Vignaud, Thomas M; Maynard, Jeffrey A; Leblois, Raphael; Meekan, Mark G; Vázquez-Juárez, Ricardo; Ramírez-Macías, Dení; Pierce, Simon J; Rowat, David; Berumen, Michael L; Beeravolu, Champak; Baksay, Sandra; Planes, Serge
This study presents genetic evidence that whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, are comprised of at least two populations that rarely mix and is the first to document a population expansion. Relatively high genetic structure is found when comparing sharks from the Gulf of Mexico with sharks from the Indo-Pacific. If mixing occurs between the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, it is not sufficient to counter genetic drift. This suggests whale sharks are not all part of a single global metapopulation. The significant population expansion we found was indicated by both microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA. The expansion may have happened during the Holocene, when tropical species could expand their range due to sea-level rise, eliminating dispersal barriers and increasing plankton productivity. However, the historic trend of population increase may have reversed recently. Declines in genetic diversity are found for 6 consecutive years at Ningaloo Reef in Australia. The declines in genetic diversity being seen now in Australia may be due to commercial-scale harvesting of whale sharks and collision with boats in past decades in other countries in the Indo-Pacific. The study findings have implications for models of population connectivity for whale sharks and advocate for continued focus on effective protection of the world's largest fish at multiple spatial scales.
Hoffman, J. I.; Kowalski, G. J.; Klimova, A.; Staniland, I. J.; Baylis, A. M. M.
Understanding the causes of population decline is crucial for conservation management. We therefore used genetic analysis both to provide baseline data on population structure and to evaluate hypotheses for the catastrophic decline of the South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens) at the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) in the South Atlantic. We genotyped 259 animals from 23 colonies across the Falklands at 281 bp of the mitochondrial hypervariable region and 22 microsatellites. A weak signature of population structure was detected, genetic diversity was moderately high in comparison with other pinniped species, and no evidence was found for the decline being associated with a strong demographic bottleneck. By combining our mitochondrial data with published sequences from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru, we also uncovered strong maternally directed population structure across the geographical range of the species. In particular, very few shared haplotypes were found between the Falklands and South America, and this was reflected in correspondingly low migration rate estimates. These findings do not support the prominent hypothesis that the decline was caused by migration to Argentina, where large-scale commercial harvesting operations claimed over half a million animals. Thus, our study not only provides baseline data for conservation management but also reveals the potential for genetic studies to shed light upon long-standing questions pertaining to the history and fate of natural populations. PMID:27493782
Hoffman, J I; Kowalski, G J; Klimova, A; Eberhart-Phillips, L J; Staniland, I J; Baylis, A M M
Understanding the causes of population decline is crucial for conservation management. We therefore used genetic analysis both to provide baseline data on population structure and to evaluate hypotheses for the catastrophic decline of the South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens) at the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) in the South Atlantic. We genotyped 259 animals from 23 colonies across the Falklands at 281 bp of the mitochondrial hypervariable region and 22 microsatellites. A weak signature of population structure was detected, genetic diversity was moderately high in comparison with other pinniped species, and no evidence was found for the decline being associated with a strong demographic bottleneck. By combining our mitochondrial data with published sequences from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru, we also uncovered strong maternally directed population structure across the geographical range of the species. In particular, very few shared haplotypes were found between the Falklands and South America, and this was reflected in correspondingly low migration rate estimates. These findings do not support the prominent hypothesis that the decline was caused by migration to Argentina, where large-scale commercial harvesting operations claimed over half a million animals. Thus, our study not only provides baseline data for conservation management but also reveals the potential for genetic studies to shed light upon long-standing questions pertaining to the history and fate of natural populations.
Collen, Ben; McRae, Louise; Deinet, Stefanie; De Palma, Adriana; Carranza, Tharsila; Cooper, Natalie; Loh, Jonathan; Baillie, Jonathan E. M.
Global species extinction typically represents the endpoint in a long sequence of population declines and local extinctions. In comparative studies of extinction risk of contemporary mammalian species, there appear to be some universal traits that may predispose taxa to an elevated risk of extinction. In local population-level studies, there are limited insights into the process of population decline and extinction. Moreover, there is still little appreciation of how local processes scale up to global patterns. Advancing the understanding of factors which predispose populations to rapid declines will benefit proactive conservation and may allow us to target at-risk populations as well as at-risk species. Here, we take mammalian population trend data from the largest repository of population abundance trends, and combine it with the PanTHERIA database on mammal traits to answer the question: what factors can be used to predict decline in mammalian abundance? We find in general that environmental variables are better determinants of cross-species population-level decline than intrinsic biological traits. For effective conservation, we must not only describe which species are at risk and why, but also prescribe ways to counteract this. PMID:21807738
Daszak, P.; Berger, L.; Cunningham, A. A.; Hyatt, A. D.; Green, D. E.; Speare, R.
We review recent research on the pathology, ecology, and biogeography of two emerging infectious wildlife diseases, chytridiomycosis and ranaviral disease, in the context of host-parasite population biology. We examine the role of these diseases in the global decline of amphibian populations and propose hypotheses for the origins and impact of these panzootics. Finally, we discuss emerging infectious diseases as a global threat to wildlife populations. PMID:10603206
Turchin, Peter; Scheidel, Walter
In times of violence, people tend to hide their valuables, which are later recovered unless the owners had been killed or driven away. Thus, the temporal distribution of unrecovered coin hoards is an excellent proxy for the intensity of internal warfare. We use this relationship to resolve a long-standing controversy in Roman history. Depending on who was counted in the early Imperial censuses (adult males or the entire citizenry including women and minors), the Roman citizen population of Italy either declined, or more than doubled, during the first century BCE. This period was characterized by a series of civil wars, and historical evidence indicates that high levels of sociopolitical instability are associated with demographic contractions. We fitted a simple model quantifying the effect of instability (proxied by hoard frequency) on population dynamics to the data before 100 BCE. The model predicts declining population after 100 BCE. This suggests that the vigorous growth scenario is highly implausible.
Turchin, Peter; Scheidel, Walter
In times of violence, people tend to hide their valuables, which are later recovered unless the owners had been killed or driven away. Thus, the temporal distribution of unrecovered coin hoards is an excellent proxy for the intensity of internal warfare. We use this relationship to resolve a long-standing controversy in Roman history. Depending on who was counted in the early Imperial censuses (adult males or the entire citizenry including women and minors), the Roman citizen population of Italy either declined, or more than doubled, during the first century BCE. This period was characterized by a series of civil wars, and historical evidence indicates that high levels of sociopolitical instability are associated with demographic contractions. We fitted a simple model quantifying the effect of instability (proxied by hoard frequency) on population dynamics to the data before 100 BCE. The model predicts declining population after 100 BCE. This suggests that the vigorous growth scenario is highly implausible. PMID:19805043
Soto-Azat, Claudio; Valenzuela-Sánchez, Andrés; Collen, Ben; Rowcliffe, J. Marcus; Veloso, Alberto; Cunningham, Andrew A.
Darwin’s frogs (Rhinoderma darwinii and R. rufum) are two species of mouth-brooding frogs from Chile and Argentina. Here, we present evidence on the extent of declines, current distribution and conservation status of Rhinoderma spp.; including information on abundance, habitat and threats to extant Darwin’s frog populations. All known archived Rhinoderma specimens were examined in museums in North America, Europe and South America. Extensive surveys were carried out throughout the historical ranges of R. rufum and R. darwinii from 2008 to 2012. Literature review and location data of 2,244 archived specimens were used to develop historical distribution maps for Rhinoderma spp. Based on records of sightings, optimal linear estimation was used to estimate whether R. rufum can be considered extinct. No extant R. rufum was found and our modelling inferred that this species became extinct in 1982 (95% CI, 1980–2000). Rhinoderma darwinii was found in 36 sites. All populations were within native forest and abundance was highest in Chiloé Island, when compared with Coast, Andes and South populations. Estimated population size and density (five populations) averaged 33.2 frogs/population (range, 10.2–56.3) and 14.9 frogs/100 m2 (range, 5.3–74.1), respectively. Our results provide further evidence that R. rufum is extinct and indicate that R. darwinii has declined to a much greater degree than previously recognised. Although this species can still be found across a large part of its historical range, remaining populations are small and severely fragmented. Conservation efforts for R. darwinii should be stepped up and the species re-classified as Endangered. PMID:23776705
This book represents the work of several authors who participated in the symposium entitled 'Multiple Stressor Effects in Relation to Declining Amphibian Populations' convened 16-17 April, 2002, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Declines of amphibian populations of varying severity have been observed for many years, and in the last 8 to 10 years considerable progress has been made in documenting the status and distribution of a range of amphibian species. Habitat alteration and destruction are likely linked to many amphibian declines, but a variety of other factors, both anthropogenic and natural, have been observed or proposed to have caused declines or extinctions of amphibian populations. Unfortunately, determining the environmental causes for the decline of many species has proven difficult. The goals of this symposium were three-fold. First, highlight ASTM's historic role in providing a forum for the standardization of amphibian toxicity test methods and the characterization of adverse effects potentially associated with chemical stressors. Second, demonstrate through case studies the current state of technical 'tools' available to biologists, ecologists, environmental scientists and natural resource professionals for assessing amphibian populations exposed to various environmental stressors. And third, characterize a process that brings a range of interdisciplinary technical and management tools to the tasks of causal analysis, especially as those relate to a multiple stressor risk assessment 'mind-set.' As part of the symposium, scientists and resource management professionals from diverse fields including ecotoxicology and chemistry, ecology and field biology, conservation biology, and natural resource management and policy contributed oral presentations and posters that addressed topics related to declining amphibian populations and the role that various stressors have in those losses. The papers contained in this publication reflect the commitment of ASTM
Rosenberg, Kenneth V.; Will, Tom; Buehler, David A.; Barker Swarthout, Sara; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Chandler, Richard
hybrid zone, but the future of northern populations in the Great Lakes states and Canada (where >80% of the species occurs at present) is highly uncertain because of continued northward expansion of Blue-winged Warblers and hybridization. A second, now-disjunct band of Golden-winged Warbler populations exists in the Appalachian Mountains from southeastern New York to northern Georgia, surrounded at lower elevations by Blue-winged Warblers. Important concentrations of Golden-winged Warblers persist in the Allegheny Mountains region of West Virginia, the Cumberland Mountains in Tennessee, Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, Allegheny Plateau and Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, and in the Hudson Highlands of southern New York. These high-elevation Appalachian populations have escaped contact with Blue-winged Warblers until very recently and represent important refugia for conservation and management; other Appalachian populations are rapidly declining. In addition, based on historical records and standardized surveys across the wintering grounds, we identified three regions of concentration: highlands and Caribbean slopes from Guatemala and Belize to northwestern Nicaragua; middle elevations (both slopes) in Costa Rica and western Panama; and in an arc of the northern Andes from central Colombia to northern Venezuela. It is possible that the winter range has been shifting towards the northwest in recent decades, paralleling shifts in the breeding distribution. Future conservation efforts for Golden-winged Warbler need to include close monitoring of the dynamic phenotypic and genetic distributional shifts, and may need to consider the “winged warbler” complex together as a highly adaptable evolutionary unit.
Guzman, Hector M; Cipriani, Roberto; Jackson, Jeremy B C
The Panama Canal is near its vessel size and tonnage handling capacity, and Panamanians have decided to expand it. The expansion of the Canal may consider the historical long-lasting impacts on marine coastal habitats particularly on sensitive coral reefs. These potential impacts were discussed during the national referendum as were other equally important issues, such as its effects on forests, watersheds, and water supply. Coral growth rates provide a direct measure of coral fitness and past environmental conditions comparable to analyses of tree rings. We examined stable isotopes, metal geochemical tracers, and growth rates on a century-long (1880-1989) chronology based on 77 cores of the dominant reef-building coral Siderastrea siderea collected near the Caribbean entrance to the canal. Our results showed a gradual decline in coral growth unrelated to changes in sea surface temperature but linked to runoff and sedimentation to coastal areas resulting from the construction and operation of the Panama Canal.
Hamilton, Richard J.; Almany, Glenn R.; Stevens, Don; Bode, Michael; Pita, John; Peterson, Nate A.; Choat, J. Howard
Bolbometopon muricatum, the largest species of parrotfish, is a functionally important species that is characterised by the formation of aggregations for foraging, reproductive, and sleeping behaviours. Aggregations are restricted to shallow reef habitats, the locations of which are often known to local fishers. Bolbometopon muricatum fisheries are therefore vulnerable to overfishing and are likely to exhibit hyperstability, the maintenance of high catch per unit effort (CPUE) while population abundance declines. In this study, we provide a clear demonstration of hyperstable dynamics in a commercial B. muricatum fishery in Isabel Province, Solomon Islands. Initially, we used participatory mapping to demarcate the Kia fishing grounds into nine zones that had experienced different historic levels of fishing pressure. We then conducted comprehensive underwater visual census (UVC) and CPUE surveys across these zones over a 21-month period in 2012-2013. The individual sites for replicate UVC surveys were selected using a generalised random tessellation stratified variable probability design, while CPUE surveys involved trained provincial fisheries officers and local spearfishers. A comparison of fishery-independent abundance data and fishery-dependent CPUE data indicate extreme hyperstability, with CPUE maintained as B. muricatum abundance declines towards zero. Hyperstability may explain the sudden collapses of many B. muricatum spear fisheries across the Pacific and highlights the limitations of using data-poor fisheries assessment methods to evaluate the status of commercially valuable coral reef fishes that form predicable aggregations.
Beaumont, Mark A
This article introduces a new general method for genealogical inference that samples independent genealogical histories using importance sampling (IS) and then samples other parameters with Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC). It is then possible to more easily utilize the advantages of importance sampling in a fully Bayesian framework. The method is applied to the problem of estimating recent changes in effective population size from temporally spaced gene frequency data. The method gives the posterior distribution of effective population size at the time of the oldest sample and at the time of the most recent sample, assuming a model of exponential growth or decline during the interval. The effect of changes in number of alleles, number of loci, and sample size on the accuracy of the method is described using test simulations, and it is concluded that these have an approximately equivalent effect. The method is used on three example data sets and problems in interpreting the posterior densities are highlighted and discussed. PMID:12871921
Hefley, Trevor J.; Hooten, Mevin B.; Drake, John M.; Russell, Robin E.; Walsh, Daniel P.
Inferring the factors responsible for declines in abundance is a prerequisite to preventing the extinction of wild populations. Many of the policies and programmes intended to prevent extinctions operate on the assumption that the factors driving the decline of a population can be determined. Exogenous factors that cause declines in abundance can be statistically confounded with endogenous factors such as density dependence. To demonstrate the potential for confounding, we used an experiment where replicated populations were driven to extinction by gradually manipulating habitat quality. In many of the replicated populations, habitat quality and density dependence were confounded, which obscured causal inference. Our results show that confounding is likely to occur when the exogenous factors that are driving the decline change gradually over time. Our study has direct implications for wild populations, because many factors that could drive a population to extinction change gradually through time.
Cramer, Katie L.; O'Dea, Aaron; Clark, Tara R.; Zhao, Jian-Xin; Norris, Richard D.
Caribbean coral reefs have transformed into algal-dominated habitats over recent decades, but the mechanisms of change are unresolved due to a lack of quantitative ecological data before large-scale human impacts. To understand the role of reduced herbivory in recent coral declines, we produce a high-resolution 3,000 year record of reef accretion rate and herbivore (parrotfish and urchin) abundance from the analysis of sediments and fish, coral and urchin subfossils within cores from Caribbean Panama. At each site, declines in accretion rates and parrotfish abundance were initiated in the prehistorical or historical period. Statistical tests of direct cause and effect relationships using convergent cross mapping reveal that accretion rates are driven by parrotfish abundance (but not vice versa) but are not affected by total urchin abundance. These results confirm the critical role of parrotfish in maintaining coral-dominated reef habitat and the urgent need for restoration of parrotfish populations to enable reef persistence.
Cramer, Katie L.; O'Dea, Aaron; Clark, Tara R.; Zhao, Jian-xin; Norris, Richard D.
Caribbean coral reefs have transformed into algal-dominated habitats over recent decades, but the mechanisms of change are unresolved due to a lack of quantitative ecological data before large-scale human impacts. To understand the role of reduced herbivory in recent coral declines, we produce a high-resolution 3,000 year record of reef accretion rate and herbivore (parrotfish and urchin) abundance from the analysis of sediments and fish, coral and urchin subfossils within cores from Caribbean Panama. At each site, declines in accretion rates and parrotfish abundance were initiated in the prehistorical or historical period. Statistical tests of direct cause and effect relationships using convergent cross mapping reveal that accretion rates are driven by parrotfish abundance (but not vice versa) but are not affected by total urchin abundance. These results confirm the critical role of parrotfish in maintaining coral-dominated reef habitat and the urgent need for restoration of parrotfish populations to enable reef persistence. PMID:28112169
Cramer, Katie L; O'Dea, Aaron; Clark, Tara R; Zhao, Jian-Xin; Norris, Richard D
Caribbean coral reefs have transformed into algal-dominated habitats over recent decades, but the mechanisms of change are unresolved due to a lack of quantitative ecological data before large-scale human impacts. To understand the role of reduced herbivory in recent coral declines, we produce a high-resolution 3,000 year record of reef accretion rate and herbivore (parrotfish and urchin) abundance from the analysis of sediments and fish, coral and urchin subfossils within cores from Caribbean Panama. At each site, declines in accretion rates and parrotfish abundance were initiated in the prehistorical or historical period. Statistical tests of direct cause and effect relationships using convergent cross mapping reveal that accretion rates are driven by parrotfish abundance (but not vice versa) but are not affected by total urchin abundance. These results confirm the critical role of parrotfish in maintaining coral-dominated reef habitat and the urgent need for restoration of parrotfish populations to enable reef persistence.
Amphibian population declines have been noted on both local and global scales. Causes for these declines are unknown although many hypotheses have been offered. In areas adjacent to human development, loss of habitat is a fairly well accepted cause. However in isolated, seemingl...
Alien species (also referred to as exotic, invasive, introduced, or normative species) have been implicated as causal agents in population declines of many amphibian species. Herein, we evaluate the relative contributions of alien species and other factors in adversely affecting ...
Dynamics of growth and decline of microbial populations were analysed and respective models were developed in this investigation. Analysis of the dynamics was based on general considerations concerning the main properties of microorganisms and their interactions with the environment which was supposed to be affected by the activity of the population. Those considerations were expressed mathematically by differential equations or systems of the equations containing minimal sets of parameters characterizing those properties. It has been found that: (1) the factors leading to the decline of the population have to be considered separately, namely, accumulation of metabolites (toxins) in the medium and the exhaustion of resources; the latter have to be separated again into renewable ('building materials') and non-renewable (sources of energy); (2) decline of the population is caused by the exhaustion of sources of energy but no decline is predicted by the model because of the exhaustion of renewable resources; (3) the model determined by the accumulation of metabolites (toxins) in the medium does not suggest the existence of a separate 'stationary phase'; (4) in the model determined by the exhaustion of energy resources the 'stationary' and 'decline' phases are quite discernible; and (5) there is no symmetry in microbial population dynamics, the decline being slower than the rise. Mathematical models are expected to be useful in getting insight into the process of control of the dynamics of microbial populations. The models are in agreement with the experimental data.
Coincident with other amphibians around the world Aneides aeneus, a terrestrial plethodontid salamander, suffered a population collapse in a disjunct portion of its range in the mid-late 1970s. Long-term monitoring of seven historical green salamander populations throughout the 1990s showed a 98% decline in relative abundance since 1970. Three out of six populations first discovered in 1991 also crashed in 1996-1997. The synchronized suddenness of the declines, their region-wide impact, and effects on both small and larger populations, suggest the role of a novel agent of mortality beginning in the mid-late 1970s. Acting alone, but more likely in concert, habitat loss, overcollecting, epidemic disease and climate change could account for this region-wide decline.
Doroff, Angela; Estes, James A.; Tinker, M. Tim; Burn, Douglas M.; Evans, Thomas J.
Sea otter (Enhydra lutris) populations were exploited to near extinction and began to recover after the cessation of commercial hunting in 1911. Remnant colonies of sea otters in the Aleutian archipelago were among the first to recover; they continued to increase through the 1980s but declined abruptly during the 1990s. We conducted an aerial survey of the Aleutian archipelago in 2000 and compared results with similar surveys conducted in 1965 and 1992. The number of sea otters counted decreased by 75% between 1965 and 2000; 88% for islands at equilibrial density in 1965. The population decline likely began in the mid-1980s and declined at a rate of 17.5%/year in the 1990s. The minimal population estimate was 8,742 sea otters in 2000. The population declined to a uniformly low density in the archipelago, suggesting a common and geographically widespread cause. These data are in general agreement with the hypothesis of increased predation on sea otters. These data chronicle one of the most widespread and precipitous population declines for a mammalian carnivore in recorded history.
Sparling, Donald W.; Fellers, Gary M.; McConnell, Laura L.
Several species of anuran amphibians have undergone drastic population declines in the western United States over the last 10 to 15 years. In California, the most severe declines are in the Sierra Mountains east of the Central Valley and downwind of the intensely agricultural San Joaquin Valley. In contrast, coastal and more northern populations across from the less agrarian Sacramento Valley are stable or declining less precipitously. In this article, we provide evidence that pesticides are instrumental in declines of these species. Using Hyla regilla as a sentinel species, we found that cholinesterase (ChE) activity in tadpoles was depressed in mountainous areas east of the Central Valley compared with sites along the coast or north of the Valley. Cholinesterase was also lower in areas where ranid population status was poor or moderate compared with areas with good ranid status. Up to 50% of the sampled population in areas with reduced ChE had detectable organophosphorus residues, with concentrations as high as 190 ppb wet weight. In addition, up to 86% of some populations had measurable endosulfan concentrations and 40% had detectable 4,4'- dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene, 4,4'-DDT, and 2,4'-DDT residues.
Airborne pesticides from the Central Valley of California have been implicated as a cause for population declines of several amphibian species, with the strongest evidence for the mountain yellow-legged frog complex (Rana muscosa and R. sierrae) in the Sierra Nevada. We measured ...
Wilson, D.M.; Naimo, T.J.; Weiner, J.G.; Anderson, R.V.; Sandheinrich, M.B.; Sparks, R.E.
We examined recent temporal trends in the abundance of fingernail clams Musculium transversum (formerly Sphaerium transversum) in the upper Mississippi River. Historical data on densities of fingernail clams were obtained from regional scientists and published literature. We also sampled benthos in six navigation pools in summer 1991, finding very few fingernail clams. The combined data set, including historical data and sampling results, extended from 1973 to 1992 and was sufficient to statistically evaluate trends in densities of fingernail clams in eight pools. Populations of fingernail clams declined significantly in five of the eight pools examined (Pools 2, 5, 7, 9, and 19), which spanned a 700-km reach of river from St. Paul, Minnesota, to Keokuk, Iowa. Densities in Pool 19, which had the longest historical record on fingernail clam abundance, averaged 30 000 m super(-2) in 1985 and progressively declined to zero in 1990. Combined data from all eight pools showed a significant decline in abundance of fingernail clams. An evaluation of potential causal factors led us to hypothesize that the population declines in Pools 2 to 9 were linked to point-source pollution rather than to dredging activity or commercial navigation traffic. In Pool 19, the declines of fingernail clams may have resulted from low-flow conditions during drought periods, but the causal mechanisms by which low flow influences fingernail clam abundance are unclear. The decrease in fingernail clam populations may adversely affect certain fish and wildlife, such as migrating lesser scaup Aythya affinis, which feed heavily on the small mollusk. Moreover, the decreases in populations of this pollution-sensitive mollusk may signal a large-scale deterioration in the health of this riverine ecosystem.
Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) populations were expected to rebuild following the end of commercial whaling. We document the decline of the population in the eastern Caribbean by tracing demographic changes of well-studied social units. We address hypotheses that, over a ten-year period of dedicated effort (2005–2015), unit size, numbers of calves and/or calving rates have each declined. Across 16 units, the number of adults decreased in 12 units, increased in two, and showed no change in two. The number of adults per unit decreased at -0.195 individuals/yr (95% CI: -0.080 to -0.310; P = 0.001). The number of calves also declined, but the decline was not significant. This negative trend of -4.5% per year in unit size started in about 2010, with numbers being fairly stable until then. There are several natural and anthropogenic threats, but no well-substantiated cause for the decline. PMID:27706153
Farnsworth, Elizabeth J; Ogurcak, Danielle E
Detecting range shifts and contractions is critical for determining the conservation priority of rare and declining taxa. However, data on rare species occurrences frequently lack precise information on locations and habitats and may present a biased picture of biogeographic distributions and presumed habitat preferences. Herbarium or museum specimen data, which otherwise could be useful proxies for detecting temporal trends and spatial patterns in species distributions, pose particular challenges. Using data from herbaria and Natural Heritage Programs on numbers of occurrences within individual municipalities (towns, cities, or townships), we quantified temporal changes in the estimated distributions of 110 rare plant species in the six New England (USA) states. We used the partial Solow equation and a nonparametric test to estimate the probability of observing multiple absences (gaps in the collection record) if a given population was actually still extant. Bayes' Theorem was used to estimate the probability that occurrences were misclassified as extinct. Using the probabilities obtained from these three methods, we eliminated taxa with high probabilities of pseudo-absence (that would yield an inaccurate profile of species distributions), narrowing the set for final analysis to 71 taxa. We then expressed occurrences as centroids of town polygons and estimated current and historical range areas (extents of occurrence as defined by alpha-hulls inscribing occurrences), mean distances between occurrences, and latitudinal and longitudinal range boundaries. Using a geographic information system, we modeled first, second, and third circular standard deviational polygons around the mean center of the historical range. Examining the distribution of current occurrences within each standard deviational polygon, we asked whether ranges were collapsing to a center, expanding, fragmenting, or contracting to a margin of the former range. Extant ranges of the species were, on
Smith, Derek R
Background Tobacco use became an ingrained habit in the United States (US) following the First World War and a large proportion of physicians, similar to the general population, were smokers. The period from 1949 to 1984 was a pivotal era of change however, as the medical profession, like the society it served, became increasingly aware of the dangers that tobacco incurred for health. Methods An extensive review targeted all manuscripts published in academic journals between 1949 and 1984 that related to tobacco smoking among US physicians. The study was undertaken in 2007–08 with an internet search of relevant medical databases, after which time the reference lists of manuscripts were also examined to find additional articles. Results A total of 57 manuscripts met the inclusion criteria. From a research perspective, the methodology and coverage of smoking surveys ranged from detailed national investigations, to local medical association surveys, and journal readership questionnaires. From a historical perspective, it can be seen that by the 1950s many US physicians had begun questioning the safety of tobacco products, and by the 1960s and 1970s, this had resulted in a continuous decline in tobacco use. By the 1980s, few US physicians were still smoking, and many of their younger demographic had probably never smoked at all. Conclusion Although the quality and coverage of historical surveys varied over time, a review of their main results indicates a clear and consistent decline in tobacco use among US physicians between 1949 and 1984. Much can be learned from this pivotal era of public health, where the importance of scientific knowledge, professional leadership and social responsibility helped set positive examples in the fight against tobacco. PMID:18822167
Bauer, Hans; Chapron, Guillaume; Nowell, Kristin; Henschel, Philipp; Funston, Paul; Hunter, Luke T B; Macdonald, David W; Packer, Craig
We compiled all credible repeated lion surveys and present time series data for 47 lion (Panthera leo) populations. We used a Bayesian state space model to estimate growth rate-λ for each population and summed these into three regional sets to provide conservation-relevant estimates of trends since 1990. We found a striking geographical pattern: African lion populations are declining everywhere, except in four southern countries (Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe). Population models indicate a 67% chance that lions in West and Central Africa decline by one-half, while estimating a 37% chance that lions in East Africa also decline by one-half over two decades. We recommend separate regional assessments of the lion in the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species: already recognized as critically endangered in West Africa, our analysis supports listing as regionally endangered in Central and East Africa and least concern in southern Africa. Almost all lion populations that historically exceeded ∼ 500 individuals are declining, but lion conservation is successful in southern Africa, in part because of the proliferation of reintroduced lions in small, fenced, intensively managed, and funded reserves. If management budgets for wild lands cannot keep pace with mounting levels of threat, the species may rely increasingly on these southern African areas and may no longer be a flagship species of the once vast natural ecosystems across the rest of the continent.
Tucker, Jody M; Schwartz, Michael K; Truex, Richard L; Pilgrim, Kristine L; Allendorf, Fred W
Establishing if species contractions were the result of natural phenomena or human induced landscape changes is essential for managing natural populations. Fishers (Martes pennanti) in California occur in two geographically and genetically isolated populations in the northwestern mountains and southern Sierra Nevada. Their isolation is hypothesized to have resulted from a decline in abundance and distribution associated with European settlement in the 1800s. However, there is little evidence to establish that fisher occupied the area between the two extant populations at that time. We analyzed 10 microsatellite loci from 275 contemporary and 21 historical fisher samples (1880-1920) to evaluate the demographic history of fisher in California. We did not find any evidence of a recent (post-European) bottleneck in the northwestern population. In the southern Sierra Nevada, genetic subdivision within the population strongly influenced bottleneck tests. After accounting for genetic subdivision, we found a bottleneck signal only in the northern and central portions of the southern Sierra Nevada, indicating that the southernmost tip of these mountains may have acted as a refugium for fisher during the anthropogenic changes of the late 19(th) and early 20(th) centuries. Using a coalescent-based Bayesian analysis, we detected a 90% decline in effective population size and dated the time of decline to over a thousand years ago. We hypothesize that fisher distribution in California contracted to the two current population areas pre-European settlement, and that portions of the southern Sierra Nevada subsequently experienced another more recent bottleneck post-European settlement.
Austin, J.E.; Afton, A.D.; Anderson, M.G.; Clark, R.G.; Custer, Christine M.; Lawrence, J.S.; Pollard, J.B.; Ringelman, J.K.
The population estimate for greater (Aythya marila) and lesser (Aythya affinis) scaup (combined) has declined dramatically since the early 1980s to record lows in 1998. The 1998 estimate of 3.47 million scaup is far below the goal of 6.3 million set in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP), causing concern among biologists and hunters. We summarize issuesof concern, hypotheses for factors contributing to the population decline, and research and management needs recommended by participants of the Scaup Workshop, held in September 1999. We believe that contaminants, lower female survival, and reduced recruitment due to changes in food resources or breedingground habitats are primary factors contributing to the decline. These factors are not mutually exclusive but likely interact across seasons. Workshop participants identified seven action items. We need to further delineate where declines in breeding populations have occurred, with a primary focus on the western Canadian boreal forest, where declines appear to be most pronounced. Productivity in various areas and habitats throughout the breeding range needs to be assessed by conducting retrospective analyses of existing data and by intensive field studies at broad and local scales. Annual and seasonal survival rates need to be determined in order to assess the role of harvest or natural mortality. Effects of contaminants on reproduction, female body condition, and behavior must be investigated. Use, distribution, and role of food resources relative to body condition and reproduction need to be examined to better understand seasonal dynamics of nutrient reserves and the role in reproductive success. Affiliations among breeding, migration, and wintering areas must be assessed in order to understand differential exposure to harvest or contaminants, and differential reproductive success and recruitment. Biologists and agencies need to gather and improve information needed to manage greater and lesser
Cruickshank, Sam S; Ozgul, Arpat; Zumbach, Silvia; Schmidt, Benedikt R
Accurate trend estimates are necessary for understanding which species are declining and which are most in need of conservation action. Imperfect species detection may result in unreliable trend estimates because this may lead to the overestimation of declines. Because many management decisions are based on population trend estimates, such biases could have severe consequences for conservation policy. We used an occupancy-modeling framework to estimate detectability and calculate nationwide population trends for 14 Swiss amphibian species both accounting for and ignoring imperfect detection. Through the application of International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List criteria to the different trend estimates, we assessed whether ignoring imperfect detection could affect conservation policy. Imperfect detection occurred for all species and detection varied substantially among species, which led to the overestimation of population declines when detectability was ignored. Consequently, accounting for imperfect detection lowered the red-list risk category for 5 of the 14 species assessed. We demonstrate that failing to consider species detectability can have serious consequences for species management and that occupancy modeling provides a flexible framework to account for observation bias and improve assessments of conservation status. A problem inherent to most historical records is that they contain presence-only data from which only relative declines can be estimated. A move toward the routine recording of nonobservation and absence data is essential if conservation practitioners are to move beyond this toward accurate population trend estimation.
Owen, Stewart F.; Peters, James; Zhang, Yong; Soffker, Marta; Paull, Gregory C.; Hosken, David J.; Wahab, M. Abdul; Tyler, Charles R.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are potent environmental contaminants, and their effects on wildlife populations could be exacerbated by climate change, especially in species with environmental sex determination. Endangered species may be particularly at risk because inbreeding depression and stochastic fluctuations in male and female numbers are often observed in the small populations that typify these taxa. Here, we assessed the interactive effects of water temperature and EDC exposure on sexual development and population viability of inbred and outbred zebrafish (Danio rerio). Water temperatures adopted were 28 °C (current ambient mean spawning temperature) and 33 °C (projected for the year 2100). The EDC selected was clotrimazole (at 2 μg/L and 10 μg/L), a widely used antifungal chemical that inhibits a key steroidogenic enzyme [cytochrome P450(CYP19) aromatase] required for estrogen synthesis in vertebrates. Elevated water temperature and clotrimazole exposure independently induced male-skewed sex ratios, and the effects of clotrimazole were greater at the higher temperature. Male sex ratio skews also occurred for the lower clotrimazole exposure concentration at the higher water temperature in inbred fish but not in outbred fish. Population viability analysis showed that population growth rates declined sharply in response to male skews and declines for inbred populations occurred at lower male skews than for outbred populations. These results indicate that elevated temperature associated with climate change can amplify the effects of EDCs and these effects are likely to be most acute in small, inbred populations exhibiting environmental sex determination and/or differentiation. PMID:25733876
Hansen, Birgita D; Harley, Daniel K P; Lindenmayer, David B; Taylor, Andrea C
Since European colonization, Leadbeater's possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri) has declined across its range to the point where it is now only patchily distributed within the montane ash forests of the Central Highlands of Victoria. The loss of large hollow-bearing trees coupled with inadequate recruitment of mature ash forest has been predicted to result in a reduction in population size of up to 90% by 2020. Furthermore, bioclimatic analyses have suggested additional reductions in the species' distribution under a variety of climate change scenarios. Using a panel of 15 highly resolving microsatellite markers and mitochondrial control region sequence data, we infer past and present gene flow. Populations in the northern part of the core range were highly admixed, and showed no signs of either current or historical barriers to gene flow. A marginal, isolated and inbred population at Yellingbo was highly genetically differentiated, both in terms of current and historic genetic structure. Sequence data confirmed the conclusions from earlier genetic simulation studies that the Yellingbo population has been isolated from the rest of the species range since before European-induced changes to the montane landscape, and formed part of a larger genetic unit that is now otherwise extinct. Historic loss of maternal lineages in the Central Highlands of Victoria was detected despite signals of immigration, indicating population declines that most probably coincided with changes in climate at the end of the Pleistocene. Given ongoing habitat loss and the recent (February 2009) wildfire in the Central Highlands, we forecast (potentially extensive) demographic declines, in line with predicted range reductions under climate change scenarios.
Barker, Brittany S.; Ríos-Franceschi, Alejandro
The Mountain Coqui (Eleutherodactylus portoricensis) is a frog endemic to montane rainforests in the Cordillera Central and Luquillo Mountains of Puerto Rico. Classified as endangered by the IUCN Red List and as vulnerable by the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources of Puerto Rico, this species has undergone considerable decline in the Luquillo Mountains. To evaluate the population status of E. portoricensis across its entire range, we conducted ~87 hours of surveys at 18 historical localities and 25 additional localities that we considered suitable for this species. We generated occupancy models to estimate the probability of occurrence at surveyed sites and to identify geographic and climatic factors affecting site occupancy. We also constructed a suitability map to visualize population status in relation to the presence of land cover at elevations where the species has been documented, and determined the dates when populations were last detected at historical localities. Eleutherodactylus portoricensis was detected at 14 of 43 localities, including 10 of 18 historical localities, but it was not detected at any localities west of Aibonito (western Cordillera Central). Occupancy models estimated the probability of occurrence for localities in the western Cordillera Central as zero. Site occupancy was positively associated with montane cloud forest, and negatively associated with the western Cordillera Central, maximum temperature, and precipitation seasonality. The suitability map suggests that declines have occurred despite the presence of suitable habitat. We suggest upgrading the extinction risk of E. portoricensis and potentially developing a captive breeding program for this species. PMID:25685250
Afton, A.D.; Anderson, M.G.
We examined long-term databases concerning population status of scaup (lesser [Aythya affinis] and greater scaup [A. marila] combined) and harvest statistics of lesser scaup to identify factors potentially limiting population growth. Specifically, we explored evidence for and against the general hypotheses that scaup populations have declined in association with declining recruitment and/or female survival. We examined geographic heterogeneity in scaup demographic patterns that could yield evidence about potential limiting factors. Several biases exist in survey methodology used to estimate scaup populations and harvest statistics; however, none of these biases likely accounted for our major findings that (1) the continental scaup breeding population has declined over the last 20 years, with widespread and consistent declines within surveyed areas of the Canadian western boreal forest where most lesser scaup breed; (2) sex ratios of lesser scaup in the U.S. harvest have increased (more males now relative to females); and (3) age ratios of lesser scaup in the U.S. harvest have declined (fewer immatures now relative to adults), especially in the midcontinent region. We interpreted these major findings as evidence that (1) recruitment of lesser scaup has declined over the last 20 years, particularly in the Canadian western boreal forest; and (2) survival of female lesser scaup has declined relative to that of males. We found little evidence that harvest was associated with the scaup population decline. Our findings underscore the need for both improvements and changes to population survey procedures and new research to discriminate among various hypotheses explaining the recent scaup population decline.
Antao, Tiago; Pérez-Figueroa, Andrés; Luikart, Gordon
Early detection of population declines is essential to prevent extinctions and to ensure sustainable harvest. We evaluated the performance of two Ne estimators to detect population declines: the two-sample temporal method and a one-sample method based on linkage disequilibrium (LD). We used simulated data representing a wide range of population sizes, sample sizes and number of loci. Both methods usually detect a population decline only one generation after it occurs if Ne drops to less than approximately 100, and 40 microsatellite loci and 50 individuals are sampled. However, the LD method often out performed the temporal method by allowing earlier detection of less severe population declines (Ne approximately 200). Power for early detection increased more rapidly with the number of individuals sampled than with the number of loci genotyped, primarily for the LD method. The number of samples available is therefore an important criterion when choosing between the LD and temporal methods. We provide guidelines regarding design of studies targeted at monitoring for population declines. We also report that 40 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers give slightly lower precision than 10 microsatellite markers. Our results suggest that conservation management and monitoring strategies can reliably use genetic based methods for early detection of population declines. PMID:25567959
The origin of the population health approach is an historic debate over the relationship between economic growth and human health. In Britain and France, the Industrial Revolution disrupted population health and stimulated pioneering epidemiological studies, informing the early preventive public health movement. A century-long process of political adjustment between the forces of liberal democracy and propertied interests ensued. The 20th-century welfare states resulted as complex political mechanisms for converting economic growth into enhanced population health. However, the rise of a "neoliberal" agenda, denigrating the role of government, has once again brought to the fore the importance of prevention and a population health approach to map and publicize the health impacts of this new phase of "global" economic growth.
The origin of the population health approach is an historic debate over the relationship between economic growth and human health. In Britain and France, the Industrial Revolution disrupted population health and stimulated pioneering epidemiological studies, informing the early preventive public health movement. A century-long process of political adjustment between the forces of liberal democracy and propertied interests ensued. The 20th-century welfare states resulted as complex political mechanisms for converting economic growth into enhanced population health. However, the rise of a “neoliberal” agenda, denigrating the role of government, has once again brought to the fore the importance of prevention and a population health approach to map and publicize the health impacts of this new phase of “global” economic growth. PMID:12604486
This work uses Keynesian principles and an analysis of the Colombian population in the 1970s to argue that the Colombian policy of slowing population growth, which was adopted with the aim of improving the general welfare of the population, has had shortterm negative effects on effective demand and thus on the level of employment and welfare. These negative effects were caused by the inflexibility of income distribution, which prevented expansion of the internal market, complicated by the stagnant condition of the external sector and the budget deficit. The results of the Colombian case study demonstrate how the deceleration of population growth beginning in the 1960s had a significant impact on the levels of consumption and savings and on the patterns of consumption, leading to low levels of investment and little dynamism. Although the current Colombian economic recession is aggravated by contextual factors such as the world economic recession, the high cost of capital, the industrial recession, and declining food production among others, at the core of the crisis are longer term structural determinants such as the decline in the rate of population growth and the highly unequal distribution of income and wealth, which have contributed to a shrinking of the internal market for some types of goods. Given the unlikelihood of renewed rapid population growth, the Keynesian model suggests that the only alternative for increasing aggregate demand is state intervention through public spending and investment and reorientation of the financial system to achieve a dynamic redistribution of income. Based on these findings and on proposals of other analysts, a stragegy for revitalization is proposed which would imply a gradual income redistribution to allow increased consumption of mass produced goods by the low income groups. Direct consumption subsidies would be avoided because of their inflationary and import-expanding tendencies; rather, incentives and support would be
Morrison, Thomas A.; Link, William; Newmark, William D.; Foley, Charles A.H.; Bolger, Douglas T.
The hyper-abundance of migratory wildlife in many ecosystems depends on maintaining access to seasonally available resources. In Eastern and Southern Africa, land-use change and a loss of connectivity have coincided with widespread declines in the abundance and geographic range of ungulate populations. Using photographic capture-mark-recapture, we examine the historical pattern of loss of connectivity and its impact on population trends in a partially migratory wildebeest population in northern Tanzania. To estimate abundance, we use a novel modeling approach that overcomes bias associated with photo misidentifications. Our data indicate (1) diminished connectivity within and between seasonal areas as a result of human activities, (2) a reduction in the overall population size compared to historical numbers, with high variability over time, (3) the continued use of highly constrained movement corridors between the three main seasonal ranges, (4) higher recruitment in the non-migratory subpopulation (Lake Manyara National Park) than in other areas of the ecosystem, and (5) an increase in the relative abundance of resident to migrant wildebeest. Recent conservation efforts to protect seasonal habitat and to enforce anti-poaching policies outside protected areas have likely helped stabilize the population, at least temporarily, but we caution that several key vulnerabilities remain.
Clavero, Miguel; Ninyerola, Miquel; Hermoso, Virgilio; Filipe, Ana Filipa; Pla, Magda; Villero, Daniel; Brotons, Lluís; Delibes, Miguel
Historical species records offer an excellent opportunity to test the predictive ability of range forecasts under climate change, but researchers often consider that historical records are scarce and unreliable, besides the datasets collected by renowned naturalists. Here, we demonstrate the relevance of biodiversity records developed through citizen-science initiatives generated outside the natural sciences academia. We used a Spanish geographical dictionary from the mid-nineteenth century to compile over 10 000 freshwater fish records, including almost 4 000 brown trout (Salmo trutta) citations, and constructed a historical presence-absence dataset covering over 2 000 10 × 10 km cells, which is comparable to present-day data. There has been a clear reduction in trout range in the past 150 years, coinciding with a generalized warming. We show that current trout distribution can be accurately predicted based on historical records and past and present values of three air temperature variables. The models indicate a consistent decline of average suitability of around 25% between 1850s and 2000s, which is expected to surpass 40% by the 2050s. We stress the largely unexplored potential of historical species records from non-academic sources to open new pathways for long-term global change science.
Flagstad, Ø; Walker, C W; Vilà, C; Sundqvist, A-K; Fernholm, B; Hufthammer, A K; Wiig, Ø; Koyola, I; Ellegren, H
The grey wolf (Canis lupus) was numerous on the Scandinavian peninsula in the early 19th century. However, as a result of intense persecution, the population declined dramatically and was virtually extinct from the peninsula by the 1960s. We examined historical patterns of genetic variability throughout the period of decline, from 1829 to 1979. Contemporary Finnish wolves, considered to be representative of a large eastern wolf population, were used for comparison. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variability among historical Scandinavian wolves was significantly lower than in Finland while Y chromosome variability was comparable between the two populations. This may suggest that long-distance migration from the east has been male-biased. Importantly though, as the historical population was significantly differentiated from contemporary Finnish wolves, the overall immigration rate to the Scandinavian peninsula appears to have been low. Levels of variability at autosomal microsatellite loci were high by the early 1800s but declined considerably towards the mid-20th century. At this time, approximately 40% of the allelic diversity and 30% of the heterozygosity had been lost. After 1940, however, there is evidence of several immigration events, coinciding with episodes of marked population increase in Russian Karelia and subsequent westwards migration.
The mountain yellow-legged frog (Rana muscosa) has disappeared from most of its historic localities in the Sierra Nevada of California, and airborne pesticides from the Central Valley have been implicated as a causal agent. To determine the distribution and temporal variation of ...
Lucchini, V; Galov, A; Randi, E
Historical information suggests the occurrence of an extensive human-caused contraction in the distribution range of wolves (Canis lupus) during the last few centuries in Europe. Wolves disappeared from the Alps in the 1920s, and thereafter continued to decline in peninsular Italy until the 1970s, when approximately 100 individuals survived, isolated in the central Apennines. In this study we performed a coalescent analysis of multilocus DNA markers to infer patterns and timing of historical population changes in wolves surviving in the Apennines. This population showed a unique mitochondrial DNA control-region haplotype, the absence of private alleles and lower heterozygosity at microsatellite loci, as compared to other wolf populations. Multivariate, clustering and Bayesian assignment procedures consistently assigned all the wolf genotypes sampled in Italy to a single group, supporting their genetic distinction. Bottleneck tests showed evidences of population decline in the Italian wolves, but not in other populations. Results of a Bayesian coalescent model indicate that wolves in Italy underwent a 100- to 1000-fold population contraction over the past 2000-10,000 years. The population decline was stronger and longer in peninsular Italy than elsewhere in Europe, suggesting that wolves have apparently been genetically isolated for thousands of generations south of the Alps. Ice caps covering the Alps at the Last Glacial Maximum (c. 18,000 years before present), and the wide expansion of the Po River, which cut the alluvial plains throughout the Holocene, might have provided effective geographical barriers to wolf dispersal. More recently, the admixture of Alpine and Apennine wolf populations could have been prevented by deforestation, which was already widespread in the fifteenth century in northern Italy. This study suggests that, despite the high potential rates of dispersal and gene flow, local wolf populations may not have mixed for long periods of time.
Krest, S.K.; Linder, G.; Sparling, D.W.; Linder, Gregory L.; Krest, Sherry K.; Sparling, Donald W.; Little, Edward E.
Numerous studies have documented the decline of amphibian populations over the past decade and no single factor has been the linked to these widespread declines. Determining the causes of declining amphibian populations worldwide has proven difficult because of the variety of anthropogenic and natural suspect agents. A Wingspread workshop, convened by The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), brought together individuals with expertise in the areas of amphibian biology, ecotoxicology, natural resource management, and environmental policy. This workshop had three objectives: 1) create a network for future discussions on multiple stressor causes of declines; 2) characterize and prioritize technical issues critical to the analysis of the decline problem; and 3) identify and develop resource management approaches to promote sustainable and healthy amphibian populations. The workshop proceedings will be summarized in a book entitled, 'Multiple Stressors and Declining Amphibian Populations: Evaluating Cause and Effect.' This paper summarizes the results of the workshop.
Krest, S.K.; Linder, G.; Sparling, D.W.; ,
Numerous studies have documented the decline of amphibian populations over the past decade and no single factor has been the linked to these widespread declines. Determining the causes of declining amphibian populations worldwide has proven difficult because of the variety of anthropogenic and natural suspect agents. A Wingspread workshop, convened by The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), brought together individuals with expertise in the areas of amphibian biology, ecotoxicology, natural resource management, and environmental policy. This workshop had three objectives: 1) create a network for future discussions on multiple Stressor causes of declines; 2) characterize and prioritize technical issues critical to the analysis of the decline problem; and 3) identify and develop resource management approaches to promote sustainable and healthy amphibian populations. The workshop proceedings will be summarized in a book entitled, "Multiple Stressors and Declining Amphibian Populations: Evaluating Cause and Effect." This paper summarizes the results of the workshop.
Cassels, Susan; Singer, Burton H
The islands of Yap in Micronesia survived a period of severe depopulation during the Japanese occupation from 1919 to 1945. Using data from historical documents, supplemented by ethnographic evidence, we calibrate a simulation model that accounts for this phenomenon. Our model tracks the reproduction histories of a synthetic cohort of women in Yap, including effects of infertility due to gonorrhoea as well as tuberculosis mortality, and predicts the net reproduction rate (NRR). In this particular case and throughout history, human migrations and associated social and cultural interactions have frequently been accompanied by dramatic changes in patterns of disease transmission and substantial demographic consequences. Despite the broad emphasis on mortality as a measure of demographic consequences in the historical and contemporary literature, there are important instances where life expectancy at birth, fertility rates, and total population size are important demographic consequences. We find that gonorrhoea may have significantly contributed to depopulation during the Japanese occupation of Micronesia, due to repeated infections and high risk of sterility. Results of our model suggest that gonorrhoea alone could have reduced the net reproduction rate by 82%, whereas deaths from tuberculosis may have contributed to a 17% decline.
Henny, Charles J.; Grove, Robert A.; Kaiser, James L.; Johnson, Branden L.
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) populations were adversely affected by DDT and perhaps other contaminants in the United States and elsewhere. Reduced productivity, eggshell thinning, and high DDE concentrations in eggs were the signs associated with declining osprey populations in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. The species was one of the first studied on a large scale to bring contaminant issues into focus. Although few quantitative population data were available prior to the 1960s, many osprey populations in North America were studied during the 1960s and 1970s with much learned about basic life history and biology. This article reviews the historical and current effects of contaminants on regional osprey populations. Breeding populations in many regions of North America showed post-DDT-era (1972) population increases of varying magnitudes, with many populations now appearing to stabilize at much higher numbers than initially reported in the 1970s and 1980s. However, the magnitude of regional population increases in the United States between 1981 (first Nationwide Survey, ≈8,000 pairs), when some recovery had already occurred, 1994 (second survey, ≈14,200), and 2001 (third survey, ≈16,000–19,000), or any other years, is likely not a simple response to the release from earlier contaminant effects, but a response to multi-factorial effects. This indirect "contaminant effects" measurement comparing changes (i.e., recovery) in post-DDT-era population numbers over time is probably confounded by changing human attitudes toward birds of prey (shooting, destroying nests, etc.), changing habitats, changing fish populations, and perhaps competition from other species. The species' adaptation to newly created reservoirs and its increasing use of artificial nesting structures (power poles, nesting platforms, cell towers, channel markers, offshore duck blinds, etc.) are two important factors. The timing of the initial use of artificial nesting structures, which replaced
Henny, Charles J; Grove, Robert A; Kaiser, James L; Johnson, Branden L
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) populations were adversely affected by DDT and perhaps other contaminants in the United States and elsewhere. Reduced productivity, eggshell thinning, and high DDE concentrations in eggs were the signs associated with declining osprey populations in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. The species was one of the first studied on a large scale to bring contaminant issues into focus. Although few quantitative population data were available prior to the 1960s, many osprey populations in North America were studied during the 1960s and 1970s with much learned about basic life history and biology. This article reviews the historical and current effects of contaminants on regional osprey populations. Breeding populations in many regions of North America showed post-DDT-era (1972) population increases of varying magnitudes, with many populations now appearing to stabilize at much higher numbers than initially reported in the 1970s and 1980s. However, the magnitude of regional population increases in the United States between 1981 (first Nationwide Survey, ∼8,000 pairs), when some recovery had already occurred, 1994 (second survey, ∼14,200), and 2001 (third survey, ∼16,000-19,000), or any other years, is likely not a simple response to the release from earlier contaminant effects, but a response to multi-factorial effects. This indirect "contaminant effects" measurement comparing changes (i.e., recovery) in post-DDT-era population numbers over time is probably confounded by changing human attitudes toward birds of prey (shooting, destroying nests, etc.), changing habitats, changing fish populations, and perhaps competition from other species. The species' adaptation to newly created reservoirs and its increasing use of artificial nesting structures (power poles, nesting platforms, cell towers, channel markers, offshore duck blinds, etc.) are two important factors. The timing of the initial use of artificial nesting structures, which replaced
Blaustein, Andrew R; Han, Barbara A; Relyea, Rick A; Johnson, Pieter T J; Buck, Julia C; Gervasi, Stephanie S; Kats, Lee B
Population losses and extinctions of species are occurring at unprecedented rates, as exemplified by declines and extinctions of amphibians worldwide. However, studies of amphibian population declines generally do not address the complexity of the phenomenon or its implications for ecological communities, focusing instead on single factors affecting particular amphibian species. We argue that the causes for amphibian population declines are complex; may differ among species, populations, and life stages within a population; and are context dependent with multiple stressors interacting to drive declines. Because amphibians are key components of communities, we emphasize the importance of investigating amphibian declines at the community level. Selection pressures over evolutionary time have molded amphibian life history characteristics, such that they may remain static even in the face of strong, recent human-induced selection pressures.
Quenette, Pierre-Yves; Camarra, Jean-Jacques
Background The usual paradigm for translocations is that they should not take place in declining populations until the causes(s) of the decline has been reversed. This approach sounds intuitive, but may not apply in cases where population decline is caused by behavioral or demographic mechanisms that could only be reversed by translocation itself. Methodology/Principal Findings We analyzed a decade of field data for Pyrenean brown bears (Ursus arctos) from two small populations: the growing Central population - created from a previous translocation and the endemic Western population - believed to be declining because of excessive human-caused mortality. We found that adult survival rates for both populations were as high as those observed for most other protected brown bear populations. However, the Western population had much lower reproductive success than the Central population. Adult breeding sex ratio was male-biased in the Western population and female-biased in the Central population. Our results exclude high anthropogenic mortality as a cause for population decline in the West but support low reproductive success, which could result from sexually selected infanticide induced by a male-biased adult sex ratio or inbreeding depression. Using a stochastic demographic model to compute how many bears should be released to ensure viability, we show that the Western population could recover provided adequate numbers of new females are translocated. Conclusions/Significance We suggest that a translocation could take place, even if the decline has not yet been reversed, if the translocation itself removes the biological mechanisms behind the decline. In our case, the ultimate cause of low reproductive success remained unknown (infanticide or inbreeding), but our proposed translocation strategies should eliminate the proximate cause (low reproductive success) of the decline and ensure population recovery and viability. PMID:19862319
Background In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum has historically been a major contributor to morbidity and mortality. Recent reports indicate a pronounced decline in infection and disease rates which are commonly ascribed to large-scale bed net programmes and improved case management. However, the decline has also occurred in areas with limited or no intervention. The present study assessed temporal changes in Anopheline populations in two highly malaria-endemic communities of NE Tanzania during the period 1998-2009. Methods Between 1998 and 2001 (1st period) and between 2003 and 2009 (2nd period), mosquitoes were collected weekly in 50 households using CDC light traps. Data on rainfall were obtained from the nearby climate station and were used to analyze the association between monthly rainfall and malaria mosquito populations. Results The average number of Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles funestus per trap decreased by 76.8% and 55.3%, respectively over the 1st period, and by 99.7% and 99.8% over the 2nd period. During the last year of sampling (2009), the use of 2368 traps produced a total of only 14 Anopheline mosquitoes. With the exception of the decline in An. gambiae during the 1st period, the results did not reveal any statistical association between mean trend in monthly rainfall and declining malaria vector populations. Conclusion A longitudinal decline in the density of malaria mosquito vectors was seen during both study periods despite the absence of organized vector control. Part of the decline could be associated with changes in the pattern of monthly rainfall, but other factors may also contribute to the dramatic downward trend. A similar decline in malaria vector densities could contribute to the decrease in levels of malaria infection reported from many parts of SSA. PMID:21752273
Visaria, L; Visaria, P
Despite its fertility decline, India still has the world's second largest population size. Over the decades fertility declined to 3.6 in 1992 per woman. However great or rapid the decline, the population growth rate is an estimated 1.9% a year. Only three countries in the world have a higher rate of growth: Nigeria, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Fertility decline is attributed to increased literacy, urbanization, industrialization, modern communication and transportation, and women's status. The availability of government family planning services has also contributed to the fertility decline. Although female literacy has risen rapidly to 39% in 1991, male literacy is still higher at 64%. Girls lag behind in school attendance in both rural and urban areas. Fertility decline has occurred faster in urban areas, which are concentrated in cities of over 100,000 people. The childbearing period has declined, and childbearing is delayed. Contraceptive usage has grown dramatically since 1970 to around 40%, depending upon the data source. Population growth is attributed to improvements in health and mortality. Life expectancy has increased to 60 years, and infant mortality declined to 74 per 1000 live births. The age structure of the population is young due to demographic changes. Growth will continue for several decades due to population momentum. India is expected to surpass China as the most populous country in the world before 2050.
Hewson, Chris M; Thorup, Kasper; Pearce-Higgins, James W; Atkinson, Philip W
Migratory species are in rapid decline globally. Although most mortality in long-distance migrant birds is thought to occur during migration, evidence of conditions on migration affecting breeding population sizes has been completely lacking. We addressed this by tracking 42 male Common Cuckoos from the rapidly declining UK population during 56 autumn migrations in 2011-14. Uniquely, the birds use two distinct routes to reach the same wintering grounds, allowing assessment of survival during migration independently of origin and destination. Mortality up to completion of the Sahara crossing (the major ecological barrier encountered in both routes) is higher for birds using the shorter route. The proportion of birds using this route strongly correlates with population decline across nine local breeding populations. Knowledge of variability in migratory behaviour and performance linked to robust population change data may therefore be necessary to understand population declines of migratory species and efficiently target conservation resources.
Hewson, Chris M.; Thorup, Kasper; Pearce-Higgins, James W.; Atkinson, Philip W.
Migratory species are in rapid decline globally. Although most mortality in long-distance migrant birds is thought to occur during migration, evidence of conditions on migration affecting breeding population sizes has been completely lacking. We addressed this by tracking 42 male Common Cuckoos from the rapidly declining UK population during 56 autumn migrations in 2011–14. Uniquely, the birds use two distinct routes to reach the same wintering grounds, allowing assessment of survival during migration independently of origin and destination. Mortality up to completion of the Sahara crossing (the major ecological barrier encountered in both routes) is higher for birds using the shorter route. The proportion of birds using this route strongly correlates with population decline across nine local breeding populations. Knowledge of variability in migratory behaviour and performance linked to robust population change data may therefore be necessary to understand population declines of migratory species and efficiently target conservation resources. PMID:27433888
United Nations, New York, NY. Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs.
The United Nations (UN) Population Division monitors fertility, mortality, and migration trends for all countries as a basis for producing the official UN population estimates and projections. Among recent demographic trends, two are prominent: (1) population decline and (2) population aging. Focusing on these two critical trends, a study…
Chen, Nancy; Cosgrove, Elissa J; Bowman, Reed; Fitzpatrick, John W; Clark, Andrew G
Understanding the population genetic consequences of declining population size is important for conserving the many species worldwide facing severe decline . Thorough empirical studies on the impacts of population reduction at a genome-wide scale in the wild are scarce because they demand huge field and laboratory investments [1, 2]. Previous studies have demonstrated the importance of gene flow in introducing genetic variation to small populations , but few have documented both genetic and fitness consequences of decreased immigration through time in a natural population [4-6]. Here we assess temporal variation in gene flow, inbreeding, and fitness using longitudinal genomic, demographic, and phenotypic data from a long-studied population of federally Threatened Florida scrub-jays (Aphelocoma coerulescens). We exhaustively sampled and genotyped the study population over two decades, providing one of the most detailed longitudinal investigations of genetics in a wild animal population to date. Immigrants were less heterozygous than residents but still introduced genetic variation into our study population. Owing to regional population declines, immigration into the study population declined from 1995-2013, resulting in increased levels of inbreeding and reduced fitness via inbreeding depression, even as the population remained demographically stable. Our results show that, contrary to conventional wisdom, small peripheral populations that already have undergone a genetic bottleneck may play a vital role in preserving genetic diversity of larger and seemingly stable populations. These findings underscore the importance of investing in the persistence of small populations and maintaining population connectivity in conservation of fragmented species.
Fonzo, Martina Di; Collen, Ben; Mace, Georgina M
Tracking trends in the abundance of wildlife populations is a sensitive method for assessing biodiversity change due to the short time-lag between human pressures and corresponding shifts in population trends. This study tests for proposed associations between different types of human pressures and wildlife population abundance decline-curves and introduces a method to distinguish decline trajectories from natural fluctuations in population time-series. First, we simulated typical mammalian population time-series under different human pressure types and intensities and identified significant distinctions in population dynamics. Based on the concavity of the smoothed population trend and the algebraic function which was the closest fit to the data, we determined those differences in decline dynamics that were consistently attributable to each pressure type. We examined the robustness of the attribution of pressure type to population decline dynamics under more realistic conditions by simulating populations under different levels of environmental stochasticity and time-series data quality. Finally, we applied our newly developed method to 124 wildlife population time-series and investigated how those threat types diagnosed by our method compare to the specific threatening processes reported for those populations. We show how wildlife population decline curves can be used to discern between broad categories of pressure or threat types, but do not work for detailed threat attributions. More usefully, we find that differences in population decline curves can reliably identify populations where pressure is increasing over time, even when data quality is poor, and propose this method as a cost-effective technique for prioritizing conservation actions between populations. PMID:23919177
Walker, Samantha; Stuart-Fox, Devi; Kearney, Michael R
Whilst contemporary climatic changes are small in magnitude compared to those predicted for the coming decades, they have already been linked to species range shifts and local extinctions. Elucidating the drivers behind species' responses to contemporary climate change will better inform management strategies for vulnerable and pest species alike. A recent proposal to explain worldwide local extinctions in lizards is that increasing maximum temperatures have constrained lizard activity time in the breeding season beyond extinction thresholds. Here we document a significant population decline and potential local extinction at the warm (northern) range margin of the tawny dragon, Ctenophorus decresii, a rock-dwelling lizard from the Flinders Ranges in semi-arid Australia. We developed and tested a biophysical model of tawny dragon thermoregulatory behaviour and drove the model with daily weather data for the period 1990-2009 across the Flinders Ranges. Our results indicate that potential annual activity time has likely increased over this period throughout the historic range, with within-season declines only in the summer months at the northern range limit. However, populations that have declined since 2000 have also likely experienced higher active body temperatures and more stringent retreat-site requirements (deeper crevices) than have regions where the species remains common, during a period of declining rainfall. Our laboratory estimates of thermal preference in this species were insensitive to altered nutritional and hydric state. Thus it is possible that recent population declines are linked to desiccation stress driven by higher body temperatures and declining rainfall. Our study illustrates that simple indices of the impact of climate warming on animals, such as activity restriction, may in fact reflect a variety of potential mechanisms whose ultimate outcome will be contingent on other factors such as water and shelter availability.
Huerta, Michael; Davidovitch, Nadav; Aboudy, Yair; Ankol, Omer E; Balicer, Ran D; Zarka, Salman; Grotto, Itamar
Population-based seroepidemologic data on mumps have not been available in Israel since 1987, and the effects of mass immigration from the Commonwealth of Independent States during the 1990s have not been investigated. We conducted a seroprevalence study of mumps antibodies among 353 Israeli military recruits aged 18-19, based on a representative sample of sera collected in 1999. The overall seroprevalence rate was 83.3%, which was significantly lower than that measured in 1987 (94.1%, P<0.001). Foreign-born subjects had substantially lower seroporevalence rates than their native Israeli counterparts (68.5% versus 86.1%, P<0.001). Recent seroprevalence levels are below those required for herd immunity, and most likely contributed to an outbreak of mumps observed among young adults in Israel in 2005. Immigration appears to be a contributing factor to the decrease in population seroprevalence over time.
Juan-Jordá, M. J.; Mosqueira, I.; Freire, J.; Dulvy, N. K.
Larger-bodied species in a wide range of taxonomic groups including mammals, fishes and birds tend to decline more steeply and are at greater risk of extinction. Yet, the diversity in life histories is governed not only by body size, but also by time-related traits. A key question is whether this size-dependency of vulnerability also holds, not just locally, but globally across a wider range of environments. We test the relative importance of size- and time-related life-history traits and fishing mortality in determining population declines and current exploitation status in tunas and their relatives. We use high-quality datasets of half a century of population trajectories combined with population-level fishing mortalities and life-history traits. Time-related traits (e.g. growth rate), rather than size-related traits (e.g. maximum size), better explain the extent and rate of declines and current exploitation status across tuna assemblages, after controlling for fishing mortality. Consequently, there is strong geographical patterning in population declines, such that populations with slower life histories (found at higher cooler latitudes) have declined most and more steeply and have a higher probability of being overfished than populations with faster life histories (found at tropical latitudes). Hence, the strong, temperature-driven, latitudinal gradients in life-history traits may underlie the global patterning of population declines, fisheries collapses and local extinctions. PMID:26156763
Robinson, Robert A.; Butler, Simon J.; Clark, Jacquie A.; Gill, Jennifer A.
Across Europe, rapid population declines are ongoing in many Afro-Palaearctic migratory bird species, but the development of appropriate conservation actions across such large migratory ranges is severely constrained by lack of understanding of the demographic drivers of these declines. By constructing regional integrated population models (IPMs) for one of the suite of migratory species that is declining in the southeast of Britain but increasing in the northwest, we show that, while annual population growth rates in both regions vary with adult survival, the divergent regional trajectories are primarily a consequence of differences in productivity. Between 1994 and 2012, annual survival and productivity rates ranged over similar levels in both regions, but high productivity rates were rarer in the declining southeast population and never coincided with high survival rates. By contrast, population growth in the northwest was fuelled by several years in which higher productivity coincided with high survival rates. Simulated population trajectories suggest that realistic improvements in productivity could have reversed the decline (i.e. recovery of the population index to more than or equal to 1) in the southeast. Consequently, actions to improve productivity on European breeding grounds are likely to be a more fruitful and achievable means of reversing migrant declines than actions to improve survival on breeding, passage or sub-Saharan wintering grounds. PMID:27807267
Morrison, Catriona A; Robinson, Robert A; Butler, Simon J; Clark, Jacquie A; Gill, Jennifer A
Across Europe, rapid population declines are ongoing in many Afro-Palaearctic migratory bird species, but the development of appropriate conservation actions across such large migratory ranges is severely constrained by lack of understanding of the demographic drivers of these declines. By constructing regional integrated population models (IPMs) for one of the suite of migratory species that is declining in the southeast of Britain but increasing in the northwest, we show that, while annual population growth rates in both regions vary with adult survival, the divergent regional trajectories are primarily a consequence of differences in productivity. Between 1994 and 2012, annual survival and productivity rates ranged over similar levels in both regions, but high productivity rates were rarer in the declining southeast population and never coincided with high survival rates. By contrast, population growth in the northwest was fuelled by several years in which higher productivity coincided with high survival rates. Simulated population trajectories suggest that realistic improvements in productivity could have reversed the decline (i.e. recovery of the population index to more than or equal to 1) in the southeast. Consequently, actions to improve productivity on European breeding grounds are likely to be a more fruitful and achievable means of reversing migrant declines than actions to improve survival on breeding, passage or sub-Saharan wintering grounds.
Ostrand, William D.; Meyers, P.M.; Bissonette, J.A.; Conover, M.R.
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) population indices for the western United States have declined significantly since 1966. Based on data collected in 1951-1952, in Fillmore, Utah, we examined whether there had been a local decline in the dove population index since the original data were collected. We then determined whether habitat had been altered, identified which foraging habitats doves preferred, and assessed whether changes in land use could be responsible, in part, for a decline in the local population index. We found that dove population indices declined 72% and 82% from 1952-1992 and 1952-1993, respectively. The most dramatic change in habitat was an 82% decline in land devoted to dry land winter wheat production and a decline in livestock feed pens. Doves foraged primarily in harvested wheat fields, feed pens, and weedy patches. We hypothesize that a decrease in wheat availability during the spring and the consolidation of the livestock industry have contributed to a population decline of Mourning Doves in central Utah.
Estes, J.A.; Hatfield, B.B.; Ralls, K.; Ames, J.
Elevated mortality appears to be the main reason for both sluggish growth and periods of decline in the threatened California sea otter population. We assessed causes of mortality from salvage records of 3,105 beach-cast carcasses recovered from 1968 through 1999, contrasting two periods of growth with two periods of decline. Overall, an estimated 40%-60% of the deaths were not recovered and 70% of the recovered carcasses died from unknown causes. Nonetheless, several common patterns were evident in the salvage records during the periods of population decline. These included greater percentages of (1) prime age animals (3-10 yr), (2) carcasses killed by great white shark attacks, (3) carcasses recovered in spring and summer, and (4) carcasses for which the cause of death was unknown. Neither sex composition nor the proportion of carcasses dying of infectious disease varied consistently between periods of population increase and decline. The population decline from 1976 to 1984 was likely due to incidental mortality in a set-net fishery, and the decline from 1995 to 1999 may be related to a developing live-fish fishery. Long-term trends unrelated to periods of growth and decline included a decrease in per capita pup production and mass/length ratios of adult carcasses over the 31-yr study. The generally high proportion of deaths from infectious disease suggests that this factor has contributed to the chronically sluggish growth rate of the California sea otter population.
Kinlaw, D H
The present dilemma in providing dental services to the indigent and Medicaid recipients throughout this nation has generated considerable controversy as to the evolution of the problem. Most states recognize that there are deficiencies in the provision of dental services to these populations and are seeking resolutions. While state licensing board practices and dental professional society politics have been the object of criticism as contributing to if not causing of this problem, other rational and statistically valid explanations for the current difficulty exist. As an explanation for access to care issues, this paper explores the decline in the national numbers of dental practitioners and concomitant dental productivity. Furthermore, it relates those parameters to the dramatic rise in the utilization and demand for dental services resulting from a robust economy, population growth trends, and changes in state and federal Medicaid legislation that increase numbers of Medicaid-eligible recipients. While these general trends are national in scope and application, the state of North Carolina and its experience will be used to fully explore the impact of these trends at the state and local level.
Bragina, Eugenia V; Ives, A R; Pidgeon, A M; Kuemmerle, T; Baskin, L M; Gubar, Y P; Piquer-Rodríguez, M; Keuler, N S; Petrosyan, V G; Radeloff, V C
Anecdotal evidence suggests that socioeconomic shocks strongly affect wildlife populations, but quantitative evidence is sparse. The collapse of socialism in Russia in 1991 caused a major socioeconomic shock, including a sharp increase in poverty. We analyzed population trends of 8 large mammals in Russia from 1981 to 2010 (i.e., before and after the collapse). We hypothesized that the collapse would first cause population declines, primarily due to overexploitation, and then population increases due to adaptation of wildlife to new environments following the collapse. The long-term Database of the Russian Federal Agency of Game Mammal Monitoring, consisting of up to 50,000 transects that are monitored annually, provided an exceptional data set for investigating these population trends. Three species showed strong declines in population growth rates in the decade following the collapse, while grey wolf (Canis lupus) increased by more than 150%. After 2000 some trends reversed. For example, roe deer (Capreolus spp.) abundance in 2010 was the highest of any period in our study. Likely reasons for the population declines in the 1990s include poaching and the erosion of wildlife protection enforcement. The rapid increase of the grey wolf populations is likely due to the cessation of governmental population control. In general, the widespread declines in wildlife populations after the collapse of the Soviet Union highlight the magnitude of the effects that socioeconomic shocks can have on wildlife populations and the possible need for special conservation efforts during such times.
Savage, Anne; Thomas, Len; Leighty, Katherine A.; Soto, Luis H.; Medina, Felix S.
The cotton-top tamarin (Saguinus oedipus) is a critically endangered primate, endemic to the tropical forests of Colombia. Population monitoring is essential to evaluate the success of conservation efforts, yet standard survey methods are ineffective because animals flee silently before they are seen. We developed a novel technique that combines the use of playbacks of territorial vocalizations with traditional transect surveys. We used remote sensing to identify potential habitat within the species' historic range, and visited the 27% that we could survey safely. Of this, only 99 km2 was extant forest, containing an estimated 2,045 animals (95% confidence interval 1,587–2,634). Assuming comparable densities in non-surveyed areas, approximately 7,394 wild cotton-top tamarins remain in Colombia. With 20–30,000 animals exported to the United States in the late 1960s, this must represent a precipitous decline. Habitat destruction and capture for the illegal pet trade are ongoing. Urgent conservation measures are required to prevent extinction in the wild. PMID:20975684
Fancourt, Bronwyn A.; Nicol, Stewart C.; Hawkins, Clare E.; Jones, Menna E.; Johnson, Chris N.
Disease is often considered a key threat to species of conservation significance. For some, it has resulted in localised extinctions and declines in range and abundance. However, for some species, the assertion that a disease poses a significant threat of extinction is based solely on correlative or anecdotal evidence, often inferred from individual clinical case reports. While a species’ susceptibility to a disease may be demonstrated in a number of individuals, investigations rarely extend to measuring the impact of disease at the population level and its contribution, if any, to population declines. The eastern quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus) is a medium-sized Australian marsupial carnivore that is undergoing severe and rapid decline in Tasmania, its last refuge. Reasons for the decline are currently not understood. Feral cats (Felis catus) may be undergoing competitive release following the ongoing decline of the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), with cats suppressing eastern quolls through increased predation, competition, exclusion or exposure to diseases such as toxoplasmosis. To investigate the effects of Toxoplasma gondii infection, eastern quoll populations at four sites were regularly screened for the seroprevalence of T. gondii-specific IgG antibodies. Seroprevalence was approximately five times higher at sites with declining quoll populations, and there was a negative association between seroprevalence and quoll abundance. However, T. gondii infection did not reduce quoll survival or reproduction. Despite a high susceptibility to T. gondii infection, eastern quoll populations do not appear to be limited by the parasite or its resultant disease. Significantly higher seroprevalence is a signal of greater exposure to feral cats at sites where eastern quolls are declining, suggesting that increased predation, competition or exclusion by feral cats may be precipitating population declines. PMID:25161908
Fancourt, Bronwyn A; Nicol, Stewart C; Hawkins, Clare E; Jones, Menna E; Johnson, Chris N
Disease is often considered a key threat to species of conservation significance. For some, it has resulted in localised extinctions and declines in range and abundance. However, for some species, the assertion that a disease poses a significant threat of extinction is based solely on correlative or anecdotal evidence, often inferred from individual clinical case reports. While a species' susceptibility to a disease may be demonstrated in a number of individuals, investigations rarely extend to measuring the impact of disease at the population level and its contribution, if any, to population declines. The eastern quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus) is a medium-sized Australian marsupial carnivore that is undergoing severe and rapid decline in Tasmania, its last refuge. Reasons for the decline are currently not understood. Feral cats (Felis catus) may be undergoing competitive release following the ongoing decline of the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), with cats suppressing eastern quolls through increased predation, competition, exclusion or exposure to diseases such as toxoplasmosis. To investigate the effects of Toxoplasma gondii infection, eastern quoll populations at four sites were regularly screened for the seroprevalence of T. gondii-specific IgG antibodies. Seroprevalence was approximately five times higher at sites with declining quoll populations, and there was a negative association between seroprevalence and quoll abundance. However, T. gondii infection did not reduce quoll survival or reproduction. Despite a high susceptibility to T. gondii infection, eastern quoll populations do not appear to be limited by the parasite or its resultant disease. Significantly higher seroprevalence is a signal of greater exposure to feral cats at sites where eastern quolls are declining, suggesting that increased predation, competition or exclusion by feral cats may be precipitating population declines.
Dorcas, M.E., J.D. Willson and J.W. Gibbons
Diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin) are thought to be declining throughout their range. Although many factors have been proposed to contribute to terrapin declines, including increased predation of nests and adults, habitat loss and degradation, road mortality, commercial harvest for food, and mortality as bycatch in crab traps, few studies have provided evidence linking these agents to population declines. Because male and small female terrapins are most susceptible to mortality in crab traps, population declines should coincide with shifts in the age and size distributions of the population and a shift to a more female-biased sex ratio. We used twenty-one years of mark-recapture data (>2800 captures of 1399 individuals) from a declining diamondback terrapin population in South Carolina to test the prediction that the decline is the result of mortality in crab traps. Since the 1980s, the modal size of both male and female terrapins has increased substantially and the proportion that are females is higher than in earlier samples. Additionally, the population now contains more old and fewer young individuals than before. The changes in demography and sex ratio we observed suggest that this terrapin population has declined as a result of selective mortality of smaller individuals in crab traps. The use of bycatch-reduction devices on crab traps may help prevent terrapins from entering the traps, but current models are too large to prevent mortality of males and many females in this population. Future research should focus on design and testing of effective bycatch-reduction devices for specific regions and other methods to prevent terrapin mortality in crab traps.
Owen, T.W.; Gallo, K.P.
The United States Historical Climatology Network (HCN) serial temperature dataset is comprised of 1221 high-quality, long-term climate observing stations. The HCN dataset is available in several versions, one of which includes population-based temperature modifications to adjust urban temperatures for the "heat-island" effect. Unfortunately, the decennial population metadata file is not complete as missing values are present for 17.6% of the 12 210 population values associated with the 1221 individual stations during the 1900-90 interval. Retrospective grid-based populations. Within a fixed distance of an HCN station, were estimated through the use of a gridded population density dataset and historically available U.S. Census county data. The grid-based populations for the HCN stations provide values derived from a consistent methodology compared to the current HCN populations that can vary as definitions of the area associated with a city change over time. The use of grid-based populations may minimally be appropriate to augment populations for HCN climate stations that lack any population data, and are recommended when consistent and complete population data are required. The recommended urban temperature adjustments based on the HCN and grid-based methods of estimating station population can be significantly different for individual stations within the HCN dataset.
Simmons, Robert E; Kolberg, Holger; Braby, Rod; Erni, Birgit
Many long-distance migrating shorebird (i.e., sandpipers, plovers, flamingos, oystercatchers) populations are declining. Although regular shorebird monitoring programs exist worldwide, most estimates of shorebird population trends and sizes are poor or nonexistent. We built a state-space model to estimate shorebird population trends. Compared with more commonly used methods of trend estimation, state-space models are more mechanistic, allow for the separation of observation and state process, and can easily accommodate multivariate time series and nonlinear trends. We fitted the model to count data collected from 1990 to 2013 on 18 common shorebirds at the 2 largest coastal wetlands in southern Africa, Sandwich Harbour (a relatively pristine bay) and Walvis Bay (an international harbor), Namibia. Four of the 12 long-distance migrant species declined since 1990: Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres), Little Stint (Calidris minuta), Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula), and Red Knot (Calidris canutus). Populations of resident species and short-distance migrants increased or were stable. Similar patterns at a key South African wetland suggest that shorebird populations migrating to southern Africa are declining in line with the global decline, but local conditions in southern Africa's largest wetlands are not contributing to these declines. State-space models provide estimates of population levels and trends and could be used widely to improve the current state of water bird estimates.
This Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ) fact sheet shows that, in 2015, arrests of young people under age 25 dropped below 2014 levels and continue a decades-long trend of decline. While the causes of these declines are unknown, falling youth arrests rates coupled with decreased youth incarceration suggest that high rates of…
Mills, Katherine E; Pershing, Andrew J; Sheehan, Timothy F; Mountain, David
North American Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) populations experienced substantial declines in the early 1990s, and many populations have persisted at low abundances in recent years. Abundance and productivity declined in a coherent manner across major regions of North America, and this coherence points toward a potential shift in marine survivorship, rather than local, river-specific factors. The major declines in Atlantic salmon populations occurred against a backdrop of physical and biological shifts in Northwest Atlantic ecosystems. Analyses of changes in climate, physical, and lower trophic level biological factors provide substantial evidence that climate conditions directly and indirectly influence the abundance and productivity of North American Atlantic salmon populations. A major decline in salmon abundance after 1990 was preceded by a series of changes across multiple levels of the ecosystem, and a subsequent population change in 1997, primarily related to salmon productivity, followed an unusually low NAO event. Pairwise correlations further demonstrate that climate and physical conditions are associated with changes in plankton communities and prey availability, which are ultimately linked to Atlantic salmon populations. Results suggest that poor trophic conditions, likely due to climate-driven environmental factors, and warmer ocean temperatures throughout their marine habitat area are constraining the productivity and recovery of North American Atlantic salmon populations.
Daszak, P.; Berger, Lee; Cunningham, A.A.; Hyatt, A.D.; Green, D.E.; Speare, R.
We review recent research on the pathology, ecology, and biogeography of two emerging infectious wildlife diseases, chytridiomycosis and ranaviral disease, in the context of host-parasite population biology. We examine the role of these diseases in the global decline of amphibian populations and propose hypotheses for the origins and impact of these panzootics. Finally, we discuss emerging infectious diseases as a global threat to wildlife populations.
Xue, Yali; Prado-Martinez, Javier; Sudmant, Peter H; Narasimhan, Vagheesh; Ayub, Qasim; Szpak, Michal; Frandsen, Peter; Chen, Yuan; Yngvadottir, Bryndis; Cooper, David N; de Manuel, Marc; Hernandez-Rodriguez, Jessica; Lobon, Irene; Siegismund, Hans R; Pagani, Luca; Quail, Michael A; Hvilsom, Christina; Mudakikwa, Antoine; Eichler, Evan E; Cranfield, Michael R; Marques-Bonet, Tomas; Tyler-Smith, Chris; Scally, Aylwyn
Mountain gorillas are an endangered great ape subspecies and a prominent focus for conservation, yet we know little about their genomic diversity and evolutionary past. We sequenced whole genomes from multiple wild individuals and compared the genomes of all four Gorilla subspecies. We found that the two eastern subspecies have experienced a prolonged population decline over the past 100,000 years, resulting in very low genetic diversity and an increased overall burden of deleterious variation. A further recent decline in the mountain gorilla population has led to extensive inbreeding, such that individuals are typically homozygous at 34% of their sequence, leading to the purging of severely deleterious recessive mutations from the population. We discuss the causes of their decline and the consequences for their future survival.
Ayub, Qasim; Szpak, Michal; Frandsen, Peter; Chen, Yuan; Yngvadottir, Bryndis; Cooper, David N.; de Manuel, Marc; Hernandez-Rodriguez, Jessica; Lobon, Irene; Siegismund, Hans R.; Pagani, Luca; Quail, Michael A.; Hvilsom, Christina; Mudakikwa, Antoine; Eichler, Evan E.; Cranfield, Michael R.; Marques-Bonet, Tomas; Tyler-Smith, Chris; Scally, Aylwyn
Mountain gorillas are an endangered great ape subspecies and a prominent focus for conservation, yet we know little about their genomic diversity and evolutionary past. We sequenced whole genomes from multiple wild individuals and compared the genomes of all four Gorilla subspecies. We found that the two eastern subspecies have experienced a prolonged population decline over the past 100,000 years, resulting in very low genetic diversity and an increased overall burden of deleterious variation. A further recent decline in the mountain gorilla population has led to extensive inbreeding, such that individuals are typically homozygous at 34% of their sequence, leading to the purging of severely deleterious recessive mutations from the population. We discuss the causes of their decline and the consequences for their future survival. PMID:25859046
Wilson, Robert S; Rajan, Kumar B; Barnes, Lisa L; Jansen, Willemijn; Amofa, Priscilla; Weuve, Jennifer; Evans, Denis A
We compared trajectories of terminal cognitive decline in older Black (n = 3372) and White (n = 1756) persons from a defined population who completed tests of episodic memory and perceptual speed at 3-year intervals for up to 18 years. During a mean of 9.9 years of observation, 1608 Black persons and 902 White persons died. Preterminal decline of episodic memory did not differ by race. Terminal episodic memory decline began earlier in Black persons (mean of 4.3 years before death) than in White persons (mean = 3.9 years) and progressed more slowly. By contrast, terminal decline of perceptual speed began earlier in White persons (mean = 5.0 years) than in Black persons (mean = 4.5 years). Rate of perceptual speed decline was more rapid in White persons than in Black persons in both the preterminal and terminal periods. The results indicate that terminal cognitive decline occurs in Black persons but suggest that the rate of cognitive decline during the terminal period is less rapid in Black persons than in White persons.
For 20 years, conservationists have agreed that amphibian populations around the world are declining. Proposed causes of these declines include habitat loss, environmental contaminants, disease, introduced predators, global climate change, and others. Substantial but indirect evidence through labo...
Chen, Shujing; Wang, Changhui; Li, Bing; Shi, Guochao; Li, Huiping; Zhang, Jing; Gu, Yutong; Zhou, Jian; Song, Yuanlin; Bai, Chunxue
Background Early diagnosis of COPD is often not achieved due to limited recognition and limited access to the pulmonary function test. Our hypothesis was that lung function decline may be different between populations with mild COPD and those who are at high risk and do not receive treatment. Patients and methods Subjects with mild COPD and those from a high-risk COPD population were recruited from a community-based COPD epidemiological study after obtaining consent. Baseline clinical characteristics, symptom questionnaire, spirometry, low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) chest scan, and blood plasma biomarker data were collected initially and then 1 year later. Results A total of 617 participants were recruited, and 438 eventually completed the first-year follow-up visit; 72 participants (46 males) were in the mild COPD group, and 225 participants (165 males) were in the high-risk group. The mean forced expiratory volume in the first second of expiration (FEV1) decline in the mild COPD group was 129 mL, which was significantly higher than the 30 mL decline in the high-risk population group (P=0.005). Group category (odds ratio [OR] =0.230) and COPD Assessment Test (CAT) score (OR =9.912) were independent risk factors for an FEV1% predicted decline of >15% for all participants. In the mild COPD group, patients with a higher CAT (OR =5.310) and Emphysema Index (OR =5.681) were associated with a FEV1% predicted decline of >15% at the first-year follow-up. No factor showed a significantly predictive effect on FEV1 decline in the high-risk COPD group. Conclusion Group category was an independent influential factor associated with FEV1 decline. PMID:28184155
Alter, S. Elizabeth; Rynes, Eric; Palumbi, Stephen R.
Ecosystem restoration may require returning threatened populations of ecologically pivotal species to near their former abundances, but it is often difficult to estimate historic population size of species that have been heavily exploited. Eastern Pacific gray whales play a key ecological role in their Arctic feeding grounds and are widely thought to have returned to their prewhaling abundance. Recent mortality spikes might signal that the population has reached long-term carrying capacity, but an alternative is that this decline was due to shifting climatic conditions on Arctic feeding grounds. We used a genetic approach to estimate prewhaling abundance of gray whales and report DNA variability at 10 loci that is typical of a population of ≈76,000–118,000 individuals, approximately three to five times more numerous than today's average census size of 22,000. Coalescent simulations indicate these estimates may include the entire Pacific metapopulation, suggesting that our average measurement of ≈96,000 individuals was probably distributed between the eastern and currently endangered western Pacific populations. These levels of genetic variation suggest the eastern population is at most at 28–56% of its historical abundance and should be considered depleted. If used to inform management, this would halve acceptable human-caused mortality for this population from 417 to 208 per year. Potentially profound ecosystem impacts may have resulted from a decline from 96,000 gray whales to the current population. At previous levels, gray whales may have seasonally resuspended 700 million cubic meters of sediment, as much as 12 Yukon Rivers, and provided food to a million sea birds. PMID:17848511
Xu, Liqiang; Liu, Xiaodong; Wu, Libin; Sun, Liguang; Zhao, Jinjun; Chen, Lin
Based on three ornithogenic sediment profiles and seabird subfossils therein from the Xisha Islands, South China Sea, the relative population size of seabirds over the past 1000 years was reconstructed using reflectance spectrum. Here we present an apparent increase and subsequent decline of seabirds on these islands in the South China Sea. Seabird populations peaked during the Little Ice Age (LIA, 1400–1850 AD), implying that the cool climate during the LIA appears to have been more favorable to seabirds on the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea. Climate change partly explains the recent decrease in seabird populations over the past 150 years, but the significant decline and almost complete disappearance thereof on most of the Xisha Islands is probably attributable to human disturbance. Our study reveals the increasing impact of anthropogenic activities on seabird population in recent times. PMID:27748366
Xu, Liqiang; Liu, Xiaodong; Wu, Libin; Sun, Liguang; Zhao, Jinjun; Chen, Lin
Based on three ornithogenic sediment profiles and seabird subfossils therein from the Xisha Islands, South China Sea, the relative population size of seabirds over the past 1000 years was reconstructed using reflectance spectrum. Here we present an apparent increase and subsequent decline of seabirds on these islands in the South China Sea. Seabird populations peaked during the Little Ice Age (LIA, 1400–1850 AD), implying that the cool climate during the LIA appears to have been more favorable to seabirds on the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea. Climate change partly explains the recent decrease in seabird populations over the past 150 years, but the significant decline and almost complete disappearance thereof on most of the Xisha Islands is probably attributable to human disturbance. Our study reveals the increasing impact of anthropogenic activities on seabird population in recent times.
Understanding effects of harvest on population dynamics is of major interest, especially for declining species. European lapwing Vanellus vanellus populations increased from the 1960s until the 1980s and declined strongly thereafter. About 400,000 lapwings are harvested annually and it is thus of high conservation relevance to assess whether hunting was a main cause for the observed changes in lapwing population trends. We developed a multi-event cause-specific mortality model which we applied to a long-term ring-recovery data set (1960–2010) of > 360,000 records to estimate survival and cause-specific mortalities. We found no temporal change in survival over the last 50 years for first-year (FY) and older birds (after first-year; AFY) originating from different ringing areas. Mean survival was high, around 0.60 and 0.80 for FY and AFY individuals, respectively. The proportion of total mortality due to hunting was <0.10 over the study period and the estimated proportion of harvested individuals (kill rate) was <0.05 in each year. Our result of constant survival indicates that demographic processes other than survival were responsible for the pronounced change in lapwing population trends in the 1980s. Our findings lend support to the hypothesis that hunting was not a significant contributor to the large-scale decline of lapwing populations. To halt the ongoing decline of European lapwing populations management should focus on life history stages other than survival (e.g. productivity). Further analyses are required to investigate the contribution of other demographic rates to the decline of lapwings and to identify the most efficient conservation actions. PMID:27685660
Atmospherically deposited pesticides from the intensively cultivated Central Valley of California have been implicated as a cause for population declines of several amphibian species, with the strongest evidence for the frogs, Rana muscosa and Rana sierrae at high elevation in the Sierra Nevada moun...
Atmospherically deposited pesticides from the intensively cultivated Central Valley of California have been implicated as a cause for population declines of several amphibian species, with the strongest evidence for the frogs Rana muscosa and Rana sierrae at high elevation in th...
Miles, Will T. S.; Mavor, Roddy; Riddiford, Nick J.; Harvey, Paul V.; Riddington, Roger; Shaw, Deryk N.; Parnaby, David; Reid, Jane M.
Determining which demographic and ecological parameters contribute to variation in population growth rate is crucial to understanding the dynamics of declining populations. This study aimed to evaluate the magnitude and mechanisms of an apparent major decline in an Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica population. This was achieved using a 27-year dataset to estimate changes in population size and in two key demographic rates: adult survival and breeding success. Estimated demographic variation was then related to two ecological factors hypothesised to be key drivers of demographic change, namely the abundance of the main predator at the study site, the Great Skua Stercorarius skua, and Atlantic Puffin chick food supply, over the same 27-year period. Using a population model, we assessed whether estimated variation in adult survival and reproductive success was sufficient to explain the population change observed. Estimates of Atlantic Puffin population size decreased considerably during the study period, approximately halving, whereas Great Skua population estimates increased, approximately trebling. Estimated adult Atlantic Puffin survival remained high across all years and did not vary with Great Skua abundance; however, Atlantic Puffin breeding success and quantities of fish prey brought ashore by adults both decreased substantially through the period. A population model combining best possible demographic parameter estimates predicted rapid population growth, at odds with the long-term decrease observed. To simulate the observed decrease, population models had to incorporate low immature survival, high immature emigration, or increasingly high adult non-breeding rates. We concluded that reduced recruitment of immatures into the breeding population was the most likely cause of population decrease. This study showed that increase in the size of a predator population does not always impact on the survival of adult prey and that reduced recruitment can be a crucial
Brown, M. Christopher, II
Historically Black colleges and universities are a unique institutional cohort in American higher education. These colleges have been celebrated for their achievements and critiqued for their composition at differing points during their collective history. This article addresses contemporary ebbs and flows of their relevance and reputation in the…
McClenachan, Loren; Cooper, Andrew B
The productivity and biomass of pristine coral reef ecosystems is poorly understood, particularly in the Caribbean where communities have been impacted by overfishing and multiple other stressors over centuries. Using historical data on the spatial distribution and abundance of the extinct Caribbean monk seal (Monachus tropicalis), this study reconstructs the population size, structure and ecological role of this once common predator within coral reef communities, and provides evidence that historical reefs supported biomasses of fishes and invertebrates up to six times greater than those found on typical modern Caribbean reefs. An estimated 233 000–338 000 monk seals were distributed among 13 colonies across the Caribbean. The biomass of reef fishes and invertebrates required to support historical seal populations was 732–1018 g m−2 of reefs, which exceeds that found on any Caribbean reef today and is comparable with those measured in remote Pacific reefs. Quantitative estimates of historically dense monk seal colonies and their consumption rates on pristine reefs provide concrete data on the magnitude of decline in animal biomass on Caribbean coral reefs. Realistic reconstruction of these past ecosystems is critical to understanding the profound and long-lasting effect of human hunting on the functioning of coral reef ecosystems. PMID:18348965
Scherer, R. D.; Muths, E.; Noon, B.R.; Corn, P.S.
Two populations of boreal toads (Bufo boreas) experienced drastic declines in abundance in the late 1990s. Evidence supported the hypothesis of disease (the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) as the cause of these declines, but other hypotheses had not been evaluated. We used an 11-year capture-recapture data set to evaluate weather and disease as causes of these declines. We developed sets of mathematical models that reflected hypothesized relationships between several weather variables and annual survival rates of adult males in these populations. In addition, models that reflected the possibility that the declines were caused by an introduced fungus were developed. All models were fit to the data and were evaluated using a model selection criterion (QAICc). Our analysis provided strong support for the hypothesis of an introduced fungus and little support for the hypothesis that weather conditions caused the declines. Our results also suggest a strong, negative 'marking effect' on survival rates of boreal toads. Model-averaged estimates of survival rate are presented.
Sparling, D.W.; Fellers, G.; McConnell, L.
Several species of frogs and toads are in serious decline in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. These species include the threatened red-legged frog ( Rana aurora ), foothill yellow-legged frog ( R. boylii ), mountain yellow-legged frog ( R. muscosa ), Cascades frog ( Rana cascadae ), western toad ( Bufo boreas ) and Yosemite toad ( B. canorus ). For many of these species current distributions are down to 10% of historical ranges. Several factors including introduced predators, habitat loss, and ultraviolet radiation have been suggested as causes of these declines. Another probable cause is air-borne pesticides from the Central Valley of California. The Central Valley, especially the San Joaquin Valley, is a major agricultural region where millions of pounds of active ingredient pesticides are applied each year (http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/dprdatabase.htm). Prevailing westerly winds from the Pacific Coast transport these pesticides into the into the Sierras.
Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.; McDonald, Trent L.; Stirling, Ian; Derocher, Andrew E.; Richardson, Evan S.; Regehr, Eric V.; Douglas, David C.; Durner, George M.; Atwood, Todd C.; Amstrup, Steven C.
In the southern Beaufort Sea of the United States and Canada, prior investigations have linked declines in summer sea ice to reduced physical condition, growth, and survival of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Combined with projections of population decline due to continued climate warming and the ensuing loss of sea ice habitat, those findings contributed to the 2008 decision to list the species as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Here, we used mark–recapture models to investigate the population dynamics of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea from 2001 to 2010, years during which the spatial and temporal extent of summer sea ice generally declined. Low survival from 2004 through 2006 led to a 25–50% decline in abundance. We hypothesize that low survival during this period resulted from (1) unfavorable ice conditions that limited access to prey during multiple seasons; and possibly, (2) low prey abundance. For reasons that are not clear, survival of adults and cubs began to improve in 2007 and abundance was comparatively stable from 2008 to 2010, with ~900 bears in 2010 (90% CI 606–1212). However, survival of subadult bears declined throughout the entire period. Reduced spatial and temporal availability of sea ice is expected to increasingly force population dynamics of polar bears as the climate continues to warm. However, in the short term, our findings suggest that factors other than sea ice can influence survival. A refined understanding of the ecological mechanisms underlying polar bear population dynamics is necessary to improve projections of their future status and facilitate development of management strategies.
Bromaghin, Jeffrey F; Mcdonald, Trent L; Stirling, Ian; Derocher, Andrew E; Richardson, Evan S; Regehr, Eric V; Douglas, David C; Durner, George M; Atwood, Todd; Amstrup, Steven C
In the southern Beaufort Sea of the United States and Canada, prior investigations have linked declines in summer sea ice to reduced physical condition, growth, and survival of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Combined with projections of population decline due to continued climate warming and the ensuing loss of sea ice habitat, those findings contributed to the 2008 decision to list the species as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Here, we used mark-recapture models to investigate the population dynamics of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea from 2001 to 2010, years during which the spatial and temporal extent of summer sea ice generally declined. Low survival from 2004 through 2006 led to a 25-50% decline in abundance. We hypothesize that low survival during this period resulted from (1) unfavorable ice conditions that limited access to prey during multiple seasons; and possibly, (2) low prey abundance. For reasons that are not clear, survival of adults and cubs began to improve in 2007 and abundance was comparatively stable from 2008 to 2010, with ~900 bears in 2010 (90% CI 606-1212). However, survival of subadult bears declined throughout the entire period. Reduced spatial and temporal availability of sea ice is expected to increasingly force population dynamics of polar bears as the climate continues to warm. However, in the short term, our findings suggest that factors other than sea ice can influence survival. A refined understanding of the ecological mechanisms underlying polar bear population dynamics is necessary to improve projections of their future status and facilitate development of management strategies.
Faurby, Søren; King, Tim L; Obst, Matthias; Hallerman, Eric M; Pertoldi, Cino; Funch, Peter
Populations of the American horseshoe crab, Limulus polyphemus, have declined, but neither the causes nor the magnitude are fully understood. In order to evaluate historic demography, variation at 12 microsatellite DNA loci surveyed in 1218 L. polyphemus sampled from 28 localities was analysed with Bayesian coalescent-based methods. The analysis showed strong declines in population sizes throughout the species' distribution except in the geographically isolated southern-most population in Mexico, where a strong increase in population size was inferred. Analyses suggested that demographic changes in the core of the distribution occurred in association with the recolonization after the Ice Age and also by anthropogenic effects, such as the past overharvest of the species for fertilizer or the current use of the animals as bait for American eel (Anguilla rostrata) and whelk (Busycon spp.) fisheries. This study highlights the importance of considering both climatic changes and anthropogenic effects in efforts to understand population dynamics--a topic which is highly relevant in the ongoing assessments of the effects of climate change and overharvest.
Faurby, S.; King, T.L.; Obst, M.; Hallerman, E.M.; Pertoldi, C.; Funch, P.
Populations of the American horseshoe crab, Limulus polyphemus, have declined, but neither the causes nor the magnitude are fully understood. In order to evaluate historic demography, variation at 12 microsatellite DNA loci surveyed in 1218 L. polyphemus sampled from 28 localities was analysed with Bayesian coalescent-based methods. The analysis showed strong declines in population sizes throughout the species' distribution except in the geographically isolated southern-most population in Mexico, where a strong increase in population size was inferred. Analyses suggested that demographic changes in the core of the distribution occurred in association with the recolonization after the Ice Age and also by anthropogenic effects, such as the past overharvest of the species for fertilizer or the current use of the animals as bait for American eel (Anguilla rostrata) and whelk (Busycon spp.) fisheries. This study highlights the importance of considering both climatic changes and anthropogenic effects in efforts to understand population dynamics-a topic which is highly relevant in the ongoing assessments of the effects of climate change and overharvest. ?? 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Kery, M.; Matthies, D.; Schmid, B.
We studied ecological consequences of distyly for the declining perennial plant Primula veris in the Swiss Jura. Distyly favours cross-fertilization and avoids inbreeding, but may lead to pollen limitation and reduced reproduction if morph frequencies deviate from 50 %. Disassortative mating is promoted by the reciprocal position of stigmas and anthers in the two morphs (pin and thrum) and by intramorph incompatibility and should result in equal frequencies of morphs at equilibrium. However, deviations could arise because of demographic stochasticity, the lower intra-morph incompatibility of the pin morph, and niche differentiation between morphs. Demographic stochasticity should result in symmetric deviations from an even morph frequency among populations and in increased deviations with decreasing population size. If crosses between pins occurred, these would only generate pins, and this could result in a pin-bias of morph frequencies in general and in small populations in particular. If the morphs have different niches, morph frequencies should be related to environmental factors, morphs might be spatially segregated, and morphological differences between morphs would be expected. We tested these hypotheses in the declining distylous P. veris. We studied morph frequencies in relation to environmental conditions and population size, spatial segregation in field populations, morphological differences between morphs, and growth responses to nutrient addition. Morph frequencies in 76 populations with 1 - 80000 flowering plants fluctuated symmetrically about 50 %. Deviations from 50 % were much larger in small populations, and sixof the smallest populations had lost one morph altogether. In contrast, morph frequencies were neither related to population size nor to 17 measures of environmental conditions. We found no spatial segregation or morphological differences in the field or in the common garden. The results suggest that demographic stochasticity caused
Toms, Mike P.; Peck, Kirsi M.; Kirkwood, James K.; Chantrey, Julian; Clatworthy, Innes R.; Evans, Andy D.; Hughes, Laura A.; Hutchinson, Oliver C.; John, Shinto K.; Pennycott, Tom W.; Perkins, Matthew W.; Rowley, Peter S.; Simpson, Vic R.; Tyler, Kevin M.; Cunningham, Andrew A.
Emerging infectious diseases are increasingly cited as threats to wildlife, livestock and humans alike. They can threaten geographically isolated or critically endangered wildlife populations; however, relatively few studies have clearly demonstrated the extent to which emerging diseases can impact populations of common wildlife species. Here, we report the impact of an emerging protozoal disease on British populations of greenfinch Carduelis chloris and chaffinch Fringilla coelebs, two of the most common birds in Britain. Morphological and molecular analyses showed this to be due to Trichomonas gallinae. Trichomonosis emerged as a novel fatal disease of finches in Britain in 2005 and rapidly became epidemic within greenfinch, and to a lesser extent chaffinch, populations in 2006. By 2007, breeding populations of greenfinches and chaffinches in the geographic region of highest disease incidence had decreased by 35% and 21% respectively, representing mortality in excess of half a million birds. In contrast, declines were less pronounced or absent in these species in regions where the disease was found in intermediate or low incidence. Also, populations of dunnock Prunella modularis, which similarly feeds in gardens, but in which T. gallinae was rarely recorded, did not decline. This is the first trichomonosis epidemic reported in the scientific literature to negatively impact populations of free-ranging non-columbiform species, and such levels of mortality and decline due to an emerging infectious disease are unprecedented in British wild bird populations. This disease emergence event demonstrates the potential for a protozoan parasite to jump avian host taxonomic groups with dramatic effect over a short time period. PMID:20805869
Santisteban, Leonard; Benkman, Craig W; Fetz, Trevor; Smith, Julie W
1. A large number of migratory bird species appear to be declining as the result of climate change, but whether resident bird species have or will be adversely affected by climate change is less clear. We focus on the South Hills crossbill (Loxia curvirostra complex), which is endemic to about 70 km(2) of Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta latifolia) forest in southern Idaho, USA. 2. Our results indicate that the South Hills crossbill has declined by over 60% between 2003 and 2008, and that decreasing adult survival drives this population decline. 3. We evaluated the relative support for multiple hypotheses linking crossbill survival to climate, an ectoparasitic mite (scaly-leg mites Knemidokoptes jamaicensis), and the recent emergence of West Nile virus. Changes in adult apparent survival rate were closely associated with average spring and annual temperatures, and with high temperatures (≥32 °C) during summer, which have increased during the last decade. In contrast, there was little evidence that scaly-leg mites or West Nile virus contributed to recent declines in adult survival. 4. The most probable mechanism causing the decline in adult survival and population size is a decrease in the availability of their primary food resource, seeds in serotinous pine cones. Cone production has declined with increasing annual temperatures, and these cones appear to be prematurely opening owing to increasingly hot summer conditions releasing their seeds and reducing the carrying capacity for crossbills later in the year. 5. In light of regional climate change forecasts, which include an increase in both annual temperature and hot days (>32 °C), and the likely disappearance of lodgepole pine from southern Idaho by the end of this century, additional research is needed to determine how to maintain lodgepole pine forests and their supply of seeds to conserve one of the few bird species endemic to the continental United States.
Li, Haipeng; Xiang-Yu, Jinggong; Dai, Guangyi; Gu, Zhili; Ming, Chen; Yang, Zongfeng; Ryder, Oliver A.; Li, Wen-Hsiung; Fu, Yun-Xin; Zhang, Ya-Ping
Accelerated losses of biodiversity are a hallmark of the current era. Large declines of population size have been widely observed and currently 22,176 species are threatened by extinction. The time at which a threatened species began rapid population decline (RPD) and the rate of RPD provide important clues about the driving forces of population decline and anticipated extinction time. However, these parameters remain unknown for the vast majority of threatened species. Here we analyzed the genetic diversity data of nuclear and mitochondrial loci of 2,764 vertebrate species and found that the mean genetic diversity is lower in threatened species than in related nonthreatened species. Our coalescence-based modeling suggests that in many threatened species the RPD began ∼123 y ago (a 95% confidence interval of 20–260 y). This estimated date coincides with widespread industrialization and a profound change in global living ecosystems over the past two centuries. On average the population size declined by ∼25% every 10 y in a threatened species, and the population size was reduced to ∼5% of its ancestral size. Moreover, the ancestral size of threatened species was, on average, ∼22% smaller than that of nonthreatened species. Because the time period of RPD is short, the cumulative effect of RPD on genetic diversity is still not strong, so that the smaller ancestral size of threatened species may be the major cause of their reduced genetic diversity; RPD explains 24.1–37.5% of the difference in genetic diversity between threatened and nonthreatened species. PMID:27872315
Hill, Jason M; Diefenbach, Duane R
Organisms can be affected by processes in the surrounding landscape outside the boundary of habitat areas and by local vegetation characteristics. There is substantial interest in understanding how these processes affect populations of grassland birds, which have experienced substantial population declines. Much of our knowledge regarding patterns of occupancy and density stem from prairie systems, whereas relatively little is known regarding how occurrence and abundance of grassland birds vary in reclaimed surface mine grasslands. Using distance sampling and single-season occupancy models, we investigated how the occupancy probability of Grasshopper (Ammodramus savannarum) and Henslow's Sparrows (A. henslowii) on 61 surface mine grasslands (1591 ha) in Pennsylvania changed from 2002 through 2011 in response to landscape, grassland, and local vegetation characteristics . A subset (n = 23; 784 ha) of those grasslands were surveyed in 2002, and we estimated changes in sparrow density and vegetation across 10 years. Grasshopper and Henslow's Sparrow populations declined 72% and 49%, respectively from 2002 to 2011, whereas overall woody vegetation density increased 2.6 fold. Henslow's Sparrows avoided grasslands with perimeter-area ratios ≥0.141 km/ha and woody shrub densities ≥0.04 shrubs/m(2). Both species occupied grasslands ≤13 ha, but occupancy probability declined with increasing grassland perimeter-area ratio and woody shrub density. Grassland size, proximity to nearest neighboring grassland (x = 0.2 km), and surrounding landscape composition at 0.5, 1.5, and 3.0 km were not parsimonious predictors of occupancy probability for either species. Our results suggest that reclaimed surface mine grasslands, without management intervention, are ephemeral habitats for Grasshopper and Henslow's Sparrows. Given the forecasted decline in surface coal production for Pennsylvania, it is likely that both species will continue to decline in our study region for the
Oaks, J Lindsay; Gilbert, Martin; Virani, Munir Z; Watson, Richard T; Meteyer, Carol U; Rideout, Bruce A; Shivaprasad, H L; Ahmed, Shakeel; Chaudhry, Muhammad Jamshed Iqbal; Arshad, Muhammad; Mahmood, Shahid; Ali, Ahmad; Khan, Aleem Ahmed
The Oriental white-backed vulture (OWBV; Gyps bengalensis) was once one of the most common raptors in the Indian subcontinent. A population decline of >95%, starting in the 1990s, was first noted at Keoladeo National Park, India. Since then, catastrophic declines, also involving Gyps indicus and Gyps tenuirostris, have continued to be reported across the subcontinent. Consequently these vultures are now listed as critically endangered by BirdLife International. In 2000, the Peregrine Fund initiated its Asian Vulture Crisis Project with the Ornithological Society of Pakistan, establishing study sites at 16 OWBV colonies in the Kasur, Khanewal and Muzaffargarh-Layyah Districts of Pakistan to measure mortality at over 2,400 active nest sites. Between 2000 and 2003, high annual adult and subadult mortality (5-86%) and resulting population declines (34-95%) (ref. 5 and M.G., manuscript in preparation) were associated with renal failure and visceral gout. Here, we provide results that directly correlate residues of the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac with renal failure. Diclofenac residues and renal disease were reproduced experimentally in OWBVs by direct oral exposure and through feeding vultures diclofenac-treated livestock. We propose that residues of veterinary diclofenac are responsible for the OWBV decline.
Oaks, J.L.; Gilbert, M.; Virani, M.Z.; Watson, R.T.; Meteyer, C.U.; Rideout, B.A.; Shivaprasad, H.L.; Ahmed, S.; Chaudhry, M.J.I.; Arshad, M.; Mahmood, S.; Ali, A.; Khan, A.A.
The Oriental white-backed vulture (OWBV; Gyps bengalensis) was once one of the most common raptors in the Indian subcontinent. A population decline of >95%, starting in the 1990s, was first noted at Keoladeo National Park, India. Since then, catastrophic declines, also involving Gyps indicus and Gyps tenuirostris, have continued to be reported across the subcontinent. Consequently these vultures are now listed as critically endangered by BirdLife International. In 2000, the Peregrine Fund initiated its Asian Vulture Crisis Project with the Ornithological Society of Pakistan, establishing study sites at 16 OWBV colonies in the Kasur, Khanewal and Muzaffargarha??Layyah Districts of Pakistan to measure mortality at over 2,400 active nest sites5. Between 2000 and 2003, high annual adult and subadult mortality (5a??86%) and resulting population declines (34a??95%) (ref. 5 and M.G., manuscript in preparation) were associated with renal failure and visceral gout. Here, we provide results that directly correlate residues of the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac with renal failure. Diclofenac residues and renal disease were reproduced experimentally in OWBVs by direct oral exposure and through feeding vultures diclofenac-treated livestock. We propose that residues of veterinary diclofenac are responsible for the OWBV decline.
Dussex, Nicolas; Rawlence, Nicolas J.; Robertson, Bruce C.
The impact of population bottlenecks is an important factor to consider when assessing species survival. Population declines can considerably limit the evolutionary potential of species and make them more susceptible to stochastic events. New Zealand has a well documented history of decline of endemic avifauna related to human colonization. Here, we investigate the genetic effects of a recent population decline in the endangered kea (Nestor notabilis). Kea have undergone a long-lasting persecution between the late 1800s to 1970s where an estimated 150,000 kea were culled under a governmental bounty scheme. Kea now number 1,000–5,000 individuals in the wild and it is likely that the recent population decline may have reduced the genetic diversity of the species. Comparison of contemporary (n = 410), historical (n = 15) and fossil samples (n = 4) showed a loss of mitochondrial diversity since the end of the last glaciation (Otiran Glacial) but no loss of overall genetic diversity associated with the cull. Microsatellite data indicated a recent bottleneck for only one population and a range-wide decline in Ne dating back some 300 – 6,000 years ago, a period predating European arrival in NZ. These results suggest that despite a recent human persecution, kea might have experienced a large population decline before stabilizing in numbers prior to human settlement of New Zealand in response to Holocene changes in habitat distribution. Our study therefore highlights the need to understand the respective effects of climate change and human activities on endangered species dynamics when proposing conservation guidelines. PMID:25719752
The fundamental premises and historical development of the American population control movement are critically examined from the Marxist viewpoint. It is initially shown how the Malthusian theories of population growth became interwoven with those of the eugenics movement during the first 4 decades of the 20th century. After World War II, the concern of eugenicists with race betterment and with halting the growth in numbers of the "unfit" was superseded by claims that the world was gravely menaced by a "population explosion." Subsequently, it is shown how American financiers and industrialists became leading figures of the "Population Establishment" and promoted private and public funding for support of population control activities. The uneven growth in the 1950's and the rapid growth in the 1960's of United States' efforts to promote domestic and international family planning activities are described at length. Activities of UN agencies and of United States Government agencies, particularly the activities of the Agency for International Development, are emphasized. A description of events connected with World Population Year notes the opposition of many developing countries to what they regard as an overemphasis upon birth control divorced from broad programs of social and economic development. The alleged economic exploitation of capitalism is regarded as a fundamental roadblock to intelligent family planning. Thus, talk of the population bomb merely masks the need to eliminate capitalism and proceed with an equitable distribution of the world's resources.
Yackel Adams, A.A.; Skagen, S.K.; Savidge, J.A.
Many North American prairie bird populations have recently declined, and the causes of these declines remain largely unknown. To determine whether population limitation occurs during breeding, we evaluated the stability of a population of prairie birds using population-specific values for fecundity and postfledging survival. During 2001-2003, we radiomarked 67 female Lark Buntings (Calamospiza melanocorys) to determine annual fecundity and evaluate contributing factors such as nest survival and breeding response (number of breeding attempts and dispersal). Collectively, 67 females built 112 nests (1.67 ?? 0.07 nests female-1 season-1; range: 1-3); 34 were second nests and 11 were third nests. Daily nest survival estimates were similar for initial and later nests with overall nest survival (DSR 19) of 30.7% and 31.7%, respectively. Nest predation was the most common cause of failure (92%). Capture and radiomarking of females did not affect nest survival. Lark Bunting dispersal probabilities increased among females that fledged young from initial nests and females that lost their original nests late in the season. Conservative and liberal estimates of mean annual fecundity were 0.96 ?? 0.11 and 1.24 ?? 0.09 female offspring per female, respectively. Given the fecundity and juvenile-survival estimates for this population, annual adult survival values of 71-77% are necessary to achieve a stable population. Because adult survival of prairie passerines ranges between 55% and 65%, this study area may not be capable of sustaining a stable population in the absence of immigration. We contrast our population assessment with one that assumes indirect values of fecundity and juvenile survival. To elucidate limiting factors, estimation of population-specific demographic parameters is desirable. We present an approach for selecting species and areas for evaluation of population stability. ?? The American Ornithologists' Union, 2007.
Richardson, David E.; Hare, Jonathan A.; Fogarty, Michael J.; Link, Jason S.
Theoretical studies suggest that the abrupt and substantial changes in the productivity of some fisheries species may be explained by predation-driven alternate stable states in their population levels. With this hypothesis, an increase in fishing or a natural perturbation can drive a population from an upper to a lower stable-equilibrium population level. After fishing is reduced or the perturbation ended, this low population level can persist due to the regulatory effect of the predator. Although established in theoretical studies, there is limited empirical support for predation-driven alternate stable states in exploited marine fish populations. We present evidence that egg predation by haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) can cause alternate stable population levels in Georges Bank Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus). Egg predation by haddock explains a substantial decoupling of herring spawning stock biomass (an index of egg production) from observed larval herring abundance (an index of egg hatching). Estimated egg survival rates ranged from <2–70% from 1971 to 2005. A population model incorporating egg predation and herring fishing explains the major population trends of Georges Bank herring over four decades and predicts that, when the haddock population is high, seemingly conservative levels of fishing can still precipitate a severe decline in the herring population. These findings illustrate how efforts to rebuild fisheries can be undermined by not incorporating ecological interactions into fisheries models and management plans. PMID:21825166
Richardson, David E; Hare, Jonathan A; Fogarty, Michael J; Link, Jason S
Theoretical studies suggest that the abrupt and substantial changes in the productivity of some fisheries species may be explained by predation-driven alternate stable states in their population levels. With this hypothesis, an increase in fishing or a natural perturbation can drive a population from an upper to a lower stable-equilibrium population level. After fishing is reduced or the perturbation ended, this low population level can persist due to the regulatory effect of the predator. Although established in theoretical studies, there is limited empirical support for predation-driven alternate stable states in exploited marine fish populations. We present evidence that egg predation by haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) can cause alternate stable population levels in Georges Bank Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus). Egg predation by haddock explains a substantial decoupling of herring spawning stock biomass (an index of egg production) from observed larval herring abundance (an index of egg hatching). Estimated egg survival rates ranged from <2-70% from 1971 to 2005. A population model incorporating egg predation and herring fishing explains the major population trends of Georges Bank herring over four decades and predicts that, when the haddock population is high, seemingly conservative levels of fishing can still precipitate a severe decline in the herring population. These findings illustrate how efforts to rebuild fisheries can be undermined by not incorporating ecological interactions into fisheries models and management plans.
Wittmer, Heiko U; McLellan, Bruce N; Serrouya, Robert; Apps, Clayton D
1. Large-scale habitat loss is frequently identified with loss of biodiversity, but examples of the direct effect of habitat alterations on changes in vital rates remain rare. Quantifying and understanding the relationship between habitat composition and changes in vital rates, however, is essential for the development of effective conservation strategies. 2. It has been suggested that the decline of woodland caribou Rangifer tarandus caribou populations in North America is precipitated by timber harvesting that creates landscapes of early seral forests. Such habitat changes have altered the predator-prey system resulting in asymmetric predation, where predators are maintained by alternative prey (i.e. apparent competition). However, a direct link between habitat condition and caribou population declines has not been documented. 3. We estimated survival probabilities for the threatened arboreal lichen-feeding ecotype of woodland caribou in British Columbia, Canada, at two different spatial scales. At the broader scale, observed variation in adult female survival rates among 10 distinct populations (range = 0.67-0.93) was best explained by variation in the amount of early seral stands within population ranges and population density. At the finer scale, home ranges of caribou killed by predators had lower proportions of old forest and more mid-aged forest as compared with multi-annual home ranges where caribou were alive. 4. These results are consistent with predictions from the apparent competition hypothesis and quantify direct fitness consequences for caribou following habitat alterations. We conclude that apparent competition can cause rapid population declines and even extinction where changes in species composition occur following large scale habitat change.
Forsman, Anders; Hagman, Mattias
Successful protection of biodiversity requires increased understanding of the ecological characteristics that predispose some species to endangerment. Theory posits that species with polymorphic or variable coloration should have larger distributions, use more diverse resources, and be less vulnerable to population declines and extinctions, compared with taxa that do not vary in color. We used information from literature on 194 species of Australian frogs to search for associations of coloration mode with ecological variables. In general, species with variable or polymorphic color patterns had larger ranges, used more habitats, were less prone to have a negative population trend, and were estimated as less vulnerable to extinction compared with nonvariable species. An association of variable coloration with lower endangerment was also evident when we controlled statistically for the effects of range size. Nonvariable coloration was not a strong predictor of endangerment, and information on several characteristics is needed to reliably identify and protect species that are prone to decline and may become threatened by extinction in the near future. Analyses based on phylogenetic-independent contrasts did not support the hypothesis that evolutionary transitions between nonvariable and variable or polymorphic coloration have been accompanied by changes in the ecological variables we examined. Irrefutable demonstration of a role of color pattern variation in amphibian decline and in the dynamics and persistence of populations in general will require a manipulative experimental approach.
Zhang, David D; Brecke, Peter; Lee, Harry F; He, Yuan-Qing; Zhang, Jane
Although scientists have warned of possible social perils resulting from climate change, the impacts of long-term climate change on social unrest and population collapse have not been quantitatively investigated. In this study, high-resolution paleo-climatic data have been used to explore at a macroscale the effects of climate change on the outbreak of war and population decline in the preindustrial era. We show that long-term fluctuations of war frequency and population changes followed the cycles of temperature change. Further analyses show that cooling impeded agricultural production, which brought about a series of serious social problems, including price inflation, then successively war outbreak, famine, and population decline successively. The findings suggest that worldwide and synchronistic war-peace, population, and price cycles in recent centuries have been driven mainly by long-term climate change. The findings also imply that social mechanisms that might mitigate the impact of climate change were not significantly effective during the study period. Climate change may thus have played a more important role and imposed a wider ranging effect on human civilization than has so far been suggested. Findings of this research may lend an additional dimension to the classic concepts of Malthusianism and Darwinism.
Zhang, David D.; Brecke, Peter; Lee, Harry F.; He, Yuan-Qing; Zhang, Jane
Although scientists have warned of possible social perils resulting from climate change, the impacts of long-term climate change on social unrest and population collapse have not been quantitatively investigated. In this study, high-resolution paleo-climatic data have been used to explore at a macroscale the effects of climate change on the outbreak of war and population decline in the preindustrial era. We show that long-term fluctuations of war frequency and population changes followed the cycles of temperature change. Further analyses show that cooling impeded agricultural production, which brought about a series of serious social problems, including price inflation, then successively war outbreak, famine, and population decline successively. The findings suggest that worldwide and synchronistic war–peace, population, and price cycles in recent centuries have been driven mainly by long-term climate change. The findings also imply that social mechanisms that might mitigate the impact of climate change were not significantly effective during the study period. Climate change may thus have played a more important role and imposed a wider ranging effect on human civilization than has so far been suggested. Findings of this research may lend an additional dimension to the classic concepts of Malthusianism and Darwinism. PMID:18048343
Kelly, David W; Thomas, Harriet; Thieltges, David W; Poulin, Robert; Tompkins, Daniel M
1. Animal malformations engender wide public and scientific concern because of associated environmental health risks. This is highlighted by increased incidence of limb malformations in amphibians associated with trematode infections and disturbance. Malformations may signal new emerging disease threats, but whether the phenomenon is broadly applicable across taxa, or has population-scale impacts, is unknown. 2. Malformations are widely reported in fish and, until now, have been attributed mainly to contaminants. We tested whether the trematode Telogaster opisthorchis caused severe malformations, leading to population effects, in Galaxias anomalus, a threatened New Zealand freshwater fish. 3. Experimental infection of larval fish caused increasing spinal malformation and mortality with infection intensity that closely matched field patterns. Field malformation frequency peaked in January (65%), before declining sharply in February (25%) and remaining low thereafter. 4. The peak occurred during a 'critical window' of larval development, with the decline coincident with a population crash, indicating that malformation was causing mortality in the field. 5. The occurrence of such critical developmental windows may explain why this mechanism of population impact has been overlooked. With global environmental stressors predicted to enhance trematode infections, our results show that parasite-induced malformation, and its population-scale impacts, could be more widespread than previously considered.
Gersonde, Rainer; Esper, Oliver; Lohmann, Gerrit; Knorr, Gregor
The decline in Arctic summer sea ice which accelerated during the present century to reach a yet unequaled minimum extent in 2012 as monitored by the satellite-based sea ice survey since the late 1970s is thought to represent one of the most striking examples of current climate change related to the anthropogenic global warming. In contrast, Antarctic sea ice extent has remained nearly unchanged during the past 40 years, according to the satellite survey. The statistical analysis of microfossil (diatom) signals indicative of sea ice occurrence retrieved from a large set of surface samples covering the Pacific, Atlantic and the eastern Indian sectors of the Southern Ocean suggests that Antarctic winter sea ice extent was more extended than the sea ice field documented by satellite surveys. The surface samples generally integrate signals deposited over 100-200 years. Most substantial offsets between the sedimentary proxy and satellite derived data on sea ice extent were encountered on latitudinal transects across the Pacific sector. Independent support for a 20th century decline of Antarctic sea ice fields by up to 25% prior to satellite survey comes from the analysis of whaling positions [1, 2], ice core proxies  and combinations of observations with numerical modeling . Proxy records from Holocene sediment cores allow for further extension of sea ice records beyond the short instrumental record. These records indicate that the more extended Antarctic winter sea ice derived from the surface sediment record is a common feature in the present interglacial (Holocene) period, except for the earliest Holocene when the sea ice field was even smaller than present. The proxy results are suitable for validation of reanalysis and numerical model data and will allow for a better understanding of Antarctic sea ice sensitivity in response to natural and anthropogenic processes.  de la Mare, W. K. 2009. Clim. Change 92,461-493;  Cotté, C., Guinet, C. 2007. Deep
Austin, J.E.; Afton, A.D.; Anderson, M.G.; Clark, R.G.; Custer, Christine M.; Lawrence, J.; Pollard, J.B.; Ringelman, J.K.
The population estimate for greater (Aythya marila) and lesser (Aythya affinis) scaup (combined) has declined dramatically since the early 1980s to record lows in 1998. The 1998 estimate of 3.47 million scaup is far below the goal of 6.3 million set in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP), causing concern among biologists and hunters. We summarize issues of concern, hypotheses for factors contributing to the population decline, and research and management needs recommended by participants of the Scaup Workshop, held in September 1999. We believe that contaminants, lower female survival, and reduced recruitment due to changes in food resources or breeding-ground habitats are primary factors contributing to the decline. These factors are not mutually exclusive but likely interact across seasons. Workshop participants identified seven action items. We need to further delineate where declines in breeding populations have occurred, with a primary focus on the western Canadian boreal forest, where declines appear to be most pronounced. Productivity in various areas and habitats throughout the breeding range needs to be assessed by conducting retrospective analyses of existing data and by intensive field studies at broad and local scales. Annual and seasonal survival rates need to be determined in order to assess the role of harvest or natural mortality. Effects of contaminants on reproduction, female body condition, and behavior must be investigated. Use, distribution, and role of food resources relative to body condition and reproduction need to be examined to better understand seasonal dynamics of nutrient reserves and the role in reproductive success. Affiliations among breeding, migration, and wintering areas must be assessed in order to understand differential exposure to harvest or contaminants, and differential reproductive success and recruitment. Biologists and agencies need to gather and improve information needed to manage greater and lesser
Sparling, D.W.; Fellers, G.M.
Contaminants have been associated with population declines of several amphibian species in California (USA). Pesticides from the Central Valley of California are transported by winds into the Sierra Nevada Mountains and precipitate into wet meadows where amphibians breed. The present study examined the chronic toxicity of two of the insecticides most commonly used in the Central Valley and found in the mountains, chlorpyrifos and endosulfan, to larval Pacific treefrogs (Pseudacris regilla) and foothill yellow-legged frogs (Rana boylii) and discusses the implications of this toxicity to declining amphibian populations. Larvae were exposed to the pesticides from Gosner stages 25 to 26 through metamorphosis. The estimated median lethal concentration (LC50) for chlorpyrifos was 365 ??g/L in P. regilla and 66.5 ??g/L for R. boylii. Time to metamorphosis increased with concentration of chlorpyrifos in both species, and cholinesterase activity declined with exposure concentration in metamorphs of both species at Gosner stages 42 to 46. For endosulfan, the estimated LC50 was 15.6 ??g/L for P. regilla and 0.55 ??g/L for R. boylii. All R. boylii exposed to concentrations of greater than 0.8 ??g/L died before they entered metamorphosis. Pseudacris regilla remains relatively abundant and is broadly distributed throughout California. In contrast, R. boylii is among the species experiencing severe population declines. The present study adds to the increasing evidence that pesticides are very harmful to amphibians living in areas that are miles from sources of pesticide application. ?? 2009 SETAC.
Chakraborty, Debapriyo; Sinha, Anindya; Ramakrishnan, Uma
Quaternary glacial oscillations are known to have caused population size fluctuations in many temperate species. Species from subtropical and tropical regions are, however, considerably less studied, despite representing most of the biodiversity hotspots in the world including many highly threatened by anthropogenic activities such as hunting. These regions, consequently, pose a significant knowledge gap in terms of how their fauna have typically responded to past climatic changes. We studied an endangered primate, the Arunachal macaque Macaca munzala, from the subtropical southern edge of the Tibetan plateau, a part of the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, also known to be highly threatened due to rampant hunting. We employed a 534 bp-long mitochondrial DNA sequence and 22 autosomal microsatellite loci to investigate the factors that have potentially shaped the demographic history of the species. Analysing the genetic data with traditional statistical methods and advance Bayesian inferential approaches, we demonstrate a limited effect of past glacial fluctuations on the demographic history of the species before the last glacial maximum, approximately 20,000 years ago. This was, however, immediately followed by a significant population expansion possibly due to warmer climatic conditions, approximately 15,000 years ago. These changes may thus represent an apparent balance between that displayed by the relatively climatically stable tropics and those of the more severe, temperate environments of the past. This study also draws attention to the possibility that a cold-tolerant species like the Arunachal macaque, which could withstand historical climate fluctuations and grow once the climate became conducive, may actually be extremely vulnerable to anthropogenic exploitation, as is perhaps indicated by its Holocene ca. 30-fold population decline, approximately 3,500 years ago. Our study thus provides a quantitative appraisal of these demographically important
Estes, J.A.; Doak, D.F.; Springer, A.M.; Williams, T.M.
Populations of sea otters, seals and sea lions have collapsed across much of southwest Alaska over the past several decades. The sea otter decline set off a trophic cascade in which the coastal marine ecosystem underwent a phase shift from kelp forests to deforested sea urchin barrens. This interaction in turn affected the distribution, abundance and productivity of numerous other species. Ecological consequences of the pinniped declines are largely unknown. Increased predation by transient (marine mammal-eating) killer whales probably caused the sea otter declines and may have caused the pinniped declines as well. Springer et al. proposed that killer whales, which purportedly fed extensively on great whales, expanded their diets to include a higher percentage of sea otters and pinnipeds following a sharp reduction in great whale numbers from post World War II industrial whaling. Critics of this hypothesis claim that great whales are not now and probably never were an important nutritional resource for killer whales. We used demographic/energetic analyses to evaluate whether or not a predator–prey system involving killer whales and the smaller marine mammals would be sustainable without some nutritional contribution from the great whales. Our results indicate that while such a system is possible, it could only exist under a narrow range of extreme conditions and is therefore highly unlikely. PMID:19451116
DeAngelis, Donald L.; Bryant, John P.; Liu, Rongsong; Gourley, Stephen A.; Krebs, Charles J; Reichardt, Paul B
A necessary condition for a snowshoe hare population to cycle is reduced reproduction after the population declines. But the cause of a cyclic snowshoe hare population's reduced reproduction during the low phase of the cycle, when predator density collapses, is not completely understood. We propose that moderate-severe browsing by snowshoe hares upon preferred winter-foods could increase the toxicity of some of the hare's best winter-foods during the following hare low, with the result being a decline in hare nutrition that could reduce hare reproduction. We used a combination of modeling and experiments to explore this hypothesis. Using the shrub birch Betula glandulosa as the plant of interest, the model predicted that browsing by hares during a hare cycle peak, by increasing the toxicity B. glandulosa twigs during the following hare low, could cause a hare population to cycle. The model's assumptions were verified with assays of dammarane triterpenes in segments of B. glandulosa twigs and captive hare feeding experiments conducted in Alaska during February and March 1986. The model's predictions were tested with estimates of hare density and measurements of B. glandulosa twig growth made at Kluane, Yukon from 1988–2008. The empirical tests supported the model's predictions. Thus, we have concluded that a browsing-caused increase in twig toxicity that occurs during the hare cycle's low phase could reduce hare reproduction during the low phase of the hare cycle.
Sapsford, Sarah J; Voordouw, Maarten J; Alford, Ross A; Schwarzkopf, Lin
Pathogens can drive host population dynamics. Chytridiomycosis is a fungal disease of amphibians that is caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). This pathogen has caused declines and extinctions in some host species whereas other host species coexist with Bd without suffering declines. In the early 1990s, Bd extirpated populations of the endangered common mistfrog, Litoria rheocola, at high-elevation sites, while populations of the species persisted at low-elevation sites. Today, populations have reappeared at many high-elevation sites where they presently co-exist with the fungus. We conducted a capture-mark-recapture (CMR) study of six populations of L. rheocola over 1 year, at high and low elevations. We used multistate CMR models to determine which factors (Bd infection status, site type, and season) influenced rates of frog survival, recapture, infection, and recovery from infection. We observed Bd-induced mortality of individual frogs, but did not find any significant effect of Bd infection on the survival rate of L. rheocola at the population level. Survival and recapture rates depended on site type and season. Infection rate was highest in winter when temperatures were favourable for pathogen growth, and differed among site types. The recovery rate was high (75.7-85.8%) across seasons, and did not differ among site types. The coexistence of L. rheocola with Bd suggests that (1) frog populations are becoming resistant to the fungus, (2) Bd may have evolved lower virulence, or (3) current environmental conditions may be inhibiting outbreaks of the fatal disease.
Meneghesso, C; Riginella, E; La Mesa, M; Donato, F; Mazzoldi, C
This study investigated demographic structure and reproductive characteristics of the Atlantic mackerel Scomber scombrus, in relation to landing trends in the northern-central Adriatic Sea. Results highlighted the occurrence of only small-sized and young-age individuals, and a marked decline from the 1990s to the present in maximum age (from 8 to 3 years) and total length (L(T); from 420 to 360 mm). Fecundity ranged between 40,000 and 190,000 eggs, and was related to female L(T). High levels of atresia implied lower values of actual fecundity. Sexual maturity was attained by 72·8% of individuals in their first year of life at 200 mm. The reduction in maximum L(T) resulted in a marked decline in the population egg production, while the reduction in maximum age implied that females participated in fewer spawning events.
Draxler, Andrea; Rauch, Roman; Gruber, Karin; Leohardt, Roman
It is widely known that the main structure of many churches was planned and built in an east-ward direction. This procedure, called "easting", was used for centuries especially in catholic structures. "Easting" usually refers to the direction of sunrise at the church patron's day. Assuming however that this direction is estimated by compasses there could be a significant correlation between the geographic orientation of the churches and the value of magnetic declination at the date of building. In Europe compasses are known since the 11th century. For this study altogether 124 churches located in lower Austria and built between 1100 to 1900 were analysed. Of primary interest is the geographic orientation of the churches, which was extracted out of georeferenced satellite images in Google Earth and the NO Atlas. The measured orientation of the church's nave is then compared to the geographic east direction as well as to the magnetic east direction, according to the magnetic field in the church's construction year which is determined by published geomagnetic field models. The resulting deviations for the geographic east direction split our data into two groups: churches that were built before 1500 and churches that were constructed after 1500. The boundary between these two data sets is marked by the Ottoman wars in the 16th century, where a lot of churches were destroyed. After 1500 the differences between the church's orientation and the geographic east direction are significantly bigger than before the Ottoman wars, so we shifted our focus for the following calculations on the time span from 1100 to 1500, where we found quite small deviations for both the geographic and the magnetic east direction. The principle idea of church orientation, usually referred to as "Easting" is to direct the church to the point of sunrise on the patron saint's day. Therefore we also calculated the solar azimuth on the patron saint's day and compared it to the orientation of the
McNeil, Paul; Hills, L. V.; Kooyman, B.; Tolman, Shayne M.
Much debate has raged over the role that early humans played in this most recent large extinction. Fossil mammoth ( Mammuthus primigenius) footprints were discovered at the St. Mary Reservoir in southwestern Canada (Wally's Beach DhPg-8). They are located in aeolian sediment dated at 11,300-11,000 years BP. By comparing the size distribution of these tracks with those of modern African elephants ( Loxodonta africana), the age distribution of this mammoth population was determined. Containing far fewer juveniles than would be expected for an expanding or stable population, these tracks provide the first evidence that a living mammoth population, coexisting with human inhabitants, was in decline. Additionally, the same site provides corroborating evidence of humans hunting megafauna (horse and bovids). This suggests that humans, in addition to climate change, played a role in the end Pleistocene extinctions in North America.
Richmond, Jonathan Q.; Backlin, Adam R.; Tatarian, Patricia J.; Solvesky, Ben G.; Fisher, Robert N.
Demographic declines and increased isolation of peripheral populations of the threatened California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii) have led to the formation of internal range boundaries at opposite ends of the species’ distribution. While the population genetics of the southern internal boundary has been studied in some detail, similar information is lacking for the northern part of the range. In this study, we used microsatellite and mtDNA data to examine the genetic structuring and diversity of some of the last remaining R. draytonii populations in the northern Sierra Nevada, which collectively form the northern external range boundary. We compared these data to coastal populations in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the species is notably more abundant and still exists throughout much of its historic range. We show that ‘external’ Sierra Nevada populations have lower genetic diversity and are more differentiated from one another than their ‘internal’ Bay Area counterparts. This same pattern was mirrored across the distribution in California, where Sierra Nevada and Bay Area populations had lower allelic variability compared to those previously studied in coastal southern California. This genetic signature of northward range expansion was mirrored in the phylogeography of mtDNA haplotypes; northern Sierra Nevada haplotypes showed greater similarity to haplotypes from the south Coast Ranges than to the more geographically proximate populations in the Bay Area. These data cast new light on the geographic origins of Sierra Nevada R. draytonii populations and highlight the importance of distinguishing the genetic effects of contemporary demographic declines from underlying signatures of historic range expansion when addressing the most immediate threats to population persistence. Because there is no evidence of contemporary gene flow between any of the Sierra Nevada R. draytonii populations, we suggest that management activities should focus on
Woodhams, Douglas C; Kilburn, Vanessa L; Reinert, Laura K; Voyles, Jamie; Medina, Daniel; Ibáñez, Roberto; Hyatt, Alex D; Boyle, Donna G; Pask, James D; Green, David M; Rollins-Smith, Louise A
Chytridiomycosis is a globally emerging disease of amphibians and the leading cause of population declines and extirpations at species-diverse montane sites in Central America. We continued long-term monitoring efforts for the presence of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and for amphibian populations at two sites in western Panama, and we began monitoring at three new sites to the east. Population declines associated with chytridiomycosis emergence were detected at Altos de Campana National Park. We also detected Bd in three species east of the Panama Canal at Soberanía National Park, and prevalence data suggests that Bd may be enzootic in the lowlands of the park. However, no infected frogs were found further east at Tortí (prevalence <7.5% with 95% confidence). Our results suggest that Panama's diverse and not fully described amphibian communities east of the canal are at risk. Precise predictions of future disease emergence events are not possible until factors underlying disease emergence, such as dispersal, are understood. However, if the fungal pathogen spreads in a pattern consistent with previous disease events in Panama, then detection of Bd at Tortí and other areas east of the Panama Canal is imminent. Therefore, development of new management strategies and increased precautions for tourism, recreation, and biology are urgently needed.
Fancy, Steven G.; Snetsinger, Thomas J.
The Bridled White-eye (Zosterops conspicillatus rotensis) was Once thought to be common and widespread on Rota, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, but is now restricted to several patches of native limestone forest in and adjacent to the Sabana region. Surveys conducted in 1990 indicated that the population had declined by 87% between 1982 and 1990 for unknown reasons. The low density and restricted habitat association of the Bridled White-eye on Rota contrasts with the situation on Saipan, Tinian, Agiguan, and formerly on Guam, where the Bridled White-eye is the most common forest bird and occurs at all elevations and in all habitat types. We surveyed the entire range of the Rota Bridled White-eye in 1996 to estimate its current numbers and distribution. We also reviewed existing information on the white-eye and evaluated potential causes of its decline, including predation by Black Drongos (Dicrurus macrocercus), rats (Rattus spp.), and the brown tree snake Boiga irregularis); pesticides; avian disease; and habitat loss and alteration. We found that 94% of the extant population of 1,165 white-eyes on Rota was restricted to four patches of old-growth, native limestone forest covering only 259 ha. We believe that the population decline and current localized distribution is primarily a result of habitat changes due to agricultural development and typhoons, but the absence of white-eyes from several stands of native forest above 200 m remains unexplained. The Rota white-eye may be a different species from white-eyes found on Saipan, Tinian, Agiguan, and Guam, with different habitat preferences.
Nieminen, Petteri; Huitu, Otso; Henttonen, Heikki; Finnilä, Mikko A J; Voutilainen, Liina; Itämies, Juhani; Kärjä, Vesa; Saarela, Seppo; Halonen, Toivo; Aho, Jari; Mustonen, Anne-Mari
The dynamics of animal populations are greatly influenced by interactions with their natural enemies and food resources. However, quantifying the relative effects of these factors on demographic rates remains a perpetual challenge for animal population ecology. Food scarcity is assumed to limit the growth and to initiate the decline of cyclic herbivore populations, but this has not been verified with physiological health indices. We hypothesized that individuals in declining populations would exhibit signs of malnutrition-induced deterioration of physiological condition. We evaluated the association of body condition with population cycle phase in bank voles (Myodes glareolus) during the increase and decline phases of a population cycle. The bank voles had lower body masses, condition indices and absolute masses of particular organs during the decline. Simultaneously, they had lower femoral masses, mineral contents and densities. Hemoglobin and hematocrit values and several parameters known to respond to food deprivation were unaffected by the population phase. There were no signs of lymphopenia, eosinophilia, granulocytosis or monocytosis. Erythrocyte counts were higher and plasma total protein levels and tissue proportions of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids lower in the population decline. Ectoparasite load was lower and adrenal gland masses or catecholamine concentrations did not suggest higher stress levels. Food availability seems to limit the size of voles during the decline but they can adapt to the prevailing conditions without clear deleterious health effects. This highlights the importance of quantifying individual health state when evaluating the effects of complex trophic interactions on the dynamics of wild animal populations.
The case of Yugoslavia since World War 2 generally confirms the find ings of Coale and Hoover some 15 years ago that a declining population gives a developing society a chance to grow at a more rapid rate because less of the gross national product is devoted to merely maintaining the status quo. However, until recently insufficient attention was paid to the long-term effects of rapid population growth plus underdevelopment, namely, surplus labor and unemployment. Yugoslavia is currently suffereing the aftereffects of a history of labor surplus caused by high birthrates, especially in the southern Moslem regions. The birthrate was as high as 35/1000 until 1927, took a downward turn during the depression, falling to 26/1000 in 1939, became even more depressed during World War 2, then reached 26-30/1000 in the postwar years. After 1957 a steady decline set in. The rate was around 18/1000 in the early 1970s. Because of the underdeveloped, highly agrarian economy, Yugoslavia has traditionally been a source of abundant labor and emigration. Statistical data has been either nonexistent or unreliable, but there have been self-evident differences in the size of individual cohorts which have had definite bearing on the working-age population. Following World War 2 the country changed from a predominantly peasant, subsistence economy to an industrial socialist society. There has been a steady decline in the participation rate in the work force, from an estimated 46.5% in 1948 to 43.3% in 1971, primarily due to increased education, declining child labor, and greater retirement among older workers. However, the growth of the working-age group was faster than that of the total population because of the high postwar birthrates. Th ere was significant increase in employment from 1,517,000 in 1948 to 4,034,000 in 1971. At the same time the agricultural labor force decrea sed from 70% of total employment to 48%. Despite the industrial growth, in 1971 there were over 290
Brüniche-Olsen, Anna; Jones, Menna E; Austin, Jeremy J; Burridge, Christopher P; Holland, Barbara R
The Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) was widespread in Australia during the Late Pleistocene but is now endemic to the island of Tasmania. Low genetic diversity combined with the spread of devil facial tumour disease have raised concerns for the species' long-term survival. Here, we investigate the origin of low genetic diversity by inferring the species' demographic history using temporal sampling with summary statistics, full-likelihood and approximate Bayesian computation methods. Our results show extensive population declines across Tasmania correlating with environmental changes around the last glacial maximum and following unstable climate related to increased 'El Niño-Southern Oscillation' activity.
Kauffman, Matthew J.; Schumaker, Brant A.; Lindzey, Frederick G.; Cook, Walter E.; Kreeger, Terry J.; Grogan, Ronald G.; Cornish, Todd E.
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an invariably fatal transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, and moose. Despite a 100% fatality rate, areas of high prevalence, and increasingly expanding geographic endemic areas, little is known about the population-level effects of CWD in deer. To investigate these effects, we tested the null hypothesis that high prevalence CWD did not negatively impact white-tailed deer population sustainability. The specific objectives of the study were to monitor CWD-positive and CWD-negative white-tailed deer in a high-prevalence CWD area longitudinally via radio-telemetry and global positioning system (GPS) collars. For the two populations, we determined the following: a) demographic and disease indices, b) annual survival, and c) finite rate of population growth (λ). The CWD prevalence was higher in females (42%) than males (28.8%) and hunter harvest and clinical CWD were the most frequent causes of mortality, with CWD-positive deer over-represented in harvest and total mortalities. Survival was significantly lower for CWD-positive deer and separately by sex; CWD-positive deer were 4.5 times more likely to die annually than CWD-negative deer while bucks were 1.7 times more likely to die than does. Population λ was 0.896 (0.859–0.980), which indicated a 10.4% annual decline. We show that a chronic disease that becomes endemic in wildlife populations has the potential to be population-limiting and the strong population-level effects of CWD suggest affected populations are not sustainable at high disease prevalence under current harvest levels. PMID:27575545
Edmunds, David; Kauffman, Matthew J.; Schumaker, Brant; Lindzey, Frederick G.; Cook, Walter; Kreeger, Terry J.; Grogan, Ronald; Cornish, Todd
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an invariably fatal transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, and moose. Despite a 100% fatality rate, areas of high prevalence, and increasingly expanding geographic endemic areas, little is known about the population-level effects of CWD in deer. To investigate these effects, we tested the null hypothesis that high prevalence CWD did not negatively impact white-tailed deer population sustainability. The specific objectives of the study were to monitor CWD-positive and CWD-negative white-tailed deer in a high-prevalence CWD area longitudinally via radio-telemetry and global positioning system (GPS) collars. For the two populations, we determined the following: a) demographic and disease indices, b) annual survival, and c) finite rate of population growth (λ). The CWD prevalence was higher in females (42%) than males (28.8%) and hunter harvest and clinical CWD were the most frequent causes of mortality, with CWD-positive deer over-represented in harvest and total mortalities. Survival was significantly lower for CWD-positive deer and separately by sex; CWD-positive deer were 4.5 times more likely to die annually than CWD-negative deer while bucks were 1.7 times more likely to die than does. Population λ was 0.896 (0.859–0.980), which indicated a 10.4% annual decline. We show that a chronic disease that becomes endemic in wildlife populations has the potential to be population-limiting and the strong population-level effects of CWD suggest affected populations are not sustainable at high disease prevalence under current harvest levels.
Edmunds, David R; Kauffman, Matthew J; Schumaker, Brant A; Lindzey, Frederick G; Cook, Walter E; Kreeger, Terry J; Grogan, Ronald G; Cornish, Todd E
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an invariably fatal transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, and moose. Despite a 100% fatality rate, areas of high prevalence, and increasingly expanding geographic endemic areas, little is known about the population-level effects of CWD in deer. To investigate these effects, we tested the null hypothesis that high prevalence CWD did not negatively impact white-tailed deer population sustainability. The specific objectives of the study were to monitor CWD-positive and CWD-negative white-tailed deer in a high-prevalence CWD area longitudinally via radio-telemetry and global positioning system (GPS) collars. For the two populations, we determined the following: a) demographic and disease indices, b) annual survival, and c) finite rate of population growth (λ). The CWD prevalence was higher in females (42%) than males (28.8%) and hunter harvest and clinical CWD were the most frequent causes of mortality, with CWD-positive deer over-represented in harvest and total mortalities. Survival was significantly lower for CWD-positive deer and separately by sex; CWD-positive deer were 4.5 times more likely to die annually than CWD-negative deer while bucks were 1.7 times more likely to die than does. Population λ was 0.896 (0.859-0.980), which indicated a 10.4% annual decline. We show that a chronic disease that becomes endemic in wildlife populations has the potential to be population-limiting and the strong population-level effects of CWD suggest affected populations are not sustainable at high disease prevalence under current harvest levels.
Benito-León, Julián; Louis, Elan D.; Bermejo-Pareja, Félix
Background It is not clear whether cognitive decline progresses more quickly in long sleepers than in short sleepers or than in participants with usual sleep duration. We assessed cognitive decline as a function of self-reported sleep duration in a prospective population-based cohort (NEDICES). Methods Participants were evaluated at baseline and 3 years later. Baseline demographic variables were recorded and participants indicated their daily sleep usual duration as the sum of nighttime sleep and daytime napping. The average daily total usual sleep duration was grouped into three categories: ≤5 hours (short sleepers), 6 to 8 hours (reference category), and ≥9 hours (long sleepers). At baseline and at follow-up, a 37-item version of the Mini-Mental State Examination (37-MMSE) was administered. Results The final sample, 2,715 participants (72.9±6.1 years), comprised 298 (11%) short sleepers, 1,086 (40%) long sleepers, and 1,331 (49%) in the reference group (6 to 8 hours). During the three year follow-up period, the 37-MMSE declined by 0.5±4.0 points in short sleepers, 0.6±4.3 points in long sleepers, and 0.2±3.8 points in the reference group (p=0.08). The difference between short sleepers and the reference group was not significant (p=0.142); however, the difference between long sleepers and the reference group was significant (p=0.040). In analyses adjusted for baseline age and other potential confounders, this difference remained robust. Conclusions In this study, cognitive test scores among long sleepers declined more rapidly than observed in a reference group. Additional studies are needed to confirm these results. PMID:24094933
Cartwright, Samantha J; Nicoll, Malcolm A C; Jones, Carl G; Tatayah, Vikash; Norris, Ken
Habitat conversion for agriculture is a major driver of biodiversity loss, but our understanding of the demographic processes involved remains poor. We typically investigate the impacts of agriculture in isolation even though populations are likely to experience multiple, concurrent changes in the environment (e.g. land and climate change). Drivers of environmental change may interact to affect demography, but the mechanisms have yet to be explored fully in wild populations.Here, we investigate the mechanisms linking agricultural land use with breeding success using long-term data for the formerly Critically Endangered Mauritius kestrel Falco punctatus, a tropical forest specialist that also occupies agricultural habitats. We specifically focused on the relationship between breeding success, agriculture and the timing of breeding because the latter is sensitive to changes in climatic conditions (spring rainfall) and enables us to explore the interactive effects of different (land and climate) drivers of environmental change.Breeding success, measured as egg survival to fledging, declines seasonally in this population, but we found that the rate of this decline became increasingly rapid as the area of agriculture around a nest site increased. If the relationship between breeding success and agriculture was used in isolation to estimate the demographic impact of agriculture, it would significantly under-estimate breeding success in dry (early) springs and over-estimate breeding success in wet (late) springs.Analysis of prey delivered to nests suggests that the relationship between breeding success and agriculture might be due, in part, to spatial variation in the availability of native, arboreal geckos.Synthesis and applications. Agriculture modifies the seasonal decline in breeding success in this population. As springs are becoming wetter in our study area and since the kestrels breed later in wetter springs, the impact of agriculture on breeding success will
Background Brucella is a group of bacteria that causes brucellosis, which can affect population health and reproductive success in many marine mammals. We investigated the serological prevalence of antibodies against Brucella bacteria in a declining harbor seal population in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska. Results Prevalence ranged from 16 to 74 percent for those tests detecting antibodies, indicating that harbor seals in Glacier Bay have been exposed to Brucella bacteria. However, the actual level of serological prevalence could not be determined because results were strongly assay-dependent. Conclusions This study reinforces the need to carefully consider assay choice when comparing different studies on the prevalence of anti–Brucella antibodies in pinnipeds and further highlights the need for species- or taxon-specific assay validation for both pathogen and host species. PMID:23324565
Saino, Nicola; Ambrosini, Roberto; Rubolini, Diego; von Hardenberg, Jost; Provenzale, Antonello; Hüppop, Kathrin; Hüppop, Ommo; Lehikoinen, Aleksi; Lehikoinen, Esa; Rainio, Kalle; Romano, Maria; Sokolov, Leonid
Climate is changing at a fast pace, causing widespread, profound consequences for living organisms. Failure to adjust the timing of life-cycle events to climate may jeopardize populations by causing ecological mismatches to the life cycle of other species and abiotic factors. Population declines of some migratory birds breeding in Europe have been suggested to depend on their inability to adjust migration phenology so as to keep track of advancement of spring events at their breeding grounds. In fact, several migrants have advanced their spring arrival date, but whether such advancement has been sufficient to compensate for temporal shift in spring phenophases or, conversely, birds have become ecologically mismatched, is still an unanswered question, with very few exceptions. We used a novel approach based on accumulated winter and spring temperatures (degree-days) as a proxy for timing of spring biological events to test if the progress of spring at arrival to the breeding areas by 117 European migratory bird species has changed over the past five decades. Migrants, and particularly those wintering in sub-Saharan Africa, now arrive at higher degree-days and may have therefore accumulated a 'thermal delay', thus possibly becoming increasingly mismatched to spring phenology. Species with greater 'thermal delay' have shown larger population decline, and this evidence was not confounded by concomitant ecological factors or by phylogenetic effects. These findings provide general support to the largely untested hypotheses that migratory birds are becoming ecologically mismatched and that failure to respond to climate change can have severe negative impacts on their populations. The novel approach we adopted can be extended to the analysis of ecological consequences of phenological response to climate change by other taxa.
Almberg, Emily S.; Cross, Paul C.; Johnson, Christopher J.; Heisey, Dennis M.; Richards, Bryan J.
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal disease of deer, elk, and moose transmitted through direct, animal-to-animal contact, and indirectly, via environmental contamination. Considerable attention has been paid to modeling direct transmission, but despite the fact that CWD prions can remain infectious in the environment for years, relatively little information exists about the potential effects of indirect transmission on CWD dynamics. In the present study, we use simulation models to demonstrate how indirect transmission and the duration of environmental prion persistence may affect epidemics of CWD and populations of North American deer. Existing data from Colorado, Wyoming, and Wisconsin's CWD epidemics were used to define plausible short-term outcomes and associated parameter spaces. Resulting long-term outcomes range from relatively low disease prevalence and limited host-population decline to host-population collapse and extinction. Our models suggest that disease prevalence and the severity of population decline is driven by the duration that prions remain infectious in the environment. Despite relatively low epidemic growth rates, the basic reproductive number, R0, may be much larger than expected under the direct-transmission paradigm because the infectious period can vastly exceed the host's life span. High prion persistence is expected to lead to an increasing environmental pool of prions during the early phases (i.e. approximately during the first 50 years) of the epidemic. As a consequence, over this period of time, disease dynamics will become more heavily influenced by indirect transmission, which may explain some of the observed regional differences in age and sex-specific disease patterns. This suggests management interventions, such as culling or vaccination, will become increasingly less effective as CWD epidemics progress.
Vedak, Tejal Kanhaiya; Ganwir, Vaishali; Shah, Arun B.; Pinto, Charles; Lele, Vikram R.; Subramanyam, Alka; Shah, Hina; Deo, Sudha Shrikant
Objectives: Very few studies in India have addressed the role of vitamin D in cognitive function. The present study was conducted to assess the serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and its association with markers of cognitive impairment and homocysteine levels in the elderly Indian population. Materials and Methods: The study population consisted of patients with dementia (Group A, n = 32), mild cognitive impairment (MCI; Group B, n = 24), and elderly age-matched controls (Group C, n = 30). Measurement of serum levels of 25(OH)D and total homocysteine were done. Results: Significant decreased concentration of 25(OH)D and increased concentration of homocysteine was observed. Association of serum levels of vitamin D with markers of cognitive decline as well as serum homocysteine levels was observed in patients with dementia and MCI when compared to controls. Conclusion: Correlation of vitamin D with markers of cognitive decline and homocysteine opens a new door for early diagnosis of cognitive impairment. PMID:26425010
Gelatt, Thomas S.; Siniff, Donald B.; Estes, James A.
Time budgets of predators may reflect population status if time spent foraging varies with local prey abun- dance. We assumed that the sea otter (Enhydra lutris) population at Amchitka Island, Alaska, USA, had been at equilibrium since the early 1960s and collected time budgets of otters to be used to represent future conditions of currently expanding sea otter populations. We used radiotelemetry to monitor activity-time budgets of otters from August 1992 to March 1994. Sea otter activity was directly linked to sex, age, weather condition, season, and time of day. Sea otters differed in percent time foraging among cohorts but not within cohorts. Percent time foraging ranged from 21% for females with very young (≤ 3weeks of age) dependent pups to 52% for females with old (≥10 weeks of age) pups. Otters foraged more and hauled out more as local sea conditions worsened. Adult males spent less time foraging during winter and spring, consistent with seasonal changes in prey selection. Time spent for- aging was similar to that reported for otters in California and an established population in Prince William Sound, Alaska, but greater than that of otters in recently established populations in Oregon and Alaska. Despite current evidence indicating that the population was in decline during our study, we were unable to recognize this change using time budgets. Our results illustrate the importance of stratifying analyses of activity patterns by age and sex cohorts and the complexity inherent in comparisons of behavioral data between different populations relying on distinct prey bases.
Schwartz, Mark W.; Hermann, Sharon M.; van Mantgem, Phillip J.
The Florida torreya ( Torreya taxifolia) is a coniferous tree endemic to a 35-km stretch of bluffs and ravines along the east side of the Apalachicola River in northern Florida and southern Georgia. This formerly locally abundant tree has declined as a result of disease during the 1950s and is on the U.S. endangered species list. With no seed production in the wild, this species is headed toward extinction. We conducted a survey on roughly 200 trees from 1988 to 1996 and used these data to estimate the likelihood of population persistence during the next several decades. We compared a stage-class transition matrix model ( RAMAS) and an individual-based stochastic model ( TORSIM) of growth and mortality to project future populations. Given the current lack of seed production in the wild, all models predict extinction. The question of concern is the imminence of this predicted extinction. Differing predicted times to extinction would suggest different immediate management recommendations. Both models predicted an over 90% likelihood of persistence during the next 50 years. Predictions differed in that the transition matrix model was less optimistic than the individual-based model regarding persistence. Model sensitivity analysis showed that the results were robust to significant decreases in growth and sprouting probabilities. Submodels identified different persistence likelihoods in different populations. Nonetheless, unless management of the population can facilitate maturation and seed production, extinction of this species in the wild is inevitable.
Banks, Sam C.; Lindenmayer, David B.; Wood, Jeff T.; McBurney, Lachlan; Blair, David; Blyton, Michaela D. J.
Species in many ecosystems are facing declines of key resources. If we are to understand and predict the effects of resource loss on natural populations, we need to understand whether and how the way animals use resources changes under resource decline. We investigated how the abundance of arboreal marsupials varies in response to a critical resource, hollow-bearing trees. Principally, we asked what mechanisms mediate the relationship between resources and abundance? Do animals use a greater or smaller proportion of the remaining resource, and is there a change in cooperative resource use (den sharing), as the availability of hollow trees declines? Analyses of data from 160 sites surveyed from 1997 to 2007 showed that hollow tree availability was positively associated with abundance of the mountain brushtail possum, the agile antechinus and the greater glider. The abundance of Leadbeater’s possum was primarily influenced by forest age. Notably, the relationship between abundance and hollow tree availability was significantly less than 1∶1 for all species. This was due primarily to a significant increase by all species in the proportional use of hollow-bearing trees where the abundance of this resource was low. The resource-sharing response was weaker and inconsistent among species. Two species, the mountain brushtail possum and the agile antechinus, showed significant but contrasting relationships between the number of animals per occupied tree and hollow tree abundance. The discrepancies between the species can be explained partly by differences in several aspects of the species’ biology, including body size, types of hollows used and social behaviour as it relates to hollow use. Our results show that individual and social aspects of resource use are not always static in response to resource availability and support the need to account for dynamic resource use patterns in predictive models of animal distribution and abundance. PMID:23320100
Banks, Sam C; Lindenmayer, David B; Wood, Jeff T; McBurney, Lachlan; Blair, David; Blyton, Michaela D J
Species in many ecosystems are facing declines of key resources. If we are to understand and predict the effects of resource loss on natural populations, we need to understand whether and how the way animals use resources changes under resource decline. We investigated how the abundance of arboreal marsupials varies in response to a critical resource, hollow-bearing trees. Principally, we asked what mechanisms mediate the relationship between resources and abundance? Do animals use a greater or smaller proportion of the remaining resource, and is there a change in cooperative resource use (den sharing), as the availability of hollow trees declines? Analyses of data from 160 sites surveyed from 1997 to 2007 showed that hollow tree availability was positively associated with abundance of the mountain brushtail possum, the agile antechinus and the greater glider. The abundance of Leadbeater's possum was primarily influenced by forest age. Notably, the relationship between abundance and hollow tree availability was significantly less than 1:1 for all species. This was due primarily to a significant increase by all species in the proportional use of hollow-bearing trees where the abundance of this resource was low. The resource-sharing response was weaker and inconsistent among species. Two species, the mountain brushtail possum and the agile antechinus, showed significant but contrasting relationships between the number of animals per occupied tree and hollow tree abundance. The discrepancies between the species can be explained partly by differences in several aspects of the species' biology, including body size, types of hollows used and social behaviour as it relates to hollow use. Our results show that individual and social aspects of resource use are not always static in response to resource availability and support the need to account for dynamic resource use patterns in predictive models of animal distribution and abundance.
Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Sanders-Reed, Carol A.; Szymanski, Jennifer; Pruitt, Lori; Runge, Michael C.
Demographic characteristics of bats are often insufficiently described for modeling populations. In data poor situations, experts are often relied upon for characterizing ecological systems. In concert with the development of a matrix model describing Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) demography, we elicited estimates for parameterizing this model from 12 experts. We conducted this elicitation in two stages, requesting expert values for 12 demographic rates. These rates were adult and juvenile seasonal (winter, summer, fall) survival rates, pup survival in fall, and propensity and success at breeding. Experts were most in agreement about adult fall survival (3% Coefficient of Variation) and least in agreement about propensity of juveniles to breed (37% CV). The experts showed greater concordance for adult ( mean CV, adult = 6.2%) than for juvenile parameters ( mean CV, juvenile = 16.4%), and slightly more agreement for survival (mean CV, survival = 9.8%) compared to reproductive rates ( mean CV, reproduction = 15.1%). However, survival and reproduction were negatively and positively biased, respectively, relative to a stationary dynamic. Despite the species exhibiting near stationary dynamics for two decades prior to the onset of a potential extinction-causing agent, white-nose syndrome, expert estimates indicated a population decline of -11% per year (95% CI = -2%, -20%); quasi-extinction was predicted within a century ( mean = 61 years to QE, range = 32, 97) by 10 of the 12 experts. Were we to use these expert estimates in our modeling efforts, we would have errantly trained our models to a rapidly declining demography asymptomatic of recent demographic behavior. While experts are sometimes the only source of information, a clear understanding of the temporal and spatial context of the information being elicited is necessary to guard against wayward predictions.
The population change in China in feudal times did not follow a continuous curve of growth, instead, it featured steady increases and sharp declines in the population size. The following mechanism caused the growth in population. 1st, the traditional farming system stimulated the reproduction of children to meet the needs for labor power, especially male. 2nd, in the feudal society, land and people were important resources for tax collection and for expansion of territory. And the government often followed a pronatal population policy. 3rd, the cultural tradition and social values of the country have been in favor of large families. Carrying on family lineage and improving family status through many children were important social values. Households with 3 or 4 generations living together were a major form of family structure. These were the factors that contributed to high fertility and population growth. In terms of causes of reduction of population size, it was principally wars and famine. In the feudal history of China, land ownership was always the key issue in the government policy and regulations and in the change of dynasty. Land was the most important and reliable means of production and form of wealth. Polarization of wealth from ownership of land intensified the conflicts between social classes, which caused instability in economics and in the society. War was a manifestation of social instability. In all the dynasties, incessant wars because of struggles within power structures and rebellion from peasants to fight against oppression resulted in massive killings, devastated the economy, and caused drastic reductions in the population numbers. Similar to wars, famine and natural calamities in the imperial dynasties often reversed the population growth trend. In a peasant economy, production was individualized, and the social structure was loose. The minimal means of rural farming families were unable to resist natural disasters. Under severe exploitation
Collins, B.M.; Williams, C.K.; Castelli, Paul M.
Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) populations have been declining throughout their range, but some of the sharpest declines have been documented in the Mid-Atlantic states. We conducted a 2 year (2006-2007) breeding season (1 May-30 Sep) telemetry study in southern New Jersey to collect baseline data on Northern Bobwhite reproductive rates, and nest and brood microhabitat selection. We located 23 Northern Bobwhite nests, of which 21 were usable for survival analyses. Incubation-period nest survival rate was 0.454 ?? 0.010 (95 CI =0.2800.727). Mean clutch size was 14.2 ?? 0.58 (range 10-19, n = 20) and hatching success was 96.1 ?? 2.0 (range 86-100%, n = 10). The estimated probability that an individual that entered the breeding season would initiate incubation of ???1 nest was 0.687 for females and 0.202 for males. Nest microhabitat selection was positively related to visual obstruction and percentage of litter. Brood microhabitat selection was positively related to visual obstruction, vegetation height, and percentage of forbs but negatively related to percentage of cool season grass and litter. Fecundity metrics for Northern Bobwhites in southern New Jersey appear similar to those reported elsewhere in the species' range. Conservation efforts to increase Northern Bobwhite reproductive success in southern New Jersey should focus on increasing the quantity of available breeding habitat. ?? 2009 by the Wilson Ornithological Society.
Blaustein, Andrew R; Gervasi, Stephanie S; Johnson, Pieter T J; Hoverman, Jason T; Belden, Lisa K; Bradley, Paul W; Xie, Gisselle Y
Infectious diseases are intimately associated with the dynamics of biodiversity. However, the role that infectious disease plays within ecological communities is complex. The complex effects of infectious disease at the scale of communities and ecosystems are driven by the interaction between host and pathogen. Whether or not a given host-pathogen interaction results in progression from infection to disease is largely dependent on the physiological characteristics of the host within the context of the external environment. Here, we highlight the importance of understanding the outcome of infection and disease in the context of host ecophysiology using amphibians as a model system. Amphibians are ideal for such a discussion because many of their populations are experiencing declines and extinctions, with disease as an important factor implicated in many declines and extinctions. Exposure to pathogens and the host's responses to infection can be influenced by many factors related to physiology such as host life history, immunology, endocrinology, resource acquisition, behaviour and changing climates. In our review, we discuss the relationship between disease and biodiversity. We highlight the dynamics of three amphibian host-pathogen systems that induce different effects on hosts and life stages and illustrate the complexity of amphibian-host-parasite systems. We then review links between environmental stress, endocrine-immune interactions, disease and climate change.
Rocke, T.E.; Yuill, Thomas M.
A survey was conducted at 5 locations in Texas for avian pathogens that might adversely affect wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) productivity and survival. At 1 site, the Rob and Bessie Welder Wildlife Refuge (WWR), turkeys have declined precipitously in recent years. During the winters of 1983-85, 442 wild turkeys were caught with cannon and drop nets, 161 of these on WWR. Blood samples were drawn for serologic evaluation, and cloacal and tracheal swabs were collected for isolation attempts. Salmonella spp. bacteria, Newcastle disease virus (NDV), and avian influenza virus (AIV) were not detected in any samples tested. Serologic tests for antibodies to NDV and AIV also were negative. Many mycoplasma isolates were recovered from turkeys from every location. Characterization of these isolates indicated that several species were present. None were species typically associated with mycoplasmosis in domestic turkeys, such as Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), M. meleagridis (MM), or M. synoviae (MS), although antibodies to these pathogens were detected in turkeys at every location sampled. There was no evidence to link any of these disease causing agents to the decline observed in the population of wild turkeys on the WWR.
Blaustein, Andrew R.; Gervasi, Stephanie S.; Johnson, Pieter T. J.; Hoverman, Jason T.; Belden, Lisa K.; Bradley, Paul W.; Xie, Gisselle Y.
Infectious diseases are intimately associated with the dynamics of biodiversity. However, the role that infectious disease plays within ecological communities is complex. The complex effects of infectious disease at the scale of communities and ecosystems are driven by the interaction between host and pathogen. Whether or not a given host–pathogen interaction results in progression from infection to disease is largely dependent on the physiological characteristics of the host within the context of the external environment. Here, we highlight the importance of understanding the outcome of infection and disease in the context of host ecophysiology using amphibians as a model system. Amphibians are ideal for such a discussion because many of their populations are experiencing declines and extinctions, with disease as an important factor implicated in many declines and extinctions. Exposure to pathogens and the host's responses to infection can be influenced by many factors related to physiology such as host life history, immunology, endocrinology, resource acquisition, behaviour and changing climates. In our review, we discuss the relationship between disease and biodiversity. We highlight the dynamics of three amphibian host–pathogen systems that induce different effects on hosts and life stages and illustrate the complexity of amphibian–host–parasite systems. We then review links between environmental stress, endocrine–immune interactions, disease and climate change. PMID:22566676
Becker, C Guilherme; Fonseca, Carlos R; Haddad, Célio F B; Prado, Paulo I
Most amphibian species have biphasic life histories and undergo an ontogenetic shift from aquatic to terrestrial habitats. In deforested landscapes, streams and forest fragments are frequently disjunct, jeopardizing the life cycle of forest-associated amphibians with aquatic larvae. We tested the impact of habitat split--defined as human-induced disconnection between habitats used by different life-history stages of a species--on four forest-associated amphibian species in a severely fragmented landscape of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. We surveyed amphibians in forest fragments with and without streams (referred to as wet and dry fragments, respectively), including the adjacent grass-field matrix. Our comparison of capture rates in dry fragments and nearby streams in the matrix allowed us to evaluate the number of individuals that engaged in high-risk migrations through nonforested habitats. Adult amphibians moved from dry fragments to matrix streams at the beginning of the rainy season, reproduced, and returned at the end of the breeding period. Juveniles of the year moved to dry fragments along with adults. These risky reproductive migrations through nonforested habitats that expose individuals to dehydration, predation, and other hazards may cause population declines in dry fragments. Indeed, capture rates were significantly lower in dry fragments compared with wet fragments. Declining amphibians would strongly benefit from investments in the conservation and restoration of riparian vegetation and corridors linking breeding and nonbreeding areas.
Kidoura, Shigezane; Takahashi, Masahiro
In Japan, sanitation coverage is exceeded 70% and sanitary conditions have improved. However in the future, these facilities need to be rebuilt. For that, much money will be needed. On the other hand, prolonged population decrease is predicted in Japan, so it is feared that unsound management caused by the declining of sewerage charge. In this study, costs required for the future were calculated by targeting Asahikawa, Hokkaido Prefecture which is already served by sewerage treatment system. As a result, it was found that maintaining of current sewage treatment system would be cheaper than introduction of novel individual treatment system in Asahikawa. In addition, it was turned out that cost reduction is possible in the case of rebuilding sewage pipe efficiently than maintaining the status quo.
The two largest Atlantic Forest remnants in the state of Espírito Santo, eastern Brazil, namely 'Reserva Biológica de Sooretama' (REBIO Sooretama) and 'Reserva Natural Vale' (RNV), were surveyed for their orchid-bee faunas. Seventeen scent baits were used to attract orchid-bee males. Three-thousand, two hundred and twenty-five males belonging to 24 species were actively collected with insect nets during 100 hours in March, April and December, 2009. In comparison with a previous study in the same area twelve years before, it is evident that the abundance of all forest-dependent orchid bees analysed declined around 50%, and it was statistically significant (P = 0.022) for Euglossa marianae Nemésio, 2011, the most sensitive to anthropogenic disturbances of all Atlantic Forest orchid bees. On the other hand, the abundance of populations of species tolerant to open or disturbed areas rose. Possible explanations are discussed.
Steinführer, Annett; Bierzynski, Adam; Grossmann, Katrin; Haase, Annegret; Kabisch, Sigrun; Klusácek, Petr
The evolving debate on "urban shrinkage" mirrors an increasing interest in demographic phenomena on the part of urban scholars. This paper discusses ambiguous evidence about recent population decline in the large cities of Poland and the Czech Republic, with a particular focus on Łódz and Brno in general and their inner cities more specifically. By applying a mixed-method approach, the paper identifies indications of inner-city repopulation and socio-demographic diversification which are not yet apparent in register or census data. It is argued that there are indications of a silent transformation of traditional residential patterns and neighbourhoods in east central Europe. In the inner cities, this is reflected, amongst other things, by the presence of new households that may be called "transitory urbanites".
The Third International UN Conference on Population and Development took place in Cairo in early September 1994 with the participation of 200 governments and 1000 nongovernmental organizations to discuss ways of stabilizing world population at the possible lowest level and how industrialized countries could contribute to this effort. As a consequence of the advances in reproductive medicine the use of contraceptives skyrocketed: in 1994 more than half of men and women were using contraception compared to only 5% in 1950. However, the demographic momentum would still increase world population for another 100 years, even if fertility would drop to 2.2 children per couple (compared to 4 children in 1990). Nevertheless, the present generation could be instrumental in deciding whether the world's population will remain around 8 billion or reach 12 billion between 2050 and 2150. Poor countries can no longer afford an annual growth rate of 2-4% while also trying to improve living standards; this would require an economic growth rate of 6-8%. For the control of population growth both a sustainable environmental policy in the North, with rapid transition to renewable energy and recycling, and a more effective population policy in the South are needed. Family planning (FP) is the precondition of stabilization. The global FP outlays are envisioned to double from the 1994 figure of $5 billion to over $10 billion in the year 2000, with donor contributions to increase from 20% to 40% of the total. The US contribution is to double from $500 million by 2000, while the European Commission decided to boost expenditures for FP from DM 30 million in 1994 to DM 600 million by 2000. Japan is also expending $3 billion during this period. Recent promising developments have emerged: national pronatalist policies have diminished sharply and the pronatalist influence of religions has also declined. Political commitment at the highest level is central to a successful population policy as
McCauley, Douglas J; McLean, Kevin A; Bauer, John; Young, Hillary S; Micheli, Fiorenza
Accurately surveying shark populations is critical to monitoring precipitous ongoing declines in shark abundance and interpreting the effects that these reductions are having on ecosystems. To evaluate the effectiveness of existing survey tools, we used field trials and computer simulations to critically examine the operation of four common methods for counting coastal sharks: stationary point counts, belt transects, video surveys, and mark and recapture abundance estimators. Empirical and theoretical results suggest that (1) survey method selection has a strong impact on the estimates of shark density that are produced, (2) standardizations by survey duration are needed to properly interpret and compare survey outputs, (3) increasing survey size does not necessarily increase survey precision, and (4) methods that yield the highest density estimates are not always the most accurate. These findings challenge some of the assumptions traditionally associated with surveying mobile marine animals. Of the methods we trialed, 8 x 50 m belt transects and a 20 m radius point count produced the most accurate estimates of shark density. These findings can help to improve the ways we monitor, manage, and understand the ecology of globally imperiled coastal shark populations.
Flockhart, D T Tyler; Pichancourt, Jean-Baptiste; Norris, D Ryan; Martin, Tara G
Threats to migratory animals can occur at multiple periods of the annual cycle that are separated by thousands of kilometres and span international borders. Populations of the iconic monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) of eastern North America have declined over the last 21 years. Three hypotheses have been posed to explain the decline: habitat loss on the overwintering grounds in Mexico, habitat loss on the breeding grounds in the United States and Canada, and extreme weather events. Our objectives were to assess population viability, determine which life stage, season and geographical region are contributing the most to population dynamics and test the three hypotheses that explain the observed population decline. We developed a spatially structured, stochastic and density-dependent periodic projection matrix model that integrates patterns of migratory connectivity and demographic vital rates across the annual cycle. We used perturbation analysis to determine the sensitivity of population abundance to changes in vital rate among life stages, seasons and geographical regions. Next, we compared the singular effects of each threat to the full model where all factors operate concurrently. Finally, we generated predictions to assess the risk of host plant loss as a result of genetically modified crops on current and future monarch butterfly population size and extinction probability. Our year-round population model predicted population declines of 14% and a quasi-extinction probability (<1000 individuals) >5% within a century. Monarch abundance was more than four times more sensitive to perturbations of vital rates on the breeding grounds than on the wintering grounds. Simulations that considered only forest loss or climate change in Mexico predicted higher population sizes compared to milkweed declines on the breeding grounds. Our model predictions also suggest that mitigating the negative effects of genetically modified crops results in higher population size and
Vemuri, Prashanthi; Lesnick, Timothy G.; Przybelski, Scott A.; Machulda, Mary; Knopman, David S.; Mielke, Michelle M.; Roberts, Rosebud O.; Geda, Yonas E.; Rocca, Walter A.; Petersen, Ronald C.; Jack, Clifford R.
IMPORTANCE Intellectual lifestyle enrichment throughout life is increasingly viewed as a protective strategy against commonly observed cognitive decline in the elderly. OBJECTIVE To investigate the association of lifetime intellectual enrichment with baseline cognitive performance and rate of cognitive decline in a non-demented elderly population and to estimate difference (in years) associated with lifetime intellectual enrichment to the onset of cognitive impairment. DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS Prospective analysis of subjects enrolled in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging (MCSA), a longitudinal population-based study of cognitive aging in Olmsted County, Minnesota. We studied 1995 non-demented (1718 cognitively normal, 277 MCI) participants in MCSA who completed intellectual lifestyle measures at baseline and underwent at least one follow-up visit. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES We studied the effect of lifetime intellectual enrichment by separating the variables into two non-overlapping principal components: education/occupation-score and mid/late-life cognitive activity measure based on self-report questionnaires. A global cognitive Z-score served as our summary cognition measure. We used linear mixed-effects models to investigate the associations of demographic and intellectual enrichment measures with global cognitive Z-score trajectories. RESULTS Baseline cognitive performance was lower in older subjects and in those with lower education/occupation, lower mid/late-life cognitive activity, apolipoprotein E4 (APOE) genotype, and in men. The interaction between the two intellectual enrichment measures was significant such that the beneficial effect of mid/late-life cognitive activity on baseline cognitive performance was reduced with increasing education/occupation. Only baseline age, mid/late-life cognitive activity, and APOE4 genotype were significantly associated with longitudinal change in cognitive performance from baseline. For APOE4 carriers with high
Murray, D.L.; Cox, E.W.; Ballard, W.B.; Whitlaw, H.A.; Lenarz, M.S.; Custer, T.W.; Barnett, T.; Fuller, T.K.
Several potential proximate causes may be implicated in a recent (post-1984) decline in moose (Alces alces andersoni) numbers at their southern range periphery in northwest Minnesota, USA. These causes include deleterious effects of infectious pathogens, some of which are associated with white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), negative effects of climate change, increased food competition with deer or moose, legal or illegal hunting, and increased predation by gray wolves (Canis lupus) and black bears (Ursus americanus). Long-standing factors that may have contributed to the moose decline include those typically associated with marginal habitat such as nutritional deficiencies. We examined survival and productivity among radiocollared (n = 152) adult female and juvenile moose in northwest Minnesota during 1995–2000, and assessed cause of death and pathology through carcass necropsy of radiocollared and non-radiocollared animals.Aerial moose surveys suggested that hunting was an unlikely source of the numerical decline because the level of harvest was relatively low (i.e., approx. 15% / 2 yr) and the population usually grew in years following a hunt. The majority of moose mortalities (up to 87% of radiocollared moose [n = 76] and up to 65% of non-radiocollared moose [n = 84]) were proximally related to pathology associated with parasites and infectious disease. Liver fluke (Fascioloides magna) infections apparently constituted the greatest single source of mortality and caused significant pathology in the liver, thoracic and peritoneal cavities, pericardial sac, and lungs. Mortality due to meningeal worm (Parelaphostrongylus tenuis) was less prevalent and was manifested through characteristic neurological disease. Several mortalities apparently were associated with unidentified infectious disease, probably acting in close association with malnutrition. Bone-marrow fat was lower for moose dying of natural causes than those dying of anthropogenic factors or
Summers, Ron W.; Foster, Simon; Swann, Bob; Etheridge, Brian
Declines in numbers by several wader species in Britain have been linked to climate change, but the mechanism for the declines has rarely been explored. Britain lies at the northern end of the East Atlantic Flyway, and supports 1.3 million out of the Flyway's 8.5 million coastal waders (Charadrii) in winter and the Purple Sandpiper is one of the species whose numbers have declined. Here, we examine the dynamics of the decline as observed in the Moray Firth, northeast Scotland, investigating whether the decline was due to poorer apparent survival (return rate) or poorer recruitment of young birds. The maximum number in the Moray Firth declined from 860 in 1987/88 to 236 in 2006/07, with some increase during winters 2007/08 and 2008/09. At the three main high-tide roosts (Balintore, Lossiemouth and Buckie) the maximum combined number declined from 574 to 90. Changes in survival and recruitment (percentage of first-year birds) were examined at these roosts from captured samples, which were ringed and recaptured. There were no significant changes between winters in survival rates, nor were there differences between the survival rates of age groups (first-year and adult) or bill size groups, which represented birds of different sex and breeding origin. Annual survival estimates for the three roosts ranged from 72 to 77%. The percentage of first-year birds varied among roosts and years; the lowest values were during the late 1980s/early 1990s and early 2000s. A free-running population model incorporating varying percentages of first-year birds and constant mortality for each roost provided a plausible explanation for the decline. Although modelled numbers followed the observed pattern, a discrepancy in one year was carried forward in subsequent years, so that the fit with the observed numbers was parallel rather than similar. However, it seems that the decline in numbers was largely due to poorer recruitment. We discuss whether breeding success had declined, whether the
Girard, Yvette A; Rogers, Krysta H; Woods, Leslie W; Chouicha, Nadira; Miller, Woutrina A; Johnson, Christine K
The Pacific Coast band-tailed pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata monilis) is a migratory game bird of North America that is at risk for population decline. Epidemics of avian trichomonosis caused by upper digestive tract infection with Trichomonas spp. protozoa in these and other doves and pigeons of the United States are sporadic, but can involve tens of thousands of birds in a single event. Herein, we analyze the role of trichomonosis in band-tailed pigeon mortality and relate spatial, temporal and demographic patterns of parasite transmission to the genetic background of the infecting organism. Infections were most common in adult birds and prevalence was high in band-tailed pigeons sampled at mortality events (96%) and rehabilitation centers (36%) compared to those that were hunter-killed (11%) or live-caught (4%). During non-epidemic periods, animals were primarily infected with T. gallinae Fe-hydrogenase subtype A2, and were less often infected with either T. gallinae subtype A1 (the British finch epidemic strain), T. stableri n. sp. (a T. vaginalis-like species), or Tritrichomonas blagburni n. sp.-like organisms. Birds sampled during multiple epidemics in California were only infected with T. gallinae subtype A2 and T. stableri. The non-clonal etiology of avian trichomonosis outbreaks in band-tailed pigeons and the risk of spill-over to raptor and passerine species highlights the need for additional studies that clarify the host range and evolutionary relationships between strains of Trichomonas spp. in regions of trichomonosis endemicity.
Crimmins, S.M.; Boma, P.; Thogmartin, W.E.
Conservationists are in need of objective metrics for prioritizing the management of habitats. For individual species, the threat of extinction is often used to prioritize what species are in need of conservation action. Using long-term monitoring data, we applied a Bayesian diffusion approximation to estimate quasi-extinction risk for 54 native fish species within six commercial navigation reaches along a 1350-km gradient of the upper Mississippi River system. We found a strong negative linear relationship between quasi-extinction risk and distance upstream. For some species, quasi-extinction estimates ranged from nearly zero in some reaches to one in others, suggesting substantial variability in threats facing individual river reaches. We found no evidence that species traits affected quasi-extinction risk across the entire system. Our results indicate that fishes within the upper Mississippi River system face localized threats that vary across river impact gradients. This suggests that conservation actions should be focused on local habitat scales but should also consider the additive effects on downstream conditions. We also emphasize the need for identification of proximate mechanisms behind observed and predicted population declines, as conservation actions will require mitigation of such mechanisms. Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
Bortleson, Gilbert C.; Fretwell, Marvin O.
Ten possible causes for this excessive enrichment in nutrients are described. Three of these hypotheses are suggested for immediate testing because of large-scale changes in nutrient loading that may have occurred as a result of man’s activities. These three hypotheses relate nutrient enrichment to (1) conversion of marshland to agricultural land, (2) agricultural drainage from the basin, and (3) reservoir regulation. Eleven possible hypothetical causes for the decline in sucker populations also are described. The decline in sucker population may be related to excessive nutrient enrichment (eutrophication) of the lake.
Lachish, S; Miller, K J; Storfer, A; Goldizen, A W; Jones, M E
Infectious disease has been shown to be a major cause of population declines in wild animals. However, there remains little empirical evidence on the genetic consequences of disease-mediated population declines, or how such perturbations might affect demographic processes such as dispersal. Devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) has resulted in the rapid decline of the Tasmanian devil, Sarcophilus harrisii, and threatens to cause extinction. Using 10 microsatellite DNA markers, we compared genetic diversity and structure before and after DFTD outbreaks in three Tasmanian devil populations to assess the genetic consequences of disease-induced population decline. We also used both genetic and demographic data to investigate dispersal patterns in Tasmanian devils along the east coast of Tasmania. We observed a significant increase in inbreeding (F(IS) pre/post-disease -0.030/0.012, P<0.05; relatedness pre/post-disease 0.011/0.038, P=0.06) in devil populations after just 2-3 generations of disease arrival, but no detectable change in genetic diversity. Furthermore, although there was no subdivision apparent among pre-disease populations (θ=0.005, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.003 to 0.017), we found significant genetic differentiation among populations post-disease (θ=0.020, 0.010-0.027), apparently driven by a combination of selection and altered dispersal patterns of females in disease-affected populations. We also show that dispersal is male-biased in devils and that dispersal distances follow a typical leptokurtic distribution. Our results show that disease can result in genetic and demographic changes in host populations over few generations and short time scales. Ongoing management of Tasmanian devils must now attempt to maintain genetic variability in this species through actions designed to reverse the detrimental effects of inbreeding and subdivision in disease-affected populations.
Meng, Hongzhe; Li, Xiaochen; Qiao, Penghai
Population genetic structure, historical biogeography and historical demography of the alpine toad Scutiger ningshanensis were studied using the combined data mtDNA cytochrome b (cyt b) and the mtDNA cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) as the molecular markers. This species has high genetic variation. There was a significant genetic differentiation among most populations. Three lineages were detected. The phylogenetic relationship analyses and the SAMOVA (spatial analysis of molecular variance) results showed significant phylogeographic structure. 82.15% genetic variation occurred among populations whereas differentiation within populations only contributed 17.85% to the total. Mantel test results showed a significant correlation between the pairwise calculated genetic distance and pairwise calculated geographical distance of the populations (regression coefficient = 0.001286, correlation coefficient = 0.77051, p (rrand≥robs) = 0.0185<0.05), indicating the existence of isolation-by-distance pattern of genetic divergence for cyt b + COI sequence, which suggests that the distribution of genetic variation is due to geographical separation rather than natural selection. The population expansion or contraction and genetic differentiation between populations or lineages could be explained by topography and the repetitive uplifts of the Tsinling Mountains and the climatic cycles during the late Pliocene and Pleistocene. S. ningshanensis experienced a rapid population expansion about 40,000 years before present. The current decline in population size was probably caused by anthropogenic disturbance. Current populations of S. ningshanensis are from different refugia though the location of these refugia could not be determined in our study. Topography, climatic changes and repetitive population expansion/contraction together led to the high level of genetic variation in S. ningshanensis. A total of three management units (MUs) was determined, which must be
Meng, Hongzhe; Li, Xiaochen; Qiao, Penghai
Population genetic structure, historical biogeography and historical demography of the alpine toad Scutiger ningshanensis were studied using the combined data mtDNA cytochrome b (cyt b) and the mtDNA cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) as the molecular markers. This species has high genetic variation. There was a significant genetic differentiation among most populations. Three lineages were detected. The phylogenetic relationship analyses and the SAMOVA (spatial analysis of molecular variance) results showed significant phylogeographic structure. 82.15% genetic variation occurred among populations whereas differentiation within populations only contributed 17.85% to the total. Mantel test results showed a significant correlation between the pairwise calculated genetic distance and pairwise calculated geographical distance of the populations (regression coefficient = 0.001286, correlation coefficient = 0.77051, p (rrand≥robs) = 0.0185<0.05), indicating the existence of isolation-by-distance pattern of genetic divergence for cyt b + COI sequence, which suggests that the distribution of genetic variation is due to geographical separation rather than natural selection. The population expansion or contraction and genetic differentiation between populations or lineages could be explained by topography and the repetitive uplifts of the Tsinling Mountains and the climatic cycles during the late Pliocene and Pleistocene. S. ningshanensis experienced a rapid population expansion about 40,000 years before present. The current decline in population size was probably caused by anthropogenic disturbance. Current populations of S. ningshanensis are from different refugia though the location of these refugia could not be determined in our study. Topography, climatic changes and repetitive population expansion/contraction together led to the high level of genetic variation in S. ningshanensis. A total of three management units (MUs) was determined, which must be
Pilliod, David S.; Richard D. Scherer,
Evaluating the effectiveness of habitat management actions is critical to adaptive management strategies for conservation of imperiled species. We quantified the response of a Great Basin population of the Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris) to multiple habitat improvement actions aimed to reduce threats and reverse population declines. We used mark-recapture data for 1,394 adult frogs that had been marked by state, federal, and university biologists in 9 ponds representing a single population over a 16-year period from 1997 to 2012. With the use of demographic models, we assessed population-level effects of 1) a grazing exclosure constructed around 6 stock ponds that had been used to water livestock for decades before being fully fenced in 2003, and 2) the construction of 3 new stock ponds in 2003 to provide alternative water sources for livestock and, secondarily, to provide additional frog habitat. These management actions were implemented in response to a decline of more than 80% in population size from 1997 to 2002. We found evidence that excluding cattle from ponds and surrounding riparian habitats resulted in higher levels of frog production (more egg masses), higher adult frog recruitment and survival, and higher population growth rate. We also found that frogs colonized the newly constructed stock ponds within 3 years and frogs began breeding in 2 of them after 5 years. The positive effects of the cattle exclosure and additional production from the new ponds, although notable, did not result in full recovery of the population even 9 years later. This slow recovery may be partly explained by the effects of weather on recruitment rates, particularly the negative effects of harsher winters with late springs and higher fall temperatures. Although our findings point to potential successes of habitat management aimed at slowing or reversing rapidly declining frog populations, our study also suggests that recovering from severe population declines can take
Dong, XinQi; Simon, Melissa; Fulmer, Terry; Mendes de Leon, Carlos F.; Rajan, Bharat; Evans, Denis A.
Purpose: This longitudinal study examines the association between physical function decline and the risk of elder self-neglect in a community-dwelling population. Design and Methods: Of the 5,570 participants in the Chicago Health Aging Project, 1,068 were reported to social services agency for suspected elder self-neglect from 1993 to 2005. The primary predictor was objectively assessed physical function using decline in physical performance testing. Secondary predictors were assessed using the decline in self-reported Katz, Nagi, and Rosow–Breslau scales. Outcome of interest was elder self-neglect. Logistic and linear regression models were used to assess these associations. Results: After adjusting for confounding factors, every 1-point decline in physical performance testing was associated with increased risk of reported elder self-neglect (odds ratio [OR], 1.05, confidence interval [CI], 1.03–1.07, p < .001). Decline in Katz (OR, 1.05, CI, 1.00–1.10, p < .05) and decline in Rosow–Breslau (OR, 1.19, CI, 1.11–1.27, p < .001) were associated with increased risk of reported elder self-neglect. Decline in physical performance testing (standardized parameter estimate [PE]: 0.19, SE: 0.06, p = .002), Katz (PE: 0.65, SE: 0.14, p < .001), Nagi (PE: 0.48, SE: 0.14, p < .001), and Rosow–Breslau (PE: 0.57, SE: 0.21, p = .006) scales were associated with increased risk of greater self-neglect severity. Implications: Decline in physical function was associated with increased risk of reported elder self-neglect and greater self-neglect severity in this community-dwelling population. PMID:20019180
Bacandritsos, N; Granato, A; Budge, G; Papanastasiou, I; Roinioti, E; Caldon, M; Falcaro, C; Gallina, A; Mutinelli, F
During June and July of 2009, sudden deaths, tremulous movements and population declines of adult honey bees were reported by the beekeepers in the region of Peloponnesus (Mt. Mainalo), Greece. A preliminary study was carried out to investigate these unexplained phenomena in this region. In total, 37 bee samples, two brood frames containing honey bee brood of various ages, eight sugar samples and four sugar patties were collected from the affected colonies. The samples were tested for a range of pests, pathogens and pesticides. Symptomatic adult honey bees tested positive for Varroa destructor, Nosema ceranae, Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV), Acute paralysis virus (ABPV), Deformed wing virus (DWV), Sacbrood virus (SBV) and Black queen cell virus (BQCV), but negative for Acarapis woodi. American Foulbrood was absent from the brood samples. Chemical analysis revealed that amitraz, thiametoxan, clothianidin and acetamiprid were all absent from symptomatic adult bees, sugar and sugar patty samples. However, some bee samples, were contaminated with imidacloprid in concentrations between 14 ng/g and 39 ng/g tissue. We present: the infection of Greek honey bees by multiple viruses; the presence of N. ceranae in Greek honey bees and the first record of imidacloprid (neonicotonoid) residues in Greek honey bee tissues. The presence of multiple pathogens and pesticides made it difficult to associate a single specific cause to the depopulation phenomena observed in Greece, although we believe that viruses and N. ceranae synergistically played the most important role. A follow-up in-depth survey across all Greek regions is required to provide context to these preliminary findings.
Dong, XinQi; Simon, Melissa; Fulmer, Terry; de Leon, Carlos F. Mendes; Rajan, Bharat; Evans, Denis A.
Purpose: This longitudinal study examines the association between physical function decline and the risk of elder self-neglect in a community-dwelling population. Design and Methods: Of the 5,570 participants in the Chicago Health Aging Project, 1,068 were reported to social services agency for suspected elder self-neglect from 1993 to 2005. The…
Airborne pesticides from the Central Valley of California have been implicated as a cause for population declines of several amphibian species, with the strongest evidence for the mountain yellow-legged frog complex (Rana muscosa and R. sierrae) in the Sierra Nevada. We measured...
Rovito, Sean M.; Parra-Olea, Gabriela; Vásquez-Almazán, Carlos R.; Papenfuss, Theodore J.; Wake, David B.
We document major declines of many species of salamanders at several sites in Central America and Mexico, with emphasis on the San Marcos region of Guatemala, one of the best studied and most diverse salamander communities in the Neotropics. Profound declines of several formerly abundant species, including 2 apparent extinctions, are revealed. Terrestrial microhabitat specialists at mid- to high elevations have declined more than microhabitat generalists. These terrestrial microhabitat specialists have largely disappeared from multiple sites in western Guatemala, including in well-protected areas, suggesting that the phenomenon cannot be explained solely by localized habitat destruction. Major declines in southern Mexican plethodontid salamanders occurred in the late 1970s to early 1980s, concurrent with or preceding many reported frog declines. The species in decline comprise several major evolutionary lineages of tropical salamanders, underscoring that significant portions of the phylogenetic diversity of Neotropical salamanders are at risk. Our results highlight the urgent need to document and understand Neotropical salamander declines as part of the larger effort to conserve global amphibian diversity. PMID:19204286
DelGiudice, Glenn D; Sampson, Barry A; Lenarz, Mark S; Schrage, Michael W; Edwards, Andrew J
Assessments of the condition of moose (Alces alces) may be particularly informative to understanding the dynamics of populations and other influential factors. During February-March 2003 to 2005, we assessed the nutritional condition of 79 moose (39 females, 40 males) in northeastern Minnesota by body condition scoring (BCS(F), scale of 0-10); 67 of these by were assessed by ultrasonographic measurements of rump fat (Maxfat), which was used to estimate ingesta-free body fat (IFBF) in all but two of the females. Scores of the BCS(F) were related (r(2)=0.34, P<0.0001) to Maxfat. Body condition scores were not affected by sex × capture-year, capture-year, or age-at-capture, but the mean body condition score of males (6.5 ± 0.2 [SE], n=40) was less (P ≤ 0.009) than that of females (7.4 ± 0.2, n=39). Overall, Maxfat ranged from 0.0 to 4.6 and 0.3 to 2.8 cm in females and males, respectively, and was unaffected by age-at-capture. There was a sex×capture-year effect (P=0.021) on Maxfat; mean values were stable for males during the winters of 2003 to 2005 but in females were lowest during 2003, consistent with the lowest pregnancy rates and lowest winter and spring survival compared to 2004 and 2005. Based on estimates of percent IFBF, late winter-early spring survival in 2003 of at least 11% of the collared animals assessed by Maxfat, 21% of the adult females, specifically, may have been seriously challenged directly by poor condition. Data from this study provide reference values and assessments of body condition of moose that will be an essential component of the additional, comprehensive research needed to better understand the influence of extrinsic and intrinsic factors on the performance of this viable, but declining, population. For future research, we will concentrate on developing a more-reliable BCS which would allow IFBF estimation once rump fat is depleted.
The historical processes of secular fertility decline in Spain and Portugal are not well understood. Very few microdemographic studies of small geographic regions or particular social strata have been done. A contribution by David Reher to the First Spanish-Portuguese-Italian Historical Demography Conference on the fertility decline in the interior province of Cuenca, Spain, uses the own-children method to analyze changes in marital fertility in the 19th and 20th centuries. Reher discovered a slight fertility decline of perhaps 15% which occurred between the end of the 18th century and 1860-75. The fertility decline did not resume until after the Spanish Civil War, and then it was a very gradual and continuous process. When instead of the total female population, women aged 35-39 were studied, unequivocal signs of fertility control appeared. Conscious fertility control thus appears to have begun among older women limiting rather than spacing births. Reher's analysis by social groups demonstrates that fertility declined first and more rapidly in the nonagricultural and urban populations and among the higher income groups. The fertility decline in Cuenca was certainly not identical to that in most of Spain, but may have been fairly typical of a large part of the interior. Another contribution to the Historical Demography Conference, by Anna Cabre and Isabel Pujadas, analyzes fertility trends and cyclical fluctuations in 20th century Cataluna, arguing that they must be placed in historical perspective if recent changes are to be understood and plausible projections made. Their work demonstrates the value of selecting a relatively homogeneous geographic unit for analysis. The contribution of Margarita Delgado to the conference analyzed interregional fertility differences in contemporary Spain. The high legitimate fertility of the south of Spain is accentuated by high nuptiality rates. In central Spain, the combination of high legitimate fertility rates and low
De Jager, N. R.; Pastor, J.
Ungulate herbivores create patterns of forage availability, plant species composition, and soil fertility as they range across large landscapes and consume large quantities of plant material. Over time, herbivore populations fluctuate, producing great potential for spatio-temporal landscape dynamics. In this study, we extend the spatial and temporal extent of a long-term investigation of the relationship of landscape patterns to moose foraging behavior at Isle Royale National Park, MI. We examined how patterns of browse availability and consumption, plant basal area, and soil fertility changed during a recent decline in the moose population. We used geostatistics to examine changes in the nature of spatial patterns in two valleys over 18 years and across short-range and long-range distance scales. Landscape patterns of available and consumed browse changed from either repeated patches or randomly distributed patches in 1988-1992 to random point distributions by 2007 after a recent record high peak followed by a rapid decline in the moose population. Patterns of available and consumed browse became decoupled during the moose population low, which is in contrast to coupled patterns during the earlier high moose population. Distributions of plant basal area and soil nitrogen availability also switched from repeated patches to randomly distributed patches in one valley and to random point distributions in the other valley. Rapid declines in moose population density may release vegetation and soil fertility from browsing pressure and in turn create random landscape patterns. ?? Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009.
Ketmaier, Valerio; Marrone, Federico; Alfonso, Giuseppe; Paulus, Kirsten; Wiemann, Annika; Tiedemann, Ralph; Mura, Graziella
Background Mediterranean temporary water bodies are important reservoirs of biodiversity and host a unique assemblage of diapausing aquatic invertebrates. These environments are currently vanishing because of increasing human pressure. Chirocephalus kerkyrensis is a fairy shrimp typical of temporary water bodies in Mediterranean plain forests and has undergone a substantial decline in number of populations in recent years due to habitat loss. We assessed patterns of genetic connectivity and phylogeographic history in the seven extant populations of the species from Albania, Corfu Is. (Greece), Southern and Central Italy. Methodology/Principal Findings We analyzed sequence variation at two mitochondrial DNA genes (Cytochrome Oxidase I and 16s rRNA) in all the known populations of C. kerkyrensis. We used multiple phylogenetic, phylogeographic and coalescence-based approaches to assess connectivity and historical demography across the whole distribution range of the species. C. kerkyrensis is genetically subdivided into three main mitochondrial lineages; two of them are geographically localized (Corfu Is. and Central Italy) and one encompasses a wide geographic area (Albania and Southern Italy). Most of the detected genetic variation (≈81%) is apportioned among the aforementioned lineages. Conclusions/Significance Multiple analyses of mismatch distributions consistently supported both past demographic and spatial expansions with the former predating the latter; demographic expansions were consistently placed during interglacial warm phases of the Pleistocene while spatial expansions were restricted to cold periods. Coalescence methods revealed a scenario of past isolation with low levels of gene flow in line with what is already known for other co-distributed fairy shrimps and suggest drift as the prevailing force in promoting local divergence. We recommend that these evolutionary trajectories should be taken in proper consideration in any effort aimed at protecting
Neyzi, Olcay; Saka, Hatice Nurçin; Kurtoğlu, Selim
A historical review of anthropometric studies conducted on Turkish children and adults is presented. In view of observed differences in growth status between children of different societies, the need for local reference standards and the methodology to be used for such studies have been stressed. The importance of local studies in reflecting the state of health and nutrition both in children and adults has also been mentioned. While a number of studies in children cited in this paper are designed to compare the growth of children from different socioeconomic levels, other studies aim to establish local reference data for Turkish children. While the historical studies in adults aim to define racial characteristics, the more recent studies aim to bring out nutritional characteristics with emphasis on increasing frequency of obesity. Conflict of interest:None declared. PMID:23419421
Welch, Andreanna J; Wiley, Anne E; James, Helen F; Ostrom, Peggy H; Stafford, Thomas W; Fleischer, Robert C
In the Hawaiian Islands, human colonization, which began approximately 1,200 to 800 years ago, marks the beginning of a period in which nearly 75% of the endemic avifauna became extinct and the population size and range of many additional species declined. It remains unclear why some species persisted whereas others did not. The endemic Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis) has escaped extinction, but colonies on two islands have been extirpated and populations on remaining islands have contracted. We obtained mitochondrial DNA sequences from 100 subfossil bones, 28 museum specimens, and 289 modern samples to investigate patterns of gene flow and temporal changes in the genetic diversity of this endangered species over the last 3,000 years, as Polynesians and then Europeans colonized the Hawaiian Islands. Genetic differentiation was found to be high between both modern and ancient petrel populations. However, gene flow was substantial between the extirpated colonies on Oahu and Molokai and modern birds from the island of Lanai. No significant reductions in genetic diversity occurred over this period, despite fears in the mid-1900s that this species may have been extinct. Simulations show that even a decline to a stable effective population size of 100 individuals would result in the loss of only 5% of the expected heterozygosity. Simulations also show that high levels of genetic diversity may be retained due to the long generation time of this species. Such decoupling between population size and genetic diversity in long-lived species can have important conservation implications. It appears that a pattern of dispersal from declining colonies, in addition to long generation time, may have allowed the Hawaiian petrel to escape a severe genetic bottleneck, and the associated extinction vortex, and persist despite a large population decline after human colonization.
Ingersoll, Thomas E; Sewall, Brent J; Amelon, Sybill K
Bats are diverse and ecologically important, but are also subject to a suite of severe threats. Evidence for localized bat mortality from these threats is well-documented in some cases, but long-term changes in regional populations of bats remain poorly understood. Bat hibernation surveys provide an opportunity to improve understanding, but analysis is complicated by bats' cryptic nature, non-conformity of count data to assumptions of traditional statistical methods, and observation heterogeneities such as variation in survey timing. We used generalized additive mixed models (GAMMs) to account for these complicating factors and to evaluate long-term, regional population trajectories of bats. We focused on four hibernating bat species - little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus), tri-colored bat (Perimyotis subflavus), Indiana myotis (M. sodalis), and northern myotis (M. septentrionalis) - in a four-state region of the eastern United States during 1999-2011. Our results, from counts of nearly 1.2 million bats, suggest that cumulative declines in regional relative abundance by 2011 from peak levels were 71% (with 95% confidence interval of ±11%) in M. lucifugus, 34% (±38%) in P. subflavus, 30% (±26%) in M. sodalis, and 31% (±18%) in M. septentrionalis. The M. lucifugus population fluctuated until 2004 before persistently declining, and the populations of the other three species declined persistently throughout the study period. Population trajectories suggest declines likely resulted from the combined effect of multiple threats, and indicate a need for enhanced conservation efforts. They provide strong support for a change in the IUCN Red List conservation status in M. lucifugus from Least Concern to Endangered within the study area, and are suggestive of a need to change the conservation status of the other species. Our modeling approach provided estimates of uncertainty, accommodated non-linearities, and controlled for observation heterogeneities, and thus has wide
Amelon, Sybill K.
Bats are diverse and ecologically important, but are also subject to a suite of severe threats. Evidence for localized bat mortality from these threats is well-documented in some cases, but long-term changes in regional populations of bats remain poorly understood. Bat hibernation surveys provide an opportunity to improve understanding, but analysis is complicated by bats' cryptic nature, non-conformity of count data to assumptions of traditional statistical methods, and observation heterogeneities such as variation in survey timing. We used generalized additive mixed models (GAMMs) to account for these complicating factors and to evaluate long-term, regional population trajectories of bats. We focused on four hibernating bat species – little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus), tri-colored bat (Perimyotis subflavus), Indiana myotis (M. sodalis), and northern myotis (M. septentrionalis) – in a four-state region of the eastern United States during 1999–2011. Our results, from counts of nearly 1.2 million bats, suggest that cumulative declines in regional relative abundance by 2011 from peak levels were 71% (with 95% confidence interval of ±11%) in M. lucifugus, 34% (±38%) in P. subflavus, 30% (±26%) in M. sodalis, and 31% (±18%) in M. septentrionalis. The M. lucifugus population fluctuated until 2004 before persistently declining, and the populations of the other three species declined persistently throughout the study period. Population trajectories suggest declines likely resulted from the combined effect of multiple threats, and indicate a need for enhanced conservation efforts. They provide strong support for a change in the IUCN Red List conservation status in M. lucifugus from Least Concern to Endangered within the study area, and are suggestive of a need to change the conservation status of the other species. Our modeling approach provided estimates of uncertainty, accommodated non-linearities, and controlled for observation heterogeneities, and thus
Blakely, B.; Rocha, A. V.; McLachlan, J. S.
The Anthropocene is characterized by rapid changes in both land use and snow cover. The relative importance of these two forces remains unknown but may have important and long-term biophysical effects that are not adequately incorporated into current modeling efforts. Humans have altered the landscape of the Eastern U.S. both historically through deforestation during European settlement and more recently through climatic reductions in snow cover. Here we empirically reconstruct historic albedo in the Eastern U.S. using both modern and historic data. We focus on the Western Great Lakes region (MI, WI, MN, IL, IN), a global hotspot of historic deforestation that spans latitudes where anthropogenic climate modifications have produced important changes in snow cover. We find that vegetation changes have caused an overall increase in regional albedo that is strongest where intensive land use persists (i.e. agriculture) and weakest where forest regrowth has occurred. Changes in snow cover have caused an overall decrease in regional albedo that is about half as strong as increase in albedo due to vegetation change. Although the negative forcings of historic land use change may currently provide a radiative 'discount' on regional warming, these benefits are likely to disappear with time as snow cover decreases and forest regrowth continues.
Prakash, Vibhu; Bishwakarma, Mohan Chandra; Chaudhary, Anand; Cuthbert, Richard; Dave, Ruchi; Kulkarni, Mandar; Kumar, Sashi; Paudel, Khadananda; Ranade, Sachin; Shringarpure, Rohan; Green, Rhys E
Populations of oriental white-backed vulture (Gyps bengalensis), long-billed vulture (Gyps indicus) and slender-billed vulture (Gyps tenuirostris) crashed during the mid-1990s throughout the Indian subcontinent. Surveys in India, initially conducted in 1991-1993 and repeated in 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2007, revealed that the population of Gyps bengalensis had fallen by 2007 to 0.1% of its numbers in the early 1990s, with the population of Gyps indicus and G. tenuirostris combined having fallen to 3.2% of its earlier level. A survey of G. bengalensis in western Nepal indicated that the size of the population in 2009 was 25% of that in 2002. In this paper, repeat surveys conducted in 2011 were analysed to estimate recent population trends. Populations of all three species of vulture remained at a low level, but the decline had slowed and may even have reversed for G. bengalensis, both in India and Nepal. However, estimates of the most recent population trends are imprecise, so it is possible that declines may be continuing, though at a significantly slower rate. The degree to which the decline of G. bengalensis in India has slowed is consistent with the expected effects on population trend of a measured change in the level of contamination of ungulate carcasses with the drug diclofenac, which is toxic to vultures, following a ban on its veterinary use in 2006. The most recent available information indicates that the elimination of diclofenac from the vultures' food supply is incomplete, so further efforts are required to fully implement the ban.
Many populations of amphibians are declining on all six continents on which they occur. Some causes of amphibian declines, such as habitat destruction, direct application of xenobiotics, and introduction of predators or competitors, are clearly attributable to human activities. Infectious disease appears to be the direct cause of mass amphibian die-offs in relatively undisturbed areas of the world where anthropomorphic environmental disruption is minimal. In these cases, it is not yet clear whether these epizootics result from the natural evolution of new pathogens or from environmental changes that promote the emergence of pathogenic forms and/or that weaken the immune defenses of amphibians. Because some aspects of pathogen-related amphibian mass mortalities are similar to outbreaks of new diseases in humans and coral reef organisms, amphibian declines may be part of a much larger pattern than previously appreciated. PMID:10698730
Sirot, Charlotte; Darnaude, Audrey M.; Guilhaumon, François; Ramos-Miranda, Julia; Flores-Hernandez, Domingo; Panfili, Jacques
The exceptional biodiversity and productivity of tropical coastal lagoons can only be preserved by identifying the causes for the decline in the populations living in these vulnerable ecosystems. The Terminos lagoon in Mexico provided an opportunity for studying this issue as some of its fish populations, in particular the Silver Perch (Bairdiella chrysoura), have declined significantly since the 1980s. Fish sampling campaigns carried out over the whole lagoon area in 1979-81 and again in 2006-2011 revealed the mechanisms which may have been responsible for this decline. Based on biometrical data for 295 juveniles and adults from the two periods and on somatic growth derived from 173 otoliths, a study of the temporal changes in the demographic structure and life history traits (individual growth and body condition) made it possible to distinguish the causes of the decline in the B. chrysoura population. Growth models for the lagoon in 1980-1981 and 2006-2011 showed no significant change in the growth parameters of the population over the last 30 years with a logistic model giving an accurate estimate (R2 = 0.66) of the size-at-age for both periods. The decline in the B. chrysoura population could not be explained by an overall decrease in individual size and condition in the lagoon, the average standard length (SL) and Fulton index (FI) having increased slightly since 1980-1981 (4.6 mm and 0.02 for juveniles and 5.42 mm and 0.07 for adults). However, the size structure of the population in the lagoon has changed, with a significant shift in the size distribution of juveniles with a marked reduction in the proportion of juveniles ≤ 60 mm in the captures (90.9% fewer than in 1980-1981). As the otolith growth rate of fish during the first 4 months also decreased significantly between the two sampling periods (-15%), it is suggested that the main reason for the decline in the abundance and biomass of B. chrysoura within this system may be that its habitats are less
Laidre, K.L.; Estes, J.A.; Tinker, M.T.; Bodkin, J.; Monson, D.; Schneider, K.
3In addition to larger asymptotic values for mass and length, the rate of growth towards asymptotic values was more rapid in the 1990s than in the 1960s/70s: sea otters reached 95% of asymptotic body mass and body length 1–2 years earlier in the 1990s.4Body condition (as measured by the log mass/log length ratio) was significantly greater in males than in females. There was also an increasing trend from the 1960s/70s through 2004 despite much year-to-year variation.5Population age structures differed significantly between the 1960s/70s and the 1990s with the latter distribution skewed toward younger age classes (indicating an altered lxfunction) suggesting almost complete relaxation of age-dependent mortality patterns (i.e. those typical of food-limited populations).6This study spanned a period of time over which the population status of sea otters in the Aleutian archipelago declined precipitously from levels at or near equilibrium densities at some islands in the 1960s/70s to < 5% of estimated carrying capacity by the late 1990s. The results of this study indicate an improved overall health of sea otters over the period of decline and suggest that limited nutritional resources were not the cause of the observed reduced population abundance. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the decline was caused by increased killer whale predation.
Salim, Kamari; Naydenov, Krassimir D; Benyounes, Haloui; Tremblay, Francine; Latifa, El Hafid; Wahid, Nadya; Valeria, Osvaldo
Microsatellite markers were used to characterize the structure of genetic diversity in natural Moroccan Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis Mill.) populations, the most southwesterly marginal populations of the species in the Mediterranean Basin. Twenty-two natural populations and one artificial population, located in four regions covering most of the natural range of P. halepensis in the country, were sampled. Across this range, towards the south and west (and towards high altitudes) the populations become increasingly discrete and discontinuous. The nuclear microsatellite marker analysis suggests that a large proportion of the Aleppo pines in Morocco have derived from a single genetic lineage, represented by a central group of 11 of the examined populations located in the High and Middle Atlas Mountains. In addition, two smaller groups, represented by the marginal southwestern High Atlas populations, and three still smaller north / northeastern groups of populations located in the Rif and northeast Middle Atlas Mountains, could be genetically distinguished. Further, coalescence analysis of historical demographic population patterns suggests that ancient bottlenecks occurred in all of the natural populations. However, the population differentiation and genetic diversity levels we found were good (F(st) =15.47), presumably because of the species' good potential for long-distance dispersal of seeds and high invasive capacity, which appear to have maintained a state of stable near-equilibrium, meta-population dynamics since ancient times.
Donoghue, Helen D.; Marcsik, Antónia; Matheson, Carney; Vernon, Kim; Nuorala, Emilia; Molto, Joseph E.; Greenblatt, Charles L.; Spigelman, Mark
Both leprosy and tuberculosis were prevalent in Europe during the first millennium but thereafter leprosy declined. It is not known why this occurred, but one suggestion is that cross-immunity protected tuberculosis patients from leprosy. To investigate any relationship between the two diseases, selected archaeological samples, dating from the Roman period to the thirteenth century, were examined for both Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA, using PCR. The work was carried out and verified in geographically separate and independent laboratories. Several specimens with palaeopathological signs of leprosy were found to contain DNA from both pathogens, indicating that these diseases coexisted in the past. We suggest that the immunological changes found in multi-bacillary leprosy, in association with the socio-economic impact on those suffering from the disease, led to increased mortality from tuberculosis and therefore to the historical decline in leprosy. PMID:15734693
Greenberg, R.; Droege, S.
Unlike most North American blackbirds, Rusty Blackbirds (Euphagus carolensis) have shown steep population declines. Declines of approximately 90% are indicated for three recent decades from the Breeding Bird Survey, Christmas Bird Counts, and Quebec Checklist Program. Analyses of abundance classifications in bird distribution books and annotated checklists reveal an overlooked but long-term decline dating back to at least the early part of this century. Rusty Blackbirds were described as very common to abundant in 5656 of the pre-192O published accounts, 19% of the 1921-1950 accounts, and only 7% of the post-1950 accounts. Rusty Blackbirds were described as uncommon in none of the pre-1950 accounts, 18% of the 1951-1980 accounts, and 43% of the post-1980 accounts. A similar pattern was found for analyses based on local checklists. Destruction of wooded wetlands on wintering grounds, acid precipitation, and the conversion of boreal forest wetlands could have contributed to these declines. Systematic analysis of regional guides and checklists provides a valuable tool for examining large-scale and long-term population changes in birds.
Jensen, Silje-Kristin; Lacaze, Jean-Pierre; Hermann, Guillaume; Kershaw, Joanna; Brownlow, Andrew; Turner, Andrew; Hall, Ailsa
Over the past 15 years or so, several Scottish harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) populations have declined in abundance and several factors have been considered as possible causes, including toxins from harmful algae. Here we explore whether a link could be established between two groups of toxins, domoic acid (DA) and saxitoxins (STXs), and the decline in the harbour seal populations in Scotland. We document the first evidence that harbour seals are exposed to both DA and STXs from consuming contaminated fish. Both groups of toxins were found in urine and faeces sampled from live captured (n = 162) and stranded animals (n = 23) and in faecal samples collected from seal haul-out sites (n = 214) between 2008 and 2013. The proportion of positive samples and the toxins levels measured in the excreta were significantly higher in areas where harbour seal abundance is in decline. There is also evidence that DA has immunomodulatory effects in harbour seals, including lymphocytopenia and monocytosis. Scottish harbour seals are exposed to DA and STXs through contaminated prey at potentially lethal levels and with this evidence we suggest that exposure to these toxins are likely to be important factors driving the harbour seal decline in some regions of Scotland.
KNAPP, Roland A.; BOIANO, Daniel M.; VREDENBURG, Vance T.
The mountain yellow-legged frog (Rana muscosa) was once a common inhabitant of the Sierra Nevada (California, USA), but has declined precipitously during the past century due in part to the introduction of nonnative fish into naturally fishless habitats. The objectives of the current study were to describe (1) the effect of fish removal from three lakes (located in two watersheds) on the small, remnant R. muscosa populations inhabiting those lakes, and (2) the initial development of metapopulation structure in each watershed as R. muscosa from expanding populations in fish-removal lakes dispersed to adjacent habitats. At all three fish-removal lakes, R. muscosa population densities increased significantly following the removal of predatory fish. The magnitude of these increases was significantly greater than that observed over the same time period in R. muscosa populations inhabiting control lakes that remained in their natural fishless condition. Following these population increases, R. muscosa dispersed to adjacent suitable (but unoccupied) sites, moving between 200 and 900 m along streams or across dry land. Together, these results suggest that large-scale removal of introduced fish could result in at least partial reversal of the decline of R. muscosa. Continued monitoring of R. muscosa at the fish-removal sites will be necessary to determine whether the positive effects of fish eradication are sustained over the long-term, especially in light of the increasingly important role played by an emerging infectious disease (chytridiomycosis, caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in influencing R. muscosa populations. PMID:17396156
Jansson, E; Ruokonen, M; Kojola, I; Aspi, J
The grey wolves (Canis lupus) of Finland have had a varied history, with a period of rapid population expansion after the mid-1990s followed by a decline with a current census size of about 140 wolves. Here, we investigate the impact of unstable population size and connectivity on genetic diversity and structure in a long-term genetic study of 298 Finnish wolves born in 1995-2009 and genotyped for 17 microsatellite loci. During the initial recovery and prior to population expansion, genetic diversity was high (1995-1997: LD-N(e) = 67.2; H(o) = 0.749; H(e) = 0.709) despite a small census size and low number of breeders (N(c) < 100; N(b) < 10) likely reflecting the status of the Russian source population. Surprisingly, observed heterozygosity decreased significantly during the study period (t = -2.643, P = 0.021) despite population expansion, likely a result of an increase in inbreeding (F(IS) = 0.108 in 2007-2009) owing to a low degree of connectivity with adjacent Russian wolf population (m = 0.016-0.090; F(ST) = 0.086, P < 0.001) and population crash after 2006. However, population growth had a temporary positive impact on N(e) and number of family lines. This study shows that even strong population growth alone might not be adequate to retain genetic diversity, especially when accompanied with low amount of subsequent gene flow and population decline.
Toms, L.-M.L.; Thompson, J.; Rotander, A.; Hobson, P.; Calafat, A.M.; Kato, K.; Ye, X.; Broomhall, S.; Harden, F.; Mueller, J.F.
Some perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) have become widespread pollutants detected in human and wildlife samples worldwide. The main objective of this study was to assess temporal trends of PFAS concentrations in human blood in Australia over the last decade (2002–2011), taking into consideration age and sex trends. Pooled human sera from 2002/03 (n = 26); 2008/09 (n = 24) and 2010/11 (n = 24) from South East Queensland, Australia were obtained from de-identified surplus pathology samples and compared with samples collected previously from 2006/07 (n = 84). A total of 9775 samples in 158 pools were available for an assessment of PFASs. Stratification criteria included sex and age: <16 years (2002/03 only); 0–4 (2006/07, 2008/09, 2010/11); 5–15 (2006/07, 2008/09, 2010/11); 16–30; 31–45; 46–60; and >60 years (all collection periods). Sera were analyzed using on-line solid-phase extraction coupled to high-performance liquid chromatography–isotope dilution-tandem mass spectrometry. Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) was detected in the highest concentrations ranging from 5.3–19.2 ng/ml (2008/09) to 4.4–17.4 ng/ml (2010/11). Perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) was detected in the next highest concentration ranging from 2.8–7.3 ng/ml (2008/09) to 3.1–6.5 ng/ml (2010/11). All other measured PFASs were detected at concentrations <1 ng/ml with the exception of perfluorohexane sulfonate which ranged from 1.2–5.7 ng/ml (08/09) and 1.4–5.4 ng/ml (10/11). The mean concentrations of both PFOS and PFOA in the 2010/11 period compared to 2002/03 were lower for all adult age groups by 56%. For 5–15 year olds, the decrease was 66% (PFOS) and 63% (PFOA) from 2002/03 to 2010/11. For 0–4 year olds the decrease from 2006/07 (when data were first available for this age group) was 50% (PFOS) and 22% (PFOA). This study provides strong evidence for decreasing serum PFOS and PFOA concentrations in an Australian population from 2002 through 2011. Age trends
Zvereva, Elena L; Hunter, Mark D; Zverev, Vitali; Kozlov, Mikhail V
Understanding the mechanisms by which abiotic drivers, such as climate and pollution, influence population dynamics of animals is important for our ability to predict the population trajectories of individual species under different global change scenarios. We monitored four leaf beetle species (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) feeding on willows (Salix spp.) in 13 sites along a pollution gradient in subarctic forests of north-western Russia from 1993 to 2014. During a subset of years, we also measured the impacts of natural enemies and host plant quality on the performance of one of these species, Chrysomela lapponica. Spring and fall temperatures increased by 2.5-3°C during the 21-year observation period, while emissions of sulfur dioxide and heavy metals from the nickel-copper smelter at Monchegorsk decreased fivefold. However, contrary to predictions of increasing herbivory with climate warming, and in spite of discovered increase in host plant quality with increase in temperatures, none of the beetle species became more abundant during the past 20years. No directional trends were observed in densities of either Phratora vitellinae or Plagiodera versicolora, whereas densities of both C. lapponica and Gonioctena pallida showed a simultaneous rapid 20-fold decline in the early 2000s, remaining at very low levels thereafter. Time series analysis and model selection indicated that these abrupt population declines were associated with decreases in aerial emissions from the smelter. Observed declines in the population densities of C. lapponica can be explained by increases in mortality from natural enemies due to the combined action of climate warming and declining pollution. This pattern suggests that at least in some tri-trophic systems, top-down factors override bottom-up effects and govern the impacts of environmental changes on insect herbivores.
Climate change could alter the population growth of dominant species, leading to profound effects on community structure and ecosystem dynamics. Understanding the links between historical variation in climate and population vital rates (survival, growth, recruitment) is one way to predict the impact...
Welsh, H.H.; Fellers, G.M.; Lind, A.J.
Amphibian declines have been documented worldwide; however the vast majority are species associated with aquatic habitats. Information on the status and trends of terrestrial amphibians is almost entirely lacking. Here we use data collected across a 12-yr period (sampling from 1984-86 and from 1993-95) to address the question of whether evidence exists for declines among terrestrial amphibians in northwestern California forests. The majority of amphibians, both species and relative numbers, in these forests are direct-developing salamanders of the family Plethodontidae. We examined amphibian richness and evenness, and the relative abundances of the four most common species of plethodontid salamanders. We examined evidence of differences between years in two ecological provinces (coastal and interior) and across young, mature, and late seral forests and with reference to a moisture gradient from xeric to hydric within late seral forests. We found evidence of declines in species richness across years on late seral mesic stands and in the coastal ecological province, but these differences appeared to be caused by differences in the detection of rarer species, rather than evidence of an overall pattern. We also found differences among specific years in numbers of individuals of the most abundant species, Ensatina eschscholtzii, but these differences also failed to reflect a consistent pattern of declines between the two decadal sample periods. Results showing differences in richness, evenness, and relative abundances along both the seral and moisture continua were consistent with previous research. Overall, we found no compelling evidence of a downward trend in terrestrial plethodontid salamanders. We believe that continued monitoring of terrestrial salamander populations is important to understanding mechanisms of population declines in amphibian species. Copyright 2007 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.
Christianson, David; Creel, Scott
The reintroduction of wolves (Canis lupus) to Yellowstone provided the unusual opportunity for a quasi-experimental test of the effects of wolf predation on their primary prey (elk--Cervus elaphus) in a system where top-down, bottom-up, and abiotic forces on prey population dynamics were closely and consistently monitored before and after reintroduction. Here, we examined data from 33 years for 12 elk population segments spread across southwestern Montana and northwestern Wyoming in a large scale before-after-control-impact analysis of the effects of wolves on elk recruitment and population dynamics. Recruitment, as measured by the midwinter juvenile∶female ratio, was a strong determinant of elk dynamics, and declined by 35% in elk herds colonized by wolves as annual population growth shifted from increasing to decreasing. Negative effects of population density and winter severity on recruitment, long recognized as important for elk dynamics, were detected in uncolonized elk herds and in wolf-colonized elk herds prior to wolf colonization, but not after wolf colonization. Growing season precipitation and harvest had no detectable effect on recruitment in either wolf treatment or colonization period, although harvest rates of juveniles∶females declined by 37% in wolf-colonized herds. Even if it is assumed that mortality due to predation is completely additive, liberal estimates of wolf predation rates on juvenile elk could explain no more than 52% of the total decline in juvenile∶female ratios in wolf-colonized herds, after accounting for the effects of other limiting factors. Collectively, these long-term, large-scale patterns align well with prior studies that have reported substantial decrease in elk numbers immediately after wolf recolonization, relatively weak additive effects of direct wolf predation on elk survival, and decreased reproduction and recruitment with exposure to predation risk from wolves.
Laidre, K L; Estes, J A; Tinker, M T; Bodkin, J; Monson, D; Schneider, K
1. Growth models for body mass and length were fitted to data collected from 1842 sea otters Enhydra lutris shot or live-captured throughout south-west Alaska between 1967 and 2004. Growth curves were constructed for each of two main year groups: 1967-71 when the population was at or near carrying capacity and 1992-97 when the population was in steep decline. Analyses of data collected from animals caught during 2004, when the population density was very low, were precluded by a small sample size and consequently only examined incidentally to the main growth curves. 2. Growth curves demonstrated a significant increase in body mass and body length at age in the 1990s. Asymptotic values of body mass were 12-18% higher in the 1990s than in the 1960s/70s, and asymptotic values for body length were 10-11% higher between the same periods. Data collected in 2004 suggest a continued increase in body size, with nearly all data points for mass and length falling significantly above the 1990s growth curves. 3. In addition to larger asymptotic values for mass and length, the rate of growth towards asymptotic values was more rapid in the 1990s than in the 1960s/70s: sea otters reached 95% of asymptotic body mass and body length 1-2 years earlier in the 1990s. 4. Body condition (as measured by the log mass/log length ratio) was significantly greater in males than in females. There was also an increasing trend from the 1960s/70s through 2004 despite much year-to-year variation. 5. Population age structures differed significantly between the 1960s/70s and the 1990s with the latter distribution skewed toward younger age classes (indicating an altered lx function) suggesting almost complete relaxation of age-dependent mortality patterns (i.e. those typical of food-limited populations). 6. This study spanned a period of time over which the population status of sea otters in the Aleutian archipelago declined precipitously from levels at or near equilibrium densities at some islands in
Courtiol, Alexandre; Pettay, Jenni E.; Jokela, Markus; Rotkirch, Anna; Lummaa, Virpi
Whether and how human populations exposed to the agricultural revolution are still affected by Darwinian selection remains controversial among social scientists, biologists, and the general public. Although methods of studying selection in natural populations are well established, our understanding of selection in humans has been limited by the availability of suitable datasets. Here, we present a study comparing the maximum strengths of natural and sexual selection in humans that includes the effects of sex and wealth on different episodes of selection. Our dataset was compiled from church records of preindustrial Finnish populations characterized by socially imposed monogamy, and it contains a complete distribution of survival, mating, and reproductive success for 5,923 individuals born 1760–1849. Individual differences in early survival and fertility (natural selection) were responsible for most variation in fitness, even among wealthier individuals. Variance in mating success explained most of the higher variance in reproductive success in males compared with females, but mating success also influenced reproductive success in females, allowing for sexual selection to operate in both sexes. The detected opportunity for selection is in line with measurements for other species but higher than most previous reports for human samples. This disparity results from biological, demographic, economic, and social differences across populations as well as from failures by most previous studies to account for variation in fitness introduced by nonreproductive individuals. Our results emphasize that the demographic, cultural, and technological changes of the last 10,000 y did not preclude the potential for natural and sexual selection in our species. PMID:22547810
Azorin-Molina, C.; Iacono, M. J.
The Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory, located on the 635-foot summit of Great Blue Hill ten miles south of Boston, Massachusetts, has been the site of continuous monitoring of the local weather and climate since its founding in 1885. The meticulous, extensive and high-quality climate record maintained at this location has included the measurement of wind among many other parameters since its earliest days, and this provides a unique opportunity to examine wind speed trends at this site over nearly 130 years. Although multiple wind sensors have been in use during this time and the height of the anemometers was raised in 1908, the wind records have been made as consistent as possible through careful analysis of these changes and the application of adjustments to ensure consistency. The 30-year mean wind speed at this location has decreased from 6.8 m s-1 in the middle 20th century to its present value of 6.0 m s-1 with an increase in the rate of the decline beginning around 1980. The wind speed time series shows a significant (p < 0.05) downward trend over the entire period from 1885-2013 (-0.085 m s-1 decade-1) that is stronger and also significant for the sub-periods from 1961-2013 (-0.266 m s-1 decade-1) and 1979-2008 (-0.342 m s-1 decade-1). This declining trend persists in all seasons and has significant implications for the efficiency of wind power generation in the area, if it reflects a regional change in the near-surface wind regime. The wind instruments in use since the 19th century will be described, and the official long-term record will be compared with measurements from other wind sensors at the Observatory and surrounding locations. In addition, initial investigations of the possible causes of the wind speed decline will be presented in the context of global stilling (i.e. the theory of a widespread decline in measured near-surface wind speed), including an analysis of the wind speed change as a function of wind direction.
Kendall, William L.; Fletcher, Robert J.; Kitchens, Wiley M.
While variation in age structure over time and space has long been considered important for population dynamics and conservation, reliable estimates of such spatio-temporal variation in age structure have been elusive for wild vertebrate populations. This limitation has arisen because of problems of imperfect detection, the potential for temporary emigration impacting assessments of age structure, and limited information on age. However, identifying patterns in age structure is important for making reliable predictions of both short- and long-term dynamics of populations of conservation concern. Using a multistate superpopulation estimator, we estimated region-specific abundance and age structure (the proportion of individuals within each age class) of a highly endangered population of snail kites for two separate regions in Florida over 17 years (1997–2013). We find that in the southern region of the snail kite—a region known to be critical for the long-term persistence of the species—the population has declined significantly since 1997, and during this time, it has increasingly become dominated by older snail kites (> 12 years old). In contrast, in the northern region—a region historically thought to serve primarily as drought refugia—the population has increased significantly since 2007 and age structure is more evenly distributed among age classes. Given that snail kites show senescence at approximately 13 years of age, where individuals suffer higher mortality rates and lower breeding rates, these results reveal an alarming trend for the southern region. Our work illustrates the importance of accounting for spatial structure when assessing changes in abundance and age distribution and the need for monitoring of age structure in imperiled species. PMID:27681854
Reichert, Brian E.; Kendall, William; Fletcher, Robert J.; Kitchens, Wiley M.
While variation in age structure over time and space has long been considered important for population dynamics and conservation, reliable estimates of such spatio-temporal variation in age structure have been elusive for wild vertebrate populations. This limitation has arisen because of problems of imperfect detection, the potential for temporary emigration impacting assessments of age structure, and limited information on age. However, identifying patterns in age structure is important for making reliable predictions of both short- and long-term dynamics of populations of conservation concern. Using a multistate superpopulation estimator, we estimated region-specific abundance and age structure (the proportion of individuals within each age class) of a highly endangered population of snail kites for two separate regions in Florida over 17 years (1997–2013). We find that in the southern region of the snail kite—a region known to be critical for the long-term persistence of the species—the population has declined significantly since 1997, and during this time, it has increasingly become dominated by older snail kites (> 12 years old). In contrast, in the northern region—a region historically thought to serve primarily as drought refugia—the population has increased significantly since 2007 and age structure is more evenly distributed among age classes. Given that snail kites show senescence at approximately 13 years of age, where individuals suffer higher mortality rates and lower breeding rates, these results reveal an alarming trend for the southern region. Our work illustrates the importance of accounting for spatial structure when assessing changes in abundance and age distribution and the need for monitoring of age structure in imperiled species.
Baumgart, Matthew; Snyder, Heather M; Carrillo, Maria C; Fazio, Sam; Kim, Hye; Johns, Harry
An estimated 47 million people worldwide are living with dementia in 2015, and this number is projected to triple by 2050. In the absence of a disease-modifying treatment or cure, reducing the risk of developing dementia takes on added importance. In 2014, the World Dementia Council (WDC) requested the Alzheimer's Association evaluate and report on the state of the evidence on modifiable risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia. This report is a summary of the Association's evaluation, which was presented at the October 2014 WDC meeting. The Association believes there is sufficient evidence to support the link between several modifiable risk factors and a reduced risk for cognitive decline, and sufficient evidence to suggest that some modifiable risk factors may be associated with reduced risk of dementia. Specifically, the Association believes there is sufficiently strong evidence, from a population-based perspective, to conclude that regular physical activity and management of cardiovascular risk factors (diabetes, obesity, smoking, and hypertension) reduce the risk of cognitive decline and may reduce the risk of dementia. The Association also believes there is sufficiently strong evidence to conclude that a healthy diet and lifelong learning/cognitive training may also reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
Girod, Christophe; Vitalis, Renaud; Leblois, Raphaël; Fréville, Hélène
Reconstructing the demographic history of populations is a central issue in evolutionary biology. Using likelihood-based methods coupled with Monte Carlo simulations, it is now possible to reconstruct past changes in population size from genetic data. Using simulated data sets under various demographic scenarios, we evaluate the statistical performance of Msvar, a full-likelihood Bayesian method that infers past demographic change from microsatellite data. Our simulation tests show that Msvar is very efficient at detecting population declines and expansions, provided the event is neither too weak nor too recent. We further show that Msvar outperforms two moment-based methods (the M-ratio test and Bottleneck) for detecting population size changes, whatever the time and the severity of the event. The same trend emerges from a compilation of empirical studies. The latest version of Msvar provides estimates of the current and the ancestral population size and the time since the population started changing in size. We show that, in the absence of prior knowledge, Msvar provides little information on the mutation rate, which results in biased estimates and/or wide credibility intervals for each of the demographic parameters. However, scaling the population size parameters with the mutation rate and scaling the time with current population size, as coalescent theory requires, significantly improves the quality of the estimates for contraction but not for expansion scenarios. Finally, our results suggest that Msvar is robust to moderate departures from a strict stepwise mutation model. PMID:21385729
Plumptre, Andrew J; Nixon, Stuart; Kujirakwinja, Deo K; Vieilledent, Ghislain; Critchlow, Rob; Williamson, Elizabeth A; Nishuli, Radar; Kirkby, Andrew E; Hall, Jefferson S
Grauer's gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri), the World's largest primate, is confined to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and is threatened by civil war and insecurity. During the war, armed groups in mining camps relied on hunting bushmeat, including gorillas. Insecurity and the presence of several militia groups across Grauer's gorilla's range made it very difficult to assess their population size. Here we use a novel method that enables rigorous assessment of local community and ranger-collected data on gorilla occupancy to evaluate the impacts of civil war on Grauer's gorilla, which prior to the war was estimated to number 16,900 individuals. We show that gorilla numbers in their stronghold of Kahuzi-Biega National Park have declined by 87%. Encounter rate data of gorilla nests at 10 sites across its range indicate declines of 82-100% at six of these sites. Spatial occupancy analysis identifies three key areas as the most critical sites for the remaining populations of this ape and that the range of this taxon is around 19,700 km2. We estimate that only 3,800 Grauer's gorillas remain in the wild, a 77% decline in one generation, justifying its elevation to Critically Endangered status on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Nixon, Stuart; Kujirakwinja, Deo K.; Vieilledent, Ghislain; Critchlow, Rob; Williamson, Elizabeth A.; Nishuli, Radar; Kirkby, Andrew E.; Hall, Jefferson S.
Grauer’s gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri), the World’s largest primate, is confined to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and is threatened by civil war and insecurity. During the war, armed groups in mining camps relied on hunting bushmeat, including gorillas. Insecurity and the presence of several militia groups across Grauer’s gorilla’s range made it very difficult to assess their population size. Here we use a novel method that enables rigorous assessment of local community and ranger-collected data on gorilla occupancy to evaluate the impacts of civil war on Grauer’s gorilla, which prior to the war was estimated to number 16,900 individuals. We show that gorilla numbers in their stronghold of Kahuzi-Biega National Park have declined by 87%. Encounter rate data of gorilla nests at 10 sites across its range indicate declines of 82–100% at six of these sites. Spatial occupancy analysis identifies three key areas as the most critical sites for the remaining populations of this ape and that the range of this taxon is around 19,700 km2. We estimate that only 3,800 Grauer’s gorillas remain in the wild, a 77% decline in one generation, justifying its elevation to Critically Endangered status on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. PMID:27760201
Carrière, Isabelle; Fourrier-Reglat, Annie; Dartigues, Jean-François; Rouaud, Olivier; Pasquier, Florence; Ritchie, Karen; Ancelin, Marie-Laure
Objective To examine the association between use of medications with anticholinergic properties, cognitive decline and incident dementia in a large community-based sample of subjects aged 65 years and over. Methods Participants were 4128 women and 2784 men from a population-based cohort recruited from three French cities. Cognitive performance, clinical diagnosis of dementia and anticholinergic use were evaluated at base-line, 2 and 4 year later. Results 7.5% of subjects reported anticholinergic drug use at base-line. Multivariate adjusted logistic regression indicated that women reporting anticholinergic drugs at base-line showed greater decline over four years in verbal fluency scores (OR=1.41, CI=1.11–1.79) and in global cognitive functioning (OR=1.22, CI=0.96–1.55) than women not using anticholinergic drugs. In men, an association was found with decline in visual memory (OR=1.63, CI=1.08–2.47) and to a lesser extent in executive function (OR=1.47, CI=0.89–2.44). Significant interactions were observed in women between anticholinergic use and age, apolipoprotein E, or hormone replacement therapy. A significantly 1.4–2 fold higher risk of cognitive decline was observed for continuous anticholinergic users but not for those having discontinued. The risk of incident dementia over the four-year followup was also increased in continuous users (HR=1.65, CI=1.00–2.73) but not in those having discontinued anticholinergic drugs (HR=1.28, CI=0.59–2.76). Conclusions Elderly people taking anticholinergic drugs were at increased risk for cognitive decline and dementia. Discontinuing anticholinergic treatment was associated with a decreased risk. Physicians should carefully consider prescription of anticholinergic drugs in elderly people especially in the oldest old and persons at high genetic risk of cognitive disorder. PMID:19636034
Taggart, M A; Cuthbert, R; Das, D; Sashikumar, C; Pain, D J; Green, R E; Feltrer, Y; Shultz, S; Cunningham, A A; Meharg, A A
Gyps vultures across India are declining rapidly and the NSAID diclofenac has been shown to be the major cause. Vultures scavenge livestock carcasses that have been treated with diclofenac within the days preceding death. We present data on diclofenac disposition in Indian cow and goat, and field data on the prevalence of diclofenac in carcases in the environment. In the disposition experiment, animals were treated with a single intramuscular injection of diclofenac at 1000 microg kg-1 bw. In cow, diclofenac was detectable in liver, kidney and intestine up to 71 h post-treatment; in plasma, half-life was 12.2 h. In goat, tissue residues were undetectable after 26 h. Prevalence of diclofenac in liver from 36 dead livestock collected in the field was 13.9%. Data suggest that diclofenac residues in Indian cow and goat are short-lived, but diclofenac prevalence in carcasses available to vultures may still be very high.
Husby, Arild; Hille, Sabine M; Visser, Marcel E
Bergmann's rule predicts a decrease in body size with increasing temperature and has much empirical support. Surprisingly, we know very little about whether "Bergmann size clines" are due to a genetic response or are a consequence of phenotypic plasticity. Here, we use data on body size (mass and tarsus length) from three long-term (1979-2008) study populations of great tits (Parus major) that experienced a temperature increase to examine mechanisms behind Bergmann's rule. We show that adult body mass decreased over the study period in all populations and that tarsus length increased in one population. Both body mass and tarsus length were heritable and under weak positive directional selection, predicting an increase, rather than a decrease, in body mass. There was no support for microevolutionary change, and thus the observed declines in body mass were likely a result of phenotypic plasticity. Interestingly, this plasticity was not in direct response to temperature changes but seemed to be due to changes in prey dynamics. Our results caution against interpreting recent phenotypic body size declines as adaptive evolutionary responses to temperature changes and highlight the importance of considering alternative environmental factors when testing size clines.
Chinese migration trends in various periods of China's history are discussed. From the earliest times to the present, migration patterns seem unique to each period: 1) Early period of emigration (Qin-Tang Dynasties): The earliest recorded instance of emigration occurred during the Qin dynasty when a traveler went to what is now the Philippines. In the following dynasties, even though migration was limited to religious men and merchants who went abroad and returned to China, the process of migrating was established. 2) Tang to Ming Dynasties (Self-initiated migration): Tang Dynasty records show the beginnings of Chinese residence abroad in Arabia. Land and sea travel developed further, and majority of emigres left China for political, religious or economic reasons. 3) Post-Ming Dynasty (Forced migration): This is a period beginning with the Opium War, where 2 groups, indentured servants and those who were able to purchase their own fare, emigrated as laborers because of necessity. The population on the coast, which had risen dramatically by the 1900's, was subject to war, official corruption, poverty and disease. Migration reached a peak between 1851-1875 when 1,280,000 Chinese left the country, settling mostly in Southeast Asia. Between 1847-1873, it is estimated that between 22%-64% perished along the way. 4) WWI-1949 (Motivated migration): The consequences of 2 world wars and the Great Depression were cause for another mass migration from China for political and economic reasons. This time, however, emigres were not limited to the very poor; also, a large number of overseas Chinese eventually returned to the mainland. Between 1930-34, 350,000 more Chinese returned than left. 5) Post-1949 (A new era): In the 1950s large numbers of overseas Chinese returned to the mainland. In 1978-82, over 4000 Chinese returned to Guangdong alone. A new phenomenon has appeared: migration tends to be limited to visits to relatives or to travel for pleasure or education.
Vanengelsdorp, Dennis; Meixner, Marina Doris
Honey bees are a highly valued resource around the world. They are prized for their honey and wax production and depended upon for pollination of many important crops. While globally honey bee populations have been increasing, the rate of increase is not keeping pace with demand. Further, honey bee populations have not been increasing in all parts of the world, and have declined in many nations in Europe and in North America. Managed honey bee populations are influenced by many factors including diseases, parasites, pesticides, the environment, and socio-economic factors. These factors can act alone or in combination with each other. This review highlights the present day value of honey bees, followed by a detailed description of some of the historical and present day factors that influence honey bee populations, with particular emphasis on colony populations in Europe and the United States.
Peterson, Douglas P; Rieman, Bruce E; Young, Michael K; Brammer, James A
Unrestricted livestock grazing can degrade aquatic ecosystems, and its effects on native vertebrate species are generally mediated by changes to physical habitat. Recently, high estimated rates of cattle trampling on artificial redds within federal grazing allotments in southwestern Montana, USA, has raised concern that direct mortality from trampling may contribute to imperilment of native westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi). To explore the implications of cattle trampling, we built two mathematical models. First we used a temperature-driven model of egg-to-fry mortality representative of the developmental stages during which embryos would be vulnerable to trampling. Cattle trampling was an additional source of mortality (beyond natural mortality), and we modeled egg-to-fry mortality across a range of trampling rates (25-125% per month) for scenarios assuming low (0.60), moderate (0.81), and high (0.95) natural mortality. We then used a matrix model to determine how trampling affected population growth (lambda), assuming initially stable (lambda = 1.008) or slow-growing populations (lambda = 1.025 and 1.05). Cattle trampling concentrated over a few days when the embryos were most sensitive caused greater egg-to-fry mortality than when the same amount of trampling occurred over one month. Trampling caused a large increase in egg-to-fry mortality when that natural mortality was low, but the overall population-level effect was far less than might have been anticipated from the rate of trampling itself. Nonetheless, small reductions in population growth rate could be biologically significant for populations with little or no demographic resilience, and trampling rates as low as 25% could lead to negative population growth. The rapid reduction in resilience with increased trampling rates (>50%) means that even growing populations are less likely to recover from periodic fluctuations. The overall risk posed by trampling will depend on whether
Walter, Ryan P; Cena, Christopher J; Morgan, George E; Heath, Daniel D
Populations existing in formerly glaciated areas often display composite historical and contemporary patterns of genetic structure. For Canadian freshwater fishes, population genetic structure is largely reflective of dispersal from glacial refugia and isolation within drainage basins across a range of scales. Enhancement of sport fisheries via hatchery stocking programs and other means has the potential to alter signatures of natural evolutionary processes. Using 11 microsatellite loci genotyped from 2182 individuals, we analyzed the genetic structure of 46 inland lake walleye (Sander vitreus) populations spanning five major drainage basins within the province of Ontario, Canada. Population genetic analyses coupled with genotype assignment allowed us to: 1) characterize broad- and fine-scale genetic structure among Ontario walleye populations; and 2) determine if the observed population divergence is primarily due to natural or historical processes, or recent anthropogenic events. The partitioning of genetic variation revealed higher genetic divergence among lakes than among drainage basins or proposed ancestries-indicative of relatively high isolation among lakes, study-wide. Walleye genotypes were clustered into three major groups, likely reflective of Missourian, Mississippian, and Atlantic glacial refugial ancestry. Despite detectable genetic signatures indicative of anthropogenic influences, province-wide spatial genetic structure remains consistent with the hypothesis of dispersal from distinct glacial refugia and subsequent isolation of lakes within primary drainage basins. Our results provide a novel example of minimal impacts from fishery enhancement to the broad-scale genetic structure of inland fish populations.
Along the northern periphery of their range, populations of the hispid cotton rat, Sigmodon hispidus, are vulnerable to major reductions in density and occasional local extinctions as a result of severe winter weather. Between our sampling periods on 3 December 2000 and 14 Januar...
Deinum, Eva E; Halligan, Daniel L; Ness, Rob W; Zhang, Yao-Hua; Cong, Lin; Zhang, Jian-Xu; Keightley, Peter D
The brown rat, Rattus norvegicus, is both a notorious pest and a frequently used model in biomedical research. By analyzing genome sequences of 12 wild-caught brown rats from their presumed ancestral range in NE China, along with the sequence of a black rat, Rattus rattus, we investigate the selective and demographic forces shaping variation in the genome. We estimate that the recent effective population size (Ne) of this species = [Formula: see text], based on silent site diversity. We compare patterns of diversity in these genomes with patterns in multiple genome sequences of the house mouse (Mus musculus castaneus), which has a much larger Ne. This reveals an important role for variation in the strength of genetic drift in mammalian genome evolution. By a Pairwise Sequentially Markovian Coalescent analysis of demographic history, we infer that there has been a recent population size bottleneck in wild rats, which we date to approximately 20,000 years ago. Consistent with this, wild rat populations have experienced an increased flux of mildly deleterious mutations, which segregate at higher frequencies in protein-coding genes and conserved noncoding elements. This leads to negative estimates of the rate of adaptive evolution (α) in proteins and conserved noncoding elements, a result which we discuss in relation to the strongly positive estimates observed in wild house mice. As a consequence of the population bottleneck, wild rats also show a markedly slower decay of linkage disequilibrium with physical distance than wild house mice.
Bradshaw, B S; Smith, D P
Through a series of life table analyses, this paper describes the natural history of tuberculosis mortality in a Mexican-origin community over five decades (1935-84) during which the disease underwent a transition from a major underlying cause of death to a disease conditioned mentioned more often on death certificates as contributing to death than causing death. The decline in death rates from 1940 to 1950 was especially remarkable. Successive birth cohorts of Mexican Americans, separated by as little as five years of age, experienced distinctly lower risk of death from tuberculosis as they entered young adulthood. There was a rapid convergence in age-specific patterns of tuberculosis death rates in Mexican Americans toward those of non-Hispanic whites, so that by 1960 tuberculosis was primarily a cause of death in old age rather than young adulthood. The impact of changing environment, both through improvements of conditions within neighborhoods and through residential mobility, on birth cohorts at risk of tuberculosis needs to be examined in further research.
Papail, J; Picquet, M
The authors present a historical overview of urbanization in Venezuela. The impact of the oil economy on population change and spatial distribution is emphasized. A typology of cities based on socioeconomic function and on a demographic classification of urban centers is devised. Future trends in urbanization are also considered. (SUMMARY IN ENG)
Population structure and genetic architecture of phenotypic traits in oat (Avena sativa L.) remain relatively under-researched compared to other small grain species. This study explores the historic context of current elite germplasm, including phenotypic and genetic characterization, with a partic...
Maurice, Anne-Claire; Abdelkrim, Jawad; Cisel, Matthieu; Zavodna, Monika; Bardin, Philippe; Matamoro, Alexis; Dumez, Richard; Machon, Nathalie
Populations of the Large-flowered Sandwort (Arenaria grandiflora L.) in the Fontainebleau forest (France) have declined rapidly during the last century. Despite the initiation of a protection program in 1991, less than twenty individuals remained by the late 1990s. The low fitness of these last plants, which is likely associated with genetic disorders and inbreeding depression, highlighted the need for the introduction of non-local genetic material to increase genetic diversity and thus restore Fontainebleau populations. Consequently, A. grandiflora was introduced at three distant sites in the Fontainebleau forest in 1999. Each of these populations was composed of an identical mix of individuals of both local and non-local origin that were obtained through in vitro multiplication. After establishment, the population status (number of individuals, diameter of the plants, and number of flowers) of the introduced populations was monitored. At present, two populations (one of which is much larger than the other) persist, while the third one became extinct in 2004. Analyses of the ecological parameters of the introduction sites indicated that differences in soil pH and moisture might have contributed to the differences in population dynamics. This introduction plan and its outcome attracted interest of local community, with those who supported the plan and regarded its 10-year result as a biological success (i.e., persistent populations were created), but also those who expressed reservations or disapproval of the plan and its outcome. To understand this controversy, a sociological study involving 27 semi-structured interviews was carried out. From these interviews emerged three areas of controversy: alteration of the identity of the plant, alteration of the identity of its territory, and the biological and ethical consequences of the techniques used for the experimental conservation. PMID:23349668
Hothern, R.L.; Powell, A.N.
Environmental contaminants may have adverse effects on avian reproduction and may be contributing to declines of avian species nesting along the southern California Coast. Examples of impaired reproduction caused by organochlorine pesticides, PCBs, and elements such as mercury (Hg) and selenium (Se) include delayed ovulation, reduced egg production, defective eggshells, decreased hatchability, embryotoxicosis, aberrant incubation behavior, and mortality of chicks and adults (Heinz 1976; Blus 1982; Ohlendorf et al. 1986).The federal government listed the California least tern (Sterna antillarum browni) as endangered in 1970 (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1985). The Pacific Coast population of western snowy plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus) was listed as threatened by the federal government in 1993 (Federal Register 1993). Habitat loss and human-related disturbance have been identified as primary causes of the decline of both the primarily insectivorous plover (Powell 1998) and the primarily piscivorous tern, but local food shortages have also limited the terns.Both species breed along the highly urbanized coastline of southern California. A portion of the snowy plover population is present on the breeding grounds yearround, while the remainder winters along the Pacific Coast south into Baja California, Mexico (Stenzel et al. 1994). Least terns winter primarily along the Pacific Coast of Central America (Massey et al. 1992). This study was designed to evaluate the effects that contaminants acquired on the breeding or wintering grounds might be having on reproduction by snowy plovers and least terns.
The joint consequences of inbreeding, natural selection, and deleterious mutation on mean fitness after population shrinkage are of great importance in evolution and can be critical to the conservation of endangered populations. I present simple analytical equations that predict these consequences, improving and extending a previous heuristic treatment. Purge is defined as the "extra" selection induced by inbreeding, due to the "extra" fitness disadvantage (2d) of homozygotes for (partially) recessive deleterious alleles. Its effect is accounted for by using, instead of the classical inbreeding coefficient f, a purged inbreeding coefficient g that is weighed by the reduction of the frequency of deleterious alleles caused by purging. When the effective size of a large population is reduced to a smaller stable value N (with Nd ≥ 1), the purged inbreeding coefficient after t generations can be predicted as g(t) ≈ [(1 - 1/2N) g(t)(-1) + 1/2N](1 - 2d f(t)(-1)), showing how purging acts upon previously accumulated inbreeding and how its efficiency increases with N. This implies an early fitness decay, followed by some recovery. During this process, the inbreeding depression rate shifts from its ancestral value (δ) to that of the mutation-selection-drift balance corresponding to N (δ*), and standard selection cancels out the inbreeding depression ascribed to δ*. Therefore, purge and inbreeding operate only upon the remaining δ - δ*. The method is applied to the conservation strategy in which family contributions to the breeding pool are equal and is extended to make use of genealogical information. All these predictions are checked using computer simulation.
Tompkins, Daniel M; Sainsbury, A W; Nettleton, P; Buxton, D; Gurnell, J
The disease implications of novel pathogens need to be considered when investigating the ecological impact of species translocations on native fauna. Traditional explanations based on competition or predation may often not be the whole story. Evidence suggests that an emerging infectious disease, caused by a parapoxvirus, may be a significant component of the impact that the introduced grey squirrel has had on UK red squirrel populations. Here we validate the potential role of parapoxvirus by proving that the virus is highly pathogenic in the red squirrel while having no detectable effect on grey squirrel health. PMID:11886647
Flower, Emily; Jones, Darryl; Bernede, Lilia
Simple Summary Current scientific methods used to determine national population estimates for species like the koala, where individuals are scattered over a vast area, have failed to deliver an accurate and widely accepted result. Current citizen science projects aimed at mapping koala sightings reported by the public all use different methods and store their data in their own databases, each collecting scattered pieces of a much larger puzzle. To bring these pieces together, this study developed guidelines for a national citizen science project highlighting the importance of using one single method for data collection, and in turn assisting in the development of a national koala population database. Abstract The acceptance and application of citizen science has risen over the last 10 years, with this rise likely attributed to an increase in public awareness surrounding anthropogenic impacts affecting urban ecosystems. Citizen science projects have the potential to expand upon data collected by specialist researchers as they are able to gain access to previously unattainable information, consequently increasing the likelihood of an effective management program. The primary objective of this research was to develop guidelines for a successful regional-scale citizen science project following a critical analysis of 12 existing citizen science case studies. Secondly, the effectiveness of these guidelines was measured through the implementation of a citizen science project, Koala Quest, for the purpose of estimating the presence of koalas in a fragmented landscape. Consequently, this research aimed to determine whether citizen-collected data can augment traditional science research methods, by comparing and contrasting the abundance of koala sightings gathered by citizen scientists and professional researchers. Based upon the guidelines developed, Koala Quest methodologies were designed, the study conducted, and the efficacy of the project assessed. To combat the high
Salmona, Jordi; Salamolard, Marc; Fouillot, Damien; Ghestemme, Thomas; Larose, Jerry; Centon, Jean-François; Sousa, Vitor; Dawson, Deborah A; Thebaud, Christophe; Chikhi, Lounès
The exceptional biodiversity of Reunion Island is threatened by anthropogenic landscape changes that took place during the 350 years of human colonization. During this period the human population size increased dramatically from 250 to 800,000. The arrival of humans together with the development of agriculture, invasive species such as rats and cats, and deforestation has lead to the extinction of more than half of the original vertebrate species of the island. For the remaining species, significant work is being carried out to identify threats and conservation status, but little genetic work has been carried on some of the most endangered species. In the last decade theoretical studies have shown the ability of neutral genetic markers to infer the demographic history of endangered species and identify and date past population size changes (expansions or bottlenecks). In this study we provide the first genetic data on the critically endangered species the Reunion cuckoo-shrike Coracina newtoni. The Reunion cuckoo-shrike is a rare endemic forest bird surviving in a restricted 12-km(2) area of forested uplands and mountains. The total known population consists of less than one hundred individuals out of which 45 were genotyped using seventeen polymorphic microsatellite loci. We found a limited level of genetic variability and weak population structure, probably due to the limited geographic distribution. Using Bayesian methods, we identified a strong decline in population size during the Holocene, most likely caused by an ancient climatic or volcanic event around 5000 years ago. This result was surprising as it appeared in apparent contradiction with the accepted theory of recent population collapse due to deforestation and predator introduction. These results suggest that new methods allowing for more complex demographic models are necessary to reconstruct the demographic history of populations.
Flower, Emily; Jones, Darryl; Bernede, Lilia
The acceptance and application of citizen science has risen over the last 10 years, with this rise likely attributed to an increase in public awareness surrounding anthropogenic impacts affecting urban ecosystems. Citizen science projects have the potential to expand upon data collected by specialist researchers as they are able to gain access to previously unattainable information, consequently increasing the likelihood of an effective management program. The primary objective of this research was to develop guidelines for a successful regional-scale citizen science project following a critical analysis of 12 existing citizen science case studies. Secondly, the effectiveness of these guidelines was measured through the implementation of a citizen science project, Koala Quest, for the purpose of estimating the presence of koalas in a fragmented landscape. Consequently, this research aimed to determine whether citizen-collected data can augment traditional science research methods, by comparing and contrasting the abundance of koala sightings gathered by citizen scientists and professional researchers. Based upon the guidelines developed, Koala Quest methodologies were designed, the study conducted, and the efficacy of the project assessed. To combat the high variability of estimated koala populations due to differences in counting techniques, a national monitoring and evaluation program is required, in addition to a standardised method for conducting koala population estimates. Citizen science is a useful method for monitoring animals such as the koala, which are sparsely distributed throughout a vast geographical area, as the large numbers of volunteers recruited by a citizen science project are capable of monitoring a similarly broad spatial range.
Heupink, Tim H.; van den Hoff, John; Lambert, David M.
Historically, king penguin populations on Macquarie Island have suffered greatly from human exploitation. Two large colonies on the island were drastically reduced to a single small colony as a result of harvesting for the blubber oil industry. However, recent conservation efforts have resulted in the king penguin population expanding in numbers and range to recolonize previous as well as new sites. Ancient DNA methods were used to estimate past genetic diversity and combined with studies of modern populations, we are now able to compare past levels of variation with extant populations on northern Macquarie Island. The ancient and modern populations are closely related and show a similar level of genetic diversity. These results suggest that the king penguin population has recovered past genetic diversity in just 80 years owing to conservation efforts, despite having seen the brink of extinction. PMID:22357937
Heupink, Tim H; van den Hoff, John; Lambert, David M
Historically, king penguin populations on Macquarie Island have suffered greatly from human exploitation. Two large colonies on the island were drastically reduced to a single small colony as a result of harvesting for the blubber oil industry. However, recent conservation efforts have resulted in the king penguin population expanding in numbers and range to recolonize previous as well as new sites. Ancient DNA methods were used to estimate past genetic diversity and combined with studies of modern populations, we are now able to compare past levels of variation with extant populations on northern Macquarie Island. The ancient and modern populations are closely related and show a similar level of genetic diversity. These results suggest that the king penguin population has recovered past genetic diversity in just 80 years owing to conservation efforts, despite having seen the brink of extinction.
A historical review of the relationship between agricultural change and population growth in China is presented. "This paper will try to discuss four aspects of agricultural change that are related to population growth. They are: (1) expansion of agricultural frontier, (2) changes in cultivation methods and land use, (3) improvements in agricultural technology, and (4) irrigation and water-control. Each of these aspects [is] treated briefly with temporal and spatial perspectives...." The relevance of the Boserup theory that population pressure leads to agricultural development is considered in the Chinese context. It is found that some evidence supports the theory. (summary in CHI)
Miller, L M; Kapuscinski, A R
Effective population size (Ne) of a natural fish population was estimated from temporal changes in allele frequencies at seven microsatellite loci. Use of a historical collection of fish scales made it possible to increase the precision of estimates by increasing the time interval between samples and to use an equation developed for discrete generations without correcting for demographic parameters. Estimates of Ne for the time intervals 1961-1977 and 1977-1993 were 35 and 72, respectively. For the entire interval, 1961-1993, the estimate of Ne was 48 when based on a weighted mean derived from the above two estimates or 125 when calculated from 1961 and 1993 samples only. Corresponding ratios of effective size to adult census size ranged from 0.03 to 0.14. An Ne of 48 over a 32-year period would imply that this population lost as much as 8% of its heterozygosity in that time. Results suggest the potential for using genetic methods based on microsatellite loci data to compare historical trends in Ne with population dynamic parameters. Such comparisons will help to evaluate the relationship between genetic diversity and long-term persistence of natural populations.
Miller, L. M.; Kapuscinski, A. R.
Effective population size (N(e)) of a natural fish population was estimated from temporal changes in allele frequencies at seven microsatellite loci. Use of a historical collection of fish scales made it possible to increase the precision of estimates by increasing the time interval between samples and to use an equation developed for discrete generations without correcting for demographic parameters. Estimates of N(e) for the time intervals 1961-1977 and 1977-1993 were 35 and 72, respectively. For the entire interval, 1961-1993, the estimate of N(e) was 48 when based on a weighted mean derived from the above two estimates or 125 when calculated from 1961 and 1993 samples only. Corresponding ratios of effective size to adult census size ranged from 0.03 to 0.14. An N(e) of 48 over a 32-year period would imply that this population lost as much as 8% of its heterozygosity in that time. Results suggest the potential for using genetic methods based on microsatellite loci data to compare historical trends in N(e) with population dynamic parameters. Such comparisons will help to evaluate the relationship between genetic diversity and long-term persistence of natural populations. PMID:9383067
Guzman Castillo, Maria; Gillespie, Duncan O. S.; Allen, Kirk; Bandosz, Piotr; Schmid, Volker; Capewell, Simon; O’Flaherty, Martin
Background Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) remains a major cause of mortality in the United Kingdom. Yet predictions of future CHD mortality are potentially problematic due to population ageing and increase in obesity and diabetes. Here we explore future projections of CHD mortality in England & Wales under two contrasting future trend assumptions. Methods In scenario A, we used the conventional counterfactual scenario that the last-observed CHD mortality rates from 2011 would persist unchanged to 2030. The future number of deaths was calculated by applying those rates to the 2012–2030 population estimates. In scenario B, we assumed that the recent falling trend in CHD mortality rates would continue. Using Lee-Carter and Bayesian Age Period Cohort (BAPC) models, we projected the linear trends up to 2030. We validate our methods using past data to predict mortality from 2002–2011. Then, we computed the error between observed and projected values. Results In scenario A, assuming that 2011 mortality rates stayed constant by 2030, the number of CHD deaths would increase 62% or approximately 39,600 additional deaths. In scenario B, assuming recent declines continued, the BAPC model (the model with lowest error) suggests the number of deaths will decrease by 56%, representing approximately 36,200 fewer deaths by 2030. Conclusions The decline in CHD mortality has been reasonably continuous since 1979, and there is little reason to believe it will soon halt. The commonly used assumption that mortality will remain constant from 2011 therefore appears slightly dubious. By contrast, using the BAPC model and assuming continuing mortality falls offers a more plausible prediction of future trends. Thus, despite population ageing, the number of CHD deaths might halve again between 2011 and 2030. This has implications for how the potential benefits of future cardiovascular strategies might best be calculated and presented. PMID:24918442
Green, Derek J; Duffy, Mark; Janz, David M; McCullum, Kevin; Carrière, Gary; Jardine, Timothy D
Mercury (Hg) contamination can pose risks to human and animal health as well as commercial fisheries. Reservoir construction in riverine systems produces flooded conditions amenable to Hg(II)-methylating bacteria, which can transform this relatively benign environmental contaminant into the bioaccumulative, environmentally relevant, and neurotoxic methyl-Hg (MeHg). Hg concentrations ([Hg]) in fishes from reservoirs can take decades to decrease to pre-dam levels, but less is known about Hg exported downstream and its dynamics within downstream fish populations. We examined and compared the multidecadal rates of biotic [Hg] decrease and contemporary factors affecting [Hg] in fish collected from a hydroelectric reservoir (Tobin Lake) and a related downstream fishery (Cumberland Lake) along the Saskatchewan River, Canada. Rates of [Hg] decrease were considered in four species-northern pike (Esox lucius), sauger (Sander canadensis), goldeye (Hiodon alosoides), and walleye (S. vitreus)-all of which showed a significant decrease over time (p < 0.001) and are now lower than Health Canada consumption guidelines (0.5 μg/g). Rates of decrease ranged from 0.5 to 3.9 %/year and were similar between sites in the cases of northern pike and sauger. Contemporary factors affecting [Hg] in walleye collected downstream include fish length (p < 0.001), fish age (p < 0.001), and trophic magnification through the food web (p < 0.001), and relationships between [Hg] and trophic level in predatory and prey fish are now similar to those found in non-Hg-inundated systems at a similar latitude. Together, these results suggest connected contamination between the two sites and delineate the timeline during which [Hg] in a variety of fish species decreased to nontoxic levels in both locations.
Ramakrishnan, P S
In the context of over-consumption of natural resources in the name of development and rapid industrialization by a small section of the human population that is rapidly growing, the world is currently faced with a variety of environmental uncertainties. 'Global change' covering a whole variety of ecological issues, and 'globalization' in an economic sense, are two major phenomena that are responsible for these uncertainties. There is increasing evidence to suggest that the developing countries more than the developed, particularly the marginalized traditional (those living close to nature and natural resources) societies would be the worst sufferers. In order to cope with this problem in a situation where the traditional societies have to cope with rapidly depleting biodiversity on which they are dependant for their livelihood, there is an urgent need to explore additional pathways for sustainable management of natural resources and societal development. Such pathways should be based on a landscape management strategy, that takes into consideration the rich traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) that these societies have. This is critical because TEK is the connecting link between conservation and sustainable development. This paper explores the possibilities in this direction through a balanced approach to development, that links the 'traditional' with the 'modern', in a location-specific way.
Walls, Susan; Ball, Lianne C.; Barichivich, William J.; Dodd, Kenneth; Enge, Kevin M; Gorman, Thomas A.; O'Donnell, Katherine; Palis, John G; Semlitsch, Raymond D.
The US Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) affords many potential benefits to species threatened with extinction. However, most at-risk amphibians—one of the most imperiled vertebrate groups—remain unlisted under the provisions of the ESA, and many impediments to recovery exist for those species that have been listed. Of the 35 US amphibian species and distinct population segments (“taxa”) listed under the ESA, 40% currently lack a final (completed) recovery plan, 28.6% lack designated critical habitat, and 8.6% lack both. For taxa that have recovery plans, the time between their listing and the development of those plans was from 2 to 29 years, and the time between their listing and the designation of critical habitat ranged from 0 to 14 years. The underlying causes of such delays in protection are complex and constitute obstacles to recovery of imperiled species. We outline a series of strategic actions by which these challenges may be overcome.
Stocking impact and temporal stability of genetic composition in a brackish northern pike population (Esox lucius L.), assessed using microsatellite DNA analysis of historical and contemporary samples.
Larsen, P F; Hansen, M M; Nielsen, E E; Jensen, L F; Loeschcke, V
During the last decade, brackish northern pike populations in Denmark have been subject to stocking programmes, using nonindigenous pike from freshwater lakes, in order to compensate for drastic population declines. The present study was designed to investigate the genetic impact of stocking freshwater pike into a brackish pike population in Stege Nor, Denmark. We analysed polymorphism at eight microsatellite loci in samples representing the indigenous Stege Nor population prior to stocking (ie from 1956 to 1957), along with a sample of the contemporary Stege Nor population and samples from the three populations used for stocking. Despite large numbers of stocked fry, the results from both individual and population level admixture analyses demonstrated extremely poor performance and <1% introgression of stocked freshwater pike into the brackish pike population. Furthermore, pairwise F(ST) estimates between samples demonstrated close genetic relationship among temporal samples from Stege Nor, indicating temporal stability over the last 45 years. We also estimated the effective population size (N(e)) of pike in Stege Nor and applied a test for recent population bottlenecks. The harmonic mean of N(e) was relatively high (>250), but there were indications of bottlenecks in all samples and populations. We ascribe this finding to historical rather than recent bottlenecks, possibly dating back to founder events associated with postglacial recolonisation.
Nishimoto, Yuka; Akiyama, Yuki; Shibasaki, Ryosuke
Population explosion is considered to be one of the most crucial problems in the world. However, in Japan, the opposite problem: population decline has become serious now. Japanese population is estimated to decrease by twenty millions in 2040. This negative situation will cause to increase areas where many residents cannot make a daily living all over Japan because many convenience living facilities such as supermarkets, convenience stores and drugstores will be difficult to maintain their market area population due to future population decline. In our research, we used point data of convenience living facilities developed by address geocoding of digital telephone directory and point data of future population projection developed by distribution of Japanese official population projection data proportionally among the building volume of digital residential map, which can monitor building volumes all over Japan. In conclusion, we estimated that various convenience living facilities in Japan will shrink and close by population decline in near future. In particular, it is cleared that approximately 14.7% of supermarkets will be possible to withdraw all over Japan by 2040. In addition, it is cleared that over 40% of supermarkets in some countryside prefectures will be possible to withdraw by 2040. Thus, we estimated future distributions of convenience living facilities that cannot maintain their market area population due to future population decline. Moreover, we estimated the number of people that they will become inconvenience in buying fresh foods.
Bu, Qingwei; MacLeod, Matthew; Wong, Fiona; Toms, Leisa-Maree L; Mueller, Jochen F; Yu, Gang
Quantifying the competing rates of intake and elimination of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the human body is necessary to understand the levels and trends of POPs at a population level. In this paper we reconstruct the historical intake and elimination of ten polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and five organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) from Australian biomonitoring data by fitting a population-level pharmacokinetic (PK) model. Our analysis exploits two sets of cross-sectional biomonitoring data for PCBs and OCPs in pooled blood serum samples from the Australian population that were collected in 2003 and 2009. The modeled adult reference intakes in 1975 for PCB congeners ranged from 0.89 to 24.5ng/kgbw/day, lower than the daily intakes of OCPs ranging from 73 to 970ng/kgbw/day. Modeled intake rates are declining with half-times from 1.1 to 1.3years for PCB congeners and 0.83 to 0.97years for OCPs. The shortest modeled intrinsic human elimination half-life among the compounds studied here is 6.4years for hexachlorobenzene, and the longest is 30years for PCB-74. Our results indicate that it is feasible to reconstruct intakes and to estimate intrinsic human elimination half-lives using the population-level PK model and biomonitoring data only. Our modeled intrinsic human elimination half-lives are in good agreement with values from a similar study carried out for the population of the United Kingdom, and are generally longer than reported values from other industrialized countries in the Northern Hemisphere.
Wischmann, Steffen; Floreano, Dario; Keller, Laurent
One of the key innovations during the evolution of life on earth has been the emergence of efficient communication systems, yet little is known about the causes and consequences of the great diversity within and between species. By conducting experimental evolution in 20 independently evolving populations of cooperatively foraging simulated robots, we found that historical contingency in the occurrence order of novel phenotypic traits resulted in the emergence of two distinct communication strategies. The more complex foraging strategy was less efficient than the simpler strategy. However, when the 20 populations were placed in competition with each other, the populations with the more complex strategy outperformed the populations with the less complex strategy. These results demonstrate a tradeoff between communication efficiency and robustness and suggest that stochastic events have important effects on signal evolution and the outcome of competition between distinct populations.
Rouvinen-Watt, Kirsti; Harris, Lora; Huitu, Otso; Henttonen, Heikki; Mustonen, Anne-Mari
Arvicolines are susceptible to the development of fatty liver during short-term fasting. We examined the potential role of de novo lipogenesis (DNL) (i) in the development of fasting-induced fatty liver and (ii) during a population cycle by measuring the mRNA expression of acetyl-CoA carboxylase-1 (ACC1) and fatty acid synthase (FAS). Laboratory voles (Microtus oeconomus and Microtus arvalis) were fed or fasted for 12 or 18 h and their liver mRNA levels were determined. Both species showed decreased mRNA expression of ACC1 and FAS during fasting. This suggests that DNL does not participate in the development of fatty liver in voles, different from human non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. In wild bank voles (Myodes glareolus), the mRNA levels of the genes of interest were higher during the population decline compared to the increase phase. In conclusion, DNL was suppressed during acute fasting but upregulated during a long-term population decline—a period of purported scarcity of high-quality food. PMID:26892709
Simpson, Siobhan; Blampied, Nick; Peniche, Gabriela; Dozières, Anne; Blackett, Tiffany; Coleman, Stephen; Cornish, Nina; Groombridge, Jim J
Wildlife populations have been introduced to new areas by people for centuries, but this human-mediated movement can disrupt natural patterns of genetic structure by altering patterns of gene flow. Insular populations are particularly prone to these influences due to limited opportunities for natural dispersal onto islands. Consequently, understanding how genetic patterns develop in island populations is important, particularly given that islands are frequently havens for protected wildlife. We examined the evolutionary origins and extent of genetic structure within the introduced island population of red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) on the Channel Island of Jersey using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region sequence and nuclear microsatellite genotypes. Our findings reveal two different genetic origins and a genetic architecture reflective of the introductions 120 years ago. Genetic structure is marked within the maternally inherited mtDNA, indicating slow dispersal of female squirrels. However, nuclear markers detected only weak genetic structure, indicating substantially greater male dispersal. Data from both mitochondrial and nuclear markers support historic records that squirrels from England were introduced to the west of the island and those from mainland Europe to the east. Although some level of dispersal and introgression across the island between the two introductions is evident, there has not yet been sufficient gene flow to erase this historic genetic “footprint.” We also investigated if inbreeding has contributed to high observed levels of disease, but found no association. Genetic footprints of introductions can persist for considerable periods of time and beyond traditional timeframes of wildlife management. PMID:23532702
Ferreira, Sam M; Greaver, Cathy; Knight, Grant A; Knight, Mike H; Smit, Izak P J; Pienaar, Danie
The onslaught on the World's rhinoceroses continues despite numerous initiatives aimed at curbing it. When losses due to poaching exceed birth rates, declining rhino populations result. We used previously published estimates and growth rates for black rhinos (2008) and white rhinos (2010) together with known poaching trends at the time to predict population sizes and poaching rates in Kruger National Park, South Africa for 2013. Kruger is a stronghold for the south-eastern black rhino and southern white rhino. Counting rhinos on 878 blocks 3x3 km in size using helicopters, estimating availability bias and collating observer and detectability biases allowed estimates using the Jolly's estimator. The exponential escalation in number of rhinos poached per day appears to have slowed. The black rhino estimate of 414 individuals (95% confidence interval: 343-487) was lower than the predicted 835 individuals (95% CI: 754-956). The white rhino estimate of 8,968 individuals (95% CI: 8,394-9,564) overlapped with the predicted 9,417 individuals (95% CI: 7,698-11,183). Density- and rainfall-dependent responses in birth- and death rates of white rhinos provide opportunities to offset anticipated poaching effects through removals of rhinos from high density areas to increase birth and survival rates. Biological management of rhinos, however, need complimentary management of the poaching threat as present poaching trends predict detectable declines in white rhino abundances by 2018. Strategic responses such as anti-poaching that protect supply from illegal harvesting, reducing demand, and increasing supply commonly require crime network disruption as a first step complimented by providing options for alternative economies in areas abutting protected areas.
Ferreira, Sam M.; Greaver, Cathy; Knight, Grant A.; Knight, Mike H.; Smit, Izak P. J.; Pienaar, Danie
The onslaught on the World’s rhinoceroses continues despite numerous initiatives aimed at curbing it. When losses due to poaching exceed birth rates, declining rhino populations result. We used previously published estimates and growth rates for black rhinos (2008) and white rhinos (2010) together with known poaching trends at the time to predict population sizes and poaching rates in Kruger National Park, South Africa for 2013. Kruger is a stronghold for the south-eastern black rhino and southern white rhino. Counting rhinos on 878 blocks 3x3 km in size using helicopters, estimating availability bias and collating observer and detectability biases allowed estimates using the Jolly’s estimator. The exponential escalation in number of rhinos poached per day appears to have slowed. The black rhino estimate of 414 individuals (95% confidence interval: 343-487) was lower than the predicted 835 individuals (95% CI: 754-956). The white rhino estimate of 8,968 individuals (95% CI: 8,394-9,564) overlapped with the predicted 9,417 individuals (95% CI: 7,698-11,183). Density- and rainfall-dependent responses in birth- and death rates of white rhinos provide opportunities to offset anticipated poaching effects through removals of rhinos from high density areas to increase birth and survival rates. Biological management of rhinos, however, need complimentary management of the poaching threat as present poaching trends predict detectable declines in white rhino abundances by 2018. Strategic responses such as anti-poaching that protect supply from illegal harvesting, reducing demand, and increasing supply commonly require crime network disruption as a first step complimented by providing options for alternative economies in areas abutting protected areas. PMID:26121681
Soták, M; Petrejčíková, E; Siváková, D; Rębała, K; Bôžiková, A; Bernasovský, I; Carnogurská, J; Boronová, I; Mačeková, S; Homol'ová, L; Sovičová, A; Gabriková, D; Rusínová, L; Bernasovská, J
According to the Hutterite chronicles, the Habans arrived from Austrian Tyrol, Switzerland, and northernmost Italy and stayed in four regions of Slovakia (Sobotište, Vel'ké Leváre, Moravský Svätý Ján, Trenčín). There are some communities in western Slovakia that retained their Haban cultural identity and still identify themselves as descendents of the Hutterite population with their own specific customs. Slovak Habans are typical founder population with significant social isolation for which high degree of inbreeding is typical. Present study investigated STR polymorphisms as a powerful genetic tool for population genetic studies. The aim was to perform a comparative, population genetic study based on 15 STR loci widely used in forensic genetics, of the Haban population, the Slovak majority population and the population of Tyrol. We analyzed allele frequencies and other statistical parameters in three selected populations in order to identify groups of specific ethnic origin and establish their genetic relationship. The data set included 110 unrelated Habans and 201 unrelated individuals from the Slovak majority population, as well as allelic frequencies for the population of Austrian Tyrol available in the literature. Population pairwise FST values used as a short term genetic distance between populations showed significant differentiation between the Habans and both reference populations (FST=0.0025 and 0.0042 for comparison with the Slovaks and Austrians, respectively; p<10(-3)). The Slovak Hutterites were demonstrated to be genetically distinct and more closely related to their geographic neighbors than to their historical ancestral population, which may be at least partially explained by gene flow between neighboring Haban and Slovak populations.
Kirakoya-Samadoulougou, Fati; Nagot, Nicolas; Samadoulougou, Sekou; Sokey, Mamadou; Guiré, Abdoulaye; Sombié, Issiaka; Meda, Nicolas
ABSTRACT Objective: To investigate trends in HIV prevalence and changes in reported sexual behaviors between 1998 and 2014 in Burkina Faso. Methods: We obtained data on HIV prevalence from antenatal care (ANC) surveillance sites (N = 9) that were consistently included in surveillance between 1998 and 2014. We also analyzed data on HIV prevalence and reported sex behaviors from 3 population-based surveys from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), conducted in 1998–99, 2003, and 2010. Sex behavior indicators comprised never-married youth who have never had sex; sex with more than 1 partner; sex with a nonmarital, non-cohabiting partner; condom use at last sex with a nonmarital, non-cohabiting partner; and sex before age 15. We calculated survey-specific HIV prevalence with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and used the chi-square test or chi-square test for trend to compare HIV prevalence across survey years and to analyze trends in reported sex behaviors. Results: HIV prevalence among pregnant women ages 15–49 decreased by 72% in urban areas, from 7.1% in 1998 to 2.0% in 2014, and by 75% in rural areas, from 2.0% in 2003 to 0.5% in 2014. HIV declined most in younger age groups, which is a good reflection of recent incidence, with declines of 55% among 15–19-year-olds, 72% among 20–24-year-olds, 40% among 25–29-year-olds, and 7% among those ≥30 years old (considering urban and rural data combined). Data reported in the DHS corroborated these declines in HIV prevalence: between 2003 and 2010, HIV prevalence dropped significantly—by 89% among girls ages 15–19, from 0.9% (95% CI, 0.2 to 1.6) to 0.1% (95% CI, 0.0 to 0.4), and by 78% among young women ages 20–24, from 1.8% (95% CI, 1.6 to 3.0) to 0.4% (95% CI, 0.0 to 0.7). During the same time period, people reported safer sex behaviors. For example, significantly higher percentages of never-married youth reported they had never had sex, lower percentages of sexually active youth reported multiple
Pattison, J E
The purpose of this paper is to introduce a new method of estimating inbreeding in large, relatively isolated, populations over historic times, to demonstrate its application, and indicate some of its limitations and future developments. The method is based on the "paradox" of genealogy, and requires only that the variation of the population size be known, at least reasonably well, over an extended historic period. In this study a method has been developed to model this "paradox" which allows an estimation of the minimum level of inbreeding necessary for a given population curve in terms of values of Pearl's coefficients for each generation. As an example, the method is applied to the population of Britain. It is found that the frequency of siblings occurring in the same generation of a pedigree varies with the population size according to the Fermi-Dirac equation of statistical physics. The effect of introducing a single known estimate of inbreeding into the model is to make the otherwise diverse results for both the actual numbers of ancestors in a generation and the corresponding coefficients of inbreeding to converge.
Igl, Lawrence D.; Johnson, Douglas H.
Acquiring an accurate picture of the changes in bird populations often involves a tradeoff between the time and effort required to complete the surveys and the number of years spent surveying the bird populations. An alternative approach to long-term monitoring efforts is to collect current data and contrast those with data collected earlier in a similar fashion on the same study site(s). To evaluate changes in bird populations, we repeated two extensive surveys, one in North Dakota (1967 vs. 1992-1993) and the other in the Platte River Valley of Nebraska (1979-1980 vs. 2001), where large areas of native vegetation had been converted to agriculture. We use these examples and others from the literature to illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of using historical data as a frame of reference for population changes.
Sue Wing, Ian; Eckaus, Richard S.
This paper analyzes the influence of the long-run decline in US energy intensity on projections of energy use and carbon emissions to the year 2050. We build on our own recent work which decomposes changes in the aggregate US energy–GDP ratio into shifts in sectoral composition (structural change) and adjustments in the energy demand of individual industries (intensity change), and identifies the impact on the latter of price-induced substitution of variable inputs, shifts in the composition of capital and embodied and disembodied technical progress. We employ a recursive-dynamic computable general equilibrium (CGE) model of the US economy to analyze the implications of these findings for future energy use and carbon emissions. Comparison of the simulation results against projections of historical trends in GDP, energy use and emissions reveals that the range of values for the rate of autonomous energy efficiency improvement (AEEI) conventionally used in CGE models is consistent with the effects of structural changes at the sub-sector level, rather than disembodied technological change. Even so, our results suggest that US emissions may well grow faster in the future than in the recent past.
Martínez Cano, Isabel; Taboada, Fernando González; Naves, Javier; Fernández-Gil, Alberto; Wiegand, Thorsten
Understanding what factors drive fluctuations in the abundance of endangered species is a difficult ecological problem but a major requirement to attain effective management and conservation success. The ecological traits of large mammals make this task even more complicated, calling for integrative approaches. We develop a framework combining individual-based modelling and statistical inference to assess alternative hypotheses on brown bear dynamics in the Cantabrian range (Iberian Peninsula). Models including the effect of environmental factors on mortality rates were able to reproduce three decades of variation in the number of females with cubs of the year (Fcoy), including the decline that put the population close to extinction in the mid-nineties, and the following increase in brown bear numbers. This external effect prevailed over density-dependent mechanisms (sexually selected infanticide and female reproductive suppression), with a major impact of climate driven changes in resource availability and a secondary role of changes in human pressure. Predicted changes in population structure revealed a nonlinear relationship between total abundance and the number of Fcoy, highlighting the risk of simple projections based on indirect abundance indices. This study demonstrates the advantages of integrative, mechanistic approaches and provides a widely applicable framework to improve our understanding of wildlife dynamics.
Krushelnycky, Paul D; Loope, Lloyd L; Giambelluca, Thomas W; Starr, Forest; Starr, Kim; Drake, Donald R; Taylor, Andrew D; Robichaux, Robert H
Although climate change is predicted to place mountain-top and other narrowly endemic species at severe risk of extinction, the ecological processes involved in such extinctions are still poorly resolved. In addition, much of this biodiversity loss will likely go unobserved, and therefore largely unappreciated. The Haleakalā silversword is restricted to a single volcano summit in Hawai'i, but is a highly charismatic giant rosette plant that is viewed by 1-2 million visitors annually. We link detailed local climate data to a lengthy demographic record, and combine both with a population-wide assessment of recent plant mortality and recruitment, to show that after decades of strong recovery following successful management, this iconic species has entered a period of substantial climate-associated decline. Mortality has been highest at the lower end of the distributional range, where most silverswords occur, and the strong association of annual population growth rates with patterns of precipitation suggests an increasing frequency of lethal water stress. Local climate data confirm trends toward warmer and drier conditions on the mountain, and signify a bleak outlook for silverswords if these trends continue. The silversword example foreshadows trouble for diversity in other biological hotspots, and illustrates how even well-protected and relatively abundant species may succumb to climate-induced stresses.
Krushelnycky, Paul D.; Loope, Lloyd L.; Giambelluca, Thomas W.; Starr, Forest; Starr, Kim; Drake, Donald R.; Taylor, Andrew D.; Robichaux, Robert H.
Although climate change is predicted to place mountain-top and other narrowly endemic species at severe risk of extinction, the ecological processes involved in such extinctions are still poorly resolved. In addition, much of this biodiversity loss will likely go unobserved, and therefore largely unappreciated. The Haleakalā silversword is restricted to a single volcano summit in Hawai‘i, but is a highly charismatic giant rosette plant that is viewed by 1–2 million visitors annually. We link detailed local climate data to a lengthy demographic record, and combine both with a population-wide assessment of recent plant mortality and recruitment, to show that after decades of strong recovery following successful management, this iconic species has entered a period of substantial climate-associated decline. Mortality has been highest at the lower end of the distributional range, where most silverswords occur, and the strong association of annual population growth rates with patterns of precipitation suggests an increasing frequency of lethal water stress. Local climate data confirm trends toward warmer and drier conditions on the mountain, and signify a bleak outlook for silverswords if these trends continue. The silversword example foreshadows trouble for diversity in other biological hotspots, and illustrates how even well-protected and relatively abundant species may succumb to climate-induced stresses.
Nerlich, Andreas G; Rohrbach, Helmut; Bachmeier, Beatrice; Zink, Albert
The actual increase in the rate of malignant tumors has been ascribed to a higher life expectancy and the influence of various environmental factors. Herein, we present data on the frequency of malignant tumors in paleopathologically well-defined historic populations. Thereby, we looked for malignant growth affecting the skeleton in three study populations of 905 individuals that have been excavated from the necropoles of Thebes-West and Abydos, Upper Egypt covering the time period between 3200 and 500 BC and 2547 individuals that have been buried in a Southern German ossuary dating from between AD 1400 and 1800. The tissue preservation of both the Egyptian and Southern German material was excellent. All available specimens were subjected to a very careful macroscopic examination; isolated findings were also radiologically investigated. In parallel, anthropological data, such as gender and age at death, were recorded. We identified 5 cases of malignant tumors affecting the skeleton in the Egyptian material and 13 cases affecting the skeletal material from Southern Germany. In most instances, multiple osteolytic lesions with slight osteoblastic reaction are strongly suggestive for metastatic carcinoma. Few cases with poorly reactive osteolyses were most compatible with plasmacytoma. Relative tumor frequencies on an age- and sex-adjusted population basis (using a mathematic model of skeletal involvement of malignant tumors in a well-defined English study population from AD 1901 to 1905) indicated that the tumor rates were not statistically different between ancient Egyptian, the historical Southern German and the recent English reference population. These observations indicate that malignant tumors were present in spatially and temporarily different populations over the last 4000 years with an age- and gender-adjusted frequency not different from Western industrial populations of c. 100 years ago. Therefore, we conclude that the current rise in tumor frequencies in
Poyatos, R.; Aguadé, D.; Gómez, M.; Mencuccini, M.; Martínez-Vilalta, J.
Drought-induced defoliation has recently been associated with depletion of carbohydrate reserves and increased mortality risk in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) at its dry limit. Are defoliated pines hydraulically impaired compared to non-defoliated pines? Moreover, how do defoliated pines cope with potentially lethal droughts, as compared to non-defoliated pines in the same population? In order to address these questions, we measured the seasonal dynamics of sap flow and needle water potentials (2010-2012), hydraulic function and non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) (2012) in healthy and defoliated pines in the Prades mountains (NE Spain). The summer drought was mild in 2010, intense in 2012 and extremely long in 2011. Defoliated Scots pines showed higher sap flow per unit leaf area during spring, but they were more sensitive to summer drought (Figure 1). This pattern was associated with a steeper decline in soil-to-leaf hydraulic conductance, which could not be explained by differences in branch vulnerability to embolism across defoliation classes. Accordingly, the native loss of xylem conductivity in branches, measured in 2012, remained similar across defoliation classes and reached >65% at the peak of the drought. However, a steeper vulnerability curve was observed for root xylem of defoliated pines. Xylem diameter variations (2011-2012) will be used to further investigate possible differences in the aboveground/belowground partitioning of hydraulic resistance across defoliation classes. NSC levels varied across tree organs (leaves>branches>roots>trunk) and strongly declined with drought. Defoliated pines displayed reduced NSC levels throughout the study period, despite enhanced water transport capacity and increased gas exchange rates during spring. Overall, the defoliated vs. healthy status seems to be more associated to differences in carbohydrate storage and dynamics than to hydraulic differences per se. However, starch conversion to soluble sugars during
Maynou, Francesc; Sbrana, Mario; Sartor, Paolo; Maravelias, Christos; Kavadas, Stefanos; Damalas, Dimitros; Cartes, Joan E; Osio, Giacomo
We conducted interviews of a representative sample of 106 retired fishers in Italy, Spain and Greece, asking specific questions about the trends they perceived in dolphin and shark abundances between 1940 and 1999 (in three 20 year periods) compared to the present abundance. The large marine fauna studied were not target species of the commercial fleet segment interviewed (trawl fishery). The fishers were asked to rank the perceived abundance in each period into qualitative ordinal classes based on two indicators: frequency of sightings and frequency of catches (incidental or intentional) of each taxonomic group. The statistical analysis of the survey results showed that both incidental catches and the sighting frequency of dolphins have decreased significantly over the 60+ years of the study period (except for in Greece due to the recent population increase). This shows that fishers' perceptions are in agreement with the declining population trends detected by scientists. Shark catches were also perceived to have diminished since the early 1940s for all species. Other long-lived Mediterranean marine fauna (monk seals, whales) were at very low levels in the second half of the 20(th) century and no quantitative data could be obtained. Our study supports the results obtained in the Mediterranean and other seas that show the rapid disappearance (over a few decades) of marine fauna. We show that appropriately designed questionnaires help provide a picture of animal abundance in the past through the valuable perceptions of fishers. This information can be used to complement scientific sources or in some cases be taken as the only information source for establishing population trends in the abundance of sensitive species.
Maynou, Francesc; Sbrana, Mario; Sartor, Paolo; Maravelias, Christos; Kavadas, Stefanos; Damalas, Dimitros; Cartes, Joan E.; Osio, Giacomo
We conducted interviews of a representative sample of 106 retired fishers in Italy, Spain and Greece, asking specific questions about the trends they perceived in dolphin and shark abundances between 1940 and 1999 (in three 20 year periods) compared to the present abundance. The large marine fauna studied were not target species of the commercial fleet segment interviewed (trawl fishery). The fishers were asked to rank the perceived abundance in each period into qualitative ordinal classes based on two indicators: frequency of sightings and frequency of catches (incidental or intentional) of each taxonomic group. The statistical analysis of the survey results showed that both incidental catches and the sighting frequency of dolphins have decreased significantly over the 60+ years of the study period (except for in Greece due to the recent population increase). This shows that fishers' perceptions are in agreement with the declining population trends detected by scientists. Shark catches were also perceived to have diminished since the early 1940s for all species. Other long-lived Mediterranean marine fauna (monk seals, whales) were at very low levels in the second half of the 20th century and no quantitative data could be obtained. Our study supports the results obtained in the Mediterranean and other seas that show the rapid disappearance (over a few decades) of marine fauna. We show that appropriately designed questionnaires help provide a picture of animal abundance in the past through the valuable perceptions of fishers. This information can be used to complement scientific sources or in some cases be taken as the only information source for establishing population trends in the abundance of sensitive species. PMID:21818268
Hobson, Keith A.; Wunder, Michael B.; Van Wilgenburg, Steven L.; Clark, Robert G.; Wassenaar, Leonard I.
Background Elucidating geographic locations from where migratory birds are recruited into adult breeding populations is a fundamental but largely elusive goal in conservation biology. This is especially true for species that breed in remote northern areas where field-based demographic assessments are logistically challenging. Methodology/Findings Here we used hydrogen isotopes (δD) to determine natal origins of migrating hatch-year lesser scaup (Aythya affinis) harvested by hunters in the United States from all North American flyways during the hunting seasons of 1999–2000 (n = 412) and 2000–2001 (n = 455). We combined geospatial, observational, and analytical data sources, including known scaup breeding range, δD values of feathers from juveniles at natal sites, models of δD for growing-season precipitation, and scaup band-recovery data to generate probabilistic natal origin landscapes for individual scaup. We then used Monte Carlo integration to model assignment uncertainty from among individual δD variance estimates from birds of known molt origin and also from band-return data summarized at the flyway level. We compared the distribution of scaup natal origin with the distribution of breeding population counts obtained from systematic long-term surveys. Conclusions/Significance Our analysis revealed that the proportion of young scaup produced in the northern (above 60°N) versus the southern boreal and Prairie-Parkland region was inversely related to the proportions of breeding adults using these regions, suggesting that despite having a higher relative abundance of breeding adults, the northern boreal region was less productive for scaup recruitment into the harvest than more southern biomes. Our approach for evaluating population declines of migratory birds (particularly game birds) synthesizes all available distributional data and exploits the advantages of intrinsic isotopic markers that link individuals to geography. PMID:19946360
Comparative phylogeny and historical perspectives on population genetics of the Pacific hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas), inferred from feeding populations in the Yaeyama Islands, Japan.
Nishizawa, Hideaki; Okuyama, Junichi; Kobayashi, Masato; Abe, Osamu; Arai, Nobuaki
Mitochondrial DNA sequence polymorphisms and patterns of genetic diversity represent the genealogy and relative impacts of historical, geographic, and demographic events on populations. In this study, historical patterns of population dynamics and differentiation in hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in the Pacific were estimated from feeding populations in the Yaeyama Islands, Japan. Phylogenetic relationships of the haplotypes indicated that hawksbill and green turtles in the Pacific probably underwent very similar patterns and processes of population dynamics over the last million years, with population subdivision during the early Pleistocene and population expansion after the last glacial maximum. These significant contemporary historical events were suggested to have been caused by climatic and sea-level fluctuations. On the other hand, comparing our results to long-term population dynamics in the Atlantic, population subdivisions during the early Pleistocene were specific to Pacific hawksbill and green turtles. Therefore, regional differences in historical population dynamics are suggested. Despite limited sampling locations, these results are the first step in estimating the historical trends in Pacific sea turtles by using phylogenetics and population genetics.
Dong, Hao; Campbell, Cameron; Kurosu, Satomi; Yang, Wenshan; Lee, James Z
Comparison and comparability lie at the heart of any comparative social science. Still, precise comparison is virtually impossible without using similar methods and similar data. In recent decades, social demographers, historians, and economic historians have compiled and made available a large number of micro-level data sets of historical populations for North America and Europe. Studies using these data have already made important contributions to many academic disciplines. In a similar spirit, we introduce five new micro-level historical panel data sets from East Asia, including the China Multi-Generational Panel Dataset-Liaoning (CMGPD-LN) 1749-1909, the China Multi-Generational Panel Dataset-Shuangcheng (CMGPD-SC) 1866-1913, the Japanese Ninbetsu-Aratame-Cho Population Register Database-Shimomoriya and Niita (NAC-SN) 1716-1870, the Korea Multi-Generational Panel Dataset-Tansung (KMGPD-TS) 1678-1888, and the Colonial Taiwan Household Registration Database (CTHRD) 1906-1945. These data sets in total contain more than 3.7 million linked observations of 610,000 individuals and are the first such Asian data to be made available online or by application. We discuss the key features and historical institutions that originally collected these data; the subsequent processes by which the data were reconstructed into individual-level panels; their particular data limitations and strengths; and their potential for comparative social scientific research.
Dong, Hao; Campbell, Cameron; Kurosu, Satomi; Yang, Wenshan; Lee, James Z.
Comparison and comparability lie at the heart of any comparative social science. Still, precise comparison is virtually impossible without using similar methods and similar data. In recent decades, social demographers, historians, and economic historians have compiled and made available a large number of micro-level data sets of historical populations for North America and Europe. Studies using these data have already made important contributions to many academic disciplines. In a similar spirit, we introduce five new microlevel historical panel data sets from East Asia, including the China Multi-Generational Panel Dataset–Liaoning (CMGPD-LN) 1749–1909, the China Multi-Generational Panel Dataset– Shuangcheng (CMGPD-SC) 1866–1913, the Japanese Ninbetsu-Aratame-Cho Population Register Database–Shimomoriya and Niita (NAC-SN) 1716–1870, the Korea Multi-Generational Panel Dataset–Tansung (KMGPD-TS) 1678–1888, and the Colonial Taiwan Household Registration Database (CTHRD) 1906–1945. These data sets in total contain more than 3.7 million linked observations of 610,000 individuals and are the first such Asian data to be made available online or by application. We discuss the key features and historical institutions that originally collected these data; the subsequent processes by which the data were reconstructed into individual-level panels; their particular data limitations and strengths; and their potential for comparative social scientific research. PMID:26001625
This paper, one of two related documents, examines the impact of declining enrollments on educational expenditures. It highlights population and social changes that have contributed to the decline and discusses the general financing of schools. Finally, the paper discusses strategies state policymakers can use to manage decline, including…
Túnez, Juan I; Cappozzo, Humberto L; Nardelli, Maximiliano; Cassini, Marcelo H
The north-central Patagonian coast is the sea lions most abundant area in Argentina. As occurs along the entire Atlantic coast, the distribution of breeding colonies at this smaller geographical scale is also patchy, showing at least three areas with breeding activity. We study the genetic structure and historical population dynamics of the species in five colonies in this area, analysing a 508 base-pair segment of the D-loop control region. Otaria flavescens showed 10 haplotypes with 12 polymorphic sites. The genealogical relationship between haplotypes revealed a shallow pattern of phylogeographic structure. The analysis of molecular variance showed significant differences between colonies, however, pairwise comparisons only indicate significant differences between a pair of colonies belonging to different breeding areas. The pattern of haplotype differentiation and the mismatch distribution analysis suggest a possible bottleneck that would have occurred 64,000 years ago, followed by a demographic expansion of the three southernmost colonies. Thus, the historical population dynamics of O. flavescens in north-central Patagonia appears to be closely related with the dynamics of the Late Pleistocene glaciations.
The relationship between stream flashiness and watershed-scale estimates of percent imperviousness, urban development, and population density were used in an historic landscape analysis at the individual watershed spatial scale. GIS technology was employed to spatially associate...
Lee, Li-Chin; Tsai, Alan C
Nutrition is a key element in geriatric health and is important for functional ability. The present study examined the functional status-predictive ability of the Mini-Nutritional Assessment (MNA). We analysed the dataset of the 'Survey of Health and Living Status of the Elderly in Taiwan', a population-based study conducted by the Bureau of Health Promotion of Taiwan. Study subjects (≥65 years old) who completed both the 1999 and 2003 surveys were rated with the long form and short form of the MNA at baseline and with the Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and the Instrument Activities of Daily Living (IADL) scales 4 years later (end-point). The ability of the MNA to predict ADL or IADL dependency was evaluated with logistic regression models. The results showed that the elderly who were rated malnourished or at risk of malnutrition at baseline generally had significantly higher ADL or IADL scores 4 years later. Lower baseline MNA scores also predicted a greater risk of ADL or IADL dependency. These associations exist even among the elderly who were free of ADL or IADL dependency at baseline. The results clearly indicate that the MNA is able to predict ADL and IADL dependency (in addition to rating current nutritional status) of the elderly. The MNA, especially the short form, should be a valuable tool for identifying elderly at risk of functional decline and/or malnutrition in clinical practice or community programmes.
Wood, Dustin A.; Halstead, Brian J.; Casazza, Michael L.; Hansen, Eric C.; Wylie, Glenn D.; Vandergast, Amy
Anthropogenic habitat fragmentation can disrupt the ability of species to disperse across landscapes, which can alter the levels and distribution of genetic diversity within populations and negatively impact long-term viability. The giant gartersnake (Thamnophis gigas) is a state and federally threatened species that historically occurred in the wetland habitats of California’s Great Central Valley. Despite the loss of 93 % of historic wetlands throughout the Central Valley, giant gartersnakes continue to persist in relatively small, isolated patches of highly modified agricultural wetlands. Gathering information regarding genetic diversity and effective population size represents an essential component for conservation management programs aimed at this species. Previous mitochondrial sequence studies have revealed historical patterns of differentiation, yet little is known about contemporary population structure and diversity. On the basis of 15 microsatellite loci, we estimate population structure and compare indices of genetic diversity among populations spanning seven drainage basins within the Central Valley. We sought to understand how habitat loss may have affected genetic differentiation, genetic diversity and effective population size, and what these patterns suggest in terms of management and restoration actions. We recovered five genetic clusters that were consistent with regional drainage basins, although three northern basins within the Sacramento Valley formed a single genetic cluster. Our results show that northern drainage basin populations have higher connectivity than among central and southern basins populations, and that greater differentiation exists among the more geographically isolated populations in the central and southern portion of the species’ range. Genetic diversity measures among basins were significantly different, and were generally lower in southern basin populations. Levels of inbreeding and evidence of population
Spendelow, J.A.; Nichols, J.D.; Kendall, W.L.; Hines, J.E.; Hatfield, J.S.; Nisbet, I.C.T.
An intensive mark-recapture/resighting program has been carried out on the Roseate Terns nesting at Falkner Island, Connecticut, since the late 1980s as part of a regional study of the metapopulation dynamics and ecology of the endangered Northwest Atlantic breeding population of this species. Substantial losses of tern eggs and chicks to predation at this colony site began in 1996 when at least five Black-crowned Night-Herons started nocturnal raids. This depredation has been a major factor in the reduction of productivity from an average of about 1.0 chicks/pair for the 10 years before night-heron predation began to as low as about 0.2 chicks/pair in 2002. Recent capture-recapture modelling analyses have detected other important impacts on the population dynamics of the Roseate Terns at this site including a reduction by about half in the 'development-of-residency' rates of first-time breeders, and a substantial decline in the local 'survival-and-fidelity' rates of experienced breeders believed due mostly to increased immigration rates to other colony sites.
Catry, Inês; Franco, Aldina M. A.; Rocha, Pedro; Alcazar, Rita; Reis, Susana; Cordeiro, Ana; Ventim, Rita; Teodósio, Joaquim; Moreira, Francisco
Among birds, breeding numbers are mainly limited by two resources of major importance: food supply and nest-site availability. Here, we investigated how differences in land-use and nest-site availability affected the foraging behaviour, breeding success and population trends of the colonial cavity-dependent lesser kestrel Falco naumanni inhabiting two protected areas. Both areas were provided with artificial nests to increase nest-site availability. The first area is a pseudo-steppe characterized by traditional extensive cereal cultivation, whereas the second area is a previous agricultural zone now abandoned or replaced by forested areas. In both areas, lesser kestrels selected extensive agricultural habitats, such as fallows and cereal fields, and avoided scrubland and forests. In the second area, tracked birds from one colony travelled significantly farther distances (6.2 km ±1.7 vs. 1.8 km ±0.4 and 1.9 km ±0.6) and had significant larger foraging-ranges (144 km2 vs. 18.8 and 14.8 km2) when compared to the birds of two colonies in the extensive agricultural area. Longer foraging trips were reflected in lower chick feeding rates, lower fledging success and reduced chick fitness. Availability and occupation of artificial nests was high in both areas but population followed opposite trends, with a positive increment recorded exclusively in the first area with a large proportion of agricultural areas. Progressive habitat loss around the studied colony in the second area (suitable habitat decreased from 32% in 1990 to only 7% in 2002) is likely the main driver of the recorded population decline and suggests that the effectiveness of bird species conservation based on nest-site provisioning is highly constrained by habitat quality in the surrounding areas. Therefore, the conservation of cavity-dependent species may be enhanced firstly by finding the best areas of remaining habitat and secondly by increasing the carrying capacity of high-quality habitat areas
van der Meer, M H; Jones, G P; Hobbs, J-P A; van Herwerden, L
Endemic species on islands are considered at risk of extinction for several reasons, including limited dispersal abilities, small population sizes, and low genetic diversity. We used mitochondrial DNA (D-Loop) and 17 microsatellite loci to explore the evolutionary relationship between an endemic anemonefish, Amphiprion mccullochi (restricted to isolated locations in subtropical eastern Australia) and its more widespread sister species, A. akindynos. A mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) phylogram showed reciprocal monophyly was lacking for the two species, with two supported groups, each containing representatives of both species, but no shared haplotypes and up to 12 species, but not location-specific management units (MUs). Population genetic analyses suggested evolutionary connectivity among samples of each species (mtDNA), while ecological connectivity was only evident among populations of the endemic, A. mccullochi. This suggests higher dispersal between endemic anemonefish populations at both evolutionary and ecological timeframes, despite separation by hundreds of kilometers. The complex mtDNA structure results from historical hybridization and introgression in the evolutionary past of these species, validated by msat analyses (NEWHYBRIDS, STRUCTURE, and DAPC). Both species had high genetic diversities (mtDNA h > 0.90, π = 4.0%; msat genetic diversity, gd > 0.670). While high gd and connectivity reduce extinction risk, identifying and protecting populations implicated in generating reticulate structure among these species should be a conservation priority.
Harris, Lorna H; Parrish, Theodore; Obano, Nosa; Downing, Beverly; Mcallister, Nancy
One in every two men and one in every three women in North Carolina will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. Cancer is a leading cause of death for ethnic minority populations in North Carolina. The impact on cancer patients, on their families, and on their communities is immeasurable. The burden of cancer in ethnic minority communities can be better addressed if proven advances in prevention, early detection, and care are made available. Historically black colleges and universities (HBCLUs) can play a major role in assisting state governments understand the health needs and health-care delivery preferences of underserved populations. This paper describes these major roles as collaborations between four HBCUs and the state of North Carolina. Recommendations that address improving access to cancer services in the African-American, Hispanic, and American Indian communities are presented.
Dreyfuss, Gilles; Vignoles, Philippe; Rondelaud, Daniel
Field investigations on the habitats colonized by Galba truncatula or Omphiscola glabra were carried out on 162 farms of the Limousin region, Central France, to determine whether there is currently a decline in the number and size of snail populations. Seven types of snail habitats were considered here. Compared to the numbers of snail populations recorded from 1976 to 1992, the values noted from 2013 to 2016 were significantly lower, with a decline rate of 34% for G. truncatula and 23% for O. glabra. Variations in this decline rate with the type of snail habitat were also noted. The greatest decreases in the numbers of snail populations were noted for spring heads located in meadows and for road ditches, while the lowest were noted for open drainage furrows present in meadows. The distribution of these habitats according to their area did not show any significant change over time. In contrast, overwintering snails were significantly less numerous in 2013–2016 in five types of habitats for G. truncatula and in three types only for O. glabra. Several causes underlie this population decline. Among them, the current development of mechanical cleaning in open drainage systems and road ditches, that of subsurface drainage in meadows, and regular gyro-crushing of vegetation around temporary spring heads were the most important. PMID:27774956
Congdon, B.C.; Piatt, J.F.; Martin, K.; Friesen, V.L.
Mechanisms of population differentiation in highly vagile species such as seabirds are poorly understood. Previous studies of marbled murrelets (Brachyramphus marmoratus; Charadriiformes: Alcidae) found significant population genetic structure, but could not determine whether this structure is due to historical vicariance (e.g., due to Pleistocene glaciers), isolation by distance, drift or selection in peripheral populations, or nesting habitat selection. To discriminate among these possibilities, we analyzed sequence variation in nine nuclear introns from 120 marbled murrelets sampled from British Columbia to the western Aleutian Islands. Mismatch distributions indicated that murrelets underwent at least one population expansion during the Pleistocene and probably are not in genetic equilibrium. Maximum-likelihood analysis of allele frequencies suggested that murrelets from 'mainland' sites (from the Alaskan Peninsula east) are genetically different from those in the Aleutians and that these two lineages diverged prior to the last glaciation. Analyses of molecular variance, as well as estimates of gene flow derived using coalescent theory, indicate that population genetic structure is best explained by peripheral isolation of murrelets in the Aleutian Islands, rather than by selection associated with different nesting habitats. No isolation-by-distance effects could be detected. Our results are consistent with a rapid expansion of murrelets from a single refugium during the early-mid Pleistocene, subsequent isolation and divergence in two or more refugia during the final Pleistocene glacial advance, and secondary contact following retreat of the ice sheets. Population genetic structure now appears to be maintained by distance effects combined with small populations and a highly fragmented habitat in the Aleutian Islands.
MacKenzie, Brian R.; Mariani, Patrizio
The lucrative and highly migratory Atlantic bluefin tuna, Thunnus thynnus (Linnaeus 1758; Scombridae), used to be distributed widely throughout the north Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea. Its migrations have supported sustainable fisheries and impacted local cultures since antiquity, but its biogeographic range has contracted since the 1950s. Most recently, the species disappeared from the Black Sea in the late 1980s and has not yet recovered. Reasons for the Black Sea disappearance, and the species-wide range contraction, are unclear. However bluefin tuna formerly foraged and possibly spawned in the Black Sea. Loss of a locally-reproducing population would represent a decline in population richness, and an increase in species vulnerability to perturbations such as exploitation and environmental change. Here we identify the main genetic and phenotypic adaptations that the population must have (had) in order to reproduce successfully in the specific hydrographic (estuarine) conditions of the Black Sea. By comparing hydrographic conditions in spawning areas of the three species of bluefin tunas, and applying a mechanistic model of egg buoyancy and sinking rate, we show that reproduction in the Black Sea must have required specific adaptations of egg buoyancy, fertilisation and development for reproductive success. Such adaptations by local populations of marine fish species spawning in estuarine areas are common as is evident from a meta-analysis of egg buoyancy data from 16 species of fish. We conclude that these adaptations would have been necessary for successful local reproduction by bluefin tuna in the Black Sea, and that a locally-adapted reproducing population may have disappeared. Recovery of bluefin tuna in the Black Sea, either for spawning or foraging, will occur fastest if any remaining locally adapted individuals are allowed to survive, and by conservation and recovery of depleted Mediterranean populations which could through time re
Pérez-Alvarez, M. J.; Olavarría, C.; Moraga, R.; Baker, C. S.; Hamner, R. M.; Poulin, E.
The complementarity of historical and contemporary processes contributes to understanding the genetic structure of continuously distributed marine species with high dispersal capabilities. Cephalorhynchus eutropia, has a continuous coastal distribution with strong genetic differentiation identified by nuclear DNA markers. We explored the historical dimension of this genetic differentiation between northern and southern populations to evaluate phylogeographic structure. Additionally, we conducted mtDNA and microsatellite analyses to detect past and recent demographic changes. The southern population was characterized by lower genetic diversity with a signal of population expansion, likely associated with ice retreat and habitat extension after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). In contrast, structure within the northern population was more consistent with stable historical population size. Approximate Bayesian Computation analyses suggested that during the LGM, C. eutropia persisted in the northern area; while the south was colonized by dispersal ~11,000 years ago followed by population expansion. This study shows that Chilean dolphin population structure is consistent with predictions from the Expansion-Contraction biogeographic model, with a poleward post-glacial shift revealed in current genetic structure. The results also confirm the validity of the population units previously identified, demonstrating their historical origin and highlighting the utility of integrating genetic markers with different temporal scale resolutions. PMID:27759113
Pérez-Alvarez, M J; Olavarría, C; Moraga, R; Baker, C S; Hamner, R M; Poulin, E
The complementarity of historical and contemporary processes contributes to understanding the genetic structure of continuously distributed marine species with high dispersal capabilities. Cephalorhynchus eutropia, has a continuous coastal distribution with strong genetic differentiation identified by nuclear DNA markers. We explored the historical dimension of this genetic differentiation between northern and southern populations to evaluate phylogeographic structure. Additionally, we conducted mtDNA and microsatellite analyses to detect past and recent demographic changes. The southern population was characterized by lower genetic diversity with a signal of population expansion, likely associated with ice retreat and habitat extension after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). In contrast, structure within the northern population was more consistent with stable historical population size. Approximate Bayesian Computation analyses suggested that during the LGM, C. eutropia persisted in the northern area; while the south was colonized by dispersal ~11,000 years ago followed by population expansion. This study shows that Chilean dolphin population structure is consistent with predictions from the Expansion-Contraction biogeographic model, with a poleward post-glacial shift revealed in current genetic structure. The results also confirm the validity of the population units previously identified, demonstrating their historical origin and highlighting the utility of integrating genetic markers with different temporal scale resolutions.
Chu, Ta-Jen; Wang, Daryi; Lee, Ying-Chou; Tzeng, Tzong-Der
The oriental river prawn (Macrobrachium nipponense) is a non-obligatory amphidromous prawn, and it has a wide distribution covering almost the entire Taiwan. Mitochondrial DNA fragment sequences of the cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) and 16S rRNA were combined and used to elucidate the population structure and historical demography of oriental river prawn in Taiwan. A total of 202 individuals from six reservoirs and three estuaries were separately collected. Nucleotide diversity (π) of all populations was 0.01217, with values ranging from 0.00188 (Shihmen Reservoir, SMR, northern Taiwan) to 0.01425 (Mingte Reservoir, MTR, west-central Taiwan). All 76 haplotypes were divided into 2 lineages: lineage A included individuals from all sampling areas except SMR, and lineage B included specimens from all sampling locations except Chengching Lake Reservoir (CLR) and Liyu Lake Reservoir (LLR). All FST values among nine populations were significantly different except the one between Jhonggang River Estuary (JGE, west-central Taiwan) and Kaoping River Estuary (KPE, southern Taiwan). UPGMA tree of nine populations showed two main groups: the first group included the SMR and Tamsui River Estuary (TSE) (both located northern Taiwan), and the second one included the other seven populations (west-central, southern and eastern Taiwan). Demographic analyses implied a population expansion occurred during the recent history of the species. The dispersal route of this species might be from China to west-central and west-southern Taiwan, and then the part individuals belonging to lineage A and B dispersed southerly and northerly, respectively. And then part individuals in west-central Taiwan fell back to and stay at estuaries as the sea level rose about 18,000 years ago. PMID:26716687
Chen, Po-Cheng; Shih, Chun-Han; Chu, Ta-Jen; Wang, Daryi; Lee, Ying-Chou; Tzeng, Tzong-Der
The oriental river prawn (Macrobrachium nipponense) is a non-obligatory amphidromous prawn, and it has a wide distribution covering almost the entire Taiwan. Mitochondrial DNA fragment sequences of the cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) and 16S rRNA were combined and used to elucidate the population structure and historical demography of oriental river prawn in Taiwan. A total of 202 individuals from six reservoirs and three estuaries were separately collected. Nucleotide diversity (π) of all populations was 0.01217, with values ranging from 0.00188 (Shihmen Reservoir, SMR, northern Taiwan) to 0.01425 (Mingte Reservoir, MTR, west-central Taiwan). All 76 haplotypes were divided into 2 lineages: lineage A included individuals from all sampling areas except SMR, and lineage B included specimens from all sampling locations except Chengching Lake Reservoir (CLR) and Liyu Lake Reservoir (LLR). All FST values among nine populations were significantly different except the one between Jhonggang River Estuary (JGE, west-central Taiwan) and Kaoping River Estuary (KPE, southern Taiwan). UPGMA tree of nine populations showed two main groups: the first group included the SMR and Tamsui River Estuary (TSE) (both located northern Taiwan), and the second one included the other seven populations (west-central, southern and eastern Taiwan). Demographic analyses implied a population expansion occurred during the recent history of the species. The dispersal route of this species might be from China to west-central and west-southern Taiwan, and then the part individuals belonging to lineage A and B dispersed southerly and northerly, respectively. And then part individuals in west-central Taiwan fell back to and stay at estuaries as the sea level rose about 18,000 years ago.
Green, Rhys E; Taggart, Mark A; Senacha, Kalu Ram; Raghavan, Bindu; Pain, Deborah J; Jhala, Yadvendradev; Cuthbert, Richard
The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac is a major cause of the rapid declines in the Indian subcontinent of three species of vultures endemic to South Asia. The drug causes kidney failure and death in vultures. Exposure probably arises through vultures feeding on carcasses of domesticated ungulates treated with the drug. However, before the study reported here, it had not been established from field surveys of ungulate carcasses that a sufficient proportion was contaminated to cause the observed declines. We surveyed diclofenac concentrations in samples of liver from carcasses of domesticated ungulates in India in 2004-2005. We estimated the concentration of diclofenac in tissues available to vultures, relative to that in liver, and the proportion of vultures killed after feeding on a carcass with a known level of contamination. We assessed the impact of this mortality on vulture population trend with a population model. We expected levels of diclofenac found in ungulate carcasses in 2004-2005 to cause oriental white-backed vulture population declines of 80-99% per year, depending upon the assumptions used in the model. This compares with an observed rate of decline, from road transect counts, of 48% per year in 2000-2003. The precision of the estimate based upon carcass surveys is low and the two types of estimate were not significantly different. Our analyses indicate that the level of diclofenac contamination found in carcasses of domesticated ungulates in 2004-2005 was sufficient to account for the observed rapid decline of the oriental white-backed vulture in India. The methods we describe could be used again to assess changes in the effect on vulture population trend of diclofenac and similar drugs. In this way, the effectiveness of the recent ban in India on the manufacture and importation of diclofenac for veterinary use could be monitored.
Bacles, Cecile F E; Burczyk, Jaroslaw; Lowe, Andrew J; Ennos, Richard A
Genetic variation at microsatellite markers was used to quantify genetic structure and mating behavior in a severely fragmented population of the wind-pollinated, wind-dispersed temperate tree Fraxinus excelsior in a deforested catchment in Scotland. Remnants maintain high levels of genetic diversity, comparable with those reported for continuous populations in southeastern Europe, and show low interpopulation differentiation (E = 0.080), indicating that historical gene exchange has not been limited (Nm = 3.48). We estimated from seeds collected from all trees producing fruits in three of five remnants that F. excelsior is predominantly outcrossing (t(m) = 0.971 +/- 0.028). Use of a neighborhood model approach to describe the relative contribution of local and long-distance pollen dispersal indicates that pollen gene flow into each of the three remnants is extensive (46-95%) and pollen dispersal has two components. The first is very localized and restricted to tens of meters around the mother trees. The second is a long-distance component with dispersal occurring over several kilometers. Effective dispersal distances, accounting for the distance and directionality to mother trees of sampled pollen donors, average 328 m and are greater than values reported for a continuous population. These results suggest that the opening of the landscape facilitates airborne pollen movement and may alleviate the expected detrimental genetic effects of fragmentation.
Shem-Tov, Doron; Halperin, Eran
Recent technological improvements in the field of genetic data extraction give rise to the possibility of reconstructing the historical pedigrees of entire populations from the genotypes of individuals living today. Current methods are still not practical for real data scenarios as they have limited accuracy and assume unrealistic assumptions of monogamy and synchronized generations. In order to address these issues, we develop a new method for pedigree reconstruction, [Formula: see text], which is based on formulations of the pedigree reconstruction problem as variants of graph coloring. The new formulation allows us to consider features that were overlooked by previous methods, resulting in a reconstruction of up to 5 generations back in time, with an order of magnitude improvement of false-negatives rates over the state of the art, while keeping a lower level of false positive rates. We demonstrate the accuracy of [Formula: see text] compared to previous approaches using simulation studies over a range of population sizes, including inbred and outbred populations, monogamous and polygamous mating patterns, as well as synchronous and asynchronous mating.
Claggett, Peter R.; Hearn,, Paul P.; Donato, David I.
The Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability (SERPPAS) was formed in 2005 as a partnership between the Department of Defense (DOD) and State and Federal agencies to promote better collaboration in making resource-use decisions. In support of this goal, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducted a study to evaluate historic population growth and land-cover change, and to model future change, for the 13-county SERPPAS study area in southeastern North Carolina (fig. 1). Improved understanding of trends in land-cover change and the ability to forecast land-cover change that is consistent with these trends will be a key component of efforts to accommodate local military-mission imperatives while also promoting sustainable economic growth throughout the 13-county study area. The study had three principal objectives: 1. Evaluate historic changes in population and land cover for the period 1992–2006 using both previously existing as well as newly generated land-cover data. 2. Develop models to forecast future change in land cover using the data gathered in objective 1 in conjunction with ancillary data on the suitability of the various sub-areas within the study area for low- and high-intensity urban development. 3. Deliver these results—including an executive-level briefing and a USGS technical report—to DOD, other project cooperators, and local counties in hard-copy and digital formats and via the Web through a map-based data viewer. This report provides a general overview of the study and is intended for general distribution to non-technical audiences.
Akkerman, A; He, J S
This paper examined patterns of fertility decline during 1982-90 in 93 contiguous subareas in Guangdong province, China. Data were obtained from the 1982 and 1990 censuses. Background information is provided on the total fertility rate (TFR) and decline in China, over time, with regard to regional differences, policy, and development. The three types of topography are associated with different levels of development in Guangdong. The TFR in Guangdong prior to 1971 ranged from 5.3 to 6.3, which was lower than the national average. Since 1971, TFR has been declining but has been higher than China's TFR. TFR in Guangdong declined from 5.4 to 2.7 (3.0 in rural areas) during 1971-90. Guangdong TFR in 1981 and 1989 indicates a decline from 3.54 to 2.94. The highest TFR was 5.47 in Wuhua county of the northeast mountain region. The lowest TFR was in Foshan in the Pearl River Delta (PRD). In 1989, the highest TFR was 4.53 in Wuhua county, but the lowest shifted to 0.91 in Bao'an county in the periphery of Shenzhen City. TFR can be grouped as low (under 2.5), medium (2.5-3.5), and high (over 3.5). Low TFR occurred in 6 counties and 4 cities in the PRD and in 6 other cities. Medium TFR occurred in 8 counties in the PRD, 4 counties in the Han River Delta, and subareas in mountain regions. High TFR was in counties of the northern and northeastern mountains and in the southwest. TFR declined and spread throughout the PRD and 5 cities outside the PRD. By 1989, high TFR remained in the southwest. TFR converged toward medium levels. Economic reforms and the implementation of the one-child policy were geographically selective.
Lopes, Isabel; Baird, Donald J; Ribeiro, Rui
Field populations of daphnids historically-stressed by metal contamination may show increased resistance to those contaminants. This study was undertaken aiming to confirm/infirm three main hypotheses: (1) field populations living in historically-impacted environments are more tolerant to metal stress than populations from reference sites; (2) resistance differences are genetically-determined, i.e., differences persist after controlling for environmental and maternal effects, by acclimating cloned lineages to similar conditions; and (3) resistance to stress in field populations living in historically-impacted environments is due to the disappearance of sensitive individuals rather than the appearance of highly resistant ones, i.e., the shift in the central tendency of resistance is linked to a decrease in the range of population resistance and not to an increased upper limit of the population resistance. Three populations of the cladoceran Ceriodaphnia pulchella Sars in Southern Portugal were sampled; one of which has been historically-stressed by acid mine drainage (AMD) from an abandoned cupric-pyrite mine and two from reference sites within the same watershed. To assess if resistance differences were genetically-determined, the three populations were acclimated for at least five generations under the same controlled conditions. Assays with AMD contaminated water samples were performed with both non-acclimated and acclimated individuals from all studied populations. Reproduction results in sub-lethal assays revealed significant differences between the reference and stressed populations. Significant differences in resistance to lethal levels of toxicity were observed for both non-acclimated and acclimated populations, individuals from population I being more resistant than those from reference populations. The existence of genetically-determined sensitivity differences was attested by the presence of significant differences in resistance to lethal levels of
A review of the impact of economic fluctuations on demographic factors suggests remarkable similarities between the pre-20th century experience of European populations and the current experience of poor developing countries. Studies of pre-industrial European population consistently show a negative association of both nuptiality and marital fertility with grain prices and a positive mortality-price association in time of economic crisis. Mortality generally remains elevated for at least 2 years after the crisis, while fertility is lowest in the year following the crisis and then rebounds to above-normal levels before restabilizing. Recent data on major famines in Bangladesh and China, and on less catastrophic food production short falls or price increases of relatively brief duration in India, Japan, and Taiwan, allow further analysis of the impact of economic conditions. In all 5 scenarios, the timing effects are consistent with the pre-industrial European pattern. However, when the crisis is exceptionally severe (as in the case of China), the mortality response is more immediate. Overall, as Caldwell and Caldwell have hypothesized, increases in mortality and decreases in fertility are equally responsible for population loss in times of economic crises--although mortality plays a larger role in poorer settings. Even in the case of catastrophic events such as famine, the demographic response to an economic crisis rarely has a qualitatively important impact on population trends. For example, the massive famine of 1959-61 in China represented a loss of only a few years of natural increase. Studies of contemporary developed societies such as the US have produced contradictory findings. It is speculated that the research will eventually uncover a pattern of a decline in fertility and perhaps nuptiality after an economic crisis, but little effect on mortality.
Nazareno, Alison G; dos Reis, Maurício S
To estimate the risk of population decline for the threatened palm species Butia eriospatha, we investigated the patterns of demography, natural regeneration, herbivory, and the levels of genetic diversity using 9 microsatellite loci from both adults and seedlings sampled from 4 populations in Southern Brazil (n = 330). Our results indicate that cattle grazing in B. eriospatha population areas severely affect their demographic structure. Three B. eriospatha populations showed a bimodal age structure made up of adult plants and seedlings and high rates (>77%) of livestock herbivory. For 1 population, we describe and quantify for the first time the occurrence of 6 ontogenetic stages for this threatened palm species. Populations of B. eriospatha showed high levels of genetic differentiation (F ST adult plants = 0.287, F ST seedlings = 0.175). The amount of observed heterozygosity differed significantly between small (H O = 0.329) and large populations (H O = 0.461), indicating that small populations can be more susceptible to genetic drift. With no recruitment and a mortality rate of 2.0%, we show that the populations investigated in this study would be at an extremely high risk of local extinction, with a greater than 50% reduction in the effective population size, in the next 40 years. Although this study highlights the importance of analyzing both population ecology parameters and genetic data to better understand the level of risk facing threatened species, we emphasize that policy actions are urgently needed for effective conservation of this vulnerable biological resource.
Winkler, Louisa R.; Michael Bonman, J.; Chao, Shiaoman; Admassu Yimer, B.; Bockelman, Harold; Esvelt Klos, Kathy
Population structure and genetic architecture of phenotypic traits in oat (Avena sativa L.) remain relatively under-researched compared to other small grain species. This study explores the historic context of current elite germplasm, including phenotypic and genetic characterization, with a particular focus on identifying under-utilized areas. A diverse panel of cultivated oat accessions was assembled from the USDA National Small Grains Collection to represent a gene pool relatively unaffected by twentieth century breeding activity and unlikely to have been included in recent molecular studies. The panel was genotyped using an oat iSelect 6K beadchip SNP array. The final dataset included 759 unique individuals and 2,715 polymorphic markers. Some population structure was apparent, with the first three principal components accounting for 38.8% of variation and 73% of individuals belonging to one of three clusters. One cluster with high genetic distinctness appears to have been largely overlooked in twentieth century breeding. Classification and phenotype data provided by the Germplasm Resources Information Network were evaluated for their relationship to population structure. Of the structuring variables evaluated, improvement status (cultivar or landrace) was relatively unimportant, indicating that landraces and cultivars included in the panel were all sampled from a similar underlying population. Instead, lemma color and region of origin showed the strongest explanatory power. An exploratory association mapping study of the panel using a subset of 2,588 mapped markers generated novel indications of genomic regions associated with awn frequency, kernels per spikelet, lemma color, and panicle type. Further results supported previous findings of loci associated with barley yellow dwarf virus tolerance, crown rust (caused by Puccinia coronata f. sp. avenae) resistance, days to anthesis, and growth habit (winter/spring). In addition, two novel loci were identified for
Peña M, Fabiola; Poulin, Elie; Dantas, Gisele P M; González-Acuña, Daniel; Petry, Maria Virginia; Vianna, Juliana A
The West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) has been suffering an increase in its atmospheric temperature during the last 50 years, mainly associated with global warming. This increment of temperature trend associated with changes in sea-ice dynamics has an impact on organisms, affecting their phenology, physiology and distribution range. For instance, rapid demographic changes in Pygoscelis penguins have been reported over the last 50 years in WAP, resulting in population expansion of sub-Antarctic Gentoo penguin (P. papua) and retreat of Antarctic Adelie penguin (P. adeliae). Current global warming has been mainly associated with human activities; however these climate trends are framed in a historical context of climate changes, particularly during the Pleistocene, characterized by an alternation between glacial and interglacial periods. During the last maximal glacial (LGM∼21,000 BP) the ice sheet cover reached its maximum extension on the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), causing local extinction of Antarctic taxa, migration to lower latitudes and/or survival in glacial refugia. We studied the HRVI of mtDNA and the nuclear intron βfibint7 of 150 individuals of the WAP to understand the demographic history and population structure of P. papua. We found high genetic diversity, reduced population genetic structure and a signature of population expansion estimated around 13,000 BP, much before the first paleocolony fossil records (∼1,100 BP). Our results suggest that the species may have survived in peri-Antarctic refugia such as South Georgia and North Sandwich islands and recolonized the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands after the ice sheet retreat.
Younger, Jane L; Emmerson, Louise M; Miller, Karen J
The Southern Ocean ecosystem is undergoing rapid physical and biological changes that are likely to have profound implications for higher-order predators. Here, we compare the long-term, historical responses of Southern Ocean predators to climate change. We examine palaeoecological evidence for changes in the abundance and distribution of seabirds and marine mammals, and place these into context with palaeoclimate records in order to identify key environmental drivers associated with population changes. Our synthesis revealed two key factors underlying Southern Ocean predator population changes; (i) the availability of ice-free ground for breeding and (ii) access to productive foraging grounds. The processes of glaciation and sea ice fluctuation were key; the distributions and abundances of elephant seals, snow petrels, gentoo, chinstrap and Adélie penguins all responded strongly to the emergence of new breeding habitat coincident with deglaciation and reductions in sea ice. Access to productive foraging grounds was another limiting factor, with snow petrels, king and emperor penguins all affected by reduced prey availability in the past. Several species were isolated in glacial refugia and there is evidence that refuge populations were supported by polynyas. While the underlying drivers of population change were similar across most Southern Ocean predators, the individual responses of species to environmental change varied because of species specific factors such as dispersal ability and environmental sensitivity. Such interspecific differences are likely to affect the future climate change responses of Southern Ocean marine predators and should be considered in conservation plans. Comparative palaeoecological studies are a valuable source of long-term data on species' responses to environmental change that can provide important insights into future climate change responses. This synthesis highlights the importance of protecting productive foraging grounds
National School Boards Association, Washington, DC.
Population growth in the United States has declined since the early 1970s. As a result of the lower birth rate and changing migration patterns, approximately one-third of the school districts in the country have experienced some drop in enrollment. Smaller districts are the hardest hit by enrollment decline, since they are less able to absorb the…
de Jong, L W; Wang, Y; White, L R; Yu, B; van Buchem, M A; Launer, L J
Striatal degeneration may contribute to cognitive impairment in older people. Here, we examine the relation of degeneration of the striatum and substructures to cognitive decline and dementia in subjects with a wide range of cognitive function. Data are from the prospective community-based Honolulu Asia Aging Study of Japanese American men born 1900-1919. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (1.5 T) was acquired on a stratified subsample (n = 477) that included four groups defined by cognitive status relative to the scan date: subjects without dementia (n = 347), subjects identified as demented 2-3 years before brain scanning (n = 30), at the time of scanning (n = 58), and 3-5 years after scanning (n = 42). Volumes of the striatum, including the accumbens, putamen, and caudate nucleus were automatically estimated from T1 MR images. Global cognitive function was measured with the cognitive ability screening instrument (CASI), at four examinations spanning an 8-year interval. Trajectories of cognitive decline were estimated for each quartile of striatal volume using mixed models, controlling for demographic variables, measures of cerebro-vascular damage, global brain atrophy, and hippocampal volume. Diagnosis of dementia before, during, and after brain scanning was associated with smaller volumes of n. accumbens and putamen, but not with caudate nucleus volume. Subjects in the lowest quartile of n. accumbens volume, both in the total sample and in the subjects not diagnosed with dementia during the study, had a significantly (p < 0.0001) steeper decline in cognitive performance compared with those in the highest quartile. In conclusion, volumes of the n. accumbens and putamen are closely associated with the occurrence of dementia and n. accumbens volume predicts cognitive decline in older people. These associations were found independent of the magnitude of other pivotal markers of cognitive decline, i.e. cerebro-vascular damage and hippocampal volume. The present
Wroblewski, Kristen E.; Kern, David W.; Schumm, L. Philip; McClintock, Martha K.
Background. Age-related olfactory loss (presbyosmia) is a prevalent sensory impairment with a large public health impact. In cross-sectional analyses, we found striking health disparities in olfactory function among older U.S. adults. Here, we report a 5-year follow-up to determine the magnitude of within-person olfactory decline. Methods. The National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP) interviewed a probability sample of home-dwelling older U.S. adults (57–85 years) in 2005–2006 (Wave 1) and reinterviewed them in 2010–2011 (Wave 2), assessing demographics, social life, and health, including olfaction. Odor identification was measured with a 5-item version of the Sniffin’ Sticks (0–5 correct). Fourteen hundred and thirty-six respondents provided olfaction data in both waves. Multivariate linear and logistic regression were used to model the association between change in olfactory performance and demographic, health, and psychosocial factors. Results. Odor identification declined most rapidly among older individuals (0.25 additional errors per 5 years for each decade of age, p < .001) and in men (0.17 additional errors per 5 years compared to women, p = .005). Among those with perfect scores in Wave 1, African Americans declined more rapidly than Whites (p = .04). Neither socioeconomic status, health conditions, cognition, mental health, alcohol use nor smoking was associated with change in olfaction (p > .05, all). Conclusions. The rate of olfactory decline increases with age and is greater among men than women despite adjusting for differences in psychosocial and health conditions, indicating physiologic factors as drivers. African Americans are more likely to experience initial olfactory decline, consistent with an earlier onset of aging among this subgroup. PMID:26253908
Botero, Adriana; Thompson, Craig K; Peacock, Christopher S; Clode, Peta L; Nicholls, Philip K; Wayne, Adrian F; Lymbery, Alan J; Thompson, R C Andrew
While much is known of the impact of trypanosomes on human and livestock health, trypanosomes in wildlife, although ubiquitous, have largely been considered to be non-pathogenic. We describe the genetic diversity, tissue tropism and potential pathogenicity of trypanosomes naturally infecting Western Australian marsupials. Blood samples collected from 554 live-animals and 250 tissue samples extracted from 50 carcasses of sick-euthanized or road-killed animals, belonging to 10 species of marsupials, were screened for the presence of trypanosomes using a PCR of the 18S rDNA gene. PCR results revealed a rate of infection of 67% in blood and 60% in tissues. Inferred phylogenetic trees using 18S rDNA and glycosomal glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) sequences showed the presence of eight genotypes that clustered into three clades: a clade including Trypanosoma copemani, a new clade closely related to Trypanosoma gilletti, and a clade including Trypanosoma H25 from an Australian kangaroo. Trypanosome infections were compared in a declining and in a stable population of the endangered Australian marsupial, the brush tailed bettong or woylie (Bettongia penicillata). This marsupial showed high rates of infection with Clade A genotypes (96%) in the declining population, whereas in the stable population, Clade B genotypes were predominant (89%). Mixed infections were common in woylies from the declining but not from the stable population. Histopathological findings associated with either mixed or single infections involving Clade A genotypes, showed a strong inflammatory process and tissue degeneration predominantly in heart, oesophagus and tongue. Trypanosomes were successfully grown in culture and for the first time we demonstrate that a genotype within Clade A has the capacity to not only colonize different tissues in the host but also to invade cells in vitro. These results provide evidence for the potential role of trypanosomes in the decline of a formerly
Botero, Adriana; Thompson, Craig K.; Peacock, Christopher S.; Clode, Peta L.; Nicholls, Philip K.; Wayne, Adrian F.; Lymbery, Alan J.; Thompson, R.C. Andrew
While much is known of the impact of trypanosomes on human and livestock health, trypanosomes in wildlife, although ubiquitous, have largely been considered to be non-pathogenic. We describe the genetic diversity, tissue tropism and potential pathogenicity of trypanosomes naturally infecting Western Australian marsupials. Blood samples collected from 554 live-animals and 250 tissue samples extracted from 50 carcasses of sick-euthanized or road-killed animals, belonging to 10 species of marsupials, were screened for the presence of trypanosomes using a PCR of the 18S rDNA gene. PCR results revealed a rate of infection of 67% in blood and 60% in tissues. Inferred phylogenetic trees using 18S rDNA and glycosomal glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) sequences showed the presence of eight genotypes that clustered into three clades: a clade including Trypanosoma copemani, a new clade closely related to Trypanosoma gilletti, and a clade including Trypanosoma H25 from an Australian kangaroo. Trypanosome infections were compared in a declining and in a stable population of the endangered Australian marsupial, the brush tailed bettong or woylie (Bettongia penicillata). This marsupial showed high rates of infection with Clade A genotypes (96%) in the declining population, whereas in the stable population, Clade B genotypes were predominant (89%). Mixed infections were common in woylies from the declining but not from the stable population. Histopathological findings associated with either mixed or single infections involving Clade A genotypes, showed a strong inflammatory process and tissue degeneration predominantly in heart, oesophagus and tongue. Trypanosomes were successfully grown in culture and for the first time we demonstrate that a genotype within Clade A has the capacity to not only colonize different tissues in the host but also to invade cells in vitro. These results provide evidence for the potential role of trypanosomes in the decline of a formerly
Schrago, Carlos G
The recent development of methods that apply coalescent theory to phylogenetic problems has enabled the study of the population-level phenomena that drove the diversification of anthropoid primates. Effective population size, Ne, is one of the main parameters that constitute the theoretical underpinning of these new analytical approaches. For this reason, the ancestral N(e) of selected primate lineages has been thoroughly investigated. However, for some of these lineages, the estimates of ancestral N(e) reported in several studies present significant variation. This is the case for the common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees. Moreover, several ancestral anthropoid lineages have been ignored in the studies conducted so far. Because N(e) is fundamental to understand historic species demography, it is a crucial component of a complete description of the historical scenario of primate evolution. It also provides information that is helpful for differentiating between competing biogeographical hypotheses. In this study, the effective population sizes of the anthropoid ancestors of the human-chimp lineage are inferred using data sets of coding and noncoding sequences. A general pattern of a serial decline of population sizes is found between the ancestral lineage of Anthropoidea and that of Homo and Pan. When the theoretical distribution of gene trees was derived from the parametric estimates obtained, it closely corresponded to the empirical frequency of inferred gene trees along the genome. The most abrupt decrease of N(e) was found between the ancestors of all great apes and those of the African great apes alone. This suggests the occurrence of a genetic bottleneck during the evolution of Homininae, which corroborates the origin of African apes from a Eurasian ancestor.
Dart, S; Eckert, C G
Theory predicts that inbreeding depression (ID) should decline via purging in self-fertilizing populations. Yet, intraspecific comparisons between selfing and outcrossing populations are few and provide only mixed support for this key evolutionary process. We estimated ID for large-flowered (LF), predominantly outcrossing vs. small-flowered (SF), predominantly selfing populations of the dune endemic Camissoniopsis cheiranthifolia by comparing selfed and crossed progeny in glasshouse environments differing in soil moisture, and by comparing allozyme-based estimates of the proportion of seeds selfed and inbreeding coefficient of mature plants. Based on lifetime measures of dry mass and flower production, ID was stronger in nine LF populations [mean δ = 1-(fitness of selfed seed/fitness of outcrossed seed) = 0.39] than 16 SF populations (mean δ = 0.03). However, predispersal ID during seed maturation was not stronger for LF populations, and ID was not more pronounced under simulated drought, a pervasive stress in sand dune habitat. Genetic estimates of δ were also higher for four LF (δ = 1.23) than five SF (δ = 0.66) populations; however, broad confidence intervals around these estimates overlapped. These results are consistent with purging, but selective interference among loci may be required to maintain strong ID in partially selfing LF populations, and trade-offs between selfed and outcrossed fitness are likely required to maintain outcrossing in SF populations.
López-Carr, David; Pricope, Narcisa G.; Aukema, Juliann E.; Jankowska, Marta M.; Funk, Christopher C.; Husak, Gregory J.; Michaelsen, Joel C.
We present an integrative measure of exposure and sensitivity components of vulnerability to climatic and demographic change for the African continent in order to identify “hot spots” of high potential population vulnerability. Getis-Ord Gi* spatial clustering analyses reveal statistically significant locations of spatio-temporal precipitation decline coinciding with high population density and increase. Statistically significant areas are evident, particularly across central, southern, and eastern Africa. The highly populated Lake Victoria basin emerges as a particularly salient hot spot. People located in the regions highlighted in this analysis suffer exceptionally high exposure to negative climate change impacts (as populations increase on lands with decreasing rainfall). Results may help inform further hot spot mapping and related research on demographic vulnerabilities to climate change. Results may also inform more suitable geographical targeting of policy interventions across the continent.
Sundqvist, Lisa; Harkonen, Tero; Svensson, Carl Johan; Harding, Karin C
A global trend of a warming climate may seriously affect species dependent on sea ice. We investigated the impact of climate on the Baltic ringed seals (Phoca hispida botnica), using historical and future climatological time series. Availability of suitable breeding ice is known to affect pup survival. We used detailed information on how winter temperatures affect the extent of breeding ice and a climatological model (RCA3) to project the expected effects on the Baltic ringed seal population. The population comprises of three sub-populations, and our simulations suggest that all of them will experience severely hampered growth rates during the coming 90 years. The projected 30, 730 seals at the end of the twenty-first century constitutes only 16 % of the historical population size, and thus reduced ice cover alone will severely limit their growth rate. This adds burden to a species already haunted by other anthropogenic impacts.
Background The brush-tailed bettong or woylie (Bettongia penicillata) is on the brink of extinction. Its numbers have declined by 90% since 1999, with their current distribution occupying less than 1% of their former Australian range. Woylies are known to be infected with three different trypanosomes (Trypanosoma vegrandis, Trypanosoma copemani and Trypanosoma sp. H25) and two different strains of T. copemani that vary in virulence. However, the role that these haemoparasites have played during the recent decline of their host is unclear and is part of ongoing investigation. Methods Woylies were sampled from five locations in southern Western Australia, including two neighbouring indigenous populations, two enclosed (fenced) populations and a captive colony. PCR was used to individually identify the three different trypanosomes from blood and tissues of the host, and to investigate the temporal and spatial dynamics of trypanosome infections. Results The spatial pattern of trypanosome infection varied among the five study sites, with a greater proportion of woylies from the Perup indigenous population being infected with T. copemani than from the neighbouring Kingston indigenous population. For an established infection, T. copemani detection was temporally inconsistent. The more virulent strain of T. copemani appeared to regress at a faster rate than the less virulent strain, with the infection possibly transitioning from the acute to chronic phase. Interspecific competition may also exist between T. copemani and T. vegrandis, where an existing T. vegrandis infection may moderate the sequential establishment of the more virulent T. copemani. Conclusion In this study, we provide a possible temporal connection implicating T. copemani as the disease agent linked with the recent decline of the Kingston indigenous woylie population within the Upper Warren region of Western Australia. The chronic association of trypanosomes with the internal organs of its host may be
In investigations of decline of intellectual status with age, cross-sectional and longitudinal studies give divergent results--the former show almost universal declines in test performances among older groups while the latter often show gains. Although few structure-of-intellect (SI) factors have been explored in relation to adult ages, two kinds…
Jackson, Jennifer A; Carroll, Emma L; Smith, Tim D; Zerbini, Alexandre N; Patenaude, Nathalie J; Baker, C Scott
Accurate estimation of historical abundance provides an essential baseline for judging the recovery of the great whales. This is particularly challenging for whales hunted prior to twentieth century modern whaling, as population-level catch records are often incomplete. Assessments of whale recovery using pre-modern exploitation indices are therefore rare, despite the intensive, global nature of nineteenth century whaling. Right whales (Eubalaena spp.) were particularly exploited: slow swimmers with strong fidelity to sheltered calving bays, the species made predictable and easy targets. Here, we present the first integrated population-level assessment of the whaling impact and pre-exploitation abundance of a right whale, the New Zealand southern right whale (E. australis). In this assessment, we use a Bayesian population dynamics model integrating multiple data sources: nineteenth century catches, genetic constraints on bottleneck size and individual sightings histories informing abundance and trend. Different catch allocation scenarios are explored to account for uncertainty in the population's offshore distribution. From a pre-exploitation abundance of 28 800-47 100 whales, nineteenth century hunting reduced the population to approximately 30-40 mature females between 1914 and 1926. Today, it stands at less than 12% of pre-exploitation abundance. Despite the challenges of reconstructing historical catches and population boundaries, conservation efforts of historically exploited species benefit from targets for ecological restoration.
Jackson, Jennifer A.; Carroll, Emma L.; Smith, Tim D.; Zerbini, Alexandre N.; Patenaude, Nathalie J.; Baker, C. Scott
Accurate estimation of historical abundance provides an essential baseline for judging the recovery of the great whales. This is particularly challenging for whales hunted prior to twentieth century modern whaling, as population-level catch records are often incomplete. Assessments of whale recovery using pre-modern exploitation indices are therefore rare, despite the intensive, global nature of nineteenth century whaling. Right whales (Eubalaena spp.) were particularly exploited: slow swimmers with strong fidelity to sheltered calving bays, the species made predictable and easy targets. Here, we present the first integrated population-level assessment of the whaling impact and pre-exploitation abundance of a right whale, the New Zealand southern right whale (E. australis). In this assessment, we use a Bayesian population dynamics model integrating multiple data sources: nineteenth century catches, genetic constraints on bottleneck size and individual sightings histories informing abundance and trend. Different catch allocation scenarios are explored to account for uncertainty in the population's offshore distribution. From a pre-exploitation abundance of 28 800–47 100 whales, nineteenth century hunting reduced the population to approximately 30–40 mature females between 1914 and 1926. Today, it stands at less than 12% of pre-exploitation abundance. Despite the challenges of reconstructing historical catches and population boundaries, conservation efforts of historically exploited species benefit from targets for ecological restoration. PMID:27069657
Whisson, Desley A.
Understanding the ability of koalas to respond to changes in their environment is critical for conservation of the species and their habitat. We monitored the behavioural response of koalas to declining food resources in manna gum (Eucalyptus viminalis) woodland at Cape Otway, Victoria, Australia, from September 2011 to November 2013. Over this period, koala population density increased from 10.1 to 18.4 koalas.ha-1. As a result of the high browsing pressure of this population, manna gum canopy condition declined with 71.4% manna gum being completely or highly defoliated in September 2013. Despite declining food resources, radio collared koalas (N = 30) exhibited high fidelity to small ranges (0.4–1.2 ha). When trees became severely defoliated in September 2013, koalas moved relatively short distances from their former ranges (mean predicted change in range centroid = 144 m) and remained in areas of 0.9 to 1.0 ha. This was despite the high connectivity of most manna gum woodland, and close proximity of the study site (< 3 km) to the contiguous mixed forest of the Great Otway National Park. Limited movement had catastrophic consequences for koalas with 71% (15/21) of radio collared koalas dying from starvation or being euthanased due to their poor condition between September and November 2013. PMID:26735846
Wielgus, Robert; Shipley, Lisa; Myers, Woodrow
Construction of the Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph dams has resulted in inundation and loss of 29,125 total habitat units for mule deer and irrigation agriculture in many parts the Intermountain Province (IM) of the Columbia Basin. Mule deer in the Shrub-Steppe are ranked high priority target species for mitigation and management and are declining in most portions of the sub basins of the IM. Reasons for the decline are unknown but believed to be related to habitat changes resulting from dams and irrigation agriculture. White-tailed deer are believed to be increasing throughout the basin because of habitat changes brought about by the dams and irrigation agriculture. Recent research (1997-2000) in the NE IM and adjacent Canadian portions of the Columbia Basin (conducted by this author and funded by the Columbia Basin Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program B.C.), suggest that the increasing white-tailed deer populations (because of dams and irrigation agriculture) are resulting in increased predation by cougars on mule deer (apparent competition or alternate prey hypothesis). The apparent competition hypothesis predicts that as alternate prey (white-tailed deer) densities increase, so do densities of predators, resulting in increased incidental predation on sympatric native prey (mule deer). Apparent competition can result in population declines and even extirpation of native prey in some cases. Such a phenomenon may account for declines of mule deer in the IM and throughout arid and semi-arid West where irrigation agriculture is practiced. We will test the apparent competition hypothesis by conducting a controlled, replicated 'press' experiment in at least 2 treatment and 2 control areas of the IM sub basins by reducing densities of white-tailed deer and observing any changes in cougar predation on mule deer. Deer densities will be monitored by WADFW personnel using annual aerial surveys and/or other trend indices. Predation rates and population growth rates of deer
Wielgus, Robert B.; Shipley, Lisa
Construction of the Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph dams has resulted in inundation and loss of 29,125 total habitat units for mule deer and irrigation agriculture in many parts the Intermountain Province (IM) of the Columbia Basin. Mule deer in the Shrub-Steppe are ranked high priority target species for mitigation and management and are declining in most portions of the subbasins of the IM. Reasons for the decline are unknown but believed to be related to habitat changes resulting from dams and irrigation agriculture. White-tailed deer are not ranked as target species and are believed to be increasing throughout the basin because of habitat changes brought about by the dams and irrigation agriculture. Recent research (1997-2000) in the NE IM and adjacent Canadian portions of the Columbia Basin (conducted by this author and funded by the Columbia Basin Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program B.C.), suggest that the increasing white-tailed deer populations (because of dams and irrigation agriculture) are resulting in increased predation by cougars on mule deer (apparent competition or alternate prey hypothesis). The apparent competition hypothesis predicts that as alternate prey (white-tailed deer) densities increase, so do densities of predators, resulting in increased incidental predation on sympatric native prey (mule deer). Apparent competition can result in population declines and even extirpation of native prey in some cases. Such a phenomenon may account for declines of mule deer in the IM and throughout arid and semi-arid West where irrigation agriculture is practiced. We will test the apparent competition hypothesis by conducting a controlled, replicated ''press'' experiment in at least 2 treatment and 2 control areas of the IM subbasins by reducing densities of white-tailed deer and observing any changes in cougar predation on mule deer. Deer densities will be monitored by WADFW personnel using annual aerial surveys and/or other trend indices. Predation rates
Crossa, José; Burgueño, Juan; Dreisigacker, Susanne; Vargas, Mateo; Herrera-Foessel, Sybil A; Lillemo, Morten; Singh, Ravi P; Trethowan, Richard; Warburton, Marilyn; Franco, Jorge; Reynolds, Matthew; Crouch, Jonathan H; Ortiz, Rodomiro
Linkage disequilibrium can be used for identifying associations between traits of interest and genetic markers. This study used mapped diversity array technology (DArT) markers to find associations with resistance to stem rust, leaf rust, yellow rust, and powdery mildew, plus grain yield in five historical wheat international multienvironment trials from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). Two linear mixed models were used to assess marker-trait associations incorporating information on population structure and covariance between relatives. An integrated map containing 813 DArT markers and 831 other markers was constructed. Several linkage disequilibrium clusters bearing multiple host plant resistance genes were found. Most of the associated markers were found in genomic regions where previous reports had found genes or quantitative trait loci (QTL) influencing the same traits, providing an independent validation of this approach. In addition, many new chromosome regions for disease resistance and grain yield were identified in the wheat genome. Phenotyping across up to 60 environments and years allowed modeling of genotype x environment interaction, thereby making possible the identification of markers contributing to both additive and additive x additive interaction effects of traits.
Cabrera, Marcos Aparecido Sarria; Bortoletto, Maira Aira Sayuri Sakay; de Souza, Regina Kazue Tanno; Prina, Douglas Manuel Carrapeiro; Vieira, Maria Cristina Umpierrez; Silva, Ana Maria Rigo
Aims To identify the frequency of cognitive and functional decline (CFD) among adults 50 years of age and older by a population-based study. Methods Cognitive function was analyzed by the Mini-Mental State Examination, and the functional conditions were based on instrumental activities of daily living (IADL). Cases of CFD included individuals with cognitive decline and 2 or more compromised IADL. Results A total of 693 individuals were studied. The frequency of CFD was 16.3%. A low socioeconomic profile was associated with greater CFD independent of gender, age, education, and presence of depression (OR = 2.46; 95% CI: 1.53-3.97). Conclusions These data show a high frequency of CFD among adults 50 years and older. Individuals with less education and a lower socioeconomic level exhibited poorer cognitive and functional conditions. PMID:27350779
Cox, W Andrew; Thompson, Frank R; Root, Brian; Faaborg, John
Many songbird species have experienced significant population declines, partly because of brood parasitism by the Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater), which is positively associated with increasing landscape forest cover in the midwestern United States. However, cowbirds are also experiencing long-term population declines, which should reduce parasitism pressure and thus increase productivity of host species. We used 20 years of nest monitoring data from five sites in Missouri across a gradient of landscape forest cover to assess temporal trends in the rate and intensity of brood parasitism for Acadian Flycatchers (Empidonax virescens), Indigo Buntings (Passerina cyanea), and Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis). We evaluated whether there were concomitant changes in fledging brood size, nest survival, a combination of the two metrics (i.e., host young produced per nest attempt), and whether such changes were more substantial with decreasing landscape forest cover. Parasitism rates and intensities declined substantially during 1991-2010. Fledging brood size and nest survival rates were positively associated with landscape forest cover, confirming the fragmentation hypothesis for Midwest forest birds. Declining parasitism rates were associated with increased fledging brood sizes, with more pronounced increases as landscape forest cover decreased. Nest survival increased insubstantially across time during laying and incubation, but not during the nestling stage. The best predictor of nest survival was parasitism status, with parasitized nests surviving at lower rates than unparasitized nests. Overall, productivity increased during 1991-2010, with more pronounced increases associated with lower levels of landscape forest cover. The negative effects of cowbirds on nest survival in addition to fledging brood size in less forested landscapes suggest that cowbirds may be a primary cause of forest fragmentation effects on songbird productivity in the Midwest. Our
Corbin, L J; Liu, A Y H; Bishop, S C; Woolliams, J A
Theory hypothesizes that the rate of decline in linkage disequilibrium (LD) as a function of distance between markers, measured by r(2), can be used to estimate effective population size (N(e)) and how it varies over time. The development of high-density genotyping makes feasible the application of this theory and has provided an impetus to improve predictions. This study considers the impact of several developments on the estimation of N(e) using both simulated and equine high-density single-nucleotide polymorphism data, when N(e) is assumed to be constant a priori and when it is not. In all models, estimates of N(e) were highly sensitive to thresholds imposed upon minor allele frequency (MAF) and to a priori assumptions on the expected r(2) for adjacent markers. Where constant N(e) was assumed a priori, then estimates with the lowest mean square error were obtained with MAF thresholds between 0.05 and 0.10, adjustment of r(2) for finite sample size, estimation of a [the limit for r(2) as recombination frequency (c) approaches 0] and relating N(e) to c (1 - c/2). The findings for predicting N(e) from models allowing variable N(e) were much less clear, apart from the desirability of correcting for finite sample size, and the lack of consistency in estimating recent N(e) (<7 generations) where estimates use data with large c. The theoretical conflicts over how estimation should proceed and uncertainty over where predictions might be expected to fit well suggest that the estimation of N(e) when it varies be carried out with extreme caution.
Bolfíková, Barbora; Konečný, Adam; Pfäffle, Miriam; Skuballa, Jasmin; Hulva, Pavel
The crucial steps in biological invasions, related to the shaping of genetic architecture and the current evolution of adaptations to a novel environment, usually occur in small populations during the phases of introduction and establishment. However, these processes are difficult to track in nature due to invasion lag, large geographic and temporal scales compared with human observation capabilities, the frequent depletion of genetic variance, admixture and other phenomena. In this study, we compared genetic and historical evidence related to the invasion of the West European hedgehog to New Zealand to infer details about the introduction and establishment. Historical information indicates that the species was initially established on the South Island. A molecular assay of populations from Great Britain and New Zealand using mitochondrial sequences and nuclear microsatellite loci was performed based on a set of analyses including approximate Bayesian computation, a powerful approach for disentangling complex population demographies. According to these analyses, the population of the North Island was most similar to that of the native area and showed greatest reduction in genetic variation caused by founder demography and/or drift. This evidence indicated the location of the establishment phase. The hypothesis was corroborated by data on climate and urbanization. We discuss the contrasting results obtained by the molecular and historical approaches in the light of their different explanatory power and the possible biases influencing the description of particular aspects of invasions, and we advocate the integration of the two types of approaches in invasion biology.
Factors known or suspected to be adversely affecting native amphibian populations in the US were identified using information from 267 species accounts written in a standardized format by multiple authors in a forthcoming book. Land use was the most frequently implicated adverse ...
Brettell, L E; Martin, S J
The ecto-parasitic mite Varroa destructor has transformed the previously inconsequential Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) into the most important honey bee viral pathogen responsible for the death of millions of colonies worldwide. Naturally, DWV persists as a low level covert infection transmitted between nest-mates. It has long been speculated that Varroa via immunosuppression of the bees, activate a covert infection into an overt one. Here we show that despite Varroa feeding on a population of 20-40 colonies for over 30 years on the remote island of Fernando de Noronha, Brazil no such activation has occurred and DWV loads have remained at borderline levels of detection. This supports the alternative theory that for a new vector borne viral transmission cycle to start, an outbreak of an overt infection must first occur within the host. Therefore, we predict that this honey bee population is a ticking time-bomb, protected by its isolated position and small population size. This unique association between mite and bee persists due to the evolution of low Varroa reproduction rates. So the population is not adapted to tolerate Varroa and DWV, rather the viral quasispecies has simply not yet evolved the necessary mutations to produce a virulent variant.
Brettell, L. E.; Martin, S. J.
The ecto-parasitic mite Varroa destructor has transformed the previously inconsequential Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) into the most important honey bee viral pathogen responsible for the death of millions of colonies worldwide. Naturally, DWV persists as a low level covert infection transmitted between nest-mates. It has long been speculated that Varroa via immunosuppression of the bees, activate a covert infection into an overt one. Here we show that despite Varroa feeding on a population of 20–40 colonies for over 30 years on the remote island of Fernando de Noronha, Brazil no such activation has occurred and DWV loads have remained at borderline levels of detection. This supports the alternative theory that for a new vector borne viral transmission cycle to start, an outbreak of an overt infection must first occur within the host. Therefore, we predict that this honey bee population is a ticking time-bomb, protected by its isolated position and small population size. This unique association between mite and bee persists due to the evolution of low Varroa reproduction rates. So the population is not adapted to tolerate Varroa and DWV, rather the viral quasispecies has simply not yet evolved the necessary mutations to produce a virulent variant. PMID:28393875
Leidner, Allison K; Neel, Maile C
Species listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (i.e., listed species) have declined to the point that the probability of their extinction is high. The decline of these species, however, may manifest itself in different ways, including reductions in geographic range, number of populations, or overall abundance. Understanding the pattern of decline can help managers assess extinction probability and define recovery objectives. Although quantitative data on changes in geographic range, number of populations, and abundance usually do not exist for listed species, more often qualitative data can be obtained. We used qualitative data in recovery plans for federally listed species to determine whether each listed species declined in range size, number of populations, or abundance relative to historical levels. We calculated the proportion of listed species in each state (or equivalent) that declined in each of those ways. Nearly all listed species declined in abundance, and range size or number of populations declined in approximately 80% of species for which those data were available. Patterns of decline, however, differed taxonomically and geographically. Declines in range were more common among vertebrates than plants, whereas population extirpations were more common among plants. Invertebrates had high incidence of range and population declines. Narrowly distributed plants and invertebrates may be subject to acute threats that may result in population extirpations, whereas vertebrates may be affected by chronic threats that reduce the extent and size of populations. Additionally, in the eastern United States and U.S. coastal areas, where the level of land conversion is high, a greater percentage of species' ranges declined and more populations were extirpated than in other areas. Species in the Southwest, especially plants, had fewer range and population declines than other areas. Such relations may help in the selection of species' recovery criteria.
D'Anastasio, R; Cesana, D T; Viciano, J; Sciubba, M; Nibaruta, P; Capasso, L
Dental enamel hypoplasia is usually read as a sign of a systematic growth disturbance during childhood. Following the analysis of human teeth from Herculaneum (79 AD, Central Italy), the authors focused on linear enamel hypoplasia (LEH) manifestations in order to delineate a possible correlation between their frequency and distribution and the earthquake that occurred in 62 AD, which is well documented in historical literature. The human remains from Herculaneum were buried at the same time as the Vesuvius eruption and represent an exceptional snapshot of life in the Roman Imperial Age. The Goodman and Rose method (1990) was used for attributing an "age at the moment of stress" for every skeleton in order to delineate the epidemiology of the enamel hypoplasia. When LEH frequency was analysed by age, two different age groups showed relevant patterns of hypoplasia: the first peak was evident in individuals between 14 and 20 years who were younger than 6 years at the time of the 62 AD earthquake, and a second peak was noted in adults of 30 +/- 5 years old, which suggests the presence of another stressful event that occurred 10 years before the earthquake, around 53 AD. The bimodal distribution of enamel hypoplasia could be the consequence of two different historical periods characterized by instability in the food supply, unhygienic conditions, and epidemic episodes; our data suggest that the first peak could be related to a decline in health status as an effect of the 62 AD earthquake. The relationship between recent natural disasters and variations in health status in modern populations is well documented in scientific literature. Our research represents the first attempt to correlate the status of health to an earthquake of known date in an archaeological population.
Al-Chokhachy, R.; Budy, P.; Conner, M.
Using empirical field data for bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus), we evaluated the trade-off between power and sampling effort-cost using Monte Carlo simulations of commonly collected mark-recapture-resight and count data, and we estimated the power to detect changes in abundance across different time intervals. We also evaluated the effects of monitoring different components of a population and stratification methods on the precision of each method. Our results illustrate substantial variability in the relative precision, cost, and information gained from each approach. While grouping estimates by age or stage class substantially increased the precision of estimates, spatial stratification of sampling units resulted in limited increases in precision. Although mark-resight methods allowed for estimates of abundance versus indices of abundance, our results suggest snorkel surveys may be a more affordable monitoring approach across large spatial scales. Detecting a 25% decline in abundance after 5 years was not possible, regardless of technique (power = 0.80), without high sampling effort (48% of study site). Detecting a 25% decline was possible after 15 years, but still required high sampling efforts. Our results suggest detecting moderate changes in abundance of freshwater salmonids requires considerable resource and temporal commitments and highlight the difficulties of using abundance measures for monitoring bull trout populations.
Graham, N. M.
The evolution and speciation of plants is directly tied to the environment as the constrained stages of dispersal creates strong genetic differentiation among populations. This can result in differing genetic patterns between nuclear and chloroplast loci, where genes are inherited differently and dispersed via separate vectors. By developing distribution models based on genetic patterns found within a species, it is possible to begin understanding the influence of historic geomorphic and/or climatic processes on population evolution. If genetic patterns of the current range correlate with specific patterns of climate variability within the Pleistocene, it is possible that future shifts in species distribution in response to climate change can be more accurately modelled due to the historic signature that is found within inherited genes. Preliminary genetic analyses of Linanthus dichotomus, an annual herb distributed across California, suggests that the current taxonomic treatment does not accurately depict how this species is evolving. Genetic patterns of chloroplast genes suggest that populations are more correlated with biogeography than what the current nomenclature states. Additionally, chloroplast and nuclear genes show discrepancies in the dispersal across the landscape, suggesting pollinator driven gene flow overcoming seed dispersal boundaries. By comparing discrepancies between pollinator and seed induced gene flow we may be able to gain insight into historical pollinator communities within the Pleistocene. This information can then be applied to projected climate models to more accurately understand how species and/or communities will respond to a changing environment.
Brewer, George J
It is a pleasure and an honor to contribute a paper to a special issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition honoring Stanley Wallach and Pearl Small. In this brief review I advance the hypothesis that copper toxicity is the major cause of the epidemic of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease engulfing our aging population. This epidemic is recent, exploding in the last 50-60 years. The disease was virtually unknown 100 years ago. And it involves only developed countries that use copper plumbing. Something in our environment associated with development is poisoning the minds of our aged. The epidemic is associated with the use of copper plumbing, and the taking of copper in multi-mineral supplements. Food copper (organic copper) is processed by the liver and is transported and sequestered in a safe manner. Inorganic copper, such as that in drinking water and copper supplements, largely bypasses the liver and enters the free copper pool of the blood directly. This copper is potentially toxic because it may penetrate the blood/brain barrier. I review a web of animal and human data that tightens the noose around the hypothesis that copper toxicity is causing the epidemic of Alzeimer's disease and loss of cognition in our aging population.
Canavan, Joycelin; Truong, Pauline T.; Smith, Sally L.; Lu, Linghong; Lesperance, Mary; Olivotto, Ivo A.
increased. These changes contributed to the observed declining LR rates among patients treated with breast-conserving therapy.
Post, Eric; Bhatt, Uma S; Bitz, Cecilia M; Brodie, Jedediah F; Fulton, Tara L; Hebblewhite, Mark; Kerby, Jeffrey; Kutz, Susan J; Stirling, Ian; Walker, Donald A
After a decade with nine of the lowest arctic sea-ice minima on record, including the historically low minimum in 2012, we synthesize recent developments in the study of ecological responses to sea-ice decline. Sea-ice loss emerges as an important driver of marine and terrestrial ecological dynamics, influencing productivity, species interactions, population mixing, gene flow, and pathogen and disease transmission. Major challenges in the near future include assigning clearer attribution to sea ice as a primary driver of such dynamics, especially in terrestrial systems, and addressing pressures arising from human use of arctic coastal and near-shore areas as sea ice diminishes.
Abbitt, R.J.F.; Michael, Scott J.
Between 1973 and 1999, 43 species in the United States were reclassified from endangered to threatened or removed entirely from the Endangered Species List. Of these, 23 were identified as recovered. In 1999 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) published a list of 33 additional species for possible reclassification and/or delisting. We initiated this study to examine why some endangered species recover but others continue to decline and to identify differences in management activities between these two groups. We defined recovered/recovering species as previously recovered species and the additional recovered/recovering species listed by the USFWS. We defined declining species as those identified as declining in the most recent USFWS Report to Congress. Information on recovered/recovering and declining species was gathered from relevant literature, recovery plans, U.S. Federal Register documents, and individuals responsible for the recovery management of each species. We used this information to examine (1) the percentage of current and historic range covered by management activities; (2) threats affecting the species; (3) population sizes at the time of listing; (4) current versus historic range size; and (5) percentage of recovery management objectives completed. Although few statistical analyses provided significant results, those that did suggest the following differences between recovered/recovering and declining species: (1) recovered/recovering species face threats that are easier to address; (2) recovered/recovering species occupy a greater percentage of their historic range; and (3) recovered/recovering species have a greater percentage of their recovery management objectives completed. Those species with threats easier to address and that occupy a greater percentage of their historic range are recovered/recovering. In contrast, declining species face threats more difficult to address and occupy significantly less of their historic range. If this
Halley, Yvette A.; Dowd, Scot E.; Decker, Jared E.; Seabury, Paul M.; Bhattarai, Eric; Johnson, Charles D.; Rollins, Dale; Tizard, Ian R.; Brightsmith, Donald J.; Peterson, Markus J.; Taylor, Jeremy F.; Seabury, Christopher M.
Wild populations of northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus; hereafter bobwhite) have declined across nearly all of their U.S. range, and despite their importance as an experimental wildlife model for ecotoxicology studies, no bobwhite draft genome assembly currently exists. Herein, we present a bobwhite draft de novo genome assembly with annotation, comparative analyses including genome-wide analyses of divergence with the chicken (Gallus gallus) and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) genomes, and coalescent modeling to reconstruct the demographic history of the bobwhite for comparison to other birds currently in decline (i.e., scarlet macaw; Ara macao). More than 90% of the assembled bobwhite genome was captured within <40,000 final scaffolds (N50 = 45.4 Kb) despite evidence for approximately 3.22 heterozygous polymorphisms per Kb, and three annotation analyses produced evidence for >14,000 unique genes and proteins. Bobwhite analyses of divergence with the chicken and zebra finch genomes revealed many extremely conserved gene sequences, and evidence for lineage-specific divergence of noncoding regions. Coalescent models for reconstructing the demographic history of the bobwhite and the scarlet macaw provided evidence for population bottlenecks which were temporally coincident with human colonization of the New World, the late Pleistocene collapse of the megafauna, and the last glacial maximum. Demographic trends predicted for the bobwhite and the scarlet macaw also were concordant with how opposing natural selection strategies (i.e., skewness in the r-/K-selection continuum) would be expected to shape genome diversity and the effective population sizes in these species, which is directly relevant to future conservation efforts. PMID:24621616
Okello, J B A; Wittemyer, G; Rasmussen, H B; Arctander, P; Nyakaana, S; Douglas-Hamilton, I; Siegismund, H R
Two hundred years of elephant hunting for ivory, peaking in 1970-1980s, caused local extirpations and massive population declines across Africa. The resulting genetic impacts on surviving populations have not been studied, despite the importance of understanding the evolutionary repercussions of such human-mediated events on this keystone species. Using Bayesian coalescent-based genetic methods to evaluate time-specific changes in effective population size, we analysed genetic variation in 20 highly polymorphic microsatellite loci from 400 elephants inhabiting the greater Samburu-Laikipia region of northern Kenya. This area experienced a decline of between 80% and 90% in the last few decades when ivory harvesting was rampant. The most significant change in effective population size, however, occurred approximately 2500 years ago during a mid-Holocene period of climatic drying in tropical Africa. Contrary to expectations, detailed analyses of four contemporary age-based cohorts showed that the peak poaching epidemic in the 1970s caused detectable temporary genetic impacts, with genetic diversity rebounding as juveniles surviving the poaching era became reproductively mature. This study demonstrates the importance of climatic history in shaping the distribution and genetic history of a keystone species and highlights the utility of coalescent-based demographic approaches in unravelling ancestral demographic events despite a lack of ancient samples. Unique insights into the genetic signature of mid-Holocene climatic change in Africa and effects of recent poaching pressure on elephants are discussed.
Neumann, Klaus; Lyons, W.B.; Graham, E.Y.; Callender, E.
The impact of increasing urbanization on the quality of a river system has been investigated by examining the current concentration of trace metals in the Chattahoochee River south of Atlanta, GA, and comparing these to previously published historical sediment data from reservoirs along the river. The lack of historical data for dissolved metal concentrations prior to ???1980 requires an approach using these historic metal data from sediment cores. Core data are combined with current suspended load and dissolved metal data to "backcast" dissolved metal concentrations in the metro-Atlanta portion of the Chattahoochee River. The data suggest that the per capita input of dissolved trace metals have actually decreased since the 1920s, but anthropogenic inputs of metal are still a substantial water quality issue. ?? 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Francisco, Sara M.; Cabral, Henrique; Vieira, Maria Natividade; Almada, Vítor C.
In this paper, we compare the genetic structure and the historical demography of two populations of the sand smelt Atherina boyeri from the rivers Tagus and Mondego (Portugal) with two groups of samples of the closely related marine Atherina presbyter collected on the shore at comparable latitudes. A. presbyter is a pelagic marine inshore fish, while A. boyeri is typically found in coastal lagoons, estuaries and freshwaters bodies. Analysis of mtDNA control region sequences showed that the marine A. presbyter did not display signs of genetic differentiation between sites some hundreds of kilometers apart. On the contrary, A. boyeri showed clear differences between populations. The populations of A. boyeri showed a much lower genetic diversity and younger coalescence times when compared with A. presbyter. We suggest that these differences reflect the interplay between differences in ecology between the two species and the historical impact of the glaciations. While A. presbyter likely moved to the south evading the cold periods, A. boyeri probably went extinct and its populations in Western Europe are recent recolonizations from western Mediterranean refugia.
Peever, T L; Salimath, S S; Su, G; Kaiser, W J; Muehlbauer, F J
The historical and contemporary population genetic structure of the chickpea Ascochyta blight pathogen, Ascochyta rabiei (teleomorph: Didymella rabiei), was determined in the US Pacific Northwest (PNW) using 17 putative AFLP loci, four genetically characterized, sequence-tagged microsatellite loci (STMS) and the mating type locus (MAT). A single multilocus genotype of A. rabiei (MAT1-1) was detected in 1983, which represented the first recorded appearance of Ascochyta blight of chickpea in the PNW. During the following year many additional alleles, including the other mating type allele (MAT1-2), were detected. By 1987, all alleles currently found in the PNW had been introduced. Highly significant genetic differentiation was detected among contemporary subpopulations from different hosts and geographical locations indicating restricted gene flow and/or genetic drift occurring within and among subpopulations and possible selection by host cultivar. Two distinct populations were inferred with high posterior probability which correlated to host of origin and date of sample using Bayesian model-based population structure analyses of multilocus genotypes. Allele frequencies, genotype distributions and population assignment probabilities were significantly different between the historical and contemporary samples of isolates and between isolates sampled from a resistance screening nursery and those sampled from commercial chickpea fields. A random mating model could not be rejected in any subpopulation, indicating the importance of the sexual stage of the fungus both as a source of primary inoculum for Ascochyta blight epidemics and potentially adaptive genotypic diversity.
Lange, M; Kramer-Schadt, S; Blome, S; Beer, M; Thulke, H-H
Classical swine fever (CSF) is a severe multi-systemic disease that can affect both domestic pigs and wild boar. Past outbreaks in European wild boar involved high-virulent CSF virus (CSFV) strains and were mostly self-limiting. In these cases, morbidity and mortality rates were high in the affected regions. In contrast, endemic infections have been observed in several European wild boar populations in recent decades. Morbidity and mortality rates were much lower despite the fact that outbreaks were still detected via diseased or fallen animals. The virus strains involved were mostly classified as genotype 2.3 strains of moderate virulence causing age-dependent disease outcomes. The mechanisms leading to the establishment and perpetuation of endemicity are still not fully understood, but the factor "moderate virulence" seems to be of considerable importance. In this study, we aim to clarify whether the perception of declined 'CSF severity' could hypothetically reflect the adaptation of an initially high-virulent virus or whether this might be better explained as a misinterpretation of observations. A mechanistic eco-epidemiological model was employed to follow up a highly virulent strain of CSFV introduced into large connected wild boar populations. In the model, the virulence of the CSF virus is represented by case mortality and life expectancy after lethal infection. Allowing for small stochastic variation, these two characteristics of the virus are passed on with every new simulated infection that occurs. Model analysis revealed a decrease from high to moderate case mortality within a few years of simulated perpetuation of the virus. The resulting mortality corresponded to the level where the population average of the infectious period and the basic reproduction number of the disease were maximal. This shift in virulence was sufficient to prolong virus circulation considerably beyond the epidemic phase of the simulated outbreaks. Alternative mechanistic
Kypridemos, Chris; Bandosz, Piotr; Hickey, Graeme L.; Guzman-Castillo, Maria; Allen, Kirk; Buchan, Iain; Capewell, Simon; O’Flaherty, Martin
Background Serum total cholesterol is one of the major targets for cardiovascular disease prevention. Statins are effective for cholesterol control in individual patients. At the population level, however, their contribution to total cholesterol decline remains unclear. The aim of this study was to quantify the contribution of statins to the observed fall in population mean cholesterol levels in England over the past two decades, and explore any differences between socioeconomic groups. Methods and Findings This is a modelling study based on data from the Health Survey for England. We analysed changes in observed mean total cholesterol levels in the adult England population between 1991-92 (baseline) and 2011-12. We then compared the observed changes with a counterfactual ‘no statins’ scenario, where the impact of statins on population total cholesterol was estimated and removed. We estimated uncertainty intervals (UI) using Monte Carlo simulation, where confidence intervals (CI) were impractical. In 2011-12, 13.2% (95% CI: 12.5-14.0%) of the English adult population used statins at least once per week, compared with 1991-92 when the proportion was just 0.5% (95% CI: 0.3-1.0%). Between 1991-92 and 2011-12, mean total cholesterol declined from 5.86 mmol/L (95% CI: 5.82-5.90) to 5.17 mmol/L (95% CI: 5.14-5.20). For 2011-12, mean total cholesterol was lower in more deprived groups. In our ‘no statins’ scenario we predicted a mean total cholesterol of 5.36 mmol/L (95% CI: 5.33-5.40) for 2011-12. Statins were responsible for approximately 33.7% (95% UI: 28.9-38.8%) of the total cholesterol reduction since 1991-92. The statin contribution to cholesterol reduction was greater among the more deprived groups of women, while showing little socio-economic gradient among men. Conclusions Our model suggests that statins explained around a third of the substantial falls in total cholesterol observed in England since 1991. Approximately two thirds of the cholesterol
Cameron, Sydney A.; Lozier, Jeffrey D.; Strange, James P.; Koch, Jonathan B.; Cordes, Nils; Solter, Leellen F.; Griswold, Terry L.
Bumble bees (Bombus) are vitally important pollinators of wild plants and agricultural crops worldwide. Fragmentary observations, however, have suggested population declines in several North American species. Despite rising concern over these observations in the United States, highlighted in a recent National Academy of Sciences report, a national assessment of the geographic scope and possible causal factors of bumble bee decline is lacking. Here, we report results of a 3-y interdisciplinary study of changing distributions, population genetic structure, and levels of pathogen infection in bumble bee populations across the United States. We compare current and historical distributions of eight species, compiling a database of >73,000 museum records for comparison with data from intensive nationwide surveys of >16,000 specimens. We show that the relative abundances of four species have declined by up to 96% and that their surveyed geographic ranges have contracted by 23–87%, some within the last 20 y. We also show that declining populations have significantly higher infection levels of the microsporidian pathogen Nosema bombi and lower genetic diversity compared with co-occurring populations of the stable (nondeclining) species. Higher pathogen prevalence and reduced genetic diversity are, thus, realistic predictors of these alarming patterns of decline in North America, although cause and effect remain uncertain. PMID:21199943
Cameron, Sydney A; Lozier, Jeffrey D; Strange, James P; Koch, Jonathan B; Cordes, Nils; Solter, Leellen F; Griswold, Terry L
Bumble bees (Bombus) are vitally important pollinators of wild plants and agricultural crops worldwide. Fragmentary observations, however, have suggested population declines in several North American species. Despite rising concern over these observations in the United States, highlighted in a recent National Academy of Sciences report, a national assessment of the geographic scope and possible causal factors of bumble bee decline is lacking. Here, we report results of a 3-y interdisciplinary study of changing distributions, population genetic structure, and levels of pathogen infection in bumble bee populations across the United States. We compare current and historical distributions of eight species, compiling a database of >73,000 museum records for comparison with data from intensive nationwide surveys of >16,000 specimens. We show that the relative abundances of four species have declined by up to 96% and that their surveyed geographic ranges have contracted by 23-87%, some within the last 20 y. We also show that declining populations have significantly higher infection levels of the microsporidian pathogen Nosema bombi and lower genetic diversity compared with co-occurring populations of the stable (nondeclining) species. Higher pathogen prevalence and reduced genetic diversity are, thus, realistic predictors of these alarming patterns of decline in North America, although cause and effect remain uncertain.
Brave Heart, Maria Yellow Horse; Deschenie, Tina
Recent studies on historic and multi-generational trauma among Native people have assisted individuals and communities in dealing with the continuing aftereffects. Following in the footsteps of Native American elders and activists, social workers, mental health professionals, and scholars are seeking to revitalize cultural traditions to combat…
Robinson, W C; Harbison, S F
In Sub-Saharan Africa Kenya is a prime example of a country experiencing a rapid decline in fertility and greater contraceptive prevalence. These changes have occurred since 1980 when fertility was high at 8.0 children per woman. In 1993 the total fertility rate (TFR) was 5.4, and the growth rate declined to about 2.0%. This transition is swifter than any country in contemporary Asia or historical Europe. The likely projection for Kenya is attainment of replacement level fertility during the 2020s and a leveling of population at about 100 million persons. Fertility has declined the most in urban areas and central and eastern regions. Bongaarts' proximate determinants (TFR, total marital fertility rate, total natural marital fertility rate, and total fecundity) are reduced to the proportion of currently married women using contraception, the proportion in lactational nonfecund status, and the proportion currently married. Actual fertility change is accounted for by total fertility change of 3.0 children. Lactational infecundability accounts for 0.5 potential births, and changes in marital fertility account for 1.0 reduced births per woman. About 70% of fertility reduction is accounted for by contraception and abortion. During 1977-78 80% of fertility control was due to lactational nonfecundity, 10% to nonmarriage, and 10% to contraception. In 1993 lactational nonfecundity accounted for 50% of the reduction, nonmarriage for 20%, and abortion about 30%. Future fertility is expected to be dependent on contraceptive prevalence. Kenya has experienced the Coale paradigm of preconditions necessary for demographic transition (willing, ready, and able). High fertility in Africa is not intractable. Creating the change in attitudes that leads to readiness is linked to education, health, and exposure to modernizing media and urban lifestyles. The public sector family planning program in Kenya has created the opportunity for access and availability of contraception. The key
Winternitz, Jamie C; Wares, John P
Genetic variation at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is vitally important for wildlife populations to respond to pathogen threats. As natural populations can fluctuate greatly in size, a key issue concerns how population cycles and bottlenecks that could reduce genetic diversity will influence MHC genes. Using 454 sequencing, we characterized genetic diversity at the DRB Class II locus in montane voles (Microtus montanus), a North American rodent that regularly undergoes high-amplitude fluctuations in population size. We tested for evidence of historic balancing selection, recombination, and gene duplication to identify mechanisms maintaining allelic diversity. Counter to our expectations, we found strong evidence of purifying selection acting on the DRB locus in montane voles. We speculate that the interplay between population fluctuations and gene duplication might be responsible for the weak evidence of historic balancing selection and strong evidence of purifying selection detected. To further explore this idea, we conducted a phylogenetically controlled comparative analysis across 16 rodent species with varying demographic histories and MHC duplication events (based on the maximum number of alleles detected per individual). On the basis of phylogenetic generalized linear model-averaging, we found evidence that the estimated number of duplicated loci was positively related to allelic diversity and, surprisingly, to the strength of purifying selection at the DRB locus. Our analyses also revealed that species that had undergone population bottlenecks had lower allelic richness than stable species. This study highlights the need to consider demographic history and genetic structure alongside patterns of natural selection to understand resulting patterns of genetic variation at the MHC. PMID:23789067
Pinho, C; Harris, D J; Ferrand, N
Pleistocene climatic oscillations were a major force shaping genetic variability in many taxa. We analyse the relative effects of the ice ages across a latitudinal gradient in the Western Mediterranean region, testing two main predictions: (i) species with historical distributions in northern latitudes should have experienced greater loss of suitable habitat, resulting in higher extinction of historical lineages than species distributed in southern latitudes, where the effects of the ice ages were not as drastic. This would be reflected in the observation of lower diversity and number of differentiated lineages in northern areas. (ii) a signature of demographic expansion following the climate amelioration should be obvious in northern species, whereas in the south evidence of long-term effective population size stability should be observed. We used as models three species of wall lizards (Podarcis bocagei, Podarcis carbonelli and Podarcis vaucheri) that replace each other along the study area. We investigated the patterns of mitochondrial DNA diversity and subdivision and obtained demographic parameter estimates for each species. Our results suggest that P. bocagei, the northernmost species, bears low genetic diversity, a shallow coalescent history and marks of a demographic expansion. In contrast, P. vaucheri, the species with a southernmost distribution, shows deeper coalescence events, complex geographical substructure and no evidence for population growth. The species with an intermediate distribution, P. carbonelli, shows average levels of diversity, substructure and population growth. Taken together, these results conform to our main predictions and are explained by a differential influence of the ice ages on distinct latitudes.
Lemic, D; Mikac, K M; Bažok, R
Classical population genetic analyses were used to investigate populations of the western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, in Croatia in 1996 and 2009. The number of alleles was low in both 1996 and 2009; however, more alleles were found in the putative populations surveyed in 2009. Croatia had only 51% of the alleles recorded from the United States and 69% from Europe. However, 10 private (unique) alleles were found in Croatia, which were not found previously in Europe. Most populations were out of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, although no linkage disequilibrium was found. Low to no genetic differentiation was found between population pairwise comparisons in 1996, with a greater level of differentiation found between populations sampled in 2009. Using the program STRUCTURE, a single genetic cluster was found for populations sampled in 1996 and 2009. However, two genetic clusters were detected when the 1996 and 2009 data were combined, indicating significant temporal differentiation. Isolation by distance pattern of gene flow characterized populations sampled in 2009 only when the most distant population of Ogulin (the head of the expansion front) was included in the analysis. When Ogluin was excluded from the 2009 analysis no isolation by distance pattern was found. The possible impact that control practices have had on the population genetics of D. v. virgifera in Croatia from 1996 to 2009 are discussed in light of the temporal genetics differences found.
Over half of the streams in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands have fish communities that are in fair or poor condition, and the EPA concluded that physical habitat alteration represents the greatest potential stressor across this region. A quantitative method for relating habitat quali...
the government of Singapore also matches deposits into children’s savings accounts, which can be used for schooling or medical plans . 10 Also, as...part of the Marriage and Parenthood Package, the government of Singapore will pay up to one-half of in-vitro fertilization costs, depending on the...considerations. 8 U.S. Social Security Administration. Social Security Plans Throughout the World: Asia and the Pacific, 2006. http://www.ssa.gov/policy
Agra, Ana Raquel; Guilhermino, Lúcia; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Barata, Carlos
The present study was conducted to assess three microevolutionary aspects of adaptation to pollution in Daphnia longispina populations historically exposed to an acid mine drainage from an abandoned pyrite mine: pollution mediated effects in acute tolerance to copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn); pollution-mediated effects on genetic variability of tolerant and physiological traits related to fitness (feeding rates); and fitness costs of tolerance measured as genetic trade-offs between tolerance and feeding rates under none and low levels of contamination. These objectives were addressed by comparing broad sense heritabilities and genetic correlations using up to 20 distinct clonal lineages randomly obtained from two populations: one located in a water reservoir contaminated by the acid mine drainage, and the other located in a nearby clean water reservoir. Results showed that only sensitive and resistant lineages to Cu were present in the reference and contaminated site, respectively. For Zn, however, both populations had a similar distribution pattern of sensitivities. Heritability values for tolerant and feeding traits across metal exposure levels was similar in both populations being in most cases greater than 50%. Fitness costs of tolerance were illustrated by lower feeding rates of the tolerant population compared to the reference one and negative genetic correlations between mean clonal feeding rates and median clonal survival time in control conditions (no added Cu or Zn). The results obtained thus support the view that tolerance to pollution is ecologically costly.
Mueller, B.; Zhang, X.; Zwiers, F. W.
Global mean temperatures are projected to increase by 3K and 4.9K above pre-industrial levels by 2100 in a moderate stabilization and a high-emission scenario (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 from CMIP5). However, warming rates are regionally different. In this presentation, we focus on the regions defined by the IPCC SREX report. We investigate the year in the future in which historically hottest summers are projected to become the norm, i.e. to occur at least every other year. Using results from a detection and attribution analysis, we provide probabilistic estimates based on RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 simulations constrained by observations during 1950-2012. We also estimate the fraction of attributable risk (FAR), i.e. the probability for hot summers that is attributable to past emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gases and aerosols. We find that the FAR is larger than 0.9 in many regions. We project that under RCP4.5, more than half of the world's population will experience the historically hottest summer of the past 63 years with a probability of 50% and 90% by 2035 and 2050, respectively. Under the higher emission scenario RCP8.5, historically hottest summers are projected to be more wide-spread. The Mediterranean region, Western and Eastern Asia, Northern Eurasia and the Sahara are among the first regions for which such hot summers might become the norm. Even under RCP4.5, more than 90% of summers are projected to be hotter than the historically hottest summers by 2025 and 2035 for Sahara and the Mediterranean regions, respectively.
Call, Katherine A.; Fadely, Brian S.; Greig, Angie; Rehberg, Michael J.
We calculated the durations of time on-shore and at-sea for juvenile Steller sea lions ( Eumetopias jubatus) using satellite dive recorders deployed between 2000 and 2002, and compared two genetically distinct populations; one increasing (eastern stock; n=42) and one that experienced an 80% decline in population since the mid-1970s (western stock; n=89). Data represented 24-h periods divided into 72 20-min increments indicating whether an animal was on-shore (dry) or at-sea (wet). Time apportioned between land and sea was described on a per-trip basis (rather than a 24-h cycle) and durations ranged from 20 min to several days. We tested differences in the durations of on-shore and at-sea events among sex, geographic region, year, and age at capture using mixed-effects models. Animal identifier was included as a random effect to account for repeated measures on the same individual. Sea lions from the eastern Aleutian Islands, central Aleutian Islands, and central Gulf of Alaska hauled out just after sunrise, and departure times coincided with dusk. For Prince William Sound and Southeast Alaska animals, arrivals and departures occurred throughout the day and were not related to crepuscular period. Mean duration on-shore did not differ among sex, region, year or age, and was unrelated to previous trip duration. This may suggest a minimum rest period for juvenile Steller sea lions or that dependant animals are maximizing their time on-shore suckling. Time spent at-sea varied among individuals from both populations and development of maternal independence, inferred from significant increases in time spent at sea, occurred approximately 10 months later in individuals from Prince William Sound and Southeast Alaska than in the other regions, suggesting environmental and developmental differences among regions.
Sakaguchi, Shota; Bowman, David M J S; Prior, Lynda D; Crisp, Michael D; Linde, Celeste C; Tsumura, Yoshihiko; Isagi, Yuji
Climate and fire are the key environmental factors that shape the distribution and demography of plant populations in Australia. Because of limited palaeoecological records in this arid continent, however, it is unclear as to which factor impacted vegetation more strongly, and what were the roles of fire regime changes owing to human activity and megafaunal extinction (since ca 50 kya). To address these questions, we analysed historical genetic, demographic and distributional changes in a widespread conifer species complex that paradoxically grows in fire-prone regions, yet is very sensitive to fire. Genetic demographic analysis showed that the arid populations experienced strong bottlenecks, consistent with range contractions during the Last Glacial Maximum (ca 20 kya) predicted by species distribution models. In southern temperate regions, the population sizes were estimated to have been mostly stable, followed by some expansion coinciding with climate amelioration at the end of the last glacial period. By contrast, in the flammable tropical savannahs, where fire risk is the highest, demographic analysis failed to detect significant population bottlenecks. Collectively, these results suggest that the impact of climate change overwhelmed any modifications to fire regimes by Aboriginal landscape burning and megafaunal extinction, a finding that probably also applies to other fire-prone vegetation across Australia.
Ottoni, Claudio; Ricaut, François-X; Vanderheyden, Nancy; Brucato, Nicolas; Waelkens, Marc; Decorte, Ronny
The archaeological site of Sagalassos is located in Southwest Turkey, in the western part of the Taurus mountain range. Human occupation of its territory is attested from the late 12th millennium BP up to the 13th century AD. By analysing the mtDNA variation in 85 skeletons from Sagalassos dated to the 11th–13th century AD, this study attempts to reconstruct the genetic signature potentially left in this region of Anatolia by the many civilizations, which succeeded one another over the centuries until the mid-Byzantine period (13th century BC). Authentic ancient DNA data were determined from the control region and some SNPs in the coding region of the mtDNA in 53 individuals. Comparative analyses with up to 157 modern populations allowed us to reconstruct the origin of the mid-Byzantine people still dwelling in dispersed hamlets in Sagalassos, and to detect the maternal contribution of their potential ancestors. By integrating the genetic data with historical and archaeological information, we were able to attest in Sagalassos a significant maternal genetic signature of Balkan/Greek populations, as well as ancient Persians and populations from the Italian peninsula. Some contribution from the Levant has been also detected, whereas no contribution from Central Asian population could be ascertained. PMID:21224890
Lenders, H. J. R.; Chamuleau, T. P. M.; Hendriks, A. J.; Lauwerier, R. C. G. M.; Leuven, R. S. E. W.; Verberk, W. C. E. P.
The collapse of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) stocks throughout North-Western Europe is generally ascribed to large-scale river regulation, water pollution and over-fishing in the 19th and 20th century. However, other causes have rarely been quantified, especially those acting before the 19th century. By analysing historical fishery, market and tax statistics, independently confirmed by archaeozoological records, we demonstrate that populations declined by up to 90% during the transitional period between the Early Middle Ages (c. 450–900 AD) and Early Modern Times (c. 1600 AD). These dramatic declines coincided with improvements in watermill technology and their geographical expansion across Europe. Our extrapolations suggest that historical Atlantic salmon runs must have once been very abundant indeed. The historical perspective presented here contributes to a better understanding of the primary factors that led to major declines in salmon populations. Such understanding provides an essential basis for the effective ecological rehabilitation of freshwater ecosystems.
Lenders, H. J. R.; Chamuleau, T. P. M.; Hendriks, A. J.; Lauwerier, R. C. G. M.; Leuven, R. S. E. W.; Verberk, W. C. E. P.
The collapse of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) stocks throughout North-Western Europe is generally ascribed to large-scale river regulation, water pollution and over-fishing in the 19th and 20th century. However, other causes have rarely been quantified, especially those acting before the 19th century. By analysing historical fishery, market and tax statistics, independently confirmed by archaeozoological records, we demonstrate that populations declined by up to 90% during the transitional period between the Early Middle Ages (c. 450–900 AD) and Early Modern Times (c. 1600 AD). These dramatic declines coincided with improvements in watermill technology and their geographical expansion across Europe. Our extrapolations suggest that historical Atlantic salmon runs must have once been very abundant indeed. The historical perspective presented here contributes to a better understanding of the primary factors that led to major declines in salmon populations. Such understanding provides an essential basis for the effective ecological rehabilitation of freshwater ecosystems. PMID:27435118
Jackson, Albert; Eichler, Peter; Reynolds, Robert; Potter, Andrew; Johnson, Nicholas
The measured small particle population in earth orbit contains cm-sized objects that are not accounted for by breakup fragments. It was proposed that slag ejection during solid rocket motor burn is a contributor to this population. The direct evidence for such slag ejection follows from: observations of the exhausts of vehicles in flight, and engineering data from static firings. A source model is presented to account for the contribution of slag expulsion from solid rocket motors to the debris population. The mass and velocity distribution of the slag effluents are taken into account and used as a source term in the debris environment model. The model is based on the available observation data and on models for slag development and ejection.
Historical US Census population data was used to estimate population density for 1930-2000 and satellite imagery from circa 1973, 1992, and 2001 was used to estimate the degree of urban development and the percent imperviousness (for 1992 and 2001) for a set of 150 small (< 13...
Zhang, D; Ding, Ge; Ge, B; Zhang, H; Tang, B
Genetic diversity, population genetic structure and molecular phylogeographic pattern of mantis shrimp Oratosquilla oratoria in Bohai Sea and South China Sea were analyzed by mitochondrial DNA sequences. Nucleotide and haplotype diversities were 0.00409-0.00669 and 0.894-0.953 respectively. Neighbor-Joining phylogenetic tree clustered two distinct lineages. Both phylogenetic tree and median-joining network showed the consistent genetic structure corresponding to geographical distribution. Mismatch distributions, negative neutral test and "star-like" network supported a sudden population expansion event. And the time was estimated about 44000 and 50000 years ago.
Western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera; WCR) was sampled across much of its U.S. range for population genetic analyses. We assayed sequence variation at the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) locus and allelic variation at eleven microsatellite loci. ...
Pollet, Thomas V; Nettle, Daniel
Evolutionary psychologists have documented a widespread female preference for men of high status and resources, and evidence from several populations suggests that this preference has real effects on marriage success. Here, we show that in the US population of 1910, socioeconomic status (SES) had a positive effect on men's chances of marrying. We also test a further prediction from the biological markets theory, namely that where the local sex ratio produces an oversupply of men, women will be able to drive a harder bargain. As the sex ratio of the states increases, the effect of SES on marriage success becomes stronger, indicating increased competition between men and an increased ability to choose on the part of women.
Sobek, Matthew; Cleveland, Lara; Flood, Sarah; Hall, Patricia Kelly; King, Miriam L; Ruggles, Steven; Schroeder, Matthew
The Minnesota Population Center (MPC) provides aggregate data and microdata that have been integrated and harmonized to maximize crosstemporal and cross-spatial comparability. All MPC data products are distributed free of charge through an interactive Web interface that enables users to limit the data and metadata being analyzed to samples and variables of interest to their research. In this article, the authors describe the integrated databases available from the MPC, report on recent additions and enhancements to these data sets, and summarize new online tools and resources that help users to analyze the data over time. They conclude with a description of the MPC's newest and largest infrastructure project to date: a global population and environment data network.
as events) in regional populations. The first three studies focussed on East Timor, Aceh, and Papua New Guinea and Papua, and helped to develop the...Aceh and Papua New Guinea . This is an item of note as the histories are very different as are the time frames for the study. This might be an...ethnic groups are key aspects of a societal memory that operates within the Solomon Islands. This is different to Papua New Guinea , where no or
Mautz, William J.; Davis Rabosky, Alison R.
The restricted distribution and isolation of island endemics often produces unique genetic and phenotypic diversity of conservation interest to management agencies. However, these isolated species, especially those with sensitive life history traits, are at high risk for the adverse effects of genetic drift and habitat degradation by non-native wildlife. Here, we study the population genetic diversity, structure, and stability of a classic “island giant” (Xantusia riversiana, the Island Night Lizard) on San Clemente Island, California following the removal of feral goats. Using DNA microsatellites, we found that this population is reasonably genetically robust despite historical grazing, with similar effective population sizes and genetic diversity metrics across all sampling locations irrespective of habitat type and degree of degradation. However, we also found strong site-specific patterns of genetic variation and low genetic diversity compared to mainland congeners, warranting continued special management as an island endemic. We identify both high and low elevation areas that remain valuable repositories of genetic diversity and provide a case study for other low-dispersal coastal organisms in the face of future climate change. PMID:27828958
Gubili, Chrysoula; Bilgin, Rasit; Kalkan, Evrim; Karhan, S Ünsal; Jones, Catherine S; Sims, David W; Kabasakal, Hakan; Martin, Andrew P; Noble, Leslie R
The provenance of white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) in the Mediterranean is both a conundrum and an important conservation issue. Considering this species's propensity for natal philopatry, any evidence that the Mediterranean stock has little or no contemporary immigration from the Atlantic would suggest that it is extraordinarily vulnerable. To address this issue we sequenced the mitochondrial control region of four rare Mediterranean white sharks. Unexpectedly, the juvenile sequences were identical although collected at different locations and times, showing little genetic differentiation from Indo-Pacific lineages, but strong separation from geographically closer Atlantic/western Indian Ocean haplotypes. Historical long-distance dispersal (probably a consequence of navigational error during past climatic oscillations) and potential founder effects are invoked to explain the anomalous relationships of this isolated 'sink' population, highlighting the present vulnerability of its nursery grounds.
Gubili, Chrysoula; Bilgin, Raşit; Kalkan, Evrim; Karhan, S. Ünsal; Jones, Catherine S.; Sims, David W.; Kabasakal, Hakan; Martin, Andrew P.; Noble, Leslie R.
The provenance of white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) in the Mediterranean is both a conundrum and an important conservation issue. Considering this species's propensity for natal philopatry, any evidence that the Mediterranean stock has little or no contemporary immigration from the Atlantic would suggest that it is extraordinarily vulnerable. To address this issue we sequenced the mitochondrial control region of four rare Mediterranean white sharks. Unexpectedly, the juvenile sequences were identical although collected at different locations and times, showing little genetic differentiation from Indo-Pacific lineages, but strong separation from geographically closer Atlantic/western Indian Ocean haplotypes. Historical long-distance dispersal (probably a consequence of navigational error during past climatic oscillations) and potential founder effects are invoked to explain the anomalous relationships of this isolated ‘sink’ population, highlighting the present vulnerability of its nursery grounds. PMID:21084352
Osirike, A B
This article presents an overview of the Asian Population History Conference held in Taipei, Taiwan, January 4-8, 1996. 41 papers were presented on seven themes: Asian population growth, epidemiological transition and public health, mortality trends in pretransitional populations, marriage patterns and demographic systems, fertility levels and trends in pretransitional Asian populations, migration and population distribution, and family systems. Papers were presented by Anthony Reid; Chris Wilson; Bruce Fetter; Sumit Guha; Sheila Zurbrigg; Timothy Dyson and Monica Das Gupta; Cameron Campbell; Robert Shepherd; Ann Jannetta; Chai-Bin Park, Eise Yokoyama, and Sadahiko Nozaki; Peter Boomgaard; Jose Antonio Ortega Osona; Osamu Saito; Ts'ui-jung Liu and Shi-yung Liu; Wen Shang Yang; Dallas Fernando; Bruce Caldwell; A. Francis Gealogo; S. Irudaya Rajan; Kiyoshi Hamano; Guo Songyi; Wang Feng and James Lee; Christopher Langford; Terence H. Hull; Paul K.C. Liu; Xizhe Peng and Yangfang Hou; Ken'ichi Tomobe; Nokiro O. Tsuya; Peter Xenos; Daniel Doeppers; Chaonan Chen and Su-fen Liu; Jiang Tao; Akira Hayami and Emiko Ochiai; Arthur P. Wolf and Chuang Ying-chang; Myron L. Cohen; Burton Pasternak; Zhongwei Zhao; Li-shou Yang, Arland Thornton, and Tamara Hareven; Chi-chun Yi and Yu-hsia Lu; Lai Huimin; Ding Yizhuang; and John Caldwell, who chaired the concluding session. John Caldwell concluded that the conference provided an impressive collection of findings on Asian population history. There was much more research possible, particularly research based on India's rich historical data archives. Research was needed to confirm the assertion that Asian mortality transition began after the two world wars. A focus on natural family planning methods used prior to the transition was suggested. International Union for Scientific Study of Population Committee Chairman David Reher suggested multidisciplinary research on Asian differences in fertility, mortality, and migration. Hayami and Ts
Griffing, Sean M.; Viana, Giselle M. Rachid; Mixson-Hayden, Tonya; Sridaran, Sankar; Alam, Mohammad Tauqeer; de Oliveira, Alexandre Macedo; Barnwell, John W.; Escalante, Ananias A.; Povoa, Marinete Marins; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam
Previous work suggests that Brazilian Plasmodium falciparum has limited genetic diversity and a history of bottlenecks, multiple reintroductions due to human migration, and clonal expansions. We hypothesized that Brazilian P. falciparum would exhibit clonal structure. We examined isolates collected across two decades from Amapá, Rondônia, and Pará state (n = 190). By examining more microsatellites markers on more chromosomes than previous studies, we hoped to define the extent of low diversity, linkage disequilibrium, bottlenecks, population structure, and parasite migration within Brazil. We used retrospective genotyping of samples from the 1980s and 1990s to explore the population genetics of SP resistant dhfr and dhps alleles. We tested an existing hypothesis that the triple mutant dhfr mutations 50R/51I/108N and 51I/108N/164L developed in southern Amazon from a single origin of common or similar parasites. We found that Brazilian P. falciparum had limited genetic diversity and isolation by distance was rejected, which suggests it underwent bottlenecks followed by migration between sites. Unlike Peru, there appeared to be gene flow across the Brazilian Amazon basin. We were unable to divide parasite populations by clonal lineages and pairwise FST were common. Most parasite diversity was found within sites in the Brazilian Amazon, according to AMOVA. Our results challenge the hypothesis that triple mutant alleles arose from a single lineage in the Southern Amazon. SP resistance, at both the double and triple mutant stages, developed twice and potentially in different regions of the Brazilian Amazon. We would have required samples from before the 1980s to describe how SP resistance spread across the basin or describe the complex internal migration of Brazilian parasites after the colonization efforts of past decades. The Brazilian Amazon basin may have sufficient internal migration for drug resistance reported in any particular region to rapidly spread to
Castri, Loredana; Luiselli, Donata; Pettener, Davide; Melendez-Obando, Mauricio; Villegas-Palma, Ramón; Barrantes, Ramiro; Madrigal, Lorena
Interest in mitochondrial influences on extended longevity has been mounting, as evidenced by a growing literature. Such work has demonstrated that some haplogroups are associated with increased longevity and that such associations are population specific. Most previous work, however, suffers from the methodological shortcoming that long-lived individuals are compared with "controls" who are born decades after the aged individuals. The only true controls of the elderly are people who were born in the same time period but who did not have extended longevity. Here we present results of a study in which we are able to test whether longevity is independent of haplogroup type, controlling for time period, by using mtDNA genealogies. Since mtDNA does not recombine, we know the mtDNA haplogroup of the maternal ancestors of our living participants. Thus, we can compare the haplogroup of people with and without extended longevity who were born during the same time period. Our sample is an admixed New World population that has haplogroups of Amerindian, European, and African origin. We show that women who belong to Amerindian, European, and African haplogroups do not differ in their mean longevity. Therefore, to the extent that ethnicity was tied in this population to mtDNA make-up, such ethnicity did not impact longevity. In support of previous suggestions that the link between mtDNA haplogroups and longevity is specific to the population being studied, we found an association between haplogroup C and decreased longevity. Interestingly, the lifetime reproductive success and the number of grandchildren produced via a daughter of women with haplogroup C are not reduced. Our diachronic approach to the mtDNA and longevity link allowed us to determine that the same haplogroup is associated with decreased longevity during different time periods and allowed us to compare the haplogroup of short- and long-lived individuals born during the same time period. By controlling for time
Karl, Stephen A; Hayes, Kenneth A
Organisms with crawl-away larvae are thought to experience highly restricted gene flow. Here, we assess the pattern and magnitude of population subdivision of the direct developing snails in the Melongena corona complex and assess the validity of species and subspecies designations in the genus. A total of 516 individuals from 15 locations were assayed at 8 microsatellite loci. Levels of genetic diversity were moderate and typical of gastropods. There were from 8 to 28 alleles per locus and the average observed per sample heterozygosity ranged from 0.16 to 0.79. Levels of genetic divergence were generally large with all sample pairwise F(ST) values statistically significant and ranging from 0.011 to 0.438 and Jost's D(EST) ranging from 0.028 to 0.731. A Bayesian analysis identified 7 clusters of, usually adjoining, samples. The population subdivision is likely derived from a complex mixture of life-history attributes, frequent short-distance dispersal via swimming larvae, rare short- and long-distance dispersal of rafting larvae and eggs, and a patchwork of adjacent and adjoining habitats. As with a previous study, the current taxonomy is not supported by the genetic results and the complex can be considered as M. corona, a single, albeit clearly geographically genetically structured, species.
Genetic origin of Behçet's disease population in Denizli, Turkey; population genetics data analysis; historical demography and geographical perspectives based on β-globin gene cluster haplotype variation.
Ozturk, O; Arikan, S; Bahadir, A; Atalay, A; Atalay, E O
In our study, we aimed to investigate the possible genetic drift, relationships, expansion and historical origin based on haplotype frequencies of the β-globin gene cluster of normal and Behçet's disease (BD) population in Denizli, Turkey. We examined blood DNA samples obtained from our DNA bank. The association of population genetic parameters such as haplotypes, diversity, differentiation, Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and demographic analysis for two populations was performed by Arlequin ver. 3.5. Our results show that both populations have high similarity in genetic parameters in terms of development and expansion based on haplotype diversity through the history. We found that historical levels of gene flow were significantly higher between the two populations. According to historical population, growth parameter of τ values for normal and BD populations dated approximately 42 000 to 38 000 ybp, respectively. In conclusion, historically, two populations show similar genetic parameters and unimodal growth distribution. Our results are consistent with the view that the BD may have occurred in area, independent from Silk Road.
Tollis, Marc; Ausubel, Gavriel; Ghimire, Dhruba; Boissinot, Stéphane
The green anole (Anolis carolinensis) has been widely used as an animal model in physiology and neurobiology but has recently emerged as an important genomic model. The recent sequencing of its genome has shed new light on the evolution of vertebrate genomes and on the process that govern species diversification. Surprisingly, the patterns of genetic diversity within natural populations of this widespread and abundant North American lizard remain relatively unknown. In the present study, we use 10 novel nuclear DNA sequence loci (N = 62 to 152) and one mitochondrial locus (N = 226) to delimit green anole populations and infer their historical demography. We uncovered four evolutionarily distinct and geographically restricted lineages of green anoles using phylogenetics, Bayesian clustering, and genetic distance methods. Molecular dating indicates that these lineages last shared a common ancestor ∼2 million years ago. Summary statistics and analysis of the frequency distributions of DNA polymorphisms strongly suggest range-wide expansions in population size. Using Bayesian Skyline Plots, we inferred the timing of population size expansions, which differ across lineages, and found evidence for a relatively recent and rapid westward expansion of green anoles across the Gulf Coastal Plain during the mid-Pleistocene. One surprising result is that the distribution of genetic diversity is not consistent with a latitudinal shift caused by climatic oscillations as is observed for many co-distributed taxa. This suggests that the most recent Pleistocene glacial cycles had a limited impact on the geographic distribution of the green anole at the northern limits of its range. PMID:22685573
Tomczyk, Jacek; Komarnitki, Julian; Zalewska, Marta; Wiśniewska, Ewa; Szopiński, Kazimierz; Olczyk-Kowalczyk, Dorota
There are many reports in the literature concerning pulp stones in contemporary living populations, but there are no descriptions of cases of pulp stones and their prevalence in populations of the past. Here we present a study of pulp stones in a series of archaeologically derived samples from the Middle Euphrates Valley (Syria) obtained from two sites: Terqa and Tell Masaikh. The specimens were assigned to five periods: Early Bronze (2650-2350 BC); Middle Bronze (2200-1700 BC); late Roman (AD 200-400); Islamic (AD 600-1200); and Modern Islamic (AD 1850-1950). A total of 529 teeth representing 117 adult individuals of both sexes were examined. Pulp stones were identified by X-ray and 10 selected specimens were sectioned for histological study. Pulp stones were found in 99 of 117 individuals (85%) and in 271 of 529 (51%) teeth. Pulp stone prevalence was found to increase with age, for individuals of older age classes have more pulp stones than younger individuals. Intriguingly, the prevalence of single pulp stones was higher among older individuals (36-45, >46), while younger individuals (17-25, 26-35) more often possessed multiple stones. Individuals with moderate to highly advanced dental wear have pulp stones significantly more often than individuals whose tooth wear is limited to invisible or very small facets. Though there is no statistical significance in the prevalence of pulp stones across chronological periods, it appears that a high level of calcium in the diet is accompanied by a greater prevalence of pulp stones.
Low genetic diversity and local adaptive divergence of Dracaena cambodiana (Liliaceae) populations associated with historical population bottlenecks and natural selection: an endangered long-lived tree endemic to Hainan Island, China.
Zheng, D-J; Xie, L-S; Zhu, J-H; Zhang, Z-L
Historical population bottlenecks and natural selection have important effects on the current genetic diversity and structure of long-lived trees. Dracaena cambodiana is an endangered, long-lived tree endemic to Hainan Island, China. Our field investigations showed that only 10 populations remain on Hainan Island and that almost all have been seriously isolated and grow in distinct habitats. A considerable amount of genetic variation at the species level, but little variation at the population level, and a high level of genetic differentiation among the populations with limited gene flow in D. cambodiana were detected using inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analyses. No significant correlation was found between genetic diversity and actual population size, as the genetic diversities were similar regardless of population size. The Mantel test revealed that there was no correlation between genetic and geographic distances among the 10 populations. The UPGMA, PCoA and Bayesian analyses showed that local adaptive divergence has occurred among the D. cambodiana populations, which was further supported by habitat-private fragments. We suggest that the current genetic diversity and population differentiation of D. cambodiana resulted from historical population bottlenecks and natural selection followed by historical isolation. However, the lack of natural regeneration of D. cambodiana indicates that former local adaptations with low genetic diversity may have been genetically weak and are unable to adapt to the current ecological environments.
Context The idea of “population” is core to the population sciences but is rarely defined except in statistical terms. Yet who and what defines and makes a population has everything to do with whether population means are meaningful or meaningless, with profound implications for work on population health and health inequities. Methods In this article, I review the current conventional definitions of, and historical debates over, the meaning(s) of “population,” trace back the contemporary emphasis on populations as statistical rather than substantive entities to Adolphe Quetelet's powerful astronomical metaphor, conceived in the 1830s, of l’homme moyen (the average man), and argue for an alternative definition of populations as relational beings. As informed by the ecosocial theory of disease distribution, I then analyze several case examples to explore the utility of critical population-informed thinking for research, knowledge, and policy involving population health and health inequities. Findings Four propositions emerge: (1) the meaningfulness of means depends on how meaningfully the populations are defined in relation to the inherent intrinsic and extrinsic dynamic generative relationships by which they are constituted; (2) structured chance drives population distributions of health and entails conceptualizing health and disease, including biomarkers, as embodied phenotype and health inequities as historically contingent; (3) persons included in population health research are study participants, and the casual equation of this term with “study population” should be avoided; and (4) the conventional cleavage of “internal validity” and “generalizability” is misleading, since a meaningful choice of study participants must be in relation to the range of exposures experienced (or not) in the real-world societies, that is, meaningful populations, of which they are a part. Conclusions To improve conceptual clarity, causal inference, and action to
Yang, Li; Huang, Mujiao; Zhang, Rui; Lv, Jiang; Ren, Yueheng; Jiang, Zhe; Zhang, Wei; Luan, Xiaofeng
The range of the Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) has decreased dramatically over the last 100 years. This species is still under extreme risk of extinction and conservation efforts are rigorous. Understanding the long-term dynamics of the population decline would be helpful to offer insight into the mechanism behind the decline and endangerment and improve conservation perspectives and strategies. Historical data collection has been the challenge for reconstructing the historical distribution. In China, new gazetteers having systematic compilation and considerable local ecological data can be considered as an important complementary for reconstruction. Therefore, we have set up a data set (mainly based on the new gazetteers) in order to identify the historical range of the Amur Leopard from the 1950s to 2014. The result shows that the Amur leopard was historically widely distributed with large populations in Northeastern China, but it presented a sharp decline after the 1970s. The decline appeared from the plains to the mountains and northeast to southwest since the 1950s. Long-term historical data, mainly from new gazetteers, demonstrates that such resources are capable of tracking species change through time and offers an opportunity to reduce data shortage and enhance understanding in conservation.
Yang, Li; Huang, Mujiao; Zhang, Rui; Lv, Jiang; Ren, Yueheng; Jiang, Zhe; Zhang, Wei; Luan, Xiaofeng
Abstract The range of the Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) has decreased dramatically over the last 100 years. This species is still under extreme risk of extinction and conservation efforts are rigorous. Understanding the long-term dynamics of the population decline would be helpful to offer insight into the mechanism behind the decline and endangerment and improve conservation perspectives and strategies. Historical data collection has been the challenge for reconstructing the historical distribution. In China, new gazetteers having systematic compilation and considerable local ecological data can be considered as an important complementary for reconstruction. Therefore, we have set up a data set (mainly based on the new gazetteers) in order to identify the historical range of the Amur Leopard from the 1950s to 2014. The result shows that the Amur leopard was historically widely distributed with large populations in Northeastern China, but it presented a sharp decline after the 1970s. The decline appeared from the plains to the mountains and northeast to southwest since the 1950s. Long-term historical data, mainly from new gazetteers, demonstrates that such resources are capable of tracking species change through time and offers an opportunity to reduce data shortage and enhance understanding in conservation. PMID:27408548
Severe fragmentation is a typical fate of native remnant habitats in cities, and urban wildlife with limited dispersal ability are predicted to lose genetic variation in isolated urban patches. However, little information exists on the characteristics of urban green spaces required to conserve genetic variation. In this study, we examine whether isolation in New York City (NYC) parks results in genetic bottlenecks in white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus), and test the hypotheses that park size and time since isolation are associated with genetic variability using nonlinear regression and information-theoretic model selection. White-footed mice have previously been documented to exhibit male-biased dispersal, which may create disparities in genetic variation between males and females in urban parks. We use genotypes of 18 neutral microsatellite data and four different statistical tests to assess this prediction. Given that sex-biased dispersal may create disparities between population genetic patterns inferred from bi- vs. uni-parentally inherited markers, we also sequenced a 324 bp segment of the mitochondrial D-loop for independent inferences of historical demography in urban P. leucopus. We report that isolation in urban parks does not necessarily result in genetic bottlenecks; only three out of 14 populations in NYC parks exhibited a signature of a recent bottleneck at 18 neutral microsatellite loci. Mouse populations in larger urban parks, or parks that have been isolated for shorter periods of time, also do not generally contain greater genetic variation than populations in smaller parks. These results suggest that even small networks of green spaces may be sufficient to maintain the evolutionary potential of native species with certain characteristics. We also found that isolation in urban parks results in weak to nonexistent sex-biased dispersal in a species known to exhibit male-biased dispersal in less fragmented environments. In contrast to nuclear loci
Norris, Keith C; Baker, Richard S; Taylor, Robert; Montgomery-Rice, Valerie; Higginbotham, Eve J; Riley, Wayne J; Maupin, John; Drew-Ivie, Sylvia; Reede, Joan Y; Gibbons, Gary
Substantial changes in not only access to care, cost, and quality of care, but also health professions education are needed to ensure effective national healthcare reform. Since the actionable determinants of health such as personal beliefs and behaviors, socioeconomic factors, and the environment disproportionately affect the poor (and often racial/ethnic minorities), many have suggested that focusing efforts on this population will both directly and indirectly improve the overall health of the nation. Key to the success of such strategies are the ongoing efforts by historically black medical schools (HBMSs) as well as other minority serving medical and health professional schools, who produce a disproportionate percentage of the high-quality and diverse health professionals that are dedicated to maintaining the health of an increasingly diverse nation. Despite their public mission, HBMSs receive limited public support threatening their ability to not only meet the increasing minority health workforce needs but to even sustain their existing contributions. Substantial changes in health education policy and funding are needed to ensure HBMSs as well as other minority-serving medical and health professional schools can continue to produce the diverse, high-quality health professional workforce necessary to maintain the health of an increasingly diverse nation. We explore several model initiatives including focused partnerships with legislative and business leaders that are urgently needed to ensure the ability of HBMSs to maintain their legacy of providing compassionate, quality care to the communities in greatest need.
The series of annual peak flows obtained from a recent continuous flow record, together with any historic floods or information, are treated as a censored sample from a three-parameter lognormal population. The logarithmic likelihood function is presented in terms of the fully specified floods, the historic information with the censoring threshold, and the parameters to be determined. Maximum likelihood estimators are given as a set of three transcendental equations, which when solved give maximum likelihood estimates of parameters. The T-year flood is expressible as a function of these parameters and the standard normal variate t. These parameters are subject to sampling variances and covariances whereas t is not. From the logarithmic likelihood function the inverse variance—covariance matrix is then derived, and by inversion gives the sampling variances and covariances of the parameters. Entering these in the general equation for the variance of estimate of a function of three variables leads to the asymptotic standard error of estimate of the T-year flood. The method is illustrated by its application to a river with historic data, where 10 yrs of only overbank flows were available in a historic period of 35 yrs prior to the collection of a systematic record. The value of the historic information is assessed in terms of reduction of the standard error of estimate, and the 10 yrs of overbank flows together with the historic information are roughly equivalent to a 26 yr extension of the systematic record.
Wiedenhofer, Dominik; Rovenskaya, Elena; Krausmann, Fridolin; Haas, Willi; Fischer-Kowalski, Marina
By talking about socio-metabolic transitions, we talk about changes in the energy base of socio-economic systems, leading to fundamental changes in social and environmental relations. This refers to the historical shift from a biomass-based (agrarian) economy to a fossil fuel based (industrial) economy just as much as to a future shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy carriers. In our presentation, • We will first show that this pattern of transition can be identified for most high income industrial countries: the later the transition started, the faster it proceeded, and the turning point to stabilization of metabolic rates in all of them happened in the early 1970ies. Due to the inherent non-linearity of this process, two approaches will be aplied to estimate parameters for the starting point, transition speed and saturation level: firstly a combination of an expontential and a generalized logistic function and secondly a Gompertz function. For both an iterative test procedure is applied to find the global minimum of the residual error for the whole function and all its parameters. This theory-based approach allows us to apply a robust methodology across all cases, thereby yielding results which can be generalized. • Next, we will show that this was not just a "historical" socio-ecological transition, however. Currently, a substantial number of countries comprising more than half of the world's population are following a similar transitional pathway at an ever accelerating pace. Based on empirical data on physical resource use and the above sketched methodology, we can show that these so-called emerging economies are currently in the take-off or acceleration phase of the very same transition. • Apart from these "endogenous" processes of socio-metabolic transition, we will investigate the effect of external shocks and their impact on the dynamics of energy and materials use. The first such shock we will explore is the oil crisis of 1972 that possibly
Davidson, C.; Shaffer, H.B.; Jennings, M.R.
The federally threatened California red-legged frog (Rana aurora draytonii) has disappeared from much of its range for unknown reasons. We mapped 237 historic locations for the species and determined their current population status. Using a geographic information system (GIS), we determined latitude, elevation, and land use attributes for all sites and analyzed the spatial pattern of declines. We then compared the observed patterns of decline to those predicted by the climate change, UV-B radiation, pesticides, and habitat alteration hypotheses for amphibian decline. Declines were not consistent with the climate change hypothesis but showed a strong positive association with elevation, percentage upwind agricultural land use, and local urbanization. These results apply to patterns of decline across the entire range of R. a. draytonii in California, as well as within geographic subregions. The elevational gradient in declines is consistent with the UV-B hypothesis, although the UV-B hypothesis also predicts a north-to-south gradient in declines, which we did not observe. The association of declines with the amount of upwind agricultural land use strongly suggests that wind-borne agrochemicals may be an important factor in declines. This association was most pronounced within the Central Valley-Sierra region, where other studies have documented both transport and deposition of pesticides to the Sierra Nevada and the presence of pesticide residues in the bodies of congeneric (Rana muscosa) and more distantly related (Hyla regilla) frog species.
Millar, Melissa A.; Coates, David J.; Byrne, Margaret
Background and Aims Understanding patterns of pollen dispersal and variation in mating systems provides insights into the evolutionary potential of plant species and how historically rare species with small disjunct populations persist over long time frames. This study aims to quantify the role of pollen dispersal and the mating system in maintaining contemporary levels of connectivity and facilitating persistence of small populations of the historically rare Acacia woodmaniorum. Methods Progeny arrays of A. woodmaniorum were genotyped with nine polymorphic microsatellite markers. A low number of fathers contributed to seed within single pods; therefore, sampling to remove bias of correlated paternity was implemented for further analysis. Pollen immigration and mating system parameters were then assessed in eight populations of varying size and degree of isolation. Key Results Pollen immigration into small disjunct populations was extensive (mean minimum estimate 40 % and mean maximum estimate 57 % of progeny) and dispersal occurred over large distances (≤1870m). Pollen immigration resulted in large effective population sizes and was sufficient to ensure adaptive and inbreeding connectivity in small disjunct populations. High outcrossing (mean tm = 0·975) and a lack of apparent inbreeding suggested that a self-incompatibility mechanism is operating. Population parameters, including size and degree of geographic disjunction, were not useful predictors of pollen dispersal or components of the mating system. Conclusions Extensive long-distance pollen dispersal and a highly outcrossed mating system are likely to play a key role in maintaining genetic diversity and limiting negative genetic effects of inbreeding and drift in small disjunct populations of A. woodmaniorum. It is proposed that maintenance of genetic connectivity through habitat and pollinator conservation will be a key factor in the persistence of this and other historically rare species with similar
Kim, MinHee; Clarke, Philippa
There is little knowledge on the relationships between neighborhood environments and trajectories of social engagement among physically and economically vulnerable older adults. We examined the association between neighborhood social and built environments (physical disorder, the presence of crime watch signs, and street conditions) and 36-month trajectories of social engagement among 965 older adults living in Detroit, Michigan. Social withdrawal was defined as a decline in social engagement without distress while social isolation was defined as a decline in social engagement with distress. We utilized data from Michigan's Minimum Data Set for Home Care (2000-2008), merged with contextual data collected through a virtual audit instrument using Google Earth's "Street View" feature. Results from multilevel multinomial analyses indicated that the presence of neighborhood watch signs was associated with increased chance of social withdrawal and social isolation among frail older adults over time, highlighting the potential anxiety-provoking effect of precautionary measures against crime.
Mateo, Rafael; Petkov, Nikolai; Lopez-Antia, Ana; Rodríguez-Estival, Jaime; Green, Andy J
The red-breasted goose Branta ruficollis is a globally threatened species (IUCN Vulnerable) and the only European goose species currently in decline. Working on the wintering grounds on the Black Sea Coast, we address two potential causes of decline of this species for the first time: lead poisoning, and contamination from pesticides. We quantified the densities of spent Pb shot in three wetlands used by the geese in north-east Bulgaria, and analysed the Pb concentration in the faeces of red-breasted geese and the more abundant greater white-fronted geese Anser albifrons, using Al concentration as an indicator of soil ingestion. Pb shot densities in sediments were low, and we found no evidence for Pb shot ingestion in red-breasted geese. On the other hand, we found that the geese were feeding on wheat whose seeds were treated with four fungicides: thiram, tebuconazole, difenoconazole and fludioxonil, and the two first were even detected in geese faecal samples. Using data on the daily food intake, we estimated the exposure levels of the geese to these fungicides, both by measuring the concentrations remaining on seeds and by estimating the amount used to coat the seeds at the time of sowing. We found that the exposure rates estimated during the sowing period for both geese species can exceed the recognized hazardous doses for thiram, and to a lesser extent for tebuconazole, which indicates that some pesticides may be playing a previously overlooked role in the decline of red-breasted geese.
He, Ke; Liu, Hong-Yi; Ge, Yun-Fa; Wu, Shao-Ying; Wan, Qiu-Hong
Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is a good marker system for geographical genetics since they are functional genes in the immune system that are likely to affect the fitness of the individual, and the survival and evolutionary potential of a population in a changing environment. Golden pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) is a wild Phasianidae distributed in central and north China. In this study, we used a locus-specific genotyping technique for MHC IIB genes of golden pheasant. Combining with microsatellites (simple sequence repeat, SSR) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) D-loop region, we investigated the demographic history and illuminate genetic structure of this bird in detail. SYR (south of Yangtze river) - NYR (north of Yangtze river) lineages, separated by Yangtze River, were defined in genetic structure of MHC IIB. NYR was supposed as refuge during glacial period, suggested by diversity parameters and more ancient alleles in this region. Based on this hypothesis, there was gene flow from NYR to SYR, which was proved by three pieces of evidence: (1) distinct demographic histories of SYR (kept stable) and NYR (experienced expansion); (2) specific affiliation of LC in genetic structure of SSR and MHC genes; (3) significant gene flow from NYR to SYR. Moreover, we also found balancing selection by combination of three Grouping A2's regions (SC, QL and North) into one in Grouping B4 (NYR) and no pattern of isolation by distance (IBD) found in MHC IIB, whereas for SSR we found a relatively strong and significant IBD. Several mechanisms in the evolution of MHC IIB genes, including recombination, historically positive selection, trans-species evolution and concerted evolution, were shown by molecular and phylogenetic analysis. Overall these results suggest the Yangtze River was inferred to be a geological barrier for this avian and NYR might experience population expansion, which invaded into a neighboring region. This study contributes to the understanding of the
Sharma, R K
The purpose of this discussion is to provide a theoretical-methodological review of some recent socioeconomic theories that have been advanced to explain fertility decline in the 3rd world. Each theory is analyzed in terms of its theoretical claims and the methodology used in testing it. The intent is not so much with whether a particular theory has succeeded in explaining fertility decline but rather with the theoretical-methodological problems inherent in any attempt to explain fertility decline. The theories chosen are those theories that are explicity sociological in orientation or those that contain a significant sociological component. These theories are classified into 4 groups: proximate determinants of fertility; the "Synthesis Framework" of Easterlin; styles of development and fertility decline; and the "Wealth Flow" theory of fertility decline. Bongaarts (1978) developed an analytically simple yet comprehensive quantitative model of the relationship between the so-called intermediate variables and fertility. It can be either biological (such as sterility) or behavioral (such as contraceptive use)in nature. The most important finding from the application of Bongaart¿s framework (1982) is that fertility differences among populations are primarily due to variations in only 4 intermediate variables, namely proportion married, contraception, induced abortion, and postpartum infecundability. A knowledge of which proximate variable is responsible for fertility decline can narrow the search for social causes. The task of social research isultimately to understand such social causes that work through proximate variables to determine fertility. The "Synthesis Framework" of Easterlin attempts to accomplish precisely this by incorporating proximate variables within a broader socioeconomic framework. Those attempting to study the relationship between styles of development and fertility decline share this objective. The task of fertility research needs to be expanded
Chen, C; Lu, R S; Zhu, S S; Tamaki, I; Qiu, Y X
Inferring past demography is a central question in evolutionary and conservation biology. It is, however, sometimes challenging to disentangle their roles of contemporary versus historical processes in shaping the current patterns of genetic variation in endangered species. In this study, we used both chloroplast microsatellite (cpSSR) loci and nuclear microsatellite (nSSR) loci to assess the levels of genetic differentiation, genetic effective population size, contemporary/historical levels of gene flow and demographic history for five populations sampled across the range of Dipteronia dyeriana, an endangered palaeoendemism from Southwestern China. We found that D. dyeriana had a mixed pattern of moderate genetic diversity and high inbreeding. Bayesian clustering divided D. dyeriana populations into two nSSR genetic clusters. Coalescent-based approximate Bayesian computation analyses suggest the western and eastern groups of D. dyeriana likely persisted in a long-term refuge in Southern China since the beginning of the last glacial period, whereas increasingly colder and arid climates at the onset of the last glacial maximum might have fostered the fragmentation of D. dyeriana within refugia. Following their divergence, the western group kept relatively stable effective population size, whereas the eastern group had experienced 500-fold population expansion during the Holocene. Although clear loss of genetic diversity by human activities was not suggested, recent habitat fragmentation has led to a reduction of population connectivity and increased genetic differentiation by ongoing genetic drift in isolated populations, possibly owing to decreased population size in recent dozen years. Finally, we discussed the implications of these results on conservation policies.Heredity advance online publication, 5 April 2017; doi:10.1038/hdy.2017.19.
Semiltsch, Raymond D; Walls, Susan; Barichivich, William J.; O'Donnell, Katherine
A comprehensive view of population declines and their underlying causes is necessary to reverse species loss. Historically, in many cases, a narrow view may have allowed species declines to continue, virtually undetected, for long periods of time (perhaps even decades). We suggest that extinction debt is likely responsible for numerous (perhaps most) amphibian declines and that this perspective should be incorporated into the structure of amphibian research and management. Extinction debt, originally proposed to explain changes in species richness following environmental disturbance, also may refer to the proportion of populations of an individual species that is expected to eventually be lost because of habitat change. A conservation framework to address extinction debt focuses research on threats at the individual, population, and metapopulation levels. This approach will help enhance, restore, and protect specific processes and habitats at the proper scale by directing management to the most vulnerable level and stage of a species. We illustrate this approach using Flatwoods Salamanders, Ambystoma cingulatumand Ambystoma bishopi, which occurred historically throughout the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States but have experienced a greater than 85% loss of populations in recent years. Reversal of these losses is possible only if conservation and recovery efforts encompass individual, population, and metapopulation levels. We illustrate our framework by outlining actions that could be taken at each of these levels to help guide conservation and management of amphibians with complex life cycles and provide options for how to prioritize conservation actions in the face of logistical and budgetary shortfalls.
Godde, Kanya; Hens, Samantha M
Age-related anatomical changes to the surface of the pubic symphysis are well-documented in the literature. However, aligning these morphological changes with chronological age has proven problematic, often resulting in biased age estimates. Statistical modeling provides an avenue for forensic anthropologists and bioarchaeologists to increase the accuracy of traditional aging methods. Locating appropriate samples to use as a basis for modeling age estimations can be challenging due to differing sample age distributions and potentially varying patterns of senescence. We compared two approaches, Rostock and Forensic, coupled with a Bayesian methodology, to address these issues. Transition analysis was run specific to each method (which differ by sample selection). A Gompertz model was derived from an informative prior that yielded the mortality and senescence parameters for constructing highest posterior density ranges, i.e., coverages, which are analogous to age ranges. These age ranges were generated from both approaches and are presented as reference tables useful for historic male and female Italian samples. The age ranges produced from each approach were tested on an historic Italian sample, using cumulative binomial tests. These two approaches performed similarly, with the Forensic approach showing a slight advantage. However, the Forensic approach is unable to identify varying senescence patterns between populations, thus preference for one approach over the other will depend on research design. Finally, we demonstrate that while populations exhibit similar morphological changes with advancing age, there are no significant sex differences in these samples, and the timing of these changes varies from population to population.
Braaten, P.J.; Fuller, D.B.; Lott, R.D.; Jordan, G.R.
Juvenile pallid sturgeon Scaphirhynchus albus raised in hatcheries and stocked in the wild are used to augment critically imperiled populations of this federally endangered species in the United States. For pallid sturgeon in recovery priority management area 2 (RPMA 2) of the Missouri River and lower Yellowstone River where natural recruitment has not occurred for decades, restoration programs aim to stock an annual minimum of 9000 juvenile pallid sturgeon for 20 years to re-establish a minimum population of 1700 adults. However, establishment of this target was based on general guidelines for maintaining the genetic integrity of populations rather than pallid sturgeon-specific demographic information because data on the historical population size was lacking. In this study, information from a recent population estimate (158 wild adults in 2004, 95% confidence interval 129-193 adults) and an empirically derived adult mortality rate (5%) was used in a cohort population model to back-estimate the historic abundance of adult pallid sturgeon in RPMA 2. Three back-estimation age models were developed, and assumed that adults alive during 2004 were 30-, 40-, or 50-years old. Based on these age assumptions, population sizes [??95% confidence intervals; (CI)] were back-estimated to 1989, 1979, and 1969 to approximate size of the population when individuals would have been sexually mature (15 years old) and capable of spawning. Back-estimations yielded predictions of 344 adults in 1989 (95% CI 281-420), 577 adults in 1979 (95% CI 471-704), and 968 adults in 1969 (95% CI 790-1182) for the 30-, 40-, and 50-year age models, respectively. Although several assumptions are inherent in the back-estimation models, results suggest the juvenile stocking program for pallid sturgeon will likely re-establish an adult population that equals in the short-term and exceeds in the long-term the predicted population numbers that occurred during past decades in RPMA 2. However, re
Kupferberg, Sarah J; Palen, Wendy J; Lind, Amy J; Bobzien, Steve; Catenazzi, Alessandro; Drennan, Joe; Power, Mary E
Widespread alteration of natural hydrologic patterns by large dams combined with peak demands for power and water delivery during summer months have resulted in frequent aseasonal flow pulses in rivers of western North America. Native species in these ecosystems have evolved with predictable annual flood-drought cycles; thus, their likelihood of persistence may decrease in response to disruption of the seasonal synchrony between stable low-flow conditions and reproduction. We evaluated whether altered flow regimes affected 2 native frogs in California and Oregon (U.S.A.) at 4 spatial and temporal extents. We examined changes in species distribution over approximately 50 years, current population density in 11 regulated and 16 unregulated rivers, temporal trends in abundance among populations occupying rivers with different hydrologic histories, and within-year patterns of survival relative to seasonal hydrology. The foothill yellow-legged frog (Rana boylii), which breeds only in flowing water, is more likely to be absent downstream of large dams than in free-flowing rivers, and breeding populations are on average 5 times smaller in regulated rivers than in unregulated rivers. Time series data (range = 8 - 19 years) from 5 populations of yellow-legged frogs and 2 populations of California red-legged frogs (R. draytonii) across a gradient of natural to highly artificial timing and magnitude of flooding indicate that variability of flows in spring and summer is strongly correlated with high mortality of early life stages and subsequent decreases in densities of adult females. Flow management that better mimics natural flow timing is likely to promote persistence of these species and others with similar phenology.
Chavez-Dueñas, Nayeli Y.; Adames, Hector Y.; Organista, Kurt C.
The psychological literature on colorism, a form of within-group racial discrimination, is sparse. In an effort to contribute to this understudied area and highlight its significance, a concise and selective review of the history of colorism in Latin America is provided. Specifically, three historical eras (i.e., conquest, colonization, and…
Schwartz, Mark W.; Hermann, Sharon M.; van Mantgem, Phillip J.
Torreya taxifolia is a coniferous tree that is endemic to the 35 km stretch of bluffs and ravines along the east side of the Apalachicola River in northern Florida and adjacent southern Georgia. This formerly locally abundant tree declined during the 1950s and 1960s as a result of disease and is currently on the US Endangered Species list. For sparsely distributed species it can often be difficult to determine both current and historic population sizes. Historical descriptions of the distribution (203 km2) and relative abundance (14.2% of dominant ravine trees) of T. taxifolia are used along with current measures of forest structure to estimate the pre-decline population density (30 trees/ha) and size (∼0.3–0.65 million individuals). Survey information from five extant stands is used to estimate current population size (∼500–4000 individuals). The surveys were conducted in areas with known high tree densities such that a simple extrapolation to the entire distribution would produce a gross over-estimate of population size. We therefore use a variety of assumptions to produce a range of estimates for total population sizes. Regardless of the particular model, our estimates suggest that T. taxifolia has lost at least 98.5% of its total population size since the early 1900s. We discuss these results in relation to the potential difficulties likely of restoring sustainable populations of this species.
Wandeler, Peter; Camenisch, Glauco
In natural populations, quantitative trait dynamics often do not appear to follow evolutionary predictions. Despite abundant examples of natural selection acting on heritable traits, conclusive evidence for contemporary adaptive evolution remains rare for wild vertebrate populations, and phenotypic stasis seems to be the norm. This so-called “stasis paradox” highlights our inability to predict evolutionary change, which is especially concerning within the context of rapid anthropogenic environmental change. While the causes underlying the stasis paradox are hotly debated, comprehensive attempts aiming at a resolution are lacking. Here, we apply a quantitative genetic framework to individual-based long-term data for a wild rodent population and show that despite a positive association between body mass and fitness, there has been a genetic change towards lower body mass. The latter represents an adaptive response to viability selection favouring juveniles growing up to become relatively small adults, i.e., with a low potential adult mass, which presumably complete their development earlier. This selection is particularly strong towards the end of the snow-free season, and it has intensified in recent years, coinciding which a change in snowfall patterns. Importantly, neither the negative evolutionary change, nor the selective pressures that drive it, are apparent on the phenotypic level, where they are masked by phenotypic plasticity and a non causal (i.e., non genetic) positive association between body mass and fitness, respectively. Estimating selection at the genetic level enabled us to uncover adaptive evolution in action and to identify the corresponding phenotypic selective pressure. We thereby demonstrate that natural populations can show a rapid and adaptive evolutionary response to a novel selective pressure, and that explicitly (quantitative) genetic models are able to provide us with an understanding of the causes and consequences of selection that is
Jiao, Shengwu; Huettmann, Falk; Guo, Yumin; Li, Xianda; Ouyang, Yanlan
The migration of birds is fascinating for humans but it's also a serious environmental monitoring and management issue on a global level. Bird banding using mistnets has been the method of choice for decades worldwide; linking these data with climate data allows to infer on global warming and outlier events. However, good methods to achieve this effectively in time and space for many species are still missing; data for Asia are specifically sparse and often 'messy'. Here we present a data mining summary information for data from two bird banding stations (Gaofeng and Qingfeng) along the vast Northeast Chinese-Russian flyway. Bird data were collected during spring 2002-2011 with standardized techniques and then linked with related climate data in the banding as well as the wintering sites. This creates a complex data set which is based on a decade and which includes many predictors. This first-time data mining analysis with 'data cloning' and machine learning methods (boosted regression trees) shows how to extract the major signals in this unique dataset from highly correlated and interacting predictors. Our results indicate a large-scale warming trend for the flyway, with a start in 2003, and a freezing rain outlier event in 2008; the last years remained on a rather warm level. All evidence along this vast flyway supports major changes, warming trends, habitat losses and consequently strong passerine declines. Presumably human pressures are a major factor either way and we propose to address these problems immediately for betterment if meaningful conservation targets are to be met.
Willingham, Alison N.; /Ohio State U.
Statewide surveys of furbearers in Illinois indicate gray (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) and red (Vulpes vulpes) foxes have experienced substantial declines in relative abundance, whereas other species such as raccoons (Procyon lotor) and coyotes (Canis latrans) have exhibited dramatic increases during the same time period. The cause of the declines of gray and red foxes has not been identified, and the current status of gray foxes remains uncertain. Therefore, I conducted a large-scale predator survey and tracked radiocollared gray foxes from 2004 to 2007 in order to determine the distribution, survival, cause-specific mortality sources and land cover associations of gray foxes in an urbanized region of northeastern Illinois, and examined the relationships between the occurrence of gray fox and the presence other species of mesopredators, specifically coyotes and raccoons. Although generalist mesopredators are common and can reach high densities in many urban areas their urban ecology is poorly understood due to their secretive nature and wariness of humans. Understanding how mesopredators utilize urbanized landscapes can be useful in the management and control of disease outbreaks, mitigation of nuisance wildlife issues, and gaining insight into how mesopredators shape wildlife communities in highly fragmented areas. I examined habitat associations of raccoons, opossums (Didelphis virginiana), domestic cats (Felis catus), coyotes, foxes (gray and red), and striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) at multiple spatial scales in an urban environment. Gray fox occurrence was rare and widely dispersed, and survival estimates were similar to other studies. Gray fox occurrence was negatively associated with natural and semi-natural land cover types. Fox home range size increased with increasing urban development suggesting that foxes may be negatively influenced by urbanization. Gray fox occurrence was not associated with coyote or raccoon presence. However, spatial avoidance and
Bennett, Daniel L.
This paper estimates historical measures of equality in the distribution of education in the United States by age group and sex. Using educational attainment data for the population, the EduGini measure indicates that educational inequality in the U.S. declined significantly between 1950 and 2009. Reductions in educational inequality were more…
Ishiyama, N; Sueyoshi, M; Nakamura, F
Understanding how human-altered landscapes affect population connectivity is valuable for conservation planning. Natural connectivity among wetlands, which is maintained by floods, is disappearing owing to farmland expansion. Using genetic data, we assessed historical changes in the population connectivity of the ninespine stickleback within a human-altered wetland system. We predicted that: (i) the contemporary gene flow maintained by the artificial watercourse network may be restricted to a smaller spatial scale compared with the gene flow preceding alteration, and (ii) the contemporary gene flow is dominated by the downstream direction owing to the construction of low-head barriers. We evaluated the potential source population in both timescales. Seventeen studied populations were grouped into four genetically different clusters, and we estimated the migration rates among these clusters. Contemporary migration was restricted to between neighbouring clusters, although a directional change was not detected. Furthermore, we consistently found the same potential source cluster, from past to present, characterized by large amounts of remnant habitats connected by artificial watercourses. These findings highlight that: (i) artificial connectivity can sustain the short-distance connectivity of the ninespine stickleback, which contributes to maintaining the potential source populations; however, (ii) population connectivity throughout the landscape has been prevented by agricultural developments.
Fernihough, Alan; McGovern, Mark E.
The timing and sequencing of fertility transitions and early-life mortality declines in historical Western societies indicates that reductions in sibship (number of siblings) may have contributed to improvements in infant health. Surprisingly however, this demographic relationship has received little attention in empirical research. We outline the difficulties associated with establishing the causal effect of sibship on infant mortality, and discuss the inherent bias associated with conventional empirical approaches. We offer a solution that permits an empirical test of this relationship whilst accounting for reverse causality. Our approach is illustrated by evaluating the causal impact of family size on infant mortality using genealogical data from 13 German parishes spanning the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Overall, our findings do not support the hypothesis that declining fertility led to increased infant survival probabilities in historical populations. PMID:25404789
Huang, W.; Goldberg, R.J.; Cohen, A.T.; Anderson, F.A.; Kiefe, C.I.; Gore, J.M.; Spencer, F.A.
Introduction Contemporary trends in health-care delivery are shifting the management of venous thromboembolism (VTE) events (deep vein thrombosis [DVT] and/or pulmonary embolism [PE]) from the hospital to the community, which may have implications for its prevention, treatment, and outcomes. Materials and Methods Population-based surveillance study monitoring trends in clinical epidemiology among residents of the Worcester, Massachusetts, metropolitan statistical area (WMSA) diagnosed with an acute VTE in all 12 WMSA hospitals. Patients were followed for up to 3 years after their index event. Total of 2334 WMSA residents diagnosed with first-time community-presenting VTE (occurring in an ambulatory setting or diagnosed within 24 hours of hospitalization) from 1999 through 2009. Results While PE patients were consistently admitted to the hospital for treatment over time, the proportion diagnosed with DVT-alone admitted to the hospital decreased from 67% in 1999 to 37% in 2009 (p value for trend <0.001). Among hospitalized patients, the mean length of stay decreased from 5.6 to 4.8 days (p value for trend <0.001). Between 1999 and 2009, treatment of VTE shifted from warfarin and unfractionated heparin towards use of low-molecular-weight heparins and newer anticoagulants; also, 3-year cumulative event rates decreased for all-cause mortality (41–26%), major bleeding (12–6%), and recurrent VTE (17–9%). Conclusions A decade of change in VTE management was accompanied by improved long-term outcomes. However, rates of adverse events remained fairly high in our population-based surveillance study, implying that new risk-assessment tools to identify individuals at increased risk for developing major adverse outcomes over the long-term are needed. PMID:25921936
Sundelöf, Andreas; Bartolino, Valerio; Ulmestrand, Mats; Cardinale, Massimiliano
Through the history of ecology, fluctuations of populations have been a dominating topic, and endogenous causes of fluctuations and oscillations have been recognized and studied for more than 80 years. Here we analyzed an historical dataset, covering more than 130 years, of European lobster (Homarus gammarus) catches. The data shows periodic fluctuations, which are first dampened and then disappear over time. The disappearance of the periodicity coincided with a substantial increase in fishing effort and the oscillations have not reappeared in the time series. The shifting baseline syndrome has changed our perception of not only the status of the stock, but also the regulating pressures. We describe the transition of a naturally regulated lobster population into a heavily exploited fisheries controlled stock. This is shown by the incorporation of environmental and endogenous processes in generalized additive models, autocorrelation functions and periodicity analyses of time-series. PMID:23573187
Sundelöf, Andreas; Bartolino, Valerio; Ulmestrand, Mats; Cardinale, Massimiliano
Through the history of ecology, fluctuations of populations have been a dominating topic, and endogenous causes of fluctuations and oscillations have been recognized and studied for more than 80 years. Here we analyzed an historical dataset, covering more than 130 years, of European lobster (Homarus gammarus) catches. The data shows periodic fluctuations, which are first dampened and then disappear over time. The disappearance of the periodicity coincided with a substantial increase in fishing effort and the oscillations have not reappeared in the time series. The shifting baseline syndrome has changed our perception of not only the status of the stock, but also the regulating pressures. We describe the transition of a naturally regulated lobster population into a heavily exploited fisheries controlled stock. This is shown by the incorporation of environmental and endogenous processes in generalized additive models, autocorrelation functions and periodicity analyses of time-series.
Golladay, S. W.
The historically diverse assemblage of freshwater mussels in the Flint River Basin has shown declines in abundance and distribution. The mid-reaches of the major tributaries of the Flint River contained one of the richest assemblages of mussels in the southeastern Coastal Plain. Declines in mussel assemblages accelerated following a recent severe drought (1999-2001). Following the drought, we surveyed mussel populations at selected sites in the major tributaries of the Flint River to determine whether declines in abundance and distribution are continuing. Many populations of common, rare, and endangered species were stable in their distribution (# taxa per site) but exhibited declines in abundance. One survey site in particular, on Spring Creek, contains a rich assemblage of mussels unique to the basin, and surveys from this site also suggest diminishing populations. Possible explanations for declines include poor water quality, loss or degradation of instream habitat, competition from the exotic Asiatic clam, and inadequate instream flows.
Papworth, Danny J; Marini, Simone; Conversi, Alessandra
Marine populations are controlled by a series of drivers, pertaining to both the physical environment and the biological environment (trophic predator-prey interactions). There is heated debate over drivers, especially when trying to understand the causes of major ecosystem events termed regime shifts. In this work, we have researched and developed a novel methodology based on Genetic Programming (GP) for distinguishing which drivers can influence species abundance. This methodology benefits of having no a priori assumptions either on the ecological parameters used or on the underlying mathematical relationships among them. We have validated this methodology applying it to the North Sea pelagic ecosystem. We use the target species Calanus finmarchicus, a key copepod in temperate and subarctic ecosystems, along with 86 biological, hydrographical and climatic time series, ranging from local water nutrients and fish predation, to large scale climate pressure patterns. The chosen study area is the central North Sea, from 1972 to 2011, during which period there was an ecological regime shift. The GP based analysis identified 3 likely drivers of C. finmarchicus abundance, which highlights the importance of considering both physical and trophic drivers: temperature, North Sea circulation (net flow into the North Atlantic), and predation (herring). No large scale climate patterns were selected, suggesting that when there is availability of both data types, local drivers are more important. The results produced by the GP based procedure are consistent with the literature published to date, and validate the use of GP for interpreting species dynamics. We propose that this methodology holds promises for the highly non-linear field of ecology.
Papworth, Danny J.; Marini, Simone; Conversi, Alessandra
Marine populations are controlled by a series of drivers, pertaining to both the physical environment and the biological environment (trophic predator-prey interactions). There is heated debate over drivers, especially when trying to understand the causes of major ecosystem events termed regime shifts. In this work, we have researched and developed a novel methodology based on Genetic Programming (GP) for distinguishing which drivers can influence species abundance. This methodology benefits of having no a priori assumptions either on the ecological parameters used or on the underlying mathematical relationships among them. We have validated this methodology applying it to the North Sea pelagic ecosystem. We use the target species Calanus finmarchicus, a key copepod in temperate and subarctic ecosystems, along with 86 biological, hydrographical and climatic time series, ranging from local water nutrients and fish predation, to large scale climate pressure patterns. The chosen study area is the central North Sea, from 1972 to 2011, during which period there was an ecological regime shift. The GP based analysis identified 3 likely drivers of C. finmarchicus abundance, which highlights the importance of considering both physical and trophic drivers: temperature, North Sea circulation (net flow into the North Atlantic), and predation (herring). No large scale climate patterns were selected, suggesting that when there is availability of both data types, local drivers are more important. The results produced by the GP based procedure are consistent with the literature published to date, and validate the use of GP for interpreting species dynamics. We propose that this methodology holds promises for the highly non-linear field of ecology. PMID:27366910
Duke, Daniel L.
One of the most important strategies for stopping school decline is recognizing its signs early on and promptly applying appropriate interventions. In this article, the author identifies 11 indicators of school decline that are associated with inadequate and inappropriate responses to the challenges of budget cuts, state and federal mandates, loss…
Aspi, J; Roininen, E; Ruokonen, M; Kojola, I; Vilà, C
The Finnish wolf population (Canis lupus) was sampled during three different periods (1996-1998, 1999-2001 and 2002-2004), and 118 individuals were genotyped with 10 microsatellite markers. Large genetic variation was found in the population despite a recent demographic bottleneck. No spatial population subdivision was found even though a significant negative relationship between genetic relatedness and geographic distance suggested isolation by distance. Very few individuals did not belong to the local wolf population as determined by assignment analyses, suggesting a low level of immigration in the population. We used the temporal approach and several statistical methods to estimate the variance effective size of the population. All methods gave similar estimates of effective population size, approximately 40 wolves. These estimates were slightly larger than the estimated census size of breeding individuals. A Bayesian model based on Markov chain Monte Carlo simulations indicated strong evidence for a long-term population decline. These results suggest that the contemporary wolf population size is roughly 8% of its historical size, and that the population decline dates back to late 19th century or early 20th century. Despite an increase of over 50% in the census size of the population during the whole study period, there was only weak evidence that the effective population size during the last period was higher than during the first. This may be caused by increased inbreeding, diminished dispersal within the population, and decreased immigration to the population during the last study period.
Grant, Evan H. Campbell
Detecting declines in populations at broad spatial scales takes enormous effort, and long-term data are often more sparse than is desired for estimating trends, identifying drivers for population changes, framing conservation decisions or taking management actions. Museum records and historic data can be available at large scales across multiple decades, and are therefore an attractive source of information on the comparative status of populations. However, changes in populations may be real (e.g., in response to environmental covariates) or resulting from variation in our ability to observe the true population response (also possibly related to environmental covariates). This is a (statistical) nuisance in understanding the true status of a population. Evaluating statistical hypotheses alongside more interesting ecological ones is important in the appropriate use of museum data. Two statistical considerations are generally applicable to use of museum records: first without initial random sampling, comparison with contemporary results cannot provide inference to the entire range of a species, and second the availability of only some individuals in a population may respond to environmental changes. Changes in the availability of individuals may reduce the proportion of the population that is present and able to be counted on a given survey event, resulting in an apparent decline even when population size is stable.
Relying on socioeconomic and population statistics, as well as population censuses, the author examines the growth of China's towns in the 1980s due to in-migration, and considers the economic causes and impact of the growth of towns. Prior to 1984, China's urbanization had been slow and uneven. But in the 4 years from 1984-87, China's urban population grew 3.8 times faster than the period before 1984. and unlike the previous pattern of urbanization, slightly over half of the urban growth occurred in small cities and towns. The rapid growth of towns was due to an unprecedented level of in-migration into towns from agricultural villages. This population transformed itself into a nonagricultural population. The author attributes the increase in urbanization and its changing patterns to a historic convergence: the shift in industry for the agricultural population and a regional shift for the village population--realized through a form of village-to-town population migration. The author goes on to examine the development of small-town enterprises, facilitated after the rural reform of 1984. The author notes that since that year, small-town industries have flourished, a development that has had a number of beneficial effects on both the provincial areas and the nation as a whole. Finally, the author considers the factors that have fueled town population in-migration: 1) in most provinces, higher incomes in towns have attracted people from the villages; and 2) in provinces with little discrepancy in income between town and village, a combination of the regions' relative isolation and government policy preventing migration to cities have spurred the growth of towns.
Johnson, Pieter T J; McKenzie, Valerie J; Peterson, Anna C; Kerby, Jacob L; Brown, Jennifer; Blaustein, Andrew R; Jackson, Tina
Ecological theory predicts that species with restricted geographic ranges will have the highest probability of extinction, but species with extensive distributions and high population densities can also exhibit widespread population losses. In the western United States populations of northern leopard frogs (Lithobates pipiens)-historically one of the most widespread frogs in North America-have declined dramatically in abundance and geographic distribution. To assess the status of leopard frogs in Colorado and evaluate causes of decline, we coupled statewide surveys of 196 historically occupied sites with intensive sampling of 274 wetlands stratified by land use. We used an information-theoretic approach to evaluate the contributions of factors at multiple spatial extents in explaining the contemporary distribution of leopard frogs. Our results indicate leopard frogs have declined in Colorado, but this decline was regionally variable. The lowest proportion of occupied wetlands occurred in eastern Colorado (2-28%), coincident with urban development and colonization by non-native bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus). Variables at several spatial extents explained observed leopard frog distributional patterns. In low-elevation wetlands introduced fishes, bullfrogs, and urbanization or suburbanization associated negatively with leopard frog occurrence, whereas wetland area was positively associated with occurrence. Leopard frogs were more abundant and widespread west of the Continental Divide, where urban development and bullfrog abundance were low. Although the pathogenic chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) was not selected in our best-supported models, the nearly complete extirpation of leopard frogs from montane wetlands could reflect the individual or interactive effects of Bd and climate patterns. Our results highlight the importance of considering multiple, competing hypotheses to explain species declines, particularly when implicated factors operate at
The causal agent of Eutypa dieback of grape, Eutypa lata (Ascomycota), is a destructive disease worldwide. The pathogen has a broad host range, but causes severe symptoms on only a few cultivated hosts (e.g., apricot & grape). To decipher its cosmopolitan distribution, we examined the population gen...
Giarla, Thomas C; Jansa, Sharon A
Climate oscillations during the Quaternary altered the distributions of terrestrial animals at a global scale. In mountainous regions, temperature fluctuations may have led to shifts in range size and population size as species tracked their shifting habitats upslope or downslope. This creates the potential for both allopatric speciation and population size fluctuations, as species are either constrained to smaller patches of habitat at higher elevations or able to expand into broader areas at higher latitudes. We considered the impact of climate oscillations on three pairs of marsupial species from the Andes (Thylamys opossums) by inferring divergence times and demographic changes. We compare four different divergence dating approaches, using anywhere from one to 26 loci. Each pair comprises a northern (tropical) lineage and a southern (subtropical to temperate) lineage. We predicted that divergences would have occurred during the last interglacial (LIG) period approximately 125 000 years ago and that population sizes for northern and southern lineages would either contract or expand, respectively. Our results suggest that all three north-south pairs diverged in the late Pleistocene during or slightly after the LIG. The three northern lineages showed no signs of population expansion, whereas two southern lineages exhibited dramatic, recent expansions. We attribute the difference in responses between tropical and subtropical lineages to the availability of 'montane-like' habitats at lower elevations in regions at higher latitudes. We conclude that climate oscillations of the late Quaternary had a powerful impact on the evolutionary history of some of these species, both promoting speciation and leading to significant population size shifts.
Magera, Anna M; Mills Flemming, Joanna E; Kaschner, Kristin; Christensen, Line B; Lotze, Heike K
Marine mammals have greatly benefitted from a shift from resource exploitation towards conservation. Often lauded as symbols of conservation success, some marine mammal populations have shown remarkable recoveries after severe depletions. Others have remained at low abundance levels, continued to decline, or become extinct or extirpated. Here we provide a quantitative assessment of (1) publicly available population-level abundance data for marine mammals worldwide, (2) abundance trends and recovery status, and (3) historic population decline and recent recovery. We compiled 182 population abundance time series for 47 species and identified major data gaps. In order to compare across the largest possible set of time series with varying data quality, quantity and frequency, we considered an increase in population abundance as evidence of recovery. Using robust log-linear regression over three generations, we were able to classify abundance trends for 92 spatially non-overlapping populations as Significantly Increasing (42%), Significantly Decreasing (10%), Non-Significant Change (28%) and Unknown (20%). Our results were comparable to IUCN classifications for equivalent species. Among different groupings, pinnipeds and other marine mammals (sirenians, polar bears and otters) showed the highest proportion of recovering populations, likely benefiting from relatively fast life histories and nearshore habitats that provided visibility and protective management measures. Recovery was less frequent among cetaceans, but more common in coastal than offshore populations. For marine mammals with available historical abundance estimates (n = 47), larger historical population declines were associated with low or variable recent recoveries so far. Overall, our results show that many formerly depleted marine mammal populations are recovering. However, data-deficient populations and those with decreasing and non-significant trends require attention. In particular, increased study of
Magera, Anna M.; Mills Flemming, Joanna E.; Kaschner, Kristin; Christensen, Line B.; Lotze, Heike K.
Marine mammals have greatly benefitted from a shift from resource exploitation towards conservation. Often lauded as symbols of conservation success, some marine mammal populations have shown remarkable recoveries after severe depletions. Others have remained at low abundance levels, continued to decline, or become extinct or extirpated. Here we provide a quantitative assessment of (1) publicly available population-level abundance data for marine mammals worldwide, (2) abundance trends and recovery status, and (3) historic population decline and recent recovery. We compiled 182 population abundance time series for 47 species and identified major data gaps. In order to compare across the largest possible set of time series with varying data quality, quantity and frequency, we considered an increase in population abundance as evidence of recovery. Using robust log-linear regression over three generations, we were able to classify abundance trends for 92 spatially non-overlapping populations as Significantly Increasing (42%), Significantly Decreasing (10%), Non-Significant Change (28%) and Unknown (20%). Our results were comparable to IUCN classifications for equivalent species. Among different groupings, pinnipeds and other marine mammals (sirenians, polar bears and otters) showed the highest proportion of recovering populations, likely benefiting from relatively fast life histories and nearshore habitats that provided visibility and protective management measures. Recovery was less frequent among cetaceans, but more common in coastal than offshore populations. For marine mammals with available historical abundance estimates (n = 47), larger historical population declines were associated with low or variable recent recoveries so far. Overall, our results show that many formerly depleted marine mammal populations are recovering. However, data-deficient populations and those with decreasing and non-significant trends require attention. In particular, increased
Examines population growth during the 1990s for a variety of geographic levels including regions, divisions, states, metropolitan areas, counties, and large cities. Compares growth rates for the 1990s with earlier decades to provide an historical context for present-day trends in population growth and decline. Discusses how differential population…
Mueller, Brigitte; Zhang, Xuebin; Zwiers, Francis W.
We project that within the next two decades, half of the world’s population will regularly (every second summer on average) experience regional summer mean temperatures that exceed those of the historically hottest summer, even under the moderate RCP4.5 emissions pathway. This frequency threshold for hot temperatures over land, which have adverse effects on human health, society and economy, might be broached in little more than a decade under the RCP8.5 emissions pathway. These hot summer frequency projections are based on adjusted RCP4.5 and 8.5 temperature projections, where the adjustments are performed with scaling factors determined by regularized optimal fingerprinting analyzes that compare historical model simulations with observations over the period 1950-2012. A temperature reconstruction technique is then used to simulate a multitude of possible past and future temperature evolutions, from which the probability of a hot summer is determined for each region, with a hot summer being defined as the historically warmest summer on record in that region. Probabilities with and without external forcing show that hot summers are now about ten times more likely (fraction of attributable risk 0.9) in many regions of the world than they would have been in the absence of past greenhouse gas increases. The adjusted future projections suggest that the Mediterranean, Sahara, large parts of Asia and the Western US and Canada will be among the first regions for which hot summers will become the norm (i.e. occur on average every other year), and that this will occur within the next 1-2 decades.
Mueller, Brigitte; Zhang, Xuebin; Zwiers, Francis W.
We project that within the next two decades, half of the world's population will regularly (every second summer on average) experience regional summer mean temperatures that exceed those of the historically hottest summer, even under the moderate RCP4.5 emissions pathway. This frequency threshold for hot temperatures over land, which have adverse effects on human health, society and economy, might be broached in little more than a decade under the RCP8.5 emissions pathway. These hot summer frequency projections are based on adjusted RCP4.5 and 8.5 temperature projections, where the adjustments are performed with scaling factors determined by regularized optimal fingerprinting analyzes that compare historical model simulations with observations over the period 1950-2012. A temperature reconstruction technique is then used to simulate a multitude of possible past and future temperature evolutions, from which the probability of a hot summer is determined for each region, with a hot summer being defined as the historically warmest summer on record in that region. Probabilities with and without external forcing show that hot summers are now about ten times more likely (fraction of attributable risk 0.9) in many regions of the world than they would have been in the absence of past greenhouse gas increases. In conclusion, the adjusted future projections suggest that the Mediterranean, Sahara, large parts of Asia and the Western US and Canada will be among the first regions for which hot summers will become the norm (i.e. occur on average every other year), and that this will occur within the next 1-2 decades.
Mueller, Brigitte; Zhang, Xuebin; Zwiers, Francis W.
We project that within the next two decades, half of the world's population will regularly (every second summer on average) experience regional summer mean temperatures that exceed those of the historically hottest summer, even under the moderate RCP4.5 emissions pathway. This frequency threshold for hot temperatures over land, which have adverse effects on human health, society and economy, might be broached in little more than a decade under the RCP8.5 emissions pathway. These hot summer frequency projections are based on adjusted RCP4.5 and 8.5 temperature projections, where the adjustments are performed with scaling factors determined by regularized optimal fingerprinting analyzesmore » that compare historical model simulations with observations over the period 1950-2012. A temperature reconstruction technique is then used to simulate a multitude of possible past and future temperature evolutions, from which the probability of a hot summer is determined for each region, with a hot summer being defined as the historically warmest summer on record in that region. Probabilities with and without external forcing show that hot summers are now about ten times more likely (fraction of attributable risk 0.9) in many regions of the world than they would have been in the absence of past greenhouse gas increases. In conclusion, the adjusted future projections suggest that the Mediterranean, Sahara, large parts of Asia and the Western US and Canada will be among the first regions for which hot summers will become the norm (i.e. occur on average every other year), and that this will occur within the next 1-2 decades.« less
Santagati, Cettina; Lo Turco, Massimiliano
In recent years, we have witnessed a huge diffusion of building information modeling (BIM) approaches in the field of architectural design, although very little research has been undertaken to explore the value, criticalities, and advantages attributable to the application of these methodologies in the cultural heritage domain. Furthermore, the last developments in digital photogrammetry lead to the easy generation of reliable low-cost three-dimensional textured models that could be used in BIM platforms to create semantic-aware objects that could compose a specific library of historical architectural elements. In this case, the transfer between the point cloud and its corresponding parametric model is not so trivial and the level of geometrical abstraction could not be suitable with the scope of the BIM. The aim of this paper is to explore and retrace the milestone works on this crucial topic in order to identify the unsolved issues and to propose and test a unique and simple workflow practitioner centered and based on the use of the latest available solutions for point cloud managing into commercial BIM platforms.
Islam, Nadia Shilpi; Khan, Suhaila; Kwon, Simona; Jang, Deeana; Ro, Marguerite; Trinh-Shevrin, Chau
There are close to 15 million Asian Americans living in the United States, and they represent the fastest growing populations in the country. By the year 2050, there will be an estimated 33.4 million Asian Americans living in the country. However, their health needs remain poorly understood and there is a critical lack of data disaggregated by Asian American ethnic subgroups, primary language, and geography. This paper examines methodological issues, challenges, and potential solutions to addressing the collection, analysis, and reporting of disaggregated (or, granular) data on Asian Americans. The article explores emerging efforts to increase granular data through the use of innovative study design and analysis techniques. Concerted efforts to implement these techniques will be critical to the future development of sound research, health programs, and policy efforts targeting this and other minority populations. PMID:21099084
Eberhardt, L.E.; Van Voris, P.
In an effort to determine whether US Army activities on the Dugway Proving Ground (DPG) have had an impact on resident wildlife, intensive studies have been conducted on the biology and ecology of the black-tailed jack rabbit (Lepus californicus) since 1965. in addition, the incidence of endemic diseases in several species of resident wildlife on the DPG have been studied from the late 1950s through the mid-1970s. The objectives of this report are to: (1) compile and summarize the jack rabbit data and some of the disease information that is presently contained only in annual reports; (2) compare the DPG jack rabbit data to data available on other jack rabbit populations; and (3) analyze the data for unusual or unexplained fluctuations in population densities or in incidence of disease.
Delorme, Christine; Legravet, Nicolas; Jamet, Emmanuel; Hoarau, Caroline; Alexandre, Bolotin; El-Sharoud, Walid M; Darwish, Mohamed S; Renault, Pierre
We analyzed 178 Streptococcus thermophilus strains isolated from diverse products, from around the world, over a 60-year period with a new multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme. This collection included isolates from two traditional cheese-making sites with different starter-use practices, in sampling campaigns carried out over a three years period. The nucleotide diversity of the S. thermophilus population was limited, but 116 sequence types (ST) were identified. Phylogenetic analysis of the concatenated sequences of the six housekeeping genes revealed the existence of groups confirmed by eBURST analysis. Deeper analyses performed on 25 strains by CRISPR and whole-genome analysis showed that phylogenies obtained by MLST and whole-genome analysis were in agreement but differed from that inferred by CRISPR analysis. Strains isolated from traditional products could cluster in specific groups indicating their origin, but also be mixed in groups containing industrial starter strains. In the traditional cheese-making sites, we found that S. thermophilus persisted on dairy equipment, but that occasionally added starter strains may become dominant. It underlined the impact of starter use that may reshape S. thermophilus populations including in traditional products. This new MLST scheme thus provides a framework for analyses of S. thermophilus populations and the management of its biodiversity.
Fontaine, Michaël C.; Tolley, Krystal A.; Michaux, Johan R.; Birkun, Alexei; Ferreira, Marisa; Jauniaux, Thierry; Llavona, Ángela; Öztürk, Bayram; Öztürk, Ayaka A; Ridoux, Vincent; Rogan, Emer; Sequeira, Marina; Bouquegneau, Jean-Marie; Baird, Stuart J. E.
Recent climate change has triggered profound reorganization in northeast Atlantic ecosystems, with substantial impact on the distribution of marine assemblages from plankton to fishes. However, assessing the repercussions on apex marine predators remains a challenging issue, especially for pelagic species. In this study, we use Bayesian coalescent modelling of microsatellite variation to track the population demographic history of one of the smallest temperate cetaceans, the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) in European waters. Combining genetic inferences with palaeo-oceanographic and historical records provides strong evidence that populations of harbour porpoises have responded markedly to the recent climate-driven reorganization in the eastern North Atlantic food web. This response includes the isolation of porpoises in Iberian waters from those further north only approximately 300 years ago with a predominant northward migration, contemporaneous with the warming trend underway since the ‘Little Ice Age’ period and with the ongoing retreat of cold-water fishes from the Bay of Biscay. The extinction or exodus of harbour porpoises from the Mediterranean Sea (leaving an isolated relict population in the Black Sea) has lacked a coherent explanation. The present results suggest that the fragmentation of harbour distribution range in the Mediterranean Sea was triggered during the warm ‘Mid-Holocene Optimum’ period (approx. 5000 years ago), by the end of the post-glacial nutrient-rich ‘Sapropel’ conditions that prevailed before that time. PMID:20444724
Amphibians evolved in, and continue to exist in, habitats that are replete with many other organisms. Some of these organisms serve as prey for amphibians and others interact with amphibians as predators, competitors, pathogens, or symbionts. Still other organisms in their enviro...
Meijaard, Erik; Welsh, Alan; Ancrenaz, Marc; Wich, Serge; Nijman, Vincent; Marshall, Andrew J.
Background Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) currently occur at low densities and seeing a wild one is a rare event. Compared to present low encounter rates of orangutans, it is striking how many orangutan each day historic collectors like Alfred Russel Wallace were able to shoot continuously over weeks or even months. Does that indicate that some 150 years ago encounter rates with orangutans, or their densities, were higher than now? Methodology/Principal Findings We test this hypothesis by quantifying encounter rates obtained from hunting accounts, museum collections, and recent field studies, and analysing whether there is a declining trend over time. Logistic regression analyses of our data support such a decline on Borneo between the mid-19th century and the present. Even when controlled for variation in the size of survey and hunting teams and the durations of expeditions, mean daily encounter rates appear to have declined about 6-fold in areas with little or no forest disturbance. Conclusions/Significance This finding has potential consequences for our understanding of orangutans, because it suggests that Bornean orangutans once occurred at higher densities. We explore potential explanations—habitat loss and degradation, hunting, and disease—and conclude that hunting fits the observed patterns best. This suggests that hunting has been underestimated as a key causal factor of orangutan density and distribution, and that species population declines have been more severe than previously estimated based on habitat loss only. Our findings may require us to rethink the biology of orangutans, with much of our ecological understanding possibly being based on field studies of animals living at lower densities than they did historically. Our approach of quantifying species encounter rates from historic data demonstrates that this method can yield valuable information about the ecology and population density of species in the past, providing new insight into
Goulson, D; Lye, G C; Darvill, B
Declines in bumble bee species in the past 60 years are well documented in Europe, where they are driven primarily by habitat loss and declines in floral abundance and diversity resulting from agricultural intensification. Impacts of habitat degradation and fragmentation are likely to be compounded by the social nature of bumble bees and their largely monogamous breeding system, which renders their effective population size low. Hence, populations are susceptible to stochastic extinction events and inbreeding. In North America, catastrophic declines of some bumble bee species since the 1990s are probably attributable to the accidental introduction of a nonnative parasite from Europe, a result of global trade in domesticated bumble bee colonies used for pollination of greenhouse crops. Given the importance of bumble bees as pollinators of crops and wildflowers, steps must be taken to prevent further declines. Suggested measures include tight regulation of commercial bumble bee use and targeted use of environmentally comparable schemes to enhance floristic diversity in agricultural landscapes.
Landsberg, H. E.
It was a pleasure to learn, from a recent (May 4) issue of Eos, of the formation of a permanent Committee on History of Geophysics. There is a dire need for reference material, books, and articles on geophysical history.Let me recommend to them that they take a good look at the Dictionary of the History of Science (W.F. Bynum, E.J. Browne, Roy Porter (Eds.), Princeton University Press, 494 pp., 1981). What follows is not a book review, although it may appear so. It is meant to be a challenge to place geophysics on the map in historical context. In this book, hydrology is dealt with in one sentence under the heading ‘cycle,’ geomagnetism under ‘declination and dip,’ and its history ends with Edward Sabine. Seismology appears under earthquakes. No important seismologist is mentioned. In the biographical index, Wiechert is included only for a contribution to physics. Where are Sir Harold Jeffreys, Galitzin, Gutenberg, Mohorovičić, Lehman, and many others? Meteorology ends with V. Bjerknes and Solberg; Köppen, Richardson, Rossby, and other notables [of] the last century do not seem to exist.
Karvonen, Anssi; Valtonen, E Tellervo
The effect of geographical distance on similarity in parasite communities of freshwater fish has received considerable attention in recent years, and it has become evident that these apparently simple relationships are influenced by, among other things, colonization ability of parasites and degree of connectivity between the populations. In the present paper, we explored qualitative and quantitative similarity in the intestinal parasite communities of pike (Esox lucius) in a particular system where previously interconnected groups of lakes became isolated ca. 8,400 yr ago. Contrary to our expectations, we did not find differences in similarity between the lake groups or a negative effect of distance among the populations. This supports the role of common ancestral colonization events and shows that no significant loss of species has occurred during the past 8,000 yr. However, the communities were dominated by a single parasite species, the cestode Triaenophorus nodulosus. The exclusion of this species from the data had a significant negative impact on the community similarities and also revealed a negative relationship between distance and quantitative similarity. This suggests that patterns of community organization may be obscured by a single dominant species. We also highlight the need for further studies in different systems and host species, as well as detailed reanalysis of existing data sets, to unravel the controversy in the relationship between distance and similarity in parasite communities.
Hurt, Carla R
Springsnails of the genus Pyrgulopsis are the most diverse group of freshwater gastropods in North America and current estimates show that Pyrgulopsis contains ~120 different species, many of which are at risk of extinction. Some factors contributing to their exceptional diversity include poor dispersal ability and extreme habitat specificity based on water availability, chemistry and depth. Most taxa exhibit high degrees of endemism, with many species occurring only in a single spring or seep, making springsnails ideal for studies of speciation and population structure. Here I present data from a survey of genetic variation at the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase I from 37 populations and over 1000 individuals belonging to 16 species of Pyrgulopsis distributed throughout the lower Colorado River basin. High levels of interspecific sequence divergence indicate that Pyrgulopsis may have colonized this region multiple times beginning in the late Miocene (~6 Ma); earlier than previous estimates based on fossil evidence. Estimates of nucleotide diversity differ greatly among species and may reflect differences in demographic processes. These results are used to identify factors contributing to radiation of species in this region. The implications of this evolutionary history and genetic variation are discussed in relation to future management and conservation.
Das Dangol, B; Retherford, R D; Thapa, S
This article relies on data from the 1991 Nepal Fertility, Family Planning, and Health Survey (NFFPHS) and the 1996 Nepal Living Standards Survey (NLSS) to assess trends in fertility in Nepal. The NFFPHS shows heaping at ages 5, 8, 10, and 12 years and a larger proportion of infants. The NLSS shows a different pattern of misreporting of youth and a stronger but similar pattern of age heaping as the NFFPHS for adults. Children ever born by maternal age indicates a degree of completeness and the deletion by older women of deceased children and married children living outside the household. Findings suggest less complete reporting in the NLSS. Age-specific fertility rates are calculated based on birth histories (BH) and the own-children (OC) method based on life tables. Findings indicate that BH and OC estimates of the cumulative fertility rate (CFR) derived from the NLSS and the NFFPHS were comparable for estimating trends in the total fertility rate (TFR). The trends from the two data sets overlapped fairly well during 1983-89. Fertility trends by single years of age showed considerably annual fluctuations due to age misreporting. The CFR and TFR for aggregated time periods showed little or no decline for the earlier 5-year period, a steeper decline in the second period, and variations in trends by data set for the third period from 1983 to 1989. One curve showed no decline and the other showed fertility decline. Fitting a straight line to the trend for 1977-91 shows that CFR declined by 1.61 children from 5.29 children in 1977 to 3.68 children in 1991. TFR declined by 1.90 children from 6.68 children in 1977 to 4.78 children in 1991. The author cautions that the point of fertility decline was not determined exactly, but data suggest that decline occurred around 1980, and the rate was fast thereafter. TFR declined by 2.70 children in urban areas and 1.83 children in rural areas.
Glaeser, Edward L.; Gyourko, Joseph
Urban decline is not the mirror image of growth, and durable housing is the primary reason the nature of decline is so different. This paper presents a model of urban decline with durable housing and verifies these implications of the model: (1) city growth rates are skewed so that cities grow more quickly than they decline; (2) urban decline is…
A recently completed World Bank statistical study of family planning in 63 developing countries indicated that countries which experienced a large decline in birth rates between 1960-1977 were more likely to have a family planning program, an official population policy aimed at decreasing the birth rate, and a relatively high level of development than countries which experienced smaller or no decline in birth rates. The 65 countries represented 95% of the population of the developing world. Birth rate declines of 10% or more between 1960-1977 were experienced by: 1) 10 of the 26 countries which had a family planning program and a policy aimed at reducing the birth rate; 2) 6 of the 19 countries which had a family planning program but lacked clearly defined population objectives; and 3) 2 of the 18 countries without any population policy or program. Furthermore, the implementation of a family planning program and the adoption of a population policy were directly related to the development level of the country. This finding suggested that countries need to reach a certain level of development before they have the capacity to develop population programs and policies. When a country is sufficiently advanced to collect population data, awareness of population problems increases and they are more likely to adopt a population policy. In addition, government efficiency increases as development proceeds and governments must have a certain level of efficiency before they can implement effective programs.
King, Pat; Landahl, John
This pamphlet has been prepared in response to a new problem, a rapidly increasing population, and a new need, population education. It is designed to help teachers provide their students with some basic population concepts with stress placed on the elements of decision making. In the first section of the pamphlet, some of the basic concepts of…
Data on the population of Venezuela between 1975 and 1977 are presented in descriptive tables and graphs. Information is included on the employed population according to category, sex, and type of economic activity, and by sex, age, and area on the employment rate and the total, the economically active, and the unemployed population.
Objectives. I investigated whether the introduction of health and health care provisions in US state constitutions can make health systems more equitable and improve health outcomes by urging state policymakers and administrative agencies to uphold their human rights obligations at state level. Methods. I constructed a panel of infant mortality rates from 50 US states over the period 1929 through 2000 to examine their association with the timing and details of introducing a constitutional right to health and health care provisions. Results. The introduction of a stronger constitutional commitment that obligates state legislature to provide health care was associated with a subsequent reduction in the infant mortality rate of approximately 7.8%. The introduction of provisions explicitly targeting the poor was also associated with a reduction in the infant mortality rate of 6.5%. These health benefits are primarily evident in non-White populations. Conclusions. This empirical result supports Elizabeth Leonard’s view that although state constitutional rights have been poorly enforced through the judiciary, a constitutional expression of health care duties has fueled the political and social process, ultimately allowing states to identify the best way to address citizens’ health inequality concerns. PMID:25905857
Meddings, D R
The effects of light weapons are now regularly seen on television and are becoming an international issue, particularly regarding their impact on civilians. It is claimed that 80% or more of deaths and injuries in today's wars are civilian; there is no objective evidence for this as little accurate information is available. Recent surveys suggest, however, a proportion of between 35 and 65%--still far too high considering the protection to which civilians are entitled under international humanitarian law. It is proposed the problem arises from twentieth-century killing power in the hands of individuals with fifteenth-century discipline and organization. Recent systematic surveys distinguish between civilian deaths from light weapons in combat and non-combat situations. A high proportion of combat deaths is due to fragmenting weapons such as mortars targeted on populated areas. Many weapon-related deaths in non-combat situations are accidental (cleaning weapons, handling by children during play) and others are related to domestic disputes. The availability and use of weapons also affects civilians indirectly in many ways, such as ill-health in refugees, psychosocial effects on women and children, and economic and environmental consequences. A variety of schemes exist to reduce the availability of light weapons and reintegrate their users into society. The international community must extend and make better use of these measures.
Jordan, M A; Snell, H L
The formation of islands following a rise in sea level at the end of Pleistocene is expected to disrupt the equilibrium between genetic drift and gene flow in species with limited ability to disperse. Here, we test the hypothesis that genetic drift in isolation has caused the differentiation of Galápagos lava lizards (Microlophus albemarlensis complex) found on 12 islets that are likely to have been connected to a larger island, Isla Santa Cruz, during the late Pleistocene. Using 11 microsatellite loci, screened on 524 individuals from 17 localities distributed among and within 15 islands, we found marked differences in allelic richness and heterozygosity. Genetic differentiation was strong (global F(ST) = 0.44), with pairwise differences found among populations on islets being larger than differences among three localities sampled within Isla Santa Cruz. As expected under a scenario of drift in isolation, there was a positive correlation of genetic diversity with island size, no relationship between genetic and geographical distance and a strong negative correlation between heterozygosity and measures of genetic differentiation. We conclude that seawater is a significant barrier to gene flow in lava lizards on this timescale. Our results suggest that the shallow diversification of the M. albemarlensis complex is not due to recent gene flow and that genetic drift may have played a substantial role in observed patterns of phenotypic variation among islands.
As resources shrink, the need to do more with less becomes critical. As a business CEO turned superintendent, this author has seen firsthand that many options exist, but none are fun, easy, or politically rewarding. He contends that the challenge of managing declining resources is not the choice between doing less for children or discovering new…
Vedder, Richard; Gallaway, Lowell
Explores income inequality during declining African-American employment, examines current welfare systems, and suggests ways to improve the economic disadvantages of minority groups. Letting markets work can improve the economic status of African Americans. The present dual African-American economy, a market economy and an entitlement economy, is…
Fowler, Delbert H.
Declining enrollment means that school districts must engage in thoughtful, thorough planning to cope with this trend, according to the author. His paper outlines a process for school closing, including ways to involve the community in the decision-making process, thereby reducing the likelihood of community conflict and preserving the school…
Moyle, Peter B.; Brown, Larry R.; Durand, John R; Hobbs, James A.
This paper reviews what has been learned about Delta Smelt and its status since the publication of The State of Bay-Delta Science, 2008 (Healey et al. 2008). The Delta Smelt is endemic to the upper San Francisco Estuary. Much of its historic habitat is no longer available and remaining habitat is increasingly unable to sustain the population. As a listed species living in the central node of California’s water supply system, Delta Smelt has been the focus of a large research effort to understand causes of decline and identify ways to recover the species. Since 2008, a remarkable record of innovative research on Delta Smelt has been achieved, which is summarized here. Unfortunately, research has not prevented the smelt’s continued decline, which is the result of multiple, interacting factors. A major driver of decline is change to the Delta ecosystem from water exports, resulting in reduced outflows and high levels of entrainment in the large pumps of the South Delta. Invasions of alien species, encouraged by environmental change, have also played a contributing role in the decline. Severe drought effects have pushed Delta Smelt to record low levels in 2014–2015. The rapid decline of the species and failure of recovery efforts demonstrate an inability to manage the Delta for the “co-equal goals” of maintaining a healthy ecosystem and providing a reliable water supply for Californians. Diverse and substantial management actions are needed to preserve Delta Smelt.
Gibson, Rosalind S.
Dietary components influencing zinc (Zn) bioavailability were implicated in the first cases of human Zn deficiency in the Middle East in the 1960s. It was not until the 1980s that isotope tracer studies in humans quantified the effects of the type and/or quantity of Zn, protein, iron, and phytate (myo-inositol hexaphosphate) on Zn absorption in humans and confirmed the dose-dependent inhibitory effect of phytate on Zn absorption. This led to further analysis of the Zn and phytate content of foods. The use of phytate-to-Zn molar ratios as likely estimates of absorbable dietary Zn followed together with an assessment of their relationship with Zn biomarkers in low-income countries (LIC). In the 1990s, increasing knowledge of factors governing Zn-absorption diets led to refinements of Zn requirements and algorithms to estimate dietary Zn bioavailability. Their use highlighted that inadequate Zn intake from plant-based diets were a major etiological factor in morbidity and stunting in LIC, prompting the need to identify indicators of the population’s Zn status. Major advances in analyses of dietary data pioneered by Beaton in 1980s led to the endorsement in 2007 of a dietary Zn indicator based on the prevalence of the population with usual Zn intake below the estimated average requirement for Zn. Risk of Zn deficiency is a public health concern when the prevalence of inadequate Zn intake is >25%. Recent findings that Zn bioavailability from high-phytate, whole-day diets is lower than previous estimates suggest that revision of Zn estimated average requirement for LIC may be warranted. PMID:23153731
Smit, Jesper; Thomsen, Reimar Wernich; Schønheyder, Henrik Carl; Nielsen, Henrik; Frøslev, Trine; Søgaard, Mette
Background Patients with diabetes (DM) experience increased risk of Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB), but the prognostic impact of diabetes in patients with SAB remain unclear. Therefore, we investigated 30-day all-cause mortality in patients with and without DM. Methods Population-based medical databases were used to conduct a cohort study of all adult patients with community-acquired SAB in Northern Denmark, 2000–2011. Using Cox proportional hazards regression, we computed hazard ratios as estimates of 30-day mortality rate ratios (MRRs) among patients with and without DM. We further investigated whether the prognostic impact of DM differed among patients with and without recent preadmission healthcare contacts (within 30 days of the current hospitalization) and by age, sex, marital status, level of comorbidity, and DM-related characteristics (e.g., duration of DM and presence of DM complications). Results Among 2638 SAB patients, 713 (27.0%) had DM. Thirty-day cumulative mortality was 25.8% in patients with DM and 24.3% in patients without DM, for an adjusted MRR (aMRR) of 1.01 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.84–1.20). In analyses with and without recent healthcare contacts, the corresponding aMRRs were 0.84 (95% CI, 0.62–1.14) and 1.13 (95% CI, 0.91–1.41), respectively. Compared to patients without DM, the aMRR was 0.94 (95% CI, 0.74–1.20) for male patients with DM and 1.13 (95% CI, 0.87–1.47) for female patients with DM. The prognostic influence of DM on mortality did not differ notably with age, level of comorbidity, or characteristics of patients with DM. Conclusion Patients with DM and community-acquired SAB did not experience higher 30-day mortality than patients without DM. PMID:27082873
Pickford, Daniel B; Larroze, Severine; Takase, Minoru; Mitsui, Naoko; Tooi, Osamu; Santo, Noriaki
Concern over global declines among amphibians has resulted in increased interest in the effects of environmental contaminants on amphibian populations, and more recently, this has stimulated research on the potential adverse effects of environmental endocrine disrupters in amphibians. Laboratory studies of the effects of single chemicals on endocrine-relevant endpoints in amphibian, mainly anuran, models are valuable in characterizing sensitivity at the individual level and may yield useful bioassays for screening chemicals for endocrine toxicity (for example, thyroid disrupting activity). Nevertheless, in the UK and Japan as in many other countries, it has yet to be demonstrated unequivocally that the exposure of native amphibians to endocrine disrupting environmental contaminants results in adverse effects at the population level. Assessing the potential of such effects is likely to require an ecoepidemiological approach to investigate associations between predicted or actual exposure of amphibians to (endocrine disrupting) environmental contaminants and biologically meaningful responses at the population level. In turn, this demands recent but relatively long-term population trend data. We review two potential sources of such data for widespr