactive nitrogen in the biosphere, altering many terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. In the San Francisco Bay Area, CA, grasslands on nutrient-poor serpentinitic soils are being invaded by nutrient-demanding introduced annual grasses, driven by dry N-deposition on the order of 10 kg ha-1 yr-1. These grass invasions threaten the rich native biodiversity of the serpentinitic grasslands, including the federally-protected Bay checkerspot butterfly and several endemic plant species. A passive monitoring network for reactive nitrogen gases (NOx, NO2, NH3, HNO3, and O3) has been set up to investigate regional and local N-deposition gradients. The regional gradient extends from clean coastal areas to inland valleys downwind of the highly urbanized Santa Clara Valley, driven by prevailing NW winds. A local gradient extends upwind and downwind of an 8-lane freeway carrying 100,000 cars/day, located in a relatively clean near-coastal area. Plant surveys at the clean-air site bisected by the freeway show greater grass invasion closer to the freeway, but only on the downwind side (controlling for soil depth, the other main factor affecting grass density). Grassed-over areas build up thatch that suppresses native plants. Restoration experiments include mowing, goat grazing, and prescribed fire. Carefully-timed mowing appears to be an effective treatment for small areas. Removal of cuttings removes 5-8 kg-N/ha, the same order of magnitude as the estimated N-inputs from the freeway. Additional NOx and NH3 sources planned for the region include a 600 MW natural gas fired power plant, industrial parks that may eventually draw 20,000 to 50,000 additional cars per day, 25,000 housing units, and associated highway improvements. Mitigation proposals include purchase and long-term management of hundreds of hectares of habitat. Management of the larger areas necessitates continued moderate cattle grazing. Cattle selectively crop nitrogen

  17. Affective modulation of the startle reflex and the Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory of personality: The role of sensitivity to reward.

    PubMed

    Aluja, Anton; Blanch, Angel; Blanco, Eduardo; Balada, Ferran

    2015-01-01

    This study evaluated differences in the amplitude of startle reflex and Sensitivity to Reward (SR) and Sensitivity to Punishment (SP) personality variables of the Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (RST). We hypothesized that subjects with higher scores in SR would obtain a higher startle reflex when exposed to pleasant pictures than lower scores, while higher scores in SP would obtain a higher startle reflex when exposed to unpleasant pictures than subjects with lower scores in this dimension. The sample consisted of 112 healthy female undergraduate psychology students. Personality was assessed using the short version of the Sensitivity to Punishment and Sensitivity Reward Questionnaire (SPSRQ). Laboratory anxiety was controlled by the State Anxiety Inventory. The startle blink reflex was recorded electromyographically (EMG) from the right orbicularis oculi muscle as a response to the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) pleasant, neutral and unpleasant pictures. Subjects higher in SR obtained a significant higher startle reflex response in pleasant pictures than lower scorers (48.48 vs 46.28, p<0.012). Subjects with higher scores in SP showed a light tendency of higher startle responses in unpleasant pictures in a non-parametric local regression graphical analysis (LOESS). The findings shed light on the relationships among the impulsive-disinhibited personality, including sensitivity to reward and emotions evoked through pictures of emotional content.

  18. Affective modulation of the startle reflex and the Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory of personality: The role of sensitivity to reward.

    PubMed

    Aluja, Anton; Blanch, Angel; Blanco, Eduardo; Balada, Ferran

    2015-01-01

    This study evaluated differences in the amplitude of startle reflex and Sensitivity to Reward (SR) and Sensitivity to Punishment (SP) personality variables of the Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (RST). We hypothesized that subjects with higher scores in SR would obtain a higher startle reflex when exposed to pleasant pictures than lower scores, while higher scores in SP would obtain a higher startle reflex when exposed to unpleasant pictures than subjects with lower scores in this dimension. The sample consisted of 112 healthy female undergraduate psychology students. Personality was assessed using the short version of the Sensitivity to Punishment and Sensitivity Reward Questionnaire (SPSRQ). Laboratory anxiety was controlled by the State Anxiety Inventory. The startle blink reflex was recorded electromyographically (EMG) from the right orbicularis oculi muscle as a response to the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) pleasant, neutral and unpleasant pictures. Subjects higher in SR obtained a significant higher startle reflex response in pleasant pictures than lower scorers (48.48 vs 46.28, p<0.012). Subjects with higher scores in SP showed a light tendency of higher startle responses in unpleasant pictures in a non-parametric local regression graphical analysis (LOESS). The findings shed light on the relationships among the impulsive-disinhibited personality, including sensitivity to reward and emotions evoked through pictures of emotional content. PMID:25447471

  19. Mercury in streams at Grand Portage National Monument (Minnesota, USA): assessment of ecosystem sensitivity and ecological risk.

    PubMed

    Rolfhus, Kristofer R; Wiener, James G; Haro, Roger J; Sandheinrich, Mark B; Bailey, Sean W; Seitz, Brandon R

    2015-05-01

    Mercury (Hg) in water, sediment, soils, seston, and biota were quantified for three streams in the Grand Portage National Monument (GRPO) in far northeastern Minnesota to assess ecosystem contamination and the potential for harmful exposure of piscivorous fish, wildlife, and humans to methylmercury (MeHg). Concentrations of total Hg in water, sediment, and soil were typical of those in forest ecosystems within the region, whereas MeHg concentrations and percent MeHg in these ecosystem components were markedly higher than values reported elsewhere in the western Great Lakes Region. Soils and sediment were Hg-enriched, containing approximately 4-fold more total Hg per unit of organic matter. We hypothesized that localized Hg enrichment was due in part to anthropogenic pollution associated with historic fur-trading activity. Bottom-up forcing of bioaccumulation was evidenced by MeHg concentrations in larval dragonflies, which were near the maxima for dragonflies sampled concurrently from five other national park units in the region. Despite its semi-remote location, GRPO is a Hg-sensitive landscape in which MeHg is produced and bioaccumulated in aquatic food webs to concentrations that pose ecological risks to MeHg-sensitive piscivores, including predatory fish, belted kingfisher, and mink.

  20. Lead contamination of an old shooting range affecting the local ecosystem--A case study with a holistic approach.

    PubMed

    Rantalainen, Minna-Liisa; Torkkeli, Minna; Strömmer, Rauni; Setälä, Heikki

    2006-10-01

    The aim of this case study was to uncover the consequences of lead pellet-derived heavy lead contamination at a cast-off shooting range in southern Finland, covering aspects from soil chemistry and biology up to ecosystem level. The observed changes in the soil properties of the most contaminated areas suggest that the contamination may be disturbing processes of decomposition and nutrient mineralisation. Also two functionally important groups of soil organisms, microbes (as analysed using the PLFA analysis) and enchytraeid worms, were negatively affected by the contamination. Furthermore, there was an indication of reduced pine litter production at the contaminated areas. On the other hand, lead contamination appears not to have affected pine growth or soil-dwelling nematodes and microarthropods, and the general outlook of the whole ecosystem is that of a healthy forest. Thus, the boreal forest ecosystem studied as a whole appears to bear strong resistance to contamination, despite negative effects of lead on many of its components. This resistance may result from e.g. low bioavailability of lead, avoidance of the most contaminated soil horizons and microsites by the organisms, and functional redundancy and development of lead-tolerant populations amongst the organisms. The relative importance of these factors and the mechanisms behind them will be investigated in forthcoming studies.

  1. Fine sediment as environmental stressor affecting freshwater mussel behavior and ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Lummer, Eva-Maria; Auerswald, Karl; Geist, Juergen

    2016-11-15

    Fine sediment pollution is considered a major stressor for aquatic ecosystems and their biodiversity. In particular, fine sediments have been suggested to play a crucial role in the declines of freshwater mussels which are considered keystone fauna of streams and rivers. Whereas the effects of deposited fine sediments on recruitment failure are well known, effects of suspended fine sediments on adult mussel behavior are less studied. Therefore the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of fine sediment exposure on freshwater mussel behavior and on mussel-dependent ecosystem services. Unio pictorum mussels were used to test three behavioral endpoints: Hall activity, transition frequency and relative water clearance rate. Mussels were exposed to fine sediments of different particle size classes (<45μm, 45-63μm, 63-125μm) and different concentration (0-10gL(-1)) of the smallest particle size class. Hall sensor technology and turbidity measurements were used to detect mussel behavior in presence of suspended sediments. Results revealed that mussels improve clearance of suspended particles out of the water column by 35%, independent of particle size class and concentration. Transition frequency was determined an unsuitable behavioral endpoint for non-soluble substances. Contrary to previous studies, we could demonstrate that fine sediments do not interfere with filtration by mussels and that mussels have a great influence on water purification, providing a valuable ecosystem service. PMID:27422724

  2. Sensitivity of a semi-arid riparian ecosystem to climatic variability in the southwestern United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Climatic change will have strong impacts on riverine ecosystems and their associated riparian zones. In the southwestern United States, conservation and restoration of riparian habitats has become a priority for resource management agencies and conservation groups, and these areas are biodiversity h...

  3. Implications for Ecosystem Services of Watershed Processes that affect the Transport and Transformations of Mercury in an Adirondack Stream Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burns, D. A.; Riva-Murray, K.; Bradley, P. M.

    2012-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a potent neurotoxin that can affect the health of humans and wildlife through the ingestion of methyl Hg. Mercury contamination of ecosystems originates from human activities such as mining, coal burning and other industrial emissions, and the use of Hg-containing products. Natural sources such as volcanic and geothermal emissions and the weathering of Hg-bearing minerals also contribute to Hg contamination, but are believed to be minor sources in most ecosystems. Various ecosystem disturbances including fires, forest harvesting, and the submergence of land by impoundment may also contribute to Hg ecosystem contamination by mobilizing stores that have previously originated from the sources described above. Mercury from a mix of regional and global emissions sources is transported in the atmosphere to remote landscapes that are distant from local emissions sources. The Adirondacks of New York State is a forested, mountainous region characterized by abundant lakes and streams, and is distant from local emissions sources. Recreational fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking, and hunting are valued ecosystem services in this region. Here, we report on the relevance to ecosystem services of findings based on five years of Hg data collection of stream water, groundwater, invertebrates, and fish in the upper Hudson River basin in the central part of the Adirondack region. The New York State Dept. of Health has issued fish consumption advisories for the entire Adirondacks based on elevated levels previously measured in lakes and rivers of this region. Our work seeks improved understanding and models of the landscape sources and watershed processes that control the transformation of Hg to its methyl form (MeHg), the transport of MeHg to streams, and bioaccumulation of MeHg in aquatic food webs. Mean annual atmospheric Hg deposition was 6.3 μg/m2/yr during 2007-09, compared to mean annual filtered total Hg stream yields of 1.66 μg/m2/yr and filtered MeHg stream

  4. Foundation species loss affects vegetation structure more than ecosystem function in a northeastern USA forest.

    PubMed

    Orwig, David A; Barker Plotkin, Audrey A; Davidson, Eric A; Lux, Heidi; Savage, Kathleen E; Ellison, Aaron M

    2013-01-01

    Loss of foundation tree species rapidly alters ecological processes in forested ecosystems. Tsuga canadensis, an hypothesized foundation species of eastern North American forests, is declining throughout much of its range due to infestation by the nonnative insect Adelges tsugae and by removal through pre-emptive salvage logging. In replicate 0.81-ha plots, T. canadensis was cut and removed, or killed in place by girdling to simulate adelgid damage. Control plots included undisturbed hemlock and mid-successional hardwood stands that represent expected forest composition in 50-100 years. Vegetation richness, understory vegetation cover, soil carbon flux, and nitrogen cycling were measured for two years prior to, and five years following, application of experimental treatments. Litterfall and coarse woody debris (CWD), including snags, stumps, and fallen logs and branches, have been measured since treatments were applied. Overstory basal area was reduced 60%-70% in girdled and logged plots. Mean cover and richness did not change in hardwood or hemlock control plots but increased rapidly in girdled and logged plots. Following logging, litterfall immediately decreased then slowly increased, whereas in girdled plots, there was a short pulse of hemlock litterfall as trees died. CWD volume remained relatively constant throughout but was 3-4× higher in logged plots. Logging and girdling resulted in small, short-term changes in ecosystem dynamics due to rapid regrowth of vegetation but in general, interannual variability exceeded differences among treatments. Soil carbon flux in girdled plots showed the strongest response: 35% lower than controls after three years and slowly increasing thereafter. Ammonium availability increased immediately after logging and two years after girdling, due to increased light and soil temperatures and nutrient pulses from leaf-fall and reduced uptake following tree death. The results from this study illuminate ecological processes underlying

  5. Grazing-induced losses of biodiversity affect the transpiration of an arid ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Verón, Santiago R; Paruelo, José M; Oesterheld, Martín

    2011-02-01

    Degradation processes often lead to species loss. Such losses would impact on ecosystem functioning depending on the extinction order and the functional and structural aspects of species. For the Patagonian arid steppe, we used a simulation model to study the effects of species loss on the rate and variability (i.e. stability) of transpiration as a key attribute of ecosystem functioning. We addressed (1) the differences between the overgrazing extinction order and other potential orders, and (2) the role of biomass abundance, biomass distribution, and functional diversity on the effect of species loss due to overgrazing. We considered a community composed of ten species which were assigned an order of extinction due to overgrazing based on their preference by livestock. We performed four model simulations to test for overgrazing effects through different combinations of species loss, and reductions of biomass and functional diversity. In general, transpiration rate and variability were positively associated to species richness and remained fairly constant until half the species were lost by overgrazing. The extinction order by overgrazing was the most conservative of all possible orders. The amount of biomass was more important than functional diversity in accounting for the impacts of species richness on transpiration. Our results suggest that, to prevent Patagonian steppes from shifting to stable, low-production systems (by overgrazing), maintaining community biomass is more important than preserving species richness or species functional diversity. PMID:20865282

  6. Is the Climate of Bering Sea Warming and Affecting the Ecosystem?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Overland, James E.; Stabeno, Phyllis J.

    2004-08-01

    Observations from the Bering Sea are good indicators of decadal shifts in climate, as the Bering is a transition region between the cold, dry Arctic air mass to the north, and the moist, relatively warm maritime air mass to the south. The Bering Sea is also a transition region between Arctic and sub-Arctic ecosystems; this boundary can be loosely identified with the extent of winter sea-ice cover. Like a similar transition zone in the eastern North Atlantic, the Bering Sea is experiencing a northward biogeographical shift in response to changing temperature and atmospheric forcing. If this shift continues over the next decade, it will have major impacts on commercial and subsistence harvests as Arctic species are displaced by sub-Arctic species. The stakes are enormous, as this rich and diverse ecosystem currently provides 47% of the U.S. fishery production by weight, and is home to 80% of the U.S. sea bird population, 95% of northern fur seals, and major populations of Steller sea lions, walrus, and whales.

  7. Sensitivity of Polygonum aviculare Seeds to Light as Affected by Soil Moisture Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Batlla, Diego; Nicoletta, Marcelo; Benech-Arnold, Roberto

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims It has been hypothesized that soil moisture conditions could affect the dormancy status of buried weed seeds, and, consequently, their sensitivity to light stimuli. In this study, an investigation is made of the effect of different soil moisture conditions during cold-induced dormancy loss on changes in the sensitivity of Polygonum aviculare seeds to light. Methods Seeds buried in pots were stored under different constant and fluctuating soil moisture environments at dormancy-releasing temperatures. Seeds were exhumed at regular intervals during storage and were exposed to different light treatments. Changes in the germination response of seeds to light treatments during storage under the different moisture environments were compared in order to determine the effect of soil moisture on the sensitivity to light of P. aviculare seeds. Key Results Seed acquisition of low-fluence responses during dormancy release was not affected by either soil moisture fluctuations or different constant soil moisture contents. On the contrary, different soil moisture environments affected seed acquisition of very low fluence responses and the capacity of seeds to germinate in the dark. Conclusions The results indicate that under field conditions, the sensitivity to light of buried weed seeds could be affected by the soil moisture environment experienced during the dormancy release season, and this could affect their emergence pattern. PMID:17430979

  8. Aboveground allometric models for freeze-affected black mangroves (Avicennia germinans): equations for a climate sensitive mangrove-marsh ecotone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Osland, Michael J.; Day, Richard H.; Larriviere, Jack C.; From, Andrew S.

    2014-01-01

    Across the globe, species distributions are changing in response to climate change and land use change. In parts of the southeastern United States, climate change is expected to result in the poleward range expansion of black mangroves (Avicennia germinans) at the expense of some salt marsh vegetation. The morphology of A. germinans at its northern range limit is more shrub-like than in tropical climes in part due to the aboveground structural damage and vigorous multi-stem regrowth triggered by extreme winter temperatures. In this study, we developed aboveground allometric equations for freeze-affected black mangroves which can be used to quantify: (1) total aboveground biomass; (2) leaf biomass; (3) stem plus branch biomass; and (4) leaf area. Plant volume (i.e., a combination of crown area and plant height) was selected as the optimal predictor of the four response variables. We expect that our simple measurements and equations can be adapted for use in other mangrove ecosystems located in abiotic settings that result in mangrove individuals with dwarf or shrub-like morphologies including oligotrophic and arid environments. Many important ecological functions and services are affected by changes in coastal wetland plant community structure and productivity including carbon storage, nutrient cycling, coastal protection, recreation, fish and avian habitat, and ecosystem response to sea level rise and extreme climatic events. Coastal scientists in the southeastern United States can use the identified allometric equations, in combination with easily obtained and non-destructive plant volume measurements, to better quantify and monitor ecological change within the dynamic, climate sensitive, and highly-productive mangrove-marsh ecotone.

  9. Aboveground Allometric Models for Freeze-Affected Black Mangroves (Avicennia germinans): Equations for a Climate Sensitive Mangrove-Marsh Ecotone

    PubMed Central

    Osland, Michael J.; Day, Richard H.; Larriviere, Jack C.; From, Andrew S.

    2014-01-01

    Across the globe, species distributions are changing in response to climate change and land use change. In parts of the southeastern United States, climate change is expected to result in the poleward range expansion of black mangroves (Avicennia germinans) at the expense of some salt marsh vegetation. The morphology of A. germinans at its northern range limit is more shrub-like than in tropical climes in part due to the aboveground structural damage and vigorous multi-stem regrowth triggered by extreme winter temperatures. In this study, we developed aboveground allometric equations for freeze-affected black mangroves which can be used to quantify: (1) total aboveground biomass; (2) leaf biomass; (3) stem plus branch biomass; and (4) leaf area. Plant volume (i.e., a combination of crown area and plant height) was selected as the optimal predictor of the four response variables. We expect that our simple measurements and equations can be adapted for use in other mangrove ecosystems located in abiotic settings that result in mangrove individuals with dwarf or shrub-like morphologies including oligotrophic and arid environments. Many important ecological functions and services are affected by changes in coastal wetland plant community structure and productivity including carbon storage, nutrient cycling, coastal protection, recreation, fish and avian habitat, and ecosystem response to sea level rise and extreme climatic events. Coastal scientists in the southeastern United States can use the identified allometric equations, in combination with easily obtained and non-destructive plant volume measurements, to better quantify and monitor ecological change within the dynamic, climate sensitive, and highly-productive mangrove-marsh ecotone. PMID:24971938

  10. Mutations affecting sensitivity of the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum to DNA-damaging agents.

    PubMed

    Bronner, C E; Welker, D L; Deering, R A

    1992-09-01

    We describe 22 new mutants of D. discoideum that are sensitive to DNA damage. These mutants were isolated on the basis of sensitivity to either temperature, gamma-rays, or 4-nitroquinolone-1-oxide (4NQO). The doses of gamma-rays, ultraviolet light (UV), and 4NQO required to reduce the survival of colony-forming ability of these mutants to 10% (D10) range from 2% to 100% of the D10s for the nonmutant, parent strains. For most of the mutants, those which are very sensitive to one agent are very sensitive to all agents tested and those which are moderately sensitive to one agent, are moderately sensitive to all agents tested. One mutant is sensitive only to 4NQO. Linkage relationships have been examined for 13 of these mutants. This linkage information was used to design complementation tests to determine allelism with previously characterized complementation groups affecting sensitivity to radiation. 4 of the new mutants fall within previously identified complementation groups and 3 new complementation groups have been identified (radJ, radK and radL). Other new loci probably also exist among these new mutants. This brings the number of characterized mutants of D. discoideum which are sensitive to DNA-damaging agents to 33 and the number of assigned complementation groups to 11. PMID:1380652

  11. From specificity to sensitivity: affective states modulate visual working memory for emotional expressive faces

    PubMed Central

    Maran, Thomas; Sachse, Pierre; Furtner, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Previous findings suggest that visual working memory (VWM) preferentially remembers angry looking faces. However, the meaning of facial actions is construed in relation to context. To date, there are no studies investigating the role of perceiver-based context when processing emotional cues in VWM. To explore the influence of affective context on VWM for faces, we conducted two experiments using both a VWM task for emotionally expressive faces and a mood induction procedure. Affective context was manipulated by unpleasant (Experiment 1) and pleasant (Experiment 2) IAPS pictures in order to induce an affect high in motivational intensity (defensive or appetitive, respectively) compared to a low arousal control condition. Results indicated specifically increased sensitivity of VWM for angry looking faces in the neutral condition. Enhanced VWM for angry faces was prevented by inducing affects of high motivational intensity. In both experiments, affective states led to a switch from specific enhancement of angry expressions in VWM to an equally sensitive representation of all emotional expressions. Our findings demonstrate that emotional expressions are of different behavioral relevance for the receiver depending on the affective context, supporting a functional organization of VWM along with flexible resource allocation. In VWM, stimulus processing adjusts to situational requirements and transitions from a specifically prioritizing default mode in predictable environments to a sensitive, hypervigilant mode in exposure to emotional events. PMID:26379609

  12. Relevance of risk predictions derived from a chronic species sensitivity distribution with cadmium to aquatic populations and ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mebane, C.A.

    2010-01-01

    Criteria to protect aquatic life are intended to protect diverse ecosystems, but in practice are usually developed from compilations of single-species toxicity tests using standard test organisms that were tested in laboratory environments. Species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) developed from these compilations are extrapolated to set aquatic ecosystem criteria. The protectiveness of the approach was critically reviewed with a chronic SSD for cadmium comprising 27 species within 21 genera. Within the data set, one genus had lower cadmium effects concentrations than the SSD fifth percentile-based criterion, so in theory this genus, the amphipod Hyalella, could be lost or at least allowed some level of harm by this criteria approach. However, population matrix modeling projected only slightly increased extinction risks for a temperate Hyalella population under scenarios similar to the SSD fifth percentile criterion. The criterion value was further compared to cadmium effects concentrations in ecosystem experiments and field studies. Generally, few adverse effects were inferred from ecosystem experiments at concentrations less than the SSD fifth percentile criterion. Exceptions were behavioral impairments in simplified food web studies. No adverse effects were apparent in field studies under conditions that seldom exceeded the criterion. At concentrations greater than the SSD fifth percentile, the magnitudes of adverse effects in the field studies were roughly proportional to the laboratory-based fraction of species with adverse effects in the SSD. Overall, the modeling and field validation comparisons of the chronic criterion values generally supported the relevance and protectiveness of the SSD fifth percentile approach with cadmium. ?? 2009 Society for Risk Analysis.

  13. Soil carbon sensitivity to temperature and carbon use efficiency compared across microbial-ecosystem models of varying complexity

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Jianwei; Wang, Gangsheng; Allison, Steven D.; Mayes, Melanie; Luo, Yiqi

    2014-01-01

    Global ecosystem models may require microbial components to accurately predict feedbacks between climate warming and soil decomposition, but it is unclear what parameters and levels of complexity are ideal for scaling up to the globe. Here we conducted a model comparison using a conventional model with first-order decay and three microbial models of increasing complexity that simulate short- to long-term soil carbon dynamics. We focused on soil carbon responses to microbial carbon use efficiency (CUE) and temperature. Three scenarios were implemented in all models: constant CUE (held at 0.31), varied CUE ( 0.016 C 1), and 50 % acclimated CUE ( 0.008 C 1). Whereas the conventional model always showed soil carbon losses with increasing temperature, the microbial models each predicted a temperature threshold above which warming led to soil carbon gain. The location of this threshold depended on CUE scenario, with higher temperature thresholds under the acclimated and constant scenarios. This result suggests that the temperature sensitivity of CUE and the structure of the soil carbon model together regulate the long-term soil carbon response to warming. Equilibrium soil carbon stocks predicted by the microbial models were much less sensitive to changing inputs compared to the conventional model. Although many soil carbon dynamics were similar across microbial models, the most complex model showed less pronounced oscillations. Thus, adding model complexity (i.e. including enzyme pools) could improve the mechanistic representation of soil carbon dynamics during the transient phase in certain ecosystems. This study suggests that model structure and CUE parameterization should be carefully evaluated when scaling up microbial models to ecosystems and the globe.

  14. Plant and arthropod community sensitivity to rainfall manipulation but not nitrogen enrichment in a successional grassland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Lee, Mark A; Manning, Pete; Walker, Catherine S; Power, Sally A

    2014-12-01

    Grasslands provide many ecosystem services including carbon storage, biodiversity preservation and livestock forage production. These ecosystem services will change in the future in response to multiple global environmental changes, including climate change and increased nitrogen inputs. We conducted an experimental study over 3 years in a mesotrophic grassland ecosystem in southern England. We aimed to expose plots to rainfall manipulation that simulated IPCC 4th Assessment projections for 2100 (+15% winter rainfall and -30% summer rainfall) or ambient climate, achieving +15% winter rainfall and -39% summer rainfall in rainfall-manipulated plots. Nitrogen (40 kg ha(-1) year(-1)) was also added to half of the experimental plots in factorial combination. Plant species composition and above ground biomass were not affected by rainfall in the first 2 years and the plant community did not respond to nitrogen enrichment throughout the experiment. In the third year, above-ground plant biomass declined in rainfall-manipulated plots, driven by a decline in the abundances of grass species characteristic of moist soils. Declining plant biomass was also associated with changes to arthropod communities, with lower abundances of plant-feeding Auchenorrhyncha and carnivorous Araneae indicating multi-trophic responses to rainfall manipulation. Plant and arthropod community composition and plant biomass responses to rainfall manipulation were not modified by nitrogen enrichment, which was not expected, but may have resulted from prior nitrogen saturation and/or phosphorus limitation. Overall, our study demonstrates that climate change may in future influence plant productivity and induce multi-trophic responses in grasslands.

  15. Climatic Versus Biotic Constraints on Carbon and Water Fluxes in Seasonally Drought-affected Ponderosa Pine Ecosystems. Chapter 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schwarz, P. A.; Law, B. E.; Williams, M.; Irvine, J.; Kurpius, M.; Moore, D.

    2005-01-01

    We investigated the relative importance of climatic versus biotic controls on gross primary production (GPP) and water vapor fluxes in seasonally drought-affected ponderosa pine forests. The study was conducted in young (YS), mature (MS), and old stands (OS) over 4 years at the AmeriFlux Metolius sites. Model simulations showed that interannual variation of GPP did not follow the same trends as precipitation, and effects of climatic variation were smallest at the OS (50%), and intermediate at the YS (<20%). In the young, developing stand, interannual variation in leaf area has larger effects on fluxes than climate, although leaf area is a function of climate in that climate can interact with age-related shifts in carbon allocation and affect whole-tree hydraulic conductance. Older forests, with well-established root systems, appear to be better buffered from effects of seasonal drought and interannual climatic variation. Interannual variation of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) was also lowest at the OS, where NEE is controlled more by interannual variation of ecosystem respiration, 70% of which is from soil, than by the variation of GPP, whereas variation in GPP is the primary reason for interannual changes in NEE at the YS and MS. Across spatially heterogeneous landscapes with high frequency of younger stands resulting from natural and anthropogenic disturbances, interannual climatic variation and change in leaf area are likely to result in large interannual variation in GPP and NEE.

  16. Peer Rated Therapeutic Talent and Affective Sensitivity: A Multiple Regression Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Eugene

    1985-01-01

    Used peer rated measures of Warmth, Understanding and Openness to predict scores on the Kagan Affective Sensitivity Scale-E80 among 66 undergraduates who had participated in interpersonal skills training groups. Results indicated that, as an additively composite index of Therapeutic Talent, they were positively correlated with affective…

  17. North Atlantic ecosystem sensitivity to Holocene shifts in Meridional Overturning Circulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Douarin, Mélanie; Elliot, Mary; Noble, Stephen R.; Moreton, Steven G.; Long, David; Sinclair, Daniel; Henry, Lea-Anne; Roberts, J. Murray

    2016-01-01

    Rapid changes in North Atlantic climate over the last millennia were driven by coupled sea surface/atmospheric processes and rates of deep water formation. Holocene climate changes, however, remain poorly documented due to a lack of high-resolution paleoclimate records, and their impacts on marine ecosystems remain unknown. We present a 4500 year absolute-dated sea surface radiocarbon record from northeast Atlantic cold-water corals. In contrast to the current view that surface ocean changes occurred on millennial-scale cycles, our record shows more abrupt changes in surface circulation. Changes were centered at 3.4, 2.7, 1.7, and 1.2 kyr B.P. and associated with atmospheric reorganization. Solar irradiance may have influenced these anomalies but changes in North Atlantic deep water convection are likely to have amplified these signals. Critically, we provide the first evidence that these perturbations in Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation led to the decline of cold-water coral ecosystems from 1.2 to ~ 0.1 kyr B.P.

  18. Does ecosystem sensitivity to precipitation at the site-level conform to regional-scale predictions?.

    PubMed

    Wilcox, Kevin R; Blair, John M; Smith, Melinda D; Knapp, Alan K

    2016-03-01

    Central to understanding global C cycle dynamics is the functional relationship between precipitation and net primary production (NPP). At large spatial (regional) scales, the responsiveness of aboveground NPP (ANPP) to interannual variation in annual precipitation (AP; ANPPsens) is inversely related to site-level ANPP, coinciding with turnover of plant communities along precipitation gradients. Within ecosystems experiencing chronic alterations in water availability, plant community change will also occur with unknown consequences for ANPPsens. To examine the role plant community shifts may play in determining alterations in site-level ANPPPsens, we experimentally increased precipitation by approximately 35% for two decades in a native Central U.S. grassland. Consistent with regional models, ANPPsens decreased initially as water availability and ANPP increased. However, ANPPsens shifted back to ambient levels when mesic species increased in abundance in the plant community. Similarly, in grassland sites with distinct mesic and xeric plant communities and corresponding 50% differences in ANPP, ANPPsens did not differ over almost three decades. We conclude that responses in ANPPsens to chronic alterations in water availability within an ecosystem may not conform to regional AP-ANPP patterns, despite expected changes in ANPP and plant communities. The result is unanticipated functional resistance to climate change at the site scale. PMID:27197383

  19. Encapsulating contact allergens in liposomes, ethosomes, and polycaprolactone may affect their sensitizing properties.

    PubMed

    Madsen, Jakob Torp; Vogel, Stefan; Johansen, Jeanne Duus; Andersen, Klaus Ejner

    2011-06-01

    Attempts to improve formulation of topical products are a continuing process and the development of micro- and nanovesicular systems as well as polymeric microparticles has led to marketing of topical drugs and cosmetics using these technologies. Encapsulation of some well-known contact allergens in ethanolic liposomes have been reported to enhance allergenicity compared with the allergens in similar vehicles without liposomes. The present report includes data on more sensitization studies using the mouse local lymph node assay with three contact allergens encapsulated in different dermal drug-delivery systems: liposomes, ethosomes, and polycaprolactone particles. The results show that the drug-delivery systems are not sensitizers in themselves. Encapsulating the hydrophilic contact allergen potassium dichromate in all three drug-delivery systems did not affect the sensitizing capacity of potassium dichromate compared with control solutions. However, encapsulating the lipophilic contact allergen dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB) in polycaprolactone reduced the sensitizing capacity to 1211 ± 449 compared with liposomes (7602 ± 2658) and in acetone:olive oil (4:1) (5633 ± 666). The same trend was observed for encapsulating isoeugenol in polycaprolactone (1100 ± 406) compared with a formulation in acetone:olive oil (4491 ± 819) and in liposomes (3668 ± 950). Further, the size of DNCB-loaded liposomes did not affect the sensitizing properties. These results suggest that modern dermal drug-delivery systems may in some cases magnify or decrease the sensitizing capacity of the encapsulated contact allergen.

  20. Development of edge effects around experimental ecosystem hotspots is affected by edge density and matrix type

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecological edge effects are sensitive to landscape context. In particular, edge effects can be altered by matrix type and by the presence of other nearby edges. We experimentally altered patch configurations in an African savanna to determine how edge density and matrix type influence edge effect de...

  1. Primary Production and C Flow in the Chukchi Sea Land-Fast Ice-Ocean Ecosystem and Sensitivity to Environmental Factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deal, C. J.; Jin, M.; Wang, J.; Whitledge, T. E.; Lee, S. H.

    2005-12-01

    The recent downward trend in Arctic sea ice extent and thickness is a compelling indicator of climate change. These changes in sea ice affect the arctic marine ecosystem, which may depend on sea ice algal primary production for over 50% of the fixed C in the permanently ice-covered Arctic (Gosselin et al., 1997) and up to 25% in the surrounding marginal seas (Kirst and Wiencke, 1995). Since land-fast ice is generally the most accessible of the four sea ice regimes (perennial pack ice, coastal zone - including fast ice, seasonal pack ice and marginal ice zone), and in its own right is important in terms of aereal extent, on-going environmental changes along the coast and a platform for significant biological activity, our research group has focused on time series observations in the land-fast ice near Barrow, Alaska over the last several years. We have utilized the resultant data and those available from other research groups to develop a 1-D marine ecosystem model from which we have constructed an organic C budget based on observations including ice algal biomass (chl a), phytoplankton biomass (chl a), POC, PON, indicators of zooplankton and ice meiofaunal grazing, nutrients, in situ carbon and nutrient uptake, temperature, salinity, ice thickness and snow cover. Through model sensitivity studies, we found that doubling of the initial nutrient concentrations has a significant impact on sea ice primary production, being roughly proportional. Also, a doubling of light (PAR) shifts the exponential accumulation of sea ice algal biomass ahead approximately one week. These model results provide evidence that changes in river discharge that alter nutrient concentrations, and changes in the light regime linked to ongoing environmental changes such as sediment loading, lessening sea ice thickness, and interannual variations in snow cover significantly impact the marine ecosystem. These influences may cascade through the marine ecosystem to affect the food web and hence

  2. Food web pathway determines how selenium affects aquatic ecosystems: a San Francisco Bay case study.

    PubMed

    Stewart, A Robin; Luoma, Samuel N; Schlekat, Christian E; Doblin, Martina A; Hieb, Kathryn A

    2004-09-01

    Chemical contaminants disrupt ecosystems, but specific effects may be under-appreciated when poorly known processes such as uptake mechanisms, uptake via diet, food preferences, and food web dynamics are influential. Here we show that a combination of food web structure and the physiology of trace element accumulation explain why some species in San Francisco Bay are threatened by a relatively low level of selenium contamination and some are not. Bivalves and crustacean zooplankton form the base of two dominant food webs in estuaries. The dominant bivalve Potamocorbula amurensis has a 10-fold slower rate constant of loss for selenium than do common crustaceans such as copepods and the mysid Neomysis mercedis (rate constant of loss, ke = 0.025, 0.155, and 0.25 d(-1), respectively). The result is much higher selenium concentrations in the bivalve than in the crustaceans. Stable isotope analyses show that this difference is propagated up the respective food webs in San Francisco Bay. Several predators of bivalves have tissue concentrations of selenium that exceed thresholds thought to be associated with teratogenesis or reproductive failure (liver Se >15 microg g(-1) dry weight). Deformities typical of selenium-induced teratogenesis were observed in one of these species. Concentrations of selenium in tissues of predators of zooplankton are less than the thresholds. Basic physiological and ecological processes can drive wide differences in exposure and effects among species, but such processes are rarely considered in traditional evaluations of contaminant impacts. PMID:15461158

  3. Food web pathway determines how selenium affects aquatic ecosystems: A San francisco Bay case study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stewart, A.R.; Luoma, S.N.; Schlekat, C.E.; Doblin, M.A.; Hieb, K.A.

    2004-01-01

    Chemical contaminants disrupt ecosystems, but specific effects may be under-appreciated when poorly known processes such as uptake mechanisms, uptake via diet, food preferences, and food web dynamics are influential. Here we show that a combination of food web structure and the physiology of trace element accumulation explain why some species in San Francisco Bay are threatened by a relatively low level of selenium contamination and some are not. Bivalves and crustacean Zooplankton form the base of two dominant food webs in estuaries. The dominant bivalve Potamocorbula amurensis has a 10-fold slower rate constant of loss for selenium than do common crustaceans such as copepods and the mysid Neomysis mercedis (rate constant of loss, ke = 0.025, 0.155, and 0.25 d-1, respectively). The result is much higher selenium concentrations in the bivalve than in the crustaceans. Stable isotope analyses show that this difference is propagated up the respective food webs in San Francisco Bay. Several predators of bivalves have tissue concentrations of selenium that exceed thresholds thought to be associated with teratogenesis or reproductive failure (liver Se > 15 ??g g-1 dry weight). Deformities typical of selenium-induced teratogenesis were observed in one of these species. Concentrations of selenium in tissues of predators of Zooplankton are less than the thresholds. Basic physiological and ecological processes can drive wide differences in exposure and effects among species, but such processes are rarely considered in traditional evaluations of contaminant impacts.

  4. Oceanographic and behavioural processes affecting invertebrate larval dispersal and supply in the western Iberia upwelling ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Queiroga, Henrique; Cruz, Teresa; dos Santos, Antonina; Dubert, Jesus; González-Gordillo, Juan Ignácio; Paula, José; Peliz, Álvaro; Santos, A. Miguel P.

    2007-08-01

    The present review addresses recent findings made in the western Iberia ecosystem on the behavioural and physical interactions that regulate dispersal, supply to coastal habitats and settlement of invertebrate larvae. These studies used the barnacle Chthamalus spp. and the crab Carcinus maenas as model organisms. The observations made on the Iberian shelf showed extensive diel vertical migrations along the water column by representatives of both groups that have never been reported before. The interaction of the diel vertical migration with the two-layer flow structure of upwelling/downwelling circulation suggests a mechanism that may help to retain larvae in shelf waters during upwelling conditions. Measurements of daily supply of C. maenas megalopae to estuaries separated by 500 km disclosed a semilunar pattern, with highest supply around highest amplitude tides, indicating that supply of megalopae to estuaries is accomplished by selective tidal stream transport. Relaxation of equatorward winds also played a role in supply, by enhancing translocation of megalopae to the nearshore. Concerning Chthamalus larvae, the observations on daily settlement made at rocky shores also separated by 500 km showed unclear patterns between locations and years. The relationship of settlement with water temperature, tidal range and upwelling indices indicated that supply of barnacle cyprids may be controlled by multiple mechanisms, viz. upwelling/downwelling circulation, internal tidal bores and sea breezes.

  5. Bioaccumulation of mercury in benthic communities of a river ecosystem affected by mercury mining.

    PubMed

    Zizek, Suzana; Horvat, Milena; Gibicar, Darija; Fajon, Vesna; Toman, Mihael J

    2007-05-15

    The presence of mercury in the river Idrijca (Slovenia) is mainly due to 500 years of mercury mining in this region. In order to understand the cycling of mercury in the Idrijca ecosystem it is crucial to investigate the role of biota. This study is part of an ongoing investigation of mercury biogeochemistry in the river Idrijca, focusing on the accumulation and speciation of mercury in the lower levels of the food chain, namely filamentous algae, periphyton and macroinvertebrates. Mercury analysis and speciation in the biota and in water were performed during the spring, summer and autumn seasons at four locations on the river, representing different degrees of mercury contamination. Total (THg) and methyl mercury (MeHg) were measured. The results showed that the highest THg concentrations in biota correlate well with THg levels in sediments and water. The level of MeHg is spatially and seasonally variable, showing higher values at the most contaminated sites during the summer and autumn periods. The percentage of Hg as MeHg increases with the trophic level from water (0.1-0.8%), algae (0.5-1.3%), periphyton (1.6-8.8%) to macroinvertebrates (0.1-100%), which indicates active transformation, accumulation and magnification of mercury in the benthic organism of this heavily contaminated torrential river.

  6. Sensitivity analysis of a model of CO{sub 2} exchange in tundra ecosystems by the adjoint method

    SciTech Connect

    Waelbroeck, C.; Louis, J.F.

    1995-02-20

    A model of net primary production (NPP), decomposition, and nitrogen cycling in tundra ecosystems has been developed. The adjoint technique is used to study the sensitivity of the computed annual net CO{sub 2} flux to perturbations in initial conditions, climatic inputs, and model`s main parameters describing current seasonal CO{sub 2} exchange in wet sedge tundra at Barrow, Alaska. The results show that net CO{sub 2} flux is more sensitive to decomposition parameters than to NPP parameters. This underlines the fact that in nutrient-limited ecosystems, decomposition drives net CO{sub 2} exchange by controlling mineralization of main nutrients. The results also indicate that the short-term (1 year) response of wet sedge tundra to CO{sub 2}-induced warming is a significant increase in CO{sub 2} emission, creating a positive feedback to atmospheric CO{sub 2} accumulation. However, a cloudiness increase during the same year can severely alter this response and lead to either a slight decrease or a strong increase in emitted CO{sub 2}, depending on its exact timing. These results demonstrate that the adjoint method is well suited to study systems encountering regime changes, as a single run of the adjoint model provides sensitivities of the net CO{sub 2} flux to perturbations in all parameters and variables at any time of the year. Moreover, it is shown that large errors due to the presence of thresholds can be avoided by first delimiting the range of applicability of the adjoint results. 38 refs., 10 figs., 7 tabs.

  7. Characterizing Zinc Speciation in Soils from a Smelter-Affected Boreal Forest Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Jordan G; Farrell, Richard E; Chen, Ning; Feng, Renfei; Reid, Joel; Peak, Derek

    2016-03-01

    HudBay Minerals, Inc., has mined and/or processed Zn and Cu ore in Flin Flon, MB, Canada, since the 1930s. The boreal forest ecosystem and soil surrounding these facilities have been severely impacted by mixed metal contamination and HSO deposition. Zinc is one of the most prevalent smelter-derived contaminants and has been identified as a key factor that may be limiting revegetation. Metal toxicity is related to both total concentrations and speciation; therefore, X-ray absorption spectroscopy and X-ray fluorescence mapping were used to characterize Zn speciation in soils throughout the most heavily contaminated areas of the landscape. Zinc speciation was linked to two distinct soil types. Group I soils consist of exposed soils in weathered positions of bedrock outcrops with Zn present primarily as franklinite, a (ZnFeO) spinel mineral. Group II soils are stabilized by an invasive metal-tolerant grass species, with Zn found as a mixture of octahedral (Fe oxides) and tetrahedral Mn oxides) adsorption complexes with a franklinite component. Soil erosion influences Zn speciation through the redistribution of Zn and soil particulates from Group I landscape positions to Group II soils. Despite Group II soils having the highest concentrations of CaCl-extractable Zn, they support metal-tolerant plant growth. The metal-tolerant plants are probably preferentially colonizing these areas due to better soil and nutrient conditions as a result of soil deposition from upslope Group I areas. Zinc concentration and speciation appears to not influence the colonization by metal-tolerant grasses, but the overall soil properties and erosion effects prevent the revegetation by native boreal forest species. PMID:27065416

  8. Climate change and Southern Ocean ecosystems I: how changes in physical habitats directly affect marine biota.

    PubMed

    Constable, Andrew J; Melbourne-Thomas, Jessica; Corney, Stuart P; Arrigo, Kevin R; Barbraud, Christophe; Barnes, David K A; Bindoff, Nathaniel L; Boyd, Philip W; Brandt, Angelika; Costa, Daniel P; Davidson, Andrew T; Ducklow, Hugh W; Emmerson, Louise; Fukuchi, Mitsuo; Gutt, Julian; Hindell, Mark A; Hofmann, Eileen E; Hosie, Graham W; Iida, Takahiro; Jacob, Sarah; Johnston, Nadine M; Kawaguchi, So; Kokubun, Nobuo; Koubbi, Philippe; Lea, Mary-Anne; Makhado, Azwianewi; Massom, Rob A; Meiners, Klaus; Meredith, Michael P; Murphy, Eugene J; Nicol, Stephen; Reid, Keith; Richerson, Kate; Riddle, Martin J; Rintoul, Stephen R; Smith, Walker O; Southwell, Colin; Stark, Jonathon S; Sumner, Michael; Swadling, Kerrie M; Takahashi, Kunio T; Trathan, Phil N; Welsford, Dirk C; Weimerskirch, Henri; Westwood, Karen J; Wienecke, Barbara C; Wolf-Gladrow, Dieter; Wright, Simon W; Xavier, Jose C; Ziegler, Philippe

    2014-10-01

    Antarctic and Southern Ocean (ASO) marine ecosystems have been changing for at least the last 30 years, including in response to increasing ocean temperatures and changes in the extent and seasonality of sea ice; the magnitude and direction of these changes differ between regions around Antarctica that could see populations of the same species changing differently in different regions. This article reviews current and expected changes in ASO physical habitats in response to climate change. It then reviews how these changes may impact the autecology of marine biota of this polar region: microbes, zooplankton, salps, Antarctic krill, fish, cephalopods, marine mammals, seabirds, and benthos. The general prognosis for ASO marine habitats is for an overall warming and freshening, strengthening of westerly winds, with a potential pole-ward movement of those winds and the frontal systems, and an increase in ocean eddy activity. Many habitat parameters will have regionally specific changes, particularly relating to sea ice characteristics and seasonal dynamics. Lower trophic levels are expected to move south as the ocean conditions in which they are currently found move pole-ward. For Antarctic krill and finfish, the latitudinal breadth of their range will depend on their tolerance of warming oceans and changes to productivity. Ocean acidification is a concern not only for calcifying organisms but also for crustaceans such as Antarctic krill; it is also likely to be the most important change in benthic habitats over the coming century. For marine mammals and birds, the expected changes primarily relate to their flexibility in moving to alternative locations for food and the energetic cost of longer or more complex foraging trips for those that are bound to breeding colonies. Few species are sufficiently well studied to make comprehensive species-specific vulnerability assessments possible. Priorities for future work are discussed.

  9. Linking temperature sensitivity of soil CO2 release to substrate, environmental, and microbial properties across alpine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, Jinzhi; Chen, Leiyi; Zhang, Beibei; Liu, Li; Yang, Guibiao; Fang, Kai; Chen, Yongliang; Li, Fei; Kou, Dan; Ji, Chengjun; Luo, Yiqi; Yang, Yuanhe

    2016-09-01

    Our knowledge of fundamental drivers of the temperature sensitivity (Q10) of soil carbon dioxide (CO2) release is crucial for improving the predictability of soil carbon dynamics in Earth System Models. However, patterns and determinants of Q10 over a broad geographic scale are not fully understood, especially in alpine ecosystems. Here we addressed this issue by incubating surface soils (0-10 cm) obtained from 156 sites across Tibetan alpine grasslands. Q10 was estimated from the dynamics of the soil CO2 release rate under varying temperatures of 5-25°C. Structure equation modeling was performed to evaluate the relative importance of substrate, environmental, and microbial properties in regulating the soil CO2 release rate and Q10. Our results indicated that steppe soils had significantly lower CO2 release rates but higher Q10 than meadow soils. The combination of substrate properties and environmental variables could predict 52% of the variation in soil CO2 release rate across all grassland sites and explained 37% and 58% of the variation in Q10 across the steppe and meadow sites, respectively. Of these, precipitation was the best predictor of soil CO2 release rate. Basal microbial respiration rate (B) was the most important predictor of Q10 in steppe soils, whereas soil pH outweighed B as the major regulator in meadow soils. These results demonstrate that carbon quality and environmental variables coregulate Q10 across alpine ecosystems, implying that modelers can rely on the "carbon-quality temperature" hypothesis for estimating apparent temperature sensitivities, but relevant environmental factors, especially soil pH, should be considered in higher-productivity alpine regions.

  10. Plant and arthropod community sensitivity to rainfall manipulation but not nitrogen enrichment in a successional grassland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Lee, Mark A; Manning, Pete; Walker, Catherine S; Power, Sally A

    2014-12-01

    Grasslands provide many ecosystem services including carbon storage, biodiversity preservation and livestock forage production. These ecosystem services will change in the future in response to multiple global environmental changes, including climate change and increased nitrogen inputs. We conducted an experimental study over 3 years in a mesotrophic grassland ecosystem in southern England. We aimed to expose plots to rainfall manipulation that simulated IPCC 4th Assessment projections for 2100 (+15% winter rainfall and -30% summer rainfall) or ambient climate, achieving +15% winter rainfall and -39% summer rainfall in rainfall-manipulated plots. Nitrogen (40 kg ha(-1) year(-1)) was also added to half of the experimental plots in factorial combination. Plant species composition and above ground biomass were not affected by rainfall in the first 2 years and the plant community did not respond to nitrogen enrichment throughout the experiment. In the third year, above-ground plant biomass declined in rainfall-manipulated plots, driven by a decline in the abundances of grass species characteristic of moist soils. Declining plant biomass was also associated with changes to arthropod communities, with lower abundances of plant-feeding Auchenorrhyncha and carnivorous Araneae indicating multi-trophic responses to rainfall manipulation. Plant and arthropod community composition and plant biomass responses to rainfall manipulation were not modified by nitrogen enrichment, which was not expected, but may have resulted from prior nitrogen saturation and/or phosphorus limitation. Overall, our study demonstrates that climate change may in future influence plant productivity and induce multi-trophic responses in grasslands. PMID:25224801

  11. Interdependencies between temperature and moisture sensitivities of CO2 emissions in European land ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gritsch, C.; Zimmermann, M.; Zechmeister-Boltenstern, S.

    2015-03-01

    Soil respiration is one of the largest terrestrial fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere. Hence, small changes in soil respiration rates could have large effects on atmospheric CO2. In order to assess CO2 emissions from diverse European soils under different land-use and climate (soil moisture and temperature) we conducted a laboratory incubation experiment. Emission measurements of carbon dioxide under controlled conditions were conducted using soil monoliths of nine sites from the ÉCLAIRE flux network. Sites are located all over Europe; from the UK in the west to the Ukraine in the east; Italy in the south to Finland in the north and can be separated according to four land-uses (forests, grasslands, arable lands and one peatland). Intact soil cores were incubated in the laboratory at the temperatures 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 °C in a two factorial design of five soil moisture levels (5, 20, 40, 60, 80 (100)% water filled pore space, WFPS), before analysed for CO2 fluxes with an automated laboratory incubation measurement system. Land-use generally had a substantial influence on carbon dioxide fluxes, with the order of CO2 emission rates of the different land-uses being grassland > peatland > forest/arable land (P < 0.001). CO2 efflux responded strongly to varying temperature and moisture content with optimum moisture contents for CO2 emissions between 40-70% WFPS and a positive relationship between CO2 emissions and temperature. The relationship between temperature and CO2 emissions could be well described by a Gaussian model. Q10 values ranged between 0.86-10.85 and were negatively related to temperature for most of the moisture contents and sites investigated. At higher temperatures the effect of water and temperature on Q10 was very low. In addition under cold temperatures Q10 varied with moisture contents indicating a stronger prospective effect of rain events in cold areas on temperature sensitivity. We found at both coniferous forest sites a strong

  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.

  13. African dust carries microbes across the ocean: are they affecting human and ecosystem health?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kellogg, Christina A.; Griffin, Dale W.

    2003-01-01

    Atmospheric transport of dust from northwest Africa to the western Atlantic Ocean region may be responsible for a number of environmental hazards, including the demise of Caribbean corals; red tides; amphibian diseases; increased occurrence of asthma in humans; and oxygen depletion (eutrophication) in estuaries. Studies of satellite images suggest that hundreds of millions of tons of dust are trans-ported annually at relatively low altitudes across the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean Sea and southeastern United States. The dust emanates from the expanding Sahara/Sahel desert region in Africa and carries a wide variety of bacteria and fungi. The U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with the NASA/Goddard Spaceflight Center, is conducting a study to identify microbes--bacteria, fungi, viruses--transported across the Atlantic in African soil dust. Each year, millions of tons of desert dust blow off the west African coast and ride the trade winds across the ocean, affecting the entire Caribbean basin, as well as the southeastern United States. Of the dust reaching the U.S., Florida receives about 50 percent, while the rest may range as far north as Maine or as far west as Colorado. The dust storms can be tracked by satellite and take about one week to cross the Atlantic.

  14. Factors affecting sensitivity and specificity of a diagnostic test: the exercise thallium scintigram

    SciTech Connect

    Detrano, R.; Janosi, A.; Lyons, K.P.; Marcondes, G.; Abbassi, N.; Froelicher, V.F.

    1988-04-01

    Technical and methodological factors might affect the reported accuracies of diagnostic tests. To assess their influence on the accuracy of exercise thallium scintigraphy, the medical literature (1977 to 1986) was non-selectively searched and meta-analysis was applied to the 56 publications thus retrieved. These were analyzed for year of publication, sex and mean age of patients, percentage of patients with angina pectoris, percentage of patients with prior myocardial infarction, percentage of patients taking beta-blocking medications, and for angiographic referral (workup) bias, blinding of tests, and technical factors. The percentage of patients with myocardial infarction had the highest correlation with sensitivity (0.45, p = 0.0007). Only the inclusion of subjects with prior infarction and the percentage of men in the study group were independently and significantly (p less than 0.05) related to test sensitivity. Both the presence of workup bias and publication year adversely affected specificity (p less than 0.05). Of these two factors, publication year had the strongest association by stepwise linear regression. This analysis suggests that the reported sensitivity of thallium scintigraphy is higher and the specificity lower than that expected in clinical practice because of the presence of workup bias and the inappropriate inclusion of post-infarct patients.

  15. Identification of model structure for aquatic ecosystems using regionalized sensitivity analysis.

    PubMed

    Osidele, O O; Beck, M B

    2001-01-01

    The Regionalized Sensitivity Analysis (RSA) was developed in 1978, for identifying critical unknown processes in poorly defined systems, thus directing the focus of further scientific investigations. Here, we demonstrate its application to model structure identification, by ranking the constituent hypotheses and identifying the critical elements for progressive revision of the model. Our case study is Lake Oglethorpe--a small monomictic impoundment in South-eastern Georgia, USA. Recent studies indicate that the warm temperate regional climate affords an extended growing season--typically from March to October--which promotes bacterial productivity in the lake. The result is a summer food web dominated by microbial processes, in contrast to the conventional phytoplankton-dominated food chains typically observed in the cold temperate lakes of Europe and North America. Starting with a simple phytoplankton-based food web model and a qualitative definition of system behaviour, we use the RSA procedure to establish the critical role of bacteria-mediated decomposition in Lake Oglethorpe, thus justifying the inclusion of microbial processes. Further analysis reveals the importance of size-dependent selective consumption of phytoplankton and bacteria. Finally, we discuss important practical implications of this novel application of the RSA regarding sampling efficiency and statistical robustness.

  16. Trend and climatic sensitivity of vegetation phenology in semiarid and arid ecosystems in the US Great Basin during 1982-2011

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, G.; Arnone, J. A., III; Verburg, P.; Jasoni, R. L.

    2015-07-01

    We quantified the temporal trend and climatic sensitivity of vegetation phenology in dryland ecosystems in the US Great Basin during 1982-2011. Our results indicated that vegetation greenness in the Great Basin increased significantly during the study period, and this positive trend occurred in autumn but not spring and summer. Spatially, increases in vegetation greenness were more apparent in the northwestern, southeastern, and eastern Great Basin but less apparent in the central and southwestern Great Basin. In addition, the start of growing season (SOS) was not advanced while the end of growing season (EOS) was delayed significantly at a rate of 3.0 days per decade during the study period. The significant delay in EOS and lack of earlier leaf onset caused growing season length (GSL) to increase at a rate of 3.0 days per decade during 1982-2011. Interestingly, we found that the variation of mean vegetation greenness in the period of March to November (SSA) was not significantly correlated with its mean surface air temperature but was strongly correlated with its total precipitation. Seasonally, the variation of mean vegetation greenness in spring, summer, and autumn was mainly attributable to changes in pre-season precipitation in winter and spring. Nevertheless, climate warming played a strong role in extending GSL that in turn resulted in the upward trend in mean vegetation greenness during 1982-2011. Overall, our results suggested that changes in wintertime and springtime precipitation played a stronger role than temperature in affecting the interannual variability of vegetation greenness while climate warming was mainly responsible for the 30-year upward trend in the magnitudes of mean vegetation greenness in the dryland ecosystems during 1982-2011.

  17. Trends and climatic sensitivities of vegetation phenology in semiarid and arid ecosystems in the US Great Basin during 1982-2011

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, G.; Arnone, J. A., III; Verburg, P. S. J.; Jasoni, R. L.; Sun, L.

    2015-12-01

    We quantified the temporal trend and climatic sensitivity of vegetation phenology in dryland ecosystems in the US Great Basin during 1982-2011. Our results indicated that vegetation greenness in the Great Basin increased significantly during the study period, and this positive trend occurred in autumn but not in spring and summer. Spatially, increases in vegetation greenness were more apparent in the northwestern, southeastern, and eastern Great Basin but less apparent in the central and southwestern Great Basin. In addition, the start of growing season (SOS) was not advanced while the end of growing season (EOS) was delayed significantly at a rate of 3.0 days per decade during the study period. The significant delay in EOS and lack of earlier leaf onset caused growing season length (GSL) to increase at a rate of 3.0 days per decade. Interestingly, we found that the interannual variation of mean vegetation greenness calculated for the period of March to November (spring, summer, and autumn - SSA) was not significantly correlated with mean surface air temperature in SSA but was strongly correlated with total precipitation. On a seasonal basis, the variation of mean vegetation greenness in spring, summer, and autumn was mainly attributable to changes in pre-season precipitation in winter and spring. Nevertheless, climate warming appeared to play a strong role in extending GSL that, in turn, resulted in the upward trend in mean vegetation greenness. Overall, our results suggest that changes in wintertime and springtime precipitation played a stronger role than temperature in affecting the interannual variability of vegetation greenness, while climate warming was mainly responsible for the upward trend in vegetation greenness we observed in Great Basin dryland ecosystems during the 30-year period from 1982 to 2011.

  18. A Screening-Level Approach for Comparing Risks Affecting Aquatic Ecosystem Services over Socio-Environmental Gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harmon, T. C.; Conde, D.; Villamizar, S. R.; Reid, B.; Escobar, J.; Rusak, J.; Hoyos, N.; Scordo, F.; Perillo, G. M.; Piccolo, M. C.; Zilio, M.; Velez, M.

    2015-12-01

    Assessing risks to aquatic ecosystems services (ES) is challenging and time-consuming, and effective strategies for prioritizing more detailed assessment efforts are needed. We propose a screening-level risk analysis (SRA) approach that scales ES risk using socioeconomic and environmental indices to capture anthropic and climatic pressures, as well as the capacity for institutional responses to those pressures. The method considers ES within a watershed context, and uses expert input to prioritize key services and the associated pressures that threaten them. The SRA approach focuses on estimating ES risk affect factors, which are the sum of the intensity factors for all hazards or pressures affecting the ES. We estimate the pressure intensity factors in a novel manner, basing them on the nation's (i) human development (proxied by Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index, IHDI), (ii) environmental regulatory and monitoring state (Environmental Performance Index, EPI) and (iii) the current level of water stress in the watershed (baseline water stress, BWS). Anthropic intensity factors for future conditions are derived from the baseline values based on the nation's 10-year trend in IHDI and EPI; ES risks in nations with stronger records of change are rewarded more/penalized less in estimates for good/poor future management scenarios. Future climatic intensity factors are tied to water stress estimates based on two general circulation model (GCM) outcomes. We demonstrate the method for an international array of six sites representing a wide range of socio-environmental settings. The outcomes illustrate novel consequences of the scaling scheme. Risk affect factors may be greater in a highly developed region under intense climatic pressure, or in less well-developed regions due to human factors (e.g., poor environmental records). As a screening-level tool, the SRA approach offers considerable promise for ES risk comparisons among watersheds and regions so that

  19. Development affects in vitro vascular tone and calcium sensitivity in ovine cerebral arteries

    PubMed Central

    Geary, Greg G; Osol, George J; Longo, Lawrence D

    2004-01-01

    We have shown recently that development from neonatal to adult life affects cerebrovascular tone of mouse cerebral arteries through endothelium-derived vasodilatory mechanisms. The current study tested the hypothesis that development from fetal to adult life affects cerebral artery vascular smooth muscle (VSM) [Ca2+]i sensitivity and tone through a mechanism partially dependent upon endothelium-dependent signalling. In pressurized resistance sized cerebral arteries (∼150 μm) from preterm (95 ± 2 days gestation (95 d)) and near-term (140 ± 2 days gestation (140 d)) fetuses, and non-pregnant adults, we measured vascular diameter (μm) and [Ca2+]i (nm) as a function of intravascular pressure. We repeated these studies in the presence of inhibition of nitric oxide synthase (NOS; with l-NAME), cyclo-oxygenase (COX; with indomethacin) and endothelium removal (E–). Cerebrovasculature tone (E+) was greater in arteries from 95 d fetuses and adults compared to 140 d sheep. Ca2+ sensitivity was similar in 95 d fetuses and adults, but much lower in 140 d fetuses. Removal of endothelium resulted in a reduction in lumen diameter as a function of pressure (greater tone) in all treatment groups. [Ca2+]i sensitivity differences among groups were magnified after E–. NOS inhibition decreased diameter as a function of pressure in each age group, with a significant increase in [Ca2+]i to pressure ratio only in the 140 d fetuses. Indomethacin increased tone and increased [Ca2+]i in the 140 d fetuses, but not the other age groups. Development from near-term to adulthood uncovered an interaction between NOS- and COX-sensitive substances that functioned to modulate artery diameter but not [Ca2+]i. This study suggests that development is associated with significant alterations in cerebral vascular smooth muscle (VSM), endothelium, NOS and COX responses to intravascular pressure. We speculate that these changes have important implications in the regulation of cerebral blood flow in

  20. Ecosystem experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Mooney, H.A.; Medina, E.; Schindler, D.W.; Schulze, E.D.; Walker, B.H.

    1991-01-01

    Large scale, human-induced modifications to terrestrial and hydrological systems have been a major factor in contributing to global change. The objective of this book is to explore the potential of ecosystem experimentation as a tool to understanding and predicting more precisely the consequences of our changing biosphere. The papers in this book are the result of two SCOPE workshops to evaluated understanding of the response of ecosystems to large scale perturbations and to design ecosystem experiments to study the impace of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations on ecosystem processes. The general topics addressed include the following: how changes in driving variables affect different biotic interactions within ecosystems; the human role in modifying forest structure and the resulting ecosystem processes; the role of ecosystem experiments in the study of controlling factors such as hydrological controls, temperature, and biotic controlles; analysis of ecosystem dynamics as a complex and chaotic system; role of ecosystem experiments in the study of the impact of acid deposition; role of ecosystem experimentation in the study of global change impace on the biosphere and the biospheric feedbacks to global environmental change.

  1. Factors Affecting Trophic Control of Community Structure and Ecosystem Functioning in Experimental Mesocosms of Seagrass (Zostera marina L.)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lefcheck, J.; Duffy, J.

    2008-12-01

    Nutrient loading of coastal and estuarine waters threatens seagrass communities by promoting the growth of micro- and macroalgae, which then reduce the availability of light and nutrients. However, populations of invertebrate mesograzers are able to mitigate the negative impact of eutrophication through top-down control. We performed a factorial mesocosm experiment to examine the interactive relationships between light, nutrients, and mesograzer presence in structuring experimental ecosystems of eelgrass (Zostera marina). We found that mesograzer presence strongly reduced epiphytic algal biomass in every case, which remains consistent with previous mesocosm studies. We also observed a synergistic light-by-nutrient interaction that enhanced both epiphyte biomass and mesograzer abundance. The timing of this relationship is suggestive of weaker bottom-up control. Unlike previous studies, we found that light alone rarely affected either epiphyte biomass or mesograzer abundance. We believe that this result may be due to a combination of macroalgal shading and persistent grazing. Further processing of primary and secondary producer biomasses and elemental ratios, as well as the completion of feeding assays to gauge mesograzer feeding rates on different types of algae, will serve to reinforce these conclusions and to better define the relationship between these factors.

  2. The Ecohydrological Consequences of Woody Plant Encroachment: How Accessibility to Deep Soil Water Resources Affects Ecosystem Carbon and Water Exchange

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, R. L.; Huxman, T. E.; Barron-Gafford, G.; Jenerette, D.; Young, J. M.

    2013-12-01

    Woody plant encroachment into grassland systems, a process that has increased rapidly over the last century, has potentially broad ecohydrological consequences by affecting the way ecosystems use water and cycle carbon. This study examines the influence of precipitation- and groundwater-derived water availability by comparing eddy covariance measurements of water vapor and carbon dioxide fluxes over a riparian grassland, shrubland, and woodland, and an upland grassland site in southeastern Arizona USA. Compared to the upland grassland, the riparian sites exhibited greater net carbon uptake (NEP) and higher evapotranspiration (ET) across a longer portion of the year. Among the riparian sites, however, the grassland was less able to take advantage of the stable groundwater supply. Increasing woody plant density facilitated greater water and carbon exchange that became increasingly decoupled from incident precipitation (P). How groundwater accessibility affected NEP was more complex than ET. Respiration (Reco) costs were higher for the riparian grassland so, while it had a similar ET and gross carbon uptake (GEP) to the shrubland, its NEP was substantially less. Also, riparian grassland fluxes were much more variable due to flooding that occurred at the site, which could stimulate or inhibit NEP. Woodland NEP was largest but surprisingly similar to the less mature and dense shrubland even while having much greater GEP. Woodland NEP responded negatively to P, due to the stimulation of Reco likely due to greater amounts of aboveground and soil carbon. With many areas of the world experiencing woody plants encroachment, encroachment into areas where there are additional deep soil water sources, such as in riparian settings or in areas of deep soil moisture recharge, will likely increase carbon sequestration but at the expense of higher water use.

  3. Background complexity affects response of a looming-sensitive neuron to object motion.

    PubMed

    Silva, Ana C; McMillan, Glyn A; Santos, Cristina P; Gray, John R

    2015-01-01

    An increasing number of studies show how stimulus complexity affects the responses of looming-sensitive neurons across multiple animal taxa. Locusts contain a well-described, descending motion-sensitive pathway that is preferentially looming sensitive. However, the lobula giant movement detector/descending contralateral movement detector (LGMD/DCMD) pathway responds to more than simple objects approaching at constant, predictable trajectories. In this study, we presented Locusta migratoria with a series of complex three-dimensional visual stimuli presented while simultaneously recording DCMD activity extracellularly. In addition to a frontal looming stimulus, we used a combination of compound trajectories (nonlooming transitioning to looming) presented at different velocities and onto a simple, scattered, or progressive flow field background. Regardless of stimulus background, DCMD responses to looming were characteristic and related to previously described effects of azimuthal approach angle and velocity of object expansion. However, increasing background complexity caused reduced firing rates, delayed peaks, shorter rise phases, and longer fall phases. DCMD responded to transitions to looming with a characteristic drop in a firing rate that was relatively invariant across most stimulus combinations and occurred regardless of stimulus background. Spike numbers were higher in the presence of the scattered background and reduced in the flow field background. We show that DCMD response time to a transition depends on unique expansion parameters of the moving stimulus irrespective of background complexity. Our results show how background complexity shapes DCMD responses to looming stimuli, which is explained within a behavioral context.

  4. TEMPERATURE SENSITIVITY OF SOIL RESPIRATION AND ITS EFFECTS ON ECOSYSTEM CARBON BUDGET: NONLINEARITY BEGETS SURPRISES. (R827676)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Nonlinearity is a salient feature in all complex systems, and it certainly characterizes biogeochemical cycles in ecosystems across a wide range of scales. Soil carbon emission is a major source of uncertainty in estimating the terrestrial carbon budget at the ecosystem level ...

  5. Affectively salient meaning in random noise: a task sensitive to psychosis liability.

    PubMed

    Galdos, Mariana; Simons, Claudia; Fernandez-Rivas, Aranzazu; Wichers, Marieke; Peralta, Concepción; Lataster, Tineke; Amer, Guillermo; Myin-Germeys, Inez; Allardyce, Judith; Gonzalez-Torres, Miguel Angel; van Os, Jim

    2011-11-01

    Stable differences in the tendency to attribute meaning and emotional value to experience may represent an indicator of liability to psychosis. A brief task was developed assessing variation in detecting affectively meaningful speech (speech illusion) in neutral random signals (white noise) and the degree to which this was associated with psychometric and familial vulnerability for psychosis. Thirty patients, 28 of their siblings, and 307 controls participated. The rate of speech illusion was compared between cases and controls. In controls, the association between speech illusion and interview-based positive schizotypy was assessed. The hypothesis of a dose-response increase in rate of speech illusion across increasing levels of familial vulnerability for psychosis (controls, siblings of patients, and patients) was examined. Patients were more likely to display speech illusions than controls (odds ratio [OR] = 4.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.4-11.7), also after controlling for neurocognitive variables (OR = 3.8, 95% CI = 1.04-14.1). The case-control difference was more accentuated for speech illusion perceived as affectively salient (positively or negatively appraised) than for neutrally appraised speech illusions. Speech illusion in the controls was strongly associated with positive schizotypy but not with negative schizotypy. In addition, the rate of speech illusion increased with increasing level of familial risk for psychotic disorder. The data suggest that the white noise task may be sensitive to psychometric and familial vulnerability for psychosis associated with alterations in top-down processing and/or salience attribution. PMID:20360211

  6. The Inter-Annual Variability Analysis of Carbon Exchange in Low Artic Fen Uncovers The Climate Sensitivity And The Uncertainties Around Net Ecosystem Exchange Partitioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanco, E. L.; Lund, M.; Williams, M. D.; Christensen, T. R.; Tamstorf, M. P.

    2015-12-01

    An improvement in our process-based understanding of CO2 exchanges in the Arctic, and their climate sensitivity, is critical for examining the role of tundra ecosystems in changing climates. Arctic organic carbon storage has seen increased attention in recent years due to large potential for carbon releases following thaw. Our knowledge about the exact scale and sensitivity for a phase-change of these C stocks are, however, limited. Minor variations in Gross Primary Production (GPP) and Ecosystem Respiration (Reco) driven by changes in the climate can lead to either C sink or C source states, which likely will impact the overall C cycle of the ecosystem. Eddy covariance data is usually used to partition Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) into GPP and Reco achieved by flux separation algorithms. However, different partitioning approaches lead to different estimates. as well as undefined uncertainties. The main objectives of this study are to use model-data fusion approaches to (1) determine the inter-annual variability in C source/sink strength for an Arctic fen, and attribute such variations to GPP vs Reco, (2) investigate the climate sensitivity of these processes and (3) explore the uncertainties in NEE partitioning. The intention is to elaborate on the information gathered in an existing catchment area under an extensive cross-disciplinary ecological monitoring program in low Arctic West Greenland, established under the auspices of the Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring (GEM) program. The use of such a thorough long-term (7 years) dataset applied to the exploration in inter-annual variability of carbon exchange, related driving factors and NEE partition uncertainties provides a novel input into our understanding about land-atmosphere CO2 exchange.

  7. The light: nutrient ratio in lakes: the balance of energy and materials affects ecosystem structure and process.

    PubMed

    Sterner, R W; Elser, J J; Fee, E J; Guildford, S J; Chrzanowski, T H

    1997-12-01

    The amounts of solar energy and materials are two of the chief factors determining ecosystem structure and process. Here, we examine the relative balance of light and phosphorus in a set of freshwater pelagic ecosystems. We calculated a ratio of light: phosphorus by putting mixed-layer mean light in the numerator and total P concentration in the denominator. This light: phosphorus ratio was a good predictor of the C:P ratio of particulate matter (seston), with a positive correlation demonstrated between these two ratios. We argue that the balance between light and nutrients controls "nutrient use efficiency" at the base of the food web in lakes. Thus, when light energy is high relative to nutrient availability, the base of the food web is carbon rich and phosphorus poor. In the opposite case, where light is relatively less available compared to nutrients, the base of the food web is relatively P rich. The significance of this relationship lies in the fact that the composition of sestonic material is known to influence a large number of ecosystem processes such as secondary production, nutrient cycling, and (we hypothesize) the relative strength of microbial versus grazing processes. Using the central result of increased C:P ratio with an increased light: phosphorus ratio, we make specific predictions of how ecosystem structure and process should vary with light and nutrient balance. Among these predictions, we suggest that lake ecosystems with low light: phosphorus ratios should have several trophic levels simultaneously carbon or energy limited, while ecosystems with high light: phosphorus ratios should have several trophic levels simultaneously limited by phosphorus. Our results provide an alternative perspective to the question of what determines nutrient use efficiency in ecosystems.

  8. Mutant DISC1 affects methamphetamine-induced sensitization and conditioned place preference: a comorbidity model

    PubMed Central

    Pogorelov, Vladimir; Nomura, Jun; Kim, Jongho; Kannan, Geetha; Yang, Chunxia; Taniguchi, Yu; Abazyan, Bagrat; Valentine, Heather; Krasnova, Irina N.; Kamiya, Atsushi; Cadet, Jean Lud; Wong, Dean F.; Pletnikov, Mikhail V.

    2011-01-01

    Genetic factors involved in neuroplasticity have been implicated in major psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression, and substance abuse. Given its extended interactome, variants in the Disrupted-In-Schizophrenia-1 (DISC1) gene could contribute to drug addiction and psychiatric diseases. Thus, we evaluated how dominant-negative mutant DISC1 influenced the neurobehavioral and molecular effects of methamphetamine (METH). Control and mutant DISC1 mice were studied before or after treatment with non-toxic escalating dose (ED) of METH. In naïve mice, we assessed METH-induced conditioned place preference (CPP), dopamine (DA) D2 receptor density and the basal and METH-induced activity of DISC1 partners, AKT and GSK-3β in the ventral striatum. In ED treated mice, 4 weeks after METH treatment, we evaluated fear conditioning, depression-like responses in forced swim test, and the basal and METH-induced activity of AKT and GSK-3β in the ventral striatum. We found impairment in METH-induced CPP, decreased DA D2 receptor density and altered METH-induced phosphorylation of AKT and GSK-3β in naïve DISC1 female mice. The ED regimen was not neurotoxic as evidenced by unaltered brain regional monoamine tissue content. Mutant DISC1 significantly delayed METH ED-produced sensitization and affected drug-induced phosphorylation of AKT and GSK-3β in female mice. Our results suggest that perturbations in DISC1 functions in the ventral striatum may impact the molecular mechanisms of reward and sensitization, contributing to comorbidity between drug abuse and major mental diseases. PMID:21315744

  9. Mutant DISC1 affects methamphetamine-induced sensitization and conditioned place preference: a comorbidity model.

    PubMed

    Pogorelov, Vladimir M; Nomura, Jun; Kim, Jongho; Kannan, Geetha; Ayhan, Yavuz; Yang, Chunxia; Taniguchi, Yu; Abazyan, Bagrat; Valentine, Heather; Krasnova, Irina N; Kamiya, Atsushi; Cadet, Jean Lud; Wong, Dean F; Pletnikov, Mikhail V

    2012-03-01

    Genetic factors involved in neuroplasticity have been implicated in major psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression, and substance abuse. Given its extended interactome, variants in the Disrupted-In-Schizophrenia-1 (DISC1) gene could contribute to drug addiction and psychiatric diseases. Thus, we evaluated how dominant-negative mutant DISC1 influenced the neurobehavioral and molecular effects of methamphetamine (METH). Control and mutant DISC1 mice were studied before or after treatment with non-toxic escalating dose (ED) of METH. In naïve mice, we assessed METH-induced conditioned place preference (CPP), dopamine (DA) D2 receptor density and the basal and METH-induced activity of DISC1 partners, AKT and GSK-3β in the ventral striatum. In ED-treated mice, 4 weeks after METH treatment, we evaluated fear conditioning, depression-like responses in forced swim test, and the basal and METH-induced activity of AKT and GSK-3β in the ventral striatum. We found impairment in METH-induced CPP, decreased DA D2 receptor density and altered METH-induced phosphorylation of AKT and GSK-3β in naïve DISC1 female mice. The ED regimen was not neurotoxic as evidenced by unaltered brain regional monoamine tissue content. Mutant DISC1 significantly delayed METH ED-produced sensitization and affected drug-induced phosphorylation of AKT and GSK-3β in female mice. Our results suggest that perturbations in DISC1 functions in the ventral striatum may impact the molecular mechanisms of reward and sensitization, contributing to comorbidity between drug abuse and major mental diseases. PMID:21315744

  10. Factors affecting toxicity test endpoints in sensitive life stages of native Gulf of Mexico species.

    PubMed

    Echols, B S; Smith, A J; Rand, G M; Seda, B C

    2015-05-01

    Indigenous species are less commonly used in laboratory aquatic toxicity tests compared with standard test species due to (1) limited availability lack of requisite information necessary for their acclimation and maintenance under laboratory conditions and (2) lack of information on their sensitivity and the reproducibility of toxicity test results. As part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment aquatic toxicity program in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil incident (2010), sensitive life stages of native Gulf of Mexico species were evaluated in laboratory toxicity tests to determine the potential effects of the spill. Fish (n = 5) and invertebrates (n = 2) selected for this program include the following: the Florida pompano (Trachinotus carolinus), red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), spotted sea trout (Cynoscion nebulosus), cobia (Rachycentron canadum), red porgy (Pagrus pagrus), blue crab (Callinectes sapidus), and the common moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita). Initially in the program, to establish part of the background information, acute tests with reference toxicants (CdCl2, KCl, CuSO4) were performed with each species to establish data on intraspecies variability and test precision as well as identify other factors that may affect toxicity results. Median lethal concentration (LC50) values were calculated for each acute toxicity test with average LC50 values ranging from 248 to 862 mg/L for fish exposures to potassium chloride. Variability between test results was determined for each species by calculating the coefficient of variation (%CV) based on LC50 values. CVs ranged from 11.2 % for pompano (96-h LC50 value) to 74.8 % for red porgy 24-h tests. Cadmium chloride acute toxicity tests with the jellyfish A. aurita had the lowest overall CV of 3.6 %. By understanding acute toxicity to these native organisms from a compound with known toxicity ranges and the variability in test results, acute tests with nonstandard species can be better interpreted and used

  11. Factors affecting toxicity test endpoints in sensitive life stages of native Gulf of Mexico species.

    PubMed

    Echols, B S; Smith, A J; Rand, G M; Seda, B C

    2015-05-01

    Indigenous species are less commonly used in laboratory aquatic toxicity tests compared with standard test species due to (1) limited availability lack of requisite information necessary for their acclimation and maintenance under laboratory conditions and (2) lack of information on their sensitivity and the reproducibility of toxicity test results. As part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment aquatic toxicity program in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil incident (2010), sensitive life stages of native Gulf of Mexico species were evaluated in laboratory toxicity tests to determine the potential effects of the spill. Fish (n = 5) and invertebrates (n = 2) selected for this program include the following: the Florida pompano (Trachinotus carolinus), red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), spotted sea trout (Cynoscion nebulosus), cobia (Rachycentron canadum), red porgy (Pagrus pagrus), blue crab (Callinectes sapidus), and the common moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita). Initially in the program, to establish part of the background information, acute tests with reference toxicants (CdCl2, KCl, CuSO4) were performed with each species to establish data on intraspecies variability and test precision as well as identify other factors that may affect toxicity results. Median lethal concentration (LC50) values were calculated for each acute toxicity test with average LC50 values ranging from 248 to 862 mg/L for fish exposures to potassium chloride. Variability between test results was determined for each species by calculating the coefficient of variation (%CV) based on LC50 values. CVs ranged from 11.2 % for pompano (96-h LC50 value) to 74.8 % for red porgy 24-h tests. Cadmium chloride acute toxicity tests with the jellyfish A. aurita had the lowest overall CV of 3.6 %. By understanding acute toxicity to these native organisms from a compound with known toxicity ranges and the variability in test results, acute tests with nonstandard species can be better interpreted and used

  12. Affectively Salient Meaning in Random Noise: A Task Sensitive to Psychosis Liability

    PubMed Central

    Galdos, Mariana; Simons, Claudia; Fernandez-Rivas, Aranzazu; Wichers, Marieke; Peralta, Concepción; Lataster, Tineke; Amer, Guillermo; Myin-Germeys, Inez; Allardyce, Judith; Gonzalez-Torres, Miguel Angel; van Os, Jim

    2011-01-01

    Stable differences in the tendency to attribute meaning and emotional value to experience may represent an indicator of liability to psychosis. A brief task was developed assessing variation in detecting affectively meaningful speech (speech illusion) in neutral random signals (white noise) and the degree to which this was associated with psychometric and familial vulnerability for psychosis. Thirty patients, 28 of their siblings, and 307 controls participated. The rate of speech illusion was compared between cases and controls. In controls, the association between speech illusion and interview-based positive schizotypy was assessed. The hypothesis of a dose-response increase in rate of speech illusion across increasing levels of familial vulnerability for psychosis (controls, siblings of patients, and patients) was examined. Patients were more likely to display speech illusions than controls (odds ratio [OR] = 4.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.4–11.7), also after controlling for neurocognitive variables (OR = 3.8, 95% CI = 1.04–14.1). The case-control difference was more accentuated for speech illusion perceived as affectively salient (positively or negatively appraised) than for neutrally appraised speech illusions. Speech illusion in the controls was strongly associated with positive schizotypy but not with negative schizotypy. In addition, the rate of speech illusion increased with increasing level of familial risk for psychotic disorder. The data suggest that the white noise task may be sensitive to psychometric and familial vulnerability for psychosis associated with alterations in top-down processing and/or salience attribution. PMID:20360211

  13. Sucrose Sensitivity of Honey Bees Is Differently Affected by Dietary Protein and a Neonicotinoid Pesticide.

    PubMed

    Démares, Fabien J; Crous, Kendall L; Pirk, Christian W W; Nicolson, Susan W; Human, Hannelie

    2016-01-01

    Over a decade, declines in honey bee colonies have raised worldwide concerns. Several potentially contributing factors have been investigated, e.g. parasites, diseases, and pesticides. Neonicotinoid pesticides have received much attention due to their intensive use in crop protection, and their adverse effects on many levels of honey bee physiology led the European Union to ban these compounds. Due to their neuronal target, a receptor expressed throughout the insect nervous system, studies have focused mainly on neuroscience and behaviour. Through the Geometric Framework of nutrition, we investigated effects of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on survival, food consumption and sucrose sensitivity of honey bees (Apis mellifera). Thiamethoxam did not affect protein and carbohydrate intake, but decreased responses to high concentrations of sucrose. Interestingly, when bees ate fixed unbalanced diets, dietary protein facilitated better sucrose detection. Both thiamethoxam and dietary protein influenced survival. These findings suggest that, in the presence of a pesticide and unbalanced food, honey bee health may be severely challenged. Consequences for foraging efficiency and colony activity, cornerstones of honey bee health, are also discussed. PMID:27272274

  14. Sucrose Sensitivity of Honey Bees Is Differently Affected by Dietary Protein and a Neonicotinoid Pesticide.

    PubMed

    Démares, Fabien J; Crous, Kendall L; Pirk, Christian W W; Nicolson, Susan W; Human, Hannelie

    2016-01-01

    Over a decade, declines in honey bee colonies have raised worldwide concerns. Several potentially contributing factors have been investigated, e.g. parasites, diseases, and pesticides. Neonicotinoid pesticides have received much attention due to their intensive use in crop protection, and their adverse effects on many levels of honey bee physiology led the European Union to ban these compounds. Due to their neuronal target, a receptor expressed throughout the insect nervous system, studies have focused mainly on neuroscience and behaviour. Through the Geometric Framework of nutrition, we investigated effects of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on survival, food consumption and sucrose sensitivity of honey bees (Apis mellifera). Thiamethoxam did not affect protein and carbohydrate intake, but decreased responses to high concentrations of sucrose. Interestingly, when bees ate fixed unbalanced diets, dietary protein facilitated better sucrose detection. Both thiamethoxam and dietary protein influenced survival. These findings suggest that, in the presence of a pesticide and unbalanced food, honey bee health may be severely challenged. Consequences for foraging efficiency and colony activity, cornerstones of honey bee health, are also discussed.

  15. Sucrose Sensitivity of Honey Bees Is Differently Affected by Dietary Protein and a Neonicotinoid Pesticide

    PubMed Central

    Démares, Fabien J.; Crous, Kendall L.; Pirk, Christian W. W.; Nicolson, Susan W.; Human, Hannelie

    2016-01-01

    Over a decade, declines in honey bee colonies have raised worldwide concerns. Several potentially contributing factors have been investigated, e.g. parasites, diseases, and pesticides. Neonicotinoid pesticides have received much attention due to their intensive use in crop protection, and their adverse effects on many levels of honey bee physiology led the European Union to ban these compounds. Due to their neuronal target, a receptor expressed throughout the insect nervous system, studies have focused mainly on neuroscience and behaviour. Through the Geometric Framework of nutrition, we investigated effects of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on survival, food consumption and sucrose sensitivity of honey bees (Apis mellifera). Thiamethoxam did not affect protein and carbohydrate intake, but decreased responses to high concentrations of sucrose. Interestingly, when bees ate fixed unbalanced diets, dietary protein facilitated better sucrose detection. Both thiamethoxam and dietary protein influenced survival. These findings suggest that, in the presence of a pesticide and unbalanced food, honey bee health may be severely challenged. Consequences for foraging efficiency and colony activity, cornerstones of honey bee health, are also discussed. PMID:27272274

  16. A Sensitive and Specific Neural Signature for Picture-Induced Negative Affect

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Luke J.; Gianaros, Peter J.; Manuck, Stephen B.; Krishnan, Anjali; Wager, Tor D.

    2015-01-01

    Neuroimaging has identified many correlates of emotion but has not yet yielded brain representations predictive of the intensity of emotional experiences in individuals. We used machine learning to identify a sensitive and specific signature of emotional responses to aversive images. This signature predicted the intensity of negative emotion in individual participants in cross validation (n =121) and test (n = 61) samples (high–low emotion = 93.5% accuracy). It was unresponsive to physical pain (emotion–pain = 92% discriminative accuracy), demonstrating that it is not a representation of generalized arousal or salience. The signature was comprised of mesoscale patterns spanning multiple cortical and subcortical systems, with no single system necessary or sufficient for predicting experience. Furthermore, it was not reducible to activity in traditional “emotion-related” regions (e.g., amygdala, insula) or resting-state networks (e.g., “salience,” “default mode”). Overall, this work identifies differentiable neural components of negative emotion and pain, providing a basis for new, brain-based taxonomies of affective processes. PMID:26098873

  17. The effects of an anxiety sensitivity intervention on anxiety, depression, and worry: Mediation through affect tolerances

    PubMed Central

    Norr, Aaron M.; Allan, Nicholas P.; Macatee, Richard J.; Keough, Meghan E.; Schmidt, Norman B.

    2014-01-01

    Recently there has been increased interest in emotional and physical tolerance risk factors for mood and anxiety disorders. Three tolerance risk factors that have been shown to be related are anxiety sensitivity (AS), distress tolerance (DT), and discomfort intolerance (DI). Although previous research has demonstrated these constructs are malleable, no research has investigated the effects of an AS intervention on DT or DI. Further, no studies have investigated whether changes in DT or DI play a role in mood and anxiety symptom amelioration due to an AS intervention. Participants (N=104), who were selected for elevated levels of AS, completed a single-session computer-assisted AS intervention or a control intervention and follow-up assessments at 1-week and 1-month post intervention. Results revealed that the intervention reduced AS and increased DT, but did not affect DI at the 1-week follow-up. Mediation analyses revealed that changes in AS and DT both mediated changes in symptoms (depression, anxiety, worry) due to the intervention at 1-month follow-up, however, when AS and DT were considered in the same model only the effect via AS remained significant. These results have important implications for the nature of the relationships between AS, DT, and DI as well as the specific mechanistic pathways through which an AS intervention ameliorates symptoms. PMID:24949907

  18. A Sensitive and Specific Neural Signature for Picture-Induced Negative Affect.

    PubMed

    Chang, Luke J; Gianaros, Peter J; Manuck, Stephen B; Krishnan, Anjali; Wager, Tor D

    2015-06-01

    Neuroimaging has identified many correlates of emotion but has not yet yielded brain representations predictive of the intensity of emotional experiences in individuals. We used machine learning to identify a sensitive and specific signature of emotional responses to aversive images. This signature predicted the intensity of negative emotion in individual participants in cross validation (n =121) and test (n = 61) samples (high-low emotion = 93.5% accuracy). It was unresponsive to physical pain (emotion-pain = 92% discriminative accuracy), demonstrating that it is not a representation of generalized arousal or salience. The signature was comprised of mesoscale patterns spanning multiple cortical and subcortical systems, with no single system necessary or sufficient for predicting experience. Furthermore, it was not reducible to activity in traditional "emotion-related" regions (e.g., amygdala, insula) or resting-state networks (e.g., "salience," "default mode"). Overall, this work identifies differentiable neural components of negative emotion and pain, providing a basis for new, brain-based taxonomies of affective processes. PMID:26098873

  19. Testosterone affects hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) activity and lipid metabolism in the left ventricle.

    PubMed

    Langfort, Jozef; Jagsz, Slawomir; Dobrzyn, Pawel; Brzezinska, Zofia; Klapcinska, Barbara; Galbo, Henrik; Gorski, Jan

    2010-09-01

    Fatty acids, which are the major cardiac fuel, are derived from lipid droplets stored in cardiomyocytes, among other sources. The heart expresses hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL), which regulates triglycerides (TG) breakdown, and the enzyme is under hormonal control. Evidence obtained from adipose tissue suggests that testosterone regulates HSL activity. To test whether this is also true in the heart, we measured HSL activity in the left ventricle of sedentary male rats that had been treated with testosterone supplementation or orchidectomy with or without testosterone substitution. Left ventricle HSL activity against TG was significantly elevated in intact rats supplemented with testosterone. HSL activity against both TG and diacylglyceride was reduced by orchidectomy, whereas testosterone replacement fully reversed this effect. Moreover, testosterone increased left ventricle free fatty acid levels, caused an inhibitory effect on carbohydrate metabolism in the heart, and elevated left ventricular phosphocreatine and ATP levels as compared to control rats. These data indicate that testosterone is involved in cardiac HSL activity regulation which, in turn, may affect cardiac lipid and carbohydrate metabolism.

  20. Kindling and sensitization as models for affective episode recurrence, cyclicity, and tolerance phenomena.

    PubMed

    Post, Robert M

    2007-01-01

    We use the non-homologous model of sensitization and kindling to help conceptualize processes occurring in the longitudinal course of bipolar disorder. The models help focus on the phenomena of episode recurrence, regression, and cycle acceleration occurring without medication and during treatment, when these progressive processes can re-emerge during tolerance development. The preclinical data suggest that it is the ratio of pathological versus adaptive factors mediated by changes in gene expression that mediate episode recurrence or suppression. During tolerance development, there may be selective loss of some episode-induced adaptive factors that may be re-engendered during a period off that medication. The models reveal long-term molecular changes induced by recurrent stresses, episodes of illness, and substances of abuse that can accumulate and lead to progressive increases in vulnerability to episode recurrence. The clinical and preclinical data converge in emphasizing the importance of prevention and early and sustained prophylaxis. New data also implicate brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in genetic and environmental illness vulnerability and progression, as well as in the mechanisms of action of the mood stabilizers and antidepressants. Therapeutic agents may thus not only prevent recurrent affective episodes and their adverse consequences on the brain, behavior, and quality of life, but they may also be able to ameliorate the effects of stressors, and reverse or prevent some of the basic pathological brain mechanisms underlying illness progression.

  1. A trait-based framework for predicting when and where microbial adaptation to climate change will affect ecosystem functioning

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wallenstein, Matthew D.; Hall, Edward K.

    2012-01-01

    As the earth system changes in response to human activities, a critical objective is to predict how biogeochemical process rates (e.g. nitrification, decomposition) and ecosystem function (e.g. net ecosystem productivity) will change under future conditions. A particular challenge is that the microbial communities that drive many of these processes are capable of adapting to environmental change in ways that alter ecosystem functioning. Despite evidence that microbes can adapt to temperature, precipitation regimes, and redox fluctuations, microbial communities are typically not optimally adapted to their local environment. For example, temperature optima for growth and enzyme activity are often greater than in situ temperatures in their environment. Here we discuss fundamental constraints on microbial adaptation and suggest specific environments where microbial adaptation to climate change (or lack thereof) is most likely to alter ecosystem functioning. Our framework is based on two principal assumptions. First, there are fundamental ecological trade-offs in microbial community traits that occur across environmental gradients (in time and space). These trade-offs result in shifting of microbial function (e.g. ability to take up resources at low temperature) in response to adaptation of another trait (e.g. limiting maintenance respiration at high temperature). Second, the mechanism and level of microbial community adaptation to changing environmental parameters is a function of the potential rate of change in community composition relative to the rate of environmental change. Together, this framework provides a basis for developing testable predictions about how the rate and degree of microbial adaptation to climate change will alter biogeochemical processes in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems across the planet.

  2. The relative importance of light and nutrient limitation of phytoplankton growth: A simple index of coastal ecosystem sensitivity to nutrient enrichment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cloern, J.E.

    1999-01-01

    Anthropogenic nutrient enrichment of the coastal zone is now a well-established fact. However, there is still uncertainty about the mechanisms through which nutrient enrichment can disrupt biological communities and ecosystem processes in the coastal zone. For example, while some estuaries exhibit classic symptoms of acute eutrophication, including enhanced production of algal biomass, other nutrient-rich estuaries maintain low algal biomass and primary production. This implies that large differences exist among coastal ecosystems in the rates and patterns of nutrient assimilation and cycling. Part of this variability comes from differences among ecosystems in the other resource that can limit algal growth and production - the light energy required for photosynthesis. Complete understanding of the eutrophication process requires consideration of the interacting effects of light and nutrients, including the role of light availability as a regulator of the expression of eutrophication. A simple index of the relative strength of light and nutrient limitation of algal growth can be derived from models that describe growth rate as a function of these resources. This index can then be used as one diagnostic to classify the sensitivity of coastal ecosystems to the harmful effects of eutrophication. Here I illustrate the application of this diagnostic with light and nutrient measurements made in three California estuaries and two Dutch estuaries.

  3. Does the duration of lysis affect the sensitivity of the in vitro alkaline comet assay?

    PubMed

    Enciso, José Manuel; Sánchez, Oscar; López de Cerain, Adela; Azqueta, Amaya

    2015-01-01

    The alkaline comet assay is now the method of choice for measuring different kinds of DNA damage in cells. Several attempts have been made to identify and evaluate the critical points affecting the comet assay outcome, highlighting the requirement of arriving at a standardised protocol in order to be able to compare the results obtained in different laboratories. However, reports on the effect of modifying the time of lysis are lacking. Here we tested different times of lysis (from no lysis to 1 week) in control HeLa cells and HeLa cells treated with different concentrations of methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) or H2O2. We also tested different times of lysis in the comet assay combined with formamidopyrimidine DNA glycosylase (FPG) in untreated and Ro 19-8022 plus light-treated HeLa cells. The same DNA damage levels were detected in the absence of lysis or after 1h of lysis when the standard comet assay was used to detect the MMS- and H2O2-induced lesions; the response increased when longer lysis was used, up to at least 1 week. When FPG was used, a minimum lysis period of 5 min was necessary to allow the enzyme to reach the DNA; the same DNA damage levels were detected after 5 min or 1h of lysis and the response increased up to 24h. In conclusion, the time of lysis can be varied depending on the sensitivity needed in both versions of the assay, and a constant time of lysis should be used if results from different experiments or laboratories are to be compared.

  4. Inhaled lead affects lung pathology and inflammation in sensitized and control guinea pigs.

    PubMed

    Boskabady, Mohammad Hossein; Tabatabai, Sayed Abas; Farkhondeh, Tahereh

    2016-04-01

    The association between lead exposure and respiratory diseases including asthma is controversial. Some studies indicate that exposure to environmental lead pollution may cause asthma; however, there is not sufficient data in this regard. The effect of lead on lung pathological findings and serum inflammatory mediators in sensitized and non-sensitized guinea pigs exposed to inhaled lead was examined. Eleven animal groups including control, sensitized, three groups of non sensitized animals, three groups during sensitization, and three groups after sensitization exposed to aerosol of three lead concentrations (n = 6 for each group) were studied. Serum inflammatory mediators levels and lung pathological changes were evaluated. All pathological changes and serum ET-1, EPO, NO levels were significantly higher in the sensitized and non sensitized animals exposed to lead than control group (p < 0.05 to p < 0.001). There was no significant difference between non sensitized groups exposed to high lead concentration and sensitized group. Serum inflammatory mediators levels and pathological findings in sensitized groups exposed to lead both during and after sensitization were significantly higher than sensitized non exposed group (p < 0.05 to p < 0.001). The data of exposed animals to high lead concentration were significantly higher than those of medium and low concentrations; those of medium concentration were also higher than low concentration (p < 0.05 to p < 0.001). In summary, the present study indicates that exposure to inhaled lead is able to induce respiratory changes similar to asthma. In addition, the results indicated that exposure to environmental lead is able to aggravate asthma severity both during development of asthma or after its manifestation.

  5. Interactive effect of negative affectivity and anxiety sensitivity in terms of mental health among Latinos in primary care.

    PubMed

    Zvolensky, Michael J; Paulus, Daniel J; Bakhshaie, Jafar; Garza, Monica; Ochoa-Perez, Melissa; Medvedeva, Angela; Bogiaizian, Daniel; Robles, Zuzuky; Manning, Kara; Schmidt, Norman B

    2016-09-30

    From a public health perspective, primary care medical settings represent a strategic location to address mental health disapirty among Latinos. Yet, there is little empirical work that addresses affective vulnerability processes for mental health problems in such settings. To help address this gap in knowledge, the present investigation examined an interactive model of negative affectivity (tendency to experience negative mood states) and anxiety sensitivity (fear of the negative consequences of aversive sensations) among a Latino sample in primary care in terms of a relatively wide range of anxiety/depression indices. Participants included 390 Latino adults (Mage=38.7, SD=11.3; 86.9% female; 95.6% reported Spanish as first language) from a primary care health clinic. Primary dependent measures included depressive, suicidal, social anxiety, and anxious arousal symptoms, number of mood and anxiety disorders, and disability. Consistent with prediction, the interaction between negative affectivity and anxiety sensitivity was significantly related to suicidal, social anxiety, and anxious arousal symptoms, as well as number of mood/anxiety diagnoses and disability among the primary care Latino sample. The form of the interactions indicated a synergistic effect, such that the greatest levels of each outcome were found among those with high negative affectivity and high anxiety sensitivity. There was a trending interaction for depressive symptoms. Overall, these data provide novel empirical evidence suggesting that there is a clinically-relevant interplay between anxiety sensitivity and negative affectivity in regard to the expression of anxiety and depressive symptoms among a Latino primary care sample.

  6. Relations between pure dietary and dietary-negative affect subtypes and impulsivity and reinforcement sensitivity in binge eating individuals.

    PubMed

    Carrard, Isabelle; Crépin, Christelle; Ceschi, Grazia; Golay, Alain; Van der Linden, Martial

    2012-01-01

    To investigate potential predictors of the severity of binge eating disorder (BED), two subtypes of patients with the disorder, a pure dietary subtype and a dietary-negative affect subtype, were identified. This study investigated the relationships between the two subtypes and impulsivity and reinforcement sensitivity. Ninety-two women meeting threshold and subthreshold criteria for BED diagnosis filled out questionnaires to determine eating disorder severity, impulsivity and reinforcement sensitivity before and after participating in an online guided self-help program for BED. Cluster analyses revealed a pure dietary subtype (N=66, 71.7%) and a dietary-negative affect subtype (N=26, 28.3%). Compared to the pure dietary subtype, the dietary-negative affect subtype reported a higher frequency of objective binge episodes, more severe eating disorders, higher urgency scores (defined as a tendency to act rashly in the context of negative affect), a greater sensitivity to punishment, and a higher dropout rate during treatment. These findings suggest that BED patients in the dietary-negative affect subtype exhibit heightened anxiety and are highly impulsive, especially in contexts of negative affect. For these individuals, psychological interventions for BED should focus on inhibiting automatic responses to negative emotions.

  7. Sensitivity of ecosystem CO sub 2 flux in the boreal forests of interior Alaska to climatic parameters

    SciTech Connect

    Bonan, G.B.

    1992-03-01

    An ecophysiological model of carbon uptake and release was used to examine C02 fluxes in 17 mature forests near Fairbanks, Alaska. Under extant climatic conditions, ecosystem C02 flux ranged from a loss of 212 g C02 m-2 yr-1 in a black spruce stand to an uptake of 2882 g C02 m-2 yr-1 in a birch stand. Increased air temperature resulted in substantial soil warming. Without concomitant increases in nutrient availability, large climatic warming reduced ecosystem C02 uptake in all forests. Deciduous and white spruce stands were still a sink for C02, but black spruce stands became, on average, a net source Of CO2- With increased nutrient availability that might accompany soil warming, enhanced tree growth increased C02 uptake in conifer stands.

  8. Sensitivity Analysis of Parameters Affecting Protection of Water Resources at Hanford WA

    SciTech Connect

    DAVIS, J.D.

    2002-02-08

    The scope of this analysis was to assess the sensitivity of contaminant fluxes from the vadose zone to the water table, to several parameters, some of which can be controlled by operational considerations.

  9. Do differences in food web structure between organic and conventional farms affect the ecosystem service of pest control?

    PubMed

    Macfadyen, Sarina; Gibson, Rachel; Polaszek, Andrew; Morris, Rebecca J; Craze, Paul G; Planqué, Robert; Symondson, William O C; Memmott, Jane

    2009-03-01

    While many studies have demonstrated that organic farms support greater levels of biodiversity, it is not known whether this translates into better provision of ecosystem services. Here we use a food-web approach to analyse the community structure and function at the whole-farm scale. Quantitative food webs from 10 replicate pairs of organic and conventional farms showed that organic farms have significantly more species at three trophic levels (plant, herbivore and parasitoid) and significantly different network structure. Herbivores on organic farms were attacked by more parasitoid species on organic farms than on conventional farms. However, differences in network structure did not translate into differences in robustness to simulated species loss and we found no difference in percentage parasitism (natural pest control) across a variety of host species. Furthermore, a manipulative field experiment demonstrated that the higher species richness of parasitoids on the organic farms did not increase mortality of a novel herbivore used to bioassay ecosystem service. The explanation for these differences is likely to include inherent differences in management strategies and landscape structure between the two farming systems.

  10. How will ocean acidification affect Baltic sea ecosystems? an assessment of plausible impacts on key functional groups.

    PubMed

    Havenhand, Jonathan N

    2012-09-01

    Increasing partial pressure of atmospheric CO₂ is causing ocean pH to fall-a process known as 'ocean acidification'. Scenario modeling suggests that ocean acidification in the Baltic Sea may cause a ≤ 3 times increase in acidity (reduction of 0.2-0.4 pH units) by the year 2100. The responses of most Baltic Sea organisms to ocean acidification are poorly understood. Available data suggest that most species and ecologically important groups in the Baltic Sea food web (phytoplankton, zooplankton, macrozoobenthos, cod and sprat) will be robust to the expected changes in pH. These conclusions come from (mostly) single-species and single-factor studies. Determining the emergent effects of ocean acidification on the ecosystem from such studies is problematic, yet very few studies have used multiple stressors and/or multiple trophic levels. There is an urgent need for more data from Baltic Sea populations, particularly from environmentally diverse regions and from controlled mesocosm experiments. In the absence of such information it is difficult to envision the likely effects of future ocean acidification on Baltic Sea species and ecosystems.

  11. How does the sensitivity of climate affect stratospheric solar radiation management?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricke, K.; Rowlands, D. J.; Ingram, W.; Keith, D.; Morgan, M. G.

    2011-12-01

    If implementation of proposals to engineer the climate through solar radiation management (SRM) ever occurs, it is likely to be contingent upon climate sensitivity. Despite this, no modeling studies have examined how the effectiveness of SRM forcings differs between the typical Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Models (AOGCMs) with climate sensitivities close to the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) mean and ones with high climate sensitivities. Here, we use a perturbed physics ensemble modeling experiment to examine variations in the response of climate to SRM under different climate sensitivities. When SRM is used as a substitute for mitigation its ability to maintain the current climate state gets worse with increased climate sensitivity and with increased concentrations of greenhouse gases. However, our results also demonstrate that the potential of SRM to slow climate change, even at the regional level, grows with climate sensitivity. On average, SRM reduces regional rates of temperature change by more than 90 percent and rates of precipitation change by more than 50 percent in these higher sensitivity model configurations. To investigate how SRM might behave in models with high climate sensitivity that are also consistent with recent observed climate change we perform a "perturbed physics" ensemble (PPE) modelling experiment with the climateprediction.net (cpdn) version of the HadCM3L AOGCM. Like other perturbed physics climate modelling experiments, we simulate past and future climate scenarios using a wide range of model parameter combinations that both reproduce past climate within a specified level of accuracy and simulate future climates with a wide range of climate sensitivities. We chose 43 members ("model versions") from a subset of the 1,550 from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) climateprediction.net project that have data that allow restarts. We use our results to explore how much assessments of SRM that use best

  12. Intrinsic factors that can affect sensitivity to chromosome-aberration induction

    SciTech Connect

    Preston, R.J.

    1982-01-01

    The paper addresses the question, are there individuals who are hypersensitive, or are more likely to be hypersensitive, to the induction of chromosome aberrations by radiation and chemicals. Lymphocytes of persons heterozygous for xeroderma pigmentosum, ataxia telangiectasia, and Fauconi's anemia were subjected to chemical and/or ionizing radiations to determine their sensitivity to chromosome aberration induction. In the majority of cases the sensitivity was intermediate between that of normal individuals and homozygotes for these genes. (ACR)

  13. Alcohol Use in College Students as a Function of Reinforcement Sensitivity, Life Events, and Affect

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Hyoung Suk

    2010-01-01

    Mood has been commonly viewed as an important determinant of drinking, but studies of positive and negative affect and alcohol use have reported inconsistent results. It has been suggested that the relationship between negative affect and heavy drinking or drinking problems depends on individual vulnerability dimensions such as personality. Gray's…

  14. Development and Validation of Children's Environmental Affect (Attitude, Sensitivity and Willingness to Take Action) Scale

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Erdogan, Mehmet; Marcinkowski, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    This study focuses on the design, development, validation, and psychometric properties of the Children's Environmental Affect Scale (CEAS). The following steps were taken in developing the CEAS. A substantial review of literature on environmental affect and EL helped the researchers identify several scales and questionnaires that, in turn, help…

  15. A mechanistic model of H{sub 2}{sup 18}O and C{sup 18}OO fluxes between ecosystems and the atmosphere: Model description and sensitivity analyses

    SciTech Connect

    Riley, W.J.; Still, C.J.; Torn, M.S.; Berry, J.A.

    2002-01-01

    The concentration of 18O in atmospheric CO2 and H2O is a potentially powerful tracer of ecosystem carbon and water fluxes. In this paper we describe the development of an isotope model (ISOLSM) that simulates the 18O content of canopy water vapor, leaf water, and vertically resolved soil water; leaf photosynthetic 18OC16O (hereafter C18OO) fluxes; CO2 oxygen isotope exchanges with soil and leaf water; soil CO2 and C18OO diffusive fluxes (including abiotic soil exchange); and ecosystem exchange of H218O and C18OO with the atmosphere. The isotope model is integrated into the land surface model LSM, but coupling with other models should be straightforward. We describe ISOLSM and apply it to evaluate (a) simplified methods of predicting the C18OO soil-surface flux; (b) the impacts on the C18OO soil-surface flux of the soil-gas diffusion coefficient formulation, soil CO2 source distribution, and rooting distribution; (c) the impacts on the C18OO fluxes of carbonic anhydrase (CA) activity in soil and leaves; and (d) the sensitivity of model predictions to the d18O value of atmospheric water vapor and CO2. Previously published simplified models are unable to capture the seasonal and diurnal variations in the C18OO soil-surface fluxes simulated by ISOLSM. Differences in the assumed soil CO2 production and rooting depth profiles, carbonic anhydrase activity in soil and leaves, and the d18O value of atmospheric water vapor have substantial impacts on the ecosystem CO2 flux isotopic composition. We conclude that accurate prediction of C18OO ecosystem fluxes requires careful representation of H218O and C18OO exchanges and transport in soils and plants.

  16. Subterranean ventilation: a key but poorly known process affecting the carbon balance of semi-arid ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López Ballesteros, Ana; Sánchez Cañete, Enrique P.; Serrano Ortiz, Penélope; Kowalski, Andrew S.; Oyonarte, Cecilio; Domingo, Francisco

    2016-04-01

    Subterranean ventilation, conceived as the advective transport of CO2-rich air from the vadose zone to the atmosphere through a porous media (i.e. soil or snow; Sánchez-Cañete et al., 2013), has arisen as an important process contributing to the carbon (C) balance of Mediterranean ecosystems (Kowalski et al., 2008; Sánchez-Cañete et al., 2011; Serrano-Ortiz et al., 2014), apart from other well-known biotic processes (i.e. plant photosynthesis, autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration). Recent studies have linked this subterranean CO2 release to fluctuations in the friction velocity or wind speed under drought conditions when water-free soil pores enable air transport (Rey et al., 2012a, 2013), however, barometric pressure variations has been suggested as another important driver (Sánchez-Cañete et al., 2013). In this study, we investigate this process in newly studied semi-arid grassland located in SE Spain, as the ideal ecosystem to do so given the great length of the dry season and the slight biotic activity limited to the winter season. Preliminary results, based on unpublished analyzed eddy covariance data and subterranean CO2 molar fraction measurements, confirm the presence of ventilation events from May to October for seven years 2009-2015. During these events, increases in the friction velocity correlates with sizeable CO2 emissions of up to ca.10 μmol m‑2 s‑1, and CO2 molar fraction regularly drops 2000-3000 ppm just after the turbulence peak, at several depths below the soil surface (0.15 and 1.5 m). Additionally, during the driest period (July-August), the friction velocity explains from 37% to 57% of the net C emission variability. On the other hand, the model residuals do not show a significant relationship, neither with air pressure nor with soil water content. Overall, the results found in this newly monitored site demonstrate, as shown by past research, the relevance of subterranean ventilation as a key process in the C balance of

  17. Subterranean ventilation: a key but poorly known process affecting the carbon balance of semi-arid ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López Ballesteros, Ana; Sánchez Cañete, Enrique P.; Serrano Ortiz, Penélope; Kowalski, Andrew S.; Oyonarte, Cecilio; Domingo, Francisco

    2016-04-01

    Subterranean ventilation, conceived as the advective transport of CO2-rich air from the vadose zone to the atmosphere through a porous media (i.e. soil or snow; Sánchez-Cañete et al., 2013), has arisen as an important process contributing to the carbon (C) balance of Mediterranean ecosystems (Kowalski et al., 2008; Sánchez-Cañete et al., 2011; Serrano-Ortiz et al., 2014), apart from other well-known biotic processes (i.e. plant photosynthesis, autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration). Recent studies have linked this subterranean CO2 release to fluctuations in the friction velocity or wind speed under drought conditions when water-free soil pores enable air transport (Rey et al., 2012a, 2013), however, barometric pressure variations has been suggested as another important driver (Sánchez-Cañete et al., 2013). In this study, we investigate this process in newly studied semi-arid grassland located in SE Spain, as the ideal ecosystem to do so given the great length of the dry season and the slight biotic activity limited to the winter season. Preliminary results, based on unpublished analyzed eddy covariance data and subterranean CO2 molar fraction measurements, confirm the presence of ventilation events from May to October for seven years 2009-2015. During these events, increases in the friction velocity correlates with sizeable CO2 emissions of up to ca.10 μmol m-2 s-1, and CO2 molar fraction regularly drops 2000-3000 ppm just after the turbulence peak, at several depths below the soil surface (0.15 and 1.5 m). Additionally, during the driest period (July-August), the friction velocity explains from 37% to 57% of the net C emission variability. On the other hand, the model residuals do not show a significant relationship, neither with air pressure nor with soil water content. Overall, the results found in this newly monitored site demonstrate, as shown by past research, the relevance of subterranean ventilation as a key process in the C balance of

  18. Wetlands serve as natural sources for improvement of stream ecosystem health in regions affected by acid deposition.

    PubMed

    Pound, Katrina L; Lawrence, Gregory B; Passy, Sophia I

    2013-09-01

    For over 40 years, acid deposition has been recognized as a serious international environmental problem, but efforts to restore acidified streams and biota have had limited success. The need to better understand the effects of different sources of acidity on streams has become more pressing with the recent increases in surface water organic acids, or 'brownification,' associated with climate change and decreased inorganic acid deposition. Here, we carried out a large scale multi-seasonal investigation in the Adirondacks, one of the most acid-impacted regions in the United States, to assess how acid stream producers respond to local and watershed influences and whether these influences can be used in acidification remediation. We explored the pathways of wetland control on aluminum chemistry and diatom taxonomic and functional composition. We demonstrate that streams with larger watershed wetlands have higher organic content, lower concentrations of acidic anions, and lower ratios of inorganic to organic monomeric aluminum, all beneficial for diatom biodiversity and guilds producing high biomass. Although brownification has been viewed as a form of pollution, our results indicate that it may be a stimulating force for biofilm producers with potentially positive consequences for higher trophic levels. Our research also reveals that the mechanism of watershed control of local stream diatom biodiversity through wetland export of organic matter is universal in running waters, operating not only in hard streams, as previously reported, but also in acid streams. Our findings that the negative impacts of acid deposition on Adirondack stream chemistry and biota can be mitigated by wetlands have important implications for biodiversity conservation and stream ecosystem management. Future acidification research should focus on the potential for wetlands to improve stream ecosystem health in acid-impacted regions and their direct use in stream restoration, for example, through

  19. Wetlands serve as natural sources for improvement of stream ecosystem health in regions affected by acid deposition

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pound, Katrina L; Lawrence, Gregory B.; Passy, Sophia I.

    2013-01-01

    For over 40 years, acid deposition has been recognized as a serious international environmental problem, but efforts to restore acidified streams and biota have had limited success. The need to better understand the effects of different sources of acidity on streams has become more pressing with the recent increases in surface water organic acids, or 'brownification' associated with climate change and decreased inorganic acid deposition. Here, we carried out a large scale multi-seasonal investigation in the Adirondacks, one of the most acid-impacted regions in the United States, to assess how acid stream producers respond to local and watershed influences and whether these influences can be used in acidification remediation. We explored the pathways of wetland control on aluminum chemistry and diatom taxonomic and functional composition. We demonstrate that streams with larger watershed wetlands have higher organic content, lower concentrations of acidic anions, and lower ratios of inorganic to organic monomeric aluminum, all beneficial for diatom biodiversity and guilds producing high biomass. Although brownification has been viewed as a form of pollution, our results indicate that it may be a stimulating force for biofilm producers with potentially positive consequences for higher trophic levels. Our research also reveals that the mechanism of watershed control of local stream diatom biodiversity through wetland export of organic matter is universal in running waters, operating not only in hard streams, as previously reported, but also in acid streams. Our findings that the negative impacts of acid deposition on Adirondack stream chemistry and biota can be mitigated by wetlands have important implications for biodiversity conservation and stream ecosystem management. Future acidification research should focus on the potential for wetlands to improve stream ecosystem health in acid-impacted regions and their direct use in stream restoration, for example, through

  20. Wetlands serve as natural sources for improvement of stream ecosystem health in regions affected by acid deposition.

    PubMed

    Pound, Katrina L; Lawrence, Gregory B; Passy, Sophia I

    2013-09-01

    For over 40 years, acid deposition has been recognized as a serious international environmental problem, but efforts to restore acidified streams and biota have had limited success. The need to better understand the effects of different sources of acidity on streams has become more pressing with the recent increases in surface water organic acids, or 'brownification,' associated with climate change and decreased inorganic acid deposition. Here, we carried out a large scale multi-seasonal investigation in the Adirondacks, one of the most acid-impacted regions in the United States, to assess how acid stream producers respond to local and watershed influences and whether these influences can be used in acidification remediation. We explored the pathways of wetland control on aluminum chemistry and diatom taxonomic and functional composition. We demonstrate that streams with larger watershed wetlands have higher organic content, lower concentrations of acidic anions, and lower ratios of inorganic to organic monomeric aluminum, all beneficial for diatom biodiversity and guilds producing high biomass. Although brownification has been viewed as a form of pollution, our results indicate that it may be a stimulating force for biofilm producers with potentially positive consequences for higher trophic levels. Our research also reveals that the mechanism of watershed control of local stream diatom biodiversity through wetland export of organic matter is universal in running waters, operating not only in hard streams, as previously reported, but also in acid streams. Our findings that the negative impacts of acid deposition on Adirondack stream chemistry and biota can be mitigated by wetlands have important implications for biodiversity conservation and stream ecosystem management. Future acidification research should focus on the potential for wetlands to improve stream ecosystem health in acid-impacted regions and their direct use in stream restoration, for example, through

  1. Modeling compensatory responses of ecosystem-scale water fluxes in forests affected by pine and spruce beetle mortality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millar, D.; Ewers, B. E.; Peckham, S. D.; Mackay, D. S.; Frank, J. M.; Massman, W. J.; Reed, D. E.

    2015-12-01

    Mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) and spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) epidemics have led to extensive mortality in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) and Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) forests in the Rocky Mountains of the western US. In both of these tree species, mortality results from hydraulic failure within the xylem, due to blue stain fungal infection associated with beetle attack. However, the impacts of these disturbances on ecosystem-scale water fluxes can be complex, owing to their variable and transient nature. In this work, xylem scaling factors that reduced whole-tree conductance were initially incorporated into a forest ecohydrological model (TREES) to simulate the impact of beetle mortality on evapotranspiration (ET) in both pine and spruce forests. For both forests, simulated ET was compared to observed ET fluxes recorded using eddy covariance techniques. Using xylem scaling factors, the model overestimated the impact of beetle mortality, and observed ET fluxes were approximately two-fold higher than model predictions in both forests. The discrepancy between simulated and observed ET following the onset of beetle mortality may be the result of spatial and temporal heterogeneity of plant communities within the foot prints of the eddy covariance towers. Since simulated ET fluxes following beetle mortality in both forests only accounted for approximately 50% of those observed in the field, it is possible that newly established understory vegetation in recently killed tree stands may play a role in stabilizing ecosystem ET fluxes. Here, we further investigate the unaccounted for ET fluxes in the model by breaking it down into multiple cohorts that represent live trees, dying trees, and understory vegetation that establishes following tree mortality.

  2. Interactive effect of negative affectivity and anxiety sensitivity in terms of mental health among Latinos in primary care.

    PubMed

    Zvolensky, Michael J; Paulus, Daniel J; Bakhshaie, Jafar; Garza, Monica; Ochoa-Perez, Melissa; Medvedeva, Angela; Bogiaizian, Daniel; Robles, Zuzuky; Manning, Kara; Schmidt, Norman B

    2016-09-30

    From a public health perspective, primary care medical settings represent a strategic location to address mental health disapirty among Latinos. Yet, there is little empirical work that addresses affective vulnerability processes for mental health problems in such settings. To help address this gap in knowledge, the present investigation examined an interactive model of negative affectivity (tendency to experience negative mood states) and anxiety sensitivity (fear of the negative consequences of aversive sensations) among a Latino sample in primary care in terms of a relatively wide range of anxiety/depression indices. Participants included 390 Latino adults (Mage=38.7, SD=11.3; 86.9% female; 95.6% reported Spanish as first language) from a primary care health clinic. Primary dependent measures included depressive, suicidal, social anxiety, and anxious arousal symptoms, number of mood and anxiety disorders, and disability. Consistent with prediction, the interaction between negative affectivity and anxiety sensitivity was significantly related to suicidal, social anxiety, and anxious arousal symptoms, as well as number of mood/anxiety diagnoses and disability among the primary care Latino sample. The form of the interactions indicated a synergistic effect, such that the greatest levels of each outcome were found among those with high negative affectivity and high anxiety sensitivity. There was a trending interaction for depressive symptoms. Overall, these data provide novel empirical evidence suggesting that there is a clinically-relevant interplay between anxiety sensitivity and negative affectivity in regard to the expression of anxiety and depressive symptoms among a Latino primary care sample. PMID:27359301

  3. UV wavelengths experienced during development affect larval newt visual sensitivity and predation efficiency.

    PubMed

    Martin, Mélissa; Théry, Marc; Rodgers, Gwendolen; Goven, Delphine; Sourice, Stéphane; Mège, Pascal; Secondi, Jean

    2016-02-01

    We experimentally investigated the influence of developmental plasticity of ultraviolet (UV) visual sensitivity on predation efficiency of the larval smooth newt, Lissotriton vulgaris. We quantified expression of SWS1 opsin gene (UV-sensitive protein of photoreceptor cells) in the retinas of individuals who had developed in the presence (UV+) or absence (UV-) of UV light (developmental treatments), and tested their predation efficiency under UV+ and UV- light (testing treatments). We found that both SWS1 opsin expression and predation efficiency were significantly reduced in the UV- developmental group. Larvae in the UV- testing environment displayed consistently lower predation efficiency regardless of their developmental treatment. These results prove for the first time, we believe, functional UV vision and developmental plasticity of UV sensitivity in an amphibian at the larval stage. They also demonstrate that UV wavelengths enhance predation efficiency and suggest that the magnitude of the behavioural response depends on retinal properties induced by the developmental lighting environment.

  4. UV wavelengths experienced during development affect larval newt visual sensitivity and predation efficiency.

    PubMed

    Martin, Mélissa; Théry, Marc; Rodgers, Gwendolen; Goven, Delphine; Sourice, Stéphane; Mège, Pascal; Secondi, Jean

    2016-02-01

    We experimentally investigated the influence of developmental plasticity of ultraviolet (UV) visual sensitivity on predation efficiency of the larval smooth newt, Lissotriton vulgaris. We quantified expression of SWS1 opsin gene (UV-sensitive protein of photoreceptor cells) in the retinas of individuals who had developed in the presence (UV+) or absence (UV-) of UV light (developmental treatments), and tested their predation efficiency under UV+ and UV- light (testing treatments). We found that both SWS1 opsin expression and predation efficiency were significantly reduced in the UV- developmental group. Larvae in the UV- testing environment displayed consistently lower predation efficiency regardless of their developmental treatment. These results prove for the first time, we believe, functional UV vision and developmental plasticity of UV sensitivity in an amphibian at the larval stage. They also demonstrate that UV wavelengths enhance predation efficiency and suggest that the magnitude of the behavioural response depends on retinal properties induced by the developmental lighting environment. PMID:26843556

  5. Genetics, Synergists, and Age Affect Insecticide Sensitivity of the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Rinkevich, Frank D; Margotta, Joseph W; Pittman, Jean M; Danka, Robert G; Tarver, Matthew R; Ottea, James A; Healy, Kristen B

    2015-01-01

    The number of honey bee colonies in the United States has declined to half of its peak level in the 1940s, and colonies lost over the winter have reached levels that are becoming economically unstable. While the causes of these losses are numerous and the interaction between them is very complex, the role of insecticides has garnered much attention. As a result, there is a need to better understand the risk of insecticides to bees, leading to more studies on both toxicity and exposure. While much research has been conducted on insecticides and bees, there have been very limited studies to elucidate the role that bee genotype and age has on the toxicity of these insecticides. The goal of this study was to determine if there are differences in insecticide sensitivity between honey bees of different genetic backgrounds (Carniolan, Italian, and Russian stocks) and assess if insecticide sensitivity varies with age. We found that Italian bees were the most sensitive of these stocks to insecticides, but variation was largely dependent on the class of insecticide tested. There were almost no differences in organophosphate bioassays between honey bee stocks (<1-fold), moderate differences in pyrethroid bioassays (1.5 to 3-fold), and dramatic differences in neonicotinoid bioassays (3.4 to 33.3-fold). Synergism bioassays with piperonyl butoxide, amitraz, and coumaphos showed increased phenothrin sensitivity in all stocks and also demonstrated further physiological differences between stocks. In addition, as bees aged, the sensitivity to phenothrin significantly decreased, but the sensitivity to naled significantly increased. These results demonstrate the variation arising from the genetic background and physiological transitions in honey bees as they age. This information can be used to determine risk assessment, as well as establishing baseline data for future comparisons to explain the variation in toxicity differences for honey bees reported in the literature. PMID

  6. Genetics, Synergists, and Age Affect Insecticide Sensitivity of the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Rinkevich, Frank D; Margotta, Joseph W; Pittman, Jean M; Danka, Robert G; Tarver, Matthew R; Ottea, James A; Healy, Kristen B

    2015-01-01

    The number of honey bee colonies in the United States has declined to half of its peak level in the 1940s, and colonies lost over the winter have reached levels that are becoming economically unstable. While the causes of these losses are numerous and the interaction between them is very complex, the role of insecticides has garnered much attention. As a result, there is a need to better understand the risk of insecticides to bees, leading to more studies on both toxicity and exposure. While much research has been conducted on insecticides and bees, there have been very limited studies to elucidate the role that bee genotype and age has on the toxicity of these insecticides. The goal of this study was to determine if there are differences in insecticide sensitivity between honey bees of different genetic backgrounds (Carniolan, Italian, and Russian stocks) and assess if insecticide sensitivity varies with age. We found that Italian bees were the most sensitive of these stocks to insecticides, but variation was largely dependent on the class of insecticide tested. There were almost no differences in organophosphate bioassays between honey bee stocks (<1-fold), moderate differences in pyrethroid bioassays (1.5 to 3-fold), and dramatic differences in neonicotinoid bioassays (3.4 to 33.3-fold). Synergism bioassays with piperonyl butoxide, amitraz, and coumaphos showed increased phenothrin sensitivity in all stocks and also demonstrated further physiological differences between stocks. In addition, as bees aged, the sensitivity to phenothrin significantly decreased, but the sensitivity to naled significantly increased. These results demonstrate the variation arising from the genetic background and physiological transitions in honey bees as they age. This information can be used to determine risk assessment, as well as establishing baseline data for future comparisons to explain the variation in toxicity differences for honey bees reported in the literature.

  7. Genetics, Synergists, and Age Affect Insecticide Sensitivity of the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Rinkevich, Frank D.; Margotta, Joseph W.; Pittman, Jean M.; Danka, Robert G.; Tarver, Matthew R.; Ottea, James A.; Healy, Kristen B.

    2015-01-01

    The number of honey bee colonies in the United States has declined to half of its peak level in the 1940s, and colonies lost over the winter have reached levels that are becoming economically unstable. While the causes of these losses are numerous and the interaction between them is very complex, the role of insecticides has garnered much attention. As a result, there is a need to better understand the risk of insecticides to bees, leading to more studies on both toxicity and exposure. While much research has been conducted on insecticides and bees, there have been very limited studies to elucidate the role that bee genotype and age has on the toxicity of these insecticides. The goal of this study was to determine if there are differences in insecticide sensitivity between honey bees of different genetic backgrounds (Carniolan, Italian, and Russian stocks) and assess if insecticide sensitivity varies with age. We found that Italian bees were the most sensitive of these stocks to insecticides, but variation was largely dependent on the class of insecticide tested. There were almost no differences in organophosphate bioassays between honey bee stocks (<1-fold), moderate differences in pyrethroid bioassays (1.5 to 3-fold), and dramatic differences in neonicotinoid bioassays (3.4 to 33.3-fold). Synergism bioassays with piperonyl butoxide, amitraz, and coumaphos showed increased phenothrin sensitivity in all stocks and also demonstrated further physiological differences between stocks. In addition, as bees aged, the sensitivity to phenothrin significantly decreased, but the sensitivity to naled significantly increased. These results demonstrate the variation arising from the genetic background and physiological transitions in honey bees as they age. This information can be used to determine risk assessment, as well as establishing baseline data for future comparisons to explain the variation in toxicity differences for honey bees reported in the literature. PMID

  8. Clonal differences in IgE antibodies affect cutaneous anaphylaxis-associated thermal sensitivity in mice

    PubMed Central

    Mack, Madison; Tonc, Elena; Ashbaugh, Alyssa; Wetzel, Abigail; Sykes, Akilah; Engblom, Camilla; Shabani, Estela; Mora-Solano, Carolina; Trier, Anna; Swanson, Linnea; Ewan, Emily; Martinov, Tijana; Chatterjea, Devavani

    2014-01-01

    Cellular and molecular mediators of immune responses are increasingly implicated in acute and chronic pain pathophysiologies. Here we demonstrate that passive cutaneous IgE/Ag anaphylaxis provokes increased thermal sensitivity in the hind paw tissue of mice. The murine anti-DNP IgE antibodies SPE-7 and ε26 are known to induce differential cytokine production in bone marrow cultured mast cells in vitro without antigen challenge. We found a novel, antigen-dependent heterogeneity in the thermal pain responses elicited in the hind paws between SPE-7 and ε26 sensitized DNP-challenged mice. Mice experienced pronounced hind paw thermal sensitivity lasting 6 hours after DNP challenge when sensitized with SPE-7 but not ε26 IgE. The two IgE clones induced equivalent hind paw edema, neutrophil influx, cytokine production, and reduction in tissue histamine content in vivo, and bound to the same or overlapping epitopes on the DNP antigen in vitro. Therefore IgE antibodies against the same antigen can induce comparable inflammation, yet contribute to markedly different anaphylaxis-associated pain within an allergic response, suggesting that non-canonical IgE binding partners such as sensory neurons may play a role in allergy-related pain responses. PMID:25149207

  9. Sensitivity and other factors affecting biospecific desorption in chromatography of proteins. A study by computer simulation.

    PubMed Central

    Yon, R J

    1980-01-01

    Some theoretical aspects of the desorption of a column-bound protein by elution with its biospecific ligand are considered in cases where, in comparison with the unliganded protein, the protein-ligand complex has a diminished but finite affinity for the adsorbent. A quantity termed the biospecific sensitivity, B, is introduced to facilitate comparison between different systems. Biospecific sensitivity may be defined as the fractional change in standard free energy of adsorption on formation of the protein-ligand complex. The effects of a moderate-to-low biospecific sensitivity on theoretical desorption profiles have been examined by using a computer simulation of the classical multiple-plate column model. Desorption was simulated under various boundary conditions involving protein-adsorbent and protein-ligand affinities and the initial concentrations of adsorption sites, protein and ligand. These simulations suggest that, when the biospecific sensitivity is low, desorption is optimized if (a) the unliganded protein is adsorbed as weakly as possible, (b) the column is loaded to near-saturation with the required protein, (c) the free ligand concentration is many times greater than that giving near-saturation of the protein in free solution, and (d) protein contaminants with high affinity for the adsorbent, and present in large amount, are removed in preliminary purification steps. PMID:7378048

  10. Root dynamics in an artificially constructed regenerating longleaf pine ecosystem are affected by atmospheric CO(2) enrichment.

    PubMed

    Pritchard, S G.; Davis, M A.; Mitchell, R J.; Prior, S A.; Boykin, D L.; Rogers, H H.; Runion, G B.

    2001-08-01

    Differential responses to elevated atmospheric CO(2) concentration exhibited by different plant functional types may alter competition for above- and belowground resources in a higher CO(2) world. Because C allocation to roots is often favored over C allocation to shoots in plants grown with CO(2) enrichment, belowground function of forest ecosystems may change significantly. We established an outdoor facility to examine the effects of elevated CO(2) on root dynamics in artificially constructed communities of five early successional forest species: (1) a C(3) evergreen conifer (longleaf pine, Pinus palustris Mill.); (2) a C(4) monocotyledonous bunch grass (wiregrass, Aristida stricta Michx.); (3) a C(3) broadleaf tree (sand post oak, Quercus margaretta); (4) a C(3) perennial herbaceous legume (rattlebox, Crotalaria rotundifolia Walt. ex Gemel); and (5) an herbaceous C(3) dicotyledonous perennial (butterfly weed, Asclepias tuberosa L.). These species are common associates in early successional longleaf pine savannahs throughout the southeastern USA and represent species that differ in life-form, growth habit, physiology, and symbiotic relationships. A combination of minirhizotrons and soil coring was used to examine temporal and spatial rooting dynamics from October 1998 to October 1999. CO(2)-enriched plots exhibited 35% higher standing root crop length, 37% greater root length production per day, and 47% greater root length mortality per day. These variables, however, were enhanced by CO(2) enrichment only at the 10-30 cm depth. Relative root turnover (flux/standing crop) was unchanged by elevated CO(2). Sixteen months after planting, root biomass of pine was 62% higher in elevated compared to ambient CO(2) plots. Conversely, the combined biomass of rattlebox, wiregrass, and butterfly weed was 28% greater in ambient compared to high CO(2) plots. There was no difference in root biomass of oaks after 16 months of exposure to elevated CO(2). Using root and shoot

  11. Low-Temperature Sensitization Behavior of Base, Heat-Affected Zone, and Weld Pool in AISI 304LN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Raghuvir; Das, Gautam; Singh, P. K.; Chattoraj, I.

    2009-05-01

    Present investigations were focused on low-temperature sensitization (LTS) behavior of 304LN stainless steels considered from pipes of two different thicknesses. The specimens for the present study were taken from solution-annealed pipes (of varying thicknesses) and welded pipes (including the heat-affected zone (HAZ)). The specimens were subjected to thermal aging at 400 °C and 450 °C for different durations ranging from 125 to 8000 hours, to evaluate their sensitization susceptibility. The aging durations were worked out to simulate the 30-to-100-year life of the studied stainless steel at 300 °C using the Arrheneous equation and considering the activation energy of 150 kJ/mol. The thermally aged specimens were characterized for their degree of sensitization (DOS) and susceptibility to intergranular corrosion (IGC) by double-loop (DL) electrochemical potentiokinetic reactivation (EPR) and by methods given in the ASTM A262 practices A and E. It has been clearly shown that the weld pool is more sensitive to IGC than are the base and the HAZ at both the aging temperatures (LTS), because they showed IGC cracks during the bending subsequent to the boiling in H2SO4-CuSO4 solution. Both the base and the HAZ of the thicker pipe material showed susceptibility to sensitization, as indicated by the increasing DOS and “dual-type” microstructure during electrolytic oxalic acid (EOA) etching; however, they were found safe from IGC for the studied sensitization times. The susceptibility to sensitization and IGC in the weld pool is related to the presence of copious delta ferrite with chromium diffusivity that is accelerated compared to the austenite phase. The time-temperature-sensitization (TTS) curves were prepared accordingly, based on these results.

  12. Thermo Sensitivity of Polysiloxane/Silica Nanocomposites Affected by the Structure of Polymer-Filler Interface.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qian; Zhou, Yufeng; Yu, Fengmei; Song, Lixian; Sun, Sumin; Lu, Zhongyuan; Lu, Ai

    2016-03-01

    In this work thermo sensitivity was investigated with the bound rubber theory and thermoelasticity theory of the polymer-filler interface interaction between Polymethylvinylsiloxane (PMVS) and nanofillers (fumed and precipitated silica with the primary particle size of 10 nanometres). Bound rubber (the transition phase between PMVS and silica) content was measured by sol-gel analysis and swelling experiments. Results showed that the amount of bound rubber increases steadily with the increases of filler content. But the increasing rate suddenly decreased at certain silica content (between 40 and 50 phr of precipitated silica and between 30 and 40 phr of fumed silica, respectively), which was constant with the thermoelaticity experiment results. The temperature coefficients in low strain uniaxial extension are found to present sudden changing at the same silica content. This observation shows that thermo sensitivity is closely connected with the structure of polymer-filler interface. PMID:27455698

  13. Charge and geometry of residues in the loop 2 β hairpin differentially affect agonist and ethanol sensitivity in glycine receptors.

    PubMed

    Perkins, Daya I; Trudell, James R; Asatryan, Liana; Davies, Daryl L; Alkana, Ronald L

    2012-05-01

    Recent studies highlighted the importance of loop 2 of α1 glycine receptors (GlyRs) in the propagation of ligand-binding energy to the channel gate. Mutations that changed polarity at position 52 in the β hairpin of loop 2 significantly affected sensitivity to ethanol. The present study extends the investigation to charged residues. We found that substituting alanine with the negative glutamate at position 52 (A52E) significantly left-shifted the glycine concentration response curve and increased sensitivity to ethanol, whereas the negative aspartate substitution (A52D) significantly right-shifted the glycine EC₅₀ but did not affect ethanol sensitivity. It is noteworthy that the uncharged glutamine at position 52 (A52Q) caused only a small right shift of the glycine EC₅₀ while increasing ethanol sensitivity as much as A52E. In contrast, the shorter uncharged asparagine (A52N) caused the greatest right shift of glycine EC₅₀ and reduced ethanol sensitivity to half of wild type. Collectively, these findings suggest that charge interactions determined by the specific geometry of the amino acid at position 52 (e.g., the 1-Å chain length difference between aspartate and glutamate) play differential roles in receptor sensitivity to agonist and ethanol. We interpret these results in terms of a new homology model of GlyR based on a prokaryotic ion channel and propose that these mutations form salt bridges to residues across the β hairpin (A52E-R59 and A52N-D57). We hypothesize that these electrostatic interactions distort loop 2, thereby changing agonist activation and ethanol modulation. This knowledge will help to define the key physical-chemical parameters that cause the actions of ethanol in GlyRs.

  14. Factors Affecting Sensitivity to Frequency Change in School-Age Children and Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buss, Emily; Taylor, Crystal N.; Leibold, Lori J.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: The factors affecting frequency discrimination in school-age children are poorly understood. The goal of the present study was to evaluate developmental effects related to memory for pitch and the utilization of temporal fine structure. Method: Listeners were 5.1- to 13.6-year-olds and adults, all with normal hearing. A subgroup of…

  15. Assessment of the sensitivity of radar backscatter to seasonal snow and vegetation thaw dynamics in a boreal ecosystem

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McDonald, K. C.; Qualls, B.; Hardy, J.

    2002-01-01

    We examine the sensitivity of ERS-1 C-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) backscatter to springtime snow and vegetation thaw dynamics for boreal forest stands within the BOREAS Southern Study Area (SSA) in Canada during the 1994 winter-spring thaw transition.

  16. Do high levels of diffuse and chronic metal pollution in sediments of Rhine and Meuse floodplains affect structure and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems?

    PubMed

    Rozema, Jelte; Notten, Martje J M; Aerts, Rien; van Gestel, Cornelis A M; Hobbelen, Peter H F; Hamers, Timo H M

    2008-12-01

    This paper (re)considers the question if chronic and diffuse heavy metal pollution (cadmium, copper, lead and zinc) affects the structure and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems of Biesbosch National Park, the floodplain area of rivers Meuse and Rhine. To reach this aim, we integrated the results of three projects on: 1. the origin, transfer and effects of heavy metals in a soil-plant-snail food chain; 2. the impact of bioavailability on effects of heavy metals on the structure and functioning of detritivorous communities; 3. the risk assessment of heavy metals for an herbivorous and a carnivorous small mammal food chain. Metal pollution levels of the Biesbosch floodplain soils are high. The bioavailability of metals in the soils is low, causing low metal levels in plant leaves. Despite this, metal concentrations in soil dwelling detritivores and in land snails at polluted locations are elevated in comparison to animals from 'non-polluted' reference sites. However, no adverse effects on ecosystem structure (species richness, density, biomass) and functioning (litter decomposition, leaf consumption, reproduction) have been found. Sediment metal pollution may pose a risk to the carnivorous small mammal food chain, in which earthworms with elevated metal concentrations are eaten by the common shrew. Additional measurements near an active metal smelter, however, show reduced leaf consumption rates and reduced reproduction by terrestrial snails, reflecting elevated metal bioavailability at this site. Since future management may also comprise reintroduction of tidal action in the Biesbosch area, changes in metal bioavailability, and as a consequence future ecosystem effects, cannot be excluded.

  17. Do high levels of diffuse and chronic metal pollution in sediments of Rhine and Meuse floodplains affect structure and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems?

    PubMed

    Rozema, Jelte; Notten, Martje J M; Aerts, Rien; van Gestel, Cornelis A M; Hobbelen, Peter H F; Hamers, Timo H M

    2008-12-01

    This paper (re)considers the question if chronic and diffuse heavy metal pollution (cadmium, copper, lead and zinc) affects the structure and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems of Biesbosch National Park, the floodplain area of rivers Meuse and Rhine. To reach this aim, we integrated the results of three projects on: 1. the origin, transfer and effects of heavy metals in a soil-plant-snail food chain; 2. the impact of bioavailability on effects of heavy metals on the structure and functioning of detritivorous communities; 3. the risk assessment of heavy metals for an herbivorous and a carnivorous small mammal food chain. Metal pollution levels of the Biesbosch floodplain soils are high. The bioavailability of metals in the soils is low, causing low metal levels in plant leaves. Despite this, metal concentrations in soil dwelling detritivores and in land snails at polluted locations are elevated in comparison to animals from 'non-polluted' reference sites. However, no adverse effects on ecosystem structure (species richness, density, biomass) and functioning (litter decomposition, leaf consumption, reproduction) have been found. Sediment metal pollution may pose a risk to the carnivorous small mammal food chain, in which earthworms with elevated metal concentrations are eaten by the common shrew. Additional measurements near an active metal smelter, however, show reduced leaf consumption rates and reduced reproduction by terrestrial snails, reflecting elevated metal bioavailability at this site. Since future management may also comprise reintroduction of tidal action in the Biesbosch area, changes in metal bioavailability, and as a consequence future ecosystem effects, cannot be excluded. PMID:18707753

  18. Temperature-sensitive albino gene TCD5, encoding a monooxygenase, affects chloroplast development at low temperatures

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yufeng; Zhang, Jianhui; Shi, Xiaoliang; Peng, Yu; Li, Ping; Lin, Dongzhi; Dong, Yanjun; Teng, Sheng

    2016-01-01

    Chloroplasts are essential for photosynthesis and play critical roles in plant development. In this study, we characterized the temperature-sensitive chlorophyll-deficient rice mutant tcd5, which develops albino leaves at low temperatures (20 °C) and normal green leaves at high temperatures (32 °C). The development of chloroplasts and etioplasts is impaired in tcd5 plants at 20 °C, and the temperature-sensitive period for the albino phenotype is the P4 stage of leaf development. The development of thylakoid membranes is arrested at the mid-P4 stage in tcd5 plants at 20 °C. We performed positional cloning of TCD5 and then complementation and knock-down experiments, and the results showed that the transcript LOC_Os05g34040.1 from the LOC_Os05g34040 gene corresponded to the tcd5 phenotype. TCD5 encodes a conserved plastid-targeted monooxygenase family protein which has not been previously reported associated with a temperature-sensitive albino phenotype in plants. TCD5 is abundantly expressed in young leaves and immature spikes, and low temperatures increased this expression. The transcription of some genes involved in plastid transcription/translation and photosynthesis varied in the tcd5 mutant. Although the phenotype and temperature dependence of the TCD5 orthologous mutant phenotype were different in rice and Arabidopsis, OsTCD5 could rescue the phenotype of the Arabidopsis mutant, suggesting that TCD5 function is conserved between monocots and dicots. PMID:27531886

  19. Arm dominance affects feedforward strategy more than feedback sensitivity during a postural task.

    PubMed

    Walker, Elise H E; Perreault, Eric J

    2015-07-01

    Handedness is a feature of human motor control that is still not fully understood. Recent work has demonstrated that the dominant and nondominant arm each excel at different behaviors and has proposed that this behavioral asymmetry arises from lateralization in the cerebral cortex: the dominant side specializes in predictive trajectory control, while the nondominant side is specialized for impedance control. Long-latency stretch reflexes are an automatic mechanism for regulating posture and have been shown to contribute to limb impedance. To determine whether long-latency reflexes also contribute to asymmetric motor behavior in the upper limbs, we investigated the effect of arm dominance on stretch reflexes during a postural task that required varying degrees of impedance control. Our results demonstrated slightly but significantly larger reflex responses in the biarticular muscles of the nondominant arm, as would be consistent with increased impedance control. These differences were attributed solely to higher levels of voluntary background activity in the nondominant biarticular muscles, indicating that feedforward strategies for postural stability may differ between arms. Reflex sensitivity, which was defined as the magnitude of the reflex response for matched levels of background activity, was not significantly different between arms for a broad subject population ranging from 23 to 51 years of age. These results indicate that inter-arm differences in feedforward strategies are more influential during posture than differences in feedback sensitivity, in a broad subject population. Interestingly, restricting our analysis to subjects under 40 years of age revealed a small increase in long-latency reflex sensitivity in the nondominant arm relative to the dominant arm. Though our subject numbers were small for this secondary analysis, it suggests that further studies may be required to assess the influence of reflex lateralization throughout development.

  20. Arm Dominance Affects Feedforward Strategy more than Feedback Sensitivity during a Postural Task

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Elise H. E.; Perreault, Eric J.

    2015-01-01

    Handedness is a feature of human motor control that is still not fully understood. Recent work has demonstrated that the dominant and nondominant arm each excel at different behaviors, and has proposed that this behavioral asymmetry arises from lateralization in the cerebral cortex: the dominant side specializes in predictive trajectory control, while the nondominant side is specialized for impedance control. Long-latency stretch reflexes are an automatic mechanism for regulating posture, and have been shown to contribute to limb impedance. To determine whether long-latency reflexes also contribute to asymmetric motor behavior in the upper limbs, we investigated the effect of arm dominance on stretch reflexes during a postural task that required varying degrees of impedance control. Our results demonstrated slightly but significantly larger reflex responses in the biarticular muscles of the nondominant arm, as would be consistent with increased impedance control. These differences were attributed solely to higher levels of voluntary background activity in the nondominant biarticular muscles, indicating that feedforward strategies for postural stability may differ between arms. Reflex sensitivity, which was defined as the magnitude of the reflex response for matched levels of background activity, was not significantly different between arms for a broad subject population ranging from 23–51 years of age. These results indicate that inter-arm differences in feedforward strategies are more influential during posture than differences in feedback sensitivity, in a broad subject population. Interestingly, restricting our analysis to subjects under 40 years of age revealed a small increase in long-latency reflex sensitivity in the nondominant arm relative to the dominant arm. Though our subject numbers were small for this secondary analysis, it suggests that further studies may be required to assess the influence of reflex lateralization throughout development. PMID

  1. Temperature-sensitive albino gene TCD5, encoding a monooxygenase, affects chloroplast development at low temperatures.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yufeng; Zhang, Jianhui; Shi, Xiaoliang; Peng, Yu; Li, Ping; Lin, Dongzhi; Dong, Yanjun; Teng, Sheng

    2016-09-01

    Chloroplasts are essential for photosynthesis and play critical roles in plant development. In this study, we characterized the temperature-sensitive chlorophyll-deficient rice mutant tcd5, which develops albino leaves at low temperatures (20 °C) and normal green leaves at high temperatures (32 °C). The development of chloroplasts and etioplasts is impaired in tcd5 plants at 20 °C, and the temperature-sensitive period for the albino phenotype is the P4 stage of leaf development. The development of thylakoid membranes is arrested at the mid-P4 stage in tcd5 plants at 20 °C. We performed positional cloning of TCD5 and then complementation and knock-down experiments, and the results showed that the transcript LOC_Os05g34040.1 from the LOC_Os05g34040 gene corresponded to the tcd5 phenotype. TCD5 encodes a conserved plastid-targeted monooxygenase family protein which has not been previously reported associated with a temperature-sensitive albino phenotype in plants. TCD5 is abundantly expressed in young leaves and immature spikes, and low temperatures increased this expression. The transcription of some genes involved in plastid transcription/translation and photosynthesis varied in the tcd5 mutant. Although the phenotype and temperature dependence of the TCD5 orthologous mutant phenotype were different in rice and Arabidopsis, OsTCD5 could rescue the phenotype of the Arabidopsis mutant, suggesting that TCD5 function is conserved between monocots and dicots. PMID:27531886

  2. How racial/ethnic bullying affects rejection sensitivity: the role of social dominance orientation.

    PubMed

    Wu, Ivan H C; Lyons, Brent; Leong, Frederick T L

    2015-01-01

    The authors built upon models of workplace bullying to examine how racial/ethnic bullying can lead to racial/ethnic minorities' sensitivity to future discrimination via its effects on race/ethnic-related stress. With a sample of racial/ethnic minorities, they found support for this process. Individual differences in social dominance orientation (SDO) also attenuated the mediation: The indirect effect of race/ethnic-related stress was weaker for minorities who endorse hierarchy legitimizing ideologies (high in SDO) compared to minorities low in SDO. Practical implications for the management of minority employees' experiences of discrimination are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved). PMID:25313428

  3. Using global sensitivity analysis to understand higher order interactions in complex models: an application of GSA on the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) to quantify model sensitivity and implications for ecosystem services management in Costa Rica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fremier, A. K.; Estrada Carmona, N.; Harper, E.; DeClerck, F.

    2011-12-01

    Appropriate application of complex models to estimate system behavior requires understanding the influence of model structure and parameter estimates on model output. To date, most researchers perform local sensitivity analyses, rather than global, because of computational time and quantity of data produced. Local sensitivity analyses are limited in quantifying the higher order interactions among parameters, which could lead to incomplete analysis of model behavior. To address this concern, we performed a GSA on a commonly applied equation for soil loss - the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation. USLE is an empirical model built on plot-scale data from the USA and the Revised version (RUSLE) includes improved equations for wider conditions, with 25 parameters grouped into six factors to estimate long-term plot and watershed scale soil loss. Despite RUSLE's widespread application, a complete sensitivity analysis has yet to be performed. In this research, we applied a GSA to plot and watershed scale data from the US and Costa Rica to parameterize the RUSLE in an effort to understand the relative importance of model factors and parameters across wide environmental space. We analyzed the GSA results using Random Forest, a statistical approach to evaluate parameter importance accounting for the higher order interactions, and used Classification and Regression Trees to show the dominant trends in complex interactions. In all GSA calculations the management of cover crops (C factor) ranks the highest among factors (compared to rain-runoff erosivity, topography, support practices, and soil erodibility). This is counter to previous sensitivity analyses where the topographic factor was determined to be the most important. The GSA finding is consistent across multiple model runs, including data from the US, Costa Rica, and a synthetic dataset of the widest theoretical space. The three most important parameters were: Mass density of live and dead roots found in the upper inch

  4. Central gray modulation of affective defense is differentially sensitive to naloxone.

    PubMed

    Pott, C B; Kramer, S Z; Siegel, A

    1987-01-01

    Specific areas of feline central gray (CG) modulate affective aggression elicited by hypothalamic stimulation and produce analgesia, possibly mediated by enkephalins. Despite correlations between opiates and aggressive behavior suggested previously, their relationship has not been clearly demonstrated. The goal of this study was to examine the possible role of endogenous opiate mechanisms in CG modulation of affective aggression. Electrodes were placed in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VM) which, when stimulated, elicited affective attack. Control latency to VM-elicited hiss was established. CG cannula-electrodes were then implanted. Response modulation was determined by dual stimulation of CG and VM electrodes, alternated with VM stimulation alone. Naloxone was introduced through the CG electrodes and VM-elicited hiss latency was again determined, followed by paired trials of dual and single stimulation. Six ventral facilitatory and eight dorsal inhibitory sites were identified. Naloxone had no effect on CG facilitation but completely blocked CG inhibition of VM-elicited hissing. In support of these findings, it was observed that D-A1A2-MET5-enkephalin injected directly into CG-inhibitory sites suppressed VM-elicited hissing. These results demonstrate that opiate mechanisms are operative in the inhibitory modulation of intra-specific aggression. PMID:3628530

  5. Change in activity of serine palmitoyltransferase affects sensitivity to syringomycin E in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Toume, Moeko; Tani, Motohiro

    2014-09-01

    Syringomycin E is a cyclic lipodepsipeptide produced by strains of the plant bacterium Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae. Genetic studies involving the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae have revealed that complex sphingolipids play important roles in the action of syringomycin E. Here, we found a novel mutation that confers resistance to syringomycin E on yeast; that is, a deletion mutant of ORM1 and ORM2, which encode negative regulators of serine palmitoyltransferase catalyzing the initial step of sphingolipid biosynthesis, exhibited resistance to syringomycin E. On the contrary, overexpression of Orm2 resulted in high sensitivity to the toxin. Moreover, overexpression of Lcb1 and Lcb2, catalytic subunits of serine palmitoyltransferase, causes resistance to the toxin, whereas partial repression of expression of Lcb1 had the opposite effect. Partial reduction of complex sphingolipids by repression of expression of Aur1, an inositol phosphorylceramide synthase, also resulted in high sensitivity to the toxin. These results suggested that an increase in sphingolipid biosynthesis caused by a change in the activity of serine palmitoyltransferase causes resistance to syringomycin E.

  6. Genome-wide functional screen identifies a compendium of genes affecting sensitivity to tamoxifen

    PubMed Central

    Mendes-Pereira, Ana M.; Sims, David; Dexter, Tim; Fenwick, Kerry; Assiotis, Ioannis; Kozarewa, Iwanka; Mitsopoulos, Costas; Hakas, Jarle; Zvelebil, Marketa; Lord, Christopher J.; Ashworth, Alan

    2012-01-01

    Therapies that target estrogen signaling have made a very considerable contribution to reducing mortality from breast cancer. However, resistance to tamoxifen remains a major clinical problem. Here we have used a genome-wide functional profiling approach to identify multiple genes that confer resistance or sensitivity to tamoxifen. Combining whole-genome shRNA screening with massively parallel sequencing, we have profiled the impact of more than 56,670 RNA interference reagents targeting 16,487 genes on the cellular response to tamoxifen. This screen, along with subsequent validation experiments, identifies a compendium of genes whose silencing causes tamoxifen resistance (including BAP1, CLPP, GPRC5D, NAE1, NF1, NIPBL, NSD1, RAD21, RARG, SMC3, and UBA3) and also a set of genes whose silencing causes sensitivity to this endocrine agent (C10orf72, C15orf55/NUT, EDF1, ING5, KRAS, NOC3L, PPP1R15B, RRAS2, TMPRSS2, and TPM4). Multiple individual genes, including NF1, a regulator of RAS signaling, also correlate with clinical outcome after tamoxifen treatment. PMID:21482774

  7. Nonassociative learning processes affecting swimming probability in the seaslug Tritonia diomedea: habituation, sensitization and inhibition.

    PubMed

    Brown, G D

    1998-10-01

    The role of nonassociative learning processes in determining whether or not a chemical stimulus will elicit the Tritonia diomedea swimming response was examined in a variety of conditioning experiments. Iterative presentation of a chemical stimulus resulted in a reduced swimming probability (SP). By the criteria of Thompson and Spencer (Thompson RF, Spencer WA. Psychol. Rev. 1966;73:16-43) and others, this iterative reduction of SP was concluded to be the result of habituation. Site-specificity and a below zero effect implicated sensory pathways in habituation memory storage. The iterative reduction in SP was reversible, confirming that a sensitization-like process can also influence SP. It was further concluded that a short-term decrement in swimming cycle number was most likely due to a constraint in the effector pathway. Experience with a tactile stimulus had a long-lasting decremental effect on SP. This heterostimic reduction of SP was amplified in a multistimic paradigm that included both chemical and tactile stimuli during training. The chemical stimuli alone did not alter SP in this experiment. Multistimic reduction lasted for a week and was reversed temporarily by an excitatory chemical stimulus. The long-lasting reduction of SP by tactile stimulation appears to be the result of a novel nonassociative inhibitory process, which was distinguished from other learning processes by its duration and specificity. A total of three distinct learning processes are postulated to account for the role of simple types of experience in determining SP in Tritonia: habituation, sensitization, and nonassociative inhibition.

  8. Head Position in the MEG Helmet Affects the Sensitivity to Anterior Sources

    PubMed Central

    Marinkovic, K; Cox, B; Reid, K; Halgren, E

    2013-01-01

    Current MEG instruments derive the whole-head coverage by utilizing a helmet-shaped opening at the bottom of the dewar. These helmets, however, are quite a bit larger than most people’s heads so subjects commonly lean against the back wall of the helmet in order to maintain a steady position. In such cases the anterior brain sources may be too distant to be picked up by the sensors reliably. Potential “invisibility” of the frontal and anterior temporal sources may be particularly troublesome for the studies of cognition and language, as they are subserved significantly by these areas. We examined the sensitivity of the distributed anatomically-constrained MEG (aMEG) approach to the head position (“front” vs. “back”) secured within a helmet with custom-tailored bite-bars during a lexical decision task. The anterior head position indeed resulted in much greater sensitivity to language-related activity in frontal and anterior temporal locations. These results emphasize the need to adjust the head position in the helmet in order to maximize the “visibility” of the sources in the anterior brain regions in cognitive and language tasks. PMID:16012659

  9. Climate sensitivity runs and regional hydrologic modeling for predicting the response of the greater Florida Everglades ecosystem to climate change.

    PubMed

    Obeysekera, Jayantha; Barnes, Jenifer; Nungesser, Martha

    2015-04-01

    It is important to understand the vulnerability of the water management system in south Florida and to determine the resilience and robustness of greater Everglades restoration plans under future climate change. The current climate models, at both global and regional scales, are not ready to deliver specific climatic datasets for water resources investigations involving future plans and therefore a scenario based approach was adopted for this first study in restoration planning. We focused on the general implications of potential changes in future temperature and associated changes in evapotranspiration, precipitation, and sea levels at the regional boundary. From these, we developed a set of six climate and sea level scenarios, used them to simulate the hydrologic response of the greater Everglades region including agricultural, urban, and natural areas, and compared the results to those from a base run of current conditions. The scenarios included a 1.5 °C increase in temperature, ±10 % change in precipitation, and a 0.46 m (1.5 feet) increase in sea level for the 50-year planning horizon. The results suggested that, depending on the rainfall and temperature scenario, there would be significant changes in water budgets, ecosystem performance, and in water supply demands met. The increased sea level scenarios also show that the ground water levels would increase significantly with associated implications for flood protection in the urbanized areas of southeastern Florida.

  10. Long-Term Occupational Exposure to Organic Solvents Affects Color Vision, Contrast Sensitivity and Visual Fields

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Thiago Leiros; Barboni, Mirella Telles Salgueiro; Moura, Ana Laura de Araújo; Bonci, Daniela Maria Oliveira; Gualtieri, Mirella; de Lima Silveira, Luiz Carlos; Ventura, Dora Fix

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the visual outcome of chronic occupational exposure to a mixture of organic solvents by measuring color discrimination, achromatic contrast sensitivity and visual fields in a group of gas station workers. We tested 25 workers (20 males) and 25 controls with no history of chronic exposure to solvents (10 males). All participants had normal ophthalmologic exams. Subjects had worked in gas stations on an average of 9.6±6.2 years. Color vision was evaluated with the Lanthony D15d and Cambridge Colour Test (CCT). Visual field assessment consisted of white-on-white 24–2 automatic perimetry (Humphrey II-750i). Contrast sensitivity was measured for sinusoidal gratings of 0.2, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 5.0, 10.0 and 20.0 cycles per degree (cpd). Results from both groups were compared using the Mann–Whitney U test. The number of errors in the D15d was higher for workers relative to controls (p<0.01). Their CCT color discrimination thresholds were elevated compared to the control group along the protan, deutan and tritan confusion axes (p<0.01), and their ellipse area and ellipticity were higher (p<0.01). Genetic analysis of subjects with very elevated color discrimination thresholds excluded congenital causes for the visual losses. Automated perimetry thresholds showed elevation in the 9°, 15° and 21° of eccentricity (p<0.01) and in MD and PSD indexes (p<0.01). Contrast sensitivity losses were found for all spatial frequencies measured (p<0.01) except for 0.5 cpd. Significant correlation was found between previous working years and deutan axis thresholds (rho = 0.59; p<0.05), indexes of the Lanthony D15d (rho = 0.52; p<0.05), perimetry results in the fovea (rho = −0.51; p<0.05) and at 3, 9 and 15 degrees of eccentricity (rho = −0.46; p<0.05). Extensive and diffuse visual changes were found, suggesting that specific occupational limits should be created. PMID:22916187

  11. The interaction of early life experiences with COMT val158met affects anxiety sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Baumann, C; Klauke, B; Weber, H; Domschke, K; Zwanzger, P; Pauli, P; Deckert, J; Reif, A

    2013-11-01

    The pathogenesis of anxiety disorders is considered to be multifactorial with a complex interaction of genetic factors and individual environmental factors. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine gene-by-environment interactions of the genes coding for catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) with life events on measures related to anxiety. A sample of healthy subjects (N = 782; thereof 531 women; mean age M = 24.79, SD = 6.02) was genotyped for COMT rs4680 and MAOA-uVNTR (upstream variable number of tandem repeats), and was assessed for childhood adversities [Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ)], anxiety sensitivity [Anxiety Sensitivity Index (ASI)] and anxious apprehension [Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ)]. Main and interaction effects of genotype, environment and gender on measures related to anxiety were assessed by means of regression analyses. Association analysis showed no main gene effect on either questionnaire score. A significant interactive effect of childhood adversities and COMT genotype was observed: Homozygosity for the low-active met allele and high CTQ scores was associated with a significant increment of explained ASI variance [R(2) = 0.040, false discovery rate (FDR) corrected P = 0.04]. A borderline interactive effect with respect to MAOA-uVNTR was restricted to the male subgroup. Carriers of the low-active MAOA allele who reported more aversive experiences in childhood exhibited a trend for enhanced anxious apprehension (R(2) = 0.077, FDR corrected P = 0.10). Early aversive life experiences therefore might increase the vulnerability to anxiety disorders in the presence of homozygosity for the COMT 158met allele or low-active MAOA-uVNTR alleles. PMID:24118915

  12. The interaction of early life experiences with COMT val158met affects anxiety sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Baumann, C; Klauke, B; Weber, H; Domschke, K; Zwanzger, P; Pauli, P; Deckert, J; Reif, A

    2013-11-01

    The pathogenesis of anxiety disorders is considered to be multifactorial with a complex interaction of genetic factors and individual environmental factors. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine gene-by-environment interactions of the genes coding for catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) with life events on measures related to anxiety. A sample of healthy subjects (N = 782; thereof 531 women; mean age M = 24.79, SD = 6.02) was genotyped for COMT rs4680 and MAOA-uVNTR (upstream variable number of tandem repeats), and was assessed for childhood adversities [Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ)], anxiety sensitivity [Anxiety Sensitivity Index (ASI)] and anxious apprehension [Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ)]. Main and interaction effects of genotype, environment and gender on measures related to anxiety were assessed by means of regression analyses. Association analysis showed no main gene effect on either questionnaire score. A significant interactive effect of childhood adversities and COMT genotype was observed: Homozygosity for the low-active met allele and high CTQ scores was associated with a significant increment of explained ASI variance [R(2) = 0.040, false discovery rate (FDR) corrected P = 0.04]. A borderline interactive effect with respect to MAOA-uVNTR was restricted to the male subgroup. Carriers of the low-active MAOA allele who reported more aversive experiences in childhood exhibited a trend for enhanced anxious apprehension (R(2) = 0.077, FDR corrected P = 0.10). Early aversive life experiences therefore might increase the vulnerability to anxiety disorders in the presence of homozygosity for the COMT 158met allele or low-active MAOA-uVNTR alleles.

  13. I Feel You: The Design and Evaluation of a Domotic Affect-Sensitive Spoken Conversational Agent

    PubMed Central

    Lutfi, Syaheerah Lebai; Fernández-Martínez, Fernando; Lorenzo-Trueba, Jaime; Barra-Chicote, Roberto; Montero, Juan Manuel

    2013-01-01

    We describe the work on infusion of emotion into a limited-task autonomous spoken conversational agent situated in the domestic environment, using a need-inspired task-independent emotion model (NEMO). In order to demonstrate the generation of affect through the use of the model, we describe the work of integrating it with a natural-language mixed-initiative HiFi-control spoken conversational agent (SCA). NEMO and the host system communicate externally, removing the need for the Dialog Manager to be modified, as is done in most existing dialog systems, in order to be adaptive. The first part of the paper concerns the integration between NEMO and the host agent. The second part summarizes the work on automatic affect prediction, namely, frustration and contentment, from dialog features, a non-conventional source, in the attempt of moving towards a more user-centric approach. The final part reports the evaluation results obtained from a user study, in which both versions of the agent (non-adaptive and emotionally-adaptive) were compared. The results provide substantial evidences with respect to the benefits of adding emotion in a spoken conversational agent, especially in mitigating users' frustrations and, ultimately, improving their satisfaction. PMID:23945740

  14. I feel you: the design and evaluation of a domotic affect-sensitive spoken conversational agent.

    PubMed

    Lutfi, Syaheerah Lebai; Fernández-Martínez, Fernando; Lorenzo-Trueba, Jaime; Barra-Chicote, Roberto; Montero, Juan Manuel

    2013-01-01

    We describe the work on infusion of emotion into a limited-task autonomous spoken conversational agent situated in the domestic environment, using a need-inspired task-independent emotion model (NEMO). In order to demonstrate the generation of affect through the use of the model, we describe the work of integrating it with a natural-language mixed-initiative HiFi-control spoken conversational agent (SCA). NEMO and the host system communicate externally, removing the need for the Dialog Manager to be modified, as is done in most existing dialog systems, in order to be adaptive. The first part of the paper concerns the integration between NEMO and the host agent. The second part summarizes the work on automatic affect prediction, namely, frustration and contentment, from dialog features, a non-conventional source, in the attempt of moving towards a more user-centric approach. The final part reports the evaluation results obtained from a user study, in which both versions of the agent (non-adaptive and emotionally-adaptive) were compared. The results provide substantial evidences with respect to the benefits of adding emotion in a spoken conversational agent, especially in mitigating users' frustrations and, ultimately, improving their satisfaction. PMID:23945740

  15. I feel you: the design and evaluation of a domotic affect-sensitive spoken conversational agent.

    PubMed

    Lutfi, Syaheerah Lebai; Fernández-Martínez, Fernando; Lorenzo-Trueba, Jaime; Barra-Chicote, Roberto; Montero, Juan Manuel

    2013-08-13

    We describe the work on infusion of emotion into a limited-task autonomous spoken conversational agent situated in the domestic environment, using a need-inspired task-independent emotion model (NEMO). In order to demonstrate the generation of affect through the use of the model, we describe the work of integrating it with a natural-language mixed-initiative HiFi-control spoken conversational agent (SCA). NEMO and the host system communicate externally, removing the need for the Dialog Manager to be modified, as is done in most existing dialog systems, in order to be adaptive. The first part of the paper concerns the integration between NEMO and the host agent. The second part summarizes the work on automatic affect prediction, namely, frustration and contentment, from dialog features, a non-conventional source, in the attempt of moving towards a more user-centric approach. The final part reports the evaluation results obtained from a user study, in which both versions of the agent (non-adaptive and emotionally-adaptive) were compared. The results provide substantial evidences with respect to the benefits of adding emotion in a spoken conversational agent, especially in mitigating users' frustrations and, ultimately, improving their satisfaction.

  16. Assessing the impact of historical coastal landfill sites on sensitive ecosystems: A case study from Dorset, Southern England

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Njue, C. N.; Cundy, A. B.; Smith, M.; Green, I. D.; Tomlinson, N.

    2012-12-01

    Uncontrolled landfill disposal can cause the release of significant contamination. In Southern England and in other parts of the UK, historical landfills are located along many coastal and estuarine marshes and mudflats. At these sites waste, often significantly contaminated with heavy metals and other contaminants, was dumped with little engineering control and without regard to the surrounding environment. The aim of this study is to investigate the degree to which heavy metals from these historical sites may have contaminated adjacent marshes and mudflats, using the Lodmoor marsh, Dorset, UK as a test site. Surface and sediment core samples were collected from brackish marsh and mudflat areas around the former landfill at Lodmoor, which was operational between 1949 and 1990. Sediment samples were investigated for metallic pollutants, grain size, and mineralogy, and core samples dated via 137Cs and 210Pb. To examine the transfer of heavy metals through the food chain, Phragmites australis leaves were analysed for metallic pollutants. Geochemical data revealed that sediments from the Lodmoor marsh are probably contaminated with Pb. 137Cs dating indicates that concentration maxima for heavy metals correlate to the 1950s and 1960s when landfill activities commenced in Lodmoor. Shallow electromagnetic surveys indicate potential continued leaching from the historic landfill complex. This study indicates the potential for possible landfill-derived contaminants to persist in coastal systems for decades after landfill closure. Over the longer term, it is possible that salinisation and enhanced coastal erosion may cause significant metal release from the landfills and their surrounding sedimentary systems into adjacent ecosystems.

  17. Redox signal-mediated sensitization of transient receptor potential melastatin 2 (TRPM2) to temperature affects macrophage functions.

    PubMed

    Kashio, Makiko; Sokabe, Takaaki; Shintaku, Kenji; Uematsu, Takayuki; Fukuta, Naomi; Kobayashi, Noritada; Mori, Yasuo; Tominaga, Makoto

    2012-04-24

    The ability to sense temperature is essential for organism survival and efficient metabolism. Body temperatures profoundly affect many physiological functions, including immunity. Transient receptor potential melastatin 2 (TRPM2) is a thermosensitive, Ca(2+)-permeable cation channel expressed in a wide range of immunocytes. TRPM2 is activated by adenosine diphosphate ribose and hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)), although the activation mechanism by H(2)O(2) is not well understood. Here we report a unique activation mechanism in which H(2)O(2) lowers the temperature threshold for TRPM2 activation, termed "sensitization," through Met oxidation and adenosine diphosphate ribose production. This sensitization is completely abolished by a single mutation at Met-214, indicating that the temperature threshold of TRPM2 activation is regulated by redox signals that enable channel activity at physiological body temperatures. Loss of TRPM2 attenuates zymosan-evoked macrophage functions, including cytokine release and fever-enhanced phagocytic activity. These findings suggest that redox signals sensitize TRPM2 downstream of NADPH oxidase activity and make TRPM2 active at physiological body temperature, leading to increased cytosolic Ca(2+) concentrations. Our results suggest that TRPM2 sensitization plays important roles in macrophage functions.

  18. Mutants with Altered Sensitivity to a Calmodulin Antagonist Affect the Circadian Clock in Neurospora Crassa

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, S.; Katagiri, S.; Nakashima, H.

    1996-01-01

    Two newly isolated mutant strains of Neurospora crassa, cpz-1 and cpz-2, were hypersensitive to chlorpromazine with respect to mycelial growth but responded differently to the drug with respect to the circadian conidiation rhythm. In the wild type, chlorpromazine caused shortening of the period length of the conidiation rhythm. Pulse treatment with the drug shifted the phase and inhibited light-induced phase shifting in Neurospora. By contrast to the wild type, the cpz-2 strain was resistant to these inhibitory effects of chlorpromazine. Inhibition of cpz-2 function by chlorpromazine affected three different parameters of circadian conidiation rhythm, namely, period length, phase and light-induced phase shifting. These results indicate that the cpz-2 gene must be involved in or related closely to the clock mechanism of Neurospora. By contrast, the cpz-1 strain was hypersensitive to chlorpromazine with respect to the circadian conidiation rhythm. PMID:8807291

  19. 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.

  20. Comparison of the sensitivity of electrophoresis and ecological indices for the detection of environmental stress in aquatic ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Facemire, C.F.

    1989-01-01

    Selected enzyme systems from a number of aquatic vertebrate and invertebrate species found in three southwestern Ohio Streams were analyzed using electrophoretic techniques. Results were compared with those obtained using various community parameters to determine which method (1) was most sensitive to Pollutant stress, (2) provided the most consistent results when applied to the communities and populations found in the three streams, (3) had the best capability for providing a continuous assessment given a wide range of pollutant stress, (4) was least dependent upon sample size, (5) was most easily calculated, (6) was most able to differentiate between pollutant induced changes and those due to natural cyclic or stochastic ones, and, (7) was most ecologically relevant. Species richness, S, four species diversity indices, the Index of Biotic Integrity, and three community similarity indices were compared to one another and to various genetic measures including allele and genotype frequency data, percent heterozygosity, and Rogers' genetic similarity. In most cases, data from the ecological indices (1) were not correlated with water quality, (2) provided differing interpretations dependent upon the taxa used in the analyses, (3) were unable to discriminate between instream communities, and (4) were often influenced by factors unrelated to contaminant stress including sample size, habitat heterogeneity, season, the life cycle of a dominant species, and the taxonomic group evaluated. Electrophoretic analysis exhibited greater sensitivity to changes in water quality and, in most cases, a high degree of inter-population discriminatory ability.

  1. Sensitivity to hepatotoxicity due to epigallocatechin gallate is affected by genetic background in diversity outbred mice

    PubMed Central

    Church, Rachel J.; Gatti, Daniel M.; Urban, Thomas J.; Long, Nanye; Yang, Xi; Shi, Qiang; Eaddy, J. Scott; Mosedale, Merrie; Ballard, Shawn; Churchill, Gary A.; Navarro, Victor; Watkins, Paul B.; Threadgill, David W.; Harrill, Alison H.

    2014-01-01

    Consumer use of herbal and dietary supplements has recently grown in the United States and, with increased use, reports of rare adverse reactions have emerged. One such supplement is green tea extract, containing the polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has been shown to be hepatotoxic at high doses in animal models. The Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network has identified multiple patients who have experienced liver injury ascribed to green tea extract consumption and the relationship to dose has not been straightforward, indicating that differences in sensitivity may contribute to the adverse response in susceptible people. The Diversity Outbred (DO), a genetically heterogeneous mouse population, provides a potential platform for study of interindividual toxicity responses to green tea extract. Within the DO population, an equal exposure to EGCG (50 mg/kg; daily for three days) was found to be tolerated in the majority of mice; however, a small fraction of the animals (16%; 43/272) exhibited severe hepatotoxicity (10–86.8% liver necrosis) that is analogous to the clinical cases. The data indicate that the DO mice may provide a platform for informing risk of rare, adverse reactions that may occur in consumer populations upon ingestion of concentrated herbal products. PMID:25446466

  2. Timing and presence of an attachment person affect sensitivity of aggression tests in shelter dogs.

    PubMed

    Kis, A; Klausz, B; Persa, E; Miklósi, Á; Gácsi, M

    2014-02-22

    Different test series have been developed and used to measure behaviour in shelter dogs in order to reveal individuals not suitable for re-homing due to their aggressive tendencies. However, behavioural tests previously validated on pet dogs seem to have relatively low predictability in the case of shelter dogs. Here, we investigate the potential effects of (1) timing of the behaviour testing and (2) presence of a human companion on dogs' aggressive behaviour. In Study I, shelter dogs (n=25) showed more aggression when tested in a short test series two weeks after they had been placed in the shelter compared to their responses in the same test performed 1-2 days after arrival. In Study II, the occurrence of aggressive behaviour was more probable in pet dogs (n=50) in the presence than in the absence of their passive owner. We conclude that the sensitivity of aggression tests for shelter dogs can be increased by running the test in the presence of a caretaker, and after some period of acclimatisation to the new environment. This methodology could also provide better chances for successful adoption.

  3. Impairment of vesicular ATP release affects glucose metabolism and increases insulin sensitivity

    PubMed Central

    Sakamoto, Shohei; Miyaji, Takaaki; Hiasa, Miki; Ichikawa, Reiko; Uematsu, Akira; Iwatsuki, Ken; Shibata, Atsushi; Uneyama, Hisayuki; Takayanagi, Ryoichi; Yamamoto, Akitsugu; Omote, Hiroshi; Nomura, Masatoshi; Moriyama, Yoshinori

    2014-01-01

    Neuroendocrine cells store ATP in secretory granules and release it along with hormones that may trigger a variety of cellular responses in a process called purinergic chemical transmission. Although the vesicular nucleotide transporter (VNUT) has been shown to be involved in vesicular storage and release of ATP, its physiological relevance in vivo is far less well understood. In Vnut knockout (Vnut−/−) mice, we found that the loss of functional VNUT in adrenal chromaffin granules and insulin granules in the islets of Langerhans led to several significant effects. Vesicular ATP accumulation and depolarization-dependent ATP release were absent in the chromaffin granules of Vnut−/− mice. Glucose-responsive ATP release was also absent in pancreatic β-cells in Vnut−/− mice, while glucose-responsive insulin secretion was enhanced to a greater extent than that in wild-type tissue. Vnut−/− mice exhibited improved glucose tolerance and low blood glucose upon fasting due to increased insulin sensitivity. These results demonstrated an essential role of VNUT in vesicular storage and release of ATP in neuroendocrine cells in vivo and suggest that vesicular ATP and/or its degradation products act as feedback regulators in catecholamine and insulin secretion, thereby regulating blood glucose homeostasis. PMID:25331291

  4. Timing and presence of an attachment person affect sensitivity of aggression tests in shelter dogs.

    PubMed

    Kis, A; Klausz, B; Persa, E; Miklósi, Á; Gácsi, M

    2014-02-22

    Different test series have been developed and used to measure behaviour in shelter dogs in order to reveal individuals not suitable for re-homing due to their aggressive tendencies. However, behavioural tests previously validated on pet dogs seem to have relatively low predictability in the case of shelter dogs. Here, we investigate the potential effects of (1) timing of the behaviour testing and (2) presence of a human companion on dogs' aggressive behaviour. In Study I, shelter dogs (n=25) showed more aggression when tested in a short test series two weeks after they had been placed in the shelter compared to their responses in the same test performed 1-2 days after arrival. In Study II, the occurrence of aggressive behaviour was more probable in pet dogs (n=50) in the presence than in the absence of their passive owner. We conclude that the sensitivity of aggression tests for shelter dogs can be increased by running the test in the presence of a caretaker, and after some period of acclimatisation to the new environment. This methodology could also provide better chances for successful adoption. PMID:24482210

  5. Impairment of vesicular ATP release affects glucose metabolism and increases insulin sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Sakamoto, Shohei; Miyaji, Takaaki; Hiasa, Miki; Ichikawa, Reiko; Uematsu, Akira; Iwatsuki, Ken; Shibata, Atsushi; Uneyama, Hisayuki; Takayanagi, Ryoichi; Yamamoto, Akitsugu; Omote, Hiroshi; Nomura, Masatoshi; Moriyama, Yoshinori

    2014-10-21

    Neuroendocrine cells store ATP in secretory granules and release it along with hormones that may trigger a variety of cellular responses in a process called purinergic chemical transmission. Although the vesicular nucleotide transporter (VNUT) has been shown to be involved in vesicular storage and release of ATP, its physiological relevance in vivo is far less well understood. In Vnut knockout (Vnut(-/-)) mice, we found that the loss of functional VNUT in adrenal chromaffin granules and insulin granules in the islets of Langerhans led to several significant effects. Vesicular ATP accumulation and depolarization-dependent ATP release were absent in the chromaffin granules of Vnut(-/-) mice. Glucose-responsive ATP release was also absent in pancreatic β-cells in Vnut(-/-) mice, while glucose-responsive insulin secretion was enhanced to a greater extent than that in wild-type tissue. Vnut(-/-) mice exhibited improved glucose tolerance and low blood glucose upon fasting due to increased insulin sensitivity. These results demonstrated an essential role of VNUT in vesicular storage and release of ATP in neuroendocrine cells in vivo and suggest that vesicular ATP and/or its degradation products act as feedback regulators in catecholamine and insulin secretion, thereby regulating blood glucose homeostasis.

  6. Exploring the sensitivity of soil carbon dynamics to climate change, fire disturbance and permafrost thaw in a black spruce ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Donnell, J. A.; Harden, J.W.; McGuire, A.D.; Romanovsky, V.E.

    2011-01-01

    In the boreal region, soil organic carbon (OC) dynamics are strongly governed by the interaction between wildfire and permafrost. Using a combination of field measurements, numerical modeling of soil thermal dynamics, and mass-balance modeling of OC dynamics, we tested the sensitivity of soil OC storage to a suite of individual climate factors (air temperature, soil moisture, and snow depth) and fire severity. We also conducted sensitivity analyses to explore the combined effects of fire-soil moisture interactions and snow seasonality on OC storage. OC losses were calculated as the difference in OC stocks after three fire cycles (???500 yr) following a prescribed step-change in climate and/or fire. Across single-factor scenarios, our findings indicate that warmer air temperatures resulted in the largest relative soil OC losses (???5.3 kg C mg-2), whereas dry soil conditions alone (in the absence of wildfire) resulted in the smallest carbon losses (???0.1 kg C mg-2). Increased fire severity resulted in carbon loss of ???3.3 kg C mg-2, whereas changes in snow depth resulted in smaller OC losses (2.1-2.2 kg C mg-2). Across multiple climate factors, we observed larger OC losses than for single-factor scenarios. For instance, high fire severity regime associated with warmer and drier conditions resulted in OC losses of ???6.1 kg C mg-2, whereas a low fire severity regime associated with warmer and wetter conditions resulted in OC losses of ???5.6 kg C mg-2. A longer snow-free season associated with future warming resulted in OC losses of ???5.4 kg C mg-2. Soil climate was the dominant control on soil OC loss, governing the sensitivity of microbial decomposers to fluctuations in temperature and soil moisture; this control, in turn, is governed by interannual changes in active layer depth. Transitional responses of the active layer depth to fire regimes also contributed to OC losses, primarily by determining the proportion of OC into frozen and unfrozen soil layers

  7. Prion protein misfolding affects calcium homeostasis and sensitizes cells to endoplasmic reticulum stress.

    PubMed

    Torres, Mauricio; Castillo, Karen; Armisén, Ricardo; Stutzin, Andrés; Soto, Claudio; Hetz, Claudio

    2010-12-29

    Prion-related disorders (PrDs) are fatal neurodegenerative disorders characterized by progressive neuronal impairment as well as the accumulation of an abnormally folded and protease resistant form of the cellular prion protein, termed PrP(RES). Altered endoplasmic reticulum (ER) homeostasis is associated with the occurrence of neurodegeneration in sporadic, infectious and familial forms of PrDs. The ER operates as a major intracellular calcium store, playing a crucial role in pathological events related to neuronal dysfunction and death. Here we investigated the possible impact of PrP misfolding on ER calcium homeostasis in infectious and familial models of PrDs. Neuro2A cells chronically infected with scrapie prions showed decreased ER-calcium content that correlated with a stronger upregulation of UPR-inducible chaperones, and a higher sensitivity to ER stress-induced cell death. Overexpression of the calcium pump SERCA stimulated calcium release and increased the neurotoxicity observed after exposure of cells to brain-derived infectious PrP(RES). Furthermore, expression of PrP mutants that cause hereditary Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or fatal familial insomnia led to accumulation of PrP(RES) and their partial retention at the ER, associated with a drastic decrease of ER calcium content and higher susceptibility to ER stress. Finally, similar results were observed when a transmembrane form of PrP was expressed, which is proposed as a neurotoxic intermediate. Our results suggest that alterations in calcium homeostasis and increased susceptibility to ER stress are common pathological features of both infectious and familial PrD models.

  8. Gut microbiota affects sensitivity to acute DSS-induced colitis independently of host genotype.

    PubMed

    Brinkman, Brigitta M; Becker, Anne; Ayiseh, Rene B; Hildebrand, Falk; Raes, Jeroen; Huys, Geert; Vandenabeele, Peter

    2013-11-01

    Caspase-deficient mice and wild-type (WT) mice show significant differences in their gut microbiota composition. These differences coincide with the observation that caspase-3-deficient mice carrying a natural caspase-11 mutation (Casp3/11(-/-)) are less sensitive to acute dextran sodium sulfate-induced colitis than WT mice. For these reasons, we investigated the role of the microbiota in the development of colitis by cohousing WT and Casp3/11(-/-) mice. Microbial community fingerprinting by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis revealed that the similarities in gut microbial composition of WT and Casp3/11(-/-) mice increased after cohousing. In the acute dextran sodium sulfate-induced colitis model, Casp3/11(-/-) mice that were cohoused with WT mice showed increased weight loss and disease activity scores and increased neutrophil infiltration and inflammatory cytokine levels in their colon tissue compared with Casp3/11(-/-) mice that were not cohoused with WT mice. Also, we demonstrate that only the microbiota of the Casp3/11(-/-) mice cohoused with WT mice showed an important increase in Prevotella species. In conclusion, our cohousing experiments revealed that the colitogenic activity of the WT microbiota is transferable to Casp3/11(-/-) mice and that Prevotella species are likely to be involved. By contrast, the relative protection of Casp3/11(-/-) mice against dextran sodium sulfate damage is not transferred to WT mice after cohousing. These results underscore the need for in-depth studies of the bilateral interaction of host genes and microbiota to gain insight into the mechanisms of disease pathogenesis. Our findings also have important implications for the experimental design of disease studies in genetically modified mice and conclusions drawn from them. PMID:24105395

  9. Climatic water deficit and wildfire: predicting spatial patterns in forest ecosystem sensitivity to warming and earlier spring snowmelt. (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westerling, A. L.; Keyser, A.; Milostan, J.

    2013-12-01

    Western U.S. forest wildfire area burned increased significantly in recent decades, with much of the increase in the US Rocky Mountains (Westerling et al 2006). While Westerling et al (2006) noted that interannual variability in aggregate regional forest wildfire has been highly correlated with regional indices of warming and spring snowmelt, our analysis of the hydroclimatic conditions coincident with the occurrence of large forest wildfires in recent decades reveals that sensitivity of wildfire in specific forest areas has been characterized by a narrow range of climatic conditions: long-term average snow-free season of ~2-4 months and relatively high cumulative water-year actual evapotranspiration (AET). These forests have shown large increases in cumulative water year moisture deficit concomitant with large increases in wildfire in recent years with warmer than average temperatures and earlier spring snowmelt. Forests with high AET and snow-free seasons between 4 and 5 months have exhibited significant but more moderate increases in wildfire activity. Mean snow-free season length and cumulative AET may also be predictive of forest wildfire sensitivity to projected warming. Recent climate change impact studies indicate that the same forests where wildfire activity has exhibited the most sensitivity to observed warming in recent decades may continue to exhibit large increases in the next few decades, until reductions in fuel availability and continuity become dominant constraints on the growth of large wildfires (e.g., Westerling et al 2011a, Litschert et al 2012, Westerling et al unpublished data). We also find that similar forests that may have been buffered from recent climate change by elevation or latitude may also show very large increases in wildfire under projected warming. Conversely, warmer, drier forests where recent changes in moisture deficit and fire activity have been more moderate (particularly those with snow-free seasons ~4-5 months), are

  10. Climatic water deficit and wildfire: predicting spatial patterns in forest ecosystem sensitivity to warming and earlier spring snowmelt. (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westerling, A. L.; Keyser, A.; Milostan, J.

    2011-12-01

    Western U.S. forest wildfire area burned increased significantly in recent decades, with much of the increase in the US Rocky Mountains (Westerling et al 2006). While Westerling et al (2006) noted that interannual variability in aggregate regional forest wildfire has been highly correlated with regional indices of warming and spring snowmelt, our analysis of the hydroclimatic conditions coincident with the occurrence of large forest wildfires in recent decades reveals that sensitivity of wildfire in specific forest areas has been characterized by a narrow range of climatic conditions: long-term average snow-free season of ~2-4 months and relatively high cumulative water-year actual evapotranspiration (AET). These forests have shown large increases in cumulative water year moisture deficit concomitant with large increases in wildfire in recent years with warmer than average temperatures and earlier spring snowmelt. Forests with high AET and snow-free seasons between 4 and 5 months have exhibited significant but more moderate increases in wildfire activity. Mean snow-free season length and cumulative AET may also be predictive of forest wildfire sensitivity to projected warming. Recent climate change impact studies indicate that the same forests where wildfire activity has exhibited the most sensitivity to observed warming in recent decades may continue to exhibit large increases in the next few decades, until reductions in fuel availability and continuity become dominant constraints on the growth of large wildfires (e.g., Westerling et al 2011a, Litschert et al 2012, Westerling et al unpublished data). We also find that similar forests that may have been buffered from recent climate change by elevation or latitude may also show very large increases in wildfire under projected warming. Conversely, warmer, drier forests where recent changes in moisture deficit and fire activity have been more moderate (particularly those with snow-free seasons ~4-5 months), are

  11. Processes affecting oxygen isotope ratios of atmospheric and ecosystem sulfate in two contrasting forest catchments in Central Europe.

    PubMed

    Novák, Martin; Mitchell, Myron J; Jacková, Iva; Buzek, Frantisek; Schweigstillová, Jana; Erbanová, Lucie; Prikryl, Richard; Fottová, Daniela

    2007-02-01

    Sulfate aerosols are harmful as respirable particles. They also play a role as cloud condensation nuclei and have radiative effects on global climate. A combination of delta18O-SO4 data with catchment sulfur mass balances was used to constrain processes affecting S cycling in the atmosphere and spruce forests of the Czech Republic. Extremely high S fluxes via spruce throughfall and runoff were measured at Jezeri (49 and 80 kg S ha(-1) yr(-1), respectively). The second catchment, Na Lizu, was 10 times less polluted. In both catchments, delta18O-SO4 decreased in the following order: open-area precipitation > throughfall > runoff. The delta18O-SO4 values of throughfall exhibited a seasonal pattern at both sites, with maxima in summer and minima in winter. This seasonal pattern paralleled delta18O-H2O values, which were offset by -18 per thousand. Sulfate in throughfall was predominantly formed by heterogeneous (aqueous) oxidation of SO2. Wet-deposited sulfate in an open area did not show systematic delta18O-SO4 trends, suggesting formation by homogeneous (gaseous) oxidation and/or transport from large distances. The percentage of incoming S that is organically cycled in soil was similar under the high and the low pollution. High-temperature 18O-rich sulfate was not detected, which contrasts with North American industrial sites.

  12. Aggressive experience affects the sensitivity of neurons towards pharmacological treatment in the hypothalamic attack area.

    PubMed

    Haller, J; Abrahám, I; Zelena, D; Juhász, G; Makara, G B; Kruk, M R

    1998-09-01

    Early investigators of brain stimulation-evoked complex behaviours (attack, escape, feeding, self-grooming, sexual behaviour) reported that experience may affect the behavioural outcome of brain stimulation. This intriguing example of functional neuronal plasticity was later totally neglected. The present experiment investigated the behavioural outcome of in vivo microdialysis perfusion of the glutamate agonist kainate and/or the GABAA antagonist bicuculline into the hypothalamic attack area (HAA) of (1) animals naive to dyadic encounters; (2) animals with a recent aggressive experience (the probe being implanted 6-24 h after the last of a series of dyadic encounters); and (3) animals with an earlier aggressive experience (probe being implanted 2 weeks after the last aggressive experience). On the experimental day, rats received two 5-min infusions during a dyadic encounter lasting 35 min with an unknown opponent. Flow rate was 1.5-2 microliters/min, drug concentrations were 1.8 x 10(-5) and 1.5 x 10(-5) M for kainate and bicuculline, respectively. Behaviour was analysed before, during and after perfusions. Only the combined kainate + bicuculline treatment had significant effects on behaviour at the doses studied. A significant increase in aggressive behaviour was elicited only in animals with a recent aggressive experience, while naive animals and with an earlier experience responded to the treatments by grooming. These results appear to support early observations indicating that one important aspect of brain stimulation effects is previous experience. PMID:9832932

  13. Processes affecting oxygen isotope ratios of atmospheric and ecosystem sulfate in two contrasting forest catchments in Central Europe

    SciTech Connect

    Martin Novak; Myron J. Mitchell; Iva Jackova; Frantisek Buzek; Jana Schweigstillova; Lucie Erbanova; Richard Prikryl; Daniela Fottova

    2007-02-15

    Sulfate aerosols are harmful as respirable particles. They also play a role as cloud condensation nuclei and have radiative effects on global climate. A combination of {delta}{sup 18}O-SO{sub 4} data with catchment sulfur mass balances was used to constrain processes affecting S cycling in the atmosphere and spruce forests of the Czech Republic. Extremely high S fluxes via spruce throughfall and runoff were measured at Jezeri (49 and 80 kg S ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1}, respectively). The second catchment, Na Lizu, was 10 times less polluted. In both catchments, {delta}{sup 18}O-SO{sub 4} decreased in the following order: open-area precipitation {gt} throughfall {gt} runoff. The 180-SO{sub 4} values of throughfall exhibited a seasonal pattern at both sites, with maxima in summer and minima in winter. This seasonal pattern paralleled {delta}{sup 18}O-H{sub 2}O values, which were offset by -18{per_thousand}. Sulfate in throughfall was predominantly formed by heterogeneous (aqueous) oxidation of SO{sub 2}. Wet-deposited sulfate in an open area did not show systematic {delta}{sup 18}O-SO{sub 4} trends, suggesting formation by homogeneous (gaseous) oxidation and/or transport from large distances. The percentage of incoming S that is organically cycled in soil was similar under the high and the low pollution. High-temperature {sup 18}O-rich sulfate was not detected, which contrasts with North American industrial sites. 29 refs., 4 figs., 3 tabs.

  14. Behavioural Responses to Thermal Conditions Affect Seasonal Mass Change in a Heat-Sensitive Northern Ungulate

    PubMed Central

    van Beest, Floris M.; Milner, Jos M.

    2013-01-01

    Background Empirical tests that link temperature-mediated changes in behaviour (activity and resource selection) to individual fitness or condition are currently lacking for endotherms yet may be critical to understanding the effect of climate change on population dynamics. Moose (Alces alces) are thought to suffer from heat stress in all seasons so provide a good biological model to test whether exposure to non-optimal ambient temperatures influence seasonal changes in body mass. Seasonal mass change is an important fitness correlate of large herbivores and affects reproductive success of female moose. Methodology/Principal Findings Using GPS-collared adult female moose from two populations in southern Norway we quantified individual differences in seasonal activity budget and resource selection patterns as a function of seasonal temperatures thought to induce heat stress in moose. Individual body mass was recorded in early and late winter, and autumn to calculate seasonal mass changes (n = 52 over winter, n = 47 over summer). We found large individual differences in temperature-dependent resource selection patterns as well as within and between season variability in thermoregulatory strategies. As expected, individuals using an optimal strategy, selecting young successional forest (foraging habitat) at low ambient temperatures and mature coniferous forest (thermal shelter) during thermally stressful conditions, lost less mass in winter and gained more mass in summer. Conclusions/Significance This study provides evidence that behavioural responses to temperature have important consequences for seasonal mass change in moose living in the south of their distribution in Norway, and may be a contributing factor to recently observed declines in moose demographic performance. Although the mechanisms that underlie the observed temperature mediated habitat-fitness relationship remain to be tested, physiological state and individual variation in thermal tolerance

  15. Where Will Ecosystems Go?

    SciTech Connect

    Janetos, Anthony C.

    2008-09-29

    Climate-induced changes in ecosystems have been both modeled and documented extensively over the past 15-20 years. Those changes occur in the context of many other stresses and interacting factors, but it is clear that many, if not most, ecosystems are sensitive to changing climate.

  16. Glomalin-related soil protein in a Mediterranean ecosystem affected by a copper smelter and its contribution to Cu and Zn sequestration.

    PubMed

    Cornejo, Pablo; Meier, Sebastián; Borie, Gilda; Rillig, Matthias C; Borie, Fernando

    2008-11-15

    The amount of glomalin-related soil protein (GRSP), a glycoprotein produced by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), its contribution to the sequestering of Cu and Zn in the soil, and the microsite variation of other soil traits (pH, water-stable aggregates--[WSA], soil organic carbon--[SOC]) was studied in a semi-arid Mediterranean ecosystem near a copper smelter and affected by deposit of metal-rich particles since 1964. Rhizospheric (R) and non-rhizospheric (NR) soil of four representative plants (Argemone subfusiformis, Baccharis linearis, Oenothera affinis and Polypogon viridis) was analyzed. The results showed a strong variability in GRSP (6.6-36.8 mg g(-1)), Cu content (62-831 mg kg(-1) for the total Cu and 5.8-326 mg kg(-1) for the available Cu) and pH (4.2-5.5) in the different plant and rhizospheric zones analyzed. A strong relationship between the GRSP with the soil Cu and Zn contents was found (r=0.89 and 0.76 for Cu and Zn respectively, p<0.001). The GRSP-bound Cu ranged from 3.76 to 89.0 mg g(-1) soil and represents 1.44-27.5% of the total Cu content in soil. Moreover, the WSA reached 89% in P. viridis R. For this plant, the C contained in GRSP represented up to 89% of SOC, and this coincided with the most extreme conditions of soil degradation within the ecosystem (the highest content of heavy metals and low pH values). This study provides evidence on the role of the GRSP in Cu and Zn sequestration and suggests a highly efficient mechanism of AMF to mitigate stress leading to stabilization of soils highly polluted by mining activities. PMID:18762323

  17. An eukaryotic translation initiation factor, AteIF5A-2, affects cadmium accumulation and sensitivity in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiao-Yan; Ding, Zhong-Jie; Chen, Lei; Yan, Jin-Ying; Li, Gui-Xin; Zheng, Shao-Jian

    2015-10-01

    Cadmium (Cd) is one of the most toxic elements and can be accumulated in plants easily; meanwhile, eIF5A is a highly conserved protein in all eukaryotic organisms. The present work tried to investigate whether eIF5A is involved in Cd accumulation and sensitivity in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana L.) by comparing the wild-type Columbia-0 (Col-0) with a knockdown mutant of AteIF5A-2, fbr12-3 under Cd stress conditions. The results showed that the mutant fbr12-3 accumulated more Cd in roots and shoots and had significantly lower chlorophyll content, shorter root length, and smaller biomass, suggesting that downregulation of AteIF5A-2 makes the mutant more Cd sensitive. Real-time polymerase chain reaction revealed that the expressions of metal transporters involved in Cd uptake and translocation including IRT1, ZIP1, AtNramp3, and AtHMA4 were significantly increased but the expressions of PCS1 and PCS2 related to Cd detoxification were decreased notably in fbr12-3 compared with Col-0. As a result, an increase in MDA and H2 O2 content but decrease in root trolox, glutathione and proline content under Cd stress was observed, indicating that a severer oxidative stress occurs in the mutant. All these results demonstrated for the first time that AteIF5A influences Cd sensitivity by affecting Cd uptake, accumulation, and detoxification in Arabidopsis.

  18. An eukaryotic translation initiation factor, AteIF5A-2, affects cadmium accumulation and sensitivity in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiao-Yan; Ding, Zhong-Jie; Chen, Lei; Yan, Jin-Ying; Li, Gui-Xin; Zheng, Shao-Jian

    2015-10-01

    Cadmium (Cd) is one of the most toxic elements and can be accumulated in plants easily; meanwhile, eIF5A is a highly conserved protein in all eukaryotic organisms. The present work tried to investigate whether eIF5A is involved in Cd accumulation and sensitivity in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana L.) by comparing the wild-type Columbia-0 (Col-0) with a knockdown mutant of AteIF5A-2, fbr12-3 under Cd stress conditions. The results showed that the mutant fbr12-3 accumulated more Cd in roots and shoots and had significantly lower chlorophyll content, shorter root length, and smaller biomass, suggesting that downregulation of AteIF5A-2 makes the mutant more Cd sensitive. Real-time polymerase chain reaction revealed that the expressions of metal transporters involved in Cd uptake and translocation including IRT1, ZIP1, AtNramp3, and AtHMA4 were significantly increased but the expressions of PCS1 and PCS2 related to Cd detoxification were decreased notably in fbr12-3 compared with Col-0. As a result, an increase in MDA and H2 O2 content but decrease in root trolox, glutathione and proline content under Cd stress was observed, indicating that a severer oxidative stress occurs in the mutant. All these results demonstrated for the first time that AteIF5A influences Cd sensitivity by affecting Cd uptake, accumulation, and detoxification in Arabidopsis. PMID:25559189

  19. The increased sensitivity of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) PCR quantitation in whole blood affects reproductive rate (Ro) measurement.

    PubMed

    Gurtler, Volker; Mayall, Barrie C; Wang, Jenny; Ghaly-Derias, Shahbano

    2014-02-01

    In order to determine the effect of the increase in sensitivity of HCMV detection in whole blood compared to plasma on reproductive rate (Ro) measurement, an optimized human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) quantitative PCR assay was developed. The results presented in this study are summarized by the following three methodological improvements: (i) at values below the limit of quantitation (LOQ) of 60copies/ml, determination of HCMV load was more sensitive with whole blood than plasma, (ii) for the determination of viral load, whole blood was more sensitive than plasma below 1000copies/ml but little difference was observed above 1000copies/ml and (iii) the measurement of "Reproductive Rate" can be affected by imprecise measurement of HCMV viral load in either plasma or whole blood compartments depending on whether samples were taken from patients on antiviral treatment or from patients where HCMV load was rising. Taken together this study provides methodological improvements suggesting that below HCMV viral load levels of 1000copies/ml (1640IU/ml) both plasma and whole blood should be tested.

  20. Lactose in milk replacer can partly be replaced by glucose, fructose, or glycerol without affecting insulin sensitivity in veal calves.

    PubMed

    Pantophlet, A J; Gilbert, M S; van den Borne, J J G C; Gerrits, W J J; Roelofsen, H; Priebe, M G; Vonk, R J

    2016-04-01

    Calf milk replacer (MR) contains 40 to 50% lactose. Lactose strongly fluctuates in price and alternatives are desired. Also, problems with glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity (i.e., high incidence of hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia) have been described for heavy veal calves (body weight >100 kg). Replacement of lactose by other dietary substrates can be economically attractive, and may also positively (or negatively) affect the risk of developing problems with glucose metabolism. An experiment was designed to study the effects of replacing one third of the dietary lactose by glucose, fructose, or glycerol on glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity in veal calves. Forty male Holstein-Friesian (body weight=114 ± 2.4 kg; age=97 ± 1.4 d) calves were fed an MR containing 462 g of lactose/kg (CON), or an MR in which 150 g of lactose/kg of MR was replaced by glucose (GLU), fructose (FRU), or glycerol (GLY). During the first 10d of the trial, all calves received CON. The CON group remained on this diet and the other groups received their experimental diets for a period of 8 wk. Measurements were conducted during the first (baseline) and last week of the trial. A frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test was performed to assess insulin sensitivity and 24 h of urine was collected to measure glucose excretion. During the last week of the trial, a bolus of 1.5 g of [U-(13)C] substrates was added to their respective meals and plasma glucose, insulin, and (13)C-glucose responses were measured. Insulin sensitivity was low at the start of the trial and remained low [1.2 ± 0.1 and 1.0 ± 0.1 (mU/L)(-1) × min(-1)], and no treatment effect was noted. Glucose excretion was low at the start of the trial (3.4 ± 1.0 g/d), but increased in CON and GLU calves (26.9 ± 3.9 and 43.0 ± 10.6g/d) but not in FRU and GLY calves. Postprandial glucose was higher in GLU, lower in FRU, and similar in GLY compared with CON calves. Postprandial insulin was lower in FRU

  1. Simulated microgravity affects semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase expression in recombinant Escherichia coli by HPLC-ESI-QQQ analysis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yongqian; Lai, Chengjun; Duan, Jinyan; Guan, Ningxin; Ullah, Kaleem; Deng, Yulin

    2012-05-01

    Simulated microgravity has been reported to affect the gene, protein expression, and its function in the cells. Semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase (SSAO; E.C.1.4.3.6.) is widely distributed in vascular cells, smooth muscle cells, and adipocytes. It is noteworthy whether the expression of SSAO is affected under simulated microgravity or not. In this study, an SSAO-transformed Escherichia coli BL21 was constructed firstly. Then, a sensitive, selective, and accurate method based on high-performance liquid chromatography electrospray ionization triple quadrupole (HPLC-ESI-QQQ) was developed to determine the amount of SSAO in the E. coli BL21. The limit of detection and limit of quantification were 5.0 and 10 fmol, respectively. Finally, SSAO expression in the recombinant E. coli BL21 was evaluated with various gravity and temperature conditions by HPLC-ESI-QQQ analysis. It is interesting that the tendency in the alteration of SSAO under simulated microgravity showed temperature difference. At 18 °C, the amount of SSAO in the inclusion bodies and soluble fractions under the simulated microgravity increased by 83% and 116%, respectively, compared with normal gravity. However, the decrease by 38% and 49% in the inclusion bodies and soluble fractions under the simulated microgravity was observed at 37 °C. Results obtained here indicate that the SSAO expression under simulated microgravity is dramatically sensitive to the temperature. On the other hand, a novel bioreactor from this study may also be useful for the recombinant protein expression in the field of gene engineering.

  2. Assessing the effects of land use changes on soil sensitivity to erosion in a highland ecosystem of semi-arid Turkey.

    PubMed

    Bayramin, Ilhami; Basaran, Mustafa; Erpul, Günay; Canga, Mustafa R

    2008-05-01

    There has been increasing concern in highlands of semiarid Turkey that conversion of these systems results in excessive soil erosion, ecosystem degradation, and loss of sustainable resources. An increasing rate of land use/cover changes especially in semiarid mountainous areas has resulted in important effects on physical and ecological processes, causing many regions to undergo accelerated environmental degradation in terms of soil erosion, mass movement and reservoir sedimentation. This paper, therefore, explores the impact of land use changes on land degradation in a linkage to the soil erodibility, RUSLE-K, in Cankiri-Indagi Mountain Pass, Turkey. The characterization of soil erodibility in this ecosystem is important from the standpoint of conserving fragile ecosystems and planning management practices. Five adjacent land uses (cropland, grassland, woodland, plantation, and recreational land) were selected for this research. Analysis of variance showed that soil properties and RUSLE-K statistically changed with land use changes and soils of the recreational land and cropland were more sensitive to water erosion than those of the woodland, grassland, and plantation. This was mainly due to the significant decreases in soil organic matter (SOM) and hydraulic conductivity (HC) in those lands. Additionally, soil samples randomly collected from the depths of 0-10 cm (D1) and 10-20 cm (D2) with irregular intervals in an area of 1,200 by 4,200 m sufficiently characterized not only the spatial distribution of soil organic matter (SOM), hydraulic conductivity (HC), clay (C), silt (Si), sand (S) and silt plus very fine sand (Si + VFS) but also the spatial distribution of RUSLE-K as an algebraically estimate of these parameters together with field assessment of soil structure to assess the dynamic relationships between soil properties and land use types. In this study, in order to perform the spatial analyses, the mean sampling intervals were 43, 50, 64, 78, 85 m for

  3. Unexpected sensitivity of the annual net ecosystem exchange to the high frequency loss corrections in a grazed grassland site in Belgium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mamadou, Ossenatou; Gourlez de la Motte, Louis; De Ligne, Anne; Bernard, Heineisch; Aubinet, Marc

    2016-04-01

    Although widely used to measure CO2 and other gas fluxes, the eddy covariance technique still needs methodological improvements. This research focuses on the high frequency loss corrections, which are especially important when using a closed-path infrared gas analyzer. We compared three approaches to implement these corrections for CO2 fluxes and evaluated their impact on the carbon balance at the Dorinne Terrestrial Observatory (DTO), an intensively grazed grassland site in Belgium. The carbon balance at DTO is also the object of a separate analysis (Gourlez de la Motte et al., Geophysical Research Abstract, Vol. 18, EGU2016-6813-1, 2016). In the first approach, the computation of correction factors was based on the measured sensible heat cospectra ('local' cospectra), whereas the other two were based on theoretical models (Kaimal et al., 1972). The correction approaches were validated by comparing the nighttime eddy covariance CO2 fluxes corrected with each approach and in situ soil respiration measurements. We found that the local cospectra differed from the Kaimal theoretical shape, although the site could not be considered 'difficult' (i.e., fairly flat, homogeneous, low vegetation, sufficient measurement height), appearing less peaked in the inertial subrange. This difference greatly affected the correction factor, especially for night fluxes. Night fluxes measured by eddy covariance were found to be in good agreement with in situ soil respiration measurements when corrected with local cospectra and to be overestimated when corrected with Kaimal cospectra. As the difference between correction factors was larger in stable than unstable conditions, this acts as a selective systematic error and has an important impact on annual fluxes. On the basis of a 4-year average, at DTO, the errors reach 71-150 g C m-2 y-1 for net ecosystem exchange (NEE), 280-562 g C m-2 y-1 for total ecosystem respiration (TER) and 209-412 g C m-2 y-1 for gross primary productivity (GPP

  4. Low soil moisture during hot periods drives apparent negative temperature sensitivity of soil respiration in a dryland ecosystem: A multi-model comparison

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tucker, Colin; Reed, Sasha C.

    2016-01-01

    Arid and semiarid ecosystems (drylands) may dominate the trajectory of biosphere-to-atmosphere carbon (C) flux over the coming century. Accordingly, understanding dryland CO2 efflux controls is important for understanding C cycling at the global-scale: key unknowns regarding how temperature and moisture interact to regulate dryland C cycling remain. Further, the patchiness of dryland vegetation can create ‘islands of fertility’, with spatially heterogeneous rates of soil respiration (Rs). At our study site in southeastern Utah, USA we added or removed litter (0 to 650% of control) in paired plots that were either associated with a shrub or with interspaces between vascular plants. We measured Rs, soil temperature, and water content (θ) on eight sampling dates between October 2013 and November 2014. Rs was highest following monsoon rains in late summer when soil temperature was ~30°C. During mid-summer, Rs was low, associated with high soil temperatures (>40°C), resulting in an apparent negative temperature sensitivity of Rs at high temperatures, and positive temperature sensitivity at low-moderate temperatures. We used Bayesian statistical methods to compare multiple competing models capturing a wide range of hypothesized relationships between temperature, moisture, and Rs. The best fit model indicates apparent negative temperature sensitivity of soil respiration at high temperatures reflects the control of soil moisture – not high temperatures – in limiting Rs. The modeled Q10 ranged from 2.7 at 5°C to 1.4 at 45°C. Litter addition had no effect on temperature sensitivity or reference respiration (Rref = Rs at 20°C and optimum moisture) beneath shrubs, and little effect on Rref in interspaces, yet Rref was 1.5 times higher beneath shrubs than in interspaces. Together, these results suggest reduced Rs often observed at high temperatures in drylands is dominated by the control of moisture, and that variable litter inputs – at least over the short

  5. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester preferentially sensitizes CT26 colorectal adenocarcinoma to ionizing radiation without affecting bone marrow radioresponse

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Y.-J.; Liao, H.-F.; Tsai, T.-H.; Wang, S.-Y.; Shiao, M.-S. . E-mail: msshiao@vghtpe.gov.tw

    2005-11-15

    Purpose: Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), a component of propolis, was reported capable of depleting glutathione (GSH). We subsequently examined the radiosensitizing effect of CAPE and its toxicity. Methods and Materials: The effects of CAPE on GSH level, GSH metabolism enzyme activities, NF-{kappa}B activity, and radiosensitivity in mouse CT26 colorectal adenocarcinoma cells were determined. BALB/c mouse with CT26 cells implantation was used as a syngeneic in vivo model for evaluation of treatment and toxicity end points. Results: CAPE entered CT26 cells rapidly and depleted intracellular GSH in CT26 cells, but not in bone marrow cells. Pretreatment with nontoxic doses of CAPE significantly enhanced cell killing by ionizing radiation (IR) with sensitizer enhancement ratios up to 2.2. Pretreatment of CT26 cells with N-acetyl-L-cysteine reversed the GSH depletion activity and partially blocked the radiosensitizing effect of CAPE. CAPE treatment in CT26 cells increased glutathione peroxidase, decreased glutathione reductase, and did not affect glutathione S-transferase or {gamma}-glutamyl transpeptidase activity. Radiation activated NF-{kappa}B was reversed by CAPE pretreatment. In vivo study revealed that pretreatment with CAPE before IR resulted in greater inhibition of tumor growth and prolongation of survival in comparison with IR alone. Pretreatment with CAPE neither affected body weights nor produced hepatic, renal, or hematopoietic toxicity. Conclusions: CAPE sensitizes CT26 colorectal adenocarcinoma to IR, which may be via depleting GSH and inhibiting NF-{kappa}B activity, without toxicity to bone marrow, liver, and kidney.

  6. Valuing the non-market benefits of estuarine ecosystem services in a river basin context: Testing sensitivity to scope and scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinto, R.; Brouwer, R.; Patrício, J.; Abreu, P.; Marta-Pedroso, C.; Baeta, A.; Franco, J. N.; Domingos, T.; Marques, J. C.

    2016-02-01

    A large scale contingent valuation survey is conducted among residents in one of the largest river basins in Portugal to estimate the non-market benefits of the ecosystem services associated with implementation of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD). Statistical tests of public willingness to pay's sensitivity to scope and scale are carried out. Decreasing marginal willingness to pay (WTP) is found when asking respondents to value two water quality improvement scenarios (within sample comparison), from current moderate water quality conditions to good and subsequently excellent ecological status. However, insensitivity to scale is found when asking half of the respondents to value water quality improvements in the estuary only and the other half in the whole basin (between sample comparison). Although respondents living outside the river basin value water quality improvements significantly less than respondents inside the basin, no spatial heterogeneity can be detected within the basin between upstream and downstream residents. This finding has important implications for spatial aggregation procedures across the population of beneficiaries living in the river basin to estimate its total economic value based on public WTP for the implementation of the WFD.

  7. Dopamine and serotonin signaling during two sensitive developmental periods differentially impact adult aggressive and affective behaviors in mice

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Qinghui; Teixeira, Cátia M.; Mahadevia, Darshini; Huang, Yung-Yu; Balsam, Daniel; Mann, J John; Gingrich, Jay A; Ansorge, Mark S.

    2014-01-01

    Pharmacologic blockade of monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) or serotonin transporter (5-HTT) has antidepressant and anxiolytic efficacy in adulthood. Yet, genetically conferred MAOA or 5-HTT hypo-activity is associated with altered aggression and increased anxiety/depression. Here we test the hypothesis that increased monoamine signaling during development causes these paradoxical aggressive and affective phenotypes. We find that pharmacologic MAOA blockade during early postnatal development (P2-P21) but not during peri-adolescence (P22-41) increases anxiety- and depression-like behavior in adult (> P90) mice, mimicking the effect of P2-21 5-HTT inhibition. Moreover, MAOA blockade during peri-adolescence, but not P2-21 or P182-201, increases adult aggressive behavior, and 5-HTT blockade from P22-P41 reduced adult aggression. Blockade of the dopamine transporter, but not the norepinephrine transporter, during P22-41 also increases adult aggressive behavior. Thus, P2-21 is a sensitive period during which 5-HT modulates adult anxiety/depression-like behavior, and P22-41 is a sensitive period during which DA and 5-HT bi-directionally modulate adult aggression. Permanently altered DAergic function as a consequence of increased P22-P41 monoamine signaling might underlie altered aggression. In support of this hypothesis, we find altered aggression correlating positively with locomotor response to amphetamine challenge in adulthood. Proving that altered DA function and aggression are causally linked, we demonstrate that optogenetic activation of VTA DAergic neurons increases aggression. It therefore appears that genetic and pharmacologic factors impacting dopamine and serotonin signaling during sensitive developmental periods can modulate adult monoaminergic function and thereby alter risk for aggressive and emotional dysfunction. PMID:24589889

  8. Egg intensity and freeze-thawing of fecal samples affect sensitivity of Echinococcus multilocularis detection by PCR.

    PubMed

    Klein, C; Liccioli, S; Massolo, A

    2014-10-01

    Echinococcus multilocularis is one of the most relevant zoonotic parasites with about 18,000 human cases per year. Its detection in wild host is crucial for disease prevention. The present study aimed to determine factors affecting the sensitivity of E. multilocularis detection by PCR using DNA extracted from fecal samples of coyotes (Canis latrans). Fecal samples were screened for the presence of Taeniidae eggs through centrifugation and sedimentation. DNA was extracted from fecal samples with and without prior freeze-thawing of the sample and then subjected to PCR targeting a mitochondrial gene (nad1) and a multi-loci microsatellite marker (EmsB). The presence of PCR inhibitors was determined through internal amplification control. Subjecting the sample to repeated freeze-thaw cycles significantly increased the sensitivity of the PCR by 20%. Likewise, egg intensity had a significant effect on PCR, an effect which was more pronounced for samples not subjected to freeze-thawing. Two or more eggs per gram of feces significantly increased the odds for a positive PCR outcome. The presence of PCR inhibitors had no effect on PCR in samples subjected to freeze-thaw cycles, whereas in samples not subjected to freeze-thaw cycles, the presence of PCR inhibitors was associated with a 0.78 lower odds ratio of positive PCR outcome. Targeting a nuclear versus a mitochondrial gene did not have a significant effect on the sensitivity of PCR. We recommend freeze-thawing samples prior to DNA extraction to become a standard procedure for E. multilocularis detection in canid feces. PMID:25082017

  9. Modelling carbon responses of tundra ecosystems to historical and projected climate: Sensitivity of pan-Arctic carbon storage to temporal and spatial variation in climate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McGuire, A.D.; Clein, J.S.; Melillo, J.M.; Kicklighter, D.W.; Meier, R.A.; Vorosmarty, C.J.; Serreze, M.C.

    2000-01-01

    Historical and projected climate trends for high latitudes show substantial temporal and spatial variability. To identify uncertainties in simulating carbon (C) dynamics for pan-Arctic tundra, we compare the historical and projected responses of tundra C storage from 1921 to 2100 between simulations by the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM) for the pan-Arctic and the Kuparuk River Basin, which was the focus of an integrated study of C dynamics from 1994 to 1996. In the historical period from 1921 to 1994, the responses of net primary production (NPP) and heterotrophic respiration (RH) simulated for the Kuparuk River Basin and the pan-Arctic are correlated with the same factors; NPP is positively correlated with net nitrogen mineralization (NMIN) and RH is negatively correlated with mean annual soil moisture. In comparison to the historical period, the spatially aggregated responses of NPP and RH for the Kuparuk River Basin and the pan-Arctic in our simulations for the projected period have different sensitivities to temperature, soil moisture and NMIN. In addition to being sensitive to soil moisture during the projected period, RH is also sensitive to temperature and there is a significant correlation between RH and NMIN. We interpret the increases in NPP during the projected period as being driven primarily by increases in NMIN, and that the correlation between NPP and temperature in the projected period is a result primarily of the causal linkage between temperature, RH, and NMIN. Although similar factors appear to be controlling simulated regional-and biome-scale C dynamics, simulated C dynamics at the two scales differ in magnitude with higher increases in C storage simulated for the Kuparuk River Basin than for the pan-Arctic at the end of the historical period and throughout the projected period. Also, the results of the simulations indicate that responses of C storage show different climate sensitivities at regional and pan-Arctic spatial scales and that

  10. Factors affecting the sensitivity and detection limits of MRI, CT, and SPECT for multimodal diagnostic and therapeutic agents.

    PubMed

    Seevinck, Peter R; Seppenwoolde, Jan-Henry; de Wit, Tim C; Nijsen, Johannes F W; Beekman, Freek J; van Het Schip, Alfred D; Bakker, Chris J G

    2007-05-01

    Noninvasive imaging techniques like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) play an increasingly important role in the diagnostic workup and treatment of cancerous disease. In this context, a distinct trend can be observed towards the development of contrast agents and radiopharmaceuticals that open up perspectives on a multimodality imaging approach, involving all three aforementioned techniques. To promote insight into the potentialities of such an approach, we prepared an overview of the strengths and limitations of the various imaging techniques, in particular with regard to their capability to quantify the spatial distribution of a multimodal diagnostic agent. To accomplish this task, we used a two-step approach. In the first step, we examined the situation for a particular therapeutic anti-cancer agent with multimodal imaging opportunities, viz. holmium-loaded microspheres (HoMS). Physical phantom experiments were performed to enable a comparative evaluation of the three modalities assuming the use of standard equipment, standard clinical scan protocols, and signal-known-exactly conditions. These phantom data were then analyzed so as to obtain first order estimates of the sensitivity and detection limits of MRI, CT and SPECT for HoMS. In the second step, the results for HoMS were taken as a starting point for a discussion of the factors affecting the sensitivity and detection limits of MRI, CT and SPECT for multimodal agents in general. In this, emphasis was put on the factors that must be taken into account when extrapolating the findings for HoMS to other diagnostic tasks, other contrast agents, other experimental conditions, and other scan protocols.

  11. The C-174G promoter polymorphism of the IL-6 gene affects energy expenditure and insulin sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Kubaszek, Agata; Pihlajamäki, Jussi; Punnonen, Kari; Karhapää, Pauli; Vauhkonen, Ilkka; Laakso, Markku

    2003-02-01

    Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a pleiotropic cytokine expressed in many tissues. IL-6 null mice show low energy expenditure, but the effect of the variants of the IL-6 gene on energy expenditure has not been previously studied in humans. Therefore, we investigated the effect of the C-174G promoter polymorphism of the IL-6 gene on energy expenditure, measured by indirect calorimetry in healthy Finnish subjects (n = 124). We also measured insulin sensitivity by the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp. Subjects with the C-174C genotype of the IL-6 gene had significantly lower energy expenditure than subjects with the G-174C or G-174G genotypes both in fasting (CC 13.68 +/- 1.98, CG 14.73 +/- 1.57, GG 14.81 +/- 2.01 kcal x kg(-1) x min(-1); P = 0.012) and during the euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp (CC 15.24 +/- 2.05, CG 16.62 +/- 2.06, GG 16.66 +/- 2.50 kcal x kg(-1) x min(-1); P = 0.007). Moreover, subjects homozygous for the C allele had lower rates of whole-body glucose uptake than carriers of the G allele (CC 50.95 +/- 13.91, CG 59.40 +/- 14.17, GG 59.21 +/- 15.93 micro mol x kg(-1) x min(-1); P = 0.016). The rates of both oxidative (P = 0.013) and nonoxidative (P = 0.016) glucose disposal were significantly affected by the IL-6 promoter polymorphism. In conclusion, the C-174C promoter polymorphism of the IL-6 gene influences energy expenditure and insulin sensitivity in healthy normoglycemic subjects. Whether this polymorphism is a risk factor for obesity or type 2 diabetes can be estimated only in prospective population-based studies.

  12. How does conversion of natural tropical rainforest ecosystems affect soil bacterial and fungal communities in the Nile river watershed of Uganda?

    PubMed

    Alele, Peter O; Sheil, Douglas; Surget-Groba, Yann; Lingling, Shi; Cannon, Charles H

    2014-01-01

    Uganda's forests are globally important for their conservation values but are under pressure from increasing human population and consumption. In this study, we examine how conversion of natural forest affects soil bacterial and fungal communities. Comparisons in paired natural forest and human-converted sites among four locations indicated that natural forest soils consistently had higher pH, organic carbon, nitrogen, and calcium, although variation among sites was large. Despite these differences, no effect on the diversity of dominant taxa for either bacterial or fungal communities was detected, using polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE). Composition of fungal communities did generally appear different in converted sites, but surprisingly, we did not observe a consistent pattern among sites. The spatial distribution of some taxa and community composition was associated with soil pH, organic carbon, phosphorus and sodium, suggesting that changes in soil communities were nuanced and require more robust metagenomic methods to understand the various components of the community. Given the close geographic proximity of the paired sampling sites, the similarity between natural and converted sites might be due to continued dispersal between treatments. Fungal communities showed greater environmental differentiation than bacterial communities, particularly according to soil pH. We detected biotic homogenization in converted ecosystems and substantial contribution of β-diversity to total diversity, indicating considerable geographic structure in soil biota in these forest communities. Overall, our results suggest that soil microbial communities are relatively resilient to forest conversion and despite a substantial and consistent change in the soil environment, the effects of conversion differed widely among sites. The substantial difference in soil chemistry, with generally lower nutrient quantity in converted sites, does bring

  13. How Does Conversion of Natural Tropical Rainforest Ecosystems Affect Soil Bacterial and Fungal Communities in the Nile River Watershed of Uganda?

    PubMed Central

    Alele, Peter O.; Sheil, Douglas; Surget-Groba, Yann; Lingling, Shi; Cannon, Charles H.

    2014-01-01

    Uganda's forests are globally important for their conservation values but are under pressure from increasing human population and consumption. In this study, we examine how conversion of natural forest affects soil bacterial and fungal communities. Comparisons in paired natural forest and human-converted sites among four locations indicated that natural forest soils consistently had higher pH, organic carbon, nitrogen, and calcium, although variation among sites was large. Despite these differences, no effect on the diversity of dominant taxa for either bacterial or fungal communities was detected, using polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE). Composition of fungal communities did generally appear different in converted sites, but surprisingly, we did not observe a consistent pattern among sites. The spatial distribution of some taxa and community composition was associated with soil pH, organic carbon, phosphorus and sodium, suggesting that changes in soil communities were nuanced and require more robust metagenomic methods to understand the various components of the community. Given the close geographic proximity of the paired sampling sites, the similarity between natural and converted sites might be due to continued dispersal between treatments. Fungal communities showed greater environmental differentiation than bacterial communities, particularly according to soil pH. We detected biotic homogenization in converted ecosystems and substantial contribution of β-diversity to total diversity, indicating considerable geographic structure in soil biota in these forest communities. Overall, our results suggest that soil microbial communities are relatively resilient to forest conversion and despite a substantial and consistent change in the soil environment, the effects of conversion differed widely among sites. The substantial difference in soil chemistry, with generally lower nutrient quantity in converted sites, does bring

  14. How does conversion of natural tropical rainforest ecosystems affect soil bacterial and fungal communities in the Nile river watershed of Uganda?

    PubMed

    Alele, Peter O; Sheil, Douglas; Surget-Groba, Yann; Lingling, Shi; Cannon, Charles H

    2014-01-01

    Uganda's forests are globally important for their conservation values but are under pressure from increasing human population and consumption. In this study, we examine how conversion of natural forest affects soil bacterial and fungal communities. Comparisons in paired natural forest and human-converted sites among four locations indicated that natural forest soils consistently had higher pH, organic carbon, nitrogen, and calcium, although variation among sites was large. Despite these differences, no effect on the diversity of dominant taxa for either bacterial or fungal communities was detected, using polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE). Composition of fungal communities did generally appear different in converted sites, but surprisingly, we did not observe a consistent pattern among sites. The spatial distribution of some taxa and community composition was associated with soil pH, organic carbon, phosphorus and sodium, suggesting that changes in soil communities were nuanced and require more robust metagenomic methods to understand the various components of the community. Given the close geographic proximity of the paired sampling sites, the similarity between natural and converted sites might be due to continued dispersal between treatments. Fungal communities showed greater environmental differentiation than bacterial communities, particularly according to soil pH. We detected biotic homogenization in converted ecosystems and substantial contribution of β-diversity to total diversity, indicating considerable geographic structure in soil biota in these forest communities. Overall, our results suggest that soil microbial communities are relatively resilient to forest conversion and despite a substantial and consistent change in the soil environment, the effects of conversion differed widely among sites. The substantial difference in soil chemistry, with generally lower nutrient quantity in converted sites, does bring

  15. Biogeochemical processes underpin ecosystem services

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Elemental cycling is critical to the function of ecosystems and delivery of key ecosystem services because many of these elements are essential nutrients or detrimental toxicants that directly affect the health of organisms and ecosystems. A team of authors from North Carolina State University and ...

  16. The Fcp1-Wee1-Cdk1 axis affects spindle assembly checkpoint robustness and sensitivity to antimicrotubule cancer drugs.

    PubMed

    Visconti, R; Della Monica, R; Palazzo, L; D'Alessio, F; Raia, M; Improta, S; Villa, M R; Del Vecchio, L; Grieco, D

    2015-09-01

    To grant faithful chromosome segregation, the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) delays mitosis exit until mitotic spindle assembly. An exceedingly prolonged mitosis, however, promotes cell death and by this means antimicrotubule cancer drugs (AMCDs), that impair spindle assembly, are believed to kill cancer cells. Despite malformed spindles, cancer cells can, however, slip through SAC, exit mitosis prematurely and resist killing. We show here that the Fcp1 phosphatase and Wee1, the cyclin B-dependent kinase (cdk) 1 inhibitory kinase, play a role for this slippage/resistance mechanism. During AMCD-induced prolonged mitosis, Fcp1-dependent Wee1 reactivation lowered cdk1 activity, weakening SAC-dependent mitotic arrest and leading to mitosis exit and survival. Conversely, genetic or chemical Wee1 inhibition strengthened the SAC, further extended mitosis, reduced antiapoptotic protein Mcl-1 to a minimum and potentiated killing in several, AMCD-treated cancer cell lines and primary human adult lymphoblastic leukemia cells. Thus, the Fcp1-Wee1-Cdk1 (FWC) axis affects SAC robustness and AMCDs sensitivity. PMID:25744022

  17. The Fcp1-Wee1-Cdk1 axis affects spindle assembly checkpoint robustness and sensitivity to antimicrotubule cancer drugs.

    PubMed

    Visconti, R; Della Monica, R; Palazzo, L; D'Alessio, F; Raia, M; Improta, S; Villa, M R; Del Vecchio, L; Grieco, D

    2015-09-01

    To grant faithful chromosome segregation, the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) delays mitosis exit until mitotic spindle assembly. An exceedingly prolonged mitosis, however, promotes cell death and by this means antimicrotubule cancer drugs (AMCDs), that impair spindle assembly, are believed to kill cancer cells. Despite malformed spindles, cancer cells can, however, slip through SAC, exit mitosis prematurely and resist killing. We show here that the Fcp1 phosphatase and Wee1, the cyclin B-dependent kinase (cdk) 1 inhibitory kinase, play a role for this slippage/resistance mechanism. During AMCD-induced prolonged mitosis, Fcp1-dependent Wee1 reactivation lowered cdk1 activity, weakening SAC-dependent mitotic arrest and leading to mitosis exit and survival. Conversely, genetic or chemical Wee1 inhibition strengthened the SAC, further extended mitosis, reduced antiapoptotic protein Mcl-1 to a minimum and potentiated killing in several, AMCD-treated cancer cell lines and primary human adult lymphoblastic leukemia cells. Thus, the Fcp1-Wee1-Cdk1 (FWC) axis affects SAC robustness and AMCDs sensitivity.

  18. Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) and hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) deficiencies affect expression of lipolytic activities in mouse adipose tissues.

    PubMed

    Morak, Maria; Schmidinger, Hannes; Riesenhuber, Gernot; Rechberger, Gerald N; Kollroser, Manfred; Haemmerle, Guenter; Zechner, Rudolf; Kronenberg, Florian; Hermetter, Albin

    2012-12-01

    Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) and hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) are key enzymes involved in intracellular degradation of triacylglycerols. It was the aim of this study to elucidate how the deficiency in one of these proteins affects the residual lipolytic proteome in adipose tissue. For this purpose, we compared the lipase patterns of brown and white adipose tissue from ATGL (-/-) and HSL (-/-) mice using differential activity-based gel electrophoresis. This method is based on activity-recognition probes possessing the same substrate analogous structure but carrying different fluorophores for specific detection of the enzyme patterns of two different tissues in one electrophoresis gel. We found that ATGL-deficiency in brown adipose tissue had a profound effect on the expression levels of other lipolytic and esterolytic enzymes in this tissue, whereas HSL-deficiency hardly showed any effect in brown adipose tissue. Neither ATGL- nor HSL-deficiency greatly influenced the lipase patterns in white adipose tissue. Enzyme activities of mouse tissues on acylglycerol substrates were analyzed as well, showing that ATGL-and HSL-deficiencies can be compensated for at least in part by other enzymes. The proteins that responded to ATGL-deficiency in brown adipose tissue were overexpressed and their activities on acylglycerols were analyzed. Among these enzymes, Es1, Es10, and Es31-like represent lipase candidates as they catalyze the hydrolysis of long-chain acylglycerols.

  19. Managed island ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McEachern, Kathryn; Atwater, Tanya; Collins, Paul W.; Faulkner, Kate R.; Richards, Daniel V.

    2016-01-01

    This long-anticipated reference and sourcebook for California’s remarkable ecological abundance provides an integrated assessment of each major ecosystem type—its distribution, structure, function, and management. A comprehensive synthesis of our knowledge about this biologically diverse state, Ecosystems of California covers the state from oceans to mountaintops using multiple lenses: past and present, flora and fauna, aquatic and terrestrial, natural and managed. Each chapter evaluates natural processes for a specific ecosystem, describes drivers of change, and discusses how that ecosystem may be altered in the future. This book also explores the drivers of California’s ecological patterns and the history of the state’s various ecosystems, outlining how the challenges of climate change and invasive species and opportunities for regulation and stewardship could potentially affect the state’s ecosystems. The text explicitly incorporates both human impacts and conservation and restoration efforts and shows how ecosystems support human well-being. Edited by two esteemed ecosystem ecologists and with overviews by leading experts on each ecosystem, this definitive work will be indispensable for natural resource management and conservation professionals as well as for undergraduate or graduate students of California’s environment and curious naturalists.

  20. Nighttime dissolution in a temperate coastal ocean ecosystem increases under acidification.

    PubMed

    Kwiatkowski, Lester; Gaylord, Brian; Hill, Tessa; Hosfelt, Jessica; Kroeker, Kristy J; Nebuchina, Yana; Ninokawa, Aaron; Russell, Ann D; Rivest, Emily B; Sesboüé, Marine; Caldeira, Ken

    2016-03-18

    Anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing ocean acidification, lowering seawater aragonite (CaCO3) saturation state (Ω arag), with potentially substantial impacts on marine ecosystems over the 21(st) Century. Calcifying organisms have exhibited reduced calcification under lower saturation state conditions in aquaria. However, the in situ sensitivity of calcifying ecosystems to future ocean acidification remains unknown. Here we assess the community level sensitivity of calcification to local CO2-induced acidification caused by natural respiration in an unperturbed, biodiverse, temperate intertidal ecosystem. We find that on hourly timescales nighttime community calcification is strongly influenced by Ω arag, with greater net calcium carbonate dissolution under more acidic conditions. Daytime calcification however, is not detectably affected by Ω arag. If the short-term sensitivity of community calcification to Ω arag is representative of the long-term sensitivity to ocean acidification, nighttime dissolution in these intertidal ecosystems could more than double by 2050, with significant ecological and economic consequences.

  1. Is increasing industrialization affecting remote ecosystem health in the South Americas? Insights from ocean surface water measurements of As, Sb and Pb from a GEOTRACES transect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiss, Dominik; Salaun, Pascal; Van den Berg, Stan; Bi, Zaoshun

    2014-05-01

    Continued industrial development of the South Americas with increasing atmospheric emission of toxic trace metals has lead to a growing concern about possible effects on pristine ecosystem health. Concentration measurements of trace metals in ocean surface waters in the North Atlantic have successfully revealed the global extent of atmospheric pollution in the Northern Hemisphere during economical growth in the USA and Europe, suggesting a similar approach can be applied to the Southern Hemisphere. To this end, we determined concentrations of lead (Pb), antimony (Sb) and arsenic (As) using voltammetry in surface water samples of the South Atlantic Ocean collected during the third leg of the GEOTRACES West Atlantic Cruise. These elements are volatile and therefore most likely suitable tracer elements of industrial emissions from South America. The samples were not filtered and the solutions were acidified and UV digested. Total concentrations of Pb were detected. Detected As levels correspond to the sum of inorganic species (AsIII + AsV) plus the mono methyl arsenic acid (MMA) while the dimethyl arsenic acid (DMA) is not detected in such conditions. For Sb, detected levels correspond at least to the sum of inorganic fractions (SbIII + SbV). The measured concentrations for Pb varied from 6 to 23 pM. Concentrations were highest at -35° latitude and lowest at -40° and -50° latitude. We found a decreasing trend from about -35° latitude southwards. The average concentrations of As was 20 nM and of Sb 1.2 nM. Arsenic showed a more significant north to south trend than Sb. Arsenic concentration was highest at -23 ° latitude (21 nM) and the lowest at -43 ° latitude (17.7 nM). Antimony concentration was highest at -31 ° latitude (1.5 nM) and lowest at -35 ° latitude (1.0 nM). Our preliminary data suggests that the major industrial centres in Brazil (i.e., Sao Paolo, Rio de Janeiro) and Argentina (i.e., Buenos Aires) affect atmospheric metal fluxes to remote

  2. Myocardial performance index is sensitive to changes in cardiac contractility, but is also affected by vascular load condition.

    PubMed

    Uemura, Kazunori; Kawada, Toru; Zheng, Can; Li, Meihua; Shishido, Toshiaki; Sugimachi, Masaru

    2013-01-01

    Myocardial performance index (MPI), or Tei index, is measured by Doppler echocardiography in clinical practice. MPI has been shown to be useful in evaluating left ventricular (LV) performance and predicting prognosis in cardiac patients. However, the effects of LV load and contractile states on MPI remain to be thoroughly investigated. In 14 anesthetized dogs, we obtained LV pressure-volume relationship with use of sonomicrometry and catheter-tip manometry. MPI was determined from the time derivative of LV volume and pressure. LV end-systolic pressure-volume ratio (Ees'), effective arterial elastance (Ea) and LV end-diastolic volume (Ved) were used as indices of LV contractility, afterload and preload, respectively. Hemodynamic conditions were varied over wide ranges [heart rate (HR), 66-192 bpm; mean arterial pressure, 71-177 mmHg] by infusing cardiovascular agents, by inducing ischemic heart failure and by electrical atrial pacing. Multiple linear regression analysis of pooled data (66 data sets) indicated that MPI (0.6-1.8) significantly correlated with Ees' [1.5-17.5 mmHg · ml(-1), p<0.0001, standard partial regression coefficient (β) =-0.66], Ea (3.6-21.9 mmHg · ml(-1), p<0.001, β = 0.4) and Ved (11-100 ml, p<0.0001, β = -0.69). MPI directly correlated with the time constant of isovolumic relaxation (19-66 ms, p<0.05), but not with HR or LV diastolic-stiffness (all p>0.1). Theoretical analysis also indicated that MPI decreases following the increases in LV contractility and in preload, while it increases in response to an increase in LV afterload. We conclude that MPI sensitively detects changes in LV contractility. However, MPI is also affected by changes in LV afterload and preload. PMID:24109782

  3. Ecosystem Journalism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robertson, Amy; Mahlin, Kathryn

    2005-01-01

    If the organisms in a prairie ecosystem created a newspaper, what would it look like? What important news topics of the ecosystem would the organisms want to discuss? Imaginative and enthusiastic third-grade students were busy pondering these questions as they tried their hands at "ecosystem journalism." The class had recently completed a study of…

  4. Ecosystem Jenga!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Umphlett, Natalie; Brosius, Tierney; Laungani, Ramesh; Rousseau, Joe; Leslie-Pelecky, Diandra L.

    2009-01-01

    To give students a tangible model of an ecosystem and have them experience what could happen if a component of that ecosystem were removed; the authors developed a hands-on, inquiry-based activity that visually demonstrates the concept of a delicately balanced ecosystem through a modification of the popular game Jenga. This activity can be…

  5. Natural ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fleishman, Erica; Belnap, Jayne; Cobb, Neil; Enquist, Carolyn A.F.; Ford, Karl; MacDonald, Glen; Pellant, Mike; Schoennagel, Tania; Schmit, Lara M.; Schwartz, Mark; van Drunick, Suzanne; Westerling, Anthony LeRoy; Keyser, Alisa; Lucas, Ryan

    2013-01-01

    Natural Ecosystems analyzes the association of observed changes in climate with changes in the geographic distributions and phenology (the timing of blossoms or migrations of birds) for Southwestern ecosystems and their species, portraying ecosystem disturbances—such as wildfires and outbreaks of forest pathogens—and carbon storage and release, in relation to climate change.

  6. Forest ecosystems: Vegetation, disturbance, and economics: Chapter 5

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Littell, Jeremy S.; Hicke, Jeffrey A.; Shafer, Sarah L.; Capalbo, Susan M.; Houston, Laurie L.; Glick, Patty

    2013-01-01

    Forests cover about 47% of the Northwest (NW–Washington, Oregon, and Idaho) (Smith et al. 2009, fig. 5.1, table 5.1). The impacts of current and future climate change on NW forest ecosystems are a product of the sensitivities of ecosystem processes to climate and the degree to which humans depend on and interact with those systems. Forest ecosystem structure and function, particularly in relatively unmanaged forests where timber harvest and other land use have smaller effects, is sensitive to climate change because climate has a strong influence on ecosystem processes. Climate can affect forest structure directly through its control of plan physiology and life history (establishment, individual growth, productivity, and morality) or indirectly through its control of disturbance (fire, insects, disease). As climate changes, many forest processes will be affected, altering ecosystem services such as timber production and recreation. These changes have socioeconomic implications (e.g. for timber economies) and will require changes to current management of forests. Climate and management will interact to determine the forests of the future, and the scientific basis for adaptation to climate change in forests thus depends significantly on how forests will be affected.

  7. The Effects of T-Group Training and Group Video Recall Procedures on Affective Sensitivity, Openmindedness and Self-Perception Change in Counselors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cerra, Patrick Frank

    This study investigated the relative effect of T group training and Group Video Recall (GVR) procedures in the growth of affective sensitivity, openmindedness, and self-perception in 17 Indiana University students majoring or minoring in Counseling and Guidance. Relationships among the three behaviors were also sought. The Rokeach Dogmatism Scale…

  8. Maternal respiratory sensitization and gestational allergen exposure does not affect subsequent pup responses to homologous or heterologous allergen.

    PubMed

    Pucheu-Haston, Cherie M; Copeland, Lisa B; Haykal-Coates, Najwa; Ward, Marsha D W

    2010-03-01

    Evidence suggests that the predisposition towards atopy begins early in life. Maternal allergy has been associated with an increased risk of the development of allergic disease in offspring. Some studies suggest that the development of childhood atopy may also be influenced by prenatal allergen exposure. In this study, a respiratory allergen exposure model was used to determine the impact of maternal sensitization (with or without additional exposures during pregnancy) on subsequent pup responses to homologous or heterologous allergen. Female BALB/c mice received two intratracheal aspiration (IA) exposures to Metarhizium anisopliae crude antigen (MACA) or Hank's buffered salt solution (HBSS) prior to breeding. Some mice also received three additional exposures during pregnancy. Control mothers did not receive treatment. Young adult offspring received three IA exposures to MACA, house dust mite extract (HDM) or HBSS. Offspring sensitized as young adults to either HDM or MACA developed an airway inflammatory response, including increased bronchoalveolar lavage fluid lactate dehydrogenase activity, total protein and total and differential cell counts compared to offspring exposed to HBSS. Increased airway responsiveness to methacholine was observed in pups treated with HDM but not with MACA. Maternal sensitization status (with or without gestational allergen exposure) had no effect on offspring response to either MACA or HDM. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that IA administration of MACA or HDM extract to young adult BALB/c mice induces the development of an inflammatory airway response. In contrast to previous reports, neither maternal sensitization nor gestational allergen exposure could be demonstrated to have a clear effect on offspring sensitization. This discrepancy may be a function of the respiratory sensitization and exposure protocol used in this study, which mimics natural sensitization more closely than do parenteral routes of exposure. PMID

  9. Assessment of toxicity thresholds in aquatic environments: does benthic growth of diatoms affect their exposure and sensitivity to herbicides?

    PubMed

    Larras, Floriane; Montuelle, Bernard; Bouchez, Agnès

    2013-10-01

    Benthic diatoms evolved in a biofilm structure, at the interface between water and substrata. Biofilms can adsorb toxicants, such as herbicides, but little is known about the exposure of biofilm organisms, such as benthic diatoms, to these adsorbed herbicides. We assessed the sensitivity of 11 benthic diatoms species to 6 herbicides under both planktonic and benthic conditions using single-species bioassays. The concentration that reduced the growth rate of the population by 10% (EC10) and 50% (EC50), respectively, varied depending on the species, the herbicides, and the growth forms involved. As a general trend, the more hydrophobic the herbicide, the more species were found to be sensitive under benthic growth conditions. Statistical differences (alpha<5%) were observed between the sensitivities under planktonic and benthic growth conditions for many hydrophobic herbicides. A protective effect of the biofilm against herbicides was observed, and this tended to decrease (at both the EC10 and EC50 levels) with increasing hydrophobicity. The biofilm matrix appeared to control exposure to herbicides, and consequently their toxicity towards benthic diatoms. For metolachlor, terbutryn and irgarol, benthic thresholds derived from species sensitivity distributions were more protective than planktonic thresholds. For hydrophobic herbicides, deriving sensitivity thresholds from data obtained under benthic growth seems to offer a promising alternative.

  10. Neural correlates of automatic perceptual sensitivity to facial affect in posttraumatic stress disorder subjects who survived L'Aquila eartquake of April 6, 2009.

    PubMed

    Mazza, Monica; Catalucci, Alessia; Mariano, Melania; Pino, Maria Chiara; Tripaldi, Simona; Roncone, Rita; Gallucci, Massimo

    2012-09-01

    The "Emotional Numbing" (EN) constitutes one of the core symptoms in PTSD although its exact nature remains elusive. This disorder shows an abnormal response of cortical and limbic regions which are normally involved in understanding emotions since the very earliest stages of the development of processing ability. The aim of our study, which included ten physically healthy subjects with PTSD, diagnosed according to DSM-IV-TR, who survived L'Aquila earthquake of April 6, 2009, and 10 healthy controls matching for age, sex and education, was to examine automatic perceptual sensitivity to facial affect in PTSD, through an affective priming task that was administered during functional magnetic resonance (fMRI). Behavioural data revealed in the PTSD group a higher sensitivity to negative facial affect on an automatic processing level. FMRI data analysis revealed that PTSD subjects showed a significantly higher activation in right insula and left amygdala that we did not observe in healthy subjects; on the contrary, healthy controls showed a greater activation of left lingual gyrus. Our data support the hypothesis that PTSD appears to be sensitive to negative affect on an automatic processing level and correlates with the activation of specific areas involved in processing emotions. An elevated activation of these areas may underlie the emotion dysregulation in PTSD and could explain the Emotional Numbing symptom associated with this disorder. The present study suffers of a number of limitations, for instance, the relatively small sample size did not allow the application of alternative statistical models.

  11. Quantification of soil respiration in forest ecosystems across China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Xinzhang; Peng, Changhui; Zhao, Zhengyong; Zhang, Zhiting; Guo, Baohua; Wang, Weifeng; Jiang, Hong; Zhu, Qiuan

    2014-09-01

    We collected 139 estimates of the annual forest soil CO2 flux and 173 estimates of the Q10 value (the temperature sensitivity) assembled from 90 published studies across Chinese forest ecosystems. We analyzed the annual soil respiration (Rs) rates and the temperature sensitivities of seven forest ecosystems, including evergreen broadleaf forests (EBF), deciduous broadleaf forests (DBF), broadleaf and needleleaf mixed forests (BNMF), evergreen needleleaf forests (ENF), deciduous needleleaf forests (DNF), bamboo forests (BF) and shrubs (SF). The results showed that the mean annual Rs rate was 33.65 t CO2 ha-1 year-1 across Chinese forest ecosystems. Rs rates were significantly different (P < 0.001) among the seven forest types, and were significantly and positively influenced by mean annual temperature (MAT), mean annual precipitation (MAP), and actual evapotranspiration (AET); but negatively affected by latitude and elevation. The mean Q10 value of 1.28 was lower than the world average (1.4-2.0). The Q10 values derived from the soil temperature at a depth of 5 cm varied among forest ecosystems by an average of 2.46 and significantly decreased with the MAT but increased with elevation and latitude. Moreover, our results suggested that an artificial neural network (ANN) model can effectively predict Rs across Chinese forest ecosystems. This study contributes to better understanding of Rs across Chinese forest ecosystems and their possible responses to global warming.

  12. Partial inactivation of nucleus accumbens core decreases delay discounting in rats without affecting sensitivity to delay or magnitude.

    PubMed

    Moschak, Travis M; Mitchell, Suzanne H

    2014-07-15

    Increased preference for smaller, sooner rewards (delay discounting) is associated with several behavioral disorders, including ADHD and substance use disorders. However, delay discounting is a complex cognitive process and the relationship is unclear between the pathophysiology of the disorders and the component processes underlying delay discounting, including sensitivity to reinforcer delay and sensitivity to reinforcer magnitude. To investigate these processes, male Long Evans rats were trained in one of three tasks measuring sensitivity to delay, sensitivity to magnitude, or both (typical delay discounting task). After learning the task, animals were implanted with bilateral cannulae into either the nucleus accumbens core (AcbC) or the lateral orbitofrontal cortex (lOFC), both of which have been implicated in delay discounting. Upon recovering from the surgery, a baclofen/muscimol cocktail was infused to temporarily inactivate each of these two regions and task performance was assessed. Unlike previous studies showing that lesions of the AcbC increased delay discounting, partial inactivation of the AcbC decreased delay discounting, although it had no effects on the tasks independently assessing either sensitivity to delay or magnitude. The effects of AcbC inactivation were larger in animals that had low levels of delay discounting at baseline. Inactivation of the lOFC had no effects on behavior in any task. These findings suggest that the AcbC may act to promote impulsive choice in individuals with low impulsivity. Furthermore, the data suggest that the AcbC is able to modulate delay and magnitude sensitivity together, but not either of the two in isolation.

  13. AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS,

    EPA Science Inventory

    Aquatic ecosystems are a vital part of the urban water cycle (and of urban areas more broadly), and, if healthy, provide a range of goods and services valued by humans (Meyer 1997). For example, aquatic ecosystems (e.g., rivers, lakes, wetlands) provide potable water, food resou...

  14. Assessment of Relationship-Specific Incentive and Threat Sensitivities: Predicting Satisfaction and Affect in Adult Intimate Relationships

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Laurenceau, Jean-Philippe; Kleinman, Brighid M.; Kaczynski, Karen J.; Carver, Charles S.

    2010-01-01

    Self-report scales assessing relationship-specific incentive and threat sensitivity were created. Initial tests of factor structure and associations with relationship quality were conducted in a sample of persons in intimate relationships (Study 1). Associations with conceptually related measures were examined to determine convergent and…

  15. X-ray survival characteristics and genetic analysis for nineSaccharomyces deletion mutants that affect radiation sensitivity

    SciTech Connect

    Game, John C.; Williamson, Marsha S.; Baccari, Clelia

    2006-07-21

    We examine ionizing radiation (IR) sensitivity and epistasisrelationships of several Saccharomyces mutants affectingpost-translational modifications of histones H2B and H3. Mutantsbre1delta, lge1delta, and rtf1delta, defective in histone H2B lysine 123ubiquitination, show IR sensitivity equivalent to that of the dot1deltamutant that we reported on earlier, consistent with published findingsthat Dot1p requires H2B K123 ubiquitination to fully methylate histone H3K79. This implicates progressive K79 methylation rather thanmono-methylation in IR resistance. The set2delta mutant, defective in H3K36 methylation, shows mild IR sensitivity whereas mutants that abolishH3 K4 methylation resemble wild type. The dot1delta, bre1delta, andlge1delta mutants show epistasis for IR sensitivity. The paf1deltamutant, also reportedly defective in H2B K123 ubiquitination, confers nosensitivity. The rad6delta, rad51null, rad50delta, and rad9deltamutations are epistatic to bre1? and dot1delta, but rad18delta andrad5delta show additivity with bre1delta, dot1delta, and each other. Thebre1delta rad18delta double mutant resembles rad6delta in sensitivity;thus the role of Rad6p in ubiquitinating H2B accounts for its extrasensitivity compared to rad18delta. We conclude that IR resistanceconferred by BRE1 and DOT1 is mediated through homologous recombinationalrepair, not postreplication repair, and confirm findings of a G1checkpoint role for the RAD6/BRE1/DOT1 pathway.

  16. Richness, biomass, and nutrient content of a wetland macrophyte community affect soil nitrogen cycling in a diversity-ecosystem functioning experiment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Korol, Alicia R.; Ahn, Changwoo; Noe, Gregory

    2016-01-01

    The development of soil nitrogen (N) cycling in created wetlands promotes the maturation of multiple biogeochemical cycles necessary for ecosystem functioning. This development proceeds from gradual changes in soil physicochemical properties and influential characteristics of the plant community, such as competitive behavior, phenology, productivity, and nutrient composition. In the context of a 2-year diversity experiment in freshwater mesocosms (0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 richness levels), we assessed the direct and indirect impacts of three plant community characteristics – species richness, total biomass, and tissue N concentration – on three processes in the soil N cycle – soil net ammonification, net nitrification, and denitrification potentials. Species richness had a positive effect on net ammonification potential (NAP) through higher redox potentials and likely faster microbial respiration. All NAP rates were negative, however, due to immobilization and high rates of ammonium removal. Net nitrification was inhibited at higher species richness without mediation from the measured soil properties. Higher species richness also inhibited denitrification potential through increased redox potential and decreased nitrification. Both lower biomass and/or higher tissue ratios of carbon to nitrogen, characteristics indicative of the two annual plants, were shown to have stimulatory effects on all three soil N processes. The two mediating physicochemical links between the young macrophyte community and microbial N processes were soil redox potential and temperature. Our results suggest that early-successional annual plant communities play an important role in the development of ecosystem N multifunctionality in newly created wetland soils.

  17. The association of dehydroepiandrosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate with anxiety sensitivity and electronic diary negative affect among smokers with and without posttraumatic stress disorder.

    PubMed

    Van Voorhees, Elizabeth E; Dennis, Michelle F; McClernon, F Joseph; Calhoun, Patrick S; Buse, Natalie A; Beckham, Jean C

    2013-08-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with increased smoking initiation, maintenance, and relapse. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and DHEA sulfate (DHEAS) are neurosteroids that have been associated with mood measures as well as smoking status, and nicotine is associated with increased DHEA and DHEAS levels. Given the difficulties with mood experienced by smokers with PTSD, the purpose of the current study was to evaluate the association between negative affect and anxiety sensitivity with DHEA and DHEAS levels. Ninety-six smokers with and without PTSD provided blood samples for neurosteroid analyses and completed self-report measures of anxiety sensitivity and electronic diary ratings of negative affect. As expected, PTSD smokers reported higher levels of anxiety sensitivity (F(1,94) = 20.67, partial η2 = 0.18, P < 0.0001) and negative affect (F(1,91) = 7.98, partial η2 = 0.08, P = 0.006). After accounting for age and sex, DHEAS was significantly inversely associated with both anxiety sensitivity (F(3,92) = 6.97, partial η2 = 0.07, P = 0.01) and negative affect (F(3,87) = 10.52, partial η2 = 0.11, P = 0.002) across groups. Effect sizes indicated that these effects are moderate to high. No significant interactions of diagnosis and DHEA(S) levels with mood measures were detected. Given that nicotine is known to elevate DHEA(S) levels, these results suggest that DHEAS may serve as a biomarker of the association between mood and nicotine among smokers. Implications for the results include (1) the use of DHEAS measurement across time and across quit attempts and (2) the potential for careful use of DHEA supplementation to facilitate abstinence during smoking cessation.

  18. Relation of chlorophyll fluorescence sensitive reflectance ratios to carbon flux measurements of montanne grassland and norway spruce forest ecosystems in the temperate zone.

    PubMed

    Ač, Alexander; Malenovský, Zbyněk; Urban, Otmar; Hanuš, Jan; Zitová, Martina; Navrátil, Martin; Vráblová, Martina; Olejníčková, Julie; Spunda, Vladimír; Marek, Michal

    2012-01-01

    We explored ability of reflectance vegetation indexes (VIs) related to chlorophyll fluorescence emission (R₆₈₆/R₆₃₀, R₇₄₀/R₈₀₀) and de-epoxidation state of xanthophyll cycle pigments (PRI, calculated as (R₅₃₁- R₅₇₀)/(R₅₃₁-R₅₇₀) to track changes in the CO₂ assimilation rate and Light Use Efficiency (LUE) in montane grassland and Norway spruce forest ecosystems, both at leaf and also canopy level. VIs were measured at two research plots using a ground-based high spatial/spectral resolution imaging spectroscopy technique. No significant relationship between VIs and leaf light-saturated CO₂ assimilation (A(MAX)) was detected in instantaneous measurements of grassland under steady-state irradiance conditions. Once the temporal dimension and daily irradiance variation were included into the experimental setup, statistically significant changes in VIs related to tested physiological parameters were revealed. ΔPRI and Δ(R₆₈₆/R₆₃₀) of grassland plant leaves under dark-to-full sunlight transition in the scale of minutes were significantly related to A(MAX) (R² = 0.51). In the daily course, the variation of VIs measured in one-hour intervals correlated well with the variation of Gross Primary Production (GPP), Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE), and LUE estimated via the eddy-covariance flux tower. Statistical results were weaker in the case of the grassland ecosystem, with the strongest statistical relation of the index R₆₈₆/R₆₃₀ with NEE and GPP.

  19. Description, calibration and sensitivity analysis of the local ecosystem submodel of a global model of carbon and nitrogen cycling and the water balance in the terrestrial biosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Kercher, J.R.; Chambers, J.Q. |

    1995-10-01

    We have developed a geographically-distributed ecosystem model for the carbon, nitrogen, and water dynamics of the terrestrial biosphere TERRA. The local ecosystem model of TERRA consists of coupled, modified versions of TEM and DAYTRANS. The ecosystem model in each grid cell calculates water fluxes of evaporation, transpiration, and runoff; carbon fluxes of gross primary productivity, litterfall, and plant and soil respiration; and nitrogen fluxes of vegetation uptake, litterfall, mineralization, immobilization, and system loss. The state variables are soil water content; carbon in live vegetation; carbon in soil; nitrogen in live vegetation; organic nitrogen in soil and fitter; available inorganic nitrogen aggregating nitrites, nitrates, and ammonia; and a variable for allocation. Carbon and nitrogen dynamics are calibrated to specific sites in 17 vegetation types. Eight parameters are determined during calibration for each of the 17 vegetation types. At calibration, the annual average values of carbon in vegetation C, show site differences that derive from the vegetation-type specific parameters and intersite variation in climate and soils. From calibration, we recover the average C{sub v} of forests, woodlands, savannas, grasslands, shrublands, and tundra that were used to develop the model initially. The timing of the phases of the annual variation is driven by temperature and light in the high latitude and moist temperate zones. The dry temperate zones are driven by temperature, precipitation, and light. In the tropics, precipitation is the key variable in annual variation. The seasonal responses are even more clearly demonstrated in net primary production and show the same controlling factors.

  20. Enteric YaiW Is a Surface-Exposed Outer Membrane Lipoprotein That Affects Sensitivity to an Antimicrobial Peptide

    PubMed Central

    Arnold, Markus F. F.; Caro-Hernandez, Paola; Tan, Karen; Runti, Giulia; Wehmeier, Silvia; Scocchi, Marco; Doerrler, William T.; Ferguson, Gail P.

    2014-01-01

    yaiW is a previously uncharacterized gene found in enteric bacteria that is of particular interest because it is located adjacent to the sbmA gene, whose bacA ortholog is required for Sinorhizobium meliloti symbiosis and Brucella abortus pathogenesis. We show that yaiW is cotranscribed with sbmA in Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi and Typhimurium strains. We present evidence that the YaiW is a palmitate-modified surface exposed outer membrane lipoprotein. Since BacA function affects the very-long-chain fatty acid (VLCFA) modification of S. meliloti and B. abortus lipid A, we tested whether SbmA function might affect either the fatty acid modification of the YaiW lipoprotein or the fatty acid modification of enteric lipid A but found that it did not. Interestingly, we did observe that E. coli SbmA suppresses deficiencies in the VLCFA modification of the lipopolysaccharide of an S. meliloti bacA mutant despite the absence of VLCFA in E. coli. Finally, we found that both YaiW and SbmA positively affect the uptake of proline-rich Bac7 peptides, suggesting a possible connection between their cellular functions. PMID:24214946

  1. Prothrombotic SERPINC1 gene polymorphism may affect heparin sensitivity among different ethnicities of Chinese patients receiving heart surgery.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jiang; Ma, Hai-Ping; Ti, Ai Lai Ti Ta Lai; Zhang, Yong-Qiang; Zheng, Hong

    2015-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate a possible correlation between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the antithrombin (gene, SERPINC1, and perioperative sensitivity to heparin in patients receiving heart surgery. The SERPINC1 genotype and allele frequency, coagulation parameters 24 hours before and after surgery, and clinical findings were compared among 3 ethnic groups, Han, Uighur, and Kazakh, patientswho received heart surgery. In Han patients, longer coagulation time as well as higher heparin and protamine dosage was observed. SERPINC1 gene sequencing identified 2 mutations in exon 5, g.981A>G (rs5877) and g.1011A>G (rs5878). The minor allele frequency of allele (A>G) for rs5877 and rs5878 was higher in the Han patients and was significantly different among the ethnic groups (P = .004 and P = .006, respectively). The increased SERPINC1 SNP frequency among Han patients receiving heart surgery might contribute to the differences in their perioperative sensitivity to heparin.

  2. High-anxiety rats are less sensitive to the rewarding affects of amphetamine on 50kHz USV.

    PubMed

    Lehner, Małgorzata H; Taracha, Ewa; Kaniuga, Ewelina; Wisłowska-Stanek, Aleksandra; Wróbel, Jacek; Sobolewska, Alicja; Turzyńska, Danuta; Skórzewska, Anna; Płaźnik, Adam

    2014-12-15

    This study assessed behaviour, as measured by 50kHz calls related to positive affect, in rats with different fear conditioned response strengths: low-anxiety rats (LR) and high-anxiety rats (HR), after amphetamine injection in a two-injection protocol (TIPS). The results showed that the first dose of amphetamine evoked similar behavioural effects in frequency-modulated (FM) 50kHz calls in the LR and HR groups. The second injection of amphetamine resulted in stronger FM 50kHz calls in LR compared with HR rats. The biochemical data ('ex vivo' analysis) showed that the LR rats had increased basal levels of dopamine in the amygdala, and increased homovanilic acid (HVA), dopamine's main metabolite, in the amygdala and prefrontal cortex compared with HR rats. The 'in vivo' analysis (microdialysis study) showed that the LR rats had increased HVA concentrations in the basolateral amygdala in response to an aversively conditioned context. Research has suggested that differences in dopaminergic system activity in the amygdala and prefrontal cortex may be one of the biological factors that underlie individual differences in response to fear stimuli, which may also affect the rewarding effects of amphetamine.

  3. The CYP3A4 inhibitor intraconazole does not affect the pharmacokinetics of a new calcium-sensitizing drug levosimendan.

    PubMed

    Antila, S; Honkanen, T; Lehtonen, L; Neuvonen, P J

    1998-08-01

    Itraconazole is a potent inhibitor of CYP3A4 isoenzyme and it can cause clinically significant interactions with some other drugs. Levosimendan is a new calcium-sensitizing drug intended for congestive heart failure. We aimed to study possible interactions of itraconazole with levosimendan in healthy volunteers. Twelve healthy male volunteers were included into a randomized, double-blind, two-phase crossover study. A wash-out period of 4 weeks was held between the phases. The subjects were given orally itraconazole 200 mg or placebo daily for 5 days. On the fifth day, they received a single oral dose of 2 mg of levosimendan. Levosimendan plasma concentrations were determined up to 12 hours and ECG, heart rate, and blood pressure followed-up to 8 hours after intake of levosimendan. Itraconazole had no significant effects on the pharmacokinetic parameters of levosimendan. Neither were there any differences in heart rate, PQ-, QTc- or QRS intervals between the placebo and itraconazole phases. The systolic blood pressure was decreased slightly more (p < 0.05) during the itraconazole phase than during the placebo phase. In conclusion, because the potent CYP3A4 inhibitor itraconazole had no significant pharmacokinetic interaction with levosimendan, interactions with CYP3A4 inhibitor, and oral levosimendan are unlikely.

  4. Autocrine interferon-γ may affect malignant behavior and sensitivity to tamoxifen of MCF-7 via estrogen receptor β subtype.

    PubMed

    Niu, Xiu Long; Wang, Yue; Yao, Zhi; Duan, Hongjie; Li, Zhijun; Liu, Wenxing; Zhang, Hongjian; Deng, Wei Min

    2015-12-01

    Mitogenic actions of estrogens are mediated by two distinct estrogen receptors (ERs), which are critical in the progression and therapeutic response of breast cancer. ER expression is a dynamic phenomenon that is regulated by numerous factors, including cytokines, in the tumor microenvironment. Recently, studies have shown that autocrine production of IL-4 promotes cancer cell growth and there is negative correlation between tumor IL-4 and hormone receptor levels, suggesting that there is crosstalk between cytokine receptors and ER. Thus, we evaluated for interaction between the two ERs and the cytokines IL-4 and IFN-γ, and if this interaction modulates malignant behavior. We identified that ERβ exerts protective activity in the progression of breast cancer cell line MCF-7, which co-expresses ERα and ERβ. IFN-γ and IL-4 have the opposite effects on malignant biological behavior. Furthermore, we found positive correlation between IFN-γ and ERβ expression in MCF-7. We also determined that autocrine IFN-γ in MCF-7 increases mRNA expression of ERβ resulting in enhanced sensitivity to tamoxifen (TAM). These results indicate that ERβ and autocrine IFN-γ represent two putative targets for breast cancer therapy.

  5. How do elevated [CO2], warming, and reduced precipitation interact to affect soil moisture and LAI in an old field ecosystem?

    SciTech Connect

    Dermody, Orla; Weltzin, Jake; Engel, Elizabeth C.; Allen, Phillip; Norby, Richard J

    2007-01-01

    Soil moisture content and leaf area index (LAI) are properties that will be particularly important in mediating whole system responses to the combined effects of elevated atmospheric [CO2], warming and altered precipitation. Warming and drying will likely reduce soil moisture, and this effect may be exacerbated when these factors are combined. However, elevated [CO2] may increase soil moisture contents and when combined with warming and drying may partially compensate for their effects. The response of LAI to elevated [CO2] and warming will be closely tied to soil moisture status and may mitigate or exacerbate the effects of global change on soil moisture. Using open-top chambers (4-m diameter), the interactive effects of elevated [CO2], warming, and differential irrigation on soil moisture availability were examined in the OCCAM (Old-Field Community Climate and Atmospheric Manipulation) experiment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in eastern Tennessee. Warming consistently reduced soil moisture contents and this effect was exacerbated by reduced irrigation. However, elevated [CO2] partially compensated for the effects of warming and drying on soil moisture. Changes in LAI were closely linked to soil moisture status. LAI was determined using an AccuPAR ceptometer and both the leaf area duration (LAD) and canopy size were increased by irrigation and elevated [CO2]. The climate of the southeastern United States is predicted to be warmer and drier in the future. This research suggests that although elevated [CO2] will partially ameliorate the effects of warming and drying, losses of soil moisture will increase from old field ecosystems in the future.

  6. MicroRNA-144 affects radiotherapy sensitivity by promoting proliferation, migration and invasion of breast cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Yu, Lei; Yang, Yanming; Hou, Jiguang; Zhai, Chengwei; Song, Yunhao; Zhang, Zhiliang; Qiu, Ling; Jia, Xiaojing

    2015-10-01

    Radiotherapy resistance remains a major obstacle for patients with breast cancer. miRNAs are important regulators in many biological processes including proliferation, apoptosis, invasion and metastasis and response to treatment in different types of tumors. Here, we describe the role of miRNA-144 in the regulation of radiotherapy sensitivity, migration and invasion of breast cancer cells. The cell survival rate of breast cancer cells was measured by WST-1 assay after irradiation. The caspase-3/-7 activity and apoptotic proteins were analyzed by Caspase-Glo3/7 assay and western blot analysis, respectively. The migration and invasion of breast cancer cells were evaluated by BD Transwell migration and Matrigel invasion assays. The EMT markers were detected by western blot analysis. We found that overexpression of miR-144 increased the proliferation rate of MDA-MB-231 cells without radiation. Both MDA-MB‑231 and SKBR3 cells exhibited significantly increased radiation resistance after overexpression of miR-144. Meanwhile, the migration and invasion of both MDA-MB-231 and SKBR3 cells were changed by altered miR-144 expression. In addition, the overexpression of miR-144 inhibited E-cadherin expression and promoted Snail expression. miR-144 activated AKT by downregulation of PTEN in breast cancer cells. Our results strongly suggest that miR-144 acts as an important regulator of tumorigenesis and tumor progression of breast cancer. These results indicate that miR-144 might serve as a potential molecular target for breast cancer treatment.

  7. Series Length Used during Trend Analysis Affects Sensitivity to Changes in Progression Rate in the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study

    PubMed Central

    Gardiner, Stuart K.; Demirel, Shaban; De Moraes, Carlos Gustavo; Liebmann, Jeffrey M.; Cioffi, George A.; Ritch, Robert; Gordon, Mae O.; Kass, Michael A.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose. Trend analysis techniques to detect glaucomatous progression typically assume a constant rate of change. This study uses data from the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study to assess whether this assumption decreases sensitivity to changes in progression rate, by including earlier periods of stability. Methods. Series of visual fields (mean 24 per eye) completed at 6-month intervals from participants randomized initially to observation were split into subseries before and after the initiation of treatment (the “split-point”). The mean deviation rate of change (MDR) was derived using these entire subseries, and using only the window length (W) tests nearest the split-point, for different window lengths of W tests. A generalized estimating equation model was used to detect changes in MDR occurring at the split-point. Results. Using shortened subseries with W = 7 tests, the MDR slowed by 0.142 dB/y upon initiation of treatment (P < 0.001), and the proportion of eyes showing “rapid deterioration” (MDR <–0.5 dB/y with P < 5%) decreased from 11.8% to 6.5% (P < 0.001). Using the entire sequence, no significant change in MDR was detected (P = 0.796), and there was no change in the proportion of eyes progressing (P = 0.084). Window lengths 6 ≤ W ≤ 9 produced similar benefits. Conclusions. Event analysis revealed a beneficial treatment effect in this dataset. This effect was not detected by linear trend analysis applied to entire series, but was detected when using shorter subseries of length between six and nine fields. Using linear trend analysis on the entire field sequence may not be optimal for detecting and monitoring progression. Nonlinear analyses may be needed for long series of fields. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00000125.) PMID:23349433

  8. Are age-related differences between young and older adults in an affective working memory test sensitive to the music effects?

    PubMed

    Borella, Erika; Carretti, Barbara; Grassi, Massimo; Nucci, Massimo; Sciore, Roberta

    2014-01-01

    There are evidences showing that music can affect cognitive performance by improving our emotional state. The aim of the current study was to analyze whether age-related differences between young and older adults in a Working Memory (WM) Span test in which the stimuli to be recalled have a different valence (i.e., neutral, positive, or negative words), are sensitive to exposure to music. Because some previous studies showed that emotional words can sustain older adults' performance in WM, we examined whether listening to music could enhance the benefit of emotional material, with respect to neutral words, on WM performance decreasing the age-related difference between younger and older adults. In particular, the effect of two types of music (Mozart vs. Albinoni), which differ in tempo, arousal and mood induction, on age-related differences in an affective version of the Operation WM Span task was analyzed. Results showed no effect of music on the WM test regardless of the emotional content of the music (Mozart vs. Albinoni). However, a valence effect for the words in the WM task was found with a higher number of negative words recalled with respect to positive and neutral ones in both younger and older adults. When individual differences in terms of accuracy in the processing phase of the Operation Span task were considered, only younger low-performing participants were affected by the type music, with the Albinoni condition that lowered their performance with respect to the Mozart condition. Such a result suggests that individual differences in WM performance, at least when young adults are considered, could be affected by the type of music. Altogether, these findings suggest that complex span tasks, such as WM tasks, along with age-related differences are not sensitive to music effects. PMID:25426064

  9. Are age-related differences between young and older adults in an affective working memory test sensitive to the music effects?

    PubMed

    Borella, Erika; Carretti, Barbara; Grassi, Massimo; Nucci, Massimo; Sciore, Roberta

    2014-01-01

    There are evidences showing that music can affect cognitive performance by improving our emotional state. The aim of the current study was to analyze whether age-related differences between young and older adults in a Working Memory (WM) Span test in which the stimuli to be recalled have a different valence (i.e., neutral, positive, or negative words), are sensitive to exposure to music. Because some previous studies showed that emotional words can sustain older adults' performance in WM, we examined whether listening to music could enhance the benefit of emotional material, with respect to neutral words, on WM performance decreasing the age-related difference between younger and older adults. In particular, the effect of two types of music (Mozart vs. Albinoni), which differ in tempo, arousal and mood induction, on age-related differences in an affective version of the Operation WM Span task was analyzed. Results showed no effect of music on the WM test regardless of the emotional content of the music (Mozart vs. Albinoni). However, a valence effect for the words in the WM task was found with a higher number of negative words recalled with respect to positive and neutral ones in both younger and older adults. When individual differences in terms of accuracy in the processing phase of the Operation Span task were considered, only younger low-performing participants were affected by the type music, with the Albinoni condition that lowered their performance with respect to the Mozart condition. Such a result suggests that individual differences in WM performance, at least when young adults are considered, could be affected by the type of music. Altogether, these findings suggest that complex span tasks, such as WM tasks, along with age-related differences are not sensitive to music effects.

  10. Are age-related differences between young and older adults in an affective working memory test sensitive to the music effects?

    PubMed Central

    Borella, Erika; Carretti, Barbara; Grassi, Massimo; Nucci, Massimo; Sciore, Roberta

    2014-01-01

    There are evidences showing that music can affect cognitive performance by improving our emotional state. The aim of the current study was to analyze whether age-related differences between young and older adults in a Working Memory (WM) Span test in which the stimuli to be recalled have a different valence (i.e., neutral, positive, or negative words), are sensitive to exposure to music. Because some previous studies showed that emotional words can sustain older adults’ performance in WM, we examined whether listening to music could enhance the benefit of emotional material, with respect to neutral words, on WM performance decreasing the age-related difference between younger and older adults. In particular, the effect of two types of music (Mozart vs. Albinoni), which differ in tempo, arousal and mood induction, on age-related differences in an affective version of the Operation WM Span task was analyzed. Results showed no effect of music on the WM test regardless of the emotional content of the music (Mozart vs. Albinoni). However, a valence effect for the words in the WM task was found with a higher number of negative words recalled with respect to positive and neutral ones in both younger and older adults. When individual differences in terms of accuracy in the processing phase of the Operation Span task were considered, only younger low-performing participants were affected by the type music, with the Albinoni condition that lowered their performance with respect to the Mozart condition. Such a result suggests that individual differences in WM performance, at least when young adults are considered, could be affected by the type of music. Altogether, these findings suggest that complex span tasks, such as WM tasks, along with age-related differences are not sensitive to music effects. PMID:25426064

  11. The balance between methane emissions and uptake in a pond-grassland ecosystem: Evidence for high temperature-sensitivity of emissions

    SciTech Connect

    Torn, M.S.

    1995-06-01

    Methane emissions and uptake were studied in an annual grassland and in seasonally-flooded soils near a pond in California from 1991 to 1993. The pond margin emitted methane (0-229 mg CH{sub 4} m{sup -2} d{sup -1}). Uptake by the grasslands averaged -0.7 mg CH{sub 4} m{sup -2} d{sup -1}, and annual uptake was highly and positively correlated with soil carbon and nitrogen content (R{sup 2} = 0.97; n=5 sites) with no significant effect of sheep grazing. Field experiments were used to determine if emissions and uptake differed in their response to variation in temperature and moisture. Methane production and consumption responded differently to changes in temperature and moisture. Methane emissions were positively correlated with soil temperature, whereas methane uptake was not significantly related to temperature. The effective temperature response for emissions (e.g., Q{sub 10}) from locations with simultaneous production and consumption was much larger than the Q{sub 10} for production alone, a result with widespread implications. A model that incorporates both the differential effect of temperature on emissions and uptake, and the balance of production and consumption, predicts three times more change in global ecosystems emissions in response to warming than does a model that ignores these two features and includes only net methane release.

  12. Differential sensitivity to regional-scale drought in six central US grasslands.

    PubMed

    Knapp, Alan K; Carroll, Charles J W; Denton, Elsie M; La Pierre, Kimberly J; Collins, Scott L; Smith, Melinda D

    2015-04-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems often vary dramatically in their responses to drought, but the reasons for this are unclear. With climate change forecasts for more frequent and extensive drought in the future, a more complete understanding of the mechanisms that determine differential ecosystem sensitivity to drought is needed. In 2012, the Central US experienced the fourth largest drought in a century, with a regional-scale 40% reduction in growing season precipitation affecting ecosystems ranging from desert grassland to mesic tallgrass prairie. This provided an opportunity to assess ecosystem sensitivity to a drought of common magnitude in six native grasslands. We tested the prediction that drought sensitivity is inversely related to mean annual precipitation (MAP) by quantifying reductions in aboveground net primary production (ANPP). Long-term ANPP data available for each site (mean length = 16 years) were used as a baseline for calculating reductions in ANPP, and drought sensitivity was estimated as the reduction in ANPP per millimeter reduction in precipitation. Arid grasslands were the most sensitive to drought, but drought responses and sensitivity varied by more than twofold among the six grasslands, despite all sites experiencing 40% reductions in growing season precipitation. Although drought sensitivity generally decreased with increasing MAP as predicted, there was evidence that the identity and traits of the dominant species, as well as plant functional diversity, influenced sensitivity. A more comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms leading to differences in drought sensitivity will require multi-site manipulative experiments designed to assess both biotic and abiotic determinants of ecosystem sensitivity.

  13. Genetic Disruption of Both Tryptophan Hydroxylase Genes Dramatically Reduces Serotonin and Affects Behavior in Models Sensitive to Antidepressants

    PubMed Central

    Savelieva, Katerina V.; Rajan, Indrani; Yang, Qi; Cullinan, Emily; Lanthorn, Thomas H.

    2008-01-01

    The neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT) plays an important role in both the peripheral and central nervous systems. The biosynthesis of serotonin is regulated by two rate-limiting enzymes, tryptophan hydroxylase-1 and -2 (TPH1 and TPH2). We used a gene-targeting approach to generate mice with selective and complete elimination of the two known TPH isoforms. This resulted in dramatically reduced central 5-HT levels in Tph2 knockout (TPH2KO) and Tph1/Tph2 double knockout (DKO) mice; and substantially reduced peripheral 5-HT levels in DKO, but not TPH2KO mice. Therefore, differential expression of the two isoforms of TPH was reflected in corresponding depletion of 5-HT content in the brain and periphery. Surprisingly, despite the prominent and evolutionarily ancient role that 5-HT plays in both vertebrate and invertebrate physiology, none of these mutations resulted in an overt phenotype. TPH2KO and DKO mice were viable and normal in appearance. Behavioral alterations in assays with predictive validity for antidepressants were among the very few phenotypes uncovered. These behavioral changes were subtle in the TPH2KO mice; they were enhanced in the DKO mice. Herein, we confirm findings from prior descriptions of TPH1 knockout mice and present the first reported phenotypic evaluations of Tph2 and Tph1/Tph2 knockout mice. The behavioral effects observed in the TPH2 KO and DKO mice strongly confirm the role of 5-HT and its synthetic enzymes in the etiology and treatment of affective disorders. PMID:18923670

  14. Modifying metabolically sensitive histone marks by inhibiting glutamine metabolism affects gene expression and alters cancer cell phenotype.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Natalie E; Tryndyak, Volodymyr P; Pogribna, Marta; Beland, Frederick A; Pogribny, Igor P

    2012-12-01

    The interplay of metabolism and epigenetic regulatory mechanisms has become a focal point for a better understanding of cancer development and progression. In this study, we have acquired data supporting previous observations that demonstrate glutamine metabolism affects histone modifications in human breast cancer cell lines. Treatment of non-invasive epithelial (T-47D and MDA-MB-361) and invasive mesenchymal (MDA-MB-231 and Hs-578T) breast cancer cell lines with the glutaminase inhibitor, Compound 968, resulted in cytotoxicity in all cell lines, with the greatest effect being observed in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Compound 968-treatment induced significant downregulation of 20 critical cancer-related genes, the majority of which are anti-apoptotic and/or promote metastasis, including AKT, BCL2, BCL2L1, CCND1, CDKN3, ERBB2, ETS1, E2F1, JUN, KITLG, MYB, and MYC. Histone H3K4me3, a mark of transcriptional activation, was reduced at the promoters of all but one of these critical cancer genes. The decrease in histone H3K4me3 at global and gene-specific levels correlated with reduced expression of SETD1 and ASH2L, genes encoding the histone H3K4 methyltransferase complex. Further, the expression of other epigenetic regulatory genes, known to be downregulated during apoptosis (e.g., DNMT1, DNMT3B, SETD1 and SIRT1), was also downregulated by Compound 968. These changes in gene expression and histone modifications were accompanied by the activation of apoptosis, and decreased invasiveness and resistance of MDA-MB-231 cells to chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin. The results of this study provide evidence to a link between cytotoxicity caused by inhibiting glutamine metabolism with alterations of the epigenome of breast cancer cells and suggest that modification of intracellular metabolism may enhance the efficiency of epigenetic therapy. PMID:23117580

  15. Characteristics of initial deposition and behavior of radiocesium in forest ecosystems of different locations and species affected by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident.

    PubMed

    Komatsu, Masabumi; Kaneko, Shinji; Ohashi, Shinta; Kuroda, Katsushi; Sano, Tetsuya; Ikeda, Shigeto; Saito, Satoshi; Kiyono, Yoshiyuki; Tonosaki, Mario; Miura, Satoru; Akama, Akio; Kajimoto, Takuya; Takahashi, Masamichi

    2016-09-01

    rainfall after the accident, and the leaf biomass by the tree species may influence differences in the spatial pattern of radiocesium by study plots. The results of the present study and further studies of the spatial pattern of radiocesium are important for modeling future radiocesium distribution in contaminated forest ecosystems.

  16. Characteristics of initial deposition and behavior of radiocesium in forest ecosystems of different locations and species affected by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident.

    PubMed

    Komatsu, Masabumi; Kaneko, Shinji; Ohashi, Shinta; Kuroda, Katsushi; Sano, Tetsuya; Ikeda, Shigeto; Saito, Satoshi; Kiyono, Yoshiyuki; Tonosaki, Mario; Miura, Satoru; Akama, Akio; Kajimoto, Takuya; Takahashi, Masamichi

    2016-09-01

    rainfall after the accident, and the leaf biomass by the tree species may influence differences in the spatial pattern of radiocesium by study plots. The results of the present study and further studies of the spatial pattern of radiocesium are important for modeling future radiocesium distribution in contaminated forest ecosystems. PMID:26432062

  17. Warmer winters modulate life history and energy storage but do not affect sensitivity to a widespread pesticide in an aquatic insect.

    PubMed

    Arambourou, Hélène; Stoks, Robby

    2015-10-01

    Despite the increased attention for the effects of pesticides under global warming no studies tested how winter warming affects subsequent sensitivity to pesticides. Winter warming is expected to cause delayed negative effects when it increases metabolic rates and thereby depletes energy reserves. Using a common-garden experiment, we investigated the combined effect of a 4 °C increase in winter temperature and subsequent exposure to chlorpyrifos in the aquatic larvae of replicated low- and high-latitude European populations of the damselfly Ischnura elegans. The warmer winter (8 °C) resulted in a higher winter survival and higher growth rates compared to the cold winter (4 °C) commonly experienced by European high-latitude populations. Low-latitude populations were better at coping with the warmer winter, indicating thermal adaptation to the local winter temperatures. Subsequent chlorpyrifos exposure at 20 °C induced strong negative effects on survival, growth rate, lipid content and acetylcholinesterase activity while phenoloxidase activity increased. These pesticide effects were not affected by winter warming. Our results suggest that for species where winter warming has positive effects on life history, no delayed effects on the sensitivity to subsequent pesticide exposure should be expected. PMID:26261878

  18. Soil macrofauna webmasters of ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frouz, Jan

    2015-04-01

    The role of plant roots and microflora in shaping many ecosystem processes is generally appreciated in the contrary rho role of soil mcrofauna in this context is assumed to be negligible and rather anecdotic. But more than half of the litter fall is consumed by soil fauna and soil fauna can also consume and or translocation substantial amount of soil. Here we demonstrate on example of post mining chronosequences how site colonization by soil fauna affect composition of whole soil biota community, plant succession and soil formation. Filed and laboratory experiments show that decomposition of fauna feces may be sped up compare to litter at the very beginning but in long term fauna feces decompose slower than litter. This is also supported by micro morphological observation which shows that fauna feces form substantial part of soil. Fauna feces also induce lover or even negative priming effect when introduced in soil in comparison with litter that triggers positive priming effect. Laboratory experiment show that fauna effect is context sensitive and is more pronounced in systems already affected by soil fauna. Soil mixing by soil fauna consequently affect environmental conditions in soils such as water holding capacity or nutrient availability, it also affect composition of decomposer food web including microbial community (fungal bacterial ratio) which feed back in alternation of plant community composition during succession This fauna activity is not constant everywhere the higher effect of fauna activity on litter layer was observed in temperate soils of deciduous forests and with litter having CN between 20-30. In conclusion soil fauna use directly only small proportion of energy in the litter but can substantially affect soil carbon turnover, soil formation, decomposer food web and plant community.

  19. Glycosylation of Residue 141 of Subtype H7 Influenza A Hemagglutinin (HA) Affects HA-Pseudovirus Infectivity and Sensitivity to Site A Neutralizing Antibodies

    PubMed Central

    Alvarado-Facundo, Esmeralda; Vassell, Russell; Schmeisser, Falko; Weir, Jerry P.; Weiss, Carol D.; Wang, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Human infections with H7 subtype influenza virus have been reported, including an H7N7 outbreak in Netherlands in 2003 and H7N9 infections in China in 2013. Previously, we reported murine monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that recognize the antigenic site A of H7 hemagglutinin (HA). To better understand protective immunity of H7 vaccines and vaccine candidate selection, we used these mAbs to assess the antigenic relatedness among two H7 HA isolated from past human infections and determine residues that affect susceptibility to neutralization. We found that these mAbs neutralize pseudoviruses bearing HA of A/Shanghai/02/2013(H7N9), but not A/Netherlands/219/2003(H7N7). Glycosylation of the asparagine residue at position 141 (N141) (N133, H3 HA numbering) in the HA of A/Netherlands/219/2003 HA is responsible for this resistance, and it affects the infectivity of HA-pseudoviruses. The presence of threonine at position 143 (T135, H3 HA numbering) in the HA of A/Netherlands/219/2003, rather than an alanine found in the HA of A/Shanghai/02/2013(H7N9), accounts for these differences. These results demonstrate a key role for glycosylation of residue N141 in affecting H7 influenza HA-mediated entry and sensitivity to neutralizing antibodies, which have implications for candidate vaccine design. PMID:26862918

  20. The roles of vegetation structure and composition in terrestrial ecosystem responses to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weng, E.; Lichstein, J. W.; Malyshev, S.; Shevliakova, E.; Pacala, S. W.

    2011-12-01

    Vegetation structure, species compositions, and interactions among individuals change with the development of ecosystems. The sensitivity of ecosystems to climate change is therefore differed. However, current dynamic global vegetation models treat vegetation as a couple of compartmentalized pools and neglect the details of vegetation dynamics with only explicitly representations of physiological and biogeochemical processes. These may lead to bias in the predictions of ecosystem dynamics in response to climate change. We incorporated a vegetation structure model, perfect plasticity approximation model (PPA), into a land model, LM3V, the land component of GFDL ESM, and explored the sensitivity and uncertainty induced by the structure of forest ecosystems in Northeastern USA, where the PPA model explicitly describes the competition of light and resources from soil (water or nitrogen) among plant species and the resulted vegetation structure with different environmental conditions and LM3V is a biogeochemical model describing carbon and water fluxes and storage in ecosystems and their feedback to atmosphere. We employed the rules of PPA to represent the vegetation dynamics (species composition, competition for light and water, and vegetation structure) in LM3V. The simulations showed that vegetation structure and the interactions between species could substantially affect the sensitivity of ecosystem carbon cycle to multi-factorial changes of climate. With changes in vegetation compositions and structure, ecosystem responses were less sensitive than those when only plant physiological and biogeochemical responses were considered. Our study shows that the processes at plant community level play a key role in mid- to long term ecosystem responses to climate change.

  1. Monitoring and modeling human interactions with ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milesi, Cristina

    With rapidly increasing consumption rates and global population, there is a growing interest in understanding how to balance human activities with the other components of the Earth system. Humans alter ecosystem functioning with land cover changes, greenhouse gas emissions and overexploitation of natural resources. On the other side, climate and its inherent interannual variability drive global Net Primary Productivity (NPP), the base of energy for all trophic levels, shaping humans' distribution on the land surface and their sensitivity to natural and accelerated patterns of variation in ecosystem processes. In this thesis, I analyzed anthropogenic influences on ecosystems and ecosystems impacts on humans through a multi-scale approach. Anthropogenic influences were analyzed with a special focus on urban ecosystems, the living environment of nearly half of the global population and almost 90% of the population in the industrialized countries. A poorly quantified aspect of urban ecosystems is the biogeochemistry of urban vegetation, intensively managed through fertilization and irrigation. In chapter 1, adapting the ecosystem model Biome-BGC, I simulated the growth of turf grasses across the United States, and estimated their potential impact on the continental water and carbon budget. Using a remote sensing-based approach, I also developed a methodology to estimate the impact of land cover changes due to urbanization on the regional photosynthetic capacity (chapter 2), finding that low-density urbanization can retain high levels of net primary productivity, although at the expense of inefficient sprawl. One of the feedbacks of urbanization is the urban heat island effect, which I analyzed in conjunction with a remote sensing based estimate of fractional impervious surface area, showing how this is related to increases in land surface temperatures, independently from geographic location and population density (chapter 3). Finally, in chapter 4, I described the

  2. Snow vole (Chionomys nivalis Martins) affects the redistribution of soil organic matter and hormone-like activity in the alpine ecosystem: ecological implications.

    PubMed

    Pizzeghello, Diego; Cocco, Stefania; Francioso, Ornella; Ferrari, Erika; Cardinali, Alessandra; Nardi, Serenella; Agnelli, Alberto; Corti, Giuseppe

    2015-10-01

    In alpine environments, colonies of snow vole (Chionomys nivalis Martins) cause strong pedoturbation, which may affect humification process and soil organic matter (SOM) cycling, with repercussions on the hormone-like activity of organics. We investigated the effect of snow vole pedoturbation on the chemical and spectroscopic features of soil organic fractions, and the potential hormone-like activity of humic and fulvic acids (HA, FA). The study site was located on the high-mountain environment of the Majella massif (central Italy). Pedoturbated and regular soils were morphologically described and characterized for pH and content of total organic carbon, total extractable carbon, HA, and FA. Both HA and FA were extracted and investigated using attenuated total reflectance/Fourier transform infrared (ATR/FTIR), nuclear magnetic resonance with high-resolution magic angle spinning (HRMAS-NMR), and (1)H-(13)C heteronuclear single quantum coherence (HSQC). HA and FA were also tested for their auxin-like and gibberellin-like activities. Results provide evidences that bioturbated and regular soils contain a poorly decomposed SOM, but HA and FA with a well-defined molecular structure. The HA and FA from both bioturbated and regular soils show a hormone-like activity with a different allocation along the soil profile. In the regular soil, the highest auxin-like activity was shown by HA and FA from Oe1 horizon, while gibberellin-like activity was expressed by FA from Oe2 horizon. Burrowing activity determines a redistribution of organics throughout the profile with a relatively high auxin-like activity in the FA from straw tunnel wall (STW) and gibberellin-like activity in the HA from vole feces (VF). The relative high presence of carboxylic acids, amides, proteins, and amino acids in the FA from STW and the aromatic moieties in the HA from VF put evidences for their different behavior. The fact that snow vole activity has modified the chemical and biological properties of

  3. Modeling forest development after fire disturbance: Climate, soil organic layer, and nitrogen jointly affect forest canopy species and long-term ecosystem carbon accumulation in the North American boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trugman, A. T.; Fenton, N.; Bergeron, Y.; Xu, X.; Welp, L.; Medvigy, D.

    2015-12-01

    Soil organic layer dynamics strongly affect boreal forest development after fire. Field studies show that soil organic layer thickness exerts a species-specific control on propagule establishment in the North American boreal forest. On organic soils thicker than a few centimeters, all propagules are less able to recruit, but broadleaf trees recruit less effectively than needleleaf trees. In turn, forest growth controls organic layer accumulation through modulating litter input and litter quality. These dynamics have not been fully incorporated into models, but may be essential for accurate projections of ecosystem carbon storage. Here, we develop a data-constrained model for understanding boreal forest development after fire. We update the ED2 model to include new aspen and black spruce species-types, species-specific propagule survivorship dependent on soil organic layer depth, species-specific litter decay rates, dynamically accumulating moss and soil organic layers, and nitrogen fixation by cyanobacteria associated with moss. The model is validated against diverse observations ranging from monthly to centennial timescales and spanning a climate gradient in Alaska, central Canada, and Quebec. We then quantify differences in forest development that result from changes in organic layer accumulation, temperature, and nitrogen. We find that (1) the model accurately reproduces a range of observations throughout the North American boreal forest; (2) the presence of a thick organic layer results in decreased decomposition and decreased aboveground productivity, effects that can increase or decrease ecosystem carbon uptake depending on location-specific attributes; (3) with a mean warming of 4°C, some forests switch from undergoing succession to needleleaf forests to recruiting multiple cohorts of broadleaf trees, decreasing ecosystem accumulation by ~30% after 300 years; (4) the availability of nitrogen regulates successional dynamics such than broadleaf species are

  4. TRICHOME BIREFRINGENCE-LIKE27 affects aluminum sensitivity by modulating the O-acetylation of xyloglucan and aluminum-binding capacity in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xiao Fang; Sun, Ying; Zhang, Bao Cai; Mansoori, Nasim; Wan, Jiang Xue; Liu, Yu; Wang, Zhi Wei; Shi, Yuan Zhi; Zhou, Yi Hua; Zheng, Shao Jian

    2014-09-01

    Xyloglucan (XyG) has been reported to contribute to the aluminum (Al)-binding capacity of the cell wall in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). However, the influence of O-acetylation of XyG, accomplished by the putative O-acetyltransferase TRICHOME BIREFRINGENCE-LIKE27 (TBL27 [AXY4]), on its Al-binding capacity is not known. In this study, we found that the two corresponding TBL27 mutants, axy4-1 and axy4-3, were more Al sensitive than wild-type Columbia-0 plants. TBL27 was expressed in roots as well as in leaves, stems, flowers, and siliques. Upon Al treatment, even within 30 min, TBL27 transcript accumulation was strongly down-regulated. The mutants axy4-1 and axy4-3 accumulated significantly more Al in the root and wall, which could not be correlated with pectin content or pectin methylesterase activity, as no difference in the mutants was observed compared with the wild type when exposed to Al stress. The increased Al accumulation in the wall of the mutants was found to be in the hemicellulose fraction. While the total sugar content of the hemicellulose fraction did not change, the O-acetylation level of XyG was reduced by Al treatment. Taken together, we conclude that modulation of the O-acetylation level of XyG influences the Al sensitivity in Arabidopsis by affecting the Al-binding capacity in the hemicellulose. PMID:25006026

  5. Carbon and nitrogen cycles in European ecosystems respond differently to global warming.

    PubMed

    Beier, C; Emmett, B A; Peñuelas, J; Schmidt, I K; Tietema, A; Estiarte, M; Gundersen, P; Llorens, L; Riis-Nielsen, T; Sowerby, A; Gorissen, A

    2008-12-15

    The global climate is predicted to become significantly warmer over the next century. This will affect ecosystem processes and the functioning of semi natural and natural ecosystems in many parts of the world. However, as various ecosystem processes may be affected to a different extent, balances between different ecosystem processes as well as between different ecosystems may shift and lead to major unpredicted changes. In this study four European shrubland ecosystems along a north-south temperature gradient were experimentally warmed by a novel nighttime warming technique. Biogeochemical cycling of both carbon and nitrogen was affected at the colder sites with increased carbon uptake for plant growth as well as increased carbon loss through soil respiration. Carbon uptake by plant growth was more sensitive to warming than expected from the temperature response across the sites while carbon loss through soil respiration reacted to warming in agreement with the overall Q10 and response functions to temperature across the sites. Opposite to carbon, the nitrogen mineralization was relatively insensitive to the temperature increase and was mainly affected by changes in soil moisture. The results suggest that C and N cycles respond asymmetrically to warming, which may lead to progressive nitrogen limitation and thereby acclimation in plant production. This further suggests that in many temperate zones nitrogen deposition has to be accounted for, not only with respect to the impact on water quality through increased nitrogen leaching where N deposition is high, but also in predictions of carbon sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems under future climatic conditions. Finally the results indicate that on the short term the above-ground processes are more sensitive to temperature changes than the below ground processes. PMID:18930514

  6. Carbon and nitrogen cycles in European ecosystems respond differently to global warming.

    PubMed

    Beier, C; Emmett, B A; Peñuelas, J; Schmidt, I K; Tietema, A; Estiarte, M; Gundersen, P; Llorens, L; Riis-Nielsen, T; Sowerby, A; Gorissen, A

    2008-12-15

    The global climate is predicted to become significantly warmer over the next century. This will affect ecosystem processes and the functioning of semi natural and natural ecosystems in many parts of the world. However, as various ecosystem processes may be affected to a different extent, balances between different ecosystem processes as well as between different ecosystems may shift and lead to major unpredicted changes. In this study four European shrubland ecosystems along a north-south temperature gradient were experimentally warmed by a novel nighttime warming technique. Biogeochemical cycling of both carbon and nitrogen was affected at the colder sites with increased carbon uptake for plant growth as well as increased carbon loss through soil respiration. Carbon uptake by plant growth was more sensitive to warming than expected from the temperature response across the sites while carbon loss through soil respiration reacted to warming in agreement with the overall Q10 and response functions to temperature across the sites. Opposite to carbon, the nitrogen mineralization was relatively insensitive to the temperature increase and was mainly affected by changes in soil moisture. The results suggest that C and N cycles respond asymmetrically to warming, which may lead to progressive nitrogen limitation and thereby acclimation in plant production. This further suggests that in many temperate zones nitrogen deposition has to be accounted for, not only with respect to the impact on water quality through increased nitrogen leaching where N deposition is high, but also in predictions of carbon sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems under future climatic conditions. Finally the results indicate that on the short term the above-ground processes are more sensitive to temperature changes than the below ground processes.

  7. A temperature-sensitive mutation affecting cilia regeneration, nuclear development, and the cell cycle of Tetrahymena thermophila is rescued by cytoplasmic exchange

    SciTech Connect

    Pennock, D.G.; Thatcher, T.; Gorovsky, M.A. )

    1988-07-01

    A temperature-sensitive mutation was isolated that blocks cilia regeneration and arrests growth in Tetrahymena thermophila. Protein and RNA synthesis and ATP production appeared to be largely unaffected at the restrictive temperature, suggesting that the mutation is specific for cilia regeneration and growth. At the restrictive temperature, mutant cells arrested at a specific point in the cell cycle, after macronuclear S phase and shortly before micronuclear mitosis. Arrested cels did not undergo nuclear divisions, DNA replication, or cytokinesis, so the mutation appears to cause true cell cycle arrest. Surprisingly, the mutation des not appear to affect micronuclear mitosis directly but rather some event(s) prior to micronuclear mitosis that must be completed before cells can complete the cell cycle. The cell cycle arrest was transiently complemented by wild-type cytoplasm exchanged during conjugation with a wild-type cell. Each starved, wild-type cell apparently contained enough rescuing factor to support an average of six cell divisions. Thus, this mutation affects assembly and/or function of at least one but not al of the microtubule-based structures in T. thermophila.

  8. Sensitivity of the Autonomic Nervous System to Visual and Auditory Affect Across Social and Non-Social Domains in Williams Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Järvinen, Anna; Dering, Benjamin; Neumann, Dirk; Ng, Rowena; Crivelli, Davide; Grichanik, Mark; Korenberg, Julie R.; Bellugi, Ursula

    2012-01-01

    Although individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) typically demonstrate an increased appetitive social drive, their social profile is characterized by dissociations, including socially fearless behavior coupled with anxiousness, and distinct patterns of “peaks and valleys” of ability. The aim of this study was to compare the processing of social and non-social visually and aurally presented affective stimuli, at the levels of behavior and autonomic nervous system (ANS) responsivity, in individuals with WS contrasted with a typically developing (TD) group, with the view of elucidating the highly sociable and emotionally sensitive predisposition noted in WS. Behavioral findings supported previous studies of enhanced competence in processing social over non-social stimuli by individuals with WS; however, the patterns of ANS functioning underlying the behavioral performance revealed a surprising profile previously undocumented in WS. Specifically, increased heart rate (HR) reactivity, and a failure for electrodermal activity to habituate were found in individuals with WS contrasted with the TD group, predominantly in response to visual social affective stimuli. Within the auditory domain, greater arousal linked to variation in heart beat period was observed in relation to music stimuli in individuals with WS. Taken together, the findings suggest that the pattern of ANS response in WS is more complex than previously noted, with increased arousal to face and music stimuli potentially underpinning the heightened behavioral emotionality to such stimuli. The lack of habituation may underlie the increased affiliation and attraction to faces characterizing individuals with WS. Future research directions are suggested. PMID:23049519

  9. Continental Margins: Linking Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelly-Gerreyn, Boris; Rabalais, Nancy; Middelburg, Jack; Roy, Sylvie; Liu, Kon-Kee; Thomas, Helmuth; Zhang, Jing

    2008-02-01

    Impacts of Global, Local and Human Forcings on Biogeochemical Cycles and Ecosystems, IMBER/LOICZ Continental Margins Open Science Conference; Shanghai, China, 17-21 September 2007; More than 100 scientists from 25 countries came together to address global, regional, local, and human pressures interactively affecting continental margin biogeochemical cycles, marine food webs, and society. Continental margins cover only 12% of the global ocean area yet account for more than 30% of global oceanic primary production. In addition, continental margins are the most intensely used regions of the world's ocean for natural commodities, including productive fisheries and mineral and petroleum resources. The land adjacent to continental margins hosts about 50% of the world's population, which will bear many direct impacts of global change on coastal margins. Understanding both natural and human-influenced alterations of biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems on continental margins and the processes (including feedbacks) that threaten sustainability of these systems is therefore of global interest.

  10. Nitrogen, Ecosystem Services and Environmental Justice: how can a Spatial Valuation Approach Inform Responsible Nutrient Management?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crowell, M.; Compton, J.

    2012-12-01

    Spatially-explicit ecosystem service valuation (ESV) allows for the identification of the location and magnitude of services provided by natural ecosystems along with an economic measure of their significance based upon value transfer. While this provides an important function in terms of land use management, the connection between the relative values of ecosystem services, sensitivity to nutrient loading and nutrient load estimates is unexplored within both the GIS-based, benefit transfer ESV literature and among research on nutrients and ecosystem services. This research combines a GIS-based, value transfer approach to map ecosystem services in the Lower Yakima River Basin (LYRB), Washington, USA, along with estimates of nitrogen loading and demographic data to identify how nutrient management may affect ecosystem services in the basin, and who may be most connected to potential changes in ecosystem services. Our analysis combines relative values of ecosystem services with estimates of nitrogen loading and identifies subwatersheds most susceptible to reductions in valuable ecosystem services due to excess nitrogen loading. Additionally, by including demographic data as a component of the spatial analysis, we examine the connections between population income, ethnicity, N loading, and risk of ecosystem service reductions due to nutrient management practices. Based on the benefit transfer analysis, wetlands and forested areas have disproportionately high values of ecosystem services when compared to their land area in the LYRB, while pasture and cultivated crops contribute much less to the total value of ecosystem service flows in proportion to the total area for these areas in the LYRB. Further economic valuation data on specific land cover types whether from primary studies or meta-analysis is needed to refine relative measures of ecosystem service values and more confidently describe these values in specific dollar amounts. Additionally, limits in spatial data

  11. The effects of food web structure on ecosystem function exceeds those of precipitation.

    PubMed

    Trzcinski, M Kurtis; Srivastava, Diane S; Corbara, Bruno; Dézerald, Olivier; Leroy, Céline; Carrias, Jean-François; Dejean, Alain; Céréghino, Régis

    2016-09-01

    Ecosystems are being stressed by climate change, but few studies have tested food web responses to changes in precipitation patterns and the consequences to ecosystem function. Fewer still have considered whether results from one geographic region can be applied to other regions, given the degree of community change over large biogeographic gradients. We assembled, in one field site, three types of macroinvertebrate communities within water-filled bromeliads. Two represented food webs containing both a fast filter feeder-microbial and slow detritivore energy channels found in Costa Rica and Puerto Rico, and one represented the structurally simpler food webs in French Guiana, which only contained the fast filter feeder-microbial channel. We manipulated the amount and distribution of rain entering bromeliads and examined how food web structure mediated ecosystem responses to changes in the quantity and temporal distribution of precipitation. Food web structure affected the survival of functional groups in general and ecosystem functions such as decomposition and the production of fine particulate organic matter. Ecosystem processes were more affected by decreased precipitation than were the abundance of micro-organisms and metazoans. In our experiments, the sensitivity of the ecosystem to precipitation change was primarily revealed in the food web dominated by the single filter feeder-microbial channel because other top-down and bottom-up processes were weak or absent. Our results show stronger effects of food web structure than precipitation change per se on the functioning of bromeliad ecosystems. Consequently, we predict that ecosystem function in bromeliads throughout the Americas will be more sensitive to changes in the distribution of species, rather than to the direct effects caused by changes in precipitation. PMID:27120013

  12. The effects of food web structure on ecosystem function exceeds those of precipitation.

    PubMed

    Trzcinski, M Kurtis; Srivastava, Diane S; Corbara, Bruno; Dézerald, Olivier; Leroy, Céline; Carrias, Jean-François; Dejean, Alain; Céréghino, Régis

    2016-09-01

    Ecosystems are being stressed by climate change, but few studies have tested food web responses to changes in precipitation patterns and the consequences to ecosystem function. Fewer still have considered whether results from one geographic region can be applied to other regions, given the degree of community change over large biogeographic gradients. We assembled, in one field site, three types of macroinvertebrate communities within water-filled bromeliads. Two represented food webs containing both a fast filter feeder-microbial and slow detritivore energy channels found in Costa Rica and Puerto Rico, and one represented the structurally simpler food webs in French Guiana, which only contained the fast filter feeder-microbial channel. We manipulated the amount and distribution of rain entering bromeliads and examined how food web structure mediated ecosystem responses to changes in the quantity and temporal distribution of precipitation. Food web structure affected the survival of functional groups in general and ecosystem functions such as decomposition and the production of fine particulate organic matter. Ecosystem processes were more affected by decreased precipitation than were the abundance of micro-organisms and metazoans. In our experiments, the sensitivity of the ecosystem to precipitation change was primarily revealed in the food web dominated by the single filter feeder-microbial channel because other top-down and bottom-up processes were weak or absent. Our results show stronger effects of food web structure than precipitation change per se on the functioning of bromeliad ecosystems. Consequently, we predict that ecosystem function in bromeliads throughout the Americas will be more sensitive to changes in the distribution of species, rather than to the direct effects caused by changes in precipitation.

  13. 5-HTT Deficiency Affects Neuroplasticity and Increases Stress Sensitivity Resulting in Altered Spatial Learning Performance in the Morris Water Maze but Not in the Barnes Maze

    PubMed Central

    Karabeg, Margherita M.; Grauthoff, Sandra; Kollert, Sina Y.; Weidner, Magdalena; Heiming, Rebecca S.; Jansen, Friederike; Popp, Sandy; Kaiser, Sylvia; Lesch, Klaus-Peter; Sachser, Norbert

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether spatial hippocampus-dependent learning is affected by the serotonergic system and stress. Therefore, 5-HTT knockout (-/-), heterozygous (+/-) and wildtype (+/+) mice were subjected to the Barnes maze (BM) and the Morris water maze (WM), the latter being discussed as more aversive. Additionally, immediate early gene (IEG) expression, hippocampal adult neurogenesis (aN), and blood plasma corticosterone were analyzed. While the performance of 5-HTT-/- mice in the BM was undistinguishable from both other genotypes, they performed worse in the WM. However, in the course of the repeated WM trials 5-HTT-/- mice advanced to wildtype level. The experience of a single trial of either the WM or the BM resulted in increased plasma corticosterone levels in all genotypes. After several trials 5-HTT-/- mice exhibited higher corticosterone concentrations compared with both other genotypes in both tests. Corticosterone levels were highest in 5-HTT-/- mice tested in the WM indicating greater aversiveness of the WM and a greater stress sensitivity of 5-HTT deficient mice. Quantitative immunohistochemistry in the hippocampus revealed increased cell counts positive for the IEG products cFos and Arc as well as for proliferation marker Ki67 and immature neuron marker NeuroD in 5-HTT-/- mice compared to 5-HTT+/+ mice, irrespective of the test. Most differences were found in the suprapyramidal blade of the dentate gyrus of the septal hippocampus. Ki67-immunohistochemistry revealed a genotype x environment interaction with 5-HTT genotype differences in naïve controls and WM experience exclusively yielding more Ki67-positive cells in 5-HTT+/+ mice. Moreover, in 5-HTT-/- mice we demonstrate that learning performance correlates with the extent of aN. Overall, higher baseline IEG expression and increased an in the hippocampus of 5-HTT-/- mice together with increased stress sensitivity may constitute the neurobiological correlate of raised

  14. Tmc1 Point Mutation Affects Ca2+ Sensitivity and Block by Dihydrostreptomycin of the Mechanoelectrical Transducer Current of Mouse Outer Hair Cells

    PubMed Central

    Corns, Laura F.; Johnson, Stuart L.; Kros, Corné J.

    2016-01-01

    The transduction of sound into electrical signals depends on mechanically sensitive ion channels in the stereociliary bundle. The molecular composition of this mechanoelectrical transducer (MET) channel is not yet known. Transmembrane channel-like protein isoforms 1 (TMC1) and 2 (TMC2) have been proposed to form part of the MET channel, although their exact roles are still unclear. Using Beethoven (Tmc1Bth/Bth) mice, which have an M412K point mutation in TMC1 that adds a positive charge, we found that Ca2+ permeability and conductance of the MET channel of outer hair cells (OHCs) were reduced. Tmc1Bth/Bth OHCs were also less sensitive to block by the permeant MET channel blocker dihydrostreptomycin, whether applied extracellularly or intracellularly. These findings suggest that the amino acid that is mutated in Bth is situated at or near the negatively charged binding site for dihydrostreptomycin within the permeation pore of the channel. We also found that the Ca2+ dependence of the operating range of the MET channel was altered by the M412K mutation. Depolarization did not increase the resting open probability of the MET current of Tmc1Bth/Bth OHCs, whereas raising the intracellular concentration of the Ca2+ chelator BAPTA caused smaller increases in resting open probability in Bth mutant OHCs than in wild-type control cells. We propose that these observations can be explained by the reduced Ca2+ permeability of the mutated MET channel indirectly causing the Ca2+ sensor for adaptation, at or near the intracellular face of the MET channel, to become more sensitive to Ca2+ influx as a compensatory mechanism. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In the auditory system, the hair cells convert sound-induced mechanical movement of the hair bundles atop these cells into electrical signals through the opening of mechanically gated ion channels at the tips of the bundles. Although the nature of these mechanoelectrical transducer (MET) channels is still unclear, recent studies implicate

  15. Long term flux ecosystem exchange over a Mediterranean shrubland ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spano, D.; Sirca, C.; Marras, S.; Carta, M.; Zara, P.; Arca, A.; Duce, P.

    2011-12-01

    Only a few long-term studies on inter-annual variability in energy and mass exchanges of Mediterranean shrubland ecosystems have been recently published. Since maquis ecosystems experience a wide variation in inter-annual rainfall and temperature, inter-annual differences in CO2 fluxes are expected. Mediterranean-type ecosystems normally show two main peaks of growth (in spring and fall) and experience sometimes pronounced summer drought periods. Consequently, Mediterranean-type ecosystem behavior is even more complex and responds more dramatically to perturbations in water conditions. In this paper, six years of energy and mass fluxes measured using eddy covariance (EC) technique over a secondary succession shrubland ecosystem (maquis) located in Sardinia, Italy are reported. The main objectives are to understand dynamics of ecosystem carbon cycling and to identify the driving factors affecting ecosystem exchanges. Eddy flux and meteorological data are presented along with soil respiration information. Footprint analysis, friction velocity method, and other turbulent parameters were calculated to verify the accuracy of the eddy covariance CO2 measurements. The energy partitioning exhibited clear seasonal patterns with increasing Bowen ratio values during the drought season. Peak CO2 uptake occurred during spring and autumn showing an evident decrease in summer. The estimate of NEE showed differences among years depending on drought and temperature conditions. The surface conductance was clearly depressed during long-term drought period. In general, NEE was relatively low compared to other forest ecosystems. A good relationship was found between GPP and LE. Our data show that the inter-annual differences in NEE of the maquis ecosystem depend mainly on seasonal climate rather than on mean annual air temperature or precipitation. In addition, extreme weather events can also contribute to NEE inter-annual variability.

  16. Xyloglucan Endotransglucosylase-Hydrolase17 Interacts with Xyloglucan Endotransglucosylase-Hydrolase31 to Confer Xyloglucan Endotransglucosylase Action and Affect Aluminum Sensitivity in Arabidopsis1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Xiao Fang; Wan, Jiang Xue; Sun, Ying; Shi, Yuan Zhi; Braam, Janet; Li, Gui Xin; Zheng, Shao Jian

    2014-01-01

    Previously, we reported that although the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) Xyloglucan Endotransglucosylase-Hydrolase31 (XTH31) has predominately xyloglucan endohydrolase activity in vitro, loss of XTH31 results in remarkably reduced in vivo xyloglucan endotransglucosylase (XET) action and enhanced Al resistance. Here, we report that XTH17, predicted to have XET activity, binds XTH31 in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) two-hybrid and coimmunoprecipitations assays and that this interaction may be required for XTH17 XET activity in planta. XTH17 and XTH31 may be colocalized in plant cells because tagged XTH17 fusion proteins, like XTH31 fusion proteins, appear to target to the plasma membrane. XTH17 expression, like that of XTH31, was substantially reduced in the presence of aluminum (Al), even at concentrations as low as 10 µm for 24 h or 25 µm for just 30 min. Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transfer DNA insertion mutant of XTH17, xth17, showed low XET action and had moderately shorter roots than the wild type but was more Al resistant than the wild type. Similar to xth31, xth17 had low hemicellulose content and retained less Al in the cell wall. These data suggest a model whereby XTH17 and XTH31 may exist as a dimer at the plasma membrane to confer in vivo XET action, which modulates cell wall Al-binding capacity and thereby affects Al sensitivity in Arabidopsis. PMID:24948835

  17. Depletion of Histone Demethylase Jarid1A Resulting in Histone Hyperacetylation and Radiation Sensitivity Does Not Affect DNA Double-Strand Break Repair

    PubMed Central

    Penterling, Corina; Drexler, Guido A.; Böhland, Claudia; Stamp, Ramona; Wilke, Christina; Braselmann, Herbert; Caldwell, Randolph B.; Reindl, Judith; Girst, Stefanie; Greubel, Christoph; Siebenwirth, Christian; Mansour, Wael Y.; Borgmann, Kerstin; Dollinger, Günther; Unger, Kristian; Friedl, Anna A.

    2016-01-01

    Histone demethylases have recently gained interest as potential targets in cancer treatment and several histone demethylases have been implicated in the DNA damage response. We investigated the effects of siRNA-mediated depletion of histone demethylase Jarid1A (KDM5A, RBP2), which demethylates transcription activating tri- and dimethylated lysine 4 at histone H3 (H3K4me3/me2), on growth characteristics and cellular response to radiation in several cancer cell lines. In unirradiated cells Jarid1A depletion lead to histone hyperacetylation while not affecting cell growth. In irradiated cells, depletion of Jarid1A significantly increased cellular radiosensitivity. Unexpectedly, the hyperacetylation phenotype did not lead to disturbed accumulation of DNA damage response and repair factors 53BP1, BRCA1, or Rad51 at damage sites, nor did it influence resolution of radiation-induced foci or rejoining of reporter constructs. We conclude that the radiation sensitivity observed following depletion of Jarid1A is not caused by a deficiency in repair of DNA double-strand breaks. PMID:27253695

  18. Responses of terrestrial ecosystems and carbon budgets to current and future environmental variability

    PubMed Central

    Medvigy, David; Wofsy, Steven C.; Munger, J. William; Moorcroft, Paul R.

    2010-01-01

    We assess the significance of high-frequency variability of environmental parameters (sunlight, precipitation, temperature) for the structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems under current and future climate. We examine the influence of hourly, daily, and monthly variance using the Ecosystem Demography model version 2 in conjunction with the long-term record of carbon fluxes measured at Harvard Forest. We find that fluctuations of sunlight and precipitation are strongly and nonlinearly coupled to ecosystem function, with effects that accumulate through annual and decadal timescales. Increasing variability in sunlight and precipitation leads to lower rates of carbon sequestration and favors broad-leaved deciduous trees over conifers. Temperature variability has only minor impacts by comparison. We also find that projected changes in sunlight and precipitation variability have important implications for carbon storage and ecosystem structure and composition. Based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change model estimates for changes in high-frequency meteorological variability over the next 100 years, we expect that terrestrial ecosystems will be affected by changes in variability almost as much as by changes in mean climate. We conclude that terrestrial ecosystems are highly sensitive to high-frequency meteorological variability, and that accurate knowledge of the statistics of this variability is essential for realistic predictions of ecosystem structure and functioning. PMID:20404190

  19. Responses of terrestrial ecosystems and carbon budgets to current and future environmental variability.

    PubMed

    Medvigy, David; Wofsy, Steven C; Munger, J William; Moorcroft, Paul R

    2010-05-01

    We assess the significance of high-frequency variability of environmental parameters (sunlight, precipitation, temperature) for the structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems under current and future climate. We examine the influence of hourly, daily, and monthly variance using the Ecosystem Demography model version 2 in conjunction with the long-term record of carbon fluxes measured at Harvard Forest. We find that fluctuations of sunlight and precipitation are strongly and nonlinearly coupled to ecosystem function, with effects that accumulate through annual and decadal timescales. Increasing variability in sunlight and precipitation leads to lower rates of carbon sequestration and favors broad-leaved deciduous trees over conifers. Temperature variability has only minor impacts by comparison. We also find that projected changes in sunlight and precipitation variability have important implications for carbon storage and ecosystem structure and composition. Based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change model estimates for changes in high-frequency meteorological variability over the next 100 years, we expect that terrestrial ecosystems will be affected by changes in variability almost as much as by changes in mean climate. We conclude that terrestrial ecosystems are highly sensitive to high-frequency meteorological variability, and that accurate knowledge of the statistics of this variability is essential for realistic predictions of ecosystem structure and functioning. PMID:20404190

  20. Responses of terrestrial ecosystems and carbon budgets to current and future environmental variability.

    PubMed

    Medvigy, David; Wofsy, Steven C; Munger, J William; Moorcroft, Paul R

    2010-05-01

    We assess the significance of high-frequency variability of environmental parameters (sunlight, precipitation, temperature) for the structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems under current and future climate. We examine the influence of hourly, daily, and monthly variance using the Ecosystem Demography model version 2 in conjunction with the long-term record of carbon fluxes measured at Harvard Forest. We find that fluctuations of sunlight and precipitation are strongly and nonlinearly coupled to ecosystem function, with effects that accumulate through annual and decadal timescales. Increasing variability in sunlight and precipitation leads to lower rates of carbon sequestration and favors broad-leaved deciduous trees over conifers. Temperature variability has only minor impacts by comparison. We also find that projected changes in sunlight and precipitation variability have important implications for carbon storage and ecosystem structure and composition. Based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change model estimates for changes in high-frequency meteorological variability over the next 100 years, we expect that terrestrial ecosystems will be affected by changes in variability almost as much as by changes in mean climate. We conclude that terrestrial ecosystems are highly sensitive to high-frequency meteorological variability, and that accurate knowledge of the statistics of this variability is essential for realistic predictions of ecosystem structure and functioning.

  1. Regional zooplankton biodiversity provides limited buffering of pond ecosystems against climate change.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Patrick L; Shurin, Jonathan B

    2012-01-01

    1. Climate change and other human-driven environmental perturbations are causing reductions in biodiversity and impacting the functioning of ecosystems on a global scale. Metacommunity theory suggests that ecosystem connectivity may reduce the magnitude of these impacts if the regional species pool contains functionally redundant species that differ in their environmental tolerances. Dispersal may increase the resistance of local ecosystems to environmental stress by providing regional species with traits adapted to novel conditions. 2. We tested this theory by subjecting freshwater zooplankton communities in mesocosms that were either connected to or isolated from the larger regional species pool to a factorial manipulation of experimental warming and increased salinity. 3. Compensation by regional taxa depended on the source of stress. Warming tolerant regional taxa partially compensated for reductions in heat sensitive local taxa but similar compensation did not occur under increased salinity. 4. Dispersal-mediated species invasions dampened the effects of warming on summer net ecosystem productivity. However, this buffering effect did not occur in the fall or for periphyton growth, the only other ecosystem function affected by the stress treatments. 5. The results indicate that regional biodiversity can provide insurance in a dynamic environment but that the buffering capacity is limited to some ecosystem processes and sources of stress. Maintaining regional biodiversity and habitat connectivity may therefore provide some limited insurance for local ecosystems in changing environments, but is unable to impart resistance against all sources of environmental stress.

  2. Differential Sensitivity to Drought in Central U.S. Grasslands Arrayed Along an Aridity Gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knapp, Alan; Collins, Scott; Luo, Yiqi; Smith, Melinda

    2015-04-01

    Responses to drought often vary dramatically among terrestrial ecosystems, but the reasons why are unclear. With climate change forecasts for more frequent, severe and extensive drought in the future, a more complete understanding of the mechanisms that determine differential ecosystem sensitivity to drought is needed. In 2012, the Central U.S. experienced the 4th largest drought in a century, with a regional-scale 40% reduction in growing season precipitation affecting ecosystems ranging from desert grassland to mesic tallgrass prairie. This provided an opportunity to assess ecosystem sensitivity to a natural drought of common magnitude in six native grasslands. We tested the prediction that drought sensitivity would be inversely related to mean annual precipitation (MAP) by quantifying reductions in aboveground net primary production (ANPP). Long-term ANPP data available for each site (mean length = 16 yrs) were used as a baseline for calculating reductions in ANPP, and drought sensitivity was estimated as the reduction in ANPP per mm reduction in precipitation. Arid grasslands were the most sensitive to drought, but drought responses and sensitivity varied by more than 2-fold among the six grasslands, despite all sites experiencing similar relative reductions in growing season precipitation. Although drought sensitivity generally decreased with increasing MAP as predicted, there was evidence that the identity and traits of the dominant species, as well as plant functional diversity, influenced sensitivity. Results from this natural drought will be compared with responses to an experimentally imposed drought to determine if patterns of sensitivity are consistent between experimental and observational approaches.

  3. Evaluating and ranking the vulnerability of global marine ecosystems to anthropogenic threats.

    PubMed

    Halpern, Benjamin S; Selkoe, Kimberly A; Micheli, Fiorenza; Kappel, Carrie V

    2007-10-01

    Marine ecosystems are threatened by a suite of anthropogenic stressors. Mitigating multiple threats is a daunting task, particularly when funding constraints limit the number of threats that can be addressed. Threats are typically assessed and prioritized via expert opinion workshops that often leave no record of the rationale for decisions, making it difficult to update recommendations with new information. We devised a transparent, repeatable, and modifiable method for collecting expert opinion that describes and documents how threats affect marine ecosystems. Experts were asked to assess the functional impact, scale, and frequency of a threat to an ecosystem; the resistance and recovery time of an ecosystem to a threat; and the certainty of these estimates. To quantify impacts of 38 distinct anthropogenic threats on 23 marine ecosystems, we surveyed 135 experts from 19 different countries. Survey results showed that all ecosystems are threatened by at least nine threats and that nine ecosystems are threatened by >90% of existing threats. The greatest threats (highest impact scores) were increasing sea temperature, demersal destructive fishing, and point-source organic pollution. Rocky reef, coral reef, hard-shelf, mangrove, and offshore epipelagic ecosystems were identified as the most threatened. These general results, however, may be partly influenced by the specific expertise and geography of respondents, and should be interpreted with caution. This approach to threat analysis can identify the greatest threats (globally or locally), most widespread threats, most (or least) sensitive ecosystems, most (or least) threatened ecosystems, and other metrics of conservation value. Additionally, it can be easily modified, updated as new data become available, and scaled to local or regional settings, which would facilitate informed and transparent conservation priority setting. PMID:17883495

  4. Quantitative Models Describing Past and Current Nutrient Fluxes and Associated Ecosystem Level Responses in the Narragansett Bay Ecosystem

    EPA Science Inventory

    Multiple drivers, including nutrient loading and climate change, affect the Narragansett Bay ecosystem in Rhode Island/Massachusetts, USA. Managers are interested in understanding the timing and magnitude of these effects, and ecosystem responses to restoration actions. To provid...

  5. Belowground Dynamics in Mangrove Ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McKee, Karen L.

    2004-01-01

    MANGROVE ECOSYSTEMS Mangrove ecosystems are tropical/subtropical communities of primarily tree species that grow in the intertidal zone. These tidal communities are important coastal ecosystems that are valued for a variety of ecological and societal goods and services (fig. 1). Mangrove wetlands are important filters of materials moving between the land and sea, trapping sediment, nutrients, and pollutants in runoff from uplands and preventing their direct introduction into sensitive marine ecosystems such as seagrass beds and coral reefs. Mangroves serve as nursery grounds and refuge for a variety of organisms and are consequently vital to the biological productivity of coastal waters. Furthermore, because mangroves are highly resilient to disturbances such as hurricanes, they represent a self-sustaining, protective barrier for human populations living in the coastal zone. Mangrove ecosystems also contribute to shoreline stabilization through consolidation of unstable mineral sediments and peat formation. In order to help conserve mangrove ecoystems, scientists with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) at the National Wetlands Research Center are working to more fully understand the dynamics that impact these vital ecosystems.

  6. Water- and Plant-Mediated Responses of Ecosystem Carbon Fluxes to Warming and Nitrogen Addition on the Songnen Grassland in Northeast China

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Li; Guo, Rui; Zhu, Tingcheng; Niu, Xuedun; Guo, Jixun; Sun, Wei

    2012-01-01

    Background Understanding how grasslands are affected by a long-term increase in temperature is crucial to predict the future impact of global climate change on terrestrial ecosystems. Additionally, it is not clear how the effects of global warming on grassland productivity are going to be altered by increased N deposition and N addition. Methodology/Principal Findings In-situ canopy CO2 exchange rates were measured in a meadow steppe subjected to 4-year warming and nitrogen addition treatments. Warming treatment reduced net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) and increased ecosystem respiration (ER); but had no significant impacts on gross ecosystem productivity (GEP). N addition increased NEE, ER and GEP. However, there were no significant interactions between N addition and warming. The variation of NEE during the four experimental years was correlated with soil water content, particularly during early spring, suggesting that water availability is a primary driver of carbon fluxes in the studied semi-arid grassland. Conclusion/Significance Ecosystem carbon fluxes in grassland ecosystems are sensitive to warming and N addition. In the studied water-limited grassland, both warming and N addition influence ecosystem carbon fluxes by affecting water availability, which is the primary driver in many arid and semiarid ecosystems. It remains unknown to what extent the long-term N addition would affect the turn-over of soil organic matter and the C sink size of this grassland. PMID:23028848

  7. Astronomical Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neuenschwander, D. E.; Finkenbinder, L. R.

    2004-05-01

    Just as quetzals and jaguars require specific ecological habitats to survive, so too must planets occupy a tightly constrained astronomical habitat to support life as we know it. With this theme in mind we relate the transferable features of our elementary astronomy course, "The Astronomical Basis of Life on Earth." Over the last five years, in a team-taught course that features a spring break field trip to Costa Rica, we have introduced astronomy through "astronomical ecosystems," emphasizing astronomical constraints on the prospects for life on Earth. Life requires energy, chemical elements, and long timescales, and we emphasize how cosmological, astrophysical, and geological realities, through stabilities and catastrophes, create and eliminate niches for biological life. The linkage between astronomy and biology gets immediate and personal: for example, studies in solar energy production are followed by hikes in the forest to examine the light-gathering strategies of photosynthetic organisms; a lesson on tides is conducted while standing up to our necks in one on a Pacific beach. Further linkages between astronomy and the human timescale concerns of biological diversity, cultural diversity, and environmental sustainability are natural and direct. Our experience of teaching "astronomy as habitat" strongly influences our "Astronomy 101" course in Oklahoma as well. This "inverted astrobiology" seems to transform our student's outlook, from the universe being something "out there" into something "we're in!" We thank the SNU Science Alumni support group "The Catalysts," and the SNU Quetzal Education and Research Center, San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica, for their support.

  8. Science for managing ecosystem services: Beyond the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.

    PubMed

    Carpenter, Stephen R; Mooney, Harold A; Agard, John; Capistrano, Doris; Defries, Ruth S; Díaz, Sandra; Dietz, Thomas; Duraiappah, Anantha K; Oteng-Yeboah, Alfred; Pereira, Henrique Miguel; Perrings, Charles; Reid, Walter V; Sarukhan, José; Scholes, Robert J; Whyte, Anne

    2009-02-01

    The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) introduced a new framework for analyzing social-ecological systems that has had wide influence in the policy and scientific communities. Studies after the MA are taking up new challenges in the basic science needed to assess, project, and manage flows of ecosystem services and effects on human well-being. Yet, our ability to draw general conclusions remains limited by focus on discipline-bound sectors of the full social-ecological system. At the same time, some polices and practices intended to improve ecosystem services and human well-being are based on untested assumptions and sparse information. The people who are affected and those who provide resources are increasingly asking for evidence that interventions improve ecosystem services and human well-being. New research is needed that considers the full ensemble of processes and feedbacks, for a range of biophysical and social systems, to better understand and manage the dynamics of the relationship between humans and the ecosystems on which they rely. Such research will expand the capacity to address fundamental questions about complex social-ecological systems while evaluating assumptions of policies and practices intended to advance human well-being through improved ecosystem services. PMID:19179280

  9. Science for managing ecosystem services: Beyond the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Carpenter, Stephen R.; Mooney, Harold A.; Agard, John; Capistrano, Doris; DeFries, Ruth S.; Díaz, Sandra; Dietz, Thomas; Duraiappah, Anantha K.; Oteng-Yeboah, Alfred; Pereira, Henrique Miguel; Perrings, Charles; Reid, Walter V.; Sarukhan, José; Scholes, Robert J.; Whyte, Anne

    2009-01-01

    The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) introduced a new framework for analyzing social–ecological systems that has had wide influence in the policy and scientific communities. Studies after the MA are taking up new challenges in the basic science needed to assess, project, and manage flows of ecosystem services and effects on human well-being. Yet, our ability to draw general conclusions remains limited by focus on discipline-bound sectors of the full social–ecological system. At the same time, some polices and practices intended to improve ecosystem services and human well-being are based on untested assumptions and sparse information. The people who are affected and those who provide resources are increasingly asking for evidence that interventions improve ecosystem services and human well-being. New research is needed that considers the full ensemble of processes and feedbacks, for a range of biophysical and social systems, to better understand and manage the dynamics of the relationship between humans and the ecosystems on which they rely. Such research will expand the capacity to address fundamental questions about complex social–ecological systems while evaluating assumptions of policies and practices intended to advance human well-being through improved ecosystem services. PMID:19179280

  10. Changing Ecosystem Service Values Following Technological Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Honey-Rosés, Jordi; Schneider, Daniel W.; Brozović, Nicholas

    2014-06-01

    Research on ecosystem services has focused mostly on natural areas or remote places, with less attention given to urban ecosystem services and their relationship with technological change. However, recent work by urban ecologists and urban designers has more closely examined and appreciated the opportunities associated with integrating natural and built infrastructures. Nevertheless, a perception remains in the literature on ecosystem services that technology may easily and irreversibly substitute for services previously obtained from ecosystems, especially when the superiority of the engineered system motivated replacement in the first place. We emphasize that the expected tradeoff between natural and manufactured capital is false. Rather, as argued in other contexts, the adoption of new technologies is complementary to ecosystem management. The complementarity of ecosystem services and technology is illustrated with a case study in Barcelona, Spain where the installation of sophisticated water treatment technology increased the value of the ecosystem services found there. Interestingly, the complementarity between natural and built infrastructures may remain even for the very ecosystems that are affected by the technological change. This finding suggests that we can expect the value of ecosystem services to co-evolve with new technologies. Technological innovation can generate new opportunities to harness value from ecosystems, and the engineered structures found in cities may generate more reliance on ecosystem processes, not less.

  11. Ecosystem Services in Environmental Science Literacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruppert, John Robert

    2015-01-01

    Human beings depend on a set of benefits that emerge from functioning ecosystems, termed Ecosystem Services (ES), and make decisions in everyday life that affect these ES. Recent advancements in science have led to an increasingly sophisticated understanding of ES and how they can be used to inform environmental decision-making. Following suit, US…

  12. Columbia River Estuary Ecosystem Classification Ecosystem Complex

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, Charles M.; Ramirez, Mary F.; Heatwole, Danelle W.; Burke, Jennifer L.; Simenstad, Charles A.; O'Connor, Jim E.; Marcoe, Keith Marcoe

    2012-01-01

    Estuarine ecosystems are controlled by a variety of processes that operate at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Understanding the hierarchical nature of these processes will aid in prioritization of restoration efforts. This hierarchical Columbia River Estuary Ecosystem Classification (henceforth "Classification") of the Columbia River estuary is a spatial database of the tidally-influenced reaches of the lower Columbia River, the tidally affected parts of its tributaries, and the landforms that make up their floodplains for the 230 kilometers between the Pacific Ocean and Bonneville Dam. This work is a collaborative effort between University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (henceforth "UW"), U.S. Geological Survey (henceforth "USGS"), and the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership (henceforth "EP"). Consideration of geomorphologic processes will improve the understanding of controlling physical factors that drive ecosystem evolution along the tidal Columbia River. The Classification is organized around six hierarchical levels, progressing from the coarsest, regional scale to the finest, localized scale: (1) Ecosystem Province; (2) Ecoregion; (3) Hydrogeomorphic Reach; (4) Ecosystem Complex; (5) Geomorphic Catena; and (6) Primary Cover Class. For Levels 4 and 5, we mapped landforms within the Holocene floodplain primarily by visual interpretation of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) topography supplemented with aerial photographs, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) soils data, and historical maps. Mapped landforms are classified as to their current geomorphic function, the inferred process regime that formed them, and anthropogenic modification. Channels were classified primarily by a set of depth-based rules and geometric relationships. Classification Level 5 floodplain landforms ("geomorphic catenae") were further classified based on multivariate analysis of land-cover within the mapped landform area and attributed as "sub

  13. Nighttime dissolution in a temperate coastal ocean ecosystem increases under acidification

    PubMed Central

    Kwiatkowski, Lester; Gaylord, Brian; Hill, Tessa; Hosfelt, Jessica; Kroeker, Kristy J.; Nebuchina, Yana; Ninokawa, Aaron; Russell, Ann D.; Rivest, Emily B.; Sesboüé, Marine; Caldeira, Ken

    2016-01-01

    Anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing ocean acidification, lowering seawater aragonite (CaCO3) saturation state (Ωarag), with potentially substantial impacts on marine ecosystems over the 21st Century. Calcifying organisms have exhibited reduced calcification under lower saturation state conditions in aquaria. However, the in situ sensitivity of calcifying ecosystems to future ocean acidification remains unknown. Here we assess the community level sensitivity of calcification to local CO2-induced acidification caused by natural respiration in an unperturbed, biodiverse, temperate intertidal ecosystem. We find that on hourly timescales nighttime community calcification is strongly influenced by Ωarag, with greater net calcium carbonate dissolution under more acidic conditions. Daytime calcification however, is not detectably affected by Ωarag. If the short-term sensitivity of community calcification to Ωarag is representative of the long-term sensitivity to ocean acidification, nighttime dissolution in these intertidal ecosystems could more than double by 2050, with significant ecological and economic consequences. PMID:26987406

  14. Nighttime dissolution in a temperate coastal ocean ecosystem increases under acidification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kwiatkowski, Lester; Gaylord, Brian; Hill, Tessa; Hosfelt, Jessica; Kroeker, Kristy J.; Nebuchina, Yana; Ninokawa, Aaron; Russell, Ann D.; Rivest, Emily B.; Sesboüé, Marine; Caldeira, Ken

    2016-03-01

    Anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing ocean acidification, lowering seawater aragonite (CaCO3) saturation state (Ωarag), with potentially substantial impacts on marine ecosystems over the 21st Century. Calcifying organisms have exhibited reduced calcification under lower saturation state conditions in aquaria. However, the in situ sensitivity of calcifying ecosystems to future ocean acidification remains unknown. Here we assess the community level sensitivity of calcification to local CO2-induced acidification caused by natural respiration in an unperturbed, biodiverse, temperate intertidal ecosystem. We find that on hourly timescales nighttime community calcification is strongly influenced by Ωarag, with greater net calcium carbonate dissolution under more acidic conditions. Daytime calcification however, is not detectably affected by Ωarag. If the short-term sensitivity of community calcification to Ωarag is representative of the long-term sensitivity to ocean acidification, nighttime dissolution in these intertidal ecosystems could more than double by 2050, with significant ecological and economic consequences.

  15. Docosahexaenoic Acid Sensitizes Leukemia Lymphocytes to Barasertib and Everolimus by ROS-dependent Mechanism Without Affecting the Level of ROS and Viability of Normal Lymphocytes.

    PubMed

    Zhelev, Zhivko; Ivanova, Donika; Lazarova, Desislava; Aoki, Ichio; Bakalova, Rumiana; Saga, Tsuneo

    2016-04-01

    The aim of the present study was: (i) to investigate the possibility of sensitizing leukemia lymphocytes to anticancer drugs using docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); (ii) to find combinations with synergistic cytotoxic effect on leukemia lymphocytes, without or with only very low cytotoxicity towards normal lymphocytes; (iii) and to clarify the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the induction of apoptosis and cytotoxicity by such combinations. The study covered 15 anticancer drugs, conventional and new-generation. Well-expressed synergistic cytotoxic effects were observed after treatment of leukemia lymphocytes (Jurkat) with DHA in combination with: barasertib, lonafarnib, everolimus, and palbociclib. We selected two synergistic combinations, DHA with everolimus or barasertib, and investigated their effects on viability of normal lymphocytes, as well as on the production of ROS and induction of apoptosis in both cell lines (leukemia and normal). At the selected concentrations, DHA, everolimus and barasertib (applied separately) were cytotoxic towards leukemia lymphocytes, but not normal lymphocytes. In leukemia cells, the cytotoxicity of combinations was accompanied by strong induction of apoptosis and production of ROS. In normal lymphocytes, drugs alone and in combination with DHA did not affect the level of ROS and did not induce apoptosis. To our knowledge, the present study is the first to report synergistic ROS-dependent cytotoxicity between DHA and new-generation anticancer drugs, such as everolimus and barasertib, that is cancer cell-specific (particularly for acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells Jurkat). These combinations are harmless to normal lymphocytes and do not induce abnormal production of ROS in these cells. The data suggest that DHA could be used as a supplementary component in anticancer chemotherapy, allowing therapeutic doses of everolimus and barasertib to be reduced, minimizing their side-effects. PMID:27069145

  16. Diets High in Protein or Saturated Fat Do Not Affect Insulin Sensitivity or Plasma Concentrations of Lipids and Lipoproteins in Overweight and Obese Adults123

    PubMed Central

    Chiu, Sally; Williams, Paul T.; Dawson, Taylor; Bergman, Richard N.; Stefanovski, Darko; Watkins, Steven M.; Krauss, Ronald M.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Previous human studies reported inconsistent effects of dietary protein and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) on insulin action and glucose metabolism. Similarly, it is unclear whether saturated fat (SF) intake influences these metabolic variables. Objective: The objective of this study was to test the effects of high [30% of energy (%E)] vs. moderate (20%E) intakes of protein (primarily whey) on insulin action and lipid and lipoprotein concentrations in the context of both high (15%E) and low (7%E) SF diets. Methods: The study was conducted as a randomized controlled trial in 158 overweight and obese men and women. After a 4-wk baseline diet [55%E carbohydrate, 15%E protein, 30%E fat (7%E SF)], participants were randomly assigned to 4 wk of either the baseline diet or 1 of 4 test diets containing 35%E carbohydrate and either 20%E or 30%E protein and either 7%E or 15%E SF. Frequently sampled i.v. glucose tolerance tests were administered after each dietary period. Results: Other than significantly higher fasting glucose concentrations for high vs. moderate protein intakes with a low-fat diet (difference ± SE: 0.47 ± 0.14 mmol/L; P = 0.001), there were no significant effects of dietary protein or SF on glucose metabolism, plasma insulin, or concentrations of lipids and lipoproteins. Changes in plasma BCAAs across all diets were negatively correlated with changes in the metabolic clearance rate of insulin (ρ = −0.18, P = 0.03) and positively correlated with changes in the acute insulin response to glucose (ρ = 0.15, P = 0.05). Conclusions: These findings suggest that short-term intake of BCAAs can influence insulin dynamics. However, in this group of overweight and obese individuals, neither high protein nor SF intake affected insulin sensitivity or plasma concentrations of lipids and lipoproteins. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00508937. PMID:25332473

  17. ERG deregulation induces IGF-1R expression in prostate cancer cells and affects sensitivity to anti-IGF-1R agents.

    PubMed

    Mancarella, Caterina; Casanova-Salas, Irene; Calatrava, Ana; Ventura, Selena; Garofalo, Cecilia; Rubio-Briones, José; Magistroni, Vera; Manara, Maria Cristina; López-Guerrero, José Antonio; Scotlandi, Katia

    2015-06-30

    Identifying patients who may benefit from targeted therapy is an urgent clinical issue in prostate cancer (PCa). We investigated the molecular relationship between TMPRSS2-ERG (T2E) fusion gene and insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1R) to optimize the use of IGF-1R inhibitors.IGF-1R was analyzed in cell lines and in radical prostatectomy specimens in relation to T2E status. ERG binding to IGF-1R promoter was evaluated by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP). Sensitivity to anti-IGF-1R agents was evaluated alone or in combination with anti-androgen abiraterone acetate in vitro at basal levels or upon ERG modulation.IGF-1R analysis performed in PCa cells or clinical samples showed that T2E expression correlated with higher IGF-1R expression at mRNA and protein levels. Genetic modulation of ERG directly affected IGF-1R protein levels in vitro. ChIP analysis showed that ERG binds IGF-1R promoter and that promoter occupancy is higher in T2E-positive cells. IGF-1R inhibition was more effective in cell lines expressing the fusion gene and combination of IGF-1R inhibitors with abiraterone acetate produced synergistic effects in T2E-expressing cells.Here, we provide the rationale for use of T2E fusion gene to select PCa patients for anti-IGF-1R treatments. The combination of anti-IGF-1R-HAbs with an anti-androgen therapy is strongly advocated for patients expressing T2E.

  18. ERG deregulation induces IGF-1R expression in prostate cancer cells and affects sensitivity to anti-IGF-1R agents

    PubMed Central

    Mancarella, Caterina; Casanova-Salas, Irene; Calatrava, Ana; Ventura, Selena; Garofalo, Cecilia; Rubio-Briones, José; Magistroni, Vera; Manara, Maria Cristina; López-Guerrero, José Antonio; Scotlandi, Katia

    2015-01-01

    Identifying patients who may benefit from targeted therapy is an urgent clinical issue in prostate cancer (PCa). We investigated the molecular relationship between TMPRSS2-ERG (T2E) fusion gene and insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1R) to optimize the use of IGF-1R inhibitors. IGF-1R was analyzed in cell lines and in radical prostatectomy specimens in relation to T2E status. ERG binding to IGF-1R promoter was evaluated by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP). Sensitivity to anti-IGF-1R agents was evaluated alone or in combination with anti-androgen abiraterone acetate in vitro at basal levels or upon ERG modulation. IGF-1R analysis performed in PCa cells or clinical samples showed that T2E expression correlated with higher IGF-1R expression at mRNA and protein levels. Genetic modulation of ERG directly affected IGF-1R protein levels in vitro. ChIP analysis showed that ERG binds IGF-1R promoter and that promoter occupancy is higher in T2E-positive cells. IGF-1R inhibition was more effective in cell lines expressing the fusion gene and combination of IGF-1R inhibitors with abiraterone acetate produced synergistic effects in T2E-expressing cells. Here, we provide the rationale for use of T2E fusion gene to select PCa patients for anti-IGF-1R treatments. The combination of anti-IGF-1R-HAbs with an anti-androgen therapy is strongly advocated for patients expressing T2E. PMID:25906745

  19. Differential Sensitivity to Drought in Six Central U.S. Grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knapp, A.; Carroll, C. J. W.; Denton, E. M.; La Pierre, K. J.; Wilcox, K. R.; Collins, S. L.; Smith, M.

    2014-12-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems often vary dramatically in their responses to drought, but the reasons why are unclear. With climate change forecasts for more frequent and extensive drought in the future, a more complete understanding of the mechanisms that determine differential ecosystem sensitivity to drought is needed. In 2012, the Central U.S. experienced the 4th largest drought in a century, with a regional-scale 40% reduction in growing season precipitation affecting ecosystems ranging from desert grassland to mesic tallgrass prairie. This provided an opportunity to assess ecosystem sensitivity to a drought of common magnitude in six native grasslands. We tested the prediction that drought sensitivity is inversely related to mean annual precipitation (MAP) by quantifying reductions in aboveground net primary production (ANPP). Long-term ANPP data available for each site (mean length = 16 yrs) were used as a baseline for calculating reductions in ANPP, and drought sensitivity was estimated as the reduction in ANPP per mm reduction in precipitation. Arid grasslands were the most sensitive to drought, but drought responses and sensitivity varied by more than 2-fold among the six grasslands, despite all sites experiencing 40% reductions in growing season precipitation. Although drought sensitivity generally decreased with increasing MAP as predicted, there was evidence that the identity and traits of the dominant species, as well as plant functional diversity, influenced sensitivity.

  20. Research infrastructure support to address ecosystem dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Los, Wouter

    2014-05-01

    Predicting the evolution of ecosystems to climate change or human pressures is a challenge. Even understanding past or current processes is complicated as a result of the many interactions and feedbacks that occur within and between components of the system. This talk will present an example of current research on changes in landscape evolution, hydrology, soil biogeochemical processes, zoological food webs, and plant community succession, and how these affect feedbacks to components of the systems, including the climate system. Multiple observations, experiments, and simulations provide a wealth of data, but not necessarily understanding. Model development on the coupled processes on different spatial and temporal scales is sensitive for variations in data and of parameter change. Fast high performance computing may help to visualize the effect of these changes and the potential stability (and reliability) of the models. This may than allow for iteration between data production and models towards stable models reducing uncertainty and improving the prediction of change. The role of research infrastructures becomes crucial is overcoming barriers for such research. Environmental infrastructures are covering physical site facilities, dedicated instrumentation and e-infrastructure. The LifeWatch infrastructure for biodiversity and ecosystem research will provide services for data integration, analysis and modeling. But it has to cooperate intensively with the other kinds of infrastructures in order to support the iteration between data production and model computation. The cooperation in the ENVRI project (Common operations of environmental research infrastructures) is one of the initiatives to foster such multidisciplinary research.

  1. Risk and markets for ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Bendor, Todd K; Riggsbee, J Adam; Doyle, Martin

    2011-12-15

    Market-based environmental regulations (e.g., cap and trade, "payments for ecosystem services") are increasingly common. However, few detailed studies of operating ecosystem markets have lent understanding to how such policies affect incentive structures for improving environmental quality. The largest U.S. market stems from the Clean Water Act provisions requiring ecosystem restoration to offset aquatic ecosystems damaged during development. We describe and test how variations in the rules governing this ecosystem market shift risk between regulators and entrepreneurs to promote ecological restoration. We analyze extensive national scale data to assess how two critical aspects of market structure - (a) the geographic scale of markets and (b) policies dictating the release of credits - affect the willingness of entrepreneurs to enter specific markets and produce credits. We find no discernible relationship between policies attempting to ease market entry and either the number of individual producers or total credits produced. Rather, market entry is primarily related to regional geography (the prevalence of aquatic ecosystems) and regional economic growth. Any improvements to policies governing ecosystem markets require explicit evaluation of the interplay between policy and risk elements affecting both regulators and entrepreneurial credit providers. Our findings extend to emerging, regulated ecosystem markets, including proposed carbon offset mechanisms, biodiversity banking, and water quality trading programs. PMID:22044319

  2. Risk and markets for ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Bendor, Todd K; Riggsbee, J Adam; Doyle, Martin

    2011-12-15

    Market-based environmental regulations (e.g., cap and trade, "payments for ecosystem services") are increasingly common. However, few detailed studies of operating ecosystem markets have lent understanding to how such policies affect incentive structures for improving environmental quality. The largest U.S. market stems from the Clean Water Act provisions requiring ecosystem restoration to offset aquatic ecosystems damaged during development. We describe and test how variations in the rules governing this ecosystem market shift risk between regulators and entrepreneurs to promote ecological restoration. We analyze extensive national scale data to assess how two critical aspects of market structure - (a) the geographic scale of markets and (b) policies dictating the release of credits - affect the willingness of entrepreneurs to enter specific markets and produce credits. We find no discernible relationship between policies attempting to ease market entry and either the number of individual producers or total credits produced. Rather, market entry is primarily related to regional geography (the prevalence of aquatic ecosystems) and regional economic growth. Any improvements to policies governing ecosystem markets require explicit evaluation of the interplay between policy and risk elements affecting both regulators and entrepreneurial credit providers. Our findings extend to emerging, regulated ecosystem markets, including proposed carbon offset mechanisms, biodiversity banking, and water quality trading programs.

  3. Belowground dynamics in mangrove ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McKee, Karen L.

    2004-01-01

    Mangrove ecosystems are tropical/subtropical communities of primarily tree species that grow in the intertidal zone. These tidal communities are important coastal ecosystems that are valued for a variety of ecological and societal goods and services (fig. 1). Mangrove wetlands are important filters of materials moving between the land and sea, trapping sediment, nutrients, and pollutants in runoff from uplands and preventing their direct introduction into sensitive marine ecosystems such as seagrass beds and coral reefs. Mangroves serve as nursery grounds and refuge for a variety of organisms and are consequently vital to the biological productivity of coastal waters. Furthermore, because mangroves are highly resilient to disturbances such as hurricanes, they represent a self-sustaining, protective barrier for human populations living in the coastal zone. Mangrove ecosystems also contribute to shoreline stabilization through consolidation of unstable mineral sediments and peat formation. In order to help conserve mangrove ecoystems, scientists with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) at the National Wetlands Research Center are working to more fully understand the dynamics that impact these vital ecosystems.

  4. Sensitivity analysis of an Ocean Carbon Cycle Model in the North Atlantic: an investigation of parameters affecting the air-sea CO2 flux, primary production and export of detritus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, V.; Kettle, H.; Merchant, C. J.

    2010-12-01

    The sensitivity of the biological parameters in a nutrient-phytoplankton-zooplankton-detritus (NPZD) model in the calculation of the air-sea CO2 flux, primary production and detrital export is analysed. The NPZD model is the Hadley Centre Ocean Carbon Cycle model (HadOCC) from the UK Met Office, used in the Hadley Centre Coupled Model 3 (HadCM3) and FAst Met Office and Universities Simulator (FAMOUS) GCMs. Here, HadOCC is coupled to the 1-D General Ocean Turbulence Model (GOTM) and forced with European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting meteorology to undertake a sensitivity analysis of its twenty biological parameters. Analyses are performed at three sites in the EuroSITES European Ocean Observatory Network: the Central Irminger Sea (60° N 40° W), the Porcupine Abyssal Plain (49° N 16° W) and the European Station for Time series in the Ocean Canary Islands (29° N 15° W) to assess variability in parameter sensitivities at different locations in the North Atlantic Ocean. Reasonable changes to the values of key parameters are shown to have a large effect on the calculation of the air-sea CO2 flux, primary production, and export of biological detritus to the deep ocean. Changes in the values of key parameters have a greater effect in more productive regions than in less productive areas. We perform the analysis using one-at-a-time perturbations and using a statistical emulator, and compare results. The most sensitive parameters are generic to many NPZD ocean ecosystem models. The air-sea CO2 flux is most influenced by variation in the parameters that control phytoplankton growth, detrital sinking and carbonate production by phytoplankton (the rain ratio). Primary production is most sensitive to the parameters that define the shape of the photosythesis-irradiance curve. Export production is most sensitive to the parameters that control the rate of detrital sinking and the remineralisation of detritus.

  5. Monitoring Earth's Ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Partnered with Goddard Space Flight Center, Sensit Technologies Inc. developed a third-generation Portable Apparatus for Rapid Acquisitions of Bidirectional Observations of Land and Atmosphere, or PARABOLA III for short. Now commercially available, PARABOLA III is designed to measure the reflected signature of a variety of Earth surface types, from rangeland vegetation to ice and snow. It can rapidly acquire data for almost the complete sky and ground-looking hemispheres, with no missing data and sufficient dynamic range to measure direct solar radiance. The instrument was actively used in the Boreal Ecosystem- Atmosphere Study which provided useful information in designing a Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer, a small satellite being built by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory that will measure sunlight reflected by the Earth into space.

  6. Contrasting responses of water use efficiency to drought across global terrestrial ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yuting; Guan, Huade; Batelaan, Okke; McVicar, Tim R.; Long, Di; Piao, Shilong; Liang, Wei; Liu, Bing; Jin, Zhao; Simmons, Craig T.

    2016-01-01

    Drought is an intermittent disturbance of the water cycle that profoundly affects the terrestrial carbon cycle. However, the response of the coupled water and carbon cycles to drought and the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here we provide the first global synthesis of the drought effect on ecosystem water use efficiency (WUE = gross primary production (GPP)/evapotranspiration (ET)). Using two observational WUE datasets (i.e., eddy-covariance measurements at 95 sites (526 site-years) and global gridded diagnostic modelling based on existing observation and a data-adaptive machine learning approach), we find a contrasting response of WUE to drought between arid (WUE increases with drought) and semi-arid/sub-humid ecosystems (WUE decreases with drought), which is attributed to different sensitivities of ecosystem processes to changes in hydro-climatic conditions. WUE variability in arid ecosystems is primarily controlled by physical processes (i.e., evaporation), whereas WUE variability in semi-arid/sub-humid regions is mostly regulated by biological processes (i.e., assimilation). We also find that shifts in hydro-climatic conditions over years would intensify the drought effect on WUE. Our findings suggest that future drought events, when coupled with an increase in climate variability, will bring further threats to semi-arid/sub-humid ecosystems and potentially result in biome reorganization, starting with low-productivity and high water-sensitivity grassland. PMID:26983909

  7. Avian ecosystem functions are influenced by small mammal ecosystem engineering

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Birds are important mobile link species that contribute to landscape-scale patterns by means of pollination, seed dispersal, and predation. Birds are often associated with habitats modified by small mammal ecosystem engineers. We investigated whether birds prefer to forage on degu (Octodon degus) runways by comparing their foraging effort across sites with a range of runway densities, including sites without runways. We measured granivory by granivorous and omnivorous birds at Rinconada de Maipú, central Chile. As a measure of potential bird foraging on insects, we sampled invertebrate prey richness and abundance across the same sites. We then quantified an index of plot-scale functional diversity due to avian foraging at the patch scale. Results We recorded that birds found food sources sooner and ate more at sites with higher densities of degu runways, cururo mounds, trees, and fewer shrubs. These sites also had higher invertebrate prey richness but lower invertebrate prey abundance. This implies that omnivorous birds, and possibly insectivorous birds, forage for invertebrates in the same plots with high degu runway densities where granivory takes place. In an exploratory analysis we also found that plot-scale functional diversity for four avian ecosystem functions were moderately to weakly correllated to expected ecosystem function outcomes at the plot scale. Conclusions Degu ecosystem engineering affects the behavior of avian mobile link species and is thus correlated with ecosystem functioning at relatively small spatial scales. PMID:24359802

  8. The Economic Value of Coastal Ecosystems in California

    EPA Science Inventory

    The status of marine ecosystems affects the well being of human societies. These ecosystems include but are not limited to estuaries, lagoons, reefs, and systems further offshore such as deep ocean vents. The coastal regions that connect terrestrial and marine ecosystems are of p...

  9. Nitrogen Critical Loads for an Alpine Meadow Ecosystem on the Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zong, Ning; Shi, Peili; Song, Minghua; Zhang, Xianzhou; Jiang, Jing; Chai, Xi

    2016-03-01

    Increasing atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition has the potential to alter plant diversity and thus the function and stability of terrestrial ecosystems. N-limited alpine ecosystems are expected to be particularly susceptible to increasing N deposition. However, little is known about the critical loads and saturation thresholds of ecosystem responses to increasing N deposition on the Tibetan Plateau, despite its importance to ecosystem management. To evaluate the N critical loads and N saturation thresholds in an alpine ecosystem, in 2010, we treated an alpine meadow with five levels of N addition (0, 10, 20, 40, and 80 kg N ha-1 year-1) and characterized plant and soil responses. The results showed that plant species richness and diversity index did not statistically vary with N addition treatments, but they both changed with years. N addition affected plant cover and aboveground productivity, especially for grasses, and soil chemical features. The N critical loads and saturation thresholds, in terms of plant cover and biomass change at the community level, were 8.8-12.7 and 50 kg N ha-1 year-1 (including the ambient N deposition rate), respectively. However, pronounced changes in soil inorganic N and net N mineralization occurred under the 20 and 40 kg N ha-1 year-1 treatments. Our results indicate that plant community cover and biomass are more sensitive than soil to increasing N inputs. The plant community composition in alpine ecosystems on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau may change under increasing N deposition in the future.

  10. The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubayah, R.; Goetz, S. J.; Blair, J. B.; Fatoyinbo, T. E.; Hansen, M.; Healey, S. P.; Hofton, M. A.; Hurtt, G. C.; Kellner, J.; Luthcke, S. B.; Swatantran, A.

    2014-12-01

    Spaceborne lidar has been identified as a key technology by the international ecosystem science community because it enables accurate estimates of canopy structure and biomass and forms the basis for fusion approaches that extend the capabilities of existing and planned radar missions, such as the NASA-ISRO SAR and the ESA BIOMASS mission. The Global Ecosystems Dynamics Investigation Lidar (GEDI Lidar) was recently selected by NASA's Earth Ventures Instrument (EVI) program. From its vantage point on the International Space Station, GEDI Lidar provides high-resolution observations of forest vertical structure and addresses three, core science questions: What is the aboveground carbon balance of the land surface? What role will the land surface play in mitigating atmospheric CO2 in the coming decades? How does ecosystem structure affect habitat quality and biodiversity? GEDI informs these science questions by making billions of lidar waveform observations of canopy structure over its nominal one year mission length. The instrument uses three laser transmitters to produce 14 parallel tracks of 25 m footprints. These canopy measurements are then used to measure biomass and in fusion with radar and other remote sensing data to quantify changes in biomass resulting from disturbance and recovery. GEDI further marries ecosystem structure from lidar with ecosystem modeling to predict the sequestration potential of existing forests and to evaluate the impact of policy-driven afforestation and reforestation actions on sequestering additional carbon. Lastly, GEDI's observations of ecosystem structure provide a mapping of critical habitat metrics at the fine scales required for understanding the patterns, processes, and controls on biodiversity and habitat quality. The selection of GEDI Lidar, when combined with the rapid advancement of new radar missions and the availability of long-term land cover archives from passive optical sensors, ushers in an exciting new era of land

  11. Linking water quality and well-being for improved assessment and valuation of ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Keeler, Bonnie L; Polasky, Stephen; Brauman, Kate A; Johnson, Kris A; Finlay, Jacques C; O'Neill, Ann; Kovacs, Kent; Dalzell, Brent

    2012-11-01

    Despite broad recognition of the value of the goods and services provided by nature, existing tools for assessing and valuing ecosystem services often fall short of the needs and expectations of decision makers. Here we address one of the most important missing components in the current ecosystem services toolbox: a comprehensive and generalizable framework for describing and valuing water quality-related services. Water quality is often misrepresented as a final ecosystem service. We argue that it is actually an important contributor to many different services, from recreation to human health. We present a valuation approach for water quality-related services that is sensitive to different actions that affect water quality, identifies aquatic endpoints where the consequences of changing water quality on human well-being are realized, and recognizes the unique groups of beneficiaries affected by those changes. We describe the multiple biophysical and economic pathways that link actions to changes in water quality-related ecosystem goods and services and provide guidance to researchers interested in valuing these changes. Finally, we present a valuation template that integrates biophysical and economic models, links actions to changes in service provision and value estimates, and considers multiple sources of water quality-related ecosystem service values without double counting.

  12. Linking water quality and well-being for improved assessment and valuation of ecosystem services

    PubMed Central

    Keeler, Bonnie L.; Polasky, Stephen; Brauman, Kate A.; Johnson, Kris A.; Finlay, Jacques C.; O’Neill, Ann; Kovacs, Kent; Dalzell, Brent

    2012-01-01

    Despite broad recognition of the value of the goods and services provided by nature, existing tools for assessing and valuing ecosystem services often fall short of the needs and expectations of decision makers. Here we address one of the most important missing components in the current ecosystem services toolbox: a comprehensive and generalizable framework for describing and valuing water quality-related services. Water quality is often misrepresented as a final ecosystem service. We argue that it is actually an important contributor to many different services, from recreation to human health. We present a valuation approach for water quality-related services that is sensitive to different actions that affect water quality, identifies aquatic endpoints where the consequences of changing water quality on human well-being are realized, and recognizes the unique groups of beneficiaries affected by those changes. We describe the multiple biophysical and economic pathways that link actions to changes in water quality-related ecosystem goods and services and provide guidance to researchers interested in valuing these changes. Finally, we present a valuation template that integrates biophysical and economic models, links actions to changes in service provision and value estimates, and considers multiple sources of water quality-related ecosystem service values without double counting. PMID:23091018

  13. Linking water quality and well-being for improved assessment and valuation of ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Keeler, Bonnie L; Polasky, Stephen; Brauman, Kate A; Johnson, Kris A; Finlay, Jacques C; O'Neill, Ann; Kovacs, Kent; Dalzell, Brent

    2012-11-01

    Despite broad recognition of the value of the goods and services provided by nature, existing tools for assessing and valuing ecosystem services often fall short of the needs and expectations of decision makers. Here we address one of the most important missing components in the current ecosystem services toolbox: a comprehensive and generalizable framework for describing and valuing water quality-related services. Water quality is often misrepresented as a final ecosystem service. We argue that it is actually an important contributor to many different services, from recreation to human health. We present a valuation approach for water quality-related services that is sensitive to different actions that affect water quality, identifies aquatic endpoints where the consequences of changing water quality on human well-being are realized, and recognizes the unique groups of beneficiaries affected by those changes. We describe the multiple biophysical and economic pathways that link actions to changes in water quality-related ecosystem goods and services and provide guidance to researchers interested in valuing these changes. Finally, we present a valuation template that integrates biophysical and economic models, links actions to changes in service provision and value estimates, and considers multiple sources of water quality-related ecosystem service values without double counting. PMID:23091018

  14. Ecotoxicology of tropical marine ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Peters, E.C.; Gassman, N.J.; Firman, J.C.; Richmond, R.H.; Power, E.A.

    1997-01-01

    The negative effects of chemical contaminants on tropical marine ecosystems are of increasing concern as human populations expand adjacent to these communities. Watershed streams and ground water carry a variety of chemicals from agricultural, industrial, and domestic activities, while winds and currents transport pollutants from atmospheric and oceanic sources to these coastal ecosystems. The implications of the limited information available on impacts of chemical stressors on mangrove forests, seagrass meadows, and coral reefs are discussed in the context of ecosystem management and ecological risk assessment. Three classes of pollutants have received attention: heavy metals, petroleum, and synthetic organics. Heavy metals have been detected in all three ecosystems, causing physiological stress, reduced reproductive success, and outright mortality in associated invertebrates and fishes. Oil spills have been responsible for the destruction of entire coastal shallow-water communities, with recovery requiring years. Herbicides are particularly detrimental to mangroves and seagrasses and adversely affect the animal-algal symbioses in corals. Pesticides interfere with chemical cues responsible for key biological processes, including reproduction and recruitment of a variety of organisms. Information is lacking with regard to long-term recovery, indicator species, and biomarkers for tropical communities. Critical areas that are beginning to be addressed include the development of appropriate benchmarks for risk assessment, baseline monitoring criteria, and effective management strategies to protect tropical marine ecosystems in the face of mounting anthropogenic disturbance.

  15. Measures of the Effects of Agricultural Practices on Ecosystem Services

    SciTech Connect

    Dale, Virginia H; Polasky, Stephen

    2007-01-01

    Agriculture produces more than just crops. Agricultural practices have environmental impacts that affect a wide range of ecosystem services, including water quality, pollination, nutrient cycling, soil retention, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity conservation. In turn, ecosystem services affect agricultural productivity. Understanding the contribution of various agricultural practices to the range of ecosystem services would help inform choices about the most beneficial agricultural practices. To accomplish this, however, we must overcome a big challenge in measuring the impact of alternative agricultural practices on ecosystem services and of ecosystem services on agricultural production.

  16. The Importance of Uncertainty and Sensitivity Analysis in Process-based Models of Carbon and Nitrogen Cycling in Terrestrial Ecosystems with Particular Emphasis on Forest Ecosystems — Selected Papers from a Workshop Organized by the International Society for Ecological Modelling (ISEM) at the Third Biennal Meeting of the International Environmental Modelling and Software Society (IEMSS) in Burlington, Vermont, USA, August 9-13, 2006

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larocque, Guy R.; Bhatti, Jagtar S.; Liu, Jinxun; Ascough, James C.; Gordon, Andrew M.

    2008-01-01

    Many process-based models of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycles have been developed for terrestrial ecosystems, including forest ecosystems. They address many basic issues of ecosystems structure and functioning, such as the role of internal feedback in ecosystem dynamics. The critical factor in these phenomena is scale, as these processes operate at scales from the minute (e.g. particulate pollution impacts on trees and other organisms) to the global (e.g. climate change). Research efforts remain important to improve the capability of such models to better represent the dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems, including the C, nutrient, (e.g. N) and water cycles. Existing models are sufficiently well advanced to help decision makers develop sustainable management policies and planning of terrestrial ecosystems, as they make realistic predictions when used appropriately. However, decision makers must be aware of their limitations by having the opportunity to evaluate the uncertainty associated with process-based models (Smith and Heath, 2001 and Allen et al., 2004). The variation in scale of issues currently being addressed by modelling efforts makes the evaluation of uncertainty a daunting task.

  17. Young Children's Affective Responses to Acceptance and Rejection from Peers: A Computer-Based Task Sensitive to Variation in Temperamental Shyness and Gender

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howarth, Grace Z.; Guyer, Amanda E.; Perez-Edgar, Koraly

    2013-01-01

    This study presents a novel task examining young children's affective responses to evaluative feedback--specifically, social acceptance and rejection--from peers. We aimed to determine (1) whether young children report their affective responses to hypothetical peer evaluation predictably and consistently, and (2) whether young children's responses…

  18. Invertebrates, ecosystem services and climate change.

    PubMed

    Prather, Chelse M; Pelini, Shannon L; Laws, Angela; Rivest, Emily; Woltz, Megan; Bloch, Christopher P; Del Toro, Israel; Ho, Chuan-Kai; Kominoski, John; Newbold, T A Scott; Parsons, Sheena; Joern, A

    2013-05-01

    The sustainability of ecosystem services depends on a firm understanding of both how organisms provide these services to humans and how these organisms will be altered with a changing climate. Unquestionably a dominant feature of most ecosystems, invertebrates affect many ecosystem services and are also highly responsive to climate change. However, there is still a basic lack of understanding of the direct and indirect paths by which invertebrates influence ecosystem services, as well as how climate change will affect those ecosystem services by altering invertebrate populations. This indicates a lack of communication and collaboration among scientists researching ecosystem services and climate change effects on invertebrates, and land managers and researchers from other disciplines, which becomes obvious when systematically reviewing the literature relevant to invertebrates, ecosystem services, and climate change. To address this issue, we review how invertebrates respond to climate change. We then review how invertebrates both positively and negatively influence ecosystem services. Lastly, we provide some critical future directions for research needs, and suggest ways in which managers, scientists and other researchers may collaborate to tackle the complex issue of sustaining invertebrate-mediated services under a changing climate.

  19. NaCl does not affect hypothalamic noradrenergic input in deoxycorticosterone acetate/NaCl and Dahl salt-sensitive rats.

    PubMed

    Chen, Y F; Meng, Q C; Wyss, J M; Jin, H K; Rogers, C F; Oparil, S

    1990-07-01

    Previous studies from our laboratories demonstrated that dietary NaCl supplementation in NaCl-sensitive spontaneously hypertensive rats elevates blood pressure, increases peripheral sympathetic nervous system activity, and depresses endogenous norepinephrine stores and turnover in the anterior hypothalamus. These findings suggest that reduced noradrenergic input to sympathoinhibitory neurons in anterior hypothalamus contributes to NaCl-sensitive hypertension in spontaneously hypertensive rats. The current study tested the hypothesis that dietary NaCl supplementation depresses endogenous norepinephrine stores and turnover in anterior hypothalamus of two other NaCl-sensitive models of hypertension, the Dahl salt-sensitive rat and the deoxycorticosterone acetate/NaCl hypertensive rat, thus increasing blood pressure by reducing noradrenergic input to the anterior hypothalamus. Dahl salt-sensitive rats were fed a high (8%) NaCl diet, and deoxycorticosterone acetate/NaCl rats rats drank 1% NaCl solution ad libitum for 2 or 4 weeks. Age-matched Dahl salt-sensitive rats fed a basal 1% NaCl diet and uninephrectomized Sprague-Dawley rats drinking tap water were controls. Regional brain catecholamines were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. Norepinephrine turnover in hypothalamus (anterior, posterior, and ventral regions) and brain stem (pons and medulla) was assessed using the dopamine beta-hydroxylase inhibitor 1-cyclohexyl-2-mercapto-imidazole. High NaCl treatment caused significant elevations in blood pressure in Dahl salt-sensitive and deoxycorticosterone acetate/NaCl rats, but endogenous norepinephrine levels and turnover rates were not significantly different in anterior hypothalamus or any other brain region studied between the NaCl-supplemented and control groups.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  20. Glacier Ecosystems of Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohshima, S.; Yoshimura, Y.; Takeuchi, N.; Segawa, T.; Uetake, J.

    2012-12-01

    Biological activity on glaciers has been believed to be extremely limited. However, we found various biotic communities specialized to the glacier environment in various part of the world, such as Himalaya, Patagonia and Alaska. Some of these glacier hosted biotic communities including various cold-tolerant insects, annelids and copepods that were living in the glacier by feeding on algae and bacteria growing in the snow and ice. Thus, the glaciers are simple and relatively closed ecosystems sustained by the primary production in the snow and ice. In this presentation, we will briefly introduce glacier ecosystems in Himalaya; ecology and behavior of glacier animals, altitudinal zonation of snow algal communities, and the structure of their habitats in the glacier. Since the microorganisms growing on the glacier surface are stored in the glacial strata every year, ice-core samples contain many layers with these microorganisms. We showed that the snow algae in the ice-core are useful for ice core dating and could be new environmental signals for the studies on past environment using ice cores. These microorganisms in the ice core will be important especially in the studies of ice core from the glaciers of warmer regions, in which chemical and isotopic contents are often heavily disturbed by melt water percolation. Blooms of algae and bacteria on the glacier can reduce the surface albedo and significantly affect the glacier melting. For example, the surface albedo of some Himalayan glaciers was significantly reduced by a large amount of dark-colored biogenic material (cryoconite) derived from snow algae and bacteria. It increased the melting rates of the surfaces by as much as three-fold. Thus, it was suggested that the microbial activity on the glacier could affect the mass balance and fluctuation of the glaciers.

  1. Fire as an ecosystem process: Chapter 3

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, Jon E.; Safford, Hugh D.

    2016-01-01

    This long-anticipated reference and sourcebook for California’s remarkable ecological abundance provides an integrated assessment of each major ecosystem type—its distribution, structure, function, and management. A comprehensive synthesis of our knowledge about this biologically diverse state, Ecosystems of California covers the state from oceans to mountaintops using multiple lenses: past and present, flora and fauna, aquatic and terrestrial, natural and managed. Each chapter evaluates natural processes for a specific ecosystem, describes drivers of change, and discusses how that ecosystem may be altered in the future. This book also explores the drivers of California’s ecological patterns and the history of the state’s various ecosystems, outlining how the challenges of climate change and invasive species and opportunities for regulation and stewardship could potentially affect the state’s ecosystems. The text explicitly incorporates both human impacts and conservation and restoration efforts and shows how ecosystems support human well-being. Edited by two esteemed ecosystem ecologists and with overviews by leading experts on each ecosystem, this definitive work will be indispensable for natural resource management and conservation professionals as well as for undergraduate or graduate students of California’s environment and curious naturalists.

  2. Spring Hydrology Determines Summer Net Carbon Uptake in Northern Ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yi, Yonghong; Kimball, John; Reichle, Rolf H.

    2014-01-01

    Increased photosynthetic activity and enhanced seasonal CO2 exchange of northern ecosystems have been observed from a variety of sources including satellite vegetation indices (such as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index; NDVI) and atmospheric CO2 measurements. Most of these changes have been attributed to strong warming trends in the northern high latitudes (greater than or equal to 50N). Here we analyze the interannual variation of summer net carbon uptake derived from atmospheric CO2 measurements and satellite NDVI in relation to surface meteorology from regional observational records. We find that increases in spring precipitation and snow pack promote summer net carbon uptake of northern ecosystems independent of air temperature effects. However, satellite NDVI measurements still show an overall benefit of summer photosynthetic activity from regional warming and limited impact of spring precipitation. This discrepancy is attributed to a similar response of photosynthesis and respiration to warming and thus reduced sensitivity of net ecosystem carbon uptake to temperature. Further analysis of boreal tower eddy covariance CO2 flux measurements indicates that summer net carbon uptake is positively correlated with early growing-season surface soil moisture, which is also strongly affected by spring precipitation and snow pack based on analysis of satellite soil moisture retrievals. This is attributed to strong regulation of spring hydrology on soil respiration in relatively wet boreal and arctic ecosystems. These results document the important role of spring hydrology in determining summer net carbon uptake and contrast with prevailing assumptions of dominant cold temperature limitations to high-latitude ecosystems. Our results indicate potentially stronger coupling of boreal/arctic water and carbon cycles with continued regional warming trends.

  3. ECOSYSTEM GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Thermodynamically, ecosystem growth and development is the process by which energy throughflow and stored biomass increase. Several proposed hypotheses describe the natural tendencies that occur as an ecosystem matures, and here, we consider five: minimum entropy production, maxi...

  4. Soil bacterial communities respond to mowing and nutrient addition in a steppe ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ximei; Chen, Quansheng; Han, Xingguo

    2013-01-01

    In many grassland ecosystems, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are added to improve plant productivity, and the aboveground plant biomass is mowed and stored as hay for the bullamacow. Nutrient addition and mowing affect the biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, and most of the previous studies have primarily focused on their effects on macro-organisms, neglecting the responses of soil microbial communities. In this study, we examined the changes in three community attributes (abundance, richness, and composition) of the entire bacterial kingdom and 16 dominant bacterial phyla/classes in response to mowing, N addition, P addition, and their combinations, by conducting a 5-year experiment in a steppe ecosystem in Inner Mongolia, China. Overall, N addition had a greater effect than mowing and P addition on most of these bacterial groups, as indicated by changes in the abundance, richness and composition in response to these treatments. N addition affected these soil bacterial groups primarily through reducing soil pH and increasing available N content. Meanwhile, the 16 bacterial phyla/classes responded differentially to these experimental treatments, with Acidobacteria, Acidimicrobidae, Deltaproteobacteria, and Gammaproteobacteria being the most sensitive. The changes in the abundance, richness, and composition of various bacterial groups could imply some potential shift in their ecosystem functions. Furthermore, the important role of decreased soil pH caused by N addition in affecting soil bacterial communities suggests the importance of restoring acidified soil to maintain soil bacterial diversity. PMID:24391915

  5. Ecosystem carbon storage does not vary with mean annual temperature in Hawaiian tropical montane wet forests.

    PubMed

    Selmants, Paul C; Litton, Creighton M; Giardina, Christian P; Asner, Gregory P

    2014-09-01

    Theory and experiment agree that climate warming will increase carbon fluxes between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. The effect of this increased exchange on terrestrial carbon storage is less predictable, with important implications for potential feedbacks to the climate system. We quantified how increased mean annual temperature (MAT) affects ecosystem carbon storage in above- and belowground live biomass and detritus across a well-constrained 5.2 °C MAT gradient in tropical montane wet forests on the Island of Hawaii. This gradient does not systematically vary in biotic or abiotic factors other than MAT (i.e. dominant vegetation, substrate type and age, soil water balance, and disturbance history), allowing us to isolate the impact of MAT on ecosystem carbon storage. Live biomass carbon did not vary predictably as a function of MAT, while detrital carbon declined by ~14 Mg of carbon ha(-1) for each 1 °C rise in temperature - a trend driven entirely by coarse woody debris and litter. The largest detrital pool, soil organic carbon, was the most stable with MAT and averaged 48% of total ecosystem carbon across the MAT gradient. Total ecosystem carbon did not vary significantly with MAT, and the distribution of ecosystem carbon between live biomass and detritus remained relatively constant across the MAT gradient at ~44% and ~56%, respectively. These findings suggest that in the absence of alterations to precipitation or disturbance regimes, the size and distribution of carbon pools in tropical montane wet forests will be less sensitive to rising MAT than predicted by ecosystem models. This article also provides needed detail on how individual carbon pools and ecosystem-level carbon storage will respond to future warming.

  6. Consideration of Ecosystem for ICME

    SciTech Connect

    Ren, Weiju

    2013-01-01

    As the Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) emerges as a hot topic, computation, experimentation, and digital database are identified as its three major components. Efforts are being actively made from various aspects to bring ICME to reality. However, many factors that would affect ICEM development still remain vague. This paper is an attempt to discuss the needs for establishing a database centered ecosystem to facilitate ICEM development.

  7. Effects of solar ultraviolet radiation on terrestrial ecosystems. Patterns, mechanisms, and interactions with climate change.

    PubMed

    Ballaré, C L; Caldwell, M M; Flint, S D; Robinson, S A; Bornman, J F

    2011-02-01

    Ultraviolet radiation (UV) is a minor fraction of the solar spectrum reaching the ground surface. In this assessment we summarize the results of previous work on the effects of the UV-B component (280-315 nm) on terrestrial ecosystems, and draw attention to important knowledge gaps in our understanding of the interactive effects of UV radiation and climate change. We highlight the following points: (i) The effects of UV-B on the growth of terrestrial plants are relatively small and, because the Montreal Protocol has been successful in limiting ozone depletion, the reduction in plant growth caused by increased UV-B radiation in areas affected by ozone decline since 1980 is unlikely to have exceeded 6%. (ii) Solar UV-B radiation has large direct and indirect (plant-mediated) effects on canopy arthropods and microorganisms. Therefore, trophic interactions (herbivory, decomposition) in terrestrial ecosystems appear to be sensitive to variations in UV-B irradiance. (iii) Future variations in UV radiation resulting from changes in climate and land-use may have more important consequences on terrestrial ecosystems than the changes in UV caused by ozone depletion. This is because the resulting changes in UV radiation may affect a greater range of ecosystems, and will not be restricted solely to the UV-B component. (iv) Several ecosystem processes that are not particularly sensitive to UV-B radiation can be strongly affected by UV-A (315-400 nm) radiation. One example is the physical degradation of plant litter. Increased photodegradation (in response to reduced cloudiness or canopy cover) will lead to increased carbon release to the atmosphere via direct and indirect mechanisms. PMID:21253661

  8. Transcription factor CecR (YbiH) regulates a set of genes affecting the sensitivity of Escherichia coli against cefoperazone and chloramphenicol.

    PubMed

    Yamanaka, Yuki; Shimada, Tomohiro; Yamamoto, Kaneyoshi; Ishihama, Akira

    2016-07-01

    Genomic SELEX (systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment) screening was performed for identification of the binding site of YbiH, an as yet uncharacterized TetR-family transcription factor, on the Escherichia coli genome. YbiH was found to be a unique single-target regulator that binds in vitro within the intergenic spacer located between the divergently transcribed ybiH-ybhGFSR and rhlE operons. YbhG is an inner membrane protein and YbhFSR forms a membrane-associated ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter while RhlE is a ribosome-associated RNA helicase. Gel shift assay and DNase footprinting analyses indicated one clear binding site of YbiH, including a complete palindromic sequence of AATTAGTT-AACTAATT. An in vivo reporter assay indicated repression of the ybiH operon and activation of the rhlE operon by YbiH. After phenotype microarray screening, YbiH was indicated to confer resistance to chloramphenicol and cefazoline (a first-generation cephalosporin). A systematic survey of the participation of each of the predicted YbiH-regulated genes in the antibiotic sensitivity indicated involvement of the YbhFSR ABC-type transporter in the sensitivity to cefoperazone (a third-generation cephalosporin) and of the membrane protein YbhG in the control of sensitivity to chloramphenicol. Taken together with the growth test in the presence of these two antibiotics and in vitro transcription assay, it was concluded that the hitherto uncharacterized YbiH regulates transcription of both the bidirectional transcription units, the ybiH-ybhGFSR operon and the rhlE gene, which altogether are involved in the control of sensitivity to cefoperazone and chloramphenicol. We thus propose to rename YbiH as CecR (regulator of cefoperazone and chloramphenicol sensitivity). PMID:27112147

  9. Ecosystem Health: Energy Indicators.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Just as for human beings health is a concept that applies to the condition of the whole organism, the health of an ecosystem refers to the condition of the ecosystem as a whole. For this reason, the study and characterization of ecosystems is fundamental to establishing accurate ...

  10. Estuarine Total Ecosystem Metabolism

    EPA Science Inventory

    Total ecosystem metabolism (TEM), both as discrete measurements and as a theoretical concept, has an important history in ecosystem ecology, particularly in estuaries. Some of the earliest ecological studies were developed to determine how energy flowed through an ecosystem and w...

  11. Proceedings of the global climate change and freshwater ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Firth, P.; Fisher, S.G.

    1992-01-01

    This book discusses global climate change which is a certainty. The Earth's climate has never remained static for long and the prospect for human-accelerated climate change in the near future appears likely. Freshwater systems are intimately connected to climate in several ways. They may influence, or even drive, global atmospheric processes affecting climate (e.g., biogenic gas emissions from freshwater wetlands). They may be sensitive early indicators of climate change because they integrate the atmospheric and terrestrial events occurring in their catchments. And, of course, they will be affected by climate change. Freshwater hydrological processes, freshwater resources, and freshwater ecosystems have historically responded to climatic shifts and we fully expect that they will continue to do so. Climate-induced changes may include altered water temperatures, runoff, nutrient flux, discharge, flow regime, lake and aquifer levels, water quality, ice cover, suspended load, primary and secondary production, trophic dynamics, organism ranges, and migration patterns.

  12. Precipitation pulses and carbon fluxes in semiarid and arid ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Huxman, Travis E; Snyder, Keirith A; Tissue, David; Leffler, A Joshua; Ogle, Kiona; Pockman, William T; Sandquist, Darren R; Potts, Daniel L; Schwinning, Susan

    2004-10-01

    In the arid and semiarid regions of North America, discrete precipitation pulses are important triggers for biological activity. The timing and magnitude of these pulses may differentially affect the activity of plants and microbes, combining to influence the C balance of desert ecosystems. Here, we evaluate how a "pulse" of water influences physiological activity in plants, soils and ecosystems, and how characteristics, such as precipitation pulse size and frequency are important controllers of biological and physical processes in arid land ecosystems. We show that pulse size regulates C balance by determining the temporal duration of activity for different components of the biota. Microbial respiration responds to very small events, but the relationship between pulse size and duration of activity likely saturates at moderate event sizes. Photosynthetic activity of vascular plants generally increases following relatively larger pulses or a series of small pulses. In this case, the duration of physiological activity is an increasing function of pulse size up to events that are infrequent in these hydroclimatological regions. This differential responsiveness of photosynthesis and respiration results in arid ecosystems acting as immediate C sources to the atmosphere following rainfall, with subsequent periods of C accumulation should pulse size be sufficient to initiate vascular plant activity. Using the average pulse size distributions in the North American deserts, a simple modeling exercise shows that net ecosystem exchange of CO2 is sensitive to changes in the event size distribution representative of wet and dry years. An important regulator of the pulse response is initial soil and canopy conditions and the physical structuring of bare soil and beneath canopy patches on the landscape. Initial condition influences responses to pulses of varying magnitude, while bare soil/beneath canopy patches interact to introduce nonlinearity in the relationship between pulse

  13. REMM: The Riparian Ecosystem Management Model

    SciTech Connect

    Lowrance, R.; Altier, L.S.; Williams, R.G.; Inamdar, S.P.; Sheridan, J.M.; Bosch, D.D.; Hubbard, R.K.; Thomas, D.L.

    2000-03-01

    Riparian buffer zones are effective in mitigating nonpoint source pollution and have been recommended as a best management practice (BMP). The Riparian Ecosystem Management Model (REMM) has been developed for researchers and natural resource agencies as a modeling tool that can help quantify the water quality benefits of riparian buffers under varying site conditions. Processes simulated in REMM include surface and subsurface hydrology; sediment transport and deposition; carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus transport, removal, and cycling; and vegetation growth. Management options, such as vegetation type, size of the buffer zone, and biomass harvesting also can be simulated. REMM can be used in conjunction with upland models, empirical data, or estimated loadings to examine scenarios of buffer zone design for a hillslope. Evaluation of REMM simulations with field observations shows generally good agreement between simulated and observed data for groundwater nitrate concentrations and water table depths in a mature riparian forest buffer. Sensitivity analysis showed that changes that influenced the water balance or soil moisture storage affected the streamflow output. Parameter changes that influence either hydrology or rates of nutrient cycling affected total N transport and plant N uptake.

  14. Principles of ecosystem sustainability

    SciTech Connect

    Chapin, F.S. III; Torn, M.S.; Tateno, Masaki

    1996-12-01

    Many natural ecosystems are self-sustaining, maintaining an characteristic mosaic of vegetation types of hundreds to thousands of years. In this article we present a new framework for defining the conditions that sustain natural ecosystems and apply these principles to sustainability of managed ecosystems. A sustainable ecosystem is one that, over the normal cycle of disturbance events, maintains its characteristics diversity of major functional groups, productivity, and rates of biogeochemical cycling. These traits are determined by a set of four {open_quotes}interactive controls{close_quotes} (climate, soil resource supply, major functional groups of organisms, and disturbance regime) that both govern and respond to ecosystem processes. Ecosystems cannot be sustained unless the interactive controls oscillate within stable bounds. This occurs when negative feedbacks constrain changes in these controls. For example, negative feedbacks associated with food availability and predation often constrain changes in the population size of a species. Linkages among ecosystems in a landscape can contribute to sustainability by creating or extending the feedback network beyond a single patch. The sustainability of managed systems can be increased by maintaining interactive controls so that they form negative feedbacks within ecosystems and by using laws and regulations to create negative feedbacks between ecosystems and human activities, such as between ocean ecosystems and marine fisheries. Degraded ecosystems can be restored through practices that enhance positive feedbacks to bring the ecosystem to a state where the interactive controls are commensurate with desired ecosystem characteristics. The possible combinations of interactive controls that govern ecosystem traits are limited by the environment, constraining the extent to which ecosystems can be managed sustainably for human purposes. 111 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

  15. Metabolic theory predicts whole-ecosystem properties

    PubMed Central

    Schramski, John R.; Dell, Anthony I.; Grady, John M.; Sibly, Richard M.; Brown, James H.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the effects of individual organisms on material cycles and energy fluxes within ecosystems is central to predicting the impacts of human-caused changes on climate, land use, and biodiversity. Here we present a theory that integrates metabolic (organism-based bottom-up) and systems (ecosystem-based top-down) approaches to characterize how the metabolism of individuals affects the flows and stores of materials and energy in ecosystems. The theory predicts how the average residence time of carbon molecules, total system throughflow (TST), and amount of recycling vary with the body size and temperature of the organisms and with trophic organization. We evaluate the theory by comparing theoretical predictions with outputs of numerical models designed to simulate diverse ecosystem types and with empirical data for real ecosystems. Although residence times within different ecosystems vary by orders of magnitude—from weeks in warm pelagic oceans with minute phytoplankton producers to centuries in cold forests with large tree producers—as predicted, all ecosystems fall along a single line: residence time increases linearly with slope = 1.0 with the ratio of whole-ecosystem biomass to primary productivity (B/P). TST was affected predominantly by primary productivity and recycling by the transfer of energy from microbial decomposers to animal consumers. The theory provides a robust basis for estimating the flux and storage of energy, carbon, and other materials in terrestrial, marine, and freshwater ecosystems and for quantifying the roles of different kinds of organisms and environments at scales from local ecosystems to the biosphere. PMID:25624499

  16. How does acupuncture affect insulin sensitivity in women with polycystic ovary syndrome and insulin resistance? Study protocol of a prospective pilot study

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Yanhua; Stener-Victorin, Elisabet; Ng, Ernest H Y; Li, Juan; Wu, Xiaoke; Ma, Hongxia

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Hyperinsulinaemia and insulin resistance (IR) are key features of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and metabolic syndrome. The effect of 5 weeks of acupuncture treatment has been investigated in a completed prospective pilot trial (Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01457209), and acupuncture with electrical stimulation applied to insulin-resistant rats with dihydrotestosterone-induced PCOS was shown to improve insulin sensitivity. Therefore, we now aim to conduct a prospective pilot study to evaluate whether using the same acupuncture treatment protocol given over a longer period of time (6 months) than in the previous pilot trial will improve insulin sensitivity in women with PCOS and IR. Our hypothesis is that acupuncture with combined manual and low-frequency electrical stimulation of the needles will improve insulin sensitivity in women with PCOS and IR. Methods/analysis This is a prospective pilot trial. A total of 112 women with PCOS and IR will be recruited and categorised according to their body mass index (BMI) as normal weight (BMI=18.5−23 kg/m2) or as overweight/obese (BMI>23 kg/m2). Acupuncture will be applied three times per week for 6 months at 30 min per treatment. The primary outcome will be the change in insulin sensitivity before and after 6 months of acupuncture treatment, as measured by an oral glucose tolerance test. Ethics/dissemination Ethical approval of this study has been granted from the ethics committee of the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University (No. 2013039). Written and informed consent will be obtained from each patient before any study procedure is performed, according to good clinical practice. The results of this trial will be disseminated in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at international congresses. Trial registration numbers NCT02026323 and ChiCTR-OCH-13003921. PMID:25941189

  17. [Dynamics of Radioecological State of the Fresh-Water Ecosystems Affected by a Long-Term Impact from Nuclear Power Plant in the Frontiers of the Zone under Observation].

    PubMed

    Trapeznikov, A V; Trapeznikova, V N; Korjavin, A V

    2015-01-01

    The results of radioecological studies of six small rivers situated in the surveillance zone of the Beloyarskaya NPP (BNPP) and around the cooling pond of the power plant are presented. 21 radionuclides and the total α- and β-activity were studied in the main components of the aquatic ecosystems. It is shown that after the 1st and 2nd BN PP blocks decommissioning the content of 60Co and 137Cs in the Beloyarskoye storage pond water, sediments, fish fauna and macrophytes dropped tens and hundreds of times. The fundamental importance of this fact is that in a large range of time the aquatic ecosystem mechanism of self-purification from radionuclides is working due to radioactive substances decay as well as redistribution of radionuclides from water to other components, primarily to the sediments. Of 6 small rivers the maximum levels of radioactive substances is found in the river Olkhovka, which for several years has been subjected to the low-level radioactive water discharges from Beloyarskaya NPP. The radionuclide content in the main components of the aquatic ecosystems of the other five rivers studied after BNPP 47-year operation period corresponds to the regional background. PMID:26310022

  18. Fishing for ecosystem services

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pope, Kevin L.; Pegg, Mark A.; Cole, Nicholas W.; Siddons, Stephen F.; Fedele, Alexis D.; Harmon, Brian S.; Ruskamp, Ryan L.; Turner, Dylan R.; Uerling, Caleb C.

    2016-01-01

    Ecosystems are commonly exploited and manipulated to maximize certain human benefits. Such changes can degrade systems, leading to cascading negative effects that may be initially undetected, yet ultimately result in a reduction, or complete loss, of certain valuable ecosystem services. Ecosystem-based management is intended to maintain ecosystem quality and minimize the risk of irreversible change to natural assemblages of species and to ecosystem processes while obtaining and maintaining long-term socioeconomic benefits. We discuss policy decisions in fishery management related to commonly manipulated environments with a focus on influences to ecosystem services. By focusing on broader scales, managing for ecosystem services, and taking a more proactive approach, we expect sustainable, quality fisheries that are resilient to future disturbances. To that end, we contend that: (1) management always involves tradeoffs; (2) explicit management of fisheries for ecosystem services could facilitate a transition from reactive to proactive management; and (3) adaptive co-management is a process that could enhance management for ecosystem services. We propose adaptive co-management with an ecosystem service framework where actions are implemented within ecosystem boundaries, rather than political boundaries, through strong interjurisdictional relationships.

  19. Food-web constraints on biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships

    PubMed Central

    Thébault, Elisa; Loreau, Michel

    2003-01-01

    The consequences of biodiversity loss for ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services have aroused considerable interest during the past decade. Recent work has focused mainly on the impact of species diversity within single trophic levels, both experimentally and theoretically. Experiments have usually showed increased plant biomass and productivity with increasing plant diversity. Changes in biodiversity, however, may affect ecosystem processes through trophic interactions among species as well. An important current challenge is to understand how these trophic interactions affect the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Here we present a mechanistic model of an ecosystem with multiple trophic levels in which plants compete for a limiting soil nutrient. In contrast to previous studies that focused on single trophic levels, we show that plant biomass does not always increase with plant diversity and that changes in biodiversity can lead to complex if predictable changes in ecosystem processes. Our analysis demonstrates that food-web structure can profoundly influence ecosystem properties. PMID:14638942

  20. DNA barcodes for assessment of the biological integrity of aquatic ecosystems

    EPA Science Inventory

    Water quality regulations and aquatic ecosystem monitoring increasingly rely on direct assessments of biological integrity. Because these aquatic “bioassessments” evaluate the incidence and abundance of sensitive aquatic species, they are able to measure cumulative ecosystem eff...

  1. Dietary zinc deficiency affects blood linoleic acid: dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (LA:DGLA) ratio; a sensitive physiological marker of zinc status in vivo (Gallus gallus).

    PubMed

    Reed, Spenser; Qin, Xia; Ran-Ressler, Rinat; Brenna, James Thomas; Glahn, Raymond P; Tako, Elad

    2014-03-20

    Zinc is a vital micronutrient used for over 300 enzymatic reactions and multiple biochemical and structural processes in the body. To date, sensitive and specific biological markers of zinc status are still needed. The aim of this study was to evaluate Gallus gallus as an in vivo model in the context of assessing the sensitivity of a previously unexplored potential zinc biomarker, the erythrocyte linoleic acid: dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (LA:DGLA) ratio. Diets identical in composition were formulated and two groups of birds (n = 12) were randomly separated upon hatching into two diets, Zn⁺ (zinc adequate control, 42.3 μg/g zinc), and Zn⁻ (zinc deficient, 2.5 μg/g zinc). Dietary zinc intake, body weight, serum zinc, and the erythrocyte fatty acid profile were measured weekly. At the conclusion of the study, tissues were collected for gene expression analysis. Body weight, feed consumption, zinc intake, and serum zinc were higher in the Zn⁺ control versus Zn⁻ group (p < 0.05). Hepatic TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 gene expression were higher in the Zn⁺ control group (p < 0.05), and hepatic Δ⁶ desaturase was significantly higher in the Zn⁺ group (p < 0.001). The LA:DGLA ratio was significantly elevated in the Zn⁻ group compared to the Zn⁺ group (22.6 ± 0.5 and 18.5 ± 0.5, % w/w, respectively, p < 0.001). This study suggests erythrocyte LA:DGLA is able to differentiate zinc status between zinc adequate and zinc deficient birds, and may be a sensitive biomarker to assess dietary zinc manipulation.

  2. Dietary Zinc Deficiency Affects Blood Linoleic Acid: Dihomo-γ-linolenic Acid (LA:DGLA) Ratio; a Sensitive Physiological Marker of Zinc Status in Vivo (Gallus gallus)

    PubMed Central

    Reed, Spenser; Qin, Xia; Ran-Ressler, Rinat; Brenna, James Thomas; Glahn, Raymond P.; Tako, Elad

    2014-01-01

    Zinc is a vital micronutrient used for over 300 enzymatic reactions and multiple biochemical and structural processes in the body. To date, sensitive and specific biological markers of zinc status are still needed. The aim of this study was to evaluate Gallus gallus as an in vivo model in the context of assessing the sensitivity of a previously unexplored potential zinc biomarker, the erythrocyte linoleic acid: dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (LA:DGLA) ratio. Diets identical in composition were formulated and two groups of birds (n = 12) were randomly separated upon hatching into two diets, Zn(+) (zinc adequate control, 42.3 μg/g zinc), and Zn(−) (zinc deficient, 2.5 μg/g zinc). Dietary zinc intake, body weight, serum zinc, and the erythrocyte fatty acid profile were measured weekly. At the conclusion of the study, tissues were collected for gene expression analysis. Body weight, feed consumption, zinc intake, and serum zinc were higher in the Zn(+) control versus Zn(−) group (p < 0.05). Hepatic TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 gene expression were higher in the Zn(+) control group (p < 0.05), and hepatic Δ6 desaturase was significantly higher in the Zn(+) group (p < 0.001). The LA:DGLA ratio was significantly elevated in the Zn(−) group compared to the Zn(+) group (22.6 ± 0.5 and 18.5 ± 0.5, % w/w, respectively, p < 0.001). This study suggests erythrocyte LA:DGLA is able to differentiate zinc status between zinc adequate and zinc deficient birds, and may be a sensitive biomarker to assess dietary zinc manipulation. PMID:24658588

  3. Arabidopsis 56–Amino Acid Serine Palmitoyltransferase-Interacting Proteins Stimulate Sphingolipid Synthesis, Are Essential, and Affect Mycotoxin Sensitivity[W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Kimberlin, Athen N.; Majumder, Saurav; Han, Gongshe; Chen, Ming; Cahoon, Rebecca E.; Stone, Julie M.; Dunn, Teresa M.; Cahoon, Edgar B.

    2013-01-01

    Maintenance of sphingolipid homeostasis is critical for cell growth and programmed cell death (PCD). Serine palmitoyltransferase (SPT), composed of LCB1 and LCB2 subunits, catalyzes the primary regulatory point for sphingolipid synthesis. Small subunits of SPT (ssSPT) that strongly stimulate SPT activity have been identified in mammals, but the role of ssSPT in eukaryotic cells is unclear. Candidate Arabidopsis thaliana ssSPTs, ssSPTa and ssSPTb, were identified and characterized. Expression of these 56–amino acid polypeptides in a Saccharomyces cerevisiae SPT null mutant stimulated SPT activity from the Arabidopsis LCB1/LCB2 heterodimer by >100-fold through physical interaction with LCB1/LCB2. ssSPTa transcripts were more enriched in all organs and >400-fold more abundant in pollen than ssSPTb transcripts. Accordingly, homozygous ssSPTa T-DNA mutants were not recoverable, and 50% nonviable pollen was detected in heterozygous ssspta mutants. Pollen viability was recovered by expression of wild-type ssSPTa or ssSPTb under control of the ssSPTa promoter, indicating ssSPTa and ssSPTb functional redundancy. SPT activity and sensitivity to the PCD-inducing mycotoxin fumonisin B1 (FB1) were increased by ssSPTa overexpression. Conversely, SPT activity and FB1 sensitivity were reduced in ssSPTa RNA interference lines. These results demonstrate that ssSPTs are essential for male gametophytes, are important for FB1 sensitivity, and limit sphingolipid synthesis in planta. PMID:24214397

  4. Eight questions about invasions and ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Strayer, David L

    2012-10-01

    I pose eight questions central to understanding how biological invasions affect ecosystems, assess progress towards answering those questions and suggest ways in which progress might be made. The questions concern the frequency with which invasions affect ecosystems; the circumstances under which ecosystem change is most likely; the functions that are most often affected by invaders; the relationships between changes to ecosystems, communities, and populations; the long-term responses of ecosystems to invasions; interactions between biological invasions and other anthropogenic activities and the difficulty of managing undesirable impacts of non-native species. Some questions have been answered satisfactorily, others require more data and thought, and others might benefit from being reformulated or abandoned. Actions that might speed progress include careful development of trait-based approaches; strategic collection and publication of new data, including more frequent publication of negative results; replacement of expert opinion with hard data where needed; careful consideration of whether questions really need to be answered, especially in cases where answers are being provided for managers and policy-makers; explicit attention to and testing of the domains of theories; integrating invasions better into an ecosystem context; and remembering that our predictive ability is limited and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

  5. An Integrated Coral Reef Ecosystem Model to Support Resource Management under a Changing Climate

    PubMed Central

    Weijerman, Mariska; Fulton, Elizabeth A.; Kaplan, Isaac C.; Gorton, Rebecca; Leemans, Rik; Mooij, Wolf M.; Brainard, Russell E.

    2015-01-01

    Millions of people rely on the ecosystem services provided by coral reefs, but sustaining these benefits requires an understanding of how reefs and their biotic communities are affected by local human-induced disturbances and global climate change. Ecosystem-based management that explicitly considers the indirect and cumulative effects of multiple disturbances has been recommended and adopted in policies in many places around the globe. Ecosystem models give insight into complex reef dynamics and their responses to multiple disturbances and are useful tools to support planning and implementation of ecosystem-based management. We adapted the Atlantis Ecosystem Model to incorporate key dynamics for a coral reef ecosystem around Guam in the tropical western Pacific. We used this model to quantify the effects of predicted climate and ocean changes and current levels of current land-based sources of pollution (LBSP) and fishing. We used the following six ecosystem metrics as indicators of ecosystem state, resilience and harvest potential: 1) ratio of calcifying to non-calcifying benthic groups, 2) trophic level of the community, 3) biomass of apex predators, 4) biomass of herbivorous fishes, 5) total biomass of living groups and 6) the end-to-start ratio of exploited fish groups. Simulation tests of the effects of each of the three drivers separately suggest that by mid-century climate change will have the largest overall effect on this suite of ecosystem metrics due to substantial negative effects on coral cover. The effects of fishing were also important, negatively influencing five out of the six metrics. Moreover, LBSP exacerbates this effect for all metrics but not quite as badly as would be expected under additive assumptions, although the magnitude of the effects of LBSP are sensitive to uncertainty associated with primary productivity. Over longer time spans (i.e., 65 year simulations), climate change impacts have a slight positive interaction with other drivers

  6. An Integrated Coral Reef Ecosystem Model to Support Resource Management under a Changing Climate.

    PubMed

    Weijerman, Mariska; Fulton, Elizabeth A; Kaplan, Isaac C; Gorton, Rebecca; Leemans, Rik; Mooij, Wolf M; Brainard, Russell E

    2015-01-01

    Millions of people rely on the ecosystem services provided by coral reefs, but sustaining these benefits requires an understanding of how reefs and their biotic communities are affected by local human-induced disturbances and global climate change. Ecosystem-based management that explicitly considers the indirect and cumulative effects of multiple disturbances has been recommended and adopted in policies in many places around the globe. Ecosystem models give insight into complex reef dynamics and their responses to multiple disturbances and are useful tools to support planning and implementation of ecosystem-based management. We adapted the Atlantis Ecosystem Model to incorporate key dynamics for a coral reef ecosystem around Guam in the tropical western Pacific. We used this model to quantify the effects of predicted climate and ocean changes and current levels of current land-based sources of pollution (LBSP) and fishing. We used the following six ecosystem metrics as indicators of ecosystem state, resilience and harvest potential: 1) ratio of calcifying to non-calcifying benthic groups, 2) trophic level of the community, 3) biomass of apex predators, 4) biomass of herbivorous fishes, 5) total biomass of living groups and 6) the end-to-start ratio of exploited fish groups. Simulation tests of the effects of each of the three drivers separately suggest that by mid-century climate change will have the largest overall effect on this suite of ecosystem metrics due to substantial negative effects on coral cover. The effects of fishing were also important, negatively influencing five out of the six metrics. Moreover, LBSP exacerbates this effect for all metrics but not quite as badly as would be expected under additive assumptions, although the magnitude of the effects of LBSP are sensitive to uncertainty associated with primary productivity. Over longer time spans (i.e., 65 year simulations), climate change impacts have a slight positive interaction with other drivers

  7. An Integrated Coral Reef Ecosystem Model to Support Resource Management under a Changing Climate.

    PubMed

    Weijerman, Mariska; Fulton, Elizabeth A; Kaplan, Isaac C; Gorton, Rebecca; Leemans, Rik; Mooij, Wolf M; Brainard, Russell E

    2015-01-01

    Millions of people rely on the ecosystem services provided by coral reefs, but sustaining these benefits requires an understanding of how reefs and their biotic communities are affected by local human-induced disturbances and global climate change. Ecosystem-based management that explicitly considers the indirect and cumulative effects of multiple disturbances has been recommended and adopted in policies in many places around the globe. Ecosystem models give insight into complex reef dynamics and their responses to multiple disturbances and are useful tools to support planning and implementation of ecosystem-based management. We adapted the Atlantis Ecosystem Model to incorporate key dynamics for a coral reef ecosystem around Guam in the tropical western Pacific. We used this model to quantify the effects of predicted climate and ocean changes and current levels of current land-based sources of pollution (LBSP) and fishing. We used the following six ecosystem metrics as indicators of ecosystem state, resilience and harvest potential: 1) ratio of calcifying to non-calcifying benthic groups, 2) trophic level of the community, 3) biomass of apex predators, 4) biomass of herbivorous fishes, 5) total biomass of living groups and 6) the end-to-start ratio of exploited fish groups. Simulation tests of the effects of each of the three drivers separately suggest that by mid-century climate change will have the largest overall effect on this suite of ecosystem metrics due to substantial negative effects on coral cover. The effects of fishing were also important, negatively influencing five out of the six metrics. Moreover, LBSP exacerbates this effect for all metrics but not quite as badly as would be expected under additive assumptions, although the magnitude of the effects of LBSP are sensitive to uncertainty associated with primary productivity. Over longer time spans (i.e., 65 year simulations), climate change impacts have a slight positive interaction with other drivers

  8. Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 Differentially Affects Lithium Sensitivity of Lymphoblastoid Cell Lines from Lithium Responder and Non-responder Bipolar Disorder Patients.

    PubMed

    Milanesi, Elena; Hadar, Adva; Maffioletti, Elisabetta; Werner, Haim; Shomron, Noam; Gennarelli, Massimo; Schulze, Thomas G; Costa, Marta; Del Zompo, Maria; Squassina, Alessio; Gurwitz, David

    2015-07-01

    Bipolar disorder (BD) is a chronic psychiatric illness with an unknown etiology. Lithium is considered the cornerstone in the management of BD, though about 50-60 % of patients do not respond sufficiently to chronic treatment. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) has been identified as a candidate gene for BD susceptibility, and its low expression has been suggested as a putative biomarker for lithium unresponsiveness. In this study, we examined the in vitro effects of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) on lithium sensitivity in lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) from lithium responder (R) and non-responder (NR) bipolar patients. Moreover, we evaluated levels of microRNA let-7c, a small RNA predicted to target IGF1. We found that exogenous IGF-1 added to serum-free media increased lithium sensitivity selectively in LCLs from NR BD patients. However, no significant differences were observed when comparing let-7c expression in LCLs from R vs. NR BD patients. Our data support a key role for IGF-1 in lithium resistance/response in the treatment of bipolar disorder.

  9. Impacts of climate change on nutrient cycling in semi-arid and arid ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Belnap, J.

    1995-09-01

    Effective precipitation is a major factor in determining nutrient pathways in different ecosystems. Soil flora and fauna play a critical role in nutrient cycles of all ecosystems. Temperature, timing, and amounts of precipitation affect population composition, activity levels, biomass, and recovery rates from disturbance. Changes in these variables can result in very different inputs and outputs for different nutrients. As a result, areas with less effective precipitation have very different nutrient cycles than more mesic zones. Climate change, therefore, can profoundly affect the nutrient cycles of ecosystems. Nitrogen cycles may be especially sensitive to changes in temperature and to timing and amounts of precipitation. Rainfall contains varying amounts of nitrogen compounds. Changes in amounts of rainfall will change amounts of nitrogen available to these systems. Because rainfall is limited in semi-arid and regions, these systems tend to be more dependent on microbial populations for nitrogen input. Consequently, understanding the effects of climate change on these organisms is critical in understanding the overall effect on ecosystems.

  10. Factors affecting the f × Q product of 3C-SiC microstrings: What is the upper limit for sensitivity?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kermany, Atieh R.; Bennett, James S.; Brawley, George A.; Bowen, Warwick P.; Iacopi, Francesca

    2016-02-01

    The fn × Q (Hz) is a crucial sensitivity parameter for micro-electro-mechanical sensing. We have recently shown a fn × Q product of ˜1012 Hz for microstrings made of cubic silicon carbide on silicon, establishing a new state-of-the-art and opening new frontiers for mass sensing applications. In this work, we analyse the main parameters influencing the frequency and quality factor of silicon carbide microstrings (material properties, microstring geometry, clamping condition, and environmental pressure) and investigate the potential for approaching the theoretical upper limit. We indicate that our previous result is only about a factor 2 lower than the thermoelastic dissipation limit. For fully reaching this upper limit, a substantial reduction of the defects in the silicon carbide thin film would be required, while maintaining a high residual tensile stress in the perfect-clamped strings.

  11. Destruction of IgG anti-A sensitized erythrocytes by mononuclear leucocytes from normal and ABO haemolytic disease affected infants.

    PubMed Central

    Romano, E L; Rossi Devivo, M L; Soyano, A; Linares, J

    1984-01-01

    Studies were undertaken to investigate the antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) activity of mononuclear leucocytes (MNL) from cord and healthy adult blood and that from infants with ABO haemolytic disease. The ADCC levels of MNL from both types of newborn blood were found to be higher than that of MNL from adult blood. The extent of ADCC was positively related to the degree of antibody sensitization of the red cells and to the effector cell target cell ratio. The ADCC activity was effected mainly by the adherent cell fraction and could be inhibited by cytochalasin B, hydrocortisone and also by high concentrations (more than 0.5 mg/ml) of non-specific free human IgG. Phagocytosis was also demonstrated to be an important mechanism in the destruction of IgG anti-A coated red cells by the MNL. PMID:6538121

  12. Disruption of the copper efflux pump (CopA) of Serratia marcescens ATCC 274 pleiotropically affects copper sensitivity and production of the tripyrrole secondary metabolite, prodigiosin.

    PubMed

    Williamson, N R; Simonsen, H T; Harris, A K P; Leeper, F J; Salmond, George P C

    2006-02-01

    The prodigiosin biosynthetic gene cluster (pig cluster) of Serratia marcescens ATCC 274 (Sma 274) is flanked by cueR/copA homologues. Inactivation of the copA homologue resulted in an increased sensitivity to copper, confirming that CopA is involved in copper homeostasis in Sma 274. The effect of copper on the biosynthesis of prodigiosin in Sma 274 and the copA mutant strain was investigated. Increased levels of copper were found to reduce prodigiosin production in the wild type Sma 274, but increase production in the copA mutant strain. The physiological implications for CopA mediated prodigiosin production are discussed. We also demonstrate that the gene products of pigB-pigE of Sma 274 are sufficient for the biosynthesis of 2-methyl-3-n-amyl-pyrrole and condensation with 4-methoxy-2,2'-bipyrrole-5-carboxyaldehyde to form prodigiosin, as we have shown for Serratia sp. ATCC 39006.

  13. Availability of N-Methyl-d-Aspartate Receptor Coagonists Affects Cocaine-Induced Conditioned Place Preference and Locomotor Sensitization: Implications for Comorbid Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse

    PubMed Central

    Puhl, Matthew D.; Berg, Alexandra R.; Bechtholt, Anita J.

    2015-01-01

    Schizophrenia is associated with high prevalence of substance abuse. Recent research suggests that dysregulation of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) function may play a role in the pathophysiology of both schizophrenia and drug addiction, and thus, may account for this high comorbidity. Our laboratory has developed two transgenic mouse lines that exhibit contrasting NMDAR activity based on the availability of the glycine modulatory site (GMS) agonists d-serine and glycine. Glycine transporter 1 knockdowns (GlyT1+/−) exhibit NMDAR hyperfunction, whereas serine racemase knockouts (SR−/−) exhibit NMDAR hypofunction. We characterized the behavior of these lines in a cocaine-induced (20 mg/kg) conditioned place preference (CPP) and locomotor sensitization paradigm. Compared with wild-type mice, GlyT1+/− mice displayed hastened extinction of CPP and robust cocaine-induced reinstatement. SR−/− mice appeared to immediately “forget” the learned preference, because they did not exhibit cocaine-induced reinstatement and also displayed attenuated locomotor sensitization. Treatment of GlyT1+/− mice with gavestinel (10 mg/kg on day 1; 5 mg/kg on days 2–17), a GMS antagonist, attenuated cocaine-induced CPP and caused them to immediately “forget” the learned preference. Treatment of SR−/− mice with d-serine (300 mg/kg on day 1; 150 mg/kg on days 2–17) to normalize brain levels caused them to avoid the cocaine-paired side of the chamber during extinction. These results highlight NMDAR dysfunction as a possible neural mechanism underlying comorbid schizophrenia and substance abuse. Also, these findings suggest drugs that directly or indirectly activate the NMDAR GMS could be an effective treatment of cocaine abuse. PMID:25788713

  14. A single night of partial sleep loss impairs fasting insulin sensitivity but does not affect cephalic phase insulin release in young men.

    PubMed

    Cedernaes, Jonathan; Lampola, Lauri; Axelsson, Emil K; Liethof, Lisanne; Hassanzadeh, Sara; Yeganeh, Adine; Broman, Jan-Erik; Schiöth, Helgi B; Benedict, Christian

    2016-02-01

    The present study sought to investigate whether a single night of partial sleep deprivation (PSD) would alter fasting insulin sensitivity and cephalic phase insulin release (CPIR) in humans. A rise in circulating insulin in response to food-related sensory stimulation may prepare tissues to break down ingested glucose, e.g. by stimulating rate-limiting glycolytic enzymes. In addition, given insulin's anorexigenic properties once it reaches the brain, the CPIR may serve as an early peripheral satiety signal. Against this background, in the present study 16 men participated in two separate sessions: one night of PSD (4.25 h sleep) versus one night of full sleep (8.5 h sleep). In the morning following each sleep condition, subjects' oral cavities were rinsed with a 1-molar sucrose solution for 45 s, preceded and followed by blood sampling for repeated determination of plasma glucose and serum insulin concentrations (-3, +3, +5, +7, +10 and +20 min). Our main result was that PSD, compared with full sleep, was associated with significantly higher peripheral insulin resistance, as indicated by a higher fasting homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance index (+16%, P = 0.025). In contrast, no CPIR was observed in any of the two sleep conditions. Our findings indicate that a single night of PSD is already sufficient to impair fasting insulin sensitivity in healthy men. In contrast, brief oral cavity rinsing with sucrose solution did not change serum insulin concentrations, suggesting that a blunted CPIR is an unlikely mechanism through which acute sleep loss causes metabolic perturbations during morning hours in humans. PMID:26361380

  15. Future directions of ecosystem science

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baron, Jill; Galvin, Kathleen A.

    1990-01-01

    Scientific knowledge about ecosystem structure and function has expanded greatly during the past few decades. Terrestrial and aquatic nutrient cycling, ecosystem energetics, population dynamics, belowground processes, and food webs have been studied at the plot, stand, watershed, and landscape levels at many locations around the globe. Ideas about terrestrial-atmospheric interactions and human interference in these processes have changed dramatically. There is new appreciation of the need to incorporate into ecosystem studies the interactions between human populations and the ecosystem, not only because humans affect ecosystem processes, but because these systems support human populations (Glantz 1988, Holden 1988, Parry et al. 1988, WCED 1987). Recent advances in ecosystem science are due, in part, to technological improvements in computing power, new laboratory and field physical and chemical analytical techniques, and satellite imagery for remote sensing of Earth's structure and dynamics. Modeling and geographic information systems have provided the capability for integrating multiple data sets with process simulations to generate hypotheses about regional ecosystem function. Concurrent with these scientific developments has been a growing concern about the links between the health of the environment and world-wide industrial, land, and resource-management practices. Environmental damage at the local level was widely recognized in the 1960s, prompting the environmental movement of that decade. Regional environmental problems with multiple effects and politically difficult solutions have been perceived more recently; the issue of acidic deposition provides an example of such a second-generation concern (Clark and Holling 1985). Today there is a growing awareness of global-scale environmental degradation brought about by the combined actions of all peoples on Earth (Clark 1989, Woodmansee et al. 1988). The three levels of environmental concern--local, regional

  16. Ecohydrology frameworks for green infrastructure design and ecosystem service provision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavao-Zuckerman, M.; Knerl, A.; Barron-Gafford, G.

    2014-12-01

    Urbanization is a dominant form of landscape change that affects the structure and function of ecosystems and alters control points in biogeochemical and hydrologic cycles. Green infrastructure (GI) has been proposed as a solution to many urban environmental challenges and may be a way to manage biogeochemical control points. Despite this promise, there has been relatively limited empirical focus to evaluate the efficacy of GI, relationships between design and function, and the ability of GI to provide ecosystem services in cities. This work has been driven by goals of adapting GI approaches to dryland cities and to harvest rain and storm water for providing ecosystem services related to storm water management and urban heat island mitigation, as well as other co-benefits. We will present a modification of ecohydrologic theory for guiding the design and function of green infrastructure for dryland systems that highlights how GI functions in context of Trigger - Transfer - Reserve - Pulse (TTRP) dynamic framework. Here we also apply this TTRP framework to observations of established street-scape green infrastructure in Tucson, AZ, and an experimental installation of green infrastructure basins on the campus of Biosphere 2 (Oracle, AZ) where we have been measuring plant performance and soil biogeochemical functions. We found variable sensitivity of microbial activity, soil respiration, N-mineralization, photosynthesis and respiration that was mediated both by elements of basin design (soil texture and composition, choice of surface mulches) and antecedent precipitation inputs and soil moisture conditions. The adapted TTRP framework and field studies suggest that there are strong connections between design and function that have implications for stormwater management and ecosystem service provision in dryland cities.

  17. Evaluating the Spatial Distribution of Toxic Air Contaminants in Multiple Ecosystem Indicators in the Sierra Nevada-Southern Cascades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nanus, L.; Simonich, S. L.; Rocchio, J.; Flanagan, C.

    2013-12-01

    Toxic air contaminants originating from agricultural areas of the Central Valley in California threaten vulnerable sensitive receptors including surface water, vegetation, snow, sediments, fish, and amphibians in the Sierra Nevada-Southern Cascades region. The spatial distribution of toxic air contaminants in different ecosystem indicators depends on variation in atmospheric concentrations and deposition, and variation in air toxics accumulation in ecosystems. The spatial distribution of organic air toxics and mercury at over 330 unique sampling locations and sample types over two decades (1990-2009) in the Sierra Nevada-Southern Cascades region were compiled and maps were developed to further understand spatial patterns and linkages between air toxics deposition and ecological effects. Potential ecosystem impacts in the Sierra Nevada-Southern Cascades region include bioaccumulation of air toxics in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, reproductive disruption, and immune suppression. The most sensitive ecological end points in the region that are affected by bioaccumulation of toxic air contaminants are fish. Mercury was detected in all fish and approximately 6% exceeded human consumption thresholds. Organic air toxics were also detected in fish yielding variable spatial patterns. For amphibians, which are sensitive to pesticide exposure and potential immune suppression, increasing trends in current and historic use pesticides are observed from north to south across the region. In other indicators, such as vegetation, pesticide concentrations in lichen increase with increasing elevation. Current and historic use pesticides and mercury were also observed in snowpack at high elevations in the study area. This study shows spatial patterns in toxic air contaminants, evaluates associated risks to sensitive receptors, and identifies data gaps. Future research on atmospheric modeling and information on sources is needed in order to predict which ecosystems are the

  18. Small diversity effects on ocean primary production under environmental change in a diversity-resolving ocean ecosystem model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prowe, A. E. F.; Pahlow, M.; Dutkiewicz, S.; Oschlies, A.

    2013-07-01

    Marine ecosystem models used to investigate how global change affects ocean ecosystems and their functioning typically omit pelagic diversity. Diversity, however, can affect functions such as primary production and their sensitivity to environmental changes. Using a global ocean ecosystem model that explicitly resolves phytoplankton diversity within four phytoplankton functional types (PFTs) we investigate the model's ability to capture diversity effects on primary production under environmental change. An idealized scenario with a sudden reduction in vertical mixing causes diversity and primary-production changes that turn out to be largely independent of the number of coexisting phytoplankton types. The model provides a small number of niches with respect to nutrient use in accordance with the PFTs defined in the model, and increasing the number of phytoplankton types increases the resolution within the niches. The variety of traits and trade-offs resolved in the model constrains diversity effects such as niche complementarity, which operate between, but not within PFTs. The number and nature of the niches formulated in the model, for example via trade-offs or different PFTs, thus determines the diversity effects on ecosystem functioning captured in ocean ecosystem models.

  19. Large-Scale Glycomics of Livestock: Discovery of Highly Sensitive Serum Biomarkers Indicating an Environmental Stress Affecting Immune Responses and Productivity of Holstein Dairy Cows.

    PubMed

    Rehan, Ibrahim F; Ueda, Koichiro; Mitani, Tomohiro; Amano, Maho; Hinou, Hiroshi; Ohashi, Tetsu; Kondo, Seiji; Nishimura, Shin-Ichiro

    2015-12-01

    Because various stresses strongly influence the food productivity of livestock, biomarkers to indicate unmeasurable environmental stress in domestic animals are of increasing importance. Thermal comfort is one of the basic principles of dairy cow welfare that enhances productivity. To discover sensitive biomarkers that monitor such environmental stresses in dairy cows, we herein performed, for the first time, large-scale glycomics on 336 lactating Holstein cow serum samples over 9 months between February and October. Glycoblotting combined with MALDI-TOF/MS and DMB/HPLC allowed for comprehensive glycomics of whole serum glycoproteins. The results obtained revealed seasonal alterations in serum N-glycan levels and their structural characteristics, such as an increase in high-mannose type N-glycans in spring, the occurrence of di/triantennary complex type N-glycans terminating with two or three Neu5Gc residues in summer and autumn, and N-glycans in winter dominantly displaying Neu5Ac. A multivariate analysis revealed a correlation between the serum expression levels of these season-specific glycoforms and productivity.

  20. IL-21 is a major negative regulator of IRF4-dependent lipolysis affecting Tregs in adipose tissue and systemic insulin sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Fabrizi, Marta; Marchetti, Valentina; Mavilio, Maria; Marino, Arianna; Casagrande, Viviana; Cavalera, Michele; Moreno-Navarrete, Josè Maria; Mezza, Teresa; Sorice, Gian Pio; Fiorentino, Loredana; Menghini, Rossella; Lauro, Renato; Monteleone, Giovanni; Giaccari, Andrea; Fernandez Real, José Manuel; Federici, Massimo

    2014-06-01

    Obesity elicits immune cell infiltration of adipose tissue provoking chronic low-grade inflammation. Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are specifically reduced in adipose tissue of obese animals. Since interleukin (IL)-21 plays an important role in inducing and maintaining immune-mediated chronic inflammatory processes and negatively regulates Treg differentiation/activity, we hypothesized that it could play a role in obesity-induced insulin resistance. We found IL-21 and IL-21R mRNA expression upregulated in adipose tissue of high-fat diet (HFD) wild-type (WT) mice and in stromal vascular fraction from human obese subjects in parallel to macrophage and inflammatory markers. Interestingly, a larger infiltration of Treg cells was seen in the adipose tissue of IL-21 knockout (KO) mice compared with WT animals fed both normal diet and HFD. In a context of diet-induced obesity, IL-21 KO mice, compared with WT animals, exhibited lower body weight, improved insulin sensitivity, and decreased adipose and hepatic inflammation. This metabolic phenotype is accompanied by a higher induction of interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4), a transcriptional regulator of fasting lipolysis in adipose tissue. Our data suggest that IL-21 exerts negative regulation on IRF4 and Treg activity, developing and maintaining adipose tissue inflammation in the obesity state.

  1. Deletion of PdMit1, a homolog of yeast Csg1, affects growth and Ca(2+) sensitivity of the fungus Penicillium digitatum, but does not alter virulence.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Congyi; Wang, Weili; Wang, Mingshuang; Ruan, Ruoxin; Sun, Xuepeng; He, Meixian; Mao, Cungui; Li, Hongye

    2015-04-01

    GDP-mannose:inositol-phosphorylceramide (MIPC) and its derivatives are important for Ca(2+) sensitization of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and for the virulence of Candida albicans, but its role in the virulence of plant fungal pathogens remains unclear. In this study, we report the identification and functional characterization of PdMit1, the gene encoding MIPC synthase in Penicillium digitatum, one of the most important pathogens of postharvest citrus fruits. To understand the function of PdMit1, a PdMit1 deletion mutant was generated. Compared to its wild-type control, the PdMit1 deletion mutant exhibited slow radial growth, decreased conidia production and delayed conidial germination, suggesting that PdMit1 is important for the growth of mycelium, sporulation and conidial germination. The PdMit1 deletion mutant also showed hypersensitivity to Ca(2+). Treatment with 250 mmol/l Ca(2+) induced vacuole fusion in the wild-type strain, but not in the PdMit1 deletion mutant. Treatment with 250mmol/lCaCl2 upregulated three Ca(2+)-ATPase genes in the wild-type strain, and this was significantly inhibited in the PdMit1 deletion mutant. These results suggest that PdMit1 may have a role in regulating vacuole fusion and expression of Ca(2+)-ATPase genes by controlling biosynthesis of MIPC, and thereby imparts P. digitatum Ca(2+) tolerance. However, we found that PdMit1 is dispensable for virulence of P. digitatum.

  2. Large-Scale Glycomics of Livestock: Discovery of Highly Sensitive Serum Biomarkers Indicating an Environmental Stress Affecting Immune Responses and Productivity of Holstein Dairy Cows.

    PubMed

    Rehan, Ibrahim F; Ueda, Koichiro; Mitani, Tomohiro; Amano, Maho; Hinou, Hiroshi; Ohashi, Tetsu; Kondo, Seiji; Nishimura, Shin-Ichiro

    2015-12-01

    Because various stresses strongly influence the food productivity of livestock, biomarkers to indicate unmeasurable environmental stress in domestic animals are of increasing importance. Thermal comfort is one of the basic principles of dairy cow welfare that enhances productivity. To discover sensitive biomarkers that monitor such environmental stresses in dairy cows, we herein performed, for the first time, large-scale glycomics on 336 lactating Holstein cow serum samples over 9 months between February and October. Glycoblotting combined with MALDI-TOF/MS and DMB/HPLC allowed for comprehensive glycomics of whole serum glycoproteins. The results obtained revealed seasonal alterations in serum N-glycan levels and their structural characteristics, such as an increase in high-mannose type N-glycans in spring, the occurrence of di/triantennary complex type N-glycans terminating with two or three Neu5Gc residues in summer and autumn, and N-glycans in winter dominantly displaying Neu5Ac. A multivariate analysis revealed a correlation between the serum expression levels of these season-specific glycoforms and productivity. PMID:26595672

  3. Warming alters the metabolic balance of ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Yvon-Durocher, Gabriel; Jones, J. Iwan; Trimmer, Mark; Woodward, Guy; Montoya, Jose M.

    2010-01-01

    The carbon cycle modulates climate change, via the regulation of atmospheric CO2, and it represents one of the most important services provided by ecosystems. However, considerable uncertainties remain concerning potential feedback between the biota and the climate. In particular, it is unclear how global warming will affect the metabolic balance between the photosynthetic fixation and respiratory release of CO2 at the ecosystem scale. Here, we present a combination of experimental field data from freshwater mesocosms, and theoretical predictions derived from the metabolic theory of ecology to investigate whether warming will alter the capacity of ecosystems to absorb CO2. Our manipulative experiment simulated the temperature increases predicted for the end of the century and revealed that ecosystem respiration increased at a faster rate than primary production, reducing carbon sequestration by 13 per cent. These results confirmed our theoretical predictions based on the differential activation energies of these two processes. Using only the activation energies for whole ecosystem photosynthesis and respiration we provide a theoretical prediction that accurately quantified the precise magnitude of the reduction in carbon sequestration observed experimentally. We suggest the combination of whole-ecosystem manipulative experiments and ecological theory is one of the most promising and fruitful research areas to predict the impacts of climate change on key ecosystem services. PMID:20513719

  4. Addition of n-3 fatty acids to a 4-hour lipid infusion does not affect insulin sensitivity, insulin secretion, or markers of oxidative stress in subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

    PubMed

    Mostad, Ingrid L; Bjerve, Kristian S; Basu, Samar; Sutton, Pauline; Frayn, Keith N; Grill, Valdemar

    2009-12-01

    Fatty acids (FA) can impair glucose metabolism to a varying degree depending on time of exposure and also of type of FA. Here we tested for acute effects of marine n-3 FA on insulin sensitivity, insulin secretion, energy metabolism, and oxidative stress. This was a randomized, double-blind, crossover study in 11 subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus. A 4-hour lipid infusion (Intralipid [Fresenius Kabi, Halden, Norway], total of 384 mL) was compared with a similar lipid infusion partly replaced by Omegaven (Fresenius Kabi) that contributed a median of 0.1 g fish oil per kilogram body weight, amounting to 0.04 g/kg of marine n-3 FA. Insulin sensitivity was assessed by isoglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamps; insulin secretion (measured after the clamps), by C-peptide glucagon tests; and energy metabolism, by indirect calorimetry. Infusion of Omegaven increased the proportion of n-3 FA in plasma nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA) compared with Intralipid alone (20:5n-3: median, 1.5% [interquartile range, 0.6%] vs -0.2% [0.2%], P = .001; 22:6n-3: 0.8% [0.4%] vs -0.7% [0.2%], P = .001). However, glucose utilization was not affected; neither was insulin secretion or total energy production (P = .966, .210, and .423, respectively, for the differences between the lipid clamps). Omegaven tended to lower oxidation of fat (P = .062) compared with Intralipid only, correlating with the rise in individual n-3 NEFA (r = 0.627, P = .039). The effects of clamping on phospholipid FA composition, leptin, adiponectin, or F(2)-isoprostane concentrations were not affected by Omegaven. Enrichment of NEFA with n-3 FA during a 4-hour infusion of Intralipid failed to affect insulin sensitivity, insulin secretion, or markers of oxidative stress in subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

  5. Water pulses and biogeochemical cycles in arid and semiarid ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Austin, Amy T; Yahdjian, Laura; Stark, John M; Belnap, Jayne; Porporato, Amilcare; Norton, Urszula; Ravetta, Damián A; Schaeffer, Sean M

    2004-10-01

    The episodic nature of water availability in arid and semiarid ecosystems has significant consequences on belowground carbon and nutrient cycling. Pulsed water events directly control belowground processes through soil wet-dry cycles. Rapid soil microbial response to incident moisture availability often results in almost instantaneous C and N mineralization, followed by shifts in C/N of microbially available substrate, and an offset in the balance between nutrient immobilization and mineralization. Nitrogen inputs from biological soil crusts are also highly sensitive to pulsed rain events, and nitrogen losses, particularly gaseous losses due to denitrification and nitrate leaching, are tightly linked to pulses of water availability. The magnitude of the effect of water pulses on carbon and nutrient pools, however, depends on the distribution of resource availability and soil organisms, both of which are strongly affected by the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of vegetation cover, topographic position and soil texture. The 'inverse texture hypothesis' for net primary production in water-limited ecosystems suggests that coarse-textured soils have higher NPP than fine-textured soils in very arid zones due to reduced evaporative losses, while NPP is greater in fine-textured soils in higher rainfall ecosystems due to increased water-holding capacity. With respect to belowground processes, fine-textured soils tend to have higher water-holding capacity and labile C and N pools than coarse-textured soils, and often show a much greater flush of N mineralization. The result of the interaction of texture and pulsed rainfall events suggests a corollary hypothesis for nutrient turnover in arid and semiarid ecosystems with a linear increase of N mineralization in coarse-textured soils, but a saturating response for fine-textured soils due to the importance of soil C and N pools. Seasonal distribution of water pulses can lead to the accumulation of mineral N in the dry season

  6. Deletion of PdMit1, a homolog of yeast Csg1, affects growth and Ca2+ sensitivity of the fungus Penicillium digitatum, but does not alter virulence

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Congyi; Wang, Weili; Wang, Mingshuang; Ruan, Ruoxin; Sun, Xuepeng; He, Meixian; Mao, Cungui; Li, Hongye

    2015-01-01

    GDP-mannose:inositol-phosphorylceramide (MIPC) and its derivatives are important for Ca2+ sensitization of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and for the virulence of Candida albicans, but its role in the virulence of plant fungal pathogens remains unclear. In this study, we report the identification and functional characterization of PdMit1, the gene encoding MIPC synthase in Penicillium digitatum, one of the most important pathogens of postharvest citrus fruits. To understand the function of PdMit1, a PdMit1 deletion mutant was generated. Compared to its wild-type control, the PdMit1 deletion mutant exhibited slow radial growth, decreased conidia production and delayed conidial germination, suggesting that PdMit1 is important for the growth of mycelium, sporulation and conidial germination. The PdMit1 deletion mutant also showed hypersensitivity to Ca2+. Treatment with 250 mmol/l Ca2+ induced vacuole fusion in the wild-type strain, but not in the PdMit1 deletion mutant. Treatment with 250 mmol/lCaCl2 upregulated three Ca2+-ATPase genes in the wild-type strain, and this was significantly inhibited in the PdMit1 deletion mutant. These results suggest that PdMit1 may have a role in regulating vacuole fusion and expression of Ca2+-ATPase genes by controlling biosynthesis of MIPC, and thereby imparts P. digitatum Ca2+ tolerance. However, we found that PdMit1 is dispensable for virulence of P. digitatum. PMID:25725383

  7. Novel mutations in Lrp6 orthologs in mouse and human neural tube defects affect a highly dosage-sensitive Wnt non-canonical planar cell polarity pathway

    PubMed Central

    Allache, Redouane; Lachance, Stéphanie; Guyot, Marie Claude; De Marco, Patrizia; Merello, Elisa; Justice, Monica J.; Capra, Valeria; Kibar, Zoha

    2014-01-01

    Wnt signaling has been classified as canonical Wnt/β-catenin-dependent or non-canonical planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway. Misregulation of either pathway is linked mainly to cancer or neural tube defects (NTDs), respectively. Both pathways seem to antagonize each other, and recent studies have implicated a number of molecular switches that activate one pathway while simultaneously inhibiting the other thereby partially mediating this antagonism. The lipoprotein receptor–related protein Lrp6 is crucial for the activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, but its function in Wnt/PCP signaling remains largely unknown. In this study, we investigate the role of Lrp6 as a molecular switch between both Wnt pathways in a novel ENU mouse mutant of Lrp6 (Skax26m1Jus) and in human NTDs. We demonstrate that Skax26m1Jus represents a hypermorphic allele of Lrp6 with increased Wnt canonical and abolished PCP-induced JNK activities. We also show that Lrp6Skax26-Jus genetically interacts with a PCP mutant (Vangl2Lp) where double heterozygotes showed an increased frequency of NTDs and defects in cochlear hair cells’ polarity. Importantly, our study also demonstrates the association of rare and novel missense mutations in LRP6 that is an inhibitor rather than an activator of the PCP pathway with human NTDs. We show that three LRP6 mutations in NTDs led to a reduced Wnt canonical activity and enhanced PCP signaling. Our data confirm an inhibitory role of Lrp6 in PCP signaling in neurulation and indicate the importance of a tightly regulated and highly dosage-sensitive antagonism between both Wnt pathways in this process. PMID:24203697

  8. Antiphase light and temperature cycles affect PHYTOCHROME B-controlled ethylene sensitivity and biosynthesis, limiting leaf movement and growth of Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Bours, Ralph; van Zanten, Martijn; Pierik, Ronald; Bouwmeester, Harro; van der Krol, Alexander

    2013-10-01

    In the natural environment, days are generally warmer than the night, resulting in a positive day/night temperature difference (+DIF). Plants have adapted to these conditions, and when exposed to antiphase light and temperature cycles (cold photoperiod/warm night [-DIF]), most species exhibit reduced elongation growth. To study the physiological mechanism of how light and temperature cycles affect plant growth, we used infrared imaging to dissect growth dynamics under +DIF and -DIF in the model plant Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). We found that -DIF altered leaf growth patterns, decreasing the amplitude and delaying the phase of leaf movement. Ethylene application restored leaf growth in -DIF conditions, and constitutive ethylene signaling mutants maintain robust leaf movement amplitudes under -DIF, indicating that ethylene signaling becomes limiting under these conditions. In response to -DIF, the phase of ethylene emission advanced 2 h, but total ethylene emission was not reduced. However, expression analysis on members of the 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) synthase ethylene biosynthesis gene family showed that ACS2 activity is specifically suppressed in the petiole region under -DIF conditions. Indeed, petioles of plants under -DIF had reduced ACC content, and application of ACC to the petiole restored leaf growth patterns. Moreover, acs2 mutants displayed reduced leaf movement under +DIF, similar to wild-type plants under -DIF. In addition, we demonstrate that the photoreceptor PHYTOCHROME B restricts ethylene biosynthesis and constrains the -DIF-induced phase shift in rhythmic growth. Our findings provide a mechanistic insight into how fluctuating temperature cycles regulate plant growth.

  9. Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor γ is a Sensitive Target for Oil Sands Process-Affected Water: Effects on Adipogenesis and Identification of Ligands.

    PubMed

    Peng, Hui; Sun, Jianxian; Alharbi, Hattan A; Jones, Paul D; Giesy, John P; Wiseman, Steve

    2016-07-19

    Identification of toxic components of complex mixtures is a challenge. Here, oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) was used as a case study to identify those toxic components with a known protein target. Organic chemicals in OSPW exhibited dose-dependent activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) at concentrations less than those currently in the environment (0.025× equivalent of full-strength OSPW), by use of a luciferase reporter gene assay. Activation of PPARγ-mediated adipogenesis by OSPW was confirmed in 3T3L1 preadipocytes, as evidenced by accumulation of lipids and up-regulation of AP2, LPL, and PPARγ gene expression after exposure to polar fractions of OSPW. Unexpectedly, the nonpolar fractions of OSPW inhibited differentiation of preadipocytes via activation of the Wnt signaling pathway. Organic chemicals in OSPW that were ligands of PPARγ were identified by use of a pull-down system combined with untargeted chemical analysis (PUCA), with a recombinant PPARγ protein. Thirty ligands of PPARγ were identified by use of the PUCA assay. High resolution MS(1) and MS(2) spectra were combined to predict the formulas or structures of a subset of ligands, and polyoxygenated or heteroatomic chemicals, especially hydroxylated carboxylic/sulfonic acids, were the major ligands of PPARγ. PMID:27340905

  10. The Library as Ecosystem

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walter, Scott

    2008-01-01

    Ecology is the study of interactions between organisms and their environment, and the academic library could be considered to be an ecosystem, i.e., a "biological organization" in which multiple species must interact, both with one another and with their environment. The metaphor of the library as ecosystem is flexible enough to be applied not…

  11. Ecosystems, Teacher's Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    California Univ., Berkeley. Science Curriculum Improvement Study.

    The Science Curriculum Improvement Study has developed this teacher's guide to "Ecosystems," the sixth part of a six unit life science curriculum sequence. The six basic units, emphasizing organism-environment interactions, are organisms, life cycles, populations, environments, communities, and ecosystems. They make use of scientific and…

  12. Risks of large-scale use of systemic insecticides to ecosystem functioning and services.

    PubMed

    Chagnon, Madeleine; Kreutzweiser, David; Mitchell, Edward A D; Morrissey, Christy A; Noome, Dominique A; Van der Sluijs, Jeroen P

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale use of the persistent and potent neonicotinoid and fipronil insecticides has raised concerns about risks to ecosystem functions provided by a wide range of species and environments affected by these insecticides. The concept of ecosystem services is widely used in decision making in the context of valuing the service potentials, benefits, and use values that well-functioning ecosystems provide to humans and the biosphere and, as an endpoint (value to be protected), in ecological risk assessment of chemicals. Neonicotinoid insecticides are frequently detected in soil and water and are also found in air, as dust particles during sowing of crops and aerosols during spraying. These environmental media provide essential resources to support biodiversity, but are known to be threatened by long-term or repeated contamination by neonicotinoids and fipronil. We review the state of knowledge regarding the potential impacts of these insecticides on ecosystem functioning and services provided by terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems including soil and freshwater functions, fisheries, biological pest control, and pollination services. Empirical studies examining the specific impacts of neonicotinoids and fipronil to ecosystem services have focused largely on the negative impacts to beneficial insect species (honeybees) and the impact on pollination service of food crops. However, here we document broader evidence of the effects on ecosystem functions regulating soil and water quality, pest control, pollination, ecosystem resilience, and community diversity. In particular, microbes, invertebrates, and fish play critical roles as decomposers, pollinators, consumers, and predators, which collectively maintain healthy communities and ecosystem integrity. Several examples in this review demonstrate evidence of the negative impacts of systemic insecticides on decomposition, nutrient cycling, soil respiration, and invertebrate populations valued by humans. Invertebrates

  13. Effects on the function of Arctic ecosystems in the short- and long-term perspectives.

    PubMed

    Callaghan, Terry V; Björn, Lars Olof; Chernov, Yuri; Chapin, Terry; Christensen, Torben R; Huntley, Brian; Ims, Rolf A; Johansson, Margareta; Jolly, Dyanna; Jonasson, Sven; Matveyeva, Nadya; Panikov, Nicolai; Oechel, Walter; Shaver, Gus

    2004-11-01

    Historically, the function of Arctic ecosystems in terms of cycles of nutrients and carbon has led to low levels of primary production and exchanges of energy, water and greenhouse gases have led to low local and regional cooling. Sequestration of carbon from atmospheric CO2, in extensive, cold organic soils and the high albedo from low, snow-covered vegetation have had impacts on regional climate. However, many aspects of the functioning of Arctic ecosystems are sensitive to changes in climate and its impacts on biodiversity. The current Arctic climate results in slow rates of organic matter decomposition. Arctic ecosystems therefore tend to accumulate organic matter and elements despite low inputs. As a result, soil-available elements like nitrogen and phosphorus are key limitations to increases in carbon fixation and further biomass and organic matter accumulation. Climate warming is expected to increase carbon and element turnover, particularly in soils, which may lead to initial losses of elements but eventual, slow recovery. Individual species and species diversity have clear impacts on element inputs and retention in Arctic ecosystems. Effects of increased CO2 and UV-B on whole ecosystems, on the other hand, are likely to be small although effects on plant tissue chemisty, decomposition and nitrogen fixation may become important in the long-term. Cycling of carbon in trace gas form is mainly as CO2 and CH4. Most carbon loss is in the form of CO2, produced by both plants and soil biota. Carbon emissions as methane from wet and moist tundra ecosystems are about 5% of emissions as CO2 and are responsive to warming in the absence of any other changes. Winter processes and vegetation type also affect CH4 emissions as well as exchanges of energy between biosphere and atmosphere. Arctic ecosystems exhibit the largest seasonal changes in energy exchange of any terrestrial ecosystem because of the large changes in albedo from late winter, when snow reflects most

  14. Risks of large-scale use of systemic insecticides to ecosystem functioning and services.

    PubMed

    Chagnon, Madeleine; Kreutzweiser, David; Mitchell, Edward A D; Morrissey, Christy A; Noome, Dominique A; Van der Sluijs, Jeroen P

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale use of the persistent and potent neonicotinoid and fipronil insecticides has raised concerns about risks to ecosystem functions provided by a wide range of species and environments affected by these insecticides. The concept of ecosystem services is widely used in decision making in the context of valuing the service potentials, benefits, and use values that well-functioning ecosystems provide to humans and the biosphere and, as an endpoint (value to be protected), in ecological risk assessment of chemicals. Neonicotinoid insecticides are frequently detected in soil and water and are also found in air, as dust particles during sowing of crops and aerosols during spraying. These environmental media provide essential resources to support biodiversity, but are known to be threatened by long-term or repeated contamination by neonicotinoids and fipronil. We review the state of knowledge regarding the potential impacts of these insecticides on ecosystem functioning and services provided by terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems including soil and freshwater functions, fisheries, biological pest control, and pollination services. Empirical studies examining the specific impacts of neonicotinoids and fipronil to ecosystem services have focused largely on the negative impacts to beneficial insect species (honeybees) and the impact on pollination service of food crops. However, here we document broader evidence of the effects on ecosystem functions regulating soil and water quality, pest control, pollination, ecosystem resilience, and community diversity. In particular, microbes, invertebrates, and fish play critical roles as decomposers, pollinators, consumers, and predators, which collectively maintain healthy communities and ecosystem integrity. Several examples in this review demonstrate evidence of the negative impacts of systemic insecticides on decomposition, nutrient cycling, soil respiration, and invertebrate populations valued by humans. Invertebrates

  15. Optimal advanced credit releases in ecosystem service markets.

    PubMed

    BenDor, Todd K; Guo, Tianshu; Yates, Andrew J

    2014-03-01

    Ecosystem service markets are popular policy tools for ecosystem protection. Advanced credit releases are an important factor affecting the supply side of ecosystem markets. Under an advanced credit release policy, regulators give ecosystem suppliers a fraction of the total ecosystem credits generated by a restoration project before it is verified that the project actually achieves the required ecological thresholds. In spite of their prominent role in ecosystem markets, there is virtually no regulatory or research literature on the proper design of advanced credit release policies. Using U.S. aquatic ecosystem markets as an example, we develop a principal-agent model of the behavior of regulators and wetland/stream mitigation bankers to determine and explore the optimal degree of advance credit release. The model highlights the tension between regulators' desire to induce market participation, while at the same time ensuring that bankers successfully complete ecological restoration. Our findings suggest several simple guidelines for strengthening advanced credit release policy.

  16. Optimal Advanced Credit Releases in Ecosystem Service Markets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    BenDor, Todd K.; Guo, Tianshu; Yates, Andrew J.

    2014-03-01

    Ecosystem service markets are popular policy tools for ecosystem protection. Advanced credit releases are an important factor affecting the supply side of ecosystem markets. Under an advanced credit release policy, regulators give ecosystem suppliers a fraction of the total ecosystem credits generated by a restoration project before it is verified that the project actually achieves the required ecological thresholds. In spite of their prominent role in ecosystem markets, there is virtually no regulatory or research literature on the proper design of advanced credit release policies. Using U.S. aquatic ecosystem markets as an example, we develop a principal-agent model of the behavior of regulators and wetland/stream mitigation bankers to determine and explore the optimal degree of advance credit release. The model highlights the tension between regulators' desire to induce market participation, while at the same time ensuring that bankers successfully complete ecological restoration. Our findings suggest several simple guidelines for strengthening advanced credit release policy.