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Sample records for functional traits longevity

  1. Relationship between reproduction traits and functional longevity in canadian dairy cattle.

    PubMed

    Sewalem, A; Miglior, F; Kistemaker, G J; Sullivan, P; Van Doormaal, B J

    2008-04-01

    The aim of this study was to use survival analysis to assess the relationship between reproduction traits and functional longevity of Canadian dairy cattle. Data consisted of 1,702,857; 67,470; and 33,190 Holstein, Ayrshire, and Jersey cows, respectively. Functional longevity was defined as the number of days from first calving to culling, death, or censoring; adjusted for the effect of milk yield. The reproduction traits included calving traits (calving ease, calf size, and calf survival) and female fertility traits (number of services, days from calving to first service, days from first service to conception, and days open). The statistical model was a Weibull proportional hazards model and included the fixed effects of stage of lactation, season of production, the annual change in herd size, and type of milk recording supervision, age at first calving, effects of milk, fat, and protein yields calculated as within herd-year-parity deviations for each reproduction trait. Herd-year-season of calving and sire were included as random effects. Analysis was performed separately for each reproductive trait. Significant associations between reproduction traits and longevity were observed in all breeds. Increased risk of culling was observed for cows that required hard pull, calved small calves, or dead calves. Moreover, cows that require more services per conception, a longer interval between first service to conception, an interval between calving to first service greater than 90 d, and increased days open were at greater risk of being culled.

  2. Short communication: Genetic relationships between functional longevity and direct health traits in Austrian Fleckvieh cattle.

    PubMed

    Pfeiffer, C; Fuerst, C; Ducrocq, V; Fuerst-Waltl, B

    2015-10-01

    The aim of this study was to conduct a multitrait 2-step approach applied to yield deviations and deregressed breeding values to get genetic parameters of functional longevity, clinical mastitis, early fertility disorders, cystic ovaries, and milk fever of Austrian Fleckvieh cattle. An approximate multitrait approach allows the combination of information from pseudo-phenotypes derived from different statistical models in routine genetic evaluation, which cannot be estimated easily in a full multitrait model. A total of 66,890 Fleckvieh cows were included in this study. For estimating genetic parameters, a simple linear animal model with year of birth as a fixed effect and animal as a random genetic effect was fitted. The joint analysis of yield deviations and deregressed breeding values was feasible. As expected, heritabilities were low, ranging from 0.03 (early fertility disorders) to 0.15 (functional longevity). Genetic correlations between functional longevity and clinical mastitis, early fertility disorders, cystic ovaries, and milk fever were 0.63, 0.29, 0.20, and 0.20, respectively. Within direct health traits genetic correlations were between 0.14 and 0.45. Results suggest that selecting for more robust disease-resistant cows would imply an improvement of functional longevity.

  3. Applying trait-function relationships for microbial plant decomposition to predict medium longevity in pollution control biofilters.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Jason P; Schilling, Jonathan S

    2016-03-01

    Biofilters, bioreactors used for pollution control, can effectively treat a variety of odorous and hazardous emissions, but uncertain medium longevities and associated costs limit biofilter adoption. To improve medium-life estimations for biofilter end-users, litter bags were used to compare decay rates of common biofilter medium types and test the effects of nitrogen (N) enrichment and livestock production emissions on medium decay in a full-scale biofilter over a 27-month period. Generally, "by-product" media (mulch, corn cobs) decayed faster than hardwood media, with decay of softwood media the slowest. Analysis showed nutrient content was the best predictor of early-stage decay, while carbon fractions and nutrient content best predicted medium longevity. N amendments and N-rich barn emissions were found to hasten medium decay. By identifying decay rates and rate predictors specific for biofilter media, we provide biofilter engineers and farmers with a quantitative way to improve medium selection based on the trade-offs between medium cost and replacement frequency.

  4. Estimation of genetic parameters for longevity traits in dairy cattle: a review with focus on the characteristics of analytical models.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Osamu

    2013-06-01

    Longevity is an economically important trait of dairy cattle for increasing the profitability of dairy management. The reasons for culling can be either voluntary (primarily productivity) or involuntary (primarily health and fertility). Longevity characteristics include: (i) true longevity (all culling reasons, including productivity); and (ii) functional longevity (all culling reasons, except productivity). Improvements to longevity are made to decrease the rate of involuntary culling rather than extend the herd life (HL). The proportional hazard model is useful for evaluating genetic ability for HL. However, the differences between estimates made using the proportional hazard model and those made using linear single or multiple-trait animal models are not clear. The model commonly used for evaluation differs among countries. Productive traits, udder traits, and feet and legs traits are genetically correlated with longevity, and consequently these traits are used to indirectly evaluate longevity. The reliability of estimates of genetic ability for longevity is increased by combining direct and indirect estimates. In Japan, HL is evaluated using the multiple-traits model. The genetic correlations between HL and other traits vary with the birth year. Therefore, these genetic correlations need to be reviewed regularly.

  5. Renal function in familial longevity: the Leiden Longevity Study.

    PubMed

    de Goeij, Moniek C M; Halbesma, Nynke; Dekker, Friedo W; Wijsman, Carolien A; van Heemst, Diana; Maier, Andrea B; Mooijaart, Simon P; Slagboom, P Eline; Westendorp, Rudi G J; de Craen, Anton J M

    2014-03-01

    Studying renal function in subjects with a familial propensity for longevity may provide insight in (un)known mechanisms that determine the age-related decline in renal function of normal subjects. In the Leiden Longevity Study, middle-aged offspring of non-agenarian siblings and their partners as environmentally matched controls were included. Information was collected on lifestyle, medical history, medication use, and a non-fasting blood sample was drawn. Renal function (estimated glomerular filtration rate, eGFR) was assessed with the Chronic Kidney Disease epidemiology collaboration (CKD-EPI) formula. Linear mixed models were used to account for familial dependencies within the offspring and all analyses were stratified by sex. eGFR was similar between female offspring and female controls (0.44ml/min/1.73m(2) (SE 0.72) difference, p=0.54, age-adjusted). Male offspring had a higher eGFR compared to male controls (1.78ml/min/1.73m(2) (SE 0.78) difference, p=0.022, age-adjusted), and further adjustments for various characteristics did not materially change this difference. Among men with a history of hypertension, or myocardial infarction and/or stroke, offspring had a higher eGFR compared to controls (4.74ml/min/1.73m(2) (SE 1.53) difference, p=0.002, age-adjusted, and 6.21ml/min/1.73m(2) (SE 2.85) difference, p=0.033, age-adjusted, respectively). Middle-aged men, but not women, with a propensity for longevity have better renal function compared to environmentally matched controls, especially among those with a history of cardiovascular disease.

  6. Trait humor and longevity: do comics have the last laugh?

    PubMed

    Rotton, J

    1992-01-01

    Four sets of biographical data were analyzed in order to test the hypothesis that the ability to generate humor is associated with longevity. Although steps were taken to ensure that tests had high levels of statistical power, analyses provided very little support for the idea that individuals with a well-developed sense of humor live longer than serious writers and other entertainers. In addition, a subsidiary analysis revealed that those in the business of entertaining others died at an earlier age than those in other lines of endeavor. These findings suggest that researchers should turn their attention from trait humor to the effects of humorous material.

  7. Longevity candidate genes and their association with personality traits in the elderly

    PubMed Central

    Luciano, Michelle; Lopez, Lorna M.; de Moor, Marleen H.M.; Harris, Sarah E.; Davies, Gail; Nutile, Teresa; Krueger, Robert F.; Esko, Tõnu; Schlessinger, David; Toshiko, Tanaka; Derringer, Jaime L.; Realo, Anu; Hansell, Narelle K.; Pergadia, Michele L.; Pesonen, Anu-Katriina; Sanna, Serena; Terracciano, Antonio; Madden, Pamela A.F.; Penninx, Brenda; Spinhoven, Philip; Hartman, Catherine; Oostra, Ben A.; Janssens, A. Cecile J.W.; Eriksson, Johan G; Starr, John M.; Cannas, Alessandra; Ferrucci, Luigi; Metspalu, Andres; Wright, Margeret J.; Heath, Andrew C.; van Duijn, Cornelia M.; Bierut, Laura J.; Raikkonen, Katri; Martin, Nicholas G.; Ciullo, Marina; Rujescu, Dan; Boomsma, Dorret I.; Deary, Ian J.

    2013-01-01

    Human longevity and personality traits are both heritable and are consistently linked at the phenotypic level. We test the hypothesis that candidate genes influencing longevity in lower organisms are associated with variance in the five major dimensions of human personality (measured by the NEO-FFI and IPIP inventories) plus related mood states of anxiety and depression. Seventy single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in six brain expressed, longevity candidate genes (AFG3L2, FRAP1, MAT1A, MAT2A, SYNJ1 and SYNJ2) were typed in over one thousand 70-year old participants from the Lothian Birth Cohort of 1936 (LBC1936). No SNPs were associated with the personality and psychological distress traits at a Bonferroni corrected level of significance (p < 0.0002), but there was an over-representation of nominally significant (p < 0.05) SNPs in the synaptojanin-2 (SYNJ2) gene associated with agreeableness and symptoms of depression. Eight SNPs which showed nominally significant association across personality measurement instruments were tested in an extremely large replication sample of 17 106 participants. SNP rs350292, in SYNJ2, was significant: the minor allele was associated with an average decrease in NEO agreeableness scale scores of 0.25 points, and 0.67 points in the restricted analysis of elderly cohorts (most aged > 60 years). Because we selected a specific set of longevity genes based on functional genomics findings, further research on other longevity gene candidates is warranted to discover whether they are relevant candidates for personality and psychological distress traits. PMID:22213687

  8. Longevity candidate genes and their association with personality traits in the elderly.

    PubMed

    Luciano, Michelle; Lopez, Lorna M; de Moor, Marleen H M; Harris, Sarah E; Davies, Gail; Nutile, Teresa; Krueger, Robert F; Esko, Tõnu; Schlessinger, David; Toshiko, Tanaka; Derringer, Jaime L; Realo, Anu; Hansell, Narelle K; Pergadia, Michele L; Pesonen, Anu-Katriina; Sanna, Serena; Terracciano, Antonio; Madden, Pamela A F; Penninx, Brenda; Spinhoven, Philip; Hartman, Catherina A; Oostra, Ben A; Janssens, A Cecile J W; Eriksson, Johan G; Starr, John M; Cannas, Alessandra; Ferrucci, Luigi; Metspalu, Andres; Wright, Margeret J; Heath, Andrew C; van Duijn, Cornelia M; Bierut, Laura J; Raikkonen, Katri; Martin, Nicholas G; Ciullo, Marina; Rujescu, Dan; Boomsma, Dorret I; Deary, Ian J

    2012-03-01

    Human longevity and personality traits are both heritable and are consistently linked at the phenotypic level. We test the hypothesis that candidate genes influencing longevity in lower organisms are associated with variance in the five major dimensions of human personality (measured by the NEO-FFI and IPIP inventories) plus related mood states of anxiety and depression. Seventy single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in six brain expressed, longevity candidate genes (AFG3L2, FRAP1, MAT1A, MAT2A, SYNJ1, and SYNJ2) were typed in over 1,000 70-year old participants from the Lothian Birth Cohort of 1936 (LBC1936). No SNPs were associated with the personality and psychological distress traits at a Bonferroni corrected level of significance (P < 0.0002), but there was an over-representation of nominally significant (P < 0.05) SNPs in the synaptojanin-2 (SYNJ2) gene associated with agreeableness and symptoms of depression. Eight SNPs which showed nominally significant association across personality measurement instruments were tested in an extremely large replication sample of 17,106 participants. SNP rs350292, in SYNJ2, was significant: the minor allele was associated with an average decrease in NEO agreeableness scale scores of 0.25 points, and 0.67 points in the restricted analysis of elderly cohorts (most aged >60 years). Because we selected a specific set of longevity genes based on functional genomics findings, further research on other longevity gene candidates is warranted to discover whether they are relevant candidates for personality and psychological distress traits. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Leadership Traits and Practices Supporting Position Longevity for Urban School Superintendents: A Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beam, Carla

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to add to the research on position longevity for urban school superintendents by examining personal character traits and skills. The study explores how these traits translate to leadership behaviors. Additionally, relevant background and experience necessary to success were examined. This was a case study involving…

  10. Floral Mass per Area and Water Maintenance Traits Are Correlated with Floral Longevity in Paphiopedilum (Orchidaceae).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Feng-Ping; Yang, Ying-Jie; Yang, Qiu-Yun; Zhang, Wei; Brodribb, Tim J; Hao, Guang-You; Hu, Hong; Zhang, Shi-Bao

    2017-01-01

    Floral longevity (FL) determines the balance between pollination success and flower maintenance. While a longer floral duration enhances the ability of plants to attract pollinators, it can be detrimental if it negatively affects overall plant fitness. Longer-lived leaves display a positive correlation with their dry mass per unit area, which influences leaf construction costs and physiological functions. However, little is known about the association among FL and floral dry mass per unit area (FMA) and water maintenance traits. We investigated whether increased FL might incur similar costs. Our assessment of 11 species of Paphiopedilum (slipper orchids) considered the impact of FMA and flower water-maintenance characteristics on FL. We found a positive relationship between FL and FMA. Floral longevity showed significant correlations with osmotic potential at the turgor loss and bulk modulus of elasticity but not with FA. Neither the size nor the mass per area was correlated between leaves and flowers, indicating that flower and leaf economic traits evolved independently. Therefore, our findings demonstrate a clear relationship between FL and the capacity to maintain water status in the flower. These economic constraints also indicate that extending the flower life span can have a high physiological cost in Paphiopedilum.

  11. Genetic relationship between longevity and objectively or subjectively assessed performance traits in sheep using linear censored models.

    PubMed

    Mekkawy, W; Roehe, R; Lewis, R M; Davies, M H; Bünger, L; Simm, G; Haresign, W

    2009-11-01

    Genetic parameters of longevity in crossbred Mule ewes, and genetic relationships among longevity, growth, body composition, and subjectively assessed traits on Mule lambs and ewes have been estimated using Bayesian linear censored models. Additionally, the genetic associations between longevity and culling reasons were examined. Data comprised 1,797 observations of Mule ewes for longevity, culling reasons, growth, body composition, mouth scores, and type traits. Longevity was defined as the time (in years) from 2 yr of age (the age at first lambing of most ewes) to culling or death. Censored data (i.e., observations for which only the lower bound of the true longevity is known, such as when the animals are still alive) comprised 24% of all observations for longevity. Bivariate analyses were used to analyze the longevity of the ewe with each performance trait by fitting linear Bayesian models considering censored observations. Longevity was split into 3 different sub-traits: age at culling due to teeth/mouth conditions, age at culling due to udder conditions, and age at culling due to other culling reasons. These sub-traits and their aggregation into the overall trait of longevity were analyzed in a multiple-trait model. The heritability of longevity was moderate at 0.27, whereas heritabilities of the growth and body composition traits ranged from 0.11 for average of shoulder, loin, and gigot conformation to 0.36 for ewe BW at first premating. Mouth scores and type traits had heritabilities ranging from 0.13 for jaw position to 0.39 for fleece quality. All analyzed traits showed low genetic correlations with longevity, ranging from -0.20 for average conformation scores in live animals to 0.18 for tooth angle. Teeth/mouth conditions resulted in the greatest heritability (0.15) among the sub-traits based on the separate culling reasons. Genetic correlations between separate culling reasons were low to high (0.12 to 0.63 for teeth/mouth conditions with udder

  12. Genetic analysis of sow longevity and sow lifetime reproductive traits using censored data.

    PubMed

    Engblom, L; Calderón Díaz, J A; Nikkilä, M; Gray, K; Harms, P; Fix, J; Tsuruta, S; Mabry, J; Stalder, K

    2016-04-01

    Sow longevity is a key component for efficient and profitable pig farming; however, approximately 50% of sows are removed annually from a breeding herd. There is no consensus in the scientific literature regarding a definition for sow longevity; however, it has been suggested that it can be measured using several methods such as stayability and economic indicators such as lifetime piglets produced. Sow longevity can be improved by genetic selection; however, it is rarely included in genetic evaluations. One reason is elongated time intervals required to collect complete lifetime data. The effect of genetic parameter estimation software in handling incomplete data (censoring) and possible early indicator traits were evaluated analysing a 30% censored data set (12 725 pedigreed Landrace × Large White sows that included approximately 30% censored data) with DMU6, THRGIBBS1F90 and GIBBS2CEN. Heritability estimates were low for all the traits evaluated. The results show that the binary stayability traits benefited from being analysed with a threshold model compared to analysing with a linear model. Sires were ranked very similarly regardless if the program handled censoring when all available data were included. Accumulated born alive and stayability were good indicators for lifetime born alive traits. Number of piglets born alive within each parity could be used as an early indicator trait for sow longevity.

  13. Relationships between longevity, lifetime productivity, carcass traits and conformation in Polish maternal pig breeds.

    PubMed

    Sobczyńska, M; Blicharski, T; Tyra, M

    2013-10-01

    The objective of this study was to obtain heritability estimates for longevity (length of life, length of productive life, number of litters) and lifetime productivity traits (lifetime pig production, lifetime pig efficiency, lifetime litter efficiency) and genetic correlation between them and litter size at first farrowing, growth (ADG), backfat thickness (BF), loin depth, lean meat percentage (LMP), phenotypic selection index (PSI), and exterior in 19423 Polish Landrace (L) and 16049 Polish Large White (LW) sows. Heritabilities for longevity and lifetime productivity traits were 0.10-0.13 for L sows and 0.09-0.11 for LW sows depending on the trait definition. The genetic correlations among these traits were all high and positive, ranging from 0.76 to 0.99. Antagonistic genetic correlations (-0.21 to -0.26) were found between longevity traits and PSI and LMP in LW sows, while in L sows the respective parameters were lower and not significant for length of productive life. The number of live-born piglets in the first litter was positively correlated with lifetime pig production and lifetime pig efficiency in both breeds. The genetic correlations of longevity and lifetime pig production with ADG, BF, loin depth and exterior were small, and in most cases, not significant.

  14. Quantitative trait loci associated with longevity of lettuce seeds under conventional and controlled deterioration storage conditions.

    PubMed

    Schwember, Andrés R; Bradford, Kent J

    2010-10-01

    Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) seeds have poor shelf life and exhibit thermoinhibition (fail to germinate) above ∼25°C. Seed priming (controlled hydration followed by drying) alleviates thermoinhibition by increasing the maximum germination temperature, but reduces lettuce seed longevity. Controlled deterioration (CD) or accelerated ageing storage conditions (i.e. elevated temperature and relative humidity) are used to study seed longevity and to predict potential seed lifetimes under conventional storage conditions. Seeds produced in 2002 and 2006 of a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population derived from a cross between L. sativa cv. Salinas×L. serriola accession UC96US23 were utilized to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with seed longevity under CD and conventional storage conditions. Multiple longevity-associated QTLs were identified under both conventional and CD storage conditions for control (non-primed) and primed seeds. However, seed longevity was poorly correlated between the two storage conditions, suggesting that deterioration processes under CD conditions are not predictive of ageing in conventional storage conditions. Additionally, the same QTLs were not identified when RIL populations were grown in different years, indicating that lettuce seed longevity is strongly affected by production environment. Nonetheless, a major QTL on chromosome 4 [Seed longevity 4.1 (Slg4.1)] was responsible for almost 23% of the phenotypic variation in viability of the conventionally stored control seeds of the 2006 RIL population, with improved longevity conferred by the Salinas allele. QTL analyses may enable identification of mechanisms responsible for the sensitivity of primed seeds to CD conditions and breeding for improved seed longevity.

  15. The Mass-Longevity Triangle: Pareto Optimality and the Geometry of Life-History Trait Space.

    PubMed

    Szekely, Pablo; Korem, Yael; Moran, Uri; Mayo, Avi; Alon, Uri

    2015-10-01

    When organisms need to perform multiple tasks they face a fundamental tradeoff: no phenotype can be optimal at all tasks. This situation was recently analyzed using Pareto optimality, showing that tradeoffs between tasks lead to phenotypes distributed on low dimensional polygons in trait space. The vertices of these polygons are archetypes--phenotypes optimal at a single task. This theory was applied to examples from animal morphology and gene expression. Here we ask whether Pareto optimality theory can apply to life history traits, which include longevity, fecundity and mass. To comprehensively explore the geometry of life history trait space, we analyze a dataset of life history traits of 2105 endothermic species. We find that, to a first approximation, life history traits fall on a triangle in log-mass log-longevity space. The vertices of the triangle suggest three archetypal strategies, exemplified by bats, shrews and whales, with specialists near the vertices and generalists in the middle of the triangle. To a second approximation, the data lies in a tetrahedron, whose extra vertex above the mass-longevity triangle suggests a fourth strategy related to carnivory. Each animal species can thus be placed in a coordinate system according to its distance from the archetypes, which may be useful for genome-scale comparative studies of mammalian aging and other biological aspects. We further demonstrate that Pareto optimality can explain a range of previous studies which found animal and plant phenotypes which lie in triangles in trait space. This study demonstrates the applicability of multi-objective optimization principles to understand life history traits and to infer archetypal strategies that suggest why some mammalian species live much longer than others of similar mass.

  16. The Mass-Longevity Triangle: Pareto Optimality and the Geometry of Life-History Trait Space

    PubMed Central

    Szekely, Pablo; Korem, Yael; Moran, Uri; Mayo, Avi; Alon, Uri

    2015-01-01

    When organisms need to perform multiple tasks they face a fundamental tradeoff: no phenotype can be optimal at all tasks. This situation was recently analyzed using Pareto optimality, showing that tradeoffs between tasks lead to phenotypes distributed on low dimensional polygons in trait space. The vertices of these polygons are archetypes—phenotypes optimal at a single task. This theory was applied to examples from animal morphology and gene expression. Here we ask whether Pareto optimality theory can apply to life history traits, which include longevity, fecundity and mass. To comprehensively explore the geometry of life history trait space, we analyze a dataset of life history traits of 2105 endothermic species. We find that, to a first approximation, life history traits fall on a triangle in log-mass log-longevity space. The vertices of the triangle suggest three archetypal strategies, exemplified by bats, shrews and whales, with specialists near the vertices and generalists in the middle of the triangle. To a second approximation, the data lies in a tetrahedron, whose extra vertex above the mass-longevity triangle suggests a fourth strategy related to carnivory. Each animal species can thus be placed in a coordinate system according to its distance from the archetypes, which may be useful for genome-scale comparative studies of mammalian aging and other biological aspects. We further demonstrate that Pareto optimality can explain a range of previous studies which found animal and plant phenotypes which lie in triangles in trait space. This study demonstrates the applicability of multi-objective optimization principles to understand life history traits and to infer archetypal strategies that suggest why some mammalian species live much longer than others of similar mass. PMID:26465336

  17. Factor Analysis of Linear Type Traits and Their Relation with Longevity in Brazilian Holstein Cattle

    PubMed Central

    Kern, Elisandra Lurdes; Cobuci, Jaime Araújo; Costa, Cláudio Napolis; Pimentel, Concepta Margaret McManus

    2014-01-01

    In this study we aimed to evaluate the reduction in dimensionality of 20 linear type traits and more final score in 14,943 Holstein cows in Brazil using factor analysis, and indicate their relationship with longevity and 305 d first lactation milk production. Low partial correlations (−0.19 to 0.38), the medium to high Kaiser sampling mean (0.79) and the significance of the Bartlett sphericity test (p<0.001), indicated correlations between type traits and the suitability of these data for a factor analysis, after the elimination of seven traits. Two factors had autovalues greater than one. The first included width and height of posterior udder, udder texture, udder cleft, loin strength, bone quality and final score. The second included stature, top line, chest width, body depth, fore udder attachment, angularity and final score. The linear regression of the factors on several measures of longevity and 305 d milk production showed that selection considering only the first factor should lead to improvements in longevity and 305 milk production. PMID:25050015

  18. Factor analysis of linear type traits and their relation with longevity in brazilian holstein cattle.

    PubMed

    Kern, Elisandra Lurdes; Cobuci, Jaime Araújo; Costa, Cláudio Napolis; Pimentel, Concepta Margaret McManus

    2014-06-01

    In this study we aimed to evaluate the reduction in dimensionality of 20 linear type traits and more final score in 14,943 Holstein cows in Brazil using factor analysis, and indicate their relationship with longevity and 305 d first lactation milk production. Low partial correlations (-0.19 to 0.38), the medium to high Kaiser sampling mean (0.79) and the significance of the Bartlett sphericity test (p<0.001), indicated correlations between type traits and the suitability of these data for a factor analysis, after the elimination of seven traits. Two factors had autovalues greater than one. The first included width and height of posterior udder, udder texture, udder cleft, loin strength, bone quality and final score. The second included stature, top line, chest width, body depth, fore udder attachment, angularity and final score. The linear regression of the factors on several measures of longevity and 305 d milk production showed that selection considering only the first factor should lead to improvements in longevity and 305 milk production.

  19. Validation of an approximate approach to compute genetic correlations between longevity and linear traits

    PubMed Central

    Tarrés, Joaquim; Piedrafita, Jesús; Ducrocq, Vincent

    2006-01-01

    The estimation of genetic correlations between a nonlinear trait such as longevity and linear traits is computationally difficult on large datasets. A two-step approach was proposed and was checked via simulation. First, univariate analyses were performed to get genetic variance estimates and to compute pseudo-records and their associated weights. These pseudo-records were virtual performances free of all environmental effects that can be used in a BLUP animal model, leading to the same breeding values as in the (possibly nonlinear) initial analyses. By combining these pseudo-records in a multiple trait model and fixing the genetic and residual variances to their values computed during the first step, we obtained correlation estimates by AI-REML and approximate MT-BLUP predicted breeding values that blend direct and indirect information on longevity. Mean genetic correlations and reliabilities obtained on simulated data confirmed the suitability of this approach in a wide range of situations. When nonzero residual correlations exist between traits, a sire model gave nearly unbiased estimates of genetic correlations, while the animal model estimates were biased upwards. Finally, when an incorrect genetic trend was simulated to lead to biased pseudo-records, a joint analysis including a time effect could adequately correct for this bias. PMID:16451792

  20. Mechanisms by Which Different Functional States of Mitochondria Define Yeast Longevity

    PubMed Central

    Beach, Adam; Leonov, Anna; Arlia-Ciommo, Anthony; Svistkova, Veronika; Lutchman, Vicky; Titorenko, Vladimir I.

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondrial functionality is vital to organismal physiology. A body of evidence supports the notion that an age-related progressive decline in mitochondrial function is a hallmark of cellular and organismal aging in evolutionarily distant eukaryotes. Studies of the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a unicellular eukaryote, have led to discoveries of genes, signaling pathways and chemical compounds that modulate longevity-defining cellular processes in eukaryotic organisms across phyla. These studies have provided deep insights into mechanistic links that exist between different traits of mitochondrial functionality and cellular aging. The molecular mechanisms underlying the essential role of mitochondria as signaling organelles in yeast aging have begun to emerge. In this review, we discuss recent progress in understanding mechanisms by which different functional states of mitochondria define yeast longevity, outline the most important unanswered questions and suggest directions for future research. PMID:25768339

  1. A Narrow Quantitative Trait Locus in C. elegans Coordinately Affects Longevity, Thermotolerance, and Resistance to Paraquat

    PubMed Central

    Vertino, Anthony; Ayyadevara, Srinivas; Thaden, John J.; Reis, Robert J. Shmookler

    2011-01-01

    By linkage mapping of quantitative trait loci, we previously identified at least 11 natural genetic variants that significantly modulate Caenorhabditis elegans life-span (LS), many of which would have eluded discovery by knock-down or mutation screens. A region on chromosome IV between markers stP13 and stP35 had striking effects on longevity in three inter-strain crosses (each P < 10−9). In order to define the limits of that interval, we have now constructed two independent lines by marker-based selection during 20 backcross generations, isolating the stP13–stP35 interval from strain Bergerac-BO in a CL2a background. These congenic lines differed significantly from CL2a in LS, assayed in two environments (each P < 0.001). We then screened for exchange of flanking markers to isolate recombinants that partition this region, because fine-mapping the boundaries for overlapping heteroallelic spans can greatly narrow the implicated interval. Recombinants carrying the CL2a allele at stP35 were consistently long-lived compared to those retaining the Bergerac-BO allele (P < 0.001), and more resistant to temperature elevation and paraquat (each ∼1.7-fold, P < 0.0001), but gained little protection from ultraviolet or peroxide stresses. Two rounds of recombinant screening, followed by fine-mapping of break-points and survival testing, narrowed the interval to 0.18 Mb (13.35–13.53 Mb) containing 26 putative genes and six small-nuclear RNAs – a manageable number of targets for functional assessment. PMID:22303358

  2. Placing Intelligence into an Evolutionary Framework or How "g" Fits into the "r-K" Matrix of Life-History Traits Including Longevity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rushton, J. Philippe

    2004-01-01

    First, I describe why intelligence (Spearman's "g") can only be fully understood through "r-K" theory, which places it into an evolutionary framework along with brain size, longevity, maturation speed, and several other life-history traits. The "r-K" formulation explains why IQ predicts longevity and also why the gap in mortality rates between…

  3. Placing Intelligence into an Evolutionary Framework or How "g" Fits into the "r-K" Matrix of Life-History Traits Including Longevity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rushton, J. Philippe

    2004-01-01

    First, I describe why intelligence (Spearman's "g") can only be fully understood through "r-K" theory, which places it into an evolutionary framework along with brain size, longevity, maturation speed, and several other life-history traits. The "r-K" formulation explains why IQ predicts longevity and also why the gap in mortality rates between…

  4. Genome-wide association study for lactation persistency, female fertility, longevity, and lifetime profit index traits in Holstein dairy cattle.

    PubMed

    Nayeri, S; Sargolzaei, M; Abo-Ismail, M K; Miller, S; Schenkel, F; Moore, S S; Stothard, P

    2017-02-01

    Female fertility in Holstein cattle can decline when intense genetic selection is placed on milk production. One approach to improving fertility is to identify the genomic regions and variants affecting fertility traits and then incorporate this knowledge into selection decisions. The objectives of this study were to identify or refine the positions of the genomic regions associated with lactation persistency, female fertility traits (age at first service, cow first service to conception, heifer and cow nonreturn rates), longevity traits (herd life, indirect herd life, and direct herd life), and lifetime profit index in the North American Holstein dairy cattle population. A genome-wide association study was performed for each trait, using a single SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) regression mixed linear model and imputed high-density panel (777k) genotypes. No associations were identified for fertility traits. Several peak regions were detected for lifetime profit index, lactation persistency, and longevity. The results overlap with previous findings and identify some novel regions for lactation persistency. Previously proposed causative and candidate genes supported by this work include DGAT1, GRINA, and CPSF1, whereas new candidate genes are SLC2A4RG and THRB. Thus, the chromosomal regions identified in this study not only confirm several previous findings but also highlight new regions that may contribute to genetic variation in lactation persistency and longevity-associated traits in dairy cattle. The Authors. Published by the Federation of Animal Science Societies and Elsevier Inc. on behalf of the American Dairy Science Association®. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

  5. National Pork Producers Council Maternal Line National Genetic Evaluation Program: a comparison of sow longevity and trait associations with sow longevity.

    PubMed

    Serenius, T; Stalder, K J; Baas, T J; Mabry, J W; Goodwin, R N; Johnson, R K; Robison, O W; Tokach, M; Miller, R K

    2006-09-01

    Data from the National Pork Producers Council Maternal Line National Genetic Evaluation Program were used to compare longevity of sows from 6 commercial genetic lines and to estimate the phenotypic associations of sow longevity with gilt backfat thickness, ADG, age at first farrowing, litter size at first farrowing, litter weight at first farrowing, average feed intake during lactation, and average backfat loss during lactation. The lines evaluated were American Diamond Genetics, Danbred North America, Dekalb-Monsanto DK44, Dekalb-Monsanto GPK347, Newsham Hybrids, and National Swine Registry. The data set contained information from 3,251 gilts, of which 17% had censored longevity records (sows lived longer than 6 parities). The line comparison was carried out by analyzing all lines simultaneously. Because the survival distribution functions differed among genetic lines, later analyses were carried out separately for each genetic line. All analyses were based on the non-parametric proportional hazard (Cox model). Dekalb-Monsanto GPK347 sows had a lower risk of being culled than sows from the other lines. Moreover, the shape of the survival distribution function of the Delkab-Monsanto GPK347 line was different from the other 5 lines. The Dekalb-Monsanto 347 line had lower culling rates because they had lower gilt reproductive failure before the first parity than gilts from the other lines. Within line, sows with lower feed intake and greater backfat loss during lactation had a shorter productive lifetime. Thus, producers should implement management practices having positive effects on sow lactation feed intake. Additionally, the swine genetics industry is challenged to simultaneously improve efficiency of gain of their terminal market pigs and to obtain high feed intake during lactation of their maternal lines for future improvement of sow longevity. Recording sow feed intake and backfat loss during lactation in nucleus and multiplication breeding herds should be

  6. Deficiency mapping of quantitative trait loci affecting longevity in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed Central

    Pasyukova, E G; Vieira, C; Mackay, T F

    2000-01-01

    In a previous study, sex-specific quantitative trait loci (QTL) affecting adult longevity were mapped by linkage to polymorphic roo transposable element markers, in a population of recombinant inbred lines derived from the Oregon and 2b strains of Drosophila melanogaster. Two life span QTL were each located on chromosomes 2 and 3, within sections 33E-46C and 65D-85F on the cytological map, respectively. We used quantitative deficiency complementation mapping to further resolve the locations of life span QTL within these regions. The Oregon and 2b strains were each crossed to 47 deficiencies spanning cytological regions 32F-44E and 64C-76B, and quantitative failure of the QTL alleles to complement the deficiencies was assessed. We initially detected a minimum of five and four QTL in the chromosome 2 and 3 regions, respectively, illustrating that multiple linked factors contribute to each QTL detected by recombination mapping. The QTL locations inferred from deficiency mapping did not generally correspond to those of candidate genes affecting oxidative and thermal stress or glucose metabolism. The chromosome 2 QTL in the 35B-E region was further resolved to a minimum of three tightly linked QTL, containing six genetically defined loci, 24 genes, and predicted genes that are positional candidates corresponding to life span QTL. This region was also associated with quantitative variation in life span in a sample of 10 genotypes collected from nature. Quantitative deficiency complementation is an efficient method for fine-scale QTL mapping in Drosophila and can be further improved by controlling the background genotype of the strains to be tested. PMID:11063689

  7. The energy body and its functions: immunosurveillance, longevity, and regeneration.

    PubMed

    Brown, Daniel

    2009-08-01

    There are three interrelated levels of a macromolecular energy-information relay system in the human body, each generated by a specific type of semiconductant tissue and each with a specific function. The surface layer of the energy body, generated by fluid connective tissue and known as the ordinary channel system or meridian system in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), functions in the service of immunosurveillance through detection of distress signals and transmitting energy-information regarding immunoresponse. The middle layer of the energy body, generated by semiconductant hard and spongy bone tissue, known as the extraordinary channel system in TCM, functions in the service of longevity and regeneration, as described in Bodhidharma's classic, Bone Marrow Washing. The bone marrow energy-information system has direct relevance to modern stem-cell research on the role of stem cells in regeneration of injured tissue. The deepest layer of the energy body generated by semiconductant nervous system tissue notably the vagus nerve and spinal column, functions in the service of awakening consciousness and in immortality. This system is described in the Tibetan Inner Fire meditations as well as in the Taoist shen breathing practices. There is very little scientific understanding of the central channel system.

  8. Improved lipids, diastolic pressure and kidney function are potential contributors to familial longevity: a study on 60 Chinese centenarian families.

    PubMed

    He, Yong-Han; Pu, Shao-Yan; Xiao, Fu-Hui; Chen, Xiao-Qiong; Yan, Dong-Jing; Liu, Yao-Wen; Lin, Rong; Liao, Xiao-Ping; Yu, Qin; Yang, Li-Qin; Yang, Xing-Li; Ge, Ming-Xia; Li, Ying; Jiang, Jian-Jun; Cai, Wang-Wei; Kong, Qing-Peng

    2016-02-25

    Centenarians are a good healthy aging model. Interestingly, centenarians' offspring are prone to achieve longevity. Here we recruited 60 longevity families and investigated the blood biochemical indexes of family members to seek candidate factors associated with familial longevity. First, associations of blood indexes with age were tested. Second, associations of blood parameters in centenarians (CEN) with their first generation of offspring (F1) and F1 spouses (F1SP) were analyzed. Third, genes involved in regulating target factors were investigated. We found that total cholesterol (TC) and triglyceride (TG) increased with age (20-80 years), but decreased in CEN. Similarly, blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and blood creatinine (BCr) increased with age (20-80 years), but were maintained on a plateau in CEN. Importantly, we first revealed dual changes in blood pressure, i.e., decreased diastolic blood pressure but increased systolic blood pressure in CEN, which associated with altered CST3 expression. Genetic analysis revealed a significant association of blood uric acid (BUA) and BCr in CEN with F1 but not with F1SP, suggesting they may be heritable traits. Taken together, our results suggest serum lipids, kidney function and especially diastolic pressure rather than systolic pressure were improved in CEN or their offspring, suggesting these factors may play an important role in familial longevity.

  9. Translational Geroscience: Emphasizing function to achieve optimal longevity

    PubMed Central

    Seals, Douglas R.; Melov, Simon

    2014-01-01

    Among individuals, biological aging leads to cellular and organismal dysfunction and an increased risk of chronic degenerative diseases and disability. This sequence of events in combination with the projected increases in the number of older adults will result in a worldwide healthcare burden with dire consequences. Superimposed on this setting are the adults now reaching traditional retirement ages--the baby boomers--a group that wishes to remain active, productive and physically and cognitively fit as they grow older. Together, these conditions are producing an unprecedented demand for increased healthspan or what might be termed “optimal longevity”—to live long, but well. To meet this demand, investigators with interests in the biological aspects of aging from model organisms to human epidemiology (population aging) must work together within an interactive process that we describe as translational geroscience. An essential goal of this new investigational platform should be the optimization and preservation of physiological function throughout the lifespan, including integrative physical and cognitive function, which would serve to increase healthspan, compress morbidity and disability into a shorter period of late-life, and help achieve optimal longevity. To most effectively utilize this new approach, we must rethink how investigators and administrators working at different levels of the translational research continuum communicate and collaborate with each other, how best to train the next generation of scientists in this new field, and how contemporary biological-biomedical aging research should be organized and funded. PMID:25324468

  10. Genetic correlation of longevity with growth, post-mortem, docility and some morphological traits in the Pirenaica beef cattle breed.

    PubMed

    Varona, L; Moreno, C; Altarriba, J

    2012-06-01

    Survival or longevity is an economically relevant trait in cattle. However, it is not currently included in cattle selection criteria because of the delayed recording of phenotypic data and the high computational demand of survival techniques under proportional hazard models. The identification of longevity-correlated traits that can be early registered in lifetime would therefore be very useful for beef cattle selection processes. The aim of this study was to estimate the genetic correlation of survival (SURV) with: growth - birth weight (BW), weight at 120 days (W120), weight at 210 days (W210); carcass - cold carcass weight (CCW), conformation (CON), fatness (FAT) and meat colour (COL); teat morphology - teat thickness (TT), teat length (TL) and udder depth (UD); leg morphology - forward (FL) and backward legs (BL); milk production (MILK) and docility (DOC). In the statistical analysis, SURV was measured in discrete-time intervals and modelled via a sequential threshold model. A series of independent bivariate Bayesian analyses between cow survival and each recorded trait were carried out. The posterior mean estimates (and posterior standard deviation) for the heritability of SURV was 0.05 (0.01); and for the relevant genetic correlations with SURV were 0.07 (0.04), 0.12 (0.05), 0.10 (0.05), 0.15 (0.05), -0.18 (0.06), 0.33 (0.06) and 0.27 (0.15) for BW, W120, W210, CCW, CON, FAT and COL, respectively.

  11. Longevity, growth rate and related traits among strains of Tribolium castaneum.

    PubMed

    Soliman, M H; Lints, F A

    1975-01-01

    Longevity of eight laboratory strains of the flour beetle Tribolium castaneum, with various geographic backgrounds, was studied under constant laboratory conditions of 33 degrees C and 70% relative humidity in standard medium (95% whole wheat flour and 5% dried yeast) during a period of 227 days starting from the egg stage. The eggs were collected from the same parents, first a few days after emergence and afterwards at intervals of 13, 9, 10 and 11 days. Mean survival time (MST) was found to be strain-specified. It ranges from 128.6 days for KJ (Kyoto, Japan) to 174.2 days for ES (Edinburgh, Scotland). MST was highly correlated with the percentage of adults alive after 227 days, which did not change the ranking order of strain longevity. Parental age had no effect on longevity. The mean adult longevity of the strains was correlated with the available data on adult weight, growth rate, viability and productivity. There was no relationship between adult weight and longevity. LIfe span was found to depend on growth rate (measured as 13-day larval weight), percent viability (from 13-day larvae to adulthood) and productivity. Developmental time was also found to influence adult life span within certain limits (two extreme strains deviated). The data suggest that ageing and death in T. castaneum is under genetic control and support the idea that ageing, allied to development, is genetically controlled.

  12. Xylem traits, leaf longevity and growth phenology predict growth and mortality response to defoliation in northern temperate forests.

    PubMed

    Foster, Jane R

    2017-09-01

    Defoliation outbreaks are biological disturbances that alter tree growth and mortality in temperate forests. Trees respond to defoliation in many ways; some recover rapidly, while others decline gradually or die. Functional traits such as xylem anatomy, growth phenology or non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) storage could explain these responses, but idiosyncratic measures used by defoliation studies have frustrated efforts to generalize among species. Here, I test for functional differences with published growth and mortality data from 37 studies, including 24 tree species and 11 defoliators from North America and Eurasia. I synthesized data into standardized variables suitable for numerical models and used linear mixed-effects models to test the hypotheses that responses to defoliation vary among species and functional groups. Standardized data show that defoliation responses vary in shape and degree. Growth decreased linearly or curvilinearly, least in ring-porous Quercus and deciduous conifers (by 10-40% per 100% defoliation), whereas growth of diffuse-porous hardwoods and evergreen conifers declined by 40-100%. Mortality increased exponentially with defoliation, most rapidly for evergreen conifers, then diffuse-porous, then ring-porous species and deciduous conifers (Larix). Goodness-of-fit for functional-group models was strong (R2c = 0.61-0.88), if lower than species-specific mixed-models (R2c = 0.77-0.93), providing useful alternatives when species data are lacking. These responses are consistent with functional differences in leaf longevity, wood growth phenology and NSC storage. When defoliator activity lags behind wood-growth, either because xylem-growth precedes budburst (Quercus) or defoliator activity peaks later (sawflies on Larix), impacts on annual wood-growth will always be lower. Wood-growth phenology of diffuse-porous species and evergreen conifers coincides with defoliation and responds more drastically, and lower axial NSC storage makes them

  13. Estimation of genetic parameters for functional longevity in the South African Holstein cattle using a piecewise Weibull proportional hazards model.

    PubMed

    Imbayarwo-Chikosi, V E; Ducrocq, V; Banga, C B; Halimani, T E; van Wyk, J B; Maiwashe, A; Dzama, K

    2017-03-14

    Non-genetic factors influencing functional longevity and the heritability of the trait were estimated in South African Holsteins using a piecewise Weibull proportional hazards model. Data consisted of records of 161,222 of daughters of 2,051 sires calving between 1995 and 2013. The reference model included fixed time-independent age at first calving and time-dependent interactions involving lactation number, region, season and age of calving, within-herd class of milk production, fat and protein content, class of annual variation in herd size and the random herd-year effect. Random sire and maternal grandsire effects were added to the model to estimate genetic parameters. The within-lactation Weibull baseline hazards were assumed to change at 0, 270, 380 days and at drying date. Within-herd milk production class had the largest contribution to the relative risk of culling. Relative culling risk increased with lower protein and fat per cent production classes and late age at first calving. Cows in large shrinking herds also had high relative risk of culling. The estimate of the sire genetic variance was 0.0472 ± 0.0017 giving a theoretical heritability estimate of 0.11 in the complete absence of censoring. Genetic trends indicated an overall decrease in functional longevity of 0.014 standard deviation from 1995 to 2007. There are opportunities for including the trait in the breeding objective for South African Holstein cattle.

  14. Phylogenetic conservatism of functional traits in microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Martiny, Adam C; Treseder, Kathleen; Pusch, Gordon

    2013-04-01

    A central question in biology is how biodiversity influences ecosystem functioning. Underlying this is the relationship between organismal phylogeny and the presence of specific functional traits. The relationship is complicated by gene loss and convergent evolution, resulting in the polyphyletic distribution of many traits. In microorganisms, lateral gene transfer can further distort the linkage between phylogeny and the presence of specific functional traits. To identify the phylogenetic conservation of specific traits in microorganisms, we developed a new phylogenetic metric-consenTRAIT-to estimate the clade depth where organisms share a trait. We then analyzed the distribution of 89 functional traits across a broad range of Bacteria and Archaea using genotypic and phenotypic data. A total of 93% of the traits were significantly non-randomly distributed, which suggested that vertical inheritance was generally important for the phylogenetic dispersion of functional traits in microorganisms. Further, traits in microbes were associated with a continuum of trait depths (τD), ranging from a few deep to many shallow clades (average τD: 0.101-0.0011 rRNA sequence dissimilarity). Next, we demonstrated that the dispersion and the depth of clades that contain a trait is correlated with the trait's complexity. Specifically, complex traits encoded by many genes like photosynthesis and methanogenesis were found in a few deep clusters, whereas the ability to use simple carbon substrates was highly phylogenetically dispersed. On the basis of these results, we propose a framework for predicting the phylogenetic conservatism of functional traits depending on the complexity of the trait. This framework enables predicting how variation in microbial composition may affect microbially-mediated ecosystem processes as well as linking phylogenetic and trait-based patterns of biogeography.

  15. Crossbreeding parameter estimation for functional longevity in rabbits using survival analysis methodology.

    PubMed

    Piles, M; Sánchez, J P; Orengo, J; Rafel, O; Ramon, J; Baselga, M

    2006-01-01

    A complete diallel cross involving 3 maternal lines of rabbit was performed to estimate cross-breeding parameters for functional longevity. This trait was defined as the ability to delay involuntary culling. The lines considered, A, V, and Prat, had all been selected by litter size at weaning for a long period. Data were related to a total of 653 does belonging to the 9 genetic types from the diallel cross; does were reared and bred on the same commercial farm. Survival analysis was performed using a Cox proportional hazard model. The model incorporated time-dependent factors, such as year-season, litter size, and the interaction between cycle and physiological status of the female; time-independent factors, such as the genetic type of the doe; and sire and dam random factors. Crossbreeding parameters were estimated from the solutions obtained for the type of doe and its estimated variance-covariance matrix, using a generalized least squares procedure. The estimated parameters were the differences between lines in direct genetic effects and maternal genetic effects and individual heterosis. Relevant differences were observed in direct genetic effects between lines A and Prat but not in any maternal effects. Heterosis was found to be significant and favorable between lines A and Prat, and between the lines V and Prat. The magnitude of this effect was variable but important, especially in the first cross. Results stress the importance of using crosses between specialized lines to produce does for intensive meat rabbit production.

  16. Variations of leaf longevity in tropical moist forests predicted by a trait-driven carbon optimality model

    DOE PAGES

    Xu, Xiangtao; Medvigy, David; Wright, Stuart Joseph; ...

    2017-07-04

    Leaf longevity (LL) varies more than 20-fold in tropical evergreen forests, but it remains unclear how to capture these variations using predictive models. Current theories of LL that are based on carbon optimisation principles are challenging to quantitatively assess because of uncertainty across species in the ‘ageing rate:’ the rate at which leaf photosynthetic capacity declines with age. Here in this paper, we present a meta-analysis of 49 species across temperate and tropical biomes, demonstrating that the ageing rate of photosynthetic capacity is positively correlated with the mass-based carboxylation rate of mature leaves. We assess an improved trait-driven carbon optimalitymore » model with in situLL data for 105 species in two Panamanian forests. Additionally, we show that our model explains over 40% of the cross-species variation in LL under contrasting light environment. Collectively, our results reveal how variation in LL emerges from carbon optimisation constrained by both leaf structural traits and abiotic environment.« less

  17. Effect of somatic cell count level on functional longevity in Valle del Belice dairy sheep assessed using survival analysis.

    PubMed

    Riggio, V; Maizon, D O; Portolano, B; Bovenhuis, H; van Arendonk, J A M

    2009-12-01

    The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effect of somatic cell count (SCC) on functional longevity and to estimate the heritability of functional longevity using survival analysis in Valle del Belice dairy sheep. A total of 4,880 lactations of 2,190 ewes from 11 flocks were used. In this study, SCC was considered as an indication of subclinical mastitis. In case of clinical cases, identified by the technicians at milking time, test-day weights and milk samples of those ewes were not considered. Somatic cells were analyzed as counts, without any transformation, and were grouped in 3 classes based on the observed SCC maximum (mxSCC). The mxSCC classes, expressed as 10(3) cells/mL, were classified as 1 if mxSCC or= 1,000. An increase in SCC was associated with an increased hazard of being culled. Ewes in the highest class of SCC on a test-day had a 20% higher hazard of being culled than those in the lowest class. Therefore, SCC played a role in culling decisions of Valle del Belice dairy sheep farmers. The heritability estimate for functional longevity was 7% on the logarithmic scale and 11% on the real scale, indicating that selection for this trait is possible in sheep. The flock-year-season effect explained 19% of the variation on the logarithmic scale and 27% of the variation on the real scale.

  18. Variances and correlations of milk production, fertility, longevity, and type traits over time in Australian Holstein cattle.

    PubMed

    Haile-Mariam, M; Pryce, J E

    2015-10-01

    When using historical data, it is often assumed that the genetic correlation of the same trait recorded at different time points is reasonably close to 1. However, selection and possible changes in trait definitions means that this may not necessarily be the case. Regularly monitoring genetic parameters over time is important, as changes could reduce the accuracy of genetic evaluations. About 20 yr (1993 to 2012) of data on milk yield as well as functional and type traits from Australian Holstein dairy cattle were analyzed to assess changes in genetic correlations within and among traits over time by considering 2 traits at a time using linear random regression (RR) and multitrait (MT) models. Both residual and genetic variances for milk yield traits and calving interval (CI) increased over time, with the highest increase observed for protein yield. For most type traits some fluctuations over time were noted in both the residual and additive genetic variances. Genetic correlations among survival (i.e., from first to second lactation), milk yield traits, CI, and some type traits varied over time. The genetic correlation of the same trait (e.g., protein yield, fat yield, and some type traits) measured in different years was also less than 1.0 (0.1-0.9), which is likely to be due to selection or changes in trait definitions. Estimates of parameters from the RR model were generally similar to those from MT models that considered the same trait recorded in different year groups as different traits. However, in the case of survival and CI (i.e., lowly heritable traits), the genetic correlations over time obtained from the MT model were lower (0.21 to 0.75) than those from the RR models (0.9-1.0). Genetic correlations of survival with milk, fat, and protein yields declined from ~0.4 to 0.5 at the beginning of the study period (1993/94) to zero or negative at the end (2009/10), whereas the correlation between CI and milk yield became more unfavorable and increased from 0

  19. Pleiotropic functions of antioxidant nanoparticles for longevity and medicine.

    PubMed

    Narayanan, Kannan Badri; Park, Hyun Ho

    2013-12-01

    Nanomedicine is a rapidly emerging interdisciplinary field in which medicine is coupled with nanotechnology tools and techniques for advanced therapy with the aid of molecular knowledge and its associated treatment tools. This field creates a myriad of opportunities for improving the health and life of humans. Unchecked chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, and free-radical damage causes proportionate aging and other related diseases/disorders. Antioxidants act as free radical scavengers, singlet oxygen ((1)O2) quenchers, peroxides and other ROS inactivators, as well as metal ion chelators, quenchers of secondary oxidation products and inhibitors of pro-oxidative enzymes. Nanoparticles possessing antioxidative properties have recently emerged as potent therapeutic agents owing to their potential applications in life sciences for improvement of the quality of life and longevity. Accordingly, the use of antioxidant nanoparticles/nanomaterials is burgeoning in biomedical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food and nutrition fields. Due to the smaller size, greater permeability, increased circulation ability and biocompatibility of these nanoparticles to alleviate oxidative stress, they have become indispensable agents for controlling aging and its associated pathologies, including neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and pulmonary diseases. This review discusses antioxidant nanoparticles, which are nano-dimensioned metals, non-metals, metal oxides, synthetic and natural antioxidants and polymers, and the molecular/biochemical mechanisms underpinning their activities. © 2013.

  20. A functional trait perspective on plant invasion.

    PubMed

    Drenovsky, Rebecca E; Grewell, Brenda J; D'Antonio, Carla M; Funk, Jennifer L; James, Jeremy J; Molinari, Nicole; Parker, Ingrid M; Richards, Christina L

    2012-07-01

    Global environmental change will affect non-native plant invasions, with profound potential impacts on native plant populations, communities and ecosystems. In this context, we review plant functional traits, particularly those that drive invader abundance (invasiveness) and impacts, as well as the integration of these traits across multiple ecological scales, and as a basis for restoration and management. We review the concepts and terminology surrounding functional traits and how functional traits influence processes at the individual level. We explore how phenotypic plasticity may lead to rapid evolution of novel traits facilitating invasiveness in changing environments and then 'scale up' to evaluate the relative importance of demographic traits and their links to invasion rates. We then suggest a functional trait framework for assessing per capita effects and, ultimately, impacts of invasive plants on plant communities and ecosystems. Lastly, we focus on the role of functional trait-based approaches in invasive species management and restoration in the context of rapid, global environmental change. To understand how the abundance and impacts of invasive plants will respond to rapid environmental changes it is essential to link trait-based responses of invaders to changes in community and ecosystem properties. To do so requires a comprehensive effort that considers dynamic environmental controls and a targeted approach to understand key functional traits driving both invader abundance and impacts. If we are to predict future invasions, manage those at hand and use restoration technology to mitigate invasive species impacts, future research must focus on functional traits that promote invasiveness and invader impacts under changing conditions, and integrate major factors driving invasions from individual to ecosystem levels.

  1. A functional trait perspective on plant invasion

    PubMed Central

    Drenovsky, Rebecca E.; Grewell, Brenda J.; D'Antonio, Carla M.; Funk, Jennifer L.; James, Jeremy J.; Molinari, Nicole; Parker, Ingrid M.; Richards, Christina L.

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Global environmental change will affect non-native plant invasions, with profound potential impacts on native plant populations, communities and ecosystems. In this context, we review plant functional traits, particularly those that drive invader abundance (invasiveness) and impacts, as well as the integration of these traits across multiple ecological scales, and as a basis for restoration and management. Scope We review the concepts and terminology surrounding functional traits and how functional traits influence processes at the individual level. We explore how phenotypic plasticity may lead to rapid evolution of novel traits facilitating invasiveness in changing environments and then ‘scale up’ to evaluate the relative importance of demographic traits and their links to invasion rates. We then suggest a functional trait framework for assessing per capita effects and, ultimately, impacts of invasive plants on plant communities and ecosystems. Lastly, we focus on the role of functional trait-based approaches in invasive species management and restoration in the context of rapid, global environmental change. Conclusions To understand how the abundance and impacts of invasive plants will respond to rapid environmental changes it is essential to link trait-based responses of invaders to changes in community and ecosystem properties. To do so requires a comprehensive effort that considers dynamic environmental controls and a targeted approach to understand key functional traits driving both invader abundance and impacts. If we are to predict future invasions, manage those at hand and use restoration technology to mitigate invasive species impacts, future research must focus on functional traits that promote invasiveness and invader impacts under changing conditions, and integrate major factors driving invasions from individual to ecosystem levels. PMID:22589328

  2. Functional trait diversity maximizes ecosystem multifunctionality.

    PubMed

    Gross, Nicolas; Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Yoann; Liancourt, Pierre; Berdugo, Miguel; Gotelli, Nicholas J; Maestre, Fernando T

    2017-05-01

    Understanding the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning has been a core ecological research topic over the last decades. Although a key hypothesis is that the diversity of functional traits determines ecosystem functioning, we do not know how much trait diversity is needed to maintain multiple ecosystem functions simultaneously (multifunctionality). Here, we uncovered a scaling relationship between the abundance distribution of two key plant functional traits (specific leaf area, maximum plant height) and multifunctionality in 124 dryland plant communities spread over all continents except Antarctica. For each trait, we found a strong empirical relationship between the skewness and the kurtosis of the trait distributions that cannot be explained by chance. This relationship predicted a strikingly high trait diversity within dryland plant communities, which was associated with a local maximization of multifunctionality. Skewness and kurtosis had a much stronger impact on multifunctionality than other important multifunctionality drivers such as species richness and aridity. The scaling relationship identified here quantifies how much trait diversity is required to maximize multifunctionality locally. Trait distributions can be used to predict the functional consequences of biodiversity loss in terrestrial ecosystems.

  3. Relating Stomatal Conductance to Leaf Functional Traits.

    PubMed

    Kröber, Wenzel; Plath, Isa; Heklau, Heike; Bruelheide, Helge

    2015-10-12

    Leaf functional traits are important because they reflect physiological functions, such as transpiration and carbon assimilation. In particular, morphological leaf traits have the potential to summarize plants strategies in terms of water use efficiency, growth pattern and nutrient use. The leaf economics spectrum (LES) is a recognized framework in functional plant ecology and reflects a gradient of increasing specific leaf area (SLA), leaf nitrogen, phosphorus and cation content, and decreasing leaf dry matter content (LDMC) and carbon nitrogen ratio (CN). The LES describes different strategies ranging from that of short-lived leaves with high photosynthetic capacity per leaf mass to long-lived leaves with low mass-based carbon assimilation rates. However, traits that are not included in the LES might provide additional information on the species' physiology, such as those related to stomatal control. Protocols are presented for a wide range of leaf functional traits, including traits of the LES, but also traits that are independent of the LES. In particular, a new method is introduced that relates the plants' regulatory behavior in stomatal conductance to vapor pressure deficit. The resulting parameters of stomatal regulation can then be compared to the LES and other plant functional traits. The results show that functional leaf traits of the LES were also valid predictors for the parameters of stomatal regulation. For example, leaf carbon concentration was positively related to the vapor pressure deficit (vpd) at the point of inflection and the maximum of the conductance-vpd curve. However, traits that are not included in the LES added information in explaining parameters of stomatal control: the vpd at the point of inflection of the conductance-vpd curve was lower for species with higher stomatal density and higher stomatal index. Overall, stomata and vein traits were more powerful predictors for explaining stomatal regulation than traits used in the LES.

  4. Relating Stomatal Conductance to Leaf Functional Traits

    PubMed Central

    Kröber, Wenzel; Plath, Isa; Heklau, Heike; Bruelheide, Helge

    2015-01-01

    Leaf functional traits are important because they reflect physiological functions, such as transpiration and carbon assimilation. In particular, morphological leaf traits have the potential to summarize plants strategies in terms of water use efficiency, growth pattern and nutrient use. The leaf economics spectrum (LES) is a recognized framework in functional plant ecology and reflects a gradient of increasing specific leaf area (SLA), leaf nitrogen, phosphorus and cation content, and decreasing leaf dry matter content (LDMC) and carbon nitrogen ratio (CN). The LES describes different strategies ranging from that of short-lived leaves with high photosynthetic capacity per leaf mass to long-lived leaves with low mass-based carbon assimilation rates. However, traits that are not included in the LES might provide additional information on the species' physiology, such as those related to stomatal control. Protocols are presented for a wide range of leaf functional traits, including traits of the LES, but also traits that are independent of the LES. In particular, a new method is introduced that relates the plants’ regulatory behavior in stomatal conductance to vapor pressure deficit. The resulting parameters of stomatal regulation can then be compared to the LES and other plant functional traits. The results show that functional leaf traits of the LES were also valid predictors for the parameters of stomatal regulation. For example, leaf carbon concentration was positively related to the vapor pressure deficit (vpd) at the point of inflection and the maximum of the conductance-vpd curve. However, traits that are not included in the LES added information in explaining parameters of stomatal control: the vpd at the point of inflection of the conductance-vpd curve was lower for species with higher stomatal density and higher stomatal index. Overall, stomata and vein traits were more powerful predictors for explaining stomatal regulation than traits used in the LES

  5. Predicting species' range limits from functional traits for the tree flora of North America.

    PubMed

    Stahl, Ulrike; Reu, Björn; Wirth, Christian

    2014-09-23

    Using functional traits to explain species' range limits is a promising approach in functional biogeography. It replaces the idiosyncrasy of species-specific climate ranges with a generic trait-based predictive framework. In addition, it has the potential to shed light on specific filter mechanisms creating large-scale vegetation patterns. However, its application to a continental flora, spanning large climate gradients, has been hampered by a lack of trait data. Here, we explore whether five key plant functional traits (seed mass, wood density, specific leaf area (SLA), maximum height, and longevity of a tree)--indicative of life history, mechanical, and physiological adaptations--explain the climate ranges of 250 North American tree species distributed from the boreal to the subtropics. Although the relationship between traits and the median climate across a species range is weak, quantile regressions revealed strong effects on range limits. Wood density and seed mass were strongly related to the lower but not upper temperature range limits of species. Maximum height affects the species range limits in both dry and humid climates, whereas SLA and longevity do not show clear relationships. These results allow the definition and delineation of climatic "no-go areas" for North American tree species based on key traits. As some of these key traits serve as important parameters in recent vegetation models, the implementation of trait-based climatic constraints has the potential to predict both range shifts and ecosystem consequences on a more functional basis. Moreover, for future trait-based vegetation models our results provide a benchmark for model evaluation.

  6. Predicting species’ range limits from functional traits for the tree flora of North America

    PubMed Central

    Stahl, Ulrike; Reu, Björn; Wirth, Christian

    2014-01-01

    Using functional traits to explain species’ range limits is a promising approach in functional biogeography. It replaces the idiosyncrasy of species-specific climate ranges with a generic trait-based predictive framework. In addition, it has the potential to shed light on specific filter mechanisms creating large-scale vegetation patterns. However, its application to a continental flora, spanning large climate gradients, has been hampered by a lack of trait data. Here, we explore whether five key plant functional traits (seed mass, wood density, specific leaf area (SLA), maximum height, and longevity of a tree)—indicative of life history, mechanical, and physiological adaptations—explain the climate ranges of 250 North American tree species distributed from the boreal to the subtropics. Although the relationship between traits and the median climate across a species range is weak, quantile regressions revealed strong effects on range limits. Wood density and seed mass were strongly related to the lower but not upper temperature range limits of species. Maximum height affects the species range limits in both dry and humid climates, whereas SLA and longevity do not show clear relationships. These results allow the definition and delineation of climatic “no-go areas” for North American tree species based on key traits. As some of these key traits serve as important parameters in recent vegetation models, the implementation of trait-based climatic constraints has the potential to predict both range shifts and ecosystem consequences on a more functional basis. Moreover, for future trait-based vegetation models our results provide a benchmark for model evaluation. PMID:25225398

  7. Phylogenetic perspectives on reef fish functional traits.

    PubMed

    Floeter, Sergio R; Bender, Mariana G; Siqueira, Alexandre C; Cowman, Peter F

    2017-05-02

    Functional traits have been fundamental to the evolution and diversification of entire fish lineages on coral reefs. Yet their relationship with the processes promoting speciation, extinction and the filtering of local species pools remains unclear. We review the current literature exploring the evolution of diet, body size, water column use and geographic range size in reef-associated fishes. Using published and new data, we mapped functional traits on to published phylogenetic trees to uncover evolutionary patterns that have led to the current functional diversity of fishes on coral reefs. When examining reconstructed patterns for diet and feeding mode, we found examples of independent transitions to planktivory across different reef fish families. Such transitions and associated morphological alterations may represent cases in which ecological opportunity for the exploitation of different resources drives speciation and adaptation. In terms of body size, reconstructions showed that both large and small sizes appear multiple times within clades of mid-sized fishes and that extreme body sizes have arisen mostly in the last 10 million years (Myr). The reconstruction of range size revealed many cases of disparate range sizes among sister species. Such range size disparity highlights potential vicariant processes through isolation in peripheral locations. When accounting for peripheral speciation processes in sister pairs, we found a significant relationship between labrid range size and lineage age. The diversity and evolution of traits within lineages is influenced by trait-environment interactions as well as by species and trait-trait interactions, where the presence of a given trait may trigger the development of related traits or behaviours. Our effort to assess the evolution of functional diversity across reef fish clades adds to the burgeoning research focusing on the evolutionary and ecological roles of functional traits. We argue that the combination of a

  8. A functional trait perspective on plant invasion

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Global environmental change affects exotic plant invasions, which profoundly impact native plant populations, communities and ecosystems. In this context, we review plant functional traits, including those that drive invader abundance (invasiveness), and impacts, as well as the integration of these...

  9. AVPR1A alleles are pleiotropic sources of variation in age at puberty and reproductive longevity in sows

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Age at puberty is a moderately heritable trait and an early indicator of sow reproductive longevity. Gilts that express first estrus early in life are characterized by improved reproductive longevity and lifetime productivity. These traits are dependent on the function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-...

  10. Impact of health disorders and culling reasons on functional and biological longevity in Warmblood breeding stallions.

    PubMed

    König von Borstel, U; Bernhard, V

    2013-08-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the impact of health disorders and reasons for culling on the functional and biological longevity of warmblood breeding stallions using semi-parametric survival analysis accounting for competing risks. Complete breeding records were collected from 455 warmblood stallions serving between 1975 and 2010 at Marbach State Stud in Germany. The median length of life (18.0 years) was twice as long as the median length of service (9.0 years). However, both figures increased significantly over the time period examined (e.g., functional longevity increased from 5 years in the 1970s to 8 years in the 1980s to 12 years in the 1990s). Compared to disorders of the musculoskeletal system, hazards for termination of functional life were higher for infectious diseases with a hazard ratio (HR) of 3.5, and for dissatisfaction with performance (HR, 2.0). Hazards were lower for disorders of the respiratory system (HR, 0.78), followed by accidents (HR, 0.58), disorders of the reproductive system (HR, 0.51), sale for non-breeding purposes (HR, 0.40), disorders of the gastrointestinal system (HR, 0.36), unknown reasons (HR, 0.32) and disorders of the cardiovascular system (HR, 0.25). For biological life, the relative importance of these disorders was similar. Factors linked to demand for stallions such as coat colour and several parameters of the stallions' genetic merit (negative influence) and own performance (positive influence) in dressage and particularly in show-jumping influenced (P<0.05) or tended to influence (P<0.1) functional, but not biological longevity. Furthermore, hazards for both functional and biological life declined with rising stud fees (both HR, 0.99; P<0.0001). A more direct consideration of both functional and biological longevity in breeding programmes might help to further enhance both figures, and therefore welfare of the horses.

  11. Identifying copepod functional groups from species functional traits

    PubMed Central

    Benedetti, Fabio; Gasparini, Stéphane; Ayata, Sakina-Dorothée

    2016-01-01

    We gathered information on the functional traits of the most representative copepod species in the Mediterranean Sea. Our database includes 191 species described by 7 traits encompassing diverse ecological functions: minimal and maximal body length, trophic group, feeding type, spawning strategy, diel vertical migration and vertical habitat. Cluster analysis in the functional trait space revealed that Mediterranean copepods can be separated into groups with distinct ecological roles. PMID:26811565

  12. Regulation of longevity by genes required for the functions of AIY interneuron in nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Shen, Lulu; Hu, Yaou; Cai, Ting; Lin, Xingfeng; Wang, Dayong

    2010-01-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans, functional ttx-3, sra-11, ceh-10, and ceh-23 genes are required for the functions of AIY interneuron. Compared to wild-type N2, mutations in ttx-3 and ceh-10 significantly decreased lifespan, whereas mutations in sra-11 and ceh-23 did not obviously influence nematode lifespan. Mutations in ttx-3 and ceh-10 were associated closely with lower pumping rates at adult day 8 and caused a more rapid accumulated intestinal autofluorescence than wild-type N2. Mutations in ceh-10 remarkably affected fertility and egg number in the uterus. The regulation of ttx-3 and ceh-10 on longevity was not temperature-dependent, and ttx-3, and ceh-10 mutants all formed very few dauers at 27°C. The shortened lifespan of the ttx-3 or ceh-10 mutants was completely or largely rescued by expression of TTX-3 or CEH-10 in AIY interneurons. Moreover, the long-lived phenotype of the daf-2 mutant could be suppressed by both the ttx-3 and the ceh-10 mutations. Furthermore, ablation of AIY interneurons shortened the longevity of wild-type and the daf-2 mutant. Therefore, ttx-3 and ceh-10 regulate the longevity through influencing the insulin/IGF signaling pathway in C. elegans.

  13. Comparison of piecewise Weibull baseline survival models for estimation of true and functional longevity in Brown cattle raised in small herds.

    PubMed

    Jenko, J; Ducrocq, V; Kovač, M

    2013-10-01

    Piecewise Weibull proportional hazard models were used to investigate the effect of genetic and nongenetic factors on functional and true longevity traits of the Slovenian Brown cattle breed. Records of 37 908 Brown cows from 2401 Slovenian herds were used. As these herds were characterised by a relatively small average herd size starting from 6.7 in 1999 and increasing to 8.7 Brown cows per herd in 2008, milk yield classification was made within different herd size groups. The hazard rate was the lowest in the first part of each lactation and was increasing for later stages. Culling risk was lower for cows from herds increasing in size, for cows with higher milk production and for cows from a region with smaller herd sizes and tougher conditions for cattle breeding. The latter result is surprising and may be related to better attention to maintain the animals, despite their lower milk production. The introduction of the milk quota system and drought was found to have an important effect on culling policy between the last seasons of the years 2001 and 2003. Seasonal effects were not related to the milk quota year (from April to March), but to the effect of shortage in fodder during the winter time. The effect of age at first calving and the interaction between year and milk yield class were not found to be significant. Heritability for functional and for true longevity were similar at around 10% each. Inclusion of a correction for class of milk yield to approximate functional longevity increased the herd-year random effect variance by 53%, whereas the sire variance increased by only 14%. The correlation coefficient between ranks of breeding values for functional and true longevity was high (0.91), whereas genetic trends were not found to be significant. To assess their predictive ability, models were compared looking at the survival rate of 4212 second-crop daughters not included in the initial models. The average correlation between estimated breeding values and

  14. The Deubiquitylase MATH-33 Controls DAF-16 Stability and Function in Metabolism and Longevity

    PubMed Central

    Heimbucher, Thomas; Liu, Zheng; Bossard, Carine; McCloskey, Richard; Carrano, Andrea C.; Riedel, Christian G.; Tanasa, Bogdan; Klammt, Christian; Fonslow, Bryan R.; Riera, Celine E.; Lillemeier, Bjorn F.; Kemphues, Kenneth; Yates, John R.; O'Shea, Clodagh; Hunter, Tony; Dillin, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY One of the major determinants of aging in organisms ranging from worms to man are FOXO family transcription factors, which are downstream effectors of Insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS). The molecular mechanisms that actively promote DAF16/FOXO stability and function are unknown. Here we identify the deubiquitylating enzyme MATH-33 as an essential DAF-16 regulator in IIS, which stabilizes active DAF-16 protein levels and, as a consequence, influences DAF-16 functions, such as metabolism, stress response and longevity in C. elegans. MATH-33 associates with DAF-16 in cellulo and in vitro. MATH-33 functions as a deubiquitylase by actively removing ubiquitin moieties from DAF-16, thus counteracting the action of the RLE-1 E3-ubiquitin ligase. Our findings support a model in which MATH-33 promotes DAF-16 stability in response to decreased IIS by directly modulating its ubiquitylation state, suggesting that regulated oscillations in the stability of DAF-16 protein play an integral role in controlling processes such as metabolism and longevity. PMID:26154057

  15. Leaf and stem economics spectra drive diversity of functional plant traits in a dynamic global vegetation model.

    PubMed

    Sakschewski, Boris; von Bloh, Werner; Boit, Alice; Rammig, Anja; Kattge, Jens; Poorter, Lourens; Peñuelas, Josep; Thonicke, Kirsten

    2015-01-22

    Functional diversity is critical for ecosystem dynamics, stability and productivity. However, dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs) which are increasingly used to simulate ecosystem functions under global change, condense functional diversity to plant functional types (PFTs) with constant parameters. Here, we develop an individual- and trait-based version of the DGVM LPJmL (Lund-Potsdam-Jena managed Land) called LPJmL- flexible individual traits (LPJmL-FIT) with flexible individual traits) which we apply to generate plant trait maps for the Amazon basin. LPJmL-FIT incorporates empirical ranges of five traits of tropical trees extracted from the TRY global plant trait database, namely specific leaf area (SLA), leaf longevity (LL), leaf nitrogen content (Narea ), the maximum carboxylation rate of Rubisco per leaf area (vcmaxarea), and wood density (WD). To scale the individual growth performance of trees, the leaf traits are linked by trade-offs based on the leaf economics spectrum, whereas wood density is linked to tree mortality. No preselection of growth strategies is taking place, because individuals with unique trait combinations are uniformly distributed at tree establishment. We validate the modeled trait distributions by empirical trait data and the modeled biomass by a remote sensing product along a climatic gradient. Including trait variability and trade-offs successfully predicts natural trait distributions and achieves a more realistic representation of functional diversity at the local to regional scale. As sites of high climatic variability, the fringes of the Amazon promote trait divergence and the coexistence of multiple tree growth strategies, while lower plant trait diversity is found in the species-rich center of the region with relatively low climatic variability. LPJmL-FIT enables to test hypotheses on the effects of functional biodiversity on ecosystem functioning and to apply the DGVM to current challenges in ecosystem management from local

  16. Functional Traits for Carbon Access in Macrophytes

    PubMed Central

    Pfister, Catherine A.; Wootton, J. Timothy

    2016-01-01

    Understanding functional trait distributions among organisms can inform impacts on and responses to environmental change. In marine systems, only 1% of dissolved inorganic carbon in seawater exists as CO2. Thus the majority of marine macrophytes not only passively access CO2 for photosynthesis, but also actively transport CO2 and the more common bicarbonate (HCO3-, 92% of seawater dissolved inorganic carbon) into their cells. Because species with these carbon concentrating mechanisms (CCMs) are non-randomly distributed in ecosystems, we ask whether there is a phylogenetic pattern to the distribution of CCMs among algal species. To determine macrophyte traits that influence carbon uptake, we assessed 40 common macrophyte species from the rocky intertidal community of the Northeast Pacific Ocean to a) query whether macrophytes have a CCM and b) determine the evolutionary history of CCMs, using ancestral state reconstructions and stochastic character mapping based on previously published data. Thirty-two species not only depleted CO2, but also concentrated and depleted HCO3-, indicative of a CCM. While analysis of CCMs as a continuous trait in 30 families within Phylum Rhodophyta showed a significant phylogenetic signal under a Brownian motion model, analysis of CCMs as a discrete trait (presence or absence) indicated that red algal families are more divergent than expected in their CCM presence or absence; CCMs are a labile trait within the Rhodophyta. In contrast, CCMs were present in each of 18 Ochrophyta families surveyed, indicating that CCMs are highly conserved in the brown algae. The trait of CCM presence or absence was largely conserved within Families. Fifteen of 23 species tested also changed the seawater buffering capacity, or Total Alkalinity (TA), shifting DIC composition towards increasing concentrations of HCO3- and CO2 for photosynthesis. Manipulating the external TA of the local environment may influence carbon availability in boundary layers and

  17. Mitochondrial stress signaling in longevity: A new role for mitochondrial function in aging

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Shauna; Van Remmen, Holly

    2014-01-01

    Mitochondria are principal regulators of cellular function and metabolism through production of ATP for energy homeostasis, maintenance of calcium homeostasis, regulation of apoptosis and fatty acid oxidation to provide acetyl CoA for fueling the electron transport chain. In addition, mitochondria play a key role in cell signaling through production of reactive oxygen species that modulate redox signaling. Recent findings support an additional mechanism for control of cellular and tissue function by mitochondria through complex mitochondrial–nuclear communication mechanisms and potentially through extracellular release of mitochondrial components that can act as signaling molecules. The activation of stress responses including mitophagy, mitochondrial number, fission and fusion events, and the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRMT) requires mitochondrial–nuclear communication for the transcriptional activation of nuclear genes involved in mitochondrial quality control and metabolism. The induction of these signaling pathways is a shared feature in long-lived organisms spanning from yeast to mice. As a result, the role of mitochondrial stress signaling in longevity has been expansively studied. Current and exciting studies provide evidence that mitochondria can also signal among tissues to up-regulate cytoprotective activities to promote healthy aging. Alternatively, mitochondria release signals to modulate innate immunity and systemic inflammatory responses and could consequently promote inflammation during aging. In this review, established and emerging models of mitochondrial stress response pathways and their potential role in modulating longevity are discussed. PMID:25180170

  18. Modelling the ecological niche from functional traits

    PubMed Central

    Kearney, Michael; Simpson, Stephen J.; Raubenheimer, David; Helmuth, Brian

    2010-01-01

    The niche concept is central to ecology but is often depicted descriptively through observing associations between organisms and habitats. Here, we argue for the importance of mechanistically modelling niches based on functional traits of organisms and explore the possibilities for achieving this through the integration of three theoretical frameworks: biophysical ecology (BE), the geometric framework for nutrition (GF) and dynamic energy budget (DEB) models. These three frameworks are fundamentally based on the conservation laws of thermodynamics, describing energy and mass balance at the level of the individual and capturing the prodigious predictive power of the concepts of ‘homeostasis’ and ‘evolutionary fitness’. BE and the GF provide mechanistic multi-dimensional depictions of climatic and nutritional niches, respectively, providing a foundation for linking organismal traits (morphology, physiology, behaviour) with habitat characteristics. In turn, they provide driving inputs and cost functions for mass/energy allocation within the individual as determined by DEB models. We show how integration of the three frameworks permits calculation of activity constraints, vital rates (survival, development, growth, reproduction) and ultimately population growth rates and species distributions. When integrated with contemporary niche theory, functional trait niche models hold great promise for tackling major questions in ecology and evolutionary biology. PMID:20921046

  19. Analysis of the relationship between somatic cell score and functional longevity in Canadian dairy cattle.

    PubMed

    Sewalem, A; Miglior, F; Kistemaker, G J; Van Doormaal, B J

    2006-09-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the level of somatic cell count (SCC) and to explore the impact of somatic cell score (SCS) on the functional longevity of Canadian dairy cattle by using a Weibull proportional hazards model. Data consisted of 1,911,428 cows from 15,970 herds sired by 7,826 sires for Holsteins, 80,977 cows in 2,036 herds from 1,153 sires for Ayrshires, and 53,114 cows in 1,372 herds from 1,758 sires for Jerseys. Functional longevity was defined as the number of days from the first calving to culling, death, or censoring. The test-day SCC was transformed to a linear score, and the resulting SCS were averaged within each lactation. The average SCS were grouped into 10 classes. The statistical model included the effects of stage of lactation; season of production; annual change in herd size; type of milk recording supervision; age at first calving; effects of milk, fat, and protein yields, calculated as within-herd-year-parity deviations; herd-year-season of calving; SCS class; and sire. The relative culling rate was calculated for animals in each SCS class after accounting for the aforementioned effects. The overall average SCC for Holsteins was 167,000 cells/mL, for Ayrshires was 155,000 cells/mL, and for the Jerseys was 212,000 cells/mL. In all breeds there were no appreciable differences in the relative risk of culling among classes of SCS breed averages (i.e., up to a SCS of 5). However, as the SCS increased beyond the breed average, the relative risk of cows being culled increased considerably. For instance, Holstein, Ayrshire, and Jersey cows with the highest classes of SCS had, respectively, a 4.95, 6.73, and 6.62 times greater risk of being culled than cows with average SCS.

  20. Physiological geroscience: targeting function to increase healthspan and achieve optimal longevity.

    PubMed

    Seals, Douglas R; Justice, Jamie N; LaRocca, Thomas J

    2016-04-15

    Most nations of the world are undergoing rapid and dramatic population ageing, which presents great socio-economic challenges, as well as opportunities, for individuals, families, governments and societies. The prevailing biomedical strategy for reducing the healthcare impact of population ageing has been 'compression of morbidity' and, more recently, to increase healthspan, both of which seek to extend the healthy period of life and delay the development of chronic diseases and disability until a brief period at the end of life. Indeed, a recently established field within biological ageing research, 'geroscience', is focused on healthspan extension. Superimposed on this background are new attitudes and demand for 'optimal longevity' - living long, but with good health and quality of life. A key obstacle to achieving optimal longevity is the progressive decline in physiological function that occurs with ageing, which causes functional limitations (e.g. reduced mobility) and increases the risk of chronic diseases, disability and mortality. Current efforts to increase healthspan centre on slowing the fundamental biological processes of ageing such as inflammation/oxidative stress, increased senescence, mitochondrial dysfunction, impaired proteostasis and reduced stress resistance. We propose that optimization of physiological function throughout the lifespan should be a major emphasis of any contemporary biomedical policy addressing global ageing. Effective strategies should delay, reduce in magnitude or abolish reductions in function with ageing (primary prevention) and/or improve function or slow further declines in older adults with already impaired function (secondary prevention). Healthy lifestyle practices featuring regular physical activity and ideal energy intake/diet composition represent first-line function-preserving strategies, with pharmacological agents, including existing and new pharmaceuticals and novel 'nutraceutical' compounds, serving as potential

  1. Quantifying multi-dimensional functional trait spaces of trees: empirical versus theoretical approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogle, K.; Fell, M.; Barber, J. J.

    2016-12-01

    Empirical, field studies of plant functional traits have revealed important trade-offs among pairs or triplets of traits, such as the leaf (LES) and wood (WES) economics spectra. Trade-offs include correlations between leaf longevity (LL) vs specific leaf area (SLA), LL vs mass-specific leaf respiration rate (RmL), SLA vs RmL, and resistance to breakage vs wood density. Ordination analyses (e.g., PCA) show groupings of traits that tend to align with different life-history strategies or taxonomic groups. It is unclear, however, what underlies such trade-offs and emergent spectra. Do they arise from inherent physiological constraints on growth, or are they more reflective of environmental filtering? The relative importance of these mechanisms has implications for predicting biogeochemical cycling, which is influenced by trait distributions of the plant community. We address this question using an individual-based model of tree growth (ACGCA) to quantify the theoretical trait space of trees that emerges from physiological constraints. ACGCA's inputs include 32 physiological, anatomical, and allometric traits, many of which are related to the LES and WES. We fit ACGCA to 1.6 million USFS FIA observations of tree diameters and heights to obtain vectors of trait values that produce realistic growth, and we explored the structure of this trait space. No notable correlations emerged among the 496 trait pairs, but stepwise regressions revealed complicated multi-variate structure: e.g., relationships between pairs of traits (e.g., RmL and SLA) are governed by other traits (e.g., LL, radiation-use efficiency [RUE]). We also simulated growth under various canopy gap scenarios that impose varying degrees of environmental filtering to explore the multi-dimensional trait space (hypervolume) of trees that died vs survived. The centroid and volume of the hypervolumes differed among dead and live trees, especially under gap conditions leading to low mortality. Traits most predictive

  2. Global land model development: time to shift from a plant functional type to a plant functional trait approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reich, P. B.; Butler, E. E.

    2015-12-01

    This project will advance global land models by shifting from the current plant functional type approach to one that better utilizes what is known about the importance and variability of plant traits, within a framework of simultaneously improving fundamental physiological relations that are at the core of model carbon cycling algorithms. Existing models represent the global distribution of vegetation types using the Plant Functional Typeconcept. Plant Functional Types are classes of plant species with similar evolutionary and life history withpresumably similar responses to environmental conditions like CO2, water and nutrient availability. Fixedproperties for each Plant Functional Type are specified through a collection of physiological parameters, or traits.These traits, mostly physiological in nature (e.g., leaf nitrogen and longevity) are used in model algorithms to estimate ecosystem properties and/or drive calculated process rates. In most models, 5 to 15 functional types represent terrestrial vegetation; in essence, they assume there are a total of only 5 to 15 different kinds of plants on the entire globe. This assumption of constant plant traits captured within the functional type concept has serious limitations, as a single set of traits does not reflect trait variation observed within and between species and communities. While this simplification was necessary decades past, substantial improvement is now possible. Rather than assigning a small number of constant parameter values to all grid cells in a model, procedures will be developed that predict a frequency distribution of values for any given grid cell. Thus, the mean and variance, and how these change with time, will inform and improve model performance. The trait-based approach will improve land modeling by (1) incorporating patterns and heterogeneity of traits into model parameterization, thus evolving away from a framework that considers large areas of vegetation to have near identical trait

  3. Loneliness and Cognitive Function in Older Adults: Findings From the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Bao-Liang; Chen, Shu-Lin; Tu, Xin; Conwell, Yeates

    2017-01-01

    To examine the relationship between loneliness and cognitive function and to explore the mediating role of physical health on the loneliness-cognition relationship in Chinese older adults (OAs). Data came from a nationally representative sample of 14,199 Chinese OAs (aged 65+) from 2002, 2005, 2008, and 2011 waves of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey. A latent variable cross-lagged panel model combined with mediation analysis was used to determine the relationship between loneliness and cognitive function and the mediating effect of increase in the number of chronic conditions (ΔNCCs) on the ascertained loneliness-cognition relationship. Severe loneliness at prior assessment points was significantly associated with poorer cognitive function at subsequent assessments, and vice versa. The ΔNCCs partially mediated this prospective reciprocal relationships, accounting for 2.58% of the total effect of loneliness on cognition and 4.44% of the total effect of cognition on loneliness, respectively. Loneliness may predict subsequent cognitive decline, and vice versa. This loneliness-cognition relationship is partially explained by their impact on physical health. Multidisciplinary interventions aimed at reducing loneliness and cognitive decline per se and their associated risk factors as well as improving chronic illness management would be beneficial for emotional well-being and cognitive health in OAs. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Heart-specific Rpd3 downregulation enhances cardiac function and longevity

    PubMed Central

    Kopp, Zachary A.; Hsieh, Jo-Lin; Li, Andrew; Wang, William; Bhatt, Dhelni T.; Lee, Angela; Kim, Sae Yeon; Fan, David; Shah, Veevek; Siddiqui, Emaad; Ragam, Radhika; Park, Kristen; Ardeshna, Dev; Park, Kunwoo; Wu, Rachel; Parikh, Hardik; Parikh, Ayush; Lin, Yuh-Ru; Park, Yongkyu

    2015-01-01

    Downregulation of Rpd3, a homologue of mammalian Histone Deacetylase 1 (HDAC1), extends lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster. Once revealed that long-lived fruit flies exhibit limited cardiac decline, we investigated whether Rpd3 downregulation would improve stress resistance and/or lifespan when targeted in the heart. Contested against three different stressors (oxidation, starvation and heat), heart-specific Rpd3 downregulation significantly enhanced stress resistance in flies. However, these higher levels of resistance were not observed when Rpd3 downregulation was targeted in other tissues or when other long-lived flies were tested in the heart-specific manner. Interestingly, the expressions of anti-aging genes such as sod2, foxo and Thor, were systemically increased as a consequence of heart-specific Rpd3 downregulation. Showing higher resistance to oxidative stress, the heart-specific Rpd3 downregulation concurrently exhibited improved cardiac functions, demonstrating an increased heart rate, decreased heart failure and accelerated heart recovery. Conversely, Rpd3 upregulation in cardiac tissue reduced systemic resistance against heat stress with decreased heart function, also specifying phosphorylated Rpd3 levels as a significant modulator. Continual downregulation of Rpd3 throughout aging increased lifespan, implicating that Rpd3 deacetylase in the heart plays a significant role in cardiac function and longevity to systemically modulate the fly's response to the environment. PMID:26399365

  5. Plant functional traits and the multidimensional nature of species coexistence

    PubMed Central

    Kraft, Nathan J. B.; Godoy, Oscar; Levine, Jonathan M.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the processes maintaining species diversity is a central problem in ecology, with implications for the conservation and management of ecosystems. Although biologists often assume that trait differences between competitors promote diversity, empirical evidence connecting functional traits to the niche differences that stabilize species coexistence is rare. Obtaining such evidence is critical because traits also underlie the average fitness differences driving competitive exclusion, and this complicates efforts to infer community dynamics from phenotypic patterns. We coupled field-parameterized mathematical models of competition between 102 pairs of annual plants with detailed sampling of leaf, seed, root, and whole-plant functional traits to relate phenotypic differences to stabilizing niche and average fitness differences. Single functional traits were often well correlated with average fitness differences between species, indicating that competitive dominance was associated with late phenology, deep rooting, and several other traits. In contrast, single functional traits were poorly correlated with the stabilizing niche differences that promote coexistence. Niche differences could only be described by combinations of traits, corresponding to differentiation between species in multiple ecological dimensions. In addition, several traits were associated with both fitness differences and stabilizing niche differences. These complex relationships between phenotypic differences and the dynamics of competing species argue against the simple use of single functional traits to infer community assembly processes but lay the groundwork for a theoretically justified trait-based community ecology. PMID:25561561

  6. PTK2 rs7460 and rs7843014 Polymorphisms and Exceptional Longevity: A Functional Replication Study

    PubMed Central

    Fuku, Noriyuki; He, Zi-hong; Tian, Ye; Arai, Yasumichi; Abe, Yukiko; Murakami, Haruka; Miyachi, Motohiko; Yvert, Thomas; Venturini, Letizia; Santiago, Catalina; Santos-Lozano, Alejandro; Rodríguez, Gabriel; Ricevuti, Giovanni; Pareja-Galeano, Helios; Sanchis-Gomar, Fabian; Emanuele, Enzo; Hirose, Nobuyoshi; Lucia, Alejandro

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Focal adhesion is critical for cell survival. The focal adhesion kinase (FAK, or PTK2) is an important component of the human interactome and thus is a potential longevity-related protein. Here we studied the association between two PTK2 gene single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs7843014, rs7460) and exceptional longevity (EL). In addition to gaining insight into their functionality by determining luciferase gene reporter activity, we studied the genotype/allele frequency of these two SNPs among three different cohorts: (1) Spanish centenarians (n=175, 100–111 years, 144 women) and healthy controls (n=355, 20–50 years, 284 women); (2) Italian centenarians (n=79, 100–104 years, 40 women) and controls (n=316, 29–50 years, 156 women); and (3) Japanese centenarians (n=742, 100–116 years, 623 women) and healthy controls (n=499, 23–59 years, 356 women). Both SNPs had functional significance, with the A allele up-regulating luciferase activity compared to the other allele (rs7460 T allele and rs7843014 C allele, respectively). The A allele of both SNPs was negatively associated with EL in the Spanish cohort (rs7460, odds ratio [OR] adjusted by sex=0.40, 95% confidence intervals [CI] 0.3, 0.6, p<0.001); rs7843014, OR=0.37, 95% CI 0.3, 0.5, p<0.001). The OR of being a centenarian if having the rs7460-TT genotype was 6.68 (95% CI 4.1, 10.8, p<0.001). The rs7843014 CC genotype was also positively associated with EL (OR=7.58, 95% CI 4.6, 12.3, p<0.001]. No association was, however, found for the Italian or Japanese cohorts. Thus, two genotypes of the FAK gene, rs7460 TT and rs7843014 CC, are possibly associated with lower gene expression and might favor the likelihood of reaching EL in the Spanish population. Further research is needed to unveil the mechanisms by which FAK expression could perhaps influence the rate of aging. PMID:24930376

  7. Do community-weighted mean functional traits reflect optimal strategies?

    PubMed Central

    Muscarella, Robert; Uriarte, María

    2016-01-01

    The notion that relationships between community-weighted mean (CWM) traits (i.e. plot-level trait values weighted by species abundances) and environmental conditions reflect selection towards locally optimal phenotypes is challenged by the large amount of interspecific trait variation typically found within ecological communities. Reconciling these contrasting patterns is a key to advancing predictive theories of functional community ecology. We combined data on geographical distributions and three traits (wood density, leaf mass per area and maximum height) of 173 tree species in Puerto Rico. We tested the hypothesis that species are more likely to occur where their trait values are more similar to the local CWM trait values (the ‘CWM-optimality’ hypothesis) by comparing species occurrence patterns (as a proxy for fitness) with the functional composition of forest plots across a precipitation gradient. While 70% of the species supported CWM-optimality for at least one trait, nearly 25% significantly opposed it for at least one trait, thereby contributing to local functional diversity. The majority (85%) of species that opposed CWM-optimality did so only for one trait and few species opposed CWM-optimality in multivariate trait space. Our study suggests that constraints to local functional variation act more strongly on multivariate phenotypes than on univariate traits. PMID:27030412

  8. Do community-weighted mean functional traits reflect optimal strategies?

    PubMed

    Muscarella, Robert; Uriarte, María

    2016-03-30

    The notion that relationships between community-weighted mean (CWM) traits (i.e. plot-level trait values weighted by species abundances) and environmental conditions reflect selection towards locally optimal phenotypes is challenged by the large amount of interspecific trait variation typically found within ecological communities. Reconciling these contrasting patterns is a key to advancing predictive theories of functional community ecology. We combined data on geographical distributions and three traits (wood density, leaf mass per area and maximum height) of 173 tree species in Puerto Rico. We tested the hypothesis that species are more likely to occur where their trait values are more similar to the local CWM trait values (the'CWM-optimality' hypothesis) by comparing species occurrence patterns (as a proxy for fitness) with the functional composition of forest plots across a precipitation gradient. While 70% of the species supported CWM-optimality for at least one trait, nearly 25% significantly opposed it for at least one trait, thereby contributing to local functional diversity. The majority (85%) of species that opposed CWM-optimality did so only for one trait and few species opposed CWM-optimality in multivariate trait space. Our study suggests that constraints to local functional variation act more strongly on multivariate phenotypes than on univariate traits.

  9. Drivers of carabid functional diversity: abiotic environment, plant functional traits, or plant functional diversity?

    PubMed

    Pakeman, Robin J; Stockan, Jenni A

    2014-05-01

    Understanding how community assembly is controlled by the balance of abiotic drivers (environment or management) and biotic drivers (community composition of other groups) is important in predicting the response of ecosystems to environmental change. If there are strong links between plant assemblage structure and carabid beetle functional traits and functional diversity, then it is possible to predict the impact of environmental change propagating through different functional and trophic groups. Vegetation and pitfall trap beetle surveys were carried out across twenty four sites contrasting in land use, and hence productivity and disturbance regime. Plant functional traits were very successful at explaining the distribution of carabid functional traits across the habitats studied. Key carabid response traits appeared to be body length and wing type. Carabid functional richness was significantly smaller than expected, indicating strong environmental filtering, modulated by management, soil characteristics, and by plant response traits. Carabid functional divergence was negatively related to plant functional evenness, while carabid functional evenness was positively correlated to plant functional evenness and richness. The study shows that there are clear trait linkages between the plant and the carabid assemblage that act not only through the mean traits displayed, but also via their distribution in trait space; powerful evidence that both the mean and variance of traits in one trophic group structure the assemblage of another.

  10. Evaluating simulated functional trait patterns and quantifying modelled trait diversity effects on simulated ecosystem fluxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavlick, R.; Schimel, D.

    2014-12-01

    Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs) typically employ only a small set of Plant Functional Types (PFTs) to represent the vast diversity of observed vegetation forms and functioning. There is growing evidence, however, that this abstraction may not adequately represent the observed variation in plant functional traits, which is thought to play an important role for many ecosystem functions and for ecosystem resilience to environmental change. The geographic distribution of PFTs in these models is also often based on empirical relationships between present-day climate and vegetation patterns. Projections of future climate change, however, point toward the possibility of novel regional climates, which could lead to no-analog vegetation compositions incompatible with the PFT paradigm. Here, we present results from the Jena Diversity-DGVM (JeDi-DGVM), a novel traits-based vegetation model, which simulates a large number of hypothetical plant growth strategies constrained by functional tradeoffs, thereby allowing for a more flexible temporal and spatial representation of the terrestrial biosphere. First, we compare simulated present-day geographical patterns of functional traits with empirical trait observations (in-situ and from airborne imaging spectroscopy). The observed trait patterns are then used to improve the tradeoff parameterizations of JeDi-DGVM. Finally, focusing primarily on the simulated leaf traits, we run the model with various amounts of trait diversity. We quantify the effects of these modeled biodiversity manipulations on simulated ecosystem fluxes and stocks for both present-day conditions and transient climate change scenarios. The simulation results reveal that the coarse treatment of plant functional traits by current PFT-based vegetation models may contribute substantial uncertainty regarding carbon-climate feedbacks. Further development of trait-based models and further investment in global in-situ and spectroscopic plant trait observations

  11. Lipidomics of familial longevity.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Covarrubias, Vanessa; Beekman, Marian; Uh, Hae-Won; Dane, Adrie; Troost, Jorne; Paliukhovich, Iryna; van der Kloet, Frans M; Houwing-Duistermaat, Jeanine; Vreeken, Rob J; Hankemeier, Thomas; Slagboom, Eline P

    2013-06-01

    Middle-aged offspring of nonagenarians, as compared to their spouses (controls), show a favorable lipid metabolism marked by larger LDL particle size in men and lower total triglyceride levels in women. To investigate which specific lipids associate with familial longevity, we explore the plasma lipidome by measuring 128 lipid species using liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry in 1526 offspring of nonagenarians (59 years ± 6.6) and 675 (59 years ± 7.4) controls from the Leiden Longevity Study. In men, no significant differences were observed between offspring and controls. In women, however, 19 lipid species associated with familial longevity. Female offspring showed higher levels of ether phosphocholine (PC) and sphingomyelin (SM) species (3.5-8.7%) and lower levels of phosphoethanolamine PE (38:6) and long-chain triglycerides (TG) (9.4-12.4%). The association with familial longevity of two ether PC and four SM species was independent of total triglyceride levels. In addition, the longevity-associated lipid profile was characterized by a higher ratio of monounsaturated (MUFA) over polyunsaturated (PUFA) lipid species, suggesting that female offspring have a plasma lipidome less prone to oxidative stress. Ether PC and SM species were identified as novel longevity markers in females, independent of total triglycerides levels. Several longevity-associated lipids correlated with a lower risk of hypertension and diabetes in the Leiden Longevity Study cohort. This sex-specific lipid signature marks familial longevity and may suggest a plasma lipidome with a better antioxidant capacity, lower lipid peroxidation and inflammatory precursors, and an efficient beta-oxidation function.

  12. Lipidomics of familial longevity

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez-Covarrubias, Vanessa; Beekman, Marian; Uh, Hae-Won; Dane, Adrie; Troost, Jorne; Paliukhovich, Iryna; Kloet, Frans M; Houwing-Duistermaat, Jeanine; Vreeken, Rob J; Hankemeier, Thomas; Slagboom, Eline P

    2013-01-01

    Middle-aged offspring of nonagenarians, as compared to their spouses (controls), show a favorable lipid metabolism marked by larger LDL particle size in men and lower total triglyceride levels in women. To investigate which specific lipids associate with familial longevity, we explore the plasma lipidome by measuring 128 lipid species using liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry in 1526 offspring of nonagenarians (59 years ± 6.6) and 675 (59 years ± 7.4) controls from the Leiden Longevity Study. In men, no significant differences were observed between offspring and controls. In women, however, 19 lipid species associated with familial longevity. Female offspring showed higher levels of ether phosphocholine (PC) and sphingomyelin (SM) species (3.5–8.7%) and lower levels of phosphoethanolamine PE (38:6) and long-chain triglycerides (TG) (9.4–12.4%). The association with familial longevity of two ether PC and four SM species was independent of total triglyceride levels. In addition, the longevity-associated lipid profile was characterized by a higher ratio of monounsaturated (MUFA) over polyunsaturated (PUFA) lipid species, suggesting that female offspring have a plasma lipidome less prone to oxidative stress. Ether PC and SM species were identified as novel longevity markers in females, independent of total triglycerides levels. Several longevity-associated lipids correlated with a lower risk of hypertension and diabetes in the Leiden Longevity Study cohort. This sex-specific lipid signature marks familial longevity and may suggest a plasma lipidome with a better antioxidant capacity, lower lipid peroxidation and inflammatory precursors, and an efficient beta-oxidation function. PMID:23451766

  13. Species longevity as a function of niche breadth: Evidence from fossil crinoids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kammer, Thomas W.; Baumiller, Tomasz K.; Ausich, William I.

    1997-03-01

    High-resolution stratigraphic and taxonomic data indicate that species longevities among Paleozoic (Mississippian) crinoids (Echinodermata) were affected by differences in niche breadth. A strong positive relationship exists between niche breadth, measured as the number of environments occupied by a species, and stratigraphic range. The robustness of this pattern is verified by a variety of rarefaction and statistical techniques confirming the long-held supposition that among animals ecological “generalists” have greater species longevities than ecological “specialists.” The results also support the hypothesis that specialist clades have higher species richness.

  14. Describing mate preference functions and other function-valued traits.

    PubMed

    Kilmer, J T; Fowler-Finn, K D; Gray, D A; Höbel, G; Rebar, D; Reichert, M S; Rodríguez, R L

    2017-09-01

    Mate preferences are important causes of sexual selection. They shape the evolution of sexual ornaments and displays, sometimes maintaining genetic diversity and sometimes promoting speciation. Mate preferences can be challenging to study because they are expressed in animal brains and because they are a function of the features of potential mates that are encountered. Describing them requires taking this into account. We present a method for describing and analysing mate preference functions, and introduce a freely available computer program that implements the method. We give an overview of how the program works, and we discuss how it can be used to visualize and quantitatively analyse preference functions. In addition, we provide an informal review of different methods of testing mate preferences, with recommendations for how best to set up experiments on mate preferences. Although the program was written with mate preferences in mind, it can be used to study any function-valued trait, and we hope researchers will take advantage of it across a broad range of traits. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  15. Genetic Analysis Reveals a Longevity-Associated Protein Modulating Endothelial Function and Angiogenesis.

    PubMed

    Villa, Francesco; Carrizzo, Albino; Spinelli, Chiara C; Ferrario, Anna; Malovini, Alberto; Maciąg, Anna; Damato, Antonio; Auricchio, Alberto; Spinetti, Gaia; Sangalli, Elena; Dang, Zexu; Madonna, Michele; Ambrosio, Mariateresa; Sitia, Leopoldo; Bigini, Paolo; Calì, Gaetano; Schreiber, Stefan; Perls, Thomas; Fucile, Sergio; Mulas, Francesca; Nebel, Almut; Bellazzi, Riccardo; Madeddu, Paolo; Vecchione, Carmine; Puca, Annibale A

    2015-07-31

    Long living individuals show delay of aging, which is characterized by the progressive loss of cardiovascular homeostasis, along with reduced endothelial nitric oxide synthase activity, endothelial dysfunction, and impairment of tissue repair after ischemic injury. Exploit genetic analysis of long living individuals to reveal master molecular regulators of physiological aging and new targets for treatment of cardiovascular disease. We show that the polymorphic variant rs2070325 (Ile229Val) in bactericidal/permeability-increasing fold-containing-family-B-member-4 (BPIFB4) associates with exceptional longevity, under a recessive genetic model, in 3 independent populations. Moreover, the expression of BPIFB4 is instrumental to maintenance of cellular and vascular homeostasis through regulation of protein synthesis. BPIFB4 phosphorylation/activation by protein-kinase-R-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase induces its complexing with 14-3-3 and heat shock protein 90, which is facilitated by the longevity-associated variant. In isolated vessels, BPIFB4 is upregulated by mechanical stress, and its knock-down inhibits endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation. In hypertensive rats and old mice, gene transfer of longevity-associated variant-BPIFB4 restores endothelial nitric oxide synthase signaling, rescues endothelial dysfunction, and reduces blood pressure levels. Furthermore, BPIFB4 is implicated in vascular repair. BPIFB4 is abundantly expressed in circulating CD34(+) cells of long living individuals, and its knock-down in endothelial progenitor cells precludes their capacity to migrate toward the chemoattractant SDF-1. In a murine model of peripheral ischemia, systemic gene therapy with longevity-associated variant-BPIFB4 promotes the recruitment of hematopoietic stem cells, reparative vascularization, and reperfusion of the ischemic muscle. Longevity-associated variant-BPIFB4 may represent a novel therapeutic tool to fight endothelial dysfunction and promote vascular

  16. Predicting plants -modeling traits as a function of environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franklin, Oskar

    2016-04-01

    A central problem in understanding and modeling vegetation dynamics is how to represent the variation in plant properties and function across different environments. Addressing this problem there is a strong trend towards trait-based approaches, where vegetation properties are functions of the distributions of functional traits rather than of species. Recently there has been enormous progress in in quantifying trait variability and its drivers and effects (Van Bodegom et al. 2012; Adier et al. 2014; Kunstler et al. 2015) based on wide ranging datasets on a small number of easily measured traits, such as specific leaf area (SLA), wood density and maximum plant height. However, plant function depends on many other traits and while the commonly measured trait data are valuable, they are not sufficient for driving predictive and mechanistic models of vegetation dynamics -especially under novel climate or management conditions. For this purpose we need a model to predict functional traits, also those not easily measured, and how they depend on the plants' environment. Here I present such a mechanistic model based on fitness concepts and focused on traits related to water and light limitation of trees, including: wood density, drought response, allocation to defense, and leaf traits. The model is able to predict observed patterns of variability in these traits in relation to growth and mortality, and their responses to a gradient of water limitation. The results demonstrate that it is possible to mechanistically predict plant traits as a function of the environment based on an eco-physiological model of plant fitness. References Adier, P.B., Salguero-Gómez, R., Compagnoni, A., Hsu, J.S., Ray-Mukherjee, J., Mbeau-Ache, C. et al. (2014). Functional traits explain variation in plant lifehistory strategies. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., 111, 740-745. Kunstler, G., Falster, D., Coomes, D.A., Hui, F., Kooyman, R.M., Laughlin, D.C. et al. (2015). Plant functional traits

  17. Functional traits in agriculture: agrobiodiversity and ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Wood, Stephen A; Karp, Daniel S; DeClerck, Fabrice; Kremen, Claire; Naeem, Shahid; Palm, Cheryl A

    2015-09-01

    Functional trait research has led to greater understanding of the impacts of biodiversity in ecosystems. Yet, functional trait approaches have not been widely applied to agroecosystems and understanding of the importance of agrobiodiversity remains limited to a few ecosystem processes and services. To improve this understanding, we argue here for a functional trait approach to agroecology that adopts recent advances in trait research for multitrophic and spatially heterogeneous ecosystems. We suggest that trait values should be measured across environmental conditions and agricultural management regimes to predict how ecosystem services vary with farm practices and environment. This knowledge should be used to develop management strategies that can be easily implemented by farmers to manage agriculture to provide multiple ecosystem services. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Functional traits, the phylogeny of function, and ecosystem service vulnerability

    PubMed Central

    Díaz, Sandra; Purvis, Andy; Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Mace, Georgina M; Donoghue, Michael J; Ewers, Robert M; Jordano, Pedro; Pearse, William D

    2013-01-01

    People depend on benefits provided by ecological systems. Understanding how these ecosystem services – and the ecosystem properties underpinning them – respond to drivers of change is therefore an urgent priority. We address this challenge through developing a novel risk-assessment framework that integrates ecological and evolutionary perspectives on functional traits to determine species’ effects on ecosystems and their tolerance of environmental changes. We define Specific Effect Function (SEF) as the per-gram or per capita capacity of a species to affect an ecosystem property, and Specific Response Function (SRF) as the ability of a species to maintain or enhance its population as the environment changes. Our risk assessment is based on the idea that the security of ecosystem services depends on how effects (SEFs) and tolerances (SRFs) of organisms – which both depend on combinations of functional traits – correlate across species and how they are arranged on the species’ phylogeny. Four extreme situations are theoretically possible, from minimum concern when SEF and SRF are neither correlated nor show a phylogenetic signal, to maximum concern when they are negatively correlated (i.e., the most important species are the least tolerant) and phylogenetically patterned (lacking independent backup). We illustrate the assessment with five case studies, involving both plant and animal examples. However, the extent to which the frequency of the four plausible outcomes, or their intermediates, apply more widely in real-world ecological systems is an open question that needs empirical evidence, and suggests a research agenda at the interface of evolutionary biology and ecosystem ecology. PMID:24101986

  19. Plant functional traits predict green roof ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Lundholm, Jeremy; Tran, Stephanie; Gebert, Luke

    2015-02-17

    Plants make important contributions to the services provided by engineered ecosystems such as green roofs. Ecologists use plant species traits as generic predictors of geographical distribution, interactions with other species, and ecosystem functioning, but this approach has been little used to optimize engineered ecosystems. Four plant species traits (height, individual leaf area, specific leaf area, and leaf dry matter content) were evaluated as predictors of ecosystem properties and services in a modular green roof system planted with 21 species. Six indicators of ecosystem services, incorporating thermal, hydrological, water quality, and carbon sequestration functions, were predicted by the four plant traits directly or indirectly via their effects on aggregate ecosystem properties, including canopy density and albedo. Species average height and specific leaf area were the most useful traits, predicting several services via effects on canopy density or growth rate. This study demonstrates that easily measured plant traits can be used to select species to optimize green roof performance across multiple key services.

  20. Functional Regression Models for Epistasis Analysis of Multiple Quantitative Traits.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Futao; Xie, Dan; Liang, Meimei; Xiong, Momiao

    2016-04-01

    To date, most genetic analyses of phenotypes have focused on analyzing single traits or analyzing each phenotype independently. However, joint epistasis analysis of multiple complementary traits will increase statistical power and improve our understanding of the complicated genetic structure of the complex diseases. Despite their importance in uncovering the genetic structure of complex traits, the statistical methods for identifying epistasis in multiple phenotypes remains fundamentally unexplored. To fill this gap, we formulate a test for interaction between two genes in multiple quantitative trait analysis as a multiple functional regression (MFRG) in which the genotype functions (genetic variant profiles) are defined as a function of the genomic position of the genetic variants. We use large-scale simulations to calculate Type I error rates for testing interaction between two genes with multiple phenotypes and to compare the power with multivariate pairwise interaction analysis and single trait interaction analysis by a single variate functional regression model. To further evaluate performance, the MFRG for epistasis analysis is applied to five phenotypes of exome sequence data from the NHLBI's Exome Sequencing Project (ESP) to detect pleiotropic epistasis. A total of 267 pairs of genes that formed a genetic interaction network showed significant evidence of epistasis influencing five traits. The results demonstrate that the joint interaction analysis of multiple phenotypes has a much higher power to detect interaction than the interaction analysis of a single trait and may open a new direction to fully uncovering the genetic structure of multiple phenotypes.

  1. Linking imaging spectroscopy and trait data to better understand spatial and temporal variability in functional traits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Townsend, Philip; Kruger, Eric; Wang, Zhihui; Singh, Aditya

    2017-04-01

    Imaging spectroscopy exhibits great potential for mapping foliar functional traits that are impractical or expensive to regularly measure on the ground, and are essentially impossible to characterize comprehensively across space. Specifically, the high information content in spectroscopic data enables us to identify narrow spectral feature that are associated with vegetation primary and secondary biochemistry (nutrients, pigments, defensive compounds), leaf structure (e.g., leaf mass per area), canopy structure, and physiological capacity. Ultimately, knowledge of the variability in such traits is critical to understanding vegetation productivity, as well as responses to climatic variability, disturbances, pests and pathogens. The great challenge to the use of imaging spectroscopy to supplement trait databases is the development of trait retrieval approaches that are broadly applicable within and between ecosystem types. Here, we outline how we are using the US National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) to prototype the scaling and comparison of trait distributions derived from field measurements and imagery. We find that algorithms to map traits from imagery are robust across ecosystem types, when controlling for physiognomy and vegetation percent cover, and that among all vegetation types, the chemometric algorithms utilize similar features for mapping of traits.

  2. Functional traits and root morphology of alpine plants

    PubMed Central

    Pohl, Mandy; Stroude, Raphaël; Buttler, Alexandre; Rixen, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Vegetation has long been recognized to protect the soil from erosion. Understanding species differences in root morphology and functional traits is an important step to assess which species and species mixtures may provide erosion control. Furthermore, extending classification of plant functional types towards root traits may be a useful procedure in understanding important root functions. Methods In this study, pioneer data on traits of alpine plant species, i.e. plant height and shoot biomass, root depth, horizontal root spreading, root length, diameter, tensile strength, plant age and root biomass, from a disturbed site in the Swiss Alps are presented. The applicability of three classifications of plant functional types (PFTs), i.e. life form, growth form and root type, was examined for above- and below-ground plant traits. Key Results Plant traits differed considerably among species even of the same life form, e.g. in the case of total root length by more than two orders of magnitude. Within the same root diameter, species differed significantly in tensile strength: some species (Geum reptans and Luzula spicata) had roots more than twice as strong as those of other species. Species of different life forms provided different root functions (e.g. root depth and horizontal root spreading) that may be important for soil physical processes. All classifications of PFTs were helpful to categorize plant traits; however, the PFTs according to root type explained total root length far better than the other PFTs. Conclusions The results of the study illustrate the remarkable differences between root traits of alpine plants, some of which cannot be assessed from simple morphological inspection, e.g. tensile strength. PFT classification based on root traits seems useful to categorize plant traits, even though some patterns are better explained at the individual species level. PMID:21795278

  3. Functional traits and root morphology of alpine plants.

    PubMed

    Pohl, Mandy; Stroude, Raphaël; Buttler, Alexandre; Rixen, Christian

    2011-09-01

    Vegetation has long been recognized to protect the soil from erosion. Understanding species differences in root morphology and functional traits is an important step to assess which species and species mixtures may provide erosion control. Furthermore, extending classification of plant functional types towards root traits may be a useful procedure in understanding important root functions. In this study, pioneer data on traits of alpine plant species, i.e. plant height and shoot biomass, root depth, horizontal root spreading, root length, diameter, tensile strength, plant age and root biomass, from a disturbed site in the Swiss Alps are presented. The applicability of three classifications of plant functional types (PFTs), i.e. life form, growth form and root type, was examined for above- and below-ground plant traits. Plant traits differed considerably among species even of the same life form, e.g. in the case of total root length by more than two orders of magnitude. Within the same root diameter, species differed significantly in tensile strength: some species (Geum reptans and Luzula spicata) had roots more than twice as strong as those of other species. Species of different life forms provided different root functions (e.g. root depth and horizontal root spreading) that may be important for soil physical processes. All classifications of PFTs were helpful to categorize plant traits; however, the PFTs according to root type explained total root length far better than the other PFTs. The results of the study illustrate the remarkable differences between root traits of alpine plants, some of which cannot be assessed from simple morphological inspection, e.g. tensile strength. PFT classification based on root traits seems useful to categorize plant traits, even though some patterns are better explained at the individual species level.

  4. Using Plant Functional Traits to Explain Diversity–Productivity Relationships

    PubMed Central

    Roscher, Christiane; Schumacher, Jens; Gubsch, Marlén; Lipowsky, Annett; Weigelt, Alexandra; Buchmann, Nina; Schmid, Bernhard; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef

    2012-01-01

    Background The different hypotheses proposed to explain positive species richness–productivity relationships, i.e. selection effect and complementarity effect, imply that plant functional characteristics are at the core of a mechanistic understanding of biodiversity effects. Methodology/Principal Findings We used two community-wide measures of plant functional composition, (1) community-weighted means of trait values (CWM) and (2) functional trait diversity based on Rao’s quadratic diversity (FDQ) to predict biomass production and measures of biodiversity effects in experimental grasslands (Jena Experiment) with different species richness (2, 4, 8, 16 and 60) and different functional group number and composition (1 to 4; legumes, grasses, small herbs, tall herbs) four years after establishment. Functional trait composition had a larger predictive power for community biomass and measures of biodiversitity effects (40–82% of explained variation) than species richness per se (<1–13% of explained variation). CWM explained a larger amount of variation in community biomass (80%) and net biodiversity effects (70%) than FDQ (36 and 38% of explained variation respectively). FDQ explained similar proportions of variation in complementarity effects (24%, positive relationship) and selection effects (28%, negative relationship) as CWM (27% of explained variation for both complementarity and selection effects), but for all response variables the combination of CWM and FDQ led to significant model improvement compared to a separate consideration of different components of functional trait composition. Effects of FDQ were mainly attributable to diversity in nutrient acquisition and life-history strategies. The large spectrum of traits contributing to positive effects of CWM on biomass production and net biodiversity effects indicated that effects of dominant species were associated with different trait combinations. Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest that the

  5. Testing the trait-based community framework: Do functional traits predict competitive outcomes?

    PubMed

    Funk, Jennifer L; Wolf, Amelia A

    2016-09-01

    Plant traits can be used to understand a range of ecological processes, including competition with invasive species. The extent to which native and invasive species are competing via limiting similarity or trait hierarchies has important implications for the management of invaded communities. We screened 47 native species that co-occur with Festuca perennis, a dominant invader in California serpentine grassland, for traits pertaining to resource use and acquisition. We then grew F. perennis with 10 species spanning a range of functional similarity in pairwise competition trials. Functionally similar species did not have a strong adverse effect on F. perennis performance as would be expected by limiting similarity theory. Phylogenetic relatedness, which may integrate a number of functional traits, was also a poor predictor of competitive outcome. Instead, species with high specific root length, low root-to-shoot biomass ratio, and low leaf nitrogen concentration were more effective at suppressing the growth of F. perennis. Our results suggest that fitness differences (i.e., trait hierarchies) may be more important than niche differences (i.e., limiting similarity) in structuring competitive outcomes in this system and may be a promising approach for the restoration of invaded systems.

  6. A fast algorithm for functional mapping of complex traits.

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Wei; Wu, Rongling; Ma, Chang-Xing; Casella, George

    2004-01-01

    By integrating the underlying developmental mechanisms for the phenotypic formation of traits into a mapping framework, functional mapping has emerged as an important statistical approach for mapping complex traits. In this note, we explore the feasibility of using the simplex algorithm as an alternative to solve the mixture-based likelihood for functional mapping of complex traits. The results from the simplex algorithm are consistent with those from the traditional EM algorithm, but the simplex algorithm has considerably reduced computational times. Moreover, because of its nonderivative nature and easy implementation with current software, the simplex algorithm enjoys an advantage over the EM algorithm in the dynamic modeling and analysis of complex traits. PMID:15342547

  7. Response of Korean pine's functional traits to geography and climate.

    PubMed

    Dong, Yichen; Liu, Yanhong

    2017-01-01

    This study analyzed the characteristics of Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis) functional trait responses to geographic and climatic factors in the eastern region of Northeast China (41°-48°N) and the linear relationships among Korean pine functional traits, to explore this species' adaptability and ecological regulation strategies under different environmental conditions. Korean pine samples were collected from eight sites located at different latitudes, and the following factors were determined for each site: geographic factors-latitude, longitude, and altitude; temperature factors-mean annual temperature (MAT), growth season mean temperature (GST), and mean temperature of the coldest month (MTCM); and moisture factors-annual precipitation (AP), growth season precipitation (GSP), and potential evapotranspiration (PET). The Korean pine functional traits examined were specific leaf area (SLA), leaf thickness (LT), leaf dry matter content (LDMC), specific root length (SRL), leaf nitrogen content (LNC), leaf phosphorus content (LPC), root nitrogen content (RNC), and root phosphorus content (RPC). The results showed that Korean pine functional traits were significantly correlated to latitude, altitude, GST, MTCM, AP, GSP, and PET. Among the Korean pine functional traits, SLA showed significant linear relationships with LT, LDMC, LNC, LPC, and RPC, and LT showed significant linear relationships with LDMC, SRL, LNC, LPC, RNC, and RPC; the linear relationships between LNC, LPC, RNC, and RPC were also significant. In conclusion, Korean pine functional trait responses to latitude resulted in its adaptation to geographic and climatic factors. The main limiting factors were precipitation and evapotranspiration, followed by altitude, latitude, GST, and MTCM. The impacts of longitude and MAT were not obvious. Changes in precipitation and temperature were most responsible for the close correlation among Korean pine functional traits, reflecting its adaption to habitat variation.

  8. Genetics and gene-environment interactions on longevity and lifespan

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Longevity is a complex trait and highly associated with healthspan – lifespan without major diseases. In human populations there is a large amount of variation in longevity, which can be attributed to genetics, environment, and interactions between them. The genetic contribution to longevity is abou...

  9. Longevity, Genes, and Aging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michal Jazwinski, S.

    1996-07-01

    Until recently, biogerontology was a backwater of biology, but progress in the qualitative and quantitative genetic analysis of longevity has led to a revolution in aging research. This research has revealed that extended longevity is frequently associated with enhanced metabolic capacity and response to stress. Moreover, it suggests that there are multiple mechanisms of aging. Because of its complexity, the aging process takes us into the realm of integrative biology, and thus, biogerontology should prove instrumental in deciphering the functional and regulatory circuitry of the sequenced genome.

  10. Plant functional traits and soil carbon sequestration in contrasting biomes.

    PubMed

    De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Bardgett, Richard D

    2008-05-01

    Plant functional traits control a variety of terrestrial ecosystem processes, including soil carbon storage which is a key component of the global carbon cycle. Plant traits regulate net soil carbon storage by controlling carbon assimilation, its transfer and storage in belowground biomass, and its release from soil through respiration, fire and leaching. However, our mechanistic understanding of these processes is incomplete. Here, we present a mechanistic framework, based on the plant traits that drive soil carbon inputs and outputs, for understanding how alteration of vegetation composition will affect soil carbon sequestration under global changes. First, we show direct and indirect plant trait effects on soil carbon input and output through autotrophs and heterotrophs, and through modification of abiotic conditions, which need to be considered to determine the local carbon sequestration potential. Second, we explore how the composition of key plant traits and soil biota related to carbon input, release and storage prevail in different biomes across the globe, and address the biome-specific mechanisms by which plant trait composition may impact on soil carbon sequestration. We propose that a trait-based approach will help to develop strategies to preserve and promote carbon sequestration.

  11. Genetics, lifestyle and longevity: Lessons from centenarians

    PubMed Central

    Govindaraju, Diddahally; Atzmon, Gil; Barzilai, Nir

    2015-01-01

    Longevity as a complex life-history trait shares an ontogenetic relationship with other quantitative traits and varies among individuals, families and populations. Heritability estimates of longevity suggest that about a third of the phenotypic variation associated with the trait is attributable to genetic factors, and the rest is influenced by epigenetic and environmental factors. Individuals react differently to the environments that they are a part of, as well as to the environments they construct for their survival and reproduction; the latter phenomenon is known as niche construction. Lifestyle influences longevity at all the stages of development and levels of human diversity. Hence, lifestyle may be viewed as a component of niche construction. Here, we: a) interpret longevity using a combination of genotype-epigenetic-phenotype (GEP) map approach and niche-construction theory, and b) discuss the plausible influence of genetic and epigenetic factors in the distribution and maintenance of longevity among individuals with normal life span on the one hand, and centenarians on the other. Although similar genetic and environmental factors appear to be common to both of these groups, exceptional longevity may be influenced by polymorphisms in specific genes, coupled with superior genomic stability and homeostatic mechanisms, maintained by negative frequency-dependent selection. We suggest that a comparative analysis of longevity between individuals with normal life span and centenarians, along with insights from population ecology and evolutionary biology, would not only advance our knowledge of biological mechanisms underlying human longevity, but also provide deeper insights into extending healthy life span. PMID:26937346

  12. Mapping the functional connectome traits of levels of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Amico, Enrico; Marinazzo, Daniele; Di Perri, Carol; Heine, Lizette; Annen, Jitka; Martial, Charlotte; Dzemidzic, Mario; Kirsch, Murielle; Bonhomme, Vincent; Laureys, Steven; Goñi, Joaquín

    2017-03-01

    Examining task-free functional connectivity (FC) in the human brain offers insights on how spontaneous integration and segregation of information relate to human cognition, and how this organization may be altered in different conditions, and neurological disorders. This is particularly relevant for patients in disorders of consciousness (DOC) following severe acquired brain damage and coma, one of the most devastating conditions in modern medical care. We present a novel data-driven methodology, connICA, which implements Independent Component Analysis (ICA) for the extraction of robust independent FC patterns (FC-traits) from a set of individual functional connectomes, without imposing any a priori data stratification into groups. We here apply connICA to investigate associations between network traits derived from task-free FC and cognitive/clinical features that define levels of consciousness. Three main independent FC-traits were identified and linked to consciousness-related clinical features. The first one represents the functional configuration of a "resting" human brain, and it is associated to a sedative (sevoflurane), the overall effect of the pathology and the level of arousal. The second FC-trait reflects the disconnection of the visual and sensory-motor connectivity patterns. It also relates to the time since the insult and to the ability of communicating with the external environment. The third FC-trait isolates the connectivity pattern encompassing the fronto-parietal and the default-mode network areas as well as the interaction between left and right hemispheres, which are also associated to the awareness of the self and its surroundings. Each FC-trait represents a distinct functional process with a role in the degradation of conscious states of functional brain networks, shedding further light on the functional sub-circuits that get disrupted in severe brain-damage.

  13. Genes of human longevity: an endless quest?

    PubMed

    Capri, Miriam; Santoro, Aurelia; Garagnani, Paolo; Bacalini, Maria Giulia; Pirazzini, Chiara; Olivieri, Fabiola; Procopio, Antonio; Salvioli, Stefano; Franceschi, Claudio

    2014-01-01

    Human longevity is a complex trait in which genetics, epigenetics, environmental and stochasticity differently contribute. To disentangle the complexity, our studies on genetics of longevity were, at the beginning, mainly focused on the extreme phenotypes, i.e. centenarians who escaped the major age-related diseases compared with cross sectional cohorts. Recently, we implemented this model by studying centenarians' offspring and offspring of non-long lived parents. In association, during studies on many candidate genes SNPs, positively or negatively correlated with longevity have been identified. The results obtained on Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 Receptor (IGF1R) polymorphisms showed a correlation between specific genetic variants combinations and the low plasma level of IGF1 in centenarians, suggesting an impact of the IGF-I/insulin pathway on human longevity. This pathway together with mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) will be reviewed as being the most promising for longevity. Further, we will summarise the role of apolipoprotein E (APOE) variants in human longevity since the results of the large European project GEHA (Genetics of Healthy Aging) indicate APOE among the chromosomal loci associated with longevity. On the other hand, the identification of longevity-related genes does not explain the mechanisms of healthy aging and longevity rather pose questions on epigenetic contribution, gene regulation and the interactions with essential genomes, i.e. mitochondrial DNA and microbiota. To fully disentangle what appears to be an endless quest, all the components of the complexity of human longevity genetics are taken into account.

  14. Quantitative Trait Loci for Morphological Traits and their Association with Functional Genes in Raphanus sativus.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xiaona; Choi, Su Ryun; Dhandapani, Vignesh; Rameneni, Jana Jeevan; Li, Xiaonan; Pang, Wenxing; Lee, Ji-Young; Lim, Yong Pyo

    2016-01-01

    Identification of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) governing morphologically important traits enables to comprehend their potential genetic mechanisms in the genetic breeding program. In this study, we used 210 F2 populations derived from a cross between two radish inbred lines (Raphanus sativus) "835" and "B2," including 258 SSR markers were used to detect QTLs for 11 morphological traits that related to whole plant, leaf, and root yield in 3 years of replicated field test. Total 55 QTLs were detected which were distributed on each linkage group of the Raphanus genome. Individual QTLs accounted for 2.69-12.6 of the LOD value, and 0.82-16.25% of phenotypic variation. Several genomic regions have multiple traits that clustered together, suggested the existence of pleiotropy linkage. Synteny analysis of the QTL regions with A. thaliana genome selected orthologous genes in radish. InDels and SNPs in the parental lines were detected in those regions by Illumina genome sequence. Five identified candidate gene-based markers were validated by co-mapping with underlying QTLs affecting different traits. Semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR analysis showed the different expression levels of these five genes in parental lines. In addition, comparative QTL analysis with B. rapa revealed six common QTL regions and four key major evolutionarily conserved crucifer blocks (J, U, R, and W) harboring QTL for morphological traits. The QTL positions identified in this study will provide a valuable resource for identifying more functional genes when whole radish genome sequence is released. Candidate genes identified in this study that co-localized in QTL regions are expected to facilitate in radish breeding programs.

  15. Quantitative Trait Loci for Morphological Traits and their Association with Functional Genes in Raphanus sativus

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Xiaona; Choi, Su Ryun; Dhandapani, Vignesh; Rameneni, Jana Jeevan; Li, Xiaonan; Pang, Wenxing; Lee, Ji-Young; Lim, Yong Pyo

    2016-01-01

    Identification of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) governing morphologically important traits enables to comprehend their potential genetic mechanisms in the genetic breeding program. In this study, we used 210 F2 populations derived from a cross between two radish inbred lines (Raphanus sativus) “835” and “B2,” including 258 SSR markers were used to detect QTLs for 11 morphological traits that related to whole plant, leaf, and root yield in 3 years of replicated field test. Total 55 QTLs were detected which were distributed on each linkage group of the Raphanus genome. Individual QTLs accounted for 2.69–12.6 of the LOD value, and 0.82–16.25% of phenotypic variation. Several genomic regions have multiple traits that clustered together, suggested the existence of pleiotropy linkage. Synteny analysis of the QTL regions with A. thaliana genome selected orthologous genes in radish. InDels and SNPs in the parental lines were detected in those regions by Illumina genome sequence. Five identified candidate gene-based markers were validated by co-mapping with underlying QTLs affecting different traits. Semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR analysis showed the different expression levels of these five genes in parental lines. In addition, comparative QTL analysis with B. rapa revealed six common QTL regions and four key major evolutionarily conserved crucifer blocks (J, U, R, and W) harboring QTL for morphological traits. The QTL positions identified in this study will provide a valuable resource for identifying more functional genes when whole radish genome sequence is released. Candidate genes identified in this study that co-localized in QTL regions are expected to facilitate in radish breeding programs. PMID:26973691

  16. Applications of spectral inversion to understanding vegetation functional trait relationships

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shiklomanov, A. N.; Dietze, M.; Viskari, T.; Townsend, P. A.; Serbin, S.

    2015-12-01

    Spectral data from both field observations and remote sensing platforms are a rich source of information for studying plant traits. Traditional approaches to using spectral data for studying vegetation have proven effective in sensor-, site-, or plant type-specific settings, but differences in model assumptions and failure to account for uncertainties have hindered efforts to synthesize observations from different sources and use spectral data in a predictive capacity. Here we present a novel approach that uses Bayesian inversion of the PROSPECT 5 leaf radiative transfer model (RTM) to investigate the ability of spectral data to inform our understanding of plant functional traits. First, we validated our method by comparing inversion results to independent measurements of relevant leaf structural and biochemical parameters. Second, we tested the accuracy and precision of RTM parameter retrieval as a function of spectral resolution and quality by performing inversions on simulated observations for a variety of common remote sensing platforms. We observed predictable increases in parameter uncertainty and covariance with declining spectral resolution, but we also found that the measurement characteristics of all sensors are capable of providing information about at least some of the parameters of interest. Finally, we applied our inversion to a large database of field spectra and plant traits spanning tropical, temperate, and boreal forests, agricultural plots, arid shrublands, and tundra to identify dominant sources of variability and characterize trade-offs in plant functional traits. We found substantial intraspecific variability in traits and explored the extent to which this variability falls along the same axes as the interspecific leaf economics spectrum. Ultimately, our results show that Bayesian RTM inversion provides a powerful framework for using spectral data to inform our understanding of plant functional traits and how they are linked with ecosystem

  17. Plant functional traits have globally consistent effects on competition.

    PubMed

    Kunstler, Georges; Falster, Daniel; Coomes, David A; Hui, Francis; Kooyman, Robert M; Laughlin, Daniel C; Poorter, Lourens; Vanderwel, Mark; Vieilledent, Ghislain; Wright, S Joseph; Aiba, Masahiro; Baraloto, Christopher; Caspersen, John; Cornelissen, J Hans C; Gourlet-Fleury, Sylvie; Hanewinkel, Marc; Herault, Bruno; Kattge, Jens; Kurokawa, Hiroko; Onoda, Yusuke; Peñuelas, Josep; Poorter, Hendrik; Uriarte, Maria; Richardson, Sarah; Ruiz-Benito, Paloma; Sun, I-Fang; Ståhl, Göran; Swenson, Nathan G; Thompson, Jill; Westerlund, Bertil; Wirth, Christian; Zavala, Miguel A; Zeng, Hongcheng; Zimmerman, Jess K; Zimmermann, Niklaus E; Westoby, Mark

    2016-01-14

    Phenotypic traits and their associated trade-offs have been shown to have globally consistent effects on individual plant physiological functions, but how these effects scale up to influence competition, a key driver of community assembly in terrestrial vegetation, has remained unclear. Here we use growth data from more than 3 million trees in over 140,000 plots across the world to show how three key functional traits--wood density, specific leaf area and maximum height--consistently influence competitive interactions. Fast maximum growth of a species was correlated negatively with its wood density in all biomes, and positively with its specific leaf area in most biomes. Low wood density was also correlated with a low ability to tolerate competition and a low competitive effect on neighbours, while high specific leaf area was correlated with a low competitive effect. Thus, traits generate trade-offs between performance with competition versus performance without competition, a fundamental ingredient in the classical hypothesis that the coexistence of plant species is enabled via differentiation in their successional strategies. Competition within species was stronger than between species, but an increase in trait dissimilarity between species had little influence in weakening competition. No benefit of dissimilarity was detected for specific leaf area or wood density, and only a weak benefit for maximum height. Our trait-based approach to modelling competition makes generalization possible across the forest ecosystems of the world and their highly diverse species composition.

  18. Functional traits, convergent evolution, and periodic tables of niches.

    PubMed

    Winemiller, Kirk O; Fitzgerald, Daniel B; Bower, Luke M; Pianka, Eric R

    2015-08-01

    Ecology is often said to lack general theories sufficiently predictive for applications. Here, we examine the concept of a periodic table of niches and feasibility of niche classification schemes from functional trait and performance data. Niche differences and their influence on ecological patterns and processes could be revealed effectively by first performing data reduction/ordination analyses separately on matrices of trait and performance data compiled according to logical associations with five basic niche 'dimensions', or aspects: habitat, life history, trophic, defence and metabolic. Resultant patterns then are integrated to produce interpretable niche gradients, ordinations and classifications. Degree of scheme periodicity would depend on degrees of niche conservatism and convergence causing species clustering across multiple niche dimensions. We analysed a sample data set containing trait and performance data to contrast two approaches for producing niche schemes: species ordination within niche gradient space, and niche categorisation according to trait-value thresholds. Creation of niche schemes useful for advancing ecological knowledge and its applications will depend on research that produces functional trait and performance datasets directly related to niche dimensions along with criteria for data standardisation and quality. As larger databases are compiled, opportunities will emerge to explore new methods for data reduction, ordination and classification. © 2015 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Variation in Plant Response to Herbivory Underscored by Functional Traits

    PubMed Central

    Reese, Aspen T.; Ames, Gregory M.; Wright, Justin P.

    2016-01-01

    The effects of herbivory can shape plant communities and evolution. However, the many forms of herbivory costs and the wide variation in herbivory pressure, including across latitudinal gradients, can make predicting the effects of herbivory on different plant species difficult. Functional trait approaches may aid in contextualizing and standardizing the assessment of herbivory impacts. Here we assessed the response of 26 old-field plant species to simulated defoliation in a greenhouse setting by measuring whole plant and leaf level traits in control and treated individuals. Simulated defoliation had no significant effects on any plant traits measured. However, the baseline leaf level traits of healthy plants consistently predicted the log response ratio for these species whole plant response to defoliation. The latitudinal mid-point of species’ distributions was also significantly correlated with aboveground biomass and total leaf area responses, with plants with a more northern distribution being more negatively impacted by treatment. These results indicate that even in the absence of significant overall impacts, functional traits may aid in predicting variability in plant responses to defoliation and in identifying the underlying limitations driving those responses. PMID:27936155

  20. Laboratory selection for increased longevity in Drosophila melanogaster reduces field performance.

    PubMed

    Wit, Janneke; Kristensen, Torsten Nygaard; Sarup, Pernille; Frydenberg, Jane; Loeschcke, Volker

    2013-11-01

    Drosophila melanogaster is frequently used in ageing studies to elucidate which mechanisms determine the onset and progress of senescence. Lines selected for increased longevity have often been shown to perform as well as or superior to control lines in life history, stress resistance and behavioural traits when tested in the laboratory. Functional senescence in longevity selected lines has also been shown to occur at a slower rate. However, it is known that performance in a controlled laboratory setting is not necessarily representative of performance in nature. In this study the effect of ageing, environmental temperature and longevity selection on performance in the field was tested. Flies from longevity selected and control lines of different ages (2, 5, 10 and 15 days) were released in an environment free of natural food sources. Control flies were tested at low, intermediate and high temperatures, while longevity selected flies were tested at the intermediate temperature only. The ability of flies to locate and reach a food source was tested. Flies of intermediate age were generally better at locating resources than both younger and older flies, where hot and cold environments accelerate the senescent decline in performance. Control lines were better able to locate a resource compared to longevity selected lines of the same age, suggesting that longevity comes at a cost in early life field fitness, supporting the antagonistic pleiotropy theory of ageing.

  1. Brain structure, executive function and appetitive traits in adolescent obesity.

    PubMed

    de Groot, C J; van den Akker, E L T; Rings, E H H M; Delemarre-van de Waal, H A; van der Grond, J

    2017-08-01

    Children with obesity show differences in brain structure, executive function and appetitive traits when compared with lean peers. Little is known on the relationship between brain structure and these traits. To investigate the relationship between differences in brain structure and executive function and appetitive traits, in obese and lean adolescents. MRI was used to measure cortical thickness and subcortical volumes. Executive function was measured by a Stop Signal-and a Choice Delay Task. Appetitive traits were measured using the Child Eating Behaviour Questionnaire. Adolescents with obesity had greater volumes of the pallidum; 1.78 mL (SE 0.03, p=0.014), when compared with controls; 1.65 mL (SE 0.02). In the group with obesity, greater pallidum volume was positively associated with the ability to delay reward in the Choice Delay Task (p=0.012). The association between pallidum volumes and Choice Delay Task in obese adolescents supports the hypothesis that the pallidum plays an important role in executive dysfunction in obese children. © 2016 World Obesity Federation.

  2. Beyond mean functional traits: Influence of functional trait profiles on forest structure, production, and mortality across the eastern US

    Treesearch

    Matthew B. Russell; Christopher W. Woodall; Anthony W. D' Amato; Grant M. Domke; Sassan S. Saatchi

    2014-01-01

    Plant functional traits (PFTs) have increased in popularity in recent years to describe various ecosystems and biological phenomena while advancing general ecological principles. To date, few have investigated distributional attributes of individual PFTs and their relationship with key attributes and processes of forest ecosystems. The objective of this study was to...

  3. Defining the functional traits that drive bacterial decomposer community productivity

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Rachael; Alessi, Anna M.; Bird, Susannah; McQueen-Mason, Simon J.; Bruce, Neil C.; Brockhurst, Michael A.

    2017-01-01

    Microbial communities are essential to a wide range of ecologically and industrially important processes. To control or predict how these communities function, we require a better understanding of the factors which influence microbial community productivity. Here, we combine functional resource use assays with a biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) experiment to determine whether the functional traits of constituent species can be used to predict community productivity. We quantified the abilities of 12 bacterial species to metabolise components of lignocellulose and then assembled these species into communities of varying diversity and composition to measure their productivity growing on lignocellulose, a complex natural substrate. A positive relationship between diversity and community productivity was caused by a selection effect whereby more diverse communities were more likely to contain two species that significantly improved community productivity. Analysis of functional traits revealed that the observed selection effect was primarily driven by the abilities of these species to degrade β-glucan. Our results indicate that by identifying the key functional traits underlying microbial community productivity we could improve industrial bioprocessing of complex natural substrates. PMID:28323280

  4. Defining the functional traits that drive bacterial decomposer community productivity.

    PubMed

    Evans, Rachael; Alessi, Anna M; Bird, Susannah; McQueen-Mason, Simon J; Bruce, Neil C; Brockhurst, Michael A

    2017-03-21

    Microbial communities are essential to a wide range of ecologically and industrially important processes. To control or predict how these communities function, we require a better understanding of the factors which influence microbial community productivity. Here, we combine functional resource use assays with a biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) experiment to determine whether the functional traits of constituent species can be used to predict community productivity. We quantified the abilities of 12 bacterial species to metabolise components of lignocellulose and then assembled these species into communities of varying diversity and composition to measure their productivity growing on lignocellulose, a complex natural substrate. A positive relationship between diversity and community productivity was caused by a selection effect whereby more diverse communities were more likely to contain two species that significantly improved community productivity. Analysis of functional traits revealed that the observed selection effect was primarily driven by the abilities of these species to degrade β-glucan. Our results indicate that by identifying the key functional traits underlying microbial community productivity we could improve industrial bioprocessing of complex natural substrates.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 21 March 2017; doi:10.1038/ismej.2017.22.

  5. Functional Mapping of Dynamic Traits with Robust t-Distribution

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Cen; Li, Gengxin; Zhu, Jun; Cui, Yuehua

    2011-01-01

    Functional mapping has been a powerful tool in mapping quantitative trait loci (QTL) underlying dynamic traits of agricultural or biomedical interest. In functional mapping, multivariate normality is often assumed for the underlying data distribution, partially due to the ease of parameter estimation. The normality assumption however could be easily violated in real applications due to various reasons such as heavy tails or extreme observations. Departure from normality has negative effect on testing power and inference for QTL identification. In this work, we relax the normality assumption and propose a robust multivariate -distribution mapping framework for QTL identification in functional mapping. Simulation studies show increased mapping power and precision with the distribution than that of a normal distribution. The utility of the method is demonstrated through a real data analysis. PMID:21966378

  6. A meta-analysis of zooplankton functional traits influencing ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    Hébert, Marie-Pier; Beisner, Beatrix E; Maranger, Roxane

    2016-04-01

    The use of functional traits to characterize community composition has been proposed as a more effective way to link community structure to ecosystem functioning. Organismal morphology, body stoichiometry, and physiology can be readily linked to large-scale ecosystem processes through functional traits that inform on interspecific and species-environment interactions; yet such effect traits are still poorly included in trait-based approaches. Given their key trophic position in aquatic ecosystems, individual zooplankton affect energy fluxes and elemental processing. We compiled a large database of zooplankton traits contributing to carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycling and examined the effect of classification and habitat (marine vs. freshwater) on trait relationships. Respiration and nutrient excretion rates followed mass-dependent scaling in both habitats, with exponents ranging from 0.70 to 0.90. Our analyses revealed surprising differences in allometry and respiration between habitats, with freshwater species having lower length-specific mass and three times higher mass-specific respiration rates. These differences in traits point to implications for ecological strategies as well as overall carbon storage and fluxes based on habitat type. Our synthesis quantifies multiple trait relationships and links organisms to ecosystem processes they influence, enabling a more complete integration of aquatic community ecology and biogeochemistry through the promising use of effect traits.

  7. Mycorrhizas influence functional traits of two tallgrass prairie species.

    PubMed

    Weremijewicz, Joanna; Seto, Kotaro

    2016-06-01

    Over the past decade, functional traits that influence plant performance and thus, population, community, and ecosystem biology have garnered increasing attention. Generally lacking, however, has been consideration of how ubiquitous arbuscular mycorrhizas influence plant allometric and stoichiometric functional traits. We assessed how plant dependence on and responsiveness to mycorrhizas influence plant functional traits of a warm-season, C4 grass, Andropogon gerardii Vitman, and the contrasting, cool-season, C3 grass, Elymus canadensis L. We grew both host species with and without inoculation with mycorrhizal fungi, across a broad gradient of soil phosphorus availabilities. Both host species were facultatively mycotrophic, able to grow without mycorrhizas at high soil phosphorus availability. A. gerardii was most dependent upon mycorrhizas and E. canadensis was weakly dependent, but highly responsive to mycorrhizas. The high dependence of A. gerardii on mycorrhizas resulted in higher tissue P and N concentrations of inoculated than noninoculated plants. When not inoculated, E. canadensis was able to take up both P and N in similar amounts to inoculated plants because of its weak dependence on mycorrhizas for nutrient uptake and its pronounced ability to change root-to-shoot ratios. Unlike other highly dependent species, A. gerardii had a high root-to-shoot ratio and was able to suppress colonization by mycorrhizal fungi at high soil fertilities. E. canadensis, however, was unable to suppress colonization and had a lower root-to shoot ratio than A. gerardii. The mycorrhiza-related functional traits of both host species likely influence their performance in nature: both species attained the maximum responsiveness from mycorrhizas at soil phosphorus availabilities similar to those of tallgrass prairies. Dependence upon mycorrhizas affects performance in the absence of mycorrhizas. Responsiveness to mycorrhizal fungi is also a function of the environment and

  8. Phenotypic plasticity to light and nutrient availability alters functional trait ranking across eight perennial grassland species.

    PubMed

    Siebenkäs, Alrun; Schumacher, Jens; Roscher, Christiane

    2015-03-27

    Functional traits are often used as species-specific mean trait values in comparative plant ecology or trait-based predictions of ecosystem processes, assuming that interspecific differences are greater than intraspecific trait variation and that trait-based ranking of species is consistent across environments. Although this assumption is increasingly challenged, there is a lack of knowledge regarding to what degree the extent of intraspecific trait variation in response to varying environmental conditions depends on the considered traits and the characteristics of the studied species to evaluate the consequences for trait-based species ranking. We studied functional traits of eight perennial grassland species classified into different functional groups (forbs vs. grasses) and varying in their inherent growth stature (tall vs. small) in a common garden experiment with different environments crossing three levels of nutrient availability and three levels of light availability over 4 months of treatment applications. Grasses and forbs differed in almost all above- and belowground traits, while trait differences related to growth stature were generally small. The traits showing the strongest responses to resource availability were similarly for grasses and forbs those associated with allocation and resource uptake. The strength of trait variation in response to varying resource availability differed among functional groups (grasses > forbs) and species of varying growth stature (small-statured > tall-statured species) in many aboveground traits, but only to a lower extent in belowground traits. These differential responses altered trait-based species ranking in many aboveground traits, such as specific leaf area, tissue nitrogen and carbon concentrations and above-belowground allocation (leaf area ratio and root : shoot ratio) at varying resource supply, while trait-based species ranking was more consistent in belowground traits. Our study shows that species grouping

  9. Macromitophagy is a longevity assurance process that in chronologically aging yeast limited in calorie supply sustains functional mitochondria and maintains cellular lipid homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Burstein, Michelle T.; Koupaki, Olivia; Gomez-Perez, Alejandra; Levy, Sean; Pluska, Lukas; Mattie, Sevan; Rafeh, Rami; Iouk, Tatiana; Sheibani, Sara; Greenwood, Michael; Vali, Hojatollah; Titorenko, Vladimir I.

    2013-01-01

    Macromitophagy controls mitochondrial quality and quantity. It involves the sequestration of dysfunctional or excessive mitochondria within double-membrane autophagosomes, which then fuse with the vacuole/lysosome to deliver these mitochondria for degradation. To investigate a physiological role of macromitophagy in yeast, we examined how the atg32Δ-dependent mutational block of this process influences the chronological lifespan of cells grown in a nutrient-rich medium containing low (0.2%) concentration of glucose. Under these longevity-extending conditions of caloric restriction (CR) yeast cells are not starving. We also assessed a role of macromitophagy in lifespan extension by lithocholic acid (LCA), a bile acid that prolongs yeast longevity under CR conditions. Our findings imply that macromitophagy is a longevity assurance process underlying the synergistic beneficial effects of CR and LCA on yeast lifespan. Our analysis of how the atg32Δ mutation influences mitochondrial morphology, composition and function revealed that macromitophagy is required to maintain a network of healthy mitochondria. Our comparative analysis of the membrane lipidomes of organelles purified from wild-type and atg32Δ cells revealed that macromitophagy is required for maintaining cellular lipid homeostasis. We concluded that macromitophagy defines yeast longevity by modulating vital cellular processes inside and outside of mitochondria. PMID:23553280

  10. Functional linear models for association analysis of quantitative traits.

    PubMed

    Fan, Ruzong; Wang, Yifan; Mills, James L; Wilson, Alexander F; Bailey-Wilson, Joan E; Xiong, Momiao

    2013-11-01

    Functional linear models are developed in this paper for testing associations between quantitative traits and genetic variants, which can be rare variants or common variants or the combination of the two. By treating multiple genetic variants of an individual in a human population as a realization of a stochastic process, the genome of an individual in a chromosome region is a continuum of sequence data rather than discrete observations. The genome of an individual is viewed as a stochastic function that contains both linkage and linkage disequilibrium (LD) information of the genetic markers. By using techniques of functional data analysis, both fixed and mixed effect functional linear models are built to test the association between quantitative traits and genetic variants adjusting for covariates. After extensive simulation analysis, it is shown that the F-distributed tests of the proposed fixed effect functional linear models have higher power than that of sequence kernel association test (SKAT) and its optimal unified test (SKAT-O) for three scenarios in most cases: (1) the causal variants are all rare, (2) the causal variants are both rare and common, and (3) the causal variants are common. The superior performance of the fixed effect functional linear models is most likely due to its optimal utilization of both genetic linkage and LD information of multiple genetic variants in a genome and similarity among different individuals, while SKAT and SKAT-O only model the similarities and pairwise LD but do not model linkage and higher order LD information sufficiently. In addition, the proposed fixed effect models generate accurate type I error rates in simulation studies. We also show that the functional kernel score tests of the proposed mixed effect functional linear models are preferable in candidate gene analysis and small sample problems. The methods are applied to analyze three biochemical traits in data from the Trinity Students Study.

  11. Functional Linear Models for Association Analysis of Quantitative Traits

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Ruzong; Wang, Yifan; Mills, James L.; Wilson, Alexander F.; Bailey-Wilson, Joan E.; Xiong, Momiao

    2014-01-01

    Functional linear models are developed in this paper for testing associations between quantitative traits and genetic variants, which can be rare variants or common variants or the combination of the two. By treating multiple genetic variants of an individual in a human population as a realization of a stochastic process, the genome of an individual in a chromosome region is a continuum of sequence data rather than discrete observations. The genome of an individual is viewed as a stochastic function that contains both linkage and linkage disequilibrium (LD) information of the genetic markers. By using techniques of functional data analysis, both fixed and mixed effect functional linear models are built to test the association between quantitative traits and genetic variants adjusting for covariates. After extensive simulation analysis, it is shown that the F-distributed tests of the proposed fixed effect functional linear models have higher power than that of sequence kernel association test (SKAT) and its optimal unified test (SKAT-O) for three scenarios in most cases: (1) the causal variants are all rare, (2) the causal variants are both rare and common, and (3) the causal variants are common. The superior performance of the fixed effect functional linear models is most likely due to its optimal utilization of both genetic linkage and LD information of multiple genetic variants in a genome and similarity among different individuals, while SKAT and SKAT-O only model the similarities and pairwise LD but do not model linkage and higher order LD information sufficiently. In addition, the proposed fixed effect models generate accurate type I error rates in simulation studies. We also show that the functional kernel score tests of the proposed mixed effect functional linear models are preferable in candidate gene analysis and small sample problems. The methods are applied to analyze three biochemical traits in data from the Trinity Students Study. PMID:24130119

  12. Advances in remote sensing of vegetation function and traits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houborg, Rasmus; Fisher, Joshua B.; Skidmore, Andrew K.

    2015-12-01

    Remote sensing of vegetation function and traits has advanced significantly over the past half-century in the capacity to retrieve useful plant biochemical, physiological and structural quantities across a range of spatial and temporal scales. However, the translation of remote sensing signals into meaningful descriptors of vegetation function and traits is still associated with large uncertainties due to complex interactions between leaf, canopy, and atmospheric mediums, and significant challenges in the treatment of confounding factors in spectrum-trait relations. This editorial provides (1) a background on major advances in the remote sensing of vegetation, (2) a detailed timeline and description of relevant historical and planned satellite missions, and (3) an outline of remaining challenges, upcoming opportunities and key research objectives to be tackled. The introduction sets the stage for thirteen Special Issue papers here that focus on novel approaches for exploiting current and future advancements in remote sensor technologies. The described enhancements in spectral, spatial and temporal resolution and radiometric performance provide exciting opportunities to significantly advance the ability to accurately monitor and model the state and function of vegetation canopies at multiple scales on a timely basis.

  13. Assessment of the impact of somatic cell count on functional longevity in Holstein and Jersey cattle using survival analysis methodology.

    PubMed

    Caraviello, D Z; Weigel, K A; Shook, G E; Ruegg, P L

    2005-02-01

    Survival analysis in a Weibull proportional hazards model was used to evaluate the impact of somatic cell count (SCC) on the involuntary culling rate of US Holstein and Jersey cows with first calvings from 1990 to 2000. The full data set, consisting of records from 978,043 Holstein and 250,835 Jersey cows, was divided into subsets (5 for Holsteins and 3 for Jerseys) based on herd average lactation SCC values. Functional longevity (also known as herd life or length of productive life) was defined as days from first calving until culling or censoring, after correcting for milk production. Our model included the time-dependent effects of herd-year-season, parity by stage of lactation interaction, within-herd-year quintile ranking for mature equivalent production, and lactation average SCC (rounded to the nearest 50,000 cells/mL), as well as the time-independent effect of age at first calving. Parameters of the Weibull distribution, as well as variance components for herd-year-season effects, were estimated within each group of herds. Mean failure and censoring times decreased as herd average SCC increased, and a nonlinear relationship was observed between SCC and longevity in all groups. The risk of culling for Holstein cows with lactation average SCC > 700,000 cells/mL was 3.4, 2.7, or 2.3 times greater, respectively, than that of Holstein cows with SCC of 200,000 to 250,000 cells/mL in herds with low, medium, or high average SCC. Likewise, the risk of culling for Jersey cows with lactation average SCC > 700,000 cells/mL was 4.0, 2.9, or 2.2 times greater, respectively, than that of Jersey cows with SCC of 200,000 to 250,000 cells/mL in low, medium, or high SCC herds. These trends may reflect more stringent culling of high SCC cows in herds with few mastitis problems. In addition, cows with lactation average SCC <100,000 cells/mL had a slightly higher risk of culling than cows with SCC of 100,000 to 200,000 cells/mL in both breeds, particularly in herds with high

  14. Functional trait values, not trait plasticity, drive the invasiveness of Rosa sp. in response to light availability.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Jennifer E; Burns, Jean H; Fougère-Danezan, Marie; Drenovsky, Rebecca E

    2016-12-01

    Functional trait plasticity in resource capture traits has been suggested as an underlying mechanism promoting invasive species establishment and spread. Earlier studies on this mechanism treat invasiveness as a discrete characteristic (i.e., invasive vs. noninvasive) and do not consider the potential impacts of evolutionary history. In the present study, we used a continuous measure of invasiveness and a phylogenetic framework to quantify the relationship between functional trait expression, plasticity, and invasiveness in Rosa. In a manipulative greenhouse experiment, we evaluated how light availability affects functional traits and their plasticity in Rosa sp. and the out-group species, Potentilla recta, which vary in their invasiveness. Across functional traits, we found no significant relationship between plasticity and invasiveness. However, more invasive roses demonstrated an ability to produce a more branched plant architecture, promoting optimal light capture. Invasiveness also was linked with lower photosynthetic and stomatal conductance rates, leading to increased water-use efficiency (WUE) in more invasive roses. Our results suggest that functional trait values, rather than plasticity, promote invasive rose success, counter to earlier predictions about the role of plasticity in invasiveness. Furthermore, our study indicates that invasive roses demonstrate key functional traits, such as increased WUE, to promote their success in the high-light, edge habitats they commonly invade. © 2016 Botanical Society of America.

  15. A role for seed storage proteins in Arabidopsis seed longevity

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Thu-Phuong; Cueff, Gwendal; Hegedus, Dwayne D; Rajjou, Loïc; Bentsink, Leónie

    2015-01-01

    Proteomics approaches have been a useful tool for determining the biological roles and functions of individual proteins and identifying the molecular mechanisms that govern seed germination, vigour and viability in response to ageing. In this work the dry seed proteome of four Arabidopsis thaliana genotypes, that carry introgression fragments at the position of seed longevity quantitative trait loci and as a result display different levels of seed longevity, was investigated. Seeds at two physiological states, after-ripened seeds that had the full germination ability and aged (stored) seeds of which the germination ability was severely reduced, were compared. Aged dry seed proteomes were markedly different from the after-ripened and reflected the seed longevity level of the four genotypes, despite the fact that dry seeds are metabolically quiescent. Results confirmed the role of antioxidant systems, notably vitamin E, and indicated that protection and maintenance of the translation machinery and energy pathways are essential for seed longevity. Moreover, a new role for seed storage proteins (SSPs) was identified in dry seeds during ageing. Cruciferins (CRUs) are the most abundant SSPs in Arabidopsis and seeds of a triple mutant for three CRU isoforms (crua crub cruc) were more sensitive to artificial ageing and their seed proteins were highly oxidized compared with wild-type seeds. These results confirm that oxidation is involved in seed deterioration and that SSPs buffer the seed from oxidative stress, thus protecting important proteins required for seed germination and seedling formation. PMID:26184996

  16. Functional trait responses to grazing are mediated by soil moisture and plant functional group identity

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Shuxia; Li, Wenhuai; Lan, Zhichun; Ren, Haiyan; Wang, Kaibo

    2015-01-01

    Abundant evidence has shown that grazing alters plant functional traits, community structure and ecosystem functioning of grasslands. Few studies, however, have tested how plant responses to grazing are mediated by resource availability and plant functional group identity. We examined the effects of grazing on functional traits across a broad range of species along a soil moisture gradient in Inner Mongolia grassland. Our results showed that trait syndromes of plant size (individual biomass) and shoot growth (leaf N content and leaf density) distinguished plant species responses to grazing. The effects of grazing on functional traits were mediated by soil moisture and dependent on functional group identity. For most species, grazing decreased plant height but increased leaf N and specific leaf area (SLA) along the moisture gradient. Grazing enhanced the community-weighted attributes (leaf NCWM and SLACWM), which were triggered mainly by the positive trait responses of annuals and biennials and perennial grasses, and increased relative abundance of perennial forbs. Our results suggest that grazing-induced species turnover and increased intraspecific trait variability are two drivers for the observed changes in community weighted attributes. The dominant perennial bunchgrasses exhibited mixed tolerance–resistance strategies to grazing and mixed acquisitive–conservative strategies in resource utilization. PMID:26655858

  17. Functional trait responses to grazing are mediated by soil moisture and plant functional group identity.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Shuxia; Li, Wenhuai; Lan, Zhichun; Ren, Haiyan; Wang, Kaibo

    2015-12-11

    Abundant evidence has shown that grazing alters plant functional traits, community structure and ecosystem functioning of grasslands. Few studies, however, have tested how plant responses to grazing are mediated by resource availability and plant functional group identity. We examined the effects of grazing on functional traits across a broad range of species along a soil moisture gradient in Inner Mongolia grassland. Our results showed that trait syndromes of plant size (individual biomass) and shoot growth (leaf N content and leaf density) distinguished plant species responses to grazing. The effects of grazing on functional traits were mediated by soil moisture and dependent on functional group identity. For most species, grazing decreased plant height but increased leaf N and specific leaf area (SLA) along the moisture gradient. Grazing enhanced the community-weighted attributes (leaf NCWM and SLACWM), which were triggered mainly by the positive trait responses of annuals and biennials and perennial grasses, and increased relative abundance of perennial forbs. Our results suggest that grazing-induced species turnover and increased intraspecific trait variability are two drivers for the observed changes in community weighted attributes. The dominant perennial bunchgrasses exhibited mixed tolerance-resistance strategies to grazing and mixed acquisitive-conservative strategies in resource utilization.

  18. Hunting alters seedling functional trait composition in a Neotropical forest.

    PubMed

    Kurten, Erin L; Wright, S Joseph; Carson, Walter P

    2015-07-01

    Defaunation alters trophic interactions between plants and vertebrates, whichmay disrupt trophic cascades, thereby favoring a subset of plant species and reducing diversity. If particular functional traits characterize the favored plant species,.then defaunation may alter community-wide patterns of functional trait composition. Changes in plant functional traits occurring with defaunation may help identify the species interactions affected by defaunation and the potential for other cascading effects of defaunation. We tested the hypotheses that defaunation would (1) disrupt seed dispersal, thereby favoring species whose dispersal agents are not affected (e.g., small birds, bats, and abiotic agents), (2) reduce seed predation, thereby favoring larger-seeded species, and (3) reduce herbivory, thereby favoring species with lower leaf mass per area (LMA), leaf toughness, and wood density. We examined how these six traits responded to vertebrate defaunation caused by hunters or by experimental exclosures among more than-30 000 woody seedlings in a lowland tropical moist forest. Exclosures reduced terrestrial frugivores, granivores, and herbivores, while hunters also reduced volant and arboreal frugivores and granivores. The comparison of exclosures and hunting allowed us to parse the impacts of arboreal and volant species (reduced by hunters only) and terrestrial species (reduced by both hunters and exclosures). The loss of terrestrial vertebrates alone had limited effects on plant trait composition. The additional loss of volant and arboreal vertebrates caused significant shifts in plant species composition towards communities with more species dispersed abiotically, including lianas and low wood-density tree species, and fewer species dispersed by large vertebrates. In contrast to previous studies, community seed mass did not decline significantly in hunted sites. Our exclosure results suggest this is because reducing seed predators disproportionately benefits large

  19. Immune function parameters as markers of biological age and predictors of longevity

    PubMed Central

    de Toda, Irene Martínez; Maté, Ianire; Vida, Carmen; Cruces, Julia; De la Fuente, Mónica

    2016-01-01

    Chronological age is not a good indicator of how each individual ages and thus how to maintain good health. Due to the long lifespan in humans and the consequent difficulty of carrying out longitudinal studies, finding valid biomarkers of the biological age has been a challenge both for research and clinical studies. The aim was to identify and validate several immune cell function parameters as markers of biological age. Adult, mature, elderly and long-lived human volunteers were used. The chemotaxis, phagocytosis, natural killer activity and lymphoproliferation in neutrophils and lymphocytes of peripheral blood were analyzed. The same functions were measured in peritoneal immune cells from mice, at the corresponding ages (adult, mature, old and long lived) in a longitudinal study. The results showed that the evolution of these functions was similar in humans and mice, with a decrease in old subjects. However, the long-lived individuals maintained values similar to those in adults. In addition, the values of these functions in adult prematurely aging mice were similar to those in chronologically old animals, and they died before their non-prematurely aging mice counterparts. Thus, the parameters studied are good markers of the rate of aging, allowing the determination of biological age. PMID:27899767

  20. The hunt for a functional mutation affecting conformation and calving traits on chromosome 18 in Holstein cattle

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Sequence data from 11 US Holstein bulls were analyzed to identify putative causal mutations associated with calving and conformation traits. The SNP ARS-BFGL-NGS-109285 at 57,589,121 bp (UMD 3.1 assembly) on BTA18 has large effects on 4 measures of body shape and size, 2 measures of dystocia, longev...

  1. Association analysis of insulin-like growth factor-1 axis parameters with survival and functional status in nonagenarians of the Leiden Longevity Study.

    PubMed

    van der Spoel, Evie; Rozing, Maarten P; Houwing-Duistermaat, Jeanine J; Slagboom, P Eline; Beekman, Marian; de Craen, Anton J M; Westendorp, Rudi G J; van Heemst, Diana

    2015-11-01

    Reduced insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) signaling has been associated with longevity in various model organisms. However, the role of insulin/IGF-1 signaling in human survival remains controversial. The aim of this study was to test whether circulating IGF-1 axis parameters associate with old age survival and functional status in nonagenarians from the Leiden Longevity Study. This study examined 858 Dutch nonagenarian (males≥89 years; females≥91 years) siblings from 409 families, without selection on health or demographic characteristics. Nonagenarians were divided over sex-specific strata according to their levels of IGF-1, IGF binding protein 3 and IGF-1/IGFBP3 molar ratio. We found that lower IGF-1/IGFBP3 ratios were associated with improved survival: nonagenarians in the quartile of the lowest ratio had a lower estimated hazard ratio (95% confidence interval) of 0.73 (0.59 - 0.91) compared to the quartile with the highest ratio (ptrend=0.002). Functional status was assessed by (Instrumental) Activities of Daily Living ((I)ADL) scales. Compared to those in the quartile with the highest IGF-1/IGFBP3 ratio, nonagenarians in the lowest quartile had higher scores for ADL (ptrend=0.001) and IADL (ptrend=0.003). These findings suggest that IGF-1 axis parameters are associated with increased old age survival and better functional status in nonagenarians from the Leiden Longevity Study.

  2. Association analysis of insulin-like growth factor-1 axis parameters with survival and functional status in nonagenarians of the Leiden Longevity Study

    PubMed Central

    Houwing-Duistermaat, Jeanine J.; Slagboom, P. Eline; Beekman, Marian; de Craen, Anton J.M.; Westendorp, Rudi G.J.; van Heemst, Diana

    2015-01-01

    Reduced insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) signaling has been associated with longevity in various model organisms. However, the role of insulin/IGF-1 signaling in human survival remains controversial. The aim of this study was to test whether circulating IGF-1 axis parameters associate with old age survival and functional status in nonagenarians from the Leiden Longevity Study. This study examined 858 Dutch nonagenarian (males≥89 years; females≥91 years) siblings from 409 families, without selection on health or demographic characteristics. Nonagenarians were divided over sex-specific strata according to their levels of IGF-1, IGF binding protein 3 and IGF-1/IGFBP3 molar ratio. We found that lower IGF-1/IGFBP3 ratios were associated with improved survival: nonagenarians in the quartile of the lowest ratio had a lower estimated hazard ratio (95% confidence interval) of 0.73 (0.59 – 0.91) compared to the quartile with the highest ratio (ptrend=0.002). Functional status was assessed by (Instrumental) Activities of Daily Living ((I)ADL) scales. Compared to those in the quartile with the highest IGF-1/IGFBP3 ratio, nonagenarians in the lowest quartile had higher scores for ADL (ptrend=0.001) and IADL (ptrend=0.003). These findings suggest that IGF-1 axis parameters are associated with increased old age survival and better functional status in nonagenarians from the Leiden Longevity Study. PMID:26568155

  3. Differences in forest plant functional trait distributions across land-use and productivity gradients

    Treesearch

    Margaret M. Mayfield; John M. Dwyer; Loic Chalmandrier; Jessie A. Wells; Stephen P. Bonser; Carla P. Catterall; Fabrice DeClerck; Yi Ding; Jennifer M. Fraterrigo; Daniel J. Metcalfe; Cibele Queiroz; Peter A. Vesk; John W. Morgan

    2013-01-01

    • Premise of study: Plant functional traits are commonly used as proxies for plant responses to environmental challenges, yet few studies have explored how functional trait distributions differ across gradients of land-use change. By comparing trait distributions in intact forests with those across land-use change gradients, we can improve our understanding of the ways...

  4. Do key dimensions of seed and seedling functional trait variation capture variation in recruitment probability?

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    1. Plant functional traits provide a mechanistic basis for understanding ecological variation among plant species and the implications of this variation for species distribution, community assembly and restoration. 2. The bulk of our functional trait understanding, however, is centered on traits rel...

  5. Dietary Fatty Acids and Temperature Modulate Mitochondrial Function and Longevity in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Rand, David M.

    2015-01-01

    Fluctuations in temperature and resource availability are conditions many organisms contend with in nature. Specific dietary nutrients such as fatty acids play an essential role in reproduction, cold adaptation, and metabolism in a variety of organisms. The present study characterizes how temperature and diet interact to modulate Drosophila physiology and life span. Flies were raised on media containing specific saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated fatty acids supplements at low concentrations and were placed in varied thermal environments. We found that dietary long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids improve chill coma recovery and modulate mitochondrial function. Additionally, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acid food supplements were detrimental to life span regardless of temperature, and antioxidants were able to partially rescue this effect. This study provides insight into environmental modulation of Drosophila physiology and life span. PMID:25910846

  6. Trait correlates and functional significance of heteranthery in flowering plants.

    PubMed

    Vallejo-Marín, Mario; Da Silva, Elizabeth M; Sargent, Risa D; Barrett, Spencer C H

    2010-10-01

    • Flowering plants display extraordinary diversity in the morphology of male sexual organs, yet the functional significance of this variation is not well understood. Here, we conducted a comparative analysis of floral correlates of heteranthery - the morphological and functional differentiation of anthers within flowers - among angiosperm families to identify traits associated with this condition. • We performed a phylogenetic analysis of correlated evolution between heteranthery and several floral traits commonly reported from heterantherous taxa. In addition, we quantified the effect of phylogenetic uncertainty in the observed patterns of correlated evolution by comparing trees in which polytomous branches were randomly resolved. • Heteranthery is reported from 12 angiosperm orders and is phylogenetically associated with the absence of floral nectaries, buzz-pollination and enantiostyly (mirror-image flowers). These associations are robust to particularities of the underlying phylogenetic hypothesis. • Heteranthery has probably evolved as a result of pollinator-mediated selection and appears to function to reduce the conflict of relying on pollen both as food to attract pollinators and as the agent of male gamete transfer. The relative scarcity of heteranthery among angiosperm families suggests that the conditions permitting its evolution are not easily met despite the abundance of pollen-collecting bees and nectarless flowers.

  7. Linking Tropical Forest Function to Hydraulic Traits in a Size-Structured and Trait-Based Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christoffersen, B. O.; Gloor, M.; Fauset, S.; Fyllas, N.; Galbraith, D.; Baker, T. R.; Rowland, L.; Fisher, R.; Binks, O.; Sevanto, S.; Xu, C.; Jansen, S.; Choat, B.; Mencuccini, M.; McDowell, N. G.; Meir, P.

    2015-12-01

    A major weakness of forest ecosystem models is their inability to capture the diversity of responses to changes in water availability, severely hampering efforts to predict the fate of tropical forests under climate change. Such models often prescribe moisture sensitivity using heuristic response functions that are uniform across all individuals and lack important knowledge about trade-offs in hydraulic traits. We address this weakness by implementing a process representation of plant hydraulics into an individual- and trait-based model (Trait Forest Simulator; TFS) intended for application at discrete sites where community-level distributions of stem and leaf trait spectra (wood density, leaf mass per area, leaf nitrogen and phosphorus content) are known. The model represents a trade-off in the safety and efficiency of water conduction in xylem tissue through hydraulic traits, while accounting for the counteracting effects of increasing hydraulic path length and xylem conduit taper on whole-plant hydraulic resistance with increasing tree size. Using existing trait databases and additional meta-analyses from the rich literature on tropical tree ecophysiology, we obtained all necessary hydraulic parameters associated with xylem conductivity, vulnerability curves, pressure-volume curves, and hydraulic architecture (e.g., leaf-to-sapwood area ratios) as a function of the aforementioned traits and tree size. Incorporating these relationships in the model greatly improved the diversity of tree response to seasonal changes in water availability as well as in response to drought, as determined by comparison with field observations and experiments. Importantly, this individual- and trait-based framework provides a testbed for identifying both critical processes and functional traits needed for inclusion in coarse-scale Dynamic Global Vegetation Models, which will lead to reduced uncertainty in the future state of tropical forests.

  8. Lipidomics in longevity and healthy aging.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Covarrubias, Vanessa

    2013-12-01

    The role of classical lipids in aging diseases and human longevity has been widely acknowledged. Triglyceride and cholesterol concentrations are clinically assessed to infer the risk of cardiovascular disease while larger lipoprotein particle size and low triglyceride levels have been identified as markers of human longevity. The rise of lipidomics as a branch of metabolomics has provided an additional layer of accuracy to pinpoint specific lipids and its association with aging diseases and longevity. The molecular composition and concentration of lipid species determine their cellular localization, metabolism, and consequently, their impact in disease and health. For example, low density lipoproteins are the main carriers of sphingomyelins and ceramides, while high density lipoproteins are mostly loaded with ether phosphocholines, partly explaining their opposing roles in atherogenesis. Moreover, the identification of specific lipid species in aging diseases and longevity would aid to clarify how these lipids alter health and influence longevity. For instance, ether phosphocholines PC (O-34:1) and PC (O-34:3) have been positively associated with longevity and negatively with diabetes, and hypertension, but other species of phosphocholines show no effect or an opposite association with these traits confirming the relevance of the identification of molecular lipid species to tackle our understanding of healthy aging and disease. Up-to-date, a minor fraction of the human plasma lipidome has been associated to healthy aging and longevity, further research would pinpoint toward specific lipidomic profiles as potential markers of healthy aging and metabolic diseases.

  9. Scaling up functional traits for ecosystem services with remote sensing: concepts and methods.

    PubMed

    Abelleira Martínez, Oscar J; Fremier, Alexander K; Günter, Sven; Ramos Bendaña, Zayra; Vierling, Lee; Galbraith, Sara M; Bosque-Pérez, Nilsa A; Ordoñez, Jenny C

    2016-07-01

    Ecosystem service-based management requires an accurate understanding of how human modification influences ecosystem processes and these relationships are most accurate when based on functional traits. Although trait variation is typically sampled at local scales, remote sensing methods can facilitate scaling up trait variation to regional scales needed for ecosystem service management. We review concepts and methods for scaling up plant and animal functional traits from local to regional spatial scales with the goal of assessing impacts of human modification on ecosystem processes and services. We focus our objectives on considerations and approaches for (1) conducting local plot-level sampling of trait variation and (2) scaling up trait variation to regional spatial scales using remotely sensed data. We show that sampling methods for scaling up traits need to account for the modification of trait variation due to land cover change and species introductions. Sampling intraspecific variation, stratification by land cover type or landscape context, or inference of traits from published sources may be necessary depending on the traits of interest. Passive and active remote sensing are useful for mapping plant phenological, chemical, and structural traits. Combining these methods can significantly improve their capacity for mapping plant trait variation. These methods can also be used to map landscape and vegetation structure in order to infer animal trait variation. Due to high context dependency, relationships between trait variation and remotely sensed data are not directly transferable across regions. We end our review with a brief synthesis of issues to consider and outlook for the development of these approaches. Research that relates typical functional trait metrics, such as the community-weighted mean, with remote sensing data and that relates variation in traits that cannot be remotely sensed to other proxies is needed. Our review narrows the gap between

  10. Revisiting the Holy Grail: using plant functional traits to understand ecological processes.

    PubMed

    Funk, Jennifer L; Larson, Julie E; Ames, Gregory M; Butterfield, Bradley J; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine; Firn, Jennifer; Laughlin, Daniel C; Sutton-Grier, Ariana E; Williams, Laura; Wright, Justin

    2017-05-01

    One of ecology's grand challenges is developing general rules to explain and predict highly complex systems. Understanding and predicting ecological processes from species' traits has been considered a 'Holy Grail' in ecology. Plant functional traits are increasingly being used to develop mechanistic models that can predict how ecological communities will respond to abiotic and biotic perturbations and how species will affect ecosystem function and services in a rapidly changing world; however, significant challenges remain. In this review, we highlight recent work and outstanding questions in three areas: (i) selecting relevant traits; (ii) describing intraspecific trait variation and incorporating this variation into models; and (iii) scaling trait data to community- and ecosystem-level processes. Over the past decade, there have been significant advances in the characterization of plant strategies based on traits and trait relationships, and the integration of traits into multivariate indices and models of community and ecosystem function. However, the utility of trait-based approaches in ecology will benefit from efforts that demonstrate how these traits and indices influence organismal, community, and ecosystem processes across vegetation types, which may be achieved through meta-analysis and enhancement of trait databases. Additionally, intraspecific trait variation and species interactions need to be incorporated into predictive models using tools such as Bayesian hierarchical modelling. Finally, existing models linking traits to community and ecosystem processes need to be empirically tested for their applicability to be realized.

  11. Genetic analysis of female preference functions as function-valued traits.

    PubMed

    McGuigan, Katrina; Van Homrigh, Anna; Blows, Mark W

    2008-08-01

    The genetic analysis of female preferences has been seen as a particularly challenging empirical endeavor because of difficulties in generating suitable preference metrics in experiments large enough to adequately characterize variation. In this article, we take an alternative approach, treating female preference as a function-valued trait and exploiting random-coefficient models to characterize the genetic basis of female preference without measuring preference functions in each individual. Applying this approach to Drosophila bunnanda, in which females assess males through a multivariate contact pheromone system, we gain three valuable insights into the genetic basis of female preference functions. First, most genetic variation was attributable to one eigenfunction, suggesting shared genetic control of preferences for nine male pheromones. Second, genetic variance in female preference functions was not associated with genetic variance in the pheromones, implying that genetic variation in female preference did not maintain genetic variation in male traits. Finally, breeding values for female preference functions were skewed away from the direction of selection on the male traits, suggesting directional selection on female preferences. The genetic analysis of female preference functions as function-valued traits offers a robust statistical framework for investigations of female preference, in addition to alleviating some experimental difficulties associated with estimating variation in preference functions.

  12. Trait Rumination, Depression, and Executive Functions in Early Adolescence

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Clara A.; Alloy, Lauren B.; Abramson, Lyn Y.

    2014-01-01

    Although deficits in executive functions have been linked with both depression and rumination in adulthood, the nature of the relationship between these constructs is not well understood and remains understudied in adolescence. The present study examined the relationship of rumination and depression to deficits in executive functions in early adolescence, a critical developmental period for the emergence of depression and rumination and the development of executive functions. Participants were 486 early adolescents (52.7% female; 47.1% African American, 48.8% Caucasian; 4.2% Biracial/Multiracial/Other; M age = 12.88 years; SD = .62) and their mothers, recruited through local schools. Measures included (a) a semi-structured diagnostic interview of the mother and adolescent, (b) youth self-report forms assessing depressive symptoms and trait rumination, (c) mother-report forms assessing demographic information, and (d) behavioral tests of executive function (sustained, selective and divided attention, attentional set shifting, and working memory). Gender moderated rumination-set shifting associations, such that rumination predicted better set shifting in boys only. The current level of depressive symptoms moderated rumination-sustained attention associations, such that rumination predicted better sustained attention in those with low levels of depressive symptoms and worse sustained attention in those with high levels of depressive symptoms. Rumination did not predict performance on other measures of executive functions. Likewise, depressive symptoms and diagnosis were not associated with executive functions. Implications for future research are discussed. PMID:24839132

  13. Trait rumination, depression, and executive functions in early adolescence.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Clara A; Alloy, Lauren B; Abramson, Lyn Y

    2015-01-01

    Although deficits in executive functions have been linked with both depression and rumination in adulthood, the nature of the relationship between these constructs is not well understood and remains understudied in adolescence. The present study examined the relationship of rumination and depression to deficits in executive functions in early adolescence, a critical developmental period for the emergence of depression and rumination and the development of executive functions. Participants were 486 early adolescents (52.7% female; 47.1% African American, 48.8% Caucasian; 4.2% Biracial/Multiracial/Other; M age = 12.88 years; SD = .62) and their mothers, recruited through local schools. Measures included (a) a semi-structured diagnostic interview of the mother and adolescent, (b) youth self-report forms assessing depressive symptoms and trait rumination, (c) mother-report forms assessing demographic information, and (d) behavioral tests of executive function (sustained, selective and divided attention, attentional set shifting, and working memory). Gender moderated rumination-set shifting associations, such that rumination predicted better set shifting in boys only. The current level of depressive symptoms moderated rumination-sustained attention associations, such that rumination predicted better sustained attention in those with low levels of depressive symptoms and worse sustained attention in those with high levels of depressive symptoms. Rumination did not predict performance on other measures of executive functions. Likewise, depressive symptoms and diagnosis were not associated with executive functions. Implications for future research are discussed.

  14. The meaning of functional trait composition of food webs for ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Gravel, Dominique; Albouy, Camille; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2016-05-19

    There is a growing interest in using trait-based approaches to characterize the functional structure of animal communities. Quantitative methods have been derived mostly for plant ecology, but it is now common to characterize the functional composition of various systems such as soils, coral reefs, pelagic food webs or terrestrial vertebrate communities. With the ever-increasing availability of distribution and trait data, a quantitative method to represent the different roles of animals in a community promise to find generalities that will facilitate cross-system comparisons. There is, however, currently no theory relating the functional composition of food webs to their dynamics and properties. The intuitive interpretation that more functional diversity leads to higher resource exploitation and better ecosystem functioning was brought from plant ecology and does not apply readily to food webs. Here we appraise whether there are interpretable metrics to describe the functional composition of food webs that could foster a better understanding of their structure and functioning. We first distinguish the various roles that traits have on food web topology, resource extraction (bottom-up effects), trophic regulation (top-down effects), and the ability to keep energy and materials within the community. We then discuss positive effects of functional trait diversity on food webs, such as niche construction and bottom-up effects. We follow with a discussion on the negative effects of functional diversity, such as enhanced competition (both exploitation and apparent) and top-down control. Our review reveals that most of our current understanding of the impact of functional trait diversity on food web properties and functioning comes from an over-simplistic representation of network structure with well-defined levels. We, therefore, conclude with propositions for new research avenues for both theoreticians and empiricists.

  15. The meaning of functional trait composition of food webs for ecosystem functioning

    PubMed Central

    Albouy, Camille

    2016-01-01

    There is a growing interest in using trait-based approaches to characterize the functional structure of animal communities. Quantitative methods have been derived mostly for plant ecology, but it is now common to characterize the functional composition of various systems such as soils, coral reefs, pelagic food webs or terrestrial vertebrate communities. With the ever-increasing availability of distribution and trait data, a quantitative method to represent the different roles of animals in a community promise to find generalities that will facilitate cross-system comparisons. There is, however, currently no theory relating the functional composition of food webs to their dynamics and properties. The intuitive interpretation that more functional diversity leads to higher resource exploitation and better ecosystem functioning was brought from plant ecology and does not apply readily to food webs. Here we appraise whether there are interpretable metrics to describe the functional composition of food webs that could foster a better understanding of their structure and functioning. We first distinguish the various roles that traits have on food web topology, resource extraction (bottom-up effects), trophic regulation (top-down effects), and the ability to keep energy and materials within the community. We then discuss positive effects of functional trait diversity on food webs, such as niche construction and bottom-up effects. We follow with a discussion on the negative effects of functional diversity, such as enhanced competition (both exploitation and apparent) and top-down control. Our review reveals that most of our current understanding of the impact of functional trait diversity on food web properties and functioning comes from an over-simplistic representation of network structure with well-defined levels. We, therefore, conclude with propositions for new research avenues for both theoreticians and empiricists. PMID:27114571

  16. Functional Traits in Parallel Evolutionary Radiations and Trait-Environment Associations in the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Nora; Moore, Timothy E; Mollmann, Hayley Kilroy; Carlson, Jane E; Mocko, Kerri; Martinez-Cabrera, Hugo; Adams, Christopher; Silander, John A; Jones, Cynthia S; Schlichting, Carl D; Holsinger, Kent E

    2015-04-01

    Evolutionary radiations with extreme levels of diversity present a unique opportunity to study the role of the environment in plant evolution. If environmental adaptation played an important role in such radiations, we expect to find associations between functional traits and key climatic variables. Similar trait-environment associations across clades may reflect common responses, while contradictory associations may suggest lineage-specific adaptations. Here, we explore trait-environment relationships in two evolutionary radiations in the fynbos biome of the highly biodiverse Cape Floristic Region (CFR) of South Africa. Protea and Pelargonium are morphologically and evolutionarily diverse genera that typify the CFR yet are substantially different in growth form and morphology. Our analytical approach employs a Bayesian multiple-response generalized linear mixed-effects model, taking into account covariation among traits and controlling for phylogenetic relationships. Of the pairwise trait-environment associations tested, 6 out of 24 were in the same direction and 2 out of 24 were in opposite directions, with the latter apparently reflecting alternative life-history strategies. These findings demonstrate that trait diversity within two plant lineages may reflect both parallel and idiosyncratic responses to the environment, rather than all taxa conforming to a global-scale pattern. Such insights are essential for understanding how trait-environment associations arise and how they influence species diversification.

  17. Inference of Longevity-Related Genes from a Robust Coexpression Network of Seed Maturation Identifies Regulators Linking Seed Storability to Biotic Defense-Related Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Righetti, Karima; Vu, Joseph Ly; Pelletier, Sandra; Vu, Benoit Ly; Glaab, Enrico; Lalanne, David; Pasha, Asher; Patel, Rohan V.; Provart, Nicholas J.; Verdier, Jerome; Leprince, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    Seed longevity, the maintenance of viability during storage, is a crucial factor for preservation of genetic resources and ensuring proper seedling establishment and high crop yield. We used a systems biology approach to identify key genes regulating the acquisition of longevity during seed maturation of Medicago truncatula. Using 104 transcriptomes from seed developmental time courses obtained in five growth environments, we generated a robust, stable coexpression network (MatNet), thereby capturing the conserved backbone of maturation. Using a trait-based gene significance measure, a coexpression module related to the acquisition of longevity was inferred from MatNet. Comparative analysis of the maturation processes in M. truncatula and Arabidopsis thaliana seeds and mining Arabidopsis interaction databases revealed conserved connectivity for 87% of longevity module nodes between both species. Arabidopsis mutant screening for longevity and maturation phenotypes demonstrated high predictive power of the longevity cross-species network. Overrepresentation analysis of the network nodes indicated biological functions related to defense, light, and auxin. Characterization of defense-related wrky3 and nf-x1-like1 (nfxl1) transcription factor mutants demonstrated that these genes regulate some of the network nodes and exhibit impaired acquisition of longevity during maturation. These data suggest that seed longevity evolved by co-opting existing genetic pathways regulating the activation of defense against pathogens. PMID:26410298

  18. Mitochondrial genomes and exceptional longevity in a Chinese population: the Rugao longevity study.

    PubMed

    Li, Lei; Zheng, Hong-Xiang; Liu, Zuyun; Qin, Zhendong; Chen, Fei; Qian, Degui; Xu, Jun; Jin, Li; Wang, Xiaofeng

    2015-02-01

    Genetic variants of whole mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) that predispose to exceptional longevity need to be systematically identified and appraised. Here, we conducted a case-control study with 237 exceptional longevity subjects (aged 95-107) and 444 control subjects (aged 40-69) randomly recruited from a "longevity town"-the city of Rugao in China-to investigate the effects of mtDNA variants on exceptional longevity. We sequenced the entire mtDNA genomes of the 681 subjects using a next-generation platform and employed a complete mtDNA phylogenetic analytical strategy. We identified T3394C as a candidate that counteracts longevity, and we observed a higher load of private nonsynonymous mutations in the COX1 gene predisposing to female longevity. Additionally, for the first time, we identified several variants and new subhaplogroups related to exceptional longevity. Our results provide new clues for genetic mechanisms of longevity and shed light on strategies for evaluating rare mitochondrial variants that underlie complex traits.

  19. Sugarcane Functional Genomics: Gene Discovery for Agronomic Trait Development

    PubMed Central

    Menossi, M.; Silva-Filho, M. C.; Vincentz, M.; Van-Sluys, M.-A.; Souza, G. M.

    2008-01-01

    Sugarcane is a highly productive crop used for centuries as the main source of sugar and recently to produce ethanol, a renewable bio-fuel energy source. There is increased interest in this crop due to the impending need to decrease fossil fuel usage. Sugarcane has a highly polyploid genome. Expressed sequence tag (EST) sequencing has significantly contributed to gene discovery and expression studies used to associate function with sugarcane genes. A significant amount of data exists on regulatory events controlling responses to herbivory, drought, and phosphate deficiency, which cause important constraints on yield and on endophytic bacteria, which are highly beneficial. The means to reduce drought, phosphate deficiency, and herbivory by the sugarcane borer have a negative impact on the environment. Improved tolerance for these constraints is being sought. Sugarcane's ability to accumulate sucrose up to 16% of its culm dry weight is a challenge for genetic manipulation. Genome-based technology such as cDNA microarray data indicates genes associated with sugar content that may be used to develop new varieties improved for sucrose content or for traits that restrict the expansion of the cultivated land. The genes can also be used as molecular markers of agronomic traits in traditional breeding programs. PMID:18273390

  20. Translational genomics for improving sow reproductive longevity

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Sow reproductive longevity is a composite trait that is expressed throughout life that depends on the potential of females to resume ovarian cyclicity, re-breed, and farrow multiple parities. Approximately 50% of sows are culled annually with more than one third due to poor fertility. Age at puberty...

  1. Quantitative Trait Loci Identify Functional Noncoding Variation in Cancer.

    PubMed

    Heyn, Holger

    2016-03-01

    The interpretation of noncoding alterations in cancer genomes presents an unresolved problem in cancer studies. While the impact of somatic variations in protein-coding regions is widely accepted, noncoding aberrations are mostly considered as passenger events. However, with the advance of genome-wide profiling strategies, alterations outside the coding context entered the focus, and multiple examples highlight the role of gene deregulation as cancer-driving events. This review describes the implication of noncoding alterations in oncogenesis and provides a theoretical framework for the identification of causal somatic variants using quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis. Assuming that functional noncoding alterations affect quantifiable regulatory processes, somatic QTL studies constitute a valuable strategy to pinpoint cancer gene deregulation. Eventually, the comprehensive identification and interpretation of coding and noncoding alterations will guide our future understanding of cancer biology.

  2. Linking Tropical Forest Function to Hydraulic Traits in a Size-Structured and Trait-Based Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christoffersen, B. O.; Gloor, E. U.; Fauset, S.; Fyllas, N.; Galbraith, D.; Baker, T. R.; Rowland, L.; Fisher, R.; Binks, O.; Mencuccini, M.; Malhi, Y.; Stahl, C.; Wagner, F. H.; Bonal, D.; da Costa, A. C. L.; Ferreira, L.; Meir, P.

    2014-12-01

    A major weakness of forest ecosystem models applied to Amazonia is their inability to capture the diversity of responses to changes in water availability commonly observed within and across forest communities, severely hampering efforts to predict the fate of Amazon forests under climate change. Such models often prescribe moisture sensitivity using heuristic response functions which are uniform across all individuals and lack important knowledge about trade-offs in hydraulic traits. We address this weakness by implementing a process representation of plant hydraulics into an individual- and trait-based model (Trait Forest Simulator; TFS) intended for application at discrete sites across Amazonia. The model represents a trade-off in the safety and efficiency of water conduction in xylem tissue through hydraulic traits, which then lead to variation in plant water use and growth dynamics. The model accounts for the buffering effects of leaf and stem capacitance on leaf water potential at short time scales, and cavitation-induced reductions in whole-plant conductance over longer periods of water stress. We explore multiple possible links between this hydraulic trait spectrum and other whole-plant traits, such as maximum photosynthetic capacity and wood density. The model is shown to greatly improve the diversity of tree response to seasonal changes in water availability as well as response to drought, as determined by comparison with sap flux and stem dendrometry measurements. Importantly, this individual- and trait-based framework provides a testbed for identifying both critical processes and functional traits needed for inclusion in coarse-scale Dynamic Global Vegetation Models, which will lead to reduced uncertainty in the future state of Amazon tropical forests.

  3. Association between the seminal plasma proteome and sperm functional traits.

    PubMed

    Intasqui, Paula; Camargo, Mariana; Antoniassi, Mariana Pereira; Cedenho, Agnaldo Pereira; Carvalho, Valdemir Melechco; Cardozo, Karina Helena Morais; Zylbersztejn, Daniel Suslik; Bertolla, Ricardo Pimenta

    2016-03-01

    To analyze the seminal plasma proteome and biological functions associated with sperm functional alterations. Cross-sectional study. University andrology and research laboratories. A total of 156 normozoospermic men. Sperm mitochondrial activity, acrosome integrity, and DNA fragmentation were evaluated in a semen aliquot. Remaining semen was centrifuged, and seminal plasma was utilized for proteomic analysis (liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry). Patients were divided into percentiles (15%) to form the following groups: substudy 1, high (control, n = 26) and low (study, n = 23) sperm mitochondrial activity; substudy 2, high (control, n = 23) and low (study, n = 22) sperm acrosome integrity; and substudy 3, low (control, n = 22) and high (study, n = 22) sperm DNA fragmentation. Groups were compared using univariate and multivariate analyses. Differentially expressed proteins were used for functional enrichment analysis. Seminal plasma proteome and postgenomic pathways are associated with several sperm functional traits. In total, 506, 493, and 464 proteins were observed in substudies 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Enriched functions in substudy 1 were intramolecular oxidoreductase activity, aminoglycans catabolism, endopeptidases inhibition, lysosomes, and acute-phase response (study group). In substudy 2, main enriched functions were phospholipase inhibition, arachidonic acid metabolism, exocytosis, regulation of acute inflammation, response to hydrogen peroxide, and lysosomal transport (study group). In substudy 3, enriched functions were prostaglandin biosynthesis and fatty acid binding (study group). We proposed eight, six, and eight seminal biomarkers for substudies 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Seminal plasma proteome reflects sperm mitochondrial activity reduction, acrosome damage, and DNA fragmentation, with several postgenomic functions related to these alterations. Copyright © 2016 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc

  4. Confronting species distribution model predictions with species functional traits.

    PubMed

    Wittmann, Marion E; Barnes, Matthew A; Jerde, Christopher L; Jones, Lisa A; Lodge, David M

    2016-02-01

    Species distribution models are valuable tools in studies of biogeography, ecology, and climate change and have been used to inform conservation and ecosystem management. However, species distribution models typically incorporate only climatic variables and species presence data. Model development or validation rarely considers functional components of species traits or other types of biological data. We implemented a species distribution model (Maxent) to predict global climate habitat suitability for Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). We then tested the relationship between the degree of climate habitat suitability predicted by Maxent and the individual growth rates of both wild (N = 17) and stocked (N = 51) Grass Carp populations using correlation analysis. The Grass Carp Maxent model accurately reflected the global occurrence data (AUC = 0.904). Observations of Grass Carp growth rate covered six continents and ranged from 0.19 to 20.1 g day(-1). Species distribution model predictions were correlated (r = 0.5, 95% CI (0.03, 0.79)) with observed growth rates for wild Grass Carp populations but were not correlated (r = -0.26, 95% CI (-0.5, 0.012)) with stocked populations. Further, a review of the literature indicates that the few studies for other species that have previously assessed the relationship between the degree of predicted climate habitat suitability and species functional traits have also discovered significant relationships. Thus, species distribution models may provide inferences beyond just where a species may occur, providing a useful tool to understand the linkage between species distributions and underlying biological mechanisms.

  5. Lower circulating insulin-like growth factor-I is associated with better cognition in females with exceptional Longevity without compromise to muscle mass and function

    PubMed Central

    Perice, Leland; Barzilai, Nir; Verghese, Joe; Weiss, Erica F.; Holtzer, Roee; Cohen, Pinchas; Milman, Sofiya

    2016-01-01

    Mutations that reduce somatotropic signaling result in improved lifespan and health-span in model organisms and humans. However, whether reduced circulating insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) level is detrimental to cognitive and muscle function in older adults remains understudied. A cross-sectional analysis was performed in Ashkenazi Jews with exceptional longevity (age ≥95 years). Cognition was assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination and muscle function with the chair rise test, grip-strength, and gait speed. Muscle mass was estimated using the skeletal muscle index. Serum IGF-I was measured with liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. In gender stratified age-adjusted logistic regression analysis, females with IGF-I levels in the first tertile had lower odds of being cognitively impaired compared to females with IGF-I levels within the upper two tertiles, OR (95% CI) 0.39 (0.19-0.82). The result remained significant after adjustment for multiple parameters. No significant association was identified in males between IGF-I and cognition. No relationship was found between IGF-I tertiles and muscle function and muscle mass in females or males. Lower circulating IGF-I is associated with better cognitive function in females with exceptional longevity, with no detriment to skeletal muscle mass and function. PMID:27744417

  6. Mitochondrial-Nuclear Epistasis: Implications for Human Aging and Longevity

    PubMed Central

    Tranah, Gregory

    2010-01-01

    There is substantial evidence that mitochondria are involved in the aging process. Mitochondrial function requires the coordinated expression of hundreds of nuclear genes and a few dozen mitochondrial genes, many of which have been associated with either extended or shortened life span. Impaired mitochondrial function resulting from mtDNA and nuclear DNA variation is likely to contribute to an imbalance in cellular energy homeostasis, increased vulnerability to oxidative stress, and an increased rate of cellular senescence and aging. The complex genetic architecture of mitochondria suggests that there may be an equally complex set of gene interactions (epistases) involving genetic variation in the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. Results from Drosophila suggest that the effects of mtDNA haplotypes on longevity vary among different nuclear allelic backgrounds, which could account for the inconsistent associations that have been observed between mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups and survival in humans. A diversity of pathways may influence the way mitochondria and nuclear – mitochondrial interactions modulate longevity, including: oxidative phosphorylation; mitochondrial uncoupling; antioxidant defenses; mitochondrial fission and fusion; and sirtuin regulation of mitochondrial genes. We hypothesize that aging and longevity, as complex traits having a significant genetic component, are likely to be controlled by nuclear gene variants interacting with both inherited and somatic mtDNA variability. PMID:20601194

  7. Morphological Traits of Two Seed-Feeding Beetle Species and the Relationship to Resource Traits.

    PubMed

    Maia, L F; Tuller, J; Faria, L D B

    2017-02-01

    Morphological traits are useful to investigate insect sex-related differences in body size and to reveal differences in resource use. It has been suggested that as the resource increases, so does the body size of organisms interacting with the resource, highlighting the crucial role of resource quality and quantity in determining the morphological traits of organisms interacting with the resource. Here, we describe morphological traits of two species of Bruchinae, Merobruchus terani (Kingsolver 1980) and Stator maculatopygus (Pic 1930), consuming seeds of Senegalia tenuifolia (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae). We evaluated the influence of monthly sample and sampling sites on tibia and femur length and biomass. In addition, we tested two predictions in which body size related to resource amount and body size related to longevity. Males of M. terani were heavier than females, whereas the two sexes of S. maculatopygus did not differ in biomass. Both species had larger body sizes in the late ripe-fruit stage. With respect to sampling sites, biomass of M. terani did not differ, whereas S. maculatopygus did differ in biomass. Merobruchus terani showed a positive relationship with seed traits, whereas S. maculatopygus showed no relationship. At the same time, fruit traits showed a negative effect on morphological traits for both beetle species. The longevity experiment, performed using only M. terani, showed an equal longevity and seed consumption rate for both sexes. Our study indicates that different species, interacting in the same system and performing similar functional behaviors, respond differently to the same resource.

  8. Remote Sensing of plant functional types: Relative importance of biochemical and structural plant traits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kattenborn, Teja; Schmidtlein, Sebastian

    2017-04-01

    Monitoring ecosystems is a key priority in order to understand vegetation patterns, underlying resource cycles and changes their off. Driven by biotic and abiotic factors, plant species within an ecosystem are likely to share similar structural, physiological or phenological traits and can therefore be grouped into plant functional types (PFT). It can be assumed that plants which share similar traits also share similar optical characteristics. Therefore optical remote sensing was identified as a valuable tool for differentiating PFT. Although several authors list structural and biochemical plant traits which are important for differentiating PFT using hyperspectral remote sensing, there is no quantitative or qualitative information on the relative importance of these traits. Thus, little is known about the explicit role of plant traits for an optical discrimination of PFT. One of the main reasons for this is that various optical traits affect the same wavelength regions and it is therefore difficult to isolate the discriminative power of a single trait. A way to determine the effect of single plant traits on the optical reflectance of plant canopies is given by radiative transfer models. The most established radiative transfer model is PROSAIL, which incorporates biochemical and structural plant traits, such as pigment contents or leaf area index. In the present study 25 grassland species of different PFT were cultivated and traits relevant for PROSAIL were measured for the entire vegetation season of 2016. The information content of each trait for differentiating PFTs was determined by applying a Multi-response Permutation Procedure on the actual traits, as well as on simulated canopy spectra derived from PROSAIL. According to our results some traits, especially biochemical traits, show a weaker separability of PFT on a spectral level than compared to the actual trait measurements. Overall structural traits (leaf angle and leaf area index) are more important for

  9. Metabolism, longevity and epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Cosentino, Claudia; Mostoslavsky, Raul

    2013-05-01

    Metabolic homeostasis and interventions that influence nutrient uptake are well-established means to influence lifespan even in higher eukaryotes. Until recently, the molecular mechanisms explaining such an effect remained scantily understood. Sirtuins are a group of protein deacetylases that depend on the metabolic intermediate NAD(+) as a cofactor for their function. For this reason they sense metabolic stress and in turn function at multiple levels to exert proper metabolic adaptation. Among other things, sirtuins can perform as histone deacetylases inducing epigenetic changes to modulate transcription and DNA repair. Recent studies have indicated that beyond sirtuins, the activity of other chromatin modifiers, such as histone acetyl transferases, might also be tightly linked to the availability of their intermediate metabolite acetyl-CoA. We summarize current knowledge of the emerging concepts indicating close crosstalk between the epigenetic machineries able to sense metabolic stress, their adaptive metabolic responses and their potential role in longevity.

  10. Plant functional traits with particular reference to tropical deciduous forests: a review.

    PubMed

    Chaturvedi, R K; Raghubanshi, A S; Singh, J S

    2011-12-01

    Functional traits (FTs) integrate the ecological and evolutionary history of a species, and can potentially be used to predict its response as well as its influence on ecosystem functioning. Study of inter-specific variation in the FTs of plants aids in classifying species into plant functional types (PFTs) and provides insights into fundamental patterns and trade-offs in plant form and functioning and the effect of changing species composition on ecosystem functions. Specifically, this paper focuses on those FTs that make a species successful in the dry tropical environment. Following a brief overview, we discuss plant FTs that may be particularly relevant to tropical deciduous forests (TDFs). We consider the traits under the following categories: leaf traits, stem and root traits, reproductive traits, and traits particularly relevant to water availability. We compile quantitative information on functional traits of dry tropical forest species. We also discuss trait-based grouping of plants into PFTs. We recognize that there is incomplete knowledge about many FTs and their effects on TDFs and point out the need for further research on PFTs of TDF species, which can enable prediction of the dynamics of these forests in the face of disturbance and global climate change. Correlations between structural and ecophysiological traits and ecosystem functioning should also be established which could make it possible to generate predictions of changes in ecosystem services from changes in functional composition.

  11. Associations between STR autosomal markers and longevity.

    PubMed

    Bediaga, N G; Aznar, J M; Elcoroaristizabal, X; Albóniga, O; Gómez-Busto, F; Artaza Artabe, I; Rocandio, Ana; de Pancorbo, M M

    2015-10-01

    Life span is a complex and multifactorial trait, which is shaped by genetic, epigenetic, environmental, and stochastic factors. The possibility that highly hypervariable short tandem repeats (STRs) associated with longevity has been largely explored by comparing the genotypic pools of long lived and younger individuals, but results so far have been contradictory. In view of these contradictory findings, the present study aims to investigate whether HUMTHO1 and HUMCSF1PO STRs, previously associated with longevity, exert a role as a modulator of life expectancy, as well as to assess the extent to which other autosomal STR markers are associated with human longevity in population from northern Spain. To that end, 21 autosomal microsatellite markers have been studied in 304 nonagenarian individuals (more than 90 years old) and 516 younger controls of European descent. Our results do not confirm the association found in previous studies between longevity and THO1 and CSF1PO loci. However, significant association between longevity and autosomal STR markers D12S391, D22S1045, and DS441 was observed. Even more, when we compared allelic frequency distribution of the 21 STR markers between cases and controls, we found that 6 out of the 21 STRs studied showed different allelic frequencies, thus suggesting that the genomic portrait of the human longevity is far complex and probably shaped by a high number of genomic loci.

  12. Trait choice profoundly affected the ecological conclusions drawn from functional diversity measures.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Linhai; Fu, Bojie; Zhu, Huoxing; Wang, Cong; Jiao, Lei; Zhou, Ji

    2017-06-16

    Although trait choice is crucial to quantify functional diversity appropriately, the quantitative methods for it are rarely compared and discussed. Meanwhile, very little is known about how trait choice affects ecological conclusions drawn from functional diversity measures. We presented the four methods of trait selection as alternatives to the ordination axis-based method, which directly identify a subset of key traits to represent the main variation of all the traits. To evaluate their performance, we compared the closeness of association obtained by different methods between species richness and functional diversity indices (FAD, FD, Q, FDis) in the six ecosystems. The evaluation was also benchmarked against the results obtained by calculating the possible indices using all the trait combinations (the complete search method). We found that the trait selection methods were potential alternatives to axis-based method to gain a mechanistic understanding of functional responses and effects of traits, while these methods as well as the axis-based method possibly use mismatched information to interpret the investigated ecosystem properties. Trait choice profoundly affected the ecological conclusions drawn from functional diversity measures. The complete search method should be used to assess the rationale of different trait choice methods and the quality of the calculated indices.

  13. Phytoplankton traits predict ecosystem function in a global set of lakes.

    PubMed

    Zwart, Jacob A; Solomon, Christopher T; Jones, Stuart E

    2015-08-01

    Predicting ecosystem function from environmental conditions is a central goal of ecosystem ecology. However, many traditional ecosystem models are tailored for specific regions or ecosystem types, requiring several regional models to predict the same function. Alternatively, trait-based approaches have been effectively used to predict community structure in both terrestrial and aquatic environments and ecosystem function in a limited number of terrestrial examples. Here, we test the efficacy of a trait-based model in predicting gross primary production (GPP) in lake ecosystems. We incorporated data from >1000 United States lakes along with laboratory-generated phytoplankton trait data to build a trait-based model of GPP and then validated the model with GPP observations from a separate set of globally distributed lakes. The trait-based model performed as well as or outperformed two ecosystem models both spatially and temporally, demonstrating the efficacy of trait-based models for predicting ecosystem function over a range of environmental conditions.

  14. Functional capacity and fertilizing longevity of frozen-thawed scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah) spermatozoa in a heterologous in vitro fertilization system.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, J K; Roth, T L

    2000-01-01

    This study was conducted to determine if cryopreservation and thawing reduces the quality of scimitar-horned oryx spermatozoa and thus might be responsible for sub-optimal artificial insemination (Al) efficiency. Functional capacity of frozen thawed oryx spermatozoa was compared in a heterologous bovine in vitro fertilization (IVF) system after being prepared by four methods. Fertilizing longevity was also assessed after thawing and pre-incubating spermatozoa for 12 or 24 h before IVF. Sperm characteristics (viability, morphology, acrosomal and capacitation status) were superior for samples prepared by Percoll centrifugation and standard swim-up compared with microdrop swim-up and wash methods. Regardless of variation in sperm characteristics over time, fertilization success and embryo development were high and did not differ among treatments. Fertilization and cleavage success for spermatozoa pre-incubated for 12 h before IVF were comparable with that achieved with non-incubated spermatozoa. Even 24 h after thawing, spermatozoa were capable of fertilizing oocytes, but percentage fertilization and embryo cleavage were significantly lower than for spermatozoa pre-incubated for 12 h. Overall, functional capacity of oryx spermatozoa after thawing appears comparable with that of domestic bull spermatozoa. When used for Al, frozen-thawed oryx spermatozoa should be capable of fertilizing oocytes in females ovulating 12 or even 24 h after insemination, providing sperm transport mechanisms are adequate. The functional capacity and fertilizing longevity of oryx sperm after thawing is high, and therefore unlikely to be responsible for decreased Al efficiency in the scimitar-horned oryx.

  15. Fish functional traits correlated with environmental variables in a temperate biodiversity hotspot.

    PubMed

    Keck, Benjamin P; Marion, Zachary H; Martin, Derek J; Kaufman, Jason C; Harden, Carol P; Schwartz, John S; Strange, Richard J

    2014-01-01

    The global biodiversity crisis has invigorated the search for generalized patterns in most disciplines within the natural sciences. Studies based on organismal functional traits attempt to broaden implications of results by identifying the response of functional traits, instead of taxonomic units, to environmental variables. Determining the functional trait responses enables more direct comparisons with, or predictions for, communities of different taxonomic composition. The North American freshwater fish fauna is both diverse and increasingly imperiled through human mediated disturbances, including climate change. The Tennessee River, USA, contains one of the most diverse assemblages of freshwater fish in North America and has more imperiled species than other rivers, but there has been no trait-based study of community structure in the system. We identified 211 localities in the upper Tennessee River that were sampled by the Tennessee Valley Authority between 2009 and 2011 and compiled fish functional traits for the observed species and environmental variables for each locality. Using fourth corner analysis, we identified significant correlations between many fish functional traits and environmental variables. Functional traits associated with an opportunistic life history strategy were correlated with localities subject to greater land use disturbance and less flow regulation, while functional traits associated with a periodic life history strategy were correlated with localities subject to regular disturbance and regulated flow. These are patterns observed at the continental scale, highlighting the generalizability of trait-based methods. Contrary to studies that found no community structure differences when considering riparian buffer zones, we found that fish functional traits were correlated with different environmental variables between analyses with buffer zones vs. entire catchment area land cover proportions. Using existing databases and fourth corner

  16. Fish Functional Traits Correlated with Environmental Variables in a Temperate Biodiversity Hotspot

    PubMed Central

    Keck, Benjamin P.; Marion, Zachary H.; Martin, Derek J.; Kaufman, Jason C.; Harden, Carol P.; Schwartz, John S.; Strange, Richard J.

    2014-01-01

    The global biodiversity crisis has invigorated the search for generalized patterns in most disciplines within the natural sciences. Studies based on organismal functional traits attempt to broaden implications of results by identifying the response of functional traits, instead of taxonomic units, to environmental variables. Determining the functional trait responses enables more direct comparisons with, or predictions for, communities of different taxonomic composition. The North American freshwater fish fauna is both diverse and increasingly imperiled through human mediated disturbances, including climate change. The Tennessee River, USA, contains one of the most diverse assemblages of freshwater fish in North America and has more imperiled species than other rivers, but there has been no trait-based study of community structure in the system. We identified 211 localities in the upper Tennessee River that were sampled by the Tennessee Valley Authority between 2009 and 2011 and compiled fish functional traits for the observed species and environmental variables for each locality. Using fourth corner analysis, we identified significant correlations between many fish functional traits and environmental variables. Functional traits associated with an opportunistic life history strategy were correlated with localities subject to greater land use disturbance and less flow regulation, while functional traits associated with a periodic life history strategy were correlated with localities subject to regular disturbance and regulated flow. These are patterns observed at the continental scale, highlighting the generalizability of trait-based methods. Contrary to studies that found no community structure differences when considering riparian buffer zones, we found that fish functional traits were correlated with different environmental variables between analyses with buffer zones vs. entire catchment area land cover proportions. Using existing databases and fourth corner

  17. Differences in forest plant functional trait distributions across land-use and productivity gradients.

    PubMed

    Mayfield, Margaret M; Dwyer, John M; Chalmandrier, Loïc; Wells, Jessie A; Bonser, Stephen P; Catterall, Carla P; DeClerck, Fabrice; Ding, Yi; Fraterrigo, Jennifer M; Metcalfe, Daniel J; Queiroz, Cibele; Vesk, Peter A; Morgan, John W

    2013-07-01

    Plant functional traits are commonly used as proxies for plant responses to environmental challenges, yet few studies have explored how functional trait distributions differ across gradients of land-use change. By comparing trait distributions in intact forests with those across land-use change gradients, we can improve our understanding of the ways land-use change alters the diversity and functioning of plant communities. We examined how the variation and distribution of trait values for seven plant functional traits differ between reference natural forest and three types of land-use conversion (pasture, old-field, or "legacy" sites-regrowth following logging), landscape productivity (NPP) and vegetation strata (tree or non-tree "understory"), in a meta-analysis of studies from 15 landscapes across five continents. Although trait variation often differed between land-uses within a landscape, these patterns were rarely consistent across landscapes. The variance and distribution of traits were more likely to differ consistently between natural forest and land-use conversion categories for understory (non-tree) plants than for trees. Landscape productivity did not significantly alter the difference in trait variance between natural forest and land-use conversion categories for any trait except dispersal. Our results suggest that even for traits well linked to plant environmental response strategies, broad classes of land-use change and landscape productivity are not generally useful indicators of the mechanisms driving compositional changes in human-modified forest systems.

  18. Dauer-independent insulin/IGF-1-signalling implicates collagen remodelling in longevity.

    PubMed

    Ewald, Collin Y; Landis, Jess N; Porter Abate, Jess; Murphy, Coleen T; Blackwell, T Keith

    2015-03-05

    Interventions that delay ageing mobilize mechanisms that protect and repair cellular components, but it is unknown how these interventions might slow the functional decline of extracellular matrices, which are also damaged during ageing. Reduced insulin/IGF-1 signalling (rIIS) extends lifespan across the evolutionary spectrum, and in juvenile Caenorhabditis elegans also allows the transcription factor DAF-16/FOXO to induce development into dauer, a diapause that withstands harsh conditions. It has been suggested that rIIS delays C. elegans ageing through activation of dauer-related processes during adulthood, but some rIIS conditions confer robust lifespan extension unaccompanied by any dauer-like traits. Here we show that rIIS can promote C. elegans longevity through a program that is genetically distinct from the dauer pathway, and requires the Nrf (NF-E2-related factor) orthologue SKN-1 acting in parallel to DAF-16. SKN-1 is inhibited by IIS and has been broadly implicated in longevity, but is rendered dispensable for rIIS lifespan extension by even mild activity of dauer-related processes. When IIS is decreased under conditions that do not induce dauer traits, SKN-1 most prominently increases expression of collagens and other extracellular matrix genes. Diverse genetic, nutritional, and pharmacological pro-longevity interventions delay an age-related decline in collagen expression. These collagens mediate adulthood extracellular matrix remodelling, and are needed for ageing to be delayed by interventions that do not involve dauer traits. By genetically delineating a dauer-independent rIIS ageing pathway, our results show that IIS controls a broad set of protective mechanisms during C. elegans adulthood, and may facilitate elucidation of processes of general importance for longevity. The importance of collagen production in diverse anti-ageing interventions implies that extracellular matrix remodelling is a generally essential signature of longevity assurance

  19. Resting-state functional connectivity predicts longitudinal change in autistic traits and adaptive functioning in autism.

    PubMed

    Plitt, Mark; Barnes, Kelly Anne; Wallace, Gregory L; Kenworthy, Lauren; Martin, Alex

    2015-12-01

    Although typically identified in early childhood, the social communication symptoms and adaptive behavior deficits that are characteristic of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) persist throughout the lifespan. Despite this persistence, even individuals without cooccurring intellectual disability show substantial heterogeneity in outcomes. Previous studies have found various behavioral assessments [such as intelligence quotient (IQ), early language ability, and baseline autistic traits and adaptive behavior scores] to be predictive of outcome, but most of the variance in functioning remains unexplained by such factors. In this study, we investigated to what extent functional brain connectivity measures obtained from resting-state functional connectivity MRI (rs-fcMRI) could predict the variance left unexplained by age and behavior (follow-up latency and baseline autistic traits and adaptive behavior scores) in two measures of outcome--adaptive behaviors and autistic traits at least 1 y postscan (mean follow-up latency = 2 y, 10 mo). We found that connectivity involving the so-called salience network (SN), default-mode network (DMN), and frontoparietal task control network (FPTCN) was highly predictive of future autistic traits and the change in autistic traits and adaptive behavior over the same time period. Furthermore, functional connectivity involving the SN, which is predominantly composed of the anterior insula and the dorsal anterior cingulate, predicted reliable improvement in adaptive behaviors with 100% sensitivity and 70.59% precision. From rs-fcMRI data, our study successfully predicted heterogeneity in outcomes for individuals with ASD that was unaccounted for by simple behavioral metrics and provides unique evidence for networks underlying long-term symptom abatement.

  20. Resting-state functional connectivity predicts longitudinal change in autistic traits and adaptive functioning in autism

    PubMed Central

    Plitt, Mark; Barnes, Kelly Anne; Wallace, Gregory L.; Kenworthy, Lauren; Martin, Alex

    2015-01-01

    Although typically identified in early childhood, the social communication symptoms and adaptive behavior deficits that are characteristic of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) persist throughout the lifespan. Despite this persistence, even individuals without cooccurring intellectual disability show substantial heterogeneity in outcomes. Previous studies have found various behavioral assessments [such as intelligence quotient (IQ), early language ability, and baseline autistic traits and adaptive behavior scores] to be predictive of outcome, but most of the variance in functioning remains unexplained by such factors. In this study, we investigated to what extent functional brain connectivity measures obtained from resting-state functional connectivity MRI (rs-fcMRI) could predict the variance left unexplained by age and behavior (follow-up latency and baseline autistic traits and adaptive behavior scores) in two measures of outcome—adaptive behaviors and autistic traits at least 1 y postscan (mean follow-up latency = 2 y, 10 mo). We found that connectivity involving the so-called salience network (SN), default-mode network (DMN), and frontoparietal task control network (FPTCN) was highly predictive of future autistic traits and the change in autistic traits and adaptive behavior over the same time period. Furthermore, functional connectivity involving the SN, which is predominantly composed of the anterior insula and the dorsal anterior cingulate, predicted reliable improvement in adaptive behaviors with 100% sensitivity and 70.59% precision. From rs-fcMRI data, our study successfully predicted heterogeneity in outcomes for individuals with ASD that was unaccounted for by simple behavioral metrics and provides unique evidence for networks underlying long-term symptom abatement. PMID:26627261

  1. Invited review: overview of new traits and phenotyping strategies in dairy cattle with a focus on functional traits

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    For several decades, breeding goals in dairy cattle focused on increased milk production. However, many functional traits have negative genetic correlations with milk yield and reductions in genetic merit for health and fitness have been observed. Herd management has been challenged to compensate fo...

  2. Long term in-vitro functional stability and recording longevity of fully integrated wireless neural interfaces based on Utah Slant Electrode Array (USEA)

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Asha; Rieth, Loren; Tathireddy, Prashant; Harrison, Reid; Oppermann, Hermann; Klein, Matthias; Töpper, Michael; Jung, Erik; Normann, Richard; Clark, Gregory; Solzbacher, Florian

    2011-01-01

    We evaluate the encapsulation and packaging reliability of fully integrated wireless neural interface based on Utah Slant Electrode Array/integrated neural interface-recording version 5 (USEA/INI-R5) system by monitoring the long term in-vitro functional stability and recording longevity. The integrated neural interface (INI) encapsulated with 6 μm Parylene-C was immersed in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) for a period of over 276 days (with the monitoring of the functional device still ongoing). The full functionality (wireless radio-frequency power, command and signal transmission) and the ability of the electrodes to record artificial neural signals even after 276 days of PBS soaking with little change (within 14%) in signal/noise amplitude constitutes a major milestone in long term stability, and allows to study and evaluate the encapsulation reliability, functional stability, and its potential usefulness for wireless neural interface for future chronic implants. PMID:21775785

  3. Evaluating the Importance of Plant Functional Traits: the Subalpine and Alpine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez, A.; Smith, W. K.

    2011-12-01

    Over the past several decades, researchers have attempted to characterize plant groups according to traits that are considered functional, i.e. contributing significantly to fitness. Due to the complexity of measuring fitness, the capability for photosynthetic carbon gain is often used as a proxy. Thus, this approach correlates structural differences to photosynthetic performance, especially those differences that are known to be associated with photosynthesis, are easily measured and inexpensive. At the often sharp boundary between the subalpine forest and alpine community (treeline ecotone), plant structural traits change dramatically, i.e. tall evergreen trees give way abruptly to low-stature shrubs, grasses, forbs, and herbs. Yet, the differences in functional traits, so abundant in the literature for a variety of species and communities, have not been compared contiguous communities such as the subalpine forest and alpine. Can differences in functional traits already identified in the literature also be used to characterize species of these two contrasting communities? Or are there other traits that are most functional and/or, possibly, unique to each community and not the most popular traits reported so far in the literature. Also, does the community structure itself help determine functional traits? For example, the top ten most frequently studied traits (145 total papers from approximately 63 different refereed journals) considered functional include the following (% of the 145 publications): specific leaf area or mass (SLA or SLM 39%), plant height (36%), leaf nitrogen content (34%), leaf size (19%), leaf area (16%), leaf photosynthetic performance (15%), leaf dry matter content (LDMC 15%), leaf mass per unit leaf area (LMA 15%), leaf thickness (15%), and seed mass (14%). In addition, another 120 traits were mentioned as functional, although all fell below a 14% citation rate. Particular focus was placed on this group due to the possibility that they might

  4. Functional traits explain phytoplankton community structure and seasonal dynamics in a marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Kyle F; Litchman, Elena; Klausmeier, Christopher A

    2013-01-01

    A fundamental yet elusive goal of ecology is to predict the structure of communities from the environmental conditions they experience. Trait-based approaches to terrestrial plant communities have shown that functional traits can help reveal the mechanisms underlying community assembly, but such approaches have not been tested on the microbes that dominate ecosystem processes in the ocean. Here, we test whether functional traits can explain community responses to seasonal environmental fluctuation, using a time series of the phytoplankton of the English Channel. We show that interspecific variation in response to major limiting resources, light and nitrate, can be well-predicted by lab-measured traits characterising light utilisation, nitrate utilisation and maximum growth rate. As these relationships were predicted a priori, using independently measured traits, our results show that functional traits provide a strong mechanistic foundation for understanding the structure and dynamics of ecological communities.

  5. Plant geography upon the basis of functional traits: an example from eastern North American trees.

    PubMed

    Swenson, Nathan G; Weiser, Michael D

    2010-08-01

    Plant geographers have sought for decades to describe and predict the geographic distribution of vegetation types on the basis of plant function and its relationship with the abiotic environment. Traditionally this has been accomplished using categorical representations such as plant functional types. Increasingly, plant functional ecologists have sought to refine categorical functional types via quantitative functional traits in order to understand the ecological implications of trade-offs in plant form and function. Fewer works have focused upon testing whether commonly measured functional traits enhance our understanding of plant biogeography broadly and the geographic distribution of vegetation types in particular. Here we combine a continental-scale forest inventory data set containing 18 111 plots with a plant functional trait data set to ask: (1) Is there a strong relationship between the abiotic environment and the distribution of functional trait values in forest inventory plots? And (2) can different Holdridge life zones be distinguished upon the basis of their functional trait distributions? The results show geographic patterns of functional trait distributions that are often strongly correlated with climate and also show that the Holdridge life zones in the study area can be differentiated using a combination of functional traits.

  6. Prediction of C. elegans Longevity Genes by Human and Worm Longevity Networks

    PubMed Central

    de Magalhães, João Pedro; Ruvkun, Gary; Fraifeld, Vadim E.; Curran, Sean P.

    2012-01-01

    Intricate and interconnected pathways modulate longevity, but screens to identify the components of these pathways have not been saturating. Because biological processes are often executed by protein complexes and fine-tuned by regulatory factors, the first-order protein-protein interactors of known longevity genes are likely to participate in the regulation of longevity. Data-rich maps of protein interactions have been established for many cardinal organisms such as yeast, worms, and humans. We propose that these interaction maps could be mined for the identification of new putative regulators of longevity. For this purpose, we have constructed longevity networks in both humans and worms. We reasoned that the essential first-order interactors of known longevity-associated genes in these networks are more likely to have longevity phenotypes than randomly chosen genes. We have used C. elegans to determine whether post-developmental inactivation of these essential genes modulates lifespan. Our results suggest that the worm and human longevity networks are functionally relevant and possess a high predictive power for identifying new longevity regulators. PMID:23144747

  7. Loco signaling pathway in longevity.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yuh-Ru; Parikh, Hardik; Park, Yongkyu

    2011-05-01

    Despite the various roles of regulator of G protein signaling (RGS) protein in the G protein signaling pathway that have been defined, the function of RGS has not been characterized in longevity signaling pathways. We found that reduced expression of Loco, a Drosophila RGS protein, resulted in a longer lifespan of flies with stronger resistance to stress, higher MnSOD activity and increased fat content. In contrast, overexpression of the loco gene shortened the fly lifespan significantly, lowered stress resistance and reduced fat content, also indicating that the RGS domain containing GTPase-activating protein (GAP) activity is related to the regulation of longevity. Interestingly, expressional changes of yeast RGS2 and rat RGS14, homologs to the fly Loco, also affected oxidative stress resistance and longevity in the respective species. It is known that Loco inactivates inhibitory Gαi•GTP protein to reduce activity of adenylate cyclase (AC) and RGS14 interacts with activated H-Ras and Raf-1 kinases, which subsequently inhibits ERK phosphorylation. We propose that Loco/RGS14 protein may regulate stress resistance and longevity as an activator in AC-cAMP-PKA pathway and/or as a molecular scaffold that sequesters active Ras and Raf from Ras•GTP-Raf-MEK-ERK signaling pathway. Consistently, our data showed that downregulation of Loco significantly diminishes cAMP amounts and increases p-ERK levels with higher resistance to the oxidative stress.

  8. Scaling root processes based on plant functional traits (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eissenstat, D. M.; McCormack, M. L.; Gaines, K.; Adams, T.

    2013-12-01

    There are great challenges to scaling root processes as variation across species and variation of a particular species over different spatial and temporal scales is poorly understood. We have examined tree species variation using multispecies plantings, often referred to by ecologists as 'common gardens'. Choosing species with wide variation in growth rate, root morphology (diameter, branching intensity) and root chemistry (root N and Ca concentration), we found that variation in root lifespan was well correlated with plant functional traits across 12 species. There was also evidence that localized liquid N addition could increase root lifespan and localized water addition diminished root lifespan over untreated controls, with effects strongest in the species of finest root diameter. In an adjacent forest, we have also seen tree species variation in apparent depth of rooting using water isotopes. In particular species of wood anatomy that was ring porous (e.g. oaks) typically had the deepest rooting depth, whereas those that had either diffuse-porous sapwood (maples) or tracheid sapwood (pines) were shallower rooted. These differences in rooting depth were related to sap flux of trees during and immediately after periods of drought. The extent that the patterns observed in central Pennsylvania are modulated by environment or indicative of other plant species will be discussed.

  9. Redefining plant functional types for forests based on plant traits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, L.; Xu, C.; Christoffersen, B. O.; McDowell, N. G.; Zhou, H.

    2016-12-01

    Our ability to predict forest mortality is limited by the simple plant functional types (PFTs) in current generations of Earth System models (ESMs). For example, forests were formerly separated into PFTs only based on leaf form and phenology across different regions (arctic, temperate, and tropic areas) in the Community Earth System Model (CESM). This definition of PFTs ignored the large variation in vulnerability of species to drought and shade tolerance within each PFT. We redefined the PFTs for global forests based on plant traits including phenology, wood density, leaf mass per area, xylem-specific conductivity, and xylem pressure at 50% loss of conductivity. Species with similar survival strategies were grouped into the same PFT. New PFTs highlighted variation in vulnerability and physiological adaptation to drought and shade. New PFTs were better clustered than old ones in the two-dimensional plane of the first two principle components in a principle component analysis. We expect that the new PFTs will strengthen ESMs' ability on predicting drought-induced mortality in the future.

  10. Distribution of functional traits in subtropical trees across environmental and forest use gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blundo, Cecilia; Malizia, Lucio R.; González-Espinosa, Mario

    2015-11-01

    The relationship between functional traits and environmental factors contribute to understanding community structure and predicting which species will be able to elude environmental filters in different habitats. We selected 10 functional traits related to morphology, demography and regeneration niche in 54 subtropical premontane tree species to describe their main axes of functional differentiation. We derived species traits, environmental variables and species abundance data from 20 1-ha permanent plots established in a seasonal subtropical premontane forest in northwestern Argentina. We analyzed the relationship between species functional traits and environmental factors through RLQ and fourth-corner analyzes. We found an axis of structural differentiation that segregates understory from canopy species, and an axis of functional differentiation that segregates species that maximize resource acquisition from those that promote resource conservation. Environmental and forest use gradients operate hierarchically over subtropical premontane tree species influencing the distribution of demographic and morphological traits. The interaction between climatic and topographic factors influences the distribution of species functional traits at the regional scale. In addition, the history of forest use seems to operate at the landscape scale and explains the distribution of species traits reflecting a trade-off between resource acquisition and resource conservation strategies in secondary forests across different successional stages. Our results support the idea that functional traits may be used to analyze community structure and dynamics through niche differentiation and environmental filtering processes.

  11. Birth Month Affects Longevity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abel, Ernest L.; Kruger, Michael L.

    2010-01-01

    The authors examined the association between birth month and longevity for major league baseball players. Players born in the month of November had the greatest longevities whereas those born in June had the shortest life spans. These differences remained after controlling for covariates such as birth year, career length, age at debut, height, and…

  12. Birth Month Affects Longevity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abel, Ernest L.; Kruger, Michael L.

    2010-01-01

    The authors examined the association between birth month and longevity for major league baseball players. Players born in the month of November had the greatest longevities whereas those born in June had the shortest life spans. These differences remained after controlling for covariates such as birth year, career length, age at debut, height, and…

  13. Using a multi-trait approach to manipulate plant functional diversity in a biodiversity-ecosystem function experiment.

    PubMed

    Schittko, Conrad; Hawa, Mahmoud; Wurst, Susanne

    2014-01-01

    A frequent pattern emerging from biodiversity-ecosystem function studies is that functional group richness enhances ecosystem functions such as primary productivity. However, the manipulation of functional group richness goes along with major disadvantages like the transformation of functional trait data into categories or the exclusion of functional differences between organisms in the same group. In a mesocosm study we manipulated plant functional diversity based on the multi-trait Functional Diversity (FD)-approach of Petchey and Gaston by using database data of seven functional traits and information on the origin of the species in terms of being native or exotic. Along a gradient ranging from low to high FD we planted 40 randomly selected eight-species mixtures under controlled conditions. We found a significant positive linear correlation of FD with aboveground productivity and a negative correlation with invasibility of the plant communities. Based on community-weighted mean calculations for each functional trait, we figured out that the traits N-fixation and species origin, i.e. being native or exotic, played the most important role for community productivity. Our results suggest that the identification of the impact of functional trait diversity and the relative contributions of relevant traits is essential for a mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity for ecosystem functions such as aboveground biomass production and resistance against invasion.

  14. Using a Multi-Trait Approach to Manipulate Plant Functional Diversity in a Biodiversity-Ecosystem Function Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Schittko, Conrad; Hawa, Mahmoud; Wurst, Susanne

    2014-01-01

    A frequent pattern emerging from biodiversity-ecosystem function studies is that functional group richness enhances ecosystem functions such as primary productivity. However, the manipulation of functional group richness goes along with major disadvantages like the transformation of functional trait data into categories or the exclusion of functional differences between organisms in the same group. In a mesocosm study we manipulated plant functional diversity based on the multi-trait Functional Diversity (FD)-approach of Petchey and Gaston by using database data of seven functional traits and information on the origin of the species in terms of being native or exotic. Along a gradient ranging from low to high FD we planted 40 randomly selected eight-species mixtures under controlled conditions. We found a significant positive linear correlation of FD with aboveground productivity and a negative correlation with invasibility of the plant communities. Based on community-weighted mean calculations for each functional trait, we figured out that the traits N-fixation and species origin, i.e. being native or exotic, played the most important role for community productivity. Our results suggest that the identification of the impact of functional trait diversity and the relative contributions of relevant traits is essential for a mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity for ecosystem functions such as aboveground biomass production and resistance against invasion. PMID:24897501

  15. Geographic variation in sandy beach macrofauna community and functional traits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodil, I. F.; Compton, T. J.; Lastra, M.

    2014-10-01

    Sandy beaches are a common ocean-dominated ecosystem along the north coast of Spain. We conducted field surveys at 39 beaches distributed between 1° and 9°W, ca. 2000 km along this geographic region to document broad patterns of macrobenthic communities, and to describe their association with variables characterising both the beach environment and the characteristics of the adjacent ocean waters. Macrofaunal functional traits are considered to be an informative measure that can be useful for many ecosystem-level questions, as they are based on what organisms do (i.e., their ecological function) rather than on their identification alone. Boosted regression-trees analysis showed that the occurrence of the main taxonomic groups and feeding guilds were differentially associated with the prevailing beach features along this coastline. The occurrence (presence/absence) of molluscs was best explained by the concentration of chlorophyll-a and wave exposure whereas those of crustaceans and polychaetes were best explained by an ensemble of variables including beach slope, sea surface temperature and grain size. A comparison of the feeding guilds demonstrated that the occurrence of suspension feeders was best explained by chlorophyll-a and wave exposure, whereas the occurrence of deposit feeders was best explained by beach slope, sea surface temperature and chlorophyll-a. The occurrence of predators and scavengers was best explained by sea surface temperature and beach slope. Based on the patterns presented here, we confirm that the upwelling events that occur regularly on this coastline are a structuring agent for beach communities. Future work needs to examine the role of the oceanographic conditions of the region for they might represent the driving forces behind large-scale shifts in macrofauna communities.

  16. A forward genetic approach in Arabidopsis thaliana identifies a RING-type ubiquitin ligase as a novel determinant of seed longevity.

    PubMed

    Bueso, Eduardo; Ibañez, Carla; Sayas, Enric; Muñoz-Bertomeu, Jesús; Gonzalez-Guzmán, Miguel; Rodriguez, Pedro L; Serrano, Ramón

    2014-02-01

    Seed longevity is important to preserve crops and wild plants and it is limited by progressive cellular damage (aging) during storage. The induction of cellular stress defenses and the formation of the seed coat are crucial protecting events during seed development, a process mediated in Arabidopsis thaliana by the transcription factors LEC1, LEC2, FUS3 and the abscisic acid-activated ABI3. In order to identify novel determinants of seed longevity we have screened an activation-tagging mutant collection of Arabidopsis and isolated a dominant mutant with increased seed longevity under both natural and accelerated aging conditions. Molecular characterization indicates that the mutant phenotype is caused by over-expression of the At2g26130 gene encoding a RING-type zinc finger putative ubiquitin ligase. Loss of function of this gene in a T-DNA insertion mutant resulted in decreased seed longevity. We named this important gene for seed longevity RSL1 (from Ring finger of Seed Longevity1) and we could demonstrate ubiquitin ligase activity with the recombinant protein. Morphological alterations in shoot tissues of the RSL1 over-expressing plants and analysis of gibberellins levels suggest that RSL1 may increase gibberellins responses by some unknown mechanism. These results validate the forward genetic approach to seed longevity and anticipate the identification of many novel determinants of this important trait.

  17. Relationships between abiotic environment, plant functional traits, and animal body size at Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    Classen, Alice; Ferger, Stefan; Helbig-Bonitz, Maria; Peters, Marcell; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Kleyer, Michael

    2017-01-01

    The effect-response framework states that plant functional traits link the abiotic environment to ecosystem functioning. One ecosystem property is the body size of the animals living in the system, which is assumed to depend on temperature or resource availability, among others. For primary consumers, resource availability may directly be related to plant traits, while for secondary consumers the relationship is indirect. We used plant traits to describe resource availability along an elevational gradient on Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Using structural equation models, we determined the response of plant traits to changes in precipitation, temperature and disturbance with and assessed whether abiotic conditions or community-weighted means of plant traits are stronger predictors of the mean size of bees, moths, frugivorous birds, and insectivorous birds. Traits indicating tissue density and nutrient content strongly responded to variations in precipitation, temperature and disturbance. They had direct effects on pollination and fruit traits. However, the average body sizes of the animal groups considered could only be explained by temperature and habitat structure, not by plant traits. Our results demonstrate a strong link between traits and the abiotic environment, but suggest that temperature is the most relevant predictor of mean animal body size. Community-weighted means of plant traits and body sizes appear unsuitable to capture the complexity of plant-animal interactions. PMID:28319155

  18. Relationships between abiotic environment, plant functional traits, and animal body size at Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Schellenberger Costa, David; Classen, Alice; Ferger, Stefan; Helbig-Bonitz, Maria; Peters, Marcell; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Kleyer, Michael

    2017-01-01

    The effect-response framework states that plant functional traits link the abiotic environment to ecosystem functioning. One ecosystem property is the body size of the animals living in the system, which is assumed to depend on temperature or resource availability, among others. For primary consumers, resource availability may directly be related to plant traits, while for secondary consumers the relationship is indirect. We used plant traits to describe resource availability along an elevational gradient on Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Using structural equation models, we determined the response of plant traits to changes in precipitation, temperature and disturbance with and assessed whether abiotic conditions or community-weighted means of plant traits are stronger predictors of the mean size of bees, moths, frugivorous birds, and insectivorous birds. Traits indicating tissue density and nutrient content strongly responded to variations in precipitation, temperature and disturbance. They had direct effects on pollination and fruit traits. However, the average body sizes of the animal groups considered could only be explained by temperature and habitat structure, not by plant traits. Our results demonstrate a strong link between traits and the abiotic environment, but suggest that temperature is the most relevant predictor of mean animal body size. Community-weighted means of plant traits and body sizes appear unsuitable to capture the complexity of plant-animal interactions.

  19. Invited review: overview of new traits and phenotyping strategies in dairy cattle with a focus on functional traits.

    PubMed

    Egger-Danner, C; Cole, J B; Pryce, J E; Gengler, N; Heringstad, B; Bradley, A; Stock, K F

    2015-02-01

    For several decades, breeding goals in dairy cattle focussed on increased milk production. However, many functional traits have negative genetic correlations with milk yield, and reductions in genetic merit for health and fitness have been observed. Herd management has been challenged to compensate for these effects and to balance fertility, udder health and metabolic diseases against increased production to maximize profit without compromising welfare. Functional traits, such as direct information on cow health, have also become more important because of growing concern about animal well-being and consumer demands for healthy and natural products. There are major concerns about the impact of drugs used in veterinary medicine on the spread of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that can negatively impact human health. Sustainability and efficiency are also increasingly important because of the growing competition for high-quality, plant-based sources of energy and protein. Disruptions to global environments because of climate change may encourage yet more emphasis on these traits. To be successful, it is vital that there be a balance between the effort required for data recording and subsequent benefits. The motivation of farmers and other stakeholders involved in documentation and recording is essential to ensure good data quality. To keep labour costs reasonable, existing data sources should be used as much as possible. Examples include the use of milk composition data to provide additional information about the metabolic status or energy balance of the animals. Recent advances in the use of mid-infrared spectroscopy to measure milk have shown considerable promise, and may provide cost-effective alternative phenotypes for difficult or expensive-to-measure traits, such as feed efficiency. There are other valuable data sources in countries that have compulsory documentation of veterinary treatments and drug use. Additional sources of data outside of the farm

  20. Functional diversity and functional traits of periphytic algae during a short-term successional process in a Neotropical floodplain lake.

    PubMed

    Dunck, B; Rodrigues, L; Bicudo, D C

    2015-08-01

    Due to the lack of knowledge in periphytic algae functional diversity patterns during successional processes in floodplains, the present study aimed to analyze the dynamics of the functional traits and functional diversity of periphytic species during a short-term successional process in a floodplain lake. The functional traits analyzed were size class, growth form, strength of attachment to the substratum, and functional strategies. We evaluated the dynamics of these traits, considering richness, density and biovolume during an 18-day colonization in two hydrological periods. The functional diversity was assessed using the mean pairwise distance index (MPD). Dominant functional traits during the colonization changed in association with the flood pulse. Under the pulse effect, higher development of C-S strategist, loosely attached, filamentous and nanoperiphytic species occurred. The highest values of functional diversity were associated with the algal biomass peak during the colonization and the high water hydrological period, possibly indicating greater efficiency in the ecosystem functioning. These findings show the importance of the functional traits approach in periphyton studies and that the selection of functional traits must be performed taking into account traits that represent the species niche.

  1. A role for seed storage proteins in Arabidopsis seed longevity.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Thu-Phuong; Cueff, Gwendal; Hegedus, Dwayne D; Rajjou, Loïc; Bentsink, Leónie

    2015-10-01

    Proteomics approaches have been a useful tool for determining the biological roles and functions of individual proteins and identifying the molecular mechanisms that govern seed germination, vigour and viability in response to ageing. In this work the dry seed proteome of four Arabidopsis thaliana genotypes, that carry introgression fragments at the position of seed longevity quantitative trait loci and as a result display different levels of seed longevity, was investigated. Seeds at two physiological states, after-ripened seeds that had the full germination ability and aged (stored) seeds of which the germination ability was severely reduced, were compared. Aged dry seed proteomes were markedly different from the after-ripened and reflected the seed longevity level of the four genotypes, despite the fact that dry seeds are metabolically quiescent. Results confirmed the role of antioxidant systems, notably vitamin E, and indicated that protection and maintenance of the translation machinery and energy pathways are essential for seed longevity. Moreover, a new role for seed storage proteins (SSPs) was identified in dry seeds during ageing. Cruciferins (CRUs) are the most abundant SSPs in Arabidopsis and seeds of a triple mutant for three CRU isoforms (crua crub cruc) were more sensitive to artificial ageing and their seed proteins were highly oxidized compared with wild-type seeds. These results confirm that oxidation is involved in seed deterioration and that SSPs buffer the seed from oxidative stress, thus protecting important proteins required for seed germination and seedling formation. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

  2. Autistic and schizotypal traits and global functioning in bipolar I disorder.

    PubMed

    Abu-Akel, Ahmad; Clark, Jennifer; Perry, Amy; Wood, Stephen J; Forty, Liz; Craddock, Nick; Jones, Ian; Gordon-Smith, Katherine; Jones, Lisa

    2017-01-01

    To determine the expression of autistic and positive schizotypal traits in a large sample of adults with bipolar I disorder (BD I), and the effect of co-occurring autistic and positive schizotypal traits on global functioning in BD I. Autistic and positive schizotypal traits were self-assessed in 797 individuals with BD-I recruited by the Bipolar Disorder Research Network. Differences in global functioning (rated using the Global Assessment Scale) during lifetime worst depressive and manic episodes (GASD and GASM respectively) were calculated in groups with high/low autistic and positive schizotypal traits. Regression analyses assessed the interactive effect of autistic and positive schizotypal traits on global functioning. 47.2% (CI=43.7-50.7%) showed clinically significant levels of autistic traits, and 23.22% (95% CI=20.29-26.14) showed clinically significant levels of positive schizotypal traits. In the worst episode of mania, the high autistic, high positive schizotypal group had better global functioning compared to the other groups. Individual differences analyses showed that high levels of both traits were associated with better global functioning in both mood states. Autistic and schizotypal traits were assessed using self-rated questionnaires. Expression of autistic and schizotypal traits in adults with BD I is prevalent, and may be important to predict illness aetiology, prognosis, and diagnostic practices in this population. Future work should focus on replicating these findings in independent samples, and on the biological and/or psychosocial mechanisms underlying better global functioning in those who have high levels of both autistic and positive schizotypal traits. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Proteomics of red and white corolla limbs in petunia reveals a novel function of the anthocyanin regulator ANTHOCYANIN1 in determining flower longevity.

    PubMed

    Prinsi, Bhakti; Negri, Alfredo S; Quattrocchio, Francesca M; Koes, Ronald E; Espen, Luca

    2016-01-10

    The Petunia hybrida ANTHOCYANIN1 (AN1) gene encodes a transcription factor that regulates both the expression of genes involved in anthocyanin synthesis and the acidification of the vacuolar lumen in corolla epidermal cells. In this work, the comparison between the red flowers of the R27 line with the white flowers of the isogenic an1 mutant line W225 showed that the AN1 gene has further pleiotropic effects on flavonoid biosynthesis as well as on distant physiological traits. The proteomic profiling showed that the an1 mutation was associated to changes in accumulation of several proteins, affecting both anthocyanin synthesis and primary metabolism. The flavonoid composition study confirmed that the an1 mutation provoked a broad attenuation of the entire flavonoid pathway, probably by indirect biochemical events. Moreover, proteomic changes and variation of biochemical parameters revealed that the an1 mutation induced a delay in the onset of flower senescence in W225, as supported by the enhanced longevity of the W225 flowers in planta and the loss of sensitivity of cut flowers to sugar. This study suggests that AN1 is possibly involved in the perception and/or transduction of ethylene signal during flower senescence. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Plant functional traits and diversity in sand dune ecosystems across different biogeographic regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahdavi, P.; Bergmeier, E.

    2016-07-01

    Plant species of a functional group respond similarly to environmental pressures and may be expected to act similarly on ecosystem processes and habitat properties. However, feasibility and applicability of functional groups in ecosystems across very different climatic regions have not yet been studied. In our approach we specified the functional groups in sand dune ecosystems of the Mediterranean, Hyrcanian and Irano-Turanian phytogeographic regions. We examined whether functional groups are more influenced by region or rather by habitat characteristics, and identified trait syndromes associated with common habitat types in sand dunes (mobile dunes, stabilized dunes, salt marshes, semi-wet sands, disturbed habitats). A database of 14 traits, 309 species and 314 relevés was examined and trait-species, trait-plot and species-plot matrices were built. Cluster analysis revealed similar plant functional groups in sand dune ecosystems across regions of very different species composition and climate. Specifically, our study showed that plant traits in sand dune ecosystems are grouped reflecting habitat affiliation rather than region and species pool. Environmental factors and constraints such as sand mobility, soil salinity, water availability, nutrient status and disturbance are more important for the occurrence and distribution of plant functional groups than regional belonging. Each habitat is shown to be equipped with specific functional groups and can be described by specific sets of traits. In restoration ecology the completeness of functional groups and traits in a site may serve as a guideline for maintaining or restoring the habitat.

  5. Use of multiple functional traits of protozoa for bioassessment of marine pollution.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Xiaoxiao; Xu, Guangjian; Xu, Henglong

    2017-06-30

    Ecological parameters based on multiply functional traits have many advantages for monitoring programs by reducing "signal to noise" ratios of observed species data. To identify potential indicators for bioassessment of marine pollution in function space, the functional patterns of protozoan communities and relationships with environmental changes were studied in coastal waters of the Yellow Sea during a 1-year period. The results showed that: (1) the spatial variability in functional trait distributions of the protozoa was significantly associated with changes in environmental variables, especially chemical oxygen demand (COD) and nutrients on spatial scale; (2) the functional traits, especially food resources and feeding type, were significantly correlated with COD and nutrients; and (3) the functional diversity indices were generally related to nutrients or COD. Based on the results, we suggest that the functional traits and diversity indices of protozoan communities may be used as more effective indicators for bioassessment of marine pollution. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Personality traits and brain dopaminergic function in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Kaasinen, V; Nurmi, E; Bergman, J; Eskola, O; Solin, O; Sonninen, P; Rinne, J O

    2001-11-06

    A distinctive personality type, characterized by introversion, inflexibility, and low novelty seeking, has been suggested to be associated with Parkinson's disease. To test the hypothesis that Parkinson's disease is associated with a specific dopamine-related personality type, the personality structures of 61 unmedicated Parkinson's disease patients and 45 healthy controls were examined. Additionally, in 47 Parkinson's disease patients, the dopaminergic function in the brain was directly measured with 6-[(18)F]fluoro-l-dopa ((18)F-dopa) positron emission tomography (PET) with MRI coregistration. The novelty-seeking personality score, supposedly associated with the parkinsonian personality, was slightly lower in the Parkinson's disease group compared with controls, but it did not have a significant relationship with (18)F-dopa uptake in any of the brain regions studied (r = -0.12 to 0.11, P > 0.15). The harm-avoidance personality score, associated with anxiety and depression, was clearly increased in patients with Parkinson's disease and it had a paradoxical, highly significant positive correlation with the (18)F-dopa uptake in the right caudate nucleus (r = 0.53, P = 0.04, Bonferroni corrected for 220 comparisons). Although the results of this study are not in disagreement with the concept of low-novelty-seeking personality type in Parkinson's disease, the personality type does not seem to be dopamine dependent. The correlation between the personality trait of harm avoidance and (18)F-dopa may reflect a specific feedback circuitry of neurotransmitters that is associated with negative emotionality in Parkinson's disease.

  7. Assessing the Importance of Intraspecific Variability in Dung Beetle Functional Traits.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Hannah M; Louzada, Julio; Bardgett, Richard D; Barlow, Jos

    2016-01-01

    Functional diversity indices are used to facilitate a mechanistic understanding of many theoretical and applied questions in current ecological research. The use of mean trait values in functional indices assumes that traits are robust, in that greater variability exists between than within species. While the assertion of robust traits has been explored in plants, there exists little information on the source and extent of variability in the functional traits of higher trophic level organisms. Here we investigated variability in two functionally relevant dung beetle traits, measured from individuals collected from three primary forest sites containing distinct beetle communities: body mass and back leg length. In doing so we too addressed the following questions: (i) what is the contribution of intra vs. interspecific differences in trait values; (ii) what sample size is needed to provide representative species mean trait values; and (iii) what impact does omission of intraspecific trait information have on the calculation of functional diversity (FD) indices from naturally assembled communities? At the population level, interspecific differences explained the majority of variability in measured traits (between 94% and 96%). In accordance with this, the error associated with calculating FD without inclusion of intraspecific variability was low, less than 20% in all cases. This suggests that complete sampling to capture intraspecific variance in traits is not necessary even when investigating the FD of small and/or naturally formed communities. To gain an accurate estimation of species mean trait values we encourage the measurement of 30-60 individuals and, where possible, these should be taken from specimens collected from the site of study.

  8. Relationships between functional traits and inorganic nitrogen acquisition among eight contrasting European grass species

    PubMed Central

    Grassein, Fabrice; Lemauviel-Lavenant, Servane; Lavorel, Sandra; Bahn, Michael; Bardgett, Richard D.; Desclos-Theveniau, Marie; Laîné, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    Backgrounds and Aims Leaf functional traits have been used as a basis to categoize plants across a range of resource-use specialization, from those that conserve available resources to those that exploit them. However, the extent to which the leaf functional traits used to define the resource-use strategies are related to root traits and are good indicators of the ability of the roots to take up nitrogen (N) are poorly known. This is an important question because interspecific differences in N uptake have been proposed as one mechanism by which species’ coexistence may be determined. This study therefore investigated the relationships between functional traits and N uptake ability for grass species across a range of conservative to exploitative resource-use strategies. Methods Root uptake of NH4+ and NO3–, and leaf and root functional traits were measured for eight grass species sampled at three grassland sites across Europe, in France, Austria and the UK. Species were grown in hydroponics to determine functional traits and kinetic uptake parameters (Imax and Km) under standardized conditions. Key Results Species with high specific leaf area (SLA) and shoot N content, and low leaf and root dry matter content (LDMC and RDMC, respectively), which are traits associated with the exploitative syndrome, had higher uptake and affinity for both N forms. No trade-off was observed in uptake between the two forms of N, and all species expressed a higher preference for NH4+. Conclusions The results support the use of leaf traits, and especially SLA and LDMC, as indicators of the N uptake ability across a broad range of grass species. The difficulties associated with assessing root properties are also highlighted, as root traits were only weakly correlated with leaf traits, and only RDMC and, to a lesser extent, root N content were related to leaf traits. PMID:25471096

  9. Assessing the Importance of Intraspecific Variability in Dung Beetle Functional Traits

    PubMed Central

    Griffiths, Hannah M.; Louzada, Julio; Bardgett, Richard D.; Barlow, Jos

    2016-01-01

    Functional diversity indices are used to facilitate a mechanistic understanding of many theoretical and applied questions in current ecological research. The use of mean trait values in functional indices assumes that traits are robust, in that greater variability exists between than within species. While the assertion of robust traits has been explored in plants, there exists little information on the source and extent of variability in the functional traits of higher trophic level organisms. Here we investigated variability in two functionally relevant dung beetle traits, measured from individuals collected from three primary forest sites containing distinct beetle communities: body mass and back leg length. In doing so we too addressed the following questions: (i) what is the contribution of intra vs. interspecific differences in trait values; (ii) what sample size is needed to provide representative species mean trait values; and (iii) what impact does omission of intraspecific trait information have on the calculation of functional diversity (FD) indices from naturally assembled communities? At the population level, interspecific differences explained the majority of variability in measured traits (between 94% and 96%). In accordance with this, the error associated with calculating FD without inclusion of intraspecific variability was low, less than 20% in all cases. This suggests that complete sampling to capture intraspecific variance in traits is not necessary even when investigating the FD of small and/or naturally formed communities. To gain an accurate estimation of species mean trait values we encourage the measurement of 30–60 individuals and, where possible, these should be taken from specimens collected from the site of study. PMID:26939121

  10. Galactinol as marker for seed longevity.

    PubMed

    de Souza Vidigal, Deborah; Willems, Leo; van Arkel, Jeroen; Dekkers, Bas J W; Hilhorst, Henk W M; Bentsink, Leónie

    2016-05-01

    Reduced seed longevity or storability is a major problem in seed storage and contributes to increased costs in crop production. Here we investigated whether seed galactinol contents could be predictive for seed storability behavior in Arabidopsis, cabbage and tomato. The analyses revealed a positive correlation between galactinol content and seed longevity in the three species tested, which indicates that this correlation is conserved in the Brassicaceae and beyond. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping in tomato revealed a co-locating QTL for galactinol content and seed longevity on chromosome 2. A candidate for this QTL is the GALACTINOL SYNTHASE gene (Solyc02g084980.2.1) that is located in the QTL interval. GALACTINOL SYNTHASE is a key enzyme of the raffinose family oligosaccharide (RFO) pathway. To investigate the role of enzymes in the RFO pathway in more detail, we applied a reverse genetics approach using T-DNA knock-out lines in genes encoding enzymes of this pathway (GALACTINOL SYNTHASE 1, GALACTINOL SYNTHASE 2, RAFFINOSE SYNTHASE, STACHYOSE SYNTHASE and ALPHA-GALACTOSIDASE) and overexpressors of the cucumber GALACTINOL SYNTHASE 2 gene in Arabidopsis. The galactinol synthase 2 mutant and the galactinol synthase 1 galactinol synthase 2 double mutant contained the lowest seed galactinol content which coincided with lower seed longevity. These results show that galactinol content of mature dry seed can be used as a biomarker for seed longevity in Brassicaceae and tomato.

  11. Synthesizing trait correlations and functional relationships across multiple scales: A Hierarchical Bayes approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shiklomanov, A. N.; Cowdery, E.; Dietze, M.

    2016-12-01

    Recent syntheses of global trait databases have revealed that although the functional diversity among plant species is immense, this diversity is constrained by trade-offs between plant strategies. However, the use of among-trait and trait-environment correlations at the global scale for both qualitative ecological inference and land surface modeling has several important caveats. An alternative approach is to preserve the existing PFT-based model structure while using statistical analyses to account for uncertainty and variability in model parameters. In this study, we used a hierarchical Bayesian model of foliar traits in the TRY database to test the following hypotheses: (1) Leveraging the covariance between foliar traits will significantly constrain our uncertainty in their distributions; and (2) Among-trait covariance patterns are significantly different among and within PFTs, reflecting differences in trade-offs associated with biome-level evolution, site-level community assembly, and individual-level ecophysiological acclimation. We found that among-trait covariance significantly constrained estimates of trait means, and the additional information provided by across-PFT covariance led to more constraint still, especially for traits and PFTs with low sample sizes. We also found that among-trait correlations were highly variable among PFTs, and were generally inconsistent with correlations within PFTs. The hierarchical multivariate framework developed in our study can readily be enhanced with additional levels of hierarchy to account for geographic, species, and individual-level variability.

  12. Longevity of silicate ceramic restorations.

    PubMed

    Beier, Ulrike Stephanie; Dumfahrt, Herbert

    2014-09-01

    The demand for esthetic restorations has resulted in an increased use of dental ceramics as a biocompatible and functionally sufficient alternative to conventional restorative materials. Silicate ceramic restorations are widely used for veneers, inlays, onlays, and crowns in dentistry. Long-term data are of crucial importance to optimize clinical practice. The purpose of the present article is to summarize data of the Innsbruck ceramic evaluation up to 261 months with the focus on longevity and failure characteristics.

  13. Schizotypal Personality Traits and Atypical Lateralization in Motor and Language Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Asai, Tomohisa; Sugimori, Eriko; Tanno, Yoshihiko

    2009-01-01

    Atypical cerebral lateralization in motor and language functions in regard to schizotypal personality traits in healthy populations, as well as among schizophrenic patients, has attracted attention because these traits may represent a risk factor for schizophrenia. Although the relationship between handedness and schizotypal personality has been…

  14. Schizotypal Personality Traits and Atypical Lateralization in Motor and Language Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Asai, Tomohisa; Sugimori, Eriko; Tanno, Yoshihiko

    2009-01-01

    Atypical cerebral lateralization in motor and language functions in regard to schizotypal personality traits in healthy populations, as well as among schizophrenic patients, has attracted attention because these traits may represent a risk factor for schizophrenia. Although the relationship between handedness and schizotypal personality has been…

  15. Predicting College Students' Positive Psychology Associated Traits with Executive Functioning Dimensions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marshall, Seth

    2016-01-01

    More research is needed that investigates how positive psychology-associated traits are predicted by neurocognitive processes. Correspondingly, the purpose of this study was to ascertain how, and to what extent, four traits, namely, grit, optimism, positive affect, and life satisfaction were predicted by the executive functioning (EF) dimensions…

  16. Predicting College Students' Positive Psychology Associated Traits with Executive Functioning Dimensions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marshall, Seth

    2016-01-01

    More research is needed that investigates how positive psychology-associated traits are predicted by neurocognitive processes. Correspondingly, the purpose of this study was to ascertain how, and to what extent, four traits, namely, grit, optimism, positive affect, and life satisfaction were predicted by the executive functioning (EF) dimensions…

  17. Intraspecific trait variation drives functional responses of old-field plant communities to nutrient enrichment.

    PubMed

    Siefert, Andrew; Ritchie, Mark E

    2016-05-01

    Environmental changes are expected to shift the distribution of functional trait values in plant communities through a combination of species turnover and intraspecific variation. The strength of these shifts may depend on the availability of individuals with trait values adapted to new environmental conditions, represented by the functional diversity (FD) of existing community residents or dispersal from the regional species pool. We conducted a 3-year nutrient- and seed-addition experiment in old-field plant communities to examine the contributions of species turnover and intraspecific variation to community trait shifts, focusing on four key plant functional traits: vegetative height, leaf area, specific leaf area (SLA), and leaf dry matter content (LDMC). We further examined the influence of initial FD and seed availability on the strength of these shifts. Community mean height, leaf area, and SLA increased in response to fertilization, and these shifts were driven almost entirely by intraspecific variation. The strength of intraspecific shifts in height and leaf area was positively related to initial intraspecific FD in these traits. Intraspecific trait responses to fertilization varied among species, with species of short stature displaying stronger shifts in SLA and LDMC but weaker shifts in leaf area. Trait shifts due to species turnover were generally weak and opposed intraspecific responses. Seed addition altered community taxonomic composition but had little effect on community trait shifts. These results highlight the importance of intraspecific variation for short-term community functional responses and demonstrate that the strength of these responses may be mediated by community FD.

  18. Genetic association between leg conformation in young pigs and sow longevity.

    PubMed

    Le, T H; Madsen, P; Lundeheim, N; Nilsson, K; Norberg, E

    2016-08-01

    Longevity is important in pig production with respect to both economic and ethical aspects. Direct selection for longevity might be ineffective because 'true' longevity can only be recorded when a sow has been culled or died. Thus, indirect selection for longevity using information from other traits that can be recorded early in life and are genetically correlated with longevity might be an alternative. Leg conformation has been included in many breeding schemes for a number of years. However, proving that leg conformation traits are good early indicators for longevity still remains. Our aim was to study genetic associations between leg conformation traits of young (5 months; 100 kg) Swedish Yorkshire pigs in nucleus herds and longevity traits of sows in nucleus and multiplier herds. Data included 97 533 animals with information on conformation (Movement and Overall score) recorded at performance testing and 26 962 sows with information on longevity. The longevity traits were as follows: stayability from 1st to 2nd parity, lifetime number of litters and lifetime number of born alive piglets. Genetic analyses were performed with both linear models using REML and linear-threshold models using Bayesian methods. Heritabilities estimated using the Bayesian method were higher than those estimated using REML, ranging from 0.10 to 0.24 and 0.07 to 0.20, respectively. All estimated genetic correlations between conformation and longevity traits were significant and favourable. Heritabilities and genetic correlations between conformation and longevity indicate that selection on leg conformation should improve sow longevity.

  19. Gut Microbiota and Extreme Longevity.

    PubMed

    Biagi, Elena; Franceschi, Claudio; Rampelli, Simone; Severgnini, Marco; Ostan, Rita; Turroni, Silvia; Consolandi, Clarissa; Quercia, Sara; Scurti, Maria; Monti, Daniela; Capri, Miriam; Brigidi, Patrizia; Candela, Marco

    2016-06-06

    The study of the extreme limits of human lifespan may allow a better understanding of how human beings can escape, delay, or survive the most frequent age-related causes of morbidity, a peculiarity shown by long-living individuals. Longevity is a complex trait in which genetics, environment, and stochasticity concur to determine the chance to reach 100 or more years of age [1]. Because of its impact on human metabolism and immunology, the gut microbiome has been proposed as a possible determinant of healthy aging [2, 3]. Indeed, the preservation of host-microbes homeostasis can counteract inflammaging [4], intestinal permeability [5], and decline in bone and cognitive health [6, 7]. Aiming at deepening our knowledge on the relationship between the gut microbiota and a long-living host, we provide for the first time the phylogenetic microbiota analysis of semi-supercentenarians, i.e., 105-109 years old, in comparison to adults, elderly, and centenarians, thus reconstructing the longest available human microbiota trajectory along aging. We highlighted the presence of a core microbiota of highly occurring, symbiotic bacterial taxa (mostly belonging to the dominant Ruminococcaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Bacteroidaceae families), with a cumulative abundance decreasing along with age. Aging is characterized by an increasing abundance of subdominant species, as well as a rearrangement in their co-occurrence network. These features are maintained in longevity and extreme longevity, but peculiarities emerged, especially in semi-supercentenarians, describing changes that, even accommodating opportunistic and allochthonous bacteria, might possibly support health maintenance during aging, such as an enrichment and/or higher prevalence of health-associated groups (e.g., Akkermansia, Bifidobacterium, and Christensenellaceae).

  20. Personality Traits as a Function of Beliefs and Childhood Experience.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Catlin, George

    The origins of personality traits and emotions have long been a subject of investigation and controversy. Beginning with Freud, an argument has been made from a wide variety of perspectives that early childhood relationships to parents are a primary factor in shaping personality. Within a cognitive paradigm, people's beliefs about themselves and…

  1. Filling the gap in functional trait databases: use of ecological hypotheses to replace missing data.

    PubMed

    Taugourdeau, Simon; Villerd, Jean; Plantureux, Sylvain; Huguenin-Elie, Olivier; Amiaud, Bernard

    2014-04-01

    Functional trait databases are powerful tools in ecology, though most of them contain large amounts of missing values. The goal of this study was to test the effect of imputation methods on the evaluation of trait values at species level and on the subsequent calculation of functional diversity indices at community level using functional trait databases. Two simple imputation methods (average and median), two methods based on ecological hypotheses, and one multiple imputation method were tested using a large plant trait database, together with the influence of the percentage of missing data and differences between functional traits. At community level, the complete-case approach and three functional diversity indices calculated from grassland plant communities were included. At the species level, one of the methods based on ecological hypothesis was for all traits more accurate than imputation with average or median values, but the multiple imputation method was superior for most of the traits. The method based on functional proximity between species was the best method for traits with an unbalanced distribution, while the method based on the existence of relationships between traits was the best for traits with a balanced distribution. The ranking of the grassland communities for their functional diversity indices was not robust with the complete-case approach, even for low percentages of missing data. With the imputation methods based on ecological hypotheses, functional diversity indices could be computed with a maximum of 30% of missing data, without affecting the ranking between grassland communities. The multiple imputation method performed well, but not better than single imputation based on ecological hypothesis and adapted to the distribution of the trait values for the functional identity and range of the communities. Ecological studies using functional trait databases have to deal with missing data using imputation methods corresponding to their specific

  2. Filling the gap in functional trait databases: use of ecological hypotheses to replace missing data

    PubMed Central

    Taugourdeau, Simon; Villerd, Jean; Plantureux, Sylvain; Huguenin-Elie, Olivier; Amiaud, Bernard

    2014-01-01

    Functional trait databases are powerful tools in ecology, though most of them contain large amounts of missing values. The goal of this study was to test the effect of imputation methods on the evaluation of trait values at species level and on the subsequent calculation of functional diversity indices at community level using functional trait databases. Two simple imputation methods (average and median), two methods based on ecological hypotheses, and one multiple imputation method were tested using a large plant trait database, together with the influence of the percentage of missing data and differences between functional traits. At community level, the complete-case approach and three functional diversity indices calculated from grassland plant communities were included. At the species level, one of the methods based on ecological hypothesis was for all traits more accurate than imputation with average or median values, but the multiple imputation method was superior for most of the traits. The method based on functional proximity between species was the best method for traits with an unbalanced distribution, while the method based on the existence of relationships between traits was the best for traits with a balanced distribution. The ranking of the grassland communities for their functional diversity indices was not robust with the complete-case approach, even for low percentages of missing data. With the imputation methods based on ecological hypotheses, functional diversity indices could be computed with a maximum of 30% of missing data, without affecting the ranking between grassland communities. The multiple imputation method performed well, but not better than single imputation based on ecological hypothesis and adapted to the distribution of the trait values for the functional identity and range of the communities. Ecological studies using functional trait databases have to deal with missing data using imputation methods corresponding to their specific

  3. Callous-Unemotional Traits are Uniquely Associated with Poorer Peer Functioning in School-Aged Children.

    PubMed

    Haas, Sarah M; Becker, Stephen P; Epstein, Jeffery N; Frick, Paul J

    2017-07-19

    This study examines externalizing symptoms (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder [ADHD], conduct problems, and callous-unemotional [CU] traits) in relation to domains of peer functioning (social competence, loneliness, and close friendship quality), with a specific focus on the role of CU traits. One hundred twenty-four elementary students (grades 3-6; 45% boys) completed multiple measures of peer functioning, and teachers completed measures of externalizing symptoms and social competence. After controlling for demographic variables and other externalizing symptoms, CU traits were significantly associated with poorer peer functioning across all variables except for demands of exclusivity in close friendships. ADHD symptoms were also uniquely associated with poorer social functioning across a number of variables. In contrast, conduct problems were at times associated with better social functioning after controlling for the effects of other externalizing problems. These findings bolster the importance of developing and evaluating social skills interventions for children displaying elevated CU traits.

  4. Predicting Species-environment Relationships with Functional Traits for the Understory Flora of Wisconsin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ash, J.; Li, D.; Johnson, S.; Rogers, D. A.; Waller, D. M.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the processes that structure species' abundance patterns is a central problem in ecology, both for explaining current species' distributions and predicting future changes. Environmental gradients affect species' distribution patterns with these responses likely depending on species' functional traits. Thus, tracking shifts in species' traits can provide insight into the mechanisms by which species respond to dynamic environmental conditions. We examined how functional traits are associated with long-term changes in the distribution and abundance of understory plants in Wisconsin forests over the last 50+ years. We relied on detailed surveys and resurveys of the same Wisconsin forest plots, data on 12 functional traits, and site-level environmental variables including soil and climate conditions. We then related changes in the abundance of 293 species across a network of 249 sites to these environmental variables and explored whether functional traits served to predict these relationships using multilevel models. Species abundance patterns were strongly related to variation in environmental conditions among sites, but species appear to be responding to distinct sets of environmental variables. Functional traits only weakly predicted these species-environment relationships, limiting our ability to generalize these results to other systems. Nonetheless, understanding how traits interact with environmental gradients to structure species distribution patterns helps us to disentangle the drivers of ecological change across diverse landscapes.

  5. Herbivores modify selection on plant functional traits in a temperate rainforest understory.

    PubMed

    Salgado-Luarte, Cristian; Gianoli, Ernesto

    2012-08-01

    There is limited evidence regarding the adaptive value of plant functional traits in contrasting light environments. It has been suggested that changes in these traits in response to light availability can increase herbivore susceptibility. We tested the adaptive value of plant functional traits linked with carbon gain in contrasting light environments and also evaluated whether herbivores can modify selection on these traits in each light environment. In a temperate rainforest, we examined phenotypic selection on functional traits in seedlings of the pioneer tree Aristotelia chilensis growing in sun (canopy gap) and shade (forest understory) and subjected to either natural herbivory or herbivore exclusion. We found differential selection on functional traits depending on light environment. In sun, there was positive directional selection on photosynthetic rate and relative growth rate (RGR), indicating that selection favors competitive ability in a high-resource environment. Seedlings with high specific leaf area (SLA) and intermediate RGR were selected in shade, suggesting that light capture and conservative resource use are favored in the understory. Herbivores reduced the strength of positive directional selection acting on SLA in shade. We provide the first demonstration that natural herbivory rates can change the strength of selection on plant ecophysiological traits, that is, attributes whose main function is resource uptake. Research addressing the evolution of shade tolerance should incorporate the selective role of herbivores.

  6. Environmental Filtering of Forest Canopy Functional Traits Determined from Imaging Spectroscopy 139618

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asner, G. P.

    2016-12-01

    Forests play a vital role in the functioning of the biosphere, yet little is known about functional properties of forest canopies that contribute to biospheric processes. Forest canopy functional traits - the chemical and physical properties of the foliage mediating carbon update, nutrient use, and water relations - are of particular interest because they link tree physiology to biogeochemical and hydrological cycles. Measuring forest canopy functional traits has been a slow, laborious, and usually spatially biased process. Forest functional traits are difficult to assess because spatial and temporal variation often exceeds our ability to adequately utilize field-based approaches, and traditional satellite observations do not easily reveal functionally-relevant differences or changes. Using high-fidelity imaging spectroscopy, it is possible to measure, map and monitor a growing suite of forest canopy functional traits, including water content, multiple nutrients, photosynthetic pigments, and defense compounds. In combination, these traits describe a large proportion of tree physiology, and the interaction with abiotic and biotic drivers. Using airborne imaging spectroscopy from the Carnegie Airborne Observatory, combined with maps of geophysical, climatic and land-use factors, we have determined the relative importance of these environmental filters in determining forest canopy functional traits over large areas such as the Peruvian Amazon, California, and Borneo. Results indicate consistency in the critical role of certain environmental factors that geographically sort forest canopy functional traits, with multiple secondary factors shifting their contribution among forest types. Mapping and monitoring a suite of forest functional traits is now possible at sub-continental scales using airborne high-fidelity imaging spectroscopy. Taking this new scientific knowledge and capability global will require an Earth observing mission with 15-16 day revisit and a spatial

  7. Phenotypic integration among trabecular and cortical bone traits establishes mechanical functionality of inbred mouse vertebrae.

    PubMed

    Tommasini, Steven M; Hu, Bin; Nadeau, Joseph H; Jepsen, Karl J

    2009-04-01

    Conventional approaches to identifying quantitative trait loci (QTLs) regulating bone mass and fragility are limited because they examine cortical and trabecular traits independently. Prior work examining long bones from young adult mice and humans indicated that skeletal traits are functionally related and that compensatory interactions among morphological and compositional traits are critical for establishing mechanical function. However, it is not known whether trait covariation (i.e., phenotypic integration) also is important for establishing mechanical function in more complex, corticocancellous structures. Covariation among trabecular, cortical, and compositional bone traits was examined in the context of mechanical functionality for L(4) vertebral bodies across a panel of 16-wk-old female AXB/BXA recombinant inbred (RI) mouse strains. The unique pattern of randomization of the A/J and C57BL/6J (B6) genome among the RI panel provides a powerful tool that can be used to measure the tendency for different traits to covary and to study the biology of complex traits. We tested the hypothesis that genetic variants affecting vertebral size and mass are buffered by changes in the relative amounts of cortical and trabecular bone and overall mineralization. Despite inheriting random sets of A/J and B6 genomes, the RI strains inherited nonrandom sets of cortical and trabecular bone traits. Path analysis, which is a multivariate analysis that shows how multiple traits covary simultaneously when confounding variables like body size are taken into consideration, showed that RI strains that tended to have smaller vertebrae relative to body size achieved mechanical functionality by increasing mineralization and the relative amounts of cortical and trabecular bone. The interdependence among corticocancellous traits in the vertebral body indicated that variation in trabecular bone traits among inbred mouse strains, which is often thought to arise from genetic factors, is also

  8. Functional trait diversity across trophic levels determines herbivore impact on plant community biomass.

    PubMed

    Deraison, Hélène; Badenhausser, Isabelle; Loeuille, Nicolas; Scherber, Christoph; Gross, Nicolas

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the consequences of trophic interactions for ecosystem functioning is challenging, as contrasting effects of species and functional diversity can be expected across trophic levels. We experimentally manipulated functional identity and diversity of grassland insect herbivores and tested their impact on plant community biomass. Herbivore resource acquisition traits, i.e. mandible strength and the diversity of mandibular traits, had more important effects on plant biomass than body size. Higher herbivore functional diversity increased overall impact on plant biomass due to feeding niche complementarity. Higher plant functional diversity limited biomass pre-emption by herbivores. The functional diversity within and across trophic levels therefore regulates the impact of functionally contrasting consumers on primary producers. By experimentally manipulating the functional diversity across trophic levels, our study illustrates how trait-based approaches constitute a promising way to tackle existing links between trophic interactions and ecosystem functioning. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  9. Pleiotropy analysis of quantitative traits at gene level by multivariate functional linear models.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yifan; Liu, Aiyi; Mills, James L; Boehnke, Michael; Wilson, Alexander F; Bailey-Wilson, Joan E; Xiong, Momiao; Wu, Colin O; Fan, Ruzong

    2015-05-01

    In genetics, pleiotropy describes the genetic effect of a single gene on multiple phenotypic traits. A common approach is to analyze the phenotypic traits separately using univariate analyses and combine the test results through multiple comparisons. This approach may lead to low power. Multivariate functional linear models are developed to connect genetic variant data to multiple quantitative traits adjusting for covariates for a unified analysis. Three types of approximate F-distribution tests based on Pillai-Bartlett trace, Hotelling-Lawley trace, and Wilks's Lambda are introduced to test for association between multiple quantitative traits and multiple genetic variants in one genetic region. The approximate F-distribution tests provide much more significant results than those of F-tests of univariate analysis and optimal sequence kernel association test (SKAT-O). Extensive simulations were performed to evaluate the false positive rates and power performance of the proposed models and tests. We show that the approximate F-distribution tests control the type I error rates very well. Overall, simultaneous analysis of multiple traits can increase power performance compared to an individual test of each trait. The proposed methods were applied to analyze (1) four lipid traits in eight European cohorts, and (2) three biochemical traits in the Trinity Students Study. The approximate F-distribution tests provide much more significant results than those of F-tests of univariate analysis and SKAT-O for the three biochemical traits. The approximate F-distribution tests of the proposed functional linear models are more sensitive than those of the traditional multivariate linear models that in turn are more sensitive than SKAT-O in the univariate case. The analysis of the four lipid traits and the three biochemical traits detects more association than SKAT-O in the univariate case.

  10. Pleiotropy Analysis of Quantitative Traits at Gene Level by Multivariate Functional Linear Models

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yifan; Liu, Aiyi; Mills, James L.; Boehnke, Michael; Wilson, Alexander F.; Bailey-Wilson, Joan E.; Xiong, Momiao; Wu, Colin O.; Fan, Ruzong

    2015-01-01

    In genetics, pleiotropy describes the genetic effect of a single gene on multiple phenotypic traits. A common approach is to analyze the phenotypic traits separately using univariate analyses and combine the test results through multiple comparisons. This approach may lead to low power. Multivariate functional linear models are developed to connect genetic variant data to multiple quantitative traits adjusting for covariates for a unified analysis. Three types of approximate F-distribution tests based on Pillai–Bartlett trace, Hotelling–Lawley trace, and Wilks’s Lambda are introduced to test for association between multiple quantitative traits and multiple genetic variants in one genetic region. The approximate F-distribution tests provide much more significant results than those of F-tests of univariate analysis and optimal sequence kernel association test (SKAT-O). Extensive simulations were performed to evaluate the false positive rates and power performance of the proposed models and tests. We show that the approximate F-distribution tests control the type I error rates very well. Overall, simultaneous analysis of multiple traits can increase power performance compared to an individual test of each trait. The proposed methods were applied to analyze (1) four lipid traits in eight European cohorts, and (2) three biochemical traits in the Trinity Students Study. The approximate F-distribution tests provide much more significant results than those of F-tests of univariate analysis and SKAT-O for the three biochemical traits. The approximate F-distribution tests of the proposed functional linear models are more sensitive than those of the traditional multivariate linear models that in turn are more sensitive than SKAT-O in the univariate case. The analysis of the four lipid traits and the three biochemical traits detects more association than SKAT-O in the univariate case. PMID:25809955

  11. Linking hydraulic traits to tropical forest function in a size-structured and trait-driven model (TFS v.1-Hydro)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christoffersen, Bradley O.; Gloor, Manuel; Fauset, Sophie; Fyllas, Nikolaos M.; Galbraith, David R.; Baker, Timothy R.; Kruijt, Bart; Rowland, Lucy; Fisher, Rosie A.; Binks, Oliver J.; Sevanto, Sanna; Xu, Chonggang; Jansen, Steven; Choat, Brendan; Mencuccini, Maurizio; McDowell, Nate G.; Meir, Patrick

    2016-11-01

    Forest ecosystem models based on heuristic water stress functions poorly predict tropical forest response to drought partly because they do not capture the diversity of hydraulic traits (including variation in tree size) observed in tropical forests. We developed a continuous porous media approach to modeling plant hydraulics in which all parameters of the constitutive equations are biologically interpretable and measurable plant hydraulic traits (e.g., turgor loss point πtlp, bulk elastic modulus ɛ, hydraulic capacitance Cft, xylem hydraulic conductivity ks,max, water potential at 50 % loss of conductivity for both xylem (P50,x) and stomata (P50,gs), and the leaf : sapwood area ratio Al : As). We embedded this plant hydraulics model within a trait forest simulator (TFS) that models light environments of individual trees and their upper boundary conditions (transpiration), as well as providing a means for parameterizing variation in hydraulic traits among individuals. We synthesized literature and existing databases to parameterize all hydraulic traits as a function of stem and leaf traits, including wood density (WD), leaf mass per area (LMA), and photosynthetic capacity (Amax), and evaluated the coupled model (called TFS v.1-Hydro) predictions, against observed diurnal and seasonal variability in stem and leaf water potential as well as stand-scaled sap flux. Our hydraulic trait synthesis revealed coordination among leaf and xylem hydraulic traits and statistically significant relationships of most hydraulic traits with more easily measured plant traits. Using the most informative empirical trait-trait relationships derived from this synthesis, TFS v.1-Hydro successfully captured individual variation in leaf and stem water potential due to increasing tree size and light environment, with model representation of hydraulic architecture and plant traits exerting primary and secondary controls, respectively, on the fidelity of model predictions. The plant

  12. Cognitive Functions, Personality Traits, and Social Values in Heavy Marihuana Smokers and Nonsmoker Controls

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weckowicz, Thaddeus E.; Janssen, Doug V.

    1973-01-01

    To determine the effect of chronic marihuana smoking on cognitive functions, personality traits, and social values, a group of heavy marihuana smokers was compared with a matched control group. (Author)

  13. Cognitive Functions, Personality Traits, and Social Values in Heavy Marihuana Smokers and Nonsmoker Controls

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weckowicz, Thaddeus E.; Janssen, Doug V.

    1973-01-01

    To determine the effect of chronic marihuana smoking on cognitive functions, personality traits, and social values, a group of heavy marihuana smokers was compared with a matched control group. (Author)

  14. Linking plat traits at ecosystem scale to ecosystem functions as observed by eddy covariance measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadat Musavi, Talie; Kattge, Jens; Mahecha, Miguel; Reichstein, Markus; Van de Weg, Marjan; Van Bodegom, Peter; Bahn, Michael

    2013-04-01

    In this study we analyze the correlation structure among plant traits, ecosystem functional properties, characteristics of climate, soil and vegetation at 253 FLUXNET sites. This correlation structure may provide a basis for assessing vegetation functioning and its vulnerability under climate change. Until now, analyses of the FLUXNET dataset have shown that much of the observed spatial and temporal variation of ecosystem fluxes can be explained and scaled by information on soil, climate and vegetation structure, without considering the variation in the functional characteristics of the vegetation occurring at the FLUXNET sites. Instead, these studies have used plant functional types (PFT) as a parameter representing the vegetation influence on fluxes. However, provided the variability in traits that exists within an individual PFT at different sites, we analyze in this study how traits additionally influence ecosystem functional properties. We use community mean trait values to understand how vegetation characteristics relate to ecosystem functional properties, like maximum GPP at light saturation, or photosynthetic water use efficiency. These functional properties are derived from the combination of ecosystem level flux observation and information of spatial meteorology and vegetation remote sensing covariates. In addition, we investigate whether vegetation characteristics have an influence on ecosystem fluxes when combined with climate and soil information. So far analyses of this kind were impossible due to a lack of plant trait information. But the plant trait dataset TRY has been growing for years and in combination with novel methods in machine learning. We now have the opportunity to predict plant trait values for individual sites. We will present first results focusing on the relationship of ecosystem functional properties to leaf traits like specific leaf area and leaf carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus concentration scaled to canopy level.

  15. Abnormal functional brain connectivity and personality traits in myotonic dystrophy type 1.

    PubMed

    Serra, Laura; Silvestri, Gabriella; Petrucci, Antonio; Basile, Barbara; Masciullo, Marcella; Makovac, Elena; Torso, Mario; Spanò, Barbara; Mastropasqua, Chiara; Harrison, Neil A; Bianchi, Maria L E; Giacanelli, Manlio; Caltagirone, Carlo; Cercignani, Mara; Bozzali, Marco

    2014-05-01

    Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1), the most common muscular dystrophy observed in adults, is a genetic multisystem disorder affecting several other organs besides skeletal muscle, including the brain. Cognitive and personality abnormalities have been reported; however, no studies have investigated brain functional networks and their relationship with personality traits/disorders in patients with DM1. To use resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess the potential relationship between personality traits/disorders and changes to functional connectivity within the default mode network (DMN) in patients with DM1. We enrolled 27 patients with genetically confirmed DM1 and 16 matched healthy control individuals. Patients underwent personality assessment using clinical interview and Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 administration; all participants underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Investigations were conducted at the Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Santa Lucia Foundation, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, and Azienda Ospedaliera San Camillo Forlanini. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Measures of personality traits in patients and changes in functional connectivity within the DMN in patients and controls. Changes in functional connectivity and atypical personality traits in patients were correlated. We combined results obtained from the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 and clinical interview to identify a continuum of atypical personality profiles ranging from schizotypal personality traits to paranoid personality disorder within our DM1 patients. We also demonstrated an increase in functional connectivity in the bilateral posterior cingulate and left parietal DMN nodes in DM1 patients compared with controls. Moreover, patients with DM1 showed strong associations between DMN functional connectivity and schizotypal-paranoid traits. Our findings provide novel

  16. Statistical laws for career longevity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petersen, Alexander; Jung, Woo-Sung; Yang, Jae-Suk; Stanley, H. Eugene

    2009-03-01

    Career length distinguishes successful long tenures from unsuccessful short stints, and partially reflects the contributions of an employee to the goals of the employer. In some professions, there are well-defined metrics that quantify career longevity, prowess, and productivity, which together contribute to the overall success rating for an individual employee. In this talk, I motivate a stochastic model for career development that relies on two key ingredients, random progress within the career and random stopping times terminating the career. This model is exactly solvable, predicting the probability density function (pdf) of career longevity, characterized by two parameters, α and xc. The parameter α quantifies the power-law scaling of the pdf, which is terminated by an exponential cutoff after a crossover value xc, representing the mean career lifetime. We test the model with the large quantity of empirical data available for several professional sports leagues, American baseball, Korean baseball, American basketball, and English soccer, finding excellent agreement with the model's predictions. In all, the generality of the model suggests that there may be common stochastic forces that underly progress, success, and longevity in various professions.

  17. Predicting climate change effects on wetland ecosystem services using species distribution modeling and plant functional traits.

    PubMed

    Moor, Helen; Hylander, Kristoffer; Norberg, Jon

    2015-01-01

    Wetlands provide multiple ecosystem services, the sustainable use of which requires knowledge of the underlying ecological mechanisms. Functional traits, particularly the community-weighted mean trait (CWMT), provide a strong link between species communities and ecosystem functioning. We here combine species distribution modeling and plant functional traits to estimate the direction of change of ecosystem processes under climate change. We model changes in CWMT values for traits relevant to three key services, focusing on the regional species pool in the Norrström area (central Sweden) and three main wetland types. Our method predicts proportional shifts toward faster growing, more productive and taller species, which tend to increase CWMT values of specific leaf area and canopy height, whereas changes in root depth vary. The predicted changes in CWMT values suggest a potential increase in flood attenuation services, a potential increase in short (but not long)-term nutrient retention, and ambiguous outcomes for carbon sequestration.

  18. Functional traits predict relationship between plant abundance dynamic and long-term climate warming.

    PubMed

    Soudzilovskaia, Nadejda A; Elumeeva, Tatiana G; Onipchenko, Vladimir G; Shidakov, Islam I; Salpagarova, Fatima S; Khubiev, Anzor B; Tekeev, Dzhamal K; Cornelissen, Johannes H C

    2013-11-05

    Predicting climate change impact on ecosystem structure and services is one of the most important challenges in ecology. Until now, plant species response to climate change has been described at the level of fixed plant functional types, an approach limited by its inflexibility as there is much interspecific functional variation within plant functional types. Considering a plant species as a set of functional traits greatly increases our possibilities for analysis of ecosystem functioning and carbon and nutrient fluxes associated therewith. Moreover, recently assembled large-scale databases hold comprehensive per-species data on plant functional traits, allowing a detailed functional description of many plant communities on Earth. Here, we show that plant functional traits can be used as predictors of vegetation response to climate warming, accounting in our test ecosystem (the species-rich alpine belt of Caucasus mountains, Russia) for 59% of variability in the per-species abundance relation to temperature. In this mountain belt, traits that promote conservative leaf water economy (higher leaf mass per area, thicker leaves) and large investments in belowground reserves to support next year's shoot buds (root carbon content) were the best predictors of the species increase in abundance along with temperature increase. This finding demonstrates that plant functional traits constitute a highly useful concept for forecasting changes in plant communities, and their associated ecosystem services, in response to climate change.

  19. Functional traits predict relationship between plant abundance dynamic and long-term climate warming

    PubMed Central

    Soudzilovskaia, Nadejda A.; Elumeeva, Tatiana G.; Onipchenko, Vladimir G.; Shidakov, Islam I.; Salpagarova, Fatima S.; Khubiev, Anzor B.; Tekeev, Dzhamal K.; Cornelissen, Johannes H. C.

    2013-01-01

    Predicting climate change impact on ecosystem structure and services is one of the most important challenges in ecology. Until now, plant species response to climate change has been described at the level of fixed plant functional types, an approach limited by its inflexibility as there is much interspecific functional variation within plant functional types. Considering a plant species as a set of functional traits greatly increases our possibilities for analysis of ecosystem functioning and carbon and nutrient fluxes associated therewith. Moreover, recently assembled large-scale databases hold comprehensive per-species data on plant functional traits, allowing a detailed functional description of many plant communities on Earth. Here, we show that plant functional traits can be used as predictors of vegetation response to climate warming, accounting in our test ecosystem (the species-rich alpine belt of Caucasus mountains, Russia) for 59% of variability in the per-species abundance relation to temperature. In this mountain belt, traits that promote conservative leaf water economy (higher leaf mass per area, thicker leaves) and large investments in belowground reserves to support next year’s shoot buds (root carbon content) were the best predictors of the species increase in abundance along with temperature increase. This finding demonstrates that plant functional traits constitute a highly useful concept for forecasting changes in plant communities, and their associated ecosystem services, in response to climate change. PMID:24145400

  20. Longevity of Mycobacterium bovis in Raw and Traditional Souring Milk as a Function of Storage Temperature and Dose

    PubMed Central

    Hlokwe, Tiny; Raseleka, Keneilwe; Getz, Wayne M.; Marcotty, Tanguy

    2015-01-01

    Background Unpasteurised fresh and souring dairy products form an essential component of household diets throughout many rural communities in southern Africa. The presence of milk-borne zoonotic pathogens such as Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis), the causative agent of bovine tuberculosis and zoonotic tuberculosis in humans, constitute a public health threat, especially in remote areas with poor disease surveillance in livestock and highly compromised human health due to HIV/AIDS. Methods In this study we used culture to determine the longevity of M. bovis in experimentally inoculated fresh and naturally souring milk obtained from communal cattle in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. The effect of bacterial load and storage temperature on the survival of M. bovis was evaluated by spiking mixtures of fresh milk and starter soured milk (aMasi) culture with three concentrations of bacteria (102, 104, 107 colony forming units/ml), followed by incubation under controlled laboratory conditions that mimicked ambient indoor (20°C) and outdoor (33°C) temperatures and periodic sampling and testing over time (0-56 days). Results M. bovis cultured from samples of the fresh and souring milk was identified by PCR analysis. At the highest spiking concentration (107cfu/ml), M. bovis survived for at least 2 weeks at 20°C; but, at all concentrations in the 33°C treatment, M. bovis was absent by three days after inoculation. Logistic regression analysis was used to assess the effects of bacterial concentration and time since inoculation, as well as determine the potential half-life of M. bovis in raw souring milk. Given the most favourable tested conditions for bacterial survival (20°C), approximately 25% of mycobacteria were alive after one day of storage (95% CI: 9-53%), giving an estimated half-life of M. bovis in raw souring milk of approximately 12 hours (95% CI: 7-27 hours). Conclusions This study demonstrates that M. bovis may survive in fresh and souring milk for

  1. Variation in trait trade-offs allows differentiation among predefined plant functional types: implications for predictive ecology.

    PubMed

    Verheijen, Lieneke M; Aerts, Rien; Bönisch, Gerhard; Kattge, Jens; Van Bodegom, Peter M

    2016-01-01

    Plant functional types (PFTs) aggregate the variety of plant species into a small number of functionally different classes. We examined to what extent plant traits, which reflect species' functional adaptations, can capture functional differences between predefined PFTs and which traits optimally describe these differences. We applied Gaussian kernel density estimation to determine probability density functions for individual PFTs in an n-dimensional trait space and compared predicted PFTs with observed PFTs. All possible combinations of 1-6 traits from a database with 18 different traits (total of 18 287 species) were tested. A variety of trait sets had approximately similar performance, and 4-5 traits were sufficient to classify up to 85% of the species into PFTs correctly, whereas this was 80% for a bioclimatically defined tree PFT classification. Well-performing trait sets included combinations of correlated traits that are considered functionally redundant within a single plant strategy. This analysis quantitatively demonstrates how structural differences between PFTs are reflected in functional differences described by particular traits. Differentiation between PFTs is possible despite large overlap in plant strategies and traits, showing that PFTs are differently positioned in multidimensional trait space. This study therefore provides the foundation for important applications for predictive ecology.

  2. Genomic prediction and genome-wide association analysis of female longevity in a composite beef cattle breed

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Longevity is a highly important trait to the efficiency of beef cattle production. The objective of this study was to evaluate the genomic prediction of longevity and identify genomic regions associated with this trait. The data used in this study consisted of 547 Composite Gene Combination (CGC) c...

  3. Landscape metrics as functional traits in plants: perspectives from a glacier foreland

    PubMed Central

    Dainese, Matteo; Krüsi, Bertil O.; McCollin, Duncan

    2017-01-01

    Spatial patterns of vegetation arise from an interplay of functional traits, environmental characteristics and chance. The retreat of glaciers offers exposed substrates which are colonised by plants forming distinct patchy patterns. The aim of this study was to unravel whether patch-level landscape metrics of plants can be treated as functional traits. We sampled 46 plots, each 1 m × 1 m, distributed along a restricted range of terrain age and topsoil texture on the foreland of the Nardis glacier, located in the South-Eastern Alps, Italy. Nine quantitative functional traits were selected for 16 of the plant species present, and seven landscape metrics were measured to describe the spatial arrangement of the plant species’ patches on the study plots, at a resolution of 1 cm × 1 cm. We studied the relationships among plant communities, landscape metrics, terrain age and topsoil texture. RLQ-analysis was used to examine trait-spatial configuration relationships. To assess the effect of terrain age and topsoil texture variation on trait performance, we applied a partial-RLQ analysis approach. Finally, we used the fourth-corner statistic to quantify and test relationships between traits, landscape metrics and RLQ axes. Floristically-defined relevé clusters differed significantly with regard to several landscape metrics. Diversity in patch types and size increased and patch size decreased with increasing canopy height, leaf size and weight. Moreover, more compact patch shapes were correlated with an increased capacity for the conservation of nutrients in leaves. Neither plant species composition nor any of the landscape metrics were found to differ amongst the three classes of terrain age or topsoil texture. We conclude that patch-level landscape metrics of plants can be treated as species-specific functional traits. We recommend that existing databases of functional traits should incorporate these type of data. PMID:28785514

  4. Functional Traits Reveal Processes Driving Natural Afforestation at Large Spatial Scales

    PubMed Central

    Mason, Norman W. H.; Wiser, Susan K.; Richardson, Sarah J.; Thorsen, Michael J.; Holdaway, Robert J.; Dray, Stéphane; Thomson, Fiona J.; Carswell, Fiona E.

    2013-01-01

    An understanding of the processes governing natural afforestation over large spatial scales is vital for enhancing forest carbon sequestration. Models of tree species occurrence probability in non-forest vegetation could potentially identify the primary variables determining natural afforestation. However, inferring processes governing afforestation using tree species occurrence is potentially problematic, since it is impossible to know whether observed occurrences are due to recruitment or persistence of existing trees following disturbance. Plant functional traits have the potential to reveal the processes by which key environmental and land cover variables influence afforestation. We used 10,061 survey plots to identify the primary environmental and land cover variables influencing tree occurrence probability in non-forest vegetation in New Zealand. We also examined how these variables influenced diversity of functional traits linked to plant ecological strategy and dispersal ability. Mean annual temperature was the most important environmental predictor of tree occurrence. Local woody cover and distance to forest were the most important land cover variables. Relationships between these variables and ecological strategy traits revealed a trade-off between ability to compete for light and colonize sites that were marginal for tree occurrence. Biotically dispersed species occurred less frequently with declining temperature and local woody cover, suggesting that abiotic stress limited their establishment and that biotic dispersal did not increase ability to colonize non-woody vegetation. Functional diversity for ecological strategy traits declined with declining temperature and woody cover and increasing distance to forest. Functional diversity for dispersal traits showed the opposite trend. This suggests that low temperatures and woody cover and high distance to forest may limit tree species establishment through filtering on ecological strategy traits, but not on

  5. Functional traits reveal processes driving natural afforestation at large spatial scales.

    PubMed

    Mason, Norman W H; Wiser, Susan K; Richardson, Sarah J; Thorsen, Michael J; Holdaway, Robert J; Dray, Stéphane; Thomson, Fiona J; Carswell, Fiona E

    2013-01-01

    An understanding of the processes governing natural afforestation over large spatial scales is vital for enhancing forest carbon sequestration. Models of tree species occurrence probability in non-forest vegetation could potentially identify the primary variables determining natural afforestation. However, inferring processes governing afforestation using tree species occurrence is potentially problematic, since it is impossible to know whether observed occurrences are due to recruitment or persistence of existing trees following disturbance. Plant functional traits have the potential to reveal the processes by which key environmental and land cover variables influence afforestation. We used 10,061 survey plots to identify the primary environmental and land cover variables influencing tree occurrence probability in non-forest vegetation in New Zealand. We also examined how these variables influenced diversity of functional traits linked to plant ecological strategy and dispersal ability. Mean annual temperature was the most important environmental predictor of tree occurrence. Local woody cover and distance to forest were the most important land cover variables. Relationships between these variables and ecological strategy traits revealed a trade-off between ability to compete for light and colonize sites that were marginal for tree occurrence. Biotically dispersed species occurred less frequently with declining temperature and local woody cover, suggesting that abiotic stress limited their establishment and that biotic dispersal did not increase ability to colonize non-woody vegetation. Functional diversity for ecological strategy traits declined with declining temperature and woody cover and increasing distance to forest. Functional diversity for dispersal traits showed the opposite trend. This suggests that low temperatures and woody cover and high distance to forest may limit tree species establishment through filtering on ecological strategy traits, but not on

  6. Potential and limitations of inferring ecosystem photosynthetic capacity from leaf functional traits.

    PubMed

    Musavi, Talie; Migliavacca, Mirco; van de Weg, Martine Janet; Kattge, Jens; Wohlfahrt, Georg; van Bodegom, Peter M; Reichstein, Markus; Bahn, Michael; Carrara, Arnaud; Domingues, Tomas F; Gavazzi, Michael; Gianelle, Damiano; Gimeno, Cristina; Granier, André; Gruening, Carsten; Havránková, Kateřina; Herbst, Mathias; Hrynkiw, Charmaine; Kalhori, Aram; Kaminski, Thomas; Klumpp, Katja; Kolari, Pasi; Longdoz, Bernard; Minerbi, Stefano; Montagnani, Leonardo; Moors, Eddy; Oechel, Walter C; Reich, Peter B; Rohatyn, Shani; Rossi, Alessandra; Rotenberg, Eyal; Varlagin, Andrej; Wilkinson, Matthew; Wirth, Christian; Mahecha, Miguel D

    2016-10-01

    The aim of this study was to systematically analyze the potential and limitations of using plant functional trait observations from global databases versus in situ data to improve our understanding of vegetation impacts on ecosystem functional properties (EFPs). Using ecosystem photosynthetic capacity as an example, we first provide an objective approach to derive robust EFP estimates from gross primary productivity (GPP) obtained from eddy covariance flux measurements. Second, we investigate the impact of synchronizing EFPs and plant functional traits in time and space to evaluate their relationships, and the extent to which we can benefit from global plant trait databases to explain the variability of ecosystem photosynthetic capacity. Finally, we identify a set of plant functional traits controlling ecosystem photosynthetic capacity at selected sites. Suitable estimates of the ecosystem photosynthetic capacity can be derived from light response curve of GPP responding to radiation (photosynthetically active radiation or absorbed photosynthetically active radiation). Although the effect of climate is minimized in these calculations, the estimates indicate substantial interannual variation of the photosynthetic capacity, even after removing site-years with confounding factors like disturbance such as fire events. The relationships between foliar nitrogen concentration and ecosystem photosynthetic capacity are tighter when both of the measurements are synchronized in space and time. When using multiple plant traits simultaneously as predictors for ecosystem photosynthetic capacity variation, the combination of leaf carbon to nitrogen ratio with leaf phosphorus content explains the variance of ecosystem photosynthetic capacity best (adjusted R(2) = 0.55). Overall, this study provides an objective approach to identify links between leaf level traits and canopy level processes and highlights the relevance of the dynamic nature of ecosystems. Synchronizing

  7. Landscape metrics as functional traits in plants: perspectives from a glacier foreland.

    PubMed

    Sitzia, Tommaso; Dainese, Matteo; Krüsi, Bertil O; McCollin, Duncan

    2017-01-01

    Spatial patterns of vegetation arise from an interplay of functional traits, environmental characteristics and chance. The retreat of glaciers offers exposed substrates which are colonised by plants forming distinct patchy patterns. The aim of this study was to unravel whether patch-level landscape metrics of plants can be treated as functional traits. We sampled 46 plots, each 1 m × 1 m, distributed along a restricted range of terrain age and topsoil texture on the foreland of the Nardis glacier, located in the South-Eastern Alps, Italy. Nine quantitative functional traits were selected for 16 of the plant species present, and seven landscape metrics were measured to describe the spatial arrangement of the plant species' patches on the study plots, at a resolution of 1 cm × 1 cm. We studied the relationships among plant communities, landscape metrics, terrain age and topsoil texture. RLQ-analysis was used to examine trait-spatial configuration relationships. To assess the effect of terrain age and topsoil texture variation on trait performance, we applied a partial-RLQ analysis approach. Finally, we used the fourth-corner statistic to quantify and test relationships between traits, landscape metrics and RLQ axes. Floristically-defined relevé clusters differed significantly with regard to several landscape metrics. Diversity in patch types and size increased and patch size decreased with increasing canopy height, leaf size and weight. Moreover, more compact patch shapes were correlated with an increased capacity for the conservation of nutrients in leaves. Neither plant species composition nor any of the landscape metrics were found to differ amongst the three classes of terrain age or topsoil texture. We conclude that patch-level landscape metrics of plants can be treated as species-specific functional traits. We recommend that existing databases of functional traits should incorporate these type of data.

  8. State and Trait Components of Functional Connectivity: Individual Differences Vary with Mental State

    PubMed Central

    Rubinov, Mikail; Cam-CAN; Henson, Richard N.

    2015-01-01

    Resting-state functional connectivity, as measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), is often treated as a trait, used, for example, to draw inferences about individual differences in cognitive function, or differences between healthy or diseased populations. However, functional connectivity can also depend on the individual's mental state. In the present study, we examined the relative contribution of state and trait components in shaping an individual's functional architecture. We used fMRI data from a large, population-based human sample (N = 587, age 18–88 years), as part of the Cambridge Centre for Aging and Neuroscience (Cam-CAN), which were collected in three mental states: resting, performing a sensorimotor task, and watching a movie. Whereas previous studies have shown commonalities across mental states in the average functional connectivity across individuals, we focused on the effects of states on the pattern of individual differences in functional connectivity. We found that state effects were as important as trait effects in shaping individual functional connectivity patterns, each explaining an approximately equal amount of variance. This was true when we looked at aging, as one specific dimension of individual differences, as well as when we looked at generic aspects of individual variation. These results show that individual differences in functional connectivity consist of state-dependent aspects, as well as more stable, trait-like characteristics. Studying individual differences in functional connectivity across a wider range of mental states will therefore provide a more complete picture of the mechanisms underlying factors such as cognitive ability, aging, and disease. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The brain's functional architecture is remarkably similar across different individuals and across different mental states, which is why many studies use functional connectivity as a trait measure. Despite these trait-like aspects, functional

  9. Local climate and cultivation, but not ploidy, predict functional trait variation in Bouteloua gracilis (Poaceae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Butterfield, Bradley J.; Wood, Troy E.

    2015-01-01

    Efforts to improve the diversity of seed 18 resources for important restoration species has become a high priority for land managers in many parts of the world. Relationships between functional trait values and the environment from which seed sources are collected can provide important insights into patterns of local adaptation and guidelines for seed transfer. However, little is known about which functional traits exhibit genetic differentiation across populations of restoration species and thus may contribute to local adaptation. Here, we report the results of a common garden experiment aimed at assessing genetic (including ploidy level) and environmental regulation of several functional traits among populations of Bouteloua gracilis, a dominant C4 grass and the most highly utilized restoration species across much of the Colorado Plateau. We found that leaf size and specific leaf area (SLA) varied significantly among populations, and were strongly correlated with the source population environment from which seeds were collected. However, variation in ploidy level had no significant effect on functional traits. Leaves of plants grown from commercial seed releases were significantly larger and had lower SLA than those from natural populations, a result that is concordant with the overall relation between climate and these two functional traits. We suggest that the patterns of functional trait variation shown here may extend to other grass species in the western USA, and may serve as useful proxies for more extensive genecology research. Furthermore, we argue that care should be taken to develop commercial seed lines with functional trait values that match those of natural populations occupying climates similar to target restoration sites.

  10. Differential Gender Effects in the Relationship between Perceived Immune Functioning and Autistic Traits.

    PubMed

    Mackus, Marlou; Kruijff, Deborah de; Otten, Leila S; Kraneveld, Aletta D; Garssen, Johan; Verster, Joris C

    2017-04-12

    Altered immune functioning has been demonstrated in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The current study explores the relationship between perceived immune functioning and experiencing ASD traits in healthy young adults. N = 410 students from Utrecht University completed a survey on immune functioning and autistic traits. In addition to a 1-item perceived immune functioning rating, the Immune Function Questionnaire (IFQ) was completed to assess perceived immune functioning. The Dutch translation of the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) was completed to examine variation in autistic traits, including the domains "social insights and behavior", "difficulties with change", "communication", "phantasy and imagination", and "detail orientation". The 1-item perceived immune functioning score did not significantly correlate with the total AQ score. However, a significant negative correlation was found between perceived immune functioning and the AQ subscale "difficulties with change" (r = -0.119, p = 0.019). In women, 1-item perceived immune functioning correlated significantly with the AQ subscales "difficulties with change" (r = -0.149, p = 0.029) and "communication" (r = -0.145, p = 0.032). In men, none of the AQ subscales significantly correlated with 1-item perceived immune functioning. In conclusion, a modest relationship between perceived immune functioning and several autistic traits was found.

  11. Interrelations between psychosocial functioning and adaptive- and maladaptive-range personality traits.

    PubMed

    Ro, Eunyoe; Clark, Lee Anna

    2013-08-01

    Decrements in one or more domains of psychosocial functioning (e.g., poor job performance, poor interpersonal relations) are commonly observed in psychiatric patients. The purpose of this study is to increase understanding of psychosocial functioning as a broad, multifaceted construct as well as its associations with both adaptive- and maladaptive-range personality traits in both nonclinical and psychiatric outpatient samples. The study was conducted in two phases. In Study 1, a nonclinical sample (N = 429) was administered seven psychosocial functioning and adaptive-range personality trait measures. In Study 2, psychiatric outpatients (N = 181) were administered the same psychosocial functioning measures, and maladaptive- as well as adaptive-range personality trait measures. Exploratory (both studies) and confirmatory (Study 2) factor analyses indicated a common three-factor, hierarchical structure of psychosocial functioning-Well Being, Social/Interpersonal Functioning, and Basic Functioning. These psychosocial functioning domains were closely--and differentially--linked with personality traits, especially strongly so in patients. Across samples, Well Being was associated with both Neuroticism/Negative Affectivity and Extraversion/Positive Affectivity, Social/Interpersonal Functioning was associated with both Agreeableness and Conscientiousness/Disinhibition, and Basic Functioning was associated with Conscientiousness/Disinhibition, although only modestly in the nonclinical sample. These relations generally were maintained even after partialing out current general dysphoric symptoms. These findings have implications for considering psychosocial functioning as an important third domain in a tripartite model together with personality and psychopathology. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.

  12. Evaluating Functional Diversity: Missing Trait Data and the Importance of Species Abundance Structure and Data Transformation.

    PubMed

    Májeková, Maria; Paal, Taavi; Plowman, Nichola S; Bryndová, Michala; Kasari, Liis; Norberg, Anna; Weiss, Matthias; Bishop, Tom R; Luke, Sarah H; Sam, Katerina; Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Yoann; Lepš, Jan; Götzenberger, Lars; de Bello, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    Functional diversity (FD) is an important component of biodiversity that quantifies the difference in functional traits between organisms. However, FD studies are often limited by the availability of trait data and FD indices are sensitive to data gaps. The distribution of species abundance and trait data, and its transformation, may further affect the accuracy of indices when data is incomplete. Using an existing approach, we simulated the effects of missing trait data by gradually removing data from a plant, an ant and a bird community dataset (12, 59, and 8 plots containing 62, 297 and 238 species respectively). We ranked plots by FD values calculated from full datasets and then from our increasingly incomplete datasets and compared the ranking between the original and virtually reduced datasets to assess the accuracy of FD indices when used on datasets with increasingly missing data. Finally, we tested the accuracy of FD indices with and without data transformation, and the effect of missing trait data per plot or per the whole pool of species. FD indices became less accurate as the amount of missing data increased, with the loss of accuracy depending on the index. But, where transformation improved the normality of the trait data, FD values from incomplete datasets were more accurate than before transformation. The distribution of data and its transformation are therefore as important as data completeness and can even mitigate the effect of missing data. Since the effect of missing trait values pool-wise or plot-wise depends on the data distribution, the method should be decided case by case. Data distribution and data transformation should be given more careful consideration when designing, analysing and interpreting FD studies, especially where trait data are missing. To this end, we provide the R package "traitor" to facilitate assessments of missing trait data.

  13. Evaluating Functional Diversity: Missing Trait Data and the Importance of Species Abundance Structure and Data Transformation

    PubMed Central

    Bryndová, Michala; Kasari, Liis; Norberg, Anna; Weiss, Matthias; Bishop, Tom R.; Luke, Sarah H.; Sam, Katerina; Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Yoann; Lepš, Jan; Götzenberger, Lars; de Bello, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    Functional diversity (FD) is an important component of biodiversity that quantifies the difference in functional traits between organisms. However, FD studies are often limited by the availability of trait data and FD indices are sensitive to data gaps. The distribution of species abundance and trait data, and its transformation, may further affect the accuracy of indices when data is incomplete. Using an existing approach, we simulated the effects of missing trait data by gradually removing data from a plant, an ant and a bird community dataset (12, 59, and 8 plots containing 62, 297 and 238 species respectively). We ranked plots by FD values calculated from full datasets and then from our increasingly incomplete datasets and compared the ranking between the original and virtually reduced datasets to assess the accuracy of FD indices when used on datasets with increasingly missing data. Finally, we tested the accuracy of FD indices with and without data transformation, and the effect of missing trait data per plot or per the whole pool of species. FD indices became less accurate as the amount of missing data increased, with the loss of accuracy depending on the index. But, where transformation improved the normality of the trait data, FD values from incomplete datasets were more accurate than before transformation. The distribution of data and its transformation are therefore as important as data completeness and can even mitigate the effect of missing data. Since the effect of missing trait values pool-wise or plot-wise depends on the data distribution, the method should be decided case by case. Data distribution and data transformation should be given more careful consideration when designing, analysing and interpreting FD studies, especially where trait data are missing. To this end, we provide the R package “traitor” to facilitate assessments of missing trait data. PMID:26881747

  14. Covariation in Plant Functional Traits and Soil Fertility within Two Species-Rich Forests

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiaojuan; Swenson, Nathan G.; Wright, S. Joseph; Zhang, Liwen; Song, Kai; Du, Yanjun; Zhang, Jinlong; Mi, Xiangcheng; Ren, Haibao; Ma, Keping

    2012-01-01

    The distribution of plant species along environmental gradients is expected to be predictable based on organismal function. Plant functional trait research has shown that trait values generally vary predictably along broad-scale climatic and soil gradients. This work has also demonstrated that at any one point along these gradients there is a large amount of interspecific trait variation. The present research proposes that this variation may be explained by the local-scale sorting of traits along soil fertility and acidity axes. Specifically, we predicted that trait values associated with high resource acquisition and growth rates would be found on soils that are more fertile and less acidic. We tested the expected relationships at the species-level and quadrat-level (20×20 m) using two large forest plots in Panama and China that contain over 450 species combined. Predicted relationships between leaf area and wood density and soil fertility were supported in some instances, but the majority of the predicted relationships were rejected. Alternative resource axes, such as light gradients, therefore likely play a larger role in determining the interspecific variability in plant functional traits in the two forests studied. PMID:22509355

  15. Covariation in plant functional traits and soil fertility within two species-rich forests.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaojuan; Swenson, Nathan G; Wright, S Joseph; Zhang, Liwen; Song, Kai; Du, Yanjun; Zhang, Jinlong; Mi, Xiangcheng; Ren, Haibao; Ma, Keping

    2012-01-01

    The distribution of plant species along environmental gradients is expected to be predictable based on organismal function. Plant functional trait research has shown that trait values generally vary predictably along broad-scale climatic and soil gradients. This work has also demonstrated that at any one point along these gradients there is a large amount of interspecific trait variation. The present research proposes that this variation may be explained by the local-scale sorting of traits along soil fertility and acidity axes. Specifically, we predicted that trait values associated with high resource acquisition and growth rates would be found on soils that are more fertile and less acidic. We tested the expected relationships at the species-level and quadrat-level (20 × 20 m) using two large forest plots in Panama and China that contain over 450 species combined. Predicted relationships between leaf area and wood density and soil fertility were supported in some instances, but the majority of the predicted relationships were rejected. Alternative resource axes, such as light gradients, therefore likely play a larger role in determining the interspecific variability in plant functional traits in the two forests studied.

  16. Necessity of angiotensin-converting enzyme-related gene for cardiac functions and longevity of Drosophila melanogaster assessed by optical coherence tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liao, Fang-Tsu; Chang, Cheng-Yi; Su, Ming-Tsan; Kuo, Wen-Chuan

    2014-01-01

    Prior studies have established the necessity of an angiotensin-converting enzyme-related (ACER) gene for heart morphogenesis of Drosophila. Nevertheless, the physiology of ACER has yet to be comprehensively understood. Herein, we employed RNA interference to down-regulate the expression of ACER in Drosophila's heart and swept source optical coherence tomography to assess whether ACER is required for cardiac functions in living adult flies. Several contractile parameters of Drosophila heart, including the heart rate (HR), end-diastolic diameter (EDD), end-systolic diameter (ESD), percent fractional shortening (%FS), and stress-induced cardiac performance, are shown, which are age dependent. These age-dependent cardiac functions declined significantly when ACER was down-regulated. Moreover, the lifespans of ACER knock-down flies were significantly shorter than those of wild-type control flies. Thus, we posit that ACER, the Drosophila ortholog of mammalian angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), is essential for both heart physiology and longevity of animals. Since mammalian ACE2 controls many cardiovascular physiological features and is implicated in cardiomyopathies, our findings that ACER plays conserved roles in genetically tractable animals will pave the way for uncovering the genetic pathway that controls the renin-angiotensin system.

  17. A comparative cellular and molecular biology of longevity database.

    PubMed

    Stuart, Jeffrey A; Liang, Ping; Luo, Xuemei; Page, Melissa M; Gallagher, Emily J; Christoff, Casey A; Robb, Ellen L

    2013-10-01

    Discovering key cellular and molecular traits that promote longevity is a major goal of aging and longevity research. One experimental strategy is to determine which traits have been selected during the evolution of longevity in naturally long-lived animal species. This comparative approach has been applied to lifespan research for nearly four decades, yielding hundreds of datasets describing aspects of cell and molecular biology hypothesized to relate to animal longevity. Here, we introduce a Comparative Cellular and Molecular Biology of Longevity Database, available at ( http://genomics.brocku.ca/ccmbl/ ), as a compendium of comparative cell and molecular data presented in the context of longevity. This open access database will facilitate the meta-analysis of amalgamated datasets using standardized maximum lifespan (MLSP) data (from AnAge). The first edition contains over 800 data records describing experimental measurements of cellular stress resistance, reactive oxygen species metabolism, membrane composition, protein homeostasis, and genome homeostasis as they relate to vertebrate species MLSP. The purpose of this review is to introduce the database and briefly demonstrate its use in the meta-analysis of combined datasets.

  18. GWAS and Meta-Analysis in Aging/Longevity.

    PubMed

    Broer, Linda; van Duijn, Cornelia M

    2015-01-01

    Longevity is an extremely complex phenotype that is determined by environment, life style and genetics. Genome wide association studies (GWAS) have been a powerful tool to identify the genetic origin of other complex outcome with a similar heritability. In this chapter we discuss the findings all GWAS of longevity conducted to date. Various cut-off to define longevity have been used varying from 85+, 90+ and 100+ years and the impact of these difference are addressed in this chapter. The only consistent association emerging from GWAS to data is the APOE gene that has been already identified as a candidate gene. Although (GWAS) have identified biologically plausible genes and pathways, no new loci for longevity have been conclusively proven. A reason for not finding any replicated associations for longevity could be the complexity of the phenotype, although heterogeneity also underlies many other traits for which GWAS has been successful. One may argue that rare variants explain the high heritability of longevity and the segregation of the trait in families. Yet, whole genome analyses of GWAS data still suggest that over 80 % of the heritability is explained by common variants. Although findings of GWAS to date have been disappointing, there is ample opportunity to improve the statistical power of studies to find common variants with small effects. In the near future, joining of the published studies and new ones emerging may bring to surface new loci.

  19. Predicting fine root lifespan from plant functional traits in temperate trees.

    PubMed

    Luke McCormack, M; Adams, Thomas S; Smithwick, Erica A H; Eissenstat, David M

    2012-09-01

    Although linkages of leaf and whole-plant traits to leaf lifespan have been rigorously investigated, there is a limited understanding of similar linkages of whole-plant and fine root traits to root lifespan. In comparisons across species, do suites of traits found in leaves also exist for roots, and can these traits be used to predict root lifespan? We observed the fine root lifespan of 12 temperate tree species using minirhizotrons in a common garden and compared their median lifespans with fine-root and whole-plant traits. We then determined which set of combined traits would be most useful in predicting patterns of root lifespan. Median root lifespan ranged widely among species (95-336 d). Root diameter, calcium content, and tree wood density were positively related to root lifespan, whereas specific root length, nitrogen (N) : carbon (C) ratio, and plant growth rate were negatively related to root lifespan. Root diameter and plant growth rate, together (R² = 0.62) or in combination with root N : C ratio (R² = 0.76), were useful predictors of root lifespan across the 12 species. Our results highlight linkages between fine root lifespan in temperate trees and plant functional traits that may reduce uncertainty in predictions of root lifespan or turnover across species at broader spatial scales. © 2012 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2012 New Phytologist Trust.

  20. Culling reasons in organic and conventional dairy herds and genotype by environment interaction for longevity.

    PubMed

    Ahlman, T; Berglund, B; Rydhmer, L; Strandberg, E

    2011-03-01

    Dairy cow longevity combines all functional traits and is thought to be especially important in organic production, which is an established, increasing part of Swedish dairy production, representing approximately 6% of the market. The aim of this study was to compare dynamics in culling reasons between organic and conventional production and to analyze genotype by environment interactions for longevity. The data contained information from all organic herds with information available from official recording (n=402) and from approximately half of the conventional herds (n=5,335). Records from Swedish Holsteins (n=155,379) and Swedish Red cows (n=160,794) that had their first calf between January 1998 and September 2003 were included. The opportunity period for longevity was at least 6 yr. Six longevity traits were defined: length of productive life; survival through first, second, and third lactations; fertility-determined survival; and udder health-determined survival. Twenty codes were used to describe the cause of culling, and these were divided into 8 groups: udder health, low fertility, low production, leg problems, metabolic diseases, other diseases, other specified causes, and unspecified cause. The main reason for culling cows in organic herds was poor udder health, whereas for cows in conventional herds it was low fertility. Furthermore, the shift in main culling reason from fertility, which was most common in first lactation regardless of production system, to udder health occurred at a lower age in organic production. Heritabilities and genetic correlations for the longevity traits expressed in organic and conventional herds were estimated from a bivariate animal model. The genetic correlations were close to unity (>0.88), except for fertility-determined survival in the Swedish Red breed (0.80). Heritabilities were low to moderate, and no clear pattern was identified for production system or breed. In general, the results indicate that farmers' culling

  1. 3FunMap: full-sib family functional mapping of dynamic traits.

    PubMed

    Tong, Chunfa; Wang, Zhong; Zhang, Bo; Shi, Jisen; Wu, Rongling

    2011-07-15

    Functional mapping that embeds the developmental mechanisms of complex traits shows great power to study the dynamic pattern of genetic effects triggered by individual quantitative trait loci (QTLs). A full-sib family, produced by crossing two heterozygous parents, is characteristic of uncertainties about cross-type at a locus and linkage phase between different loci. Integrating functional mapping into a full-sib family requires a model selection procedure capable of addressing these uncertainties. 3FunMap, written in VC++ 6.0, provides a flexible and extensible platform to perform full-sib functional mapping of dynamic traits. Functions in the package encompass linkage phase determination, marker map construction and the pattern identification of QTL segregation, dynamic tests of QTL effects, permutation tests and numerical simulation. We demonstrate the features of 3FunMap through real data analysis and computer simulation. http://statgen.psu.edu/software.

  2. Shade tolerance and herbivory are associated with RGR of tree species via different functional traits.

    PubMed

    Salgado-Luarte, C; Gianoli, E

    2016-12-20

    Relative growth rate (RGR) plays an important role in plant adaptation to the light environment through the growth potential/survival trade-off. RGR is a complex trait with physiological and biomass allocation components. It has been argued that herbivory may influence the evolution of plant strategies to cope with the light environment, but little is known about the relation between susceptibility to herbivores and growth-related functional traits. Here, we examined in 11 evergreen tree species from a temperate rainforest the association between growth-related functional traits and (i) species' shade-tolerance, and (ii) herbivory rate in the field. We aimed at elucidating the differential linkage of shade and herbivory with RGR via growth-related functional traits. We found that RGR was associated negatively with shade-tolerance and positively with herbivory rate. However, herbivory rate and shade-tolerance were not significantly related. RGR was determined mainly by photosynthetic rate (Amax ) and specific leaf area (SLA). Results suggest that shade tolerance and herbivore resistance do not covary with the same functional traits. Whereas shade-tolerance was strongly related to Amax and to a lesser extent to leaf mass ratio (LMR) and dark respiration (Rd ), herbivory rate was closely related to allocation traits (SLA and LMR) and slightly associated with protein content. The effects of low light on RGR would be mediated by Amax , while the effects of herbivory on RGR would be mediated by SLA. Our findings suggest that shade and herbivores may differentially contribute to shape RGR of tree species through their effects on different resource-uptake functional traits.

  3. Nectarine promotes longevity in Drosophila melanogaster

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Aging is associated with increased oxidative damage and gradual decline of physiology function with age, and is modulated by numerous genetic and environmental factors. Functional fruits are thought to be ideal candidates for promoting longevity and healthspan due to their high contents of polypheno...

  4. On the Relationship between Autistic Traits and Executive Functioning in a Non-Clinical Dutch Student Population

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maes, Joseph HR; Vissers, Constance ThWM; Egger, Jos IM; Eling, Paul ATM

    2013-01-01

    We examined the association between autistic traits and different aspects of executive functioning (EF), using non-clinical Social Science and Science students as participants. Autistic traits, and associated personality traits, were measured using the Autism Quotient (AQ) and the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), respectively. EF was…

  5. Functional traits of soil invertebrates as indicators for exposure to soil disturbance.

    PubMed

    Hedde, Mickaël; van Oort, Folkert; Lamy, Isabelle

    2012-05-01

    We tested a trait-based approach to link a soil disturbance to changes in invertebrate communities. Soils and macro-invertebrates were sampled in sandy soils contaminated by long-term wastewater irrigation, adding notably organic matter and trace metals (TM). We hypothesized that functional traits of invertebrates depict ways of exposure and that exposure routes relate to specific TM pools. Geophages and soft-body invertebrates were chosen to inform on exposure by ingestion or contact, respectively. Trait-based indices depicted more accurately effects of pollution than community density and diversity did. Exposure by ingestion had more deleterious effects than by contact. Both types of exposed invertebrates were influenced by TM, but geophages mainly responded to changes in soil organic matter contents. The trait-based approach requires to be applied in various conditions to uncorrelate specific TM impacts from those of other environmental factors. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Genetic Variation in Functional Traits Influences Arthropod Community Composition in Aspen (Populus tremula L.)

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Kathryn M.; Ingvarsson, Pär K.; Jansson, Stefan; Albrectsen, Benedicte R.

    2012-01-01

    We conducted a study of natural variation in functional leaf traits and herbivory in 116 clones of European aspen, Populus tremula L., the Swedish Aspen (SwAsp) collection, originating from ten degrees of latitude across Sweden and grown in a common garden. In surveys of phytophagous arthropods over two years, we found the aspen canopy supports nearly 100 morphospecies. We identified significant broad-sense heritability of plant functional traits, basic plant defence chemistry, and arthropod community traits. The majority of arthropods were specialists, those coevolved with P. tremula to tolerate and even utilize leaf defence compounds. Arthropod abundance and richness were more closely related to plant growth rates than general chemical defences and relationships were identified between the arthropod community and stem growth, leaf and petiole morphology, anthocyanins, and condensed tannins. Heritable genetic variation in plant traits in young aspen was found to structure arthropod community; however no single trait drives the preferences of arthropod folivores among young aspen genotypes. The influence of natural variation in plant traits on the arthropod community indicates the importance of maintaining genetic variation in wild trees as keystone species for biodiversity. It further suggests that aspen can be a resource for the study of mechanisms of natural resistance to herbivores. PMID:22662190

  7. Abandoned seasonal livestock migration reflected by plant functional traits: A case study in Kyrgyz rangelands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoppe, Franziska; Zhusui Kyzy, Taalaigul; Usupbaev, Adilet; Schickoff, Udo

    2017-04-01

    At least 30% of Kyrgyz pasture areas are considered to be subject to vegetation and soil degradation. Since animal husbandry is the economic basis to sustain people's livelihoods, rangeland degradation presents a threat for the majority of the population. Recently, the usage of plant functional traits as a powerful tool for the characterization of vegetation dynamics in response to anthropogenic and natural disturbances has been put forward. Grazing is one of the most severe disturbances on vegetation, which concerns equally the loss of area and biomass. Because grazing is both depending on and affecting plant functional traits, important insights can be generated, based on this codependency. We hypothesized that the contrasting grazing intensity of summer and winter pastures is reflected by the chosen traits. We used traits such as plant height, flowering start, growth form as well as SLA (Specific Leaf Area) and LMA (Leaf Mass per Area). Based on former phytosociological classification of the main pasture types (summer and winter pastures), community structure and the traits of dominant plant species were analyzed. Our results showed that on winter pastures grazing decreased plant height and SLA and favored plants with an earlier flowering start as well as rosette plants and ascending plants. We conclude that the study of trait composition in relation to anthropogenic disturbances can provide important insights into the mechanism of plant response to grazing in high-altitude rangelands.

  8. Functional traits of the understory plant community of a pyrogenic longleaf pine forest across environmental gradients.

    PubMed

    Ames, Gregory M; Anderson, Steven M; Ungberg, Eric A; Wright, Justin P

    2017-08-01

    Understanding and predicting the response of plant communities to environmental changes and disturbances such as fire requires an understanding of the functional traits present in the system, including within and across species variability, and their dynamics over time. These data are difficult to obtain as few studies provide comprehensive information for more than a few traits or species, rarely cover more than a single growing season, and usually present only summary statistics of trait values. As part of a larger study seeking to understand the dynamics of plant communities in response to different prescribed fire regimes, we measured the functional traits of the understory plant communities located in over 140 permanent plots spanning strong gradients in soil moisture in a pyrogenic longleaf pine forest in North Carolina, USA, over a four-year period from 2011 and 2014. We present over 120,000 individual trait measurements from over 130 plant species representing 91 genera from 47 families. We include data on the following 18 traits: specific leaf area, leaf dry matter content, leaf area, leaf length, leaf width, leaf perimeter, plant height, leaf nitrogen, leaf carbon, leaf carbon to nitrogen ratio, water use efficiency, time to ignition, maximum flame height, maximum burn temperature, mass-specific burn time, mass-specific smolder time, branching architecture, and the ratio of leaf matter consumed by fire. We also include information on locations, soil moisture, relative elevation, soil bulk density, and fire histories for each site. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  9. Energetics and longevity in birds

    PubMed Central

    Furness, L. J.

    2008-01-01

    The links between energy expenditure and ageing are different at different levels of enquiry. When studies have examined the relationships between different species within a given class the association is generally negative—animals with greater metabolism per gram of tissue live shorter lives. Within species, or between classes (e.g. between birds and mammals) the association is the opposite—animals with higher metabolic rates live longer. We have previously shown in mammals that the negative association between lifespan and metabolic rate is in fact an artefact of using resting rather than daily energy expenditure, and of failing to adequately take into account the confounding effects of body size and the lack of phylogenetic independence of species data. When these factors are accounted for, across species of mammals, the ones with higher metabolism also have the largest lifetime expenditures of energy—consistent with the inter-class and intra-specific data. A previous analysis in birds did not yield the same pattern, but this may have been due to a lack of sufficient power in the analysis. Here we present an analysis of a much enlarged data set (>300 species) for metabolic and longevity traits in birds. These data show very similar patterns to those in mammals. Larger individuals have longer lives and lower per-gram resting and daily energy expenditures, hence there is a strong negative relationship between longevity and mass-specific metabolism. This relationship disappears when the confounding effects of body mass and phylogeny are accounted for. Across species of birds, lifetime expenditure of energy per gram of tissue based on both daily and resting energy expenditure is positively related to metabolic intensity, mirroring these statistical relationships in mammals and synergising with the positive associations of metabolism with lifespan within species and between vertebrate classes. PMID:19424858

  10. Potential and limitations of inferring ecosystem photosynthetic capacity from leaf functional traits

    Treesearch

    Talie Musavi; Mirco Migliavacca; Martine Janet van de Weg; Jens Kattge; Georg Wohlfahrt; Peter M. van Bodegom; Markus Reichstein; Michael Bahn; Arnaud Carrara; Tomas F. Domingues; Michael Gavazzi; Damiano Gianelle; Cristina Gimeno; André Granier; Carsten Gruening; Kateřina Havránková; Mathias Herbst; Charmaine Hrynkiw; Aram Kalhori; Thomas Kaminski; Katja Klumpp; Pasi Kolari; Bernard Longdoz; Stefano Minerbi; Leonardo Montagnani; Eddy Moors; Walter C. Oechel; Peter B. Reich; Shani Rohatyn; Alessandra Rossi; Eyal Rotenberg; Andrej Varlagin; Matthew Wilkinson; Christian Wirth; Miguel D. Mahecha

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to systematically analyze the potential and limitations of using plant functional trait observations from global databases versus in situ data to improve our understanding of vegetation impacts on ecosystem functional properties (EFPs). Using ecosystem photosynthetic capacity as an example, we first provide an objective approach to derive...

  11. Individual species affect plant traits structure in their surroundings: evidence of functional mechanisms of assembly.

    PubMed

    Chacón-Labella, Julia; de la Cruz, Marcelino; Pescador, David S; Escudero, Adrián

    2016-04-01

    Evaluating community assembly through the use of functional traits is a promising tool for testing predictions arising from Niche and Coexistence theories. Although interactions among neighboring species and their inter-specific differences are known drivers of coexistence with a strong spatial signal, assessing the role of individual species on the functional structure of the community at different spatial scales remains a challenge. Here, we ask whether individual species exert a measurable effect on the spatial organization of different functional traits in local assemblages. We first propose and compute two functions that describe different aspects of functional trait organization around individual species at multiple scales: individual weighted mean area relationship and individual functional diversity area relationship. Secondly, we develop a conceptual model on the relationship and simultaneous variation of these two metrics, providing five alternative scenarios in response to the ability of some target species to modify its neighbor environment and the possible assembly mechanisms involved. Our results show that some species influence the spatial structure of specific functional traits, but their effects were always restricted to the finest spatial scales. In the basis of our conceptual model, the observed patterns point to two main mechanisms driving the functional structure of the community at the fine scale, "biotic" filtering meditated by individual species and resource partitioning driven by indirect facilitation rather than by competitive mechanisms.

  12. Predicting future forests: Understanding diverse phenological responses within a community and functional trait framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolkovich, E. M.; Flynn, D. F. B.

    2016-12-01

    In recent years increasing attention has focused on plant phenology as an important indicator of the biological impacts of climate change, as many plants have shifted their leafing and flowering earlier with increasing temperatures. As data have accumulated, researchers have found a link between phenological responses to warming and plant performance and invasions. Such work suggests phenology may not only be a major impact of warming, but a critical predictor of future plant performance. Yet alongside this increasing interest in phenology, important issues remain unanswered: responses to warming for species at the same site or in the same genus vary often by weeks or more and the explanatory power of phenology for performance and invasions when analyzed across diverse datasets remains low. We propose progress can come from explicitly considering phenology within a community context and as a critical plant trait correlated with other major plant functional traits. Here, we lay out a framework for our proposal: specifically we review how we expect phenology and phenological cues of different species within a community to vary and what other functional traits are predicted to co-vary with phenological traits. Much research currently suggests phenology is a critical functional trait that is shaped strongly by the environment. Plants are expected to adjust their phenologies to avoid periods of high abiotic risk and/or high competition. Thus we may expect phenology to correlate strongly to other traits involved in mitigating risk and high competition. Results from recent meta-analyses as well as experimental and observational research from 28 species in northeastern North American temperate forests suggest that species within a community show the predicted diversified set of phenological cues. We review early work on links to other functional traits and in closing review how these correlations may in turn determine the diversity of phenological responses observed for

  13. Phylogenetic trait conservatism and the evolution of functional trade-offs in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi

    PubMed Central

    Powell, Jeff R.; Parrent, Jeri L.; Hart, Miranda M.; Klironomos, John N.; Rillig, Matthias C.; Maherali, Hafiz

    2009-01-01

    The diversity of functional and life-history traits of organisms depends on adaptation as well as the legacy of shared ancestry. Although the evolution of traits in macro-organisms is well studied, relatively little is known about character evolution in micro-organisms. Here, we surveyed an ancient and ecologically important group of microbial plant symbionts, the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, and tested hypotheses about the evolution of functional and life-history traits. Variation in the extent of root and soil colonization by AM fungi is constrained to a few nodes basal to the most diverse groups within the phylum, with relatively little variation associated with recent divergences. We found no evidence for a trade-off in biomass allocated to root versus soil colonization in three published glasshouse experiments; rather these traits were positively correlated. Partial support was observed for correlated evolution between fungal colonization strategies and functional benefits of the symbiosis to host plants. The evolution of increased soil colonization was positively correlated with total plant biomass and shoot phosphorus content. Although the effect of AM fungi on infection by root pathogens was phylogenetically conserved, there was no evidence for correlated evolution between the extent of AM fungal root colonization and pathogen infection. Variability in colonization strategies evolved early in the diversification of AM fungi, and we propose that these strategies were influenced by functional interactions with host plants, resulting in an evolutionary stasis resembling trait conservatism. PMID:19740877

  14. Apparent plasticity in functional traits determining competitive ability and spatial distribution: a case from desert

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Jiang-Bo; Xu, Gui-Qing; Jenerette, G. Darrel; Bai, Yong-fei; Wang, Zhong-Yuan; Li, Yan

    2015-01-01

    Species competitive abilities and their distributions are closely related to functional traits such as biomass allocation patterns. When we consider how nutrient supply affects competitive abilities, quantifying the apparent and true plasticity in functional traits is important because the allometric relationships among traits are universal in plants. We propose to integrate the notion of allometry and the classical reaction norm into a composite theoretical framework that quantifies the apparent and true plasticity. Combining the framework with a meta-analysis, a series of field surveys and a competition experiment, we aimed to determine the causes of the dune/interdune distribution patterns of two Haloxylon species in the Gurbantonggut Desert. We found that (1) the biomass allocation patterns of both Haloxylon species in responses to environmental conditions were apparent rather than true plasticity and (2) the allometric allocation patterns affected the plants’ competition for soil nutrient supply. A key implication of our results is that the apparent plasticity in functional traits of plants determines their response to environmental change. Without identifying the apparent and true plasticity, we would substantially overestimate the magnitude, duration and even the direction of plant responses in functional traits to climate change. PMID:26190745

  15. Hyper-longevity, a late-modern paradigm for understanding longevity, ageing and their complexities in Western developed globalised countries.

    PubMed

    Alzetta, Roberto; Cesario, Alfredo; Fini, Massimo

    2014-01-01

    If longevity is a biological and demographic indicator to determine human lifetime extension, hyper-longevity notion can represent a heuristic tool to better disentangle the complex bio-psycho-social implications of ageing and elderly in Western developed globalised countries. Departing from the assumption of a holistic approach to human condition understanding, it is possible to reveal the grounds and patterns of a multilayered and multidimensional structuring of longevity and ageing in our societies that would lead to a form of hyper-longevity. Socio-cultural processes, underlying hyper-longevity notion, rise the question of transition from modern/ latemodern societies to post-modern ones and it offers room for a cultural analysis of concepts, such as space time compression, digital capitalism, knowledge and mass information society. These are relevant ideas that can contribute to reshape and rethink the boundaries and traits of ageing experience in 21(st) century societies. To better catch the point emerging social category of Baby Boomers is presented and used to provide a concrete context related example on how hyper-longevity can better explain complex social evidences in many cultural respects and social domains. As a conclusive step some preliminary reflections, largely centered on the relation between Baby Boomers, hyper-longevity and bio-medical sciences are presented and discussed to provide a starting point for further future analyses within a trans and inter-disciplinary framework.

  16. Relationships among leaf functional traits, litter traits, and mass loss during early phases of leaf litter decomposition in 12 woody plant species.

    PubMed

    Zukswert, Jenna M; Prescott, Cindy E

    2017-09-08

    Litter 'quality' or decomposability has historically been estimated through measuring chemical attributes, such as concentrations of nitrogen or 'lignin'. More recently, foliar functional traits, which may incorporate indications of the physical structures of tissues, have been found to correlate with litter mass loss rates. However, these traits may not be adequate to predict early rates of mass loss, in which two factors are crucial: the amount of material quickly lost through leaching, and the ease of access of decomposer organisms to the more labile tissues in the interior of the litter. We investigated relationships among physical and chemical traits in foliage and litter of 12 species native to British Columbia and then observed how these traits related to mass loss during the first 3 months (Phase I) and between 3 and 12 months (Phase II). Novel traits measured in this study include cuticle thickness, litter leaching loss, and litter water uptake. Foliar and litter traits both co-varied along spectra, but several chemical traits, such as nitrogen concentration, changed from foliage to litter, i.e., during senescence. Phase I mass loss was best predicted by leaching loss and traits relating to leaching, such as cuticle thickness and specific leaf area. Phase II mass loss was predicted by traits that may relate to decomposer access and activity, such as leaf dry matter content and foliar nitrogen. Physical traits predicted mass loss as well or better than chemical traits, suggesting that physical characteristics of litter are important in determining early rates of decomposition.

  17. Genome size and longevity in fish.

    PubMed

    Griffith, O L; Moodie, G E E; Civetta, A

    2003-03-01

    The wide variety of genome sizes (measured as C-value) observed across taxa is not related to organismal complexity or number of coding genes. Partial answers to this C-value enigma have been found by establishing associations between C-value and particular phenotypic characteristics. One such controversial association has been recently suggested between genome size and longevity in birds. In order to determine whether genome size is a general predictor of longevity, we have extended the analysis to the Actinoptergyian fish, a widely divergent group in terms of both longevity and genome size. We collected data on genome size, longevity and body mass for species covering fourteen orders of bony fish. Analysis of covariance using order as a cofactor shows a significant effect of genome size on longevity (corrected for body mass), with lifespan increasing as a function of genome size. Analysis of phylogenetically independent contrasts for orders with a large number of species with a well resolved phylogenetic relationship (Acipenseriformes, Cypriniformes, and Salmoniformes) found the same trend of longer lifespan with increases in genome size but the relationship was not significant. Our results consistently show an increase in lifespan for fish with larger genomes.

  18. [Cognitive functions and personality traits in patients with brain tumors: the role of lesion localization].

    PubMed

    Razumnikova, O M; Perfil'ev, A M; Stupak, V V

    2014-01-01

    Personality traits and cognitive functions were studied depending on a tumor localization in the brain in 21 neurosurgical patients and the results were compared with a control group. In patients with brain damage, mostly affected were personality traits associated with emotion regulation and social interaction (neuroticism, psychoticism and social conformity). Increases in psychoticism and decreases in neuroticism were more expressed in patients with a left-hemisphere localization of tumors. The tumor-induced decrease in cognitive abilities was more presented in performing figurative tasks and less in verbal ones. Verbal functions were more decreased in the group with frontal localization of tumor compared to that with parietal localization.

  19. Trait-based approaches for understanding microbial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    PubMed Central

    Krause, Sascha; Le Roux, Xavier; Niklaus, Pascal A.; Van Bodegom, Peter M.; Lennon, Jay T.; Bertilsson, Stefan; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Philippot, Laurent; Bodelier, Paul L. E.

    2014-01-01

    In ecology, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research has seen a shift in perspective from taxonomy to function in the last two decades, with successful application of trait-based approaches. This shift offers opportunities for a deeper mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity in maintaining multiple ecosystem processes and services. In this paper, we highlight studies that have focused on BEF of microbial communities with an emphasis on integrating trait-based approaches to microbial ecology. In doing so, we explore some of the inherent challenges and opportunities of understanding BEF using microbial systems. For example, microbial biologists characterize communities using gene phylogenies that are often unable to resolve functional traits. Additionally, experimental designs of existing microbial BEF studies are often inadequate to unravel BEF relationships. We argue that combining eco-physiological studies with contemporary molecular tools in a trait-based framework can reinforce our ability to link microbial diversity to ecosystem processes. We conclude that such trait-based approaches are a promising framework to increase the understanding of microbial BEF relationships and thus generating systematic principles in microbial ecology and more generally ecology. PMID:24904563

  20. Functional traits help to explain half-century long shifts in pollinator distributions.

    PubMed

    Aguirre-Gutiérrez, Jesús; Kissling, W Daniel; Carvalheiro, Luísa G; WallisDeVries, Michiel F; Franzén, Markus; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C

    2016-04-15

    Changes in climate and land use can have important impacts on biodiversity. Species respond to such environmental modifications by adapting to new conditions or by shifting their geographic distributions towards more suitable areas. The latter might be constrained by species' functional traits that influence their ability to move, reproduce or establish. Here, we show that functional traits related to dispersal, reproduction, habitat use and diet have influenced how three pollinator groups (bees, butterflies and hoverflies) responded to changes in climate and land-use in the Netherlands since 1950. Across the three pollinator groups, we found pronounced areal range expansions (>53%) and modelled range shifts towards the north (all taxa: 17-22 km), west (bees: 14 km) and east (butterflies: 11 km). The importance of specific functional traits for explaining distributional changes varied among pollinator groups. Larval diet preferences (i.e. carnivorous vs. herbivorous/detritivorous and nitrogen values of host plants, respectively) were important for hoverflies and butterflies, adult body size for hoverflies, and flight period length for all groups. Moreover, interactions among multiple traits were important to explain species' geographic range shifts, suggesting that taxon-specific multi-trait analyses are needed to predict how global change will affect biodiversity and ecosystem services.

  1. Functional traits help to explain half-century long shifts in pollinator distributions

    PubMed Central

    Aguirre-Gutiérrez, Jesús; Kissling, W. Daniel; Carvalheiro, Luísa G.; WallisDeVries, Michiel F.; Franzén, Markus; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C.

    2016-01-01

    Changes in climate and land use can have important impacts on biodiversity. Species respond to such environmental modifications by adapting to new conditions or by shifting their geographic distributions towards more suitable areas. The latter might be constrained by species’ functional traits that influence their ability to move, reproduce or establish. Here, we show that functional traits related to dispersal, reproduction, habitat use and diet have influenced how three pollinator groups (bees, butterflies and hoverflies) responded to changes in climate and land-use in the Netherlands since 1950. Across the three pollinator groups, we found pronounced areal range expansions (>53%) and modelled range shifts towards the north (all taxa: 17–22 km), west (bees: 14 km) and east (butterflies: 11 km). The importance of specific functional traits for explaining distributional changes varied among pollinator groups. Larval diet preferences (i.e. carnivorous vs. herbivorous/detritivorous and nitrogen values of host plants, respectively) were important for hoverflies and butterflies, adult body size for hoverflies, and flight period length for all groups. Moreover, interactions among multiple traits were important to explain species’ geographic range shifts, suggesting that taxon-specific multi-trait analyses are needed to predict how global change will affect biodiversity and ecosystem services. PMID:27079784

  2. Physiological ecology and functional traits of North American native and Eurasian introduced Phragmites australis lineages

    PubMed Central

    Mozdzer, Thomas J.; Brisson, Jacques; Hazelton, Eric L. G.

    2013-01-01

    Physiological ecology and plant functional traits are often used to explain plant invasion. To gain a better understanding of how traits influence invasion, studies usually compare the invasive plant to a native congener, but there are few conspecific examples in the literature. In North America, the presence of native and introduced genetic lineages of the common reed, Phragmites australis, presents a unique example to evaluate how traits influence plant invasion. We reviewed the literature on functional traits of P. australis lineages in North America, specifically contrasting lineages present on the Atlantic Coast. We focused on differences in physiology between the lineage introduced from Eurasia and the lineage native to North America, specifically seeking to identify the causes underlying the recent expansion of the introduced lineage. Our goals were to better understand which traits may confer invasiveness, provide predictions of how these lineages may respond to interspecific competition or imminent global change, and provide guidance for future research. We reviewed published studies and articles in press, and conducted personal communications with appropriate researchers and managers to develop a comparative dataset. We compared the native and introduced lineages and focused on plant physiological ecology and functional traits. Under both stressful and favourable conditions, our review showed that introduced P. australis consistently exhibited greater ramet density, height and biomass, higher and more plastic relative growth rate, nitrogen productivity and specific leaf area, higher mass specific nitrogen uptake rates, as well as greater phenotypic plasticity compared with the native lineage. We suggest that ecophysiological and other plant functional traits elucidate potential mechanisms for the introduced lineage's invasiveness under current and predicted global change conditions. However, our review identified a disconnect between field surveys

  3. Climate, soil and plant functional types as drivers of global fine-root trait variation

    DOE PAGES

    Freschet, Grégoire T.; Valverde-Barrantes, Oscar J.; Tucker, Caroline M.; ...

    2017-03-08

    Ecosystem functioning relies heavily on below-ground processes, which are largely regulated by plant fine-roots and their functional traits. However, our knowledge of fine-root trait distribution relies to date on local- and regional-scale studies with limited numbers of species, growth forms and environmental variation. We compiled a world-wide fine-root trait dataset, featuring 1115 species from contrasting climatic areas, phylogeny and growth forms to test a series of hypotheses pertaining to the influence of plant functional types, soil and climate variables, and the degree of manipulation of plant growing conditions on species fine-root trait variation. Most particularly, we tested the competing hypothesesmore » that fine-root traits typical of faster return on investment would be most strongly associated with conditions of limiting versus favourable soil resource availability. We accounted for both data source and species phylogenetic relatedness. We demonstrate that: (i) Climate conditions promoting soil fertility relate negatively to fine-root traits favouring fast soil resource acquisition, with a particularly strong positive effect of temperature on fine-root diameter and negative effect on specific root length (SRL), and a negative effect of rainfall on root nitrogen concentration; (ii) Soil bulk density strongly influences species fine-root morphology, by favouring thicker, denser fine-roots; (iii) Fine-roots from herbaceous species are on average finer and have higher SRL than those of woody species, and N2-fixing capacity positively relates to root nitrogen; and (iv) Plants growing in pots have higher SRL than those grown in the field. Synthesis. This study reveals both the large variation in fine-root traits encountered globally and the relevance of several key plant functional types and soil and climate variables for explaining a substantial part of this variation. Climate, particularly temperature, and plant functional types were the two

  4. Backward multiple imputation estimation of the conditional lifetime expectancy function with application to censored human longevity data

    PubMed Central

    Kong, Jing; Klein, Barbara E. K.; Klein, Ronald; Wahba, Grace

    2015-01-01

    The conditional lifetime expectancy function (LEF) is the expected lifetime of a subject given survival past a certain time point and the values of a set of explanatory variables. This function is attractive to researchers because it summarizes the entire residual life distribution and has an easy interpretation compared with the popularly used hazard function. In this paper, we propose a general framework of backward multiple imputation for estimating the conditional LEF and the variance of the estimator in the right-censoring setting. Simulation studies are conducted to investigate the empirical properties of the proposed estimator and the corresponding variance estimator. We demonstrate the method on the Beaver Dam Eye Study data, where the expected human lifetime is modeled with smoothing-spline ANOVA given the covariates information including sex, lifestyle factors, and disease variables. PMID:26371300

  5. Using a trait-based approach to link microbial community composition and functioning to soil salinity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rath, Kristin; Fierer, Noah; Rousk, Johannes

    2017-04-01

    Our knowledge of the dynamics structuring microbial communities and the consequences this has for soil functions is rudimentary. In particular, predictions of the response of microbial communities to environmental change and the implications for associated ecosystem processes remain elusive. Understanding how environmental factors structure microbial communities and regulate the functions they perform is key to a mechanistic understanding of how biogeochemical cycles respond to environmental change. Soil salinization is an agricultural problem in many parts of the world. The activity of soil microorganisms is reduced in saline soils compared to non-saline soil. However, soil salinity often co-varies with other factors, making it difficult to assign responses of microbial communities to direct effects of salinity. A trait-based approach allows us to connect the environmental factor salinity with the responses of microbial community composition and functioning. Salinity along a salinity gradient serves as a filter for the community trait distribution of salt tolerance, selecting for higher salt tolerance at more saline sites. This trait-environment relationship can be used to predict responses of microbial communities to environmental change. Our aims were to (i) use salinity along natural salinity gradients as an environmental filter, and (ii) link the resulting filtered trait-distributions of the communities (the trait being salt tolerance) to the community composition. Soil samples were obtained from two replicated salinity gradients along an Australian salt lake, spanning a wide range of soil salinities (0.1 dS m-1 to >50 dS m-1). In one of the two gradients salinity was correlated with pH. Community trait distributions for salt tolerance were assessed by establishing dose-dependences for extracted bacterial communities using growth rate assays. In addition, functional parameters were measured along the salt gradients. Community composition of sites was compared

  6. Estimation of genetic parameters for novel functional traits in Brown Swiss cattle.

    PubMed

    Kramer, M; Erbe, M; Bapst, B; Bieber, A; Simianer, H

    2013-09-01

    The aim of this study was to estimate genetic parameters and accuracies of breeding values for a set of functional, behavior, and conformation traits in Brown Swiss cattle. These traits were milking speed, udder depth, position of labia, rank order in herd, general temperament, aggressiveness, milking temperament, and days to first heat. Data of 1,799 phenotyped Brown Swiss cows from 40 Swiss dairy herds were analyzed taking the complete pedigree into account. Estimated heritabilities were within the ranges reported in literature, with results at the high end of the reported values for some traits (e.g., milking speed: 0.42±0.06, udder depth: 0.42±0.06), whereas other traits were of low heritability and heritability estimates were of low accuracy (e.g., milking temperament: 0.04±0.04, days to first heat: 0.02±0.04). For most behavior traits, we found relatively high heritabilities (general temperament: 0.38±0.07, aggressiveness: 0.12±0.08, and rank order in herd: 0.16±0.06). Position of labia, arguably an indicator trait for pathological urovagina, was genetically analyzed in this study for the first time, and a moderate heritability (0.28±0.06) was estimated. Copyright © 2013 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Do Personality Traits Predict Functional Impairment and Quality of Life in Adult ADHD? A Controlled Study.

    PubMed

    He, J Allison; Antshel, Kevin M; Biederman, Joseph; Faraone, Stephen V

    2015-11-25

    To examine the association of personality traits and characteristics on quality of life and functioning in adults with ADHD. Participants were adults with (n = 206) and without ADHD (n = 123) who completed the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire (Q-LES-Q), and the Social Adjustment Scale-Self-Report (SAS-SR). Participants also provided information on academic, motor vehicle operation, legal, social, familial, and occupational functioning. Outcomes were examined using stepwise linear regression, logistic regression (for binary outcomes), and negative binomial regression (for count outcomes) controlling for ADHD symptoms, psychiatric comorbidity, and executive dysfunction. Adults with ADHD significantly differed from controls across nearly all TCI personality domains. On average, adults with ADHD endorsed more novelty seeking, harm avoidance, and self-transcendence, and less reward dependence, persistence, self-directedness, and cooperativeness. Personality traits and characteristics, especially self-directedness, significantly predicted functional impairments even after controlling for ADHD symptoms, executive function deficits, and current psychiatric comorbidities. In adults with ADHD, personality traits exert unique associations on quality of life and functional impairment across major life domains, beyond the relations expected of and associated with ADHD symptoms and other associated psychiatric conditions and cognitive vulnerabilities. Addressing personality traits in adults with ADHD may lead to improvements in quality of life and reductions in functional impairment. © The Author(s) 2015.

  8. Seed germination strategies: an evolutionary trajectory independent of vegetative functional traits.

    PubMed

    Hoyle, Gemma L; Steadman, Kathryn J; Good, Roger B; McIntosh, Emma J; Galea, Lucy M E; Nicotra, Adrienne B

    2015-01-01

    Seed germination strategies vary dramatically among species but relatively little is known about how germination traits correlate with other elements of plant strategy systems. Understanding drivers of germination strategy is critical to our understanding of the evolutionary biology of plant reproduction.We present a novel assessment of seed germination strategies focussing on Australian alpine species as a case study. We describe the distribution of germination strategies and ask whether these are correlated with, or form an independent axis to, other plant functional traits. Our approach to describing germination strategy mimicked realistic temperatures that seeds experience in situ following dispersal. Strategies were subsequently assigned using an objective clustering approach. We hypothesized that two main strategies would emerge, involving dormant or non-dormant seeds, and that while these strategies would be correlated with seed traits (e.g., mass or endospermy) they would be largely independent of vegetative traits when analysed in a phylogenetically structured manner.Across all species, three germination strategies emerged. The majority of species postponed germination until after a period of cold, winter-like temperatures indicating physiological and/or morphological dormancy mechanisms. Other species exhibited immediate germination at temperatures representative of those at dispersal. Interestingly, seeds of an additional 13 species "staggered" germination over time. Germination strategies were generally conserved within families. Across a broad range of ecological traits only seed mass and endospermy showed any correlation with germination strategy when phylogenetic relatedness was accounted for; vegetative traits showed no significant correlations with germination strategy. The results indicate that germination traits correlate with other aspects of seed ecology but form an independent axis relative to vegetative traits.

  9. Phylogenetic meta-analysis of the functional traits of clonal plants foraging in changing environments.

    PubMed

    Xie, Xiu-Fang; Song, Yao-Bin; Zhang, Ya-Lin; Pan, Xu; Dong, Ming

    2014-01-01

    Foraging behavior, one of the adaptive strategies of clonal plants, has stimulated a tremendous amount of research. However, it is a matter of debate whether there is any general pattern in the foraging traits (functional traits related to foraging behavior) of clonal plants in response to diverse environments. We collected data from 97 published papers concerning the relationships between foraging traits (e.g., spacer length, specific spacer length, branch intensity and branch angle) of clonal plants and essential resources (e.g., light, nutrients and water) for plant growth and reproduction. We incorporated the phylogenetic information of 85 plant species to examine the universality of foraging hypotheses using phylogenetic meta-analysis. The trends toward forming longer spacers and fewer branches in shaded environments were detected in clonal plants, but no evidence for a relation between foraging traits and nutrient availability was detected, except that there was a positive correlation between branch intensity and nutrient availability in stoloniferous plants. The response of the foraging traits of clonal plants to water availability was also not obvious. Additionally, our results indicated that the foraging traits of stoloniferous plants were more sensitive to resource availability than those of rhizomatous plants. In consideration of plant phylogeny, these results implied that the foraging traits of clonal plants (notably stoloniferous plants) only responded to light intensity in a general pattern but did not respond to nutrient or water availability. In conclusion, our findings on the effects of the environment on the foraging traits of clonal plants avoided the confounding effects of phylogeny because we incorporated phylogeny into the meta-analysis.

  10. Variation in species-level plant functional traits over wetland indicator status categories.

    PubMed

    McCoy-Sulentic, Miles E; Kolb, Thomas E; Merritt, David M; Palmquist, Emily C; Ralston, Barbara E; Sarr, Daniel A

    2017-06-01

    Wetland indicator status (WIS) describes the habitat affinity of plant species and is used in wetland delineations and resource inventories. Understanding how species-level functional traits vary across WIS categories may improve designations, elucidate mechanisms of adaptation, and explain habitat optima and niche. We investigated differences in species-level traits of riparian flora across WIS categories, extending their application to indicate hydrologic habitat. We measured or compiled data on specific leaf area (SLA), stem specific gravity (SSG), seed mass, and mature height of 110 plant species that occur along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon, Arizona. Additionally, we measured leaf δ(13)C, δ(15)N, % carbon, % nitrogen, and C/N ratio of 56 species with C3 photosynthesis. We asked the following: (i) How do species-level traits vary over WIS categories? (ii) Does the pattern differ between herbaceous and woody species? (iii) How well do multivariate traits define WIS categories? (iv) Which traits are correlated? The largest trait differences among WIS categories for herbaceous species occurred for SSG, seed mass, % leaf carbon and height, and for woody species occurred for height, SSG, and δ(13)C. SSG increased and height decreased with habitat aridity for both woody and herbaceous species. The δ(13)C and hence water use efficiency of woody species increased with habitat aridity. Water use efficiency of herbaceous species increased with habitat aridity via greater occurrence of C4 grasses. Multivariate trait assemblages differed among WIS categories. Over all species, SLA was correlated with height, δ(13)C, % leaf N, and C/N; height was correlated with SSG and % leaf C; SSG was correlated with % leaf C. Adaptations of both herbaceous and woody riparian species to wet, frequently inundated habitats include low-density stem tissue. Adaptations to drier habitats in the riparian zone include short, high-density cavitation-resistant stem tissue, and high

  11. Variation in species-level plant functional traits over wetland indicator status categories

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McCoy-Sulentic, Miles E.; Kolb, Thomas E.; Merritt, David M.; Palmquist, Emily C.; Ralston, Barbara E.; Sarr, Daniel A.

    2017-01-01

    Wetland indicator status (WIS) describes the habitat affinity of plant species and is used in wetland delineations and resource inventories. Understanding how species-level functional traits vary across WIS categories may improve designations, elucidate mechanisms of adaptation, and explain habitat optima and niche. We investigated differences in species-level traits of riparian flora across WIS categories, extending their application to indicate hydrologic habitat. We measured or compiled data on specific leaf area (SLA), stem specific gravity (SSG), seed mass, and mature height of 110 plant species that occur along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon, Arizona. Additionally, we measured leaf δ13C, δ15N, % carbon, % nitrogen, and C/N ratio of 56 species with C3 photosynthesis. We asked the following: (i) How do species-level traits vary over WIS categories? (ii) Does the pattern differ between herbaceous and woody species? (iii) How well do multivariate traits define WIS categories? (iv) Which traits are correlated? The largest trait differences among WIS categories for herbaceous species occurred for SSG, seed mass, % leaf carbon and height, and for woody species occurred for height, SSG, and δ13C. SSG increased and height decreased with habitat aridity for both woody and herbaceous species. The δ13C and hence water use efficiency of woody species increased with habitat aridity. Water use efficiency of herbaceous species increased with habitat aridity via greater occurrence of C4 grasses. Multivariate trait assemblages differed among WIS categories. Over all species, SLA was correlated with height, δ13C, % leaf N, and C/N; height was correlated with SSG and % leaf C; SSG was correlated with % leaf C. Adaptations of both herbaceous and woody riparian species to wet, frequently inundated habitats include low-density stem tissue. Adaptations to drier habitats in the riparian zone include short, high-density cavitation-resistant stem tissue, and high water use

  12. Seed germination strategies: an evolutionary trajectory independent of vegetative functional traits

    PubMed Central

    Hoyle, Gemma L.; Steadman, Kathryn J.; Good, Roger B.; McIntosh, Emma J.; Galea, Lucy M. E.; Nicotra, Adrienne B.

    2015-01-01

    Seed germination strategies vary dramatically among species but relatively little is known about how germination traits correlate with other elements of plant strategy systems. Understanding drivers of germination strategy is critical to our understanding of the evolutionary biology of plant reproduction.We present a novel assessment of seed germination strategies focussing on Australian alpine species as a case study. We describe the distribution of germination strategies and ask whether these are correlated with, or form an independent axis to, other plant functional traits. Our approach to describing germination strategy mimicked realistic temperatures that seeds experience in situ following dispersal. Strategies were subsequently assigned using an objective clustering approach. We hypothesized that two main strategies would emerge, involving dormant or non-dormant seeds, and that while these strategies would be correlated with seed traits (e.g., mass or endospermy) they would be largely independent of vegetative traits when analysed in a phylogenetically structured manner.Across all species, three germination strategies emerged. The majority of species postponed germination until after a period of cold, winter-like temperatures indicating physiological and/or morphological dormancy mechanisms. Other species exhibited immediate germination at temperatures representative of those at dispersal. Interestingly, seeds of an additional 13 species “staggered” germination over time. Germination strategies were generally conserved within families. Across a broad range of ecological traits only seed mass and endospermy showed any correlation with germination strategy when phylogenetic relatedness was accounted for; vegetative traits showed no significant correlations with germination strategy. The results indicate that germination traits correlate with other aspects of seed ecology but form an independent axis relative to vegetative traits. PMID:26528294

  13. Changes in tree reproductive traits reduce functional diversity in a fragmented Atlantic forest landscape.

    PubMed

    Girão, Luciana Coe; Lopes, Ariadna Valentina; Tabarelli, Marcelo; Bruna, Emilio M

    2007-09-19

    Functional diversity has been postulated to be critical for the maintenance of ecosystem functioning, but the way it can be disrupted by human-related disturbances remains poorly investigated. Here we test the hypothesis that habitat fragmentation changes the relative contribution of tree species within categories of reproductive traits (frequency of traits) and reduces the functional diversity of tree assemblages. The study was carried out in an old and severely fragmented landscape of the Brazilian Atlantic forest. We used published information and field observations to obtain the frequency of tree species and individuals within 50 categories of reproductive traits (distributed in four major classes: pollination systems, floral biology, sexual systems, and reproductive systems) in 10 fragments and 10 tracts of forest interior (control plots). As hypothesized, populations in fragments and control plots differed substantially in the representation of the four major classes of reproductive traits (more than 50% of the categories investigated). The most conspicuous differences were the lack of three pollination systems in fragments--pollination by birds, flies and non-flying mammals--and that fragments had a higher frequency of both species and individuals pollinated by generalist vectors. Hermaphroditic species predominate in both habitats, although their relative abundances were higher in fragments. On the contrary, self-incompatible species were underrepresented in fragments. Moreover, fragments showed lower functional diversity (H' scores) for pollination systems (-30.3%), floral types (-23.6%), and floral sizes (-20.8%) in comparison to control plots. In contrast to the overwhelming effect of fragmentation, patch and landscape metrics such as patch size and forest cover played a minor role on the frequency of traits. Our results suggest that habitat fragmentation promotes a marked shift in the relative abundance of tree reproductive traits and greatly reduces

  14. Similarity of plant functional traits and aggregation pattern in a subtropical forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhang, Bo; Lu, Xiaozhen; Jiang, Jiang; DeAngelis, Don; Fu, Zhiyuan; Zhang, Jinchi

    2017-01-01

    The distribution of species and communities in relation to environmental heterogeneity is a central focus in ecology. Co-occurrence of species with similar functional traits is an indication that communities are determined in part by environmental filters. However, few studies have been designed to test how functional traits are selectively filtered by environmental conditions at local scales. Exploring the relationship between soil characteristics and plant traits is a step toward understanding the filtering hypothesis in determining plant distribution at local scale. Toward this end, we mapped all individual trees (diameter >1 cm) in a one-ha subtropical forest of China in 2007 and 2015. We measured topographic and detailed soil properties within the field site, as well as plant leaf functional traits and demographic rates of the seven most common tree species. A second one-ha study plot was established in 2015, to test and validate the general patterns that were drawn from first plot. We found that variation in species distribution at local scale can be explained by soil heterogeneity and plant functional traits. (From first plot). (1) Species dominant in habitats with high soil ammonium nitrogen and total phosphorus tended to have high specific leaf area (SLA) and relative growth rate (RGR). (2) Species dominant in low-fertility habitats tended to have high leaf dry matter content (LDMC), ratio of chlorophyll a and b (ratioab), and leaf thickness (LT). The hypothesis that functional traits are selected in part by environmental filters and determine plant distribution at local scale was confirmed by the data of the first plot and a second regional site showed similar species distribution patterns.

  15. Changes in Tree Reproductive Traits Reduce Functional Diversity in a Fragmented Atlantic Forest Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Girão, Luciana Coe; Lopes, Ariadna Valentina; Tabarelli, Marcelo; Bruna, Emilio M.

    2007-01-01

    Functional diversity has been postulated to be critical for the maintenance of ecosystem functioning, but the way it can be disrupted by human-related disturbances remains poorly investigated. Here we test the hypothesis that habitat fragmentation changes the relative contribution of tree species within categories of reproductive traits (frequency of traits) and reduces the functional diversity of tree assemblages. The study was carried out in an old and severely fragmented landscape of the Brazilian Atlantic forest. We used published information and field observations to obtain the frequency of tree species and individuals within 50 categories of reproductive traits (distributed in four major classes: pollination systems, floral biology, sexual systems, and reproductive systems) in 10 fragments and 10 tracts of forest interior (control plots). As hypothesized, populations in fragments and control plots differed substantially in the representation of the four major classes of reproductive traits (more than 50% of the categories investigated). The most conspicuous differences were the lack of three pollination systems in fragments-pollination by birds, flies and non-flying mammals-and that fragments had a higher frequency of both species and individuals pollinated by generalist vectors. Hermaphroditic species predominate in both habitats, although their relative abundances were higher in fragments. On the contrary, self-incompatible species were underrepresented in fragments. Moreover, fragments showed lower functional diversity (H' scores) for pollination systems (−30.3%), floral types (−23.6%), and floral sizes (−20.8%) in comparison to control plots. In contrast to the overwhelming effect of fragmentation, patch and landscape metrics such as patch size and forest cover played a minor role on the frequency of traits. Our results suggest that habitat fragmentation promotes a marked shift in the relative abundance of tree reproductive traits and greatly

  16. Functional integration of skeletal traits: an intraskeletal assessment of bone size, mineralization, and volume covariance.

    PubMed

    Schlecht, Stephen H; Jepsen, Karl J

    2013-09-01

    Understanding the functional integration of skeletal traits and how they naturally vary within and across populations will benefit assessments of functional adaptation directed towards interpreting bone stiffness in contemporary and past humans. Moreover, investigating how these traits intraskeletally vary will guide us closer towards predicting fragility from a single skeletal site. Using an osteological collection of 115 young adult male and female African-Americans, we assessed the functional relationship between bone robustness (i.e. total area/length), cortical tissue mineral density (Ct.TMD), and cortical area (Ct.Ar) for the upper and lower limbs. All long bones demonstrated significant trait covariance (p < 0.005) independent of body size, with slender bones having 25-50% less Ct.Ar and 5-8% higher Ct.TMD compared to robust bones. Robustness statistically explained 10.2-28% of Ct.TMD and 26.6-64.6% of Ct.Ar within male and female skeletal elements. This covariance is systemic throughout the skeleton, with either the slender or robust phenotype consistently represented within all long bones for each individual. These findings suggest that each person attains a unique trait set by adulthood that is both predictable by robustness and partially independent of environmental influences. The variation in these functionally integrated traits allows for the maximization of tissue stiffness and minimization of mass so that regardless of which phenotype is present, a given bone is reasonably stiff and strong, and sufficiently adapted to perform routine, habitual loading activities. Covariation intrinsic to functional adaptation suggests that whole bone stiffness depends upon particular sets of traits acquired during growth, presumably through differing levels of cellular activity, resulting in differing tissue morphology and composition. The outcomes of this intraskeletal examination of robustness and its correlates may have significant value in our progression

  17. The Epidemiology of Longevity and Exceptional Survival

    PubMed Central

    Newman, Anne B.; Murabito, Joanne M.

    2013-01-01

    The field of the “epidemiology of longevity” has been expanding rapidly in recent years. Several long-term cohort studies have followed older adults long enough to identify the most long-lived and to define many factors that lead to a long life span. Very long-lived people such as centenarians have been examined using case-control study designs. Both cohort and case-control studies have been the subject of genome-wide association studies that have identified genetic variants associated with longevity. With growing recognition of the importance of rare variations, family studies of longevity will be useful. Most recently, exome and whole-genome sequencing, gene expression, and epigenetic studies have been undertaken to better define functional variation and regulation of the genome. In this review, we consider how these studies are leading to a deeper understanding of the underlying biologic pathways to longevity. PMID:23372024

  18. Longevity and aging. Mechanisms and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Labat-Robert, J; Robert, L

    2015-12-01

    Longevity can mostly be determined with relative accuracy from birth and death registers when available. Aging is a multifactorial process, much more difficult to quantitate. Every measurable physiological function declines with specific speeds over a wide range. The mechanisms involved are also different, genetic factors are of importance for longevity determinations. The best-known genes involved are the Sirtuins, active at the genetic and epigenetic level. Aging is multifactorial, not "coded" in the genome. There are, however, a number of well-studied physical and biological parameters involved in aging, which can be determined and quantitated. We shall try to identify parameters affecting longevity as well as aging and suggest some reasonable predictions for the future.

  19. Motor neuron disease. SMN2 splicing modifiers improve motor function and longevity in mice with spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Naryshkin, Nikolai A; Weetall, Marla; Dakka, Amal; Narasimhan, Jana; Zhao, Xin; Feng, Zhihua; Ling, Karen K Y; Karp, Gary M; Qi, Hongyan; Woll, Matthew G; Chen, Guangming; Zhang, Nanjing; Gabbeta, Vijayalakshmi; Vazirani, Priya; Bhattacharyya, Anuradha; Furia, Bansri; Risher, Nicole; Sheedy, Josephine; Kong, Ronald; Ma, Jiyuan; Turpoff, Anthony; Lee, Chang-Sun; Zhang, Xiaoyan; Moon, Young-Choon; Trifillis, Panayiota; Welch, Ellen M; Colacino, Joseph M; Babiak, John; Almstead, Neil G; Peltz, Stuart W; Eng, Loren A; Chen, Karen S; Mull, Jesse L; Lynes, Maureen S; Rubin, Lee L; Fontoura, Paulo; Santarelli, Luca; Haehnke, Daniel; McCarthy, Kathleen D; Schmucki, Roland; Ebeling, Martin; Sivaramakrishnan, Manaswini; Ko, Chien-Ping; Paushkin, Sergey V; Ratni, Hasane; Gerlach, Irene; Ghosh, Anirvan; Metzger, Friedrich

    2014-08-08

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a genetic disease caused by mutation or deletion of the survival of motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. A paralogous gene in humans, SMN2, produces low, insufficient levels of functional SMN protein due to alternative splicing that truncates the transcript. The decreased levels of SMN protein lead to progressive neuromuscular degeneration and high rates of mortality. Through chemical screening and optimization, we identified orally available small molecules that shift the balance of SMN2 splicing toward the production of full-length SMN2 messenger RNA with high selectivity. Administration of these compounds to Δ7 mice, a model of severe SMA, led to an increase in SMN protein levels, improvement of motor function, and protection of the neuromuscular circuit. These compounds also extended the life span of the mice. Selective SMN2 splicing modifiers may have therapeutic potential for patients with SMA. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  20. The Role of Species Traits in Mediating Functional Recovery during Matrix Restoration

    PubMed Central

    Barnes, Andrew D.; Emberson, Rowan M.; Krell, Frank-Thorsten; Didham, Raphael K.

    2014-01-01

    Reversing anthropogenic impacts on habitat structure is frequently successful through restoration, but the mechanisms linking habitat change, community reassembly and recovery of ecosystem functioning remain unknown. We test for the influence of edge effects and matrix habitat restoration on the reassembly of dung beetle communities and consequent recovery of dung removal rates across tropical forest edges. Using path modelling, we disentangle the relative importance of community-weighted trait means and functional trait dispersion from total biomass effects on rates of dung removal. Community trait composition and biomass of dung beetle communities responded divergently to edge effects and matrix habitat restoration, yielding opposing effects on dung removal. However, functional dispersion—used in this study as a measure of niche complementarity—did not explain a significant amount of variation in dung removal rates across habitat edges. Instead, we demonstrate that the path to functional recovery of these altered ecosystems depends on the trait-mean composition of reassembling communities, over and above purely biomass-dependent processes that would be expected under neutral theory. These results suggest that any ability to manage functional recovery of ecosystems during habitat restoration will demand knowledge of species' roles in ecosystem processes. PMID:25502448

  1. The role of species traits in mediating functional recovery during matrix restoration.

    PubMed

    Barnes, Andrew D; Emberson, Rowan M; Krell, Frank-Thorsten; Didham, Raphael K

    2014-01-01

    Reversing anthropogenic impacts on habitat structure is frequently successful through restoration, but the mechanisms linking habitat change, community reassembly and recovery of ecosystem functioning remain unknown. We test for the influence of edge effects and matrix habitat restoration on the reassembly of dung beetle communities and consequent recovery of dung removal rates across tropical forest edges. Using path modelling, we disentangle the relative importance of community-weighted trait means and functional trait dispersion from total biomass effects on rates of dung removal. Community trait composition and biomass of dung beetle communities responded divergently to edge effects and matrix habitat restoration, yielding opposing effects on dung removal. However, functional dispersion--used in this study as a measure of niche complementarity--did not explain a significant amount of variation in dung removal rates across habitat edges. Instead, we demonstrate that the path to functional recovery of these altered ecosystems depends on the trait-mean composition of reassembling communities, over and above purely biomass-dependent processes that would be expected under neutral theory. These results suggest that any ability to manage functional recovery of ecosystems during habitat restoration will demand knowledge of species' roles in ecosystem processes.

  2. Lifelong treatment with atenolol decreases membrane fatty acid unsaturation and oxidative stress in heart and skeletal muscle mitochondria and improves immunity and behavior, without changing mice longevity.

    PubMed

    Gómez, Alexia; Sánchez-Roman, Ines; Gomez, Jose; Cruces, Julia; Mate, Ianire; Lopez-Torres, Mónica; Naudi, Alba; Portero-Otin, Manuel; Pamplona, Reinald; De la Fuente, Monica; Barja, Gustavo

    2014-06-01

    The membrane fatty acid unsaturation hypothesis of aging and longevity is experimentally tested for the first time in mammals. Lifelong treatment of mice with the β1-blocker atenolol increased the amount of the extracellular-signal-regulated kinase signaling protein and successfully decreased one of the two traits appropriately correlating with animal longevity, the membrane fatty acid unsaturation degree of cardiac and skeletal muscle mitochondria, changing their lipid profile toward that present in much more longer-lived mammals. This was mainly due to decreases in 22:6n-3 and increases in 18:1n-9 fatty acids. The atenolol treatment also lowered visceral adiposity (by 24%), decreased mitochondrial protein oxidative, glycoxidative, and lipoxidative damage in both organs, and lowered oxidative damage in heart mitochondrial DNA. Atenolol also improved various immune (chemotaxis and natural killer activities) and behavioral functions (equilibrium, motor coordination, and muscular vigor). It also totally or partially prevented the aging-related detrimental changes observed in mitochondrial membrane unsaturation, protein oxidative modifications, and immune and behavioral functions, without changing longevity. The controls reached 3.93 years of age, a substantially higher maximum longevity than the best previously described for this strain (3.0 years). Side effects of the drug could have masked a likely lowering of the endogenous aging rate induced by the decrease in membrane fatty acid unsaturation. We conclude that it is atenolol that failed to increase longevity, and likely not the decrease in membrane unsaturation induced by the drug.

  3. Effect of subsidy regimes on economic values of functional traits in beef cattle breeding.

    PubMed

    Wolfová, M; Pribyl, J; Wolf, J; Zahrádková, R

    2006-04-01

    We investigated the impact of five monetary subsidy regimes on economic values of traits in a cow-calf pasture production system with surplus calves fed for slaughter. The following regimes were analysed: (1) maximum prices for slaughter animals actually received in the Czech Republic during 2004, with no subsidies of any kind; (2) prices as in (1), with subsidies awarded per hectare of permanent grassland and per calf born; (3) prices as in (1), with subsidies awarded per hectare of agricultural land, per hectare of pasture and meadow, per beef cow in a forage system and per livestock unit; (4) prices as in (1), with subsidies awarded per hectare of agricultural land; (5) no subsidies, but prices received for slaughter animals that covered production costs and resulted in 1% profitability. The modelled farm showed negative profit under real price conditions with no subsidies (regime 1), which led to an underestimation of economic values for functional traits. The same results were obtained in regimes in which subsidies did not depend on the number of animals (3) or on meat production from the enterprise (4). Economic values of production traits (growth and carcass traits) did not vary among subsidy regimes. To determine optimum economic values for functional traits in beef cattle, we advocate using the method applied in subsidy regime 5, no subsidies but prices for slaughter animals that cover production cost and a small profit.

  4. Functional Traits and Water Transport Strategies in Lowland Tropical Rainforest Trees.

    PubMed

    Apgaua, Deborah M G; Ishida, Françoise Y; Tng, David Y P; Laidlaw, Melinda J; Santos, Rubens M; Rumman, Rizwana; Eamus, Derek; Holtum, Joseph A M; Laurance, Susan G W

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how tropical rainforest trees may respond to the precipitation extremes predicted in future climate change scenarios is paramount for their conservation and management. Tree species clearly differ in drought susceptibility, suggesting that variable water transport strategies exist. Using a multi-disciplinary approach, we examined the hydraulic variability in trees in a lowland tropical rainforest in north-eastern Australia. We studied eight tree species representing broad plant functional groups (one palm and seven eudicot mature-phase, and early-successional trees). We characterised the species' hydraulic system through maximum rates of volumetric sap flow and velocities using the heat ratio method, and measured rates of tree growth and several stem, vessel, and leaf traits. Sap flow measures exhibited limited variability across species, although early-successional species and palms had high mean sap velocities relative to most mature-phase species. Stem, vessel, and leaf traits were poor predictors of sap flow measures. However, these traits exhibited different associations in multivariate analysis, revealing gradients in some traits across species and alternative hydraulic strategies in others. Trait differences across and within tree functional groups reflect variation in water transport and drought resistance strategies. These varying strategies will help in our understanding of changing species distributions under predicted drought scenarios.

  5. Plant functional traits of dominant native and invasive species in mediterranean-climate ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Funk, Jennifer L; Standish, Rachel J; Stock, William D; Valladares, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    The idea that dominant invasive plant species outperform neighboring native species through higher rates of carbon assimilation and growth is supported by several analyses of global data sets. However, theory suggests that native and invasive species occurring in low-resource environments will be functionally similar, as environmental factors restrict the range of observed physiological and morphological trait values. We measured resource-use traits in native and invasive plant species across eight diverse vegetation communities distributed throughout the five mediterranean-climate regions, which are drought prone and increasingly threatened by human activities, including the introduction of exotic species. Traits differed strongly across the five regions. In regions with functional differences between native and invasive species groups, invasive species displayed traits consistent with high resource acquisition; however, these patterns were largely attributable to differences in life form. We found that species invading mediterranean-climate regions were more likely to be annual than perennial: three of the five regions were dominated by native woody species and invasive annuals. These results suggest that trait differences between native and invasive species are context dependent and will vary across vegetation communities. Native and invasive species within annual and perennial groups had similar patterns of carbon assimilation and resource use, which contradicts the widespread idea that invasive species optimize resource acquisition rather than resource conservation. .

  6. Functional Traits and Water Transport Strategies in Lowland Tropical Rainforest Trees

    PubMed Central

    Apgaua, Deborah M. G.; Ishida, Françoise Y.; Tng, David Y. P.; Laidlaw, Melinda J.; Santos, Rubens M.; Rumman, Rizwana; Eamus, Derek; Holtum, Joseph A. M.; Laurance, Susan G. W.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how tropical rainforest trees may respond to the precipitation extremes predicted in future climate change scenarios is paramount for their conservation and management. Tree species clearly differ in drought susceptibility, suggesting that variable water transport strategies exist. Using a multi-disciplinary approach, we examined the hydraulic variability in trees in a lowland tropical rainforest in north-eastern Australia. We studied eight tree species representing broad plant functional groups (one palm and seven eudicot mature-phase, and early-successional trees). We characterised the species’ hydraulic system through maximum rates of volumetric sap flow and velocities using the heat ratio method, and measured rates of tree growth and several stem, vessel, and leaf traits. Sap flow measures exhibited limited variability across species, although early-successional species and palms had high mean sap velocities relative to most mature-phase species. Stem, vessel, and leaf traits were poor predictors of sap flow measures. However, these traits exhibited different associations in multivariate analysis, revealing gradients in some traits across species and alternative hydraulic strategies in others. Trait differences across and within tree functional groups reflect variation in water transport and drought resistance strategies. These varying strategies will help in our understanding of changing species distributions under predicted drought scenarios. PMID:26087009

  7. Linking hydraulic traits to tropical forest function in a size-structured and trait-driven model (TFS v.1-Hydro)

    DOE PAGES

    Christoffersen, Bradley O.; Gloor, Manuel; Fauset, Sophie; ...

    2016-11-24

    Forest ecosystem models based on heuristic water stress functions poorly predict tropical forest response to drought partly because they do not capture the diversity of hydraulic traits (including variation in tree size) observed in tropical forests. We developed a continuous porous media approach to modeling plant hydraulics in which all parameters of the constitutive equations are biologically interpretable and measurable plant hydraulic traits (e.g., turgor loss point πtlp, bulk elastic modulus ε, hydraulic capacitance Cft, xylem hydraulic conductivity ks,max, water potential at 50 % loss of conductivity for both xylem (P50,x) and stomata (P50,gs), and the leaf : sapwood areamore » ratio Al:As). We embedded this plant hydraulics model within a trait forest simulator (TFS) that models light environments of individual trees and their upper boundary conditions (transpiration), as well as providing a means for parameterizing variation in hydraulic traits among individuals. We synthesized literature and existing databases to parameterize all hydraulic traits as a function of stem and leaf traits, including wood density (WD), leaf mass per area (LMA), and photosynthetic capacity (Amax), and evaluated the coupled model (called TFS v.1-Hydro) predictions, against observed diurnal and seasonal variability in stem and leaf water potential as well as stand-scaled sap flux. Our hydraulic trait synthesis revealed coordination among leaf and xylem hydraulic traits and statistically significant relationships of most hydraulic traits with more easily measured plant traits. Using the most informative empirical trait–trait relationships derived from this synthesis, TFS v.1-Hydro successfully captured individual variation in leaf and stem water potential due to increasing tree size and light environment, with model representation of hydraulic architecture and plant traits exerting primary and secondary controls, respectively, on the fidelity of model predictions. The plant

  8. Determination of longevities, chamber building rates and growth functions for Operculina complanata from long term cultivation experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woeger, Julia; Kinoshita, Shunichi; Wolfgang, Eder; Briguglio, Antonino; Hohenegger, Johann

    2016-04-01

    Operculina complanata was collected in 20 and 50 m depth around the Island of Sesoko belonging to Japans southernmost prefecture Okinawa in a series of monthly sampling over a period of 16 months (Apr.2014-July2015). A minimum of 8 specimens (4 among the smallest and 4 among the largest) per sampling were cultured in a long term experiment that was set up to approximate conditions in the field as closely as possible. A set up allowing recognition of individual specimens enabled consistent documentation of chamber formation, which in combination with μ-CT-scanning after the investigation period permitted the assignment of growth steps to specific time periods. These data were used to fit various mathematical models to describe growth (exponential-, logistic-, generalized logistic-, Gompertz-function) and chamber building rate (Michaelis-Menten-, Bertalanffy- function) of Operculina complanata. The mathematically retrieved maximum lifespan and mean chamber building rate found in cultured Operculina complanata were further compared to first results obtained by the simultaneously conducted "natural laboratory approach". Even though these comparisons hint at a somewhat stunted growth and truncated life spans of Operculina complanata in culture, they represent a possibility to assess and improve the quality of further cultivation set ups, opening new prospects to a better understanding of the their theoretical niches.

  9. Dauer-independent insulin/IGF-1-signalling implicates collagen remodelling in longevity

    PubMed Central

    Ewald, Collin Y.; Landis, Jess N.; Abate, Jess Porter; Murphy, Coleen T.; Blackwell, T. Keith

    2014-01-01

    Summary Interventions that delay ageing mobilize mechanisms that protect and repair cellular components1–3, but it is unknown how these interventions might slow the functional decline of extracellular matrices4,5, which are also damaged during ageing6,7. Reduced Insulin/IGF-1 signalling (rIIS) extends lifespan across the evolutionary spectrum, and in juvenile C. elegans also allows the transcription factor DAF-16/FOXO to induce development into dauer, a diapause that withstands harsh conditions (Supplementary Discussion)1,2. It has been suggested that rIIS delays C. elegans ageing through activation of dauer-related processes during adulthood2,8,9, but some rIIS conditions confer robust lifespan extension unaccompanied by any dauer-like traits1,10,11. Here we show that rIIS can promote C. elegans longevity through an program that is genetically distinct from the dauer pathway, and requires the Nrf (NF-E2-related factor) ortholog SKN-1 acting in parallel to DAF-16. SKN-1 is inhibited by IIS and has been broadly implicated in longevity12–14, but is rendered dispensable for rIIS lifespan extension by even mild activity of dauer-related processes. When IIS is decreased under conditions that do not induce dauer traits, SKN-1 most prominently increases expression of collagens and other extracellular matrix (ECM) genes. Diverse genetic, nutritional, and pharmacological pro-longevity interventions delay an age-related decline in collagen expression. These collagens mediate adulthood ECM remodelling, and are needed for ageing to be delayed by interventions that do not involve dauer traits. By genetically delineating a dauer-independent rIIS ageing pathway, our results show that IIS controls a broad set of protective mechanisms during C. elegans adulthood, and may facilitate elucidation of processes of general importance for longevity. The importance of collagen production in diverse anti-ageing interventions implies that ECM remodelling is a generally essential

  10. Clustering of Leaf and Canopy Spectra: How Do They Correspond to Functional Traits and Types?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roth, K. L.; Huesca, M.; Mathews, S.; Casas Planes, Á.; Alsina, M. M.; Garcia-Alonso, M.; Ustin, S.

    2014-12-01

    Recent ecological research has strongly linked plant function to leaf-level biochemical and plant structural traits over a wide range of species and environmental conditions. Broad classifications of plant functional types (PFTs) have conventionally been used in mapping and modeling efforts, as they capture major patterns in the variation of these traits. While strong relationships between canopy imaging spectrometer data and leaf biochemical composition have been established in tropical ecosystems, these relationships have not been well-documented over a broader range of ecosystems. In this study, we sought to characterize relationships between leaf-level functional traits and leaf and canopy-scale reflectance. We examined how variation within each data set corresponds to conventional PFTs and how additional sources of variation at canopy level can impact these relationships. We collected leaf trait data (pigments, water, dry matter, thickness, carbon & nitrogen) and leaf reflectance from a diverse set of species and PFTs across multiple sites and seasons in California as part of the Hyperspectral Infrared Imager (HyspIRI) mission study. Image data were acquired by the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS). Using ordination analysis, we assessed major axes of variation in leaf traits, leaf spectra and canopy spectra by species and functional types. Hierarchical agglomerative clustering analysis was used to evaluate existing groups within each dataset and to determine how well these match conventional PFTs. We also investigated the role of pixel composition and structure on spectral clustering within the AVIRIS data. Our results show that both leaf spectral clusters and biochemical trait clusters correspond to differences among species and sites, as well as conventional PFTs. Greater variation is present in the leaf spectra than in the biochemical data, indicating the spectra may be sensitive to additional leaf traits. Canopy-level spectral

  11. Temperature-induced shifts in associations of longevity with body size in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Norry, Fabian M; Loeschcke, Volker

    2002-02-01

    One of the hypotheses of growing interest in studies of responses to thermal environments suggests that trade-offs and other trait associations may be altered by temperature. Here, the commonly observed positive association between body size and longevity was examined at two adult test temperatures, 14 degrees C and 25 degrees C, in cold-stress-selected lines (S) and their controls (C) in 25 degrees C-reared Drosophila melanogaster. Thorax length (TL) and developmental time (DT) were also scored in 25 degrees C-reared individuals before and after one generation of truncation selection on longevity. The topography of the selection surface that relates longevity to thorax and wing size was temperature dependent and differed both between lines and between sexes. Longevity increased monotonically with body size (TL) in C and S females at 25 degrees C but, surprisingly, longevity decreased with body size in S individuals at 14 degees C. Body size did not diverge between S and C lines and showed no response to longevity selection. However, DT increased by 25 degrees C-longevity selection in C individuals and decreased by 14 degrees C-longevity selection in S individuals. These results suggest that trait associations (including the commonly observed trade-off between body size and DT) can greatly depend on temperature, as a shift in the sign of the correlation is possible at low temperature. Genotype x temperature interaction is an important source of variation in the relationship between soma size and longevity.

  12. Brain functional connectivity changes in children that differ in impulsivity temperamental trait

    PubMed Central

    Inuggi, Alberto; Sanz-Arigita, Ernesto; González-Salinas, Carmen; Valero-García, Ana V.; García-Santos, Jose M.; Fuentes, Luis J.

    2014-01-01

    Impulsivity is a core personality trait forming part of normal behavior and contributing to adaptive functioning. However, in typically developing children, altered patterns of impulsivity constitute a risk factor for the development of behavioral problems. Since both pathological and non-pathological states are commonly characterized by continuous transitions, we used a correlative approach to investigate the potential link between personality and brain dynamics. We related brain functional connectivity of typically developing children, measured with magnetic resonance imaging at rest, with their impulsivity scores obtained from a questionnaire completed by their parents. We first looked for areas within the default mode network (DMN) whose functional connectivity might be modulated by trait impulsivity. Then, we calculated the functional connectivity among these regions and the rest of the brain in order to assess if impulsivity trait altered their relationships. We found two DMN clusters located at the posterior cingulate cortex and the right angular gyrus which were negatively correlated with impulsivity scores. The whole-brain correlation analysis revealed the classic network of correlating and anti-correlating areas with respect to the DMN. The impulsivity trait modulated such pattern showing that the canonical anti-phasic relation between DMN and action-related network was reduced in high impulsive children. These results represent the first evidence that the impulsivity, measured as personality trait assessed through parents' report, exerts a modulatory influence over the functional connectivity of resting state brain networks in typically developing children. The present study goes further to connect developmental approaches, mainly based on data collected through the use of questionnaires, and behavioral neuroscience, interested in how differences in brain structure and functions reflect in differences in behavior. PMID:24834038

  13. Brain functional connectivity changes in children that differ in impulsivity temperamental trait.

    PubMed

    Inuggi, Alberto; Sanz-Arigita, Ernesto; González-Salinas, Carmen; Valero-García, Ana V; García-Santos, Jose M; Fuentes, Luis J

    2014-01-01

    Impulsivity is a core personality trait forming part of normal behavior and contributing to adaptive functioning. However, in typically developing children, altered patterns of impulsivity constitute a risk factor for the development of behavioral problems. Since both pathological and non-pathological states are commonly characterized by continuous transitions, we used a correlative approach to investigate the potential link between personality and brain dynamics. We related brain functional connectivity of typically developing children, measured with magnetic resonance imaging at rest, with their impulsivity scores obtained from a questionnaire completed by their parents. We first looked for areas within the default mode network (DMN) whose functional connectivity might be modulated by trait impulsivity. Then, we calculated the functional connectivity among these regions and the rest of the brain in order to assess if impulsivity trait altered their relationships. We found two DMN clusters located at the posterior cingulate cortex and the right angular gyrus which were negatively correlated with impulsivity scores. The whole-brain correlation analysis revealed the classic network of correlating and anti-correlating areas with respect to the DMN. The impulsivity trait modulated such pattern showing that the canonical anti-phasic relation between DMN and action-related network was reduced in high impulsive children. These results represent the first evidence that the impulsivity, measured as personality trait assessed through parents' report, exerts a modulatory influence over the functional connectivity of resting state brain networks in typically developing children. The present study goes further to connect developmental approaches, mainly based on data collected through the use of questionnaires, and behavioral neuroscience, interested in how differences in brain structure and functions reflect in differences in behavior.

  14. Schizotypal personality traits and atypical lateralization in motor and language functions.

    PubMed

    Asai, Tomohisa; Sugimori, Eriko; Tanno, Yoshihiko

    2009-10-01

    Atypical cerebral lateralization in motor and language functions in regard to schizotypal personality traits in healthy populations, as well as among schizophrenic patients, has attracted attention because these traits may represent a risk factor for schizophrenia. Although the relationship between handedness and schizotypal personality has been widely examined, few studies have adopted an experimental approach. This study consisted of three experiments focusing on motor and language functional lateralization in regard to schizotypal personality in the absence of mental illness: line-drawing, finger tapping, and a semantic go/no-go task. The results suggested that positive schizotypal personality might be related to functional non-lateralization in regard to at least some functions (e.g., spatial motor control and semantic processing in the present study). Subjects with high schizotypal personality traits performed equally with their right and left-hands in the line-drawing task and they reacted equally with their right and left-hands in a semantic go/no-go task involving semantic auditory stimuli presented in both ears. However, those low in schizotypal personality traits showed typical lateralization in response to these tasks. We discuss the implications of these findings for schizotypal atypical lateralization.

  15. Functional Dysphonia during Mental Imagery: Testing the Trait Theory of Voice Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Mersbergen, Miriam; Patrick, Christopher; Glaze, Leslie

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: Previous research has proposed that persons with functional dysphonia (FD) present with temperamental traits that predispose them to their voice disorder. We investigated this theory in a controlled experiment and compared them with social anxiety (SA) and healthy control (HC) groups. Method: Twelve participants with FD, 19 participants…

  16. Expression of functional traits during seedling establishment in two populations of Pinus ponderosa from contrasting climates

    Treesearch

    K. L. Fenn; F. C. Meinzer; K. A. McCulloh; D. R. Woodruff; D. E. Marias

    2015-01-01

    First-year tree seedlings represent a particularly vulnerable life stage and successful seedling establishment is crucial for forest regeneration. We investigated the extent to which Pinus ponderosa P. & C. Lawson populations from different climate zones exhibit differential expression of functional traits that may facilitate their establishment. Seeds from two...

  17. Functional Dysphonia during Mental Imagery: Testing the Trait Theory of Voice Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Mersbergen, Miriam; Patrick, Christopher; Glaze, Leslie

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: Previous research has proposed that persons with functional dysphonia (FD) present with temperamental traits that predispose them to their voice disorder. We investigated this theory in a controlled experiment and compared them with social anxiety (SA) and healthy control (HC) groups. Method: Twelve participants with FD, 19 participants…

  18. Temporal variability in California grasslands: soil type and species functional traits mediate response to precipitation.

    PubMed

    Fernandez-Going, B M; Anacker, B L; Harrison, S P

    2012-09-01

    Plant communities on infertile soils may be relatively resistant to climatic variation if species in these communities have "stress-tolerant" functional traits that limit their ability to respond to climate. Alternatively, such communities may be more sensitive to climatic variation if their relatively sparse vegetative cover exposes species to more extreme changes in factors such as temperature or wind. We compared temporal variability in species richness and composition over 10 years between grasslands on infertile serpentine and "normal" sedimentary soils. Variability in species richness and species composition tracked mean annual precipitation on both soils, but variability was lower in serpentine grasslands. Communities on serpentine had lower functional diversity and had species with more "stress-tolerant" traits than non-serpentine communities (i.e., shorter stature, lower specific leaf area, and lower leaf area). Within and between soils, variability in species richness and temporal turnover were lower in communities scoring as more stress tolerant on a multivariate index of these traits; however, community variability was unrelated to functional diversity. Within 41 species found commonly on both soils, variability in occurrence and cover were also lower on serpentine soils, even though intraspecific trait differences between soils were minimal; this suggests a direct effect of soil type on species variability in addition to the indirect, trait-mediated effect. Communities with higher biomass had higher annual variability in species occurrence and cover. Our results suggest that infertile soils reduce compositional variability indirectly by selecting for stress-tolerant traits and directly by limiting productivity. We conclude that communities on infertile soils may respond more conservatively to predicted changes in precipitation, including increased variability, than communities on soils of normal fertility.

  19. Trends in ecosystem water use efficiency are potentially amplified by plasticity in plant functional traits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mastrotheodoros, Theodoros; Pappas, Christoforos; Molnar, Peter; Burlando, Paolo; Keenan, Trevor F.; Gentine, Pierre; Fatichi, Simone

    2017-04-01

    Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations stimulate photosynthesis and reduce stomatal conductance, modifying plant water use efficiency. We analyzed eddy covariance flux tower observations from 20 forested ecosystems across the Northern Hemisphere. For these sites, a previous study showed an increase in inherent water use efficiency (IWUE) five times greater than expectations. We used an updated dataset and robust uncertainty quantification to analyze these contemporary trends in IWUE. We found that IWUE increased in the last 15-20 years by roughly 1.4% yr-1, which is less than previously reported, but still 2.8 times greater than theoretical expectations. Numerical simulations by means of an ecosystem model based on temporally static plant functional traits (i.e. model parameters) do not reproduce this increase. We tested the hypothesis that the observed increase in IWUE could be attributed to changes in plant functional traits, potentially triggered by environmental changes. Simulation results accounting for trait plasticity (i.e. by changing model parameters such as specific leaf area and maximum Rubisco capacity) match the observed trends in IWUE, with an increase in both leaf internal CO2 concentration and gross ecosystem production (GEP), and with a negligible trend in evapotranspiration (ET). This supports the hypothesis that changes in plant functional traits of about 1.0% yr-1 can explain the observed IWUE trends and are consistent with observed trends of GEP and ET at larger scales. Our results highlight that at decadal or longer time scales trait plasticity can considerably influence the water, carbon and energy fluxes with implications for both the monitoring of temporal changes in plant traits and their representation in Earth system models.

  20. Antisocial traits in psychiatrically ill veterans without antisocial personality disorder: relationship to Axis I disorders and effects on functioning.

    PubMed

    Reich, J

    1997-07-04

    The prevalence of antisocial traits was investigated in a group of veterans who were in treatment at an out-patient psychiatric clinic and who did not meet diagnostic criteria for an antisocial personality disorder. Standardized DSM-III-R interviews were used to diagnose Axis I disorders and antisocial personality disorders and traits. Frequencies of antisocial traits were compared between patients and controls as well as between diagnostic subgroups in the clinical population. Odds ratios were used to assess the effect of antisocial traits on several standardized measures of functioning. There was no overall difference in the dimensional measure of antisocial traits between the clinical and normal groups. There were trends for the frequency of individual traits to vary by Axis I diagnosis. The amount of antisocial traits (measured dimensionally) negatively affected measures of functioning for the overall clinical population. Different specific antisocial traits were associated with trends towards poorer functioning in the alcohol, major depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome subgroups. It is recommended that future research in the area of antisocial traits pay careful attention to the possible negative effects on functioning of subthreshold antisocial traits and also to Axis I comorbidity.

  1. Linking suspended sediment transport metrics with fish functional traits in the Northwestern Great Plains (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwartz, J. S.; Simon, A.; Klimetz, L.

    2009-12-01

    Loss of ecological integrity due to excessive suspended sediment in rivers and streams is a major cause of water quality impairment in the United States. Although 32 states have developed numeric criteria for turbidity or suspended solids, or both according to the USEPA (2006), criteria is typically written as a percent exceedance above background and what constitutes background is not well defined. Defining a background level is problematic considering suspended sediments and related turbidity levels change with flow stage and season, and limited scientific data exists on relationships between sediment exposure and biotic response. Current assessment protocols for development of sediment total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) lack a means to link temporally-variable sediment transport rates with specific losses of ecological functions as loads increase. This study, within the in Northwestern Great Plains Ecoregion, co-located 58 USGS gauging stations with existing flow and suspended sediment data, and fish data from federal and state agencies. Suspended sediment concentration (SSC) transport metrics were quantified into exceedance frequencies of a given magnitude, duration as the number of consecutive days a given concentration was equaled or exceeded, dosage as concentration x duration, and mean annual suspended sediment yields. A functional traits-based approach was used to correlate SSC transport metrics with site occurrences of 20 fish traits organized into four main groups: preferred rearing mesohabitat, trophic structure, feeding habits, and spawning behavior. Negative correlations between SSC metrics and trait occurrences were assumed to represent potential conditions for impairment, specifically identifying an ecological loss by functional trait. Potential impairment conditions were linked with presence of the following traits: habitat preferences for stream pool and river shallow waters; feeding generalists, omnivores, piscivores; and several spawning

  2. Linking plant functional traits and forest carbon stocks in the Congo Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kearsley, Elizabeth; Verbeeck, Hans; Hufkens, Koen; Lewis, Simon; Huygens, Dries; Beeckman, Hans; Steppe, Kathy; Boeckx, Pascal

    2013-04-01

    Accurate estimates of the amount of carbon stored in tropical forests represent crucial baseline data for recent climate change mitigation policies. Such data are needed to quantify possible emissions due to deforestation and forest degradation, and to evaluate the potential of these forests to act as carbon sinks. Currently, only rough estimates of the carbon stocks for Central African tropical forests are available due to a lack of field data, and little is known about the response of these stocks to climate change. We present the first ground-based carbon stock data for the central Congo Basin in Yangambi, D. R. Congo, based on data of 20 inventory plots of 1 ha covering different forest types. We found an average aboveground carbon stock of 163 ± 19 Mg C ha-1 for intact old-growth forest, which is significantly lower than the stocks recorded in the outer regions of the Congo Basin. Commonly studied drivers for variations of carbon stocks include climatic and edaphic factors, but detailed trait-based studies are lacking. We identified a significant difference in height-diameter relations across the Congo Basin as a driver for spatial differences in carbon stocks. The study of a more detailed interaction of the environment and the available tree species pool as drivers for differences in carbon storage could have large implications. The effect of the species pool on carbon storage can be large since species differ in their ability to sequester carbon, and the collective functional characteristics of plant communities could be a major driver of carbon accumulation. The use of a trait-based approach shows high potential for identifying and quantifying carbon stocks as an ecosystem service. We test for associations between functional trait values and carbon storage across multiple regrowth and old-growth forests types in the Yangambi study area, with soil properties and climate similar for all plots. A selection of traits associated with carbon dynamics is made

  3. A compilation of quantitative functional traits for marine and freshwater crustacean zooplankton.

    PubMed

    Hébert, Marie-Pier; Beisner, Beatrix E; Maranger, Roxane

    2016-04-01

    This data compilation synthesizes 8609 individual observations and ranges of 13 traits from 201 freshwater and 191 marine crustacean taxa belonging to either Copepoda or Cladocera, two important zooplankton groups across all major aquatic habitats. Most data were gathered from the literature, with the balance being provided by zooplankton ecologists. With the aim of more fully assessing zooplankton effects on elemental processes such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and carbon (C) stocks and fluxes in aquatic ecosystems, this data set provides information on the following traits: body size (length and mass), trophic group, elemental and biochemical corporal composition (N, P, C, lipid and protein content), respiration rates, N- and P-excretion rates, as well as stoichiometric ratios. Although relationships for zooplankton metabolism as a function of body mass or requirements have been explored in the past three decades, data have not been systematically compiled nor examined from an integrative and large-scale perspective across crustacean taxa and habitat types. While this contribution likely represents the most comprehensive assembly of traits for both marine and freshwater species, this data set is not exhaustive either. As a result, this compilation also identifies knowledge gaps: a fact that should encourage researchers to disclose information they may have to help complete such databases. This trait matrix is made available for the first time in this data paper; prior to its release, the data set has been analyzed in a meta-analysis published as a companion paper. This data set should prove extremely valuable for aquatic ecologists for trait-based characterization of plankton community structure as well as biogeochemical modeling. These data are also well-suited for deriving shortcut relationships that predict more difficult to measure trait values, most of which can be directly related to ecosystem properties (i.e., effect traits), from simpler traits (e

  4. Winter severity determines functional trait composition of phytoplankton in seasonally ice-covered lakes.

    PubMed

    Özkundakci, Deniz; Gsell, Alena S; Hintze, Thomas; Täuscher, Helgard; Adrian, Rita

    2016-01-01

    How climate change will affect the community dynamics and functionality of lake ecosystems during winter is still little understood. This is also true for phytoplankton in seasonally ice-covered temperate lakes which are particularly vulnerable to the presence or absence of ice. We examined changes in pelagic phytoplankton winter community structure in a north temperate lake (Müggelsee, Germany), covering 18 winters between 1995 and 2013. We tested how phytoplankton taxa composition varied along a winter-severity gradient and to what extent winter severity shaped the functional trait composition of overwintering phytoplankton communities using multivariate statistical analyses and a functional trait-based approach. We hypothesized that overwintering phytoplankton communities are dominated by taxa with trait combinations corresponding to the prevailing winter water column conditions, using ice thickness measurements as a winter-severity indicator. Winter severity had little effect on univariate diversity indicators (taxon richness and evenness), but a strong relationship was found between the phytoplankton community structure and winter severity when taxon trait identity was taken into account. Species responses to winter severity were mediated by the key functional traits: motility, nutritional mode, and the ability to form resting stages. Accordingly, one or the other of two functional groups dominated the phytoplankton biomass during mild winters (i.e., thin or no ice cover; phototrophic taxa) or severe winters (i.e., thick ice cover; exclusively motile taxa). Based on predicted milder winters for temperate regions and a reduction in ice-cover durations, phytoplankton communities during winter can be expected to comprise taxa that have a relative advantage when the water column is well mixed (i.e., need not be motile) and light is less limiting (i.e., need not be mixotrophic). A potential implication of this result is that winter severity promotes different

  5. Repetition Suppression in Ventral Visual Cortex Is Diminished as a Function of Increasing Autistic Traits

    PubMed Central

    Ewbank, Michael P.; Rhodes, Gillian; von dem Hagen, Elisabeth A. H.; Powell, Thomas E.; Bright, Naomi; Stoyanova, Raliza S.; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Calder, Andrew J.

    2015-01-01

    Repeated viewing of a stimulus causes a change in perceptual sensitivity, known as a visual aftereffect. Similarly, in neuroimaging, repetitions of the same stimulus result in a reduction in the neural response, known as repetition suppression (RS). Previous research shows that aftereffects for faces are reduced in both children with autism and in first-degree relatives. With functional magnetic resonance imaging, we found that the magnitude of RS to faces in neurotypical participants was negatively correlated with individual differences in autistic traits. We replicated this finding in a second experiment, while additional experiments showed that autistic traits also negatively predicted RS to images of scenes and simple geometric shapes. These findings suggest that a core aspect of neural function—the brain's response to repetition—is modulated by autistic traits. PMID:24988131

  6. Anger under Control: Neural Correlates of Frustration as a Function of Trait Aggression

    PubMed Central

    Pawliczek, Christina M.; Derntl, Birgit; Kellermann, Thilo; Gur, Ruben C.; Schneider, Frank; Habel, Ute

    2013-01-01

    Antisocial behavior and aggression are prominent symptoms in several psychiatric disorders including antisocial personality disorder. An established precursor to aggression is a frustrating event, which can elicit anger or exasperation, thereby prompting aggressive responses. While some studies have investigated the neural correlates of frustration and aggression, examination of their relation to trait aggression in healthy populations are rare. Based on a screening of 550 males, we formed two extreme groups, one including individuals reporting high (n=21) and one reporting low (n=18) trait aggression. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at 3T, all participants were put through a frustration task comprising unsolvable anagrams of German nouns. Despite similar behavioral performance, males with high trait aggression reported higher ratings of negative affect and anger after the frustration task. Moreover, they showed relatively decreased activation in the frontal brain regions and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) as well as relatively less amygdala activation in response to frustration. Our findings indicate distinct frontal and limbic processing mechanisms following frustration modulated by trait aggression. In response to a frustrating event, HA individuals show some of the personality characteristics and neural processing patterns observed in abnormally aggressive populations. Highlighting the impact of aggressive traits on the behavioral and neural responses to frustration in non-psychiatric extreme groups can facilitate further characterization of neural dysfunctions underlying psychiatric disorders that involve abnormal frustration processing and aggression. PMID:24205247

  7. Genetic factors associated with longevity: a review of recent findings.

    PubMed

    Shadyab, Aladdin H; LaCroix, Andrea Z

    2015-01-01

    Given the rising rate of survival into advanced old age in the United States, achieving longevity and healthy aging is becoming increasingly important. Besides maintaining healthy lifestyle behaviors, positive aging outcomes may also be heritable, with estimates ranging from 20% to 35%. In this qualitative review, we summarize recent findings on genetic factors linked to longevity across different populations and study designs. Recent studies not only confirm the association of APOE with longevity in different populations, but also implicate several other pathways that may influence longevity including nitric oxide production, inflammation, immunity, and DNA damage response and repair. Recent evidence also suggests that mitochondrial DNA may play an important role in attaining longevity. Despite these implicated pathways, longevity may be a polygenic trait influenced by a complex interplay of multiple genes. Future genetic studies on aging would benefit from larger samples of long-lived individuals, birth-cohort matched controls, inclusion of different aging phenotypes (e.g., aging free of morbidities), and analysis of gender differences.

  8. Functional traits dominate the diversity-related selection of bacterial communities in the rhizosphere.

    PubMed

    Yan, Yan; Kuramae, Eiko E; de Hollander, Mattias; Klinkhamer, Peter G L; van Veen, Johannes A

    2017-01-01

    We studied the impact of community diversity on the selection of bacterial communities in the rhizosphere by comparing the composition and the functional traits of these communities in soil and rhizosphere. Differences in diversity were established by inoculating into sterilized soils diluted suspensions of the same soil. We used 16S ribosomal RNA amplicon sequencing to determine the taxonomical structure of the bacterial communities and a shotgun metagenomics approach to investigate the potential functional diversity of the communities. By comparing the bacterial communities in soil and rhizosphere, the selective power of the plant was observed both at the taxonomic and functional level, although the diversity indices of soil and rhizosphere samples showed a highly variable, irregular pattern. Lesser variation, that is, more homogenization, was found for both the taxonomic structure and the functional profile of the rhizosphere communities as compared to the communities of the bulk soil. Network analysis revealed stronger interactions among bacterial operational taxonomic units in the rhizosphere than in the soil. The enrichment processes in the rhizosphere selected microbes with particular functional genes related to transporters, the Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway and hydrogen metabolism. This selection was not random across bacteria with these functional traits, but it was species specific. Overall, this suggests that functional traits are a key to the assembly of bacterial rhizosphere communities.

  9. Functional traits determine trade-offs and niches in a tropical forest community.

    PubMed

    Sterck, Frank; Markesteijn, Lars; Schieving, Feike; Poorter, Lourens

    2011-12-20

    How numerous tree species can coexist in diverse forest communities is a key question in community ecology. Whereas neutral theory assumes that species are adapted to common field conditions and coexist by chance, niche theory predicts that species are functionally different and coexist because they are specialized for different niches. We integrated biophysical principles into a mathematical plant model to determine whether and how functional plant traits and trade-offs may cause functional divergence and niche separation of tree species. We used this model to compare the carbon budget of saplings across 13 co-occurring dry-forest tree species along gradients of light and water availability. We found that species ranged in strategy, from acquisitive species with high carbon budgets at highest resource levels to more conservative species with high tolerances for both shade and drought. The crown leaf area index and nitrogen mass per leaf area drove the functional divergence along the simulated light gradient, which was consistent with observed species distributions along light gradients in the forest. Stomatal coordination to avoid low water potentials or hydraulic failure caused functional divergence along the simulated water gradient, but was not correlated to observed species distributions along the water gradient in the forest. The trait-based biophysical model thus explains how functional traits cause functional divergence across species and whether such divergence contributes to niche separation along resource gradients.

  10. Functional traits determine trade-offs and niches in a tropical forest community

    PubMed Central

    Sterck, Frank; Markesteijn, Lars; Schieving, Feike; Poorter, Lourens

    2011-01-01

    How numerous tree species can coexist in diverse forest communities is a key question in community ecology. Whereas neutral theory assumes that species are adapted to common field conditions and coexist by chance, niche theory predicts that species are functionally different and coexist because they are specialized for different niches. We integrated biophysical principles into a mathematical plant model to determine whether and how functional plant traits and trade-offs may cause functional divergence and niche separation of tree species. We used this model to compare the carbon budget of saplings across 13 co-occurring dry-forest tree species along gradients of light and water availability. We found that species ranged in strategy, from acquisitive species with high carbon budgets at highest resource levels to more conservative species with high tolerances for both shade and drought. The crown leaf area index and nitrogen mass per leaf area drove the functional divergence along the simulated light gradient, which was consistent with observed species distributions along light gradients in the forest. Stomatal coordination to avoid low water potentials or hydraulic failure caused functional divergence along the simulated water gradient, but was not correlated to observed species distributions along the water gradient in the forest. The trait-based biophysical model thus explains how functional traits cause functional divergence across species and whether such divergence contributes to niche separation along resource gradients. PMID:22106283

  11. Variation in habitat suitability does not always relate to variation in species' plant functional traits

    PubMed Central

    Thuiller, Wilfried; Albert, Cécile H.; Dubuis, Anne; Randin, Christophe; Guisan, Antoine

    2010-01-01

    Habitat suitability models, which relate species occurrences to environmental variables, are assumed to predict suitable conditions for a given species. If these models are reliable, they should relate to change in plant growth and function. In this paper, we ask the question whether habitat suitability models are able to predict variation in plant functional traits, often assumed to be a good surrogate for a species' overall health and vigour. Using a thorough sampling design, we show a tight link between variation in plant functional traits and habitat suitability for some species, but not for others. Our contrasting results pave the way towards a better understanding of how species cope with varying habitat conditions and demonstrate that habitat suitability models can provide meaningful descriptions of the functional niche in some cases, but not in others. PMID:19793738

  12. Variation in habitat suitability does not always relate to variation in species' plant functional traits.

    PubMed

    Thuiller, Wilfried; Albert, Cécile H; Dubuis, Anne; Randin, Christophe; Guisan, Antoine

    2010-02-23

    Habitat suitability models, which relate species occurrences to environmental variables, are assumed to predict suitable conditions for a given species. If these models are reliable, they should relate to change in plant growth and function. In this paper, we ask the question whether habitat suitability models are able to predict variation in plant functional traits, often assumed to be a good surrogate for a species' overall health and vigour. Using a thorough sampling design, we show a tight link between variation in plant functional traits and habitat suitability for some species, but not for others. Our contrasting results pave the way towards a better understanding of how species cope with varying habitat conditions and demonstrate that habitat suitability models can provide meaningful descriptions of the functional niche in some cases, but not in others.

  13. Transition from wind pollination to insect pollination in sedges: experimental evidence and functional traits.

    PubMed

    Wragg, Peter D; Johnson, Steven D

    2011-09-01

    Transitions from wind pollination to insect pollination were pivotal to the radiation of land plants, yet only a handful are known and the trait shifts required are poorly understood. We tested the hypothesis that a transition to insect pollination took place in the ancestrally wind-pollinated sedges (Cyperaceae) and that floral traits modified during this transition have functional significance. We paired putatively insect-pollinated Cyperus obtusiflorus and Cyperus sphaerocephalus with related, co-flowering, co-occurring wind-pollinated species, and compared pairs in terms of pollination mode and functional roles of floral traits. Experimentally excluding insects reduced seed set by 56-89% in putatively insect-pollinated species but not in intermingled wind-pollinated species. The pollen of putatively insect-pollinated species was less motile in a wind tunnel than that of wind-pollinated species. Bees, beetles and flies preferred inflorescences, and color-matched white or yellow models, of putatively insect-pollinated species over inflorescences, or color-matched brown models, of wind-pollinated species. Floral scents of putatively insect-pollinated species were chemically consistent with those of other insect-pollinated plants, and attracted pollinators; wind-pollinated species were unscented. These results show that a transition from wind pollination to insect pollination occurred in sedges and shed new light on the function of traits involved in this important transition.

  14. Origin matters: widely distributed native and non-native species benefit from different functional traits.

    PubMed

    Knapp, Sonja; Kühn, Ingolf

    2012-07-01

    Recently, ecologists debated whether distinguishing native from non-native species is sensible or not. One argument is that widespread and less widespread species are functionally different, whether or not they are native. An opposing statement points out ecologically relevant differences between native and non-native species. We studied the functional traits that drive native and non-native vascular plant species frequency in Germany by explaining species grid-cell frequency using traits and their interaction with status. Native and non-native species frequency was equally driven by life span, ploidy type and self-compatibility. Non-native species frequency rose with later flowering cessation date, whereas this relationship was absent for native species. Native and non-native species differed in storage organs and in the number of environmental conditions they tolerate. We infer that environmental filters drive trait convergence of native and non-native species, whereas competition drives trait divergence. Meanwhile, introduction pathways functionally bias the frequency of non-native species. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  15. Higher photosynthetic capacity and different functional trait scaling relationships in erect bryophytes compared with prostrate species.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhe; Liu, Xin; Bao, Weikai

    2016-02-01

    Ecophysiological studies of bryophytes have generally been conducted at the shoot or canopy scale. However, their growth forms are diverse, and knowledge of whether bryophytes with different shoot structures have different functional trait levels and scaling relationships is limited. We collected 27 bryophyte species and categorised them into two groups based on their growth forms: erect and prostrate species. Twenty-one morphological, nutrient and photosynthetic traits were quantified. Trait levels and bivariate trait scaling relationships across species were compared between the two groups. The two groups had similar mean values for shoot mass per area (SMA), light saturation point and mass-based nitrogen (N(mass)) and phosphorus concentrations. Erect bryophytes possessed higher values for mass-based chlorophyll concentration (Chl(mass)), light-saturated assimilation rate (A(mass)) and photosynthetic nitrogen/phosphorus use efficiency. N(mass), Chl(mass) and A(mass) were positively related, and these traits were negatively associated with SMA. Furthermore, the slope of the regression of N(mass) versus Chl(mass) was steeper for erect bryophytes than that for prostrate bryophytes, whereas this pattern was reversed for the relationship between Chl(mass) and A(mass). In conclusion, erect bryophytes possess higher photosynthetic capacities than prostrate species. Furthermore, erect bryophytes invest more nitrogen in chloroplast pigments to improve their light-harvesting ability, while the structure of prostrate species permits more efficient light capture. This study confirms the effect of growth form on the functional trait levels and scaling relationships of bryophytes. It also suggests that bryophytes could be good models for investigating the carbon economy and nutrient allocation of plants at the shoot rather than the leaf scale.

  16. Differential effects of plant diversity on functional trait variation of grass species

    PubMed Central

    Gubsch, Marlén; Buchmann, Nina; Schmid, Bernhard; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; Lipowsky, Annett; Roscher, Christiane

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Functional trait differences and trait adjustment in response to influences of the biotic environment could reflect niche partitioning among species. In this study, we tested how variation in above-ground plant traits, chosen as indicators for light and nitrogen acquisition and use, differs among taxonomically closely related species (Poaceae) to assess their potential for niche segregation at increasing plant diversity. Methods Traits of 12 grass species were measured in experimental grasslands (Jena Experiment) of varying species richness (from 1 to 60) and presence of particular functional groups (grasses, legumes, tall herbs and small herbs). Key Results Grass species increased shoot and leaf length, investment into supporting tissue (stem mass fraction) and specific leaf area as well as reduced foliar δ13C values with increasing species richness, indicating higher efforts for light acquisition. These species-richness effects could in part be explained by a higher probability of legume presence in more diverse communities. Leaf nitrogen concentrations increased and biomas s : N ratios in shoots decreased when grasses grew with legumes, indicating an improved nitrogen nutrition. Foliar δ15N values of grasses decreased when growing with legumes suggesting the use of depleted legume-derived N, while decreasing δ15N values with increasing species richness indicated a shift in the uptake of different N sources. However, efforts to optimize light and nitrogen acquisition by plastic adjustment of traits in response to species richness and legume presence, varied significantly among grass species. It was possible to show further that trait adjustment of grass species increased niche segregation in more diverse plant communities but that complementarity through niche separation may differ between light and nutrient acquisition. Conclusions The results suggest that even among closely related species such as grasses different strategies are used to

  17. Ecoregional, catchment, and reach-scale environmental factors shape functional-trait structure of stream fish assemblages

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Patterns of association between functional traits and environmental gradients can improve understanding of species assemblage structure from local to regional scales, and therefore may be useful for natural resource management. We measured functional traits related to trophic ecology, habitat use, a...

  18. Modalities of Thinking: State and Trait Effects on Cross-Frequency Functional Independent Brain Networks.

    PubMed

    Milz, Patricia; Pascual-Marqui, Roberto D; Lehmann, Dietrich; Faber, Pascal L

    2016-05-01

    Functional states of the brain are constituted by the temporally attuned activity of spatially distributed neural networks. Such networks can be identified by independent component analysis (ICA) applied to frequency-dependent source-localized EEG data. This methodology allows the identification of networks at high temporal resolution in frequency bands of established location-specific physiological functions. EEG measurements are sensitive to neural activity changes in cortical areas of modality-specific processing. We tested effects of modality-specific processing on functional brain networks. Phasic modality-specific processing was induced via tasks (state effects) and tonic processing was assessed via modality-specific person parameters (trait effects). Modality-specific person parameters and 64-channel EEG were obtained from 70 male, right-handed students. Person parameters were obtained using cognitive style questionnaires, cognitive tests, and thinking modality self-reports. EEG was recorded during four conditions: spatial visualization, object visualization, verbalization, and resting. Twelve cross-frequency networks were extracted from source-localized EEG across six frequency bands using ICA. RMANOVAs, Pearson correlations, and path modelling examined effects of tasks and person parameters on networks. Results identified distinct state- and trait-dependent functional networks. State-dependent networks were characterized by decreased, trait-dependent networks by increased alpha activity in sub-regions of modality-specific pathways. Pathways of competing modalities showed opposing alpha changes. State- and trait-dependent alpha were associated with inhibitory and automated processing, respectively. Antagonistic alpha modulations in areas of competing modalities likely prevent intruding effects of modality-irrelevant processing. Considerable research suggested alpha modulations related to modality-specific states and traits. This study identified the

  19. Relationships between phyllosphere bacterial communities and plant functional traits in a neotropical forest.

    PubMed

    Kembel, Steven W; O'Connor, Timothy K; Arnold, Holly K; Hubbell, Stephen P; Wright, S Joseph; Green, Jessica L

    2014-09-23

    The phyllosphere--the aerial surfaces of plants, including leaves--is a ubiquitous global habitat that harbors diverse bacterial communities. Phyllosphere bacterial communities have the potential to influence plant biogeography and ecosystem function through their influence on the fitness and function of their hosts, but the host attributes that drive community assembly in the phyllosphere are poorly understood. In this study we used high-throughput sequencing to quantify bacterial community structure on the leaves of 57 tree species in a neotropical forest in Panama. We tested for relationships between bacterial communities on tree leaves and the functional traits, taxonomy, and phylogeny of their plant hosts. Bacterial communities on tropical tree leaves were diverse; leaves from individual trees were host to more than 400 bacterial taxa. Bacterial communities in the phyllosphere were dominated by a core microbiome of taxa including Actinobacteria, Alpha-, Beta-, and Gammaproteobacteria, and Sphingobacteria. Host attributes including plant taxonomic identity, phylogeny, growth and mortality rates, wood density, leaf mass per area, and leaf nitrogen and phosphorous concentrations were correlated with bacterial community structure on leaves. The relative abundances of several bacterial taxa were correlated with suites of host plant traits related to major axes of plant trait variation, including the leaf economics spectrum and the wood density-growth/mortality tradeoff. These correlations between phyllosphere bacterial diversity and host growth, mortality, and function suggest that incorporating information on plant-microbe associations will improve our ability to understand plant functional biogeography and the drivers of variation in plant and ecosystem function.

  20. Macroinvertebrate Taxonomic and Functional Trait Compositions within Lotic Habitats Affected By River Restoration Practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, J. C.; Hill, M. J.; Bickerton, M. A.; Wood, P. J.

    2017-09-01

    The widespread degradation of lotic ecosystems has prompted extensive river restoration efforts globally, but many studies have reported modest ecological responses to rehabilitation practices. The functional properties of biotic communities are rarely examined within post-project appraisals, which would provide more ecological information underpinning ecosystem responses to restoration practices and potentially pinpoint project limitations. This study examines macroinvertebrate community responses to three projects which aimed to physically restore channel morphologies. Taxonomic and functional trait compositions supported by widely occurring lotic habitats (biotopes) were examined across paired restored and non-restored (control) reaches. The multivariate location (average community composition) of taxonomic and functional trait compositions differed marginally between control and restored reaches. However, changes in the amount of multivariate dispersion were more robust and indicated greater ecological heterogeneity within restored reaches, particularly when considering functional trait compositions. Organic biotopes (macrophyte stands and macroalgae) occurred widely across all study sites and supported a high alpha (within-habitat) taxonomic diversity compared to mineralogical biotopes (sand and gravel patches), which were characteristic of restored reaches. However, mineralogical biotopes possessed a higher beta (between-habitat) functional diversity, although this was less pronounced for taxonomic compositions. This study demonstrates that examining the functional and structural properties of taxa across distinct biotopes can provide a greater understanding of biotic responses to river restoration works. Such information could be used to better understand the ecological implications of rehabilitation practices and guide more effective management strategies.

  1. Individual differences in common factors of emotional traits and executive functions predict functional connectivity of the amygdala.

    PubMed

    Rohr, C S; Dreyer, F R; Aderka, I M; Margulies, D S; Frisch, S; Villringer, A; Okon-Singer, H

    2015-10-15

    Evidence suggests that individual differences in emotion control are associated with frontoparietal-limbic networks and linked to emotional traits and executive functions. In a first attempt to directly target the link between emotional traits and executive functions using resting-state fMRI analysis, 43 healthy adults completed a test battery including executive tasks and emotional trait self-assessments that were subjected to a principal component analysis. Of the three factors detected, two explained 40.4% of the variance and were further investigated. Both factors suggest a relation between emotional traits and executive functions. Specifically, the first factor consisted of measures related to inhibitory control and negative affect, and the second factor was related to reward and positive affect. To investigate whether this interplay between emotional traits and executive functions is reflected in neural connectivity, we used resting-state fMRI to explore the functional connectivity of the amygdala as a starting point, and progressed to other seed-based analyses based on the initial findings. We found that the first factor predicted the strength of connectivity between brain regions known to be involved in the cognitive control of emotion, including the amygdala and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, whereas the second factor predicted the strength of connectivity between brain regions known to be involved in reward and attention, including the amygdala, the caudate and the thalamus. These findings suggest that individual differences in the ability to inhibit negative affect are mediated by prefrontal-limbic pathways, while the ability to be positive and use rewarding information is mediated by a network that includes the amygdala and thalamostriatal regions.

  2. Context-dependent functional dispersion across similar ranges of trait space covered by intertidal rocky shore communities.

    PubMed

    Valdivia, Nelson; Segovia-Rivera, Viviana; Fica, Eliseo; Bonta, César C; Aguilera, Moisés A; Broitman, Bernardo R

    2017-03-01

    Functional diversity is intimately linked with community assembly processes, but its large-scale patterns of variation are often not well understood. Here, we investigated the spatiotemporal changes in multiple trait dimensions ("trait space") along vertical intertidal environmental stress gradients and across a landscape scale. We predicted that the range of the trait space covered by local assemblages (i.e., functional richness) and the dispersion in trait abundances (i.e., functional dispersion) should increase from high- to low-intertidal elevations, due to the decreasing influence of environmental filtering. The abundance of macrobenthic algae and invertebrates was estimated at four rocky shores spanning ca. 200 km of the coast over a 36-month period. Functional richness and dispersion were contrasted against matrix-swap models to remove any confounding effect of species richness on functional diversity. Random-slope models showed that functional richness and dispersion significantly increased from high- to low-intertidal heights, demonstrating that under harsh environmental conditions, the assemblages comprised similar abundances of functionally similar species (i.e., trait convergence), while that under milder conditions, the assemblages encompassed differing abundances of functionally dissimilar species (i.e., trait divergence). According to the Akaike information criteria, the relationship between local environmental stress and functional richness was persistent across sites and sampling times, while functional dispersion varied significantly. Environmental filtering therefore has persistent effects on the range of trait space covered by these assemblages, but context-dependent effects on the abundances of trait combinations within such range. Our results further suggest that natural and/or anthropogenic factors might have significant effects on the relative abundance of functional traits, despite that no trait addition or extinction is detected.

  3. SYNCSA--R tool for analysis of metacommunities based on functional traits and phylogeny of the community components.

    PubMed

    Debastiani, Vanderlei J; Pillar, Valério D

    2012-08-01

    SYNCSA is an R package for the analysis of metacommunities based on functional traits and phylogeny of the community components. It offers tools to calculate several matrix correlations that express trait-convergence assembly patterns, trait-divergence assembly patterns and phylogenetic signal in functional traits at the species pool level and at the metacommunity level. SYNCSA is a package for the R environment, under a GPL-2 open-source license and freely available on CRAN official web server for R (http://cran.r-project.org). vanderleidebastiani@yahoo.com.br.

  4. Do bryophyte shoot systems function like vascular plant leaves or canopies? Functional trait relationships in Sphagnum mosses (Sphagnaceae).

    PubMed

    Rice, Steven K; Aclander, Lynn; Hanson, David T

    2008-11-01

    Vascular plant leaf traits that influence photosynthetic function form the basis of mechanistic models of carbon exchange. Given their unique tissue organization, bryophytes may not express similar patterns. We investigated relationships among tissue, shoot, and canopy traits, and their associations with photosynthetic characteristics in 10 Sphagnum species. Trait relationships were organized around a primary dimension accounting for 43% of variation in 12 traits. There was no significant relationship between nitrogen content of shoot systems and maximum photosynthesis expressed on mass (A(mass)) or area (A(area)) bases due to nitrogen sequestration and storage within the canopy interior. This pattern differs from the distribution of nitrogen in vascular plant canopies. Thus, nitrogen and its relationship to carbon uptake in Sphagnum shoots does not conform to patterns of either vascular plant leaves or canopies. Species that concentrate biomass and nitrogen in the capitulum have enhanced rates of A(mass) and A(area). Consequently, A(area) was positively associated with N(area) of the capitulum only. Overall, water content and carotenoid concentration were the strongest predictors of both A(mass) and A(area) and these were expressed as inverse relationships. The relationships of plant traits in Sphagnum defines a principal trade-off between species that tolerate environmental stress and those that maximize carbon assimilation.

  5. Are functional traits good predictors of demographic rates? Evidence from five neotropical forests.

    PubMed

    Poorter, L; Wright, S J; Paz, H; Ackerly, D D; Condit, R; Ibarra-Manríquez, G; Harms, K E; Licona, J C; Martínez-Ramos, M; Mazer, S J; Muller-Landau, H C; Peña-Claros, M; Webb, C O; Wright, I J

    2008-07-01

    A central goal of comparative plant ecology is to understand how functional traits vary among species and to what extent this variation has adaptive value. Here we evaluate relationships between four functional traits (seed volume, specific leaf area, wood density, and adult stature) and two demographic attributes (diameter growth and tree mortality) for large trees of 240 tree species from five Neotropical forests. We evaluate how these key functional traits are related to survival and growth and whether similar relationships between traits and demography hold across different tropical forests. There was a tendency for a trade-off between growth and survival across rain forest tree species. Wood density, seed volume, and adult stature were significant predictors of growth and/or mortality. Both growth and mortality rates declined with an increase in wood density. This is consistent with greater construction costs and greater resistance to stem damage for denser wood. Growth and mortality rates also declined as seed volume increased. This is consistent with an adaptive syndrome in which species tolerant of low resource availability (in this case shade-tolerant species) have large seeds to establish successfully and low inherent growth and mortality rates. Growth increased and mortality decreased with an increase in adult stature, because taller species have a greater access to light and longer life spans. Specific leaf area was, surprisingly, only modestly informative for the performance of large trees and had ambiguous relationships with growth and survival. Single traits accounted for 9-55% of the interspecific variation in growth and mortality rates at individual sites. Significant correlations with demographic rates tended to be similar across forests and for phylogenetically independent contrasts as well as for cross-species analyses that treated each species as an independent observation. In combination, the morphological traits explained 41% of the variation

  6. A neuropsychological study of personality: trait openness in relation to intelligence, fluency, and executive functioning.

    PubMed

    Schretlen, David J; van der Hulst, Egberdina-Józefa; Pearlson, Godfrey D; Gordon, Barry

    2010-12-01

    Openness is a personality trait that has been linked to intelligence and divergent thinking. DeYoung, Peterson, and Higgins (2005) theorized that trait Openness depends on dopamine function, especially in the prefrontal cortex. We tested their theory in 335 healthy adults by hypothesizing that individual differences in Openness would correlate more strongly with performance on tests of executive function than on tests of intelligence and fluency. However, Openness correlated more strongly with verbal/crystallized intelligence (Gc; r = .44) than with executive functioning (r = .16) and fluency (r = .24). Further, the partial correlation between Openness and Gc increased from r = .26 among young adults to r = .53 among elderly adults. These findings suggest that Openness is more closely associated with the acquisition of broad verbal intellectual skills and knowledge than with executive abilities localized to a specific brain region or neurotransmitter system.

  7. Personality traits predicting quality of life and overall functioning in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Ridgewell, Caitlin; Blackford, Jennifer Urbano; McHugo, Maureen; Heckers, Stephan

    2017-04-01

    Clinical symptoms and sociodemographic variables predict level of functioning and quality of life in patients with schizophrenia. However, few studies have examined the effect of personality traits on quality of life and overall functioning in schizophrenia. Personality traits are premorbid to illness and may predict the way patients experience schizophrenia. The aim of this study was to examine the individual and additive effects of two core personality traits-neuroticism and extraversion-on quality of life and functioning. Patients with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders (n=153) and healthy controls (n=125) completed personality and quality of life questionnaires. Global functioning was assessed during a clinician-administered structured interview. Neuroticism and extraversion scores were analyzed both as continuous variables and as categorical extremes (High versus Normal Neuroticism, Low versus Normal Extraversion). Quality of life was significantly associated with neuroticism, extraversion, and the neuroticism×diagnosis and extraversion×diagnosis interactions. For patients, a lower neuroticism score (in the normal range) was associated with quality of life scores comparable to controls; whereas high neuroticism scores in patients were associated with the lowest quality of life. For overall functioning, only diagnosis had a significant effect. Neuroticism modulates quality of life and may provide an important key to improving the life of patients with schizophrenia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. An association of GRIK3 Ser310Ala functional polymorphism with personality traits.

    PubMed

    Minelli, Alessandra; Scassellati, Catia; Bonvicini, Cristian; Perez, Jorge; Gennarelli, Massimo

    2009-01-01

    Personality traits are under genetic control, and have been associated with genes implicated in dopaminergic, serotoninergic and noradrenergic neurotransmission systems, often with conflicting results. There have been few studies assessing the involvement of the glutamatergic pathway instead upon personality traits. In the gene family of glutamate receptors, there is a T/G polymorphism at codon 928 in the ionotropic glutamate receptor kainite 3 gene (GRIK3) that causes a serine to alanine change at position 310 in the extracellular N terminus of the protein. This polymorphism has been recently associated with susceptibility to some major psychoses such as major depression (MD). In order to test whether the functional Ser310Ala polymorphism is involved in the development of specific personality traits, and thus to MD, we conducted the first association study on 195 selected healthy Italian individuals. The personality traits were measured by the self-rating Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) scale. The results indicated that the Ala allele in homozygosity is associated with higher scores in harm avoidance and respective subscales: anticipatory worry HA1 and shyness HA3, as well as lower scores in exploratory excitability NS1, responsibility SD1, resourcefulness SD3, helpfulness C3 and compassion C4 subscales, in addition to lower self-directedness and cooperativeness scores. This pattern of TCI scores is akin to that observed in depressed patients. Because of the small size of the sample, this work represents a pilot study, and reports the first pieces of evidence for a specific involvement of the GRIK3 gene in these traits, suggesting a role of the glutamatergic system in the genetic background of human personality traits.

  9. The search for Pleiades in trait constellations: functional integration and phenotypic selection in the complex flowers of Morrenia brachystephana (Apocynaceae).

    PubMed

    Baranzelli, M C; Sérsic, A N; Cocucci, A A

    2014-04-01

    Pollinator-mediated natural selection on single traits, such as corolla tube or spur length, has been well documented. However, flower phenotypes are usually complex, and selection is expected to act on several traits that functionally interact rather than on a single isolated trait. Despite the fact that selection on complex phenotypes is expectedly widespread, multivariate selection modelling on such phenotypes still remains under-explored in plants. Species of the subfamily Asclepiadoideae (Apocynaceae) provide an opportunity to study such complex flower contrivances integrated by fine-scaled organs from disparate developmental origin. We studied the correlation structure among linear floral traits (i) by testing a priori morphological, functional or developmental hypotheses among traits and (ii) by exploring the organization of flower covariation, considering alternative expectations of modular organization or whole flower integration through conditional dependence analysis (CDA) and integration matrices. The phenotypic selection approach was applied to determine whether floral traits involved in the functioning of the pollination mechanism were affected by natural selection. Floral integration was low, suggesting that flowers are organized in more than just one correlation pleiad; our hypothetical functional correlation matrix was significantly correlated with the empirical matrix, and the CDA revealed three putative modules. Analyses of phenotypic selection showed significant linear and correlational gradients, lending support to expectations of functional interactions between floral traits. Significant correlational selection gradients found involved traits of different floral whorls, providing evidence for the existence of functional integration across developmental domains.

  10. Quantitative trait locus mapping and functional genomics of an organophosphate resistance trait in the western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The western corn rootworm (WCR), Diabrotica virgifera virgifera, is an insect pest of corn, and population suppression with chemical insecticides is an important management tool. Traits conferring organophosphate insecticide resistance have increased in frequency among WCR populations, resulting in...

  11. Aging, longevity and health

    PubMed Central

    Rasmussen, Lene Juel; Sander, Miriam; Wewer, Ulla M.; Bohr, Vilhelm A.

    2016-01-01

    The IARU Congress on Aging, Longevity and Health, held on 5–7 October 2010 in Copenhagen, Denmark, was hosted by Rector Ralf Hemmingsen, University of Copenhagen and Dean Ulla Wewer, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen and was organized by Center for Healthy Aging (CEHA) under the leadership of CEHA Managing Director Lene Juel Rasmussen and Prof. Vilhelm Bohr, National Institute on Aging, NIH, Baltimore, USA (associated to CEHA). The Congress was attended by approximately 125 researchers interested in and/or conducting research on aging and aging-related topics. The opening Congress Session included speeches by Ralf Hemmingsen, Ulla Wewer, and Lene Juel Rasmussen and Keynote Addresses by four world renowned aging researchers: Povl Riis (The Age Forum), Bernard Jeune (University of Southern Denmark), George Martin (University of Washington, USA) and Jan Vijg (Albert Einstein School of Medicine, USA) as well as a lecture discussing the art-science interface by Thomas Söderqvist (Director, Medical Museion, University of Copenhagen). The topics of the first six Sessions of the Congress were: Neuroscience and DNA damage, Aging and Stress, Life Course, Environmental Factors and Neuroscience, Muscle and Life Span and Life Span and Mechanisms. Two additional Sessions highlighted ongoing research in the recently established Center for Healthy Aging at the University of Copenhagen. This report highlights outcomes of recent research on aging-related topics, as described at the IARU Congress on Aging, Longevity and Health. PMID:21820462

  12. Aging, longevity and health.

    PubMed

    Rasmussen, Lene Juel; Sander, Miriam; Wewer, Ulla M; Bohr, Vilhelm A

    2011-10-01

    The IARU Congress on Aging, Longevity and Health, held on 5-7 October 2010 in Copenhagen, Denmark, was hosted by Rector Ralf Hemmingsen, University of Copenhagen and Dean Ulla Wewer, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen and was organized by Center for Healthy Aging (CEHA) under the leadership of CEHA Managing Director Lene Juel Rasmussen and Prof. Vilhelm Bohr, National Institute on Aging, NIH, Baltimore, USA (associated to CEHA). The Congress was attended by approximately 125 researchers interested in and/or conducting research on aging and aging-related topics. The opening Congress Session included speeches by Ralf Hemmingsen, Ulla Wewer, and Lene Juel Rasmussen and Keynote Addresses by four world renowned aging researchers: Povl Riis (The Age Forum), Bernard Jeune (University of Southern Denmark), George Martin (University of Washington, USA) and Jan Vijg (Albert Einstein School of Medicine, USA) as well as a lecture discussing the art-science interface by Thomas Söderqvist (Director, Medical Museion, University of Copenhagen). The topics of the first six Sessions of the Congress were: Neuroscience and DNA damage, Aging and Stress, Life Course, Environmental Factors and Neuroscience, Muscle and Life Span and Life Span and Mechanisms. Two additional Sessions highlighted ongoing research in the recently established Center for Healthy Aging at the University of Copenhagen. This report highlights outcomes of recent research on aging-related topics, as described at the IARU Congress on Aging, Longevity and Health.

  13. Functional traits determine plant co-occurrence more than environment or evolutionary relatedness in global drylands.

    PubMed

    Soliveres, Santiago; Maestre, Fernando T; Bowker, Matthew A; Torices, Rubén; Quero, José L; García-Gómez, Miguel; Cabrera, Omar; Cea, Alex; Coaguila, Daniel; Eldridge, David J; Espinosa, Carlos I; Hemmings, Frank; Monerris, Jorge J; Tighe, Matthew; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Escolar, Cristina; García-Palacios, Pablo; Gozalo, Beatriz; Ochoa, Victoria; Blones, Julio; Derak, Mchich; Ghiloufi, Wahida; Gutiérrez, Julio R; Hernández, Rosa M; Noumi, Zouhaier

    2014-08-20

    Plant-plant interactions are driven by environmental conditions, evolutionary relationships (ER) and the functional traits of the plants involved. However, studies addressing the relative importance of these drivers are rare, but crucial to improve our predictions of the effects of plant-plant interactions on plant communities and of how they respond to differing environmental conditions. To analyze the relative importance of -and interrelationships among- these factors as drivers of plant-plant interactions, we analyzed perennial plant co-occurrence at 106 dryland plant communities established across rainfall gradients in nine countries. We used structural equation modeling to disentangle the relationships between environmental conditions (aridity and soil fertility), functional traits extracted from the literature, and ER, and to assess their relative importance as drivers of the 929 pairwise plant-plant co-occurrence levels measured. Functional traits, specifically facilitated plants' height and nurse growth form, were of primary importance, and modulated the effect of the environment and ER on plant-plant interactions. Environmental conditions and ER were important mainly for those interactions involving woody and graminoid nurses, respectively. The relative importance of different plant-plant interaction drivers (ER, functional traits, and the environment) varied depending on the region considered, illustrating the difficulty of predicting the outcome of plant-plant interactions at broader spatial scales. In our global-scale study on drylands, plant-plant interactions were more strongly related to functional traits of the species involved than to the environmental variables considered. Thus, moving to a trait-based facilitation/competition approach help to predict that: 1) positive plant-plant interactions are more likely to occur for taller facilitated species in drylands, and 2) plant-plant interactions within woody-dominated ecosystems might be more

  14. Functional traits determine plant co-occurrence more than environment or evolutionary relatedness in global drylands

    PubMed Central

    Soliveres, Santiago; Maestre, Fernando T.; Bowker, Matthew A.; Torices, Rubén; Quero, José L.; García-Gómez, Miguel; Cabrera, Omar; Cea, Alex; Coaguila, Daniel; Eldridge, David J.; Espinosa, Carlos I.; Hemmings, Frank; Monerris, Jorge J.; Tighe, Matthew; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Escolar, Cristina; García-Palacios, Pablo; Gozalo, Beatriz; Ochoa, Victoria; Blones, Julio; Derak, Mchich; Ghiloufi, Wahida; Gutiérrez, Julio R.; Hernández, Rosa M.; Noumi, Zouhaier

    2015-01-01

    Plant-plant interactions are driven by environmental conditions, evolutionary relationships (ER) and the functional traits of the plants involved. However, studies addressing the relative importance of these drivers are rare, but crucial to improve our predictions of the effects of plant-plant interactions on plant communities and of how they respond to differing environmental conditions. To analyze the relative importance of –and interrelationships among– these factors as drivers of plant-plant interactions, we analyzed perennial plant co-occurrence at 106 dryland plant communities established across rainfall gradients in nine countries. We used structural equation modeling to disentangle the relationships between environmental conditions (aridity and soil fertility), functional traits extracted from the literature, and ER, and to assess their relative importance as drivers of the 929 pairwise plant-plant co-occurrence levels measured. Functional traits, specifically facilitated plants’ height and nurse growth form, were of primary importance, and modulated the effect of the environment and ER on plant-plant interactions. Environmental conditions and ER were important mainly for those interactions involving woody and graminoid nurses, respectively. The relative importance of different plant-plant interaction drivers (ER, functional traits, and the environment) varied depending on the region considered, illustrating the difficulty of predicting the outcome of plant-plant interactions at broader spatial scales. In our global-scale study on drylands, plant-plant interactions were more strongly related to functional traits of the species involved than to the environmental variables considered. Thus, moving to a trait-based facilitation/competition approach help to predict that: 1) positive plant-plant interactions are more likely to occur for taller facilitated species in drylands, and 2) plant-plant interactions within woody-dominated ecosystems might be more

  15. Functional mapping of quantitative trait loci underlying the character process: a theoretical framework.

    PubMed

    Ma, Chang-Xing; Casella, George; Wu, Rongling

    2002-08-01

    Unlike a character measured at a finite set of landmark points, function-valued traits are those that change as a function of some independent and continuous variable. These traits, also called infinite-dimensional characters, can be described as the character process and include a number of biologically, economically, or biomedically important features, such as growth trajectories, allometric scalings, and norms of reaction. Here we present a new statistical infrastructure for mapping quantitative trait loci (QTL) underlying the character process. This strategy, termed functional mapping, integrates mathematical relationships of different traits or variables within the genetic mapping framework. Logistic mapping proposed in this article can be viewed as an example of functional mapping. Logistic mapping is based on a universal biological law that for each and every living organism growth over time follows an exponential growth curve (e.g., logistic or S-shaped). A maximum-likelihood approach based on a logistic-mixture model, implemented with the EM algorithm, is developed to provide the estimates of QTL positions, QTL effects, and other model parameters responsible for growth trajectories. Logistic mapping displays a tremendous potential to increase the power of QTL detection, the precision of parameter estimation, and the resolution of QTL localization due to the small number of parameters to be estimated, the pleiotropic effect of a QTL on growth, and/or residual correlations of growth at different ages. More importantly, logistic mapping allows for testing numerous biologically important hypotheses concerning the genetic basis of quantitative variation, thus gaining an insight into the critical role of development in shaping plant and animal evolution and domestication. The power of logistic mapping is demonstrated by an example of a forest tree, in which one QTL affecting stem growth processes is detected on a linkage group using our method, whereas it cannot

  16. Functional mapping of quantitative trait loci underlying the character process: a theoretical framework.

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Chang-Xing; Casella, George; Wu, Rongling

    2002-01-01

    Unlike a character measured at a finite set of landmark points, function-valued traits are those that change as a function of some independent and continuous variable. These traits, also called infinite-dimensional characters, can be described as the character process and include a number of biologically, economically, or biomedically important features, such as growth trajectories, allometric scalings, and norms of reaction. Here we present a new statistical infrastructure for mapping quantitative trait loci (QTL) underlying the character process. This strategy, termed functional mapping, integrates mathematical relationships of different traits or variables within the genetic mapping framework. Logistic mapping proposed in this article can be viewed as an example of functional mapping. Logistic mapping is based on a universal biological law that for each and every living organism growth over time follows an exponential growth curve (e.g., logistic or S-shaped). A maximum-likelihood approach based on a logistic-mixture model, implemented with the EM algorithm, is developed to provide the estimates of QTL positions, QTL effects, and other model parameters responsible for growth trajectories. Logistic mapping displays a tremendous potential to increase the power of QTL detection, the precision of parameter estimation, and the resolution of QTL localization due to the small number of parameters to be estimated, the pleiotropic effect of a QTL on growth, and/or residual correlations of growth at different ages. More importantly, logistic mapping allows for testing numerous biologically important hypotheses concerning the genetic basis of quantitative variation, thus gaining an insight into the critical role of development in shaping plant and animal evolution and domestication. The power of logistic mapping is demonstrated by an example of a forest tree, in which one QTL affecting stem growth processes is detected on a linkage group using our method, whereas it cannot

  17. Intraspecific traits change biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning under metal stress.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Isabel; Pascoal, Cláudia; Cássio, Fernanda

    2011-08-01

    Studies investigating the impacts of biodiversity loss on ecosystem processes have often reached different conclusions, probably because insufficient attention has been paid to some aspects including (1) which biodiversity measure (e.g., species number, species identity or trait) better explains ecosystem functioning, (2) the mechanisms underpinning biodiversity effects, and (3) how can environmental context modulates biodiversity effects. Here, we investigated how species number (one to three species) and traits of aquatic fungal decomposers (by replacement of a functional type from an unpolluted site by another from a metal-polluted site) affect fungal production (biomass accumulation) and plant litter decomposition in the presence and absence of metal stress. To examine the putative mechanisms that explain biodiversity effects, we determined the contribution of each fungal species to the total biomass produced in multicultures by real-time PCR. In the absence of metal, positive diversity effects were observed for fungal production and leaf decomposition as a result of species complementarity. Metal stress decreased diversity effects on leaf decomposition in assemblages containing the functional type from the unpolluted site, probably due to competitive interactions between fungi. However, dominance effect maintained positive diversity effects under metal stress in assemblages containing the functional type from the metal-polluted site. These findings emphasize the importance of intraspecific diversity in modulating diversity effects under metal stress, providing evidence that trait-based diversity measures should be incorporated when examining biodiversity effects.

  18. Plastic responses in the metabolome and functional traits of maize plants to temperature variations.

    PubMed

    Sun, C X; Gao, X X; Li, M Q; Fu, J Q; Zhang, Y L

    2016-03-01

    Environmentally inducible phenotypic plasticity is a major player in plant responses to climate change. However, metabolic responses and their role in determining the phenotypic plasticity of plants that are subjected to temperature variations remain poorly understood. The metabolomic profiles and metabolite levels in the leaves of three maize inbred lines grown in different temperature conditions were examined with a nuclear magnetic resonance metabolomic technique. The relationship of functional traits to metabolome profiles and the metabolic mechanism underlying temperature variations were then explored. A comparative analysis showed that during heat and cold stress, maize plants shared common plastic responses in biomass accumulation, carbon, nitrogen, sugars, some amino acids and compatible solutes. We also found that the plastic response of maize plants to heat stress was different from that under cold stress, mainly involving biomass allocation, shikimate and its aromatic amino acid derivatives, and other non-polar metabolites. The plastic responsiveness of functional traits of maize lines to temperature variations was low, while the metabolic responsiveness in plasticity was high, indicating that functional and metabolic plasticity may play different roles in maize plant adaptation to temperature variations. A linear regression analysis revealed that the maize lines could adapt to growth temperature variations through the interrelation of plastic responses in the metabolomes and functional traits, such as biomass allocation and the status of carbon and nitrogen. We provide valuable insight into the plastic response strategy of maize plants to temperature variations that will permit the optimisation of crop cultivation in an increasingly variable environment.

  19. Core functional traits of bacterial communities in the Upper Mississippi River show limited variation in response to land cover.

    PubMed

    Staley, Christopher; Gould, Trevor J; Wang, Ping; Phillips, Jane; Cotner, James B; Sadowsky, Michael J

    2014-01-01

    Taxonomic characterization of environmental microbial communities via high-throughput DNA sequencing has revealed that patterns in microbial biogeography affect community structure. However, shifts in functional diversity related to variation in taxonomic composition are poorly understood. To overcome limitations due to the prohibitive cost of high-depth metagenomic sequencing, tools to infer functional diversity based on phylogenetic distributions of functional traits have been developed. In this study we characterized functional microbial diversity at 11 sites along the Mississippi River in Minnesota using both metagenomic sequencing and functional-inference-based (PICRUSt) approaches. This allowed us to determine how distance and variation in land cover throughout the river influenced the distribution of functional traits, as well as to validate PICRUSt inferences. The distribution and abundance of functional traits, by metagenomic analysis, were similar among sites, with a median standard deviation of 0.0002% among tier 3 functions in KEGG. Overall inferred functional variation was significantly different (P ≤ 0.035) between two water basins surrounded by agricultural vs. developed land cover, and abundances of bacterial orders that correlated with functional traits by metagenomic analysis were greater where abundances of the trait were inferred to be higher. PICRUSt inferences were significantly correlated (r = 0.147, P = 1.80 × 10(-30)) with metagenomic annotations. Discrepancies between metagenomic and PICRUSt taxonomic-functional relationships, however, suggested potential functional redundancy among abundant and rare taxa that impeded the ability to accurately assess unique functional traits among rare taxa at this sequencing depth. Results of this study suggest that a suite of "core functional traits" is conserved throughout the river and distributions of functional traits, rather than specific taxa, may shift in response to environmental heterogeneity.

  20. Optical and morpho-functional traits of the leaves of tree species growing in a mountain cloud forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Velázquez-Rosas, Noé; Barradas, Víctor L.; Vázquez-Santana, Sonia; Cruz-Ortega, Rocio; García-Jiménez, Federico; Toledo-Alvarado, Edith; Orozco-Segovia, Alma

    2010-11-01

    The physiological, anatomical and optical leaf properties relative to photosynthetically active (PAR) and ultraviolet (UV-B) radiation were assessed in Ticodendron incognitum, Drimys granadensis, Podocarpus matudae var. macrocarpus and Vaccinium consanguineum, growing along an elevation gradient (1520-2550 m asl) in a montane cloud forest in México. PAR and UV-B absorptance, transmittance and reflectance, UV-B absorptance by foliar compounds, chlorophylls, carotenoids, leaf nitrogen, leaf mass per area, leaf blades, cuticles, epidermis and parenchymas thickness were measured. PAR absorptance efficiencies were calculated. Among the evaluated morpho-functional traits, the studied species displayed different patterns of variation with elevation. Leaf traits could be explained in part by changes in elevation or the distribution of PAR and UV-B in the elevation gradient. Ticodendron and Drimys leaf traits were likely determined by two cloud banks located at 1940 and 2380 m. In Vaccinium, eight traits were related to elevation and PAR or UV-B. Contrary to this, in Podocarpus, most of the nine leaf traits could be explained by only one of these factors. The morphological traits of the studied species were similar to those of species growing in other oligotrophic ecosystems. Significant differences between sun exposed and shade leaves were limited to particular elevations or to particular traits of each species. Vaccinium showed more significant differences between sun and shade leaves than did the other species growing along the gradient. The morpho-functional traits measured in Podocarpus and Vaccinium showed that, some leaf traits did not change linearly with elevation or PAR. At elevation levels where species co-occur, the species ranking with respect to evaluated traits varied from trait to trait. This indicate that each species copes with light and other environmental factors, that vary with elevation, according to its morpho-functional plasticity and susceptibility

  1. Parasite vulnerability to climate change: an evidence-based functional trait approach

    PubMed Central

    Cizauskas, Carrie A.; Clements, Chris F.; Dougherty, Eric R.; Harris, Nyeema C.; Phillips, Anna J.

    2017-01-01

    Despite the number of virulent pathogens that are projected to benefit from global change and to spread in the next century, we suggest that a combination of coextinction risk and climate sensitivity could make parasites at least as extinction prone as any other trophic group. However, the existing interdisciplinary toolbox for identifying species threatened by climate change is inadequate or inappropriate when considering parasites as conservation targets. A functional trait approach can be used to connect parasites' ecological role to their risk of disappearance, but this is complicated by the taxonomic and functional diversity of many parasite clades. Here, we propose biological traits that may render parasite species particularly vulnerable to extinction (including high host specificity, complex life cycles and narrow climatic tolerance), and identify critical gaps in our knowledge of parasite biology and ecology. By doing so, we provide criteria to identify vulnerable parasite species and triage parasite conservation efforts. PMID:28280551

  2. Parasite vulnerability to climate change: an evidence-based functional trait approach.

    PubMed

    Cizauskas, Carrie A; Carlson, Colin J; Burgio, Kevin R; Clements, Chris F; Dougherty, Eric R; Harris, Nyeema C; Phillips, Anna J

    2017-01-01

    Despite the number of virulent pathogens that are projected to benefit from global change and to spread in the next century, we suggest that a combination of coextinction risk and climate sensitivity could make parasites at least as extinction prone as any other trophic group. However, the existing interdisciplinary toolbox for identifying species threatened by climate change is inadequate or inappropriate when considering parasites as conservation targets. A functional trait approach can be used to connect parasites' ecological role to their risk of disappearance, but this is complicated by the taxonomic and functional diversity of many parasite clades. Here, we propose biological traits that may render parasite species particularly vulnerable to extinction (including high host specificity, complex life cycles and narrow climatic tolerance), and identify critical gaps in our knowledge of parasite biology and ecology. By doing so, we provide criteria to identify vulnerable parasite species and triage parasite conservation efforts.

  3. Genotypic variation in traits linked to climate and aboveground productivity in a widespread C₄ grass: evidence for a functional trait syndrome.

    PubMed

    Aspinwall, Michael J; Lowry, David B; Taylor, Samuel H; Juenger, Thomas E; Hawkes, Christine V; Johnson, Mari-Vaughn V; Kiniry, James R; Fay, Philip A

    2013-09-01

    Examining intraspecific variation in growth and function in relation to climate may provide insight into physiological evolution and adaptation, and is important for predicting species responses to climate change. Under common garden conditions, we grew nine genotypes of the C₄ species Panicum virgatum originating from different temperature and precipitation environments. We hypothesized that genotype productivity, morphology and physiological traits would be correlated with climate of origin, and a suite of adaptive traits would show high broad-sense heritability (H(2)). Genotype productivity and flowering time increased and decreased, respectively, with home-climate temperature, and home-climate temperature was correlated with genotypic differences in a syndrome of morphological and physiological traits. Genotype leaf and tiller size, leaf lamina thickness, leaf mass per area (LMA) and C : N ratios increased with home-climate temperature, whereas leaf nitrogen per unit mass (Nm ) and chlorophyll (Chl) decreased with home-climate temperature. Trait variation was largely explained by genotypic differences (H(2) = 0.33-0.85). Our results provide new insight into the role of climate in driving functional trait coordination, local adaptation and genetic divergence within species. These results emphasize the importance of considering intraspecific variation in future climate change scenarios.

  4. Relationships between Community Level Functional Traits of Trees and Seedlings during Secondary Succession in a Tropical Lowland Rainforest.

    PubMed

    Lu, XingHui; Zang, RunGuo; Huang, JiHong

    2015-01-01

    Most of the previous studies on functional traits focus exclusively on either seedlings or trees. Little knowledge exists on the relationships between community level functional traits of trees and seedlings during succession. Here, we examine variations of the community-level functional traits for trees and seedlings and their correlations along a secondary successional and environmental gradient in a tropical lowland rainforest after shifting cultivation. The results showed that the dynamic patterns in community level functional traits of seedlings were generally consistent with those of the trees during secondary succession. Compared with seedlings, community level traits for trees were less affected by abiotic factors during secondary succession. Correlations between community level functional traits of trees and seedlings were significant for: leaf dry matter content and leaf nitrogen concentration in the 18-year-old fallow; leaf chlorophyll content in the 30-year-old fallow; specific leaf area, leaf dry matter content and leaf nitrogen concentration in the 60-year-old fallow; and leaf nitrogen concentration in old growth. However, these traits except specific leaf area for the tree and seedling communities were all significantly correlated if all the successional stages were combined. Our results suggest that the correlations between community level functional traits of trees and those of seedlings depend on the actual traits and the successional stages examined. However, if all the four successional stages are combined, then four out of five of the community level functional traits for trees could be well predicted by those of the seedlings in the tropical lowland rain forest.

  5. Relationships between Community Level Functional Traits of Trees and Seedlings during Secondary Succession in a Tropical Lowland Rainforest

    PubMed Central

    Lu, XingHui; Zang, RunGuo; Huang, JiHong

    2015-01-01

    Most of the previous studies on functional traits focus exclusively on either seedlings or trees. Little knowledge exists on the relationships between community level functional traits of trees and seedlings during succession. Here, we examine variations of the community-level functional traits for trees and seedlings and their correlations along a secondary successional and environmental gradient in a tropical lowland rainforest after shifting cultivation. The results showed that the dynamic patterns in community level functional traits of seedlings were generally consistent with those of the trees during secondary succession. Compared with seedlings, community level traits for trees were less affected by abiotic factors during secondary succession. Correlations between community level functional traits of trees and seedlings were significant for: leaf dry matter content and leaf nitrogen concentration in the 18-year-old fallow; leaf chlorophyll content in the 30-year-old fallow; specific leaf area, leaf dry matter content and leaf nitrogen concentration in the 60-year-old fallow; and leaf nitrogen concentration in old growth. However, these traits except specific leaf area for the tree and seedling communities were all significantly correlated if all the successional stages were combined. Our results suggest that the correlations between community level functional traits of trees and those of seedlings depend on the actual traits and the successional stages examined. However, if all the four successional stages are combined, then four out of five of the community level functional traits for trees could be well predicted by those of the seedlings in the tropical lowland rain forest. PMID:26172543

  6. Functional Traits Help Predict Post-Disturbance Demography of Tropical Trees

    PubMed Central

    Flores, Olivier; Hérault, Bruno; Delcamp, Matthieu; Garnier, Éric; Gourlet-Fleury, Sylvie

    2014-01-01

    How tropical tree species respond to disturbance is a central issue of forest ecology, conservation and resource management. We define a hierarchical model to investigate how functional traits measured in control plots relate to the population change rate and to demographic rates for recruitment and mortality after disturbance by logging operations. Population change and demographic rates were quantified on a 12-year period after disturbance and related to seven functional traits measured in control plots. The model was calibrated using a Bayesian Network approach on 53 species surveyed in permanent forest plots (37.5 ha) at Paracou in French Guiana. The network analysis allowed us to highlight both direct and indirect relationships among predictive variables. Overall, 89% of interspecific variability in the population change rate after disturbance were explained by the two demographic rates, the recruitment rate being the most explicative variable. Three direct drivers explained 45% of the variability in recruitment rates, including leaf phosphorus concentration, with a positive effect, and seed size and wood density with negative effects. Mortality rates were explained by interspecific variability in maximum diameter only (25%). Wood density, leaf nitrogen concentration, maximum diameter and seed size were not explained by variables in the analysis and thus appear as independent drivers of post-disturbance demography. Relationships between functional traits and demographic parameters were consistent with results found in undisturbed forests. Functional traits measured in control conditions can thus help predict the fate of tropical tree species after disturbance. Indirect relationships also suggest how different processes interact to mediate species demographic response. PMID:25226586

  7. Light acclimation optimizes leaf functional traits despite height-related constraints in a canopy shading experiment.

    PubMed

    Coble, Adam P; Cavaleri, Molly A

    2015-04-01

    Within-canopy gradients of leaf functional traits have been linked to both light availability and vertical gradients in leaf water potential. While observational studies can reveal patterns in leaf traits, within-canopy experimental manipulations can provide mechanistic insight to tease apart multiple interacting drivers. Our objectives were to disentangle effects of height and light environment on leaf functional traits by experimentally shading branches along vertical gradients within a sugar maple (Acer saccharum) forest. Shading reduced leaf mass per area (LMA), leaf density, area-based leaf nitrogen (N(area)), and carbon:nitrogen (C:N) ratio, and increased mass-based leaf nitrogen (N(mass)), highlighting the importance of light availability on leaf morphology and chemistry. Early in the growing season, midday leaf water potential (Ψ(mid)), LMA, and N(area) were driven primarily by height; later in the growing season, light became the most important driver for LMA and Narea. Carbon isotope composition (δ(13)C) displayed strong, linear correlations with height throughout the growing season, but did not change with shading, implying that height is more influential than light on water use efficiency and stomatal behavior. LMA, leaf density, N(mass), C:N ratio, and δ(13)C all changed seasonally, suggesting that leaf ageing effects on leaf functional traits are equally as important as microclimatic conditions. Overall, our results indicate that: (1) stomatal sensitivity to vapor pressure deficit or Ψ(mid) constrains the supply of CO2 to leaves at higher heights, independent of light environment, and (2) LMA and N(area) distributions become functionally optimized through morphological acclimation to light with increasing leaf age despite height-related constraints.

  8. Familial Risk for Exceptional Longevity

    PubMed Central

    Sebastiani, Paola; Andersen, Stacy L.; McIntosh, Avery I.; Nussbaum, Lisa; Stevenson, Meredith D.; Pierce, Leslie; Xia, Samantha; Salance, Kelly; Perls, Thomas T.

    2015-01-01

    One of the most glaring deficiencies in the current assessment of mortality risk is the lack of information concerning the impact of familial longevity. In this work, we update estimates of sibling relative risk of living to extreme ages using data from more than 1,700 sibships, and we begin to examine the trend for heritability for different birth-year cohorts. We also build a network model that can be used to compute the increased chance for exceptional longevity of a subject, conditional on his family history of longevity. The network includes familial longevity from three generations and can be used to understand the effects of paternal and maternal longevity on an individual's chance to live to an extreme age. PMID:27041978

  9. Familial Risk for Exceptional Longevity.

    PubMed

    Sebastiani, Paola; Andersen, Stacy L; McIntosh, Avery I; Nussbaum, Lisa; Stevenson, Meredith D; Pierce, Leslie; Xia, Samantha; Salance, Kelly; Perls, Thomas T

    2016-01-01

    One of the most glaring deficiencies in the current assessment of mortality risk is the lack of information concerning the impact of familial longevity. In this work, we update estimates of sibling relative risk of living to extreme ages using data from more than 1,700 sibships, and we begin to examine the trend for heritability for different birth-year cohorts. We also build a network model that can be used to compute the increased chance for exceptional longevity of a subject, conditional on his family history of longevity. The network includes familial longevity from three generations and can be used to understand the effects of paternal and maternal longevity on an individual's chance to live to an extreme age.

  10. Disgust trait modulates frontal-posterior coupling as a function of disgust domain

    PubMed Central

    de Jong, Peter J.; Renken, Remco J.; Georgiadis, Janniko R.

    2013-01-01

    Following the two-stage model of disgust, ‘core disgust’ (e.g. elicited by rotten food) is extended to stimuli that remind us of our animal nature ‘AR disgust’ (e.g. mutilations, animalistic instincts). There is ample evidence that core and AR represent distinct domains of disgust elicitors. Moreover, people show large differences in their tendency to respond with disgust to potential disgust elicitors (propensity), as well as in their appraisal of experiencing disgust (sensitivity). Thus these traits may be important moderators of people's response patterns. Here, we aimed to find brain mechanisms associated with these distinct disgust domains and traits, as well as the interaction between them. The right ventrolateral occipitotemporal cortex, which preferentially responded to visual AR, was functionally coupled to the middle cingulate cortex (MCC), thalamus and prefrontal cortex (medial, dorsolateral), as a function of disgust domain. Coupling with the anterior part of MCC was modulated by disgust ‘propensity’, which was strongest during AR. Coupling with anterior insula and ventral premotor cortex was weaker, but relied fully on this domain–trait interaction. Disgust ‘sensitivity’ modulated left anterior insula activity irrespective of domain, and did not affect functional connectivity. Thus a frontal-posterior network that interacts with disgust ‘propensity’ dissects AR and core disgust. PMID:22258801

  11. Auditory Multi-Stability: Idiosyncratic Perceptual Switching Patterns, Executive Functions and Personality Traits

    PubMed Central

    Farkas, Dávid; Denham, Susan L.; Bendixen, Alexandra; Tóth, Dénes; Kondo, Hirohito M.; Winkler, István

    2016-01-01

    Multi-stability refers to the phenomenon of perception stochastically switching between possible interpretations of an unchanging stimulus. Despite considerable variability, individuals show stable idiosyncratic patterns of switching between alternative perceptions in the auditory streaming paradigm. We explored correlates of the individual switching patterns with executive functions, personality traits, and creativity. The main dimensions on which individual switching patterns differed from each other were identified using multidimensional scaling. Individuals with high scores on the dimension explaining the largest portion of the inter-individual variance switched more often between the alternative perceptions than those with low scores. They also perceived the most unusual interpretation more often, and experienced all perceptual alternatives with a shorter delay from stimulus onset. The ego-resiliency personality trait, which reflects a tendency for adaptive flexibility and experience seeking, was significantly positively related to this dimension. Taking these results together we suggest that this dimension may reflect the individual’s tendency for exploring the auditory environment. Executive functions were significantly related to some of the variables describing global properties of the switching patterns, such as the average number of switches. Thus individual patterns of perceptual switching in the auditory streaming paradigm are related to some personality traits and executive functions. PMID:27135945

  12. Disgust trait modulates frontal-posterior coupling as a function of disgust domain.

    PubMed

    Borg, Charmaine; de Jong, Peter J; Renken, Remco J; Georgiadis, Janniko R

    2013-03-01

    Following the two-stage model of disgust, 'core disgust' (e.g. elicited by rotten food) is extended to stimuli that remind us of our animal nature 'AR disgust' (e.g. mutilations, animalistic instincts). There is ample evidence that core and AR represent distinct domains of disgust elicitors. Moreover, people show large differences in their tendency to respond with disgust to potential disgust elicitors (propensity), as well as in their appraisal of experiencing disgust (sensitivity). Thus these traits may be important moderators of people's response patterns. Here, we aimed to find brain mechanisms associated with these distinct disgust domains and traits, as well as the interaction between them. The right ventrolateral occipitotemporal cortex, which preferentially responded to visual AR, was functionally coupled to the middle cingulate cortex (MCC), thalamus and prefrontal cortex (medial, dorsolateral), as a function of disgust domain. Coupling with the anterior part of MCC was modulated by disgust 'propensity', which was strongest during AR. Coupling with anterior insula and ventral premotor cortex was weaker, but relied fully on this domain-trait interaction. Disgust 'sensitivity' modulated left anterior insula activity irrespective of domain, and did not affect functional connectivity. Thus a frontal-posterior network that interacts with disgust 'propensity' dissects AR and core disgust.

  13. Plant species richness and functional traits affect community stability after a flood event.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Felícia M; Wright, Alexandra J; Eisenhauer, Nico; Ebeling, Anne; Roscher, Christiane; Wagg, Cameron; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Pillar, Valério D

    2016-05-19

    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events. It is therefore of major importance to identify the community attributes that confer stability in ecological communities during such events. In June 2013, a flood event affected a plant diversity experiment in Central Europe (Jena, Germany). We assessed the effects of plant species richness, functional diversity, flooding intensity and community means of functional traits on different measures of stability (resistance, resilience and raw biomass changes from pre-flood conditions). Surprisingly, plant species richness reduced community resistance in response to the flood. This was mostly because more diverse communities grew more immediately following the flood. Raw biomass increased over the previous year; this resulted in decreased absolute value measures of resistance. There was no clear response pattern for resilience. We found that functional traits drove these changes in raw biomass: communities with a high proportion of late-season, short-statured plants with dense, shallow roots and small leaves grew more following the flood. Late-growing species probably avoided the flood, whereas greater root length density might have allowed species to better access soil resources brought from the flood, thus growing more in the aftermath. We conclude that resource inputs following mild floods may favour the importance of traits related to resource acquisition and be less associated with flooding tolerance. © 2016 The Author(s).

  14. [Frost-resistance of subtropical evergreen woody plants: an evaluation based on plant functional traits].

    PubMed

    Xu, Yi-Lu; Yang, Xiao-Dong; Xu, Yue; Xie, Yi-Ming; Wang, Liang-Yan; Yan, En-Rong

    2012-12-01

    Evaluating the frost-resistance of evergreen woody plants is of significance in guiding the species selection in forest management in subtropical region. In this paper, an investigation was made on the functional traits (including specific leaf area, stem wood density, leaf area, leaf dry matter content, leaf relative electrical conductance, and twig wood density) of 64 common evergreen broad-leaved and coniferous woody plant species in the Ningbo region of Zhejiang Province, East China, after a severe snowstorm in early 2008, aimed to select the evergreen woody plants with high ability of freeze-tolerance, and to establish a related evaluation system. By using a hierarchy analysis approach, the weight values of the functional traits of each species were determined, and an index system for evaluating the plants tolerance ability against freeze and mechanical damage was established. Based on this system, 23 evergreen plant species with high tolerance ability against freeze and mechanical damage, such as Cyclobalanopsis gilva, Cyclobalanopsis nubium, Neolitsea aurata, and Vacciniuim mandarinorum, were selected. In the meantime, on the basis of the ordering with each of the functional traits, the ordering of the tolerance ability of the 64 plant species against freeze and mechanical damage was made, and a list for the frost-resistance ability of the subtropical evergreen woody plant species in Ningbo region was constituted.

  15. Functional Traits, Flocking Propensity, and Perceived Predation Risk in an Amazonian Understory Bird Community.

    PubMed

    Martínez, Ari E; Gomez, Juan P; Ponciano, José Miguel; Robinson, Scott K

    2016-05-01

    Within a community, different species might share similar predation risks, and, thus, the ability of species to signal and interpret heterospecific threat information may determine species' associations. We combined observational, experimental, and phylogenetic approaches to determine the extent to which evolutionary history and functional traits determined flocking propensity and perceived predation risk (response to heterospecific alarm calls) in a lowland Amazonian bird community. We predicted that small birds that feed myopically and out in the open would have higher flocking propensities and account for a higher proportion of positive responses to alarms. Using generalized linear models and the incorporation of phylogeny on data from 56 species, our results suggest that phylogenetic relationships alongside body size, foraging height, vegetation density, and response to alarm calls influence flocking propensity. Conversely, phylogenetic relationships did not influence response to heterospecific alarm calls. Among functional traits, however, foraging strategy, foraging density, and flocking propensity partially explained responses to alarm calls. Our results suggest that flocking propensity and perceived predation risk are positively related and that functional ecological traits and evolutionary history may explain certain species' associations.

  16. Phylogenetic Distribution of Leaf Spectra and Optically Derived Functional Traits in the American Oaks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavender-Bares, J.; Meireles, J. E.; Couture, J. J.; Kaproth, M.; Townsend, P. A.

    2015-12-01

    Detecting functional traits of species, genotypes and phylogenetic lineages is critical in monitoring functional biodiversity remotely. We examined the phylogenetic distribution of leaf spectra across the American Oaks for 35 species under greenhouse conditions as well as genetic variation in leaf spectra across Central American populations of a single species grown in common gardens in Honduras. We found significant phylogenetic signal in the leaf spectra (Blomberg's K > 1.0), indicating similarity in spectra among close relatives. Across species, full range leaf spectra were used in a Partial Least Squares Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA) that allowed species calibration (kappa statistic = 0.55). Validation of the model used to detect species (kappa statistic = 0.4) indicated reasonably good detection of individual species within the same the genus. Among four populations from Belize, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Mexico within a single species (Quercus oleoides), leaf spectra were also able to differentiate populations. Ordination of population-level data using dissimilarities of predicted foliar traits, including leaf mass per area (LMA), lignin content, fiber content, chlorophyll a+b, and C:N ratio in genotypes in either watered or unwatered conditions showed significant differentiation among populations and treatments. These results provide promise for remote detection and differentiation of plant functional traits among plant phylogenetic lineages and genotypes, even among closely related populations and species.

  17. Multi-taxa approach shows consistent shifts in arthropod functional traits along grassland land-use intensity gradient.

    PubMed

    Simons, Nadja K; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Gossner, Martin M

    2016-03-01

    Intensification of land use reduces biodiversity but may also shift the trait composition of communities. Understanding how land use affects single traits and community trait composition, helps to understand why some species are more affected by land use than others. Trait-based analyses are common for plants, but rare for arthropods. We collected literature-based traits for nearly 1000 insect and spider species to test how land- use intensity (including mowing, fertilization, and grazing) across 124 grasslands in three regions of Germany affects community-weighted mean traits across taxa and in single taxa. We additionally measured morphometric traits for more than 150 Heteroptera species and tested whether the weighted mean morphometric traits change with increasing land-use intensity. Community average body size decreased and community average dispersal ability increased from low to high land-use intensity. Furthermore, the relative abundance of herbivores and of specialists among herbivores decreased and the relative abundance of species using the herb layer increased with increasing land-use intensity. Community-weighted means of the morphometric traits in Heteroptera also changed from low to high land-use intensity toward longer and thinner shapes as well as longer appendices (legs, wings, and antenna). While changes in traits with increasing mowing and fertilization intensity were consistent with the combined land-use intensity, community average traits did often not change or with opposite direction under increasing grazing intensity. We conclude that high land-use intensity acts as an environmental filter selecting for on average smaller, more mobile, and less specialized species across taxa. Although trait collection across multiple arthropod taxa is laborious and needs clear trait definitions, it is essential for understanding the functional consequences of biodiversity loss due to land-use intensification.

  18. Genotypic variation in traits linked to climate and aboveground productivity in a widespread C4 grass: Evidence for a functional trait syndrome

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Growth and leaf functional trait variation among genotypes of a geographically widespread dominant species could provide insight into mechanisms of local adaptation and may be important for predicting species and ecosystem responses to environmental change. Under common garden conditions, we grew n...

  19. Selective Fair Behavior as a Function of Psychopathic Traits in a Subclinical Population

    PubMed Central

    Osumi, Takahiro; Ohira, Hideki

    2017-01-01

    Psychopathy is a group of personality traits that are associated with violations of social norms. Previous studies have suggested that people with psychopathic traits in subclinical populations do not necessarily display antisocial, self-defeating behaviors, and instead may strategically show adaptive behaviors in response to cues during reciprocal social interactions. Therefore, in the present study, we examined whether the association between psychopathic traits and unfair behavior can be moderated by a potential for punishment and social distance (anonymity), which are known to facilitate fair behavior. We focused on two psychopathic traits: primary and secondary psychopathy. Primary psychopathy is characterized by callousness, shallow affect, manipulation, and superficial charm. In contrast, secondary psychopathy is associated with impulsivity and lack of long-term goals, and is related to hostile behavior. A total of 348 undergraduate students determined the amounts of money that they would offer to strangers or friends at their university in hypothetical scenarios of the ultimatum game (UG) and the dictator game (DG). While gender affected decisions in the hypothetical scenarios of the DG, it did not interact with psychopathic traits. The score for primary psychopathy on the Levenson self-report psychopathy scale predicted unfair monetary offers to strangers in the DG, where participants could not be punished. However, compared with their offers in the DG, individuals with higher scores for primary psychopathy made larger offers in the UG, where low offers could trigger punishment from the recipient. Moreover, primary psychopathy did not decrease the amounts of offers in either game when the participant considered the recipient to be a friend. On the other hand, secondary psychopathy was not associated with differences in behavioral fairness depending on a potential for punishment or social distance. Based on these findings, we discuss strategic social skills

  20. Long-term functioning following whiplash injury: the role of social support and personality traits.

    PubMed

    Nijs, Jo; Inghelbrecht, Els; Daenen, Liesbeth; Hachimi-Idrissi, Said; Hens, Luc; Willems, Bert; Roussel, Nathalie; Cras, Patrick; Bernheim, Jan

    2011-07-01

    Transition from acute whiplash injury to either recovery or chronicity and the development of chronic whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) remains a challenging issue for researchers and clinicians. The roles of social support and personality traits in long-term functioning following whiplash have not been studied concomitantly. The present study aimed to examine whether social support and personality traits are related to long-term functioning following whiplash. One hundred forty-three subjects, who had experienced a whiplash injury in a traffic accident 10-26 months before the study took place, participated. The initial diagnoses were a 'sprain of the neck' (ICD-9 code 847.0); only the outcome of grades I-III acute WAD was studied. Long-term functioning was considered within the biopsychosocial model: it was expressed in terms of disability, functional status, quality of life and psychological well-being. Participants filled out a set of questionnaires to measure the long-term functioning parameters (i.e. the Neck Disability Index, Medical Outcome Study Short-Form General Health Survey, Anamnestic Comparative Self-Assessment measure of overall well-being and the Symptom Checklist-90) and potential determinants of long-term functioning (the Dutch Personality Questionnaire and the Social Support List). The results suggest that social support (especially the discrepancies dimension of social support) and personality traits (i.e. inadequacy, self-satisfaction and resentment) are related to long-term functioning following whiplash injury (Spearman rho varied between 0.32 and 0.57; p < 0.01). Within the discrepancy dimension, everyday emotional support, emotional support during problems, appreciative support and informative support were identified as important correlates of long-term functioning. Future prospective studies are required to confirm the role of social support and personality traits in relation to long-term functioning following whiplash. For such

  1. Internally driven alternation of functional traits in a multispecies predator-prey system.

    PubMed

    Tirok, Katrin; Gaedke, Ursula

    2010-06-01

    The individual functional traits of different species play a key role for ecosystem function in aquatic and terrestrial systems. We modeled a multispecies predator-prey system with functionally different predator and prey species based on observations of the community dynamics of ciliates and their algal prey in Lake Constance. The model accounted for differences in predator feeding preferences and prey susceptibility to predation, and for the respective trade-offs. A low food demand of the predator was connected to a high food selectivity, and a high growth rate of the prey was connected to a high vulnerability to grazing. The data and the model did not show standard uniform predator-prey cycles, but revealed both complex dynamics and a coexistence of predator and prey at high biomass levels. These dynamics resulted from internally driven alternations in species densities and involved compensatory dynamics between functionally different species. Functional diversity allowed for ongoing adaptation of the predator and prey communities to changing environmental conditions such as food composition and grazing pressure. The trade-offs determined whether compensatory or synchronous dynamics occurred which influence the variability at the community level. Compensatory dynamics were promoted by a joint carrying capacity linking the different prey species which is particularly relevant at high prey biomasses, i.e., when grazers are less efficient. In contrast, synchronization was enhanced by the coupling of the different predator and prey species via common feeding links, e.g., by a high grazing pressure of a nonselective predator. The communities had to be functionally diverse in terms of their trade-offs and their traits to yield compensatory dynamics. Rather similar predator species tended to cycle synchronously, whereas profoundly different species did not coexist. Compensatory dynamics at the community level thus required intermediately strong tradeoffs for functional

  2. Jewish denominations and longevity.

    PubMed

    Abel, Ernest L; Kruger, Michael L

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the relationship between affiliation with one of three denominations within Judaism representing a conservative-liberal continuum of Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Judaism. The criterion for affiliation was burial in a cemetery maintained by these denominations. Longevities of married congregants born 1850-1910 were compared, controlling for birth year. Orthodox Jews had the shortest life spans (77 years); Conservative and Reform Jews had very similar life spans (80.7 years). Differences in years of survival of husbands after death of a spouse did not differ significantly. Reform widows survived longest (16.5 years) after death of a spouse. Conservative and Reform widows did not differ significantly from one another.

  3. Comprehensive evaluation of disease- and trait-specific enrichment for eight functional elements among GWAS-identified variants.

    PubMed

    Markunas, Christina A; Johnson, Eric O; Hancock, Dana B

    2017-07-01

    Genome-wide association study (GWAS)-identified variants are enriched for functional elements. However, we have limited knowledge of how functional enrichment may differ by disease/trait and tissue type. We tested a broad set of eight functional elements for enrichment among GWAS-identified SNPs (p < 5×10(-8)) from the NHGRI-EBI Catalog across seven disease/trait categories: cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, autoimmune disease, psychiatric disease, neurological disease, and anthropometric traits. SNPs were annotated using HaploReg for the eight functional elements across any tissue: DNase sites, expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL), sequence conservation, enhancers, promoters, missense variants, sequence motifs, and protein binding sites. In addition, tissue-specific annotations were considered for brain vs. blood. Disease/trait SNPs were compared to a control set of 4809 SNPs matched to the GWAS SNPs (N = 1639) on allele frequency, gene density, distance to nearest gene, and linkage disequilibrium at ~3:1 ratio. Enrichment analyses were conducted using logistic regression, with Bonferroni correction. Overall, a significant enrichment was observed for all functional elements, except sequence motifs. Missense SNPs showed the strongest magnitude of enrichment. eQTLs were the only functional element significantly enriched across all diseases/traits. Magnitudes of enrichment were generally similar across diseases/traits, where enrichment was statistically significant. Blood vs. brain tissue effects on enrichment were dependent on disease/trait and functional element (e.g., cardiovascular disease: eQTLs P TissueDifference = 1.28 × 10(-6) vs. enhancers P TissueDifference = 0.94). Identifying disease/trait-relevant functional elements and tissue types could provide new insight into the underlying biology, by guiding a priori GWAS analyses (e.g., brain enhancer elements for psychiatric disease) or facilitating post hoc interpretation.

  4. Different responses of functional traits and diversity of stream macroinvertebrates to environmental and spatial factors in the Xishuangbanna watershed of the upper Mekong River Basin, China.

    PubMed

    Ding, Ning; Yang, Weifang; Zhou, Yunlei; González-Bergonzoni, Ivan; Zhang, Jie; Chen, Kai; Vidal, Nicolas; Jeppesen, Erik; Liu, Zhengwen; Wang, Beixin

    2017-01-01

    Functional traits and diversity indices have provided new insights into community responses to stressors. Most traits of aquatic organisms have frequently been tested for predictability and geographical stability in response to environmental variables, but such tests of functional diversity indices are rare. We sampled macroinvertebrates at 18 reference sites (RS) and 35 disturbed sites (DS) from headwater streams in the upper Mekong River Basin, Xishuangbanna (XSBN), China. We selected 29 qualitative categories of eight traits and then calculated five functional diversity indices, namely functional richness (FRic), functional evenness (FEve), functional dispersion (FDis), functional divergence (FDiv) and Rao's Quadratic Entropy (RaoQ), and two trait diversity indices, namely trait richness (TR) and trait diversity (TD). We used combination of RLQ and fourth-corner to examine the response of traits and functional diversity to the disturbance and environmental variables. We used variance partitioning to explore the relative role of environmental variables and spatial factors in constraining trait composition and functional diversity. We found that the relative frequency of ten trait categories, and the values of TD, TR, FRic and FDis in RS were significantly different (p<0.05) from DS. In addition, the seven traits (except for "habit") demonstrated a predictable response of trait patterns along the integrative environmental gradients. Environmental variables significantly contributed to most of the traits, functional diversity and trait diversity. However, spatial variables were mainly significant in shaping ecological traits, FRic and FEve. Our results confirm the dominant role of environmental variables in the determination of community trait composition and functional diversity, and substantiate the contribution of spatial vectors in explaining the variance of functional traits and diversity. We conclude that the traits "Refuge", "External protection

  5. Relationships between phyllosphere bacterial communities and plant functional traits in a neotropical forest

    PubMed Central

    Kembel, Steven W.; O’Connor, Timothy K.; Arnold, Holly K.; Hubbell, Stephen P.; Wright, S. Joseph; Green, Jessica L.

    2014-01-01

    The phyllosphere—the aerial surfaces of plants, including leaves—is a ubiquitous global habitat that harbors diverse bacterial communities. Phyllosphere bacterial communities have the potential to influence plant biogeography and ecosystem function through their influence on the fitness and function of their hosts, but the host attributes that drive community assembly in the phyllosphere are poorly understood. In this study we used high-throughput sequencing to quantify bacterial community structure on the leaves of 57 tree species in a neotropical forest in Panama. We tested for relationships between bacterial communities on tree leaves and the functional traits, taxonomy, and phylogeny of their plant hosts. Bacterial communities on tropical tree leaves were diverse; leaves from individual trees were host to more than 400 bacterial taxa. Bacterial communities in the phyllosphere were dominated by a core microbiome of taxa including Actinobacteria, Alpha-, Beta-, and Gammaproteobacteria, and Sphingobacteria. Host attributes including plant taxonomic identity, phylogeny, growth and mortality rates, wood density, leaf mass per area, and leaf nitrogen and phosphorous concentrations were correlated with bacterial community structure on leaves. The relative abundances of several bacterial taxa were correlated with suites of host plant traits related to major axes of plant trait variation, including the leaf economics spectrum and the wood density–growth/mortality tradeoff. These correlations between phyllosphere bacterial diversity and host growth, mortality, and function suggest that incorporating information on plant–microbe associations will improve our ability to understand plant functional biogeography and the drivers of variation in plant and ecosystem function. PMID:25225376

  6. Core functional traits of bacterial communities in the Upper Mississippi River show limited variation in response to land cover

    PubMed Central

    Staley, Christopher; Gould, Trevor J.; Wang, Ping; Phillips, Jane; Cotner, James B.; Sadowsky, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    Taxonomic characterization of environmental microbial communities via high-throughput DNA sequencing has revealed that patterns in microbial biogeography affect community structure. However, shifts in functional diversity related to variation in taxonomic composition are poorly understood. To overcome limitations due to the prohibitive cost of high-depth metagenomic sequencing, tools to infer functional diversity based on phylogenetic distributions of functional traits have been developed. In this study we characterized functional microbial diversity at 11 sites along the Mississippi River in Minnesota using both metagenomic sequencing and functional-inference-based (PICRUSt) approaches. This allowed us to determine how distance and variation in land cover throughout the river influenced the distribution of functional traits, as well as to validate PICRUSt inferences. The distribution and abundance of functional traits, by metagenomic analysis, were similar among sites, with a median standard deviation of 0.0002% among tier 3 functions in KEGG. Overall inferred functional variation was significantly different (P ≤ 0.035) between two water basins surrounded by agricultural vs. developed land cover, and abundances of bacterial orders that correlated with functional traits by metagenomic analysis were greater where abundances of the trait were inferred to be higher. PICRUSt inferences were significantly correlated (r = 0.147, P = 1.80 × 10−30) with metagenomic annotations. Discrepancies between metagenomic and PICRUSt taxonomic-functional relationships, however, suggested potential functional redundancy among abundant and rare taxa that impeded the ability to accurately assess unique functional traits among rare taxa at this sequencing depth. Results of this study suggest that a suite of “core functional traits” is conserved throughout the river and distributions of functional traits, rather than specific taxa, may shift in response to environmental

  7. Impulsive-aggressive traits, serotonin function, and alcohol-enhanced aggression.

    PubMed

    Fulwiler, Carl; Eckstine, Joy; Kalsy, Sapna

    2005-01-01

    Although alcohol consumption is involved in most acts of violence, most people do not become violent when they drink. Individuals also respond differently to alcohol on laboratory measures of aggression. The objective of this study was to determine whether individual differences in the effects of alcohol on a laboratory measure of aggression are related to specific personality traits and/or serotonin function, as measured by prolactin response to pharmacochallenge. Psychometric scales for impulsiveness, aggression, and anger, as well as a probe for suspiciousness, were administered to 10 healthy male social drinkers. Trait serotonin function was determined by citalopram challenge. The effect of alcohol on the Point Subtraction Aggression Paradigm was determined by comparing aggression scores with and without 1 g/kg alcohol. Impulsivity scores were significantly correlated with the change in aggressive responding after alcohol. Aggression, anger, and suspiciousness scores were not. Prolactin response did not predict the effect of alcohol on aggressive responding. The results suggest that trait impulsiveness may mediate the effects of alcohol on aggression in normal males.

  8. Personality traits, education, physical exercise, and childhood neurological function as independent predictors of adult obesity.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Helen; Furnham, Adrian

    2013-01-01

    To investigate whether personality traits, education, physical exercise, parental socio-economic conditions, and childhood neurological function are independently associated with obesity in 50 year old adults in a longitudinal birth cohort study. The sample consisted of 5,921 participants born in Great Britain in 1958 and followed up at 7, 11, 33, 42, and 50 years with data on body mass index measured at 42 and 50 years. There was an increase of adult obesity from 14.2% at age 42 to 23.6% at 50 years. Cohort members who were reported by teachers on overall clumsiness as "certainly applied" at age 7 were more likely to become obese at age 50. In addition, educational qualifications, traits Conscientiousness and Extraversion, psychological distress, and physical exercise were all significantly associated with adult obesity. The associations remained to be significant after controlling for birth weight and gestation, maternal and paternal BMI, childhood BMI, childhood intelligence and behavioural adjustment, as well as diet. Neurological function in childhood, education, trait Conscientiousness, and exercise were all significantly and independently associated with adult obesity, each explained unique individual variability.

  9. Belongingness as a core personality trait: how social exclusion influences social functioning and personality expression.

    PubMed

    DeWall, C Nathan; Deckman, Timothy; Pond, Richard S; Bonser, Ian

    2011-12-01

    People have a fundamental need for positive and lasting relationships. This need to belong is rooted in evolutionary history and gave rise to the development of traits that enable individuals to gain acceptance and to avoid rejection. Because belongingness is a core component of human functioning, social exclusion should influence many cognitive, emotional, and behavioral outcomes and personality expression. This article summarizes recent evidence that social exclusion causes an assortment of outcomes, many of which depend on whether the excluded can gain acceptance or forestall possible distress. It highlights common overlap in physical and social pain systems and how a physical painkiller can reduce the pain of social exclusion. Finally, it shows how social exclusion moderates the effects of traits on cognition, emotion, and behavior. To appreciate personality processes in social contexts, scientists should consider how people respond to social exclusion and how the need to belong influences personality expression.

  10. Interpersonal traits change as a function of disease type and severity in degenerative brain diseases

    PubMed Central

    Sollberger, Marc; Neuhaus, John; Ketelle, Robin; Stanley, Christine M.; Beckman, Victoria; Growdon, Matthew; Jung, Jang; Miller, Bruce L.; Rankin, Katherine P.

    2010-01-01

    Background Different degenerative brain diseases result in distinct personality changes as a result of divergent patterns of brain damage, however, little is known about the natural history of these personality changes throughout the course of each disease. Objective To investigate how interpersonal traits change as a function of degenerative brain disease type and severity. Methods Using the Interpersonal Adjective Scales, informant ratings of retrospective premorbid and current scores for dominance, extraversion, warmth, and ingenuousness were collected annually for one to four years on 188 patients [67 behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), 40 semantic dementia (SemD), 81 Alzheimer’s disease (AD)] and 65 older healthy controls. Using random coefficient models, interpersonal behaviour scores at very mild, mild, or moderate-to-severe disease stages were compared within and between patient groups. Results Group-level changes from premorbid personality occurred as a function of disease type and severity, and were apparent even at a very mild disease stage (Clinical Dementia Rating=0.5) for all three diseases. Decreases in interpersonal traits associated with emotional affiliation (i.e., extraversion, warmth, and ingenuousness) and more rigid interpersonal behaviour differentiated bvFTD and SemD patients from AD patients. Conclusions Specific changes in affiliative interpersonal traits differentiate degenerative brain diseases even at a very mild disease stage, and patterns of personality change differ across bvFTD, SemD, and AD with advancing disease. This study describes the typical progression of change of interpersonal traits in each disease, improving the ability of clinicians and caregivers to predict and plan for symptom progression. PMID:21172858

  11. Pollinators of the Rocky Mountain columbine: temporal variation, functional groups and associations with floral traits

    PubMed Central

    Brunet, Johanne

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Pollinators together with other biotic and some abiotic factors can select for floral traits. However, variation in pollinator abundance over time and space can weaken such selection. In the present study, the variation in pollinator abundance over time and space was examined in populations of the Rocky Mountain columbine. The variation in three floral traits is described and correlations between pollinator type, functional pollinator groups or altitude and floral traits are examined. Methods Pollinator observations took place in six Aquilegia coerulea populations over 1–4 years and spur length, flower colour and sepal length were measured in 12 populations. Pollinator abundance, measured as visits per flower per hour, was compared among populations and years. Pollinators were grouped into two functional groups: pollen or nectar collectors. The following associations were examined: annual presence of hawkmoths and whiter flowers with longer spurs; the presence of Sphinx vashti and longer spurs; and higher altitudes and whiter flowers. The study looked at whether an increase in the proportion of hawkmoths in a population was associated with whiter and larger flowers with longer spurs. Key Results The abundance of different pollinator groups varied over time and space. Floral traits varied among populations. Higher altitude was correlated with bluer flowers. Whiter flowers were associated with the annual presence of hawkmoths. Populations visited by Sphinx vashti had longer spurs than populations visited only by Hyles lineata. Populations with greater percentage of nectar-collecting pollinators did not have whiter, larger flowers with longer spurs. Conclusions Despite the large variation in pollinator abundance over time and space, one species of bumble-bee or hawkmoth tended to predominate in each population each year. Future studies of Aquilegia coerulea should examine the specific influences of pollinators and the environment on flower colour

  12. Emotional susceptibility trait modulates insula responses and functional connectivity in flavor processing

    PubMed Central

    Ebisch, Sjoerd J. H.; Bello, Annalisa; Spitoni, Grazia F.; Perrucci, Mauro G.; Gallese, Vittorio; Committeri, Giorgia; Pastorelli, Concetta; Pizzamiglio, Luigi

    2015-01-01

    The present study aimed at investigating the relationship between Emotional Susceptibility (ES), an aspect of the personality trait Neuroticism, and individual differences in the neural responses in anterior insula to primary sensory stimuli colored by affective valence, i.e., distasting or pleasantly tasting oral stimuli. In addition, it was studied whether intrinsic functional connectivity patterns of brain regions characterized by such differential responses could be related to ES. To this purpose 25 female participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning, while being involved in a flavor experiment. During the experiment, flavor stimuli were administered consisting of small amounts of liquid with a different affective valence: neutral, pleasant, unpleasant. The results showed that individual differences in ES trait predicted distinct neural activity patterns to the different stimulus conditions in a region of left anterior insula that a previous meta-analysis revealed to be linked with olfacto-gustatory processing. Specifically, low ES was associated with enhanced neural responses to both pleasant and unpleasant stimuli, compared to neutral stimuli. By contrast, high ES participants showed equally strong neural responses to all types of stimuli without differentiating between the neutral and affective stimuli. Finally, during a task-free state, high ES trait appeared also to be related to decreased intrinsic functional connectivity between left anterior insula and left cerebellum. Our findings show that individual differences in ES are associated with differential anterior insula responses to primary sensory (flavor) stimuli as well as to intrinsic functional cortico-cerebellar connectivity, the latter suggesting a basis in the brain intrinsic functional architecture of the regulation of emotional experiences. PMID:26594159

  13. Hormone replacement therapy and longevity.

    PubMed

    Comhaire, F

    2016-02-01

    To assess whether hormone replacement therapy influences longevity, an analysis was made of published life tables allowing for the calculation of the relative benefit of hormone replacement therapy on longevity in men with late onset hypogonadism and in post-menopausal women. It was found that testosterone replacement therapy of men suffering from late onset hypogonadism increased survival rate by 9-10% in 5 years, similar to that of eugonadal, non-LOH men with normal endogenous testosterone secretion. Oestrogen replacement therapy resulted in increased survival by 2.6% in 5 years. It is concluded that hormone replacement therapy increases longevity.

  14. Experimentally reduced root–microbe interactions reveal limited plasticity in functional root traits in Acer and Quercus

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Mei-Ho; Comas, Louise H.; Callahan, Hilary S.

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Interactions between roots and soil microbes are critical components of below-ground ecology. It is essential to quantify the magnitude of root trait variation both among and within species, including variation due to plasticity. In addition to contextualizing the magnitude of plasticity relative to differences between species, studies of plasticity can ascertain if plasticity is predictable and whether an environmental factor elicits changes in traits that are functionally advantageous. Methods To compare functional traits and trait plasticities in fine root tissues with natural and reduced levels of colonization by microbial symbionts, trimmed and surface-sterilized root segments of 2-year-old Acer rubrum and Quercus rubra seedlings were manipulated. Segments were then replanted into satellite pots filled with control or heat-treated soil, both originally derived from a natural forest. Mycorrhizal colonization was near zero in roots grown in heat-treated soil; roots grown in control soil matched the higher colonization levels observed in unmanipulated root samples collected from field locations. Key Results Between-treatment comparisons revealed negligible plasticity for root diameter, branching intensity and nitrogen concentration across both species. Roots from treated soils had decreased tissue density (approx. 10–20 %) and increased specific root length (approx. 10–30 %). In contrast, species differences were significant and greater than treatment effects in traits other than tissue density. Interspecific trait differences were also significant in field samples, which generally resembled greenhouse samples. Conclusions The combination of experimental and field approaches was useful for contextualizing trait plasticity in comparison with inter- and intra-specific trait variation. Findings that root traits are largely species dependent, with the exception of root tissue density, are discussed in the context of current literature on root

  15. Experimentally reduced root-microbe interactions reveal limited plasticity in functional root traits in Acer and Quercus.

    PubMed

    Lee, Mei-Ho; Comas, Louise H; Callahan, Hilary S

    2014-02-01

    Interactions between roots and soil microbes are critical components of below-ground ecology. It is essential to quantify the magnitude of root trait variation both among and within species, including variation due to plasticity. In addition to contextualizing the magnitude of plasticity relative to differences between species, studies of plasticity can ascertain if plasticity is predictable and whether an environmental factor elicits changes in traits that are functionally advantageous. To compare functional traits and trait plasticities in fine root tissues with natural and reduced levels of colonization by microbial symbionts, trimmed and surface-sterilized root segments of 2-year-old Acer rubrum and Quercus rubra seedlings were manipulated. Segments were then replanted into satellite pots filled with control or heat-treated soil, both originally derived from a natural forest. Mycorrhizal colonization was near zero in roots grown in heat-treated soil; roots grown in control soil matched the higher colonization levels observed in unmanipulated root samples collected from field locations. Between-treatment comparisons revealed negligible plasticity for root diameter, branching intensity and nitrogen concentration across both species. Roots from treated soils had decreased tissue density (approx. 10-20 %) and increased specific root length (approx. 10-30 %). In contrast, species differences were significant and greater than treatment effects in traits other than tissue density. Interspecific trait differences were also significant in field samples, which generally resembled greenhouse samples. The combination of experimental and field approaches was useful for contextualizing trait plasticity in comparison with inter- and intra-specific trait variation. Findings that root traits are largely species dependent, with the exception of root tissue density, are discussed in the context of current literature on root trait variation, interactions with symbionts and recent

  16. Altitudinal patterns of diversity and functional traits of metabolically active microorganisms in stream biofilms.

    PubMed

    Wilhelm, Linda; Besemer, Katharina; Fragner, Lena; Peter, Hannes; Weckwerth, Wolfram; Battin, Tom J

    2015-11-01

    Resources structure ecological communities and potentially link biodiversity to energy flow. It is commonly believed that functional traits (generalists versus specialists) involved in the exploitation of resources depend on resource availability and environmental fluctuations. The longitudinal nature of stream ecosystems provides changing resources to stream biota with yet unknown effects on microbial functional traits and community structure. We investigated the impact of autochthonous (algal extract) and allochthonous (spruce extract) resources, as they change along alpine streams from above to below the treeline, on microbial diversity, community composition and functions of benthic biofilms. Combining bromodeoxyuridine labelling and 454 pyrosequencing, we showed that diversity was lower upstream than downstream of the treeline and that community composition changed along the altitudinal gradient. We also found that, especially for allochthonous resources, specialisation by biofilm bacteria increased along that same gradient. Our results suggest that in streams below the treeline biofilm diversity, specialisation and functioning are associated with increasing niche differentiation as potentially modulated by divers allochthonous and autochthonous constituents contributing to resources. These findings expand our current understanding on biofilm structure and function in alpine streams.

  17. Homocysteine and Familial Longevity: The Leiden Longevity Study

    PubMed Central

    Wijsman, Carolien A.; van Heemst, Diana; Rozing, Maarten P.; Slagboom, P. Eline; Beekman, Marian; de Craen, Anton J. M.; Maier, Andrea B.; Westendorp, Rudi G. J.; Blom, Henk J.; Mooijaart, Simon P.

    2011-01-01

    Homocysteine concentrations are a read-out of methionine metabolism and have been related to changes in lifespan in animal models. In humans, high homocysteine concentrations are an important predictor of age related disease. We aimed to explore the association of homocysteine with familial longevity by testing whether homocysteine is lower in individuals that are genetically enriched for longevity. We measured concentrations of total homocysteine in 1907 subjects from the Leiden Longevity Study consisting of 1309 offspring of nonagenarian siblings, who are enriched with familial factors promoting longevity, and 598 partners thereof as population controls. We found that homocysteine was related to age, creatinine, folate, vitamin B levels and medical history of hypertension and stroke in both groups (all p<0.001). However, levels of homocysteine did not differ between offspring enriched for longevity and their partners, and no differences in the age-related rise in homocysteine levels were found between groups (p for interaction 0.63). The results suggest that homocysteine metabolism is not likely to predict familial longevity. PMID:21408159

  18. Understanding soil erosion process within herbaceous vegetative hedges using plant functional traits approach in North-West Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kervroëdan, Léa; Armand, Romain; Saunier, Mathieu; Faucon, Michel-Pierre

    2017-04-01

    Runoff and soil erosion induce major environmental and economic damages. Concentrated runoff control by aboveground plant biomass in upstream areas constitutes a key feature to reduce runoff and soil erosion in Western Europe (WE). Indeed, aboveground plant biomass can reduce runoff and soil erosion respectively by increasing hydraulic roughness and trapping sediments. However, studies of plant effect on runoff reduction are usually based on the taxonomical characterisation of species and do not refer to effect of aboveground plant functional traits. Plant functional traits approach allows to understand ecosystem processes and quantify services. Traits effect could vary depending on hydrological processes (i.e., discharge) and their aggregation could have a synergetic effect on hydraulic roughness and erosion reduction. In this study, objectives are to i) examine effects of aboveground plant functional traits of herbaceous hedges on hydraulic roughness; ii) test the effects of their aggregation on hydraulic roughness. Seven aboveground functional traits were measured on 14 indigenous plant species from North-West Europe with a high morphological variability (stem and leaf densities; stem diameter, stiffness and dry matter content; leaf area and specific leaf area (SLA)). Those species are perennial herbaceous caespitose or comprising dry biomass in winter. Effects of plant functional traits and their abundance within the community on hydraulic roughness were examined using a runoff simulator at four discharges. Furthermore, the effect of plant functional diversity was analysed using four monospecific (mono-trait) conditions compared to multispecific (multi-traits) conditions. Results showed traits and their abundance influence hydraulic roughness. Indeed, leaf density and leaf area (traits), as well as plant community weighted stem, leaf and shoot areas, stem diameter and SLA are significantly correlated to hydraulic roughness. Moreover, leaf density and leaf area

  19. Detecting Changes in Functional Traits of Forest after Extreme Climate Episode using Model Data Fusion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yokozawa, M.; Kawai, Y.; Toda, M.

    2016-12-01

    The increase in extreme climate episodes associated with ongoing climate change may induce extensive damage to terrestrial ecosystems, changing plant functional traits that regulate ecosystem carbon budget. Over the last two decades, an advanced observational operation of tower-based eddy covariance has enhanced our ability to understand spatial and temporal features of ecosystem carbon exchange worldwide. In contrast, there remain several unresolved issues regarding plant function responses to extreme climate episodes and the resulting effects on the terrestrial carbon balance. In this work, we examined the effects of an extreme climatic event (typhoon) on plant functional traits of a cool-temperate forest in Japan using a model data fusion technique. We used a semi-process model to describes the time changes in net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 between atmosphere and ecosystem based on the distributions of foliage and size of an individual in a plant population, assuming the diameter profile and the pipe model theory (Shinozaki et al., 1964). The canopy photosynthesis model (Yokozawa et al., 1996) provides us the vertical distribution of gross photosynthetic rates within stand. It can allow us to examine the differences in photosynthetic rate with plant functional traits changed by climate disturbance. The DREAM(ZS) algorithm (ter Braak & Vrugt, 2008) was used to estimate the model parameters. To reduce the effects of heteroscedastic error, a generalized likelihood function was adopted (Schoup & Vrugt, 2010). The estimated annual parameter which represents the initial slope of light-photosynthetic rate curve, significantly changed after typhoon disturbance in 2004. Time changes in the profile of the maximum photosynthetic rate also shows the intensive response to the disturbance. After the disturbance, the values at upper foliage layer are higher than at lower foliage layer in contrast to that before disturbance. Specifically, just after disturbance in 2004b-5a

  20. Modelling the multidimensional niche by linking functional traits to competitive performance

    PubMed Central

    Maynard, Daniel S.; Leonard, Kenneth E.; Drake, John M.; Hall, David W.; Crowther, Thomas W.; Bradford, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    Linking competitive outcomes to environmental conditions is necessary for understanding species' distributions and responses to environmental change. Despite this importance, generalizable approaches for predicting competitive outcomes across abiotic gradients are lacking, driven largely by the highly complex and context-dependent nature of biotic interactions. Here, we present and empirically test a novel niche model that uses functional traits to model the niche space of organisms and predict competitive outcomes of co-occurring populations across multiple resource gradients. The model makes no assumptions about the underlying mode of competition and instead applies to those settings where relative competitive ability across environments correlates with a quantifiable performance metric. To test the model, a series of controlled microcosm experiments were conducted using genetically related strains of a widespread microbe. The model identified trait microevolution and performance differences among strains, with the predicted competitive ability of each organism mapped across a two-dimensional carbon and nitrogen resource space. Areas of coexistence and competitive dominance between strains were identified, and the predicted competitive outcomes were validated in approximately 95% of the pairings. By linking trait variation to competitive ability, our work demonstrates a generalizable approach for predicting and modelling competitive outcomes across changing environmental contexts. PMID:26136444

  1. Modelling the multidimensional niche by linking functional traits to competitive performance.

    PubMed

    Maynard, Daniel S; Leonard, Kenneth E; Drake, John M; Hall, David W; Crowther, Thomas W; Bradford, Mark A

    2015-07-22

    Linking competitive outcomes to environmental conditions is necessary for understanding species' distributions and responses to environmental change. Despite this importance, generalizable approaches for predicting competitive outcomes across abiotic gradients are lacking, driven largely by the highly complex and context-dependent nature of biotic interactions. Here, we present and empirically test a novel niche model that uses functional traits to model the niche space of organisms and predict competitive outcomes of co-occurring populations across multiple resource gradients. The model makes no assumptions about the underlying mode of competition and instead applies to those settings where relative competitive ability across environments correlates with a quantifiable performance metric. To test the model, a series of controlled microcosm experiments were conducted using genetically related strains of a widespread microbe. The model identified trait microevolution and performance differences among strains, with the predicted competitive ability of each organism mapped across a two-dimensional carbon and nitrogen resource space. Areas of coexistence and competitive dominance between strains were identified,and the predicted competitive outcomes were validated in approximately 95% of the pairings. By linking trait variation to competitive ability, our work demonstrates a generalizable approach for predicting and modelling competitive outcomes across changing environmental contexts.

  2. Flow directionality, mountain barriers and functional traits determine diatom metacommunity structuring of high mountain streams.

    PubMed

    Dong, Xiaoyu; Li, Bin; He, Fengzhi; Gu, Yuan; Sun, Meiqin; Zhang, Haomiao; Tan, Lu; Xiao, Wen; Liu, Shuoran; Cai, Qinghua

    2016-04-19

    Stream metacommunities are structured by a combination of local (environmental filtering) and regional (dispersal) processes. The unique characters of high mountain streams could potentially determine metacommunity structuring, which is currently poorly understood. Aiming at understanding how these characters influenced metacommunity structuring, we explored the relative importance of local environmental conditions and various dispersal processes, including through geographical (overland), topographical (across mountain barriers) and network (along flow direction) pathways in shaping benthic diatom communities. From a trait perspective, diatoms were categorized into high-profile, low-profile and motile guild to examine the roles of functional traits. Our results indicated that both environmental filtering and dispersal processes influenced metacommunity structuring, with dispersal contributing more than environmental processes. Among the three pathways, stream corridors were primary pathway. Deconstructive analysis suggested different responses to environmental and spatial factors for each of three ecological guilds. However, regardless of traits, dispersal among streams was limited by mountain barriers, while dispersal along stream was promoted by rushing flow in high mountain stream. Our results highlighted that directional processes had prevailing effects on metacommunity structuring in high mountain streams. Flow directionality, mountain barriers and ecological guilds contributed to a better understanding of the roles that mountains played in structuring metacommunity.

  3. Flow directionality, mountain barriers and functional traits determine diatom metacommunity structuring of high mountain streams

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Xiaoyu; Li, Bin; He, Fengzhi; Gu, Yuan; Sun, Meiqin; Zhang, Haomiao; Tan, Lu; Xiao, Wen; Liu, Shuoran; Cai, Qinghua

    2016-01-01

    Stream metacommunities are structured by a combination of local (environmental filtering) and regional (dispersal) processes. The unique characters of high mountain streams could potentially determine metacommunity structuring, which is currently poorly understood. Aiming at understanding how these characters influenced metacommunity structuring, we explored the relative importance of local environmental conditions and various dispersal processes, including through geographical (overland), topographical (across mountain barriers) and network (along flow direction) pathways in shaping benthic diatom communities. From a trait perspective, diatoms were categorized into high-profile, low-profile and motile guild to examine the roles of functional traits. Our results indicated that both environmental filtering and dispersal processes influenced metacommunity structuring, with dispersal contributing more than environmental processes. Among the three pathways, stream corridors were primary pathway. Deconstructive analysis suggested different responses to environmental and spatial factors for each of three ecological guilds. However, regardless of traits, dispersal among streams was limited by mountain barriers, while dispersal along stream was promoted by rushing flow in high mountain stream. Our results highlighted that directional processes had prevailing effects on metacommunity structuring in high mountain streams. Flow directionality, mountain barriers and ecological guilds contributed to a better understanding of the roles that mountains played in structuring metacommunity. PMID:27090223

  4. Trait Approach and Avoidance Motivation: Lateralized Neural Activity Associated with Executive Function

    PubMed Central

    Spielberg, Jeffrey M.; Miller, Gregory A.; Engels, Anna S.; Herrington, John D.; Sutton, Bradley P.; Banich, Marie T.; Heller, Wendy

    2010-01-01

    Motivation and executive function are both necessary for the completion of goal-directed behavior. Research investigating the manner in which these processes interact is beginning to emerge and has implicated middle frontal gyrus (MFG) as a site of interaction for relevant neural mechanisms. However, this research has focused on state motivation, and it has not examined functional lateralization. The present study examined the impact of trait levels of approach and avoidance motivation on neural processes associated with executive function. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was conducted while participants performed a color-word Stroop task. Analyses identified brain regions in which trait approach and avoidance motivation (measured by questionnaires) moderated activation associated with executive control. Approach was hypothesized to be associated with left-lateralized MFG activation, whereas avoidance was hypothesized to be associated with right-lateralized MFG activation. Results supported both hypotheses. Present findings implicate areas of middle frontal gyrus in top-down control to guide behavior in accordance with motivational goals. PMID:20728552

  5. Trait approach and avoidance motivation: lateralized neural activity associated with executive function.

    PubMed

    Spielberg, Jeffrey M; Miller, Gregory A; Engels, Anna S; Herrington, John D; Sutton, Bradley P; Banich, Marie T; Heller, Wendy

    2011-01-01

    Motivation and executive function are both necessary for the completion of goal-directed behavior. Research investigating the manner in which these processes interact is beginning to emerge and has implicated middle frontal gyrus (MFG) as a site of interaction for relevant neural mechanisms. However, this research has focused on state motivation, and it has not examined functional lateralization. The present study examined the impact of trait levels of approach and avoidance motivation on neural processes associated with executive function. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was conducted while participants performed a color-word Stroop task. Analyses identified brain regions in which trait approach and avoidance motivation (measured by questionnaires) moderated activation associated with executive control. Approach was hypothesized to be associated with left-lateralized MFG activation, whereas avoidance was hypothesized to be associated with right-lateralized MFG activation. Results supported both hypotheses. Present findings implicate areas of middle frontal gyrus in top-down control to guide behavior in accordance with motivational goals.

  6. Functional connectivity within and between intrinsic brain networks correlates with trait mind wandering.

    PubMed

    Godwin, Christine A; Hunter, Michael A; Bezdek, Matthew A; Lieberman, Gregory; Elkin-Frankston, Seth; Romero, Victoria L; Witkiewitz, Katie; Clark, Vincent P; Schumacher, Eric H

    2017-08-01

    Individual differences across a variety of cognitive processes are functionally associated with individual differences in intrinsic networks such as the default mode network (DMN). The extent to which these networks correlate or anticorrelate has been associated with performance in a variety of circumstances. Despite the established role of the DMN in mind wandering processes, little research has investigated how large-scale brain networks at rest relate to mind wandering tendencies outside the laboratory. Here we examine the extent to which the DMN, along with the dorsal attention network (DAN) and frontoparietal control network (FPCN) correlate with the tendency to mind wander in daily life. Participants completed the Mind Wandering Questionnaire and a 5-min resting state fMRI scan. In addition, participants completed measures of executive function, fluid intelligence, and creativity. We observed significant positive correlations between trait mind wandering and 1) increased DMN connectivity at rest and 2) increased connectivity between the DMN and FPCN at rest. Lastly, we found significant positive correlations between trait mind wandering and fluid intelligence (Ravens) and creativity (Remote Associates Task). We interpret these findings within the context of current theories of mind wandering and executive function and discuss the possibility that certain instances of mind wandering may not be inherently harmful. Due to the controversial nature of global signal regression (GSReg) in functional connectivity analyses, we performed our analyses with and without GSReg and contrast the results from each set of analyses. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Constraints on the evolution of function-valued traits: a study of growth in Tribolium castaneum.

    PubMed

    Irwin, K K; Carter, P A

    2013-12-01

    Growth trajectories often impact individual fitness. They are continuous by nature and so are amenable to analysis using a function-valued (FV) trait framework to reveal their underlying genetic architecture. Previous studies have found high levels of standing additive genetic (co)variance for growth trajectories despite the expectation that growth should be responding to frequent strong directional selection. In this study, the FV framework is used to estimate the additive genetic covariance function for growth trajectories in larval Tribolium castaneum to address questions about standing additive genetic (co)variance and possible evolutionary constraints on growth and to predict responses to four plausible selection regimes. Results show that additive genetic (co)variance is high at the early ages, but decreases towards later ages in the larval period. A selection gradient function of the same size and in the same direction of the first eigenfunction of the G-function should give the maximal response. However, evolutionary constraints may be acting to keep this maximal response from being realized, through either conflicting effects on survivability and fecundity of larger body size, few evolutionary directions having sufficient additive variance for a response, genetic trade-offs with other traits or physiological regulatory mechanisms. More light may be shed on these constraints through the development of more sophisticated statistical approaches and implementation of additional empirical studies to explicitly test for specific types of constraints.

  8. Puzzling role of genetic risk factors in human longevity: "risk alleles" as pro-longevity variants.

    PubMed

    Ukraintseva, Svetlana; Yashin, Anatoliy; Arbeev, Konstantin; Kulminski, Alexander; Akushevich, Igor; Wu, Deqing; Joshi, Gaurang; Land, Kenneth C; Stallard, Eric

    2016-02-01

    Complex diseases are major contributors to human mortality in old age. Paradoxically, many genetic variants that have been associated with increased risks of such diseases are found in genomes of long-lived people, and do not seem to compromise longevity. Here we argue that trade-off-like and conditional effects of genes can play central role in this phenomenon and in determining longevity. Such effects may occur as result of: (i) antagonistic influence of gene on the development of different health disorders; (ii) change in the effect of gene on vulnerability to death with age (especially, from "bad" to "good"); (iii) gene-gene interaction; and (iv) gene-environment interaction, among other factors. A review of current knowledge provides many examples of genetic factors that may increase the risk of one disease but reduce chances of developing another serious health condition, or improve survival from it. Factors that may increase risk of a major disease but attenuate manifestation of physical senescence are also discussed. Overall, available evidence suggests that the influence of a genetic variant on longevity may be negative, neutral or positive, depending on a delicate balance of the detrimental and beneficial effects of such variant on multiple health and aging related traits. This balance may change with age, internal and external environments, and depend on genetic surrounding. We conclude that trade-off-like and conditional genetic effects are very common and may result in situations when a disease "risk allele" can also be a pro-longevity variant, depending on context. We emphasize importance of considering such effects in both aging research and disease prevention.

  9. Accuracy of direct genomic values for functional traits in Brown Swiss cattle.

    PubMed

    Kramer, M; Erbe, M; Seefried, F R; Gredler, B; Bapst, B; Bieber, A; Simianer, H

    2014-03-01

    In this study, direct genomic values for the functional traits general temperament, milking temperament, aggressiveness, rank order in herd, milking speed, udder depth, position of labia, and days to first heat in Brown Swiss dairy cattle were estimated based on ~777,000 (777 K) single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) information from 1,126 animals. Accuracy of direct genomic values was assessed by a 5-fold cross-validation with 10 replicates. Correlations between deregressed proofs and direct genomic values were 0.63 for general temperament, 0.73 for milking temperament, 0.69 for aggressiveness, 0.65 for rank order in herd, 0.69 for milking speed, 0.71 for udder depth, 0.66 for position of labia, and 0.74 for days to first heat. Using the information of ~54,000 (54K) SNP led to only marginal deviations in the observed accuracy. Trying to predict the 20% youngest bulls led to correlations of 0.55, 0.77, 0.73, 0.55, 0.64, 0.59, 0.67, and 0.77, respectively, for the traits listed above. Using a novel method to estimate the accuracy of a direct genomic value (defined as correlation between direct genomic value and true breeding value and accounting for the correlation between direct genomic values and conventional breeding values) revealed accuracies of 0.37, 0.20, 0.19, 0.27, 0.48, 0.45, 0.36, and 0.12, respectively, for the traits listed above. These values are much smaller but probably also more realistic than accuracies based on correlations, given the heritabilities and samples sizes in this study. Annotation of the largest estimated SNP effects revealed 2 candidate genes affecting the traits general temperament and days to first heat.

  10. Shifts in Functional Traits Elevate Risk of Fire-driven Tree Dieback in Tropical Savanna-forest Biomes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pellegrini, A.; Franco, A. C.; Hoffmann, W. A.

    2015-12-01

    Rising CO2 is predicted to accelerate the expansion of forests into savannas. Although encroaching forests can sequester carbon over the short-term, the carbon pools may become increasingly sensitive to fire due to a shift towards plant communities more susceptible to fire-driven dieback. We quantify how functional traits determine the ability of individual tree species to tolerate fire and subsequently determine the fire-sensitivity of ecosystem carbon across 180 plots throughout the 2.2-million km2 Cerrado region in Brazil. We find that accounting for variation in functional traits fundamentally changes fire-driven dieback predictions: savannas and forests switched from having similar amounts of potential carbon losses to forests containing substantially greater potential carbon losses when differences in functional traits were considered. In fact, we find that not accounting for variation in functional traits underestimated carbon losses in forests by ~50%, summing to an underestimation of 0.22PgC across the Cerrado region. In total, shifts in the fire sensitivity of forests due to changes in community composition and functional traits may offset a third of carbon gains during forest encroachment. These results illustrate that functional traits are critical for determining the climate-carbon-fire feedback in tropical savanna-forest biomes.

  11. Nutritional factors for longevity in Okinawa--present and future.

    PubMed

    Mimura, G; Murakami, K; Gushiken, M

    1992-01-01

    Several factors, such as environment and heredity, are presumed to be related to longevity. Of these nutrition is believed to function as a regulatory factor. Okinawa prefecture is well known as the leading area for longevity in the world. We therefore examined present and past nutrition records together with the background of all the 88 centenarians (18 male, 70 female) who are living in Okinawa in 1991. Their leading occupation was agriculture, and they were in work until the 8th decade. They took rice or potato as carbohydrate with abundant vegetables and vegetable protein or fish protein. Although they did not take a rich diet it was well balanced, and was assumed to be related to longevity because of the decreased incidence of atherosclerosis; together with a good genetic background, suggested by the accumulation of longevity in their siblings.

  12. Longevity of emplacement drift ground support materials

    SciTech Connect

    Tang, David

    2000-04-01

    The purpose of this analysis is to evaluate the factors affecting the longevity of emplacement drift ground support materials and to develop a basis for the selection of materials for ground support that will function throughout the preclosure period of a potential repository at Yucca Mountain. The Development Plan (DP) for this analysis is given in Longevity of Emplacement Drift Ground Support Materials (CRWMS M and O 1999a). The objective of this analysis is to update the previous analysis (CRWMS M and O 2000a) to account for related changes in the Ground Control System Description Document (CRWMS M and O 2000b), the Monitored Geologic Repository Project Description Document (CRWMS M and O 1999b), and in environmental conditions, and to provide updated information on candidate ground support materials.

  13. Hormonal regulation of longevity in mammals

    PubMed Central

    Brown-Borg, Holly M.

    2007-01-01

    Multiple biological and environmental factors impact the life span of an organism. The endocrine system is a highly integrated physiological system in mammals that regulates metabolism, growth, reproduction, and response to stress, among other functions. As such, this pervasive entity has a major influence on aging and longevity. The growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-1 and insulin pathways have been at the forefront of hormonal control of aging research in the last few years. Other hormones, including those from the thyroid and reproductive system have also been studied in terms of life span regulation. The relevance of these hormones to human longevity remains to be established, however the evidence from other species including yeast, nematodes, and flies suggest that evolutionarily well-conserved mechanisms are at play and the endocrine system is a key determinant. PMID:17360245

  14. A Regulatory Network-Based Approach Dissects Late Maturation Processes Related to the Acquisition of Desiccation Tolerance and Longevity of Medicago truncatula Seeds1[C][W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Verdier, Jerome; Lalanne, David; Pelletier, Sandra; Torres-Jerez, Ivone; Righetti, Karima; Bandyopadhyay, Kaustav; Leprince, Olivier; Chatelain, Emilie; Vu, Benoit Ly; Gouzy, Jerome; Gamas, Pascal; Udvardi, Michael K.; Buitink, Julia

    2013-01-01

    In seeds, desiccation tolerance (DT) and the ability to survive the dry state for prolonged periods of time (longevity) are two essential traits for seed quality that are consecutively acquired during maturation. Using transcriptomic and metabolomic profiling together with a conditional-dependent network of global transcription interactions, we dissected the maturation events from the end of seed filling to final maturation drying during the last 3 weeks of seed development in Medicago truncatula. The network revealed distinct coexpression modules related to the acquisition of DT, longevity, and pod abscission. The acquisition of DT and dormancy module was associated with abiotic stress response genes, including late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) genes. The longevity module was enriched in genes involved in RNA processing and translation. Concomitantly, LEA polypeptides accumulated, displaying an 18-d delayed accumulation compared with transcripts. During maturation, gulose and stachyose levels increased and correlated with longevity. A seed-specific network identified known and putative transcriptional regulators of DT, including ABSCISIC ACID-INSENSITIVE3 (MtABI3), MtABI4, MtABI5, and APETALA2/ ETHYLENE RESPONSE ELEMENT BINDING PROTEIN (AtAP2/EREBP) transcription factor as major hubs. These transcriptional activators were highly connected to LEA genes. Longevity genes were highly connected to two MtAP2/EREBP and two basic leucine zipper transcription factors. A heat shock factor was found at the transition of DT and longevity modules, connecting to both gene sets. Gain- and loss-of-function approaches of MtABI3 confirmed 80% of its predicted targets, thereby experimentally validating the network. This study captures the coordinated regulation of seed maturation and identifies distinct regulatory networks underlying the preparation for the dry and quiescent states. PMID:23929721

  15. A regulatory network-based approach dissects late maturation processes related to the acquisition of desiccation tolerance and longevity of Medicago truncatula seeds.

    PubMed

    Verdier, Jerome; Lalanne, David; Pelletier, Sandra; Torres-Jerez, Ivone; Righetti, Karima; Bandyopadhyay, Kaustav; Leprince, Olivier; Chatelain, Emilie; Vu, Benoit Ly; Gouzy, Jerome; Gamas, Pascal; Udvardi, Michael K; Buitink, Julia

    2013-10-01

    In seeds, desiccation tolerance (DT) and the ability to survive the dry state for prolonged periods of time (longevity) are two essential traits for seed quality that are consecutively acquired during maturation. Using transcriptomic and metabolomic profiling together with a conditional-dependent network of global transcription interactions, we dissected the maturation events from the end of seed filling to final maturation drying during the last 3 weeks of seed development in Medicago truncatula. The network revealed distinct coexpression modules related to the acquisition of DT, longevity, and pod abscission. The acquisition of DT and dormancy module was associated with abiotic stress response genes, including late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) genes. The longevity module was enriched in genes involved in RNA processing and translation. Concomitantly, LEA polypeptides accumulated, displaying an 18-d delayed accumulation compared with transcripts. During maturation, gulose and stachyose levels increased and correlated with longevity. A seed-specific network identified known and putative transcriptional regulators of DT, including ABSCISIC ACID-INSENSITIVE3 (MtABI3), MtABI4, MtABI5, and APETALA2/ ETHYLENE RESPONSE ELEMENT BINDING PROTEIN (AtAP2/EREBP) transcription factor as major hubs. These transcriptional activators were highly connected to LEA genes. Longevity genes were highly connected to two MtAP2/EREBP and two basic leucine zipper transcription factors. A heat shock factor was found at the transition of DT and longevity modules, connecting to both gene sets. Gain- and loss-of-function approaches of MtABI3 confirmed 80% of its predicted targets, thereby experimentally validating the network. This study captures the coordinated regulation of seed maturation and identifies distinct regulatory networks underlying the preparation for the dry and quiescent states.

  16. Predicting Changes in Macrophyte Community Structure from Functional Traits in a Freshwater Lake: A Test of Maximum Entropy Model

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Hui; Zhong, Jiayou; Yuan, Guixiang; Guo, Chunjing; Lou, Qian; Zhang, Wei; Xu, Jun; Ni, Leyi; Xie, Ping; Cao, Te

    2015-01-01

    Trait-based approaches have been widely applied to investigate how community dynamics respond to environmental gradients. In this study, we applied a series of maximum entropy (maxent) models incorporating functional traits to unravel the processes governing macrophyte community structure along water depth gradient in a freshwater lake. We sampled 42 plots and 1513 individual plants, and measured 16 functional traits and abundance of 17 macrophyte species. Study results showed that maxent model can be highly robust (99.8%) in predicting the species relative abundance of macrophytes with observed community-weighted mean (CWM) traits as the constraints, while relative low (about 30%) with CWM traits fitted from water depth gradient as the constraints. The measured traits showed notably distinct importance in predicting species abundances, with lowest for perennial growth form and highest for leaf dry mass content. For tuber and leaf nitrogen content, there were significant shifts in their effects on species relative abundance from positive in shallow water to negative in deep water. This result suggests that macrophyte species with tuber organ and greater leaf nitrogen content would become more abundant in shallow water, but would become less abundant in deep water. Our study highlights how functional traits distributed across gradients provide a robust path towards predictive community ecology. PMID:26167856

  17. Functional traits reveal the expansion and packing of ecological niche space underlying an elevational diversity gradient in passerine birds

    PubMed Central

    Pigot, Alex L.; Trisos, Christopher H.; Tobias, Joseph A.

    2016-01-01

    Variation in species richness across environmental gradients may be associated with an expanded volume or increased packing of ecological niche space. However, the relative importance of these alternative scenarios remains unknown, largely because standardized information on functional traits and their ecological relevance is lacking for major diversity gradients. Here, we combine data on morphological and ecological traits for 523 species of passerine birds distributed across an Andes-to-Amazon elevation gradient. We show that morphological traits capture substantial variation in species dietary (75%) and foraging niches (60%) when multiple independent trait dimensions are considered. Having established these relationships, we show that the 14-fold increase in species richness towards the lowlands is associated with both an increased volume and density of functional trait space. However, we find that increases in volume contribute little to changes in richness, with most (78%) lowland species occurring within the range of trait space occupied at high elevations. Taken together, our results suggest that high species richness is mainly associated with a denser occupation of functional trait space, implying an increased specialization or overlap of ecological niches, and supporting the view that niche packing is the dominant trend underlying gradients of increasing biodiversity towards the lowland tropics. PMID:26740616

  18. Functional traits reveal the expansion and packing of ecological niche space underlying an elevational diversity gradient in passerine birds.

    PubMed

    Pigot, Alex L; Trisos, Christopher H; Tobias, Joseph A

    2016-01-13

    Variation in species richness across environmental gradients may be associated with an expanded volume or increased packing of ecological niche space. However, the relative importance of these alternative scenarios remains unknown, largely because standardized information on functional traits and their ecological relevance is lacking for major diversity gradients. Here, we combine data on morphological and ecological traits for 523 species of passerine birds distributed across an Andes-to-Amazon elevation gradient. We show that morphological traits capture substantial variation in species dietary (75%) and foraging niches (60%) when multiple independent trait dimensions are considered. Having established these relationships, we show that the 14-fold increase in species richness towards the lowlands is associated with both an increased volume and density of functional trait space. However, we find that increases in volume contribute little to changes in richness, with most (78%) lowland species occurring within the range of trait space occupied at high elevations. Taken together, our results suggest that high species richness is mainly associated with a denser occupation of functional trait space, implying an increased specialization or overlap of ecological niches, and supporting the view that niche packing is the dominant trend underlying gradients of increasing biodiversity towards the lowland tropics. © 2016 The Author(s).

  19. Longevity of aeolian megaripples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yizhaq, H.; Katra, I.

    2015-07-01

    Megaripples are distinguished from regular ripples by their larger dimensions and bimodal grain-size distributions. The interplay between wind, grain size and ripple morphology (height and wavelength) controls their development. Two main mechanisms limit megaripple height. The first, megaripple flattening due to winds that are above the fluid threshold of the coarse grains, destroys the armoring layer of the megaripple. The second is megaripple erosion by the impacts of fast-moving, fine saltating grains that propel the coarse grains constituting the armoring layer. For any given wind regime and grain size distribution, the potential megaripple dimensions are limited by these two mechanisms. Here we study the first mechanism and estimate the duration of strong winds (sustained above the fluid threshold) needed to flatten megaripples. Strong gusts of wind, in contrast, cannot destroy the megaripples but can cause ripple migration. Based on data from previous works on megaripples, we find a scaling law between the ripple morphology and the coarse mode of grains at the crest. Using this scaling relation allows us to calculate the wind velocity and duration needed for megaripple flattening. In general, the coarser the particles at the megaripple crest, the stronger the wind needed to flatten the megaripples. Moreover, the greater the strength of the wind required to flatten the megaripples, the lower the recurrence probability. Taken together, these findings increase the longevity of megaripples. We apply the results for a megaripple field in the southern Arava valley (Israel).

  20. Thermosensation and longevity

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Rui; Liu, Jianfeng; Xu, X.Z. Shawn

    2015-01-01

    Temperature has profound effects on behavior and aging in both poikilotherms and homeotherms. To thrive under the ever fluctuating environmental temperatures, animals have evolved sophisticated mechanisms to sense and adapt to temperature changes. Animals sense temperature through various molecular thermosensors, such as thermosensitive TRP channels expressed in neurons, keratinocytes, and intestine. These evolutionarily conserved thermosensitive TRP channels feature distinct activation thresholds, thereby covering a wide spectrum of ambient temperature. Temperature changes trigger complex thermosensory behaviors. Due to the simplicity of the nervous system in model organisms such as C. elegans and Drosophila, the mechanisms of thermosensory behaviors in these species have been extensively studied at the circuit and molecular levels. While much is known about temperature regulation of behavior, it remains largely unclear how temperature affects aging. Recent studies in C. elegans demonstrate that temperature modulation of longevity is not simply a passive thermodynamic phenomenon as suggested by the rate-of-living theory, but rather a process that is actively regulated by genes, including those encoding thermosensitive TRP channels. In this review, we discuss our current understanding of thermosensation and its role in aging. PMID:26101089

  1. Contribution of above- and below-ground plant traits to the structure and function of grassland soil microbial communities

    PubMed Central

    Legay, N.; Baxendale, C.; Grigulis, K.; Krainer, U.; Kastl, E.; Schloter, M.; Bardgett, R. D.; Arnoldi, C.; Bahn, M.; Dumont, M.; Poly, F.; Pommier, T.; Clément, J. C.; Lavorel, S.

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Abiotic properties of soil are known to be major drivers of the microbial community within it. Our understanding of how soil microbial properties are related to the functional structure and diversity of plant communities, however, is limited and largely restricted to above-ground plant traits, with the role of below-ground traits being poorly understood. This study investigated the relative contributions of soil abiotic properties and plant traits, both above-ground and below-ground, to variations in microbial processes involved in grassland nitrogen turnover. Methods In mountain grasslands distributed across three European sites, a correlative approach was used to examine the role of a large range of plant functional traits and soil abiotic factors on microbial variables, including gene abundance of nitrifiers and denitrifiers and their potential activities. Key Results Direct effects of soil abiotic parameters were found to have the most significant influence on the microbial groups investigated. Indirect pathways via plant functional traits contributed substantially to explaining the relative abundance of fungi and bacteria and gene abundances of the investigated microbial communities, while they explained little of the variance in microbial activities. Gene abundances of nitrifiers and denitrifiers were most strongly related to below-ground plant traits, suggesting that they were the most relevant traits for explaining variation in community structure and abundances of soil microbes involved in nitrification and denitrification. Conclusions The results suggest that consideration of plant traits, and especially below-ground traits, increases our ability to describe variation in the abundances and the functional characteristics of microbial communities in grassland soils. PMID:25122656

  2. Contribution of above- and below-ground plant traits to the structure and function of grassland soil microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Legay, N; Baxendale, C; Grigulis, K; Krainer, U; Kastl, E; Schloter, M; Bardgett, R D; Arnoldi, C; Bahn, M; Dumont, M; Poly, F; Pommier, T; Clément, J C; Lavorel, S

    2014-10-01

    Abiotic properties of soil are known to be major drivers of the microbial community within it. Our understanding of how soil microbial properties are related to the functional structure and diversity of plant communities, however, is limited and largely restricted to above-ground plant traits, with the role of below-ground traits being poorly understood. This study investigated the relative contributions of soil abiotic properties and plant traits, both above-ground and below-ground, to variations in microbial processes involved in grassland nitrogen turnover. In mountain grasslands distributed across three European sites, a correlative approach was used to examine the role of a large range of plant functional traits and soil abiotic factors on microbial variables, including gene abundance of nitrifiers and denitrifiers and their potential activities. Direct effects of soil abiotic parameters were found to have the most significant influence on the microbial groups investigated. Indirect pathways via plant functional traits contributed substantially to explaining the relative abundance of fungi and bacteria and gene abundances of the investigated microbial communities, while they explained little of the variance in microbial activities. Gene abundances of nitrifiers and denitrifiers were most strongly related to below-ground plant traits, suggesting that they were the most relevant traits for explaining variation in community structure and abundances of soil microbes involved in nitrification and denitrification. The results suggest that consideration of plant traits, and especially below-ground traits, increases our ability to describe variation in the abundances and the functional characteristics of microbial communities in grassland soils. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Differences in functional traits between invasive and native Amaranthus species under different forms of N deposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Congyan; Zhou, Jiawei; Liu, Jun; Jiang, Kun

    2017-08-01

    Differences in functional traits between invasive and native plant species are believed to determine the invasion success of the former. Increasing amounts of anthropogenic nitrogen (N) are continually deposited into natural ecosystems, which may change the relative occurrence of the different N deposition forms (such as NH4-N, NO3-N, and CO(NH2)2-N) naturally deposited. Under high N deposition scenarios, some invasive species may grow faster, gaining advantage over native species. In a greenhouse experiment, we grew invasive and native Amaranthus species from seed both alone and in competition under simulated N enriched environments with different forms of N over 3 months. Then, we measured different leaf traits (i.e., plant height, leaf length, leaf width, leaf shape index, specific leaf area (SLA), and leaf chlorophyll and N concentrations). Results showed that the competition intensity between A. retroflexus and A. tricolor decreased under N deposition. This may be due to the large functional divergence between A. retroflexus and A. tricolor under simulated N deposition. Phenotypic plasticity of SLA and leaf chlorophyll concentration of A. retroflexus were significantly lower than in A. tricolor. The lower range of phenotypic plasticity of SLA and leaf chlorophyll concentration of A. retroflexus may indicate a fitness cost for plastic functional traits under adverse environments. The restricted phenotypic plasticity of SLA and leaf chlorophyll concentration of A. retroflexus may also stabilize leaf construction costs and the growth rate. Meanwhile, the two Amaranthus species possessed greater plasticity in leaf N concentration under NO3-N fertilization, which enhanced their competitiveness.

  4. Differences in functional traits between invasive and native Amaranthus species under different forms of N deposition.

    PubMed

    Wang, Congyan; Zhou, Jiawei; Liu, Jun; Jiang, Kun

    2017-08-01

    Differences in functional traits between invasive and native plant species are believed to determine the invasion success of the former. Increasing amounts of anthropogenic nitrogen (N) are continually deposited into natural ecosystems, which may change the relative occurrence of the different N deposition forms (such as NH4-N, NO3-N, and CO(NH2)2-N) naturally deposited. Under high N deposition scenarios, some invasive species may grow faster, gaining advantage over native species. In a greenhouse experiment, we grew invasive and native Amaranthus species from seed both alone and in competition under simulated N enriched environments with different forms of N over 3 months. Then, we measured different leaf traits (i.e., plant height, leaf length, leaf width, leaf shape index, specific leaf area (SLA), and leaf chlorophyll and N concentrations). Results showed that the competition intensity between A. retroflexus and A. tricolor decreased under N deposition. This may be due to the large functional divergence between A. retroflexus and A. tricolor under simulated N deposition. Phenotypic plasticity of SLA and leaf chlorophyll concentration of A. retroflexus were significantly lower than in A. tricolor. The lower range of phenotypic plasticity of SLA and leaf chlorophyll concentration of A. retroflexus may indicate a fitness cost for plastic functional traits under adverse environments. The restricted phenotypic plasticity of SLA and leaf chlorophyll concentration of A. retroflexus may also stabilize leaf construction costs and the growth rate. Meanwhile, the two Amaranthus species possessed greater plasticity in leaf N concentration under NO3-N fertilization, which enhanced their competitiveness.

  5. Altered Autonomic Functions and Distressed Personality Traits in Male Adolescents with Internet Gaming Addiction.

    PubMed

    Kim, Nahyun; Hughes, Tonda L; Park, Chang G; Quinn, Laurie; Kong, In Deok

    2016-11-01

    Internet gaming addiction (IGA) has been associated with many negative health outcomes, especially for youth; however, few studies have examined the physiological parameters and personality features related to this addiction. This study aimed to identify differences in autonomic functions and distressed (type D) personality traits among Korean adolescent males with and without IGA. In a cross-sectional study, 68 adolescent males were recruited in a Korean city using convenience and snowball sampling methods. For each subject, heart rate variability (HRV) parameters were measured as autonomic functions and questionnaires were used to identify IGA and type D personality traits. Data were analyzed using descriptive analyses, t tests, χ(2) tests, and Pearson's correlation. Most HRV parameters significantly differed between the IGA and non-IGA groups (all p < 0.05). Type D personality total and subscale scores, including those for negative affectivity (NA) and social inhibition, were significantly higher in the IGA group (all p < 0.001). Of the 68 subjects, 46 were classified as having type D personality, with nearly twice as many in the IGA group as in the non-IGA group (p = 0.002). Type D personality total scores negatively correlated with the logarithmic value of total power and low frequency among the HRV parameters (both p < 0.05). Results showed that excessive Internet gaming was related to alterations in autonomic functions and distressed personality traits in male adolescents. These findings provide further understanding of the IGA phenomenon and highlight the need for interventions that address male adolescents with IGA.

  6. Exome sequencing of three cases of familial exceptional longevity

    PubMed Central

    Cash, Timothy P; Pita, Guillermo; Domínguez, Orlando; Alonso, Maria R; Moreno, Leticia T; Borrás, Consuelo; Rodríguez-Mañas, Leocadio; Santiago, Catalina; Garatachea, Nuria; Lucia, Alejandro; Avellana, Juan A; Viña, Jose; González-Neira, Anna; Serrano, Manuel

    2014-01-01

    Exceptional longevity (EL) is a rare phenotype that can cluster in families, and co-segregation of genetic variation in these families may point to candidate genes that could contribute to extended lifespan. In this study, for the first time, we have sequenced a total of seven exomes from exceptionally long-lived siblings (probands ≥ 103 years and at least one sibling ≥ 97 years) that come from three separate families. We have focused on rare functional variants (RFVs) which have ≤ 1% minor allele frequency according to databases and that are likely to alter gene product function. Based on this, we have identified one candidate longevity gene carrying RFVs in all three families, APOB. Interestingly, APOB is a component of lipoprotein particles together with APOE, and variants in the genes encoding these two proteins have been previously associated with human longevity. Analysis of nonfamilial EL cases showed a trend, without reaching statistical significance, toward enrichment of APOB RFVs. We have also identified candidate longevity genes shared between two families (5–13) or within individual families (66–156 genes). Some of these genes have been previously linked to longevity in model organisms, such as PPARGC1A,NRG1,RAD52, RAD51, NCOR1, and ADCY5 genes. This work provides an initial catalog of genes that could contribute to exceptional familial longevity. PMID:25116423

  7. Exome sequencing of three cases of familial exceptional longevity.

    PubMed

    Cash, Timothy P; Pita, Guillermo; Domínguez, Orlando; Alonso, Maria R; Moreno, Leticia T; Borrás, Consuelo; Rodríguez-Mañas, Leocadio; Santiago, Catalina; Garatachea, Nuria; Lucia, Alejandro; Avellana, Juan A; Viña, Jose; González-Neira, Anna; Serrano, Manuel

    2014-12-01

    Exceptional longevity (EL) is a rare phenotype that can cluster in families, and co-segregation of genetic variation in these families may point to candidate genes that could contribute to extended lifespan. In this study, for the first time, we have sequenced a total of seven exomes from exceptionally long-lived siblings (probands ≥ 103 years and at least one sibling ≥ 97 years) that come from three separate families. We have focused on rare functional variants (RFVs) which have ≤ 1% minor allele frequency according to databases and that are likely to alter gene product function. Based on this, we have identified one candidate longevity gene carrying RFVs in all three families, APOB. Interestingly, APOB is a component of lipoprotein particles together with APOE, and variants in the genes encoding these two proteins have been previously associated with human longevity. Analysis of nonfamilial EL cases showed a trend, without reaching statistical significance, toward enrichment of APOB RFVs. We have also identified candidate longevity genes shared between two families (5-13) or within individual families (66-156 genes). Some of these genes have been previously linked to longevity in model organisms, such as PPARGC1A, NRG1, RAD52, RAD51, NCOR1, and ADCY5 genes. This work provides an initial catalog of genes that could contribute to exceptional familial longevity. © 2014 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. The functional independence of trait self-knowledge: commentary on Sakaki (2007).

    PubMed

    Klein, Stanley B; Robertson, Theresa E; Gangi, Cynthia E; Loftus, Judith

    2008-01-01

    In a recent paper, Sakaki (2007) proposed that Klein and Loftus's conclusion that semantic and episodic trait self-knowledge are functionally independent (e.g., Klein, Babey, & Sherman, 1997; Klein & Loftus, 1993a; Klein, Loftus, Trafton, & Fuhrman, 1992b) was based on questionable assumptions and not supported by the available evidence. In this paper we show that Sakaki (2007) has misinterpreted our position on the independence of self-knowledge, omitted mention of large portions of the relevant research at odds with her contention, and conducted her studies with procedures we explicitly warned against due to interp