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Sample records for biotic interactions drive

  1. Complex biotic interactions drive long-term vegetation dynamics in a subarctic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Olofsson, Johan; te Beest, Mariska; Ericson, Lars

    2013-08-19

    Predicting impacts of global warming requires understanding of the extent to which plant biomass and production are controlled by bottom-up and top-down drivers. By annually monitoring community composition in grazed control plots and herbivore-free exclosures at an Arctic location for 15 years, we detected multiple biotic interactions. Regular rodent cycles acted as pulses driving synchronous fluctuations in the biomass of field-layer vegetation; reindeer influenced the biomass of taller shrubs, and the abundance of plant pathogenic fungi increased when densities of their host plants increased in exclosures. Two outbreaks of geometrid moths occurred during the study period, with contrasting effects on the field layer: one in 2004 had marginal effects, while one in 2012 severely reduced biomass in the control plots and eliminated biomass that had accumulated over 15 years in the exclosures. The latter was followed by a dramatic decline of the dominant understory dwarf-shrub Empetrum hermaphroditum, driven by an interaction between moth herbivory on top buds and leaves, and increased disease severity of a pathogenic fungus. We show that the climate has important direct and indirect effects on all these biotic interactions. We conclude that long time series are essential to identify key biotic interactions in ecosystems, since their importance will be influenced by climatic conditions, and that manipulative treatments are needed in order to obtain the mechanistic understanding needed for robust predictions of future ecosystem changes and their feedback effects. PMID:23836791

  2. Complex biotic interactions drive long-term vegetation dynamics in a subarctic ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Olofsson, Johan; te Beest, Mariska; Ericson, Lars

    2013-01-01

    Predicting impacts of global warming requires understanding of the extent to which plant biomass and production are controlled by bottom-up and top-down drivers. By annually monitoring community composition in grazed control plots and herbivore-free exclosures at an Arctic location for 15 years, we detected multiple biotic interactions. Regular rodent cycles acted as pulses driving synchronous fluctuations in the biomass of field-layer vegetation; reindeer influenced the biomass of taller shrubs, and the abundance of plant pathogenic fungi increased when densities of their host plants increased in exclosures. Two outbreaks of geometrid moths occurred during the study period, with contrasting effects on the field layer: one in 2004 had marginal effects, while one in 2012 severely reduced biomass in the control plots and eliminated biomass that had accumulated over 15 years in the exclosures. The latter was followed by a dramatic decline of the dominant understory dwarf-shrub Empetrum hermaphroditum, driven by an interaction between moth herbivory on top buds and leaves, and increased disease severity of a pathogenic fungus. We show that the climate has important direct and indirect effects on all these biotic interactions. We conclude that long time series are essential to identify key biotic interactions in ecosystems, since their importance will be influenced by climatic conditions, and that manipulative treatments are needed in order to obtain the mechanistic understanding needed for robust predictions of future ecosystem changes and their feedback effects. PMID:23836791

  3. Flow regime, temperature, and biotic interactions drive differential declines of trout species under climate change

    PubMed Central

    Wenger, Seth J.; Isaak, Daniel J.; Luce, Charles H.; Neville, Helen M.; Fausch, Kurt D.; Dunham, Jason B.; Dauwalter, Daniel C.; Young, Michael K.; Elsner, Marketa M.; Rieman, Bruce E.; Hamlet, Alan F.; Williams, Jack E.

    2011-01-01

    Broad-scale studies of climate change effects on freshwater species have focused mainly on temperature, ignoring critical drivers such as flow regime and biotic interactions. We use downscaled outputs from general circulation models coupled with a hydrologic model to forecast the effects of altered flows and increased temperatures on four interacting species of trout across the interior western United States (1.01 million km2), based on empirical statistical models built from fish surveys at 9,890 sites. Projections under the 2080s A1B emissions scenario forecast a mean 47% decline in total suitable habitat for all trout, a group of fishes of major socioeconomic and ecological significance. We project that native cutthroat trout Oncorhynchus clarkii, already excluded from much of its potential range by nonnative species, will lose a further 58% of habitat due to an increase in temperatures beyond the species’ physiological optima and continued negative biotic interactions. Habitat for nonnative brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis and brown trout Salmo trutta is predicted to decline by 77% and 48%, respectively, driven by increases in temperature and winter flood frequency caused by warmer, rainier winters. Habitat for rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, is projected to decline the least (35%) because negative temperature effects are partly offset by flow regime shifts that benefit the species. These results illustrate how drivers other than temperature influence species response to climate change. Despite some uncertainty, large declines in trout habitat are likely, but our findings point to opportunities for strategic targeting of mitigation efforts to appropriate stressors and locations. PMID:21844354

  4. Flow regime, temperature, and biotic interactions drive differential declines of trout species under climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wenger, S.J.; Isaak, D.J.; Luce, C.H.; Neville, H.M.; Fausch, K.D.; Dunham, J.B.; Dauwalter, D.C.; Young, M.K.; Elsner, M.M.; Rieman, B.E.; Hamlet, A.F.; Williams, J.E.

    2011-01-01

    Broad-scale studies of climate change effects on freshwater species have focused mainly on temperature, ignoring critical drivers such as flow regime and biotic interactions. We use downscaled outputs from general circulation models coupled with a hydrologic model to forecast the effects of altered flows and increased temperatures on four interacting species of trout across the interior western United States (1.01 million km2), based on empirical statistical models built from fish surveys at 9,890 sites. Projections under the 2080s A1B emissions scenario forecast a mean 47% decline in total suitable habitat for all trout, a group of fishes of major socioeconomic and ecological significance. We project that native cutthroat trout Oncorhynchus clarkii, already excluded from much of its potential range by nonnative species, will lose a further 58% of habitat due to an increase in temperatures beyond the species' physiological optima and continued negative biotic interactions. Habitat for nonnative brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis and brown trout Salmo trutta is predicted to decline by 77% and 48%, respectively, driven by increases in temperature and winter flood frequency caused by warmer, rainier winters. Habitat for rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, is projected to decline the least (35%) because negative temperature effects are partly offset by flow regime shifts that benefit the species. These results illustrate how drivers other than temperature influence species response to climate change. Despite some uncertainty, large declines in trout habitat are likely, but our findings point to opportunities for strategic targeting of mitigation efforts to appropriate stressors and locations.

  5. Inferring biotic interactions from proxies.

    PubMed

    Morales-Castilla, Ignacio; Matias, Miguel G; Gravel, Dominique; Araújo, Miguel B

    2015-06-01

    Inferring biotic interactions from functional, phylogenetic and geographical proxies remains one great challenge in ecology. We propose a conceptual framework to infer the backbone of biotic interaction networks within regional species pools. First, interacting groups are identified to order links and remove forbidden interactions between species. Second, additional links are removed by examination of the geographical context in which species co-occur. Third, hypotheses are proposed to establish interaction probabilities between species. We illustrate the framework using published food-webs in terrestrial and marine systems. We conclude that preliminary descriptions of the web of life can be made by careful integration of data with theory.

  6. Predicting biotic interactions and their variability in a changing environment.

    PubMed

    Kadowaki, Kohmei; Barbera, Claire G; Godsoe, William; Delsuc, Frédéric; Mouquet, Nicolas

    2016-05-01

    Global environmental change is altering the patterns of biodiversity worldwide. Observation and theory suggest that species' distributions and abundances depend on a suite of processes, notably abiotic filtering and biotic interactions, both of which are constrained by species' phylogenetic history. Models predicting species distribution have historically mostly considered abiotic filtering and are only starting to integrate biotic interaction. However, using information on present interactions to forecast the future of biodiversity supposes that biotic interactions will not change when species are confronted with new environments. Using bacterial microcosms, we illustrate how biotic interactions can vary along an environmental gradient and how this variability can depend on the phylogenetic distance between interacting species. PMID:27220858

  7. Climate change, biotic interactions and ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Montoya, José M; Raffaelli, Dave

    2010-07-12

    Climate change is real. The wrangling debates are over, and we now need to move onto a predictive ecology that will allow managers of landscapes and policy makers to adapt to the likely changes in biodiversity over the coming decades. There is ample evidence that ecological responses are already occurring at the individual species (population) level. The challenge is how to synthesize the growing list of such observations with a coherent body of theory that will enable us to predict where and when changes will occur, what the consequences might be for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and what we might do practically in order to maintain those systems in as good condition as possible. It is thus necessary to investigate the effects of climate change at the ecosystem level and to consider novel emergent ecosystems composed of new species assemblages arising from differential rates of range shifts of species. Here, we present current knowledge on the effects of climate change on biotic interactions and ecosystem services supply, and summarize the papers included in this volume. We discuss how resilient ecosystems are in the face of the multiple components that characterize climate change, and suggest which current ecological theories may be used as a starting point to predict ecosystem-level effects of climate change.

  8. Climate change and the past, present, and future of biotic interactions.

    PubMed

    Blois, Jessica L; Zarnetske, Phoebe L; Fitzpatrick, Matthew C; Finnegan, Seth

    2013-08-01

    Biotic interactions drive key ecological and evolutionary processes and mediate ecosystem responses to climate change. The direction, frequency, and intensity of biotic interactions can in turn be altered by climate change. Understanding the complex interplay between climate and biotic interactions is thus essential for fully anticipating how ecosystems will respond to the fast rates of current warming, which are unprecedented since the end of the last glacial period. We highlight episodes of climate change that have disrupted ecosystems and trophic interactions over time scales ranging from years to millennia by changing species' relative abundances and geographic ranges, causing extinctions, and creating transient and novel communities dominated by generalist species and interactions. These patterns emerge repeatedly across disparate temporal and spatial scales, suggesting the possibility of similar underlying processes. Based on these findings, we identify knowledge gaps and fruitful areas for research that will further our understanding of the effects of climate change on ecosystems.

  9. Chemical ecology: The chemistry of biotic interaction

    SciTech Connect

    Eisner, T.; Meinwald, J.

    1995-12-31

    Chemical signals among organisms form `a vast communicative interplay, fundamental to the fabric of life,` in the words of one expert. Chemical ecology is the discipline that seeks to understand these interactions to use biology in the search for new substances of potential benefit to humankind. This book highlights selected research areas of medicinal and agricultural importance. Leading experts review the chemistry of: (1) insect defense and its applications to pest control; (2) Phyletic dominance--the survival success of insects; (3) Social regulation, with ant societies as a model of multicomponent signaling systems; (4) Eavesdropping, alarm, and deceit--the array of strategies used by insects to find and lure prey; (5) Reproduction--from the gamete attraction to courtship and sexual selection; (6) the chemistry of intracellular immunosuppression. Topics also include the appropriation of dietary factors for defense and communication; the use of chemical signals in the marine environment; the role of the olfactory system in chemical analysis; and the interaction of polydnaviruses, endoparasites, and the immune system of the host.

  10. Biotic interactions govern genetic adaptation to toxicants.

    PubMed

    Becker, Jeremias Martin; Liess, Matthias

    2015-05-01

    The genetic recovery of resistant populations released from pesticide exposure is accelerated by the presence of environmental stressors. By contrast, the relevance of environmental stressors for the spread of resistance during pesticide exposure has not been studied. Moreover, the consequences of interactions between different stressors have not been considered. Here we show that stress through intraspecific competition accelerates microevolution, because it enhances fitness differences between adapted and non-adapted individuals. By contrast, stress through interspecific competition or predation reduces intraspecific competition and thereby delays microevolution. This was demonstrated in mosquito populations (Culex quinquefasciatus) that were exposed to the pesticide chlorpyrifos. Non-selective predation through harvesting and interspecific competition with Daphnia magna delayed the selection for individuals carrying the ace-1(R) resistance allele. Under non-toxic conditions, susceptible individuals without ace-1(R) prevailed. Likewise, predation delayed the reverse adaptation of the populations to a non-toxic environment, while the effect of interspecific competition was not significant. Applying a simulation model, we further identified how microevolution is generally determined by the type and degree of competition and predation. We infer that interactions with other species-especially strong in ecosystems with high biodiversity-can delay the development of pesticide resistance.

  11. The role of biotic forces in driving macroevolution: beyond the Red Queen.

    PubMed

    Voje, Kjetil L; Holen, Øistein H; Liow, Lee Hsiang; Stenseth, Nils Chr

    2015-06-01

    A multitude of hypotheses claim that abiotic factors are the main drivers of macroevolutionary change. By contrast, Van Valen's Red Queen hypothesis is often put forward as the sole representative of the view that biotic forcing is the main evolutionary driver. This imbalance of hypotheses does not reflect our current knowledge: theoretical work demonstrates the plausibility of biotically driven long-term evolution, whereas empirical work suggests a central role for biotic forcing in macroevolution. We call for a more pluralistic view of how biotic forces may drive long-term evolution that is compatible with both phenotypic stasis in the fossil record and with non-constant extinction rates. Promising avenues of research include contrasting predictions from relevant theories within ecology and macroevolution, as well as embracing both abiotic and biotic proxies while modelling long-term evolutionary data. By fitting models describing hypotheses of biotically driven macroevolution to data, we could dissect their predictions and transcend beyond pattern description, possibly narrowing the divide between our current understanding of micro- and macroevolution.

  12. Time after time: flowering phenology and biotic interactions.

    PubMed

    Elzinga, Jelmer A; Atlan, Anne; Biere, Arjen; Gigord, Luc; Weis, Arthur E; Bernasconi, Giorgina

    2007-08-01

    The role of biotic interactions in shaping plant flowering phenology has long been controversial; plastic responses to the abiotic environment, limited precision of biological clocks and inconsistency of selection pressures have generally been emphasized to explain phenological variation. However, part of this variation is heritable and selection analyses show that biotic interactions can modulate selection on flowering phenology. Our review of the literature indicates that pollinators tend to favour peak or earlier flowering, whereas pre-dispersal seed predators tend to favour off-peak or later flowering. However, effects strongly vary among study systems. To understand such variation, future studies should address the impact of mutualist and antagonist dispersal ability, ecological specialization, and habitat and plant population characteristics. Here, we outline future directions to study how such interactions shape flowering phenology.

  13. EDP: A computer program for analysis of biotic interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibson, Michael A.; Bolton, James C.

    1992-07-01

    Analyzing fossils for evidence of biotic interactions such as parasitism, commensalism, and predation can be accomplished using skeletal relationships (e.g. overlapping growth) on individual specimens and statistical information on populations of specimens. The latter approach provides information for use in larger scale paleocommunity analyses. This approach requires a large data set and extensive amounts of information management. The types of information that are needed include data concerning the identity of host and epibiont species, orientation of epibionts on hosts, position of encrustation, growth directions, region of occurrence, and associated fauna. We have written the Epibiont Digitizing Program (EDP) to collect the data necessary to study biotic interactions in the fossil record. The program is operator-interactive at all stages and versatile enough to allow modification depending upon the specific needs of the researcher.

  14. Meta-Analysis of Interactions between Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Biotic Stressors of Plants

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Yajun; Wang, Xiaohua; Zhu, Liqun; Bian, Xinmin

    2014-01-01

    Naturally, simultaneous interactions occurred among plants, herbivores, and soil biota, that is, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), nematodes, and fungal pathogens. These multiple interactions play fundamental roles in driving process, structure, and functioning of ecosystems. In this study, we conducted a meta-analysis with 144 papers to investigate the interactions between AMF and plant biotic stressors and their effects on plant growth performance. We found that AMF enhanced plant tolerance to herbivores, nematodes, and fungal pathogens. We also found reciprocal inhibition between AMF and nematodes as well as fungal pathogens, but unidirectional inhibition for AMF on herbivores. Negative effects of AMF on biotic stressors of plants depended on herbivore feeding sites and actioning modes of fungal pathogens. More performance was reduced in root-feeding than in shoot-feeding herbivores and in rotting- than in wilt-fungal pathogens. However, no difference was found for AMF negative effects between migratory and sedentary nematodes. In return, nematodes and fungal pathogens generated more reduction of root colonization in Non-Glomeraceae than in Glomeraceae. Our results suggested that AMF positive effects on plants might be indirectly mediated by competitive inhibition with biotic stressors of plants. These positive and negative interactions make potential contributions to maintaining ecosystem stability and functioning. PMID:24558327

  15. Exercising influence: distinct biotic interactions shape root microbiomes.

    PubMed

    Sloan, Sarah Stuart; Lebeis, Sarah L

    2015-08-01

    Root microbiomes are formed from diverse microbial soil settings with extraordinary consistency, suggesting both defined mechanisms of assembly and specific microbial activity. Recent improvements in sequencing technologies, data analysis techniques, and study design, allow definition of the microbiota within these intimate and important relationships with increasing accuracy. Comparing datasets provides powerful insights into the overlap of plant microbiomes, as well as the impacts of surrounding plants and microbes on root microbiomes and long-term soil conditioning. Here we address how recent studies tease apart the impact of various biotic interactions, including: plant-plant, plant-microbe, and microbe-microbe on root microbiome composition. PMID:26116973

  16. Exercising influence: distinct biotic interactions shape root microbiomes.

    PubMed

    Sloan, Sarah Stuart; Lebeis, Sarah L

    2015-08-01

    Root microbiomes are formed from diverse microbial soil settings with extraordinary consistency, suggesting both defined mechanisms of assembly and specific microbial activity. Recent improvements in sequencing technologies, data analysis techniques, and study design, allow definition of the microbiota within these intimate and important relationships with increasing accuracy. Comparing datasets provides powerful insights into the overlap of plant microbiomes, as well as the impacts of surrounding plants and microbes on root microbiomes and long-term soil conditioning. Here we address how recent studies tease apart the impact of various biotic interactions, including: plant-plant, plant-microbe, and microbe-microbe on root microbiome composition.

  17. Ecosystem development in roadside grasslands: biotic control, plant–soil interactions and dispersal limitations

    PubMed Central

    García-Palacios, Pablo; Bowker, Matthew A.; Maestre, Fernando T.; Soliveres, Santiago; Valladares, Fernando; Papadopoulos, Jorge; Escudero, Adrián

    2015-01-01

    Roadside grasslands undergoing secondary succession are abundant, and represent ecologically meaningful examples of novel, human-created ecosystems. Interactions between plant and soil communities (hereafter plant–soil interactions) are of major importance in understanding the role of biotic control in ecosystem functioning, but little is known about these links in the context of ecosystem restoration and succession. The assessment of the key biotic communities and interactions driving ecosystem development will help practitioners to better allocate the limited resources devoted to roadside grassland restoration. We surveyed roadside grasslands from three successional stages (0–2, 7–9 and > 20 years) in two Mediterranean regions of Spain. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate how interactions between plants, biological soil crusts [BSCs], and soil microbial functional diversity [soil microorganisms] affect indicators of ecosystem development and restoration: plant similarity to the reference ecosystem, erosion control and soil C storage and N accumulation. Changes in plant community composition along the successional gradient exerted the strongest influence on these indicators. High BSC cover was associated with high soil stability, and high soil microbial functional diversity from late-successional stages was associated with high soil fertility. Contrary to our expectations, the indirect effects of plants, mediated by either BSCs or soil microorganisms, were very weak in both regions, suggesting a minor role for plant–soil interactions upon ecosystem development indicators over long periods. Our results suggest that natural vegetation dynamics effectively improved ecosystem development within a time frame of 20 years in the grasslands evaluated. They also indicate that this time could be shortened if management actions focus on: 1) maintain well-conserved natural areas close to roadsides to enhance plant compositional changes towards late

  18. Ecosystem development in roadside grasslands: Biotic control, plant-soil interactions, and dispersal limitations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Garcia-Palacios, P.; Bowker, M.A.; Maestre, F.T.; Soliveres, S.; Valladares, F.; Papadopoulos, J.; Escudero, A.

    2011-01-01

    Roadside grasslands undergoing secondary succession are abundant, and represent ecologically meaningful examples of novel, human-created ecosystems. Interactions between plant and soil communities (hereafter plant-soil interactions) are of major importance in understanding the role of biotic control in ecosystem functioning, but little is known about these links in the context of ecosystem restoration and succession. The assessment of the key biotic communities and interactions driving ecosystem development will help practitioners to better allocate the limited resources devoted to roadside grassland restoration. We surveyed roadside grasslands from three successional stages (0-2, 7-9, and > 20 years) in two Mediterranean regions of Spain. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate how interactions between plants, biological soil crusts (BSCs), and soil microbial functional diversity (soil microorganisms) affect indicators of ecosystem development and restoration: plant similarity to the reference ecosystem, erosion control, and soil C storage and N accumulation. Changes in plant community composition along the successional gradient exerted the strongest influence on these indicators. High BSC cover was associated with high soil stability, and high soil microbial functional diversity from late-successional stages was associated with high soil fertility. Contrary to our expectations, the indirect effects of plants, mediated by either BSCs or soil microorganisms, were very weak in both regions, suggesting a minor role for plant-soil interactions upon ecosystem development indicators over long periods. Our results suggest that natural vegetation dynamics effectively improved ecosystem development within a time frame of 20 years in the grasslands evaluated. They also indicate that this time could be shortened if management actions focus on: (1) maintaining wellconserved natural areas close to roadsides to enhance plant compositional changes towards late

  19. Ecosystem development in roadside grasslands: biotic control, plant-soil interactions, and dispersal limitations.

    PubMed

    García-Palacios, Pablo; Bowker, Matthew A; Maestre, Fernando T; Soliveres, Santiago; Valladares, Fernando; Papadopoulos, Jorge; Escudero, Adrián

    2011-10-01

    Roadside grasslands undergoing secondary succession are abundant, and represent ecologically meaningful examples of novel, human-created ecosystems. Interactions between plant and soil communities (hereafter plant-soil interactions) are of major importance in understanding the role of biotic control in ecosystem functioning, but little is known about these links in the context of ecosystem restoration and succession. The assessment of the key biotic communities and interactions driving ecosystem development will help practitioners to better allocate the limited resources devoted to roadside grassland restoration. We surveyed roadside grasslands from three successional stages (0-2, 7-9, and >20 years) in two Mediterranean regions of Spain. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate how interactions between plants, biological soil crusts (BSCs), and soil microbial functional diversity (soil microorganisms) affect indicators of ecosystem development and restoration: plant similarity to the reference ecosystem, erosion control, and soil C storage and N accumulation. Changes in plant community composition along the successional gradient exerted the strongest influence on these indicators. High BSC cover was associated with high soil stability, and high soil microbial functional diversity from late-successional stages was associated with high soil fertility. Contrary to our expectations, the indirect effects of plants, mediated by either BSCs or soil microorganisms, were very weak in both regions, suggesting a minor role for plant-soil interactions upon ecosystem development indicators over long periods. Our results suggest that natural vegetation dynamics effectively improved ecosystem development within a time frame of 20 years in the grasslands evaluated. They also indicate that this time could be shortened if management actions focus on: (1) maintaining well-conserved natural areas close to roadsides to enhance plant compositional changes towards late

  20. Annual grass invasion in sagebrush-steppe: The relative importance of climate, soil properties and biotic interactions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bansal, Sheel; Sheley, Roger L.

    2016-01-01

    The invasion by winter-annual grasses (AGs) such as Bromus tectorum into sagebrush steppe throughout the western USA is a classic example of a biological invasion with multiple, interacting climate, soil and biotic factors driving the invasion, although few studies have examined all components together. Across a 6000-km2 area of the northern Great Basin, we conducted a field assessment of 100 climate, soil, and biotic (functional group abundances, diversity) factors at each of 90 sites that spanned an invasion gradient ranging from 0 to 100 % AG cover. We first determined which biotic and abiotic factors had the strongest correlative relationships with AGs and each resident functional group. We then used regression and structural equation modeling to explore how multiple ecological factors interact to influence AG abundance. Among biotic interactions, we observed negative relationships between AGs and biodiversity, perennial grass cover, resident species richness, biological soil crust cover and shrub density, whereas perennial and annual forb cover, tree cover and soil microbial biomass had no direct linkage to AG. Among abiotic factors, AG cover was strongly related to climate (increasing cover with increasing temperature and aridity), but had weak relationships with soil factors. Our structural equation model showed negative effects of perennial grasses and biodiversity on AG cover while integrating the negative effects of warmer climate and positive influence of belowground processes on resident functional groups. Our findings illustrate the relative importance of biotic interactions and climate on invasive abundance, while soil properties appear to have stronger relationships with resident biota than with invasives.

  1. Biotic interactions mediate soil microbial feedbacks to climate change.

    PubMed

    Crowther, Thomas W; Thomas, Stephen M; Maynard, Daniel S; Baldrian, Petr; Covey, Kristofer; Frey, Serita D; van Diepen, Linda T A; Bradford, Mark A

    2015-06-01

    Decomposition of organic material by soil microbes generates an annual global release of 50-75 Pg carbon to the atmosphere, ∼7.5-9 times that of anthropogenic emissions worldwide. This process is sensitive to global change factors, which can drive carbon cycle-climate feedbacks with the potential to enhance atmospheric warming. Although the effects of interacting global change factors on soil microbial activity have been a widespread ecological focus, the regulatory effects of interspecific interactions are rarely considered in climate feedback studies. We explore the potential of soil animals to mediate microbial responses to warming and nitrogen enrichment within a long-term, field-based global change study. The combination of global change factors alleviated the bottom-up limitations on fungal growth, stimulating enzyme production and decomposition rates in the absence of soil animals. However, increased fungal biomass also stimulated consumption rates by soil invertebrates, restoring microbial process rates to levels observed under ambient conditions. Our results support the contemporary theory that top-down control in soil food webs is apparent only in the absence of bottom-up limitation. As such, when global change factors alleviate the bottom-up limitations on microbial activity, top-down control becomes an increasingly important regulatory force with the capacity to dampen the strength of positive carbon cycle-climate feedbacks.

  2. Biotic interactions mediate soil microbial feedbacks to climate change

    PubMed Central

    Crowther, Thomas W.; Thomas, Stephen M.; Maynard, Daniel S.; Baldrian, Petr; Covey, Kristofer; Frey, Serita D.; van Diepen, Linda T. A.; Bradford, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    Decomposition of organic material by soil microbes generates an annual global release of 50–75 Pg carbon to the atmosphere, ∼7.5–9 times that of anthropogenic emissions worldwide. This process is sensitive to global change factors, which can drive carbon cycle–climate feedbacks with the potential to enhance atmospheric warming. Although the effects of interacting global change factors on soil microbial activity have been a widespread ecological focus, the regulatory effects of interspecific interactions are rarely considered in climate feedback studies. We explore the potential of soil animals to mediate microbial responses to warming and nitrogen enrichment within a long-term, field-based global change study. The combination of global change factors alleviated the bottom-up limitations on fungal growth, stimulating enzyme production and decomposition rates in the absence of soil animals. However, increased fungal biomass also stimulated consumption rates by soil invertebrates, restoring microbial process rates to levels observed under ambient conditions. Our results support the contemporary theory that top-down control in soil food webs is apparent only in the absence of bottom-up limitation. As such, when global change factors alleviate the bottom-up limitations on microbial activity, top-down control becomes an increasingly important regulatory force with the capacity to dampen the strength of positive carbon cycle–climate feedbacks. PMID:26038557

  3. Biotic interactions mediate soil microbial feedbacks to climate change.

    PubMed

    Crowther, Thomas W; Thomas, Stephen M; Maynard, Daniel S; Baldrian, Petr; Covey, Kristofer; Frey, Serita D; van Diepen, Linda T A; Bradford, Mark A

    2015-06-01

    Decomposition of organic material by soil microbes generates an annual global release of 50-75 Pg carbon to the atmosphere, ∼7.5-9 times that of anthropogenic emissions worldwide. This process is sensitive to global change factors, which can drive carbon cycle-climate feedbacks with the potential to enhance atmospheric warming. Although the effects of interacting global change factors on soil microbial activity have been a widespread ecological focus, the regulatory effects of interspecific interactions are rarely considered in climate feedback studies. We explore the potential of soil animals to mediate microbial responses to warming and nitrogen enrichment within a long-term, field-based global change study. The combination of global change factors alleviated the bottom-up limitations on fungal growth, stimulating enzyme production and decomposition rates in the absence of soil animals. However, increased fungal biomass also stimulated consumption rates by soil invertebrates, restoring microbial process rates to levels observed under ambient conditions. Our results support the contemporary theory that top-down control in soil food webs is apparent only in the absence of bottom-up limitation. As such, when global change factors alleviate the bottom-up limitations on microbial activity, top-down control becomes an increasingly important regulatory force with the capacity to dampen the strength of positive carbon cycle-climate feedbacks. PMID:26038557

  4. Interactions between abiotic constraint, propagule pressure, and biotic resistance regulate plant invasion.

    PubMed

    Byun, Chaeho; de Blois, Sylvie; Brisson, Jacques

    2015-05-01

    With multiple species introductions and rapid global changes, there is a need for comprehensive invasion models that can predict community responses. Evidence suggests that abiotic constraint, propagule pressure, and biotic resistance of resident species each determine plant invasion success, yet their interactions are rarely tested. To understand these interactions, we conducted community assembly experiments simulating situations in which seeds of the invasive grass species Phragmites australis (Poaceae) land on bare soil along with seeds of resident wetland plant species. We used structural equation models to measure both direct abiotic constraint (here moist vs. flooded conditions) on invasion success and indirect constraint on the abundance and, therefore, biotic resistance of resident plant species. We also evaluated how propagule supply of P. australis interacts with the biotic resistance of resident species during invasion. We observed that flooding always directly reduced invasion success but had a synergistic or antagonistic effect on biotic resistance depending on the resident species involved. Biotic resistance of the most diverse resident species mixture remained strong even when abiotic conditions changed. Biotic resistance was also extremely effective under low propagule pressure of the invader. Moreover, the presence of a dense resident plant cover appeared to lower the threshold at which invasion success became stable even when propagule supply increased. Our study not only provides an analytical framework to quantify the effect of multiple interactions relevant to community assembly and species invasion, but it also proposes guidelines for innovative invasion management strategies based on a sound understanding of ecological processes.

  5. How will biotic interactions influence climate change-induced range shifts?

    PubMed

    HilleRisLambers, Janneke; Harsch, Melanie A; Ettinger, Ailene K; Ford, Kevin R; Theobald, Elinore J

    2013-09-01

    Biotic interactions present a challenge in determining whether species distributions will track climate change. Interactions with competitors, consumers, mutualists, and facilitators can strongly influence local species distributions, but few studies assess how and whether these interactions will impede or accelerate climate change-induced range shifts. In this paper, we explore how ecologists might move forward on this question. We first outline the conditions under which biotic interactions can result in range shifts that proceed faster or slower than climate velocity and result in ecological surprises. Next, we use our own work to demonstrate that experimental studies documenting the strength of biotic interactions across large environmental gradients are a critical first step for understanding whether they will influence climate change-induced range shifts. Further progress could be made by integrating results from these studies into modeling frameworks to predict how or generalize when biotic interactions mediate how changing climates influence range shifts. Finally, we argue that many more case studies like those described here are needed to explore the importance of biotic interactions during climate change-induced range shifts.

  6. Biotic-Abiotic Interactions: Factors that Influence Peptide-Graphene Interactions.

    PubMed

    Kim, Steve S; Kuang, Zhifeng; Ngo, Yen H; Farmer, Barry L; Naik, Rajesh R

    2015-09-16

    Understanding the factors that influence the interaction between biomolecules and abiotic surfaces is of utmost interest in biosensing and biomedical research. Through phage display technology, several peptides have been identified as specific binders to abiotic material surfaces, such as gold, graphene, silver, and so forth. Using graphene-peptide as our model abiotic-biotic pair, we investigate the effect of graphene quality, number of layers, and the underlying support substrate effect on graphene-peptide interactions using both experiments and computation. Our results indicate that graphene quality plays a significant role in graphene-peptide interactions. The graphene-biomolecule interaction appears to show no significant dependency on the number of graphene layers or the underlying support substrate. PMID:26305504

  7. Biotic-Abiotic Interactions: Factors that Influence Peptide-Graphene Interactions.

    PubMed

    Kim, Steve S; Kuang, Zhifeng; Ngo, Yen H; Farmer, Barry L; Naik, Rajesh R

    2015-09-16

    Understanding the factors that influence the interaction between biomolecules and abiotic surfaces is of utmost interest in biosensing and biomedical research. Through phage display technology, several peptides have been identified as specific binders to abiotic material surfaces, such as gold, graphene, silver, and so forth. Using graphene-peptide as our model abiotic-biotic pair, we investigate the effect of graphene quality, number of layers, and the underlying support substrate effect on graphene-peptide interactions using both experiments and computation. Our results indicate that graphene quality plays a significant role in graphene-peptide interactions. The graphene-biomolecule interaction appears to show no significant dependency on the number of graphene layers or the underlying support substrate.

  8. Biotic Interactions in the Face of Climate Change: A Comparison of Three Modelling Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Jaeschke, Anja; Bittner, Torsten; Jentsch, Anke; Reineking, Björn; Schlumprecht, Helmut; Beierkuhnlein, Carl

    2012-01-01

    Climate change is expected to alter biotic interactions, and may lead to temporal and spatial mismatches of interacting species. Although the importance of interactions for climate change risk assessments is increasingly acknowledged in observational and experimental studies, biotic interactions are still rarely incorporated in species distribution models. We assessed the potential impacts of climate change on the obligate interaction between Aeshna viridis and its egg-laying plant Stratiotes aloides in Europe, based on an ensemble modelling technique. We compared three different approaches for incorporating biotic interactions in distribution models: (1) We separately modelled each species based on climatic information, and intersected the future range overlap (‘overlap approach’). (2) We modelled the potential future distribution of A. viridis with the projected occurrence probability of S. aloides as further predictor in addition to climate (‘explanatory variable approach’). (3) We calibrated the model of A. viridis in the current range of S. aloides and multiplied the future occurrence probabilities of both species (‘reference area approach’). Subsequently, all approaches were compared to a single species model of A. viridis without interactions. All approaches projected a range expansion for A. viridis. Model performance on test data and amount of range gain differed depending on the biotic interaction approach. All interaction approaches yielded lower range gains (up to 667% lower) than the model without interaction. Regarding the contribution of algorithm and approach to the overall uncertainty, the main part of explained variation stems from the modelling algorithm, and only a small part is attributed to the modelling approach. The comparison of the no-interaction model with the three interaction approaches emphasizes the importance of including obligate biotic interactions in projective species distribution modelling. We recommend the use of

  9. Biotic interactions mediate the expansion of black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) into salt marshes under climate change.

    PubMed

    Guo, Hongyu; Zhang, Yihui; Lan, Zhenjiang; Pennings, Steven C

    2013-09-01

    Many species are expanding their distributions to higher latitudes due to global warming. Understanding the mechanisms underlying these distribution shifts is critical for better understanding the impacts of climate changes. The climate envelope approach is widely used to model and predict species distribution shifts with changing climates. Biotic interactions between species, however, may also influence species distributions, and a better understanding of biotic interactions could improve predictions based solely on climate envelope models. Along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast, USA, subtropical black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) at the northern limit of its distribution grows sympatrically with temperate salt marsh plants in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. In recent decades, freeze-free winters have led to an expansion of black mangrove into salt marshes. We examined how biotic interactions between black mangrove and salt marsh vegetation along the Texas coast varied across (i) a latitudinal gradient (associated with a winter-temperature gradient); (ii) the elevational gradient within each marsh (which creates different marsh habitats); and (iii) different life history stages of black mangroves (seedlings vs. juvenile trees). Each of these variables affected the strength or nature of biotic interactions between black mangrove and salt marsh vegetation: (i) Salt marsh vegetation facilitated black mangrove seedlings at their high-latitude distribution limit, but inhibited black mangrove seedlings at lower latitudes; (ii) mangroves performed well at intermediate elevations, but grew and survived poorly in high- and low-marsh habitats; and (iii) the effect of salt marsh vegetation on black mangroves switched from negative to neutral as black mangroves grew from seedlings into juvenile trees. These results indicate that the expansion of black mangroves is mediated by complex biotic interactions. A better understanding of the impacts of climate change on ecological

  10. Biotic interaction strength and the intensity of selection.

    PubMed

    Benkman, Craig W

    2013-08-01

    Although the ecological and evolutionary impacts of species interactions have been the foci of much research, the relationship between the strength of species interactions and the intensity of selection has been investigated only rarely. I develop a simple model demonstrating how the opportunity for selection varies with interaction strength, and then use the relationship between the maximum value of the selection differential and the opportunity for selection (Arnold & Wade 1984) to evaluate how selection differentials vary in relation to species interaction strength. This model predicts an initial deceleration and then an accelerating increase in the intensity of selection with increasing strength of antagonistic interactions and with decreasing strength of mutualistic interactions. Empirical data from several studies provide support for this model. These results further support an evolutionary mechanism for some striking patterns of evolutionary diversification including the latitudinal species gradient, and should be relevant to studies of eco-evolutionary dynamics.

  11. Biotic Interactions Overrule Plant Responses to Climate, Depending on the Species' Biogeography

    PubMed Central

    Welk, Astrid; Welk, Erik; Bruelheide, Helge

    2014-01-01

    This study presents an experimental approach to assess the relative importance of climatic and biotic factors as determinants of species' geographical distributions. We asked to what extent responses of grassland plant species to biotic interactions vary with climate, and to what degree this variation depends on the species' biogeography. Using a gradient from oceanic to continental climate represented by nine common garden transplant sites in Germany, we experimentally tested whether congeneric grassland species of different geographic distribution (oceanic vs. continental plant range type) responded differently to combinations of climate, competition and mollusc herbivory. We found the relative importance of biotic interactions and climate to vary between the different components of plant performance. While survival and plant height increased with precipitation, temperature had no effect on plant performance. Additionally, species with continental plant range type increased their growth in more benign climatic conditions, while those with oceanic range type were largely unable to take a similar advantage of better climatic conditions. Competition generally caused strong reductions of aboveground biomass and growth. In contrast, herbivory had minor effects on survival and growth. Against expectation, these negative effects of competition and herbivory were not mitigated under more stressful continental climate conditions. In conclusion we suggest variation in relative importance of climate and biotic interactions on broader scales, mediated via species-specific sensitivities and factor-specific response patterns. Our results have important implications for species distribution models, as they emphasize the large-scale impact of biotic interactions on plant distribution patterns and the necessity to take plant range types into account. PMID:25356912

  12. i3Drive, a 3D interactive driving simulator.

    PubMed

    Ambroz, Miha; Prebil, Ivan

    2010-01-01

    i3Drive, a wheeled-vehicle simulator, can accurately simulate vehicles of various configurations with up to eight wheels in real time on a desktop PC. It presents the vehicle dynamics as an interactive animation in a virtual 3D environment. The application is fully GUI-controlled, giving users an easy overview of the simulation parameters and letting them adjust those parameters interactively. It models all relevant vehicle systems, including the mechanical models of the suspension, power train, and braking and steering systems. The simulation results generally correspond well with actual measurements, making the system useful for studying vehicle performance in various driving scenarios. i3Drive is thus a worthy complement to other, more complex tools for vehicle-dynamics simulation and analysis.

  13. Black Carbon - Soil Organic Matter abiotic and biotic interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cotrufo, Francesca; Boot, Claudia; Denef, Karolien; Foster, Erika; Haddix, Michelle; Jiang, Xinyu; Soong, Jennifer; Stewart, Catherine

    2014-05-01

    Wildfires, prescribed burns and the use of char as a soil amendment all add large quantities of black carbon to soils, with profound, yet poorly understood, effects on soil biology and chemical-physical structure. We will present results emerging from our black carbon program, which addresses questions concerning: 1) black carbon-soil organic matter interactions, 2) char decomposition and 3) impacts on microbial community structure and activities. Our understanding derives from a complementary set of post-fire black carbon field surveys and laboratory and field experiments with grass and wood char amendments, in which we used molecular (i.e., BPCA, PLFA) and isotopic (i.e., 13C and 15N labelled char) tracers. Overall, emerging results demonstrate that char additions to soil are prone to fast erosion, but a fraction remains that increases water retention and creates a better environment for the microbial community, particularly favoring gram negative bacteria. However, microbial decomposition of black carbon only slowly consumes a small fraction of it, thus char still significantly contributes to soil carbon sequestration. This is especially true in soils with little organic matter, where black carbon additions may even induce negative priming.

  14. Using Biotic Interaction Networks for Prediction in Biodiversity and Emerging Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Stephens, Christopher R.; Heau, Joaquín Giménez; González, Camila; Ibarra-Cerdeña, Carlos N.; Sánchez-Cordero, Victor; González-Salazar, Constantino

    2009-01-01

    Networks offer a powerful tool for understanding and visualizing inter-species ecological and evolutionary interactions. Previously considered examples, such as trophic networks, are just representations of experimentally observed direct interactions. However, species interactions are so rich and complex it is not feasible to directly observe more than a small fraction. In this paper, using data mining techniques, we show how potential interactions can be inferred from geographic data, rather than by direct observation. An important application area for this methodology is that of emerging diseases, where, often, little is known about inter-species interactions, such as between vectors and reservoirs. Here, we show how using geographic data, biotic interaction networks that model statistical dependencies between species distributions can be used to infer and understand inter-species interactions. Furthermore, we show how such networks can be used to build prediction models. For example, for predicting the most important reservoirs of a disease, or the degree of disease risk associated with a geographical area. We illustrate the general methodology by considering an important emerging disease - Leishmaniasis. This data mining methodology allows for the use of geographic data to construct inferential biotic interaction networks which can then be used to build prediction models with a wide range of applications in ecology, biodiversity and emerging diseases. PMID:19478956

  15. Untangling interactions: do temperature and habitat fragmentation gradients simultaneously impact biotic relationships?

    PubMed

    Lakeman-Fraser, Poppy; Ewers, Robert M

    2014-07-22

    Gaining insight into the impact of anthropogenic change on ecosystems requires investigation into interdependencies between multiple drivers of ecological change and multiple biotic responses. Global environmental change drivers can act simultaneously to impact the abundance and diversity of biota, but few studies have also measured the impact across trophic levels. We firstly investigated whether climate (using temperature differences across a latitudinal gradient as a surrogate) interacts with habitat fragmentation (measured according to fragment area and distance to habitat edges) to impact a New Zealand tri-trophic food chain (plant, herbivore and natural enemy). Secondly, we examined how these interactions might differentially impact both the density and biotic processes of species at each of the three trophic levels. We found evidence to suggest that these drivers act non-additively across trophic levels. The nature of these interactions however varied: location synergistically interacted with fragmentation measures to exacerbate the detrimental effects on consumer density; and antagonistically interacted to ameliorate the impact on plant density and on the interactions between trophic levels (herbivory and parasitoid attack rate). Our findings indicate that the ecological consequences of multiple global change drivers are strongly interactive and vary according to the trophic level studied and whether density or ecological processes are investigated. PMID:24898374

  16. Accounting for dispersal and biotic interactions to disentangle the drivers of species distributions and their abundances

    PubMed Central

    Boulangeat, Isabelle; Gravel, Dominique; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2014-01-01

    Although abiotic factors, together with dispersal and biotic interactions, are often suggested to explain the distribution of species and their abundances, species distribution models usually focus on abiotic factors only. We propose an integrative framework linking ecological theory, empirical data and statistical models to understand the distribution of species and their abundances together with the underlying community assembly dynamics. We illustrate our approach with 21 plant species in the French Alps. We show that a spatially nested modelling framework significantly improves the model’s performance and that the spatial variations of species presence–absence and abundances are predominantly explained by different factors. We also show that incorporating abiotic, dispersal and biotic factors into the same model bring new insights to our understanding of community assembly. This approach, at the crossroads between community ecology and biogeography, is a promising avenue for a better understanding of species co-existence and biodiversity distribution. PMID:22462813

  17. Contrasting the effects of environment, dispersal and biotic interactions to explain the distribution of invasive plants in alpine communities

    PubMed Central

    GALLIEN, Laure; MAZEL, Florent; LAVERGNE, Sébastien; RENAUD, Julien; DOUZET, Rolland; THUILLER, Wilfried

    2015-01-01

    Despite considerable efforts devoted to investigate the community assembly processes driving plant invasions, few general conclusions have been drawn so far. Three main processes, generally acting as successive filters, are thought to be of prime importance. The invader has to disperse (1st filter) into a suitable environment (2nd filter) and succeed in establishing in recipient communities through competitive interactions (3rd filter) using two strategies: competition avoidance by the use of different resources (resource opportunity), or competitive exclusion of native species. Surprisingly, despite the general consensus on the importance of investigating these three processes and their interplay, they are usually studied independently. Here we aim to analyse these three filters together, by including them all: abiotic environment, dispersal and biotic interactions, into models of invasive species distributions. We first propose a suite of indices (based on species functional dissimilarities) supposed to reflect the two competitive strategies (resource opportunity and competition exclusion). Then, we use a set of generalised linear models to explain the distribution of seven herbaceous invaders in natural communities (using a large vegetation database for the French Alps containing 5,000 community-plots). Finally, we measure the relative importance of competitive interaction indices, identify the type of coexistence mechanism involved and how this varies along environmental gradients. Adding competition indices significantly improved model’s performance, but neither resource opportunity nor competitive exclusion were common strategies among the seven species. Overall, we show that combining environmental, dispersal and biotic information to model invasions has excellent potential for improving our understanding of invader success. PMID:26290653

  18. Biotic interactions affect the colonization behavior of aquatic detritivorous macroinvertebrates in a heterogeneous environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verschut, Thomas A.; Meineri, Eric; Basset, Alberto

    2015-05-01

    It has previously been suggested that macroinvertebrates actively search for suitable patches to colonize. However, it is not well understood how the spatial arrangement of patches can affect colonization rates. In this study, we determined the importance of the environmental factors (distance, connectivity and resource availability) for patch colonization in an experimental system using Gammarus aequicauda (Amphipoda), Lekanesphaera hookeri (Isopoda) and Ecrobia ventrosa (Gastropoda). Furthermore, we also assessed how the relative importance of each of these environmental factors differed in interactions between the three species. The single species experiments showed that distance was the most important factor for G. aequicauda and E. ventrosa. However, while E. ventrosa preferred patches close to the release point, G. aequicauda strongly preferred patches further from the release point. High resource availability was a strong determinant for the patch colonization of G. aequicauda and L. hookeri. Connectivity was only of moderate importance in the study system for L. hookeri and E. ventrosa. The effects of the environmental factors were strongly affected by interspecific interactions in the multispecies experiments. For G. aequicauda, the distance preference was lowered in the presence of E. ventrosa. Moreover, while for L. hookeri the effect of resource availability was ruled out by the species interactions, resource availability gained importance for E. ventrosa in the presence of any of the other species. Our results suggest a strong link between environmental factors and biotic interactions in the colonization of habitat patches and indicate that the effect of biotic interactions is especially important for species sharing similar traits.

  19. Nicotiana tabacum Tsip1-Interacting Ferredoxin 1 Affects Biotic and Abiotic Stress Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Huh, Sung Un; Lee, In-Ju; Ham, Byung-Kook; Paek, Kyung-Hee

    2012-01-01

    Tsip1, a Zn finger protein that was isolated as a direct interactor with tobacco stress-induced 1 (Tsi1), plays an important role in both biotic and abiotic stress signaling. To further understand Tsip1 function, we searched for more Tsip1-interacting proteins by yeast two-hybrid screening using a tobacco cDNA library. Screening identified a new Tsip1-interacting protein, Nicotiana tabacum Tsip1-interacting ferredoxin 1 (NtTfd1), and binding specificity was confirmed both in vitro and in vivo. The four repeats of a cysteine-rich motif (CXXCXGXG) of Tsip1 proved important for binding to NtTfd1. Virus-induced gene silencing of NtTfd1, Tsip1, and NtTfd1/Tsip1 rendered plants more susceptible to salinity stress compared with TRV2 control plants. NtTfd1- and Tsip1-silenced tobacco plants were more susceptible to infection by Cucumber mosaic virus compared with control plants. These results suggest that NtTfd1 might be involved in the regulation of biotic and abiotic stresses in chloroplasts by interaction with Tsip1. PMID:22699755

  20. Energy from Redox Disproportionation of Sugar Carbon Drives Biotic and Abiotic Synthesis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weber, Arthur L.

    1997-01-01

    To identify the energy source that drives the biosynthesis of amino acids, lipids, and nucleotides from glucose, we calculated the free energy change due to redox disproportionation of the substrate carbon of: (1) 26-carbon fermentation reactions and (2) the biosynthesis of amino acids and lipids of E. coli from glucose. The free energy (cal/mmol of carbon) of these reactions was plotted as a function of the degree of redox disproportionation of carbon (disproportionative electron transfers (mmol)/mmol of carbon). The zero intercept and proportionality between energy yield and degree of redox disproportionation exhibited by this plot demonstrate that redox disproportionation is the principal energy source of these redox reactions (slope of linear fit = -10.4 cal/mmol of disproportionative electron transfers). The energy and disproportionation values of E. coli amino acid and lipid biosynthesis from glucose lie near this linear curve fit with redox disproportionation accounting for 84% and 96% (and ATP only 6% and 1 %) of the total energy of amino acid and lipid biosynthesis, respectively. These observations establish that redox disproportionation of carbon, and not ATP, is the primary energy source driving amino acid and lipid biosynthesis from glucose. In contrast, we found that nucteotide biosynthesis involves very little redox disproportionation, and consequently depends almost entirely on ATP for energy. The function of sugar redox disproportionation as the major source of free energy for the biosynthesis of amino acids and lipids suggests that sugar disproportionation played a central role in the origin of metabolism, and probably the origin of life.

  1. Energy from Redox Disproportionation of Sugar Carbon Drives Biotic and Abiotic Synthesis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weber, Arthur L.

    1997-01-01

    To identify the energy source that drives the biosynthesis of amino acids, lipids, and nucleotides from glucose, we calculated the free energy change due to redox disproportionation of the substrate carbon of: (1) 26-carbon fermentation reactions and (2) the biosynthesis of amino acids and lipids of E. coli from glucose. The free energy (cal/mmol of carbon) of these reactions was plotted as a function of the degree of redox disproportionation of carbon (disproportionative electron transfers (mmol)/mmol of carbon). The zero intercept and proportionality between energy yield and degree of redox disproportionation exhibited by this plot demonstrate that redox disproportionation is the principal energy source of these redox reactions (slope of linear fit = -10.4 cal/mmol of disproportionative electron transfers). The energy and disproportionation values of E. coli amino acid and lipid biosynthesis from glucose lie near this linear curve fit with redox disproportionation accounting for 84% and 96% (and ATP only 6% and 1%) of the total energy of amino acid and lipid biosynthesis, respectively. These observations establish that redox disproportionation of carbon, and not ATP, is the primary energy source driving amino acid and lipid biosynthesis from glucose. In contrast, we found that nucleotide biosynthesis involves very little redox disproportionation, and consequently depends almost entirely on ATP for energy. The function of sugar redox disproportionation as the major source of free energy for the biosynthesis of amino acids and lipids suggests that sugar disproportionation played a central role in the origin of metabolism, and probably the origin of life.

  2. Biotic interactions at hydrothermal vents: Recruitment inhibition by the mussel Bathymodiolus thermophilus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lenihan, H. S.; Mills, S. W.; Mullineaux, L. S.; Peterson, C. H.; Fisher, C. R.; Micheli, F.

    2008-12-01

    The structure and dynamics of marine communities are regulated in part by variation in recruitment. As in other ecosystems, recruitment at deep-sea hydrothermal vents is controlled by the interplay of propagule supply and behavior, gradients in physical-chemical conditions, and biotic interactions during pre- and post-settlement periods. Recent research along the East Pacific Rise indicates that inhibition of recently settled larvae by mobile predators (mainly limpets) influences patterns of recruitment and subsequent community succession. We conducted a manipulative experiment at the same sites (˜2510 m water depth) to test whether high-density assemblages of the mussel Bathymodiolus thermophilus also inhibit recruitment. In a preliminary study, recruitment of vent invertebrates within the faunal zone dominated by B. thermophilus was strikingly different at two sites, East Wall and Worm Hole. East Wall had high densities of mussels but very low total recruitment. In contrast, Worm Hole had few mussels but high recruitment. Using the submersible Alvin, we transplanted a large number of mussels from East Wall to Worm Hole and quantified recruitment on basalt blocks placed in three treatments: (1) naturally high densities of mussels at East Wall; (2) naturally low densities of mussels at Worm Hole; and (3) high densities of transplanted mussels at Worm Hole. After 11 months, a total of 24 taxa had recruited to the basalt blocks. Recruitment was 44-60% lower in the transplanted high-density mussel patch at Worm Hole and the natural high-density patch at East Wall than within the natural low-density patch at Worm Hole. Biotic processes that may have caused the pattern of recruitment observed included predation of larvae via water filtration by mussels, larval avoidance of superior competitors, interference competition, and enhanced predation by species within the mussel-bed community. Our results indicate that biotic interactions affecting recruitment must be

  3. The SnRK1 Energy Sensor in Plant Biotic Interactions.

    PubMed

    Hulsmans, Sander; Rodriguez, Marianela; De Coninck, Barbara; Rolland, Filip

    2016-08-01

    Our understanding of plant biotic interactions has grown significantly in recent years with the identification of the mechanisms involved in innate immunity, hormone signaling, and secondary metabolism. The impact of such interactions on primary metabolism and the role of metabolic signals in the response of the plants, however, remain far less explored. The SnRK1 (SNF1-related kinase 1) kinases act as metabolic sensors, integrating very diverse stress conditions, and are key in maintaining energy homeostasis for growth and survival. Consistently, an important role is emerging for these kinases as regulators of biotic stress responses triggered by viral, bacterial, fungal, and oomycete infections as well as by herbivory. While this identifies SnRK1 as a promising target for directed modification or selection for more quantitative and sustainable resistance, its central function also increases the chances of unwanted side effects on growth and fitness, stressing the need for identification and in-depth characterization of the mechanisms and target processes involved. VIDEO ABSTRACT. PMID:27156455

  4. 'Trophic whales' as biotic buffers: weak interactions stabilize ecosystems against nutrient enrichment.

    PubMed

    Schwarzmüller, Florian; Eisenhauer, Nico; Brose, Ulrich

    2015-05-01

    Human activities may compromise biodiversity if external stressors such as nutrient enrichment endanger overall network stability by inducing unstable dynamics. However, some ecosystems maintain relatively high diversity levels despite experiencing continuing disturbances. This indicates that some intrinsic properties prevent unstable dynamics and resulting extinctions. Identifying these 'ecosystem buffers' is crucial for our understanding of the stability of ecosystems and an important tool for environmental and conservation biologists. In this vein, weak interactions have been suggested as stabilizing elements of complex systems, but their relevance has rarely been tested experimentally. Here, using network and allometric theory, we present a novel concept for a priori identification of species that buffer against externally induced instability of increased population oscillations via weak interactions. We tested our model in a microcosm experiment using a soil food-web motif. Our results show that large-bodied species feeding at the food web's base, so called 'trophic whales', can buffer ecosystems against unstable dynamics induced by nutrient enrichment. Similar to the functionality of chemical or mechanical buffers, they serve as 'biotic buffers' that take up stressor effects and thus protect fragile systems from instability. We discuss trophic whales as common functional building blocks across ecosystems. Considering increasing stressor effects under anthropogenic global change, conservation of these network-intrinsic biotic buffers may help maintain the stability and diversity of natural ecosystems.

  5. 'Trophic whales' as biotic buffers: weak interactions stabilize ecosystems against nutrient enrichment.

    PubMed

    Schwarzmüller, Florian; Eisenhauer, Nico; Brose, Ulrich

    2015-05-01

    Human activities may compromise biodiversity if external stressors such as nutrient enrichment endanger overall network stability by inducing unstable dynamics. However, some ecosystems maintain relatively high diversity levels despite experiencing continuing disturbances. This indicates that some intrinsic properties prevent unstable dynamics and resulting extinctions. Identifying these 'ecosystem buffers' is crucial for our understanding of the stability of ecosystems and an important tool for environmental and conservation biologists. In this vein, weak interactions have been suggested as stabilizing elements of complex systems, but their relevance has rarely been tested experimentally. Here, using network and allometric theory, we present a novel concept for a priori identification of species that buffer against externally induced instability of increased population oscillations via weak interactions. We tested our model in a microcosm experiment using a soil food-web motif. Our results show that large-bodied species feeding at the food web's base, so called 'trophic whales', can buffer ecosystems against unstable dynamics induced by nutrient enrichment. Similar to the functionality of chemical or mechanical buffers, they serve as 'biotic buffers' that take up stressor effects and thus protect fragile systems from instability. We discuss trophic whales as common functional building blocks across ecosystems. Considering increasing stressor effects under anthropogenic global change, conservation of these network-intrinsic biotic buffers may help maintain the stability and diversity of natural ecosystems. PMID:25420573

  6. Separating the role of biotic interactions and climate in determining adaptive response of plants to climate change.

    PubMed

    Tomiolo, Sara; Van der Putten, Wim H; Tielbörger, Katja

    2015-05-01

    Altered rainfall regimes will greatly affect the response of plant species to climate change. However, little is known about how direct effects of changing precipitation on plant performance may depend on other abiotic factors and biotic interactions. We used reciprocal transplants between climatically very different sites with simultaneous manipulation of soil, plant population origin, and neighbor conditions to evaluate local adaptation and possible adaptive response of four Eastern Mediterranean annual plant species to climate change. The effect of site on plant performance was negligible, but soil origin had a strong effect on fecundity, most likely due to differential water retaining ability. Competition by neighbors strongly reduced fitness. We separated the effects of the abiotic and biotic soil properties on plant performance by repeating the field experiment in a greenhouse under homogenous environmental conditions and including a soil biota manipulation treatment. As in the field, plant performance differed among soil origins and neighbor treatments. Moreover, we found plant species-specific responses to soil biota that may be best explained by the differential sensitivity to negative and positive soil biota effects. Overall, under the conditions of our experiment with two contrasting sites, biotic interactions had a strong effect on plant fitness that interacted with and eventually overrode climate. Because climate and biotic interactions covary, reciprocal transplants and climate gradient studies should consider soil biotic interactions and abiotic conditions when evaluating climate change effects on plant performance.

  7. The role of biotic interactions in shaping distributions and realised assemblages of species: implications for species distribution modelling

    PubMed Central

    Wisz, Mary Susanne; Pottier, Julien; Kissling, W Daniel; Pellissier, Loïc; Lenoir, Jonathan; Damgaard, Christian F; Dormann, Carsten F; Forchhammer, Mads C; Grytnes, John-Arvid; Guisan, Antoine; Heikkinen, Risto K; Høye, Toke T; Kühn, Ingolf; Luoto, Miska; Maiorano, Luigi; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte; Normand, Signe; Öckinger, Erik; Schmidt, Niels M; Termansen, Mette; Timmermann, Allan; Wardle, David A; Aastrup, Peter; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2013-01-01

    Predicting which species will occur together in the future, and where, remains one of the greatest challenges in ecology, and requires a sound understanding of how the abiotic and biotic environments interact with dispersal processes and history across scales. Biotic interactions and their dynamics influence species' relationships to climate, and this also has important implications for predicting future distributions of species. It is already well accepted that biotic interactions shape species' spatial distributions at local spatial extents, but the role of these interactions beyond local extents (e.g. 10 km2 to global extents) are usually dismissed as unimportant. In this review we consolidate evidence for how biotic interactions shape species distributions beyond local extents and review methods for integrating biotic interactions into species distribution modelling tools. Drawing upon evidence from contemporary and palaeoecological studies of individual species ranges, functional groups, and species richness patterns, we show that biotic interactions have clearly left their mark on species distributions and realised assemblages of species across all spatial extents. We demonstrate this with examples from within and across trophic groups. A range of species distribution modelling tools is available to quantify species environmental relationships and predict species occurrence, such as: (i) integrating pairwise dependencies, (ii) using integrative predictors, and (iii) hybridising species distribution models (SDMs) with dynamic models. These methods have typically only been applied to interacting pairs of species at a single time, require a priori ecological knowledge about which species interact, and due to data paucity must assume that biotic interactions are constant in space and time. To better inform the future development of these models across spatial scales, we call for accelerated collection of spatially and temporally explicit species data. Ideally

  8. Biotic Interactions in Microbial Communities as Modulators of Biogeochemical Processes: Methanotrophy as a Model System

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Adrian; Angel, Roey; Veraart, Annelies J.; Daebeler, Anne; Jia, Zhongjun; Kim, Sang Yoon; Kerckhof, Frederiek-Maarten; Boon, Nico; Bodelier, Paul L. E.

    2016-01-01

    Microbial interaction is an integral component of microbial ecology studies, yet the role, extent, and relevance of microbial interaction in community functioning remains unclear, particularly in the context of global biogeochemical cycles. While many studies have shed light on the physico-chemical cues affecting specific processes, (micro)biotic controls and interactions potentially steering microbial communities leading to altered functioning are less known. Yet, recent accumulating evidence suggests that the concerted actions of a community can be significantly different from the combined effects of individual microorganisms, giving rise to emergent properties. Here, we exemplify the importance of microbial interaction for ecosystem processes by analysis of a reasonably well-understood microbial guild, namely, aerobic methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB). We reviewed the literature which provided compelling evidence for the relevance of microbial interaction in modulating methane oxidation. Support for microbial associations within methane-fed communities is sought by a re-analysis of literature data derived from stable isotope probing studies of various complex environmental settings. Putative positive interactions between active MOB and other microbes were assessed by a correlation network-based analysis with datasets covering diverse environments where closely interacting members of a consortium can potentially alter the methane oxidation activity. Although, methanotrophy is used as a model system, the fundamentals of our postulations may be applicable to other microbial guilds mediating other biogeochemical processes.

  9. Biotic Interactions in Microbial Communities as Modulators of Biogeochemical Processes: Methanotrophy as a Model System

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Adrian; Angel, Roey; Veraart, Annelies J.; Daebeler, Anne; Jia, Zhongjun; Kim, Sang Yoon; Kerckhof, Frederiek-Maarten; Boon, Nico; Bodelier, Paul L. E.

    2016-01-01

    Microbial interaction is an integral component of microbial ecology studies, yet the role, extent, and relevance of microbial interaction in community functioning remains unclear, particularly in the context of global biogeochemical cycles. While many studies have shed light on the physico-chemical cues affecting specific processes, (micro)biotic controls and interactions potentially steering microbial communities leading to altered functioning are less known. Yet, recent accumulating evidence suggests that the concerted actions of a community can be significantly different from the combined effects of individual microorganisms, giving rise to emergent properties. Here, we exemplify the importance of microbial interaction for ecosystem processes by analysis of a reasonably well-understood microbial guild, namely, aerobic methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB). We reviewed the literature which provided compelling evidence for the relevance of microbial interaction in modulating methane oxidation. Support for microbial associations within methane-fed communities is sought by a re-analysis of literature data derived from stable isotope probing studies of various complex environmental settings. Putative positive interactions between active MOB and other microbes were assessed by a correlation network-based analysis with datasets covering diverse environments where closely interacting members of a consortium can potentially alter the methane oxidation activity. Although, methanotrophy is used as a model system, the fundamentals of our postulations may be applicable to other microbial guilds mediating other biogeochemical processes. PMID:27602021

  10. Biotic Interactions in Microbial Communities as Modulators of Biogeochemical Processes: Methanotrophy as a Model System.

    PubMed

    Ho, Adrian; Angel, Roey; Veraart, Annelies J; Daebeler, Anne; Jia, Zhongjun; Kim, Sang Yoon; Kerckhof, Frederiek-Maarten; Boon, Nico; Bodelier, Paul L E

    2016-01-01

    Microbial interaction is an integral component of microbial ecology studies, yet the role, extent, and relevance of microbial interaction in community functioning remains unclear, particularly in the context of global biogeochemical cycles. While many studies have shed light on the physico-chemical cues affecting specific processes, (micro)biotic controls and interactions potentially steering microbial communities leading to altered functioning are less known. Yet, recent accumulating evidence suggests that the concerted actions of a community can be significantly different from the combined effects of individual microorganisms, giving rise to emergent properties. Here, we exemplify the importance of microbial interaction for ecosystem processes by analysis of a reasonably well-understood microbial guild, namely, aerobic methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB). We reviewed the literature which provided compelling evidence for the relevance of microbial interaction in modulating methane oxidation. Support for microbial associations within methane-fed communities is sought by a re-analysis of literature data derived from stable isotope probing studies of various complex environmental settings. Putative positive interactions between active MOB and other microbes were assessed by a correlation network-based analysis with datasets covering diverse environments where closely interacting members of a consortium can potentially alter the methane oxidation activity. Although, methanotrophy is used as a model system, the fundamentals of our postulations may be applicable to other microbial guilds mediating other biogeochemical processes. PMID:27602021

  11. Biotic Interactions in Microbial Communities as Modulators of Biogeochemical Processes: Methanotrophy as a Model System.

    PubMed

    Ho, Adrian; Angel, Roey; Veraart, Annelies J; Daebeler, Anne; Jia, Zhongjun; Kim, Sang Yoon; Kerckhof, Frederiek-Maarten; Boon, Nico; Bodelier, Paul L E

    2016-01-01

    Microbial interaction is an integral component of microbial ecology studies, yet the role, extent, and relevance of microbial interaction in community functioning remains unclear, particularly in the context of global biogeochemical cycles. While many studies have shed light on the physico-chemical cues affecting specific processes, (micro)biotic controls and interactions potentially steering microbial communities leading to altered functioning are less known. Yet, recent accumulating evidence suggests that the concerted actions of a community can be significantly different from the combined effects of individual microorganisms, giving rise to emergent properties. Here, we exemplify the importance of microbial interaction for ecosystem processes by analysis of a reasonably well-understood microbial guild, namely, aerobic methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB). We reviewed the literature which provided compelling evidence for the relevance of microbial interaction in modulating methane oxidation. Support for microbial associations within methane-fed communities is sought by a re-analysis of literature data derived from stable isotope probing studies of various complex environmental settings. Putative positive interactions between active MOB and other microbes were assessed by a correlation network-based analysis with datasets covering diverse environments where closely interacting members of a consortium can potentially alter the methane oxidation activity. Although, methanotrophy is used as a model system, the fundamentals of our postulations may be applicable to other microbial guilds mediating other biogeochemical processes.

  12. Surface-atmosphere interactions on Titan compared with those on the pre-biotic Earth.

    PubMed

    Lunine, J I; McKay, C P

    1995-03-01

    The surface and atmosphere of Titan constitute a system which is potentially as complex as that of the Earth, with the possibility of precipitation, surface erosion due to liquids, chemistry in large surface or subsurface hydrocarbon reservoirs, surface expressions of internal activity, and occasional major impacts leading to crustal melting. While none of the above have been observed as yet, the composition, density and thermal properties of Titan's atmosphere make it uniquely suited in the outer solar system as a place where such processes may occur. The one attribute of the Earth not expected on Titan is biological activity, which has had a profound effect on the evolution of the Earth's surface-atmosphere system. The earliest environment of Titan could have been warm enough for liquid ammonia-water solutions to exist on or near surface; pre-biotic organic processes may have taken place in such an environment. After a few hundred million years surface ammonia-water would have disappeared. Therefore, study of Titan through the Cassini-Huygens mission, planned for launch in 1997, primarily affords the opportunity to understand planet-wide surface-atmosphere interactions in the presence of fluids but in the absence of life. More speculative is the possibility that endogenic and exogenic heating continue to provide short-lived environments on Titan wherein pre-biotic organic processes in the presence of water happen. PMID:11539243

  13. Surface-atmosphere interactions on Titan compared with those on the pre-biotic Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lunine, J. I.; Mckay, C. P.

    1995-01-01

    The surface and atmosphere of Titan constitute a system which is potentially as complex as that of the Earth, with the possibility of precipitation, surface erosion due to liquids, chemistry in large surface or subsurface hydrocarbon resevoirs, surface expressions of internal activity, and occasional major impacts leading to crustal melting. While none of the above have been observed as yet, the composition, density and thermal properties of Titan's atmosphere make it uniquely suited in the outer solar system as a place where such processes may occur. The one attribute of the Earth not expected on Titan is biological activity, which has had a profound effect on the evolution of the Earth's surface-atmosphere system. The earliest environment of Titan could have been warm enough for liquid ammonia-water solutions to exist on or near surface; pre-biotic organic processes may have taken place in such an environment. After a few hundred million years surface ammonia-water would have disappeard. Therefore, study of Titan through Cassini/Huygens mission, planned for launch in 1997, primarily affords the opportunity to understand planet-side surface-atmophsre interactions in the presence of fluids but in the absence of life. More speculative is the possibility that endogenic and exogenic heating continue to provide short-lived environments on Titan wherein pre-biotic organic processes in the presence of water happen.

  14. Biotic interactions as determinants of ecosystem structure in prairie wetlands: An example using fish

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hanson, M.A.; Zimmer, K.D.; Butler, Malcolm G.; Tangen, B.A.; Herwig, B.R.; Euliss, N.H.

    2005-01-01

    Wetlands are abundant throughout the prairie pothole region (PPR), an area comprising over 700,000 km2 in central North America. Prairie wetland communities are strongly influenced by regional physiography and climate, resulting in extreme spatial and temporal variability relative to other aquatic ecosystems. Given the strong influence of abiotic factors, PPR wetland communities have been viewed traditionally in the context of their responses to chemical and physical features of landscape and climate. Although useful, this physical-chemical paradigm may fail to account for ecosystem variability due to biotic influences, particularly those associated with presence of fish. Spatial and temporal variability in fish populations, in turn, may reflect anthropogenic activities, landscape characteristics, and climate-mediated effects on water levels, surface connectivity, and hydroperiods. We reviewed studies assessing influences of fish on prairie wetlands and examined precipitation patterns and biological data from PPR wetlands in east-central North Dakota and western Minnesota, USA. Our review and analysis indicated that native fish influence many characteristics of permanently flooded prairie wetlands, including water clarity and abundance of phytoplankton, submerged macrophytes, and aquatic invertebrates. We suggest that ecologists and managers will benefit from conceptual paradigms that better meld biotic interactions associated with fish, and perhaps other organisms, with chemical and physical influences on prairie wetland communities. ?? 2005, The Society of Wetland Scientists.

  15. Surface-atmosphere interactions on Titan compared with those on the pre-biotic Earth.

    PubMed

    Lunine, J I; McKay, C P

    1995-03-01

    The surface and atmosphere of Titan constitute a system which is potentially as complex as that of the Earth, with the possibility of precipitation, surface erosion due to liquids, chemistry in large surface or subsurface hydrocarbon reservoirs, surface expressions of internal activity, and occasional major impacts leading to crustal melting. While none of the above have been observed as yet, the composition, density and thermal properties of Titan's atmosphere make it uniquely suited in the outer solar system as a place where such processes may occur. The one attribute of the Earth not expected on Titan is biological activity, which has had a profound effect on the evolution of the Earth's surface-atmosphere system. The earliest environment of Titan could have been warm enough for liquid ammonia-water solutions to exist on or near surface; pre-biotic organic processes may have taken place in such an environment. After a few hundred million years surface ammonia-water would have disappeared. Therefore, study of Titan through the Cassini-Huygens mission, planned for launch in 1997, primarily affords the opportunity to understand planet-wide surface-atmosphere interactions in the presence of fluids but in the absence of life. More speculative is the possibility that endogenic and exogenic heating continue to provide short-lived environments on Titan wherein pre-biotic organic processes in the presence of water happen.

  16. No species is an island: testing the effects of biotic interactions on models of avian niche occupation.

    PubMed

    Morelli, Federico; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2015-02-01

    Traditionally, the niche of a species is described as a hypothetical 3D space, constituted by well-known biotic interactions (e.g. predation, competition, trophic relationships, resource-consumer interactions, etc.) and various abiotic environmental factors. Species distribution models (SDMs), also called "niche models" and often used to predict wildlife distribution at landscape scale, are typically constructed using abiotic factors with biotic interactions generally been ignored. Here, we compared the goodness of fit of SDMs for red-backed shrike Lanius collurio in farmlands of Western Poland, using both the classical approach (modeled only on environmental variables) and the approach which included also other potentially associated bird species. The potential associations among species were derived from the relevant ecological literature and by a correlation matrix of occurrences. Our findings highlight the importance of including heterospecific interactions in improving our understanding of niche occupation for bird species. We suggest that suite of measures currently used to quantify realized species niches could be improved by also considering the occurrence of certain associated species. Then, an hypothetical "species 1" can use the occurrence of a successfully established individual of "species 2" as indicator or "trace" of the location of available suitable habitat to breed. We hypothesize this kind of biotic interaction as the "heterospecific trace effect" (HTE): an interaction based on the availability and use of "public information" provided by individuals from different species. Finally, we discuss about the incomes of biotic interactions for enhancing the predictive capacities on species distribution models.

  17. Evolution in agriculture: the application of evolutionary approaches to the management of biotic interactions in agro-ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Thrall, Peter H; Oakeshott, John G; Fitt, Gary; Southerton, Simon; Burdon, Jeremy J; Sheppard, Andy; Russell, Robyn J; Zalucki, Myron; Heino, Mikko; Ford Denison, R

    2011-01-01

    Anthropogenic impacts increasingly drive ecological and evolutionary processes at many spatio-temporal scales, demanding greater capacity to predict and manage their consequences. This is particularly true for agro-ecosystems, which not only comprise a significant proportion of land use, but which also involve conflicting imperatives to expand or intensify production while simultaneously reducing environmental impacts. These imperatives reinforce the likelihood of further major changes in agriculture over the next 30–40 years. Key transformations include genetic technologies as well as changes in land use. The use of evolutionary principles is not new in agriculture (e.g. crop breeding, domestication of animals, management of selection for pest resistance), but given land-use trends and other transformative processes in production landscapes, ecological and evolutionary research in agro-ecosystems must consider such issues in a broader systems context. Here, we focus on biotic interactions involving pests and pathogens as exemplars of situations where integration of agronomic, ecological and evolutionary perspectives has practical value. Although their presence in agro-ecosystems may be new, many traits involved in these associations evolved in natural settings. We advocate the use of predictive frameworks based on evolutionary models as pre-emptive management tools and identify some specific research opportunities to facilitate this. We conclude with a brief discussion of multidisciplinary approaches in applied evolutionary problems. PMID:25567968

  18. The interactive biotic and abiotic processes of DDT transformation under dissimilatory iron-reducing conditions.

    PubMed

    Jin, Xin; Wang, Fang; Gu, Chenggang; Yang, Xinglun; Kengara, Fredrick O; Bian, Yongrong; Song, Yang; Jiang, Xin

    2015-11-01

    The objective of the study was to elucidate the biotic and abiotic processes under dissimilatory iron reducing conditions involved in reductive dechlorination and iron reduction. DDT transformation was investigated in cultures of Shewanella putrefaciens 200 with/without α-FeOOH. A modified first-order kinetics model was developed and described DDT transformation well. Both the α-FeOOH reduction rate and the dechlorination rate of DDT were positively correlated to the biomass. Addition of α-FeOOH enhanced reductive dechlorination of DDT by favoring the cell survival and generating Fe(II) which was absorbed on the surface of bacteria and iron oxide. 92% of the absorbed Fe(II) was Na-acetate (1M) extractable. However, α-FeOOH also played a negative role of competing for electrons as reflected by the dechlorination rate of DDT was inhibited when increasing the α-FeOOH from 1 g L(-1) to 5 g L(-1). DDT was measured to be toxic to S. putrefaciens 200. The metabolites DDD, DDE and DDMU were recalcitrant to S. putrefaciens 200. The results suggested that iron oxide was not the key factor to promote the dissipation of DDX (DDT and the metabolites), whereas the one-electron reduction potential (E1) of certain organochlorines is the main factor and that the E1 higher than the threshold of the reductive driving forces of DIRB probably ensures the occur of reductive dechlorination.

  19. Untangling positive and negative biotic interactions: views from above and below ground in a forest ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Montgomery, Rebecca A; Reich, Peter B; Palik, Brian J

    2010-12-01

    In ecological communities, the outcome of plant-plant interactions represents the net effect of positive and negative interactions occurring above and below ground. Untangling these complex relationships can provide a better understanding of mechanisms that underlie plant-plant interactions and enhance our ability to predict population, community, and ecosystem effects of biotic interactions. In forested ecosystems, tree seedlings interact with established vegetation, but the mechanisms and outcomes of these interactions are not well understood. To explore such mechanisms, we manipulated above- and belowground interactions among tree seedlings, shrubs, and trees and monitored seedling survival and growth of six species (Pinus banksiana, Betula papyrifera, P. resinosa, Quercus rubra, P. strobus, and Acer rubrum) in mature pine-dominated forest in northern Minnesota, USA. The forest had a moderately open canopy and sandy soils. Understory manipulations were implemented in the forest interior and in large gaps and included removal of shrubs (no interactions), tieback of shrubs (belowground), removal of shrubs with addition of shade (aboveground), and unmanipulated shrubs (both below- and aboveground). We found that shrubs either suppressed or facilitated seedling survival and growth depending on the seedling species, source of interaction (e.g., above- or belowground), and ecological context (e.g., gap or forest interior). In general, shrubs strongly influenced survival and growth in gaps, with more modest effects in the forest interior. In gaps, the presence of shrub roots markedly decreased seedling growth and survival, supporting the idea that belowground competition may be more important in dry, nutrient-poor sites. Shrub shade effects were neutral for three species and facilitative for the other three. Facilitation was more likely for shade-tolerant species. In the forest interior, shrub shade negatively affected seedling survival for the most shade

  20. Causes of variation in biotic interaction strength and phenotypic selection along an altitudinal gradient.

    PubMed

    Mezquida, Eduardo T; Benkman, Craig W

    2014-06-01

    Understanding the causes of variation in biotic interaction strength and phenotypic selection remains one of the outstanding goals of evolutionary ecology. Here we examine the variation in strength of interactions between two seed predators, common crossbills (Loxia curvirostra) and European red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris), and mountain pine (Pinus uncinata) at and below tree limit in the Pyrenees, and how this translates into phenotypic selection. Seed predation by crossbills increased whereas seed predation by squirrels decreased with increasing elevation and as the canopy became more open. Overall, seed predation by crossbills averaged about twice that by squirrels, and the intensity of selection exerted by crossbills averaged between 2.6 and 7.5 times greater than by squirrels. The higher levels of seed predation by crossbills than squirrels were related to the relatively open nature of most of the forests, and the higher intensity of selection exerted by crossbills resulted from their higher levels of seed predation. However, most of the differences in selection intensity between crossbills and squirrels were the result of habitat features having a greater effect on the foraging behavior of squirrels than of crossbills, causing selection to be much lower for squirrels than for crossbills. PMID:24593660

  1. Soil biotic interactions and climate change: consequences for carbon cycle feedbacks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bardgett, Richard

    2015-04-01

    There is currently much interest in understanding the biological mechanisms that regulate carbon exchanges between land and atmosphere, and how these exchanges respond to climate change. Climate change impacts on biogeochemical cycles via a variety of mechanisms; but there is now mounting evidence that biotic interactions between plants and diverse soil communities play a major role in determining carbon cycle responses to climate change across a range of spatial and temporal scales. Over seasonal and annual timescales, climate change impacts the growth and physiology of plants and their roots, with knock on effects for the activity of soil biota and carbon transformations; in the longer term, over tens to hundreds of years, climate change can cause shifts in community composition, and species range expansions and contractions, with cascading impacts on belowground communities and carbon cycling in soil. These responses have local and, potentially, global scale implications for carbon cycle feedbacks. In this talk, I will draw on recent research to illustrate this hierarchy of plant-soil feedback responses to climate change, the mechanisms involved, and consequences for the carbon cycle at local and global scales. I will also discuss how such knowledge on plant-soil interactions might be harnessed to inform management strategies for soil carbon sequestration and mitigation of climate change, and identify some major research challenges for the future.

  2. Facilitative plant interactions and climate simultaneously drive alpine plant diversity.

    PubMed

    Cavieres, Lohengrin A; Brooker, Rob W; Butterfield, Bradley J; Cook, Bradley J; Kikvidze, Zaal; Lortie, Christopher J; Michalet, Richard; Pugnaire, Francisco I; Schöb, Christian; Xiao, Sa; Anthelme, Fabien; Björk, Robert G; Dickinson, Katharine J M; Cranston, Brittany H; Gavilán, Rosario; Gutiérrez-Girón, Alba; Kanka, Robert; Maalouf, Jean-Paul; Mark, Alan F; Noroozi, Jalil; Parajuli, Rabindra; Phoenix, Gareth K; Reid, Anya M; Ridenour, Wendy M; Rixen, Christian; Wipf, Sonja; Zhao, Liang; Escudero, Adrián; Zaitchik, Benjamin F; Lingua, Emanuele; Aschehoug, Erik T; Callaway, Ragan M

    2014-02-01

    Interactions among species determine local-scale diversity, but local interactions are thought to have minor effects at larger scales. However, quantitative comparisons of the importance of biotic interactions relative to other drivers are rarely made at larger scales. Using a data set spanning 78 sites and five continents, we assessed the relative importance of biotic interactions and climate in determining plant diversity in alpine ecosystems dominated by nurse-plant cushion species. Climate variables related with water balance showed the highest correlation with richness at the global scale. Strikingly, although the effect of cushion species on diversity was lower than that of climate, its contribution was still substantial. In particular, cushion species enhanced species richness more in systems with inherently impoverished local diversity. Nurse species appear to act as a 'safety net' sustaining diversity under harsh conditions, demonstrating that climate and species interactions should be integrated when predicting future biodiversity effects of climate change.

  3. Plant microRNAs: key regulators of root architecture and biotic interactions.

    PubMed

    Couzigou, Jean-Malo; Combier, Jean-Philippe

    2016-10-01

    Contents 22 I. 22 II. 24 III. 25 IV. 27 V. 29 VI. 10 31 References 32 SUMMARY: Plants have evolved a remarkable faculty of adaptation to deal with various and changing environmental conditions. In this context, the roots have taken over nutritional aspects and the root system architecture can be modulated in response to nutrient availability or biotic interactions with soil microorganisms. This adaptability requires a fine tuning of gene expression. Indeed, root specification and development are highly complex processes requiring gene regulatory networks involved in hormonal regulations and cell identity. Among the different molecular partners governing root development, microRNAs (miRNAs) are key players for the fast regulation of gene expression. miRNAs are small RNAs involved in most developmental processes and are required for the normal growth of organisms, by the negative regulation of key genes, such as transcription factors and hormone receptors. Here, we review the known roles of miRNAs in root specification and development, from the embryonic roots to the establishment of root symbioses, highlighting the major roles of miRNAs in these processes. PMID:27292927

  4. No species is an island: testing the effects of biotic interactions on models of avian niche occupation

    PubMed Central

    Morelli, Federico; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2015-01-01

    Traditionally, the niche of a species is described as a hypothetical 3D space, constituted by well-known biotic interactions (e.g. predation, competition, trophic relationships, resource–consumer interactions, etc.) and various abiotic environmental factors. Species distribution models (SDMs), also called “niche models” and often used to predict wildlife distribution at landscape scale, are typically constructed using abiotic factors with biotic interactions generally been ignored. Here, we compared the goodness of fit of SDMs for red-backed shrike Lanius collurio in farmlands of Western Poland, using both the classical approach (modeled only on environmental variables) and the approach which included also other potentially associated bird species. The potential associations among species were derived from the relevant ecological literature and by a correlation matrix of occurrences. Our findings highlight the importance of including heterospecific interactions in improving our understanding of niche occupation for bird species. We suggest that suite of measures currently used to quantify realized species niches could be improved by also considering the occurrence of certain associated species. Then, an hypothetical “species 1” can use the occurrence of a successfully established individual of “species 2” as indicator or “trace” of the location of available suitable habitat to breed. We hypothesize this kind of biotic interaction as the “heterospecific trace effect” (HTE): an interaction based on the availability and use of “public information” provided by individuals from different species. Finally, we discuss about the incomes of biotic interactions for enhancing the predictive capacities on species distribution models. PMID:25691996

  5. Do biotic interactions modulate ecosystem functioning along stress gradients? Insights from semi-arid plant and biological soil crust communities

    PubMed Central

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Bowker, Matthew A.; Escolar, Cristina; Puche, María D.; Soliveres, Santiago; Maltez-Mouro, Sara; García-Palacios, Pablo; Castillo-Monroy, Andrea P.; Martínez, Isabel; Escudero, Adrián

    2010-01-01

    Climate change will exacerbate the degree of abiotic stress experienced by semi-arid ecosystems. While abiotic stress profoundly affects biotic interactions, their potential role as modulators of ecosystem responses to climate change is largely unknown. Using plants and biological soil crusts, we tested the relative importance of facilitative–competitive interactions and other community attributes (cover, species richness and species evenness) as drivers of ecosystem functioning along stress gradients in semi-arid Mediterranean ecosystems. Biotic interactions shifted from facilitation to competition along stress gradients driven by water availability and temperature. These changes were, however, dependent on the spatial scale and the community considered. We found little evidence to suggest that biotic interactions are a major direct influence upon indicators of ecosystem functioning (soil respiration, organic carbon, water-holding capacity, compaction and the activity of enzymes related to the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles) along stress gradients. However, attributes such as cover and species richness showed a direct effect on ecosystem functioning. Our results do not agree with predictions emphasizing that the importance of plant–plant interactions will be increased under climate change in dry environments, and indicate that reductions in the cover of plant and biological soil crust communities will negatively impact ecosystems under future climatic conditions. PMID:20513714

  6. Adding Biotic Interactions into Paleodistribution Models: A Host-Cleptoparasite Complex of Neotropical Orchid Bees

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Daniel Paiva; Varela, Sara; Nemésio, André; De Marco, Paulo

    2015-01-01

    Orchid bees compose an exclusive Neotropical pollinators group, with bright body coloration. Several of those species build their own nests, while others are reported as nest cleptoparasites. Here, the objective was to evaluate whether the inclusion of a strong biotic interaction, such as the presence of a host species, improved the ability of species distribution models (SDMs) to predict the geographic range of the cleptoparasite species. The target species were Aglae caerulea and its host species Eulaema nigrita. Additionally, since A. caerulea is more frequently found in the Amazon rather than the Cerrado areas, a secondary objective was to evaluate whether this species is increasing or decreasing its distribution given South American past and current climatic conditions. SDMs methods (Maxent and Bioclim), in addition with current and past South American climatic conditions, as well as the occurrences for A. caerulea and E. nigrita were used to generate the distribution models. The distribution of A. caerulea was generated with and without the inclusion of the distribution of E. nigrita as a predictor variable. The results indicate A. caerulea was barely affected by past climatic conditions and the populations from the Cerrado savanna could be at least 21,000 years old (the last glacial maximum), as well as the Amazonian ones. On the other hand, in this study, the inclusion of the host-cleptoparasite interaction complex did not statistically improve the quality of the produced models, which means that the geographic range of this cleptoparasite species is mainly constrained by climate and not by the presence of the host species. Nonetheless, this could also be caused by unknown complexes of other Euglossini hosts with A. caerulea, which still are still needed to be described by science. PMID:26069956

  7. Adding Biotic Interactions into Paleodistribution Models: A Host-Cleptoparasite Complex of Neotropical Orchid Bees.

    PubMed

    Silva, Daniel Paiva; Varela, Sara; Nemésio, André; De Marco, Paulo

    2015-01-01

    Orchid bees compose an exclusive Neotropical pollinators group, with bright body coloration. Several of those species build their own nests, while others are reported as nest cleptoparasites. Here, the objective was to evaluate whether the inclusion of a strong biotic interaction, such as the presence of a host species, improved the ability of species distribution models (SDMs) to predict the geographic range of the cleptoparasite species. The target species were Aglae caerulea and its host species Eulaema nigrita. Additionally, since A. caerulea is more frequently found in the Amazon rather than the Cerrado areas, a secondary objective was to evaluate whether this species is increasing or decreasing its distribution given South American past and current climatic conditions. SDMs methods (Maxent and Bioclim), in addition with current and past South American climatic conditions, as well as the occurrences for A. caerulea and E. nigrita were used to generate the distribution models. The distribution of A. caerulea was generated with and without the inclusion of the distribution of E. nigrita as a predictor variable. The results indicate A. caerulea was barely affected by past climatic conditions and the populations from the Cerrado savanna could be at least 21,000 years old (the last glacial maximum), as well as the Amazonian ones. On the other hand, in this study, the inclusion of the host-cleptoparasite interaction complex did not statistically improve the quality of the produced models, which means that the geographic range of this cleptoparasite species is mainly constrained by climate and not by the presence of the host species. Nonetheless, this could also be caused by unknown complexes of other Euglossini hosts with A. caerulea, which still are still needed to be described by science. PMID:26069956

  8. Aerobic bacterial catabolism of persistent organic pollutants - potential impact of biotic and abiotic interaction.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Jong-Rok; Murugesan, Kumarasamy; Baldrian, Petr; Schmidt, Stefan; Chang, Yoon-Seok

    2016-04-01

    Several aerobic bacteria possess unique catabolic pathways enabling them to degrade persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/furans (PCDD/Fs), polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The catabolic activity of aerobic bacteria employed for removal of POPs in the environment may be modulated by several biotic (i.e. fungi, plants, algae, earthworms, and other bacteria) and abiotic (i.e. zero-valent iron, advanced oxidation, and electricity) agents. This review describes the basic biochemistry of the aerobic bacterial catabolism of selected POPs and discusses how biotic and abiotic agents enhance or inhibit the process. Solutions allowing biotic and abiotic agents to exert physical and chemical assistance to aerobic bacterial catabolism of POPs are also discussed.

  9. Combined effects of climate and biotic interactions on the elevational range of a phytophagous insect.

    PubMed

    Merrill, Richard M; Gutiérrez, David; Lewis, Owen T; Gutiérrez, Javier; Díez, Sonia B; Wilson, Robert J

    2008-01-01

    1. The ranges of many species have expanded in cool regions but contracted at warm margins in response to recent climate warming, but the mechanisms behind such changes remain unclear. Particular debate concerns the roles of direct climatic limitation vs. the effects of interacting species in explaining the location of low latitude or low elevation range margins. 2. The mountains of the Sierra de Guadarrama (central Spain) include both cool and warm range margins for the black-veined white butterfly, Aporia crataegi, which has disappeared from low elevations since the 1970s without colonizing the highest elevations. 3. We found that the current upper elevation limit to A. crataegi's distribution coincided closely with that of its host plants, but that the species was absent from elevations below 900 m, even where host plants were present. The density of A. crataegi per host plant increased with elevation, but overall abundance of the species declined at high elevations where host plants were rare. 4. The flight period of A. crataegi was later at higher elevations, meaning that butterflies in higher populations flew at hotter times of year; nevertheless, daytime temperatures for the month of peak flight decreased by 6.2 degrees C per 1 km increase in elevation. 5. At higher elevations A. crataegi eggs were laid on the south side of host plants (expected to correspond to hotter microclimates), whereas at lower sites the (cooler) north side of plants was selected. Field transplant experiments showed that egg survival increased with elevation. 6. Climatic limitation is the most likely explanation for the low elevation range margin of A. crataegi, whereas the absence of host plants from high elevations sets the upper limit. This contrasts with the frequent assumption that biotic interactions typically determine warm range margins, and thermal limitation cool margins. 7. Studies that have modelled distribution changes in response to climate change may have underestimated

  10. Species Introductions and Their Cascading Impacts on Biotic Interactions in desert riparian ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hultine, Kevin R; Bean, Dan W; Dudley, Tom L; Gehring, Catherine A

    2015-10-01

    Desert riparian ecosystems of North America are hotspots of biodiversity that support many sensitive species, and are in a region experiencing some of the highest rates of climatic alteration in North America. Fremont cottonwood, Populus fremontii, is a foundation tree species of this critical habitat, but it is threatened by global warming and regional drying, and by a non-native tree/shrub, Tamarix spp., all of which can disrupt the mutualism between P. fremontii and its beneficial mycorrhizal fungal communities. Specialist herbivorous leaf beetles (Diorhabda spp.) introduced for biocontrol of Tamarix are altering the relationship between this shrub and its environment. Repeated episodic feeding on Tamarix foliage by Diorhabda results in varying rates of dieback and mortality, depending on genetic variation in allocation of resources, growing conditions, and phenological synchrony between herbivore and host plant. In this article, we review the complex interaction between climatic change and species introductions and their combined impacts on P. fremontii and their associated communities. We anticipate that (1) certain genotypes of P. fremontii will respond more favorably to the presence of Tamarix and to climatic change due to varying selection pressures to cope with competition and stress; (2) the ongoing evolution of Diorhabda's life cycle timing will continue to facilitate its expansion in North America, and will over time enhance herbivore impact to Tamarix; (3) defoliation by Diorhabda will reduce the negative impact of Tamarix on P. fremontii associations with mycorrhizal fungi; and (4) spatial variability in climate and climatic change will modify the capacity for Tamarix to survive episodic defoliation by Diorhabda, thereby altering the relationship between Tamarix and P. fremontii, and its associated mycorrhizal fungal communities. Given the complex biotic/abiotic interactions outlined in this review, conservation biologists and riparian ecosystem

  11. Sewage Decomposition in Ambient Water: Influence of Solarradiation and Biotic Interactions on Microorganism Communities and Bacteroidales Real-Time Quantitative PCR Measurements - poster/abstract

    EPA Science Inventory

    AIMS: Sewage and ambient water both consist of a highly complex array of bacteria and eukaryotic microbes. When these communities are mixed, solar radiation and biotic interactions (predation and competition) can influence pathogen decay based on experiments targeting indicator ...

  12. SEWAGE DECOMPOSITION IN AMBIENT WATER: INFLUENCE OF SOLARRADIATION AND BIOTIC INTERACTIONS ON MICROORGANISM COMMUNITIES AND BACTEROIDALES REAL-TIME QUANTITATIVE PCR MEASUREMENTS - poster

    EPA Science Inventory

    AIMS: Sewage and ambient water both consist of a highly complex array of bacteria and eukaryotic microbes. When these communities are mixed, solar radiation and biotic interactions (predation and competition) can influence pathogen decay based on experiments targeting indicator ...

  13. ALCOHOL AND DISTRACTION INTERACT TO IMPAIR DRIVING PERFORMANCE

    PubMed Central

    Harrison, Emily L. R.; Fillmore, Mark T.

    2011-01-01

    Background Recognition of the risks associated with alcohol intoxication and driver distraction has led to a wealth of simulated driving research aimed at studying the adverse effects of each of these factors. Research on driving has moved beyond the individual, separate examination of these factors to the examination of potential interactions between alcohol intoxication and driver distraction. In many driving situations, distractions are commonplace and might have little or no disruptive influence on primary driving functions. Yet, such distractions might become disruptive to a driver who is intoxicated. Methods The present study examined the interactive impairing effects of alcohol intoxication and driver distraction on simulated driving performance in 40 young adult drivers using a divided attention task as a distracter activity. The interactive influence of alcohol and distraction was tested by having drivers perform the driving task under four different conditions: 0.65 g/kg alcohol; 0.65 g/kg alcohol + divided attention; placebo; and placebo + divided attention. Results As hypothesized, divided attention had no impairing effect on driving performance in sober drivers. However, under alcohol, divided attention exacerbated the impairing effects of alcohol on driving precision. Conclusions Alcohol and distraction continue to be appropriate targets for research into ways to reduce the rates of driving-related fatalities and injuries. Greater consideration of how alcohol and distraction interact to impair aspects of driving performance can further efforts to create prevention and intervention measures to protect drivers, particularly young adults. PMID:21277119

  14. The interactive effects of simultaneous biotic and abiotic stresses on plants: mechanistic understanding from drought and pathogen combination.

    PubMed

    Ramegowda, Venkategowda; Senthil-Kumar, Muthappa

    2015-03-15

    In nature, plants are simultaneously exposed to a combination of biotic and abiotic stresses that limit crop yields. Only recently, researchers have started understanding the molecular basis of combined biotic and abiotic stress interactions. Evidences suggest that under combined stress plants exhibit tailored physiological and molecular responses, in addition to several shared responses as part of their stress tolerance strategy. These tailored responses are suggested to occur only in plants exposed to simultaneous stresses and this information cannot be inferred from individual stress studies. In this review article, we provide update on the responses of plants to simultaneous biotic and abiotic stresses, in particular drought and pathogen. Simultaneous occurrence of drought and pathogen during plant growth provokes complex pathways controlled by different signaling events resulting in positive or negative impact of one stress over the other. Here, we summarize the effect of combined drought and pathogen infection on plants and highlight the tailored strategies adapted by plants. Besides, we enumerate the evidences from pathogen derived elicitors and ABA response studies for understanding simultaneous drought and pathogen tolerance.

  15. Process-Based Species Pools Reveal the Hidden Signature of Biotic Interactions Amid the Influence of Temperature Filtering.

    PubMed

    Lessard, Jean-Philippe; Weinstein, Ben G; Borregaard, Michael K; Marske, Katharine A; Martin, Danny R; McGuire, Jimmy A; Parra, Juan L; Rahbek, Carsten; Graham, Catherine H

    2016-01-01

    A persistent challenge in ecology is to tease apart the influence of multiple processes acting simultaneously and interacting in complex ways to shape the structure of species assemblages. We implement a heuristic approach that relies on explicitly defining species pools and permits assessment of the relative influence of the main processes thought to shape assemblage structure: environmental filtering, dispersal limitations, and biotic interactions. We illustrate our approach using data on the assemblage composition and geographic distribution of hummingbirds, a comprehensive phylogeny and morphological traits. The implementation of several process-based species pool definitions in null models suggests that temperature-but not precipitation or dispersal limitation-acts as the main regional filter of assemblage structure. Incorporating this environmental filter directly into the definition of assemblage-specific species pools revealed an otherwise hidden pattern of phylogenetic evenness, indicating that biotic interactions might further influence hummingbird assemblage structure. Such hidden patterns of assemblage structure call for a reexamination of a multitude of phylogenetic- and trait-based studies that did not explicitly consider potentially important processes in their definition of the species pool. Our heuristic approach provides a transparent way to explore patterns and refine interpretations of the underlying causes of assemblage structure. PMID:27277404

  16. Physical Stress, Not Biotic Interactions, Preclude an Invasive Grass from Establishing in Forb-Dominated Salt Marshes

    PubMed Central

    He, Qiang; Cui, Baoshan; An, Yuan

    2012-01-01

    Background Biological invasions have become the focus of considerable concern and ecological research, yet the relative importance of abiotic and biotic factors in controlling the invasibility of habitats to exotic species is not well understood. Spartina species are highly invasive plants in coastal wetlands; however, studies on the factors that control the success or failure of Spartina invasions across multiple habitat types are rare and inconclusive. Methodology and Principal Findings We examined the roles of physical stress and plant interactions in mediating the establishment of the smooth cordgrass, Spartina alterniflora, in a variety of coastal habitats in northern China. Field transplant experiments showed that cordgrass can invade mudflats and low estuarine marshes with low salinity and frequent flooding, but cannot survive in salt marshes and high estuarine marshes with hypersaline soils and infrequent flooding. The dominant native plant Suaeda salsa had neither competitive nor facilitative effects on cordgrass. A common garden experiment revealed that cordgrass performed significantly better when flooded every other day than when flooded weekly. These results suggest that physical stress rather than plant interactions limits cordgrass invasions in northern China. Conclusions and Significance We conclude that Spartina invasions are likely to be constrained to tidal flats and low estuarine marshes in the Yellow River Delta. Due to harsh physical conditions, salt marshes and high estuarine marshes are unlikely to be invaded. These findings have implications for understanding Spartina invasions in northern China and on other coasts with similar biotic and abiotic environments. PMID:22432003

  17. Eco-evolutionary feedbacks drive species interactions

    PubMed Central

    Andrade-Domínguez, Andrés; Salazar, Emmanuel; del Carmen Vargas-Lagunas, María; Kolter, Roberto; Encarnación, Sergio

    2014-01-01

    In the biosphere, many species live in close proximity and can thus interact in many different ways. Such interactions are dynamic and fall along a continuum between antagonism and cooperation. Because interspecies interactions are the key to understanding biological communities, it is important to know how species interactions arise and evolve. Here, we show that the feedback between ecological and evolutionary processes has a fundamental role in the emergence and dynamics of species interaction. Using a two-species artificial community, we demonstrate that ecological processes and rapid evolution interact to influence the dynamics of the symbiosis between a eukaryote (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and a bacterium (Rhizobium etli). The simplicity of our experimental design enables an explicit statement of causality. The niche-constructing activities of the fungus were the key ecological process: it allowed the establishment of a commensal relationship that switched to ammensalism and provided the selective conditions necessary for the adaptive evolution of the bacteria. In this latter state, the bacterial population radiates into more than five genotypes that vary with respect to nutrient transport, metabolic strategies and global regulation. Evolutionary diversification of the bacterial populations has strong effects on the community; the nature of interaction subsequently switches from ammensalism to antagonism where bacteria promote yeast extinction. Our results demonstrate the importance of the evolution-to-ecology pathway in the persistence of interactions and the stability of communities. Thus, eco-evolutionary dynamics have the potential to transform the structure and functioning of ecosystems. Our results suggest that these dynamics should be considered to improve our understanding of beneficial and detrimental host–microbe interactions. PMID:24304674

  18. Mechanosensory interactions drive collective behaviour in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Ramdya, Pavan; Lichocki, Pawel; Cruchet, Steeve; Frisch, Lukas; Tse, Winnie; Floreano, Dario; Benton, Richard

    2015-03-12

    Collective behaviour enhances environmental sensing and decision-making in groups of animals. Experimental and theoretical investigations of schooling fish, flocking birds and human crowds have demonstrated that simple interactions between individuals can explain emergent group dynamics. These findings indicate the existence of neural circuits that support distributed behaviours, but the molecular and cellular identities of relevant sensory pathways are unknown. Here we show that Drosophila melanogaster exhibits collective responses to an aversive odour: individual flies weakly avoid the stimulus, but groups show enhanced escape reactions. Using high-resolution behavioural tracking, computational simulations, genetic perturbations, neural silencing and optogenetic activation we demonstrate that this collective odour avoidance arises from cascades of appendage touch interactions between pairs of flies. Inter-fly touch sensing and collective behaviour require the activity of distal leg mechanosensory sensilla neurons and the mechanosensory channel NOMPC. Remarkably, through these inter-fly encounters, wild-type flies can elicit avoidance behaviour in mutant animals that cannot sense the odour--a basic form of communication. Our data highlight the unexpected importance of social context in the sensory responses of a solitary species and open the door to a neural-circuit-level understanding of collective behaviour in animal groups. PMID:25533959

  19. Interactive biotic and abiotic regulators of soil carbon cycling: evidence from controlled climate experiments on peatland and boreal soils.

    PubMed

    Briones, María Jesús I; McNamara, Niall P; Poskitt, Jan; Crow, Susan E; Ostle, Nicholas J

    2014-09-01

    Partially decomposed plant and animal remains have been accumulating in organic soils (i.e. >40% C content) for millennia, making them the largest terrestrial carbon store. There is growing concern that, in a warming world, soil biotic processing will accelerate and release greenhouse gases that further exacerbate climate change. However, the magnitude of this response remains uncertain as the constraints are abiotic, biotic and interactive. Here, we examined the influence of resource quality and biological activity on the temperature sensitivity of soil respiration under different soil moisture regimes. Organic soils were sampled from 13 boreal and peatland ecosystems located in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Finland and Sweden, representing a natural resource quality range of C, N and P. They were incubated at four temperatures (4, 10, 15 and 20 °C) at either 60% or 100% water holding capacity (WHC). Our results showed that chemical and biological properties play an important role in determining soil respiration responses to temperature and moisture changes. High soil C : P and C : N ratios were symptomatic of slow C turnover and long-term C accumulation. In boreal soils, low bacterial to fungal ratios were related to greater temperature sensitivity of respiration, which was amplified in drier conditions. This contrasted with peatland soils which were dominated by bacterial communities and enchytraeid grazing, resulting in a more rapid C turnover under warmer and wetter conditions. The unexpected acceleration of C mineralization under high moisture contents was possibly linked to the primarily role of fermented organic matter, instead of oxygen, in mediating microbial decomposition. We conclude that to improve C model simulations of soil respiration, a better resolution of the interactions occurring between climate, resource quality and the decomposer community will be required.

  20. The Genetics Underlying Natural Variation in the Biotic Interactions of Arabidopsis thaliana: The Challenges of Linking Evolutionary Genetics and Community Ecology.

    PubMed

    Roux, F; Bergelson, J

    2016-01-01

    In the context of global change, predicting the responses of plant communities in an ever-changing biotic environment calls for a multipronged approach at the interface of evolutionary genetics and community ecology. However, our understanding of the genetic basis of natural variation involved in mediating biotic interactions, and associated adaptive dynamics of focal plants in their natural communities, is still in its infancy. Here, we review the genetic and molecular bases of natural variation in the response to biotic interactions (viruses, bacteria, fungi, oomycetes, herbivores, and plants) in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana as well as the adaptive value of these bases. Among the 60 identified genes are a number that encode nucleotide-binding site leucine-rich repeat (NBS-LRR)-type proteins, consistent with early examples of plant defense genes. However, recent studies have revealed an extensive diversity in the molecular mechanisms of defense. Many types of genetic variants associate with phenotypic variation in biotic interactions, even among the genes of large effect that tend to be identified. In general, we found that (i) balancing selection rather than directional selection explains the observed patterns of genetic diversity within A. thaliana and (ii) the cost/benefit tradeoffs of adaptive alleles can be strongly dependent on both genomic and environmental contexts. Finally, because A. thaliana rarely interacts with only one biotic partner in nature, we highlight the benefit of exploring diffuse biotic interactions rather than tightly associated host-enemy pairs. This challenge would help to improve our understanding of coevolutionary quantitative genetics within the context of realistic community complexity. PMID:27282025

  1. Regulation of copper homeostasis and biotic interactions by microRNA 398b in common bean.

    PubMed

    Naya, Loreto; Paul, Sujay; Valdés-López, Oswaldo; Mendoza-Soto, Ana B; Nova-Franco, Bárbara; Sosa-Valencia, Guadalupe; Reyes, José L; Hernández, Georgina

    2014-01-01

    MicroRNAs are recognized as important post-transcriptional regulators in plants. Information about the roles of miRNAs in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), an agronomically important legume, is yet scant. The objective of this work was to functionally characterize the conserved miRNA: miR398b and its target Cu/Zn Superoxide Dismutase 1 (CSD1) in common bean. We experimentally validated a novel miR398 target: the stress up-regulated Nodulin 19 (Nod19). Expression analysis of miR398b and target genes -CSD1 and Nod19- in bean roots, nodules and leaves, indicated their role in copper (Cu) homeostasis. In bean plants under Cu toxicity miR398b was decreased and Nod19 and CSD1, that participates in reactive oxygen species (ROS) detoxification, were up-regulated. The opposite regulation was observed in Cu deficient bean plants; lower levels of CSD1 would allow Cu delivery to essential Cu-containing proteins. Composite common bean plants with transgenic roots over-expressing miR398 showed ca. 20-fold higher mature miR398b and almost negligible target transcript levels as well as increased anthocyanin content and expression of Cu-stress responsive genes, when subjected to Cu deficiency. The down-regulation of miR398b with the consequent up-regulation of its targets was observed in common bean roots during the oxidative burst resulting from short-time exposure to high Cu. A similar response occurred at early stage of bean roots inoculated with Rhizobium tropici, where an increase in ROS was observed. In addition, the miR398b down-regulation and an increase in CSD1 and Nod19 were observed in bean leaves challenged with Sclerotinia scleortiorum fungal pathogen. Transient over-expression of miR398b in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves infected with S. sclerotiorum resulted in enhanced fungal lesions. We conclude that the miR398b-mediated up-regulation of CSD and Nod19 is relevant for common bean plants to cope with oxidative stress generated in abiotic and biotic stresses.

  2. Regulation of Copper Homeostasis and Biotic Interactions by MicroRNA 398b in Common Bean

    PubMed Central

    Valdés-López, Oswaldo; Mendoza-Soto, Ana B.; Nova-Franco, Bárbara; Sosa-Valencia, Guadalupe; Reyes, José L.; Hernández, Georgina

    2014-01-01

    MicroRNAs are recognized as important post-transcriptional regulators in plants. Information about the roles of miRNAs in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), an agronomically important legume, is yet scant. The objective of this work was to functionally characterize the conserved miRNA: miR398b and its target Cu/Zn Superoxide Dismutase 1 (CSD1) in common bean. We experimentally validated a novel miR398 target: the stress up-regulated Nodulin 19 (Nod19). Expression analysis of miR398b and target genes –CSD1 and Nod19- in bean roots, nodules and leaves, indicated their role in copper (Cu) homeostasis. In bean plants under Cu toxicity miR398b was decreased and Nod19 and CSD1, that participates in reactive oxygen species (ROS) detoxification, were up-regulated. The opposite regulation was observed in Cu deficient bean plants; lower levels of CSD1 would allow Cu delivery to essential Cu-containing proteins. Composite common bean plants with transgenic roots over-expressing miR398 showed ca. 20-fold higher mature miR398b and almost negligible target transcript levels as well as increased anthocyanin content and expression of Cu-stress responsive genes, when subjected to Cu deficiency. The down-regulation of miR398b with the consequent up-regulation of its targets was observed in common bean roots during the oxidative burst resulting from short-time exposure to high Cu. A similar response occurred at early stage of bean roots inoculated with Rhizobium tropici, where an increase in ROS was observed. In addition, the miR398b down-regulation and an increase in CSD1 and Nod19 were observed in bean leaves challenged with Sclerotinia scleortiorum fungal pathogen. Transient over-expression of miR398b in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves infected with S. sclerotiorum resulted in enhanced fungal lesions. We conclude that the miR398b-mediated up-regulation of CSD and Nod19 is relevant for common bean plants to cope with oxidative stress generated in abiotic and biotic stresses. PMID

  3. Belowground abiotic and biotic heterogeneity shapes aboveground infection outcomes and spatial divergence in a host–parasite interaction

    PubMed Central

    Tack, Ayco J. M.; Laine, Anna-Liisa; Burdon, Jeremy J.; Bissett, Andrew; Thrall, Peter H.

    2015-01-01

    Summary We investigated the impact of belowground and aboveground environmental heterogeneity on the ecology and evolution of a natural plant–pathogen interaction.We combined field measurements and a reciprocal inoculation experiment to investigate the potential for natural variation in abiotic and biotic factors to mediate infection outcomes in the association between the fungal pathogen Melampsora lini and its wild flax host, Linum marginale, where pathogen strains and plant lines originated from two ecologically distinct habitat types that occur in close proximity (‘bog’ and ‘hill’).The two habitat types differed strikingly in soil moisture and soil microbiota. Infection outcomes for different host–pathogen combinations were strongly affected by the habitat of origin of the plant lines and pathogen strains, the soil environment and their interactions. Our results suggested that trade-offs play a key role in explaining the evolutionary divergence in interaction traits among the two habitat types.Overall, we demonstrate that soil heterogeneity, by mediating infection outcomes and evolutionary divergence, can contribute to the maintenance of variation in resistance and pathogenicity within a natural host-pathogen metapopulation. PMID:25872137

  4. At the interface: Biotic-abiotic interactions between substrates and a model epithlium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Covell, Alan D.

    The need for determining the fundamental mechanisms that define the interaction of biological systems with underlying materials, both natural and synthetic, is important as humanity endeavors to improve the quality of life of individuals through technology. Recently, much work has focused on the role of material properties on the behavior of cells. Most of these studies have concentrated their efforts on fibroblastic cell lines and more recently different kinds of stems cells. While these cells represent an important subset of cells in complex organisms, they do not manifest cell-cell interactions, a feature of epithelial cells, the most abundant cell type. Epithelial cells represent the largest cell type in the body and introduce an intrinsic complexity when researching the interaction of biological systems with materials. Adherens junctions (AJ) play a significant role in many signaling pathways, and therefore there is need to investigate how physical interactions with underlying substrates affect cell-cell interactions, such as the adhesion properties between cells, as well as how cell-substrate interactions influence the morphology and growth of epithelial cells. In this work I seek to determine the effects and identify mechanisms that epithelial cells use to "read" their environment. To do this I examined changes in cell behavior (growth, morphological, adhesion) of a model epithelium on substrates that have similar composition but significant differences in surface organization. In such a manner, I probed the limitations at which the nanoscale differences in substrate topography affect cellular behavior.

  5. Physiological and molecular implications of plant polyamine metabolism during biotic interactions

    PubMed Central

    Jiménez-Bremont, Juan F.; Marina, María; Guerrero-González, María de la Luz; Rossi, Franco R.; Sánchez-Rangel, Diana; Rodríguez-Kessler, Margarita; Ruiz, Oscar A.; Gárriz, Andrés

    2014-01-01

    During ontogeny, plants interact with a wide variety of microorganisms. The association with mutualistic microbes results in benefits for the plant. By contrast, pathogens may cause a remarkable impairment of plant growth and development. Both types of plant–microbe interactions provoke notable changes in the polyamine (PA) metabolism of the host and/or the microbe, being each interaction a complex and dynamic process. It has been well documented that the levels of free and conjugated PAs undergo profound changes in plant tissues during the interaction with microorganisms. In general, this is correlated with a precise and coordinated regulation of PA biosynthetic and catabolic enzymes. Interestingly, some evidence suggests that the relative importance of these metabolic pathways may depend on the nature of the microorganism, a concept that stems from the fact that these amines mediate the activation of plant defense mechanisms. This effect is mediated mostly through PA oxidation, even though part of the response is activated by non-oxidized PAs. In the last years, a great deal of effort has been devoted to profile plant gene expression following microorganism recognition. In addition, the phenotypes of transgenic and mutant plants in PA metabolism genes have been assessed. In this review, we integrate the current knowledge on this field and analyze the possible roles of these amines during the interaction of plants with microbes. PMID:24672533

  6. Epibiotic mutualists alter coral susceptibility and response to biotic disturbance through cascading trait-mediated indirect interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergsma, G. S.

    2012-06-01

    Biotic disturbances are important drivers of community structure, but interactions among community members can determine trajectories of response and recovery. On coral reefs in French Polynesia, epibiotic amphipods induce the formation of branch-like "fingers" on flat colonies of encrusting Montipora coral. The fingers form as coral encrusts the amphipods' tubes and lead to significant changes in colony morphology. I tested whether the induced morphological changes affect Montipora's susceptibility to predation by pincushion ( Culcita novaeguineae) and crown-of-thorns sea stars ( Acanthaster planci). Montipora with fingers were less likely to be attacked and more likely to survive attack than colonies without fingers. Furthermore, the presence of fingers altered A. planci prey preference. Sea stars preferred Montipora without fingers over other common coral genera, but preferred other genera when Montipora had fingers. Amphipods indirectly affected Montipora's resistance and resilience to predation, and the susceptibility of other coral genera to predation, through induced morphological changes. Such trait-mediated indirect interactions likely play an important role in determining how species respond to periodic sea star outbreaks.

  7. Biotic interactions in the rhizosphere: a diverse cooperative enterprise for plant productivity.

    PubMed

    De-la-Peña, Clelia; Loyola-Vargas, Víctor M

    2014-10-01

    Microbes and plants have evolved biochemical mechanisms to communicate with each other. The molecules responsible for such communication are secreted during beneficial or harmful interactions. Hundreds of these molecules secreted into the rhizosphere have been identified, and their functions are being studied in order to understand the mechanisms of interaction and communication among the different members of the rhizosphere community. The importance of root and microbe secretion to the underground habitat in improving crop productivity is increasingly recognized, with the discovery and characterization of new secreting compounds found in the rhizosphere. Different omic approaches, such as genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, have expanded our understanding of the first signals between microbes and plants. In this review, we highlight the more recent discoveries related to molecules secreted into the rhizosphere and how they affect plant productivity, either negatively or positively. In addition, we include a survey of novel approaches to studying the rhizosphere and emerging opportunities to direct future studies.

  8. Biotic Interactions in the Rhizosphere: A Diverse Cooperative Enterprise for Plant Productivity1[C

    PubMed Central

    De-la-Peña, Clelia; Loyola-Vargas, Víctor M.

    2014-01-01

    Microbes and plants have evolved biochemical mechanisms to communicate with each other. The molecules responsible for such communication are secreted during beneficial or harmful interactions. Hundreds of these molecules secreted into the rhizosphere have been identified, and their functions are being studied in order to understand the mechanisms of interaction and communication among the different members of the rhizosphere community. The importance of root and microbe secretion to the underground habitat in improving crop productivity is increasingly recognized, with the discovery and characterization of new secreting compounds found in the rhizosphere. Different omic approaches, such as genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, have expanded our understanding of the first signals between microbes and plants. In this review, we highlight the more recent discoveries related to molecules secreted into the rhizosphere and how they affect plant productivity, either negatively or positively. In addition, we include a survey of novel approaches to studying the rhizosphere and emerging opportunities to direct future studies. PMID:25118253

  9. Bottom-up and top-down mechanisms indirectly mediate interactions between benthic biotic ecosystem components

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Colen, Carl; Thrush, Simon F.; Parkes, Samantha; Harris, Rachel; Woodin, Sally A.; Wethey, David S.; Pilditch, Conrad A.; Hewitt, Judi E.; Lohrer, Andrew M.; Vincx, Magda

    2015-04-01

    The loss or decline in population size of key species can instigate a cascade of effects that have implications for interacting species, therewith impacting biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. We examined how top-down and bottom-up interactions may mediate knock-on effects of a coastal deposit-feeding clam, Macomona liliana (hereafter Macomona), on sandflat meiobenthos densities. Therefore we manipulated densities of Macomona in combination with predator exclusion and experimental shading that was expected to alter microphytobenthos biomass. We show that Macomona regulated densities of meiobenthic (38-500 μm) nematodes, copepods, polychaetes, turbellarians, and ostracodes during the three months of incubation via indirect mechanisms. Predator pressure on Macomona by eagle rays (Myliobatis tenuicaudatus) was found to have a negative effect on densities of some meiobenthic taxa. Furthermore, experimental shading resulted in the loss of a positive relation between Macomona and microphytobenthos biomass, while concurrently increasing the density of some meiobenthic taxa. We suggest that this observation can be explained by the release from bioturbation interference effects of the cockle Austrovenus stutchburyi that was found to thrive in the presence of Macomona under non-shaded conditions. Our results highlight the importance of interactions between macrofaunal bioturbation, microphyte biomass, sediment stability, and predation pressure for the structuring of benthic communities. This experiment illustrates that manipulative field experiments may be particularly suitable to study such multiple indirect mechanisms that regulate ecosystem diversity and related functioning because such approaches may best capture the complex feedbacks and processes that determine ecosystem dynamics.

  10. Study of toxicity and uptake of nanoparticles towards understanding biotic-abiotic interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kosaraju, Karshak

    With the rapid growth in nanotechnology and tremendous applications the engineered nanomaterials (ENs) offer, there is increase in usage of ENs which increases their likelihood of coming in contact with biological systems which include complex beings like humans and other relatively simpler organism like bacteria and other microorganisms. The interaction between the nanomaterials (NMs) and biological systems includes the formation of protein coronas, particle wrapping, intracellular uptake and bio catalytic processes which could have biocompatible or bio adverse outcomes. Understanding these interactions allows the development of predictive relationships between structure and activity that are mainly determined by NM properties such as size, shape, surface chemistry, aggregation, and surface functionality among many others. This understanding will also provide insight towards the design and development of benign nanomaterials. The overarching goal of this dissertation is to understand the influence of the physicochemical characteristics of the NMs and their influence on their uptake and toxicity when they interact with the biological systems (cells and organs). For this purpose, thoroughly characterized NMs will be exposed to a cellular model, A549 cells (alveolar lung epithelial cells), and a mice model (CD-1 mice) through inhalational administration. The effects of NMs on the in vitro and in vivo models will be evaluated by bio- and immuno-chemical methods to understand toxicity, and a combination of analytical spectroscopic and microscopic tools to study uptake. In vivo toxicity assessment will also be performed by using electrocardiogram (ECG) measurements as a tool to study the effects of inhalation of NMs on cardiac response in mice. Through in vivo studies, a novel non-invasive method, Reserve of Refractoriness (RoR), will be introduced as a tool to study cardiotoxicity.

  11. Fire, floods and woody debris: Interactions between biotic and geomorphic processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bendix, Jacob; Cowell, C. Mark

    2010-04-01

    Fire and floods interact in the riparian zone as processes that structure plant communities and landforms. Although much of the immediate impact of fire is on the vegetation, fire-related changes in runoff, sediment supply, riparian vegetation, and woody debris volume have ongoing geomorphic impacts on the valley floor. Consequent hydrogeomorphic changes, in turn, affect the composition and distribution of vegetation. This paper reviews these interactions, and provides an example of how fires and floods intersect to supply burnt trees as woody debris. Because the temporal and spatial distribution of woody debris is initially controlled by patterns of tree mortality, ecological disturbances, like fire, can be an important source for pulses of woody debris in riparian systems. To understand these interactions, we examine woody debris inputs 3 years after a wildfire in the riparian gallery forests of the western Transverse Ranges, California. Within our sample of 339 burned stems, snags fell in distinctive patterns: species were variable in susceptibility to falling, and fell at greater rates at sites with greater subsequent flooding. Discordance between the species composition of fallen snags and that of overall burned stems indicates that variability in forest composition must be considered in predicting post-disturbance inputs of woody debris. Variation in snagfall timing among species suggests that woody debris inputs are likely to occur in multiple, sequential pulses after wildfire. The role of flooding is superimposed on this ecological influence, as the timing and spatial variability of floods affect the recruitment of woody debris from the supply of snags created by fire.

  12. Abiotic and biotic interactions determine whether increased colonization is beneficial or detrimental to metapopulation management.

    PubMed

    Southwell, Darren M; Rhodes, Jonathan R; McDonald-Madden, Eve; Nicol, Sam; Helmstedt, Kate J; McCarthy, Michael A

    2016-06-01

    Increasing the colonization rate of metapopulations can improve persistence, but can also increase exposure to threats. To make good decisions, managers must understand whether increased colonization is beneficial or detrimental to metapopulation persistence. While a number of studies have examined interactions between metapopulations, colonization, and threats, they have assumed that threat dynamics respond linearly to changes in colonization. Here, we determined when to increase colonization while explicitly accounting for non-linear dependencies between a metapopulation and its threats. We developed patch occupancy metapopulation models for species susceptible to abiotic, generalist, and specialist threats and modeled the total derivative of the equilibrium proportion of patches occupied by each metapopulation with respect to the colonization rate. By using the total derivative, we developed a rule for determining when to increase metapopulation colonization. This rule was applied to a simulated metapopulation where the dynamics of each threat responded to increased colonization following a power function. Before modifying colonization, we show that managers must understand: (1) whether a metapopulation is susceptible to a threat; (2) the type of threat acting on a metapopulation; (3) which component of threat dynamics might depend on colonization, and; (4) the likely response of a threat-dependent variable to changes in colonization. The sensitivity of management decisions to these interactions increases uncertainty in conservation planning decisions.

  13. Environmental conditions and biotic interactions influence ecosystem structure and function in a drying stream

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ludlam, J.P.; Magoulick, D.D.

    2010-01-01

    Benthic consumers influence stream ecosystem structure and function, but these interactions depend on environmental context. We experimentally quantified the effects of central stoneroller minnows (Campostoma anomalum (Rafinesque) and Meek's crayfish (Orconectes meeki meeki (Faxon)) on benthic communities using electric exclusion quadrats in Little Mulberry Creek before (June) and during (August) seasonal stream drying. Unglazed ceramic tiles were deployed in June and August to measure periphyton and invertebrate abundance, and leafpack decomposition and primary production were also measured in August. Relationships between stoneroller and crayfish density and the size of consumer effects were evaluated with multiple linear regression models. Average chlorophyll a abundance was greater on exposed than exclusion tiles in August, but not in June. Sediment dry mass, periphyton ash-free dry mass (AFDM), and chironomid densities on tiles did not differ among treatments in either period. Leaf packs decayed faster in exposed than exclusion treatments (kexposed = 0.038 ?? 0.013, kexclusion = 0.007 ?? 0.002), but consumer effects were stronger in some pools than others. Leafpack invertebrate biomass and abundance and tile primary productivity did not differ among treatments. Consumer effects on chlorophyll a were related to crayfish and stoneroller density, and effects on chironomid density were related to stoneroller density. These results contrast with a previous exclusion experiment in Little Mulberry Creek that demonstrated strong consumer effects. The influence of stream drying on consumer effects appears to have been reduced by strong spates, underscoring the importance of conducting multi-year studies to determine the magnitude of variability in ecological interactions. ?? US Government: USGS 2010.

  14. Invasion biology in non-free-living species: interactions between abiotic (climatic) and biotic (host availability) factors in geographical space in crayfish commensals (Ostracoda, Entocytheridae).

    PubMed

    Mestre, Alexandre; Aguilar-Alberola, Josep A; Baldry, David; Balkis, Husamettin; Ellis, Adam; Gil-Delgado, Jose A; Grabow, Karsten; Klobučar, Göran; Kouba, Antonín; Maguire, Ivana; Martens, Andreas; Mülayim, Ayşegül; Rueda, Juan; Scharf, Burkhard; Soes, Menno; S Monrós, Juan; Mesquita-Joanes, Francesc

    2013-12-01

    In invasion processes, both abiotic and biotic factors are considered essential, but the latter are usually disregarded when modeling the potential spread of exotic species. In the framework of set theory, interactions between biotic (B), abiotic (A), and movement-related (M) factors in the geographical space can be hypothesized with BAM diagrams and tested using ecological niche models (ENMs) to estimate A and B areas. The main aim of our survey was to evaluate the interactions between abiotic (climatic) and biotic (host availability) factors in geographical space for exotic symbionts (i.e., non-free-living species), using ENM techniques combined with a BAM framework and using exotic Entocytheridae (Ostracoda) found in Europe as model organisms. We carried out an extensive survey to evaluate the distribution of entocytherids hosted by crayfish in Europe by checking 94 European localities and 12 crayfish species. Both exotic entocytherid species found, Ankylocythere sinuosa and Uncinocythere occidentalis, were widely distributed in W Europe living on the exotic crayfish species Procambarus clarkii and Pacifastacus leniusculus, respectively. No entocytherids were observed in the remaining crayfish species. The suitable area for A. sinuosa was mainly restricted by its own limitations to minimum temperatures in W and N Europe and precipitation seasonality in circum-Mediterranean areas. Uncinocythere occidentalis was mostly restricted by host availability in circum-Mediterranean regions due to limitations of P. leniusculus to higher precipitation seasonality and maximum temperatures. The combination of ENMs with set theory allows studying the invasive biology of symbionts and provides clues about biogeographic barriers due to abiotic or biotic factors limiting the expansion of the symbiont in different regions of the invasive range. The relative importance of abiotic and biotic factors on geographical space can then be assessed and applied in conservation plans. This

  15. Evolutionary history and novel biotic interactions determine plant responses to elevated CO2 and nitrogen fertilization.

    PubMed

    Wooliver, Rachel; Senior, John K; Schweitzer, Jennifer A; O'Reilly-Wapstra, Julianne M; Langley, J Adam; Chapman, Samantha K; Bailey, Joseph K

    2014-01-01

    A major frontier in global change research is predicting how multiple agents of global change will alter plant productivity, a critical component of the carbon cycle. Recent research has shown that plant responses to climate change are phylogenetically conserved such that species within some lineages are more productive than those within other lineages in changing environments. However, it remains unclear how phylogenetic patterns in plant responses to changing abiotic conditions may be altered by another agent of global change, the introduction of non-native species. Using a system of 28 native Tasmanian Eucalyptus species belonging to two subgenera, Symphyomyrtus and Eucalyptus, we hypothesized that productivity responses to abiotic agents of global change (elevated CO2 and increased soil N) are unique to lineages, but that novel interactions with a non-native species mediate these responses. We tested this hypothesis by examining productivity of 1) native species monocultures and 2) mixtures of native species with an introduced hardwood plantation species, Eucalyptus nitens, to experimentally manipulated soil N and atmospheric CO2. Consistent with past research, we found that N limits productivity overall, especially in elevated CO2 conditions. However, monocultures of species within the Symphyomyrtus subgenus showed the strongest response to N (gained 127% more total biomass) in elevated CO2 conditions, whereas those within the Eucalyptus subgenus did not respond to N. Root:shoot ratio (an indicator of resource use) was on average greater in species pairs containing Symphyomyrtus species, suggesting that functional traits important for resource uptake are phylogenetically conserved and explaining the phylogenetic pattern in plant response to changing environmental conditions. Yet, native species mixtures with E. nitens exhibited responses to CO2 and N that differed from those of monocultures, supporting our hypothesis and highlighting that both plant

  16. Temperature-mediated biotic interactions influence enemy release of nonnative species in warming environments.

    PubMed

    Fey, Samuel B; Herren, Cristina M

    2014-08-01

    "Enemy release" occurs when invading species suffer from interactions with pathogens, parasites, herbivores, or predators to a lesser degree than native species due to a lack of shared evolutionary history. Here we provide strong support for the hypothesis that variable thermal sensitivities between a consumer and its resources can generate temperature-dependent enemy release using both a mathematical model and a field experiment. We identify three common scenarios where changes in temperature should alter enemy release based on asymmetric responses among enemies and their resources to changes in temperature: (1) the vital rates of a shared enemy are more sensitive to changes in temperature than its resources, (2) the enemy's thermal maximum for consumption is higher than the resources' maxima for growth, and (3) the invading resource has a higher thermal maximum for growth than its native competitor. Mathematical representations indicated that warming is capable of altering enemy release in each of these three scenarios. We also tested our hypothesis using a mesocosm warming experiment in a system that exhibits variable thermal sensitivities between a predator and its native and nonnative prey. We conducted a six-week experiment manipulating the presence of Lepomis sunfish (present, absent) and water temperature (ambient, heated) using the nonnative crustacean zooplankter, Daphnia lumholtzi, whose morphological defenses reduce predation from juvenile sunfish relative to native Daphnia pulex. Our results indicate that D. lumholtzi benefited to a greater extent from the presence of Lepomis predators as temperatures increase. Taken together, our model and experiment indicate that changes in environmental temperature may directly influence the success of nonnative species and may assist with forecasting the community consequences of biological invasions in a warming world. PMID:25230475

  17. The net effect of abiotic conditions and biotic interactions in a semi-arid ecosystem NE Spain: implications for the management and restoration.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pueyo, Yolanda; Arroyo, Antonio I.; Saiz, Hugo; Alados, Concepción L.

    2014-05-01

    Degradation in arid and semiarid lands can be irreversible without human intervention, due to a positive plant-soil feedback where the loss of vegetation cover leads to soil degradation, which in turn hampers plant establishment. Human intervention in restoration actions usually involves the amendment of the degraded abiotic conditions, revegetation of bare areas, or both. However, abiotic amelioration is often expensive and too intrusive, and revegetation is not successful in many cases. Biotic interactions between plants, and more specifically facilitation by a "nurse" plant, have been proposed as a new via to take profit of improved abiotic conditions without intervention, and to increase the success rate of revegetation actions. But "nurse" plants can also interfere with others (i.e. by competition for resources or the release of allelopathic compounds), and the net balance between facilitation and interference could depend on plant types involved. We present recent observational and experimental studies performed in the semiarid ecosystems of the Middle Ebro Valley (NE Spain) about the role of abiotic conditions and biotic interactions in the productivity, dynamics and diversity of plant communities under different stress conditions (aridity and grazing). We found that all plant types studied (shrubs and perennial grasses) improved abiotic conditions (soil temperature and water availability for plants) with respect to open areas. However, only some shrubs (mainly Salsola vermiculata) had a positive net balance in the biotic interactions between plants, while other shrubs (Artemisia herba-alba) and perennial grasses (Lygeum spartum) showed interference with other plants. Moreover, the net balance between facilitation and interference among plants in the community shifted from competitive to neutral or from neutral to facilitative with increasing aridity. Grazing status did not strongly change the net biotic interactions between plants. Our results suggest that

  18. Disentangling effects of abiotic factors and biotic interactions on cross-taxon congruence in species turnover patterns of plants, moths and beetles.

    PubMed

    Duan, Meichun; Liu, Yunhui; Yu, Zhenrong; Baudry, Jacques; Li, Liangtao; Wang, Changliu; Axmacher, Jan C

    2016-01-01

    High cross-taxon congruence in species diversity patterns is essential for the use of surrogate taxa in biodiversity conservation, but presence and strength of congruence in species turnover patterns, and the relative contributions of abiotic environmental factors and biotic interaction towards this congruence, remain poorly understood. In our study, we used variation partitioning in multiple regressions to quantify cross-taxon congruence in community dissimilarities of vascular plants, geometrid and arciinid moths and carabid beetles, subsequently investigating their respective underpinning by abiotic factors and biotic interactions. Significant cross-taxon congruence observed across all taxon pairs was linked to their similar responses towards elevation change. Changes in the vegetation composition were closely linked to carabid turnover, with vegetation structure and associated microclimatic conditions proposed causes of this link. In contrast, moth assemblages appeared to be dominated by generalist species whose turnover was weakly associated with vegetation changes. Overall, abiotic factors exerted a stronger influence on cross-taxon congruence across our study sites than biotic interactions. The weak congruence in turnover observed particularly between plants and moths highlights the importance of multi-taxon approaches based on groupings of taxa with similar turnovers, rather than the use of single surrogate taxa or environmental proxies, in biodiversity assessments. PMID:27032533

  19. Disentangling effects of abiotic factors and biotic interactions on cross-taxon congruence in species turnover patterns of plants, moths and beetles.

    PubMed

    Duan, Meichun; Liu, Yunhui; Yu, Zhenrong; Baudry, Jacques; Li, Liangtao; Wang, Changliu; Axmacher, Jan C

    2016-01-01

    High cross-taxon congruence in species diversity patterns is essential for the use of surrogate taxa in biodiversity conservation, but presence and strength of congruence in species turnover patterns, and the relative contributions of abiotic environmental factors and biotic interaction towards this congruence, remain poorly understood. In our study, we used variation partitioning in multiple regressions to quantify cross-taxon congruence in community dissimilarities of vascular plants, geometrid and arciinid moths and carabid beetles, subsequently investigating their respective underpinning by abiotic factors and biotic interactions. Significant cross-taxon congruence observed across all taxon pairs was linked to their similar responses towards elevation change. Changes in the vegetation composition were closely linked to carabid turnover, with vegetation structure and associated microclimatic conditions proposed causes of this link. In contrast, moth assemblages appeared to be dominated by generalist species whose turnover was weakly associated with vegetation changes. Overall, abiotic factors exerted a stronger influence on cross-taxon congruence across our study sites than biotic interactions. The weak congruence in turnover observed particularly between plants and moths highlights the importance of multi-taxon approaches based on groupings of taxa with similar turnovers, rather than the use of single surrogate taxa or environmental proxies, in biodiversity assessments.

  20. Disentangling effects of abiotic factors and biotic interactions on cross-taxon congruence in species turnover patterns of plants, moths and beetles

    PubMed Central

    Duan, Meichun; Liu, Yunhui; Yu, Zhenrong; Baudry, Jacques; Li, Liangtao; Wang, Changliu; Axmacher, Jan C.

    2016-01-01

    High cross-taxon congruence in species diversity patterns is essential for the use of surrogate taxa in biodiversity conservation, but presence and strength of congruence in species turnover patterns, and the relative contributions of abiotic environmental factors and biotic interaction towards this congruence, remain poorly understood. In our study, we used variation partitioning in multiple regressions to quantify cross-taxon congruence in community dissimilarities of vascular plants, geometrid and arciinid moths and carabid beetles, subsequently investigating their respective underpinning by abiotic factors and biotic interactions. Significant cross-taxon congruence observed across all taxon pairs was linked to their similar responses towards elevation change. Changes in the vegetation composition were closely linked to carabid turnover, with vegetation structure and associated microclimatic conditions proposed causes of this link. In contrast, moth assemblages appeared to be dominated by generalist species whose turnover was weakly associated with vegetation changes. Overall, abiotic factors exerted a stronger influence on cross-taxon congruence across our study sites than biotic interactions. The weak congruence in turnover observed particularly between plants and moths highlights the importance of multi-taxon approaches based on groupings of taxa with similar turnovers, rather than the use of single surrogate taxa or environmental proxies, in biodiversity assessments. PMID:27032533

  1. Influence of Solar Radiation and Biotic Interactions on Bacterial and Eukaryotic Communities Associated with Sewage Decomposition in Ambient Water - Poster

    EPA Science Inventory

    Sewage and ambient water both consist of a highly complex array of bacteria and eukaryotic microbes. When these communities are mixed, the persistence of sewage-derived pathogens in environmental waters can represent a significant public health concern. Solar radiation and biotic...

  2. [An experimental study and a mathematical model of interactions in mixed culture of invertebrates and algae in the "producer-consumer" aquatic biotic cycle].

    PubMed

    Pis'man, T I; Bogdanova, O N

    2004-01-01

    An experimental investigation was carried out, and a mathematical model of interaction between invertebrates (infusoria Paramecium caudatum and rotifera Brachionus plicatilis) and algae (Chlorella vulgaris and Scenedesmus quadricauda) in the "producer-consumer" aquatic biotic cycle with spatially divided links was constructed. The model describes the dynamics of a mixed culture of infusoria and rotifera in the "consumer" link, when they consume a mixed culture of algae coming from the "producer" link. A negative influence of products of algae Scenedesmus metabolism upon the reproduction of infusoria P. caudatum was revealed. Taking this into account, a qualitative coincidence of the results of mathematical modeling with experimental data was obtained. It was shown that the co-existence of mixed algae culture in the "producer" link with invertebrates in the "consumer" link in the "producer-consumer" aquatic biotic cycle is impossible because of the displacement of infusoria P. caudatum by rotifera Brachionus plicatilis. PMID:15612555

  3. Traffic and Driving Simulator Based on Architecture of Interactive Motion

    PubMed Central

    Paz, Alexander; Veeramisti, Naveen; Khaddar, Romesh; de la Fuente-Mella, Hanns; Modorcea, Luiza

    2015-01-01

    This study proposes an architecture for an interactive motion-based traffic simulation environment. In order to enhance modeling realism involving actual human beings, the proposed architecture integrates multiple types of simulation, including: (i) motion-based driving simulation, (ii) pedestrian simulation, (iii) motorcycling and bicycling simulation, and (iv) traffic flow simulation. The architecture has been designed to enable the simulation of the entire network; as a result, the actual driver, pedestrian, and bike rider can navigate anywhere in the system. In addition, the background traffic interacts with the actual human beings. This is accomplished by using a hybrid mesomicroscopic traffic flow simulation modeling approach. The mesoscopic traffic flow simulation model loads the results of a user equilibrium traffic assignment solution and propagates the corresponding traffic through the entire system. The microscopic traffic flow simulation model provides background traffic around the vicinities where actual human beings are navigating the system. The two traffic flow simulation models interact continuously to update system conditions based on the interactions between actual humans and the fully simulated entities. Implementation efforts are currently in progress and some preliminary tests of individual components have been conducted. The implementation of the proposed architecture faces significant challenges ranging from multiplatform and multilanguage integration to multievent communication and coordination. PMID:26491711

  4. Traffic and Driving Simulator Based on Architecture of Interactive Motion.

    PubMed

    Paz, Alexander; Veeramisti, Naveen; Khaddar, Romesh; de la Fuente-Mella, Hanns; Modorcea, Luiza

    2015-01-01

    This study proposes an architecture for an interactive motion-based traffic simulation environment. In order to enhance modeling realism involving actual human beings, the proposed architecture integrates multiple types of simulation, including: (i) motion-based driving simulation, (ii) pedestrian simulation, (iii) motorcycling and bicycling simulation, and (iv) traffic flow simulation. The architecture has been designed to enable the simulation of the entire network; as a result, the actual driver, pedestrian, and bike rider can navigate anywhere in the system. In addition, the background traffic interacts with the actual human beings. This is accomplished by using a hybrid mesomicroscopic traffic flow simulation modeling approach. The mesoscopic traffic flow simulation model loads the results of a user equilibrium traffic assignment solution and propagates the corresponding traffic through the entire system. The microscopic traffic flow simulation model provides background traffic around the vicinities where actual human beings are navigating the system. The two traffic flow simulation models interact continuously to update system conditions based on the interactions between actual humans and the fully simulated entities. Implementation efforts are currently in progress and some preliminary tests of individual components have been conducted. The implementation of the proposed architecture faces significant challenges ranging from multiplatform and multilanguage integration to multievent communication and coordination.

  5. Traffic and Driving Simulator Based on Architecture of Interactive Motion.

    PubMed

    Paz, Alexander; Veeramisti, Naveen; Khaddar, Romesh; de la Fuente-Mella, Hanns; Modorcea, Luiza

    2015-01-01

    This study proposes an architecture for an interactive motion-based traffic simulation environment. In order to enhance modeling realism involving actual human beings, the proposed architecture integrates multiple types of simulation, including: (i) motion-based driving simulation, (ii) pedestrian simulation, (iii) motorcycling and bicycling simulation, and (iv) traffic flow simulation. The architecture has been designed to enable the simulation of the entire network; as a result, the actual driver, pedestrian, and bike rider can navigate anywhere in the system. In addition, the background traffic interacts with the actual human beings. This is accomplished by using a hybrid mesomicroscopic traffic flow simulation modeling approach. The mesoscopic traffic flow simulation model loads the results of a user equilibrium traffic assignment solution and propagates the corresponding traffic through the entire system. The microscopic traffic flow simulation model provides background traffic around the vicinities where actual human beings are navigating the system. The two traffic flow simulation models interact continuously to update system conditions based on the interactions between actual humans and the fully simulated entities. Implementation efforts are currently in progress and some preliminary tests of individual components have been conducted. The implementation of the proposed architecture faces significant challenges ranging from multiplatform and multilanguage integration to multievent communication and coordination. PMID:26491711

  6. Interactions among biotic and abiotic factors affect the reliability of tungsten microneedles puncturing in vitro and in vivo peripheral nerves: A hybrid computational approach.

    PubMed

    Sergi, Pier Nicola; Jensen, Winnie; Yoshida, Ken

    2016-02-01

    Tungsten is an elective material to produce slender and stiff microneedles able to enter soft tissues and minimize puncture wounds. In particular, tungsten microneedles are used to puncture peripheral nerves and insert neural interfaces, bridging the gap between the nervous system and robotic devices (e.g., hand prostheses). Unfortunately, microneedles fail during the puncture process and this failure is not dependent on stiffness or fracture toughness of the constituent material. In addition, the microneedles' performances decrease during in vivo trials with respect to the in vitro ones. This further effect is independent on internal biotic effects, while it seems to be related to external biotic causes. Since the exact synergy of phenomena decreasing the in vivo reliability is still not known, this work explored the connection between in vitro and in vivo behavior of tungsten microneedles through the study of interactions between biotic and abiotic factors. A hybrid computational approach, simultaneously using theoretical relationships and in silico models of nerves, was implemented to model the change of reliability varying the microneedle diameter, and to predict in vivo performances by using in vitro reliability and local differences between in vivo and in vitro mechanical response of nerves.

  7. Biotic interactions as a structuring force in soil communities: evidence from the micro-arthropods of an Antarctic moss model system.

    PubMed

    Caruso, Tancredi; Trokhymets, Vladlen; Bargagli, Roberto; Convey, Peter

    2013-06-01

    Current meta-community theories postulate that the structure of local communities depends on dispersal, environmental filtering, and biotic interactions. However, disentangling the relative effects of these factors in the field and for diverse assemblages is a major challenge. A solution is to address natural but simple communities (i.e. with low numbers of species in few trophic levels), wherein one of these factors is predominant. Here, we analyse the micro-arthropod community of a moss-turf habitat typical of the Antarctic Peninsula region, and test the widely accepted hypothesis that this system is abiotically driven. In the austral summers 2006/7 and 2007/8, we sampled nearly 80 units of moss from four islands in the Argentine Islands. Using variance partitioning, we quantified the relative contribution of: (1) multiple scale spatio-temporal autocorrelation; (2) environmental effects; (3) the island effect. Little variance (1 %) was accounted for by sources 1 (1 %, significant) and 2 (<1 %, not significant). The island effect significantly accounted for the largest amount of variation (8 %). There was a relatively large effect of spatially structured environmental variation (7 %). Null models demonstrated that species co-occurred less frequently than expected by chance, suggesting the prevalence of negative interactions. Our data support the novel hypothesis that negative biotic interactions are the most important structuring force of this micro-arthropod community. The analysed system is a good proxy for more complex communities in terms of taxonomic composition and the functional groups present. Thus, biotic interaction might be a predominant factor in soil meta-community dynamics.

  8. Interactions of local climatic, biotic and hydrogeochemical processes facilitate phosphorus dynamics along an Everglades forest-marsh gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Troxler, T. G.; Coronado-Molina, C.; Rondeau, D. N.; Krupa, S.; Newman, S.; Manna, M.; Price, R. M.; Sklar, F. H.

    2013-06-01

    Ecosystem nutrient cycling is often complex because nutrient dynamics within and between systems are mediated by the interaction of biological and geochemical conditions operating at different temporal and spatial scales. Vegetated patches in semiarid and wetland landscapes have been shown to exemplify some of these patterns and processes. We investigated biological and geochemical factors suggested to contribute to phosphorus (P) movement and availability along a forest-marsh gradient in an Everglades tree island. Our study illustrated processes that are consistent with the chemohydrodynamic nutrient (CHNT) hypothesis and the trigger-transfer, pulse-reserve (TTPR) model developed for semiarid systems. Comparison with the TTRP model was constructive as it elaborated several significant patterns and processes of the tree island ecosystem including: (1) concentration of the limiting resource (P) in the source patch [High Head which constitutes the reserve] compared with the resource-poor landscape, (2) soil zone calcite precipitation requiring strong seasonality for evapotranspiration to promote conditions for secondary soil development and calcium phosphate reprecipitation, (3) rewetting of previously dry soils by early wet season precipitation events, and (4) antecedent conditions of the source patch including landscape position that modulated the effect of the precipitation trigger. Thus, our study showed how water availability drives soil water P dynamics and potentially stability of mineral soil P in this tree island ecosystem. In landscapes with extensive water management, these processes can be asynchronous with the seasonality of hydrologic dynamics, tipping the balance between a sink and source of a limiting nutrient.

  9. Interactions of local climatic, biotic and hydrogeochemical processes facilitate phosphorus dynamics along an Everglades forest-marsh gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Troxler, T. G.; Coronado-Molina, C.; Rondeau, D. N.; Krupa, S.; Newman, S.; Manna, M.; Price, R. M.; Sklar, F. H.

    2014-02-01

    Ecosystem nutrient cycling is often complex because nutrient dynamics within and between systems are mediated by the interaction of biological and geochemical conditions operating at different temporal and spatial scales. Vegetated patches in semiarid and wetland landscapes have been shown to exemplify some of these patterns and processes. We investigated biological and geochemical factors suggested to contribute to phosphorus (P) movement and availability along a forest-marsh gradient in an Everglades tree island. Our study illustrated processes that are consistent with the chemohydrodynamic nutrient (CHNT) hypothesis and the trigger-transfer, pulse-reserve (TTPR) model developed for semiarid systems. Comparison with the TTPR model was constructive as it elaborated several significant patterns and processes of the tree island ecosystem including: (1) concentration of the limiting resource (P) in the source patch (High Head which constitutes the reserve) compared with the resource-poor landscape, (2) soil zone calcite precipitation requiring strong seasonality for evapotranspiration to promote conditions for secondary soil development and calcium phosphate reprecipitation, (3) rewetting of previously dry soils by early wet season precipitation events, and (4) antecedent conditions of the source patch, including landscape position that modulated the effect of the precipitation trigger. Thus, our study showed how water availability drives soil water P dynamics and, potentially, stability of mineral soil P in this tree island ecosystem. In landscapes with extensive water management, these processes can be asynchronous with the seasonality of hydrologic dynamics, tipping the balance between a sink and source of a limiting nutrient.

  10. What interactions drive the salivary mucosal pellicle formation?

    PubMed Central

    Gibbins, Hannah L.; Yakubov, Gleb E.; Proctor, Gordon B.; Wilson, Stephen; Carpenter, Guy H.

    2014-01-01

    The bound salivary pellicle is essential for protection of both the enamel and mucosa in the oral cavity. The enamel pellicle formation is well characterised, however the mucosal pellicle proteins have only recently been clarified and what drives their formation is still unclear. The aim of this study was to examine the salivary pellicle on particles with different surface properties (hydrophobic or hydrophilic with a positive or negative charge), to determine a suitable model to mimic the mucosal pellicle. A secondary aim was to use the model to test how transglutaminase may alter pellicle formation. Particles were incubated with resting whole mouth saliva, parotid saliva and submandibular/sublingual saliva. Following incubation and two PBS and water washes bound salivary proteins were eluted with two concentrations of SDS, which were later analysed using SDS-PAGE and Western blotting. Experiments were repeated with purified transglutaminase to determine how this epithelial-derived enzyme may alter the bound pellicle. Protein pellicles varied according to the starting salivary composition and the particle chemistry. Amylase, the single most abundant protein in saliva, did not bind to any particle indicating specific protein binding. Most proteins bound through hydrophobic interactions and a few according to their charges. The hydrophobic surface most closely matched the known salivary mucosal pellicle by containing mucins, cystatin and statherin but an absence of amylase and proline-rich proteins. This surface was further used to examine the effect of added transglutaminase. At the concentrations used only statherin showed any evidence of crosslinking with itself or another saliva protein. In conclusion, the formation of the salivary mucosal pellicle is probably mediated, at least in part, by hydrophobic interactions to the epithelial cell surface. PMID:24921197

  11. Laser-Matter Interactions with a 527 nm Drive

    SciTech Connect

    Glenzer, S; Niemann, C; Witman, P; Wegner, P; Mason, D; Haynam, C; Parham, T; Datte, P

    2007-02-16

    The primary goal of this Exploratory Research is to develop an understanding of laser-matter interactions with 527-nm light (2{omega}) for studies of interest to numerous Laboratory programs including inertial confinement fusion (ICF), material strength, radiation transport, and hydrodynamics. In addition, during the course of this work we will develop the enabling technology and prototype instrumentation to diagnose a high fluence laser beam for energy, power, and near field intensity profile at 2{omega}. Through this Exploratory Research we have established an extensive experimental and modeling data base on laser-matter interaction with 527 nm laser light (2{omega}) in plasma conditions of interest to numerous Laboratory programs. The experiments and the laser-plasma interaction modeling using the code pF3D have shown intensity limits and laser beam conditioning requirements for future 2{omega} laser operations and target physics experiments on the National Ignition Facility (NIF). These findings have set requirements for which present radiation-hydrodynamic simulations indicate the successful generation of relevant pressure regimes in future 2{omega} experiments. To allow these experiments on the NIF, optics and optical mounts were prepared for the 18mm Second Harmonic Generation Crystal (SHG crystal) that would provide the desired high conversion efficiency from 1{omega} to 2{omega}. Supporting experimental activities on NIF included high-energy 1{omega} shots at up to 22kJ/beamline (4MJ full NIF 1{omega} equivalent energy) that demonstrated, in excess, the 1{omega} drive capability of the main laser that is required for 2{omega} operations. Also, a very extensive 3{omega} campaign was completed (see ''The National Ignition Facility Laser Performance Status'' UCRL-JRNL-226553) that demonstrated that not only doubling the laser, but also tripling the laser (a much more difficult and sensitive combination) met our model predictions over a wide range of laser

  12. Limitations to lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) rehabilitation in the Great Lakes imposed by biotic interactions occurring at early life stages

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jones, Michael L.; Eck, Gary W.; Evans, David O.; Fabrizio, Mary C.; Hoff, Michael H.; Hudson, Patrick L.; Janssen, John; Jude, David; O'Gorman, Robert; Savino, Jacqueline F.

    1995-01-01

    We examine evidence that biotic factors, particularly predation, may be limiting early survival of wild lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) juveniles in many areas of the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes contain numerous potential predators of lake trout eggs and fry, some of which are recent invaders, and most of which were probably absent when lake trout most recently re-invaded the Great Lakes after the last ice age. Simple quantitative models of predation suggest that plausible assumptions about prey densities, predator feeding rates, and duration of exposure of predator to prey can lead to very high estimates of predation mortality, in some instances approaching 100%. Indirect evidence from inter-Great Lake comparisons and inland lake examples also suggest that biotic factors may impede successful lake trout colonization. Our synthesis of the evidence leads to recommendations for research to better define field feeding rates of lake trout egg and fry predators and comparative studies of densities of potential egg and fry predators on lake trout spawning reefs. Management options should be designed to provide useful information as well as achieve short-term goals. From a management standpoint we recommend that: newly constructed lake trout reefs should be placed well away from concentrations of potential predators; offshore spawning reefs should be stocked; salmonine stocking, nutrient abatement, and commercial harvest of alewives should all be considered as options to enhance survival of young lake trout; hatchery lake trout should not be stocked at sites where wild lake trout are showing signs of recovery; and exotic species expansions or introductions must be curtailed to maintain or improve on our recent successes in lake trout rehabilitation.

  13. Consumer diversity interacts with prey defenses to drive ecosystem function

    PubMed Central

    Rasher, Douglas B.; Hoey, Andrew S.; Hay, Mark E.

    2013-01-01

    six study reefs. Our findings indicate that the total diet breadth of the herbivore community and the probability of all macroalgae being removed from reefs by herbivores increases with increasing herbivore diversity, but that a few critical species drive this relationship. Therefore, interactions between algal defenses and herbivore tolerances create an essential role for consumer diversity in the functioning and resilience of coral reefs. PMID:23923498

  14. Consumer diversity interacts with prey defenses to drive ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    Rasher, Douglas B; Hoey, Andrew S; Hay, Mark E

    2013-06-01

    findings indicate that the total diet breadth of the herbivore community and the probability of all macroalgae being removed from reefs by herbivores increases with increasing herbivore diversity, but that a few critical species drive this relationship. Therefore, interactions between algal defenses and herbivore tolerances create an essential role for consumer diversity in the functioning and resilience of coral reefs.

  15. Biotic and abiotic interactions in aquatic microcosms determine fate and toxicity of Ag nanoparticles. Part 1. Aggregation and dissolution.

    PubMed

    Unrine, Jason M; Colman, Benjamin P; Bone, Audrey J; Gondikas, Andreas P; Matson, Cole W

    2012-07-01

    To better understand their fate and toxicity in aquatic environments, we compared the aggregation and dissolution behavior of gum arabic (GA) and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) coated Ag nanoparticles (NPs) in aquatic microcosms. There were four microcosm types: surface water; water and sediment; water and aquatic plants; or water, sediment, and aquatic plants. Dissolution and aggregation behavior of AgNPs were examined using ultracentrifugation, ultrafiltration, and asymmetrical flow field flow fractionation coupled to ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, dynamic and static laser light scattering, and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Plants released dissolved organic matter (DOM) into the water column either through active or passive processes in response to Ag exposure. This organic matter fraction readily bound Ag ions. The plant-derived DOM had the effect of stabilizing PVP-AgNPs as primary particles, but caused GA-AgNPs to be removed from the water column, likely by dissolution and binding of released Ag ions on sediment and plant surfaces. The destabilization of the GA-AgNPs also corresponded with X-ray absorption near edge spectroscopy results which suggest that 22-28% of the particulate Ag was associated with thiols and 5-14% was present as oxides. The results highlight the potential complexities of nanomaterial behavior in response to biotic and abiotic modifications in ecosystems, and may help to explain differences in toxicity of Ag observed in realistic exposure media compared to simplified laboratory exposures.

  16. Hydrothermal plume particles deconstructed: evidence of biotic and abiotic interactions in particle formation at 9N East Pacific Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breier, J. A.; Toner, B.; Manganini, S. J.; German, C. R.

    2008-12-01

    We are using non-buoyant hydrothermal plume samples collected at 9° 50' N East Pacific Rise to conduct an unprecedented examination of the fine scale (μm- and nm-range) mineralogical and biogeochemical composition of hydrothermal particulates. Recent findings from studies of sinking particulate, suggest that East Pacific Rise hydrothermal particulates are inorganic/organic aggregates. We confirmed this with suspended particulate samples collected, during a 3-day moored multi-sampler deployment in the non- buoyant hydrothermal plume above Tica vent at 9° 50' N East Pacific Rise in November 2007. A combination of high energy synchrotron x-ray absorption spectroscopy and bulk and trace elemental analysis reveal that the >1 μm suspended particulates consist of inorganic Fe oxide grains in a pervasive organic C matrix with carbon K-edge spectra consistent with proteins, lipids, and polysaccharides. This aggregate structure may preserve reduced Fe phases in the presence of oxygenated seawater and alter our basic assumptions about hydrothermal particle dispersion. Scavenging, by coprecipitation and surface adsorption, of seawater nutrients and trace elements such as P, U, Mo, Cr, V, and As may also be influenced by this particulate composition. These samples were collected with a newly developed Suspended Particulate Rosette multi-sampling system designed to collect geochemical and microbial samples from rising deep-sea hydrothermal plumes to enable investigations of abiotic and biotic plume processes.

  17. Decreased competitive interactions drive a reverse species richness latitudinal gradient in subarctic forests.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Katie E; Baltzer, Jennifer L

    2015-02-01

    The tendency for species richness to decrease toward the poles is one of the best-characterized patterns in biogeography. The mechanisms behind this pattern have received much attention, yet very few studies have investigated very high-latitude communities. Here, using data from 134 permanent sample plots from 60 degrees to 68 degrees N, we show that boreal forest plant communities in northwestern Canada increase in richness toward the poles, despite a strong increase in climatic harshness. We hypothesized three possible explanations for this pattern: (1) historical biogeography, (2) reduced competition for light at high latitudes (biotic interactions), and (3) changes in soil characteristics with latitude. We used multidimensional scaling to investigate the community composition at each site and found no clustering of communities by latitude, suggesting that historical biogeography was not constraining site diversity. We then investigated the mechanisms behind this gradient using both abiotic (climate and soil) and biotic (tree stand characteristics) variables in a multiple factor analysis. We found that the best predictor of species richness is an environmental gradient that describes an inverse relationship between temperature and tree-stand density, suggesting that reduced competition for light due to reduced tree growth at low temperatures at higher latitudes allows greater species richness. This study shows that low energy availability and climatic harshness may not be limiting species richness toward the poles, rather, abiotic effects act instead on the strength of biotic interactions. PMID:26240867

  18. Decreased competitive interactions drive a reverse species richness latitudinal gradient in subarctic forests.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Katie E; Baltzer, Jennifer L

    2015-02-01

    The tendency for species richness to decrease toward the poles is one of the best-characterized patterns in biogeography. The mechanisms behind this pattern have received much attention, yet very few studies have investigated very high-latitude communities. Here, using data from 134 permanent sample plots from 60 degrees to 68 degrees N, we show that boreal forest plant communities in northwestern Canada increase in richness toward the poles, despite a strong increase in climatic harshness. We hypothesized three possible explanations for this pattern: (1) historical biogeography, (2) reduced competition for light at high latitudes (biotic interactions), and (3) changes in soil characteristics with latitude. We used multidimensional scaling to investigate the community composition at each site and found no clustering of communities by latitude, suggesting that historical biogeography was not constraining site diversity. We then investigated the mechanisms behind this gradient using both abiotic (climate and soil) and biotic (tree stand characteristics) variables in a multiple factor analysis. We found that the best predictor of species richness is an environmental gradient that describes an inverse relationship between temperature and tree-stand density, suggesting that reduced competition for light due to reduced tree growth at low temperatures at higher latitudes allows greater species richness. This study shows that low energy availability and climatic harshness may not be limiting species richness toward the poles, rather, abiotic effects act instead on the strength of biotic interactions.

  19. Biotic interactions and sunlight affect persistence of fecal indicator bacteria and microbial source tracking genetic markers in the upper Mississippi river.

    PubMed

    Korajkic, Asja; McMinn, Brian R; Shanks, Orin C; Sivaganesan, Mano; Fout, G Shay; Ashbolt, Nicholas J

    2014-07-01

    The sanitary quality of recreational waters that may be impacted by sewage is assessed by enumerating fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) (Escherichia coli and enterococci); these organisms are found in the gastrointestinal tracts of humans and many other animals, and hence their presence provides no information about the pollution source. Microbial source tracking (MST) methods can discriminate between different pollution sources, providing critical information to water quality managers, but relatively little is known about factors influencing the decay of FIB and MST genetic markers following release into aquatic environments. An in situ mesocosm was deployed at a temperate recreational beach in the Mississippi River to evaluate the effects of ambient sunlight and biotic interactions (predation, competition, and viral lysis) on the decay of culture-based FIB, as well as molecularly based FIB (Entero1a and GenBac3) and human-associated MST genetic markers (HF183 and HumM2) measured by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). In general, culturable FIB decayed the fastest, while molecularly based FIB and human-associated genetic markers decayed more slowly. There was a strong correlation between the decay of molecularly based FIB and that of human-associated genetic markers (r(2), 0.96 to 0.98; P < 0.0001) but not between culturable FIB and any qPCR measurement. Overall, exposure to ambient sunlight may be an important factor in the early-stage decay dynamics but generally was not after continued exposure (i.e., after 120 h), when biotic interactions tended to be the only/major influential determinant of persistence. PMID:24747902

  20. Biotic Interactions and Sunlight Affect Persistence of Fecal Indicator Bacteria and Microbial Source Tracking Genetic Markers in the Upper Mississippi River

    PubMed Central

    McMinn, Brian R.; Shanks, Orin C.; Sivaganesan, Mano; Fout, G. Shay; Ashbolt, Nicholas J.

    2014-01-01

    The sanitary quality of recreational waters that may be impacted by sewage is assessed by enumerating fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) (Escherichia coli and enterococci); these organisms are found in the gastrointestinal tracts of humans and many other animals, and hence their presence provides no information about the pollution source. Microbial source tracking (MST) methods can discriminate between different pollution sources, providing critical information to water quality managers, but relatively little is known about factors influencing the decay of FIB and MST genetic markers following release into aquatic environments. An in situ mesocosm was deployed at a temperate recreational beach in the Mississippi River to evaluate the effects of ambient sunlight and biotic interactions (predation, competition, and viral lysis) on the decay of culture-based FIB, as well as molecularly based FIB (Entero1a and GenBac3) and human-associated MST genetic markers (HF183 and HumM2) measured by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). In general, culturable FIB decayed the fastest, while molecularly based FIB and human-associated genetic markers decayed more slowly. There was a strong correlation between the decay of molecularly based FIB and that of human-associated genetic markers (r2, 0.96 to 0.98; P < 0.0001) but not between culturable FIB and any qPCR measurement. Overall, exposure to ambient sunlight may be an important factor in the early-stage decay dynamics but generally was not after continued exposure (i.e., after 120 h), when biotic interactions tended to be the only/major influential determinant of persistence. PMID:24747902

  1. Spatio-temporal variation of biotic factors underpins contemporary range dynamics of congeners.

    PubMed

    Naujokaitis-Lewis, Ilona; Fortin, Marie-Josée

    2016-03-01

    Species' ranges are complex often exhibiting multidirectional shifts over space and time. Despite the strong fingerprint of recent historical climate change on species' distributions, biotic factors such as loss of vegetative habitat and the presence of potential competitors constitute important yet often overlooked drivers of range dynamics. Furthermore, short-term changes in environmental conditions can influence the underlying processes of local extinction and local colonization that drive range shifts, yet are rarely considered at broad scales. We used dynamic state-space occupancy models to test multiple hypotheses of the relative importance of major drivers of range shifts of Golden-winged Warblers (Vermivora chrysoptera) and Blue-winged Warblers (V. cyanoptera) between 1983 and 2012 across North America: warming temperatures; habitat changes; and occurrence of congeneric species, used here as proxy for biotic interactions. Dynamic occupancies for both species were most influenced by spatial relative to temporal variation in temperature and habitat. However, temporal variation in temperature anomalies and biotic interactions remained important. The two biotic factors considered, habitat change and biotic interactions, had the largest relative effect on estimated extinction rates followed by abiotic temperature anomalies. For the Golden-winged Warbler, the predicted presence of the Blue-winged Warbler, a hypothesized competitor, most influenced extinction probabilities, contributing to evidence supporting its role in site-level species replacement. Given the overall importance of biotic factors on range-wide dynamic occupancies, their consideration alongside abiotic factors should not be overlooked. Our results suggest that warming compounds the negative effect of habitat loss emphasizing species' need for habitat to adapt to a changing climate. Notably, even closely related species exhibited individual responses to abiotic and biotic factors considered. PMID

  2. INTERACTIONS BETWEEN AGE AND MODERATE ALCOHOL EFFECTS ON SIMULATED DRIVING PERFORMANCE

    PubMed Central

    Sklar, Alfredo L.; Boissoneault, Jeff; Fillmore, Mark T.; Nixon, Sara Jo

    2013-01-01

    Rationale There is a substantial body of literature documenting the deleterious effects of both alcohol consumption and age on driving performance. There is, however, limited work examining the interaction of age and acute alcohol consumption. Objectives The current study was conducted to determine if moderate alcohol doses differentially affect the driving performance of older and younger adults. Methods Healthy older (55 – 70) and younger (25 – 35) adults were tested during a baseline session and again following consumption of one of three beverages (0.0% (placebo), 0.04% or 0.065% target breath alcohol concentration). Measures of driving precision and average speed were recorded. Results Older adults performed more poorly on precision driving measures and drove more slowly than younger adults at baseline. After controlling for baseline performance, interactions between alcohol and age were observed following beverage consumption on two measures of driving precision with older adults exhibiting greater impairment as a result of alcohol consumption. Conclusions These data provide evidence that older adults may be more susceptible to the effects of alcohol on certain measures of driving performance. An investigation of mechanisms accounting for alcohol’s effects on driving in older and younger adults is required. Further evaluation using more complex driving environments is needed to assess the real-world implication of this interaction. PMID:24030469

  3. Interactive influence of biotic and abiotic cues on the plasticity of preferred body temperatures in a predator-prey system.

    PubMed

    Smolinský, Radovan; Gvoždík, Lumír

    2012-09-01

    The ability to modify phenotypes in response to heterogeneity of the thermal environment represents an important component of an ectotherm's non-genetic adaptive capacity. Despite considerable attention being dedicated to the study of thermally-induced developmental plasticity, whether or not interspecific interactions shape the plastic response in both a predator and its prey remains unknown. We tested several predictions about the joint influence of predator/prey scents and thermal conditions on the plasticity of preferred body temperatures (T (p)) in both actors of this interaction, using a dragonfly nymphs-newt larvae system. Dragonfly nymphs (Aeshna cyanea) and newt eggs (Ichthyosaura alpestris) were subjected to fluctuating cold and warm thermal regimes (7-12 and 12-22°C, respectively) and the presence/absence of a predator or prey chemical cues. Preferred body temperatures were measured in an aquatic thermal gradient (5-33°C) over a 24-h period. Newt T (p) increased with developmental temperature irrespective of the presence/absence of predator cues. In dragonflies, thermal reaction norms for T (p) were affected by the interaction between temperature and prey cues. Specifically, the presence of newt scents in cold regime lowered dragonfly T (p). We concluded that predator-prey interactions influenced thermally-induced plasticity of T (p) but not in a reciprocal fashion. The occurrence of frequency-dependent thermal plasticity may have broad implications for predator-prey population dynamics, the evolution of thermal biology traits, and the consequences of sustaining climate change within ecological communities.

  4. Effects of radiation on direct-drive laser target interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colombant, D. G.

    1999-11-01

    Radiation may be useful for reducing laser imprint and Rayleigh-Taylor (RT) growth in direct-drive target pellets. We will discuss the important role of radiation in a proposed direct-drive X-ray preheated target concept(S.Bodner et al., Phys. Plasmas 5,1901(1998)). In this design, a high-Z coating surrounds a thin plastic coat, over a DT-wicked foam and on top of the DT fuel. Radiation effects will be examined and discussed in the context of this design. The soft X-ray radiation emitted during the foot of the laser pulse - at a few 10^12W/cm^2- preheats the foam ablator which contributes to the reduction of the RT instability. The ablator also stops the radiation, allowing the fuel to stay on a low adiabat. Radiation in the blow-off corona of the target establishes a long scalelength plasma. This separates the ablation region from the laser absorption region where the remaining defects in laser uniformity/pellet surface finish constitute the seed for hydrodynamic instabilities. However, when the pulse intensity rises, the pressure generated by the laser in combination with the changing opacity of the plasma causes the plasma to be pushed back toward the ablator. This is called a Radiative Plasma Structure (RPS)(J.Dahlburg et al., J.Q.S.R.T. 54,113(1995)). These RPS's are a potential problem because they may carry with them the imprint which was present in the low-density corona. We will show and discuss these various effects, as well as some of the experimental work(C.Pawley et al., this conference) under way in connection with this program. These experiments are essential in order to validate both the design concepts and the numerical models, which include on-line state-of-the-art atomic physics modeling(M.Klapisch et al.,Phys. Plasmas 5,1919(1998)).

  5. Impact of spatio-temporal heterogeneities and lateral stirring and mixing on mid-water biotic interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez, E.; Richards, K. J.

    2010-08-01

    We study the impact of spatial and temporal inhomogeneities in the flux of particles on particle-biology interactions in the mesopelagic zone using a flux-prey-predator model. The mid-water biology is found to affect significantly the carbon flux associated with the sinking particles. Although the annual mean export flux at the bottom of the zone (taken to be at 1000 m depth) is changed at most 25% in the experiments reported here, the timing and amplitude of pulses of the bottom flux are very dependent on the way the flux at the top of the zone (taken to be 100 m depth) is packaged in time and space. The apparent sinking speed, based on the arrival of pulses of the export flux at the bottom of the zone (1000 m), can vary from 5 m day - 1 to 30 m day - 1 . Lateral stirring and mixing also impact the temporal and spatial distributions of the particle flux. A useful metric in determining the impact of stirring and mixing is the "mix-down depth" which combines the effects of the initial patch size, strength of stirring, diffusion and sinking rate. When the mix-down depth is small compared to the depth to which biological interactions are important, then the impact of stirring and mixing is large, producing significant changes to the temporal behavior of the export flux and reducing spatial inhomogeneities. The results have implications for the sampling of the carbon flux associated with sinking particles and the representativeness of point measurements.

  6. Temporal and spatial habitat preferences and biotic interactions between mosquito larvae and antagonistic crustaceans in the field.

    PubMed

    Kroeger, Iris; Liess, Matthias; Duquesne, Sabine

    2014-06-01

    Investigations on natural antagonists of mosquito larvae found that micro-crustaceans (e.g., Cladocera) control mosquito populations under experimental conditions. However, their relevance for mosquito control under field situations remains widely unclear because important information about habitat preferences and time of occurrence of crustaceans and mosquito larvae are still missing. In order to fill this knowledge gap, a field study was undertaken in different wetland areas of Saxony, Germany, in different habitats (i.e., grassland, forest, and reed-covered wetlands). We found negative interactions between larvae of Ae. vexans and predatory Cyclopoida (Crustacean: Copepoda), which both were dominant during the first two weeks of hydroperiod, at ponds located at grassland habitats. Larvae of Cx. pipiens were spatially associated with competing Cladocera, but they colonized ponds more rapidly. Populations of Cladocera established from the third week of hydroperiod and prevented Cx. pipiens colonization thereafter. Ostracoda were highly abundant during the whole hydroperiod, but their presence was restricted to habitats of reed-covered wetland at one geographical area. Mosquito larvae hardly occurred at those ponds. In general, we found that ponds at the reed-covered wetlands provided better conditions for the initial development of crustaceans and hence, mosquito larval colonization was strongly inhibited. Grassland habitat, in contrast, favored early development of mosquito larvae. This study showed that micro-crustaceans are relevant for mosquito management but their impact on mosquito larvae varies between species and depends on environmental conditions.

  7. Subtle gene-environment interactions driving paranoia in daily life.

    PubMed

    Simons, C J P; Wichers, M; Derom, C; Thiery, E; Myin-Germeys, I; Krabbendam, L; van Os, J

    2009-02-01

    It has been suggested that genes impact on the degree to which minor daily stressors cause variation in the intensity of subtle paranoid experiences. The objective of the present study was to test the hypothesis that catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val(158)Met and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val(66)Met in part mediate genetic effects on paranoid reactivity to minor stressors. In a general population sample of 579 young adult female twins, on the one hand, appraisals of (1) event-related stress and (2) social stress and, on the other hand, feelings of paranoia in the flow of daily life were assessed using momentary assessment technology for five consecutive days. Multilevel regression analyses were used to examine moderation of daily life stress-induced paranoia by COMT Val(158)Met and BDNF Val(66)Met genotypes. Catechol-O-methyltransferase Val carriers displayed more feelings of paranoia in response to event stress compared with Met carriers. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor Met carriers showed more social-stress-induced paranoia than individuals with the Val/Val genotype. Thus, paranoia in the flow of daily life may be the result of gene-environment interactions that can be traced to different types of stress being moderated by different types of genetic variation.

  8. The Role of Cholesterol in Driving IAPP-Membrane Interactions.

    PubMed

    Sciacca, Michele F M; Lolicato, Fabio; Di Mauro, Giacomo; Milardi, Danilo; D'Urso, Luisa; Satriano, Cristina; Ramamoorthy, Ayyalusamy; La Rosa, Carmelo

    2016-07-12

    Our knowledge of the molecular events underlying type 2 diabetes mellitus-a protein conformational disease characterized by the aggregation of islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) in pancreatic β cells-is limited. However, amyloid-mediated membrane damage is known to play a key role in IAPP cytotoxicity, and therefore the effects of lipid composition on modulating IAPP-membrane interactions have been the focus of intense research. In particular, membrane cholesterol content varies with aging and consequently with adverse environmental factors such as diet and lifestyle, but its role in the development of the disease is controversial. In this study, we employ a combination of experimental techniques and in silico molecular simulations to shed light on the role of cholesterol in IAPP aggregation and the related membrane disruption. We show that if anionic POPC/POPS vesicles are used as model membranes, cholesterol has a negligible effect on the kinetics of IAPP fibril growth on the surface of the bilayer. In addition, cholesterol inhibits membrane damage by amyloid-induced poration on membranes, but enhances leakage through fiber growth on the membrane surface. Conversely, if 1:2 DOPC/DPPC raft-like model membranes are used, cholesterol accelerates fiber growth. Next, it enhances pore formation and suppresses fiber growth on the membrane surface, leading to leakage. Our results highlight a twofold effect of cholesterol on the amyloidogenicity of IAPP and help explain its debated role in type 2 diabetes mellitus. PMID:27410742

  9. Finding the Biotic Fringe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shock, E.

    2014-12-01

    The deepest extent of inhabited rock, known as the biotic fringe, is determined by the interplay of geochemical and biochemical reaction rates. As a consequence it is unlikely that a single parameter, such as temperature, will be generally diagnostic. More probably, shifting combinations of compositional factors, together with temperature and pressure changes, will determine the position and dynamic movements of the biotic fringe. As an example, during serpentinization the biotic fringe may be determined by the depletion of carbon through carbonate precipitation or abiotic organic synthesis at mineral surfaces at temperatures and pressures that are readily inhabited elsewhere. During other weathering, diagenetic and alteration processes, the transition from sterile to populated may be determined by supply rates of reductants, oxidants, nutrients, or their diverse combinations. Where geochemical composition and mineral catalysts permit rapid abiotic organic synthesis and redox equilibration, microbes are unlikely to be able to compete. This is especially true if such conditions inhibit the function of enzymatic catalysts. As abiotic rates slow, opportunities for catalysis emerge as can the biotic fringe where enzymes can function effectively. There are many ways to turn this conceptual model into one that makes quantitative predictions. Rates of many abiotic redox and organic synthesis reactions are amenable to experimental study, and parallel biotic rate experiments yield particularly useful results. Likewise, determining how enzymes are inactivated at the limits of their function will add explicit biochemical constraints. Exploring for the biotic fringe in the subsurface involves using compositional data to evaluate apparent temperatures of equilibration that reveal anomalous approaches to redox equilibrium at conditions where abiotic rates are insufficient. Meanwhile, sampling the inhabitants of the biotic fringe will reveal surprising extents of enzyme behavior.

  10. Characterization and interaction of driving factors in karst rocky desertification: a case study from Changshun, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, E. Q.; Zhang, H. Q.

    2014-10-01

    As the most severe ecological issue in Southwest China, karst rocky desertification (KRD) has both threatened and constrained regional sustainable development. Comprehensively understanding the relationship between the evolution of KRD and relevant driving data would provide more information to combat KRD in such complex karst environments. Past studies have been limited in quantifying the relative importance of driving factors influencing fine-scale KRD evolution, and have also lacked insight into their interactive impacts. To address these issues, we have used geographical information system techniques and a geographical detector model to explore the spatial consistency of driving factors and their interactions in relation to the evolution of KRD. Changshun County in China was selected as a representative area for the study. Nine relevant driving factors, including both natural and anthropogenic factors, were studied in regard to their relationships with KRD transformation between 2000 and 2010. Our results demonstrate the relative importance of driving data in influencing the improvement and deterioration of KRD. Lithology, soil type and road influence are identified as the leading factors. Interestingly, to our study at least, there is no significant difference between the impacts of natural and anthropogenic factors. Factors were found to enhance the influence of each other for KRD transformation. In particular, the results show a non-linearly enhanced effect between driving factors, which significantly aggravates KRD. New information found in our study helps to effectively control and restore areas afflicted by KRD.

  11. Characterization and interaction of driving factors in karst rocky desertification: a case study from Changshun, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, E. Q.; Zhang, H. Q.

    2014-12-01

    As the most severe ecological issue in southwest China, karst rocky desertification (KRD) has both threatened and constrained regional sustainable development. Comprehensively understanding the relationship between the evolution of KRD and relevant driving data would provide more information to combat KRD in such complex karst environments. Past studies have been limited in quantifying the relative importance of driving factors influencing fine-scale KRD evolution, and have also lacked insight into their interactive impacts. To address these issues, we have used geographical information system techniques and a geographical detector model to explore the spatial consistency of driving factors and their interactions in relation to the evolution of KRD. Changshun County in China was selected as a representative area for the study. Nine relevant driving factors, including both natural and anthropogenic factors, were studied in regard to their relationships with KRD transformation between 2000 and 2010. Our results demonstrate the relative importance of driving data in influencing the improvement and deterioration of KRD. Lithology, soil type and road influence are identified as the leading factors. Interestingly, to our study at least, there is no significant difference between the impacts of natural and anthropogenic factors influencing KRD improvement, and even natural factors have a higher impact on KRD deterioration. Factors were found to enhance the influence of each other for KRD transformation. In particular, the results show a non-linearly enhanced effect between driving factors, which significantly aggravates KRD. New information found in our study helps to effectively control and restore areas afflicted by KRD.

  12. Biotic transitions in global marine diversity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, A. I.

    1998-01-01

    Long-term transitions in the composition of Earth's marine biota during the Phanerozoic have historically been explained in two different ways. One view is that they were mediated through biotic interactions among organisms played out over geologic time. The other is that mass extinctions transcended any such interactions and governed diversity over the long term by resetting the relative diversities of higher taxa. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that macroevolutionary processes effecting biotic transitions during background times were not fundamentally different from those operating during mass extinctions. Physical perturbations at many geographic scales combined to produce the long-term trajectory of Phanerozoic diversity.

  13. Interactions between genetic drift, gene flow, and selection mosaics drive parasite local adaptation.

    PubMed

    Gandon, Sylvain; Nuismer, Scott L

    2009-02-01

    Interactions between gene flow, spatially variable selection, and genetic drift have long been a central focus of evolutionary research. In contrast, only recently has the potential importance of interactions between these factors for coevolutionary dynamics and the emergence of parasite local adaptation been realized. Here we study host-parasite coevolution in a metapopulation model when both the biotic and the abiotic components of the environment vary in space. We provide a general expression for parasite local adaptation that allows local adaptation to be partitioned into the contributions of spatial covariances between host and parasite genotype frequencies within and between habitats. This partitioning clarifies how relative rates of gene flow, spatially variable patterns of selection, and genetic drift interact to shape parasite local adaptation. Specifically, by using this expression in conjunction with coevolutionary models, we show that genetic drift can dramatically increase the level of parasite local adaptation under some models of specificity. We also show that the effect of migration on parasite local adaptation depends on the geographic mosaic of selection. We discuss how these predictions could be tested empirically or experimentally using microbial systems.

  14. Using the functional response of a consumer to predict biotic resistance to invasive prey.

    PubMed

    Twardochleb, Laura A; Novak, Mark; Moore, Jonathan W

    2012-06-01

    Predators sometimes provide biotic resistance against invasions by nonnative prey. Understanding and predicting the strength of biotic resistance remains a key challenge in invasion biology. A predator's functional response to nonnative prey may predict whether a predator can provide biotic resistance against nonnative prey at different prey densities. Surprisingly, functional responses have not been used to make quantitative predictions about biotic resistance. We parameterized the functional response of signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) to invasive New Zealand mud snails (Potamopyrgus antipodarum; NZMS) and used this functional response and a simple model of NZMS population growth to predict the probability of biotic resistance at different predator and prey densities. Signal crayfish were effective predators of NZMS, consuming more than 900 NZMS per predator in a 12-h period, and Bayesian model fitting indicated their consumption rate followed a type 3 functional response to NZMS density. Based on this functional response and associated parameter uncertainty, we predict that NZMS will be able to invade new systems at low crayfish densities (< 0.2 crayfish/m2) regardless of NZMS density. At intermediate to high crayfish densities (> 0.2 crayfish/m2), we predict that low densities of NZMS will be able to establish in new communities; however, once NZMS reach a threshold density of -2000 NZMS/m2, predation by crayfish will drive negative NZMS population growth. Further, at very high densities, NZMS overwhelm predation by crayfish and invade. Thus, interacting thresholds of propagule pressure and predator densities define the probability of biotic resistance. Quantifying the shape and uncertainty of predator functional responses to nonnative prey may help predict the outcomes of invasions.

  15. Evolution of dispersal and life history interact to drive accelerating spread of an invasive species.

    PubMed

    Perkins, T Alex; Phillips, Benjamin L; Baskett, Marissa L; Hastings, Alan

    2013-08-01

    Populations on the edge of an expanding range are subject to unique evolutionary pressures acting on their life-history and dispersal traits. Empirical evidence and theory suggest that traits there can evolve rapidly enough to interact with ecological dynamics, potentially giving rise to accelerating spread. Nevertheless, which of several evolutionary mechanisms drive this interaction between evolution and spread remains an open question. We propose an integrated theoretical framework for partitioning the contributions of different evolutionary mechanisms to accelerating spread, and we apply this model to invasive cane toads in northern Australia. In doing so, we identify a previously unrecognised evolutionary process that involves an interaction between life-history and dispersal evolution during range shift. In roughly equal parts, life-history evolution, dispersal evolution and their interaction led to a doubling of distance spread by cane toads in our model, highlighting the potential importance of multiple evolutionary processes in the dynamics of range expansion.

  16. Social and genetic interactions drive fitness variation in a free-living dolphin population

    PubMed Central

    Frère, Celine H.; Krützen, Michael; Mann, Janet; Connor, Richard C.; Bejder, Lars; Sherwin, William B.

    2010-01-01

    The evolutionary forces that drive fitness variation in species are of considerable interest. Despite this, the relative importance and interactions of genetic and social factors involved in the evolution of fitness traits in wild mammalian populations are largely unknown. To date, a few studies have demonstrated that fitness might be influenced by either social factors or genes in natural populations, but none have explored how the combined effect of social and genetic parameters might interact to influence fitness. Drawing from a long-term study of wild bottlenose dolphins in the eastern gulf of Shark Bay, Western Australia, we present a unique approach to understanding these interactions. Our study shows that female calving success depends on both genetic inheritance and social bonds. Moreover, we demonstrate that interactions between social and genetic factors also influence female fitness. Therefore, our study represents a major methodological advance, and provides critical insights into the interplay of genetic and social parameters of fitness. PMID:21041638

  17. Metaphors to Drive By: Exploring New Ways to Guide Human-Robot Interaction

    SciTech Connect

    David J. Bruemmer; David I. Gertman; Curtis W. Nielsen

    2007-08-01

    Autonomous behaviors created by the research and development community are not being extensively utilized within energy, defense, security, or industrial contexts. This paper provides evidence that the interaction methods used alongside these behaviors may not provide a mental model that can be easily adopted or used by operators. Although autonomy has the potential to reduce overall workload, the use of robot behaviors often increased the complexity of the underlying interaction metaphor. This paper reports our development of new metaphors that support increased robot complexity without passing the complexity of the interaction onto the operator. Furthermore, we illustrate how recognition of problems in human-robot interactions can drive the creation of new metaphors for design and how human factors lessons in usability, human performance, and our social contract with technology have the potential for enormous payoff in terms of establishing effective, user-friendly robot systems when appropriate metaphors are used.

  18. Synergistic parasite-pathogen interactions mediated by host immunity can drive the collapse of honeybee colonies.

    PubMed

    Nazzi, Francesco; Brown, Sam P; Annoscia, Desiderato; Del Piccolo, Fabio; Di Prisco, Gennaro; Varricchio, Paola; Della Vedova, Giorgio; Cattonaro, Federica; Caprio, Emilio; Pennacchio, Francesco

    2012-01-01

    The health of the honeybee and, indirectly, global crop production are threatened by several biotic and abiotic factors, which play a poorly defined role in the induction of widespread colony losses. Recent descriptive studies suggest that colony losses are often related to the interaction between pathogens and other stress factors, including parasites. Through an integrated analysis of the population and molecular changes associated with the collapse of honeybee colonies infested by the parasitic mite Varroa destructor, we show that this parasite can de-stabilise the within-host dynamics of Deformed wing virus (DWV), transforming a cryptic and vertically transmitted virus into a rapidly replicating killer, which attains lethal levels late in the season. The de-stabilisation of DWV infection is associated with an immunosuppression syndrome, characterized by a strong down-regulation of the transcription factor NF-κB. The centrality of NF-κB in host responses to a range of environmental challenges suggests that this transcription factor can act as a common currency underlying colony collapse that may be triggered by different causes. Our results offer an integrated account for the multifactorial origin of honeybee losses and a new framework for assessing, and possibly mitigating, the impact of environmental challenges on honeybee health.

  19. Synergistic Parasite-Pathogen Interactions Mediated by Host Immunity Can Drive the Collapse of Honeybee Colonies

    PubMed Central

    Nazzi, Francesco; Brown, Sam P.; Annoscia, Desiderato; Del Piccolo, Fabio; Di Prisco, Gennaro; Varricchio, Paola; Della Vedova, Giorgio; Cattonaro, Federica; Caprio, Emilio; Pennacchio, Francesco

    2012-01-01

    The health of the honeybee and, indirectly, global crop production are threatened by several biotic and abiotic factors, which play a poorly defined role in the induction of widespread colony losses. Recent descriptive studies suggest that colony losses are often related to the interaction between pathogens and other stress factors, including parasites. Through an integrated analysis of the population and molecular changes associated with the collapse of honeybee colonies infested by the parasitic mite Varroa destructor, we show that this parasite can de-stabilise the within-host dynamics of Deformed wing virus (DWV), transforming a cryptic and vertically transmitted virus into a rapidly replicating killer, which attains lethal levels late in the season. The de-stabilisation of DWV infection is associated with an immunosuppression syndrome, characterized by a strong down-regulation of the transcription factor NF-κB. The centrality of NF-κB in host responses to a range of environmental challenges suggests that this transcription factor can act as a common currency underlying colony collapse that may be triggered by different causes. Our results offer an integrated account for the multifactorial origin of honeybee losses and a new framework for assessing, and possibly mitigating, the impact of environmental challenges on honeybee health. PMID:22719246

  20. Mutualistic interactions drive ecological niche convergence in a diverse butterfly community.

    PubMed

    Elias, Marianne; Gompert, Zachariah; Jiggins, Chris; Willmott, Keith

    2008-12-01

    Ecological communities are structured in part by evolutionary interactions among their members. A number of recent studies incorporating phylogenetics into community ecology have upheld the paradigm that competition drives ecological divergence among species of the same guild. However, the role of other interspecific interactions, in particular positive interactions such as mutualism, remains poorly explored. We characterized the ecological niche and inferred phylogenetic relationships among members of a diverse community of neotropical Müllerian mimetic butterflies. Müllerian mimicry is one of the best studied examples of mutualism, in which unpalatable species converge in wing pattern locally to advertize their toxicity to predators. We provide evidence that mutualistic interactions can drive convergence along multiple ecological axes, outweighing both phylogeny and competition in shaping community structure. Our findings imply that ecological communities are adaptively assembled to a much greater degree than commonly suspected. In addition, our results show that phenotype and ecology are strongly linked and support the idea that mimicry can cause ecological speciation through multiple cascading effects on species' biology.

  1. Laser-Plasma Interactions in Drive Campaign targets on the National Ignition Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinkel, D. E.; Callahan, D. A.; Moody, J. D.; Amendt, P. A.; Lasinski, B. F.; MacGowan, B. J.; Meeker, D.; Michel, P. A.; Ralph, J.; Rosen, M. D.; Ross, J. S.; Schneider, M. B.; Storm, E.; Strozzi, D. J.; Williams, E. A.

    2016-03-01

    The Drive campaign [D A Callahan et al., this conference] on the National Ignition Facility (NIF) laser [E. I. Moses, R. N. Boyd, B. A. Remington, C. J. Keane, R. Al-Ayat, Phys. Plasmas 16, 041006 (2009)] has the focused goal of understanding and optimizing the hohlraum for ignition. Both the temperature and symmetry of the radiation drive depend on laser and hohlraum characteristics. The drive temperature depends on the coupling of laser energy to the hohlraum, and the symmetry of the drive depends on beam-to-beam interactions that result in energy transfer [P. A. Michel, S. H. Glenzer, L. Divol, et al, Phys. Plasmas 17, 056305 (2010).] within the hohlraum. To this end, hohlraums are being fielded where shape (rugby vs. cylindrical hohlraums), gas fill composition (neopentane at room temperature vs. cryogenic helium), and gas fill density (increase of ∼ 150%) are independently changed. Cylindrical hohlraums with higher gas fill density show improved inner beam propagation, as should rugby hohlraums, because of the larger radius over the capsule (7 mm vs. 5.75 mm in a cylindrical hohlraum). Energy coupling improves in room temperature neopentane targets, as well as in hohlraums at higher gas fill density. In addition cross-beam energy transfer is being addressed directly by using targets that mock up one end of a hohlraum, but allow observation of the laser beam uniformity after energy transfer. Ideas such as splitting quads into “doublets” by re-pointing the right and left half of quads are also being pursued. LPI results of the Drive campaign will be summarized, and analyses of future directions presented.

  2. Pili-mediated Interactions between Neisseria Gonorrhoeae Bacteria are the Driving Mechanism of Microcolony Merging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poenisch, Wolfram; Weber, Christoph; Alzurqa, Khaled; Nasrollahi, Hadi; Biais, Nicolas; Zaburdaev, Vasily; Collective Dynamics of Cells Team; Mechano-Micro-Biology Lab Team

    2015-03-01

    During the early infection with Neisseria gonorrhoeae the bacteria form microcolonies consisting of a few hundreds to a few thousands of cells. The formation of colonies is mediated by type IV pili, thin and long filaments that are also involved in the motion of single cells over a substrate. A related process causes attractive cell-cell-interactions. While the motion of single cells has been extensively studied during the past years, the physical principles driving the growth of these colonies are poorly understood. One key mechanism of colony growth is coalescence of smaller colonies. Therefore we experimentally examine the process of merging of two Neisseria gonorrhoeae colonies. We develop a theoretical microscopic model of single cells interacting solely by their pili. The experimental data and the results obtained from our model are in excellent quantitative agreement. We observe a fast initial approach of the two merging colonies within a few minutes, that is followed by a slow relaxation of the colony shape with a characteristic time of several hours. These findings suggest that pili-mediated interactions are the primary driving mechanism of the microcolony merging process.

  3. A descriptive analysis of light vehicle-heavy vehicle interactions using in situ driving data.

    PubMed

    Hanowski, Richard J; Hickman, Jeffery S; Wierwille, Walter W; Keisler, Aysha

    2007-01-01

    Two recently completed on-road in situ (naturalistic) data collection efforts provided a large data set in which to conduct an examination of crashes, near-crashes, and crash-relevant conflicts (referred to as critical incidents throughout this paper) that occurred between light vehicles (LV) and heavy vehicles (HV). Video and non-video data collected during the two studies were used to characterize critical incidents that were recorded between LV and HV drivers. Across both studies, 210 LV-HV critical incidents were recorded. Of these, 78% were initiated by LV drivers, while the remaining 22% were initiated by HV drivers. Aggressive driving, on the part of the LV driver, was found to be the primary Contributing Factor for LV driver-initiated incidents. For HV driver-initiated incidents, the primary Contributing Factor was poor driving techniques. These results suggest that future efforts at addressing LV-HV interaction incidents should include focusing on aggressive LV drivers. Additionally, it is recommended that HV drivers might benefit from improved driver training that includes instruction on defensive driving skills. The in situ methodology provides an alternative to traditional crash databases, developed from police accident reports, for studying crash causation and driver behavior. PMID:16934736

  4. Interactive effects of xenobiotic, abiotic and biotic stressors on Daphnia pulex--results from a multiple stressor experiment with a fractional multifactorial design.

    PubMed

    Scherer, Christian; Seeland, Anne; Oehlmann, Jörg; Müller, Ruth

    2013-08-15

    Pollutant effects on aquatic key species are confounded by multiple abiotic and biotic stressors. To better discriminate and understand the intrinsic and environmental correlates of changing aquatic ecosystems, we untangle in present study how the effects of a low-dosed fungicide on daphnids (via different exposure routes) becomes modified by increasing temperature and the presence of a predator. Using a fractional multifactorial test design, the individual growth, reproduction and population growth rate of Daphnia pulex were investigated under exposure to the fungicide pyrimethanil at an environmental relevant concentration--either directly (via the water phase), indirectly (via food), dually (via water and food) or for multiple generations (fungicide treated source population)--at three temperatures and in presence/absence of the predator kairomones of Chaoborus flavicans. Our results clearly illustrate that multiple stress factors can modify the response of an aquatic key species to pollutants. The environmentally relevant exposure of the contaminant via food or the medium is of same importance. Nevertheless, temperature and the presence of a predator are the dominant factors controlling the reproduction of D. pulex. We conclude that sublethal pyrimethanil pollution can disturb the zooplankton community at suboptimal temperature conditions, but the effects will become masked by low temperatures or if chaoborid larvae are present. PMID:23727598

  5. FOXP2 drives neuronal differentiation by interacting with retinoic acid signaling pathways

    PubMed Central

    Devanna, Paolo; Middelbeek, Jeroen; Vernes, Sonja C.

    2014-01-01

    FOXP2 was the first gene shown to cause a Mendelian form of speech and language disorder. Although developmentally expressed in many organs, loss of a single copy of FOXP2 leads to a phenotype that is largely restricted to orofacial impairment during articulation and linguistic processing deficits. Why perturbed FOXP2 function affects specific aspects of the developing brain remains elusive. We investigated the role of FOXP2 in neuronal differentiation and found that FOXP2 drives molecular changes consistent with neuronal differentiation in a human model system. We identified a network of FOXP2 regulated genes related to retinoic acid signaling and neuronal differentiation. FOXP2 also produced phenotypic changes associated with neuronal differentiation including increased neurite outgrowth and reduced migration. Crucially, cells expressing FOXP2 displayed increased sensitivity to retinoic acid exposure. This suggests a mechanism by which FOXP2 may be able to increase the cellular differentiation response to environmental retinoic acid cues for specific subsets of neurons in the brain. These data demonstrate that FOXP2 promotes neuronal differentiation by interacting with the retinoic acid signaling pathway and regulates key processes required for normal circuit formation such as neuronal migration and neurite outgrowth. In this way, FOXP2, which is found only in specific subpopulations of neurons in the brain, may drive precise neuronal differentiation patterns and/or control localization and connectivity of these FOXP2 positive cells. PMID:25309332

  6. FOXP2 drives neuronal differentiation by interacting with retinoic acid signaling pathways.

    PubMed

    Devanna, Paolo; Middelbeek, Jeroen; Vernes, Sonja C

    2014-01-01

    FOXP2 was the first gene shown to cause a Mendelian form of speech and language disorder. Although developmentally expressed in many organs, loss of a single copy of FOXP2 leads to a phenotype that is largely restricted to orofacial impairment during articulation and linguistic processing deficits. Why perturbed FOXP2 function affects specific aspects of the developing brain remains elusive. We investigated the role of FOXP2 in neuronal differentiation and found that FOXP2 drives molecular changes consistent with neuronal differentiation in a human model system. We identified a network of FOXP2 regulated genes related to retinoic acid signaling and neuronal differentiation. FOXP2 also produced phenotypic changes associated with neuronal differentiation including increased neurite outgrowth and reduced migration. Crucially, cells expressing FOXP2 displayed increased sensitivity to retinoic acid exposure. This suggests a mechanism by which FOXP2 may be able to increase the cellular differentiation response to environmental retinoic acid cues for specific subsets of neurons in the brain. These data demonstrate that FOXP2 promotes neuronal differentiation by interacting with the retinoic acid signaling pathway and regulates key processes required for normal circuit formation such as neuronal migration and neurite outgrowth. In this way, FOXP2, which is found only in specific subpopulations of neurons in the brain, may drive precise neuronal differentiation patterns and/or control localization and connectivity of these FOXP2 positive cells.

  7. Early-life stress interactions with the epigenome: potential mechanisms driving vulnerability toward psychiatric illness.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Candace R; Olive, M Foster

    2014-09-01

    Throughout the 20th century a body of literature concerning the long-lasting effects of the early environment was produced. Adverse experiences in early life, or early-life stress (ELS), is associated with a higher risk of developing various psychiatric illnesses. The mechanisms driving the complex interplay between ELS and adult phenotype has baffled many investigators for decades. Over the last decade, the new field of neuroepigenetics has emerged as one possible mechanism by which ELS can have far-reaching effects on adult phenotype, behavior, and risk for psychiatric illness. Here we review two commonly investigated epigenetic mechanisms, histone modifications and DNA methylation, and the emerging field of neuroepigenetics as they relate to ELS. We discuss the current animal literature demonstrating ELS-induced epigenetic modulation of gene expression that results in altered adult phenotypes. We also briefly discuss other areas in which neuroepigenetics has emerged as a potential mechanism underlying environmental and genetic interactions.

  8. Functional Plant Types Drive Plant Interactions in a Mediterranean Mountain Range.

    PubMed

    Macek, Petr; Prieto, Iván; Macková, Jana; Pistón, Nuria; Pugnaire, Francisco I

    2016-01-01

    Shrubs have positive (facilitation) and negative (competition) effects on understory plants, the net interaction effect being modulated by abiotic conditions. Overall shrubs influence to great extent the structure of plant communities where they have significant presence. Interactions in a plant community are quite diverse but little is known about their variability and effects at community level. Here we checked the effects of co-occurring shrub species from different functional types on a focal understory species, determining mechanisms driving interaction outcome, and tested whether effects measured on the focal species were a proxy for effects measured at the community level. Growth, physiological, and reproductive traits of Euphorbia nicaeensis, our focal species, were recorded on individuals growing in association with four dominant shrub species and in adjacent open areas. We also recorded community composition and environmental conditions in each microhabitat. Shrubs provided environmental conditions for plant growth, which contrasted with open areas, including moister soil, greater N content, higher air temperatures, and lower radiation. Shrub-associated individuals showed lower reproductive effort and greater allocation to growth, while most physiological traits remained unaffected. Euphorbia individuals were bigger and had more leaf N under N-fixing than under non-fixing species. Soil moisture was also higher under N-fixing shrubs; therefore soil conditions in the understory may counter reduced light conditions. There was a significant effect of species identity and functional types in the outcome of plant interactions with consistent effects at individual and community levels. The contrasting allocation strategies to reproduction and growth in Euphorbia plants, either associated or not with shrubs, showed high phenotypic plasticity and evidence its ability to cope with contrasting environmental conditions.

  9. A Colloidal Description of Intermolecular Interactions Driving Fibril-Fibril Aggregation of a Model Amphiphilic Peptide.

    PubMed

    Owczarz, Marta; Motta, Anna C; Morbidelli, Massimo; Arosio, Paolo

    2015-07-14

    We apply a kinetic analysis platform to study the intermolecular interactions underlying the colloidal stability of dispersions of charged amyloid fibrils consisting of a model amphiphilic peptide (RADA 16-I). In contrast to the aggregation mechanisms observed in the large majority of proteins and peptides, where several elementary reactions involving both monomers and fibrils are present simultaneously, the system selected in this work allows the specific investigation of the fibril-fibril aggregation process. We examine the intermolecular interactions driving the aggregation reaction at pH 2.0 by changing the buffer composition in terms of salt concentration, type of ion as well as type and concentration of organic solvent. The aggregation kinetics are followed by dynamic light scattering, and the experimental data are simulated by Smoluchowski population balance equations, which allow to estimate the energy barrier between two colliding fibrils in terms of the Fuchs stability ratio (W). When normalized on a dimensionless time weighted on the Fuchs stability ratio, the aggregation profiles under a broad range of conditions collapse on a single master curve, indicating that the buffer composition modifies the aggregation kinetics without affecting the aggregation mechanism. Our results show that the aggregation process does not occur under diffusion-limited conditions. Rather, the reaction rate is limited by the presence of an activation energy barrier that is largely dominated by electrostatic repulsive interactions. Such interactions could be reduced by increasing the concentration of salt, which induces charge screening, or the concentration of organic solvent, which affects the dielectric constant. It is remarkable that the dependence of the activation energy on the ionic strength can be described quantitatively in terms of charge screening effects in the frame of the DLVO theory, although specific anion and cation effects are also observed. While anion

  10. Functional Plant Types Drive Plant Interactions in a Mediterranean Mountain Range

    PubMed Central

    Macek, Petr; Prieto, Iván; Macková, Jana; Pistón, Nuria; Pugnaire, Francisco I.

    2016-01-01

    Shrubs have positive (facilitation) and negative (competition) effects on understory plants, the net interaction effect being modulated by abiotic conditions. Overall shrubs influence to great extent the structure of plant communities where they have significant presence. Interactions in a plant community are quite diverse but little is known about their variability and effects at community level. Here we checked the effects of co-occurring shrub species from different functional types on a focal understory species, determining mechanisms driving interaction outcome, and tested whether effects measured on the focal species were a proxy for effects measured at the community level. Growth, physiological, and reproductive traits of Euphorbia nicaeensis, our focal species, were recorded on individuals growing in association with four dominant shrub species and in adjacent open areas. We also recorded community composition and environmental conditions in each microhabitat. Shrubs provided environmental conditions for plant growth, which contrasted with open areas, including moister soil, greater N content, higher air temperatures, and lower radiation. Shrub-associated individuals showed lower reproductive effort and greater allocation to growth, while most physiological traits remained unaffected. Euphorbia individuals were bigger and had more leaf N under N-fixing than under non-fixing species. Soil moisture was also higher under N-fixing shrubs; therefore soil conditions in the understory may counter reduced light conditions. There was a significant effect of species identity and functional types in the outcome of plant interactions with consistent effects at individual and community levels. The contrasting allocation strategies to reproduction and growth in Euphorbia plants, either associated or not with shrubs, showed high phenotypic plasticity and evidence its ability to cope with contrasting environmental conditions. PMID:27242863

  11. How to integrate geology, biology, and modern wireless technologies to assess biotic-abiotic interactions on coastal dune systems: a new multidisciplinary approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarti, Giovanni; Bertoni, Duccio; Bini, Monica; Ciccarelli, Daniela; Ribolini, Adriano; Ruocco, Matteo; Pozzebon, Alessandro; Alquini, Fernanda; Giaccari, Riccardo; Tordella, Stefano

    2014-05-01

    Coastal dune systems are arguably one of the most dynamic environments because their evolution is controlled by many factors, both natural and human-related. Hence, they are often exposed to processes leading to erosion, which in turn determine serious naturalistic and economic losses. Most recent studies carried out on different dune fields worldwide emphasized the notion that a better definition of this environment needs an approach that systematically involves several disciplines, striving to merge every data collected from any individual analyses. Therefore, a new multidisciplinary method to study coastal dune systems has been conceived in order to integrate geology, biology, and modern wireless technologies. The aim of the work is threefold: i) to check the reliability of this new approach; ii) to provide a dataset as complete as ever about the factors affecting the evolution of coastal dunes; and iii) to evaluate the influence of any biotic and abiotic factors on plant communities. The experimentation site is located along the Pisa coast within the Migliarino - S. Rossore - Massaciuccoli Regional Park, a protected area where human influence is low (Tuscany, Italy). A rectangle of 100 x 200 m containing 50 grids of 20 x 20 m was established along the coastal dune systems from the coastline to the pinewood at the landward end of the backdune area. Sampling from each grid determined grain-size analysis carried out on surface sediment samples such as geologic aspects; topographic surveys performed by means of DGPS-RTK instruments; geophysical surveys conducted with a GPR equipment, which will be matched with core drilling activities; digital image analysis of high definition pictures taken by means of a remote controlled aircraft drone flying over the study area; biological data obtained by percent cover of each vascular plant species recorded in the sampling unit. Along with geologic and biologic methodologies, this research implemented the use of informatics

  12. Macro- and microclimatic interactions can drive variation in species' habitat associations.

    PubMed

    Pateman, Rachel M; Thomas, Chris D; Hayward, Scott A L; Hill, Jane K

    2016-02-01

    Many species are more restricted in their habitat associations at the leading edges of their range margins, but some species have broadened their habitat associations in these regions during recent climate change. We examine the effects of multiple, interacting climatic variables on spatial and temporal patterns of species' habitat associations, using the speckled wood butterfly, Pararge aegeria, in Britain, as our model taxon. Our analyses reveal that this species, traditionally regarded as a woodland-dependent insect, is less restricted to woodland in regions with warmer winters and warmer and wetter summers. In addition, over the past 40 years of climate change, the species has become less restricted to woodland in locations where temperature and summer rainfall have increased most. We show that these patterns arise mechanistically because larval growth rates are slower in open (i.e. nonwoodland) habitats associated with colder microclimates in winter and greater host plant desiccation in summer. We conclude that macro- and microclimatic interactions drive variation in species' habitat associations, which for our study species resulted predominantly in a widening of habitat associations under climate change. However, species vary in their climatic and nonclimatic requirements, and so complex spatial and temporal patterns of changes in habitat associations are likely to be observed in future as the climate changes.

  13. Wave-Particle Interactions As a Driving Mechanism for the Solar Wind

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wagner, William J.

    2004-01-01

    Our research has been focusing on a highly experimentally relevant issue: intermittency of the fluctuating fields in outflowing plasmas. We have contributed to both the theoretical and experimental research of the topic. In particular, we have developed a theoretical model and data analyzing programs to examine the issue of intermittency in space plasma outflows, including the solar wind. As fluctuating electric fields in the solar wind are likely to provide a heating and acceleration mechanism for the ions, our studies of the intermittency in turbulence in space plasma outflows help us toward achieving the goal of comparing major physical mechanisms that contribute to the driving of the fast solar wind. Our new theoretical model extends the utilities of our global hybrid model, which has allowed us to follow the kinetic evolution of the particle distributions along an inhomogeneous field line while the particles are subjected to various physical mechanisms. The physical effects that were considered in the global hybrid model included wave-particle interactions, an ambipolar electric field that was consistent with the particle distributions themselves, and Coulomb collisions. With an earlier version of the global hybrid model, we examined the overall impact on the solar wind flow due to the combination of these physical effects. In particular, we studied the combined effects of two major mechanisms that had been proposed as the drivers of the fast solar wind: (1) velocity filtration effect due to suprathermal electrons; (2) ion cyclotron resonance. Since the approval of this research grant, we have updated the model such that the effects due to these two driving mechanisms can be examined separately, thereby allowing us to compare their contributions to the acceleration of the solar wind. In the next section, we shall demonstrate that the velocity filtration effect is rather insignificant in comparison with that due to ion cyclotron resonance.

  14. Plasma Interactions with High Voltage Solar Arrays for a Direct Drive Hall Effect Thruster System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schneider, T.; Horvater, M. A.; Vaughn, J.; Carruth, M. R.; Jongeward, G. A.; Mikellides, I. G.

    2003-01-01

    The Environmental Effects Group of NASA s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is conducting research into the effects of plasma interaction with high voltage solar arrays. These high voltage solar arrays are being developed for a direct drive Hall Effect Thruster propulsion system. A direct drive system configuration will reduce power system mass by eliminating a conventional power-processing unit. The Environmental Effects Group has configured two large vacuum chambers to test different high-voltage array concepts in a plasma environment. Three types of solar arrays have so far been tested, an International Space Station (ISS) planar array, a Tecstar planar array, and a Tecstar solar concentrator array. The plasma environment was generated using a hollow cathode plasma source, which yielded densities between 10(exp 6) - 10(exp 7) per cubic centimeter and electron temperatures of 0.5-1 eV. Each array was positioned in this plasma and biased in the -500 to + 500 volt range. The current collection was monitored continuously. In addition, the characteristics of arcing, snap over, and other features, were recorded. Analysis of the array performance indicates a time dependence associated with the current collection as well as a tendency for "conditioning" over a large number of runs. Mitigation strategies, to reduce parasitic current collection, as well as arcing, include changing cover-glass geometry and layout as well as shielding the solar cell edges. High voltage performance data for each of the solar array types tested will be presented. In addition, data will be provided to indicate the effectiveness of the mitigation techniques.

  15. Dynamic stability and slider-lubricant interactions in hard disk drives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ambekar, Rohit Pradeep

    2007-12-01

    Hard disk drives (HDD) have played a significant role in the current information age and have become the backbone of storage. The soaring demand for mass data storage drives the necessity for increasing capacity of the drives and hence the areal density on the disks as well as the reliability of the HDD. To achieve greater areal density in hard disk drives, the flying height of the airbearing slider continually decreases. Different proximity forces and interactions influence the air bearing slider resulting in fly height modulation and instability. This poses several challenges to increasing the areal density (current goal is 2Tb/in.2) as well as making the head-disk interface (HDI) more reliable. Identifying and characterizing these forces or interactions has become important for achieving a stable fly height at proximity and realizing the goals of areal density and reliability. Several proximity forces or interactions influencing the slider are identified through the study of touchdown-takeoff hysteresis. Slider-lubricant interaction which causes meniscus force between the slider and disk as well as airbearing surface contamination seems to be the most important factor affecting stability and reliability at proximity. In addition, intermolecular forces and disk topography are identified as important factors. Disk-to-slider lubricant transfer leads to lubricant pickup on the slider and also causes depletion of lubricant on the disk, affecting stability and reliability of the HDI. Experimental and numerical investigation as well as a parametric study of the process of lubricant transfer has been done using a half-delubed disk. In the first part of this parametric study, dependence on the disk lubricant thickness, lubricant type and slider ABS design has been investigated. It is concluded that the lubricant transfer can occur without slider-disk contact and there can be more than one timescale associated with the transfer. Further, the transfer increases non

  16. Thermodynamic descriptors, profiles and driving forces in membrane receptor-ligand interactions.

    PubMed

    Pliska, Vladimir

    2010-12-01

    Extension of the (isothermal) Gibbs-Helmholtz equation for the heat capacity terms (ΔC(p)) allows formulating a temperature function of the free (Gibbs) energy change (ΔG). An approximation of the virtually unknown ΔC(p) temperature function enables then to determine and numerically solve temperature functions of thermodynamic parameters ΔH and ΔS (enthalpy and entropy change, respectively). Analytical solutions and respective numeric procedures for several such approximation formulas are suggested in the presented paper. Agreement between results obtained by this analysis with direct microcalorimetric measurements of ΔH (and ΔC(p) derived from them) was approved on selected cases of biochemical interactions presented in the literature. Analysis of several ligand-membrane receptor systems indicates that temperature profiles of ΔH and ΔS are parallel, largely not monotonic, and frequently attain both positive and negative values within the current temperature range of biochemical reactions. Their course is determined by the reaction change of heat capacity: temperature extremes (maximum or minimum) of both ΔH and ΔS occur at ΔC(p)=0, for most of these systems at roughly 285-305 K. Thus, the driving forces of these interactions may change from enthalpy-, entropy-, or enthalpy-entropy-driven in a narrow temperature interval. In contrast, thermodynamic parameters of ligand-macromolecule interactions in solutions (not bound to a membrane) mostly display a monotonic course. In the case of membrane receptors, thermodynamic discrimination between pharmacologically defined groups-agonists, partial agonists, antagonists-is in general not specified and can be achieved, in the best, solely within single receptor groups.

  17. Goal representations and motivational drive in schizophrenia: the role of prefrontal-striatal interactions.

    PubMed

    Barch, Deanna M; Dowd, Erin C

    2010-09-01

    The past several years have seen a resurgence of interest in understanding the psychological and neural bases of what are often referred to as "negative symptoms" in schizophrenia. These aspects of schizophrenia include constructs such as asociality, avolition (a reduction in the motivation to initiate or persist in goal-directed behavior), and anhedonia (a reduction in the ability to experience pleasure). We believe that these dimensions of impairment in individuals with schizophrenia reflect difficulties using internal representations of emotional experiences, previous rewards, and motivational goals to drive current and future behavior in a way that would allow them to obtain desired outcomes, a deficit that has major clinical significance in terms of functional capacity. In this article, we review the major components of the systems that link experienced and anticipated rewards with motivated behavior that could potentially be impaired in schizophrenia. We conclude that the existing evidence suggests relatively intact hedonics in schizophrenia, but impairments in some aspects of reinforcement learning, reward prediction, and prediction error processing, consistent with an impairment in "wanting." As of yet, there is only indirect evidence of impairment in anterior cingulate and orbital frontal function that may support value and effort computations. However, there are intriguing hints that individuals with schizophrenia may not be able to use reward information to modulate cognitive control and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex function, suggesting a potentially important role for cortical-striatal interactions in mediating impairment in motivated and goal-directed behavior in schizophrenia.

  18. Goal Representations and Motivational Drive in Schizophrenia: The Role of Prefrontal–Striatal Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Barch, Deanna M.; Dowd, Erin C.

    2010-01-01

    The past several years have seen a resurgence of interest in understanding the psychological and neural bases of what are often referred to as “negative symptoms” in schizophrenia. These aspects of schizophrenia include constructs such as asociality, avolition (a reduction in the motivation to initiate or persist in goal-directed behavior), and anhedonia (a reduction in the ability to experience pleasure). We believe that these dimensions of impairment in individuals with schizophrenia reflect difficulties using internal representations of emotional experiences, previous rewards, and motivational goals to drive current and future behavior in a way that would allow them to obtain desired outcomes, a deficit that has major clinical significance in terms of functional capacity. In this article, we review the major components of the systems that link experienced and anticipated rewards with motivated behavior that could potentially be impaired in schizophrenia. We conclude that the existing evidence suggests relatively intact hedonics in schizophrenia, but impairments in some aspects of reinforcement learning, reward prediction, and prediction error processing, consistent with an impairment in “wanting.” As of yet, there is only indirect evidence of impairment in anterior cingulate and orbital frontal function that may support value and effort computations. However, there are intriguing hints that individuals with schizophrenia may not be able to use reward information to modulate cognitive control and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex function, suggesting a potentially important role for cortical–striatal interactions in mediating impairment in motivated and goal-directed behavior in schizophrenia. PMID:20566491

  19. Hydrophobic Mismatch Drives the Interaction of E5 with the Transmembrane Segment of PDGF Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Windisch, Dirk; Ziegler, Colin; Grage, Stephan L.; Bürck, Jochen; Zeitler, Marcel; Gor’kov, Peter L.; Ulrich, Anne S.

    2015-01-01

    The oncogenic E5 protein from bovine papillomavirus is a short (44 amino acids long) integral membrane protein that forms homodimers. It activates platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) β in a ligand-independent manner by transmembrane helix-helix interactions. The nature of this recognition event remains elusive, as numerous mutations are tolerated in the E5 transmembrane segment, with the exception of one hydrogen-bonding residue. Here, we examined the conformation, stability, and alignment of the E5 protein in fluid lipid membranes of substantially varying bilayer thickness, in both the absence and presence of the PDGFR transmembrane segment. Quantitative synchrotron radiation circular dichroism analysis revealed a very long transmembrane helix for E5 of ∼26 amino acids. Oriented circular dichroism and solid-state 15N-NMR showed that the alignment and stability of this unusually long segment depend critically on the membrane thickness. When reconstituted alone in exceptionally thick DNPC lipid bilayers, the E5 helix was found to be inserted almost upright. In moderately thick bilayers (DErPC and DEiPC), it started to tilt and became slightly deformed, and finally it became aggregated in conventional DOPC, POPC, and DMPC membranes due to hydrophobic mismatch. On the other hand, when E5 was co-reconstituted with the transmembrane segment of PDGFR, it was able to tolerate even the most pronounced mismatch and was stabilized by binding to the receptor, which has the same hydrophobic length. As E5 is known to activate PDGFR within the thin membranes of the Golgi compartment, we suggest that the intrinsic hydrophobic mismatch of these two interaction partners drives them together. They seem to recognize each other by forming a closely packed bundle of mutually aligned transmembrane helices, which is further stabilized by a specific pair of hydrogen-bonding residues. PMID:26287626

  20. Direct and indirect climatic drivers of biotic interactions: ice-cover and carbon runoff shaping Arctic char Salvelinus alpinus and brown trout Salmo trutta competitive asymmetries.

    PubMed

    Ulvan, Eva M; Finstad, Anders G; Ugedal, Ola; Berg, Ole Kristian

    2012-01-01

    One of the major challenges in ecological climate change impact science is to untangle the climatic effects on biological interactions and indirect cascading effects through different ecosystems. Here, we test for direct and indirect climatic drivers on competitive impact of Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus L.) on brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) along a climate gradient in central Scandinavia, spanning from coastal to high-alpine environments. As a measure of competitive impact, trout food consumption was measured using (137)Cs tracer methodology both during the ice-covered and ice-free periods, and contrasted between lakes with or without char coexistence along the climate gradient. Variation in food consumption between lakes was best described by a linear mixed effect model including a three-way interaction between the presence/absence of Arctic char, season and Secchi depth. The latter is proxy for terrestrial dissolved organic carbon run-off, strongly governed by climatic properties of the catchment. The presence of Arctic char had a negative impact on trout food consumption. However, this effect was stronger during ice-cover and in lakes receiving high carbon load from the catchment, whereas no effect of water temperature was evident. In conclusion, the length of the ice-covered period and the export of allochthonous material from the catchment are likely major, but contrasting, climatic drivers of the competitive interaction between two freshwater lake top predators. While future climatic scenarios predict shorter ice-cover duration, they also predict increased carbon run-off. The present study therefore emphasizes the complexity of cascading ecosystem effects in future effects of climate change on freshwater ecosystems.

  1. Cooperative Electrostatic Interactions Drive Functional Evolution in the Alkaline Phosphatase Superfamily.

    PubMed

    Barrozo, Alexandre; Duarte, Fernanda; Bauer, Paul; Carvalho, Alexandra T P; Kamerlin, Shina C L

    2015-07-22

    It is becoming widely accepted that catalytic promiscuity, i.e., the ability of a single enzyme to catalyze the turnover of multiple, chemically distinct substrates, plays a key role in the evolution of new enzyme functions. In this context, the members of the alkaline phosphatase superfamily have been extensively studied as model systems in order to understand the phenomenon of enzyme multifunctionality. In the present work, we model the selectivity of two multiply promiscuous members of this superfamily, namely the phosphonate monoester hydrolases from Burkholderia caryophylli and Rhizobium leguminosarum. We have performed extensive simulations of the enzymatic reaction of both wild-type enzymes and several experimentally characterized mutants. Our computational models are in agreement with key experimental observables, such as the observed activities of the wild-type enzymes, qualitative interpretations of experimental pH-rate profiles, and activity trends among several active site mutants. In all cases the substrates of interest bind to the enzyme in similar conformations, with largely unperturbed transition states from their corresponding analogues in aqueous solution. Examination of transition-state geometries and the contribution of individual residues to the calculated activation barriers suggest that the broad promiscuity of these enzymes arises from cooperative electrostatic interactions in the active site, allowing each enzyme to adapt to the electrostatic needs of different substrates. By comparing the structural and electrostatic features of several alkaline phosphatases, we suggest that this phenomenon is a generalized feature driving selectivity and promiscuity within this superfamily and can be in turn used for artificial enzyme design.

  2. Cooperative Electrostatic Interactions Drive Functional Evolution in the Alkaline Phosphatase Superfamily

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    It is becoming widely accepted that catalytic promiscuity, i.e., the ability of a single enzyme to catalyze the turnover of multiple, chemically distinct substrates, plays a key role in the evolution of new enzyme functions. In this context, the members of the alkaline phosphatase superfamily have been extensively studied as model systems in order to understand the phenomenon of enzyme multifunctionality. In the present work, we model the selectivity of two multiply promiscuous members of this superfamily, namely the phosphonate monoester hydrolases from Burkholderia caryophylli and Rhizobium leguminosarum. We have performed extensive simulations of the enzymatic reaction of both wild-type enzymes and several experimentally characterized mutants. Our computational models are in agreement with key experimental observables, such as the observed activities of the wild-type enzymes, qualitative interpretations of experimental pH-rate profiles, and activity trends among several active site mutants. In all cases the substrates of interest bind to the enzyme in similar conformations, with largely unperturbed transition states from their corresponding analogues in aqueous solution. Examination of transition-state geometries and the contribution of individual residues to the calculated activation barriers suggest that the broad promiscuity of these enzymes arises from cooperative electrostatic interactions in the active site, allowing each enzyme to adapt to the electrostatic needs of different substrates. By comparing the structural and electrostatic features of several alkaline phosphatases, we suggest that this phenomenon is a generalized feature driving selectivity and promiscuity within this superfamily and can be in turn used for artificial enzyme design. PMID:26091851

  3. Minimize Adverse Motor and Adjustable Speed Drive Interactions - Motor Tip Sheet #15

    SciTech Connect

    2008-07-01

    Electronic adjustable speed drives (ASDs) are an extremely efficient and valuable asset to motor systems. They allow precise process control and provide energy savings within systems that do not need to continuously operate at full output.

  4. Biotic resistance, disturbance, and mode of colonization impact the invasion of a widespread, introduced wetland grass.

    PubMed

    Kettenring, Karin M; Whigham, Dennis F; Hazelton, Eric L G; Gallagher, Sally K; Weiner, Heather M

    2015-03-01

    Disturbance and biotic resistance are important factors driving plant invasions, but how these factors interact for plants with different modes of colonization (i.e., sexual and asexual) is unclear. We evaluated factors influencing the invasion of nonnative Phragmites australis, which has been rapidly expanding in brackish tidal wetlands in Chesapeake Bay. We conducted a survey of naturally occurring small-scale disturbances (removal of vegetation and/or sediment deposition) across four plant communities; determined the effects of small-scale disturbance and biotic resistance on P. australis seedling and rhizome emergence; and tested the effects of size and frequency of small-scale disturbances on seedling emergence and survival of transplanted seedlings. The results of our study demonstrate that the invasion window for seeds is in disturbed areas in high-marsh plant communities that flood less frequently; seedling emergence in undisturbed areas was negligible. Establishment of shoots from rhizome segments was low in all plant communities. Disturbance size and frequency had no significant impact on seed germination and seedling survival. Our findings provide evidence that small-scale within-wetland disturbances are important for the invasion of the nonnative lineage of P. australis by seeds in brackish tidal wetlands in Chesapeake Bay. Efforts to reduce disturbances, large and small, in wetlands can be used to limit P. australis invasion by seed, but invasion by rhizome is still likely to occur across many plant communities irrespective of the presence of disturbance. PMID:26263668

  5. Running with the Red Queen: the role of biotic conflicts in evolution

    PubMed Central

    Brockhurst, Michael A.; Chapman, Tracey; King, Kayla C.; Mank, Judith E.; Paterson, Steve; Hurst, Gregory D. D.

    2014-01-01

    What are the causes of natural selection? Over 40 years ago, Van Valen proposed the Red Queen hypothesis, which emphasized the primacy of biotic conflict over abiotic forces in driving selection. Species must continually evolve to survive in the face of their evolving enemies, yet on average their fitness remains unchanged. We define three modes of Red Queen coevolution to unify both fluctuating and directional selection within the Red Queen framework. Empirical evidence from natural interspecific antagonisms provides support for each of these modes of coevolution and suggests that they often operate simultaneously. We argue that understanding the evolutionary forces associated with interspecific interactions requires incorporation of a community framework, in which new interactions occur frequently. During their early phases, these newly established interactions are likely to drive fast evolution of both parties. We further argue that a more complete synthesis of Red Queen forces requires incorporation of the evolutionary conflicts within species that arise from sexual reproduction. Reciprocally, taking the Red Queen's perspective advances our understanding of the evolution of these intraspecific conflicts. PMID:25355473

  6. Landscape simplification filters species traits and drives biotic homogenization

    PubMed Central

    Gámez-Virués, Sagrario; Perović, David J.; Gossner, Martin M.; Börschig, Carmen; Blüthgen, Nico; de Jong, Heike; Simons, Nadja K.; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Krauss, Jochen; Maier, Gwen; Scherber, Christoph; Steckel, Juliane; Rothenwöhrer, Christoph; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Weiner, Christiane N.; Weisser, Wolfgang; Werner, Michael; Tscharntke, Teja; Westphal, Catrin

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity loss can affect the viability of ecosystems by decreasing the ability of communities to respond to environmental change and disturbances. Agricultural intensification is a major driver of biodiversity loss and has multiple components operating at different spatial scales: from in-field management intensity to landscape-scale simplification. Here we show that landscape-level effects dominate functional community composition and can even buffer the effects of in-field management intensification on functional homogenization, and that animal communities in real-world managed landscapes show a unified response (across orders and guilds) to both landscape-scale simplification and in-field intensification. Adults and larvae with specialized feeding habits, species with shorter activity periods and relatively small body sizes are selected against in simplified landscapes with intense in-field management. Our results demonstrate that the diversity of land cover types at the landscape scale is critical for maintaining communities, which are functionally diverse, even in landscapes where in-field management intensity is high. PMID:26485325

  7. Landscape simplification filters species traits and drives biotic homogenization.

    PubMed

    Gámez-Virués, Sagrario; Perović, David J; Gossner, Martin M; Börschig, Carmen; Blüthgen, Nico; de Jong, Heike; Simons, Nadja K; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Krauss, Jochen; Maier, Gwen; Scherber, Christoph; Steckel, Juliane; Rothenwöhrer, Christoph; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Weiner, Christiane N; Weisser, Wolfgang; Werner, Michael; Tscharntke, Teja; Westphal, Catrin

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity loss can affect the viability of ecosystems by decreasing the ability of communities to respond to environmental change and disturbances. Agricultural intensification is a major driver of biodiversity loss and has multiple components operating at different spatial scales: from in-field management intensity to landscape-scale simplification. Here we show that landscape-level effects dominate functional community composition and can even buffer the effects of in-field management intensification on functional homogenization, and that animal communities in real-world managed landscapes show a unified response (across orders and guilds) to both landscape-scale simplification and in-field intensification. Adults and larvae with specialized feeding habits, species with shorter activity periods and relatively small body sizes are selected against in simplified landscapes with intense in-field management. Our results demonstrate that the diversity of land cover types at the landscape scale is critical for maintaining communities, which are functionally diverse, even in landscapes where in-field management intensity is high. PMID:26485325

  8. Landscape simplification filters species traits and drives biotic homogenization.

    PubMed

    Gámez-Virués, Sagrario; Perović, David J; Gossner, Martin M; Börschig, Carmen; Blüthgen, Nico; de Jong, Heike; Simons, Nadja K; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Krauss, Jochen; Maier, Gwen; Scherber, Christoph; Steckel, Juliane; Rothenwöhrer, Christoph; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Weiner, Christiane N; Weisser, Wolfgang; Werner, Michael; Tscharntke, Teja; Westphal, Catrin

    2015-10-20

    Biodiversity loss can affect the viability of ecosystems by decreasing the ability of communities to respond to environmental change and disturbances. Agricultural intensification is a major driver of biodiversity loss and has multiple components operating at different spatial scales: from in-field management intensity to landscape-scale simplification. Here we show that landscape-level effects dominate functional community composition and can even buffer the effects of in-field management intensification on functional homogenization, and that animal communities in real-world managed landscapes show a unified response (across orders and guilds) to both landscape-scale simplification and in-field intensification. Adults and larvae with specialized feeding habits, species with shorter activity periods and relatively small body sizes are selected against in simplified landscapes with intense in-field management. Our results demonstrate that the diversity of land cover types at the landscape scale is critical for maintaining communities, which are functionally diverse, even in landscapes where in-field management intensity is high.

  9. Uranium isotopes fingerprint biotic reduction

    SciTech Connect

    Stylo, Malgorzata; Neubert, Nadja; Wang, Yuheng; Monga, Nikhil; Romaniello, Stephen J.; Weyer, Stefan; Bernier-Latmani, Rizlan

    2015-04-20

    Knowledge of paleo-redox conditions in the Earth’s history provides a window into events that shaped the evolution of life on our planet. The role of microbial activity in paleo-redox processes remains unexplored due to the inability to discriminate biotic from abiotic redox transformations in the rock record. The ability to deconvolute these two processes would provide a means to identify environmental niches in which microbial activity was prevalent at a specific time in paleo-history and to correlate specific biogeochemical events with the corresponding microbial metabolism. Here, we demonstrate that the isotopic signature associated with microbial reduction of hexavalent uranium (U), i.e., the accumulation of the heavy isotope in the U(IV) phase, is readily distinguishable from that generated by abiotic uranium reduction in laboratory experiments. Thus, isotope signatures preserved in the geologic record through the reductive precipitation of uranium may provide the sought-after tool to probe for biotic processes. Because uranium is a common element in the Earth’s crust and a wide variety of metabolic groups of microorganisms catalyze the biological reduction of U(VI), this tool is applicable to a multiplicity of geological epochs and terrestrial environments. The findings of this study indicate that biological activity contributed to the formation of many authigenic U deposits, including sandstone U deposits of various ages, as well as modern, Cretaceous, and Archean black shales. In addition, engineered bioremediation activities also exhibit a biotic signature, suggesting that, although multiple pathways may be involved in the reduction, direct enzymatic reduction contributes substantially to the immobilization of uranium.

  10. Uranium isotopes fingerprint biotic reduction

    DOE PAGES

    Stylo, Malgorzata; Neubert, Nadja; Wang, Yuheng; Monga, Nikhil; Romaniello, Stephen J.; Weyer, Stefan; Bernier-Latmani, Rizlan

    2015-04-20

    Knowledge of paleo-redox conditions in the Earth’s history provides a window into events that shaped the evolution of life on our planet. The role of microbial activity in paleo-redox processes remains unexplored due to the inability to discriminate biotic from abiotic redox transformations in the rock record. The ability to deconvolute these two processes would provide a means to identify environmental niches in which microbial activity was prevalent at a specific time in paleo-history and to correlate specific biogeochemical events with the corresponding microbial metabolism. Here, we demonstrate that the isotopic signature associated with microbial reduction of hexavalent uranium (U),more » i.e., the accumulation of the heavy isotope in the U(IV) phase, is readily distinguishable from that generated by abiotic uranium reduction in laboratory experiments. Thus, isotope signatures preserved in the geologic record through the reductive precipitation of uranium may provide the sought-after tool to probe for biotic processes. Because uranium is a common element in the Earth’s crust and a wide variety of metabolic groups of microorganisms catalyze the biological reduction of U(VI), this tool is applicable to a multiplicity of geological epochs and terrestrial environments. The findings of this study indicate that biological activity contributed to the formation of many authigenic U deposits, including sandstone U deposits of various ages, as well as modern, Cretaceous, and Archean black shales. In addition, engineered bioremediation activities also exhibit a biotic signature, suggesting that, although multiple pathways may be involved in the reduction, direct enzymatic reduction contributes substantially to the immobilization of uranium.« less

  11. Uranium isotopes fingerprint biotic reduction.

    PubMed

    Stylo, Malgorzata; Neubert, Nadja; Wang, Yuheng; Monga, Nikhil; Romaniello, Stephen J; Weyer, Stefan; Bernier-Latmani, Rizlan

    2015-05-01

    Knowledge of paleo-redox conditions in the Earth's history provides a window into events that shaped the evolution of life on our planet. The role of microbial activity in paleo-redox processes remains unexplored due to the inability to discriminate biotic from abiotic redox transformations in the rock record. The ability to deconvolute these two processes would provide a means to identify environmental niches in which microbial activity was prevalent at a specific time in paleo-history and to correlate specific biogeochemical events with the corresponding microbial metabolism. Here, we demonstrate that the isotopic signature associated with microbial reduction of hexavalent uranium (U), i.e., the accumulation of the heavy isotope in the U(IV) phase, is readily distinguishable from that generated by abiotic uranium reduction in laboratory experiments. Thus, isotope signatures preserved in the geologic record through the reductive precipitation of uranium may provide the sought-after tool to probe for biotic processes. Because uranium is a common element in the Earth's crust and a wide variety of metabolic groups of microorganisms catalyze the biological reduction of U(VI), this tool is applicable to a multiplicity of geological epochs and terrestrial environments. The findings of this study indicate that biological activity contributed to the formation of many authigenic U deposits, including sandstone U deposits of various ages, as well as modern, Cretaceous, and Archean black shales. Additionally, engineered bioremediation activities also exhibit a biotic signature, suggesting that, although multiple pathways may be involved in the reduction, direct enzymatic reduction contributes substantially to the immobilization of uranium.

  12. Uranium isotopes fingerprint biotic reduction

    PubMed Central

    Stylo, Malgorzata; Neubert, Nadja; Wang, Yuheng; Monga, Nikhil; Romaniello, Stephen J.; Weyer, Stefan; Bernier-Latmani, Rizlan

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge of paleo-redox conditions in the Earth’s history provides a window into events that shaped the evolution of life on our planet. The role of microbial activity in paleo-redox processes remains unexplored due to the inability to discriminate biotic from abiotic redox transformations in the rock record. The ability to deconvolute these two processes would provide a means to identify environmental niches in which microbial activity was prevalent at a specific time in paleo-history and to correlate specific biogeochemical events with the corresponding microbial metabolism. Here, we demonstrate that the isotopic signature associated with microbial reduction of hexavalent uranium (U), i.e., the accumulation of the heavy isotope in the U(IV) phase, is readily distinguishable from that generated by abiotic uranium reduction in laboratory experiments. Thus, isotope signatures preserved in the geologic record through the reductive precipitation of uranium may provide the sought-after tool to probe for biotic processes. Because uranium is a common element in the Earth’s crust and a wide variety of metabolic groups of microorganisms catalyze the biological reduction of U(VI), this tool is applicable to a multiplicity of geological epochs and terrestrial environments. The findings of this study indicate that biological activity contributed to the formation of many authigenic U deposits, including sandstone U deposits of various ages, as well as modern, Cretaceous, and Archean black shales. Additionally, engineered bioremediation activities also exhibit a biotic signature, suggesting that, although multiple pathways may be involved in the reduction, direct enzymatic reduction contributes substantially to the immobilization of uranium. PMID:25902522

  13. Biotic homogenization and differentiation of soil faunal communities in the production forest landscape: taxonomic and functional perspectives.

    PubMed

    Mori, Akira S; Ota, Aino T; Fujii, Saori; Seino, Tatsuyuki; Kabeya, Daisuke; Okamoto, Toru; Ito, Masamichi T; Kaneko, Nobuhiro; Hasegawa, Motohiro

    2015-02-01

    Biotic homogenization has been reported worldwide. Although simplification of communities across space is often significant at larger scales, it could also occur at the local scale by changing biotic interactions. This study aimed to elucidate local community processes driving biotic homogenization of soil faunal communities, and the possibility of biotic re-differentiation. We recorded species of oribatid mites in litter and soil layers along a gradient of forest conversion from monoculture larch plantation to primary forests in central Japan. We collected data for functional traits of the recorded species to quantify functional diversity. Then we quantified their taxonomic/functional turnover. Litter diversity was reduced in the larch-dominated stands, leading to habitat homogenization. Consequently, litter communities were biologically homogenized and differentiated in the plantations and in the natural forest, respectively. Turnover of functional traits for litter communities was lower and higher than expected by chance in the plantations and in the natural stand, respectively. This result suggests that the dominant assembly process shifts from limiting similarity to habitat filtering along the forest restoration gradient. However, support for such niche-based explanations was not observed for communities in the soil layer. In the monocultures, functional diversity expected from a given regional species pool significantly decreased for litter communities but not for those in the soil layer. Such discrepancy between communities in different layers suggests that communities more exposed to anthropogenic stresses are more vulnerable to the loss of their functional roles. Our study explains possible community processes behind the observed patterns of biological organization, which can be potentially useful in guiding approaches for restoring biodiversity.

  14. Biotic homogenization and differentiation of soil faunal communities in the production forest landscape: taxonomic and functional perspectives.

    PubMed

    Mori, Akira S; Ota, Aino T; Fujii, Saori; Seino, Tatsuyuki; Kabeya, Daisuke; Okamoto, Toru; Ito, Masamichi T; Kaneko, Nobuhiro; Hasegawa, Motohiro

    2015-02-01

    Biotic homogenization has been reported worldwide. Although simplification of communities across space is often significant at larger scales, it could also occur at the local scale by changing biotic interactions. This study aimed to elucidate local community processes driving biotic homogenization of soil faunal communities, and the possibility of biotic re-differentiation. We recorded species of oribatid mites in litter and soil layers along a gradient of forest conversion from monoculture larch plantation to primary forests in central Japan. We collected data for functional traits of the recorded species to quantify functional diversity. Then we quantified their taxonomic/functional turnover. Litter diversity was reduced in the larch-dominated stands, leading to habitat homogenization. Consequently, litter communities were biologically homogenized and differentiated in the plantations and in the natural forest, respectively. Turnover of functional traits for litter communities was lower and higher than expected by chance in the plantations and in the natural stand, respectively. This result suggests that the dominant assembly process shifts from limiting similarity to habitat filtering along the forest restoration gradient. However, support for such niche-based explanations was not observed for communities in the soil layer. In the monocultures, functional diversity expected from a given regional species pool significantly decreased for litter communities but not for those in the soil layer. Such discrepancy between communities in different layers suggests that communities more exposed to anthropogenic stresses are more vulnerable to the loss of their functional roles. Our study explains possible community processes behind the observed patterns of biological organization, which can be potentially useful in guiding approaches for restoring biodiversity. PMID:25322821

  15. Glutathione and plant response to the biotic environment.

    PubMed

    Frendo, Pierre; Baldacci-Cresp, Fabien; Benyamina, Sofiane M; Puppo, Alain

    2013-12-01

    Glutathione (GSH) is a major antioxidant molecule in plants. It is involved in regulating plant development and responses to the abiotic and biotic environment. In recent years, numerous reports have clarified the molecular processes involving GSH in plant-microbe interactions. In this review, we summarize recent studies, highlighting the roles of GSH in interactions between plants and microbes, whether pathogenic or beneficial to plants.

  16. The impact of laser plasma interactions on three-dimensional drive symmetry in inertial confinement fusion implosions

    SciTech Connect

    Peterson, J. L. Michel, P.; Thomas, C. A.; Town, R. P. J.

    2014-07-15

    Achieving symmetric hohlraum radiation drive is an important aspect of indirectly driven inertial confinement fusion experiments. However, when experimentally delivered laser powers deviate from ideal conditions, the resultant radiation field can become asymmetric. Two situations in which this may arise are random uncorrelated fluctuations, in as-delivered laser power and laser beams that do not participate in the implosion (either intentionally or unintentionally). Furthermore, laser plasma interactions in the hohlraum obfuscate the connection between laser powers and radiation drive. To study the effect of these situations on drive symmetry, we develop a simplified model for crossed-beam energy transfer, laser backscatter, and plasma absorption that can be used in conjunction with view factor calculations to expediently translate laser powers into three-dimensional capsule flux symmetries. We find that crossed-beam energy transfer can alter both the statistical properties of uncorrelated laser fluctuations and the impact of missing laser beams on radiation symmetry. A method is proposed to mitigate the effects of missing laser beams.

  17. Emission switching in carbon dots coated CdTe quantum dots driving by pH dependent hetero-interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Dai, Xiao; Wang, Hao; Yi, Qinghua; Wang, Yun; Cong, Shan; Zhao, Jie; Sun, Yinghui; Zou, Guifu E-mail: jiexiong@uestc.edu.cn; Qian, Zhicheng; Huang, Jianwen; Xiong, Jie E-mail: jiexiong@uestc.edu.cn; Luo, Hongmei

    2015-11-16

    Due to the different emission mechanism between fluorescent carbon dots and semiconductor quantum dots (QDs), it is of interest to explore the potential emission in hetero-structured carbon dots/semiconducting QDs. Herein, we design carbon dots coated CdTe QDs (CDQDs) and investigate their inherent emission. We demonstrate switchable emission for the hetero-interactions of the CDQDs. Optical analyses indicate electron transfer between the carbon dots and the CdTe QDs. A heterojunction electron process is proposed as the driving mechanism based on N atom protonation of the carbon dots. This work advances our understanding of the interaction mechanism of the heterostructured CDQDs and benefits the future development of optoelectronic nanodevices with new functionalities.

  18. The Importance of Biotic vs. Abiotic Drivers of Local Plant Community Composition Along Regional Bioclimatic Gradients

    PubMed Central

    Klanderud, Kari; Vandvik, Vigdis; Goldberg, Deborah

    2015-01-01

    We assessed if the relative importance of biotic and abiotic factors for plant community composition differs along environmental gradients and between functional groups, and asked which implications this may have in a warmer and wetter future. The study location is a unique grid of sites spanning regional-scale temperature and precipitation gradients in boreal and alpine grasslands in southern Norway. Within each site we sampled vegetation and associated biotic and abiotic factors, and combined broad- and fine-scale ordination analyses to assess the relative explanatory power of these factors for species composition. Although the community responses to biotic and abiotic factors did not consistently change as predicted along the bioclimatic gradients, abiotic variables tended to explain a larger proportion of the variation in species composition towards colder sites, whereas biotic variables explained more towards warmer sites, supporting the stress gradient hypothesis. Significant interactions with precipitation suggest that biotic variables explained more towards wetter climates in the sub alpine and boreal sites, but more towards drier climates in the colder alpine. Thus, we predict that biotic interactions may become more important in alpine and boreal grasslands in a warmer future, although more winter precipitation may counteract this trend in oceanic alpine climates. Our results show that both local and regional scales analyses are needed to disentangle the local vegetation-environment relationships and their regional-scale drivers, and biotic interactions and precipitation must be included when predicting future species assemblages. PMID:26091266

  19. The Importance of Biotic vs. Abiotic Drivers of Local Plant Community Composition Along Regional Bioclimatic Gradients.

    PubMed

    Klanderud, Kari; Vandvik, Vigdis; Goldberg, Deborah

    2015-01-01

    We assessed if the relative importance of biotic and abiotic factors for plant community composition differs along environmental gradients and between functional groups, and asked which implications this may have in a warmer and wetter future. The study location is a unique grid of sites spanning regional-scale temperature and precipitation gradients in boreal and alpine grasslands in southern Norway. Within each site we sampled vegetation and associated biotic and abiotic factors, and combined broad- and fine-scale ordination analyses to assess the relative explanatory power of these factors for species composition. Although the community responses to biotic and abiotic factors did not consistently change as predicted along the bioclimatic gradients, abiotic variables tended to explain a larger proportion of the variation in species composition towards colder sites, whereas biotic variables explained more towards warmer sites, supporting the stress gradient hypothesis. Significant interactions with precipitation suggest that biotic variables explained more towards wetter climates in the sub alpine and boreal sites, but more towards drier climates in the colder alpine. Thus, we predict that biotic interactions may become more important in alpine and boreal grasslands in a warmer future, although more winter precipitation may counteract this trend in oceanic alpine climates. Our results show that both local and regional scales analyses are needed to disentangle the local vegetation-environment relationships and their regional-scale drivers, and biotic interactions and precipitation must be included when predicting future species assemblages.

  20. Characterising the interaction of individual-wheel drives with traction by linear parameter-varying model: a method for analysing the role of traction in torsional vibrations in wheel drives and active damping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhun Yeap, Khang; Müller, Steffen

    2016-02-01

    A model-based approach for characterising the interaction of individual-wheel drives with traction is contributed in this article. The primary aim is to investigate the influence of traction on torsional vibration behaviour in the drive train. The essence of this approach lies in reformulating the nonlinear traction behaviour into its differential form, which enables an analytical description of this interaction in its linear parameter-varying model equivalence. Analytical statements on the vibration behaviour for different driving scenarios are inferred from this model and validated with measurement samples from a high-performance electric road vehicle. Subsequent influences of traction on the performance of active damping of torsional vibrations are derived from this model.

  1. Interacting environmental mosaics drive geographic variation in mussel performance and predation vulnerability.

    PubMed

    Kroeker, Kristy J; Sanford, Eric; Rose, Jeremy M; Blanchette, Carol A; Chan, Francis; Chavez, Francisco P; Gaylord, Brian; Helmuth, Brian; Hill, Tessa M; Hofmann, Gretchen E; McManus, Margaret A; Menge, Bruce A; Nielsen, Karina J; Raimondi, Peter T; Russell, Ann D; Washburn, Libe

    2016-07-01

    Although theory suggests geographic variation in species' performance is determined by multiple niche parameters, little consideration has been given to the spatial structure of interacting stressors that may shape local and regional vulnerability to global change. Here, we use spatially explicit mosaics of carbonate chemistry, food availability and temperature spanning 1280 km of coastline to test whether persistent, overlapping environmental mosaics mediate the growth and predation vulnerability of a critical foundation species, the mussel Mytilus californianus. We find growth was highest and predation vulnerability was lowest in dynamic environments with frequent exposure to low pH seawater and consistent food. In contrast, growth was lowest and predation vulnerability highest when exposure to low pH seawater was decoupled from high food availability, or in exceptionally warm locations. These results illustrate how interactions among multiple drivers can cause unexpected, yet persistent geographic mosaics of species performance, interactions and vulnerability to environmental change. PMID:27151381

  2. Intermolecular Headgroup Interaction and Hydration as Driving Forces for Lipid Transmembrane Asymmetry.

    PubMed

    Smolentsev, Nikolay; Lütgebaucks, Cornelis; Okur, Halil I; de Beer, Alex G F; Roke, Sylvie

    2016-03-30

    Variations between the inner and outer leaflets of cell membranes are crucial for cell functioning and signaling, drug-membrane interactions, and the formation of lipid domains. Transmembrane asymmetry can in principle be comprised of an asymmetric charge distribution, differences in hydration, specific headgroup/H-bonding interactions, or a difference in the number of lipids per leaflet. Here, we characterize the transmembrane asymmetry of small unilamellar liposomes consisting of zwitterionic and charged lipids in aqueous solution using vibrational sum frequency scattering and second harmonic scattering, label-free methods, specifically sensitive to lipid and water asymmetries. For single component liposomes, transmembrane asymmetry is present for the charge distribution and lipid hydration, but the leaflets are not detectably asymmetric in terms of the number of lipids per leaflet, even though geometrical packing arguments would predict so. Such a lipid transmembrane asymmetry can, however, be induced in binary lipid mixtures under conditions that enable H-bonding interactions between phosphate and amine groups. In this case, the measured asymmetry consists of a different number of lipids in the outer and inner leaflet, a difference in transmembrane headgroup hydration, and a different headgroup orientation for the interacting phosphate groups.

  3. Cell Surface CD74-MIF Interactions Drive Melanoma Survival in Response to Interferon-γ

    PubMed Central

    Tanese, Keiji; Hashimoto, Yuuri; Berkova, Zuzana; Wang, Yuling; Samaniego, Felipe; Lee, Jeffrey E.; Ekmekcioglu, Suhendan; Grimm, Elizabeth A.

    2015-01-01

    While melanoma is believed to be a highly immunogenic tumor and recent developments in immunotherapies are promising. Interferon-γ (IFN-γ) produced by immune cells plays a crucial role in tumor immune surveillance; however, it has also been reported to be pro-tumorigenic. In the current study, we found that IFN-γ enhances the expression of CD74, which interacts with its ligand, macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), and thereby activates the PI3K/AKT pathway in melanoma, promoting tumor survival. IFN-γ increased phosphorylation of AKT Ser473 and upregulated total and cell surface expression of CD74 in human melanoma cell lines tested. CD74 was highly expressed in melanoma tissues. Moreover, the expression of CD74 on tumor cells correlated with plasma IFN-γ levels in melanoma patient samples. In our analysis of melanoma cell lines, all produced MIF constitutively. Blockade of CD74-MIF interaction reduced AKT phosphorylation and expression of pro-tumorigenic molecules, including interleukin-6, interleukin-8 and BCL-2. Inhibition of CD74-MIF interaction significantly suppressed tumor growth in the presence of IFN-γ in our xenograft mouse model. Thus, we conclude that IFN-γ promotes melanoma cell survival by regulating CD74-MIF signaling, suggesting that targeting the CD74-MIF interaction under IFN-γ–stimulatory conditions would be an effective therapeutic approach for melanoma. PMID:26039541

  4. The Assessment Interaction Plan--A Tool for Driving Performance Improvement through Analysis to Application

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Christensen, Brett; Barr, Jason

    2009-01-01

    The assessment interaction plan (AIP) is a performance support tool developed by members of the Canadian Defence Academy's Directorate of Learning Innovation. This article provides a brief overview of the performance gap that led to the creation of the AIP, its function within the overall courseware design process, a description of its components,…

  5. Cell Surface CD74-MIF Interactions Drive Melanoma Survival in Response to Interferon-γ.

    PubMed

    Tanese, Keiji; Hashimoto, Yuuri; Berkova, Zuzana; Wang, Yuling; Samaniego, Felipe; Lee, Jeffrey E; Ekmekcioglu, Suhendan; Grimm, Elizabeth A

    2015-11-01

    Melanoma is believed to be a highly immunogenic tumor and recent developments in immunotherapies are promising. IFN-γ produced by immune cells has a crucial role in tumor immune surveillance; however, it has also been reported to be pro-tumorigenic. In the current study, we found that IFN-γ enhances the expression of CD74, which interacts with its ligand, macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), and thereby activates the PI3K/AKT pathway in melanoma, promoting tumor survival. IFN-γ increased phosphorylation of AKT Ser473 and upregulated total cell surface expression of CD74 in human melanoma cell lines tested. CD74 was highly expressed in melanoma tissues. Moreover, the expression of CD74 on tumor cells correlated with plasma IFN-γ levels in melanoma patient samples. In our analysis of melanoma cell lines, all produced MIF constitutively. Blockade of CD74-MIF interaction reduced AKT phosphorylation and expression of pro-tumorigenic molecules, including IL-6, IL-8, and BCL-2. Inhibition of CD74-MIF interaction significantly suppressed tumor growth in the presence of IFN-γ in our xenograft mouse model. Thus, we conclude that IFN-γ promotes melanoma cell survival by regulating CD74-MIF signaling, suggesting that targeting the CD74-MIF interaction under IFN-γ-stimulatory conditions would be an effective therapeutic approach for melanoma.

  6. Your Town, A Biotic Community with People

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schultz, Beth

    1969-01-01

    Describes the concept of the biotic community to aid children in understanding food, space, and other relationships among living organisms, particularly those communities where man is the dominant organism. Outdoor laboratory experiences are suggested to help children see their town or city as a man-dominated biotic community. (BR)

  7. Hydrophobic Interactions Are Key To Drive the Association of Tapasin with Peptide Transporter Subunit TAP2.

    PubMed

    Rufer, Elke; Kägebein, Danny; Leonhardt, Ralf M; Knittler, Michael R

    2015-12-01

    The transporter associated with Ag processing (TAP) translocates proteasomally derived cytosolic peptides into the endoplasmic reticulum. TAP is a central component of the peptide-loading complex (PLC), to which tapasin (TPN) recruits MHC class I (MHC I) and accessory chaperones. The PLC functions to facilitate and optimize MHC I-mediated Ag presentation. The heterodimeric peptide transporter consists of two homologous subunits, TAP1 and TAP2, each of which contains an N-terminal domain (N-domain) in addition to a conserved transmembrane (TM) core segment. Each N-domain binds to the TM region of a single TPN molecule, which recruits one MHC I molecule to TAP1 and/or TAP2. Although both N-domains act as TPN-docking sites, various studies suggest a functional asymmetry within the PLC resulting in greater significance of the TAP2/TPN interaction for MHC loading. In this study, we demonstrate that the leucine-rich hydrophobic sequence stretches (with the central leucine residues L20 and L66) in the first and second TM helix of TAP2 form a functional unit acting as a docking site for optimal TPN/MHC I recruitment, whereas three distinct highly conserved arginine and/or aspartate residues inside or flanking these TM helices are dispensable. Moreover, we show that the physical interaction between TAP2 and TPN is disrupted by benzene, a compound known to interfere with hydrophobic interactions, such as those between pairing leucine zippers. No such effects were observed for the TAP1/TAP2 interaction or the complex formation between TPN and MHC I. We propose that TAP/TPN complex formation is driven by hydrophobic interactions via leucine zipper-like motifs.

  8. Herbivory drives large-scale spatial variation in reef fish trophic interactions.

    PubMed

    Longo, Guilherme O; Ferreira, Carlos Eduardo L; Floeter, Sergio R

    2014-12-01

    Trophic interactions play a critical role in the structure and function of ecosystems. Given the widespread loss of biodiversity due to anthropogenic activities, understanding how trophic interactions respond to natural gradients (e.g., abiotic conditions, species richness) through large-scale comparisons can provide a broader understanding of their importance in changing ecosystems and support informed conservation actions. We explored large-scale variation in reef fish trophic interactions, encompassing tropical and subtropical reefs with different abiotic conditions and trophic structure of reef fish community. Reef fish feeding pressure on the benthos was determined combining bite rates on the substrate and the individual biomass per unit of time and area, using video recordings in three sites between latitudes 17°S and 27°S on the Brazilian Coast. Total feeding pressure decreased 10-fold and the composition of functional groups and species shifted from the northern to the southernmost sites. Both patterns were driven by the decline in the feeding pressure of roving herbivores, particularly scrapers, while the feeding pressure of invertebrate feeders and omnivores remained similar. The differential contribution to the feeding pressure across trophic categories, with roving herbivores being more important in the northernmost and southeastern reefs, determined changes in the intensity and composition of fish feeding pressure on the benthos among sites. It also determined the distribution of trophic interactions across different trophic categories, altering the evenness of interactions. Feeding pressure was more evenly distributed at the southernmost than in the southeastern and northernmost sites, where it was dominated by few herbivores. Species and functional groups that performed higher feeding pressure than predicted by their biomass were identified as critical for their potential to remove benthic biomass. Fishing pressure unlikely drove the large

  9. Herbivory drives large-scale spatial variation in reef fish trophic interactions

    PubMed Central

    Longo, Guilherme O; Ferreira, Carlos Eduardo L; Floeter, Sergio R

    2014-01-01

    Trophic interactions play a critical role in the structure and function of ecosystems. Given the widespread loss of biodiversity due to anthropogenic activities, understanding how trophic interactions respond to natural gradients (e.g., abiotic conditions, species richness) through large-scale comparisons can provide a broader understanding of their importance in changing ecosystems and support informed conservation actions. We explored large-scale variation in reef fish trophic interactions, encompassing tropical and subtropical reefs with different abiotic conditions and trophic structure of reef fish community. Reef fish feeding pressure on the benthos was determined combining bite rates on the substrate and the individual biomass per unit of time and area, using video recordings in three sites between latitudes 17°S and 27°S on the Brazilian Coast. Total feeding pressure decreased 10-fold and the composition of functional groups and species shifted from the northern to the southernmost sites. Both patterns were driven by the decline in the feeding pressure of roving herbivores, particularly scrapers, while the feeding pressure of invertebrate feeders and omnivores remained similar. The differential contribution to the feeding pressure across trophic categories, with roving herbivores being more important in the northernmost and southeastern reefs, determined changes in the intensity and composition of fish feeding pressure on the benthos among sites. It also determined the distribution of trophic interactions across different trophic categories, altering the evenness of interactions. Feeding pressure was more evenly distributed at the southernmost than in the southeastern and northernmost sites, where it was dominated by few herbivores. Species and functional groups that performed higher feeding pressure than predicted by their biomass were identified as critical for their potential to remove benthic biomass. Fishing pressure unlikely drove the large

  10. Herbivory drives large-scale spatial variation in reef fish trophic interactions.

    PubMed

    Longo, Guilherme O; Ferreira, Carlos Eduardo L; Floeter, Sergio R

    2014-12-01

    Trophic interactions play a critical role in the structure and function of ecosystems. Given the widespread loss of biodiversity due to anthropogenic activities, understanding how trophic interactions respond to natural gradients (e.g., abiotic conditions, species richness) through large-scale comparisons can provide a broader understanding of their importance in changing ecosystems and support informed conservation actions. We explored large-scale variation in reef fish trophic interactions, encompassing tropical and subtropical reefs with different abiotic conditions and trophic structure of reef fish community. Reef fish feeding pressure on the benthos was determined combining bite rates on the substrate and the individual biomass per unit of time and area, using video recordings in three sites between latitudes 17°S and 27°S on the Brazilian Coast. Total feeding pressure decreased 10-fold and the composition of functional groups and species shifted from the northern to the southernmost sites. Both patterns were driven by the decline in the feeding pressure of roving herbivores, particularly scrapers, while the feeding pressure of invertebrate feeders and omnivores remained similar. The differential contribution to the feeding pressure across trophic categories, with roving herbivores being more important in the northernmost and southeastern reefs, determined changes in the intensity and composition of fish feeding pressure on the benthos among sites. It also determined the distribution of trophic interactions across different trophic categories, altering the evenness of interactions. Feeding pressure was more evenly distributed at the southernmost than in the southeastern and northernmost sites, where it was dominated by few herbivores. Species and functional groups that performed higher feeding pressure than predicted by their biomass were identified as critical for their potential to remove benthic biomass. Fishing pressure unlikely drove the large

  11. Interactions of Multiple Atmospheric Circulation Drive the Drought in Tarim River Basin.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yong-Ping; Feng, Guo-Lin; Li, Bai-Lian

    2016-01-01

    Global warming is likely to cause overall drying of land surfaces and aridity increasing leading to expansion of dry climate zones. There is an increased risk of extremely arid environment and large deserts developed progressively in the central Asia. However, the key factors causing the drying in mid-Asia remain inconclusive. Here, we analyzed the relationship among precipitation, water vapor transportation in Tarim River Basin (TRB) and Multiple Atmospheric Circulation (MAC) to explore the mechanism of MAC driving the drying in TRB, through comparing MAC between abundant and scarce precipitation years. We found that Westerly Circulation (WC) and Asian Summer Monsoon (ASM) are likely to promote the precipitation respectively. Whereas, they not only have their own influence but also restrict each other and facilitate the forming of peculiar water vapor transport channel for TRB, which is probably to restrain the precipitation and its distribution pattern and accelerate the drying in this region. Our results enrich the findings on mechanisms of wet places becoming wetter while dry areas getting drier under the global warming. PMID:27198665

  12. Interactions of Multiple Atmospheric Circulation Drive the Drought in Tarim River Basin

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yong-Ping; Feng, Guo-Lin; Li, Bai-Lian

    2016-01-01

    Global warming is likely to cause overall drying of land surfaces and aridity increasing leading to expansion of dry climate zones. There is an increased risk of extremely arid environment and large deserts developed progressively in the central Asia. However, the key factors causing the drying in mid-Asia remain inconclusive. Here, we analyzed the relationship among precipitation, water vapor transportation in Tarim River Basin (TRB) and Multiple Atmospheric Circulation (MAC) to explore the mechanism of MAC driving the drying in TRB, through comparing MAC between abundant and scarce precipitation years. We found that Westerly Circulation (WC) and Asian Summer Monsoon (ASM) are likely to promote the precipitation respectively. Whereas, they not only have their own influence but also restrict each other and facilitate the forming of peculiar water vapor transport channel for TRB, which is probably to restrain the precipitation and its distribution pattern and accelerate the drying in this region. Our results enrich the findings on mechanisms of wet places becoming wetter while dry areas getting drier under the global warming. PMID:27198665

  13. Interactions of Multiple Atmospheric Circulation Drive the Drought in Tarim River Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Yong-Ping; Feng, Guo-Lin; Li, Bai-Lian

    2016-05-01

    Global warming is likely to cause overall drying of land surfaces and aridity increasing leading to expansion of dry climate zones. There is an increased risk of extremely arid environment and large deserts developed progressively in the central Asia. However, the key factors causing the drying in mid-Asia remain inconclusive. Here, we analyzed the relationship among precipitation, water vapor transportation in Tarim River Basin (TRB) and Multiple Atmospheric Circulation (MAC) to explore the mechanism of MAC driving the drying in TRB, through comparing MAC between abundant and scarce precipitation years. We found that Westerly Circulation (WC) and Asian Summer Monsoon (ASM) are likely to promote the precipitation respectively. Whereas, they not only have their own influence but also restrict each other and facilitate the forming of peculiar water vapor transport channel for TRB, which is probably to restrain the precipitation and its distribution pattern and accelerate the drying in this region. Our results enrich the findings on mechanisms of wet places becoming wetter while dry areas getting drier under the global warming.

  14. Interactions of Multiple Atmospheric Circulation Drive the Drought in Tarim River Basin.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yong-Ping; Feng, Guo-Lin; Li, Bai-Lian

    2016-05-20

    Global warming is likely to cause overall drying of land surfaces and aridity increasing leading to expansion of dry climate zones. There is an increased risk of extremely arid environment and large deserts developed progressively in the central Asia. However, the key factors causing the drying in mid-Asia remain inconclusive. Here, we analyzed the relationship among precipitation, water vapor transportation in Tarim River Basin (TRB) and Multiple Atmospheric Circulation (MAC) to explore the mechanism of MAC driving the drying in TRB, through comparing MAC between abundant and scarce precipitation years. We found that Westerly Circulation (WC) and Asian Summer Monsoon (ASM) are likely to promote the precipitation respectively. Whereas, they not only have their own influence but also restrict each other and facilitate the forming of peculiar water vapor transport channel for TRB, which is probably to restrain the precipitation and its distribution pattern and accelerate the drying in this region. Our results enrich the findings on mechanisms of wet places becoming wetter while dry areas getting drier under the global warming.

  15. Design and Implementation of High Interaction Client Honeypot for Drive-by-Download Attacks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akiyama, Mitsuaki; Iwamura, Makoto; Kawakoya, Yuhei; Aoki, Kazufumi; Itoh, Mitsutaka

    Nowadays, the number of web-browser targeted attacks that lead users to adversaries' web sites and exploit web browser vulnerabilities is increasing, and a clarification of their methods and countermeasures is urgently needed. In this paper, we introduce the design and implementation of a new client honeypot for drive-by-download attacks that has the capacity to detect and investigate a variety of malicious web sites. On the basis of the problems of existing client honeypots, we enumerate the requirements of a client honeypot: 1) detection accuracy and variety, 2) collection variety, 3) performance efficiency, and 4) safety and stability. We improve our system with regard to these requirements. The key features of our developed system are stepwise detection focusing on exploit phases, multiple crawler processing, tracking of malware distribution networks, and malware infection prevention. Our evaluation of our developed system in a laboratory experiment and field experiment indicated that its detection variety and crawling performance are higher than those of existing client honeypots. In addition, our system is able to collect information for countermeasures and is secure and stable for continuous operation. We conclude that our system can investigate malicious web sites comprehensively and support countermeasures.

  16. Conspecific and Heterospecific Plant Densities at Small-Scale Can Drive Plant-Pollinator Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Janovský, Zdeněk; Mikát, Michael; Hadrava, Jiří; Horčičková, Eva; Kmecová, Kateřina; Požárová, Doubravka; Smyčka, Jan; Herben, Tomáš

    2013-01-01

    Generalist pollinators are important in many habitats, but little research has been done on small-scale spatial variation in interactions between them and the plants that they visit. Here, using a spatially explicit approach, we examined whether multiple species of flowering plants occurring within a single meadow showed spatial structure in their generalist pollinator assemblages. We report the results for eight plant species for which at least 200 individual visits were recorded. We found that for all of these species, the proportions of their general pollinator assemblages accounted for by particular functional groups showed spatial heterogeneity at the scale of tens of metres. This heterogeneity was connected either with no or only subtle changes of vegetation and flowering species composition. In five of these species, differences in conspecific plant density influenced the pollinator communities (with greater dominance of main pollinators at low-conspecific plant densities). The density of heterospecific plant individuals influenced the pollinator spectrum in one case. Our results indicate that the picture of plant-pollinator interactions provided by averaging data within large plots may be misleading and that within-site spatial heterogeneity should be accounted for in terms of sampling effort allocation and analysis. Moreover, spatially structured plant-pollinator interactions may have important ecological and evolutionary consequences, especially for plant population biology. PMID:24204818

  17. RAC1 activation drives pathologic interactions between the epidermis and immune cells

    PubMed Central

    Winge, Mårten C.G.; Ohyama, Bungo; Dey, Clara N.; Boxer, Lisa M.; Li, Wei; Ehsani-Chimeh, Nazanin; Truong, Allison K.; Wu, Diane; Armstrong, April W.; Makino, Teruhiko; Davidson, Matthew; Starcevic, Daniela; Nguyen, Ngon T.; Hashimoto, Takashi; Homey, Bernard; Khavari, Paul A.; Bradley, Maria; Waterman, Elizabeth A.; Marinkovich, M. Peter

    2016-01-01

    Interactions between the epidermis and the immune system govern epidermal tissue homeostasis. These epidermis-immune interactions are altered in the inflammatory disease psoriasis; however, the pathways that underlie this aberrant immune response are not well understood. Here, we determined that Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (RAC1) is a key mediator of epidermal dysfunction. RAC1 activation was consistently elevated in psoriatic epidermis and primary psoriatic human keratinocytes (PHKCs) exposed to psoriasis-related stimuli, but not in skin from patients with basal or squamous cell carcinoma. Expression of a constitutively active form of RAC1 (RACV12) in mice resulted in the development of lesions similar to those of human psoriasis that required the presence of an intact immune system. RAC1V12-expressing mice and human psoriatic skin showed similar RAC1-dependent signaling as well as transcriptional overlap of differentially expressed epidermal and immune pathways. Coculture of PHKCs with immunocytes resulted in the upregulation of RAC1-dependent proinflammatory cytokines, an effect that was reproduced by overexpressing RAC1 in normal human keratinocytes. In keratinocytes, modulating RAC1 activity altered differentiation, proliferation, and inflammatory pathways, including STAT3, NFκB, and zinc finger protein 750 (ZNF750). Finally, RAC1 inhibition in xenografts composed of human PHKCs and immunocytes abolished psoriasiform hyperplasia and inflammation in vivo. These studies implicate RAC1 as a potential therapeutic target for psoriasis and as a key orchestrator of pathologic epidermis-immune interactions. PMID:27294528

  18. Electrostatic contributions drive the interaction between Staphylococcus aureus protein Efb-C and its complement target C3d

    PubMed Central

    Haspel, Nurit; Ricklin, Daniel; Geisbrecht, Brian V.; Kavraki, Lydia E.; Lambris, John D.

    2008-01-01

    The C3–inhibitory domain of Staphylococcus aureus extracellular fibrinogen-binding protein (Efb-C) defines a novel three-helix bundle motif that regulates complement activation. Previous crystallographic studies of Efb-C bound to its cognate subdomain of human C3 (C3d) identified Arg-131 and Asn-138 of Efb-C as key residues for its activity. In order to characterize more completely the physical and chemical driving forces behind this important interaction, we employed in this study a combination of structural, biophysical, and computational methods to analyze the interaction of C3d with Efb-C and the single-point mutants R131A and N138A. Our results show that while these mutations do not drastically affect the structure of the Efb-C/C3d recognition complex, they have significant adverse effects on both the thermodynamic and kinetic profiles of the resulting complexes. We also characterized other key interactions along the Efb-C/C3d binding interface and found an intricate network of salt bridges and hydrogen bonds that anchor Efb-C to C3d, resulting in its potent complement inhibitory properties. PMID:18687868

  19. Electrostatic Contributions Drive the Interaction Between Staphylococcus aureus Protein Efb-C and its Complement Target C3d

    SciTech Connect

    Haspel, N.; Ricklin, D.; Geisbrecht, B.V.; Kavraki, L.E.; Lambris, J.D.

    2008-11-13

    The C3-inhibitory domain of Staphylococcus aureus extracellular fibrinogen-binding protein (Efb-C) defines a novel three-helix bundle motif that regulates complement activation. Previous crystallographic studies of Efb-C bound to its cognate subdomain of human C3 (C3d) identified Arg-131 and Asn-138 of Efb-C as key residues for its activity. In order to characterize more completely the physical and chemical driving forces behind this important interaction, we employed in this study a combination of structural, biophysical, and computational methods to analyze the interaction of C3d with Efb-C and the single-point mutants R131A and N138A. Our results show that while these mutations do not drastically affect the structure of the Efb-C/C3d recognition complex, they have significant adverse effects on both the thermodynamic and kinetic profiles of the resulting complexes. We also characterized other key interactions along the Efb-C/C3d binding interface and found an intricate network of salt bridges and hydrogen bonds that anchor Efb-C to C3d, resulting in its potent complement inhibitory properties.

  20. Biotic Proxies For Ocean Acidification?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, E.

    2013-12-01

    Present and future high atmospheric pCO2 levels have caused acidification of the oceans, which has led to studies of past ocean acidification and its biotic response in the geological record (1). Therefore we need proxies for past acidification. Geochemical proxies for ocean pH are being developed (e.g., boron based), and various trace element and stable isotope proxies in part reflect carbonate saturation levels. In addition to geochemical proxies, the relative abundances of some benthic foraminiferal species might serve as proxies for the saturation state of bottom or pore waters. In general, pore waters are less carbonate-saturated than bottom waters, and infaunal benthic foraminifera calcify in such less saturated waters. The relative abundance of infaunal species of benthic foraminifera has commonly been used as a proxy for a high food supply (and/or oxygen depleted bottom or pore waters). This proxy (infaunal %), however, can be used to indicate high food/low oxygen ONLY in the absence of evidence for carbonate dissolution, and is a qualitative proxy for carbonate undersaturation of bottom and pore waters in the presence of such evidence (2). The living species Nuttallides umbonifer can calcify in carbonate-corrosive waters (i.e., below the lysocline), and its extinct Paleogene ancestor N. truempyi may have had a similar tolerance, in view of the fact that it is a deep-water species and commonly abundant in samples which otherwise contain agglutinant taxa only. The pattern of deep-sea benthic foraminiferal abundances across the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum at South Atlantic Site 1263 (Walvis Ridge) can then be interpreted as a time sequence indicative of full dissolution (no calcareous benthics) at the start of the event, followed by strong dissolution (mainly infaunal taxa with relatively high % of N. truempyi), moderate dissolution (high % of N. truempyi), and return to background conditions. On the opposite extreme, extinction of pelagic calcifiers at

  1. CCL2 Mediates Neuron-Macrophage Interactions to Drive Proregenerative Macrophage Activation Following Preconditioning Injury.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Min Jung; Shin, Hae Young; Cui, Yuexian; Kim, Hyosil; Thi, Anh Hong Le; Choi, Jun Young; Kim, Eun Young; Hwang, Dong Hoon; Kim, Byung Gon

    2015-12-01

    CNS neurons in adult mammals do not spontaneously regenerate axons after spinal cord injury. Preconditioning peripheral nerve injury allows the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) sensory axons to regenerate beyond the injury site by promoting expression of regeneration-associated genes. We have previously shown that peripheral nerve injury increases the number of macrophages in the DRGs and that the activated macrophages are critical to the enhancement of intrinsic regeneration capacity. The present study identifies a novel chemokine signal mediated by CCL2 that links regenerating neurons with proregenerative macrophage activation. Neutralization of CCL2 abolished the neurite outgrowth activity of conditioned medium obtained from neuron-macrophage cocultures treated with cAMP. The neuron-macrophage interactions that produced outgrowth-promoting conditioned medium required CCL2 in neurons and CCR2/CCR4 in macrophages. The conditioning effects were abolished in CCL2-deficient mice at 3 and 7 d after sciatic nerve injury, but CCL2 was dispensable for the initial growth response and upregulation of GAP-43 at the 1 d time point. Intraganglionic injection of CCL2 mimicked conditioning injury by mobilizing M2-like macrophages. Finally, overexpression of CCL2 in DRGs promoted sensory axon regeneration in a rat spinal cord injury model without harmful side effects. Our data suggest that CCL2-mediated neuron-macrophage interaction plays a critical role for amplification and maintenance of enhanced regenerative capacity by preconditioning peripheral nerve injury. Manipulation of chemokine signaling mediating neuron-macrophage interactions may represent a novel therapeutic approach to promote axon regeneration after CNS injury.

  2. Understanding the dynamic interactions driving Zambian health centre performance: a case-based health systems analysis

    PubMed Central

    Topp, Stephanie M; Chipukuma, Julien M; Hanefeld, Johanna

    2015-01-01

    Background Despite being central to achieving improved population health outcomes, primary health centres in low- and middle-income settings continue to underperform. Little research exists to adequately explain how and why this is the case. This study aimed to test the relevance and usefulness of an adapted conceptual framework for improving our understanding of the mechanisms and causal pathways influencing primary health centre performance. Methods A theory-driven, case-study approach was adopted. Four Zambian health centres were purposefully selected with case data including health-care worker interviews (n = 60); patient interviews (n = 180); direct observation of facility operations (2 weeks/centre) and key informant interviews (n = 14). Data were analysed to understand how the performance of each site was influenced by the dynamic interactions between system ‘hardware’ and ‘software’ acting on mechanisms of accountability. Findings Structural constraints including limited resources created challenging service environments in which work overload and stockouts were common. Health workers’ frustration with such conditions interacted with dissatisfaction with salary levels eroding service values and acting as a catalyst for different forms of absenteeism. Such behaviours exacerbated patient–provider ratios and increased the frequency of clinical and administrative shortcuts. Weak health information systems and lack of performance data undermined providers’ answerability to their employer and clients, and a lack of effective sanctions undermined supervisors’ ability to hold providers accountable for these transgressions. Weak answerability and enforceability contributed to a culture of impunity that masked and condoned weak service performance in all four sites. Conclusions Health centre performance is influenced by mechanisms of accountability, which are in turn shaped by dynamic interactions between system hardware and system software. Our

  3. Impact of risk attitudes and perception on game theoretic driving interactions and safety.

    PubMed

    Arbis, David; Dixit, Vinayak V; Rashidi, Taha Hossein

    2016-09-01

    This study employs game theory to investigate behavioural norms of interaction between drivers at a signalised intersection. The choice framework incorporates drivers' risk perception as well as their risk attitudes. A laboratory experiment is conducted to study the impact of risk attitudes and perception in crossing behaviour at a signalised intersection. The laboratory experiment uses methods from experimental economics to induce incentives and study revealed behaviour. Conflicting drivers are considered to have symmetric disincentives for crashing, to represent a no-fault car insurance environment. The study is novel as it uses experimental data collection methods to investigate perceived risk. Further, it directly integrates perceived risk of crashing with other active drivers into the modelling structure. A theoretical model of intersection crossing behaviour is also developed in this paper. This study shows that right-of-way entitlements assigned without authoritative penalties to at-fault drivers may still improve perceptions of safety. Further, risk aversion amongst drivers attributes to manoeuvring strategies at or below Nash mixed strategy equilibrium. These findings offer a theoretical explanation for interactive manoeuvres that lead to crashes, as opposed to purely statistical methods which provide correlation but not necessarily explanation. PMID:27289391

  4. Water Quality and Herbivory Interactively Drive Coral-Reef Recovery Patterns in American Samoa

    PubMed Central

    Houk, Peter; Musburger, Craig; Wiles, Phil

    2010-01-01

    Background Compared with a wealth of information regarding coral-reef recovery patterns following major disturbances, less insight exists to explain the cause(s) of spatial variation in the recovery process. Methodology/Principal Findings This study quantifies the influence of herbivory and water quality upon coral reef assemblages through space and time in Tutuila, American Samoa, a Pacific high island. Widespread declines in dominant corals (Acropora and Montipora) resulted from cyclone Heta at the end of 2003, shortly after the study began. Four sites that initially had similar coral reef assemblages but differential temporal dynamics four years following the disturbance event were classified by standardized measures of ‘recovery status’, defined by rates of change in ecological measures that are known to be sensitive to localized stressors. Status was best predicted, interactively, by water quality and herbivory. Expanding upon temporal trends, this study examined if similar dependencies existed through space; building multiple regression models to identify linkages between similar status measures and local stressors for 17 localities around Tutuila. The results highlighted consistent, interactive interdependencies for coral reef assemblages residing upon two unique geological reef types. Finally, the predictive regression models produced at the island scale were graphically interpreted with respect to hypothesized site-specific recovery thresholds. Conclusions/Significance Cumulatively, our study purports that moving away from describing relatively well-known patterns behind recovery, and focusing upon understanding causes, improves our foundation to predict future ecological dynamics, and thus improves coral reef management. PMID:21085715

  5. Impact of risk attitudes and perception on game theoretic driving interactions and safety.

    PubMed

    Arbis, David; Dixit, Vinayak V; Rashidi, Taha Hossein

    2016-09-01

    This study employs game theory to investigate behavioural norms of interaction between drivers at a signalised intersection. The choice framework incorporates drivers' risk perception as well as their risk attitudes. A laboratory experiment is conducted to study the impact of risk attitudes and perception in crossing behaviour at a signalised intersection. The laboratory experiment uses methods from experimental economics to induce incentives and study revealed behaviour. Conflicting drivers are considered to have symmetric disincentives for crashing, to represent a no-fault car insurance environment. The study is novel as it uses experimental data collection methods to investigate perceived risk. Further, it directly integrates perceived risk of crashing with other active drivers into the modelling structure. A theoretical model of intersection crossing behaviour is also developed in this paper. This study shows that right-of-way entitlements assigned without authoritative penalties to at-fault drivers may still improve perceptions of safety. Further, risk aversion amongst drivers attributes to manoeuvring strategies at or below Nash mixed strategy equilibrium. These findings offer a theoretical explanation for interactive manoeuvres that lead to crashes, as opposed to purely statistical methods which provide correlation but not necessarily explanation.

  6. Electrostatic Interactions between Elongated Monomers Drive Filamentation of Drosophila Shrub, a Metazoan ESCRT-III Protein.

    PubMed

    McMillan, Brian J; Tibbe, Christine; Jeon, Hyesung; Drabek, Andrew A; Klein, Thomas; Blacklow, Stephen C

    2016-08-01

    The endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) is a conserved protein complex that facilitates budding and fission of membranes. It executes a key step in many cellular events, including cytokinesis and multi-vesicular body formation. The ESCRT-III protein Shrub in flies, or its homologs in yeast (Snf7) or humans (CHMP4B), is a critical polymerizing component of ESCRT-III needed to effect membrane fission. We report the structural basis for polymerization of Shrub and define a minimal region required for filament formation. The X-ray structure of the Shrub core shows that individual monomers in the lattice interact in a staggered arrangement using complementary electrostatic surfaces. Mutations that disrupt interface salt bridges interfere with Shrub polymerization and function. Despite substantial sequence divergence and differences in packing interactions, the arrangement of Shrub subunits in the polymer resembles that of Snf7 and other family homologs, suggesting that this intermolecular packing mechanism is shared among ESCRT-III proteins. PMID:27452459

  7. Nucleotide-induced asymmetry within ATPase activator ring drives σ54-RNAP interaction and ATP hydrolysis

    SciTech Connect

    Sysoeva, Tatyana A.; Chowdhury, Saikat; Guo, Liang; Nixon, B. Tracy

    2013-12-10

    It is largely unknown how the typical homomeric ring geometry of ATPases associated with various cellular activities enables them to perform mechanical work. Small-angle solution X-ray scattering, crystallography, and electron microscopy (EM) reconstructions revealed that partial ATP occupancy caused the heptameric closed ring of the bacterial enhancer-binding protein (bEBP) NtrC1 to rearrange into a hexameric split ring of striking asymmetry. The highly conserved and functionally crucial GAFTGA loops responsible for interacting with σ54–RNA polymerase formed a spiral staircase. We propose that splitting of the ensemble directs ATP hydrolysis within the oligomer, and the ring's asymmetry guides interaction between ATPase and the complex of σ54 and promoter DNA. Similarity between the structure of the transcriptional activator NtrC1 and those of distantly related helicases Rho and E1 reveals a general mechanism in homomeric ATPases whereby complex allostery within the ring geometry forms asymmetric functional states that allow these biological motors to exert directional forces on their target macromolecules.

  8. Interactions driving the collapse of islet amyloid polypeptide: Implications for amyloid aggregation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cope, Stephanie M.

    Human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP), also known as amylin, is a 37-residue intrinsically disordered hormone involved in glucose regulation and gastric emptying. The aggregation of hIAPP into amyloid fibrils is believed to play a causal role in type 2 diabetes. To date, not much is known about the monomeric state of hIAPP or how it undergoes an irreversible transformation from disordered peptide to insoluble aggregate. IAPP contains a highly conserved disulfide bond that restricts hIAPP(1-8) into a short ring-like structure: N_loop. Removal or chemical reduction of N_loop not only prevents cell response upon binding to the CGRP receptor, but also alters the mass per length distribution of hIAPP fibers and the kinetics of fibril formation. The mechanism by which N_loop affects hIAPP aggregation is not yet understood, but is important for rationalizing kinetics and developing potential inhibitors. By measuring end-to-end contact formation rates, Vaiana et al. showed that N_loop induces collapsed states in IAPP monomers, implying attractive interactions between N_loop and other regions of the disordered polypeptide chain . We show that in addition to being involved in intra-protein interactions, the N_loop is involved in inter-protein interactions, which lead to the formation of extremely long and stable beta-turn fibers. These non-amyloid fibers are present in the 10 muM concentration range, under the same solution conditions in which hIAPP forms amyloid fibers. We discuss the effect of peptide cyclization on both intra- and inter-protein interactions, and its possible implications for aggregation. Our findings indicate a potential role of N_loop-N_loop interactions in hIAPP aggregation, which has not previously been explored. Though our findings suggest that N_loop plays an important role in the pathway of amyloid formation, other naturally occurring IAPP variants that contain this structural feature are incapable of forming amyloids. For example, hIAPP readily

  9. Host-Parasite Interactions from the Inside: Plant Reproductive Ontogeny Drives Specialization in Parasitic Insects.

    PubMed

    Boivin, Thomas; Gidoin, Cindy; von Aderkas, Patrick; Safrana, Jonathan; Candau, Jean-Noël; Chalon, Alain; Sondo, Marion; El Maâtaoui, Mohamed

    2015-01-01

    Host plant interactions are likely key drivers of evolutionary processes involved in the diversification of phytophagous insects. Granivory has received substantial attention for its crucial role in shaping the interaction between plants and their seed parasites, but fine-scale mechanisms explaining the role of host plant reproductive biology on specialization of seed parasites remain poorly described. In a comparative approach using plant histological techniques, we tested the hypotheses that different seed parasite species synchronize their life cycles to specific stages in seed development, and that the stage they target depends on major differences in seed development programs. In a pinaceous system, seed storage products are initiated before ovule fertilization and the wasps target the ovule's nucellus during megagametogenesis, a stage at which larvae may benefit from the by-products derived from both secreting cells and dying nucellar cells. In a cupressaceous system, oviposition activity peaks later, during embryogenesis, and the wasps target the ovule's megagametophyte where larvae may benefit from cell disintegration during embryogenesis. Our cytohistological approach shows for the first time how, despite divergent oviposition targets, different parasite species share a common strategy that consists of first competing for nutrients with developing plant structures, and then consuming these developed structures to complete their development. Our results support the prediction that seed developmental program is an axis for specialization in seed parasites, and that it could be an important parameter in models of their ecological and taxonomic divergence. This study provides the basis for further investigating the possibility of the link between plant ontogeny and pre-dispersal seed parasitism.

  10. Host-Parasite Interactions from the Inside: Plant Reproductive Ontogeny Drives Specialization in Parasitic Insects

    PubMed Central

    Boivin, Thomas; Gidoin, Cindy; von Aderkas, Patrick; Safrana, Jonathan; Candau, Jean-Noël; Chalon, Alain; Sondo, Marion; El Maâtaoui, Mohamed

    2015-01-01

    Host plant interactions are likely key drivers of evolutionary processes involved in the diversification of phytophagous insects. Granivory has received substantial attention for its crucial role in shaping the interaction between plants and their seed parasites, but fine-scale mechanisms explaining the role of host plant reproductive biology on specialization of seed parasites remain poorly described. In a comparative approach using plant histological techniques, we tested the hypotheses that different seed parasite species synchronize their life cycles to specific stages in seed development, and that the stage they target depends on major differences in seed development programs. In a pinaceous system, seed storage products are initiated before ovule fertilization and the wasps target the ovule’s nucellus during megagametogenesis, a stage at which larvae may benefit from the by-products derived from both secreting cells and dying nucellar cells. In a cupressaceous system, oviposition activity peaks later, during embryogenesis, and the wasps target the ovule’s megagametophyte where larvae may benefit from cell disintegration during embryogenesis. Our cytohistological approach shows for the first time how, despite divergent oviposition targets, different parasite species share a common strategy that consists of first competing for nutrients with developing plant structures, and then consuming these developed structures to complete their development. Our results support the prediction that seed developmental program is an axis for specialization in seed parasites, and that it could be an important parameter in models of their ecological and taxonomic divergence. This study provides the basis for further investigating the possibility of the link between plant ontogeny and pre-dispersal seed parasitism. PMID:26441311

  11. The interactions of compressive stress and weathering in driving rock fracture.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Vilder, Saskia; Brain, Matthew; Rosser, Nick; Vann Jones, Emma

    2016-04-01

    under stress but was subjected to the same weathering cycles. Monitoring of colour, surface texture, surface hardness and axial displacement was undertaken during the experiments, which lasted for 90 days. The samples were then removed and UCS values were obtained at the end of each test. These UCS results were compared with a baseline data-set of UCS tests (n = 10) to determine how strength had changed, if at all, in the samples due to weathering. Initial results show that samples which were preloaded prior to the tests showed the greatest difference in strength when compared with their corresponding control samples. This suggests that weathering processes are more effective in driving fracture in locations where stress concentrations have created a population of pre-existing microcracks. These microcracks can subsequently be exploited by weathering processes to further weaken the rock. Areas of higher stress in a rock slope may, therefore, form zones of enhanced weathering and greater rock weakening, which may preferentially fail prior to other areas of the rock slope. In turn, the decimetre- to metre-scale topography of the rock slope, an often overlooked component, can play a role in dictating the occurrence of failure on a rock slope.

  12. Local cell interactions and self-amplifying individual cell ingression drive amniote gastrulation

    PubMed Central

    Voiculescu, Octavian; Bodenstein, Lawrence; Lau, I-Jun; Stern, Claudio D

    2014-01-01

    Gastrulation generates three layers of cells (ectoderm, mesoderm, endoderm) from a single sheet, while large scale cell movements occur across the entire embryo. In amniote (reptiles, birds, mammals) embryos, the deep layers arise by epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) at a morphologically stable midline structure, the primitive streak (PS). We know very little about how these events are controlled or how the PS is maintained despite its continuously changing cellular composition. Using the chick, we show that isolated EMT events and ingression of individual cells start well before gastrulation. A Nodal-dependent ‘community effect’ then concentrates and amplifies EMT by positive feedback to form the PS as a zone of massive cell ingression. Computer simulations show that a combination of local cell interactions (EMT and cell intercalation) is sufficient to explain PS formation and the associated complex movements globally across a large epithelial sheet, without the need to invoke long-range signalling. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01817.001 PMID:24850665

  13. Disentangling interactions between adaptive divergence and gene flow when ecology drives diversification.

    PubMed

    Räsänen, Katja; Hendry, Andrew P

    2008-06-01

    Adaptive diversification is driven by selection in ecologically different environments. In absence of geographical barriers to dispersal, this adaptive divergence (AD) may be constrained by gene flow (GF). And yet the reverse may also be true, with AD constraining GF (i.e. 'ecological speciation'). Both of these causal effects have frequently been inferred from the presence of negative correlations between AD and GF in nature - yet the bi-directional causality warrants caution in such inferences. We discuss how the ability of correlative studies to infer causation might be improved through the simultaneous measurement of multiple ecological and evolutionary variables. On the one hand, inferences about the causal role of GF can be made by examining correlations between AD and the potential for dispersal. On the other hand, inferences about the causal role of AD can be made by examining correlations between GF and environmental differences. Experimental manipulations of dispersal and environmental differences are a particularly promising approach for inferring causation. At present, the best studies find strong evidence that GF constrains AD and some studies also find the reverse. Improvements in empirical approaches promise to eventually allow general inferences about the relative strength of different causal interactions during adaptive diversification.

  14. Interaction complexity matters: disentangling services and disservices of ant communities driving yield in tropical agroecosystems.

    PubMed

    Wielgoss, Arno; Tscharntke, Teja; Rumede, Alfianus; Fiala, Brigitte; Seidel, Hannes; Shahabuddin, Saleh; Clough, Yann

    2014-01-22

    Owing to complex direct and indirect effects, impacts of higher trophic levels on plants is poorly understood. In tropical agroecosystems, ants interact with crop mutualists and antagonists, but little is known about how this integrates into the final ecosystem service, crop yield. We combined ant exclusion and introduction of invasive and native-dominant species in cacao agroecosystems to test whether (i) ant exclusion reduces yield, (ii) dominant species maximize certain intermediate ecosystem services (e.g. control of specific pests) rather than yield, which depends on several, cascading intermediate services and (iii) even, species-rich ant communities result in highest yields. Ants provided services, including reduced leaf herbivory and fruit pest damage and indirect pollination facilitation, but also disservices, such as increased mealybug density, phytopathogen dissemination and indirect pest damage enhancement. Yields were highest with unmanipulated, species-rich, even communities, whereas ant exclusion decreased yield by 27%. Introduction of an invasive-dominant ant decreased species density and evenness and resulted in 34% lower yields, whereas introduction of a non-invasive-dominant species resulted in similar species density and yields as in the unmanipulated control. Species traits and ant community structure affect services and disservices for agriculture in surprisingly complex ways, with species-rich and even communities promoting highest yield.

  15. Interaction complexity matters: disentangling services and disservices of ant communities driving yield in tropical agroecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Wielgoss, Arno; Tscharntke, Teja; Rumede, Alfianus; Fiala, Brigitte; Seidel, Hannes; Shahabuddin, Saleh; Clough, Yann

    2014-01-01

    Owing to complex direct and indirect effects, impacts of higher trophic levels on plants is poorly understood. In tropical agroecosystems, ants interact with crop mutualists and antagonists, but little is known about how this integrates into the final ecosystem service, crop yield. We combined ant exclusion and introduction of invasive and native-dominant species in cacao agroecosystems to test whether (i) ant exclusion reduces yield, (ii) dominant species maximize certain intermediate ecosystem services (e.g. control of specific pests) rather than yield, which depends on several, cascading intermediate services and (iii) even, species-rich ant communities result in highest yields. Ants provided services, including reduced leaf herbivory and fruit pest damage and indirect pollination facilitation, but also disservices, such as increased mealybug density, phytopathogen dissemination and indirect pest damage enhancement. Yields were highest with unmanipulated, species-rich, even communities, whereas ant exclusion decreased yield by 27%. Introduction of an invasive-dominant ant decreased species density and evenness and resulted in 34% lower yields, whereas introduction of a non-invasive-dominant species resulted in similar species density and yields as in the unmanipulated control. Species traits and ant community structure affect services and disservices for agriculture in surprisingly complex ways, with species-rich and even communities promoting highest yield. PMID:24307667

  16. Mechanisms driving change: altered species interactions and ecosystem function through global warming.

    PubMed

    Traill, Lochran W; Lim, Matthew L M; Sodhi, Navjot S; Bradshaw, Corey J A

    2010-09-01

    1. We review the mechanisms behind ecosystem functions, the processes that facilitate energy transfer along food webs, and the major processes that allow the cycling of carbon, oxygen and nitrogen, and use case studies to show how these have already been, and will continue to be, altered by global warming. 2. Increased temperatures will affect the interactions between heterotrophs and autotrophs (e.g. pollination and seed dispersal), and between heterotrophs (e.g. predators-prey, parasites/pathogens-hosts), with generally negative ramifications for important ecosystem services (functions that provide direct benefit to human society such as pollination) and potential for heightened species co-extinction rates. 3. Mitigation of likely impacts of warming will require, in particular, the maintenance of species diversity as insurance for the provision of basic ecosystem services. Key to this will be long-term monitoring and focused research that seek to maintain ecosystem resilience in the face of global warming. 4. We provide guidelines for pursuing research that quantifies the nexus between ecosystem function and global warming. These include documentation of key functional species groups within systems, and understanding the principal outcomes arising from direct and indirect effects of a rapidly warming environment. Localized and targeted research and monitoring, complemented with laboratory work, will determine outcomes for resilience and guide adaptive conservation responses and long-term planning.

  17. Interactions between genotype and environment drive the metabolic phenotype within Escherichia coli isolates.

    PubMed

    Sabarly, Victor; Aubron, Cécile; Glodt, Jérémy; Balliau, Thierry; Langella, Olivier; Chevret, Didier; Rigal, Odile; Bourgais, Aurélie; Picard, Bertrand; de Vienne, Dominique; Denamur, Erick; Bouvet, Odile; Dillmann, Christine

    2016-01-01

    To gain insights into the adaptation of the Escherichia coli species to different environments, we monitored protein abundances using quantitative proteomics and measurements of enzymatic activities of central metabolism in a set of five representative strains grown in four contrasted culture media including human urine. Two hundred and thirty seven proteins representative of the genome-scale metabolic network were identified and classified into pathway categories. We found that nutrient resources shape the general orientation of metabolism through coordinated changes in the average abundances of proteins and in enzymatic activities that all belong to the same pathway category. For example, each culture medium induces a specific oxidative response whatever the strain. On the contrary, differences between strains concern isolated proteins and enzymes within pathway categories in single environments. Our study confirms the predominance of genotype by environment interactions at the proteomic and enzyme activity levels. The buffering of genetic variation when considering life-history traits suggests a multiplicity of evolutionary strategies. For instance, the uropathogenic isolate CFT073 shows a deregulation of iron demand and increased oxidative stress response.

  18. Interspecific interactions and learning variability jointly drive geographic differences in mate preferences.

    PubMed

    Verzijden, Machteld N; Svensson, Erik I

    2016-08-01

    Co-occurrence of closely related species can cause behavioral interference in mating and increase hybridization risk. Theoretically, this could lead to the evolution of more species-specific mate preferences and sexual signaling traits. Alternatively, females can learn to reject heterospecific males, to avoid male sexual interference from closely related species. Such learned mate discrimination could also affect conspecific mate preferences if females generalize from between species differences to prefer more species-specific mating signals. Female damselflies of the banded demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens) learn to reject heterospecific males of the beautiful demoiselle (C. virgo) through direct premating interactions. These two species co-occur in a geographic mosaic of sympatric and microallopatric populations. Whereas C. virgo males have fully melanized wings, male C. splendens wings are partly melanized. We show that C. splendens females in sympatry with C. virgo prefer smaller male wing patches in conspecific males after learning to reject heterospecific males. In contrast, allopatric C. splendens females with experimentally induced experience with C. virgo males did not discriminate against larger male wing patches. Wing patch size might indicate conspecific male quality in allopatry. Co-occurrence with C. virgo therefore causes females to prefer conspecific male traits that are more species specific, contributing to population divergence and geographic variation in female mate preferences. PMID:27302691

  19. Interaction of Vaccination and Reduction of Antibiotic Use Drives Unexpected Increase of Pneumococcal Meningitis

    PubMed Central

    de Cellès, Matthieu Domenech; Pons-Salort, Margarita; Varon, Emmanuelle; Vibet, Marie-Anne; Ligier, Caroline; Letort, Véronique; Opatowski, Lulla; Guillemot, Didier

    2015-01-01

    Antibiotic-use policies may affect pneumococcal conjugate-vaccine effectiveness. The reported increase of pneumococcal meningitis from 2001 to 2009 in France, where a national campaign to reduce antibiotic use was implemented in parallel to the introduction of the 7-valent conjugate vaccine, provides unique data to assess these effects. We constructed a mechanistic pneumococcal transmission model and used likelihood to assess the ability of competing hypotheses to explain that increase. We find that a model integrating a fitness cost of penicillin resistance successfully explains the overall and age-stratified pattern of serotype replacement. By simulating counterfactual scenarios of public health interventions in France, we propose that this fitness cost caused a gradual and pernicious interaction between the two interventions by increasing the spread of nonvaccine, penicillin-susceptible strains. More generally, our results indicate that reductions of antibiotic use may counteract the benefits of conjugate vaccines introduced into countries with low vaccine-serotype coverages and high-resistance frequencies. Our findings highlight the key role of antibiotic use in vaccine-induced serotype replacement and suggest the need for more integrated approaches to control pneumococcal infections. PMID:26063589

  20. Unexpected interaction with dispersed crude oil droplets drives severe toxicity in Atlantic haddock embryos.

    PubMed

    Sørhus, Elin; Edvardsen, Rolf B; Karlsen, Ørjan; Nordtug, Trond; van der Meeren, Terje; Thorsen, Anders; Harman, Christopher; Jentoft, Sissel; Meier, Sonnich

    2015-01-01

    The toxicity resulting from exposure to oil droplets in marine fish embryos and larvae is still subject for debate. The most detailed studies have investigated the effects of water-dissolved components of crude oil in water accommodated fractions (WAFs) that lack bulk oil droplets. Although exposure to dissolved petroleum compounds alone is sufficient to cause the characteristic developmental toxicity of crude oil, few studies have addressed whether physical interaction with oil micro-droplets are a relevant exposure pathway for open water marine speices. Here we used controlled delivery of mechanically dispersed crude oil to expose pelagic embryos and larvae of a marine teleost, the Atlantic haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus). Haddock embryos were exposed continuously to two different concentrations of dispersed crude oil, high and low, or in pulses. By 24 hours of exposure, micro-droplets of oil were observed adhering and accumulating on the chorion, accompanied by highly elevated levels of cyp1a, a biomarker for exposure to aromatic hydrocarbons. Embryos from all treatment groups showed abnormalities representative of crude oil cardiotoxicity at hatch (5 days of exposure), such as pericardial and yolk sac edema. Compared to other species, the frequency and severity of toxic effects was higher than expected for the waterborne PAH concentrations (e.g., 100% of larvae had edema at the low treatment). These findings suggest an enhanced tissue uptake of PAHs and/or other petroleum compounds from attached oil droplets. These studies highlight a novel property of haddock embryos that leads to greater than expected impact from dispersed crude oil. Given the very limited number of marine species tested in similar exposures, the likelihood of other species with similar properties could be high. This unanticipated result therefore has implications for assessing the ecological impacts of oil spills and the use of methods for dispersing oil in the open sea.

  1. Unexpected Interaction with Dispersed Crude Oil Droplets Drives Severe Toxicity in Atlantic Haddock Embryos

    PubMed Central

    Sørhus, Elin; Edvardsen, Rolf B.; Karlsen, Ørjan; Nordtug, Trond; van der Meeren, Terje; Thorsen, Anders; Harman, Christopher; Jentoft, Sissel; Meier, Sonnich

    2015-01-01

    The toxicity resulting from exposure to oil droplets in marine fish embryos and larvae is still subject for debate. The most detailed studies have investigated the effects of water-dissolved components of crude oil in water accommodated fractions (WAFs) that lack bulk oil droplets. Although exposure to dissolved petroleum compounds alone is sufficient to cause the characteristic developmental toxicity of crude oil, few studies have addressed whether physical interaction with oil micro-droplets are a relevant exposure pathway for open water marine speices. Here we used controlled delivery of mechanically dispersed crude oil to expose pelagic embryos and larvae of a marine teleost, the Atlantic haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus). Haddock embryos were exposed continuously to two different concentrations of dispersed crude oil, high and low, or in pulses. By 24 hours of exposure, micro-droplets of oil were observed adhering and accumulating on the chorion, accompanied by highly elevated levels of cyp1a, a biomarker for exposure to aromatic hydrocarbons. Embryos from all treatment groups showed abnormalities representative of crude oil cardiotoxicity at hatch (5 days of exposure), such as pericardial and yolk sac edema. Compared to other species, the frequency and severity of toxic effects was higher than expected for the waterborne PAH concentrations (e.g., 100% of larvae had edema at the low treatment). These findings suggest an enhanced tissue uptake of PAHs and/or other petroleum compounds from attached oil droplets. These studies highlight a novel property of haddock embryos that leads to greater than expected impact from dispersed crude oil. Given the very limited number of marine species tested in similar exposures, the likelihood of other species with similar properties could be high. This unanticipated result therefore has implications for assessing the ecological impacts of oil spills and the use of methods for dispersing oil in the open sea. PMID:25923774

  2. Effects on driving performance of interacting with an in-vehicle music player: a comparison of three interface layout concepts for information presentation.

    PubMed

    Mitsopoulos-Rubens, Eve; Trotter, Margaret J; Lenné, Michael G

    2011-05-01

    Interface design is an important factor in assessing the potential effects on safety of interacting with an in-vehicle information system while driving. In the current study, the layout of information on a visual display was manipulated to explore its effect on driving performance in the context of music selection. The comparative effects of an auditory-verbal (cognitive) task were also explored. The driving performance of 30 participants was assessed under both baseline and dual task conditions using the Lane Change Test. Concurrent completion of the music selection task with driving resulted in significant impairment to lateral driving performance (mean lane deviation and percentage of correct lane changes) relative to the baseline, and significantly greater mean lane deviation relative to the combined driving and the cognitive task condition. The magnitude of these effects on driving performance was independent of layout concept, although significant differences in subjective workload estimates and performance on the music selection task across layout concepts highlights that potential uncertainty regarding design use as conveyed through layout concept could be disadvantageous. The implications of these results for interface design and safety are discussed.

  3. Interactions of Grazing History, Cattle Removal and Time since Rain Drive Divergent Short-Term Responses by Desert Biota

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Anke S. K.; Dickman, Chris R.; Wardle, Glenda M.; Greenville, Aaron C.

    2013-01-01

    Arid grasslands are used worldwide for grazing by domestic livestock, generating debate about how this pastoral enterprise may influence native desert biota. One approach to resolving this question is to experimentally reduce livestock numbers and measure the effects. However, a key challenge in doing this is that historical grazing impacts are likely to be cumulative and may therefore confound comparisons of the short-term responses of desert biota to changes in stocking levels. Arid areas are also subject to infrequent flooding rainfalls that drive productivity and dramatically alter abundances of flora and fauna. We took advantage of an opportunity to study the recent effects of a property-scale cattle removal on two properties with similarly varied grazing histories in central Australia. Following the removal of cattle in 2006 and before and after a significant rainfall event at the beginning of 2007, we sampled vegetation and small vertebrates on eight occasions until October 2008. Our results revealed significant interactions of time of survey with both grazing history and grazing removal for vascular plants, small mammals and reptiles. The mammals exhibited a three-way interaction of time, grazing history and grazing removal, thus highlighting the importance of careful sampling designs and timing for future monitoring. The strongest response to the cessation of grazing after two years was depressed reproductive output of plants in areas where cattle continued to graze. Our results confirm that neither vegetation nor small vertebrates necessarily respond immediately to the removal of livestock, but that rainfall events and cumulative grazing history are key determinants of floral and faunal performance in grassland landscapes with low and variable rainfall. We suggest that improved assessments could be made of the health of arid grazing environments if long-term monitoring were implemented to track the complex interactions that influence how native biota

  4. The effects of social interactions with in-vehicle agents on a driver's anger level, driving performance, situation awareness, and perceived workload.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Myounghoon; Walker, Bruce N; Gable, Thomas M

    2015-09-01

    Research has suggested that interaction with an in-vehicle software agent can improve a driver's psychological state and increase road safety. The present study explored the possibility of using an in-vehicle software agent to mitigate effects of driver anger on driving behavior. After either anger or neutral mood induction, 60 undergraduates drove in a simulator with two types of agent intervention. Results showed that both speech-based agents not only enhance driver situation awareness and driving performance, but also reduce their anger level and perceived workload. Regression models show that a driver's anger influences driving performance measures, mediated by situation awareness. The practical implications include design guidelines for the design of social interaction with in-vehicle software agents. PMID:25959334

  5. The effects of social interactions with in-vehicle agents on a driver's anger level, driving performance, situation awareness, and perceived workload.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Myounghoon; Walker, Bruce N; Gable, Thomas M

    2015-09-01

    Research has suggested that interaction with an in-vehicle software agent can improve a driver's psychological state and increase road safety. The present study explored the possibility of using an in-vehicle software agent to mitigate effects of driver anger on driving behavior. After either anger or neutral mood induction, 60 undergraduates drove in a simulator with two types of agent intervention. Results showed that both speech-based agents not only enhance driver situation awareness and driving performance, but also reduce their anger level and perceived workload. Regression models show that a driver's anger influences driving performance measures, mediated by situation awareness. The practical implications include design guidelines for the design of social interaction with in-vehicle software agents.

  6. Biotic replacement and mass extinction of the Ediacara biota

    PubMed Central

    Darroch, Simon A. F.; Sperling, Erik A.; Boag, Thomas H.; Racicot, Rachel A.; Mason, Sara J.; Morgan, Alex S.; Tweedt, Sarah; Myrow, Paul; Johnston, David T.; Erwin, Douglas H.; Laflamme, Marc

    2015-01-01

    The latest Neoproterozoic extinction of the Ediacara biota has been variously attributed to catastrophic removal by perturbations to global geochemical cycles, ‘biotic replacement’ by Cambrian-type ecosystem engineers, and a taphonomic artefact. We perform the first critical test of the ‘biotic replacement’ hypothesis using combined palaeoecological and geochemical data collected from the youngest Ediacaran strata in southern Namibia. We find that, even after accounting for a variety of potential sampling and taphonomic biases, the Ediacaran assemblage preserved at Farm Swartpunt has significantly lower genus richness than older assemblages. Geochemical and sedimentological analyses confirm an oxygenated and non-restricted palaeoenvironment for fossil-bearing sediments, thus suggesting that oxygen stress and/or hypersalinity are unlikely to be responsible for the low diversity of communities preserved at Swartpunt. These combined analyses suggest depauperate communities characterized the latest Ediacaran and provide the first quantitative support for the biotic replacement model for the end of the Ediacara biota. Although more sites (especially those recording different palaeoenvironments) are undoubtedly needed, this study provides the first quantitative palaeoecological evidence to suggest that evolutionary innovation, ecosystem engineering and biological interactions may have ultimately caused the first mass extinction of complex life. PMID:26336166

  7. Biotic replacement and mass extinction of the Ediacara biota.

    PubMed

    Darroch, Simon A F; Sperling, Erik A; Boag, Thomas H; Racicot, Rachel A; Mason, Sara J; Morgan, Alex S; Tweedt, Sarah; Myrow, Paul; Johnston, David T; Erwin, Douglas H; Laflamme, Marc

    2015-09-01

    The latest Neoproterozoic extinction of the Ediacara biota has been variously attributed to catastrophic removal by perturbations to global geochemical cycles, 'biotic replacement' by Cambrian-type ecosystem engineers, and a taphonomic artefact. We perform the first critical test of the 'biotic replacement' hypothesis using combined palaeoecological and geochemical data collected from the youngest Ediacaran strata in southern Namibia. We find that, even after accounting for a variety of potential sampling and taphonomic biases, the Ediacaran assemblage preserved at Farm Swartpunt has significantly lower genus richness than older assemblages. Geochemical and sedimentological analyses confirm an oxygenated and non-restricted palaeoenvironment for fossil-bearing sediments, thus suggesting that oxygen stress and/or hypersalinity are unlikely to be responsible for the low diversity of communities preserved at Swartpunt. These combined analyses suggest depauperate communities characterized the latest Ediacaran and provide the first quantitative support for the biotic replacement model for the end of the Ediacara biota. Although more sites (especially those recording different palaeoenvironments) are undoubtedly needed, this study provides the first quantitative palaeoecological evidence to suggest that evolutionary innovation, ecosystem engineering and biological interactions may have ultimately caused the first mass extinction of complex life. PMID:26336166

  8. Conserved sequence-specific lincRNA-steroid receptor interactions drive transcriptional repression and direct cell fate

    SciTech Connect

    Hudson, William H.; Pickard, Mark R.; de Vera, Ian Mitchelle S.; Kuiper, Emily G.; Mourtada-Maarabouni, Mirna; Conn, Graeme L.; Kojetin, Douglas J.; Williams, Gwyn T.; Ortlund, Eric A.

    2014-12-23

    The majority of the eukaryotic genome is transcribed, generating a significant number of long intergenic noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs). Although lincRNAs represent the most poorly understood product of transcription, recent work has shown lincRNAs fulfill important cellular functions. In addition to low sequence conservation, poor understanding of structural mechanisms driving lincRNA biology hinders systematic prediction of their function. Here we report the molecular requirements for the recognition of steroid receptors (SRs) by the lincRNA growth arrest-specific 5 (Gas5), which regulates steroid-mediated transcriptional regulation, growth arrest and apoptosis. We identify the functional Gas5-SR interface and generate point mutations that ablate the SR-Gas5 lincRNA interaction, altering Gas5-driven apoptosis in cancer cell lines. Further, we find that the Gas5 SR-recognition sequence is conserved among haplorhines, with its evolutionary origin as a splice acceptor site. This study demonstrates that lincRNAs can recognize protein targets in a conserved, sequence-specific manner in order to affect critical cell functions.

  9. Conserved sequence-specific lincRNA-steroid receptor interactions drive transcriptional repression and direct cell fate

    PubMed Central

    Hudson, William H.; Pickard, Mark R.; de Vera, Ian Mitchelle S.; Kuiper, Emily G.; Mourtada-Maarabouni, Mirna; Conn, Graeme L.; Kojetin, Douglas J.; Williams, Gwyn T.; Ortlund, Eric A.

    2014-01-01

    The majority of the eukaryotic genome is transcribed, generating a significant number of long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs). While lincRNAs represent the most poorly understood product of transcription, recent work has shown lincRNAs fulfill important cellular functions. In addition to low sequence conservation, poor understanding of structural mechanisms driving lincRNA biology hinders systematic prediction of their function. Here, we report the molecular requirements for the recognition of steroid receptors (SRs) by the lincRNA Gas5, which regulates steroid-mediated transcriptional regulation, growth arrest, and apoptosis. We identify the functional Gas5-SR interface and generate point mutations that ablate the SR-Gas5 lincRNA interaction, altering Gas5-driven apoptosis in cancer cell lines. Further, we find that the Gas5 SR-recognition sequence is conserved among haplorhines, with its evolutionary origin as a splice acceptor site. This study demonstrates that lincRNAs can recognize protein targets in a conserved, sequence-specific manner in order to affect critical cell functions. PMID:25377354

  10. Probing into the Supramolecular Driving Force of an Amphiphilic β-Cyclodextrin Dimer in Various Solvents: Host-Guest Recognition or Hydrophilic-Hydrophobic Interaction?

    PubMed

    Bai, Yang; Fan, Xiao-dong; Yao, Hao; Yang, Zhen; Liu, Ting-ting; Zhang, Hai-tao; Zhang, Wan-bin; Tian, Wei

    2015-09-01

    Tuning of the morphology and size of supramolecular self-assemblies is of theoretical and practical significance. To date, supramolecular driving forces in different solvents remain unclear. In this study, we first synthesized an amphiphilic β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) dimer that consists of one hydrophobic ibuprofen (Ibu) and two hydrophilic β-CD moieties (i.e., Ibu-CD2). Ibu-CD2 possesses double supramolecular driving forces, namely, the host-guest recognition and hydrophilic-hydrophobic interaction. The host-guest interaction of Ibu-CD2 induced the formation of branched supramolecular polymers (SPs) in pure water, whereas the hydrophilic-hydrophobic interaction generated spherical or irregular micelles in water/organic mixtures. The SP size increased with the increase in Ibu-CD2 concentration in pure water. By contrast, the size of micelles decreased with the increase in volume ratio of water in mixtures. PMID:26301920

  11. Temporal dynamics of biotic and abiotic drivers of litter decomposition.

    PubMed

    García-Palacios, Pablo; Shaw, E Ashley; Wall, Diana H; Hättenschwiler, Stephan

    2016-05-01

    Climate, litter quality and decomposers drive litter decomposition. However, little is known about whether their relative contribution changes at different decomposition stages. To fill this gap, we evaluated the relative importance of leaf litter polyphenols, decomposer communities and soil moisture for litter C and N loss at different stages throughout the decomposition process. Although both microbial and nematode communities regulated litter C and N loss in the early decomposition stages, soil moisture and legacy effects of initial differences in litter quality played a major role in the late stages of the process. Our results provide strong evidence for substantial shifts in how biotic and abiotic factors control litter C and N dynamics during decomposition. Taking into account such temporal dynamics will increase the predictive power of decomposition models that are currently limited by a single-pool approach applying control variables uniformly to the entire decay process.

  12. The Influence of Environmental, Biotic and Spatial Factors on Diatom Metacommunity Structure in Swedish Headwater Streams

    PubMed Central

    Göthe, Emma; Angeler, David G.; Gottschalk, Steffi; Löfgren, Stefan; Sandin, Leonard

    2013-01-01

    Stream assemblages are structured by a combination of local (environmental filtering and biotic interactions) and regional factors (e.g., dispersal related processes). The relative importance of environmental and spatial (i.e., regional) factors structuring stream assemblages has been frequently assessed in previous large-scale studies, but biotic predictors (potentially reflecting local biotic interactions) have rarely been included. Diatoms may be useful for studying the effect of trophic interactions on community structure since: (1) a majority of experimental studies shows significant grazing effects on diatom species composition, and (2) assemblages can be divided into guilds that have different susceptibility to grazing. We used a dataset from boreal headwater streams in south-central Sweden (covering a spatial extent of ∼14000 km2), which included information about diatom taxonomic composition, abundance of invertebrate grazers (biotic factor), environmental (physicochemical) and spatial factors (obtained through spatial eigenfunction analyses). We assessed the relative importance of environmental, biotic, and spatial factors structuring diatom assemblages, and performed separate analyses on different diatom guilds. Our results showed that the diatom assemblages were mainly structured by environmental factors. However, unique spatial and biological gradients, specific to different guilds and unrelated to each other, were also evident. We conclude that biological predictors, in combination with environmental and spatial variables, can reveal a more complete picture of the local vs. regional control of species assemblages in lotic environments. Biotic factors should therefore not be overlooked in applied research since they can capture additional local control and therefore increase accuracy and performance of predictive models. The inclusion of biotic predictors did, however, not significantly influence the unique fraction explained by spatial factors

  13. The influence of environmental, biotic and spatial factors on diatom metacommunity structure in Swedish headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Göthe, Emma; Angeler, David G; Gottschalk, Steffi; Löfgren, Stefan; Sandin, Leonard

    2013-01-01

    Stream assemblages are structured by a combination of local (environmental filtering and biotic interactions) and regional factors (e.g., dispersal related processes). The relative importance of environmental and spatial (i.e., regional) factors structuring stream assemblages has been frequently assessed in previous large-scale studies, but biotic predictors (potentially reflecting local biotic interactions) have rarely been included. Diatoms may be useful for studying the effect of trophic interactions on community structure since: (1) a majority of experimental studies shows significant grazing effects on diatom species composition, and (2) assemblages can be divided into guilds that have different susceptibility to grazing. We used a dataset from boreal headwater streams in south-central Sweden (covering a spatial extent of ∼14000 km(2)), which included information about diatom taxonomic composition, abundance of invertebrate grazers (biotic factor), environmental (physicochemical) and spatial factors (obtained through spatial eigenfunction analyses). We assessed the relative importance of environmental, biotic, and spatial factors structuring diatom assemblages, and performed separate analyses on different diatom guilds. Our results showed that the diatom assemblages were mainly structured by environmental factors. However, unique spatial and biological gradients, specific to different guilds and unrelated to each other, were also evident. We conclude that biological predictors, in combination with environmental and spatial variables, can reveal a more complete picture of the local vs. regional control of species assemblages in lotic environments. Biotic factors should therefore not be overlooked in applied research since they can capture additional local control and therefore increase accuracy and performance of predictive models. The inclusion of biotic predictors did, however, not significantly influence the unique fraction explained by spatial factors

  14. Abiotic vs. biotic influences on habitat selection of coexisting species: Climate change impacts?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin, T.E.

    2001-01-01

    Species are commonly segregated along gradients of microclimate and vegetation. I explore the question of whether segregation is the result of microhabitat partitioning (biotic effects) or choice of differing microclimates (abiotic effects). I explored this question for four ground-nesting bird species that are segregated along a microclimate and vegetation gradient in Arizona. Birds shifted position of their nests on the microhabitat and microclimate gradient in response to changing precipitation over nine years. Similarly, annual bird abundance varied with precipitation across 12 yr. Those shifts in abundance and nesting microhabitat with changing precipitation demonstrate the importance of abiotic influences on bird distributions and habitat choice. However, nest-site shifts and microhabitat use also appear to be influenced by interactions among coexisting species. Moreover, shifts in habitat use by all species caused nest predation (i.e., biotic) costs that increased with increasing distance along the microclimate gradient. These results indicate that abiotic and biotic costs can strongly interact to influence microhabitat choice and abundances of coexisting species. Global climate change impacts have been considered largely in terms of simple distributional shifts, but these results indicate that shifts can also increase biotic costs when species move into habitat types for which they are poorly adapted or that create new biotic interactions.

  15. Subtropical Biotic Fringing Reefs as Ecological Laboratories.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hunt, Jeffrey W.

    1980-01-01

    Describes a 16-week course in marine biology involving a class-coordinated investigation of a subtropical biotic fringing reef of Hawaii. Describes in detail the development of preliminary hypotheses regarding general cause-effect relationships on the reef, and the exploration of specific areas, such as chemical or physical factors. (CS)

  16. Design, engineering and utility of biotic games.

    PubMed

    Riedel-Kruse, Ingmar H; Chung, Alice M; Dura, Burak; Hamilton, Andrea L; Lee, Byung C

    2011-01-01

    Games are a significant and defining part of human culture, and their utility beyond pure entertainment has been demonstrated with so-called 'serious games'. Biotechnology--despite its recent advancements--has had no impact on gaming yet. Here we propose the concept of 'biotic games', i.e., games that operate on biological processes. Utilizing a variety of biological processes we designed and tested a collection of games: 'Enlightenment', 'Ciliaball', 'PAC-mecium', 'Microbash', 'Biotic Pinball', 'POND PONG', 'PolymerRace', and 'The Prisoner's Smellemma'. We found that biotic games exhibit unique features compared to existing game modalities, such as utilizing biological noise, providing a real-life experience rather than virtual reality, and integrating the chemical senses into play. Analogous to video games, biotic games could have significant conceptual and cost-reducing effects on biotechnology and eventually healthcare; enable volunteers to participate in crowd-sourcing to support medical research; and educate society at large to support personal medical decisions and the public discourse on bio-related issues.

  17. Asymmetric coexistence: bidirectional abiotic and biotic effects between goose barnacles and mussels.

    PubMed

    Kawai, Takashi; Tokeshi, Mutsunori

    2006-07-01

    1. Species coexistence depends on the net effect of interacting species, representing the sum of multiple interaction components that may act simultaneously and vary independently depending on ambient environmental conditions. Consequently, for a comprehensive understanding of the compound nature of species interactions and coexistence, a mechanistic approach that allows a separate evaluation of each interaction component is required. 2. Two sessile filter-feeders, the goose barnacle Capitulum mitella and the mussel Septifer virgatus, coexist on moderately wave-exposed rocky shores in south-western Japan. In the upper intertidal, Capitulum positively influenced Septifer survivorship and growth through amelioration of thermal stress and of physical disturbance. On the other hand, these species are potential competitors as they have similar body sizes and modes of resource utilization. These opposite processes, facilitation and competition, are based on abiotic characteristics and biotic functions of the two species, respectively. 3. In order to quantify the bidirectional abiotic, biotic and net effects, a series of experimental manipulations was conducted involving the use of living neighbours with both abiotic and biotic effects, and artificial mimics to simulate abiotic effects without biotic effects. 4. Capitulum had strong positive abiotic effects on the mussel survivorship in most experimental periods, while the biotic effect was negligible or weakly negative, suggesting that the net effect of Capitulum on mussel survival was largely attributable to the abiotic effect. In contrast, a significantly negative biotic effect on the mussel growth rate was always present, though this was cancelled out by the larger, positive abiotic effect. In the case of Septifer, its abiotic and biotic effects on the survivorship of goose barnacles were negligible, while those on the growth rate showed temporal variation. 5. With respect to the relationship between species

  18. Regions outside of conserved PxxPxR motifs drive the high affinity interaction of GRB2 with SH3 domain ligands.

    PubMed

    Bartelt, Rebekah R; Light, Jonathan; Vacaflores, Aldo; Butcher, Alayna; Pandian, Madhana; Nash, Piers; Houtman, Jon C D

    2015-10-01

    SH3 domains are evolutionarily conserved protein interaction domains that control nearly all cellular processes in eukaryotes. The current model is that most SH3 domains bind discreet PxxPxR motifs with weak affinity and relatively low selectivity. However, the interactions of full-length SH3 domain-containing proteins with ligands are highly specific and have much stronger affinity. This suggests that regions outside of PxxPxR motifs drive these interactions. In this study, we observed that PxxPxR motifs were required for the binding of the adaptor protein GRB2 to short peptides from its ligand SOS1. Surprisingly, PxxPxR motifs from the proline rich region of SOS1 or CBL were neither necessary nor sufficient for the in vitro or in vivo interaction with full-length GRB2. Together, our findings show that regions outside of the consensus PxxPxR sites drive the high affinity association of GRB2 with SH3 domain ligands, suggesting that the binding mechanism for this and other SH3 domain interactions may be more complex than originally thought.

  19. Ecological and evolutionary consequences of biotic homogenization.

    PubMed

    Olden, Julian D; Leroy Poff, N; Douglas, Marlis R; Douglas, Michael E; Fausch, Kurt D

    2004-01-01

    Biotic homogenization, the gradual replacement of native biotas by locally expanding non-natives, is a global process that diminishes floral and faunal distinctions among regions. Although patterns of homogenization have been well studied, their specific ecological and evolutionary consequences remain unexplored. We argue that our current perspective on biotic homogenization should be expanded beyond a simple recognition of species diversity loss, towards a synthesis of higher order effects. Here, we explore three distinct forms of homogenization (genetic, taxonomic and functional), and discuss their immediate and future impacts on ecological and evolutionary processes. Our goal is to initiate future research that investigates the broader conservation implications of homogenization and to promote a proactive style of adaptive management that engages the human component of the anthropogenic blender that is currently mixing the biota on Earth. PMID:16701221

  20. Pivoting from Arabidopsis to wheat to understand how agricultural plants integrate responses to biotic stress

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Here we argue for a research initiative on gene-for-gene (g-f-g) interactions between wheat and its parasites. One aim is to begin a conversation between the disparate communities of plant pathology and entomology. Another is to understand how responses to biotic stress are integrated in an import...

  1. Mean-field interactions between nucleic-acid-base dipoles can drive the formation of the double helix

    PubMed Central

    He, Yi; Maciejczyk, Maciej; Ołdziej, Stanisław; Scheraga, Harold A.; Liwo, Adam

    2013-01-01

    A proposed coarse-grained model of nucleic acids demonstrates that average interactions between base dipoles, together with chain connectivity and excluded-volume interactions, are sufficient to form double-helical structures of DNA and RNA molecules. Additionally, local interactions determine helix handedness and direction of strand packing. This result, and earlier research on reduced protein models, suggest that mean-field multipole-multipole interactions are the principal factors responsible for the formation of regular structure of biomolecules. PMID:23496746

  2. iDriving (Intelligent Driving)

    2012-09-17

    iDriving identifies the driving style factors that have a major impact on fuel economy. An optimization framework is used with the aim of optimizing a driving style with respect to these driving factors. A set of polynomial metamodels is constructed to reflect the responses produced in fuel economy by changing the driving factors. The optimization framework is used to develop a real-time feedback system, including visual instructions, to enable drivers to alter their driving stylesmore » in responses to actual driving conditions to improve fuel efficiency.« less

  3. Multi-atom entanglement engineering and phase-covariant quantum cloning with a single resonant interaction assisted by external driving

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xian-Peng; Shen, Li-Tuo; Yang, Zhen-Biao

    2014-12-01

    We propose a scheme to realize multi-atom entanglement and phase-covariant quantum cloning in a short-time manner possessing the advantage of its robustness with respect to parameter fluctuations. The process is achieved by externally driving the atoms to resonantly couple to the cavity mode. Compared to other strategies, such as the adiabatic or virtual-photon techniques, it provides a method which allows the relatively fast coherent manipulation.

  4. Abiotic mediation of a mutualism drives herbivore abundance.

    PubMed

    Mooney, Emily H; Phillips, Joseph S; Tillberg, Chadwick V; Sandrow, Cheryl; Nelson, Annika S; Mooney, Kailen A

    2016-01-01

    Species abundance is typically determined by the abiotic environment, but the extent to which such effects occur through the mediation of biotic interactions, including mutualisms, is unknown. We explored how light environment (open meadow vs. shaded understory) mediates the abundance and ant tending of the aphid Aphis helianthi feeding on the herb Ligusticum porteri. Yearly surveys consistently found aphids to be more than 17-fold more abundant on open meadow plants than on shaded understory plants. Manipulations demonstrated that this abundance pattern was not due to the direct effects of light environment on aphid performance, or indirectly through host plant quality or the effects of predators. Instead, open meadows had higher ant abundance and per capita rates of aphid tending and, accordingly, ants increased aphid population growth in meadow but not understory environments. The abiotic environment thus drives the abundance of this herbivore exclusively through the mediation of a protection mutualism.

  5. Drugged Driving

    MedlinePlus

    ... Infographics » Drugged Driving Drugged Driving Email Facebook Twitter Text Description of Infographic Top Right Figure : In 2009, ... crash than those who don't smoke. Bottom Text: Develop Social Strategies Offer to be a designated ...

  6. Impaired Driving

    MedlinePlus

    ... Risk Factors BAC Effects Prevention Additional Resources How big is the problem? In 2014, 9,967 people ... Driving: A Threat to Everyone (October 2011) Additional Data Drunk Driving State Data and Maps Motor Vehicle ...

  7. The relative contribution of climatic, edaphic, and biotic drivers to risk of tree mortality from drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    March, R. G.; Moore, G. W.; Edgar, C. B.; Lawing, A. M.; Washington-Allen, R. A.

    2015-12-01

    In recorded history, the 2011 Texas Drought was comparable in severity only to a drought that occurred 300 years ago. By mid-September, 88% of the state experienced 'exceptional' conditions, with the rest experiencing 'extreme' or 'severe' drought. By recent estimates, the 2011 Texas Drought killed 6.2% of all the state's trees, at a rate nearly 9 times greater than average. The vast spatial scale and relatively uniform intensity of this drought has provided an opportunity to examine the comparative interactions among forest types, terrain, and edaphic factors across major climate gradients which in 2011 were subjected to extreme drought conditions that ultimately caused massive tree mortality. We used maximum entropy modeling (Maxent) to rank environmental landscape factors with the potential to drive drought-related tree mortality and test the assumption that the relative importance of these factors are scale-dependent. Occurrence data of dead trees were collected during the summer of 2012 from 599 field plots distributed across Texas with 30% used for model evaluation. Bioclimatic variables, ecoregions, soils characteristics, and topographic variables were modeled with drought-killed tree occurrence. Their relative contribution to the model was seen as their relative importance in driving mortality. To test determinants at a more local scale, we examined Landsat 7 scenes in East and West Texas with moderate-resolution data for the same variables above with the exception of climate. All models were significantly better than random in binomial tests of omission and receiver operating characteristic analyses. The modeled spatial distribution of probability of occurrence showed high probability of mortality in the east-central oak woodlands and the mixed pine-hardwood forest region in northeast Texas. Both regional and local models were dominated by biotic factors (ecoregion and forest type, respectively). Forest density and precipitation of driest month also

  8. Global warming, elevational range shifts, and lowland biotic attrition in the wet tropics.

    PubMed

    Colwell, Robert K; Brehm, Gunnar; Cardelús, Catherine L; Gilman, Alex C; Longino, John T

    2008-10-10

    Many studies suggest that global warming is driving species ranges poleward and toward higher elevations at temperate latitudes, but evidence for range shifts is scarce for the tropics, where the shallow latitudinal temperature gradient makes upslope shifts more likely than poleward shifts. Based on new data for plants and insects on an elevational transect in Costa Rica, we assess the potential for lowland biotic attrition, range-shift gaps, and mountaintop extinctions under projected warming. We conclude that tropical lowland biotas may face a level of net lowland biotic attrition without parallel at higher latitudes (where range shifts may be compensated for by species from lower latitudes) and that a high proportion of tropical species soon faces gaps between current and projected elevational ranges.

  9. Field chronobiology of a molluscan bivalve: how the moon and sun cycles interact to drive oyster activity rhythms.

    PubMed

    Tran, Damien; Nadau, Arnaud; Durrieu, Gilles; Ciret, Pierre; Parisot, Jean-Paul; Massabuau, Jean-Charles

    2011-05-01

    The present study reports new insights into the complexity of environmental drivers in aquatic animals. The focus of this study was to determine the main forces that drive mollusc bivalve behavior in situ. To answer this question, the authors continuously studied the valve movements of permanently immersed oysters, Crassostrea gigas, during a 1-year-long in situ study. Valve behavior was monitored with a specially build valvometer, which allows continuously recording of up to 16 bivalves at high frequency (10 Hz). The results highlight a strong relationship between the rhythms of valve behavior and the complex association of the sun-earth-moon orbital positions. Permanently immersed C. gigas follows a robust and strong behavior primarily driven by the tidal cycle. The intensity of this tidal driving force is modulated by the neap-spring tides (i.e., synodic moon cycle), which themselves depend of the earth-moon distance (i.e., anomalistic moon cycle). Light is a significant driver of the oysters' biological rhythm, although its power is limited by the tides, which remain the predominant driver. More globally, depending where in the world the bivalves reside, the results suggest their biological rhythms should vary according to the relative importance of the solar cycle and different lunar cycles associated with tide generation. These results highlight the high plasticity of these oysters to adapt to their changing environment.

  10. Field chronobiology of a molluscan bivalve: how the moon and sun cycles interact to drive oyster activity rhythms.

    PubMed

    Tran, Damien; Nadau, Arnaud; Durrieu, Gilles; Ciret, Pierre; Parisot, Jean-Paul; Massabuau, Jean-Charles

    2011-05-01

    The present study reports new insights into the complexity of environmental drivers in aquatic animals. The focus of this study was to determine the main forces that drive mollusc bivalve behavior in situ. To answer this question, the authors continuously studied the valve movements of permanently immersed oysters, Crassostrea gigas, during a 1-year-long in situ study. Valve behavior was monitored with a specially build valvometer, which allows continuously recording of up to 16 bivalves at high frequency (10 Hz). The results highlight a strong relationship between the rhythms of valve behavior and the complex association of the sun-earth-moon orbital positions. Permanently immersed C. gigas follows a robust and strong behavior primarily driven by the tidal cycle. The intensity of this tidal driving force is modulated by the neap-spring tides (i.e., synodic moon cycle), which themselves depend of the earth-moon distance (i.e., anomalistic moon cycle). Light is a significant driver of the oysters' biological rhythm, although its power is limited by the tides, which remain the predominant driver. More globally, depending where in the world the bivalves reside, the results suggest their biological rhythms should vary according to the relative importance of the solar cycle and different lunar cycles associated with tide generation. These results highlight the high plasticity of these oysters to adapt to their changing environment. PMID:21539422

  11. The importance of biotic entrainment for base flow fluvial sediment transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rice, Stephen P.; Johnson, Matthew F.; Mathers, Kate; Reeds, Jake; Extence, Chris

    2016-05-01

    Sediment transport is regarded as an abiotic process driven by geophysical energy, but zoogeomorphological activity indicates that biological energy can also fuel sediment movements. It is therefore prudent to measure the contribution that biota make to sediment transport, but comparisons of abiotic and biotic sediment fluxes are rare. For a stream in the UK, the contribution of crayfish bioturbation to suspended sediment flux was compared with the amount of sediment moved by hydraulic forcing. During base flow periods, biotic fluxes can be isolated because nocturnal crayfish activity drives diel turbidity cycles, such that nighttime increases above daytime lows are attributable to sediment suspension by crayfish. On average, crayfish bioturbation contributed at least 32% (474 kg) to monthly base flow suspended sediment loads; this biotic surcharge added between 5.1 and 16.1 t (0.21 to 0.66 t km-2 yr-1) to the annual sediment yield. As anticipated, most sediment was moved by hydraulic forcing during floods and the biotic contribution from baseflow periods represented between 0.46 and 1.46% of the annual load. Crayfish activity is nonetheless an important impact during baseflow periods and the measured annual contribution may be a conservative estimate because of unusually prolonged flooding during the measurement period. In addition to direct sediment entrainment by bioturbation, crayfish burrowing supplies sediment to the channel for mobilization during floods so that the total biotic effect of crayfish is potentially greater than documented in this study. These results suggest that in rivers, during base flow periods, bioturbation can entrain significant quantities of fine sediment into suspension with implications for the aquatic ecosystem and base flow sediment fluxes. Energy from life rather than from elevation can make significant contributions to sediment fluxes.

  12. Modeling biotic habitat high risk areas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Despain, D.G.; Beier, P.; Tate, C.; Durtsche, B.M.; Stephens, T.

    2000-01-01

    Fire, especially stand replacing fire, poses a threat to many threatened and endangered species as well as their habitat. On the other hand, fire is important in maintaining a variety of successional stages that can be important for approach risk assessment to assist in prioritizing areas for allocation of fire mitigation funds. One example looks at assessing risk to the species and biotic communities of concern followed by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program. One looks at the risk to Mexican spottled owls. Another looks at the risk to cutthroat trout, and a fourth considers the general effects of fire and elk.

  13. Modeling Biotic Uptake by Periphyton and Transient Hyporrheic Storage of Nitrate in a Natural Stream

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Brian K. A.; Jackman, Alan P.; Triska, Frank J.

    1992-10-01

    To a convection-dispersion hydrologic transport model we coupled a transient storage submodel (Bencala, 1984) and a biotic uptake submodel based on Michaelis-Menten kinetics (Kim et al., 1990). Our purpose was threefold: (1) to simulate nitrate retention in response to change in load in a third-order stream, (2) to differentiate biotic versus hydrologie factors in nitrate retention, and (3) to produce a research tool whose properties are consistent with laboratory and field observations. Hydrodynamic parameters were fitted from chloride concentration during a 20-day chloride-nitrate coinjection (Bencala, 1984), and biotic uptake kinetics were based on flume studies by Kim et al. (1990) and Triska et al. (1983). Nitrate concentration from the 20-day coinjection experiment served as a base for model validation. The complete transport retention model reasonably predicted the observed nitrate concentration. However, simulations which lacked either the transient storage submodel or the biotic uptake submodel poorly predicted the observed nitrate concentration. Model simulations indicated that transient storage in channel and hyporrheic interstices dominated nitrate retention within the first 24 hours, whereas biotic uptake dominated thereafter. A sawtooth function for Vmax ranging from 0.10 to 0.17 μg NO3-N s-1 gAFDM-1 (grams ash free dry mass) slightly underpredicted nitrate retention in simulations of 2-7 days. This result was reasonable since uptake by other nitrate-demanding processes were not included. The model demonstrated how ecosystem retention is an interaction between physical and biotic processes and supports the validity of coupling separate hydrodynamic and reactive submodels to established solute transport models in biological studies of fluvial ecosystems.

  14. Per capita interactions and stress tolerance drive stress-induced changes in biodiversity effects on ecosystem functions

    PubMed Central

    Baert, Jan M.; Janssen, Colin R.; Sabbe, Koen; De Laender, Frederik

    2016-01-01

    Environmental stress changes the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functions, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Because species interactions shape biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships, changes in per capita interactions under stress (as predicted by the stress gradient hypothesis) can be an important driver of stress-induced changes in these relationships. To test this hypothesis, we measure productivity in microalgae communities along a diversity and herbicide gradient. On the basis of additive partitioning and a mechanistic community model, we demonstrate that changes in per capita interactions do not explain effects of herbicide stress on the biodiversity–productivity relationship. Instead, assuming that the per capita interactions remain unaffected by stress, causing species densities to only change through differences in stress tolerance, suffices to predict the stress-induced changes in the biodiversity–productivity relationship and community composition. We discuss how our findings set the stage for developing theory on how environmental stress changes biodiversity effects on ecosystem functions. PMID:27534986

  15. Per capita interactions and stress tolerance drive stress-induced changes in biodiversity effects on ecosystem functions.

    PubMed

    Baert, Jan M; Janssen, Colin R; Sabbe, Koen; De Laender, Frederik

    2016-01-01

    Environmental stress changes the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functions, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Because species interactions shape biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships, changes in per capita interactions under stress (as predicted by the stress gradient hypothesis) can be an important driver of stress-induced changes in these relationships. To test this hypothesis, we measure productivity in microalgae communities along a diversity and herbicide gradient. On the basis of additive partitioning and a mechanistic community model, we demonstrate that changes in per capita interactions do not explain effects of herbicide stress on the biodiversity-productivity relationship. Instead, assuming that the per capita interactions remain unaffected by stress, causing species densities to only change through differences in stress tolerance, suffices to predict the stress-induced changes in the biodiversity-productivity relationship and community composition. We discuss how our findings set the stage for developing theory on how environmental stress changes biodiversity effects on ecosystem functions. PMID:27534986

  16. Per capita interactions and stress tolerance drive stress-induced changes in biodiversity effects on ecosystem functions.

    PubMed

    Baert, Jan M; Janssen, Colin R; Sabbe, Koen; De Laender, Frederik

    2016-08-18

    Environmental stress changes the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functions, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Because species interactions shape biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships, changes in per capita interactions under stress (as predicted by the stress gradient hypothesis) can be an important driver of stress-induced changes in these relationships. To test this hypothesis, we measure productivity in microalgae communities along a diversity and herbicide gradient. On the basis of additive partitioning and a mechanistic community model, we demonstrate that changes in per capita interactions do not explain effects of herbicide stress on the biodiversity-productivity relationship. Instead, assuming that the per capita interactions remain unaffected by stress, causing species densities to only change through differences in stress tolerance, suffices to predict the stress-induced changes in the biodiversity-productivity relationship and community composition. We discuss how our findings set the stage for developing theory on how environmental stress changes biodiversity effects on ecosystem functions.

  17. Ubiquitin, Hormones and Biotic Stress in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Dreher, Kate; Callis, Judy

    2007-01-01

    Background The covalent attachment of ubiquitin to a substrate protein changes its fate. Notably, proteins typically tagged with a lysine48-linked polyubiquitin chain become substrates for degradation by the 26S proteasome. In recent years many experiments have been performed to characterize the proteins involved in the ubiquitylation process and to identify their substrates, in order to understand better the mechanisms that link specific protein degradation events to regulation of plant growth and development. Scope This review focuses on the role that ubiquitin plays in hormone synthesis, hormonal signalling cascades and plant defence mechanisms. Several examples are given of how targeted degradation of proteins affects downstream transcriptional regulation of hormone-responsive genes in the auxin, gibberellin, abscisic acid, ethylene and jasmonate signalling pathways. Additional experiments suggest that ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis may also act upstream of the hormonal signalling cascades by regulating hormone biosynthesis, transport and perception. Moreover, several experiments demonstrate that hormonal cross-talk can occur at the level of proteolysis. The more recently established role of the ubiquitin/proteasome system (UPS) in defence against biotic threats is also reviewed. Conclusions The UPS has been implicated in the regulation of almost every developmental process in plants, from embryogenesis to floral organ production probably through its central role in many hormone pathways. More recent evidence provides molecular mechanisms for hormonal cross-talk and links the UPS system to biotic defence responses. PMID:17220175

  18. A Biosensor Study Indicating That Entropy, Electrostatics, and Receptor Glycosylation Drive the Binding Interaction between Interleukin-7 and its Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Walsh, Scott T. R.

    2010-01-01

    The interaction between interleukin-7 (IL-7) and its α-receptor, IL-7Rα, plays fundamental roles in the development, survival, and homeostasis of B- and T-cells. N-linked glycosylation of human IL-7Rα enhances its binding affinity to human IL-7 by 300-fold over the nonglycosylated receptor through an allosteric mechanism. The N-glycans of IL-7Rα do not participate directly in the binding interface with IL-7. This biophysical study involves dissection of the binding properties of IL-7 to both nonglycosylated and glycosylated forms of the IL-7Rα extracellular domain (ECD) as functions of salt, pH, and temperature using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) spectroscopy. Interactions of IL-7 to both IL-7Rα variants display weaker binding affinities with increasing salt concentrations primarily reflected by changes in the first on-rates of a two-step reaction pathway. The electrostatic parameter of the IL-7/IL-7Rα interaction is not driven by complementary charge interactions through residues at the binding interface or N-glycan composition of IL-7Rα, but presumably by favorable global charges of the two proteins. Van’t Hoff analysis indicates both IL-7/IL-7Rα interactions are driven by large favorable entropy changes and smaller unfavorable (nonglycosylated complex) and favorable (glycosylated complex) enthalpy changes. Eyring analysis of the IL-7/IL-7Rα interactions reveals different reaction pathways and barriers for the transition-state thermodynamics with the enthalpy and entropy changes of IL-7 to nonglycosylated and glycosylated IL-7Rα. There were no discernable heat capacity changes for the equilibrium or transition-state binding thermodynamics of the IL-7/IL-7Rα interactions. The results here suggest that the unbound nonglycosylated IL-7Rα samples an extensive conformational landscape relative to the unbound glycosylated IL-7Rα, potentially explaining the switch from a “conformational” controlled reaction (k1 ~102 M−1s−1) for the

  19. Biotic homogenization can decrease landscape-scale forest multifunctionality.

    PubMed

    van der Plas, Fons; Manning, Pete; Soliveres, Santiago; Allan, Eric; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Verheyen, Kris; Wirth, Christian; Zavala, Miguel A; Ampoorter, Evy; Baeten, Lander; Barbaro, Luc; Bauhus, Jürgen; Benavides, Raquel; Benneter, Adam; Bonal, Damien; Bouriaud, Olivier; Bruelheide, Helge; Bussotti, Filippo; Carnol, Monique; Castagneyrol, Bastien; Charbonnier, Yohan; Coomes, David Anthony; Coppi, Andrea; Bastias, Cristina C; Dawud, Seid Muhie; De Wandeler, Hans; Domisch, Timo; Finér, Leena; Gessler, Arthur; Granier, André; Grossiord, Charlotte; Guyot, Virginie; Hättenschwiler, Stephan; Jactel, Hervé; Jaroszewicz, Bogdan; Joly, François-Xavier; Jucker, Tommaso; Koricheva, Julia; Milligan, Harriet; Mueller, Sandra; Muys, Bart; Nguyen, Diem; Pollastrini, Martina; Ratcliffe, Sophia; Raulund-Rasmussen, Karsten; Selvi, Federico; Stenlid, Jan; Valladares, Fernando; Vesterdal, Lars; Zielínski, Dawid; Fischer, Markus

    2016-03-29

    Many experiments have shown that local biodiversity loss impairs the ability of ecosystems to maintain multiple ecosystem functions at high levels (multifunctionality). In contrast, the role of biodiversity in driving ecosystem multifunctionality at landscape scales remains unresolved. We used a comprehensive pan-European dataset, including 16 ecosystem functions measured in 209 forest plots across six European countries, and performed simulations to investigate how local plot-scale richness of tree species (α-diversity) and their turnover between plots (β-diversity) are related to landscape-scale multifunctionality. After accounting for variation in environmental conditions, we found that relationships between α-diversity and landscape-scale multifunctionality varied from positive to negative depending on the multifunctionality metric used. In contrast, when significant, relationships between β-diversity and landscape-scale multifunctionality were always positive, because a high spatial turnover in species composition was closely related to a high spatial turnover in functions that were supported at high levels. Our findings have major implications for forest management and indicate that biotic homogenization can have previously unrecognized and negative consequences for large-scale ecosystem multifunctionality. PMID:26979952

  20. Biotic homogenization can decrease landscape-scale forest multifunctionality.

    PubMed

    van der Plas, Fons; Manning, Pete; Soliveres, Santiago; Allan, Eric; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Verheyen, Kris; Wirth, Christian; Zavala, Miguel A; Ampoorter, Evy; Baeten, Lander; Barbaro, Luc; Bauhus, Jürgen; Benavides, Raquel; Benneter, Adam; Bonal, Damien; Bouriaud, Olivier; Bruelheide, Helge; Bussotti, Filippo; Carnol, Monique; Castagneyrol, Bastien; Charbonnier, Yohan; Coomes, David Anthony; Coppi, Andrea; Bastias, Cristina C; Dawud, Seid Muhie; De Wandeler, Hans; Domisch, Timo; Finér, Leena; Gessler, Arthur; Granier, André; Grossiord, Charlotte; Guyot, Virginie; Hättenschwiler, Stephan; Jactel, Hervé; Jaroszewicz, Bogdan; Joly, François-Xavier; Jucker, Tommaso; Koricheva, Julia; Milligan, Harriet; Mueller, Sandra; Muys, Bart; Nguyen, Diem; Pollastrini, Martina; Ratcliffe, Sophia; Raulund-Rasmussen, Karsten; Selvi, Federico; Stenlid, Jan; Valladares, Fernando; Vesterdal, Lars; Zielínski, Dawid; Fischer, Markus

    2016-03-29

    Many experiments have shown that local biodiversity loss impairs the ability of ecosystems to maintain multiple ecosystem functions at high levels (multifunctionality). In contrast, the role of biodiversity in driving ecosystem multifunctionality at landscape scales remains unresolved. We used a comprehensive pan-European dataset, including 16 ecosystem functions measured in 209 forest plots across six European countries, and performed simulations to investigate how local plot-scale richness of tree species (α-diversity) and their turnover between plots (β-diversity) are related to landscape-scale multifunctionality. After accounting for variation in environmental conditions, we found that relationships between α-diversity and landscape-scale multifunctionality varied from positive to negative depending on the multifunctionality metric used. In contrast, when significant, relationships between β-diversity and landscape-scale multifunctionality were always positive, because a high spatial turnover in species composition was closely related to a high spatial turnover in functions that were supported at high levels. Our findings have major implications for forest management and indicate that biotic homogenization can have previously unrecognized and negative consequences for large-scale ecosystem multifunctionality.

  1. Biotic homogenization can decrease landscape-scale forest multifunctionality

    PubMed Central

    van der Plas, Fons; Manning, Pete; Soliveres, Santiago; Allan, Eric; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Verheyen, Kris; Wirth, Christian; Zavala, Miguel A.; Ampoorter, Evy; Baeten, Lander; Barbaro, Luc; Bauhus, Jürgen; Benavides, Raquel; Benneter, Adam; Bonal, Damien; Bouriaud, Olivier; Bruelheide, Helge; Bussotti, Filippo; Carnol, Monique; Castagneyrol, Bastien; Charbonnier, Yohan; Coppi, Andrea; Bastias, Cristina C.; Dawud, Seid Muhie; De Wandeler, Hans; Domisch, Timo; Finér, Leena; Granier, André; Grossiord, Charlotte; Guyot, Virginie; Hättenschwiler, Stephan; Jactel, Hervé; Jaroszewicz, Bogdan; Joly, François-xavier; Jucker, Tommaso; Koricheva, Julia; Milligan, Harriet; Mueller, Sandra; Muys, Bart; Nguyen, Diem; Pollastrini, Martina; Ratcliffe, Sophia; Raulund-Rasmussen, Karsten; Selvi, Federico; Stenlid, Jan; Valladares, Fernando; Vesterdal, Lars; Zielínski, Dawid; Fischer, Markus

    2016-01-01

    Many experiments have shown that local biodiversity loss impairs the ability of ecosystems to maintain multiple ecosystem functions at high levels (multifunctionality). In contrast, the role of biodiversity in driving ecosystem multifunctionality at landscape scales remains unresolved. We used a comprehensive pan-European dataset, including 16 ecosystem functions measured in 209 forest plots across six European countries, and performed simulations to investigate how local plot-scale richness of tree species (α-diversity) and their turnover between plots (β-diversity) are related to landscape-scale multifunctionality. After accounting for variation in environmental conditions, we found that relationships between α-diversity and landscape-scale multifunctionality varied from positive to negative depending on the multifunctionality metric used. In contrast, when significant, relationships between β-diversity and landscape-scale multifunctionality were always positive, because a high spatial turnover in species composition was closely related to a high spatial turnover in functions that were supported at high levels. Our findings have major implications for forest management and indicate that biotic homogenization can have previously unrecognized and negative consequences for large-scale ecosystem multifunctionality. PMID:26979952

  2. Synergistic interactions between the molecular and neuronal circadian networks drive robust behavioral circadian rhythms in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Weiss, Ron; Bartok, Osnat; Mezan, Shaul; Malka, Yuval; Kadener, Sebastian

    2014-04-01

    Most organisms use 24-hr circadian clocks to keep temporal order and anticipate daily environmental changes. In Drosophila melanogaster CLOCK (CLK) and CYCLE (CYC) initiates the circadian system by promoting rhythmic transcription of hundreds of genes. However, it is still not clear whether high amplitude transcriptional oscillations are essential for circadian timekeeping. In order to address this issue, we generated flies in which the amplitude of CLK-driven transcription can be reduced partially (approx. 60%) or strongly (90%) without affecting the average levels of CLK-target genes. The impaired transcriptional oscillations lead to low amplitude protein oscillations that were not sufficient to drive outputs of peripheral oscillators. However, circadian rhythms in locomotor activity were resistant to partial reduction in transcriptional and protein oscillations. We found that the resilience of the brain oscillator is depending on the neuronal communication among circadian neurons in the brain. Indeed, the capacity of the brain oscillator to overcome low amplitude transcriptional oscillations depends on the action of the neuropeptide PDF and on the pdf-expressing cells having equal or higher amplitude of molecular rhythms than the rest of the circadian neuronal groups in the fly brain. Therefore, our work reveals the importance of high amplitude transcriptional oscillations for cell-autonomous circadian timekeeping. Moreover, we demonstrate that the circadian neuronal network is an essential buffering system that protects against changes in circadian transcription in the brain. PMID:24698952

  3. Pile Driving

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    Machine-oriented structural engineering firm TERA, Inc. is engaged in a project to evaluate the reliability of offshore pile driving prediction methods to eventually predict the best pile driving technique for each new offshore oil platform. Phase I Pile driving records of 48 offshore platforms including such information as blow counts, soil composition and pertinent construction details were digitized. In Phase II, pile driving records were statistically compared with current methods of prediction. Result was development of modular software, the CRIPS80 Software Design Analyzer System, that companies can use to evaluate other prediction procedures or other data bases.

  4. The abiotic and biotic factors limiting establishment of predatory fishes at their expanding northern range boundaries in Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Alofs, Karen M; Jackson, Donald A

    2015-06-01

    There is a poor understanding of the importance of biotic interactions in determining species distributions with climate change. Theory from invasion biology suggests that the success of species introductions outside of their historical ranges may be either positively (biotic acceptance) or negatively (biotic resistance) related to native biodiversity. Using data on fish community composition from two survey periods separated by approximately 28 years during which climate was warming, we examined the factors influencing the establishment of three predatory centrarchids: Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu), Largemouth Bass (M. salmoides), and Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris) in lakes at their expanding northern range boundaries in Ontario. Variance partitioning demonstrated that, at a regional scale, abiotic factors play a stronger role in determining the establishment of these species than biotic factors. Pairing lakes within watersheds where each species had established with lakes sharing similar abiotic conditions where the species had not established revealed both positive and negative relationships between the establishment of centrarchids and the historical presence of other predatory species. The establishment of these species near their northern range boundaries is primarily determined by abiotic factors at a regional scale; however, biotic factors become important at the lake-to-lake scale. Studies of exotic species invasions have previously highlighted how spatial scale mediates the importance of abiotic vs. biotic factors on species establishment. Our study demonstrates how concepts from invasion biology can inform our understanding of the factors controlling species distributions with changing climate. PMID:25556555

  5. The abiotic and biotic factors limiting establishment of predatory fishes at their expanding northern range boundaries in Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Alofs, Karen M; Jackson, Donald A

    2015-06-01

    There is a poor understanding of the importance of biotic interactions in determining species distributions with climate change. Theory from invasion biology suggests that the success of species introductions outside of their historical ranges may be either positively (biotic acceptance) or negatively (biotic resistance) related to native biodiversity. Using data on fish community composition from two survey periods separated by approximately 28 years during which climate was warming, we examined the factors influencing the establishment of three predatory centrarchids: Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu), Largemouth Bass (M. salmoides), and Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris) in lakes at their expanding northern range boundaries in Ontario. Variance partitioning demonstrated that, at a regional scale, abiotic factors play a stronger role in determining the establishment of these species than biotic factors. Pairing lakes within watersheds where each species had established with lakes sharing similar abiotic conditions where the species had not established revealed both positive and negative relationships between the establishment of centrarchids and the historical presence of other predatory species. The establishment of these species near their northern range boundaries is primarily determined by abiotic factors at a regional scale; however, biotic factors become important at the lake-to-lake scale. Studies of exotic species invasions have previously highlighted how spatial scale mediates the importance of abiotic vs. biotic factors on species establishment. Our study demonstrates how concepts from invasion biology can inform our understanding of the factors controlling species distributions with changing climate.

  6. Vision and Driving

    PubMed Central

    Owsley, Cynthia; McGwin, Gerald

    2010-01-01

    Driving is the primary means of personal travel in many countries and is relies heavily on vision for its successful execution. Research over the past few decades has addressed the role of vision in driver safety (motor vehicle collision involvement) and in driver performance (both on-road and using interactive simulators in the laboratory). Here we critically review what is currently known about the role of various aspects of visual function in driving. We also discuss translational research issues on vision screening for licensure and re-licensure and rehabilitation of visually impaired persons who want to drive. PMID:20580907

  7. Rapid biotic homogenization of marine fish assemblages.

    PubMed

    Magurran, Anne E; Dornelas, Maria; Moyes, Faye; Gotelli, Nicholas J; McGill, Brian

    2015-01-01

    The role human activities play in reshaping biodiversity is increasingly apparent in terrestrial ecosystems. However, the responses of entire marine assemblages are not well-understood, in part, because few monitoring programs incorporate both spatial and temporal replication. Here, we analyse an exceptionally comprehensive 29-year time series of North Atlantic groundfish assemblages monitored over 5° latitude to the west of Scotland. These fish assemblages show no systematic change in species richness through time, but steady change in species composition, leading to an increase in spatial homogenization: the species identity of colder northern localities increasingly resembles that of warmer southern localities. This biotic homogenization mirrors the spatial pattern of unevenly rising ocean temperatures over the same time period suggesting that climate change is primarily responsible for the spatial homogenization we observe. In this and other ecosystems, apparent constancy in species richness may mask major changes in species composition driven by anthropogenic change. PMID:26400102

  8. The biotic effects of climate change.

    PubMed

    Lister, Adrian M

    2009-02-01

    Humans are part of the biosphere and dependent upon it. The impact of climate change on 'ecosystem services' is therefore of extreme concern. Many studies demonstrate unequivocally that global warming is shifting the distribution of animal and plant species, affecting the composition not only of natural ecosystems but of agricultural ones as well, and also altering the range and impact of pathogenic organisms. The future trajectory of such complex processes is hard to map accurately, but even conservative estimates predict substantial species extinctions and changes in regional productivity. There is still a chance to significantly mitigate these effects, however, if urgent measures are taken. The biotic effects of climate change are strongly exacerbated by ongoing habitat destruction, which no less urgently needs to be halted or reversed by concerted international action. In terms of its rate and its human causation, the present crisis is not analogous to past 'natural' events.

  9. Emergence of Strong Exchange Interaction in the Actinide Series: The Driving Force for Magnetic Stabilization of Curium

    SciTech Connect

    Moore, K; der Laan, G v; Haire, D; Wall, M; Schwartz, A; Soderlind, P

    2007-01-04

    Using electron energy-loss spectroscopy in a transmission electron microscope, many-electron atomic spectral calculations and density functional theory, we examine the electronic and magnetic structure of Cm metal. We show that angular momentum coupling in the 5f states plays a decisive role in the formation of the magnetic moment. The 5f states of Cm in intermediate coupling are strongly shifted towards the LS coupling limit due to exchange interaction, unlike most actinide elements where the effective spin-orbit interaction prevails. It is this LS-inclined intermediate coupling that is the key to producing the large spin polarization which in turn dictates the newly found crystal structure of Cm under pressure.

  10. The interactions between temperature and activity levels in driving metabolic rate: theory, with empirical validation from contrasting ectotherms.

    PubMed

    Halsey, L G; Matthews, P G D; Rezende, E L; Chauvaud, L; Robson, A A

    2015-04-01

    The rate of change in resting metabolic rate (RMR) as a result of a temperature increase of 10 °C is termed the temperature coefficient (Q10), which is often used to predict how an organism's total MR will change with temperature. However, this method neglects a potentially key component of MR; changes in activity level (and thus activity MR; AMR) with temperature may significantly alter the relationship between MR and temperature. The present study seeks to describe how thermal effects on total MR estimated from RMR-temperature measurements can be misleading when the contribution of activity to total MR is neglected. A simple conceptual framework illustrates that since the relationship between activity levels and temperature can be different to the relationship between RMR and temperature, a consistent relationship between RMR and total MR cannot be assumed. Thus the thermal effect on total MR can be considerably different to the thermal effect on RMR. Simultaneously measured MR and activity from three ectotherm species with differing behavioural and physiological ecologies were used to empirically examine how changes in temperature drive changes in RMR, activity level, AMR and the Q10 of MR. These species exhibited varied activity- and MR-temperature relationships, underlining the difficulty in predicting thermal influences on activity levels and total MR. These data support a model showing that thermal effects on total MR will deviate from predictions based solely on RMR; this deviation will depend upon the difference in Q10 between AMR and RMR, and the relative contribution of AMR to total MR. To develop mechanistic, predictive models for species' metabolic responses to temperature changes, empirical information about the relationships between activity levels, MR and temperature, such as reported here, is required. This will supersede predictions based on RMR alone.

  11. The interactions between temperature and activity levels in driving metabolic rate: theory, with empirical validation from contrasting ectotherms.

    PubMed

    Halsey, L G; Matthews, P G D; Rezende, E L; Chauvaud, L; Robson, A A

    2015-04-01

    The rate of change in resting metabolic rate (RMR) as a result of a temperature increase of 10 °C is termed the temperature coefficient (Q10), which is often used to predict how an organism's total MR will change with temperature. However, this method neglects a potentially key component of MR; changes in activity level (and thus activity MR; AMR) with temperature may significantly alter the relationship between MR and temperature. The present study seeks to describe how thermal effects on total MR estimated from RMR-temperature measurements can be misleading when the contribution of activity to total MR is neglected. A simple conceptual framework illustrates that since the relationship between activity levels and temperature can be different to the relationship between RMR and temperature, a consistent relationship between RMR and total MR cannot be assumed. Thus the thermal effect on total MR can be considerably different to the thermal effect on RMR. Simultaneously measured MR and activity from three ectotherm species with differing behavioural and physiological ecologies were used to empirically examine how changes in temperature drive changes in RMR, activity level, AMR and the Q10 of MR. These species exhibited varied activity- and MR-temperature relationships, underlining the difficulty in predicting thermal influences on activity levels and total MR. These data support a model showing that thermal effects on total MR will deviate from predictions based solely on RMR; this deviation will depend upon the difference in Q10 between AMR and RMR, and the relative contribution of AMR to total MR. To develop mechanistic, predictive models for species' metabolic responses to temperature changes, empirical information about the relationships between activity levels, MR and temperature, such as reported here, is required. This will supersede predictions based on RMR alone. PMID:25575673

  12. Mycobacterium ulcerans dynamics in aquatic ecosystems are driven by a complex interplay of abiotic and biotic factors.

    PubMed

    Garchitorena, Andrés; Guégan, Jean-François; Léger, Lucas; Eyangoh, Sara; Marsollier, Laurent; Roche, Benjamin

    2015-01-01

    Host-parasite interactions are often embedded within complex host communities and can be influenced by a variety of environmental factors, such as seasonal variations in climate or abiotic conditions in water and soil, which confounds our understanding of the main drivers of many multi-host pathogens. Here, we take advantage of a combination of large environmental data sets on Mycobacterium ulcerans (MU), an environmentally persistent microorganism associated to freshwater ecosystems and present in a large variety of aquatic hosts, to characterize abiotic and biotic factors driving the dynamics of this pathogen in two regions of Cameroon. We find that MU dynamics are largely driven by seasonal climatic factors and certain physico-chemical conditions in stagnant and slow-flowing ecosystems, with an important role of pH as limiting factor. Furthermore, water conditions can modify the effect of abundance and diversity of aquatic organisms on MU dynamics, which suggests a different contribution of two MU transmission routes for aquatic hosts (trophic vs environmental transmission) depending on local abiotic factors.

  13. Mycobacterium ulcerans dynamics in aquatic ecosystems are driven by a complex interplay of abiotic and biotic factors

    PubMed Central

    Garchitorena, Andrés; Guégan, Jean-François; Léger, Lucas; Eyangoh, Sara; Marsollier, Laurent; Roche, Benjamin

    2015-01-01

    Host–parasite interactions are often embedded within complex host communities and can be influenced by a variety of environmental factors, such as seasonal variations in climate or abiotic conditions in water and soil, which confounds our understanding of the main drivers of many multi-host pathogens. Here, we take advantage of a combination of large environmental data sets on Mycobacterium ulcerans (MU), an environmentally persistent microorganism associated to freshwater ecosystems and present in a large variety of aquatic hosts, to characterize abiotic and biotic factors driving the dynamics of this pathogen in two regions of Cameroon. We find that MU dynamics are largely driven by seasonal climatic factors and certain physico-chemical conditions in stagnant and slow-flowing ecosystems, with an important role of pH as limiting factor. Furthermore, water conditions can modify the effect of abundance and diversity of aquatic organisms on MU dynamics, which suggests a different contribution of two MU transmission routes for aquatic hosts (trophic vs environmental transmission) depending on local abiotic factors. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07616.001 PMID:26216042

  14. Taxonomic scale-dependence of habitat niche partitioning and biotic neighbourhood on survival of tropical tree seedlings

    PubMed Central

    Queenborough, Simon A.; Burslem, David F. R. P.; Garwood, Nancy C.; Valencia, Renato

    2009-01-01

    In order to differentiate between mechanisms of species coexistence, we examined the relative importance of local biotic neighbourhood, abiotic habitat factors and species differences as factors influencing the survival of 2330 spatially mapped tropical tree seedlings of 15 species of Myristicaceae in two separate analyses in which individuals were identified first to species and then to genus. Using likelihood methods, we selected the most parsimonious candidate models as predictors of 3 year seedling survival in both sets of analyses. We found evidence for differential effects of abiotic niche and neighbourhood processes on individual survival between analyses at the genus and species levels. Niche partitioning (defined as an interaction of taxonomic identity and abiotic neighbourhood) was significant in analyses at the genus level, but did not differentiate among species in models of individual seedling survival. By contrast, conspecific and congeneric seedling and adult density were retained in the minimum adequate models of seedling survival at species and genus levels, respectively. We conclude that abiotic niche effects express differences in seedling survival among genera but not among species, and that, within genera, community and/or local variation in adult and seedling abundance drives variation in seedling survival. These data suggest that different mechanisms of coexistence among tropical tree taxa may function at different taxonomic or phylogenetic scales. This perspective helps to reconcile perceived differences of importance in the various non-mutually exclusive mechanisms of species coexistence in hyper-diverse tropical forests. PMID:19740886

  15. Shifting grassland plant community structure drives positive interactive effects of warming and diversity on aboveground net primary productivity.

    PubMed

    Cowles, Jane M; Wragg, Peter D; Wright, Alexandra J; Powers, Jennifer S; Tilman, David

    2016-02-01

    Ecosystems worldwide are increasingly impacted by multiple drivers of environmental change, including climate warming and loss of biodiversity. We show, using a long-term factorial experiment, that plant diversity loss alters the effects of warming on productivity. Aboveground primary productivity was increased by both high plant diversity and warming, and, in concert, warming (≈1.5 °C average above and belowground warming over the growing season) and diversity caused a greater than additive increase in aboveground productivity. The aboveground warming effects increased over time, particularly at higher levels of diversity, perhaps because of warming-induced increases in legume and C4 bunch grass abundances, and facilitative feedbacks of these species on productivity. Moreover, higher plant diversity was associated with the amelioration of warming-induced environmental conditions. This led to cooler temperatures, decreased vapor pressure deficit, and increased surface soil moisture in higher diversity communities. Root biomass (0-30 cm) was likewise consistently greater at higher plant diversity and was greater with warming in monocultures and at intermediate diversity, but at high diversity warming had no detectable effect. This may be because warming increased the abundance of legumes, which have lower root : shoot ratios than the other types of plants. In addition, legumes increase soil nitrogen (N) supply, which could make N less limiting to other species and potentially decrease their investment in roots. The negative warming × diversity interaction on root mass led to an overall negative interactive effect of these two global change factors on the sum of above and belowground biomass, and thus likely on total plant carbon stores. In total, plant diversity increased the effect of warming on aboveground net productivity and moderated the effect on root mass. These divergent effects suggest that warming and changes in plant diversity are likely to have both

  16. Shifting grassland plant community structure drives positive interactive effects of warming and diversity on aboveground net primary productivity.

    PubMed

    Cowles, Jane M; Wragg, Peter D; Wright, Alexandra J; Powers, Jennifer S; Tilman, David

    2016-02-01

    Ecosystems worldwide are increasingly impacted by multiple drivers of environmental change, including climate warming and loss of biodiversity. We show, using a long-term factorial experiment, that plant diversity loss alters the effects of warming on productivity. Aboveground primary productivity was increased by both high plant diversity and warming, and, in concert, warming (≈1.5 °C average above and belowground warming over the growing season) and diversity caused a greater than additive increase in aboveground productivity. The aboveground warming effects increased over time, particularly at higher levels of diversity, perhaps because of warming-induced increases in legume and C4 bunch grass abundances, and facilitative feedbacks of these species on productivity. Moreover, higher plant diversity was associated with the amelioration of warming-induced environmental conditions. This led to cooler temperatures, decreased vapor pressure deficit, and increased surface soil moisture in higher diversity communities. Root biomass (0-30 cm) was likewise consistently greater at higher plant diversity and was greater with warming in monocultures and at intermediate diversity, but at high diversity warming had no detectable effect. This may be because warming increased the abundance of legumes, which have lower root : shoot ratios than the other types of plants. In addition, legumes increase soil nitrogen (N) supply, which could make N less limiting to other species and potentially decrease their investment in roots. The negative warming × diversity interaction on root mass led to an overall negative interactive effect of these two global change factors on the sum of above and belowground biomass, and thus likely on total plant carbon stores. In total, plant diversity increased the effect of warming on aboveground net productivity and moderated the effect on root mass. These divergent effects suggest that warming and changes in plant diversity are likely to have both

  17. Enzyme-ligand interactions that drive active site rearrangements in the Helicobacter pylori 5´-methylthioadenosine/S-adenosylhomocysteine nucleosidase

    SciTech Connect

    Ronning, Donald R; Iacopelli, Natalie M; Mishra, Vidhi

    2012-03-15

    The bacterial enzyme 5'-methylthioadenosine/S-adenosylhomocysteine nucleosidase (MTAN) plays a central role in three essential metabolic pathways in bacteria: methionine salvage, purine salvage, and polyamine biosynthesis. Recently, its role in the pathway that leads to the production of autoinducer II, an important component in quorum-sensing, has garnered much interest. Because of this variety of roles, MTAN is an attractive target for developing new classes of inhibitors that influence bacterial virulence and biofilm formation. To gain insight toward the development of new classes of MTAN inhibitors, the interactions between the Helicobacter pylori-encoded MTAN and its substrates and substrate analogs were probed using X-ray crystallography. The structures of MTAN, an MTAN-Formycin A complex, and an adenine bound form were solved by molecular replacement and refined to 1.7, 1.8, and 1.6 Å, respectively. The ribose-binding site in the MTAN and MTAN-adenine cocrystal structures contain a tris[hydroxymethyl]aminomethane molecule that stabilizes the closed form of the enzyme and displaces a nucleophilic water molecule necessary for catalysis. This research gives insight to the interactions between MTAN and bound ligands that promote closing of the enzyme active site and highlights the potential for designing new classes of MTAN inhibitors using a link/grow or ligand assembly development strategy based on the described H. pylori MTAN crystal structures.

  18. Nucleotide-induced asymmetry within ATPase activator ring drives σ54–RNAP interaction and ATP hydrolysis

    PubMed Central

    Sysoeva, Tatyana A.; Chowdhury, Saikat; Guo, Liang; Nixon, B. Tracy

    2013-01-01

    It is largely unknown how the typical homomeric ring geometry of ATPases associated with various cellular activities enables them to perform mechanical work. Small-angle solution X-ray scattering, crystallography, and electron microscopy (EM) reconstructions revealed that partial ATP occupancy caused the heptameric closed ring of the bacterial enhancer-binding protein (bEBP) NtrC1 to rearrange into a hexameric split ring of striking asymmetry. The highly conserved and functionally crucial GAFTGA loops responsible for interacting with σ54–RNA polymerase formed a spiral staircase. We propose that splitting of the ensemble directs ATP hydrolysis within the oligomer, and the ring's asymmetry guides interaction between ATPase and the complex of σ54 and promoter DNA. Similarity between the structure of the transcriptional activator NtrC1 and those of distantly related helicases Rho and E1 reveals a general mechanism in homomeric ATPases whereby complex allostery within the ring geometry forms asymmetric functional states that allow these biological motors to exert directional forces on their target macromolecules. PMID:24240239

  19. Soil fertility and disturbance interact to drive contrasting responses of co-occurring native and nonnative species.

    PubMed

    Peltzer, Duane A; Kurokawa, Hiroko; Wardle, David A

    2016-02-01

    Some plant functional groups such as nonnative invasive and nitrogen (N)-fixing plants are widely thought to have consistent, coordinated differences in their functional traits relative to other groups such as native and non -N-fixing plants. Recent evidence suggests that these trait differences between groups can be context dependent, varying with environmental factors such as resource availability and disturbance. However, many previous comparisons among plant groups differing in invasion status have not standardized growth form between groups or have compared species that do not co-occur, which could result in invasion status per se being confounded with other factors. We determined growth and leaf functional trait responses of 20 co-occurring woody species, that is, five species within each of four functional groups (native N-fixers, native non -N-fixers, nonnative [invasive] N-fixers and nonnative [invasive] non-N-fixers), to factorial combinations of soil fertility and defoliation treatments in a mesocosm experiment to test each of two hypotheses. First, we hypothesized that nonnative invasive and N-fixing species will have functional traits associated with rapid resource acquisition whereas natives and non -N-fixing species will have traits linked to resource conservation. Second, we hypothesized that plant growth and leaf traits of nonnative and N-fixing species will be more strongly influenced by environmental factors (i.e., soil fertility and disturbance) than will natives and non-N-fixers. Plant growth, foliar nutrients, and leaf structural traits varied among plant functional groups in a manner consistent with our first hypothesis. Support for our second hypothesis was mixed; origin (native vs. nonnative) and soil fertility rarely interacted to determine plant growth or variation in leaf traits whereas interactions involving N-fixing ability and soil fertility were common. Further, there were no consistent interactive effects between plant groupings and

  20. The short range anion-H interaction is the driving force for crystal formation of ions in water.

    PubMed

    Alejandre, José; Chapela, Gustavo A; Bresme, Fernando; Hansen, Jean-Pierre

    2009-05-01

    The crystal formation of NaCl in water is studied by extensive molecular dynamics simulations. Ionic solutions at room temperature and various concentrations are studied using the SPC/E and TIP4P/2005 water models and seven force fields of NaCl. Most force fields of pure NaCl fail to reproduce the experimental density of the crystal, and in solution some favor dissociation at saturated conditions, while others favor crystal formation at low concentration. A new force field of NaCl is proposed, which reproduces the experimental phase diagram in the solid, liquid, and vapor regions. This force field overestimates the solubility of NaCl in water at saturation conditions when used with standard Lorentz-Berthelot combining rules for the ion-water pair potentials. It is shown that precipitation of ions is driven by the short range interaction between Cl-H pairs, a term which is generally missing in the simulation of ionic solutions. The effects of intramolecular flexibility of water on the solubility of NaCl ions are analyzed and is found to be small compared to rigid models. A flexible water model, extending the rigid SPC/E, is proposed, which incorporates Lennard-Jones interactions centered on the hydrogen atoms. This force field gives liquid-vapor coexisting densities and surface tensions in better agreement with experimental data than the rigid SPC/E model. The Cl-H, Na-O, and Cl-O pair distribution functions of the rigid and flexible models agree well with experiment. The predicted concentration dependence of the electric conductivity is in fair agreement with available experimental data. PMID:19425788

  1. The short range anion-H interaction is the driving force for crystal formation of ions in water.

    PubMed

    Alejandre, José; Chapela, Gustavo A; Bresme, Fernando; Hansen, Jean-Pierre

    2009-05-01

    The crystal formation of NaCl in water is studied by extensive molecular dynamics simulations. Ionic solutions at room temperature and various concentrations are studied using the SPC/E and TIP4P/2005 water models and seven force fields of NaCl. Most force fields of pure NaCl fail to reproduce the experimental density of the crystal, and in solution some favor dissociation at saturated conditions, while others favor crystal formation at low concentration. A new force field of NaCl is proposed, which reproduces the experimental phase diagram in the solid, liquid, and vapor regions. This force field overestimates the solubility of NaCl in water at saturation conditions when used with standard Lorentz-Berthelot combining rules for the ion-water pair potentials. It is shown that precipitation of ions is driven by the short range interaction between Cl-H pairs, a term which is generally missing in the simulation of ionic solutions. The effects of intramolecular flexibility of water on the solubility of NaCl ions are analyzed and is found to be small compared to rigid models. A flexible water model, extending the rigid SPC/E, is proposed, which incorporates Lennard-Jones interactions centered on the hydrogen atoms. This force field gives liquid-vapor coexisting densities and surface tensions in better agreement with experimental data than the rigid SPC/E model. The Cl-H, Na-O, and Cl-O pair distribution functions of the rigid and flexible models agree well with experiment. The predicted concentration dependence of the electric conductivity is in fair agreement with available experimental data.

  2. Inter-annual variability of carbon fluxes in temperate forest ecosystems: effects of biotic and abiotic factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, M.; Keenan, T. F.; Hufkens, K.; Munger, J. W.; Bohrer, G.; Brzostek, E. R.; Richardson, A. D.

    2014-12-01

    Carbon dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems are influenced by both abiotic and biotic factors. Abiotic factors, such as variation in meteorological conditions, directly drive biophysical and biogeochemical processes; biotic factors, referring to the inherent properties of the ecosystem components, reflect the internal regulating effects including temporal dynamics and memory. The magnitude of the effect of abiotic and biotic factors on forest ecosystem carbon exchange has been suggested to vary at different time scales. In this study, we design and conduct a model-data fusion experiment to investigate the role and relative importance of the biotic and abiotic factors for inter-annual variability of the net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) of temperate deciduous forest ecosystems in the Northeastern US. A process-based model (FöBAAR) is parameterized at four eddy-covariance sites using all available flux and biometric measurements. We conducted a "transplant" modeling experiment, that is, cross- site and parameter simulations with different combinations of site meteorology and parameters. Using wavelet analysis and variance partitioning techniques, analysis of model predictions identifies both spatial variant and spatially invariant parameters. Variability of NEE was primarily modulated by gross primary productivity (GPP), with relative contributions varying from hourly to yearly time scales. The inter-annual variability of GPP and NEE is more regulated by meteorological forcing, but spatial variability in certain model parameters (biotic response) has more substantial effects on the inter-annual variability of ecosystem respiration (Reco) through the effects on carbon pools. Both the biotic and abiotic factors play significant roles in modulating the spatial and temporal variability in terrestrial carbon cycling in the region. Together, our study quantifies the relative importance of both, and calls for better understanding of them to better predict regional CO2

  3. Distracted Driving

    MedlinePlus

    ... combines all three types of distraction. 3 How big is the problem? Deaths In 2013, 3,154 ... European countries. More A CDC study analyzed 2011 data on distracted driving, including talking on a cell ...

  4. αvβ8 integrin interacts with RhoGDI1 to regulate Rac1 and Cdc42 activation and drive glioblastoma cell invasion

    PubMed Central

    Reyes, Steve B.; Narayanan, Anjana S.; Lee, Hye Shin; Tchaicha, Jeremy H.; Aldape, Kenneth D.; Lang, Frederick F.; Tolias, Kimberly F.; McCarty, Joseph H.

    2013-01-01

    The malignant brain cancer glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) displays invasive growth behaviors that are regulated by extracellular cues within the neural microenvironment. The adhesion and signaling pathways that drive GBM cell invasion remain largely uncharacterized. Here we use human GBM cell lines, primary patient samples, and preclinical mouse models to demonstrate that integrin αvβ8 is a major driver of GBM cell invasion. β8 integrin is overexpressed in many human GBM cells, with higher integrin expression correlating with increased invasion and diminished patient survival. Silencing β8 integrin in human GBM cells leads to impaired tumor cell invasion due to hyperactivation of the Rho GTPases Rac1 and Cdc42. β8 integrin coimmunoprecipitates with Rho-GDP dissociation inhibitor 1 (RhoGDI1), an intracellular signaling effector that sequesters Rho GTPases in their inactive GDP-bound states. Silencing RhoGDI1 expression or uncoupling αvβ8 integrin–RhoGDI1 protein interactions blocks GBM cell invasion due to Rho GTPase hyperactivation. These data reveal for the first time that αvβ8 integrin, via interactions with RhoGDI1, regulates activation of Rho proteins to promote GBM cell invasiveness. Hence targeting the αvβ8 integrin–RhoGDI1 signaling axis might be an effective strategy for blocking GBM cell invasion. PMID:23283986

  5. Cascading life-history interactions: alternative density-dependent pathways drive recruitment dynamics in a freshwater fish.

    PubMed

    Vandenbos, Rena E; Tonn, William M; Boss, Shelly M

    2006-07-01

    Although density-dependent mechanisms in early life-history are important regulators of recruitment in many taxa, consequences of such mechanisms on other life-history stages are poorly understood. To examine interacting and cascading effects of mechanisms acting on different life-history stages, we stocked experimental ponds with fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) at two different densities. We quantified growth and survival of the stocked fish, the eggs they produced, and the resulting offspring during their first season of life. Per-capita production and survival of eggs were inversely related to density of stocked fish; significant egg cannibalism by stocked minnows resulted in initial young-of-the-year (YOY) densities that were inversely related to adult densities. Subsequent growth and survival of YOY were then inversely related to these initial YOY densities, and survival of YOY was selective for larger fish. Because of these compensatory processes in the egg and YOY stages, treatments did not differ in YOY abundance and mean size at the end of the growing season. Because of differences in the intensity of size-selective mortality, however, variation in end-of season sizes of YOY was strongly (and inversely) related to densities of stocked fish. When mortality was severe in the egg stage (high densities of stocked fish), final YOY size distributions were more variable than when the dominant mortality was size-selective in the YOY stage (low stocked fish densities). These differences in size variation could have subsequent recruitment consequences, as overwinter survival is typically selective for YOY fish larger than a critical threshold size. Density-dependent effects on a given life stage are not independent, but will be influenced by earlier stages; alternative recruitment pathways can result when processes at earlier stages differ in magnitude or selectivity. Appreciation of these cascading effects should enhance our overall understanding of the

  6. Biotic systems to mitigate landfill methane emissions.

    PubMed

    Huber-Humer, Marion; Gebert, Julia; Hilger, Helene

    2008-02-01

    Landfill gases produced during biological degradation of buried organic wastes include methane, which when released to the atmosphere, can contribute to global climate change. Increasing use of gas collection systems has reduced the risk of escaping methane emissions entering the atmosphere, but gas capture is not 100% efficient, and further, there are still many instances when gas collection systems are not used. Biotic methane mitigation systems exploit the propensity of some naturally occurring bacteria to oxidize methane. By providing optimum conditions for microbial habitation and efficiently routing landfill gases to where they are cultivated, a number of bio-based systems, such as interim or long-term biocovers, passively or actively vented biofilters, biowindows and daily-used biotarps, have been developed that can alone, or with gas collection, mitigate landfill methane emissions. This paper reviews the science that guides bio-based designs; summarizes experiences with the diverse natural or engineered substrates used in such systems; describes some of the studies and field trials being used to evaluate them; and discusses how they can be used for better landfill operation, capping, and aftercare.

  7. Biotic controls on solute distribution and transport in headwater catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herndon, E. M.; Dere, A. L.; Sullivan, P. L.; Norris, D.; Reynolds, B.; Brantley, S. L.

    2015-01-01

    Solute concentrations in stream water vary with discharge in patterns that record complex feedbacks between hydrologic and biogeochemical processes. In a comparison of headwater catchments underlain by shale in Pennsylvania, USA (Shale Hills) and Wales, UK (Plynlimon), dissimilar concentration-discharge behaviors are best explained by contrasting landscape distributions of soil solution chemistry - especially dissolved organic carbon (DOC) - that have been established by patterns of vegetation. Specifically, elements that are concentrated in organic-rich soils due to biotic cycling (Mn, Ca, K) or that form strong complexes with DOC (Fe, Al) are spatially heterogeneous in pore waters because organic matter is heterogeneously distributed across the catchments. These solutes exhibit non-chemostatic "bioactive" behavior in the streams, and solute concentrations either decrease (Shale Hills) or increase (Plynlimon) with increasing discharge. In contrast, solutes that are concentrated in soil minerals and form only weak complexes with DOC (Na, Mg, Si) are spatially homogeneous in pore waters across each catchment. These solutes are chemostatic in that their stream concentrations vary little with stream discharge, likely because these solutes are released quickly from exchange sites in the soils during rainfall events. Differences in the hydrologic connectivity of organic-rich soils to the stream drive differences in concentration behavior between catchments. As such, in catchments where soil organic matter (SOM) is dominantly in lowlands (e.g., Shale Hills), bioactive elements are released to the stream early during rainfall events, whereas in catchments where SOM is dominantly in uplands (e.g., Plynlimon), bioactive elements are released later during rainfall events. The distribution of vegetation and SOM across the landscape is thus a key component for predictive models of solute transport in headwater catchments.

  8. Does natural variation in diversity affect biotic resistance?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harrison, Susan; Cornell, Howard; Grace, James B.

    2015-01-01

    Theories linking diversity to ecosystem function have been challenged by the widespread observation of more exotic species in more diverse native communities. Few studies have addressed the key underlying process by dissecting how community diversity is shaped by the same environmental gradients that determine biotic and abiotic resistance to new invaders. In grasslands on highly heterogeneous soils, we used addition of a recent invader, competitor removal and structural equation modelling (SEM) to analyse soil influences on community diversity, biotic and abiotic resistance and invader success. Biotic resistance, measured by reduction in invader success in the presence of the resident community, was negatively correlated with species richness and functional diversity. However, in the multivariate SEM framework, biotic resistance was independent of all forms of diversity and was positively affected by soil fertility via community biomass. Abiotic resistance, measured by invader success in the absence of the resident community, peaked on infertile soils with low biomass and high community diversity. Net invader success was determined by biotic resistance, consistent with this invader's better performance on infertile soils in unmanipulated conditions. Seed predation added slightly to biotic resistance without qualitatively changing the results. Soil-related genotypic variation in the invader also did not affect the results. Synthesis. In natural systems, diversity may be correlated with invasibility and yet have no effect on either biotic or abiotic resistance to invasion. More generally, the environmental causes of variation in diversity should not be overlooked when considering the potential functional consequences of diversity.

  9. Large-scale mass transfers related to pressure solution creep-faulting interactions in mudstones: Driving processes and impact of lithification degree

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richard, J.

    2014-02-01

    Where normal faulting is associated with PSC (Pressure Solution Creep), it generates evolutions in petrophysical properties of mudstones like chalk: decrease in reservoir qualities and transport properties in the deformed zones adjacent to the fault plane and increase (or no change) in reservoir qualities and transport properties in the outermost deformed zones. These modifications result from large-scale mass transfers linked to a transport of solutes through the pore space over distances of several grains within decimeter or larger zones (open systems at the grain scale). In the lithified mudstones, these large-scale mass transfers consist in a mass redistribution from the outermost deformed zones (mass and volume loss) to the deformed zones adjacent to the fault planes (mass gain). In the weakly lithified mudstones, the mass redistribution occurs in an opposite direction. A deeper understanding of these large-scale mass redistributions is essential because the PSC-faulting interactions and the associated petrophysical modifications can be a key topic in several geological applications (oil and gas migration and entrapment in mudstone reservoirs, anthropogenic waste storage, carbon dioxyde geosequestration). The results of two studies about mass transfers and volume changes induced by natural fault systems in “white chalk” allowed to point out that two driving processes control the large-scale mass transfers during PSC-faulting interactions: the advective mass transport related to pore fluid flows and the large-scale diffusive mass transport linked to chemical potential gradients. The present contribution also highlights that the lithification degree of the host material plays a key role in the large-scale mass transfers related to PSC-faulting interactions by controlling (1) the spatial distribution of voids induced by the deformation, (2) the particle displacement on the fault plane and in the adjacent zones and (3) the petrophysical properties of the host

  10. Olivine Weathering: Abiotic Versus Biotic Processes as Possible Biosignatures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Longazo, T. G.; Wentworth, S. J.; McKay, D. S.; Southam, G.; Clemett, S. J.

    2001-01-01

    A preliminary study to determine how abiotic versus biotic processes affect the weathering of olivine crystals. Perhaps the differences between these weathering processes could be used as biosignatures. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  11. Forces Driving Chaperone Action.

    PubMed

    Koldewey, Philipp; Stull, Frederick; Horowitz, Scott; Martin, Raoul; Bardwell, James C A

    2016-07-14

    It is still unclear what molecular forces drive chaperone-mediated protein folding. Here, we obtain a detailed mechanistic understanding of the forces that dictate the four key steps of chaperone-client interaction: initial binding, complex stabilization, folding, and release. Contrary to the common belief that chaperones recognize unfolding intermediates by their hydrophobic nature, we discover that the model chaperone Spy uses long-range electrostatic interactions to rapidly bind to its unfolded client protein Im7. Short-range hydrophobic interactions follow, which serve to stabilize the complex. Hydrophobic collapse of the client protein then drives its folding. By burying hydrophobic residues in its core, the client's affinity to Spy decreases, which causes client release. By allowing the client to fold itself, Spy circumvents the need for client-specific folding instructions. This mechanism might help explain how chaperones can facilitate the folding of various unrelated proteins. PMID:27293188

  12. CROSS DRIVE: A New Interactive and Immersive Approach for Exploring 3D Time-Dependent Mars Atmospheric Data in Distributed Teams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerndt, Andreas M.; Engelke, Wito; Giuranna, Marco; Vandaele, Ann C.; Neary, Lori; Aoki, Shohei; Kasaba, Yasumasa; Garcia, Arturo; Fernando, Terrence; Roberts, David; CROSS DRIVE Team

    2016-10-01

    Atmospheric phenomena of Mars can be highly dynamic and have daily and seasonal variations. Planetary-scale wavelike disturbances, for example, are frequently observed in Mars' polar winter atmosphere. Possible sources of the wave activity were suggested to be dynamical instabilities and quasi-stationary planetary waves, i.e. waves that arise predominantly via zonally asymmetric surface properties. For a comprehensive understanding of these phenomena, single layers of altitude have to be analyzed carefully and relations between different atmospheric quantities and interaction with the surface of Mars have to be considered. The CROSS DRIVE project tries to address the presentation of those data with a global view by means of virtual reality techniques. Complex orbiter data from spectrometer and observation data from Earth are combined with global circulation models and high-resolution terrain data and images available from Mars Express or MRO instruments. Scientists can interactively extract features from those dataset and can change visualization parameters in real-time in order to emphasize findings. Stereoscopic views allow for perception of the actual 3D behavior of Mars's atmosphere. A very important feature of the visualization system is the possibility to connect distributed workspaces together. This enables discussions between distributed working groups. The workspace can scale from virtual reality systems to expert desktop applications to web-based project portals. If multiple virtual environments are connected, the 3D position of each individual user is captured and used to depict the scientist as an avatar in the virtual world. The appearance of the avatar can also scale from simple annotations to complex avatars using tele-presence technology to reconstruct the users in 3D. Any change of the feature set (annotations, cutplanes, volume rendering, etc.) within the VR is immediately exchanged between all connected users. This allows that everybody is always

  13. Coupled biotic-abiotic oxidation of organic matter by biogenic MnO_{2}

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonzalez, Julia; Peña, Jasquelin

    2016-04-01

    Some reactive soil minerals are strongly implicated in stabilising organic matter. However, others can play an active role in the oxidation of organic molecules. In natural systems, layer-type manganese oxide minerals (MnO2) typically occur as biomineral assemblages consisting of mineral particles and microbial biomass. Both the mineral and biological fractions of the assemblage can be powerful oxidants of organic C. The biological compartment relies on a set of enzymes to drive oxidative transformations of reduced C-substrates, whereas MnO2 minerals are strong, less specific abiotic oxidants that are assumed to rely on interfacial interactions between C-substrates and the mineral surface. This project aims to understand the coupling between microbial C mineralization and abiotic C oxidation mediated by MnO2 in bacterial-MnO2 assemblages. Specifically, under conditions of high C turnover, microbial respiration can significantly alter local pH, dissolved oxygen and pool of available reductants, which may modify rates and mechanism of C oxidation by biotic and abiotic components. We first investigated changes in the solution chemistry of Pseudomonas putida suspensions exposed to varying concentrations of glucose, chosen to represent readily bioavailable substrates in soils. Glucose concentrations tested ranged between 0 and 5.5mM and changes in pH, dissolved oxygen and dissolved organic and inorganic carbon were tracked over 48h. We then combined literature review and wet-chemical experiments to compile the pH dependence of rates of organic substrate oxidation by MnO2, including glucose. Our results demonstrate a strong pH dependence for these abiotic reactions. In assemblages of P. putida - MnO2, kinetic limitations for abiotic C oxidation by MnO2 are overcome by changes in biogeochemical conditions that result from bacterial C metabolism. When extrapolated to a soil solution confronted to an input of fresh dissolved organic matter, bacterial C metabolism of the

  14. Function of ABA in Stomatal Defense against Biotic and Drought Stresses.

    PubMed

    Lim, Chae Woo; Baek, Woonhee; Jung, Jangho; Kim, Jung-Hyun; Lee, Sung Chul

    2015-01-01

    The plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) regulates many key processes involved in plant development and adaptation to biotic and abiotic stresses. Under stress conditions, plants synthesize ABA in various organs and initiate defense mechanisms, such as the regulation of stomatal aperture and expression of defense-related genes conferring resistance to environmental stresses. The regulation of stomatal opening and closure is important to pathogen defense and control of transpirational water loss. Recent studies using a combination of approaches, including genetics, physiology, and molecular biology, have contributed considerably to our understanding of ABA signal transduction. A number of proteins associated with ABA signaling and responses--especially ABA receptors--have been identified. ABA signal transduction initiates signal perception by ABA receptors and transfer via downstream proteins, including protein kinases and phosphatases. In the present review, we focus on the function of ABA in stomatal defense against biotic and abiotic stresses, through analysis of each ABA signal component and the relationships of these components in the complex network of interactions. In particular, two ABA signal pathway models in response to biotic and abiotic stress were proposed, from stress signaling to stomatal closure, involving the pyrabactin resistance (PYR)/PYR-like (PYL) or regulatory component of ABA receptor (RCAR) family proteins, 2C-type protein phosphatases, and SnRK2-type protein kinases. PMID:26154766

  15. Function of ABA in Stomatal Defense against Biotic and Drought Stresses

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Chae Woo; Baek, Woonhee; Jung, Jangho; Kim, Jung-Hyun; Lee, Sung Chul

    2015-01-01

    The plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) regulates many key processes involved in plant development and adaptation to biotic and abiotic stresses. Under stress conditions, plants synthesize ABA in various organs and initiate defense mechanisms, such as the regulation of stomatal aperture and expression of defense-related genes conferring resistance to environmental stresses. The regulation of stomatal opening and closure is important to pathogen defense and control of transpirational water loss. Recent studies using a combination of approaches, including genetics, physiology, and molecular biology, have contributed considerably to our understanding of ABA signal transduction. A number of proteins associated with ABA signaling and responses—especially ABA receptors—have been identified. ABA signal transduction initiates signal perception by ABA receptors and transfer via downstream proteins, including protein kinases and phosphatases. In the present review, we focus on the function of ABA in stomatal defense against biotic and abiotic stresses, through analysis of each ABA signal component and the relationships of these components in the complex network of interactions. In particular, two ABA signal pathway models in response to biotic and abiotic stress were proposed, from stress signaling to stomatal closure, involving the pyrabactin resistance (PYR)/PYR-like (PYL) or regulatory component of ABA receptor (RCAR) family proteins, 2C-type protein phosphatases, and SnRK2-type protein kinases. PMID:26154766

  16. Interactions between seasonality and oceanic forcing drive the phytoplankton variability in the tropical-temperate transition zone (~ 30°S) of Eastern Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armbrecht, Linda H.; Schaeffer, Amandine; Roughan, Moninya; Armand, Leanne K.

    2015-04-01

    The East Australian Current (EAC) has been shown to be warming rapidly, which is expected to cause latitudinal shifts in phytoplankton abundance, distribution and composition along the east Australian coast. Yet a lack of phytoplankton information exists northward of 34°S. Here, we provide the first detailed taxonomic time-series survey (monthly sampling for about one annual cycle, 2011-2012) in the east Australian tropical-temperate transition zone (~ 30°S, upstream of the EAC separation point at ~ 31-32°S). All phytoplankton (categorised depending on their association with specific water-types) show a seasonal signal with abundance maxima (minima) during summer (winter). This seasonal signal is most pronounced in the seasonal/bloom category and least expressed by deep-water taxa, which prefer cold, saline and dense bottom water independent of the season. Different extents of EAC encroachment onto the continental shelf drive the cross-shelf phytoplankton composition and distribution, such that a weak EAC is associated with phytoplankton community being organised along 'depth' and 'distance from the coast' gradients with high phytoplankton abundances inshore. A strong EAC favours the occurrence of warm-water taxa offshore and an increase in diatom abundance on the mid-shelf (53% shelf width). We conclude that the phytoplankton community in the tropical-temperate transition zone of Eastern Australia is driven by an interaction of intrinsic seasonal cycles and primarily EAC-driven oceanic forcing. Our findings benefit studies located in Western Boundary Current systems worldwide, in which warming and strengthening of these currents are predicted to severely impact phytoplankton dynamics.

  17. Extreme deconstruction supports niche conservatism driving New World bird diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diniz-Filho, José Alexandre Felizola; Rangel, Thiago Fernando; dos Santos, Mariana Rocha

    2012-08-01

    It is expected that if environment fully establishes the borders of species geographic distribution, then richness patterns will arise simple by changing parameters on how environment affect each of the species. However, if other mechanisms (i.e., non-equilibrium of species' distributions with climate and historical contingency, shifts in adaptive peaks or biotic interactions) are driving species geographic distribution, models for species distribution and richness will not entirely match. Here we used the extreme deconstruction principle to test how niche conservatism keeping species geographic distributions in certain parts of environmental space drives richness patterns in New World birds, under tropical niche conservatism. Eight environmental variables were used to model the geographic distribution of 2790 species within 28 bird families using a GLM. Spatial patterns in richness for each of these families were also modeled as a function of these same variables using a standard OLS regression. Fit of these two types of models (mean MacFadden's ρ2 for GLM and R2 of OLS) across families and the match between GLM and OLS standardized slopes within and among bird families were then compared. We found a positive and significant correlation between GLM and OLS model fit (r = 0.601; P < 0.01), indicating that when environment strongly determine richness of a family, it also explains its species geographic distributions. The match between GLM and OLS slopes is significantly correlated with families' phylogenetic root distance (r = -0.467; P = 0.012), so that more basal families tend to have a better match between environmental drivers of richness and geographic distribution models. This is expected under tropical niche conservatism model and provides an integrated explanation on how processes at a lower hierarchical level (species' geographic distribution) drive diversity patterns.

  18. Belowground biotic complexity drives aboveground dynamics: a test of the soil community feedback model.

    PubMed

    Pendergast, Thomas H; Burke, David J; Carson, Walter P

    2013-03-01

    Feedbacks between soil communities and plants may determine abundance and diversity in plant communities by influencing fitness and competitive outcomes. We tested the core hypotheses of soil community feedback theory: plant species culture distinct soil communities that alter plant performance and the outcome of interspecific competition. We applied this framework to inform the repeated dominance of Solidago canadensis in old-field communities. In glasshouse experiments, we examined the effects of soil communities on four plant species' performance in monoculture and outcomes of interspecific competition. We used terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) analysis to infer differences in the soil communities associated with these plant species. Soil community origin had strong effects on plant performance, changed the intensity of interspecific competition and even reversed whether plant species were limited by conspecifics or heterospecifics. These plant-soil feedbacks are strong enough to upend winners and losers in classic competition models. Plant species cultured significantly different mycorrhizal fungal and bacterial soil communities, indicating that these feedbacks are likely microbiotic in nature. In old-fields and other plant communities, these soil feedbacks appear common, fundamentally alter the intensity and nature of plant competition and potentially maintain diversity while facilitating the dominance of So. canadensis. PMID:23311946

  19. Biotic Nitrogen Enrichment Regulates Calcium Sources to Forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pett-Ridge, J. C.; Perakis, S. S.; Hynicka, J. D.

    2015-12-01

    Calcium is an essential nutrient in forest ecosystems that is susceptible to leaching loss and depletion. Calcium depletion can affect plant and animal productivity, soil acid buffering capacity, and fluxes of carbon and water. Excess nitrogen supply and associated soil acidification are often implicated in short-term calcium loss from soils, but the long-term role of nitrogen enrichment on calcium sources and resupply is unknown. Here we use strontium isotopes (87Sr/86Sr) as a proxy for calcium to investigate how soil nitrogen enrichment from biological nitrogen fixation interacts with bedrock calcium to regulate both short-term available supplies and the long-term sources of calcium in montane conifer forests. Our study examines 22 sites in western Oregon, spanning a 20-fold range of bedrock calcium on sedimentary and basaltic lithologies. In contrast to previous studies emphasizing abiotic control of weathering as a determinant of long-term ecosystem calcium dynamics and sources (via bedrock fertility, climate, or topographic/tectonic controls) we find instead that that biotic nitrogen enrichment of soil can strongly regulate calcium sources and supplies in forest ecosystems. For forests on calcium-rich basaltic bedrock, increasing nitrogen enrichment causes calcium sources to shift from rock-weathering to atmospheric dominance, with minimal influence from other major soil forming factors, despite regionally high rates of tectonic uplift and erosion that can rejuvenate weathering supply of soil minerals. For forests on calcium-poor sedimentary bedrock, we find that atmospheric inputs dominate regardless of degree of nitrogen enrichment. Short-term measures of soil and ecosystem calcium fertility are decoupled from calcium source sustainability, with fundamental implications for understanding nitrogen impacts, both in natural ecosystems and in the context of global change. Our finding that long-term nitrogen enrichment increases forest reliance on atmospheric

  20. The abiotic and biotic drivers of rapid diversification in Andean bellflowers (Campanulaceae).

    PubMed

    Lagomarsino, Laura P; Condamine, Fabien L; Antonelli, Alexandre; Mulch, Andreas; Davis, Charles C

    2016-06-01

    The tropical Andes of South America, the world's richest biodiversity hotspot, are home to many rapid radiations. While geological, climatic, and ecological processes collectively explain such radiations, their relative contributions are seldom examined within a single clade. We explore the contribution of these factors by applying a series of diversification models that incorporate mountain building, climate change, and trait evolution to the first dated phylogeny of Andean bellflowers (Campanulaceae: Lobelioideae). Our framework is novel for its direct incorporation of geological data on Andean uplift into a macroevolutionary model. We show that speciation and extinction are differentially influenced by abiotic factors: speciation rates rose concurrently with Andean elevation, while extinction rates decreased during global cooling. Pollination syndrome and fruit type, both biotic traits known to facilitate mutualisms, played an additional role in driving diversification. These abiotic and biotic factors resulted in one of the fastest radiations reported to date: the centropogonids, whose 550 species arose in the last 5 million yr. Our study represents a significant advance in our understanding of plant evolution in Andean cloud forests. It further highlights the power of combining phylogenetic and Earth science models to explore the interplay of geology, climate, and ecology in generating the world's biodiversity.

  1. The abiotic and biotic drivers of rapid diversification in Andean bellflowers (Campanulaceae).

    PubMed

    Lagomarsino, Laura P; Condamine, Fabien L; Antonelli, Alexandre; Mulch, Andreas; Davis, Charles C

    2016-06-01

    The tropical Andes of South America, the world's richest biodiversity hotspot, are home to many rapid radiations. While geological, climatic, and ecological processes collectively explain such radiations, their relative contributions are seldom examined within a single clade. We explore the contribution of these factors by applying a series of diversification models that incorporate mountain building, climate change, and trait evolution to the first dated phylogeny of Andean bellflowers (Campanulaceae: Lobelioideae). Our framework is novel for its direct incorporation of geological data on Andean uplift into a macroevolutionary model. We show that speciation and extinction are differentially influenced by abiotic factors: speciation rates rose concurrently with Andean elevation, while extinction rates decreased during global cooling. Pollination syndrome and fruit type, both biotic traits known to facilitate mutualisms, played an additional role in driving diversification. These abiotic and biotic factors resulted in one of the fastest radiations reported to date: the centropogonids, whose 550 species arose in the last 5 million yr. Our study represents a significant advance in our understanding of plant evolution in Andean cloud forests. It further highlights the power of combining phylogenetic and Earth science models to explore the interplay of geology, climate, and ecology in generating the world's biodiversity. PMID:26990796

  2. BIOTIC FACTORS IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Amphibians evolved in, and continue to exist in, habitats that are replete with many other organisms. Some of these organisms serve as prey for amphibians and others interact with amphibians as predators, competitors, pathogens, or symbionts. Still other organisms in their enviro...

  3. Ecological role of transgenerational resistance against biotic threats.

    PubMed

    Rasmann, Sergio; De Vos, Martin; Jander, Georg

    2012-04-01

    Plants in their natural environments are constantly subjected to biotic stress. In addition to possessing physical barriers and anti-nutritive toxins, plants can be primed to respond more efficiently against future attack via faster and stronger gene activation. Here we discuss recent findings showing that plants can pass signatures of attack to the next generation, thus rendering the progeny more resistant against insect and pathogen attack. A combination of phytohormone signaling, small RNA-mediated gene silencing and DNA methylation are involved in transgenerational induced resistance. Epiallelic variation against biotic threats should be under positive selection in populations of plants where the environment is predictable over time. Similarly, in very genetically homogenous populations, such as during range expansion, epigenome reorganization is a likely mechanism for faster plant adaptation to novel biotic attack. Further research is needed to understand the relative role of the genome vs. the epigenome for the evolution of increased plant resistance.

  4. Effect of temperature on the biotic potential of honeybee microsporidia.

    PubMed

    Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Meana, Aránzazu; García-Palencia, Pilar; Marín, Pilar; Botías, Cristina; Garrido-Bailón, Encarna; Barrios, Laura; Higes, Mariano

    2009-04-01

    The biological cycle of Nosema spp. in honeybees depends on temperature. When expressed as total spore counts per day after infection, the biotic potentials of Nosema apis and N. ceranae at 33 degrees C were similar, but a higher proportion of immature stages of N. ceranae than of N. apis were seen. At 25 and 37 degrees C, the biotic potential of N. ceranae was higher than that of N. apis. The better adaptation of N. ceranae to complete its endogenous cycle at different temperatures clearly supports the observation of the different epidemiological patterns.

  5. Effect of Temperature on the Biotic Potential of Honeybee Microsporidia▿

    PubMed Central

    Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Meana, Aránzazu; García-Palencia, Pilar; Marín, Pilar; Botías, Cristina; Garrido-Bailón, Encarna; Barrios, Laura; Higes, Mariano

    2009-01-01

    The biological cycle of Nosema spp. in honeybees depends on temperature. When expressed as total spore counts per day after infection, the biotic potentials of Nosema apis and N. ceranae at 33°C were similar, but a higher proportion of immature stages of N. ceranae than of N. apis were seen. At 25 and 37°C, the biotic potential of N. ceranae was higher than that of N. apis. The better adaptation of N. ceranae to complete its endogenous cycle at different temperatures clearly supports the observation of the different epidemiological patterns. PMID:19233948

  6. Biotic Communities. [Project ECOLogy ELE Pak, Amoe-Thorson Pak].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Amoe, Ruth; Thorson, Michael

    This is one of a series of units for environmental education developed by the Highline Public Schools. This unit provides a number of activities to introduce students to ways of studying biotic communities, help them become good observers, and provide them with opportunities to use their skills. The materials include suggested activities, and…

  7. River Quality Investigations, Part 1: Some Diversity and Biotic Indices.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hewitt, G.

    1991-01-01

    The following indices for assessing river water quality are described: Shannon-Weiner Diversity Index, Sorenson Quotient of Similarity, Czekanowski's Index of Similarity, Trent Biotic Index, Chandler Score, and Biological Monitoring Working Party Score. Their advantages and disadvantages are outlined. (Author)

  8. Abiotic, biotic, and in-between

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolb, Vera M.; Liesch, P. J.

    2008-08-01

    In our search for the definition of life that will be relevant for astrobiology, we consider various entities that have some but not all of their features in common with the fully developed functioning life. We name these entities "life forms". Examples include viruses, spores, and partners in syntrophy (metabolically interdependent relationships). We introduce meaningful categories into which these life forms fit, and offer a definition of life in which they are included. Our suggested working definition of life is that life is a chemical phenomenon which occurs in space and time as a succession of life forms which combined have a potential to metabolize, reproduce, interact with the environment, including other life forms, and are the subject to natural selection.

  9. Does prescribed burning result in biotic homogenization of coastal heathlands?

    PubMed

    Velle, Liv Guri; Nilsen, Liv Sigrid; Norderhaug, Ann; Vandvik, Vigdis

    2014-05-01

    Biotic homogenization due to replacement of native biodiversity by widespread generalist species has been demonstrated in a number of ecosystems and taxonomic groups worldwide, causing growing conservation concern. Human disturbance is a key driver of biotic homogenization, suggesting potential conservation challenges in seminatural ecosystems, where anthropogenic disturbances such as grazing and burning are necessary for maintaining ecological dynamics and functioning. We test whether prescribed burning results in biotic homogenization in the coastal heathlands of north-western Europe, a seminatural landscape where extensive grazing and burning has constituted the traditional land-use practice over the past 6000 years. We compare the beta-diversity before and after fire at three ecological scales: within local vegetation patches, between wet and dry heathland patches within landscapes, and along a 470 km bioclimatic gradient. Within local patches, we found no evidence of homogenization after fire; species richness increased, and the species that entered the burnt Calluna stands were not widespread specialists but native grasses and herbs characteristic of the heathland system. At the landscapes scale, we saw a weak homogenization as wet and dry heathland patches become more compositionally similar after fire. This was because of a decrease in habitat-specific species unique to either wet or dry habitats and postfire colonization by a set of heathland specialists that established in both habitat types. Along the bioclimatic gradient, species that increased after fire generally had more specific environmental requirements and narrower geographical distributions than the prefire flora, resulting in a biotic 'heterogenisation' after fire. Our study demonstrates that human disturbance does not necessarily cause biotic homogenization, but that continuation of traditional land-use practices can instead be crucial for the maintenance of the diversity and ecological

  10. Toward a mechanistic understanding and prediction of biotic homogenization.

    PubMed

    Olden, Julian D; Poff, N LeRoy

    2003-10-01

    The widespread replacement of native species with cosmopolitan, nonnative species is homogenizing the global fauna and flora. While the empirical study of biotic homogenization is substantial and growing, theoretical aspects have yet to be explored. Consequently, the breadth of possible ecological mechanisms that can shape current and future patterns and rates of homogenization remain largely unknown. Here, we develop a conceptual model that describes 14 potential scenarios by which species invasions and/or extinctions can lead to various trajectories of biotic homogenization (increased community similarity) or differentiation (decreased community similarity); we then use a simulation approach to explore the model's predictions. We found changes in community similarity to vary with the type and number of nonnative and native species, the historical degree of similarity among the communities, and, to a lesser degree, the richness of the recipient communities. Homogenization is greatest when similar species invade communities, causing either no extinction or differential extinction of native species. The model predictions are consistent with current empirical data for fish, bird, and plant communities and therefore may represent the dominant mechanisms of contemporary homogenization. We present a unifying model illustrating how the balance between invading and extinct species dictates the outcome of biotic homogenization. We conclude by discussing a number of critical but largely unrecognized issues that bear on the empirical study of biotic homogenization, including the importance of spatial scale, temporal scale, and data resolution. We argue that the study of biotic homogenization needs to be placed in a more mechanistic and predictive framework in order for studies to provide adequate guidance in conservation efforts to maintain regional distinctness of the global biota. PMID:14582007

  11. Biotic resistance to invasion along an estuarine gradient

    PubMed Central

    Hovel, Kevin A.

    2010-01-01

    Biotic resistance is the ability of native communities to repel the establishment of invasive species. Predation by native species may confer biotic resistance to communities, but the environmental context under which this form of biotic resistance occurs is not well understood. We evaluated several factors that influence the distribution of invasive Asian mussels (Musculista senhousia) in Mission Bay, a southern California estuary containing an extensive eelgrass (Zostera marina) habitat. Asian mussels exhibit a distinct spatial pattern of invasion, with extremely high densities towards the back of Mission Bay (up to 4,000 m−2) in contrast with near-complete absence at sites towards the front of the bay. We established that recruits arrived at sites where adult mussels were absent and found that dense eelgrass does not appear to preclude Asian mussel growth and survival. Mussel survival and growth were high in predator-exclusion plots throughout the bay, but mussel survival was low in the front of the bay when plots were open to predators. Additional experiments revealed that consumption by spiny lobsters (Panulirus interruptus) and a gastropod (Pteropurpura festiva) likely are the primary factors responsible for resistance to Asian mussel invasion. However, biotic resistance was dependent on location within the estuary (for both species) and also on the availability of a hard substratum (for P. festiva). Our findings indicate that biotic resistance in the form of predation may be conferred by higher order predators, but that the strength of resistance may strongly vary across estuarine gradients and depend on the nature of the locally available habitat. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00442-010-1700-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:20602118

  12. A direct-gradient multivariate index of biotic condition

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miranda, Leandro E.; Aycock, J.N.; Killgore, K. J.

    2012-01-01

    Multimetric indexes constructed by summing metric scores have been criticized despite many of their merits. A leading criticism is the potential for investigator bias involved in metric selection and scoring. Often there is a large number of competing metrics equally well correlated with environmental stressors, requiring a judgment call by the investigator to select the most suitable metrics to include in the index and how to score them. Data-driven procedures for multimetric index formulation published during the last decade have reduced this limitation, yet apprehension remains. Multivariate approaches that select metrics with statistical algorithms may reduce the level of investigator bias and alleviate a weakness of multimetric indexes. We investigated the suitability of a direct-gradient multivariate procedure to derive an index of biotic condition for fish assemblages in oxbow lakes in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Although this multivariate procedure also requires that the investigator identify a set of suitable metrics potentially associated with a set of environmental stressors, it is different from multimetric procedures because it limits investigator judgment in selecting a subset of biotic metrics to include in the index and because it produces metric weights suitable for computation of index scores. The procedure, applied to a sample of 35 competing biotic metrics measured at 50 oxbow lakes distributed over a wide geographical region in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley, selected 11 metrics that adequately indexed the biotic condition of five test lakes. Because the multivariate index includes only metrics that explain the maximum variability in the stressor variables rather than a balanced set of metrics chosen to reflect various fish assemblage attributes, it is fundamentally different from multimetric indexes of biotic integrity with advantages and disadvantages. As such, it provides an alternative to multimetric procedures.

  13. Biotic Processes Regulating the Carbon Balance of Desert Ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    R. S. Nowak; J. Arnone; L. Fenstermaker; and S. D. Smith

    2005-07-26

    This project provided the funding to operate and maintain the Nevada Desert FACE Facility. This support funds the CO{sub 2}, system repairs and maintenance, basic physical and biological site information, and personnel that are essential for the experiment to continue. They have continued to assess the effects of elevated CO{sub 2} on three key processes: (1) leaf- to plant-level responses of desert vegetation to elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2}; (2) ecosystem-level responses; and (3) integration of plant and ecosystem processes to understand carbon balance of deserts. The focus is the seminal interactions among atmospheric CO{sub 2}, water, and nitrogen that drive desert responses to elevated CO{sub 2} and explicitly address processes that occur across scales (biological, spatial, and temporal).

  14. Seed dispersers, seed predators, and browsers act synergistically as biotic filters in a mosaic landscape.

    PubMed

    Zamora, Regino; Matías, Luis

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we analize the functional influence of animals on the plants they interact with in a mediterranean mountain. We hypothesise that seed dispersers, seed predators, and browsers can act as biotic filters for plant communities. We analyse the combined effects of mutualistic (seed dispersal) and antagonistic (seed predation, herbivory) animal interactions in a mosaic landscape of Mediterranean mountains, basing our results on observational and experimental field. Most of the dispersed seeds came from tree species, whereas the population of saplings was composed predominantly of zoochorous shrub species. Seed predators preferentially consumed seeds from tree species, whereas seeds from the dominant fleshy-fruited shrubs had a higher probability of escaping these predators. The same pattern was repeated among the different landscape units by browsers, since they browsed selectively and far more intensely on tree-species saplings than on the surrounding shrubs. In synthesis, our work identifies the major biotic processes that appear to be favoring a community dominated by shrubs versus trees because seed dispersers, predators, and herbivores together favored shrub dispersal and establishment versus trees. PMID:25233342

  15. A biotic video game smart phone kit for formal and informal biophysics education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Honesty; Lee, Seung Ah; Riedel-Kruse, Ingmar

    2015-03-01

    Novel ways for formal and informal biophysics education are important. We present a low-cost biotic game design kit that incorporates microbial organisms into an interactive gaming experience: A 3D-printable microscope containing four LEDs controlled by a joystick enable human players to provide directional light stimuli to the motile single-celled organism Euglena gracilis. These cellular behaviors are displayed on the integrated smart phone. Real time cell-tracking couples these cells into interactive biotic video game play, i.e., the human player steers Euglena to play soccer with virtual balls and goals. The player's learning curve in mastering this fun game is intrinsically coupled to develop a deeper knowledge about Euglena's cell morphology and the biophysics of its phototactic behavior. This kit is dual educational - via construction and via play - and it provides an engaging theme for a formal biophysics devices class as well as to be presented in informal outreach activities; its low cost and open soft- and hardware should enable wide adoption.

  16. Patterns in salt-marsh ecosystems: the role of biotic and abiotic forcings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Alpaos, A.; Marani, M.

    2010-12-01

    The dynamics of salt-marsh ecosystems are governed by interacting physical and biological processes, whose intertwined feedbacks critically affect the evolution. Salt marshes are characterised by complex patterns, both in their geomorphic and biological features, arising through the elaboration of a network structure driven by the tidal forcing and through the interaction between hydrodynamical, geophysical, and biological components. The complexity observed in tidal geomorphological patterns is deemed to arise from the mutual influence of biotic and abiotic components. The results from a 2D numerical model, accounting for biotic and geomorphic processes, show that the average marsh elevation within the tidal frame decreases with increasing rates of sea-level rise, decreasing sediment availability, and decreasing vegetation productivity. The spatial variability in platform elevations and biomass distribution, increases with increasing rates of sea-level rise, increasing sediment availability, and decreasing vegetation productivity. Supply-limited settings tend to develop uniform marsh surface elevations and biomass distribution, whereas supply-rich settings tend to develop sedimentation patterns characterized by large heterogeneities. Our analyses also suggest that the fate of tidal landforms and their possible geomorphological restoration should be addressed through approaches which explicitly incorporate bio-morphodynamic processes.

  17. Seed Dispersers, Seed Predators, and Browsers Act Synergistically as Biotic Filters in a Mosaic Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Zamora, Regino; Matías, Luis

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we analize the functional influence of animals on the plants they interact with in a mediterranean mountain. We hypothesise that seed dispersers, seed predators, and browsers can act as biotic filters for plant communities. We analyse the combined effects of mutualistic (seed dispersal) and antagonistic (seed predation, herbivory) animal interactions in a mosaic landscape of Mediterranean mountains, basing our results on observational and experimental field. Most of the dispersed seeds came from tree species, whereas the population of saplings was composed predominantly of zoochorous shrub species. Seed predators preferentially consumed seeds from tree species, whereas seeds from the dominant fleshy-fruited shrubs had a higher probability of escaping these predators. The same pattern was repeated among the different landscape units by browsers, since they browsed selectively and far more intensely on tree-species saplings than on the surrounding shrubs. In synthesis, our work identifies the major biotic processes that appear to be favoring a community dominated by shrubs versus trees because seed dispersers, predators, and herbivores together favored shrub dispersal and establishment versus trees. PMID:25233342

  18. Enhancing crop resilience to combined abiotic and biotic stress through the dissection of physiological and molecular crosstalk.

    PubMed

    Kissoudis, Christos; van de Wiel, Clemens; Visser, Richard G F; van der Linden, Gerard

    2014-01-01

    Plants growing in their natural habitats are often challenged simultaneously by multiple stress factors, both abiotic and biotic. Research has so far been limited to responses to individual stresses, and understanding of adaptation to combinatorial stress is limited, but indicative of non-additive interactions. Omics data analysis and functional characterization of individual genes has revealed a convergence of signaling pathways for abiotic and biotic stress adaptation. Taking into account that most data originate from imposition of individual stress factors, this review summarizes these findings in a physiological context, following the pathogenesis timeline and highlighting potential differential interactions occurring between abiotic and biotic stress signaling across the different cellular compartments and at the whole plant level. Potential effects of abiotic stress on resistance components such as extracellular receptor proteins, R-genes and systemic acquired resistance will be elaborated, as well as crosstalk at the levels of hormone, reactive oxygen species, and redox signaling. Breeding targets and strategies are proposed focusing on either manipulation and deployment of individual common regulators such as transcription factors or pyramiding of non- (negatively) interacting components such as R-genes with abiotic stress resistance genes. We propose that dissection of broad spectrum stress tolerance conferred by priming chemicals may provide an insight on stress cross regulation and additional candidate genes for improving crop performance under combined stress. Validation of the proposed strategies in lab and field experiments is a first step toward the goal of achieving tolerance to combinatorial stress in crops. PMID:24904607

  19. Enhancing crop resilience to combined abiotic and biotic stress through the dissection of physiological and molecular crosstalk.

    PubMed

    Kissoudis, Christos; van de Wiel, Clemens; Visser, Richard G F; van der Linden, Gerard

    2014-01-01

    Plants growing in their natural habitats are often challenged simultaneously by multiple stress factors, both abiotic and biotic. Research has so far been limited to responses to individual stresses, and understanding of adaptation to combinatorial stress is limited, but indicative of non-additive interactions. Omics data analysis and functional characterization of individual genes has revealed a convergence of signaling pathways for abiotic and biotic stress adaptation. Taking into account that most data originate from imposition of individual stress factors, this review summarizes these findings in a physiological context, following the pathogenesis timeline and highlighting potential differential interactions occurring between abiotic and biotic stress signaling across the different cellular compartments and at the whole plant level. Potential effects of abiotic stress on resistance components such as extracellular receptor proteins, R-genes and systemic acquired resistance will be elaborated, as well as crosstalk at the levels of hormone, reactive oxygen species, and redox signaling. Breeding targets and strategies are proposed focusing on either manipulation and deployment of individual common regulators such as transcription factors or pyramiding of non- (negatively) interacting components such as R-genes with abiotic stress resistance genes. We propose that dissection of broad spectrum stress tolerance conferred by priming chemicals may provide an insight on stress cross regulation and additional candidate genes for improving crop performance under combined stress. Validation of the proposed strategies in lab and field experiments is a first step toward the goal of achieving tolerance to combinatorial stress in crops.

  20. Enhancing crop resilience to combined abiotic and biotic stress through the dissection of physiological and molecular crosstalk

    PubMed Central

    Kissoudis, Christos; van de Wiel, Clemens; Visser, Richard G. F.; van der Linden, Gerard

    2014-01-01

    Plants growing in their natural habitats are often challenged simultaneously by multiple stress factors, both abiotic and biotic. Research has so far been limited to responses to individual stresses, and understanding of adaptation to combinatorial stress is limited, but indicative of non-additive interactions. Omics data analysis and functional characterization of individual genes has revealed a convergence of signaling pathways for abiotic and biotic stress adaptation. Taking into account that most data originate from imposition of individual stress factors, this review summarizes these findings in a physiological context, following the pathogenesis timeline and highlighting potential differential interactions occurring between abiotic and biotic stress signaling across the different cellular compartments and at the whole plant level. Potential effects of abiotic stress on resistance components such as extracellular receptor proteins, R-genes and systemic acquired resistance will be elaborated, as well as crosstalk at the levels of hormone, reactive oxygen species, and redox signaling. Breeding targets and strategies are proposed focusing on either manipulation and deployment of individual common regulators such as transcription factors or pyramiding of non- (negatively) interacting components such as R-genes with abiotic stress resistance genes. We propose that dissection of broad spectrum stress tolerance conferred by priming chemicals may provide an insight on stress cross regulation and additional candidate genes for improving crop performance under combined stress. Validation of the proposed strategies in lab and field experiments is a first step toward the goal of achieving tolerance to combinatorial stress in crops. PMID:24904607

  1. Biotic and abiotic controls of argentine ant invasion success at local and landscape scales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Menke, S.B.; Fisher, R.N.; Jetz, W.; Holway, D.A.

    2007-01-01

    Although the ecological success of introduced species hinges on biotic interactions and physical conditions, few experimental studies - especially on animals - have simultaneously investigated the relative importance of both types of factors. The lack of such research may stem from the common assumption that native and introduced species exhibit similar environmental tolerances. Here we combine experimental and spatial modeling approaches (1) to determine the relative importance of biotic and abiotic controls of Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) invasion success, (2) to examine how the importance of these factors changes with spatial scale in southern California (USA), and (3) to assess how Argentine ants differ from native ants in their environmental tolerances. A factorial field experiment that combined native ant removal with irrigation revealed that Argentine ants failed to invade any dry plots (even those lacking native ants) but readily invaded all moist plots. Native ants slowed the spread of Argentine ants into irrigated plots but did not prevent invasion. In areas without Argentine ants, native ant species showed variable responses to irrigation. At the landscape scale, Argentine ant occurrence was positively correlated with minimum winter temperature (but not precipitation), whereas native ant diversity increased with precipitation and was negatively correlated with minimum winter temperature. These results are of interest for several reasons. First, they demonstrate that fine-scale differences in the physical environment can eclipse biotic resistance from native competitors in determining community susceptibility to invasion. Second, our results illustrate surprising complexities with respect to how the abiotic factors limiting invasion can change with spatial scale, and third, how native and invasive species can differ in their responses to the physical environment. Idiosyncratic and scale-dependent processes complicate attempts to forecast where

  2. Calcium Sensors as Key Hubs in Plant Responses to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses

    PubMed Central

    Ranty, Benoît; Aldon, Didier; Cotelle, Valérie; Galaud, Jean-Philippe; Thuleau, Patrice; Mazars, Christian

    2016-01-01

    The Ca2+ ion is recognized as a crucial second messenger in signaling pathways coupling the perception of environmental stimuli to plant adaptive responses. Indeed, one of the earliest events following the perception of environmental changes (temperature, salt stress, drought, pathogen, or herbivore attack) is intracellular variation of free calcium concentrations. These calcium variations differ in their spatio-temporal characteristics (subcellular location, amplitude, kinetics) with the nature and strength of the stimulus and, for this reason, they are considered as signatures encrypting information from the initial stimulus. This information is believed to drive a specific response by decoding via calcium-binding proteins. Based on recent examples, we illustrate how individual calcium sensors from the calcium-dependent protein kinase and calmodulin-like protein families can integrate inputs from various environmental changes. Focusing on members of these two families, shown to be involved in plant responses to both abiotic and biotic stimuli, we discuss their role as key hubs and we put forward hypotheses explaining how they can drive the signaling pathways toward the appropriate plant responses. PMID:27014336

  3. In Search for Factors that Drive Hantavirus Epidemics

    PubMed Central

    Heyman, Paul; Thoma, Bryan R.; Marié, Jean-Lou; Cochez, Christel; Essbauer, Sandra Simone

    2012-01-01

    In Europe, hantaviruses (Bunyaviridae) are small mammal-associated zoonotic and emerging pathogens that can cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS). Puumala virus, the main etiological agent carried by the bank vole Myodes glareolus is responsible for a mild form of HFRS while Dobrava virus induces less frequent but more severe cases of HFRS. Since 2000 in Europe, more than 3000 cases of HFRS have been recorded, in average, each year, which is nearly double compared to the previous decade. In addition to this upside long-term trend, significant oscillations occur. Epidemic years appear, usually every 2–4 years, with an increased incidence, generally in localized hot spots. Moreover, the virus has been identified in new areas in the recent years. A great number of surveys have been carried out in order to assess the prevalence of the infection in the reservoir host and to identify links with different biotic and abiotic factors. The factors that drive the infections are related to the density and diversity of bank vole populations, prevalence of infection in the reservoir host, viral excretion in the environment, survival of the virus outside its host, and human behavior, which affect the main transmission virus route through inhalation of infected rodent excreta. At the scale of a rodent population, the prevalence of the infection increases with the age of the individuals but also other parameters, such as sex and genetic variability, interfere. The contamination of the environment may be correlated to the number of newly infected rodents, which heavily excrete the virus. The interactions between these different parameters add to the complexity of the situation and explain the absence of reliable tools to predict epidemics. In this review, the factors that drive the epidemics of hantaviruses in Middle Europe are discussed through a panorama of the epidemiological situation in Belgium, France, and Germany. PMID:22934002

  4. Abiotic/biotic coupling in the rhizosphere: a reactive transport modeling analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lawrence, Corey R.; Steefel, Carl; Maher, Kate

    2014-01-01

    A new generation of models is needed to adequately simulate patterns of soil biogeochemical cycling in response changing global environmental drivers. For example, predicting the influence of climate change on soil organic matter storage and stability requires models capable of addressing complex biotic/abiotic interactions of rhizosphere and weathering processes. Reactive transport modeling provides a powerful framework simulating these interactions and the resulting influence on soil physical and chemical characteristics. Incorporation of organic reactions in an existing reactive transport model framework has yielded novel insights into soil weathering and development but much more work is required to adequately capture root and microbial dynamics in the rhizosphere. This endeavor provides many advantages over traditional soil biogeochemical models but also many challenges.

  5. Spectroscopic Studies of Pre-Biotic Carbon Chemistry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blake, Geoffrey A.

    2003-01-01

    As described in the original proposal and in our progress reports, research in the Blake group supported by the Exobiology program seeks to understand the pre-biotic chemistry of carbon along with that of other first- and second-row elements from the earliest stages of star formation through the development of planetary systems. The major tool used is spectroscopy, and the program has observational, laboratory, and theoretical components. The observational and theoretical programs are concerned primarily with a quantitative assessment of the chemical budgets of the biogenic elements in the circumstellar environment of forming stars and planetary systems, while the laboratory work is focused on the complex species that characterize the pre-biotic chemistry of carbon. We outline below our results over the past year acquired, in part, with Exobiology support.

  6. Biotic landfill cover treatments for mitigating methane emissions.

    PubMed

    Hilgeri, Helene; Humer, Marion

    2003-05-01

    Landfill methane (CH4) emissions have been cited as one of the anthropogenic gas releases that can and should be controlled to reduce global climate change. This article reviews recent research that identifies ways to enhance microbial consumption of the gas in the aerobic portion of a landfill cover. Use of these methods can augment CH4 emission reductions achieved by gas collection or provide a sole means to consume CH4 at small landfills that do not have active gas collection systems. Field studies indicate that high levels of CH4 removal can be achieved by optimizing natural soil microbial processes. Further, during biotic conversion, not all of the CH4 carbon is converted to carbon dioxide (CO2) gas and released to the atmosphere; some of it will be sequestered in microbial biomass. Because biotic covers can employ residuals from other municipal processes, financial benefits can also accrue from avoided costs for residuals disposal.

  7. Biotic turnover rates during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stivrins, Normunds; Soininen, Janne; Amon, Leeli; Fontana, Sonia L.; Gryguc, Gražyna; Heikkilä, Maija; Heiri, Oliver; Kisielienė, Dalia; Reitalu, Triin; Stančikaitė, Miglė; Veski, Siim; Seppä, Heikki

    2016-11-01

    The Northern Hemisphere is currently warming at the rate which is unprecedented during the Holocene. Quantitative palaeoclimatic records show that the most recent time in the geological history with comparable warming rates was during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition (PHT) about 14,000 to 11,000 years ago. To better understand the biotic response to rapid temperature change, we explore the community turnover rates during the PHT by focusing on the Baltic region in the southeastern sector of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet, where an exceptionally dense network on microfossil and macrofossil data that reflect the biotic community history are available. We further use a composite chironomid-based summer temperature reconstruction compiled specifically for our study region to calculate the rate of temperature change during the PHT. The fastest biotic turnover in the terrestrial and aquatic communities occurred during the Younger Dryas-Holocene shift at 11,700 years ago. This general shift in species composition was accompanied by regional extinctions, including disappearance of mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) and many arctic-alpine plant taxa, such as Dryas octopetala, Salix polaris and Saxifraga aizoides, from the region. This rapid biotic turnover rate occurred when the rate of warming was 0.17 °C/decade, thus slightly lower than the current Northern Hemisphere warming of 0.2 °C/decade. We therefore conclude that the Younger Dryas-Holocene shift with its rapid turnover rates and associated regional extinctions represents an important palaeoanalogue to the current high latitude warming and gives insights about the probable future turnover rates and patterns of the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem change.

  8. Changes in biotic and abiotic processes following mangrove clearing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granek, Elise; Ruttenberg, Benjamin I.

    2008-12-01

    Mangrove forests, important tropical coastal habitats, are in decline worldwide primarily due to removal by humans. Changes to mangrove systems can alter ecosystem properties through direct effects on abiotic factors such as temperature, light and nutrient supply or through changes in biotic factors such as primary productivity or species composition. Despite the importance of mangroves as transitional habitats between land and sea, little research has examined changes that occur when they are cleared. We examined changes in a number of biotic and abiotic factors following the anthropogenic removal of red mangroves ( Rhizophora mangle) in the Panamanian Caribbean, including algal biomass, algal diversity, algal grazing rates, light penetration, temperature, sedimentation rates and sediment organic content. In this first study examining multiple ecosystem-level effects of mangrove disturbance, we found that areas cleared of mangroves had higher algal biomass and richness than intact mangrove areas. This increase in algal biomass and richness was likely due to changes in abiotic factors (e.g. light intensity, temperature), but not biotic factors (fish herbivory). Additionally the algal and cyanobacterial genera dominating mangrove-cleared areas were rare in intact mangroves and included a number of genera that compete with coral for space on reefs. Interestingly, sedimentation rates did not differ between intact and cleared areas, but the sediments that accumulated in intact mangroves had higher organic content. These findings are the first to demonstrate that anthropogenic clearing of mangroves changes multiple biotic and abiotic processes in mangrove forests and that some of these changes may influence adjacent habitats such as coral reefs and seagrass beds. Additional research is needed to further explore the community and ecosystem-level effects of mangrove clearing and their influence on adjacent habitats, but it is clear that mangrove conservation is an

  9. Pattern and process of biotic homogenization in the New Pangaea.

    PubMed

    Baiser, Benjamin; Olden, Julian D; Record, Sydne; Lockwood, Julie L; McKinney, Michael L

    2012-12-01

    Human activities have reorganized the earth's biota resulting in spatially disparate locales becoming more or less similar in species composition over time through the processes of biotic homogenization and biotic differentiation, respectively. Despite mounting evidence suggesting that this process may be widespread in both aquatic and terrestrial systems, past studies have predominantly focused on single taxonomic groups at a single spatial scale. Furthermore, change in pairwise similarity is itself dependent on two distinct processes, spatial turnover in species composition and changes in gradients of species richness. Most past research has failed to disentangle the effect of these two mechanisms on homogenization patterns. Here, we use recent statistical advances and collate a global database of homogenization studies (20 studies, 50 datasets) to provide the first global investigation of the homogenization process across major faunal and floral groups and elucidate the relative role of changes in species richness and turnover. We found evidence of homogenization (change in similarity ranging from -0.02 to 0.09) across nearly all taxonomic groups, spatial extent and grain sizes. Partitioning of change in pairwise similarity shows that overall change in community similarity is driven by changes in species richness. Our results show that biotic homogenization is truly a global phenomenon and put into question many of the ecological mechanisms invoked in previous studies to explain patterns of homogenization.

  10. Pattern and process of biotic homogenization in the New Pangaea.

    PubMed

    Baiser, Benjamin; Olden, Julian D; Record, Sydne; Lockwood, Julie L; McKinney, Michael L

    2012-12-01

    Human activities have reorganized the earth's biota resulting in spatially disparate locales becoming more or less similar in species composition over time through the processes of biotic homogenization and biotic differentiation, respectively. Despite mounting evidence suggesting that this process may be widespread in both aquatic and terrestrial systems, past studies have predominantly focused on single taxonomic groups at a single spatial scale. Furthermore, change in pairwise similarity is itself dependent on two distinct processes, spatial turnover in species composition and changes in gradients of species richness. Most past research has failed to disentangle the effect of these two mechanisms on homogenization patterns. Here, we use recent statistical advances and collate a global database of homogenization studies (20 studies, 50 datasets) to provide the first global investigation of the homogenization process across major faunal and floral groups and elucidate the relative role of changes in species richness and turnover. We found evidence of homogenization (change in similarity ranging from -0.02 to 0.09) across nearly all taxonomic groups, spatial extent and grain sizes. Partitioning of change in pairwise similarity shows that overall change in community similarity is driven by changes in species richness. Our results show that biotic homogenization is truly a global phenomenon and put into question many of the ecological mechanisms invoked in previous studies to explain patterns of homogenization. PMID:23055062

  11. Conciliation biology: the eco-evolutionary management of permanently invaded biotic systems

    PubMed Central

    Carroll, Scott P

    2011-01-01

    Biotic invaders and similar anthropogenic novelties such as domesticates, transgenics, and cancers can alter ecology and evolution in environmental, agricultural, natural resource, public health, and medical systems. The resulting biological changes may either hinder or serve management objectives. For example, biological control and eradication programs are often defeated by unanticipated resistance evolution and by irreversibility of invader impacts. Moreover, eradication may be ill-advised when nonnatives introduce beneficial functions. Thus, contexts that appear to call for eradication may instead demand managed coexistence of natives with nonnatives, and yet applied biologists have not generally considered the need to manage the eco-evolutionary dynamics that commonly result from interactions of natives with nonnatives. Here, I advocate a conciliatory approach to managing systems where novel organisms cannot or should not be eradicated. Conciliatory strategies incorporate benefits of nonnatives to address many practical needs including slowing rates of resistance evolution, promoting evolution of indigenous biological control, cultivating replacement services and novel functions, and managing native–nonnative coevolution. Evolutionary links across disciplines foster cohesion essential for managing the broad impacts of novel biotic systems. Rather than signaling defeat, conciliation biology thus utilizes the predictive power of evolutionary theory to offer diverse and flexible pathways to more sustainable outcomes. PMID:25567967

  12. Characterizing biotic and abiotic properties of landscape and their implications for ecohydrological processes across scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, J.; Langford, Z.; Hoffman, F. M.

    2015-12-01

    Ecohydrological processes governing the dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems and its response and feedback to climate change occur at diverse spatial and temporal scales. To accurately capture the dynamics of ecohydrological processes in the model, its critically important to capture the subgrid scale heterogeneity of the landscape and develop scale aware process representation and parameterization. This study focused on the Arctic tundra landscape at Seward Peninsula of Alaska. Ecohydrological processes in this sensitive landscape are strongly governed by the physical and structural properties (like topography, soil, permafrost, geomorphology etc.) of the landscape, environmental conditions (like temperature, precipitation, light, radiation) and biotic conditions (vegetation, above/below biomass and organic matter, disturbance history etc.). From site to watershed to regional (scale at which models often operate), landscape is a complex mosaic of a range of biotic and abiotic properties. We have developed and applied a hierarchical characterization and classification approach to segment the landscape in distinct units which can be used to develop and parameterize process models at local scale. We also analyze how the distribution and organization of the landscape units as building blocks influence and interact with ecosystem processes across scales. Our goals is understand the landscape organization principles and their roles to inform and improve process based models of ecohydrological processes in Arctic tundra landscape.

  13. Biotic games and cloud experimentation as novel media for biophysics education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riedel-Kruse, Ingmar; Blikstein, Paulo

    2014-03-01

    First-hand, open-ended experimentation is key for effective formal and informal biophysics education. We developed, tested and assessed multiple new platforms that enable students and children to directly interact with and learn about microscopic biophysical processes: (1) Biotic games that enable local and online play using galvano- and photo-tactic stimulation of micro-swimmers, illustrating concepts such as biased random walks, Low Reynolds number hydrodynamics, and Brownian motion; (2) an undergraduate course where students learn optics, electronics, micro-fluidics, real time image analysis, and instrument control by building biotic games; and (3) a graduate class on the biophysics of multi-cellular systems that contains a cloud experimentation lab enabling students to execute open-ended chemotaxis experiments on slimemolds online, analyze their data, and build biophysical models. Our work aims to generate the equivalent excitement and educational impact for biophysics as robotics and video games have had for mechatronics and computer science, respectively. We also discuss how scaled-up cloud experimentation systems can support MOOCs with true lab components and life-science research in general.

  14. Safe driving for teens

    MedlinePlus

    Driving and teenagers; Teens and safe driving; Automobile safety - teenage drivers ... Make a Commitment to Safety Teens also need to commit to being safe and responsible drivers in order to improve the odds in their favor. Reckless driving ...

  15. Abiotic and biotic controls on local spatial distribution and performance of Boechera stricta.

    PubMed

    Naithani, Kusum J; Ewers, Brent E; Adelman, Jonathan D; Siemens, David H

    2014-01-01

    This study investigates the relative influence of biotic and abiotic factors on community dynamics using an integrated approach and highlights the influence of space on genotypic and phenotypic traits in plant community structure. We examined the relative influence of topography, environment, spatial distance, and intra- and interspecific interactions on spatial distribution and performance of Boechera stricta (rockcress), a close perennial relative of model plant Arabidopsis. First, using Bayesian kriging, we mapped the topography and environmental gradients and explored the spatial distribution of naturally occurring rockcress plants and two neighbors, Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) and Solidago missouriensis (goldenrod) found in close proximity within a typical diverse meadow community across topographic and environmental gradients. We then evaluated direct and indirect relationships among variables using Mantel path analysis and developed a network displaying abiotic and biotic interactions in this community. We found significant spatial autocorrelation among rockcress individuals, either because of common microhabitats as displayed by high density of individuals at lower elevation and high soil moisture area, or limited dispersal as shown by significant spatial autocorrelation of naturally occurring inbred lines, or a combination of both. Goldenrod and dandelion density around rockcress does not show any direct relationship with rockcress fecundity, possibly due to spatial segregation of resources. However, dandelion density around rockcress shows an indirect negative influence on rockcress fecundity via herbivory, indicating interspecific competition. Overall, we suggest that common microhabitat preference and limited dispersal are the main drivers for spatial distribution. However, intra-specific interactions and insect herbivory are the main drivers of rockcress performance in the meadow community. PMID:25101102

  16. Identifying Biotic Integrity and Water Chemistry Relations in Nonwadeable Rivers of Wisconsin: Toward the Development of Nutrient Criteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weigel, Brian M.; Robertson, Dale M.

    2007-10-01

    explained variation to interactions among the categories. In contrast, partial RDA attributed much of the explained variation to the nutrient (25%) and other water chemistry (38%) categories for the fish model. Our analyses suggest that it would be beneficial to develop criteria based upon a suite of biotic and nutrient variables simultaneously to deem waters as not meeting their designated uses.

  17. Identifying biotic integrity and water chemistry relations in nonwadeable rivers of Wisconsin: toward the development of nutrient criteria.

    PubMed

    Weigel, Brian M; Robertson, Dale M

    2007-10-01

    , assigning 89% of the explained variation to interactions among the categories. In contrast, partial RDA attributed much of the explained variation to the nutrient (25%) and other water chemistry (38%) categories for the fish model. Our analyses suggest that it would be beneficial to develop criteria based upon a suite of biotic and nutrient variables simultaneously to deem waters as not meeting their designated uses.

  18. Identifying biotic integrity and water chemistry relations in nonwadeable rivers of Wisconsin: Toward the development of nutrient criteria

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weigel, B.M.; Robertson, D.M.

    2007-01-01

    variation to interactions among the categories. In contrast, partial RDA attributed much of the explained variation to the nutrient (25%) and other water chemistry (38%) categories for the fish model. Our analyses suggest that it would be beneficial to develop criteria based upon a suite of biotic and nutrient variables simultaneously to deem waters as not meeting their designated uses. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  19. Extended Driving Impairs Nocturnal Driving Performances

    PubMed Central

    Sagaspe, Patricia; Taillard, Jacques; Åkerstedt, Torbjorn; Bayon, Virginie; Espié, Stéphane; Chaumet, Guillaume; Bioulac, Bernard; Philip, Pierre

    2008-01-01

    Though fatigue and sleepiness at the wheel are well-known risk factors for traffic accidents, many drivers combine extended driving and sleep deprivation. Fatigue-related accidents occur mainly at night but there is no experimental data available to determine if the duration of prior driving affects driving performance at night. Participants drove in 3 nocturnal driving sessions (3–5am, 1–5am and 9pm–5am) on open highway. Fourteen young healthy men (mean age [±SD] = 23.4 [±1.7] years) participated Inappropriate line crossings (ILC) in the last hour of driving of each session, sleep variables, self-perceived fatigue and sleepiness were measured. Compared to the short (3–5am) driving session, the incidence rate ratio of inappropriate line crossings increased by 2.6 (95% CI, 1.1 to 6.0; P<.05) for the intermediate (1–5am) driving session and by 4.0 (CI, 1.7 to 9.4; P<.001) for the long (9pm–5am) driving session. Compared to the reference session (9–10pm), the incidence rate ratio of inappropriate line crossings were 6.0 (95% CI, 2.3 to 15.5; P<.001), 15.4 (CI, 4.6 to 51.5; P<.001) and 24.3 (CI, 7.4 to 79.5; P<.001), respectively, for the three different durations of driving. Self-rated fatigue and sleepiness scores were both positively correlated to driving impairment in the intermediate and long duration sessions (P<.05) and increased significantly during the nocturnal driving sessions compared to the reference session (P<.01). At night, extended driving impairs driving performances and therefore should be limited. PMID:18941525

  20. Predator-guided sampling reveals biotic structure in the bathypelagic.

    PubMed

    Benoit-Bird, Kelly J; Southall, Brandon L; Moline, Mark A

    2016-02-24

    We targeted a habitat used differentially by deep-diving, air-breathing predators to empirically sample their prey's distributions off southern California. Fine-scale measurements of the spatial variability of potential prey animals from the surface to 1,200 m were obtained using conventional fisheries echosounders aboard a surface ship and uniquely integrated into a deep-diving autonomous vehicle. Significant spatial variability in the size, composition, total biomass, and spatial organization of biota was evident over all spatial scales examined and was consistent with the general distribution patterns of foraging Cuvier's beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) observed in separate studies. Striking differences found in prey characteristics between regions at depth, however, did not reflect differences observed in surface layers. These differences in deep pelagic structure horizontally and relative to surface structure, absent clear physical differences, change our long-held views of this habitat as uniform. The revelation that animals deep in the water column are so spatially heterogeneous at scales from 10 m to 50 km critically affects our understanding of the processes driving predator-prey interactions, energy transfer, biogeochemical cycling, and other ecological processes in the deep sea, and the connections between the productive surface mixed layer and the deep-water column. PMID:26888030

  1. Predator-guided sampling reveals biotic structure in the bathypelagic.

    PubMed

    Benoit-Bird, Kelly J; Southall, Brandon L; Moline, Mark A

    2016-02-24

    We targeted a habitat used differentially by deep-diving, air-breathing predators to empirically sample their prey's distributions off southern California. Fine-scale measurements of the spatial variability of potential prey animals from the surface to 1,200 m were obtained using conventional fisheries echosounders aboard a surface ship and uniquely integrated into a deep-diving autonomous vehicle. Significant spatial variability in the size, composition, total biomass, and spatial organization of biota was evident over all spatial scales examined and was consistent with the general distribution patterns of foraging Cuvier's beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) observed in separate studies. Striking differences found in prey characteristics between regions at depth, however, did not reflect differences observed in surface layers. These differences in deep pelagic structure horizontally and relative to surface structure, absent clear physical differences, change our long-held views of this habitat as uniform. The revelation that animals deep in the water column are so spatially heterogeneous at scales from 10 m to 50 km critically affects our understanding of the processes driving predator-prey interactions, energy transfer, biogeochemical cycling, and other ecological processes in the deep sea, and the connections between the productive surface mixed layer and the deep-water column.

  2. Bacterial-fungal interactions enhance power generation in microbial fuel cells and drive dye decolourisation by an ex situ and in situ electro-Fenton process.

    PubMed

    Fernández de Dios, María Ángeles; del Campo, Araceli González; Fernández, Francisco Jesús; Rodrigo, Manuel; Pazos, Marta; Sanromán, María Ángeles

    2013-11-01

    In this work, the potential for sustainable energy production from wastes has been exploited using a combination fungus-bacterium in microbial fuel cell (MFC) and electro-Fenton technology. The fungus Trametes versicolor was grown with Shewanella oneidensis so that the bacterium would use the networks of the fungus to transport the electrons to the anode. This system generated stable electricity that was enhanced when the electro-Fenton reactions occurred in the cathode chamber. This configuration reached a stable voltage of approximately 1000 mV. Thus, the dual benefits of the in situ-designed MFC electro-Fenton, the simultaneous dye decolourisation and the electricity generation, were demonstrated. Moreover, the generated power was effectively used to drive an ex situ electro-Fenton process in batch and continuous mode. This newly developed MFC fungus-bacterium with an in situ electro-Fenton system can ensure a high power output and a continuous degradation of organic pollutants. PMID:24035817

  3. Bacterial-fungal interactions enhance power generation in microbial fuel cells and drive dye decolourisation by an ex situ and in situ electro-Fenton process.

    PubMed

    Fernández de Dios, María Ángeles; del Campo, Araceli González; Fernández, Francisco Jesús; Rodrigo, Manuel; Pazos, Marta; Sanromán, María Ángeles

    2013-11-01

    In this work, the potential for sustainable energy production from wastes has been exploited using a combination fungus-bacterium in microbial fuel cell (MFC) and electro-Fenton technology. The fungus Trametes versicolor was grown with Shewanella oneidensis so that the bacterium would use the networks of the fungus to transport the electrons to the anode. This system generated stable electricity that was enhanced when the electro-Fenton reactions occurred in the cathode chamber. This configuration reached a stable voltage of approximately 1000 mV. Thus, the dual benefits of the in situ-designed MFC electro-Fenton, the simultaneous dye decolourisation and the electricity generation, were demonstrated. Moreover, the generated power was effectively used to drive an ex situ electro-Fenton process in batch and continuous mode. This newly developed MFC fungus-bacterium with an in situ electro-Fenton system can ensure a high power output and a continuous degradation of organic pollutants.

  4. Abiotic Versus Biotic Weathering Of Olivine As Possible Biosignatures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Longazo, Teresa G.; Wentworth, Susan J.; Clemett, Simon J.; Southam, Gordon; McKay, David S.

    2001-01-01

    We are investigating the weathering of silicate minerals by both purely inorganic, and biologically mediated processes using field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS). By resolving surface textures and chemical compositions of weathered surfaces at the sub-micron scale we hope to be able to distinguish abiotic from biotic weathering processes and so establish a new biosignature applicable to the study of astromaterials including but not limited to the Martian meteorites. Sterilized olivine grains (San Carlos, Arizona) no more than 1-2 mm in their longest dimension were optically assayed to be uniform in color and free of inclusions were selected as weathering subjects. Prior to all experiments surface morphologies and Fe/Mg ratios were determined for each grain using FE-SEM and EDS. Experiments were divided into two categories abiotic and biotic and were compared with "naturally" weathered samples. For the preliminary experiments, two trials (open and closed to the ambient laboratory environment) were performed under abiotic conditions, and three trials under biotic conditions (control, day 1 and day 2). The open system abiotic trials used sterile grains heated at 98 C and 200 C for both 24 and 48 hours in 1L double distilled de-ionized water. The closed system abiotic trials were conducted under the same conditions but in a sealed two layer steel/Teflon "bomb" apparatus. The biotic trials used sterile grains mounted in a flow-through device attached to a wellhead on the Columbia River aquifer. Several discolored, altered, grains were selected to document "natural" weathering surface textures for comparison with the experimental samples. Preliminary results indicate there are qualitative differences in weathered surface textures among all the designed experiments. The olivine grains in abiotic trials displayed etching, pitting, denticulate margins, dissolution and clay formation. The scale of the features

  5. Coaxial Redundant Drives

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brissette, R.

    1983-01-01

    Harmonic drives allow redundancy and high out put torque in small package. If main drive fails, standby drive takes over and produces torque along same axis as main drive. Uses include power units in robot for internal pipeline inspection, manipulators in deep submersible probes or other applications in which redundancy protects against costly failures.

  6. Seasonal Variability in Airborne Biotic Contaminants in Swine Confinement Buildings

    PubMed Central

    Kumari, Priyanka; Choi, Hong L.

    2014-01-01

    Little is known about the seasonal dynamics of biotic contaminants in swine confinement buildings (SCBs). The biotic contaminants of seven SCBs were monitored during one visit in the winter and one during the summer. Paired-end Illumina sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, V3 region, was used to examine seasonal shifts in bacterial community composition and diversity. The abundances of 16S rRNA genes and six tetracycline resistance genes (tetB, tetH, tetZ, tetO, tetQ, and tetW) were also quantified using real-time PCR. Bacterial abundances, community composition and diversity all showed strong seasonal patterns defined by winter peaks in abundance and diversity. Microclimatic variables of SCBs, particularly air speed, PM2.5 and total suspended particles (TSP) were found significantly correlated to abundances, community composition, and diversity of bacterial bioaerosols. Seasonal fluctuations were also observed for four tetracycline resistance genes, tetH, tetO, tetQ, and tetW. The frequency of occurrences of these resistance genes were significantly higher in samples collected during winter and was also significantly correlated with air speed, PM2.5 and TSP. Overall, our results indicate that biotic contaminants in SCBs exhibit seasonal trends, and these could be associated with the microclimatic variables of SCBs. The correlations established in the current study could be helpful in establishing better management strategies to minimize the potential health impacts on both livestock and humans working in this environment. PMID:25393011

  7. A Model of Continental Growth and Mantle Degassing Comparing Biotic and Abiotic Worlds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Höning, D.; Hansen-Goos, H.; Spohn, T.

    2012-12-01

    While examples for interaction of the biosphere with the atmosphere can be easily cited (e.g., production and consumption of O2), interaction between the biosphere and the solid planet and its interior is much less established. It has been argued (e.g., Rosing et al. 2006; Sleep et al, 2012) that the formation of continents could be a consequence of bioactivity harvesting solar energy through photosynthesis to help build the continents and that the mantle should carry a chemical biosignature. We present an interaction model that includes mantle convection, mantle water vapor degassing at mid-oceanic ridges and regassing through subduction zones, continental crust formation and erosion and water storage and transport in a porous oceanic crust that includes hydrous mineral phases. The mantle viscosity in this model depends on the water concentration in the mantle. We use boundary layer theory of mantle convection to parameterize the mantle convection flow rate and assume that the plate speed equals the mantle flow rate. The biosphere enters the calculation through the assumption that the continental erosion rate is enhanced by a factor of several through bioactivity and through an assumed reduction of the kinetic barrier to diagenetic and metamorphic reactions (e.g., Kim et al. 2004) in the sedimentary basins in subduction zones that would lead to increased water storage capacities. We further include a stochastic model of continent-to-continent interactions that limits the effective total length of subduction zones. We use present day parameters of the Earth and explore a phase plane spanned by the percentage of surface coverage of the Earth by continents and the total water content of the mantle. We vary the ratio of the erosion rate in a postulated abiotic Earth to the present Earth, as well as the activation barrier to diagenetic and metamorphic reactions that affect the water storage capacity of the subducting crust. We find stable and unstable fixed points in

  8. Model Comparison for Abiotic versus Biotic Pollen Dispersal.

    PubMed

    Foster, Erich L; Chan, David M; Dyer, Rodney J

    2016-10-01

    An agent-based model with a correlated random walk is used to explore pollination within a forest. For abiotic dispersal, say via the wind, we use a purely random walk where there is no correlation between consecutive steps and for biotic dispersal, say via insect, we use a moderate or highly correlated random walk. In particular, we examine the differences in a number of biological measurement between a purely random walk and a correlated random walk in terms of gene dispersal in low and high plant densities. PMID:27550704

  9. Biotic and abiotic carbon to sulfur bond cleavage

    SciTech Connect

    Frost, J.W.

    1991-01-01

    Cleavage of aliphatic organosulfonate carbon to sulfur (C-S) bonds, a critical link in the global biogeochemical sulfur cycle, has been identified in Escherichia coli K-12. Enormous quantities of inorganic sulfate are continuously converted (Scheme I) into methanesulfonic acid 1 and acylated 3-(6-sulfo-{alpha}-D-quinovopyranosyl)-L-glycerol 2. Biocatalytic desulfurization (Scheme I) of 1 and 2, which share the structural feature of an aliphatic carbon bonded to a sulfonic acid sulfur, completes the cycle, Discovery of this desulfurization in E. coli provides an invaluable paradigm for study of a biotic process which, via the biogeochemical cycle, significantly influences the atmospheric concentration of sulfur-containing molecules.

  10. Model Comparison for Abiotic versus Biotic Pollen Dispersal.

    PubMed

    Foster, Erich L; Chan, David M; Dyer, Rodney J

    2016-10-01

    An agent-based model with a correlated random walk is used to explore pollination within a forest. For abiotic dispersal, say via the wind, we use a purely random walk where there is no correlation between consecutive steps and for biotic dispersal, say via insect, we use a moderate or highly correlated random walk. In particular, we examine the differences in a number of biological measurement between a purely random walk and a correlated random walk in terms of gene dispersal in low and high plant densities.

  11. Solar array drive system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berkopec, F. D.; Sturman, J. C.; Stanhouse, R. W.

    1976-01-01

    A solar array drive system consisting of a solar array drive mechanism and the corresponding solar array drive electronics is being developed. The principal feature of the solar array drive mechanism is its bidirectional capability which enables its use in mechanical redundancy. The solar array drive system is of a widely applicable design. This configuration will be tested to determine its acceptability for generic mission sets. Foremost of the testing to be performed is the testing for extended duration.

  12. The WRKY transcription factors in the diploid woodland strawberry Fragaria vesca: Identification and expression analysis under biotic and abiotic stresses.

    PubMed

    Wei, Wei; Hu, Yang; Han, Yong-Tao; Zhang, Kai; Zhao, Feng-Li; Feng, Jia-Yue

    2016-08-01

    WRKY proteins comprise a large family of transcription factors that play important roles in response to biotic and abiotic stresses and in plant growth and development. To date, little is known about the WRKY gene family in strawberry. In this study, we identified 62 WRKY genes (FvWRKYs) in the wild diploid woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca, 2n = 2x = 14) accession Heilongjiang-3. According to the phylogenetic analysis and structural features, these identified strawberry FvWRKY genes were classified into three main groups. In addition, eight FvWRKY-GFP fusion proteins showed distinct subcellular localizations in Arabidopsis mesophyll protoplasts. Furthermore, we examined the expression of the 62 FvWRKY genes in 'Heilongjiang-3' under various conditions, including biotic stress (Podosphaera aphanis), abiotic stresses (drought, salt, cold, and heat), and hormone treatments (abscisic acid, ethephon, methyl jasmonate, and salicylic acid). The expression levels of 33 FvWRKY genes were upregulated, while 12 FvWRKY genes were downregulated during powdery mildew infection. FvWRKY genes responded to drought and salt treatment to a greater extent than to temperature stress. Expression profiles derived from quantitative real-time PCR suggested that 11 FvWRKY genes responded dramatically to various stimuli at the transcriptional level, indicating versatile roles in responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. Interaction networks revealed that the crucial pathways controlled by WRKY proteins may be involved in the differential response to biotic stress. Taken together, the present work may provide the basis for future studies of the genetic modification of WRKY genes for pathogen resistance and stress tolerance in strawberry. PMID:27105420

  13. Mismatch in microbial food webs: predators but not prey perform better in their local biotic and abiotic conditions.

    PubMed

    Parain, Elodie C; Gravel, Dominique; Rohr, Rudolf P; Bersier, Louis-Félix; Gray, Sarah M

    2016-07-01

    Understanding how trophic levels respond to changes in abiotic and biotic conditions is key for predicting how food webs will react to environmental perturbations. Different trophic levels may respond disproportionately to change, with lower levels more likely to react faster, as they typically consist of smaller-bodied species with higher reproductive rates. This response could cause a mismatch between trophic levels, in which predators and prey will respond differently to changing abiotic or biotic conditions. This mismatch between trophic levels could result in altered top-down and bottom-up control and changes in interaction strength. To determine the possibility of a mismatch, we conducted a reciprocal-transplant experiment involving Sarracenia purpurea food webs consisting of bacterial communities as prey and a subset of six morphologically similar protozoans as predators. We used a factorial design with four temperatures, four bacteria and protozoan biogeographic origins, replicated four times. This design allowed us to determine how predator and prey dynamics were altered by abiotic (temperature) conditions and biotic (predators paired with prey from either their local or non-local biogeographic origin) conditions. We found that prey reached higher densities in warmer temperature regardless of their temperature of origin. Conversely, predators achieved higher densities in the temperature condition and with the prey from their origin. These results confirm that predators perform better in abiotic and biotic conditions of their origin while their prey do not. This mismatch between trophic levels may be especially significant under climate change, potentially disrupting ecosystem functioning by disproportionately affecting top-down and bottom-up control.

  14. Mismatch in microbial food webs: predators but not prey perform better in their local biotic and abiotic conditions.

    PubMed

    Parain, Elodie C; Gravel, Dominique; Rohr, Rudolf P; Bersier, Louis-Félix; Gray, Sarah M

    2016-07-01

    Understanding how trophic levels respond to changes in abiotic and biotic conditions is key for predicting how food webs will react to environmental perturbations. Different trophic levels may respond disproportionately to change, with lower levels more likely to react faster, as they typically consist of smaller-bodied species with higher reproductive rates. This response could cause a mismatch between trophic levels, in which predators and prey will respond differently to changing abiotic or biotic conditions. This mismatch between trophic levels could result in altered top-down and bottom-up control and changes in interaction strength. To determine the possibility of a mismatch, we conducted a reciprocal-transplant experiment involving Sarracenia purpurea food webs consisting of bacterial communities as prey and a subset of six morphologically similar protozoans as predators. We used a factorial design with four temperatures, four bacteria and protozoan biogeographic origins, replicated four times. This design allowed us to determine how predator and prey dynamics were altered by abiotic (temperature) conditions and biotic (predators paired with prey from either their local or non-local biogeographic origin) conditions. We found that prey reached higher densities in warmer temperature regardless of their temperature of origin. Conversely, predators achieved higher densities in the temperature condition and with the prey from their origin. These results confirm that predators perform better in abiotic and biotic conditions of their origin while their prey do not. This mismatch between trophic levels may be especially significant under climate change, potentially disrupting ecosystem functioning by disproportionately affecting top-down and bottom-up control. PMID:27547320

  15. The WRKY transcription factors in the diploid woodland strawberry Fragaria vesca: Identification and expression analysis under biotic and abiotic stresses.

    PubMed

    Wei, Wei; Hu, Yang; Han, Yong-Tao; Zhang, Kai; Zhao, Feng-Li; Feng, Jia-Yue

    2016-08-01

    WRKY proteins comprise a large family of transcription factors that play important roles in response to biotic and abiotic stresses and in plant growth and development. To date, little is known about the WRKY gene family in strawberry. In this study, we identified 62 WRKY genes (FvWRKYs) in the wild diploid woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca, 2n = 2x = 14) accession Heilongjiang-3. According to the phylogenetic analysis and structural features, these identified strawberry FvWRKY genes were classified into three main groups. In addition, eight FvWRKY-GFP fusion proteins showed distinct subcellular localizations in Arabidopsis mesophyll protoplasts. Furthermore, we examined the expression of the 62 FvWRKY genes in 'Heilongjiang-3' under various conditions, including biotic stress (Podosphaera aphanis), abiotic stresses (drought, salt, cold, and heat), and hormone treatments (abscisic acid, ethephon, methyl jasmonate, and salicylic acid). The expression levels of 33 FvWRKY genes were upregulated, while 12 FvWRKY genes were downregulated during powdery mildew infection. FvWRKY genes responded to drought and salt treatment to a greater extent than to temperature stress. Expression profiles derived from quantitative real-time PCR suggested that 11 FvWRKY genes responded dramatically to various stimuli at the transcriptional level, indicating versatile roles in responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. Interaction networks revealed that the crucial pathways controlled by WRKY proteins may be involved in the differential response to biotic stress. Taken together, the present work may provide the basis for future studies of the genetic modification of WRKY genes for pathogen resistance and stress tolerance in strawberry.

  16. Spatial variability of biotic and abiotic tree establishment constraints across a treeline ecotone in the Alaska Range

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stueve, K.M.; Isaacs, R.E.; Tyrrell, L.E.; Densmore, R.V.

    2011-01-01

    Throughout interior Alaska (USA), a gradual warming trend in mean monthly temperatures occurred over the last few decades (;2-48C). The accompanying increases in woody vegetation at many alpine treeline (hereafter treeline) locations provided an opportunity to examine how biotic and abiotic local site conditions interact to control tree establishment patterns during warming. We devised a landscape ecological approach to investigate these relationships at an undisturbed treeline in the Alaska Range. We identified treeline changes between 1953 (aerial photography) and 2005 (satellite imagery) in a geographic information system (GIS) and linked them with corresponding local site conditions derived from digital terrain data, ancillary climate data, and distance to 1953 trees. Logistic regressions enabled us to rank the importance of local site conditions in controlling tree establishment. We discovered a spatial transition in the importance of tree establishment controls. The biotic variable (proximity to 1953 trees) was the most important tree establishment predictor below the upper tree limit, providing evidence of response lags with the abiotic setting and suggesting that tree establishment is rarely in equilibrium with the physical environment or responding directly to warming. Elevation and winter sun exposure were important predictors of tree establishment at the upper tree limit, but proximity to trees persisted as an important tertiary predictor, indicating that tree establishment may achieve equilibrium with the physical environment. However, even here, influences from the biotic variable may obscure unequivocal correlations with the abiotic setting (including temperature). Future treeline expansion will likely be patchy and challenging to predict without considering the spatial variability of influences from biotic and abiotic local site conditions. ?? 2011 by the Ecological Society of America.

  17. Identifying the interacting roles of stressors in driving the global loss of canopy-forming to mat-forming algae in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Strain, Elisabeth M A; Thomson, Russell J; Micheli, Fiorenza; Mancuso, Francesco P; Airoldi, Laura

    2014-11-01

    Identifying the type and strength of interactions between local anthropogenic and other stressors can help to set achievable management targets for degraded marine ecosystems and support their resilience by identifying local actions. We undertook a meta-analysis, using data from 118 studies to test the hypothesis that ongoing global declines in the dominant habitat along temperate rocky coastlines, forests of canopy-forming algae and/or their replacement by mat-forming algae are driven by the nonadditive interactions between local anthropogenic stressors that can be addressed through management actions (fishing, heavy metal pollution, nutrient enrichment and high sediment loads) and other stressors (presence of competitors or grazers, removal of canopy algae, limiting or excessive light, low or high salinity, increasing temperature, high wave exposure and high UV or CO2 ), not as easily amenable to management actions. In general, the cumulative effects of local anthropogenic and other stressors had negative effects on the growth and survival of canopy-forming algae. Conversely, the growth or survival of mat-forming algae was either unaffected or significantly enhanced by the same pairs of stressors. Contrary to our predictions, the majority of interactions between stressors were additive. There were however synergistic interactions between nutrient enrichment and heavy metals, the presence of competitors, low light and increasing temperature, leading to amplified negative effects on canopy-forming algae. There were also synergistic interactions between nutrient enrichment and increasing CO2 and temperature leading to amplified positive effects on mat-forming algae. Our review of the current literature shows that management of nutrient levels, rather than fishing, heavy metal pollution or high sediment loads, would provide the greatest opportunity for preventing the shift from canopy to mat-forming algae, particularly in enclosed bays or estuaries because of the

  18. Identifying the interacting roles of stressors in driving the global loss of canopy-forming to mat-forming algae in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Strain, Elisabeth M A; Thomson, Russell J; Micheli, Fiorenza; Mancuso, Francesco P; Airoldi, Laura

    2014-11-01

    Identifying the type and strength of interactions between local anthropogenic and other stressors can help to set achievable management targets for degraded marine ecosystems and support their resilience by identifying local actions. We undertook a meta-analysis, using data from 118 studies to test the hypothesis that ongoing global declines in the dominant habitat along temperate rocky coastlines, forests of canopy-forming algae and/or their replacement by mat-forming algae are driven by the nonadditive interactions between local anthropogenic stressors that can be addressed through management actions (fishing, heavy metal pollution, nutrient enrichment and high sediment loads) and other stressors (presence of competitors or grazers, removal of canopy algae, limiting or excessive light, low or high salinity, increasing temperature, high wave exposure and high UV or CO2 ), not as easily amenable to management actions. In general, the cumulative effects of local anthropogenic and other stressors had negative effects on the growth and survival of canopy-forming algae. Conversely, the growth or survival of mat-forming algae was either unaffected or significantly enhanced by the same pairs of stressors. Contrary to our predictions, the majority of interactions between stressors were additive. There were however synergistic interactions between nutrient enrichment and heavy metals, the presence of competitors, low light and increasing temperature, leading to amplified negative effects on canopy-forming algae. There were also synergistic interactions between nutrient enrichment and increasing CO2 and temperature leading to amplified positive effects on mat-forming algae. Our review of the current literature shows that management of nutrient levels, rather than fishing, heavy metal pollution or high sediment loads, would provide the greatest opportunity for preventing the shift from canopy to mat-forming algae, particularly in enclosed bays or estuaries because of the

  19. Polar drive on OMEGA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radha, P. B.; Marshall, F. J.; Boehly, T. R.; Collins, T. J. B.; Craxton, R. S.; Edgell, D.; Epstein, R.; Frenje, J.; Goncharov, V. N.; Marozas, J. A.; McCrory, R. L.; McKenty, P. W.; Meyerhofer, D. D.; Petrasso, R. D.; Sangster, T. C.; Shvydky, A.; Skupsky, S.

    2013-11-01

    High-convergence polar-drive experiments are being conducted on OMEGA [T. R. Boehly et al., Opt. Commum. 133, 495 (1997)] using triple-picket laser pulses. The goal of OMEGA experiments is to validate modeling of oblique laser deposition, heat conduction in the presence of nonradial thermal gradients in the corona, and implosion energetics in the presence of laser-plasma interactions such as crossed-beam energy transfer. Simulated shock velocities near the equator, where the beams are obliquely incident, are within 5% of experimentally inferred values in warm plastic shells, well within the required accuracy for ignition. High, near-one-dimensional areal density is obtained in warm-plastic-shell implosions. Simulated backlit images of the compressing core are in good agreement with measured images. Outstanding questions that will be addressed in the future relate to the role of cross-beam transfer in polar drive irradiation and increasing the energy coupled into the target by decreasing beam obliquity.

  20. Response of plant tundra communities to changes in abiotic and biotic environments: Importance of the temporal dimension

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saccone, P.; Virtanen, R.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding of ecosystem response to changing environment have been improved by the convergence of observational and experimental approaches that allow disentangling mechanisms involved and large scale subsequent patterns. However, such approaches often face context-dependence of underlying processes, and a major challenge of community ecology is to deepen our understanding of this context-dependency for reliable upscaling. Here we used the results from several transplant experiments of heath communities in the Northern Fennoscandian during the last two decades to investigate the relative importance of abiotic and biotic drivers and the plant functional response. The plant community composition of blocks of heath vegetation from diverse origins transplanted in contrasted abiotic and biotic conditions was monitored from 6 to 23 years depending on the design. Considering both abiotic severity and biotic environment, the transplantation along altitudinal gradient constituted major habitat perturbation, in particular for communities from the mountain tundra vulnerable to strong functional shift. In addition, the joint effects of multiple drivers associated to grazing pressure and abiotic micro heterogeneity resulted in divergent community in the long-term. However, the different factors operated on different temporal scales. The vegetation depending on their origin and functional type also showed contrasted patterns from immediate and transient response to strong biological inertia. Our results reveal the potential for alternative response of plant communities depending on the interplay between the multiple drivers and the functional attributes of the vegetation. This interplay should drive plant communities toward divergent alternative states, but our ability to extrapolate longer-term trajectories from partial dynamics is challenged by the temporal differences in drivers pressure and plant response. The responses to manipulation appear as successional processes and

  1. Zebra mussel effects on benthic invertebrates: physical or biotic?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Botts, P. Silver; Patterson, Benjamin A.; Schloesser, Don W.

    1996-01-01

    In soft sediments, Dreissena spp. create firm substrate in the form of aggregates of living mussels (druses) that roll free on the sediments. Druses provide physical structure which increases habitat heterogeneity, and the mussels increase benthic organic matter through the production of pseudofeces and feces. Descriptive and experimental studies were used to determine: 1) whether the density of benthic invertebrates in soft sediments increased in the presence of druses, and 2) whether the invertebrate assemblage responded to the physical structure provided by a druse or to some biotic effect associated with the presence of living mussels. In core samples collected biweekly during summer in Presque Isle Bay, Erie, Pennsylvania, amphipods, chironomids, oligochaetes, turbellarians, and hydrozoans were significantly more abundant in sand with druses than in bare sand. When mesh bags containing either a living druse, non-living druse, or no druse were incubated in the bay for 33 d, we found that chironomids were significantly more abundant in treatments with living druses than with non-living druses, and in treatments with non-living druses than with no druse; turbellarians, amphipods, and hydrozoans were significantly more abundant in treatments with living or non-living druses than with no druse; oligochaetes showed no significant differences among treatments. This study demonstrates that most taxa of benthic invertebrates in soft substrate respond specifically to the physical structure associated with aggregates of mussel shells, but further study is needed to examine chironomid responses to some biotic effect dependent on the presence of living mussels.

  2. Biotic and abiotic carbon to sulfur bond cleavage. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Frost, J.W.

    1994-05-01

    The microbial desulfurization of organosulfur compounds occurs by unprecedented and largely unexplored biochemical processes. A study of such biotic desulfurizations can be expected to give rise to new and useful chemistry and enzymology. The potential value of understanding and harnessing these processes is seen in relation to the need for methods for the removal of organically bound sulfur from coal and the degradation of organic sulfur-containing pollutants. This research effort has been directed towards an examination of desulfurization ability in well characterized microorganisms, the isolation of bacteria with desulfurization ability from natural sources, the characterization and mechanistic evaluation of the observed biocatalytic processes, the development of biomimetic synthetic organic chemistry based on biotic desulfurization mechanisms and the design and preparation of improved coal model compounds for use in microbial selection processes. A systematic approach to studying biodesulfurizations was undertaken in which organosulfur compounds have been broken down into classes based on the oxidation state of the sulfur atom and the structure of the rest of the organic material. Microbes have been evaluated in terms of ability to degrade organosulfur compounds with sulfur in its sulfonic acid oxidation state. These compounds are likely intermediates in coal desulfurization and are present in the environment as persistent pollutants in the form of detergents. It is known that oxygen bonded to sulfur lowers the carbon-sulfur bond energy, providing a thermodynamic basis for starting with this class of compounds.

  3. Climatic and biotic thresholds of coral-reef shutdown

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toth, Lauren T.; Aronson, Richard B.; Cobb, Kim M.; Cheng, Hai; Edwards, R. Lawrence; Grothe, Pamela R.; Sayani, Hussein R.

    2015-04-01

    Climate change is now the leading cause of coral-reef degradation and is altering the adaptive landscape of coral populations. Increasing sea temperatures and declining carbonate saturation states are inhibiting short-term rates of coral calcification, carbonate precipitation and submarine cementation. A critical challenge to coral-reef conservation is understanding the mechanisms by which environmental perturbations scale up to influence long-term rates of reef-framework construction and ecosystem function. Here we reconstruct climatic and oceanographic variability using corals sampled from a 6,750-year core from Pacific Panamá. Simultaneous reconstructions of coral palaeophysiology and reef accretion allowed us to identify the climatic and biotic thresholds associated with a 2,500-year hiatus in vertical accretion beginning ~4,100 years ago. Stronger upwelling, cooler sea temperatures and greater precipitation--indicators of La Niña-like conditions--were closely associated with abrupt reef shutdown. The physiological condition of the corals deteriorated at the onset of the hiatus, corroborating theoretical predictions that the tipping points of radical ecosystem transitions should be manifested sublethally in the biotic constituents. Future climate change could cause similar threshold behaviours, leading to another shutdown in reef development in the tropical eastern Pacific.

  4. Biotic stress: a significant contributor to organic aerosol in Europe?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergström, R.; Hallquist, M.; Simpson, D.; Wildt, J.; Mentel, T. F.

    2014-05-01

    We have investigated the potential impact on organic aerosol formation from biotic stress-induced emissions (SIE) of organic molecules from forests in Europe (North of Lat. 45° N). Emission estimates for sesquiterpenes (SQT), methyl salicylate (MeSA) and unsaturated C17-compounds, due to different stressors, are based on experiments in the Jülich Plant Atmosphere Chamber (JPAC), combined with estimates of the fraction of stressed trees in Europe based on reported observed tree damage. SIE were introduced in the EMEP MSC-W chemical transport model and secondary organic aerosol (SOA) yields from the SIE were taken from the JPAC experiments. The estimated current-situation SIE in Central and Northern European forests are found to contribute substantially to SOA in large parts of Europe. It is possible that the SIE contributes as much, or more, to organic aerosol than the constitutive biogenic VOC-emissions, at least during some periods. Based on the assumptions in this study, SIE-SOA are estimated to constitute between 50 and 70% of the total biogenic SOA (BSOA) in a current-situation scenario where the biotic stress in Northern and Central European forests causes large SIE of MeSA and SQT. An alternative current-situation scenario with lower SIE, consisting solely of SQT, leads to lower SIE-SOA, between 20 and 40% of the total BSOA. Hypothetical future scenarios with increased SIE, due to higher degrees of biotic stress, show that SOA formation due to SIE can become even larger. Unsaturated C17-BVOCs emitted by spruce infested by the forest honey generating bark louse Cinara pilicornis have a high SOA-forming potential. A model scenario investigating the effect of a regional, episodic infestation of Cinara pilicornis in Baden-Württemberg, corresponding to a year with high production of forest honey, shows that these types of events could lead to very large organic aerosol formation in the infested region. We have used the best available laboratory data on biotic

  5. Biotic stress: a significant contributor to organic aerosol in Europe?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergström, R.; Hallquist, M.; Simpson, D.; Wildt, J.; Mentel, T. F.

    2014-12-01

    We have investigated the potential impact on organic aerosol formation from biotic stress-induced emissions (SIE) of organic molecules from forests in Europe (north of lat. 45° N). Emission estimates for sesquiterpenes (SQT), methyl salicylate (MeSA) and unsaturated C17 compounds, due to different stressors, are based on experiments in the Jülich Plant Atmosphere Chamber (JPAC), combined with estimates of the fraction of stressed trees in Europe based on reported observed tree damage. SIE were introduced in the EMEP MSC-W chemical transport model and secondary organic aerosol (SOA) yields from the SIE were taken from the JPAC experiments. Based on estimates of current levels of infestation and the JPAC aerosol yields, the model results suggest that the contribution to SOA in large parts of Europe may be substantial. It is possible that SIE contributes as much, or more, to organic aerosol than the constitutive biogenic VOC emissions, at least during some periods. Based on the assumptions in this study, SIE-SOA are estimated to constitute between 50 and 70 % of the total biogenic SOA (BSOA) in a current-situation scenario where the biotic stress in northern and central European forests causes large SIE of MeSA and SQT. An alternative current-situation scenario with lower SIE, consisting solely of SQT, leads to lower SIE-SOA, between 20 and 40 % of the total BSOA. Hypothetical future scenarios with increased SIE, due to higher degrees of biotic stress, show that SOA formation due to SIE can become even larger. Unsaturated C17 BVOC (biogenic volatile organic compounds) emitted by spruce infested by the forest-honey generating bark louse, Cinara pilicornis, have a high SOA-forming potential. A model scenario investigating the effect of a regional, episodic infestation of Cinara pilicornis in Baden-Württemberg, corresponding to a year with high production of forest honey, shows that these types of events could lead to very large organic aerosol formation in the

  6. At limits of life: multidisciplinary insights reveal environmental constraints on biotic diversity in continental Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Magalhães, Catarina; Stevens, Mark I; Cary, S Craig; Ball, Becky A; Storey, Bryan C; Wall, Diana H; Türk, Roman; Ruprecht, Ulrike

    2012-01-01

    Multitrophic communities that maintain the functionality of the extreme Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems, while the simplest of any natural community, are still challenging our knowledge about the limits to life on earth. In this study, we describe and interpret the linkage between the diversity of different trophic level communities to the geological morphology and soil geochemistry in the remote Transantarctic Mountains (Darwin Mountains, 80°S). We examined the distribution and diversity of biota (bacteria, cyanobacteria, lichens, algae, invertebrates) with respect to elevation, age of glacial drift sheets, and soil physicochemistry. Results showed an abiotic spatial gradient with respect to the diversity of the organisms across different trophic levels. More complex communities, in terms of trophic level diversity, were related to the weakly developed younger drifts (Hatherton and Britannia) with higher soil C/N ratio and lower total soluble salts content (thus lower conductivity). Our results indicate that an increase of ion concentration from younger to older drift regions drives a succession of complex to more simple communities, in terms of number of trophic levels and diversity within each group of organisms analysed. This study revealed that integrating diversity across multi-trophic levels of biotic communities with abiotic spatial heterogeneity and geological history is fundamental to understand environmental constraints influencing biological distribution in Antarctic soil ecosystems. PMID:23028563

  7. At limits of life: multidisciplinary insights reveal environmental constraints on biotic diversity in continental Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Magalhães, Catarina; Stevens, Mark I; Cary, S Craig; Ball, Becky A; Storey, Bryan C; Wall, Diana H; Türk, Roman; Ruprecht, Ulrike

    2012-01-01

    Multitrophic communities that maintain the functionality of the extreme Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems, while the simplest of any natural community, are still challenging our knowledge about the limits to life on earth. In this study, we describe and interpret the linkage between the diversity of different trophic level communities to the geological morphology and soil geochemistry in the remote Transantarctic Mountains (Darwin Mountains, 80°S). We examined the distribution and diversity of biota (bacteria, cyanobacteria, lichens, algae, invertebrates) with respect to elevation, age of glacial drift sheets, and soil physicochemistry. Results showed an abiotic spatial gradient with respect to the diversity of the organisms across different trophic levels. More complex communities, in terms of trophic level diversity, were related to the weakly developed younger drifts (Hatherton and Britannia) with higher soil C/N ratio and lower total soluble salts content (thus lower conductivity). Our results indicate that an increase of ion concentration from younger to older drift regions drives a succession of complex to more simple communities, in terms of number of trophic levels and diversity within each group of organisms analysed. This study revealed that integrating diversity across multi-trophic levels of biotic communities with abiotic spatial heterogeneity and geological history is fundamental to understand environmental constraints influencing biological distribution in Antarctic soil ecosystems.

  8. At Limits of Life: Multidisciplinary Insights Reveal Environmental Constraints on Biotic Diversity in Continental Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Magalhães, Catarina; Stevens, Mark I.; Cary, S. Craig; Ball, Becky A.; Storey, Bryan C.; Wall, Diana H.; Türk, Roman; Ruprecht, Ulrike

    2012-01-01

    Multitrophic communities that maintain the functionality of the extreme Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems, while the simplest of any natural community, are still challenging our knowledge about the limits to life on earth. In this study, we describe and interpret the linkage between the diversity of different trophic level communities to the geological morphology and soil geochemistry in the remote Transantarctic Mountains (Darwin Mountains, 80°S). We examined the distribution and diversity of biota (bacteria, cyanobacteria, lichens, algae, invertebrates) with respect to elevation, age of glacial drift sheets, and soil physicochemistry. Results showed an abiotic spatial gradient with respect to the diversity of the organisms across different trophic levels. More complex communities, in terms of trophic level diversity, were related to the weakly developed younger drifts (Hatherton and Britannia) with higher soil C/N ratio and lower total soluble salts content (thus lower conductivity). Our results indicate that an increase of ion concentration from younger to older drift regions drives a succession of complex to more simple communities, in terms of number of trophic levels and diversity within each group of organisms analysed. This study revealed that integrating diversity across multi-trophic levels of biotic communities with abiotic spatial heterogeneity and geological history is fundamental to understand environmental constraints influencing biological distribution in Antarctic soil ecosystems. PMID:23028563

  9. Slowed decomposition is biotically mediated in an ectomycorrhizal, tropical rain forest.

    PubMed

    McGuire, Krista L; Zak, Donald R; Edwards, Ivan P; Blackwood, Christopher B; Upchurch, Rima

    2010-11-01

    Bacteria and fungi drive the cycling of plant litter in forests, but little is known about their role in tropical rain forest nutrient cycling, despite the high rates of litter decay observed in these ecosystems. However, litter decay rates are not uniform across tropical rain forests. For example, decomposition can differ dramatically over small spatial scales between low-diversity, monodominant rain forests, and species-rich, mixed forests. Because the climatic patterns and soil parent material are identical in co-occurring mixed and monodominant forests, differences in forest floor accumulation, litter production, and decomposition between these forests may be biotically mediated. To test this hypothesis, we conducted field and laboratory studies in a monodominant rain forest in which the ectomycorrhizal tree Dicymbe corymbosa forms >80% of the canopy, and a diverse, mixed forest dominated by arbuscular mycorrhizal trees. After 2 years, decomposition was significantly slower in the monodominant forest (P < 0.001), but litter production was significantly greater in the mixed forest (P < 0.001). In the laboratory, we found microbial community biomass was greater in the mixed forest (P = 0.02), and the composition of fungal communities was distinct between the two rain forest types (P = 0.001). Sequencing of fungal rDNA revealed a significantly lower richness of saprotrophic fungi in the monodominant forest (19 species) relative to the species-rich forest (84 species); moreover, only 4% percent of fungal sequences occurred in both forests. These results show that nutrient cycling patterns in tropical forests can vary dramatically over small spatial scales, and that changes in microbial community structure likely drive the observed differences in decomposition.

  10. Biotic and abiotic controls on diurnal fluctuations in labile soil phosphorus of a wet tropical forest.

    PubMed

    Vandecar, Karen L; Lawrence, Deborah; Wood, Tana; Oberbauer, Steven F; Das, Rishiraj; Tully, Katherine; Schwendenmann, Luitgard

    2009-09-01

    The productivity of many tropical wet forests is generally limited by bioavailable phosphorus (P). Microbial activity is a key regulator of P availability in that it determines both the supply of P through organic matter decomposition and the depletion of bioavailable P through microbial uptake. Both microbial uptake and mineralization occur rapidly, and their net effect on P availability varies with soil moisture, temperature, and soil organic matter quantity and quality. Exploring the mechanisms driving P availability at fine temporal scales can provide insight into the coupling of carbon, water, and nutrient cycles, and ultimately, the response of tropical forests to climate change. Despite the recognized importance of P cycling to the dynamics of wet tropical forests and their potential sensitivity to short-term fluctuations in bioavailable P, the diurnal pattern of P remains poorly understood. This study quantifies diurnal fluctuations in labile soil P and evaluates the importance of biotic and abiotic factors in driving these patterns. To this end, measurements of labile P were made every other hour in a Costa Rican wet tropical forest oxisol. Spatial and temporal variation in Bray-extractable P were investigated in relation to ecosystem carbon flux, soil CO2 efflux, soil moisture, soil temperature, solar radiation, and sap-flow velocity. Spatially averaged bi-hourly (every two hours) labile P ranged from 0.88 to 2.48 microg/g across days. The amplitude in labile P throughout the day was 0.61-0.82 microg/g (41-54% of mean P concentrations) and was characterized by a bimodal pattern with a decrease at midday. Labile P increased with soil CO2 efflux and soil temperature and declined with increasing sap flow and solar radiation. Together, soil CO2 efflux, soil temperature, and sap flow explained 86% of variation in labile P.

  11. Synergistic interactions of blood-borne immune cells, fibroblasts and extracellular matrix drive repair in an in vitro peri-implant wound healing model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burkhardt, Melanie A.; Waser, Jasmin; Milleret, Vincent; Gerber, Isabel; Emmert, Maximilian Y.; Foolen, Jasper; Hoerstrup, Simon P.; Schlottig, Falko; Vogel, Viola

    2016-02-01

    Low correlations of cell culture data with clinical outcomes pose major medical challenges with costly consequences. While the majority of biomaterials are tested using in vitro cell monocultures, the importance of synergistic interactions between different cell types on paracrine signalling has recently been highlighted. In this proof-of-concept study, we asked whether the first contact of surfaces with whole human blood could steer the tissue healing response. This hypothesis was tested using alkali-treatment of rough titanium (Ti) surfaces since they have clinically been shown to improve early implant integration and stability, yet blood-free in vitro cell cultures poorly correlated with in vivo tissue healing. We show that alkali-treatment, compared to native Ti surfaces, increased blood clot thickness, including platelet adhesion. Strikingly, blood clots with entrapped blood cells in synergistic interactions with fibroblasts, but not fibroblasts alone, upregulated the secretion of major factors associated with fast healing. This includes matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) to break down extracellular matrix and the growth factor VEGF, known for its angiogenic potential. Consequently, in vitro test platforms, which consider whole blood-implant interactions, might be superior in predicting wound healing in response to biomaterial properties.

  12. Synergistic interactions of blood-borne immune cells, fibroblasts and extracellular matrix drive repair in an in vitro peri-implant wound healing model

    PubMed Central

    Burkhardt, Melanie A; Waser, Jasmin; Milleret, Vincent; Gerber, Isabel; Emmert, Maximilian Y; Foolen, Jasper; Hoerstrup, Simon P; Schlottig, Falko; Vogel, Viola

    2016-01-01

    Low correlations of cell culture data with clinical outcomes pose major medical challenges with costly consequences. While the majority of biomaterials are tested using in vitro cell monocultures, the importance of synergistic interactions between different cell types on paracrine signalling has recently been highlighted. In this proof-of-concept study, we asked whether the first contact of surfaces with whole human blood could steer the tissue healing response. This hypothesis was tested using alkali-treatment of rough titanium (Ti) surfaces since they have clinically been shown to improve early implant integration and stability, yet blood-free in vitro cell cultures poorly correlated with in vivo tissue healing. We show that alkali-treatment, compared to native Ti surfaces, increased blood clot thickness, including platelet adhesion. Strikingly, blood clots with entrapped blood cells in synergistic interactions with fibroblasts, but not fibroblasts alone, upregulated the secretion of major factors associated with fast healing. This includes matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) to break down extracellular matrix and the growth factor VEGF, known for its angiogenic potential. Consequently, in vitro test platforms, which consider whole blood-implant interactions, might be superior in predicting wound healing in response to biomaterial properties. PMID:26883175

  13. Relevance of biotic pathways to the regulation of nuclear waste disposal

    SciTech Connect

    Kennedy, W.E. Jr.; McKenzie, D.H.; Cadwell, L.L.

    1982-09-01

    Alternatives for licensing and regulating low-level waste burial sites need to be selected on the basis of reasonable evaluations of risk. With regard to low-level sites, biotic transport processes must be evaluated along with other transport processes (e.g. groundwater, agricultural food chains) if the consequences of alternative courses of action are to be understood. Biotic transport (amounts and rates or radionuclide transport by biota) at waste facilities is poorly understood when compared to current understanding of routes and movements of radionuclides through agricultural food chains. This presentation includes work on Phase I of this research program conducted for the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1). Our objective was to assess current biotic transport modeling. Our efforts have focused on evaluating the relevance of biotic transport to the assessment of impacts of waste disposal on humans and their environment. Our assessment considered available dose pathway analysis computer models and the potential applications of biotic transport models at low-level waste (LLW) disposal sites. An identification and review of biotic transport mechanisms and processes for terrestrial systems was provided. Current efforts are to estimate the comparative magnitude of dose to man resulting from biotic transport. The final report for Phase I will contain: (1) a critical review of available modeling techniques; (2) an assessment of the possible significance of biotic transport of radionuclides from low-level waste disposal sites to man; and (3) if appropriate, a summary of additional investigations needed to apply biotic transport modeling to regulatory concerns effectively.

  14. Considerations in forecasting the demand for carbon sequestration and biotic storage technologies

    SciTech Connect

    Trexler, M.C.

    1997-12-31

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has identified forestry and other land-use based mitigation measures as possible sources and sinks of greenhouse gases. An overview of sequestration and biotic storage is presented, and the potential impacts of the use of carbon sequestration as a mitigation technology are briefly noted. Carbon sequestration is also compare to other mitigation technologies. Biotic mitigation technologies are concluded to be a legitimate and potentially important part of greenhouse gas mitigation due to their relatively low costs, ancillary benefits, and climate impact. However, not all biotic mitigation techniques perfectly match the idealized definition of a mitigation measure, and policies are becoming increasingly biased against biotic technologies.

  15. Effects of biotic feedback and harvest management on boreal forest fire activity under climate change.

    PubMed

    Krawchuk, Meg A; Cumming, Steve G

    2011-01-01

    Predictions of future fire activity over Canada's boreal forests have primarily been generated from climate data following assumptions that direct effects of weather will stand alone in contributing to changes in burning. However, this assumption needs explicit testing. First, areas recently burned can be less likely to burn again in the near term, and this endogenous regulation suggests the potential for self-limiting, negative biotic feedback to regional climate-driven increases in fire. Second, forest harvest is ongoing, and resulting changes in vegetation structure have been shown to affect fire activity. Consequently, we tested the assumption that fire activity will be driven by changes in fire weather without regulation by biotic feedback or regional harvest-driven changes in vegetation structure in the mixedwood boreal forest of Alberta, Canada, using a simulation experiment that includes the interaction of fire, stand dynamics, climate change, and clear cut harvest management. We found that climate change projected with fire weather indices calculated from the Canadian Regional Climate Model increased fire activity, as expected, and our simulations established evidence that the magnitude of regional increase in fire was sufficient to generate negative feedback to subsequent fire activity. We illustrate a 39% (1.39-fold) increase in fire initiation and 47% (1.47-fold) increase in area burned when climate and stand dynamics were included in simulations, yet 48% (1.48-fold) and 61% (1.61-fold) increases, respectively, when climate was considered alone. Thus, although biotic feedbacks reduced burned area estimates in important ways, they were secondary to the direct effect of climate on fire. We then show that ongoing harvest management in this region changed landscape composition in a way that led to reduced fire activity, even in the context of climate change. Although forest harvesting resulted in decreased regional fire activity when compared to unharvested

  16. Dissolved and labile concentrations of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn in the South Fork Coeur d'Alene River, Idaho: Comparisons among chemical equilibrium models and implications for biotic ligand models

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Balistrieri, L.S.; Blank, R.G.

    2008-01-01

    In order to evaluate thermodynamic speciation calculations inherent in biotic ligand models, the speciation of dissolved Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn in aquatic systems influenced by historical mining activities is examined using equilibrium computer models and the diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) technique. Several metal/organic-matter complexation models, including WHAM VI, NICA-Donnan, and Stockholm Humic model (SHM), are used in combination with inorganic speciation models to calculate the thermodynamic speciation of dissolved metals and concentrations of metal associated with biotic ligands (e.g., fish gills). Maximum dynamic metal concentrations, determined from total dissolved metal concentrations and thermodynamic speciation calculations, are compared with labile metal concentrations measured by DGT to assess which metal/organic-matter complexation model best describes metal speciation and, thereby, biotic ligand speciation, in the studied systems. Results indicate that the choice of model that defines metal/organic-matter interactions does not affect calculated concentrations of Cd and Zn associated with biotic ligands for geochemical conditions in the study area, whereas concentrations of Cu and Pb associated with biotic ligands depend on whether the speciation calculations use WHAM VI, NICA-Donnan, or SHM. Agreement between labile metal concentrations and dynamic metal concentrations occurs when WHAM VI is used to calculate Cu speciation and SHM is used to calculate Pb speciation. Additional work in systems that contain wide ranges in concentrations of multiple metals should incorporate analytical speciation methods, such as DGT, to constrain the speciation component of biotic ligand models. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  17. Driving and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Uc, Ergun Y; Rizzo, Matthew

    2008-09-01

    The proportion of elderly people in the general population is rising, resulting in greater numbers of drivers with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. These neurodegenerative disorders impair cognition, visual perception, and motor function, leading to reduced driver fitness and greater crash risk. Yet neither medical diagnosis nor age alone is reliable enough to predict driver safety or crashes or to revoke the driving privileges of these individuals. Driving research utilizes tools such as questionnaires about driving habits and history, driving simulators, standardized road tests utilizing instrumented vehicles, and state driving records. Research challenges include outlining the evolution of driving safety, understanding the mechanisms of driving impairment, and developing a reliable and efficient standardized test battery for prediction of driver safety in neurodegenerative disorders. This information will enable healthcare providers to advise their patients with neurodegenerative disorders with more certainty, affect policy, and help develop rehabilitative measures for driving. PMID:18713573

  18. Dementia and driving

    MedlinePlus

    ... has dementia , deciding when they can no longer drive may be difficult. They may react in different ... that the person may not be able to drive safely, such as: Forgetting recent events Mood swings ...

  19. Conserved functional domains and a novel tertiary interaction near the pseudoknot drive translational activity of hepatitis C virus and hepatitis C virus-like internal ribosome entry sites

    PubMed Central

    Easton, Laura E.; Locker, Nicolas; Lukavsky, Peter J.

    2009-01-01

    The translational activity of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) internal ribosome entry site (IRES) and other HCV-like IRES RNAs depends on structured RNA elements in domains II and III, which serve to recruit the ribosomal 40S subunit, eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) 3 and the ternary eIF2/Met-tRNAiMet/GTP complex and subsequently domain II assists subunit joining. Porcine teschovirus-1 talfan (PTV-1) is a member of the Picornaviridae family, with a predicted HCV-like secondary structure, but only stem-loops IIId and IIIe in the 40S-binding domain display significant sequence conservation with the HCV IRES. Here, we use chemical probing to show that interaction sites with the 40S subunit and eIF3 are conserved between HCV and HCV-like IRESs. In addition, we reveal the functional role of a strictly conserved co-variation between a purine–purine mismatch near the pseudoknot (A–A/G) and the loop sequence of domain IIIe (GAU/CA). These nucleotides are involved in a tertiary interaction, which serves to stabilize the pseudoknot structure and correlates with translational efficiency in both the PTV-1 and HCV IRES. Our data demonstrate conservation of functional domains in HCV and HCV-like IRESs including a more complex structure surrounding the pseudoknot than previously assumed. PMID:19596815

  20. Gear bearing drive

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weinberg, Brian (Inventor); Mavroidis, Constantinos (Inventor); Vranish, John M. (Inventor)

    2011-01-01

    A gear bearing drive provides a compact mechanism that operates as an actuator providing torque and as a joint providing support. The drive includes a gear arrangement integrating an external rotor DC motor within a sun gear. Locking surfaces maintain the components of the drive in alignment and provide support for axial loads and moments. The gear bearing drive has a variety of applications, including as a joint in robotic arms and prosthetic limbs.

  1. The interplay between habitat structure and chemical contaminants on biotic responses of benthic organisms.

    PubMed

    Mayer-Pinto, Mariana; Matias, Miguel G; Coleman, Ross A

    2016-01-01

    Habitat structure influences the diversity and distribution of organisms, potentially affecting their response to disturbances by either affecting their 'susceptibility' or through the provision of resources that can mitigate impacts of disturbances. Chemical disturbances due to contamination are associated with decreases in diversity and functioning of systems and are also likely to increase due to coastal urbanisation. Understanding how habitat structure interacts with contaminants is essential to predict and therefore manage such effects, minimising their consequences to marine systems. Here, we manipulated two structurally different habitats and exposed them to different types of contaminants. The effects of contamination and habitat structure interacted, affecting species richness. More complex experimental habitats were colonized by a greater diversity of organisms than the less complex habitats. These differences disappeared, however, when habitats were exposed to contaminants, suggesting that contaminants can override effects of habitats structure at small spatial scales. These results provide insight into the complex ways that habitat structure and contamination interact and the need to incorporate evidence of biotic responses from individual disturbances to multiple stressors. Such effects need to be taken into account when designing and planning management and conservation strategies to natural systems. PMID:27168991

  2. The interplay between habitat structure and chemical contaminants on biotic responses of benthic organisms

    PubMed Central

    Matias, Miguel G.; Coleman, Ross A.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat structure influences the diversity and distribution of organisms, potentially affecting their response to disturbances by either affecting their ‘susceptibility’ or through the provision of resources that can mitigate impacts of disturbances. Chemical disturbances due to contamination are associated with decreases in diversity and functioning of systems and are also likely to increase due to coastal urbanisation. Understanding how habitat structure interacts with contaminants is essential to predict and therefore manage such effects, minimising their consequences to marine systems. Here, we manipulated two structurally different habitats and exposed them to different types of contaminants. The effects of contamination and habitat structure interacted, affecting species richness. More complex experimental habitats were colonized by a greater diversity of organisms than the less complex habitats. These differences disappeared, however, when habitats were exposed to contaminants, suggesting that contaminants can override effects of habitats structure at small spatial scales. These results provide insight into the complex ways that habitat structure and contamination interact and the need to incorporate evidence of biotic responses from individual disturbances to multiple stressors. Such effects need to be taken into account when designing and planning management and conservation strategies to natural systems. PMID:27168991

  3. Sequential Dependencies in Driving

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Doshi, Anup; Tran, Cuong; Wilder, Matthew H.; Mozer, Michael C.; Trivedi, Mohan M.

    2012-01-01

    The effect of recent experience on current behavior has been studied extensively in simple laboratory tasks. We explore the nature of sequential effects in the more naturalistic setting of automobile driving. Driving is a safety-critical task in which delayed response times may have severe consequences. Using a realistic driving simulator, we find…

  4. The biotic crisis and the future of evolution.

    PubMed

    Myers, N; Knoll, A H

    2001-05-01

    The biotic crisis overtaking our planet is likely to precipitate a major extinction of species. That much is well known. Not so well known but probably more significant in the long term is that the crisis will surely disrupt and deplete certain basic processes of evolution, with consequences likely to persist for millions of years. Distinctive features of future evolution could include a homogenization of biotas, a proliferation of opportunistic species, a pest-and-weed ecology, an outburst of speciation among taxa that prosper in human-dominated ecosystems, a decline of biodisparity, an end to the speciation of large vertebrates, the depletion of "evolutionary powerhouses" in the tropics, and unpredictable emergent novelties. Despite this likelihood, we have only a rudimentary understanding of how we are altering the evolutionary future. As a result of our ignorance, conservation policies fail to reflect long-term evolutionary aspects of biodiversity loss. PMID:11344283

  5. Spectroscopic Studies of Pre-Biotic Carbon Chemistry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blake, Geoffrey A.

    2002-01-01

    As described in the original proposal and in our progress reports, research in the Blake group supported by the Exobiology program seeks to understand the pre-biotic chemistry of carbon along with that of other first- and second-row elements from the earliest stages of star formation through the development of planetary systems. The major tool used is spectroscopy, and the program has observational, laboratory, and theoretical components. The observational and theoretical programs are concerned primarily with a quantitative assessment of the chemical budgets of the biogenic elements in star-forming molecular cloud cores, while the laboratory work is focused on the complex species that characterize the prebiotic chemistry of carbon. We outline below our results over the past two years acquired, in part, with Exobiology support.

  6. An Economic Valuation of Biotic Pollination Services in Georgia.

    PubMed

    Barfield, Ashley S; Bergstrom, John C; Ferreira, Susana; Covich, Alan P; Delaplane, Keith S

    2015-04-01

    As agriculture faces documented decline in bees and other insect pollinators, empirical assessments of potential economic losses are critical for contextualizing the impacts of this decline and for prioritizing research needs. For the state of Georgia, we show that the annual economic value of biotic pollinators is substantial--US$367 million, equivalent to 13 percent of the total production value of crops studied and 3 percent of the total production value of Georgia's agricultural sector. Our unique Geographic Information Systems analysis reveals an irregular pattern of vulnerability. While the Georgia counties displaying the highest economic values of pollination are clustered in southern Georgia, those with the highest dependency on pollinators in terms of their contribution to crop production value are more dispersed throughout the state. PMID:26470149

  7. An Economic Valuation of Biotic Pollination Services in Georgia.

    PubMed

    Barfield, Ashley S; Bergstrom, John C; Ferreira, Susana; Covich, Alan P; Delaplane, Keith S

    2015-04-01

    As agriculture faces documented decline in bees and other insect pollinators, empirical assessments of potential economic losses are critical for contextualizing the impacts of this decline and for prioritizing research needs. For the state of Georgia, we show that the annual economic value of biotic pollinators is substantial--US$367 million, equivalent to 13 percent of the total production value of crops studied and 3 percent of the total production value of Georgia's agricultural sector. Our unique Geographic Information Systems analysis reveals an irregular pattern of vulnerability. While the Georgia counties displaying the highest economic values of pollination are clustered in southern Georgia, those with the highest dependency on pollinators in terms of their contribution to crop production value are more dispersed throughout the state.

  8. Biotic homogenization of three insect groups due to urbanization.

    PubMed

    Knop, Eva

    2016-01-01

    Cities are growing rapidly, thereby expected to cause a large-scale global biotic homogenization. Evidence for the homogenization hypothesis is mostly derived from plants and birds, whereas arthropods have so far been neglected. Here, I tested the homogenization hypothesis with three insect indicator groups, namely true bugs, leafhoppers, and beetles. In particular, I was interested whether insect species community composition differs between urban and rural areas, whether they are more similar between cities than between rural areas, and whether the found pattern is explained by true species turnover, species diversity gradients and geographic distance, by non-native or specialist species, respectively. I analyzed insect species communities sampled on birch trees in a total of six Swiss cities and six rural areas nearby. In all indicator groups, urban and rural community composition was significantly dissimilar due to native species turnover. Further, for bug and leafhopper communities, I found evidence for large-scale homogenization due to urbanization, which was driven by reduced species turnover of specialist species in cities. Species turnover of beetle communities was similar between cities and rural areas. Interestingly, when specialist species of beetles were excluded from the analyses, cities were more dissimilar than rural areas, suggesting biotic differentiation of beetle communities in cities. Non-native species did not affect species turnover of the insect groups. However, given non-native arthropod species are increasing rapidly, their homogenizing effect might be detected more often in future. Overall, the results show that urbanization has a negative large-scale impact on the diversity specialist species of the investigated insect groups. Specific measures in cities targeted at increasing the persistence of specialist species typical for the respective biogeographic region could help to stop the loss of biodiversity. PMID:26367396

  9. Desertification, salinization, and biotic homogenization in a dryland river ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Miyazono, Seiji; Patiño, Reynaldo; Taylor, Christopher M

    2015-04-01

    This study determined long-term changes in fish assemblages, river discharge, salinity, and local precipitation, and examined hydrological drivers of biotic homogenization in a dryland river ecosystem, the Trans-Pecos region of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo del Norte (USA/Mexico). Historical (1977-1989) and current (2010-2011) fish assemblages were analyzed by rarefaction analysis (species richness), nonmetric multidimensional scaling (composition/variability), multiresponse permutation procedures (composition), and paired t-test (variability). Trends in hydrological conditions (1970s-2010s) were examined by Kendall tau and quantile regression, and associations between streamflow and specific conductance (salinity) by generalized linear models. Since the 1970s, species richness and variability of fish assemblages decreased in the Rio Grande below the confluence with the Rio Conchos (Mexico), a major tributary, but not above it. There was increased representation of lower-flow/higher-salinity tolerant species, thus making fish communities below the confluence taxonomically and functionally more homogeneous to those above it. Unlike findings elsewhere, this biotic homogenization was due primarily to changes in the relative abundances of native species. While Rio Conchos discharge was>2-fold higher than Rio Grande discharge above their confluence, Rio Conchos discharge decreased during the study period causing Rio Grande discharge below the confluence to also decrease. Rio Conchos salinity is lower than Rio Grande salinity above their confluence and, as Rio Conchos discharge decreased, it caused Rio Grande salinity below the confluence to increase (reduced dilution). Trends in discharge did not correspond to trends in precipitation except at extreme-high (90th quantile) levels. In conclusion, decreasing discharge from the Rio Conchos has led to decreasing flow and increasing salinity in the Rio Grande below the confluence. This spatially uneven desertification and

  10. Biotic homogenization of three insect groups due to urbanization.

    PubMed

    Knop, Eva

    2016-01-01

    Cities are growing rapidly, thereby expected to cause a large-scale global biotic homogenization. Evidence for the homogenization hypothesis is mostly derived from plants and birds, whereas arthropods have so far been neglected. Here, I tested the homogenization hypothesis with three insect indicator groups, namely true bugs, leafhoppers, and beetles. In particular, I was interested whether insect species community composition differs between urban and rural areas, whether they are more similar between cities than between rural areas, and whether the found pattern is explained by true species turnover, species diversity gradients and geographic distance, by non-native or specialist species, respectively. I analyzed insect species communities sampled on birch trees in a total of six Swiss cities and six rural areas nearby. In all indicator groups, urban and rural community composition was significantly dissimilar due to native species turnover. Further, for bug and leafhopper communities, I found evidence for large-scale homogenization due to urbanization, which was driven by reduced species turnover of specialist species in cities. Species turnover of beetle communities was similar between cities and rural areas. Interestingly, when specialist species of beetles were excluded from the analyses, cities were more dissimilar than rural areas, suggesting biotic differentiation of beetle communities in cities. Non-native species did not affect species turnover of the insect groups. However, given non-native arthropod species are increasing rapidly, their homogenizing effect might be detected more often in future. Overall, the results show that urbanization has a negative large-scale impact on the diversity specialist species of the investigated insect groups. Specific measures in cities targeted at increasing the persistence of specialist species typical for the respective biogeographic region could help to stop the loss of biodiversity.

  11. Oxidation of Black Carbon by Biotic and Abiotic Processes

    SciTech Connect

    Cheng, Chih-hsin; Lehmann, Johannes C.; Thies, Janice E.; Burton, Sarah D.; Engelhard, Mark H.

    2006-11-01

    The objectives of this study were to quantify the relative importance of either biotic or abiotic oxidation of biomass-derived black carbon (BC) and to characterize the surface properties and charge characteristics of oxidized particulate BC. We incubated BC and BC-soil mixtures at two different temperatures (30 C and 70 C) with and without microbial inoculation, nutrient additions, or manure amendments for four months. Abiotic processes were more important for oxidation of BC than biotic processes during this short-term incubation, as inoculation with microorganisms did not change any of the measured parameters. Black C incubated at both 30 C and 70 C without microbial activity showed dramatic decreases in pH (in water) from 5.4 to 5.2 and 3.4, as well as increases in cation exchange capacity (CEC at pH 7) by 53% and 538% and in oxygen (O) contents by 4% and 38%, respectively. Boehm titration and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy suggested that the formation of carboxylic functional groups was the reason for the enhanced CEC during oxidation. The analyses of BC surface properties by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) indicated that the oxidation of BC particles initiated on the surface. Incubation at 30 C only enhanced oxidation on particle surfaces, while oxidation during incubation at 70 C penetrated into the interior of particles. Such short-term oxidation of BC has great significance for the stability of BC in soils as well as for its effects on soil fertility and biogeochemistry.

  12. Desertification, salinization, and biotic homogenization in a dryland river ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miyazono, S.; Patino, Reynaldo; Taylor, C.M.

    2015-01-01

    This study determined long-term changes in fish assemblages, river discharge, salinity, and local precipitation, and examined hydrological drivers of biotic homogenization in a dryland river ecosystem, the Trans-Pecos region of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo del Norte (USA/Mexico). Historical (1977-1989) and current (2010-2011) fish assemblages were analyzed by rarefaction analysis (species richness), nonmetric multidimensional scaling (composition/variability), multiresponse permutation procedures (composition), and paired t-test (variability). Trends in hydrological conditions (1970s-2010s) were examined by Kendall tau and quantile regression, and associations between streamfiow and specific conductance (salinity) by generalized linear models. Since the 1970s, species richness and variability of fish assemblages decreased in the Rio Grande below the confluence with the Rio Conchos (Mexico), a major tributary, but not above it. There was increased representation of lower-flow/higher-salinity tolerant species, thus making fish communities below the confluence taxonomically and functionally more homogeneous to those above it. Unlike findings elsewhere, this biotic homogenization was due primarily to changes in the relative abundances of native species. While Rio Conchos discharge was > 2-fold higher than Rio Grande discharge above their confluence, Rio Conchos discharge decreased during the study period causing Rio Grande discharge below the confluence to also decrease. Rio Conchos salinity is lower than Rio Grande salinity above their confluence and, as Rio Conchos discharge decreased, it caused Rio Grande salinity below the confluence to increase (reduced dilution). Trends in discharge did not correspond to trends in precipitation except at extreme-high (90th quantile) levels. In conclusion, decreasing discharge from the Rio Conchos has led to decreasing flow and increasing salinity in the Rio Grande below the confluence. This spatially uneven desertification and

  13. Desertification, salinization, and biotic homogenization in a dryland river ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Miyazono, Seiji; Patiño, Reynaldo; Taylor, Christopher M

    2015-04-01

    This study determined long-term changes in fish assemblages, river discharge, salinity, and local precipitation, and examined hydrological drivers of biotic homogenization in a dryland river ecosystem, the Trans-Pecos region of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo del Norte (USA/Mexico). Historical (1977-1989) and current (2010-2011) fish assemblages were analyzed by rarefaction analysis (species richness), nonmetric multidimensional scaling (composition/variability), multiresponse permutation procedures (composition), and paired t-test (variability). Trends in hydrological conditions (1970s-2010s) were examined by Kendall tau and quantile regression, and associations between streamflow and specific conductance (salinity) by generalized linear models. Since the 1970s, species richness and variability of fish assemblages decreased in the Rio Grande below the confluence with the Rio Conchos (Mexico), a major tributary, but not above it. There was increased representation of lower-flow/higher-salinity tolerant species, thus making fish communities below the confluence taxonomically and functionally more homogeneous to those above it. Unlike findings elsewhere, this biotic homogenization was due primarily to changes in the relative abundances of native species. While Rio Conchos discharge was>2-fold higher than Rio Grande discharge above their confluence, Rio Conchos discharge decreased during the study period causing Rio Grande discharge below the confluence to also decrease. Rio Conchos salinity is lower than Rio Grande salinity above their confluence and, as Rio Conchos discharge decreased, it caused Rio Grande salinity below the confluence to increase (reduced dilution). Trends in discharge did not correspond to trends in precipitation except at extreme-high (90th quantile) levels. In conclusion, decreasing discharge from the Rio Conchos has led to decreasing flow and increasing salinity in the Rio Grande below the confluence. This spatially uneven desertification and

  14. Carbon isotopic fractionation of CFCs during abiotic and biotic degradation.

    PubMed

    Archbold, Marie E; Elliot, Trevor; Kalin, Robert M

    2012-02-01

    Carbon stable isotope ((13)C) fractionation in chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) compounds arising from abiotic (chemical) degradation using zero-valent iron (ZVI) and biotic (landfill gas attenuation) processes is investigated. Batch tests (at 25 °C) for CFC-113 and CFC-11 using ZVI show quantitative degradation of CFC-113 to HCFC-123a and CFC-1113 following pseudo-first-order kinetics corresponding to a half-life (τ(1/2)) of 20.5 h, and a ZVI surface-area normalized rate constant (k(SA)) of -(9.8 ± 0.5) × 10(-5) L m(-2) h(-1). CFC-11 degraded to trace HCFC-21 and HCFC-31 following pseudo-first-order kinetics corresponding to τ(1/2) = 17.3 h and k(SA) = -(1.2 ± 0.5) × 10(-4) L m(-2) h(-1). Significant kinetic isotope effects of ε(‰) = -5.0 ± 0.3 (CFC-113) and -17.8 ± 4.8 (CFC-11) were observed. Compound-specific carbon isotope analyses also have been used here to characterize source signatures of CFC gases (HCFC-22, CFC-12, HFC-134a, HCFC-142b, CFC-114, CFC-11, CFC-113) for urban (UAA), rural/remote (RAA), and landfill (LAA) ambient air samples, as well as in situ surface flux chamber (FLUX; NO FLUX) and landfill gas (LFG) samples at the Dargan Road site, Northern Ireland. The latter values reflect biotic degradation and isotopic fractionation in LFG production, and local atmospheric impact of landfill emissions through the cover. Isotopic fractionations of Δ(13)C ∼ -13‰ (HCFC-22), Δ(13)C ∼ -35‰ (CFC-12) and Δ(13)C ∼ -15‰ (CFC-11) were observed for LFG in comparison to characteristic solvent source signatures, with the magnitude of the isotopic effect for CFC-11 apparently similar to the kinetic isotope effect for (abiotic) ZVI degradation.

  15. Early Triassic Marine Biotic Recovery: The Predators' Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Scheyer, Torsten M.; Romano, Carlo; Jenks, Jim; Bucher, Hugo

    2014-01-01

    Examining the geological past of our planet allows us to study periods of severe climatic and biological crises and recoveries, biotic and abiotic ecosystem fluctuations, and faunal and floral turnovers through time. Furthermore, the recovery dynamics of large predators provide a key for evaluation of the pattern and tempo of ecosystem recovery because predators are interpreted to react most sensitively to environmental turbulences. The end-Permian mass extinction was the most severe crisis experienced by life on Earth, and the common paradigm persists that the biotic recovery from the extinction event was unusually slow and occurred in a step-wise manner, lasting up to eight to nine million years well into the early Middle Triassic (Anisian) in the oceans, and even longer in the terrestrial realm. Here we survey the global distribution and size spectra of Early Triassic and Anisian marine predatory vertebrates (fishes, amphibians and reptiles) to elucidate the height of trophic pyramids in the aftermath of the end-Permian event. The survey of body size was done by compiling maximum standard lengths for the bony fishes and some cartilaginous fishes, and total size (estimates) for the tetrapods. The distribution and size spectra of the latter are difficult to assess because of preservation artifacts and are thus mostly discussed qualitatively. The data nevertheless demonstrate that no significant size increase of predators is observable from the Early Triassic to the Anisian, as would be expected from the prolonged and stepwise trophic recovery model. The data further indicate that marine ecosystems characterized by multiple trophic levels existed from the earliest Early Triassic onwards. However, a major change in the taxonomic composition of predatory guilds occurred less than two million years after the end-Permian extinction event, in which a transition from fish/amphibian to fish/reptile-dominated higher trophic levels within ecosystems became apparent. PMID

  16. Early Triassic marine biotic recovery: the predators' perspective.

    PubMed

    Scheyer, Torsten M; Romano, Carlo; Jenks, Jim; Bucher, Hugo

    2014-01-01

    Examining the geological past of our planet allows us to study periods of severe climatic and biological crises and recoveries, biotic and abiotic ecosystem fluctuations, and faunal and floral turnovers through time. Furthermore, the recovery dynamics of large predators provide a key for evaluation of the pattern and tempo of ecosystem recovery because predators are interpreted to react most sensitively to environmental turbulences. The end-Permian mass extinction was the most severe crisis experienced by life on Earth, and the common paradigm persists that the biotic recovery from the extinction event was unusually slow and occurred in a step-wise manner, lasting up to eight to nine million years well into the early Middle Triassic (Anisian) in the oceans, and even longer in the terrestrial realm. Here we survey the global distribution and size spectra of Early Triassic and Anisian marine predatory vertebrates (fishes, amphibians and reptiles) to elucidate the height of trophic pyramids in the aftermath of the end-Permian event. The survey of body size was done by compiling maximum standard lengths for the bony fishes and some cartilaginous fishes, and total size (estimates) for the tetrapods. The distribution and size spectra of the latter are difficult to assess because of preservation artifacts and are thus mostly discussed qualitatively. The data nevertheless demonstrate that no significant size increase of predators is observable from the Early Triassic to the Anisian, as would be expected from the prolonged and stepwise trophic recovery model. The data further indicate that marine ecosystems characterized by multiple trophic levels existed from the earliest Early Triassic onwards. However, a major change in the taxonomic composition of predatory guilds occurred less than two million years after the end-Permian extinction event, in which a transition from fish/amphibian to fish/reptile-dominated higher trophic levels within ecosystems became apparent. PMID

  17. Oil collecting bees and Byrsonima cydoniifolia A. Juss. (Malpighiaceae) interactions: the prevalence of long-distance cross pollination driving reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Sazan, Morgana S; Bezerra, Antonio Diego M; Freitas, Breno M

    2014-03-01

    Oil-collecting bees are the natural pollinators of oil-flower plants, but little is known about the pollination process and the effectiveness of their pollination service to the reproductive success of their host plants. In species of Byrsonima the reproductive system have been described as auto-compatible or self-incompatible. We studied the reproductive system of Byrsonima cydoniifolia, the fructification by means of short, medium and long-distance cross pollinations, the morphology and floral biology and the pollination interactions with species of oil-collecting bees. By means of controlled pollinations we found self-incompatibility caused by abortion of most self-pollinated flowers and demonstrated that the prevailing cross pollination ensuring the reproductive success of B. cydoniifolia is the long-distance cross pollination and Centridini bees; Epicharis nigrita, particularly, are the pollinators promoting the gene flow between genetically distinct populations.

  18. MUC1 drives epithelial-mesenchymal transition in renal carcinoma through Wnt/β-catenin pathway and interaction with SNAIL promoter.

    PubMed

    Gnemmi, Viviane; Bouillez, Audrey; Gaudelot, Kelly; Hémon, Brigitte; Ringot, Bélinda; Pottier, Nicolas; Glowacki, François; Villers, Arnauld; Vindrieux, David; Cauffiez, Christelle; Van Seuningen, Isabelle; Bernard, David; Leroy, Xavier; Aubert, Sébastien; Perrais, Michaël

    2014-05-01

    MUC1 is overexpressed in human carcinomas. The transcription factor SNAIL can activate epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in cancer cells. In this study, in renal carcinoma, we demonstrate that (i) MUC1 and SNAIL were overexpressed in human sarcomatoid carcinomas, (ii) SNAIL increased indirectly MUC1 expression, (iii) MUC1 overexpression induced EMT, (iv) MUC1 C-terminal domain (MUC1-C) and β-catenin increased SNAIL transcriptional activity by interaction with its promoter and (v) blocking MUC1-C nuclear localization decreased Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway activation and SNAIL expression. Altogether, our findings demonstrate that MUC1 is an actor in EMT and appears as a new therapeutic target. PMID:24384091

  19. Biotic ligand modeling approach: Synthesis of the effect of major cations on the toxicity of metals to soil and aquatic organisms.

    PubMed

    Ardestani, Masoud M; van Straalen, Nico M; van Gestel, Cornelis A M

    2015-10-01

    The biotic ligand model (BLM) approach is used to assess metal toxicity, taking into account the competition of other cations with the free metal ions for binding to the biotic ligand sites of aquatic and soil organisms. The bioavailable fraction of metals, represented by the free metal ion, is a better measure than the total concentration for assessing their potential risk to the environment. Because BLMs are relating toxicity to the fraction of biotic ligands occupied by the metal, they can be useful for investigating factors affecting metal bioaccumulation and toxicity. In the present review, the effects of major cations on the toxicity of metals to soil and aquatic organisms were comprehensively studied by performing a meta-analysis of BLM literature data. Interactions at the binding sites were shown to be species- and metal-specific. The main factors affecting the relationships between toxicity and conditional binding constants for metal binding at the biotic ligand appeared to be Ca(2+) , Mg(2+) , and protons. Other important characteristics of the exposure medium, such as levels of dissolved organic carbon and concentrations of other cations, should also be considered to obtain a proper assessment of metal toxicity to soil and aquatic organisms.

  20. Biotic ligand modeling approach: Synthesis of the effect of major cations on the toxicity of metals to soil and aquatic organisms.

    PubMed

    Ardestani, Masoud M; van Straalen, Nico M; van Gestel, Cornelis A M

    2015-10-01

    The biotic ligand model (BLM) approach is used to assess metal toxicity, taking into account the competition of other cations with the free metal ions for binding to the biotic ligand sites of aquatic and soil organisms. The bioavailable fraction of metals, represented by the free metal ion, is a better measure than the total concentration for assessing their potential risk to the environment. Because BLMs are relating toxicity to the fraction of biotic ligands occupied by the metal, they can be useful for investigating factors affecting metal bioaccumulation and toxicity. In the present review, the effects of major cations on the toxicity of metals to soil and aquatic organisms were comprehensively studied by performing a meta-analysis of BLM literature data. Interactions at the binding sites were shown to be species- and metal-specific. The main factors affecting the relationships between toxicity and conditional binding constants for metal binding at the biotic ligand appeared to be Ca(2+) , Mg(2+) , and protons. Other important characteristics of the exposure medium, such as levels of dissolved organic carbon and concentrations of other cations, should also be considered to obtain a proper assessment of metal toxicity to soil and aquatic organisms. PMID:25953362

  1. Electric versus hydraulic drives

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1983-01-01

    This volume records the proceedings of a conference organised by the Engineering Manufacturing Industries Division of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Topics considered include high performance position control - a review of the current state of developments; hydrostatic drives - present and future; electric drives - present and future trends; electrical and hydraulic drives for heavy industrial robots; the development of an electro-mechanical tilt system for the advanced passenger train; industrial hydraulic ring mains - effective or efficient. the comparison of performance of servo feed-drive systems; overhead crane drives; the future of d.c. servodrives; the choice of actuator for military systems; linear electro-hydraulic actuators; and actuation for industrial robots.

  2. A Report on the Methods to Associate Variations in Aquatic Biotic Condition to Variations in Stressors

    EPA Science Inventory

    In this report we present examples of methods that we have used to explore associations between aquatic biotic condition and stressors in two different aquatic systems: estuaries and lakes. We review metrics and indices of biotic condition in lakes and estuaries; discuss some ph...

  3. The Biotic Indexing of Water Quality and Its Application to Field Work in Schools and Colleges.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dale, C. R.

    1980-01-01

    Discussed is the biotic indexing of water quality and its application to A-level field work with reference to the Trent Biotic Index and Chandler Score system. These indices are related to the classification of water quality used by the Department of the Environment. Interpretations and limitations of the indices are discussed. (Author/DS)

  4. Water mass interaction in the confluence zone of the Daning River and the Yangtze River--a driving force for algal growth in the Three Gorges Reservoir.

    PubMed

    Holbach, Andreas; Wang, Lijing; Chen, Hao; Hu, Wei; Schleicher, Nina; Zheng, Binghui; Norra, Stefan

    2013-10-01

    Increasing eutrophication and algal bloom events in the Yangtze River Three Gorges Reservoir, China, are widely discussed with regard to changed hydrodynamics and nutrient transport and distribution processes. Insights into water exchange and interaction processes between water masses related to large-scale water level fluctuations in the reservoir are crucial to understand water quality and eutrophication dynamics. Therefore, confluence zones of tributaries with the Yangtze River main stream are dedicated key interfaces. In this study, water quality data were recorded in situ and on-line in varying depths with the MINIBAT towed underwater multi-sensor system in the confluence zone of the Daning River and the Yangtze River close to Wushan City during 1 week in August 2011. Geostatistical evaluation of the water quality data was performed, and results were compared to phosphorus contents of selective water samples. The strongly rising water level throughout the measurement period caused Yangtze River water masses to flow upstream into the tributary and supply their higher nutrient and particulate loads into the tributary water body. Rapid algal growth and sedimentation occurred immediately when hydrodynamic conditions in the confluence zone became more serene again. Consequently, water from the Yangtze River main stream can play a key role in providing nutrients to the algal bloom stricken water bodies of its tributaries.

  5. The nucleotide exchange factor MGE exerts a key function in the ATP-dependent cycle of mt-Hsp70-Tim44 interaction driving mitochondrial protein import.

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, H C; Westermann, B; Neupert, W; Brunner, M

    1996-01-01

    Import of preproteins into the mitochondrial matrix is driven by the ATP-dependent interaction of mt-Hsp70 with the peripheral inner membrane import protein Tim44 and the preprotein in transit. We show that Mge1p, a co-chaperone of mt-Hsp70, plays a key role in the ATP-dependent import reaction cycle in yeast. Our data suggest a cycle in which the mt-Hsp70-Tim44 complex forms with ATP: Mge1p promotes assembly of the complex in the presence of ATP. Hydrolysis of ATP by mt-Hsp70 occurs in complex with Tim44. Mge1p is then required for the dissociation of the ADP form of mt-Hsp70 from Tim44 after release of inorganic phosphate but before release of ADP. ATP hydrolysis and complex dissociation are accompanied by tight binding of mt-Hsp70 to the preprotein in transit. Subsequently, the release of mt-Hsp70 from the polypeptide chain is triggered by Mge1p which promotes release of ADP from mt-Hsp70. Rebinding of ATP to mt-Hsp70 completes the reaction cycle. Images PMID:8918457

  6. Drill drive mechanism

    DOEpatents

    Dressel, Michael O.

    1979-01-01

    A drill drive mechanism is especially adapted to provide both rotational drive and axial feed for a drill of substantial diameter such as may be used for drilling holes for roof bolts in mine shafts. The drill shaft is made with a helical pattern of scroll-like projections on its surface for removal of cuttings. The drill drive mechanism includes a plurality of sprockets carrying two chains of drive links which are arranged to interlock around the drill shaft with each drive link having depressions which mate with the scroll-like projections. As the chain links move upwardly or downwardly the surfaces of the depressions in the links mate with the scroll projections to move the shaft axially. Tangs on the drive links mate with notch surfaces between scroll projections to provide a means for rotating the shaft. Projections on the drive links mate together at the center to hold the drive links tightly around the drill shaft. The entire chain drive mechanism is rotated around the drill shaft axis by means of a hydraulic motor and gear drive to cause rotation of the drill shaft. This gear drive also connects with a differential gearset which is interconnected with a second gear. A second motor is connected to the spider shaft of the differential gearset to produce differential movement (speeds) at the output gears of the differential gearset. This differential in speed is utilized to drive said second gear at a speed different from the speed of said gear drive, this speed differential being utilized to drive said sprockets for axial movement of said drill shaft.

  7. Interactions between Adipocytes and Breast Cancer Cells Stimulate Cytokine Production and Drive Src/Sox2/miR-302b-Mediated Malignant Progression.

    PubMed

    Picon-Ruiz, Manuel; Pan, Chendong; Drews-Elger, Katherine; Jang, Kibeom; Besser, Alexandra H; Zhao, Dekuang; Morata-Tarifa, Cynthia; Kim, Minsoon; Ince, Tan A; Azzam, Diana J; Wander, Seth A; Wang, Bin; Ergonul, Burcu; Datar, Ram H; Cote, Richard J; Howard, Guy A; El-Ashry, Dorraya; Torné-Poyatos, Pablo; Marchal, Juan A; Slingerland, Joyce M

    2016-01-15

    Consequences of the obesity epidemic on cancer morbidity and mortality are not fully appreciated. Obesity is a risk factor for many cancers, but the mechanisms by which it contributes to cancer development and patient outcome have yet to be fully elucidated. Here, we examined the effects of coculturing human-derived adipocytes with established and primary breast cancer cells on tumorigenic potential. We found that the interaction between adipocytes and cancer cells increased the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines. Prolonged culture of cancer cells with adipocytes or cytokines increased the proportion of mammosphere-forming cells and of cells expressing stem-like markers in vitro. Furthermore, contact with immature adipocytes increased the abundance of cancer cells with tumor-forming and metastatic potential in vivo. Mechanistic investigations demonstrated that cancer cells cultured with immature adipocytes or cytokines activated Src, thus promoting Sox2, c-Myc, and Nanog upregulation. Moreover, Sox2-dependent induction of miR-302b further stimulated cMYC and SOX2 expression and potentiated the cytokine-induced cancer stem cell-like properties. Finally, we found that Src inhibitors decreased cytokine production after coculture, indicating that Src is not only activated by adipocyte or cytokine exposures, but is also required to sustain cytokine induction. These data support a model in which cancer cell invasion into local fat would establish feed-forward loops to activate Src, maintain proinflammatory cytokine production, and increase tumor-initiating cell abundance and metastatic progression. Collectively, our findings reveal new insights underlying increased breast cancer mortality in obese individuals and provide a novel preclinical rationale to test the efficacy of Src inhibitors for breast cancer treatment.

  8. The modality of cell-particle interactions drives the toxicity of nanosized CuO and TiO₂ in human alveolar epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Moschini, Elisa; Gualtieri, Maurizio; Colombo, Miriam; Fascio, Umberto; Camatini, Marina; Mantecca, Paride

    2013-10-24

    Metal oxide NPs are abundantly produced in nanotech industries and are emitted in several combustion processes, suggesting the need to characterize their toxic impact on the human respiratory system. The acute toxicity and the morphological changes induced by copper oxide and titanium dioxide NPs (nCuO and nTiO₂) on the human alveolar cell line A549 are here investigated. Cell viability and oxidative stress have been studied in parallel with NP internalization and cell ultrastructural modifications. TiO₂ NPs were abundantly internalized by cells through the endocytic pathway, even they did not induce cell death and ultrastructural lesions. Only after 24h cells were affected by an abundant NP internalization presenting a consequent altered morphology. High cytotoxicity, oxidative stress and severe ultrastructural damages were produced by nCuO, since cell membrane and mitochondria resulted to be heavily affected, even at early exposure time. nCuO-induced toxicity has been interpreted as a consequence of both NPs reactivity and copper ions dissolution in lysosomal compartments, even the free NPs, scattered throughout all the cell compartments, might contribute to the toxicity. The antioxidant N-acetylcysteine was effective in recovering nCuO exposed cells viability and Bafilomycin A1 inhibited copper ions release in phagolysosomes and significantly rescued cells, suggesting a relevant cytotoxic mechanism relative to oxidative damages and authophagic cell death, together with NP internalization and dissolution. Our results support the previous data reporting CuO NPs are highly cytotoxic and genotoxic, and associate their toxic effects with their cell penetration and interaction with various compartments. In conclusion, the so-called "Trojan horse" mechanism and autophagy, are involved in nCuO-induced cell death, even a further research is needed to explain the events occurring at early exposure time. PMID:23906720

  9. Associations between Ectomycorrhizal Fungi and Bacterial Needle Endophytes in Pinus radiata: Implications for Biotic Selection of Microbial Communities

    PubMed Central

    Rúa, Megan A.; Wilson, Emily C.; Steele, Sarah; Munters, Arielle R.; Hoeksema, Jason D.; Frank, Anna C.

    2016-01-01

    Studies of the ecological and evolutionary relationships between plants and their associated microbes have long been focused on single microbes, or single microbial guilds, but in reality, plants associate with a diverse array of microbes from a varied set of guilds. As such, multitrophic interactions among plant-associated microbes from multiple guilds represent an area of developing research, and can reveal how complex microbial communities are structured around plants. Interactions between coniferous plants and their associated microbes provide a good model system for such studies, as conifers host a suite of microorganisms including mutualistic ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi and foliar bacterial endophytes. To investigate the potential role ECM fungi play in structuring foliar bacterial endophyte communities, we sampled three isolated, native populations of Monterey pine (Pinus radiata), and used constrained analysis of principal coordinates to relate the community matrices of the ECM fungi and bacterial endophytes. Our results suggest that ECM fungi may be important factors for explaining variation in bacterial endophyte communities but this effect is influenced by population and environmental characteristics, emphasizing the potential importance of other factors — biotic or abiotic — in determining the composition of bacterial communities. We also classified ECM fungi into categories based on known fungal traits associated with substrate exploration and nutrient mobilization strategies since variation in these traits allows the fungi to acquire nutrients across a wide range of abiotic conditions and may influence the outcome of multi-species interactions. Across populations and environmental factors, none of the traits associated with fungal foraging strategy types significantly structured bacterial assemblages, suggesting these ECM fungal traits are not important for understanding endophyte-ECM interactions. Overall, our results suggest that both biotic

  10. Associations between Ectomycorrhizal Fungi and Bacterial Needle Endophytes in Pinus radiata: Implications for Biotic Selection of Microbial Communities.

    PubMed

    Rúa, Megan A; Wilson, Emily C; Steele, Sarah; Munters, Arielle R; Hoeksema, Jason D; Frank, Anna C

    2016-01-01

    Studies of the ecological and evolutionary relationships between plants and their associated microbes have long been focused on single microbes, or single microbial guilds, but in reality, plants associate with a diverse array of microbes from a varied set of guilds. As such, multitrophic interactions among plant-associated microbes from multiple guilds represent an area of developing research, and can reveal how complex microbial communities are structured around plants. Interactions between coniferous plants and their associated microbes provide a good model system for such studies, as conifers host a suite of microorganisms including mutualistic ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi and foliar bacterial endophytes. To investigate the potential role ECM fungi play in structuring foliar bacterial endophyte communities, we sampled three isolated, native populations of Monterey pine (Pinus radiata), and used constrained analysis of principal coordinates to relate the community matrices of the ECM fungi and bacterial endophytes. Our results suggest that ECM fungi may be important factors for explaining variation in bacterial endophyte communities but this effect is influenced by population and environmental characteristics, emphasizing the potential importance of other factors - biotic or abiotic - in determining the composition of bacterial communities. We also classified ECM fungi into categories based on known fungal traits associated with substrate exploration and nutrient mobilization strategies since variation in these traits allows the fungi to acquire nutrients across a wide range of abiotic conditions and may influence the outcome of multi-species interactions. Across populations and environmental factors, none of the traits associated with fungal foraging strategy types significantly structured bacterial assemblages, suggesting these ECM fungal traits are not important for understanding endophyte-ECM interactions. Overall, our results suggest that both biotic species

  11. What is really driving cell-surface interactions? Layer-by-layer assembled films may help to answer questions concerning cell attachment and response to biomaterials.

    PubMed

    Sergeeva, Yulia N; Huang, Tongtong; Felix, Olivier; Jung, Laura; Tropel, Philippe; Viville, Stephane; Decher, Gero

    2016-03-10

    Layer-by-layer (LbL) assembled multicomponent films offer the opportunity to control and to fine-tune cell attachment and behavior on solid surfaces [Layer-by-Layer Films for Biomedical Applications, edited by Picart et al. (Wiley, Weinheim, 2014) and El-Khouri et al., "Multifunctional layer-by-layer architectures for biological applications," in Functional Polymeric Ultrathin Films, edited by Advincula and Knoll (Wiley, Weinheim, 2011), Vol. 1]. At the same time, these films allow for quite detailed physicochemical characterization of static and dynamic surface properties that are typically not available in classic cell culture. In this report, the authors investigate cell adhesion and cytocompatibility of compositionally and morphologically similar thin films composed of oppositely charged synthetic or natural polyelectrolytes in which different physical parameters such as surface charge or water content are varied through chemical composition and deposition conditions. Human adult dermal fibroblasts were chosen as a model because of the need for chemically defined matrix in the field of primary cell amplification. The growth and the stability of the multilayer films in the incubation media were studied dissipation-enhanced quartz crystal micobalance (QCM-D) and ellipsometry. The QCM-D signals observed during the film deposition were analyzed qualitatively to estimate the viscoelastic properties of the films. The authors used contact angle measurements with water to study the contribution of the chemical functionalities to wetting behavior of the films. Most importantly, they also studied the interaction of the films with serum components. Our results underline that cell adhesion is a highly complex process which is not only governed by the functionality of a surface but also by its morphology, its affinity for serum components, and also by changes of surface properties brought about by adsorbing molecules. Of the many LbL-films tested, poly(4-styrenesulfonate

  12. What is really driving cell-surface interactions? Layer-by-layer assembled films may help to answer questions concerning cell attachment and response to biomaterials.

    PubMed

    Sergeeva, Yulia N; Huang, Tongtong; Felix, Olivier; Jung, Laura; Tropel, Philippe; Viville, Stephane; Decher, Gero

    2016-06-01

    Layer-by-layer (LbL) assembled multicomponent films offer the opportunity to control and to fine-tune cell attachment and behavior on solid surfaces [Layer-by-Layer Films for Biomedical Applications, edited by Picart et al. (Wiley, Weinheim, 2014) and El-Khouri et al., "Multifunctional layer-by-layer architectures for biological applications," in Functional Polymeric Ultrathin Films, edited by Advincula and Knoll (Wiley, Weinheim, 2011), Vol. 1]. At the same time, these films allow for quite detailed physicochemical characterization of static and dynamic surface properties that are typically not available in classic cell culture. In this report, the authors investigate cell adhesion and cytocompatibility of compositionally and morphologically similar thin films composed of oppositely charged synthetic or natural polyelectrolytes in which different physical parameters such as surface charge or water content are varied through chemical composition and deposition conditions. Human adult dermal fibroblasts were chosen as a model because of the need for chemically defined matrix in the field of primary cell amplification. The growth and the stability of the multilayer films in the incubation media were studied dissipation-enhanced quartz crystal micobalance (QCM-D) and ellipsometry. The QCM-D signals observed during the film deposition were analyzed qualitatively to estimate the viscoelastic properties of the films. The authors used contact angle measurements with water to study the contribution of the chemical functionalities to wetting behavior of the films. Most importantly, they also studied the interaction of the films with serum components. Our results underline that cell adhesion is a highly complex process which is not only governed by the functionality of a surface but also by its morphology, its affinity for serum components, and also by changes of surface properties brought about by adsorbing molecules. Of the many LbL-films tested, poly(4-styrenesulfonate

  13. Evidence for biotic controls on topography and soil production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roering, Joshua J.; Marshall, Jill; Booth, Adam M.; Mort, Michele; Jin, Qusheng

    2010-09-01

    The complex interplay of biological, physical, and chemical processes in pedogenesis and hillslope evolution limits our ability to predict and interpret landscape dynamics. Here, we synthesize a suite of observations from the steep, forested Oregon Coast Range to analyze the role of trees in topographic modification and bedrock-to-soil conversion. Using topographic data derived from airborne lidar, we demonstrate that the topographic signature of forest-driven soil and bedrock disturbance is pervasive. For length scales greater than 7.5 m, the land surface is defined by ridge-valley landforms, whereas smaller scales are dominated by pit-mound features generated by the turnover of large coniferous trees. From field surveys, the volume of bedrock incorporated in overturned rootwads increases rapidly with diameter for large conifers, reflecting the highly nonlinear increase in root biomass with tree diameter. Because trees younger than 60 years detach negligible bedrock, short timber harvest intervals may limit the extent to which root systems penetrate bedrock and facilitate bedrock fracturing and biogeochemical weathering. Using ground-penetrating radar, we show that the rootwads of large trees root achieve substantial penetration (1-3 m) into shallow bedrock. The radar transects also reveal that variations in soil thickness have characteristic length scales of 1 to 5 m, consistent with the scale of large rootwads, indicating that both the landscape surface and soil-bedrock interface exhibit a biogenic imprint. In our study area, the residence time of bedrock within dense rooting zones directly below large trees is similar to the time required for trees to occupy the entire forest floor through multiple cycles of forest succession, suggesting that biological modification of shallow bedrock is ubiquitous. Given increases in erosion rate, the ability of roots to initiate soil production may decline as bedrock exhumation through the biotic zone is rapid relative to the

  14. Carbon isotopic fractionation of CFCs during abiotic and biotic degradation.

    PubMed

    Archbold, Marie E; Elliot, Trevor; Kalin, Robert M

    2012-02-01

    Carbon stable isotope ((13)C) fractionation in chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) compounds arising from abiotic (chemical) degradation using zero-valent iron (ZVI) and biotic (landfill gas attenuation) processes is investigated. Batch tests (at 25 °C) for CFC-113 and CFC-11 using ZVI show quantitative degradation of CFC-113 to HCFC-123a and CFC-1113 following pseudo-first-order kinetics corresponding to a half-life (τ(1/2)) of 20.5 h, and a ZVI surface-area normalized rate constant (k(SA)) of -(9.8 ± 0.5) × 10(-5) L m(-2) h(-1). CFC-11 degraded to trace HCFC-21 and HCFC-31 following pseudo-first-order kinetics corresponding to τ(1/2) = 17.3 h and k(SA) = -(1.2 ± 0.5) × 10(-4) L m(-2) h(-1). Significant kinetic isotope effects of ε(‰) = -5.0 ± 0.3 (CFC-113) and -17.8 ± 4.8 (CFC-11) were observed. Compound-specific carbon isotope analyses also have been used here to characterize source signatures of CFC gases (HCFC-22, CFC-12, HFC-134a, HCFC-142b, CFC-114, CFC-11, CFC-113) for urban (UAA), rural/remote (RAA), and landfill (LAA) ambient air samples, as well as in situ surface flux chamber (FLUX; NO FLUX) and landfill gas (LFG) samples at the Dargan Road site, Northern Ireland. The latter values reflect biotic degradation and isotopic fractionation in LFG production, and local atmospheric impact of landfill emissions through the cover. Isotopic fractionations of Δ(13)C ∼ -13‰ (HCFC-22), Δ(13)C ∼ -35‰ (CFC-12) and Δ(13)C ∼ -15‰ (CFC-11) were observed for LFG in comparison to characteristic solvent source signatures, with the magnitude of the isotopic effect for CFC-11 apparently similar to the kinetic isotope effect for (abiotic) ZVI degradation. PMID:22191586

  15. Lectures on magnetohydrodynamical drives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loigom, Villem

    The paper deals with nonconventional types of electrical machines and drives - magnetohydrodynamical (MHD) machines and drives. In cardinal it is based on the research conducted with participation of the author in Tallinn Technical University at the Institute of Electrical Drives and Power Electronics, where the use of magnetohydrodynamical motors and drives in the metallurgical and casting industries have been studied for a long time. Major research interests include the qualities and applications of the induction MHD-drives for set in the motion (pumping, turning, dosing, mixing, etc.) non-ferrous molten metals like Al, Mg, Sn, Pb, Na, K, and their alloys. The first part of the paper describes induction MHD motors and their electrohydraulical qualities. In the second part energy conversion problems are described. Also, on the basis of the analogy between electromechanical and electrohydraulical phenomenas, static and dynamic qualities of MHD drives with induction MHD machines are discussed.

  16. Superluminal warp drive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González-Díaz, Pedro F.

    2007-09-01

    In this Letter we consider a warp drive spacetime resulting from that suggested by Alcubierre when the spaceship can only travel faster than light. Restricting to the two dimensions that retains most of the physics, we derive the thermodynamic properties of the warp drive and show that the temperature of the spaceship rises up as its apparent velocity increases. We also find that the warp drive spacetime can be exhibited in a manifestly cosmological form.

  17. Diabetes and driving.

    PubMed

    Inkster, B; Frier, B M

    2013-09-01

    The principal safety concern for driving for people treated with insulin or insulin secretagogues is hypoglycaemia, which impairs driving performance. Other complications, such as those causing visual impairment and peripheral neuropathy, are also relevant to medical fitness to drive. Case control studies have suggested that drivers with diabetes pose a modestly increased but acceptable and measurable risk of motor vehicle accidents compared to non-diabetic drivers, but many studies are limited and of poor quality. Factors which have been shown to increase driving risk include previous episodes of severe hypoglycaemia, previous hypoglycaemia while driving, strict glycaemic control (lower HbA1c) and absence of blood glucose monitoring before driving. Impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia may be counteracted by frequent blood glucose testing. The European Union Third directive on driving (2006) has necessitated changes in statutory regulations for driving licences for people with diabetes in all European States, including the UK. Stricter criteria have been introduced for Group 1 vehicle licences while those for Group 2 licences have been relaxed. Insulin-treated drivers can now apply to drive Group 2 vehicles, but in the UK must meet very strict criteria and be assessed by an independent specialist to be issued with a 1-year licence. PMID:23350766

  18. Relationship between bacterial diversity and function under biotic control: the soil pesticide degraders as a case study

    PubMed Central

    Monard, Cécile; Vandenkoornhuyse, Philippe; Le Bot, Barbara; Binet, Françoise

    2011-01-01

    In soil, the way biotic parameters impact the relationship between bacterial diversity and function is still unknown. To understand these interactions better, we used RNA-based stable-isotope probing to study the diversity of active atrazine-degrading bacteria in relation to atrazine degradation and to explore the impact of earthworm-soil engineering with respect to this relationship. Bulk soil, burrow linings and earthworm casts were incubated with 13C-atrazine. The pollutant degradation was quantified by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry for 8 days, whereas active atrazine degraders were identified at 2 and 8 days by sequencing the 16S ribosomal RNA in the 13C-RNA fractions from the three soil microsites. An original diversity of atrazine degraders was found. Earthworm soil engineering greatly modified the taxonomic composition of atrazine degraders with dominance of α-, β- and γ-proteobacteria in burrow linings and of Actinobacteria in casts. Earthworm soil bioturbation increased the γ-diversity of atrazine degraders over the soil microsites generated. Atrazine degradation was enhanced in burrow linings in which primary atrazine degraders, closely related to Pelomonas aquatica, were detected only 2 days after atrazine addition. Atrazine degradation efficiency was not linearly related to the species richness of degraders but likely relied on keystone species. By enhancing soil heterogeneity, earthworms sustained high phylogenetic bacterial diversity and exerted a biotic control on the bacterial diversity–function relationships. Our findings call for future investigations to assess the ecological significance of biotic controls on the relationships between diversity and function on ecosystem properties and services (for example, soil detoxification) at larger scales. PMID:21160539

  19. The Evolutionary Ecology of Biotic Association in a Megadiverse Bivalve Superfamily: Sponsorship Required for Permanent Residency in Sediment

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jingchun; Ó Foighil, Diarmaid; Middelfart, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Background Marine lineage diversification is shaped by the interaction of biotic and abiotic factors but our understanding of their relative roles is underdeveloped. The megadiverse bivalve superfamily Galeommatoidea represents a promising study system to address this issue. It is composed of small-bodied clams that are either free-living or have commensal associations with invertebrate hosts. To test if the evolution of this lifestyle dichotomy is correlated with specific ecologies, we have performed a statistical analysis on the lifestyle and habitat preference of 121 species based on 90 source documents. Methodology/Principal Findings Galeommatoidea has significant diversity in the two primary benthic habitats: hard- and soft-bottoms. Hard-bottom dwellers are overwhelmingly free-living, typically hidden within crevices of rocks/coral heads/encrusting epifauna. In contrast, species in soft-bottom habitats are almost exclusively infaunal commensals. These infaunal biotic associations may involve direct attachment to a host, or clustering around its tube/burrow, but all commensals locate within the oxygenated sediment envelope produced by the host’s bioturbation. Conclusions/Significance The formation of commensal associations by galeommatoidean clams is robustly correlated with an abiotic environmental setting: living in sediments (). Sediment-dwelling bivalves are exposed to intense predation pressure that drops markedly with depth of burial. Commensal galeommatoideans routinely attain depth refuges many times their body lengths, independent of siphonal investment, by virtue of their host’s burrowing and bioturbation. In effect, they use their much larger hosts as giant auto-irrigating siphon substitutes. The evolution of biotic associations with infaunal bioturbating hosts may have been a prerequisite for the diversification of Galeommatoidea in sediments and has likely been a key factor in the success of this exceptionally diverse bivalve superfamily. PMID

  20. Relationship between bacterial diversity and function under biotic control: the soil pesticide degraders as a case study.

    PubMed

    Monard, Cécile; Vandenkoornhuyse, Philippe; Le Bot, Barbara; Binet, Françoise

    2011-06-01

    In soil, the way biotic parameters impact the relationship between bacterial diversity and function is still unknown. To understand these interactions better, we used RNA-based stable-isotope probing to study the diversity of active atrazine-degrading bacteria in relation to atrazine degradation and to explore the impact of earthworm-soil engineering with respect to this relationship. Bulk soil, burrow linings and earthworm casts were incubated with (13)C-atrazine. The pollutant degradation was quantified by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry for 8 days, whereas active atrazine degraders were identified at 2 and 8 days by sequencing the 16S ribosomal RNA in the (13)C-RNA fractions from the three soil microsites. An original diversity of atrazine degraders was found. Earthworm soil engineering greatly modified the taxonomic composition of atrazine degraders with dominance of α-, β- and γ-proteobacteria in burrow linings and of Actinobacteria in casts. Earthworm soil bioturbation increased the γ-diversity of atrazine degraders over the soil microsites generated. Atrazine degradation was enhanced in burrow linings in which primary atrazine degraders, closely related to Pelomonas aquatica, were detected only 2 days after atrazine addition. Atrazine degradation efficiency was not linearly related to the species richness of degraders but likely relied on keystone species. By enhancing soil heterogeneity, earthworms sustained high phylogenetic bacterial diversity and exerted a biotic control on the bacterial diversity-function relationships. Our findings call for future investigations to assess the ecological significance of biotic controls on the relationships between diversity and function on ecosystem properties and services (for example, soil detoxification) at larger scales.

  1. Commercial Truck Driver Health and Safety: Exploring Distracted Driving Performance and Self-Reported Driving Skill.

    PubMed

    Stavrinos, Despina; Heaton, Karen; Welburn, Sharon C; McManus, Benjamin; Griffin, Russell; Fine, Philip R

    2016-08-01

    Reducing distracters detrimental to commercial truck driving is a critical component of improving the safety performance of commercial drivers, and makes the highways safer for all drivers. This study used a driving simulator to examine effects of cell phone, texting, and email distractions as well as self-reported driver optimism bias on the driving performance of commercial truck drivers. Results revealed that more visually demanding tasks were related to poorer driving performance. However, the cell phone task resulted in less off-the-road eye glances. Drivers reporting being "very skilled" displayed poorer driving performance than those reporting being "skilled." Onboard communication devices provide a practical, yet visually and manually demanding, solution for connecting drivers and dispatchers. Trucking company policies should minimize interaction between dispatchers and drivers when the truck is in motion. Training facilities should integrate driving simulators into the instruction of commercial drivers, targeting over-confident drivers. PMID:26809775

  2. Commercial Truck Driver Health and Safety: Exploring Distracted Driving Performance and Self-Reported Driving Skill.

    PubMed

    Stavrinos, Despina; Heaton, Karen; Welburn, Sharon C; McManus, Benjamin; Griffin, Russell; Fine, Philip R

    2016-08-01

    Reducing distracters detrimental to commercial truck driving is a critical component of improving the safety performance of commercial drivers, and makes the highways safer for all drivers. This study used a driving simulator to examine effects of cell phone, texting, and email distractions as well as self-reported driver optimism bias on the driving performance of commercial truck drivers. Results revealed that more visually demanding tasks were related to poorer driving performance. However, the cell phone task resulted in less off-the-road eye glances. Drivers reporting being "very skilled" displayed poorer driving performance than those reporting being "skilled." Onboard communication devices provide a practical, yet visually and manually demanding, solution for connecting drivers and dispatchers. Trucking company policies should minimize interaction between dispatchers and drivers when the truck is in motion. Training facilities should integrate driving simulators into the instruction of commercial drivers, targeting over-confident drivers.

  3. Biotic control of water use efficiency across global terrestrial ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Zhongmin; Yu, Guirui; Li, Shenggong; Sun, Xiaomin

    2016-04-01

    Ecosystem water use efficiency (WUE) is an important index to clarifying the coupling between ecosystem carbon and water cycle, and it also act as an emergent constraint for land models. Although many attempts have been made to address the spatial and temporal variations in ecosystem WUE, little is known about the underlying controlling mechanisms. In this study, we investigated the spatial pattern of WUE across 81 Fluxnet sites. Further, with a partitioning approach, we presented a framework to clarify the processes affecting the spatial variations in WUE. With the framework, our results indicate that biotic factors, i.e., leaf area index (LAI) and canopy level Ci/Ca are the key factors dominating the spatial pattern of WUE. Our results also reveal that the relative contributions of LAI and Ci/Ca to WUE vary under conditions with different magnitudes of water vapor deficit and degrees of the coupling between canopy and atmosphere. Finally, we compared the spatial pattern of WUE estimated with five land models and eddy covariance measurements. We found that some models failed to capture the key process affecting WUE and hence cannot reproduce the general spatial pattern of WUE.

  4. Biotic elicitors effectively increase the glucosinolates content in Brassicaceae sprouts.

    PubMed

    Baenas, Nieves; García-Viguera, Cristina; Moreno, Diego A

    2014-02-26

    Several biotic elicitors have been used in Brassicaceae species to enhance their phytochemical quality. However, there is no comparison between elicitors under controlled growth conditions. In order to draw general conclusions about the use of elicitors to enrich ready-to-eat sprouts in health-promoting glucosinolates, the aim of this study was to unveil the effect of the phytohormones methyl jasmonate (25 μM), jasmonic acid (150 μM), and salicylic acid (100 μM), the oligosaccharides glucose (277 mM) and sucrose (146 mM), and the amino acid dl-methionine (5 mM) as elicitors over 8-day sprouting Brassica oleraceae (broccoli), Brassica napus (rutabaga cabbage), Brassica rapa (turnip), and Raphanus sativus (China rose radish and red radish), representative species high in glucosinolates previously studied. Results indicated that the phytohormones methyl jasmonate and jasmonic acid and the sugars acted as effective elicitors, increasing the total glucosinolate contents of the sprouts, particularly, glucoraphanin (from 183 to 294 mg·100 g(-1) in MeJA-treated broccoli sprouts), glucoraphenin (from 33 to 124 mg·100 g(-1) and from 167 to 227 mg·100 g(-1) in MeJA-treated China rose radish and red radish, respectively), and glucobrassicin (from 23.4 to 91.0 mg·100 g(-1) and from 29.6 to 186 mg·100 g(-1) in MeJA-treated turnip and rutabaga sprouts, respectively).

  5. Biotic and abiotic mercury methylation and demethylation in sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, L.; Planas, D. )

    1994-05-01

    Inorganic mercury (Hg(II)) methylation and methylmercury (MeHg) demethylation may occur in the water column, sediment-water interface and subsurficial sediment of aquatic ecosystems. These transformations involve mainly microbial mechanisms, although abiotic methylation may play a more important role in the water compartment. The relative importance of biotic versus abiotic mechanisms of methylation has not been determined however, and abiotic demethylation remains unknown. Little quantitative information is available on the role of bacterial activity in mercury transformations. It has been reported that at least 16 genera of aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms are able to methylate HG(II), and that a greater number are able to demethylate MeHg. Nevertheless, not all populations of these species are capable of methyl- and demethyl-transformations. The actual concentration of MeHg in the aquatic environment is regulated by the relative production and decomposition rates. This, in turn, depends on the availability of Hg(II), MeHg, and bacteria as well as on the physico-chemical properties of the sample. The objective of this study was to compare mercury methylation and demethylation rates in sediment samples with and without active bacterial populations. We therefore performed experiments to follow bacterial evolution during the course of Hg(II) methylation and MeHg demethylation in sediment slurries containing both sterile and non-sterile sediments.

  6. Paleosol formation during the Early Triassic Biotic Crisis in Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knies, Jochen; Müller, Axel; Zwingmann, Horst; Fredin, Ola; Brönner, Marco; Viola, Giulio

    2016-04-01

    Fractured and kaolinite weathered basement rocks have been discovered in various wells off the Norwegian coast and inferences on timing, source to sink relationships, and environmental implications have been widely discussed. The reason for the kaolitinization has often been related to intensive chemical weathering during late Triassic to early Jurassic times. Chronological control has primarily been inferred from the overlying late Jurassic/early Cretaceous marine transgression and poorly constrained K-Ar datings from weathered basement onshore as well as climate conditions favourable for kaolinite formation. In this study, we present evidence that the deeply weathered basement off the mid-Norwegian coast represent a complete paleosol profile. Quartz geochemical fingerprinting indicate that transgressional marine inorganic sediments of late Jurassic age are derived from the paleosols. Whole-rock XRD analysis suggests characteristic mineral alteration zones topped with a kaolinite-Fe-oxyhyroxide zones composed of >80% kaolinite. Potassium feldspar is practically absent in the uppermost kaolinitic zones. Mass-balance changes show significant depletion-enrichment trends. Applying potassium/argon (K/Ar) geochronology on authigenic illite clay that grew in-situ at the time of paleosol formation reveals a early Triassic age (~250 Ma). The age corroborates with the Early Triassic biotic crisis and suggest a causal relationship between intense chemical weathering, high atmospheric CO2 concentration, extreme ocean warming, increased riverine flux of nutrients and widespread anoxia/euxinia on adjacent epicontinental seas.

  7. Lessons from the past: Biotic recoveries from mass extinctions

    PubMed Central

    Erwin, Douglas H.

    2001-01-01

    Although mass extinctions probably account for the disappearance of less than 5% of all extinct species, the evolutionary opportunities they have created have had a disproportionate effect on the history of life. Theoretical considerations and simulations have suggested that the empty niches created by a mass extinction should refill rapidly after extinction ameliorates. Under logistic models, this biotic rebound should be exponential, slowing as the environmental carrying capacity is approached. Empirical studies reveal a more complex dynamic, including positive feedback and an exponential growth phase during recoveries. Far from a model of refilling ecospace, mass extinctions appear to cause a collapse of ecospace, which must be rebuilt during recovery. Other generalities include the absence of a clear correlation between the magnitude of extinction and the pace of recovery or the resulting ecological and evolutionary disruption the presence of a survival interval, with few originations, immediately after an extinction and preceding the recovery phase, and the presence of many lineages that persist through an extinction event only to disappear during the subsequent recovery. Several recoveries include numerous missing lineages, groups that are found before the extinction, then latter in the recovery, but are missing during the initial survival–recovery phase. The limited biogeographic studies of recoveries suggest considerable variability between regions. PMID:11344285

  8. Understanding Organics in Meteorites and the Pre-Biotic Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zare, Richard N.

    2003-01-01

    (1) Refinement of the analytic capabilities of our experiment via characterization of molecule-specific response and the effects upon analysis of the type of sample under investigation; (2) Measurement of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) with high sensitivity and spatial resolution within extraterrestrial samples; (3) Investigation of the interstellar reactions of PAHs via the analysis of species formed in systems modeling dust grains and ices; (4) Investigations into the potential role of PAHs in prebiotic and early biotic chemistry via photoreactions of PAHs under simulated prebiotic Earth conditions. To meet these objectives, we use microprobe laser-desorption, laser-ionization mass spectrometry (MuL(exp 2)MS), which is a sensitive, selective, and spatially resolved technique for detection of aromatic compounds. Appendix A presents a description of the MuL(exp 2)MS technique. The initial grant proposal was for a three-year funding period, while the award was given for a one-year interim period. Because of this change in time period, emphasis was shifted from the first research goal, which was more development-oriented, in order to focus more on the other analysis-oriented goals. The progress made on each of the four research areas is given below.

  9. Revisiting the Chesapeake Bay phytoplankton index of biotic integrity.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Jacqueline M; Buchanan, Claire

    2014-03-01

    In 2006, a phytoplankton index of biotic integrity (PIBI) was published for Chesapeake Bay Lacouture et al. (Estuaries 29(4):598-616, 2006). The PIBI was developed from data collected during the first 18 years (1985-2002) of the Chesapeake Bay Program long-term phytoplankton and water quality monitoring programs. Combinations of up to nine phytoplankton metrics were selected to characterize bay habitat health according to plankton community condition in spring and summer seasons across four salinity zones. The independent data available at the time for index validation was not sufficient to test the PIBI because they lacked critical index parameters (pheophytin and dissolved organic carbon) and reference samples for some seasons and salinity zones. An additional 8 years of monitoring data (2003-2010) are now available to validate the original index, reassess index performance and re-examine long-term trends in PIBI conditions in the Bay. The PIBI remains sensitive to changes in nutrient and light conditions. Evaluation of the PIBI results over the entire 1985-2010 time period shows no discernible trends in the overall health of Bay habitat based on phytoplankton community conditions. This lack of overall PIBI trend appears to be a combined response to declines in water clarity and improvements in dissolved inorganic nitrogen and dissolved phosphorus conditions in the bay.

  10. Reductive transformation of carbamazepine by abiotic and biotic processes.

    PubMed

    König, Anne; Weidauer, Cindy; Seiwert, Bettina; Reemtsma, Thorsten; Unger, Tina; Jekel, Martin

    2016-09-15

    The antiepileptic drug carbamazepine (CBZ) is ubiquitously present in the anthropogenic water cycle and is therefore of concern regarding the potable water supply. Despite of its persistent behavior in the aquatic environment, a redox dependent removal at bank filtration sites with anaerobic aquifer passage was reported repeatedly but not elucidated in detail yet. The reductive transformation of CBZ was studied, using abiotic systems (catalytic hydrogenation, electrochemistry) as well as biologically active systems (column systems, batch degradation tests). In catalytic hydrogenation CBZ is gradually hydrogenated and nine transformation products (TPs) were detected by liquid chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry. 10,11-Dihydro-CBZ ((2H)-CBZ) was the major stable product in these abiotic, surface catalyzed reduction processes and turned out to be not a precursor of the more hydrogenated TPs. In the biotic reduction processes the formation of (2H)-CBZ alone could not explain the observed CBZ decline. There, also traces of (6H)-CBZ and (8H)-CBZ were formed by microbes under anaerobic conditions and four phase-II metabolites of reduced CBZ could be detected and tentatively identified. Thus, the spectrum of reduction products of CBZ is more diverse than previously thought. In environmental samples CBZ removal along an anaerobic soil passage was confirmed and (2H)-CBZ was determined at one of the sites.

  11. H2-rich fluids from serpentinization: geochemical and biotic implications.

    PubMed

    Sleep, N H; Meibom, A; Fridriksson, Th; Coleman, R G; Bird, D K

    2004-08-31

    Metamorphic hydration and oxidation of ultramafic rocks produces serpentinites, composed of serpentine group minerals and varying amounts of brucite, magnetite, and/or FeNi alloys. These minerals buffer metamorphic fluids to extremely reducing conditions that are capable of producing hydrogen gas. Awaruite, FeNi3, forms early in this process when the serpentinite minerals are Fe-rich. Olivine with the current mantle Fe/Mg ratio was oxidized during serpentinization after the Moon-forming impact. This process formed some of the ferric iron in the Earth's mantle. For the rest of Earth's history, serpentinites covered only a small fraction of the Earth's surface but were an important prebiotic and biotic environment. Extant methanogens react H2 with CO2 to form methane. This is a likely habitable environment on large silicate planets. The catalytic properties of FeNi3 allow complex organic compounds to form within serpentinite and, when mixed with atmospherically produced complex organic matter and waters that circulated through basalts, constitutes an attractive prebiotic substrate. Conversely, inorganic catalysis of methane by FeNi3 competes with nascent and extant life.

  12. H2-rich fluids from serpentinization: Geochemical and biotic implications

    PubMed Central

    Sleep, N. H.; Meibom, A.; Fridriksson, Th.; Coleman, R. G.; Bird, D. K.

    2004-01-01

    Metamorphic hydration and oxidation of ultramafic rocks produces serpentinites, composed of serpentine group minerals and varying amounts of brucite, magnetite, and/or FeNi alloys. These minerals buffer metamorphic fluids to extremely reducing conditions that are capable of producing hydrogen gas. Awaruite, FeNi3, forms early in this process when the serpentinite minerals are Fe-rich. Olivine with the current mantle Fe/Mg ratio was oxidized during serpentinization after the Moon-forming impact. This process formed some of the ferric iron in the Earth's mantle. For the rest of Earth's history, serpentinites covered only a small fraction of the Earth's surface but were an important prebiotic and biotic environment. Extant methanogens react H2 with CO2 to form methane. This is a likely habitable environment on large silicate planets. The catalytic properties of FeNi3 allow complex organic compounds to form within serpentinite and, when mixed with atmospherically produced complex organic matter and waters that circulated through basalts, constitutes an attractive prebiotic substrate. Conversely, inorganic catalysis of methane by FeNi3 competes with nascent and extant life. PMID:15326313

  13. Neural substrates of driving behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Spiers, Hugo J.; Maguire, Eleanor A.

    2007-01-01

    Driving a vehicle is an indispensable daily behaviour for many people, yet we know little about how it is supported by the brain. Given that driving in the real world involves the engagement of many cognitive systems that rapidly change to meet varying environmental demands, identifying its neural basis presents substantial problems. By employing a unique combination of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), an accurate interactive virtual simulation of a bustling central London (UK) and a retrospective verbal report protocol, we surmounted these difficulties. We identified different events that characterise the driving process on a second by second basis and the brain regions that underlie them. Prepared actions such as starting, turning, reversing and stopping were associated with a common network comprised of premotor, parietal and cerebellar regions. Each prepared action also recruited additional brain areas. We also observed unexpected hazardous events such as swerving and avoiding collisions that were associated with activation of lateral occipital and parietal regions, insula, as well as a more posterior region in the medial premotor cortex than prepared actions. By contrast, planning future actions and monitoring fellow road users were associated with activity in superior parietal, lateral occipital cortices and the cerebellum. The anterior pre-SMA was also recruited during action planning. The right lateral prefrontal cortex was specifically engaged during the processing of road traffic rules. By systematically characterising the brain dynamics underlying naturalistic driving behaviour in a real city, our findings may have implications for how driving competence is considered in the context of neurological damage. PMID:17412611

  14. Reading Text While Driving

    PubMed Central

    Horrey, William J.; Hoffman, Joshua D.

    2015-01-01

    Objective In this study, we investigated how drivers adapt secondary-task initiation and time-sharing behavior when faced with fluctuating driving demands. Background Reading text while driving is particularly detrimental; however, in real-world driving, drivers actively decide when to perform the task. Method In a test track experiment, participants were free to decide when to read messages while driving along a straight road consisting of an area with increased driving demands (demand zone) followed by an area with low demands. A message was made available shortly before the vehicle entered the demand zone. We manipulated the type of driving demands (baseline, narrow lane, pace clock, combined), message format (no message, paragraph, parsed), and the distance from the demand zone when the message was available (near, far). Results In all conditions, drivers started reading messages (drivers’ first glance to the display) before entering or before leaving the demand zone but tended to wait longer when faced with increased driving demands. While reading messages, drivers looked more or less off road, depending on types of driving demands. Conclusions For task initiation, drivers avoid transitions from low to high demands; however, they are not discouraged when driving demands are already elevated. Drivers adjust time-sharing behavior according to driving demands while performing secondary tasks. Nonetheless, such adjustment may be less effective when total demands are high. Application This study helps us to understand a driver’s role as an active controller in the context of distracted driving and provides insights for developing distraction interventions. PMID:25850162

  15. PEO-[M(CN)5NO](x-) (M = Fe, Mn, or Cr) interaction as a driving force in the partitioning of the pentacyanonitrosylmetallate anion in ATPS: strong effect of the central atom.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Luis Henrique M; da Silva, Maria C Hespanhol; Francisco, Kelly R; Cardoso, Marcus V C; Minim, Luis A; Coimbra, Jane S R

    2008-09-18

    The partitioning behavior of pentacyanonitrosilmetallate complexes[Fe(CN) 5 NO] (2-), [Mn(CN) 5 NO] 3(-), and [Cr(CN) 5 NO] 3(-)has been studied in aqueous two-phase systems (ATPS) formed by adding poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO; 4000 g mol (-1)) to an aqueous salt solution (Li2 SO4, Na2 SO4, CuSO4, or ZnSO4). The complexes partition coefficients ( K complex) in each of these ATPS have been determined as a function of increasing tie-line length (TLL) and temperature. Unlike the partition behavior of most ions, [Fe(CN) 5 NO] 2(-) and [Mn(CN) 5 NO] 3(-) anions are concentrated in the polymer-rich phase with K values depending on the nature of the central atom as follows: K [Fe(C N) 5 NO] 2 - > K [ Mn (CN 5 NO] 3 - > K [C r (C N) 5 NO ]3 - . The effect of ATPS salts in the complex partitioning behavior has also been verified following the order Li2 SO 4 > Na2 SO 4 > ZnSO4. Thermodynamic analysis revealed that the presence of anions in the polymer-rich phase is caused by an EO-[M(CN) 5 NO] ( x- ) (M = Fe, Mn, or Cr) enthalpic interaction. However, when this enthalpic interaction is weak, as in the case of the [Cr(CN) 5 NO]3(-) anion ( K [Cr(CN 5 NO] 3 - < 1), entropic driving forces dominate the transfer process, then causing the anions to concentrate in the salt-rich phase.

  16. Ocular disease and driving.

    PubMed

    Wood, Joanne M; Black, Alex A

    2016-09-01

    As the driving population ages, the number of drivers with visual impairment resulting from ocular disease will increase given the age-related prevalence of ocular disease. The increase in visual impairment in the driving population has a number of implications for driving outcomes. This review summarises current research regarding the impact of common ocular diseases on driving ability and safety, with particular focus on cataract, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, hemianopia and diabetic retinopathy. The evidence considered includes self-reported driving outcomes, driving performance (on-road and simulator-based) and various motor vehicle crash indices. Collectively, this review demonstrates that driving ability and safety are negatively affected by ocular disease; however, further research is needed in this area. Older drivers with ocular disease need to be aware of the negative consequences of their ocular condition and in the case where treatment options are available, encouraged to seek these earlier for optimum driving safety and quality of life benefits. PMID:27156178

  17. Electric vehicles: Driving range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kempton, Willett

    2016-09-01

    For uptake of electric vehicles to increase, consumers' driving-range needs must be fulfilled. Analysis of the driving patterns of personal vehicles in the US now shows that today's electric vehicles can meet all travel needs on almost 90% of days from a single overnight charge.

  18. Piezoelectric drive circuit

    DOEpatents

    Treu, C.A. Jr.

    1999-08-31

    A piezoelectric motor drive circuit is provided which utilizes the piezoelectric elements as oscillators and a Meacham half-bridge approach to develop feedback from the motor ground circuit to produce a signal to drive amplifiers to power the motor. The circuit automatically compensates for shifts in harmonic frequency of the piezoelectric elements due to pressure and temperature changes. 7 figs.

  19. Piezoelectric drive circuit

    DOEpatents

    Treu, Jr., Charles A.

    1999-08-31

    A piezoelectric motor drive circuit is provided which utilizes the piezoelectric elements as oscillators and a Meacham half-bridge approach to develop feedback from the motor ground circuit to produce a signal to drive amplifiers to power the motor. The circuit automatically compensates for shifts in harmonic frequency of the piezoelectric elements due to pressure and temperature changes.

  20. Design of traction drives

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Loewenthal, S. H.; Zaretsky, E. V.

    1985-01-01

    Traction drives are among the simplest of all speed-changing mechanisms. Because of their simplicity and their ability to smoothly and continuously adjust speed, they are excellent choices for many drive system applications. They have been used in industrial service for more than 100 years. Today's traction drives have power capacities which rival the best gear and belt drives due to modern traction fluids and highly fatigue-resistant bearing steels. This report summarizes methods to analyze and size traction drives. Lubrication principles, contact kinematics, stress, fatigue life, and performance prediction methods are presented. The effects of the lubricant's traction characteristics on life and power loss are discussed. An example problem is given which illustrates the effects of spin on power loss. Loading mechanism design and the design of nonlubricated friction wheels and rings are also treated.

  1. Assemblage of a semi-arid annual plant community: abiotic and biotic filters act hierarchically.

    PubMed

    Luzuriaga, Arantzazu L; Sánchez, Ana M; Maestre, Fernando T; Escudero, Adrián

    2012-01-01

    The study of species coexistence and community assembly has been a hot topic in ecology for decades. Disentangling the hierarchical role of abiotic and biotic filters is crucial to understand community assembly processes. The most critical environmental factor in semi-arid environments is known to be water availability, and perennials are usually described as nurses that create milder local conditions and expand the niche range of several species. We aimed to broaden this view by jointly evaluating how biological soil crusts (BSCs), water availability, perennial species (presence/absence of Stipa tenacissima) and plant-plant interactions shape a semi-arid annual plant community. The presence and cover of annual species was monitored during three years of contrasting climate. Water stress acted as the primary filter determining the species pool available for plant community assembly. Stipa and BSCs acted as secondary filters by modulating the effects of water availability. At extremely harsh environmental conditions, Stipa exerted a negative effect on the annual plant community, while at more benign conditions it increased annual community richness. Biological soil crusts exerted a contradictory effect depending on climate and on the presence of Stipa, favoring annuals in the most adverse conditions but showing repulsion at higher water availability conditions. Finally, interactions among co-occurring annuals shaped species richness and diversity of the final annual plant assembly. This study sheds light on the processes determining the assembly of annual communities and highlights the importance of Biological Soil Crusts and of interactions among annual plants on the final outcome of the species assembly.

  2. Habitability for Complex Life and the Development and Self-Limitations of the Biotic Enhancement of Weathering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwartzman, D. W.; Volk, T.

    2014-12-01

    We submit that the tightly coupled coevolution of biota and climate is a critical driver of the self-organization of the biosphere over geologic time. The long-term carbon biogeochemical cycle includes a major influence of biology relevant to climatic, namely the biotic enhancement of weathering (BEW). According to a meta-analysis of field and experimental evidence, the likely magnitude of the present BEW is roughly two orders of magnitude, the culmination of its progressive increase over geologic time. Within the context of modeling this long-term cycle, this value can be used to estimate the likely abiotic temperature history of the Earth's surface, assuming plausible initial temperatures, and histories of volcanic outgassing and continental crust growth. The result of this modeling is that the Earth would have been habitable for thermophilic life (growing above 50 deg C) for the past 4.4 billion years, but not for low-temperature life, including plants and animals. Hence biospheric cooling due to biotic actions allowed the emergence of complex life. Much larger increases in BEW are self-limiting, since the atmospheric CO2 level would plunge below the lower limit potentially for photosynthesis, thereby driving a decline in the biological productivity and global BEW, related to reduced plant and soil activities, with the system being kept at this threshold or going back to higher CO2 levels, with scenarios dependent on volcanic outgassing and solar inputs. We will present astrobiological implications of this modeling. References: Schwartzman D (1999, 2002) Life, Temperature, and the Earth: The Self Organizing Biosphere. Columbia Univ. Press; Schwartzman, D. (2013) Keynote: The Geobiology of Weathering: The 13th Hypothesis. Goldschmidt Conference. (Schwartzman D. and Brantley S. (2013) Mineral. Mag. 77(5): 2170); Volk T (1998) Gaia's Body: Toward a Physiology of Earth. Copernicus.

  3. Effects of biotic and abiotic factors on phenotypic partitioning of wing morphology and development in Sclerodermus pupariae (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae)

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaoyi; Wei, Ke; Yang, Zhongqi; Jennings, David E.; Duan, Jian J.

    2016-01-01

    Wing phenotype polymorphism is commonly observed in insects, yet little is known about the influence of environmental cues on the development or expression of the alternative phenotypes. Here, we report how both biotic and abiotic factors affect the wing morph differentiation of a bethylid parasitoid Sclerodermus pupariae. The percentage of winged female parasitoid progeny increased exponentially with temperature between 20 °C to 30 °C. Low intensity light and short-day photoperiod conditions also significantly induced the development of winged morphs. Interestingly, wingless maternal parasitoids produced more winged progeny. Furthermore, the degree of wing dimorphism was significantly influenced by the interactions between light intensity and maternal wing morphs. The percentage of winged female progeny was not significantly influenced by foundress densities, but increased significantly with parasitoid brood sizes. However, the percentage of male progeny increased significantly with the densities of maternal parasitoids. Our findings highlight the phenotypic partitioning of wing morphology and development in the parasitoid S. pupariae under varied environmental cues, and reveal the most favourable conditions for the production of winged females in this bethylid wasp. It is thus possible to increase winged female parasitoid production for the purposes of biological control by manipulation of biotic and abiotic conditions. PMID:27194095

  4. The mutual influence of biotic and abiotic components on the long-term ecomorphodynamic evolution of salt-marsh ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Alpaos, Andrea

    2011-03-01

    Salt marshes are coastal ecosystems characterized by high biodiversity and rates of primary productivity, providing fundamental ecosystem services. Salt-marsh ecosystems are important indicators of environmental change as the dynamics are governed by interacting physical and biological processes, whose intertwined feedbacks critically affect the evolution. Settling deposition of inorganic sediment allows the platform to reach a threshold elevation for vegetation encroachment; the presence of vegetation then intensifies rates of accretion, thus, enhancing the resilience of marshes to increasing rates of sea level rise (SLR). The results from a two-dimensional numerical model, accounting for biotic and geomorphic processes, show that different morphological evolutionary regimes are followed depending on marsh biological processes. The average marsh elevation within the tidal frame decreases with increasing rates of SLR, decreasing availability of sediment, and decreasing productivity of vegetation. The spatial variability in platform elevations increases with increasing rates of SLR, increasing availability of sediment, and decreasing productivity of vegetation. Supply-limited settings tend to develop uniform marsh surface elevations, whereas supply-rich settings tend to develop patterns of sedimentation where large heterogeneities in marsh surface elevations occur. The complexity observed in tidal geomorphological patterns is deemed to arise from the mutual influence of biotic and abiotic components. The fate of tidal landforms and their possible geomorphological restoration should, thus, be addressed through approaches which explicitly incorporate bio-morphodynamic processes.

  5. Model-based Analysis of Mixed Uranium(VI) Reduction by Biotic and Abiotic Pathways During in Situ Bioremediation

    SciTech Connect

    Zhao, Jiao; Scheibe, Timothy D.; Mahadevan, Radhakrishnan

    2013-10-24

    Uranium bioremediation has emerged as a potential strategy of cleanup of radionuclear contamination worldwide. An integrated geochemical & microbial community model is a promising approach to predict and provide insights into the bioremediation of a complicated natural subsurface. In this study, an integrated column-scale model of uranium bioremediation was developed, taking into account long-term interactions between biotic and abiotic processes. It is also combined with a comprehensive thermodynamic analysis to track the fate and cycling of biogenic species. As compared with other bioremediation models, the model increases the resolution of the connection of microbial community to geochemistry and establishes direct quantitative correlation between overall community evolution and geochemical variation, thereby accurately predicting the community dynamics under different sedimentary conditions. The thermodynamic analysis examined a recently identified homogeneous reduction of U(VI) by Fe(II) under dynamic sedimentary conditions across time and space. It shows that the biogenic Fe(II) from Geobacter metabolism can be removed rapidly by the biogenic sulphide from sulfate reducer metabolism, hence constituting one of the reasons that make the abiotic U(VI) reduction thermodynamically infeasible in the subsurface. Further analysis indicates that much higher influent concentrations of both Fe(II) and U(VI) than normal are required to for abiotic U(VI) reduction to be thermodynamically feasible, suggesting that the abiotic reduction cannot be an alternative to the biotic reduction in the remediation of uranium contaminated groundwater.

  6. Development and validation of an aquatic Fine Sediment Biotic Index.

    PubMed

    Relyea, Christina D; Minshall, G Wayne; Danehy, Robert J

    2012-01-01

    The Fine Sediment Biotic Index (FSBI) is a regional, stressor-specific biomonitoring index to assess fine sediment (<2 mm) impacts on macroinvertebrate communities in northwestern US streams. We examined previously collected data of benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages and substrate particle sizes for 1,139 streams spanning 16 western US Level III Ecoregions to determine macroinvertebrate sensitivity (mostly at species level) to fine sediment. We developed FSBI for four ecoregion groupings that include nine of the ecoregions. The grouping were: the Coast (Coast Range ecoregion) (136 streams), Northern Mountains (Cascades, N. Rockies, ID Batholith ecoregions) (428 streams), Rockies (Middle Rockies, Southern Rockies ecoregions) (199 streams), and Basin and Plains (Columbia Plateau, Snake River Basin, Northern Basin and Range ecoregions) (262 streams). We excluded rare taxa and taxa identified at coarse taxonomic levels, including Chironomidae. This reduced the 685 taxa from all data sets to 206. Of these 93 exhibited some sensitivity to fine sediment which we classified into four categories: extremely, very, moderately, and slightly sensitive; containing 11, 22, 30, and 30 taxa, respectively. Categories were weighted and a FSBI score calculated by summing the sensitive taxa found in a stream. There were no orders or families that were solely sensitive or resistant to fine sediment. Although, among the three orders commonly regarded as indicators of high water quality, the Plecoptera (5), Trichoptera (3), and Ephemeroptera (2) contained all but one of the species or species groups classified as extremely sensitive. Index validation with an independent data set of 255 streams found FSBI scores to accurately predict both high and low levels of measured fine sediment.

  7. Scale and plant invasions: A theory of biotic acceptance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Jarnevich, C.; Chong, G.W.; Evangelista, P.H.

    2006-01-01

    We examined the relationship between native and alien plant species richness, cover, and estimated biomass at multiple spatial scales. The large dataset included 70511-m2 subplots, 1443 10-m2 subplots, and 727100-m2 subplots, nested in 727 1000-m2 plots in 37 natural vegetation types in seven states in the central United States. We found that native and alien species richness (averaged across the vegetation types) increased significantly with plot area. Furthermore, the relationship between native and alien species richness became increasingly positive and significant from the plant neighbourhood scale (1-m2) to the 10-m2, 100-m2, and the 1000-m2 scale where over 80% of the vegetation types had positive slopes between native and alien species richness. Both native and alien plant species may be responding to increased resource availability and/or habitat heterogeneity with increased area. We found significant positive relationships between the coefficient of variation of native cover in 1-m2 subplots in a vegetation type (i.e. a measure of habitat heterogeneity), and both the relative cover and relative biomass of alien plant species. At the 1000-m2 scale, we did find weak negative relationships between native species richness and the cover, biomass, and relative cover of alien plant species. However, we found very strong positive relationships between alien species richness and the cover, relative cover, and relative biomass of alien species at regional scales. These results, along with many other field studies in natural ecosystems, show that the dominant genera pattern in invasion ecology at multiple spatial scales is one of "biotic acceptance" where natural ecosystems tend to accommodate the establishment and coexistence of introduced species despite the presence and abundance of native species.

  8. Biotic nitrogen fixation in the bryosphere is inhibited more by drought than warming.

    PubMed

    Whiteley, Jonathan A; Gonzalez, Andrew

    2016-08-01

    The boreal forest is of particular interest to climate change research due to its large circumpolar distribution and accumulated soil carbon pool. Carbon uptake in this ecosystem is nitrogen (N)-limited, therefore factors affecting carbon or nitrogen dynamics in the boreal forest can have consequences for global climate. We used a 2-year field experiment to investigate the response of biotic nitrogen fixation by cyanobacteria associated with boreal forest bryophytes, in a factorial experiment combining simulated climate change with habitat fragmentation treatments. We simulated climate change conditions using open-top greenhouse chambers in the field, which increased mean and maximum temperatures, and created a precipitation gradient from ambient levels in the center to extreme drought conditions at the periphery of the chamber. The dry patches near the chamber walls exhibited almost no N-fixation, despite having similar densities of cyanobacteria (predominantly Stigonema sp.) as other patches. Rates of N-fixation were best explained by a model containing moisture, fragmentation, cyanobacteria density and time; warming was not a significant variable affecting N-fixation. There was no significant interaction between warming and fragmentation. These results suggest that cyanobacteria responded physiologically to drought by reducing N-fixation activity long before any changes in density. Ecosystem processes, such as N-fixation, can respond in the short term to environmental change much more rapidly than changes in the underlying community structure. Such rapid physiological responses may occur faster than demographic insurance effects of biodiversity. PMID:27098528

  9. Influence of biotic variables on invertebrate size structure and diversity in coastal wetlands of Southeastern Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antón-Pardo, María; Armengol, Xavier

    2016-10-01

    Biomass and size-based estimations provide relevant information regarding ecosystem functioning and biotic interactions. Our aims were to study the effect of fish and macrophytes on the size structure of invertebrate assemblages (from rotifers to insects) in a set of coastal water bodies, estimating the biomass (total and main invertebrate groups), the biomass-size spectra (model of Pareto) and size diversity. In fishless ponds, cladoceran and ostracod biomass were higher, and they presented greater size diversity. In fish ponds, rotifer biomass presented greater proportion; while in fishless ponds, cladocerans were usually the most abundant taxa and the largest organisms. The biomass size spectra showed more irregularities in fishless ponds, due to the low densities of small taxa (rotifers and copepod juveniles) and big taxa (malacostraceans or insects). Differences is size structure and diversity were also observed between spring and summer, suggesting a higher recruitment of juveniles in spring, and thus, a higher predation pressure upon zooplankton at that moment. Macrophyte cover did not apparently influence those parameters, except for the biomass of ostracods, copepods, and insects. Therefore, predation by fish strongly affected invertebrate biomass, reflecting their selective feeding, and allowing high densities of small taxa. Predation pressure decreased size diversity, by limiting the abundance of vulnerable taxa of specific size. Seasonal changes were likely related to the spring recruitment of fish juveniles. The presence of small fish and invertebrate predator taxa among the macrophytes, restrict their role as refuges for prey invertebrates.

  10. Abiotic, biotic, and evolutionary control of the distribution of C and N isotopes in food webs.

    PubMed

    Laiolo, Paola; Illera, Juan Carlos; Meléndez, Leandro; Segura, Amalia; Obeso, José Ramón

    2015-02-01

    Ecosystem functioning depends on nutrient cycles and their responses to abiotic and biotic determinants, with the influence of evolutionary legacies being generally overlooked in ecosystem ecology. Along a broad elevation gradient characterized by shifting climatic and grazing environments, we addressed clines of plant N and C∶N content and of δ(13)C and δ(15)N in producers (herbs) and in primary (grasshoppers) and secondary (birds) consumers, both within and between species in phylogenetically controlled scenarios. We found parallel and significant intra- and interspecific trends of isotopic variation with elevation in the three groups. In primary producers, nutrient and isotope distributions had a detectable phylogenetic signal that constrained their variation along the environmental gradient. The influence of the environment could not be ascribed to any single factor, and both grazing and climate had an effect on leaf stoichiometry and, thus, on the resources available to consumers. Trends in consumers matched those in plants but often became nonsignificant after controlling for isotopic values of their direct resources, revealing direct bottom-up control and little phylogenetic dependence. By integrating ecosystem and mechanistic perspectives, we found that nutrient dynamics in food webs are governed at the base by the complex interaction between local determinants and evolutionary factors.

  11. Using biotic ligand models to predict metal toxicity in mineralized systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, Kathleen S.; Balistrieri, Laurie S.; Todd, Andrew S.

    2015-01-01

    The biotic ligand model (BLM) is a numerical approach that couples chemical speciation calculations with toxicological information to predict the toxicity of aquatic metals. This approach was proposed as an alternative to expensive toxicological testing, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency incorporated the BLM into the 2007 revised aquatic life ambient freshwater quality criteria for Cu. Research BLMs for Ag, Ni, Pb, and Zn are also available, and many other BLMs are under development. Current BLMs are limited to ‘one metal, one organism’ considerations. Although the BLM generally is an improvement over previous approaches to determining water quality criteria, there are several challenges in implementing the BLM, particularly at mined and mineralized sites. These challenges include: (1) historically incomplete datasets for BLM input parameters, especially dissolved organic carbon (DOC), (2) several concerns about DOC, such as DOC fractionation in Fe- and Al-rich systems and differences in DOC quality that result in variations in metal-binding affinities, (3) water-quality parameters and resulting metal-toxicity predictions that are temporally and spatially dependent, (4) additional influences on metal bioavailability, such as multiple metal toxicity, dietary metal toxicity, and competition among organisms or metals, (5) potential importance of metal interactions with solid or gas phases and/or kinetically controlled reactions, and (6) tolerance to metal toxicity observed for aquatic organisms living in areas with elevated metal concentrations.

  12. Chemical controls on abiotic and biotic release of geogenic arsenic from Pleistocene aquifer sediments to groundwater.

    PubMed

    Gillispie, Elizabeth C; Andujar, Erika; Polizzotto, Matthew L

    2016-08-10

    Over 150 million people in South and Southeast Asia consume unsafe drinking water from arsenic-rich Holocene aquifers. Although use of As-free water from Pleistocene aquifers is a potential mitigation strategy, such aquifers are vulnerable to geogenic As pollution, placing millions more people at potential risk. The goal of this research was to define chemical controls on abiotic and biotic release of geogenic As to groundwater. Batch incubations of sediments with natural chemical variability from a Pleistocene aquifer in Cambodia were conducted to evaluate how interactions among arsenic, manganese and iron oxides, and dissolved and sedimentary organic carbon influenced As mobilization from sediments. The addition of labile dissolved organic carbon produced the highest concentrations of dissolved As after >7 months, as compared to sediment samples incubated with sodium azide or without added carbon, and the extent of As release was positively correlated with the percent of initial extractable Mn released from the sediments. The mode of As release was impacted by the source of DOC supplied to the sediments, with biological processes responsible for 81% to 85% of the total As release following incubations with lactate and acetate but only up to 43% to 61% of the total As release following incubations with humic and fulvic acids. Overall, cycling of key redox-active elements and organic-carbon reactivity govern the potential for geogenic As release to groundwater, and results here may be used to formulate better predictions of the arsenic pollution potential of aquifers in South and Southeast Asia. PMID:27463026

  13. From the Cover: Environmental and biotic controls on the evolutionary history of insect body size

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clapham, Matthew E.; Karr, Jered A.

    2012-07-01

    Giant insects, with wingspans as large as 70 cm, ruled the Carboniferous and Permian skies. Gigantism has been linked to hyperoxic conditions because oxygen concentration is a key physiological control on body size, particularly in groups like flying insects that have high metabolic oxygen demands. Here we show, using a dataset of more than 10,500 fossil insect wing lengths, that size tracked atmospheric oxygen concentrations only for the first 150 Myr of insect evolution. The data are best explained by a model relating maximum size to atmospheric environmental oxygen concentration (pO2) until the end of the Jurassic, and then at constant sizes, independent of oxygen fluctuations, during the Cretaceous and, at a smaller size, the Cenozoic. Maximum insect size decreased even as atmospheric pO2 rose in the Early Cretaceous following the evolution and radiation of early birds, particularly as birds acquired adaptations that allowed more agile flight. A further decrease in maximum size during the Cenozoic may relate to the evolution of bats, the Cretaceous mass extinction, or further specialization of flying birds. The decoupling of insect size and atmospheric pO2 coincident with the radiation of birds suggests that biotic interactions, such as predation and competition, superseded oxygen as the most important constraint on maximum body size of the largest insects.

  14. Environmental and biotic controls on the evolutionary history of insect body size.

    PubMed

    Clapham, Matthew E; Karr, Jered A

    2012-07-01

    Giant insects, with wingspans as large as 70 cm, ruled the Carboniferous and Permian skies. Gigantism has been linked to hyperoxic conditions because oxygen concentration is a key physiological control on body size, particularly in groups like flying insects that have high metabolic oxygen demands. Here we show, using a dataset of more than 10,500 fossil insect wing lengths, that size tracked atmospheric oxygen concentrations only for the first 150 Myr of insect evolution. The data are best explained by a model relating maximum size to atmospheric environmental oxygen concentration (pO(2)) until the end of the Jurassic, and then at constant sizes, independent of oxygen fluctuations, during the Cretaceous and, at a smaller size, the Cenozoic. Maximum insect size decreased even as atmospheric pO(2) rose in the Early Cretaceous following the evolution and radiation of early birds, particularly as birds acquired adaptations that allowed more agile flight. A further decrease in maximum size during the Cenozoic may relate to the evolution of bats, the Cretaceous mass extinction, or further specialization of flying birds. The decoupling of insect size and atmospheric pO(2) coincident with the radiation of birds suggests that biotic interactions, such as predation and competition, superseded oxygen as the most important constraint on maximum body size of the largest insects. PMID:22665762

  15. Biotic nitrogen fixation in the bryosphere is inhibited more by drought than warming.

    PubMed

    Whiteley, Jonathan A; Gonzalez, Andrew

    2016-08-01

    The boreal forest is of particular interest to climate change research due to its large circumpolar distribution and accumulated soil carbon pool. Carbon uptake in this ecosystem is nitrogen (N)-limited, therefore factors affecting carbon or nitrogen dynamics in the boreal forest can have consequences for global climate. We used a 2-year field experiment to investigate the response of biotic nitrogen fixation by cyanobacteria associated with boreal forest bryophytes, in a factorial experiment combining simulated climate change with habitat fragmentation treatments. We simulated climate change conditions using open-top greenhouse chambers in the field, which increased mean and maximum temperatures, and created a precipitation gradient from ambient levels in the center to extreme drought conditions at the periphery of the chamber. The dry patches near the chamber walls exhibited almost no N-fixation, despite having similar densities of cyanobacteria (predominantly Stigonema sp.) as other patches. Rates of N-fixation were best explained by a model containing moisture, fragmentation, cyanobacteria density and time; warming was not a significant variable affecting N-fixation. There was no significant interaction between warming and fragmentation. These results suggest that cyanobacteria responded physiologically to drought by reducing N-fixation activity long before any changes in density. Ecosystem processes, such as N-fixation, can respond in the short term to environmental change much more rapidly than changes in the underlying community structure. Such rapid physiological responses may occur faster than demographic insurance effects of biodiversity.

  16. Facing change: forms and foundations of contemporary adaptation to biotic invasions.

    PubMed

    Carroll, Scott P

    2008-01-01

    Ongoing adaptation in native populations to anthropogenic change both facilitates and challenges ecologically appropriate and sustainable management. Human disturbance promotes adaptive responses at the genomic, individual and population levels. Traits vary widely in whether adaptation occurs through plasticity or evolution, and these modes interact within and among traits. For example, plasticity in one trait may be adaptive because it permits homeostasis and lessens the intensity of selection in another. Both opportunity and catastrophe generate adaptive responses. Recently evolved adaptations characterize the responses of many native species to biotic invasions. Several well-known examples involve native phytophagous insects colonizing introduced plants. For example, our studies of North American and Australian soapberry bugs on nonindigenous plants demonstrate both diversifying and homogenizing contemporary evolution. Modes of adaptation differ among traits and populations and as a function of the host on which they develop. The genetic architecture of the evolving adaptations involves a substantial degree of nonadditive genetic variation. One important consequence of contemporary adaptation may be an enhanced capacity of native communities to provide adaptive biological control of invasive species. Conservation scientists may manipulate adaptation to achieve conservation goals, but must also decide how deeply they wish to attempt to control the phenotypes and genotypes of other species.

  17. The timing and pattern of biotic recovery following the end-Permian mass extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Zhong-Qiang; Benton, Michael J.

    2012-06-01

    The aftermath of the great end-Permian period mass extinction 252 Myr ago shows how life can recover from the loss of >90% species globally. The crisis was triggered by a number of physical environmental shocks (global warming, acid rain, ocean acidification and ocean anoxia), and some of these were repeated over the next 5-6 Myr. Ammonoids and some other groups diversified rapidly, within 1-3 Myr, but extinctions continued through the Early Triassic period. Triassic ecosystems were rebuilt stepwise from low to high trophic levels through the Early to Middle Triassic, and a stable, complex ecosystem did not re-emerge until the beginning of the Middle Triassic, 8-9 Myr after the crisis. A positive aspect of the recovery was the emergence of entirely new groups, such as marine reptiles and decapod crustaceans, as well as new tetrapods on land, including -- eventually -- dinosaurs. The stepwise recovery of life in the Triassic could have been delayed either by biotic drivers (complex multispecies interactions) or physical perturbations, or a combination of both. This is an example of the wider debate about the relative roles of intrinsic and extrinsic drivers of large-scale evolution.

  18. The role of meiotic drive in hybrid male sterility.

    PubMed

    McDermott, Shannon R; Noor, Mohamed A F

    2010-04-27

    Meiotic drive causes the distortion of allelic segregation away from Mendelian expected ratios, often also reducing fecundity and favouring the evolution of drive suppressors. If different species evolve distinct drive-suppressor systems, then hybrid progeny may be sterile as a result of negative interactions of these systems' components. Although the hypothesis that meiotic drive may contribute to hybrid sterility, and thus species formation, fell out of favour early in the 1990s, recent results showing an association between drive and sterility have resurrected this previously controversial idea. Here, we review the different forms of meiotic drive and their possible roles in speciation. We discuss the recent empirical evidence for a link between drive and hybrid male sterility, also suggesting a possible mechanistic explanation for this link in the context of chromatin remodelling. Finally, we revisit the population genetics of drive that allow it to contribute to speciation.

  19. Biotic interchange between the Indian subcontinent and mainland Asia through time.

    PubMed

    Klaus, Sebastian; Morley, Robert J; Plath, Martin; Zhang, Ya-Ping; Li, Jia-Tang

    2016-07-04

    Biotic interchange after the connection of previously independently evolving floras and faunas is thought to be one of the key factors that shaped global biodiversity as we see it today. However, it was not known how biotic interchange develops over longer time periods of several million years following the secondary contact of different biotas. Here we present a novel method to investigate the temporal dynamics of biotic interchange based on a phylogeographical meta-analysis by calculating the maximal number of observed dispersal events per million years given the temporal uncertainty of the underlying time-calibrated phylogenies. We show that biotic influx from mainland Asia onto the Indian subcontinent after Eocene continental collision was not a uniform process, but was subject to periods of acceleration, stagnancy and decrease. We discuss potential palaeoenvironmental causes for this fluctuation.

  20. Electrofishing distance needed to estimate consistent Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scores in raftable Oregon rivers

    EPA Science Inventory

    An important issue surrounding assessment of riverine fish assemblages is the minimum amount of sampling distance needed to adequately determine biotic condition. Determining adequate sampling distance is important because sampling distance affects estimates of fish assemblage c...

  1. Meteoritic Versus Biotic Amino Acids: An Update on Aib and Iva

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brückner, H.; Degenkolb, T.; Fox, S.

    2016-08-01

    Biotically synthesized Aib and Iva hav been found in >1,350 structurally characterized microbial peptides. However, the structural diversity of the non-proteinogenic amino acids in CM-type meteorites is not displayed in individual fungal peptides.

  2. Biotic interchange between the Indian subcontinent and mainland Asia through time

    PubMed Central

    Klaus, Sebastian; Morley, Robert J.; Plath, Martin; Zhang, Ya-Ping; Li, Jia-Tang

    2016-01-01

    Biotic interchange after the connection of previously independently evolving floras and faunas is thought to be one of the key factors that shaped global biodiversity as we see it today. However, it was not known how biotic interchange develops over longer time periods of several million years following the secondary contact of different biotas. Here we present a novel method to investigate the temporal dynamics of biotic interchange based on a phylogeographical meta-analysis by calculating the maximal number of observed dispersal events per million years given the temporal uncertainty of the underlying time-calibrated phylogenies. We show that biotic influx from mainland Asia onto the Indian subcontinent after Eocene continental collision was not a uniform process, but was subject to periods of acceleration, stagnancy and decrease. We discuss potential palaeoenvironmental causes for this fluctuation. PMID:27373955

  3. Biotic interchange between the Indian subcontinent and mainland Asia through time.

    PubMed

    Klaus, Sebastian; Morley, Robert J; Plath, Martin; Zhang, Ya-Ping; Li, Jia-Tang

    2016-01-01

    Biotic interchange after the connection of previously independently evolving floras and faunas is thought to be one of the key factors that shaped global biodiversity as we see it today. However, it was not known how biotic interchange develops over longer time periods of several million years following the secondary contact of different biotas. Here we present a novel method to investigate the temporal dynamics of biotic interchange based on a phylogeographical meta-analysis by calculating the maximal number of observed dispersal events per million years given the temporal uncertainty of the underlying time-calibrated phylogenies. We show that biotic influx from mainland Asia onto the Indian subcontinent after Eocene continental collision was not a uniform process, but was subject to periods of acceleration, stagnancy and dec