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Sample records for forage crop breeding

  1. Is genetic engineering ever going to take off in forage, turf and bioenergy crop breeding?

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zeng-Yu; Brummer, E. Charles

    2012-01-01

    Background Genetic engineering offers the opportunity to generate unique genetic variation that is either absent in the sexually compatible gene pool or has very low heritability. The generation of transgenic plants, coupled with breeding, has led to the production of widely used transgenic cultivars in several major cash crops, such as maize, soybean, cotton and canola. The process for regulatory approval of genetically engineered crops is slow and subject to extensive political interference. The situation in forage grasses and legumes is more complicated. Scope Most widely grown forage, turf and bioenergy species (e.g. tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, switchgrass, alfalfa, white clover) are highly self-incompatible and outcrossing. Compared with inbreeding species, they have a high potential to pass their genes to adjacent plants. A major biosafety concern in these species is pollen-mediated transgene flow. Because human consumption is indirect, risk assessment of transgenic forage, turf and bioenergy species has focused on their environmental or ecological impacts. Although significant progress has been made in genetic modification of these species, commercialization of transgenic cultivars is very limited because of the stringent and costly regulatory requirements. To date, the only transgenic forage crop deregulated in the US is ‘Roundup Ready’ (RR) alfalfa. The approval process for RR alfalfa was complicated, involving several rounds of regulation, deregulation and re-regulation. Nevertheless, commercialization of RR alfalfa is an important step forward in regulatory approval of a perennial outcrossing forage crop. As additional transgenic forage, turf and bioenergy crops are generated and tested, different strategies have been developed to meet regulatory requirements. Recent progress in risk assessment and deregulation of transgenic forage and turf species is summarized and discussed. PMID:22378838

  2. Reduction of foraging work and cooperative breeding.

    PubMed

    Toyoizumi, Hiroshi; Field, Jeremy

    2014-06-01

    Using simple stochastic models, we discuss how cooperative breeders, especially wasps and bees, can improve their productivity by reducing foraging work. In a harsh environment, where foraging is the main cause of mortality, such breeders achieve greater productivity by reducing their foraging effort below full capacity, and they may thrive by adopting cooperative breeding. This could prevent the population extinction of cooperative breeders under conditions where a population of lone breeders cannot be maintained.

  3. Perennial Forages as Second Generation Bioenergy Crops

    PubMed Central

    Sanderson, Matt A.; Adler, Paul R.

    2008-01-01

    The lignocellulose in forage crops represents a second generation of biomass feedstock for conversion into energy-related end products. Some of the most extensively studied species for cellulosic feedstock production include forages such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea L.), and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). An advantage of using forages as bioenergy crops is that farmers are familiar with their management and already have the capacity to grow, harvest, store, and transport them. Forage crops offer additional flexibility in management because they can be used for biomass or forage and the land can be returned to other uses or put into crop rotation. Estimates indicate about 22.3 million ha of cropland, idle cropland, and cropland pasture will be needed for biomass production in 2030. Converting these lands to large scale cellulosic energy farming could push the traditional forage-livestock industry to ever more marginal lands. Furthermore, encouraging bioenergy production from marginal lands could directly compete with forage-livestock production. PMID:19325783

  4. Field and Forage Crop Pests. MEP 310.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morgan, Omar, D.; And Others

    As part of a cooperative extension service series by the University of Maryland, this publication introduces the identification and control of common agricultural pests that can be found in field and forage crops. The first of the five sections defines "pest" and "weed" and generally introduces different kinds of pests in the categories of…

  5. Clark's Nutcracker Breeding Season Space Use and Foraging Behavior.

    PubMed

    Schaming, Taza D

    2016-01-01

    Considering the entire life history of a species is fundamental to developing effective conservation strategies. Decreasing populations of five-needle white pines may be leading to the decline of Clark's nutcrackers (Nucifraga columbiana). These birds are important seed dispersers for at least ten conifer species in the western U.S., including whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis), an obligate mutualist of Clark's nutcrackers. For effective conservation of both Clark's nutcrackers and whitebark pine, it is essential to ensure stability of Clark's nutcracker populations. My objectives were to examine Clark's nutcracker breeding season home range size, territoriality, habitat selection, and foraging behavior in the southern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, a region where whitebark pine is declining. I radio-tracked Clark's nutcrackers in 2011, a population-wide nonbreeding year following a low whitebark pine cone crop, and 2012, a breeding year following a high cone crop. Results suggest Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) communities are important habitat for Clark's nutcrackers because they selected it for home ranges. In contrast, they did not select whitebark pine habitat. However, Clark's nutcrackers did adjust their use of whitebark pine habitat between years, suggesting that, in some springs, whitebark pine habitat may be used more than previously expected. Newly extracted Douglas-fir seeds were an important food source both years. On the other hand, cached seeds made up a relatively lower proportion of the diet in 2011, suggesting cached seeds are not a reliable spring food source. Land managers focus on restoring whitebark pine habitat with the assumption that Clark's nutcrackers will be available to continue seed dispersal. In the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Clark's nutcracker populations may be more likely to be retained year-round when whitebark pine restoration efforts are located adjacent to Douglas-fir habitat. By extrapolation, whitebark pine restoration

  6. 7 CFR 457.151 - Forage seeding crop insurance provisions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... with agronomic and weather conditions in the county. Harvest. Severance of the forage plant from its... application must be filed and by which you may change your crop insurance coverage for a crop year. If the... insured crop and you plant any insurable fall seeded acreage, you may not change your crop...

  7. [Review of transgenic crop breeding in China].

    PubMed

    Huang, Dafang

    2015-06-01

    The development history and fundamental experience of transgenic crops (Genetically modified crops) breeding in China for near 30 years were reviewed. It was illustrated that a scientific research, development and industrialization system of transgenic crops including gene discovery, transformation, variety breeding, commercialization, application and biosafety assessment has been initially established which was few in number in the world. The research innovative capacity of transgenic cotton, rice and corn has been lifted. The research features as well as relative advantages have been initially formed. The problems and challenges of transgenic crop development were discussed. In addition, three suggestions of promoting commercialization, speeding up implementation of the Major National Project of GM Crops, and enhancing science communication were made. PMID:26672365

  8. 7 CFR 457.117 - Forage production crop insurance provisions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Forage production crop insurance provisions. 457.117 Section 457.117 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) FEDERAL CROP INSURANCE CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE COMMON CROP INSURANCE REGULATIONS § 457.117...

  9. 7 CFR 457.151 - Forage seeding crop insurance provisions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... and weather conditions in the county. Harvest. Severance of the forage plant from its roots. Acreage... may change your crop insurance coverage for a crop year. If the Special Provisions provide a sales... insurable fall seeded acreage, you may not change your crop insurance coverage after the fall sales...

  10. The genomic composition of Tricepiro, a synthetic forage crop.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, María Rosa; Greizerstein, Eduardo J; Paccapelo, Héctor A; Naranjo, Carlos A; Cuadrado, Angelines; Jouve, Nicolás; Poggio, Lidia

    2005-02-01

    Chromosome in situ hybridization (FISH and GISH) is a powerful tool for determining the chromosomal location of specific sequences and for analysing genome organization and evolution. Tricepiro (2n = 6x = 42) is a synthetic cereal obtained by G. Covas in Argentina (1972), which crosses hexaploid triticale (2n = 6x = 42) and octoploid Trigopiro (2n = 8x = 56). Several years of breeding produced a forage crop with valuable characteristics from Secale, Triticum, and Thinopyrum. The aim of this work is to analyse the real genomic constitution of this important synthetic crop. In situ hybridization using total DNA of Secale, Triticum, and Thinopyrum as a probe (GISH) labelled with biotin and (or) digoxigenin showed that tricepiro is composed of 14 rye chromosomes and 28 wheat chromosomes. Small zones of introgression of Thinopyrum on wheat chromosomes were detected. The FISH using the rye repetitive DNA probe pSc 119.2 labelled with biotin let us characterize the seven pairs of rye chromosomes. Moreover, several wheat chromosomes belonging to A and B genomes were distinguished. Therefore, tricepiro is a synthetic hexaploid (2n = 6x = 42) being AABBRR in its genomic composition, with zones of introgression of Thinopyrum in the A genome of wheat.

  11. Managing manure nutrients through multi-crop forage production.

    PubMed

    Newton, G L; Bernard, J K; Hubbard, R K; Allison, J R; Lowrance, R R; Gascho, G J; Gates, R N; Vellidis, G

    2003-06-01

    Concentrated sources of dairy manure represent significant water pollution potential. The southern United States may be more vulnerable to water quality problems than some other regions because of climate, typical farm size, and cropping practices. Dairy manure can be an effective source of plant nutrients and large quantities of nutrients can be recycled through forage production, especially when multi-cropping systems are utilized. Linking forage production with manure utilization is an environmentally sound approach for addressing both of these problems. Review of two triple-crop systems revealed greater N and P recoveries for a corn silage-bermudagrass hay-rye haylage system, whereas forage yields and quality were greater for a corn silage-corn silage-rye haylage system, when manure was applied at rates to supply N. Nutrient uptake was lower than application during the autumn-winter period, and bermudagrass utilized more of the remaining excess than a second crop of corn silage. Economic comparison of these systems suggests that the added value of the two corn silage crop system was not enough to off-set its increased production cost. Therefore, the system that included bermudagrass demonstrated both environmental and economic advantages. Review of the N and P uptake and calculated crop value of various single, double, and triple crop forage systems indicated that the per hectare economic value as well as the N and P uptakes tended to follow DM yields, and grasses tended to out-perform broadleaf forages. Taken across all systems, systems that included bermudagrass tended to have some of the highest economic values and uptakes of N and P. Manure applied at rates to supply N results in application of excess P, and production will not supply adequate quantities of forage to meet the herd's needs. Systems that lower manure application and supply supplemental N to produce all necessary forage under manure application will likely be less economically attractive due

  12. Breeding Better Forages to Help Feed Man and Preserve and Enhance the Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burton, Glenn W.

    1973-01-01

    Discusses the importance of forages in agriculture, and expresses the need for the same high level of technology that is used in the production of corn, wheat, and rice to be applied to forage production. Describes promising forage species, breeding objectives, and breeding procedures used in research. (JR)

  13. 21 CFR 573.400 - Ethoxyquin in certain dehydrated forage crops.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... and vitamin E in the forage crops. (c) It is added to the dehydrated forage crops in an oil mixture containing only suitable animal or suitable vegetable oil, prior to grinding and mixing. (d) The maximum... vegetable oils are to be used in the oil mix. (f) The label of any dehydrated forage crops treated with...

  14. 21 CFR 573.400 - Ethoxyquin in certain dehydrated forage crops.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... and vitamin E in the forage crops. (c) It is added to the dehydrated forage crops in an oil mixture containing only suitable animal or suitable vegetable oil, prior to grinding and mixing. (d) The maximum... vegetable oils are to be used in the oil mix. (f) The label of any dehydrated forage crops treated with...

  15. 21 CFR 573.400 - Ethoxyquin in certain dehydrated forage crops.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... and vitamin E in the forage crops. (c) It is added to the dehydrated forage crops in an oil mixture containing only suitable animal or suitable vegetable oil, prior to grinding and mixing. (d) The maximum... vegetable oils are to be used in the oil mix. (f) The label of any dehydrated forage crops treated with...

  16. 21 CFR 573.400 - Ethoxyquin in certain dehydrated forage crops.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... and vitamin E in the forage crops. (c) It is added to the dehydrated forage crops in an oil mixture containing only suitable animal or suitable vegetable oil, prior to grinding and mixing. (d) The maximum... vegetable oils are to be used in the oil mix. (f) The label of any dehydrated forage crops treated with...

  17. 21 CFR 573.400 - Ethoxyquin in certain dehydrated forage crops.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... and vitamin E in the forage crops. (c) It is added to the dehydrated forage crops in an oil mixture containing only suitable animal or suitable vegetable oil, prior to grinding and mixing. (d) The maximum... vegetable oils are to be used in the oil mix. (f) The label of any dehydrated forage crops treated with...

  18. Breeding for genetic improvement of forage plants in relation to increasing animal production with reduced environmental footprint.

    PubMed

    Kingston-Smith, A H; Marshall, A H; Moorby, J M

    2013-03-01

    Animal production is a fundamental component of the food supply chain, and with an increasing global population production levels are set to increase. Ruminant animals in particular are valuable in their ability to convert a fibre-rich forage diet into a high-quality protein product for human consumption, although this benefit is offset by inefficiencies in rumen fermentation that contribute to emission of significant quantities of methane and nitrogenous waste. Through co-operation between plant and animal sciences, we can identify how the nutritional requirements of ruminants can be satisfied by high-quality forages for the future. Selective forage plant breeding has supported crop improvement for nearly a century. Early plant breeding programmes were successful in terms of yield gains (4% to 5% per decade), with quality traits becoming increasingly important breeding targets (e.g. enhanced disease resistance and digestibility). Recently, demands for more sustainable production systems have required high yielding, high-quality forages that enable efficient animal production with minimal environmental impact. Achieving this involves considering the entire farm system and identifying opportunities for maximising nutrient use efficiency in both forage and animal components. Forage crops of the future must be able to utilise limited resources (water and nutrients) to maximise production on a limited land area and this may require us to consider alternative plant species to those currently in use. Furthermore, new breeding targets will be identified as the interactions between plants and the animals that consume them become better understood. This will ensure that available resources are targeted at delivering maximum benefits to the animal through enhanced transformation efficiency.

  19. Legume crops phylogeny and genetic diversity for science and breeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Economically, legumes (Fabaceae) represent the second most important family of crop plants after the grass family, Poaceae. Grain legumes account for 27% of world crop production and provide 33% of the dietary protein consumed by humans, while pasture and forage legumes provide vital part of animal ...

  20. Alfalfa interseeded into silage corn can serve as a cover crop and subsequent forage crop

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and corn (Zea mays) silage are commonly grown in rotation in dairy forage production systems throughout the northern regions of the USA. Alfalfa interseeded into silage corn could potentially serve two purposes: as a cover crop during the silage corn production year, and as...

  1. Intersexual and temporal variation in foraging ecology of prothonotary warblers during the breeding season

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Petit, L.J.; Petit, D.R.; Petit, K.E.; Fleming, W.J.

    1990-01-01

    We studied foraging ecology of Prothonotary Warblers (Protonotaria citrea) over four breeding seasons to determine if this species exhibited sex-specific or temporal variation in foraging behavior. Significant differences between sexes during the prenestling period were found for foraging height and substrate height (foraging method, plant species/substrate, perch diameter, horizontal location from trunk, and prey location were not significantly different). During the nestling period, this divergence between sexes was evident for foraging height, substrate height, substrate / tree species, and prey location. Additionally, male warblers significantly altered their behavior for all seven foraging variables between the two periods, whereas females exhibited changes similar to those of males for five of the foraging variables. This parallel shift suggests a strong behavioral response by both sexes to proximate factors (such as vegetation structure, and prey abundance and distribution) that varied throughout the breeding season. Sex-specific foraging behavior during the prenestling period was best explained by differences in reproductive responsibilities rather than by the theory of intersexual competition for limited resources. During the nestling period, neither hypothesis by itself explained foraging divergences adequately. However, when integrated with the temporal responses of the warblers to changes in prey availability, reproductive responsibilities seemed to be of primary importance in explaining intersexual niche partitioning during the nestling period. We emphasize the importance of considering both intersexual and intraseasonal variation when quantifying a species' foraging ecology.

  2. Honey loading for pollen collection: regulation of crop content in honeybee pollen foragers on leaving hive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harano, Ken-ichi; Mitsuhata-Asai, Akiko; Sasaki, Masami

    2014-07-01

    Before foraging honeybees leave the hive, each bee loads its crop with some amount of honey "fuel" depending on the distance to the food source and foraging experience. For pollen collection, there is evidence that foragers carry additional honey as "glue" to build pollen loads. This study examines whether pollen foragers of the European honeybee Apis mellifera regulate the size of the crop load according to food-source distances upon leaving the hive and how foraging experience affects load regulation. The crop contents of bees foraging on crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica, which has no nectary, were larger than those foraging on nectar from other sources, confirming a previous finding that pollen foragers carry glue in addition to fuel honey from the hive. Crop contents of both waggle dancers and dance followers showed a significant positive correlation with waggle-run durations. These results suggest that bees carry a distance-dependent amount of fuel honey in addition to a fixed amount of glue honey. Crop contents on leaving the hive were statistically larger in dancers than followers. Based on these results, we suggest that pollen foragers use information obtained through foraging experience to adjust crop contents on leaving the hive.

  3. Network Candidate Genes in Breeding for Drought Tolerant Crops.

    PubMed

    Krannich, Christoph Tim; Maletzki, Lisa; Kurowsky, Christina; Horn, Renate

    2015-07-17

    Climate change leading to increased periods of low water availability as well as increasing demands for food in the coming years makes breeding for drought tolerant crops a high priority. Plants have developed diverse strategies and mechanisms to survive drought stress. However, most of these represent drought escape or avoidance strategies like early flowering or low stomatal conductance that are not applicable in breeding for crops with high yields under drought conditions. Even though a great deal of research is ongoing, especially in cereals, in this regard, not all mechanisms involved in drought tolerance are yet understood. The identification of candidate genes for drought tolerance that have a high potential to be used for breeding drought tolerant crops represents a challenge. Breeding for drought tolerant crops has to focus on acceptable yields under water-limited conditions and not on survival. However, as more and more knowledge about the complex networks and the cross talk during drought is available, more options are revealed. In addition, it has to be considered that conditioning a crop for drought tolerance might require the production of metabolites and might cost the plants energy and resources that cannot be used in terms of yield. Recent research indicates that yield penalty exists and efficient breeding for drought tolerant crops with acceptable yields under well-watered and drought conditions might require uncoupling yield penalty from drought tolerance.

  4. Network Candidate Genes in Breeding for Drought Tolerant Crops

    PubMed Central

    Krannich, Christoph Tim; Maletzki, Lisa; Kurowsky, Christina; Horn, Renate

    2015-01-01

    Climate change leading to increased periods of low water availability as well as increasing demands for food in the coming years makes breeding for drought tolerant crops a high priority. Plants have developed diverse strategies and mechanisms to survive drought stress. However, most of these represent drought escape or avoidance strategies like early flowering or low stomatal conductance that are not applicable in breeding for crops with high yields under drought conditions. Even though a great deal of research is ongoing, especially in cereals, in this regard, not all mechanisms involved in drought tolerance are yet understood. The identification of candidate genes for drought tolerance that have a high potential to be used for breeding drought tolerant crops represents a challenge. Breeding for drought tolerant crops has to focus on acceptable yields under water-limited conditions and not on survival. However, as more and more knowledge about the complex networks and the cross talk during drought is available, more options are revealed. In addition, it has to be considered that conditioning a crop for drought tolerance might require the production of metabolites and might cost the plants energy and resources that cannot be used in terms of yield. Recent research indicates that yield penalty exists and efficient breeding for drought tolerant crops with acceptable yields under well-watered and drought conditions might require uncoupling yield penalty from drought tolerance. PMID:26193269

  5. Relationships between breeding status, social -congregation attendance, and foraging distance of xantus's murrelets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hamilton, C.D.; Golightly, R.T.; Takekawa, J.Y.

    2011-01-01

    At night during the breeding season, Xantus's Murrelets (Synthliboramphus hypoleucus) congregate on the water adjacent to nesting colonies. We examined relationships of attendance at these nocturnal congregations, breeding status, and daytime foraging locations of radio-marked Xantus's Murrelets from Anacapa Island (33 in 2002, 44 in 2003) and Santa Barbara Island (35 in 2002) in the California Channel Islands. Murrelets thatspent more nights attending congregations were located closer to the island during the day, so regular attendance at the congregations may have constrained daytime traveling distances to foraging locations. In mid-May 2003 home-range sizes increased while congregation attendance decreased, likely indicating the end of colony attendance and declining availability of prey near Anacapa Island. In both years, incubating murrelets foraged farther from the colony than did nonbreeding murrelets, suggesting that breeding and nonbreeding murrelets use different foraging strategies to meet their energetic requirements. Copyright ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2011.

  6. Working less to gain more: when breeding quality relates to foraging efficiency.

    PubMed

    Lescroël, Amélie; Ballard, Grant; Toniolo, Viola; Barton, Kerry J; Wilson, Peter R; Lyver, Philip O'B; Ainley, David G

    2010-07-01

    In animal populations, a minority of individuals consistently achieves the highest breeding success and therefore contributes the most recruits to future generations. On average, foraging performance is important in determining breeding success at the population level, but evidence is scarce to show that more successful breeders (better breeders) forage differently than less successful ones (poorer breeders). To test this hypothesis, we used a 10-year, three-colony, individual-based longitudinal data set on breeding success and foraging parameters of a long-lived bird, the Adélie Penguin, Pygoscelis adeliae. Better breeders foraged more efficiently than poorer breeders under harsh environmental conditions and when offspring needs were higher, therefore gaining higher net energy profit to be allocated to reproduction and survival. These results imply that adverse "extrinsic" conditions might select breeding individuals on the basis of their foraging ability. Adélie Penguins show sufficient phenotypic plasticity that at least a portion of the population is capable of surviving and successfully reproducing despite extreme variability in their physical and biological environment, variability that is likely to be associated with climate change and, ultimately, with the species' evolution. This study is the first to demonstrate the importance of "extrinsic" conditions (in terms of environmental conditions and offspring needs) on the relationship between foraging behavior and individual quality.

  7. King eider foraging effort during the pre-breeding period in Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oppel, Steffen; Powell, Abby N.; Butler, Malcolm G.

    2011-01-01

    For reproduction, many arctic-nesting migratory birds rely on nutrients obtained on the breeding grounds, so they devote sufficient time to foraging immediately prior to nesting. However, little is known about the increase in foraging effort necessary to meet the energetic requirements of reproduction. In early June 2006 and 2008, we quantified the proportion of time spent foraging before breeding by a large sea duck, the King Eider (Somateria spectabilis), on its breeding grounds in northern Alaska. During >235 hours of behavioral observations, both male and female King Eiders spent >50% of the day loafing (resting, sleeping, comfort behavior, or being alert). Females foraged on average 30% of the time (mean 7.2 hr day-1,95% CI 6.0-8.4 hr day-1), three times as much as males (9%; 2.3 hr day-1, 95% CI 1.5–2.8 hr day-1). The most common prey in ponds where the eiders foraged were chironomid larvae and worms ranging in length from 1 to 30 mm. If the King Eider's daily energy expenditure on its breeding grounds is similar to values published for related species, it would need to ingest only 0.2–0.6 g dry mass of invertebrates per minute of foraging to meet its energetic requirements. Males did not lose body mass before breeding, and we assume that their foraging effort was sufficient for energy balance. Therefore, female King Eiders appear to triple their foraging effort over maintenance requirements to meet the energetic challenges of egg formation.

  8. Mercury bioaccumulation and risk to three waterbird foraging guilds is influenced by foraging ecology and breeding stage

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eagles-Smith, C. A.; Ackerman, J.T.; de la Cruz, S.E.W.; Takekawa, J.Y.

    2009-01-01

    We evaluated mercury (Hg) in five waterbird species representing three foraging guilds in San Francisco Bay, CA. Fish-eating birds (Forster's and Caspian terns) had the highest Hg concentrations in thier tissues, but concentrations in an invertebrate-foraging shorebird (black-necked stilt) were also elevated. Foraging habitat was important for Hg exposure as illustrated by within-guild differences, where species more associated with marshes and salt ponds had higher concentrations than those more associated with open-bay and tidal mudflats. Importantly, Hg concentrations increased with time spent in the estuary. Surf scoter concentrations tripled over six months, whereas Forster's terns showed an up to 5-fold increase between estuary arrival and breeding. Breeding waterbirds were at elevated risk of Hg-induced reproductive impairment, particularly Forster's terns, in which 48% of breeding birds were at high risk due to their Hg??levels. Our results highlight the importance of habitat and exposure timing, in addition to trophic position, on waterbird Hg bioaccumulation and risk.

  9. Wetland selection by breeding and foraging black terns in the Prairie Pothole Region of the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Steen, Valerie A.; Powell, Abby N.

    2012-01-01

    We examined wetland selection by the Black Tern (Chlidonias niger), a species that breeds primarily in the prairie pothole region, has experienced population declines, and is difficult to manage because of low site fidelity. To characterize its selection of wetlands in this region, we surveyed 589 wetlands throughout North and South Dakota. We documented breeding at 5% and foraging at 17% of wetlands. We created predictive habitat models with a machine-learning algorithm, Random Forests, to explore the relative role of local wetland characteristics and those of the surrounding landscape and to evaluate which characteristics were important to predicting breeding versus foraging. We also examined area-dependent wetland selection while addressing the passive sampling bias by replacing occurrence of terns in the models with an index of density. Local wetland variables were more important than landscape variables in predictions of occurrence of breeding and foraging. Wetland size was more important to prediction of foraging than of breeding locations, while floating matted vegetation was more important to prediction of breeding than of foraging locations. The amount of seasonal wetland in the landscape was the only landscape variable important to prediction of both foraging and breeding. Models based on a density index indicated that wetland selection by foraging terns may be more area dependent than that by breeding terns. Our study provides some of the first evidence for differential breeding and foraging wetland selection by Black Terns and for a more limited role of landscape effects and area sensitivity than has been previously shown.

  10. Breeding oilseed crops for climate change

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Oilseed crops are the basis for biological systems that produce edible oils, contribute to renewable energy production, help stabilize greenhouse gases, and mitigate the risk of climate change. Their response to climate change will be dictated by reactions to temperature, carbon dioxide, solar radia...

  11. Advanced phenotyping offers opportunities for improved breeding of forage and turf species

    PubMed Central

    Walter, Achim; Studer, Bruno; Kölliker, Roland

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Advanced phenotyping, i.e. the application of automated, high-throughput methods to characterize plant architecture and performance, has the potential to accelerate breeding progress but is far from being routinely used in current breeding approaches. In forage and turf improvement programmes, in particular, where breeding populations and cultivars are characterized by high genetic diversity and substantial genotype × environment interactions, precise and efficient phenotyping is essential to meet future challenges imposed by climate change, growing demand and declining resources. Scope This review highlights recent achievements in the establishment of phenotyping tools and platforms. Some of these tools have originally been established in remote sensing, some in precision agriculture, while others are laboratory-based imaging procedures. They quantify plant colour, spectral reflection, chlorophyll-fluorescence, temperature and other properties, from which traits such as biomass, architecture, photosynthetic efficiency, stomatal aperture or stress resistance can be derived. Applications of these methods in the context of forage and turf breeding are discussed. Conclusions Progress in cutting-edge molecular breeding tools is beginning to be matched by progress in automated non-destructive imaging methods. Joint application of precise phenotyping machinery and molecular tools in optimized breeding schemes will improve forage and turf breeding in the near future and will thereby contribute to amended performance of managed grassland agroecosystems. PMID:22362662

  12. Shallow groundwater quality on dairy farms with irrigated forage crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harter, Thomas; Davis, Harley; Mathews, Marsha C.; Meyer, Roland D.

    2002-04-01

    California's dairies are the largest confined animal industry in the state. A major portion of these dairies, which have an average herd size of nearly 1000 animal units, are located in low-relief valleys and basins. Large amounts of liquid manure are generated and stored in these dairies. In the semi-arid climate, liquid manure is frequently applied via flood or furrow irrigation to forage crops that are grown almost year-round. Little is known about the impact of manure management practices on water quality of the extensive alluvial aquifers underlying these basins. The objective of this work is to assess nitrate and salt leaching to shallow groundwater in a relatively vulnerable hydrogeologic region and to quantify the impact from individual sources on dairies. The complex array of potential point and nonpoint sources was divided into three major source areas representing farm management units: (1) manure water lagoons (ponds); (2) feedlot or exercise yard, dry manure, and feed storage areas (corrals); and (3) manure irrigated forage fields (fields). An extensive shallow groundwater-monitoring network (44 wells) was installed in five representative dairy operations in the northeastern San Joaquin Valley, CA. Water quality (electrical conductivity, nitrate-nitrogen, total Kjehldahl nitrogen) was observed over a 4-year period. Nitrate-N, reduced nitrogen and electrical conductivity (EC, salinity) were subject to large spatial and temporal variability. The range of observed nitrate-N and salinity levels was similar on all five dairies. Average shallow groundwater nitrate-N concentrations within the dairies were 64 mg/l compared to 24 mg/l in shallow wells immediately upgradient of these dairies. Average EC levels were 1.9 mS/cm within the dairies and 0.8 mS/cm immediately upgradient. Within the dairies, nitrate-N levels did not significantly vary across dairy management units. However, EC levels were significantly higher in corral and pond areas (2.3 mS/cm) than in

  13. Shallow groundwater quality on dairy farms with irrigated forage crops.

    PubMed

    Harter, Thomas; Davis, Harley; Mathews, Marsha C; Meyer, Roland D

    2002-04-01

    California's dairies are the largest confined animal industry in the state. A major portion of these dairies, which have an average herd size of nearly 1000 animal units, are located in low-relief valleys and basins. Large amounts of liquid manure are generated and stored in these dairies. In the semi-arid climate, liquid manure is frequently applied via flood or furrow irrigation to forage crops that are grown almost year-round. Little is known about the impact of manure management practices on water quality of the extensive alluvial aquifers underlying these basins. The objective of this work is to assess nitrate and salt leaching to shallow groundwater in a relatively vulnerable hydrogeologic region and to quantify the impact from individual sources on dairies. The complex array of potential point and nonpoint sources was divided into three major source areas representing farm management units: (1) manure water lagoons (ponds); (2) feedlot or exercise yard, dry manure, and feed storage areas (corrals); and (3) manure irrigated forage fields (fields). An extensive shallow groundwater-monitoring network (44 wells) was installed in five representative dairy operations in the northeastern San Joaquin Valley, CA. Water quality (electrical conductivity, nitrate-nitrogen, total Kjehldahl nitrogen) was observed over a 4-year period. Nitrate-N, reduced nitrogen and electrical conductivity (EC, salinity) were subject to large spatial and temporal variability. The range of observed nitrate-N and salinity levels was similar on all five dairies. Average shallow groundwater nitrate-N concentrations within the dairies were 64 mg/l compared to 24 mg/l in shallow wells immediately upgradient of these dairies. Average EC levels were 1.9 mS/cm within the dairies and 0.8 mS/cm immediately upgradient. Within the dairies, nitrate-N levels did not significantly vary across dairy management units. However, EC levels were significantly higher in corral and pond areas (2.3 mS/cm) than in

  14. Molecular Breeding of Sorghum bicolor, A Novel Energy Crop.

    PubMed

    Ordonio, Reynante; Ito, Yusuke; Morinaka, Yoichi; Sazuka, Takashi; Matsuoka, Makoto

    2016-01-01

    Currently, molecular breeding is regarded as an important tool for the improvement of many crop species. However, in sorghum, recently heralded as an important bioenergy crop, progress in this field has been relatively slow and limited. In this review, we present existing efforts targeted at genetic characterization of sorghum mutants. We also comprehensively review the different attempts made toward the isolation of genes involved in agronomically important traits, including the dissection of some sorghum quantitative trait loci (QTLs). We also explore the current status of the use of transgenic techniques in sorghum, which should be crucial for advancing sorghum molecular breeding. Through this report, we provide a useful benchmark to help assess how much more sorghum genomics and molecular breeding could be improved.

  15. Annual variation in foraging ecology of prothonotary warblers during the breeding season

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Petit, L.J.; Petit, D.R.; Petit, K.E.; Fleming, W.J.

    1990-01-01

    We studied foraging ecology of Prothonotary Warblers (Protonotaria citrea) along the Tennessee River in west-central Tennessee during the breeding seasons of 1984-1987. We analyzed seven foraging variables to determine if this population exhibited annual variation in foraging behavior. Based on nearly 3,000 foraging maneuvers, most variables showed significant interyear variation during the four prenestling and three nestling periods we studied. This interyear variation probably was due -to proximate, environmental cues--such as distribution and abundance of arthropods--which, in turn, were influenced by local weather conditions. Researchers should consider the consequences of combining foraging behavior data collected in different years, because resolution of ecological trends may be sacrificed by considering only general patterns of foraging ecology and not the dynamics of those activities. In addition, because of annual variability, foraging data collected in only one year, regardless of the number of observations gathered, may not provide an accurate concept of the foraging ecology in insectivorous birds.

  16. Proceedings of the 7th International Symposium on the Molecular Breeding of Forage and Turf

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The 7th International Symposium on the Molecular Breeding of Forage and Turf, MBFT2012, was held in Salt Lake City, UT, USA, from 4-7 June 2012. One-hundred and fifteen researchers from around the world presented oral and poster formats relating to ten general topics: Genetic mechanisms and applic...

  17. Multidimensional differentiation in foraging resource use during breeding of two sympatric top predators

    PubMed Central

    Friedemann, Guilad; Leshem, Yossi; Kerem, Lior; Shacham, Boaz; Bar-Massada, Avi; McClain, Krystaal M.; Bohrer, Gil; Izhaki, Ido

    2016-01-01

    Ecologically-similar species were found to develop specific strategies to partition their resources, leading to niche differentiation and divergence, in order to avoid interspecific competition. Our study determines multi-dimensional differentiation of two sympatric top-predators, long-legged buzzards (LLB) and short-toed eagles (STE), which recently became sympatric during their breeding season in the Judean Foothills, Israel. By combining information from comprehensive diet and movement analyses we found four dimensions of differentiation: (1) Geographic foraging area: LLB tended to forage relatively close to their nests (2.35 ± 0.62 km), while STE forage far from their nest (13.03 ± 2.20 km); (2) Foraging-habitat type: LLBs forage at low natural vegetation, avoiding cultivated fields, whereas STEs forage in cultivated fields, avoiding low natural vegetation; (3) Diurnal dynamics of foraging: LLBs are uniformly active during daytime, whereas STEs activity peaks in the early afternoon; and (4) Food-niche: while both species largely rely on reptiles (47.8% and 76.3% for LLB and STE, respectively), LLB had a more diverse diet and consumed significantly higher percentages of lizards, while STE consumed significantly higher percentages of snakes. Our results suggest that this multidimensional differentiation allows the spatial coexistence of these two dense populations in the study area. PMID:27725734

  18. Multidimensional differentiation in foraging resource use during breeding of two sympatric top predators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friedemann, Guilad; Leshem, Yossi; Kerem, Lior; Shacham, Boaz; Bar-Massada, Avi; McClain, Krystaal M.; Bohrer, Gil; Izhaki, Ido

    2016-10-01

    Ecologically-similar species were found to develop specific strategies to partition their resources, leading to niche differentiation and divergence, in order to avoid interspecific competition. Our study determines multi-dimensional differentiation of two sympatric top-predators, long-legged buzzards (LLB) and short-toed eagles (STE), which recently became sympatric during their breeding season in the Judean Foothills, Israel. By combining information from comprehensive diet and movement analyses we found four dimensions of differentiation: (1) Geographic foraging area: LLB tended to forage relatively close to their nests (2.35 ± 0.62 km), while STE forage far from their nest (13.03 ± 2.20 km) (2) Foraging-habitat type: LLBs forage at low natural vegetation, avoiding cultivated fields, whereas STEs forage in cultivated fields, avoiding low natural vegetation; (3) Diurnal dynamics of foraging: LLBs are uniformly active during daytime, whereas STEs activity peaks in the early afternoon; and (4) Food-niche: while both species largely rely on reptiles (47.8% and 76.3% for LLB and STE, respectively), LLB had a more diverse diet and consumed significantly higher percentages of lizards, while STE consumed significantly higher percentages of snakes. Our results suggest that this multidimensional differentiation allows the spatial coexistence of these two dense populations in the study area.

  19. Genome-editing technologies and their potential application in horticultural crop breeding

    PubMed Central

    Xiong, Jin-Song; Ding, Jing; Li, Yi

    2015-01-01

    Plant breeding, one of the oldest agricultural activities, parallels human civilization. Many crops have been domesticated to satisfy human's food and aesthetical needs, including numerous specialty horticultural crops such as fruits, vegetables, ornamental flowers, shrubs, and trees. Crop varieties originated through selection during early human civilization. Other technologies, such as various forms of hybridization, mutation, and transgenics, have also been invented and applied to crop breeding over the past centuries. The progress made in these breeding technologies, especially the modern biotechnology-based breeding technologies, has had a great impact on crop breeding as well as on our lives. Here, we first review the developmental process and applications of these technologies in horticultural crop breeding. Then, we mainly describe the principles of the latest genome-editing technologies and discuss their potential applications in the genetic improvement of horticultural crops. The advantages and challenges of genome-editing technologies in horticultural crop breeding are also discussed. PMID:26504570

  20. Genome-editing technologies and their potential application in horticultural crop breeding.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Jin-Song; Ding, Jing; Li, Yi

    2015-01-01

    Plant breeding, one of the oldest agricultural activities, parallels human civilization. Many crops have been domesticated to satisfy human's food and aesthetical needs, including numerous specialty horticultural crops such as fruits, vegetables, ornamental flowers, shrubs, and trees. Crop varieties originated through selection during early human civilization. Other technologies, such as various forms of hybridization, mutation, and transgenics, have also been invented and applied to crop breeding over the past centuries. The progress made in these breeding technologies, especially the modern biotechnology-based breeding technologies, has had a great impact on crop breeding as well as on our lives. Here, we first review the developmental process and applications of these technologies in horticultural crop breeding. Then, we mainly describe the principles of the latest genome-editing technologies and discuss their potential applications in the genetic improvement of horticultural crops. The advantages and challenges of genome-editing technologies in horticultural crop breeding are also discussed. PMID:26504570

  1. Clark’s Nutcracker Breeding Season Space Use and Foraging Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Schaming, Taza D.

    2016-01-01

    Considering the entire life history of a species is fundamental to developing effective conservation strategies. Decreasing populations of five-needle white pines may be leading to the decline of Clark’s nutcrackers (Nucifraga columbiana). These birds are important seed dispersers for at least ten conifer species in the western U.S., including whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis), an obligate mutualist of Clark’s nutcrackers. For effective conservation of both Clark’s nutcrackers and whitebark pine, it is essential to ensure stability of Clark’s nutcracker populations. My objectives were to examine Clark’s nutcracker breeding season home range size, territoriality, habitat selection, and foraging behavior in the southern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, a region where whitebark pine is declining. I radio-tracked Clark’s nutcrackers in 2011, a population-wide nonbreeding year following a low whitebark pine cone crop, and 2012, a breeding year following a high cone crop. Results suggest Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) communities are important habitat for Clark’s nutcrackers because they selected it for home ranges. In contrast, they did not select whitebark pine habitat. However, Clark’s nutcrackers did adjust their use of whitebark pine habitat between years, suggesting that, in some springs, whitebark pine habitat may be used more than previously expected. Newly extracted Douglas-fir seeds were an important food source both years. On the other hand, cached seeds made up a relatively lower proportion of the diet in 2011, suggesting cached seeds are not a reliable spring food source. Land managers focus on restoring whitebark pine habitat with the assumption that Clark’s nutcrackers will be available to continue seed dispersal. In the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Clark’s nutcracker populations may be more likely to be retained year-round when whitebark pine restoration efforts are located adjacent to Douglas-fir habitat. By extrapolation

  2. Foraging and nesting habitat of breeding male northern goshawks in the laurentian mixed forest province, Minnesota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boal, C.W.; Andersen, D.E.; Kennedy, P.L.

    2005-01-01

    We used radiotelemetry to examine foraging habitat preferences of 17 breeding, male northern goshawks (Accipiter gentilis) in Minnesota from 1998-2000. We assessed habitat preference using radio relocation points and 50-m radius buffers of radio relocation points. Our data suggested that foraging male goshawks used early-successional upland conifer stands (???25 yrs old), early-successional upland deciduous stands (???50 yrs old), late-successional upland conifer stands (???50 yrs old), and late-successional upland deciduous stands (???50 yrs old) more frequently than expected based on the abundance of these vegetation types in the landscape. The 2 most available stand types, early-successional upland deciduous (<25 yrs old) and all ages of late-successional lowland conifer stands, were used less than expected by foraging goshawks. Late-successional lowland deciduous stands (???50 yrs old) were used in proportion to availability. Although analysis of relocation points suggested early-successional upland deciduous stands (25-49 yrs old) and late-successional upland conifer stands (???50 yrs old) were used in proportion to availability, analysis of buffers around relocation points indicated that these stand types were also used more than expected by foraging goshawks. Regardless of vegetation community type, stands used by goshawks were structurally similar with high canopy and understory stem densities, high canopy closure, substantial shrub cover, and large amounts of woody debris. Nest stands consisted of taller and larger diameter canopy trees and fewer understory trees than foraging stands, but stands were otherwise similar in structural features, suggesting goshawks used similar stands for nesting and foraging but that they tended to select the most mature stands for nesting. A commonality among nesting and foraging stands was the presence of open spaces between the canopy and understory foliage, and between understory and shrub layer foliage. In our study area

  3. Risk-sensitive foraging and the evolution of cooperative breeding and reproductive skew

    PubMed Central

    Poethke, Hans J; Liebig, Jürgen

    2008-01-01

    Background Group formation and food sharing in animals may reduce variance in resource supply to breeding individuals. For some species it has thus been interpreted as a mechanism of risk avoidance. However, in many groups reproduction is extremely skewed. In such groups resources are not shared equally among the members and inter-individual variance in resource supply may be extreme. The potential consequences of this aspect of group living have not attained much attention in the context of risk sensitive foraging. Results We develop a model of individually foraging animals that share resources for reproduction. The model allows analyzing how mean foraging success, inter-individual variance of foraging success, and the cost of reproduction and offspring raising influence the benefit of group formation and resource sharing. Our model shows that the effects are diametrically opposed in egalitarian groups versus groups with high reproductive skew. For individuals in egalitarian groups the relative benefit of group formation increases under conditions of increasing variance in foraging success and decreasing cost of reproduction. On the other hand individuals in groups with high skew will profit from group formation under conditions of decreasing variance in individual foraging success and increasing cost of reproduction. Conclusion The model clearly demonstrates that reproductive skew qualitatively changes the influence of food sharing on the reproductive output of groups. It shows that the individual benefits of variance reduction in egalitarian groups and variance enhancement in groups with reproductive skew depend critically on ecological and life-history parameters. Our model of risk-sensitive foraging thus allows comparing animal societies as different as spiders and birds in a single framework. PMID:18366668

  4. Relationship between reversed sexual dimorphism, breeding investment and foraging ecology in a pelagic seabird, the masked booby.

    PubMed

    Weimerskirch, Henri; Le Corre, Matthieu; Gadenne, Hélène; Pinaud, David; Kato, Akiko; Ropert-Coudert, Yan; Bost, Charles-André

    2009-09-01

    Reversed sexual dimorphism (RSD) may be related to different roles in breeding investment and/or foraging, but little information is available on foraging ecology. We studied the foraging behaviour and parental investment by male and female masked boobies, a species with RSD, by combining studies of foraging ecology using miniaturised activity and GPS data loggers of nest attendance, with an experimental study where flight costs were increased. Males attended the chick more often than females, but females provided more food to the chick than males. Males and females foraged during similar periods of the day, had similar prey types and sizes, diving depths, durations of foraging trips, foraging zones and ranges. Females spent a smaller proportion of the foraging trip sitting on the water and had higher diving rate than males, suggesting higher foraging effort by females. In females, trip duration correlated with mass at departure, suggesting a flexible investment through control by body mass. The experimental study showed that handicapped females and female partners of handicapped males lost mass compared to control birds, whereas there was no difference for males. These results indicate that the larger female is the main provisioner of the chick in the pair, and regulates breeding effort in relation to its own body mass, whereas males have a fixed investment. The different breeding investment between the sexes is associated with contrasting foraging strategies, but no clear niche differentiation was observed. The larger size of the females may be advantageous for provisioning the chick with large quantities of energy and for flexible breeding effort, while the smaller male invests in territory defence and nest guarding, a crucial task when breeding at high densities. In masked boobies, division of labour appears to be maximal during chick rearin-g-the most energy-demanding period--and may be related to evolution of RSD.

  5. Relationship between reversed sexual dimorphism, breeding investment and foraging ecology in a pelagic seabird, the masked booby.

    PubMed

    Weimerskirch, Henri; Le Corre, Matthieu; Gadenne, Hélène; Pinaud, David; Kato, Akiko; Ropert-Coudert, Yan; Bost, Charles-André

    2009-09-01

    Reversed sexual dimorphism (RSD) may be related to different roles in breeding investment and/or foraging, but little information is available on foraging ecology. We studied the foraging behaviour and parental investment by male and female masked boobies, a species with RSD, by combining studies of foraging ecology using miniaturised activity and GPS data loggers of nest attendance, with an experimental study where flight costs were increased. Males attended the chick more often than females, but females provided more food to the chick than males. Males and females foraged during similar periods of the day, had similar prey types and sizes, diving depths, durations of foraging trips, foraging zones and ranges. Females spent a smaller proportion of the foraging trip sitting on the water and had higher diving rate than males, suggesting higher foraging effort by females. In females, trip duration correlated with mass at departure, suggesting a flexible investment through control by body mass. The experimental study showed that handicapped females and female partners of handicapped males lost mass compared to control birds, whereas there was no difference for males. These results indicate that the larger female is the main provisioner of the chick in the pair, and regulates breeding effort in relation to its own body mass, whereas males have a fixed investment. The different breeding investment between the sexes is associated with contrasting foraging strategies, but no clear niche differentiation was observed. The larger size of the females may be advantageous for provisioning the chick with large quantities of energy and for flexible breeding effort, while the smaller male invests in territory defence and nest guarding, a crucial task when breeding at high densities. In masked boobies, division of labour appears to be maximal during chick rearin-g-the most energy-demanding period--and may be related to evolution of RSD. PMID:19544073

  6. 7 CFR 457.117 - Forage production crop insurance provisions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... determined by forage type, as applicable. 3. Contract Changes In accordance with section 4 (Contract Changes) of the Basic Provisions (§ 457.8), the contract change date is June 30 preceding the cancellation... against the following causes of loss that occur during the insurance period: (1) Adverse...

  7. 7 CFR 457.117 - Forage production crop insurance provisions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... determined by forage type, as applicable. 3. Contract Changes In accordance with section 4 (Contract Changes) of the Basic Provisions (§ 457.8), the contract change date is June 30 preceding the cancellation... against the following causes of loss that occur during the insurance period: (1) Adverse...

  8. Benefits of annual and perennial forages in row crop rotations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Development of crop rotations that support sustainable agriculture depends on understanding complex relationships between soils, crops, and yield. Objectives were to measure how soil chemical and physical attributes as well as corn and soybean stover dry weight, stover mineral concentrations, seed ...

  9. Postweaning gains in calves sired by six sire breeds evaluated on two preweaning forages and two postweaning management systems.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Technical Abstract: Postweaning ADG from 462 calves from Brangus cows and sired by 6 breeds (Bonsmara, Brangus, Charolais, Gelbvieh, Romosinuano) was measured over a 4-yr period to evaluate the impact of preweaning forage, postweaning management, sire breed, and gender on postweaning gain. Prewean...

  10. Assessment of reclaimed water irrigation on growth, yield, and water-use efficiency of forage crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alkhamisi, S. A.; Abdelrahman, H. A.; Ahmed, M.; Goosen, M. F. A.

    2011-09-01

    Field experiments were conducted to determine the effect of water quality (reclaimed and fresh water), water quantity, and their interactions on the growth, yield, and water use efficiency of forage maize during two winter seasons in the Arabian Gulf. The plants irrigated with the reclaimed water had higher plant height than those irrigated with the fresh water. The leaf length and leaf area (cm2) did not show any significant differences among the interaction. Reclaimed water had shorter time for 50% male and female flowering of forage maize plants, indicating earlier maturity. Plants irrigated with reclaimed water had higher chlorophyll content for all levels of water applications. A significant difference in green forage yield was found among the interactions. Reclaimed water gave the highest green forage yield of 72.12 and 59.40 t/ha at 1.4ETo and 1.0ETo, respectively. Plants irrigated with the reclaimed water used water more efficiently [3.65 kg/m3 of DM (dry matter)] than those irrigated with the fresh water [2.91 kg/m3 of DM (dry matter)] for all water quantities. The enhanced growth in wastewater-irrigated crops, compared with fresh water-irrigated crops, was attributed primarily to higher nutrient content (e.g., nitrogen) and lower salinity of the reclaimed water. The study concluded that treated wastewater irrigation increased yields of forage crops and their water use efficiency. Cost-benefit analysis, studies on the use these forage crops as animal feed, and more in depth evaluation of possible crop and soil contamination were recommended.

  11. Foraging time and dietary intake by breeding ross's and lesser snow geese

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gloutney, M.L.; Alisauskas, R.T.; Afton, A.D.; Slattery, S.M.

    2001-01-01

    We compared foraging times of female Ross's (Chen rossii) and Lesser Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens caerulescens) breeding at Karrak Lake, NT, Canada and examined variation due to time of day and reproductive stage. We subsequently collected female geese that had foraged for known duration and we estimated mass of foods consumed during foraging bouts. Female Ross's Geese spent more time foraging (mean % ?? SE = 28.4 ?? 1.3%; P = 0.0002), on average, than did female Lesser Snow Geese (21.5 ?? 1.4%). Foraging time by female geese differed among reproductive stages, but differences were not consistent among time periods (stage-by-time block interaction, P=0.0003). Females spent considerably more time foraging during prelaying and laying than during incubation. Ross's Geese also spent a greater percent of time feeding (83.0??2.8%) during incubation recesses than did Lesser Snow Geese (60.9??3.6%). Consumption of organic matter during foraging bouts was minimal; estimated consumption averaged 9.6??4.0 and 12.4??4.6 g (mean ?? SE) dry mass/day before incubation and 5.9??2.0 and 5.7??2.1 g dry mass/day during incubation for Lesser Snow and Ross's Geese, respectively. Diets consisted primarily of mosses (bryophytes), Chickweed (Stellaria spp.) and Sedges (Carex spp.). Before incubation, eggshell consumption was estimated as 4.3??3.2 and 0.4??0.3 g dry mass/day for Lesser Snow and Ross's Geese, respectively; neither species consumed eggshell during incubation. We conclude that eggshell from nests of previous years is likely an important source of dietary calcium used to meet mineral demands of eggshell formation at Karrak Lake. Our findings of wide disparities between foraging time and food intake indicate that results from studies that do not directly measure intake rates remain equivocal. Finally, we propose four hypotheses accounting for foraging effort that evidently yields little nutritional or energetic benefit to geese nesting at Karrak Lake.

  12. Terrestrial and Marine Foraging Strategies of an Opportunistic Seabird Species Breeding in the Wadden Sea.

    PubMed

    Garthe, Stefan; Schwemmer, Philipp; Paiva, Vitor H; Corman, Anna-Marie; Fock, Heino O; Voigt, Christian C; Adler, Sven

    2016-01-01

    Lesser black-backed gulls Larus fuscus are considered to be mainly pelagic. We assessed the importance of different landscape elements (open sea, tidal flats and inland) by comparing marine and terrestrial foraging behaviours in lesser black-backed gulls breeding along the coast of the southern North Sea. We attached GPS data loggers to eight incubating birds and collected information on diet and habitat use. The loggers recorded data for 10-19 days to allow flight-path reconstruction. Lesser black-backed gulls foraged in both offshore and inland areas, but rarely on tidal flats. Targets and directions were similar among all eight individuals. Foraging trips (n = 108) lasted 0.5-26.4 h (mean 8.7 h), and ranges varied from 3.0-79.9 km (mean 30.9 km). The total distance travelled per foraging trip ranged from 7.5-333.6 km (mean 97.9 km). Trips out to sea were significantly more variable in all parameters than inland trips. Presence in inland areas was closely associated with daylight, whereas trips to sea occurred at day and night, but mostly at night. The most common items in pellets were grass (48%), insects (38%), fish (28%), litter (26%) and earthworms (20%). There was a significant relationship between the carbon and nitrogen isotope signals in blood and the proportional time each individual spent foraging at sea/land. On land, gulls preferentially foraged on bare ground, with significantly higher use of potato fields and significantly less use of grassland. The flight patterns of lesser black-backed gulls at sea overlapped with fishing-vessel distribution, including small beam trawlers fishing for shrimps in coastal waters close to the colony and large beam-trawlers fishing for flatfish at greater distances. Our data show that individuals made intensive use of the anthropogenic landscape and seascape, indicating that lesser black-backed gulls are not a predominantly marine species during the incubation period. PMID:27525661

  13. Terrestrial and Marine Foraging Strategies of an Opportunistic Seabird Species Breeding in the Wadden Sea.

    PubMed

    Garthe, Stefan; Schwemmer, Philipp; Paiva, Vitor H; Corman, Anna-Marie; Fock, Heino O; Voigt, Christian C; Adler, Sven

    2016-01-01

    Lesser black-backed gulls Larus fuscus are considered to be mainly pelagic. We assessed the importance of different landscape elements (open sea, tidal flats and inland) by comparing marine and terrestrial foraging behaviours in lesser black-backed gulls breeding along the coast of the southern North Sea. We attached GPS data loggers to eight incubating birds and collected information on diet and habitat use. The loggers recorded data for 10-19 days to allow flight-path reconstruction. Lesser black-backed gulls foraged in both offshore and inland areas, but rarely on tidal flats. Targets and directions were similar among all eight individuals. Foraging trips (n = 108) lasted 0.5-26.4 h (mean 8.7 h), and ranges varied from 3.0-79.9 km (mean 30.9 km). The total distance travelled per foraging trip ranged from 7.5-333.6 km (mean 97.9 km). Trips out to sea were significantly more variable in all parameters than inland trips. Presence in inland areas was closely associated with daylight, whereas trips to sea occurred at day and night, but mostly at night. The most common items in pellets were grass (48%), insects (38%), fish (28%), litter (26%) and earthworms (20%). There was a significant relationship between the carbon and nitrogen isotope signals in blood and the proportional time each individual spent foraging at sea/land. On land, gulls preferentially foraged on bare ground, with significantly higher use of potato fields and significantly less use of grassland. The flight patterns of lesser black-backed gulls at sea overlapped with fishing-vessel distribution, including small beam trawlers fishing for shrimps in coastal waters close to the colony and large beam-trawlers fishing for flatfish at greater distances. Our data show that individuals made intensive use of the anthropogenic landscape and seascape, indicating that lesser black-backed gulls are not a predominantly marine species during the incubation period.

  14. Ecogeography and utility to plant breeding of the crop wild relatives of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crop wild relatives (CWR) are a rich source of genetic diversity for crop improvement. Combining ecogeographic and phylogenetic techniques can inform both conservation and breeding. Geographic occurrence, bioclimatic, and biophysical data were used to predict species distributions, range overlap and...

  15. Sustainable agriculture for a dynamic world: Forage-Crop-Livestock systems research

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Research at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Grazinglands Research Laboratory is focused on development and delivery of improved technologies, strategies, and planning tools for integrated crop-forage-livestock systems under variable climate, energy, and market conditions. The GRL research p...

  16. Reconsidering Tree Fruit as Candidate Crops Through the Use of Rapid Cycle Crop Breeding Technologies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Graham, Gary Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Tree fruit, although desirable from a crew nutrition and menu diversity perspective, have long been dismissed as candidate crops based on their long juvenile phase, large architecture, low short-term harvest index, and dormancy requirements. Recent developments in Rapid Cycle Crop Breeding (RCCB) have overcome these historical limitations, opening the door to a new era in candidate crop research. Researchers at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have developed FT-construct (Flowering Locus T) dwarf plum lines that have a very short juvenile phase, vine-like architecture, and no obligate dormancy period. In a collaborative research effort, NASA and the USDA are evaluating the performance of these FT-lines under controlled environment conditions relevant to spaceflight.

  17. Molecular Breeding for Improved Second Generation Bioenergy Crops.

    PubMed

    Allwright, Mike R; Taylor, Gail

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing urgency to develop and deploy sustainable sources of energy to reduce our global dependency on finite, high-carbon fossil fuels. Lignocellulosic feedstocks, used in power and liquid fuel generation, are valuable sources of non-food plant biomass. They are cultivated with minimal inputs on marginal or degraded lands to prevent competition with arable agriculture and offer significant potential for sustainable intensification (the improvement of yield without the necessity for additional inputs) through advanced molecular breeding. This article explores progress made in next generation sequencing, advanced genotyping, association genetics, and genetic modification in second generation bioenergy production. Using poplar as an exemplar where most progress has been made, a suite of target traits is also identified giving insight into possible routes for crop improvement and deployment in the immediate future. PMID:26541073

  18. Molecular Breeding for Improved Second Generation Bioenergy Crops.

    PubMed

    Allwright, Mike R; Taylor, Gail

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing urgency to develop and deploy sustainable sources of energy to reduce our global dependency on finite, high-carbon fossil fuels. Lignocellulosic feedstocks, used in power and liquid fuel generation, are valuable sources of non-food plant biomass. They are cultivated with minimal inputs on marginal or degraded lands to prevent competition with arable agriculture and offer significant potential for sustainable intensification (the improvement of yield without the necessity for additional inputs) through advanced molecular breeding. This article explores progress made in next generation sequencing, advanced genotyping, association genetics, and genetic modification in second generation bioenergy production. Using poplar as an exemplar where most progress has been made, a suite of target traits is also identified giving insight into possible routes for crop improvement and deployment in the immediate future.

  19. Biotechnological approaches to breeding and cultivation of ornamental crop plants.

    PubMed

    Khayat, E

    1990-01-01

    Recent advances in plant biotechnology hold great potential for the ornamental horticulture industry. In addition to conventional methods, breeders can now introduce genetic variation into ornamentals by the application of recombinant DNA technology. This technology is particularly useful for effecting changes in phenotypic expression encoded by single genes such as corolla and foliage color and texture, stem length, scent, temporal regulation of flowering, vase life of cut flowers and resistance to stressful environments. In part, the commercial success of this technology will depend on developing reliable methods of transformation of ornamentals and on the stability of the introduced or altered genes. In addition, new and improved strategies of in vitro culture have been commercially implemented for the propagation and breeding of a wide variety of ornamental crops and will undoubtedly play a major role in the screening and propagation of chimeric plants developed by recombinant DNA technology.

  20. Daily foraging patterns of adult Double-crested Cormorants during the breeding season

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coleman, J.T.H.; Richmond, M.E.

    2007-01-01

    We recorded the daily presence of Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) at the nesting island on Oneida Lake, New York, by monitoring the activities of 15 radio-tagged adults from July through September, 2000, using an automated data-logging receiver. A total of 24,464 acceptable detections was obtained for adult cormorants actively attempting to nest on the lake. Tagged cormorants had a bimodal dally activity pattern during the first month, with the fewest birds detected on the island at 09.00 h and 15.00 h Eastern daylight time. The pattern of activity appeared to change slightly in the second month of the study, representative of a post-breeding period for the colony, with a shift from a less synchronous pattern of departures to a greater focus on morning activity also centered around 09.30 h. These results correspond with daily observations of Great Cormorant (P. carbo) foraging activities reported for colonies in Africa and Poland. The data also support the possibility of nocturnal foraging activity, not previously reported for this species on their summer breeding grounds. No correlation was found between total number of daily detections and climatalogical factors or events.

  1. Assessing Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Foraging Populations and the Potential Impact of Pesticides on Eight U.S. Crops.

    PubMed

    Frazier, Maryann T; Mullin, Chris A; Frazier, Jim L; Ashcraft, Sara A; Leslie, Tim W; Mussen, Eric C; Drummond, Frank A

    2015-10-01

    Beekeepers who use honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) for crop pollination services, or have colonies making honey on or in close proximity to agricultural crops, are concerned about the reductions of colony foragers and ultimate weakening of their colonies. Pesticide exposure is a potential factor in the loss of foragers. During 2009-2010, we assessed changes in the field force populations of 9-10 colonies at one location per crop on each of the eight crops by counting departing foragers leaving colonies at regular intervals during the respective crop blooming periods. The number of frames of adult bees was counted before and after bloom period. For pesticide analysis, we collected dead and dying bees near the hives, returning foragers, crop flowers, trapped pollen, and corn-flowers associated with the cotton crop. The number of departing foragers changed over time in all crops except almonds; general patterns in foraging activity included declines (cotton), noticeable peaks and declines (alfalfa, blueberries, cotton, corn, and pumpkins), and increases (apples and cantaloupes). The number of adult bee frames increased or remained stable in all crops except alfalfa and cotton. A total of 53 different pesticide residues were identified in samples collected across eight crops. Hazard quotients (HQ) were calculated for the combined residues for all crop-associated samples and separately for samples of dead and dying bees. A decrease in the number of departing foragers in cotton was one of the most substantial crop-associated impacts and presented the highest pesticide risk estimated by a summed pesticide residue HQ. PMID:26453703

  2. Assessing Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Foraging Populations and the Potential Impact of Pesticides on Eight U.S. Crops.

    PubMed

    Frazier, Maryann T; Mullin, Chris A; Frazier, Jim L; Ashcraft, Sara A; Leslie, Tim W; Mussen, Eric C; Drummond, Frank A

    2015-10-01

    Beekeepers who use honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) for crop pollination services, or have colonies making honey on or in close proximity to agricultural crops, are concerned about the reductions of colony foragers and ultimate weakening of their colonies. Pesticide exposure is a potential factor in the loss of foragers. During 2009-2010, we assessed changes in the field force populations of 9-10 colonies at one location per crop on each of the eight crops by counting departing foragers leaving colonies at regular intervals during the respective crop blooming periods. The number of frames of adult bees was counted before and after bloom period. For pesticide analysis, we collected dead and dying bees near the hives, returning foragers, crop flowers, trapped pollen, and corn-flowers associated with the cotton crop. The number of departing foragers changed over time in all crops except almonds; general patterns in foraging activity included declines (cotton), noticeable peaks and declines (alfalfa, blueberries, cotton, corn, and pumpkins), and increases (apples and cantaloupes). The number of adult bee frames increased or remained stable in all crops except alfalfa and cotton. A total of 53 different pesticide residues were identified in samples collected across eight crops. Hazard quotients (HQ) were calculated for the combined residues for all crop-associated samples and separately for samples of dead and dying bees. A decrease in the number of departing foragers in cotton was one of the most substantial crop-associated impacts and presented the highest pesticide risk estimated by a summed pesticide residue HQ.

  3. Assessing Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Foraging Populations and the Potential Impact of Pesticides on Eight U.S. Crops

    PubMed Central

    Frazier, Maryann T.; Mullin, Chris A.; Frazier, Jim L.; Ashcraft, Sara A.; Leslie, Tim W.; Mussen, Eric C.; Drummond, Frank A.

    2015-01-01

    Beekeepers who use honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) for crop pollination services, or have colonies making honey on or in close proximity to agricultural crops, are concerned about the reductions of colony foragers and ultimate weakening of their colonies. Pesticide exposure is a potential factor in the loss of foragers. During 2009–2010, we assessed changes in the field force populations of 9–10 colonies at one location per crop on each of the eight crops by counting departing foragers leaving colonies at regular intervals during the respective crop blooming periods. The number of frames of adult bees was counted before and after bloom period. For pesticide analysis, we collected dead and dying bees near the hives, returning foragers, crop flowers, trapped pollen, and corn-flowers associated with the cotton crop. The number of departing foragers changed over time in all crops except almonds; general patterns in foraging activity included declines (cotton), noticeable peaks and declines (alfalfa, blueberries, cotton, corn, and pumpkins), and increases (apples and cantaloupes). The number of adult bee frames increased or remained stable in all crops except alfalfa and cotton. A total of 53 different pesticide residues were identified in samples collected across eight crops. Hazard quotients (HQ) were calculated for the combined residues for all crop-associated samples and separately for samples of dead and dying bees. A decrease in the number of departing foragers in cotton was one of the most substantial crop-associated impacts and presented the highest pesticide risk estimated by a summed pesticide residue HQ. PMID:26453703

  4. Forage and breed effects on behavior and temperament of pregnant beef heifers

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Integration of behavioral observations with traditional selection schemes may lead to enhanced animal well-being and more profitable forage-based cattle production systems. Brahman-influenced (BR; n = 64) and Gelbvieh × Angus (GA; n = 64) heifers consumed either toxic endophyte-infected tall fescue (E+) or one of two nontoxic endophyte-infected tall fescue (NT) cultivars during two yr. Heifers were weighed at midpoint and termination of grazing. Grazing behavior (grazing, resting in the shade, lying, or standing without grazing) was recorded (n = 13 visual observations per yr in June and July) for each pasture. During yr 2, exit velocity (EV) and serum prolactin (PRL) were determined. Results Grazing behavior was influenced (P < 0.05) by an interaction between fescue cultivar and breed type. Gelbvieh × Angus heifers assigned to E+ pastures had the lowest percentage of animals grazing and the largest percentage of animals resting in the shade. Brahman-influenced heifers had faster EV (P < 0.001) than GA heifers (0.52 vs. 0.74 ± 0.04 s/m, respectively). Body weight (BW) was affected (P < 0.01) by an interaction of tall fescue cultivar and d, and an interaction of tall fescue cultivar and breed type. Heifers grazing NT pastures were heavier (P < 0.01) than heifers grazing E+ pastures at midpoint and termination. Gelbvieh × Angus heifers grazing NT pastures were heavier (P < 0.01) than GA and BR heifers grazing E+ and BR heifers grazing NT pastures. An interaction of forage cultivar and breed type occurred on serum PRL (P < 0.01). Conclusion Collectively fescue cultivar, EV, and concentrations of serum PRL were associated with grazing behavior. Heifers grazing NT pastures were observed to be grazing more than heifers assigned to E+ pastures, regardless of breed type, which may have contributed to changes in BW and average daily gain (ADG) in heifers. Integration of behavioral observations along with

  5. Terrestrial and Marine Foraging Strategies of an Opportunistic Seabird Species Breeding in the Wadden Sea

    PubMed Central

    Schwemmer, Philipp; Paiva, Vitor H.; Corman, Anna-Marie; Fock, Heino O.; Voigt, Christian C.; Adler, Sven

    2016-01-01

    Lesser black-backed gulls Larus fuscus are considered to be mainly pelagic. We assessed the importance of different landscape elements (open sea, tidal flats and inland) by comparing marine and terrestrial foraging behaviours in lesser black-backed gulls breeding along the coast of the southern North Sea. We attached GPS data loggers to eight incubating birds and collected information on diet and habitat use. The loggers recorded data for 10–19 days to allow flight-path reconstruction. Lesser black-backed gulls foraged in both offshore and inland areas, but rarely on tidal flats. Targets and directions were similar among all eight individuals. Foraging trips (n = 108) lasted 0.5–26.4 h (mean 8.7 h), and ranges varied from 3.0–79.9 km (mean 30.9 km). The total distance travelled per foraging trip ranged from 7.5–333.6 km (mean 97.9 km). Trips out to sea were significantly more variable in all parameters than inland trips. Presence in inland areas was closely associated with daylight, whereas trips to sea occurred at day and night, but mostly at night. The most common items in pellets were grass (48%), insects (38%), fish (28%), litter (26%) and earthworms (20%). There was a significant relationship between the carbon and nitrogen isotope signals in blood and the proportional time each individual spent foraging at sea/land. On land, gulls preferentially foraged on bare ground, with significantly higher use of potato fields and significantly less use of grassland. The flight patterns of lesser black-backed gulls at sea overlapped with fishing-vessel distribution, including small beam trawlers fishing for shrimps in coastal waters close to the colony and large beam-trawlers fishing for flatfish at greater distances. Our data show that individuals made intensive use of the anthropogenic landscape and seascape, indicating that lesser black-backed gulls are not a predominantly marine species during the incubation period. PMID:27525661

  6. Grand challenges for crop science

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crop science is a highly integrative science using the disciplines of conventional plant breeding, transgenic crop improvement, plant physiology, and cropping system sciences to develop improved varieties of agronomic, turf, and forage crops to produce feed, food, fuel, and fiber for our world's gro...

  7. The price of associating with breeders in the cooperatively breeding chestnut-crowned babbler: foraging constraints, survival and sociality.

    PubMed

    Sorato, Enrico; Griffith, Simon C; Russell, Andy F

    2016-09-01

    Understanding the costs of living with breeders might offer new insights into the factors that counter evolutionary transitions from selfish individuals to cooperative societies. While selection on early dispersal is well understood, it is less clear whether costs are also associated with remaining with family members during subsequent breeding, a prerequisite to the evolution of kin-based cooperation. We propose and test the hypothesis that living in groups containing breeders is costly and that such costs are exacerbated by increasing group size. For example, in group-living central-place foragers, group members might suffer from resource depletion when foraging in a restricted area during breeding and significant costs of repeatedly travelling between foraging patches and the site of offspring. Using the cooperatively breeding chestnut-crowned babbler (Pomatostomus ruficeps), for which grouping during breeding is obligatory, we show that reproduction is associated with substantially reduced foraging areas and evidence of resource depletion, particularly in larger groups. Such effects largely persisted from the onset of incubation through to offspring independence 4-5 months later. All group members, irrespective of their breeder or helper status, lost significant body mass over this period, and, in males, mass loss was associated with reduced interannual survival. Although babblers are constrained from living outside of breeding groups due to high risks of predation and the poor success of breeding without helpers, we suggest that the effects we describe may generally select against group living during breeding attempts in species where constraints to independent breeding and costs of dispersal are less acute. PMID:27136301

  8. Harvesting the Promising Fruits of Genomics: Applying Genome Sequencing Technologies to Crop Breeding

    PubMed Central

    Varshney, Rajeev K.; Terauchi, Ryohei; McCouch, Susan R.

    2014-01-01

    Next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies are being used to generate whole genome sequences for a wide range of crop species. When combined with precise phenotyping methods, these technologies provide a powerful and rapid tool for identifying the genetic basis of agriculturally important traits and for predicting the breeding value of individuals in a plant breeding population. Here we summarize current trends and future prospects for utilizing NGS-based technologies to develop crops with improved trait performance and increase the efficiency of modern plant breeding. It is our hope that the application of NGS technologies to plant breeding will help us to meet the challenge of feeding a growing world population. PMID:24914810

  9. Modelling Terrestrial and Marine Foraging Habitats in Breeding Audouin's Gulls Larus audouinii: Timing Matters

    PubMed Central

    Bécares, Juan; García-Tarrasón, Manuel; Villero, Dani; Bateman, Santiago; Jover, Lluís; García-Matarranz, Víctor; Sanpera, Carolina; Arcos, José Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Although the breeding ecology of Audouin’s gull has been widely studied, its spatial distribution patterns have received little attention. We assessed the foraging movements of 36 GPS-tracked adult Audouin’s gulls breeding at the Ebro Delta (NW Mediterranean), coinciding with the incubation period (May 2011). This also coincided with a trawling moratorium northwards from the colony. We modelled the distribution of the gulls by combining these tracking data with environmental variables (including fishing activities from Vessel Monitoring System, VMS), using Maxent. The modelling range included both marine and terrestrial areas. Models were produced separately for every 2h time interval across the day, and for 2 fishing activity scenarios (workdays vs. weekends), allowing to assess the spatio-temporal distribution patterns of the gulls and the degree of association with fisheries. During workdays, gull distribution at sea fully matched with fishing activities, both trawling (daylight) and purse-seining (nightime). Gulls tended to avoid the area under trawling moratorium, confirming the high influence of fisheries on the distribution patterns of this species. On weekends, gulls made lesser use of the sea and tended to increase the use of rice fields. Overall, Audouin’s gull activity was more intense during dailight hours, although birds also showed nocturnal activity, on both workdays and weekends. Nocturnal patterns at sea were more disperse during the latter, probably because these gulls are able to capture small pelagic fish at night in natural conditions, but tend to congregate around purse-seiners (which would enhance their foraging efficiency) in workdays. These results provide important insight for the management of this species. This is of particular relevance under the current scenario of European fisheries policies, since new regulations are aimed at eliminating discards, and this would likely influence Audouin’s gull populations. PMID:25875597

  10. Modelling terrestrial and marine foraging habitats in breeding Audouin's gulls Larus audouinii: timing matters.

    PubMed

    Bécares, Juan; García-Tarrasón, Manuel; Villero, Dani; Bateman, Santiago; Jover, Lluís; García-Matarranz, Víctor; Sanpera, Carolina; Arcos, José Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Although the breeding ecology of Audouin's gull has been widely studied, its spatial distribution patterns have received little attention. We assessed the foraging movements of 36 GPS-tracked adult Audouin's gulls breeding at the Ebro Delta (NW Mediterranean), coinciding with the incubation period (May 2011). This also coincided with a trawling moratorium northwards from the colony. We modelled the distribution of the gulls by combining these tracking data with environmental variables (including fishing activities from Vessel Monitoring System, VMS), using Maxent. The modelling range included both marine and terrestrial areas. Models were produced separately for every 2h time interval across the day, and for 2 fishing activity scenarios (workdays vs. weekends), allowing to assess the spatio-temporal distribution patterns of the gulls and the degree of association with fisheries. During workdays, gull distribution at sea fully matched with fishing activities, both trawling (daylight) and purse-seining (nightime). Gulls tended to avoid the area under trawling moratorium, confirming the high influence of fisheries on the distribution patterns of this species. On weekends, gulls made lesser use of the sea and tended to increase the use of rice fields. Overall, Audouin's gull activity was more intense during dailight hours, although birds also showed nocturnal activity, on both workdays and weekends. Nocturnal patterns at sea were more disperse during the latter, probably because these gulls are able to capture small pelagic fish at night in natural conditions, but tend to congregate around purse-seiners (which would enhance their foraging efficiency) in workdays. These results provide important insight for the management of this species. This is of particular relevance under the current scenario of European fisheries policies, since new regulations are aimed at eliminating discards, and this would likely influence Audouin's gull populations.

  11. `Akohekohe response to flower availability: seasonal abundance, foraging, breeding, and molt

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Berlin, Kim E.; Simon, John C.; Pratt, T.K.; Kowalsky, James R.; Hatfield, J.S.; Scott, J.M.; Conant, S.; van Riper, C.=

    2001-01-01

    We studied the relationship of flower availability to the seasonality of life history events of the `Akohekohe (Palmeria dolei), a primarily nectarivorous and endangered Hawaiian honeycreeper from montane rain forests on Maui, Hawai`i. For comparison, we also investigated temporal bird density and foraging behavior of three other competing Hawaiian honeycreepers: `Apapane (Himatione sanguinea), `I`iwi (Vestiaria coccinea), and Hawai`i `Amakihi (Hemignathus virens). All species except `Amakihi fed primarily on nectar of `Ohi?a-lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha), which produced flowers year-round but had an annual flowering peak in January. Flowers of several subcanopy shrubs and trees were important components of the diet for all nectarivores, and these were available seasonally depending upon the species. `Akohekohe densities did not change temporally, suggesting a relatively stable population residing above 1,700 m. Monthly densities of `Apapane, `I`iwi, and Hawai`i `Amakihi were positively correlated with monthly `Ohi?a-lehua flower abundance, and 50-80% of these populations departed temporarily from our high-elevation site in July. There was a positive correlation with the timing of Akohekohe breeding and high abundance of `Ohi?a-lehua bloom. Molt followed breeding. From a conservation perspective, these results show that `Akohekohe maintain a relatively stable population above the mid-elevation zone of disease transmission, particularly during the fall when `Ohi?a-lehua bloom decreases and mosquitoes increase. `Akohekohe remain on their territories partly by switching their foraging to subcanopy trees and shrubs, most of which require protection from feral pigs (Sus scrofa).

  12. Modelling terrestrial and marine foraging habitats in breeding Audouin's gulls Larus audouinii: timing matters.

    PubMed

    Bécares, Juan; García-Tarrasón, Manuel; Villero, Dani; Bateman, Santiago; Jover, Lluís; García-Matarranz, Víctor; Sanpera, Carolina; Arcos, José Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Although the breeding ecology of Audouin's gull has been widely studied, its spatial distribution patterns have received little attention. We assessed the foraging movements of 36 GPS-tracked adult Audouin's gulls breeding at the Ebro Delta (NW Mediterranean), coinciding with the incubation period (May 2011). This also coincided with a trawling moratorium northwards from the colony. We modelled the distribution of the gulls by combining these tracking data with environmental variables (including fishing activities from Vessel Monitoring System, VMS), using Maxent. The modelling range included both marine and terrestrial areas. Models were produced separately for every 2h time interval across the day, and for 2 fishing activity scenarios (workdays vs. weekends), allowing to assess the spatio-temporal distribution patterns of the gulls and the degree of association with fisheries. During workdays, gull distribution at sea fully matched with fishing activities, both trawling (daylight) and purse-seining (nightime). Gulls tended to avoid the area under trawling moratorium, confirming the high influence of fisheries on the distribution patterns of this species. On weekends, gulls made lesser use of the sea and tended to increase the use of rice fields. Overall, Audouin's gull activity was more intense during dailight hours, although birds also showed nocturnal activity, on both workdays and weekends. Nocturnal patterns at sea were more disperse during the latter, probably because these gulls are able to capture small pelagic fish at night in natural conditions, but tend to congregate around purse-seiners (which would enhance their foraging efficiency) in workdays. These results provide important insight for the management of this species. This is of particular relevance under the current scenario of European fisheries policies, since new regulations are aimed at eliminating discards, and this would likely influence Audouin's gull populations. PMID:25875597

  13. Foraging segregation of two congeneric diving seabird species breeding on St. George Island, Bering Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kokubun, Nobuo; Yamamoto, Takashi; Sato, Nobuhiko; Watanuki, Yutaka; Will, Alexis; Kitaysky, Alexander S.; Takahashi, Akinori

    2016-04-01

    Subarctic environmental changes are expected to affect the foraging ecology of marine top predators, but the response to such changes may vary among species if they use food resources differently. We examined the characteristics of foraging behavior of two sympatric congeneric diving seabird: common (Uria aalge: hereafter COMUs) and thick-billed (U. lomvia: hereafter TBMUs) murres breeding on St. George Island, located in the seasonal sea-ice region of the Bering Sea. We investigated their foraging trip and flight durations, diel patterns of dive depth, and underwater wing strokes, along with wing morphology and blood stable isotope signatures and stress hormones. Acceleration-temperature-depth loggers were attached to chick-guarding birds, and data were obtained from 7 COMUs and 12 TBMUs. Both species showed similar mean trip duration (13.2 h for COMUs and 10.5 h for TBMUs) and similar diurnal patterns of diving (frequent dives to various depths in the daytime and less frequent dives to shallow depths in the nighttime). During the daytime, the dive depths of COMUs had two peaks in shallow (18.1 m) and deep (74.2 m) depths, while those of TBMUs were 20.2 m and 59.7 m. COMUs showed more frequent wing strokes during the bottom phase of dives (1.90 s-1) than TBMUs (1.66 s-1). Fish occurred more frequently in the bill loads of COMUs (85 %) than those of TBMUs (56 %). The δ15N value of blood was significantly higher in COMUs (14.5 ‰) than in TBMUs (13.1 ‰). The relatively small wing area (0.053 m2) of COMUs compared to TBMUs (0.067 m2) may facilitate their increased agility while foraging and allow them to capture more mobile prey such as larger fishes that inhabit deeper depths. These differences in food resource use may lead to the differential responses of the two murre species to marine environmental changes in the Bering Sea.

  14. Soil microbial substrate properties and microbial community responses under irrigated organic and reduced-tillage crop and forage production systems.

    PubMed

    Ghimire, Rajan; Norton, Jay B; Stahl, Peter D; Norton, Urszula

    2014-01-01

    Changes in soil microbiotic properties such as microbial biomass and community structure in response to alternative management systems are driven by microbial substrate quality and substrate utilization. We evaluated irrigated crop and forage production in two separate four-year experiments for differences in microbial substrate quality, microbial biomass and community structure, and microbial substrate utilization under conventional, organic, and reduced-tillage management systems. The six different management systems were imposed on fields previously under long-term, intensively tilled maize production. Soils under crop and forage production responded to conversion from monocropping to crop rotation, as well as to the three different management systems, but in different ways. Under crop production, four years of organic management resulted in the highest soil organic C (SOC) and microbial biomass concentrations, while under forage production, reduced-tillage management most effectively increased SOC and microbial biomass. There were significant increases in relative abundance of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa, with two- to 36-fold increases in biomarker phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs). Under crop production, dissolved organic C (DOC) content was higher under organic management than under reduced-tillage and conventional management. Perennial legume crops and organic soil amendments in the organic crop rotation system apparently favored greater soil microbial substrate availability, as well as more microbial biomass compared with other management systems that had fewer legume crops in rotation and synthetic fertilizer applications. Among the forage production management systems with equivalent crop rotations, reduced-tillage management had higher microbial substrate availability and greater microbial biomass than other management systems. Combined crop rotation, tillage management, soil amendments, and legume crops in rotations considerably influenced soil

  15. Soil Microbial Substrate Properties and Microbial Community Responses under Irrigated Organic and Reduced-Tillage Crop and Forage Production Systems

    PubMed Central

    Ghimire, Rajan; Norton, Jay B.; Stahl, Peter D.; Norton, Urszula

    2014-01-01

    Changes in soil microbiotic properties such as microbial biomass and community structure in response to alternative management systems are driven by microbial substrate quality and substrate utilization. We evaluated irrigated crop and forage production in two separate four-year experiments for differences in microbial substrate quality, microbial biomass and community structure, and microbial substrate utilization under conventional, organic, and reduced-tillage management systems. The six different management systems were imposed on fields previously under long-term, intensively tilled maize production. Soils under crop and forage production responded to conversion from monocropping to crop rotation, as well as to the three different management systems, but in different ways. Under crop production, four years of organic management resulted in the highest soil organic C (SOC) and microbial biomass concentrations, while under forage production, reduced-tillage management most effectively increased SOC and microbial biomass. There were significant increases in relative abundance of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa, with two- to 36-fold increases in biomarker phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs). Under crop production, dissolved organic C (DOC) content was higher under organic management than under reduced-tillage and conventional management. Perennial legume crops and organic soil amendments in the organic crop rotation system apparently favored greater soil microbial substrate availability, as well as more microbial biomass compared with other management systems that had fewer legume crops in rotation and synthetic fertilizer applications. Among the forage production management systems with equivalent crop rotations, reduced-tillage management had higher microbial substrate availability and greater microbial biomass than other management systems. Combined crop rotation, tillage management, soil amendments, and legume crops in rotations considerably influenced soil

  16. Genomics and molecular breeding in lesser explored pulse crops: current trends and future opportunities.

    PubMed

    Bohra, Abhishek; Jha, Uday Chand; Kishor, P B Kavi; Pandey, Shailesh; Singh, Narendra P

    2014-12-01

    Pulses are multipurpose crops for providing income, employment and food security in the underprivileged regions, notably the FAO-defined low-income food-deficit countries. Owing to their intrinsic ability to endure environmental adversities and the least input/management requirements, these crops remain central to subsistence farming. Given their pivotal role in rain-fed agriculture, substantial research has been invested to boost the productivity of these pulse crops. To this end, genomic tools and technologies have appeared as the compelling supplement to the conventional breeding. However, the progress in minor pulse crops including dry beans (Vigna spp.), lupins, lablab, lathyrus and vetches has remained unsatisfactory, hence these crops are often labeled as low profile or lesser researched. Nevertheless, recent scientific and technological breakthroughs particularly the next generation sequencing (NGS) are radically transforming the scenario of genomics and molecular breeding in these minor crops. NGS techniques have allowed de novo assembly of whole genomes in these orphan crops. Moreover, the availability of a reference genome sequence would promote re-sequencing of diverse genotypes to unlock allelic diversity at a genome-wide scale. In parallel, NGS has offered high-resolution genetic maps or more precisely, a robust genetic framework to implement whole-genome strategies for crop improvement. As has already been demonstrated in lupin, sequencing-based genotyping of the representative sample provided access to a number of functionally-relevant markers that could be deployed straight away in crop breeding programs. This article attempts to outline the recent progress made in genomics of these lesser explored pulse crops, and examines the prospects of genomics assisted integrated breeding to enhance and stabilize crop yields.

  17. Bioenergy Crop Breeding and Production Research in the Southeast, Final Report for 1996 to 2001

    SciTech Connect

    Bouton, J.H.

    2003-05-30

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a native grass species to much of the US. It has shown great potential for use in production of fuel ethanol from cellulosic biomass (Lynd et al., 1991). Work in Alabama demonstrated very high dry matter yields can be achieved with switchgrass (Maposse et al. 1995) in the southeastern US. Therefore, this region is thought to be an excellent choice for development of a switchgrass cropping system where farmers can produce the grass for either biomass or forage. Another report has shown success with selection and breeding to develop high yielding germplasm from adapted cultivars and ecotypes of switchgrass (Moser and Vogel 1995). In the mid 1990s, however, there was little plant breeding effort for switchgrass with a potential for developing a cultivar for the southeast region. The main goal of the project was to develop adaptive, high-yielding switchgrass cultivars for use in cropping systems for bioenergy production in the southeastern US. A secondary objective was to assess the potential of alternate herbaceous species such as bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon L.), bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flugge.), and napiergrass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach.) that may compete with switchgrass for herbaceous bioenergy production in the southeast. During the conduct of the project, another goal of developing molecular markers useful for genetic mapping was added. The ''lowland'' cultivars, Alamo and Kanlow, were found to be the highest yielding switchgrass cultivars. Although most summers during the project period were hot and dry, their annual dry matter yield continue to outperform the best ''upland'' cultivars such as Cave-in-Rock, Shawnee, NE Late, and Trailblazer. The use of a breeding procedure based on the ''honeycomb design'' and multi-location progeny testing, coupled with the solid heritability and genetic gain estimates for dry matter yield in lowland type switchgrass germplasm, indicated excellent potential to isolate parental

  18. Wood Storks of the Savannah River Plant: Foraging and breeding ecology: Comprehensive cooling water study final report

    SciTech Connect

    Coulter, M.C.

    1986-06-01

    This report presents the results of studies from 1983 through 1985 that deal with the use of the Savannah River Swamp System (SRSS) by Wood Storks. We examine the locations on the SRSS where storks have been observed foraging on the SRSS, and the time of year when birds were seen in the swamp. We compare measurements of habitat characteristics, water quality, vegetation and prey density at foraging sites on the SRSS with similar measurements at other foraging sites in east-central Georgia. Finally, we examine food demand of storks breeding at the Birdsville colony as an indication of the time of year when the birds would be most in need of food.

  19. Effect of manure vs. fertilizer inputs on productivity of forage crop models.

    PubMed

    Annicchiarico, Giovanni; Caternolo, Giovanni; Rossi, Emanuela; Martiniello, Pasquale

    2011-06-01

    Manure produced by livestock activity is a dangerous product capable of causing serious environmental pollution. Agronomic management practices on the use of manure may transform the target from a waste to a resource product. Experiments performed on comparison of manure with standard chemical fertilizers (CF) were studied under a double cropping per year regime (alfalfa, model I; Italian ryegrass-corn, model II; barley-seed sorghum, model III; and horse-bean-silage sorghum, model IV). The total amount of manure applied in the annual forage crops of the model II, III and IV was 158, 140 and 80 m3 ha(-1), respectively. The manure applied to soil by broadcast and injection procedure provides an amount of nitrogen equal to that supplied by CF. The effect of manure applications on animal feeding production and biochemical soil characteristics was related to the models. The weather condition and manures and CF showed small interaction among treatments. The number of MFU ha(-1) of biomass crop gross product produced in autumn and spring sowing models under manure applications was 11,769, 20,525, 11,342, 21,397 in models I through IV, respectively. The reduction of MFU ha(-1) under CF ranges from 10.7% to 13.2% those of the manure models. The effect of manure on organic carbon and total nitrogen of topsoil, compared to model I, stressed the parameters as CF whose amount was higher in models II and III than model IV. In term of percentage the organic carbon and total nitrogen of model I and treatment with manure was reduced by about 18.5 and 21.9% in model II and model III and 8.8 and 6.3% in model IV, respectively. Manure management may substitute CF without reducing gross production and sustainability of cropping systems, thus allowing the opportunity to recycle the waste product for animal forage feeding. PMID:21776208

  20. Effect of manure vs. fertilizer inputs on productivity of forage crop models.

    PubMed

    Annicchiarico, Giovanni; Caternolo, Giovanni; Rossi, Emanuela; Martiniello, Pasquale

    2011-06-01

    Manure produced by livestock activity is a dangerous product capable of causing serious environmental pollution. Agronomic management practices on the use of manure may transform the target from a waste to a resource product. Experiments performed on comparison of manure with standard chemical fertilizers (CF) were studied under a double cropping per year regime (alfalfa, model I; Italian ryegrass-corn, model II; barley-seed sorghum, model III; and horse-bean-silage sorghum, model IV). The total amount of manure applied in the annual forage crops of the model II, III and IV was 158, 140 and 80 m3 ha(-1), respectively. The manure applied to soil by broadcast and injection procedure provides an amount of nitrogen equal to that supplied by CF. The effect of manure applications on animal feeding production and biochemical soil characteristics was related to the models. The weather condition and manures and CF showed small interaction among treatments. The number of MFU ha(-1) of biomass crop gross product produced in autumn and spring sowing models under manure applications was 11,769, 20,525, 11,342, 21,397 in models I through IV, respectively. The reduction of MFU ha(-1) under CF ranges from 10.7% to 13.2% those of the manure models. The effect of manure on organic carbon and total nitrogen of topsoil, compared to model I, stressed the parameters as CF whose amount was higher in models II and III than model IV. In term of percentage the organic carbon and total nitrogen of model I and treatment with manure was reduced by about 18.5 and 21.9% in model II and model III and 8.8 and 6.3% in model IV, respectively. Manure management may substitute CF without reducing gross production and sustainability of cropping systems, thus allowing the opportunity to recycle the waste product for animal forage feeding.

  1. The spatial distribution and size of rook (Corvus frugilegus) breeding colonies is affected by both the distribution of foraging habitat and by intercolony competition.

    PubMed Central

    Griffin, L R; Thomas, C J

    2000-01-01

    Explanations for the variation in the number of nests at bird colonies have focused on competitive or habitat effects without considering potential interactions between the two. For the rook, a colonial corvid which breeds seasonally but forages around the colony throughout the year, both the amount of foraging habitat and its interaction with the number of competitors from surrounding colonies are important predictors of colony size. The distance over which these effects are strongest indicates that, for rooks, colony size may be limited outside of the breeding season when colony foraging ranges are larger and overlap to a greater extent. PMID:10983832

  2. An evaluation of microbial health risks to livestock fed with wastewater-irrigated forage crops.

    PubMed

    Bevilacqua, P D; Bastos, R K X; Mara, D D

    2014-06-01

    This paper presents the results of five experiments in which animal health risks associated with the consumption of crops irrigated with domestic wastewater were evaluated. Forage maize and Tanner grass were irrigated with treated wastewater and used in goats and calves feeding trials. The irrigated crops presented high levels of surface contamination with E. coli (10(4) -10(7) 25 g(-1) ) and salmonellae (up to 1.6 × 10(4) 25 g(-1)), but none of the animals showed signs of infection or of disease. Further, the microbiological quality of animal products always complied with the Brazilian and European Union standards for food safety. It is suggested that the WHO guideline values for restricted irrigation (≤ 10(4) E. coli 100 ml(-1) and ≤ 1 helminth egg l(-1)), which were developed to protect the health of agricultural field workers, would be equally protective of the health of both animals fed with wastewater-irrigated crops and humans consuming products from such animals.

  3. Characterization and Identification of Pediococcus Species Isolated from Forage Crops and Their Application for Silage Preparation

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Yimin; Kumai, Sumio; Ogawa, Masuhiro; Benno, Yoshimi; Nakase, Takashi

    1999-01-01

    Pediococcus species isolated from forage crops were characterized, and their application to silage preparation was studied. Most isolates were distributed on forage crops at low frequency. These isolates could be divided into three (A, B, and C) groups by their sugar fermentation patterns. Strains LA 3, LA 35, and LS 5 are representative isolates from groups A, B, and C, respectively. Strains LA 3 and LA 35 had intragroup DNA homology values above 93.6%, showing that they belong to the species Pediococcus acidilactici. Strain LS 5 belonged to Pediococcus pentosaceus on the basis of DNA-DNA relatedness. All three of these strains and strain SL 1 (Lactobacillus casei, isolated from a commercial inoculant) were used as additives to alfalfa and Italian ryegrass silage preparation at two temperatures (25 and 48°C). When stored at 25°C, all of the inoculated silages were well preserved and exhibited significantly (P < 0.05) reduced fermentation losses compared to that of their control in alfalfa and Italian ryegrass silages. When stored at 48°C, silages inoculated with strains LA 3 and LA 35 were also well preserved, with a significantly (P < 0.05) lower pH, butyric acid and ammonia-nitrogen content, gas production, and dry matter loss and significantly (P < 0.05) higher lactate content than the control, but silages inoculated with LS 5 and SL 1 were of poor quality. P. acidilactici LA 3 and LA 35 are considered suitable as potential silage inoculants. PMID:10388681

  4. Genomics-assisted breeding for boosting crop improvement in pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan).

    PubMed

    Pazhamala, Lekha; Saxena, Rachit K; Singh, Vikas K; Sameerkumar, C V; Kumar, Vinay; Sinha, Pallavi; Patel, Kishan; Obala, Jimmy; Kaoneka, Seleman R; Tongoona, P; Shimelis, Hussein A; Gangarao, N V P R; Odeny, Damaris; Rathore, Abhishek; Dharmaraj, P S; Yamini, K N; Varshney, Rajeev K

    2015-01-01

    Pigeonpea is an important pulse crop grown predominantly in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. Although pigeonpea growing area has considerably increased, yield has remained stagnant for the last six decades mainly due to the exposure of the crop to various biotic and abiotic constraints. In addition, low level of genetic variability and limited genomic resources have been serious impediments to pigeonpea crop improvement through modern breeding approaches. In recent years, however, due to the availability of next generation sequencing and high-throughput genotyping technologies, the scenario has changed tremendously. The reduced sequencing costs resulting in the decoding of the pigeonpea genome has led to the development of various genomic resources including molecular markers, transcript sequences and comprehensive genetic maps. Mapping of some important traits including resistance to Fusarium wilt and sterility mosaic disease, fertility restoration, determinacy with other agronomically important traits have paved the way for applying genomics-assisted breeding (GAB) through marker assisted selection as well as genomic selection (GS). This would accelerate the development and improvement of both varieties and hybrids in pigeonpea. Particularly for hybrid breeding programme, mitochondrial genomes of cytoplasmic male sterile (CMS) lines, maintainers and hybrids have been sequenced to identify genes responsible for cytoplasmic male sterility. Furthermore, several diagnostic molecular markers have been developed to assess the purity of commercial hybrids. In summary, pigeonpea has become a genomic resources-rich crop and efforts have already been initiated to integrate these resources in pigeonpea breeding. PMID:25741349

  5. Genomics-assisted breeding for boosting crop improvement in pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan)

    PubMed Central

    Pazhamala, Lekha; Saxena, Rachit K.; Singh, Vikas K.; Sameerkumar, C. V.; Kumar, Vinay; Sinha, Pallavi; Patel, Kishan; Obala, Jimmy; Kaoneka, Seleman R.; Tongoona, P.; Shimelis, Hussein A.; Gangarao, N. V. P. R.; Odeny, Damaris; Rathore, Abhishek; Dharmaraj, P. S.; Yamini, K. N.; Varshney, Rajeev K.

    2015-01-01

    Pigeonpea is an important pulse crop grown predominantly in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. Although pigeonpea growing area has considerably increased, yield has remained stagnant for the last six decades mainly due to the exposure of the crop to various biotic and abiotic constraints. In addition, low level of genetic variability and limited genomic resources have been serious impediments to pigeonpea crop improvement through modern breeding approaches. In recent years, however, due to the availability of next generation sequencing and high-throughput genotyping technologies, the scenario has changed tremendously. The reduced sequencing costs resulting in the decoding of the pigeonpea genome has led to the development of various genomic resources including molecular markers, transcript sequences and comprehensive genetic maps. Mapping of some important traits including resistance to Fusarium wilt and sterility mosaic disease, fertility restoration, determinacy with other agronomically important traits have paved the way for applying genomics-assisted breeding (GAB) through marker assisted selection as well as genomic selection (GS). This would accelerate the development and improvement of both varieties and hybrids in pigeonpea. Particularly for hybrid breeding programme, mitochondrial genomes of cytoplasmic male sterile (CMS) lines, maintainers and hybrids have been sequenced to identify genes responsible for cytoplasmic male sterility. Furthermore, several diagnostic molecular markers have been developed to assess the purity of commercial hybrids. In summary, pigeonpea has become a genomic resources-rich crop and efforts have already been initiated to integrate these resources in pigeonpea breeding. PMID:25741349

  6. Plant hormone interactions: innovative targets for crop breeding and management.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Sally; Kudoyarova, Guzel R; Veselov, Dmitry S; Arkhipova, Tatyana N; Davies, William J

    2012-05-01

    Here we highlight how both the root and shoot environment impact on whole plant hormone balance, particularly under stresses such as soil drying, and relate hormone ratios and relative abundances to processes influencing plant performance and yield under both mild and more severe stress. We discuss evidence (i) that abscisic acid (ABA) and ethylene act antagonistically on grain-filling rate amongst other yield-impacting processes; (ii) that ABA's effectiveness as an agent of stomatal closure can be modulated by coincident ethylene or cytokinin accumulation; and (iii) that enhanced cytokinin production can increase growth and yield by improving foliar stay-green indices under stress, and by improving processes that impact grain-filling and number, and that this can be the result of altered relative abundances of cytokinin and ABA (and other hormones). We describe evidence and novel processes whereby these phenomena are/could be amenable to manipulation through genetic and management routes, such that plant performance and yield can be improved. We explore the possibility that a range of ABA-ethylene and ABA-cytokinin relative abundances could represent targets for breeding/managing for yield resilience under a spectrum of stress levels between severe and mild, and could circumvent some of the pitfalls so far encountered in the massive research effort towards breeding for increases in the complex trait of yield.

  7. Breeding and Domesticating Crops Adapted to Drought and Salinity: A New Paradigm for Increasing Food Production

    PubMed Central

    Fita, Ana; Rodríguez-Burruezo, Adrián; Boscaiu, Monica; Prohens, Jaime; Vicente, Oscar

    2015-01-01

    World population is expected to reach 9.2 × 109 people by 2050. Feeding them will require a boost in crop productivity using innovative approaches. Current agricultural production is very dependent on large amounts of inputs and water availability is a major limiting factor. In addition, the loss of genetic diversity and the threat of climate change make a change of paradigm in plant breeding and agricultural practices necessary. Average yields in all major crops are only a small fraction of record yields, and drought and soil salinity are the main factors responsible for yield reduction. Therefore there is the need to enhance crop productivity by improving crop adaptation. Here we review the present situation and propose the development of crops tolerant to drought and salt stress for addressing the challenge of dramatically increasing food production in the near future. The success in the development of crops adapted to drought and salt depends on the efficient and combined use of genetic engineering and traditional breeding tools. Moreover, we propose the domestication of new halophilic crops to create a ‘saline agriculture’ which will not compete in terms of resources with conventional agriculture. PMID:26617620

  8. Breeding and Domesticating Crops Adapted to Drought and Salinity: A New Paradigm for Increasing Food Production.

    PubMed

    Fita, Ana; Rodríguez-Burruezo, Adrián; Boscaiu, Monica; Prohens, Jaime; Vicente, Oscar

    2015-01-01

    World population is expected to reach 9.2 × 10(9) people by 2050. Feeding them will require a boost in crop productivity using innovative approaches. Current agricultural production is very dependent on large amounts of inputs and water availability is a major limiting factor. In addition, the loss of genetic diversity and the threat of climate change make a change of paradigm in plant breeding and agricultural practices necessary. Average yields in all major crops are only a small fraction of record yields, and drought and soil salinity are the main factors responsible for yield reduction. Therefore there is the need to enhance crop productivity by improving crop adaptation. Here we review the present situation and propose the development of crops tolerant to drought and salt stress for addressing the challenge of dramatically increasing food production in the near future. The success in the development of crops adapted to drought and salt depends on the efficient and combined use of genetic engineering and traditional breeding tools. Moreover, we propose the domestication of new halophilic crops to create a 'saline agriculture' which will not compete in terms of resources with conventional agriculture. PMID:26617620

  9. Integrated genomics and molecular breeding approaches for dissecting the complex quantitative traits in crop plants.

    PubMed

    Kujur, Alice; Saxena, Maneesha S; Bajaj, Deepak; Laxmi; Parida, Swarup K

    2013-12-01

    The enormous population growth, climate change and global warming are now considered major threats to agriculture and world's food security. To improve the productivity and sustainability of agriculture, the development of highyielding and durable abiotic and biotic stress-tolerant cultivars and/climate resilient crops is essential. Henceforth, understanding the molecular mechanism and dissection of complex quantitative yield and stress tolerance traits is the prime objective in current agricultural biotechnology research. In recent years, tremendous progress has been made in plant genomics and molecular breeding research pertaining to conventional and next-generation whole genome, transcriptome and epigenome sequencing efforts, generation of huge genomic, transcriptomic and epigenomic resources and development of modern genomics-assisted breeding approaches in diverse crop genotypes with contrasting yield and abiotic stress tolerance traits. Unfortunately, the detailed molecular mechanism and gene regulatory networks controlling such complex quantitative traits is not yet well understood in crop plants. Therefore, we propose an integrated strategies involving available enormous and diverse traditional and modern -omics (structural, functional, comparative and epigenomics) approaches/resources and genomics-assisted breeding methods which agricultural biotechnologist can adopt/utilize to dissect and decode the molecular and gene regulatory networks involved in the complex quantitative yield and stress tolerance traits in crop plants. This would provide clues and much needed inputs for rapid selection of novel functionally relevant molecular tags regulating such complex traits to expedite traditional and modern marker-assisted genetic enhancement studies in target crop species for developing high-yielding stress-tolerant varieties.

  10. Regulating transgenic crops sensibly: lessons from plant breeding, biotechnology and genomics.

    PubMed

    Bradford, Kent J; Van Deynze, Allen; Gutterson, Neal; Parrott, Wayne; Strauss, Steven H

    2005-04-01

    The costs of meeting regulatory requirements and market restrictions guided by regulatory criteria are substantial impediments to the commercialization of transgenic crops. Although a cautious approach may have been prudent initially, we argue that some regulatory requirements can now be modified to reduce costs and uncertainty without compromising safety. Long-accepted plant breeding methods for incorporating new diversity into crop varieties, experience from two decades of research on and commercialization of transgenic crops, and expanding knowledge of plant genome structure and dynamics all indicate that if a gene or trait is safe, the genetic engineering process itself presents little potential for unexpected consequences that would not be identified or eliminated in the variety development process before commercialization. We propose that as in conventional breeding, regulatory emphasis should be on phenotypic rather than genomic characteristics once a gene or trait has been shown to be safe.

  11. Application of genomics-assisted breeding for generation of climate resilient crops: Progress and prospects

    SciTech Connect

    Kole, Chittaranjan; Muthamiliarasan, Mehanathan; Henry, Robert; Edwards, David; Sharma, Rishu; Abberton, Michael; Batley, Jacqueline; Bentley, Alison; Blakeney, Michael; Bryant, John; Cai, Hongwei; Cakir, Mehmet; Cseke, Leland J.; Cockram, James; de Oliveira, Antonio Costa; De Pace, Ciro; Dempewolf, Hannes; Ellison, Shelby; Gepts, Paul; Greenland, Andy; Hall, Anthony; Hori, Kiyosumi; Hughes, Stephen; Humphreys, Mike W.; Iorizzo, Massimo; Ismail, Abdelgabi M.; Marshall, Athole; Mayes, Sean; Nguyen, Henry T.; Ogbannaya, Francis C.; Ortiz, Rodomiro; Paterson, Andrew H.; Simon, Philipp W.; Tohme, Joe; Tuberosa, Roberto; Valliyodan, Babu; Varshney, Rajeev K.; Wullschleger, Stan D.; Yano, Masahiro; Prasad, Manoj

    2015-08-11

    Climate change affects agricultural productivity worldwide. Increased prices of food commodities are the initial indication of drastic edible yield loss, which is expected to increase further due to global warming. This situation has compelled plant scientists to develop climate change-resilient crops, which can withstand broad-spectrum stresses such as drought, heat, cold, salinity, flood, submergence and pests, thus helping to deliver increased productivity. Genomics appears to be a promising tool for deciphering the stress responsiveness of crop species with adaptation traits or in wild relatives toward identifying underlying genes, alleles or quantitative trait loci. Molecular breeding approaches have proven helpful in enhancing the stress adaptation of crop plants, and recent advances in high-throughput sequencing and phenotyping platforms have transformed molecular breeding to genomics-assisted breeding (GAB). In view of this, the present review elaborates the progress and prospects of GAB for improving climate change resilience in crops, which is likely to play an ever increasing role in the effort to ensure global food security.

  12. Application of genomics-assisted breeding for generation of climate resilient crops: Progress and prospects

    DOE PAGES

    Kole, Chittaranjan; Muthamiliarasan, Mehanathan; Henry, Robert; Edwards, David; Sharma, Rishu; Abberton, Michael; Batley, Jacqueline; Bentley, Alison; Blakeney, Michael; Bryant, John; et al

    2015-08-11

    Climate change affects agricultural productivity worldwide. Increased prices of food commodities are the initial indication of drastic edible yield loss, which is expected to increase further due to global warming. This situation has compelled plant scientists to develop climate change-resilient crops, which can withstand broad-spectrum stresses such as drought, heat, cold, salinity, flood, submergence and pests, thus helping to deliver increased productivity. Genomics appears to be a promising tool for deciphering the stress responsiveness of crop species with adaptation traits or in wild relatives toward identifying underlying genes, alleles or quantitative trait loci. Molecular breeding approaches have proven helpful inmore » enhancing the stress adaptation of crop plants, and recent advances in high-throughput sequencing and phenotyping platforms have transformed molecular breeding to genomics-assisted breeding (GAB). In view of this, the present review elaborates the progress and prospects of GAB for improving climate change resilience in crops, which is likely to play an ever increasing role in the effort to ensure global food security.« less

  13. Application of genomics-assisted breeding for generation of climate resilient crops: progress and prospects.

    PubMed

    Kole, Chittaranjan; Muthamilarasan, Mehanathan; Henry, Robert; Edwards, David; Sharma, Rishu; Abberton, Michael; Batley, Jacqueline; Bentley, Alison; Blakeney, Michael; Bryant, John; Cai, Hongwei; Cakir, Mehmet; Cseke, Leland J; Cockram, James; de Oliveira, Antonio Costa; De Pace, Ciro; Dempewolf, Hannes; Ellison, Shelby; Gepts, Paul; Greenland, Andy; Hall, Anthony; Hori, Kiyosumi; Hughes, Stephen; Humphreys, Mike W; Iorizzo, Massimo; Ismail, Abdelbagi M; Marshall, Athole; Mayes, Sean; Nguyen, Henry T; Ogbonnaya, Francis C; Ortiz, Rodomiro; Paterson, Andrew H; Simon, Philipp W; Tohme, Joe; Tuberosa, Roberto; Valliyodan, Babu; Varshney, Rajeev K; Wullschleger, Stan D; Yano, Masahiro; Prasad, Manoj

    2015-01-01

    Climate change affects agricultural productivity worldwide. Increased prices of food commodities are the initial indication of drastic edible yield loss, which is expected to increase further due to global warming. This situation has compelled plant scientists to develop climate change-resilient crops, which can withstand broad-spectrum stresses such as drought, heat, cold, salinity, flood, submergence and pests, thus helping to deliver increased productivity. Genomics appears to be a promising tool for deciphering the stress responsiveness of crop species with adaptation traits or in wild relatives toward identifying underlying genes, alleles or quantitative trait loci. Molecular breeding approaches have proven helpful in enhancing the stress adaptation of crop plants, and recent advances in high-throughput sequencing and phenotyping platforms have transformed molecular breeding to genomics-assisted breeding (GAB). In view of this, the present review elaborates the progress and prospects of GAB for improving climate change resilience in crops, which is likely to play an ever increasing role in the effort to ensure global food security.

  14. Application of genomics-assisted breeding for generation of climate resilient crops: progress and prospects

    PubMed Central

    Kole, Chittaranjan; Muthamilarasan, Mehanathan; Henry, Robert; Edwards, David; Sharma, Rishu; Abberton, Michael; Batley, Jacqueline; Bentley, Alison; Blakeney, Michael; Bryant, John; Cai, Hongwei; Cakir, Mehmet; Cseke, Leland J.; Cockram, James; de Oliveira, Antonio Costa; De Pace, Ciro; Dempewolf, Hannes; Ellison, Shelby; Gepts, Paul; Greenland, Andy; Hall, Anthony; Hori, Kiyosumi; Hughes, Stephen; Humphreys, Mike W.; Iorizzo, Massimo; Ismail, Abdelbagi M.; Marshall, Athole; Mayes, Sean; Nguyen, Henry T.; Ogbonnaya, Francis C.; Ortiz, Rodomiro; Paterson, Andrew H.; Simon, Philipp W.; Tohme, Joe; Tuberosa, Roberto; Valliyodan, Babu; Varshney, Rajeev K.; Wullschleger, Stan D.; Yano, Masahiro; Prasad, Manoj

    2015-01-01

    Climate change affects agricultural productivity worldwide. Increased prices of food commodities are the initial indication of drastic edible yield loss, which is expected to increase further due to global warming. This situation has compelled plant scientists to develop climate change-resilient crops, which can withstand broad-spectrum stresses such as drought, heat, cold, salinity, flood, submergence and pests, thus helping to deliver increased productivity. Genomics appears to be a promising tool for deciphering the stress responsiveness of crop species with adaptation traits or in wild relatives toward identifying underlying genes, alleles or quantitative trait loci. Molecular breeding approaches have proven helpful in enhancing the stress adaptation of crop plants, and recent advances in high-throughput sequencing and phenotyping platforms have transformed molecular breeding to genomics-assisted breeding (GAB). In view of this, the present review elaborates the progress and prospects of GAB for improving climate change resilience in crops, which is likely to play an ever increasing role in the effort to ensure global food security. PMID:26322050

  15. Application of genomics-assisted breeding for generation of climate resilient crops: progress and prospects.

    PubMed

    Kole, Chittaranjan; Muthamilarasan, Mehanathan; Henry, Robert; Edwards, David; Sharma, Rishu; Abberton, Michael; Batley, Jacqueline; Bentley, Alison; Blakeney, Michael; Bryant, John; Cai, Hongwei; Cakir, Mehmet; Cseke, Leland J; Cockram, James; de Oliveira, Antonio Costa; De Pace, Ciro; Dempewolf, Hannes; Ellison, Shelby; Gepts, Paul; Greenland, Andy; Hall, Anthony; Hori, Kiyosumi; Hughes, Stephen; Humphreys, Mike W; Iorizzo, Massimo; Ismail, Abdelbagi M; Marshall, Athole; Mayes, Sean; Nguyen, Henry T; Ogbonnaya, Francis C; Ortiz, Rodomiro; Paterson, Andrew H; Simon, Philipp W; Tohme, Joe; Tuberosa, Roberto; Valliyodan, Babu; Varshney, Rajeev K; Wullschleger, Stan D; Yano, Masahiro; Prasad, Manoj

    2015-01-01

    Climate change affects agricultural productivity worldwide. Increased prices of food commodities are the initial indication of drastic edible yield loss, which is expected to increase further due to global warming. This situation has compelled plant scientists to develop climate change-resilient crops, which can withstand broad-spectrum stresses such as drought, heat, cold, salinity, flood, submergence and pests, thus helping to deliver increased productivity. Genomics appears to be a promising tool for deciphering the stress responsiveness of crop species with adaptation traits or in wild relatives toward identifying underlying genes, alleles or quantitative trait loci. Molecular breeding approaches have proven helpful in enhancing the stress adaptation of crop plants, and recent advances in high-throughput sequencing and phenotyping platforms have transformed molecular breeding to genomics-assisted breeding (GAB). In view of this, the present review elaborates the progress and prospects of GAB for improving climate change resilience in crops, which is likely to play an ever increasing role in the effort to ensure global food security. PMID:26322050

  16. Natural occurrence of mycotoxins in forage maize during crop growth in Japan: case study.

    PubMed

    Uegaki, R; Tohno, M; Yamamura, K; Tsukiboshi, T; Uozumi, S

    2015-02-01

    We investigated concentrations of mycotoxins during the growth of four cultivars of forage maize (Zea mays L.) in Nasushiobara, Tochigi prefecture, and their distribution in ears of maize grown in Morioka, Iwate prefecture, Japan. In experiment 1, we measured concentrations of naturally occurring fumonisin, nivalenol, deoxynivalenol and zearalenone at progressive crop growth stages. Concentrations of fumonisin in stems+leaves remained very low or not detectable, but those in ears became detectable at 40 days after heading and increased rapidly after 50 days after heading (DAH) (fumonisin B1+B2<3260 μg/kg; mean value at 50-74 days after heading). Concentrations varied widely within cultivars on the same day. Concentrations of nivalenol, deoxynivalenol and zearalenone in stems+leaves and in ears were low or not detectable throughout the experiment. In experiment 2, we collected three ears of each cultivar at the late yellow-ripe stage that showed extreme symptoms of Fusarium ear rot. Concentrations of fumonisin were extremely high in the upper half of ears in all cultivars (fumonisin B1+B2 18,000-25,900 μg/kg) but low in the lower half and bracts. Concentrations of nivalenol, deoxynivalenol and zearalenone were extremely low or not detectable. These results show that fumonisin concentrations in ears increased rapidly after 50 DAH, they were extremely high in ears of all cultivars with symptoms of Fusarium ear rot, and fumonisin was the most common contaminant. These results will help reduce mycotoxin contamination. PMID:25208749

  17. Natural occurrence of mycotoxins in forage maize during crop growth in Japan: case study.

    PubMed

    Uegaki, R; Tohno, M; Yamamura, K; Tsukiboshi, T; Uozumi, S

    2015-02-01

    We investigated concentrations of mycotoxins during the growth of four cultivars of forage maize (Zea mays L.) in Nasushiobara, Tochigi prefecture, and their distribution in ears of maize grown in Morioka, Iwate prefecture, Japan. In experiment 1, we measured concentrations of naturally occurring fumonisin, nivalenol, deoxynivalenol and zearalenone at progressive crop growth stages. Concentrations of fumonisin in stems+leaves remained very low or not detectable, but those in ears became detectable at 40 days after heading and increased rapidly after 50 days after heading (DAH) (fumonisin B1+B2<3260 μg/kg; mean value at 50-74 days after heading). Concentrations varied widely within cultivars on the same day. Concentrations of nivalenol, deoxynivalenol and zearalenone in stems+leaves and in ears were low or not detectable throughout the experiment. In experiment 2, we collected three ears of each cultivar at the late yellow-ripe stage that showed extreme symptoms of Fusarium ear rot. Concentrations of fumonisin were extremely high in the upper half of ears in all cultivars (fumonisin B1+B2 18,000-25,900 μg/kg) but low in the lower half and bracts. Concentrations of nivalenol, deoxynivalenol and zearalenone were extremely low or not detectable. These results show that fumonisin concentrations in ears increased rapidly after 50 DAH, they were extremely high in ears of all cultivars with symptoms of Fusarium ear rot, and fumonisin was the most common contaminant. These results will help reduce mycotoxin contamination.

  18. Hardwood energy crops and wildlife diversity: Investigating potential benefits for breeding birds and small mammals

    SciTech Connect

    Schiller, A.; Tolbert, V.R.

    1996-08-01

    Hardwood energy crops have the potential to provide a profit to growers as well as environmental benefits (for water quality, soil stabilization, chemical runoff, and wildlife habitat). Environmental considerations are important for both sustainable development of bioenergy technologies on agricultural lands, and for public support. The Environmental Task of the US DOE`s Biofuels feedstock Development Program (BFDP) is working with industry, universities and others to determine how to plant, manage and harvest these crops to maximize environmental advantages and minimize impacts while economically meeting production needs. One research objective is to define and improve wildlife habitat value of these energy crops by exploring how breeding birds and small mammals use them. The authors have found increased diversity of birds in tree plantings compared to row crops. However, fewer bird and small mammal species use the tree plantings than use natural forest. Bird species composition on hardwood crops studied to date is a mixture of openland and forest bird species. Restricted research site availability to date has limited research to small acreage sites of several years of age, or to a few larger acreage but young (1--2 year) plantings. Through industry collaboration, research began this season on bird use of diverse hardwood plantings (different ages, acreages, tree species) in the southeast. Together with results of previous studies, this research will help define practical energy crop guidelines to integrate native wildlife benefits with productive energy crops.

  19. Irrigation Strategies and Crop Breeding As Complementary Measures for Improved Water Management and Ecosystem Services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vico, G.; Manzoni, S.; Weih, M.; Porporato, A. M.

    2014-12-01

    The projected population growth and changes in climate and dietary habits will further increase the pressure on water resources globally. Within precision farming, a host of technical solutions has been developed to reduce water consumption for agricultural uses. Examples are the shift from scheduled to demand-based irrigation and the use of sophisticated water distribution techniques. The next frontier for a more sustainable agriculture is the combination of reduced water requirements with enhanced ecosystem services. Currently, staple grains are obtained from annuals crops. Enhanced ecosystem services could be obtained shifting from annual to perennial crops, obtained by means of targeted breeding. In fact, perennial plants, with their continuous soil cover and the higher allocation of resources to the below ground, contribute to the reduction of soil erosion, water and nutrient losses, while enhancing carbon sequestration in the root zone. We explore here the implications for water management at the field- to farm-scale of both improved irrigation methods and targeted breeding. A probabilistic description of the soil water balance and crop development is employed to quantify water requirements and yields and their inter-annual variability, as a function of rainfall patterns, soil and crop features. Optimal irrigation strategies are thus defined in terms of maximization of yield and minimization of required irrigation volumes and their inter-annual variability. The probabilistic model is parameterized based on an extensive meta-analysis of traits of co-generic annual and perennial species (including both selected and wild species) to explore the consequences for water requirements of shifting from annual to perennial crops under current and future climates. The larger and more developed roots of perennial crops may allow a better exploitation of soil water resources than annual species. At the same time, perennial crops may require adequate water supply for

  20. Use and breeding of forage grasses in the North Central USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Forage grasses are used for conservation harvesting, usually hay or balage, and for grazing within the North Central region of the USA. Historically, smooth bromegrass, timothy, reed canarygrass, and orchardgrass have been important species and they still exist in many old hay fields. Tall fescue, m...

  1. Forage and breed effects on behavior and temperament of pregnant beef heifers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Integration of behavioral observations with traditional selection schemes may lead to enhanced animal well-being and more profitable forage-based cattle production systems. Brahman-influenced (BR; n=64) and Gelbvieh x Angus (GA; n=64) heifers consumed either toxic endophyte-infected tall fescue (E+)...

  2. Intra-seasonal variation in foraging behavior among Adélie penguins (Pygocelis adeliae) breeding at Cape Hallett, Ross Sea, Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lyver, P.O.B.; MacLeod, C.J.; Ballard, G.; Karl, B.J.; Barton, K.J.; Adams, J.; Ainley, D.G.; Wilson, P.R.

    2011-01-01

    We investigated intra-seasonal variation in foraging behavior of chick-rearing Adélie penguins,Pygoscelis adeliae, during two consecutive summers at Cape Hallett, northwestern Ross Sea. Although foraging behavior of this species has been extensively studied throughout the broad continental shelf region of the Ross Sea, this is the first study to report foraging behaviors and habitat affiliations among birds occupying continental slope waters. Continental slope habitat supports the greatest abundances of this species throughout its range, but we lack information about how intra-specific competition for prey might affect foraging and at-sea distribution and how these attributes compare with previous Ross Sea studies. Foraging trips increased in both distance and duration as breeding advanced from guard to crèche stage, but foraging dive depth, dive rates, and vertical dive distances travelled per hour decreased. Consistent with previous studies within slope habitats elsewhere in Antarctic waters, Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) dominated chick meal composition, but fish increased four-fold from guard to crèche stages. Foraging-, focal-, and core areas all doubled during the crèche stage as individuals shifted distribution in a southeasterly direction away from the coast while simultaneously becoming more widely dispersed (i.e., less spatial overlap among individuals). Intra-specific competition for prey among Adélie penguins appears to influence foraging behavior of this species, even in food webs dominated by Antarctic krill.

  3. Intra-seasonal variation in foraging behavior among Adélie penguins (Pygocelis adeliae) breeding at Cape Hallett, Ross Sea, Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lyver, P.O.B.; MacLeod, C.J.; Ballard, G.; Karl, B.J.; Barton, K.J.; Adams, J.; Ainley, D.G.; Wilson, P.R.

    2011-01-01

    We investigated intra-seasonal variation in foraging behavior of chick-rearing Adélie penguins, Pygoscelis adeliae, during two consecutive summers at Cape Hallett, northwestern Ross Sea. Although foraging behavior of this species has been extensively studied throughout the broad continental shelf region of the Ross Sea, this is the first study to report foraging behaviors and habitat affiliations among birds occupying continental slope waters. Continental slope habitat supports the greatest abundances of this species throughout its range, but we lack information about how intra-specific competition for prey might affect foraging and at-sea distribution and how these attributes compare with previous Ross Sea studies. Foraging trips increased in both distance and duration as breeding advanced from guard to crèche stage, but foraging dive depth, dive rates, and vertical dive distances travelled per hour decreased. Consistent with previous studies within slope habitats elsewhere in Antarctic waters, Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) dominated chick meal composition, but fish increased four-fold from guard to crèche stages. Foraging-, focal-, and core areas all doubled during the crèche stage as individuals shifted distribution in a southeasterly direction away from the coast while simultaneously becoming more widely dispersed (i.e., less spatial overlap among individuals). Intra-specific competition for prey among Adélie penguins appears to influence foraging behavior of this species, even in food webs dominated by Antarctic krill.

  4. Breeding cereal crops for enhanced weed suppression: optimizing allelopathy and competitive ability.

    PubMed

    Worthington, Margaret; Reberg-Horton, Chris

    2013-02-01

    Interest in breeding grain crops with improved weed suppressive ability is growing in response to the evolution and rapid expansion of herbicide resistant populations in major weeds of economic importance, environmental concerns, and the unmet needs of organic producers and smallholder farmers without access to herbicides. This review is focused on plant breeding for weed suppression; specifically, field and laboratory screening protocols, genetic studies, and breeding efforts that have been undertaken to improve allelopathy and competition in rice, wheat, and barley. The combined effects of allelopathy and competition determine the weed suppressive potential of a given cultivar, and research groups worldwide have been working to improve both traits simultaneously to achieve maximum gains in weed suppression. Both allelopathy and competitive ability are complex, quantitatively inherited traits that are heavily influenced by environmental factors. Thus, good experimental design and sound breeding procedures are essential to achieve genetic gains. Weed suppressive rice cultivars are now commercially available in the U.S. and China that have resulted from three decades of research. Furthermore, a strong foundation has been laid during the past 10 years for the breeding of weed suppressive wheat and barley cultivars.

  5. Climate Impacts on Sea Turtle Breeding Phenology in Greece and Associated Foraging Habitats in the Wider Mediterranean Region.

    PubMed

    Patel, Samir H; Morreale, Stephen J; Saba, Vincent S; Panagopoulou, Aliki; Margaritoulis, Dimitris; Spotila, James R

    2016-01-01

    Sea turtles are vulnerable to climate change impacts in both their terrestrial (nesting beach) and oceanic habitats. From 1982 to 2012, air and sea surface temperatures at major high use foraging and nesting regions (n = 5) of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) nesting in Greece have steadily increased. Here, we update the established relationships between sea surface temperature and nesting data from Zakynthos (latitude: 37.7°N), a major nesting beach, while also expanding these analyses to include precipitation and air temperature and additional nesting data from two other key beaches in Greece: Kyparissia Bay (latitude: 37.3°N) and Rethymno, Crete (latitude: 35.4°N). We confirmed that nesting phenology at Zakynthos has continued to be impacted by breeding season temperature; however, temperature has no consistent relationship with nest numbers, which are declining on Zakynthos and Crete but increasing at Kyparissia. Then using statistically downscaled outputs of 14 climate models assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we projected future shifts in nesting for these populations. Based on the climate models, we projected that temperature at the key foraging and breeding sites (Adriatic Sea, Aegean Sea, Crete, Gulf of Gabès and Zakynthos/Kyparissia Bay; overall latitudinal range: 33.0°-45.8°N) for loggerhead turtles nesting in Greece will rise by 3-5°C by 2100. Our calculations indicate that the projected rise in air and ocean temperature at Zakynthos could cause the nesting season in this major rookery to shift to an earlier date by as much as 50-74 days by 2100. Although an earlier onset of the nesting season may provide minor relief for nest success as temperatures rise, the overall climatic changes to the various important habitats will most likely have an overall negative impact on this population.

  6. Climate Impacts on Sea Turtle Breeding Phenology in Greece and Associated Foraging Habitats in the Wider Mediterranean Region.

    PubMed

    Patel, Samir H; Morreale, Stephen J; Saba, Vincent S; Panagopoulou, Aliki; Margaritoulis, Dimitris; Spotila, James R

    2016-01-01

    Sea turtles are vulnerable to climate change impacts in both their terrestrial (nesting beach) and oceanic habitats. From 1982 to 2012, air and sea surface temperatures at major high use foraging and nesting regions (n = 5) of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) nesting in Greece have steadily increased. Here, we update the established relationships between sea surface temperature and nesting data from Zakynthos (latitude: 37.7°N), a major nesting beach, while also expanding these analyses to include precipitation and air temperature and additional nesting data from two other key beaches in Greece: Kyparissia Bay (latitude: 37.3°N) and Rethymno, Crete (latitude: 35.4°N). We confirmed that nesting phenology at Zakynthos has continued to be impacted by breeding season temperature; however, temperature has no consistent relationship with nest numbers, which are declining on Zakynthos and Crete but increasing at Kyparissia. Then using statistically downscaled outputs of 14 climate models assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we projected future shifts in nesting for these populations. Based on the climate models, we projected that temperature at the key foraging and breeding sites (Adriatic Sea, Aegean Sea, Crete, Gulf of Gabès and Zakynthos/Kyparissia Bay; overall latitudinal range: 33.0°-45.8°N) for loggerhead turtles nesting in Greece will rise by 3-5°C by 2100. Our calculations indicate that the projected rise in air and ocean temperature at Zakynthos could cause the nesting season in this major rookery to shift to an earlier date by as much as 50-74 days by 2100. Although an earlier onset of the nesting season may provide minor relief for nest success as temperatures rise, the overall climatic changes to the various important habitats will most likely have an overall negative impact on this population. PMID:27332550

  7. Climate Impacts on Sea Turtle Breeding Phenology in Greece and Associated Foraging Habitats in the Wider Mediterranean Region

    PubMed Central

    Morreale, Stephen J.; Saba, Vincent S.; Panagopoulou, Aliki; Margaritoulis, Dimitris; Spotila, James R.

    2016-01-01

    Sea turtles are vulnerable to climate change impacts in both their terrestrial (nesting beach) and oceanic habitats. From 1982 to 2012, air and sea surface temperatures at major high use foraging and nesting regions (n = 5) of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) nesting in Greece have steadily increased. Here, we update the established relationships between sea surface temperature and nesting data from Zakynthos (latitude: 37.7°N), a major nesting beach, while also expanding these analyses to include precipitation and air temperature and additional nesting data from two other key beaches in Greece: Kyparissia Bay (latitude: 37.3°N) and Rethymno, Crete (latitude: 35.4°N). We confirmed that nesting phenology at Zakynthos has continued to be impacted by breeding season temperature; however, temperature has no consistent relationship with nest numbers, which are declining on Zakynthos and Crete but increasing at Kyparissia. Then using statistically downscaled outputs of 14 climate models assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we projected future shifts in nesting for these populations. Based on the climate models, we projected that temperature at the key foraging and breeding sites (Adriatic Sea, Aegean Sea, Crete, Gulf of Gabès and Zakynthos/Kyparissia Bay; overall latitudinal range: 33.0°—45.8°N) for loggerhead turtles nesting in Greece will rise by 3–5°C by 2100. Our calculations indicate that the projected rise in air and ocean temperature at Zakynthos could cause the nesting season in this major rookery to shift to an earlier date by as much as 50–74 days by 2100. Although an earlier onset of the nesting season may provide minor relief for nest success as temperatures rise, the overall climatic changes to the various important habitats will most likely have an overall negative impact on this population. PMID:27332550

  8. Breeding crop plants with deep roots: their role in sustainable carbon, nutrient and water sequestration

    PubMed Central

    Kell, Douglas B.

    2011-01-01

    Background The soil represents a reservoir that contains at least twice as much carbon as does the atmosphere, yet (apart from ‘root crops’) mainly just the above-ground plant biomass is harvested in agriculture, and plant photosynthesis represents the effective origin of the overwhelming bulk of soil carbon. However, present estimates of the carbon sequestration potential of soils are based more on what is happening now than what might be changed by active agricultural intervention, and tend to concentrate only on the first metre of soil depth. Scope Breeding crop plants with deeper and bushy root ecosystems could simultaneously improve both the soil structure and its steady-state carbon, water and nutrient retention, as well as sustainable plant yields. The carbon that can be sequestered in the steady state by increasing the rooting depths of crop plants and grasses from, say, 1 m to 2 m depends significantly on its lifetime(s) in different molecular forms in the soil, but calculations (http://dbkgroup.org/carbonsequestration/rootsystem.html) suggest that this breeding strategy could have a hugely beneficial effect in stabilizing atmospheric CO2. This sets an important research agenda, and the breeding of plants with improved and deep rooting habits and architectures is a goal well worth pursuing. PMID:21813565

  9. Molecular Breeding to Create Optimized Crops: From Genetic Manipulation to Potential Applications in Plant Factories.

    PubMed

    Hiwasa-Tanase, Kyoko; Ezura, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    Crop cultivation in controlled environment plant factories offers great potential to stabilize the yield and quality of agricultural products. However, many crops are currently unsuited to these environments, particularly closed cultivation systems, due to space limitations, low light intensity, high implementation costs, and high energy requirements. A major barrier to closed system cultivation is the high running cost, which necessitates the use of high-margin crops for economic viability. High-value crops include those with enhanced nutritional value or containing additional functional components for pharmaceutical production or with the aim of providing health benefits. In addition, it is important to develop cultivars equipped with growth parameters that are suitable for closed cultivation. Small plant size is of particular importance due to the limited cultivation space. Other advantageous traits are short production cycle, the ability to grow under low light, and high nutriculture availability. Cost-effectiveness is improved from the use of cultivars that are specifically optimized for closed system cultivation. This review describes the features of closed cultivation systems and the potential application of molecular breeding to create crops that are optimized for cost-effectiveness and productivity in closed cultivation systems. PMID:27200016

  10. Molecular Breeding to Create Optimized Crops: From Genetic Manipulation to Potential Applications in Plant Factories.

    PubMed

    Hiwasa-Tanase, Kyoko; Ezura, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    Crop cultivation in controlled environment plant factories offers great potential to stabilize the yield and quality of agricultural products. However, many crops are currently unsuited to these environments, particularly closed cultivation systems, due to space limitations, low light intensity, high implementation costs, and high energy requirements. A major barrier to closed system cultivation is the high running cost, which necessitates the use of high-margin crops for economic viability. High-value crops include those with enhanced nutritional value or containing additional functional components for pharmaceutical production or with the aim of providing health benefits. In addition, it is important to develop cultivars equipped with growth parameters that are suitable for closed cultivation. Small plant size is of particular importance due to the limited cultivation space. Other advantageous traits are short production cycle, the ability to grow under low light, and high nutriculture availability. Cost-effectiveness is improved from the use of cultivars that are specifically optimized for closed system cultivation. This review describes the features of closed cultivation systems and the potential application of molecular breeding to create crops that are optimized for cost-effectiveness and productivity in closed cultivation systems.

  11. Molecular Breeding to Create Optimized Crops: From Genetic Manipulation to Potential Applications in Plant Factories

    PubMed Central

    Hiwasa-Tanase, Kyoko; Ezura, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    Crop cultivation in controlled environment plant factories offers great potential to stabilize the yield and quality of agricultural products. However, many crops are currently unsuited to these environments, particularly closed cultivation systems, due to space limitations, low light intensity, high implementation costs, and high energy requirements. A major barrier to closed system cultivation is the high running cost, which necessitates the use of high-margin crops for economic viability. High-value crops include those with enhanced nutritional value or containing additional functional components for pharmaceutical production or with the aim of providing health benefits. In addition, it is important to develop cultivars equipped with growth parameters that are suitable for closed cultivation. Small plant size is of particular importance due to the limited cultivation space. Other advantageous traits are short production cycle, the ability to grow under low light, and high nutriculture availability. Cost-effectiveness is improved from the use of cultivars that are specifically optimized for closed system cultivation. This review describes the features of closed cultivation systems and the potential application of molecular breeding to create crops that are optimized for cost-effectiveness and productivity in closed cultivation systems. PMID:27200016

  12. The importance of reproductive barriers and the effect of allopolyploidization on crop breeding

    PubMed Central

    Tonosaki, Kaoru; Osabe, Kenji; Kawanabe, Takahiro; Fujimoto, Ryo

    2016-01-01

    Inter-specific hybrids are a useful source for increasing genetic diversity. Some reproductive barriers before and/or after fertilization prevent production of hybrid plants by inter-specific crossing. Therefore, techniques to overcome the reproductive barrier have been developed, and have contributed to hybridization breeding. In recent studies, identification of molecules involved in plant reproduction has been studied to understand the mechanisms of reproductive barriers. Revealing the molecular mechanisms of reproductive barriers may allow us to overcome reproductive barriers in inter-specific crossing, and to efficiently produce inter-specific hybrids in cross-combinations that cannot be produced through artificial techniques. Inter-specific hybrid plants can potentially serve as an elite material for plant breeding, produced through the merging of genomes of parental species by allopolyploidization. Allopolyploidization provides some benefits, such as heterosis, increased genetic diversity and phenotypic variability, which are caused by dynamic changes of the genome and epigenome. Understanding of allopolyploidization mechanisms is important for practical utilization of inter-specific hybrids as a breeding material. This review discusses the importance of reproductive barriers and the effect of allopolyploidization in crop breeding programs. PMID:27436943

  13. [The application of genome editing in identification of plant gene function and crop breeding].

    PubMed

    Xiangchun, Zhou; Yongzhong, Xing

    2016-03-01

    Plant genome can be modified via current biotechnology with high specificity and excellent efficiency. Zinc finger nucleases (ZFN), transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALEN) and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated 9 (Cas9) system are the key engineered nucleases used in the genome editing. Genome editing techniques enable gene targeted mutagenesis, gene knock-out, gene insertion or replacement at the target sites during the endogenous DNA repair process, including non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) and homologous recombination (HR), triggered by the induction of DNA double-strand break (DSB). Genome editing has been successfully applied in the genome modification of diverse plant species, such as Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa, and Nicotiana tabacum. In this review, we summarize the application of genome editing in identification of plant gene function and crop breeding. Moreover, we also discuss the improving points of genome editing in crop precision genetic improvement for further study.

  14. Ecogeography and utility to plant breeding of the crop wild relatives of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.).

    PubMed

    Kantar, Michael B; Sosa, Chrystian C; Khoury, Colin K; Castañeda-Álvarez, Nora P; Achicanoy, Harold A; Bernau, Vivian; Kane, Nolan C; Marek, Laura; Seiler, Gerald; Rieseberg, Loren H

    2015-01-01

    Crop wild relatives (CWR) are a rich source of genetic diversity for crop improvement. Combining ecogeographic and phylogenetic techniques can inform both conservation and breeding. Geographic occurrence, bioclimatic, and biophysical data were used to predict species distributions, range overlap and niche occupancy in 36 taxa closely related to sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Taxa lacking comprehensive ex situ conservation were identified. The predicted distributions for 36 Helianthus taxa identified substantial range overlap, range asymmetry and niche conservatism. Specific taxa (e.g., Helianthus deblis Nutt., Helianthus anomalus Blake, and Helianthus divaricatus L.) were identified as targets for traits of interest, particularly for abiotic stress tolerance, and adaptation to extreme soil properties. The combination of techniques demonstrates the potential for publicly available ecogeographic and phylogenetic data to facilitate the identification of possible sources of abiotic stress traits for plant breeding programs. Much of the primary genepool (wild H. annuus) occurs in extreme environments indicating that introgression of targeted traits may be relatively straightforward. Sister taxa in Helianthus have greater range overlap than more distantly related taxa within the genus. This adds to a growing body of literature suggesting that in plants (unlike some animal groups), geographic isolation may not be necessary for speciation. PMID:26500675

  15. Ecogeography and utility to plant breeding of the crop wild relatives of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.)

    PubMed Central

    Kantar, Michael B.; Sosa, Chrystian C.; Khoury, Colin K.; Castañeda-Álvarez, Nora P.; Achicanoy, Harold A.; Bernau, Vivian; Kane, Nolan C.; Marek, Laura; Seiler, Gerald; Rieseberg, Loren H.

    2015-01-01

    Crop wild relatives (CWR) are a rich source of genetic diversity for crop improvement. Combining ecogeographic and phylogenetic techniques can inform both conservation and breeding. Geographic occurrence, bioclimatic, and biophysical data were used to predict species distributions, range overlap and niche occupancy in 36 taxa closely related to sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Taxa lacking comprehensive ex situ conservation were identified. The predicted distributions for 36 Helianthus taxa identified substantial range overlap, range asymmetry and niche conservatism. Specific taxa (e.g., Helianthus deblis Nutt., Helianthus anomalus Blake, and Helianthus divaricatus L.) were identified as targets for traits of interest, particularly for abiotic stress tolerance, and adaptation to extreme soil properties. The combination of techniques demonstrates the potential for publicly available ecogeographic and phylogenetic data to facilitate the identification of possible sources of abiotic stress traits for plant breeding programs. Much of the primary genepool (wild H. annuus) occurs in extreme environments indicating that introgression of targeted traits may be relatively straightforward. Sister taxa in Helianthus have greater range overlap than more distantly related taxa within the genus. This adds to a growing body of literature suggesting that in plants (unlike some animal groups), geographic isolation may not be necessary for speciation. PMID:26500675

  16. Ecogeography and utility to plant breeding of the crop wild relatives of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.).

    PubMed

    Kantar, Michael B; Sosa, Chrystian C; Khoury, Colin K; Castañeda-Álvarez, Nora P; Achicanoy, Harold A; Bernau, Vivian; Kane, Nolan C; Marek, Laura; Seiler, Gerald; Rieseberg, Loren H

    2015-01-01

    Crop wild relatives (CWR) are a rich source of genetic diversity for crop improvement. Combining ecogeographic and phylogenetic techniques can inform both conservation and breeding. Geographic occurrence, bioclimatic, and biophysical data were used to predict species distributions, range overlap and niche occupancy in 36 taxa closely related to sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Taxa lacking comprehensive ex situ conservation were identified. The predicted distributions for 36 Helianthus taxa identified substantial range overlap, range asymmetry and niche conservatism. Specific taxa (e.g., Helianthus deblis Nutt., Helianthus anomalus Blake, and Helianthus divaricatus L.) were identified as targets for traits of interest, particularly for abiotic stress tolerance, and adaptation to extreme soil properties. The combination of techniques demonstrates the potential for publicly available ecogeographic and phylogenetic data to facilitate the identification of possible sources of abiotic stress traits for plant breeding programs. Much of the primary genepool (wild H. annuus) occurs in extreme environments indicating that introgression of targeted traits may be relatively straightforward. Sister taxa in Helianthus have greater range overlap than more distantly related taxa within the genus. This adds to a growing body of literature suggesting that in plants (unlike some animal groups), geographic isolation may not be necessary for speciation.

  17. Advances towards a Marker-Assisted Selection Breeding Program in Prairie Cordgrass, a Biomass Crop

    PubMed Central

    Gedye, K. R.; Gonzalez-Hernandez, J. L.; Owens, V.; Boe, A.

    2012-01-01

    Prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata Bosc ex Link) is an indigenous, perennial grass of North America that is being developed into a cellulosic biomass crop suitable for biofuel production. Limited research has been performed into the breeding of prairie cordgrass; this research details an initial investigation into the development of a breeding program for this species. Genomic libraries enriched for four simple sequence repeat (SSR) motifs were developed, 25 clones from each library were sequenced, identifying 70 SSR regions, and primers were developed for these regions, 35 of which were amplified under standard PCR conditions. These SSR markers were used to validate the crossing methodology of prairie cordgrass and it was found that crosses between two plants occurred without the need for emasculation. The successful cross between two clones of prairie cordgrass indicates that this species is not self-incompatible. The results from this research will be used to instigate the production of a molecular map of prairie cordgrass which can be used to incorporate marker-assisted selection (MAS) protocols into a breeding program to improve this species for cellulosic biomass production. PMID:23227036

  18. Molecular Breeding Strategy and Challenges Towards Improvement of Blast Disease Resistance in Rice Crop.

    PubMed

    Ashkani, Sadegh; Rafii, Mohd Y; Shabanimofrad, Mahmoodreza; Miah, Gous; Sahebi, Mahbod; Azizi, Parisa; Tanweer, Fatah A; Akhtar, Mohd Sayeed; Nasehi, Abbas

    2015-01-01

    Rice is a staple and most important security food crop consumed by almost half of the world's population. More rice production is needed due to the rapid population growth in the world. Rice blast caused by the fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae is one of the most destructive diseases of this crop in different part of the world. Breakdown of blast resistance is the major cause of yield instability in several rice growing areas. There is a need to develop strategies providing long-lasting disease resistance against a broad spectrum of pathogens, giving protection for a long time over a broad geographic area, promising for sustainable rice production in the future. So far, molecular breeding approaches involving DNA markers, such as QTL mapping, marker-aided selection, gene pyramiding, allele mining and genetic transformation have been used to develop new resistant rice cultivars. Such techniques now are used as a low-cost, high-throughput alternative to conventional methods allowing rapid introgression of disease resistance genes into susceptible varieties as well as the incorporation of multiple genes into individual lines for more durable blast resistance. The paper briefly reviewed the progress of studies on this aspect to provide the interest information for rice disease resistance breeding. This review includes examples of how advanced molecular method have been used in breeding programs for improving blast resistance. New information and knowledge gained from previous research on the recent strategy and challenges towards improvement of blast disease such as pyramiding disease resistance gene for creating new rice varieties with high resistance against multiple diseases will undoubtedly provide new insights into the rice disease control.

  19. Molecular Breeding Strategy and Challenges Towards Improvement of Blast Disease Resistance in Rice Crop

    PubMed Central

    Ashkani, Sadegh; Rafii, Mohd Y.; Shabanimofrad, Mahmoodreza; Miah, Gous; Sahebi, Mahbod; Azizi, Parisa; Tanweer, Fatah A.; Akhtar, Mohd Sayeed; Nasehi, Abbas

    2015-01-01

    Rice is a staple and most important security food crop consumed by almost half of the world’s population. More rice production is needed due to the rapid population growth in the world. Rice blast caused by the fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae is one of the most destructive diseases of this crop in different part of the world. Breakdown of blast resistance is the major cause of yield instability in several rice growing areas. There is a need to develop strategies providing long-lasting disease resistance against a broad spectrum of pathogens, giving protection for a long time over a broad geographic area, promising for sustainable rice production in the future. So far, molecular breeding approaches involving DNA markers, such as QTL mapping, marker-aided selection, gene pyramiding, allele mining and genetic transformation have been used to develop new resistant rice cultivars. Such techniques now are used as a low-cost, high-throughput alternative to conventional methods allowing rapid introgression of disease resistance genes into susceptible varieties as well as the incorporation of multiple genes into individual lines for more durable blast resistance. The paper briefly reviewed the progress of studies on this aspect to provide the interest information for rice disease resistance breeding. This review includes examples of how advanced molecular method have been used in breeding programs for improving blast resistance. New information and knowledge gained from previous research on the recent strategy and challenges towards improvement of blast disease such as pyramiding disease resistance gene for creating new rice varieties with high resistance against multiple diseases will undoubtedly provide new insights into the rice disease control. PMID:26635817

  20. Achievements and prospects of genomics-assisted breeding in three legume crops of the semi-arid tropics.

    PubMed

    Varshney, Rajeev K; Mohan, S Murali; Gaur, Pooran M; Gangarao, N V P R; Pandey, Manish K; Bohra, Abhishek; Sawargaonkar, Shrikant L; Chitikineni, Annapurna; Kimurto, Paul K; Janila, Pasupuleti; Saxena, K B; Fikre, Asnake; Sharma, Mamta; Rathore, Abhishek; Pratap, Aditya; Tripathi, Shailesh; Datta, Subhojit; Chaturvedi, S K; Mallikarjuna, Nalini; Anuradha, G; Babbar, Anita; Choudhary, Arbind K; Mhase, M B; Bharadwaj, Ch; Mannur, D M; Harer, P N; Guo, Baozhu; Liang, Xuanqiang; Nadarajan, N; Gowda, C L L

    2013-12-01

    Advances in next-generation sequencing and genotyping technologies have enabled generation of large-scale genomic resources such as molecular markers, transcript reads and BAC-end sequences (BESs) in chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut, three major legume crops of the semi-arid tropics. Comprehensive transcriptome assemblies and genome sequences have either been developed or underway in these crops. Based on these resources, dense genetic maps, QTL maps as well as physical maps for these legume species have also been developed. As a result, these crops have graduated from 'orphan' or 'less-studied' crops to 'genomic resources rich' crops. This article summarizes the above-mentioned advances in genomics and genomics-assisted breeding applications in the form of marker-assisted selection (MAS) for hybrid purity assessment in pigeonpea; marker-assisted backcrossing (MABC) for introgressing QTL region for drought-tolerance related traits, Fusarium wilt (FW) resistance and Ascochyta blight (AB) resistance in chickpea; late leaf spot (LLS), leaf rust and nematode resistance in groundnut. We critically present the case of use of other modern breeding approaches like marker-assisted recurrent selection (MARS) and genomic selection (GS) to utilize the full potential of genomics-assisted breeding for developing superior cultivars with enhanced tolerance to various environmental stresses. In addition, this article recommends the use of advanced-backcross (AB-backcross) breeding and development of specialized populations such as multi-parents advanced generation intercross (MAGIC) for creating new variations that will help in developing superior lines with broadened genetic base. In summary, we propose the use of integrated genomics and breeding approach in these legume crops to enhance crop productivity in marginal environments ensuring food security in developing countries.

  1. Achievements and prospects of genomics-assisted breeding in three legume crops of the semi-arid tropics.

    PubMed

    Varshney, Rajeev K; Mohan, S Murali; Gaur, Pooran M; Gangarao, N V P R; Pandey, Manish K; Bohra, Abhishek; Sawargaonkar, Shrikant L; Chitikineni, Annapurna; Kimurto, Paul K; Janila, Pasupuleti; Saxena, K B; Fikre, Asnake; Sharma, Mamta; Rathore, Abhishek; Pratap, Aditya; Tripathi, Shailesh; Datta, Subhojit; Chaturvedi, S K; Mallikarjuna, Nalini; Anuradha, G; Babbar, Anita; Choudhary, Arbind K; Mhase, M B; Bharadwaj, Ch; Mannur, D M; Harer, P N; Guo, Baozhu; Liang, Xuanqiang; Nadarajan, N; Gowda, C L L

    2013-12-01

    Advances in next-generation sequencing and genotyping technologies have enabled generation of large-scale genomic resources such as molecular markers, transcript reads and BAC-end sequences (BESs) in chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut, three major legume crops of the semi-arid tropics. Comprehensive transcriptome assemblies and genome sequences have either been developed or underway in these crops. Based on these resources, dense genetic maps, QTL maps as well as physical maps for these legume species have also been developed. As a result, these crops have graduated from 'orphan' or 'less-studied' crops to 'genomic resources rich' crops. This article summarizes the above-mentioned advances in genomics and genomics-assisted breeding applications in the form of marker-assisted selection (MAS) for hybrid purity assessment in pigeonpea; marker-assisted backcrossing (MABC) for introgressing QTL region for drought-tolerance related traits, Fusarium wilt (FW) resistance and Ascochyta blight (AB) resistance in chickpea; late leaf spot (LLS), leaf rust and nematode resistance in groundnut. We critically present the case of use of other modern breeding approaches like marker-assisted recurrent selection (MARS) and genomic selection (GS) to utilize the full potential of genomics-assisted breeding for developing superior cultivars with enhanced tolerance to various environmental stresses. In addition, this article recommends the use of advanced-backcross (AB-backcross) breeding and development of specialized populations such as multi-parents advanced generation intercross (MAGIC) for creating new variations that will help in developing superior lines with broadened genetic base. In summary, we propose the use of integrated genomics and breeding approach in these legume crops to enhance crop productivity in marginal environments ensuring food security in developing countries. PMID:23313999

  2. The presence of Acetobacter sp. in ensiled forage crops and ensiled industrial byproducts.

    PubMed

    Oude Elferinck, S J; Driehuis, F; Becker, P M; Gottschal, J C; Faber, F; Spoelstra, S F

    2001-01-01

    The presence of acetic acid bacteria (AAB) in whole crop maize silage, whole crop wheat silage, pressed sugar beet pulp silage, grass silage and brewer's grains silage was investigated. AAB could be isolated from whole crop maize silage, whole crop wheat silage and pressed sugar beet pulp silage, but could not be detected in grass silage (> 100 silo's tested) or brewer's grains silage (5 silo's tested). Thirty AAB isolates were characterized to genus level. All isolates, i.e. 20 from whole crop maize silage, 5 from whole crop wheat silage and 5 from pressed sugar beet pulp silage, belonged to the genus Acetobacter. Two isolates from maize silage were further characterized. Partial 16S rRNA analyses revealed that one isolate was closely related to Acetobacter aceti (98% sequence homology), the other to Acetobacter pomorum (98% sequence homology). These results combined with the substrate utilization profiles indicate that these isolates probably represent thus far undescribed species of Acetobacter.

  3. Intragenic crop improvement: combining the benefits of traditional breeding and genetic engineering.

    PubMed

    Rommens, Caius M

    2007-05-30

    New crop varieties are developed by applying traditional breeding methods that rely on random genome modifications. These varieties combine multiple traits that support farm efficiency and acceptable yields but also contain genes associated with the production of toxins, allergens, and/or antinutritional compounds that were not considered during the selection process. Furthermore, existing cultivars frequently lack the functional genes required for specific sensory traits and the formation of health-promoting antioxidants. One new method efficiently addresses some of these issues by either silencing undesirable genes or enhancing the expression of genes that are linked to dormant beneficial traits. Rather than incorporating foreign DNA into the plant's genome, these methods transform crops with plant-derived transfer (P-) DNAs that consist of only native genetic elements. The genetic modification can be characterized molecularly so that any inadvertent transfer of undesirable DNA, as may be the case with traditional methods, is excluded. A recently developed intragenic potato plant is silenced for the polyphenol oxidase, dikinase R1, and phosphorylase-L genes in a tuber-specific manner. French fries derived from these tubers lack discolorations, display an enhanced potato flavor, and produce greatly reduced amounts of the suspected carcinogen acrylamide. It is argued that intragenic modification is unlikely to trigger phenotypic, biochemical, or physiological variation that is new to the species. Similarly, the targeted traits are similar to those that breeders select for and often have a history of domestication and reduced fitness. For these reasons, an updated regulatory system is proposed whereby intragenic crops are considered as low risk and should be cleared for commercial release in a timely and cost-effective manner. By using modern techniques to modify the same genetic material that is used by breeders, intragenic approaches may be perceived as an

  4. Crop rotations with annual and perennial forages under no-till soil management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Development of crop rotations that support sustainable agriculture depends on understanding complex relationships between soils, crops, and yield. Objectives were to measure how soil chemical and physical attributes as well as maize (Zea mays L.) and soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] stover dry weig...

  5. One crop breeding cycle from starvation? How engineering crop photosynthesis for rising CO2 and temperature could be one important route to alleviation.

    PubMed

    Kromdijk, Johannes; Long, Stephen P

    2016-03-16

    Global climate change is likely to severely impact human food production. This comes at a time when predicted demand for primary foodstuffs by a growing human population and changing global diets is already outpacing a stagnating annual rate of increase in crop productivity. Additionally, the time required by crop breeding and bioengineering to release improved varieties to farmers is substantial, meaning that any crop improvements needed to mitigate food shortages in the 2040s would need to start now. In this perspective, the rationale for improvements in photosynthetic efficiency as a breeding objective for higher yields is outlined. Subsequently, using simple simulation models it is shown how predicted changes in temperature and atmospheric [CO2] affect leaf photosynthetic rates. The chloroplast accounts for the majority of leaf nitrogen in crops. Within the chloroplast about 25% of nitrogen is invested in the carboxylase, Rubisco, which catalyses the first step of CO2 assimilation. Most of the remaining nitrogen is invested in the apparatus to drive carbohydrate synthesis and regenerate ribulose-1:5-bisphosphate (RuBP), the CO2-acceptor molecule at Rubisco. At preindustrial [CO2], investment in these two aspects may have been balanced resulting in co-limitation. At today's [CO2], there appears to be over-investment in Rubisco, and despite the counter-active effects of rising temperature and [CO2], this imbalance is predicted to worsen with global climate change. By breeding or engineering restored optimality under future conditions increased productivity could be achieved in both tropical and temperate environments without additional nitrogen fertilizer. Given the magnitude of the potential shortfall, better storage conditions, improved crop management and better crop varieties will all be needed. With the short time-scale at which food demand is expected to outpace supplies, all available technologies to improve crop varieties, from classical crop breeding to

  6. One crop breeding cycle from starvation? How engineering crop photosynthesis for rising CO2 and temperature could be one important route to alleviation

    PubMed Central

    Kromdijk, Johannes; Long, Stephen P.

    2016-01-01

    Global climate change is likely to severely impact human food production. This comes at a time when predicted demand for primary foodstuffs by a growing human population and changing global diets is already outpacing a stagnating annual rate of increase in crop productivity. Additionally, the time required by crop breeding and bioengineering to release improved varieties to farmers is substantial, meaning that any crop improvements needed to mitigate food shortages in the 2040s would need to start now. In this perspective, the rationale for improvements in photosynthetic efficiency as a breeding objective for higher yields is outlined. Subsequently, using simple simulation models it is shown how predicted changes in temperature and atmospheric [CO2] affect leaf photosynthetic rates. The chloroplast accounts for the majority of leaf nitrogen in crops. Within the chloroplast about 25% of nitrogen is invested in the carboxylase, Rubisco, which catalyses the first step of CO2 assimilation. Most of the remaining nitrogen is invested in the apparatus to drive carbohydrate synthesis and regenerate ribulose-1:5-bisphosphate (RuBP), the CO2-acceptor molecule at Rubisco. At preindustrial [CO2], investment in these two aspects may have been balanced resulting in co-limitation. At today's [CO2], there appears to be over-investment in Rubisco, and despite the counter-active effects of rising temperature and [CO2], this imbalance is predicted to worsen with global climate change. By breeding or engineering restored optimality under future conditions increased productivity could be achieved in both tropical and temperate environments without additional nitrogen fertilizer. Given the magnitude of the potential shortfall, better storage conditions, improved crop management and better crop varieties will all be needed. With the short time-scale at which food demand is expected to outpace supplies, all available technologies to improve crop varieties, from classical crop breeding to

  7. One crop breeding cycle from starvation? How engineering crop photosynthesis for rising CO2 and temperature could be one important route to alleviation.

    PubMed

    Kromdijk, Johannes; Long, Stephen P

    2016-03-16

    Global climate change is likely to severely impact human food production. This comes at a time when predicted demand for primary foodstuffs by a growing human population and changing global diets is already outpacing a stagnating annual rate of increase in crop productivity. Additionally, the time required by crop breeding and bioengineering to release improved varieties to farmers is substantial, meaning that any crop improvements needed to mitigate food shortages in the 2040s would need to start now. In this perspective, the rationale for improvements in photosynthetic efficiency as a breeding objective for higher yields is outlined. Subsequently, using simple simulation models it is shown how predicted changes in temperature and atmospheric [CO2] affect leaf photosynthetic rates. The chloroplast accounts for the majority of leaf nitrogen in crops. Within the chloroplast about 25% of nitrogen is invested in the carboxylase, Rubisco, which catalyses the first step of CO2 assimilation. Most of the remaining nitrogen is invested in the apparatus to drive carbohydrate synthesis and regenerate ribulose-1:5-bisphosphate (RuBP), the CO2-acceptor molecule at Rubisco. At preindustrial [CO2], investment in these two aspects may have been balanced resulting in co-limitation. At today's [CO2], there appears to be over-investment in Rubisco, and despite the counter-active effects of rising temperature and [CO2], this imbalance is predicted to worsen with global climate change. By breeding or engineering restored optimality under future conditions increased productivity could be achieved in both tropical and temperate environments without additional nitrogen fertilizer. Given the magnitude of the potential shortfall, better storage conditions, improved crop management and better crop varieties will all be needed. With the short time-scale at which food demand is expected to outpace supplies, all available technologies to improve crop varieties, from classical crop breeding to

  8. Chado use case: storing genomic, genetic and breeding data of Rosaceae and Gossypium crops in Chado

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Sook; Lee, Taein; Ficklin, Stephen; Yu, Jing; Cheng, Chun-Huai; Main, Dorrie

    2016-01-01

    The Genome Database for Rosaceae (GDR) and CottonGen are comprehensive online data repositories that provide access to integrated genomic, genetic and breeding data through search, visualization and analysis tools for Rosaceae crops and Gossypium (cotton). These online databases use Chado, an open-source, generic and ontology-driven database schema for biological data, as the primary data storage platform. Chado is highly normalized and uses ontologies to indicate the ‘types’ of data. Therefore, Chado is flexible such that it has been used to house genomic, genetic and breeding data for GDR and CottonGen. These data include whole genome sequence and annotation, transcripts, molecular markers, genetic maps, Quantitative Trait Loci, Mendelian Trait Loci, traits, germplasm, pedigrees, large scale phenotypic and genotypic data, ontologies and publications. We provide information about how to store these types of data in Chado using GDR and CottonGen as examples sites that were converted from an older legacy infrastructure. Database URL: GDR (www.rosaceae.org), CottonGen (www.cottongen.org) PMID:26989146

  9. Chado use case: storing genomic, genetic and breeding data of Rosaceae and Gossypium crops in Chado.

    PubMed

    Jung, Sook; Lee, Taein; Ficklin, Stephen; Yu, Jing; Cheng, Chun-Huai; Main, Dorrie

    2016-01-01

    The Genome Database for Rosaceae (GDR) and CottonGen are comprehensive online data repositories that provide access to integrated genomic, genetic and breeding data through search, visualization and analysis tools for Rosaceae crops and Gossypium (cotton). These online databases use Chado, an open-source, generic and ontology-driven database schema for biological data, as the primary data storage platform. Chado is highly normalized and uses ontologies to indicate the 'types' of data. Therefore, Chado is flexible such that it has been used to house genomic, genetic and breeding data for GDR and CottonGen. These data include whole genome sequence and annotation, transcripts, molecular markers, genetic maps, Quantitative Trait Loci, Mendelian Trait Loci, traits, germplasm, pedigrees, large scale phenotypic and genotypic data, ontologies and publications. We provide information about how to store these types of data in Chado using GDR and CottonGen as examples sites that were converted from an older legacy infrastructure. Database URL: GDR (www.rosaceae.org), CottonGen (www.cottongen.org). PMID:26989146

  10. Evolutionary outcomes should inform plant breeding and transgenic approaches to drought tolerance in crop species: the importance of xylem traits

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Genomic-assisted breeding and transgenic approaches to crop improvement are presently targeting phenotypic traits that allegedly confer drought tolerance. A news feature published in Nature Biotechnology last year suggests that these efforts may not be proceeding with sufficient haste, considering t...

  11. 1978 Insect Pest Management Guide: Field and Forage Crops. Circular 899.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Illinois Univ., Urbana. Cooperative Extension Service.

    This circular lists suggested uses of insecticides for the control of field crop pests. Suggestions are given for selection, dosage and application of insecticides to control pests in field corn, alfalfa and clover, small grains, soybeans and grain sorghum. (CS)

  12. Influence of Lactobacillus spp. from an Inoculant and of Weissella and Leuconostoc spp. from Forage Crops on Silage Fermentation

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Yimin; Benno, Yoshimi; Ogawa, Masuhiro; Ohmomo, Sadahiro; Kumai, Sumio; Nakase, Takashi

    1998-01-01

    Lactobacillus spp. from an inoculant and Weissella and Leuconostoc spp. from forage crops were characterized, and their influence on silage fermentation was studied. Forty-two lactic acid-producing cocci were obtained from forage crops and grasses. All isolates were gram-positive, catalase-negative cocci that produced gas from glucose, and produced more than 90% of their lactate in the d-isomer form. These isolates were divided into groups A and B by sugar fermentation patterns. Two representative strains from the two groups, FG 5 and FG 13, were assigned to the species Weissella paramesenteroides and Leuconostoc pseudomesenteroides, respectively, on the basis of DNA-DNA relatedness. Strains FG 5, FG 13, and SL 1 (Lactobacillus casei), isolated from a commercial inoculant, were used as additives to alfalfa and Italian ryegrass silage preparations. Lactic acid bacterium counts were higher in all additive-treated silages than in the control silage at an early stage of ensiling. During silage fermentation, inoculation with SL 1 more effectively inhibited the growth of aerobic bacteria and clostridia than inoculation with strain FG 5 or FG 13. SL 1-treated silages stored well. However, the control and FG 5- and FG 13-treated silages had a significantly (P < 0.05) higher pH and butyric acid and ammonia nitrogen contents and significantly (P < 0.05) lower lactate content than SL 1-treated silage. Compared with the control silage, SL 1 treatments reduced the proportion of d-(−)-lactic acid, gas production, and dry matter loss in two kinds of silage, but the FG 5 and FG 13 treatments gave similar values in alfalfa silages and higher values (P < 0.05) in Italian ryegrass silage. The results confirmed that heterofermentative strains of W. paramesenteroides FG 5 and L. pseudomesenteroides FG 13 did not improve silage quality and may cause some fermentation loss. PMID:9687461

  13. Cover crops increase foraging activity of omnivorous predators in seed patches and facilitate weed biological control

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Omnivores are important consumers of both weed seeds and insect pests, and habitat provisions like cover crops are suggested to promote their ecosystem services in agricultural systems. However, few studies establish direct links between cover, food, and pest suppression because they are entangled a...

  14. Aphidophagous parasitoids can forage wheat crops before aphid infestation, Parana State, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Ceolin Bortolotto, Orcial; de Oliveira Menezes Júnior, Ayres; Thibes Hoshino, Adriano

    2015-01-01

    Aphid parasitoids are common in Brazilian wheat fields, and parasitize aphids at the wheat tillering stage. However, there is little information available about when this natural enemy occurs in wheat crops. This study investigated the initial occurrence of aphid parasitoids in four commercial wheat crops in northern Paraná during the 2009 crop season. We installed two Malaise traps at each wheat farm, and 400 tillers were assessed weekly in each field for aphid abundance. During this study, we captured 4,355 aphid parasitoids and 197 aphids. Three species of braconid parasitoids were identified, including Aphidius colemani (Viereck 1912), Lysiphlebus testaceipes (Cresson 1880), and Diaeretiella rapae (McIntosh 1855). The aphids species identified were Rhopalosiphum padi (Linnaeus 1758) and Sitobion avenae (Fabricius 1775). This study showed that aphid parasitoids are present in wheat crops even when aphid densities are low, and in one farm, occurred before the aphids colonization. These reports can justified the high efficiency of these natural enemies against aphids in wheat fields.

  15. Development and Deployment of a Short Rotation Woody Crops Harvesting System Based on a Case New Holland Forage Harvester and SRC Woody Crop Header

    SciTech Connect

    Eisenbies, Mark; Volk, Timothy; Abrahamson, Lawrence; Shuren, Richard; Stanton, Brian; Posselius, John; McArdle, Matt; Karapetyan, Samvel; Patel, Aayushi; Shi, Shun; Zerpa, Jose

    2014-10-03

    Biomass for biofuels, bioproducts and bioenergy can be sourced from forests, agricultural crops, various residue streams, and dedicated woody or herbaceous crops. Short rotation woody crops (SRWC), like willow and hybrid poplar, are perennial cropping systems that produce a number of environmental and economic development benefits in addition to being a renewable source of biomass that can be produced on marginal land. Both hybrid poplar and willow have several characteristics that make them an ideal feedstock for biofuels, bioproducts, and bioenergy; these include high yields that can be obtained in three to four years, ease of cultivar propagation from dormant cuttings, a broad underutilized genetic base, ease of breeding, ability to resprout after multiple harvests, and feedstock composition similar to other sources of woody biomass. Despite the range of benefits associated with SRWC systems, their deployment has been restricted by high costs, low market acceptance associated with inconsistent chip quality (see below for further explanation), and misperceptions about other feedstock characteristics (see below for further explanation). Harvesting of SRWC is the largest single cost factor (~1/3 of the final delivered cost) in the feedstock supply system. Harvesting is also the second largest input of primary fossil energy in the system after commercial N fertilizer, accounting for about one third of the input. Therefore, improving the efficiency of the harvesting system has the potential to reduce both cost and environmental impact. At the start of this project, we projected that improving the overall efficiency of the harvesting system by 25% would reduce the delivered cost of SRWC by approximately $0.50/MMBtu (or about $7.50/dry ton). This goal was exceeded over the duration of this project, as noted below.

  16. Forestry alters foraging efficiency and crop contents of aphid-tending red wood ants, Formica aquilonia.

    PubMed

    Johansson, Therese; Gibb, Heloise

    2012-01-01

    Forest management alters species behaviours, distributions and interactions. To evaluate forestry effects on ant foraging performance, we compared the quality and quantity of honeydew harvested by ants among clear-cuts, middle-aged and mature spruce-dominated stands in boreal forests in Sweden. Honeydew quality was examined using honeydew collected by squeezing the gasters of laden Formica aquilonia workers. We used fifteen laden individuals at each study site (four replicates of each stand age) and analysed honeydew chemical composition with gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy. To compare the quantity of honeydew collected by individual ants, we collected and weighed five ants moving up and five ants moving down each of ten trees at the twelve sites (totally 1200 ants). The concentration of trehalose in honeydew was lower in clear-cuts compared with middle aged and mature stands, and similar trends were shown for sucrose, raffinose and melezitose, indicating poorer honeydew quality on clear cuts. Concentrations of the amino acid serine were higher on clear-cuts. The same trend occurred for glutamine, suggesting that increased N-uptake by the trees after clear cutting is reflected in the honeydew of aphids. Ants in mature stands had larger heads and carried proportionally more honeydew and may therefore be more efficient foragers. Human alternation of habitats through clear-cutting thus affects food quality and worker condition in F. aquilonia. This is the first study to show that honeydew quality is affected by anthropogenic disturbances, likely contributing to the reduction in size and abundance of F. aquilonia workers and mounds after clear cutting.

  17. Foraging behaviour, nutrient intake from pasture and performance of free-range growing pigs in relation to feed CP level in two organic cropping systems.

    PubMed

    Jakobsen, M; Kongsted, A G; Hermansen, J E

    2015-12-01

    In organic pig production one of the major challenges is to be able to fulfil amino acid requirements based on organic and locally grown protein feed crops. The pig is an opportunistic omnivore with a unique capacity for foraging above and below the soil surface. It is hypothesized that direct foraging in the range area can pose an important contribution in terms of fulfilling nutrient requirements of growing pigs. Foraging activity, lucerne nutrient intake and pig performance were investigated in 36 growing pigs, foraging on lucerne or grass and fed either a standard organic pelleted feed mixture (HP: high protein) or a grain mixture containing 48% less CP (LP: low protein) compared with the high protein feed mixture, from an average live weight of 58 kg to 90 kg in a complete block design in three replicates. The pigs were fed 80% of energy recommendations and had access to 4 m2 of pasture/pig per day during the 40 days experimental period from September to October 2013. Behavioural observations were carried out 12 times over the entire experimental period. For both crops, LP pigs rooted significantly more compared with HP pigs but the effect of CP level was more pronounced in grass (44% v. 19% of all observations) compared with lucerne (28% v. 16% of all observations). Feed protein level turned out not to have any significant effect on grazing behaviour but pigs foraging on lucerne grazed significantly more than pigs foraging on grass (10% v. 4% of all observations). Daily weight gain and feed conversion ratio were significantly affected by feed protein and forage crop interactions. Compared to HP pigs, LP treated pigs had 33% lower daily weight gain (589 v. 878 g) and 31% poorer feed conversion ratio (3.75 v. 2.59 kg feed/kg weight gain) in grass paddocks, whereas in lucerne paddocks LP pigs only had 18% lower daily weight gain (741 v. 900 g) and a 14% poorer feed conversion ratio (2.95 v. 2.54 kg feed/kg weight gain) compared with HP pigs. LP pigs foraging on

  18. The Colletotrichum destructivum species complex – hemibiotrophic pathogens of forage and field crops

    PubMed Central

    Damm, U.; O'Connell, R.J.; Groenewald, J.Z.; Crous, P.W.

    2014-01-01

    Colletotrichum destructivum is an important plant pathogen, mainly of forage and grain legumes including clover, alfalfa, cowpea and lentil, but has also been reported as an anthracnose pathogen of many other plants worldwide. Several Colletotrichum isolates, previously reported as closely related to C. destructivum, are known to establish hemibiotrophic infections in different hosts. The inconsistent application of names to those isolates based on outdated species concepts has caused much taxonomic confusion, particularly in the plant pathology literature. A multilocus DNA sequence analysis (ITS, GAPDH, CHS-1, HIS3, ACT, TUB2) of 83 isolates of C. destructivum and related species revealed 16 clades that are recognised as separate species in the C. destructivum complex, which includes C. destructivum, C. fuscum, C. higginsianum, C. lini and C. tabacum. Each of these species is lecto-, epi- or neotypified in this study. Additionally, eight species, namely C. americae-borealis, C. antirrhinicola, C. bryoniicola, C. lentis, C. ocimi, C. pisicola, C. utrechtense and C. vignae are newly described. PMID:25492986

  19. Bridging the phenotypic and genetic data useful for integrated breeding through a data annotation using the Crop Ontology developed by the crop communities of practice.

    PubMed

    Shrestha, Rosemary; Matteis, Luca; Skofic, Milko; Portugal, Arllet; McLaren, Graham; Hyman, Glenn; Arnaud, Elizabeth

    2012-01-01

    The Crop Ontology (CO) of the Generation Challenge Program (GCP) (http://cropontology.org/) is developed for the Integrated Breeding Platform (IBP) (http://www.integratedbreeding.net/) by several centers of The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR): bioversity, CIMMYT, CIP, ICRISAT, IITA, and IRRI. Integrated breeding necessitates that breeders access genotypic and phenotypic data related to a given trait. The CO provides validated trait names used by the crop communities of practice (CoP) for harmonizing the annotation of phenotypic and genotypic data and thus supporting data accessibility and discovery through web queries. The trait information is completed by the description of the measurement methods and scales, and images. The trait dictionaries used to produce the Integrated Breeding (IB) fieldbooks are synchronized with the CO terms for an automatic annotation of the phenotypic data measured in the field. The IB fieldbook provides breeders with direct access to the CO to get additional descriptive information on the traits. Ontologies and trait dictionaries are online for cassava, chickpea, common bean, groundnut, maize, Musa, potato, rice, sorghum, and wheat. Online curation and annotation tools facilitate (http://cropontology.org) direct maintenance of the trait information and production of trait dictionaries by the crop communities. An important feature is the cross referencing of CO terms with the Crop database trait ID and with their synonyms in Plant Ontology (PO) and Trait Ontology (TO). Web links between cross referenced terms in CO provide online access to data annotated with similar ontological terms, particularly the genetic data in Gramene (University of Cornell) or the evaluation and climatic data in the Global Repository of evaluation trials of the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security programme (CCAFS). Cross-referencing and annotation will be further applied in the IBP. PMID:22934074

  20. Bridging the phenotypic and genetic data useful for integrated breeding through a data annotation using the Crop Ontology developed by the crop communities of practice

    PubMed Central

    Shrestha, Rosemary; Matteis, Luca; Skofic, Milko; Portugal, Arllet; McLaren, Graham; Hyman, Glenn; Arnaud, Elizabeth

    2012-01-01

    The Crop Ontology (CO) of the Generation Challenge Program (GCP) (http://cropontology.org/) is developed for the Integrated Breeding Platform (IBP) (http://www.integratedbreeding.net/) by several centers of The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR): bioversity, CIMMYT, CIP, ICRISAT, IITA, and IRRI. Integrated breeding necessitates that breeders access genotypic and phenotypic data related to a given trait. The CO provides validated trait names used by the crop communities of practice (CoP) for harmonizing the annotation of phenotypic and genotypic data and thus supporting data accessibility and discovery through web queries. The trait information is completed by the description of the measurement methods and scales, and images. The trait dictionaries used to produce the Integrated Breeding (IB) fieldbooks are synchronized with the CO terms for an automatic annotation of the phenotypic data measured in the field. The IB fieldbook provides breeders with direct access to the CO to get additional descriptive information on the traits. Ontologies and trait dictionaries are online for cassava, chickpea, common bean, groundnut, maize, Musa, potato, rice, sorghum, and wheat. Online curation and annotation tools facilitate (http://cropontology.org) direct maintenance of the trait information and production of trait dictionaries by the crop communities. An important feature is the cross referencing of CO terms with the Crop database trait ID and with their synonyms in Plant Ontology (PO) and Trait Ontology (TO). Web links between cross referenced terms in CO provide online access to data annotated with similar ontological terms, particularly the genetic data in Gramene (University of Cornell) or the evaluation and climatic data in the Global Repository of evaluation trials of the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security programme (CCAFS). Cross-referencing and annotation will be further applied in the IBP. PMID:22934074

  1. Genomic tools and and prospects for new breeding techniques in flower bulb crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    For many of the new breeding techniques, sequence information is of the utmost importance. In addition to current breeding techniques, such as marker-assisted selection (MAS) and genetic modification (GM), new breeding techniques such as zinc finger nucleases, oligonucleotide-mediated mutagenesis, R...

  2. FISH applications for genomics and plant breeding strategies in tomato and other solanaceous crops.

    PubMed

    Szinay, D; Bai, Y; Visser, R; de Jong, H

    2010-07-01

    rearrangements, including inversions and translocations. The technology not only supports phylogenetic studies between the taxa under study but can also be helpful in breeding programs with crops containing introgressed regions from related species when linkage drag or meiotic pairing disturbances between the homoeologues are assumed. In the next steps in comparative genomics, we now can detect smaller chromosomal and DNA rearrangements, diminutions and amplifications of repeats and changes of the epigenetic status of introgressed regions. PMID:20628252

  3. Bayesian prediction of breeding values by accounting for genotype-by-environment interaction in self-pollinating crops.

    PubMed

    Bauer, A M; Hoti, F; Reetz, T C; Schuh, W-D; Léon, J; Sillanpää, M J

    2009-06-01

    In self-pollinating populations, individuals are characterized by a high degree of inbreeding. Additionally, phenotypic observations are highly influenced by genotype-by-environment interaction effects. Usually, Bayesian approaches to predict breeding values (in self-pollinating crops) omit genotype-by-environment interactions in the statistical model, which may result in biased estimates. In our study, a Bayesian Gibbs sampling algorithm was developed that is adapted to the high degree of inbreeding in self-pollinated crops and accounts for interaction effects between genotype and environment. As related lines are supposed to show similar genotype-by-environment interaction effects, an extended genetic relationship matrix is included in the Bayesian model. Additionally, since the coefficient matrix C in the mixed model equations can be characterized by rank deficiencies, the pseudoinverse of C was calculated by using the nullspace, which resulted in a faster computation time. In this study, field data of spring barley lines and data of a 'virtual' parental population of self-pollinating crops, generated by computer simulation, were used. For comparison, additional breeding values were predicted by a frequentist approach. In general, standard Bayesian Gibbs sampling and a frequentist approach resulted in similar estimates if heritability of the regarded trait was high. For low heritable traits, the modified Bayesian model, accounting for relatedness between lines in genotype-by-environment interaction, was superior to the standard model.

  4. Offering a forage crop at pasture did not adversely affect voluntary cow traffic or milking visits in a pasture-based automatic milking system.

    PubMed

    Scott, V E; Kerrisk, K L; Garcia, S C

    2016-03-01

    Feed is a strong incentive for encouraging cows in automatic milking systems (AMS) to voluntarily move around the farm and achieve milkings distributed across the 24 h day. It has been reported that cows show preferences for some forages over others, and it is possible that offering preferred forages may increase cow traffic. A preliminary investigation was conducted to determine the effect of offering a forage crop for grazing on premilking voluntary waiting times in a pasture-based robotic rotary system. Cows were offered one of two treatments (SOYBEAN or GRASS) in a cross-over design. A restricted maximum likelihood procedure was used to model voluntary waiting times. Mean voluntary waiting time was 45.5±6.0 min, with no difference detected between treatments. High and mid-production cows spent 55 min/milking for low-production cows, whereas waiting time increased as queue length increased. Voluntary waiting time was 23% and 80% longer when cows were fetched from the paddock or had a period of forced waiting before volunteering for milking, respectively. The time it took cows to return to the dairy since last exiting was not affected by treatment, with a mean return time of 13.7±0.6 h. Although offering SOYBEAN did not encourage cows to traffic more readily through the premilking yard, the concept of incorporating forage crops in AMS still remains encouraging if the aim is to increase the volume or quantity of home-grown feed rather than improving cow traffic.

  5. Multi-Temporal Crop Surface Models Combined with the RGB Vegetation Index from Uav-Based Images for Forage Monitoring in Grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Possoch, M.; Bieker, S.; Hoffmeister, D.; Bolten, A.; Schellberg, J.; Bareth, G.

    2016-06-01

    Remote sensing of crop biomass is important in regard to precision agriculture, which aims to improve nutrient use efficiency and to develop better stress and disease management. In this study, multi-temporal crop surface models (CSMs) were generated from UAV-based dense imaging in order to derive plant height distribution and to determine forage mass. The low-cost UAV-based RGB imaging was carried out in a grassland experiment at the University of Bonn, Germany, in summer 2015. The test site comprised three consecutive growths including six different nitrogen fertilizer levels and three replicates, in sum 324 plots with a size of 1.5×1.5 m. Each growth consisted of six harvesting dates. RGB-images and biomass samples were taken at twelve dates nearly biweekly within two growths between June and September 2015. Images were taken with a DJI Phantom 2 in combination of a 2D Zenmuse gimbal and a GoPro Hero 3 (black edition). Overlapping images were captured in 13 to 16 m and overview images in approximately 60 m height at 2 frames per second. The RGB vegetation index (RGBVI) was calculated as the normalized difference of the squared green reflectance and the product of blue and red reflectance from the non-calibrated images. The post processing was done with Agisoft PhotoScan Professional (SfM-based) and Esri ArcGIS. 14 ground control points (GCPs) were located in the field, distinguished by 30 cm × 30 cm markers and measured with a RTK-GPS (HiPer Pro Topcon) with 0.01 m horizontal and vertical precision. The errors of the spatial resolution in x-, y-, z-direction were in a scale of 3-4 cm. From each survey, also one distortion corrected image was georeferenced by the same GCPs and used for the RGBVI calculation. The results have been used to analyse and evaluate the relationship between estimated plant height derived with this low-cost UAV-system and forage mass. Results indicate that the plant height seems to be a suitable indicator for forage mass. There is a

  6. Persistent organic pollutants in forage fish prey of rhinoceros auklets breeding in Puget Sound and the northern California Current.

    PubMed

    Good, Thomas P; Pearson, Scott F; Hodum, Peter; Boyd, Daryle; Anulacion, Bernadita F; Ylitalo, Gina M

    2014-09-15

    Organochlorine contaminants in upper trophic-level consumers inhabiting Puget Sound are consistently higher than in those species inhabiting other west coast locations. We analyzed persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the six most common fish prey of rhinoceros auklets breeding on Protection Island (Puget Sound), Tatoosh Island (WA coast), and Destruction Island (WA coast). Wet-weight concentrations of POPs ranged widely (PCBs: 1.6-25.0 ng/g; DDTs: 0.2-56.0 ng/g; PBDEs:breeding auklets, their prey and other resident marine birds is needed to assess biomagnification impacts in the Puget Sound marine ecosystem. PMID:25103902

  7. Uncoupling of sodium and chloride to assist breeding for salinity tolerance in crops.

    PubMed

    Genc, Yusuf; Oldach, Klaus; Taylor, Julian; Lyons, Graham H

    2016-04-01

    The separation of toxic effects of sodium (Na(+)) and chloride (Cl(-)) by the current methods of mixed salts and subsequent determination of their relevance to breeding has been problematic. We report a novel method (Na(+) humate) to study the ionic effects of Na(+) toxicity without interference from Cl(-), and ionic and osmotic effects when combined with salinity (NaCl). Three cereal species (Hordeum vulgare, Triticum aestivum and Triticum turgidum ssp. durum with and without the Na(+) exclusion gene Nax2) differing in Na(+) exclusion were grown in a potting mix under sodicity (Na(+) humate) and salinity (NaCl), and water use, leaf nutrient profiles and yield were determined. Under sodicity, Na(+)-excluding bread wheat and durum wheat with the Nax2 gene had higher yield than Na(+)-accumulating barley and durum wheat without the Nax2 gene. However, under salinity, despite a 100-fold difference in leaf Na(+), all species yielded similarly, indicating that osmotic stress negated the benefits of Na(+) exclusion. In conclusion, Na(+) exclusion can be an effective mechanism for sodicity tolerance, while osmoregulation and tissue tolerance to Na(+) and/or Cl(-) should be the main foci for further improvement of salinity tolerance in cereals. This represents a paradigm shift for breeding cereals with salinity tolerance. PMID:26607560

  8. Accelerometers identify new behaviors and show little difference in the activity budgets of lactating northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) between breeding islands and foraging habitats in the eastern Bering Sea.

    PubMed

    Battaile, Brian C; Sakamoto, Kentaro Q; Nordstrom, Chad A; Rosen, David A S; Trites, Andrew W

    2015-01-01

    We tagged 82 lactating northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) with tri-axial accelerometers and magnetometers on two eastern Bering Sea islands (Bogoslof and St. Paul) with contrasting population trajectories. Using depth data, accelerometer data and spectral analysis we classified time spent diving (30%), resting (~7%), shaking and grooming their pelage (9%), swimming in the prone position (~10%) and two types of previously undocumented rolling behavior (29%), with the remaining time (~15%) unspecified. The reason for the extensive rolling behavior is not known. We ground-truthed the accelerometry signals for shaking and grooming and rolling behaviors--and identified the acceleration signal for porpoising--by filming tagged northern fur seals in captivity. Speeds from GPS interpolated data indicated that animals traveled fastest while in the prone position, suggesting that this behavior is indicative of destination-based swimming. Very little difference was found in the percentages of time spent in the categorical behaviors with respect to breeding islands (Bogoslof or St. Paul Island), forager type (cathemeral or nocturnal), and the region where the animals foraged (primarily on-shelf <200 m, or off-shelf > 200 m). The lack of significant differences between islands, regions and forager type may indicate that behaviors summarized over a trip are somewhat hardwired even though foraging trip length and when and where animals dive are known to vary with island, forager type and region. PMID:25807552

  9. Accelerometers Identify New Behaviors and Show Little Difference in the Activity Budgets of Lactating Northern Fur Seals (Callorhinus ursinus) between Breeding Islands and Foraging Habitats in the Eastern Bering Sea

    PubMed Central

    Battaile, Brian C.; Sakamoto, Kentaro Q.; Nordstrom, Chad A.; Rosen, David A. S.; Trites, Andrew W.

    2015-01-01

    We tagged 82 lactating northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) with tri-axial accelerometers and magnetometers on two eastern Bering Sea islands (Bogoslof and St. Paul) with contrasting population trajectories. Using depth data, accelerometer data and spectral analysis we classified time spent diving (30%), resting (~7%), shaking and grooming their pelage (9%), swimming in the prone position (~10%) and two types of previously undocumented rolling behavior (29%), with the remaining time (~15%) unspecified. The reason for the extensive rolling behavior is not known. We ground-truthed the accelerometry signals for shaking and grooming and rolling behaviors—and identified the acceleration signal for porpoising—by filming tagged northern fur seals in captivity. Speeds from GPS interpolated data indicated that animals traveled fastest while in the prone position, suggesting that this behavior is indicative of destination-based swimming. Very little difference was found in the percentages of time spent in the categorical behaviors with respect to breeding islands (Bogoslof or St. Paul Island), forager type (cathemeral or nocturnal), and the region where the animals foraged (primarily on-shelf <200m, or off-shelf > 200m). The lack of significant differences between islands, regions and forager type may indicate that behaviors summarized over a trip are somewhat hardwired even though foraging trip length and when and where animals dive are known to vary with island, forager type and region. PMID:25807552

  10. The effects of provisioning and crop-raiding on the diet and foraging activities of human-commensal white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus).

    PubMed

    McKinney, Tracie

    2011-05-01

    Non-human primates are coming into increasingly frequent contact with humans and with human-modified environments. The potential for monkeys to survive in such modified landscapes is questionable, and is likely related to a species' behavioral plasticity, particularly as it relates to diet. In this study, I explore the ways in which white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) adjust their diet and foraging behaviors in response to anthropogenic impact. I compare a troop of human-commensal monkeys and a similar troop of wild-feeding monkeys living within the Curú Wildlife Refuge in western Costa Rica for differences in overall diet composition and activity budgets to evaluate the impact of habitat change in this context. The commensal-living white-faced capuchins rely on raided coconut (Cocos nucifera) and oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) crops and provisioned or stolen human foods for over one-half of their total diet. Regardless of this highly anthropogenic diet, the two study troops do not significantly differ in their activity budgets, and the human-commensal troop maintains wild-foraging activities consistent with those of the wild-feeding troop. These data suggest that the white-faced capuchins at this site are responding to anthropogenic disturbance primarily through the exploitation of human food resources, but they do not yet appear to have lost the foraging skills required to survive in this modified landscape on their own. This study adds to our growing body of knowledge on primate survival in matrix habitats, and will hopefully inform primate management plans throughout the Neotropics. PMID:21432873

  11. Foraging segregation of two congeneric diving seabird species (common and thick-billed murres) breeding on St. George Island, Bering Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kokubun, N.; Yamamoto, T.,; Sato, N.; Watanuki, Y.; Will, A.; Kitaysky, A. S.; Takahashi, A.

    2015-11-01

    Sub-arctic environmental changes are expected to affect the ecology of marine top predators. We examined the characteristics of foraging behavior of two sympatric congeneric diving seabirds, common (Uria aalge: hereafter COMU) and thick-billed (U. lomvia: hereafter TBMU) murres breeding on St. George Island located in the seasonal sea-ice region of the Bering Sea. We investigated their flight duration, diel patterns of dive depth, and underwater wing strokes, along with morphology and blood stable isotopes. Acceleration-temperature-depth data loggers were attached to chick-guarding birds, and behavioral data were obtained from 7 COMU and 12 TBMU. Both species showed similar trip duration (13.21 ± 4.79 h for COMU and 10.45 ± 7.09 h for TBMU) and similar diurnal patterns of diving (frequent dives to various depths in the daytime and less frequent dives to shallow depths in the nighttime). During the daytime, dive depths of COMU had two peaks in shallow (18.1 ± 6.0 m) and deep (74.2 ± 8.7 m) depths, while those of TBMU were 20.2 ± 7.4 m and 59.7 ± 7.9 m. COMU showed more frequent wing strokes during the bottom phase of dives (1.90 ± 0.11 s-1) than TBMU (1.66 ± 0.15 s-1). Fishes occurred with higher proportion in the bill-loads brought back to chicks in COMU (85 %) than in TBMU (56 %). δ15N value of blood was significantly higher in COMU (14.47 ± 0.27 ‰) than in TBMU (13.14 ± 0.36 ‰). Relatively small wing area (0.053 ± 0.007 m2) of COMU compared to TBMU (0.067 ± 0.007 m2) may make them more agile underwater and thus enable them to target more mobile prey including larger fishes that inhabit deeper depths. These differences in foraging behavior between COMU and TBMU might explain the differences in their responses to long-term marine environmental changes.

  12. Mapping of yield influencing QTL in Brassica juncea: implications for breeding of a major oilseed crop of dryland areas.

    PubMed

    Ramchiary, N; Padmaja, K L; Sharma, S; Gupta, V; Sodhi, Y S; Mukhopadhyay, A; Arumugam, N; Pental, D; Pradhan, A K

    2007-10-01

    Quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis of yield influencing traits was carried out in Brassica juncea (AABB) using a doubled haploid (DH) mapping population of 123 lines derived from a cross between Varuna (a line representing the Indian gene pool) and Heera (representing the east European gene pool) to identify potentially useful alleles from both the parents. The existing AFLP based map of B. juncea was further saturated with RFLP and SSR markers which led to the identification of the linkage groups belonging to the A (B. rapa) and B (B. nigra) genome components of B. juncea. For QTL dissection, the DH lines were evaluated at three different environments and phenotyped for 12 quantitative traits. A total of 65 QTL spread over 13 linkage groups (LG) were identified from the three environments. QTL analysis showed that the A genome has contributed more than the B genome to productivity (68% of the total QTL detected) suggesting a more prominent role of the A genome towards domestication of this crop. The east European line, Heera, carried favorable alleles for 42% of the detected QTL and the remaining 58% were in the Indian gene pool line, Varuna. We observed clustering of major QTL in a few linkage groups, particularly in J7 and J10 of the A genome, with QTL of different traits having agronomically antagonistic allelic effects co-mapping to the same genetic interval. QTL analysis also identified some well-separated QTL which could be readily transferred between the two pools. Based on the QTL analysis, we propose that improvement in yield could be achieved more readily by heterosis breeding rather than by pure line breeding.

  13. Farm Crop Production Technology: Field and Forage Crop and Fruit and Vine Production Options. A Suggested 2-Year Post High School Curriculum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Division of Vocational and Technical Education, BAVT.

    Prepared by a junior college under contract with the Office of Education, the curriculum materials are designed to assist school administrators, advisory committees, supervisors, and teachers in developing or evaluating postsecondary programs in farm crop production technology. Information was gathered by visits to the important farm regions and…

  14. The critical role of islands for waterbird breeding and foraging habitat in managed ponds of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, South San Francisco Bay, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Hartman, C. Alex; Herzog, Mark P.; Smith, Lacy M.; Moskal, Stacy M.; De La Cruz, Susan E. W.; Yee, Julie L.; Takekawa, John Y.

    2014-01-01

    The South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project aims to restore 50–90 percent of former salt evaporation ponds into tidal marsh in South San Francisco Bay, California. However, large numbers of waterbirds use these ponds annually as nesting and foraging habitat. Islands within ponds are particularly important habitat for nesting, foraging, and roosting waterbirds. To maintain current waterbird populations, the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project plans to create new islands within former salt ponds in South San Francisco Bay. In a series of studies, we investigated pond and individual island attributes that are most beneficial to nesting, foraging, and roosting waterbirds.

  15. Forage and bioenergy feedstock production from hybrid forage sorghum and sorghum x sudangrass hybrids

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As the bioenergy industry expands, producers choosing to shift current forage crop production to dedicated biomass crops will find it advantageous to grow low risk multi-purpose crops that maximize management options. Hybrid forage sorghums (HFS) and sorghum by sudangrass hybrids (SSG) are capable...

  16. Advances in genetics and molecular breeding of three legume crops of semi-arid tropics using next-generation sequencing and high-throughput genotyping technologies.

    PubMed

    Varshney, Rajeev K; Kudapa, Himabindu; Roorkiwal, Manish; Thudi, Mahendar; Pandey, Manish K; Saxena, Rachit K; Chamarthi, Siva K; Mohan, S Murali; Mallikarjuna, Nalini; Upadhyaya, Hari; Gaur, Pooran M; Krishnamurthy, L; Saxena, K B; Nigam, Shyam N; Pande, Suresh

    2012-11-01

    Molecular markers are the most powerful genomic tools to increase the efficiency and precision of breeding practices for crop improvement. Progress in the development of genomic resources in the leading legume crops of the semi-arid tropics (SAT), namely, chickpea (Cicer arietinum), pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan) and groundnut (Arachis hypogaea), as compared to other crop species like cereals, has been very slow. With the advances in next-generation sequencing (NGS) and high-throughput (HTP) genotyping methods, there is a shift in development of genomic resources including molecular markers in these crops. For instance, 2,000 to 3,000 novel simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers have been developed each for chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut. Based on Sanger, 454/FLX and Illumina transcript reads, transcriptome assemblies have been developed for chickpea (44,845 transcript assembly contigs, or TACs) and pigeonpea (21,434 TACs). Illumina sequencing of some parental genotypes of mapping populations has resulted in the development of 120 million reads for chickpea and 128.9 million reads for pigeonpea. Alignment of these Illumina reads with respective transcriptome assemblies have provided more than 10,000 SNPs each in chickpea and pigeonpea. A variety of SNP genotyping platforms including GoldenGate, VeraCode and Competitive Allele Specific PCR (KASPar) assays have been developed in chickpea and pigeonpea. By using above resources, the first-generation or comprehensive genetic maps have been developed in the three legume speciesmentioned above. Analysis of phenotyping data together with genotyping data has provided candidate markers for drought-tolerance-related root traits in chickpea, resistance to foliar diseases in groundnut and sterility mosaic disease (SMD) and fertility restoration in pigeonpea. Together with these traitassociated markers along with those already available, molecular breeding programmes have been initiated for enhancing drought tolerance, resistance

  17. Variation in sequences containing microsatellite motifs in the perennial biomass and forage grass, Phalaris arundinacea (Poaceae).

    PubMed

    Barth, Susanne; Jankowska, Marta Jolanta; Hodkinson, Trevor Roland; Vellani, Tia; Klaas, Manfred

    2016-03-22

    Forty three microsatellite markers were developed for further genetic characterisation of a forage and biomass grass crop, for which genomic resources are currently scarce. The microsatellite markers were developed from a normalized EST-SSR library. All of the 43 markers gave a clear banding pattern on 3% Metaphor agarose gels. Eight selected SSR markers were tested in detail for polymorphism across eleven DNA samples of large geographic distribution across Europe. The new set of 43 SSR markers will help future research to characterise the genetic structure and diversity of Phalaris arundinacea, with a potential to further understand its invasive character in North American wetlands, as well as aid in breeding work for desired biomass and forage traits. P. arundinacea is particularly valued in the northern latitude as a crop with high biomass potential, even more so on marginal lands.

  18. Achievements and prospects of genomics-assisted breeding in three legume crops of the semi-arid tropics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Advances in sequencing and genotyping technologies have enabled generation of several thousand markers including SSRs, SNPs, DArTs, hundreds of thousands transcript reads and BAC-end sequences in chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut, three major legume crops of the semi-arid tropics. Comprehensive tran...

  19. Conventional breeding, marker-assisted selection, genomic selection and inbreeding in clonally propagated crops: a case study for cassava.

    PubMed

    Ceballos, Hernán; Kawuki, Robert S; Gracen, Vernon E; Yencho, G Craig; Hershey, Clair H

    2015-09-01

    Consolidates relevant molecular and phenotypic information on cassava to demonstrate relevance of heterosis, and alternatives to exploit it by integrating different tools. Ideas are useful to other asexually reproduced crops. Asexually propagated crops offer the advantage that all genetic effects can be exploited in farmers' production fields. However, non-additive effects complicate selection because, while influencing the performance of the materials under evaluation, they cannot be transmitted efficiently to the following cycle of selection. Cassava can be used as a model crop for asexually propagated crops because of its diploid nature and the absence of (known) incompatibility effects. New technologies such as genomic selection (GS), use of inbred progenitors based on doubled haploids and induction of flowering can be employed for accelerating genetic gains in cassava. Available information suggests that heterosis, non-additive genetic effects and within-family variation are relatively large for complex traits such as fresh root yield, moderate for dry matter or starch content in the roots, and low for defensive traits (pest and disease resistance) and plant architecture. The present article considers the potential impact of different technologies for maximizing gains for key traits in cassava, and highlights the advantages of integrating them. Exploiting heterosis would be optimized through the implementation of reciprocal recurrent selection. The advantages of using inbred progenitors would allow shifting the current cassava phenotypic recurrent selection method into line improvement, which in turn would allow designing outstanding hybrids rather than finding them by trial and error.

  20. Functional invertebrate prey groups reflect dietary responses to phenology and farming activity and pest control services in three sympatric species of aerially foraging insectivorous birds.

    PubMed

    Orłowski, Grzegorz; Karg, Jerzy; Karg, Grzegorz

    2014-01-01

    Farming activity severely impacts the invertebrate food resources of farmland birds, with direct mortality to populations of above-ground arthropods thorough mechanical damage during crop harvests. In this study we assessed the effects of phenological periods, including the timing of harvest, on the composition and biomass of prey consumed by three species of aerial insectivorous birds. Common Swifts Apus apus, Barn Swallows Hirundo rustica and House Martins Delichon urbica breed sympatrically and most of their diet is obtained from agricultural sources of invertebrate prey, especially from oil-seed rape crops. We categorized invertebrate prey into six functional groups, including oil-seed rape pests; pests of other arable crops; other crop-provisioned taxa; coprophilous taxa; and taxa living in non-crop and mixed crop/non-crop habitats. Seasonality impacted functional groups differently, but the general direction of change (increase/decrease) of all groups was consistent as indexed by prey composition of the three aerial insectivores studied here. After the oil-seed rape crop harvest (mid July), all three species exhibited a dietary shift from oil-seed rape insect pests to other aerial invertebrate prey groups. However, Common Switfts also consumed a relative large quantity of oil-seed rape insect pests in the late summer (August), suggesting that they could reduce pest insect emigration beyond the host plant/crop. Since these aerially foraging insectivorous birds operate in specific conditions and feed on specific pest resources unavailable to foliage/ground foraging avian predators, our results suggest that in some crops like oil-seed rape cultivations, the potential integration of the insectivory of aerial foraging birds into pest management schemes might provide economic benefits. We advise further research into the origin of airborne insects and the role of aerial insectivores as agents of the biological control of crop insect pests, especially the

  1. Functional invertebrate prey groups reflect dietary responses to phenology and farming activity and pest control services in three sympatric species of aerially foraging insectivorous birds.

    PubMed

    Orłowski, Grzegorz; Karg, Jerzy; Karg, Grzegorz

    2014-01-01

    Farming activity severely impacts the invertebrate food resources of farmland birds, with direct mortality to populations of above-ground arthropods thorough mechanical damage during crop harvests. In this study we assessed the effects of phenological periods, including the timing of harvest, on the composition and biomass of prey consumed by three species of aerial insectivorous birds. Common Swifts Apus apus, Barn Swallows Hirundo rustica and House Martins Delichon urbica breed sympatrically and most of their diet is obtained from agricultural sources of invertebrate prey, especially from oil-seed rape crops. We categorized invertebrate prey into six functional groups, including oil-seed rape pests; pests of other arable crops; other crop-provisioned taxa; coprophilous taxa; and taxa living in non-crop and mixed crop/non-crop habitats. Seasonality impacted functional groups differently, but the general direction of change (increase/decrease) of all groups was consistent as indexed by prey composition of the three aerial insectivores studied here. After the oil-seed rape crop harvest (mid July), all three species exhibited a dietary shift from oil-seed rape insect pests to other aerial invertebrate prey groups. However, Common Switfts also consumed a relative large quantity of oil-seed rape insect pests in the late summer (August), suggesting that they could reduce pest insect emigration beyond the host plant/crop. Since these aerially foraging insectivorous birds operate in specific conditions and feed on specific pest resources unavailable to foliage/ground foraging avian predators, our results suggest that in some crops like oil-seed rape cultivations, the potential integration of the insectivory of aerial foraging birds into pest management schemes might provide economic benefits. We advise further research into the origin of airborne insects and the role of aerial insectivores as agents of the biological control of crop insect pests, especially the

  2. Functional Invertebrate Prey Groups Reflect Dietary Responses to Phenology and Farming Activity and Pest Control Services in Three Sympatric Species of Aerially Foraging Insectivorous Birds

    PubMed Central

    Orłowski, Grzegorz; Karg, Jerzy; Karg, Grzegorz

    2014-01-01

    Farming activity severely impacts the invertebrate food resources of farmland birds, with direct mortality to populations of above-ground arthropods thorough mechanical damage during crop harvests. In this study we assessed the effects of phenological periods, including the timing of harvest, on the composition and biomass of prey consumed by three species of aerial insectivorous birds. Common Swifts Apus apus, Barn Swallows Hirundo rustica and House Martins Delichon urbica breed sympatrically and most of their diet is obtained from agricultural sources of invertebrate prey, especially from oil-seed rape crops. We categorized invertebrate prey into six functional groups, including oil-seed rape pests; pests of other arable crops; other crop-provisioned taxa; coprophilous taxa; and taxa living in non-crop and mixed crop/non-crop habitats. Seasonality impacted functional groups differently, but the general direction of change (increase/decrease) of all groups was consistent as indexed by prey composition of the three aerial insectivores studied here. After the oil-seed rape crop harvest (mid July), all three species exhibited a dietary shift from oil-seed rape insect pests to other aerial invertebrate prey groups. However, Common Switfts also consumed a relative large quantity of oil-seed rape insect pests in the late summer (August), suggesting that they could reduce pest insect emigration beyond the host plant/crop. Since these aerially foraging insectivorous birds operate in specific conditions and feed on specific pest resources unavailable to foliage/ground foraging avian predators, our results suggest that in some crops like oil-seed rape cultivations, the potential integration of the insectivory of aerial foraging birds into pest management schemes might provide economic benefits. We advise further research into the origin of airborne insects and the role of aerial insectivores as agents of the biological control of crop insect pests, especially the

  3. Evaluation of compositional equivalence for multitrait biotechnology crops.

    PubMed

    Ridley, William P; Harrigan, George G; Breeze, Matthew L; Nemeth, Margaret A; Sidhu, Ravinder S; Glenn, Kevin C

    2011-06-01

    Compositional analysis is an important tool in the evaluation of the safety and nutritional status of biotechnology-derived crops. As part of the comparative assessment of a biotechnology-derived crop, its composition is evaluated by quantitative measurement of the levels of key nutrients, antinutrients, and secondary metabolites and compared to that of conventional crops. To evaluate the effect of combining multiple biotech traits through conventional breeding, the forage and grain compositions of the double combinations MON 810 × NK603, MON 863 × MON 810, and MON 863 × NK603 and the triple combination MON 863 × NK603 × MON 810 were compared to their respective near-isogenic, conventional control hybrids. Overall, a total of 241 statistical comparisons between the multitrait biotechnology crop and its corresponding conventional controls were conducted. Of these comparisons 192 (79.7%) were not statistically significantly different (p > 0.05), and all 49 of the differences were within the 99% tolerance interval for commercial hybrids grown in the same field or related field trials. These data on combined trait biotechnology-derived products demonstrated that the forage and grain were compositionally equivalent to their conventional comparators, indicating the absence of any influence of combining insect protection and herbicide tolerance traits by conventional breeding on compositional variation.

  4. 7 CFR 407.13 - Group risk plan for forage.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Group risk plan for forage. 407.13 Section 407.13..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE GROUP RISK PLAN OF INSURANCE REGULATIONS § 407.13 Group risk plan for forage. The provisions of the Group Risk Plan for Forage for the 2000 and succeeding crop years are as follows:...

  5. Forage harvest representation in RUSLE2

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE and RUSLE2) has long been used by USDA and others for management planning based on soil erosion and sediment delivery estimates. It has worked well for normal annual agronomic crops, but proved to be awkward for forage crops. This is partly because RU...

  6. Forage Storage Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Forages are a major component of the diet for cattle and other livestock. In most parts of the world, forage production is seasonal so that some forage must be harvested by the farmer and stored. The two main systems for storing forage are as hay and silage. With hay, the forage is dried to approxim...

  7. Genomics and plant breeding.

    PubMed

    Aljanabi, S

    2001-01-01

    Much of our most basic understanding of genetics has its roots in plant genetics and crop breeding. The study of plants has led to important insights into highly conserved biological process and a wealth of knowledge about development. Agriculture is now well positioned to take its share benefit from genomics. The primary sequences of most plant genes will be determined over the next few years. Informatics and functional genomics will help identify those genes that can be best utilized to crop production and quality through genetic engineering and plant breeding. Recent developments in plant genomics are reviewed.

  8. Sex dependent risk management in face of perceived danger of socially foraging Bee-eaters (Merops apiaster) during migration.

    PubMed

    Yosef, Reuven; Fehervari, Peter; Yosef-Sukenik, Nufar

    2013-11-01

    The proximal reasons and ultimal consequences of decisions made during foraging by breeding individuals are widely studied in numerous avian systems. However, the effects of these decisions are more pronounced in migratory birds because they spend more time and energy foraging than on the actual journey itself. The peak flowering and pollination period of crops in southern Israel, when large numbers of hives are transported to the region, coincide with the peak migration of Bee-eaters. We hypothesized that Bee-eaters cue on conspecifics while foraging at a stopover site, react to perceived danger at a given foraging patch, and that the degree of risk taken by an individual was a function of body condition and sex. Bee-eaters were caught on 44 different mornings in spring 2004, 2005, and 2009. A sex-dependent trapping was noted and significantly more females were caught in the first bout. The sex ratio remained significantly male biased in bouts 3-8. Birds caught in the first bout were heavier in comparison to those caught in the second bout, and there was a significant interaction between sex and bouts. From the second bout onwards both sexes showed a significant increase in body mass, by 1.05g/bout on average (±0.6 SD), however wing lengths remained similar for both sexes. We conclude that migrant Bee-eaters cue on conspecifics to evaluate predation risks when socially foraging at a localized food patch and males, who we assume to be time-minimizers, are more likely to forage at a novel site and once danger of foraging is perceived only high energy demand individuals will attempt to hunt. PMID:24120356

  9. Habitat-specific foraging of prothonotary warblers: Deducing habitat quality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lyons, J.E.

    2005-01-01

    Foraging behavior often reflects food availability in predictable ways. For example, in habitats where food availability is high, predators should attack prey more often and move more slowly than in habitats where food availability is low. To assess relative food availability and habitat quality, I studied the foraging behavior of breeding Prothonotary Warblers (Protonotaria citrea) in two forest habitat types, cypress-gum swamp forest and coastal-plain levee forest. I quantified foraging behavior with focal animal sampling and continuous recording during foraging bouts. I measured two aspects of foraging behavior: 1) prey attack rate (attacks per minute), using four attack maneuvers (glean, sally, hover, strike), and 2) foraging speed (movements per minute), using three types of movement (hop, short flight [???1 m], long flight [>1 m]). Warblers attacked prey more often in cypress-gum swamp forest than in coastal-plain levee forest. Foraging speed, however, was not different between habitats. I also measured foraging effort (% time spent foraging) and relative frequency of attack maneuvers employed in each habitat; neither of these variables was influenced by forest type. I conclude that Prothonotary Warblers encounter more prey when foraging in cypress-gum swamps than in coastal-plain levee forest, and that greater food availability results in higher density and greater reproductive success for birds breeding in cypress-gum swamp.

  10. Use of fall-grown oats in dairy cropping systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recently, there has been new (or renewed) interest in alternative forage crops, double-cropping, and cover crops to meet a variety of different management objectives; however, the use of cereal-grain forages figures prominently in many of these management considerations. Work by the USDA-ARS and UW ...

  11. Lignin: Characterization of a Multifaceted Crop Component

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Lignin is a plant component with important implications for various agricultural disciplines. It confers rigidity to cell walls, and is therefore associated with tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses and the mechanical stability of plants. In animal nutrition, lignin is considered an antinutritive component of forages as it cannot be readily fermented by rumen microbes. In terms of energy yield from biomass, the role of lignin depends on the conversion process. It contains more gross energy than other cell wall components and therefore confers enhanced heat value in thermochemical processes such as direct combustion. Conversely, it negatively affects biological energy conversion processes such as bioethanol or biogas production, as it inhibits microbial fermentation of the cell wall. Lignin from crop residues plays an important role in the soil organic carbon cycling, as it constitutes a recalcitrant carbon pool affecting nutrient mineralization and carbon sequestration. Due to the significance of lignin in several agricultural disciplines, the modification of lignin content and composition by breeding is becoming increasingly important. Both mapping of quantitative trait loci and transgenic approaches have been adopted to modify lignin in crops. However, breeding goals must be defined considering the conflicting role of lignin in different agricultural disciplines. PMID:24348159

  12. Sorghum - a versatile, multi-purpose biomass crop

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, J.W.; Jolts, E.J.; Miller, F.R.

    1981-01-01

    Sorghums are versatile, energy-efficient plants that exhibit excellent potentials for multi-product use. Grain sorghum, although already a major feed and food crop, offers promise as a source of starch and sugar for fermentation alcohol, as well as a number of fiber products. Sweet sorghum, a variety rich in extractable fermentable sugars, is now in limited production, but can be a major sugar, grain, forage, fuel and industrial products raw material. Sorghums can be grown in virtually every state. The need for multi-product crops to improve agricultural land productivities and to offset increasing cultural costs is detailed. Results of continuing plant breeding work to enhance sorghum varieties for multiple uses are discussed.

  13. Fall-grown oat forages: unique quality characteristics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    For the dairy industry, the options for producing a late-summer emergency forage crop are limited, mostly because the growing season is relatively short. Recent research has shown that oats, seeded in late-summer, can provide an excellent source of emergency forage before winter. Furthermore, fall-g...

  14. Grazing management for fall-grown oat forages

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    For the dairy (or beef) industry, the options for producing a late-summer emergency forage crop are limited, mostly because the growing season in Wisconsin is relatively short. Recent research has shown that oat, seeded in late-summer, can provide an excellent source of emergency forage before winte...

  15. Simultaneous DNA-based diet analysis of breeding, non-breeding and chick Adélie penguins

    PubMed Central

    McInnes, Julie C.; Emmerson, Louise; Southwell, Colin; Faux, Cassandra; Jarman, Simon N.

    2016-01-01

    As central place foragers, breeding penguins are restricted in foraging range by the need to return to the colony to feed chicks. Furthermore, breeding birds must balance energetic gain from self-feeding with the costs of returning to provision young. Non-breeding birds, however, are likely to be less restricted in foraging range and lack the high energy demands of provisioning, therefore may consume different prey to breeders. We used DNA dietary analysis to determine whether there was a difference in provisioning and self-feeding diet by identifying prey DNA in scat samples from breeding and chick Adélie penguins at two locations in East Antarctica. We also investigated diet differences between breeders and non-breeders at one site. Although previous work shows changing foraging behaviour between chick provisioning and self-feeding, our results suggest no significant differences in the main prey groups consumed by chicks and breeders at either site or between breeding stages. This may reflect the inability of penguins to selectively forage when provisioning, or resources were sufficient for all foraging needs. Conversely, non-breeders were found to consume different prey groups to breeders, which may reflect less restricted foraging ranges, breeders actively selecting particular prey during breeding or reduced foraging experience of non-breeders. PMID:26909171

  16. Summertime blues: August foraging leaves honey bees empty-handed.

    PubMed

    Couvillon, Margaret J; Fensome, Katherine A; Quah, Shaun Kl; Schürch, Roger

    2014-01-01

    A successful honey bee forager tells her nestmates the location of good nectar and pollen with the waggle dance, a symbolic language that communicates a distance and direction. Because bees are adept at scouting out profitable forage and are very sensitive to energetic reward, we can use the distance that bees communicate via waggle dances as a proxy for forage availability, where the further the bees fly, the less forage can be found locally. Previously we demonstrated that bees fly furthest in the summer compared with spring or autumn to bring back forage that is not necessarily of better quality. Here we show that August is also the month when significantly more foragers return with empty crops (P = 7.63e-06). This provides additional support that summer may represent a seasonal foraging challenge for honey bees.

  17. Case Study: Nutrient values for spring and summer annual forages in a single cut harvest

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Annual forages were grown in the Central High Plains of the USA in both irrigated and dryland trials and the harvested forage was analyzed for forage composition and energy concentration. Three spring cereal crops (oats, barley, and triticale), three legumes (peas, soybeans, and vetch) and five sum...

  18. Management and assessment of ensiled forages and high-moisture grain.

    PubMed

    Seglar, William J; Shaver, Randy D

    2014-11-01

    Various forage and grain crops are grown, harvested, and fed to dairy cattle as ensiled forages or high-moisture grains. Although the nutritional value of hybrids and varieties is influenced by genetic inheritability, the crop growing environment dictates the outcome of forage quality, affecting nutrient digestibility. How the crop is managed based on its stage of harvest maturity and dry matter, along with key ensiling management factors, also determine the nutritional quality of fermented forages and grains. Veterinary practitioners can implement silage quality evaluations as part of a nutritional consultation service to help dairy clients maximize dairy performance and efficiencies. PMID:25245612

  19. Anaerobic co-digestion of forage radish and dairy manure in complete mix digesters

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Farmers are increasingly using forage radish as a winter cover crop to achieve multiple soil and environmental benefits. In this study, pilot-scale mixed digesters were used to quantify methane (CH4) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) production when using forage radish, a sulfur-rich cover crop, as a co-d...

  20. Partial decomposition of the genetic correlation between forage yield and fiber using semi-hybrids

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Voluntary intake potential of a forage crop is generally considered to be the most important feed characteristic regulating animal performance. Efforts to develop forage crops with reduced bulk volume, measured by neutral detergent fiber (NDF) concentration, are associated with reduced plant fitness...

  1. Identifying Winter Forage Triticale (X Triticosecale Wittmack) Strains for the Central Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Triticale (X Triticosecale Wittmack), a human-made crop, is mainly used as a forage crop in the central Great Plains. A successful triticale cultivar should have high forage yield with good quality, and also high grain yield so the seed can be economically produced. Hence, the purpose of this study...

  2. Biomass production and quality of indian-origin forage Guar in Southern Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Guar [Cyamopsis tetragonoloba (L.) Taub.] is a warm-season annual pulse grown in semi-arid regions of the world as a multi-purpose vegetable, forage, cover or fodder crop. Guar could provide late summer forage in the southern Great Plains (SGP), but has largely been used as a grain crop, and no func...

  3. Genetic manipulation of miR156 for improvement of biomass production and forage quality in red clover

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Red clover (Trifolium pratense) is an important forage legume in the United States. Improving forage quality and biomass yield is an important goal of forage breeding programs. Plant development, particularly the transition from vegetative to reproductive growth, is an important factor affecting bio...

  4. Heat Damaged Forages: Effects on Forage Quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Traditionally, heat damage in forages has been associated with alterations in forage protein quality as a result of Maillard reactions, and most producers and nutritionists are familiar with this concept. However, this is not necessarily the most important negative consequence of spontaneous heating...

  5. Collection of sugarcane crop residue for energy

    SciTech Connect

    Eiland, B.R.; Clayton, J.E.

    1982-12-01

    Crop residue left after sugarcane harvesting was recovered using a forage harvester and a large round baler. The quantity, bulk density and moisture content of the crop residue was determined in four fields. Crop residue from 7 ha was burned in boilers at a sugar mill. Samples of this residue were tested by a laboratory and compared to sugarcane bagasse.

  6. Breeding nursery tissue collection for possible genomic analysis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phenotyping is considered a major bottleneck in breeding programs. With new genomic technologies, high throughput genotype schemes are constantly being developed. However, every genomic technology requires phenotypic data to inform prediction models generated from the technology. Forage breeders con...

  7. Postweaning gains in calves sired by six sire breeds evaluated under two postweaning management systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Postweaning ADG of 462 calves from Brangus cows and sired by 6 breeds (Bonsmara, Brangus, Charolais, Gelbvieh, Romosinuano) was measured over a 4-yr period to evaluate the impact of preweaning forage, postweaning management, sire breed, and gender on postweaning gain. Preweaning forages were impro...

  8. Evaluation of winter wheat breeding lines for traits related to nitrogen use under organic management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    There is growing interest in breeding crop cultivars specifically for organic agriculture, based on recognized differences in environmental and management conditions. This study evaluated 12 diverse winter wheat breeding lines chosen from conventional and organic breeding nurseries, six historic var...

  9. Sex-Specific Habitat Utilization and Differential Breeding Investments in Christmas Island Frigatebirds throughout the Breeding Cycle.

    PubMed

    Hennicke, Janos C; James, David J; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-01-01

    In seabirds, equal bi-parental care is the rule, as it is considered crucial for raising chicks successfully because seabirds forage in an environment with unpredictable and highly variable food supply. Frigatebirds forage in poor tropical waters, yet males reduce and even stop parental care soon after chick brooding, leaving the female to provision the chick alone for an extended fledging period. Using bird-borne tracking devices, male and female Christmas Island Frigatebirds (Fregata andrewsi) were investigated during the brooding, late chick rearing and post-fledging period to examine whether sexes exhibit foraging strategies that may be linked to differential breeding investments. During brooding, males and females showed similar foraging behaviour under average marine productivity of oceanic waters close to the colony, but males shifted to more distant and more productive habitats when conditions deteriorated to continue with reduced chick provisioning. During the late chick rearing period, females progressively increased their foraging range to the more distant but productive marine areas that only males had visited during brooding. Birds spent the non-breeding period roosting in highly productive waters of the Sunda Shelf. The sex-specific utilisation of three different foraging habitats with different primary productivity (oceanic, coastal, and shelf areas) allowed for temporal and spatial segregation in the exploitation of favourable habitats which seems to enable each sex to optimise its foraging profitability. In addition, post-fledging foraging movements of females suggest a biennial breeding cycle, while limited information on males suggests the possibility of an annual breeding cycle.

  10. Using pennycress, camelina, and canola cash crops to provision pollinators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As pollinator decline continues, the need to provide high value forage for insects continues to rise. Finding agricultural crops to diversify the landscape and provide forage is one way to improve pollinator health. Three winter industrial oilseed crops (pennycress, winter camelina, and winter canol...

  11. Feasibility for improving phytonutrient content in vegetable crops using conventional breeding strategies: case study with carotenoids and tocopherols in sweet corn and broccoli.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, Khalid E; Juvik, John A

    2009-06-10

    Among vegetables, sweet corn ( Zea mays L.) and broccoli ( Brassica oleracea L. ssp. italica) are important sources of dietary carotenoids and tocopherols. Because medical evidence suggests that carotenoid and tocopherol health-promoting activity acts in a dose-dependent manner, conventional breeding to develop elite sweet corn and broccoli germplasm with enhanced levels of these phytochemicals will potentially promote health among the consuming public. This investigation includes the quantitative analysis of carotenoid and tocopherol contents of 41 corn and 24 broccoli genotypes grown in multiple environments (years and seasons in one location) to partition the variation into genetic, environment, and genotype by environment interaction (GxE) components and measure the phenotypic stability of genotypes for these phytochemicals. The primary carotenoids and tocopherols in corn were lutein and gamma-tocopherol (65 and 73% of total carotenoid and tocopherol, respectively), whereas beta-carotene and alpha-tocopherol were dominant in broccoli (65 and 79% of total carotenoid and tocopherol, respectively). Partitioning of the variance indicated that genetic differences among the genotypes averaged for the primary compounds in corn (lutein, zeaxanthin, and alpha- and gamma-tocopherol) and broccoli (beta-carotene, lutein, and alpha- and gamma-tocopherol) accounted for the largest proportion of the variation (67 and 55% of total phenotypic variation averaged across the phytochemicals in sweet corn and broccoli, respectively). Stability analysis identified several corn (IL451b sh2 and IL2027-8 sh2) and broccoli ('Pirate' and 'Baccus') genotypes with relatively high mean concentrations for the various carotenoids and tocopherols that were comparatively stable across seasons and years. The results of this investigation suggest that sweet corn and broccoli germplasm with enhanced concentrations of carotenoids and tocopherols can be developed using conventional breeding protocols

  12. Exploitation of interspecific diversity for monocot crop improvement

    PubMed Central

    King, J; Armstead, I; Harper, J; Ramsey, L; Snape, J; Waugh, R; James, C; Thomas, A; Gasior, D; Kelly, R; Roberts, L; Gustafson, P; King, I

    2013-01-01

    In many cultivated crop species there is limited genetic variation available for the development of new higher yielding varieties adapted to climate change and sustainable farming practises. The distant relatives of crop species provide a vast and largely untapped reservoir of genetic variation for a wide range of agronomically important traits that can be exploited by breeders for crop improvement. In this paper, in what we believe to be the largest introgression programme undertaken in the monocots, we describe the transfer of the entire genome of Festuca pratensis into Lolium perenne in overlapping chromosome segments. The L. perenne/F. pratensis introgressions were identified and characterised via 131 simple sequence repeats and 1612 SNPs anchored to the rice genome. Comparative analyses were undertaken to determine the syntenic relationship between L. perenne/F. pratensis and rice, wheat, barley, sorghum and Brachypodium distachyon. Analyses comparing recombination frequency and gene distribution indicated that a large proportion of the genes within the genome are located in the proximal regions of chromosomes which undergo low/very low frequencies of recombination. Thus, it is proposed that past breeding efforts to produce improved varieties have centred on the subset of genes located in the distal regions of chromosomes where recombination is highest. The use of alien introgression for crop improvement is important for meeting the challenges of global food supply and the monocots such as the forage grasses and cereals, together with recent technological advances in molecular biology, can help meet these challenges. PMID:23321705

  13. Neural mechanisms of foraging.

    PubMed

    Kolling, Nils; Behrens, Timothy E J; Mars, Rogier B; Rushworth, Matthew F S

    2012-04-01

    Behavioral economic studies involving limited numbers of choices have provided key insights into neural decision-making mechanisms. By contrast, animals' foraging choices arise in the context of sequences of encounters with prey or food. On each encounter, the animal chooses whether to engage or, if the environment is sufficiently rich, to search elsewhere. The cost of foraging is also critical. We demonstrate that humans can alternate between two modes of choice, comparative decision-making and foraging, depending on distinct neural mechanisms in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) using distinct reference frames; in ACC, choice variables are represented in invariant reference to foraging or searching for alternatives. Whereas vmPFC encodes values of specific well-defined options, ACC encodes the average value of the foraging environment and cost of foraging.

  14. Eating locally: Australasian gannets increase their foraging effort in a restricted range.

    PubMed

    Angel, Lauren P; Barker, Sophie; Berlincourt, Maud; Tew, Emma; Warwick-Evans, Victoria; Arnould, John P Y

    2015-01-01

    During the breeding season, seabirds adopt a central place foraging strategy and are restricted in their foraging range by the fasting ability of their partner/chick and the cost of commuting between the prey resources and the nest. Because of the spatial and temporal variability of marine ecosystems, individuals must adapt their behaviour to increase foraging success within these constraints. The at-sea movements, foraging behaviour and effort of the Australasian gannet (Morus serrator) was determined over three sequential breeding seasons of apparent differing prey abundance to investigate how the species adapts to inter-annual fluctuations in food availability. GPS and tri-axial accelerometer data loggers were used to compare the degree of annual variation within two stages of breeding (incubation and chick rearing) at a small gannet colony situated between two larger, nearby colonies. Interestingly, neither males nor females increased the total distance travelled or duration of foraging trip in any breeding stage (P>0.05 in all cases) despite apparent low prey availability. However, consistently within each breeding stage, mean vectorial dynamic body acceleration (an index of energy expenditure) was greater in years of poorer breeding success (increased by a factor of three to eight), suggesting birds were working harder within their range. Additionally, both males and females increased the proportion of a foraging trip spent foraging in a poorer year across both breeding stages. Individuals from this colony may be limited in their ability to extend their range in years of low prey availability due to competition from conspecifics in nearby colonies and, consequently, increase foraging effort within this restricted foraging area. PMID:26369928

  15. Eating locally: Australasian gannets increase their foraging effort in a restricted range.

    PubMed

    Angel, Lauren P; Barker, Sophie; Berlincourt, Maud; Tew, Emma; Warwick-Evans, Victoria; Arnould, John P Y

    2015-09-14

    During the breeding season, seabirds adopt a central place foraging strategy and are restricted in their foraging range by the fasting ability of their partner/chick and the cost of commuting between the prey resources and the nest. Because of the spatial and temporal variability of marine ecosystems, individuals must adapt their behaviour to increase foraging success within these constraints. The at-sea movements, foraging behaviour and effort of the Australasian gannet (Morus serrator) was determined over three sequential breeding seasons of apparent differing prey abundance to investigate how the species adapts to inter-annual fluctuations in food availability. GPS and tri-axial accelerometer data loggers were used to compare the degree of annual variation within two stages of breeding (incubation and chick rearing) at a small gannet colony situated between two larger, nearby colonies. Interestingly, neither males nor females increased the total distance travelled or duration of foraging trip in any breeding stage (P>0.05 in all cases) despite apparent low prey availability. However, consistently within each breeding stage, mean vectorial dynamic body acceleration (an index of energy expenditure) was greater in years of poorer breeding success (increased by a factor of three to eight), suggesting birds were working harder within their range. Additionally, both males and females increased the proportion of a foraging trip spent foraging in a poorer year across both breeding stages. Individuals from this colony may be limited in their ability to extend their range in years of low prey availability due to competition from conspecifics in nearby colonies and, consequently, increase foraging effort within this restricted foraging area.

  16. Eating locally: Australasian gannets increase their foraging effort in a restricted range

    PubMed Central

    Angel, Lauren P.; Barker, Sophie; Berlincourt, Maud; Tew, Emma; Warwick-Evans, Victoria; Arnould, John P. Y.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT During the breeding season, seabirds adopt a central place foraging strategy and are restricted in their foraging range by the fasting ability of their partner/chick and the cost of commuting between the prey resources and the nest. Because of the spatial and temporal variability of marine ecosystems, individuals must adapt their behaviour to increase foraging success within these constraints. The at-sea movements, foraging behaviour and effort of the Australasian gannet (Morus serrator) was determined over three sequential breeding seasons of apparent differing prey abundance to investigate how the species adapts to inter-annual fluctuations in food availability. GPS and tri-axial accelerometer data loggers were used to compare the degree of annual variation within two stages of breeding (incubation and chick rearing) at a small gannet colony situated between two larger, nearby colonies. Interestingly, neither males nor females increased the total distance travelled or duration of foraging trip in any breeding stage (P>0.05 in all cases) despite apparent low prey availability. However, consistently within each breeding stage, mean vectorial dynamic body acceleration (an index of energy expenditure) was greater in years of poorer breeding success (increased by a factor of three to eight), suggesting birds were working harder within their range. Additionally, both males and females increased the proportion of a foraging trip spent foraging in a poorer year across both breeding stages. Individuals from this colony may be limited in their ability to extend their range in years of low prey availability due to competition from conspecifics in nearby colonies and, consequently, increase foraging effort within this restricted foraging area. PMID:26369928

  17. Seasonal variations in the diet and foraging behaviour of dunlins Calidris alpina in a south European estuary: improved feeding conditions for northward migrants.

    PubMed

    Martins, Ricardo C; Catry, Teresa; Santos, Carlos D; Palmeirim, Jorge M; Granadeiro, José P

    2013-01-01

    During the annual cycle, migratory waders may face strikingly different feeding conditions as they move between breeding areas and wintering grounds. Thus, it is of crucial importance that they rapidly adjust their behaviour and diet to benefit from peaks of prey abundance, in particular during migration, when they need to accumulate energy at a fast pace. In this study, we compared foraging behaviour and diet of wintering and northward migrating dunlins in the Tagus estuary, Portugal, by video-recording foraging birds and analysing their droppings. We also estimated energy intake rates and analysed variations in prey availability, including those that were active at the sediment surface. Wintering and northward migrating dunlins showed clearly different foraging behaviour and diet. In winter, birds predominantly adopted a tactile foraging technique (probing), mainly used to search for small buried bivalves, with some visual surface pecking to collect gastropods and crop bivalve siphons. Contrastingly, in spring dunlins generally used a visual foraging strategy, mostly to consume worms, but also bivalve siphons and shrimps. From winter to spring, we found a marked increase both in the biomass of invertebrate prey in the sediment and in the surface activity of worms and siphons. The combination of these two factors, together with the availability of shrimps in spring, most likely explains the changes in the diet and foraging behaviour of dunlins. Northward migrating birds took advantage from the improved feeding conditions in spring, achieving 65% higher energy intake rates as compared with wintering birds. Building on these results and on known daily activity budgets for this species, our results suggest that Tagus estuary provides high-quality feeding conditions for birds during their stopovers, enabling high fattening rates. These findings show that this large wetland plays a key role as a stopover site for migratory waders within the East Atlantic Flyway. PMID

  18. Seasonal Variations in the Diet and Foraging Behaviour of Dunlins Calidris alpina in a South European Estuary: Improved Feeding Conditions for Northward Migrants

    PubMed Central

    Martins, Ricardo C.; Catry, Teresa; Santos, Carlos D.; Palmeirim, Jorge M.; Granadeiro, José P.

    2013-01-01

    During the annual cycle, migratory waders may face strikingly different feeding conditions as they move between breeding areas and wintering grounds. Thus, it is of crucial importance that they rapidly adjust their behaviour and diet to benefit from peaks of prey abundance, in particular during migration, when they need to accumulate energy at a fast pace. In this study, we compared foraging behaviour and diet of wintering and northward migrating dunlins in the Tagus estuary, Portugal, by video-recording foraging birds and analysing their droppings. We also estimated energy intake rates and analysed variations in prey availability, including those that were active at the sediment surface. Wintering and northward migrating dunlins showed clearly different foraging behaviour and diet. In winter, birds predominantly adopted a tactile foraging technique (probing), mainly used to search for small buried bivalves, with some visual surface pecking to collect gastropods and crop bivalve siphons. Contrastingly, in spring dunlins generally used a visual foraging strategy, mostly to consume worms, but also bivalve siphons and shrimps. From winter to spring, we found a marked increase both in the biomass of invertebrate prey in the sediment and in the surface activity of worms and siphons. The combination of these two factors, together with the availability of shrimps in spring, most likely explains the changes in the diet and foraging behaviour of dunlins. Northward migrating birds took advantage from the improved feeding conditions in spring, achieving 65% higher energy intake rates as compared with wintering birds. Building on these results and on known daily activity budgets for this species, our results suggest that Tagus estuary provides high-quality feeding conditions for birds during their stopovers, enabling high fattening rates. These findings show that this large wetland plays a key role as a stopover site for migratory waders within the East Atlantic Flyway. PMID

  19. Do naive juvenile seabirds forage differently from adults?

    PubMed Central

    Riotte-Lambert, Louise; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2013-01-01

    Foraging skills of young individuals are assumed to be inferior to those of adults. The reduced efficiency of naive individuals may be the primary cause of the high juvenile mortality and explain the deferment of maturity in long-lived species. However, the study of juvenile and immature foraging behaviour has been limited so far. We used satellite telemetry to compare the foraging movements of juveniles, immatures and breeding adult wandering albatrosses Diomedea exulans, a species where foraging success is positively influenced by the distance covered daily. We showed that juveniles are able to use favourable winds as soon as the first month of independence, but cover shorter distances daily and spend more time sitting on water than adults during the first two months after fledging. These reduced movement capacities do not seem to be the cause of higher juvenile mortality. Moreover, juveniles almost never restrict their movement to specific areas, as adults and immatures frequently do over shelf edges or oceanic zones, which suggest that the location of appropriate areas is learned through experience. Immatures and adults have equivalent movement capacities, but when they are central place foragers, i.e. when adults breed or immatures come to the colony to display and pair, immatures make shorter trips than adults. The long duration of immaturity in this species seems to be related to a long period of learning to integrate the foraging constraints associated with reproduction and central place foraging. Our results indicate that foraging behaviour of young albatrosses is partly innate and partly learned progressively over immaturity. The first months of learning appear critical in terms of survival, whereas the long period of immaturity is necessary for young birds to attain the skills necessary for efficient breeding without fitness costs. PMID:23926153

  20. Individual foraging strategies of kleptoparasitic Roseate Terns

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shealer, D.A.; Spendelow, J.A.

    2002-01-01

    We describe the kleptoparasitic behavior of ten adult Roseate Terns (Sterna dougallii) breeding at a colony at Falkner Island, Connecticut, USA between 1995 and 1998. These birds were considered habitual kleptoparasites because they stole fish repeatedly from other terns in every year they were observed at the site. No other breeding individuals were observed attempting to steal fish during our study. Kleptoparasitic techniques included aerial piracy, ground-based attacks, and deceptive behavior, but with one exception, each individual used one method exclusively. Success varied among individuals, but overall, kleptoparasites obtained prey at a significantly higher rate than did 'honest' foragers. Eight of the ten kleptoparasites were females, suggesting a sex-biased tendency in Roseate Terns to engage in this behavior. Our observations indicate that kleptoparasitism by Roseate Terns is a specialized behavior, used regularly by only a few individuals at this breeding colony. This conclusion is consistent with a recent theoretical prediction regarding kleptoparasitism in birds.

  1. Simulating the impact of genetic diversity of Medicago truncatula on germination and emergence using a crop emergence model for ideotype breeding

    PubMed Central

    Brunel-Muguet, S.; Aubertot, J.-N.; Dürr, C.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Germination and heterotrophic growth are crucial steps for stand establishment. Numerical experiments based on the modelling of these early stages in relation to major environmental factors at sowing were used as a powerful tool to browse the effects of the genetic diversity of Medicago truncatula, one of the model legume species, under a range of agronomic scenarios, and to highlight the most important plant parameters for emergence. To this end, the emergence of several genotypes of M. truncatula was simulated under a range of sowing conditions with a germination and emergence simulation model. Methods After testing the predictive quality of the model by comparing simulations to field observations of several genotypes of M. truncatula, numerical experiments were performed under a wide range of environmental conditions (sowing dates × years × seedbed structure). Germination and emergence was simulated for a set of five genotypes previously parameterized and for two virtual genotypes engineered to maximize the potential effects of genetic diversity. Key Results The simulation results gave an average value of 5–10 % difference in final emergence between genotypes, which was low, but the analysis underlined considerable inter-annual variation. The effects of parameters describing germination and emergence processes were quantified and ranked according to their contribution to the variation in emergence. Seedling non-emergence was mainly related to mechanical obstacles (40–50 %). More generally, plant parameters that accelerated the emergence time course significantly contributed to limiting the risk of soil surface crusting occurring before seedling emergence. Conclusions The model-assisted analysis of the effects of genetic diversity demonstrated its usefulness in helping to identify the parameters which have most influence that could be improved by breeding programmes. These results should also enable a deeper analysis of the genetic

  2. The impact of weather on kingbird foraging behavior

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, M.T.

    1987-01-01

    Foraging data on Eastern Kingbirds (Tyrannus tyrannus) were collected during the early breeding season in eastern Kansas to test the hypothesis that foraging rate and other aspects of foraging behavior vary with weather. Foraging characteristics of five additional kingbird species were also examined to assess Fitzpatrick's 1980 generalization that kingbirds (Tyrannus spp.) are aerial hawking specialists. In Eastern Kingbirds, total foraging rate was independent of air temperature, cloud cover, wind speed, and time of day, but the rate of aerial hawking varied directly with air temperature and inversely with cloud cover (both P < 0.05). Effects of the two variables were additive. The percentage of foraging movements that were aerial hawks also increased with temperature and declined with cloud cover, and hover-gleaning and perch-to-ground sallying were observed mainly during cloudy weather. Sally (i.e., foraging flight) distance correlated directly with perch height and air temperature, and large insects were captured almost exclusively in long upward or horizontal flights. I interpret these data to indicate that foraging behavior and the capture of large, flying insects depends on weather because of how it affects the activity of insect prey. Foraging data on kingbirds support Fitzpatrick's generalization, but the relative use of aerial hawking varies considerably among species. Resident Tropical Kingbirds (T. melancholicus) are the most specialized foragers, whereas the migrant and widely distributed Eastern Kingbird appears to be the most generalized. Certain habitats also appear to favor the use of particular foraging methods (e.g., outward striking in grasslands, and perch-to-ground sallying in drier, open habitats).

  3. Plant Breeding: Surprisingly, Less Sex Is Better.

    PubMed

    van Dijk, Peter J; Rigola, Diana; Schauer, Stephen E

    2016-02-01

    Introduction of apomixis, asexual reproduction through seeds, into crop species has the potential to dramatically transform plant breeding. A new study demonstrates that traits can be stably transferred between generations in newly produced apomictic lines, and heralds a breeding revolution needed to increase food production for the growing planet. PMID:26859270

  4. Plant Breeding: Surprisingly, Less Sex Is Better.

    PubMed

    van Dijk, Peter J; Rigola, Diana; Schauer, Stephen E

    2016-02-01

    Introduction of apomixis, asexual reproduction through seeds, into crop species has the potential to dramatically transform plant breeding. A new study demonstrates that traits can be stably transferred between generations in newly produced apomictic lines, and heralds a breeding revolution needed to increase food production for the growing planet.

  5. The evolution of potato breeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Potato cultivars in most regions of the world are tetraploid and clonally propagated. For over a century, the breeding strategy has been phenotypic recurrent selection. However, the polyploid nature of the crop prevents breeders from eliminating deleterious alleles and assembling positive alleles fo...

  6. Foraging decisions, patch use, and seasonality in egrets (Aves: ciconiiformes)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Erwin, R.M.

    1985-01-01

    Feeding snowy (Egretta thula) and great (Casmerodius albus) egrets were observed during 2 breeding seasons in coastal New Jersey and 2 brief winter periods in northeast Florida (USA). A number of tests based on assumptions of foraging models, predictions from foraging theory, and earlier empirical tests concerning time allocation and movement in foraging patches was made. Few of the expectations based on foraging theory and/or assumptions were supported by the empirical evidence. Snowy egrets fed with greater intensity and efficiency during the breeding season (when young were being fed) than during winter. They also showed some tendency to leave patches when their capture rate declined, and they spent more time foraging in patches when other birds were present nearby. Great egrets showed few of these tendencies, although they did leave patches when their intercapture intervals increased. Satiation differences had some influence on feeding rates in snowy egrets, but only at the end of feeding bouts. Some individuals of both species revisited areas in patches that had recently been exploited, and success rates were usually higher after the 2nd visit. Apparently, for predators of active prey, short-term changes in resource availability ('resource depression') may be more important than resource depletion, a common assumption in most optimal foraging theory models.

  7. Recent advances in peanut breeding and genetics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Most previous advances in peanut cultivar development have been made using conventional breeding methods for self-pollinated crops. Peanut has lagged behind many other crops on use of molecular genetic technology for cultivar development in part due to lack of investment, but also because of low le...

  8. Variability in foraging behaviour of red-footed boobies nesting on Europa Island

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendez, Loriane; Cotté, Cédric; Prudor, Aurélien; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2016-04-01

    Seabirds are considered to be good indicators of the marine environment. However, little is known about the effects of environmental variability on the foraging behaviour of tropical seabirds. Red-footed boobies (RFB) nesting on Europa Island (Mozambique Channel) were fitted with GPS devices over four years and different breeding stages. We first show that the durations of foraging trips vary extensively according to the stage of the breeding, being short during brooding, intermediate during incubation and long during fledging. This result highlights the importance of considering breeding stage when conducting comparisons of foraging between sites or years. In addition, we show that RFB adjusted their foraging behaviour between years (2003, 2011, 2012 and 2013) according to the prevailing environmental conditions. During 2011, RFB made longer foraging trips with larger area-restricted search (ARS) zones over a larger total surface area, suggesting that the foraging conditions were probably poor. This year was characterized by a decrease of the major environmental drivers of the Mozambique Channel system, i.e. particularly low chlorophyll concentrations in the northern part of the Mozambique Channel, as well as a weak eddy activity. This observation suggests that environmental conditions may have altered the southward transport and concentration processes structuring the trophic chain, leading to adverse conditions for a central-place forager like the RFB. Our results emphasize that environmental and breeding stage variation should be taken into account to better understand the distribution of these predators in marine tropical ecosystems.

  9. New modes of use and opportunities for research in forage plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Forages play an important role in the production of meat and dairy throughout the world. Forages are not only an integral part of human protein production, but they can also improve row crop production management systems, play a role in reducing the dependence on fossil fuels and mitigate environme...

  10. Infected honeybee foragers incur a higher loss in efficiency than in the rate of energetic gain

    PubMed Central

    Naug, Dhruba

    2014-01-01

    Parasites, by altering the nutritional and energetic state of their hosts, can significantly alter their foraging behaviour. In honeybees, an infection with Nosema ceranae has been shown to lower the energetic state of individual bees, bringing about changes in behaviours associated with foraging. Comparing the foraging trip times, hive times in between trips, and the crop contents of uninfected and infected foragers as they depart on foraging trips and return from them, this study examined how any differences in these variables influence alternative foraging currencies. The results show that infected bees take longer foraging trips, spend shorter time in the hive between successive trips and bring back less sugar from each trip. These changes have a stronger adverse effect on their efficiency of energetic gain as compared with their rate of energetic gain, which has important implications for individual and colony life history. PMID:25376802

  11. Infected honeybee foragers incur a higher loss in efficiency than in the rate of energetic gain.

    PubMed

    Naug, Dhruba

    2014-11-01

    Parasites, by altering the nutritional and energetic state of their hosts, can significantly alter their foraging behaviour. In honeybees, an infection with Nosema ceranae has been shown to lower the energetic state of individual bees, bringing about changes in behaviours associated with foraging. Comparing the foraging trip times, hive times in between trips, and the crop contents of uninfected and infected foragers as they depart on foraging trips and return from them, this study examined how any differences in these variables influence alternative foraging currencies. The results show that infected bees take longer foraging trips, spend shorter time in the hive between successive trips and bring back less sugar from each trip. These changes have a stronger adverse effect on their efficiency of energetic gain as compared with their rate of energetic gain, which has important implications for individual and colony life history.

  12. Foraging Experiences with Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Russell, Helen Ross

    1976-01-01

    Provided are foraging experiences and wild foods information for utilization in the urban school curriculum. Food uses are detailed for roses, dandelions, wild onions, acorns, cattails, violets and mints. (BT)

  13. Foraging search: Prototypical intelligence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mobus, George

    2000-05-01

    We think because we eat. Or as Descartes might have said, on a little more reflection, "I need to eat, therefore I think." Animals that forage for a living repeatedly face the problem of searching for a sparsely distributed resource in a vast space. Furthermore, the resource may occur sporadically and episodically under conditions of true uncertainty (nonstationary, complex and non-linear dynamics). I assert that this problem is the canonical problem solved by intelligence. It's solution is the basis for the evolution of more advanced intelligence in which the space of search includes that of concepts (objects and relations) encoded in cortical structures. In humans the conscious experience of searching through concept space we call thinking. The foraging search model is based upon a higher-order autopoeitic system (the forager) employing anticipatory processing to enhance its success at finding food while avoiding becoming food or having accidents in a hostile world. I present a semi-formal description of the general foraging search problem and an approach to its solution. The latter is a brain-like structure employing dynamically adaptive neurons. A physical robot, MAVRIC, embodies some principles of foraging. It learns cues that lead to improvements in finding targets in a dynamic and nonstationary environment. This capability is based on a unique learning mechanism that encodes causal relations in the neural-like processing element. An argument is advanced that searching for resources in the physical world, as per the foraging model, is a prototype for generalized search for conceptual resources as when we think. A problem represents a conceptual disturbance in a homeostatic sense. The finding of a solution restores the homeostatic balance. The establishment of links between conceptual cues and solutions (resources) and the later use of those cues to think through to solutions of quasi-isomorphic problems is, essentially, foraging for ideas. It is a quite

  14. Sources of diel variation in energetic physiology in an Arctic-breeding, diving seaduck.

    PubMed

    Steenweg, Rolanda J; Hennin, Holly L; Bêty, Joël; Gilchrist, H Grant; Williams, Tony D; Crossin, Glenn T; Love, Oliver P

    2015-05-15

    Diel variation in baseline glucocorticoid (GC) secretion influences energetics and foraging behaviors. In temperate breeding, diurnal vertebrates, studies have shown that daily patterns of baseline GC secretion are influenced by environmental photoperiod, with baseline GCs peaking prior to sunrise to stimulate waking and foraging behaviors. Measures of physiological energy acquisition are also expected to peak in response to foraging activity, but their relationship to GC levels have not been well studied. In contrast to temperate breeding species, virtually nothing is known about diel GC and energetic metabolite secretion in Arctic breeding species, which experience almost constant photoperiods in spring and summer. Using a ten-year dataset, we examined the daily, 24-h pattern of baseline corticosterone (CORT) and triglyceride (TRIG) secretion in approximately 800 female pre-breeding Arctic-nesting common eiders (Somateria mollissima). We related these traits to environmental photoperiod and to tidal cycle. In contrast to temperate breeding species, we found that that neither time of day nor tidal trend predicted diel variation in CORT or TRIG secretion in Arctic-breeding eiders. Given the narrow window of opportunity for breeding in polar regions, we suggest that eiders must decouple their daily foraging activity from light and tidal cycles if they are to accrue sufficient energy for successful breeding. As CORT is known to influence foraging behavior, the absence of a distinct diel pattern of CORT secretion may therefore be an adaptation to optimize reproductive investment and likelihood for success in some polar-breeding species. PMID:25913259

  15. Sources of diel variation in energetic physiology in an Arctic-breeding, diving seaduck.

    PubMed

    Steenweg, Rolanda J; Hennin, Holly L; Bêty, Joël; Gilchrist, H Grant; Williams, Tony D; Crossin, Glenn T; Love, Oliver P

    2015-05-15

    Diel variation in baseline glucocorticoid (GC) secretion influences energetics and foraging behaviors. In temperate breeding, diurnal vertebrates, studies have shown that daily patterns of baseline GC secretion are influenced by environmental photoperiod, with baseline GCs peaking prior to sunrise to stimulate waking and foraging behaviors. Measures of physiological energy acquisition are also expected to peak in response to foraging activity, but their relationship to GC levels have not been well studied. In contrast to temperate breeding species, virtually nothing is known about diel GC and energetic metabolite secretion in Arctic breeding species, which experience almost constant photoperiods in spring and summer. Using a ten-year dataset, we examined the daily, 24-h pattern of baseline corticosterone (CORT) and triglyceride (TRIG) secretion in approximately 800 female pre-breeding Arctic-nesting common eiders (Somateria mollissima). We related these traits to environmental photoperiod and to tidal cycle. In contrast to temperate breeding species, we found that that neither time of day nor tidal trend predicted diel variation in CORT or TRIG secretion in Arctic-breeding eiders. Given the narrow window of opportunity for breeding in polar regions, we suggest that eiders must decouple their daily foraging activity from light and tidal cycles if they are to accrue sufficient energy for successful breeding. As CORT is known to influence foraging behavior, the absence of a distinct diel pattern of CORT secretion may therefore be an adaptation to optimize reproductive investment and likelihood for success in some polar-breeding species.

  16. Sheep grazing wheat summer fallow and the impact on soil nitrogen, moisture, and crop yield

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    When incorporating targeted grazing into farming systems, livestock producers and farm operators need assurance that the benefits from their activities are worth their investments. Cropping systems were once integrated with livestock production: livestock gained forage value from crop aftermath, c...

  17. Extending RosBREED in the Pacific Northwest for strawberry processing traits: year 1

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In an effort to implement marker-assisted breeding in Rosaceae, many traits need to be characterized in diverse germplasm. The USDA-NIFA Specialty Crop Research Initiative-funded RosBREED project includes breeding programs of four Rosaceae crops (apple, peach, cherry, and strawberry). Phenotyping ea...

  18. Remote sensing to monitor cover crop adoption in southeastern Pennsylvania

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the Chesapeake Bay watershed, winter cereal cover crops are often planted in rotation with summer crops to reduce the loss of nutrients and sediment from agricultural systems. Cover crops can also improve soil health, control weeds and pests, supplement forage needs, and support resilient croppin...

  19. Physiological breeding.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Matthew; Langridge, Peter

    2016-06-01

    Physiological breeding crosses parents with different complex but complementary traits to achieve cumulative gene action for yield, while selecting progeny using remote sensing, possibly in combination with genomic selection. Physiological approaches have already demonstrated significant genetic gains in Australia and several developing countries of the International Wheat Improvement Network. The techniques involved (see Graphical Abstract) also provide platforms for research and refinement of breeding methodologies. Recent examples of these include screening genetic resources for novel expression of Calvin cycle enzymes, identification of common genetic bases for heat and drought adaptation, and genetic dissection of trade-offs among yield components. Such information, combined with results from physiological crosses designed to test novel trait combinations, lead to more precise breeding strategies, and feed models of genotype-by-environment interaction to help build new plant types and experimental environments for future climates. PMID:27161822

  20. Advances in Maize Genomics and Their Value for Enhancing Genetic Gains from Breeding

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Yunbi; Skinner, Debra J.; Wu, Huixia; Palacios-Rojas, Natalia; Araus, Jose Luis; Yan, Jianbing; Gao, Shibin; Warburton, Marilyn L.; Crouch, Jonathan H.

    2009-01-01

    Maize is an important crop for food, feed, forage, and fuel across tropical and temperate areas of the world. Diversity studies at genetic, molecular, and functional levels have revealed that, tropical maize germplasm, landraces, and wild relatives harbor a significantly wider range of genetic variation. Among all types of markers, SNP markers are increasingly the marker-of-choice for all genomics applications in maize breeding. Genetic mapping has been developed through conventional linkage mapping and more recently through linkage disequilibrium-based association analyses. Maize genome sequencing, initially focused on gene-rich regions, now aims for the availability of complete genome sequence. Conventional insertion mutation-based cloning has been complemented recently by EST- and map-based cloning. Transgenics and nutritional genomics are rapidly advancing fields targeting important agronomic traits including pest resistance and grain quality. Substantial advances have been made in methodologies for genomics-assisted breeding, enhancing progress in yield as well as abiotic and biotic stress resistances. Various genomic databases and informatics tools have been developed, among which MaizeGDB is the most developed and widely used by the maize research community. In the future, more emphasis should be given to the development of tools and strategic germplasm resources for more effective molecular breeding of tropical maize products. PMID:19688107

  1. Improving yield and protein content of forages under flooded condition

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Flooding can have catastrophic impacts on the productivity of arable farmland, grassland pastures, as most crops including forages are intolerant to excess water. The objectives of this study were to determine the effect of flooding duration and nitrogen (N) fertilization on dry matter yield (DMY) a...

  2. Fall Growth Potential of Cereal Grain Forages in Northern Arkansas

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In Arkansas, producers utilizing cereal grains as fall forage for weaned calves usually do not harvest a grain crop the following summer. This contrasts sharply from practices observed commonly in neighboring Oklahoma, and allows for much wider latitude with respect to management strategies, especia...

  3. Fall Growth Potential of Cereal-Grain Forages

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In Arkansas, producers utilizing cereal grains as fall forage for weaned calves usually do not produce a grain crop the following summer. Our objectives were to evaluate eight diverse varieties of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), oat (Avena sativa L.), rye (Secale cereale L.), and triticale (X Triticos...

  4. Double- and relay-cropping oilseed and biomass crops for sustainable energy production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Double- and relay-cropping offers a means to produce a biofuel and food or forage crop in a single season on the same land without sacrificing food security, while potentially boosting profits. Field studies were conducted between 2009 and 2012 in Morris, Minnesota (MN), and Prosper and Carrington, ...

  5. Genomics and breeding in food crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant biology is in the midst of a revolution. The generation of tremendous volumes of sequence information introduce new technical challenges into plant biology and agriculture. The relatively new field of bioinformatics addresses these challenges by utilizing efficient data management strategies;...

  6. Simulated Breeding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Unemi, Tatsuo

    This chapter describes a basic framework of simulated breeding, a type of interactive evolutionary computing to breed artifacts, whose origin is Blind Watchmaker by Dawkins. These methods make it easy for humans to design a complex object adapted to his/her subjective criteria, just similarly to agricultural products we have been developing over thousands of years. Starting from randomly initialized genome, the solution candidates are improved through several generations with artificial selection. The graphical user interface helps the process of breeding with techniques of multifield user interface and partial breeding. The former improves the diversity of individuals that prevents being trapped at local optimum. The latter makes it possible for the user to fix features he/she already satisfied. These methods were examined through artistic applications by the author: SBART for graphics art and SBEAT for music. Combining with a direct genome editor and exportation to another graphical or musical tool on the computer, they can be powerful tools for artistic creation. These systems may contribute to the creation of a type of new culture.

  7. Food limitation of sea lion pups and the decline of forage off central and southern California

    PubMed Central

    McClatchie, Sam; Field, John; Thompson, Andrew R.; Gerrodette, Tim; Lowry, Mark; Fiedler, Paul C.; Watson, William; Nieto, Karen M.; Vetter, Russell D.

    2016-01-01

    California sea lions increased from approximately 50 000 to 340 000 animals in the last 40 years, and their pups are starving and stranding on beaches in southern California, raising questions about the adequacy of their food supply. We investigated whether the declining sea lion pup weight at San Miguel rookery was associated with changes in abundance and quality of sardine, anchovy, rockfish and market squid forage. In the last decade off central California, where breeding female sea lions from San Miguel rookery feed, sardine and anchovy greatly decreased in biomass, whereas market squid and rockfish abundance increased. Pup weights fell as forage food quality declined associated with changes in the relative abundances of forage species. A model explained 67% of the variance in pup weights using forage from central and southern California and 81% of the variance in pup weights using forage from the female sea lion foraging range. A shift from high to poor quality forage for breeding females results in food limitation of the pups, ultimately flooding animal rescue centres with starving sea lion pups. Our study is unusual in using a long-term, fishery-independent dataset to directly address an important consequence of forage decline on the productivity of a large marine predator. Whether forage declines are environmentally driven, are due to a combination of environmental drivers and fishing removals, or are due to density-dependent interactions between forage and sea lions is uncertain. However, declining forage abundance and quality was coherent over a large area (32.5–38° N) for a decade, suggesting that trends in forage are environmentally driven. PMID:27069651

  8. Food limitation of sea lion pups and the decline of forage off central and southern California.

    PubMed

    McClatchie, Sam; Field, John; Thompson, Andrew R; Gerrodette, Tim; Lowry, Mark; Fiedler, Paul C; Watson, William; Nieto, Karen M; Vetter, Russell D

    2016-03-01

    California sea lions increased from approximately 50 000 to 340 000 animals in the last 40 years, and their pups are starving and stranding on beaches in southern California, raising questions about the adequacy of their food supply. We investigated whether the declining sea lion pup weight at San Miguel rookery was associated with changes in abundance and quality of sardine, anchovy, rockfish and market squid forage. In the last decade off central California, where breeding female sea lions from San Miguel rookery feed, sardine and anchovy greatly decreased in biomass, whereas market squid and rockfish abundance increased. Pup weights fell as forage food quality declined associated with changes in the relative abundances of forage species. A model explained 67% of the variance in pup weights using forage from central and southern California and 81% of the variance in pup weights using forage from the female sea lion foraging range. A shift from high to poor quality forage for breeding females results in food limitation of the pups, ultimately flooding animal rescue centres with starving sea lion pups. Our study is unusual in using a long-term, fishery-independent dataset to directly address an important consequence of forage decline on the productivity of a large marine predator. Whether forage declines are environmentally driven, are due to a combination of environmental drivers and fishing removals, or are due to density-dependent interactions between forage and sea lions is uncertain. However, declining forage abundance and quality was coherent over a large area (32.5-38° N) for a decade, suggesting that trends in forage are environmentally driven.

  9. Food limitation of sea lion pups and the decline of forage off central and southern California.

    PubMed

    McClatchie, Sam; Field, John; Thompson, Andrew R; Gerrodette, Tim; Lowry, Mark; Fiedler, Paul C; Watson, William; Nieto, Karen M; Vetter, Russell D

    2016-03-01

    California sea lions increased from approximately 50 000 to 340 000 animals in the last 40 years, and their pups are starving and stranding on beaches in southern California, raising questions about the adequacy of their food supply. We investigated whether the declining sea lion pup weight at San Miguel rookery was associated with changes in abundance and quality of sardine, anchovy, rockfish and market squid forage. In the last decade off central California, where breeding female sea lions from San Miguel rookery feed, sardine and anchovy greatly decreased in biomass, whereas market squid and rockfish abundance increased. Pup weights fell as forage food quality declined associated with changes in the relative abundances of forage species. A model explained 67% of the variance in pup weights using forage from central and southern California and 81% of the variance in pup weights using forage from the female sea lion foraging range. A shift from high to poor quality forage for breeding females results in food limitation of the pups, ultimately flooding animal rescue centres with starving sea lion pups. Our study is unusual in using a long-term, fishery-independent dataset to directly address an important consequence of forage decline on the productivity of a large marine predator. Whether forage declines are environmentally driven, are due to a combination of environmental drivers and fishing removals, or are due to density-dependent interactions between forage and sea lions is uncertain. However, declining forage abundance and quality was coherent over a large area (32.5-38° N) for a decade, suggesting that trends in forage are environmentally driven. PMID:27069651

  10. Factors affecting the foraging behaviour of the European shag: implications for seabird tracking studies.

    PubMed

    Soanes, L M; Arnould, J P Y; Dodd, S G; Milligan, G; Green, J A

    2014-01-01

    Seabird tracking has become an ever more popular tool to aid environmental procedures such as the designation of marine protected areas and environmental impact assessments. However, samples used are usually small and little consideration is given to experimental design and sampling protocol. European shags Phalacrocorax aristotelis were tracked using GPS technology over three breeding seasons and the following foraging trip characteristics: trip duration, trip distance, maximum distance travelled from the colony, size of area used and direction travelled from colony were determined for each foraging trip. The effect of sex, year of study, breeding site, number and age of chicks and the timing of tracking on foraging behaviour were investigated using a General Estimation Equation model. A range of sampling scenarios reflecting likely field sampling were also tested to compare how foraging behaviour differed depending on composition of the sample of birds tracked. Trip distance, trip duration, maximum distance travelled and size of area used were all significantly affected by the breeding site, and the number of chicks a tracked adult was raising. The effect of sex was also seen when examining trip distance, trip duration and the maximum distance travelled. The direction travelled on a foraging trip was also significantly affected by breeding site. This study highlights the importance of sampling regime and the influence that year, sex, age, number of chicks and breeding site can have on the foraging trip characteristics for this coastal feeding seabird. Given the logistical and financial constraints in tracking large numbers of individuals, this study identifies the need for researchers to consider the composition of their study sample to ensure any identified foraging areas are as representative as possible of the whole colony's foraging area.

  11. Sex-Specific Habitat Utilization and Differential Breeding Investments in Christmas Island Frigatebirds throughout the Breeding Cycle

    PubMed Central

    Hennicke, Janos C.; James, David J.; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-01-01

    In seabirds, equal bi-parental care is the rule, as it is considered crucial for raising chicks successfully because seabirds forage in an environment with unpredictable and highly variable food supply. Frigatebirds forage in poor tropical waters, yet males reduce and even stop parental care soon after chick brooding, leaving the female to provision the chick alone for an extended fledging period. Using bird-borne tracking devices, male and female Christmas Island Frigatebirds (Fregata andrewsi) were investigated during the brooding, late chick rearing and post-fledging period to examine whether sexes exhibit foraging strategies that may be linked to differential breeding investments. During brooding, males and females showed similar foraging behaviour under average marine productivity of oceanic waters close to the colony, but males shifted to more distant and more productive habitats when conditions deteriorated to continue with reduced chick provisioning. During the late chick rearing period, females progressively increased their foraging range to the more distant but productive marine areas that only males had visited during brooding. Birds spent the non-breeding period roosting in highly productive waters of the Sunda Shelf. The sex-specific utilisation of three different foraging habitats with different primary productivity (oceanic, coastal, and shelf areas) allowed for temporal and spatial segregation in the exploitation of favourable habitats which seems to enable each sex to optimise its foraging profitability. In addition, post-fledging foraging movements of females suggest a biennial breeding cycle, while limited information on males suggests the possibility of an annual breeding cycle. PMID:26098941

  12. Adverse foraging conditions may impact body mass and survival of a high Arctic seabird.

    PubMed

    Harding, Ann M A; Welcker, Jorg; Steen, Harald; Hamer, Keith C; Kitaysky, Alexander S; Fort, Jérôme; Talbot, Sandra L; Cornick, Leslie A; Karnovsky, Nina J; Gabrielsen, Geir W; Grémillet, David

    2011-09-01

    Tradeoffs between current reproduction and future survival are widely recognized, but may only occur when food is limited: when foraging conditions are favorable, parents may be able to reproduce without compromising their own survival. We investigated these tradeoffs in the little auk (Alle alle), a small seabird with a single-egg clutch. During 2005-2007, we examined the relationship between body mass and survival of birds breeding under contrasting foraging conditions at two Arctic colonies. We used corticosterone levels of breeding adults as a physiological indicator of the foraging conditions they encountered during each reproductive season. We found that when foraging conditions were relatively poor (as reflected in elevated levels of corticosterone), parents ended the reproductive season with low body mass and suffered increased post-breeding mortality. A positive relationship between body mass and post-breeding survival was found in one study year; light birds incurred higher survival costs than heavy birds. The results of this study suggest that reproducing under poor foraging conditions may affect the post-breeding survival of long-lived little auks. They also have important demographic implications because even a small change in adult survival may have a large effect on populations of long-lived species.

  13. Adverse foraging conditions may impact body mass and survival of a high Arctic seabird

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harding, A.M.A.; Welcker, J.; Steen, H.; Hamer, K.C.; Kitaysky, A.S.; Fort, J.; Talbot, S.L.; Cornick, L.A.; Karnovsky, N.J.; Gabrielsen, G.W.; Gremillet, D.

    2011-01-01

    Tradeoffs between current reproduction and future survival are widely recognized, but may only occur when food is limited: when foraging conditions are favorable, parents may be able to reproduce without compromising their own survival. We investigated these tradeoffs in the little auk (Alle alle), a small seabird with a single-egg clutch. During 2005-2007, we examined the relationship between body mass and survival of birds breeding under contrasting foraging conditions at two Arctic colonies. We used corticosterone levels of breeding adults as a physiological indicator of the foraging conditions they encountered during each reproductive season. We found that when foraging conditions were relatively poor (as reflected in elevated levels of corticosterone), parents ended the reproductive season with low body mass and suffered increased post-breeding mortality. A positive relationship between body mass and post-breeding survival was found in one study year; light birds incurred higher survival costs than heavy birds. The results of this study suggest that reproducing under poor foraging conditions may affect the post-breeding survival of long-lived little auks. They also have important demographic implications because even a small change in adult survival may have a large effect on populations of long-lived species. ?? 2011 Springer-Verlag.

  14. Computer-Aided Evaluation of Forage Management: Forage Manager.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Panciera, M. T.; And Others

    1993-01-01

    Presents the Forage Manager spreadsheet, developed as a forage management teaching tool to integrate agronomic, livestock, and cost data to demonstrate the impact of forage management on livestock production costs. Teaching applications, examples involving agronomic data and conventional agronomic evaluation, and limitations of the program are…

  15. Redesigning forages with condensed tannins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maximizing protein content in forages and minimizing protein loss during silage fermentation and rumen digestion are concerns for livestock and dairy producers. Substantial amounts of forage protein undergo proteolysis (breakdown) during the ensiling process and during rumen fermentation, transforme...

  16. Collective foraging in heterogeneous landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Bhattacharya, Kunal; Vicsek, Tamás

    2014-01-01

    Animals foraging alone are hypothesized to optimize the encounter rates with resources through Lévy walks. However, the issue of how the interactions between multiple foragers influence their search efficiency is still not completely understood. To address this, we consider a model to study the optimal strategy for a group of foragers searching for targets distributed heterogeneously. In our model, foragers move on a square lattice containing immobile but regenerative targets. At any instant, a forager is able to detect only those targets that happen to be in the same site. However, we allow the foragers to have information about the state of other foragers. A forager who has not detected any target walks towards the nearest location, where another forager has detected a target, with a probability exp(−αd), where d is the distance between the foragers and α is a parameter characterizing the propensity of the foragers to aggregate. The model reveals that neither overcrowding (α → 0) nor independent searching (α → ∞) is beneficial for the foragers. For a patchy distribution of targets, the efficiency is maximum for intermediate values of α. In addition, in the limit α → 0, the length of the walks can become scale-free. PMID:25165596

  17. Optimal Foraging in Semantic Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hills, Thomas T.; Jones, Michael N.; Todd, Peter M.

    2012-01-01

    Do humans search in memory using dynamic local-to-global search strategies similar to those that animals use to forage between patches in space? If so, do their dynamic memory search policies correspond to optimal foraging strategies seen for spatial foraging? Results from a number of fields suggest these possibilities, including the shared…

  18. The bacterial communities associated with honey bee (Apis mellifera) foragers.

    PubMed

    Corby-Harris, Vanessa; Maes, Patrick; Anderson, Kirk E

    2014-01-01

    The honey bee is a key pollinator species in decline worldwide. As part of a commercial operation, bee colonies are exposed to a variety of agricultural ecosystems throughout the year and a multitude of environmental variables that may affect the microbial balance of individuals and the hive. While many recent studies support the idea of a core microbiota in guts of younger in-hive bees, it is unknown whether this core is present in forager bees or the pollen they carry back to the hive. Additionally, several studies hypothesize that the foregut (crop), a key interface between the pollination environment and hive food stores, contains a set of 13 lactic acid bacteria (LAB) that inoculate collected pollen and act in synergy to preserve pollen stores. Here, we used a combination of 454 based 16S rRNA gene sequencing of the microbial communities of forager guts, crops, and corbicular pollen and crop plate counts to show that (1) despite a very different diet, forager guts contain a core microbiota similar to that found in younger bees, (2) corbicular pollen contains a diverse community dominated by hive-specific, environmental or phyllosphere bacteria that are not prevalent in the gut or crop, and (3) the 13 LAB found in culture-based studies are not specific to the crop but are a small subset of midgut or hindgut specific bacteria identified in many recent 454 amplicon-based studies. The crop is dominated by Lactobacillus kunkeei, and Alpha 2.2 (Acetobacteraceae), highly osmotolerant and acid resistant bacteria found in stored pollen and honey. Crop taxa at low abundance include core hindgut bacteria in transit to their primary niche, and potential pathogens or food spoilage organisms seemingly vectored from the pollination environment. We conclude that the crop microbial environment is influenced by worker task, and may function in both decontamination and inoculation.

  19. The bacterial communities associated with honey bee (Apis mellifera) foragers.

    PubMed

    Corby-Harris, Vanessa; Maes, Patrick; Anderson, Kirk E

    2014-01-01

    The honey bee is a key pollinator species in decline worldwide. As part of a commercial operation, bee colonies are exposed to a variety of agricultural ecosystems throughout the year and a multitude of environmental variables that may affect the microbial balance of individuals and the hive. While many recent studies support the idea of a core microbiota in guts of younger in-hive bees, it is unknown whether this core is present in forager bees or the pollen they carry back to the hive. Additionally, several studies hypothesize that the foregut (crop), a key interface between the pollination environment and hive food stores, contains a set of 13 lactic acid bacteria (LAB) that inoculate collected pollen and act in synergy to preserve pollen stores. Here, we used a combination of 454 based 16S rRNA gene sequencing of the microbial communities of forager guts, crops, and corbicular pollen and crop plate counts to show that (1) despite a very different diet, forager guts contain a core microbiota similar to that found in younger bees, (2) corbicular pollen contains a diverse community dominated by hive-specific, environmental or phyllosphere bacteria that are not prevalent in the gut or crop, and (3) the 13 LAB found in culture-based studies are not specific to the crop but are a small subset of midgut or hindgut specific bacteria identified in many recent 454 amplicon-based studies. The crop is dominated by Lactobacillus kunkeei, and Alpha 2.2 (Acetobacteraceae), highly osmotolerant and acid resistant bacteria found in stored pollen and honey. Crop taxa at low abundance include core hindgut bacteria in transit to their primary niche, and potential pathogens or food spoilage organisms seemingly vectored from the pollination environment. We conclude that the crop microbial environment is influenced by worker task, and may function in both decontamination and inoculation. PMID:24740297

  20. Can genomics boost productivity of orphan crops?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Advances in genomics over the past 20 years have enhanced the precision and efficiency of breeding programs in many temperate cereal crops. One of the first applications of genomics-assisted breeding has been the introgression of loci for resistance to biotic stresses or major quantitative trait loc...

  1. Breeding Plants for Resistance to Nematodes

    PubMed Central

    Boerma, H. Roger; Hussey, Richard S.

    1992-01-01

    Plant breeders and nematologists have developed improved cultivars of important crop species with resistance to plant-parasitic nematodes. The effectiveness of these breeding efforts has depended on the availability of efficient screening procedures, identification of adequate sources of durable resistance, nature of the nematode feeding habit, and knowledge of the inheritance of resistance. These factors determine to a large degree the breeding method and potential success of the research. Systematic searches for nematode resistance have identified resistant germplasm lines within crop species or from related species. When the resistance gene(s) is from related species, incongruity barriers or sterility of the resulting hybrids often must be overcome. In these situations, backcrossing is usually necessary to incorporate the resistance gene(s) and recover the desirable commercial traits of the crop species. If the resistance gene(s) is present within the crop species, the choice of breeding method depends on the inheritance of the resistance, type of screening procedure, and other important breeding objectives for the species. In the future, plant molecular biologists and geneticists will make available novel sources of nematode resistance through incorporation of transgenes from other genera. These efforts will likely require conventional breeding strategies before commercial utilization of an improved resistant cultivar. PMID:19282990

  2. Inferring foraging areas of nesting loggerhead turtles using satellite telemetry and stable isotopes.

    PubMed

    Ceriani, Simona A; Roth, James D; Evans, Daniel R; Weishampel, John F; Ehrhart, Llewellyn M

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, the use of intrinsic markers such as stable isotopes to link breeding and foraging grounds of migratory species has increased. Nevertheless, several assumptions still must be tested to interpret isotopic patterns found in the marine realm. We used a combination of satellite telemetry and stable isotope analysis to (i) identify key foraging grounds used by female loggerheads nesting in Florida and (ii) examine the relationship between stable isotope ratios and post-nesting migration destinations. We collected tissue samples for stable isotope analysis from 14 females equipped with satellite tags and an additional 57 untracked nesting females. Telemetry identified three post-nesting migratory pathways and associated non-breeding foraging grounds: (1) a seasonal continental shelf-constrained migratory pattern along the northeast U.S. coastline, (2) a non-breeding residency in southern foraging areas and (3) a residency in the waters adjacent to the breeding area. Isotopic variability in both δ(13)C and δ(15)N among individuals allowed identification of three distinct foraging aggregations. We used discriminant function analysis to examine how well δ(13)C and δ(15)N predict female post-nesting migration destination. The discriminant analysis classified correctly the foraging ground used for all but one individual and was used to predict putative feeding areas of untracked turtles. We provide the first documentation that the continental shelf of the Mid- and South Atlantic Bights are prime foraging areas for a large number (61%) of adult female loggerheads from the largest loggerhead nesting population in the western hemisphere and the second largest in the world. Our findings offer insights for future management efforts and suggest that this technique can be used to infer foraging strategies and residence areas in lieu of more expensive satellite telemetry, enabling sample sizes that are more representative at the population level.

  3. Inferring Foraging Areas of Nesting Loggerhead Turtles Using Satellite Telemetry and Stable Isotopes

    PubMed Central

    Ceriani, Simona A.; Roth, James D.; Evans, Daniel R.; Weishampel, John F.; Ehrhart, Llewellyn M.

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, the use of intrinsic markers such as stable isotopes to link breeding and foraging grounds of migratory species has increased. Nevertheless, several assumptions still must be tested to interpret isotopic patterns found in the marine realm. We used a combination of satellite telemetry and stable isotope analysis to (i) identify key foraging grounds used by female loggerheads nesting in Florida and (ii) examine the relationship between stable isotope ratios and post-nesting migration destinations. We collected tissue samples for stable isotope analysis from 14 females equipped with satellite tags and an additional 57 untracked nesting females. Telemetry identified three post-nesting migratory pathways and associated non-breeding foraging grounds: (1) a seasonal continental shelf–constrained migratory pattern along the northeast U.S. coastline, (2) a non-breeding residency in southern foraging areas and (3) a residency in the waters adjacent to the breeding area. Isotopic variability in both δ13C and δ15N among individuals allowed identification of three distinct foraging aggregations. We used discriminant function analysis to examine how well δ13C and δ15N predict female post-nesting migration destination. The discriminant analysis classified correctly the foraging ground used for all but one individual and was used to predict putative feeding areas of untracked turtles. We provide the first documentation that the continental shelf of the Mid- and South Atlantic Bights are prime foraging areas for a large number (61%) of adult female loggerheads from the largest loggerhead nesting population in the western hemisphere and the second largest in the world. Our findings offer insights for future management efforts and suggest that this technique can be used to infer foraging strategies and residence areas in lieu of more expensive satellite telemetry, enabling sample sizes that are more representative at the population level. PMID:23028943

  4. Geographic structure of adelie penguin populations: overlap in colony-specific foraging areas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ainley, D.G.; Ribic, C.A.; Ballard, G.; Heath, S.; Gaffney, I.; Karl, B.J.; Barton, K.J.; Wilson, P.R.; Webb, S.

    2004-01-01

    In an investigation of the factors leading to geographic structuring among Ade??lie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) populations, we studied the size and overlap of colony-specific foraging areas within an isolated cluster of colonies. The study area, in the southwestern Ross Sea, included one large and three smaller colonies, ranging in size from 3900 to 135000 nesting pairs, clustered on Ross and Beaufort Islands. We used triangulation of radio signals from transmitters attached to breeding penguins to determine foraging locations and to define colony-specific foraging areas during the chick-provisioning period of four breeding seasons, 1997-2000. Colony populations (nesting pairs) were determined using aerial photography just after egg-laying; reproductive success was estimated by comparing ground counts of chicks fledged to the number of breeding pairs apparent in aerial photos. Foraging-trip duration, meal size, and adult body mass were estimated using RFID (radio frequency identification) tags and an automated reader and weighbridge. Chick growth was assessed by weekly weighing. We related the following variables to colony size: foraging distance, area, and duration; reproductive success; chick meal size and growth rate; and seasonal variation in adult body mass. We found that penguins foraged closest to their respective colonies, particularly at the smaller colonies. However, as the season progressed, foraging distance, duration, and area increased noticeably, especially at the largest colony. The foraging areas of the smaller colonies overlapped broadly, but very little foraging area overlap existed between the large colony and the smaller colonies, even though the foraging area of the large colony was well within range of the smaller colonies. Instead, the foraging areas of the smaller colonies shifted as that of the large colony grew. Colony size was not related to chick meal size, chick growth, or parental body mass. This differed from the year previous to

  5. Detection of QTL for forage yield, lodging resistance and spring vigor traits in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is an internationally significant forage crop. Forage yield, lodging resistance and spring vigor are important agronomic traits conditioned by quantitative genetic and environmental effects. The objective of this study was to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) and mo...

  6. Marine foraging ecology influences mercury bioaccumulation in deep-diving northern elephant seals

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, Sarah H.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Costa, Daniel P.

    2015-01-01

    Mercury contamination of oceans is prevalent worldwide and methylmercury concentrations in the mesopelagic zone (200–1000 m) are increasing more rapidly than in surface waters. Yet mercury bioaccumulation in mesopelagic predators has been understudied. Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) biannually travel thousands of kilometres to forage within coastal and open-ocean regions of the northeast Pacific Ocean. We coupled satellite telemetry, diving behaviour and stable isotopes (carbon and nitrogen) from 77 adult females, and showed that variability among individuals in foraging location, diving depth and δ13C values were correlated with mercury concentrations in blood and muscle. We identified three clusters of foraging strategies, and these resulted in substantially different mercury concentrations: (i) deeper-diving and offshore-foraging seals had the greatest mercury concentrations, (ii) shallower-diving and offshore-foraging seals had intermediate levels, and (iii) coastal and more northerly foraging seals had the lowest mercury concentrations. Additionally, mercury concentrations were lower at the end of the seven-month-long foraging trip (n = 31) than after the two-month- long post-breeding trip (n = 46). Our results indicate that foraging behaviour influences mercury exposure and mesopelagic predators foraging in the northeast Pacific Ocean may be at high risk for mercury bioaccumulation. PMID:26085591

  7. Marine foraging ecology influences mercury bioaccumulation in deep-diving northern elephant seals.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Sarah H; Ackerman, Joshua T; Costa, Daniel P

    2015-07-01

    Mercury contamination of oceans is prevalent worldwide and methylmercury concentrations in the mesopelagic zone (200-1000 m) are increasing more rapidly than in surface waters. Yet mercury bioaccumulation in mesopelagic predators has been understudied. Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) biannually travel thousands of kilometres to forage within coastal and open-ocean regions of the northeast Pacific Ocean. We coupled satellite telemetry, diving behaviour and stable isotopes (carbon and nitrogen) from 77 adult females, and showed that variability among individuals in foraging location, diving depth and δ(13)C values were correlated with mercury concentrations in blood and muscle. We identified three clusters of foraging strategies, and these resulted in substantially different mercury concentrations: (i) deeper-diving and offshore-foraging seals had the greatest mercury concentrations, (ii) shallower-diving and offshore-foraging seals had intermediate levels, and (iii) coastal and more northerly foraging seals had the lowest mercury concentrations. Additionally, mercury concentrations were lower at the end of the seven-month-long foraging trip (n = 31) than after the two-month- long post-breeding trip (n = 46). Our results indicate that foraging behaviour influences mercury exposure and mesopelagic predators foraging in the northeast Pacific Ocean may be at high risk for mercury bioaccumulation.

  8. Marine foraging ecology influences mercury bioaccumulation in deep-diving northern elephant seals.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Sarah H; Ackerman, Joshua T; Costa, Daniel P

    2015-07-01

    Mercury contamination of oceans is prevalent worldwide and methylmercury concentrations in the mesopelagic zone (200-1000 m) are increasing more rapidly than in surface waters. Yet mercury bioaccumulation in mesopelagic predators has been understudied. Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) biannually travel thousands of kilometres to forage within coastal and open-ocean regions of the northeast Pacific Ocean. We coupled satellite telemetry, diving behaviour and stable isotopes (carbon and nitrogen) from 77 adult females, and showed that variability among individuals in foraging location, diving depth and δ(13)C values were correlated with mercury concentrations in blood and muscle. We identified three clusters of foraging strategies, and these resulted in substantially different mercury concentrations: (i) deeper-diving and offshore-foraging seals had the greatest mercury concentrations, (ii) shallower-diving and offshore-foraging seals had intermediate levels, and (iii) coastal and more northerly foraging seals had the lowest mercury concentrations. Additionally, mercury concentrations were lower at the end of the seven-month-long foraging trip (n = 31) than after the two-month- long post-breeding trip (n = 46). Our results indicate that foraging behaviour influences mercury exposure and mesopelagic predators foraging in the northeast Pacific Ocean may be at high risk for mercury bioaccumulation. PMID:26085591

  9. Marine foraging ecology influences mercury bioaccumulation in deep-diving northern elephant seals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peterson, Sarah H.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Costa, Daniel P.

    2015-01-01

    Mercury contamination of oceans is prevalent worldwide and methylmercury concentrations in the mesopelagic zone (200–1000 m) are increasing more rapidly than in surface waters. Yet mercury bioaccumulation in mesopelagic predators has been understudied. Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) biannually travel thousands of kilometres to forage within coastal and open-ocean regions of the northeast Pacific Ocean. We coupled satellite telemetry, diving behaviour and stable isotopes (carbon and nitrogen) from 77 adult females, and showed that variability among individuals in foraging location, diving depth and δ13C values were correlated with mercury concentrations in blood and muscle. We identified three clusters of foraging strategies, and these resulted in substantially different mercury concentrations: (i) deeper-diving and offshore-foraging seals had the greatest mercury concentrations, (ii) shallower-diving and offshore-foraging seals had intermediate levels, and (iii) coastal and more northerly foraging seals had the lowest mercury concentrations. Additionally, mercury concentrations were lower at the end of the seven-month-long foraging trip (n = 31) than after the two-month- long post-breeding trip (n = 46). Our results indicate that foraging behaviour influences mercury exposure and mesopelagic predators foraging in the northeast Pacific Ocean may be at high risk for mercury bioaccumulation.

  10. Optimal Foraging by Zooplankton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia, Ricardo; Moss, Frank

    2007-03-01

    We describe experiments with several species of the zooplankton, Daphnia, while foraging for food. They move in sequences: hop-pause-turn-hop etc. While we have recorded hop lengths, hop times, pause times and turning angles, our focus is on histograms representing the distributions of the turning angles. We find that different species, including adults and juveniles, move with similar turning angle distributions described by exponential functions. Random walk simulations and a theory based on active Brownian particles indicate a maximum in food gathering efficiency at an optimal width of the turning angle distribution. Foraging takes place within a fixed size food patch during a fixed time. We hypothesize that the exponential distributions were selected for survival over evolutionary time scales.

  11. Observations of geese foraging for clam shells during spring on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Flint, P.L.; Fowler, A.C.; Bottitta, G.E.; Schamber, J.

    1998-01-01

    We studied the behavior of geese on exposed river ice during spring on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The predominant behavior while on the ice for both sexes was foraging; however, females foraged more than males. Visual inspection of the ice revealed no potential plant or animal food items. However, numerous small (<20 man) clam shells (Macoma balthica) and pieces of shell were noted. It appeared that geese were foraging on empty clam shells. This potential source of calcium was available to breeding geese just prior to egg formation and geese likely stored this calcium in the form of medullary bone for use during egg formation.

  12. Varying foraging patterns in response to competition? A multicolony approach in a generalist seabird.

    PubMed

    Corman, Anna-Marie; Mendel, Bettina; Voigt, Christian C; Garthe, Stefan

    2016-02-01

    Reducing resource competition is a crucial requirement for colonial seabirds to ensure adequate self- and chick-provisioning during breeding season. Spatial segregation is a common avoidance strategy among and within species from neighboring breeding colonies. We determined whether the foraging behaviors of incubating lesser black-backed gulls (Larus fuscus) differed between six colonies varying in size and distance to mainland, and whether any differences could be related to the foraging habitats visited. Seventy-nine incubating individuals from six study colonies along the German North Sea coast were equipped with GPS data loggers in multiple years. Dietary information was gained by sampling food pellets, and blood samples were taken for stable isotope analyses. Foraging patterns clearly differed among and within colonies. Foraging range increased with increasing colony size and decreased with increasing colony distance from the mainland, although the latter might be due to the inclusion of the only offshore colony. Gulls from larger colonies with consequently greater density-dependent competition were more likely to forage at land instead of at sea. The diets of the gulls from the colonies furthest from each other differed, while the diets from the other colonies overlapped with each other. The spatial segregation and dietary similarities suggest that lesser black-backed gulls foraged at different sites and utilized two main habitat types, although these were similar across foraging areas for all colonies except the single offshore island. The avoidance of intraspecific competition results in colony-specific foraging patterns, potentially causing more intensive utilization of terrestrial foraging sites, which may offer more predictable and easily available foraging compared with the marine environment. PMID:26941940

  13. Space use by Forster's Terns breeding in South San Francisco Bay

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bluso-Demers, J.; Colwell, M.A.; Takekawa, J.Y.; Ackerman, J.T.

    2008-01-01

    Parental care behaviors often differ in dimorphic seabirds, leading to sex-specific differences in foraging behaviors. However, few studies have examined sex-specific foraging behaviors in monomorphic seabirds. Using radio-telemetry, we studied Forster's Terns (Sterna forsteri) - a monomorphic and socially monogamous seabird - breeding in the South San Francisco Bay, California. Space use did not differ between males and females. Instead, space use varied by breeding stage and colony affiliation. Forster's Terns were located farthest from the nest during pre-breeding and post-breeding time periods, and closest to the nest during incubation and chick-rearing. Home-range size and core-use areas decreased as the breeding season progressed and were most concentrated in the post-breeding stage. The results of this and other studies indicate that tems, unlike other monomorphic seabirds studied, do not exhibit sex-specific differences in space use.

  14. Are seabirds foraging for unpredictable resources?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weimerskirch, Henri

    2007-02-01

    : predictability is dependent on the spatial and temporal scale considered, and especially on the marine habitat of foraging interest. I discuss the potential consequences of these results for the breeding success and life history of seabirds.

  15. Genotypic Variation in a Breeding Population of Yellow Sweet Clover (Melilotus officinalis)

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Kai; Jahufer, M. Z. Z.; Wu, Fan; Di, Hongyan; Zhang, Daiyu; Meng, Xuanchen; Zhang, Jiyu; Wang, Yanrong

    2016-01-01

    Yellow sweet clover is a widely spread legume species that has potential to be used as a forage crop in Western China. However, limited information is available on the genetic variation for herbage yield, key morphological traits, and coumarin content. In this study, 40 half sib (HS) families of M. officinalis were evaluated for genotypic variation and phenotypic and genotypic correlation for the traits: LS (leaf to stem ratio), SV (spring vigor), LA (leaf area), PH (plant height), DW (herbage dry weight), SD (stem diameter), SN (stem number), Cou (coumarin content), SY (seed yield), across two locations, Yuzhong and Linze, in Western China. There was significant (P < 0.05) genotypic variation among the HS families for all traits. There was also significant (P < 0.05) genotype-by-environment interaction for the traits DW, PH, SD, SN, and SV. The estimates of HS family mean repeatability across two locations ranged from 0.32 for SN to 0.89 for LA. Pattern analysis generated four HS family groups where group 3 consisted of families with above average expression for DW and below average expression for Cou. The breeding population developed by polycrossing the selected HS families within group 3 will provide a significant breeding pool for M. officinalis cultivar development in China. PMID:27462321

  16. Genotypic Variation in a Breeding Population of Yellow Sweet Clover (Melilotus officinalis).

    PubMed

    Luo, Kai; Jahufer, M Z Z; Wu, Fan; Di, Hongyan; Zhang, Daiyu; Meng, Xuanchen; Zhang, Jiyu; Wang, Yanrong

    2016-01-01

    Yellow sweet clover is a widely spread legume species that has potential to be used as a forage crop in Western China. However, limited information is available on the genetic variation for herbage yield, key morphological traits, and coumarin content. In this study, 40 half sib (HS) families of M. officinalis were evaluated for genotypic variation and phenotypic and genotypic correlation for the traits: LS (leaf to stem ratio), SV (spring vigor), LA (leaf area), PH (plant height), DW (herbage dry weight), SD (stem diameter), SN (stem number), Cou (coumarin content), SY (seed yield), across two locations, Yuzhong and Linze, in Western China. There was significant (P < 0.05) genotypic variation among the HS families for all traits. There was also significant (P < 0.05) genotype-by-environment interaction for the traits DW, PH, SD, SN, and SV. The estimates of HS family mean repeatability across two locations ranged from 0.32 for SN to 0.89 for LA. Pattern analysis generated four HS family groups where group 3 consisted of families with above average expression for DW and below average expression for Cou. The breeding population developed by polycrossing the selected HS families within group 3 will provide a significant breeding pool for M. officinalis cultivar development in China. PMID:27462321

  17. Modern biotechnology and the future of plant breeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Genetic improvement of crop plants has been traditionally achieved through conventional plant breeding. The art of plant breeding was developed long before the laws of genetics (the science of heredity) became known. The discovery of the principles of genetics at the turn of the last century boosted...

  18. Body size affects individual winter foraging strategies of thick-billed murres in the Bering Sea.

    PubMed

    Orben, Rachael A; Paredes, Rosana; Roby, Daniel D; Irons, David B; Shaffer, Scott A

    2015-11-01

    Foraging and migration often require different energetic and movement strategies. Though not readily apparent, constraints during one phase might influence the foraging strategies observed in another. For marine birds that fly and dive, body size constraints likely present a trade-off between foraging ability and migration as smaller bodies reduce flight costs, whereas larger bodies are advantageous for diving deeper. This study examines individual wintering strategies of deep diving thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia) breeding at three colonies in the south-eastern Bering Sea: St Paul, St George and Bogoslof. These colonies, arranged north to south, are located such that breeding birds forage in a gradient from shelf to deep-water habitats. We used geolocation time-depth recorders and stable isotopes from feathers to determine differences in foraging behaviour and diet of murres during three non-breeding periods, 2008-2011. Body size was quantified by a principal component analysis (wing, culmen, head+bill and tarsus length). A hierarchical cluster analysis identified winter foraging strategies based on individual movement, diving behaviour and diet (inferred from stable isotopes). Structural body size differed by breeding island. Larger birds from St Paul had higher wing loading than smaller birds from St George. Larger birds, mainly from St Paul, dove to deeper depths, spent more time in the Bering Sea, and likely consumed higher trophic-level prey in late winter. Three winter foraging strategies were identified. The main strategy, employed by small birds from all three breeding colonies in the first 2 years, was characterized by high residency areas in the North Pacific south of the Aleutians and nocturnal diving. In contrast, 31% of birds from St Paul remained in the Bering Sea and foraged mainly during the day, apparently feeding on higher trophic-level prey. Throat feather stable isotopes indicated that individuals exhibited flexibility in the use of this

  19. Pollen foraging: learning a complex motor skill by bumblebees (Bombus terrestris)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raine, Nigel E.; Chittka, Lars

    2007-06-01

    To investigate how bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) learn the complex motor skills involved in pollen foraging, we observed naïve workers foraging on arrays of nectarless poppy flowers (Papaver rhoeas) in a greenhouse. Foraging skills were quantified by measuring the pollen load collected during each foraging bout and relating this to the number of flowers visited and bout duration on two consecutive days. The pollen standing crop (PSC) in each flower decreased drastically from 0530 to 0900 hours. Therefore, we related foraging performance to the changing levels of pollen available (per flower) and found that collection rate increased over the course of four consecutive foraging bouts (comprising between 277 and 354 individual flower visits), suggesting that learning to forage for pollen represents a substantial time investment for individual foragers. The pollen collection rate and size of pollen loads collected at the start of day 2 were markedly lower than at the end of day 1, suggesting that components of pollen foraging behaviour could be subject to imperfect overnight retention. Our results suggest that learning the necessary motor skills to collect pollen effectively from morphologically simple flowers takes three times as many visits as learning how to handle the most morphologically complex flowers to extract nectar, potentially explaining why bees are more specialised in their choice of pollen flowers.

  20. Learning foraging thresholds for lizards

    SciTech Connect

    Goldberg, L.A.; Hart, W.E.; Wilson, D.B.

    1996-01-12

    This work gives a proof of convergence for a randomized learning algorithm that describes how anoles (lizards found in the Carribean) learn a foraging threshold distance. This model assumes that an anole will pursue a prey if and only if it is within this threshold of the anole`s perch. This learning algorithm was proposed by the biologist Roughgarden and his colleagues. They experimentally confirmed that this algorithm quickly converges to the foraging threshold that is predicted by optimal foraging theory our analysis provides an analytic confirmation that the learning algorithm converses to this optimal foraging threshold with high probability.

  1. Rearing and foraging affects bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) gut microbiota.

    PubMed

    Newbold, Lindsay K; Oliver, Anna E; Cuthbertson, Leah; Walkington, Sarah E; Gweon, Hyun S; Heard, Matthew S; van der Gast, Christopher J

    2015-08-01

    Bumblebees are ecologically and economically important as pollinators of crop and wild plants, especially in temperate systems. Species, such as the buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), are reared commercially to pollinate high-value crops. Their highly specific gut microbiota, characterized by low diversity, may affect nutrition and immunity and are likely to be important for fitness and colony health. However, little is known about how environmental factors affect bacterial community structure. We analysed the gut microbiota from three groups of worker bumblebees (B. terrestris) from distinct colonies that varied in rearing and foraging characteristics: commercially reared with restricted foraging (RR); commercially reared with outside foraging (RF); and wild-caught workers (W). Contrary to previous studies, which indicate that bacterial communities are highly conserved across workers, we found that RF individuals had an intermediate community structure compared with RR and W types. Further, this was shaped by differences in the abundances of common operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and the diversity of rare OTUs present, which we propose results from an increase in the variety of carbohydrates obtained through foraging. PMID:25994560

  2. Rearing and foraging affects bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) gut microbiota.

    PubMed

    Newbold, Lindsay K; Oliver, Anna E; Cuthbertson, Leah; Walkington, Sarah E; Gweon, Hyun S; Heard, Matthew S; van der Gast, Christopher J

    2015-08-01

    Bumblebees are ecologically and economically important as pollinators of crop and wild plants, especially in temperate systems. Species, such as the buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), are reared commercially to pollinate high-value crops. Their highly specific gut microbiota, characterized by low diversity, may affect nutrition and immunity and are likely to be important for fitness and colony health. However, little is known about how environmental factors affect bacterial community structure. We analysed the gut microbiota from three groups of worker bumblebees (B. terrestris) from distinct colonies that varied in rearing and foraging characteristics: commercially reared with restricted foraging (RR); commercially reared with outside foraging (RF); and wild-caught workers (W). Contrary to previous studies, which indicate that bacterial communities are highly conserved across workers, we found that RF individuals had an intermediate community structure compared with RR and W types. Further, this was shaped by differences in the abundances of common operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and the diversity of rare OTUs present, which we propose results from an increase in the variety of carbohydrates obtained through foraging.

  3. Scavengers on the Move: Behavioural Changes in Foraging Search Patterns during the Annual Cycle

    PubMed Central

    López-López, Pascual; Benavent-Corai, José; García-Ripollés, Clara; Urios, Vicente

    2013-01-01

    Background Optimal foraging theory predicts that animals will tend to maximize foraging success by optimizing search strategies. However, how organisms detect sparsely distributed food resources remains an open question. When targets are sparse and unpredictably distributed, a Lévy strategy should maximize foraging success. By contrast, when resources are abundant and regularly distributed, simple Brownian random movement should be sufficient. Although very different groups of organisms exhibit Lévy motion, the shift from a Lévy to a Brownian search strategy has been suggested to depend on internal and external factors such as sex, prey density, or environmental context. However, animal response at the individual level has received little attention. Methodology/Principal Findings We used GPS satellite-telemetry data of Egyptian vultures Neophron percnopterus to examine movement patterns at the individual level during consecutive years, with particular interest in the variations in foraging search patterns during the different periods of the annual cycle (i.e. breeding vs. non-breeding). Our results show that vultures followed a Brownian search strategy in their wintering sojourn in Africa, whereas they exhibited a more complex foraging search pattern at breeding grounds in Europe, including Lévy motion. Interestingly, our results showed that individuals shifted between search strategies within the same period of the annual cycle in successive years. Conclusions/Significance Results could be primarily explained by the different environmental conditions in which foraging activities occur. However, the high degree of behavioural flexibility exhibited during the breeding period in contrast to the non-breeding period is challenging, suggesting that not only environmental conditions explain individuals' behaviour but also individuals' cognitive abilities (e.g., memory effects) could play an important role. Our results support the growing awareness about the role of

  4. Genomics to feed a switchgrass breeding program

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Development of improved cultivars is one of three pillars, along with sustainable production and efficient conversion, required for dedicated cellulosic bioenergy crops to succeed. Breeding new cultivars is a long, slow process requiring patience, dedication, and motivation to realize gains and adva...

  5. Forage legumes - untrapped resource

    SciTech Connect

    Barnes, R.F.

    1985-02-01

    Legumes are important in nutrition, nitrogen fixation and in reducing dependence on nitrogen fertilizers. At a meeting between scientists from Australia, New Zealand and the United States the role of legumes was assessed and coordinated research programs set up to deal with problems such as disease, soil, climate and selective breeding.

  6. Forage polyphenol oxidase and ruminant livestock nutrition

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Michael R. F.

    2014-01-01

    Polyphenol oxidase (PPO) is predominately associated with the detrimental effect of browning fruit and vegetables, however, interest within PPO containing forage crops (crops to be fed to animals) has grown since the browning reaction was associated with reduced nitrogen (N) losses in silo and the rumen. The reduction in protein breakdown in silo of red clover (high PPO forage) increased the quality of protein, improving N-use efficiency [feed N into product N (e.g., Milk): NUE] when fed to ruminants. A further benefit of red clover silage feeding is a significant reduction in lipolysis (cleaving of glycerol-based lipid) in silo and an increase in the deposition of beneficial C18 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) in animal products, which has also been linked to PPO activity. PPOs protection of plant protein and glycerol based-PUFA in silo is related to the deactivation of plant proteases and lipases. This deactivation occurs through PPO catalyzing the conversion of diphenols to quinones which bind with cellular nucleophiles such as protein reforming a protein-bound phenol (PBP). If the protein is an enzyme (e.g., protease or lipase) the complexing denatures the enzyme. However, PPO is inactive in the anaerobic rumen and therefore any subsequent protection of plant protein and glycerol based-PUFA in the rumen must be as a result of events that occurred to the forage pre-ingestion. Reduced activity of plant proteases and lipases would have little effect on NUE and glycerol based-PUFA in the rumen due to the greater concentration of rumen microbial proteases and lipases. The mechanism for PPOs protection of plant protein in the rumen is a consequence of complexing plant protein, rather than protease deactivation per se. These complexed proteins reduce protein digestibility in the rumen and subsequently increase undegraded dietary protein flow to the small intestine. The mechanism for protecting glycerol-based PUFA has yet to be fully elucidated but may be associated

  7. Does grazing of cover crops impact biologically active soil C and N fractions under inversion and no tillage management?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cover crops are a key component of conservation cropping systems. They can also be a key component of integrated crop-livestock systems by offering high-quality forage during short periods between cash crops. The impact of cattle grazing on biologically active soil C and N fractions has not receiv...

  8. Cover Crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cover crops are great tools to improve soil quality and health, and great tools to increase carbon sequestration. They are nutrient management tools that can help scavenge nitrate, cycle nitrogen to the following crop, mine NO3 from groundwater, and increase nitrogen use efficiency of cropping syste...

  9. From crop domestication to super-domestication.

    PubMed

    Vaughan, D A; Balázs, E; Heslop-Harrison, J S

    2007-11-01

    Research related to crop domestication has been transformed by technologies and discoveries in the genome sciences as well as information-related sciences that are providing new tools for bioinformatics and systems' biology. Rapid progress in archaeobotany and ethnobotany are also contributing new knowledge to understanding crop domestication. This sense of rapid progress is encapsulated in this Special Issue, which contains 18 papers by scientists in botanical, crop sciences and related disciplines on the topic of crop domestication. One paper focuses on current themes in the genetics of crop domestication across crops, whereas other papers have a crop or geographic focus. One feature of progress in the sciences related to crop domestication is the availability of well-characterized germplasm resources in the global network of genetic resources centres (genebanks). Germplasm in genebanks is providing research materials for understanding domestication as well as for plant breeding. In this review, we highlight current genetic themes related to crop domestication. Impressive progress in this field in recent years is transforming plant breeding into crop engineering to meet the human need for increased crop yield with the minimum environmental impact - we consider this to be 'super-domestication'. While the time scale of domestication of 10 000 years or less is a very short evolutionary time span, the details emerging of what has happened and what is happening provide a window to see where domestication might - and can - advance in the future.

  10. Using general and specific combining ability to further advance strawberry (Fragaria sp.) breeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Strawberry is one of the five fruit crops included in the USDA-funded multi-institutionaland trans-disciplinary project, “RosBREED: Enabling Marker-Assisted Breeding in Rosaceae”. A Crop Reference Set (CRS) was developed of 900 genotypes and seedlings from 40 crosses representing the breadth of rele...

  11. Modelling Pasture-based Automatic Milking System Herds: Grazeable Forage Options

    PubMed Central

    Islam, M. R.; Garcia, S. C.; Clark, C. E. F.; Kerrisk, K. L.

    2015-01-01

    One of the challenges to increase milk production in a large pasture-based herd with an automatic milking system (AMS) is to grow forages within a 1-km radius, as increases in walking distance increases milking interval and reduces yield. The main objective of this study was to explore sustainable forage option technologies that can supply high amount of grazeable forages for AMS herds using the Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) model. Three different basic simulation scenarios (with irrigation) were carried out using forage crops (namely maize, soybean and sorghum) for the spring-summer period. Subsequent crops in the three scenarios were forage rape over-sown with ryegrass. Each individual simulation was run using actual climatic records for the period from 1900 to 2010. Simulated highest forage yields in maize, soybean and sorghum- (each followed by forage rape-ryegrass) based rotations were 28.2, 22.9, and 19.3 t dry matter/ha, respectively. The simulations suggested that the irrigation requirement could increase by up to 18%, 16%, and 17% respectively in those rotations in El-Niño years compared to neutral years. On the other hand, irrigation requirement could increase by up to 25%, 23%, and 32% in maize, soybean and sorghum based rotations in El-Nino years compared to La-Nina years. However, irrigation requirement could decrease by up to 8%, 7%, and 13% in maize, soybean and sorghum based rotations in La-Nina years compared to neutral years. The major implication of this study is that APSIM models have potentials in devising preferred forage options to maximise grazeable forage yield which may create the opportunity to grow more forage in small areas around the AMS which in turn will minimise walking distance and milking interval and thus increase milk production. Our analyses also suggest that simulation analysis may provide decision support during climatic uncertainty. PMID:25924963

  12. Advances in molecular breeding of flowering dogwood (Cornus florida L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although the production and sales of ornamental crops represent significant contributions to the global economy, breeding and selection of ornamental plants using molecular markers lags far behind that used for agronomic crops. However, with the recent advances in molecular technologies including r...

  13. Foraging movements of great frigatebirds from Aldabra Island: Relationship with environmental variables and interactions with fisheries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weimerskirch, Henri; Corre, Matthieu Le; Kai, Emilie Tew; Marsac, Francis

    2010-07-01

    Great Frigatebirds ( Fregata minor) are large tropical seabirds that rely primarily on sub-surface predators such as tunas or cetaceans to capture their prey. We studied the foraging movements of 14 Great Frigatebirds breeding on Aldabra Island (9.4°S, 46.4°E), the largest colony in the Indian Ocean. This colony is located at more than 500 km from the main fishing grounds of a very important industrial purse-seine fishery targeting surface-dwelling tunas. Despite their slow flight speeds (16 km h -1), frigatebirds are able to forage at more than 1000 km from the colonies when breeding, using 2500-4750 km long foraging loops over oceanic waters. All trips were directed to the north of the island up to the equator. Foraging bouts, indicated by reduced flight speeds, were rare and located throughout the trips. Foraging spots tended to be more frequent on higher surface chlorophyll concentration and in association with some cyclonic vortices. However, mesoscale activity is relatively weak between Aldabra and the equator and the chlorophyll variability is mostly the result of wind-mixing processes during the southwest monsoon. These results suggest that frigatebirds forage for widely distributed resources to the north of Aldabra. The northernmost foraging bouts were located in the vicinity of the purse-seine fishing grounds, but without a significant overlap between frigatebirds and tuna fleets. The results of the study are compared with those from another population at Europa Island (22.3°S, 40.3°E) where birds were foraging on predictable features, the edge of cyclonic eddies that are marked in the Mozambique Channel. We discuss the consequences of the reliance of populations on contrasted oceanographic conditions on foraging strategies and on the evolution of life histories in these long-lived animals in a changing climate, as well as the possible effects of overfishing on frigatebird populations.

  14. Spatial memory in foraging games.

    PubMed

    Kerster, Bryan E; Rhodes, Theo; Kello, Christopher T

    2016-03-01

    Foraging and foraging-like processes are found in spatial navigation, memory, visual search, and many other search functions in human cognition and behavior. Foraging is commonly theorized using either random or correlated movements based on Lévy walks, or a series of decisions to remain or leave proximal areas known as "patches". Neither class of model makes use of spatial memory, but search performance may be enhanced when information about searched and unsearched locations is encoded. A video game was developed to test the role of human spatial memory in a canonical foraging task. Analyses of search trajectories from over 2000 human players yielded evidence that foraging movements were inherently clustered, and that clustering was facilitated by spatial memory cues and influenced by memory for spatial locations of targets found. A simple foraging model is presented in which spatial memory is used to integrate aspects of Lévy-based and patch-based foraging theories to perform a kind of area-restricted search, and thereby enhance performance as search unfolds. Using only two free parameters, the model accounts for a variety of findings that individually support competing theories, but together they argue for the integration of spatial memory into theories of foraging. PMID:26752603

  15. Foraging competition in larger groups overrides harassment avoidance benefits in female reindeer (Rangifer tarandus).

    PubMed

    Uccheddu, Stefania; Body, Guillaume; Weladji, Robert B; Holand, Øystein; Nieminen, Mauri

    2015-11-01

    Male harassment toward females during the breeding season may have a negative effect on their reproductive success by disturbing their foraging activity, thereby inducing somatic costs. Accordingly, it is predicted that females will choose mates based on their ability to provide protection or will aggregate into large groups to dilute per capita harassment level. Conversely, increasing group size may also lead to a decrease in foraging activity by increasing foraging competition, but this effect has rarely been considered in mating tactic studies. This study examined the importance of two non-exclusive hypotheses in explaining the variations of the female activity budget during the breeding season: the male harassment hypothesis, and the female foraging competition hypothesis. We used focal observations of female activity from known mating groups collected during the breeding season from a long-term (15 years) study on reindeer Rangifer tarandus. We found that females were more disturbed (i.e., spent less time feeding) in the presence of young dominant males, and marginally disturbed in the presence of satellite males, which supports the male harassment hypothesis. We also found that female disturbance level increased with group size, being independent of the adult sex ratio. Consequently, these results rejected the dilution effect, but strongly supported the foraging competition hypothesis. This study therefore highlights a potential conflict in female behaviour. Indeed, any gains from harassment protection were negated by an increase of 6-7 females, since adult males lead larger groups than young males.

  16. Foraging competition in larger groups overrides harassment avoidance benefits in female reindeer (Rangifer tarandus).

    PubMed

    Uccheddu, Stefania; Body, Guillaume; Weladji, Robert B; Holand, Øystein; Nieminen, Mauri

    2015-11-01

    Male harassment toward females during the breeding season may have a negative effect on their reproductive success by disturbing their foraging activity, thereby inducing somatic costs. Accordingly, it is predicted that females will choose mates based on their ability to provide protection or will aggregate into large groups to dilute per capita harassment level. Conversely, increasing group size may also lead to a decrease in foraging activity by increasing foraging competition, but this effect has rarely been considered in mating tactic studies. This study examined the importance of two non-exclusive hypotheses in explaining the variations of the female activity budget during the breeding season: the male harassment hypothesis, and the female foraging competition hypothesis. We used focal observations of female activity from known mating groups collected during the breeding season from a long-term (15 years) study on reindeer Rangifer tarandus. We found that females were more disturbed (i.e., spent less time feeding) in the presence of young dominant males, and marginally disturbed in the presence of satellite males, which supports the male harassment hypothesis. We also found that female disturbance level increased with group size, being independent of the adult sex ratio. Consequently, these results rejected the dilution effect, but strongly supported the foraging competition hypothesis. This study therefore highlights a potential conflict in female behaviour. Indeed, any gains from harassment protection were negated by an increase of 6-7 females, since adult males lead larger groups than young males. PMID:26188521

  17. Legume-Cereal Intercropping Improves Forage Yield, Quality and Degradability.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jie; Yin, Binjie; Xie, Yuhuai; Li, Jing; Yang, Zaibin; Zhang, Guiguo

    2015-01-01

    Intercropping legume with cereal is an extensively applied planting pattern in crop cultivation. However, forage potential and the degradability of harvested mixtures from intercropping system remain unclear. To investigate the feasibility of applying an intercropping system as a forage supply source to ruminants, two consecutive experiments (experiments 1 and 2) involving a field cultivation trial and a subsequent in vivo degradable experiment were conducted to determine the forage production performance and the ruminally degradable characteristics of a harvested mixture from an alfalfa/corn-rye intercropping system. In experiment 1, the intercropping system was established by alternating alfalfa and corn or rye with a row ratio of 5:2. Dry matter (DM) and nutrient yields were determined. In experiment 2, forages harvested from the different treatments were used as feedstuff to identify nutrient degradation kinetics and distribution of components between the rapidly degradable (a), potentially degradable (b) and the degradation rate constant (c) of 'b' fraction by in sacco method in Small-Tail Han wether Sheep. The intercropping system of alfalfa and corn-rye provided higher forage production performance with net increases of 9.52% and 34.81% in DM yield, 42.13% and 16.74% in crude protein (CP) yield, 25.94% and 69.99% in degradable DM yield, and 16.96% and 5.50% in degradable CP yield than rotation and alfalfa sole cropping systems, respectively. In addition, the harvest mixture from intercropping system also had greater 'a' fraction, 'b' fraction, 'c' values, and effective degradability (E value) of DM and CP than corn or rye hay harvested from rotation system. After 48-h exposure to rumen microbes, intercropping harvest materials were degraded to a higher extent than separately degraded crop stems from the sole system as indicated by visual microscopic examination with more tissues disappeared. Thus, the intercropping of alfalfa and corn-rye exhibited a greater

  18. Legume-Cereal Intercropping Improves Forage Yield, Quality and Degradability

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Yuhuai; Li, Jing.; Yang, Zaibin; Zhang, Guiguo

    2015-01-01

    Intercropping legume with cereal is an extensively applied planting pattern in crop cultivation. However, forage potential and the degradability of harvested mixtures from intercropping system remain unclear. To investigate the feasibility of applying an intercropping system as a forage supply source to ruminants, two consecutive experiments (experiments 1 and 2) involving a field cultivation trial and a subsequent in vivo degradable experiment were conducted to determine the forage production performance and the ruminally degradable characteristics of a harvested mixture from an alfalfa/corn-rye intercropping system. In experiment 1, the intercropping system was established by alternating alfalfa and corn or rye with a row ratio of 5:2. Dry matter (DM) and nutrient yields were determined. In experiment 2, forages harvested from the different treatments were used as feedstuff to identify nutrient degradation kinetics and distribution of components between the rapidly degradable (a), potentially degradable (b) and the degradation rate constant (c) of ‘b’ fraction by in sacco method in Small-Tail Han wether Sheep. The intercropping system of alfalfa and corn-rye provided higher forage production performance with net increases of 9.52% and 34.81% in DM yield, 42.13% and 16.74% in crude protein (CP) yield, 25.94% and 69.99% in degradable DM yield, and 16.96% and 5.50% in degradable CP yield than rotation and alfalfa sole cropping systems, respectively. In addition, the harvest mixture from intercropping system also had greater ‘a’ fraction, ‘b’ fraction, ‘c’ values, and effective degradability (E value) of DM and CP than corn or rye hay harvested from rotation system. After 48-h exposure to rumen microbes, intercropping harvest materials were degraded to a higher extent than separately degraded crop stems from the sole system as indicated by visual microscopic examination with more tissues disappeared. Thus, the intercropping of alfalfa and corn

  19. Legume-Cereal Intercropping Improves Forage Yield, Quality and Degradability.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jie; Yin, Binjie; Xie, Yuhuai; Li, Jing; Yang, Zaibin; Zhang, Guiguo

    2015-01-01

    Intercropping legume with cereal is an extensively applied planting pattern in crop cultivation. However, forage potential and the degradability of harvested mixtures from intercropping system remain unclear. To investigate the feasibility of applying an intercropping system as a forage supply source to ruminants, two consecutive experiments (experiments 1 and 2) involving a field cultivation trial and a subsequent in vivo degradable experiment were conducted to determine the forage production performance and the ruminally degradable characteristics of a harvested mixture from an alfalfa/corn-rye intercropping system. In experiment 1, the intercropping system was established by alternating alfalfa and corn or rye with a row ratio of 5:2. Dry matter (DM) and nutrient yields were determined. In experiment 2, forages harvested from the different treatments were used as feedstuff to identify nutrient degradation kinetics and distribution of components between the rapidly degradable (a), potentially degradable (b) and the degradation rate constant (c) of 'b' fraction by in sacco method in Small-Tail Han wether Sheep. The intercropping system of alfalfa and corn-rye provided higher forage production performance with net increases of 9.52% and 34.81% in DM yield, 42.13% and 16.74% in crude protein (CP) yield, 25.94% and 69.99% in degradable DM yield, and 16.96% and 5.50% in degradable CP yield than rotation and alfalfa sole cropping systems, respectively. In addition, the harvest mixture from intercropping system also had greater 'a' fraction, 'b' fraction, 'c' values, and effective degradability (E value) of DM and CP than corn or rye hay harvested from rotation system. After 48-h exposure to rumen microbes, intercropping harvest materials were degraded to a higher extent than separately degraded crop stems from the sole system as indicated by visual microscopic examination with more tissues disappeared. Thus, the intercropping of alfalfa and corn-rye exhibited a greater

  20. Diversity in Plant Breeding: A New Conceptual Framework.

    PubMed

    Litrico, Isabelle; Violle, Cyrille

    2015-10-01

    Faced with an accelerating rate of environmental change and the associated need for a more sustainable, low-input agriculture, the urgent new challenge for crop science is to find ways to introduce greater diversity to cropping systems. However, there is a dearth of generic formalism in programs seeking to diversify crops. In this opinion, we propose a new framework, derived from ecological theory, that should enable diversity targets to be incorporated into plant-breeding programs. While ecological theory provides criteria for maintaining diversity and optimizing the production of mixtures, such criteria are rarely fully realized in natural ecosystems. Conversely, crop breeding should optimize both agronomic value and the ability of plants to perform and live alongside one another. This framework represents an opportunity to develop more sustainable crops and also a radical new way to apply ecological theory to cropping systems. PMID:26440430

  1. Evaluating potential dryland cropping systems adapted to climate change in the Central Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Climate in the semi-arid Central Great Plains is expected to become warmer and drier in coming decades, with potentially greater variability in precipitation and temperature. Cropping systems that include forages and allow flexibility for determining if a crop should be planted and which crop to pla...

  2. The scientific grand challenges of the 21st century for the Crop Science Society of America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crop science is a highly integrative science field employing expertise from multiple disciplines to broaden our understanding of agronomic, turf, and forage crops. A major goal of crop science is to ensure an adequate and sustainable production of food, feed, fuel, and fiber for our world’s growing ...

  3. 78 FR 38483 - Area Risk Protection Insurance Regulations and Area Risk Protection Insurance Crop Provisions

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-06-26

    .... See the Notice related to 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V, published at 48 FR 29115, June 24, 1983... the Federal Register at 76 FR 44200-44224. The public was afforded 60 days to submit comments after..., ARPI Corn Crop Insurance Provisions, ARPI Cotton Crop Insurance Provisions, ARPI Forage Crop...

  4. Cisgenesis strongly improves introgression breeding and induced translocation breeding of plants.

    PubMed

    Jacobsen, Evert; Schouten, Henk J

    2007-05-01

    There are two ways for genetic improvement in classical plant breeding: crossing and mutation. Plant varieties can also be improved through genetic modification; however, the present GMO regulations are based on risk assessments with the transgenes coming from non-crossable species. Nowadays, DNA sequence information of crop plants facilitates the isolation of cisgenes, which are genes from crop plants themselves or from crossable species. The increasing number of these isolated genes, and the development of transformation protocols that do not leave marker genes behind, provide an opportunity to improve plant breeding while remaining within the gene pool of the classical breeder. Compared with induced translocation and introgression breeding, cisgenesis is an improvement for gene transfer from crossable plants: it is a one-step gene transfer without linkage drag of other genes, whereas induced translocation and introgression breeding are multiple step gene transfer methods with linkage drag. The similarity of the genes used in cisgenesis compared with classical breeding is a compelling argument to treat cisgenic plants as classically bred plants. In the case of the classical breeding method induced translocation breeding, the insertion site of the genes is a priori unknown, as it is in cisgenesis. This provides another argument to treat cisgenic plants as classically bred plants, by exempting cisgenesis of plants from the GMO legislations.

  5. Relative Importance of Social Status and Physiological Need in Determining Leadership in a Social Forager

    PubMed Central

    Öst, Markus; Jaatinen, Kim

    2013-01-01

    Group decisions on the timing of mutually exclusive activities pose a dilemma: monopolized decision-making by a single leader compromises the optimal timing of activities by the others, while independent decision-making by all group members undermines group coherence. Theory suggests that initiation of foraging should be determined by physiological demand in social foragers, thereby resolving the dilemma of group coordination. However, empirical support is scant, perhaps because intrinsic qualities predisposing individuals to leadership (social status, experience or personality), or their interactions with satiation level, have seldom been simultaneously considered. Here, we examine which females initiated foraging in eider (Somateria mollissima) brood-rearing coalitions, characterized by female dominance hierarchies and potentially large individual differences in energy requirements due to strenuous breeding effort. Several physiological and social factors, except for female breeding experience and boldness towards predators, explained foraging initiation. Initiators spent a larger proportion of time submerged during foraging bouts, had poorer body condition and smaller structural size, but they were also aggressive and occupied central positions. Initiation probability also declined with female group size as expected given random assignment of initiators. However, the relative importance of physiological predictors of leadership propensity (active foraging time, body condition, structural size) exceeded those of social predictors (aggressiveness, spatial position) by an order of magnitude. These results confirm recent theoretical work suggesting that ‘leading according to need’ is an evolutionary viable strategy regardless of group heterogeneity or underlying dominance structure. PMID:23691258

  6. Relative importance of social status and physiological need in determining leadership in a social forager.

    PubMed

    Öst, Markus; Jaatinen, Kim

    2013-01-01

    Group decisions on the timing of mutually exclusive activities pose a dilemma: monopolized decision-making by a single leader compromises the optimal timing of activities by the others, while independent decision-making by all group members undermines group coherence. Theory suggests that initiation of foraging should be determined by physiological demand in social foragers, thereby resolving the dilemma of group coordination. However, empirical support is scant, perhaps because intrinsic qualities predisposing individuals to leadership (social status, experience or personality), or their interactions with satiation level, have seldom been simultaneously considered. Here, we examine which females initiated foraging in eider (Somateria mollissima) brood-rearing coalitions, characterized by female dominance hierarchies and potentially large individual differences in energy requirements due to strenuous breeding effort. Several physiological and social factors, except for female breeding experience and boldness towards predators, explained foraging initiation. Initiators spent a larger proportion of time submerged during foraging bouts, had poorer body condition and smaller structural size, but they were also aggressive and occupied central positions. Initiation probability also declined with female group size as expected given random assignment of initiators. However, the relative importance of physiological predictors of leadership propensity (active foraging time, body condition, structural size) exceeded those of social predictors (aggressiveness, spatial position) by an order of magnitude. These results confirm recent theoretical work suggesting that 'leading according to need' is an evolutionary viable strategy regardless of group heterogeneity or underlying dominance structure. PMID:23691258

  7. Relative importance of social status and physiological need in determining leadership in a social forager.

    PubMed

    Öst, Markus; Jaatinen, Kim

    2013-01-01

    Group decisions on the timing of mutually exclusive activities pose a dilemma: monopolized decision-making by a single leader compromises the optimal timing of activities by the others, while independent decision-making by all group members undermines group coherence. Theory suggests that initiation of foraging should be determined by physiological demand in social foragers, thereby resolving the dilemma of group coordination. However, empirical support is scant, perhaps because intrinsic qualities predisposing individuals to leadership (social status, experience or personality), or their interactions with satiation level, have seldom been simultaneously considered. Here, we examine which females initiated foraging in eider (Somateria mollissima) brood-rearing coalitions, characterized by female dominance hierarchies and potentially large individual differences in energy requirements due to strenuous breeding effort. Several physiological and social factors, except for female breeding experience and boldness towards predators, explained foraging initiation. Initiators spent a larger proportion of time submerged during foraging bouts, had poorer body condition and smaller structural size, but they were also aggressive and occupied central positions. Initiation probability also declined with female group size as expected given random assignment of initiators. However, the relative importance of physiological predictors of leadership propensity (active foraging time, body condition, structural size) exceeded those of social predictors (aggressiveness, spatial position) by an order of magnitude. These results confirm recent theoretical work suggesting that 'leading according to need' is an evolutionary viable strategy regardless of group heterogeneity or underlying dominance structure.

  8. Parameterization and application of the AquaCrop model for simulating bioenergy crops in Oklahoma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bilga, Navneet Kaur

    The objective of this study was to parameterize the AquaCrop model for two bioenergy crops, switchgrass and forage sorghum, using field measurements from Stillwater, Oklahoma in 2011. The parameterized model was then validated for additional sites at Chickasha and Woodward, Oklahoma. After parameterization at Stillwater, the simulated canopy cover closely matched the measured canopy cover dynamics with a RMSE of 6% in switchgrass and 5% in forage sorghum. The water stress thresholds for canopy expansion and stomatal conductance were similar for switchgrass and forage sorghum, but senescence was induced at 35% available water depletion for forage sorghum compared to 85% for switchgrass. The maximum rooting depth of switchgrass was estimated at 190 cm and that of forage sorghum at 120 cm. The normalized water productivity of switchgrass was found to be 14 g m-2, approximately half that of forage sorghum which was 27 g m-2. The parameterized model reasonably simulated soil water depletion at Stillwater (RMSE < 34 mm) and canopy cover at Chickasha and Woodward (RMSE < 11%) for both crops. This calibrated model was then used to predict ethanol yields as a simulation study at Goodwell, Oklahoma. The corn, forage sorghum and switchgrass were simulated using AquaCrop five water levels: rainfed with initial soil moisture conditions of 60% available water capacity, 80% available water capacity, 100% available water capacity, and irrigation treatments at 70% allowable depletion, and at 50% allowable depletion. The simulation study was done over a period of ten years 2002-2011 to assess the long term performance. County average yields were consistent with simulated grain yields for corn under irrigated and rainfed conditions. Forage sorghum produced 30 % higher theoretical ethanol yields than corn under irrigated environments but not under rainfed environments. Switchgrass did not produce significantly higher theoretical ethanol yields than corn at any water level. Based on

  9. Biotechnology Towards Energy Crops.

    PubMed

    Margaritopoulou, Theoni; Roka, Loukia; Alexopoulou, Efi; Christou, Myrsini; Rigas, Stamatis; Haralampidis, Kosmas; Milioni, Dimitra

    2016-03-01

    New crops are gradually establishing along with cultivation systems to reduce reliance on depleting fossil fuel reserves and sustain better adaptation to climate change. These biological assets could be efficiently exploited as bioenergy feedstocks. Bioenergy crops are versatile renewable sources with the potential to alternatively contribute on a daily basis towards the coverage of modern society's energy demands. Biotechnology may facilitate the breeding of elite energy crop genotypes, better suited for bio-processing and subsequent use that will improve efficiency, further reduce costs, and enhance the environmental benefits of biofuels. Innovative molecular techniques may improve a broad range of important features including biomass yield, product quality and resistance to biotic factors like pests or microbial diseases or environmental cues such as drought, salinity, freezing injury or heat shock. The current review intends to assess the capacity of biotechnological applications to develop a beneficial bioenergy pipeline extending from feedstock development to sustainable biofuel production and provide examples of the current state of the art on future energy crops. PMID:26798073

  10. Effects of habitat composition and landscape structure on worker foraging distances of five bumble bee species.

    PubMed

    Redhead, John W; Dreier, Stephanie; Bourke, Andrew F G; Heard, Matthew S; Jordan, William C; Sumner, Seirian; Wang, Jinliang; Carvell, Claire

    2016-04-01

    Bumble bees (Bombus spp.) are important pollinators of both crops and wildflowers. Their contribution to this essential ecosystem service has been threatened over recent decades by changes in land use, which have led to declines in their populations. In order to design effective conservation measures, it is important to understand the effects of variation in landscape composition and structure on the foraging activities of worker bumble bees. This is because the viability of individual colonies is likely to be affected by the trade-off between the energetic costs of foraging over greater distances and the potential gains from access to additional resources. We used field surveys, molecular genetics, and fine resolution remote sensing to estimate the locations of wild bumble bee nests and to infer foraging distances across a 20-km² agricultural landscape in southern England, UK. We investigated five species, including the rare B. ruderatus and ecologically similar but widespread B. hortorum. We compared worker foraging distances between species and examined how variation in landscape composition and structure affected foraging distances at the colony level. Mean worker foraging distances differed significantly between species. Bombus terrestris, B. lapidarius, and B. ruderatus exhibited significantly greater mean foraging distances (551, 536, and 501 m, respectively) than B. hortorum and B. pascuorum (336 and 272 m, respectively). There was wide variation in worker foraging distances between colonies of the same species, which was in turn strongly influenced by the amount and spatial configuration of available foraging habitats. Shorter foraging distances were found for colonies where the local landscape had high coverage and low fragmentation of semi-natural vegetation, including managed agri-environmental field margins. The strength of relationships between different landscape variables and foraging distance varied between species, for example the strongest

  11. Effects of habitat composition and landscape structure on worker foraging distances of five bumble bee species.

    PubMed

    Redhead, John W; Dreier, Stephanie; Bourke, Andrew F G; Heard, Matthew S; Jordan, William C; Sumner, Seirian; Wang, Jinliang; Carvell, Claire

    2016-04-01

    Bumble bees (Bombus spp.) are important pollinators of both crops and wildflowers. Their contribution to this essential ecosystem service has been threatened over recent decades by changes in land use, which have led to declines in their populations. In order to design effective conservation measures, it is important to understand the effects of variation in landscape composition and structure on the foraging activities of worker bumble bees. This is because the viability of individual colonies is likely to be affected by the trade-off between the energetic costs of foraging over greater distances and the potential gains from access to additional resources. We used field surveys, molecular genetics, and fine resolution remote sensing to estimate the locations of wild bumble bee nests and to infer foraging distances across a 20-km² agricultural landscape in southern England, UK. We investigated five species, including the rare B. ruderatus and ecologically similar but widespread B. hortorum. We compared worker foraging distances between species and examined how variation in landscape composition and structure affected foraging distances at the colony level. Mean worker foraging distances differed significantly between species. Bombus terrestris, B. lapidarius, and B. ruderatus exhibited significantly greater mean foraging distances (551, 536, and 501 m, respectively) than B. hortorum and B. pascuorum (336 and 272 m, respectively). There was wide variation in worker foraging distances between colonies of the same species, which was in turn strongly influenced by the amount and spatial configuration of available foraging habitats. Shorter foraging distances were found for colonies where the local landscape had high coverage and low fragmentation of semi-natural vegetation, including managed agri-environmental field margins. The strength of relationships between different landscape variables and foraging distance varied between species, for example the strongest

  12. Root Nutrient Foraging1

    PubMed Central

    Giehl, Ricardo F.H.; von Wirén, Nicolaus

    2014-01-01

    During a plant's lifecycle, the availability of nutrients in the soil is mostly heterogeneous in space and time. Plants are able to adapt to nutrient shortage or localized nutrient availability by altering their root system architecture to efficiently explore soil zones containing the limited nutrient. It has been shown that the deficiency of different nutrients induces root architectural and morphological changes that are, at least to some extent, nutrient specific. Here, we highlight what is known about the importance of individual root system components for nutrient acquisition and how developmental and physiological responses can be coupled to increase nutrient foraging by roots. In addition, we review prominent molecular mechanisms involved in altering the root system in response to local nutrient availability or to the plant's nutritional status. PMID:25082891

  13. Estimation of the Genetic Diversity in Tetraploid Alfalfa Populations Based on RAPD Markers for Breeding Purposes

    PubMed Central

    Nagl, Nevena; Taski-Ajdukovic, Ksenija; Barac, Goran; Baburski, Aleksandar; Seccareccia, Ivana; Milic, Dragan; Katic, Slobodan

    2011-01-01

    Alfalfa is an autotetraploid, allogamous and heterozygous forage legume, whose varieties are synthetic populations. Due to the complex nature of the species, information about genetic diversity of germplasm used in any alfalfa breeding program is most beneficial. The genetic diversity of five alfalfa varieties, involved in progeny tests at Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, was characterized based on RAPD markers. A total of 60 primers were screened, out of which 17 were selected for the analysis of genetic diversity. A total of 156 polymorphic bands were generated, with 10.6 bands per primer. Number and percentage of polymorphic loci, effective number of alleles, expected heterozygosity and Shannon’s information index were used to estimate genetic variation. Variety Zuzana had the highest values for all tested parameters, exhibiting the highest level of variation, whereas variety RSI 20 exhibited the lowest. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) showed that 88.39% of the total genetic variation was attributed to intra-varietal variance. The cluster analysis for individual samples and varieties revealed differences in their population structures: variety Zuzana showed a very high level of genetic variation, Banat and Ghareh were divided in subpopulations, while Pecy and RSI 20 were relatively uniform. Ways of exploiting the investigated germplasm in the breeding programs are suggested in this paper, depending on their population structure and diversity. The RAPD analysis shows potential to be applied in analysis of parental populations in semi-hybrid alfalfa breeding program in both, development of new homogenous germplasm, and identification of promising, complementary germplasm. PMID:21954370

  14. Using Ancient Traits to Convert Soil Health into Crop Yield: Impact of Selection on Maize Root and Rhizosphere Function

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Jennifer E.; Bowles, Timothy M.; Gaudin, Amélie C. M.

    2016-01-01

    The effect of domestication and modern breeding on aboveground traits in maize (Zea mays) has been well-characterized, but the impact on root systems and the rhizosphere remain unclear. The transition from wild ecosystems to modern agriculture has focused on selecting traits that yielded the largest aboveground production with increasing levels of crop management and nutrient inputs. Root morphology, anatomy, and ecophysiological processes may have been affected by the substantial environmental and genetic shifts associated with this transition. As a result, root and rhizosphere traits that allow more efficient foraging and uptake in lower synthetic input environments might have been lost. The development of modern maize has led to a shift in microbiome community composition, but questions remain as to the dynamics and drivers of this change during maize evolution and its implications for resource acquisition and agroecosystem functioning under different management practices. Better understanding of how domestication and breeding affected root and rhizosphere microbial traits could inform breeding strategies, facilitate the sourcing of favorable alleles, and open new frontiers to improve resource use efficiency through greater integration of root development and ecophysiology with agroecosystem functioning. PMID:27066028

  15. Using Ancient Traits to Convert Soil Health into Crop Yield: Impact of Selection on Maize Root and Rhizosphere Function.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Jennifer E; Bowles, Timothy M; Gaudin, Amélie C M

    2016-01-01

    The effect of domestication and modern breeding on aboveground traits in maize (Zea mays) has been well-characterized, but the impact on root systems and the rhizosphere remain unclear. The transition from wild ecosystems to modern agriculture has focused on selecting traits that yielded the largest aboveground production with increasing levels of crop management and nutrient inputs. Root morphology, anatomy, and ecophysiological processes may have been affected by the substantial environmental and genetic shifts associated with this transition. As a result, root and rhizosphere traits that allow more efficient foraging and uptake in lower synthetic input environments might have been lost. The development of modern maize has led to a shift in microbiome community composition, but questions remain as to the dynamics and drivers of this change during maize evolution and its implications for resource acquisition and agroecosystem functioning under different management practices. Better understanding of how domestication and breeding affected root and rhizosphere microbial traits could inform breeding strategies, facilitate the sourcing of favorable alleles, and open new frontiers to improve resource use efficiency through greater integration of root development and ecophysiology with agroecosystem functioning.

  16. Using Ancient Traits to Convert Soil Health into Crop Yield: Impact of Selection on Maize Root and Rhizosphere Function.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Jennifer E; Bowles, Timothy M; Gaudin, Amélie C M

    2016-01-01

    The effect of domestication and modern breeding on aboveground traits in maize (Zea mays) has been well-characterized, but the impact on root systems and the rhizosphere remain unclear. The transition from wild ecosystems to modern agriculture has focused on selecting traits that yielded the largest aboveground production with increasing levels of crop management and nutrient inputs. Root morphology, anatomy, and ecophysiological processes may have been affected by the substantial environmental and genetic shifts associated with this transition. As a result, root and rhizosphere traits that allow more efficient foraging and uptake in lower synthetic input environments might have been lost. The development of modern maize has led to a shift in microbiome community composition, but questions remain as to the dynamics and drivers of this change during maize evolution and its implications for resource acquisition and agroecosystem functioning under different management practices. Better understanding of how domestication and breeding affected root and rhizosphere microbial traits could inform breeding strategies, facilitate the sourcing of favorable alleles, and open new frontiers to improve resource use efficiency through greater integration of root development and ecophysiology with agroecosystem functioning. PMID:27066028

  17. At-Sea Associations in Foraging Little Penguins

    PubMed Central

    Berlincourt, Maud; Arnould, John P. Y.

    2014-01-01

    Prey distribution, patch size, and the presence of conspecifics are important factors influencing a predator’s feeding tactics, including the decision to feed individually or socially. Little is known about group behaviour in seabirds as they spend most of their lives in the marine environment where it is difficult to observe their foraging activities. In this study, we report on at-sea foraging associations of little penguins (Eudyptula minor) during the breeding season. Individuals could be categorised as (1) not associating; (2) associating when departing from and/or returning to the colony; or (3) at sea when travelling, diving or performing synchronised dives. Out of 84 separate foraging tracks, 58 (69.0%) involved associations with conspecifics. Furthermore, in a total of 39 (46.4%), individuals were found to dive during association and in 32 (38.1%), individuals were found to exhibit synchronous diving. These behaviours suggest little penguins forage in groups, could synchronise their underwater movements and potentially cooperate to concentrate their small schooling prey. PMID:25119718

  18. At-sea associations in foraging little penguins.

    PubMed

    Berlincourt, Maud; Arnould, John P Y

    2014-01-01

    Prey distribution, patch size, and the presence of conspecifics are important factors influencing a predator's feeding tactics, including the decision to feed individually or socially. Little is known about group behaviour in seabirds as they spend most of their lives in the marine environment where it is difficult to observe their foraging activities. In this study, we report on at-sea foraging associations of little penguins (Eudyptula minor) during the breeding season. Individuals could be categorised as (1) not associating; (2) associating when departing from and/or returning to the colony; or (3) at sea when travelling, diving or performing synchronised dives. Out of 84 separate foraging tracks, 58 (69.0%) involved associations with conspecifics. Furthermore, in a total of 39 (46.4%), individuals were found to dive during association and in 32 (38.1%), individuals were found to exhibit synchronous diving. These behaviours suggest little penguins forage in groups, could synchronise their underwater movements and potentially cooperate to concentrate their small schooling prey.

  19. Adélie Penguin Foraging Location Predicted by Tidal Regime Switching

    PubMed Central

    Oliver, Matthew J.; Irwin, Andrew; Moline, Mark A.; Fraser, William; Patterson, Donna; Schofield, Oscar; Kohut, Josh

    2013-01-01

    Penguin foraging and breeding success depend on broad-scale environmental and local-scale hydrographic features of their habitat. We investigated the effect of local tidal currents on a population of Adélie penguins on Humble Is., Antarctica. We used satellite-tagged penguins, an autonomous underwater vehicle, and historical tidal records to model of penguin foraging locations over ten seasons. The bearing of tidal currents did not oscillate daily, but rather between diurnal and semidiurnal tidal regimes. Adélie penguins foraging locations changed in response to tidal regime switching, and not to daily tidal patterns. The hydrography and foraging patterns of Adélie penguins during these switching tidal regimes suggest that they are responding to changing prey availability, as they are concentrated and dispersed in nearby Palmer Deep by variable tidal forcing on weekly timescales, providing a link between local currents and the ecology of this predator. PMID:23383091

  20. Adélie penguin foraging location predicted by tidal regime switching.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Matthew J; Irwin, Andrew; Moline, Mark A; Fraser, William; Patterson, Donna; Schofield, Oscar; Kohut, Josh

    2013-01-01

    Penguin foraging and breeding success depend on broad-scale environmental and local-scale hydrographic features of their habitat. We investigated the effect of local tidal currents on a population of Adélie penguins on Humble Is., Antarctica. We used satellite-tagged penguins, an autonomous underwater vehicle, and historical tidal records to model of penguin foraging locations over ten seasons. The bearing of tidal currents did not oscillate daily, but rather between diurnal and semidiurnal tidal regimes. Adélie penguins foraging locations changed in response to tidal regime switching, and not to daily tidal patterns. The hydrography and foraging patterns of Adélie penguins during these switching tidal regimes suggest that they are responding to changing prey availability, as they are concentrated and dispersed in nearby Palmer Deep by variable tidal forcing on weekly timescales, providing a link between local currents and the ecology of this predator. PMID:23383091

  1. Adélie penguin foraging location predicted by tidal regime switching.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Matthew J; Irwin, Andrew; Moline, Mark A; Fraser, William; Patterson, Donna; Schofield, Oscar; Kohut, Josh

    2013-01-01

    Penguin foraging and breeding success depend on broad-scale environmental and local-scale hydrographic features of their habitat. We investigated the effect of local tidal currents on a population of Adélie penguins on Humble Is., Antarctica. We used satellite-tagged penguins, an autonomous underwater vehicle, and historical tidal records to model of penguin foraging locations over ten seasons. The bearing of tidal currents did not oscillate daily, but rather between diurnal and semidiurnal tidal regimes. Adélie penguins foraging locations changed in response to tidal regime switching, and not to daily tidal patterns. The hydrography and foraging patterns of Adélie penguins during these switching tidal regimes suggest that they are responding to changing prey availability, as they are concentrated and dispersed in nearby Palmer Deep by variable tidal forcing on weekly timescales, providing a link between local currents and the ecology of this predator.

  2. Determination of Phytoestrogen Content in Fresh-Cut Legume Forage

    PubMed Central

    Hloucalová, Pavlína; Skládanka, Jiří; Horký, Pavel; Klejdus, Bořivoj; Pelikán, Jan; Knotová, Daniela

    2016-01-01

    Simple Summary Phytoestrogens comprise a group of substances negatively influencing the development and function of animal reproductive organs. Their appearance in forage crops can reduce feeding values, cause dietary disorders, and lead to animal health damage. This study evaluated the occurrence of individual phytoestrogens in various species of annual and perennial legumes and their levels in dry forage. It appeared that feeding large amounts of red clover presents a potential risk, but red clover can be replaced with the annual Persian clover, in which markedly lower phytoestrogen levels were detected. Abstract The aim of the study was to determine phytoestrogen content in fresh-cut legume forage. This issue has been much discussed in recent years in connection with the health and safety of feedstuffs and thus livestock health. The experiments were carried out on two experimental plots at Troubsko and Vatín, Czech Republic during June and July in 2015. Samples were collected of the four forage legume species perennial red clover (variety “Amos”), alfalfa (variety “Holyně”), and annuals Persian clover and Alexandrian clover. Forage was sampled twice at regular three to four day intervals leading up to harvest and a third time on the day of harvest. Fresh and wilted material was analyzed using liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Higher levels (p < 0.05) of isoflavones biochanin A (3.697 mg·g−1 of dry weight) and formononetin (4.315 mg·g−1 of dry weight) were found in red clover than in other species. The highest isoflavone content was detected in red clover, reaching 1.001% of dry matter (p < 0.05), representing a risk for occurrence of reproduction problems and inhibited secretion of animal estrogen. The phytoestrogen content was particularly increased in wilted forage. Significant isoflavone reduction was observed over three to four day intervals leading up to harvest. PMID:27429009

  3. Implementation of Genomic Prediction in Lolium perenne (L.) Breeding Populations

    PubMed Central

    Grinberg, Nastasiya F.; Lovatt, Alan; Hegarty, Matt; Lovatt, Andi; Skøt, Kirsten P.; Kelly, Rhys; Blackmore, Tina; Thorogood, Danny; King, Ross D.; Armstead, Ian; Powell, Wayne; Skøt, Leif

    2016-01-01

    Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) is one of the most widely grown forage grasses in temperate agriculture. In order to maintain and increase its usage as forage in livestock agriculture, there is a continued need for improvement in biomass yield, quality, disease resistance, and seed yield. Genetic gain for traits such as biomass yield has been relatively modest. This has been attributed to its long breeding cycle, and the necessity to use population based breeding methods. Thanks to recent advances in genotyping techniques there is increasing interest in genomic selection from which genomically estimated breeding values are derived. In this paper we compare the classical RRBLUP model with state-of-the-art machine learning techniques that should yield themselves easily to use in GS and demonstrate their application to predicting quantitative traits in a breeding population of L. perenne. Prediction accuracies varied from 0 to 0.59 depending on trait, prediction model and composition of the training population. The BLUP model produced the highest prediction accuracies for most traits and training populations. Forage quality traits had the highest accuracies compared to yield related traits. There appeared to be no clear pattern to the effect of the training population composition on the prediction accuracies. The heritability of the forage quality traits was generally higher than for the yield related traits, and could partly explain the difference in accuracy. Some population structure was evident in the breeding populations, and probably contributed to the varying effects of training population on the predictions. The average linkage disequilibrium between adjacent markers ranged from 0.121 to 0.215. Higher marker density and larger training population closely related with the test population are likely to improve the prediction accuracy. PMID:26904088

  4. Root foraging influences plant growth responses to earthworm foraging.

    PubMed

    Cameron, Erin K; Cahill, James F; Bayne, Erin M

    2014-01-01

    Interactions among the foraging behaviours of co-occurring animal species can impact population and community dynamics; the consequences of interactions between plant and animal foraging behaviours have received less attention. In North American forests, invasions by European earthworms have led to substantial changes in plant community composition. Changes in leaf litter have been identified as a critical indirect mechanism driving earthworm impacts on plants. However, there has been limited examination of the direct effects of earthworm burrowing on plant growth. Here we show a novel second pathway exists, whereby earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris L.) impact plant root foraging. In a mini-rhizotron experiment, roots occurred more frequently in burrows and soil cracks than in the soil matrix. The roots of Achillea millefolium L. preferentially occupied earthworm burrows, where nutrient availability was presumably higher than in cracks due to earthworm excreta. In contrast, the roots of Campanula rotundifolia L. were less likely to occur in burrows. This shift in root behaviour was associated with a 30% decline in the overall biomass of C. rotundifolia when earthworms were present. Our results indicate earthworm impacts on plant foraging can occur indirectly via physical and chemical changes to the soil and directly via root consumption or abrasion and thus may be one factor influencing plant growth and community change following earthworm invasion. More generally, this work demonstrates the potential for interactions to occur between the foraging behaviours of plants and soil animals and emphasizes the importance of integrating behavioural understanding in foraging studies involving plants.

  5. Root foraging influences plant growth responses to earthworm foraging.

    PubMed

    Cameron, Erin K; Cahill, James F; Bayne, Erin M

    2014-01-01

    Interactions among the foraging behaviours of co-occurring animal species can impact population and community dynamics; the consequences of interactions between plant and animal foraging behaviours have received less attention. In North American forests, invasions by European earthworms have led to substantial changes in plant community composition. Changes in leaf litter have been identified as a critical indirect mechanism driving earthworm impacts on plants. However, there has been limited examination of the direct effects of earthworm burrowing on plant growth. Here we show a novel second pathway exists, whereby earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris L.) impact plant root foraging. In a mini-rhizotron experiment, roots occurred more frequently in burrows and soil cracks than in the soil matrix. The roots of Achillea millefolium L. preferentially occupied earthworm burrows, where nutrient availability was presumably higher than in cracks due to earthworm excreta. In contrast, the roots of Campanula rotundifolia L. were less likely to occur in burrows. This shift in root behaviour was associated with a 30% decline in the overall biomass of C. rotundifolia when earthworms were present. Our results indicate earthworm impacts on plant foraging can occur indirectly via physical and chemical changes to the soil and directly via root consumption or abrasion and thus may be one factor influencing plant growth and community change following earthworm invasion. More generally, this work demonstrates the potential for interactions to occur between the foraging behaviours of plants and soil animals and emphasizes the importance of integrating behavioural understanding in foraging studies involving plants. PMID:25268503

  6. Root Foraging Influences Plant Growth Responses to Earthworm Foraging

    PubMed Central

    Cameron, Erin K.; Cahill, James F.; Bayne, Erin M.

    2014-01-01

    Interactions among the foraging behaviours of co-occurring animal species can impact population and community dynamics; the consequences of interactions between plant and animal foraging behaviours have received less attention. In North American forests, invasions by European earthworms have led to substantial changes in plant community composition. Changes in leaf litter have been identified as a critical indirect mechanism driving earthworm impacts on plants. However, there has been limited examination of the direct effects of earthworm burrowing on plant growth. Here we show a novel second pathway exists, whereby earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris L.) impact plant root foraging. In a mini-rhizotron experiment, roots occurred more frequently in burrows and soil cracks than in the soil matrix. The roots of Achillea millefolium L. preferentially occupied earthworm burrows, where nutrient availability was presumably higher than in cracks due to earthworm excreta. In contrast, the roots of Campanula rotundifolia L. were less likely to occur in burrows. This shift in root behaviour was associated with a 30% decline in the overall biomass of C. rotundifolia when earthworms were present. Our results indicate earthworm impacts on plant foraging can occur indirectly via physical and chemical changes to the soil and directly via root consumption or abrasion and thus may be one factor influencing plant growth and community change following earthworm invasion. More generally, this work demonstrates the potential for interactions to occur between the foraging behaviours of plants and soil animals and emphasizes the importance of integrating behavioural understanding in foraging studies involving plants. PMID:25268503

  7. 7 CFR 457.117 - Forage production crop insurance provisions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... of priority is as follows: (1) The Catastrophic Risk Protection Endorsement, if applicable; (2) the... directly to consumers without the intervention of an intermediary such as a wholesaler, shipper, buyer, or broker. An example of direct marketing is selling directly to other producers. Fall planted. A...

  8. 7 CFR 457.117 - Forage production crop insurance provisions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... of priority is as follows: (1) The Catastrophic Risk Protection Endorsement, if applicable; (2) the... directly to consumers without the intervention of an intermediary such as a wholesaler, shipper, buyer, or broker. An example of direct marketing is selling directly to other producers. Fall planted. A...

  9. Leucaena: promising forage and tree crop for the tropics

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-01-01

    A report mainly on L. leucocephala with similar chapters to those found in the first edition, and additional chapters on: experiences with Leucaena - illustrating the growth and use of L. leucocephala throughout the tropics and subtropics; and other Leucaena species - giving very brief descriptions of L. diversifolia, L. esulenta, L. macrophylla, L. pulverulenta, L. shannoni, L. retusa, L. lanceolata, L. collinsii and L. trichodes. 34 references.

  10. 7 CFR 457.151 - Forage seeding crop insurance provisions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ..., New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, South Dakota counties for which the Special Provisions... initially spread onto the soil surface by any method and subsequently is mechanically incorporated into the soil in a timely manner and at the proper depth will be considered planted, unless otherwise...

  11. 7 CFR 457.151 - Forage seeding crop insurance provisions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ..., New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, South Dakota counties for which the Special Provisions... initially spread onto the soil surface by any method and subsequently is mechanically incorporated into the soil in a timely manner and at the proper depth will be considered planted, unless otherwise...

  12. 7 CFR 457.151 - Forage seeding crop insurance provisions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... termination dates California, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, South Dakota counties for which... on which seed is initially spread onto the soil surface by any method and subsequently is mechanically incorporated into the soil in a timely manner and at the proper depth will be considered...

  13. Analysis of Inter- and Intra-individual Variation in Foraging Habits of the Endangered Hawaiian Petrel Using Stables Isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morra, K. E.; Ostrom, P. H.; Wiley, A. E.; James, H. F.; Stricker, C. A.; Gandhi, H.

    2014-12-01

    Stable isotope analysis of the endangered Hawaiian petrel's (Pterodroma sandwichensis, HAPE) feathers provides otherwise intractable information regarding non-breeding season foraging habits. Adult HAPE spend 3.5-6 months at sea during the non-breeding season, at which time they sequentially molt their flight feathers. Because feathers are metabolically inert once synthesized, they capture isotopic signals while they are grown, providing an opportunity to study foraging habits over time. Here we use stable hydrogen (δD), carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotopes to assess variation in foraging habits within and between individuals, and among four breeding colonies. δD is an indicator of prevalence of fish vs. invertebrates in the diet. In one analysis, we observed large variation in feather δD (125‰), with adults from Maui and Kauai having significantly higher δD values than corresponding hatch-year birds, indicating significant dietary differences between age groups. In a second analysis, we utilized δ13C and δ15N of Hawaii, Maui and Lanai adults, values which vary with trophic level and also at the base of the food web across HAPE's foraging range, potentially revealing information about feeding location, as well as diet. Furthermore, because the sequence of molt is known, we are able to determine whether individual foraging specialization (continued use of the same foraging behavior over time) exists in this species. To do this, we analyzed two primary feathers, P1 and P6, which reflect the beginning and the middle of the non-breeding season, respectively. We did not find significant differences in δ13C or δ15N between P1 and P6, suggesting consistent foraging habits within individuals over time. This provides evidence that individual foraging specialization exists within these populations. Analysis of a secondary feather grown late in the molt sequence would further illuminate the extent of foraging specialization. Finally, δ15N differs

  14. Ecophysiological response of Adelie penguins facing an experimental increase in breeding constraints.

    PubMed

    Beaulieu, M; Spée, M; Lazin, D; Ropert-Coudert, Y; le Maho, Y; Ancel, A; Raclot, T

    2010-01-01

    Foraging strategies play a key role in breeding effort. Little is known, however, about their connection with hormonal and nutritional states, especially when breeding constraints vary. Here, we experimentally increased foraging costs and thus breeding constraints by handicapping Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) with dummy devices representing 3-4% of the penguins' cross-sectional area. We examined food-related stress (via plasma corticosterone concentration) and nutritional state (via metabolite levels). Concurrently, we investigated the use of ecological niches via the isotopic signature of red blood cells indicating the trophic position (delta(15)N) and the spatial distribution (delta(13)C) of penguins. Handicapped birds performed approximately 70% longer foraging trips and lost approximately 60% more body mass than controls and their partners. However, corticosterone levels and the nutritional state were unchanged. The isotopic signature revealed that males and females differed in their foraging behaviour: upper trophic levels contributed more in the males' diet, who foraged in more pelagic areas. Handicapped and partner birds adopted the same strategy at sea: a shift towards higher delta(13)C values suggested that they foraged in more coastal areas than controls. This change in foraging decisions may optimize feeding time by decreasing travelling time. This may partly compensate for the presumed lower foraging efficiency of handicapped birds and for the energetic debt of their partners who had to fast approximately 70% longer on the nest. We propose that this flexible use of ecological niches may allow birds facing increased breeding constraints to avoid chronic stress and to minimize the impact on their body condition.

  15. Choice and foraging.

    PubMed

    Abarca, N; Fantino, E

    1982-09-01

    In Experiment 1, six naive pigeons were trained on a foraging schedule characterized by different states beginning with a search state in which completion of a fixed-interval on a white key led to a choice state. In the choice state the subject could, by appropriate responding on a fixed ratio of three, either accept or reject the schedule of reinforcement that was offered (either a variable-interval five-second or a variable-interval 20-second). If the subject accepted the schedule, it entered a "handling state" in which the appropriate variable-interval schedule was presented. Completion of the variable-interval schedule produced food. The independent variable was the fixed-interval value in the search state, and the dependent variable was the rate of acceptance of the long variable-interval in the choice state. Experiment 2 was identical except that the search state required completion of a variable-interval, instead of a fixed-interval, schedule. The rate of acceptance of the long variable-interval schedule in both experiments was a direct function of the length of the search state, in accordance with both optimality theory and the delay-reduction hypothesis.

  16. Diversity of Fusarium species isolated from UK forage maize and the population structure of F. graminearum from maize and wheat

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Pre-harvest contamination of forage maize by mycotoxin producing Fusarium species was investigated in the UK in 2011 and 2012. A total of 15 Fusarium species were identified from a collection of 1,761 Fusarium isolates recovered from maize stalks and kernels. This study characterized the diversity of Fusarium species present in forage maize in the UK. The predominant species detected were F. graminearum (32.9%) and F. culmorum (34.1%). Along with those species; F. avenacem, F. cerealis, F. equiseti, F. langsethiae, F. napiforme, F. oxysporum, F. poae, F. proliferatum, F. scripi, F. solani, F. subglutinans, F. tricinctum and, F. verticillioides were occasionally isolated. The trichothecene genotypes for F. graminearum were determined to be 84.9% deoxynivalenol (DON) and 15.0% nivalenol (NIV) while F. culmorum isolates were determined to have 24.9% DON and 75.1% NIV genotypes. A Bayesian model-based clustering method with nine variable number of tandem repeat markers was used to evaluate the population genetic structure of 277 F. graminearum isolates from the maize and wheat in the UK. There were three genetic clusters detected which were DON in maize, NIV in maize and DON in wheat. There were high admixture probabilities for 14.1% of the isolates in the populations. In conclusion, increased maize production in the UK and the high admixture rates in a significant portion of F. graminearum populations in maize and wheat will contribute to a new pathogen population which will further complicate breeding strategies for tolerance or resistance to this pathogen in both crops. PMID:27366645

  17. Diversity of Fusarium species isolated from UK forage maize and the population structure of F. graminearum from maize and wheat.

    PubMed

    Basler, Ryan

    2016-01-01

    Pre-harvest contamination of forage maize by mycotoxin producing Fusarium species was investigated in the UK in 2011 and 2012. A total of 15 Fusarium species were identified from a collection of 1,761 Fusarium isolates recovered from maize stalks and kernels. This study characterized the diversity of Fusarium species present in forage maize in the UK. The predominant species detected were F. graminearum (32.9%) and F. culmorum (34.1%). Along with those species; F. avenacem, F. cerealis, F. equiseti, F. langsethiae, F. napiforme, F. oxysporum, F. poae, F. proliferatum, F. scripi, F. solani, F. subglutinans, F. tricinctum and, F. verticillioides were occasionally isolated. The trichothecene genotypes for F. graminearum were determined to be 84.9% deoxynivalenol (DON) and 15.0% nivalenol (NIV) while F. culmorum isolates were determined to have 24.9% DON and 75.1% NIV genotypes. A Bayesian model-based clustering method with nine variable number of tandem repeat markers was used to evaluate the population genetic structure of 277 F. graminearum isolates from the maize and wheat in the UK. There were three genetic clusters detected which were DON in maize, NIV in maize and DON in wheat. There were high admixture probabilities for 14.1% of the isolates in the populations. In conclusion, increased maize production in the UK and the high admixture rates in a significant portion of F. graminearum populations in maize and wheat will contribute to a new pathogen population which will further complicate breeding strategies for tolerance or resistance to this pathogen in both crops.

  18. Effects of irrigation on crops and soils with Raft River geothermal water

    SciTech Connect

    Stanley, N.E.; Schmitt, R.C.

    1980-01-01

    The Raft River Irrigation Experiment investigated the suitability of using energy-expended geothermal water for irrigation of selected field-grown crops. Crop and soil behavior on plots sprinkled or surface irrigated with geothermal water was compared to crop and soil behavior on plots receiving water from shallow irrigation wells and the Raft River. In addition, selected crops were produced, using both geothermal irrigation water and special management techniques. Crops irrigated with geothermal water exhibited growth rates, yields, and nutritional values similar to comparison crops. Cereal grains and surface-irrigated forage crops did not exhibit elevated fluoride levels or accumulations of heavy metals. However, forage crops sprinkled with geothermal water did accumulate fluorides, and leaching experiments indicate that new soils receiving geothermal water may experience increased salinity, exchangeable sodium, and decreased permeability. Soil productivity may be maintained by leaching irrigations.

  19. Sex-specific foraging behaviour in a seabird with reversed sexual dimorphism: the red-footed booby.

    PubMed

    Weimerskirch, Henri; Le Corre, Matthieu; Ropert-Coudert, Yan; Kato, Akiko; Marsac, Francis

    2006-01-01

    Most hypotheses attempting to explain the evolution of reversed sexual dimorphism (RSD) assume that size-related differences in foraging ability are of prime importance, but the studies on sex-specific differences in foraging behaviour remain scarce. We compare the foraging behaviour of males and females in a seabird species with a RSD by using several miniaturised activity and telemetry loggers. In red-footed boobies males are 5% smaller and 15% lighter than females, but have a longer tail than females. Both sexes spend similar time on the nest while incubating or brooding. When foraging at sea, males and females spend similar time foraging in oceanic waters, forage in similar areas, spend similar proportion of their foraging trip in flight, and feed on similar prey-flying fishes and flying squids-of similar size. However, compared to males, females range farther during incubation (85 km vs. 50 km), and furthermore feed mostly at the extremity of their foraging trip, whereas males actively forage throughout the trip. Males are much more active than females, landing and diving more often. During the study period, males lost mass, whereas females showed no significant changes. These results indicate that males and females of the red-footed boobies differ in several aspects in their foraging behaviour. Although some differences found in the study may be the direct result of the larger size of females, that is, the slightly higher speeds and deeper depths attained by females, others indicate clearly different foraging strategies between the sexes. The smaller size and longer tail of males confer them a higher agility, and could allow them to occupy a foraging niche different from that of females. The higher foraging effort of males related to its different foraging strategy is probably at the origin of the rapid mass loss of males during the breeding period. These results suggest that foraging differences are probably the reason for the differential breeding

  20. Sex-specific foraging behaviour in a seabird with reversed sexual dimorphism: the red-footed booby.

    PubMed

    Weimerskirch, Henri; Le Corre, Matthieu; Ropert-Coudert, Yan; Kato, Akiko; Marsac, Francis

    2006-01-01

    Most hypotheses attempting to explain the evolution of reversed sexual dimorphism (RSD) assume that size-related differences in foraging ability are of prime importance, but the studies on sex-specific differences in foraging behaviour remain scarce. We compare the foraging behaviour of males and females in a seabird species with a RSD by using several miniaturised activity and telemetry loggers. In red-footed boobies males are 5% smaller and 15% lighter than females, but have a longer tail than females. Both sexes spend similar time on the nest while incubating or brooding. When foraging at sea, males and females spend similar time foraging in oceanic waters, forage in similar areas, spend similar proportion of their foraging trip in flight, and feed on similar prey-flying fishes and flying squids-of similar size. However, compared to males, females range farther during incubation (85 km vs. 50 km), and furthermore feed mostly at the extremity of their foraging trip, whereas males actively forage throughout the trip. Males are much more active than females, landing and diving more often. During the study period, males lost mass, whereas females showed no significant changes. These results indicate that males and females of the red-footed boobies differ in several aspects in their foraging behaviour. Although some differences found in the study may be the direct result of the larger size of females, that is, the slightly higher speeds and deeper depths attained by females, others indicate clearly different foraging strategies between the sexes. The smaller size and longer tail of males confer them a higher agility, and could allow them to occupy a foraging niche different from that of females. The higher foraging effort of males related to its different foraging strategy is probably at the origin of the rapid mass loss of males during the breeding period. These results suggest that foraging differences are probably the reason for the differential breeding

  1. Good Days, Bad Days: Wind as a Driver of Foraging Success in a Flightless Seabird, the Southern Rockhopper Penguin

    PubMed Central

    Dehnhard, Nina; Ludynia, Katrin; Poisbleau, Maud; Demongin, Laurent; Quillfeldt, Petra

    2013-01-01

    Due to their restricted foraging range, flightless seabirds are ideal models to study the short-term variability in foraging success in response to environmentally driven food availability. Wind can be a driver of upwelling and food abundance in marine ecosystems such as the Southern Ocean, where wind regime changes due to global warming may have important ecological consequences. Southern rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome) have undergone a dramatic population decline in the past decades, potentially due to changing environmental conditions. We used a weighbridge system to record daily foraging mass gain (the difference in mean mass of adults leaving the colony in the morning and returning to the colony in the evening) of adult penguins during the chick rearing in two breeding seasons. We related the day-to-day variability in foraging mass gain to ocean wind conditions (wind direction and wind speed) and tested for a relationship between wind speed and sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA). Foraging mass gain was highly variable among days, but did not differ between breeding seasons, chick rearing stages (guard and crèche) and sexes. It was strongly correlated between males and females, indicating synchronous changes among days. There was a significant interaction of wind direction and wind speed on daily foraging mass gain. Foraging mass gain was highest under moderate to strong winds from westerly directions and under weak winds from easterly directions, while decreasing under stronger easterly winds and storm conditions. Ocean wind speed showed a negative correlation with daily SSTA, suggesting that winds particularly from westerly directions might enhance upwelling and consequently the prey availability in the penguins' foraging areas. Our data emphasize the importance of small-scale, wind-induced patterns in prey availability on foraging success, a widely neglected aspect in seabird foraging studies, which might become more important with increasing

  2. Good days, bad days: wind as a driver of foraging success in a flightless seabird, the southern rockhopper penguin.

    PubMed

    Dehnhard, Nina; Ludynia, Katrin; Poisbleau, Maud; Demongin, Laurent; Quillfeldt, Petra

    2013-01-01

    Due to their restricted foraging range, flightless seabirds are ideal models to study the short-term variability in foraging success in response to environmentally driven food availability. Wind can be a driver of upwelling and food abundance in marine ecosystems such as the Southern Ocean, where wind regime changes due to global warming may have important ecological consequences. Southern rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome) have undergone a dramatic population decline in the past decades, potentially due to changing environmental conditions. We used a weighbridge system to record daily foraging mass gain (the difference in mean mass of adults leaving the colony in the morning and returning to the colony in the evening) of adult penguins during the chick rearing in two breeding seasons. We related the day-to-day variability in foraging mass gain to ocean wind conditions (wind direction and wind speed) and tested for a relationship between wind speed and sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA). Foraging mass gain was highly variable among days, but did not differ between breeding seasons, chick rearing stages (guard and crèche) and sexes. It was strongly correlated between males and females, indicating synchronous changes among days. There was a significant interaction of wind direction and wind speed on daily foraging mass gain. Foraging mass gain was highest under moderate to strong winds from westerly directions and under weak winds from easterly directions, while decreasing under stronger easterly winds and storm conditions. Ocean wind speed showed a negative correlation with daily SSTA, suggesting that winds particularly from westerly directions might enhance upwelling and consequently the prey availability in the penguins' foraging areas. Our data emphasize the importance of small-scale, wind-induced patterns in prey availability on foraging success, a widely neglected aspect in seabird foraging studies, which might become more important with increasing

  3. Genome-wide genetic changes during modern breeding of maize.

    PubMed

    Jiao, Yinping; Zhao, Hainan; Ren, Longhui; Song, Weibin; Zeng, Biao; Guo, Jinjie; Wang, Baobao; Liu, Zhipeng; Chen, Jing; Li, Wei; Zhang, Mei; Xie, Shaojun; Lai, Jinsheng

    2012-06-03

    The success of modern maize breeding has been demonstrated by remarkable increases in productivity over the last four decades. However, the underlying genetic changes correlated with these gains remain largely unknown. We report here the sequencing of 278 temperate maize inbred lines from different stages of breeding history, including deep resequencing of 4 lines with known pedigree information. The results show that modern breeding has introduced highly dynamic genetic changes into the maize genome. Artificial selection has affected thousands of targets, including genes and non-genic regions, leading to a reduction in nucleotide diversity and an increase in the proportion of rare alleles. Genetic changes during breeding happen rapidly, with extensive variation (SNPs, indels and copy-number variants (CNVs)) occurring, even within identity-by-descent regions. Our genome-wide assessment of genetic changes during modern maize breeding provides new strategies as well as practical targets for future crop breeding and biotechnology.

  4. Effects of simulated sulfuric acid rain on crop plants

    SciTech Connect

    Cohen, C.J.; Grothaus, L.C.; Perrigan, S.C.

    1981-01-01

    Since relatively little is known about the effects of acid precipitation on growth and productivity of crop plants, a crop survey was initiated to study effects of H/sub 2/SO/sub 4/ rain simulants on growth, yield, and quality of selected crops which were chosen to represent diverse taxonomic groups and crop products. Plants were grown in pots in field-exposure chambers and subjected to three H/sub 2/SO/sub 4/ rain simulants (pH levels 4.0, 3.5, and 3.0) and to a control simulant (pH 5.6). Yield of approximately two-thirds of the crops surveyed was not affected by the H/sub 2/SO/sub 4/ rain treatments. Equal numbers of the remaining crops exhibited stimulatory and inhibitory yield responses at some H/sub 2/SO/sub 4/ rain simulant pH levels. These results did not suggest that acid rain treatment either generally inhibited or stimulated crop productivity. Crop response depended on crop species and crop product. For example, while forage yield of alfalfa and timothy was stimulated at some acid rain pH levels, yield of the remaining forage legume and grass species was not generally affected by acid rain treatment. However, root and fruit crop species exhibited generalized responses (yield inhibition and stimulation, respectively) which appeared to be more closely associated with crop product than occurred for other crop product groupings. Effects on crop quality were also important. For instance, although yield of some horticultural leaf and fruit crops was either unaffected or stimulated by H/sub 2/SO/sub 4/ rain treatment, marketability was adversely affected at low pH because of the presence of discoloration and/or lesions produced by H/sub 2/SO/sub 4/ rain treatment. This preliminary study demonstrates considerable variability in crop response to acid rain.

  5. Methane and hydrogen sulfide production during co-digestion of forage radish and dairy manure

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Forage radish cover crops were investigated as a co-substrate to increase biogas production from dairy manure-based anaerobic digestion. Lab-scale batch digesters (300 mL) were operated under mesophilic conditions during two experiments. In the first experiment, the optimal co-digestion ratio for ...

  6. Pollination Ecology: Overview of Pollination and the Foraging Behavior of Honey Bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bee pollination is an essential part of the production of crops that comprise more than a third of U.S. agriculture. This chapter of "The Hive and the Honey Bee" contains an overview of how honey bee foraging behavior results in the pollination of flowers and the formation of seeds, fruits an...

  7. Fall-grown oat forages: cultivars, planting dates, and expected yields

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    For the dairy industry, the options for producing a late-summer emergency forage crop are limited, mostly because the growing season is relatively short. Recent work conducted at Prairie du Sac (WI) has demonstrated that some cereal grains (primarily oats) planted in early August will joint, elongat...

  8. Enhancing forage yields and soil conservation by interseeding alfalfa into silage corn

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recent field studies have identified prohexadione-calcium (PHD) as an effective plant growth regulator for enhancing the establishment of alfalfa interseeded into corn as a dual-purpose cover and forage crop. Foliar applications of PHD on seedlings doubled or tripled stand survival of interseeded al...

  9. Production and nitrogen-use efficiency of oat forage receiving slurry or urea

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recently, several research projects have evaluated fall-grown oat for use as emergency fall forage throughout the north-central US; however, using fall-grown oat in cropping programs also allows the practical benefit of summer manure distribution that is completely de-coupled from corn production. ‘...

  10. Emerging technologies advancing forage and turf grass genomics.

    PubMed

    Kopecký, David; Studer, Bruno

    2014-01-01

    Grassland is of major importance for agricultural production and provides valuable ecosystem services. Its impact is likely to rise in changing socio-economic and climatic environments. High yielding forage grass species are major components of sustainable grassland production. Understanding the genome structure and function of grassland species provides opportunities to accelerate crop improvement and thus to mitigate the future challenges of increased feed and food demand, scarcity of natural resources such as water and nutrients, and high product qualities. In this review, we will discuss a selection of technological developments that served as main drivers to generate new insights into the structure and function of nuclear genomes. Many of these technologies were originally developed in human or animal science and are now increasingly applied in plant genomics. Our main goal is to highlight the benefits of using these technologies for forage and turf grass genome research, to discuss their potentials and limitations as well as their relevance for future applications. PMID:24309540

  11. Emerging technologies advancing forage and turf grass genomics.

    PubMed

    Kopecký, David; Studer, Bruno

    2014-01-01

    Grassland is of major importance for agricultural production and provides valuable ecosystem services. Its impact is likely to rise in changing socio-economic and climatic environments. High yielding forage grass species are major components of sustainable grassland production. Understanding the genome structure and function of grassland species provides opportunities to accelerate crop improvement and thus to mitigate the future challenges of increased feed and food demand, scarcity of natural resources such as water and nutrients, and high product qualities. In this review, we will discuss a selection of technological developments that served as main drivers to generate new insights into the structure and function of nuclear genomes. Many of these technologies were originally developed in human or animal science and are now increasingly applied in plant genomics. Our main goal is to highlight the benefits of using these technologies for forage and turf grass genome research, to discuss their potentials and limitations as well as their relevance for future applications.

  12. Conservation priorities for tree crop wild relatives in the United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Our native crop wild relatives have proved useful as genetic resources in breeding more productive, nutritious, and resilient crops. Their utilization is expected only to increase with better information on the species and improving breeding tools, but may well be constrained by their limited repres...

  13. Soil Organic Carbon Response to Cover Crop and Nitrogen Fertilization under Bioenergy Sorghum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sainju, U. M.; Singh, H. P.; Singh, B. P.

    2015-12-01

    Removal of aboveground biomass for bioenergy/feedstock in bioenergy cropping systems may reduce soil C storage. Cover crop and N fertilization may provide additional crop residue C and sustain soil C storage compared with no cover crop and N fertilization. We evaluated the effect of four winter cover crops (control or no cover crop, cereal rye, hairy vetch, and hairy vetch/cereal rye mixture) and two N fertilization rates (0 and 90 kg N ha-1) on soil organic C (SOC) at 0-5, 5-15, and 15-30 cm depths under forage and sweet sorghums from 2010 to 2013 in Fort Valley, GA. Cover crop biomass yield and C content were greater with vetch/rye mixture than vetch or rye alone and the control, regardless of sorghum species. Soil organic C was greater with vetch/rye than rye at 0-5 and 15-30 cm in 2011 and 2013 and greater with vetch than rye at 5-15 cm in 2011 under forage sorghum. Under sweet sorghum, SOC was greater with cover crops than the control at 0-5 cm, but greater with vetch and the control than vetch/rye at 15-30 cm. The SOC increased at the rates of 0.30 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 at 0-5 cm for rye and the control to 1.44 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 at 15-30 cm for vetch/rye and the control from 2010 to 2013 under forage sorghum. Under sweet sorghum, SOC also increased linearly at all depths from 2010 to 2013, regardless of cover crops. Nitrogen fertilization had little effect on SOC. Cover crops increased soil C storage compared with no cover crop due to greater crop residue C returned to the soil under forage and sweet sorghum and hairy vetch/cereal rye mixture had greater C storage than other cover crops under forage sorghum.

  14. Diving deeper into individual foraging specializations of a large marine predator, the southern sea lion.

    PubMed

    Baylis, A M M; Orben, R A; Arnould, J P Y; Peters, K; Knox, T; Costa, D P; Staniland, I J

    2015-12-01

    Despite global declines in the abundance of marine predators, knowledge of foraging ecology, necessary to predict the ecological consequences of large changes in marine predator abundance, remains enigmatic for many species. Given that populations suffering severe declines are of conservation concern, we examined the foraging ecology of southern sea lions (SSL) (Otaria flavescens)-one of the least studied otariids (fur seal and sea lions)-which have declined by over 90% at the Falkland Islands since the 1930s. Using a combination of biologging devices and stable isotope analysis of vibrissae, we redress major gaps in the knowledge of SSL ecology and quantify patterns of individual specialization. Specifically, we revealed two discrete foraging strategies, these being inshore (coastal) and offshore (outer Patagonian Shelf). The majority of adult female SSL (72% or n = 21 of 29 SSL) foraged offshore. Adult female SSL that foraged offshore travelled further (92 ± 20 vs. 10 ± 4 km) and dived deeper (75 ± 23 vs. 21 ± 8 m) when compared to those that foraged inshore. Stable isotope analysis revealed long-term fidelity (years) to these discrete foraging habitats. In addition, we found further specialization within the offshore group, with adult female SSL separated into two clusters on the basis of benthic or mixed (benthic and pelagic) dive behavior (benthic dive proportion was 76 ± 9 vs. 51 ± 8%, respectively). We suggest that foraging specialization in depleted populations such as SSL breeding at the Falkland Islands, are influenced by foraging site fidelity, and could be independent of intraspecific competition. Finally, the behavioral differences we describe are crucial to understanding population-level dynamics, impediments to population recovery, and threats to population persistence. PMID:26323982

  15. Diving deeper into individual foraging specializations of a large marine predator, the southern sea lion.

    PubMed

    Baylis, A M M; Orben, R A; Arnould, J P Y; Peters, K; Knox, T; Costa, D P; Staniland, I J

    2015-12-01

    Despite global declines in the abundance of marine predators, knowledge of foraging ecology, necessary to predict the ecological consequences of large changes in marine predator abundance, remains enigmatic for many species. Given that populations suffering severe declines are of conservation concern, we examined the foraging ecology of southern sea lions (SSL) (Otaria flavescens)-one of the least studied otariids (fur seal and sea lions)-which have declined by over 90% at the Falkland Islands since the 1930s. Using a combination of biologging devices and stable isotope analysis of vibrissae, we redress major gaps in the knowledge of SSL ecology and quantify patterns of individual specialization. Specifically, we revealed two discrete foraging strategies, these being inshore (coastal) and offshore (outer Patagonian Shelf). The majority of adult female SSL (72% or n = 21 of 29 SSL) foraged offshore. Adult female SSL that foraged offshore travelled further (92 ± 20 vs. 10 ± 4 km) and dived deeper (75 ± 23 vs. 21 ± 8 m) when compared to those that foraged inshore. Stable isotope analysis revealed long-term fidelity (years) to these discrete foraging habitats. In addition, we found further specialization within the offshore group, with adult female SSL separated into two clusters on the basis of benthic or mixed (benthic and pelagic) dive behavior (benthic dive proportion was 76 ± 9 vs. 51 ± 8%, respectively). We suggest that foraging specialization in depleted populations such as SSL breeding at the Falkland Islands, are influenced by foraging site fidelity, and could be independent of intraspecific competition. Finally, the behavioral differences we describe are crucial to understanding population-level dynamics, impediments to population recovery, and threats to population persistence.

  16. Caffeinated forage tricks honeybees into increasing foraging and recruitment behaviors.

    PubMed

    Couvillon, Margaret J; Al Toufailia, Hasan; Butterfield, Thomas M; Schrell, Felix; Ratnieks, Francis L W; Schürch, Roger

    2015-11-01

    In pollination, plants provide food reward to pollinators who in turn enhance plant reproduction by transferring pollen, making the relationship largely cooperative; however, because the interests of plants and pollinators do not always align, there exists the potential for conflict, where it may benefit both to cheat the other [1, 2]. Plants may even resort to chemistry: caffeine, a naturally occurring, bitter-tasting, pharmacologically active secondary compound whose main purpose is to detract herbivores, is also found in lower concentrations in the nectar of some plants, even though nectar, unlike leaves, is made to be consumed by pollinators. [corrected]. A recent laboratory study showed that caffeine may lead to efficient and effective foraging by aiding honeybee memory of a learned olfactory association [4], suggesting that caffeine may enhance bee reward perception. However, without field data, the wider ecological significance of caffeinated nectar remains difficult to interpret. Here we demonstrate in the field that caffeine generates significant individual- and colony-level effects in free-flying worker honeybees. Compared to a control, a sucrose solution with field-realistic doses of caffeine caused honeybees to significantly increase their foraging frequency, waggle dancing probability and frequency, and persistency and specificity to the forage location, resulting in a quadrupling of colony-level recruitment. An agent-based model also demonstrates how caffeine-enhanced foraging may reduce honey storage. Overall, caffeine causes bees to overestimate forage quality, tempting the colony into sub-optimal foraging strategies, which makes the relationship between pollinator and plant less mutualistic and more exploitative. VIDEO ABSTRACT. PMID:26480843

  17. Caffeinated forage tricks honeybees into increasing foraging and recruitment behaviors.

    PubMed

    Couvillon, Margaret J; Al Toufailia, Hasan; Butterfield, Thomas M; Schrell, Felix; Ratnieks, Francis L W; Schürch, Roger

    2015-11-01

    In pollination, plants provide food reward to pollinators who in turn enhance plant reproduction by transferring pollen, making the relationship largely cooperative; however, because the interests of plants and pollinators do not always align, there exists the potential for conflict, where it may benefit both to cheat the other [1, 2]. Plants may even resort to chemistry: caffeine, a naturally occurring, bitter-tasting, pharmacologically active secondary compound whose main purpose is to detract herbivores, is also found in lower concentrations in the nectar of some plants, even though nectar, unlike leaves, is made to be consumed by pollinators. [corrected]. A recent laboratory study showed that caffeine may lead to efficient and effective foraging by aiding honeybee memory of a learned olfactory association [4], suggesting that caffeine may enhance bee reward perception. However, without field data, the wider ecological significance of caffeinated nectar remains difficult to interpret. Here we demonstrate in the field that caffeine generates significant individual- and colony-level effects in free-flying worker honeybees. Compared to a control, a sucrose solution with field-realistic doses of caffeine caused honeybees to significantly increase their foraging frequency, waggle dancing probability and frequency, and persistency and specificity to the forage location, resulting in a quadrupling of colony-level recruitment. An agent-based model also demonstrates how caffeine-enhanced foraging may reduce honey storage. Overall, caffeine causes bees to overestimate forage quality, tempting the colony into sub-optimal foraging strategies, which makes the relationship between pollinator and plant less mutualistic and more exploitative. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

  18. Global seabird responses to forage fish depletion: one-third for the birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cury, P.M.; Boyd, I.L.; Bonhommeau, S.; Anker-Nilssen, T.; Crawford, R.J.M.; Furness, R.W.; Mills, J.A.; Murphy, E.J.; Osterblom, H.; Paleczny, M.; Piatt, John F.; Roux, J.-P.; Shannon, L.; Sydeman, W.J.

    2011-01-01

    Determining the form of key predator-prey relationships is critical for understanding marine ecosystem dynamics. Using a comprehensive global database, we quantified the effect of fluctuations in food abundance on seabird breeding success. We identified a threshold in prey (fish and krill, termed "forage fish") abundance below which seabirds experience consistently reduced and more variable productivity. This response was common to all seven ecosystems and 14 bird species examined within the Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern Oceans. The threshold approximated one-third of the maximum prey biomass observed in long-term studies. This provides an indicator of the minimal forage fish biomass needed to sustain seabird productivity over the long term.

  19. Global seabird response to forage fish depletion - One-third for the birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cury, P.M.; Boyd, I.L.; Bonhommeau, S.; Anker-Nilssen, T.; Crawford, R.J.M.; Furness, R.W.; Mills, J.A.; Murphy, E.J.; Osterblom, H.; Paleczny, M.; Piatt, J.F.; Roux, J.-P.; Shannon, L.; Sydeman, W.J.

    2011-01-01

    Determining the form of key predator-prey relationships is critical for understanding marine ecosystem dynamics. Using a comprehensive global database, we quantified the effect of fluctuations in food abundance on seabird breeding success. We identified a threshold in prey (fish and krill, termed "forage fish") abundance below which seabirds experience consistently reduced and more variable productivity. This response was common to all seven ecosystems and 14 bird species examined within the Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern Oceans. The threshold approximated one-third of the maximum prey biomass observed in long-term studies. This provides an indicator of the minimal forage fish biomass needed to sustain seabird productivity over the long term.

  20. Breeding for high water-use efficiency.

    PubMed

    Condon, A G; Richards, R A; Rebetzke, G J; Farquhar, G D

    2004-11-01

    There is a pressing need to improve the water-use efficiency of rain-fed and irrigated crop production. Breeding crop varieties with higher water-use efficiency is seen as providing part of the solution. Three key processes can be exploited in breeding for high water-use efficiency: (i) moving more of the available water through the crop rather than it being wasted as evaporation from the soil surface or drainage beyond the root zone or being left behind in the root zone at harvest; (ii) acquiring more carbon (biomass) in exchange for the water transpired by the crop, i.e. improving crop transpiration efficiency; (iii) partitioning more of the achieved biomass into the harvested product. The relative importance of any one of these processes will vary depending on how water availability varies during the crop cycle. However, these three processes are not independent. Targeting specific traits to improve one process may have detrimental effects on the other two, but there may also be positive interactions. Progress in breeding for improved water-use efficiency of rain-fed wheat is reviewed to illustrate the nature of some of these interactions and to highlight opportunities that may be exploited in other crops as well as potential pitfalls. For C3 species, measuring carbon isotope discrimination provides a powerful means of improving water-use efficiency of leaf gas exchange, but experience has shown that improvements in leaf-level water-use efficiency may not always translate into higher crop water-use efficiency or yield. In fact, the reverse has frequently been observed. Reasons for this are explored in some detail. Crop simulation modelling can be used to assess the likely impact on water-use efficiency and yield of changing the expression of traits of interest. Results of such simulations indicate that greater progress may be achieved by pyramiding traits so that potential negative effects of individual traits are neutralized. DNA-based selection techniques may

  1. Effect of protein supplementation and forage allowance on the growth and reproduction of beef heifers grazing stockpiled tall fescue.

    PubMed

    Lyons, S E; Shaeffer, A D; Drewnoski, M E; Poore, M H; Poole, D H

    2016-04-01

    Stockpiled tall fescue can provide adequate winter forage for beef cattle, although unsupplemented replacement heifers may display marginal performance before breeding. The objective of this study was to determine if protein supplementation and/or additional forage improves growth and reproductive performance of replacement heifers grazing stockpiled fescue. Cattle averaging 272 ± 1.59 kg were stratified by BW and then randomly assigned to 1 of 4 plots within a pasture replication. Treatment combinations were assigned in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement and included 1) a conservative forage allocation ("normal," targeting 85% forage use) and mineral supplement (normal forage allocation with mineral supplement [FM]), 2) normal forage allocation with protein tub (FT), 3) more liberal forage allocation ("extra," targeting 70% forage use) and mineral supplement (extra forage allocation with mineral supplement [EM]), and 4) "extra forage allocation with protein tub (ET). Treatments were administered for 8 wk from early November to early January. Heifers were fed fescue hay for 1 wk before breeding in late January. Heifers were synchronized with the 7-d CO-Synch + controlled internal drug release device protocol and inseminated in late January. Heifers were checked for pregnancy by ultrasonography at 35 and 90 d after AI. Main and interaction effects between the 2 treatments were determined. Total supplement intake was greater for protein tub than mineral supplement (0.36 vs. 0.11 kg·heifer·d, respectively; < 0.0001), and the additional dietary protein in the tub groups resulted in greater serum urea N concentrations ( < 0.0001; 8.15 vs. 10.4 mg/dL for mineral and protein tub, respectively). Forage utilization efficiency was greater for normal than extra forage allocation (74.7 vs. 65.8%, respectively; < 0.0001). Main effects of both treatments on ADG were significant ( < 0.0001; 0.28, 0.43, 0.43, and 0.51 kg·heifer·d for FM, FT, EM, and ET, respectively). There was

  2. Sulfur dioxide and ozone effects on crops

    SciTech Connect

    Amundson, R.G. ); Kress, L. )

    1990-04-01

    In order to determine if exposure to O{sub 3} and SO{sub 2} in combination produce greater-than-additive effects on yields of economically important crops, corn, wheat, soybean, alfalfa, and a mixed forage crop of timothy and red clover were exposed to SO{sub 2} and O{sub 3} using open-top chambers in six separate experiments during three field seasons. In five of the six studies changes in physiology and/or growth were also assessed to help determine short-term responses of the plants to the exposures. Monitoring of several physiological responses of the crops provided a means of assessing short term effects of the SO{sub 2} exposures on the crops and helped in interpretation of the effects on yields. 4 refs., 46 figs., 49 tabs.

  3. 8. The development and evolution of division of labor and foraging specialization in a social insect (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Page, Robert E; Scheiner, Ricarda; Erber, Joachim; Amdam, Gro V

    2006-01-01

    How does complex social behavior evolve? What are the developmental building blocks of division of labor and specialization, the hallmarks of insect societies? Studies have revealed the developmental origins in the evolution of division of labor and specialization in foraging worker honeybees, the hallmarks of complex insect societies. Selective breeding for a single social trait, the amount of surplus pollen stored in the nest (pollen hoarding) revealed a phenotypic architecture of correlated traits at multiple levels of biological organization in facultatively sterile female worker honeybees. Verification of this phenotypic architecture in "wild-type" bees provided strong support for a "pollen foraging syndrome" that involves increased senso-motor responses, motor activity, associative learning, reproductive status, and rates of behavioral development, as well as foraging behavior. This set of traits guided further research into reproductive regulatory systems that were co-opted by natural selection during the evolution of social behavior. Division of labor, characterized by changes in the tasks performed by bees, as they age, is controlled by hormones linked to ovary development. Foraging specialization on nectar and pollen results also from different reproductive states of bees where nectar foragers engage in pre-reproductive behavior, foraging for nectar for self-maintenance, while pollen foragers perform foraging tasks associated with reproduction and maternal care, collecting protein.

  4. Foraging distance and home range of Cassin's Auklets nesting at two colonies in the California Channel Islands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adams, J.; Takekawa, J.Y.; Carter, H.R.

    2004-01-01

    We radio-marked 99 Cassin's Auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) nesting at two colonies, Prince Island and Scorpion Rock, separated by 90 km in the California Channel Islands to quantify foraging distance, individual home-range area, and colony-based foraging areas during three consecutive breeding seasons. Auklets generally foraged <30 km from each colony in all years. Core foraging areas (50% fixed kernel) from Prince Island in 1999-2001 were north to northeast of the colony over the insular shelf near the shelfbreak. Core foraging areas from Scorpion Rock in 2000-2001 occurred in two focal areas: the Anacapa Passage, a narrow interisland passage adjacent to the colony, and over the southeastern Santa Barbara Channel. During 2000, intercolony foraging areas overlapped by 10%; however, auklets from each colony used the overlapping area at different times. Equivalent-sample-size resampling indicated Prince Island foraging area (1216 ?? 654 km2) was twice that of Scorpion Rock (598 ?? 204 km2). At Prince Island, mean individual distances, home-range areas, and colony-based activity areas were greater for females than males, especially during 2001. At Prince Island, core foraging areas of females and males, pooled separately, overlapped by 63% in 1999 and 2000, and by 35% in 2001. Postbreeding auklets from both colonies dispersed northward and moved to active upwelling centers off central California, coincident with decreased upwelling and sea-surface warming throughout the Santa Barbara Channel.

  5. Fine-scale spatial age segregation in the limited foraging area of an inshore seabird species, the little penguin.

    PubMed

    Pelletier, Laure; Chiaradia, André; Kato, Akiko; Ropert-Coudert, Yan

    2014-10-01

    Competition for food resources can result in spatial and dietary segregation among individuals from the same species. Few studies have looked at such segregations with the combined effect of sex and age in species with short foraging ranges. In this study we examined the 3D spatial use of the environment in a species with a limited foraging area. We equipped 26 little penguins (Eudyptula minor) of known age, sex, and breeding output with GPS (location) and accelerometer (body acceleration and dive depth) loggers. We obtained dietary niche information from the isotopic analysis of blood tissue. We controlled for confounding factors of foraging trip length and food availability by sampling adults at guard stage when parents usually make one-day trips. We observed a spatial segregation between old (>11 years old) and middle-aged penguins (between 5 and 11 years old) in the foraging area. Old penguins foraged closer to the shore, in shallower water. Despite observing age-specific spatial segregation, we found no differences in the diving effort and foraging efficiency between age classes and sexes. Birds appeared to target similar prey types, but showed age-specific variation in their isotopic niche width. We hypothesize that this age-specific segregation was primarily determined by a "cohort effect" that would lead individuals sharing a common life history (i.e. having fledged and dispersed around the same age) to forage preferentially together or to share similar foraging limitations.

  6. Fine-scale spatial age segregation in the limited foraging area of an inshore seabird species, the little penguin.

    PubMed

    Pelletier, Laure; Chiaradia, André; Kato, Akiko; Ropert-Coudert, Yan

    2014-10-01

    Competition for food resources can result in spatial and dietary segregation among individuals from the same species. Few studies have looked at such segregations with the combined effect of sex and age in species with short foraging ranges. In this study we examined the 3D spatial use of the environment in a species with a limited foraging area. We equipped 26 little penguins (Eudyptula minor) of known age, sex, and breeding output with GPS (location) and accelerometer (body acceleration and dive depth) loggers. We obtained dietary niche information from the isotopic analysis of blood tissue. We controlled for confounding factors of foraging trip length and food availability by sampling adults at guard stage when parents usually make one-day trips. We observed a spatial segregation between old (>11 years old) and middle-aged penguins (between 5 and 11 years old) in the foraging area. Old penguins foraged closer to the shore, in shallower water. Despite observing age-specific spatial segregation, we found no differences in the diving effort and foraging efficiency between age classes and sexes. Birds appeared to target similar prey types, but showed age-specific variation in their isotopic niche width. We hypothesize that this age-specific segregation was primarily determined by a "cohort effect" that would lead individuals sharing a common life history (i.e. having fledged and dispersed around the same age) to forage preferentially together or to share similar foraging limitations. PMID:25038901

  7. Nocturnal Foraging by Red-Legged Kittiwakes, a Surface Feeding Seabird That Relies on Deep Water Prey During Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Kokubun, Nobuo; Yamamoto, Takashi; Kikuchi, Dale M.; Kitaysky, Alexander; Takahashi, Akinori

    2015-01-01

    Narrow foraging specialization may increase the vulnerability of marine predators to climate change. The red-legged kittiwake (Rissa brevirostris) is endemic to the Bering Sea and has experienced drastic population fluctuations in recent decades, presumably due to climate-driven changes in food resources. Red-legged kittiwakes are presumed to be a nocturnal surface-foraging seabird that feed almost entirely on deep water Myctophidae fishes. However, there is little empirical evidence confirming their nocturnal foraging activity during the breeding season. This study investigated the foraging behavior of red-legged kittiwakes by combining GPS tracking, accelerometry, and dietary analyses at the world’s largest breeding colony of red-legged kittiwakes on St. George I. GPS tracking of 5 individuals revealed that 82.5% of non-flight behavior (including foraging and resting) occurred over the ocean basin (bottom depth >1,000 m). Acceleration data from 4 birds showed three types of behaviors during foraging trips: (1) flight, characterized by regular wing flapping, (2) resting on water, characterized by non-active behavior, and (3) foraging, when wing flapping was irregular. The proportions of both foraging and resting behaviors were higher at night (14.1 ± 7.1% and 20.8 ± 14.3%) compared to those during the day (6.5 ± 3.0% and 1.7 ± 2.7%). The mean duration of foraging (2.4 ± 2.9 min) was shorter than that of flight between prey patches (24.2 ± 53.1 min). Dietary analyses confirmed myctophids as the dominant prey (100% by occurrence and 98.4 ± 2.4% by wet-weight). Although the sample size was limited, these results suggest that breeding red-legged kittiwakes concentrated their foraging on myctophids available at the surface during nighttime in deep water regions. We propose that the diel patterns and ephemeral nature of their foraging activity reflected the availability of myctophids. Such foraging specialization may exacerbate the vulnerability of red

  8. Nocturnal Foraging by Red-Legged Kittiwakes, a Surface Feeding Seabird That Relies on Deep Water Prey During Reproduction.

    PubMed

    Kokubun, Nobuo; Yamamoto, Takashi; Kikuchi, Dale M; Kitaysky, Alexander; Takahashi, Akinori

    2015-01-01

    Narrow foraging specialization may increase the vulnerability of marine predators to climate change. The red-legged kittiwake (Rissa brevirostris) is endemic to the Bering Sea and has experienced drastic population fluctuations in recent decades, presumably due to climate-driven changes in food resources. Red-legged kittiwakes are presumed to be a nocturnal surface-foraging seabird that feed almost entirely on deep water Myctophidae fishes. However, there is little empirical evidence confirming their nocturnal foraging activity during the breeding season. This study investigated the foraging behavior of red-legged kittiwakes by combining GPS tracking, accelerometry, and dietary analyses at the world's largest breeding colony of red-legged kittiwakes on St. George I. GPS tracking of 5 individuals revealed that 82.5% of non-flight behavior (including foraging and resting) occurred over the ocean basin (bottom depth >1,000 m). Acceleration data from 4 birds showed three types of behaviors during foraging trips: (1) flight, characterized by regular wing flapping, (2) resting on water, characterized by non-active behavior, and (3) foraging, when wing flapping was irregular. The proportions of both foraging and resting behaviors were higher at night (14.1 ± 7.1% and 20.8 ± 14.3%) compared to those during the day (6.5 ± 3.0% and 1.7 ± 2.7%). The mean duration of foraging (2.4 ± 2.9 min) was shorter than that of flight between prey patches (24.2 ± 53.1 min). Dietary analyses confirmed myctophids as the dominant prey (100% by occurrence and 98.4 ± 2.4% by wet-weight). Although the sample size was limited, these results suggest that breeding red-legged kittiwakes concentrated their foraging on myctophids available at the surface during nighttime in deep water regions. We propose that the diel patterns and ephemeral nature of their foraging activity reflected the availability of myctophids. Such foraging specialization may exacerbate the vulnerability of red

  9. Meeting reproductive demands in a dynamic upwelling system: Foraging strategies of a pursuit-diving seabird, the marbled murrelet

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peery, M.Z.; Newman, S.H.; Storlazzi, C.D.; Beissinger, S.R.

    2009-01-01

    Seabirds maintain plasticity in their foraging behavior to cope with energy demands and foraging constraints that vary over the reproductive cycle, but behavioral studies comparing breeding and nonbreeding individuals are rare. Here we characterize how Marbled Murrelets (Brachyramphus marmoratus) adjust their foraging effort in response to changes in reproductive demands in an upwelling system in central California. We radio-marked 32 murrelets of known reproductive status (9 breeders, 12 potential breeders, and 11 nonbreeders) and estimated both foraging ranges and diving rates during the breeding season. Murrelets spent more time diving during upwelling than oceanographic relaxation, increased their foraging ranges as the duration of relaxation grew longer, and reduced their foraging ranges after transitions to upwelling. When not incubating, murrelets moved in a circadian pattern, spending nighttime hours resting near flyways used to reach nesting habitat and foraging during the daytime an average of 5.7 km (SD 6.7 km) from nighttime locations. Breeders foraged close to nesting habitat once they initiated nesting and nest attendance was at a maximum, and then resumed traveling longer distances following the completion of nesting. Nonbreeders had similar nighttime and daytime distributions and tended to be located farther from inland flyways. Breeders increased the amount of time they spent diving by 71-73% when they had an active nest by increasing the number of dives rather than by increasing the frequency of anaerobiosis. Thus, to meet reproductive demands during nesting, murrelets adopted a combined strategy of reducing energy expended commuting to foraging sites and increasing aerobic dive rates. ?? 2009 by The Cooper Ornithological Society. All rights reserved.

  10. Does location really matter? An inter-colony comparison of seabirds breeding at varying distances from productive oceanographic features in the Bering Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harding, Ann; Paredes, Rosana; Suryan, Robert; Roby, Daniel; Irons, David; Orben, Rachael; Renner, Heather; Young, Rebecca; Barger, Christopher; Dorresteijn, Ine; Kitaysky, Alexander

    2013-10-01

    Central place foragers, such as breeding seabirds, need to commute between their nests and foraging grounds, thus close proximity of the breeding colony to productive oceanographic features might be beneficial for seabird reproduction. We tested this hypothesis by investigating the at-sea foraging and breeding behavior of thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia) nesting at three colonies (Bogoslof, St. Paul, and St. George Islands) in the Bering Sea located at different distances from the productive continental shelf-break. We found that distances to feeding areas differed only during night trips among colonies. St. Paul murres foraged entirely on the shelf, whereas St. George murres commuted to the continental shelf-break at night and foraged on the shelf during the day. Bogoslof murres foraged in oceanic waters in close proximity to the colony. Murres breeding at the both Pribilof colonies spent less time attending nests and had higher levels of stress hormone corticosterone compared to murres breeding at Bogoslof, although chick-provisioning rates and fledging success were similar among the three colonies. Lower nest attendance and higher corticosterone suggest lower food availability in the Pribilof domain compared to the Bogoslof region. Murres breeding at the Pribilofs used different foraging strategies to buffer effects of food shortages on their reproduction: flight costs associated with longer distance night trips at St. George were presumably balanced by benefits of higher density and/or more lipid rich prey in the continental shelf-break regions, whereas the additional distance of St. Paul from the continental shelf-break may have outweighed any energetic gain. Murres exhibited a remarkable degree of plasticity of foraging strategies in response to changes in their food availability, but the breeding success of murres did not reflect either food limitations or the colony proximity to productive oceanographic features.

  11. Age-Related Variation in Foraging Behaviour in the Wandering Albatross at South Georgia: No Evidence for Senescence

    PubMed Central

    Froy, Hannah; Lewis, Sue; Catry, Paulo; Bishop, Charles M.; Forster, Isaac P.; Fukuda, Akira; Higuchi, Hiroyoshi; Phalan, Ben; Xavier, Jose C.; Nussey, Daniel H.; Phillips, Richard A.

    2015-01-01

    Age-related variation in demographic rates is now widely documented in wild vertebrate systems, and has significant consequences for population and evolutionary dynamics. However, the mechanisms underpinning such variation, particularly in later life, are less well understood. Foraging efficiency is a key determinant of fitness, with implications for individual life history trade-offs. A variety of faculties known to decline in old age, such as muscular function and visual acuity, are likely to influence foraging performance. We examine age-related variation in the foraging behaviour of a long-lived, wide-ranging oceanic seabird, the wandering albatross Diomedea exulans. Using miniaturised tracking technologies, we compared foraging trip characteristics of birds breeding at Bird Island, South Georgia. Based on movement and immersion data collected during the incubation phase of a single breeding season, and from extensive tracking data collected in previous years from different stages of the breeding cycle, we found limited evidence for age-related variation in commonly reported trip parameters, and failed to detect signs of senescent decline. Our results contrast with the limited number of past studies that have examined foraging behaviour in later life, since these have documented changes in performance consistent with senescence. This highlights the importance of studies across different wild animal populations to gain a broader perspective on the processes driving variation in ageing rates. PMID:25574995

  12. Age-related variation in foraging behaviour in the wandering albatross at South Georgia: no evidence for senescence.

    PubMed

    Froy, Hannah; Lewis, Sue; Catry, Paulo; Bishop, Charles M; Forster, Isaac P; Fukuda, Akira; Higuchi, Hiroyoshi; Phalan, Ben; Xavier, Jose C; Nussey, Daniel H; Phillips, Richard A

    2015-01-01

    Age-related variation in demographic rates is now widely documented in wild vertebrate systems, and has significant consequences for population and evolutionary dynamics. However, the mechanisms underpinning such variation, particularly in later life, are less well understood. Foraging efficiency is a key determinant of fitness, with implications for individual life history trade-offs. A variety of faculties known to decline in old age, such as muscular function and visual acuity, are likely to influence foraging performance. We examine age-related variation in the foraging behaviour of a long-lived, wide-ranging oceanic seabird, the wandering albatross Diomedea exulans. Using miniaturised tracking technologies, we compared foraging trip characteristics of birds breeding at Bird Island, South Georgia. Based on movement and immersion data collected during the incubation phase of a single breeding season, and from extensive tracking data collected in previous years from different stages of the breeding cycle, we found limited evidence for age-related variation in commonly reported trip parameters, and failed to detect signs of senescent decline. Our results contrast with the limited number of past studies that have examined foraging behaviour in later life, since these have documented changes in performance consistent with senescence. This highlights the importance of studies across different wild animal populations to gain a broader perspective on the processes driving variation in ageing rates.

  13. An inventory of crop wild relatives of the United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The use of crop wild relatives (CWR) in breeding is likely to continue to intensify as utilization techniques improve and crop adaptation to climate change becomes more pressing. Significant gaps remain in the conservation of these genetic resources, constraining availability for research. As a fi...

  14. Engineering Value-Added Traits in Cereal Crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cereal crops – chiefly wheat, rice, maize, sorghum, and pearl millet – are the main food source for more than two-thirds of the world population. Conventional breeding is mainly responsible for the genetic improvement of cereal crops and has resulted in cultivars with superior agronomic traits. Ho...

  15. Octopamine influences honey bee foraging preference

    PubMed Central

    Giray, Tugrul; Galindo, Alberto; Oskay, Devrim

    2010-01-01

    Colony condition and differences in individual preferences influence forage type collected by bees. Physiological bases for the changing preferences of individual foragers are just beginning to be examined. Recently, for honey bees octopamine is shown to influence age at onset of foraging and probability of dance for rewards. However, octopamine has not been causally linked with foraging preference in the field. We tested the hypothesis that changes in octopamine may alter forage type (preference hypothesis). We treated identified foragers orally with octopamine or its immediate precursor, tyramine, or sucrose syrup (control). Octopamine treated foragers switched type of material collected, control bees did not. Tyramine group results were not different from the control group. In addition, sugar concentrations of nectar collected by foragers after octopamine treatment were lower than before treatment, indicating change in preference. In contrast, before and after nectar concentrations for bees in the control group were similar. These results, taken together, support the preference hypothesis. PMID:17574568

  16. Foraging opportunity: a crucial criterion for horse welfare?

    PubMed

    Benhajali, H; Richard-Yris, M-A; Ezzaouia, M; Charfi, F; Hausberger, M

    2009-09-01

    This study aimed at determining the effect of the increase of foraging opportunities on the behaviour and welfare of breeding mares housed in individual boxes but allowed outside 6 h a day in a bare paddock. One hundred Arab breeding mares were divided into two groups of 50 according to the treatment and allowed outside in two bare paddocks at the same density (115 mare/ha) where water and shelter were provided. The treatment consisted in providing the opportunity to forage on hay. Twenty-minute animal focal samplings and scan samplings were used to determine the time budget of the mares during the period from 0900 to 1500 h and study their social behaviour. A total of 300 focal sampling (6000 min), 3300 individual scan sampling (6000 min) and 62 group observations (1240 min) corresponding to the 100 mares were recorded. Non-parametric tests were used to analyse data. Results showed that experimental mares spent more time feeding (65.12% ± 2.40% v. 29.75% ± 2.45%, P < 0.01) and less time in locomotion (11.70% ± 1.31% v. 23.56% ± 1.34%, P < 0.01), stand resting (11.76% ± 2.57% v. 27.52% ± 2.62%, P < 0.01) and alert standing (5.23% ± 1.2% v. 14.71% ± 1.23%, P < 0.01). There was more bonding among experimental mares than control ones (26 v. 14, P < 0.05). Experimental mares showed more positive social interactions (P < 0.01) and less aggression (P < 0.01). These results suggest that giving densely housed mares foraging opportunities improves their welfare. PMID:22444907

  17. Preweaning performance of calves from tropically-adapted and temperate sires and Brangus cows managed on two forage systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Four years of preweaning data on 511 calves from 187 Brangus cows and 129 Bonsmara, Brangus, Charolais, Gelbvieh, Hereford, and Romosinuano sires were used to determine sire breed, sex, and age of dam differences under two preweaning forage systems (native tallgrass rangeland vs improved warm-season...

  18. Breeding productivity of Smith Island black ducks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haramis, G.M.; Jorde, D.G.; Olsen, G.H.; Stotts, D.B.; Harrison, M.K.; Perry, M.C.

    2002-01-01

    We investigated the breeding performance of American black ducks (Anas rubripes) on Smith Island, Chesapeake Bay, to improve our understanding of island black duck breeding ecology and to make management recommendations to enhance productivity. During 1995-96, we implanted 56 female black ducks with 20-g radio transmitters and tracked 35 of the individuals through the breeding season to locate nests, determine nest fate, and identify brood habitat. We also increased preseason banding efforts and compared capture characteristics over 12 years with those from the Deal Island Wildlife Management Area, a banding site on the mainland of Tangier Sound. A low rate of nesting (37%), lack of renesting, and poor hatching success (31%) indicated that island salt marsh habitats present a harsh environment for breeding black ducks. Black ducks located 11 of 13 nests (85%) in black needlerush (Juncus roemerianus) marsh where they were vulnerable to flooding from extreme tides and to egg predators. No nests were found on forested tree hammocks, a feature that distinguishes Smith Island from nearby South Marsh and Bloodsworth Islands. Nest predators included red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), herring gulls (Larus argentams), fish crows (Corvus ossifragus), and, potentially, Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus). Unlike mainland red foxes, foxes radio tracked on Smith Island were found to be capable swimmers and effective low marsh predators. We found shoreline meadows of widgeon grass (Ruppia maritima) to be important foraging sites for black ducks and suspected that the virtual absence of fresh water in this high salinity environment (1217+ ppt) to incur some cost in terms of growth and survival of ducklings. Preseason bandings revealed a high proportion of banded adults and a strong positive correlation in age ratios with the Deal Island banding site. This latter finding strongly suggests a negative universal effect of storm tides on nest success for Tangier Sound black ducks. Management to

  19. Breeding for abiotic stresses for sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Witcombe, J R; Hollington, P A; Howarth, C J; Reader, S; Steele, K A

    2008-02-27

    Using cereal crops as examples, we review the breeding for tolerance to the abiotic stresses of low nitrogen, drought, salinity and aluminium toxicity. All are already important abiotic stress factors that cause large and widespread yield reductions. Drought will increase in importance with climate change, the area of irrigated land that is salinized continues to increase, and the cost of inorganic N is set to rise. There is good potential for directly breeding for adaptation to low N while retaining an ability to respond to high N conditions. Breeding for drought and salinity tolerance have proven to be difficult, and the complex mechanisms of tolerance are reviewed. Marker-assisted selection for component traits of drought in rice and pearl millet and salinity tolerance in wheat has produced some positive results and the pyramiding of stable quantitative trait locuses controlling component traits may provide a solution. New genomic technologies promise to make progress for breeding tolerance to these two stresses through a more fundamental understanding of underlying processes and identification of the genes responsible. In wheat, there is a great potential of breeding genetic resistance for salinity and aluminium tolerance through the contributions of wild relatives.

  20. Squirrel Foraging Preferences: Gone Nuts?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Darling, Randi A.

    2007-01-01

    This field exercise examines the feeding preferences of Gray Squirrels ("Sciurus carolinensis"). Students present squirrels with a variety of food types in a cafeteria-style arrangement in order to test hypotheses about foraging preferences. This exercise, which is appropriate for introductory biology, ecology, and animal behavior classes, is…

  1. How anthropogenic noise affects foraging.

    PubMed

    Luo, Jinhong; Siemers, Björn M; Koselj, Klemen

    2015-09-01

    The influence of human activity on the biosphere is increasing. While direct damage (e.g. habitat destruction) is relatively well understood, many activities affect wildlife in less apparent ways. Here, we investigate how anthropogenic noise impairs foraging, which has direct consequences for animal survival and reproductive success. Noise can disturb foraging via several mechanisms that may operate simultaneously, and thus, their effects could not be disentangled hitherto. We developed a diagnostic framework that can be applied to identify the potential mechanisms of disturbance in any species capable of detecting the noise. We tested this framework using Daubenton's bats, which find prey by echolocation. We found that traffic noise reduced foraging efficiency in most bats. Unexpectedly, this effect was present even if the playback noise did not overlap in frequency with the prey echoes. Neither overlapping noise nor nonoverlapping noise influenced the search effort required for a successful prey capture. Hence, noise did not mask prey echoes or reduce the attention of bats. Instead, noise acted as an aversive stimulus that caused avoidance response, thereby reducing foraging efficiency. We conclude that conservation policies may seriously underestimate numbers of species affected and the multilevel effects on animal fitness, if the mechanisms of disturbance are not considered.

  2. Switchgrass for forage and bioenergy

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Switchgrass is a native warm-season grass that has been used for hay, forage, and conservation purposes for decades and switchgrass research in Nebraska has been ongoing since 1936. Recently, switchgrass has been identified as a model perennial grass for bioenergy in the Great Plains and Midwest. Si...

  3. Sunflower crop

    SciTech Connect

    Beard, B.H.

    1981-05-01

    A review of the sunflower as a major commercial crop, including its history, cultivation, hybridization and uses. It is grown principally for its oil which is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids and used in a variety of foods. Recently it has been tested in diesel engines and a high protein meal is produced from the seed residues.

  4. Thiamethoxam: Assessing flight activity of honeybees foraging on treated oilseed rape using radio frequency identification technology.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Helen; Coulson, Mike; Ruddle, Natalie; Wilkins, Selwyn; Harkin, Sarah

    2016-02-01

    The present study was designed to assess homing behavior of bees foraging on winter oilseed rape grown from seed treated with thiamethoxam (as Cruiser OSR), with 1 field drilled with thiamethoxam-treated seed and 2 control fields drilled with fungicide-only-treated seed. Twelve honeybee colonies were used per treatment group, 4 each located at the field edge (on-field site), at approximately 500 m and 1000 m from the field. A total of nearly 300 newly emerged bees per colony were fitted (tagged) with Mic3 radio frequency identification (RFID) transponders and introduced into each of the 36 study hives. The RFID readers fitted to the entrances of the test colonies were used to monitor the activity of the tagged bees for the duration of the 5-wk flowering period of the crop. These activity data were analyzed to assess any impact on flight activity of bees foraging on the treated compared with untreated crops. Honeybees were seen to be actively foraging within all 3 treatment groups during the exposure period. The data for the more than 3000 RFID-tagged bees and more than 90 000 foraging flights monitored throughout the exposure phase for the study follow the same trends across the treatment and controls and at each of the 3 apiary distances, indicating that there were no effects from foraging on the treated crop. Under the experimental conditions, there was no effect of foraging on thiamethoxam-treated oilseed rape on honeybee flight activity or on their ability to return to the hive.

  5. Humpback Whale Song and Foraging Behavior on an Antarctic Feeding Ground

    PubMed Central

    Stimpert, Alison K.; Peavey, Lindsey E.; Friedlaender, Ari S.; Nowacek, Douglas P.

    2012-01-01

    Reports of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) song chorusing occurring outside the breeding grounds are becoming more common, but song structure and underwater behavior of individual singers on feeding grounds and migration routes remain unknown. Here, ten humpback whales in the Western Antarctic Peninsula were tagged in May 2010 with non-invasive, suction-cup attached tags to study foraging ecology and acoustic behavior. Background song was identified on all ten records, but additionally, acoustic records of two whales showed intense and continuous singing, with a level of organization and structure approaching that of typical breeding ground song. The songs, produced either by the tagged animals or close associates, shared phrase types and theme structure with one another, and some song bouts lasted close to an hour. Dive behavior of tagged animals during the time of sound production showed song occurring during periods of active diving, sometimes to depths greater than 100 m. One tag record also contained song in the presence of feeding lunges identified from the behavioral sensors, indicating that mating displays occur in areas worthy of foraging. These data show behavioral flexibility as the humpbacks manage competing needs to continue to feed and to prepare for the breeding season during late fall. This may also signify an ability to engage in breeding activities outside of the traditional, warm water breeding ground locations. PMID:23284666

  6. Aggregate Carbon Pools after 13 Years of Integrated Crop-Livestock Management in Semiarid Soils

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Semi-arid regions have the potential to sequester soil organic carbon (SOC) but the magnitude and rate of sequestration is highly management specific. Integrated crop-livestock (ICL) systems that utilize perennial or high-residue no-till annual forage crops as part of the overall agronomic system ma...

  7. Long-Term Cropping System Effects on Soil Properties and on a Soil Quality Index

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Intensive row-crop production can lead to soil degradation over time if insufficient biomass return, intensive tillage, or excessive erosion lead to depletion of soil organic C. Soil quality may be improved by incorporating forage crops or grazing into the rotation, adding manure or other organic so...

  8. A search theory model of patch-to-patch forager movement with application to pollinator-mediated gene flow.

    PubMed

    Hoyle, Martin; Cresswell, James E

    2007-09-01

    We present a spatially implicit analytical model of forager movement, designed to address a simple scenario common in nature. We assume minimal depression of patch resources, and discrete foraging bouts, during which foragers fill to capacity. The model is particularly suitable for foragers that search systematically, foragers that deplete resources in a patch only incrementally, and for sit-and-wait foragers, where harvesting does not affect the rate of arrival of forage. Drawing on the theory of job search from microeconomics, we estimate the expected number of patches visited as a function of just two variables: the coefficient of variation of the rate of energy gain among patches, and the ratio of the expected time exploiting a randomly chosen patch and the expected time travelling between patches. We then consider the forager as a pollinator and apply our model to estimate gene flow. Under model assumptions, an upper bound for animal-mediated gene flow between natural plant populations is approximately proportional to the probability that the animal rejects a plant population. In addition, an upper bound for animal-mediated gene flow in any animal-pollinated agricultural crop from a genetically modified (GM) to a non-GM field is approximately proportional to the proportion of fields that are GM and the probability that the animal rejects a field. PMID:17544452

  9. Crop management and agronomic context of the Farm Scale Evaluations of genetically modified herbicide-tolerant crops.

    PubMed

    Champion, G T; May, M J; Bennett, S; Brooks, D R; Clark, S J; Daniels, R E; Firbank, L G; Haughton, A J; Hawes, C; Heard, M S; Perry, J N; Randle, Z; Rossall, M J; Rothery, P; Skellern, M P; Scott, R J; Squire, G R; Thomas, M R

    2003-11-29

    The Farm Scale Evaluations of genetically modified herbicide-tolerant crops (GMHT) were conducted in the UK from 2000 to 2002 on beet (sugar and fodder), spring oilseed rape and forage maize. The management of the crops studied is described and compared with current conventional commercial practice. The distribution of field sites adequately represented the areas currently growing these crops, and the sample contained sites operated at a range of management intensities, including low intensity. Herbicide inputs were audited, and the active ingredients used and the rates and the timings of applications compared well with current practice for both GMHT and conventional crops. Inputs on sugar beet were lower than, and inputs on spring oilseed rape and forage maize were consistent with, national averages. Regression analysis of herbicide-application strategies and weed emergence showed that inputs applied by farmers increased with weed densities in beet and forage maize. GMHT crops generally received only one herbicide active ingredient per crop, later and fewer herbicide sprays and less active ingredient (for beet and maize) than the conventional treatments. The audit of inputs found no evidence of bias. PMID:14561315

  10. Foraging habitats of southern elephant seals, Mirounga leonina, from the Northern Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muelbert, Monica M. C.; de Souza, Ronald B.; Lewis, Mirtha N.; Hindell, Mark A.

    2013-04-01

    Elephant Island (EI) is uniquely placed to provide southern elephant seals (SES) breeding there with potential access to foraging grounds in the Weddell Sea, the frontal zones of the South Atlantic Ocean, the Patagonian shelf and the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). Quantifying where seals from EI forage therefore provides insights into the types of important habitats available, and which are of particular importance to elephant seals. Twenty nine SES (5 sub-adult males—SAM and 24 adult females—AF) were equipped with SMRU CTD-SLDRs during the post-breeding (PB 2008, 2009) and post-moulting (PM 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) trips to sea. There were striking intra-annual and inter-sex differences in foraging areas, with most of the PB females remaining within 150 km of EI. One PB AF travelled down the WAP as did 16 out of the 20 PM females and foraged near the winter ice-edge. Most PM sub-adult males remained close to EI, in areas similar to those used by adult females several months earlier, although one SAM spent the early part of the winter foraging on the Patagonian Shelf. The waters of the Northern Antarctic Peninsula (NAP) contain abundant resources to support the majority of the Islands' SES for the summer and early winter, such that the animals from this population have shorter migrations than those from most other populations. Sub-adult males and PB females are certainly taking advantage of these resources. However, PM females did not remain there over the winter months, instead they used the same waters at the ice-edge in the southern WAP that females from both King George Island and South Georgia used. Females made more benthic dives than sub-adult males—again this contrasts with other sites where SAMs do more benthic diving. Unlike most other populations studied to date EI is a relatively southerly breeding colony located on the Antarctic continental shelf. EI seals are using shelf habitats more than other SES populations but some individuals still

  11. Imidacloprid alters foraging and decreases bee avoidance of predators.

    PubMed

    Tan, Ken; Chen, Weiwen; Dong, Shihao; Liu, Xiwen; Wang, Yuchong; Nieh, James C

    2014-01-01

    Concern is growing over the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides, which can impair honey bee cognition. We provide the first demonstration that sublethal concentrations of imidacloprid can harm honey bee decision-making about danger by significantly increasing the probability of a bee visiting a dangerous food source. Apis cerana is a native bee that is an important pollinator of agricultural crops and native plants in Asia. When foraging on nectar containing 40 µg/L (34 ppb) imidacloprid, honey bees (Apis cerana) showed no aversion to a feeder with a hornet predator, and 1.8 fold more bees chose the dangerous feeder as compared to control bees. Control bees exhibited significant predator avoidance. We also give the first evidence that foraging by A. cerana workers can be inhibited by sublethal concentrations of the pesticide, imidacloprid, which is widely used in Asia. Compared to bees collecting uncontaminated nectar, 23% fewer foragers returned to collect the nectar with 40 µg/L imidacloprid. Bees that did return respectively collected 46% and 63% less nectar containing 20 µg/L and 40 µg/L imidacloprid. These results suggest that the effects of neonicotinoids on honey bee decision-making and other advanced cognitive functions should be explored. Moreover, research should extend beyond the classic model, the European honey bee (A. mellifera), to other important bee species.

  12. Imidacloprid Alters Foraging and Decreases Bee Avoidance of Predators

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Ken; Chen, Weiwen; Dong, Shihao; Liu, Xiwen; Wang, Yuchong; Nieh, James C.

    2014-01-01

    Concern is growing over the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides, which can impair honey bee cognition. We provide the first demonstration that sublethal concentrations of imidacloprid can harm honey bee decision-making about danger by significantly increasing the probability of a bee visiting a dangerous food source. Apis cerana is a native bee that is an important pollinator of agricultural crops and native plants in Asia. When foraging on nectar containing 40 µg/L (34 ppb) imidacloprid, honey bees (Apis cerana) showed no aversion to a feeder with a hornet predator, and 1.8 fold more bees chose the dangerous feeder as compared to control bees. Control bees exhibited significant predator avoidance. We also give the first evidence that foraging by A. cerana workers can be inhibited by sublethal concentrations of the pesticide, imidacloprid, which is widely used in Asia. Compared to bees collecting uncontaminated nectar, 23% fewer foragers returned to collect the nectar with 40 µg/L imidacloprid. Bees that did return respectively collected 46% and 63% less nectar containing 20 µg/L and 40 µg/L imidacloprid. These results suggest that the effects of neonicotinoids on honey bee decision-making and other advanced cognitive functions should be explored. Moreover, research should extend beyond the classic model, the European honey bee (A. mellifera), to other important bee species. PMID:25025334

  13. Impact of forage clipping treatments on performance of winter wheat.

    PubMed

    Jadoon, S A; Ullah, H; Mohammad, F; Khalil, I H; Alam, M; Shahwar, D; Malik, M F A; Jamal, Y

    2013-01-01

    Farmers in northern parts of Pakistan face severe shortage of green forage for their livestock during the harsh winter season. Winter wheat has the potential to be used as a dual-purpose crop for forage plus grain production in these areas. Ten elite winter wheat lines from Oklahoma State University were evaluated at Hazara Research Station Abbottabad under unclipped and clipped treatment level during 2005-06. The material was planted in a randomized complete block design with three replications, with a row length of four meters and a row to row space of 25 cm. Data were recorded on green forage yield, plant height, spike length, spikelets/spike, days to maturity, spike weight, biological weight, and grain yield. Analysis of variance indicated significant differences among genotypes for all traits except spike length. Similarly all traits except spikelets/spike exhibited significant differences between unclipped and clipped treatment levels. Genotype x clipping interaction was non-significant for all traits except grain yield. Overall, winter wheat lines OK98G508W and OK00611W performed better for important traits such as early maturity, biological yield and grain yield, although over-environment testing is needed before recommendations can be made to the farmers. PMID:24301789

  14. Switchgrass biomass composition altered by six generations of divergent breeding for digestibility

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biomass composition of perennial grasses such as switchgrass can affect its utilization by ruminants and its conversion to liquid fuels in a biorefinery. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of six generations of divergent breeding for forage in vitro dry matter digestibility (IV...

  15. Effects of Climate Change on Range Forage Production in the San Francisco Bay Area

    PubMed Central

    Chaplin-Kramer, Rebecca; George, Melvin R.

    2013-01-01

    The San Francisco Bay Area in California, USA is a highly heterogeneous region in climate, topography, and habitats, as well as in its political and economic interests. Successful conservation strategies must consider various current and future competing demands for the land, and should pay special attention to livestock grazing, the dominant non-urban land-use. The main objective of this study was to predict changes in rangeland forage production in response to changes in temperature and precipitation projected by downscaled output from global climate models. Daily temperature and precipitation data generated by four climate models were used as input variables for an existing rangeland forage production model (linear regression) for California’s annual rangelands and projected on 244 12 km x 12 km grid cells for eight Bay Area counties. Climate model projections suggest that forage production in Bay Area rangelands may be enhanced by future conditions in most years, at least in terms of peak standing crop. However, the timing of production is as important as its peak, and altered precipitation patterns could mean delayed germination, resulting in shorter growing seasons and longer periods of inadequate forage quality. An increase in the frequency of extremely dry years also increases the uncertainty of forage availability. These shifts in forage production will affect the economic viability and conservation strategies for rangelands in the San Francisco Bay Area. PMID:23472102

  16. Effects of climate change on range forage production in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    PubMed

    Chaplin-Kramer, Rebecca; George, Melvin R

    2013-01-01

    The San Francisco Bay Area in California, USA is a highly heterogeneous region in climate, topography, and habitats, as well as in its political and economic interests. Successful conservation strategies must consider various current and future competing demands for the land, and should pay special attention to livestock grazing, the dominant non-urban land-use. The main objective of this study was to predict changes in rangeland forage production in response to changes in temperature and precipitation projected by downscaled output from global climate models. Daily temperature and precipitation data generated by four climate models were used as input variables for an existing rangeland forage production model (linear regression) for California's annual rangelands and projected on 244 12 km x 12 km grid cells for eight Bay Area counties. Climate model projections suggest that forage production in Bay Area rangelands may be enhanced by future conditions in most years, at least in terms of peak standing crop. However, the timing of production is as important as its peak, and altered precipitation patterns could mean delayed germination, resulting in shorter growing seasons and longer periods of inadequate forage quality. An increase in the frequency of extremely dry years also increases the uncertainty of forage availability. These shifts in forage production will affect the economic viability and conservation strategies for rangelands in the San Francisco Bay Area.

  17. Foraging habitat for shorebirds in southeastern Missouri and its predicted future availability

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Twedt, Daniel J.

    2013-01-01

    Water management to protect agriculture in alluvial floodplains often conflicts with wildlife use of seasonal floodwater. Such is the case along the Mississippi River in southeastern Missouri where migrating shorebirds forage in shallow-flooded fields. I estimated the current availability of habitat for foraging shorebirds within the New Madrid and St. Johns Basins based on daily river elevations (1943–2009), under assumptions that shorebirds forage in open habitat with water depth <15 cm and use mudflats for 3 days after exposure. The area of shorebird foraging habitat, based on replicated 50-year random samples, averaged 975 ha per day during spring and 33 ha per day during fall. Adjustments to account for habitat quality associated with different water depths, duration of mudflat exposure, intra-seasonal availability, and state of agricultural crops, indicated the equivalent of 494 ha daily of optimal habitat during spring and 11 ha during fall. Proposed levees and pumps to protect cropland would reduce shorebird foraging habitat by 80 %: to 211 ha (108 optimal ha) per day during spring and 9 ha (<3 optimal ha) per day during fall. Alternative water management that allows natural flooding below a prescribed elevation would retain nearly all existing shorebird foraging habitat during fall and about 60 % of extant habitat during spring.

  18. Sexual Reproduction and Breeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the second edition of Plant Propagation Concepts and Laboratory Exercises, we have combined the first edition chapters 36: Sexual Reproduction in Angiosperms and 37: Breeding Horticultural Plants into the present single chapter Sexual Reproduction and Breeding. These topics are so closely relate...

  19. Chinstrap penguin foraging area associated with a seamount in Bransfield Strait, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kokubun, Nobuo; Lee, Won Young; Kim, Jeong-Hoon; Takahashi, Akinori

    2015-12-01

    Identifying marine features that support high foraging performance of predators is useful to determine areas of ecological importance. This study aimed to identify marine features that are important for foraging of chinstrap penguins (Pygoscelis antarcticus), an abundant upper-trophic level predator in the Antarctic Peninsula region. We investigated the foraging locations of penguins breeding on King George Island using GPS-depth loggers. Tracking data from 18 birds (4232 dives), 11 birds (2095 dives), and 19 birds (3947 dives) were obtained in 2007, 2010, and 2015, respectively. In all three years, penguins frequently visited an area near a seamount (Orca Seamount) in Bransfield Strait. The percentage of dives (27.8% in 2007, 36.1% in 2010, and 19.1% in 2015) and depth wiggles (27.1% in 2007, 37.2% in 2010, and 22.3% in 2015) performed in this area was higher than that expected from the size of the area and distance from the colony (8.4% for 2007, 14.7% for 2010, and 6.3% for 2015). Stomach content analysis showed that the penguins fed mainly on Antarctic krill. These results suggest that the seamount provided a favorable foraging area for breeding chinstrap penguins, with high availability of Antarctic krill, possibly related to local upwelling.

  20. Stable foraging areas and variable chick diet in Cassin's auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) off southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adams, J.; Takekawa, J.Y.; Carter, H.R.

    2004-01-01

    Planktivorous seabirds readily respond to changes in marine ecosystems and have the ability to integrate information regarding variability in abundance, availability, and community composition of key prey resources. We studied the foraging and breeding ecology of the Cassin's auklet, Ptychoramphus aleuticus (Pallas, 1811), off southern California during three breeding seasons (1999-2001), when large intra- and inter-annual variability occurred in local oceanographic conditions during a prolonged La Nina event. Radio-marked parents used consistent core foraging areas within 30 km of their colony, aggregated in shelf waters (<200 m depth), and occasionally foraged in deeper waters. Parents delivered primarily euphausiids, pelagic larval-juvenile fishes, and minor amounts of cephalopods and other crustaceans. Whereas the euphausiid Thysanoessa spinifera Holmes, 1900 was most important during 1999 and 2001, Euphausia pacifica Hansen, 1911 replaced adult T. spinifera in 2000 after an anomalous eastward inflection of the California Current occurred near the auklets' foraging area. Differences in chick diets, however, did not significantly influence fledging success and growth among first chicks, but the proportion of pairs successfully fledging an alpha chick and initiating a second clutch was exceptional in 1999 (63%) and 2000 (75%), and less in 2001 (7%). We suggest that dietary composition was influenced by modified prey availability driven in part by fluctuations in regional upwelling and circulation. ?? 2004 NRC Canada.

  1. Effectors as tools in disease resistance breeding against biotrophic, hemibiotrophic, and necrotrophic plant pathogens.

    PubMed

    Vleeshouwers, Vivianne G A A; Oliver, Richard P

    2014-03-01

    One of most important challenges in plant breeding is improving resistance to the plethora of pathogens that threaten our crops. The ever-growing world population, changing pathogen populations, and fungicide resistance issues have increased the urgency of this task. In addition to a vital inflow of novel resistance sources into breeding programs, the functional characterization and deployment of resistance also needs improvement. Therefore, plant breeders need to adopt new strategies and techniques. In modern resistance breeding, effectors are emerging as tools to accelerate and improve the identification, functional characterization, and deployment of resistance genes. Since genome-wide catalogues of effectors have become available for various pathogens, including biotrophs as well as necrotrophs, effector-assisted breeding has been shown to be successful for various crops. "Effectoromics" has contributed to classical resistance breeding as well as for genetically modified approaches. Here, we present an overview of how effector-assisted breeding and deployment is being exploited for various pathosystems.

  2. Can non-breeding be a cost of breeding dispersal?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Danchin, E.; Cam, E.

    2002-01-01

    Breeding habitat selection and dispersal are crucial processes that affect many components of fitness. Breeding dispersal entails costs, one of which has been neglected: dispersing animals may miss breeding opportunities because breeding dispersal requires finding a new nesting site and mate, two time- and energy-consuming activities. Dispersers are expected to be prone to non-breeding. We used the kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) to test whether breeding dispersal influences breeding probability. Breeding probability was associated with dispersal, in that both were negatively influenced by private information (previous individual reproductive success) and public information (average reproductive success of conspecifics) about patch quality. Furthermore, the probability of skipping breeding was 1.7 times higher in birds that settled in a new patch relative to those that remained on the same patch. Finally, non-breeders that resumed breeding were 4.4 times more likely to disperse than birds that bred in successive years. Although private information may influence breeding probability directly, the link between breeding probability and public information may be indirect, through the influence of public information on breeding dispersal, non-breeding thus being a cost of dispersal. These results support the hypothesis that dispersal may result in not being able to breed. More generally, non-breeding (which can be interpreted as an extreme form of breeding failure) may reveal costs of various previous activities. Because monitoring the non-breeding portion of a population is difficult, non-breeders have been neglected in many studies of reproduction trade-offs.

  3. Evaluation of herbacceous biomass crops in the northern Great Plains. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Meyer, D.W.; Norby, W.E.; Erickson, D.O.; Johnson, R.G.

    1994-08-01

    Herbaceous lignocellulose crops are a potential renewable feedstock for biochemical conversion systems second in size to wood products. Several herbaceous crops are utilized as forage crops in the northern Great Plains, but forage quality considerations usually dictates a early harvest. Biomass cropping does not have this constraint; therefore, little information was available on herbaceous crops utilized as energy crops prior to this project. Our primary objectives were to evaluate the biomass yield and select chemical components of several herbaceous crops for energy crops in the northern Great Plains, compare the economic feasibility of energy crops with common competing crops, and evaluate biomass cropping on summer fallow lands. Three good, two marginal, and one irrigated sites were used during 1988 to 1992 for the first component. At least six perennial and four annual biomass species were included at all sites. Three to four nitrogen (N) levels and a crop-recrop comparison (annuals only) were management intensities included. Biomass cropping on idled lands was performed on dryland at Carrington and evaluated the effects of removing leguminous biomass on fallowed lands. This report summarizes results from the 5-year project.

  4. Tragedies and Crops: Understanding Natural Selection To Improve Cropping Systems.

    PubMed

    Anten, Niels P R; Vermeulen, Peter J

    2016-06-01

    Plant communities with traits that would maximize community performance can be invaded by plants that invest extra in acquiring resources at the expense of others, lowering the overall community performance, a so-called tragedy of the commons (TOC). By contrast, maximum community performance is usually the objective in agriculture. We first give an overview of the occurrence of TOCs in plants, and explore the extent to which past crop breeding has led to trait values that go against an unwanted TOC. We then show how linking evolutionary game theory (EGT) with mechanistic knowledge of the physiological processes that drive trait expression and the ecological aspects of biotic interactions in agro-ecosystems might contribute to increasing crop yields and resource-use efficiency. PMID:27012675

  5. Tragedies and Crops: Understanding Natural Selection To Improve Cropping Systems.

    PubMed

    Anten, Niels P R; Vermeulen, Peter J

    2016-06-01

    Plant communities with traits that would maximize community performance can be invaded by plants that invest extra in acquiring resources at the expense of others, lowering the overall community performance, a so-called tragedy of the commons (TOC). By contrast, maximum community performance is usually the objective in agriculture. We first give an overview of the occurrence of TOCs in plants, and explore the extent to which past crop breeding has led to trait values that go against an unwanted TOC. We then show how linking evolutionary game theory (EGT) with mechanistic knowledge of the physiological processes that drive trait expression and the ecological aspects of biotic interactions in agro-ecosystems might contribute to increasing crop yields and resource-use efficiency.

  6. Genomic selection & association mapping in rice: effect of trait genetic architecture, training population composition, marker number & statistical model on accuracy of rice genomic selection in elite, tropical rice breeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Genomic Selection (GS) is a new breeding method in which genome-wide markers are used to predict the breeding value of individuals in a breeding population. GS has been shown to improve breeding efficiency in dairy cattle and several crop plant species, and here we evaluate for the first time its ef...

  7. Embodied crop calories in animal products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pradhan, Prajal; Lüdeke, Matthias K. B.; Reusser, Dominik E.; Kropp, Jürgen P.

    2013-12-01

    Increases in animal products consumption and the associated environmental consequences have been a matter of scientific debate for decades. Consequences of such increases include rises in greenhouse gas emissions, growth of consumptive water use, and perturbation of global nutrients cycles. These consequences vary spatially depending on livestock types, their densities and their production system. In this letter, we investigate the spatial distribution of embodied crop calories in animal products. On a global scale, about 40% of the global crop calories are used as livestock feed (we refer to this ratio as crop balance for livestock) and about 4 kcal of crop products are used to generate 1 kcal of animal products (embodied crop calories of around 4). However, these values vary greatly around the world. In some regions, more than 100% of the crops produced is required to feed livestock requiring national or international trade to meet the deficit in livestock feed. Embodied crop calories vary between less than 1 for 20% of the livestock raising areas worldwide and greater than 10 for another 20% of the regions. Low values of embodied crop calories are related to production systems for ruminants based on fodder and forage, while large values are usually associated with production systems for non-ruminants fed on crop products. Additionally, we project the future feed demand considering three scenarios: (a) population growth, (b) population growth and changes in human dietary patterns and (c) changes in population, dietary patterns and feed conversion efficiency. When considering dietary changes, we project the global feed demand to be almost doubled (1.8-2.3 times) by 2050 compared to 2000, which would force us to produce almost equal or even more crops to raise our livestock than to directly nourish ourselves in the future. Feed demand is expected to increase over proportionally in Africa, South-Eastern Asia and Southern Asia, putting additional stress on these

  8. 78 FR 53370 - Common Crop Insurance Regulations; Forage Seed Crop Provisions

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-29

    ... CFR part 400, subpart J, for the informal review process of good farming practices, as applicable... their farming operation. For instance, all producers are required to submit an application and acreage... related to 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V, published at 48 FR 29115, June 24, 1983. Executive Order 12988...

  9. Molecular marker-assisted breeding for maize improvement in Asia

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maize is one of the most important food and feed crops in Asia, and is a source of income for several million farmers. Despite impressive progress made in the last few decades through conventional breeding in the “Asia-7” (China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam), average m...

  10. Assessing genomic selection prediction accuracy in a dynamic barley breeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Genomic selection is a method to improve quantitative traits in crops and livestock by estimating breeding values of selection candidates using phenotype and genome-wide marker data sets. Prediction accuracy has been evaluated through simulation and cross-validation, however validation based on prog...

  11. Foraging strategies of Southern sea lion females in the La Plata River Estuary (Argentina-Uruguay)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez, Diego H.; Dassis, Mariela; Ponce de León, Alberto; Barreiro, César; Farenga, Marcelo; Bastida, Ricardo O.; Davis, Randall W.

    2013-04-01

    The stocks of Southern sea lions (Otaria flavescens, SSL) and South American fur seals (SAFS) that breed on coastal islands of Uruguay constitute the most important focal concentration of pinnipeds in South America, with a significant increase in SAFS and a steady decrease of SSL over the past decades. Because females are a key element of population dynamics and no information exists on the post-breeding pup rearing period, we studied the foraging patterns of SSL females in the La Plata River Estuary (LPRE) during mid and late lactation (late austral autumn and winter), analyzing the foraging performance, geographic coverage and ontogenetic differences in foraging strategies for a period of 1-5 months. At-sea movements of 22 SSL females (6 subadults and 16 adults) from Isla de Lobos (IL, 35°01'28"S-54°52'59"W, Uruguay) were monitored using satellite transmitters (SPOT4, SPOT5 and STDR-S16, Wildlife Computers) in 2007 and 2010. An algorithm [McConnell, B.J., Chambers, C., Fedak, M.A., 1992. Foraging ecology of southern elephant seals in relation to the bathymetry and productivity of the Southern Ocean. Antarct. Sci. 4, 393-398.] with a maximum transit speed of 3 m s-1 was applied to the Argos information, resulting in a total of 2522 filtered locations. A daily mean of 3.5±1.74 filtered locations per animal was received. One hundred and eighty three foraging trips (FT) were recorded with no significant differences (p<0.05) between subadults and adults in the duration of FT (6.1±3.15 day), distance traveled per FT (237.2±105.25 km), mean distance from IL (57.2±25.90 km), maximum straight line (Spider) distance (100.2±41.40 km) and transit speed (1.1±1.04 m s-1). SSL showed directional fidelity to foraging sites, indicated by high mean vector (r) values (0.74±0.14) calculated from FT mean bearings. Kernel ranges for 50% and 95% of all FT locations were 5420 km2 and 36,222 km2, respectively, and the extension of the foraging areas appeared to be influenced by

  12. Geographic profiling and animal foraging.

    PubMed

    Le Comber, Steven C; Nicholls, Barry; Rossmo, D Kim; Racey, Paul A

    2006-05-21

    Geographic profiling was originally developed as a statistical tool for use in criminal cases, particularly those involving serial killers and rapists. It is designed to help police forces prioritize lists of suspects by using the location of crime scenes to identify the areas in which the criminal is most likely to live. Two important concepts are the buffer zone (criminals are less likely to commit crimes in the immediate vicinity of their home) and distance decay (criminals commit fewer crimes as the distance from their home increases). In this study, we show how the techniques of geographic profiling may be applied to animal data, using as an example foraging patterns in two sympatric colonies of pipistrelle bats, Pipistrellus pipistrellus and P. pygmaeus, in the northeast of Scotland. We show that if model variables are fitted to known roost locations, these variables may be used as numerical descriptors of foraging patterns. We go on to show that these variables can be used to differentiate patterns of foraging in these two species.

  13. Optimal foraging in semantic memory.

    PubMed

    Hills, Thomas T; Jones, Michael N; Todd, Peter M

    2012-04-01

    Do humans search in memory using dynamic local-to-global search strategies similar to those that animals use to forage between patches in space? If so, do their dynamic memory search policies correspond to optimal foraging strategies seen for spatial foraging? Results from a number of fields suggest these possibilities, including the shared structure of the search problems-searching in patchy environments-and recent evidence supporting a domain-general cognitive search process. To investigate these questions directly, we asked participants to recover from memory as many animal names as they could in 3 min. Memory search was modeled over a representation of the semantic search space generated from the BEAGLE memory model of Jones and Mewhort (2007), via a search process similar to models of associative memory search (e.g., Raaijmakers & Shiffrin, 1981). We found evidence for local structure (i.e., patches) in memory search and patch depletion preceding dynamic local-to-global transitions between patches. Dynamic models also significantly outperformed nondynamic models. The timing of dynamic local-to-global transitions was consistent with optimal search policies in space, specifically the marginal value theorem (Charnov, 1976), and participants who were more consistent with this policy recalled more items.

  14. Geographic profiling and animal foraging.

    PubMed

    Le Comber, Steven C; Nicholls, Barry; Rossmo, D Kim; Racey, Paul A

    2006-05-21

    Geographic profiling was originally developed as a statistical tool for use in criminal cases, particularly those involving serial killers and rapists. It is designed to help police forces prioritize lists of suspects by using the location of crime scenes to identify the areas in which the criminal is most likely to live. Two important concepts are the buffer zone (criminals are less likely to commit crimes in the immediate vicinity of their home) and distance decay (criminals commit fewer crimes as the distance from their home increases). In this study, we show how the techniques of geographic profiling may be applied to animal data, using as an example foraging patterns in two sympatric colonies of pipistrelle bats, Pipistrellus pipistrellus and P. pygmaeus, in the northeast of Scotland. We show that if model variables are fitted to known roost locations, these variables may be used as numerical descriptors of foraging patterns. We go on to show that these variables can be used to differentiate patterns of foraging in these two species. PMID:16263134

  15. Foraging Strategies of Laysan Albatross Inferred from Stable Isotopes: Implications for Association with Fisheries

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Ann E.; Fitzgerald, Shannon M.; Parrish, Julia K.; Klavitter, John L.; Romano, Marc D.

    2015-01-01

    Fatal entanglement in fishing gear is the leading cause of population decline for albatross globally, a consequence of attraction to bait and fishery discards of commercial fishing operations. We investigated foraging strategies of Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis), as inferred from nitrogen and carbon isotope values of primary feathers, to determine breeding-related, seasonal, and historic factors that may affect the likelihood of association with Alaskan or Hawaiian longline fisheries. Feather samples were collected from live birds monitored for breeding status and breeding success on Midway Atoll in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands, birds salvaged as fisheries-bycatch, and birds added to museum collections before 1924. During the chick-rearing season (sampled April-May), means and variances of stable isotope values of birds with the highest, most consistent reproductive success were distinct from less productive conspecifics and completely different from birds caught in Hawaiian or Alaskan longline fisheries, suggesting birds with higher multi-annual reproductive success were less likely to associate with these fisheries. Contemporary birds with the highest reproductive success had mean values most similar to historic birds. Values of colony-bound, courting prebreeders were similar to active breeders but distinct from prebreeders caught in Alaskan longline fisheries. During the breeding season, δ15N values were highly variable for both contemporary and historic birds. Although some historic birds exhibited extremely low δ15N values unmatched by contemporary birds (< 11.2‰), others had values as high as the highest fishery-associated contemporary birds. During the non-breeding season (sampled July-September), isotopic variability coalesced into a more narrow set of values for both contemporary and historic birds. Our results suggest that foraging strategies of Laysan albatross are a complex function of season, breeding status, and multi

  16. Foraging Strategies of Laysan Albatross Inferred from Stable Isotopes: Implications for Association with Fisheries.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Ann E; Fitzgerald, Shannon M; Parrish, Julia K; Klavitter, John L; Romano, Marc D

    2015-01-01

    Fatal entanglement in fishing gear is the leading cause of population decline for albatross globally, a consequence of attraction to bait and fishery discards of commercial fishing operations. We investigated foraging strategies of Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis), as inferred from nitrogen and carbon isotope values of primary feathers, to determine breeding-related, seasonal, and historic factors that may affect the likelihood of association with Alaskan or Hawaiian longline fisheries. Feather samples were collected from live birds monitored for breeding status and breeding success on Midway Atoll in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands, birds salvaged as fisheries-bycatch, and birds added to museum collections before 1924. During the chick-rearing season (sampled April-May), means and variances of stable isotope values of birds with the highest, most consistent reproductive success were distinct from less productive conspecifics and completely different from birds caught in Hawaiian or Alaskan longline fisheries, suggesting birds with higher multi-annual reproductive success were less likely to associate with these fisheries. Contemporary birds with the highest reproductive success had mean values most similar to historic birds. Values of colony-bound, courting prebreeders were similar to active breeders but distinct from prebreeders caught in Alaskan longline fisheries. During the breeding season, δ15N values were highly variable for both contemporary and historic birds. Although some historic birds exhibited extremely low δ15N values unmatched by contemporary birds (< 11.2‰), others had values as high as the highest fishery-associated contemporary birds. During the non-breeding season (sampled July-September), isotopic variability coalesced into a more narrow set of values for both contemporary and historic birds. Our results suggest that foraging strategies of Laysan albatross are a complex function of season, breeding status, and multi

  17. Foraging movements of Audouin’s gull (Larus audouinii) in the Ebro Delta, NW Mediterranean: A preliminary satellite-tracking study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christel, Isadora; Navarro, Joan; del Castillo, Marcos; Cama, Albert; Ferrer, Xavier

    2012-01-01

    A knowledge of the foraging strategies of marine predators is essential to understand the intrinsic factors controlling their distribution, abundance and their ecological function within the marine ecosystem. Here, we investigated for the first time the foraging movements and activity patterns of Audouin's gull Larus audouinii by using satellite-tracking data from eight breeding adults in the main colony of the species worldwide (Ebro Delta, NW Mediterranean). Tagged gulls foraged in the marine area close to the breeding colony (62% of foraging locations) and in the terrestrial area of the Ebro Delta (mainly rice fields; 38% of foraging locations). The foraging activity patterns changed significantly throughout the day; lower from dusk through the first half of the night (19-1 h; 32% of active locations) and higher during the rest of the day (1-19 h; 75.5 ± 4.3% of active locations). These results confirm the foraging plasticity of this seabird and, based on previous information about the dietary habits of this species, we hypothesize how its time-dependent activity patterns and habitat use could be associated with variations in the availability of marine food resources (e.g. diel vertical migrations of pelagic fish) and the exploitation of terrestrial resources (e.g. American crayfish Procambarus clarkii).

  18. Opportunities for Products of New Plant Breeding Techniques.

    PubMed

    Schaart, Jan G; van de Wiel, Clemens C M; Lotz, Lambertus A P; Smulders, Marinus J M

    2016-05-01

    Various new plant breeding techniques (NPBT) have a similar aim, namely to produce improved crop varieties that are difficult to obtain through traditional breeding methods. Here, we review the opportunities for products created using NPBTs. We categorize products of these NPBTs into three product classes with a different degree of genetic modification. For each product class, recent examples are described to illustrate the potential for breeding new crops with improved traits. Finally, we touch upon the future applications of these methods, such as cisgenic potato genotypes in which specific combinations of Phytophthora infestans resistance genes have been stacked for use in durable cultivation, or the creation of new disease resistances by knocking out or removing S-genes using genome-editing techniques. PMID:26654659

  19. Analysis for an environmental friendly seedling breeding system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qu, Y. H.; Wei, X. M.; Hou, Y. F.; Chen, B.; Chen, G. Q.; Lin, C.

    2009-04-01

    Most seedlings of crops are produced in solar greenhouse or nursery, from which some problems about energy waste and environment pollution arise. This study aims at investigating the characteristics and effect of an environmental friendly type seedling breeding system. The results demonstrate that crops can grow with a short period and little pollution in the new seedling breeding system with total manpower controllable environment that is not influenced by geography, climate and other natural conditions. By multilayer, nonplanar seedling breeding and annual batches arrangement, utilization ratio of unit area land and seedlings yield can be improved for several times and even more than 10 times. Conclusions can be obtained from the tomato seedling breeding experiments: (1) each growth index of tomato seedlings that are under the conditions of 291 μmol/m2 s artificial illumination intensity is remarkably better than those produced in greenhouse with natural lights. (2) The environment of the seedling breeding system can be accurately controlled. The segmented temperature changed management can be applied according to the photosynthetic characteristics of plants, and not affected by the outside environment, which makes each growth index of tomato seedling constant in different seasons. The seedlings thus grow strong and can achieve the level of commodity seedlings after 20-30 days. (3) The temperature and humidity environment of the seedling breeding system can be accurately controlled according to plants growth demands.

  20. Biotechnology and apple breeding in Japan.

    PubMed

    Igarashi, Megumi; Hatsuyama, Yoshimichi; Harada, Takeo; Fukasawa-Akada, Tomoko

    2016-01-01

    Apple is a fruit crop of significant economic importance, and breeders world wide continue to develop novel cultivars with improved characteristics. The lengthy juvenile period and the large field space required to grow apple populations have imposed major limitations on breeding. Various molecular biological techniques have been employed to make apple breeding easier. Transgenic technology has facilitated the development of apples with resistance to fungal or bacterial diseases, improved fruit quality, or root stocks with better rooting or dwarfing ability. DNA markers for disease resistance (scab, powdery mildew, fire-blight, Alternaria blotch) and fruit skin color have also been developed, and marker-assisted selection (MAS) has been employed in breeding programs. In the last decade, genomic sequences and chromosome maps of various cultivars have become available, allowing the development of large SNP arrays, enabling efficient QTL mapping and genomic selection (GS). In recent years, new technologies for genetic improvement, such as trans-grafting, virus vectors, and genome-editing, have emerged. Using these techniques, no foreign genes are present in the final product, and some of them show considerable promise for application to apple breeding. PMID:27069388

  1. Biotechnology and apple breeding in Japan

    PubMed Central

    Igarashi, Megumi; Hatsuyama, Yoshimichi; Harada, Takeo; Fukasawa-Akada, Tomoko

    2016-01-01

    Apple is a fruit crop of significant economic importance, and breeders world wide continue to develop novel cultivars with improved characteristics. The lengthy juvenile period and the large field space required to grow apple populations have imposed major limitations on breeding. Various molecular biological techniques have been employed to make apple breeding easier. Transgenic technology has facilitated the development of apples with resistance to fungal or bacterial diseases, improved fruit quality, or root stocks with better rooting or dwarfing ability. DNA markers for disease resistance (scab, powdery mildew, fire-blight, Alternaria blotch) and fruit skin color have also been developed, and marker-assisted selection (MAS) has been employed in breeding programs. In the last decade, genomic sequences and chromosome maps of various cultivars have become available, allowing the development of large SNP arrays, enabling efficient QTL mapping and genomic selection (GS). In recent years, new technologies for genetic improvement, such as trans-grafting, virus vectors, and genome-editing, have emerged. Using these techniques, no foreign genes are present in the final product, and some of them show considerable promise for application to apple breeding. PMID:27069388

  2. Foraging patterns of Caspian terns and double-crested cormorants in the Columbia River estuary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lyons, Donald E.; Roby, D.D.; Collis, K.

    2007-01-01

    We examined spatial and temporal foraging patterns of Caspian terns and double-crested cormorants nesting in the Columbia River estuary, to potentially identify circumstances where juvenile salmonids listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act might be more vulnerable to predation by these avian piscivores. Data were collected during the 1998 and 1999 breeding seasons, using point count surveys of foraging birds at 40 sites along the river's banks, and using aerial strip transect counts throughout the estuary for terns. In 1998, terns selected tidal flats and sites with roosting beaches nearby for foraging, making greater use of the marine/mixing zone of the estuary later in the season, particularly areas near the ocean jetties. In 1999, cormorants selected foraging sites in freshwater along the main channel with pile dikes present, particularly early in the season. Foraging trends in the other year for each species were generally similar to the above but usually not significant. During aerial surveys we observed 50% of foraging and commuting terns within 8 km of the Rice Island colony, and ??? 5% of activity occurred ??? 27 km from this colony in both years. Disproportionately greater cormorant foraging activity at pile dikes may indicate greater vulnerability of salmonids to predation at those features. Colony relocations to sites at sufficient distance from areas of relatively high salmonid abundance may be a straightforward means of reducing impacts of avian predation on salmonids than habitat alterations within the Columbia River estuary, at least for terns. ?? 2007 by the Northwest Scientific Association. All rights reserved.

  3. Sex-specific foraging behavior in response to fishing activities in a threatened seabird

    PubMed Central

    García-Tarrasón, Manuel; Bécares, Juan; Bateman, Santiago; Arcos, José Manuel; Jover, Lluís; Sanpera, Carolina

    2015-01-01

    Some seabird species have learnt to efficiently exploit fishing discards from trawling activities. However, a discard ban has been proposed as necessary in Europe to ensure the sustainability of the seas. It is of crucial importance for the management and conservation purposes to study the potential consequences of a discard ban on the foraging ecology of threatened seabirds. We assessed the influence of fishing activities on the feeding habits of 22 male and 15 female Audouin's gulls (Larus audouinii) from the Ebro Delta (Mediterranean Sea) during the breeding period using GPS loggers together with Stable Isotope Analysis (SIA), which provided new insights into their foraging behavior and trophic ecology, respectively. GPS data revealed different sex-specific foraging patterns between workdays and weekends. Females were highly consistent in that they foraged at sea throughout the week even though discarding stops at weekends. In contrast, males switched from foraging at sea during the week (when discards are produced) to an increased use of rice field habitats at weekends (when fishermen do not work). This sex-specific foraging behavior could be related to specific nutritional requirements associated with previous egg production, an energetically demanding period for females. However, on a broader time scale integrated by the SIA, both sexes showed a high degree of individual specialization in their trophic ecology. The need to obtain detailed information on the dependence and response of seabirds to fishing activities is crucial in conservation sciences. In this regard, sex-specific foraging behavior in relation to fisheries has been overlooked, despite the ecological and conservation implications. For instance, this situation may lead to sex differentiation in bycatch mortality in longlines when trawlers do not operate. Moreover, any new fisheries policy will need to be implemented gradually to facilitate the adaptation of a specialized species to a discard ban

  4. Welfare in horse breeding

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, M. L. H.; Sandøe, P.

    2015-01-01

    Welfare problems related to the way horses are bred, whether by coitus or by the application of artificial reproduction techniques (ARTs), have been given no discrete consideration within the academic literature. This paper reviews the existing knowledge base about welfare issues in horse breeding and identifies areas in which data is lacking. We suggest that all methods of horse breeding are associated with potential welfare problems, but also that the judicious use of ARTs can sometimes help to address those problems. We discuss how negative welfare effects could be identified and limited and how positive welfare effects associated with breeding might be maximised. Further studies are needed to establish an evidence base about how stressful or painful various breeding procedures are for the animals involved, and what the lifetime welfare implications of ARTs are for future animal generations. PMID:25908746

  5. Welfare in horse breeding.

    PubMed

    Campbell, M L H; Sandøe, P

    2015-04-25

    Welfare problems related to the way horses are bred, whether by coitus or by the application of artificial reproduction techniques (ARTs), have been given no discrete consideration within the academic literature. This paper reviews the existing knowledge base about welfare issues in horse breeding and identifies areas in which data is lacking. We suggest that all methods of horse breeding are associated with potential welfare problems, but also that the judicious use of ARTs can sometimes help to address those problems. We discuss how negative welfare effects could be identified and limited and how positive welfare effects associated with breeding might be maximised. Further studies are needed to establish an evidence base about how stressful or painful various breeding procedures are for the animals involved, and what the lifetime welfare implications of ARTs are for future animal generations.

  6. How slow breeding can be selected in seabirds: testing Lack's hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Dobson, F Stephen; Jouventin, Pierre

    2007-01-22

    The historical debate of the 1960s between group and individual selection hinged on how the slow breeding of seabirds could be explained. While this debate was settled by the ascendance of individual selection, championed by David Lack, explanations for slow breeding in seabirds remain to be tested. We examined the slowest breeding of these birds, the albatrosses and petrels (order Procellariiformes), using analyses that statistically controlled for variations in body size and phylogeny. Incubation and fledging periods appeared strongly correlated, but this turned out to be largely explained by phylogeny. Nonetheless, developmental and reproductive rates were associated with the distance to the foraging range, as predicted under the hypothesis of ecological constraints on breeding pairs, and these results were independent of body size and phylogeny. Slower breeding in these seabirds appeared associated with the rigors of farther pelagic feeding, as Lack originally hypothesized.

  7. Evidence of trapline foraging in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Buatois, Alexis; Lihoreau, Mathieu

    2016-08-15

    Central-place foragers exploiting floral resources often use multi-destination routes (traplines) to maximise their foraging efficiency. Recent studies on bumblebees have showed how solitary foragers can learn traplines, minimising travel costs between multiple replenishing feeding locations. Here we demonstrate a similar routing strategy in the honeybee (Apis mellifera), a major pollinator known to recruit nestmates to discovered food resources. Individual honeybees trained to collect sucrose solution from four artificial flowers arranged within 10 m of the hive location developed repeatable visitation sequences both in the laboratory and in the field. A 10-fold increase of between-flower distances considerably intensified this routing behaviour, with bees establishing more stable and more efficient routes at larger spatial scales. In these advanced social insects, trapline foraging may complement cooperative foraging for exploiting food resources near the hive (where dance recruitment is not used) or when resources are not large enough to sustain multiple foragers at once. PMID:27307487

  8. Evidence of trapline foraging in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Buatois, Alexis; Lihoreau, Mathieu

    2016-08-15

    Central-place foragers exploiting floral resources often use multi-destination routes (traplines) to maximise their foraging efficiency. Recent studies on bumblebees have showed how solitary foragers can learn traplines, minimising travel costs between multiple replenishing feeding locations. Here we demonstrate a similar routing strategy in the honeybee (Apis mellifera), a major pollinator known to recruit nestmates to discovered food resources. Individual honeybees trained to collect sucrose solution from four artificial flowers arranged within 10 m of the hive location developed repeatable visitation sequences both in the laboratory and in the field. A 10-fold increase of between-flower distances considerably intensified this routing behaviour, with bees establishing more stable and more efficient routes at larger spatial scales. In these advanced social insects, trapline foraging may complement cooperative foraging for exploiting food resources near the hive (where dance recruitment is not used) or when resources are not large enough to sustain multiple foragers at once.

  9. Projected poleward shift of king penguins' (Aptenodytes patagonicus) foraging range at the Crozet Islands, southern Indian Ocean.

    PubMed

    Péron, Clara; Weimerskirch, Henri; Bost, Charles-André

    2012-07-01

    Seabird populations of the Southern Ocean have been responding to climate change for the last three decades and demographic models suggest that projected warming will cause dramatic population changes over the next century. Shift in species distribution is likely to be one of the major possible adaptations to changing environmental conditions. Habitat models based on a unique long-term tracking dataset of king penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) breeding on the Crozet Islands (southern Indian Ocean) revealed that despite a significant influence of primary productivity and mesoscale activity, sea surface temperature consistently drove penguins' foraging distribution. According to climate models of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the projected warming of surface waters would lead to a gradual southward shift of the more profitable foraging zones, ranging from 25 km per decade for the B1 IPCC scenario to 40 km per decade for the A1B and A2 scenarios. As a consequence, distances travelled by incubating and brooding birds to reach optimal foraging zones associated with the polar front would double by 2100. Such a shift is far beyond the usual foraging range of king penguins breeding and would negatively affect the Crozet population on the long term, unless penguins develop alternative foraging strategies. PMID:22378808

  10. Projected poleward shift of king penguins' (Aptenodytes patagonicus) foraging range at the Crozet Islands, southern Indian Ocean.

    PubMed

    Péron, Clara; Weimerskirch, Henri; Bost, Charles-André

    2012-07-01

    Seabird populations of the Southern Ocean have been responding to climate change for the last three decades and demographic models suggest that projected warming will cause dramatic population changes over the next century. Shift in species distribution is likely to be one of the major possible adaptations to changing environmental conditions. Habitat models based on a unique long-term tracking dataset of king penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) breeding on the Crozet Islands (southern Indian Ocean) revealed that despite a significant influence of primary productivity and mesoscale activity, sea surface temperature consistently drove penguins' foraging distribution. According to climate models of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the projected warming of surface waters would lead to a gradual southward shift of the more profitable foraging zones, ranging from 25 km per decade for the B1 IPCC scenario to 40 km per decade for the A1B and A2 scenarios. As a consequence, distances travelled by incubating and brooding birds to reach optimal foraging zones associated with the polar front would double by 2100. Such a shift is far beyond the usual foraging range of king penguins breeding and would negatively affect the Crozet population on the long term, unless penguins develop alternative foraging strategies.

  11. Projected poleward shift of king penguins' (Aptenodytes patagonicus) foraging range at the Crozet Islands, southern Indian Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Péron, Clara; Weimerskirch, Henri; Bost, Charles-André

    2012-01-01

    Seabird populations of the Southern Ocean have been responding to climate change for the last three decades and demographic models suggest that projected warming will cause dramatic population changes over the next century. Shift in species distribution is likely to be one of the major possible adaptations to changing environmental conditions. Habitat models based on a unique long-term tracking dataset of king penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) breeding on the Crozet Islands (southern Indian Ocean) revealed that despite a significant influence of primary productivity and mesoscale activity, sea surface temperature consistently drove penguins' foraging distribution. According to climate models of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the projected warming of surface waters would lead to a gradual southward shift of the more profitable foraging zones, ranging from 25 km per decade for the B1 IPCC scenario to 40 km per decade for the A1B and A2 scenarios. As a consequence, distances travelled by incubating and brooding birds to reach optimal foraging zones associated with the polar front would double by 2100. Such a shift is far beyond the usual foraging range of king penguins breeding and would negatively affect the Crozet population on the long term, unless penguins develop alternative foraging strategies. PMID:22378808

  12. Ambient Air Temperature Does Not Predict whether Small or Large Workers Forage in Bumble Bees (Bombus impatiens)

    PubMed Central

    Couvillon, Margaret J.; Fitzpatrick, Ginny; Dornhaus, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Bumble bees are important pollinators of crops and other plants. However, many aspects of their basic biology remain relatively unexplored. For example, one important and unusual natural history feature in bumble bees is the massive size variation seen between workers of the same nest. This size polymorphism may be an adaptation for division of labor, colony economics, or be nonadaptive. It was also suggested that perhaps this variation allows for niche specialization in workers foraging at different temperatures: larger bees might be better suited to forage at cooler temperatures and smaller bees might be better suited to forage at warmer temperatures. This we tested here using a large, enclosed growth chamber, where we were able to regulate the ambient temperature. We found no significant effect of ambient or nest temperature on the average size of bees flying to and foraging from a suspended feeder. Instead, bees of all sizes successfully flew and foraged between 16°C and 36°C. Thus, large bees foraged even at very hot temperatures, which we thought might cause overheating. Size variation therefore could not be explained in terms of niche specialization for foragers at different temperatures. PMID:26005222

  13. Boa constrictor (Boa constrictor): foraging behavior

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sorrell, G.G.; Boback, M.S.; Reed, R.N.; Green, S.; Montgomery, Chad E.; DeSouza, L.S.; Chiaraviglio, M.

    2011-01-01

    Boa constrictor is often referred to as a sit-and-wait or ambush forager that chooses locations to maximize the likelihood of prey encounters (Greene 1983. In Janzen [ed.], Costa Rica Natural History, pp. 380-382. Univ. Chicago Press, Illinois). However, as more is learned about the natural history of snakes in general, the dichotomy between active versus ambush foraging is becoming blurred. Herein, we describe an instance of diurnal active foraging by a B. constrictor, illustrating that this species exhibits a range of foraging behaviors.

  14. Visual Foraging With Fingers and Eye Gaze.

    PubMed

    Jóhannesson, Ómar I; Thornton, Ian M; Smith, Irene J; Chetverikov, Andrey; Kristjánsson, Árni

    2016-03-01

    A popular model of the function of selective visual attention involves search where a single target is to be found among distractors. For many scenarios, a more realistic model involves search for multiple targets of various types, since natural tasks typically do not involve a single target. Here we present results from a novel multiple-target foraging paradigm. We compare finger foraging where observers cancel a set of predesignated targets by tapping them, to gaze foraging where observers cancel items by fixating them for 100 ms. During finger foraging, for most observers, there was a large difference between foraging based on a single feature, where observers switch easily between target types, and foraging based on a conjunction of features where observers tended to stick to one target type. The pattern was notably different during gaze foraging where these condition differences were smaller. Two conclusions follow: (a) The fact that a sizeable number of observers (in particular during gaze foraging) had little trouble switching between different target types raises challenges for many prominent theoretical accounts of visual attention and working memory. (b) While caveats must be noted for the comparison of gaze and finger foraging, the results suggest that selection mechanisms for gaze and pointing have different operational constraints. PMID:27433323

  15. Visual Foraging With Fingers and Eye Gaze

    PubMed Central

    Thornton, Ian M.; Smith, Irene J.; Chetverikov, Andrey; Kristjánsson, Árni

    2016-01-01

    A popular model of the function of selective visual attention involves search where a single target is to be found among distractors. For many scenarios, a more realistic model involves search for multiple targets of various types, since natural tasks typically do not involve a single target. Here we present results from a novel multiple-target foraging paradigm. We compare finger foraging where observers cancel a set of predesignated targets by tapping them, to gaze foraging where observers cancel items by fixating them for 100 ms. During finger foraging, for most observers, there was a large difference between foraging based on a single feature, where observers switch easily between target types, and foraging based on a conjunction of features where observers tended to stick to one target type. The pattern was notably different during gaze foraging where these condition differences were smaller. Two conclusions follow: (a) The fact that a sizeable number of observers (in particular during gaze foraging) had little trouble switching between different target types raises challenges for many prominent theoretical accounts of visual attention and working memory. (b) While caveats must be noted for the comparison of gaze and finger foraging, the results suggest that selection mechanisms for gaze and pointing have different operational constraints. PMID:27433323

  16. Visual Foraging With Fingers and Eye Gaze.

    PubMed

    Jóhannesson, Ómar I; Thornton, Ian M; Smith, Irene J; Chetverikov, Andrey; Kristjánsson, Árni

    2016-03-01

    A popular model of the function of selective visual attention involves search where a single target is to be found among distractors. For many scenarios, a more realistic model involves search for multiple targets of various types, since natural tasks typically do not involve a single target. Here we present results from a novel multiple-target foraging paradigm. We compare finger foraging where observers cancel a set of predesignated targets by tapping them, to gaze foraging where observers cancel items by fixating them for 100 ms. During finger foraging, for most observers, there was a large difference between foraging based on a single feature, where observers switch easily between target types, and foraging based on a conjunction of features where observers tended to stick to one target type. The pattern was notably different during gaze foraging where these condition differences were smaller. Two conclusions follow: (a) The fact that a sizeable number of observers (in particular during gaze foraging) had little trouble switching between different target types raises challenges for many prominent theoretical accounts of visual attention and working memory. (b) While caveats must be noted for the comparison of gaze and finger foraging, the results suggest that selection mechanisms for gaze and pointing have different operational constraints.

  17. Genotype x environment interactions in milk yield and quality in Angus, Brahman, and reciprocal-cross cows on different forage systems.

    PubMed

    Brown, M A; Brown, A H; Jackson, W G; Miesner, J R

    2001-07-01

    Milk yield and quality were observed on 93 Angus, Brahman, and reciprocal-cross cows over 3 yr to evaluate the interactions of direct and maternal breed effects and heterosis with forage environment. Forage environments were common bermudagrass (BG), endophyte-infected tall fescue (E+), and a rotational system (ROT) of both forages, in which each forage (BG or E+) was grazed during its appropriate season, usually June through October for BG and November through May for E+. Milk yield was estimated each of 6 mo (April through September) via milking machine and converted to a 24-h basis. Milk fat, milk protein, and somatic cell count were analyzed by a commercial laboratory. Heterosis for milk yield was similar among forages, averaging 2.4 kg (P < 0.01). Expressed as percentages of purebred means, heterosis for milk yield was largest on E+ (52.8%), intermediate on ROT (39.3%), and smallest on BG (23.7%). Direct breed effects for milk yield favored Brahman, and they were similar among forages but tended to be larger for E+ (2.5 kg) and ROT (2.8 kg) than for BG (1.3 kg). Direct breed effects for milk fat favored Brahman and were similar among forages but tended to be larger for E+ (1.0%) and ROT (1.0%) than for BG (0.6%). Purebred cows exceeded crossbreds in milk protein by 0.1% on ROT (P < 0.10). Crossbred cows had lower somatic cell counts than purebreds on BG (P < 0.05), E+ (P < 0.01), or ROT (P > 0.30). Heterosis for somatic cell counts as percentages of purebred means was similar for BG (-68.3%) and E+ (-68.9%) and less favorable for ROT (-31.6%). Maternal breed effects for somatic cell count favored Angus on ROT (P < 0.10) with a similar nonsignificant trend on BG and E+. Direct breed effects for somatic cell count favored Brahman on ROT (P < 0.10) with similar nonsignificant trends on BG and E+. These results suggested that a rotation of cows from E+ to BG in the summer can partially alleviate negative effects of E+ on milk yield. Conclusions also indicated an

  18. Hybrid recreation by reverse breeding in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Wijnker, Erik; Deurhof, Laurens; van de Belt, Jose; de Snoo, C Bastiaan; Blankestijn, Hetty; Becker, Frank; Ravi, Maruthachalam; Chan, Simon W L; van Dun, Kees; Lelivelt, Cilia L C; de Jong, Hans; Dirks, Rob; Keurentjes, Joost J B

    2014-04-01

    Hybrid crop varieties are traditionally produced by selecting and crossing parental lines to evaluate hybrid performance. Reverse breeding allows doing the opposite: selecting uncharacterized heterozygotes and generating parental lines from them. With these, the selected heterozygotes can be recreated as F1 hybrids, greatly increasing the number of hybrids that can be screened in breeding programs. Key to reverse breeding is the suppression of meiotic crossovers in a hybrid plant to ensure the transmission of nonrecombinant chromosomes to haploid gametes. These gametes are subsequently regenerated as doubled-haploid (DH) offspring. Each DH carries combinations of its parental chromosomes, and complementing pairs can be crossed to reconstitute the initial hybrid. Achiasmatic meiosis and haploid generation result in uncommon phenotypes among offspring owing to chromosome number variation. We describe how these features can be dealt with during a reverse-breeding experiment, which can be completed in six generations (∼1 year). PMID:24603935

  19. Individual honey bee (Apis cerana) foragers adjust their fuel load to match variability in forage reward

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Ken; Latty, Tanya; Dong, Shihao; Liu, Xiwen; Wang, Chao; Oldroyd, Benjamin P.

    2015-01-01

    Animals may adjust their behavior according to their perception of risk. Here we show that free-flying honey bee (Apis cerana) foragers mitigate the risk of starvation in the field when foraging on a food source that offers variable rewards by carrying more ‘fuel’ food on their outward journey. We trained foragers to a feeder located 1.2 km from each of four colonies. On average foragers carried 12.7% greater volume of fuel, equivalent to 30.2% more glucose when foraging on a variable source (a random sequence of 0.5, 1.5 and 2.5 M sucrose solution, average sucrose content 1.5 M) than when forging on a consistent source (constant 1.5 M sucrose solution). Our findings complement an earlier study that showed that foragers decrease their fuel load as they become more familiar with a foraging place. We suggest that honey bee foragers are risk sensitive, and carry more fuel to minimize the risk of starvation in the field when a foraging trip is perceived as being risky, either because the forager is unfamiliar with the foraging site, or because the forage available at a familiar site offers variable rewards. PMID:26549746

  20. Balancing energy budget in a central-place forager: which habitat to select in a heterogeneous environment?

    PubMed

    Patenaude-Monette, Martin; Bélisle, Marc; Giroux, Jean-François

    2014-01-01

    Foraging animals are influenced by the distribution of food resources and predation risk that both vary in space and time. These constraints likely shape trade-offs involving time, energy, nutrition, and predator avoidance leading to a sequence of locations visited by individuals. According to the marginal-value theorem (MVT), a central-place forager must either increase load size or energy content when foraging farther from their central place. Although such a decision rule has the potential to shape movement and habitat selection patterns, few studies have addressed the mechanisms underlying habitat use at the landscape scale. Our objective was therefore to determine how Ring-billed gulls (Larus delawarensis) select their foraging habitats while nesting in a colony located in a heterogeneous landscape. Based on locations obtained by fine-scale GPS tracking, we used resource selection functions (RSFs) and residence time analyses to identify habitats selected by gulls for foraging during the incubation and brood rearing periods. We then combined this information to gull survey data, feeding rates, stomach contents, and calorimetric analyses to assess potential trade-offs. Throughout the breeding season, gulls selected landfills and transhipment sites that provided higher mean energy intake than agricultural lands or riparian habitats. They used landfills located farther from the colony where no deterrence program had been implemented but avoided those located closer where deterrence measures took place. On the other hand, gulls selected intensively cultured lands located relatively close to the colony during incubation. The number of gulls was then greater in fields covered by bare soil and peaked during soil preparation and seed sowing, which greatly increase food availability. Breeding Ring-billed gulls thus select habitats according to both their foraging profitability and distance from their nest while accounting for predation risk. This supports the

  1. Balancing energy budget in a central-place forager: which habitat to select in a heterogeneous environment?

    PubMed

    Patenaude-Monette, Martin; Bélisle, Marc; Giroux, Jean-François

    2014-01-01

    Foraging animals are influenced by the distribution of food resources and predation risk that both vary in space and time. These constraints likely shape trade-offs involving time, energy, nutrition, and predator avoidance leading to a sequence of locations visited by individuals. According to the marginal-value theorem (MVT), a central-place forager must either increase load size or energy content when foraging farther from their central place. Although such a decision rule has the potential to shape movement and habitat selection patterns, few studies have addressed the mechanisms underlying habitat use at the landscape scale. Our objective was therefore to determine how Ring-billed gulls (Larus delawarensis) select their foraging habitats while nesting in a colony located in a heterogeneous landscape. Based on locations obtained by fine-scale GPS tracking, we used resource selection functions (RSFs) and residence time analyses to identify habitats selected by gulls for foraging during the incubation and brood rearing periods. We then combined this information to gull survey data, feeding rates, stomach contents, and calorimetric analyses to assess potential trade-offs. Throughout the breeding season, gulls selected landfills and transhipment sites that provided higher mean energy intake than agricultural lands or riparian habitats. They used landfills located farther from the colony where no deterrence program had been implemented but avoided those located closer where deterrence measures took place. On the other hand, gulls selected intensively cultured lands located relatively close to the colony during incubation. The number of gulls was then greater in fields covered by bare soil and peaked during soil preparation and seed sowing, which greatly increase food availability. Breeding Ring-billed gulls thus select habitats according to both their foraging profitability and distance from their nest while accounting for predation risk. This supports the

  2. Vision and touch in relation to foraging and predator detection: insightful contrasts between a plover and a sandpiper.

    PubMed

    Martin, Graham R; Piersma, Theunis

    2009-02-01

    Visual fields were determined in two species of shorebirds (Charadriiformes) whose foraging is guided primarily by different sources of information: red knots (Calidris canutus, tactile foragers) and European golden plovers (Pluvialis apricaria, visual foragers). The visual fields of both species showed features that are found in a wide range of birds whose foraging involves precision pecking or lunging at food items. Surprisingly, red knots did not show comprehensive panoramic vision as found in some other tactile feeders; they have a binocular field surrounding the bill and a substantial blind area behind the head. We argue that this is because knots switch to more visually guided foraging on their breeding grounds. However, this visual field topography leaves them vulnerable to predation, especially when using tactile foraging in non-breeding locations where predation by falcons is an important selection factor. Golden plovers use visually guided foraging throughout the year, and so it is not surprising that they have precision-pecking frontal visual fields. However, they often feed at night and this is associated with relatively large eyes. These are anchored in the skull by a wing of bone extending from the dorsal perimeter of each orbit; a skeletal structure previously unreported in birds and which we have named 'supraorbital aliform bone', Os supraorbitale aliforme. The larger eyes and their associated supraorbital wings result in a wide blind area above the head, which may leave these plovers particularly vulnerable to predation. Thus, in these two shorebirds, we see clear examples of the trade-off between the two key functions of visual fields: (i) the detection of predators remote from the animal and (ii) the control of accurate behaviours, such as the procurement of food items, at close quarters.

  3. Balancing Energy Budget in a Central-Place Forager: Which Habitat to Select in a Heterogeneous Environment?

    PubMed Central

    Patenaude-Monette, Martin; Bélisle, Marc; Giroux, Jean-François

    2014-01-01

    Foraging animals are influenced by the distribution of food resources and predation risk that both vary in space and time. These constraints likely shape trade-offs involving time, energy, nutrition, and predator avoidance leading to a sequence of locations visited by individuals. According to the marginal-value theorem (MVT), a central-place forager must either increase load size or energy content when foraging farther from their central place. Although such a decision rule has the potential to shape movement and habitat selection patterns, few studies have addressed the mechanisms underlying habitat use at the landscape scale. Our objective was therefore to determine how Ring-billed gulls (Larus delawarensis) select their foraging habitats while nesting in a colony located in a heterogeneous landscape. Based on locations obtained by fine-scale GPS tracking, we used resource selection functions (RSFs) and residence time analyses to identify habitats selected by gulls for foraging during the incubation and brood rearing periods. We then combined this information to gull survey data, feeding rates, stomach contents, and calorimetric analyses to assess potential trade-offs. Throughout the breeding season, gulls selected landfills and transhipment sites that provided higher mean energy intake than agricultural lands or riparian habitats. They used landfills located farther from the colony where no deterrence program had been implemented but avoided those located closer where deterrence measures took place. On the other hand, gulls selected intensively cultured lands located relatively close to the colony during incubation. The number of gulls was then greater in fields covered by bare soil and peaked during soil preparation and seed sowing, which greatly increase food availability. Breeding Ring-billed gulls thus select habitats according to both their foraging profitability and distance from their nest while accounting for predation risk. This supports the

  4. Firewood crops

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-01-01

    This report does not suggest a solution to the entire firewood crisis but examines one part of the solution: the selection of species suitable for deliberate cultivation as firewood crops in developing countries. Primary emphasis is placed on species suitable for growing firewood for individual family needs. However, species suited to plantation cultivation for fueling small industrial factories, electric generators, and crop dryers are also considered. Most of the plants are little known in traditional forest production. Some are woody shrubs rather than forest trees, but even these may meet many requirements for small-scale village use. Particular attention was paid to multi-purpose plants that have uses in addition to providing fuel, plants that adapt well to different sites and require little care, plants for problem environments and plants not consumed by goats and wildlife. Special consideration was given to nitrogen-fixing ability, rapid growth, ability to coppice, ability to produce wood of high calorific value that burns without sparks or toxic smoke and ability to grow successfully in a wide range of environments. After an introduction on wood as fuel, more than 60 fuel-wood species for humid tropical, tropical highland and arid and semi-arid regions are presented. The data on existing plants cover their major attributes, description, distribution, use as fuelwood, yield, other uses, environmental requirements, establishment, pest and diseases and limitations. Appendices include technologies for improving the efficiency of fuelwood use, case studies from Ethiopia and the Republic of Korea and a master list of firewood species.

  5. Proximate drivers of spatial segregation in non-breeding albatrosses

    PubMed Central

    Clay, Thomas A.; Manica, Andrea; Ryan, Peter G.; Silk, Janet R. D.; Croxall, John P.; Ireland, Louise; Phillips, Richard A.

    2016-01-01

    Many animals partition resources to avoid competition, and in colonially-breeding species this often leads to divergent space or habitat use. During the non-breeding season, foraging constraints are relaxed, yet the patterns and drivers of segregation both between and within populations are poorly understood. We modelled habitat preference to examine how extrinsic (habitat availability and intra-specific competition) and intrinsic factors (population, sex and breeding outcome) influence the distributions of non-breeding grey-headed albatrosses Thalassarche chrysostoma tracked from two major populations, South Georgia (Atlantic Ocean) and the Prince Edward Islands (Indian Ocean). Spatial segregation was greater than expected, reflecting distinct seasonal differences in habitat selection and accessibility, and avoidance of intra-specific competition with local breeders. Previously failed birds segregated spatially from successful birds during summer, when they used less productive waters, suggesting a link between breeding outcome and subsequent habitat selection. In contrast, we found weak evidence of sexual segregation, which did not reflect a difference in habitat use. Our results indicate that the large-scale spatial structuring of albatross distributions results from interactions between extrinsic and intrinsic factors, with important implications for population dynamics. As habitat preferences differed substantially between colonies, populations should be considered independently when identifying critical areas for protection. PMID:27443877

  6. Proximate drivers of spatial segregation in non-breeding albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Clay, Thomas A; Manica, Andrea; Ryan, Peter G; Silk, Janet R D; Croxall, John P; Ireland, Louise; Phillips, Richard A

    2016-01-01

    Many animals partition resources to avoid competition, and in colonially-breeding species this often leads to divergent space or habitat use. During the non-breeding season, foraging constraints are relaxed, yet the patterns and drivers of segregation both between and within populations are poorly understood. We modelled habitat preference to examine how extrinsic (habitat availability and intra-specific competition) and intrinsic factors (population, sex and breeding outcome) influence the distributions of non-breeding grey-headed albatrosses Thalassarche chrysostoma tracked from two major populations, South Georgia (Atlantic Ocean) and the Prince Edward Islands (Indian Ocean). Spatial segregation was greater than expected, reflecting distinct seasonal differences in habitat selection and accessibility, and avoidance of intra-specific competition with local breeders. Previously failed birds segregated spatially from successful birds during summer, when they used less productive waters, suggesting a link between breeding outcome and subsequent habitat selection. In contrast, we found weak evidence of sexual segregation, which did not reflect a difference in habitat use. Our results indicate that the large-scale spatial structuring of albatross distributions results from interactions between extrinsic and intrinsic factors, with important implications for population dynamics. As habitat preferences differed substantially between colonies, populations should be considered independently when identifying critical areas for protection. PMID:27443877

  7. Safety assessment of genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    Atherton, Keith T

    2002-12-27

    The development of genetically modified (GM) crops has prompted widespread debate regarding both human safety and environmental issues. Food crops produced by modern biotechnology using recombinant techniques usually differ from their conventional counterparts only in respect of one or a few desirable genes, as opposed to the use of traditional breeding methods which mix thousands of genes and require considerable efforts to select acceptable and robust hybrid offspring. The difficulties of applying traditional toxicological testing and risk assessment procedures to whole foods are discussed along with the evaluation strategies that are used for these new food products to ensure the safety of these products for the consumer.

  8. Cultivation of cereals by the first farmers was not more productive than foraging

    PubMed Central

    Bowles, Samuel

    2011-01-01

    Did foragers become farmers because cultivation of crops was simply a better way to make a living? If so, what is arguably the greatest ever revolution in human livelihoods is readily explained. To answer the question, I estimate the caloric returns per hour of labor devoted to foraging wild species and cultivating the cereals exploited by the first farmers, using data on foragers and land-abundant hand-tool farmers in the ethnographic and historical record, as well as archaeological evidence. A convincing answer must account not only for the work of foraging and cultivation but also for storage, processing, and other indirect labor, and for the costs associated with the delayed nature of agricultural production and the greater exposure to risk of those whose livelihoods depended on a few cultivars rather than a larger number of wild species. Notwithstanding the considerable uncertainty to which these estimates inevitably are subject, the evidence is inconsistent with the hypothesis that the productivity of the first farmers exceeded that of early Holocene foragers. Social and demographic aspects of farming, rather than its productivity, may have been essential to its emergence and spread. Prominent among these aspects may have been the contribution of farming to population growth and to military prowess, both promoting the spread of farming as a livelihood. PMID:21383181

  9. Roosevelt elk density and social segregation: Foraging behavior and females avoiding larger groups of males

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weckerly, F.; McFarland, K.; Ricca, M.; Meyer, K.

    2004-01-01

    Intersexual social segregation at small spatial scales is prevalent in ruminants that are sexually dimorphic in body size. Explaining social segregation, however, from hypotheses of how intersexual size differences affects the foraging process of males and females has had mixed results. We studied whether body size influences on forage behavior, intersexual social incompatibility or both might influence social segregation in a population of Roosevelt elk (Cervus elaphus roosevelt) that declined 40% over 5 y. Most males and females in the population occurred in the same forage patches, meadows, but occupied different parts of meadows and most groups were overwhelming comprised of one sex. The extent of segregation varied slightly with changing elk density. Cropping rate, our surrogate of forage ingestion, of males in mixed-sex groups differed from males in male-only groups at high, but not low, elk density. In a prior study of intersexual social interactions it was shown that females avoided groups containing ???6 males. Therefore, we predicted that females should avoid parts of meadows where groups of males ???6 were prevalent. Across the 5 y of study this prediction held because ???5% of all females were found in parts of meadows where median aggregation sizes of males were ???6. Social segregation was coupled to body size influences on forage ingestion at high density and social incompatibility was coupled to social segregation regardless of elk density.

  10. Field margins, foraging distances and their impacts on nesting pollinator success.

    PubMed

    Rands, Sean A; Whitney, Heather M

    2011-01-01

    The areas of wild land around the edges of agricultural fields are a vital resource for many species. These include insect pollinators, to whom field margins provide both nest sites and important resources (especially when adjacent crops are not in flower). Nesting pollinators travel relatively short distances from the nest to forage: most species of bee are known to travel less than two kilometres away. In order to ensure that these pollinators have sufficient areas of wild land within reach of their nests, agricultural landscapes need to be designed to accommodate the limited travelling distances of nesting pollinators. We used a spatially-explicit modelling approach to consider whether increasing the width of wild strips of land within the agricultural landscape will enhance the amount of wild resources available to a nesting pollinator, and if it would impact differently on pollinators with differing foraging strategies. This was done both by creating field structures with a randomised geography, and by using landscape data based upon the British agricultural landscape. These models demonstrate that enhancing field margins should lead to an increase in the availability of forage to pollinators that nest within the landscape. With the exception of species that only forage within a very short range of their nest (less than 125 m), a given amount of field margin manipulation should enhance the proportion of land available to a pollinator for foraging regardless of the distance over which it normally travels to find food. A fixed amount of field edge manipulation should therefore be equally beneficial for both longer-distance nesting foragers such as honeybees, and short-distance foragers such as solitary bees.

  11. The role of natural enemy foraging guilds in controlling cereal aphids in Michigan wheat.

    PubMed

    Safarzoda, Shahlo; Bahlai, Christine A; Fox, Aaron F; Landis, Douglas A

    2014-01-01

    Insect natural enemies (predators and parasitoids) provide important ecosystem services by suppressing populations of insect pests in many agricultural crops. However, the role of natural enemies against cereal aphids in Michigan winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is largely unknown. The objectives of this research were to characterize the natural enemy community in wheat fields and evaluate the role of different natural enemy foraging guilds (foliar-foraging versus ground-dwelling predators) in regulating cereal aphid population growth. We investigated these objectives during the spring and summer of 2012 and 2013 in four winter wheat fields on the Michigan State University campus farm in East Lansing, Michigan. We monitored and measured the impact of natural enemies by experimentally excluding or allowing their access to wheat plants infested with Rhopalosiphum padi (L.) and Sitobion avenae (F.) (Hemiptera: Aphidae). Our results indicate that the natural enemy community in the wheat fields consisted mostly of foliar-foraging and ground-dwelling predators with relatively few parasitoids. In combination, these natural enemy groups were very effective at reducing cereal aphid populations. We also investigated the role of each natural enemy foraging guild (foliar-foraging versus ground-dwelling predators) independently. Overall, our results suggest that, in combination, natural enemies can almost completely halt early-season aphid population increase. Independently, ground-dwelling predators were more effective at suppressing cereal aphid populations than foliar-foraging predators under the conditions we studied. Our results differ from studies in Europe and the US Great Plains where foliar foraging predators and parasitoids are frequently more important cereal aphid natural enemies.

  12. The role of natural enemy foraging guilds in controlling cereal aphids in Michigan wheat.

    PubMed

    Safarzoda, Shahlo; Bahlai, Christine A; Fox, Aaron F; Landis, Douglas A

    2014-01-01

    Insect natural enemies (predators and parasitoids) provide important ecosystem services by suppressing populations of insect pests in many agricultural crops. However, the role of natural enemies against cereal aphids in Michigan winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is largely unknown. The objectives of this research were to characterize the natural enemy community in wheat fields and evaluate the role of different natural enemy foraging guilds (foliar-foraging versus ground-dwelling predators) in regulating cereal aphid population growth. We investigated these objectives during the spring and summer of 2012 and 2013 in four winter wheat fields on the Michigan State University campus farm in East Lansing, Michigan. We monitored and measured the impact of natural enemies by experimentally excluding or allowing their access to wheat plants infested with Rhopalosiphum padi (L.) and Sitobion avenae (F.) (Hemiptera: Aphidae). Our results indicate that the natural enemy community in the wheat fields consisted mostly of foliar-foraging and ground-dwelling predators with relatively few parasitoids. In combination, these natural enemy groups were very effective at reducing cereal aphid populations. We also investigated the role of each natural enemy foraging guild (foliar-foraging versus ground-dwelling predators) independently. Overall, our results suggest that, in combination, natural enemies can almost completely halt early-season aphid population increase. Independently, ground-dwelling predators were more effective at suppressing cereal aphid populations than foliar-foraging predators under the conditions we studied. Our results differ from studies in Europe and the US Great Plains where foliar foraging predators and parasitoids are frequently more important cereal aphid natural enemies. PMID:25473951

  13. Field Margins, Foraging Distances and Their Impacts on Nesting Pollinator Success

    PubMed Central

    Rands, Sean A.; Whitney, Heather M.

    2011-01-01

    The areas of wild land around the edges of agricultural fields are a vital resource for many species. These include insect pollinators, to whom field margins provide both nest sites and important resources (especially when adjacent crops are not in flower). Nesting pollinators travel relatively short distances from the nest to forage: most species of bee are known to travel less than two kilometres away. In order to ensure that these pollinators have sufficient areas of wild land within reach of their nests, agricultural landscapes need to be designed to accommodate the limited travelling distances of nesting pollinators. We used a spatially-explicit modelling approach to consider whether increasing the width of wild strips of land within the agricultural landscape will enhance the amount of wild resources available to a nesting pollinator, and if it would impact differently on pollinators with differing foraging strategies. This was done both by creating field structures with a randomised geography, and by using landscape data based upon the British agricultural landscape. These models demonstrate that enhancing field margins should lead to an increase in the availability of forage to pollinators that nest within the landscape. With the exception of species that only forage within a very short range of their nest (less than 125 m), a given amount of field margin manipulation should enhance the proportion of land available to a pollinator for foraging regardless of the distance over which it normally travels to find food. A fixed amount of field edge manipulation should therefore be equally beneficial for both longer-distance nesting foragers such as honeybees, and short-distance foragers such as solitary bees. PMID:21991390

  14. Development of molecular markers for breeding for disease resistant crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rice blast disease caused by the filamentous ascomycetes fungus Magnaporthe oryzae and sheath blight disease caused by the soil borne fungus Rhizocotonia solani are the two major rice diseases that threaten stable rice production in the USA and worldwide. These two diseases have been managed with a ...

  15. Importance of plant integrity in crop research, breeding, and production

    PubMed Central

    Pazderů, Kateřina; Bláha, Ladislav

    2013-01-01

    Plant integrity looks like a “very easy and expanded topic,” but the reality is totally different. Thanks to the very high specialization of scientists, we are losing a holistic view of plants and are making mistakes in our research due to this drawback. It is necessary to sense a plant in their whole complexity—in both roots and shoot, as well as throughout their life cycles. Only such an integrated approach can allow us to reach correct interpretations of our experimental results. PMID:24301201

  16. Evaluation of Millet and Rapeseed as Rotation or Green Manure Crops to Control Nematodes in Orchard Replant

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Four annual crops, including Canadian forage pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) hybrid 101, velvetbean (Mucuna spp. ), rapeseed (Brassica napus) cv. Dwarf Essex, and buckwheat (Fagopyrum spp.), were evaluated as rotation or green manure crops for suppression of dagger (Xiphinema americanum) and lesio...

  17. Breeding and Selection of New Switchgrass Varieties for Increased Biomass Production

    SciTech Connect

    Taliaferro, C.M.

    2003-05-27

    Switchgrass breeding and genetics research was conducted from 1992-2002 at the Oklahoma State University as part of the national DOE-Bioenergy Feedstock Development Program (BFDP) effort to develop the species as a bioenergy feedstock crop. The fundamental objective of the program was to implement and conduct a breeding program to increase biomass yield capability in switchgrass and develop cultivars for the central and southern United States. Supporting research objectives included: (1) switchgrass germplasm collection, characterization, and enhancement; (2) elucidation of cytogenetic and breeding behavior; and (3) identification of best breeding procedures.

  18. Functional molecular markers for crop improvement.

    PubMed

    Kage, Udaykumar; Kumar, Arun; Dhokane, Dhananjay; Karre, Shailesh; Kushalappa, Ajjamada C

    2016-10-01

    A tremendous decline in cultivable land and resources and a huge increase in food demand calls for immediate attention to crop improvement. Though molecular plant breeding serves as a viable solution and is considered as "foundation for twenty-first century crop improvement", a major stumbling block for crop improvement is the availability of a limited functional gene pool for cereal crops. Advancement in the next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies integrated with tools like metabolomics, proteomics and association mapping studies have facilitated the identification of candidate genes, their allelic variants and opened new avenues to accelerate crop improvement through development and use of functional molecular markers (FMMs). The FMMs are developed from the sequence polymorphisms present within functional gene(s) which are associated with phenotypic trait variations. Since FMMs obviate the problems associated with random DNA markers, these are considered as "the holy grail" of plant breeders who employ targeted marker assisted selections (MAS) for crop improvement. This review article attempts to consider the current resources and novel methods such as metabolomics, proteomics and association studies for the identification of candidate genes and their validation through virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) for the development of FMMs. A number of examples where the FMMs have been developed and used for the improvement of cereal crops for agronomic, food quality, disease resistance and abiotic stress tolerance traits have been considered. PMID:26171816

  19. Back to the wilds: tapping evolutionary adaptations for resilient crops through systematic hybridization with crop wild relatives.

    PubMed

    Warschefsky, Emily; Penmetsa, R Varma; Cook, Douglas R; von Wettberg, Eric J B

    2014-10-01

    The genetic diversity of our crop plants has been substantially reduced during the process of domestication and breeding. This reduction in diversity necessarily constrains our ability to expand a crop's range of cultivation into environments that are more extreme than those in which it was domesticated, including into "sustainable" agricultural systems with reduced inputs of pesticides, water, and fertilizers. Conversely, the wild progenitors of crop plants typically possess high levels of genetic diversity, which underlie an expanded (relative to domesticates) range of adaptive traits that may be of agricultural relevance, including resistance to pests and pathogens, tolerance to abiotic extremes, and reduced dependence on inputs. Despite their clear potential for crop improvement, wild relatives have rarely been used systematically for crop improvement, and in no cases, have full sets of wild diversity been introgressed into a crop. Instead, most breeding efforts have focused on specific traits and dealt with wild species in a limited and typically ad hoc manner. Although expedient, this approach misses the opportunity to test a large suite of traits and deploy the full potential of crop wild relatives in breeding for the looming challenges of the 21st century. Here we review examples of hybridization in several species, both intentionally produced and naturally occurring, to illustrate the gains that are possible. We start with naturally occurring hybrids, and then examine a range of examples of hybridization in agricultural settings. PMID:25326621

  20. Micronutrients in Soils, Crops, and Livestock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, Umesh C.; Wu, Kening; Liang, Siyuan

    in forages, which are sufficient for optimum crop yields, are not adequate to meet the needs of livestock. Selenium is a trace mineral, which is not required by plants, and maximum forage yields can be obtained on soils with very low amounts of soil Se. However, if animals are fed feed crops and forages with low Se, they could suffer from serious muscular disorders and other diseases. White muscle disease caused by Se deficiency is the most common disorder and is found in calves and lambs. Sufficiency levels of micronutrients for crops have been discussed in relation to the animal requirement.

  1. Sorghum as a forage in Wisconsin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Growing moderate quality forages that meet, but do not exceed, requirements of dairy replacement heifers is not a common practice in Wisconsin; however, this forage management option would have a positive impact on the dairy industry. It is typical for heifers to gain excessive bodyweight when they ...

  2. Feedout losses from forage storage systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Significant losses of forage can occur as forage is removed from storage and fed. Hay losses are affected by the type of feeder used. Losses from silage are also affected by the bulk density of the silage, feedout rate, smoothness of the removal face and the amount of loosened silage that is not fed...

  3. Molecular breeding in Brassica for salt tolerance: importance of microsatellite (SSR) markers for molecular breeding in Brassica

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Manu; Choi, Ju-Young; Kumari, Nisha; Pareek, Ashwani; Kim, Seong-Ryong

    2015-01-01

    Salinity is one of the important abiotic factors for any crop management in irrigated as well as rainfed areas, which leads to poor harvests. This yield reduction in salt affected soils can be overcome by improving salt tolerance in crops or by soil reclamation. Salty soils can be reclaimed by leaching the salt or by cultivation of salt tolerance crops. Salt tolerance is a quantitative trait controlled by several genes. Poor knowledge about mechanism of its inheritance makes slow progress in its introgression into target crops. Brassica is known to be a good reclamation crop. Inter and intra specific variation within Brassica species shows potential of molecular breeding to raise salinity tolerant genotypes. Among the various molecular markers, SSR markers are getting high attention, since they are randomly sparsed, highly variable and show co-dominant inheritance. Furthermore, as sequencing techniques are improving and softwares to find SSR markers are being developed, SSR markers technology is also evolving rapidly. Comparative SSR marker studies targeting Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica species which lie in the same family will further aid in studying the salt tolerance related QTLs and subsequent identification of the “candidate genes” and finding out the origin of important QTLs. Although, there are a few reports on molecular breeding for improving salt tolerance using molecular markers in Brassica species, usage of SSR markers has a big potential to improve salt tolerance in Brassica crops. In order to obtain best harvests, role of SSR marker driven breeding approaches play important role and it has been discussed in this review especially for the introgression of salt tolerance traits in crops. PMID:26388887

  4. Molecular breeding in Brassica for salt tolerance: importance of microsatellite (SSR) markers for molecular breeding in Brassica.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Manu; Choi, Ju-Young; Kumari, Nisha; Pareek, Ashwani; Kim, Seong-Ryong

    2015-01-01

    Salinity is one of the important abiotic factors for any crop management in irrigated as well as rainfed areas, which leads to poor harvests. This yield reduction in salt affected soils can be overcome by improving salt tolerance in crops or by soil reclamation. Salty soils can be reclaimed by leaching the salt or by cultivation of salt tolerance crops. Salt tolerance is a quantitative trait controlled by several genes. Poor knowledge about mechanism of its inheritance makes slow progress in its introgression into target crops. Brassica is known to be a good reclamation crop. Inter and intra specific variation within Brassica species shows potential of molecular breeding to raise salinity tolerant genotypes. Among the various molecular markers, SSR markers are getting high attention, since they are randomly sparsed, highly variable and show co-dominant inheritance. Furthermore, as sequencing techniques are improving and softwares to find SSR markers are being developed, SSR markers technology is also evolving rapidly. Comparative SSR marker studies targeting Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica species which lie in the same family will further aid in studying the salt tolerance related QTLs and subsequent identification of the "candidate genes" and finding out the origin of important QTLs. Although, there are a few reports on molecular breeding for improving salt tolerance using molecular markers in Brassica species, usage of SSR markers has a big potential to improve salt tolerance in Brassica crops. In order to obtain best harvests, role of SSR marker driven breeding approaches play important role and it has been discussed in this review especially for the introgression of salt tolerance traits in crops.

  5. Molecular breeding in Brassica for salt tolerance: importance of microsatellite (SSR) markers for molecular breeding in Brassica.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Manu; Choi, Ju-Young; Kumari, Nisha; Pareek, Ashwani; Kim, Seong-Ryong

    2015-01-01

    Salinity is one of the important abiotic factors for any crop management in irrigated as well as rainfed areas, which leads to poor harvests. This yield reduction in salt affected soils can be overcome by improving salt tolerance in crops or by soil reclamation. Salty soils can be reclaimed by leaching the salt or by cultivation of salt tolerance crops. Salt tolerance is a quantitative trait controlled by several genes. Poor knowledge about mechanism of its inheritance makes slow progress in its introgression into target crops. Brassica is known to be a good reclamation crop. Inter and intra specific variation within Brassica species shows potential of molecular breeding to raise salinity tolerant genotypes. Among the various molecular markers, SSR markers are getting high attention, since they are randomly sparsed, highly variable and show co-dominant inheritance. Furthermore, as sequencing techniques are improving and softwares to find SSR markers are being developed, SSR markers technology is also evolving rapidly. Comparative SSR marker studies targeting Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica species which lie in the same family will further aid in studying the salt tolerance related QTLs and subsequent identification of the "candidate genes" and finding out the origin of important QTLs. Although, there are a few reports on molecular breeding for improving salt tolerance using molecular markers in Brassica species, usage of SSR markers has a big potential to improve salt tolerance in Brassica crops. In order to obtain best harvests, role of SSR marker driven breeding approaches play important role and it has been discussed in this review especially for the introgression of salt tolerance traits in crops. PMID:26388887

  6. Universality classes of foraging with resource renewal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chupeau, M.; Bénichou, O.; Redner, S.

    2016-03-01

    We determine the impact of resource renewal on the lifetime of a forager that depletes its environment and starves if it wanders too long without eating. In the framework of a minimal starving random-walk model with resource renewal, there are three universal classes of behavior as a function of the renewal time. For sufficiently rapid renewal, foragers are immortal, while foragers have a finite lifetime otherwise. In the specific case of one dimension, there is a third regime, for sufficiently slow renewal, in which the lifetime of the forager is independent of the renewal time. We outline an enumeration method to determine the mean lifetime of the forager in the mortal regime.

  7. 1980 breeding bird censuses

    SciTech Connect

    Raynor, G.S.

    1980-09-01

    As part of a program to characterize the plant and animal life of the Laboratory site and the surrounding region, the two breeding bird censuses originated in 1977 were continued in 1980. Coverage was below that of previous years due to illness and travel of some participants, but 11 trips were made to the BNL plot and 8 to the Westhampton plot. Each was censused by separate teams of three volunteer observers. The number of breeding species and number of territorial males on the BNL plot have progressively declined since 1977 but little change has taken place in either number of territories or species composition on the Westhampton plot.

  8. Foraging in groups affects giving-up densities: solo foragers quit sooner.

    PubMed

    Carthey, Alexandra J R; Banks, Peter B

    2015-07-01

    The giving-up density framework is an elegant and widely adopted mathematical approach to measuring animals' foraging decisions at non-replenishing artificial resource patches. Under this framework, an animal should "give up" when the benefits of foraging are outweighed by the costs (e.g., predation risk, energetic, and/or missed opportunity costs). However, animals of many species may forage in groups, and group size is expected to alter perceived predation risk and hence influence quitting decisions. Yet, most giving-up density studies assume either that individuals forage alone or that giving-up densities are not affected by group foraging. For animals that forage both alone and in groups, differences in giving-up densities due to group foraging rather than experimental variables may substantially alter interpretation. However, no research to date has directly investigated how group foraging affects the giving-up density. We used remote-sensing cameras to identify instances of group foraging in two species of Rattus across three giving-up density experiments to determine whether group foraging influences giving-up densities. Both Rattus species have been observed to vary between foraging alone and in groups. In all three experiments, solo foragers left higher giving-up densities on average than did group foragers. This result has important implications for studies using giving-up densities to investigate perceived risk, the energetic costs of searching, handling time, digestion, and missed opportunity costs, particularly if groups of animals are more likely to experience certain experimental treatments. It is critically important that future giving-up density studies consider the effects of group foraging.

  9. Characterization of winter foraging locations of Adélie penguins along the Western Antarctic Peninsula, 2001–2002

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Erdmann, Eric S.; Ribic, Christine; Patterson-Fraser, Donna L.; Fraser, William R.

    2011-01-01

    In accord with the hypotheses driving the Southern Ocean Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics (SO GLOBEC) program, we tested the hypothesis that the winter foraging ecology of a major top predator in waters off the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), the Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae), is constrained by oceanographic features related to the physiography of the region. This hypothesis grew from the supposition that breeding colonies in the WAP during summer are located adjacent to areas of complex bathymetry where circulation and upwelling processes appear to ensure predictable food resources. Therefore, we tested the additional hypothesis that these areas continue to contribute to the foraging strategy of this species throughout the non-breeding winter season. We used satellite telemetry data collected as part of the SO GLOBEC program during the austral winters of 2001 and 2002 to characterize individual penguin foraging locations in relation to bathymetry, sea ice variability within the pack ice, and wind velocity and divergence (as a proxy for potential areas with cracks and leads). We also explored differences between males and females in core foraging area overlap. Ocean depth was the most influential variable in the determination of foraging location, with most birds focusing their effort on shallow (<200 m) waters near land and on mixed-layer (200–500 m) waters near the edge of deep troughs. Within-ice variability and wind (as a proxy for potential areas with cracks and leads) were not found to be influential variables, which is likely because of the low resolution satellite imagery and model outputs that were available. Throughout the study period, all individuals maintained a core foraging area separated from other individuals with very little overlap. However, from a year with light sea ice to one with heavy ice cover (2001–2002), we observed an increase in the overlap of individual female foraging areas with those of other birds, likely due to

  10. Characterization of winter foraging locations of Adélie penguins along the Western Antarctic Peninsula, 2001-2002

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erdmann, Eric S.; Ribic, Christine A.; Patterson-Fraser, Donna L.; Fraser, William R.

    2011-07-01

    In accord with the hypotheses driving the Southern Ocean Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics (SO GLOBEC) program, we tested the hypothesis that the winter foraging ecology of a major top predator in waters off the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), the Adélie penguin ( Pygoscelis adeliae), is constrained by oceanographic features related to the physiography of the region. This hypothesis grew from the supposition that breeding colonies in the WAP during summer are located adjacent to areas of complex bathymetry where circulation and upwelling processes appear to ensure predictable food resources. Therefore, we tested the additional hypothesis that these areas continue to contribute to the foraging strategy of this species throughout the non-breeding winter season. We used satellite telemetry data collected as part of the SO GLOBEC program during the austral winters of 2001 and 2002 to characterize individual penguin foraging locations in relation to bathymetry, sea ice variability within the pack ice, and wind velocity and divergence (as a proxy for potential areas with cracks and leads). We also explored differences between males and females in core foraging area overlap. Ocean depth was the most influential variable in the determination of foraging location, with most birds focusing their effort on shallow (<200 m) waters near land and on mixed-layer (200-500 m) waters near the edge of deep troughs. Within-ice variability and wind (as a proxy for potential areas with cracks and leads) were not found to be influential variables, which is likely because of the low resolution satellite imagery and model outputs that were available. Throughout the study period, all individuals maintained a core foraging area separated from other individuals with very little overlap. However, from a year with light sea ice to one with heavy ice cover (2001-2002), we observed an increase in the overlap of individual female foraging areas with those of other birds, likely due to

  11. Non-invasive administration of 17β-estradiol rapidly increases aggressive behavior in non-breeding, but not breeding, male song sparrows.

    PubMed

    Heimovics, Sarah A; Ferris, Jennifer K; Soma, Kiran K

    2015-03-01

    17β-Estradiol (E2) acts in the brain via genomic and non-genomic mechanisms to influence physiology and behavior. There is seasonal plasticity in the mechanisms by which E2 activates aggression, and non-genomic mechanisms appear to predominate during the non-breeding season. Male song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) display E2-dependent territorial aggression throughout the year. Field studies show that song sparrow aggression during a territorial intrusion is similar in the non-breeding and breeding seasons, but aggression after an intrusion ends differs seasonally. Non-breeding males stop behaving aggressively within minutes whereas breeding males remain aggressive for hours. We hypothesize that this seasonal plasticity in the persistence of aggression relates to seasonal plasticity in E2 signaling. We used a non-invasive route of E2 administration to compare the non-genomic (within 20min) effects of E2 on aggressive behavior in captive non-breeding and breeding season males. E2 rapidly increased barrier contacts (attacks) during an intrusion by 173% in non-breeding season males only. Given that these effects were observed within 20min of E2 administration, they likely occurred via a non-genomic mechanism of action. The present data, taken together with past work, suggest that environmental cues associated with the non-breeding season influence the molecular mechanisms through which E2 influences behavior. In song sparrows, transient expression of aggressive behavior during the non-breeding season is highly adaptive: it minimizes energy expenditure and maximizes the amount of time available for foraging. In all, these data suggest the intriguing possibility that aggression in the non-breeding season may be activated by a non-genomic E2 mechanism due to the fitness benefits associated with rapid and transient expression of aggression.

  12. Benefits of Group Foraging Depend on Prey Type in a Small Marine Predator, the Little Penguin

    PubMed Central

    Sutton, Grace J.; Hoskins, Andrew J.; Arnould, John P. Y.

    2015-01-01

    Group foraging provides predators with advantages in over-powering prey larger than themselves or in aggregating small prey for efficient exploitation. For group-living predatory species, cooperative hunting strategies provide inclusive fitness benefits. However, for colonial-breeding predators, the benefit pay-offs of group foraging are less clear due to the potential for intra-specific competition. We used animal-borne cameras to determine the prey types, hunting strategies, and success of little penguins (Eudyptula minor), a small, colonial breeding air-breathing marine predator that has recently been shown to display extensive at-sea foraging associations with conspecifics. Regardless of prey type, little penguins had a higher probability of associating with conspecifics when hunting prey that were aggregated than when prey were solitary. In addition, success was greater when individuals hunted schooling rather than solitary prey. Surprisingly, however, success on schooling prey was similar or greater when individuals hunted on their own than when with conspecifics. These findings suggest individuals may be trading-off the energetic gains of solitary hunting for an increased probability of detecting prey within a spatially and temporally variable prey field by associating with conspecifics. PMID:26674073

  13. Benefits of Group Foraging Depend on Prey Type in a Small Marine Predator, the Little Penguin.

    PubMed

    Sutton, Grace J; Hoskins, Andrew J; Arnould, John P Y

    2015-01-01

    Group foraging provides predators with advantages in over-powering prey larger than themselves or in aggregating small prey for efficient exploitation. For group-living predatory species, cooperative hunting strategies provide inclusive fitness benefits. However, for colonial-breeding predators, the benefit pay-offs of group foraging are less clear due to the potential for intra-specific competition. We used animal-borne cameras to determine the prey types, hunting strategies, and success of little penguins (Eudyptula minor), a small, colonial breeding air-breathing marine predator that has recently been shown to display extensive at-sea foraging associations with conspecifics. Regardless of prey type, little penguins had a higher probability of associating with conspecifics when hunting prey that were aggregated than when prey were solitary. In addition, success was greater when individuals hunted schooling rather than solitary prey. Surprisingly, however, success on schooling prey was similar or greater when individuals hunted on their own than when with conspecifics. These findings suggest individuals may be trading-off the energetic gains of solitary hunting for an increased probability of detecting prey within a spatially and temporally variable prey field by associating with conspecifics.

  14. Benefits of Group Foraging Depend on Prey Type in a Small Marine Predator, the Little Penguin.

    PubMed

    Sutton, Grace J; Hoskins, Andrew J; Arnould, John P Y

    2015-01-01

    Group foraging provides predators with advantages in over-powering prey larger than themselves or in aggregating small prey for efficient exploitation. For group-living predatory species, cooperative hunting strategies provide inclusive fitness benefits. However, for colonial-breeding predators, the benefit pay-offs of group foraging are less clear due to the potential for intra-specific competition. We used animal-borne cameras to determine the prey types, hunting strategies, and success of little penguins (Eudyptula minor), a small, colonial breeding air-breathing marine predator that has recently been shown to display extensive at-sea foraging associations with conspecifics. Regardless of prey type, little penguins had a higher probability of associating with conspecifics when hunting prey that were aggregated than when prey were solitary. In addition, success was greater when individuals hunted schooling rather than solitary prey. Surprisingly, however, success on schooling prey was similar or greater when individuals hunted on their own than when with conspecifics. These findings suggest individuals may be trading-off the energetic gains of solitary hunting for an increased probability of detecting prey within a spatially and temporally variable prey field by associating with conspecifics. PMID:26674073

  15. Genetic variation for dry matter yield, forage quality, and seed traits among the half-sib progency of nine orchardgrass germplasm

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A potential strategy to address the lack of success of North American orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) breeding programs to increase forage yield and other agronomic traits is the incorporation of novel sources of germplasm. In an attempt to identify novel orchardgrass germplasm sources with ag...

  16. PREWEANING PERFORMANCE OF CALVES FROM BONSMARA, BRANGUS, CHAROLAIS, GELBVIEH, HEREFORD, AND ROMOSINUANO SIRES BRED TO BRANGUS COWS MANAGED ON NATIVE RANGELAND OR IMPROVED FORAGES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Preweaning data on 511 calves from 187 Brangus cows and 129 Bonsmara, Brangus, Charolais, Gelbvieh, Hereford, and Romosinuano sires were measured over a four year period with the objectives to of determineing sire breed, sex, and age of dam differences under two preweaning forage environments common...

  17. Cytoplasmic male sterility in Brassicaceae crops.

    PubMed

    Yamagishi, Hiroshi; Bhat, Shripad R

    2014-05-01

    Brassicaceae crops display strong hybrid vigor, and have long been subject to F1 hybrid breeding. Because the most reliable system of F1 seed production is based on cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS), various types of CMS have been developed and adopted in practice to breed Brassicaceae oil seed and vegetable crops. CMS is a maternally inherited trait encoded in the mitochondrial genome, and the male sterile phenotype arises as a result of interaction of a mitochondrial CMS gene and a nuclear fertility restoring (Rf) gene. Therefore, CMS has been intensively investigated for gaining basic insights into molecular aspects of nuclear-mitochondrial genome interactions and for practical applications in plant breeding. Several CMS genes have been identified by molecular genetic studies, including Ogura CMS from Japanese radish, which is the most extensively studied and most widely used. In this review, we discuss Ogura CMS, and other CMS systems, and the causal mitochondrial genes for CMS. Studies on nuclear Rf genes and the cytoplasmic effects of alien cytoplasm on general crop performance are also reviewed. Finally, some of the unresolved questions about CMS are highlighted. PMID:24987289

  18. Cytoplasmic male sterility in Brassicaceae crops

    PubMed Central

    Yamagishi, Hiroshi; Bhat, Shripad R.

    2014-01-01

    Brassicaceae crops display strong hybrid vigor, and have long been subject to F1 hybrid breeding. Because the most reliable system of F1 seed production is based on cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS), various types of CMS have been developed and adopted in practice to breed Brassicaceae oil seed and vegetable crops. CMS is a maternally inherited trait encoded in the mitochondrial genome, and the male sterile phenotype arises as a result of interaction of a mitochondrial CMS gene and a nuclear fertility restoring (Rf) gene. Therefore, CMS has been intensively investigated for gaining basic insights into molecular aspects of nuclear-mitochondrial genome interactions and for practical applications in plant breeding. Several CMS genes have been identified by molecular genetic studies, including Ogura CMS from Japanese radish, which is the most extensively studied and most widely used. In this review, we discuss Ogura CMS, and other CMS systems, and the causal mitochondrial genes for CMS. Studies on nuclear Rf genes and the cytoplasmic effects of alien cytoplasm on general crop performance are also reviewed. Finally, some of the unresolved questions about CMS are highlighted. PMID:24987289

  19. Foraging ecology of sanderlings Calidris alba wintering in estuarine and non-estuarine intertidal areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lourenço, Pedro M.; Alves, José A.; Catry, Teresa; Granadeiro, José P.

    2015-10-01

    Outside the breeding season, most shorebirds use either estuarine or non-estuarine intertidal areas as foraging grounds. The sanderling Calidris alba is mostly associated with coastal sandy beaches, a habitat which is currently at risk worldwide due to increasing coastal erosion, but may also use estuarine sites as alternative foraging areas. We aimed to compare the trophic conditions for sanderlings wintering in estuarine and non-estuarine sites within and around the Tejo estuary, Portugal, where these two alternative wintering options are available within a relatively small spatial scale. To achieve this, we analysed sanderling diet, prey availability, foraging behaviour, and time and energy budgets in the different substrates available in estuarine and non-estuarine sites. In terms of biomass, the most important sanderling prey in the estuarine sites were siphons of the bivalve Scrobicularia plana, polychaetes, staphylinids and the gastropod Hydrobia ulvae. In non-estuarine sites the main prey were polychaetes, the bivalve Donax trunculus and chironomid larvae. Both food availability and energetic intake rates were higher on estuarine sites, and sanderlings spent a higher proportion of time foraging on non-estuarine sites. In the estuary, sanderlings foraged in muddy-sand substrate whenever it was available, achieving higher intake rates than in sandy substrates. In the non-estuarine sites they used both sandy and rocky substrates throughout the tidal cycle but had higher intakes rates in sandy substrate. Estuarine sites seem to offer better foraging conditions for wintering sanderlings than non-estuarine sites. However, sanderlings only use muddy-sand and sandy substrates, which represent a small proportion of the intertidal area of the estuary. The extent of these substrates and the current sanderling density in the estuary suggest it is unlikely that the estuary could provide alternative wintering habitat for sanderlings if they face habitat loss and

  20. The higher the better: sentinel height influences foraging success in a social bird

    PubMed Central

    Radford, Andrew N.; Hollén, Linda I.; Bell, Matthew B.V.

    2009-01-01

    In all social species, information relevant to survival and reproduction can be obtained in two main ways: through personal interaction with the environment (i.e. ‘personal’ information) and from the performance of others (i.e. ‘public’ information). While public information is less costly to obtain than personal information, it may be inappropriate or inaccurate. When deciding how much to rely on public information, individuals should therefore assess its potential quality, but this possibility requires empirical testing in animals. Here, we use the sentinel system of cooperatively breeding pied babblers (Turdoides bicolor) to investigate how behavioural decisions of foragers are influenced by potential variation in the quality of anti-predator information from a vigilant groupmate. When sentinels moved to a higher position, from where their probability of detecting predators is likely to be greater, foragers reduced their vigilance, spread out more widely and were more likely to venture into the open. Consequently, they spent more time foraging and increased their foraging efficiency, resulting in a profound increase in biomass intake rate. The opposite behavioural changes, and consequent foraging outcomes, were found when sentinels moved lower. A playback experiment demonstrated that foragers can use vocal cues alone to assess sentinel height. This is the first study to link explicitly a measure of the potential quality of public information with a fitness measure from those relying on the information, and our results emphasize that a full understanding of the evolution of communication in complex societies requires consideration of the reliability of information. PMID:19364740

  1. Long-term individual foraging site fidelity--why some gannets don't change their spots.

    PubMed

    Wakefield, Ewan D; Cleasby, Ian R; Bearhop, Stuart; Bodey, Thomas W; Davies, Rachel D; Miller, Peter I; Newton, Jason; Votier, Stephen C; Hamer, Keith C

    2015-11-01

    Many established models of animal foraging assume that individuals are ecologically equivalent. However, it is increasingly recognized that populations may comprise individuals who differ consistently in their diets and foraging behaviors. For example, recent studies have shown that individual foraging site fidelity (IFSF, when individuals consistently forage in only a small part of their population's home range) occurs in some colonial breeders. Short-term IFSF could result from animals using a win-stay, lose-shift foraging strategy. Alternatively, it may be a consequence of individual specialization. Pelagic seabirds are colonial central-place foragers, classically assumed to use flexible foraging strategies to target widely dispersed, spatiotemporally patchy prey. However, tracking has shown that IFSF occurs in many seabirds, although it is not known whether this persists across years. To test for long-term IFSF and to examine alternative hypotheses concerning its cause, we repeatedly tracked 55 Northern Gannets (Morus bassanus) from a large colony in the North Sea within and across three successive breeding seasons. Gannets foraged in neritic waters, predictably structured by tidal mixing and thermal stratification, but subject to stochastic, wind-induced overturning. Both within and across years, coarse to mesoscale (tens of kilometers) IFSF was significant but not absolute, and foraging birds departed the colony in individually consistent directions. Carbon stable isotope ratios in gannet blood tissues were repeatable within years and nitrogen ratios were also repeatable across years, suggesting long-term individual dietary specialization. Individuals were also consistent across years in habitat use with respect to relative sea surface temperature and in some dive metrics, yet none of these factors accounted for IFSF. Moreover, at the scale of weeks, IFSF did not decay over time and the magnitude of IFSF across years was similar to that within years

  2. Golden Rice and 'Golden' crops for human nutrition.

    PubMed

    Beyer, Peter

    2010-11-30

    Micronutrients are essential for a healthy life. Humans do not produce micronutrients, and hence they must obtain them through the foodchain. Staple crops are the predominant food source of mankind, but need to be complemented by other foodstuffs because they are generally deficient in one or the other micronutrient. Breeding for micronutrient-dense crops is not always a viable option because of the absence of genetic variability for the desired trait. Moreover, sterility issues and the complex genetic makeup of some crop plants make them unamenable to conventional breeding. In these cases, genetic modification remains the only viable option. The tools to produce a number of micronutrients in staple crops have recently become available thanks to the identification of the genes involved in the corresponding biochemical pathways at an unprecedented rate. Discarding genetic modification as a viable option is definitely not in the interest of human wellbeing.

  3. Androgenesis in recalcitrant solanaceous crops.

    PubMed

    Seguí-Simarro, José M; Corral-Martínez, Patricia; Parra-Vega, Verónica; González-García, Beatriz

    2011-05-01

    Tomato, eggplant, and pepper are three solanaceous crops of outstanding importance worldwide. For hybrid seed production in these species, a fast and cheap method to obtain pure (homozygous) lines is a priority. Traditionally, pure lines are produced by classical inbreeding and selection techniques, which are time consuming (several years) and costly. Alternatively, it has become possible to accelerate the production of homozygous lines through a biotechnological approach: the induction of androgenesis to generate doubled haploid (homozygous) plants. This biotechnological in vitro tool reduces the process to only one generation, which implies important time and costs savings. These facts make androgenic doubled haploids the choice in a number of important crops where the methodology is well set up. Unfortunately, recalcitrant solanaceous crops such as tomato, eggplant, and pepper are still far from an efficient and reliable technology to be applied on a routine basis to different genotypes in breeding programs. In eggplant and pepper, only anther cultures are known to work relatively well. Unfortunately, a more efficient and promising technique, the culture of isolated microspores, is not sufficiently developed yet. In tomato, none of these methods is available nowadays. However, recent advances in the knowledge of embryo development are filling the gaps and opening new ways to achieve the final goal of an efficient protocol in these three recalcitrant species. In this review, we outline the state of the art on androgenic induction in tomato, eggplant, and pepper, and postulate new experimental ways in order to overcome current limitations.

  4. Combined Use of GPS and Accelerometry Reveals Fine Scale Three-Dimensional Foraging Behaviour in the Short-Tailed Shearwater.

    PubMed

    Berlincourt, Maud; Angel, Lauren P; Arnould, John P Y

    2015-01-01

    Determining the foraging behaviour of free-ranging marine animals is fundamental for assessing their habitat use and how they may respond to changes in the environment. However, despite recent advances in bio-logging technology, collecting information on both at-sea movement patterns and activity budgets still remains difficult in small pelagic seabird species due to the constraints of instrument size. The short-tailed shearwater, the most abundant seabird species in Australia (ca 23 million individuals), is a highly pelagic procellariiform. Despite its ecological importance to the region, almost nothing is known about its at-sea behaviour, in particular, its foraging activity. Using a combination of GPS and tri-axial accelerometer data-loggers, the fine scale three-dimensional foraging behaviour of 10 breeding individuals from two colonies was investigated. Five at-sea behaviours were identified: (1) resting on water, (2) flapping flight, (3) gliding flight, (4) foraging (i.e., surface foraging and diving events), and (5) taking-off. There were substantial intra- and inter- individual variations in activity patterns, with individuals spending on average 45.8% (range: 17.1-70.0%) of time at sea resting on water and 18.2% (range: 2.3-49.6%) foraging. Individuals made 76.4 ± 65.3 dives (range: 8-237) per foraging trip (mean duration 9.0 ± 1.9 s), with dives also recorded during night-time. With the continued miniaturisation of recording devices, the use of combined data-loggers could provide us with further insights into the foraging behaviour of small procellariiforms, helping to better understand interactions with their prey.

  5. Combined Use of GPS and Accelerometry Reveals Fine Scale Three-Dimensional Foraging Behaviour in the Short-Tailed Shearwater

    PubMed Central

    Berlincourt, Maud; Angel, Lauren P.; Arnould, John P. Y.

    2015-01-01

    Determining the foraging behaviour of free-ranging marine animals is fundamental for assessing their habitat use and how they may respond to changes in the environment. However, despite recent advances in bio-logging technology, collecting information on both at-sea movement patterns and activity budgets still remains difficult in small pelagic seabird species due to the constraints of instrument size. The short-tailed shearwater, the most abundant seabird species in Australia (ca 23 million individuals), is a highly pelagic procellariiform. Despite its ecological importance to the region, almost nothing is known about its at-sea behaviour, in particular, its foraging activity. Using a combination of GPS and tri-axial accelerometer data-loggers, the fine scale three-dimensional foraging behaviour of 10 breeding individuals from two colonies was investigated. Five at-sea behaviours were identified: (1) resting on water, (2) flapping flight, (3) gliding flight, (4) foraging (i.e., surface foraging and diving events), and (5) taking-off. There were substantial intra- and inter- individual variations in activity patterns, with individuals spending on average 45.8% (range: 17.1–70.0%) of time at sea resting on water and 18.2% (range: 2.3–49.6%) foraging. Individuals made 76.4 ± 65.3 dives (range: 8–237) per foraging trip (mean duration 9.0 ± 1.9 s), with dives also recorded during night-time. With the continued miniaturisation of recording devices, the use of combined data-loggers could provide us with further insights into the foraging behaviour of small procellariiforms, helping to better understand interactions with their prey. PMID:26439491

  6. Combined Use of GPS and Accelerometry Reveals Fine Scale Three-Dimensional Foraging Behaviour in the Short-Tailed Shearwater.

    PubMed

    Berlincourt, Maud; Angel, Lauren P; Arnould, John P Y

    2015-01-01

    Determining the foraging behaviour of free-ranging marine animals is fundamental for assessing their habitat use and how they may respond to changes in the environment. However, despite recent advances in bio-logging technology, collecting information on both at-sea movement patterns and activity budgets still remains difficult in small pelagic seabird species due to the constraints of instrument size. The short-tailed shearwater, the most abundant seabird species in Australia (ca 23 million individuals), is a highly pelagic procellariiform. Despite its ecological importance to the region, almost nothing is known about its at-sea behaviour, in particular, its foraging activity. Using a combination of GPS and tri-axial accelerometer data-loggers, the fine scale three-dimensional foraging behaviour of 10 breeding individuals from two colonies was investigated. Five at-sea behaviours were identified: (1) resting on water, (2) flapping flight, (3) gliding flight, (4) foraging (i.e., surface foraging and diving events), and (5) taking-off. There were substantial intra- and inter- individual variations in activity patterns, with individuals spending on average 45.8% (range: 17.1-70.0%) of time at sea resting on water and 18.2% (range: 2.3-49.6%) foraging. Individuals made 76.4 ± 65.3 dives (range: 8-237) per foraging trip (mean duration 9.0 ± 1.9 s), with dives also recorded during night-time. With the continued miniaturisation of recording devices, the use of combined data-loggers could provide us with further insights into the foraging behaviour of small procellariiforms, helping to better understand interactions with their prey. PMID:26439491

  7. Proteomic evaluation of genetically modified crops: current status and challenges.

    PubMed

    Gong, Chun Yan; Wang, Tai

    2013-01-01

    Hectares of genetically modified (GM) crops have increased exponentially since 1996, when such crops began to be commercialized. GM biotechnology, together with conventional breeding, has become the main approach to improving agronomic traits of crops. However, people are concerned about the safety of GM crops, especially GM-derived food and feed. Many efforts have been made to evaluate the unintended effects caused by the introduction of exogenous genes. "Omics" techniques have advantages over targeted analysis in evaluating such crops because of their use of high-throughput screening. Proteins are key players in gene function and are directly involved in metabolism and cellular development or have roles as toxins, antinutrients, or allergens, which are essential for human health. Thus, proteomics can be expected to become one of the most useful tools in safety assessment. This review assesses the potential of proteomics in evaluating various GM crops. We further describe the challenges in ensuring homogeneity and sensitivity in detection techniques.

  8. Hop Cultivars and Breeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pest management decision making in hops varies among cultivars. Historically, the primary objective of hop breeding programs has been to increase the yield or characteristics associated with either bittering (high alpha-acids) or aroma (unique volatile oil profiles) cultivars. Other factors consid...

  9. Lettuce and spinach breeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Lettuce and spinach production is beset by numerous biotic an abiotic challenges. This report to the California Leafy Greens Research Program annual meeting provides an update by the ‘Genetic Enhancement of Lettuce, Spinach, Melon, and Related Species’ project at Salinas on the genetics and breeding...

  10. Using dual-purpose crops in sheep-grazing systems.

    PubMed

    Dove, Hugh; Kirkegaard, John

    2014-05-01

    The utilisation of dual-purpose crops, especially wheat and canola grown for forage and grain production in sheep-grazing systems, is reviewed. When sown early and grazed in winter before stem elongation, later-maturing wheat and canola crops can be grazed with little impact on grain yield. Recent research has sought to develop crop- and grazing-management strategies for dual-purpose crops. Aspects examined have been grazing effects on crop growth, recovery and yield development along with an understanding of the grazing value of the crop fodder, its implications for animal nutrition and grazing management to maximise live-weight gain. By alleviating the winter 'feed gap', the increase in winter stocking rate afforded by grazing crops allows crop and livestock production to be increased simultaneously on the same farm. Integration of dual-purpose wheat with canola on mixed farms provides further systems advantages related to widened operational windows, weed and disease control and risk management. Dual-purpose crops are an innovation that has potential to assist in addressing the global food-security challenge. PMID:24323974

  11. Using dual-purpose crops in sheep-grazing systems.

    PubMed

    Dove, Hugh; Kirkegaard, John

    2014-05-01

    The utilisation of dual-purpose crops, especially wheat and canola grown for forage and grain production in sheep-grazing systems, is reviewed. When sown early and grazed in winter before stem elongation, later-maturing wheat and canola crops can be grazed with little impact on grain yield. Recent research has sought to develop crop- and grazing-management strategies for dual-purpose crops. Aspects examined have been grazing effects on crop growth, recovery and yield development along with an understanding of the grazing value of the crop fodder, its implications for animal nutrition and grazing management to maximise live-weight gain. By alleviating the winter 'feed gap', the increase in winter stocking rate afforded by grazing crops allows crop and livestock production to be increased simultaneously on the same farm. Integration of dual-purpose wheat with canola on mixed farms provides further systems advantages related to widened operational windows, weed and disease control and risk management. Dual-purpose crops are an innovation that has potential to assist in addressing the global food-security challenge.

  12. Genome Mapping and Molecular Breeding of Tomato

    PubMed Central

    Foolad, Majid R.

    2007-01-01

    The cultivated tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum, is the second most consumed vegetable worldwide and a well-studied crop species in terms of genetics, genomics, and breeding. It is one of the earliest crop plants for which a genetic linkage map was constructed, and currently there are several molecular maps based on crosses between the cultivated and various wild species of tomato. The high-density molecular map, developed based on an L. esculentum × L. pennellii cross, includes more than 2200 markers with an average marker distance of less than 1 cM and an average of 750 kbp per cM. Different types of molecular markers such as RFLPs, AFLPs, SSRs, CAPS, RGAs, ESTs, and COSs have been developed and mapped onto the 12 tomato chromosomes. Markers have been used extensively for identification and mapping of genes and QTLs for many biologically and agriculturally important traits and occasionally for germplasm screening, fingerprinting, and marker-assisted breeding. The utility of MAS in tomato breeding has been restricted largely due to limited marker polymorphism within the cultivated species and economical reasons. Also, when used, MAS has been employed mainly for improving simply-inherited traits and not much for improving complex traits. The latter has been due to unavailability of reliable PCR-based markers and problems with linkage drag. Efforts are being made to develop high-throughput markers with greater resolution, including SNPs. The expanding tomato EST database, which currently includes ∼214 000 sequences, the new microarray DNA chips, and the ongoing sequencing project are expected to aid development of more practical markers. Several BAC libraries have been developed that facilitate map-based cloning of genes and QTLs. Sequencing of the euchromatic portions of the tomato genome is paving the way for comparative and functional analysis of important genes and QTLs. PMID:18364989

  13. Migrations of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) between nesting and foraging grounds across the Coral Sea.

    PubMed

    Read, Tyffen C; Wantiez, Laurent; Werry, Jonathan M; Farman, Richard; Petro, George; Limpus, Colin J

    2014-01-01

    Marine megafauna tend to migrate vast distances, often crossing national borders and pose a significant challenge to managers. This challenge is particularly acute in the Pacific, which contains numerous small island nations and thousands of kilometers of continental margins. The green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, is one such megafauna that is endangered in Pacific waters due to the overexploitation of eggs and adults for human consumption. Data from long-term tagging programs in Queensland (Australia) and New Caledonia were analysed to investigate the migrations by C. mydas across the Coral Sea between their nesting site and their feeding grounds. A review of data collected over the last 50 years by different projects identified multiple migrations of C. mydas to and from New Caledonia (n = 97) and indicate that turtles foraging in New Caledonia nest in the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) and vice versa. Several explanations exist for turtles exhibiting this energetically costly movement pattern from breeding to distant foraging grounds (1200-2680 km away) despite viable foraging habitat being available in the local vicinity. These include hatchling drift, oceanic movements and food abundance predictability. Most of the tag recoveries in New Caledonia belonged to females from the south Great Barrier Reef genetic stock. Some females (n = 2) even showed fidelity to foraging sites located 1200 km away from the nesting site located in New Caledonia. This study also reveals previously unknown migrations pathways of turtles within the Coral Sea. PMID:24940598

  14. Foraging in the Darkness of the Southern Ocean: Influence of Bioluminescence on a Deep Diving Predator

    PubMed Central

    Vacquié-Garcia, Jade; Royer, François; Dragon, Anne-Cécile; Viviant, Morgane; Bailleul, Frédéric; Guinet, Christophe

    2012-01-01

    How non-echolocating deep diving marine predators locate their prey while foraging remains mostly unknown. Female southern elephant seals (SES) (Mirounga leonina) have vision adapted to low intensity light with a peak sensitivity at 485 nm. This matches the wavelength of bioluminescence produced by a large range of marine organisms including myctophid fish, SES’s main prey. In this study, we investigated whether bioluminescence provides an accurate estimate of prey occurrence for SES. To do so, four SES were satellite-tracked during their post-breeding foraging trip and were equipped with Time-Depth-Recorders that also recorded light levels every two seconds. A total of 3386 dives were processed through a light-treatment model that detected light events higher than ambient level, i.e. bioluminescence events. The number of bioluminescence events was related to an index of foraging intensity for SES dives deep enough to avoid the influence of natural ambient light. The occurrence of bioluminescence was found to be negatively related to depth both at night and day. Foraging intensity was also positively related to bioluminescence both during day and night. This result suggests that bioluminescence likely provides SES with valuable indications of prey occurrence and might be a key element in predator-prey interactions in deep-dark marine environments. PMID:22952706

  15. Migrations of Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) between Nesting and Foraging Grounds across the Coral Sea

    PubMed Central

    Read, Tyffen C.; Wantiez, Laurent; Werry, Jonathan M.; Farman, Richard; Petro, George; Limpus, Colin J.

    2014-01-01

    Marine megafauna tend to migrate vast distances, often crossing national borders and pose a significant challenge to managers. This challenge is particularly acute in the Pacific, which contains numerous small island nations and thousands of kilometers of continental margins. The green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, is one such megafauna that is endangered in Pacific waters due to the overexploitation of eggs and adults for human consumption. Data from long-term tagging programs in Queensland (Australia) and New Caledonia were analysed to investigate the migrations by C. mydas across the Coral Sea between their nesting site and their feeding grounds. A review of data collected over the last 50 years by different projects identified multiple migrations of C. mydas to and from New Caledonia (n = 97) and indicate that turtles foraging in New Caledonia nest in the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) and vice versa. Several explanations exist for turtles exhibiting this energetically costly movement pattern from breeding to distant foraging grounds (1200–2680 km away) despite viable foraging habitat being available in the local vicinity. These include hatchling drift, oceanic movements and food abundance predictability. Most of the tag recoveries in New Caledonia belonged to females from the south Great Barrier Reef genetic stock. Some females (n = 2) even showed fidelity to foraging sites located 1200 km away from the nesting site located in New Caledonia. This study also reveals previously unknown migrations pathways of turtles within the Coral Sea. PMID:24940598

  16. Stable Isotope Models Predict Foraging Habitat of Northern Fur Seals (Callorhinus ursinus) in Alaska.

    PubMed

    Zeppelin, T K; Johnson, D S; Kuhn, C E; Iverson, S J; Ream, R R

    2015-01-01

    We developed models to predict foraging habitat of adult female northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) using stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotope values from plasma and red blood cells. Binomial generalized linear mixed models were developed using blood isotope samples collected from 35 adult female fur seals on three breeding colonies in Alaska during July-October 2006. Satellite location and dive data were used to define habitat use in terms of the proportion of time spent or dives made in different oceanographic/bathymetric domains. For both plasma and red blood cells, the models accurately predicted habitat use for animals that foraged exclusively off or on the continental shelf. The models did not perform as well in predicting habitat use for animals that foraged in both on- and off-shelf habitat; however, sample sizes for these animals were small. Concurrently collected scat, fatty acid, and dive data confirmed that the foraging differences predicted by isotopes were associated with diet differences. Stable isotope samples, dive data, and GPS location data collected from an additional 15 females during August-October 2008 validated the effective use of the models across years. Little within year variation in habitat use was indicated from the comparison between stable isotope values from plasma (representing 1-2 weeks) and red blood cells (representing the prior few months). Constructing predictive models using stable isotopes provides an effective means to assess habitat use at the population level, is inexpensive, and can be applied to other marine predators.

  17. Foraging in the darkness of the Southern Ocean: influence of bioluminescence on a deep diving predator.

    PubMed

    Vacquié-Garcia, Jade; Royer, François; Dragon, Anne-Cécile; Viviant, Morgane; Bailleul, Frédéric; Guinet, Christophe

    2012-01-01

    How non-echolocating deep diving marine predators locate their prey while foraging remains mostly unknown. Female southern elephant seals (SES) (Mirounga leonina) have vision adapted to low intensity light with a peak sensitivity at 485 nm. This matches the wavelength of bioluminescence produced by a large range of marine organisms including myctophid fish, SES's main prey. In this study, we investigated whether bioluminescence provides an accurate estimate of prey occurrence for SES. To do so, four SES were satellite-tracked during their post-breeding foraging trip and were equipped with Time-Depth-Recorders that also recorded light levels every two seconds. A total of 3386 dives were processed through a light-treatment model that detected light events higher than ambient level, i.e. bioluminescence events. The number of bioluminescence events was related to an index of foraging intensity for SES dives deep enough to avoid the influence of natural ambient light. The occurrence of bioluminescence was found to be negatively related to depth both at night and day. Foraging intensity was also positively related to bioluminescence both during day and night. This result suggests that bioluminescence likely provides SES with valuable indications of prey occurrence and might be a key element in predator-prey interactions in deep-dark marine environments.

  18. Migrations of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) between nesting and foraging grounds across the Coral Sea.

    PubMed

    Read, Tyffen C; Wantiez, Laurent; Werry, Jonathan M; Farman, Richard; Petro, George; Limpus, Colin J

    2014-01-01

    Marine megafauna tend to migrate vast distances, often crossing national borders and pose a significant challenge to managers. This challenge is particularly acute in the Pacific, which contains numerous small island nations and thousands of kilometers of continental margins. The green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, is one such megafauna that is endangered in Pacific waters due to the overexploitation of eggs and adults for human consumption. Data from long-term tagging programs in Queensland (Australia) and New Caledonia were analysed to investigate the migrations by C. mydas across the Coral Sea between their nesting site and their feeding grounds. A review of data collected over the last 50 years by different projects identified multiple migrations of C. mydas to and from New Caledonia (n = 97) and indicate that turtles foraging in New Caledonia nest in the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) and vice versa. Several explanations exist for turtles exhibiting this energetically costly movement pattern from breeding to distant foraging grounds (1200-2680 km away) despite viable foraging habitat being available in the local vicinity. These include hatchling drift, oceanic movements and food abundance predictability. Most of the tag recoveries in New Caledonia belonged to females from the south Great Barrier Reef genetic stock. Some females (n = 2) even showed fidelity to foraging sites located 1200 km away from the nesting site located in New Caledonia. This study also reveals previously unknown migrations pathways of turtles within the Coral Sea.

  19. Foraging in the darkness of the Southern Ocean: influence of bioluminescence on a deep diving predator.

    PubMed

    Vacquié-Garcia, Jade; Royer, François; Dragon, Anne-Cécile; Viviant, Morgane; Bailleul, Frédéric; Guinet, Christophe

    2012-01-01

    How non-echolocating deep diving marine predators locate their prey while foraging remains mostly unknown. Female southern elephant seals (SES) (Mirounga leonina) have vision adapted to low intensity light with a peak sensitivity at 485 nm. This matches the wavelength of bioluminescence produced by a large range of marine organisms including myctophid fish, SES's main prey. In this study, we investigated whether bioluminescence provides an accurate estimate of prey occurrence for SES. To do so, four SES were satellite-tracked during their post-breeding foraging trip and were equipped with Time-Depth-Recorders that also recorded light levels every two seconds. A total of 3386 dives were processed through a light-treatment model that detected light events higher than ambient level, i.e. bioluminescence events. The number of bioluminescence events was related to an index of foraging intensity for SES dives deep enough to avoid the influence of natural ambient light. The occurrence of bioluminescence was found to be negatively related to depth both at night and day. Foraging intensity was also positively related to bioluminescence both during day and night. This result suggests that bioluminescence likely provides SES with valuable indications of prey occurrence and might be a key element in predator-prey interactions in deep-dark marine environments. PMID:22952706

  20. Response of foraging group members to sentinel calls in suricates, Suricata suricatta

    PubMed Central

    Manser, M. B.

    1999-01-01

    In the suricate (Suricata suricatta), a cooperatively breeding mongoose, one individual typically watches out for predators while the rest of the group is foraging. Most of the time these sentinels announce their guarding duty with special vocalizations. The response of foraging group members to these calls was investigated by analysing observational data, and by performing playback experiments. The use of special calls by sentinels, and the responses of the foraging group members to them, suggest that the coordination of vigilance is strongly influenced by vocal communication. Sentinel calls decreased the time spent alert by the foraging group members. Other group members were less likely to go on guard when a sentinel was vocalizing. Both the proportion of time during which guards overlapped, and the proportion of time the group was unprotected without a guard, decreased when sentinels announced their duty, due to better coordination of the rotation of sentinels. Suricates, however, do not appear to use sentinel calls to mediate a strict rotation of guarding duty.

  1. Where to Forage in the Absence of Sea Ice? Bathymetry As a Key Factor for an Arctic Seabird.

    PubMed

    Amélineau, Françoise; Grémillet, David; Bonnet, Delphine; Le Bot, Tangi; Fort, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    The earth is warming at an alarming rate, especially in the Arctic, where a marked decline in sea ice cover may have far-ranging consequences for endemic species. Little auks, endemic Arctic seabirds, are key bioindicators as they forage in the marginal ice zone and feed preferentially on lipid-rich Arctic copepods and ice-associated amphipods sensitive to the consequences of global warming. We tested how little auks cope with an ice-free foraging environment during the breeding season. To this end, we took advantage of natural variation in sea ice concentration along the east coast of Greenland. We compared foraging and diving behaviour, chick diet and growth and adult body condition between two years, in the presence versus nearby absence of sea ice in the vicinity of their breeding site. Moreover, we sampled zooplankton at sea when sea ice was absent to evaluate prey location and little auk dietary preferences. Little auks foraged in the same areas both years, irrespective of sea ice presence/concentration, and targeted the shelf break and the continental shelf. We confirmed that breeding little auks showed a clear preference for larger copepod species to feed their chick, but caught smaller copepods and nearly no ice-associated amphipod when sea ice was absent. Nevertheless, these dietary changes had no impact on chick growth and adult body condition. Our findings demonstrate the importance of bathymetry for profitable little auk foraging, whatever the sea-ice conditions. Our investigations, along with recent studies, also confirm more flexibility than previously predicted for this key species in a warming Arctic. PMID:27438790

  2. Where to Forage in the Absence of Sea Ice? Bathymetry As a Key Factor for an Arctic Seabird

    PubMed Central

    Amélineau, Françoise; Grémillet, David; Bonnet, Delphine; Le Bot, Tangi; Fort, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    The earth is warming at an alarming rate, especially in the Arctic, where a marked decline in sea ice cover may have far-ranging consequences for endemic species. Little auks, endemic Arctic seabirds, are key bioindicators as they forage in the marginal ice zone and feed preferentially on lipid-rich Arctic copepods and ice-associated amphipods sensitive to the consequences of global warming. We tested how little auks cope with an ice-free foraging environment during the breeding season. To this end, we took advantage of natural variation in sea ice concentration along the east coast of Greenland. We compared foraging and diving behaviour, chick diet and growth and adult body condition between two years, in the presence versus nearby absence of sea ice in the vicinity of their breeding site. Moreover, we sampled zooplankton at sea when sea ice was absent to evaluate prey location and little auk dietary preferences. Little auks foraged in the same areas both years, irrespective of sea ice presence/concentration, and targeted the shelf break and the continental shelf. We confirmed that breeding little auks showed a clear preference for larger copepod species to feed their chick, but caught smaller copepods and nearly no ice-associated amphipod when sea ice was absent. Nevertheless, these dietary changes had no impact on chick growth and adult body condition. Our findings demonstrate the importance of bathymetry for profitable little auk foraging, whatever the sea-ice conditions. Our investigations, along with recent studies, also confirm more flexibility than previously predicted for this key species in a warming Arctic. PMID:27438790

  3. Bringing home the trash: do colony-based differences in foraging distribution lead to increased plastic ingestion in Laysan albatrosses?

    PubMed

    Young, Lindsay C; Vanderlip, Cynthia; Duffy, David C; Afanasyev, Vsevolod; Shaffer, Scott A

    2009-01-01

    When searching for prey, animals should maximize energetic gain, while minimizing energy expenditure by altering their movements relative to prey availability. However, with increasing amounts of marine debris, what once may have been 'optimal' foraging strategies for top marine predators, are leading to sub-optimal diets comprised in large part of plastic. Indeed, the highly vagile Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) which forages throughout the North Pacific, are well known for their tendency to ingest plastic. Here we examine whether Laysan albatrosses nesting on Kure Atoll and Oahu Island, 2,150 km apart, experience different levels of plastic ingestion. Twenty two geolocators were deployed on breeding adults for up to two years. Regurgitated boluses of undigestable material were also collected from chicks at each site to compare the amount of plastic vs. natural foods. Chicks from Kure Atoll were fed almost ten times the amount of plastic compared to chicks from Oahu despite boluses from both colonies having similar amounts of natural food. Tracking data indicated that adults from either colony did not have core overlapping distributions during the early half of the breeding period and that adults from Kure had a greater overlap with the putative range of the Western Garbage Patch corroborating our observation of higher plastic loads at this colony. At-sea distributions also varied throughout the year suggesting that Laysan albatrosses either adjusted their foraging behavior according to constraints on time away from the nest or to variation in resources. However, in the non-breeding season, distributional overlap was greater indicating that the energy required to reach the foraging grounds was less important than the total energy available. These results demonstrate how a marine predator that is not dispersal limited alters its foraging strategy throughout the reproductive cycle to maximize energetic gain and how this has led to differences in plastic

  4. Bringing Home the Trash: Do Colony-Based Differences in Foraging Distribution Lead to Increased Plastic Ingestion in Laysan Albatrosses?

    PubMed Central

    Young, Lindsay C.; Vanderlip, Cynthia; Duffy, David C.; Afanasyev, Vsevolod; Shaffer, Scott A.

    2009-01-01

    When searching for prey, animals should maximize energetic gain, while minimizing energy expenditure by altering their movements relative to prey availability. However, with increasing amounts of marine debris, what once may have been ‘optimal’ foraging strategies for top marine predators, are leading to sub-optimal diets comprised in large part of plastic. Indeed, the highly vagile Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) which forages throughout the North Pacific, are well known for their tendency to ingest plastic. Here we examine whether Laysan albatrosses nesting on Kure Atoll and Oahu Island, 2,150 km apart, experience different levels of plastic ingestion. Twenty two geolocators were deployed on breeding adults for up to two years. Regurgitated boluses of undigestable material were also collected from chicks at each site to compare the amount of plastic vs. natural foods. Chicks from Kure Atoll were fed almost ten times the amount of plastic compared to chicks from Oahu despite boluses from both colonies having similar amounts of natural food. Tracking data indicated that adults from either colony did not have core overlapping distributions during the early half of the breeding period and that adults from Kure had a greater overlap with the putative range of the Western Garbage Patch corroborating our observation of higher plastic loads at this colony. At-sea distributions also varied throughout the year suggesting that Laysan albatrosses either adjusted their foraging behavior according to constraints on time away from the nest or to variation in resources. However, in the non-breeding season, distributional overlap was greater indicating that the energy required to reach the foraging grounds was less important than the total energy available. These results demonstrate how a marine predator that is not dispersal limited alters its foraging strategy throughout the reproductive cycle to maximize energetic gain and how this has led to differences in

  5. Where to Forage in the Absence of Sea Ice? Bathymetry As a Key Factor for an Arctic Seabird.

    PubMed

    Amélineau, Françoise; Grémillet, David; Bonnet, Delphine; Le Bot, Tangi; Fort, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    The earth is warming at an alarming rate, especially in the Arctic, where a marked decline in sea ice cover may have far-ranging consequences for endemic species. Little auks, endemic Arctic seabirds, are key bioindicators as they forage in the marginal ice zone and feed preferentially on lipid-rich Arctic copepods and ice-associated amphipods sensitive to the consequences of global warming. We tested how little auks cope with an ice-free foraging environment during the breeding season. To this end, we took advantage of natural variation in sea ice concentration along the east coast of Greenland. We compared foraging and diving behaviour, chick diet and growth and adult body condition between two years, in the presence versus nearby absence of sea ice in the vicinity of their breeding site. Moreover, we sampled zooplankton at sea when sea ice was absent to evaluate prey location and little auk dietary preferences. Little auks foraged in the same areas both years, irrespective of sea ice presence/concentration, and targeted the shelf break and the continental shelf. We confirmed that breeding little auks showed a clear preference for larger copepod species to feed their chick, but caught smaller copepods and nearly no ice-associated amphipod when sea ice was absent. Nevertheless, these dietary changes had no impact on chick growth and adult body condition. Our findings demonstrate the importance of bathymetry for profitable little auk foraging, whatever the sea-ice conditions. Our investigations, along with recent studies, also confirm more flexibility than previously predicted for this key species in a warming Arctic.

  6. Proteomics: a biotechnology tool for crop improvement

    PubMed Central

    Eldakak, Moustafa; Milad, Sanaa I. M.; Nawar, Ali I.; Rohila, Jai S.

    2013-01-01

    A sharp decline in the availability of arable land and sufficient supply of irrigation water along with a continuous steep increase in food demands have exerted a pressure on farmers to produce more with fewer resources. A viable solution to release this pressure is to speed up the plant breeding process by employing biotechnology in breeding programs. The majority of biotechnological applications rely on information generated from various -omic technologies. The latest outstanding improvements in proteomic platforms and many other but related advances in plant biotechnology techniques offer various new ways to encourage the usage of these technologies by plant scientists for crop improvement programs. A combinatorial approach of accelerated gene discovery through genomics, proteomics, and other associated -omic branches of biotechnology, as an applied approach, is proving to be an effective way to speed up the crop improvement programs worldwide. In the near future, swift improvements in -omic databases are becoming critical and demand immediate attention for the effective utilization of these techniques to produce next-generation crops for the progressive farmers. Here, we have reviewed the recent advances in proteomics, as tools of biotechnology, which are offering great promise and leading the path toward crop improvement for sustainable agriculture. PMID:23450788

  7. Population-Scale Foraging Segregation in an Apex Predator of the North Atlantic

    PubMed Central

    Paiva, Vitor H.; Fagundes, Ana I.; Romão, Vera; Gouveia, Cátia; Ramos, Jaime A.

    2016-01-01

    In this work we investigated the between-colony spatial, behavioural and trophic segregation of two sub-populations of the elusive Macaronesian shearwaters Puffinus baroli breeding only ~340 km apart in Cima Islet (Porto Santo Island) and Selvagem Grande Island. Global location sensing (gls) loggers were used in combination with the trophic ecology of tracked individuals, inferred from the isotopic signatures of wing feathers. Results suggest that these two Macaronesian shearwater sub-populations do segregate during the non-breeding period in some ‘sub-population-specific’ regions, by responding to different oceanographic characteristics (habitat modelling). Within these disparate areas, both sub-populations behave differently (at-sea activity) and prey on disparate trophic niches (stable isotope analysis). One hypothesis would be that each sub-population have evolved and adapted to feed on particular and ‘sub-population-specific’ resources, and the segregation observed at the three different levels (spatial, behavioural and trophic) might be in fact a result of such adaptation, from the emergence of ‘cultural foraging patterns’. Finally, when comparing to the results of former studies reporting on the spatial, behavioural and trophic choices of Macaronesian shearwater populations breeding on Azores and Canary Islands, we realized the high ecological plasticity of this species inhabiting and foraging over the North-East Atlantic Ocean. PMID:27003687

  8. Foraging Responses of Black-Legged Kittiwakes to Prolonged Food-Shortages around Colonies on the Bering Sea Shelf

    PubMed Central

    Paredes, Rosana; Orben, Rachael A.; Suryan, Robert M.; Irons, David B.; Roby, Daniel D.; Harding, Ann M. A.; Young, Rebecca C.; Benoit-Bird, Kelly; Ladd, Carol; Renner, Heather; Heppell, Scott; Phillips, Richard A.; Kitaysky, Alexander

    2014-01-01

    We hypothesized that changes in southeastern Bering Sea foraging conditions for black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) have caused shifts in habitat use with direct implications for population trends. To test this, we compared at-sea distribution, breeding performance, and nutritional stress of kittiwakes in three years (2008–2010) at two sites in the Pribilof Islands, where the population has either declined (St. Paul) or remained stable (St. George). Foraging conditions were assessed from changes in (1) bird diets, (2) the biomass and distribution of juvenile pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) in 2008 and 2009, and (3) eddy kinetic energy (EKE; considered to be a proxy for oceanic prey availability). In years when biomass of juvenile pollock was low and patchily distributed in shelf regions, kittiwake diets included little or no neritic prey and a much higher occurrence of oceanic prey (e.g. myctophids). Birds from both islands foraged on the nearby shelves, or made substantially longer-distance trips overnight to the basin. Here, feeding was more nocturnal and crepuscular than on the shelf, and often occurred near anticyclonic, or inside cyclonic eddies. As expected from colony location, birds from St. Paul used neritic waters more frequently, whereas birds from St. George typically foraged in oceanic waters. Despite these distinctive foraging patterns, there were no significant differences between colonies in chick feeding rates or fledging success. High EKE in 2010 coincided with a 63% increase in use of the basin by birds from St. Paul compared with 2008 when EKE was low. Nonetheless, adult nutritional stress, which was relatively high across years at both colonies, peaked in birds from St. Paul in 2010. Diminishing food resources in nearby shelf habitats may have contributed to kittiwake population declines at St Paul, possibly driven by increased adult mortality or breeding desertion due to high foraging effort and nutritional stress. PMID:24671108

  9. Foraging responses of black-legged kittiwakes to prolonged food-shortages around colonies on the Bering Sea shelf.

    PubMed

    Paredes, Rosana; Orben, Rachael A; Suryan, Robert M; Irons, David B; Roby, Daniel D; Harding, Ann M A; Young, Rebecca C; Benoit-Bird, Kelly; Ladd, Carol; Renner, Heather; Heppell, Scott; Phillips, Richard A; Kitaysky, Alexander

    2014-01-01

    We hypothesized that changes in southeastern Bering Sea foraging conditions for black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) have caused shifts in habitat use with direct implications for population trends. To test this, we compared at-sea distribution, breeding performance, and nutritional stress of kittiwakes in three years (2008-2010) at two sites in the Pribilof Islands, where the population has either declined (St. Paul) or remained stable (St. George). Foraging conditions were assessed from changes in (1) bird diets, (2) the biomass and distribution of juvenile pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) in 2008 and 2009, and (3) eddy kinetic energy (EKE; considered to be a proxy for oceanic prey availability). In years when biomass of juvenile pollock was low and patchily distributed in shelf regions, kittiwake diets included little or no neritic prey and a much higher occurrence of oceanic prey (e.g. myctophids). Birds from both islands foraged on the nearby shelves, or made substantially longer-distance trips overnight to the basin. Here, feeding was more nocturnal and crepuscular than on the shelf, and often occurred near anticyclonic, or inside cyclonic eddies. As expected from colony location, birds from St. Paul used neritic waters more frequently, whereas birds from St. George typically foraged in oceanic waters. Despite these distinctive foraging patterns, there were no significant differences between colonies in chick feeding rates or fledging success. High EKE in 2010 coincided with a 63% increase in use of the basin by birds from St. Paul compared with 2008 when EKE was low. Nonetheless, adult nutritional stress, which was relatively high across years at both colonies, peaked in birds from St. Paul in 2010. Diminishing food resources in nearby shelf habitats may have contributed to kittiwake population declines at St Paul, possibly driven by increased adult mortality or breeding desertion due to high foraging effort and nutritional stress.

  10. Stable Isotopes Reveal Long-Term Fidelity to Foraging Grounds in the Galapagos Sea Lion (Zalophus wollebaeki).

    PubMed

    Drago, Massimiliano; Franco-Trecu, Valentina; Cardona, Luis; Inchausti, Pablo; Tapia, Washington; Páez-Rosas, Diego

    2016-01-01

    Most otariids have colony-specific foraging areas during the breeding season, when they behave as central place foragers. However, they may disperse over broad areas after the breeding season and individuals from different colonies may share foraging grounds at that time. Here, stable isotope ratios in the skull bone of adult Galapagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki) were used to assess the long-term fidelity of both sexes to foraging grounds across the different regions of the Galapagos archipelago. Results indicated that the stable isotope ratios (δ(13)C and δ(15)N) of sea lion bone significantly differed among regions of the archipelago, without any significant difference between sexes and with a non significant interaction between sex and region. Moreover, standard ellipses, estimated by Bayesian inference and used as a measure of the isotopic resource use area at the population level, overlapped widely for the sea lions from the southern and central regions, whereas the overlap of the ellipses for sea lions from the central and western regions was small and non-existing for those from the western and southern regions. These results suggest that males and females from the same region within the archipelago use similar foraging grounds and have similar diets. Furthermore, they indicate that the exchange of adults between regions is limited, thus revealing a certain degree of foraging philopatry at a regional scale within the archipelago. The constraints imposed on males by an expanded reproductive season (~ 6 months), resulting from the weak reproductive synchrony among females, and those imposed on females by a very long lactation period (at least one year but up to three years), may explain the limited mobility of adult Galapagos sea lions of both sexes across the archipelago.

  11. Stable Isotopes Reveal Long-Term Fidelity to Foraging Grounds in the Galapagos Sea Lion (Zalophus wollebaeki)

    PubMed Central

    Drago, Massimiliano; Franco-Trecu, Valentina; Cardona, Luis; Inchausti, Pablo; Tapia, Washington; Páez-Rosas, Diego

    2016-01-01

    Most otariids have colony-specific foraging areas during the breeding season, when they behave as central place foragers. However, they may disperse over broad areas after the breeding season and individuals from different colonies may share foraging grounds at that time. Here, stable isotope ratios in the skull bone of adult Galapagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki) were used to assess the long-term fidelity of both sexes to foraging grounds across the different regions of the Galapagos archipelago. Results indicated that the stable isotope ratios (δ13C and δ15N) of sea lion bone significantly differed among regions of the archipelago, without any significant difference between sexes and with a non significant interaction between sex and region. Moreover, standard ellipses, estimated by Bayesian inference and used as a measure of the isotopic resource use area at the population level, overlapped widely for the sea lions from the southern and central regions, whereas the overlap of the ellipses for sea lions from the central and western regions was small and non-existing for those from the western and southern regions. These results suggest that males and females from the same region within the archipelago use similar foraging grounds and have similar diets. Furthermore, they indicate that the exchange of adults between regions is limited, thus revealing a certain degree of foraging philopatry at a regional scale within the archipelago. The constraints imposed on males by an expanded reproductive season (~ 6 months), resulting from the weak reproductive synchrony among females, and those imposed on females by a very long lactation period (at least one year but up to three years), may explain the limited mobility of adult Galapagos sea lions of both sexes across the archipelago. PMID:26808381

  12. Stable Isotopes Reveal Long-Term Fidelity to Foraging Grounds in the Galapagos Sea Lion (Zalophus wollebaeki).

    PubMed

    Drago, Massimiliano; Franco-Trecu, Valentina; Cardona, Luis; Inchausti, Pablo; Tapia, Washington; Páez-Rosas, Diego

    2016-01-01

    Most otariids have colony-specific foraging areas during the breeding season, when they behave as central place foragers. However, they may disperse over broad areas after the breeding season and individuals from different colonies may share foraging grounds at that time. Here, stable isotope ratios in the skull bone of adult Galapagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki) were used to assess the long-term fidelity of both sexes to foraging grounds across the different regions of the Galapagos archipelago. Results indicated that the stable isotope ratios (δ(13)C and δ(15)N) of sea lion bone significantly differed among regions of the archipelago, without any significant difference between sexes and with a non significant interaction between sex and region. Moreover, standard ellipses, estimated by Bayesian inference and used as a measure of the isotopic resource use area at the population level, overlapped widely for the sea lions from the southern and central regions, whereas the overlap of the ellipses for sea lions from the central and western regions was small and non-existing for those from the western and southern regions. These results suggest that males and females from the same region within the archipelago use similar foraging grounds and have similar diets. Furthermore, they indicate that the e