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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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. A Selfish Genetic Element Influencing Longevity Correlates with Reactive Behavioural Traits in Female House Mice (Mus domesticus)

    PubMed Central

    Auclair, Yannick; König, Barbara; Lindholm, Anna K.

    2013-01-01

    According to theory in life-history and animal personality, individuals with high fitness expectations should be risk-averse, while individuals with low fitness expectations should be more bold. In female house mice, a selfish genetic element, the t haplotype, is associated with increased longevity under natural conditions, representing an appropriate case study to investigate this recent theory empirically. Following theory, females heterozygous for the t haplotype (+/t) are hypothesised to express more reactive personality traits and be more shy, less explorative and less active compared to the shorter-lived homozygous wildtype females (+/+). As males of different haplotype do not differ in survival, no similar pattern is expected. We tested these predictions by quantifying boldness, exploration, activity, and energetic intake in both +/t and +/+ mice. +/t females, unlike +/+ ones, expressed some reactive-like personality traits: +/t females were less active, less prone to form an exploratory routine and tended to ingest less food. Taken together these results suggest that differences in animal personality may contribute to the survival advantage observed in +/t females but fail to provide full empirical support for recent theory. PMID:23826211

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. A functional trait perspective on plant invasion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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-...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  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. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

    2016-04-22

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Translational genomics for improving sow reproductive longevity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Zhong, Xiaoxiao; Xu, Guangjian; Xu, Henglong

    2017-03-27

    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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. 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

  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. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

  19. 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.

  20. 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).

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. [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.

  3. Nectarine promotes longevity in Drosophila melanogaster

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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. .

  18. 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.

  19. 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 area ratio Al : As). Wemore » 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  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. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Ecoregional, catchment, and reach-scale environmental factors shape functional-trait structure of stream fish assemblages

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  20. 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

  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. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Quantitative trait locus mapping and functional genomics of an organophosphate resistance trait in the western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. [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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Genotypic variation in traits linked to climate and aboveground productivity in a widespread C4 grass: Evidence for a functional trait syndrome

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  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. 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.

  5. Development of functional trait biomarkers for trace metal exposure in freshwater clams (Musculium spp.).

    PubMed

    Schoonover, Cody M; Wieker, Jessica; Pope, Rachelle; Brown, Chelsea; Cooper, Emily; DeWitt, Jariel; Gunselman, Samuel; Jensen, Cory; Stevens, Whitney; Yri, Jenae; Nezat, Carmen; Joyner-Matos, Joanna

    2016-10-01

    Exposure to trace metals typically causes oxidative stress; these consequences are better-characterized in estuarine and marine species than in freshwater species. How cellular-level responses to metal pollution influence whole-organism and population-level traits is poorly understood. We tested whether exposure to single metals (zinc and cadmium) and to metal mixtures (water in equilibrium with sediment from a highly polluted lake) alters two ecologically-relevant traits in freshwater clams, locomotion and reproduction. Fingernail clams (Musculium spp.) from unimpacted habitats were exposed to single metals and the metal mixture for up to 49days. The single metal doses (≤5mg/L Zn and ≤20μg/L Cd) were not toxicologically meaningful as clam survival, burial, and climbing activity did not differ across treatments. Water in equilibrium with the lake sediment contained cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc. Clams exposed to this metal mixture had decreased climbing activity but no change in burial activity. Metal-exposed clams had lower fecundity (number of shelled juveniles extruded by adult clams) and patterns in metal accumulation corresponded with lake sediment dose and clam activity. In contrast to the functional traits, stress protein expression and whole-clam glycogen content did not vary across treatment groups. These results indicate that fingernail clams of the genus Musculium are appropriate for development as sentinel species for metal pollution and can serve as a model for determining how metal pollution alters metabolic allocation patterns in freshwater organisms.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  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. 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

  12. 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

  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. Functional traits determine formation of mutualism and predation interactions in seed-rodent dispersal system of a subtropical forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Gang; Zhang, Zhibin

    2014-02-01

    Network structure in plant-animal systems has been widely investigated but the roles of functional traits of plants and animals in formation of mutualism and predation interactions and community structure are still not fully understood. In this study, we quantitatively assessed interaction strength of mutualism and predation between 5 tree species and 7 rodent species by using semi-natural enclosures in a subtropical forest in southwest China. Seeds with high handling-time and nutrition traits (for both rat and mouse species) or high tannin trait (for mouse species) show high mutualism but low predation with rodents; while seeds with low handling-time and low nutrition traits show high predation but low mutualism with rodents. Large-sized rat species are more linked to seeds with high handling-time and high nutrition traits, while small-sized mouse species are more connected with seeds with low handling-time, low nutrition value and high tannin traits. Anti-predation seed traits tend to increase chance of mutualism instead of reducing predation by rodents, suggesting formation of mutualism may be connected with that of predation. Our study demonstrates that seed and animal traits play significant roles in the formation of mutualism and predation and network structure of the seed-rodent dispersal system.

  15. Taxonomic and functional trait diversity of wild bees in different urban settings

    PubMed Central

    Buddle, Christopher M.; Fournier, Valérie

    2017-01-01

    Urbanization is one of the major anthropogenic processes contributing to local habitat loss and extirpation of numerous species, including wild bees, the most widespread pollinators. Little is known about the mechanisms through which urbanization impacts wild bee communities, or the types of urban green spaces that best promote their conservation in cities. The main objective of this study was to describe and compare wild bee community diversity, structure, and dynamics in two Canadian cities, Montreal and Quebec City. A second objective was to compare functional trait diversity among three habitat types (cemeteries, community gardens and urban parks) within each city. Bees were collected using pan traps and netting on the same 46 sites, multiple times, over the active season in 2012 and 2013. A total of 32,237 specimens were identified, representing 200 species and 6 families, including two new continental records, Hylaeus communis Nylander (1852) and Anthidium florentinum (Fabricius, 1775). Despite high community evenness, we found significant abundance of diverse species, including exotic ones. Spatio-temporal analysis showed higher stability in the most urbanized city (Montreal) but low nestedness of species assemblages among the three urban habitats in both cities. Our study demonstrates that cities are home to diverse communities of wild bees, but in turn affect bee community structure and dynamics. We also found that community gardens harbour high levels of functional trait diversity. Urban agriculture therefore contributes substantially to the provision of functionally diverse bee communities and possibly to urban pollination services. PMID:28286711

  16. Silver Nanoparticles Affect Functional Bioenergetic Traits in the Invasive Red Sea Mussel Brachidontes pharaonis

    PubMed Central

    Saggese, Ilenia; Sarà, Gianluca

    2016-01-01

    We investigated the functional trait responses to 5 nm metallic silver nanoparticle (AgNPs) exposure in the Lessepsian-entry bivalve B. pharaonis. Respiration rate (oxygen consumption), heartbeat rate, and absorption efficiency were evaluated across an 8-day exposure period in mesocosmal conditions. Basal reference values from not-exposed specimens were statistically compared with those obtained from animals treated with three sublethal nanoparticle concentrations (2 μg L−1, 20 μg L−1, and 40 μg L−1). Our data showed statistically significant effects on the average respiration rate of B. pharaonis. Moreover, complex nonlinear dynamics were observed as a function of the concentration level and time. Heartbeat rates largely increased with no acclimation in animals exposed to the two highest levels with similar temporal dynamics. Eventually, a decreasing trend for absorption efficiency might indicate energetic constraints. In general, these data support the possible impact of engineered nanomaterials in marine environments and support the relevance of functional trait assessment in present and future ecotoxicological studies. PMID:27800488

  17. Functional group-specific traits drive phytoplankton dynamics in the oligotrophic ocean.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Harriet; Rouco, Mónica; Haley, Sheean T; Wilson, Samuel T; Karl, David M; Dyhrman, Sonya T

    2015-11-03

    A diverse microbial assemblage in the ocean is responsible for nearly half of global primary production. It has been hypothesized and experimentally demonstrated that nutrient loading can stimulate blooms of large eukaryotic phytoplankton in oligotrophic systems. Although central to balancing biogeochemical models, knowledge of the metabolic traits that govern the dynamics of these bloom-forming phytoplankton is limited. We used eukaryotic metatranscriptomic techniques to identify the metabolic basis of functional group-specific traits that may drive the shift between net heterotrophy and autotrophy in the oligotrophic ocean. Replicated blooms were simulated by deep seawater (DSW) addition to mimic nutrient loading in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, and the transcriptional responses of phytoplankton functional groups were assayed. Responses of the diatom, haptophyte, and dinoflagellate functional groups in simulated blooms were unique, with diatoms and haptophytes significantly (95% confidence) shifting their quantitative metabolic fingerprint from the in situ condition, whereas dinoflagellates showed little response. Significantly differentially abundant genes identified the importance of colimitation by nutrients, metals, and vitamins in eukaryotic phytoplankton metabolism and bloom formation in this system. The variable transcript allocation ratio, used to quantify transcript reallocation following DSW amendment, differed for diatoms and haptophytes, reflecting the long-standing paradigm of phytoplankton r- and K-type growth strategies. Although the underlying metabolic potential of the large eukaryotic phytoplankton was consistently present, the lack of a bloom during the study period suggests a crucial dependence on physical and biogeochemical forcing, which are susceptible to alteration with changing climate.

  18. Beyond body mass: how prey traits improve predictions of functional response parameters.

    PubMed

    Kalinoski, Ryan M; DeLong, John P

    2016-02-01

    Understanding the factors that determine the strength of predator-prey interactions is essential to understanding community structure and stability. Variation in the strength of predator-prey interactions often can be attributed to predator mass and prey mass, or abiotic factors like temperature. However, even when accounting for these factors, there remains a considerable amount of unexplained variation that may be attributed to other traits. We compiled functional response data from the literature to investigate how predator mass, prey mass, prey type (taxonomic identity), temperature, and prey defenses (hard vs soft integument) contributed to the variation found in the predator-prey interactions between freshwater cyclopoid copepods and their prey. Surprisingly, our results indicate that prey identity (taxonomic group) and defenses (hard vs soft integument) are more important for generating variation in interaction strengths than body mass and temperature. This suggests that allometric functions can only take us so far when attempting to better understand variation in individual predator prey interactions, and that we must evaluate how other traits influence interaction strengths. Identifying additional factors such as prey defenses may enable us to better predict potential changes in the structure and function of planktonic and other food webs by better accounting for the variation in the interactions between generalists and their many prey types.

  19. Taxonomic and functional trait diversity of wild bees in different urban settings.

    PubMed

    Normandin, Étienne; Vereecken, Nicolas J; Buddle, Christopher M; Fournier, Valérie

    2017-01-01

    Urbanization is one of the major anthropogenic processes contributing to local habitat loss and extirpation of numerous species, including wild bees, the most widespread pollinators. Little is known about the mechanisms through which urbanization impacts wild bee communities, or the types of urban green spaces that best promote their conservation in cities. The main objective of this study was to describe and compare wild bee community diversity, structure, and dynamics in two Canadian cities, Montreal and Quebec City. A second objective was to compare functional trait diversity among three habitat types (cemeteries, community gardens and urban parks) within each city. Bees were collected using pan traps and netting on the same 46 sites, multiple times, over the active season in 2012 and 2013. A total of 32,237 specimens were identified, representing 200 species and 6 families, including two new continental records, Hylaeus communis Nylander (1852) and Anthidium florentinum (Fabricius, 1775). Despite high community evenness, we found significant abundance of diverse species, including exotic ones. Spatio-temporal analysis showed higher stability in the most urbanized city (Montreal) but low nestedness of species assemblages among the three urban habitats in both cities. Our study demonstrates that cities are home to diverse communities of wild bees, but in turn affect bee community structure and dynamics. We also found that community gardens harbour high levels of functional trait diversity. Urban agriculture therefore contributes substantially to the provision of functionally diverse bee communities and possibly to urban pollination services.

  20. Functional group-specific traits drive phytoplankton dynamics in the oligotrophic ocean

    PubMed Central

    Alexander, Harriet; Rouco, Mónica; Haley, Sheean T.; Wilson, Samuel T.; Karl, David M.; Dyhrman, Sonya T.

    2015-01-01

    A diverse microbial assemblage in the ocean is responsible for nearly half of global primary production. It has been hypothesized and experimentally demonstrated that nutrient loading can stimulate blooms of large eukaryotic phytoplankton in oligotrophic systems. Although central to balancing biogeochemical models, knowledge of the metabolic traits that govern the dynamics of these bloom-forming phytoplankton is limited. We used eukaryotic metatranscriptomic techniques to identify the metabolic basis of functional group-specific traits that may drive the shift between net heterotrophy and autotrophy in the oligotrophic ocean. Replicated blooms were simulated by deep seawater (DSW) addition to mimic nutrient loading in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, and the transcriptional responses of phytoplankton functional groups were assayed. Responses of the diatom, haptophyte, and dinoflagellate functional groups in simulated blooms were unique, with diatoms and haptophytes significantly (95% confidence) shifting their quantitative metabolic fingerprint from the in situ condition, whereas dinoflagellates showed little response. Significantly differentially abundant genes identified the importance of colimitation by nutrients, metals, and vitamins in eukaryotic phytoplankton metabolism and bloom formation in this system. The variable transcript allocation ratio, used to quantify transcript reallocation following DSW amendment, differed for diatoms and haptophytes, reflecting the long-standing paradigm of phytoplankton r- and K-type growth strategies. Although the underlying metabolic potential of the large eukaryotic phytoplankton was consistently present, the lack of a bloom during the study period suggests a crucial dependence on physical and biogeochemical forcing, which are susceptible to alteration with changing climate. PMID:26460011

  1. Pupil-size asymmetry is a physiologic trait related to gender, attentional function, and personality.

    PubMed

    Poynter, William D

    2016-12-14

    A small difference in the size of the two pupils is common in healthy individuals, a condition termed benign or physiologic anisocoria (BA). Past research indicates that BA is probably caused by asymmetry in sympathetic nervous system (SNS) function [e.g., Rosenberg (2008). Physiologic anisocoria: A manifestation of a physiologic sympathetic asymmetry. Neuro-Ophthalmology, 32, 147-149]. This study is the first to show that BA varies with psychological factors linked to brain asymmetry and autonomic arousal, including gender, attention, and personality. Males exhibited a more directional BA than females, consistent with greater hemispheric lateralization in males. BA also varied with a self-report measure of attentional function, consistent with evidence of hemispheric asymmetry in visuospatial attention networks. Finally, BA varied with personality traits linked to autonomic arousal. Individuals exhibiting higher Meanness and Boldness, and lower Empathy scores tended to show more directional BA. This link between personality traits and BA may be related to brain asymmetries in autonomic arousal and emotion-related processing. If future studies employing direct measures of lateralized brain activity confirm the link between BA and SNS asymmetries, this new metric may prove useful in discovering new relationships between brain organization and psychological function, and how these relationships vary across individuals.

  2. 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

  3. Drivers of the composition and diversity of carabid functional traits in UK coniferous plantations.

    PubMed

    Spake, Rebecca; Barsoum, Nadia; Newton, Adrian C; Doncaster, C Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Functional diversity (FD) is increasingly used as a metric to evaluate the impact of forest management strategies on ecosystem functioning. Management interventions that aim to maximise FD require knowledge of multiple environmental drivers of FD, which have not been studied to date in temperate coniferous production forests. We quantified the relative importance of abiotic (forest management) and biotic (ground vegetation community) drivers of carabid FD and trait distribution in 44 coniferous plantation forest stands across the UK. Carabid FD declined with canopy cover and carabid body length correlated negatively with the percentage of open semi-natural area surrounding a plot. We conclude that forest management could enhance carabid FD through initiatives that emulate natural disturbance regimes through gap creation. We found that neither functional nor taxonomic metrics of vegetation diversity correlated with carabid FD, suggesting that restoration of plant communities, a major goal of forest restoration efforts, will not necessarily enhance carabid FD in coniferous plantations.

  4. A simple regression-based method to map quantitative trait loci underlying function-valued phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Kwak, Il-Youp; Moore, Candace R; Spalding, Edgar P; Broman, Karl W

    2014-08-01

    Most statistical methods for quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping focus on a single phenotype. However, multiple phenotypes are commonly measured, and recent technological advances have greatly simplified the automated acquisition of numerous phenotypes, including function-valued phenotypes, such as growth measured over time. While methods exist for QTL mapping with function-valued phenotypes, they are generally computationally intensive and focus on single-QTL models. We propose two simple, fast methods that maintain high power and precision and are amenable to extensions with multiple-QTL models using a penalized likelihood approach. After identifying multiple QTL by these approaches, we can view the function-valued QTL effects to provide a deeper understanding of the underlying processes. Our methods have been implemented as a package for R, funqtl.

  5. Drivers of the composition and diversity of carabid functional traits in UK coniferous plantations

    PubMed Central

    Spake, Rebecca; Barsoum, Nadia; Newton, Adrian C.; Doncaster, C. Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Functional diversity (FD) is increasingly used as a metric to evaluate the impact of forest management strategies on ecosystem functioning. Management interventions that aim to maximise FD require knowledge of multiple environmental drivers of FD, which have not been studied to date in temperate coniferous production forests. We quantified the relative importance of abiotic (forest management) and biotic (ground vegetation community) drivers of carabid FD and trait distribution in 44 coniferous plantation forest stands across the UK. Carabid FD declined with canopy cover and carabid body length correlated negatively with the percentage of open semi-natural area surrounding a plot. We conclude that forest management could enhance carabid FD through initiatives that emulate natural disturbance regimes through gap creation. We found that neither functional nor taxonomic metrics of vegetation diversity correlated with carabid FD, suggesting that restoration of plant communities, a major goal of forest restoration efforts, will not necessarily enhance carabid FD in coniferous plantations. PMID:26865748

  6. Variation in Plant Traits Explains Global Biogeographic Variation in the Abundance of Major Forest Functional Types

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Y.

    2015-12-01

    Contrasting leaf types (needle vs. broadleaf) with different lifespans (annual vs. perennial) represent different adaptive strategies of plants under different environmental conditions. Previous studies explained adaptive advantages of different strategies using empirical models but cannot adequately explain the co-dominance of multiple plant functional types (PFTs) as observed in many parts of the world. Here we used a process-based model to explore whether observed inter- and intra-PFT variation in key plant traits can explain global biogeographic variation in co-dominance of major forest functional types. Using a parameter screening method, we identified the four most important plant traits for simulating annual net primary production (NPP) using the Australian Community Atmosphere-Biosphere-Land Exchange model (CABLE). Using ensemble CABLE simulations, we estimated the fraction of global land cover attributed to each PFT by comparing the simulated NPP for all three PFTs at each land point, globally. Our results were consistent with land area cover fractions of major forest types estimated from remote sensing data products; i.e., evergreen needle-leaf forests dominate in boreal regions, evergreen broadleaf forests dominate in tropical regions, and deciduous broadleaf forests are distributed widely across a broad range of environmental conditions. More importantly our approach successfully explained a paradox that has puzzled ecologists for over a century: why evergreen leaf types dominate in both boreal and tropical regions. We conclude that variation in and co-variation between key plant traits can explain significant fractions of global biogeographic variation of three major forest types, and should be taken into account when simulating global vegetation dynamics.

  7. Root Structure and Functioning for Efficient Acquisition of Phosphorus: Matching Morphological and Physiological Traits

    PubMed Central

    LAMBERS, HANS; SHANE, MICHAEL W.; CRAMER, MICHAEL D.; PEARSE, STUART J.; VENEKLAAS, ERIK J.

    2006-01-01

    • Background Global phosphorus (P) reserves are being depleted, with half-depletion predicted to occur between 2040 and 2060. Most of the P applied in fertilizers may be sorbed by soil, and not be available for plants lacking specific adaptations. On the severely P-impoverished soils of south-western Australia and the Cape region in South Africa, non-mycorrhizal species exhibit highly effective adaptations to acquire P. A wide range of these non-mycorrhizal species, belonging to two monocotyledonous and eight dicotyledonous families, produce root clusters. Non-mycorrhizal species with root clusters appear to be particularly effective at accessing P when its availability is extremely low. • Scope There is a need to develop crops that are highly effective at acquiring inorganic P (Pi) from P-sorbing soils. Traits such as those found in non-mycorrhizal root-cluster-bearing species in Australia, South Africa and other P-impoverished environments are highly desirable for future crops. Root clusters combine a specialized structure with a specialized metabolism. Native species with such traits could be domesticated or crossed with existing crop species. An alternative approach would be to develop future crops with root clusters based on knowledge of the genes involved in development and functioning of root clusters. • Conclusions Root clusters offer enormous potential for future research of both a fundamental and a strategic nature. New discoveries of the development and functioning of root clusters in both monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous families are essential to produce new crops with superior P-acquisition traits. PMID:16769731

  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. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Intraspecific growth and functional leaf trait responses to natural soil resource gradients for conifer species with contrasting leaf habit.

    PubMed

    Walters, Michael B; Gerlach, John P

    2013-03-01

    Interspecific relationships among species mean leaf traits, performance and species resource/climate distributions help provide the foundation for a predictive, functionally based plant ecology. Intraspecific responses of leaf traits and performance to resource gradients and how these vary among species may be equally important but have received less attention. Here, we examine relationships between proxies of soil resource availability, leaf traits and growth (height at 25 years, SI25) for winter deciduous Larix decidua Mill. and evergreen Pinus resinosa Ait. trees distributed over soil resource gradients in the Great Lakes region of North America. We predicted that (i) leaf trait responses to soil resources within species will be similar to reported distributions of mean leaf traits over soil resource gradients among species; (ii) soil resource-related variation in leaf traits can help explain SI25; and (iii) SI25 will be greater for Larix than Pinus at higher soil resources and greater for Pinus than Larix at lower soil resources and this pattern will be associated with species differences in leaf trait responses to soil resources. Among the measured leaf traits (live N, Mg, Ca, K, P, and Mn, litter N, N resorption, carbon isotope discrimination, specific leaf area, lifespan), soil resources only impacted live and litter N for both species and K for Pinus. In turn, only the leaf traits responsive to soil resources affected SI25 in the expected manner. Larix had greater SI25 than Pinus across soil resource gradients and both species had similar growth and leaf trait sensitivities to resources. In summary: (i) several leaf traits reported to be associated with performance and edaphic distributions across species were, within species, unresponsive to nitrogen and water availability and unrelated to growth; (ii) leaf N showed high plasticity to soil resources and this plasticity was functionally relevant to growth over its entire range of response; (iii) large

  13. Phylogenetic diversity, functional trait diversity and extinction: avoiding tipping points and worst-case losses.

    PubMed

    Faith, Daniel P

    2015-02-19

    The phylogenetic diversity measure, ('PD'), measures the relative feature diversity of different subsets of taxa from a phylogeny. At the level of feature diversity, PD supports the broad goal of biodiversity conservation to maintain living variation and option values. PD calculations at the level of lineages and features include those integrating probabilities of extinction, providing estimates of expected PD. This approach has known advantages over the evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered (EDGE) methods. Expected PD methods also have limitations. An alternative notion of expected diversity, expected functional trait diversity, relies on an alternative non-phylogenetic model and allows inferences of diversity at the level of functional traits. Expected PD also faces challenges in helping to address phylogenetic tipping points and worst-case PD losses. Expected PD may not choose conservation options that best avoid worst-case losses of long branches from the tree of life. We can expand the range of useful calculations based on expected PD, including methods for identifying phylogenetic key biodiversity areas.

  14. Gene Level Meta-Analysis of Quantitative Traits by Functional Linear Models

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Ruzong; Wang, Yifan; Boehnke, Michael; Chen, Wei; Li, Yun; Ren, Haobo; Lobach, Iryna; Xiong, Momiao

    2015-01-01

    Meta-analysis of genetic data must account for differences among studies including study designs, markers genotyped, and covariates. The effects of genetic variants may differ from population to population, i.e., heterogeneity. Thus, meta-analysis of combining data of multiple studies is difficult. Novel statistical methods for meta-analysis are needed. In this article, functional linear models are developed for meta-analyses that connect genetic data to quantitative traits, adjusting for covariates. The models can be used to analyze rare variants, common variants, or a combination of the two. Both likelihood-ratio test (LRT) and F-distributed statistics are introduced to test association between quantitative traits and multiple variants in one genetic region. Extensive simulations are performed to evaluate empirical type I error rates and power performance of the proposed tests. The proposed LRT and F-distributed statistics control the type I error very well and have higher power than the existing methods of the meta-analysis sequence kernel association test (MetaSKAT). We analyze four blood lipid levels in data from a meta-analysis of eight European studies. The proposed methods detect more significant associations than MetaSKAT and the P-values of the proposed LRT and F-distributed statistics are usually much smaller than those of MetaSKAT. The functional linear models and related test statistics can be useful in whole-genome and whole-exome association studies. PMID:26058849

  15. Aging promotes acquisition of naive-like CD8+ memory T cell traits and enhanced functionalities.

    PubMed

    Eberlein, Jens; Davenport, Bennett; Nguyen, Tom; Victorino, Francisco; Haist, Kelsey; Jhun, Kevin; Karimpour-Fard, Anis; Hunter, Lawrence; Kedl, Ross; Clambey, Eric T; Homann, Dirk

    2016-10-03

    Protective T cell memory is an acquired trait that is contingent upon the preservation of its constituents and therefore vulnerable to the potentially deleterious effects of organismal aging. Here, however, we have found that long-term T cell memory in a natural murine host-pathogen system can substantially improve over time. Comprehensive molecular, phenotypic, and functional profiling of aging antiviral CD8+ memory T cells (CD8+ TM) revealed a pervasive remodeling process that promotes the gradual acquisition of distinct molecular signatures, of increasingly homogeneous phenotypes, and of diversified functionalities that combine to confer a CD8+ TM-autonomous capacity for enhanced recall responses and immune protection. Notably, the process of CD8+ TM aging is characterized by a progressive harmonization of memory and naive T cell traits, is broadly amenable to experimental acceleration or retardation, and serves as a constitutional component for the "rebound model" of memory T cell maturation. By casting CD8+ TM populations within the temporal framework of their slowly evolving properties, this model establishes a simple ontogenetic perspective on the principal organization of CD8+ T cell memory that may directly inform the development of improved diagnostic, prophylactic, and therapeutic modalities.

  16. Aging promotes acquisition of naive-like CD8+ memory T cell traits and enhanced functionalities

    PubMed Central

    Davenport, Bennett; Nguyen, Tom; Victorino, Francisco; Haist, Kelsey; Jhun, Kevin; Karimpour-Fard, Anis; Hunter, Lawrence; Kedl, Ross; Clambey, Eric T.

    2016-01-01

    Protective T cell memory is an acquired trait that is contingent upon the preservation of its constituents and therefore vulnerable to the potentially deleterious effects of organismal aging. Here, however, we have found that long-term T cell memory in a natural murine host-pathogen system can substantially improve over time. Comprehensive molecular, phenotypic, and functional profiling of aging antiviral CD8+ memory T cells (CD8+ TM) revealed a pervasive remodeling process that promotes the gradual acquisition of distinct molecular signatures, of increasingly homogeneous phenotypes, and of diversified functionalities that combine to confer a CD8+ TM–autonomous capacity for enhanced recall responses and immune protection. Notably, the process of CD8+ TM aging is characterized by a progressive harmonization of memory and naive T cell traits, is broadly amenable to experimental acceleration or retardation, and serves as a constitutional component for the “rebound model” of memory T cell maturation. By casting CD8+ TM populations within the temporal framework of their slowly evolving properties, this model establishes a simple ontogenetic perspective on the principal organization of CD8+ T cell memory that may directly inform the development of improved diagnostic, prophylactic, and therapeutic modalities. PMID:27617858

  17. Gene Level Meta-Analysis of Quantitative Traits by Functional Linear Models.

    PubMed

    Fan, Ruzong; Wang, Yifan; Boehnke, Michael; Chen, Wei; Li, Yun; Ren, Haobo; Lobach, Iryna; Xiong, Momiao

    2015-08-01

    Meta-analysis of genetic data must account for differences among studies including study designs, markers genotyped, and covariates. The effects of genetic variants may differ from population to population, i.e., heterogeneity. Thus, meta-analysis of combining data of multiple studies is difficult. Novel statistical methods for meta-analysis are needed. In this article, functional linear models are developed for meta-analyses that connect genetic data to quantitative traits, adjusting for covariates. The models can be used to analyze rare variants, common variants, or a combination of the two. Both likelihood-ratio test (LRT) and F-distributed statistics are introduced to test association between quantitative traits and multiple variants in one genetic region. Extensive simulations are performed to evaluate empirical type I error rates and power performance of the proposed tests. The proposed LRT and F-distributed statistics control the type I error very well and have higher power than the existing methods of the meta-analysis sequence kernel association test (MetaSKAT). We analyze four blood lipid levels in data from a meta-analysis of eight European studies. The proposed methods detect more significant associations than MetaSKAT and the P-values of the proposed LRT and F-distributed statistics are usually much smaller than those of MetaSKAT. The functional linear models and related test statistics can be useful in whole-genome and whole-exome association studies.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Predicting diffuse light-enhancement of GPP from plant functional traits: A multi-site synthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Halloran, T. L.; Barr, J. G.; Cook, B.; Goeckede, M.; Law, B. E.; Kueppers, L. M.; Riley, W. J.

    2013-12-01

    Diffuse light enhances canopy-scale photosynthesis because isotropic diffuse light penetrates deeper into the canopy, involves more leaf area in photosynthesis, and prevents the top of the canopy from becoming light saturated. However, the observational and modeling communities still have little understanding of how the 'Diffuse light Enhancement Effect' (DEE) varies across plant functional types or is constrained by factors such as nitrogen availability and plant structure. So far, variability in the strength of DEE across plant functional types (PFTs) remains poorly constrained, but canopy models indicate leaf area index (LAI) is a primary controller. While the very few existing multi-site, measurement-based syntheses of the DEE have provided valuable information on the variability of the DEE across a few plant functional types, no study has correlated measured metrics of DEE magnitude with direct measurements of canopy physical traits across a wide range of plant functional types. Here we report a new metric that is suitable for quantifying the DEE in both flux measurements and land surface models. We also present, for the first time, an examination of the relationship between the DEE metric and plant functional traits. Results from our 70+ site AmeriFlux and FLUXNET synthesis indicate that LAI is the strongest controller of the DEE across sites and PFTs, with less significant influences from foliar nitrogen, canopy height, and mean annual precipitation. Our results will enable direct evaluation and improvement of remote sensing algorithms and light use efficiency models (e.g. MODIS GPP), which to this point regard diffuse light fraction as a source of noise. Additionally, improving resolution of the DEE in prognostic land surface models, such as the Community Land Model (CLM), will greatly improve our ability to forecast future feedbacks to terrestrial carbon sequestration from changes in cloudiness and aerosol amount.

  1. The contribution of germination functional traits to population dynamics of a desert plant community.

    PubMed

    Huang, Zhenying; Liu, Shuangshuang; Bradford, Kent J; Huxman, Travis E; Venable, D Lawrence

    2016-01-01

    Early life-cycle events play critical roles in determining the population and community dynamics of plants. The ecology of seeds and their germination patterns can determine range limits, adaptation to environmental variation, species diversity, and community responses to climate change. Understanding the adaptive consequences and environmental filtering of such functional traits will allow us to explain and predict ecological dynamics. Here we quantify key functional aspects of germination physiology and relate them to an existing functional ecology framework to explain long-term population dynamics for 13 species of desert annuals near Tucson, Arizona, USA. Our goal was to assess the extent to which germination functional biology contributes to long-term population processes in nature. Some of the species differences in base, optimum, and maximum temperatures for germination, thermal times to germination, and base water potentials for germination were strongly related to 20-yr mean germination fractions, 25-yr average germination dates, seed size, and long-term demographic variation. Comparisons of germination fraction, survival, and fecundity vs. yearly changes in population size found significant roles for all three factors, although in varying proportions for different species. Relationships between species' germination physiologies and relative germination fractions varied across years, with fast-germinating species being favored in years with warm temperatures during rainfall events in the germination season. Species with low germination fractions and high demographic variance have low integrated water-use efficiency, higher vegetative growth rates, and smaller, slower-germinating seeds. We have identified and quantified a number of functional traits associated with germination biology that play critical roles in ecological population dynamics.

  2. 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

  3. 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).

  4. Functional Trait Changes, Productivity Shifts and Vegetation Stability in Mountain Grasslands during a Short-Term Warming.

    PubMed

    Debouk, Haifa; de Bello, Francesco; Sebastià, Maria-Teresa

    2015-01-01

    Plant functional traits underlie vegetation responses to environmental changes such as global warming, and consequently influence ecosystem processes. While most of the existing studies focus on the effect of warming only on species diversity and productivity, we further investigated (i) how the structure of community plant functional traits in temperate grasslands respond to experimental warming, and (ii) whether species and functional diversity contribute to a greater stability of grasslands, in terms of vegetation composition and productivity. Intact vegetation turves were extracted from temperate subalpine grassland (highland) in the Eastern Pyrenees and transplanted into a warm continental, experimental site in Lleida, in Western Catalonia (lowland). The impacts of simulated warming on plant production and diversity, functional trait structure, and vegetation compositional stability were assessed. We observed an increase in biomass and a reduction in species and functional diversity under short-term warming. The functional structure of the grassland communities changed significantly, in terms of functional diversity and community-weighted means (CWM) for several traits. Acquisitive and fast-growing species with higher SLA, early flowering, erect growth habit, and rhizomatous strategy became dominant in the lowland. Productivity was significantly positively related to species, and to a lower extent, functional diversity, but productivity and stability after warming were more dependent on trait composition (CWM) than on diversity. The turves with more acquisitive species before warming changed less in composition after warming. Results suggest that (i) the short-term warming can lead to the dominance of acquisitive fast growing species over conservative species, thus reducing species richness, and (ii) the functional traits structure in grassland communities had a greater influence on the productivity and stability of the community under short-term warming

  5. A worldwide analysis of within-canopy variations in leaf structural, chemical and physiological traits across plant functional types.

    PubMed

    Niinemets, Ülo; Keenan, Trevor F; Hallik, Lea

    2015-02-01

    Extensive within-canopy light gradients importantly affect the photosynthetic productivity of leaves in different canopy positions and lead to light-dependent increases in foliage photosynthetic capacity per area (AA). However, the controls on AA variations by changes in underlying traits are poorly known. We constructed an unprecedented worldwide database including 831 within-canopy gradients with standardized light estimates for 304 species belonging to major vascular plant functional types, and analyzed within-canopy variations in 12 key foliage structural, chemical and physiological traits by quantitative separation of the contributions of different traits to photosynthetic acclimation. Although the light-dependent increase in AA is surprisingly similar in different plant functional types, they differ fundamentally in the share of the controls on AA by constituent traits. Species with high rates of canopy development and leaf turnover, exhibiting highly dynamic light environments, actively change AA by nitrogen reallocation among and partitioning within leaves. By contrast, species with slow leaf turnover exhibit a passive AA acclimation response, primarily determined by the acclimation of leaf structure to growth light. This review emphasizes that different combinations of traits are responsible for within-canopy photosynthetic acclimation in different plant functional types, and solves an old enigma of the role of mass- vs area-based traits in vegetation acclimation.

  6. Genetic parameters for functional traits in dairy cattle from daily random regression models.

    PubMed

    Karacaören, B; Jaffrézic, F; Kadarmideen, H N

    2006-02-01

    The objective of the research was to estimate genetic parameters, such as heritabilities and genetic correlations, using daily test day data for milk yield (MY), milking speed (MS), dry matter intake (DMI), and body weight (BW) using random regression methodology. Data were from first lactation dairy cows (n = 320) from the Chamau research farm of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland over the period from April 1994 to 2004. All traits were recorded daily using automated machines. Estimated heritabilities (h(2)) varied from 0.18 to 0.30 (mean h(2) = 0.24) for MY, 0.003 to 0.098 (mean h(2) = 0.03) for MS, 0.22 to 0.53 (mean h(2) = 0.43) for BW, and 0.12 to 0.34 (mean h(2) = 0.23) for DMI. A permanent environmental effect was included in both the univariate and bivariate models, but was assumed constant in estimating some genetic correlations because of convergence problems. Estimated genetic correlations varied from 0.31 to 0.41 between MY and MS, from -0.47 to 0.29 between MY and DMI, from -0.60 to 0.54 between MY and BW, from 0.17 to 0.26 between MS and DMI, from -0.18 to 0.25 between MS and BW, and from -0.89 to 0.29 between DMI and BW. Genetic correlations for MY, MS, DMI, and BW from calving to midlactation decreased similarly to 0.40, 0.36, 0.14, and 0.36 and, at the end of the lactation, decreased to -0.06, 0.23, -0.07, and 0.09, respectively. Daily genetic variance-covariance of many functional traits are reported for the first time and will be useful when constructing selection indexes for more than one trait based on longitudinal genetic parameters.

  7. Plant functional traits suggest a change in novel ecological strategies for dominant species in the stages of forest succession.

    PubMed

    Chai, Yongfu; Yue, Ming; Wang, Mao; Xu, Jinshi; Liu, Xiao; Zhang, Ruichang; Wan, Pengcheng

    2016-03-01

    In forest succession, the ecological strategies of the dominant species that are based on functional traits are important in the determination of both the mechanisms and the potential directions of succession. Thirty-one plots were established in the Loess Plateau region of northern Shaanxi in China. Fifteen leaf traits were measured for the 31 dominant species that represented the six stages of succession, and the traits included four that were related to morphology, seven to stoichiometry and four to physiological ecology. The species from the different successional stages had different patterns of distribution of the traits, and different key traits predicted the turnover of the species during succession. The ash and the cellulose contents were key regulatory factors of species turnover in the early successional communities, and the trait niche forces in sugar and leaf dry mass content might become more important with the progression of succession. When only the three herb stages were considered, a progressive replacement of the ruderal by the competitive-ruderal species occurred in the intermediate stages of succession, which was followed by the stress-tolerant-competitive or the competitive-stress tolerant-ruderal strategists late in the succession. Thus, the different species that occurred in the different stages of succession shared different trait-based ecological strategies. Additionally, these differences occurred concomitantly with a shift toward competitive-stress tolerant-ruderal strategies.

  8. Functional traits contributed to the superior performance of the exotic species Robinia pseudoacacia: a comparison with the native tree Sophora japonica

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Yujie; Yuan, Yifu; Wang, Renqing; Liu, Jian; Du, Ning; Guo, Weihua

    2016-01-01

    Functional traits determine the ecological strategies of plants and therefore are widely considered to feature in the success of invasive species. By comparing a widespread exotic invasive species Robinia pseudoacacia L. with a related native one Sophora japonica L., this research aimed to study strategies of R. pseudoacacia for superior performance from the perspective of functional traits. We conducted a greenhouse experiment in which seedlings of R. pseudoacacia and S. japonica were grown separately under a factorial combination of two light regimes and three levels of nitrogen (N) fertilization, including a control and two levels intended to represent ambient and future levels of N deposition in Chinese forests. After 90 days of treatment, performance and functional traits were determined for the two species, the former referred to as the total biomass (TB) that directly affected fitness. Trait plasticity and integration (the pattern and extent of functional covariance among different plant traits) were analyzed and compared. We found that the two species showed significantly different plastic responses to light increase: in the low-light regime, they were similar in performance and functional traits, while in the high-light regime, R. pseudoacacia achieved a significantly higher TB and a suite of divergent but advantageous functional traits versus S. japonica, such as significantly greater photosynthetic capacity and leaf N concentration, and lower carbon-to-N ratio and root-to-shoot ratio, which conferred it the greater performance. Moreover, across the light gradient, R. pseudoacacia showed higher correlations between photosynthetic capacity and other functional traits than S. japonica. In contrast, N deposition showed little impact on our experiment. Our results suggested that across light regimes, three aspects of functional traits contributed to the superior performance of R. pseudoacacia: functional trait divergence, significantly different plasticity of

  9. Explaining maximum variation in productivity requires phylogenetic diversity and single functional traits.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jiajia; Zhang, Xinxin; Song, Feifan; Zhou, Shurong; Cadotte, Marc W; Bradshaw, Corey J A

    2015-01-01

    Many community experiments have shown a positive relationship between plant biodiversity and community productivity, with biodiversity measured in multiple ways based on taxonomy, function, and phylogeny. Whether these different measures of biodiversity and their interactions explain variation in productivity in natural assemblages has rarely been tested. In a removal experiment using natural alpine assemblages in the Tibetan Plateau, we manipulated species richness and functional diversity to examine how different measures of biodiversity predict aboveground biomass production. We combined different biodiversity measures (functional, phylogenetic, richness, evenness) in generalized linear models to determine which combinations provided the most parsimonious explanations of variation in biomass production. Although multivariate functional diversity indices alone consistently explained more variation in productivity than other single measures, phylogenetic diversity and plant height represented the most parsimonious combination. In natural assemblages, single metrics alone cannot fully explain ecosystem function. Instead, a combination of phylogenetic diversity and traits with weak or no phylogenetic signal is required to explain the effects of biodiversity loss on ecosystem function.

  10. Quality traits of Indian peanut cultivars and their utility as nutritional and functional food.

    PubMed

    Bishi, S K; Lokesh, Kumar; Mahatma, M K; Khatediya, N; Chauhan, S M; Misra, J B

    2015-01-15

    Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) is considered as a highly nutritious foodstuff. Of late, the importance of peanut as a functional food has been growing. Kernels of forty-one Indian peanut cultivars were analyzed for their oil, fatty acid profiles, sucrose, raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFOs); phenolics, and free amino acids contents along with antioxidant capacity. The range and the mean value (given in parenthesis) for each of the traits analysed were, oil: 44.1-53.8% (50.1%), O/L ratio: 0.9-2.8 (1.4), sucrose: 2.61-6.5% (4.63%), RFOs: 0.12-0.76% (0.47%), phenolics: 0.14-0.39% (0.23%), free amino acids: 0.052-0.19% (0.12%) and antioxidant capacity: 1.05-6.97 (3.40) μmol TEg(-1). The significant correlation between phenol content and antioxidant capacity suggests phenol content as an easy marker for rapid screening of genotypes for their antioxidant capacity. A few cultivars with desirable traits and their prospective utility were identified which would be useful for future breeding programme to develop nutritional superior peanuts.

  11. Fish functional traits are affected by hydrodynamics at small spatial scale.

    PubMed

    Bracciali, C; Guzzo, G; Giacoma, C; Dean, J M; Sarà, G

    2016-02-01

    The Mediterranean damselfish Chromis chromis is a species with a broad distribution found both in the Mediterranean Sea and Eastern Atlantic as far south as the coast of Angola. We hypothesized that the species may have significant functional morphological plasticity to adapt along a gradient of environmental conditions. It is a non-migratory zooplanktivorous species and spends the daytime searching for food in the middle of the water column. Therefore, local hydrodynamics could be one of the environmental factors affecting traits of C. chromis with repercussions at the population level. We compared the body condition, individual growth and body shapes of damselfish collected under two different hydrodynamic conditions (low ∼10 cm s(-1) vs. high ∼20 cm s(-1)). Specimens showed higher body condition under high-hydrodynamics, where conditions offered greater amounts of food, which were able to support larger individuals. Individuals smaller than 60-mm were more abundant under low-hydrodynamics. Morphometric analysis revealed that high-hydrodynamics were favored by fish with a more fusiform body shape and body traits developed for propellant swimming.

  12. Characterization of functional trait diversity among Indian cultivated and weedy rice populations

    PubMed Central

    Rathore, M.; Singh, Raghwendra; Kumar, B.; Chauhan, B. S.

    2016-01-01

    Weedy rice, a menace in rice growing areas globally, is biosimilar having attributes similar to cultivated and wild rice, and therefore is difficult to manage. A study was initiated to characterize the functional traits of 76 weedy rice populations and commonly grown rice cultivars from different agro-climatic zones for nine morphological, five physiological, and three phenological parameters in a field experiment under an augmented block design. Comparison between weedy and cultivated rice revealed a difference in duration (days) from panicle emergence to heading as the most variable trait and awn length as the least variable one, as evidenced from their coefficients of variation. The results of principal component analysis revealed the first three principal components to represent 47.3% of the total variation, which indicates an important role of transpiration, conductance, leaf-air temperature difference, days to panicle emergence, days to heading, flag leaf length, SPAD (soil-plant analysis development), grain weight, plant height, and panicle length to the diversity in weedy rice populations. The variations existing in weedy rice population are a major reason for its wider adaptability to varied environmental conditions and also a problem while trying to manage it. PMID:27072282

  13. Self-reported driving behaviors as a function of trait anxiety.

    PubMed

    Shahar, Amit

    2009-03-01

    This study examined self-reported driving behaviors in 120 (Israeli) male drivers as a function of trait anxiety (TA). TA was assessed through the TA scale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. For the analysis of driving behaviors, the present study used the Driver Behavior Questionnaire (DBQ) and adopted previous distinctions between four classes of behaviors within the DBQ: errors, lapses, ordinary violations and aggressive violations. Regression analyses revealed that level of TA had a significant direct positive effect on all dependent variables, suggesting riskier driving behaviors among high-anxious individuals. Significant logarithmic effects for all measures indicate that these aberrant driving behaviors increase more at increasing LTA-, than at increasing HTA-values. Consistent with the general adverse effects of anxiety on performance effectiveness, the present findings as well, are interpreted in the framework of theories which suggest that worries occupy the capacities of working memory, at the expense of the task to be performed. The positive relation between aggressive violations and TA is sought to reflect low levels of emotional adjustment among high-anxious individuals.

  14. Automatic emotion processing as a function of trait emotional awareness: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Lichev, Vladimir; Sacher, Julia; Ihme, Klas; Rosenberg, Nicole; Quirin, Markus; Lepsien, Jöran; Pampel, André; Rufer, Michael; Grabe, Hans-Jörgen; Kugel, Harald; Kersting, Anette; Villringer, Arno; Lane, Richard D; Suslow, Thomas

    2015-05-01

    It is unclear whether reflective awareness of emotions is related to extent and intensity of implicit affective reactions. This study is the first to investigate automatic brain reactivity to emotional stimuli as a function of trait emotional awareness. To assess emotional awareness the Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale (LEAS) was administered. During scanning, masked happy, angry, fearful and neutral facial expressions were presented to 46 healthy subjects, who had to rate the fit between artificial and emotional words. The rating procedure allowed assessment of shifts in implicit affectivity due to emotion faces. Trait emotional awareness was associated with increased activation in the primary somatosensory cortex, inferior parietal lobule, anterior cingulate gyrus, middle frontal and cerebellar areas, thalamus, putamen and amygdala in response to masked happy faces. LEAS correlated positively with shifts in implicit affect caused by masked happy faces. According to our findings, people with high emotional awareness show stronger affective reactivity and more activation in brain areas involved in emotion processing and simulation during the perception of masked happy facial expression than people with low emotional awareness. High emotional awareness appears to be characterized by an enhanced positive affective resonance to others at an automatic processing level.

  15. Functional Connectivity under Anticipation of Shock: Correlates of Trait Anxious Affect versus Induced Anxiety.

    PubMed

    Bijsterbosch, Janine; Smith, Stephen; Bishop, Sonia J

    2015-09-01

    Sustained anxiety about potential future negative events is an important feature of anxiety disorders. In this study, we used a novel anticipation of shock paradigm to investigate individual differences in functional connectivity during prolonged threat of shock. We examined the correlates of between-participant differences in trait anxious affect and induced anxiety, where the latter reflects changes in self-reported anxiety resulting from the shock manipulation. Dissociable effects of trait anxious affect and induced anxiety were observed. Participants with high scores on a latent dimension of anxious affect showed less increase in ventromedial pFC-amygdala connectivity between periods of safety and shock anticipation. Meanwhile, lower levels of induced anxiety were linked to greater augmentation of dorsolateral pFC-anterior insula connectivity during shock anticipation. These findings suggest that ventromedial pFC-amygdala and dorsolateral pFC-insula networks might both contribute to regulation of sustained fear responses, with their recruitment varying independently across participants. The former might reflect an evolutionarily old mechanism for reducing fear or anxiety, whereas the latter might reflect a complementary mechanism by which cognitive control can be implemented to diminish fear responses generated due to anticipation of aversive stimuli or events. These two circuits might provide complementary, alternate targets for exploration in future pharmacological and cognitive intervention studies.

  16. Three-pronged assessment and diagnosis of personality disorder and its consequences: personality functioning, pathological traits, and psychosocial disability.

    PubMed

    Clark, Lee Anna; Ro, Eunyoe

    2014-01-01

    The alternative dimensional model of personality disorder (PD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013), Section III, has two main criteria: impairment in personality functioning and one or more pathological personality traits. The former is defined as disturbances in self-functioning (viz., identity, self-direction), and/or interpersonal functioning (viz., empathy, intimacy). Distinguishing personality functioning and traits is important conceptually, because simply having extreme traits is not necessarily pathological. However, adding personality functioning to PD diagnosis represents an empirical challenge, because the constructs overlap conceptually. Further, there is debate regarding whether diagnosis of mental disorder requires either distress or disability, concepts that also overlap with maladaptive-range personality traits and personality dysfunction. We investigated interrelations among these constructs using multiple self-report measures of each domain in a mixed community-patient sample (N = 402). We examined the structures of functioning (psychosocial disability and personality) and personality traits, first independently, then jointly. The disability/functioning measures yielded the 3 dimensions we have found previously (Ro & Clark, 2013). Trait measures had a hierarchical structure which, at the 5-factor level, reflected neuroticism/negative affectivity (N/NA), (low) sociability, disinhibition, (dis)agreeableness, and rigid goal engagement. When all measures were cofactored, a hierarchical structure again emerged which, at the 5-factor level, included (a) internalizing (N/NA and self-pathology vs. quality-of-life/satisfaction); (b) externalizing (social/interpersonal dysfunction, low sociability, and disagreeableness); (c) disinhibition; (d) poor basic functioning; and (e) rigid goal engagement. Results are discussed in terms of developing an integrated PD diagnostic

  17. Three-Pronged Assessment and Diagnosis of Personality Disorder and its Consequences: Personality Functioning, Pathological Traits, and Psychosocial Disability

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Lee Anna; Ro, Eunyoe

    2014-01-01

    The alternative dimensional model of personality disorder (PD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013), Section III, has two main criteria: Impairment in personality functioning and one or more pathological personality traits. The former is defined as disturbances in self functioning (viz., identity, self-direction), and/or interpersonal functioning (viz., empathy, intimacy). Distinguishing personality functioning and traits is important conceptually, because simply having extreme traits is not necessarily pathological. However, adding personality functioning to PD diagnosis represents an empirical challenge, because the constructs overlap conceptually. Further, there is debate regarding whether diagnosis of mental disorder requires either distress or disability, concepts that also overlap with maladaptive-range personality traits and personality dysfunction. We investigated interrelations among these constructs using multiple self-report measures of each domain in a mixed community-patient sample (N = 402). We examined the structures of functioning (psychosocial disability and personality), and personality traits, first independently, then jointly. The disability/functioning measures yielded the three dimensions we have found previously (Ro & Clark, 2013). Trait measures had a hierarchical structure which, at the five-factor level, reflected neuroticism/negative affectivity (N/NA), (low) sociability, disinhibition, (dis)agreeableness, and rigid goal engagement. When all measures were co-factored, a hierarchical structure again emerged which, at the five-factor level, included (1) internalizing (N/NA and self-pathology vs. quality-of-life/satisfaction), (2) externalizing (social/interpersonal dysfunction, low sociability, and disagreeableness), (3) disinhibition, (4) poor basic functioning, and (5) rigid goal engagement. Results are discussed in terms of developing an integrated PD

  18. Integrating abundance and functional traits reveals new global hotspots of fish diversity.

    PubMed

    Stuart-Smith, Rick D; Bates, Amanda E; Lefcheck, Jonathan S; Duffy, J Emmett; Baker, Susan C; Thomson, Russell J; Stuart-Smith, Jemina F; Hill, Nicole A; Kininmonth, Stuart J; Airoldi, Laura; Becerro, Mikel A; Campbell, Stuart J; Dawson, Terence P; Navarrete, Sergio A; Soler, German A; Strain, Elisabeth M A; Willis, Trevor J; Edgar, Graham J

    2013-09-26

    Species richness has dominated our view of global biodiversity patterns for centuries. The dominance of this paradigm is reflected in the focus by ecologists and conservation managers on richness and associated occurrence-based measures for understanding drivers of broad-scale diversity patterns and as a biological basis for management. However, this is changing rapidly, as it is now recognized that not only the number of species but the species present, their phenotypes and the number of individuals of each species are critical in determining the nature and strength of the relationships between species diversity and a range of ecological functions (such as biomass production and nutrient cycling). Integrating these measures should provide a more relevant representation of global biodiversity patterns in terms of ecological functions than that provided by simple species counts. Here we provide comparisons of a traditional global biodiversity distribution measure based on richness with metrics that incorporate species abundances and functional traits. We use data from standardized quantitative surveys of 2,473 marine reef fish species at 1,844 sites, spanning 133 degrees of latitude from all ocean basins, to identify new diversity hotspots in some temperate regions and the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean. These relate to high diversity of functional traits amongst individuals in the community (calculated using Rao's Q), and differ from previously reported patterns in functional diversity and richness for terrestrial animals, which emphasize species-rich tropical regions only. There is a global trend for greater evenness in the number of individuals of each species, across the reef fish species observed at sites ('community evenness'), at higher latitudes. This contributes to the distribution of functional diversity hotspots and contrasts with well-known latitudinal gradients in richness. Our findings suggest that the contribution of species diversity to a range of

  19. Drivers of estuarine benthic species distribution patterns following a restoration of a seagrass bed: a functional trait analyses.

    PubMed

    Dolbeth, Marina; Cardoso, Patrícia; Grilo, Tiago; Raffaelli, Dave; Pardal, Miguel Ângelo

    2013-07-15

    We integrate information on functional diversity (FD) patterns from estuarine intertidal benthic communities from different habitats and along a temporal disturbance gradient, to understand the drivers of species coexistence patterns. Species and traits' biomass levels seemed to be first determined by habitat filtering, selecting those traits better adapted to the biologically challenging estuarine environment. Within that subset of traits and within each habitat, biotic interactions were probably high, as evidenced by high α-diversity and community weighted mean differences. The former patterns hold for the disturbance/recovery scenario considered. However, as the estuary recovered, biomass became more distributed among different trait categories, consistent with increases in FD when the seagrass started to increase. Policy towards the restoration of seagrass bed and other biogenic structures, and improving the connectivity within adjacent systems were confirmed and suggested, as this would imply higher FD and potentially higher resilience to disturbance within the estuarine intertidal system.

  20. Dissecting the Effects of Simulated Cattle Activity on Floristic Composition and Functional Traits in Mediterranean Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Dobarro, Iker; Pérez Carmona, Carlos; Peco, Begoña

    2013-01-01

    Livestock exerts direct and indirect effects on plant communities, changing colonization and extinction rates of species and the surrounding environmental conditions. There is scarce knowledge on how and to what extent these effects control the floristic and functional composition of plant communities in grasslands. We performed an experiment that included several treatments simulating trampling, defoliation, faeces addition and their combinations in a Mediterranean scrub community grazing-abandoned for at least 50 years. We monitored the plots for four years, and collected data on species composition, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and red∶far-red ratio (R∶FR), soil moisture and compaction. We estimated community weighted means (CWM) for height, habit, life cycle, seed mass and SLA. Neither compaction nor soil moisture were modified by the treatments, while PAR and R∶FR increased in all treatments in comparison to the Control and Faeces treatments. The floristic composition of all treatments, except for Faeces, converged over time, but deviated from that of the Control. The functional traits displayed the trends expected in the presence of grazing: loss of erect species and increased cover of short species with light seeds, with rosettes and prostrate habit. However, contrary to the results in literature, SLA was lower in all the treatments than Control plots. Like the results for floristic composition, all treatments except for Faeces converged towards a similar functional composition at the end of the four year period. The results of this study show the initial evolution of a Mediterranean plant community in the presence of grazing, driven primarily by the destructive action of livestock. These actions seem to directly affect the rates of extinction/colonization, and indirectly affect the light environment but not the soil conditions. However, their effects on floristic and trait composition do not seem to differ, at least at the small spatio

  1. Dissecting the effects of simulated cattle activity on floristic composition and functional traits in Mediterranean grasslands.

    PubMed

    Dobarro, Iker; Carmona, Carlos Pérez; Peco, Begoña

    2013-01-01

    Livestock exerts direct and indirect effects on plant communities, changing colonization and extinction rates of species and the surrounding environmental conditions. There is scarce knowledge on how and to what extent these effects control the floristic and functional composition of plant communities in grasslands. We performed an experiment that included several treatments simulating trampling, defoliation, faeces addition and their combinations in a Mediterranean scrub community grazing-abandoned for at least 50 years. We monitored the plots for four years, and collected data on species composition, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and red∶far-red ratio (R∶FR), soil moisture and compaction. We estimated community weighted means (CWM) for height, habit, life cycle, seed mass and SLA. Neither compaction nor soil moisture were modified by the treatments, while PAR and R∶FR increased in all treatments in comparison to the Control and Faeces treatments. The floristic composition of all treatments, except for Faeces, converged over time, but deviated from that of the Control. The functional traits displayed the trends expected in the presence of grazing: loss of erect species and increased cover of short species with light seeds, with rosettes and prostrate habit. However, contrary to the results in literature, SLA was lower in all the treatments than Control plots. Like the results for floristic composition, all treatments except for Faeces converged towards a similar functional composition at the end of the four year period. The results of this study show the initial evolution of a Mediterranean plant community in the presence of grazing, driven primarily by the destructive action of livestock. These actions seem to directly affect the rates of extinction/colonization, and indirectly affect the light environment but not the soil conditions. However, their effects on floristic and trait composition do not seem to differ, at least at the small spatio

  2. Representing life in the Earth system with soil microbial functional traits in the MIMICS model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wieder, W. R.; Grandy, A. S.; Kallenbach, C. M.; Taylor, P. G.; Bonan, G. B.

    2015-06-01

    Projecting biogeochemical responses to global environmental change requires multi-scaled perspectives that consider organismal diversity, ecosystem processes, and global fluxes. However, microbes, the drivers of soil organic matter decomposition and stabilization, remain notably absent from models used to project carbon (C) cycle-climate feedbacks. We used a microbial trait-based soil C model with two physiologically distinct microbial communities, and evaluate how this model represents soil C storage and response to perturbations. Drawing from the application of functional traits used to model other ecosystems, we incorporate copiotrophic and oligotrophic microbial functional groups in the MIcrobial-MIneral Carbon Stabilization (MIMICS) model; these functional groups are akin to "gleaner" vs. "opportunist" plankton in the ocean, or r- vs. K-strategists in plant and animal communities. Here we compare MIMICS to a conventional soil C model, DAYCENT (the daily time-step version of the CENTURY model), in cross-site comparisons of nitrogen (N) enrichment effects on soil C dynamics. MIMICS more accurately simulates C responses to N enrichment; moreover, it raises important hypotheses involving the roles of substrate availability, community-level enzyme induction, and microbial physiological responses in explaining various soil biogeochemical responses to N enrichment. In global-scale analyses, we show that MIMICS projects much slower rates of soil C accumulation than a conventional soil biogeochemistry in response to increasing C inputs with elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) - a finding that would reduce the size of the land C sink estimated by the Earth system. Our findings illustrate that tradeoffs between theory and utility can be overcome to develop soil biogeochemistry models that evaluate and advance our theoretical understanding of microbial dynamics and soil biogeochemical responses to environmental change.

  3. Representing life in the Earth system with soil microbial functional traits in the MIMICS model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wieder, W. R.; Grandy, A. S.; Kallenbach, C. M.; Taylor, P. G.; Bonan, G. B.

    2015-02-01

    Projecting biogeochemical responses to global environmental change requires multi-scaled perspectives that consider organismal diversity, ecosystem processes and global fluxes. However, microbes, the drivers of soil organic matter decomposition and stabilization, remain notably absent from models used to project carbon cycle-climate feedbacks. We used a microbial trait-based soil carbon (C) model, with two physiologically distinct microbial communities to improve current estimates of soil C storage and their likely response to perturbations. Drawing from the application of functional traits used to model other ecosystems, we incorporate copiotrophic and oligotrophic microbial functional groups in the MIcrobial-MIneral Carbon Stabilization (MIMICS) model, which incorporates oligotrophic and copiotrophic functional groups, akin to "gleaner" vs. "opportunist" plankton in the ocean, or r vs. K strategists in plant and animals communities. Here we compare MIMICS to a conventional soil C model, DAYCENT, in cross-site comparisons of nitrogen (N) enrichment effects on soil C dynamics. MIMICS more accurately simulates C responses to N enrichment; moreover, it raises important hypotheses involving the roles of substrate availability, community-level enzyme induction, and microbial physiological responses in explaining various soil biogeochemical responses to N enrichment. In global-scale analyses, we show that current projections from Earth system models likely overestimate the strength of the land C sink in response to increasing C inputs with elevated carbon dioxide (CO2). Our findings illustrate that tradeoffs between theory and utility can be overcome to develop soil biogeochemistry models that evaluate and advance our theoretical understanding of microbial dynamics and soil biogeochemical responses to environmental change.

  4. Genetic perturbations that impair functional trait interactions lead to reduced bone strength and increased fragility in mice.

    PubMed

    Smith, Lauren M; Bigelow, Erin M R; Nolan, Bonnie T; Faillace, Meghan E; Nadeau, Joseph H; Jepsen, Karl J

    2014-10-01

    Functional adaptation may complicate the choice of phenotype used in genetic studies that seek to identify genes contributing to fracture susceptibility. Often, genetic variants affecting one trait are compensated by coordinated changes in other traits. Bone fracture is a prototypic example because mechanical function of long bones (stiffness and strength) depends on how the system coordinately adjusts the amount (cortical area) and quality (tissue-mineral density, TMD) of bone tissue to mechanically offset the natural variation in bone robustness (total area/length). We propose that efforts aimed at identifying genes regulating fracture resistance will benefit from better understanding how functional adaptation contributes to the genotype-phenotype relationship. We analyzed the femurs of C57BL/6J-Chr(A/J)/NaJ Chromosome Substitution Strains (CSSs) to systemically interrogate the mouse genome for chromosomes harboring genes that regulate mechanical function. These CSSs (CSS-i, i=the substituted chromosome) showed changes in mechanical function on the order of -26.6 to +11.5% relative to the B6 reference strain after adjusting for body size. Seven substitutions showed altered robustness, cortical area, or TMD, but no effect on mechanical function (CSS-4, 5, 8, 9, 17, 18, 19); six substitutions showed altered robustness, cortical area, or TMD, and reduced mechanical function (CSS-1, 2, 6, 10, 12, 15); and one substitution also showed reduced mechanical function but exhibited no significant changes in the three physical traits analyzed in this study (CSS-3). A key feature that distinguished CSSs that maintained function from those with reduced function was whether the system adjusted cortical area and TMD to the levels needed to compensate for the natural variation in bone robustness. These results provide a novel biomechanical mechanism linking genotype with phenotype, indicating that genes control function not only by regulating individual traits, but also by

  5. Empirical Validation of a Hypothesis of the Hormetic Selective Forces Driving the Evolution of Longevity Regulation Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Gomez-Perez, Alejandra; Kyryakov, Pavlo; Burstein, Michelle T.; Asbah, Nimara; Noohi, Forough; Iouk, Tania; Titorenko, Vladimir I.

    2016-01-01

    Exogenously added lithocholic bile acid and some other bile acids slow down yeast chronological aging by eliciting a hormetic stress response and altering mitochondrial functionality. Unlike animals, yeast cells do not synthesize bile acids. We therefore hypothesized that bile acids released into an ecosystem by animals may act as interspecies chemical signals that generate selective pressure for the evolution of longevity regulation mechanisms in yeast within this ecosystem. To empirically verify our hypothesis, in this study we carried out a three-step process for the selection of long-lived yeast species by a long-term exposure to exogenous lithocholic bile acid. Such experimental evolution yielded 20 long-lived mutants, three of which were capable of sustaining their considerably prolonged chronological lifespans after numerous passages in medium without lithocholic acid. The extended longevity of each of the three long-lived yeast species was a dominant polygenic trait caused by mutations in more than two nuclear genes. Each of the three mutants displayed considerable alterations to the age-related chronology of mitochondrial respiration and showed enhanced resistance to chronic oxidative, thermal, and osmotic stresses. Our findings empirically validate the hypothesis suggesting that hormetic selective forces can drive the evolution of longevity regulation mechanisms within an ecosystem. PMID:27999589

  6. The energy trade-off between growth and longevity.

    PubMed

    Hou, Chen

    2013-09-01

    Understanding the trade-offs between organisms' life history traits has been a major goal of physiology, ecology and evolution. In the last few decades, two types of intra-specific studies have highlighted the trade-off between growth and longevity. First, diet restriction (DR), as an environmental intervention, has been shown to suppress growth and extend the lifespan of a broad range of animals. Second, genetic studies have also shown that mice, whose growth hormone function is genetically modified (GM), grow slower and live longer than their wild-type siblings. Despite a wealth of empirical data, still largely missing is a theoretical framework that specifies and makes quantitative predictions on this trade-off. Here, I present a mechanistic model based on the principles of energy conservation. The model quantifies explicitly how DR and GM alter the animal's energy budget, and channel metabolic energy to somatic maintenance by suppressing growth, thereby extending lifespan. Data from a diverse set of empirical studies on small rodents supports the predictions of the model. More importantly, the model reveals that although DR and GM are two different methods to extend lifespan, i.e., environmental vs. genetic, the underlying mechanisms of them are the same from the energetic viewpoint.

  7. Assessment of imputation methods using varying ecological information to fill the gaps in a tree functional trait database

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poyatos, Rafael; Sus, Oliver; Vilà-Cabrera, Albert; Vayreda, Jordi; Badiella, Llorenç; Mencuccini, Maurizio; Martínez-Vilalta, Jordi

    2016-04-01

    Plant functional traits are increasingly being used in ecosystem ecology thanks to the growing availability of large ecological databases. However, these databases usually contain a large fraction of missing data because measuring plant functional traits systematically is labour-intensive and because most databases are compilations of datasets with different sampling designs. As a result, within a given database, there is an inevitable variability in the number of traits available for each data entry and/or the species coverage in a given geographical area. The presence of missing data may severely bias trait-based analyses, such as the quantification of trait covariation or trait-environment relationships and may hamper efforts towards trait-based modelling of ecosystem biogeochemical cycles. Several data imputation (i.e. gap-filling) methods have been recently tested on compiled functional trait databases, but the performance of imputation methods applied to a functional trait database with a regular spatial sampling has not been thoroughly studied. Here, we assess the effects of data imputation on five tree functional traits (leaf biomass to sapwood area ratio, foliar nitrogen, maximum height, specific leaf area and wood density) in the Ecological and Forest Inventory of Catalonia, an extensive spatial database (covering 31900 km2). We tested the performance of species mean imputation, single imputation by the k-nearest neighbors algorithm (kNN) and a multiple imputation method, Multivariate Imputation with Chained Equations (MICE) at different levels of missing data (10%, 30%, 50%, and 80%). We also assessed the changes in imputation performance when additional predictors (species identity, climate, forest structure, spatial structure) were added in kNN and MICE imputations. We evaluated the imputed datasets using a battery of indexes describing departure from the complete dataset in trait distribution, in the mean prediction error, in the correlation matrix

  8. Genome-Wide Scan Informed by Age-Related Disease Identifies Loci for Exceptional Human Longevity

    PubMed Central

    Fortney, Kristen; Dobriban, Edgar; Garagnani, Paolo; Pirazzini, Chiara; Monti, Daniela; Mari, Daniela; Atzmon, Gil; Barzilai, Nir; Franceschi, Claudio; Owen, Art B.; Kim, Stuart K.

    2015-01-01

    We developed a new statistical framework to find genetic variants associated with extreme longevity. The method, informed GWAS (iGWAS), takes advantage of knowledge from large studies of age-related disease in order to narrow the search for SNPs associated with longevity. To gain support for our approach, we first show there is an overlap between loci involved in disease and loci associated with extreme longevity. These results indicate that several disease variants may be depleted in centenarians versus the general population. Next, we used iGWAS to harness information from 14 meta-analyses of disease and trait GWAS to identify longevity loci in two studies of long-lived humans. In a standard GWAS analysis, only one locus in these studies is significant (APOE/TOMM40) when controlling the false discovery rate (FDR) at 10%. With iGWAS, we identify eight genetic loci to associate significantly with exceptional human longevity at FDR < 10%. We followed up the eight lead SNPs in independent cohorts, and found replication evidence of four loci and suggestive evidence for one more with exceptional longevity. The loci that replicated (FDR < 5%) included APOE/TOMM40 (associated with Alzheimer’s disease), CDKN2B/ANRIL (implicated in the regulation of cellular senescence), ABO (tags the O blood group), and SH2B3/ATXN2 (a signaling gene that extends lifespan in Drosophila and a gene involved in neurological disease). Our results implicate new loci in longevity and reveal a genetic overlap between longevity and age-related diseases and traits, including coronary artery disease and Alzheimer’s disease. iGWAS provides a new analytical strategy for uncovering SNPs that influence extreme longevity, and can be applied more broadly to boost power in other studies of complex phenotypes. PMID:26677855

  9. Floral longevity and autonomous selfing are altered by pollination and water availability in Collinsia heterophylla

    PubMed Central

    Jorgensen, Rachael; Arathi, H. S.

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims A plant investing in reproduction partitions resources between flowering and seed production. Under resource limitation, altered allocations may result in floral trait variations, leading to compromised fecundity. Floral longevity and timing of selfing are often the traits most likely to be affected. The duration of corolla retention determines whether fecundity results from outcrossing or by delayed selfing-mediated reproductive assurance. In this study, the role of pollination schedules and soil water availability on floral longevity and seed production is tested in Collinsia heterophylla (Plantaginaceae). Methods Using three different watering regimes and pollination schedules, effects on floral longevity and seed production were studied in this protandrous, flowering annual. Key Results The results reveal that soil water status and pollination together influence floral longevity with low soil water and hand-pollinations early in the floral lifespan reducing longevity. However, early pollinations under excess water did not extend longevity, implying that resource surplus does not lengthen the outcrossing period. The results also indicate that pollen receipt, a reliable cue for fecundity, accelerates flower drop. Early corolla abscission under drought stress could potentially exacerbate sexual conflict in this protandrous, hermaphroditic species by ensuring self-pollen paternity and enabling male control of floral longevity. While pollination schedules did not affect fecundity, water stress reduced per-capita seed numbers. Unmanipulated flowers underwent delayed autonomous selfing, producing very few seeds, suggesting that inbreeding depression may limit benefits of selfing. Conclusions In plants where herkogamy and dichogamy facilitate outcrossing, floral longevity determines reproductive success and mating system. Reduction in longevity under drought suggests a strong environmental effect that could potentially alter the preferred breeding

  10. Genome-Wide Scan Informed by Age-Related Disease Identifies Loci for Exceptional Human Longevity.

    PubMed

    Fortney, Kristen; Dobriban, Edgar; Garagnani, Paolo; Pirazzini, Chiara; Monti, Daniela; Mari, Daniela; Atzmon, Gil; Barzilai, Nir; Franceschi, Claudio; Owen, Art B; Kim, Stuart K

    2015-12-01

    We developed a new statistical framework to find genetic variants associated with extreme longevity. The method, informed GWAS (iGWAS), takes advantage of knowledge from large studies of age-related disease in order to narrow the search for SNPs associated with longevity. To gain support for our approach, we first show there is an overlap between loci involved in disease and loci associated with extreme longevity. These results indicate that several disease variants may be depleted in centenarians versus the general population. Next, we used iGWAS to harness information from 14 meta-analyses of disease and trait GWAS to identify longevity loci in two studies of long-lived humans. In a standard GWAS analysis, only one locus in these studies is significant (APOE/TOMM40) when controlling the false discovery rate (FDR) at 10%. With iGWAS, we identify eight genetic loci to associate significantly with exceptional human longevity at FDR < 10%. We followed up the eight lead SNPs in independent cohorts, and found replication evidence of four loci and suggestive evidence for one more with exceptional longevity. The loci that replicated (FDR < 5%) included APOE/TOMM40 (associated with Alzheimer's disease), CDKN2B/ANRIL (implicated in the regulation of cellular senescence), ABO (tags the O blood group), and SH2B3/ATXN2 (a signaling gene that extends lifespan in Drosophila and a gene involved in neurological disease). Our results implicate new loci in longevity and reveal a genetic overlap between longevity and age-related diseases and traits, including coronary artery disease and Alzheimer's disease. iGWAS provides a new analytical strategy for uncovering SNPs that influence extreme longevity, and can be applied more broadly to boost power in other studies of complex phenotypes.

  11. Effects of changing precipitation and warming on functional traits of zonal Stipa plants from Inner Mongolian grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lü, Xiaomin; Zhou, Guangsheng; Wang, Yuhui; Song, Xiliang

    2016-06-01

    The mechanisms driving changes in dominant plant species are the key for understanding how grassland ecosystems respond to climate change. In this study, we examined plant functional traits (morphological characteristics: plant height, leaf area, and leaf number; biomasses: aboveground, belowground, and total; and growth indices: root-to-shoot ratio, specific leaf area, and leaf mass ratio) of four zonal Stipa species ( S. baicalensis, S. bungeana, S. grandis, and S. breviflora) from Inner Mongolian grassland in response to warming (control, +1.5, +2.0, +4.0, and +6.0?), changing precipitation (-30%, -15%, control, +15%, and +30%), and their combined effects via climate control chambers. The results showed that warming and changing precipitation had significant interactive effects, different from the accumulation of single-factor effects, on functional traits of Stipa species. The correlation and sensitivity of different plant functional traits to temperature and precipitation differed. Among the four species, the accumulation and variability of functional traits had greater partial correlation with precipitation than temperature, except for leaf number, leaf area, and specific leaf area, in S. breviflora, S. bungeana, and S. grandis. For S. baicalensis, the accumulation and variability of plant height, aboveground biomass, and root-to-shoot ratio only had significant partial correlation with precipitation. However, the variability of morphological characteristics, biomasses, and some growth indices, was more sensitive to temperature than precipitation in S. bungeana, S. grandis, and S. breviflora—except for aboveground biomass and plant height. These results reveal that precipitation is the key factor determining the growth and changes in plant functional traits in Stipa species, and that temperature mainly influences the quantitative fluctuations of the changes in functional traits.

  12. Mapping the association of global executive functioning onto diverse measures of psychopathic traits

    PubMed Central

    Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R.; Brazil, Inti A.; Ryan, Jonathan; Kohlenberg, Nathaniel J.; Neumann, Craig S.; Newman, Joseph P.

    2015-01-01

    Psychopathic individuals display a callous-coldhearted approach to interpersonal and affective situations and engage in impulsive and antisocial behaviors. Despite early conceptualizations suggesting that psychopathy is related to enhanced cognitive functioning, research examining executive functioning (EF) in psychopathy has yielded few such findings. It is possible that some psychopathic trait dimensions are more related to EF than others. Research using a two-factor or four-facet model of psychopathy highlights some dimension-specific differences in EF, but this research is limited in scope. Another complicating factor in teasing apart the EF-psychopathy relationship is the tendency to use different psychopathy assessments for incarcerated versus community samples. In this study, an EF battery and multiple measures of psychopathic dimensions were administered to a sample of male prisoners (N=377). Results indicate that using the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R), the independent effect of Factor2 was related to worse EF, but neither the independent effect of Factor1 nor the unique variance of the Factors (1 or 2) were related to EF. Using a four facet model, the independent effects of Facet2 (Affect) and Facet4 (Antisocial) were related to worse EF, but when examining the unique effects, only Facet2 remained significant. Finally, the questionnaire-based measure, Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire-Brief, of Fearless Dominance was related to better EF performance, whereas PCL-R Factor1 was unrelated to EF. Overall, the results reveal the complex relationship among EF and behaviors characteristic of psychopathy-related dimensions. Moreover, they demonstrate the interpersonal and affective traits measured by these distinct assessments are differentially related to EF. PMID:26011576

  13. Being cool: how body temperature influences ageing and longevity.

    PubMed

    Keil, Gerald; Cummings, Elizabeth; de Magalhães, João Pedro

    2015-08-01

    Temperature is a basic and essential property of any physical system, including living systems. Even modest variations in temperature can have profound effects on organisms, and it has long been thought that as metabolism increases at higher temperatures so should rates of ageing. Here, we review the literature on how temperature affects longevity, ageing and life history traits. From poikilotherms to homeotherms, there is a clear trend for lower temperature being associated with longer lifespans both in wild populations and in laboratory conditions. Many life-extending manipulations in rodents, such as caloric restriction, also decrease core body temperature. Nonetheless, an inverse relationship between temperature and lifespan can be obscured or reversed, especially when the range of body temperatures is small as in homeotherms. An example is observed in humans: women appear to have a slightly higher body temperature and yet live longer than men. The mechanisms involved in the relationship between temperature and longevity also appear to be less direct than once thought with neuroendocrine processes possibly mediating complex physiological responses to temperature changes. Lastly, we discuss species differences in longevity in mammals and how this relates to body temperature and argue that the low temperature of the long-lived naked mole-rat possibly contributes to its exceptional longevity.

  14. Phenotypically plastic traits regulate caste formation and soldier function in polyembryonic wasps

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Margaret S.; Milton, Ian; Strand, Michael R.

    2011-01-01

    Polyembryonic encyrtid wasps are parasitoids that have evolved a clonal form of embryogenesis and a caste system where some progeny become reproducing wasps while others develop into a sterile soldier caste. Theory based on the biology of Copidosoma floridanum predicts the primary role of soldier larvae is to mediate conflict over sex ratio, which also favours female-biased soldier production. Other data, however, suggest female-biased soldier production reflects a developmental constraint. Here we assessed whether female-biased soldier function by polyembryonic wasps reflects sex specific adaptation or constraint by conducting comparative studies with Copidosma bakeri; a species that produces clutch sizes similar to C. floridanum yet rarely produces broods associated with sex ratio conflict. Our results indicate the oviposition behaviour of adults, development of progeny, and function of soldier larvae differs greatly between C. bakeri and C. floridanum. These findings indicate that caste formation and soldier function in polyembryonic encyrtid wasps are regulated by phenotypically plastic traits. Our results further suggest the primary function of the soldier caste in some species is defence of host resources from competitors while in others it is resolution of sex ratio conflict. PMID:21040070

  15. Phenotypically plastic traits regulate caste formation and soldier function in polyembryonic wasps.

    PubMed

    Smith, M S; Milton, I; Strand, M R

    2010-12-01

    Polyembryonic encyrtid wasps are parasitoids that have evolved a clonal form of embryogenesis and a caste system where some progeny become reproducing wasps whereas others develop into a sterile soldier caste. Theory based on the biology of Copidosoma floridanum predicts that the primary role of soldier larvae is to mediate conflict over sex ratio, which also favours female-biased soldier production. Other data, however, suggest that female-biased soldier production reflects a developmental constraint. Here, we assessed whether female-biased soldier function by polyembryonic wasps reflects sex-specific adaptation or constraint by conducting comparative studies with Copidosoma bakeri, a species that produces clutch sizes similar to C. floridanum yet rarely produces broods associated with sex ratio conflict. Our results indicate that the oviposition behaviour of adults, development of progeny and function of soldier larvae differ greatly between C. bakeri and C. floridanum. These findings indicate that caste formation and soldier function in polyembryonic encyrtid wasps are regulated by phenotypically plastic traits. Our results further suggest that the primary function of the soldier caste in some species is defence of host resources from competitors whereas in others it is the resolution of sex ratio conflict.

  16. Functional Trait Strategies of Trees in Dry and Wet Tropical Forests Are Similar but Differ in Their Consequences for Succession

    PubMed Central

    Lohbeck, Madelon; Lebrija-Trejos, Edwin; Martínez-Ramos, Miguel; Meave, Jorge A.; Poorter, Lourens; Bongers, Frans

    2015-01-01

    Global plant trait studies have revealed fundamental trade-offs in plant resource economics. We evaluated such trait trade-offs during secondary succession in two species-rich tropical ecosystems that contrast in precipitation: dry deciduous and wet evergreen forests of Mexico. Species turnover with succession in dry forest largely relates to increasing water availability and in wet forest to decreasing light availability. We hypothesized that while functional trait trade-offs are similar in the two forest systems, the successful plant strategies in these communities will be different, as contrasting filters affect species turnover. Research was carried out in 15 dry secondary forest sites (5-63 years after abandonment) and in 17 wet secondary forest sites (<1-25 years after abandonment). We used 11 functional traits measured on 132 species to make species-trait PCA biplots for dry and wet forest and compare trait trade-offs. We evaluated whether multivariate plant strategies changed during succession, by calculating a ‘Community-Weighted Mean’ plant strategy, based on species scores on the first two PCA-axes. Trait spectra reflected two main trade-off axes that were similar for dry and wet forest species: acquisitive versus conservative species, and drought avoiding species versus evergreen species with large animal-dispersed seeds. These trait associations were consistent when accounting for evolutionary history. Successional changes in the most successful plant strategies reflected different functional trait spectra depending on the forest type. In dry forest the community changed from having drought avoiding strategies early in succession to increased abundance of evergreen strategies with larger seeds late in succession. In wet forest the community changed from species having mainly acquisitive strategies to those with more conservative strategies during succession. These strategy changes were explained by increasing water availability during dry forest

  17. Functional trait strategies of trees in dry and wet tropical forests are similar but differ in their consequences for succession.

    PubMed

    Lohbeck, Madelon; Lebrija-Trejos, Edwin; Martínez-Ramos, Miguel; Meave, Jorge A; Poorter, Lourens; Bongers, Frans

    2014-01-01

    Global plant trait studies have revealed fundamental trade-offs in plant resource economics. We evaluated such trait trade-offs during secondary succession in two species-rich tropical ecosystems that contrast in precipitation: dry deciduous and wet evergreen forests of Mexico. Species turnover with succession in dry forest largely relates to increasing water availability and in wet forest to decreasing light availability. We hypothesized that while functional trait trade-offs are similar in the two forest systems, the successful plant strategies in these communities will be different, as contrasting filters affect species turnover. Research was carried out in 15 dry secondary forest sites (5-63 years after abandonment) and in 17 wet secondary forest sites (<1-25 years after abandonment). We used 11 functional traits measured on 132 species to make species-trait PCA biplots for dry and wet forest and compare trait trade-offs. We evaluated whether multivariate plant strategies changed during succession, by calculating a 'Community-Weighted Mean' plant strategy, based on species scores on the first two PCA-axes. Trait spectra reflected two main trade-off axes that were similar for dry and wet forest species: acquisitive versus conservative species, and drought avoiding species versus evergreen species with large animal-dispersed seeds. These trait associations were consistent when accounting for evolutionary history. Successional changes in the most successful plant strategies reflected different functional trait spectra depending on the forest type. In dry forest the community changed from having drought avoiding strategies early in succession to increased abundance of evergreen strategies with larger seeds late in succession. In wet forest the community changed from species having mainly acquisitive strategies to those with more conservative strategies during succession. These strategy changes were explained by increasing water availability during dry forest

  18. Functional traits and ecological affinities of riparian plants along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Palmquist, Emily C.; Ralston, Barbara; Sarr. Daniel,; Merritt, David; Shafroth, Patrick B; Scott, Julian

    2017-01-01

    Trait-based approaches to vegetation analyses are becoming more prevalent in studies of riparian vegetation dynamics, including responses to flow regulation, groundwater pumping, and climate change. These analyses require species trait data compiled from the literature and floras or original field measurements. Gathering such data makes trait-based research time intensive at best and impracticable in some cases. To support trait-based analysis of vegetation along the Colorado River through Grand Canyon, a data set of 20 biological traits and ecological affinities for 179 species occurring in that study area was compiled. This diverse flora shares species with many riparian areas in the western USA and includes species that occur across a wide moisture gradient. Data were compiled from published scientific papers, unpublished reports, plant fact sheets, existing trait databases, regional floras, and plant guides. Data for ordinal environmental tolerances were more readily available than were quantitative traits. More publicly available data are needed for traits of both common and rare southwestern U.S. plant species to facilitate comprehensive, trait-based research. The trait data set is free to use and can be downloaded from ScienceBase: https://www.sciencebase.gov/catalog/item/58af41dee4b01ccd54f9f2ff and https://dx.doi.org/10.5066/F7QV3JN1

  19. Evolution of increased adult longevity in Drosophila melanogaster populations selected for adaptation to larval crowding.

    PubMed

    Shenoi, V N; Ali, S Z; Prasad, N G

    2016-02-01

    In holometabolous animals such as Drosophila melanogaster, larval crowding can affect a wide range of larval and adult traits. Adults emerging from high larval density cultures have smaller body size and increased mean life span compared to flies emerging from low larval density cultures. Therefore, adaptation to larval crowding could potentially affect adult longevity as a correlated response. We addressed this issue by studying a set of large, outbred populations of D. melanogaster, experimentally evolved for adaptation to larval crowding for 83 generations. We assayed longevity of adult flies from both selected (MCUs) and control populations (MBs) after growing them at different larval densities. We found that MCUs have evolved increased mean longevity compared to MBs at all larval densities. The interaction between selection regime and larval density was not significant, indicating that the density dependence of mean longevity had not evolved in the MCU populations. The increase in longevity in MCUs can be partially attributed to their lower rates of ageing. It is also noteworthy that reaction norm of dry body weight, a trait probably under direct selection in our populations, has indeed evolved in MCU populations. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the evolution of adult longevity as a correlated response of adaptation to larval crowding.

  20. Interindividual differences in cognitive flexibility: influence of gray matter volume, functional connectivity and trait impulsivity

    PubMed Central

    Langner, Robert; Cieslik, Edna C.; Rottschy, Claudia; Eickhoff, Simon B.

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive flexibility, a core aspect of executive functioning, is required for the speeded shifting between different tasks and sets. Using an interindividual differences approach, we examined whether cognitive flexibility, as assessed by the Delis–Kaplan card-sorting test, is associated with gray matter volume (GMV) and functional connectivity (FC) of regions of a core network of multiple cognitive demands as well as with different facets of trait impulsivity. The core multiple-demand network was derived from three large-scale neuroimaging meta-analyses and only included regions that showed consistent associations with sustained attention, working memory as well as inhibitory control. We tested to what extent self-reported impulsivity as well as GMV and resting-state FC in this core network predicted cognitive flexibility independently and incrementally. Our analyses revealed that card-sorting performance correlated positively with GMV of the right anterior insula, FC between bilateral anterior insula and midcingulate cortex/supplementary motor area as well as the impulsivity dimension “Premeditation.” Importantly, GMV, FC and impulsivity together accounted for more variance of card-sorting performance than every parameter alone. Our results therefore indicate that various factors contribute individually to cognitive flexibility, underlining the need to search across multiple modalities when aiming to unveil the mechanisms behind executive functioning. PMID:24878823

  1. Characterization of mineral phosphate solubilization traits from a barley rhizosphere soil functional metagenome.

    PubMed

    Chhabra, Sagar; Brazil, Dina; Morrissey, John; Burke, James I; O'Gara, Fergal; N Dowling, David

    2013-10-01

    Mineral phosphate solubilization (MPS) microorganisms are important for their provision of orthophosphate anions for plant growth promotion activity in soil. In this study, we applied a functional metagenomic approach to identify this trait directly from the microbiome in barley rhizosphere soil that had not received P fertilizer over a 15-year period. A fosmid system was used to clone the metagenome of which 18,000 clones (~666 Mb of DNA) was screened for MPS. Functional assays and High Performance Liquid Chromatography analysis recognized gluconic acid production and MPS activity in the range 24.8-77.1 mmol/L and 27.6-38.16 μg/mL, respectively, when screened in an Escherichia coli host (at frequency of one MPS-positive clone hit per 114 Mb DNA tested). The MPS clones (with average insert size of ~37 kb) were analysed by 454 Roche sequencing and annotated. A number of genes/operons with homology to Phosphorous (P) uptake, regulatory and solubilization mechanisms were identified, linking the MPS function to the uncultivated microbiome present in barley rhizosphere soil.

  2. Ozone exposure and flux-based response functions for photosynthetic traits in wheat, maize and poplar.

    PubMed

    Bagard, Matthieu; Jolivet, Yves; Hasenfratz-Sauder, Marie-Paule; Gérard, Joëlle; Dizengremel, Pierre; Le Thiec, Didier

    2015-11-01

    Ozone exposure- and dose-response relationships based on photosynthetic leaf traits (CO2 assimilation, chlorophyll content, Rubisco and PEPc activities) were established for wheat, maize and poplar plants grown in identical controlled conditions, providing a comparison between crop and tree species, as well as between C3 and C4 plants. Intra-specific variability was addressed by comparing two wheat cultivars with contrasting ozone tolerance. Depending on plant models and ozone levels, first-order, second-order and segmented linear regression models were used to derive ozone response functions. Overall, flux-based functions appeared superior to exposure-based functions in describing the data, but the improvement remained modest. The best fit was obtained using the POD0.5 for maize and POD3 for poplar. The POD6 appeared relevant for wheat, although intervarietal differences were found. Our results suggest that taking into account the dynamics of leaf antioxidant capacity could improve current methods for ozone risk assessment for plants.

  3. Personality traits and existential concerns as predictors of the functions of reminiscence in older adults.

    PubMed

    Cappeliez, Philippe; O'Rourke, Norm

    2002-03-01

    This study examines to what extent personality and existential constructs predict the frequency of reminiscence, in general, and its various functions, in particular. Eighty-nine older adults completed the NEO-Five Factor Inventory, the Life Attitude Profile--Revised, and the Reminiscence Functions Scale. Neuroticism predicted total reminiscence frequency, as well as reminiscence for self-understanding and ruminating about a negative past. Extraversion predicted total reminiscence frequency, as well as reminiscence for generating stimulation, conversation, and maintaining memories of departed loved ones. Openness to experience predicted total reminiscence frequency and reminiscence for addressing life meaning and death. Existential concerns, and in particular low desire to seek new challenges, added significant additional predictive power for total reminiscence frequency and for such uses as generating stimulation, preparing for death, and ruminating about the past. The discussion draws the implications of the finding that the combination of personality traits and existential concerns predicted the overall reminiscence frequency together with the intrapersonal functions of reminiscence.

  4. A Sexually Dimorphic Corolla Appendage Affects Pollen Removal and Floral Longevity in Gynodioecious Cyananthus delavayi (Campanulaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Niu, Yang; Zhang, Zhi-Qiang; Liu, Chang-Qiu; Li, Zhi-Min; Sun, Hang

    2015-01-01

    The floral traits of bisexual flowers may evolve in response to selection on both male and female functions, but the relative importance of selection associated with each of these two aspects is poorly resolved. Sexually dimorphic traits in plants with unisexual flowers may reflect gender-specific selection, providing opportunities for gaining an increased understanding of the evolution of specific floral traits. We examined sexually dimorphic patterns of floral traits in perfect and female flowers of the gynodioecious species Cyananthus delavayi. A special corolla appendage, the throat hair, was investigated experimentally to examine its influences on male and female function. We found that perfect flowers have larger corollas and much longer throat hairs than female flowers, while female ones have much exerted stigmas. The presence of throat hairs prolonged the duration of pollen presentation by restricting the amount of pollen removed by pollen-collecting bees during each visit. Floral longevity was negatively related to the rate of pollen removal. When pollen removal rate was limited in perfect flowers, the duration of the female phases diminished with the increased male phase duration. There was a weak negative correlation between throat hair length and seed number per fruit in female flowers, but this correlation was not significant in perfect flowers. These results suggest that throat hairs may enhance male function in terms of prolonged pollen presentation. However, throat hairs have no obvious effect on female function in terms of seed number per fruit. The marked sexual dimorphism of this corolla appendage in C. delavayi is likely to have evolved and been maintained by gender-specific selection. PMID:25603479

  5. Dopamine modulates risk-taking as a function of baseline sensation-seeking trait.

    PubMed

    Norbury, Agnes; Manohar, Sanjay; Rogers, Robert D; Husain, Masud

    2013-08-07

    Trait sensation-seeking, defined as a need for varied, complex, and intense sensations, represents a relatively underexplored hedonic drive in human behavioral neuroscience research. It is related to increased risk for a range of behaviors including substance use, gambling, and risky sexual practice. Individual differences in self-reported sensation-seeking have been linked to brain dopamine function, particularly at D2-like receptors, but so far no causal evidence exists for a role of dopamine in sensation-seeking behavior in humans. Here, we investigated the effects of the selective D2/D3 agonist cabergoline on performance of a probabilistic risky choice task in healthy humans using a sensitive within-subject, placebo-controlled design. Cabergoline significantly influenced the way participants combined different explicit signals regarding probability and loss when choosing between response options associated with uncertain outcomes. Importantly, these effects were strongly dependent on baseline sensation-seeking score. Overall, cabergoline increased sensitivity of choice to information about probability of winning; while decreasing discrimination according to magnitude of potential losses associated with different options. The largest effects of the drug were observed in participants with lower sensation-seeking scores. These findings provide evidence that risk-taking behavior in humans can be directly manipulated by a dopaminergic drug, but that the effectiveness of such a manipulation depends on baseline differences in sensation-seeking trait. This emphasizes the importance of considering individual differences when investigating manipulation of risky decision-making, and may have relevance for the development of pharmacotherapies for disorders involving excessive risk-taking in humans, such as pathological gambling.

  6. Dopamine Modulates Risk-Taking as a Function of Baseline Sensation-Seeking Trait

    PubMed Central

    Manohar, Sanjay; Rogers, Robert D.; Husain, Masud

    2013-01-01

    Trait sensation-seeking, defined as a need for varied, complex, and intense sensations, represents a relatively underexplored hedonic drive in human behavioral neuroscience research. It is related to increased risk for a range of behaviors including substance use, gambling, and risky sexual practice. Individual differences in self-reported sensation-seeking have been linked to brain dopamine function, particularly at D2-like receptors, but so far no causal evidence exists for a role of dopamine in sensation-seeking behavior in humans. Here, we investigated the effects of the selective D2/D3 agonist cabergoline on performance of a probabilistic risky choice task in healthy humans using a sensitive within-subject, placebo-controlled design. Cabergoline significantly influenced the way participants combined different explicit signals regarding probability and loss when choosing between response options associated with uncertain outcomes. Importantly, these effects were strongly dependent on baseline sensation-seeking score. Overall, cabergoline increased sensitivity of choice to information about probability of winning; while decreasing discrimination according to magnitude of potential losses associated with different options. The largest effects of the drug were observed in participants with lower sensation-seeking scores. These findings provide evidence that risk-taking behavior in humans can be directly manipulated by a dopaminergic drug, but that the effectiveness of such a manipulation depends on baseline differences in sensation-seeking trait. This emphasizes the importance of considering individual differences when investigating manipulation of risky decision-making, and may have relevance for the development of pharmacotherapies for disorders involving excessive risk-taking in humans, such as pathological gambling. PMID:23926253

  7. Plant functional trait diversity regulates the nonlinear response of productivity to regional climate change in Tibetan alpine grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Jianshuang; Wurst, Susanne; Zhang, Xianzhou

    2016-01-01

    The biodiversity-productivity relationship is still under debate for alpine grasslands on the Tibetan Plateau. We know little about direct and indirect effects of biotic and abiotic drivers on this relationship, especially in regard to plant functional trait diversity. Here, we examine how aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) and precipitation use efficiency (PUE) respond to climate, soil and community structure across alpine grasslands on the Northern Tibetan Plateau. We found that both ANPP and PUE showed nonlinear patterns along water availability and site altitude variation, which together accounted for 80.3% and 68.8% of variation in ANPP and PUE, respectively, by optimal generalized additive models. Functional trait divergence (FTD) and community weighted mean (CWM) of plant functional traits were as important as plant species diversity (PSD) for explaining the nonlinear productivity-climate relationship. These findings were confirmed by results from principal component analyses and structural equation models. We also found that FTD was negatively correlated with PSD across different alpine grasslands. Our results implicate: first, the combinatorial influences of temperature and precipitation gradients are important for predicting alpine grassland dynamics; second, the convergence and divergence of plant functional traits may have the potential to elucidate the effect of plant diversity on ecosystem functionality. PMID:27759112

  8. Plant functional trait diversity regulates the nonlinear response of productivity to regional climate change in Tibetan alpine grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Jianshuang; Wurst, Susanne; Zhang, Xianzhou

    2016-10-01

    The biodiversity-productivity relationship is still under debate for alpine grasslands on the Tibetan Plateau. We know little about direct and indirect effects of biotic and abiotic drivers on this relationship, especially in regard to plant functional trait diversity. Here, we examine how aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) and precipitation use efficiency (PUE) respond to climate, soil and community structure across alpine grasslands on the Northern Tibetan Plateau. We found that both ANPP and PUE showed nonlinear patterns along water availability and site altitude variation, which together accounted for 80.3% and 68.8% of variation in ANPP and PUE, respectively, by optimal generalized additive models. Functional trait divergence (FTD) and community weighted mean (CWM) of plant functional traits were as important as plant species diversity (PSD) for explaining the nonlinear productivity-climate relationship. These findings were confirmed by results from principal component analyses and structural equation models. We also found that FTD was negatively correlated with PSD across different alpine grasslands. Our results implicate: first, the combinatorial influences of temperature and precipitation gradients are important for predicting alpine grassland dynamics; second, the convergence and divergence of plant functional traits may have the potential to elucidate the effect of plant diversity on ecosystem functionality.

  9. Extensions of Island Biogeography Theory predict the scaling of functional trait composition with habitat area and isolation.

    PubMed

    Jacquet, Claire; Mouillot, David; Kulbicki, Michel; Gravel, Dominique

    2017-02-01

    The Theory of Island Biogeography (TIB) predicts how area and isolation influence species richness equilibrium on insular habitats. However, the TIB remains silent about functional trait composition and provides no information on the scaling of functional diversity with area, an observation that is now documented in many systems. To fill this gap, we develop a probabilistic approach to predict the distribution of a trait as a function of habitat area and isolation, extending the TIB beyond the traditional species-area relationship. We compare model predictions to the body-size distribution of piscivorous and herbivorous fishes found on tropical reefs worldwide. We find that small and isolated reefs have a higher proportion of large-sized species than large and connected reefs. We also find that knowledge of species body-size and trophic position improves the predictions of fish occupancy on tropical reefs, supporting both the allometric and trophic theory of island biogeography. The integration of functional ecology to island biogeography is broadly applicable to any functional traits and provides a general probabilistic approach to study the scaling of trait distribution with habitat area and isolation.

  10. Plant functional trait diversity regulates the nonlinear response of productivity to regional climate change in Tibetan alpine grasslands.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jianshuang; Wurst, Susanne; Zhang, Xianzhou

    2016-10-19

    The biodiversity-productivity relationship is still under debate for alpine grasslands on the Tibetan Plateau. We know little about direct and indirect effects of biotic and abiotic drivers on this relationship, especially in regard to plant functional trait diversity. Here, we examine how aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) and precipitation use efficiency (PUE) respond to climate, soil and community structure across alpine grasslands on the Northern Tibetan Plateau. We found that both ANPP and PUE showed nonlinear patterns along water availability and site altitude variation, which together accounted for 80.3% and 68.8% of variation in ANPP and PUE, respectively, by optimal generalized additive models. Functional trait divergence (FTD) and community weighted mean (CWM) of plant functional traits were as important as plant species diversity (PSD) for explaining the nonlinear productivity-climate relationship. These findings were confirmed by results from principal component analyses and structural equation models. We also found that FTD was negatively correlated with PSD across different alpine grasslands. Our results implicate: first, the combinatorial influences of temperature and precipitation gradients are important for predicting alpine grassland dynamics; second, the convergence and divergence of plant functional traits may have the potential to elucidate the effect of plant diversity on ecosystem functionality.

  11. Disentangling Coordination among Functional Traits Using an Individual-Centred Model: Impact on Plant Performance at Intra- and Inter-Specific Levels

    PubMed Central

    Hill, David; Martin, Raphaël; Wirth, Christian; Wright, Ian J.; Soussana, Jean-François

    2013-01-01

    Background Plant functional traits co-vary along strategy spectra, thereby defining trade-offs for resource acquisition and utilization amongst other processes. A main objective of plant ecology is to quantify the correlations among traits and ask why some of them are sufficiently closely coordinated to form a single axis of functional specialization. However, due to trait co-variations in nature, it is difficult to propose a mechanistic and causal explanation for the origin of trade-offs among traits observed at both intra- and inter-specific level. Methodology/Principal Findings Using the Gemini individual-centered model which coordinates physiological and morphological processes, we investigated with 12 grass species the consequences of deliberately decoupling variation of leaf traits (specific leaf area, leaf lifespan) and plant stature (height and tiller number) on plant growth and phenotypic variability. For all species under both high and low N supplies, simulated trait values maximizing plant growth in monocultures matched observed trait values. Moreover, at the intraspecific level, plastic trait responses to N addition predicted by the model were in close agreement with observed trait responses. In a 4D trait space, our modeling approach highlighted that the unique trait combination maximizing plant growth under a given environmental condition was determined by a coordination of leaf, root and whole plant processes that tended to co-limit the acquisition and use of carbon and of nitrogen. Conclusion/Significance Our study provides a mechanistic explanation for the origin of trade-offs between plant functional traits and further predicts plasticity in plant traits in response to environmental changes. In a multidimensional trait space, regions occupied by current plant species can therefore be viewed as adaptive corridors where trait combinations minimize allometric and physiological constraints from the organ to the whole plant levels. The regions outside

  12. High-Dimensional Coexistence of Temperate Tree Species: Functional Traits, Demographic Rates, Life-History Stages, and Their Physical Context

    PubMed Central

    McMahon, Sean M.; Metcalf, Charlotte J. E.; Woodall, Christopher W.

    2011-01-01

    Theoretical models indicate that trade-offs between growth and survival strategies of tree species can lead to coexistence across life history stages (ontogeny) and physical conditions experienced by individuals. There exist predicted physiological mechanisms regulating these trade-offs, such as an investment in leaf characters that may increase survival in stressful environments at the expense of investment in bole or root growth. Confirming these mechanisms, however, requires that potential environmental, ontogenetic, and trait influences are analyzed together. Here, we infer growth and mortality of tree species given size, site, and light characteristics from forest inventory data from Wisconsin to test hypotheses about growth-survival trade-offs given species functional trait values under different ontogenetic and environmental states. A series of regression analyses including traits and rates their interactions with environmental and ontogenetic stages supported the relationships between traits and vital rates expected from the expectations from tree physiology. A combined model including interactions between all variables indicated that relationships between demographic rates and functional traits supports growth-survival trade-offs and their differences across species in high-dimensional niche space. The combined model explained 65% of the variation in tree growth and supports a concept of community coexistence similar to Hutchinson's n-dimensional hypervolume and not a low-dimensional niche model or neutral model. PMID:21305020

  13. HRAS1 and LASS1 with APOE are associated with human longevity and healthy aging.

    PubMed

    Jazwinski, S Michal; Kim, Sangkyu; Dai, Jianliang; Li, Li; Bi, Xiuhua; Jiang, James C; Arnold, Jonathan; Batzer, Mark A; Walker, Jerilyn A; Welsh, David A; Lefante, Christina M; Volaufova, Julia; Myers, Leann; Su, L Joseph; Hausman, Dorothy B; Miceli, Michael V; Ravussin, Eric; Poon, Leonard W; Cherry, Katie E; Welsch, Michael A

    2010-10-01

    The search for longevity-determining genes in human has largely neglected the operation of genetic interactions. We have identified a novel combination of common variants of three genes that has a marked association with human lifespan and healthy aging. Subjects were recruited and stratified according to their genetically inferred ethnic affiliation to account for population structure. Haplotype analysis was performed in three candidate genes, and the haplotype combinations were tested for association with exceptional longevity. An HRAS1 haplotype enhanced the effect of an APOE haplotype on exceptional survival, and a LASS1 haplotype further augmented its magnitude. These results were replicated in a second population. A profile of healthy aging was developed using a deficit accumulation index, which showed that this combination of gene variants is associated with healthy aging. The variation in LASS1 is functional, causing enhanced expression of the gene, and it contributes to healthy aging and greater survival in the tenth decade of life. Thus, rare gene variants need not be invoked to explain complex traits such as aging; instead rare congruence of common gene variants readily fulfills this role. The interaction between the three genes described here suggests new models for cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying exceptional survival and healthy aging that involve lipotoxicity.

  14. Amino Acid Homeostasis and Chronological Longevity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    PubMed Central

    Aris, John P.; Fishwick, Laura K.; Marraffini, Michelle L.; Seo, Arnold Y.; Leeuwenburgh, Christiaan; Dunn, William A.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how non-dividing cells remain viable over long periods of time, which may be decades in humans, is of central importance in understanding mechanisms of aging and longevity. The long-term viability of non-dividing cells, known as chronological longevity, relies on cellular processes that degrade old components and replace them with new ones. Key among these processes is amino acid homeostasis. Amino acid homeostasis requires three principal functions: amino acid uptake, de novo synthesis, and recycling. Autophagy plays a key role in recycling amino acids and other metabolic building blocks, while at the same time removing damaged cellular components such as mitochondria and other organelles. Regulation of amino acid homeostasis and autophagy is accomplished by a complex web of pathways that interact because of the functional overlap at the level of recycling. It is becoming increasingly clear that amino acid homeostasis and autophagy play important roles in chronological longevity in yeast and higher organisms. Our goal in this chapter is to focus on mechanisms and pathways that link amino acid homeostasis, autophagy, and chronological longevity in yeast, and explore their relevance to aging and longevity in higher eukaryotes. PMID:22094422

  15. RNA silencing as a tool to uncover gene function and engineer novel traits in soybean

    PubMed Central

    Kasai, Megumi; Kanazawa, Akira

    2012-01-01

    RNA silencing refers collectively to diverse RNA-mediated pathways of nucleotide-sequence-specific inhibition of gene expression. It has been used to analyze gene function and engineer novel traits in various organisms. Here, we review the application of RNA silencing in soybean. To produce soybean lines, in which a particular gene is stably silenced, researchers have frequently used a transgene that transcribes inverted repeats of a target gene segment. Suppression of gene expression in developing soybean embryos has been one of the main focuses of metabolic engineering using transgene-induced silencing. Plants that have enhanced resistance against diseases caused by viruses or cyst nematode have also been produced. Meanwhile, Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated transformation has been used to induce RNA silencing in roots, which enabled analysis of the roles of gene products in nodulation or disease resistance. RNA silencing has also been induced using viral vectors, which is particularly useful for gene function analysis. So far, three viral vectors for virus-induced gene silencing have been developed for soybean. One of the features of the soybean genome is the presence of a large number of duplicated genes. Potential use of RNA silencing technology in combination with forward genetic approaches for analyzing duplicated genes is discussed. PMID:23136487

  16. A Computational Approach for Functional Mapping of Quantitative Trait Loci That Regulate Thermal Performance Curves

    PubMed Central

    Yap, John Stephen; Wang, Chenguang; Wu, Rongling

    2007-01-01

    Whether and how thermal reaction norm is under genetic control is fundamental to understand the mechanistic basis of adaptation to novel thermal environments. However, the genetic study of thermal reaction norm is difficult because it is often expressed as a continuous function or curve. Here we derive a statistical model for dissecting thermal performance curves into individual quantitative trait loci (QTL) with the aid of a genetic linkage map. The model is constructed within the maximum likelihood context and implemented with the EM algorithm. It integrates the biological principle of responses to temperature into a framework for genetic mapping through rigorous mathematical functions established to describe the pattern and shape of thermal reaction norms. The biological advantages of the model lie in the decomposition of the genetic causes for thermal reaction norm into its biologically interpretable modes, such as hotter-colder, faster-slower and generalist-specialist, as well as the formulation of a series of hypotheses at the interface between genetic actions/interactions and temperature-dependent sensitivity. The model is also meritorious in statistics because the precision of parameter estimation and power of QTLdetection can be increased by modeling the mean-covariance structure with a small set of parameters. The results from simulation studies suggest that the model displays favorable statistical properties and can be robust in practical genetic applications. The model provides a conceptual platform for testing many ecologically relevant hypotheses regarding organismic adaptation within the Eco-Devo paradigm. PMID:17579725

  17. 28 CFR 345.55 - Longevity pay.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 2 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Longevity pay. 345.55 Section 345.55... (FPI) INMATE WORK PROGRAMS Inmate Pay and Benefits § 345.55 Longevity pay. (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, an inmate earns longevity pay raises after 18 months spent in FPI work...

  18. 28 CFR 345.55 - Longevity pay.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 2 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Longevity pay. 345.55 Section 345.55... (FPI) INMATE WORK PROGRAMS Inmate Pay and Benefits § 345.55 Longevity pay. (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, an inmate earns longevity pay raises after 18 months spent in FPI work...

  19. 28 CFR 345.55 - Longevity pay.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 2 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Longevity pay. 345.55 Section 345.55... (FPI) INMATE WORK PROGRAMS Inmate Pay and Benefits § 345.55 Longevity pay. (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, an inmate earns longevity pay raises after 18 months spent in FPI work...

  20. 28 CFR 345.55 - Longevity pay.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Longevity pay. 345.55 Section 345.55... (FPI) INMATE WORK PROGRAMS Inmate Pay and Benefits § 345.55 Longevity pay. (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, an inmate earns longevity pay raises after 18 months spent in FPI work...

  1. 28 CFR 345.55 - Longevity pay.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 2 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Longevity pay. 345.55 Section 345.55... (FPI) INMATE WORK PROGRAMS Inmate Pay and Benefits § 345.55 Longevity pay. (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, an inmate earns longevity pay raises after 18 months spent in FPI work...

  2. Using functional traits to assess the resistance of subalpine grassland to trampling by mountain biking and hiking.

    PubMed

    Pickering, Catherine Marina; Barros, Agustina

    2015-12-01

    Functional traits reflect plant responses to disturbance, including from visitor impacts. The impacts of mountain biking and hiking on functional composition were compared using a common experimental protocol in a subalpine grassland in the Australian Alps. The overlapping cover of all species was recorded two weeks after different intensities of hiking (200 and 500 passes) and mountain biking (none, 25, 75, 200 and 500 passes). Species' functional trait data were combined with their relative cover to calculate community trait weighted means for plant height, leaf area, percentage leaf dry matter content and Specific Leaf Area (SLA). Species such as Poa fawcettiae with larger leaves and SLA but lower dry weight content of leaves were more resistant to use, with differences between bikers and hikers only apparent at the highest levels of use tested. This differs from some vegetation communities in Europe where plants with smaller leaves were more resistant to hiking. More research using functional traits may account for differences in species responses to trampling. Managers of conservation areas used for hiking and biking need to minimise off trail use by both user groups.

  3. Variation in species diversity and functional traits of sponge communities near human populations in Bocas del Toro, Panama

    PubMed Central

    Matterson, Kenan O.; Freeman, Christopher J.; Archer, Stephanie K.; Thacker, Robert W.

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies have renewed interest in sponge ecology by emphasizing the functional importance of sponges in a broad array of ecosystem services. Many critically important habitats occupied by sponges face chronic stressors that might lead to alterations in their diversity, relatedness, and functional attributes. We addressed whether proximity to human activity might be a significant factor in structuring sponge community composition, as well as potential functional roles, by monitoring sponge diversity and abundance at two structurally similar sites that vary in distance to areas of high coastal development in Bocas Del Toro, Panama. We surveyed sponge communities at each site using belt transects and differences between two sites were compared using the following variables: (1) sponge species richness, Shannon diversity, and inverse Simpson’s diversity; (2) phylogenetic diversity; (3) taxonomic and phylogenetic beta diversity; (4) trait diversity and dissimilarity; and (5) phylogenetic and trait patterns in community structure. We observed significantly higher sponge diversity at Punta Caracol, the site most distant from human development (∼5 km). Although phylogenetic diversity was lower at Saigon Bay, the site adjacent to a large village including many houses, businesses, and an airport, the sites did not exhibit significantly different patterns of phylogenetic relatedness in species composition. However, each site had a distinct taxonomic and phylogenetic composition (beta diversity). In addition, the sponge community at Saigon included a higher relative abundance of sponges with high microbial abundance and high chlorophyll a concentration, whereas the community at Punta Caracol had a more even distribution of these traits, yielding a significant difference in functional trait diversity between sites. These results suggest that lower diversity and potentially altered community function might be associated with proximity to human populations. This study

  4. Follow-up study of functional and morphological malocclusion trait changes from 3 to 12 years of age.

    PubMed

    Ovsenik, Maja; Farcnik, Franc Marjan; Korpar, Majda; Verdenik, Ivan

    2007-10-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate morphological and functional malocclusion trait changes in 3- to 12-year-old children and to determine whether such functional traits at the 3, 4, and 5 years of age correlated with malocclusion severity score at 12 years of age. Two hundred and sixty-seven children (132 boys, 135 girls) were randomly selected for a follow-up study from a previous cohort of 560 subjects. Functional and morphological traits were clinically assessed. Five functional malocclusion traits: mouth breathing, atypical swallowing, thumb, pacifier sucking, and bottle feeding were assessed and evaluated. Intra-arch assessment involved measurements of incisor crowding, rotation of incisors, and axial inclination of the teeth. For inter-arch measurements, overbite, anterior open bite, overjet, reverse overjet, anterior crossbite, and buccal segment relationships were recorded. The weighted sum of recorded occlusal traits thus represented the total malocclusion severity score. The median morphological malocclusion severity score was almost the same at 3 and 12 years of age, while functional malocclusion decreased. Sucking habits (finger- or dummy-sucking, bottle feeding) until 5 years of age were statistically significantly correlated with an atypical swallowing pattern from 6 to 9 years (Spearman r = 0.178, P = 0.017), which in turn was statistically significantly correlated with the morphological malocclusion severity score (Spearman r = 0.185, P = 0.042) at 12 years of age. At an early age, the morphological severity score is related to the stage of dental development, while at a later period, malocclusion severity score is also the result of incorrect orofacial functions at an early stage of dental development.

  5. Interpreting the Climatic Effects on Xylem Functional Traits in Two Mediterranean Oak Species: The Role of Extreme Climatic Events

    PubMed Central

    Rita, Angelo; Borghetti, Marco; Todaro, Luigi; Saracino, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    In the Mediterranean region, the widely predicted rise in temperature, change in the precipitation pattern, and increase in the frequency of extreme climatic events are expected to alter the shape of ecological communities and to affect plant physiological processes that regulate ecosystem functioning. Although change in the mean values are important, there is increasing evidence that plant distribution, survival, and productivity respond to extremes rather than to the average climatic condition. The present study aims to assess the effects of both mean and extreme climatic conditions on radial growth and functional anatomical traits using long-term tree-ring time series of two co-existing Quercus spp. from a drought-prone site in Southern Italy. In particular, this is the first attempt to apply the Generalized Additive Model for Location, Scale, and Shape (GAMLSS) technique and Bayesian modeling procedures to xylem traits data set, with the aim of (i) detecting non-linear long-term responses to climate and (ii) exploring relationships between climate extreme and xylem traits variability in terms of probability of occurrence. This study demonstrates the usefulness of long-term xylem trait chronologies as records of environmental conditions at annual resolution. Statistical analyses revealed that most of the variability in tree-ring width and specific hydraulic conductivity might be explained by cambial age. Additionally, results highlighted appreciable relationships between xylem traits and climate variability more than tree-ring width, supporting also the evidence that the plant hydraulic traits are closely linked to local climate extremes rather than average climatic conditions. We reported that the probability of extreme departure in specific hydraulic conductivity (Ks) rises at extreme values of Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). Therefore, changing frequency or intensity of extreme events might overcome the adaptive limits of vascular transport, resulting

  6. Longevity Of Dry Film Lubricants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kannel, J. W.; Stockwell, R. D.

    1993-01-01

    Report describes evaluation of dry film lubricants candidate for use in rotary joints of proposed Space Station. Study included experiments and theoretical analyses focused on longevity of sputtered molybdenum disulfide films and ion-plated lead films under conditions partially simulating rolling contact.

  7. Typologies of Extreme Longevity Myths

    PubMed Central

    Young, Robert D.; Desjardins, Bertrand; McLaughlin, Kirsten; Poulain, Michel; Perls, Thomas T.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose. Political, national, religious, and other motivations have led the media and even scientists to errantly accept extreme longevity claims prima facie. We describe various causes of false claims of extraordinary longevity. Design and Methods. American Social Security Death Index files for the period 1980–2009 were queried for individuals with birth and death dates yielding ages 110+ years of age. Frequency was compared to a list of age-validated supercentenarians maintained by the Gerontology Research Group who died during the same time period. Age claims of 110+ years and the age validation experiences of the authors facilitated a list of typologies of false age claims. Results. Invalid age claim rates increase with age from 65% at age 110-111 to 98% by age 115 to 100% for 120+ years. Eleven typologies of false claims were: Religious Authority Myth, Village Elder Myth, Fountain of Youth Myth (substance), Shangri-La Myth (geographic), Nationalist Pride, Spiritual Practice, Familial Longevity, Individual and/or Family Notoriety, Military Service, Administrative Entry Error, and Pension-Social Entitlement Fraud. Conclusions. Understanding various causes of false extreme age claims is important for placing current, past, and future extreme longevity claims in context and for providing a necessary level of skepticism. PMID:21461047

  8. Typologies of extreme longevity myths.

    PubMed

    Young, Robert D; Desjardins, Bertrand; McLaughlin, Kirsten; Poulain, Michel; Perls, Thomas T

    2010-01-01

    Purpose. Political, national, religious, and other motivations have led the media and even scientists to errantly accept extreme longevity claims prima facie. We describe various causes of false claims of extraordinary longevity. Design and Methods. American Social Security Death Index files for the period 1980-2009 were queried for individuals with birth and death dates yielding ages 110+ years of age. Frequency was compared to a list of age-validated supercentenarians maintained by the Gerontology Research Group who died during the same time period. Age claims of 110+ years and the age validation experiences of the authors facilitated a list of typologies of false age claims. Results. Invalid age claim rates increase with age from 65% at age 110-111 to 98% by age 115 to 100% for 120+ years. Eleven typologies of false claims were: Religious Authority Myth, Village Elder Myth, Fountain of Youth Myth (substance), Shangri-La Myth (geographic), Nationalist Pride, Spiritual Practice, Familial Longevity, Individual and/or Family Notoriety, Military Service, Administrative Entry Error, and Pension-Social Entitlement Fraud. Conclusions. Understanding various causes of false extreme age claims is important for placing current, past, and future extreme longevity claims in context and for providing a necessary level of skepticism.

  9. Female Superintendent Longevity in California

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rohlfing, Tracy

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate, through narrative inquiry (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000), the leadership evolution of five female superintendents in California with longevity of 5 or more years in their current school district positions. The research question addressed was, "How do California female superintendents evolve to…

  10. Longevity of Native Wildflower Seeds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wildflowers and forbs used for production, plantings and restoration generally exhibit ‘orthodox’ storage behavior, meaning that longevity can be adjusted by balancing storage relative humidity and temperature. An RH of about 20 to 30% at the storage temperature provides optimum moisture condition...

  11. Stability of the DSM-5 Section III pathological personality traits and their longitudinal associations with psychosocial functioning in personality disordered individuals.

    PubMed

    Wright, Aidan G C; Calabrese, William R; Rudick, Monica M; Yam, Wern How; Zelazny, Kerry; Williams, Trevor F; Rotterman, Jane H; Simms, Leonard J

    2015-02-01

    This study was conducted to establish (a) the stability of the DSM-5 Section III personality disorder (PD) traits, (b) whether these traits predict future psychosocial functioning, and (c) whether changes in traits track with changes in psychosocial functioning across time. Ninety-three outpatients (61% female) diagnosed with at least 1 PD completed patient-report measures at 2 time-points (M time between assessments = 1.44 years), including the Personality Inventory for the DSM-5 and several measures of psychosocial functioning. Effect sizes of rank-order and mean-level change were calculated. In addition, Time 1 traits were used to predict functioning measures at Time 2. Finally, latent change score models were estimated for DSM-5 Section III traits and functioning measures, and correlations among latent change scores were calculated to establish the relationship between change in traits and functional outcomes. Findings demonstrated that the DSM-5 Section III traits were highly stable in terms of normative (i.e., mean-level) change and rank-order stability over the course of the study. Furthermore, traits prospectively predicted psychosocial functioning. However, at the individual level traits and functioning were not entirely static over the study, and change in individuals' functioning tracked with changes in trait levels. These findings demonstrate that the DSM-5 Section III traits are highly stable consistent with the definition of PD, prospectively predictive of psychosocial functioning, and are dynamically associated with functioning over time. This study provides important evidence in support of the DSM-5 Section III PD model.

  12. Stability of the DSM-5 Section III Pathological Personality Traits and their Longitudinal Associations with Psychosocial Functioning in Personality Disordered Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Aidan G.C.; Calabrese, William R.; Rudick, Monica M.; Yam, Wern How; Zelazny, Kerry; Williams, Trevor F.; Rotterman, Jane H.; Simms, Leonard J.

    2014-01-01

    This study was conducted to establish (a) the stability of the DSM-5 Section III personality disorder (PD) traits, (b) whether these traits predict future psychosocial functioning, and (c) whether changes in traits track with changes in psychosocial functioning across time. Ninety-three outpatients (61% Female) diagnosed with at least one PD completed patient-report measures at two time-points (M time between assessments = 1.44 years), including the Personality Inventory for the DSM-5 and several measures of psychosocial functioning. Effect sizes of rank-order and mean-level change were calculated. In addition, Time 1 traits were used to predict functioning measures at Time 2. Finally, latent change score models were estimated for DSM-5 Section III traits and functioning measures, and correlations among latent change scores were calculated to establish the relationship between change in traits and functional outcomes. Findings demonstrated that the DSM-5 Section III traits were highly stable in terms of normative (i.e., mean-level) change and rank-order stability over the course of the study. Furthermore, traits prospectively predicted psychosocial functioning. However, at the individual level traits and functioning were not entirely static over the study, and change in individuals’ functioning tracked with changes in trait levels. These findings demonstrate that the DSM-5 Section III traits are highly stable consistent with the definition of PD, prospectively predictive of psychosocial functioning, and dynamically associated with functioning over time. This study provides important evidence in support of the DSM-5 Section III PD model. PMID:25384070

  13. Polygamy and the evolution of human longevity.

    PubMed

    Strehler, B L

    1979-02-01

    An alternative to previous explanations of the rapid increase in man's longevity and intelligence during the several million years of his recent evolution from pre-hominid, clearly shorter-lived and less intelligent, primate ancestors is presented. The general thesis is that a very greatly accelerated rate of incorporation of favorable genes or gene combinations can be achieved in surprisingly few generations among social animals provided that dominant males become the patriarchs of many descendents by virtue of their partial or complete monopoly on available females. The conclusion is that man probably differs from his ancesters of 0.5 to 5 million years ago by many thousands of genes (both structural and regulatory) rather than the dozens or few hundreds that have been postulated on the basis of more classical treatments of selection pressures, gene frequency changes and mutation rates. The concepts developed here formally apply only to two alternative alleles, rather than to groups of genes which segregate independently, or to characters determined by multiple alleles. The appropriate mathematical treatment of the latter real situation is not readily visualized; nor is account taken of the likelihood that different tribes of pre-humans developed different specializations via the above mechanisms which were then (later) combined into an emerging human stock through matings between members of different tribes. The very great variability both in longevity and in intelligence between different races of animals such as dogs, which have been the objects of deliberate genetic selection by humans for particular heritable traits, may parallel our own recent history, even though the selection mechanism (deliberate human selection vs. polygamous dominance) is quite different in the two cases. The onset of civilizations consisting of amalgums between smaller, previously competing tribes, together with the humanitarian responsibilities to each other we share as a species

  14. Longevity and ageing: appraising the evolutionary consequences of growing old

    PubMed Central

    Bonsall, Michael B

    2005-01-01

    Senescence or ageing is an increase in mortality and/or decline in fertility with increasing age. Evolutionary theories predict that ageing or longevity evolves in response to patterns of extrinsic mortality or intrinsic damage. If ageing is viewed as the outcome of the processes of behaviour, growth and reproduction then it should be possible to predict mortality rate. Recent developments have shown that it is now possible to integrate these ecological and physiological processes and predict the shape of mortality trajectories. By drawing on the key exciting developments in the cellular, physiological and ecological process of longevity the evolutionary consequences of ageing are reviewed. In presenting these ideas an evolutionary demographic framework is used to argue how trade-offs in life-history strategies are important in the maintenance of variation in longevity within and between species. Evolutionary processes associated with longevity have an important role in explaining levels of biological diversity and speciation. In particular, the effects of life-history trait trade-offs in maintaining and promoting species diversity are explored. Such trade-offs can alleviate the effects of intense competition between species and promote species coexistence and diversification. These results have important implications for understanding a number of core ecological processes such as how species are divided among niches, how closely related species co-occur and the rules by which species assemble into food-webs. Theoretical work reveals that the proximate physiological processes are as important as the ecological factors in explaining the variation in the evolution of longevity. Possible future research challenges integrating work on the evolution and mechanisms of growing old are briefly discussed. PMID:16553312

  15. Differential response of bird functional traits to post-fire salvage logging in a boreal forest ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azeria, Ermias T.; Ibarzabal, Jacques; Hébert, Christian; Boucher, Jonathan; Imbeau, Louis; Savard, Jean-Pierre L.

    2011-05-01

    The concept of functional trait-environment relationship posits that species in a local community should possess similar traits that match the selective environment. The present study examines species trait-habitat (using Fourth-corner and RLQ analyses) and habitat occupancy patterns (logistic regression models) of bird assemblages in boreal forest stands following disturbances by forest fire and salvage logging. The stands differed in the amount and composition of residual tree retention, salvage- and aquatic-edges, degree of burn severity (all measured at 100 and 500 m buffers), as well as landscape-level variables such as distance to previously burned forests. Tests of trait-habitat relationships showed that canopy-nesters and bark- and foliage- insectivores required high levels of residual trees of low burn severity, with the feeding guilds showing affinity for different stand composition. In contrast, ground-nesters and omnivores thrived in salvaged areas and associated edges. In addition, cavity-nesting and ground-foragers were associated with severely burned stands. The species' habitat occupancy patterns were commensurate with trait requirements, which also appeared to be scale-dependent. For example, some fire-associated species had high occupancy probability in severely burned stands at small-scale (100 m buffer), which was consistent with their cavity-nesting trait. This pattern, however, was not evident at large-scale, where their feeding requirement (bark-insectivores) for low-severity burns dominated. Our study suggests that trait-habitat relationships can provide critical information to the complex ways species' relate to key habitat factors following natural and anthropogenic disturbances.

  16. Functional traits variation explains the distribution of Aextoxicon punctatum (Aextoxicaceae) in pronounced moisture gradients within fog-dependent forest fragments

    PubMed Central

    Salgado-Negret, Beatriz; Canessa, Rafaella; Valladares, Fernando; Armesto, Juan J.; Pérez, Fernanda

    2015-01-01

    Climate change and fragmentation are major threats to world forests. Understanding how functional traits related to drought tolerance change across small-scale, pronounced moisture gradients in fragmented forests is important to predict species’ responses to these threats. In the case of Aextoxicon punctatum, a dominant canopy tree in fog-dependent rain forest patches in semiarid Chile, we explored how the magnitude, variability and correlation patterns of leaf and xylem vessel traits and hydraulic conductivity varied across soil moisture (SM) gradients established within and among forest patches of different size, which are associated with differences in tree establishment and mortality patterns. Leaf traits varied across soil-moisture gradients produced by fog interception. Trees growing at drier leeward edges showed higher leaf mass per area, trichome and stomatal density than trees from the wetter core and windward zones. In contrast, xylem vessel traits (vessels diameter and density) did not vary producing loss of hydraulic conductivity at drier leeward edges. We also detected higher levels of phenotypic integration and variability at leeward edges. The ability of A. punctatum to modify leaf traits in response to differences in SM availability established over short distances (<500 m) facilitates its persistence in contrasting microhabitats within forest patches. However, xylem anatomy showed limited plasticity, which increases cavitation risk at leeward edges. Greater patch fragmentation, together with fluctuations in irradiance and SM in small patches, could result in higher risk of drought-related tree mortality, with profound impacts on hydrological balances at the ecosystem scale. PMID:26257746

  17. Functional traits variation explains the distribution of Aextoxicon punctatum (Aextoxicaceae) in pronounced moisture gradients within fog-dependent forest fragments.

    PubMed

    Salgado-Negret, Beatriz; Canessa, Rafaella; Valladares, Fernando; Armesto, Juan J; Pérez, Fernanda

    2015-01-01

    Climate change and fragmentation are major threats to world forests. Understanding how functional traits related to drought tolerance change across small-scale, pronounced moisture gradients in fragmented forests is important to predict species' responses to these threats. In the case of Aextoxicon punctatum, a dominant canopy tree in fog-dependent rain forest patches in semiarid Chile, we explored how the magnitude, variability and correlation patterns of leaf and xylem vessel traits and hydraulic conductivity varied across soil moisture (SM) gradients established within and among forest patches of different size, which are associated with differences in tree establishment and mortality patterns. Leaf traits varied across soil-moisture gradients produced by fog interception. Trees growing at drier leeward edges showed higher leaf mass per area, trichome and stomatal density than trees from the wetter core and windward zones. In contrast, xylem vessel traits (vessels diameter and density) did not vary producing loss of hydraulic conductivity at drier leeward edges. We also detected higher levels of phenotypic integration and variability at leeward edges. The ability of A. punctatum to modify leaf traits in response to differences in SM availability established over short distances (<500 m) facilitates its persistence in contrasting microhabitats within forest patches. However, xylem anatomy showed limited plasticity, which increases cavitation risk at leeward edges. Greater patch fragmentation, together with fluctuations in irradiance and SM in small patches, could result in higher risk of drought-related tree mortality, with profound impacts on hydrological balances at the ecosystem scale.

  18. Traits, properties, and performance: how woody plants combine hydraulic and mechanical functions in a cell, tissue, or whole plant.

    PubMed

    Lachenbruch, Barbara; McCulloh, Katherine A

    2014-12-01

    This review presents a framework for evaluating how cells, tissues, organs, and whole plants perform both hydraulic and mechanical functions. The morphological alterations that affect dual functionality are varied: individual cells can have altered morphology; tissues can have altered partitioning to functions or altered cell alignment; and organs and whole plants can differ in their allocation to different tissues, or in the geometric distribution of the tissues they have. A hierarchical model emphasizes that morphological traits influence the hydraulic or mechanical properties; the properties, combined with the plant unit's environment, then influence the performance of that plant unit. As a special case, we discuss the mechanisms by which the proxy property wood density has strong correlations to performance but without direct causality. Traits and properties influence multiple aspects of performance, and there can be mutual compensations such that similar performance occurs. This compensation emphasizes that natural selection acts on, and a plant's viability is determined by, its performance, rather than its contributing traits and properties. Continued research on the relationships among traits, and on their effects on multiple aspects of performance, will help us better predict, manage, and select plant material for success under multiple stresses in the future.

  19. A genomic analysis of chronological longevity factors in budding yeast

    PubMed Central

    Olsen, Brady

    2011-01-01

    Chronological life span (CLS) has been studied as an aging paradigm in yeast. A few conserved aging genes have been identified that modulate both chronological and replicative longevity in yeast as well as longevity in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans; however, a comprehensive analysis of the relationship between genetic control of chronological longevity and aging in other model systems has yet to be reported. To address this question, we performed a functional genomic analysis of chronological longevity for 550 single-gene deletion strains, which accounts for approximately 12% of the viable homozygous diploid deletion strains in the yeast ORF deletion collection. This study identified 33 previously unknown determinants of CLS. We found no significant enrichment for enhanced CLS among deletions corresponding to yeast orthologs of worm aging genes or among replicatively long-lived deletion strains, although a trend toward overlap was noted. In contrast, a subset of gene deletions identified from a screen for reduced acidification of culture media during growth to stationary phase was enriched for increased CLS. These results suggest that genetic control of CLS under the most commonly utilized assay conditions does not strongly overlap with longevity determinants in C. elegans, with the existing confined to a small number of genetic pathways. These data also further support the model that acidification of the culture medium plays an important role in survival during chronological aging in synthetic medium, and suggest that chronological aging studies using alternate medium conditions may be more informative with regard to aging of multicellular eukaryotes. PMID:21447998

  20. Forms of non-suicidal self-injury as a function of trait aggression

    PubMed Central

    Kleiman, Evan M.; Kulper, Dan A.; Uyeji, Lauren L.; Jenkins, Abigail L.; McCloskey, Michael S.

    2015-01-01

    To date, the considerable body of research on predictors of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) has conceptualized NSSI as a unitary construct despite the fact that NSSI can exist in many forms (e.g., hitting, cutting, burning). The goal of the present study is to examine differential prediction of forms of NSSI. Specifically, we examined trait aggression as a predictor of more aggressive forms of NSSI (i.e., hitting). We hypothesized that higher trait aggression would differentiate those who engaged in hitting forms of NSSI from those who did not, whereas other factors (i.e., emotion regulation and trait anger) would serve as a non-specific predictor of NSSI. We also hypothesized that higher trait aggression would be related to lifetime frequency of hitting NSSI, but not other forms of NSSI, whereas emotion regulation and anger would act as predictors of other forms of NSSI. To test these hypotheses, a large sample of young adults completed measures of trait aggression, trait anger, emotion regulation, and NSSI behaviors. Results were generally in line with our hypotheses. Higher levels of trait aggression differentiated those who engaged in hitting NSSI from those who did not and was also associated with greater frequency of hitting NSSI. These results imply that different factors predict different forms of NSSI and that NSSI may be best examined as a multi-faceted construct. PMID:25778908

  1. Psychedelic symptoms of cannabis and cocaine use as a function of trait impulsivity.

    PubMed

    van Wel, J H P; Spronk, D B; Kuypers, K P C; Theunissen, E L; Toennes, S W; Verkes, R J; Ramaekers, J G

    2015-03-01

    Trait impulsivity has been linked to addiction in humans. It has been suggested that drug users with high trait impulsivity levels are more sensitive to subjective drug intoxication. This study assessed whether subjective response to drugs differs between drug users with normal or high levels of trait impulsivity. Regular drug users (N = 122) received doses of cocaine HCl, cannabis, and placebo in a three-way crossover study. Their mood, dissociative state, and psychedelic symptoms were measured with subjective rating scales (CADDS, Bowdle, POMS). Trait impulsivity was assessed with the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale. Cannabis increased dissociation and psychedelic state, as well as fatigue, confusion, depression and anxiety, and decreased arousal, positive mood, vigor, friendliness, and elation. Cocaine increased dissociation, psychedelic state, vigor, friendliness, elation, positive mood, anxiety and arousal, while decreasing fatigue. Only a few subjective items revealed a drug × trait impulsivity interaction, suggesting that psychedelic symptoms were most intense in high impulsivity subjects. Trait impulsiveness ratings were negatively correlated with ratings of vigor (r = -.197) and positively correlated with ratings of loss of thought control (r = .237) during cannabis intoxication. It is concluded that a broad association between trait impulsivity and psychedelic subjective drug experience appears to be absent.

  2. Taking a closer look: disentangling effects of functional diversity on ecosystem functions with a trait-based model across hierarchy and time

    PubMed Central

    Holzwarth, Frédéric; Rüger, Nadja; Wirth, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) research has progressed from the detection of relationships to elucidating their drivers and underlying mechanisms. In this context, replacing taxonomic predictors by trait-based measures of functional composition (FC)—bridging functions of species and of ecosystems—is a widely used approach. The inherent challenge of trait-based approaches is the multi-faceted, dynamic and hierarchical nature of trait influence: (i) traits may act via different facets of their distribution in a community, (ii) their influence may change over time and (iii) traits may influence processes at different levels of the natural hierarchy of organization. Here, we made use of the forest ecosystem model ‘LPJ-GUESS’ parametrized with empirical trait data, which creates output of individual performance, community assembly, stand-level states and processes. To address the three challenges, we resolved the dynamics of the top-level ecosystem function ‘annual biomass change’ hierarchically into its various component processes (growth, leaf and root turnover, recruitment and mortality) and states (stand structures, water stress) and traced the influence of different facets of FC along this hierarchy in a path analysis. We found an independent influence of functional richness, dissimilarity and identity on ecosystem states and processes and hence biomass change. Biodiversity effects were only positive during early succession and later turned negative. Unexpectedly, resource acquisition (growth, recruitment) and conservation (mortality, turnover) played an equally important role throughout the succession. These results add to a mechanistic understanding of biodiversity effects and place a caveat on simplistic approaches omitting hierarchical levels when analysing BEF relationships. They support the view that BEF relationships experience dramatic shifts over successional time that should be acknowledged in mechanistic theories. PMID:26064620

  3. Variation in plant traits explains much of the global biogeographic patterns of distribution of major forest functional types

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Xingjie; Wang, Ying-Ping; Reich, Peter; Wright, Ian; Dai, Yongjiu

    2015-04-01

    Contrasting foliage types (needle and broad leaf) and phenological habits (deciduous and evergreen) represent different adaptive strategies of trees, which can be quantified by the differences in a number of key plant traits. Previous studies have used vegetation models to explain adaptive advantage of different strategies as represented by the mean values of those key plant traits for each plant functional types, and are unable to explain the co-existence of multiple plant functional types in the absence of disturbance. However significant variations and co-variations among those key plant traits that have been observed within a plant functional type may have significant implication on the simulated competition among different plant functional types. Here we use the Australian Community Atmosphere-Biosphere-Land Exchange model (CABLE) to explore whether the observed key plant traits (leaf life span, leaf carbon allocation fraction, basal respiration rate of plant tissue, and leaf C:N ratio) can explain the observed co-existence of four forest types (evergreen or deciduous, needle leaf or broad leaf forests) globally. To incorporate the intra-specific variation of plant traits into the model, we run four groups of ensemble simulations, with each group including only one PFT prescribed in all forested land cells. Then we calculate the annual NPP at each one-degree forested land cell for each of 200 parameter sets that are randomly generated from the observed mean and variances of those key plant traits. Using NPP as a proxy for fitness, we calculate the probability of a forest PFT with higher NPP than all other three forest PFTs for each forested land cell by comparing each of 200 NPP estimates of a forest PFT with the NPP estimates of all other three forest PFTs. Assuming that probability is proportional to area abundance, we then compare the estimated abundance of all four forest types with the estimates from remote sensing. Overall our results captured the global

  4. Resprouting as a key functional trait: how buds, protection and resources drive persistence after fire.

    PubMed

    Clarke, P J; Lawes, M J; Midgley, J J; Lamont, B B; Ojeda, F; Burrows, G E; Enright, N J; Knox, K J E

    2013-01-01

    Resprouting as a response to disturbance is now widely recognized as a key functional trait among woody plants and as the basis for the persistence niche. However, the underlying mechanisms that define resprouting responses to disturbance are poorly conceptualized. Resprouting ability is constrained by the interaction of the disturbance regime that depletes the buds and resources needed to fund resprouting, and the environment that drives growth and resource allocation. We develop a buds-protection-resources (BPR) framework for understanding resprouting in fire-prone ecosystems, based on bud bank location, bud protection, and how buds are resourced. Using this framework we go beyond earlier emphases on basal resprouting and highlight the importance of apical, epicormic and below-ground resprouting to the persistence niche. The BPR framework provides insights into: resprouting typologies that include both fire resisters (i.e. survive fire but do not resprout) and fire resprouters; the methods by which buds escape fire effects, such as thick bark; and the predictability of community assembly of resprouting types in relation to site productivity, disturbance regime and competition. Furthermore, predicting the consequences of global change is enhanced by the BPR framework because it potentially forecasts the retention or loss of above-ground biomass.

  5. Functional properties and expression quantitative trait loci for phosphate transporter GmPT1 in soybean.

    PubMed

    Song, Haina; Yin, Zhitong; Chao, Maoni; Ning, Lihua; Zhang, Dan; Yu, Deyue

    2014-02-01

    Phosphate (Pi) remobilization within a plant is critical for plant survival under Pi-limiting conditions. In this paper, a soybean Pi transporter gene, GmPT1, was characterized. A marked induction of GmPT1 transcript was observed in young leaves, mature leaves and lateral roots during long-term Pi starvation. Transgenic tobacco plants containing the GmPT1 gene were obtained using an Agrobacterium-mediated transformation system. Compared with wild-type plants, transgenic plants showed significant increases in phosphorus-use efficiency (PUE), photosystem II (PSII) function, total dry weight and seed weight under Pi-deficient conditions. GmPT1 expression levels and PUE were determined in a soybean recombinant inbred line population during a pot experiment that was conducted to measure chlorophyll fluorescence parameters, photosynthetic rate (PN ) and seed yield. Correlation analysis revealed that GmPT1 expression levels had significantly positive correlations with seed yield, PUE, PN and the quantum yield of PSII primary photochemistry (ΦPSII ). Expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) mapping for GmPT1 revealed two eQTLs, one of which coincided with both the physical location of GmPT1 and a QTL associated with seed yield. These results suggest that GmPT1 plays a role in Pi remobilization, and it may be possible to improve soybean seed yields under Pi-limiting conditions by modulating GmPT1 expression levels.

  6. Meta-analysis identifies multiple loci associated with kidney function-related traits in east Asian populations.

    PubMed

    Okada, Yukinori; Sim, Xueling; Go, Min Jin; Wu, Jer-Yuarn; Gu, Dongfeng; Takeuchi, Fumihiko; Takahashi, Atsushi; Maeda, Shiro; Tsunoda, Tatsuhiko; Chen, Peng; Lim, Su-Chi; Wong, Tien-Yin; Liu, Jianjun; Young, Terri L; Aung, Tin; Seielstad, Mark; Teo, Yik-Ying; Kim, Young Jin; Lee, Jong-Young; Han, Bok-Ghee; Kang, Daehee; Chen, Chien-Hsiun; Tsai, Fuu-Jen; Chang, Li-Ching; Fann, S-J Cathy; Mei, Hao; Rao, Dabeeru C; Hixson, James E; Chen, Shufeng; Katsuya, Tomohiro; Isono, Masato; Ogihara, Toshio; Chambers, John C; Zhang, Weihua; Kooner, Jaspal S; Albrecht, Eva; Yamamoto, Kazuhiko; Kubo, Michiaki; Nakamura, Yusuke; Kamatani, Naoyuki; Kato, Norihiro; He, Jiang; Chen, Yuan-Tsong; Cho, Yoon Shin; Tai, E-Shyong; Tanaka, Toshihiro

    2012-07-15

    Chronic kidney disease (CKD), impairment of kidney function, is a serious public health problem, and the assessment of genetic factors influencing kidney function has substantial clinical relevance. Here, we report a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for kidney function-related traits, including 71,149 east Asian individuals from 18 studies in 11 population-, hospital- or family-based cohorts, conducted as part of the Asian Genetic Epidemiology Network (AGEN). Our meta-analysis identified 17 loci newly associated with kidney function-related traits, including the concentrations of blood urea nitrogen, uric acid and serum creatinine and estimated glomerular filtration rate based on serum creatinine levels (eGFRcrea) (P < 5.0 × 10(-8)). We further examined these loci with in silico replication in individuals of European ancestry from the KidneyGen, CKDGen and GUGC consortia, including a combined total of ∼110,347 individuals. We identify pleiotropic associations among these loci with kidney function-related traits and risk of CKD. These findings provide new insights into the genetics of kidney function.

  7. Net ecosystem production in a Little Ice Age moraine: the role of plant functional traits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varolo, E.; Zanotelli, D.; Tagliavini, M.; Zerbe, S.; Montagnani, L.

    2015-07-01

    the carbon cycle. Therefore, to analyze NEE of any glacier forefield ecosystem, different functional traits of the vegetation communities must be taken into consideration. Moreover, to assess the net ecosystem carbon balance it is necessary to consider the lateral fluxes of carbon via animal consumption, winter respiration, and in a broader temporal perspective, the different stages characterizing the primary succession.

  8. Circulating leptin and adiponectin concentrations in healthy exceptional longevity.

    PubMed

    Pareja-Galeano, Helios; Santos-Lozano, Alejandro; Sanchis-Gomar, Fabian; Fiuza-Luces, Carmen; Garatachea, Nuria; Gálvez, Beatriz G; Lucia, Alejandro; Emanuele, Enzo

    2017-03-01

    People reaching exceptional longevity free of major age-related diseases represent the paradigm of successful aging. Adipose tissue function declines as we age, potentially resulting in changes of circulating adipokines (e.g., leptin and adiponectin). Here, we measured circulating levels of leptin and adiponectin in healthy centenarians (n=81; 100-104 years) and younger elderly controls (n=46; 70-80 years). Centenarians had significant higher serum levels of leptin compared with controls (p<0.001), whereas no significant differences were observed for adiponectin. Further research including also other blood variables will be needed to elucidate whether high leptin levels could serve as a hallmark of healthy exceptional longevity.

  9. Bark ecology of twigs vs. main stems: functional traits across eighty-five species of angiosperms.

    PubMed

    Rosell, Julieta A; Castorena, Matiss; Laws, Claire A; Westoby, Mark

    2015-08-01

    Although produced by meristems that are continuous along the stem length, marked differences in bark morphology and in microenvironment would suggest that main stem and twig bark might differ ecologically. Here, we examined: (1) how closely associated main stem and twig bark traits were, (2) how these associations varied across sites, and (3) used these associations to infer functional and ecological differences between twig and main stem bark. We measured density, water content, photosynthesis presence/absence, total, outer, inner, and relative thicknesses of main stem and twig bark from 85 species of angiosperms from six sites of contrasting precipitation, temperature, and fire regimes. Density and water content did not differ between main stems and twigs across species and sites. Species with thicker twig bark had disproportionately thicker main stem bark in most sites, but the slope and degree of association varied. Disproportionately thicker main stem bark for a given twig bark thickness in most fire-prone sites suggested stem protection near the ground. The savanna had the opposite trend, suggesting that selection also favors twig protection in these fire-prone habitats. A weak main stem-twig bark thickness association was observed in non fire-prone sites. The near-ubiquity of photosynthesis in twigs highlighted its likely ecological importance; variation in this activity was predicted by outer bark thickness in main stems. It seems that the ecology of twig bark can be generalized to main stem bark, but not for functions depending on the amount of bark, such as protection, storage, or photosynthesis.

  10. Designing Invasion Resistant Plant Communities: The Role of Plant Functional Traits

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Establishing and maintaining weed-resistant plant communities is a central goal of sustainable invasive plant management programs. Plant community characteristics that improve invasion resistance, however, are poorly understood. Here we synthesize data from multiple studies and show traits related ...

  11. Different neural pathways linking personality traits and eudaimonic well-being: a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    PubMed

    Kong, Feng; Liu, Ling; Wang, Xu; Hu, Siyuan; Song, Yiying; Liu, Jia

    2015-06-01

    Eudaimonic well-being (EWB) is the fulfillment of human potential and a meaningful life. Previous studies have shown that personality traits, especially extraversion, neuroticism, and conscientiousness, significantly contribute to EWB. However, the neurobiological pathways linking personality and EWB are not understood. Here, we used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) to investigate this issue. Specifically, we correlated individuals' EWB scores with the regional fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) of the brain, and then examined how personality traits predicted EWB-related spontaneous brain activity. We found that EWB was positively correlated with the fALFF in the right posterior superior temporal gyrus (pSTG) and thalamus, and negatively correlated with the strength of the thalamic-insular connectivity. More importantly, we found that personality traits influenced EWB in different ways. At the regional level, the fALFF in the pSTG and thalamus mediated the effects of neuroticism and extraversion on EWB, whereas the thalamus mediated the effect of conscientiousness on EWB. At the functional connectivity level, the thalamic-insular connectivity only mediated the effect of neuroticism on EWB. Taken together, our study provides the first evidence that EWB is associated with personality traits through different neural substrates.

  12. Reconsideration of Plant Morphological Traits: From a Structure-Based Perspective to a Function-Based Evolutionary Perspective.

    PubMed

    Bai, Shu-Nong

    2017-01-01

    This opinion article proposes a novel alignment of traits in plant morphogenesis from a function-based evolutionary perspective. As a member species of the ecosystem on Earth, we human beings view our neighbor organisms from our own sensing system. We tend to distinguish forms and structures (i.e., "morphological traits") mainly through vision. Traditionally, a plant was considered to be consisted of three parts, i.e., the shoot, the leaves, and the root. Based on such a "structure-based perspective," evolutionary analyses or comparisons across species were made on particular parts or their derived structures. So far no conceptual framework has been established to incorporate the morphological traits of all three land plant phyta, i.e., bryophyta, pteridophyta and spermatophyta, for evolutionary developmental analysis. Using the tenets of the recently proposed concept of sexual reproduction cycle, the major morphological traits of land plants can be aligned into five categories from a function-based evolutionary perspective. From this perspective, and the resulting alignment, a new conceptual framework emerges, called "Plant Morphogenesis 123." This framework views a plant as a colony of integrated plant developmental units that are each produced via one life cycle. This view provided an alternative perspective for evolutionary developmental investigation in plants.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Longevity of Emplacement Drift Ground Support Materials

    SciTech Connect

    Tang, David H.

    2001-05-30

    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. REV 01 ICN 01 of this analysis is developed in accordance with AP-3.10Q, Analyses and Models, Revision 2, ICN 4, and prepared in accordance with the Technical Work Plan for Subsurface Design Section FY 01 Work Activities (CRWMS M&O 2001a). The objective of this analysis is to update the previous analysis (CRWMS M&O 2000a) to account for related changes in the Ground Control System Description Document (CRWMS M&O 2000b), the Monitored Geologic Repository Project Description Document, which is included in the Requirements and Criteria for Implementing a Repository Design that can be Operated Over a Range of Thermal Modes (BSC 2001), input information, and in environmental conditions, and to provide updated information on candidate ground support materials. Candidate materials for ground support are carbon steel and cement grout. Steel is mainly used for steel sets, lagging, channel, rock bolts, and wire mesh. Cement grout is only considered in the case of grouted rock bolts. Candidate materials for the emplacement drift invert are carbon steel and granular natural material. Materials are evaluated for the repository emplacement drift environment based on the updated thermal loading condition and waste package design. The analysis consists of the following tasks: (1) Identify factors affecting the longevity of ground support materials for use in emplacement drifts. (2) Review existing documents concerning the behavior of candidate ground support materials during the preclosure period. (3) Evaluate impacts of temperature and radiation effects on mechanical and thermal properties of steel. Assess corrosion potential of steel at emplacement drift environment. (4) Evaluate factors

  15. Functional trait composition of aquatic plants can serve to disentangle multiple interacting stressors in lowland streams.

    PubMed

    Baattrup-Pedersen, Annette; Göthe, Emma; Riis, Tenna; O'Hare, Matthew T

    2016-02-01

    Historically, close attention has been paid to negative impacts associated with nutrient loads to streams and rivers, but today hydromorphological alterations are considered increasingly implicated when lowland streams do not achieve good ecological status. Here, we explore if trait-abundance patterns of aquatic plants change along gradients in hydromorphological degradation and eutrophication in lowland stream sites located in Denmark. Specifically, we hypothesised that: i) changes in trait-abundance patterns occur along gradients in hydromorphological degradation and ii) trait-abundance patterns can serve to disentangle effects of eutrophication and hydromorphological degradation in lowland streams reflecting that the mechanisms behind changes differ. We used monitoring data from a total of 147 stream reaches with combined data on aquatic plant species abundance, catchment land use, hydromorphological alterations (i.e. planform, cross section, weed cutting) and water chemistry parameters. Traits related to life form, dispersal, reproduction and survival together with ecological preference values for nutrients and light (Ellenberg N and L) were allocated to 41 species representing 79% of the total species pool. We found clear evidence that habitat degradation (hydromorphological alterations and eutrophication) mediated selective changes in the trait-abundance patterns of the plant community. Specific traits could distinguish hydromorphological degradation (free-floating, surface; anchored floating leaves; anchored heterophylly) from eutrophication (free-floating, submerged; leaf area). We provide a conceptual framework for interpretation of how eutrophication and hydromorphological degradation interact and how this is reflected in trait-abundance patterns in aquatic plant communities in lowland streams. Our findings support the merit of trait-based approaches in biomonitoring as they shed light on mechanisms controlling structural changes under environmental

  16. Autistic Traits in Neurotypical Adults: Correlates of Graph Theoretical Functional Network Topology and White Matter Anisotropy Patterns

    PubMed Central

    Spisak, Tamas; Szeman-Nagy, Anita; Beres, Monika; Kis, Sandor Attila; Molnar, Peter; Berenyi, Ervin

    2013-01-01

    Attempts to explicate the neural abnormalities behind autism spectrum disorders frequently revealed impaired brain connectivity, yet our knowledge is limited about the alterations linked with autistic traits in the non-clinical population. In our study, we aimed at exploring the neural correlates of dimensional autistic traits using a dual approach of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and graph theoretical analysis of resting state functional MRI data. Subjects were sampled from a public neuroimaging dataset of healthy volunteers. Inclusion criteria were adult age (age: 18–65), availability of DTI and resting state functional acquisitions and psychological evaluation including the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) and Autistic Spectrum Screening Questionnaire (ASSQ). The final subject cohort consisted of 127 neurotypicals. Global brain network structure was described by graph theoretical parameters: global and average local efficiency. Regional topology was characterized by degree and efficiency. We provided measurements for diffusion anisotropy. The association between autistic traits and the neuroimaging findings was studied using a general linear model analysis, controlling for the effects of age, gender and IQ profile. Significant negative correlation was found between the degree and efficiency of the right posterior cingulate cortex and autistic traits, measured by the combination of ASSQ and SRS scores. Autistic phenotype was associated with the decrease of whole-brain local efficiency. Reduction of diffusion anisotropy was found bilaterally in the temporal fusiform and parahippocampal gyri. Numerous models describe the autistic brain connectome to be dominated by reduced long-range connections and excessive short-range fibers. Our finding of decreased efficiency supports this hypothesis although the only prominent effect was seen in the posterior limbic lobe, which is known to act as a connector hub. The neural correlates of the autistic trait in

  17. Early subtropical forest growth is driven by community mean trait values and functional diversity rather than the abiotic environment

    PubMed Central

    Kröber, Wenzel; Li, Ying; Härdtle, Werner; Ma, Keping; Schmid, Bernhard; Schmidt, Karsten; Scholten, Thomas; Seidler, Gunnar; von Oheimb, Goddert; Welk, Erik; Wirth, Christian; Bruelheide, Helge

    2015-01-01

    While functional diversity (FD) has been shown to be positively related to a number of ecosystem functions including biomass production, it may have a much less pronounced effect than that of environmental factors or species-specific properties. Leaf and wood traits can be considered particularly relevant to tree growth, as they reflect a trade-off between resources invested into growth and persistence. Our study focussed on the degree to which early forest growth was driven by FD, the environment (11 variables characterizing abiotic habitat conditions), and community-weighted mean (CWM) values of species traits in the context of a large-scale tree diversity experiment (BEF-China). Growth rates of trees with respect to crown diameter were aggregated across 231 plots (hosting between one and 23 tree species) and related to environmental variables, FD, and CWM, the latter two of which were based on 41 plant functional traits. The effects of each of the three predictor groups were analyzed separately by mixed model optimization and jointly by variance partitioning. Numerous single traits predicted plot-level tree growth, both in the models based on CWMs and FD, but none of the environmental variables was able to predict tree growth. In the best models, environment and FD explained only 4 and 31% of variation in crown growth rates, respectively, while CWM trait values explained 42%. In total, the best models accounted for 51% of crown growth. The marginal role of the selected environmental variables was unexpected, given the high topographic heterogeneity and large size of the experiment, as was the significant impact of FD, demonstrating that positive diversity effects already occur during the early stages in tree plantations. PMID:26380685

  18. Filling gaps in large ecological databases: consequences for the study of global-scale plant functional trait patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schrodt, Franziska; Shan, Hanhuai; Fazayeli, Farideh; Karpatne, Anuj; Kattge, Jens; Banerjee, Arindam; Reichstein, Markus; Reich, Peter

    2013-04-01

    With the advent of remotely sensed data and coordinated efforts to create global databases, the ecological community has progressively become more data-intensive. However, in contrast to other disciplines, statistical ways of handling these large data sets, especially the gaps which are inherent to them, are lacking. Widely used theoretical approaches, for example model averaging based on Akaike's information criterion (AIC), are sensitive to missing values. Yet, the most common way of handling sparse matrices - the deletion of cases with missing data (complete case analysis) - is known to severely reduce statistical power as well as inducing biased parameter estimates. In order to address these issues, we present novel approaches to gap filling in large ecological data sets using matrix factorization techniques. Factorization based matrix completion was developed in a recommender system context and has since been widely used to impute missing data in fields outside the ecological community. Here, we evaluate the effectiveness of probabilistic matrix factorization techniques for imputing missing data in ecological matrices using two imputation techniques. Hierarchical Probabilistic Matrix Factorization (HPMF) effectively incorporates hierarchical phylogenetic information (phylogenetic group, family, genus, species and individual plant) into the trait imputation. Advanced Hierarchical Probabilistic Matrix Factorization (aHPMF) on the other hand includes climate and soil information into the matrix factorization by regressing the environmental variables against residuals of the HPMF. One unique opportunity opened up by aHPMF is out-of-sample prediction, where traits can be predicted for specific species at locations different to those sampled in the past. This has potentially far-reaching consequences for the study of global-scale plant functional trait patterns. We test the accuracy and effectiveness of HPMF and aHPMF in filling sparse matrices, using the TRY

  19. Combining different functions to describe milk, fat, and protein yield in goats using Bayesian multiple-trait random regression models.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, H R; Silva, F F; Siqueira, O H G B D; Souza, N O; Junqueira, V S; Resende, M D V; Borquis, R R A; Rodrigues, M T

    2016-05-01

    We proposed multiple-trait random regression models (MTRRM) combining different functions to describe milk yield (MY) and fat (FP) and protein (PP) percentage in dairy goat genetic evaluation by using Bayesian inference. A total of 3,856 MY, FP, and PP test-day records, measured between 2000 and 2014, from 535 first lactations of Saanen and Alpine goats, including their cross, were used in this study. The initial analyses were performed using the following single-trait random regression models (STRRM): third- and fifth-order Legendre polynomials (Leg3 and Leg5), linear B-splines with 3 and 5 knots, the Ali and Schaeffer function (Ali), and Wilmink function. Heterogeneity of residual variances was modeled considering 3 classes. After the selection of the best STRRM to describe each trait on the basis of the deviance information criterion (DIC) and posterior model probabilities (PMP), the functions were combined to compose the MTRRM. All combined MTRRM presented lower DIC values and higher PMP, showing the superiority of these models when compared to other MTRRM based only on the same function assumed for all traits. Among the combined MTRRM, those considering Ali to describe MY and PP and Leg5 to describe FP (Ali_Leg5_Ali model) presented the best fit. From the Ali_Leg5_Ali model, heritability estimates over time for MY, FP. and PP ranged from 0.25 to 0.54, 0.27 to 0.48, and 0.35 to 0.51, respectively. Genetic correlation between MY and FP, MY and PP, and FP and PP ranged from -0.58 to 0.03, -0.46 to 0.12, and 0.37 to 0.64, respectively. We concluded that combining different functions under a MTRRM approach can be a plausible alternative for joint genetic evaluation of milk yield and milk constituents in goats.

  20. Indy Mutations and Drosophila Longevity

    PubMed Central

    Rogina, Blanka; Helfand, Stephen L.

    2013-01-01

    Decreased expression of the fly and worm Indy genes extends longevity. The fly Indy gene and its mammalian homolog are transporters of Krebs cycle intermediates, with the highest rate of uptake for citrate. Cytosolic citrate has a role in energy regulation by affecting fatty acid synthesis and glycolysis. Fly, worm, and mice Indy gene homologs are predominantly expressed in places important for intermediary metabolism. Consequently, decreased expression of Indy in fly and worm, and the removal of mIndy in mice exhibit changes associated with calorie restriction, such as decreased levels of lipids, changes in carbohydrate metabolism and increased mitochondrial biogenesis. Here we report that several Indy alleles in a diverse array of genetic backgrounds confer increased longevity. PMID:23580130

  1. Genetic evaluation of fertility traits of dairy cattle using a multiple-trait animal model.

    PubMed

    Liu, Z; Jaitner, J; Reinhardt, F; Pasman, E; Rensing, S; Reents, R

    2008-11-01

    A genetic evaluation system was developed for 5 fertility traits of dairy cattle: interval from first to successful insemination and nonreturn rate to 56 d of heifers, and interval from calving to first insemination, nonreturn rate to 56 d, and interval first to successful insemination of cows. Using the 2 interval traits of cows as components, breeding values for days open were derived. A multiple-trait animal model was applied to evaluate these fertility traits. Fertility traits of later lactations of cows were treated as repeated measurements. Genetic parameters were estimated by REML. Mixed model equations of the genetic evaluation model were solved with preconditioned conjugate gradients or the Gauss-Seidel algorithm and iteration on data techniques. Reliabilities of estimated breeding values were approximated with a multi-trait effective daughter contribution method. Daughter yield deviations and associated effective daughter contributions were calculated with a multiple trait approach. The genetic evaluation software was applied to the insemination data of dairy cattle breeds in Germany, Austria, and Luxembourg, and it was validated with various statistical methods. Genetic trends were validated. Small heritability estimates were obtained for all the fertility traits, ranging from 1% for nonreturn rate of heifers to 4% for interval calving to first insemination. Genetic and environmental correlations were low to moderate among the traits. Notably, unfavorable genetic trends were obtained in all the fertility traits. Moderate to high correlations were found between daughter yield-deviations and estimated breeding values (EBV) for Holstein bulls. Because of much lower heritabilities of the fertility traits, the correlations of daughter yield deviations with EBV were significantly lower than those from production traits and lower than the correlations from type traits and longevity. Fertility EBV were correlated unfavorably with EBV of milk production traits

  2. Fat chance for longevity

    PubMed Central

    Kniazeva, Marina; Han, Min

    2013-01-01

    The health benefits of specific fatty acids and physiological roles of fat metabolism are important subjects that are still poorly understood. In this issue of Genes & Development, O'Rourke and colleagues (pp. 429–440) uncovered a role for lipase-generated ω-6 fatty acids in promoting autophagy and, consequently, life span extension under both fed and fasting conditions. The impact of this finding is discussed with regard to the nutritional value of ω-6 fatty acids and regulatory functions of fat metabolism beyond its well-known role in energy storage. PMID:23431052

  3. Longevity of Emplacement Drift Ground Support Materials

    SciTech Connect

    D. Tang

    2000-01-07

    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 selection of materials for ground support that will function throughout the preclosure period. The Development Plan (DP) for this analysis is given in CRWMS M&O (Civilian Radioactive Waste Management System Management and Operating Contractor) (1999a). The candidate materials for ground support are steel (carbon steel, ductile cast iron, galvanized steel, and stainless steel, etc.) and cement. Steel will mainly be used for steel sets, lagging, channels, rock bolts, and wire mesh. Cement usage is only considered in the case of grouted rock bolts. The candidate materials for the invert structure are steel and crushed rock ballast. The materials shall be evaluated for the repository emplacement drift environment under a specific thermal loading condition based on the proposed License Application Design Selection (LADS) design. The analysis consists of the following tasks: (1) Identify factors affecting the longevity of ground control materials for use in emplacement drifts. (2) Review existing documents concerning behavior of candidate ground control materials during the preclosure period. The major criteria to be considered for steel are mechanical and thermal properties, and durability, of which corrosion is the most important concern. (3) Evaluate the available results and develop recommendations for material(s) to be used.

  4. Functional traits enhance invasiveness of bamboos over co-occurring tree saplings in the semideciduous Atlantic Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montti, Lía; Villagra, Mariana; Campanello, Paula I.; Gatti, M. Genoveva; Goldstein, Guillermo

    2014-01-01

    Many woody bamboo species are forest understory plants that become invasive after disturbance. They can grow rapidly forming a dense, nearly monospecific understory that inhibits tree regeneration. The principal aim of this study was to understand what functional traits of bamboos allow them to outcompete tree seedlings and saplings and become successful species in the semideciduous Atlantic Forests of northeastern Argentina. We studied leaf and whole-plant functional traits of two bamboo species of the genus Chusquea and five co-occurring saplings of common tree species growing under similar solar radiation and soil nutrient availabilities. Nutrient addition had no effect on bamboo or tree sapling survival and growth after two years. Tree species with high-light requirements had higher growth rates and developed relatively thin leaves with high photosynthetic capacity per unit leaf area and short leaf life-span when growing in gaps, but had lower survival rates in the understory. The opposite pattern was observed in shade-tolerant species that were able to survive in the understory but had lower photosynthetic capacity and growth than light-requiring species in gaps. Bamboos exhibited a high plasticity in functional traits and leaf characteristics that enabled them to grow rapidly in gaps (e.g., higher photosynthetic capacity per unit dry mass and clonal reproduction in gaps than in the understory) but at the same time to tolerate closed-canopy conditions (they had thinner leaves and a relatively longer leaf life-span in the understory compared to gaps). Photosynthetic capacity per unit dry mass was higher in bamboos than in trees. Bamboo plasticity in key functional traits, such as clonal reproduction at the plant level and leaves with a relatively low C cost and high photosynthesis rates, allows them to colonize disturbed forests with consequences at the community and ecosystem levels. Increasing disturbance in some forests worldwide will likely enhance bamboo

  5. Plant functional traits in relation to fire in crown-fire ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pausas, Juli G.; Bradstock, Ross A.; Keith, David A.; Keeley, Jon E.

    2004-01-01

    Disturbance is a dominant factor in many ecosystems, and the disturbance regime is likely to change over the next decades in response to land-use changes and global warming. We assume that predictions of vegetation dynamics can be made on the basis of a set of life-history traits that characterize the response of a species to disturbance. For crown-fire ecosystems, the main plant traits related to postfire persistence are the ability to resprout (persistence of individuals) and the ability to retain a persistent seed bank (persistence of populations). In this context, we asked (1) to what extent do different life-history traits co-occur with the ability to resprout and/or the ability to retain a persistent seed bank among differing ecosystems and (2) to what extent do combinations of fire-related traits (fire syndromes) change in a fire regime gradient? We explored these questions by reviewing the literature and analyzing databases compiled from different crown-fire ecosystems (mainly eastern Australia, California, and the Mediterranean basin). The review suggests that the pattern of correlation between the two basic postfire persistent traits and other plant traits varies between continents and ecosystems. From these results we predict, for instance, that not all resprouters respond in a similar way everywhere because the associated plant traits of resprouter species vary in different places. Thus, attempts to generalize predictions on the basis of the resprouting capacity may have limited power at a global scale. An example is presented for Australian heathlands. Considering the combination of persistence at individual (resprouting) and at population (seed bank) level, the predictive power at local scale was significantly increased.

  6. Linking Remotely Sensed Functional Diversity of Structural Traits to the Radiative Regime of a Temperate Mixed Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, F. D.; Morsdorf, F.; Furrer, R.; Schmid, B.; Schaepman, M. E.

    2015-12-01

    Patterns of functional diversity reflect the inter- and intraspecific variability of plant traits and are linked to other aspects of biodiversity, environmental factors and ecosystem function. To study the patterns at plot and stand level, spatially continuous trait measurements are required. Remote sensing methods based on airborne observations can offer such continuous high-resolution measurements, resolving individual trees of a forest at a regional extent. The study was performed at the Laegern forest, a temperate mixed forest dominated by deciduous and coniferous trees (Fagus sylvatica, Picea abies; 47°28'42.0" N, 8°21'51.8" E, 682 m asl; Switzerland). Canopy height, plant area index and foliage height diversity were derived from full-waveform airborne laser scanning data. These structural traits were used to calculate functional richness, functional evenness and functional divergence at a range of scales. A Bayesian multiresolution scale analysis was used to infer the scales at which functional diversity patterns occur. The radiative regime of the forest was simulated using the 3D radiative transfer model DART. Using a voxel-based forest reconstruction allowed us to derive top of canopy, bottom of canopy and absorbed photosynthetically active radiation. The results of this study will provide new insights on linking forest canopy structure to the radiative regime of the forest. Light availability is a critical factor determining plant growth and competition. Within canopy light scattering is mainly driven by the arrangement of leaves and their leaf optical properties. Therefore, we expect a link between the structural complexity of the forest as encompassed by functional diversity and the light availability within and below the canopy. Ultimately, this information can be used in dynamic ecosystem models such as ED2, allowing us to predict the influence of functional diversity and radiative properties on ecosystem functioning under current conditions and

  7. DRD4 genotype predicts longevity in mouse and human.

    PubMed

    Grady, Deborah L; Thanos, Panayotis K; Corrada, Maria M; Barnett, Jeffrey C; Ciobanu, Valentina; Shustarovich, Diana; Napoli, Anthony; Moyzis, Alexandra G; Grandy, David; Rubinstein, Marcelo; Wang, Gene-Jack; Kawas, Claudia H; Chen, Chuansheng; Dong, Qi; Wang, Eric; Volkow, Nora D; Moyzis, Robert K

    2013-01-02

    Longevity is influenced by genetic and environmental factors. The brain's dopamine system may be particularly relevant, since it modulates traits (e.g., sensitivity to reward, incentive motivation, sustained effort) that impact behavioral responses to the environment. In particular, the dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) has been shown to moderate the impact of environments on behavior and health. We tested the hypothesis that the DRD4 gene influences longevity and that its impact is mediated through environmental effects. Surviving participants of a 30-year-old population-based health survey (N = 310; age range, 90-109 years; the 90+ Study) were genotyped/resequenced at the DRD4 gene and compared with a European ancestry-matched younger population (N = 2902; age range, 7-45 years). We found that the oldest-old population had a 66% increase in individuals carrying the DRD4 7R allele relative to the younger sample (p = 3.5 × 10(-9)), and that this genotype was strongly correlated with increased levels of physical activity. Consistent with these results, DRD4 knock-out mice, when compared with wild-type and heterozygous mice, displayed a 7-9.7% decrease in lifespan, reduced spontaneous locomotor activity, and no lifespan increase when reared in an enriched environment. These results support the hypothesis that DRD4 gene variants contribute to longevity in humans and in mice, and suggest that this effect is mediated by shaping behavioral responses to the environment.

  8. Avian responses to an extreme ice storm are determined by a combination of functional traits, behavioural adaptations and habitat modifications.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qiang; Hong, Yongmi; Zou, Fasheng; Zhang, Min; Lee, Tien Ming; Song, Xiangjin; Rao, Jiteng

    2016-03-01

    The extent to which species' traits, behavior and habitat synergistically determine their response to extreme weather events (EWE) remains poorly understood. By quantifying bird and vegetation assemblages before and after the 2008 ice storm in China, combined with interspecific interactions and foraging behaviours, we disentangled whether storm influences avian reassembly directly via functional traits (i.e. behavioral adaptations), or indirectly via habitat variations. We found that overall species richness decreased, with 20 species detected exclusively before the storm, and eight species detected exclusively after. These shifts in bird relative abundance were linked to habitat preferences, dietary guild and flocking behaviours. For instance, forest specialists at higher trophic levels (e.g. understory-insectivores, woodpeckers and kingfishers) were especially vulnerable, whereas open-habitat generalists (e.g. bulbuls) were set to benefit from potential habitat homogenization. Alongside population fluctuations, we found that community reassembly can be rapidly adjusted via foraging plasticity (i.e. increased flocking propensity and reduced perching height). And changes in preferred habitat corresponded to a variation in bird assemblages and traits, as represented by intact canopy cover and high density of large trees. Accurate predictions of community responses to EWE are crucial to understanding ecosystem disturbances, thus linking species-oriented traits to a coherent analytical framework.

  9. Avian responses to an extreme ice storm are determined by a combination of functional traits, behavioural adaptations and habitat modifications

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Qiang; Hong, Yongmi; Zou, Fasheng; Zhang, Min; Lee, Tien Ming; Song, Xiangjin; Rao, Jiteng

    2016-01-01

    The extent to which species’ traits, behavior and habitat synergistically determine their response to extreme weather events (EWE) remains poorly understood. By quantifying bird and vegetation assemblages before and after the 2008 ice storm in China, combined with interspecific interactions and foraging behaviours, we disentangled whether storm influences avian reassembly directly via functional traits (i.e. behavioral adaptations), or indirectly via habitat variations. We found that overall species richness decreased, with 20 species detected exclusively before the storm, and eight species detected exclusively after. These shifts in bird relative abundance were linked to habitat preferences, dietary guild and flocking behaviours. For instance, forest specialists at higher trophic levels (e.g. understory-insectivores, woodpeckers and kingfishers) were especially vulnerable, whereas open-habitat generalists (e.g. bulbuls) were set to benefit from potential habitat homogenization. Alongside population fluctuations, we found that community reassembly can be rapidly adjusted via foraging plasticity (i.e. increased flocking propensity and reduced perching height). And changes in preferred habitat corresponded to a variation in bird assemblages and traits, as represented by intact canopy cover and high density of large trees. Accurate predictions of community responses to EWE are crucial to understanding ecosystem disturbances, thus linking species-oriented traits to a coherent analytical framework. PMID:26929387

  10. Early and extraordinary peaks in physical performance come with a longevity cost

    PubMed Central

    van de Vijver, Paul L; van Bodegom, David; Westendorp, Rudi GJ

    2016-01-01

    Life history theory postulates a trade-off between development and maintenance. This trade-off is observed when comparing life histories of different animal species. In humans, however, it is debated if variation in longevity is explained by differences in developmental traits. Observational studies found a trade-off between early and high fecundity and longevity in women. Development encompasses more than fecundity and also concerns growth and physical performance. Here, we show a life history trade-off between early and above average physical performance and longevity in male Olympic athletes. Athletes who peaked at an earlier age showed 17-percent increased mortality rates (95% CI 8-26% per SD, p<0.001) and athletes who ranked higher showed 11-percent increased mortality rates (95% CI 1-22% per SD, p=0.025). Male athletes who had both an early and extraordinary peak performance suffered a 4.7-year longevity cost. (95% CI 2.1-7.5 years, p=0.001). This is the first time a life history trade-off between physical performance and longevity has been found in humans. This finding deepens our understanding of early developmental influences on the variation of longevity in humans. PMID:27540872

  11. Functional traits as indicators of fodder provision over a short time scale in species-rich grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Ansquer, Pauline; Duru, Michel; Theau, Jean Pierre; Cruz, Pablo

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Fodder provision in species-rich grasslands, i.e. herbage growth, proportion of leaf, and leaf and stem digestibility, is difficult to predict for short periods of time, such as between two defoliations or less. The value of two methods based on plant traits for evaluating these agronomic properties was examined. Methods One method is based on plant trait measurements on the plant community (leaf dry matter content, plant height, flowering date); the other is on vegetation composition expressed as plant functional types (acquisitive versus conservative PFTs) established by measuring leaf dry matter content on pure grass stands. The experiment consisted of 18 fields with three different defoliation regimes (combinations of cutting and grazing) and two levels of fertilization. To establish a growth curve over the first growth cycle, herbage was sampled about 10 times in spring. Key Results Coefficients of correlation between agronomic properties of the vegetation and its functional composition were higher when the latter was assessed through PFT and an indicator of the plant nutrient status (Ni) instead of measured plant traits. The date at which the ceiling yield occurred for the standing herbage mass or only the leaf component, which varied by up to 500 degree-days between treatments, and the leaf proportion, depended entirely on the PFT, and largely so for the leaf digestibility. The standing herbage mass at the time of ceiling yield depended only on Ni, or mainly so in the case of the daily herbage growth rate. Similar plant digestibility between plant communities was found at flowering time, although there were big differences in PFT composition. The shape of the growth curve was flatter when there was great functional diversity in the plant community. Conclusions The PFT composition and the Ni were more reliable than the plant functional traits measured in the field for evaluating herbage growth pattern and digestibility in spring. PMID

  12. Influence of Autism Traits and Executive Functioning on Quality of Life in Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    de Vries, Marieke; Geurts, Hilde

    2015-01-01

    Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) often experience a low Quality of Life (QoL). We studied if IQ, early language development, current autism traits, and daily Executive Functions (EFs) are related to QoL in children (aged 8-12 years) with ASD (N = 120) and typically developing (TD) children (N = 76). Children with ASD showed a lower…

  13. Evidence that projection of a feared trait can serve a defensive function.

    PubMed

    Schimel, Jeff; Greenberg, Jeff; Martens, Andy

    2003-08-01

    Two experiments tested the notion that allowing people to project a feared trait onto another individual would facilitate denial of the trait. In Study 1, participants were given feedback that they were high or low in repressed anger and were allowed to rate an ambiguous target on anger or not. Participants who received high (vs. low) anger feedback rated the target especially high on anger. In addition, participants who received high anger feedback and who were allowed to project their anger had the lowest anger accessibility on a word completion exercise. Study 2 replicated these basic findings using a different trait dimension (dishonesty) and a direct measure of denial (self-attributions of dishonesty). Specifically, in Study 2, participants who received high dishonesty feedback and who were allowed to project dishonesty reported having an especially low level of dishonesty. Discussion focused on the relationship between classic projection and other forms of psychological defense.

  14. Highly consistent effects of plant litter identity and functional traits on decomposition across a latitudinal gradient.

    PubMed

    Makkonen, Marika; Berg, Matty P; Handa, I Tanya; Hättenschwiler, Stephan; van Ruijven, Jasper; van Bodegom, Peter M; Aerts, Rien

    2012-09-01

    Plant litter decomposition is a key process in terrestrial carbon cycling, yet the relative importance of various control factors remains ambiguous at a global scale. A full reciprocal litter transplant study with 16 litter species that varied widely in traits and originated from four forest sites covering a large latitudinal gradient (subarctic to tropics) showed a consistent interspecific ranking of decomposition rates. At a global scale, variation in decomposition was driven by a small subset of litter traits (water saturation capacity and concentrations of magnesium and condensed tannins). These consistent findings, that were largely independent of the varying local decomposer communities, suggest that decomposer communities show little specialisation and high metabolic flexibility in processing plant litter, irrespective of litter origin. Our results provide strong support for using trait-based approaches in modelling the global decomposition component of biosphere-atmosphere carbon fluxes.

  15. How general are the effects of trait anxiety and depressive symptoms on cognitive functioning?

    PubMed

    Salthouse, Timothy A

    2012-10-01

    A total of 3,781 healthy adults between 18 and 97 years of age completed trait anxiety and depressive symptoms inventories and also performed a battery of cognitive tests. Consistent with recent research on cognitive abilities, the cognitive variables could be organized into a hierarchical structure, with 5 first-order abilities and a single g-factor representing the variance common to the first-order abilities at the top of the hierarchy. Analyses were conducted to determine where in this hierarchy effects associated with trait anxiety and depressive symptoms were operating. The results indicated that trait anxiety and depressive symptoms had significant relations at the highest level in the hierarchy of cognitive abilities, but few relations of either characteristic were evident on the cognitive abilities, or on measures of working memory, after controlling influences at the g-factor level.

  16. The relationship between recent stressful life events, personality traits, perceived family functioning and internet addiction among college students.

    PubMed

    Yan, Wansen; Li, Yonghui; Sui, Nan

    2014-02-01

    Internet addiction (IA) is an emerging social and mental health issue among youths. Analysis of risk factors, as well as their interactions, is crucial for understanding the development of IA. This study investigated the relationship between recent stressful life events, personality traits, perceived family functioning and IA in 892 college students. Subjects were classified into categories (non-addicted, mild IA or severe IA) using the Chen Internet Addiction Scale. Stressful life events, personality traits and family functioning were assessed using the Adolescent Self-Rating Life Events Checklist, the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, and the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Scale, respectively. The results indicated that compared with non-addicted subjects, subjects with severe IA (9.98%) had lower family functioning, lower extraversion, higher neuroticism and psychoticism, and more stressful life events, and subjects with mild IA (11.21%) had higher neuroticism and more health and adaptation problems. Neuroticism and health and adaptation problems were potential predictors of IA. An interaction effect between psychoticism and total life stress on IA was also found. These findings highlight the role of personality traits and life stress and their interactions in college students' IA. Further research should explore the mechanisms underlying the interaction effect of psychoticism with life stress on IA.

  17. A Comparison of the Functional Traits of Common Reed (Phragmites australis) in Northern China: Aquatic vs. Terrestrial Ecotypes

    PubMed Central

    Li, Liping; Han, Wenxuan; Thevs, Niels; Jia, Xiuhong; Ji, Chengjun; Jin, Dongmei; He, Ping; Schmitt, Armin O.; Cirella, Giuseppe Tommaso; Zerbe, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    Common reed (Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud.) is distributed widely throughout the world with various ecotypes. This research compares the functional traits and biomass allocation patterns of two contrasting reed ecotypes. Twelve pairs of aquatic and terrestrial reed samples were collected in northern China. Significant differences in functional traits between the two reed ecotypes were observed, while biomass allocation patterns of reed organs did not differ significantly except for at the root. The dry matter content (DMC) in the whole of the reed plant, leaf, root, and rhizome was higher; while the specific leaf area (SLA) and specific root length (SRL) were lower in terrestrial versus aquatic reed. The biomass allocation in organs of the two forms of reed was isometric, only root in the terrestrial habitat increased faster with an increase in the whole plant biomass. It can be affirmed that aquatic and terrestrial reed that adapt to different environments generally has distinct leaf and root functional traits but isometric biomass allocation patterns. This suggests different resource acquisition strategies: (1) aquatic reed grows faster with high SLA and SRL and is more responsive to the environment, while (2) terrestrial reed with high DMC grows slower and is less responsive to the adverse environment (e.g. dry soil conditions). PMID:24586505

  18. Ageing, longevity, exceptional longevity and related genetic and non genetics markers: panel statement.

    PubMed

    Avery, Peter; Barzilai, Nir; Benetos, Athanase; Bilianou, Helen; Capri, Miriam; Caruso, Calogero; Franceschi, Claudio; Katsiki, Niki; Mikhailidis, Dimitri P; Panotopoulos, George; Sikora, Ewa; Tzanetakou, Irene P; Kolovou, Genovefa

    2014-01-01

    In May 2012, a group of scientists and clinicians met in Athens (Greece) to consider the relevance of ageing, longevity, exceptional longevity and related genetic and non genetic markers. During this meeting, we firstly reviewed recent epidemiological and clinical studies on ageing, longevity and exceptional longevity, briefly analyzed the ageing theories and discussed successful and unsuccessful ageing also taking into account the evolutionary perspective. Secondly, we considered the three phenotypes based on the definition of ageing, longevity and exceptional longevity and the associated biomarkers. Third, we discussed proposed treatments suitable to counteract or slow down ageing. Finally, this panel produced a consensus statement to highlight the importance of ageing, longevity and exceptional longevity, since this is a rapidly increasing phenotype worldwide. We acknowledge that not all experts in this field may completely agree with this statement.

  19. Interindividual variation in functionally adapted trait sets is established during postnatal growth and predictable based on bone robustness.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Nirnimesh; Bhola, Siddharth; Goldstone, Andrew; Chen, Fred; Chrzanowski, Jessica; Terranova, Carl J; Ghillani, Richard; Jepsen, Karl J

    2009-12-01

    Adults acquire unique sets of morphological and tissue-quality bone traits that are predictable based on robustness and deterministic of strength and fragility. How and when individual trait sets arise during growth has not been established. Longitudinal structural changes of the metacarpal diaphysis were measured for boys and girls from 3 mo to 8 yr of age using hand radiographs obtained from the Bolton-Brush collection. Robustness varied approximately 2-fold among boys and girls, and individual values were established by 2 yr of age, indicating that genetic and environmental factors controlling the relationship between growth in width and growth in length were established early during postnatal growth. Significant negative correlations between robustness and relative cortical area and a significant positive correlation between robustness and a novel measure capturing the efficiency of growth indicated that coordination of the subperiosteal and endocortical surfaces was responsible for this population acquiring a narrow range of trait sets that was predictable based on robustness. Boys and girls with robust diaphyses had proportionally thinner cortices to minimize mass, whereas children with slender diaphyses had proportionally thicker cortices to maximize stiffness. Girls had more slender metacarpals with proportionally thicker cortices compared with boys at all prepubertal ages. Although postnatal growth patterns varied in fundamentally different ways with sex and robustness, the dependence of trait sets on robustness indicated that children sustained variants affecting subperiosteal growth because they shared a common biological factor regulating functional adaptation. Considering the natural variation in acquired trait sets may help identify determinants of fracture risk, because age-related bone loss and gain will affect slender and robust structures differently.

  20. Leaf age dependent changes in within-canopy variation in leaf functional traits: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Niinemets, Ülo

    2016-05-01

    Within-canopy variation in leaf structural and photosynthetic characteristics is a major means by which whole canopy photosynthesis is maximized at given total canopy nitrogen. As key acclimatory modifications, leaf nitrogen content (N A) and photosynthetic capacity (A A) per unit area increase with increasing light availability in the canopy and these increases are associated with increases in leaf dry mass per unit area (M A) and/or nitrogen content per dry mass and/or allocation. However, leaf functional characteristics change with increasing leaf age during leaf development and aging, but the importance of these alterations for within-canopy trait gradients is unknown. I conducted a meta-analysis based on 71 canopies that were sampled at different time periods or, in evergreens, included measurements for different-aged leaves to understand how within-canopy variations in leaf traits (trait plasticity) depend on leaf age. The analysis demonstrated that in evergreen woody species, M A and N A plasticity decreased with increasing leaf age, but the change in A A plasticity was less suggesting a certain re-acclimation of A A to altered light. In deciduous woody species, M A and N A gradients in flush-type species increased during leaf development and were almost invariable through the rest of the season, while in continuously leaf-forming species, the trait gradients increased constantly with increasing leaf age. In forbs, N A plasticity increased, while in grasses, N A plasticity decreased with increasing leaf age, reflecting life form differences in age-dependent changes in light availability and in nitrogen resorption for growth of generative organs. Although more work is needed to improve the coverage of age-dependent plasticity changes in some plant life forms, I argue that the age-dependent variation in trait plasticity uncovered in this study is large enough to warrant incorporation in simulations of canopy photosynthesis through the growing period.

  1. Increased longevity in offspring of mothers with Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Silverman, Jeremy M; Schmeidler, James; Schnaider-Beeri, Michal; Grossman, Hillel T; Luo, Xiaodong; West, Rebecca; Lally, Rachel C; Wang, Joy Y

    2008-09-05

    Life expectancy is a familial trait. However, the effectiveness of using the age at death of a deceased parent to estimate life expectancy in their offspring can vary depending on whether death in the parent was due to extrinsic versus intrinsic causes, as well as demographic characteristics such as sex. While Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk increases with increased age, mortality for individuals with AD is increased in contrast to comparably aged individuals without AD. Yet in most cases it is not the defining neuropathology of AD that directly terminates life but instead conditions and illnesses extrinsic to AD pathology that nevertheless have increased likelihood in its presence. For this reason, we hypothesized that offspring of AD mothers would have greater longevity than offspring of mothers without AD (insufficient numbers prevented a comparable analysis using fathers with AD). The longevity of 345 offspring of 100 deceased 60+ year old AD mothers was compared with 5,465 offspring in 1,312 deceased 60+ year old non-AD mothers. We used a proportional hazards model that accounted for clustered (nonindependent) observations due to the inclusion of several offspring from the same family. In both an unadjusted model and one that adjusted for the age at death in the mother, and the sex and birth year in the offspring we found evidence for increased longevity in the offspring of AD mothers. The results suggest that, in addition to genes that might directly affect pathways leading to AD, there may be familial/genetic factors not connected to specific pathophysiological processes in AD but instead associated with increased longevity that contribute to the familial aggregation observed in AD.

  2. Breeding goals for the Kenya dual purpose goat. II. Estimation of economic values for production and functional traits.

    PubMed

    Bett, R C; Kosgey, I S; Bebe, B O; Kahi, A K

    2007-10-01

    Economic values for production traits (milk yield, MY, kg; 12-month sale weight, LW, kg; consumable meat percentage, CMP) and functional traits (doe live weight, DoWT, kg; number of kids weaned, NKW; kidding frequency, KF; kidding rate, KR, %; doe weaning rate, DoWR, %; doe survival rate, DoSR, %; post-weaning survival rate, PoSR, %; pre-weaning survival rate, PrSR, % and; residual feed intake of yearlings, RFIgamma, kg and does RFId, kg) were estimated for the Kenya Dual Purpose goat (KDPG) for systems under two bases of evaluation. The production systems included smallholder low-potential (SLP), smallholder medium-potential (SMP) and smallholder high-potential (SHP), while the bases of evaluation considered were fixed flock-size and fixed feed resource. Under both bases of evaluation, economic values were highest in SMP apart from the economic values for feed intake-related traits (RFIy and RFId). In SMP, the economic values under fixed flock-size scenario were KSh 71.61 (LW), 20.90 (MY), 45.20 (CMP), 13.68 (NKW), 3.61 (KF), 6.52 (KR), 12.39 (DoWR), 22.96 (DoSR), 22.87 (PoSR), 13.18 (PrSR), -2.76 (RFIy) and -3.00 (RFId). The corresponding economic values under fixed feed resources scenario were KSh 73.28, 29.39, 45.20, 16.91, 4.76, 9.45, 13.84, 25.67, 25.15, 16.19, -2.76 and -3.00. Generally in all production systems, economic values for most traits were higher under fixed feed resource than under fixed flock-size scenario. In all systems, the economic values for most of the traits were sensitive to changes in prices of feed, milk and meat. The positive economic values for most traits under fixed flock-size scenario and fixed feed resource indicates that a unit increase in genetic merit for the traits would have a positive effect on the profitability of the systems.

  3. Leaf morphology of 40 evergreen and deciduous broadleaved subtropical tree species and relationships to functional ecophysiological traits.

    PubMed

    Kröber, W; Heklau, H; Bruelheide, H

    2015-03-01

    We explored potential of morphological and anatomical leaf traits for predicting ecophysiological key functions in subtropical trees. We asked whether the ecophysiological parameters stomatal conductance and xylem cavitation vulnerability could be predicted from microscopy leaf traits. We investigated 21 deciduous and 19 evergreen subtropical tree species, using individuals of the same age and from the same environment in the Biodiversity-Ecosystem Functioning experiment at Jiangxi (BEF-China). Information-theoretic linear model selection was used to identify the best combination of morphological and anatomical predictors for ecophysiological functions. Leaf anatomy and morphology strongly depended on leaf habit. Evergreen species tended to have thicker leaves, thicker spongy and palisade mesophyll, more palisade mesophyll layers and a thicker subepidermis. Over 50% of all evergreen species had leaves with multi-layered palisade parenchyma, while only one deciduous species (Koelreuteria bipinnata) had this. Interactions with leaf habit were also included in best multi-predictor models for stomatal conductance (gs ) and xylem cavitation vulnerability. In addition, maximum gs was positively related to log ratio of palisade to spongy mesophyll thickness. Vapour pressure deficit (vpd) for maximum gs increased with the log ratio of palisade to spongy mesophyll thickness in species having leaves with papillae. In contrast, maximum specific hydraulic conductivity and xylem pressure at which 50% loss of maximum specific xylem hydraulic conductivity occurred (Ψ50 ) were best predicted by leaf habit and density of spongy parenchyma. Evergreen species had lower Ψ50 values and lower maximum xylem hydraulic conductivities. As hydraulic leaf and wood characteristics were reflected in structural leaf traits, there is high potential for identifying further linkages between morphological and anatomical leaf traits and ecophysiological responses.

  4. Within and between population variation in plant traits predicts ecosystem functions associated with a dominant plant species

    PubMed Central

    Breza, Lauren C; Souza, Lara; Sanders, Nathan J; Classen, Aimée T

    2012-01-01

    Linking intraspecific variation in plant traits to ecosystem carbon uptake may allow us to better predict how shift in populations shape ecosystem function. We investigated whether plant populations of a dominant old-field plant species (Solidago altissima) differed in carbon dynamics and if variation in plant traits among genotypes and between populations predicted carbon dynamics. We established a common garden experiment with 35 genotypes from three populations of S. altissima from either Tennessee (southern populations) or Connecticut (northern populations) to ask whether: (1) southern and northern Solidago populations will differ in aboveground productivity, leaf area, flowering time and duration, and whole ecosystem carbon uptake, (2) intraspecific trait variation (growth and reproduction) will be related to intraspecific variation in gross ecosystem CO2 exchange (GEE) and net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) within and between northern and southern populations. GEE and NEE were 4.8× and 2× greater in southern relative to northern populations. Moreover, southern populations produced 13× more aboveground biomass and 1.4× more inflorescence mass than did northern populations. Flowering dynamics (first- and last-day flowering and flowering duration) varied significantly among genotypes in both the southern and northern populations, but plant performance and ecosystem function did not. Both productivity and inflorescence mass predicted NEE and GEE between S. altissima southern and northern populations. Taken together, our data demonstrate that variation between S. altissima populations in performance and flowering traits are strong predictors of ecosystem function in a dominant old-field species and suggest that populations of the same species might differ substantially in their response to environmental perturbations. PMID:22833791

  5. Retrieval of forest leaf functional traits from HySpex imagery using radiative transfer models and continuous wavelet analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ali, Abebe Mohammed; Skidmore, Andrew K.; Darvishzadeh, Roshanak; van Duren, Iris; Holzwarth, Stefanie; Mueller, Joerg

    2016-12-01

    Quantification of vegetation properties plays an important role in the assessment of ecosystem functions with leaf dry mater content (LDMC) and specific leaf area (SLA) being two key functional traits. For the first time, these two leaf traits have been estimated from the airborne images (HySpex) using the INFORM radiative transfer model and Continuous Wavelet Analysis (CWA). Ground truth data, were collected for 33 sample plots during a field campaign in July 2013 in the Bavarian Forest National Park, Germany, concurrent with the hyperspectral overflight. The INFORM model was used to simulate the canopy reflectance of the test site and the simulated spectra were transformed to wavelet features by applying CWA. Next, the top 1% strongly correlated wavelet features with the LDMC and SLA were used to develop predictive (regression) models. The two leaf traits were then retrieved using the CWA transformed HySpex imagery and the predictive models. The results were validated using R2 and the RMSE of the estimated and measured variables. Our results revealed strong correlations between six wavelet features and LDMC, as well as between four wavelet features and SLA. The wavelet features at 1741 nm (scale 5) and 2281 nm (scale 4) were the two most strongly correlated with LDMC and SLA respectively. The combination of all the identified wavelet features for LDMC yielded the most accurate prediction (R2 = 0.59 and RMSE = 4.39%). However, for SLA the most accurate prediction was obtained from the single most correlated feature: 2281 nm, scale 4 (R2 = 0.85 and RMSE = 4.90). Our results demonstrate the applicability of Continuous Wavelet Analysis (CWA) when inverting radiative transfer models, for accurate mapping of forest leaf functional traits.

  6. Biology of Healthy Aging and Longevity.

    PubMed

    Carmona, Juan José; Michan, Shaday

    2016-01-01

    As human life expectancy is prolonged, age-related diseases are thriving. Aging is a complex multifactorial process of molecular and cellular decline that affects tissue function over time, rendering organisms frail and susceptible to disease and death. Over the last decades, a growing body of scientific literature across different biological models, ranging from yeast, worms, flies, and mice to primates, humans and other long-lived animals, has contributed greatly towards identifying conserved biological mechanisms that ward off structural and functional deterioration within living systems. Collectively, these data offer powerful insights into healthy aging and longevity. For example, molecular integrity of the genome, telomere length, epigenetic landscape stability, and protein homeostasis are all features linked to "youthful" states. These molecular hallmarks underlie cellular functions associated with aging like mitochondrial fitness, nutrient sensing, efficient intercellular communication, stem cell renewal, and regenerative capacity in tissues. At present, calorie restriction remains the most robust strategy for extending health and lifespan in most biological models tested. Thus, pathways that mediate the beneficial effects of calorie restriction by integrating metabolic signals to aging processes have received major attention, such as insulin/insulin growth factor-1, sirtuins, mammalian target of rapamycin, and 5' adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase. Consequently, small-molecule targets of these pathways have emerged in the impetuous search for calorie restriction mimetics, of which resveratrol, metformin, and rapamycin are the most extensively studied. A comprehensive understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie age-related deterioration and repair, and how these pathways interconnect, remains a major challenge for uncovering interventions to slow human aging while extending molecular and physiological youthfulness

  7. Exotic plant traits lead to functional diversity decline in novel ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Exotic species have become common and even dominant in some grasslands forming novel ecosystems because the species in them have no common evolutionary history. Recent work on these novel ecosystems suggest that exotic species contribute to diversity declines. In order to identify the plant traits...

  8. Brief Report: Suggestibility, Compliance and Psychological Traits in High-Functioning Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maras, Katie L.; Bowler, Dermot M.

    2012-01-01

    Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may be over-represented within the criminal justice system; it is therefore important to understand how they fare under police questioning. The present study examined interrogative suggestibility and compliance in individuals with ASD, and whether this is associated with certain psychological traits.…

  9. Economic values of production and functional traits, including residual feed intake, in Finnish milk production.

    PubMed

    Hietala, P; Wolfová, M; Wolf, J; Kantanen, J; Juga, J

    2014-02-01

    Improving the feed efficiency of dairy cattle has a substantial effect on the economic efficiency and on the reduction of harmful environmental effects of dairy production through lower feeding costs and emissions from dairy farming. To assess the economic importance of feed efficiency in the breeding goal for dairy cattle, the economic values for the current breeding goal traits and the additional feed efficiency traits for Finnish Ayrshire cattle under production circumstances in 2011 were determined. The derivation of economic values was based on a bioeconomic model in which the profit of the production system was calculated, using the generated steady state herd structure. Considering beef production from dairy farms, 2 marketing strategies for surplus calves were investigated: (A) surplus calves were sold at a young age and (B) surplus calves were fattened on dairy farms. Both marketing strategies were unprofitable when subsidies were not included in the revenues. When subsidies were taken into account, a positive profitability was observed in both marketing strategies. The marginal economic values for residual feed intake (RFI) of breeding heifers and cows were -25.5 and -55.8 €/kg of dry matter per day per cow and year, respectively. The marginal economic value for RFI of animals in fattening was -29.5 €/kg of dry matter per day per cow and year. To compare the economic importance among traits, the standardized economic weight of each trait was calculated as the product of the marginal economic value and the genetic standard deviation; the standardized economic weight expressed as a percentage of the sum of all standardized economic weights was called relative economic weight. When not accounting for subsidies, the highest relative economic weight was found for 305-d milk yield (34% in strategy A and 29% in strategy B), which was followed by protein percentage (13% in strategy A and 11% in strategy B). The third most important traits were calving

  10. Reconsideration of Plant Morphological Traits: From a Structure-Based Perspective to a Function-Based Evolutionary Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Bai, Shu-Nong

    2017-01-01

    This opinion article proposes a novel alignment of traits in plant morphogenesis from a function-based evolutionary perspective. As a member species of the ecosystem on Earth, we human beings view our neighbor organisms from our own sensing system. We tend to distinguish forms and structures (i.e., “morphological traits”) mainly through vision. Traditionally, a plant was considered to be consisted of three parts, i.e., the shoot, the leaves, and the root. Based on such a “structure-based perspective,” evolutionary analyses or comparisons across species were made on particular parts or their derived structures. So far no conceptual framework has been established to incorporate the morphological traits of all three land plant phyta, i.e., bryophyta, pteridophyta and spermatophyta, for evolutionary developmental analysis. Using the tenets of the recently proposed concept of sexual reproduction cycle, the major morphological traits of land plants can be aligned into five categories from a function-based evolutionary perspective. From this perspective, and the resulting alignment, a new conceptual framework emerges, called “Plant Morphogenesis 123.” This framework views a plant as a colony of integrated plant developmental units that are each produced via one life cycle. This view provided an alternative perspective for ev