Science.gov

Sample records for deleterious ecological effects

  1. Betel nut chewing and its deleterious effects on oral cavity.

    PubMed

    Anand, Richa; Dhingra, Chandan; Prasad, Sumanth; Menon, Ipseeta

    2014-01-01

    The habit of chewing betel nut has a long history of use. Betel nut and products derived from it are widely used as a masticatory product among various communities and in several countries across the world. Over a long period, several additives have been added to a simple betel nut preparation; thus, creating the betel quid (BQ) and encompassing chewing tobacco in the preparation. Betel nut has deleterious effects on oral soft tissues. Its effects on dental caries and periodontal diseases, two major oral diseases are less well-documented. Betel-induced lichenoid lesions mainly on buccal mucosa have been reported at quid retained sites. In chronic chewers, a condition called betel chewers mucosa is often found where the quid is placed. Betel nut chewing is implicated in oral submucous fibrosis (OSF) and its use along with tobacco can cause leukoplakia, both of which are potentially malignant in the oral cavity. Oral cancer often arises from such precancerous changes. Thus, public health measures to quit betel use are recommended to control disabling conditions such as OSF and oral cancer.

  2. Effect of deleterious mutations on life span in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Gong, Yi; Thompson, James N; Woodruff, R C

    2006-12-01

    Evolutionary theories of aging assume that the accumulation of deleterious mutations will reduce life span. We tested this assumption in Drosophila melanogaster by a newly designed mating scheme, in which mutations accumulate on the Binscy balancer X chromosome in heterozygous females in the absence of selection and recombination. We found that the life span of Binscy/RY(L) males from this cross decreased faster than the life span of their sibling controls over time in two of three runs, and that there was an age-specific increase in mortality in the Binscy/RY(L) males with time in one of three runs. Therefore, the accumulation of deleterious mutations can decrease life span by increasing fragility and can cause age-specific changes in mortality. These results support the evolutionary theory of aging.

  3. Relative Effectiveness of Mating Success and Sperm Competition at Eliminating Deleterious Mutations in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Sean C. A.; Sharp, Nathaniel P.; Rowe, Locke; Agrawal, Aneil F.

    2012-01-01

    Condition-dependence theory predicts that sexual selection will facilitate adaptation by selecting against deleterious mutations that affect the expression of sexually selected traits indirectly via condition. Recent empirical studies have provided support for this prediction; however, their results do not elucidate the relative effects of pre- and postcopulatory sexual selection on deleterious mutations. We used the Drosophila melanogaster model system to discern the relative contributions of pre- and postcopulatory processes to selection against deleterious mutations. To assess second-male ejaculate competition success (P2; measured as the proportion of offspring attributable to the experimental male) and mating success, mutant and wild-type male D. melanogaster were given the opportunity to mate with females that were previously mated to a standard competitor male. This process was repeated for males subjected to a diet quality manipulation to test for effects of environmentally-manipulated condition on P2 and mating success. While none of the tested mutations affected P2, there was a clear effect of condition. Conversely, several of the mutations affected mating success, while condition showed no effect. Our results suggest that precopulatory selection may be more effective than postcopulatory selection at removing deleterious mutations. The opposite result obtained for our diet manipulation points to an interesting discrepancy between environmental and genetic manipulations of condition, which may be explained by the multidimensionality of condition. Establishing whether the various stages of sexual selection affect deleterious mutations differently, and to what extent, remains an important issue to resolve. PMID:22662148

  4. Deleterious effects of magnesium intoxication upon the domestic broiler chick

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, S.R.

    1984-01-01

    Dietary levels of 0.6 to 0.8% magnesium in a corn-soy basal were rachitogenic. These rickets appeared most like phosphorus deficiency. Bone Ca/P ratios were numerically quite low implying a lack of transformation from amorphous calcium phosphate to hydroxyapatite. Bone alkaline phosphatase activity was elevated. Additional dietary phosphorus ameliorated, but could not overcome the rachitogenic effects of magnesium. Tibial dyschondroplasia (TD), induced by elevated dietary P, was decreased by high levels of dietary Mg, but with no decrease in plasma phosphorus. Anticoccidial ionophores fed in conjunction with a moderate dietary challenge of Mg (0.48%) produced no clear changes in plasma calcium or Mg, but did interact to reduce body weight. The diarrhea caused by magnesium intoxication is not due to hyperosmotic loads of Mg per se. Rather, Cl was observed to be the major ionic constituent of the gut osmotic load implying different gut ionic fluxes in control versus magnesium intoxicated chicks. These data imply that the cathartic action of Mg is due to hypersecretion of the gut. Effects mediated or modified by the CNS changed in magnesium intoxicated chicks. Such chicks appeared cold and stayed near the heat. When startled, they exhibited extreme avoidance behavior and seizures similar to epilepsy and/or Cl deficiency. Brain tissue Mg content did not concomitantly increase. Whether these effects are due to central signals is unclear.

  5. Sildenafil citrate attenuates the deleterious effects of elevated ammonia.

    PubMed

    Arafa, Manar H; Atteia, Hebatallah H

    2013-07-01

    Ammonia is a bi-product of protein metabolism in the body. It is able to cross the blood-brain barrier and elevated ammonia levels are toxic to the brain. Rats with hyperammonemia showed impaired learning ability and impaired function of the glutamate-nitric oxide-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (glutamate-NO-cGMP) pathway in the brain. Chronic treatment with sildenafil restored learning ability. We therefore tested the hypothesis that sildenafil has a protective effect on the brains of hyperammonemic rats. Hyperammonemia was induced in male rats by daily intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of ammonium chloride (100 mg/kg body weight) for 8 weeks. Sildenafil citrate was administered intraperitoneally (10 mg/kg body weight/3 days) for 8 weeks. Treatment with sildenafil resulted in a significant reduction in plasma liver enzymes, lipid profile as well as brain lipid peroxidation and caspase-3 mRNA. Meanwhile, plasma NO as well as cGMP, antioxidants and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) gene expression were significantly elevated in the brains of hyperammonemic rats. Our results showed that sildenafil exerts a protective effect on the brain by reversing oxidative stress during hyperammonemia and this could be due to (i) cytoprotective, antioxidant and anti-apoptotic effects (ii) increasing cGMP and enhancing the proper metabolism of fats which could suppress oxygen radical generation and thus preventing oxidative damage in the brain. The exact protective mechanism of sildenafil has to be still investigated and further studies are warranted. Consequently, therapeutic modulation of the NO/cGMP pathway might have important clinical applications to improve brain functions in patients with hyperammonemia or clinical hepatic encephalopathy.

  6. Separating multiple, short-term deleterious effects of saline solutions to the growth of cowpea seedlings

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Reductions in plant growth due to salinity are of global importance in natural and agricultural landscapes. Short-term (48 h) solution culture experiments studied 404 treatments with seedlings of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. cv. Caloona) to examine the multiple deleterious effects of Ca, Mg...

  7. Pathway to neural resilience: Self-esteem buffers against deleterious effects of poverty on the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yinan; Zhang, Lin; Kong, Xiangzhen; Hong, Yingyi; Cheon, Bobby; Liu, Jia

    2016-11-01

    Human neuroimaging studies have shown that people living in poverty tend to suffer hippocampal atrophy, which leads to impaired memory and learning throughout life. However, behavioral studies demonstrate that poor people with high self-esteem are often exempt from the deleterious effect of poverty and instead possess a happy and successful life. Here we investigated whether high self-esteem can buffer against the deleterious effects of poverty, as indicated by low subjective socioeconomic status (SSS), on the hippocampal gray matter volume (GMV) in a large cohort of young participants (N = 280). As expected, findings revealed that although low (vs. high) SSS was linked with a smaller hippocampal GMV, the deleterious effect of low SSS on hippocampal GMV was alleviated when the participants have high self-esteem. Commonality analyses further confirmed this observation. The current study suggests that positive psychological resources such as self-esteem may provide protection for the hippocampal atrophy in adversity. Hum Brain Mapp 37:3757-3766, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Joint Prediction of the Effective Population Size and the Rate of Fixation of Deleterious Mutations.

    PubMed

    Santiago, Enrique; Caballero, Armando

    2016-11-01

    Mutation, genetic drift, and selection are considered the main factors shaping genetic variation in nature. There is a lack, however, of general predictions accounting for the mutual interrelation between these factors. In the context of the background selection model, we provide a set of equations for the joint prediction of the effective population size and the rate of fixation of deleterious mutations, which are applicable both to sexual and asexual species. For a population of N haploid individuals and a model of deleterious mutations with effect s appearing with rate U in a genome L Morgans long, the asymptotic effective population size (Ne) and the average number of generations (T) between consecutive fixations can be approximated by [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] The solution is applicable to Muller's ratchet, providing satisfactory approximations to the rate of accumulation of mutations for a wide range of parameters. We also obtain predictions of the effective size accounting for the expected nucleotide diversity. Predictions for sexual populations allow for outlining the general conditions where mutational meltdown occurs. The equations can be extended to any distribution of mutational effects and the consideration of hotspots of recombination, showing that Ne is rather insensitive and not proportional to changes in N for many combinations of parameters. This could contribute to explain the observed small differences in levels of polymorphism between species with very different census sizes.

  9. High-protein-low-carbohydrate diet: deleterious metabolic and cardiovascular effects depend on age.

    PubMed

    Bedarida, Tatiana; Baron, Stephanie; Vessieres, Emilie; Vibert, Francoise; Ayer, Audrey; Marchiol-Fournigault, Carmen; Henrion, Daniel; Paul, Jean-Louis; Noble, Florence; Golmard, Jean-Louis; Beaudeux, Jean-Louis; Cottart, Charles-Henry; Nivet-Antoine, Valerie

    2014-09-01

    High-protein-low-carbohydrate (HP-LC) diets have become widespread. Yet their deleterious consequences, especially on glucose metabolism and arteries, have already been underlined. Our previous study (2) has already shown glucose intolerance with major arterial dysfunction in very old mice subjected to an HP-LC diet. The hypothesis of this work was that this diet had an age-dependent deleterious metabolic and cardiovascular outcome. Two groups of mice, young and adult (3 and 6 mo old), were subjected for 12 wk to a standard or to an HP-LC diet. Glucose and lipid metabolism was studied. The cardiovascular system was explored from the functional stage with Doppler-echography to the molecular stage (arterial reactivity, mRNA, immunohistochemistry). Young mice did not exhibit any significant metabolic modification, whereas adult mice presented marked glucose intolerance associated with an increase in resistin and triglyceride levels. These metabolic disturbances were responsible for cardiovascular damages only in adult mice, with decreased aortic distensibility and left ventricle dysfunction. These seemed to be the consequence of arterial dysfunctions. Mesenteric arteries were the worst affected with a major oxidative stress, whereas aorta function seemed to be maintained with an appreciable role of cyclooxygenase-2 to preserve endothelial function. This study highlights for the first time the age-dependent deleterious effects of an HP-LC diet on metabolism, with glucose intolerance and lipid disorders and vascular (especially microvessels) and cardiac functions. This work shows that HP-LC lead to equivalent cardiovascular alterations, as observed in very old age, and underlines the danger of such diet.

  10. Methylphenidate and environmental enrichment ameliorate the deleterious effects of prenatal stress on attention functioning.

    PubMed

    Zubedat, Salman; Aga-Mizrachi, Shlomit; Cymerblit-Sabba, Adi; Ritter, Ami; Nachmani, Maayan; Avital, Avi

    2015-01-01

    Either pre- or post-natal environmental factors seem to play a key role in brain and behavioral development and to exert long-term effects. Increasing evidence suggests that exposure to prenatal stress (PS) leads to motor and learning deficits and elevated anxiety, while enriched environment (EE) shows protective effects. The dopaminergic system is also sensitive to environmental life circumstances and affects attention functioning, which serves as the preliminary gate to cognitive processes. However, the effects of methylphenidate (MPH) on the dopaminergic system and attentional functioning, in the context of these life experiences, remain unclear. Therefore, we aimed to examine the effects of EE or PS on distinct types of attention, along with possible effects of MPH exposure. We found that PS impaired selective attention as well as partial sustained attention, while EE had beneficial effects. Both EE and MPH ameliorated the deleterious effects of PS on attention functioning. Considering the possible psychostimulant effect of MPH, we examined both anxiety-like behavior as well as motor learning. We found that PS had a clear anxiogenic effect, whereas EE had an anxiolytic effect. Nevertheless, the treatment with both MPH and/or EE recovered the deleterious effects of PS. In the motor-learning task, the PS group showed superior performance while MPH led to impaired motor learning. Performance decrements were prevented in both the PS + MPH and EE + MPH groups. This study provides evidence that peripubertal exposure to EE (by providing enhanced sensory, motor, and social opportunities) or MPH treatments might be an optional therapeutic intervention in preventing the PS long-term adverse consequences.

  11. Deleterious effects of recombination and possible nonrecombinatorial advantages of sex in a fungal model.

    PubMed

    López-Villavicencio, M; Debets, A J M; Slakhorst, M; Giraud, T; Schoustra, S E

    2013-09-01

    Why sexual reproduction is so prevalent in nature remains a major question in evolutionary biology. Most of the proposed advantages of sex rely on the benefits obtained from recombination. However, it is still unclear whether the conditions under which these recombinatorial benefits would be sufficient to maintain sex in the short term are met in nature. Our study addresses a largely overlooked hypothesis, proposing that sex could be maintained in the short term by advantages due to functions linked with sex, but not related to recombination. These advantages would be so essential that sex could not be lost in the short term. Here, we used the fungus Aspergillus nidulans to experimentally test predictions of this hypothesis. Specifically, we were interested in (i) the short-term deleterious effects of recombination, (ii) possible nonrecombinatorial advantages of sex particularly through the elimination of mutations and (iii) the outcrossing rate under choice conditions in a haploid fungus able to reproduce by both outcrossing and haploid selfing. Our results were consistent with our hypotheses: we found that (i) recombination can be strongly deleterious in the short term, (ii) sexual reproduction between individuals derived from the same clonal lineage provided nonrecombinatorial advantages, likely through a selection arena mechanism, and (iii) under choice conditions, outcrossing occurs in a homothallic species, although at low rates.

  12. TNF and its receptors in the CNS: The essential, the desirable and the deleterious effects.

    PubMed

    Probert, L

    2015-08-27

    Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is the prototypic pro-inflammatory cytokine. It is central to host defense and inflammatory responses but under certain circumstances also triggers cell death and tissue degeneration. Its pleiotropic effects often lead to opposing outcomes during the development of immune-mediated diseases, particularly those affecting the central nervous system (CNS). The reported contradictions may result from lack of precision in discussing TNF. TNF signaling comprises at minimum a two-ligand (soluble and transmembrane TNF) and two-receptor (TNFR1 and TNFR2) system, with ligands and receptors both differentially expressed and regulated on different cell types. The "functional multiplicity" this engenders is the focus of much research, but there is still no general consensus on functional outcomes of TNF signaling in general, let alone in the CNS. In this review, evidence showing the effects of TNF in the CNS under physiological and pathophysiological conditions is placed in the context of major advances in understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern TNF function in general. Thus the roles of TNF signaling in the CNS shift from the conventional dichotomy of beneficial and deleterious, that mainly explain effects under pathological conditions, to incorporate a growing number of "essential" and "desirable" roles for TNF and its main cellular source in the CNS, microglia, under physiological conditions including regulation of neuronal activity and maintenance of myelin. An improved holistic view of TNF function in the CNS might better reconcile the expansive experimental data with stark clinical evidence that reduced functioning of TNF and its dominant pro-inflammatory receptor, TNFR1, are risk factors for the development of multiple sclerosis. It will also facilitate the safe translation of basic research findings from animal models to humans and propel the development of more selective anti-TNF therapies aimed at selectively

  13. Covert deformed wing virus infections have long-term deleterious effects on honeybee foraging and survival.

    PubMed

    Benaets, Kristof; Van Geystelen, Anneleen; Cardoen, Dries; De Smet, Lina; de Graaf, Dirk C; Schoofs, Liliane; Larmuseau, Maarten H D; Brettell, Laura E; Martin, Stephen J; Wenseleers, Tom

    2017-02-08

    Several studies have suggested that covert stressors can contribute to bee colony declines. Here we provide a novel case study and show using radiofrequency identification tracking technology that covert deformed wing virus (DWV) infections in adult honeybee workers seriously impact long-term foraging and survival under natural foraging conditions. In particular, our experiments show that adult workers injected with low doses of DWV experienced increased mortality rates, that DWV caused workers to start foraging at a premature age, and that the virus reduced the workers' total activity span as foragers. Altogether, these results demonstrate that covert DWV infections have strongly deleterious effects on honeybee foraging and survival. These results are consistent with previous studies that suggested DWV to be an important contributor to the ongoing bee declines in Europe and the USA. Overall, our study underlines the strong impact that covert pathogen infections can have on individual and group-level performance in bees.

  14. Deleterious effects of maternal ingestion of cocoa upon fetal ductus arteriosus in late pregnancy

    PubMed Central

    Zielinsky, Paulo; Martignoni, Felipe V.; Vian, Izabele

    2014-01-01

    Cocoa powder has twice more antioxidants than red wine and three times more than green tea. Ten percent of its weight is made up of flavonoids. Cocoa has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects by downregulating cyclooxigenase-2 receptors expression in the endothelium and enhancing nitric oxide bioavailability. There are evidences that while polyphenols ingestion have cardioprotective effects in the adult, it may have deleterious effect on the fetus if ingested by the mother on the third trimester of pregnancy, causing intrauterine fetal ductus arteriosus (DA) constriction. Polyphenols present in many foods and their anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities have been shown to be as or more powerful than those of indomethacin. These effects are dependent on the inhibition of modulation of the arachidonic acid and the synthesis of prostaglandins, especially E-2, which is responsible for fetal DA patency. So, we hypothesized that this same mechanism is responsible for the harmful effect of polyphenol-rich foods, such as cocoa, upon the fetal DA after maternal intake of such substances in the third trimester of pregnancy, thereby rising the perspective of a note of caution for pregnant women diet. PMID:25566077

  15. Are There Deleterious Cardiac Effects of Acute and Chronic Endurance Exercise?

    PubMed

    Eijsvogels, Thijs M H; Fernandez, Antonio B; Thompson, Paul D

    2016-01-01

    Multiple epidemiological studies document that habitual physical activity reduces the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), and most demonstrate progressively lower rates of ASCVD with progressively more physical activity. Few studies have included individuals performing high-intensity, lifelong endurance exercise, however, and recent reports suggest that prodigious amounts of exercise may increase markers for, and even the incidence of, cardiovascular disease. This review examines the evidence that extremes of endurance exercise may increase cardiovascular disease risk by reviewing the causes and incidence of exercise-related cardiac events, and the acute effects of exercise on cardiovascular function, the effect of exercise on cardiac biomarkers, including "myocardial" creatine kinase, cardiac troponins, and cardiac natriuretic peptides. This review also examines the effect of exercise on coronary atherosclerosis and calcification, the frequency of atrial fibrillation in aging athletes, and the possibility that exercise may be deleterious in individuals genetically predisposed to such cardiac abnormalities as long QT syndrome, right ventricular cardiomyopathy, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This review is to our knowledge unique because it addresses all known potentially adverse cardiovascular effects of endurance exercise. The best evidence remains that physical activity and exercise training benefit the population, but it is possible that prolonged exercise and exercise training can adversely affect cardiac function in some individuals. This hypothesis warrants further examination.

  16. Are There Deleterious Cardiac Effects of Acute and Chronic Endurance Exercise?

    PubMed Central

    Eijsvogels, Thijs M. H.; Fernandez, Antonio B.; Thompson, Paul D.

    2015-01-01

    Multiple epidemiological studies document that habitual physical activity reduces the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), and most demonstrate progressively lower rates of ASCVD with progressively more physical activity. Few studies have included individuals performing high-intensity, lifelong endurance exercise, however, and recent reports suggest that prodigious amounts of exercise may increase markers for, and even the incidence of, cardiovascular disease. This review examines the evidence that extremes of endurance exercise may increase cardiovascular disease risk by reviewing the causes and incidence of exercise-related cardiac events, and the acute effects of exercise on cardiovascular function, the effect of exercise on cardiac biomarkers, including “myocardial” creatine kinase, cardiac troponins, and cardiac natriuretic peptides. This review also examines the effect of exercise on coronary atherosclerosis and calcification, the frequency of atrial fibrillation in aging athletes, and the possibility that exercise may be deleterious in individuals genetically predisposed to such cardiac abnormalities as long QT syndrome, right ventricular cardiomyopathy, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This review is to our knowledge unique because it addresses all known potentially adverse cardiovascular effects of endurance exercise. The best evidence remains that physical activity and exercise training benefit the population, but it is possible that prolonged exercise and exercise training can adversely affect cardiac function in some individuals. This hypothesis warrants further examination. PMID:26607287

  17. Is the deleterious effect of cryotherapy on proprioception mitigated by exercise?

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, F; Moreira, S; Neto, J; Oliveira, J

    2013-05-01

    This study aimed to examine the acute effects of cryotherapy on knee position sense and to determine the time period necessary to normalize joint position sense when exercising after cryotherapy. 12 subjects visited the laboratory twice, once for cryotherapy followed by 30 min of exercise on a cycloergometer and once for cryotherapy followed by 30 min of rest. Sessions were randomly determined and separated by 48 h. Cryotherapy was applied in the form of ice bag, filled with 1 kg of crushed ice, for 20 min. Knee position sense was measured at baseline, after cryotherapy and every 5 min after cryotherapy removal until a total of 30 min. The main effect of cryotherapy was significant showing an increase in absolute (F7,154=43.76, p<0.001) and relative (F7,154=7.97, p<0.001) errors after cryotherapy. The intervention after cryotherapy (rest vs. exercise) revealed a significant main effect only for absolute error (F7,154=4.05, p<0.001), i.e., when subjects exercised after cryotherapy, the proprioceptive acuity reached the baseline values faster (10 min vs. 15 min). Our results indicated that the deleterious effect of cryotherapy on proprioception is mitigated by low intensity exercise, being the time necessary to normalize knee position sense reduced from 15 to 10 min.

  18. Female rats are more susceptible to the deleterious effects of paradoxical sleep deprivation on cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Hajali, Vahid; Sheibani, Vahid; Esmaeili-Mahani, Saeed; Shabani, Mohammad

    2012-03-17

    Paradoxical sleep deprivation (PSD) may alter subsequent learning and memory capacity. There are differences in both the intensity and direction of responses of the male and female species to the same environmental stimuli and experimental conditions. In the present study, we examined the extent of the effects of PSD for 72h on spatial learning and memory, anxiety-like behavior, corticosterone levels, and the body weight in male as well as in intact and ovariectomized (OVX) female Wistar rats. Multiple platform method was used for PSD induction. Spatial learning and memory and anxiety-like behavior were determined using Morris water maze (MWM) task and open field test, respectively. The data showed that PSD could not significantly affect subsequent spatial learning and short-term memory in male rats, while it significantly impaired the performance of the intact and OVX female rats. The PSD-intact and -OVX female rats showed more memory impairment than the PSD-male animals. Those impairments do not appear to be due to elevated stress level, since the plasma corticosterone did not significantly change following PSD induction. The open field data showed that PSD significantly reduced anxiety-like behavior in all experimental groups. In addition, PSD had a reducing effect on the mean body weight of female groups. Such results suggest that the female rats are more vulnerable to the deleterious effects of sleep loss on cognitive performance.

  19. Deleterious effects of obesity upon the hormonal and molecular mechanisms controlling spermatogenesis and male fertility.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Lien M; Millar, Kate; Jones, Celine; Fatum, Muhammad; Coward, Kevin

    2015-09-01

    Worldwide obesity rates have nearly doubled since 1980 and currently over 10% of the population is obese. In 2008, over 1.4 billion adults aged 20 years and older had a body mass index or BMI above a healthy weight and of these, over 200 million men and nearly 300 million women were obese. While obesity can have many ramifications upon adult life, one growing area of concern is that of reproductive capacity. Obesity affects male infertility by influencing the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, thus causing detrimental effects upon spermatogenesis and subsequent fertility. In particular, evidence indicates that excess adipose tissue can alter the relative ratio of testosterone and oestrogen. Additional effects involve the homeostatic disruption of insulin, sex-hormone-binding-globulin, leptin and inhibin B, leading to diminished testosterone production and impairment to spermatogenesis. Aberrant spermatogenesis arising from obesity is associated with downstream changes in key semen parameters, defective sperm capacitation and binding, and deleterious effects on sperm chromatin structure. More recent investigations into trans-generational epigenetic inheritance further suggest that molecular changes in sperm that arise from obesity-related impaired spermatogenesis, such as modified sperm RNA levels, DNA methylation, protamination and histone acetylation, can impact upon the development of offspring. Here, we summarise our current understanding of how obesity exerts influence over spermatogenesis and subsequent fertility status, and make recommendations for future investigative research.

  20. Metformin reverts deleterious effects of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) on osteoblastic cells.

    PubMed

    Schurman, L; McCarthy, A D; Sedlinsky, C; Gangoiti, M V; Arnol, V; Bruzzone, L; Cortizo, A M

    2008-06-01

    Advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) are implicated in the complications of diabetes and ageing, affecting several tissues, including bone. Metformin, an insulin-sensitizer drug, reduces the risk of life-threatening macrovascular complications. We have evaluated the hypothesis that metformin can abrogate AGE-induced deleterious effects in osteoblastic cells in culture. In two osteoblast-like cell lines (UMR106 and MC3T3E1), AGE-modified albumin induced cell death, caspase-3 activity, altered intracellular oxidative stress and inhibited alkaline phosphatase activity. Metformin-treatment of osteoblastic cells prevented these AGE-induced alterations. We also assessed the expression of AGE receptors as a possible mechanism by which metformin could modulate the action of AGEs. AGEs-treatment of osteoblast-like cells enhanced RAGE protein expression, and this up-regulation was prevented in the presence of metformin. Although the precise mechanisms involved in metformin signaling are still elusive, our data implicate the AGE-RAGE interaction in the modulation of growth and differentiation of osteoblastic cells.

  1. Ursolic acid derivative ameliorates streptozotocin-induced diabestic bone deleterious effects in mice

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Su-Guo; Zhang, Cheng-Jie; Xu, Xiu-E; Sun, Ji-Hua; Zhang, Li; Yu, Peng-Fei

    2015-01-01

    Objective: This study was performed to investigate bone deteriorations of diabetic mice in response to the treatment of ursolic acid derivative (UAD). Methods: The biomarkers in serum and urine were measured, tibias were taken for the measurement on gene and protein expression and histomorphology analysis, and femurs were taken for the measurement on bone Ca and three-dimensional architecture of trabecular bone. Results: UAD showed a greater increase in bone Ca, BMD and significantly increased FGF-23 and OCN, reduced PTH and CTX in diabetic mice. UAD reversed STZ-induced trabecular deleterious effects and stimulated bone remodeling. The treatment of STZ group with UAD significantly elevated the ratio of OPG/RANKL. Moreover, insulin and IGF-1 showed a negative correlation with both FBG and Hb1Ac in STZ group. We attributed down-regulating the level of Hb1Ac in diabetic mice to that ursolic acid derivative could primely control blood sugar levels. After analyzing of two adipocyte markers, PPARγ and aP2, increased expression in the tibias of diabetic mice, and UAD could improve STZ-induced adipocyte dysfunction. Conclusions: These results demonstrated that UAD could ameliorate STZ-induced bone deterioration through improving adipocyte dysfunction and enhancing new bone formation and inhibiting absorptive function of osteoclast in the bone of diabetic mice. PMID:26097549

  2. Deleterious localized stress fields: the effects of boundaries and stiffness tailoring in anisotropic laminated plates

    PubMed Central

    Weaver, P. M.

    2016-01-01

    The safe design of primary load-bearing structures requires accurate prediction of stresses, especially in the vicinity of geometric discontinuities where deleterious three-dimensional stress fields can be induced. Even for thin-walled structures significant through-thickness stresses arise at edges and boundaries, and this is especially precarious for laminates of advanced fibre-reinforced composites because through-thickness stresses are the predominant drivers in delamination failure. Here, we use a higher-order equivalent single-layer model derived from the Hellinger–Reissner mixed variational principle to examine boundary layer effects in laminated plates comprising constant-stiffness and variable-stiffness laminae and deforming statically in cylindrical bending. The results show that zigzag deformations, which arise due to layerwise differences in the transverse shear moduli, drive boundary layers towards clamped edges and are therefore critically important in quantifying localized stress gradients. The relative significance of the boundary layer scales with the degree of layerwise anisotropy and the thickness to characteristic length ratio. Finally, we demonstrate that the phenomenon of alternating positive and negative transverse shearing deformation through the thickness of composite laminates, previously only observed at clamped boundaries, can also occur at other locations as a result of smoothly varying the material properties over the in-plane dimensions of the laminate. PMID:27843401

  3. Optical spectroscopy and prevention of deleterious cerebral vascular effects of ethanol by magnesium ions.

    PubMed

    Barbour, Randall L; Gebrewold, Asefa; Altura, Bella T; Altura, Burton M

    2002-06-28

    Previously, it has been suggested that acute ethanol (alcohol) administration can result in concentration-dependent vasoconstriction and decreased cerebral blood flow. Here, we present in vivo results using rapid (240 nm/min) optical backscatter measurements, with an intact cranial preparation in the rat, indicating that acute infusion of ethanol directly into the rat brain rapidly produces dose-dependent vasoconstriction of the cerebral microcirculation associated with a pronounced reduction in tissue blood content, pronounced rises in deoxyhemoglobin, significantly increased levels of reduced cytochrome oxidase and microvascular damage as the dose increases. Furthermore, we present in vivo experiments demonstrating the capability of magnesium ions (Mg(2+)) to attenuate and prevent these deleterious responses. Optical backscatter spectra (500-800 nm) were obtained by directing a single sending and receiving fiber to a portion of the left parietal cranium (in anesthetized rats), shaved to a translucent appearance to facilitate optical penetration. In the absence of added Mg(2+), infusion of a 10% solution of ethanol at 0.34 ml/min ( approximately 26.8 mg/min) produced prompt vasoconstriction as evidenced by a greater than 90% loss of oxyhemoglobin from the field-of-view and increases in levels of reduced cytochrome oxidase to between 50% and >90%. These effects were partially, to nearly completely, attenuated by the addition of MgCl(2) to the infusate containing added ethanol. Of special interest was the observation that attenuation of the vasoconstrictive effect of ethanol by Mg(2+) persisted despite a subsequent ethanol challenge without added Mg(2+). The results obtained demonstrate that, depending on dose, ethanol can produce prompt and severe vasoconstriction of the intact cerebral microcirculation and that infusion of moderate doses of Mg(2+) can largely attenuate and prevent this response. We conclude that appreciable, graded changes in cerebral cytochrome

  4. Multiple deleterious effects of experimentally aged sperm in a monogamous bird

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, J.; Wagner, R.H.; Helfenstein, F.; Hatch, Shyla A.; Mulard, Hervé; Naves, L.C.; Danchin, E.

    2008-01-01

    Sperm aging is known to be detrimental to reproductive performance. However, this apparently general phenomenon has seldom been studied in an evolutionary context. The negative impact of sperm aging on parental fitness should constitute a strong selective pressure for adaptations to avoid its effects. We studied the impact of sperm aging on black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla), a monogamous seabird. Kittiwakes comprise a model system because (i) of evidence that females eject their mates' sperm to prevent fertilization by sperm that would be old and degraded by the time of fertilization and result in reduced reproductive performance and (ii) the lack of extra-pair fertilization in this species makes cryptic female choice an unlikely explanation of postcopulatory sperm ejection by females. We experimentally manipulated the age of the sperm fertilizing kittiwake eggs by fitting males with anti-insemination rings for variable periods of time preceding egg-laying. We found evidence that sperm aging negatively affected four sequential stages of reproduction: fertilization potential, rate of embryonic development, embryonic mortality, and chick condition at hatching. These results may be produced by a continuum of a single process of sperm aging that differentially affects various aspects of development, depending on the degree of damage incurred to the spermatozoa. The marked impact of sperm age on female fitness may thus drive postcopulatory sperm ejection by females. These results provide experimental evidence of deleterious effects of sperm aging on a nondomestic vertebrate, underlining its taxonomic generality and its potential to select for a wide array of adaptations. ?? 2008 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

  5. The deleterious effect of metabolic acidosis on nutritional status of hemodialysis patients.

    PubMed

    Soleymanian, Tayebeh; Ghods, Ahad

    2011-11-01

    One of the main causes of protein-energy malnutrition in patients on maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) is metabolic acidosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of metabolic acidosis on nutritional status in a group of MHD patients with adequately delivered dialysis treatment. Of 165 eligible anuric MHD outpatients with Kt/V ≥ 1 and no underlying inflammatory diseases, 47 subjects were enrolled. In order to evaluate the effect of different parameters on serum albumin, we measured the pre-dialysis serum albumin, blood pH, serum bicarbonate (HCO 3‾ ), Kt/V, normalized protein catabolic rate (nPCR) and body mass index (BMI) in these patients. The mean age of the study patients was 55 ± 13.8 years; there were 22 females and six diabetics. The average Kt/V was 1.22 ± 0.16, pH was 7.40 ± 0.15, serum HCO 3‾ was 23.18 ± 2.38 mEq/L, serum albumin was 4.03 ± 0.56 g/dL, nPCR was 1.00 ± 0.16 g/kg/day, post-dialysis body weight was 58.50 ± 11.50 kg and BMI was 23.47 ± 2.70 kg/m 2 . There was a statistically significant direct correlation between serum albumin and BMI (r = 0.415, P = 0.004), and between serum albumin and serum HCO 3 (r = 0.341, P = 0.019). On multiple regression analysis, the predictors of serum albumin were serum HCO3‾ and BMI (direct effect) and nPCR (inverse effect). In 17 patients on MHD with serum HCO3‾ <22 mEq/L, there was a significant inverse correlation between HCO 3 and nPCR (r = 0.492, P = 0.045), and these patients had significantly lower serum albumin compared with patients with serum HCO3‾ >22 mEq/L (P = 0.046). These data demonstrate that patients on MHD with metabolic acidosis had a lower serum albumin concentration despite adequate dialysis treatment. The inverse effect of nPCR on serum albumin concentration in acidotic MHD patients may be due to hypercatabolism in the setting of metabolic acidosis, leading to deleterious effects on the nutritional status of patients on MHD.

  6. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis activity and function ability: deleterious effects in periodontal disease?

    PubMed

    Pugliese, Camila; van der Vinne, Roberta T A; Campos, Lucia M A; Guardieiro, Priscila R; Saviolli, Cynthia; Bonfá, Eloisa; Pereira, Rosa M R; Viana, Vilma S; Borba, Eduardo F; Silva, Clovis A

    2016-01-01

    provides additional evidence that increased activity and reduced functional ability underlies the deleterious effect of JIA in oral health.

  7. Vitamin E prevents deleterious effects of di (2-ethyl hexyl) phthalate, a plasticizer used in PVC blood storage bags.

    PubMed

    Dhanya, C R; Gayathri, N S; Mithra, K; Nair, K V Neelakantan; Kurup, P A

    2004-09-01

    Vitamin E administration prevented DEHP induced deleterious effects like (i) degenerative changes in the brain and thyroid, (ii) decrease in the activity of neuronal membrane Na+ - K+ ATPase, (iii) decrease in the concentration of insulin, cortisol and TSH, and (iv) the increase in T3 and T4 in female Albino rats. The results suggest use of vitamin E to prevent harmful effects of repeated transfusion of DEHP containing blood as in thalassemia patient. The possibility of using vitamin E to prevent the harmful effects of repeated transfusion of DEHP containing blood, as in thalassemia patients, is discussed.

  8. Duration of Sexual Harassment and Generalized Harassment in the Workplace Over Ten Years: Effects on Deleterious Drinking Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    McGinley, Meredith; Richman, Judith A.; Rospenda, Kathleen M.

    2012-01-01

    While harassment in the workplace has been linked to deleterious drinking outcomes, researchers have yet to examine the long-term effects of chronic workplace harassment. During a ten year longitudinal mail survey, university employees (N = 2265) were administered measures of sexual harassment, generalized workplace harassment, and problematic drinking. Using growth mixture modeling, two latent classes of workplace harassment emerged: infrequent and chronic. Demographic characteristics (gender, age, and race) predicted the shape of the trajectories and likelihood of class membership. As hypothesized, membership in the chronic harassment classes was linked to future problematic drinking, even after controlling for previous drinking. PMID:21745045

  9. Duration of sexual harassment and generalized harassment in the workplace over ten years: effects on deleterious drinking outcomes.

    PubMed

    McGinley, Meredith; Richman, Judith A; Rospenda, Kathleen M

    2011-01-01

    Although harassment in the workplace has been linked to deleterious drinking outcomes, researchers have yet to examine the long-term effects of chronic workplace harassment. During a 10-year longitudinal mail survey, university employees (N = 2,265) were administered measures of sexual harassment, generalized workplace harassment, and problematic drinking. Using growth mixture modeling, two latent classes of workplace harassment emerged: infrequent and chronic. Demographic characteristics (gender, age, and race) predicted the shape of the trajectories and likelihood of class membership. As hypothesized, membership in the chronic harassment classes was linked to future problematic drinking, even after controlling for previous drinking.

  10. Origin and dynamics of admixture in Brazilians and its effect on the pattern of deleterious mutations.

    PubMed

    Kehdy, Fernanda S G; Gouveia, Mateus H; Machado, Moara; Magalhães, Wagner C S; Horimoto, Andrea R; Horta, Bernardo L; Moreira, Rennan G; Leal, Thiago P; Scliar, Marilia O; Soares-Souza, Giordano B; Rodrigues-Soares, Fernanda; Araújo, Gilderlanio S; Zamudio, Roxana; Sant Anna, Hanaisa P; Santos, Hadassa C; Duarte, Nubia E; Fiaccone, Rosemeire L; Figueiredo, Camila A; Silva, Thiago M; Costa, Gustavo N O; Beleza, Sandra; Berg, Douglas E; Cabrera, Lilia; Debortoli, Guilherme; Duarte, Denise; Ghirotto, Silvia; Gilman, Robert H; Gonçalves, Vanessa F; Marrero, Andrea R; Muniz, Yara C; Weissensteiner, Hansi; Yeager, Meredith; Rodrigues, Laura C; Barreto, Mauricio L; Lima-Costa, M Fernanda; Pereira, Alexandre C; Rodrigues, Maíra R; Tarazona-Santos, Eduardo

    2015-07-14

    While South Americans are underrepresented in human genomic diversity studies, Brazil has been a classical model for population genetics studies on admixture. We present the results of the EPIGEN Brazil Initiative, the most comprehensive up-to-date genomic analysis of any Latin-American population. A population-based genome-wide analysis of 6,487 individuals was performed in the context of worldwide genomic diversity to elucidate how ancestry, kinship, and inbreeding interact in three populations with different histories from the Northeast (African ancestry: 50%), Southeast, and South (both with European ancestry >70%) of Brazil. We showed that ancestry-positive assortative mating permeated Brazilian history. We traced European ancestry in the Southeast/South to a wider European/Middle Eastern region with respect to the Northeast, where ancestry seems restricted to Iberia. By developing an approximate Bayesian computation framework, we infer more recent European immigration to the Southeast/South than to the Northeast. Also, the observed low Native-American ancestry (6-8%) was mostly introduced in different regions of Brazil soon after the European Conquest. We broadened our understanding of the African diaspora, the major destination of which was Brazil, by revealing that Brazilians display two within-Africa ancestry components: one associated with non-Bantu/western Africans (more evident in the Northeast and African Americans) and one associated with Bantu/eastern Africans (more present in the Southeast/South). Furthermore, the whole-genome analysis of 30 individuals (42-fold deep coverage) shows that continental admixture rather than local post-Columbian history is the main and complex determinant of the individual amount of deleterious genotypes.

  11. Origin and dynamics of admixture in Brazilians and its effect on the pattern of deleterious mutations

    PubMed Central

    Kehdy, Fernanda S. G.; Gouveia, Mateus H.; Machado, Moara; Magalhães, Wagner C. S.; Horimoto, Andrea R.; Horta, Bernardo L.; Moreira, Rennan G.; Leal, Thiago P.; Scliar, Marilia O.; Soares-Souza, Giordano B.; Rodrigues-Soares, Fernanda; Araújo, Gilderlanio S.; Zamudio, Roxana; Sant Anna, Hanaisa P.; Santos, Hadassa C.; Duarte, Nubia E.; Fiaccone, Rosemeire L.; Figueiredo, Camila A.; Silva, Thiago M.; Costa, Gustavo N. O.; Beleza, Sandra; Berg, Douglas E.; Cabrera, Lilia; Debortoli, Guilherme; Duarte, Denise; Ghirotto, Silvia; Gilman, Robert H.; Gonçalves, Vanessa F.; Marrero, Andrea R.; Muniz, Yara C.; Weissensteiner, Hansi; Yeager, Meredith; Rodrigues, Laura C.; Barreto, Mauricio L.; Lima-Costa, M. Fernanda; Pereira, Alexandre C.; Rodrigues, Maíra R.; Tarazona-Santos, Eduardo

    2015-01-01

    While South Americans are underrepresented in human genomic diversity studies, Brazil has been a classical model for population genetics studies on admixture. We present the results of the EPIGEN Brazil Initiative, the most comprehensive up-to-date genomic analysis of any Latin-American population. A population-based genome-wide analysis of 6,487 individuals was performed in the context of worldwide genomic diversity to elucidate how ancestry, kinship, and inbreeding interact in three populations with different histories from the Northeast (African ancestry: 50%), Southeast, and South (both with European ancestry >70%) of Brazil. We showed that ancestry-positive assortative mating permeated Brazilian history. We traced European ancestry in the Southeast/South to a wider European/Middle Eastern region with respect to the Northeast, where ancestry seems restricted to Iberia. By developing an approximate Bayesian computation framework, we infer more recent European immigration to the Southeast/South than to the Northeast. Also, the observed low Native-American ancestry (6–8%) was mostly introduced in different regions of Brazil soon after the European Conquest. We broadened our understanding of the African diaspora, the major destination of which was Brazil, by revealing that Brazilians display two within-Africa ancestry components: one associated with non-Bantu/western Africans (more evident in the Northeast and African Americans) and one associated with Bantu/eastern Africans (more present in the Southeast/South). Furthermore, the whole-genome analysis of 30 individuals (42-fold deep coverage) shows that continental admixture rather than local post-Columbian history is the main and complex determinant of the individual amount of deleterious genotypes. PMID:26124090

  12. Mutation accumulation in real branches: fitness assays for genomic deleterious mutation rate and effect in large-statured plants.

    PubMed

    Schultz, Stewart T; Scofield, Douglas G

    2009-08-01

    The genomic deleterious mutation rate and mean effect are central to the biology and evolution of all species. Large-statured plants, such as trees, are predicted to have high mutation rates due to mitotic mutation and the absence of a sheltered germ line, but their size and generation time has hindered genetic study. We develop and test approaches for estimating deleterious mutation rates and effects from viability comparisons within the canopy of large-statured plants. Our methods, inspired by E. J. Klekowski, are a modification of the classic Bateman-Mukai mutation-accumulation experiment. Within a canopy, cell lineages accumulate mitotic mutations independently. Gametes or zygotes produced at more distal points by these cell lineages contain more mitotic mutations than those at basal locations, and within-flower selfs contain more homozygous mutations than between-flower selfs. The resulting viability differences allow demonstration of lethal mutation with experiments similar in size to assays of genetic load and allow estimates of the rate and effect of new mutations with moderate precision and bias similar to that of classic mutation-accumulation experiments in small-statured organisms. These methods open up new possibilities with the potential to provide valuable new insights into the evolutionary genetics of plants.

  13. Methyl donor supplementation in rats reverses the deleterious effect of maternal separation on depression-like behaviour.

    PubMed

    Paternain, Laura; Martisova, Eva; Campión, Javier; Martínez, J Alfredo; Ramírez, Maria J; Milagro, Fermin I

    2016-02-15

    Adverse early life events are associated with altered stress responsiveness and metabolic disturbances in the adult life. Dietary methyl donor supplementation could be able to reverse the negative effects of maternal separation by affecting DNA methylation in the brain. In this study, maternal separation during lactation reduced body weight gain in the female adult offspring without affecting food intake, and altered total and HDL-cholesterol levels. Also, maternal separation induced a cognitive deficit as measured by NORT and an increase in the immobility time in the Porsolt forced swimming test, consistent with increased depression-like behaviour. An 18-week dietary supplementation with methyl donors (choline, betaine, folate and vitamin B12) from postnatal day 60 also reduced body weight without affecting food intake. Some of the deleterious effects induced by maternal separation, such as the abnormal levels of total and HDL-cholesterol, but especially the depression-like behaviour as measured by the Porsolt test, were reversed by methyl donor supplementation. Also, the administration of methyl donors increased total DNA methylation (measured by immunohistochemistry) and affected the expression of insulin receptor in the hippocampus of the adult offspring. However, no changes were observed in the DNA methylation status of insulin receptor and corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) promoter regions in the hypothalamus. In summary, methyl donor supplementation reversed some of the deleterious effects of an early life-induced model of depression in rats and altered the DNA methylation profile in the brain.

  14. Genetic Allee effects and their interaction with ecological Allee effects.

    PubMed

    Wittmann, Meike J; Stuis, Hanna; Metzler, Dirk

    2016-10-12

    It is now widely accepted that genetic processes such as inbreeding depression and loss of genetic variation can increase the extinction risk of small populations. However, it is generally unclear whether extinction risk from genetic causes gradually increases with decreasing population size or whether there is a sharp transition around a specific threshold population size. In the ecological literature, such threshold phenomena are called 'strong Allee effects' and they can arise for example from mate limitation in small populations. In this study, we aim to (i) develop a meaningful notion of a 'strong genetic Allee effect', (ii) explore whether and under what conditions such an effect can arise from inbreeding depression due to recessive deleterious mutations, and (iii) quantify the interaction of potential genetic Allee effects with the well-known mate-finding Allee effect. We define a strong genetic Allee effect as a genetic process that causes a population's survival probability to be a sigmoid function of its initial size. The inflection point of this function defines the critical population size. To characterize survival-probability curves, we develop and analyse simple stochastic models for the ecology and genetics of small populations. Our results indicate that inbreeding depression can indeed cause a strong genetic Allee effect, but only if individuals carry sufficiently many deleterious mutations (lethal equivalents). Populations suffering from a genetic Allee effect often first grow, then decline as inbreeding depression sets in and then potentially recover as deleterious mutations are purged. Critical population sizes of ecological and genetic Allee effects appear to be often additive, but even superadditive interactions are possible. Many published estimates for the number of lethal equivalents in birds and mammals fall in the parameter range where strong genetic Allee effects are expected. Unfortunately, extinction risk due to genetic Allee effects

  15. Deleterious effects of reactive aldehydes and glycated proteins on macrophage proteasomal function: possible links between diabetes and atherosclerosis.

    PubMed

    Moheimani, Fatemeh; Morgan, Philip E; van Reyk, David M; Davies, Michael J

    2010-06-01

    People with diabetes experience chronic hyperglycemia and are at a high risk of developing atherosclerosis and microvascular disease. Reactions of glucose, or aldehydes derived from glucose (e.g. methylglyoxal, glyoxal, or glycolaldehyde), with proteins result in glycation that ultimately yield advanced glycation end products (AGE). AGE are present at elevated levels in plasma and atherosclerotic lesions from people with diabetes, and previous in vitro studies have postulated that the presence of these materials is deleterious to cell function. This accumulation of AGE and glycated proteins within cells may arise from either increased formation and/or ineffective removal by cellular proteolytic systems, such as the proteasomes, the major multi-enzyme complex that removes proteins within cells. In this study it is shown that whilst high glucose concentrations fail to modify proteasome enzyme activities in J774A.1 macrophage-like cell extracts, reactive aldehydes enhanced proteasomal enzyme activities. In contrast BSA, pre-treated with high glucose for 8 weeks, inhibited both the chymotrypsin-like and caspase-like activities. BSA glycated using methylglyoxal or glycolaldehyde, also inhibited proteasomal activity though to differing extents. This suppression of proteasome activity by glycated proteins may result in further intracellular accumulation of glycated proteins with subsequent deleterious effects on cellular function.

  16. The effects of a deleterious mutation load on patterns of influenza A/H3N2's antigenic evolution in humans.

    PubMed

    Koelle, Katia; Rasmussen, David A

    2015-09-15

    Recent phylogenetic analyses indicate that RNA virus populations carry a significant deleterious mutation load. This mutation load has the potential to shape patterns of adaptive evolution via genetic linkage to beneficial mutations. Here, we examine the effect of deleterious mutations on patterns of influenza A subtype H3N2's antigenic evolution in humans. By first analyzing simple models of influenza that incorporate a mutation load, we show that deleterious mutations, as expected, act to slow the virus's rate of antigenic evolution, while making it more punctuated in nature. These models further predict three distinct molecular pathways by which antigenic cluster transitions occur, and we find phylogenetic patterns consistent with each of these pathways in influenza virus sequences. Simulations of a more complex phylodynamic model further indicate that antigenic mutations act in concert with deleterious mutations to reproduce influenza's spindly hemagglutinin phylogeny, co-circulation of antigenic variants, and high annual attack rates.

  17. Comparison of the deleterious effects of binge drinking-like alcohol exposure in adolescent and adult mice.

    PubMed

    Lacaille, Hélène; Duterte-Boucher, Dominique; Liot, Donovan; Vaudry, Hubert; Naassila, Mickael; Vaudry, David

    2015-03-01

    A major cause of alcohol toxicity is the production of reactive oxygen species generated during ethanol metabolism. The aim of this study was to compare the effect of binge drinking-like alcohol exposure on a panel of genes implicated in oxidative mechanisms in adolescent and adult mice. In adolescent animals, alcohol decreased the expression of genes involved in the repair and protection of oxidative DNA damage such as atr, gpx7, or nudt15 and increased the expression of proapoptotic genes such as casp3. In contrast, in the adult brain, genes activated by alcohol were mainly associated with protective mechanisms that prevent cells from oxidative damage. Whatever the age, iterative binge-like episodes provoked the same deleterious effects as those observed after a single binge episode. In adolescent mice, multiple binge ethanol exposure substantially reduced neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus and impaired short-term memory in the novel object and passive avoidance tests. Taken together, our results indicate that alcohol causes deleterious effects in the adolescent brain which are distinct from those observed in adults. These data contribute to explain the greater sensitivity of the adolescent brain to alcohol toxicity. The effects of alcohol exposure were investigated on genes involved in oxidative mechanisms. In adolescent animals, alcohol decreased the expression of genes involved in DNA repair, a potential cause of the observed decrease of neurogenesis. In contrast, in the adult brain, alcohol increased the expression of genes associated with antioxidant mechanisms. Apoptosis was increase in all groups and converged with other biochemical alterations to enhance short-term memory impairment in the adolescent brain. These data contribute to explain the greater sensitivity of the adolescent brain to alcohol toxicity.

  18. The role of aromatase inhibitors in ameliorating deleterious effects of ovarian stimulation on outcome of infertility treatment

    PubMed Central

    Mitwally, Mohamed FM; Casper, Robert F; Diamond, Michael P

    2005-01-01

    Clinical utilization of ovulation stimulation to facilitate the ability of a couple to conceive has not only provided a valuable therapeutic approach, but has also yielded extensive information on the physiology of ovarian follicular recruitment, endometrial receptivity and early embryo competency. One of the consequences of the use of fertility enhancing agents for ovarian stimulation has been the creation of a hyperestrogenic state, which may influence each of these parameters. Use of aromatase inhibitors reduces hyperestrogenism inevitably attained during ovarian stimulation. In addition, the adjunct use of aromatase inhibitors during ovarian stimulation reduces amount of gonadotropins required for optimum stimulation. The unique approach of reducing hyperestrogenism, as well as lowering amount of gonadotropins without affecting the number of mature ovarian follicles is an exciting strategy that could result in improvement in the treatment outcome by ameliorating the deleterious effects of the ovarian stimulation on follicular development, endometrial receptivity, as well as oocyte and embryo quality. PMID:16202169

  19. Silicon alleviates deleterious effects of high salinity on the halophytic grass Spartina densiflora.

    PubMed

    Mateos-Naranjo, Enrique; Andrades-Moreno, Luis; Davy, Anthony J

    2013-02-01

    The non-essential element silicon is known to improve plant fitness by alleviating the effects of biotic and abiotic stresses, particularly in crops. However, its possible role in the exceptional tolerance of halophytes to salinity has not been investigated. This study reports the effect of Si supply on the salinity tolerance of the halophytic grass Spartina densiflora; plants were treated with NaCl (0-680 mM), with or without silicon addition of 500 μM, in a glasshouse experiment. Plant responses were examined using growth analysis, combined with measurements of gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence and photosynthetic pigment concentrations. In addition, tissue concentrations of aluminium, calcium, copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus and silicon were determined. Although high salinity decreased growth, this effect was alleviated by treatment with Si. Improved growth was associated with higher net photosynthetic rate (A), and greater water-use efficiency (WUE). Enhanced A at high salinity could be explained by beneficial effects of Si on the photochemical apparatus, and on chlorophyll concentrations. Ameliorative effects of Si were correlated with reduced sodium uptake, which was unrelated to a reduction in the transpiration rate, since Si-supplemented plants had higher stomatal conductances (G(s)). These plants also had higher tissue concentrations of essential nutrients, suggesting that Si had a positive effect on the mineral nutrient balance in salt-stressed plants. Si appears to play a significant role in salinity tolerance even in a halophyte, which has other, specific salt-tolerance mechanisms, through diverse protective effects on the photosynthetic apparatus, water-use efficiency and mineral nutrient balance.

  20. Maternal caloric restriction partially rescues the deleterious effects of advanced maternal age on offspring

    PubMed Central

    Gribble, Kristin E; Jarvis, George; Bock, Martha; Mark Welch, David B

    2014-01-01

    While many studies have focused on the detrimental effects of advanced maternal age and harmful prenatal environments on progeny, little is known about the role of beneficial non-Mendelian maternal inheritance on aging. Here, we report the effects of maternal age and maternal caloric restriction (CR) on the life span and health span of offspring for a clonal culture of the monogonont rotifer Brachionus manjavacas. Mothers on regimens of chronic CR (CCR) or intermittent fasting (IF) had increased life span compared with mothers fed ad libitum (AL). With increasing maternal age, life span and fecundity of female offspring of AL-fed mothers decreased significantly and life span of male offspring was unchanged, whereas body size of both male and female offspring increased. Maternal CR partially rescued these effects, increasing the mean life span of AL-fed female offspring but not male offspring and increasing the fecundity of AL-fed female offspring compared with offspring of mothers of the same age. Both maternal CR regimens decreased male offspring body size, but only maternal IF decreased body size of female offspring, whereas maternal CCR caused a slight increase. Understanding the genetic and biochemical basis of these different maternal effects on aging may guide effective interventions to improve health span and life span. PMID:24661622

  1. Hyperfractionation decreases the deleterious effects of conventional radiation fractionation on vertebral growth in animals

    SciTech Connect

    Hartsell, W.F.; Hanson, W.R.; Conterato, D.J.; Hendrickson, F.R.

    1989-06-15

    Craniospinal axis irradiation in the treatment of pediatric tumors is associated with serious long-term sequelae including decreased bone growth (short sitting stature). In this study, an animal model was used to determine the effects of smaller incremental doses of radiation on bone growth. Sprague-Dawley weanling rats were given 25 Gy to the spine in 8 to 9 days, with fraction sizes ranging from 1.0 to 1.8 Gy. The animals receiving smaller doses per fraction (1.0 or 1.25 Gy) showed significantly more growth of the vertebral bodies in the treated fields than animals given larger incremental doses (1.5 or 1.8 Gy). These findings indicate a protective effect on bone growth for hyperfractionated irradiation of vertebral bodies.

  2. Imatinib has deleterious effects on differentiating spermatogonia while sparing spermatogonial stem cell self renewal.

    PubMed

    Heim, Crystal; Minniear, Kayla; Dann, Christina Tenenhaus

    2011-05-01

    Imatinib mesylate is among a growing number of effective cancer drugs that provide molecularly targeted therapy; however, imatinib causes reproductive defects in rodents. The availability of an in vitro system for screening the effect of drugs on spermatogenesis would be beneficial. The imatinib targets, KIT and platelet derived growth factor receptor beta (PDGFRB), were shown here to be expressed in "germline stem" (GS) cell cultures that contain spermatogonia, including spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs). GS cell cultures were utilized to determine whether imatinib affects SSC self renewal or differentiation. GS cells grown in imatinib retained self renewal based on multiple assays, including transplantation. However, growth in imatinib led to decreased numbers of differentiated spermatogonia and reduced culture growth consistent with the known requirement for KIT in survival and proliferation of spermatogonia. These results build upon the in vivo studies and support the possibility of utilizing GS cell cultures for preclinical drug tests.

  3. Deleterious effects of a low amount of ethanol on LTP-like plasticity in human cortex.

    PubMed

    Lücke, Caroline; Heidegger, Tonio; Röhner, Mirjam; Toennes, Stefan W; Krivanekova, Lucia; Müller-Dahlhaus, Florian; Ziemann, Ulf

    2014-05-01

    Ingesting ethanol (EtOH) at low doses during social drinking is a common human behavior for its facilitating effects on social interactions. However, low-dose EtOH may have also detrimental effects that so far are underexplored. Here we sought to test the effects of low-dose EtOH on long-term potentiation (LTP)-like plasticity in human motor cortex. Previous cellular experiments showed that low-dose EtOH potentiates extrasynaptic GABAAR and reduces NMDAR-mediated currents, processes that would limit the expression of LTP. Paired associative transcranial magnetic stimulation (PASLTP) was employed in nine healthy subjects for induction of LTP-like plasticity, indexed by a long-term increase in motor-evoked potential input-output curves. Synaptic α1-GABAAR function was measured by saccadic peak velocity (SPV). Very low doses of EtOH (resulting in blood concentrations of <5 mM) suppressed LTP-like plasticity but did not affect SPV when compared with a placebo condition. In contrast, 1 mg of alprazolam, a classical benzodiazepine, or 10 mg of zolpidem, a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic, decreased SPV but did not significantly affect LTP-like plasticity when compared with placebo. This double dissociation of low-dose EtOH vs alprazolam/zolpidem effects is best explained by the putatively high affinity of EtOH but not alprazolam/zolpidem to extrasynaptic GABAARs and to NMDARs. Findings suggest that enhancement of extrasynaptic GABAAR-mediated tonic inhibition and/or reduction of NMDAR-mediated neurotransmission by EtOH blocks LTP-like plasticity in human cortex at very low doses that are easily reached during social drinking. Therefore, low-dose EtOH may jeopardize LTP-dependent processes, such as learning and memory formation.

  4. Additives to Prevent Deleterious Effects Associated with Long-Term Storage of Petroleum Products,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-09-01

    source of carbon for bacteria than the fuel itself. When the material is used it must be protected by a bactericide . 50. Sulfate-reducing bacteria... Bactericides have been widely used to control microbial effects in petroleum storage. Most of these compounds dissolve in the petroleum product but, move into...the bactericides . Generally these materials would be deactivated by absorp- tion on particulates or oxidation. Testing of bactericides for use in long

  5. Selectivity filters to edit out deleterious side effects in kinase inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Sessel, Sean; Fernández, Ariel

    2011-01-01

    As the molecular etiology of cancer unravels, revealing the heterogeneous nature of the malignancy, multi-target drug treatments are more frequently advocated. Such therapeutic avenues often target kinases, the basic signal transducers in the cell. Because kinases share common evolutionary backgrounds, they also share many structural attributes, making it difficult for molecular targeted therapy to distinguish between paralogs. Thus, kinase inhibitors (KIs) tend to have undesired cross-reactivities, resulting in potentially lethal side effects. The health risks are obviously higher in these multi-pronged treatments when contrasted with the effects of more selective therapeutic agents. Using a nonconserved physicochemical biomarker, we present a rationally designed molecular filter that enables the control of specificity and the development of adjuvant drugs to edit out the side effects of the primary therapeutic agent. These editors work by overlapping therapeutically with the primary drug in cancer cells, while interfering with toxicity-related signaling pathways recruited by the primary drug in off-target cells. We then examine the possible application of these filtering methods to specifically target kinases when they present idiosyncratic cancer-related mutations. Such applications open the door to engineer personalized drugs tailored to the genetic makeup of the patient. These various methods of enhancing efficacy and safety show some degree of modularity, allowing drug designers to utilize multiple techniques and various drug combinations to create the safest and most powerful treatment for any given therapeutic scenario.

  6. Liver X receptors interfere with the deleterious effect of diethylstilbestrol on testicular physiology

    SciTech Connect

    Oumeddour, Abdelkader; Viennois, Emilie; Caira, Françoise; Decourbey, Clélia; Maqdasy, Salwan; and others

    2014-04-11

    Highlights: • Part of the neonatal effect of DES on testis needs the presence of Lxrα/β. • Some DES-induced pathways are blocked in Lxr-deficient mice. • Lxr-deficient mice analysis defines DES-target genes protected by Lxr. - Abstract: Liver X receptors LXRα (NR1H3) and LXRβ (NR1H2) are transcription factors belonging to the nuclear receptor superfamily, activated by specific oxysterols, oxidized derivatives of cholesterol. These receptors are involved in the regulation of testis physiology. Lxr-deficient mice pointed to the physiological roles of these nuclear receptors in steroid synthesis, lipid homeostasis and germ cell apoptosis and proliferation. Diethylstilbestrol (DES) is a synthetic estrogen considered as an endocrine disruptor that affects the functions of the testis. Various lines of evidences have made a clear link between estrogens, their nuclear receptors ERα (NR3A1) and ERβ (NR3A2), and Lxrα/β. As LXR activity could also be regulated by the nuclear receptor small heterodimer partner (SHP, NR0A2) and DES could act through SHP, we wondered whether LXR could be targeted by estrogen-like endocrine disruptors such as DES. For that purpose, wild-type and Lxr-deficient mice were daily treated with 0.75 μg DES from days 1 to 5 after birth. The effects of DES were investigated at 10 or 45 days of age. We demonstrated that DES induced a decrease of the body mass at 10 days only in the Lxr-deficient mice suggesting a protective effect of Lxr. We defined three categories of DES-target genes in testis: those whose accumulation is independent of Lxr; those whose accumulation is enhanced by the lack of both Lxrα/β; those whose accumulation is repressed by the absence of Lxrα/β. Lipid accumulation is also modified by neonatal DES injection. Lxr-deficient mice present different lipid profiles, demonstrating that DES could have its effects in part due to Lxrα/β. Altogether, our study shows that both nuclear receptors Lxrα and Lxrβ are not only

  7. Metyrapone alleviates deleterious effects of maternal food restriction on lung development and growth of rat offspring.

    PubMed

    Paek, David S; Sakurai, Reiko; Saraswat, Aditi; Li, Yishi; Khorram, Omid; Torday, John S; Rehan, Virender K

    2015-02-01

    Maternal food restriction (MFR) causes intrauterine growth restriction, a known risk factor for developing chronic lung disease. However, it is unknown whether this negative outcome is gender specific or preventable by blocking the MFR-induced hyperglucocorticoidism. Using a well-established rat model, we used metyrapone (MTP), an inhibitor of glucocorticoid synthesis, to study the MFR-induced lung changes on postnatal day (p) 21 in a gender-specific manner. From embryonic day 10 until delivery, pregnant dams were fed either an ad libitum diet or a 50% caloric restricted diet with or without MTP supplementation. Postnatally, the offspring were fed ad libitum from healthy dams until p21. Morphometric, Western blot, and immunohistochemical analysis of the lungs demonstrated that MTP mitigated the MFR-mediated decrease in alveolar count, decrease in adipogenic protein peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ, increase in myogenic proteins (fibronectin, α-smooth muscle actin, and calponin), increase in Wnt signaling intermediates (lymphoid enhancer-binding factor 1 and β-catenin), and increase in glucocorticoid receptor (GR) levels. The MFR-induced lung phenotype and the effects of MTP were similar in both genders. To elucidate the mechanism of MFR-induced shift of the adipogenic-to-myogenic phenotype, lung fibroblasts were used to independently study the effects of (1) nutrient restriction and (2) excess steroid exposure. Nutrient deprivation increased myogenic proteins, Wnt signaling intermediates, and GR, all changes blocked by protein supplementation. MTP also blocked, likely by normalizing nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate levels, the corticosterone-induced increase in myogenic proteins, but had no effect on GR levels. In summary, protein restriction and increased glucocorticoid levels appear to be the key players in MFR-induced lung disease, affecting both genders.

  8. Deleterious effects of cypermethrin on semen characteristics and testes of dwarf goats (Capra hircus).

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Maqbool; Hussain, Ijaz; Khan, Ahrar; Najib-ur-Rehman

    2009-07-01

    This study was carried out on 30 male dwarf goats to determine the effects of cypermethrin (CY) on semen characteristics and at tissue level in testes. Animals were divided randomly into five equal groups and each group was dipped with 0%, 0.1%, 0.4%, 0.8% or 1.6% CY, on days 0 and 15. The semen was collected at day 0, then fortnightly till 75 days and evaluated for physical characteristics, sperm morphology and concentration. None of the parameters studied showed any statistical difference on days 0 and 15 of sample collection. From day 30, effect of CY on semen characteristics started to appear and was more pronounced from days 45 to 75. Significantly (P<0.01) decreased ejaculatory volume, motility percentage, mass activity, and concentration of spermatozoa were observed in treated groups as compared to control. With the treatment of CY, pH of semen became more alkaline. Semen color changed from creamy (control) to milky white to straw color in treated bucks. Percentage of abnormal spermatozoa (tailless, bent tails, coiled tailed) was much higher in treated animals than in control. Dead spermatozoa increased significantly (P<0.01) in the treatment groups from days 30 to 75 as compared to the control group. All these changes were dose dependent, being less with low CY dose and more even extensive with high CY dose. Slight to moderate improvement in the above parameters was observed at day 75 nearly in all treated groups. Grossly decreased weight of testis and cyanotic epididymides were observed in bucks treated with 1.6% CY. Histopathologically, degenerative changes and loss of spermatogonia, spermatocyte, Sertoli cells, spermatids, and spermatozoa in seminiferous tubules were also dose dependent. It was concluded that CY caused dose-dependent effects on all parameters studied. High doses of CY (0.8% and 1.6% solution) affected the parameters on semen characteristics, though this effect seems to be transient as improvement in these parameters was observed at day

  9. Pretreatment with polyamines alleviate the deleterious effects of diuron in maize leaves.

    PubMed

    Durmuş, Nuran; Bekircan, Tuba

    2015-03-01

    The effects of diuron, a photosystem II inhibiting herbicide, on lipid peroxidation, photosynthetic pigments, soluble protein, proline contents and some antioxidant enzymes in maize leaves were studied and protective effects of polyamines against diuron toxicity were investigated. Diuron significantly increased lipid peroxidation, suggesting oxidative damage in the plants and proline content, while it decreased total chlorophyll, carotenoid and soluble protein levels in the leaves during the experiments. Pretreatment with polyamines statistically decreased lipid peroxidation induced by diuron and spermine (SPM) proved to be the most effective polyamine. Also, pretreatment with polyamines significantly prevented the losses of total chlorophyll, carotenoid and soluble protein induced by diuron. On the other hand, pretreatment with polyamines significantly increased proline contents of the leaves in comparison with the leaves treated with diuron. Superoxide dismutase (SOD), guaiacol peroxidase (GPX) and glutathione reductase (GR) activities increased in the leaves treated with diuron while catalase (CAT ) activity decreased. Pretreatment with spermidine (SPD) did not change significantly SOD activity at 24 and 72 hrs of diuron treatment but prevented the increase in SOD activity induced by diuron at 48 h. However, pretreatment with SPD increased GPX activity at 24 h and GR activity at 48 and 72 hrs. CAT activity in the leaves pretreated with SPD was similar to that of the leaves treated with diuron. Pretreatment with SPM prevented the increase in SOD activity induced by diuron at 48 h but significantly increased it at 72 h of diuron treatment. However, pretreatment with SPM did not significantly change GPX and GR activities during the experiments but reversed the decrease in CAT activity induced by diuron at 72 h. Pretreatment with putrescine (PUT) prevented the increase in SOD activity induced by diuron at 48 and 72 hrs while it increased GPX and GR activities at 48

  10. Deleterious effects of endotoxin on cultured endothelial cells: an in vitro model of vascular injury

    SciTech Connect

    Yamada, O.; Moldow, C.F.; Sacks, T.; Craddock, P.R.; Boogaerts, M.A.; Jacob, H.S.

    1981-06-01

    The effects of endotoxin-triggered granulocytes on the viability of endothelial cells in vitro was investigated. Endotoxin or its lipid A component caused granulocytes to adhere to and significantly damage cultured endothelial cells. Fresh serum is not necessary but does amplify both adherence and endothelial injury. Much of the endothelial injury was inhibited by free-radical scavengers or by blocking granulocyte adhesion to endothelial cells and appears to result from free radical production by the stimulated granulocyte. Studies in this model suggest a pathogenic role for the endotoxin-triggered granulocyte in the Shwartzman reaction and perhaps related clinical disorders.

  11. Pulmonary exposure to cellulose nanocrystals caused deleterious effects to reproductive system in male mice.

    PubMed

    Farcas, Mariana T; Kisin, Elena R; Menas, Autumn L; Gutkin, Dmitriy W; Star, Alexander; Reiner, Richard S; Yanamala, Naveena; Savolainen, Kai; Shvedova, Anna A

    2016-01-01

    Over the past several years there has been an increased number of applications of cellulosic materials in many sectors, including the food industry, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. However, to date, there are few studies investigating the potential adverse effects of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC). The objective of this study was to determine long-term outcomes on the male reproductive system of mice upon repeated pharyngeal aspiration exposure to CNC. To achieve this, cauda epididymal sperm samples were analyzed for sperm concentration, motility, morphological abnormalities, and DNA damage. Testicular and epididymal oxidative damage was evaluated, as well as histopathology examination of testes. In addition, changes in levels of testosterone in testes and serum and of luteinizing hormone (LH) in serum were determined. Three months after the last administration, CNC exposure significantly altered sperm concentration, motility, cell morphology, and sperm DNA integrity. These parameters correlated with elevated proinflammatory cytokines levels and myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity in testes, as well as oxidative stress in both testes and epididymis. Exposure to CNC also produced damage to testicular structure, as evidenced by presence of interstitial edema, frequent dystrophic seminiferous tubules with arrested spermatogenesis and degenerating spermatocytes, and imbalance in levels of testosterone and LH. Taken together, these results demonstrate that pulmonary exposure to CNC induces sustained adverse effects in spermatocytes/spermatozoa, suggesting male reproductive toxicity.

  12. Synergistic deleterious effect of chronic stress and sodium azide in the mouse hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Delgado-Cortés, María José; Espinosa-Oliva, Ana M; Sarmiento, Manuel; Argüelles, Sandro; Herrera, Antonio J; Mauriño, Raquel; Villarán, Ruth F; Venero, José L; Machado, Alberto; de Pablos, Rocío M

    2015-04-20

    Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly. Although the primary cause of the disease is presently unknown, to date several risk factors have been described. Evidence suggests that one of these risk factors could be chronic stress. The aim of this work is to demonstrate that chronic stress is able to induce Alzheimer's disease features after the administration of nontoxic doses of sodium azide. We found that chronic stress increases the levels of several proteins involved in Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis, such as presenilin 1, presenilin 2, and S100β, besides inducing the aggregation of Tau, ubiquitin, and β-amyloid proteins in the hippocampus. More important, our work shows a synergistic effect of stress and sodium azide treatment leading to significant neuronal death in the mouse hippocampus. Our results point out that chronic stress is a risk factor contributing to amplify and accelerate Alzheimer's disease features in the hippocampus.

  13. Acetaldehyde Content and Oxidative Stress in the Deleterious Effects of Alcohol Drinking on Rat Uterine Horn

    PubMed Central

    Buthet, Lara Romina; Maciel, María Eugenia; Quintans, Leandro Néstor; Rodríguez de Castro, Carmen; Costantini, Martín Hernán; Castro, José Alberto

    2013-01-01

    After alcohol exposure through a standard Lieber and De Carli diet for 28 days, a severe atrophy in the rat uteirne horn was observed, accompanied by significant alterations in its epithelial cells. Microsomal pathway of acetaldehyde production was slightly increased. Hydroxyl radicals were detected in the cytosolic fraction, and this was attributed to participation of xanthine oxidoreductase. They were also observed in the microsomal fraction in the presence of NADPH generating system. No generation of 1-hydroxyethyl was evidenced. The t-butylhydroperoxide-induced chemiluminescence analysis of uterine horn homogenates revealed a significant increase in the chemiluminiscence emission due to ethanol exposure. In the animals repeatedly exposed to alcohol, sulfhydryl content from uterine horn proteins was decreased, but no significant changes were observed in the protein carbonyl content from the same samples. Minor but significant decreasing changes were observed in the GSH content accompanied by a tendency to decrease in the GSH/GSSG ratio. A highly significant finding was the diminished activity content of glutathione peroxidase. Results suggest that acetaldehyde accumulation plus the oxidative stress may play an additional effect to the alcohol-promoted hormonal changes in the uterus reported by others after chronic exposure to alcohol. PMID:24348548

  14. Acetaldehyde content and oxidative stress in the deleterious effects of alcohol drinking on rat uterine horn.

    PubMed

    Buthet, Lara Romina; Maciel, María Eugenia; Quintans, Leandro Néstor; Rodríguez de Castro, Carmen; Costantini, Martín Hernán; Fanelli, Silvia Laura; Castro, José Alberto; Castro, Gerardo Daniel

    2013-01-01

    After alcohol exposure through a standard Lieber and De Carli diet for 28 days, a severe atrophy in the rat uteirne horn was observed, accompanied by significant alterations in its epithelial cells. Microsomal pathway of acetaldehyde production was slightly increased. Hydroxyl radicals were detected in the cytosolic fraction, and this was attributed to participation of xanthine oxidoreductase. They were also observed in the microsomal fraction in the presence of NADPH generating system. No generation of 1-hydroxyethyl was evidenced. The t-butylhydroperoxide-induced chemiluminescence analysis of uterine horn homogenates revealed a significant increase in the chemiluminiscence emission due to ethanol exposure. In the animals repeatedly exposed to alcohol, sulfhydryl content from uterine horn proteins was decreased, but no significant changes were observed in the protein carbonyl content from the same samples. Minor but significant decreasing changes were observed in the GSH content accompanied by a tendency to decrease in the GSH/GSSG ratio. A highly significant finding was the diminished activity content of glutathione peroxidase. Results suggest that acetaldehyde accumulation plus the oxidative stress may play an additional effect to the alcohol-promoted hormonal changes in the uterus reported by others after chronic exposure to alcohol.

  15. Normal physical activity obliterates the deleterious effects of a high-caloric intake.

    PubMed

    Krogh-Madsen, Rikke; Pedersen, Maria; Solomon, Thomas P J; Knudsen, Sine Haugaard; Hansen, Louise Seier; Karstoft, Kristian; Lehrskov-Schmidt, Louise; Pedersen, Karin Kaereby; Thomsen, Carsten; Holst, Jens Juul; Pedersen, Bente K

    2014-02-01

    A high-caloric intake combined with a sedentary lifestyle is an important player in the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The present study was undertaken to examine if the level of physical activity has impact on the metabolic effects of a high-caloric (+2,000 kcal/day) intake. Therefore, healthy individuals on a high-caloric intake were randomized to either 10,000 or 1,500 steps/day for 14 days. Step number, total energy expenditure, dietary records, neuropsychological tests, maximal oxygen uptake (Vo2max), whole body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and abdominal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), and oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT) with stable isotopes were performed before and after the intervention. Both study groups gained the same amount of body weight. However, the inactive group accumulated significantly more visceral fat compared with the active group. Following the 2-wk period, the inactive group also experienced a poorer glycemic control, increased endogenous glucose production, decreased hepatic insulin extraction, increased baseline plasma levels of total cholesterol and LDL, and a decreased cognitive function with regard to capacity of attention. In conclusion, we find evidence to support that habitual physical activity may prevent pathophysiological symptoms associated with diet-induced obesity.

  16. Estimation of the upper limit of the mutation rate and mean heterozygous effect of deleterious mutations.

    PubMed

    Caballero, A

    2006-12-01

    Deng et al. have recently proposed that estimates of an upper limit to the rate of spontaneous mutations and their average heterozygous effect can be obtained from the mean and variance of a given fitness trait in naturally segregating populations, provided that allele frequencies are maintained at the balance between mutation and selection. Using simulations they show that this estimation method generally has little bias and is very robust to violations of the mutation-selection balance assumption. Here I show that the particular parameters and models used in these simulations generally reduce the amount of bias that can occur with this estimation method. In particular, the assumption of a large mutation rate in the simulations always implies a low bias of estimates. In addition, the specific model of overdominance used to check the violation of the mutation-selection balance assumption is such that there is not a dramatic decline in mean fitness from overdominant mutations, again implying a low bias of estimates. The assumption of lower mutation rates and/or other models of balancing selection may imply considerably larger biases of the estimates, making the reliability of the proposed method highly questionable.

  17. Peripheral inflammation increases the deleterious effect of CNS inflammation on the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Romero, Ma Carmen; Delgado-Cortés, M José; Sarmiento, Manuel; de Pablos, Rocío M; Espinosa-Oliva, Ana María; Argüelles, Sandro; Bández, Manuel J; Villarán, Ruth F; Mauriño, Raquel; Santiago, Marti; Venero, José L; Herrera, Antonio J; Cano, Josefina; Machado, Alberto

    2012-06-01

    Evidence supports the role of inflammation in the development of neurodegenerative diseases. In this work, we are interested in inflammation as a risk factor by itself and not only as a factor contributing to neurodegeneration. We tested the influence of a mild to moderate peripheral inflammation (injection of carrageenan into the paws of rats) on the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in an animal model based on the intranigral injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a potent inflammatory agent. Overall, the treatment with carrageenan increased the effect of the intranigral injection of LPS on the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the SN along with all the other parameters studied, including: serum levels of the inflammatory markers TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and C-reactive protein; activation of microglia, expression of proinflammatory cytokines, the adhesion molecule ICAM and the enzyme iNOS, loss of astrocytes and damage to the blood brain barrier (BBB). The possible implication of BBB rupture in the increased loss of dopaminergic neurons has been studied using another Parkinson's disease animal model based on the intraperitoneal injection of rotenone. In this experiment, loss of dopaminergic neurons was also strengthened by carrageenan, without affecting the BBB. In conclusion, our data show that a mild to moderate peripheral inflammation can exacerbate the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons caused by a harmful stimulus.

  18. Deleterious effects of interruption followed by reintroduction of enzyme replacement therapy on a lysosomal storage disorder.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Ana Paula; Matte, Ursula; Pasqualim, Gabriela; Tavares, Angela Maria Vicente; Mayer, Fabiana Quoos; Martinelli, Barbara; Ribas, Graziela; Vargas, Carmen Regla; Giugliani, Roberto; Baldo, Guilherme

    2016-10-01

    Temporary interruption of enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) in patients with different lysosomal storage disorders may happen for different reasons (adverse reactions, issues with reimbursement, logistic difficulties, and so forth), and the impact of the interruption is still uncertain. In the present work, we studied the effects of the interruption of intravenous ERT (Laronidase, Genzyme) followed by its reintroduction in mice with the prototypical lysosomal storage disorder mucopolysaccharidosis type I, comparing to mice receiving continuous treatment, untreated mucopolysaccharidosis type I mice, and normal mice. In the animals which treatment was temporarily interrupted, we observed clear benefits of treatment in several organs (liver, lung, heart, kidney, and testis) after reintroduction, but a worsening in the thickness of the aortic wall was detected. Furthermore, these mice had just partial improvements in behavioral tests, suggesting some deterioration in the brain function. Despite worsening is some disease aspects, urinary glycosaminoglycans levels did not increase during interruption, which indicates that this biomarker commonly used to monitor treatment in patients should not be used alone to assess treatment efficacy. The deterioration observed was not caused by the development of serum antienzyme antibodies. All together our results suggest that temporary ERT interruption leads to deterioration of function in some organs and should be avoided whenever possible.

  19. Deleterious effects of calcium channel blockade on pressure transmission and glomerular injury in rat remnant kidneys.

    PubMed Central

    Griffin, K A; Picken, M M; Bidani, A K

    1995-01-01

    Hypertensive mechanisms are postulated to play a major role in the progressive glomerulosclerosis (GS) after renal mass reduction. But, in contrast to converting enzyme inhibitors, BP reduction by calcium channel blockers, has not provided consistent protection. Radiotelemetric BP monitoring for 7 wk was used to compare nifedipine (N) and enalapril (E) in the rat approximately 5/6 renal ablation model. After the first week, rats received N, E, or no treatment (C). The overall averaged systolic BP in C (173 +/- 7 mmHg) was reduced by both E and N (P < 0.001), but E was more effective (113 +/- 2 vs. 134 +/- 3 mmHg, P < 0.01). GS was prevented by E (2 +/- 1 vs. 26 +/- 5% in C) but not by N (25 +/- 6%). GS correlated well with the overall averaged BP in individual animals of all groups, but the slope of the relationship was significantly steeper in N compared with C+E rats (P < 0.02), suggesting greater pressure transmission to the glomeruli and GS for any given BP. Since autoregulatory mechanisms provide the primary protection against pressure transmission, renal autoregulation was examined at 3 wk in additional rats. Autoregulation was impaired in C rats, was not additionally altered by E, but was completely abolished by N. These data demonstrate the importance of autoregulatory mechanisms in the pathogenesis of hypertensive injury and suggest that calcium channel blockers which adversely affect pressure transmission may not provide protection despite significant BP reduction. PMID:7635974

  20. L-Cysteine ethyl ester reverses the deleterious effects of morphine on, arterial blood-gas chemistry in tracheotomized rats.

    PubMed

    Mendoza, James; Passafaro, Rachael; Baby, Santhosh; Young, Alex P; Bates, James N; Gaston, Benjamin; Lewis, Stephen J

    2013-10-01

    This study determined whether the membrane-permeable ventilatory stimulant, L-cysteine ethylester (L-CYSee), reversed the deleterious actions of morphine on arterial blood-gas chemistry in isoflurane-anesthetized rats. Morphine (2 mg/kg, i.v.) elicited sustained decreases in arterial blood pH, pO₂ and sO₂, and increases in pCO₂ (all responses indicative of hypoventilation) and alveolar-arterial gradient (indicative of ventilation-perfusion mismatch). Injections of L-CYSee (100 μmol/kg, i.v.) reversed the effects of morphine in tracheotomized rats but were minimally active in non-tracheotomized rats. L-cysteine or L-serine ethylester (100 μmol/kg, i.v.) were without effect. It is evident that L-CYSee can reverse the negative effects of morphine on arterial blood-gas chemistry and alveolar-arterial gradient but that this positive activity is negated by increases in upper-airway resistance. Since L-cysteine and L-serine ethylester were ineffective, it is evident that cell penetrability and the sulfur moiety of L-CYSee are essential for activity. Due to its ready penetrability into the lungs, chest wall muscle and brain, the effects of L-CYSee on morphine-induced changes in arterial blood-gas chemistry are likely to involve both central and peripheral sites of action.

  1. A new approach to tag design in dolphin telemetry: Computer simulations to minimise deleterious effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavlov, V. V.; Wilson, R. P.; Lucke, K.

    2007-02-01

    Remote-sensors and transmitters are powerful devices for studying cetaceans at sea. However, despite substantial progress in microelectronics and miniaturisation of systems, dolphin tags are imperfectly designed; additional drag from tags increases swim costs, compromises swimming capacity and manoeuvrability, and leads to extra loads on the animal's tissue. We propose a new approach to tag design, elaborating basic principles and incorporating design stages to minimise device effects by using computer-aided design. Initially, the operational conditions of the device are defined by quantifying the shape, hydrodynamics and range of the natural deformation of the dolphin body at the tag attachment site (such as close to the dorsal fin). Then, parametric models of both of the dorsal fin and a tag are created using the derived data. The link between parameters of the fin and a tag model allows redesign of tag models according to expected changes of fin geometry (difference in fin shape related with species, sex, and age peculiarities, simulation of the bend of the fin during manoeuvres). A final virtual modelling stage uses iterative improvement of a tag model in a computer fluid dynamics (CFD) environment to enhance tag performance. This new method is considered as a suitable tool of tag design before creation of the physical model of a tag and testing with conventional wind/water tunnel technique. Ultimately, tag materials are selected to conform to the conditions identified by the modelling process and thus help create a physical model of a tag, which should minimise its impact on the animal carrier and thus increase the reliability and quality of the data obtained.

  2. Antimicrobial photodynamic therapy minimizes the deleterious effect of nicotine in female rats with induced periodontitis.

    PubMed

    Gualberto, Erivan Clementino; Theodoro, Letícia Helena; Longo, Mariellén; Novaes, Vivian Cristina Noronha; Nagata, Maria José Hitomi; Ervolino, Edilson; Garcia, Valdir Gouveia

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to compare the use of antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (aPDT) as an adjunct to scaling and root planing (SRP) in the treatment of experimentally induced periodontitis in female rats that were systemically treated with or without nicotine. Female rats (n = 180) were divided into two groups: vehicle administration (Veh) and nicotine administration (Nic). Mini-pumps containing either vehicle or nicotine were implanted in the rats 30 days before the induction of experimental periodontitis (EP). EP was induced by placing a cotton ligature around the left mandibular first molar. After 7 days, the ligature was removed, and the rats were randomly divided into three treatment subgroups: SRP (only SRP), DL (SRP plus diode laser), and aPDT (SRP plus aPDT). The aPDT consisted of phenothiazine photosensitizer deposition followed by diode laser irradiation. Ten rats from each subgroup were euthanized at 7, 15, and 30 days after treatment. Alveolar bone loss (ABL) in the furcation region was evaluated using histological, histometric, and immunohistochemical analyses. The rats that were treated with nicotine showed more ABL compared to those treated with vehicle. In both the Veh and Nic groups, SRP plus aPDT treatment resulted in reduced ABL, smaller numbers of both TRAP- and RANKL-positive cells, and higher numbers of PCNA-positive cells compared to SRP treatment alone. aPDT was an effective adjunctive therapy for the treatment of periodontitis in female rats regardless of whether they received nicotine.

  3. Deleterious effects of obesity on physical fitness in pre-pubertal children.

    PubMed

    Ceschia, Arianna; Giacomini, Stefano; Santarossa, Simone; Rugo, Miriam; Salvadego, Desy; Da Ponte, Alessandro; Driussi, Caterina; Mihaleje, Martina; Poser, Stefano; Lazzer, Stefano

    2016-01-01

    The prevalence of obesity in children has increased dramatically during the past decades in Europe and understanding physical fitness and its components in children is critical to design and implement effective interventions. The objective of the present study was to analyse the association between physical fitness (aerobic, speed, agility, power, flexibility and balance) and body mass index (BMI) in pre-pubertal children. A total of 2411 healthy schoolchildren (7-11 years) participated in this study. Anthropometric characteristics and body composition were assessed by skinfold thickness. Physical fitness was measured by nine physical fitness tests: endurance running, 20 m running speed, agility, handgrip strength, standing long jump and squat jump, sit and reach, medicine ball forward throw and static balance. No relevant differences were observed between boys and girls regarding anthropometric characteristics, body composition and physical fitness. However, overweight and obese children showed significantly lower physical fitness levels in endurance running, speed and agility (mean: +18.8, +5.5 and +14.5% of time to complete tasks, respectively), lower limb power normalised to body mass (-23.3%) and balance tests (number of falls: +165.5%) than their normal weight counterparts. On the other hand, obesity did not affect handgrip, throwing and flexibility. In conclusion, increased BMI was associated with lower performance capabilities limiting proper motor skill development, which directly affects the ability of children to take on sports skills. Actions undertaken to promote children's wellness and fitness should be prioritised and introduced early in life with the aim of enhancing physical fitness as well as preventing overweight and obesity.

  4. Deleterious effects of plant cystatins against the banana weevil Cosmopolites sordidus.

    PubMed

    Kiggundu, Andrew; Muchwezi, Josephine; Van der Vyver, Christell; Viljoen, Altus; Vorster, Juan; Schlüter, Urte; Kunert, Karl; Michaud, Dominique

    2010-02-01

    The general potential of plant cystatins for the development of insect-resistant transgenic plants still remains to be established given the natural ability of several insects to compensate for the loss of digestive cysteine protease activities. Here we assessed the potential of cystatins for the development of banana lines resistant to the banana weevil Cosmopolites sordidus, a major pest of banana and plantain in Africa. Protease inhibitory assays were conducted with protein and methylcoumarin (MCA) peptide substrates to measure the inhibitory efficiency of different cystatins in vitro, followed by a diet assay with cystatin-infiltrated banana stem disks to monitor the impact of two plant cystatins, oryzacystatin I (OC-I, or OsCYS1) and papaya cystatin (CpCYS1), on the overall growth rate of weevil larvae. As observed earlier for other Coleoptera, banana weevils produce a variety of proteases for dietary protein digestion, including in particular Z-Phe-Arg-MCA-hydrolyzing (cathepsin L-like) and Z-Arg-Arg-MCA-hydrolyzing (cathepsin B-like) proteases active in mildly acidic conditions. Both enzyme populations were sensitive to the cysteine protease inhibitor E-64 and to different plant cystatins including OsCYS1. In line with the broad inhibitory effects of cystatins, OsCYS1 and CpCYS1 caused an important growth delay in young larvae developing for 10 days in cystatin-infiltrated banana stem disks. These promising results, which illustrate the susceptibility of C. sordidus to plant cystatins, are discussed in the light of recent hypotheses suggesting a key role for cathepsin B-like enzymes as a determinant for resistance or susceptibility to plant cystatins in Coleoptera.

  5. Cooling dialysate during in-center hemodialysis: Beneficial and deleterious effects

    PubMed Central

    Toth-Manikowski, Stephanie M; Sozio, Stephen M

    2016-01-01

    The use of cooled dialysate temperatures first came about in the early 1980s as a way to curb the incidence of intradialytic hypotension (IDH). IDH was then, and it remains today, the most common complication affecting chronic hemodialysis patients. It decreases quality of life on dialysis and is an independent risk factor for mortality. Cooling dialysate was first employed as a technique to incite peripheral vasoconstriction on dialysis and in turn reduce the incidence of intradialytic hypotension. Although it has become a common practice amongst in-center hemodialysis units, cooled dialysate results in up to 70% of patients feeling cold while on dialysis and some even experience shivering. Over the years, various studies have been performed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of cooled dialysate in comparison to a standard, more thermoneutral dialysate temperature of 37 °C. Although these studies are limited by small sample size, they are promising in many aspects. They demonstrated that cooled dialysis is safe and equally efficacious as thermoneutral dialysis. Although patients report feeling cold on dialysis, they also report increased energy and an improvement in their overall health following cooled dialysis. They established that cooling dialysate temperatures improves hemodynamic tolerability during and after hemodialysis, even in patients prone to IDH, and does so without adversely affecting dialysis adequacy. Cooled dialysis also reduces the incidence of IDH and has a protective effect over major organs including the heart and brain. Finally, it is an inexpensive measure that decreases economic burden by reducing necessary nursing intervention for issues that arise on hemodialysis such as IDH. Before cooled dialysate becomes standard of care for patients on chronic hemodialysis, larger studies with longer follow-up periods will need to take place to confirm the encouraging outcomes mentioned here. PMID:26981441

  6. Deleterious effects of white cells in the course of skin damage in CVI.

    PubMed

    Coleridge Smith, P D

    2002-06-01

    problem. Compression treatment has been effective in healing leg ulcers for thousands of years. Surgical treatment offers a possible cure in patients where superficial venous reflux is the main problem. Deep vein reconstruction is only suitable for a few patients. Many venous ulcers can be healed by compression, only to recur within a few months. Pharmacological treatments may offer the possibility of more rapid ulcer healing and the maintenance of an ulcer-free state if the correct pathophysiological mechanisms can be identified and addressed.

  7. [Reduction of a risk of the deleterious effects of persistent toxic substances on the health of the far north population].

    PubMed

    Dudarev, A A; Mizerniuk, V N; Chupakhin, V S; Lebedev, G B; Chashchin, V P

    2010-01-01

    The paper presents the general principles and procedure of the development and implementation of measures to decrease and prevent environmental pollution with persistent toxic substances (PTS) in the Russian Arctic and, accordingly, to reduce a risk of the deleterious effects of PTS on human health. Based on the results of a study of PTS in the Russian Arctic (from the Kola Peninsula to Chukotka), the authors first systematized the basic lines and actions and formulated specific measures to reduce the North population's exposure to PTSs, such as polychlorinated biphenyls, organic chlorine pesticides (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, hexachlorocyclohexane, hexachlorobenzene, etc.), and heavy metals (mercury, lead, cadmium). A package of measures is aimed at maximally reducing the presence of PTS-containing objects and materials in the north (via detection, collection, and extermination), at neutralizing the soils in settlement lands, at setting up safe water consumption systems, at organizing effective control over the safe use of chemicals and the levels of PTS in raw food materials and foodstuffs, and at working out recommendations on safe procedures for food purchase, storage, and cooking.

  8. Imipramine protects against the deleterious effects of chronic corticosterone on depression-like behavior, hippocampal reelin expression, and neuronal maturation.

    PubMed

    Fenton, Erin Y; Fournier, Neil M; Lussier, April L; Romay-Tallon, Raquel; Caruncho, Hector J; Kalynchuk, Lisa E

    2015-07-03

    We have hypothesized that a downregulation of reelin and deficient maturation of adult-born hippocampal neurons are important factors in the pathogenesis of depression. This hypothesis is based on previous work showing that depression-like behavior in rats treated with protracted corticosterone develops in concert with decreased dendritic complexity in newborn hippocampal granule neurons and decreased reelin expression in the proliferative subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus. In addition, heterozygous reeler mice with approximately 50% of normal brain levels of reelin are more vulnerable to the depressogenic effects of corticosterone than wild-type mice. The purpose of this experiment was to provide pharmacological validation for the link between reelin, neuronal maturation, and depression by examining whether the deleterious effects of corticosterone on these measures could be prevented by co-administration of the antidepressant imipramine. Rats received corticosterone injections, corticosterone injections plus either 10 or 15mg/kg imipramine injections, or vehicle injections for 21 consecutive days. They were then subjected to the forced swim test to assess depression-like behavior and sacrificed for immunohistochemical examination of immature neuron number and dendritic complexity and the presence of reelin+cells. We found that corticosterone increases depression-like behavior, decreases the number of reelin+cells in the subgranular zone, and decreases the number and complexity of immature neurons in the granule cell layer. All of these behavioral and cellular phenotypes were prevented by imipramine, providing further support for the idea that reelin is involved in the pathogenesis of depression.

  9. Tanshinol Attenuates the Deleterious Effects of Oxidative Stress on Osteoblastic Differentiation via Wnt/FoxO3a Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yajun; Su, Yanjie; Wang, Dongtao; Chen, Yahui; Wu, Tie; Li, Gang; Sun, Xuegang

    2013-01-01

    There is now increasing evidence which suggests a pivotal role for oxidative stress in the development and progression of osteoporosis. We confirm herein the protective effects of natural antioxidant Tanshinol against oxidative stress in osteoblastic differentiation and the underlying mechanism. Our results show that hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) leads to accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), decrease in cell viability, cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in a caspase-3-dependent manner, and inhibition of osteoblastic differentiation. Tanshinol reverses these deleterious consequence triggered by oxidative stress. Moreover, under the condition of oxidative stress, Tanshinol suppresses the activation of FoxO3a transcription factor and expressions of its target genes Gadd45a and catalase (CAT) and simultaneously counteracts the inhibition of Wnt signalling and expressions of target genes Axin2, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and Osteoprotegerin (OPG). The findings are further consolidated using FoxO3a siRNA interference and overexpression of Tcf4. The results illustrate that Tanshinol attenuates oxidative stress via down-regulation of FoxO3a signaling, and rescues the decrease of osteoblastic differentiation through upregulation of Wnt signal under oxidative stress. The present findings suggest that the beneficial effects of Tanshinol may be adopted as a novel therapeutic approach in recently recognized conditions of niche targeting osteoporosis. PMID:24489983

  10. Deleterious effects of sunscreen titanium dioxide nanoparticles on DNA: efforts to limit DNA damage by particle surface modification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serpone, Nick; Salinaro, Angela; Emeline, A.

    2001-06-01

    Sunlight can have deleterious effects on humans: causes sunburns and is the principal cause of skin cancers. Usage of TiO2 (and ZnO) in sunscreen lotions, widely used as UVA/UVB blockers, and intended to prevent sunburns and to protect consumers from skin cancers (carcinomas and melanomas) is examined. Although used to mineralize many undesired organic pollutants, TiO2 is considered to be a safe physical sunscreen agent because it reflects and scatters both UVB (290-320 nm) and UVA (320-400 nm) sunlight; however, it also absorbs substantial UV radiation which, in aqueous media, yields hydroxyl radial ((DOT)OH) species. These species cause substantial damage to DNA (J. Photochem.Photobio.A:Chem.,111(1997)205). Most importantly, sunlight-illuminated sunscreen TiO2 particles catalyze DNA damage both in vitro and in human cells (FEBS Letters, 418 (1997)87). These results raise concerns on the overall effects of sunscreens and raise the question on the suitability of photoactive TiO2 as a sunscreen component without further studies. The photocatalytically active nature of these metal oxides necessitates some changes since even the TiO2 specimens currently used in suncreams cause significant DNA strand breaks.

  11. Activators of the Glutamate-Dependent Acid Resistance System Alleviate Deleterious Effects of YidC Depletion in Escherichia coli▿

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Zhong; Bekker, Martijn; Tramonti, Angela; Cook, Gregory M.; van Ulsen, Peter; Scheffers, Dirk-Jan; de Mattos, Joost Teixeira; De Biase, Daniela; Luirink, Joen

    2011-01-01

    The function of the essential inner membrane protein (IMP) YidC in Escherichia coli has been studied for a limited number of model IMPs and primarily using targeted approaches. These studies suggested that YidC acts at the level of insertion, folding, and quality control of IMPs, both in the context of the Sec translocon and as a separate entity. To further our understanding of YidC's role in IMP biogenesis, we screened a random overexpression library for factors that rescued the growth of cells upon YidC depletion. We found that the overexpression of the GadX and GadY regulators of the glutamate-dependent acid resistance system complemented the growth defect of YidC-depleted cells. Evidence is presented that GadXY overexpression counteracts the deleterious effects of YidC depletion on at least two fronts. First, GadXY prepares the cells for the decrease in respiratory capacity upon the depletion of YidC. Most likely, GadXY-regulated processes reduce the drop in proton-motive force that impairs the fitness of YidC-depleted cells. Second, in GadXY-overproducing cells increased levels of the general chaperone GroEL cofractionate with the inner membranes, which may help to keep newly synthesized inner membrane proteins in an insertion-competent state when YidC levels are limiting. PMID:21216990

  12. A novel approach to the pulmonary delivery of liposomes in dry powder form to eliminate the deleterious effects of milling.

    PubMed

    Desai, Tejas R; Wong, Jonathan P; Hancock, Robert E W; Finlay, Warren H

    2002-02-01

    The effect of lyophilization and jet-milling on liposome integrity was investigated as a function of their ability to retain the encapsulated model drug on reconstitution of the dry products. The encapsulation efficiencies of the lyophilized and jet-milled formulations were determined at various concentrations of lactose. Lyophilization resulted in considerable leakage of the model drug at lower concentrations of lactose, and jet-milling further augmented the leakage for all the lyophilized formulations, with optimum retention obtained for formulations containing at least 10:1 molar ratio of lactose/lipid. In an attempt to overcome the deleterious effects of lyophilization and jet-milling, the feasibility of formulating phospholipid-based powders that result in spontaneous formation of liposomes in an aqueous environment has been investigated. Partitioning of three model drugs (viz., ciprofloxacin, CM3 peptide, and salbutamol sulfate) between the aqueous phase and spontaneously formed liposomes was determined in terms of encapsulation efficiency. The effects of several parameters, including lactose concentration, lipid composition, and lipid concentration on the encapsulation efficiency of these model drugs were investigated. The spontaneous formation of liposomes on dispersion of phospholipid-based powder formulations was further evidenced by freeze-fracture scanning electron microscopy. This novel approach for the delivery of liposomes in dry powder form appears promising because lyophilization is not involved and jet-milling of these powder formulations did not impact encapsulation efficiency. Jet-milled phospholipid-based powder formulations showed high encapsulation efficiencies of 96.2 +/- 1.4% for ciprofloxacin, 100% for CM3 peptide, and 45.3 +/- 3.1% for salbutamol sulfate compared with a high amount of leakage (> 50%) observed due to jet-milling of lyophilized liposome formulations encapsulating ciprofloxacin.

  13. Deleterious Effects of Minocycline after in vivo Target Deprivation of Thalamocortical Neurons in the Immature, Metallothionein-Deficient Mouse Brain

    PubMed Central

    Potter, Emily G.; Cheng, Ying; Natale, JoAnne E.

    2015-01-01

    Compared to adults, immature metallothionein I & II knockout (MT−/−) mice incur greater neuronal loss and a more rapid rate of microglia accumulation following target deprivation-induced injury. Since minocycline has been proposed to inhibit microglial activation and associated production of neuroinflammatory factors, we investigated its ability to promote neuronal survival in the immature, metallothionein-deficient brain. Following ablation of the visual cortex, 10-day-old MT−/− mice were treated with minocycline or saline and sacrificed 24 or 48 hours after injury. Using stereological methods, the number of microglia and neurons were estimated in the ipsilateral dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) by an investigator blinded to the treatment. No effect on neuronal survival was observed at 24 hours, but 48 hours after injury an unanticipated but significant minocycline-mediated increase in neuronal loss was detected. Further, while failing to inhibit microglial accumulation, minocycline treatment increased the proportion of amoeboid microglia in the ipsilateral dLGN. To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying this neurotoxic response, we identified minocycline-mediated changes in the expression of three potentially pro-apoptotic/ inflammatory genes: growth arrest- and DNA damage-inducible gene 45γ (GADD45γ); interferon-inducible protein 1 (IFI1) and cytokine induced growth factor (CTGF). We also observed increased mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) p38 phosphorylation with minocycline treatment. Although minocycline inhibited calpain activity at 12 hours post-injury, this effect was not sustained at 24 hours. Together, these results help to explain how minocycline has a deleterious effect on neuronal survival in this injury model. PMID:19115404

  14. Quality of the Exotic Parasitoid Cotesia flavipes (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) Does Not Show Deleterious Effects after Inbreeding for 10 Generations

    PubMed Central

    Trevisan, Maíra; De Bortoli, Sergio A.; Vacari, Alessandra M.; Laurentis, Valéria L.; Ramalho, Dagmara G.

    2016-01-01

    Although the parasitoid Cotesia flavipes (Cameron) has proven effective in controlling sugarcane borer Diatraea saccharalis (Fabricius) for many years, concern has arisen over the quality of individuals produced at large scales. The parasitoid has been reared in laboratories in Brazil for more than 40 years, with no new introductions of new populations during that period. Since the quality of the parasitoids was not verified at the time of the species' introduction in Brazil, we do not know if there has been any reduction in quality so far. However, it is possible to determine whether the parasitoid could reduce in quality in future generations. Thus, the objective of this research was to assess the quality of these insects over 10 generations and look for evidence of any loss in quality. We used two populations: one from a biofactory that has been maintained in the laboratory for over 40 years, and an inbred laboratory population. Both were bred, and compared for 10 generations. We wanted to determine what happened to the quality of the parasitoid after 10 generations in an extreme inbreeding situation. To assure inbreeding, newly emerged females were forced to mate with a sibling. Individual females were then allowed to parasitize larvae of D. saccharalis. We performed evaluations for each generation until the tenth generation, and recorded the sex ratio, percentage emergence, number of offspring/females, and longevity of both males and females. Results of the measurements of biological characteristics demonstrated random significant differences between populations; best results were obtained intermittently for both the biofactory population and the inbred population. No significant differences across generations for the same population were observed. Thus, rearing of a C. flavipes population subjected to inbreeding for 10 generations was not sufficient to reveal any deleterious effects of inbreeding. PMID:27509087

  15. Deleterious effects of glucocorticoid replacement on bone in women after long-term remission of Cushing's syndrome.

    PubMed

    Barahona, Maria-José; Sucunza, Nuria; Resmini, Eugenia; Fernández-Real, Jose-Manuel; Ricart, Wifredo; Moreno-Navarrete, Jose-Maria; Puig, Teresa; Wägner, Ana M; Rodriguez-Espinosa, José; Farrerons, Jordi; Webb, Susan M

    2009-11-01

    Endogenous hypercortisolism and high-dose and long-term glucocorticoid (GC) therapy reduce bone mass. Patients in remission after successful treatment of Cushing's syndrome (CS) often present hypoadrenalism and require long-term GC replacement. The aim of our study was to evaluate whether this GC "replacement" had any further effect on bone in women after long-term remission of CS. Thirty-seven women (mean age: 50 +/- 14 yr; 27 of pituitary and 10 of adrenal origin) with cured CS (mean time of cure: 11 +/- 6 yr), 14 with active CS, and 85 sex-, body mass index (BMI)-, and age-matched controls were enrolled. BMD and BMC were measured by DXA scanning. Bone biochemical markers were also measured. Duration and dose of GC replacement and duration of endogenous hypercortisolism were calculated. Cured and active CS patients had less BMC, BMD, and osteocalcin than controls (p < 0.01). These differences were observed in estrogen-sufficient women but not in those with estrogen deficiency. Duration of GC treatment (mean: 42 mo; range, 2-420 mo) and endogenous hypercortisolism (mean: 70 mo; range, 13-241 mo) negatively correlated with BMC and lumbar spine BMD. After regression analysis, the main predictor of abnormal BMC and BMD was the duration of GC replacement (p < 0.01). Patients treated for CS persistently have less bone mass despite long-term cure. Both duration of endogenous hypercortisolism and mainly exogenous "replacement" therapy with GC negatively affect bone mass. Thus, the additional deleterious effect of GC for the treatment of adrenal axis suppression should be considered.

  16. The effects of a deleterious mutation load on patterns of influenza A/H3N2's antigenic evolution in humans

    PubMed Central

    Koelle, Katia; Rasmussen, David A

    2015-01-01

    Recent phylogenetic analyses indicate that RNA virus populations carry a significant deleterious mutation load. This mutation load has the potential to shape patterns of adaptive evolution via genetic linkage to beneficial mutations. Here, we examine the effect of deleterious mutations on patterns of influenza A subtype H3N2's antigenic evolution in humans. By first analyzing simple models of influenza that incorporate a mutation load, we show that deleterious mutations, as expected, act to slow the virus's rate of antigenic evolution, while making it more punctuated in nature. These models further predict three distinct molecular pathways by which antigenic cluster transitions occur, and we find phylogenetic patterns consistent with each of these pathways in influenza virus sequences. Simulations of a more complex phylodynamic model further indicate that antigenic mutations act in concert with deleterious mutations to reproduce influenza's spindly hemagglutinin phylogeny, co-circulation of antigenic variants, and high annual attack rates. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07361.001 PMID:26371556

  17. Harnessing Mechanistic Knowledge on Beneficial Versus Deleterious IFN-I Effects to Design Innovative Immunotherapies Targeting Cytokine Activity to Specific Cell Types

    PubMed Central

    Tomasello, Elena; Pollet, Emeline; Vu Manh, Thien-Phong; Uzé, Gilles; Dalod, Marc

    2014-01-01

    Type I interferons (IFN-I) were identified over 50 years ago as cytokines critical for host defense against viral infections. IFN-I promote anti-viral defense through two main mechanisms. First, IFN-I directly reinforce or induce de novo in potentially all cells the expression of effector molecules of intrinsic anti-viral immunity. Second, IFN-I orchestrate innate and adaptive anti-viral immunity. However, IFN-I responses can be deleterious for the host in a number of circumstances, including secondary bacterial or fungal infections, several autoimmune diseases, and, paradoxically, certain chronic viral infections. We will review the proposed nature of protective versus deleterious IFN-I responses in selected diseases. Emphasis will be put on the potentially deleterious functions of IFN-I in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection, and on the respective roles of IFN-I and IFN-III in promoting resolution of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. We will then discuss how the balance between beneficial versus deleterious IFN-I responses is modulated by several key parameters including (i) the subtypes and dose of IFN-I produced, (ii) the cell types affected by IFN-I, and (iii) the source and timing of IFN-I production. Finally, we will speculate how integration of this knowledge combined with advanced biochemical manipulation of the activity of the cytokines should allow designing innovative immunotherapeutic treatments in patients. Specifically, we will discuss how induction or blockade of specific IFN-I responses in targeted cell types could promote the beneficial functions of IFN-I and/or dampen their deleterious effects, in a manner adapted to each disease. PMID:25400632

  18. Nonmicrowave health and ecological effects: Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, M. R.

    1980-01-01

    The potential environmental impacts due to the operation and construction of the Satellite Power System are discussed. The nonmicrowave health and ecological effects encompass impacts on the public, the terrestrial worker, the space worker, the ecology, and agriculture.

  19. WS-SNPs&GO: a web server for predicting the deleterious effect of human protein variants using functional annotation

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background SNPs&GO is a method for the prediction of deleterious Single Amino acid Polymorphisms (SAPs) using protein functional annotation. In this work, we present the web server implementation of SNPs&GO (WS-SNPs&GO). The server is based on Support Vector Machines (SVM) and for a given protein, its input comprises: the sequence and/or its three-dimensional structure (when available), a set of target variations and its functional Gene Ontology (GO) terms. The output of the server provides, for each protein variation, the probabilities to be associated to human diseases. Results The server consists of two main components, including updated versions of the sequence-based SNPs&GO (recently scored as one of the best algorithms for predicting deleterious SAPs) and of the structure-based SNPs&GO3d programs. Sequence and structure based algorithms are extensively tested on a large set of annotated variations extracted from the SwissVar database. Selecting a balanced dataset with more than 38,000 SAPs, the sequence-based approach achieves 81% overall accuracy, 0.61 correlation coefficient and an Area Under the Curve (AUC) of the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve of 0.88. For the subset of ~6,600 variations mapped on protein structures available at the Protein Data Bank (PDB), the structure-based method scores with 84% overall accuracy, 0.68 correlation coefficient, and 0.91 AUC. When tested on a new blind set of variations, the results of the server are 79% and 83% overall accuracy for the sequence-based and structure-based inputs, respectively. Conclusions WS-SNPs&GO is a valuable tool that includes in a unique framework information derived from protein sequence, structure, evolutionary profile, and protein function. WS-SNPs&GO is freely available at http://snps.biofold.org/snps-and-go. PMID:23819482

  20. Neutralizing antibodies obtained in a persistent immune response are effective against deleterious effects induced by the Thalassophryne nattereri fish venom.

    PubMed

    Piran-Soares, Ana Amélia; Komegae, Evilin Naname; Souza, Valdênia Maria Oliveira; Fonseca, Luiz Alberto; Lima, Carla; Lopes-Ferreira, Mônica

    2007-06-01

    Thalassophryne nattereri envenoming represents a great cost to North and Northeast Brazilian communities in terms of public healths, leisure and tourism. Victims rapidally develop symptoms as pain, local swelling, erythema followed by intense necrosis that persist for long days. The aim of this work was tested the immune competence of neutralizing antibodies in pre-immunized mice against principal toxic activities induced by venom. During the primary antibody response in mice, an elevation of IgG antibody levels was only observed on day 28. After boosting, high antibody levels were detected between days 49 and 70, with a 12-fold increase in IgG level over control values at day 49. We confirmed the in vitro neutralizing capacity of T. nattereri anti-venom against toxic effects and thereafter we show that neutralizing antibodies obtained in a persistent immune response are more effective, inclusive against edematous reaction. After boosting during the secondary response mice with high antibody levels do not present any alterations in venule or arteriole after topical application of venom on cremaster muscle. In addition, CK activity diminished in these mice with high neutralizing antibody levels corroborating the attenuation of the myonecrotic effect by venom. In addition, we determined the presence of high IgG antibodies levels in patients 6 months after injury by T. nattereri. In conclusion, the presence of neutralizing antibodies against to T. nattereri venom in the serum of pre-immunized mice could change the outcome of lesion at site of posterior envenoming. Antigen-specific antibodies of high affinity in consequence to specific immune response, dependent of T lymphocyte activation, could minimize the symptoms of intense and immediate inflammatory reaction caused by T. nattereri venom. These finding prompt us to the possibility of development of immune therapeutic strategies using specific anti-venom as an efficient intervention for protecting human victims.

  1. The Role of Deleterious Substitutions in Crop Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Kono, Thomas J. Y.; Fu, Fengli; Mohammadi, Mohsen; Hoffman, Paul J.; Liu, Chaochih; Stupar, Robert M.; Smith, Kevin P.; Tiffin, Peter; Fay, Justin C.; Morrell, Peter L.

    2016-01-01

    Populations continually incur new mutations with fitness effects ranging from lethal to adaptive. While the distribution of fitness effects of new mutations is not directly observable, many mutations likely either have no effect on organismal fitness or are deleterious. Historically, it has been hypothesized that a population may carry many mildly deleterious variants as segregating variation, which reduces the mean absolute fitness of the population. Recent advances in sequencing technology and sequence conservation-based metrics for inferring the functional effect of a variant permit examination of the persistence of deleterious variants in populations. The issue of segregating deleterious variation is particularly important for crop improvement, because the demographic history of domestication and breeding allows deleterious variants to persist and reach moderate frequency, potentially reducing crop productivity. In this study, we use exome resequencing of 15 barley accessions and genome resequencing of 8 soybean accessions to investigate the prevalence of deleterious single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the protein-coding regions of the genomes of two crops. We conclude that individual cultivars carry hundreds of deleterious SNPs on average, and that nonsense variants make up a minority of deleterious SNPs. Our approach identifies known phenotype-altering variants as deleterious more frequently than the genome-wide average, suggesting that putatively deleterious variants are likely to affect phenotypic variation. We also report the implementation of a SNP annotation tool BAD_Mutations that makes use of a likelihood ratio test based on alignment of all currently publicly available Angiosperm genomes. PMID:27301592

  2. Interactions between Genetic and Ecological Effects on the Evolution of Life Cycles.

    PubMed

    Rescan, Marie; Lenormand, Thomas; Roze, Denis

    2016-01-01

    Sexual reproduction leads to an alternation between haploid and diploid phases, whose relative length varies widely across taxa. Previous genetical models showed that diploid or haploid life cycles may be favored, depending on dominance interactions and on effective recombination rates. By contrast, niche differentiation between haploids and diploids may favor biphasic life cycles, in which development occurs in both phases. In this article, we explore the interplay between genetical and ecological factors, assuming that deleterious mutations affect the competitivity of individuals within their ecological niche and allowing different effects of mutations in haploids and diploids (including antagonistic selection). We show that selection on a modifier gene affecting the relative length of both phases can be decomposed into a direct selection term favoring the phase with the highest mean fitness (due to either ecological differences or differential effects of mutations) and an indirect selection term favoring the phase in which selection is more efficient. When deleterious alleles occur at many loci and in the presence of ecological differentiation between haploids and diploids, evolutionary branching often occurs and leads to the stable coexistence of alleles coding for haploid and diploid cycles, while temporal variations in niche sizes may stabilize biphasic cycles.

  3. [Adverse effects of the herd immunity or when childhood vaccination becomes deleterious for the epidemiology of infectious diseases in adults].

    PubMed

    Lang, Pierre-Olivier

    2011-03-01

    The irremediable ageing of the world population, the aged-related increasing in the prevalence of infectious diseases the fear of any influenza pandemic rife have recently led the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society (EUGMS) et the International Association of Geriatric and Gerontology European Regions (IAGG-ER) of establishing vaccine recommendations dedicated to individuals aged of 60 years or above and promoting a life-course vaccination programme. This approach is mainly motivated by the herd immunity-associated effect on the epidemiology of infectious diseases observed within the adult and old adult population. This review (1) after a presentation of the concept and its demonstrated beneficial effects; (2) will detail that herd immunity acts with adverse effects on the epidemiology of the infectious diseases in the adult and aged individual population; (3) in order to demonstrate that maintaining a vaccine pressure in every age groups is imperative.

  4. Deleterious effect of Brij 35 on alkyl 2-pyrones and other hydrophobic inhibitors of human sputum and leucocyte elastase.

    PubMed

    Cook, L; Ternai, B

    1988-10-01

    Brij 35 significantly reduced the inhibitory activity of hydrophobic alkyl 2-pyrones, oleic acid and alkyl peptides towards human sputum and leucocyte elastase, whereas 4-methoxy-6-(2'-hydroxy-2'-(carbobutyloxy)-vinyl)-2-pyrone, alpha-1-proteinase inhibitor and a sulfated chitosan were unaffected. The effect of Brij 35 on elastase appeared to be irreversible, since dialysis against Brij-free buffer was not accompanied by a return to inhibitory activity by the first group of inhibitors. However, passage through an ionic-exchange column was effective in removing the detergent from the enzyme. Brij 35 is also an activator of the elastases: kcat for Boc-Ala-4-nitrophenyl ester and methylsuccinyl-Ala-Ala-Pro-Val-4-nitroanilide increased by 20% and 40%, respectively in the presence of 0.015% Brij 35. Binding of the substrates to the enzyme is unaffected, since Km is unchanged.

  5. Unexpected Lack of Deleterious Effects of Uranium on Physiological Systems following a Chronic Oral Intake in Adult Rat

    PubMed Central

    Dublineau, Isabelle; Souidi, Maâmar; Gueguen, Yann; Lestaevel, Philippe; Bertho, Jean-Marc; Manens, Line; Delissen, Olivia; Grison, Stéphane; Paulard, Anaïs; Monin, Audrey; Kern, Yseult; Rouas, Caroline; Loyen, Jeanne; Gourmelon, Patrick; Aigueperse, Jocelyne

    2014-01-01

    Uranium level in drinking water is usually in the range of microgram-per-liter, but this value may be as much as 100 to 1000 times higher in some areas, which may raise question about the health consequences for human populations living in these areas. Our purpose was to improve knowledge of chemical effects of uranium following chronic ingestion. Experiments were performed on rats contaminated for 9 months via drinking water containing depleted uranium (0.2, 2, 5, 10, 20, 40, or 120 mg/L). Blood biochemical and hematological indicators were measured and several different types of investigations (molecular, functional, and structural) were conducted in organs (intestine, liver, kidneys, hematopoietic cells, and brain). The specific sensitivity of the organs to uranium was deduced from nondeleterious biological effects, with the following thresholds (in mg/L): 0.2 for brain, >2 for liver, >10 for kidneys, and >20 for intestine, indicating a NOAEL (No-Observed-Adverse-Effect Level) threshold for uranium superior to 120 m g/L. Based on the chemical uranium toxicity, the tolerable daily intake calculation yields a guideline value for humans of 1350 μg/L. This value was higher than the WHO value of 30 μg/L, indicating that this WHO guideline for uranium content in drinking water is very protective and might be reconsidered. PMID:24693537

  6. Age Shall Not Weary Us: Deleterious Effects of Self-Regulation Depletion Are Specific to Younger Adults

    PubMed Central

    Dahm, Theresa; Neshat-Doost, Hamid Taher; Golden, Ann-Marie; Horn, Elizabeth; Hagger, Martin; Dalgleish, Tim

    2011-01-01

    Self-regulation depletion (SRD), or ego-depletion, refers to decrements in self-regulation performance immediately following a different self-regulation-demanding activity. There are now over a hundred studies reporting SRD across a broad range of tasks and conditions. However, most studies have used young student samples. Because prefrontal brain regions thought to subserve self-regulation do not fully mature until 25 years of age, it is possible that SRD effects are confined to younger populations and are attenuated or disappear in older samples. We investigated this using the Stroop color task as an SRD induction and an autobiographical memory task as the outcome measure. We found that younger participants (<25 years) were susceptible to depletion effects, but found no support for such effects in an older group (40–65 years). This suggests that the widely-reported phenomenon of SRD has important developmental boundary conditions casting doubt on claims that it represents a general feature of human cognition. PMID:22039469

  7. Deleterious Effects of Intra-arterial Administration of Particulate Steroids on Microvascular Perfusion in a Mouse Model.

    PubMed

    Laemmel, Elisabeth; Segal, Nicolas; Mirshahi, Massoud; Azzazene, Dalel; Le Marchand, Sylvie; Wybier, Marc; Vicaut, Eric; Laredo, Jean-Denis

    2016-06-01

    Purpose To determine the in vivo effects of several particulate steroids on microvascular perfusion by using intravital microscopy in a mice model and to investigate the in vitro interactions between these particulate steroids and red blood cells (RBCs). Materials and Methods The study was conducted in agreement with the guidelines of the National Committee of Ethic Reflection on Animal Experimentation. By using intravital microscopy of mouse cremaster muscle, the in vivo effects of several particulate steroids on microvascular perfusion were assessed. Four to five mice were allocated to each of the following treatment groups: saline solution, dexamethasone sodium phosphate, a nonparticulate steroid, and the particulate steroids cortivazol, methylprednisolone, triamcinolone, and prednisolone. By using in vitro blood microcinematography and electron microscopy, the interactions between these steroids and human RBCs were studied. All results were analyzed by using nonparametric tests. Results With prednisolone, methylprednisolone, or triamcinolone, blood flow was rapidly and completely stopped in all the arterioles and venules (median RBC velocity in first-order arterioles, 5 minutes after administration was zero for these three groups) compared with a limited effect in mice treated with saline, dexamethasone, and cortivazol (20.3, 21.3, and 27.5 mm/sec, respectively; P < .003). This effect was associated with a large decrease in the functional capillary density (4.21, 0, and 0 capillaries per millimeter for methylprednisolone, triamcinolone, or prednisolone, respectively, vs 21.0, 21.4, and 19.1 capillaries per millimeter in mice treated with saline, dexamethasone, and cortivazol, respectively; P < .003). This was because of the rapid formation of RBC aggregates. However, no change in microvascular perfusion was associated with administration of cortivazol or dexamethasone. In vitro experiments confirmed the formation of RBC aggregates associated with the

  8. N-acetylcycsteine attenuates the deleterious effects of radiation therapy on inci-sional wound healing in rats

    PubMed Central

    Tascilar, O; Çakmak, GK; Emre, AU; Bakkal, H; Kandemir, N; Turkcu, UO; Demir, EO

    2014-01-01

    Background: During preoperative radiotherapy, effective doses of ionizing radiation occasionally cause wound complications after subsequent surgery. This study was designed to determine the effects of intraperitoneally or orally administered N-acetylcysteine (NAC) on anastomotic healing of irradiated rats. Material & Methods: Forty Wistar albino rats were randomized into four groups containing 10 rats each. A 3 cm long surgical full-thickness midline laparotomy was performed to all groups (Groups 1-4). Group 1 was designed as a control group without radiation therapy and NAC treatment. Groups 2, 3 and 4 received a single abdominal dose of 10 Gy irradiation before laparotomy and groups 3 and 4 received oral and intraperitoneal NAC, respectively. Results: Group comparisons demonstrated that breaking strength was significantly higher in NAC treated rats. A statistically significant difference was determined in terms of superoxide dismutase (SOD), malondealdehyde (MDA) and glutation (GSH) values between groups (p<0.001). Nevertheless, advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP) levels were found to be similar between groups (p=0.163). Serum GSH and SOD levels were significantly higher in groups 3 and 4 when compared to group 2 (p < 0.05). Similarly, there was a significant increase in serum MDA concentration, predicting lipid peroxidation, in group 2 when compared to groups 1, 3 and 4 (p < 0.05). There was not a significant difference between Groups 3 and 4 regarding GSH, MDA, SOD, and AOPP levels. Histopathological analysis revealed that NAC administration, either orally or intraperitoneally, leads to a better incisional healing in terms of inflammation, granulation, collagen deposition, reepithelization and neovascularization. Conclusion: The present study supports the hypothesis that NAC administration alleviates the negative effects of radiotherapy on incisional wound healing by means of reducing oxidative stress markers and improving histologic parameters

  9. Nitrate causes deleterious effects on the behaviour and reproduction of the aquatic snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum (Hydrobiidae, Mollusca).

    PubMed

    Álonso, Alvaro; Camargo, Julio A

    2013-08-01

    Nitrate (NO3 (-)) is present in aquatic ecosystems as a natural component of the nitrogen cycle. However, in the last decades, several human activities are the causes of the rising amounts of organic matter and inorganic nitrogen nutrients in aquatic ecosystems, causing notable increase of nitrate above background natural levels. In spite of the toxicity of nitrate to aquatic animals, there are relatively few studies on the chronic toxicity of this compound to invertebrates. The aim of our study is to assess the effect of chronic (35 days) exposure to nitrate on the behaviour (velocity of movement) and reproduction (number of newborns) of the aquatic snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum. Four actual concentrations of nitrate were used (21.4, 44.9, 81.8 and 156.1 mg N-NO3 (-)/L). In each treatment, 12 animals were individually monitored for velocity (weekly) and newborn production (every 3-4 days). Velocity was recorded using quantitative video monitoring. Our results showed that nitrate did not cause mortality, but it reduced the velocity of movement (at 44.9, 81.8 and 156.1 mg N-NO3 (-)/L) and number of live newborns (in all tested concentrations). Reproductive impairment was caused at realistic nitrate concentrations which is relevant to the risk assessment of this compound. Our study contributes to the knowledge of the chronic effects of nitrate on the behaviour and reproduction of an aquatic snail.

  10. Cannabidiol provides long-lasting protection against the deleterious effects of inflammation in a viral model of multiple sclerosis: a role for A2A receptors.

    PubMed

    Mecha, M; Feliú, A; Iñigo, P M; Mestre, L; Carrillo-Salinas, F J; Guaza, C

    2013-11-01

    Inflammation in the central nervous system (CNS) is a complex process that involves a multitude of molecules and effectors, and it requires the transmigration of blood leukocytes across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and the activation of resident immune cells. Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotropic cannabinoid constituent of Cannabis sativa, has potent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties. Yet, how this compound modifies the deleterious effects of inflammation in TMEV-induced demyelinating disease (TMEV-IDD) remains unknown. Using this viral model of multiple sclerosis (MS), we demonstrate that CBD decreases the transmigration of blood leukocytes by downregulating the expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), chemokines (CCL2 and CCL5) and the proinflammatory cytokine IL-1β, as well as by attenuating the activation of microglia. Moreover, CBD administration at the time of viral infection exerts long-lasting effects, ameliorating motor deficits in the chronic phase of the disease in conjunction with reduced microglial activation and pro-inflammatory cytokine production. Adenosine A2A receptors participate in some of the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD, as the A2A antagonist ZM241385 partially blocks the protective effects of CBD in the initial stages of inflammation. Together, our findings highlight the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD in this viral model of MS and demonstrate the significant therapeutic potential of this compound for the treatment of pathologies with an inflammatory component.

  11. You have the right to understand: the deleterious effect of stress on suspects' ability to comprehend Miranda.

    PubMed

    Scherr, Kyle C; Madon, Stephanie

    2012-08-01

    Miranda v. Arizona (384 U.S. 436, 1966) required that suspects be explicitly warned of the right to avoid self-incrimination and the right to legal representation. This research was designed to examine whether stress, induced via an accusation of wrong-doing, undermined or enhanced suspects' ability to comprehend their Miranda rights. Participants were randomly assigned to either be accused (n = 15) or not accused (n = 15) of having cheated on an experimental task in a two-cell between-subjects experimental design. Results supported the hypothesis that stress undermines suspects' ability to comprehend their Miranda rights. Participants who were accused of cheating exhibited significantly lower levels of Miranda comprehension than participants who were not accused of cheating. The theoretical processes responsible for these effects and the implications of the findings for police interrogation are discussed.

  12. Deleterious effect of suboptimal diet on rest-activity cycle in Anastrepha ludens manifests itself with age.

    PubMed

    Chiu, Joanna C; Kaub, Kevin; Zou, Sige; Liedo, Pablo; Altamirano-Robles, Leopoldo; Ingram, Donald; Carey, James R

    2013-01-01

    Activity patterns and sleep-wake cycles are among the physiological processes that change most prominently as animals age, and are often good indicators of healthspan. In this study, we used the video-based high-resolution behavioral monitoring system (BMS) to monitor the daily activity cycle of tephritid fruit flies Anastrepha ludens over their lifetime. Surprisingly, there was no dramatic change in activity profile with respect to age if flies were consistently fed with a nutritionally balanced diet. However, if flies were fed with sugar-only diet, their activity profile decreased in amplitude at old age, suggesting that suboptimal diet affected activity patterns, and its detrimental effect may not manifest itself until the animal ages. Moreover, by simulating different modes of behavior monitoring with a range of resolution and comparing the resulting conclusions, we confirmed the superior performance of video-based monitoring using high-resolution BMS in accurately representing activity patterns in an insect model.

  13. Lack of deleterious effect of slow-release sodium fluoride treatment on cortical bone histology and quality in osteoporotic patients

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zerwekh, J. E.; Antich, P. P.; Sakhaee, K.; Prior, J.; Gonzales, J.; Gottschalk, F.; Pak, C. Y.

    1992-01-01

    We evaluated the effects of intermittent slow-release sodium fluoride (SRNaF) and continuous calcium citrate therapy on cortical bone histology, reflection ultrasound velocity (material strength) and back-scattered electron image analysis (BEI) in 26 osteoporotic patients before and following therapy. All measurements were made on transiliac crest bone biopsies obtained before and following 2 years of therapy in each patient. For all 26 patients there were no significant changes in cortical bone histomorphometric parameters. In 15 patients in whom bone material quality was assessed by reflection ultrasound, there was no change in velocity (4000 +/- 227 SD to 4013 +/- 240 m/s). BEI disclosed no mineralization defects or the presence of woven bone. Mean atomic number (density) of bone increased slightly, but significantly (9.261 +/- 0.311 to 9.457 +/- 0.223, P = 0.031). While these changes are less marked than those observed for cancellous bone, they indicate that this form of therapy does not adversely affect cortical bone remodelling.

  14. Impaired ventilatory acclimatization to hypoxia in female mice overexpressing erythropoietin: unexpected deleterious effect of estradiol in carotid bodies.

    PubMed

    Gassmann, Max; Pfistner, Christine; Doan, Van Diep; Vogel, Johannes; Soliz, Jorge

    2010-12-01

    Apart from enhancing the production of red blood cells, erythropoietin (Epo) alters the ventilatory response when oxygen supply is reduced. We recently demonstrated that Epo's beneficial effect on the ventilatory response to acute hypoxia is sex dependent, with female mice being better able to cope with reduced oxygenation. In the present work, we hypothesized that ventilatory acclimatization to chronic hypoxia (VAH) in transgenic female mice (Tg6) harboring high levels of Epo in the brain and blood will also be improved compared with wild-type (WT) animals. Surprisingly, VAH was blunted in Tg6 female mice. To define whether this phenomenon had a central (brain stem respiratory centers) and/or peripheral (carotid bodies) origin, a bilateral transection of carotid sinus nerve (chemodenervation) was performed. This procedure allowed the analysis of the central response in the absence of carotid body information. Interestingly, chemodenervation restored the VAH in Tg6 mice, suggesting that carotid bodies were responsible for the blunted response. Coherently with this observation, the sensitivity to oxygen alteration in arterial blood (Dejour test) after chronic hypoxia was lower in transgenic carotid bodies compared with the WT control. As blunted VAH occurred in female but not male transgenic mice, the involvement of sex female steroids was obvious. Indeed, measurement of sexual female hormones revealed that the estradiol serum level was 4 times higher in transgenic mice Tg6 than in WT animals. While ovariectomy decreased VAH in WT females, this treatment restored VAH in Tg6 female mice. In line with this observation, injections of estradiol in ovariectomized Tg6 females dramatically reduced the VAH. We concluded that during chronic hypoxia, estradiol in carotid bodies suppresses the Epo-mediated elevation of ventilation. Considering the increased application of recombinant Epo for a variety of disorders, our data imply the need to take the patient's hormonal status

  15. Phthalate-Induced Liver Protection against Deleterious Effects of the Th1 Response: A Potentially Serious Health Hazard

    PubMed Central

    Badr, Mostafa Z.; Shnyra, Alexander; Zoubine, Mikhail; Norkin, Maxim; Herndon, Betty; Quinn, Tim; Miranda, Roberto N.; Cunningham, Michael L.; Molteni, Agostino

    2007-01-01

    Infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) induces pulmonary immunopathology mediated by classical Th1 type of acquired immunity with hepatic involvement in up to 80% of disseminated cases. Since PPAR agonists cause immune responses characterized by a decrease in the secretion of Th1 cytokines, we investigated the impact of activating these receptors on hepatic pathology associated with a well-characterized model of Th1-type pulmonary response. Male Fischer 344 rats were either maintained on a drug-free diet (groups I and II), or a diet containing diethylhexylphthalate (DEHP), a compound transformed in vivo to metabolites known to activate PPARs, for 21 days (groups III and IV). Subsequently, animals were primed with Mycobacterium bovis purified protein derivative (PPD) in a Complete Freund's Adjuvant. Fifteen days later, animals in groups II and IV were challenged with Sepharose 4B beads covalently coupled with PPD, while animals in groups I and III received blank Sepharose beads. Animals with Th1 response (group II) showed a marked structural disruption in the hepatic lobule. Remarkably, these alterations were conspicuously absent in animals which received DEHP (group IV), despite noticeable accumulation of T cells in the periportal triads. Immunostaining and confocal microscopy revealed hepatic accumulation of IFNγ+ Th1 and IL-4+ Th2 cells in animals from groups II and IV, respectively. Our data suggest a PPARα-mediated suppression of the development of a Th1 immune response in the liver, resulting in hepatoprotective effect. However, potentially negative consequences of PPAR activation, such as decreased ability of the immune system to fight infection and interference with the efficacy of vaccines designed to evoke Th1 immune responses, remain to be investigated. PMID:18566640

  16. Phthalate-Induced Liver Protection against Deleterious Effects of the Th1 Response: A Potentially Serious Health Hazard.

    PubMed

    Badr, Mostafa Z; Shnyra, Alexander; Zoubine, Mikhail; Norkin, Maxim; Herndon, Betty; Quinn, Tim; Miranda, Roberto N; Cunningham, Michael L; Molteni, Agostino

    2007-01-01

    Infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) induces pulmonary immunopathology mediated by classical Th1 type of acquired immunity with hepatic involvement in up to 80% of disseminated cases. Since PPAR agonists cause immune responses characterized by a decrease in the secretion of Th1 cytokines, we investigated the impact of activating these receptors on hepatic pathology associated with a well-characterized model of Th1-type pulmonary response. Male Fischer 344 rats were either maintained on a drug-free diet (groups I and II), or a diet containing diethylhexylphthalate (DEHP), a compound transformed in vivo to metabolites known to activate PPARs, for 21 days (groups III and IV). Subsequently, animals were primed with Mycobacterium bovis purified protein derivative (PPD) in a Complete Freund's Adjuvant. Fifteen days later, animals in groups II and IV were challenged with Sepharose 4B beads covalently coupled with PPD, while animals in groups I and III received blank Sepharose beads. Animals with Th1 response (group II) showed a marked structural disruption in the hepatic lobule. Remarkably, these alterations were conspicuously absent in animals which received DEHP (group IV), despite noticeable accumulation of T cells in the periportal triads. Immunostaining and confocal microscopy revealed hepatic accumulation of IFNgamma+ Th1 and IL-4+ Th2 cells in animals from groups II and IV, respectively. Our data suggest a PPARalpha-mediated suppression of the development of a Th1 immune response in the liver, resulting in hepatoprotective effect. However, potentially negative consequences of PPAR activation, such as decreased ability of the immune system to fight infection and interference with the efficacy of vaccines designed to evoke Th1 immune responses, remain to be investigated.

  17. Molecular evidence for increased regulatory conservation during metamorphosis, and against deleterious cascading effects of hybrid breakdown in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Speculation regarding the importance of changes in gene regulation in determining major phylogenetic patterns continues to accrue, despite a lack of broad-scale comparative studies examining how patterns of gene expression vary during development. Comparative transcriptional profiling of adult interspecific hybrids and their parental species has uncovered widespread divergence of the mechanisms controlling gene regulation, revealing incompatibilities that are masked in comparisons between the pure species. However, this has prompted the suggestion that misexpression in adult hybrids results from the downstream cascading effects of a subset of genes improperly regulated in early development. Results We sought to determine how gene expression diverges over development, as well as test the cascade hypothesis, by profiling expression in males of Drosophila melanogaster, D. sechellia, and D. simulans, as well as the D. simulans (♀) × D. sechellia (♂) male F1 hybrids, at four different developmental time points (3rd instar larval, early pupal, late pupal, and newly-emerged adult). Contrary to the cascade model of misexpression, we find that there is considerable stage-specific autonomy of regulatory breakdown in hybrids, with the larval and adult stages showing significantly more hybrid misexpression as compared to the pupal stage. However, comparisons between pure species indicate that genes expressed during earlier stages of development tend to be more conserved in terms of their level of expression than those expressed during later stages, suggesting that while Von Baer's famous law applies at both the level of nucleotide sequence and expression, it may not apply necessarily to the underlying overall regulatory network, which appears to diverge over the course of ontogeny and which can only be ascertained by combining divergent genomes in species hybrids. Conclusion Our results suggest that complex integration of regulatory circuits during

  18. Protective Effect of Parsley Juice (Petroselinum crispum, Apiaceae) against Cadmium Deleterious Changes in the Developed Albino Mice Newborns (Mus musculus) Brain

    PubMed Central

    Allam, Ahmed A.; Maodaa, Salah N.; Abo-Eleneen, Rasha; Ajarem, Jamaan

    2016-01-01

    Parsley was used as a probe of the current experiment to prevent the behavioral, morphological and biochemical changes in the newborn brain following the administration of cadmium (Cd) to the pregnant mice. The nonanesthetized pregnant mice were given daily parsley juice (Petroselinum crispum) at doses of 20 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg. Pregnant mothers were given Cd at a dose of 30 mg/kg divided into 3 equal times. The newborns have been divided into 6 groups: Group A, mothers did not take treatment; Groups B and C, mothers were treated with low and high dose of parsley, respectively; Group D, mothers were treated only with Cd (perinatal intoxication); Groups E and F, mothers were treated with Cd doses and protected by low and high doses of parsley, respectively. Light microscopy showed that Cd-induced neuronal degeneration by chromatolysis and pyknosis in the brain regions. The low dose of parsley 10 g/kg/day exhibited significant effects in neutralizing and reducing the deleterious changes due to Cd exposure during pregnancy on the behavioral activities, neurotransmitters, oxidative stress, and brain neurons morphology of the mice newborns. PMID:26966507

  19. Protective Effect of Parsley Juice (Petroselinum crispum, Apiaceae) against Cadmium Deleterious Changes in the Developed Albino Mice Newborns (Mus musculus) Brain.

    PubMed

    Allam, Ahmed A; Maodaa, Salah N; Abo-Eleneen, Rasha; Ajarem, Jamaan

    2016-01-01

    Parsley was used as a probe of the current experiment to prevent the behavioral, morphological and biochemical changes in the newborn brain following the administration of cadmium (Cd) to the pregnant mice. The nonanesthetized pregnant mice were given daily parsley juice (Petroselinum crispum) at doses of 20 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg. Pregnant mothers were given Cd at a dose of 30 mg/kg divided into 3 equal times. The newborns have been divided into 6 groups: Group A, mothers did not take treatment; Groups B and C, mothers were treated with low and high dose of parsley, respectively; Group D, mothers were treated only with Cd (perinatal intoxication); Groups E and F, mothers were treated with Cd doses and protected by low and high doses of parsley, respectively. Light microscopy showed that Cd-induced neuronal degeneration by chromatolysis and pyknosis in the brain regions. The low dose of parsley 10 g/kg/day exhibited significant effects in neutralizing and reducing the deleterious changes due to Cd exposure during pregnancy on the behavioral activities, neurotransmitters, oxidative stress, and brain neurons morphology of the mice newborns.

  20. Deleterious background selection with recombination

    SciTech Connect

    Hudson, R.R.; Kaplan, N.L.

    1995-12-01

    An analytic expression for the expected nucleotide diversity is obtained for a neutral locus in a region with deleterious mutation and recombination. Our analytic results are used to predict levels of variation for the entire third chromosome of Drosophila melanogaster. The predictions are consistent with the low levels of variation that have been observed at loci near the centromeres of the third chromosome of D. melanogaster. However, the low levels of variation observed near the tips of this chromosome are not predicted using currently available estimates of the deleterious mutation rate and of selection coefficients. If considerably smaller selection coefficients are assumed, the low observed levels of variation at the tips of the third chromosome are consistent with the background selection model. 33 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  1. Ecological Correlates of Effective Foster Care

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henderson, Daphne; Scannapieco, Maria

    2006-01-01

    Providing effective foster care is a major undertaking that continues to plague this country. The ultimate goal of substitute care is to provide child victims of maltreatment with a safe and nurturing home environment. The goal of this theory driven research project was to identify ecological factors correlated with effective non-kin family foster…

  2. Pharmacological activation of CB2 receptors counteracts the deleterious effect of ethanol on cell proliferation in the main neurogenic zones of the adult rat brain

    PubMed Central

    Rivera, Patricia; Blanco, Eduardo; Bindila, Laura; Alen, Francisco; Vargas, Antonio; Rubio, Leticia; Pavón, Francisco J.; Serrano, Antonia; Lutz, Beat; Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando; Suárez, Juan

    2015-01-01

    Chronic alcohol exposure reduces endocannabinoid activity and disrupts adult neurogenesis in rodents, which results in structural and functional alterations. Cannabinoid receptor agonists promote adult neural progenitor cell (NPC) proliferation. We evaluated the protective effects of the selective CB1 receptor agonist ACEA, the selective CB2 receptor agonist JWH133 and the fatty-acid amide-hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor URB597, which enhances endocannabinoid receptor activity, on NPC proliferation in rats with forced consumption of ethanol (10%) or sucrose liquid diets for 2 weeks. We performed immunohistochemical and stereological analyses of cells expressing the mitotic phosphorylation of histone-3 (phospho-H3+) and the replicating cell DNA marker 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU+) in the main neurogenic zones of adult brain: subgranular zone of dentate gyrus (SGZ), subventricular zone of lateral ventricles (SVZ) and hypothalamus. Animals were allowed ad libitum ethanol intake (7.3 ± 1.1 g/kg/day) after a controlled isocaloric pair-feeding period of sucrose and alcoholic diets. Alcohol intake reduced the number of BrdU+ cells in SGZ, SVZ, and hypothalamus. The treatments (URB597, ACEA, JWH133) exerted a differential increase in alcohol consumption over time, but JWH133 specifically counteracted the deleterious effect of ethanol on NPC proliferation in the SVZ and SGZ, and ACEA reversed this effect in the SGZ only. JWH133 also induced an increased number of BrdU+ cells expressing neuron-specific β3-tubulin in the SVZ and SGZ. These results indicated that the specific activation of CB2 receptors rescued alcohol-induced impaired NPC proliferation, which is a potential clinical interest for the risk of neural damage in alcohol dependence. PMID:26483633

  3. Pharmacological activation of CB2 receptors counteracts the deleterious effect of ethanol on cell proliferation in the main neurogenic zones of the adult rat brain.

    PubMed

    Rivera, Patricia; Blanco, Eduardo; Bindila, Laura; Alen, Francisco; Vargas, Antonio; Rubio, Leticia; Pavón, Francisco J; Serrano, Antonia; Lutz, Beat; Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando; Suárez, Juan

    2015-01-01

    Chronic alcohol exposure reduces endocannabinoid activity and disrupts adult neurogenesis in rodents, which results in structural and functional alterations. Cannabinoid receptor agonists promote adult neural progenitor cell (NPC) proliferation. We evaluated the protective effects of the selective CB1 receptor agonist ACEA, the selective CB2 receptor agonist JWH133 and the fatty-acid amide-hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor URB597, which enhances endocannabinoid receptor activity, on NPC proliferation in rats with forced consumption of ethanol (10%) or sucrose liquid diets for 2 weeks. We performed immunohistochemical and stereological analyses of cells expressing the mitotic phosphorylation of histone-3 (phospho-H3+) and the replicating cell DNA marker 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU+) in the main neurogenic zones of adult brain: subgranular zone of dentate gyrus (SGZ), subventricular zone of lateral ventricles (SVZ) and hypothalamus. Animals were allowed ad libitum ethanol intake (7.3 ± 1.1 g/kg/day) after a controlled isocaloric pair-feeding period of sucrose and alcoholic diets. Alcohol intake reduced the number of BrdU+ cells in SGZ, SVZ, and hypothalamus. The treatments (URB597, ACEA, JWH133) exerted a differential increase in alcohol consumption over time, but JWH133 specifically counteracted the deleterious effect of ethanol on NPC proliferation in the SVZ and SGZ, and ACEA reversed this effect in the SGZ only. JWH133 also induced an increased number of BrdU+ cells expressing neuron-specific β3-tubulin in the SVZ and SGZ. These results indicated that the specific activation of CB2 receptors rescued alcohol-induced impaired NPC proliferation, which is a potential clinical interest for the risk of neural damage in alcohol dependence.

  4. EEG theta/beta ratio as a potential biomarker for attentional control and resilience against deleterious effects of stress on attention.

    PubMed

    Putman, Peter; Verkuil, Bart; Arias-Garcia, Elsa; Pantazi, Ioanna; van Schie, Charlotte

    2014-06-01

    Anxious stress compromises cognitive executive performance. This occurs, for instance, in cognitive performance anxiety (CPA), in which anxiety about one's cognitive performance causes that performance to actually deteriorate (e.g., test anxiety). This is thought to result from a prefrontal cortically (PFC) mediated failure of top-down attentional control over stress-induced automatic processing of threat-related information. In addition, stress-induced increased catecholamine influx into the PFC may directly compromise attentional function. Previous research has suggested that the ratio between resting state electroencephalographic (EEG) low- and high-frequency power (the theta/beta ratio) is related to trait attentional control, which might moderate these effects of stress on attentional function. The goals of the present study were to test the novel prediction that theta/beta ratio moderates the deleterious effects of CPA-like anxious stress on state attentional control and to replicate a previous finding that the theta/beta ratio is related to self-reported trait attentional control. After recording of baseline frontal EEG signals, 77 participants performed a stress induction or a control procedure. Trait attentional control was assessed with the Attentional Control Scale, whereas stress-induced changes in attentional control and anxiety were measured with self-report visual analogue scales. The hypothesized moderating influence of theta/beta ratio on the effects of stress on state attentional control was confirmed. Theta/beta ratio explained 28% of the variance in stress-induced deterioration of self-reported attentional control. The negative relationship between theta/beta ratio and trait attentional control was replicated (r = -.33). The theta/beta ratio reflects, likely prefrontally mediated, attentional control, and should be a useful biomarker for the study of CPA and other anxiety-cognition interactions.

  5. Overproduction of the rbo gene product from Desulfovibrio species suppresses all deleterious effects of lack of superoxide dismutase in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed Central

    Pianzzola, M J; Soubes, M; Touati, D

    1996-01-01

    In an attempt to isolate the superoxide dismutase (SOD) gene from the anaerobic sulfate-reducing bacterium Desulfoarculus baarsii, a DNA fragment was isolated which functionally complemented an Escherichia coli mutant (sodA sodB) deficient in cytoplasmic SODs. This region carries two open reading frames with sequences which are very similar to that of the rbo-rub operon from Desulfovibrio vulgaris. Independent expression of the rbo and rub genes from ptac showed that expression of rbo was responsible for the observed phenotype. rbo overexpression suppressed all deleterious effects of SOD deficiency in E. coli, including inactivation by superoxide of enzymes containing 4Fe-4S clusters and DNA damage produced via the superoxide-enhanced Fenton reaction. Thus, rbo restored to the sodA sodB mutant the ability to grow on minimal medium without the addition of branched amino acids, and growth on gluconate and succinate carbon sources was no longer impaired. The spontaneous mutation rate, which is elevated in SOD-deficient mutants, returned to the wild-type level in the presence of Rbo, which also restored aerobic viability of sodA sodB recA mutants. Rbo from Desulfovibrio vulgaris, but not Desulfovibrio gigas desulforedoxin, which corresponds to the NH2-terminal domain of Rbo, complemented sod mutants. The physiological role of Rbo in sulfate-reducing bacteria is unknown. In E. coli, Rbo may permit the bacterium to avoid superoxide stress by maintaining functional (reduced) superoxide sensitive 4Fe-4S clusters. It would thereby restore enzyme activities and prevent the release of iron that occurs after cluster degradation and presumably leads to DNA damage. PMID:8955290

  6. Synthesis and evaluation of the potential deleterious effects of ZnO nanomaterials (nanoneedles and nanoflowers) on blood components, including albumin, erythrocytes and human isolated primary neutrophils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pastrello, Bruna; Paracatu, Luana Chiquetto; de Carvalho Bertozo, Luiza; Paino, Iêda Maria Martinez; Lisboa-Filho, Paulo Noronha; Ximenes, Valdecir Farias

    2016-07-01

    The application of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles in biomaterials has increased significantly in the recent years. Here, we aimed to study the potential deleterious effects of ZnO on blood components, including human serum albumin (HSA), erythrocytes and human isolated primary neutrophils. To test the influence of the morphology of the nanomaterials, ZnO nanoneedles (ZnO-nn) and nanoflowers (ZnO-nf) were synthesized. The zeta potential and mean size of ZnO-nf and ZnO-nn suspensions in phosphate-buffered saline were -10.73 mV and 3.81 nm and -5.27 mV and 18.26 nm, respectively. The incubation of ZnO with HSA did not cause its denaturation as verified by the absence of significant alterations in the intrinsic and extrinsic fluorescence and in the circular dichroism spectrum of the protein. The capacity of HSA as a drug carrier was not affected as verified by employing site I and II fluorescent markers. Neither type of ZnO was able to provoke the activation of neutrophils, as verified by lucigenin- and luminol-dependent chemiluminescence and by the extracellular release of hydrogen peroxide. ZnO-nf, but not ZnO-nn, induced the haemolysis of erythrocytes. In conclusion, our results reinforce the concept that ZnO nanomaterials are relatively safe for usage in biomaterials. A potential exception is the capacity of ZnO-nf to promote the lysis of erythrocytes, a discovery that shows the importance of the morphology in the toxicity of nanoparticles.

  7. Developmental expression of Musashi-1 and Musashi-2 RNA-binding proteins during spermatogenesis: analysis of the deleterious effects of dysregulated expression.

    PubMed

    Sutherland, Jessie M; Fraser, Barbara A; Sobinoff, Alexander P; Pye, Victoria J; Davidson, Tara-Lynne; Siddall, Nicole A; Koopman, Peter; Hime, Gary R; McLaughlin, Eileen A

    2014-05-01

    Spermatogenesis is a complex developmental process whereby diploid spermatogenic stem cells become haploid and undergo a series of morphological changes to produce physically mature spermatozoa. Crucial to this process are a number of RNA-binding proteins, responsible for the posttranscriptional control of essential mRNAs and particularly pertinent to the two periods of inactive transcription that occur in spermatogenesis. One such group of RNA-binding proteins is the Musashi family, specifically Musashi-1 (MSI1) and Musashi-2 (MSI2), which act as key translational regulators in various stem cell populations and have been linked with the induction of tumorigenesis. In the present study, we examined the differential expression of mammalian MSI1 and MSI2 during germ cell development in the mouse testis. MSI1 was found to be predominately localized in mitotic gonocytes and spermatogonia, whereas MSI2 was detected in meiotic spermatocytes and differentiating spermatids. Extensive examination of the function of Musashi in spermatogenesis was achieved through the use of two transgenic mouse models with germ cell-specific overexpression of full-length isoforms of Msi1 or Msi2. These models demonstrated that aberrant expression of either Msi1 or Msi2 has deleterious effects on normal spermatogenesis, with Msi2 overexpression resulting in male sterility. Studies undertaken on human testicular seminoma tumors provide further insights into the relevance of MSI1 and MSI2 overexpression as diagnostic markers to human stem cell cancers. Overall this study provides further evidence for the unique functions that RNA-binding protein isoforms occupy within spermatogenesis, and introduces the potential manipulation of the Musashi family proteins to elucidate the mechanisms of posttranscriptional gene expression during germ cell development.

  8. BOOK REVIEW OF "ECOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF ROADS"

    EPA Science Inventory

    Throughout the world, roads have become a permanent part of our environment. The ecological effects of roads and traffic are as consequential as other topical issues such as losses in biological diversity and damage by exotic and invasive species. However, this issue has usuall...

  9. Dicyandiamide and 3,4-dimethyl pyrazole phosphate decrease N2O emissions from grassland but dicyandiamide produces deleterious effects in clover.

    PubMed

    Macadam, Xana Melissa Belastegui; del Prado, Agustin; Merino, Pilar; Estavillo, José María; Pinto, Miriam; González-Murua, Carmen

    2003-12-01

    The application of nitrogen fertilisers leads to different ecological problems such as nitrate leaching and the release of nitrogenous gases. N2O is a gas involved in global warming, therefore, agricultural soils can be regarded as a source of global warming. Soil N2O production comes from both the nitrification and denitrification processes. From an ecological viewpoint, using nitrification inhibitors with ammonium based fertilisers may be a potential management strategy to lower the fluxes of N2O, thus decreasing its undesirable effect. In this study, the nitrification inhibitors (NIs) dicyandiamide (DCD) and 3,4-dimethyl pyrazole phosphate (DMPP) have been evaluated as management tools to mitigate N2O emissions from mineral fertilisation and slurry application in grassland systems (experiments 1 and 2), and to assess the phytotoxic effect of these inhibitors per se on clover (experiment 3). Both nitrification inhibitors acted in maintaining soil nitrogen (N) in ammonium form, decreasing cumulative N2O emissions. DCD, but not DMPP, produced phytotoxic effects and yield reduction in white clover. A nutrient imbalance, which led to a senescence process visually observed as chlorosis and necrosis at the border of the leaves, was noted.

  10. Thermal effects on fish ecology

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coutant, Charles C.

    1976-01-01

    Of all the environmental factors that influence aquatic organisms, temperature is the most all-pervasive. There is always an environmental temperature while other factors may or may not be present to exert their effects. Fish are, for all practical purposes, thermal conformers, or obligate poikilotherms. That is, they are able to exert little significant influence on maintaining a certain body temperature by specialized metabolic or behavioral means. Their body temperature thus fluctuates nearly in concert with the temperature of their aquatic medium (although particularly large, actively-moving fish such as tuna have deep muscle temperatures slightly higher than the water). Intimate contact at the gills of body fluids with the outside water and the high specific heat of water provide a very efficient heat exchanger that insures this near identity of internal and external temperatures.

  11. Deleterious mutations and selection for sex in finite diploid populations.

    PubMed

    Roze, Denis; Michod, Richard E

    2010-04-01

    In diploid populations, indirect benefits of sex may stem from segregation and recombination. Although it has been recognized that finite population size is an important component of selection for recombination, its effects on selection for segregation have been somewhat less studied. In this article, we develop analytical two- and three-locus models to study the effect of recurrent deleterious mutations on a modifier gene increasing sex, in a finite diploid population. The model also incorporates effects of mitotic recombination, causing loss of heterozygosity (LOH). Predictions are tested using multilocus simulations representing deleterious mutations occurring at a large number of loci. The model and simulations show that excess of heterozygosity generated by finite population size is an important component of selection for sex, favoring segregation when deleterious alleles are nearly additive to dominant. Furthermore, sex tends to break correlations in homozygosity among selected loci, which disfavors sex when deleterious alleles are either recessive or dominant. As a result, we find that it is difficult to maintain costly sex when deleterious alleles are recessive. LOH tends to favor sex when deleterious mutations are recessive, but the effect is relatively weak for rates of LOH corresponding to current estimates (of the order 10(-4)-10(-5)).

  12. Cascading ecological effects of eliminating fishery discards

    PubMed Central

    Heath, Michael R.; Cook, Robin M.; Cameron, Angus I.; Morris, David J.; Speirs, Douglas C.

    2014-01-01

    Discarding by fisheries is perceived as contrary to responsible harvesting. Legislation seeking to end the practice is being introduced in many jurisdictions. However, discarded fish are food for a range of scavenging species; so, ending discarding may have ecological consequences. Here we investigate the sensitivity of ecological effects to discarding policies using an ecosystem model of the North Sea—a region where 30–40% of trawled fish catch is currently discarded. We show that landing the entire catch while fishing as usual has conservation penalties for seabirds, marine mammals and seabed fauna, and no benefit to fish stocks. However, combining landing obligations with changes in fishing practices to limit the capture of unwanted fish results in trophic cascades that can benefit birds, mammals and most fish stocks. Our results highlight the importance of considering the broader ecosystem consequences of fishery management policy, since species interactions may dissipate or negate intended benefits. PMID:24820200

  13. Ecological Engineering Practices for the Reduction of Excess Nitrogen in Human-Influenced Landscapes: A Guide for Watershed Managers

    EPA Science Inventory

    Excess nitrogen (N) in freshwater systems, estuaries, and coastal areas has well-documented deleterious effects on ecosystems. Ecological engineering practices (EEPs) may be effective at decreasing nonpoint source N leaching to surface and groundwater. However, few studies have s...

  14. Phthalate esters: Testing for ecological effects

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, D.; Thompson, R.; Croudace, C.; Stewart, K.; Williams, N.

    1995-12-31

    Ortho-phthalate esters are produced in high tonnages for use as plasticizers, in particular for PVC. Their physical chemical properties are typically very low water solubility and high octanol/water partition coefficient. This combination of properties presents a number of experimental difficulties in the design and interpretation of ecological effect studies. These difficulties are described and results presented showing techniques for the performance of reproduction studies with the water flea, Daphnia magna, in aqueous solution and with the midge, Chironomus riparius, in sediments. The results which showed no effect for the phthalate esters tested are discussed in the context of other ecotoxicity data obtained on these products.

  15. Efficient purging of deleterious mutations in plants with haploid selfing.

    PubMed

    Szövényi, Péter; Devos, Nicolas; Weston, David J; Yang, Xiaohan; Hock, Zsófia; Shaw, Jonathan A; Shimizu, Kentaro K; McDaniel, Stuart F; Wagner, Andreas

    2014-05-14

    In diploid organisms, selfing reduces the efficiency of selection in removing deleterious mutations from a population. This need not be the case for all organisms. Some plants, for example, undergo an extreme form of selfing known as intragametophytic selfing, which immediately exposes all recessive deleterious mutations in a parental genome to selective purging. Here, we ask how effectively deleterious mutations are removed from such plants. Specifically, we study the extent to which deleterious mutations accumulate in a predominantly selfing and a predominantly outcrossing pair of moss species, using genome-wide transcriptome data. We find that the selfing species purge significantly more nonsynonymous mutations, as well as a greater proportion of radical amino acid changes which alter physicochemical properties of amino acids. Moreover, their purging of deleterious mutation is especially strong in conserved regions of protein-coding genes. Our observations show that selfing need not impede but can even accelerate the removal of deleterious mutations, and do so on a genome-wide scale.

  16. Efficient Purging of Deleterious Mutations in Plants with Haploid Selfing

    PubMed Central

    Szövényi, Péter; Devos, Nicolas; Weston, David J.; Yang, Xiaohan; Hock, Zsófia; Shaw, Jonathan A.; Shimizu, Kentaro K.; McDaniel, Stuart F.; Wagner, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    In diploid organisms, selfing reduces the efficiency of selection in removing deleterious mutations from a population. This need not be the case for all organisms. Some plants, for example, undergo an extreme form of selfing known as intragametophytic selfing, which immediately exposes all recessive deleterious mutations in a parental genome to selective purging. Here, we ask how effectively deleterious mutations are removed from such plants. Specifically, we study the extent to which deleterious mutations accumulate in a predominantly selfing and a predominantly outcrossing pair of moss species, using genome-wide transcriptome data. We find that the selfing species purge significantly more nonsynonymous mutations, as well as a greater proportion of radical amino acid changes which alter physicochemical properties of amino acids. Moreover, their purging of deleterious mutation is especially strong in conserved regions of protein-coding genes. Our observations show that selfing need not impede but can even accelerate the removal of deleterious mutations, and do so on a genome-wide scale. PMID:24879432

  17. Efficient purging of deleterious mutations in plants with haploid selfing

    SciTech Connect

    Szovenyi, Peter; Shaw, Jon; Yang, Xiaohan; Devos, Nicolas

    2014-05-30

    In diploid organisms, selfing reduces the efficiency of selection in removing deleterious mutations from a population. This need not be the case for all organisms. Some plants, for example, undergo an extreme form of selfing known as intragametophytic selfing, which immediately exposes all recessive deleterious mutations in a parental genome to selective purging. Here we ask how effectively deleterious mutations are removed from such plants. Specifically, we study the extent to which deleterious mutations accumulate in a predominantly selfing and a predominantly outcrossing pair of moss species, using genome-wide transcriptome data. We find that the selfing species purge significantly more non-synonymous mutations, as well as a greater proportion of radical amino acid changes which alter physicochemical properties of amino acids. Moreover, their purging of deleterious mutation is especially strong in conserved regions of protein-coding genes. Our observations show that selfing need not impede but can even accelerate the removal of deleterious mutations, and do so on a genome-wide scale.

  18. Potential Ecological Effects of Contaminants in the Exposed Par Pond Sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Paller, M.H.; Wike, L.D.

    1996-08-01

    Sediment and small mammal samples were collected from the exposed sediments of Par Pond in early 1995, shortly before the reservoir was refilled after a 4-year drawdown. Sampling was confined to elevations between 58 and 61 meters (190 and 200 feet) above mean sea level, which includes the sediments likely to be exposed if the Par Pond water level is permitted to fluctuate naturally. Both soil and small mammal samples were analyzed for a number of radionuclides and metals. Some of the soil samples were also analyzed for organic contaminants. The objective of the study was to determine if contaminant levels in the Par Pond sediments were high enough to cause deleterious ecological effects.

  19. Deleterious mutation accumulation in asexual Timema stick insects.

    PubMed

    Henry, Lee; Schwander, Tanja; Crespi, Bernard J

    2012-01-01

    Sexual reproduction is extremely widespread in spite of its presumed costs relative to asexual reproduction, indicating that it must provide significant advantages. One postulated benefit of sex and recombination is that they facilitate the purging of mildly deleterious mutations, which would accumulate in asexual lineages and contribute to their short evolutionary life span. To test this prediction, we estimated the accumulation rate of coding (nonsynonymous) mutations, which are expected to be deleterious, in parts of one mitochondrial (COI) and two nuclear (Actin and Hsp70) genes in six independently derived asexual lineages and related sexual species of Timema stick insects. We found signatures of increased coding mutation accumulation in all six asexual Timema and for each of the three analyzed genes, with 3.6- to 13.4-fold higher rates in the asexuals as compared with the sexuals. In addition, because coding mutations in the asexuals often resulted in considerable hydrophobicity changes at the concerned amino acid positions, coding mutations in the asexuals are likely associated with more strongly deleterious effects than in the sexuals. Our results demonstrate that deleterious mutation accumulation can differentially affect sexual and asexual lineages and support the idea that deleterious mutation accumulation plays an important role in limiting the long-term persistence of all-female lineages.

  20. Nonequilibrium model for estimating parameters of deleterious mutations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordo, Isabel; Dionisio, Francisco

    2005-03-01

    Deleterious mutations are of extreme evolutionary importance because, even though they are eliminated by natural selection, their continuous pressure creates a pool of variability in natural populations. They are of potential relevance for the existence of several features in evolution, such as sexual reproduction, and pose a risk to small asexual populations. Despite their extreme importance, the deleterious mutation rate and the effects of each mutation on fitness are poorly known quantities. Here we analyze a simple model that can be applied to simple experiments, in microorganisms, aiming at the quantification of these values.

  1. Effects of Global Warming on Vibrio Ecology.

    PubMed

    Vezzulli, Luigi; Pezzati, Elisabetta; Brettar, Ingrid; Höfle, Manfred; Pruzzo, Carla

    2015-06-01

    Vibrio-related infections are increasing worldwide both in humans and aquatic animals. Rise in global sea surface temperature (SST), which is approximately 1 °C higher now than 140 years ago and is one of the primary physical impacts of global warming, has been linked to such increases. In this chapter, major known effects of increasing SST on the biology and ecology of vibrios are described. They include the effects on bacterial growth rate, both in the field and in laboratory, culturability, expression of pathogenicity traits, and interactions with aquatic organisms and abiotic surfaces. Special emphasis is given to the effect of ocean warming on Vibrio interactions with zooplankters, which represent one of the most important aquatic reservoirs for these bacteria. The reported findings highlight the biocomplexity of the interactions between vibrios and their natural environment in a climate change scenario, posing the need for interdisciplinary studies to properly understand the connection between ocean warming and persistence and spread of vibrios in sea waters and the epidemiology of the diseases they cause.

  2. The chemical ecology of Harmonia axyridis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We review the chemical ecology of the ladybird beetle Harmonia axyridis from the perspective of its invasiveness and the deleterious effects it exerts in the regions it has colonised. We outline the nature and quantification of its chemical defence, and discuss the protection this provides from natu...

  3. Parasites and deleterious mutations: interactions influencing the evolutionary maintenance of sex.

    PubMed

    Park, A W; Jokela, J; Michalakis, Y

    2010-05-01

    The restrictive assumptions associated with purely genetic and purely ecological mechanisms suggest that neither of the two forces, in isolation, can offer a general explanation for the evolutionary maintenance of sex. Consequently, attention has turned to pluralistic models (i.e. models that apply both ecological and genetic mechanisms). Existing research has shown that combining mutation accumulation and parasitism allows restrictive assumptions about genetic and parasite parameter values to be relaxed while still predicting the maintenance of sex. However, several empirical studies have shown that deleterious mutations and parasitism can reduce fitness to a greater extent than would be expected if the two acted independently. We show how interactions between these genetic and ecological forces can completely reverse predictions about the evolution of reproductive modes. Moreover, we demonstrate that synergistic interactions between infection and deleterious mutations can render sex evolutionarily stable even when there is antagonistic epistasis among deleterious mutations, thereby widening the conditions for the evolutionary maintenance of sex.

  4. The sensory ecology of nonconsumptive predator effects.

    PubMed

    Weissburg, Marc; Smee, Delbert L; Ferner, Matthew C

    2014-08-01

    Nonconsumptive effects (NCEs) have been shown to occur in numerous systems and are regarded as important mechanisms by which predation structures natural communities. Sensory ecology-that is, the processes governing the production, propagation, and masking of cues by ambient noise-provides insights into the strength of NCEs as functions of the environment and modes of information transfer. We discuss how properties of predators are used by prey to encode threat, how the environment affects cue propagation, and the role of single sensory processes versus multimodal sensory processes. We discuss why the present body of literature documents the potential for strong NCEs but does not allow us to easily determine how this potential is expressed in nature or what factors or environments produce strong versus weak NCEs. Many of these difficulties stem from a body of literature in which certain sensory environments and modalities may be disproportionately represented and in which experimental methodologies are designed to show the existence of NCEs. We present a general framework for examining NCEs to identify the factors controlling the number of prey that respond to predator cues and discuss how the properties of predators, prey, and the environment may determine prey perceptive range and the duration and frequency of cue production. We suggest how understanding these relationships provides a schema for determining where, when, why, and how NCEs are important in producing direct and cascading effects in natural communities.

  5. Effective discharge analysis of ecological processes in streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  6. A bird's eye view of a deleterious recessive allele.

    PubMed

    Ekblom, Robert

    2016-07-01

    In the endangered Scottish chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) population, a lethal blindness syndrome is found to be caused by a deleterious recessive allele. Photo: Gordon Yates. In Focus: Trask, A.E., Bignal, E.M., McCracken, D.I., Monaghan, P., Piertney, S.B. & Reid, J.M. (2016) Evidence of the phenotypic expression of a lethal recessive allele under inbreeding in a wild population of conservation concern. Journal of Animal Ecology, 85, 879-891. In this issue of Journal of Animal Ecology, Trask et al. () report on a strange, lethal, blindness that regularly affects chicks of an endangered bird population. The authors show that the inheritance mode of this blindness disease precisely matches the expectations of a recessive deleterious mutation. Intriguingly, there is also an indication that the disease-causing variant might be maintained in the population by balancing selection, due to a selective advantage for heterozygotes. Could this finding have consequences for conservation actions implemented for the population?

  7. Quantifying nonadditive selection caused by indirect ecological effects.

    PubMed

    TerHorst, Casey P; Lau, Jennifer A; Cooper, Idelle A; Keller, Kane R; La Rosa, Raffica J; Royer, Anne M; Schultheis, Elizabeth H; Suwa, Tomomi; Conner, Jeffrey K

    2015-09-01

    In natural biological communities, species interact with many other species. Multiple species interactions can lead to indirect ecological effects that have important fitness consequences and can cause nonadditive patterns of natural selection. Given that indirect ecological effects are common in nature, nonadditive selection may also be quite common. As a result, quantifying nonadditive selection resulting from indirect ecological effects may be critical for understanding adaptation in natural communities composed of many interacting species. We describe how to quantify the relative strength of nonadditive selection resulting from indirect ecological effects compared to the strength of pairwise selection. We develop a clear method for testing for nonadditive selection caused by indirect ecological effects and consider how it might affect adaptation in multispecies communities. We use two case studies to illustrate how our method can be applied to empirical data sets. Our results suggest that nonadditive selection caused by indirect ecological effects may be common in nature. Our hope is that trait-based approaches, combined with multifactorial experiments, will result in more estimates of nonadditive selection that reveal the relative importance of indirect ecological effects for evolution in a community context.

  8. Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

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

  9. Effect of Malathion on the Microbial Ecology of Activated Sludge

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-03-26

    EFFECT OF MALATHION ON THE MICROBIAL ECOLOGY OF ACTIVATED SLUDGE THESIS Seth K. Martin, Senior Master Sergeant, USAF AFIT-ENV-MS-15-M-095 DEPARTMENT...Government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. AFIT-ENV-MS-15-M-095 EFFECT OF MALATHION ON THE MICROBIAL ECOLOGY OF ACTIVATED...UNLIMITED. AFIT-ENV-MS-15-M-095 EFFECT OF MALATHION ON THE MICROBIAL ECOLOGY OF ACTIVATED SLUDGE THESIS Seth K. Martin, B.S. Senior Master Sergeant

  10. Ecological Effects of the War in Vietnam

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Orians, Gordon H.; Pfeiffer, E. W.

    1970-01-01

    Research report on the severe ecological consequences of the defoliation program by American military forces in Vietnam. A significant fraction of mature trees in most forests are killed by single application of herbicides and almost completely killed by repeated sprayings. AAAS is urged to set up an international research program on the…

  11. EVOLUTIONARY AND ECOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF MULTIGENERATIONAL EXPOSURES TO ANTHROPOGENIC STRESSORS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Biological and ecological responses to stress are dictated by duration and frequency, as well as instantaneous magnitude. Conditional compensatory responses at the physiological and behavioral levels, referred to as ?acclimation', may mitigate effects on individuals experiencing ...

  12. SPS microwave health and ecological effects: Program area overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cahill, D. F.

    1980-01-01

    The potential microwave health and ecological effects due to the operations of the Satellite Power System are discussed. An outline of the research needed to insure public acceptance of the program is presented.

  13. Bilateral high-frequency stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus on attentional performance: transient deleterious effects and enhanced motivation in both intact and parkinsonian rats

    PubMed Central

    Baunez, Christelle; Christakou, Anastasia; Chudasama, Yogita; Forni, Claude; Robbins, Trevor W.

    2007-01-01

    It is now well established that subthalamic nucleus high-frequency stimulation (STN HFS) alleviates motor problems in Parkinson's disease. However, its efficacy for cognitive function remains a matter of debate. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of STN HFS in rats performing a visual attentional task. Bilateral STN HFS was applied in intact and in bilaterally dopamine (DA)-depleted rats. In all animals, STN HFS had a transient debilitating effect on all the variables measured in the task. In DA-depleted rats, STN HFS did not alleviate the deficits induced by the DA lesion such as omissions and latency to make correct responses, but induced perseverative approaches to the food magazine, an indicator of enhanced motivation. In sham-operated controls, STN HFS significantly reduced accuracy and induced perseverative behaviour, mimicking partially the effects of bilateral STN lesions in the same task. These results are in line with the hypothesis that STN HFS only partially mimics inactivation of STN produced by lesioning and confirm the motivational exacerbation induced by STN inactivation. PMID:17331214

  14. Heat or Cold: Which One Exerts Greater Deleterious Effects on Health in a Basin Climate City? Impact of Ambient Temperature on Mortality in Chengdu, China

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Yan; Yin, Fei; Deng, Ying; Volinn, Ernest; Chen, Fei; Ji, Kui; Zeng, Jing; Zhao, Xing; Li, Xiaosong

    2016-01-01

    Background: Although studies from many countries have estimated the impact of ambient temperature on mortality, few have compared the relative impacts of heat and cold on health, especially in basin climate cities. We aimed to quantify the impact of ambient temperature on mortality, and to compare the contributions of heat and cold in a large basin climate city, i.e., Chengdu (Sichuan Province, China); Methods: We estimated the temperature-mortality association with a distributed lag non-linear model (DLNM) with a maximum lag-time of 21 days while controlling for long time trends and day of week. We calculated the mortality risk attributable to heat and cold, which were defined as temperatures above and below an “optimum temperature” that corresponded to the point of minimum mortality. In addition, we explored effects of individual characteristics; Results: The analysis provides estimates of the overall mortality burden attributable to temperature, and then computes the components attributable to heat and cold. Overall, the total fraction of deaths caused by both heat and cold was 10.93% (95%CI: 7.99%–13.65%). Taken separately, cold was responsible for most of the burden (estimate 9.96%, 95%CI: 6.90%–12.81%), while the fraction attributable to heat was relatively small (estimate 0.97%, 95%CI: 0.46%–2.35%). The attributable risk (AR) of respiratory diseases was higher (19.69%, 95%CI: 14.45%–24.24%) than that of cardiovascular diseases (11.40%, 95%CI: 6.29%–16.01%); Conclusions: In Chengdu, temperature was responsible for a substantial fraction of deaths, with cold responsible for a higher proportion of deaths than heat. Respiratory diseases exert a larger effect on death than other diseases especially on cold days. There is potential to reduce respiratory-associated mortality especially among the aged population in basin climate cities when the temperature deviates beneath the optimum. The result may help to comprehensively assess the impact of ambient

  15. Phytoremediation potential of Maná-Cubiu (Solanum sessiliflorum Dunal) for the deleterious effects of methylmercury on the reproductive system of rats.

    PubMed

    Frenedoso da Silva, Raquel; Missassi, Gabriela; dos Santos Borges, Cibele; Silva de Paula, Eloísa; Hornos Carneiro, Maria Fernanda; Grotto, Denise; Barbosa Junior, Fernando; De Grava Kempinas, Wilma

    2014-01-01

    Methylmercury, organic form of mercury, can increase the number of abnormal sperm and decrease sperm concentration and testosterone levels possibly due to the damage caused by reactive species to germ and Leydig cells. Maná-cubiu (Solanum sessiliflorum Dunal) is a native fruit from Amazon rich in iron, zinc, niacin, pectin, and citric acid, used in foods, beverages, and medicinal purposes, since it has been useful for treatment of various diseases caused by oxidative stress or nutritional deficiency. Therefore, this study evaluated the phytoremediation potential of this fruit on damages caused by exposure to MeHg on sperm quantity and quality and the histological aspect of the testis and epididymis. Wistar male rats (n = 20) were randomly allocated into four groups: Control group (received distilled water), MeHg group (140 μg/Kg), Solanum group (1% of fruit Maná-cubiu on chow), and Solanum plus MeHg group (same treatment as MeHg and Solanum group). The organs were weighted, histopathology; sperm morphology and counts were obtained. The results showed reduction in body weight gain, testis weights, reduced sperm production, and increased histopathological abnormalities in the MeHg-treated group. However, treatment with Solanum plus MeHg revealed a protective effect of this fruit on damages caused by MeHg.

  16. Phytoremediation Potential of Maná-Cubiu (Solanum sessiliflorum Dunal) for the Deleterious Effects of Methylmercury on the Reproductive System of Rats

    PubMed Central

    Frenedoso da Silva, Raquel; Missassi, Gabriela; dos Santos Borges, Cibele; Silva de Paula, Eloísa; Hornos Carneiro, Maria Fernanda; Barbosa Junior, Fernando; De Grava Kempinas, Wilma

    2014-01-01

    Methylmercury, organic form of mercury, can increase the number of abnormal sperm and decrease sperm concentration and testosterone levels possibly due to the damage caused by reactive species to germ and Leydig cells. Maná-cubiu (Solanum sessiliflorum Dunal) is a native fruit from Amazon rich in iron, zinc, niacin, pectin, and citric acid, used in foods, beverages, and medicinal purposes, since it has been useful for treatment of various diseases caused by oxidative stress or nutritional deficiency. Therefore, this study evaluated the phytoremediation potential of this fruit on damages caused by exposure to MeHg on sperm quantity and quality and the histological aspect of the testis and epididymis. Wistar male rats (n = 20) were randomly allocated into four groups: Control group (received distilled water), MeHg group (140 μg/Kg), Solanum group (1% of fruit Maná-cubiu on chow), and Solanum plus MeHg group (same treatment as MeHg and Solanum group). The organs were weighted, histopathology; sperm morphology and counts were obtained. The results showed reduction in body weight gain, testis weights, reduced sperm production, and increased histopathological abnormalities in the MeHg-treated group. However, treatment with Solanum plus MeHg revealed a protective effect of this fruit on damages caused by MeHg. PMID:24772420

  17. Symbiosis-promoting and deleterious effects of NopT, a novel type 3 effector of Rhizobium sp. strain NGR234.

    PubMed

    Dai, Wei-Jun; Zeng, Yong; Xie, Zhi-Ping; Staehelin, Christian

    2008-07-01

    Establishment of symbiosis between certain host plants and nitrogen-fixing bacteria ("rhizobia") depends on type 3 effector proteins secreted via the bacterial type 3 secretion system (T3SS). Here, we report that the open reading frame y4zC of strain NGR234 encodes a novel rhizobial type 3 effector, termed NopT (for nodulation outer protein T). Analysis of secreted proteins from NGR234 and T3SS mutants revealed that NopT is secreted via the T3SS. NopT possessed autoproteolytic activity when expressed in Escherichia coli or human HEK 293T cells. The processed NopT exposed a glycine (G50) to the N terminus, which is predicted to be myristoylated in eukaryotic cells. NopT with a point mutation at position C93, H205, or D220 (catalytic triad) showed strongly reduced autoproteolytic activity, indicating that NopT is a functional protease of the YopT-AvrPphB effector family. When transiently expressed in tobacco plants, proteolytically active NopT elicited a rapid hypersensitive reaction. Arabidopsis plants transformed with nopT showed chlorotic and necrotic symptoms, indicating a cytotoxic effect. Inoculation experiments with mutant derivatives of NGR234 indicated that NopT affected nodulation either positively (Phaseolus vulgaris cv. Yudou No. 1; Tephrosia vogelii) or negatively (Crotalaria juncea). We suggest that NopT-related polymorphism may be involved in evolutionary adaptation of NGR234 to particular host legumes.

  18. Black Tea Increases Circulating Endothelial Progenitor Cells and Improves Flow Mediated Dilatation Counteracting Deleterious Effects from a Fat Load in Hypertensive Patients: A Randomized Controlled Study.

    PubMed

    Grassi, Davide; Draijer, Richard; Schalkwijk, Casper; Desideri, Giovambattista; D'Angeli, Anatolia; Francavilla, Sandro; Mulder, Theo; Ferri, Claudio

    2016-11-16

    (1) Background: Endothelial dysfunction predicts cardiovascular events. Circulating angiogenic cells (CACs) maintain and repair the endothelium regulating its function. Tea flavonoids reduce cardiovascular risk. We investigated the effects of black tea on the number of CACs and on flow-mediated dilation (FMD) before and after an oral fat in hypertensives; (2) Methods: In a randomized, double-blind, controlled, cross-over study, 19 patients were assigned to black tea (150 mg polyphenols) or a placebo twice a day for eight days. Measurements were obtained in a fasted state and after consuming whipping cream, and FMD was measured at baseline and after consumption of the products; (3) Results: Compared with the placebo, black tea ingestion increased functionally active CACs (36 ± 22 vs. 56 ± 21 cells per high-power field; p = 0.006) and FMD (5.0% ± 0.3% vs. 6.6% ± 0.3%, p < 0.0001). Tea further increased FMD 1, 2, 3, and 4 h after consumption, with maximal response 2 h after intake (p < 0.0001). Fat challenge decreased FMD, while tea consumption counteracted FMD impairment (p < 0.0001); (4) Conclusions: We demonstrated the vascular protective properties of black tea by increasing the number of CACs and preventing endothelial dysfunction induced by acute oral fat load in hypertensive patients. Considering that tea is the most consumed beverage after water, our findings are of clinical relevance and interest.

  19. Black Tea Increases Circulating Endothelial Progenitor Cells and Improves Flow Mediated Dilatation Counteracting Deleterious Effects from a Fat Load in Hypertensive Patients: A Randomized Controlled Study

    PubMed Central

    Grassi, Davide; Draijer, Richard; Schalkwijk, Casper; Desideri, Giovambattista; D’Angeli, Anatolia; Francavilla, Sandro; Mulder, Theo; Ferri, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    (1) Background: Endothelial dysfunction predicts cardiovascular events. Circulating angiogenic cells (CACs) maintain and repair the endothelium regulating its function. Tea flavonoids reduce cardiovascular risk. We investigated the effects of black tea on the number of CACs and on flow-mediated dilation (FMD) before and after an oral fat in hypertensives; (2) Methods: In a randomized, double-blind, controlled, cross-over study, 19 patients were assigned to black tea (150 mg polyphenols) or a placebo twice a day for eight days. Measurements were obtained in a fasted state and after consuming whipping cream, and FMD was measured at baseline and after consumption of the products; (3) Results: Compared with the placebo, black tea ingestion increased functionally active CACs (36 ± 22 vs. 56 ± 21 cells per high-power field; p = 0.006) and FMD (5.0% ± 0.3% vs. 6.6% ± 0.3%, p < 0.0001). Tea further increased FMD 1, 2, 3, and 4 h after consumption, with maximal response 2 h after intake (p < 0.0001). Fat challenge decreased FMD, while tea consumption counteracted FMD impairment (p < 0.0001); (4) Conclusions: We demonstrated the vascular protective properties of black tea by increasing the number of CACs and preventing endothelial dysfunction induced by acute oral fat load in hypertensive patients. Considering that tea is the most consumed beverage after water, our findings are of clinical relevance and interest. PMID:27854314

  20. Environmental concentrations of irgarol, diuron and S-metolachlor induce deleterious effects on gametes and embryos of the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas.

    PubMed

    Mai, Huong; Morin, Bénédicte; Pardon, Patrick; Gonzalez, Patrice; Budzinski, Hélène; Cachot, Jérôme

    2013-08-01

    Irgarol and diuron are the most representative "organic booster biocides" that replace organotin compounds in antifouling paints, and metolachlor is one of the most extensively used chloroacetamide herbicides in agriculture. The toxicity of S-metolachlor, irgarol and diuron was evaluated in Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) gametes or embryos exposed to concentrations of pesticides ranging from 0.1× to 1000×, with 1× corresponding to environmental concentrations of the three studied pesticides in Arcachon Bay (France). Exposures were performed on (1) spermatozoa alone (2) oocytes alone and (3) both spermatozoa and oocytes, and adverse effects on fertilization success and offspring development were recorded. The results showed that the fertilizing capacity of spermatozoa was significantly affected after gamete exposure to pesticide concentrations as low as 1× of irgarol and diuron and 10× of metolachlor. The offspring obtained from pesticide-exposed spermatozoa displayed a dose-dependent increase in developmental abnormalities. In contrast, treating oocytes with pesticide concentrations up to 10× did not alter fertilization rate and offspring quality. However, a significant decline in fertilization success and increase in abnormal D-larvae prevalence were observed at higher concentrations 10× (0.1 μg L(-1)) for S-metolachlor and 100× for irgarol (1.0 μg L(-1)) and diuron (4.0 μg L(-1)). Irgarol, diuron and S-metolachlor also induced a dose-dependent increase in abnormal D-larvae prevalence when freshly fertilized embryos were treated with pesticide concentrations as low as concentration of 1× (0.01 μg L(-1) for irgarol or S-metolachlor, and 0.04 μg L(-1) for diuron). The two bioassays on C. gigas spermatozoa and embryos displayed similar sensitivities to the studied pesticides while oocytes were less sensitive. Diuron, irgarol and S-metolachlor induced spermiotoxicity and embryotoxicity at environmentally relevant concentrations and therefore might be

  1. Linking effects of anthropogenic debris to ecological impacts.

    PubMed

    Browne, Mark Anthony; Underwood, A J; Chapman, M G; Williams, Rob; Thompson, Richard C; van Franeker, Jan A

    2015-05-22

    Accelerated contamination of habitats with debris has caused increased effort to determine ecological impacts. Strikingly, most work on organisms focuses on sublethal responses to plastic debris. This is controversial because (i) researchers have ignored medical insights about the mechanisms that link effects of debris across lower levels of biological organization to disease and mortality, and (ii) debris is considered non-hazardous by policy-makers, possibly because individuals can be injured or removed from populations and assemblages without ecological impacts. We reviewed the mechanisms that link effects of debris across lower levels of biological organization to assemblages and populations. Using plastic, we show microplastics reduce the 'health', feeding, growth and survival of ecosystem engineers. Larger debris alters assemblages because fishing-gear and tyres kill animals and damage habitat-forming plants, and because floating bottles facilitate recruitment and survival of novel taxa. Where ecological linkages are not known, we show how to establish hypothetical links by synthesizing studies to assess the likelihood of impacts. We also consider how population models examine ecological linkages and guide management of ecological impacts. We show that by focusing on linkages to ecological impacts rather than the presence of debris and its sublethal impacts, we could reduce threats posed by debris.

  2. Linking effects of anthropogenic debris to ecological impacts

    PubMed Central

    Browne, Mark Anthony; Underwood, A. J.; Chapman, M. G.; Williams, Rob; Thompson, Richard C.; van Franeker, Jan A.

    2015-01-01

    Accelerated contamination of habitats with debris has caused increased effort to determine ecological impacts. Strikingly, most work on organisms focuses on sublethal responses to plastic debris. This is controversial because (i) researchers have ignored medical insights about the mechanisms that link effects of debris across lower levels of biological organization to disease and mortality, and (ii) debris is considered non-hazardous by policy-makers, possibly because individuals can be injured or removed from populations and assemblages without ecological impacts. We reviewed the mechanisms that link effects of debris across lower levels of biological organization to assemblages and populations. Using plastic, we show microplastics reduce the ‘health’, feeding, growth and survival of ecosystem engineers. Larger debris alters assemblages because fishing-gear and tyres kill animals and damage habitat-forming plants, and because floating bottles facilitate recruitment and survival of novel taxa. Where ecological linkages are not known, we show how to establish hypothetical links by synthesizing studies to assess the likelihood of impacts. We also consider how population models examine ecological linkages and guide management of ecological impacts. We show that by focusing on linkages to ecological impacts rather than the presence of debris and its sublethal impacts, we could reduce threats posed by debris. PMID:25904661

  3. Lakeshore zoning has heterogeneous ecological effects: an application of a coupled economic-ecological model.

    PubMed

    Butsic, Van; Lewis, David J; Radeloff, Volker C

    2010-04-01

    Housing growth has been widely shown to be negatively correlated with wildlife populations, avian richness, anadromous fish, and exotic invasion. Zoning is the most frequently used public policy to manage housing development and is often motivated by a desire to protect the environment. Zoning is also pervasive, taking place in all 50 states. One relevant question that has received little research concerns the effectiveness of zoning to meet ecological goals. In this paper, we examined whether minimum frontage zoning policies have made a positive impact on the lakes they were aimed to protect in Vilas County, Wisconsin, U.S.A. We used an economic model that estimated when a given lot will be subdivided and how many new lots will be created as a function of zoning. Using the economic model, we simulated the effects of multiple zoning scenarios on lakeshore development. The simulated development patterns were then input to ecological models that predicted the amount of coarse woody debris (CWD) and the growth rate of bluegills as a function of residential density. Comparison of the ecological outcomes under different simulated zoning scenarios quantified the effect of zoning policies on residential density, CWD, and bluegill growth rates. Our results showed that zoning significantly affected residential density, CWD counts, and bluegill growth rates across our study area, although the effect was less clear at the scale of individual lake. Our results suggest that homogeneous zoning (i.e., for a county) is likely to have mixed results when applied to a heterogeneous landscape. Further, our results suggest that zoning regimes with a higher minimum shoreline frontage are likely to have larger ecological effects when applied to lakes that are less developed.

  4. The Effect of Size and Ecology on Extinction Susceptibility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huynh, C.; Yuan, A.; Heim, N.; Payne, J.

    2015-12-01

    Although life on Earth first emerged as prokaryotic organisms, it eventually evolved into billions of different species. However, extinctions on Earth, especially the five mass extinctions, have decimated species. So what leads to a species survival or demise during a mass extinction? Are certain species more susceptible to extinctions based on their size and ecology? For this project, we focused on the data of marine animals. To examine the impact of size and ecology on a species's likelihood of survival, we compared the sizes and ecologies of the survivors and victims of the five mass extinctions. The ecology, or life mode, of a genus consists of the combination of tiering, motility, and feeding mechanism. Tiering refers to the animal's typical location in the water column and sediments, motility refers to its ability to move, and feeding mechanism describes the way the organism eats; together, they describe the animal's behavior. We analyzed the effect of ecology on survival using logistic regression, which compares life mode to the success or failure of a genus during each mass extinction interval. For organism size, we found the extinct organisms' mean size (both volume and length) and compared it with the average size of survivors on a graph. Our results show that while surviving genera of mass extinctions tended to be slightly larger than those that went extinct, there was no significant difference. Even though the Permian (Changhsingian) and Triassic (Rhaetian) extinctions had larger surviving species, likewise the difference was small. Ecology had a more obvious impact on the likelihood of survival; fast-moving, predatory pelagic organisms were the most likely to go extinct, while sedentary, infaunal suspension feeders had the greatest chances of survival. Overall, ecology played a greater role than size in determining the survival of a species. With this information, we can use ecology to predict which species would survive future extinctions.

  5. The role of the interactome in the maintenance of deleterious variability in human populations

    PubMed Central

    Garcia-Alonso, Luz; Jiménez-Almazán, Jorge; Carbonell-Caballero, Jose; Vela-Boza, Alicia; Santoyo-López, Javier; Antiñolo, Guillermo; Dopazo, Joaquin

    2014-01-01

    Recent genomic projects have revealed the existence of an unexpectedly large amount of deleterious variability in the human genome. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain such an apparently high mutational load. However, the mechanisms by which deleterious mutations in some genes cause a pathological effect but are apparently innocuous in other genes remain largely unknown. This study searched for deleterious variants in the 1,000 genomes populations, as well as in a newly sequenced population of 252 healthy Spanish individuals. In addition, variants causative of monogenic diseases and somatic variants from 41 chronic lymphocytic leukaemia patients were analysed. The deleterious variants found were analysed in the context of the interactome to understand the role of network topology in the maintenance of the observed mutational load. Our results suggest that one of the mechanisms whereby the effect of these deleterious variants on the phenotype is suppressed could be related to the configuration of the protein interaction network. Most of the deleterious variants observed in healthy individuals are concentrated in peripheral regions of the interactome, in combinations that preserve their connectivity, and have a marginal effect on interactome integrity. On the contrary, likely pathogenic cancer somatic deleterious variants tend to occur in internal regions of the interactome, often with associated structural consequences. Finally, variants causative of monogenic diseases seem to occupy an intermediate position. Our observations suggest that the real pathological potential of a variant might be more a systems property rather than an intrinsic property of individual proteins. PMID:25261458

  6. Validation of Deleterious Mutations in Vorderwald Cattle

    PubMed Central

    Reinartz, Sina; Distl, Ottmar

    2016-01-01

    In Montbéliarde cattle two candidate mutations on bovine chromosomes 19 and 29 responsible for embryonic lethality have been detected. Montbéliarde bulls have been introduced into Vorderwald cattle to improve milk and fattening performance. Due to the small population size of Vorderwald cattle and the wide use of a few Montbéliarde bulls through artificial insemination, inbreeding on Montbéliarde bulls in later generations was increasing. Therefore, we genotyped an aborted fetus which was inbred on Montbéliarde as well as Vorderwald x Montbéliarde crossbred bulls for both deleterious mutations. The abortion was observed in an experimental herd of Vorderwald cattle. The objectives of the present study were to prove if one or both lethal mutations may be assumed to have caused this abortion and to show whether these deleterious mutations have been introduced into the Vorderwald cattle population through Montbéliarde bulls. The aborted fetus was homozygous for the SLC37A2:g.28879810C>T mutation (ss2019324563) on BTA29 and both parents as well as the paternal and maternal grandsire were heterozygous for this mutation. In addition, the parents and the paternal grandsire were carriers of the MH2-haplotype linked with the T-allele of the SLC37A2:g.28879810C>T mutation. For the SHBG:g.27956790C>T mutation (rs38377500) on BTA19 (MH1), the aborted fetus and its sire were heterozygous. Among all further 341 Vorderwald cattle genotyped we found 27 SLC37A2:g.28879810C>T heterozygous animals resulting in an allele frequency of 0.0396. Among the 120 male Vorderwald cattle, there were 12 heterozygous with an allele frequency of 0.05. The SLC37A2:g.28879810C>T mutation could not be found in further nine cattle breeds nor in Vorderwald cattle with contributions from Ayrshire bulls. In 69 Vorderwald cattle without genes from Montbéliarde bulls the mutated allele of SLC37A2:g.28879810C>T could not be detected. The SHBG:g.27956790C>T mutation appeared unlikely to be responsible

  7. Visual acuity in mammals: effects of eye size and ecology.

    PubMed

    Veilleux, Carrie C; Kirk, E Christopher

    2014-01-01

    Previous comparative research has attributed interspecific variation in eye size among mammals to selection related to visual acuity. Mammalian species have also been hypothesized to differ in visual acuity partly as a result of differences in ecology. While a number of prior studies have explored ecological and phylogenetic effects on eye shape, a broad comparative analysis of the relationships between visual acuity, eye size and ecology in mammals is currently lacking. Here we use phylogenetic comparative methods to explore these relationships in a taxonomically and ecologically diverse sample of 91 mammal species. These data confirm that axial eye length and visual acuity are significantly positively correlated in mammals. This relationship conforms to expectations based on theoretical optics and prior analyses of smaller comparative samples. Our data also demonstrate that higher visual acuity in mammals is associated with: (1) diurnality and (2) predatory habits once the effects of eye size and phylogeny have been statistically controlled. These results suggest that interspecific variation in mammalian visual acuity is the result of a complex interplay between phylogenetic history, visual anatomy and ecology.

  8. 21 CFR 509.6 - Added poisonous or deleterious substances.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 6 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Added poisonous or deleterious substances. 509.6...-PACKAGING MATERIAL General Provisions § 509.6 Added poisonous or deleterious substances. (a) Use of an added... approved under the criteria of section 409 of the act, or when the added poisonous or deleterious...

  9. 21 CFR 509.6 - Added poisonous or deleterious substances.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 6 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Added poisonous or deleterious substances. 509.6...-PACKAGING MATERIAL General Provisions § 509.6 Added poisonous or deleterious substances. (a) Use of an added... approved under the criteria of section 409 of the act, or when the added poisonous or deleterious...

  10. 21 CFR 509.6 - Added poisonous or deleterious substances.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 6 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Added poisonous or deleterious substances. 509.6...-PACKAGING MATERIAL General Provisions § 509.6 Added poisonous or deleterious substances. (a) Use of an added... approved under the criteria of section 409 of the act, or when the added poisonous or deleterious...

  11. 21 CFR 509.6 - Added poisonous or deleterious substances.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 6 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Added poisonous or deleterious substances. 509.6...-PACKAGING MATERIAL General Provisions § 509.6 Added poisonous or deleterious substances. (a) Use of an added... approved under the criteria of section 409 of the act, or when the added poisonous or deleterious...

  12. 21 CFR 109.6 - Added poisonous or deleterious substances.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 2 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Added poisonous or deleterious substances. 109.6...-PACKAGING MATERIAL General Provisions § 109.6 Added poisonous or deleterious substances. (a) Use of an added... approved under the criteria of section 409 of the act, or when the added poisonous or deleterious...

  13. 21 CFR 109.6 - Added poisonous or deleterious substances.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 2 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Added poisonous or deleterious substances. 109.6...-PACKAGING MATERIAL General Provisions § 109.6 Added poisonous or deleterious substances. (a) Use of an added... approved under the criteria of section 409 of the act, or when the added poisonous or deleterious...

  14. 21 CFR 109.6 - Added poisonous or deleterious substances.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 2 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Added poisonous or deleterious substances. 109.6...-PACKAGING MATERIAL General Provisions § 109.6 Added poisonous or deleterious substances. (a) Use of an added... approved under the criteria of section 409 of the act, or when the added poisonous or deleterious...

  15. 21 CFR 509.6 - Added poisonous or deleterious substances.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 6 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Added poisonous or deleterious substances. 509.6...-PACKAGING MATERIAL General Provisions § 509.6 Added poisonous or deleterious substances. (a) Use of an added... approved under the criteria of section 409 of the act, or when the added poisonous or deleterious...

  16. 21 CFR 109.6 - Added poisonous or deleterious substances.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 2 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Added poisonous or deleterious substances. 109.6...-PACKAGING MATERIAL General Provisions § 109.6 Added poisonous or deleterious substances. (a) Use of an added... approved under the criteria of section 409 of the act, or when the added poisonous or deleterious...

  17. EPA'S ECOLOGICAL EFFECTS BRANCH: PLANNING FOR AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE

    EPA Science Inventory

    The seminar will address two topics: 1) a brief overview of Dr. Hammer’s professional experiences that preceded his appointment with the Environmental Protection Agency; and 2) a summary of current projects being planned by the Ecological Effects Branch of the Environmental Prote...

  18. Positive Selection of Deleterious Alleles through Interaction with a Sex-Ratio Suppressor Gene in African Buffalo: A Plausible New Mechanism for a High Frequency Anomaly

    PubMed Central

    van Hooft, Pim; Greyling, Ben J.; Getz, Wayne M.; van Helden, Paul D.; Zwaan, Bas J.; Bastos, Armanda D. S.

    2014-01-01

    Although generally rare, deleterious alleles can become common through genetic drift, hitchhiking or reductions in selective constraints. Here we present a possible new mechanism that explains the attainment of high frequencies of deleterious alleles in the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) population of Kruger National Park, through positive selection of these alleles that is ultimately driven by a sex-ratio suppressor. We have previously shown that one in four Kruger buffalo has a Y-chromosome profile that, despite being associated with low body condition, appears to impart a relative reproductive advantage, and which is stably maintained through a sex-ratio suppressor. Apparently, this sex-ratio suppressor prevents fertility reduction that generally accompanies sex-ratio distortion. We hypothesize that this body-condition-associated reproductive advantage increases the fitness of alleles that negatively affect male body condition, causing genome-wide positive selection of these alleles. To investigate this we genotyped 459 buffalo using 17 autosomal microsatellites. By correlating heterozygosity with body condition (heterozygosity-fitness correlations), we found that most microsatellites were associated with one of two gene types: one with elevated frequencies of deleterious alleles that have a negative effect on body condition, irrespective of sex; the other with elevated frequencies of sexually antagonistic alleles that are negative for male body condition but positive for female body condition. Positive selection and a direct association with a Y-chromosomal sex-ratio suppressor are indicated, respectively, by allele clines and by relatively high numbers of homozygous deleterious alleles among sex-ratio suppressor carriers. This study, which employs novel statistical techniques to analyse heterozygosity-fitness correlations, is the first to demonstrate the abundance of sexually-antagonistic genes in a natural mammal population. It also has important

  19. Positive selection of deleterious alleles through interaction with a sex-ratio suppressor gene in African Buffalo: a plausible new mechanism for a high frequency anomaly.

    PubMed

    van Hooft, Pim; Greyling, Ben J; Getz, Wayne M; van Helden, Paul D; Zwaan, Bas J; Bastos, Armanda D S

    2014-01-01

    Although generally rare, deleterious alleles can become common through genetic drift, hitchhiking or reductions in selective constraints. Here we present a possible new mechanism that explains the attainment of high frequencies of deleterious alleles in the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) population of Kruger National Park, through positive selection of these alleles that is ultimately driven by a sex-ratio suppressor. We have previously shown that one in four Kruger buffalo has a Y-chromosome profile that, despite being associated with low body condition, appears to impart a relative reproductive advantage, and which is stably maintained through a sex-ratio suppressor. Apparently, this sex-ratio suppressor prevents fertility reduction that generally accompanies sex-ratio distortion. We hypothesize that this body-condition-associated reproductive advantage increases the fitness of alleles that negatively affect male body condition, causing genome-wide positive selection of these alleles. To investigate this we genotyped 459 buffalo using 17 autosomal microsatellites. By correlating heterozygosity with body condition (heterozygosity-fitness correlations), we found that most microsatellites were associated with one of two gene types: one with elevated frequencies of deleterious alleles that have a negative effect on body condition, irrespective of sex; the other with elevated frequencies of sexually antagonistic alleles that are negative for male body condition but positive for female body condition. Positive selection and a direct association with a Y-chromosomal sex-ratio suppressor are indicated, respectively, by allele clines and by relatively high numbers of homozygous deleterious alleles among sex-ratio suppressor carriers. This study, which employs novel statistical techniques to analyse heterozygosity-fitness correlations, is the first to demonstrate the abundance of sexually-antagonistic genes in a natural mammal population. It also has important

  20. Estimated ecological effects of triazine use of surface waters

    SciTech Connect

    Mercurio, S.D.

    1996-10-01

    Based on the current intensive use of triazines in agriculture in the northern portions of the Midwest, ecological impacts have been evaluated in surface waters. Considerations from application methods to stream concentrations predict a range of impacts using current toxicity models. Standard {open_quotes}static{close_quotes} LC{sub 50}s predict only algal mortality at peak runoff, while laboratory flow-through systems indicate seasonal impacts on primary stream productivity. Mesocosms further observe indirect effects on numerous species during the year. Microcosm and flow-through wetland mesocosm studies indicate primary effects during the growing season on algal populations, magnified by zooplankton bloom stresses and indirect effects on dissolved oxygen and nutrient concentrations. If the river continuum model is considered in combination with triazine concentrations, clear untoward effects on stream ecosystems occur with current practices. The use of banding application or other remediation techniques for positive ecological and economic gains as proven alternatives to current uses are encouraged.

  1. A New Approach to Ecological Risk Assessment: Simulating Effects of Global Warming on Complex Ecological Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Yun; Brose, Ulrich; Kastenberg, William; Martinez, Neo D.

    The field of Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) has been under development since the 1970s. Early ERA borrowed basic concepts from human health risk assessment (HRA) methodology [NAS 1983]. However, because of the nature of an ecosystem, there is a fundamental difference between HRA and ERA. In an HRA, the only receptor is a single human being and the concerned endpoints are always associated with human health issues, such as the risk of cancer. In ERA, however, entire populations, communities and ecosystems are at risk, and ERA must rigorously assess these more complex and larger scaled concerns. Many investigators have attempted to develop a new paradigm for ERA that can deal with this intrinsic distinction. Currently, a six-step framework is now widely used by the U.S. EPA and its contractors. This new paradigm is characterized by: (1) receptor identification, (2) hazard identification, (3) endpoint identification, (4) exposure assessment, (5) doseresponse assessment and (6) risk characterization [Lipton et al. 1993, Suter 1993]. The six-step framework identifies receptors at risk, possible hazards related to certain receptors, and chooses appropriate assessment and measurement endpoints [Suter 1990]. While the additional receptor and endpoint identifications improve on the traditional framework, single-species laboratory toxicity tests typically estimate ecological responses simply by predicting an environmental concentration associated with a certain stressor divided by the no-observed effect concentration (NOEC) for that stressor. This "Hazard Quotient" (HQ) approach ignores interactions between species that are critical to the functioning of communities and ecosystems.

  2. Spatial heterogeneity in the strength of selection against deleterious alleles and the mutation load

    PubMed Central

    Roze, D

    2012-01-01

    According to current estimates of genomic deleterious mutation rates (which are often of the order 0.1–1) the mutation load (defined as a reduction in the average fitness of a population due to the presence of deleterious alleles) may be important in many populations. In this paper, I use multilocus simulations to explore the effect of spatial heterogeneity in the strength of selection against deleterious alleles on the mutation load (for example, it has been suggested that stressful environments may increase the strength of selection). These simulations show contrasted results: in some situations, spatial heterogeneity may greatly reduce the mutation load, due to the fact that migrants coming from demes under stronger selection carry relatively few deleterious alleles, and benefit from a strong advantage within demes under weaker selection (where individuals carry many more deleterious alleles); in other situations, however, deleterious alleles accumulate within demes under stronger selection, due to migration pressure from demes under weaker selection, leading to fitness erosion within those demes. This second situation is more frequent when the productivity of the different demes is proportional to their mean fitness. The effect of spatial heterogeneity is greatly reduced, however, when the response to environmental differences is inconsistent across loci. PMID:22588129

  3. Acidic deposition--ecological effects on surface waters

    SciTech Connect

    Harter, P.

    1989-01-01

    The acidification of soft water aquatic ecosystems, with consequent damage to the flora and fauna, is considered in this report. The evidence that environmental effects are ocurring is examined to see if a trend of increasing acidification can be related to changes in atmospheric deposition of sulphates and nitrates. Possible causes of change are considered, to clarify the contributions of variations in human activities and natural factors. It is concluded that acidic deposition, originating partly from emissions of sulphur and nitrogen compounds arising from man-made sources including combustion of fossil fuels, is causing acidification of surface waters in some areas of Europe and North America. There is proof that acidification of surface waters (to less than pH 6) is deleterious to many of the organisms whose habitat it forms. Acidified surface waters in some of the impacted areas are showing signs of recovery, where emissions of sulphur and nitrogen compounds from human activities are decreasing. There is some evidence that reversibility of acidification has started to occur, in some instances, about a decade after emissions were reduced. 219 refs., 13 figs., 9 tabs.

  4. Quantifying genetic diversity under a broad spectrum of deleterious mutations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Good, Benjamin; Desai, Michael

    2013-03-01

    Recent studies have shown that selection against deleterious mutations may play a major role in shaping observed patterns of sequence variation in natural populations. However, our understanding of these patterns remains limited, since selection creates correlations along the genome that are difficult to disentangle from each other. Previous theoretical work has focused on the qualitative effects of selection on sequence diversity, using simplified models in which all selected mutations have the same fitness cost. Yet is known that deleterious mutations follow a wide distribution in most organisms, so it is necessary to extend our theoretical predictions to this more general case before we can make quantitative connections with existing data. The evolutionary dynamics of this regime are complicated: extant mutant lineages represent large, correlated fluctuations away from the background expectation, which hinders efforts to apply existing methods based on deterministic or ``mean-field'' approximations. Here, we will describe recent progress towards this goal, which is based on a ``coarse-graining'' of the underlying distribution of fitnesses in the population.

  5. Ecological and socioeconomic effects of China's policies for ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jianguo; Li, Shuxin; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Tam, Christine; Chen, Xiaodong

    2008-07-15

    To address devastating environmental crises and to improve human well-being, China has been implementing a number of national policies on payments for ecosystem services. Two of them, the Natural Forest Conservation Program (NFCP) and the Grain to Green Program (GTGP), are among the biggest programs in the world because of their ambitious goals, massive scales, huge payments, and potentially enormous impacts. The NFCP conserves natural forests through logging bans and afforestation with incentives to forest enterprises, whereas the GTGP converts cropland on steep slopes to forest and grassland by providing farmers with grain and cash subsidies. Overall ecological effects are beneficial, and socioeconomic effects are mostly positive. Whereas there are time lags in ecological effects, socioeconomic effects are more immediate. Both the NFCP and the GTGP also have global implications because they increase vegetative cover, enhance carbon sequestration, and reduce dust to other countries by controlling soil erosion. The future impacts of these programs may be even bigger. Extended payments for the GTGP have recently been approved by the central government for up to 8 years. The NFCP is likely to follow suit and receive renewed payments. To make these programs more effective, we recommend systematic planning, diversified funding, effective compensation, integrated research, and comprehensive monitoring. Effective implementation of these programs can also provide important experiences and lessons for other ecosystem service payment programs in China and many other parts of the world.

  6. Ecological and socioeconomic effects of China's policies for ecosystem services

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jianguo; Li, Shuxin; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Tam, Christine; Chen, Xiaodong

    2008-01-01

    To address devastating environmental crises and to improve human well-being, China has been implementing a number of national policies on payments for ecosystem services. Two of them, the Natural Forest Conservation Program (NFCP) and the Grain to Green Program (GTGP), are among the biggest programs in the world because of their ambitious goals, massive scales, huge payments, and potentially enormous impacts. The NFCP conserves natural forests through logging bans and afforestation with incentives to forest enterprises, whereas the GTGP converts cropland on steep slopes to forest and grassland by providing farmers with grain and cash subsidies. Overall ecological effects are beneficial, and socioeconomic effects are mostly positive. Whereas there are time lags in ecological effects, socioeconomic effects are more immediate. Both the NFCP and the GTGP also have global implications because they increase vegetative cover, enhance carbon sequestration, and reduce dust to other countries by controlling soil erosion. The future impacts of these programs may be even bigger. Extended payments for the GTGP have recently been approved by the central government for up to 8 years. The NFCP is likely to follow suit and receive renewed payments. To make these programs more effective, we recommend systematic planning, diversified funding, effective compensation, integrated research, and comprehensive monitoring. Effective implementation of these programs can also provide important experiences and lessons for other ecosystem service payment programs in China and many other parts of the world. PMID:18621700

  7. Self-DNA inhibitory effects: Underlying mechanisms and ecological implications

    PubMed Central

    Cartenì, Fabrizio; Bonanomi, Giuliano; Giannino, Francesco; Incerti, Guido; Vincenot, Christian Ernest; Chiusano, Maria Luisa; Mazzoleni, Stefano

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT DNA is usually known as the molecule that carries the instructions necessary for cell functioning and genetic inheritance. A recent discovery reported a new functional role for extracellular DNA. After fragmentation, either by natural or artificial decomposition, small DNA molecules (between ∼50 and ∼2000 bp) exert a species specific inhibitory effect on individuals of the same species. Evidence shows that such effect occurs for a wide range of organisms, suggesting a general biological process. In this paper we explore the possible molecular mechanisms behind those findings and discuss the ecological implications, specifically those related to plant species coexistence. PMID:26950417

  8. A METHOD TO INCORPORATE ECOLOGY INTO RESIDENCE TIME OF CHEMICALS IN EMBAYMENTS: LOCAL EFFECT TIME

    EPA Science Inventory

    Residence times are classically defined by the physical and chemical aspects of water bodies rather than by their ecological implications. Therefore, a more clear and direct connection between the residence times and ecological effects is necessary to quantitatively relate these ...

  9. Sexual selection against deleterious mutations via variable male search success

    PubMed Central

    MacLellan, Kelsie; Whitlock, Michael C.; Rundle, Howard D.

    2009-01-01

    In many species, successful mating requires the initial step of actively searching for and locating a female. The overall health or condition of a male is likely to affect their ability to do this, making search effort a potentially important component of sexual fitness that may have important consequences for population mean fitness. We investigated the potential population genetic consequences of search effort using 10 populations of Drosophila melanogaster, each fixed for a different recessive mutation with a visible phenotypic effect. Mate choice trials were conducted in arenas of varying size, requiring different levels of search ability. Sexual selection against mutant males was stronger when increased search effort was included than when it was excluded. Varying abilities to find mates can substantially increase the strength of selection against deleterious alleles. PMID:19625301

  10. Potential biological and ecological effects of flickering artificial light.

    PubMed

    Inger, Richard; Bennie, Jonathan; Davies, Thomas W; Gaston, Kevin J

    2014-01-01

    Organisms have evolved under stable natural lighting regimes, employing cues from these to govern key ecological processes. However, the extent and density of artificial lighting within the environment has increased recently, causing widespread alteration of these regimes. Indeed, night-time electric lighting is known significantly to disrupt phenology, behaviour, and reproductive success, and thence community composition and ecosystem functioning. Until now, most attention has focussed on effects of the occurrence, timing, and spectral composition of artificial lighting. Little considered is that many types of lamp do not produce a constant stream of light but a series of pulses. This flickering light has been shown to have detrimental effects in humans and other species. Whether a species is likely to be affected will largely be determined by its visual temporal resolution, measured as the critical fusion frequency. That is the frequency at which a series of light pulses are perceived as a constant stream. Here we use the largest collation to date of critical fusion frequencies, across a broad range of taxa, to demonstrate that a significant proportion of species can detect such flicker in widely used lamps. Flickering artificial light thus has marked potential to produce ecological effects that have not previously been considered.

  11. Potential Biological and Ecological Effects of Flickering Artificial Light

    PubMed Central

    Inger, Richard; Bennie, Jonathan; Davies, Thomas W.; Gaston, Kevin J.

    2014-01-01

    Organisms have evolved under stable natural lighting regimes, employing cues from these to govern key ecological processes. However, the extent and density of artificial lighting within the environment has increased recently, causing widespread alteration of these regimes. Indeed, night-time electric lighting is known significantly to disrupt phenology, behaviour, and reproductive success, and thence community composition and ecosystem functioning. Until now, most attention has focussed on effects of the occurrence, timing, and spectral composition of artificial lighting. Little considered is that many types of lamp do not produce a constant stream of light but a series of pulses. This flickering light has been shown to have detrimental effects in humans and other species. Whether a species is likely to be affected will largely be determined by its visual temporal resolution, measured as the critical fusion frequency. That is the frequency at which a series of light pulses are perceived as a constant stream. Here we use the largest collation to date of critical fusion frequencies, across a broad range of taxa, to demonstrate that a significant proportion of species can detect such flicker in widely used lamps. Flickering artificial light thus has marked potential to produce ecological effects that have not previously been considered. PMID:24874801

  12. Ecology of estuaries

    SciTech Connect

    Kennish, M.J. )

    1992-01-01

    Ecology of Estuaries: Anthropogenic Effects represents the most definitive and comprehensive source of reference information available on the human impact on estuarine ecosystems. The book discusses both acute and insidious pollution problems plaguing these coastal ecotones. It also provides a detailed examination of the deleterious and pervasive effects of human activities on biotic communities and sensitive habitat areas in estuaries. Specific areas covered include organic loading, oil pollution, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, chlorinated hydrocarbons, heavy metals, dredging and dredge-spoil disposal, radionuclides, as well as other contaminants and processes. The diverse components of these anthropogenic influences are assembled in an organized framework and presented in a clear and concise style that will facilitate their understanding.

  13. Effect of Ecological Restoration on Body Condition of a Predator

    PubMed Central

    González-Tokman, Daniel; Martínez-Garza, Cristina

    2015-01-01

    Ecological restoration attempts to recover the structure and function of ecosystems that have been degraded by human activities. A crucial test of ecosystem recovery would be to determine whether individuals in restored environments are as healthy as those in conserved environments. However, the impact of restoration on physiology of terrestrial animals has never been tested. Here, we evaluated the effect of two restoration methods on body condition measured as body size, body mass, lipid and muscle content of the spider Nephila clavipes in a tropical dry forest that has suffered chronic disturbance due to cattle grazing. We used experimental plots that had been excluded from disturbance by cattle grazing during eight years. Plots were either planted with native trees (i. e. maximal intervention), or only excluded from disturbance (i. e. minimal intervention), and were compared with control conserved (remnants of original forest) and disturbed plots (where cattle is allowed to graze). We predicted (1) better body condition in spiders of conserved and restored sites, compared to disturbed sites, and (2) better body condition in plots with maximal intervention than in plots with minimal intervention. The first prediction was not supported in males or females, and the second prediction was only supported in females: body dry mass was higher in planted than in conserved plots for spiders of both sexes and also higher that in disturbed plots for males, suggesting that plantings are providing more resources. We discuss how different life histories and environmental pressures, such as food availability, parasitism, and competition for resources can explain our contrasting findings in male and female spiders. By studying animal physiology in restoration experiments it is possible to understand the mechanistic basis of ecological and evolutionary processes that determine success of ecological restoration. PMID:26226363

  14. Ecological effects of contaminants and remedial actions in Bear Creek

    SciTech Connect

    Southworth, G.R.; Loar, J.M.; Ryon, M.G.; Smith, J.G.; Stewart, A.J. ); Burris, J.A. )

    1992-01-01

    Ecological studies of the Bear Creek watershed, which drains the area surrounding several Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant waste disposal facilities, were initiated in May 1984 and are continuing at present. These studies consisted of an initial, detailed characterization of the benthic invertebrate and fish communities in Bear Creek, and they were followed by a presently ongoing monitoring phase that involves reduced sampling intensities. The characterization phase utilized two approaches: (1) instream sampling of benthic invertebrate and fish communities in Bear Creek to identify spatial and temporal patterns in distribution and abundance and (2) laboratory bioassays on water samples from Bear Creek and selected tributaries to identify potential sources of toxicity to biota. The monitoring phase of the ecological program relates to the long-term goals of identifying and prioritizing contaminant sources and assessing the effectiveness of remedial actions. It continues activities of the characterization phase at less frequent intervals. The Bear Greek Valley is a watershed that drains the area surrounding several closed Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant waste disposal facilities. Past waste disposal practices in Bear Creek Valley resulted in contamination of Bear Creek and consequent ecological damage. Extensive remedial actions have been proposed at waste sites, and some of the have been implemented or are now underway. The proposed study plan consists of an initial, detailed characterization of the benthic invertebrate and fish communities in Bear Creek in the first year followed by a reduction in sampling intensity during the monitoring phase of the plan. The results of sampling conducted from May 1984 through early 1989 are presented in this report.

  15. [Study on species and valence state of heavy metals and deleterious elements of mineral medicine].

    PubMed

    Han, Xu; Luo, Jiao-yang; Liu, Qiu-tao; Li, Yan-jun; Xie, Yan-jun; Yang, Shi-hai; Yang, Mei-hua

    2015-12-01

    As an important part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), mineral medicine plays an irreplaceable role. However, little has been reported on its species and valence state of heavy metals and deleterious elements, and also the relevance to pharmacological effect and toxicology. The present paper, in a new perspective, summarized the determination of the species and valence state of heavy metals and deleterious elements in recent years, discussed the progress of the pharmacological effect and toxicology, and prospected for future study which might provide reference for mineral medicine.

  16. A Temporal Perspective on the Interplay of Demography and Selection on Deleterious Variation in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Koch, Evan; Novembre, John

    2017-01-01

    When mutations have small effects on fitness, population size plays an important role in determining the amount and nature of deleterious genetic variation. The extent to which recent population size changes have impacted deleterious variation in humans has been a question of considerable interest and debate. An emerging consensus is that the Out-of-Africa bottleneck and subsequent growth events have been too short to cause meaningful differences in genetic load between populations; though changes in the number and average frequencies of deleterious variants have taken place. To provide more support for this view and to offer additional insight into the divergent evolution of deleterious variation across populations, we numerically solve time-inhomogeneous diffusion equations and study the temporal dynamics of the frequency spectra in models of population size change for modern humans. We observe how the response to demographic change differs by the strength of selection, and we then assess whether similar patterns are observed in exome sequence data from 33,370 and 5203 individuals of non-Finnish European and West African ancestry, respectively. Our theoretical results highlight how even simple summaries of the frequency spectrum can have complex responses to demographic change. These results support the finding that some apparent discrepancies between previous results have been driven by the behaviors of the precise summaries of deleterious variation. Further, our empirical results make clear the difficulty of inferring slight differences in frequency spectra using recent next-generation sequence data. PMID:28159863

  17. Excess of Deleterious Mutations around HLA Genes Reveals Evolutionary Cost of Balancing Selection

    PubMed Central

    Lenz, Tobias L.; Spirin, Victor; Jordan, Daniel M.; Sunyaev, Shamil R.

    2016-01-01

    Deleterious mutations are expected to evolve under negative selection and are usually purged from the population. However, deleterious alleles segregate in the human population and some disease-associated variants are maintained at considerable frequencies. Here, we test the hypothesis that balancing selection may counteract purifying selection in neighboring regions and thus maintain deleterious variants at higher frequency than expected from their detrimental fitness effect. We first show in realistic simulations that balancing selection reduces the density of polymorphic sites surrounding a locus under balancing selection, but at the same time markedly increases the population frequency of the remaining variants, including even substantially deleterious alleles. To test the predictions of our simulations empirically, we then use whole-exome sequencing data from 6,500 human individuals and focus on the most established example for balancing selection in the human genome, the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Our analysis shows an elevated frequency of putatively deleterious coding variants in nonhuman leukocyte antigen (non-HLA) genes localized in the MHC region. The mean frequency of these variants declined with physical distance from the classical HLA genes, indicating dependency on genetic linkage. These results reveal an indirect cost of the genetic diversity maintained by balancing selection, which has hitherto been perceived as mostly advantageous, and have implications both for the evolution of recombination and also for the epidemiology of various MHC-associated diseases. PMID:27436009

  18. Estimate of the genomic mutation rate deleterious to overall fitness in E. coll

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kibota, Travis T.; Lynch, Michael

    1996-06-01

    MUTATIONS are a double-edged sword: they are the ultimate source of genetic variation upon which evolution depends, yet most mutations affecting fitness (viability and reproductive success) appear to be harmful1. Deleterious mutations of small effect can escape natural selection, and should accumulate in small populations2-4. Reduced fitness from deleterious-mutation accumulation may be important in the evolution of sex5-7, mate choice8,9, and diploid life-cycles10, and in the extinction of small populations11,12. Few empirical data exist, however. Minimum estimates of the genomic deleterious-mutation rate for viability in Drosophila melanogaster are surprisingly high1,13,14, leading to the conjecture that the rate for total fitness could exceed 1.0 mutation per individual per generation5,6. Here we use Escherichia coli to provide an estimate of the genomic deleterious-mutation rate for total fitness in a microbe. We estimate that the per-microbe rate of deleterious mutations is in excess of 0.0002.

  19. Status and ecological effects of the world's largest carnivores.

    PubMed

    Ripple, William J; Estes, James A; Beschta, Robert L; Wilmers, Christopher C; Ritchie, Euan G; Hebblewhite, Mark; Berger, Joel; Elmhagen, Bodil; Letnic, Mike; Nelson, Michael P; Schmitz, Oswald J; Smith, Douglas W; Wallach, Arian D; Wirsing, Aaron J

    2014-01-10

    Large carnivores face serious threats and are experiencing massive declines in their populations and geographic ranges around the world. We highlight how these threats have affected the conservation status and ecological functioning of the 31 largest mammalian carnivores on Earth. Consistent with theory, empirical studies increasingly show that large carnivores have substantial effects on the structure and function of diverse ecosystems. Significant cascading trophic interactions, mediated by their prey or sympatric mesopredators, arise when some of these carnivores are extirpated from or repatriated to ecosystems. Unexpected effects of trophic cascades on various taxa and processes include changes to bird, mammal, invertebrate, and herpetofauna abundance or richness; subsidies to scavengers; altered disease dynamics; carbon sequestration; modified stream morphology; and crop damage. Promoting tolerance and coexistence with large carnivores is a crucial societal challenge that will ultimately determine the fate of Earth's largest carnivores and all that depends upon them, including humans.

  20. Biogeochemical and Ecological Effects of Nitrogen Deposition in Western North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fenn, M. E.

    2003-12-01

    The unique geographic, demographic, climatic and edaphic conditions of the West determine N deposition rates and biogeochemical and ecological responses to N deposition. In the western United States large regions are exposed to low N deposition levels with interspersed hotspots of elevated N deposition near urban areas or large agricultural emissions sources. Nitrogen emissions also contribute to ozone formation and regional haze and visibility impairment, the latter an effect that is observed in remote sites including several high profile national parks and wilderness areas. Recent studies suggest that N enrichment impacts are generally more important in western terrestrial systems than soil acidification effects. In the Pacific Northwest, California and Colorado sensitive organisms such as lichens and phytoplankton demonstrate deleterious biological effects with N deposition levels as low as 3-8 kg ha-1 yr-1. Increased streamwater nitrate export has been reported from southern California forests and chaparral catchments, high elevation watersheds in the Colorado Front Range, and in the most exposed regions of the southwestern Sierra Nevada. Evidence suggests that in some regions N deposition alters plant community composition, decreases mycorrhizal diversity, and also increases biomass accumulation, carbon allocation patterns and fire frequency. Several factors predispose Western semiarid ecosystems to N saturation as will be demonstrated by the San Bernardino Mountains case study (southern California). Edaphic conditions generally favor high nitrification rates relative to N mineralization. Nitrate from nitrification and atmospheric deposition accumulates in soil and on plant surfaces during prolonged dry periods. Under conditions of chronic N deposition, the N cycle becomes highly open in nature as excess N is exported in runoff and as gaseous emissions from soil. Actively nitrifying soils and temporal asynchrony between the period of plant N demand and nitrate

  1. Obstruction of adaptation in diploids by recessive, strongly deleterious alleles.

    PubMed

    Assaf, Zoe June; Petrov, Dmitri A; Blundell, Jamie R

    2015-05-19

    Recessive deleterious mutations are common, causing many genetic disorders in humans and producing inbreeding depression in the majority of sexually reproducing diploids. The abundance of recessive deleterious mutations in natural populations suggests they are likely to be present on a chromosome when a new adaptive mutation occurs, yet the dynamics of recessive deleterious hitchhikers and their impact on adaptation remains poorly understood. Here we model how a recessive deleterious mutation impacts the fate of a genetically linked dominant beneficial mutation. The frequency trajectory of the adaptive mutation in this case is dramatically altered and results in what we have termed a "staggered sweep." It is named for its three-phased trajectory: (i) Initially, the two linked mutations have a selective advantage while rare and will increase in frequency together, then (ii), at higher frequencies, the recessive hitchhiker is exposed to selection and can cause a balanced state via heterozygote advantage (the staggered phase), and (iii) finally, if recombination unlinks the two mutations, then the beneficial mutation can complete the sweep to fixation. Using both analytics and simulations, we show that strongly deleterious recessive mutations can substantially decrease the probability of fixation for nearby beneficial mutations, thus creating zones in the genome where adaptation is suppressed. These mutations can also significantly prolong the number of generations a beneficial mutation takes to sweep to fixation, and cause the genomic signature of selection to resemble that of soft or partial sweeps. We show that recessive deleterious variation could impact adaptation in humans and Drosophila.

  2. Bottlenecks and selective sweeps during domestication have increased deleterious genetic variation in dogs

    PubMed Central

    Marsden, Clare D.; Ortega-Del Vecchyo, Diego; O’Brien, Dennis P.; Taylor, Jeremy F.; Ramirez, Oscar; Vilà, Carles; Marques-Bonet, Tomas; Schnabel, Robert D.; Wayne, Robert K.; Lohmueller, Kirk E.

    2016-01-01

    Population bottlenecks, inbreeding, and artificial selection can all, in principle, influence levels of deleterious genetic variation. However, the relative importance of each of these effects on genome-wide patterns of deleterious variation remains controversial. Domestic and wild canids offer a powerful system to address the role of these factors in influencing deleterious variation because their history is dominated by known bottlenecks and intense artificial selection. Here, we assess genome-wide patterns of deleterious variation in 90 whole-genome sequences from breed dogs, village dogs, and gray wolves. We find that the ratio of amino acid changing heterozygosity to silent heterozygosity is higher in dogs than in wolves and, on average, dogs have 2–3% higher genetic load than gray wolves. Multiple lines of evidence indicate this pattern is driven by less efficient natural selection due to bottlenecks associated with domestication and breed formation, rather than recent inbreeding. Further, we find regions of the genome implicated in selective sweeps are enriched for amino acid changing variants and Mendelian disease genes. To our knowledge, these results provide the first quantitative estimates of the increased burden of deleterious variants directly associated with domestication and have important implications for selective breeding programs and the conservation of rare and endangered species. Specifically, they highlight the costs associated with selective breeding and question the practice favoring the breeding of individuals that best fit breed standards. Our results also suggest that maintaining a large population size, rather than just avoiding inbreeding, is a critical factor for preventing the accumulation of deleterious variants. PMID:26699508

  3. Bottlenecks and selective sweeps during domestication have increased deleterious genetic variation in dogs.

    PubMed

    Marsden, Clare D; Ortega-Del Vecchyo, Diego; O'Brien, Dennis P; Taylor, Jeremy F; Ramirez, Oscar; Vilà, Carles; Marques-Bonet, Tomas; Schnabel, Robert D; Wayne, Robert K; Lohmueller, Kirk E

    2016-01-05

    Population bottlenecks, inbreeding, and artificial selection can all, in principle, influence levels of deleterious genetic variation. However, the relative importance of each of these effects on genome-wide patterns of deleterious variation remains controversial. Domestic and wild canids offer a powerful system to address the role of these factors in influencing deleterious variation because their history is dominated by known bottlenecks and intense artificial selection. Here, we assess genome-wide patterns of deleterious variation in 90 whole-genome sequences from breed dogs, village dogs, and gray wolves. We find that the ratio of amino acid changing heterozygosity to silent heterozygosity is higher in dogs than in wolves and, on average, dogs have 2-3% higher genetic load than gray wolves. Multiple lines of evidence indicate this pattern is driven by less efficient natural selection due to bottlenecks associated with domestication and breed formation, rather than recent inbreeding. Further, we find regions of the genome implicated in selective sweeps are enriched for amino acid changing variants and Mendelian disease genes. To our knowledge, these results provide the first quantitative estimates of the increased burden of deleterious variants directly associated with domestication and have important implications for selective breeding programs and the conservation of rare and endangered species. Specifically, they highlight the costs associated with selective breeding and question the practice favoring the breeding of individuals that best fit breed standards. Our results also suggest that maintaining a large population size, rather than just avoiding inbreeding, is a critical factor for preventing the accumulation of deleterious variants.

  4. Visual Search in Ecological and Non-Ecological Displays: Evidence for a Non-Monotonic Effect of Complexity on Performance

    PubMed Central

    Chassy, Philippe; Gobet, Fernand

    2013-01-01

    Considerable research has been carried out on visual search, with single or multiple targets. However, most studies have used artificial stimuli with low ecological validity. In addition, little is known about the effects of target complexity and expertise in visual search. Here, we investigate visual search in three conditions of complexity (detecting a king, detecting a check, and detecting a checkmate) with chess players of two levels of expertise (novices and club players). Results show that the influence of target complexity depends on level of structure of the visual display. Different functional relationships were found between artificial (random chess positions) and ecologically valid (game positions) stimuli: With artificial, but not with ecologically valid stimuli, a “pop out” effect was present when a target was visually more complex than distractors but could be captured by a memory chunk. This suggests that caution should be exercised when generalising from experiments using artificial stimuli with low ecological validity to real-life stimuli. PMID:23320084

  5. Acidic precipitation, Vol. 2: Biological and ecological effects

    SciTech Connect

    Adriano, D.C.; Johnson, A.H.

    1989-01-01

    Acidic precipitation has its origin in emissions to the atmosphere of numerous compounds from both natural and man-made sources. The chapters in this volume cover a wide array of topics on the biological and ecological effects of acidic precipitation. A chapter on soil productivity emphasizes changes in biological and chemical characters of forest soils impacted by acidic deposition. Additional chapters discuss specific effects on soil microorganisms, trees, and crops. The importance of aluminum in this environmental issue is highlighted by a discussion on the mobility and phytotoxicity of this element in acidic soils. This chapter puts into perspective the biology of Al stressed plants. Two major chapters discuss the effect of acidic precipitation on forest ecosystems; one emphasizing North America, and the other Europe. Effects of soil acidification on key soil processes, including litter decomposition and depletion of essential plant nutrients in the soil profile are emphasized. Finally, three major chapters comprehensively cover limnological ecosystems and their response to acidic perturbation. These chapters discuss the response of stream and lake communities, both floral and faunal, to water acidification, including reduced biodiversity in these systems. Ten chapters have been processed separately for inclusion in the appropriate data bases.

  6. Viewing the effects of species loss in complex ecological networks.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Lei; Zhang, Huayong; Tian, Wang; Li, Ran; Xu, Xiang

    2017-03-01

    Species loss is becoming a major threat to ecosystems. An urgent task in ecology is to predict the consequence of species loss which requires an extending of our traditional study of the topology of network structure to the population dynamic analyses in complex food webs. Here, via numerical simulations of the model combining structural networks with nonlinear bioenergetic models of population dynamics, we analyzed the secondary effects of species removal on biomass distribution and population stability, as well as the factors influencing these effects. We found that the biomass of target species, the nutrient supply, and the trophic level of target species were the three most significant determiners for the effects of species loss. Species loss had large negative effect on the biomass of the species with small biomass or intermediate trophic levels, especially in infertile environment. The population stability of the species with large biomass or low trophic level is easily to be influenced especially in nutrient-rich environment. Our findings indicate the species which are easily to be affected by species loss in food webs, which may help ecologists to outline a better conservation policy.

  7. Ecological and Evolutionary Effects of Dispersal on Freshwater Zooplankton

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allen, Michael R.

    2009-01-01

    A recent focus on contemporary evolution and the connections between communities has sought to more closely integrate ecology with evolutionary biology. Studies of coevolutionary dynamics, life history evolution, and rapid local adaptation demonstrate that ecological circumstances can dictate evolutionary trajectories. Thus, variation in species…

  8. 40 CFR 158.240 - Experimental use permit data requirements for ecological effects.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... requirements for ecological effects. 158.240 Section 158.240 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Experimental Use Permits § 158.240 Experimental use permit data requirements for ecological effects. All data for terrestrial nontarget...

  9. 40 CFR 158.240 - Experimental use permit data requirements for ecological effects.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... requirements for ecological effects. 158.240 Section 158.240 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Experimental Use Permits § 158.240 Experimental use permit data requirements for ecological effects. All data for terrestrial nontarget...

  10. 40 CFR 158.240 - Experimental use permit data requirements for ecological effects.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... requirements for ecological effects. 158.240 Section 158.240 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Experimental Use Permits § 158.240 Experimental use permit data requirements for ecological effects. All data for terrestrial nontarget...

  11. 40 CFR 158.240 - Experimental use permit data requirements for ecological effects.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... requirements for ecological effects. 158.240 Section 158.240 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Experimental Use Permits § 158.240 Experimental use permit data requirements for ecological effects. All data for terrestrial nontarget...

  12. THE LOCAL EFFECT TIME (LET) AND HOW IT INCORPORATES ECOLOGY INTO RESIDENCE TIME

    EPA Science Inventory

    A clear and direct connection between constituent/water residence times and ecological effects is necessary to quantitatively relate these time scales to ecology. The concept of "local effect time" (LET) is proposed here as a time scale with adequate spatial resolution to relate ...

  13. Some Parameters of Teacher Effectiveness as Assessed by an Ecological Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scott, Myrtle

    1977-01-01

    This experiment explored the applicability of naturalistic methods of ecological psychology to the study of teacher behavior. Some differences were found between teachers who had been identified as effective or ineffective. The ecological methodology is thought to be a fruitful one for the study of teacher effectiveness. (Author/JKS)

  14. On the Likelihood of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Causing Adverse Marine Ecological Effects

    EPA Science Inventory

    This brief article discusses the ecological effects of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs)in the marine environment. Based on new research and a review of the scientific literature, the paper concludes that SWNTs are unlikely to cause adverse ecological effects in the marine ...

  15. Ecological effects of oil shale development: problems, perspectives, and approaches

    SciTech Connect

    Hakonson, T.E.; White. G.C.

    1980-01-01

    Although current oil shale developments in the Piceance Basin appear to have had little impact on ecosystems, it is important to recognize that planned expansion of the industry in the Basin will greatly magnify the potential for serious perturbations of the Piceance environs. The relatively small scale of the present oil shale activities in the Basin provides the biologist with a unique opportunity to establish and conduct quantitative studies designed to measure impacts as they occur. This paper is intended to focus attention on some of the problems, perspectives and recommended approaches to conducting ecosystem effects studies that will provide criteria for evaluation and mitigation of impacts should they occur. The purpose of this paper is not to criticize past and current environmental studies on oil shale, but in light of anticipated growth of the industry, to focus attention on the need to carefully define, design and execute ecological effects studies to quantify and provide mitigation criteria for impacts that will undoubtedly result from accelerated industry activities.

  16. Deleterious oral habits in children with hearing impairment

    PubMed Central

    SUHANI, RALUCA DIANA; SUHANI, MIHAI FLAVIU; MUNTEAN, ALEXANDRINA; MESAROS, MICHAELA; BADEA, MINDRA EUGENIA

    2015-01-01

    Background and aims Deleterious oral habits represent a serious public health issue. The information available about this problem in children with hearing impairment is insufficient. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of deleterious oral habits among children with hearing impairment and comparing results against children without hearing impairment. Method This epidemiological study was carried out in a sample size of 315 children. We used a random sampling technique that included 150 children with hearing impairment and 165 without hearing impairment. All subjects were submitted to a clinical examination. The parents/legal guardians were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding the deleterious habits of their children. Results The data collected indicated a higher prevalence of deleterious oral habits among children with hearing impairment: 53.3% as opposed to 40.6% among children without hearing impairment. There was a higher incidence of malocclusion in children with hearing impairment (79.3%) compared to children without hearing impairment (57%). Conclusions This study highlighted the need to establish protocols for preventive orthodontic treatment at an early age, in order to reduce the deleterious oral habits and prevent malocclusion. Dental institutions/clinicians need to implement oral care programs including proper oral education aiming to promote oral health. PMID:26609277

  17. HISTORICAL ANALYSIS OF ECOLOGICAL EFFECTS: A USEFUL EDUCATIONAL TOOL

    EPA Science Inventory

    An historical analysis that presents the ecological consequences of development can be a valuable educational tool for citizens, students, and environmental managers. In highly impacted areas, the cumulative impacts of multiple stressors can result in complex environmental condit...

  18. Comparing spatially explicit ecological and social values for natural areas to identify effective conservation strategies.

    PubMed

    Bryan, Brett Anthony; Raymond, Christopher Mark; Crossman, Neville David; King, Darran

    2011-02-01

    Consideration of the social values people assign to relatively undisturbed native ecosystems is critical for the success of science-based conservation plans. We used an interview process to identify and map social values assigned to 31 ecosystem services provided by natural areas in an agricultural landscape in southern Australia. We then modeled the spatial distribution of 12 components of ecological value commonly used in setting spatial conservation priorities. We used the analytical hierarchy process to weight these components and used multiattribute utility theory to combine them into a single spatial layer of ecological value. Social values assigned to natural areas were negatively correlated with ecological values overall, but were positively correlated with some components of ecological value. In terms of the spatial distribution of values, people valued protected areas, whereas those natural areas underrepresented in the reserve system were of higher ecological value. The habitats of threatened animal species were assigned both high ecological value and high social value. Only small areas were assigned both high ecological value and high social value in the study area, whereas large areas of high ecological value were of low social value, and vice versa. We used the assigned ecological and social values to identify different conservation strategies (e.g., information sharing, community engagement, incentive payments) that may be effective for specific areas. We suggest that consideration of both ecological and social values in selection of conservation strategies can enhance the success of science-based conservation planning.

  19. Ecological effects after an alum treatment in Spring Lake, Michigan.

    PubMed

    Steinman, Alan D; Ogdahl, Mary

    2008-01-01

    A whole-lake alum treatment was applied to eutrophic Spring Lake during October and November 2005. Eight months later, an ecological assessment of the lake was performed and compared with data collected in 2003 and 2004. Field measurements showed reduced soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) and total phosphorus (TP) concentrations in the water column the summer after the alum application, but chlorophyll levels and irradiance profiles were not significantly affected. Total macroinvertebrate density declined significantly in 2006 compared with 2004, with chaoborids and oligochaetes experiencing the greatest reductions. Internal phosphorus release rates, measured using sediment cores incubated in the laboratory, ranged from -0.052 to 0.877 mg TP m(-2) d(-1) under anaerobic conditions. These internal loading rates were significantly lower than those measured in 2003 at three out of four sites. Mean porewater SRP concentrations were lower in 2006 than in 2003, but this difference was statistically significant only under aerobic conditions. The NaOH-extractable SRP fraction in the sediment was also significantly lower in 2006 compared with 2003, whereas the HCl-extractable SRP sediment fraction showed the opposite pattern. Overall, these results indicate that the alum treatment effectively reduced internal P loading in Spring Lake. However, water column phosphorus concentrations remain high in this system, presumably due to high external loading levels, and may account for the high chlorophyll levels. An integrated watershed management approach that includes reducing internal and external inputs of P is necessary to address the cultural eutrophication of Spring Lake.

  20. Effects of alluvial knickpoint migration on floodplain ecology and geomorphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, Annegret; May, Jan-Hendrick

    2016-04-01

    Alluvial knickpoints are well described as erosional mechanism within discontinuous ephemeral streams in the semi-arid SW USA. However, alluvial knickpoints occur globally in a wide range of settings and of climate zones, including temperate SE Australia, subtropical Africa, and tropical Australia. Much attention has been given in the scientific literature to the trigger mechanisms of alluvial knickpoints, which can be summarized as: i) threshold phenomena, ii) climate variability and iii) land-use change, or to a combination of these factors. Recently, studies have focused on the timescale of alluvial knickpoint retreat, and the processes, mechanisms and feedbacks with ecology, geomorphology and hydrology. In this study, we compile data from a global literature review with a case study on a tropical river system in Australia affected by re-occurring, fast migrating (140 myr-1) alluvial knickpoint. We highlight the importance of potential water table declines due to channel incision following knickpoint migration, which in turn leads to the destabilization of river banks, and a shift in floodplain vegetation and fire incursion. We hypothesize that the observed feedbacks might also help to understand the broader impacts of alluvial knickpoint migration in other regions, and might explain the drastic effects of knickpoint migration on land cover and land-use in semi-arid areas.

  1. [Environmental behavior and ecological effect of polydimethylsiloxane: a review].

    PubMed

    Yang, Shang-Yuan; Li, Xin; Yang, Jia; Shen, Chao-Feng; Yu, Hua-Dong; Lu, Kang

    2012-08-01

    Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is widely used in industrial products, medical and health care products, and personal care products. In the treatment process of sewage, PDMS can be hardly biodegraded but enter the environment mainly through the discharge of excess sludge, and only a small amount of PDMS adsorbed on the suspended solids or sludge particle surface is discharged into water body and sediment with treated sewage. There is no enough evidence to verify that PDMS can vertically migrate in sediment. The degradation of PDMS in sediment is very slow, but PDMS can be degraded in different types of soils. PDMS has less risk to aquatic ecosystem, and no apparent acute toxicity to benthos. In soil environment, PDMS and its degradation products have no significant effects on the soil microorganisms, soil animals, and crops. Though a few studies indicated that PDMS and its degradation products have relatively low ecological toxicity in various environments, it is still very important to clarify the potential threat of PDMS to the environment because of the increasingly large number of PDMS being produced and used.

  2. On the retention of gene duplicates prone to dominant deleterious mutations.

    PubMed

    Malaguti, Giulia; Singh, Param Priya; Isambert, Hervé

    2014-05-01

    Recent studies have shown that gene families from different functional categories have been preferentially expanded either by small scale duplication (SSD) or by whole-genome duplication (WGD). In particular, gene families prone to dominant deleterious mutations and implicated in cancers and other genetic diseases in human have been greatly expanded through two rounds of WGD dating back from early vertebrates. Here, we strengthen this intriguing observation, showing that human oncogenes involved in different primary tumors have retained many WGD duplicates compared to other human genes. In order to rationalize this evolutionary outcome, we propose a consistent population genetics model to analyze the retention of SSD and WGD duplicates taking into account their propensity to acquire dominant deleterious mutations. We solve a deterministic haploid model including initial duplicated loci, their retention through sub-functionalization or their neutral loss-of-function or deleterious gain-of-function at one locus. Extensions to diploid genotypes are presented and population size effects are analyzed using stochastic simulations. The only difference between the SSD and WGD scenarios is the initial number of individuals with duplicated loci. While SSD duplicates need to spread through the entire population from a single individual to reach fixation, WGD duplicates are de facto fixed in the small initial post-WGD population arising through the ploidy incompatibility between post-WGD individuals and the rest of the pre-WGD population. WGD duplicates prone to dominant deleterious mutations are then shown to be indirectly selected through purifying selection in post-WGD species, whereas SSD duplicates typically require positive selection. These results highlight the long-term evolution mechanisms behind the surprising accumulation of WGD duplicates prone to dominant deleterious mutations and are shown to be consistent with cancer genome data on the prevalence of human

  3. Flow effects on benthic stream invertebrates and ecological processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koprivsek, Maja; Brilly, Mitja

    2010-05-01

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

  4. 21 CFR 109.6 - Added poisonous or deleterious substances.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Added poisonous or deleterious substances. 109.6 Section 109.6 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION UNAVOIDABLE CONTAMINANTS IN FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION AND...

  5. Prevention of deleterious deposits in a coal liquefaction system

    DOEpatents

    Carr, Norman L.; Prudich, Michael E.; King, Jr., William E.; Moon, William G.

    1984-07-03

    A process for preventing the formation of deleterious coke deposits on the walls of coal liquefaction reactor vessels involves passing hydrogen and a feed slurry comprising feed coal and recycle liquid solvent to a coal liquefaction reaction zone while imparting a critical mixing energy of at least 3500 ergs per cubic centimeter of reaction zone volume per second to the reacting slurry.

  6. Climate Change Has Cascading Ecological Effects on Mountain Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fagre, D. B.

    2007-12-01

    Evidence that ecosystems of the Northern Rocky Mountains are responding to climate change abounds. Alpine glaciers, as iconic landscape features, are disappearing rapidly with some glaciers losing one half of their area in five years. A model developed in the 1990s to predict future rates of melt has proved too conservative when compared to recent measurements. The largest glaciers in Glacier National Park are almost 10 years ahead of schedule in their retreat. The cascading ecological effects of losing glaciers in high-elevation watersheds includes shifts in distribution and dominance of temperature-sensitive stream macroinvertebrates as stream volume dwindles (or disappears) in later summer months and water temperatures increase. Critical spawning areas for threatened bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) will be lost without the consistent supply of cold water that melting snow and ice provide and raise management questions regarding the efficacy of recovery efforts. Snowpacks are documented as becoming smaller and melting earlier in the spring, facilitating the invasion of subalpine meadows by trees and reducing habitat for current alpine wildlife. Even vital ecosystem disturbances, such as periodic snow avalanches that clear mountain slope forests, have been shown by tree-ring studies to be responsive to climatic trends and are likely to become less prevalent. Monitoring of high-elevation mountain environments is difficult and has largely been opportunistic despite the fact that these areas have experienced three times the temperature increases over the past century when compared to lowland environments. A system of alpine observatories is sorely needed. Tighter integration of mountains studies, and comparisons among diverse mountain systems of the western U.S. has been initiated by the USGS-sponsored Western Mountain Initiative and the Consortium for Integrated Climate Research in Western Mountains to begin addressing this need.

  7. [Assessment of ecological environment effects of coastal development in Hebei Province, China].

    PubMed

    Cui, Li-Tuo; Li, Zhi-Wei

    2014-07-01

    Through the analysis of the development activities and the ecological environment in coastal of Hebei Province, China, an index system for evaluating the ecological environment effect, composed of 28 indices, was set up by the pressure, state and response subsystems. Using the comprehensive index evaluation method, the integrated effects of ecological environment index (EI) was calculated and its grading criterion was founded. The results showed that the ecological environment effect of Hebei Province coastal development varied from being relatively small, normal and then relatively large from 1984 to 2010, and its acceptance degree evolved from being acceptable to being unacceptable. Because the resource and environment pressures caused by coastal development were serious and a delay existed in the state relative to the response, the improvement of various measures in the response subsystem did not show a positive effect on the state, and the environmental quality of ocean showed a degrading trend. Due to the differences in coastal development pattern and strength, the ecological environment effect of development activities showed some spatial differences. The ecological environment effect of Qinhuangdao coastal development was the minimum, followed by Cangzhou and Tangshan. Cangzhou and Tangshan had reached unacceptable levels and needed to further strengthen the restoration and protection of ecological environment.

  8. Ecological Effects of Weather Modification: A Problem Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper, Charles F.; Jolly, William C.

    This publication reviews the potential hazards to the environment of weather modification techniques as they eventually become capable of producing large scale weather pattern modifications. Such weather modifications could result in ecological changes which would generally require several years to be fully evident, including the alteration of…

  9. Sexual selection is ineffectual or inhibits the purging of deleterious mutations in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Arbuthnott, Devin; Rundle, Howard D

    2012-07-01

    The effects of sexual selection on population mean fitness are unclear and a subject of debate. Recent models propose that, because reproductive success may be condition dependent, much of the genome may be a target of sexual selection. Under this scenario, mutations that reduce health, and thus nonsexual fitness, may also be deleterious with respect to reproductive success, meaning that sexual selection may contribute to the purging of deleterious alleles. We tested this hypothesis directly by subjecting replicate Drosophila melanogaster populations to two treatments that altered the opportunity for sexual selection and then tracked changes in the frequency of six separate deleterious alleles with recessive and visible phenotypic effects. While natural selection acted to decrease the frequency of all six mutations, the addition of sexual selection did not aid in the purging of any of them, and for three of them appears to have hampered it. Courtship and mating have harmful effects in this species and mate choice assays showed that males directed more courtship and mating behavior toward wild-type over mutant females, providing a likely explanation for sexual selection's cost. Whether this cost extends to other mutations (e.g., those lacking visible phenotypic effects) is an important topic for future research.

  10. Landscape Sources, Ecological Effects, and Management of Nutrients in Lakes of Northeastern USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Lakes face escalating pressures associated with land cover change and growing human populations. Ecological responses provide context for identifying stressor severity, land use impacts, and management effectiveness. We used EPA National Lakes Assessment data and GIS to develop i...

  11. An Overview of Stream Ecological Responses to Urban Effects and Management Practices in New England

    EPA Science Inventory

    Many recent studies have found large changes in ecological conditions related to small increases in watershed development. Future development and restoration practices will benefit from better documenting the effectiveness of management practices. We present (1) a brief summary o...

  12. Dynamics and Fate of Beneficial Mutations Under Lineage Contamination by Linked Deleterious Mutations.

    PubMed

    Pénisson, Sophie; Singh, Tanya; Sniegowski, Paul; Gerrish, Philip

    2017-03-01

    Beneficial mutations drive adaptive evolution, yet their selective advantage does not ensure their fixation. Haldane's application of single-type branching process theory showed that genetic drift alone could cause the extinction of newly arising beneficial mutations with high probability. With linkage, deleterious mutations will affect the dynamics of beneficial mutations and might further increase their extinction probability. Here, we model the lineage dynamics of a newly arising beneficial mutation as a multitype branching process. Our approach accounts for the combined effects of drift and the stochastic accumulation of linked deleterious mutations, which we call lineage contamination We first study the lineage-contamination phenomenon in isolation, deriving dynamics and survival probabilities (the complement of extinction probabilities) of beneficial lineages. We find that survival probability is zero when [Formula: see text] where U is deleterious mutation rate and [Formula: see text] is the selective advantage of the beneficial mutation in question, and is otherwise depressed below classical predictions by a factor bounded from below by [Formula: see text] We then put the lineage contamination phenomenon into the context of an evolving population by incorporating the effects of background selection. We find that, under the combined effects of lineage contamination and background selection, ensemble survival probability is never zero but is depressed below classical predictions by a factor bounded from below by [Formula: see text] where [Formula: see text] is mean selective advantage of beneficial mutations, and [Formula: see text] This factor, and other bounds derived from it, are independent of the fitness effects of deleterious mutations. At high enough mutation rates, lineage contamination can depress fixation probabilities to values that approach zero. This fact suggests that high mutation rates can, perhaps paradoxically, (1) alleviate competition

  13. Effects of plants containing secondary compounds and plant oils on rumen fermentation and ecology.

    PubMed

    Wanapat, Metha; Kongmun, Pongthon; Poungchompu, Onanong; Cherdthong, Anusorn; Khejornsart, Pichad; Pilajun, Ruangyote; Kaenpakdee, Sujittra

    2012-03-01

    A number of experiments have been conducted to investigate effects of tropical plants containing condensed tannins and/or saponins present in tropical plants and some plant oils on rumen fermentation and ecology in ruminants. Based on both in vitro and in vivo trials, the results revealed important effects on rumen microorganisms and fermentation including methane production. Incorporation and/or supplementation of these plants containing secondary metabolites have potential for improving rumen ecology and subsequently productivity in ruminants.

  14. Ecological effects of soil contamination at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland

    SciTech Connect

    Kuperman, R.G.; Dunn, C.P. )

    1994-06-01

    Assessment of the ecological condition of contaminated soil was conducted in portions of the U.S. Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland as part of an ecological risk assessment. This area is covered by open fields, woods and nontidal marshes. Chemicals disposed of in open burning pits included methylphosphonothioic acid, dichlorodiethyl sulfide, and titanium tetrachloride and sulfur trioxide/chlorosulfonic acid. Previous soil analysis showed extensive surface soil contamination with metals, nitrate, PCBs and pesticides. This assessment included characterizing soil biota, biologically-mediated processes in soil and aboveground biomass. Field surveys of the soil invertebrate communities showed significant reductions in the total abundance of animals, reductions in the abundance of several taxonomic and functional groups of soil invertebrates, and changes in the activity of epigeic arthropods in contaminated areas when compared with the local [open quotes]background[close quotes] area. Laboratory toxicity tests also demonstrated that microbial activity and success of egg hatching of ground beetle Harpalus pensylvanicus were reduced in contaminated soils. These results suggest that impacts to soil ecosystems should be explicitly considered in ecological risk assessment.

  15. Amino acid composition of proteins reduces deleterious impact of mutations

    PubMed Central

    Hormoz, Sahand

    2013-01-01

    The evolutionary origin of amino acid occurrence frequencies in proteins (composition) is not yet fully understood. We suggest that protein composition works alongside the genetic code to minimize impact of mutations on protein structure. First, we propose a novel method for estimating thermodynamic stability of proteins whose sequence is constrained to a fixed composition. Second, we quantify the average deleterious impact of substituting one amino acid with another. Natural proteome compositions are special in at least two ways: 1) Natural compositions do not generate more stable proteins than the average random composition, however, they result in proteins that are less susceptible to damage from mutations. 2) Natural proteome compositions that result in more stable proteins (i.e. those of thermophiles) are also tuned to have a higher tolerance for mutations. This is consistent with the observation that environmental factors selecting for more stable proteins also enhance the deleterious impact of mutations. PMID:24108121

  16. Limited dispersal, deleterious mutations and the evolution of sex

    SciTech Connect

    Peck, J.R.

    1996-03-01

    This study presents a mathematical model that allows for some offspring to be dispersed at random, while others stay close to their mothers. A single genetic locus is assumed to control fertility, and this locus is subject to the occurrence of deletions mutations. It is shown that, at equilibrium, the frequency of deleterious mutations in the population is inversely related to the rate of dispersal. The results also show that sexual reproduction can lead to a decrease in the equilibrium frequency of deleterious mutations. The reason for this relationship is that sex involves the dispersal of genetic material, and thus, like the dispersal of offspring, sex enhances competition among adults. The model is described using the example of a hermaphroditic plant population. However, the results should apply to animal populations as well. 36 refs., 1 fig.

  17. Prevalence of deleterious ATM germline mutations in gastric cancer patients.

    PubMed

    Huang, Dong-Sheng; Tao, Hou-Quan; He, Xu-Jun; Long, Ming; Yu, Sheng; Xia, Ying-Jie; Wei, Zhang; Xiong, Zikai; Jones, Sian; He, Yiping; Yan, Hai; Wang, Xiaoyue

    2015-12-01

    Besides CDH1, few hereditary gastric cancer predisposition genes have been previously reported. In this study, we discovered two germline ATM mutations (p.Y1203fs and p.N1223S) in a Chinese family with a history of gastric cancer by screening 83 cancer susceptibility genes. Using a published exome sequencing dataset, we found deleterious germline mutations of ATM in 2.7% of 335 gastric cancer patients of different ethnic origins. The frequency of deleterious ATM mutations in gastric cancer patients is significantly higher than that in general population (p=0.0000435), suggesting an association of ATM mutations with gastric cancer predisposition. We also observed biallelic inactivation of ATM in tumors of two gastric cancer patients. Further evaluation of ATM mutations in hereditary gastric cancer will facilitate genetic testing and risk assessment.

  18. Sex ratio variation shapes the ecological effects of a globally introduced freshwater fish

    PubMed Central

    Fryxell, David C.; Arnett, Heather A.; Apgar, Travis M.; Kinnison, Michael T.; Palkovacs, Eric P.

    2015-01-01

    Sex ratio and sexual dimorphism have long been of interest in population and evolutionary ecology, but consequences for communities and ecosystems remain untested. Sex ratio could influence ecological conditions whenever sexual dimorphism is associated with ecological dimorphism in species with strong ecological interactions. We tested for ecological implications of sex ratio variation in the sexually dimorphic western mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis. This species causes strong pelagic trophic cascades and exhibits substantial variation in adult sex ratios. We found that female-biased populations induced stronger pelagic trophic cascades compared with male-biased populations, causing larger changes to key community and ecosystem responses, including zooplankton abundance, phytoplankton abundance, productivity, pH and temperature. The magnitude of such effects indicates that sex ratio is important for mediating the ecological role of mosquitofish. Because both sex ratio variation and sexual dimorphism are common features of natural populations, our findings should encourage broader consideration of the ecological significance of sex ratio variation in nature, including the relative contributions of various sexually dimorphic traits to these effects. PMID:26490793

  19. Most of rare missense alleles in humans are deleterious:implications for evolution of complex disease and associationstudies

    SciTech Connect

    Kryukov, Gregory V.; Pennacchio, Len A.; Sunyaev, Shamil R.

    2006-10-24

    The accumulation of mildly deleterious missense mutations inindividual human genomes has been proposed to be a genetic basis forcomplex diseases. The plausibility of this hypothesis depends onquantitative estimates of the prevalence of mildly deleterious de novomutations and polymorphic variants in humans and on the intensity ofselective pressure against them. We combined analysis of mutationscausing human Mendelian diseases, human-chimpanzee divergence andsystematic data on human SNPs and found that about 20 percent of newmissense mutations in humans result in a loss of function, while about 27percent are effectively neutral. Thus, more than half of new missensemutations have mildly deleterious effects. These mutations give rise tomany low frequency deleterious allelic variants in the human populationas evident from a new dataset of 37 genes sequenced in over 1,500individual human chromosomes. Surprisingly, up to 70 percent of lowfrequency missense alleles are mildly deleterious and associated with aheterozygous fitness loss in the range 0.001-0.003. Thus, the low allelefrequency of an amino acid variant can by itself serve as a predictor ofits functional significance. Several recent studies have reported asignificant excess of rare missense variants in disease populationscompared to controls in candidate genes or pathways. These studies wouldbe unlikely to work if most rare variants were neutral or if rarevariants were not a significant contributor to the genetic component ofphenotypic inheritance. Our results provide a justification for thesetypes of candidate gene (pathway) association studies and imply thatmutation-selection balance may be a feasible mechanism for evolution ofsome common diseases.

  20. [Application and effectiveness of soil bioengineering in ecological restoration of stream bank].

    PubMed

    Li, Xiaoping; Zhang, Liquan

    2006-09-01

    Soil bioengineering is a kind of engineering by using living plant materials to construct the structures with some engineering and ecological functions, which can provide an effective means for the slope stabilization and site restoration of stream banks. In this paper, the principles of soil bioengineering, basic planting methods, live stakes, live fascines, brush layering, and integrated technologies were discussed in brief, and the first demo project of soil engineering in ecological restoration of stream bank in our country was introduced. After 10-month project implementation, significant effectiveness was obtained on slope stability, habitat improvement, and ecological restoration of stream banks. It was concluded that the approach could be widely applied in ecological restoration of all kinds of slopes in China.

  1. Environmental effects of increased coal utilization: ecological effects of gaseous emissions from coal combustion.

    PubMed Central

    Glass, N R

    1979-01-01

    This report is limited to an evaluation of the ecological and environmental effects of gaseous emissions and aerosols of various types which result from coal combustion. It deals with NOx, SOx, fine particulate, photochemical oxidant and acid precipitation as these pollutants affect natural and managed resources and ecosystems. Also, synergistic effects involving two or more pollutants are evaluated as well as ecosystem level effects of gaseous pollutants. There is a brief summary of the effects on materials and atmospheric visibility of increased coal combustion. The economic implications of ecological effects are identified to the extent they can be determined within acceptable limits. Aquatic and terrestrial effects are distinguished where the pollutants in question are clearly problems in both media. At present, acid precipitation is most abundant in the north central and northeastern states. Total SOx and NOx emissions are projected to remain high in these regions while increasing relatively more in the western than in the eastern regions of the country. A variety of ecological processes are affected and altered by air pollution. Such processes include community succession and retrogression, nutrient biogeochemical cycling, photosynthetic activity, primary and secondary productivity, species diversity and community stability. Estimates of the non health-related cost of air pollutants range from several hundred million dollars to $1.7 billion dollars per year. In general, these estimates include only those relatively easily measured considerations such as the known losses to cultivate crops from acute air pollution episodes or the cost of frequent repainting required as a result of air pollution. No substantial nationwide estimates of losses to forest productivity, natural ecosystem productivity which is tapped by domestic grazing animals and wildlife, and other significant dollar losses are available. PMID:44247

  2. Targeted next-generation sequencing reveals multiple deleterious variants in OPLL-associated genes

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xin; Guo, Jun; Cai, Tao; Zhang, Fengshan; Pan, Shengfa; Zhang, Li; Wang, Shaobo; Zhou, Feifei; Diao, Yinze; Zhao, Yanbin; Chen, Zhen; Liu, Xiaoguang; Chen, Zhongqiang; Liu, Zhongjun; Sun, Yu; Du, Jie

    2016-01-01

    Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament of the spine (OPLL), which is characterized by ectopic bone formation in the spinal ligaments, can cause spinal-cord compression. To date, at least 11 susceptibility genes have been genetically linked to OPLL. In order to identify potential deleterious alleles in these OPLL-associated genes, we designed a capture array encompassing all coding regions of the target genes for next-generation sequencing (NGS) in a cohort of 55 unrelated patients with OPLL. By bioinformatics analyses, we successfully identified three novel and five extremely rare variants (MAF < 0.005). These variants were predicted to be deleterious by commonly used various algorithms, thereby resulting in missense mutations in four OPLL-associated genes (i.e., COL6A1, COL11A2, FGFR1, and BMP2). Furthermore, potential effects of the patient with p.Q89E of BMP2 were confirmed by a markedly increased BMP2 level in peripheral blood samples. Notably, seven of the variants were found to be associated with the patients with continuous subtype changes by cervical spinal radiological analyses. Taken together, our findings revealed for the first time that deleterious coding variants of the four OPLL-associated genes are potentially pathogenic in the patients with OPLL. PMID:27246988

  3. Deleterious alleles in the human genome are on average younger than neutral alleles of the same frequency.

    PubMed

    Kiezun, Adam; Pulit, Sara L; Francioli, Laurent C; van Dijk, Freerk; Swertz, Morris; Boomsma, Dorret I; van Duijn, Cornelia M; Slagboom, P Eline; van Ommen, G J B; Wijmenga, Cisca; de Bakker, Paul I W; Sunyaev, Shamil R

    2013-01-01

    Large-scale population sequencing studies provide a complete picture of human genetic variation within the studied populations. A key challenge is to identify, among the myriad alleles, those variants that have an effect on molecular function, phenotypes, and reproductive fitness. Most non-neutral variation consists of deleterious alleles segregating at low population frequency due to incessant mutation. To date, studies characterizing selection against deleterious alleles have been based on allele frequency (testing for a relative excess of rare alleles) or ratio of polymorphism to divergence (testing for a relative increase in the number of polymorphic alleles). Here, starting from Maruyama's theoretical prediction (Maruyama T (1974), Am J Hum Genet USA 6:669-673) that a (slightly) deleterious allele is, on average, younger than a neutral allele segregating at the same frequency, we devised an approach to characterize selection based on allelic age. Unlike existing methods, it compares sets of neutral and deleterious sequence variants at the same allele frequency. When applied to human sequence data from the Genome of the Netherlands Project, our approach distinguishes low-frequency coding non-synonymous variants from synonymous and non-coding variants at the same allele frequency and discriminates between sets of variants independently predicted to be benign or damaging for protein structure and function. The results confirm the abundance of slightly deleterious coding variation in humans.

  4. Protective action of Citrullus colocynthis seed extracts against the deleterious effect of streptozotocin on both in vitro glucose-stimulated insulin release from rat pancreatic islets and in vivo glucose homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    BENARIBA, NABILA; BELLAKDHAR, WAFAA; DJAZIRI, RABEH; HUPKENS, EMELINE; LOUCHAMI, KARIM; MALAISSE, WILLY J.

    2013-01-01

    Citrullus colocynthis extracts improve glucose homeostasis in alloxan- or streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. Little is known, however, regarding the protective effect of these extracts against the β-cytotoxic action of STZ. In the present study, an H2O-methanol extract was found to suppress the inhibition of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion by STZ in rat-isolated pancreatic islets. Similarly, when an aqueous extract from Citrullus colocynthis seeds was injected daily for 21 days prior to STZ administration, the perturbation of glucose homeostasis otherwise generated by the β-cytotoxic agent was minimized in rats. PMID:24648906

  5. Some Parameters of Teacher Effectiveness as Assessed by an Ecological Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scott, Myrtle

    1969-01-01

    To identify parameters of teacher effectiveness, this study uses an ecological approach. Since setting, which includes not only physical surroundings but also the dynamic of activity, has a coercive effect on behavior, a teacher's ability to establish appropriate settings should be an accurate measure of effectiveness. Five head teachers in a…

  6. Interaction between Allee effects caused by organism-environment feedback and by other ecological mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Feng; Wang, Wanxiong; Song, Weixin

    2017-01-01

    Understanding Allee effect has crucial importance for ecological conservation and management because it is strongly related to population extinction. Due to various ecological mechanisms accounting for Allee effect, it is necessary to study the influence of multiple Allee effects on the dynamics and persistence of population. We here focus on organism-environment feedback which can incur strong, weak, and fatal Allee effect (AE-by-OEF), and further examine their interaction with the Allee effects caused by other ecological mechanisms (AE-by-OM). The results show that multiple Allee effects largely increase the extinction risk of population either due to the enlargement of Allee threshold or the change of inherent characteristic of Allee effect, and such an increase will be enhanced dramatically with increasing the strength of individual Allee effects. Our simulations explicitly considering spatial structure also demonstrate that local interaction among habitat patches can greatly mitigate such superimposed Allee effects as well as individual Allee effect. This implies that spatially structurized habitat could play an important role in ecological conservation and management. PMID:28333974

  7. Pantoea agglomerans: a mysterious bacterium of evil and good. Part II--Deleterious effects: Dust-borne endotoxins and allergens--focus on grain dust, other agricultural dusts and wood dust.

    PubMed

    Dutkiewicz, Jacek; Mackiewicz, Barbara; Lemieszek, Marta Kinga; Golec, Marcin; Skórska, Czesława; Góra-Florek, Anna; Milanowski, Janusz

    2016-01-01

    by extraction of bacterial mass in saline (CA-S), showed the ability of these extracts to evoke inflammatory and fibrotic changes in the lungs, to stimulate alveolar macrophages to produce superoxide anion (O2(-)), interleukin-1 (IL-1) and chemotactic factors for other macrophages and neutrophils, and to increase the pulmonary concentrations of toll-like receptors and chemokines. The most potent properties showed the CA-S which may be attributed to the allergenic properties of P. agglomerans proteins enhanced by the presence of the autologous endotoxin. The results of these experiments are in accord with the clinical studies which revealed a high reactivity of the agricultural and grain industry workers to allergenic extracts of P. agglomerans, and the presence in these populations of hypersensitivity pneumonitis and asthma cases caused by this bacterium. P. agglomerans has been also identified as a potential causative agent of allergic dermatitis in farmers and of allergic pulmonary disorders in cattle. In conclusion, similar to the cotton industry, also in the grain industry and in agriculture, Pantoea agglomerans should be regarded as one of the major causative agents of work-related diseases, caused by the adverse effects of protein allergens and endotoxin produced by this bacterium.

  8. [Effects of biochar on microbial ecology in agriculture soil: a review].

    PubMed

    Ding, Yan-Li; Liu, Jie; Wang, Ying-Ying

    2013-11-01

    Biochar, as a new type of soil amendment, has been obtained considerable attention in the research field of environmental sciences worldwide. The studies on the effects of biochar in improving soil physical and chemical properties started quite earlier, and already covered the field of soil microbial ecology. However, most of the studies considered the soil physical and chemical properties and the microbial ecology separately, with less consideration of their interactions. This paper summarized and analyzed the interrelationships between the changes of soil physical and chemical properties and of soil microbial community after the addition of biochar. Biochar can not only improve soil pH value, strengthen soil water-holding capacity, increase soil organic matter content, but also affect soil microbial community structure, and alter the abundance of soil bacteria and fungi. After the addition of biochar, the soil environment and soil microorganisms are interacted each other, and promote the improvement of soil microbial ecological system together. This review was to provide a novel perspective for the in-depth studies of the effects of biochar on soil microbial ecology, and to promote the researches on the beneficial effects of biochar to the environment from ecological aspect. The methods to improve the effectiveness of biochar application were discussed, and the potential applications of biochar in soil bioremediation were further analyzed.

  9. Ecological modeling for the extrapolation of ecotoxicological effects measured during in situ assays in Gammarus.

    PubMed

    Coulaud, Romain; Geffard, Olivier; Coquillat, Amandine; Quéau, Hervé; Charles, Sandrine; Chaumot, Arnaud

    2014-06-03

    Evaluating the effects of chemical contamination on populations and ecological communities still constitutes a challenging necessity in environmental management. However, the toxic effects of contaminants are commonly measured by means of organism-level responses. Linking such effects measures with ecological models is a promising way to determine population-level impacts. In this way, population models are currently increasingly used in predictive risk assessment procedures, but their use in environmental diagnostic framework remains limited due to their lack of ecological realism. The present study with the crustacean Gammarus fossarum, a sentinel species in freshwater monitoring, combines a dual field and laboratory experimental approach with a population modeling framework. In this way, we developed an ecologically relevant periodic matrix population model for Gammarus. This model allowed us to capture the population dynamics in the field, and to understand the particular pattern of demographic sensitivities induced by Gammarus life-history phenology. The model we developed provided a robust population-level assessment of in situ-based effects measures recorded during a biomonitoring program on a French watershed impacted by past mining activities. Thus, our study illustrates the potential of population modeling when seeking to decipher the role of environmental toxic contamination in ecological perturbations.

  10. RNA chaperones buffer deleterious mutations in E. coli

    PubMed Central

    Rudan, Marina; Schneider, Dominique; Warnecke, Tobias; Krisko, Anita

    2015-01-01

    Both proteins and RNAs can misfold into non-functional conformations. Protein chaperones promote native folding of nascent polypeptides and refolding of misfolded species, thereby buffering mutations that compromise protein structure and function. Here, we show that RNA chaperones can also act as mutation buffers that enhance organismal fitness. Using competition assays, we demonstrate that overexpression of select RNA chaperones, including three DEAD box RNA helicases (DBRHs) (CsdA, SrmB, RhlB) and the cold shock protein CspA, improves fitness of two independently evolved Escherichia coli mutator strains that have accumulated deleterious mutations during short- and long-term laboratory evolution. We identify strain-specific mutations that are deleterious and subject to buffering when introduced individually into the ancestral genotype. For DBRHs, we show that buffering requires helicase activity, implicating RNA structural remodelling in the buffering process. Our results suggest that RNA chaperones might play a fundamental role in RNA evolution and evolvability. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04745.001 PMID:25806682

  11. Deleterious mutation accumulation and the regeneration of genetic resources

    PubMed Central

    Schoen, Daniel J.; David, Jacques L.; Bataillon, Thomas M.

    1998-01-01

    The accumulation of mildly deleterious mutations accompanying recurrent regeneration of plant germ plasm was modeled under regeneration conditions characterized by different amounts of selection and genetic drift. Under some regeneration conditions (sample sizes ≥75 individuals and bulk harvesting of seed) mutation accumulation was negligible, but under others (sample sizes <75 individuals or equalization of seed production by individual plants) mutation numbers per genome increased significantly during 25–50 cycles of regeneration. When mutations also are assumed to occur (at elevated rates) during seed storage, significant mutation accumulation and fitness decline occurred in 10 or fewer cycles of regeneration regardless of the regeneration conditions. Calculations also were performed to determine the numbers of deleterious mutations introduced and remaining in the genome of an existing variety after hybridization with a genetic resource and subsequent backcrossing. The results suggest that mutation accumulation has the potential to reduce the viability of materials held in germ plasm collections and to offset gains expected by the introduction of particular genes of interest from genetic resources. PMID:9419386

  12. Release of genetically engineered insects: a framework to identify potential ecological effects

    PubMed Central

    David, Aaron S; Kaser, Joe M; Morey, Amy C; Roth, Alexander M; Andow, David A

    2013-01-01

    Genetically engineered (GE) insects have the potential to radically change pest management worldwide. With recent approvals of GE insect releases, there is a need for a synthesized framework to evaluate their potential ecological and evolutionary effects. The effects may occur in two phases: a transitory phase when the focal population changes in density, and a steady state phase when it reaches a new, constant density. We review potential effects of a rapid change in insect density related to population outbreaks, biological control, invasive species, and other GE organisms to identify a comprehensive list of potential ecological and evolutionary effects of GE insect releases. We apply this framework to the Anopheles gambiae mosquito – a malaria vector being engineered to suppress the wild mosquito population – to identify effects that may occur during the transitory and steady state phases after release. Our methodology reveals many potential effects in each phase, perhaps most notably those dealing with immunity in the transitory phase, and with pathogen and vector evolution in the steady state phase. Importantly, this framework identifies knowledge gaps in mosquito ecology. Identifying effects in the transitory and steady state phases allows more rigorous identification of the potential ecological effects of GE insect release. PMID:24198955

  13. Release of genetically engineered insects: a framework to identify potential ecological effects.

    PubMed

    David, Aaron S; Kaser, Joe M; Morey, Amy C; Roth, Alexander M; Andow, David A

    2013-10-01

    Genetically engineered (GE) insects have the potential to radically change pest management worldwide. With recent approvals of GE insect releases, there is a need for a synthesized framework to evaluate their potential ecological and evolutionary effects. The effects may occur in two phases: a transitory phase when the focal population changes in density, and a steady state phase when it reaches a new, constant density. We review potential effects of a rapid change in insect density related to population outbreaks, biological control, invasive species, and other GE organisms to identify a comprehensive list of potential ecological and evolutionary effects of GE insect releases. We apply this framework to the Anopheles gambiae mosquito - a malaria vector being engineered to suppress the wild mosquito population - to identify effects that may occur during the transitory and steady state phases after release. Our methodology reveals many potential effects in each phase, perhaps most notably those dealing with immunity in the transitory phase, and with pathogen and vector evolution in the steady state phase. Importantly, this framework identifies knowledge gaps in mosquito ecology. Identifying effects in the transitory and steady state phases allows more rigorous identification of the potential ecological effects of GE insect release.

  14. Legacy effects in linked ecological-soil-geomorphic systems of drylands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A legacy effect refers to the impact that previous conditions have on current processes or properties. Ecological legacies in drylands result from feedbacks among biotic, soil, and geomorphic processes that operate at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Legacy effects depend on (1) the magnitude o...

  15. [Scale effect of Li-Xiang Railway construction impact on landscape pattern and its ecological risk].

    PubMed

    Wang, De-zhi; Qiu, Peng-hua; Fang, Yuan-min

    2015-08-01

    As a large corridor project, plateau railway has multiple points and passes various sensitive environments along the railway. The determination of the scope of impact on ecological environment from railway construction is often controversial in ecological impact assessment work. Taking the Tangbu-Jiantang section of Li-Xiang Railway as study object, and using present land use map (1:10000) in 2012 and DEM as data sources, corridor cutting degree index ( CCI) and cumulative effect index of corridor (CCEI) were established by topology, buffer zone and landscape metrics methods. Besides, the ecological risk index used for railway construction was improved. By quantitative analysis of characteristics of the spatio-temporal change of landscape pattern and its evolution style at different spatial scales before and after railway construction, the most appropriate evaluation scale of the railway was obtained. Then the characteristics of the spatio-temporal variation of ecological risk within this scale before and after railway construction were analyzed. The results indicated that the cutting model and degree of railway corridor to various landscape types could be effectively reflected by CCI, and the exposure and harm relations between risk sources and risk receptors of railway can be measured by CCEI. After the railway construction, the railway corridor would cause a great deal of middle cutting effect on the landscape along the railroad, which would influence wood land and grassland landscape most greatly, while would cause less effect of edge cutting and internal cutting. Landscape indices within the 600 m buffer zone demonstrated the most obvious scale effect, therefore, the 600 m zone of the railway was set as the most suitable range of ecological impact assessment. Before railway construction, the low ecological risk level covered the biggest part of the 600 m assessment zone. However, after the railway construction, the ecological risk increased significantly, and

  16. Exploring the effects of ecological activities during exposure to optical prisms in healthy individuals.

    PubMed

    Fortis, Paola; Ronchi, Roberta; Calzolari, Elena; Gallucci, Marcello; Vallar, Giuseppe

    2013-01-01

    Prism adaptation improves a wide range of manifestations of left spatial neglect in right-brain-damaged patients. The typical paradigm consists in repeated pointing movements to visual targets, while patients wear prism goggles that displace the visual scene rightwards. Recently, we demonstrated the efficacy of a novel adaptation procedure, involving a variety of every-day visuo-motor activities. This "ecological" procedure proved to be as effective as the repetitive pointing adaptation task in ameliorating symptoms of spatial neglect, and was better tolerated by patients. However, the absence of adaptation and aftereffects measures for the ecological treatment did not allow for a full comparison of the two procedures. This is important in the light of recent findings showing that the magnitude of prism-induced aftereffects may predict recovery from spatial neglect. Here, we investigated prism-induced adaptation and aftereffects after ecological and pointing adaptation procedures. Forty-eight neurologically healthy participants (young and aged groups) were exposed to rightward shifting prisms while they performed the ecological or the pointing procedures, in separate days. Before and after prism exposure, participants performed proprioceptive, visual, and visual-proprioceptive tasks to assess prism-induced aftereffects. Participants adapted to the prisms during both procedures. Importantly, the ecological procedure induced greater aftereffects in the proprioceptive task (for both the young and the aged groups) and in the visual-proprioceptive task (young group). A similar trend was found for the visual task in both groups. Finally, participants rated the ecological procedure as more pleasant, less monotonous, and more sustainable than the pointing procedure. These results qualify ecological visuo-motor activities as an effective prism-adaptation procedure, suitable for the rehabilitation of spatial neglect.

  17. Human effects on ecological connectivity in aquatic ecosystems: Integrating scientific approaches to support management and mitigation.

    PubMed

    Crook, David A; Lowe, Winsor H; Allendorf, Frederick W; Erős, Tibor; Finn, Debra S; Gillanders, Bronwyn M; Hadwen, Wade L; Harrod, Chris; Hermoso, Virgilio; Jennings, Simon; Kilada, Raouf W; Nagelkerken, Ivan; Hansen, Michael M; Page, Timothy J; Riginos, Cynthia; Fry, Brian; Hughes, Jane M

    2015-11-15

    Understanding the drivers and implications of anthropogenic disturbance of ecological connectivity is a key concern for the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem processes. Here, we review human activities that affect the movements and dispersal of aquatic organisms, including damming of rivers, river regulation, habitat loss and alteration, human-assisted dispersal of organisms and climate change. Using a series of case studies, we show that the insight needed to understand the nature and implications of connectivity, and to underpin conservation and management, is best achieved via data synthesis from multiple analytical approaches. We identify four key knowledge requirements for progressing our understanding of the effects of anthropogenic impacts on ecological connectivity: autecology; population structure; movement characteristics; and environmental tolerance/phenotypic plasticity. Structuring empirical research around these four broad data requirements, and using this information to parameterise appropriate models and develop management approaches, will allow for mitigation of the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on ecological connectivity in aquatic ecosystems.

  18. Quorum-sensing inhibition abrogates the deleterious impact of Pseudomonas aeruginosa on airway epithelial repair.

    PubMed

    Ruffin, Manon; Bilodeau, Claudia; Maillé, Émilie; LaFayette, Shantelle L; McKay, Geoffrey A; Trinh, Nguyen Thu Ngan; Beaudoin, Trevor; Desrosiers, Martin-Yvon; Rousseau, Simon; Nguyen, Dao; Brochiero, Emmanuelle

    2016-09-01

    Chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infections are associated with progressive epithelial damage and lung function decline. In addition to its role in tissue injury, the persistent presence of P. aeruginosa-secreted products may also affect epithelial repair ability, raising the need for new antivirulence therapies. The purpose of our study was to better understand the outcomes of P. aeruginosa exoproducts exposure on airway epithelial repair processes to identify a strategy to counteract their deleterious effect. We found that P. aeruginosa exoproducts significantly decreased wound healing, migration, and proliferation rates, and impaired the ability of directional migration of primary non-cystic fibrosis (CF) human airway epithelial cells. Impact of exoproducts was inhibited after mutations in P. aeruginosa genes that encoded for the quorum-sensing (QS) transcriptional regulator, LasR, and the elastase, LasB, whereas impact was restored by LasB induction in ΔlasR mutants. P. aeruginosa purified elastase also induced a significant decrease in non-CF epithelial repair, whereas protease inhibition with phosphoramidon prevented the effect of P. aeruginosa exoproducts. Furthermore, treatment of P. aeruginosa cultures with 4-hydroxy-2,5-dimethyl-3(2H)-furanone, a QS inhibitor, abrogated the negative impact of P. aeruginosa exoproducts on airway epithelial repair. Finally, we confirmed our findings in human airway epithelial cells from patients with CF, a disease featuring P. aeruginosa chronic respiratory infection. These data demonstrate that secreted proteases under the control of the LasR QS system impair airway epithelial repair and that QS inhibitors could be of benefit to counteract the deleterious effect of P. aeruginosa in infected patients.-Ruffin, M., Bilodeau, C., Maillé, É., LaFayette, S. L., McKay, G. A., Trinh, N. T. N., Beaudoin, T., Desrosiers, M.-Y., Rousseau, S., Nguyen, D., Brochiero, E. Quorum-sensing inhibition abrogates the deleterious impact

  19. Increasing Public Access to Scientific Research through Stakeholder Involvement: Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagen, S. C.; Stephens, S. H.; DeLorme, D. E.; Ruple, D.; Graham, L.

    2013-12-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) has the potential to have a myriad of deleterious effects on coastal ecology and human infrastructure. Stakeholders, including managers of coastal resources, must be aware of potential consequences of SLR and adjust their plans accordingly to protect and preserve the resources under their care. Members of the public, particularly those who live or work in coastal areas, should also be informed about the results of scientific research on the effects of SLR. However, research results are frequently published in venues or formats to which resource managers and the broader public have limited access. It is imperative for scientists to move beyond traditional publication venues in order to more effectively disseminate the results of their research (Dennison, W. 2007, Estu. Coast. Shelf Sci. 77, 185). One potentially effective way to advance public access to research is to incorporate stakeholder involvement into the research project process in order to target study objectives and tailor communication products toward stakeholder needs (Lemos, M. & Morehouse, B. 2005, Glob. Env. Chg. 15, 57). However, it is important to manage communication and clarify participant expectations during this type of research (Gawith, M. et al. 2009, Glob. Env. Chg. 19, 113). This presentation describes the process being undertaken by an ongoing 5-year multi-disciplinary NOAA-funded project, Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (EESLR-NGOM), to improve accessibility and utility of scientific research results through stakeholder engagement. The EESLR-NGOM project is assessing the ecological risks from SLR along the Mississippi, Alabama and Florida Panhandle coasts, coastal habitats, and floodplains. It has incorporated stakeholder involvement throughout the research process so as to better target and tailor the emerging research products to meet resource managers' needs, as well as to facilitate eventual public dissemination of results. An

  20. The deleterious role of basophils in systemic lupus erythematosus

    PubMed Central

    Pellefigues, Christophe; Charles, Nicolas

    2013-01-01

    Systemic lupus erythematosus is a complex autoimmune disease of multifactorial origins. All compartments of the immune system appear to be affected, at least in some way, and to contribute to disease pathogenesis. Due to an escape from negative selection autoreactive T and B cells accumulate in SLE patients leading to the production of autoantibodies mainly raised against nuclear components and their subsequent deposition into target organs. We recently showed that basophils, in an IgE and IL-4 dependent manner, contribute to SLE pathogenesis by amplifying autoantibody production. Here, we summarize what we have learned about the deleterious role of basophils in lupus both in a mouse model and in SLE patients. We discuss which possible pathways could be involved in basophil activation and recruitment to secondary lymphoid organs during SLE, and how basophils may amplify autoantibody production. PMID:24209595

  1. Mate choice among yeast gametes can purge deleterious mutations.

    PubMed

    Tazzyman, S J; Seymour, R M; Pomiankowski, A; Greig, D

    2012-08-01

    Meiosis in Saccharomyces yeast produces four haploid gametes that usually fuse with each other, an extreme form of self-fertilization among the products of a single meiosis known as automixis. The gametes signal to each other with sex pheromone. Better-quality gametes produce stronger signals and are preferred as mates. We suggest that the function of this signalling system is to enable mate choice among the four gametes from a single meiosis and so to promote the clearance of deleterious mutations. To support this claim, we construct a mathematical model that shows that signalling during automixis (i) improves the long-term fitness of a yeast colony and (ii) lowers its mutational load. We also show that the benefit to signalling is greater with larger numbers of segregating mutations.

  2. Analysis of the Estimators of the Average Coefficient of Dominance of Deleterious Mutations

    PubMed Central

    Fernández, B.; García-Dorado, A.; Caballero, A.

    2004-01-01

    We investigate the sources of bias that affect the most commonly used methods of estimation of the average degree of dominance (h) of deleterious mutations, focusing on estimates from segregating populations. The main emphasis is on the effect of the finite size of the populations, but other sources of bias are also considered. Using diffusion approximations to the distribution of gene frequencies in finite populations as well as stochastic simulations, we assess the behavior of the estimators obtained from populations at mutation-selection-drift balance under different mutational scenarios and compare averages of h for newly arisen and segregating mutations. Because of genetic drift, the inferences concerning newly arisen mutations based on the mutation-selection balance theory can have substantial upward bias depending upon the distribution of h. In addition, estimates usually refer to h weighted by the homozygous deleterious effect in different ways, so that inferences are complicated when these two variables are negatively correlated. Due to both sources of bias, the widely used regression of heterozygous on homozygous means underestimates the arithmetic mean of h for segregating mutations, in contrast to their repeatedly assumed equality in the literature. We conclude that none of the estimators from segregating populations provides, under general conditions, a useful tool to ascertain the properties of the degree of dominance, either for segregating or for newly arisen deleterious mutations. Direct estimates of the average h from mutation-accumulation experiments are shown to suffer some bias caused by purging selection but, because they do not require assumptions on the causes maintaining segregating variation, they appear to give a more reliable average dominance for newly arisen mutations. PMID:15514075

  3. Analysis of the estimators of the average coefficient of dominance of deleterious mutations.

    PubMed

    Fernández, B; García-Dorado, A; Caballero, A

    2004-10-01

    We investigate the sources of bias that affect the most commonly used methods of estimation of the average degree of dominance (h) of deleterious mutations, focusing on estimates from segregating populations. The main emphasis is on the effect of the finite size of the populations, but other sources of bias are also considered. Using diffusion approximations to the distribution of gene frequencies in finite populations as well as stochastic simulations, we assess the behavior of the estimators obtained from populations at mutation-selection-drift balance under different mutational scenarios and compare averages of h for newly arisen and segregating mutations. Because of genetic drift, the inferences concerning newly arisen mutations based on the mutation-selection balance theory can have substantial upward bias depending upon the distribution of h. In addition, estimates usually refer to h weighted by the homozygous deleterious effect in different ways, so that inferences are complicated when these two variables are negatively correlated. Due to both sources of bias, the widely used regression of heterozygous on homozygous means underestimates the arithmetic mean of h for segregating mutations, in contrast to their repeatedly assumed equality in the literature. We conclude that none of the estimators from segregating populations provides, under general conditions, a useful tool to ascertain the properties of the degree of dominance, either for segregating or for newly arisen deleterious mutations. Direct estimates of the average h from mutation-accumulation experiments are shown to suffer some bias caused by purging selection but, because they do not require assumptions on the causes maintaining segregating variation, they appear to give a more reliable average dominance for newly arisen mutations.

  4. Do all frogs swim alike? The effect of ecological specialization on swimming kinematics in frogs.

    PubMed

    Robovska-Havelkova, Pavla; Aerts, Peter; Rocek, Zbynek; Prikryl, Tomas; Fabre, Anne-Claire; Herrel, Anthony

    2014-10-15

    Frog locomotion has attracted wide scientific interest because of the unusual and derived morphology of the frog pelvic girdle and hind limb. Previous authors have suggested that the design of the frog locomotor system evolved towards a specialized jumping morphology early in the radiation of the group. However, data on locomotion in frogs are biased towards a few groups and most of the ecological and functional diversity remains unexplored. Here, we examine the kinematics of swimming in eight species of frog with different ecologies. We use cineradiography to quantify movements of skeletal elements from the entire appendicular skeleton. Our results show that species with different ecologies do differ in the kinematics of swimming, with the speed of limb extension and especially the kinematics of the midfoot being different. Our results moreover suggest that this is not a phylogenetic effect because species from different clades with similar ecologies converge on the same swimming kinematics. We conclude that it is important to analyze frog locomotion in a broader ecological and evolutionary context if one is to understand the evolutionary origins of this behavior.

  5. Combined effects of muscular dystrophy, ecological stress, and selenium on blood antioxidant status in broiler chickens.

    PubMed

    Georgieva, Nedyalka V; Stoyanchev, Krasimir; Bozakova, Nadia; Jotova, Ivanka

    2011-09-01

    The results obtained in this study demonstrated that experimentally induced alimentary muscular dystrophy (MD) in Cobb 500 broiler chickens resulted in increased plasma concentrations of malondialdehyde (MDA), deviations in activities of erythrocyte antioxidant enzymes Cu,Zn-SOD (decrease), and CAT (increase) as well as reduction in plasma concentrations of trace elements Cu, Zn, and Se in affected birds. These data evidenced the presence of oxidative stress in birds with MD, reared both under conditions of ecological comfort and ecological stress. The increased MDA and САТ levels and the reduced Cu,Zn-SOD, Cu, Zn, and Se concentrations in healthy chickens reared under unfavorable microclimatic conditions such as higher air temperature and humidity, higher ammonia concentrations, and lower light intensity were indicative about an induced ecological stress. After the 10-day oral treatment with a selenium-containing preparation, the levels of MDA, Cu,Zn-SOD, CAT, Cu, Zn, and Se attained their normal values in chickens with MD, reared under ecologically comfortable conditions. According to our results, ecological stress was shown to exert independently a significant adverse effect upon the levels of the studied parameters and possibly to be a cause for their slower and not complete normalization despite the selenium therapy in experimental broiler chickens.

  6. Effect of Computer-Assisted Instruction on Secondary School Students' Achievement in Ecological Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nkemdilim, Egbunonu Roseline; Okeke, Sam O. C.

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of computer-assisted instruction (CAI) on students' achievement in ecological concepts. Quasi-experimental design, specifically the pre-test post test non-equivalent control group design was adopted. The sample consisted of sixty-six (66) senior secondary year two (SS II) biology students, drawn from two…

  7. Community-Based Eco-Education: Sound Ecology and Effective Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niesenbaum, Richard A.; Gorka, Barbara

    2001-01-01

    Reports on the development of a college-level eco-educational course that attempts to capitalize on the ecological and educational strengths of ecotourism by establishing a partnership with a local community. Makes suggestions for establishing community partnerships for effective international eco-educational program development. (Contains 15…

  8. Assessing the Effectiveness of a Computer Simulation for Teaching Ecological Experimental Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stafford, Richard; Goodenough, Anne E.; Davies, Mark S.

    2010-01-01

    Designing manipulative ecological experiments is a complex and time-consuming process that is problematic to teach in traditional undergraduate classes. This study investigates the effectiveness of using a computer simulation--the Virtual Rocky Shore (VRS)--to facilitate rapid, student-centred learning of experimental design. We gave a series of…

  9. Research Plan for Study of Biological and Ecological Effects of the Solar Power Satellite Transmission System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newsom, B. D.

    1978-01-01

    A programmatic research plan for a three year study is presented to generate knowledge on effects of the continuous wave 2.45 GHz microwave power transmission that the Solar Power Satellite might have on biological and ecological elements, within and around the rectenna receiving site.

  10. [Effects of land use structure change on regional ecological health--taking Shapingba County as an example].

    PubMed

    Wang, Cheng; Wei, Chaofu; Gao, Ming; Luo, Guanglian; Jiang, Wei

    2005-12-01

    Land resource is the carrier for the exchange of matter, energy and information flows, while the change velocity and the intensity of land use has strong effects on the ecological processes such as matter circulation, energy flow, and biologic diversity. Land use structure change will alter the type, area, and spatial distribution of ecosystem, and in the meantime, result in the changes of regional ecological health. Employing the principles and methods of landscape ecology, and through endowing relative ecological value to land use type, this paper analyzed the charaeteristics of recent 10 years land use change in Shapingba County of Chongqing, and discussed the effects of land use change on regional ecological health, aimed to provide scientific references for land use planning and sustainable land resource utilization. The results indicated that transformation often occurred among different land use types, and the land use structure in each transformation phase differed quite obviously. Under different land use structure, there was a great disparity in relative ecological value of sub-ecosystems, which played various roles in regional ecological health. In general, the regional relative ecological value embodied both increase and decrease. In the future, the relative ecological value of sub-ecosystem would represent three tendencies, i.e., increase first and decrease then, continuous decrease, and continuous increase. The situation of regional ecological health would gradually become better.

  11. Ecological significance of residual exposures and effects from the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

    PubMed

    Harwell, Mark A; Gentile, John H

    2006-07-01

    An ecological significance framework is used to assess the ecological condition of Prince William Sound (PWS), Alaska, USA, in order to address the current management question: 17 y following the Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS), are there any remaining and continuing ecologically significant exposures or effects on the PWS ecosystem caused by EVOS? We examined the extensive scientific literature funded by the Exxon Valdez Trustees or by ExxonMobil to assess exposures and effects from EVOS. Criteria to assess ecological significance include whether a change in a valued ecosystem component (VEC) is sufficient to affect the structure, function, and/or health of the system and whether such a change exceeds natural variability. The EVOS occurred on 24 March 1989, releasing over 250,000 barrels of crude oil into PWS. Because PWS is highly dynamic, the residual oil was largely eliminated in the first few years, and now only widely dispersed, highly weathered, or isolated small pockets of residual contamination remain. Many other sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) exist in PWS from past or present human activities or natural oil seeps. Multiple-lines-of-evidence analyses indicate that residual PAHs from EVOS no longer represent an ecologically significant exposure risk to PWS. To assess the ecological significance of any residual effects from EVOS, we examined the literature on more than 20 VECs, including primary producers, filter feeders, fish and bird primary consumers, fish and bird top predators, a bird scavenger, mammalian primary consumers and top predators, biotic communities, ecosystem-level properties of trophodynamics and biogeochemical processes, and landscape-level properties of habitat mosaic and wilderness quality. None of these has any ecologically significant effects that are detectable at present, with the exception of 1 pod of orcas and possibly 1 subpopulation of sea otters; however, in both those cases, PWS-wide populations appear to have

  12. The Accumulation of Deleterious Mutations as a Consequence of Domestication and Improvement in Sunflowers and Other Compositae Crops.

    PubMed

    Renaut, Sebastien; Rieseberg, Loren H

    2015-09-01

    For populations to maintain optimal fitness, harmful mutations must be efficiently purged from the genome. Yet, under circumstances that diminish the effectiveness of natural selection, such as the process of plant and animal domestication, deleterious mutations are predicted to accumulate. Here, we compared the load of deleterious mutations in 21 accessions from natural populations and 19 domesticated accessions of the common sunflower using whole-transcriptome single nucleotide polymorphism data. Although we find that genetic diversity has been greatly reduced during domestication, the remaining mutations were disproportionally biased toward nonsynonymous substitutions. Bioinformatically predicted deleterious mutations affecting protein function were especially strongly over-represented. We also identify similar patterns in two other domesticated species of the sunflower family (globe artichoke and cardoon), indicating that this phenomenon is not due to idiosyncrasies of sunflower domestication or the sunflower genome. Finally, we provide unequivocal evidence that deleterious mutations accumulate in low recombining regions of the genome, due to the reduced efficacy of purifying selection. These results represent a conundrum for crop improvement efforts. Although the elimination of harmful mutations should be a long-term goal of plant and animal breeding programs, it will be difficult to weed them out because of limited recombination.

  13. Environmental chemical mixtures: Assessing ecological exposure and effects in streams

    EPA Science Inventory

    This product is a USGS fact sheet that describes a collaborative effort between USGS and US EPA to characterize exposures to chemical mixtures and associated biological effects for a diverse range of US streams representing varying watershed size, land-use patterns, and ecotypes.

  14. The Ecological Effects in Acculturation of Puerto Rican Migrants.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lopez-Ramirez, Norma Iris

    Various studies discuss the influences on and effects of the process of adjustment to a new environment among Puerto Rican migrants to the United States mainland. In confronting cultural differences, Puerto Ricans may experience culture shock and identity problems and suffer disassociation leading to schizophrenia and hysteria, stress,…

  15. Ecological toxicology and human health effects of heptachlor.

    PubMed

    Fendick, E A; Mather-Mihaich, E; Houck, K A; St Clair, M B; Faust, J B; Rockwell, C H; Owens, M

    1990-01-01

    The chlorinated cyclodiene heptachlor was registered in 1952 as an agricultural and domestic insecticide. By early 1984, registration for all purposes, except subterranean termite control and for limited use in the control of fire ants, had been cancelled. This restriction of use arose primarily from concerns over the environmental persistance and bioaccumulation potential of the organochlorine pesticides. Currently, sale of heptachlor has been voluntarily suspended over questions about its carcinogenic potential, and the absence of safe and effective application methods. As a persistent organochlorine pesticide, heptachlor residues are detected in all components of the environment. In historical use, heptachlor was directly applied to terrestrial systems, while air and water were secondarily contaminated via volatilization and land run-off, respectively. Within each environmental compartment, heptachlor undergoes a variety of metabolic and abiotic transformations. In vivo studies indicate that heptachlor epoxide is the predominant metabolite, formed as a product of the mixed-function oxidase system, while 1-hydroxychlordene is the major soil metabolite. For quantification, heptachlor and its metabolites are extracted from air, soil and sediment, water, or biological materials using various organic solvents and analyzed by gas chromatography or thin-layer chromatography. Residue reports comprise most of the literature concerning the effects of heptachlor on the biota. In many such reports, toxic effects cannot be conclusively attributed to heptachlor exposure. Toxicity to organisms seems more dependent on acute exposure, while the chronic effects of low level exposure to heptachlor are poorly defined. Maximal terrestrial residues coincide with temporal and spatial proximity to application; peak residues in aquatic systems on the other hand, correlate to periods of maximum run-off. The lipophilic nature of both heptachlor and heptachlor epoxide results in the

  16. Increased burden of deleterious variants in essential genes in autism spectrum disorder

    PubMed Central

    Kember, Rachel L.; Brown, Christopher D.; Bućan, Maja

    2016-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a heterogeneous, highly heritable neurodevelopmental syndrome characterized by impaired social interaction, communication, and repetitive behavior. It is estimated that hundreds of genes contribute to ASD. We asked if genes with a strong effect on survival and fitness contribute to ASD risk. Human orthologs of genes with an essential role in pre- and postnatal development in the mouse [essential genes (EGs)] are enriched for disease genes and under strong purifying selection relative to human orthologs of mouse genes with a known nonlethal phenotype [nonessential genes (NEGs)]. This intolerance to deleterious mutations, commonly observed haploinsufficiency, and the importance of EGs in development suggest a possible cumulative effect of deleterious variants in EGs on complex neurodevelopmental disorders. With a comprehensive catalog of 3,915 mammalian EGs, we provide compelling evidence for a stronger contribution of EGs to ASD risk compared with NEGs. By examining the exonic de novo and inherited variants from 1,781 ASD quartet families, we show a significantly higher burden of damaging mutations in EGs in ASD probands compared with their non-ASD siblings. The analysis of EGs in the developing brain identified clusters of coexpressed EGs implicated in ASD. Finally, we suggest a high-priority list of 29 EGs with potential ASD risk as targets for future functional and behavioral studies. Overall, we show that large-scale studies of gene function in model organisms provide a powerful approach for prioritization of genes and pathogenic variants identified by sequencing studies of human disease. PMID:27956632

  17. [Effects of urbanization on supply and demand of regional ecological footprint].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Wei; Liu, Jing-shuang; Kong, Fan-e; Dou, Jing-xin

    2008-01-01

    Based on the time series of ecological footprint (EF) in Jilin Province from 1994 to 2003, the relationship models of EF, ecological budget, and EF intensity with urbanization level were established. The results showed that in Jilin Province, there existed significant correlations of EF, ecological budget, and EF intensity with urbanization level. Along with the development of urbanization, the EF in the Province increased from 1.59 hm2 x cap(-1) in 1994 to 2.23 hm2 x cap(-1) in 2003, which was mainly affected by the process of urbanization and the proportion of tertiary industry. The EFs of built-up land, pasture and fossil fuel land changed more markedly, among which, the EFs of pasture and fossil fuel land were mainly affected by domestic consumption, while that of built-up land was mainly affected by the GDP per capita and the proportion of tertiary industry. Owing to the increase of domestic consumption, the ecological deficit increased from 0.319 hm2 cap in 1994 to 0.923 hm2 cap(-1) in 2003. The changes in ecological budget of pasture and fossil fuel land were more remarkable. Under the effects of the optimization of economic structure and consumption structure, the EF intensity in the Province decreased from 4.14 hm2 x (10(4) Yuan)(-1) in 1994 to 2.35 hm2 (10(4) Yuan)(-1) in 2003, and there still had enough potential for the decrease. Through the optimization of economic structure and consumption structure, an ecological surplus and the balance between natural resources supply and demand in the Province could be achieved.

  18. Ecological effects and environmental fate of solid rocket exhaust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nimmo, B.; Stout, I. J.; Mickus, J.; Vickers, D.; Madsen, B.

    1974-01-01

    Specific target processes were classified as to the chemical, chemical-physical, and biological reactions and toxic effects of solid rocket emissions within selected ecosystems at Kennedy Space Center. Exposure of Citris seedlings, English peas, and bush beans to SRM exhaust under laboratory conditions demonstrated reduced growth rates, but at very high concentrations. Field studies of natural plant populations in three diverse ecosystems failed to reveal any structural damage at the concentration levels tested. Background information on elemental composition of selected woody plants from two terrestrial ecosystems is reported. LD sub 50 for a native mouse (peromysous gossypinus) exposed to SRM exhaust was determined to be 50 ppm/g body weight. Results strongly indicate that other components of the SRM exhaust act synergically to enhance the toxic effects of HCl gas when inhaled. A brief summary is given regarding the work on SRM exhaust and its possible impact on hatchability of incubating bird eggs.

  19. Legacy effects in linked ecological-soil-geomorphic systems of drylands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Monger, Curtis; Sala, Osvaldo E.; Duniway, Michael C.; Goldfus, Haim; Meir, Isaac A.; Poch, Rosa M.; Throop, Heather L.; Vivoni, Enrique R.

    2015-01-01

    A legacy effect refers to the impacts that previous conditions have on current processes or properties. Legacies have been recognized by many disciplines, from physiology and ecology to anthropology and geology. Within the context of climatic change, ecological legacies in drylands (eg vegetative patterns) result from feedbacks between biotic, soil, and geomorphic processes that operate at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Legacy effects depend on (1) the magnitude of the original phenomenon, (2) the time since the occurrence of the phenomenon, and (3) the sensitivity of the ecological–soil–geomorphic system to change. Here we present a conceptual framework for legacy effects at short-term (days to months), medium-term (years to decades), and long-term (centuries to millennia) timescales, which reveals the ubiquity of such effects in drylands across research disciplines.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  1. The ecological effects of trichloroacetic acid in the environment.

    PubMed

    Lewis, T E; Wolfinger, T F; Barta, M L

    2004-10-01

    Trichloroacetic acid (TCAA) is a member of the family of compounds known as chloroacetic acids, which includes mono-, di- and trichloroacetic acid. The significant property these compounds share is that they are all phytotoxic. TCAA once was widely used as a potent herbicide. However, long after TCAA's use as a herbicide was discontinued, its presence is still detected in the environment in various compartments. Methods for quantifying TCAA in aqueous and solid samples are summarized. Concentrations in various environmental compartments are presented, with a discussion of the possible formation of TCAA through natural processes. Concentrations of TCAA found to be toxic to aquatic and terrestrial organisms in laboratory and field studies were compiled and used to estimate risk quotients for soil and surface waters. TCAA levels in most water bodies not directly affected by point sources appear to be well below toxicity levels for the most sensitive aquatic organisms. Given the phytotoxicity of TCAA, aquatic plants and phytoplankton would be the aquatic species to monitor for potential effects. Given the concentrations of TCAA measured in various soils, there appears to be a risk to terrestrial organisms. Soil uptake of TCAA by plants has been shown to be rapid. Also, combined uptake of TCAA from soil and directly from the atmosphere has been shown. Therefore, risk quotients derived from soil exposure may underestimate the risk TCAA poses to plants. Moreover, TCE and TCA have been shown to be taken up by plants and converted to TCAA, thus leading to an additional exposure route. Mono- and di-chloroacetic acids can co-occur with TCAA in the atmosphere and soil and are more phytotoxic than TCAA. The cumulative effects of TCAA and compounds with similar toxic effects found in air and soil must be considered in subsequent terrestrial ecosystem risk assessments.

  2. Ecological effects of ranching: A six-point critique

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Freilich, Jerome E.; Emlen, John M.; Duda, Jeffrey J.; Freeman, D. Carl; Cafaro, Philip J.

    2003-01-01

    Ranching is the dominant land use in much of the American West. Although a copious literature has examined the effects of various grazing practices on native ecosystems, we present here the idea that ranching has important impacts on the land independent of those caused by grazing itself. If biological conservation is to be successful on the western grasslands and shrublands, ranchers must be central to any plan. Focusing on the Great Plains of the United States, and on Wyoming in particular, we raise six points of concern that must be addressed before we can hope to restore or maintain native ecosystems on the range.

  3. Effects of food ecology on social play: a laboratory simulation.

    PubMed

    Baldwin, J D; Baldwin, J I

    1976-01-01

    A laboratory group of 8 squirrel monkeys was exposed to two experimental conditions in which food was made moderately and extremely difficult to obtain, compared with the free access conditions of baseline. Both experiments produced sharp decreased in the frequency of social play within 4 to 6 days. The stronger manipulation produced the more dramatic effect, reducing play to 1% of the baseline level (P less than .001). Neither experiment produced a total absence of play as was observed in a previous field study in southwestern Panama (Baldwin and Baldwin 1973, 1974) which suggests that the field study sampled conditions of even more severe and/or prolonged food deprivation. No pathological or dysfunctional consequences were observed in any of the circumstances where play was reduced to zero or near zero. The question is raised whether certain theories of play have overstated the case for the necessity of play experience in producing normal socialization in primates. Alternative hypotheses are presented concerning the factors that determine the frequency of play and the consequences of play versus no-play for socialization. After both experiments, the frequency of play rose to a level 50% higher than the average baseline levels of play. This "rebound" reached a peak 5 to 6 days after the termination of each experiment; and during the subsequent days the frequency of play declined to more normal levels. A reinforcement theory is presented as a possible explanation of the rebound effect.

  4. Ecological effects of feral biofuel crops in constructed oak ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The effects of elevated temperatures and drought on constructed oak savannahs were studied to determine the interactive effects of potentially invasive feral biofuel species and climate change on native grassland communities. A total of 12 sunlit mesocosm were used. Each mesocosm held three tubs. One had six native plant species; one had five native species with the annual crop Sorghum bicolor and one had five native species along with the weedy perennial Sorghum halepense. The experimental treatments were ambient (control), elevated temperature, drought, or a combination of elevated temperature and drought. Total aboveground biomass of the community was greatest in the control and drought treatments, lowest with elevated temperature + drought, and intermediate in high temperature treatments (P<0.0001). Sorghum species produced significantly less biomass than the native grass species (P< 0.05). S. bicolor seed biomass was greatest under elevated temperature and lowest in the elevated temperature + drought treatment (P=0.0002). Neither of the Sorghum species significantly affected active soil bacterial biomass. Active bacterial biomass was lowest in the drought and elevated temperature and drought treatments (P<0.05). Active soil fungal biomass was highest in the tubs containing S. bicolor. Percent total carbon in the soil increased between 2010 and 2011 (P=0.0054); it was lowest in the elevated temperature and drought mesocosms (P<0.05). Longer term studi

  5. In Silico profiling of deleterious amino acid substitutions of potential pathological importance in haemophlia A and haemophlia B

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background In this study, instead of current biochemical methods, the effects of deleterious amino acid substitutions in F8 and F9 gene upon protein structure and function were assayed by means of computational methods and information from the databases. Deleterious substitutions of F8 and F9 are responsible for Haemophilia A and Haemophilia B which is the most common genetic disease of coagulation disorders in blood. Yet, distinguishing deleterious variants of F8 and F9 from the massive amount of nonfunctional variants that occur within a single genome is a significant challenge. Methods We performed an in silico analysis of deleterious mutations and their protein structure changes in order to analyze the correlation between mutation and disease. Deleterious nsSNPs were categorized based on empirical based and support vector machine based methods to predict the impact on protein functions. Furthermore, we modeled mutant proteins and compared them with the native protein for analysis of protein structure stability. Results Out of 510 nsSNPs in F8, 378 nsSNPs (74%) were predicted to be 'intolerant' by SIFT, 371 nsSNPs (73%) were predicted to be 'damaging' by PolyPhen and 445 nsSNPs (87%) as 'less stable' by I-Mutant2.0. In F9, 129 nsSNPs (78%) were predicted to be intolerant by SIFT, 131 nsSNPs (79%) were predicted to be damaging by PolyPhen and 150 nsSNPs (90%) as less stable by I-Mutant2.0. Overall, we found that I-Mutant which emphasizes support vector machine based method outperformed SIFT and PolyPhen in prediction of deleterious nsSNPs in both F8 and F9. Conclusions The models built in this work would be appropriate for predicting the deleterious amino acid substitutions and their functions in gene regulation which would be useful for further genotype-phenotype researches as well as the pharmacogenetics studies. These in silico tools, despite being helpful in providing information about the nature of mutations, may also function as a first-pass filter to

  6. Evaluation of model predictions of the ecological effects of 4-nonylphenol -- before and after model refinement

    SciTech Connect

    Hanratty, M.P.; Liber, K.

    1994-12-31

    The Littoral Ecosystem Risk Assessment Model (LERAM) is a bioenergetic ecosystem effects model. It links single species toxicity data to a bioenergetic model of the trophic structure of an ecosystem in order to simulate community and ecosystem level effects of chemical stressors. LERAM was used in 1992 to simulate the ecological effects of diflubenzuron. When compared to the results from a littoral enclosure study, the model exaggerated the cascading of effects through the trophic levels of the littoral ecosystem. It was hypothesized that this could be corrected by making minor changes in the representation of the littoral food web. Two refinements of the model were therefore performed: (1) the plankton and macroinvertebrate model populations [eg., predatory Copepoda, herbivorous Insecta, green phytoplankton, etc.] were changed to better represent the habitat and feeding preferences of the endemic taxa; and (2) the method for modeling the microbial degradation of detritus (and the resulting nutrient remineralization) was changed from simulating bacterial populations to simulating bacterial function. Model predictions of the ecological effects of 4-nonylphenol were made before and after these refinements. Both sets of predictions were then compared to the results from a littoral enclosure study of the ecological effects of 4-nonylphenol. The changes in the LERAM predictions were then used to determine the success of the refinements, to guide. future research, and to further define LERAM`s domain of application.

  7. Endocrine dysfunction in sepsis: a beneficial or deleterious host response?

    PubMed

    Gheorghiţă, Valeriu; Barbu, Alina Elena; Gheorghiu, Monica Livia; Căruntu, Florin Alexandru

    2015-03-01

    Sepsis is a systemic, deleterious inflammatory host response triggered by an infective agent leading to severe sepsis, septic shock and multi-organ failure. The host response to infection involves a complex, organized and coherent interaction between immune, autonomic, neuroendocrine and behavioral systems. Recent data have confirmed that disturbances of the autonomic nervous and neuroendocrine systems could contribute to sepsis-induced organ dysfunction. Through this review, we aimed to summarize the current knowledge about the endocrine dysfunction as response to sepsis, specifically addressed to vasopressin, copeptin, cortisol, insulin and leptin. We searched the following readily accessible, clinically relevant databases: PubMed, UpToDate, BioMed Central. The immune system could be regarded as a "diffuse sensory organ" that signals the presence of pathogens to the brain through different pathways, such as the vagus nerve, endothelial activation/dysfunction, cytokines and neurotoxic mediators and the circumventricular organs, especially the neurohypophysis. The hormonal profile changes substantially as a consequence of inflammatory mediators and microorganism products leading to inappropriately low levels of vasopressin, sick euthyroid syndrome, reduced adrenal responsiveness to ACTH, insulin resistance, hyperglycemia as well as hyperleptinemia. In conclusion, clinical diagnosis of this "pan-endocrine illness" is frequently challenging due to the many limiting factors. The most important benefits of endocrine markers in the management of sepsis may be reflected by their potential to be used as biomarkers in different scoring systems to estimate the severity of the disease and the risk of death.

  8. Predicting the impact of deleterious single point mutations in SMAD gene family using structural bioinformatics approach.

    PubMed

    George Priya Doss, C; Nagasundaram, N; Tanwar, Himani

    2012-06-01

    Functional alteration in SMAD proteins leads to dis-regulation of its mechanism results in possibilities of high risk diseases like fibrosis, cancer, juvenile polyposis etc. Studying single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in SMAD genes helps understand the malfunction of these proteins. In this study, we focused on deleterious effects of nsSNPs in both structural and functional level using publically available bioinformatics tools. We have mainly focused on identifying deleterious nsSNPs in both structural and functional level in SMAD genes by using SIFT, PolyPhen, SNPs&GO, I-Mutant 3.0, MUpro and PANTHER. Structure analysis was carried out with the major mutation that occurred in the native protein coded by SMAD genes and its amino acid positions (R358W, K306S, R310G, S433R and R361C). SRide was used to check the stability of the native and mutant modelled proteins. In addition, we used MAPPER to identify SNPs present in transcription factor binding sites. These findings demonstrate that the in silico approaches can be used efficiently to identify potential candidate SNPs in large scale analysis.

  9. Profiling deleterious non-synonymous SNPs of smoker's gene CYP1A1.

    PubMed

    Ramesh, A Sai; Khan, Imran; Farhan, Md; Thiagarajan, Padma

    2013-01-01

    CYP1A1 gene belongs to the cytochrome P450 family and is known better as smokers' gene due to its hyperactivation as a consequence of long term smoking. The expression of CYP1A1 induces polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon production in the lungs, which when over expressed, is known to cause smoking related diseases, such as cardiovascular pathologies, cancer, and diabetes. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are the simplest form of genetic variations that occur at a higher frequency, and are denoted as synonymous and non-synonymous SNPs on the basis of their effects on the amino acids. This study adopts a systematic in silico approach to predict the deleterious SNPs that are associated with disease conditions. It is inferred that four SNPs are highly deleterious, among which the SNP with rs17861094 is commonly predicted to be harmful by all tools. Hydrophobic (isoleucine) to hydrophilic (serine) amino acid variation was observed in the candidate gene. Hence, this investigation aims to characterize a candidate gene from 159 SNPs of CYP1A1.

  10. Accumulation of Deleterious Passenger Mutations Is Associated with the Progression of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    d’Avigdor, William M. H.; McCaughan, Geoffrey W.; Luciani, Fabio; Shackel, Nicholas A.

    2016-01-01

    In hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), somatic genome-wide DNA mutations are numerous, universal and heterogeneous. Some of these somatic mutations are drivers of the malignant process but the vast majority are passenger mutations. These passenger mutations can be deleterious to individual protein function but are tolerated by the cell or are offset by a survival advantage conferred by driver mutations. It is unknown if these somatic deleterious passenger mutations (DPMs) develop in the precancerous state of cirrhosis or if it is confined to HCC. Therefore, we studied four whole-exome sequencing datasets, including patients with non-cirrhotic liver (n = 12), cirrhosis without HCC (n = 6) and paired HCC with surrounding non-HCC liver (n = 74 paired samples), to identify DPMs. After filtering out putative germline mutations, we identified 187±22 DPMs per non-diseased tissue. DPMs number was associated with liver disease progressing to HCC, independent of the number of exonic mutations. Tumours contained significantly more DPMs compared to paired non-tumour tissue (258–293 per HCC exome). Cirrhosis- and HCC-associated DPMs do not occur predominantly in specific genes, chromosomes or biological pathways and the effect on tumour biology is presently unknown. Importantly, for the first time we have shown a significant increase in DPMs with HCC. PMID:27631787

  11. Ecological and physiological/toxicological effects of petroleum on aquatic birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stickel, L.F.; Dieter, M.P.; Tait, H.D.; Hall, C.

    1979-01-01

    The physiological and ecological effects of oil on waterbirds were examined in a series of laboratory and field experiments. Chemical methodology was developed in support of these studies. Research conducted from 1 July 1975 to 30 September 1978 by the US Fish and Wildlife Service about the effects of petroleum on aquatic birds is summarized. The following assessments were made: effects of oiling on hatchability of eggs; effects of oil ingestion on physiological condition and survival of birds; effects of oil ingestion on reproduction in birds; accumulation and loss of oil by birds; and development of analytical methods for identification and quantification of oil breakdown products in tissues and eggs of ducks.

  12. Water cycles in closed ecological systems: effects of atmospheric pressure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rygalov, Vadim Y.; Fowler, Philip A.; Metz, Joannah M.; Wheeler, Raymond M.; Bucklin, Ray A.; Sager, J. C. (Principal Investigator)

    2002-01-01

    In bioregenerative life support systems that use plants to generate food and oxygen, the largest mass flux between the plants and their surrounding environment will be water. This water cycle is a consequence of the continuous change of state (evaporation-condensation) from liquid to gas through the process of transpiration and the need to transfer heat (cool) and dehumidify the plant growth chamber. Evapotranspiration rates for full plant canopies can range from 1 to 10 L m-2 d-1 (1 to 10 mm m-2 d-1), with the rates depending primarily on the vapor pressure deficit (VPD) between the leaves and the air inside the plant growth chamber. VPD in turn is dependent on the air temperature, leaf temperature, and current value of relative humidity (RH). Concepts for developing closed plant growth systems, such as greenhouses for Mars, have been discussed for many years and the feasibility of such systems will depend on the overall system costs and reliability. One approach for reducing system costs would be to reduce the operating pressure within the greenhouse to reduce structural mass and gas leakage. But managing plant growth environments at low pressures (e.g., controlling humidity and heat exchange) may be difficult, and the effects of low-pressure environments on plant growth and system water cycling need further study. We present experimental evidence to show that water saturation pressures in air under isothermal conditions are only slightly affected by total pressure, but the overall water flux from evaporating surfaces can increase as pressure decreases. Mathematical models describing these observations are presented, along with discussion of the importance for considering "water cycles" in closed bioregenerative life support systems.

  13. The effect of dam operation on the hydrology and ecology of a tropical riverine floodplain system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Köck, Florian; Blaser, Wilma J.; Shanungu, Griffin

    2014-05-01

    Worldwide, dam operation has been changing the flow regimes of many rivers with significant impact on riverine ecosystems. At the same time, dam management itself provides the key to better control the specifics of this hydraulic alteration and hence to mitigate negative effects of river regulation. In our study we aimed at substantiating the ecological basis for an adapted dam management for the case of a seasonally inundated riverine floodplain system in Zambia, Southern Africa. We quantified dam-induced alterations and investigated the relationship between an altered flow regime and altered ecological conditions in the floodplain. For this, we adapted the "Indicators of Hydraulic Alterations" to seasonal tropical river systems and used them to analyze both the pristine and the regulated hydrological regime, namely the inflow to the floodplain, water level in the floodplain and modeled flooded area in the ecologically most valuable part of the floodplain. We checked the reliability of the adapted indicators and demonstrated how dam operation reduces the correlation between them, making it undesirable to further reduce the number of indicators. Using the limited ecological data available we then identified critical hydrological situations that put at risk the functioning of the dam-impacted, flood-dependent grazing ecosystem and investigated the potential of an adapted dam operation for managing these situations. We formulated targets for an adapted dam operation and assessed the potential and the limitations for achieving these targets, where possible giving water management and monitoring recommendations.

  14. Environmental and Ontogenetic Effects on Intraspecific Trait Variation of a Macrophyte Species across Five Ecological Scales

    PubMed Central

    Zhong, Jiayou; Cao, Te; Ni, Leyi; Xie, Ping

    2013-01-01

    Although functional trait variability is increasingly used in community ecology, the scale- and size-dependent aspects of trait variation are usually disregarded. Here we quantified the spatial structure of shoot height, branch length, root/shoot ratio and leaf number in a macrophyte species Potamogeton maackianus, and then disentangled the environmental and ontogenetic effects on these traits. Using a hierarchical nested design, we measured the four traits from 681 individuals across five ecological scales: lake, transect, depth stratus, quadrat and individual. A notable high trait variation (coefficient variation: 48–112%) was observed within species. These traits differed in the spatial structure, depending on environmental factors of different scales. Shoot height and branch length were most responsive to lake, transect and depth stratus scales, while root/shoot ratio and leaf number to quadrat and individual scales. The trait variations caused by environment are nearly three times higher than that caused by ontogeny, with ontogenetic variance ranging from 21% (leaf number) to 33% (branch length) of total variance. Remarkably, these traits showed non-negligible ontogenetic variation (0–60%) in each ecological scale, and significant shifts in allometric trajectories at lake and depth stratus scales. Our results highlight that environmental filtering processes can sort individuals within species with traits values adaptive to environmental changes and ontogenetic variation of functional traits was non-negligible across the five ecological scales. PMID:23626856

  15. The effects of patch shape on indigo buntings. Evidence for an ecological trap

    SciTech Connect

    Weldon, Aimee J.; Haddad, Nick M.

    2005-01-01

    Weldon, Aimee, J., and Nick M. Haddad. 2005. The effect of patch shape on indigo buntings: Evidence for an ecological trap. Ecology 86(6):1422-1431. Abstract. Habitat loss and fragmentation have led to a widespread increase in the proportion of edge habitat in the landscape. Disturbance-dependent bird species are widely assumed to benefit from these edges. However, anthropogenic edges may concentrate nest predators while retaining habitat cues that birds use to select breeding habitat. This may lead birds to mistakenly select dangerous habitat a phenomenon known as an ecological trap. We experimentally demonstrated how habitat shape, and thus amount of edge, can adversely affect nest site selection and reproductive success of a disturbance-dependent bird species, the Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea). We did so within a landscape-scale experiment composed of equal-area habitat patches that differed in their amount of edge. Indigo Buntings preferentially selected edgy patches, which contained 50% more edge than more compact rectangular patches. Further, buntings fledged significantly fewer young per pair in edgy patches than in rectangular patches. These results provide the first experimental evidence that edges can function as ecological traps.

  16. Chemical mixtures and environmental effects: a pilot study to assess ecological exposure and effects in streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Buxton, Herbert T.; Reilly, Timothy J.; Kuivila, Kathryn; Kolpin, Dana W.; Bradley, Paul M.; Villeneuve, Daniel L.; Mills, Marc A.

    2015-01-01

    Assessment and management of the risks of exposure to complex chemical mixtures in streams are priorities for human and environmental health organizations around the world. The current lack of information on the composition and variability of environmental mixtures and a limited understanding of their combined effects are fundamental obstacles to timely identification and prevention of adverse human and ecological effects of exposure. This report describes the design of a field-based study of the composition and biological activity of chemical mixtures in U.S. stream waters affected by a wide range of human activities and contaminant sources. The study is a collaborative effort by the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Scientists sampled 38 streams spanning 24 States and Puerto Rico. Thirty-four of the sites were located in watersheds impacted by multiple contaminant sources, including industrial and municipal wastewater discharges, crop and animal agricultural runoff, urban runoff, and other point and nonpoint contaminant sources. The remaining four sites were minimally development reference watersheds. All samples underwent comprehensive chemical and biological characterization, including sensitive and specific direct analysis for over 700 dissolved organic and inorganic chemicals and field parameters, identification of unknown contaminants (environmental diagnostics), and a variety of bioassays to evaluate biological activity and toxicity.

  17. Effects of algae growth on cadmium remobilization and ecological risk in sediments of Taihu Lake.

    PubMed

    Ni, Lixiao; Li, Dandan; Su, Lili; Xu, Jiajun; Li, Shiyin; Ye, Xiang; Geng, Hong; Wang, Peifang; Li, Yi; Li, Yiping; Acharya, Kumud

    2016-05-01

    Indoor simulation experiment with 2.76 L microcosms using sediment from Taihu Lake were conducted to investigate the relationship between algae bloom and heavy metals release into a lake aquatic environment. The results showed that Microcystic aeruginosa (M. aeruginosa) growth can enhance cadmium (Cd) mobilization from sediments to overlying water due to increasing pH and DO content of overlying water and changing the redox condition of surface sediment (0-2 cm) from weak oxidation to weak reduction. The dissolved Cd concentration in overlying water can be decreased during algal growth process. The remobilization of Cd from sediment can effectively reduce the ecological risk of total Cd in sediments. The results of this study showed that both Igeo and Er(i) can be used to effectively evaluate the ecological risk of heavy metal Cd in different fractions.

  18. About the Western Ecology Division (WED) of EPA's National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The Western Ecology Division (WED) conducts innovative research on watershed ecological epidemiology and the development of tools to achieve sustainable and resilient watersheds for application by stakeholders.

  19. Use of QSARs in international decision-making frameworks to predict ecologic effects and environmental fate of chemical substances.

    PubMed Central

    Cronin, Mark T D; Walker, John D; Jaworska, Joanna S; Comber, Michael H I; Watts, Christopher D; Worth, Andrew P

    2003-01-01

    This article is a review of the use, by regulatory agencies and authorities, of quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) to predict ecologic effects and environmental fate of chemicals. For many years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been the most prominent regulatory agency using QSARs to predict the ecologic effects and environmental fate of chemicals. However, as increasing numbers of standard QSAR methods are developed and validated to predict ecologic effects and environmental fate of chemicals, it is anticipated that more regulatory agencies and authorities will find them to be acceptable alternatives to chemical testing. PMID:12896861

  20. Introducing Meta-Partition, a Useful Methodology to Explore Factors That Influence Ecological Effect Sizes

    PubMed Central

    Martín-Vallejo, Javier; Mencía, Abraham; Galindo-Villardón, Maria Purificación; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-01-01

    The study of the heterogeneity of effect sizes is a key aspect of ecological meta-analyses. Here we propose a meta-analytic methodology to study the influence of moderators in effect sizes by splitting heterogeneity: meta-partition. To introduce this methodology, we performed a meta-partition of published data about the traits that influence species sensitivity to habitat loss, that have been previously analyzed through meta-regression. Thus, here we aim to introduce meta-partition and to make an initial comparison with meta-regression. Meta-partition algorithm consists of three steps. Step 1 is to study the heterogeneity of effect sizes under the assumption of fixed effect model. If heterogeneity is found, we perform step 2, that is, to partition the heterogeneity by the moderator that minimizes heterogeneity within a subset while maximizing heterogeneity between subsets. Then, if effect sizes of the subset are still heterogeneous, we repeat step 1 and 2 until we reach final subsets. Finally, step 3 is to integrate effect sizes of final subsets, with fixed effect model if there is homogeneity, and with random effects model if there is heterogeneity. Results show that meta-partition is valuable to assess the importance of moderators in explaining heterogeneity of effect sizes, as well as to assess the directions of these relations and to detect possible interactions between moderators. With meta-partition we have been able to evaluate the importance of moderators in a more objective way than with meta-regression, and to visualize the complex relations that may exist between them. As ecological issues are often influenced by several factors interacting in complex ways, ranking the importance of possible moderators and detecting possible interactions would make meta-partition a useful exploration tool for ecological meta-analyses. PMID:27409084

  1. [Ecology and ecologies].

    PubMed

    Valera, Luca

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Paws without claws? Ecological effects of large carnivores in anthropogenic landscapes.

    PubMed

    Kuijper, D P J; Sahlén, E; Elmhagen, B; Chamaillé-Jammes, S; Sand, H; Lone, K; Cromsigt, J P G M

    2016-10-26

    Large carnivores are frequently presented as saviours of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning through their creation of trophic cascades, an idea largely based on studies coming primarily out of relatively natural landscapes. However, in large parts of the world, particularly in Europe, large carnivores live in and are returning to strongly human-modified ecosystems. At present, we lack a coherent framework to predict the effects of large carnivores in these anthropogenic landscapes. We review how human actions influence the ecological roles of large carnivores by affecting their density or behaviour or those of mesopredators or prey species. We argue that the potential for density-mediated trophic cascades in anthropogenic landscapes is limited to unproductive areas where even low carnivore numbers may impact prey densities or to the limited parts of the landscape where carnivores are allowed to reach ecologically functional densities. The potential for behaviourally mediated trophic cascades may be larger and more widespread, because even low carnivore densities affect prey behaviour. We conclude that predator-prey interactions in anthropogenic landscapes will be highly context-dependent and human actions will often attenuate the ecological effects of large carnivores. We highlight the knowledge gaps and outline a new research avenue to study the role of carnivores in anthropogenic landscapes.

  3. Paws without claws? Ecological effects of large carnivores in anthropogenic landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Sahlén, E.; Elmhagen, B.; Chamaillé-Jammes, S.; Sand, H.; Lone, K.; Cromsigt, J. P. G. M.

    2016-01-01

    Large carnivores are frequently presented as saviours of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning through their creation of trophic cascades, an idea largely based on studies coming primarily out of relatively natural landscapes. However, in large parts of the world, particularly in Europe, large carnivores live in and are returning to strongly human-modified ecosystems. At present, we lack a coherent framework to predict the effects of large carnivores in these anthropogenic landscapes. We review how human actions influence the ecological roles of large carnivores by affecting their density or behaviour or those of mesopredators or prey species. We argue that the potential for density-mediated trophic cascades in anthropogenic landscapes is limited to unproductive areas where even low carnivore numbers may impact prey densities or to the limited parts of the landscape where carnivores are allowed to reach ecologically functional densities. The potential for behaviourally mediated trophic cascades may be larger and more widespread, because even low carnivore densities affect prey behaviour. We conclude that predator–prey interactions in anthropogenic landscapes will be highly context-dependent and human actions will often attenuate the ecological effects of large carnivores. We highlight the knowledge gaps and outline a new research avenue to study the role of carnivores in anthropogenic landscapes. PMID:27798302

  4. Estimating the Cumulative Ecological Effect of Local Scale Landscape Changes in South Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hogan, Dianna M.; Labiosa, William; Pearlstine, Leonard; Hallac, David; Strong, David; Hearn, Paul; Bernknopf, Richard

    2012-01-01

    Ecosystem restoration in south Florida is a state and national priority centered on the Everglades wetlands. However, urban development pressures affect the restoration potential and remaining habitat functions of the natural undeveloped areas. Land use (LU) planning often focuses at the local level, but a better understanding of the cumulative effects of small projects at the landscape level is needed to support ecosystem restoration and preservation. The South Florida Ecosystem Portfolio Model (SFL EPM) is a regional LU planning tool developed to help stakeholders visualize LU scenario evaluation and improve communication about regional effects of LU decisions. One component of the SFL EPM is ecological value (EV), which is evaluated through modeled ecological criteria related to ecosystem services using metrics for (1) biodiversity potential, (2) threatened and endangered species, (3) rare and unique habitats, (4) landscape pattern and fragmentation, (5) water quality buffer potential, and (6) ecological restoration potential. In this article, we demonstrate the calculation of EV using two case studies: (1) assessing altered EV in the Biscayne Gateway area by comparing 2004 LU to potential LU in 2025 and 2050, and (2) the cumulative impact of adding limestone mines south of Miami. Our analyses spatially convey changing regional EV resulting from conversion of local natural and agricultural areas to urban, industrial, or extractive use. Different simulated local LU scenarios may result in different alterations in calculated regional EV. These case studies demonstrate methods that may facilitate evaluation of potential future LU patterns and incorporate EV into decision making.

  5. Estimating the Cumulative Ecological Effect of Local Scale Landscape Changes in South Florida

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hogan, Dianna M.; Labiosa, William; Pearlstine, Leonard; Hallac, David; Strong, David; Hearn, Paul; Bernknopf, Richard

    2012-02-01

    Ecosystem restoration in south Florida is a state and national priority centered on the Everglades wetlands. However, urban development pressures affect the restoration potential and remaining habitat functions of the natural undeveloped areas. Land use (LU) planning often focuses at the local level, but a better understanding of the cumulative effects of small projects at the landscape level is needed to support ecosystem restoration and preservation. The South Florida Ecosystem Portfolio Model (SFL EPM) is a regional LU planning tool developed to help stakeholders visualize LU scenario evaluation and improve communication about regional effects of LU decisions. One component of the SFL EPM is ecological value (EV), which is evaluated through modeled ecological criteria related to ecosystem services using metrics for (1) biodiversity potential, (2) threatened and endangered species, (3) rare and unique habitats, (4) landscape pattern and fragmentation, (5) water quality buffer potential, and (6) ecological restoration potential. In this article, we demonstrate the calculation of EV using two case studies: (1) assessing altered EV in the Biscayne Gateway area by comparing 2004 LU to potential LU in 2025 and 2050, and (2) the cumulative impact of adding limestone mines south of Miami. Our analyses spatially convey changing regional EV resulting from conversion of local natural and agricultural areas to urban, industrial, or extractive use. Different simulated local LU scenarios may result in different alterations in calculated regional EV. These case studies demonstrate methods that may facilitate evaluation of potential future LU patterns and incorporate EV into decision making.

  6. Effect of additional warning sounds on pedestrians' detection of electric vehicles: An ecological approach.

    PubMed

    Fleury, Sylvain; Jamet, Éric; Roussarie, Vincent; Bosc, Laure; Chamard, Jean-Christophe

    2016-12-01

    Virtually silent electric vehicles (EVs) may pose a risk for pedestrians. This paper describes two studies that were conducted to assess the influence of different types of external sounds on EV detectability. In the first study, blindfolded participants had to detect an approaching EV with either no warning sounds at all or one of three types of sound we tested. In the second study, designed to replicate the results of the first one in an ecological setting, the EV was driven along a road and the experimenters counted the number of people who turned their heads in its direction. Results of the first study showed that adding external sounds improve EV detection, and modulating the frequency and increasing the pitch of these sounds makes them more effective. This improvement was confirmed in the ecological context. Consequently, pitch variation and frequency modulation should both be taken into account in future AVAS design.

  7. Ecological effects of perorally administered pivmecillinam on the normal vaginal microflora.

    PubMed

    Sullivan, Asa; Fianu-Jonasson, Aino; Landgren, Britt-Marie; Nord, Carl Erik

    2005-01-01

    The knowledge of the effects of antimicrobial agents on the normal vaginal microflora is limited. The objective of the present study was to study the ecological impact of pivmecillinam on the normal vaginal microflora. In 20 healthy women, the estimated day of ovulation was determined during three subsequent menstrual cycles. Microbiological and clinical examinations were performed on the estimated day of ovulation and on day 3 in all cycles and also on day 7 after ovulation in cycles 1 and 2. Anaerobic and facultative anaerobic gram-positive rods, mainly species of lactobacilli and actinomycetes, dominated the microflora. One woman was colonized on the third day of administration with a resistant Escherichia coli strain, and Candida albicans was detected in one woman on days 3 and 7 in cycle 2. No other major changes in the normal microflora occurred during the study. Administration of pivmecillinam had a minor ecological impact on the normal vaginal microflora.

  8. Fate, effect, and ecological risk of mercury from historic releases in the Danvers Estuary (Massachusetts)

    SciTech Connect

    Mauahan, J.; Raddatz, A.

    1995-12-31

    High concentrations (up to 400 mg/kg) of mercury were initially detected in intertidal sediments adjacent to a manufacturing area. Based on the potential for ecological risk from exposure to the sediments, a detailed investigation was initiated to determine the distribution, fate and ecological effects of the mercury. The program consisted of collecting undisturbed sediment cores from an area radiating out from the high concentration area approximately 300 meters. The cores were analyzed for total mercury, grain size, total organic carbon, and methylmercury. Blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) were also collected and analyzed for total mercury. Sediments and mussels were also collected from areas of the estuary approximately 1 km away and unaffected by historic mercury releases to serve as an estimate of background concentrations. Concentrations of total mercury, methylmercury and mercury in M. edulis tissue showed very similar distribution patterns and a strong statistical correlation (r{sup 2} of approximately 0.8). The elevated concentrations (10 to 20 mg/kg) were confined to an area with a radius less than 30 meters and dropped off very abruptly. Beyond 30 meters, concentrations were equal to or less than concentrations considered to represent background both from reference samples and sampling reported in the literature. The results were compared to ecological effects levels or benchmarks developed for the investigation. Levels outside the 30 meter radius were determined to pose no imminent hazard or risk or harm (as defined by the Massachusetts Contingency Plan and the benchmarks developed for the project). There was no imminent hazard from the sediments within the 30 meter radius but the comparison to benchmarks within the area indicated risk of ecological harm.

  9. Additive genetic breeding values correlate with the load of partially deleterious mutations.

    PubMed

    Tomkins, Joseph L; Penrose, Marissa A; Greeff, Johan; LeBas, Natasha R

    2010-05-14

    The mutation-selection-balance model predicts most additive genetic variation to arise from numerous mildly deleterious mutations of small effect. Correspondingly, "good genes" models of sexual selection and recent models for the evolution of sex are built on the assumption that mutational loads and breeding values for fitness-related traits are correlated. In support of this concept, inbreeding depression was negatively genetically correlated with breeding values for traits under natural and sexual selection in the weevil Callosobruchus maculatus. The correlations were stronger in males and strongest for condition. These results confirm the role of existing, partially recessive mutations in maintaining additive genetic variation in outbred populations, reveal the nature of good genes under sexual selection, and show how sexual selection can offset the cost of sex.

  10. About the Mid-Continent Ecology Division (MED) of EPA's National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The Mid-Continent Ecology Division (MED) conducts innovative research and predictive modeling to document and forecast the effects of pollutants on the integrity of watersheds and freshwater ecosystems.

  11. Distinguishing between longevity and buffered-deleterious genotypes for exceptional human longevity: the case of the MTP gene.

    PubMed

    Huffman, Derek M; Deelen, Joris; Ye, Kenny; Bergman, Aviv; Slagboom, Eline P; Barzilai, Nir; Atzmon, Gil

    2012-11-01

    The single nucleotide polymorphism, rs2866164, in the MTP gene, has been associated with human longevity but has not been validated by subsequent longevity studies. Using our population of Ashkenazi Jews, we find that the MTP CC genotype is significantly overrepresented in centenarians and their offspring, as compared with controls (p < .05). However, when we examined MTP CC genotype frequency pattern with aging, we observed a monotonic decline between ages 55-85 years followed by a dramatic enrichment after age 90 years, forming a U-shape pattern (p < .05). Furthermore, the MTP CC genotype was buffered by three validated longevity genotypes (p < .05). This buffering effect was found to confer an enrichment of the MTP CC genotype in centenarians, whereas their absence in CC controls resulted in poorer survivorship (p < .05). Thus, we conclude that MTP CC is a buffered-deleterious genotype and that assessing genotype frequency across aging is essential for discerning longevity from buffered-deleterious genotypes.

  12. ERTS-1 investigation of ecological effects of strip mining in eastern Ohio

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chase, P. E.; Pettyjohn, W. A.

    1973-01-01

    Evidence is presented of ERTS capability to detect, map and monitor the effects of strip mining. Both enlarge ERTS imagery and statistically processed outline maps and imagery of stripped earth and standing water are compared to aerial photos of a strip mine near Coshocton, Ohio. The outline maps and decision imagery are at present limited to forming a disruption map of recently mined and unreclaimed earth and the resultant standing water within the mined area. It is planned to prepare a map of the reclaimed areas (reclamation map) within the stripped area and to detect and identify ecological effects such as vegetation kills and stream sedimentation external to the stripped areas.

  13. Ecological effects of large fires on US landscapes: benefit or catastrophe?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keane, Robert E.; Agee, James K.; Fule, Peter; Keeley, Jon E.; Key, Carl H.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Miller, Richard; Schulte, Lisa A.

    2008-01-01

    The perception is that today’s large fires are an ecological catastrophe because they burn vast areas with high intensities and severities. However, little is known of the ecological impacts of large fires on both historical and contemporary landscapes. The present paper presents a review of the current knowledge of the effects of large fires in the United States by important ecosystems written by regional experts. The ecosystems are (1) ponderosa pine–Douglas-fir, (2) sagebrush–grasslands, (3) piñon–juniper, (4) chaparral, (5) mixed-conifer, and (6) spruce–fir. This review found that large fires were common on most historical western US landscapes and they will continue to be common today with exceptions. Sagebrush ecosystems are currently experiencing larger, more severe, and more frequent large fires compared to historical conditions due to exotic cheatgrass invasions. Historical large fires in south-west ponderosa pine forest created a mixed severity mosaic dominated by non-lethal surface fires while today’s large fires are mostly high severity crown fires. While large fires play an important role in landscape ecology for most regions, their importance is much less in the dry piñon–juniper forests and sagebrush–grasslands. Fire management must address the role of large fires in maintaining the health of many US fire-dominated ecosystems.

  14. Effects of Best Management Practice on Ecological Condition: Does Location Matter?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holmes, Roger; Armanini, David G.; Yates, Adam G.

    2016-05-01

    Best management practices (BMPs) are increasingly being promoted as a solution to the potentially adverse effects agriculture can have on aquatic systems. However, the ability of BMPs to improve riverine systems continues to be questioned due to equivocal empirical evidence linking BMP use with improved stream conditions, particularly in regard to ecological conditions. Explicitly viewing BMP location in relation to hydrological pathways may, however, assist in establishing stronger ecological linkages. The goal of this study was to assess the association between water chemistry, benthic macroinvertebrate community structure, and the number and location of agricultural BMPs in a catchment. Macroinvertebrate and water samples were collected in 30 small (<12 km2) catchments exhibiting gradients of BMP use and location in the Grand River Watershed, Southern Ontario, Canada. Stepwise regression analysis revealed that concentrations of most stream nutrients declined in association with greater numbers of BMPs and particularly when BMPs were located in hydrologically connected areas. However, BMPs were significantly associated with only one metric (%EPT) describing macroinvertebrate community structure. Furthermore, variance partitioning analysis indicated that less than 5 % of the among site variation in the macroinvertebrate community could be attributed to BMPs. Overall, the implemented BMPs appear to be achieving water quality improvement goals but spatial targeting of specific BMP types may allow management agencies to attain further water quality improvements more efficiently. Mitigation and rehabilitation measures beyond the BMPs assessed in this study may be required to meet goals of enhanced ecological condition.

  15. Life history plasticity magnifies the ecological effects of a social wasp invasion

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Erin E.; Mullen, Lynne M.; Holway, David A.

    2009-01-01

    An unresolved question in ecology concerns why the ecological effects of invasions vary in magnitude. Many introduced species fail to interact strongly with the recipient biota, whereas others profoundly disrupt the ecosystems they invade through predation, competition, and other mechanisms. In the context of ecological impacts, research on biological invasions seldom considers phenotypic or microevolutionary changes that occur following introduction. Here, we show how plasticity in key life history traits (colony size and longevity), together with omnivory, magnifies the predatory impacts of an invasive social wasp (Vespula pensylvanica) on a largely endemic arthropod fauna in Hawaii. Using a combination of molecular, experimental, and behavioral approaches, we demonstrate (i) that yellowjackets consume an astonishing diversity of arthropod resources and depress prey populations in invaded Hawaiian ecosystems and (ii) that their impact as predators in this region increases when they shift from small annual colonies to large perennial colonies. Such trait plasticity may influence invasion success and the degree of disruption that invaded ecosystems experience. Moreover, postintroduction phenotypic changes may help invaders to compensate for reductions in adaptive potential resulting from founder events and small population sizes. The dynamic nature of biological invasions necessitates a more quantitative understanding of how postintroduction changes in invader traits affect invasion processes. PMID:19625616

  16. Experimental evidence that ecological effects of an invasive fish are reduced at high densities.

    PubMed

    Kornis, Matthew S; Carlson, Jedchada; Lehrer-Brey, Gabrielle; Vander Zanden, M Jake

    2014-05-01

    Understanding the relationship between invasive species density and ecological impact is a pressing topic in ecology, with implications for environmental management and policy. Although it is widely assumed that invasive species impact will increase with density, theory suggests interspecific competition may diminish at high densities due to increased intraspecific interactions. To test this theory, we experimentally examined intra- and interspecific interactions between a globally invasive fish, round goby (Neogobius melanostomus), and three native species at different round goby densities in a tributary of the Laurentian Great Lakes. Eighteen 2.25 m(2) enclosures were stocked with native fish species at natural abundances, while round gobies were stocked at three different densities: 0 m(-2), 2.7 m(-2), and 10.7 m(-2). After 52 days, native fish growth rate was significantly reduced in the low density goby treatment, while growth in the high density goby treatment mirrored the goby-free treatment for two of three native species. Invertebrate density and gut content weight of native fishes did not differ among treatments. Conversely, gut content weight and growth of round gobies were lower in the high goby density treatment, suggesting interactions between round gobies and native fishes are mediated by interference competition amongst gobies. Our experiment provides evidence that invasive species effects may diminish at high densities, possibly due to increased intraspecific interactions. This is consistent with some ecological theory, and cautions against the assumption that invasive species at moderate densities have low impact.

  17. Environmental Stress, Bottom-up Effects, and Community Dynamics: Integrating Molecular-Physiological and Ecological Approaches.

    PubMed

    Menge, Bruce A; Olson, Annette M; Dahlhoff, Elizabeth P

    2002-08-01

    Environmental stress and nutrient/productivity models predict the responses of community structure along gradients of physical conditions and bottom-up effects. Although both models have succeeded in helping to understand variation in ecological communities, most tests have been qualitative. Until recently, two roadblocks to more quantitative tests in marine environments have been a lack of (1) inexpensive, field-deployable technology for quantifying (e.g.) temperature, light, salinity, chlorophyll, and productivity, and (2) methods of quantifying the sub-organismal mechanisms linking environmental conditions to their ecological expression. The advent of inexpensive remote-sensing technology, adoption of molecular techniques such as quantification of heat-shock proteins and RNA:DNA ratios, and the formation of interdisciplinary alliances between ecologists and physiologists has begun to overcome these roadblocks. An integrated eco-physiological approach focuses on the determinants of: distributional limits among microhabitat patches and along (local-scale) environmental gradients (e.g., zonation); among-site (mesoscale) differences in community pattern; and geographic (macroscale) differences in ecosystem structure. These approaches promise new insights into the physiological mechanisms underlying variation in processes such as species interactions, physical disturbance, survival and growth. Here, we review two classes of models for community dynamics, and present examples of ecological studies of these models in consumer-prey systems. We illustrate the power of new molecular tools to characterize the sub-organismal responses of some of the same consumers and prey to thermal stress and food concentration. Ecological and physiological evidence tends to be consistent with model predictions, supporting our argument that we are poised to make major advances in the mechanistic understanding of community dynamics along key environmental gradients.

  18. Ecological effects of aphid abundance, genotypic variation, and contemporary evolution on plants.

    PubMed

    Turley, Nash E; Johnson, Marc T J

    2015-07-01

    Genetic variation and contemporary evolution within populations can shape the strength and nature of species interactions, but the relative importance of these forces compared to other ecological factors is unclear. We conducted a field experiment testing the effects of genotypic variation, abundance, and presence/absence of green peach aphids (Myzus persicae) on the growth, leaf nitrogen, and carbon of two plant species (Brassica napus and Solanum nigrum). Aphid genotype affected B. napus but not S. nigrum biomass explaining 20 and 7% of the total variation, respectively. Averaging across both plant species, the presence/absence of aphids had a 1.6× larger effect size (Cohen's d) than aphid genotype, and aphid abundance had the strongest negative effects on plant biomass explaining 29% of the total variation. On B. napus, aphid genotypes had different effects on leaf nitrogen depending on their abundance. Aphids did not influence leaf nitrogen in S. nigrum nor leaf carbon in either species. We conducted a second experiment in the field to test whether contemporary evolution could affect plant performance. Aphid populations evolved in as little as five generations, but the rate and direction of this evolution did not consistently vary between plant species. On one host species (B. napus), faster evolving populations had greater negative effects on host plant biomass, with aphid evolutionary rate explaining 23% of the variation in host plant biomass. Together, these results show that genetic variation and evolution in an insect herbivore can play important roles in shaping host plant ecology.

  19. Ecological bias in studies of the short-term effects of air pollution on health

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaddick, Gavin; Lee, Duncan; Wakefield, Jonathan

    2013-06-01

    There has been a great deal of research into the short-term effects of air pollution on health with a large number of studies modelling the association between aggregate disease counts and environmental exposures measured at point locations, for example via air pollution monitors. In such cases, the standard approach is to average the observed measurements from the individual monitors and use this in a log-linear health model. Hence such studies are ecological in nature being based on spatially aggregated health and exposure data. Here we investigate the potential for bias in the estimates of the effects on health when estimating the short-term effects of air pollution on health. Such ecological bias may occur if a simple summary measure, such as a daily mean, is not a suitable summary of a spatially variable pollution surface. We assess the performance of commonly used models when confronted with such issues using simulation studies and compare their performance with a model specifically designed to acknowledge the effects of exposure aggregation. In addition to simulation studies, we apply the models to a case study of the short-term effects of particulate matter on respiratory mortality using data from Greater London for the period 2002-2005. We found a significant increased risk of 3% (95% CI 1-5%) associated with the average of the previous three days exposure to particulate matter (per 10 μg m-3 PM10).

  20. Intestinal nutrient absorption - A biomarker for deleterious heavy metals in aquatic environments

    SciTech Connect

    Farmanfarmaian, A. )

    1988-09-01

    The deleterious effects of heavy metals on absorptive processes at the membrane surface will be summarized. Among the deleterious heavy metal chlorides (HgCl{sub 2}, CH{sub 3}HgCl, CdCl{sub 2}, CoCl{sub 2}, SrCl{sub 2}) tested HgCl{sub 2}, CH{sub 3}HgCl, and CdCl{sub 2} inhibit the absorption of several amino acids and sugars (L-leucine, L-methionine, L-isoleucine, L-lysine, cyclolencine, D-glucose, and D-galactose). The dose dependent inhibition of L-leucine uptake by HgCl{sub 2} is shown in a number of fish from different collection sites representing nektonic plankton feeders as well as demersal carnivores. The same type of data is shown for both HgCl{sub 2} and HC{sub 3}HgCl in the case of the commercially important summer flounder. Since the overall rate of intestinal absorption of amino acids and sugars involves the three processes of simple diffusion, protein-mediated facilitated diffusions, and protein-mediated sodium dependent active transport, the inhibition of the overall rate may not be sensitive enough as a biomarker. However, the active component, which alone accumulates essential amino acids in the tissue, appears to be very sensitive and can be used as a biomarker. The terminal tissue-to-medium (T/M) ratio of L-leucine concentration shows a 2-3 fold accumulation in the absence of mercury. Since the diffusional components can at best equilibrate L-leucine across the membrane % inhibition of the active component can be calculated after subtracting 1 from the experimental T/M values. The resulting inhibition is very sever ranging from approximately 50-100% for HgCl{sub 2} and 20-70% for CH{sub 3}HgCl over a range of 5-20 ppm of mercury.

  1. Community ecology theory predicts the effects of agrochemical mixtures on aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem properties.

    PubMed

    Halstead, Neal T; McMahon, Taegan A; Johnson, Steve A; Raffel, Thomas R; Romansic, John M; Crumrine, Patrick W; Rohr, Jason R

    2014-08-01

    Ecosystems are often exposed to mixtures of chemical contaminants, but the scientific community lacks a theoretical framework to predict the effects of mixtures on biodiversity and ecosystem properties. We conducted a freshwater mesocosm experiment to examine the effects of pairwise agrochemical mixtures [fertiliser, herbicide (atrazine), insecticide (malathion) and fungicide (chlorothalonil)] on 24 species- and seven ecosystem-level responses. As postulated, the responses of biodiversity and ecosystem properties to agrochemicals alone and in mixtures was predictable by integrating information on each functional group's (1) sensitivity to the chemicals (direct effects), (2) reproductive rates (recovery rates), (3) interaction strength with other functional groups (indirect effects) and (4) links to ecosystem properties. These results show that community ecology theory holds promise for predicting the effects of contaminant mixtures on biodiversity and ecosystem services and yields recommendations on which types of agrochemicals to apply together and separately to reduce their impacts on aquatic ecosystems.

  2. Effectiveness of ecological rescue for altered soil microbial communities and functions.

    PubMed

    Calderón, Kadiya; Spor, Aymé; Breuil, Marie-Christine; Bru, David; Bizouard, Florian; Violle, Cyrille; Barnard, Romain L; Philippot, Laurent

    2017-01-01

    Soil ecosystems worldwide are subjected to marked modifications caused by anthropogenic disturbances and global climate change, resulting in microbial diversity loss and alteration of ecosystem functions. Despite the paucity of studies, restoration ecology provides an appropriate framework for testing the potential of manipulating soil microbial communities for the recovery of ecosystem functioning. We used a reciprocal transplant design in experimentally altered microbial communities to investigate the effectiveness of introducing microbial communities in degraded soil ecosystems to restore N-cycle functioning. Microbial diversity loss resulted in alternative compositional states associated with impaired N-cycle functioning. Here, the addition of complex microbial communities to these altered communities revealed a pivotal role of deterministic community assembly processes. The diversity of some alternative compositional states was successfully increased but without significant restoration of soil N-cycle functioning. However, in the most degraded alternative state, the introduction of new microbial communities caused an overall decrease in phylogenetic diversity and richness. The successful soil colonization by newly introduced species for some compositional states indicates that priority effects could be overridden when attempting to manipulate microbial communities for soil restoration. Altogether, our result showed consistent patterns within restoration treatments with minor idiosyncratic effects. This suggests the predominance of deterministic processes and the predictability of restoration trajectories, which could be used to guide the effective management of microbial community assemblages for ecological restoration of soils.

  3. Restoring fish ecological quality in estuaries: Implication of interactive and cumulative effects among anthropogenic stressors.

    PubMed

    Teichert, Nils; Borja, Angel; Chust, Guillem; Uriarte, Ainhize; Lepage, Mario

    2016-01-15

    Estuaries are subjected to multiple anthropogenic stressors, which have additive, antagonistic or synergistic effects. Current challenges include the use of large databases of biological monitoring surveys (e.g. the European Water Framework Directive) to help environmental managers prioritizing restoration measures. This study investigated the impact of nine stressor categories on the fish ecological status derived from 90 estuaries of the North East Atlantic countries. We used a random forest model to: 1) detect the dominant stressors and their non-linear effects; 2) evaluate the ecological benefits expected from reducing pressure from stressors; and 3) investigate the interactions among stressors. Results showed that largest restoration benefits were expected when mitigating water pollution and oxygen depletion. Non-additive effects represented half of pairwise interactions among stressors, and antagonisms were the most common. Dredged sediments, flow changes and oxygen depletion were predominantly implicated in non-additive interactions, whereas the remainder stressors often showed additive impacts. The prevalence of interactive impacts reflects a complex scenario for estuaries management; hence, we proposed a step-by-step restoration scheme focusing on the mitigation of stressors providing the maximum of restoration benefits under a multi-stress context.

  4. Ecological effects of ocean acidification and habitat complexity on reef-associated macroinvertebrate communities.

    PubMed

    Fabricius, K E; De'ath, G; Noonan, S; Uthicke, S

    2014-01-22

    The ecological effects of ocean acidification (OA) from rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) on benthic marine communities are largely unknown. We investigated in situ the consequences of long-term exposure to high CO2 on coral-reef-associated macroinvertebrate communities around three shallow volcanic CO2 seeps in Papua New Guinea. The densities of many groups and the number of taxa (classes and phyla) of macroinvertebrates were significantly reduced at elevated CO2 (425-1100 µatm) compared with control sites. However, sensitivities of some groups, including decapod crustaceans, ascidians and several echinoderms, contrasted with predictions of their physiological CO2 tolerances derived from laboratory experiments. High CO2 reduced the availability of structurally complex corals that are essential refugia for many reef-associated macroinvertebrates. This loss of habitat complexity was also associated with losses in many macroinvertebrate groups, especially predation-prone mobile taxa, including crustaceans and crinoids. The transition from living to dead coral as substratum and habitat further altered macroinvertebrate communities, with far more taxa losing than gaining in numbers. Our study shows that indirect ecological effects of OA (reduced habitat complexity) will complement its direct physiological effects and together with the loss of coral cover through climate change will severely affect macroinvertebrate communities in coral reefs.

  5. [Landscape pattern change and its ecological effect in Manas River Basin of Xinjiang, China].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hong-Feng; Ouyang, Zhi-Yun; Zheng, Hua; Xu, Wei-Hua

    2009-06-01

    Based on the 1976, 1989, 2000 and 2005 remote sensing images and related meteorological data, the landscape pattern change and its ecological effect in Manas River Basin of Xinjiang in 1976-2005 were analyzed with GIS and FRAGSTATES. In the study period, the landscape pattern change in the Basin mainly manifested in the increase of farmland, grassland, and residential area while the decrease of forestland, wetland, desert, and snow and ice coverage. At landscape level, the patch number, landscape shape index, and contagion index increased, while Shannon's diversity index decreased; at class level, there was a greater difference in the heterogeneity index among different kinds of landscape, indicating a complexity of the landscape ecosystem. The landscape pattern change caused the negative ecological effect of wetland area shrinking, but some positive effects such as the decrease of evaporation and the increase of relative humidity. From 1976 to 2005, the wetland area decreased from 415.7 km2 to 297.4 km2, with a decrement of 28%, evaporation decreased by 0.91 mm x a(-1), and relative humidity increased by 0.037% x a(-1).

  6. Ecological effects of ocean acidification and habitat complexity on reef-associated macroinvertebrate communities

    PubMed Central

    Fabricius, K. E.; De'ath, G.; Noonan, S.; Uthicke, S.

    2014-01-01

    The ecological effects of ocean acidification (OA) from rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) on benthic marine communities are largely unknown. We investigated in situ the consequences of long-term exposure to high CO2 on coral-reef-associated macroinvertebrate communities around three shallow volcanic CO2 seeps in Papua New Guinea. The densities of many groups and the number of taxa (classes and phyla) of macroinvertebrates were significantly reduced at elevated CO2 (425–1100 µatm) compared with control sites. However, sensitivities of some groups, including decapod crustaceans, ascidians and several echinoderms, contrasted with predictions of their physiological CO2 tolerances derived from laboratory experiments. High CO2 reduced the availability of structurally complex corals that are essential refugia for many reef-associated macroinvertebrates. This loss of habitat complexity was also associated with losses in many macroinvertebrate groups, especially predation-prone mobile taxa, including crustaceans and crinoids. The transition from living to dead coral as substratum and habitat further altered macroinvertebrate communities, with far more taxa losing than gaining in numbers. Our study shows that indirect ecological effects of OA (reduced habitat complexity) will complement its direct physiological effects and together with the loss of coral cover through climate change will severely affect macroinvertebrate communities in coral reefs. PMID:24307670

  7. Effective Ecological Restoration of Collapsed Ecosystems - Linking Soil, Water and Society

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petursdottir, Thorunn; Finger, David

    2014-05-01

    All natural resources, utilized by humans are embedded in complex social-ecological systems (SESs). To maintain the systems' sustainability, the SESs needs to be managed within their resilience optimum, considering both social and ecological elements. Throughout the centuries the humankind has often failed in doing so. Overexploitation of natural resources has thus widely disrupted equilibrium within the respective SESs, driving unforeseen changes of ecosystems worldwide. Anthropogenic factors such as poor institutional structure on resource utilization and weak policies in combination to environmental factors like droughts, fires or other unpredictable events have ruptured ecosystems' resilience and caused global degradation on a scale that currently threatens the Earth's welfare. As an example it's worth to mention that up to 40% of the world's agricultural land is severely degraded mainly due to unsustainable landuse. Once an ecosystem, or part/s of it, have collapsed, ecological restoration is almost always necessary to overcome the threshold/s that may prevent the system from self-recovering. It also re-activates the system's environmental cycles like the water, carbon and nutrient circulation. Although soil is the fundamental body of terrestrial ecosystems, water availability is of equal importance and should be taken more into consideration in restoration than currently is done. Based on that, we will focus on how to best manage effective large-scale ecological restoration (LSER) of collapsed ecosystems and link it to water catchment areas. LSER is a fundamental social-ecological activity that substantially can improve ecosystem condition, human livelihood and if well organized, facilitate improved management of natural resources. By definition, restoration of ecological integrity and functions is the fundamental basis for all restoration activities. But to achieve long-term sustainability of LSER activities the initial set of rules/policies established by

  8. Carnivore repatriation and holarctic prey: narrowing the deficit in ecological effectiveness.

    PubMed

    Berger, Joel

    2007-08-01

    The continuing global decline of large carnivores has catalyzed great interest in reintroduction to restore populations and to reestablish ecologically functional relationships. I used variation in the distribution of four Holarctic prey species and their behavior as proxies to investigate the pace and intensity by which responses are lost or reinvigorated by carnivore repatriation. By simulating the presence of wolves (Canis lupus), tigers (Panthera tigris), and brown bears (Ursus arctos) at 19 transcontinental sites, I assayed three metrics of prey performance in areas with no large terrestrial carnivores (the polar islands of Greenland and Svalbard), extant native carnivores (Eastern Siberian Shield, boreal Canada, and Alaska); and repatriated carnivores (the Yellowstone region and Rocky Mountains). The loss and reestablishment of large carnivores changed the ecological effectiveness of systems by (1) dampening immediate group benefits, diminishing awareness, and diminishing flight reaction in caribou (Rangifer tarandus) where predation was eliminated and (2) reinstituting sensitivity to carnivores by elk (Cervus elaphus) and moose (Alces alces) in the Yellowstone region to levels observed in Asian elk when sympatric with Siberian tigers and wolves or in Alaskan moose sympatric with wolves. Behavioral compensation to reintroduced carnivores occurred within a single generation, but only the vigilance reaction of bison (Bison bison) in Yellowstone exceeded that of their wolf-exposed conspecifics from boreal Canada. Beyond these overt responses by prey, snow depth and distance to suitably vegetated habitat was related to heightened vigilance in moose and elk, respectively, but only at sites with carnivores. These findings are insufficient to determine whether similar patterns might apply to other species or in areas with alien predators, and they suggest that the presumed excessive vulnerability of naïve prey to repatriated carnivores may be ill-founded. Although

  9. Pleistocene and ecological effects on continental-scale genetic differentiation in the bobcat (Lynx rufus).

    PubMed

    Reding, Dawn M; Bronikowski, Anne M; Johnson, Warren E; Clark, William R

    2012-06-01

    The potential for widespread, mobile species to exhibit genetic structure without clear geographic barriers is a topic of growing interest. Yet the patterns and mechanisms of structure--particularly over broad spatial scales--remain largely unexplored for these species. Bobcats occur across North America and possess many characteristics expected to promote gene flow. To test whether historical, topographic or ecological factors have influenced genetic differentiation in this species, we analysed 1 kb mtDNA sequence and 15 microsatellite loci from over 1700 samples collected across its range. The primary signature in both marker types involved a longitudinal cline with a sharp transition, or suture zone, occurring along the Great Plains. Thus, the data distinguished bobcats in the eastern USA from those in the western half, with no obvious physical barrier to gene flow. Demographic analyses supported a scenario of expansion from separate Pleistocene refugia, with the Great Plains representing a zone of secondary contact. Substructure within the two main lineages likely reflected founder effects, ecological factors, anthropogenic/topographic effects or a combination of these forces. Two prominent topographic features, the Mississippi River and Rocky Mountains, were not supported as significant genetic barriers. Ecological regions and environmental correlates explained a small but significant proportion of genetic variation. Overall, results implicate historical processes as the primary cause of broad-scale genetic differentiation, but contemporary forces seem to also play a role in promoting and maintaining structure. Despite the bobcat's mobility and broad niche, large-scale landscape changes have contributed to significant and complex patterns of genetic structure.

  10. Administrative Ecology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGarity, Augustus C., III; Maulding, Wanda

    2007-01-01

    This article discusses how all four facets of administrative ecology help dispel the claims about the "impossibility" of the superintendency. These are personal ecology, professional ecology, organizational ecology, and community ecology. Using today's superintendency as an administrative platform, current literature describes a preponderance of…

  11. Ecology, Microbial

    SciTech Connect

    Konopka, Allan

    2009-03-19

    Microbial ecology is a relatively young discipline within the field of microbiology. Its modern history spans just the past 60 years, and the field is defined by its emphasis on understanding the interactions of microbes with their environment, rather than their behavior under artificial laboratory conditions. Because microbes are ubiquitous, microbial ecologists study a broad diversity of habitats that range from aquatic to terrestrial to plant- or animal-associated. This has made it a challenge to identify unifying principles within the field. One approach is to recognize that although the activity of microbes in nature have effects at the macroscale, they interact with their physical, chemical and biological milieu at a scale of micrometers. At this scale, several different microbial ecosystems can be defined, based upon association with particles, the presence of environmental gradients and the continuous availability of water. Principles applicable to microbial ecology reflect not only their population ecology and physiological ecology, but also their broad versatility and quantitative importance in the biosphere as biogeochemical catalysts and capacity for rapid physiological and evolutionary responses.

  12. Ecology, Microbial

    SciTech Connect

    Konopka, Allan

    2009-05-15

    Microbial ecology is a relatively young discipline within the field of microbiology. Its modern history spans just the past 60 years, and the field is defined by its emphasis on understanding the interactions of microbes with their environment, rather than their behavior under artificial laboratory conditions. Because microbes are ubiquitous, microbial ecologists study a broad diversity of habitats that range from aquatic to terrestrial to plant- or animal-associated. This has made it a challenge to identify unifying principles within the field. One approach is to recognize that although the activity of microbes in nature have effects at the macroscale, they interact with their physical, chemical and biological milieu at a scale of micrometers. At this scale, several different microbial ecosystems can be defined, based upon association with particles, the presence of environmental gradients and the continuous availability of water. Principles applicable to microbial ecology reflect not only their population ecology and physiological ecology, but also their broad versatility and quantitative importance in the biosphere as biogeochemical catalysts and capacity for rapid physiological and evolutionary responses.

  13. Ecological effects of nitrogen and sulfur air pollution in the US: what do we know?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greaver, Tara L.; Sullivan, Timothy J.; Herrick, Jeffrey D.; Barber, Mary C.; Baron, Jill S.; Cosby, Bernard J.; Deerhake, Marion E.; Dennis, Robin L.; Dubois, Jean-Jacque B.; Goodale, Christine L.; Herlihy, Alan T.; Lawrence, Gregory B.; Liu, Lingli; Lynch, Jason A.; Novak, Kristopher J.

    2012-01-01

    Four decades after the passage of the US Clean Air Act, air-quality standards are set to protect ecosystems from damage caused by gas-phase nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S) compounds, but not from the deposition of these air pollutants to land and water. Here, we synthesize recent scientific literature on the ecological effects of N and S air pollution in the US. Deposition of N and S is the main driver of ecosystem acidification and contributes to nutrient enrichment in many natural systems. Although surface-water acidification has decreased in the US since 1990, it remains a problem in many regions. Perturbations to ecosystems caused by the nutrient effects of N deposition continue to emerge, although gas-phase concentrations are generally not high enough to cause phytotoxicity. In all, there is overwhelming evidence of a broad range of damaging effects to ecosystems in the US under current air quality conditions.

  14. Ecological impacts of umbrella effects of radiation on the individual members.

    PubMed

    Doi, Masahiro; Kawaguchi, Isao

    2007-01-01

    In order to study the interactions in a model aquatic microcosm, an individual-based computer simulation model was developed. The microcosm consists of Euglena gracilis as an autotroph algae, Tetrahymena thermophila as a heterotroph protozoa and Escherichia coli as a saprotroph bacteria. There exists a strong interaction between Tetrahymena and E. coli as the first is the predator of the second. Ecological toxicity tests were conducted to test the population level impacts of the biological effects of radiation and toxicants on the lethality and mobility factors that influence directly or indirectly growth and reproduction. Radiological effects on lethality of E. coli individuals were translated to the reduction of the equilibrium population of Tetrahymena. A synergistic effect at the community level was also observed by the simulation of a combined exposure of radiation and a toxicant which reduced the feeding efficiency of Tetrahymena.

  15. [Ecological effect of different types land consolidation in Hubei Province of China].

    PubMed

    Gu, Xiao-Kun

    2012-08-01

    A model for estimating the ecosystem services value under effects of land consolidation was built to quantitatively evaluate the ecological effects of three different types of land consolidation projects in Jianghan Plain, middle hilly region, and western mountainous area of Hubei Province. With the implementation of the projects, the total value of ecosystem services in Jianghan Plain was decreased by 0.3%, among which, the values of food production service and other three services increased but those of water conservation and other four services decreased. In hilly region, the total value of ecosystem services was decreased by 14.6%, with the value of food production service increased by 55.2% and those of other eight services all decreased. In mountainous area, the total value of ecosystem services was decreased by 19.9%, with the value of food production service increased by 24.9% while the values of other eight services all decreased. In the land consolidation in the middle hilly region and western mountainous area of Hubei Province, there was an obvious conversion process 'from ecology to production' in the ecosystem services value.

  16. Environmental occurrences, behavior, fate, and ecological effects of nanomaterials: an introduction to the special series.

    PubMed

    Lowry, Gregory V; Hotze, Ernest M; Bernhardt, Emily S; Dionysiou, Dionysios D; Pedersen, Joel A; Wiesner, Mark R; Xing, Baoshan

    2010-01-01

    The release of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) into the biosphere will increase as industries find new and useful ways to utilize these materials. Scientists and engineers are beginning to assess the material properties that determine the fate, transport, and effects of ENMs; however, the potential impacts of released ENMs on organisms, ecosystems, and human health remain largely unknown. This special collection of four review papers and four technical papers identifies many key and emerging knowledge gaps regarding the interactions between nanomaterials and ecosystems. These critical knowledge gaps include the form, route, and mass of nanomaterials entering the environment; the transformations and ultimate fate of nanomaterials in the environment; the transport, distribution, and bioavailability of nanomaterials in environmental media; and the organismal responses to nanomaterial exposure and effects of nanomaterial inputs, on ecological communities and biogeochemical processes at relevant environmental concentrations and forms. This introductory section summarizes the state of knowledge and emerging areas of research needs identified within the special collection. Despite recent progress in understanding the transport, transformations, and fate of ENMs in model environments and organisms, there remains a large need for fundamental information regarding releases, distribution, transformations and persistence, and bioavailability of nanomaterials. Moreover, fate, transport, bioaccumulation, and ecological impacts research is needed using environmentally relevant concentrations and forms of ENMs in real field materials and with a broader range of organisms.

  17. Cascading ecological effects of low-level phosphorus enrichment in the Florida Everglades

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gaiser, E.E.; Trexler, J.C.; Richards, J.H.; Childers, D.L.; Lee, D.; Edwards, A.L.; Scinto, L.J.; Jayachandran, K.; Noe, G.B.; Jones, R.D.

    2005-01-01

    Few studies have examined long-term ecological effects of sustained low-level nutrient enhancement on wetland biota. To determine sustained effects of phosphorus (P) addition on Everglades marshes we added P at low levels (5, 15, and 30 ??g L-1 above ambient) for 5 yr to triplicate 100-m flow-through channels in pristine marsh. A cascade of ecological responses occurred in similar sequence among treatments. Although the rate of change increased with dosing level, treatments converged to similar enriched endpoints, characterized most notably by a doubling of plant biomass and elimination of native, calcareous periphyton mats. The full sequence of biological changes occurred without an increase in water total P concentration, which remained near ambient levels until Year 5. This study indicates that Everglades marshes have a near-zero assimilative capacity for P without a state change, that ecosystem responses to enrichment accumulate over time, and that downstream P transport mainly occurs through biota rather than the water column.

  18. [Effect of ridge & terraced ecological rice farming on rice photosynthetic characteristics and yield].

    PubMed

    Zheng, Hua-Bin; Liu, Jian-Xia; Yao, Lin; He, Hui; Huang, Huang

    2014-09-01

    Taking super hybrid rice Y-liangyou 1, and hybrid rice Xianyou 63 and conventional rice Huanghuazhan as test materials, a field experiment was conducted in Changsha City of Hunan Province in 2011 and 2012 to investigate the effects of ridge & terraced ecological rice farming (RT) and bed ecological rice farming (B) on rice grain yield and photosynthetic characteristics. Compared with conventional rice farming (CK) , yield of Y-liangyou 1 in the RT was increased significantly by 28.7%, the effective panicles per unit area and spikelets per panicle were increased by 16.1% and 6.8%, respectively. Yields of Xianyou 63 and Huanghuazhan in the RT and B were 24.3% and 19.7%, 12.0% and 16.2% higher than those of CK, respectively. Leaf area index, dry matter accumulation before and after full-heading, total dry matter accumulation of Y-liangyou 1 in the RT was higher than that of CK. Number of spikelets/leaf area, number of filled grains/leaf area, grain mass/leaf area of Y-liangyou 1 in the RT were 8.1%, 14.8% and 15.8% higher than those of CK, respectively, the photosynthetic potential was increased by 32.2% while the net assimilation rate was declined by 9.3%.

  19. Literature Review on the Effects of Prescription Fire on theEcology of Site 300

    SciTech Connect

    Preston, R

    2011-03-14

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has historically conducted prescription burns across approximately 2,000 acres of Site 300 on an annual basis to safeguard test facilities and operations from the risk of wildfire encroachment. Prescription burns began in 1960, and although fire frequency varies among the designated burn areas, all have been burned at least once. A patchwork of native perennial grassland communities and associated special-status plant and animal populations occur onsite in many areas that have been receiving these treatments. Because the size and locations of prescription burns may shift in coming years, an evaluation is warranted to determine how these shifts may affect listed biota, including rare plants, and the distinct ecological conditions present on the site. This report presents the results of a literature review conducted by ICF International (ICF) to collect basic information on native perennial grasslands in California, the influence of fire on these grasslands, and management tools for restoring and maintaining them. The objective of this study was to review the scientific literature on California native grasslands and summarize the current state of knowledge pertaining to the possible effects -- both beneficial and detrimental -- of prescribed fire on the ecology of Site 300. The results of this review are intended to inform future management practices that may be carried out at Site 300 to maintain the plant and wildlife communities and to ensure that the ecological conditions benefit the special-status species that inhabit the Site. This review is also intended to identify a study approach to investigate changes over the next 10 years in the burned areas and in areas where burning will be discontinued.

  20. Southeast Asian primate communities: the effects of ecology and Pleistocene refuges on species richness.

    PubMed

    Hassel-Finnegan, Heather; Borries, Carola; Zhao, Qing; Phiapalath, Phaivanh; Koenig, Andreas

    2013-12-01

    We examined historical and ecological factors affecting current primate biodiversity in Southeast Asia. In Africa, Madagascar and South America, but not Southeast Asia, primate species richness is positively associated with average rainfall and distance from the equator (latitude). We predicted that Southeast Asia's non-conformance may be due to the effect of dispersed Pleistocene refuges (locations of constricted tropical forests during glacial maxima which today are at least 305 m in altitude). Based on 45 forested sites (13 on large islands; 32 on the mainland) of at least 100 km(2) to minimize recent human impact, we determined correlations between extant primate species richness and rainfall, latitude and supplementary ecological variables, while controlling for refuges and islands. We found that refuge sites had significantly higher primate species richness than non-refuges (t = -2.76, P < 0.05), and distance from the nearest Pleistocene refuge was negatively correlated with species richness for non-refuge sites (r = -0.51, P < 0.05). There was no difference in species richness between sites on large islands and the mainland (t = -1.4, P = 0.16). The expected positive relationship between rainfall and species richness was not found (r = 0.17, P = 0.28). As predicted, primate species richness was negatively correlated with latitude (r = -0.39, P < 0.05) and positively correlated with mean temperature (r = 0.45, P < 0.05). General linear models indicated that a site's latitude (F1,38 = 6.18, P < 0.05) and Pleistocene refuge classification (F1,42 = 5.96, P < 0.05) were the best predictors of species richness. Both ecological and historical factors contribute to present day primate species richness in Southeast Asia, making its biodiversity less of an outlier than previously believed.

  1. Evolution in response to direct and indirect ecological effects in pitcher plant inquiline communities.

    PubMed

    terHorst, Casey P

    2010-12-01

    Ecologists have long recognized the importance of indirect ecological effects on species abundances, coexistence, and diversity. However, the evolutionary consequences of indirect interactions are rarely considered. Here I conduct selection experiments and examine the evolutionary response of Colpoda sp., a ciliated protozoan, to other members of the inquiline community of purple pitcher plants (Sarracenia purpurea). I measured the evolution of six traits in response to (1) predation by mosquito larvae, (2) competition from other ciliated protozoans, and (3) simultaneous predation and competition. The latter treatment incorporated both direct effects and indirect effects due to interactions between predators and competitors. Population growth rate and cell size evolved in response to direct effects of predators and competitors. However, trait values in the multispecies treatment were similar to those in the monoculture treatment, indicating that direct effects were offset by strong indirect effects on the evolution of traits. For most of the traits measured, indirect effects were opposed to, and often stronger than, direct effects. These indirect effects occurred as a result of behavioral changes of the predator in the presence of competitors and as a result of reduced densities of competitors in the presence of predators. Incorporating indirect effects provides a more realistic description of how species evolve in complex natural communities.

  2. Non-linear effects of drought under shade: reconciling physiological and ecological models in plant communities.

    PubMed

    Holmgren, Milena; Gómez-Aparicio, Lorena; Quero, José Luis; Valladares, Fernando

    2012-06-01

    The combined effects of shade and drought on plant performance and the implications for species interactions are highly debated in plant ecology. Empirical evidence for positive and negative effects of shade on the performance of plants under dry conditions supports two contrasting theoretical models about the role of shade under dry conditions: the trade-off and the facilitation hypotheses. We performed a meta-analysis of field and greenhouse studies evaluating the effects of drought at two or more irradiance levels on nine response variables describing plant physiological condition, growth, and survival. We explored differences in plant response across plant functional types, ecosystem types and methodological approaches. The data were best fit using quadratic models indicating a humped-back shape response to drought along an irradiance gradient for survival, whole plant biomass, maximum photosynthetic capacity, stomatal conductance and maximal photochemical efficiency. Drought effects were ameliorated at intermediate irradiance, becoming more severe at higher or lower light levels. This general pattern was maintained when controlling for potential variations in the strength of the drought treatment among light levels. Our quantitative meta-analysis indicates that dense shade ameliorates drought especially among drought-intolerant and shade-tolerant species. Wet tropical species showed larger negative effects of drought with increasing irradiance than semiarid and cold temperate species. Non-linear responses to irradiance were stronger under field conditions than under controlled greenhouse conditions. Non-linear responses to drought along the irradiance gradient reconciliate opposing views in plant ecology, indicating that facilitation is more likely within certain range of environmental conditions, fading under deep shade, especially for drought-tolerant species.

  3. Mechanisms of nonlethal predator effect on cohort size variation: ecological and evolutionary implications.

    PubMed

    Peacor, Scott D; Schiesari, Luis; Werner, Earl E

    2007-06-01

    Understanding the factors responsible for generating size variation in cohorts of organisms is important for predicting their population and evolutionary dynamics. We group these factors into two broad classes: those due to scaling relationships between growth and size (size-dependent factors), and those due to individual trait differences other than size (size-independent factors; e.g., morphology, behavior, etc.). We develop a framework predicting that the nonlethal presence of predators can have a strong effect on size variation, the magnitude and sign of which depend on the relative influence of both factors. We present experimental results showing that size-independent factors can strongly contribute to size variation in anuran larvae, and that the presence of a larval dragonfly predator reduced expression of these size-independent factors. Further, a review of a number of experiments shows that the effect of this predator on relative size variation of a cohort ranged from negative at low growth rates to positive at high growth rates. At high growth rates, effects of size-dependent factors predominate, and predator presence causes an increase in the scaling of growth rate with size (larger individuals respond less strongly to predator presence than small individuals). Thus predator presence led to an increase in size variation. In contrast, at low growth rates, size-independent factors were relatively more important, and predator presence reduced expression of these size-independent factors. Consequently, predator presence led to a decrease in size variation. Our results therefore indicate a further mechanism whereby nonlethal predator effects can be manifest on prey species performance. These results have strong implications for both ecological and evolutionary processes. Theoretical studies indicate that changes in cohort size variation can have profound effects on population dynamics and stability, and therefore the mere presence of a predator could have

  4. Ecological Schoolyards.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Danks, Sharon Gamson

    2000-01-01

    Presents design guidelines and organizational and site principles for creating schoolyards where students can learn about ecology. Principles for building schoolyard ecological systems are described. (GR)

  5. [Effects of ecological factors on the dough extensograph parameters of different winter wheat cultivars].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xue-lin; Wang, Chen-yang; Guo, Tian-cai; Wang, Yong-hua; Zhu, Yun-ji

    2009-12-01

    In 2000-2001 and 2001-2002, six representative winter wheat cultivars Yumai 34, Gaomai 8901, Yumai 49, Yumai 70, Luoyang 8716, and Yumai 50 were consecutively grown at five locations (Xinyang, Zhumadian, Xuchang, Wuzhi, and Tangyin) with latitudes varying from 32 degrees N to 36 degrees N in Henan Province, aimed to understand the relationships of winter wheat dough extensograph parameters with genetic and ecological factors. The dough extensograph parameters were more affected by genetic factors than by ecological factors. Cultivars Yumai 34 and Gaomai 8901 had significantly higher maximum resistance and extension area than the other four test cultivars, and significant differences in the dough extensograph parameters were observed between the cultivars grown in the south region (Xinyang and Zhumadian) and in the north region (Wuzhi and Tangyin) of the Province. The change patterns of dough extensograph parameters with latitude differed in 2000-2001 and in 2001-2002, and the effects of climatic factors on the dough extensograph parameters varied with year. In 2001-2002, the precipitation at the stage from grain-filling to maturing affected the dough extensograph parameters significantly. Our results suggested that in order to improve the dough extensograph parameters of winter wheat, local meteorological conditions should be taken into full consideration in the soil water management at late-maturing stage.

  6. Ecological effects of pharmaceuticals in aquatic systems—impacts through behavioural alterations

    PubMed Central

    Brodin, Tomas; Piovano, Susanna; Fick, Jerker; Klaminder, Jonatan; Heynen, Martina; Jonsson, Micael

    2014-01-01

    The study of animal behaviour is important for both ecology and ecotoxicology, yet research in these two fields is currently developing independently. Here, we synthesize the available knowledge on drug-induced behavioural alterations in fish, discuss potential ecological consequences and report results from an experiment in which we quantify both uptake and behavioural impact of a psychiatric drug on a predatory fish (Perca fluviatilis) and its invertebrate prey (Coenagrion hastulatum). We show that perch became more active while damselfly behaviour was unaffected, illustrating that behavioural effects of pharmaceuticals can differ between species. Furthermore, we demonstrate that prey consumption can be an important exposure route as on average 46% of the pharmaceutical in ingested prey accumulated in the predator. This suggests that investigations of exposure through bioconcentration, where trophic interactions and subsequent bioaccumulation of exposed individuals are ignored, underestimate exposure. Wildlife may therefore be exposed to higher levels of behaviourally altering pharmaceuticals than predictions based on commonly used exposure assays and pharmaceutical concentrations found in environmental monitoring programmes. PMID:25405968

  7. N-Acetyl-L-cysteine Effects on Multi-species Oral Biofilm Formation and Bacterial Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Rasmussen, Karin; Nikrad, Julia; Reilly, Cavan; Li, Yuping; Jones, Robert S.

    2015-01-01

    Future therapies for the treatment of dental decay have to consider the importance of preserving bacterial ecology while reducing biofilm adherence to teeth. A multi-species plaque derived (MSPD) biofilm model was used to assess how concentrations of N-acetyl-L-cysteine (0, 0.1%, 1%, 10%) affected the growth of complex oral biofilms. Biofilms were grown (n=96) for 24 hours on hydroxyapatite disks in BMM media with 0.5% sucrose. Bacterial viability and biomass formation was examined on each disk using a microtiter plate reader. In addition, fluorescence microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy was used to qualitatively examine the effect of NAC on bacterial biofilm aggregation, extracellular components, and bacterial morphology. The total biomass was significantly decreased after exposure of both 1% (from 0.48, with a 95% confidence interval of (0.44, 0.57) to 0.35, with confidence interval (0.31, 0.38)) and 10% NAC (0.14 with confidence interval (0.11, 0.17)). 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing analysis indicated that 1% NAC reduced biofilm adherence while preserving biofilm ecology. PMID:26518358

  8. Despite phylogenetic effects, C3-C4 lineages bridge the ecological gap to C4 photosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Lundgren, Marjorie R; Christin, Pascal-Antoine

    2017-01-01

    C4 photosynthesis is a physiological innovation involving several anatomical and biochemical components that emerged recurrently in flowering plants. This complex trait evolved via a series of physiological intermediates, broadly termed 'C3-C4', which have been widely studied to understand C4 origins. While this research program has focused on biochemistry, physiology, and anatomy, the ecology of these intermediates remains largely unexplored. Here, we use global occurrence data and local habitat descriptions to characterize the niches of multiple C3-C4 lineages, as well as their close C3 and C4 relatives. While C3-C4 taxa tend to occur in warm climates, their abiotic niches are spread along other dimensions, making it impossible to define a universal C3-C4 niche. Phylogeny-based comparisons suggest that, despite shifts associated with photosynthetic types, the precipitation component of the C3-C4 niche is particularly lineage specific, being highly correlated with that of closely related C3 and C4 taxa. Our large-scale analyses suggest that C3-C4 lineages converged toward warm habitats, which may have facilitated the transition to C4 photosynthesis, effectively bridging the ecological gap between C3 and C4 plants. The intermediates retained some precipitation aspects of their C3 ancestors' habitat, and likely transmitted them to their C4 descendants, contributing to the diversity among C4 lineages seen today.

  9. Fast Growing Plantations for Wood Production – Integration of Ecological Effects and Economic Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Bredemeier, Michael; Busch, Gerald; Hartmann, Linda; Jansen, Martin; Richter, Falk; Lamersdorf, Norbert P.

    2015-01-01

    Biomass crops are perceived as a feasible means to substitute sizeable amounts of fossil fuel in the future. A prospect of CO2 reduction (resp. CO2 neutrality) is credited to biomass fuels, and thus a potential contribution to mitigate climate change. Short rotation coppices (SRCs) with fast growing poplar and willow trees are an option for producing high yields of woody biomass, which is suitable for both energetic and material use. One negative effect that comes along with the establishment of SRC may be a decrease in groundwater recharge, because high rates of transpiration and interception are anticipated. Therefore, it is important to measure, analyze, and model the effects of SRC-planting on landscape water budgets. To analyze the effects on the water budget, a poplar SRC plot was studied by measuring hydrological parameters to be used in the hydrological model WaSim. Results reveal very low or even missing ground water recharge for SRC compared to agricultural land use or grassland, especially succeeding dry years. However, this strong effect on plot level is moderated on the larger spatial scale of catchment level, for which the modeling was also performed. In addition to water, nutrient fluxes and budgets were studied. Nitrogen is still a crucial issue in today’s agriculture. Intensive fertilization or increased applications of manure from concentrated livestock breeding are often leading to high loads of nitrate leaching, or enhanced N2O emissions to the atmosphere on arable crop fields. SRC or agroforestry systems on former crop land may offer an option to decrease such N losses, while simultaneously producing woody biomass. This is mainly due to the generally smaller N requirements of woody vegetation, which usually entail no need for any fertilization. The trees supply deep and permanent rooting systems, which can be regarded as a “safety net” to prevent nutrient leaching. Thus, SRC altogether can help to diminish N eutrophication. It is

  10. Fast Growing Plantations for Wood Production - Integration of Ecological Effects and Economic Perspectives.

    PubMed

    Bredemeier, Michael; Busch, Gerald; Hartmann, Linda; Jansen, Martin; Richter, Falk; Lamersdorf, Norbert P

    2015-01-01

    Biomass crops are perceived as a feasible means to substitute sizeable amounts of fossil fuel in the future. A prospect of CO2 reduction (resp. CO2 neutrality) is credited to biomass fuels, and thus a potential contribution to mitigate climate change. Short rotation coppices (SRCs) with fast growing poplar and willow trees are an option for producing high yields of woody biomass, which is suitable for both energetic and material use. One negative effect that comes along with the establishment of SRC may be a decrease in groundwater recharge, because high rates of transpiration and interception are anticipated. Therefore, it is important to measure, analyze, and model the effects of SRC-planting on landscape water budgets. To analyze the effects on the water budget, a poplar SRC plot was studied by measuring hydrological parameters to be used in the hydrological model WaSim. Results reveal very low or even missing ground water recharge for SRC compared to agricultural land use or grassland, especially succeeding dry years. However, this strong effect on plot level is moderated on the larger spatial scale of catchment level, for which the modeling was also performed. In addition to water, nutrient fluxes and budgets were studied. Nitrogen is still a crucial issue in today's agriculture. Intensive fertilization or increased applications of manure from concentrated livestock breeding are often leading to high loads of nitrate leaching, or enhanced N2O emissions to the atmosphere on arable crop fields. SRC or agroforestry systems on former crop land may offer an option to decrease such N losses, while simultaneously producing woody biomass. This is mainly due to the generally smaller N requirements of woody vegetation, which usually entail no need for any fertilization. The trees supply deep and permanent rooting systems, which can be regarded as a "safety net" to prevent nutrient leaching. Thus, SRC altogether can help to diminish N eutrophication. It is important to

  11. Face Adaptation Effects Show Strong and Long-Lasting Transfer from Lab to More Ecological Contexts

    PubMed Central

    Carbon, Claus-Christian; Ditye, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    A review on recent experiments on figural face aftereffects reveals that adaptation effects in famous faces can last for hours up to days. Such adaptations seem to be highly reliable regarding test–retest designs as well as regarding the generalizability of adaptation across different adaptation routines and adaptations toward different kinds of facial properties. However, in the studies conducted so far, adaptation and the subsequent test phase were carried out in typical laboratory environments. Under these circumstances, it cannot be ruled out that the observed effects are, in fact, episodic learn–test compatibility effects. To test for ecological validity in adaptation effects we used an adaptation paradigm including environmental and social properties that differed between adaptation and test phase. With matched samples (n1 = n2 = 54) we found no main effects of experimental setting compatibility resulting from varying where the tests where conducted (environmental condition) nor any interaction with effects of stimulus compatibility resulting from varying stimulus similarity between adaptation and test phase using the same picture, different pictures of the same person, or different persons (transfer). This indicates that these adaptation effects are not artificial or merely lab-biased effects. Adaptation to face stimuli may document representational adaptations and tuning mechanisms that integrate new visual input in a very fast, reliable, and sustainable way. PMID:22291676

  12. Ecological and biomedical effects of effluents from near-term electric vehicle storage battery cycles

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-05-01

    An assessment of the ecological and biomedical effects due to commercialization of storage batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles is given. It deals only with the near-term batteries, namely Pb/acid, Ni/Zn, and Ni/Fe, but the complete battery cycle is considered, i.e., mining and milling of raw materials, manufacture of the batteries, cases and covers; use of the batteries in electric vehicles, including the charge-discharge cycles; recycling of spent batteries; and disposal of nonrecyclable components. The gaseous, liquid, and solid emissions from various phases of the battery cycle are identified. The effluent dispersal in the environment is modeled and ecological effects are assessed in terms of biogeochemical cycles. The metabolic and toxic responses by humans and laboratory animals to constituents of the effluents are discussed. Pertinent environmental and health regulations related to the battery industry are summarized and regulatory implications for large-scale storage battery commercialization are discussed. Each of the seven sections were abstracted and indexed individually for EDB/ERA. Additional information is presented in the seven appendixes entitled; growth rate scenario for lead/acid battery development; changes in battery composition during discharge; dispersion of stack and fugitive emissions from battery-related operations; methodology for estimating population exposure to total suspended particulates and SO/sub 2/ resulting from central power station emissions for the daily battery charging demand of 10,000 electric vehicles; determination of As air emissions from Zn smelting; health effects: research related to EV battery technologies. (JGB)

  13. [The effect of thermal power plant on microbial ecology and environmental quality].

    PubMed

    Yang, S S; Yang, C K; Chang, E H; Wei, C B

    1999-12-01

    To investigate the effect of thermal power plant on the microbial ecology and the environmental quality, the Hsieh-Ho Thermal Power Plant was chosen and the populations of microbes including bacteria, actinomycetes, fungi, and cellulolytic, phosphate-solubilizing and nitrogen-fixing microbes were selected as the parameters of microbial ecology. The pH values of the soil sample collected from inside and outside of the plant were 5.2-6.2 and 4.0-5.3, respectively. Moisture content in plant area was lower than that in the surrounding area. Microbial populations of the topsoils were higher than those of the subsoils. Each gram of soil contained 3.64 x 10(4)-5.16 x 10(7) colonies of bacteria, 1.75 x 10(3)-1.10 x 10(6) colonies of actinomycetes and 6.72 x 10(3)-8.78 x 10(6) colonies of fungi in the plant area; while they were 5.52 x 10(4)-2.14 x 10(7), 8.26 x 10(3)-7.25 x 10(5) and 3.49 x 10(3)-2.74 x 10(6) colonies of bacteria, actinomycetes and fungi, respectively, in the surrounding area. The effect of seasonal change on microbial populations was not significant. The ratio of cellulolytic, phosphate-solubilizing and nitrogen-fixing microbes to the total count in the plant area was also higher than that in the surrounding area, and some of them had significant differences. From the statistical analysis, the effect of thermal power generator on the population and distribution of microbes was significantly different.

  14. Scale dependency in effectiveness, isolation, and social-ecological spillover of protected areas.

    PubMed

    Ament, Judith M; Cumming, Graeme S

    2016-08-01

    Protected areas are considered vital for the conservation of biodiversity. Given their central role in many conservation strategies, it is important to know whether they adequately protect biodiversity within their boundaries; whether they are becoming more isolated from other natural areas over time; and whether they play a role in facilitating or reducing land-cover change in their surroundings. We used matching methods and national and local analyses of land-cover change to evaluate the combined effectiveness (i.e., avoided natural-cover loss), isolation (i.e., changes in adjacent areas), and spillover effects (i.e., impacts on adjacent areas) of 19 national parks in South Africa from 2000 to 2009. All parks had either similar or lower rates of natural-cover loss than matched control samples. On a national level, mean net loss of natural cover and mean net gain of cultivation cover decreased with distance from park boundary, but there was considerable variation in trends around individual parks, providing evidence for both increased isolation and buffering of protected areas. Fourteen parks had significant positive spillover and reduced natural-cover loss in their surroundings, whereas five parks experienced elevated levels of natural-cover loss. Conclusions about social-ecological spillover effects from protected areas depended heavily on the measures of land-cover change used and the scale at which the results were aggregated. Our findings emphasize the need for high-resolution data when assessing spatially explicit phenomena such as land-cover change and challenge the usefulness of large-scale (coarse grain, broad extent) studies for understanding social-ecological dynamics around protected areas.

  15. Blind Prediction of Deleterious Amino Acid Variations with SNPs&GO.

    PubMed

    Capriotti, Emidio; Martelli, Pier Luigi; Fariselli, Piero; Casadio, Rita

    2017-01-19

    SNPs&GO is a machine learning method for predicting the association of single amino acid variations (SAVs) to disease, considering protein functional annotation. The method is a binary classifier that implements a Support Vector Machine algorithm to discriminate between disease-related and neutral SAVs. SNPs&GO combines information from protein sequence with functional annotation encoded by Gene Ontology terms. Tested in sequence mode on more than 38,000 SAVs from the SwissVar dataset, our method reached 81% overall accuracy and an area under the receiving operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.88 with low false positive rate. In almost all the editions of the Critical Assessment of Genome Interpretation (CAGI) experiments, SNPs&GO ranked among the most accurate algorithms for predicting the effect of SAVs. In this paper we summarize the best results obtained by SNPs&GO on disease related variations of four CAGI challenges relative to the following genes: CHEK2 (CAGI 2010), RAD50 (CAGI 2011), p16-INK (CAGI 2013) and NAGLU (CAGI 2016). Result evaluation provides insights about the accuracy of our algorithm and the relevance of GO terms in annotating the effect of the variants. It also helps to define good practices for the detection of deleterious SAVs.

  16. Effects of selenium accumulation on phytotoxicity, herbivory, and pollination ecology in radish (Raphanus sativus L.).

    PubMed

    Hladun, Kristen R; Parker, David R; Tran, Khoa D; Trumble, John T

    2013-01-01

    Selenium (Se) has contaminated areas in the western USA where pollination is critical to the functioning of both agricultural and natural ecosystems, yet we know little about how Se can impact pollinators. In a two-year semi-field study, the weedy plant Raphanus sativus (radish) was exposed to three selenate treatments and two pollination treatments to evaluate the effects on pollinator-plant interactions. Honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) pollinators were observed to readily forage on R. sativus for both pollen and nectar despite high floral Se concentrations. Se treatment increased both seed abortion (14%) and decreased plant biomass (8-9%). Herbivory by birds and aphids was reduced on Se-treated plants, indicating a potential reproductive advantage for the plant. Our study sheds light on how pollutants such as Se can impact the pollination ecology of a plant that accumulates even moderate amounts of Se.

  17. Ecological effects of a major oil spill on Panamanian coastal marine communities

    SciTech Connect

    Jackson, J.B.C.; Cubit, J.D.; Keller, B.D.; Batista, V.; Burns, K.; Caffey, H.M.; Caldwell, R.L.; Garrity, S.D.; Getter, C.D.; Gonzalez, C.; Guzman, H.M.; Kaufmann, K.W.; Knap, A.H.; Levings, S.C.; Marshall, M.J.; Steger, R.; Thompson, R.C.; Weil, E. )

    1989-01-06

    In 1986 more than 8 million liters of crude oil spilled into a complex region of mangroves, seagrasses, and coral reefs just east of the Caribbean entrance to the Panama Canal. This was the largest recorded spill into coastal habitats in the tropical Americas. Many populations of plants and animals in both oiled and unoiled sites had been studied previously, thereby providing an unprecedented measure of ecological variation before the spill. Documentation of the spread of oil and its biological effects begun immediately. Intertidal mangroves, seagrasses, algae, and associated invertebrates were covered by oil and died soon after. More surprisingly, there was also extensive mortality of shallow subtidal reef corals and infauna of seagrass beds. After 1.5 years only some organisms in areas exposed to the open sea have recovered.

  18. Maximum power, ecological function and efficiency of an irreversible Carnot cycle: a cost and effectiveness optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aragón-González, G.; Canales-Palma, A.; León-Galicia, A.; Morales-Gómez, J. R.

    2008-12-01

    In this work we include, for the Carnot cycle, irreversibilities of linear finite rate of heat transferences between the heat engine and its reservoirs, heat leak between the reservoirs and internal dissipations of the working fluid. A first optimization of the power output, the efficiency and ecological function of an irreversible Carnot cycle, with respect to: internal temperature ratio, time ratio for the heat exchange and the allocation ratio of the heat exchangers; is performed. For the second and third optimizations, the optimum values for the time ratio and internal temperature ratio are substituted into the equation of power and, then, the optimizations with respect to the cost and effectiveness ratio of the heat exchangers are performed. Finally, a criterion of partial optimization for the class of irreversible Carnot engines is herein presented.

  19. Causes and ecological effects of resuspended contaminated sediments (RCS) in marine environments.

    PubMed

    Roberts, David A

    2012-04-01

    Sediments act as a net sink for anthropogenic contaminants in marine ecosystems and contaminated sediments may have a range of toxicological effects on benthic fauna and associated species. When resuspended, however, particulate-bound contaminants may be remobilised into the water column and become bioavailable to an additional assemblage of species. Such resuspension occurs through a range of natural and anthropogenic processes each of which may be thought of as pulsed disturbances resulting in pulsed exposures to contaminants. Thus, it is important to understand not only the toxicological responses of organisms to resuspended contaminated sediments (RCS), but also the frequency, magnitude and duration of sediment disturbance events. Such information is rarely collected together with toxicological data. Rather, the majority of published studies (>50% of the articles captured in this review) have taken the form of fixed-duration laboratory-based exposures with individual species. While this research has clearly demonstrated that resuspension of contaminated sediments can liberate sediment-bound contaminants leading to toxicity and bioaccumulation under controlled conditions, the potential for ecological effects in the field is often unclear. Monitoring studies suggest that recurrent natural disturbances such as tides and waves may cause the majority of contaminant release in many environments. However, various processes also act to limit the spatial and temporal scales across which contaminants are remobilised to the most toxic dissolved state. Various natural and anthropogenic disturbances of contaminated sediments have been linked to both community-level and sub-lethal responses in exposed populations of invertebrates and fish in the field. Together these findings suggest that resuspension of contaminated sediments is a frequently recurring ecological threat in contaminated marine habitats. Further consideration of how marine communities respond to temporally

  20. Effects of simulated acid rain on soil fauna community composition and their ecological niches.

    PubMed

    Wei, Hui; Liu, Wen; Zhang, Jiaen; Qin, Zhong

    2017-01-01

    Acid rain is one of the severest environmental issues globally. Relative to other global changes (e.g., warming, elevated atmospheric [CO2], and nitrogen deposition), however, acid rain has received less attention than its due. Soil fauna play important roles in multiple ecological processes, but how soil fauna community responds to acid rain remains less studied. This microcosm experiment was conducted using latosol with simulated acid rain (SAR) manipulations to observe potential changes in soil fauna community under acid rain stress. Four pH levels, i.e., pH 2.5, 3.5, 4.5, and 5.5, and a neutral control of pH 7.0 were set according to the current pH condition and acidification trend of precipitation in southern China. As expected, we observed that the SAR treatments induced changes in soil fauna community composition and their ecological niches in the tested soil; the treatment effects tended to increase as acidity increased. This could be attributable to the environmental stresses (such as acidity, porosity and oxygen supply) induced by the SAR treatments. In addition to direct acidity effect, we propose that potential changes in permeability and movability of water and oxygen in soils induced by acid rain could also give rise to the observed shifts in soil fauna community composition. These are most likely indirect pathways of acid rain to affect belowground community. Moreover, we found that nematodes, the dominating soil fauna group in this study, moved downwards to mitigate the stress of acid rain. This is probably detrimental to soil fauna in the long term, due to the relatively severer soil conditions in the deep than surface soil layer. Our results suggest that acid rain could change soil fauna community and the vertical distribution of soil fauna groups, consequently changing the underground ecosystem functions such as organic matter decomposition and greenhouse gas emissions.

  1. [Advances in effects of insecticidal crystal proteins released from transgenic Bt crops on soil ecology].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xue-Yong; Liu, Ning; Zhao, Man; Li, He; Zhou, Lang; Tang, Zong-Wen; Cao, Fei; Li, Wei

    2011-05-01

    With the large scale cultivation of transgenic crops expressing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) insecticidal crystal proteins in the world, the problem of environmental safety caused by these Bt crops has received extensive attention. These insecticidal crystal proteins can be released into the soil continuously in the growing period of Bt plants. If their accumulation of the insecticidal crystal proteins exceeds consumption by insect larvae and degradation by the environmental factors, these insecticidal crystal proteins could constitute a hazard to non-target insects and soil microbiota. There are three main ways to release insecticidal crystal proteins into soil for Bt plants: root exudates, pollen falling, and crop reside returning. The Bt insecticidal crystal proteins released into soil can be adsorbed rapidly by active soil particles and the absorption equilibrium attained within 1-3 h. The adsorption protects Bt insecticidal crystal proteins against soil microbial degradation or enzyme degradation, which leads to remarkable prolong of the persistence of insecticidal activity. The change of soil microorganism species is an important index for evaluating the effect of Bt plants on soil ecology. The research showed that these insecticidal crystal proteins released by the Bt plant root exudates or Bt organism had no toxicity to the soil earthworms, nematodes, protozoa, bacteria and fungi; however, it could reduce the mycelium length of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and restrain AMF to form invasion unit. The influencing degree of Bt protein on soil enzyme activity varied with the releasing modes or growth period of Bt crops. Bt Cry1Ab protein can be taken up from soil by parts of following crops; however, different results were obtained with different commercial kits. To better understand the soil ecological evaluation about the insecticidal crystal proteins released from transgenic Bt crops, this review provides a comprehensive overview about the release

  2. Central-place foraging and ecological effects of an invasive predator across multiple habitats.

    PubMed

    Benkwitt, Cassandra E

    2016-10-01

    Cross-habitat foraging movements of predators can have widespread implications for predator and prey populations, community structure, nutrient transfer, and ecosystem function. Although central-place foraging models and other aspects of optimal foraging theory focus on individual predator behavior, they also provide useful frameworks for understanding the effects of predators on prey populations across multiple habitats. However, few studies have examined both the foraging behavior and ecological effects of nonnative predators across multiple habitats, and none has tested whether nonnative predators deplete prey in a manner predicted by these foraging models. I conducted behavioral observations of invasive lionfish (Pterois volitans) to determine whether they exhibit foraging movements similar to other central-place consumers. Then, I used a manipulative field experiment to test whether their effects on prey populations are consistent with three qualitative predictions from optimal foraging models. Specifically, I predicted that the effects of invasive lionfish on native prey will (1) occur at central sites first and then in surrounding habitats, (2) decrease with increasing distance away from their shelter site, and (3) extend to greater distances when prey patches are spaced closer together. Approximately 40% of lionfish exhibited short-term crepuscular foraging movements into surrounding habitats from the coral patch reefs where they shelter during daylight hours. Over the course of 7 weeks, lionfish depleted native fish populations on the coral patch reefs where they reside, and subsequently on small structures in the surrounding habitat. However, their effects did not decrease with increasing distance from the central shelter site and the influence of patch spacing was opposite the prediction. Instead, lionfish always had the greatest effects in areas with the highest prey densities. The differences between the predicted and observed effects of lionfish

  3. [Ecological Effects of Algae Blooms Cluster: The Impact on Chlorophyll and Photosynthesis of the Water Hyacinth].

    PubMed

    Liu, Guo-feng; He, Jun; Yang, Yi-zhong; Han, Shi-qun

    2015-08-01

    The response of chlorophyll and photosynthesis of water hyacinth leaves in different concentrations of clustered algae cells was studied in the simulation experiment, and the aim was to reveal the mechanism of the death of aquatic plants during algae blooms occurred through studying the physiological changes of the macrophytes, so as to play the full function of the ecological restoration of the plants. And results showed the dissolved oxygen quickly consumed in root zone of aquatic plants after algae blooms gathered and showed the lack of oxygen (DO < 0.2 g x L(-1)); and the ORP was lower than -100 mV after 1 d, and it declined to -200 mV at the end of the experiment. There were lots of nutrients releasing to the water after the algae cell died and concentration of DTN in treatment 1 and 2 were 44.49 mg x L(-1) and 111.32 mg x L(-1), and the content of DTP were 2.57 mg x L(-1) and 9.10 mg x L(-1), respectively. The NH4+ -N concentrations were as high as 32.99 mg x L(-1) and 51.22 mg x L(-1), and the root zone with the anoxia, strong reducing, higher nutrients environment had a serious stress effects to the aquatic plants. The macrophytes photosynthesis reduced quickly and the plant body damaged with the intimidation of higher NH4+ -N concentration (average content was 45.6 mg x L(-1)) and hypoxia after algae cell decomposed. The average net photosynthesis rate, leaf transpiration rate of the treatment 2 reduced to 3.95 micromol (M2 x S)(-1), 0.088 micromol x (m2 x s)(-1), and only were 0.18 times, 0.11 times of the control group, respectively, at the end of the experiment, the control group were 22 micromol x (m2 x s)(-1), 0.78 micromol x (M2 x s)(-1). Results indicated the algae bloom together had the irreversible damage to the aquatic plants. Also it was found large amounts of new roots and the old roots were dead in the treatment 1, but roots were all died in the treatment 2, and leaves were yellow and withered. Experiment results manifested that the serious

  4. Effective sociodemographic population assessment of elusive species in ecology and conservation management.

    PubMed

    Head, Josephine S; Boesch, Christophe; Robbins, Martha M; Rabanal, Luisa I; Makaga, Loïc; Kühl, Hjalmar S

    2013-09-01

    Wildlife managers are urgently searching for improved sociodemographic population assessment methods to evaluate the effectiveness of implemented conservation activities. These need to be inexpensive, appropriate for a wide spectrum of species and straightforward to apply by local staff members with minimal training. Furthermore, conservation management would benefit from single approaches which cover many aspects of population assessment beyond only density estimates, to include for instance social and demographic structure, movement patterns, or species interactions. Remote camera traps have traditionally been used to measure species richness. Currently, there is a rapid move toward using remote camera trapping in density estimation, community ecology, and conservation management. Here, we demonstrate such comprehensive population assessment by linking remote video trapping, spatially explicit capture-recapture (SECR) techniques, and other methods. We apply it to three species: chimpanzees Pan troglodytes troglodytes, gorillas Gorilla gorilla gorilla, and forest elephants Loxodonta cyclotis in Loango National Park, Gabon. All three species exhibited considerable heterogeneity in capture probability at the sex or group level and density was estimated at 1.72, 1.2, and 1.37 individuals per km(2) and male to female sex ratios were 1:2.1, 1:3.2, and 1:2 for chimpanzees, gorillas, and elephants, respectively. Association patterns revealed four, eight, and 18 independent social groups of chimpanzees, gorillas, and elephants, respectively: key information for both conservation management and studies on the species' ecology. Additionally, there was evidence of resident and nonresident elephants within the study area and intersexual variation in home range size among elephants but not chimpanzees. Our study highlights the potential of combining camera trapping and SECR methods in conducting detailed population assessments that go far beyond documenting species diversity

  5. Age-associated molecular changes are deleterious and may modulate life span through diet

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Sang-Goo; Kaya, Alaattin; Avanesov, Andrei S.; Podolskiy, Dmitriy I.; Song, Eun Ju; Go, Du-Min; Jin, Gwi-Deuk; Hwang, Jae Yeon; Kim, Eun Bae; Kim, Dae-Yong; Gladyshev, Vadim N.

    2017-01-01

    Transition through life span is accompanied by numerous molecular changes, such as dysregulated gene expression, altered metabolite levels, and accumulated molecular damage. These changes are thought to be causal factors in aging; however, because they are numerous and are also influenced by genotype, environment, and other factors in addition to age, it is difficult to characterize the cumulative effect of these molecular changes on longevity. We reasoned that age-associated changes, such as molecular damage and tissue composition, may influence life span when used in the diet of organisms that are closely related to those that serve as a dietary source. To test this possibility, we used species-specific culture media and diets that incorporated molecular extracts of young and old organisms and compared the influence of these diets on the life span of yeast, fruitflies, and mice. In each case, the “old” diet or medium shortened the life span for one or both sexes. These findings suggest that age-associated molecular changes, such as cumulative damage and altered dietary composition, are deleterious and causally linked with aging and may affect life span through diet. PMID:28232953

  6. Age-associated molecular changes are deleterious and may modulate life span through diet.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sang-Goo; Kaya, Alaattin; Avanesov, Andrei S; Podolskiy, Dmitriy I; Song, Eun Ju; Go, Du-Min; Jin, Gwi-Deuk; Hwang, Jae Yeon; Kim, Eun Bae; Kim, Dae-Yong; Gladyshev, Vadim N

    2017-02-01

    Transition through life span is accompanied by numerous molecular changes, such as dysregulated gene expression, altered metabolite levels, and accumulated molecular damage. These changes are thought to be causal factors in aging; however, because they are numerous and are also influenced by genotype, environment, and other factors in addition to age, it is difficult to characterize the cumulative effect of these molecular changes on longevity. We reasoned that age-associated changes, such as molecular damage and tissue composition, may influence life span when used in the diet of organisms that are closely related to those that serve as a dietary source. To test this possibility, we used species-specific culture media and diets that incorporated molecular extracts of young and old organisms and compared the influence of these diets on the life span of yeast, fruitflies, and mice. In each case, the "old" diet or medium shortened the life span for one or both sexes. These findings suggest that age-associated molecular changes, such as cumulative damage and altered dietary composition, are deleterious and causally linked with aging and may affect life span through diet.

  7. Rare deleterious mutations are associated with disease in bipolar disorder families

    PubMed Central

    Rao, Aliz R; Yourshaw, Michael; Christensen, Bryce; Nelson, Stanley F; Kerner, Berit

    2016-01-01

    Bipolar disorder (BD) is a common, complex, and heritable psychiatric disorder characterized by episodes of severe mood swings. The identification of rare, damaging genomic mutations in families with BD could inform about disease mechanisms and lead to new therapeutic interventions. To determine whether rare, damaging mutations shared identity-by-descent in families with BD could be associated with disease, exome sequencing was performed in multigenerational families of the NIMH BD Family Study followed by in silico functional prediction. Disease association and disease specificity was determined using 5 090 exomes from the Sweden-Schizophrenia (SZ) Population-Based Case-Control Exome Sequencing study. We identified 14 rare and likely deleterious mutations in 14 genes that were shared identity-by-descent among affected family members. The variants were associated with BD (p<0.05 after Bonferroni correction) and disease specificity was supported by the absence of the mutations in patients with SZ. In addition, we found rare, functional mutations in known causal genes for neuropsychiatric disorders including holoprosencephaly and epilepsy. Our results demonstrate that exome sequencing in multigenerational families with BD is effective in identifying rare genomic variants of potential clinical relevance and also disease modifiers related to coexisting medical conditions. Replication of our results and experimental validation are required before disease causation could be assumed. PMID:27725659

  8. Gestational magnesium deficiency is deleterious to fetal outcome.

    PubMed

    Almonte, R A; Heath, D L; Whitehall, J; Russell, M J; Patole, S; Vink, R

    1999-07-01

    A number of recent epidemiological findings have implicated magnesium as being essential to fetal well-being. Few studies, however, have examined the relationship between maternal requirements for dietary magnesium and subsequent mortality and morbidity in offspring. The present study uses a rodent model of dietary-induced hypomagnesemia to investigate the effects of magnesium deficiency prior to and during gestation on neonatal morbidity and mortality. Magnesium deficiency during gestation significantly increased neonatal mortality and morbidity. Such increases were associated with a reduced free magnesium concentration in both maternal and offspring blood and an increased incidence of periventricular hemorrhage and edema in newborn pups as observed by magnetic resonance imaging and histology. Animals fed a magnesium-deficient diet before mating but given magnesium supplementation during gestation did not demonstrate a significant change in neonatal mortality and morbidity when compared to control animals. The significant improvement in fetal outcome with dietary magnesium supports the concept of magnesium supplementation during pregnancy.

  9. Risk assessment and ecological effects of transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis crops on non-target organisms.

    PubMed

    Yu, Hui-Lin; Li, Yun-He; Wu, Kong-Ming

    2011-07-01

    The application of recombinant DNA technology has resulted in many insect-resistant varieties by genetic engineering (GE). Crops expressing Cry toxins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) have been planted worldwide, and are an effective tool for pest control. However, one ecological concern regarding the potential effects of insect-resistant GE plants on non-target organisms (NTOs) has been continually debated. In the present study, we briefly summarize the data regarding the development and commercial use of transgenic Bt varieties, elaborate on the procedure and methods for assessing the non-target effects of insect-resistant GE plants, and synthetically analyze the related research results, mostly those published between 2005 and 2010. A mass of laboratory and field studies have shown that the currently available Bt crops have no direct detrimental effects on NTOs due to their narrow spectrum of activity, and Bt crops are increasing the abundance of some beneficial insects and improving the natural control of specific pests. The use of Bt crops, such as Bt maize and Bt cotton, results in significant reductions of insecticide application and clear benefits on the environment and farmer health. Consequently, Bt crops can be a useful component of integrated pest management systems to protect the crop from targeted pests.

  10. Ecological effects and animal risk assessment of radiation pollution in Russia and former USSR

    SciTech Connect

    Krivolutsky, D.

    1995-12-31

    The ecological after-effects of long-term radiation pollution, animal biodiversity changes and life-cycle assessment of model species of soil invertebrates mammals, birds, reptiles have been studied in 1968-1994 in the former USSR (Russia, Ukraine, Kazachstan). There has been observed an initial reduction of animal biodiversity community structure in Kyshtym (south Ural) and Chernobyl polluted areas and a low return to the former ecosystems. The secondary changes and side-effects for the active migrants (insects, birds, mammals) have been registered. The most valid bioindicators and biomarkers of radioactive pollution may be stable populations of reptiles, birds, earthworms, centipede, microarthropods. The radioactive soil pollution exerts the greatest impact on the permanent soil dwelling animals. As direct effects it has been seen the appreciable reduction of population density disturbance of the breeding process, degradation of species diversity community structure. In fact a soil with high level {sup 90}Sr and a radiation 1--3 R/day containing 10-fold reduction of population soil inhabit millipedes earthworms, insect larvae, Enchytraeidae aranea. The accumulation of radionuclides by terrestrial and soil animals effects of trophic levels, zoogenical radionuclides migration have been studied in polluted ecosystems of South Ural and Chernobyl.

  11. Deleterious actions of gossypol on bovine spermatozoa, oocytes, and embryos.

    PubMed

    Brocas, C; Rivera, R M; Paula-Lopes, F F; McDowell, L R; Calhoun, M C; Staples, C R; Wilkinson, N S; Boning, A J; Chenoweth, P J; Hansen, P J

    1997-10-01

    Gossypol (50 and 100 micrograms/ml) decreased the percentage of sperm that completed the swim-up procedure. This effect was not blocked by glutathione monoethyl ester. Cleavage rates were not different between oocytes inseminated with gossypol-treated spermatozoa (10 or 50 micrograms/ml) and oocytes inseminated with control spermatozoa. Development to the blastocyst stage at Day 7 after insemination was reduced when spermatozoa treated with 50 micrograms/ml gossypol were used for fertilization. Gossypol toxicity was evident in cows fed cottonseed meal because erythrocyte fragility was greater than for control cows. However, there were no differences between cottonseed meal and control groups in number of oocytes collected per cow, cleavage rate after in vitro maturation and fertilization, or the proportion of oocytes or embryos that developed to blastocysts. Similarly, exposure of oocytes to 2.5-10 micrograms/ml gossypol during in vitro maturation did not affect cleavage rates or subsequent development. In contrast, addition of 10 micrograms/ml gossypol to embryos reduced cleavage rate. Moreover, development of cleaved embryos was reduced by culture with 5 or 10 micrograms/ml gossypol and tended to be reduced by 2.5 micrograms/ml gossypol. In conclusion, bovine gametes are resistant to gossypol at concentrations similar to those in blood of cows fed cottonseed meal. In contrast, the developing embryo is sensitive to gossypol.

  12. Two classes of deleterious recessive alleles in a natural population of zebrafish, Danio rerio.

    PubMed Central

    McCune, Amy R.; Houle, David; McMillan, Kyle; Annable, Rebecca; Kondrashov, Alexey S.

    2004-01-01

    Natural populations carry deleterious recessive alleles which cause inbreeding depression. We compared mortality and growth of inbred and outbred zebrafish, Danio rerio, between 6 and 48 days of age. Grandparents of the studied fish were caught in the wild. Inbred fish were generated by brother-sister mating. Mortality was 9% in outbred fish, and 42% in inbred fish, which implies at least 3.6 lethal equivalents of deleterious recessive alleles per zygote. There was no significant inbreeding depression in the growth, perhaps because the surviving inbred fish lived under less crowded conditions. In contrast to alleles that cause embryonic and early larval mortality in the same population, alleles responsible for late larval and early juvenile mortality did not result in any gross morphological abnormalities. Thus, deleterious recessive alleles that segregate in a wild zebrafish population belong to two sharply distinct classes: early-acting, morphologically overt, unconditional lethals; and later-acting, morphologically cryptic, and presumably milder alleles. PMID:15451692

  13. Distributions of selectively constrained sites and deleterious mutation rates in the hominid and murid genomes.

    PubMed

    Eory, Lél; Halligan, Daniel L; Keightley, Peter D

    2010-01-01

    Protein-coding sequences make up only about 1% of the mammalian genome. Much of the remaining 99% has been long assumed to be junk DNA, with little or no functional significance. Here, we show that in hominids, a group with historically low effective population sizes, all classes of noncoding DNA evolve more slowly than ancestral transposable elements and so appear to be subject to significant evolutionary constraints. Under the nearly neutral theory, we expected to see lower levels of selective constraints on most sequence types in hominids than murids, a group that is thought to have a higher effective population size. We found that this is the case for many sequence types examined, the most extreme example being 5'UTRs, for which constraint in hominids is only about one-third that of murids. Surprisingly, however, we observed higher constraints for some sequence types in hominids, notably 4-fold sites, where constraint is more than twice as high as in murids. This implies that more than about one-fifth of mutations at 4-fold sites are effectively selected against in hominids. The higher constraint at 4-fold sites in hominids suggests a more complex protein-coding gene structure than murids and indicates that methods for detecting selection on protein-coding sequences (e.g., using the d(N)/d(S) ratio), with 4-fold sites as a neutral standard, may lead to biased estimates, particularly in hominids. Our constraint estimates imply that 5.4% of nucleotide sites in the human genome are subject to effective negative selection and that there are three times as many constrained sites within noncoding sequences as within protein-coding sequences. Including coding and noncoding sites, we estimate that the genomic deleterious mutation rate U = 4.2. The mutational load predicted under a multiplicative model is therefore about 99% in hominids.

  14. Plant species effects on soil nutrients and chemistry in arid ecological zones.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Brittany G; Verburg, Paul S J; Arnone, John A

    2016-09-01

    The presence of vegetation strongly influences ecosystem function by controlling the distribution and transformation of nutrients across the landscape. The magnitude of vegetation effects on soil chemistry is largely dependent on the plant species and the background soil chemical properties of the site, but has not been well quantified along vegetation transects in the Great Basin. We studied the effects of plant canopy cover on soil chemistry within five different ecological zones, subalpine, montane, pinyon-juniper, sage/Mojave transition, and desert shrub, in the Great Basin of Nevada all with similar underlying geology. Although plant species differed in their effects on soil chemistry, the desert shrubs Sarcobatus vermiculatus, Atriplex spp., Coleogyne ramosissima, and Larrea tridentata typically exerted the most influence on soil chemistry, especially amounts of K(+) and total nitrogen, beneath their canopies. However, the extent to which vegetation affected soil nutrient status in any given location was not only highly dependent on the species present, and presumably the nutrient requirements and cycling patterns of the plant species, but also on the background soil characteristics (e.g., parent material, weathering rates, leaching) where plant species occurred. The results of this study indicate that the presence or absence of a plant species, especially desert shrubs, could significantly alter soil chemistry and subsequently ecosystem biogeochemistry and function.

  15. Ecological contingency in the effects of climatic warming on forest herb communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harrison, S.; Damschen, E.I.; Grace, J.B.

    2010-01-01

    Downscalingfromthe predictions ofgeneral climatemodels is critical to current strategies for mitigating species loss caused by climate change. A key impediment to this downscaling is that we lack a fully developed understanding of howvariation in physical, biological, or land-use characteristics mediates the effects of climate change on ecological communities within regions. We analyzed change in understory herb communities over a 60-y period (1949/1951-2007/ 2009) in a complexmontane landscape (the SiskiyouMountains, Oregon) where mean temperatures have increased 2 ??C since 1948, similar to projections for other terrestrial communities. Our 185 sites included primary and secondary-growth lower montane forests (500-1.200 m above sea level) and primary upper montane to subalpine forests (1,500-2,100 m above sea level). In lower montane forests, regardless of land-use history, we found multiple herbcommunity changes consistent with an effectively drier climate, including lower mean specific leaf area, lower relative cover by species of northern biogeographic affinity, and greater compositional resemblance to communities in southerly topographic positions. At higher elevations we found qualitatively different andmoremodest changes, including increases in herbs of northern biogeographic affinity and in forest canopy cover. Our results provide communitylevel validation of predicted nonlinearities in climate change effects.

  16. Ecological contingency in the effects of climatic warming on forest herb communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harrison, Susan; Damschen, Ellen Ingman; Grace, James B.

    2010-01-01

    Downscaling from the predictions of general climate models is critical to current strategies for mitigating species loss caused by climate change. A key impediment to this downscaling is that we lack a fully developed understanding of how variation in physical, biological, or land-use characteristics mediates the effects of climate change on ecological communities within regions. We analyzed change in understory herb communities over a 60-y period (1949/1951–2007/2009) in a complex montane landscape (the Siskiyou Mountains, Oregon) where mean temperatures have increased 2 °C since 1948, similar to projections for other terrestrial communities. Our 185 sites included primary and secondary-growth lower montane forests (500–1.200 m above sea level) and primary upper montane to subalpine forests (1,500–2,100 m above sea level). In lower montane forests, regardless of land-use history, we found multiple herb-community changes consistent with an effectively drier climate, including lower mean specific leaf area, lower relative cover by species of northern biogeographic affinity, and greater compositional resemblance to communities in southerly topographic positions. At higher elevations we found qualitatively different and more modest changes, including increases in herbs of northern biogeographic affinity and in forest canopy cover. Our results provide community-level validation of predicted nonlinearities in climate change effects.

  17. Probabilistic ecological hazard assessment: evaluating pharmaceutical effects on aquatic higher plants as an example.

    PubMed

    Brain, Richard A; Sanderson, Hans; Sibley, Paul K; Solomon, Keith R

    2006-06-01

    The practicality of a probabilistic ecological hazard assessment (PEHA) methodology using intraspecies endpoint sensitivity distributions (IESDs) and chemical toxicity distributions (CTDs) was evaluated on data sets of pharmaceutical toxicity to aquatic macrophytes. A PEHA does not use an exposure distribution but rather uses a point estimate, which is useful for applications with sufficient effects data but lacking in comprehensive exposure data or when a criterion concentration is desired. The probability of finding an effect measure or potency value below a threshold can be calculated from the effects distribution. PEHA analyses using CTDs for both EC(10) and EC(25)Lemna gibba toxicity values indicated a <1% probability of encountering an antibiotic with toxicity below 1 microg/L. IESDs for microcosm mixture studies with eight pharmaceuticals (8PM) and four tetracyclines showed that the probability was nearly 20% for Myriophyllum sibiricum and 13% for L. gibba (8PM data). Hazard quotients calculated from the 1% and 5% distribution thresholds indicated potential risk only in certain cases.

  18. Ecological contingency in the effects of climatic warming on forest herb communities.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Susan; Damschen, Ellen I; Grace, James B

    2010-11-09

    Downscaling from the predictions of general climate models is critical to current strategies for mitigating species loss caused by climate change. A key impediment to this downscaling is that we lack a fully developed understanding of how variation in physical, biological, or land-use characteristics mediates the effects of climate change on ecological communities within regions. We analyzed change in understory herb communities over a 60-y period (1949/1951-2007/2009) in a complex montane landscape (the Siskiyou Mountains, Oregon) where mean temperatures have increased 2 °C since 1948, similar to projections for other terrestrial communities. Our 185 sites included primary and secondary-growth lower montane forests (500-1.200 m above sea level) and primary upper montane to subalpine forests (1,500-2,100 m above sea level). In lower montane forests, regardless of land-use history, we found multiple herb-community changes consistent with an effectively drier climate, including lower mean specific leaf area, lower relative cover by species of northern biogeographic affinity, and greater compositional resemblance to communities in southerly topographic positions. At higher elevations we found qualitatively different and more modest changes, including increases in herbs of northern biogeographic affinity and in forest canopy cover. Our results provide community-level validation of predicted nonlinearities in climate change effects.

  19. Ecologically relevant geomorphic attributes of streams are impaired by even low levels of watershed effective imperviousness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vietz, Geoff J.; Sammonds, Michael J.; Walsh, Christopher J.; Fletcher, Tim D.; Rutherfurd, Ian D.; Stewardson, Michael J.

    2014-02-01

    Urbanization almost inevitably results in changes to stream morphology. Understanding the mechanisms for such impacts is a prerequisite to minimizing stream degradation and achieving restoration goals. However, investigations of urban-induced changes to stream morphology typically use indicators of watershed urbanization that may not adequately represent degrading mechanisms and commonly focus on geomorphic attributes such as channel dimensions that may be of little significance to the ecological goals for restoration. We address these shortcomings by testing if a measure characterizing urban stormwater drainage system connections to streams (effective imperviousness, EI) is a better predictor of change to ecologically relevant geomorphic attributes than a more general measure of urban density (total imperviousness, TI). We test this for 17 sites in independent watersheds across a gradient of urbanization. We found that EI was a better predictor of all geomorphic variables tested than was TI. Bank instability was positively correlated with EI, while width/depth (a measure of channel incision), bedload sediment depth, and frequency of bars, benches, and large wood were negatively correlated. Large changes in all geomorphic variables were detected at very low levels of EI (< 2-3%). Excess urban stormwater runoff, as represented by EI, drives geomorphic change in urban streams, highlighting the dominant role of the stormwater drainage system in efficiently transferring stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces to the stream, as found for ecological indicators. It is likely that geomorphic condition of streams in urbanizing watersheds, particularly those attributes of ecological relevance, can only be maintained if excess urban stormwater flows are kept out of streams through retention and harvesting. The extent to which EI can be reduced within urban and urbanizing watersheds, through techniques such as distributed stormwater harvesting and infiltration, and the

  20. Anthropogenic effects on the biota: towards a new system of principles and criteria for analysis of ecological hazards.

    PubMed

    Ostroumov, Sergei A

    2003-01-01

    The currently accepted system of criteria for evaluating environmental and ecological hazards of man-made chemicals (pollutants) is vulnerable to criticism. In this paper, a new concept of the system of approaches towards criteria for evaluating the ecological hazard from man-made impact is proposed. It is suggested to assess the man-made impacts (including effects of pollutants and xenobiotics) on the biota according to the following four levels of disturbance in biological and ecological systems: (1) the level of individual responses; (2) the level of aggregated responses of groups of organisms; (3) the level of stability and integrity of the ecosystem; (4) the level of contributions of the ecosystem to biospheric processes. On the basis of the author's experimental studies, an example is given of how to apply the proposed approach and the system of criteria to the analysis of concrete experimental data. To exemplify the efficiency of the proposed approach, it is shown how to use it to analyze new data on effects of a synthetic surfactant on water filtering by bivalves. It is concluded that the proposed approach will be helpful in better assessing environmental and ecological hazards from anthropogenic effects on biota, including effects of man-made chemicals polluting ecosystems.

  1. DEVELOPMENT OF PROTEIN PROFILE TECHNOLOGY TO EVALUATE ECOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMICALS USING A SMALL FISH MODEL

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hemmer, Michael J., Robert T. Hudson and Calvin C. Walker. In press. Development of Protein Profile Technology to Evaluate Ecological Effects of Environmental Chemicals Using a Small Fish Model (Abstract). To be presented at the EPA Science Forum: Healthy Communities and Ecosyste...

  2. Climate and Land Use Change Effects on Ecological Resources in Three Watersheds: A Synthesis Report (Final Report)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA announced the availability of the final report, Climate and Land-Use Change Effects on Ecological Resources in Three Watersheds: A Synthesis Report. This report provides a summary of climate change impacts to selected watersheds and recommendations for how to improv...

  3. Animal behaviour shapes the ecological effects of ocean acidification and warming: moving from individual to community-level responses.

    PubMed

    Nagelkerken, Ivan; Munday, Philip L

    2016-03-01

    Biological communities are shaped by complex interactions between organisms and their environment as well as interactions with other species. Humans are rapidly changing the marine environment through increasing greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in ocean warming and acidification. The first response by animals to environmental change is predominantly through modification of their behaviour, which in turn affects species interactions and ecological processes. Yet, many climate change studies ignore animal behaviour. Furthermore, our current knowledge of how global change alters animal behaviour is mostly restricted to single species, life phases and stressors, leading to an incomplete view of how coinciding climate stressors can affect the ecological interactions that structure biological communities. Here, we first review studies on the effects of warming and acidification on the behaviour of marine animals. We demonstrate how pervasive the effects of global change are on a wide range of critical behaviours that determine the persistence of species and their success in ecological communities. We then evaluate several approaches to studying the ecological effects of warming and acidification, and identify knowledge gaps that need to be filled, to better understand how global change will affect marine populations and communities through altered animal behaviours. Our review provides a synthesis of the far-reaching consequences that behavioural changes could have for marine ecosystems in a rapidly changing environment. Without considering the pervasive effects of climate change on animal behaviour we will limit our ability to forecast the impacts of ocean change and provide insights that can aid management strategies.

  4. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory interests and capabilities for research on the ecological effects of global climatic and atmospheric change

    SciTech Connect

    Amthor, J.S.; Houpis, J.L.; Kercher, J.R.; Ledebuhr, A.; Miller, N.L.; Penner, J.E.; Robison, W.L.; Taylor, K.E.

    1994-09-01

    The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has interests and capabilities in all three types of research that must be conducted in order to understand and predict effects of global atmospheric and climatic (i.e., environmental) changes on ecological systems and their functions (ecosystem function is perhaps most conveniently defined as mass and energy exchange and storage). These three types of research are: (1) manipulative experiments with plants and ecosystems; (2) monitoring of present ecosystem, landscape, and global exchanges and pools of energy, elements, and compounds that play important roles in ecosystem function or the physical climate system, and (3) mechanistic (i.e., hierarchic and explanatory) modeling of plant and ecosystem responses to global environmental change. Specific experimental programs, monitoring plans, and modeling activities related to evaluation of ecological effects of global environmental change that are of interest to, and that can be carried out by LLNL scientists are outlined. Several projects have the distinction of integrating modeling with empirical studies resulting in an Integrated Product (a model or set of models) that DOE or any federal policy maker could use to assess ecological effects. The authors note that any scheme for evaluating ecological effects of atmospheric and climatic change should take into account exceptional or sensitive species, in particular, rare, threatened, or endangered species.

  5. Predicted no-effect concentrations for mercury species and ecological risk assessment for mercury pollution in aquatic environment.

    PubMed

    Du, Meng; Wei, Dongbin; Tan, Zhuowei; Lin, Aiwu; Du, Yuguo

    2015-02-01

    Mercury (Hg) exists in different chemical forms presenting varied toxic potentials. It is necessary to explore an ecological risk assessment method for different mercury species in aquatic environment. The predicted no-effect concentrations (PNECs) for Hg(II) and methyl mercury (MeHg) in the aqueous phase, calculated using the species sensitivity distribution method and the assessment factor method, were 0.39 and 6.5×10(-3)μg/L, respectively. The partition theory of Hg between sediment and aqueous phases was considered, along with PNECs for the aqueous phase to conduct an ecological risk assessment for Hg in the sediment phase. Two case studies, one in China and one in the Western Black Sea, were conducted using these PNECs. The toxicity of mercury is heavily dependent on their forms, and their potential ecological risk should be respectively evaluated on the basis of mercury species.

  6. [Effects of global climate change on the ecological characteristics and biogeochemical significance of marine viruses--A review].

    PubMed

    Yang, Yunlan; Cai, Lanlan; Zhang, Rui

    2015-09-04

    As the most abundance biological agents in the oceans, viruses can influence the physiological and ecological characteristics of host cells through viral infections and lysis, and affect the nutrient and energy cycles of the marine food chain. Thus, they are the major players in the ocean biogeochemical processes. The problems caused by global climate changes, such as sea-surface warming, acidification, nutrients availability, and deoxygenation, have the potential effects on marine viruses and subsequently their ecological and biogeochemical function in the ocean. Here, we reviewed the potential impacts of global climate change on the ecological characteristics (e. g. abundance, distribution, life cycle and the host-virus interactions) and biogeochemical significance (e. g. carbon cycling) of marine viruses. We proposed that marine viruses should not be ignored in the global climate change study.

  7. Environmental assessment for the satellite power system-concept development and evaluation program-microwave health and ecological effects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    Potential health and ecological effects of the microwave beam from the microwave power transmission system (MPTS) of the satellite power system (SPS) are discussed. A detailed critical review of selected scientific articles from the published literature on the biological effects of nonionizing electromagnetic radiation is provided followed by an assessment of the possible effects of the SPS, based on exposure values for the reference system.

  8. Environmental assessment for the satellite power system-concept development and evaluation program-microwave health and ecological effects

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-11-01

    This report is concerned with the potential health and ecological effects of the microwave beam from the microwave power transmission system (MPTS) of the satellite power system (SPS). The report is written in the form of a detailed critical review of selected scientific articles from the published literature on the biological effects of nonionizing electromagnetic radiation, followed by an assessment of the possible effects of the SPS, based on exposure values for the reference system (US DOE and NASA, 1978).

  9. Negative effects of heterospecific pollen receipt vary with abiotic conditions: ecological and evolutionary implications

    PubMed Central

    Celaya, Ileana N.; Arceo-Gómez, Gerardo; Alonso, Conchita; Parra-Tabla, Víctor

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims Studies that have evaluated the effects of heterospecific pollen (HP) receipt on plant reproductive success have generally overlooked the variability of the natural abiotic environment in which plants grow. Variability in abiotic conditions, such as light and water availability, has the potential to affect pollen–stigma interactions (i.e. conspecific pollen germination and performance), which will probably influence the effects of HP receipt. Thus, a more complete understanding of the extent, strength and consequences of plant–plant interactions via HP transfer requires better consideration of the range of abiotic conditions in which these interactions occur. This study addresses this issue by evaluating the effects of two HP donors (Tamonea curassavica and Angelonia angustifolia) on the reproductive success of Cuphea gaumeri, an endemic species of the Yucatan Peninsula. Methods Mixed (conspecific pollen and HP) and pure (conspecific pollen only) hand-pollinations were conducted under varying conditions of water and light availability in a full factorial design. Reproductive success was measured as the number of pollen tubes that reached the bottom of the style. Key Results Only one of the two HP donors had a significant effect on C. gaumeri reproductive success, but this effect was dependent on water and light availability. Specifically, HP receipt caused a decrease in pollen tube growth, but only when the availability of water, light or both was low, and not when the availability of both resources was high. Conclusions The results show that the outcome of interspecific post-pollination interactions via HP transfer can be context-dependent and vary with abiotic conditions, thus suggesting that abiotic effects in natural populations may be under-estimated. Such context-dependency could lead to spatial and temporal mosaics in the ecological and evolutionary consequences of post-pollination interactions. PMID:26199385

  10. Extracellular localization of galectin-3 has a deleterious role in joint tissues.

    PubMed

    Janelle-Montcalm, Audrée; Boileau, Christelle; Poirier, Françoise; Pelletier, Jean-Pierre; Guévremont, Mélanie; Duval, Nicolas; Martel-Pelletier, Johanne; Reboul, Pascal

    2007-01-01

    In this study we examine the extracellular role of galectin-3 (gal-3) in joint tissues. Following intra-articular injection of gal-3 or vehicle in knee joints of mice, histological evaluation of articular cartilage and subchondral bone was performed. Further studies were then performed using human osteoarthritic (OA) chondrocytes and subchondral bone osteoblasts, in which the effect of gal-3 (0 to 10 microg/ml) was analyzed. Osteoblasts were incubated in the presence of vitamin D3 (50 nM), which is an inducer of osteocalcin, encoded by an osteoblast terminal differentiation gene. Genes of interest mainly expressed in either chondrocytes or osteoblasts were analyzed with real-time RT-PCR and enzyme immunoassays. Signalling pathways regulating osteocalcin were analyzed in the presence of gal-3. Intra-articular injection of gal-3 induced knee swelling and lesions in both cartilage and subchondral bone. On human OA chondrocytes, gal-3 at 1 microg/ml stimulated ADAMTS-5 expression in chondrocytes and, at higher concentrations (5 and 10 microg/ml), matrix metalloproteinase-3 expression. Experiments performed with osteoblasts showed a weak but bipolar effect on alkaline phosphatase expression: stimulation at 1 microg/ml or inhibition at 10 microg/ml. In the absence of vitamin D3, type I collagen alpha 1 chain expression was inhibited by 10 microg/ml of gal-3. The vitamin D3 induced osteocalcin was strongly inhibited in a dose-dependent manner in the presence of gal-3, at both the mRNA and protein levels. This inhibition was mainly mediated by phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase. These findings indicate that high levels of extracellular gal-3, which could be encountered locally during the inflammatory process, have deleterious effects in both cartilage and subchondral bone tissues.

  11. A review of fire effects on vegetation and soils in the Great Basin region: response and ecological site characteristics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, Richard F.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Pyke, David A.; Pierson, Fred B.; Williams, C. Jason

    2013-01-01

    This review synthesizes the state of knowledge on fire effects on vegetation and soils in semi-arid ecosystems in the Great Basin Region, including the central and northern Great Basin and Range, Columbia River Basin, and the Snake River Plain. We summarize available literature related to: (1) the effects of environmental gradients, ecological site, and vegetation characteristics on resilience to disturbance and resistance to invasive species; (2) the effects of fire on individual plant species and communities, biological soil crusts, seed banks, soil nutrients, and hydrology; and (3) the role of fire severity, fire versus fire surrogate treatments, and post-fire grazing in determining ecosystem response. From this, we identify knowledge gaps and present a framework for predicting plant successional trajectories following wild and prescribed fires and fire surrogate treatments. Possibly the three most important ecological site characteristics that influence a site’s resilience (ability of the ecological site to recover from disturbance) and resistance to invasive species are soil temperature/moisture regimes and the composition and structure of vegetation on the ecological site just prior to the disturbance event.

  12. The effect of outdoor air pollution on mortality risk: an ecological study from Santiago, Chile.

    PubMed

    Salinas, M; Vega, J

    1995-01-01

    The aim of this ecological study was to investigate the effect of outdoor air pollution on the mortality risk of metropolitan inhabitants in Santiago de Chile. Cause-specific deaths by the day for the years 1988-1991 in Santiago de Chile were extracted from mortality data tapes of the National Center for Statistics. Deaths from accidents were excluded. Total and some specific respiratory diseases deaths were compared calculating the risk of death by municipality and month of the year using age-adjusted standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) controlling for socioeconomic level. Daily counts of deaths were regressed using a Poisson model on the total and fine suspended particles, SO2, CO and ozone on the preceding day, controlling for temperature and humidity. A clear pattern in the geographical distribution of risk of death, both for general mortality and specific respiratory causes (pneumonia, COPD and asthma) was found using SMR, with higher values in the most polluted areas regardless of socioeconomic and living conditions. A highly significant positive association was found between total mortality and both fine suspended particles and CO level. The association remained significant for those days with fine suspended particles levels below 150 micrograms/dl suggesting a no-threshold effect for the total number of deaths. These results are in agreement with previously reported associations, and they add to the body of evidence showing that particulate pollution is associated with increases daily mortality.

  13. The effect of malathion on the activity, performance, and microbial ecology of activated sludge.

    PubMed

    Rauglas, Erik; Martin, Seth; Bailey, Kandace; Magnuson, Matthew; Phillips, Rebecca; Harper, Willie F

    2016-12-01

    This study evaluated the effect of a VX (O-ethyl S-[2-(diisopropylamino)ethyl] methylphosphonothioate) surrogate (malathion) on the activity, performance, and ecology of activated sludge bioreactors. In the presence of malathion, the maximum observed respiration rates varied between 43 and 53 μg/O2 min, generally similar to the 49 μg O2/min rates observed in controls. Malathion did not alter the respiration ratio of O2 consumed-to-CO2 produced nor did it impact the shape of the oxygen consumption curves during respirometry. Shorter term (12 h) batch tests showed that both chemical oxygen demand (COD) and ammonia removal were not negatively impacted by the presence of 0.1-3 mg/L malathion. Longer term continuous addition (i.e. 40 days) of 0.1 mg/L of malathion also had no effect on COD and ammonia removal. In contrast to shorter term exposures, longer term continuous addition of 3 mg/L of malathion negatively impacted both COD and nitrogen removal and was associated with shifts in the abundance of species that are common to activated sludge. These results illustrate the impact that chemicals like malathion may have on COD removal, and nitrification, as well as the robustness of activated sludge microbial communities.

  14. The Study on Ecological Treatment of Saline Lands to Mitigate the Effects of Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Jiancang; Zhu, Jiwei; Wang, Tao

    2010-05-01

    The soil water and salt movement is influenced strongly by the frequent droughts, floods and climate change. Additionally, as continued population growth, large-scale reclaiming of arable land and long-term unreasonable irrigation, saline land is increasing at the rate of 1,000,000~15,000,000 mu each year all over the world. In the tradition management, " drainage as the main " measure has series of problem, which appears greater project, more occupation of land, harmful for water saving and downstream pollution. To response the global climate change, it has become the common understanding, which promote energy-saving and environment protection, reflect the current model, explore the ecological management model. In this paper, we take severe saline land—Lubotan in Shaanxi Province as an example. Through nearly 10 years harnessing practice and observing to meteorology, hydrology, soil indicators of climate, we analyze the influence of climate change to soil salinity movement at different seasons and years, then put forward and apply a new model of saline land harnessing to mitigate the Effects of Climate Change and self-rehabilitate entironment. This model will be changed "drainage" to "storage", through the establishment engineering of " storage as the main ", taken comprehensive measures of " project - biology - agriculture ", we are changing saline land into arable land. Adapted to natural changes of climate, rainfall, irrigation backwater, groundwater level, reduced human intervention to achieve system dynamic equilibrium. During the ten years, the salt of plough horizon has reduced from 0.74% to 0.20%, organic matter has increased from 0.7% to 0.92%, various indicators of soil is begining to go better. At the same time, reduced the water for irrigation, drainage pollution and investment costs. Through the model, reformed severe saline land 18,900 mu, increased new cultivated land 16,500 mu, comprehensive efficient significant, ensured the coordinated

  15. Ecological Misconceptions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Munson, Bruce H.

    1994-01-01

    Presents a summary of the research literature on students' ecological conceptions and the implications of misconceptions. Topics include food webs, ecological adaptation, carrying capacity, ecosystem, and niche. (Contains 35 references.) (MKR)

  16. De novo, systemic, deleterious amino acid substitutions are common in large cytoskeleton-related protein coding regions

    PubMed Central

    Stoll, Rebecca J.; Thompson, Grace R.; Samy, Mohammad D.; Blanck, George

    2017-01-01

    Human mutagenesis is largely random, thus large coding regions, simply on the basis of probability, represent relatively large mutagenesis targets. Thus, we considered the possibility that large cytoskeletal-protein related coding regions (CPCRs), including extra-cellular matrix (ECM) coding regions, would have systemic nucleotide variants that are not present in common SNP databases. Presumably, such variants arose recently in development or in recent, preceding generations. Using matched breast cancer and blood-derived normal datasets from the cancer genome atlas, CPCR single nucleotide variants (SNVs) not present in the All SNPs(142) or 1000 Genomes databases were identified. Using the Protein Variation Effect Analyzer internet-based tool, it was discovered that apparent, systemic mutations (not shared among others in the analysis group) in the CPCRs, represented numerous deleterious amino acid substitutions. However, no such deleterious variants were identified among the (cancer blood-matched) variants shared by other members of the analysis group. These data indicate that private SNVs, which potentially have a medical consequence, occur de novo with significant frequency in the larger, human coding regions that collectively impact the cytoskeleton and ECM. PMID:28357075

  17. Backyard Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elser, Monica; Musheno, Birgit; Saltz, Charlene

    2003-01-01

    Describes the Ecology Explorers, the community education component of Arizona State University's Central Arizona Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research project, which offers teacher internship programs that link university researchers, K-12 teachers, and students in studying urban ecology. Explains that student neighborhoods are dynamic ecosystems…

  18. About the Atlantic Ecology Division (AED) of EPA's National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The Atlantic Ecology Division (AED), conducts innovative research and predictive modeling to assess and forecast the risks of anthropogenic stressors to near coastal waters and their watersheds, to develop tools to support resilient watersheds.

  19. Using species ecological traits to understand the disturbance effects of fine sediment in river channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibbins, C.; Buendia, C.; Vericat, D.; Batalla, R. J.

    2012-12-01

    A large volume of researched is now published under the banner of eco-hydrology (or hydro-ecology). However, much of this work either lacks ecological data (i.e. it is essentially hydrology or fluvial geomorphology, with post-hoc discussion of ecological implications) or the links between the hydrology and the ecology are established using only correlative approaches. Specifically, eco-hydrology research has been criticized for failing to present mechanistic or ecological explanations for observed correlations and patterns. Such criticisms have lead to heated debate and calls for the ecology to feature more prominently in eco-hydrology research. In this paper we use species ecological traits to establish causal links between the fine sediment content of natural river channels and the structure of their invertebrate assemblages. Spatial variation in assemblage taxonomic composition across the study catchment followed a nested pattern, with species found in taxon poor locations being a subset of those found in taxon rich ones. These patterns of nestedness were significantly related to the fine sediment content of the bed. Trait analysis of the species data suggests that fine sediment selects for specific morphological, behavioural and life-history traits, with species lacking such traits rapidly disappearing from locations with excessive fines. Thus, the prevalence of different adaptive traits explains mechanistically the observed patterns of nestedness. We show how multiple traits can be incorporated into metrics that can be used as assessment or monitoring tools. These metrics have the advantage that they represent relationships between organisms and their environment in ways that explicitly capture the underlying ecological mechanisms.

  20. Effect of hypoxia and anoxia on invertebrate behaviour: ecological perspectives from species to community level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riedel, B.; Pados, T.; Pretterebner, K.; Schiemer, L.; Steckbauer, A.; Haselmair, A.; Zuschin, M.; Stachowitsch, M.

    2014-03-01

    Coastal hypoxia and anoxia have become a global key stressor to marine ecosystems, with almost 500 dead zones recorded worldwide. By triggering cascading effects from the individual organism to the community- and ecosystem level, oxygen depletions threaten marine biodiversity and can alter ecosystem structure and function. By integrating both physiological function and ecological processes, animal behaviour is ideal for assessing the stress state of benthic macrofauna to low dissolved oxygen. The initial response of organisms can serve as an early warning signal, while the successive behavioural reactions of key species indicate hypoxia levels and help assess community degradation. Here we document the behavioural responses of a representative spectrum of benthic macrofauna in the natural setting in the Northern Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean). We experimentally induced small-scale anoxia with a benthic chamber in 24 m depth to overcome the difficulties in predicting the onset of hypoxia, which often hinders full documentation in the field. The behavioural reactions were documented with a time-lapse camera. Oxygen depletion elicited significant and repeatable changes in general (visibility, locomotion, body movement and posture, location) and species-specific reactions in virtually all organisms (302 individuals from 32 species and 2 species groups). Most atypical (stress) behaviours were associated with specific oxygen thresholds: arm-tipping in the ophiuroid Ophiothrix quinquemaculata, for example, with the onset of mild hypoxia (< 2 mL O2 L-1), the emergence of polychaetes on the sediment surface with moderate hypoxia (< 1 mL O2 L-1), the emergence of the infaunal sea urchin Schizaster canaliferus on the sediment with severe hypoxia (< 0.5 mL O2 L-1) and heavy body rotations in sea anemones with anoxia. Other species changed their activity patterns, for example the circadian rhythm in the hermit crab Paguristes eremita or the bioherm-associated crab Pisidia

  1. Effect of hypoxia and anoxia on invertebrate behaviour: ecological perspectives from species to community level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riedel, B.; Pados, T.; Pretterebner, K.; Schiemer, L.; Steckbauer, A.; Haselmair, A.; Zuschin, M.; Stachowitsch, M.

    2013-08-01

    Coastal hypoxia and anoxia have become a global key stressor to marine ecosystems, with almost 500 dead zones recorded wordwide. By triggering cascading effects from the individual organism to the community and ecosystem-level, oxygen depletions threat marine biodiversity and can alter ecosystem structure and function. By integrating both physiological function and ecological processes, animal behaviour is ideal for assessing the stress state of benthic macrofauna to low dissolved oxygen. The initial response of organisms can serve as an early-warning signal, while the successive behavioural reactions of key species indicate hypoxia levels and help assess community degradation. Here we document the behavioural responses of a representative spectrum of benthic macrofauna in the natural setting in the Northern Adriatic Sea, Mediterranean. We experimentally induced small-scale anoxia with a benthic chamber in 24 m depth to overcome the difficulties in predicting the onset of hypoxia, which often hinders full documentation in the field. The behavioural reactions were documented with a time-lapse camera. Oxygen depletion elicited significant and repeatable changes in general (visibility, locomotion, body movement and posture, location) and species-specific reactions in virtually all organisms (302 individuals from 32 species and 2 species groups). Most atypical (stress) behaviours were associated with specific oxygen thresholds: arm-tipping in the ophiuroid Ophiothrix quinquemaculata, for example, with the onset of mild hypoxia (< 2 mL O2 L-1), the emergence of polychates on the sediment surface with moderate hypoxia (< 1 mL O2 L-1), the emergence of the infaunal sea urchin Schizaster canaliferus on the sediment with severe hypoxia (< 0.5 mL O2 L-1) and heavy body rotations in sea anemones with anoxia. Other species changed their activity patterns, i.e. circadian rhythm in the hermit crab Paguristes eremita or the bioherm-associated crab Pisidia longimana. Intra- and

  2. Effects of pyrite sludge pollution on soil enzyme activities: ecological dose-response model.

    PubMed

    Hinojosa, M Belén; Carreira, José A; Rodríguez-Maroto, José M; García-Ruíz, Roberto

    2008-06-25

    A laboratory study was conducted to evaluate the response of soil enzyme activities (acid and alkaline phosphatase, beta-glucosidase, arylsulfatase, urease and dehydrogenase) to different levels of trace elements pollution in soils representative of the area affected by the pyrite sludge mining spill of Aznalcóllar (Guadiamar basin, SW Spain). Three uncontaminated soils from the study area were mixed with different loads of pyrite sludge to resemble field conditions and criteria applied for reclamation practices following the pollution incident: 0% ("reference" or background level), 1.3% ("attention level", further monitoring required), 4% ("intervention level", further cleaning and liming required) and 13% (ten times the "attention level"). Enzyme activities were analysed 4, 7, 14, 21, 34 and 92 days after pollutant addition and those measured after 92 days were used to calculate the ecological dose value (ED50). Soil enzyme activities and pH decreased after the pyrite sludge addition with respect to the "reference level" (0% pyrite sludge), whereas soil bioavailable (DTPA-extractable) trace elements concentration increased. Arylsulfatase, beta-glucosidase and phosphatase activities were reduced by more than 50% at 1.3% pyrite sludge dose. Arylsulfasate was the most sensitive soil enzyme (in average, ED50=0.99), whereas urease activity showed the lowest inhibition (in average, ED50=7.87) after pyrite sludge addition. Our results showed that the ecological dose concept, applied to enzyme activities, was satisfactory to quantify the effect of a multi-metalic pollutant (pyrite sludge) on soil functionality, and would provide manageable data to establish permissible limits of trace elements in polluted soils. Additionally, we evaluate the recovery of enzyme activities after addition of sugar-beet lime (calcium carbonate) to each experimentally polluted soil. The amount of lime added to each soil was enough to raise the pH to the original value (equal to control soil

  3. Ecological effects of the insecticide imidacloprid and a pollutant from antidandruff shampoo in experimental rice fields.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Bayo, Francisco; Goka, Kouichi

    2006-06-01

    Ecological changes caused by the insecticide imidacloprid and a pollutant from antidandruff shampoos (zinc pyrithione) were monitored in experimental paddies throughout a cultivation period. A total of 88 species were observed, with 54 of them aquatic. Plankton, nekton, benthic, and terrestrial communities from imidacloprid fields had significantly less abundance of organisms compared with control and shampoo-treated fields, either for the entire period or during early stages. The absence of Chironomus yoshimatsui and typical paddy ostracods from imidacloprid fields was most remarkable; as a consequence, green algae blooms (Spirogyra sp.) developed, which in turn hampered the establishment of weeds. Such changes occurred while residues of imidacloprid in water were present at levels greater than 1 microg/L. The overall diversity was similar in all fields and increased constantly until the end of the study. Phytophagous insects dominated in early communities, gradually giving way to predators and scavengers during late stages, but imidacloprid fields had a lower proportion of the latter trophic group. Multivariate analyses helped to describe and differentiate the communities between treatments and control. Hazard- and risk-assessment methods overestimated the effects of zinc pyrithione but failed to predict imidacloprid impacts, probably because of deficiencies in the exposure and relevant toxicity data used.

  4. Biological control via "ecological" damping: An approach that attenuates non-target effects.

    PubMed

    Parshad, Rana D; Quansah, Emmanuel; Black, Kelly; Beauregard, Matthew

    2016-03-01

    In this work we develop and analyze a mathematical model of biological control to prevent or attenuate the explosive increase of an invasive species population, that functions as a top predator, in a three-species food chain. We allow for finite time blow-up in the model as a mathematical construct to mimic the explosive increase in population, enabling the species to reach "disastrous", and uncontrollable population levels, in a finite time. We next improve the mathematical model and incorporate controls that are shown to drive down the invasive population growth and, in certain cases, eliminate blow-up. Hence, the population does not reach an uncontrollable level. The controls avoid chemical treatments and/or natural enemy introduction, thus eliminating various non-target effects associated with such classical methods. We refer to these new controls as "ecological damping", as their inclusion dampens the invasive species population growth. Further, we improve prior results on the regularity and Turing instability of the three-species model that were derived in Parshad et al. (2014). Lastly, we confirm the existence of spatiotemporal chaos.

  5. Proximal ecological effects of the 1980 eruptions of Mount St. Helens

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swanson, F. J.

    1988-01-01

    The diversity of ecosystems and volcanic processes involved in the 1980 eruptions of Mount St. Helens, southwest Washington, provide an excellent setting for examining effects of volcanic events on ecosystems. These eruptions included a lateral blast, debris avalanche, mudflows, pyroclastic flows, and airfall tephra. Affected ecosystems within 30 km of the vent were lakes, streams, upland and riparian forest, and meadows. Ecological disturbances imposed by the Mount St. Helens events were predominantly physical, rather than climatic or chemical which are the dominant classes of disturbances considered in analysis of global catastrophes. Analysis of ecosystem response to disturbance should be based on consideration of composition and structure of the predisturbance system in terms that represent potential survivability of organisms, mechanisms in the primary disturbance, initial survivors, secondary disturbances arising from the primary disturbance and the biological responses to secondary disturbances, invasion of the site by new propagules, interactions among secondary disturbance processes and surviving and invading organisms. Predicting ecosystem response to disturbance is enchanced by considering the mechanisms of disturbance rather than type of disturbance. In the 1980 Mount St. Helens events, the disturbance types, involved primarily the mechanisms of sedimentation, heating, and shear stress. Each disturbance type involved one or more mechanisms. Ecosystem response varied greatly across the landscape. Analysis of ecosystem response to disturbance, regardless of type, should include detailed consideration of the properties of individual species, primary and secondary disturbance mechanisms, and their distributions across landscapes.

  6. Significance and effect of ecological rehabilitation project in inland river basins in northwest China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yu; Feng, Qi; Chen, Lijuan; Yu, Tengfei

    2013-07-01

    The Ecological Water Transfer and Rehabilitation Project in the arid inland area of northwest China is an important measure in restoring a deteriorated ecosystem. However, the sustainability of the project is affected by many socio-economic factors. This article examines the attitudes of the local populace toward the project, its impact on the livelihood of the people, and the positive effects of water-efficient agricultural practices in Ejina County. Related data were collected through questionnaire surveys and group discussions. The results identified three critical issues that may influence the sustainability of the project in the study area. The first issue relates to the impact of the project on the livelihood of local herdsmen. The potential for the sustainability of the project is compromised because the livelihood of the herdsmen greatly depends on the compensation awarded by the project. The second issue is that the project did not raise the water resource utilization ratio, which may undermine its final purpose. Finally, the compensation provided by the project considers losses in agriculture, but neglects the externalities and public benefit of eco-water. Thus, appropriate compensation mechanisms should be established and adopted according to local economic, environmental, and social conditions. Some recommendations for improving the sustainability of the project are provided based on the results of this study.

  7. Some effects of giant Andean stem-rosettes on ground microclimate, and their ecological significance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pérez, Francisco L.

    1989-06-01

    The effect of giant Andean stem-rosettes ( Coespeletia lutescens) on air and soil temperatures was studied in the Páramo de Piedras Blancas (Venezuela) at 4265 and 4385 m altitude during the dry season, which is the coldest season in this tropical mountain area. Maximum air temperatures beneath a plant canopy were only slightly higher than in the open. Minimum temperatures below the stem-rosettes were 4.7° to 7.0°C higher than in the open. This substantially reduced the intensity of nightly freezing. Soil temperature minima at 20 cm depth were 2.4° to 4.2°C higher below plants, but maxima were somewhat lower than in bare soil. These microclimatic alterations are ecologically significant for stemprosette seedlings, which should have a higher probability of survival due to the reduced frequency of frost and needle ice formation below large plants. Warmer soils at night should also result in greater water uptake by seedlings during the early morning hours, thus reducing dry-season mortality.

  8. Ecological effects of contaminants in McCoy Branch, 1991--1993

    SciTech Connect

    Ryon, M.G.

    1996-09-01

    The 1984 Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) required assessment of all current and former solid waste management units. Following guidelines under RCRA and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), a remedial investigation (RI) was required of the Y-12 Plant for their filled coal ash pond (FCAP) and associated areas on McCoy Branch. The RI process was initiated and assessments were presented. Because the disposal of coal ash in the ash pond, McCoy Branch, and Rogers Quarry was not consistent with the Tennessee Water Quality Act, several remediation steps were implemented between 1986 and 1994 for McCoy Branch to address disposal problems. The required ecological risk assessments of McCoy Branch watershed included provisions for biological monitoring of the watershed. The objectives of the biological monitoring were to (1) document changes in biological quality of McCoy Branch after completion of a pipeline bypassing upper McCoy Branch and further, after termination of all discharges to Rogers Quarry, (2) provide guidance on the need for additional remediation, and (3) evaluate the effectiveness of implemented remedial actions. The data from the biological monitoring program may also determine whether the goals of protection of human health and the environment of McCoy Branch are being accomplished.

  9. Divergent ecological effects of oceanographic anomalies on terrestrial ecosystems of the Mexican Pacific coast

    PubMed Central

    Caso, Margarita; González-Abraham, Charlotte; Ezcurra, Exequiel

    2007-01-01

    Precipitation pulses are essential for the regeneration of drylands and have been shown to be related to oceanographic anomalies. However, whereas some studies report increased precipitation in drylands in northern Mexico during El Niño years, others report increased drought in the southern drylands. To elucidate the effect of oceanographic/atmospheric anomalies on moisture pulses along the whole Pacific coast of Mexico, we correlated the average Southern Oscillation Index values with total annual precipitation for 117 weather stations. We also analyzed this relationship for three separate rainfall signals: winter-spring, summer monsoon, and fall precipitation. The results showed a distinct but divergent seasonal pattern: El Niño events tend to bring increased rainfall in the Mexican northwest but tend to increase aridity in the ecosystems of the southern tropical Pacific slope. The analysis for the separated rainfall seasons showed that El Niño conditions produce a marked increase in winter rainfall above 22° latitude, whereas La Niña conditions tend to produce an increase in the summer monsoon-type rainfall that predominates in the tropical south. Because these dryland ecosystems are dependent on rainfall pulses for their renewal, understanding the complex effect of ocean conditions may be critical for their management in the future. Restoration ecology, grazing regimes, carrying capacities, fire risks, and continental runoff into the oceans could be predicted from oceanographic conditions. Monitoring the coupled atmosphere–ocean system may prove to be important in managing and mitigating the effects of large-scale climatic change on coastal drylands in the future. PMID:17563355

  10. Effects of antibiotic growth promoter and characterization of ecological succession in Swine gut microbiota.

    PubMed

    Unno, Tatsuya; Kim, Jung-Man; Guevarra, Robin B; Nguyen, Son G

    2015-04-01

    Ever since the ban on antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs), the livestock death rate has increased owing to pathogenic bacterial infections. There is a need of developing AGP alternatives; however, the mechanisms by which AGP enhances livestock growth performance are not clearly understood. In this study, we fed 3-week-old swine for 9 weeks with and without AGPs containing chlortetracycline, sulfathiazole, and penicillin to investigate the effects of AGPs on swine gut microbiota. Microbial community analysis was done based on bacterial 16S rRNA genes using MiSeq. The use of AGP showed no growth promoting effect, but inhibited the growth of potential pathogens during the early growth stage. Our results showed the significant increase in species richness after the stabilization of gut microbiota during the post-weaning period (4-week-old). Moreover, the swine gut microbiota was divided into four clusters based on the distribution of operational taxonomic units, which was significantly correlated to the swine weight regardless of AGP treatments. Taxonomic abundance analysis indicated a negative correlation between host weight and the abundance of the family Prevotellaceae species, but showed positive correlation to the abundance of the family Spirochaetaceae, Clostridiaceae_1, and Peptostreptococcaeae species. Although no growth performance enhancement was observed, the use of AGP inhibited the potential pathogens in the early growth stage of swine. In addition, our results indicated the ecological succession of swine gut microbiota according to swine weight. Here, we present a characterization of swine gut microbiota with respect to the effects of AGPs on growth performance.

  11. Salinity and Temperature Effects on Physiological Responses of Vibrio fischeri from Diverse Ecological Niches

    PubMed Central

    Soto, W.; Gutierrez, J.; Remmenga, M. D.; Nishiguchi, M. K.

    2009-01-01

    Vibrio fischeri is a bioluminescent bacterial symbiont of sepiolid squids (Cephalopoda: Sepiolidae) and monocentrid fishes (Actinopterygii: Monocentridae). V. fischeri exhibit competitive dominance within the allopatrically distributed squid genus Euprymna, which have led to the evolution of V. fischeri host specialists. In contrast, the host genus Sepiola contains sympatric species that is thought to have given rise to V. fischeri that have evolved as host generalists. Given that these ecological lifestyles may have a direct effect upon the growth spectrum and survival limits in contrasting environments, optimal growth ranges were obtained for numerous V. fischeri isolates from both free-living and host environments. Upper and lower limits of growth were observed in sodium chloride concentrations ranging from 0.0% to 9.0%. Sepiola symbiotic isolates possessed the least variation in growth throughout the entire salinity gradient, whereas isolates from Euprymna were the least uniform at <2.0% NaCl. V. fischeri fish symbionts (CG101 and MJ101) and all free-living strains were the most dissimilar at >5.0% NaCl. Growth kinetics of symbiotic V. fischeri strains were also measured under a range of salinity and temperature combinations. Symbiotic V. fischeri ES114 and ET101 exhibited a synergistic effect for salinity and temperature, where significant differences in growth rates due to salinity existed only at low temperatures. Thus, abiotic factors such as temperature and salinity have differential effects between free-living and symbiotic strains of V. fischeri, which may alter colonization efficiency prior to infection. PMID:18587609

  12. Divergent ecological effects of oceanographic anomalies on terrestrial ecosystems of the Mexican Pacific coast.

    PubMed

    Caso, Margarita; González-Abraham, Charlotte; Ezcurra, Exequiel

    2007-06-19

    Precipitation pulses are essential for the regeneration of drylands and have been shown to be related to oceanographic anomalies. However, whereas some studies report increased precipitation in drylands in northern Mexico during El Niño years, others report increased drought in the southern drylands. To elucidate the effect of oceanographic/atmospheric anomalies on moisture pulses along the whole Pacific coast of Mexico, we correlated the average Southern Oscillation Index values with total annual precipitation for 117 weather stations. We also analyzed this relationship for three separate rainfall signals: winter-spring, summer monsoon, and fall precipitation. The results showed a distinct but divergent seasonal pattern: El Niño events tend to bring increased rainfall in the Mexican northwest but tend to increase aridity in the ecosystems of the southern tropical Pacific slope. The analysis for the separated rainfall seasons showed that El Niño conditions produce a marked increase in winter rainfall above 22 degrees latitude, whereas La Niña conditions tend to produce an increase in the summer monsoon-type rainfall that predominates in the tropical south. Because these dryland ecosystems are dependent on rainfall pulses for their renewal, understanding the complex effect of ocean conditions may be critical for their management in the future. Restoration ecology, grazing regimes, carrying capacities, fire risks, and continental runoff into the oceans could be predicted from oceanographic conditions. Monitoring the coupled atmosphere-ocean system may prove to be important in managing and mitigating the effects of large-scale climatic change on coastal drylands in the future.

  13. Malarial pathocoenosis: beneficial and deleterious interactions between malaria and other human diseases

    PubMed Central

    Faure, Eric

    2014-01-01

    In nature, organisms are commonly infected by an assemblage of different parasite species or by genetically distinct parasite strains that interact in complex ways. Linked to co-infections, pathocoenosis, a term proposed by M. Grmek in 1969, refers to a pathological state arising from the interactions of diseases within a population and to the temporal and spatial dynamics of all of the diseases. In the long run, malaria was certainly one of the most important component of past pathocoenoses. Today this disease, which affects hundreds of millions of individuals and results in approximately one million deaths each year, is always highly endemic in over 20% of the world and is thus co-endemic with many other diseases. Therefore, the incidences of co-infections and possible direct and indirect interactions with Plasmodium parasites are very high. Both positive and negative interactions between malaria and other diseases caused by parasites belonging to numerous taxa have been described and in some cases, malaria may modify the process of another disease without being affected itself. Interactions include those observed during voluntary malarial infections intended to cure neuro-syphilis or during the enhanced activations of bacterial gastro-intestinal diseases and HIV infections. Complex relationships with multiple effects should also be considered, such as those observed during helminth infections. Moreover, reports dating back over 2000 years suggested that co- and multiple infections have generally deleterious consequences and analyses of historical texts indicated that malaria might exacerbate both plague and cholera, among other diseases. Possible biases affecting the research of etiological agents caused by the protean manifestations of malaria are discussed. A better understanding of the manner by which pathogens, particularly Plasmodium, modulate immune responses is particularly important for the diagnosis, cure, and control of diseases in human populations

  14. Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This is the first step in a long-term effort to develop risk assessment guidelines for ecological effects. Its primary purpose is to offer a simple, flexible structure for conducting and evaluating ecological risk assessment within EPA.

  15. Parapoxvirus causes a deleterious disease in red squirrels associated with UK population declines.

    PubMed Central

    Tompkins, Daniel M; Sainsbury, A W; Nettleton, P; Buxton, D; Gurnell, J

    2002-01-01

    The disease implications of novel pathogens need to be considered when investigating the ecological impact of species translocations on native fauna. Traditional explanations based on competition or predation may often not be the whole story. Evidence suggests that an emerging infectious disease, caused by a parapoxvirus, may be a significant component of the impact that the introduced grey squirrel has had on UK red squirrel populations. Here we validate the potential role of parapoxvirus by proving that the virus is highly pathogenic in the red squirrel while having no detectable effect on grey squirrel health. PMID:11886647

  16. Handbook for Ecology Action.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eber, Ronald

    This handbook has been compiled to aid concerned individuals and ecology groups more adequately define their goals, initiate good programs, and take effective action. It examines the ways a group of working individuals can become involved in action programs for ecological change. Part 1 deals with organization, preliminary organizing, structuring,…

  17. Functional remediation components: A conceptual method of evaluating the effects of remediation on risks to ecological receptors

    SciTech Connect

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael; Bunn, Amoret; Downs, Janelle; Jeitner, Christian; Pittfield, Taryn; Salisbury, Jennifer

    2016-08-30

    Governmental agencies, regulators, health professionals, tribal leaders, and the public are faced with understanding and evaluating the effects of cleanup activities on species, populations, and ecosystems. While engineers and managers understand the processes involved in different remediation types such as capping, pump and treat, and natural attenuation, there is often a disconnect between (1) how ecologists view the influence of different types of remediation, (2) how the public perceives them, and (3) how engineers understand them. The overall goal of the present investigation was to define the components of remediation types (= functional remediation). Objectives were to (1) define and describe functional components of remediation, regardless of the remediation type, (2) provide examples of each functional remediation component, and (3) explore potential effects of functional remediation components in the post-cleanup phase that may involve continued monitoring and assessment. Functional remediation components include types, numbers, and intensity of people, trucks, heavy equipment, pipes, and drill holes, among others. Several components may be involved in each remediation type, and each results in ecological effects, ranging from trampling of plants, to spreading invasive species, to disturbing rare species, and to creating fragmented habitats. In some cases remediation may exert a greater effect on ecological receptors than leaving the limited contamination in place. A goal of this conceptualization is to break down functional components of remediation such that managers, regulators, and the public might assess the effects of timing, extent, and duration of different remediation options on ecological systems.

  18. Ecological energetics of the desert tortoise (Gopherus Agassizii): Effects of rainfall and drought

    SciTech Connect

    Peterson, C.C.

    1996-09-01

    To elucidate ecological effects of variation in the temporal distribution of a limiting resource (water in the Mojave Desert), energetics of two free-living populations of desert tortoises (Gopherus [=Xerobates] agassizii) were studied concurrently over 18 mo with use of doubly-labeled water. Field metabolic rates (FMR) and feeding rates were highly variable. This variability was manifested at several levels, including seasonal changes within populations, year-to-year differences within populations, and differences between populations. Underlying observed patterns and contrasts was considerable variation among individuals. Much of the variation in energetic variables was associated with a single climatic variable, rainfall. Seasonal, annual, and interpopulation differences in FMR and foraging rates corresponded to differences in availability of free-standing water from rainstorms. Some differences among individuals were apparently due to differences in proclivity or ability to drink. Tortoises had very low FMRs relative to other reptiles, allowed them to tolerate long periods of chronic energy shortage during a drought. Calculations suggested that tortoises experienced a net loss of energy shortage during a drought and tortoises experienced a net loss of energy on their spring diet of succulent annual plants. If so, tortoises require drier forage to accrue an energy profit, emphasizing reliance on drinking rainwater. Further, it suggests that growth (as protein deposition) and net acquisition of energy may be temporally decoupled in desert tortoises, with potential consequences for geographic variation in life history. Energy acquisition and expenditure in desert tortoises are strongly constrained by the contingencies of rainfall, both indirectly through effects on availability and quality of food, and directly through reliance on free-standing water for drinking, which is apparently necessary for achieving a net annual energy profit. 61 refs., 5 figs., 5 tabs.

  19. Ecological effect and risk towards aquatic plants induced by perfluoroalkyl substances: Bridging natural to culturing flora.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yunqiao; Wang, Tieyu; Jiang, Zhaoze; Kong, Xiaoxiao; Li, Qifeng; Sun, Yajun; Wang, Pei; Liu, Zhaoyang

    2017-01-01

    In the present study, the concentrations and proportions of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in water and sediments (in different seasons) from the Qing River were investigated. The highest concentration of PFASs in water (207.59 ng L(-1)) was found in summer. The composition of PFASs in water changed with time, perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS) was the predominant compound in spring and summer, while long-chain PFASs, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), started to increase in autumn and winter. The PFASs concentration in sediments ranged from 0.96 to 4.05 ng g(-1) dw. The proportion of long-chain PFASs was higher than that of short-chain PFASs in sediments, the dominant component in sediments was PFOA with a contribution of 24.6-75.4% to total PFASs in sediments, followed by PFOS. The concentrations of PFASs in roots of emergent plants were relatively higher than those in submerged plants. However, the translocation effect of PFASs was not remarkable. Bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) of the aquatic plants indicated the absorption of PFASs were effective. BAFs in submerged plants basically increased with increasing chain length accordingly. In general, aquatic plants had the absorption preference for long-chain PFASs, especially PFOS, which was the predominant compounds in both submerged and emergent plants. Based on the results above, hornworts were selected to be cultivated indoor in the nutrient solution spiked gradient concentrations of PFOS to assess the general ecological risk. The results revealed that hornworts were resistant to PFOS and might be used as remediation flora to eliminate PFOS contamination.

  20. [Occurrence form and ecological effect of selenium in soil and surface water of Kailuan Coalfield of Tangshan].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiu-Zhi; Ma, Zhong-She; Wang, Yin-Nan; Wang, Zhi-Jun; Xie, Wei-Ming

    2012-10-01

    Mining induced generally adverse effect to the environmental ecosystems. This paper studied the beneficial element Se produced in the process of coal mining and burning. The occurrence form of Se in soil and surface water influx into the mine water and the enrichment of Se by crops such as wheat, maize and rice were analyzed. The results indicated that organic and residual forms are the dominant forms of Se in soil, with the soluble form accounting for only 1%. Se4+ and Se6+ accounted for 23.89% and 32.99% in total soluble Se in soil, respectively. In the surface water influx into the mine water, the percentages were 37.78% and 40.24%, respectively. The mean contents of Se in wheat, maize and rice were 0.169 mg x kg(-1), 0.094 mg x kg(-1) and 0.26 mg x kg(-1), respectively. Rice was irrigated using the mine water, which did not only solve the problem of waste water, but also produced Se-enriched rice, moreover, the contents of deleterious elements were not high. Therefore, making full use of the Se-enriched resource in the mining area would weaken the adverse effect of mining.

  1. White Paper: Summary of the NOAA Workshop - Ecological Effect of Sea Level Rise in the Florida Panhandle and Coastal Alabama: Research and Modeling Needs

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research (CSCOR) is addressing current and future impacts to ecological systems due to the long term effect of sea level rise due to climate change and subsidence on coastal ecosystems through the peer-reviewed research program, the Ecologic...

  2. Disentangling the effects of geographic and ecological isolation on genetic differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Bradburd, Gideon S.; Ralph, Peter L.; Coop, Graham M.

    2013-01-01

    Populations can be genetically isolated by both geographic distance and by differences in their ecology or environment that decrease the rate of successful migration. Empirical studies often seek to investigate the relationship between genetic differentiation and some ecological variable(s) while accounting for geographic distance, but common approaches to this problem (such as the partial Mantel test) have a number of drawbacks. In this article, we present a Bayesian method that enables users to quantify the relative contributions of geographic distance and ecological distance to genetic differentiation between sampled populations or individuals. We model the allele frequencies in a set of populations at a set of unlinked loci as spatially correlated Gaussian processes, in which the covariance structure is a decreasing function of both geographic and ecological distance. Parameters of the model are estimated using a Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm. We call this method Bayesian Estimation of Differentiation in Alleles by Spatial Structure and Local Ecology (BEDASSLE), and have implemented it in a user-friendly format in the statistical platform R. We demonstrate its utility with a simulation study and empirical applications to human and teosinte datasets. PMID:24102455

  3. [A new type water supplement mode of urban wetland park and its effects in purification and ecology].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Li; Zhu, Xiao-dong; Chen, Jie; Zhu, Zhao-li; Pan, Tao; Li, Yang-fan

    2008-12-01

    With the Rosebush Wetland Park in Changzhou as a case, a new type water supplement mode for urban wetland park, i.e., "vertical-flow plus horizontal-flow", was constructed, and its effects in water purification, ecology, and economic advantages were evaluated. The results showed that this water supplement mode could not only improve the landscape of the water bodies in urban wetland park, but also enhance their quality, making it satisfy the requirement for human full-body exposure. Furthermore, the operation cost of the mode was as lower as 5%-25% of direct municipal pipe-water supply and other routine technique solutions, suggesting that this water supplement mode had potential positive ecological effects and economic advantages.

  4. [Ecological monitoring in agro-ecological systems].

    PubMed

    Baĭkov, B D

    1983-01-01

    The fundamental principles of the ecologic monitoring in the antropogenic ecosystems are dealt with. Analyzed are the structure and function of the agroecologic systems, and, on the basis of the particular aspects established a concept is developed of the ecologic control at autoecologic and biocoenologic level. An analysis is likewise made of the ecologic sequelae resulting from the chemical war launched by the American aggressors in Vietnam and the specific trends therefrom in the substantiation of the ecologic monitoring. Stated is the necessity of profound investigations to establish the bioaccumulation of dioxine, a poisonous agent which was contained in herbicides and defoliants used in the war, and which was distinguished by exclusively high toxicity, producing teratogenic and cancerogenic effects and possessing high resistance in the environment.

  5. Community metabolism of aquatic Closed Ecological Systems: Effects of nitrogen sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taub, Frieda B.

    2009-10-01

    To investigate the effect of nitrogen sources on Closed Ecological Systems (CESs), three nitrogen sources (NaNO 3, sodium nitrate; NH 4Cl, ammonium chloride; and NH 4NO 3, ammonium nitrate) were each tested in freshwater CESs consisting of a chemically defined medium, three species of green algae ( Ankistrodesmus, S cenedesmus, and Selenastrum), the grazer Daphnia magna, and associated microbes, under 12 h light/12 h dark cycles. It had been hypothesized that the development of high pH in earlier CESs was the result of nitrate utilization, and that ammonium might result in acid conditions, while ammonium nitrate might result in more moderate pH. The three nitrogen sources supported similar densities of algae (estimated by in vivo fluorescence) and similar Daphnia populations. The experiments showed that pH levels rapidly increased when grazers were absent or at low abundances irrespective of the nitrogen source. Consequently, it is hypothesized that carbon cycles, rather than nitrogen sources, are responsible for the pH dynamics. Oxygen diurnal (light:dark) cycles tended to come into balance more quickly than pH. It may be more feasible to convert O 2 data to energy units (using "oxycalorific" values) than CO 2 data since CO 2 dynamics may include other chemical reactions than just photosynthesis and respiration. The feasibility of sustaining grazer populations for at least several weeks in small, simple CESs was demonstrated, along with the ability to monitor algae-grazer dynamics, and the recording of O 2 and pH measurements.

  6. Strong ecological but weak evolutionary effects of elevated CO2 on a recombinant inbred population of Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Lau, Jennifer A; Shaw, Ruth G; Reich, Peter B; Shaw, Frank H; Tiffin, Peter

    2007-01-01

    Increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration have an impact on plant communities by influencing plant growth and morphology, species interactions, and ecosystem processes. These ecological effects may be accompanied by evolutionary change if elevated CO2 (eCO2) alters patterns of natural selection or expression of genetic variation. Here, a statistically powerful quantitative genetic experiment and manipulations of CO2 concentrations in a field setting were used to investigate how eCO2 impacts patterns of selection on ecologically important traits in Arabidopsis thaliana; heritabilities, which influence the rate of response to selection; and genetic covariances between traits, which may constrain responses to selection. CO2 had strong phenotypic effects; plants grown in eCO2 were taller and produced more biomass and fruits. Also, significant directional selection was observed on many traits and significant genetic variation was observed for all traits. However, no evolutionary effect of eCO2 was detected; patterns of selection, heritabilities and genetic correlations corresponded closely in ambient and elevated CO2 environments. The data suggest that patterns of natural selection and the quantitative genetic parameters of this A. thaliana population are robust to increases in CO2 concentration and that responses to eCO2 will be primarily ecological.

  7. The ecological effect of acid conditions and precipitation of hydrous metal oxides in a Rocky Mountain stream

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McKnight, Diane M.; Feder, G.L.

    1984-01-01

    Periphyton and benthic invertebrates assemblages were studied at the confluence of two Rocky Mountain streams, Deer Creek and the Snake River near Montezuma, Colorado. Upstream from the confluence the Snake River is acidic and enriched in dissolved trace metals, while Deer Creek is a typical Rocky Mountain stream. In the Snake River, downstream from the confluence, the pH increases and hydrous metal oxides precipitate and cover the streambed. The algal and benthic invertebrate communities in the upstream reaches of the Snake River and in Deer Creek were very different. A liverwort, Scapania undulata var. undulata, was abundant in the Snake River, and although periphyton were very sparse, there were as many benthic invertebrates as in Deer Creek. Downstream from the confleunce, the precipitation of hydrous metal oxides greatly decreased the abundance of periphyton and benthic invertebrates. This study shows that in streams metal precipitates covering the streambed may have a more deleterious effect on stream communities than high metal-ion activities. ?? 1984 Dr. W. Junk Publishers.

  8. Quantifying the effectiveness of ecological restoration projects on long-term vegetation dynamics in the karst regions of Southwest China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tong, Xiaowei; Wang, Kelin; Yue, Yuemin; Brandt, Martin; Liu, Bo; Zhang, Chunhua; Liao, Chujie; Fensholt, Rasmus

    2017-02-01

    To alleviate the severe rocky desertification and improve the ecological degradation conditions in Southwest China, the national and local Chinese governments have implemented a series of Ecological Restoration Projects (ERPs) since the late 1990s. This study proposed a remote sensing based approach to evaluate the long-term efforts of the ERPs started in 2000. The method applies a time-series trend analysis of satellite based vegetation data corrected for climatic influences to reveal human induced vegetation changes. The improved residual method is combined with statistics on the invested project funds to derive an index, Project Effectiveness Index (PEI), measuring the project effectiveness at county scale. High effectiveness is detected in the Guangxi Province, moderate effectiveness in the Guizhou Province, and low and no effectiveness in the Yunnan Province. Successful implementations are closely related to the combined influences from climatic conditions and human management. The landforms of Peak Forest Plain and Peak Cluster Depression regions in the Guangxi Province are characterized by temperate climate with sufficient rainfall generally leading to a high effectiveness. For the karst regions of the Yunnan and Guizhou Provinces with rough terrain and lower rainfall combined with poor management practices (unsuitable species selection, low compensation rate for peasants), only low or even no effect of project implementations can be observed. However, the effectiveness distribution is not homogeneous and counties with high project effectiveness in spite of complex natural conditions were identified, while counties with negative vegetation trends despite relatively favorable conditions and high investments were also distinguished. The proposed framework is expected to be of high relevance in general monitoring of the successfulness of ecological conservation projects in relation to invested funds.

  9. The accumulation of deleterious mutations in rice genomes: a hypothesis on the cost of domestication.

    PubMed

    Lu, Jian; Tang, Tian; Tang, Hua; Huang, Jianzi; Shi, Suhua; Wu, Chung-I

    2006-03-01

    The extent of molecular differentiation between domesticated animals or plants and their wild relatives is postulated to be small. The availability of the complete genome sequences of two subspecies of the Asian rice, Oryza sativa (indica and japonica) and their wild relatives have provided an unprecedented opportunity to study divergence following domestication. We observed significantly more amino acid substitutions during rice domestication than can be expected from a comparison among wild species. This excess is disproportionately larger for the more radical kinds of amino acid changes (e.g. Cys<-->Tyr). We estimate that approximately a quarter of the amino acid differences between rice cultivars are deleterious, not accountable by the relaxation of selective constraints. This excess is negatively correlated with the rate of recombination, suggesting that 'hitchhiking' has occurred. We hypothesize that during domestication artificial selection increased the frequency of many deleterious mutations.

  10. Ecological and toxicological effects of inorganic nitrogen pollution in aquatic ecosystems: A global assessment.

    PubMed

    Camargo, Julio A; Alonso, Alvaro

    2006-08-01

    We provide a global assessment, with detailed multi-scale data, of the ecological and toxicological effects generated by inorganic nitrogen pollution in aquatic ecosystems. Our synthesis of the published scientific literature shows three major environmental problems: (1) it can increase the concentration of hydrogen ions in freshwater ecosystems without much acid-neutralizing capacity, resulting in acidification of those systems; (2) it can stimulate or enhance the development, maintenance and proliferation of primary producers, resulting in eutrophication of aquatic ecosystems; (3) it can reach toxic levels that impair the ability of aquatic animals to survive, grow and reproduce. Inorganic nitrogen pollution of ground and surface waters can also induce adverse effects on human health and economy. Because reductions in SO2 emissions have reduced the atmospheric deposition of H2SO4 across large portions of North America and Europe, while emissions of NOx have gone unchecked, HNO3 is now playing an increasing role in the acidification of freshwater ecosystems. This acidification process has caused several adverse effects on primary and secondary producers, with significant biotic impoverishments, particularly concerning invertebrates and fishes, in many atmospherically acidified lakes and streams. The cultural eutrophication of freshwater, estuarine, and coastal marine ecosystems can cause ecological and toxicological effects that are either directly or indirectly related to the proliferation of primary producers. Extensive kills of both invertebrates and fishes are probably the most dramatic manifestation of hypoxia (or anoxia) in eutrophic and hypereutrophic aquatic ecosystems with low water turnover rates. The decline in dissolved oxygen concentrations can also promote the formation of reduced compounds, such as hydrogen sulphide, resulting in higher adverse (toxic) effects on aquatic animals. Additionally, the occurrence of toxic algae can significantly

  11. A novel deleterious PTEN mutation in a patient with early-onset bilateral breast cancer

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background An early age at Breast Cancer (BC) onset may be a hallmark of inherited predisposition, but BRCA1/2 mutations are only found in a minority of younger BC patients. Among the others, a fraction may carry mutations in rarer BC genes, such as TP53, STK11, CDH1 and PTEN. As the identification of women harboring such mutations allows for targeted risk-management, the knowledge of associated manifestations and an accurate clinical and family history evaluation are warranted. Case presentation We describe the case of a woman who developed an infiltrating ductal carcinoma of the right breast at the age of 32, a contralateral BC at age 36 and another BC of the right breast at 40. When she was 39 years-old, during a dermatological examination, mucocutaneous features suggestive of Cowden Syndrome, a disorder associated to germ-line PTEN mutations, were noticed. PTEN genetic testing revealed the novel c.71A > T (p.Asp24Val) mutation, whose deleterious effect, suggested by conservation data and in silico tools, was definitely demonstrated by the incapacity of mutant PTEN to inhibit Akt phosphorylation when used to complement PTEN-null cells. In BC tissue, despite the absence of LOH or somatic mutations of PTEN, Akt phosphorylation was markedly increased in comparison to normal tissue, thus implying additional somatic events into the deregulation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway and, presumably, into carcinogenesis. Hence, known oncogenic mutations in PIK3CA (exons 10 and 21) and AKT1 (exon 2) were screened in tumor DNA with negative results, which suggests that the responsible somatic event(s) is a different, uncommon one. Conclusion This case stresses the importance of clinical/genetic assessment of early-onset BC patients in order to identify mutation carriers, who are at high risk of new events, so requiring tailored management. Moreover, it revealed a novel PTEN mutation with pathogenic effect, pointing out, however, the need for further efforts to elucidate the

  12. ECOLOGICAL ENDPOINT MODELING FOR TMDLS: EFFECTS OF SEDIMENT ON FISH POPULATIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Sediment is one of the primary stressors of concern for Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for streams, and often it is a concern because of its impact on ecological endpoints. A modeling approach relating sediment to stream fish population dynamics is presented. Equations are d...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  14. Somatic deleterious mutation rate in a woody plant: estimation from phenotypic data

    PubMed Central

    Bobiwash, K; Schultz, S T; Schoen, D J

    2013-01-01

    We conducted controlled crosses in populations of the long-lived clonal shrub, Vaccinium angustifolium (lowbush blueberry) to estimate inbreeding depression and mutation parameters associated with somatic deleterious mutation. Inbreeding depression level was high, with many plants failing to set fruit after self-pollination. We also compared fruit set from autogamous pollinations (pollen collected from within the same inflorescence) with fruit set from geitonogamous pollinations (pollen collected from the same plant but from inflorescences separated by several meters of branch growth). The difference between geitonogamous versus autogamous fitness within single plants is referred to as ‘autogamy depression' (AD). AD can be caused by somatic deleterious mutation. AD was significantly different from zero for fruit set. We developed a maximum-likelihood procedure to estimate somatic mutation parameters from AD, and applied it to geitonogamous and autogamous fruit set data from this experiment. We infer that, on average, approximately three sublethal, partially dominant somatic mutations exist within the crowns of the plants studied. We conclude that somatic mutation in this woody plant results in an overall genomic deleterious mutation rate that exceeds the rate measured to date for annual plants. Some implications of this result for evolutionary biology and agriculture are discussed. PMID:23778990

  15. Effects of feed additives and mixed eimeria species infection on intestinal microbial ecology of broilers.

    PubMed

    Hume, M E; Clemente-Hernández, S; Oviedo-Rondón, E O

    2006-12-01

    Evaluation of digestive microbial ecology is necessary to understand effects of growth-promoting feed. In the current study, the dynamics of intestinal microbial communities (MC) were examined in broilers fed diets supplemented with a combination of antibiotic (bacitracin methylene disalicylate) and ionophore (Coban 60), and diets containing 1 of 2 essential oil (EO) blends, Crina Poultry (CP) and Crina Alternate (CA). Five treatments were analyzed: 1) unmedicated uninfected control; 2) unmedicated infected control; 3) feed additives monensin (bacitracin methylene disalicylate) + monensin (Coban 60; AI); 4) EO blend CP; and 5) EO blend CA. Additives were mixed into a basal feed mixture, and EO were adjusted to 100 ppm. Chicks were infected by oral gavage at 19 d of age with Eimeria acervulina, Eimeria maxima, and Eimeria tenella. Duodenal, ileal, and cecal samples were taken from 12 birds per treatment just before and 7 d after challenge; 2 samples each were pooled to give a final number of 6 samples total; and all pooled samples were frozen until used for DNA extraction. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis was used to examine PCR-amplified fragments of the bacterial 16S ribosomal DNA variable region. Results are presented as percentages of similarity coefficients (SC). Dendrograms of PCR amplicon or band patterns indicated MC differences due to intestinal location, feed additives, and cocci challenge. Essential oil blends CP and CA affected MC in all gut sections. Each EO had different effects over MC, and they differed in most instances from the AI group. The cocci challenge caused drastic MC population shifts in duodenal, ileal, and cecal sections (36.7, 55.4, and 36.2% SC, respectively). Diets supplemented with CP supported higher SC between pre- and postchallenge MC (89.9, 83.3, and 76.4%) than AI (81.8., 57.4, and 60.0%). We concluded that mixed coccidia challenge caused drastic shifts in MC. These EO blends modulated MC better than AI, avoiding drastic

  16. Eco-genetic model to explore fishing-induced ecological and evolutionary effects on growth and maturation schedules.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hui-Yu; Höök, Tomas O

    2009-08-01

    Eco-genetic individual-based models involve tracking the ecological dynamics of simulated individual organisms that are in part characterized by heritable parameters. We developed an eco-genetic individual-based model to explore ecological and evolutionary interactions of fish growth and maturation schedules. Our model is flexible and allows for exploration of the effects of heritable growth rates (based on von Bertalanffy and biphasic growth patterns), heritable maturation schedules (based on maturation reaction norm concepts), or both on individual- and population-level traits. In baseline simulations with rather simple ecological trade-offs and over a relatively short time period (<200 simulation years), simulated male and female fish evolve differential genetic growth and maturation. Further, resulting patterns of genetically determined growth and maturation are influenced by mortality rate and density-dependent processes, and maturation and growth parameters interact to mediate the evolution of one another. Subsequent to baseline simulations, we conducted experimental simulations to mimic fisheries harvest with two size-limits (targeting large or small fish), an array of fishing mortality rates, and assuming a deterministic or stochastic environment. Our results suggest that fishing with either size-limit may induce considerable changes in life-history trait expression (maturation schedules and growth rates), recruitment, and population abundance and structure. However, targeting large fish would cause more adverse genetic effects and may lead to a population less resilient to environmental stochasticity.

  17. Anthills in School Ecology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pawson, J. Marke

    1975-01-01

    Suggests experiments with field ants which can demonstrate the effect an organism has on its surroundings. The ecological aspects explored are plant distribution on the ant hills and the differences between ant hills and the undisturbed soil surrounding. (BR)

  18. The effects of intercooling and regeneration on the thermo-ecological performance analysis of an irreversible-closed Brayton heat engine with variable-temperature thermal reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salim Sogut, Oguz; Ust, Yasin; Sahin, Bahri

    2006-11-01

    A thermo-ecological performance analysis of an irreversible intercooled and regenerated closed Brayton heat engine exchanging heat with variable-temperature thermal reservoirs is presented. The effects of intercooling and regeneration are given special emphasis and investigated in detail. A comparative performance analysis considering the objective functions of an ecological coefficient of performance, an ecological function proposed by Angulo-Brown and power output is also carried out. The results indicate that the optimal total isentropic temperature ratio and intercooling isentropic temperature ratio at the maximum ecological coefficient of performance conditions (ECOPmax) are always less than those of at the maximum ecological function ( \\dot {E}_{\\max } ) and the maximum power output conditions ( \\dot {W}_{\\max } ) leading to a design that requires less investment cost. It is also concluded that a design at ECOPmax conditions has the advantage of higher thermal efficiency and a lesser entropy generation rate, but at the cost of a slight power loss.

  19. Soil Ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Killham, Ken

    1994-04-01

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

  20. Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise: Advancing coastal management through integrated research and engagement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kidwell, D. M.

    2012-12-01

    Rising sea level represents a significant threat to coastal communities and ecosystems through land loss, altered habitats, and increased vulnerability to coastal storms and inundation. This threat is exemplified in the northern Gulf of Mexico where low topography, expansive marshes, and a prevalence of tropical storms have already resulted in extensive coastal impacts. The development of robust predictive capabilities that incorporate complex biological processes with physical dynamics are critical for informed planning and restoration efforts for coastal ecosystems. Looking to build upon existing predictive modeling capabilities and allow for use of multiple model (i.e., ensemble) approaches, NOAA initiated the Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise program in 2010 to advance physical/biological integrative modeling capabilities in the region with a goal to provide user friendly predictive tools for coastal ecosystem management. Focused on the northern Gulf of Mexico, this multi-disciplinary project led by the University of Central Florida will use in situ field studies to parameterize physical and biological models. These field studies will also result in a predictive capability for overland sediment delivery and transport that will further enhance marsh, oyster, and submerged aquatic vegetation models. Results from this integrated modeling effort are envisioned to inform management strategies for reducing risk, restoration and breakwater guidelines, and resource sustainability for project planning, among other uses. In addition to the science components, this project incorporates significant engagement of the management community through a management applications principle investigator and an advisory management committee. Routine engagement between the science team and the management committee, including annual workshops, are focused on ensuring the development of applicable, relevant, and useable products and tools at the conclusion of this project. Particular

  1. The effects of ecological restoration on CO2 fluxes from a climatically marginal upland blanket bog

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dixon, Simon; Qassim, Suzane; Rowson, James; Worrall, Fred; Evans, Martin

    2013-04-01

    A legacy of gully incision, deposition of industrially-derived aerial pollutants, inappropriate management and wildfire has left large expanses of the topographic Bleaklow Plateau (Peak District National Park, England, UK) bare of vegetation and susceptible to massive erosion of the peat soils. The consequence of such degradation has been to decrease the capacity of the peatland on the plateau to provide important ecosystem services including; loss of net C sink function, discolouration of surface waters, mobilisation to surface waters of stored heavy metals and infilling of upland reservoirs with peat-derived sediment. In response to on-going and worsening degradation a programme of ecological restoration has been undertaken. Restoration methods include: seeding with a lawn grass mix; liming; fertilisation; slope stabilisation; and gully blocking. This talk will present data from a five-year, observational-study of CO2 fluxes from eight sites, with four sites sampling different restoration treatments and four sampling bare and least disturbed areas. The results of the analysis reveal that sites with revegetation alongside slope stabilisation were most productive and were the largest net (daylight hours) sinks of CO2. Unrestored, bare sites, while having relatively low gross fluxes of CO2 were the largest net sources of CO2. Revegetation without slope stabilisation took longer (~18 months) to show an impact on CO2 flux in comparison to the sites with slope stabilisation. Binary logistic regression indicated that a ten centimetre increase in water table depth decreases the odds of observing a net CO2 sink, on a given site, by up to 30%. Sites with slope stabilisation were between 5-8x more likely to be net CO2 sinks than the bare sites. Sites without slope stabilisation were only 2-2.3x more likely to be net CO2 sinks compared to the bare sites. The most important conclusion of this research is that revegetation appears to be effective at increasing the likelihood

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hung, R.; Li, M.

    2013-12-01

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

  3. Effects of ecological flooding on the temporal and spatial dynamics of carabid beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae) and springtails (Collembola) in a polder habitat.

    PubMed

    Lessel, Tanja; Marx, Michael Thomas; Eisenbeis, Gerhard

    2011-01-01

    Within the scope of the Integrated Rhine Program an ecological flood gate and channel was inserted into the polder "Ingelheim" to enhance animal and plant diversity. In 2008, carabid beetles and springtails were collected, using pitfall traps, to measure the effects of ecological flooding and a strong precipitation event at a flood-disturbed and a dry location in this area. At both localities, xerophilic and mesophilic carabid beetle species were dominant throughout the study period. The total number of individuals of hygrophilic species was comparatively constant, while species number increased, partly due to the changed moisture conditions caused by ecological flooding and strong precipitation. Carabid beetle diversity and evenness decreased marginally when ecological flooding was absent. Springtails represent a less mobile arthropod order, and as such the impact of ecological flooding was stronger. An increase in both numbers of species and individuals of hygrophilic and hygrotolerant species occurred in the flood-disturbed location after ecological flooding. After the sites at both locations had dried, the number of individuals belonging to these species declined rapidly. In contrast to carabid species, the strong precipitation event showed no influence on hygrophilic springtail species. Thus, collembolan diversity and evenness decreased markedly in the absence of flooding. We showed that ecological flooding has an influence on the spatial and temporal dynamics of different arthropod groups that inhabit the polder "Ingelheim". These findings demonstrate the importance of using different arthropod groups as bioindicators in determining the ecological value of a particular polder design.

  4. Effects of experimental long-term CO2 exposure on Daphnia magna (Straus 1820): From physiological effects to ecological consequences.

    PubMed

    Parra, Gema; Galotti, Andréa; Jiménez-Melero, Raquel; Guerrero, Francisco; Sánchez-Moyano, Emilio; Jiménez-Gómez, Francisco; Conradi, Mercedes

    2016-08-01

    The carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies that were proposed to mitigate environmental problems arising from anthropogenic CO2 emissions, also have potential environmental risks. An eventual CCS leak might induce very low pH values in the aquatic system. Due to the lack of knowledge of long-term CO2 exposures with very low pH values, this study aims to know the effects and consequences of such a situation for zooplankton, using the Daphnia magna experimental model. A CO2 injection system was used to provide the experimental condition. A twenty-one days experiment with control and low pH treatment (pH = 7) replicates was carried out under light and temperature-controlled conditions. Survival, individual growth, RNA:DNA ratio, and neonates production were analysed during the aforementioned period. No differences on survival (except last day), individual growth and RNA:DNA ratio were observed between both control and low pH treatments. However, clear differences were detected in neonates production and, consequently, in population growth rates and secondary production. The observed differences could be related with an energy allocation strategy to ensure individual survival but would have ecological consequences affecting higher trophic levels.

  5. Effects of Changes in Lugu Lake Water Quality on Schizothorax Yunnansis Ecological Habitat Based on HABITAT Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Wei; Mynnet, Arthur

    Schizothorax Yunnansis is an unique fish species only existing in Lugu Lake, which is located in the southwestern China. The simulation and research on Schizothorax Yunnansis habitat environment have a vital significance to protect this rare fish. With the development of the tourism industry, there bring more pressure on the environmental protection. The living environment of Schizothorax Yunnansis is destroyed seriously because the water quality is suffering the sustaining pollution of domestic sewage from the peripheral villages. This paper analyzes the relationship between water quality change and Schizothorax Yunnansis ecological habitat and evalutes Schizothorax Yunnansis's ecological habitat impact based on HABITAT model. The results show that when the TP concentration in Lugu Lake does not exceed Schizothorax Yunnansis's survival threshold, Schizothorax Yunnansis can get more nutrients and the suitable habitat area for itself is increased. Conversely, it can lead to TP toxicity in the Schizothorax Yunnansis and even death. Therefore, unsuitable habitat area for Schizothorax Yunnansis is increased. It can be seen from the results that HABITAT model can assist in ecological impact assessment studies by translating results of hydrological, water quality models into effects on the natural environment and human society.

  6. Ecological restoration and its effects on a regional climate: the source region of the Yellow River, China.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhouyuan; Liu, Xuehua; Niu, Tianlin; Kejia, De; Zhou, Qingping; Ma, Tianxiao; Gao, Yunyang

    2015-05-19

    The source region of the Yellow River, China, experienced degradation during the 1980s and 1990s, but effective ecological restoration projects have restored the alpine grassland ecosystem. The local government has taken action to restore the grassland area since 1996. Remote sensing monitoring results show an initial restoration of this alpine grassland ecosystem with the structural transformation of land cover from 2000 to 2009 as low- and high-coverage grassland recovered. From 2000 to 2009, the low-coverage grassland area expanded by over 25% and the bare soil area decreased by approximately 15%. To examine the relationship between ecological structure and function, surface temperature (Ts) and evapotranspiration (ET) levels were estimated to study the dynamics of the hydro-heat pattern. The results show a turning point in approximately the year 2000 from a declining ET to a rising ET, eventually reaching the 1990 level of approximately 1.5 cm/day. We conclude that grassland coverage expansion has improved the regional hydrologic cycle as a consequence of ecological restoration. Thus, we suggest that long-term restoration and monitoring efforts would help maintain the climatic adjustment functions of this alpine grassland ecosystem.

  7. Effects of fragmentation on the spatial ecology of the California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis californiae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anguiano, Michael P.; Diffendorfer, James E.

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the spatial ecology of the California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis californiae) in unfragmented and fragmented habitat with varying patch sizes and degrees of exposure to urban edges. We radiotracked 34 Kingsnakes for up to 3 yr across four site types: interior areas of unfragmented ecological reserves, the urbanized edge of these reserves, large habitat fragments, and small habitat fragments. There was no relationship between California Kingsnake movements and the degree of exposure to urban edges and fragmentation. Home range size and movement patterns of Kingsnakes on edges and fragments resembled those in unfragmented sites. Average home-range size on each site type was smaller than the smallest fragment in which snakes were tracked. The persistence of California Kingsnakes in fragmented landscapes may be related directly to their small spatial movement patterns, home-range overlap, and ability to use urban edge habitat.

  8. Geomorphic and ecological effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on coastal Louisiana marsh communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Piazza, Sarai C.; Steyer, Gregory D.; Cretini, Kari F.; Sasser, Charles E.; Visser, Jenneke M.; Holm, Guerry O.; Sharp, Leigh A.; Evers, D. Elaine; Meriwether, John R.

    2011-01-01

    Hurricanes Katrina and Rita made landfall in 2005, subjecting the coastal marsh communities of Louisiana to various degrees of exposure. We collected data after the storms at 30 sites within fresh (12), brackish/intermediate (12), and saline (6) marshes to document the effects of saltwater storm surge and sedimentation on marsh community dynamics. The 30 sites were comprised of 15 pairs. Most pairs contained one site where data collection occurred historically (that is, prestorms) and one Coastwide Reference Monitoring System site. Data were collected from spring 2006 to fall 2007 on vegetative species composition, percentage of vegetation cover, aboveground and belowground biomass, and canopy reflectance, along with discrete porewater salinity, hourly surface-water salinity, and water level. Where available, historical data acquired before Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were used to compare conditions and changes in ecological trajectories before and after the hurricanes. Sites experiencing direct and indirect hurricane influences (referred to in this report as levels of influence) were also identified, and the effects of hurricane influence were tested on vegetation and porewater data. Within fresh marshes, porewater salinity was greater in directly impacted areas, and this heightened salinity was reflected in decreased aboveground and belowground biomass and increased cover of disturbance species in the directly impacted sites. At the brackish/intermediate marsh sites, vegetation variables and porewater salinity were similar in directly and indirectly impacted areas, but porewater salinity was higher than expected throughout the study. Interestingly, directly impacted saline marsh sites had lower porewater salinity than indirectly impacted sites, but aboveground biomass was greater at the directly impacted sites. Because of the variable and site-specific nature of hurricane influences, we present case studies to help define postdisturbance baseline conditions in

  9. Ecological effects of aquaculture on living and non-living suspended fractions of the water column: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Sarà, Gianluca

    2007-08-01

    The effects of aquaculture on the ecology of the water column have been extensively studied in the last two decades. However, to date, it has not been possible to extrapolate homogeneous information from the peer-reviewed literature. In the present study, 68 peer-reviewed articles were analysed and about 1087 study cases were used to test whether worldwide cultivations of aquatic organisms (shrimps, fish, bivalves and polyculture) have a differential effect on living and non-living fractions of the water column (suspended matter, chlorophyll-a, particulate organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus, bacteria and plankton). Meta-analysis feasibility depends on obtaining an estimate of the effect size from every study, and the most common measure of effect size (Hedges'd) is the difference between means of controls and impacts standardised by dividing by the pooled standard deviation. Shrimp, fish and bivalve cultivation differentially affected water column dynamics, with a general major impact on bacteria and phytoplankton. In addition, results showed that the water column dynamics are probably affected by organic aquaculture loading but, due to the substantial heterogeneity across studies, the information available on the effects can be considered partially flawed and therefore not sufficient to either support or exclude the notion that different forms of aquaculture affect ecological processes of the water column.

  10. Adapting to Climate Change on Western Public Lands: Addressing the Ecological Effects of Domestic, Wild, and Feral Ungulates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beschta, Robert L.; Donahue, Debra L.; DellaSala, Dominick A.; Rhodes, Jonathan J.; Karr, James R.; O'Brien, Mary H.; Fleischner, Thomas L.; Deacon Williams, Cindy

    2013-02-01

    Climate change affects public land ecosystems and services throughout the American West and these effects are projected to intensify. Even if greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, adaptation strategies for public lands are needed to reduce anthropogenic stressors of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and to help native species and ecosystems survive in an altered environment. Historical and contemporary livestock production—the most widespread and long-running commercial use of public lands—can alter vegetation, soils, hydrology, and wildlife species composition and abundances in ways that exacerbate the effects of climate change on these resources. Excess abundance of native ungulates (e.g., deer or elk) and feral horses and burros add to these impacts. Although many of these consequences have been studied for decades, the ongoing and impending effects of ungulates in a changing climate require new management strategies for limiting their threats to the long-term supply of ecosystem services on public lands. Removing or reducing livestock across large areas of public land would alleviate a widely recognized and long-term stressor and make these lands less susceptible to the effects of climate change. Where livestock use continues, or where significant densities of wild or feral ungulates occur, management should carefully document the ecological, social, and economic consequences (both costs and benefits) to better ensure management that minimizes ungulate impacts to plant and animal communities, soils, and water resources. Reestablishing apex predators in large, contiguous areas of public land may help mitigate any adverse ecological effects of wild ungulates.

  11. Disease ecology across soil boundaries: effects of below-ground fungi on above-ground host-parasite interactions.

    PubMed

    Tao, Leiling; Gowler, Camden D; Ahmad, Aamina; Hunter, Mark D; de Roode, Jacobus C

    2015-10-22

    Host-parasite interactions are subject to strong trait-mediated indirect effects from other species. However, it remains unexplored whether such indirect effects may occur across soil boundaries and connect spatially isolated organisms. Here, we demonstrate that, by changing plant (milkweed Asclepias sp.) traits, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) significantly affect interactions between a herbivore (the monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus) and its protozoan parasite (Ophryocystis elektroscirrha), which represents an interaction across four biological kingdoms. In our experiment, AMF affected parasite virulence, host resistance and host tolerance to the parasite. These effects were dependent on both the density of AMF and the identity of milkweed species: AMF indirectly increased disease in monarchs reared on some species, while alleviating disease in monarchs reared on other species. The species-specificity was driven largely by the effects of AMF on both plant primary (phosphorus) and secondary (cardenolides; toxins in milkweeds) traits. Our study demonstrates that trait-mediated indirect effects in disease ecology are extensive, such that below-ground interactions between AMF and plant roots can alter host-parasite interactions above ground. In general, soil biota may play an underappreciated role in the ecology of many terrestrial host-parasite systems.

  12. Adapting to climate change on Western public lands: addressing the ecological effects of domestic, wild, and feral ungulates.

    PubMed

    Beschta, Robert L; Donahue, Debra L; DellaSala, Dominick A; Rhodes, Jonathan J; Karr, James R; O'Brien, Mary H; Fleischner, Thomas L; Deacon Williams, Cindy

    2013-02-01

    Climate change affects public land ecosystems and services throughout the American West and these effects are projected to intensify. Even if greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, adaptation strategies for public lands are needed to reduce anthropogenic stressors of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and to help native species and ecosystems survive in an altered environment. Historical and contemporary livestock production-the most widespread and long-running commercial use of public lands-can alter vegetation, soils, hydrology, and wildlife species composition and abundances in ways that exacerbate the effects of climate change on these resources. Excess abundance of native ungulates (e.g., deer or elk) and feral horses and burros add to these impacts. Although many of these consequences have been studied for decades, the ongoing and impending effects of ungulates in a changing climate require new management strategies for limiting their threats to the long-term supply of ecosystem services on public lands. Removing or reducing livestock across large areas of public land would alleviate a widely recognized and long-term stressor and make these lands less susceptible to the effects of climate change. Where livestock use continues, or where significant densities of wild or feral ungulates occur, management should carefully document the ecological, social, and economic consequences (both costs and benefits) to better ensure management that minimizes ungulate impacts to plant and animal communities, soils, and water resources. Reestablishing apex predators in large, contiguous areas of public land may help mitigate any adverse ecological effects of wild ungulates.

  13. Cellular and Behavioral Effects of Stilbene Resveratrol Analogs: Implications for Reducing the Deleterious Effects of Aging

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    There is a plethora of research that suggests that polyphenolic compounds contained in fruits and vegetables that are rich in color may have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. In several previous studies, we found that crude blueberry (BB) extract significantly attenuated age-relat...

  14. Ecological Inference

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-09-01

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

  15. Overview of the effects of the coal fuel cycle on hydrology, water quality and use, and aquatic ecology

    SciTech Connect

    Cushman, R.M.; Gough, S.B.; Moran, M.S.

    1980-05-01

    Literature is summarized for the effects of the coal fuel cycle (mining, mine-site processing, transportation, storage, onsite processing, combustion, and waste collection and disposal) on water resources. Aspects considered include surface- and ground-water hydrology, water quality and use, and aquatic ecology. Water use is discussed with regard to both availability and water quality constraints on use. Requirements of the recently enacted Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act are introduced where appropriate. For the combustion step in the fuel cycle, only those effects which are specific to coal as a fuel are addressed. Effects not specific to coal use (such as thermal effects, impingement, and entrainment resulting from cooling water withdrawal and use) are not considered. Reference is made to more exhaustive studies of the topics reviewed. A summary of the major environmental effects of the coal fuel cycle is given below.

  16. Application of microcosmic system for assessment of insecticide effects on biomarker responses in ecologically different earthworm species.

    PubMed

    Velki, Mirna; Hackenberger, Branimir K; Lončarić, Zeljka; Hackenberger, Davorka K

    2014-06-01

    Earthworms from different ecological categories--epigeic Eisenia andrei and Lumbricus rubellus, endogeic Octolasion lacteum and anecic Lumbricus terrestris--were exposed in a microcosmic system to three commonly used insecticides. The effects of the insecticides were evaluated by measuring the following molecular biomarkers-the activities of AChE, CES, CAT, GST and the concentration of GSH. The results showed that environmentally relevant doses of organophosphates dimethoate and pirimiphos-methyl significantly affected the measured biomarkers, whereas pyrethroid deltamethrin did not affect the earthworms at the recommended agricultural dose. Considering the ecological category of earthworms, the results were inhomogeneous and species-specific differences in the biomarker responses were recorded. Since the biomarker responses of the investigated earthworm species were different after exposure to organophosphates in a microcosm compared to the exposure via standardized toxicity tests, two types of species sensitivity should be distinguished-physiological and environmental sensitivity. In addition, the hormetic effect of organophosphates on AChE and CES activities was recorded. The detection of hormesis in a microcosm is of great importance for future environmental research and soil biomonitoring, since in a realistic environment pollutants usually occur at low concentrations that could cause a hormetic effect. The results demonstrate the importance of the application of microcosmic systems in the assessment of the effects of environmental pollutants and the necessity of taking into account the possible differences between physiological and environmental species sensitivity.

  17. SDS, a structural disruption score for assessment of missense variant deleteriousness

    PubMed Central

    Preeprem, Thanawadee; Gibson, Greg

    2014-01-01

    We have developed a novel structure-based evaluation for missense variants that explicitly models protein structure and amino acid properties to predict the likelihood that a variant disrupts protein function. A structural disruption score (SDS) is introduced as a measure to depict the likelihood that a case variant is functional. The score is constructed using characteristics that distinguish between causal and neutral variants within a group of proteins. The SDS score is correlated with standard sequence-based deleteriousness, but shows promise for improving discrimination between neutral and causal variants at less conserved sites. The prediction was performed on 3-dimentional structures of 57 gene products whose homozygous SNPs were identified as case-exclusive variants in an exome sequencing study of epilepsy disorders. We contrasted the candidate epilepsy variants with scores for likely benign variants found in the EVS database, and for positive control variants in the same genes that are suspected to promote a range of diseases. To derive a characteristic profile of damaging SNPs, we transformed continuous scores into categorical variables based on the score distribution of each measurement, collected from all possible SNPs in this protein set, where extreme measures were assumed to be deleterious. A second epilepsy dataset was used to replicate the findings. Causal variants tend to receive higher sequence-based deleterious scores, induce larger physico-chemical changes between amino acid pairs, locate in protein domains, buried sites or on conserved protein surface clusters, and cause protein destabilization, relative to negative controls. These measures were agglomerated for each variant. A list of nine high-priority putative functional variants for epilepsy was generated. Our newly developed SDS protocol facilitates SNP prioritization for experimental validation. PMID:24795746

  18. Increased burden of de novo predicted deleterious variants in complex congenital diaphragmatic hernia

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Lan; Sawle, Ashley D.; Wynn, Julia; Aspelund, Gudrun; Stolar, Charles J.; Arkovitz, Marc S.; Potoka, Douglas; Azarow, Kenneth S.; Mychaliska, George B.; Shen, Yufeng; Chung, Wendy K.

    2015-01-01

    Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is a serious birth defect that accounts for 8% of all major birth anomalies. Approximately 40% of cases occur in association with other anomalies. As sporadic complex CDH likely has a significant impact on reproductive fitness, we hypothesized that de novo variants would account for the etiology in a significant fraction of cases. We performed exome sequencing in 39 CDH trios and compared the frequency of de novo variants with 787 unaffected controls from the Simons Simplex Collection. We found no significant difference in overall frequency of de novo variants between cases and controls. However, among genes that are highly expressed during diaphragm development, there was a significant burden of likely gene disrupting (LGD) and predicted deleterious missense variants in cases (fold enrichment = 3.2, P-value = 0.003), and these genes are more likely to be haploinsufficient (P-value = 0.01) than the ones with benign missense or synonymous de novo variants in cases. After accounting for the frequency of de novo variants in the control population, we estimate that 15% of sporadic complex CDH patients are attributable to de novo LGD or deleterious missense variants. We identified several genes with predicted deleterious de novo variants that fall into common categories of genes related to transcription factors and cell migration that we believe are related to the pathogenesis of CDH. These data provide supportive evidence for novel genes in the pathogenesis of CDH associated with other anomalies and suggest that de novo variants play a significant role in complex CDH cases. PMID:26034137

  19. Cognitive ecology.

    PubMed

    Hutchins, Edwin

    2010-10-01

    Cognitive ecology is the study of cognitive phenomena in context. In particular, it points to the web of mutual dependence among the elements of a cognitive ecosystem. At least three fields were taking a deeply ecological approach to cognition 30 years ago: Gibson's ecological psychology, Bateson's ecology of mind, and Soviet cultural-historical activity theory. The ideas developed in those projects have now found a place in modern views of embodied, situated, distributed cognition. As cognitive theory continues to shift from units of analysis defined by inherent properties of the elements to units defined in terms of dynamic patterns of correlation across elements, the study of cognitive ecosystems will become an increasingly important part of cognitive science.

  20. An Ecological Momentary Intervention for Smoking Cessation: Evaluation of Feasibility and Effectiveness

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Ping; Kendzor, Darla E; Frank, Summer G; Vidrine, Damon J; Wetter, David W

    2016-01-01

    Background Despite substantial public health progress in reducing the prevalence of smoking in the United States overall, smoking among socioeconomically disadvantaged adults remains high. Objective To determine the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of a novel smartphone-based smoking cessation app designed for socioeconomically disadvantaged smokers. Methods Participants were recruited from a safety-net hospital smoking cessation clinic in Dallas, Texas, and were followed for 13 weeks. All participants received standard smoking cessation clinic care (ie, group counseling and cessation pharmacotherapy) and a smartphone with a novel smoking cessation app (ie, Smart-T). The Smart-T app prompted 5 daily ecological momentary assessments (EMAs) for 3 weeks (ie, 1 week before cessation and 2 weeks after cessation). During the precessation period, EMAs were followed by messages that focused on planning and preparing for the quit attempt. During the postcessation period, participant responses to EMAs drove an algorithm that tailored messages to the current level of smoking lapse risk and currently present lapse triggers (eg, urge to smoke, stress). Smart-T offered additional intervention features on demand (eg, one-click access to the tobacco cessation quitline; “Quit Tips” on coping with urges to smoke, mood, and stress). Results Participants (N=59) were 52.0 (SD 7.0) years old, 54% (32/59) female, and 53% (31/59) African American, and 70% (40/57) had annual household income less than US $16,000. Participants smoked 20.3 (SD 11.6) cigarettes per day and had been smoking for 31.6 (SD 10.9) years. Twelve weeks after the scheduled quit date, 20% (12/59) of all participants were biochemically confirmed abstinent. Participants responded to 87% of all prompted EMAs and received approximately 102 treatment messages over the 3-week EMA period. Most participants (83%, 49/59) used the on-demand app features. Individuals with greater nicotine dependence and minority race

  1. The Effects of Local Ecological Knowledge, Minimum-Impact Knowledge, and Prior Experience on Visitor Perceptions of the Ecological Impacts of Backcountry Recreation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Antonio, Ashley; Monz, Christopher; Newman, Peter; Lawson, Steve; Taff, Derrick

    2012-10-01

    An on-site visitor survey instrument was developed to examine visitor perceptions of resource impacts resulting from backcountry hiking activities. The survey was conducted in the Bear Lake Corridor of Rocky Mountain National Park, CO and examined visitor characteristics that may influence visitor perceptions of specific resource conditions. Findings indicate that visitors are more perceptive of recreation-related resource impacts that are the result of undesirable behavior and, while visitors do perceive resource impacts, visitors tend to be more affected by crowding. Factors such as local ecological knowledge and knowledge of minimal-impact practices positively influence visitor perceptions of resource impacts. These findings support the use of visitor education on ecological knowledge and minimum-impact as a means of increasing visitor awareness of recreation impact issues.

  2. Mechanical Treatment of Raw Waste Lumber an Effective Way to Preserve the Ecology and Resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fomin, Anatoly A.; Gusev, Vladimir G.; Yudin, Roman V.; Timerbaev, Nail F.; Retyunskiy, Oleg Yu

    2016-08-01

    Alternative process flowsheet machining of the machining of raw waste lumber were analysed, and it was implemented in a real machine model based on the chosen scheme. The forming process of the treated surface of the stock material was examined, and consequently the mathematical models of the geometric errors in terms of independent factors of the profile milling process were defined. Based on these models is possible to construct a treatment process of the raw waste lumber with minimal errors on the surfaces which were treated. The manufacturing of products from raw waste lumber allows to reduce the volume of deforestation and helps to preserve the ecology and economize the material resources.

  3. Constructing ecologies.

    PubMed

    Cropp, Roger; Norbury, John

    2012-02-07

    We synthesize the generic properties of ecologically realistic multi-trophic level models and define criteria for ecological realism. We define an "ecospace" in which all ecologically realistic dynamics are confined, and construct "resource rays" that define the resources available to each species at every point in the ecospace. Resource rays for a species are lines from a vertex of maximum resource to the opposite boundary where no resources are available. The growth functions of all biota normally decrease along their resource rays, and change sign from positive to negative. This property prescribes that each species must have a zero isosurface within the ecospace. We illustrate our conditions on a highly cited three trophic level model from population dynamics, showing how to extend this system biologically consistently to a closed ecological system. Our synthesis extends the concept of carrying capacity of population models to explicitly include exhaustion of limiting resources, and so allows for population biology models to be considered as ecologically closed systems with respect to a key limiting nutrient. This approach unifies many theoretical and applied models in a common biogeochemical framework, facilitates better understanding of the key structures of complex ecologies, and suggests strategies for efficient design of experiments.

  4. An ecological approach to learning with technology: responding to tensions within the "wow-effect" phenomenon in teaching practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herro, Danielle

    2016-12-01

    This review explores Anne Kamstrupp's "The Wow-effect in Science Teacher Education" by examining her theorized "wow-effect" as a teaching enactment that may serve to engage students, but often fails to provide deep understanding of science content. My response extends her perspective of socio-materiality as means to understand the "wow-effect" by suggesting social constructivism provides a more accurate lens to disentangle the phenomenon. I react to her position that tension fields within the phenomenon include the relationship between new and old technologies, boredom and engagement, and active and sedentary learning. In this conversation, I point to a new way of conceptualizing using digital media in the classroom as ecology of learning that may serve to decrease problems associated with the "wow-effect".

  5. Dietary marker effects on fecal microbial ecology, fecal VFA, nutrient digestibility coefficients, and growth performance in finishing pigs.

    PubMed

    Kerr, B J; Weber, T E; Ziemer, C J

    2015-05-01

    Use of indigestible markers such as Cr2O3, Fe2O3, and TiO2 are commonly used in animal studies to evaluate digesta rate of passage and nutrient digestibility. Yet, the potential impact of indigestible markers on fecal microbial ecology and subsequent VFA generation is not known. Two experiments utilizing a total of 72 individually fed finishing pigs were conducted to describe the impact of dietary markers on fecal microbial ecology, fecal ammonia and VFA concentrations, nutrient digestibility, and pig performance. All pigs were fed a common diet with no marker or with 0.5% Cr2O3, Fe2O3, or TiO2. In Exp. 1, after 33 d of feeding, fresh fecal samples were collected for evaluation of microbial ecology, fecal ammonia and VFA concentrations, and nutrient digestibility, along with measures of animal performance. No differences were noted in total microbes or bacterial counts in pig feces obtained from pigs fed the different dietary markers while Archaea counts were decreased (P = 0.07) in feces obtained from pigs fed the diet containing Fe2O 3compared to pigs fed the control diet. Feeding Cr2O3, Fe2O3, or TiO2 increased fecal bacterial richness (P = 0.03, 0.01, and 0.10; respectively) when compared to pigs fed diets containing no marker, but no dietary marker effects were noted on fecal microbial evenness or the Shannon-Wiener index. Analysis of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis gels did not reveal band pattern alterations due to inclusion of dietary markers in pig diets. There was no effect of dietary marker on fecal DM, ammonia, or VFA concentrations. Pigs fed diets containing Cr2O3 had greater Ca, Cu, Fe, and P (P ≤ 0.02), but lower Ti ( P= 0.08) digestibility compared to pigs fed the control diet. Pigs fed diets containing Fe2O3 had greater Ca (P = 0.08) but lower Ti (P = 0.01) digestibility compared to pigs fed the control diet. Pigs fed diets containing TiO2 had greater Fe and Zn (P ≤ 0.09), but lower Ti ( P= 0.01) digestibility compared to pigs fed the

  6. Ecological restoration and effect investigation of a river wetland in a semi-arid region, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, S.; Jiang, X.; Liu, Y.; Fu, Y.; Zhao, Q.

    2015-05-01

    River wetlands are heavily impacted by human intervention. The degradation and loss of river wetlands has made the restoration of river ecosystems a top priority. How to rehabilitate rivers and their services has been a research focus. The main goal of it is to restore the river wetland ecosystems with ecological methods. The Gudong River was selected as a study site in Chaoyang city in this study. Based on the analysis of interference factors in the river wetland degradation, a set of restoration techniques were proposed and designed for regional water level control, including submerged dikes, ecological embankments, revegetation and dredging. The restoration engineering has produced good results in water quality, eco-environment, and landscape. Monthly reports of the Daling River show that the water quality of Gudong River was better than Grade III in April 2013 compared with Grade V in May 2012. The economic benefit after restoration construction is 1.71 million RMB per year, about 1.89 times that before. The ratio of economic value, social value and eco-environmental value is 1:4:23.

  7. Migration intensity has no effect on peak HIV prevalence: an ecological study

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Correctly identifying the determinants of generalized HIV epidemics is crucial to bringing down ongoing high HIV incidence in these countries. High rates of migration are believed to be an important determinant of HIV prevalence. This study has two aims. Firstly, it evaluates the ecological association between levels of internal and international migration and national peak HIV prevalence using thirteen variables from a variety of sources to capture various aspects of internal and international migration intensity. Secondly, it examines the relationship between circular migration and HIV at an individual and population-level in South Africa. Methods Linear regression was used to analyze the association between the various measures of migration intensity and peak national HIV prevalence for 141 countries and HIV prevalence by province and ethnic group in South Africa. Results No evidence of a positive ecological association between national migration intensity and HIV prevalence was found. This remained the case when the analyses were limited to the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. On the whole, countries with generalized HIV epidemics had lower rates of internal and external migration. Likewise, no association was found between migration and HIV positivity at an individual or group-level in South Africa. Conclusion These results do not support the thesis that migration measured at the country level plays a significant role in determining peak HIV prevalence. PMID:24961725

  8. The effects of seasonality on host-bat fly ecological networks in a temperate mountain cave.

    PubMed

    Rivera-García, Karina D; Sandoval-Ruiz, César A; Saldaña-Vázquez, Romeo A; Schondube, Jorge E

    2017-04-01

    Changes in the specialization of parasite-host interactions will be influenced by variations in host species composition. We evaluated this hypothesis by comparing the composition of bats and bat flies within a roost cave over one annual. Five bat and five bat fly species occupied the cave over the course of the study. Bat species composition was 40% different in the rainy season compared with the dry-cold and dry-warm seasons. Despite the incorporation of three new bat species into the cave during the rainy season, bat fly species composition was not affected by seasonality, since the bats that arrived in the rainy season only contributed one new bat fly species at a low prevalence. Bat-bat fly ecological networks were less specialized in the rainy season compared with the dry-cold and dry-warm seasons because of the increase of host overlap among bat fly species during this season. This study suggests that seasonality promote: (1) differences in host species composition, and (2) a reduction in the specialization of host-parasite ecological networks.

  9. Asperger syndrome and early-onset schizophrenia associated with a novel MECP2 deleterious missense variant.

    PubMed

    Curie, Aurore; Lesca, Gaëtan; Bussy, Gérald; Manificat, Sabine; Arnaud, Valérie; Gonzalez, Sibylle; Revol, Olivier; Calender, Alain; Gérard, Daniel; des Portes, Vincent

    2017-02-27

    Methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2) deleterious variants, which are responsible for Rett syndrome in girls, are involved in a wide spectrum of developmental disabilities in males. A neuropsychiatric phenotype without intellectual disability is uncommon in patients with MECP2 deleterious variants. We report on two dizygotic twins with an MECP2-related psychiatric disorder without intellectual disability. Neuropsychological and psychiatric phenotype assessments were performed, and a genetic analysis was carried out. Both patients fulfilled the Pervasive Developmental Disorder criteria on Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule and Asperger syndrome criteria on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed. (DSM-IV). One patient developed early-onset schizophrenia (DSM-IV criteria) with two acute psychotic episodes, the latest one following corticosteroids and sodium valproate intake, with major hyperammonemia. A novel MECP2 gene transversion c.491 G>T [p.(Ser164Ile)] was found in both twins. Pathogenicity of this variant was considered on the basis of strong clinical and molecular data. The underlying molecular basis of neuropsychiatric disorders may have important consequences on genetic counseling and therapeutic strategies.

  10. Deleterious mutation in GPR88 is associated with chorea, speech delay, and learning disabilities

    PubMed Central

    Alkufri, Fadi; Shaag, Avraham; Abu-Libdeh, Bassam

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To identify the underlying molecular basis of a familial developmental disorder characterized by chorea, marked speech delay, and learning difficulties in 4 sisters from a consanguineous family. Methods: Whole-exome analysis of DNA of the 2 older patients followed by Sanger sequencing of the mutated exon in all family members. Results: A homozygous deleterious mutation, p.C291X, was identified in the GPR88 gene in both exome analyses. The mutation segregated with the disease in the family and was absent from a large cohort of controls. Conclusions: Homozygous deleterious mutation in GPR88 in humans is associated with marked speech delay, learning disabilities, and chorea, which manifest at 8–9 years of age. The finding is consistent with the reported abundant expression of GPR88 in the striatum and the hyperkinetic activity and learning impairment observed in GPR88 knockout mice. Although further functional characterization is needed, the finding underscores the importance of GPR88 in movement control and learning. PMID:27123486

  11. Accumulation of Deleterious Mutations on the Neo-Y Chromosome of Japan Sea Stickleback (Gasterosteus nipponicus).

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Kohta; Makino, Takashi; Kitano, Jun

    2017-01-01

    Degeneration of Y chromosomes is a common evolutionary path of XY sex chromosome systems. Recent genomic studies in flies and plants have revealed that even young neo-sex chromosomes with the age of a few million years show signs of Y degeneration, such as the accumulation of nonsense and frameshift mutations. However, it remains unclear whether neo-Y chromosomes also show rapid degeneration in fishes, which often have homomorphic sex chromosomes. Here, we investigated whether a neo-Y chromosome of Japan Sea stickleback (Gasterosteus nipponicus), which was formed by a Y-autosome fusion within the last 2 million years, accumulates deleterious mutations. Our previous genomic analyses did not detect excess nonsense and frameshift mutations on the Japan Sea stickleback neo-Y. In the present study, we found that the nonrecombining region of the neo-Y near the fusion end has accumulated nonsynonymous mutations altering amino acids of evolutionarily highly conserved residues. Enrichment of gene ontology terms related to protein phosphorylation and cellular protein modification process was found in the genes with potentially deleterious mutations on the neo-Y. These results suggest that the neo-Y of the Japan Sea stickleback has already accumulated mutations that may impair protein functions.

  12. Cumulative effects of restoration efforts on ecological characteristics of an open water area within the Upper Mississippi River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gray, B.R.; Shi, W.; Houser, J.N.; Rogala, J.T.; Guan, Z.; Cochran-Biederman, J. L.

    2011-01-01

    Ecological restoration efforts in large rivers generally aim to ameliorate ecological effects associated with large-scale modification of those rivers. This study examined whether the effects of restoration efforts-specifically those of island construction-within a largely open water restoration area of the Upper Mississippi River (UMR) might be seen at the spatial scale of that 3476ha area. The cumulative effects of island construction, when observed over multiple years, were postulated to have made the restoration area increasingly similar to a positive reference area (a proximate area comprising contiguous backwater areas) and increasingly different from two negative reference areas. The negative reference areas represented the Mississippi River main channel in an area proximate to the restoration area and an open water area in a related Mississippi River reach that has seen relatively little restoration effort. Inferences on the effects of restoration were made by comparing constrained and unconstrained models of summer chlorophyll a (CHL), summer inorganic suspended solids (ISS) and counts of benthic mayfly larvae. Constrained models forced trends in means or in both means and sampling variances to become, over time, increasingly similar to those in the positive reference area and increasingly dissimilar to those in the negative reference areas. Trends were estimated over 12- (mayflies) or 14-year sampling periods, and were evaluated using model information criteria. Based on these methods, restoration effects were observed for CHL and mayflies while evidence in favour of restoration effects on ISS was equivocal. These findings suggest that the cumulative effects of island building at relatively large spatial scales within large rivers may be estimated using data from large-scale surveillance monitoring programs. Published in 2010 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  13. A synthesis of the ecological effects of air pollution from nitrogen and sulfur in the U.S

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greaver, T.L.; Sullivan, T.; Herrick, J.D.; Barber, M.; Baron, J.; Cosby, B.; Deerharke, M.; Dennis, R.; Dubois, J.J.D.; Goodale, C.; Herlihy, A.; Lawrence, G.; Liu, L.; Lynch, J.; Novak, K.

    2012-01-01

    Four decades after the passage of the US Clean Air Act, air-quality standards are set to protect ecosystems from damage caused by gas-phase nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S) compounds, but not from the deposition of these air pollutants to land and water. Here, we synthesize recent scientific literature on the ecological effects of N and S air pollution in the US. Deposition of N and S is the main driver of ecosystem acidification and contributes to nutrient enrichment in many natural systems. Although surface-water acidification has decreased in the US since 1990, it remains a problem in many regions. Perturbations to ecosystems caused by the nutrient effects of N deposition continue to emerge, although gas-phase concentrations are generally not high enough to cause phytotoxicity. In all, there is overwhelming evidence of a broad range of damaging effects to ecosystems in the US under current air quality conditions.

  14. Ecology has contrasting effects on genetic variation within species versus rates of molecular evolution across species in water beetles

    PubMed Central

    Fujisawa, Tomochika; Vogler, Alfried P.; Barraclough, Timothy G.

    2015-01-01

    Comparative analysis is a potentially powerful approach to study the effects of ecological traits on genetic variation and rate of evolution across species. However, the lack of suitable datasets means that comparative studies of correlates of genetic traits across an entire clade have been rare. Here, we use a large DNA-barcode dataset (5062 sequences) of water beetles to test the effects of species ecology and geographical distribution on genetic variation within species and rates of molecular evolution across species. We investigated species traits predicted to influence their genetic characteristics, such as surrogate measures of species population size, latitudinal distribution and habitat types, taking phylogeny into account. Genetic variation of cytochrome oxidase I in water beetles was positively correlated with occupancy (numbers of sites of species presence) and negatively with latitude, whereas substitution rates across species depended mainly on habitat types, and running water specialists had the highest rate. These results are consistent with theoretical predictions from nearly-neutral theories of evolution, and suggest that the comparative analysis using large databases can give insights into correlates of genetic variation and molecular evolution. PMID:25621335

  15. The virus of my virus is my friend: ecological effects of virophage with alternative modes of coinfection.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Bradford P; Cortez, Michael H; Weitz, Joshua S

    2014-08-07

    Virophages are viruses that rely on the replication machinery of other viruses to reproduce within eukaryotic hosts. Two different modes of coinfection have been posited based on experimental observation. In one mode, the virophage and the virus enter the host independently. In the other mode, the virophage adheres to the virus so both virophage and virus enter the host together. Here we ask: what are the ecological effects of these different modes of coinfection? In particular, what ecological effects are common to both infection modes, and what are the differences particular to each mode? We develop a pair of biophysically motivated ODE models of viral-host population dynamics, corresponding to dynamics arising from each mode of infection. We find that both modes of coinfection allow for the coexistence of the virophage, virus, and host either at a stable fixed point or through cyclical dynamics. In both models, virophage tends to be the most abundant population and their presence always reduces the viral abundance and increases the host abundance. However, we do find qualitative differences between models. For example, via extensive sampling of biologically relevant parameter space, we only observe bistability when the virophage and the virus enter the host together. We discuss how such differences may be leveraged to help identify modes of infection in natural environments from population level data.

  16. Ecology has contrasting effects on genetic variation within species versus rates of molecular evolution across species in water beetles.

    PubMed

    Fujisawa, Tomochika; Vogler, Alfried P; Barraclough, Timothy G

    2015-01-22

    Comparative analysis is a potentially powerful approach to study the effects of ecological traits on genetic variation and rate of evolution across species. However, the lack of suitable datasets means that comparative studies of correlates of genetic traits across an entire clade have been rare. Here, we use a large DNA-barcode dataset (5062 sequences) of water beetles to test the effects of species ecology and geographical distribution on genetic variation within species and rates of molecular evolution across species. We investigated species traits predicted to influence their genetic characteristics, such as surrogate measures of species population size, latitudinal distribution and habitat types, taking phylogeny into account. Genetic variation of cytochrome oxidase I in water beetles was positively correlated with occupancy (numbers of sites of species presence) and negatively with latitude, whereas substitution rates across species depended mainly on habitat types, and running water specialists had the highest rate. These results are consistent with theoretical predictions from nearly-neutral theories of evolution, and suggest that the comparative analysis using large databases can give insights into correlates of genetic variation and molecular evolution.

  17. Effectiveness of birds, butterflies, dragonflies, damselflies and invertebrates as indicators of freshwater ecological integrity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chama, Lackson; Siachoono, Stanford

    2015-04-01

    Human activities such as mining and agriculture are among the major threats to biodiversity globally. Discharges from these activities have been shown to negatively affect ecological processes, leading to ecosystem degradation and species loss across biomes. Freshwater systems have been shown to be particularly vulnerable, as discharges tend to spread rapidly here than in other ecosystems. Hence, there is need to routinely monitor the quality of these systems if impacts of discharges from human activities are to be minimised. Besides the use of conventional laboratory techniques, several studies have recently shown that organisms such as birds, butterflies, dragonflies, damselflies and invertebrates are also good indicators of ecological integrity and should therefore be used as alternatives to monitoring the quality of various ecosystems. However, most of these studies have only studied one or two of these organisms against ecosystem health, and it remains unclear whether all of them respond similarly to changes in different drivers of environmental change. We investigated the response of the diversity of birds, butterflies, dragonflies, damselflies and invertebrates to changing water quality along the Kafue River in Zambia. Sampling was done at 13 different sampling points stretching over a distance of 60Km along the river. At each point, both the diversity of each organism and the water quality were assessed. Water quality was determined by testing its temperature, pH, redox, electrical conductivity, turbidity and copper parameters. We then tested how the diversity of each organism responded to changes in these water parameters. All water parameters varied significantly across sampling points. The diversity of birds and damselflies remained unaffected by any of the water parameters used. However, the diversity of butterflies reduced with increasing pH, turbidity and copper, albeit it remained unaffected by other water parameters. The diversity of dragonflies

  18. Effect of ecological restoration and climate change on ecosystems: a case study in the Three-Rivers Headwater Region, China.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Chong; Zhang, Linbo

    2016-06-01

    The Three-Rivers Headwater Region (TRHR) is the headwater of the Yangtze River Basin (YARB), Yellow River Basin (YRB), and Lancang River Basin (LRB); it is known as China's 'Water Tower' owing to its important supply of freshwater. In order to assess ecosystem changes in the TRHR during 2000-2012, we systematically and comprehensively evaluated a combination of model simulation results and actual observational data. The results showed the following: (1) Ecosystem pattern was relatively stable during 2000-2010, with a slight decrease in farmland and desert areas, and a slight increase in grassland and wetland/water-body areas. (2) A warmer and wetter climate, and ecological engineering, caused the vegetation cover and productivity to significantly improve. (3) Precipitation was the main controlling factor for streamflow. A significant increase in precipitation during 2000-2012 resulted in an obvious increase in annual and seasonal streamflow. Glacier melting also contributed to the streamflow increase. (4) The total amount of soil conservation increased slightly from 2000 to 2012. The increase in precipitation caused rainfall erosivity to increase, which enhanced the intensity of soil erosion. The decrease in wind speed decreased wind erosion and the frequency of sandstorms. (5) The overall habitat quality in the TRHR was stable between 2000 and 2010, and the spatial pattern exhibited obvious heterogeneity. In some counties that included nature reserves, habitat quality was slightly higher in 2010 than in 2000, which reflected the effectiveness of the ecological restoration. Overall, the aforementioned ecosystem changes are the combined results of ecological restoration and climate change, and they are likely a local and temporary improvement, rather than a comprehensive and fundamental change. Therefore, more investments and efforts are needed to preserve natural ecosystems.

  19. Ecological epigenetics.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Ecological effects of a major oil spill on panamanian coastal marine communities.

    PubMed

    Jackson, J B; Cubit, J D; Keller, B D; Batista, V; Burns, K; Caffey, H M; Caldwell, R L; Garrity, S D; Getter, C D; Gonzalez, C; Guzman, H M; Kaufmann, K W; Knap, A H; Levings, S C; Marshall, M J; Steger, R; Thompson, R C; Weil, E

    1989-01-06

    In 1986 more than 8 million liters of crude oil spilled into a complex region of mangroves, seagrasses, and coral reefs just east of the Caribbean entrance to the Panama Canal. This was the largest recorded spill into coastal habitats in the tropical Americas. Many population of plants and animals in both oiled and unoiled sites had been studied previously, thereby providing an unprecedented measure of ecological variation before the spill. Documenation of the spread of oil and its biological begun immediately. Intertidal mangroves, algae, and associated invertebrates were covered by oil and died soon after. More surprisingly, there was also extensive mortality of shallow subtidal reef corals and infauna of seagrass beds. After 1.5 years only some organisms in areas exposed to the open sea have recovered.

  1. Use of marine fouling communities to evaluate the ecological effects of pollution. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Johnston, R.K.

    1990-06-01

    The ecological consequences of pollution were evaluated by measuring the biological responses of marine fouling communities to increasing levels of pollution in San Diego Bay, California. Measurements of a gradient of increasing levels of copper and organotin compounds were made using anodic stripping voltammetry and inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy for copper and hydride derivation with atomic spectroscopy detection for the organotin compounds tributyltin (TBT), dibutyltin, and monobutyltin. The copper gradient increased by a factor of 4.2 and the TBT gradient increased by a factor of 8.75. Differences in community structures were correlated with distinctly higher concentrations of toxic chemicals present at locations along the gradient. A portable microcosm system was used to study the community responses to different concentrations of TBT in controlled environments. The microcosm study was inconclusive because there was very low settlement of fouling organisms in the microcosm tanks relative to their settlement and colonization in the bay.

  2. Disease effects on lobster fisheries, ecology, and culture: overview of DAO Special 6.

    PubMed

    Behringer, Donald C; Butler, Mark J; Stentiford, Grant D

    2012-08-27

    Lobsters are prized by commercial and recreational fishermen worldwide, and their populations are therefore buffeted by fishery practices. But lobsters also remain integral members of their benthic communities where predator-prey relationships, competitive interactions, and host-pathogen dynamics push and pull at their population dynamics. Although lobsters have few reported pathogens and parasites relative to other decapod crustaceans, the rise of diseases with consequences for lobster fisheries and aquaculture has spotlighted the importance of disease for lobster biology, population dynamics and ecology. Researchers, managers, and fishers thus increasingly recognize the need to understand lobster pathogens and parasites so they can be managed proactively and their impacts minimized where possible. At the 2011 International Conference and Workshop on Lobster Biology and Management a special session on lobster diseases was convened and this special issue of Diseases of Aquatic Organisms highlights those proceedings with a suite of articles focused on diseases discussed during that session.

  3. [Ecological effect of hygroscopic and condensate water on biological soil crusts in Shapotou region of China].

    PubMed

    Pan, Yan-Xia; Wang, Xin-Ping; Zhang, Ya-Feng; Hu, Rui

    2013-03-01

    By the method of field experiment combined with laboratory analysis, this paper studied the ecological significance of hygroscopic and condensate water on the biological soil crusts in the vegetation sand-fixing area in Shapotou region of China. In the study area, 90% of hygroscopic and condensate water was within the 3 cm soil depth, which didn' t affect the surface soil water content. The hygroscopic and condensate water generated at night involved in the exchange process of soil surface water and atmosphere water vapor, made up the loss of soil water due to the evaporation during the day, and made the surface soil water not reduced rapidly. The amount of the generated hygroscopic and condensate water had a positive correlation with the chlorophyll content of biological soil crusts, indicating that the hygroscopic and condensate water could improve the growth activity of the biological soil crusts, and thus, benefit the biomass accumulation of the crusts.

  4. An ecological study for Sri Lanka about health effects of coconut.

    PubMed

    Athauda, L K; Wickremasinghe, A R; Kumarendran, B; Kasturiratne, A

    2015-09-01

    An ecological correlation study was conducted to determine the association between consumption of coconut products and cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths in Sri Lanka. Data on coconut consumption patterns from 1961 to 2006 were abstracted from the FAO database, and mortality data from reports of the Department of Census and Statistics, and UN databases. Correlational and regression analyses were carried out. There was no increase in the per capita consumption of coconut products from 1961 to 2006 (range 54.1-76.2kg/ capita/year). The CVD death rates and the proportionate mortality rate due to CVD increased from 1961 to 2006. CVD death rates were significantly associated with per capita GDP, percentage of urban population, and elderly dependency ratio but not consumption of coconut products after adjusting for the other variables (R2=0.94). The results do not provide evidence at the population level that consumption of coconut products increases mortality due to cardiovascular diseases.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Variation in the cranium shape of wall lizards (Podarcis spp.): effects of phylogenetic constraints, allometric constraints and ecology.

    PubMed

    Urošević, Aleksandar; Ljubisavljević, Katarina; Jelić, Dušan; Ivanović, Ana

    2012-08-01

    We used geometric morphometrics to explore the influence of phylogenetic and allometric constraints as well as ecology on variation in cranium shape in five species of monophyletic, morphologically similar Podarcis lizards (Podarcis erhardii, Podarcis melisellensis, Podarcis muralis, Podarcis sicula and Podarcis taurica). These species belong to different clades, they differ in their habitat preferences and can be classified into two distinct morphotypes: saxicolous and terrestrial. We found (i) no phylogenetic signal in cranium shape, (ii) diverging allometric slopes among species, and (iii) a significant effect of habitat on cranium shape. The saxicolous species (P. erhardii and P. muralis) had crania with elongated parietals, elongated cranium bases, shortened anterior parts of the dorsal cranium, reduced chambers of the jaw adductor muscles and larger subocular foramina. These cranial features are adaptations that compensate for a flattened cranium, dwelling on vertical surfaces and seeking refuge in crevices. The crania of the terrestrial species (P. melisellensis, P. sicula and P. taurica) tended to be more elongate and robust, with enlarged chambers of the jaw adductor muscle, reduced skull bases and shortened parietals. Terrestrial species exhibited more variation in cranium shape than saxicolous species. Our study suggests that shape variation in Podarcis sp. lizards is largely influenced by ecology, which likely affects species-specific patterns of static allometry.

  7. An ecosystem services approach to the ecological effects of salvage logging: Valuation of seed dispersal.

    PubMed

    Leverkus, Alexandro B; Castro, Jorge

    2017-03-25

    Forest disturbances diminish ecosystem services and boost disservices. Because post-disturbance management intends to recover the greatest possible value, selling timber often prevails over other considerations. Ecological research has shown diverse effects of salvage logging, yet such research has focused on the biophysical component of post-disturbance ecosystems and lacks the link with human well-being. Here we bridge that gap under the ecosystem services framework by assessing the impact of post-fire management on a non-timber value. By employing the Replacement Cost method we calculated the value of the post-fire natural regeneration of Holm oaks in southern Spain under three post-fire management options by considering the cost of planting instead. The value of this ecosystem service in non-intervention areas doubled that of salvage-logged stands due to the preference for standing dead trees by the main seed disperser. Still, most of the value resulted from the resprouting capacity of oaks. The value of this and other ecosystem services should be added to traditional cost/benefit analyses of post-disturbance management. We thus call for a more holistic approach to salvage logging research -one that explicitly links ecological processes with human well-being through ecosystem services- to better inform decision-makers on the outcomes of post-disturbance management. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  8. A randomised clinical study to determine the effect of a toothpaste containing enzymes and proteins on plaque oral microbiome ecology

    PubMed Central

    Adams, S. E.; Arnold, D.; Murphy, B.; Carroll, P.; Green, A. K.; Smith, A. M.; Marsh, P. D.; Chen, T.; Marriott, R. E.; Brading, M. G.

    2017-01-01

    The numerous species that make up the oral microbiome are now understood to play a key role in establishment and maintenance of oral health. The ability to taxonomically identify community members at the species level is important to elucidating its diversity and association to health and disease. We report the overall ecological effects of using a toothpaste containing enzymes and proteins compared to a control toothpaste on the plaque microbiome. The results reported here demonstrate that a toothpaste containing enzymes and proteins can augment natural salivary defences to promote an overall community shift resulting in an increase in bacteria associated with gum health and a concomitant decrease in those associated with periodontal disease. Statistical analysis shows signific