Science.gov

Sample records for historical population decline

  1. Genetic structure of populations of whale sharks among ocean basins and evidence for their historic rise and recent decline.

    PubMed

    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

    2014-05-01

    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.

  2. Population structure and historical demography of South American sea lions provide insights into the catastrophic decline of a marine mammal population.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, J I; Kowalski, G J; Klimova, A; Eberhart-Phillips, L J; Staniland, I J; Baylis, A M M

    2016-07-01

    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

  3. Population structure and historical demography of South American sea lions provide insights into the catastrophic decline of a marine mammal population

    PubMed Central

    Hoffman, J. I.; Kowalski, G. J.; Klimova, A.; Staniland, I. J.; Baylis, A. M. M.

    2016-01-01

    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

  4. Population structure and historical demography of South American sea lions provide insights into the catastrophic decline of a marine mammal population.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, J I; Kowalski, G J; Klimova, A; Eberhart-Phillips, L J; Staniland, I J; Baylis, A M M

    2016-07-01

    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.

  5. Perioperative Cognitive Decline in the Aging Population

    PubMed Central

    Terrando, Niccolò; Brzezinski, Marek; Degos, Vincent; Eriksson, Lars I.; Kramer, Joel H.; Leung, Jacqueline M.; Miller, Bruce L.; Seeley, William W.; Vacas, Susana; Weiner, Michael W.; Yaffe, Kristine; Young, William L.; Xie, Zhongcong; Maze, Mervyn

    2011-01-01

    Elderly patients who have an acute illness or who undergo surgery often experience cognitive decline. The pathophysiologic mechanisms that cause neurodegeneration resulting in cognitive decline, including protein deposition and neuroinflammation, also play a role in animal models of surgery-induced cognitive decline. With the aging of the population, surgical candidates of advanced age with underlying neurodegeneration are encountered more often, raising concerns that, in patients with this combination, cognitive function will precipitously decline postoperatively. This special article is based on a symposium that the University of California, San Francisco, convened to explore the contributions of surgery and anesthesia to the development of cognitive decline in the aged patient. A road map to further elucidate the mechanisms, diagnosis, risk factors, mitigation, and treatment of postoperative cognitive decline in the elderly is provided. PMID:21878601

  6. Emerging infectious diseases and amphibian population declines.

    PubMed Central

    Daszak, P.; Berger, L.; Cunningham, A. A.; Hyatt, A. D.; Green, D. E.; Speare, R.

    1999-01-01

    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

  7. Migratory diversity predicts population declines in birds.

    PubMed

    Gilroy, James J; Gill, Jennifer A; Butchart, Stuart H M; Jones, Victoria R; Franco, Aldina M A

    2016-03-01

    Declines in migratory species are a pressing concern worldwide, but the mechanisms underpinning these declines are not fully understood. We hypothesised that species with greater within-population variability in migratory movements and destinations, here termed 'migratory diversity', might be more resilient to environmental change. To test this, we related map-based metrics of migratory diversity to recent population trends for 340 European breeding birds. Species that occupy larger non-breeding ranges relative to breeding, a characteristic we term 'migratory dispersion', were less likely to be declining than those with more restricted non-breeding ranges. Species with partial migration strategies (i.e. overlapping breeding and non-breeding ranges) were also less likely to be declining than full migrants or full residents, an effect that was independent of migration distance. Recent rates of advancement in Europe-wide spring arrival date were greater for partial migrants than full migrants, suggesting that migratory diversity may also help facilitate species responses to climate change. PMID:26807694

  8. Coin hoards speak of population declines in Ancient Rome

    PubMed Central

    Turchin, Peter; Scheidel, Walter

    2009-01-01

    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

  9. Coin hoards speak of population declines in Ancient Rome.

    PubMed

    Turchin, Peter; Scheidel, Walter

    2009-10-13

    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

  10. The historical decline of fertility in Eastern Europe.

    PubMed

    Leasure, J W

    1992-01-01

    Quantitative data from the Princeton European Fertility Project were used to explain the determinants of change in attitudes which lead to use of birth control within marriage and fertility decline in terms of the growth of autonomy over one's political, personal, religious, economic, and reproductive life. The following countries, which are arranged by their chronological order of marital fertility decline, were used in the primarily quantitative analysis: Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Yugoslavia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania. Prior research had identified an association between a decline in the birth rate and the presence of revolutions nationalist independence movements, or democratic reform movements. The connection is that once control over one's political and economic destiny is made, there is an extension into one's reproductive behavior. Further refinement has occurred. Autonomy is grounded in reason, the natural rights of individuals, and independence of thought. Reflective of this autonomous spirit were affiliations with Congregational, Presbyterian, Quaker, Unitarian, and Universalist religions. The present analysis is historical and describes the events surrounding the decline in marital fertility. These events might have preceded, been concurrent with, or followed the decline, but the thesis remains that the growth in autonomy contributes to political changes and fertility decline. The primary measure of fertility is Ig developed by Coale, and sustained decline maps of Coale and Watkins. Crude birth rate and total fertility rate were also used. the provincial analysis was impeded by lack of long time series for some countries and boundary changes. The hypothesis is generally supported, except in the case of Yugoslavia which varies too much. Support for the thesis was stronger in some countries than in others. Sustained decline occurred by each country in different periods, e.g., in Hungary it began between 1850-60 while in Albania it began

  11. The Population Decline and Extinction of Darwin’s Frogs

    PubMed Central

    Soto-Azat, Claudio; Valenzuela-Sánchez, Andrés; Collen, Ben; Rowcliffe, J. Marcus; Veloso, Alberto; Cunningham, Andrew A.

    2013-01-01

    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

  12. Fertility decline in Punjab, India: parallels with historical Europe.

    PubMed

    Gupta, M D

    1995-11-01

    Two interesting features emerge from this study of fertility behaviour in Punjab. First, it brings out the common features of peasant life and demographic behaviour found in this developing-country setting and in historical Europe. As in much of Europe, marriage was regulated to adjust to the availability of land and other resources. It is interesting to note that the operation of this 'nuptiality valve' was quite consistent with a system of joint families and partible inheritance. Secondly, the findings suggest that we need to re-define what we understand to be the features of socio-economic development which are crucial for fertility decline. Fertility began to decline steadily in this part of Punjab as early as 1940, at a time when the society was overwhelmingly agrarian, illiterate, and infant mortality was high with no access to modern contraceptive technology, as in historical Europe. The onset of the decline was brought about by development interventions which stabilized fluctuations in crop yields and mortality, thus radically improving stability of people's expectations. This study also points out the inapplicability of Mamdani's theories of fertility behaviour to the people he studies.

  13. Fertility decline in Punjab, India: parallels with historical Europe.

    PubMed

    Gupta, M D

    1995-11-01

    Two interesting features emerge from this study of fertility behaviour in Punjab. First, it brings out the common features of peasant life and demographic behaviour found in this developing-country setting and in historical Europe. As in much of Europe, marriage was regulated to adjust to the availability of land and other resources. It is interesting to note that the operation of this 'nuptiality valve' was quite consistent with a system of joint families and partible inheritance. Secondly, the findings suggest that we need to re-define what we understand to be the features of socio-economic development which are crucial for fertility decline. Fertility began to decline steadily in this part of Punjab as early as 1940, at a time when the society was overwhelmingly agrarian, illiterate, and infant mortality was high with no access to modern contraceptive technology, as in historical Europe. The onset of the decline was brought about by development interventions which stabilized fluctuations in crop yields and mortality, thus radically improving stability of people's expectations. This study also points out the inapplicability of Mamdani's theories of fertility behaviour to the people he studies. PMID:11608960

  14. Complex causes of amphibian population declines.

    PubMed

    Kiesecker, J M; Blaustein, A R; Belden, L K

    2001-04-01

    Amphibian populations have suffered widespread declines and extinctions in recent decades. Although climatic changes, increased exposure to ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation and increased prevalence of disease have all been implicated at particular localities, the importance of global environmental change remains unclear. Here we report that pathogen outbreaks in amphibian populations in the western USA are linked to climate-induced changes in UV-B exposure. Using long-term observational data and a field experiment, we examine patterns among interannual variability in precipitation, UV-B exposure and infection by a pathogenic oomycete, Saprolegnia ferax. Our findings indicate that climate-induced reductions in water depth at oviposition sites have caused high mortality of embryos by increasing their exposure to UV-B radiation and, consequently, their vulnerability to infection. Precipitation, and thus water depth/UV-B exposure, is strongly linked to El Niño/Southern Oscillation cycles, underscoring the role of large-scale climatic patterns involving the tropical Pacific. Elevated sea-surface temperatures in this region since the mid-1970s, which have affected the climate over much of the world, could be the precursor for pathogen-mediated amphibian declines in many regions. PMID:11287952

  15. Multiple stressor effects in relation to declining amphibian populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2003-01-01

    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

  16. Dynamic distributions and population declines of Golden-winged Warblers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rosenberg, Kenneth V.; Will, Tom; Buehler, David A.; Barker Swarthout, Sara; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Chandler, Richard

    2016-01-01

    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.

  17. Historical decline in coral reef growth after the Panama Canal.

    PubMed

    Guzman, Hector M; Cipriani, Roberto; Jackson, Jeremy B C

    2008-07-01

    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. PMID:18828279

  18. Microsatellite Analysis of Museum Specimens Reveals Historical Differences in Genetic Diversity between Declining and More Stable Bombus Species

    PubMed Central

    Maebe, Kevin; Meeus, Ivan; Ganne, Maarten; De Meulemeester, Thibaut; Biesmeijer, Koos; Smagghe, Guy

    2015-01-01

    Worldwide most pollinators, e.g. bumblebees, are undergoing global declines. Loss of genetic diversity can play an essential role in these observed declines. In this paper, we investigated the level of genetic diversity of seven declining Bombus species and four more stable species with the use of microsatellite loci. Hereto we genotyped a unique collection of museum specimens. Specimens were collected between 1918 and 1926, in 6 provinces of the Netherlands which allowed us to make interspecific comparisons of genetic diversity. For the stable species B. pascuorum, we also selected populations from two additional time periods: 1949–1955 and 1975–1990. The genetic diversity and population structure in B. pascuorum remained constant over the three time periods. However, populations of declining bumblebee species showed a significantly lower genetic diversity than co-occurring stable species before their major declines. This historical difference indicates that the repeatedly observed reduced genetic diversity in recent populations of declining bumblebee species is not caused solely by the decline itself. The historically low genetic diversity in the declined species may be due to the fact that these species were already rare, making them more vulnerable to the major drivers of bumblebee decline. PMID:26061732

  19. Microsatellite Analysis of Museum Specimens Reveals Historical Differences in Genetic Diversity between Declining and More Stable Bombus Species.

    PubMed

    Maebe, Kevin; Meeus, Ivan; Ganne, Maarten; De Meulemeester, Thibaut; Biesmeijer, Koos; Smagghe, Guy

    2015-01-01

    Worldwide most pollinators, e.g. bumblebees, are undergoing global declines. Loss of genetic diversity can play an essential role in these observed declines. In this paper, we investigated the level of genetic diversity of seven declining Bombus species and four more stable species with the use of microsatellite loci. Hereto we genotyped a unique collection of museum specimens. Specimens were collected between 1918 and 1926, in 6 provinces of the Netherlands which allowed us to make interspecific comparisons of genetic diversity. For the stable species B. pascuorum, we also selected populations from two additional time periods: 1949-1955 and 1975-1990. The genetic diversity and population structure in B. pascuorum remained constant over the three time periods. However, populations of declining bumblebee species showed a significantly lower genetic diversity than co-occurring stable species before their major declines. This historical difference indicates that the repeatedly observed reduced genetic diversity in recent populations of declining bumblebee species is not caused solely by the decline itself. The historically low genetic diversity in the declined species may be due to the fact that these species were already rare, making them more vulnerable to the major drivers of bumblebee decline.

  20. Hyperstability masks declines in bumphead parrotfish ( Bolbometopon muricatum) populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, Richard J.; Almany, Glenn R.; Stevens, Don; Bode, Michael; Pita, John; Peterson, Nate A.; Choat, J. Howard

    2016-09-01

    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.

  1. When can the cause of a population decline be determined?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hefley, Trevor J.; Hooten, Mevin B.; Drake, John M.; Russell, Robin E.; Walsh, Daniel P.

    2016-01-01

    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.

  2. AMPHIBIAN DECLINE, ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION AND LOCAL POPULATION ADAPTATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

  3. ALIEN SPECIES: THEIR ROLE IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES AND RESTORATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    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 ...

  4. DECLINE IN LAKE ONTARIO POPULATIONS OF BENTHIC MACROINVERTEBRATES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Surveys of benthic macroinvertebrates conducted in Lake Ontario during 1994 and 1997 revealed declines in populations of three major groups of organisms: oligochaetes, sphariids, and Diporeia spp. (Amphipoda), with the most drastic reductions occurring in the latter. Based on phy...

  5. Minimal models of growth and decline of microbial populations.

    PubMed

    Juška, Alfonsas

    2011-01-21

    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. PMID:21036180

  6. Intersexuality and the cricket frog decline: historic and geographic trends.

    PubMed

    Reeder, Amy L; Ruiz, Marilyn O; Pessier, Allan; Brown, Lauren E; Levengood, Jeffrey M; Phillips, Christopher A; Wheeler, Matthew B; Warner, Richard E; Beasley, Val R

    2005-03-01

    Exposure to anthropogenic endocrine disruptors has been listed as one of several potential causes of amphibian declines in recent years. We examined gonads of 814 cricket frogs (Acris crepitans) collected in Illinois and deposited in museum collections to elucidate relationships between the decline of this species in Illinois and the spatial and temporal distribution of individuals with intersex gonads. Compared with the preorganochlorine era studied (1852-1929), the percentage of intersex cricket frogs increased during the period of industrial growth and initial uses of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) (1930-1945), was highest during the greatest manufacture and use of p,p-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and PCBs (1946-1959), began declining with the increase in public concern and environmental regulations that reduced and then prevented sales of DDT in the United States (1960-1979), and continued to decline through the period of gradual reductions in environmental residues of organochlorine pesticides and PCBs in the midwestern United States (1980-2001). The proportion of intersex individuals among those frogs was highest in the heavily industrialized and urbanized northeastern portion of Illinois, intermediate in the intensively farmed central and northwestern areas, and lowest in the less intensively managed and ecologically more diverse southern part of the state. Records of deposits of cricket frog specimens into museum collections indicate a marked reduction in numbers from northeastern Illinois in recent decades. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that endocrine disruption contributed to the decline of cricket frogs in Illinois.

  7. Decline of disjunct green salamander (Aneides aeneus) populations in the southern appalachians

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corser, J.D.

    2001-01-01

    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.

  8. Dropping dead: causes and consequences of vulture population declines worldwide.

    PubMed

    Ogada, Darcy L; Keesing, Felicia; Virani, Munir Z

    2012-02-01

    Vultures are nature's most successful scavengers, and they provide an array of ecological, economic, and cultural services. As the only known obligate scavengers, vultures are uniquely adapted to a scavenging lifestyle. Vultures' unique adaptations include soaring flight, keen eyesight, and extremely low pH levels in their stomachs. Presently, 14 of 23 (61%) vulture species worldwide are threatened with extinction, and the most rapid declines have occurred in the vulture-rich regions of Asia and Africa. The reasons for the population declines are varied, but poisoning or human persecution, or both, feature in the list of nearly every declining species. Deliberate poisoning of carnivores is likely the most widespread cause of vulture poisoning. In Asia, Gyps vultures have declined by >95% due to poisoning by the veterinary drug diclofenac, which was banned by regional governments in 2006. Human persecution of vultures has occurred for centuries, and shooting and deliberate poisoning are the most widely practiced activities. Ecological consequences of vulture declines include changes in community composition of scavengers at carcasses and an increased potential for disease transmission between mammalian scavengers at carcasses. There have been cultural and economic costs of vulture declines as well, particularly in Asia. In the wake of catastrophic vulture declines in Asia, regional governments, the international scientific and donor communities, and the media have given the crisis substantial attention. Even though the Asian vulture crisis focused attention on the plight of vultures worldwide, the situation for African vultures has received relatively little attention especially given the similar levels of population decline. While the Asian crisis has been largely linked to poisoning by diclofenac, vulture population declines in Africa have numerous causes, which have made conserving existing populations more difficult. And in Africa there has been little

  9. VASCULAR RISK FACTORS AND COGNITIVE DECLINE IN A POPULATION SAMPLE

    PubMed Central

    Ganguli, Mary; Fu, Bo; Snitz, Beth E.; Unverzagt, Frederick W.; Loewenstein, David A.; Hughes, Tiffany F.; Chang, Chung-Chou H.

    2014-01-01

    We examined several vascular factors in relation to rates of decline in five cognitive domains in a population-based cohort. In an age-stratified random sample (N=1982) aged 65+ years, we assessed at baseline the cognitive domains of attention, executive function, memory, language, and visuospatial function, and also vascular, inflammatory, and metabolic indices. Random effects models generated slopes of cognitive decline over the next four years; linear models identified vascular factors associated with these slopes, adjusting for demographics, baseline cognition, and potential interactions. Several vascular risk factors (history of stroke, diabetes, central obesity, C-Reactive Protein), although associated with lower baseline cognitive performance, did not predict rate of subsequent decline. APOE*4 genotype was associated with accelerated decline in language, memory, and executive functions. Homocysteine elevation was associated with faster decline in executive function. Hypertension (history or systolic blood pressure >140 mm) was associated with slower decline in memory. Baseline alcohol consumption was associated with slower decline in attention, language, and memory. Different indices of vascular risk are associated with low performance and with rates of decline in different cognitive domains. Cardiovascular mechanisms explain at least some of the variance in cognitive decline. Selective survival may also play a role. PMID:24126216

  10. [Historic record of Gastrotheca ovifera (Anura: Hemiphractidae): decline evidence in Venezuelan coastal cloud forests].

    PubMed

    Valera-Leal, Javier; Acevedo, Aldemar; Pérez-Sánchez, Antonio; Vega, Jorge; Manzanilla, Jesús

    2011-03-01

    G. ovifera is a marsupial frog of the cloud and riparian forest from Western and Litoral sections of the Venezuelan Cordillera de la Costa (820-2 000m). This amphibian is considered as an endangered species by the IUCN Species Red List, due to its population decline in pristine and well preserved environments. This conservation status is based on anecdotic interpretations. We collected disperse data from museum records (national and international) and explored the possible association between collection records and precipitation data available for the Henri Pittier National Park (PNHP). Likewise, we carried out a systematic population monitoring of G. ovifera in historic and additional localities among the cloud forest of Rancho Grande, PNHP. We found 106 individuals in 11 zoological collections deposited during 1929-2007. After an effort of 646 hours/person we did not detect G. ovifera individuals in the evaluated localities; as well as no statistical significant associations between the annual precipitation average and the historic records of the species during 1941-1997 period (r = -0.054, p = 0.820, n = 19). We discussed the distribution, fluctuation and population changes of this species, analyzing it conservation status. PMID:21516654

  11. Sea otter population declines in the Aleutian Archipelago

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Doroff, Angela; Estes, James A.; Tinker, M. Tim; Burn, Douglas M.; Evans, Thomas J.

    2003-01-01

    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.

  12. Historical and contemporary evidence of a mutton snapper ( Lutjanus analis Cuvier, 1828) spawning aggregation fishery in decline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graham, R. T.; Carcamo, R.; Rhodes, K. L.; Roberts, C. M.; Requena, N.

    2008-06-01

    Scientific information on reef fish spawning aggregation fisheries is sparse in light of numerous regional declines and extirpations from overexploitation. Fisher interviews of the small-scale commercial mutton snapper ( Lutjanus analis) spawning aggregation fishery at Gladden Spit, Belize, suggests a historic decadal decline. The reported trend is supported by analysis of inter-seasonal catch and effort and yield (2000 2002) that reveals a 59% decline in catch per unit effort (CPUE) and a 22% decrease in mean landings per boat. Declining population-level trends are also supported by a significant decrease in inter-annual median lengths of mutton snappers (2000 2006). These findings demonstrate the need for additional life history information that includes length-associated age and details on growth to provide clearer support of the effects on, and responses by, populations following fishing. In view of the historical changes to mutton snapper CPUE and landings at Gladden Spit and the fishery-associated declines in fish spawning aggregations observed globally, a precautionary approach to spawning aggregation management is warranted that provides full protection from fishing to enhance population persistence. The findings also highlight the need for substantially greater enforcement and long-term fisheries monitoring under a comprehensive regional management strategy.

  13. Pesticides and amphibian population declines in California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, Donald W.; Fellers, Gary M.; McConnell, Laura L.

    2001-01-01

    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.

  14. Pesticides and Population Declines of California Alpine Frogs

    EPA Science Inventory

    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 ...

  15. Dropping dead: causes and consequences of vulture population declines worldwide.

    PubMed

    Ogada, Darcy L; Keesing, Felicia; Virani, Munir Z

    2012-02-01

    Vultures are nature's most successful scavengers, and they provide an array of ecological, economic, and cultural services. As the only known obligate scavengers, vultures are uniquely adapted to a scavenging lifestyle. Vultures' unique adaptations include soaring flight, keen eyesight, and extremely low pH levels in their stomachs. Presently, 14 of 23 (61%) vulture species worldwide are threatened with extinction, and the most rapid declines have occurred in the vulture-rich regions of Asia and Africa. The reasons for the population declines are varied, but poisoning or human persecution, or both, feature in the list of nearly every declining species. Deliberate poisoning of carnivores is likely the most widespread cause of vulture poisoning. In Asia, Gyps vultures have declined by >95% due to poisoning by the veterinary drug diclofenac, which was banned by regional governments in 2006. Human persecution of vultures has occurred for centuries, and shooting and deliberate poisoning are the most widely practiced activities. Ecological consequences of vulture declines include changes in community composition of scavengers at carcasses and an increased potential for disease transmission between mammalian scavengers at carcasses. There have been cultural and economic costs of vulture declines as well, particularly in Asia. In the wake of catastrophic vulture declines in Asia, regional governments, the international scientific and donor communities, and the media have given the crisis substantial attention. Even though the Asian vulture crisis focused attention on the plight of vultures worldwide, the situation for African vultures has received relatively little attention especially given the similar levels of population decline. While the Asian crisis has been largely linked to poisoning by diclofenac, vulture population declines in Africa have numerous causes, which have made conserving existing populations more difficult. And in Africa there has been little

  16. Declining populations of the fingernail clam Musculium transversum in the upper Mississippi River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilson, D.M.; Naimo, T.J.; Weiner, J.G.; Anderson, R.V.; Sandheinrich, M.B.; Sparks, R.E.

    1995-01-01

    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.

  17. Critical Decline of the Eastern Caribbean Sperm Whale Population

    PubMed Central

    Whitehead, Hal

    2016-01-01

    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

  18. Human Population Decline in North America during the Younger Dryas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, D. G.; Goodyear, A. C.; Stafford, T. W., Jr.; Kennett, J.; West, A.

    2009-12-01

    There is ongoing debate about a possible human population decline or contraction at the onset of the Younger Dryas (YD) at 12.9 ka. We used two methods to test whether the YD affected human population levels: (1) frequency analyses of Paleoindian projectile points, and (2) summed probability analyses of radiocarbon (14C) dates. The results suggest that a significant decline or reorganization of human populations occurred at 12.9 ka, continued through the initial centuries of the YD chronozone, then rebounded by the end of the YD. FREQUENCY ANALYSES: This method employed projectile point data from the Paleoindian Database of the Americas (PIDBA, http://pidba.utk.edu). We tallied diagnostic projectile points and obtained larger totals for Clovis points than for immediately post-Clovis points, which share an instrument-assisted fluting technique, typically using pressure or indirect percussion. Gainey, Vail, Debert, Redstone, and Cumberland point-styles utilized this method and are comparable to the Folsom style. For the SE U.S., the ratio of Clovis points (n=1993) to post-Clovis points (n=947) reveals a point decline of 52%. For the Great Plains, a comparison of Clovis and fluted points (n=4020) to Folsom points (n=2527) shows a point decline of 37%, which may translate into a population contraction of similar magnitude. In addition, eight major Clovis lithic quarry sites in the SE U.S. exhibit little to no evidence for immediate post-Clovis occupations, implying a major population decline. SUMMED PROBABILITIES: This method involved calibrating relevant 14C dates and combining the probabilities, after which major peaks and troughs in the trends are assumed to reflect changes in human demographics. Using 14C dates from Buchanan et al. (2008), we analyzed multiple regions, including the Southeast and Great Plains. Contrary to Buchanan et al., we found an abrupt, statistically significant decline at 12.9 ka, followed 200 to 900 years later by a rebound in the number of

  19. Population genetic correlates of declining transmission in a human pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Nkhoma, Standwell C; Nair, Shalini; Al-Saai, Salma; Ashley, Elizabeth; McGready, Rose; Phyo, Aung P; Nosten, François; Anderson, Tim J C

    2013-01-01

    Pathogen control programs provide a valuable, but rarely exploited, opportunity to directly examine the relationship between population decline and population genetics. We investigated the impact of an ∼12-fold decline in transmission on the population genetics of Plasmodium falciparum infections (n = 1731) sampled from four clinics on the Thai–Burma border over 10 years and genotyped using 96 genome-wide SNPs. The most striking associated genetic change was a reduction in the frequency of infections containing multiple parasite genotypes from 63% in 2001 to 14% in 2010 (P = 3 × 10−15). Two measures of the clonal composition of populations (genotypic richness and the β-parameter of the Pareto distribution) declined over time as more people were infected by parasites with identical multilocus genotypes, consistent with increased selfing and a reduction in the rate at which multilocus genotypes are broken apart by recombination. We predicted that the reduction in transmission, multiple clone carriage and outbreeding would be mirrored by an increased influence of genetic drift. However, geographical differentiation and expected heterozygosity remained stable across the sampling period. Furthermore, Ne estimates derived from allele frequencies fluctuation between years remained high (582 to ∞) and showed no downward trend. These results demonstrate how genetic data can compliment epidemiological assessments of infectious disease control programs. The temporal changes in a single declining population parallel to those seen in comparisons of parasite genetics in regions of differing endemicity, strongly supporting the notion that reduced opportunity for outbreeding is the key driver of these patterns. PMID:23121253

  20. Lion (Panthera leo) populations are declining rapidly across Africa, except in intensively managed areas.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Hans; Chapron, Guillaume; Nowell, Kristin; Henschel, Philipp; Funston, Paul; Hunter, Luke T B; Macdonald, David W; Packer, Craig

    2015-12-01

    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.

  1. Lion (Panthera leo) populations are declining rapidly across Africa, except in intensively managed areas.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Hans; Chapron, Guillaume; Nowell, Kristin; Henschel, Philipp; Funston, Paul; Hunter, Luke T B; Macdonald, David W; Packer, Craig

    2015-12-01

    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. PMID:26504235

  2. Lion (Panthera leo) populations are declining rapidly across Africa, except in intensively managed areas

    PubMed Central

    Bauer, Hans; Chapron, Guillaume; Nowell, Kristin; Henschel, Philipp; Funston, Paul; Macdonald, David W.; Packer, Craig

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26504235

  3. Declining scaup populations: issues, hypotheses, and research needs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Austin, J.E.; Afton, A.D.; Anderson, M.G.; Clark, R.G.; Custer, Christine M.; Lawrence, J.S.; Pollard, J.B.; Ringelman, J.K.

    2000-01-01

    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

  4. Quantifying population declines based on presence-only records for red-list assessments.

    PubMed

    Cruickshank, Sam S; Ozgul, Arpat; Zumbach, Silvia; Schmidt, Benedikt R

    2016-10-01

    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.

  5. Climate change and pollution speed declines in zebrafish populations.

    PubMed

    Brown, A Ross; Owen, Stewart F; Peters, James; Zhang, Yong; Soffker, Marta; Paull, Gregory C; Hosken, David J; Wahab, M Abdul; Tyler, Charles R

    2015-03-17

    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.

  6. Climate change and pollution speed declines in zebrafish populations

    PubMed Central

    Owen, Stewart F.; Peters, James; Zhang, Yong; Soffker, Marta; Paull, Gregory C.; Hosken, David J.; Wahab, M. Abdul; Tyler, Charles R.

    2015-01-01

    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

  7. Population Declines of Mountain Coqui (Eleutherodactylus portoricensis) in the Cordillera Central of Puerto Rico

    PubMed Central

    Barker, Brittany S.; Ríos-Franceschi, Alejandro

    2014-01-01

    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

  8. Declining scaup populations: A retrospective analysis of long-term population and harvest survey data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Afton, A.D.; Anderson, M.G.

    2001-01-01

    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.

  9. The Population Health Approach in Historical Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Szreter, Simon

    2003-01-01

    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

  10. Islamic Republic of Iran population growth rate declines.

    PubMed

    1996-01-01

    In April 1996, at the 52nd Session of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the delegate from the Islamic Republic of Iran announced that social indicators indicate acceptable improvement. The average population growth rate fell from 3.9% (1981-1991) to less than 2% (1995). High birth rates and an influx of refugees during 1981-1991 accounted for the high population growth rate. The marked decline in the birth rate, brought about mainly by effective family planning and health programs, has contributed greatly to the reduced population growth rate. The government has focused on rural areas. 86% of rural households now have access to piped water. More than 60% have electricity. The overall literacy rate in Iran has reached 79%. The entire population has access to free or subsidized primary health care services. The Second Development Plan of Iran centers on the significance of the role that mothers have in shaping society and individuals by their child raising abilities, particularly in the early years. The Iranian delegate endorsed the secretariat's plan for helping members and associate members to reach their development goals and objectives.

  11. [The decline in population growth, income distribution, and economic recession].

    PubMed

    Banguero, H

    1983-05-01

    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

  12. [The decline in population growth, income distribution, and economic recession].

    PubMed

    Banguero, H

    1983-05-01

    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

  13. Historical and Contemporary DNA Indicate Fisher Decline and Isolation Occurred Prior to the European Settlement of California

    PubMed Central

    Tucker, Jody M.; Schwartz, Michael K.; Truex, Richard L.; Pilgrim, Kristine L.; Allendorf, Fred W.

    2012-01-01

    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 19th and early 20th 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. PMID:23300783

  14. Tarangire revisited: Consequences of declining connectivity in a tropical ungulate population

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morrison, Thomas A.; Link, William; Newmark, William D.; Foley, Charles A.H.; Bolger, Douglas T.

    2016-01-01

    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.

  15. Disentangling the cause of a catastrophic population decline in a large marine mammal.

    PubMed

    Baylis, Alastair M M; Orben, Rachael A; Arnould, John P Y; Christiansen, Fredrik; Hays, Graeme C; Staniland, Iain J

    2015-10-01

    Considerable uncertainties often surround the causes of long-term changes in population abundance. One striking example is the precipitous decline of southern sea lions (SSL; Otariaflavescens) at the Falkland Islands, from 80 555 pups in the mid 1930s to just 5506 pups in 1965. Despite an increase in SSL abundance over the past two decades, the population has not recovered, with the number of pups born in 2014 (minimum 4443 pups) less than 6% of the 1930s estimate. The order-of-magnitude decline is primarily attributed to commercial sealing in Argentina. Here, we test this established paradigm and alternative hypotheses by assessing (1) commercial sealing at the Falkland Islands, (2) winter migration of SSL from the Falkland Islands to Argentina, (3) whether the number of SSL in Argentina could have sustained the reported level of exploitation, and (4) environmental change. The most parsimonious hypothesis explaining the SSL population decline was environmental change. Specifically, analysis of 160 years of winter sea surface temperatures revealed marked changes, including a period of warming between 1930 and 1950 that was consistent with the period of SSL decline. Sea surface temperature changes likely influenced the distribution or availability of SSL prey and impacted its population dynamics. We suggest that historical harvesting may not always be the "smoking gun" as is often purported. Rather, our conclusions support the growing evidence for bottom-up forcing on the abundance of species at lower trophic levels (e.g., plankton and fish) and resulting impacts on higher trophic levels across a broad range of ecosystems.

  16. Disentangling the cause of a catastrophic population decline in a large marine mammal.

    PubMed

    Baylis, Alastair M M; Orben, Rachael A; Arnould, John P Y; Christiansen, Fredrik; Hays, Graeme C; Staniland, Iain J

    2015-10-01

    Considerable uncertainties often surround the causes of long-term changes in population abundance. One striking example is the precipitous decline of southern sea lions (SSL; Otariaflavescens) at the Falkland Islands, from 80 555 pups in the mid 1930s to just 5506 pups in 1965. Despite an increase in SSL abundance over the past two decades, the population has not recovered, with the number of pups born in 2014 (minimum 4443 pups) less than 6% of the 1930s estimate. The order-of-magnitude decline is primarily attributed to commercial sealing in Argentina. Here, we test this established paradigm and alternative hypotheses by assessing (1) commercial sealing at the Falkland Islands, (2) winter migration of SSL from the Falkland Islands to Argentina, (3) whether the number of SSL in Argentina could have sustained the reported level of exploitation, and (4) environmental change. The most parsimonious hypothesis explaining the SSL population decline was environmental change. Specifically, analysis of 160 years of winter sea surface temperatures revealed marked changes, including a period of warming between 1930 and 1950 that was consistent with the period of SSL decline. Sea surface temperature changes likely influenced the distribution or availability of SSL prey and impacted its population dynamics. We suggest that historical harvesting may not always be the "smoking gun" as is often purported. Rather, our conclusions support the growing evidence for bottom-up forcing on the abundance of species at lower trophic levels (e.g., plankton and fish) and resulting impacts on higher trophic levels across a broad range of ecosystems. PMID:26649403

  17. UV-B Radiation Contributes to Amphibian Population Declines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blaustein, Andrew

    2007-05-01

    UV-B (280-315 nm) radiation is the most significant biologically damaging radiation at the terrestrial surface. At the organismal level, UV-B radiation can slow growth rates, cause immune dysfunction and result in sublethal damage. UV-B radiation can lead to mutations and cell death. Over evolutionary time, UV radiation has been an important stressor on living organisms. Natural events, including impacts from comets and asteroids, volcanic activity, supernova explosions and solar flares, can cause large-scale ozone depletion with accompanying increases in UV radiation. However, these natural events are transient. Moreover, the amount of ozone damage due to natural events depends upon a number of variables, including the magnitude of the event. This is different from modern-day human-induced production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other chemicals that deplete stratospheric ozone continuously, resulting in long-term increases in UV-B radiation at the surface of the earth. We will briefly review the effects of UV-B exposure in one group of aquatic organisms_amphibians. UV-B has been implicated as a possible factor contributing to global declines and range reductions in amphibian populations.

  18. FACTORS IMPLICATED IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES IN THE UNITED STATES

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study identified the factors responsible for the decline of native amphibians in the U.S. The type of land use, the introduction of exotic animal species, and chemical contamination were identified as the most likely causes of decline.

  19. Demographic mechanism of a historical bird population collapse reconstructed using museum specimens.

    PubMed

    Green, Rhys E

    2008-10-22

    Long-term studies of demographic rates provide clues about the external causes of animal population declines, but systematic monitoring is rarely in place until after the decline has occurred. This study evaluates alternative hypotheses about the demographic mechanisms underlying the historical collapse of corncrake (Crexcrex) populations in Britain and Ireland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries using characteristics of museum specimens. The proportion of adult corncrakes that are 1-year old was estimated from feather characteristics of birds collected before, during and after the population decline and showed a marked transitory reduction during the decline. This pattern would be expected if the decline was caused by a large reduction in the recruitment of young birds to the breeding population and is the opposite of what would be expected if a change in adult survival had caused the decline. These results are consistent with previous suggestions that the corncrake population decline was caused by adverse effects on breeding productivity caused by the mechanization of the harvesting of hay crops.

  20. Declining sand dune activity in the southern Canadian prairies: Historical context, controls and ecosystem implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hugenholtz, Chris H.; Bender, Darren; Wolfe, Stephen A.

    2010-11-01

    Sandhills are islands of biodiversity in the southern Canadian prairies that sustain habitat for many rare and endangered species. These unique areas consist of large expanses of dune fields now mostly stabilized by grassland vegetation. Historically, the number of active dunes has decreased significantly due to vegetation stabilization, resulting in a dramatic decline of open-sand habitat for a variety of dune-dependent species. Without a certain level of wind erosion, opportunities for establishment of early-stage, species-rich vegetation types are diminished and open-sand habitat decreases by encroachment of the surrounding grassland vegetation. The current trend of dune stabilization, however, implies that wind erosion is decreasing, thereby threatening the continued existence of a variety of dune-dependent plants, arthropods and vertebrates, as well as other less-specialized species that benefit indirectly from these habitats. By reviewing factors contributing to the historical decline of active dunes, as well as the ecological implications of dune stabilization, the aim of this paper is to establish the biophysical context for new land management strategies that conserve valued landscape components, such as active dunes, and the processes therein. As dune stabilization continues management interventions will be required to sustain or re-establish open sand and the species that rely on these habitats.

  1. Using latent selection difference to model persistence in a declining population.

    PubMed

    Erickson, Mara E; Found-Jackson, Christine; Boyce, Mark S

    2014-01-01

    Population persistence is a direct measure of the viability of a population. Monitoring the distribution of declining populations or subpopulations over time can yield estimates of persistence, which we show can be modeled as a latent selection difference (LSD) contrasting attributes of sites where populations have persisted versus those that have not. Predicted persistence can be modeled with predictor covariates to identify factors correlated with species persistence. We demonstrate how to model persistence based on changes in occupancy that can include adjustments for detection probability. Using a known historical distribution of the western grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis), we adapted methods originally developed for occupancy modeling to evaluate how environmental covariates including emergent vegetation and human developments have affected western grebe persistence in Alberta. The relative probability of persistence was correlated with the extent of shoreline bulrush (Scirpus lacustris), which is important vegetation for nesting cover. We also documented that western grebe populations were less likely to persist on lakes in the boreal forest, primarily located on the northern boundary of the species' range. Factors influencing occupancy were different than those determining persistence by western grebes; persistence and occupancy were not correlated. Persistence was more likely on lakes with recreational development, reflecting reliance by grebes on the larger, fish-bearing waterbodies that also are attractive for lakeshore development. Unfortunately, the correlation with recreational development on Alberta's lakes puts grebes at risk for loss of brood-rearing habitats--primary threats to altricial birds--if steps are not taken to prevent disturbance to bulrush stands. Identifying factors related to the persistence of a species--especially one in decline--is a fundamental step in conservation management.

  2. North American osprey populations and contaminants: Historic and contemporary perspectives

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Henny, Charles J.; Grove, Robert A.; Kaiser, James L.; Johnson, Branden L.

    2010-01-01

    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

  3. North American osprey populations and contaminants: historic and contemporary perspectives.

    PubMed

    Henny, Charles J; Grove, Robert A; Kaiser, James L; Johnson, Branden L

    2010-10-01

    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

  4. North American osprey populations and contaminants: historic and contemporary perspectives.

    PubMed

    Henny, Charles J; Grove, Robert A; Kaiser, James L; Johnson, Branden L

    2010-10-01

    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

  5. The role of multiple stressor causes in declining amphibian populations: a wingspread workshop summary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krest, S.K.; Linder, G.; Sparling, D.W.; Linder, Gregory L.; Krest, Sherry K.; Sparling, Donald W.; Little, Edward E.

    2003-01-01

    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.

  6. The role of multiple stressor causes in declining amphibian populations: A wingspread workshop summary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krest, S.K.; Linder, G.; Sparling, D.W.; ,

    2003-01-01

    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.

  7. AIRBORNE PESTICIDES AND POPULATION DECLINES OF A CALIFORNIA ALPINE FROG

    EPA Science Inventory

    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 ...

  8. Population decline induced by gonorrhoea and tuberculosis transmission: Micronesia during the Japanese occupation, 1919–45

    PubMed Central

    Singer, Burton H.

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21666856

  9. The complexity of amphibian population declines: understanding the role of cofactors in driving amphibian losses.

    PubMed

    Blaustein, Andrew R; Han, Barbara A; Relyea, Rick A; Johnson, Pieter T J; Buck, Julia C; Gervasi, Stephanie S; Kats, Lee B

    2011-03-01

    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.

  10. Diagnosing Mechanisms of Decline and Planning for Recovery of an Endangered Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) Population

    PubMed Central

    Quenette, Pierre-Yves; Camarra, Jean-Jacques

    2009-01-01

    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

  11. Replacement Migration: Is It a Solution to Declining and Ageing Populations?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  12. Population decline is linked to migration route in the Common Cuckoo

    PubMed Central

    Hewson, Chris M.; Thorup, Kasper; Pearce-Higgins, James W.; Atkinson, Philip W.

    2016-01-01

    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

  13. Population decline is linked to migration route in the Common Cuckoo.

    PubMed

    Hewson, Chris M; Thorup, Kasper; Pearce-Higgins, James W; Atkinson, Philip W

    2016-01-01

    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

  14. Population decline is linked to migration route in the Common Cuckoo.

    PubMed

    Hewson, Chris M; Thorup, Kasper; Pearce-Higgins, James W; Atkinson, Philip W

    2016-07-19

    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.

  15. Genetic consequences of population decline in the European otter (Lutra lutra): an assessment of microsatellite DNA variation in Danish otters from 1883 to 1993.

    PubMed

    Pertoldi, C; Hansen, M M; Loeschcke, V; Madsen, A B; Jacobsen, L; Baagoe, H

    2001-09-01

    The European otter (Lutra lutra) was common in Denmark until the 1960s, but its present distribution encompasses only a minor part of the country. The aim of this study was to assess whether the recent population decline has resulted in loss of genetic variability and to gain further insight into the dynamics of the population decline. This was done by analysing microsatellite DNA variation in contemporary and historical samples, the latter encompassing DNA samples extracted from museum specimens covering a time-span from the 1880s to the 1960s. Tests for differences in expected heterozygosity and the numbers of alleles in contemporary versus historical samples and a test for detecting population bottlenecks provided few indications of a recent bottleneck and loss of variability. However, a procedure for detecting population expansions and declines, based on the genealogical history of microsatellite alleles, suggested that a drastic long-term population decline has taken place, which could have started more than 2000 years ago, possibly due to ancient anthropogenic pressure. Finally, assignment tests and pairwise F(ST) values suggested weak but statistically significant genetic differentiation between the extant population and historical samples of otters from other regions in Denmark, more likely reflecting differentiation among original populations rather than recent drift.

  16. Pesticide distributions and population declines of California, USA, alpine frogs, Rana muscosa and Rana sierrae.

    PubMed

    Bradford, David F; Knapp, Roland A; Sparling, Donald W; Nash, Maliha S; Stanley, Kerri A; Tallent-Halsell, Nita G; McConnell, Laura L; Simonich, Staci M

    2011-03-01

    Atmospherically deposited pesticides from the intensively cultivated Central Valley of California, USA, 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 mountains. Previous studies on these species have relied on correlations between frog population status and either a metric for amount of upwind pesticide use or limited measurements of pesticide concentrations in the field. The present study tested the hypothesis that pesticide concentrations are negatively correlated with frog population status (i.e., fraction of suitable water bodies occupied within 2 km of a site) by measuring pesticide concentrations in multiple media twice at 28 sites at high elevation in the southern Sierra Nevada. Media represented were air, sediment, and Pseudacris sierra tadpoles. Total cholinesterase (ChE), which has been used as an indicator for organophosphorus and carbamate pesticide exposure, was also measured in P. sierra tadpoles. Results do not support the pesticide-site occupancy hypothesis. Among 46 pesticide compounds analyzed, nine were detected with ≥ 30% frequency, representing both historically and currently used pesticides. In stepwise regressions with a chemical metric and linear distance from the Central Valley as predictor variables, no negative association was found between frog population status and the concentration of any pesticide or tadpole ChE activity level. By contrast, frog population status showed a strong positive relationship with linear distance from the Valley, a pattern that is consistent with a general west-to-east spread across central California of the amphibian disease chytridiomycosis observed by other researchers.

  17. Using Latent Selection Difference to Model Persistence in a Declining Population

    PubMed Central

    Erickson, Mara E.; Found-Jackson, Christine; Boyce, Mark S.

    2014-01-01

    Population persistence is a direct measure of the viability of a population. Monitoring the distribution of declining populations or subpopulations over time can yield estimates of persistence, which we show can be modeled as a latent selection difference (LSD) contrasting attributes of sites where populations have persisted versus those that have not. Predicted persistence can be modeled with predictor covariates to identify factors correlated with species persistence. We demonstrate how to model persistence based on changes in occupancy that can include adjustments for detection probability. Using a known historical distribution of the western grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis), we adapted methods originally developed for occupancy modeling to evaluate how environmental covariates including emergent vegetation and human developments have affected western grebe persistence in Alberta. The relative probability of persistence was correlated with the extent of shoreline bulrush (Scirpus lacustris), which is important vegetation for nesting cover. We also documented that western grebe populations were less likely to persist on lakes in the boreal forest, primarily located on the northern boundary of the species' range. Factors influencing occupancy were different than those determining persistence by western grebes; persistence and occupancy were not correlated. Persistence was more likely on lakes with recreational development, reflecting reliance by grebes on the larger, fish-bearing waterbodies that also are attractive for lakeshore development. Unfortunately, the correlation with recreational development on Alberta's lakes puts grebes at risk for loss of brood-rearing habitats—primary threats to altricial birds—if steps are not taken to prevent disturbance to bulrush stands. Identifying factors related to the persistence of a species—especially one in decline—is a fundamental step in conservation management. PMID:24866172

  18. FACTORS IMPLICATED IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES IN THE UNITED STATES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Factors adversely affecting amphibian populations in the US were evaluated using information from species accounts written in a standardized format by multiple authors (Volume 2 of this book). For each species, factors implicated by the authors (i.e., known or suspected) as affec...

  19. A new method for identifying rapid decline dynamics in wild vertebrate populations.

    PubMed

    Fonzo, Martina Di; Collen, Ben; Mace, Georgina M

    2013-07-01

    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.

  20. Has contemporary climate change played a role in population declines of the lizard Ctenophorus decresii from semi-arid Australia?

    PubMed

    Walker, Samantha; Stuart-Fox, Devi; Kearney, Michael R

    2015-12-01

    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.

  1. Has contemporary climate change played a role in population declines of the lizard Ctenophorus decresii from semi-arid Australia?

    PubMed

    Walker, Samantha; Stuart-Fox, Devi; Kearney, Michael R

    2015-12-01

    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. PMID:26615728

  2. Phage selection for bacterial cheats leads to population decline.

    PubMed

    Vasse, Marie; Torres-Barceló, Clara; Hochberg, Michael E

    2015-11-01

    While predators and parasites are known for their effects on bacterial population biology, their impact on the dynamics of bacterial social evolution remains largely unclear. Siderophores are iron-chelating molecules that are key to the survival of certain bacterial species in iron-limited environments, but their production can be subject to cheating by non-producing genotypes. In a selection experiment conducted over approximately 20 bacterial generations and involving 140 populations of the pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1, we assessed the impact of a lytic phage on competition between siderophore producers and non-producers. We show that the presence of lytic phages favours the non-producing genotype in competition, regardless of whether iron use relies on siderophores. Interestingly, phage pressure resulted in higher siderophore production, which constitutes a cost to the producers and may explain why they were outcompeted by non-producers. By the end of the experiment, however, cheating load reduced the fitness of mixed populations relative to producer monocultures, and only monocultures of producers managed to grow in the presence of phage in situations where siderophores were necessary to access iron. These results suggest that public goods production may be modulated in the presence of natural enemies with consequences for the evolution of social strategies. PMID:26538598

  3. Population declines of tuna and relatives depend on their speed of life.

    PubMed

    Juan-Jordá, M J; Mosqueira, I; Freire, J; Dulvy, N K

    2015-07-22

    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.

  4. Population declines of tuna and relatives depend on their speed of life

    PubMed Central

    Juan-Jordá, M. J.; Mosqueira, I.; Freire, J.; Dulvy, N. K.

    2015-01-01

    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

  5. Changes in land use as a possible factor in Mourning Dove population decline in Central Utah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ostrand, W.D.; Meyers, P.M.; Bissonette, J.A.; Conover, M.R.

    1998-01-01

    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.

  6. Causes of mortality in California sea otters during periods of population growth and decline

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Estes, J.A.; Hatfield, B.B.; Ralls, K.; Ames, J.

    2003-01-01

    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.

  7. Rapid declines of large mammal populations after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-06-01

    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.

  8. Rapid declines of large mammal populations after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-06-01

    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. PMID:25581070

  9. Genetic models reveal historical patterns of sea lamprey population fluctuations within Lake Champlain

    PubMed Central

    Azodi, Christina B.; Sheldon, Sallie P.; Trombulak, Stephen C.; Ardren, William R.

    2015-01-01

    The origin of sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) in Lake Champlain has been heavily debated over the past decade. Given the lack of historical documentation, two competing hypotheses have emerged in the literature. First, it has been argued that the relatively recent population size increase and concomitant rise in wounding rates on prey populations are indicative of an invasive population that entered the lake through the Champlain Canal. Second, recent genetic evidence suggests a post-glacial colonization at the end of the Pleistocene, approximately 11,000 years ago. One limitation to resolving the origin of sea lamprey in Lake Champlain is a lack of historical and current measures of population size. In this study, the issue of population size was explicitly addressed using nuclear (nDNA) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) markers to estimate historical demography with genetic models. Haplotype network analysis, mismatch analysis, and summary statistics based on mtDNA noncoding sequences for NCI (479 bp) and NCII (173 bp) all indicate a recent population expansion. Coalescent models based on mtDNA and nDNA identified two potential demographic events: a population decline followed by a very recent population expansion. The decline in effective population size may correlate with land-use and fishing pressure changes post-European settlement, while the recent expansion may be associated with the implementation of the salmonid stocking program in the 1970s. These results are most consistent with the hypothesis that sea lamprey are native to Lake Champlain; however, the credibility intervals around parameter estimates demonstrate that there is uncertainty regarding the magnitude and timing of past demographic events. PMID:26539334

  10. Novel survey method finds dramatic decline of wild cotton-top tamarin population

    PubMed Central

    Savage, Anne; Thomas, Len; Leighty, Katherine A.; Soto, Luis H.; Medina, Felix S.

    2010-01-01

    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

  11. Updated population metadata for United States historical climatology network stations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Owen, T.W.; Gallo, K.P.

    2000-01-01

    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.

  12. Beyond the disease: Is Toxoplasma gondii infection causing population declines in the eastern quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus)?

    PubMed Central

    Fancourt, Bronwyn A.; Nicol, Stewart C.; Hawkins, Clare E.; Jones, Menna E.; Johnson, Chris N.

    2014-01-01

    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

  13. Crab trapping causes population decline and demographic changes in diamondback terrapins over two decades

    SciTech Connect

    Dorcas, M.E., J.D. Willson and J.W. Gibbons

    2007-01-01

    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.

  14. Declines in migrant shorebird populations from a winter-quarter perspective.

    PubMed

    Simmons, Robert E; Kolberg, Holger; Braby, Rod; Erni, Birgit

    2015-06-01

    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. PMID:25858334

  15. Declines in migrant shorebird populations from a winter-quarter perspective.

    PubMed

    Simmons, Robert E; Kolberg, Holger; Braby, Rod; Erni, Birgit

    2015-06-01

    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.

  16. Local extinction in a small and declining population: wild dogs in the Serengeti.

    PubMed

    Ginsberg, J R; Mace, G M; Albon, S

    1995-11-22

    Altered assumptions about how different ecological factors limit population numbers may lead to different conclusions about the causes of decline and ultimate extinction of a small population. Here, alternative hypotheses for the local disappearance of the Serengeti plains study population of African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) are examined in light of observations of density dependence, deterministic decline and frequent rapid fluctuations in population number. After a population crash from 60 individuals in 1975 to 30 individuals in 1976, the Serengeti plains population fluctuated around a mean value of 22 individuals for 16 years before local extinction occurred. Variation in population numbers was extreme, with inter-annual reductions in population size of at least 40% occurring three times. Several explanations are consistent with the observed trends in population size including outbreaks of various epizootics and competition with other predators. Monte Carlo simulation, with parameters set to reflect observed fluctuations, demonstrate that population extinction was likely from chance factors alone. In small and declining populations, for which precise data and controls are unavailable, determining the cause(s) of extinction usually will be impossible.

  17. Climate and ecosystem linkages explain widespread declines in North American Atlantic salmon populations.

    PubMed

    Mills, Katherine E; Pershing, Andrew J; Sheehan, Timothy F; Mountain, David

    2013-10-01

    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.

  18. Emerging infectious diseases of wildlife: role in amphibian population declines and global implications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Daszak, P.; Berger, Lee; Cunningham, A.A.; Hyatt, A.D.; Green, D.E.; Speare, R.

    1999-01-01

    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.

  19. Mountain gorilla genomes reveal the impact of long-term population decline and inbreeding.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-04-10

    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.

  20. Mountain gorilla genomes reveal the impact of long-term population decline and inbreeding

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    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

  1. Pup Mortality in a Rapidly Declining Harbour Seal (Phoca vitulina) Population

    PubMed Central

    Hanson, Nora; Thompson, Dave; Duck, Callan; Moss, Simon; Lonergan, Mike

    2013-01-01

    The harbour seal population in Orkney, off the north coast of Scotland, has reduced by 65% between 2001 and 2010. The cause(s) of this decline are unknown but must affect the demographic parameters of the population. Here, satellite telemetry data were used to test the hypothesis that increased pup mortality could be a primary driver of the decline in Orkney. Pup mortality and tag failure parameters were estimated from the duration of operation of satellite tags deployed on harbour seal pups from the Orkney population (n = 24) and from another population on the west coast of Scotland (n = 24) where abundance was stable. Survival probabilities from both populations were best represented by a common gamma distribution and were not different from one another, suggesting that increased pup mortality is unlikely to be the primary agent in the Orkney population decline. The estimated probability of surviving to 6 months was 0.390 (95% CI 0.297 – 0.648) and tag failure was represented by a Gaussian distribution, with estimated mean 270 (95% CI = 198 – 288) and s.d. 21 (95% CI = 1 – 66) days. These results suggest that adult survival is the most likely proximate cause of the decline. They also demonstrate a novel technique for attaining age-specific mortality rates from telemetry data. PMID:24312239

  2. Population declines in North American birds that migrate to the neotropics.

    PubMed Central

    Robbins, C S; Sauer, J R; Greenberg, R S; Droege, S

    1989-01-01

    Using data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey, we determined that most neotropical migrant bird species that breed in forests of the eastern United States and Canada have recently (1978-1987) declined in abundance after a period of stable or increasing populations. Most permanent residents and temperate-zone migrants did not show a general pattern of decrease during this period. Field data from Mexico were used to classify a subset of the neotropical migrants as using forest or scrub habitats during winter. Population declines during 1978-1987 were significantly greater among the forest-wintering species, while populations of scrub-wintering species increased. The same subset of neotropical migrants also showed overall declines in forest-breeding species, but no significant differences existed between species breeding in forest and scrub habitats. Neotropical migrant species that primarily use forested habitats in either wintering or breeding areas are declining, but a statistically significant association between habitat and population declines was detected only in the tropics. PMID:2798430

  3. Direct evidence for the role of pesticides in amphibian population declines in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  4. Possible interrelations among environmental toxicants, amphibian development, and decline of amphibian populations.

    PubMed

    Carey, C; Bryant, C J

    1995-05-01

    Many amphibian populations are declining in a number of geographical locations throughout the world. In most cases, the cause or causes are unknown, but are assumed to result from man-made alterations in the environment. We review existing evidence concerning how environmental xenobiotics could contribute to declines of amphibian populations by impacting growth and development of the young. This paper examines the potential roles of toxicants in: a) affecting the susceptibility of young to disease; b) retarding growth and development of amphibian young; c) affecting the ability of larvae to avoid predation; d) affecting the development of physiological, morphological, or behavioral processes in a manner that subsequently impairs the ability of the young for future reproduction; and e) directly causing mortality of young. These issues are not well studied, and more studies are needed before the roles of environmental xenobiotics in amphibian declines are fully understood. PMID:7556018

  5. Decline of recent seabirds inferred from a composite 1000-year record of population dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Liqiang; Liu, Xiaodong; Wu, Libin; Sun, Liguang; Zhao, Jinjun; Chen, Lin

    2016-10-01

    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.

  6. Decline of recent seabirds inferred from a composite 1000-year record of population dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Liqiang; Liu, Xiaodong; Wu, Libin; Sun, Liguang; Zhao, Jinjun; Chen, Lin

    2016-01-01

    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

  7. Extinction rate, historical population structure and ecological role of the Caribbean monk seal

    PubMed Central

    McClenachan, Loren; Cooper, Andrew B

    2008-01-01

    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

  8. Extinction rate, historical population structure and ecological role of the Caribbean monk seal.

    PubMed

    McClenachan, Loren; Cooper, Andrew B

    2008-06-22

    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 gm(-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.

  9. Extinction rate, historical population structure and ecological role of the Caribbean monk seal.

    PubMed

    McClenachan, Loren; Cooper, Andrew B

    2008-06-22

    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 gm(-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

  10. Investigating Rates of Hunting and Survival in Declining European Lapwing Populations

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. Rapid Global Expansion of the Fungal Disease Chytridiomycosis into Declining and Healthy Amphibian Populations

    PubMed Central

    James, Timothy Y.; Litvintseva, Anastasia P.; Vilgalys, Rytas; Morgan, Jess A. T.; Taylor, John W.; Fisher, Matthew C.; Berger, Lee; Weldon, Ché; du Preez, Louis; Longcore, Joyce E.

    2009-01-01

    The fungal disease chytridiomycosis, caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is enigmatic because it occurs globally in both declining and apparently healthy (non-declining) amphibian populations. This distribution has fueled debate concerning whether, in sites where it has recently been found, the pathogen was introduced or is endemic. In this study, we addressed the molecular population genetics of a global collection of fungal strains from both declining and healthy amphibian populations using DNA sequence variation from 17 nuclear loci and a large fragment from the mitochondrial genome. We found a low rate of DNA polymorphism, with only two sequence alleles detected at each locus, but a high diversity of diploid genotypes. Half of the loci displayed an excess of heterozygous genotypes, consistent with a primarily clonal mode of reproduction. Despite the absence of obvious sex, genotypic diversity was high (44 unique genotypes out of 59 strains). We provide evidence that the observed genotypic variation can be generated by loss of heterozygosity through mitotic recombination. One strain isolated from a bullfrog possessed as much allelic diversity as the entire global sample, suggesting the current epidemic can be traced back to the outbreak of a single clonal lineage. These data are consistent with the current chytridiomycosis epidemic resulting from a novel pathogen undergoing a rapid and recent range expansion. The widespread occurrence of the same lineage in both healthy and declining populations suggests that the outcome of the disease is contingent on environmental factors and host resistance. PMID:19478871

  12. Pesticide distributions and population declines of California alpine frogs, Rana muscosa and Rana sierrae

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  13. Population Recovery following Decline in an Endangered Stream-Breeding Frog (Mixophyes fleayi) from Subtropical Australia

    PubMed Central

    Newell, David Alan; Goldingay, Ross Lindsay; Brooks, Lyndon Owen

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians have undergone dramatic declines and extinctions worldwide. Prominent among these have been the stream-breeding frogs in the rainforests of eastern Australia. The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been postulated as the primary cause of these declines. We conducted a capture-mark-recapture study over a 7-year period on the endangered Fleay’s barred frog (Mixophyes fleayi) at two independent streams (30 km apart) in order to assess the stability of these populations. This species had undergone a severe decline across its narrow geographic range. Mark-recapture modelling showed that the number of individuals increased 3–10 fold along stream transects over this period. Frog detection probabilities were frequently above 50% but declined as the populations increased. Adult survival was important to overall population persistence in light of low recruitment events, suggesting that longevity may be a key factor in this recovery. One male and female were present in the capture record for >6 years. This study provides an unambiguous example of population recovery in the presence of Bd. PMID:23516509

  14. Pesticide Distributions and Population Declines of California Alpine Frogs, Rana Muscosa and Rana Sierrae

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

  15. Decline in an Atlantic Puffin Population: Evaluation of Magnitude and Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Miles, Will T S; Mavor, Roddy; Riddiford, Nick J; Harvey, Paul V; Riddington, Roger; Shaw, Deryk N; Parnaby, David; Reid, Jane M

    2015-01-01

    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

  16. Decline in an Atlantic Puffin Population: Evaluation of Magnitude and Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Miles, Will T. S.; Mavor, Roddy; Riddiford, Nick J.; Harvey, Paul V.; Riddington, Roger; Shaw, Deryk N.; Parnaby, David; Reid, Jane M.

    2015-01-01

    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

  17. The Declining Significance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Relevance, Reputation, and Reality in Obamamerica

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, M. Christopher, II

    2013-01-01

    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…

  18. Severe recent decrease of adult body mass in a declining insectivorous bird population

    PubMed Central

    Rioux Paquette, Sébastien; Pelletier, Fanie; Garant, Dany; Bélisle, Marc

    2014-01-01

    Migratory bird species that feed on air-borne insects are experiencing widespread regional declines, but these remain poorly understood. Agricultural intensification in the breeding range is often regarded as one of the main drivers of these declines. Here, we tested the hypothesis that body mass in breeding individuals should reflect habitat quality in an aerial insectivore, the tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor), along a gradient of agricultural intensity. Our dataset was collected over 7 years (2005–2011) and included 2918 swallow captures and 1483 broods. Analyses revealed a substantial decline of the population over the course of the study (−19% occupancy rate), mirrored by decreasing body mass. This trend was especially severe in females, representing a total loss of 8% of their mass. Reproductive success was negatively influenced by intensive agriculture, but did not decrease over time. Interestingly, variation in body mass was independent of breeding habitat quality, leading us to suggest that this decline in body mass may result from carry-over effects from non-breeding areas and affect population dynamics through reduced survival. This work contributes to the growing body of evidence suggesting that declines in migratory aerial insectivores are driven by multiple, complex factors requiring better knowledge of year-round habitat use. PMID:24850929

  19. An evaluation of weather and disease as causes of decline in two populations of boreal toads

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scherer, R. D.; Muths, E.; Noon, B.R.; Corn, P.S.

    2005-01-01

    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.

  20. Population dynamics of American horseshoe crabs-historic climatic events and recent anthropogenic pressures

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Faurby, S.; King, T.L.; Obst, M.; Hallerman, E.M.; Pertoldi, C.; Funch, P.

    2010-01-01

    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.

  1. Population dynamics of American horseshoe crabs--historic climatic events and recent anthropogenic pressures.

    PubMed

    Faurby, Søren; King, Tim L; Obst, Matthias; Hallerman, Eric M; Pertoldi, Cino; Funch, Peter

    2010-08-01

    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.

  2. Heterogeneity in ALSFRS-R decline and survival: a population-based study in Italy.

    PubMed

    Mandrioli, Jessica; Biguzzi, Sara; Guidi, Carlo; Sette, Elisabetta; Terlizzi, Emilio; Ravasio, Alessandro; Casmiro, Mario; Salvi, Fabrizio; Liguori, Rocco; Rizzi, Romana; Pietrini, Vladimiro; Borghi, Annamaria; Rinaldi, Rita; Fini, Nicola; Chierici, Elisabetta; Santangelo, Mario; Granieri, Enrico; Mussuto, Vittoria; De Pasqua, Silvia; Georgoulopoulou, Eleni; Fasano, Antonio; Ferro, Salvatore; D'Alessandro, Roberto

    2015-12-01

    Very few studies examined trend over time of the revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R) and factors influencing it; previous studies, then, included only patients attending tertiary ALS Centres. We studied ALSFRS-R decline, factors influencing this trend and survival in a population-based setting. From 2009 onwards, a prospective registry records all incident ALS cases among residents in Emilia Romagna (population: 4.4 million). For each patient, demographic and clinical details (including ALSFRS-R) are collected by caring physicians at each follow-up. Analysis was performed on 402 incident cases (1279 ALSFRS-R assessments). The average decline of the ALSFRS-R was 0.60 points/month during the first year after diagnosis and 0.34 points/month in the second year. ALSFRS-R decline was heterogeneous among subgroups. Repeated measures mixed model showed that ALSFRS-R score decline was influenced by age at onset (p < 0.01), phenotype (p = 0.01), body mass index (BMI) (p < 0.01), progression rate at diagnosis (ΔFS) (p < 0.01), El Escorial Criteria-Revised (p < 0.01), and FVC% at diagnosis (p < 0.01). Among these factors, at multivariate analysis, only age, site of onset and ΔFS independently influenced survival. In this first population-based study on ALSFRS-R trend, we confirm that ALSFRS-R decline is not homogeneous among ALS patients and during the disease. Factors influencing ALSFRS-R decline may not match with those affecting survival. These disease modifiers should be taken into consideration for trials design and in clinical practice during discussions with patients on prognosis.

  3. Physical stature decline and the health status of the elderly population in England.

    PubMed

    Fernihough, Alan; McGovern, Mark E

    2015-01-01

    Few research papers in economics have examined the extent, causes or consequences of physical stature decline in aging populations. Using repeated observations on objectively measured data from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA), we document that reduction in height is an important phenomenon among respondents aged 50 and over. On average, physical stature decline occurs at an annual rate of between 0.08% and 0.10% for males, and 0.12% and 0.14% for females-which approximately translates into a 2-4 cm reduction in height over the life course. Since height is commonly used as a measure of long-run health, our results demonstrate that failing to take age-related height loss into account substantially overstates the health advantage of older birth cohorts relative to their younger counterparts. We also show that there is an absence of consistent predictors of physical stature decline at the individual level. However, we demonstrate how deteriorating health and reductions in height occur simultaneously. We document that declines in muscle mass and bone density are likely to be the mechanism through which these effects are operating. If this physical stature decline is determined by deteriorating health in adulthood, the coefficient on measured height when used as an input in a typical empirical health production function will be affected by reverse causality. While our analysis details the inherent difficulties associated with measuring height in older populations, we do not find that significant bias arises in typical empirical health production functions from the use of height which has not been adjusted for physical stature decline. Therefore, our results validate the use of height among the population aged over 50. PMID:24508050

  4. Pesticides are involved with population declines of amphibians in the California Sierra Nevadas.

    PubMed

    Sparling, D W; Fellers, G; McConnell, L

    2001-05-01

    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.

  5. Pesticides are involved with population declines of amphibians in the California Sierra Nevadas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.; Fellers, G.; McConnell, L.

    2001-01-01

    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.

  6. Toxicity of two insecticides to California, USA, anurans and its relevance to declining amphibian populations.

    PubMed

    Sparling, Donald W; Fellers, Gary M

    2009-08-01

    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 microg/L in P. regilla and 66.5 microg/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 microg/L for P. regilla and 0.55 microg/L for R. boylii. All R. boylii exposed to concentrations of greater than 0.8 microg/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.

  7. Achieving population-level violence declines: implications of the international crime drop for prevention programming.

    PubMed

    Eisner, Manuel; Nivette, Amy; Murray, Aja Louise; Krisch, Maria

    2016-09-01

    The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations for the period 2016-2030 aim to achieve a substantial reduction of interpersonal violence. An increasing body of evidence of what works, emerging from randomized controlled trials, can inform public health policy decisions. However, there is very limited evidence on the kinds of mechanisms that lead to sustained declines in interpersonal violence at the population level. We discuss the implications of what is known about recent major declines in violence to guide violence-reduction policies. PMID:27638243

  8. Achieving population-level violence declines: implications of the international crime drop for prevention programming.

    PubMed

    Eisner, Manuel; Nivette, Amy; Murray, Aja Louise; Krisch, Maria

    2016-09-01

    The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations for the period 2016-2030 aim to achieve a substantial reduction of interpersonal violence. An increasing body of evidence of what works, emerging from randomized controlled trials, can inform public health policy decisions. However, there is very limited evidence on the kinds of mechanisms that lead to sustained declines in interpersonal violence at the population level. We discuss the implications of what is known about recent major declines in violence to guide violence-reduction policies.

  9. Polar bear population dynamics in the southern Beaufort Sea during a period of sea ice decline.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-04-01

    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. PMID:26214910

  10. Polar bear population dynamics in the southern Beaufort Sea during a period of sea ice decline

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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.

  11. Polar bear population dynamics in the southern Beaufort Sea during a period of sea ice decline.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-04-01

    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.

  12. Demographic stochasticity in small remnant populations of the declining distylous plant Primula veris

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kery, M.; Matthies, D.; Schmid, B.

    2003-01-01

    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

  13. Emerging Infectious Disease Leads to Rapid Population Declines of Common British Birds

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2010-01-01

    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

  14. Survival and population size of a resident bird species are declining as temperature increases.

    PubMed

    Santisteban, Leonard; Benkman, Craig W; Fetz, Trevor; Smith, Julie W

    2012-03-01

    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.

  15. Survival and population size of a resident bird species are declining as temperature increases.

    PubMed

    Santisteban, Leonard; Benkman, Craig W; Fetz, Trevor; Smith, Julie W

    2012-03-01

    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. PMID:22010811

  16. A scaled-up system to evaluate zooplankton spatial avoidance and the population immediate decline concentration.

    PubMed

    Rosa, Rita; Materatski, Patrick; Moreira-Santos, Matilde; Sousa, José Paulo; Ribeiro, Rui

    2012-06-01

    Most laboratory tests may underestimate adverse effects in real scenarios of contamination because they imply the forced exposure of organisms to contaminants, thus overlooking the possibility of emigration. Avoidance from contaminants has been observed in several aquatic organisms, and avoidance-based tests have been recommended to be included in risk assessment studies. To reduce uncertainty in the extrapolation of laboratory derived results, the first aim of the present study was to compare both the median avoidance concentration and the lowest-observed-effect gradient (LOEG) values of atrazine for the cladoceran Daphnia magna, between an already developed 1.1-m-long system and a scaled-up system, three times longer. Second, the present study aimed at evaluating the population immediate decline--the proportion of the population that disappears (avoids and, if not, dies)--through the integration of the relationships between lethality and avoidance versus contaminant concentration. Daphnia magna significantly avoided atrazine, during 12-h exposures, with similar results in the original and scaled-up systems. The population immediate decline at the 48-h median lethal concentration would be 94%. Even at a concentration eliciting only 5% mortality, the population immediate decline would be over 50%. Achieving a higher pertinence of avoidance results and a better understanding of the LOEG values and their time dependence, scaling up the system further both spatially and temporally, and modeling explicit spatial dynamics in exposure and organism movement in space and time are needed.

  17. Attributing mortality among drivers of population decline in Acropora palmata in the Florida Keys (USA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, D. E.; Miller, M. W.

    2012-06-01

    Acropora palmata populations have experienced steep declines over the past 30 years. Although numerous culprits are recognized, their relative contributions to the decline are poorly quantified, making it difficult to prioritize effective conservation measures. In 2004, a demographic monitoring program was implemented in the Florida Keys (USA), aimed at determining the relative importance of various stressors affecting A. palmata. A subset of randomly selected A. palmata colonies within 15 fore-reef plots was tagged and surveyed three to four times per year over 7 years. Colony size, live tissue, prevalence of disease, snail ( Coralliophila abbreviata) predation, physical damage and other conditions were assessed at each survey. The estimated effect of each condition causing recent mortality was ranked, and together, these parameters were used to attribute the population-level tissue loss associated with each condition. In addition, all new colonies in the study plots were counted and assessed annually in order to track trends in total colony count and live tissue abundance. Between 2004 and 2010, the study population has shown more than 50% decline in live area from three main conditions: fragmentation, disease and snail predation. Approximately half of this decline occurred during the catastrophic 2005 hurricane season from which recovery has been minimal. Meanwhile, colony abundance has shown gradual decline throughout the study. Snail predation was the most prevalent condition. However, it ranked third in attributed tissue loss, behind breakage that occurred during the 2005 hurricane season, and disease. Thermal bleaching of A. palmata was not observed during this study. Because mortality continues to outpace recruitment and growth, intervention to ameliorate losses to the more manageable threats including predation and breakage could result in substantial conservation of live tissue, buying time for the abatement of less tractable threats to A. palmata

  18. Occupancy patterns of regionally declining grassland sparrow populations in a forested Pennsylvania landscape.

    PubMed

    Hill, Jason M; Diefenbach, Duane R

    2014-06-01

    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

  19. Occupancy patterns of regionally declining grassland sparrow populations in a forested Pennsylvania landscape.

    PubMed

    Hill, Jason M; Diefenbach, Duane R

    2014-06-01

    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

  20. Diclofenac residues as the cause of vulture population decline in Pakistan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

    2004-01-01

    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.

  1. Ancient and Contemporary DNA Reveal a Pre-Human Decline but No Population Bottleneck Associated with Recent Human Persecution in the Kea (Nestor notabilis)

    PubMed Central

    Dussex, Nicolas; Rawlence, Nicolas J.; Robertson, Bruce C.

    2015-01-01

    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

  2. Ancient and contemporary DNA reveal a pre-human decline but no population bottleneck associated with recent human persecution in the kea (Nestor notabilis).

    PubMed

    Dussex, Nicolas; Rawlence, Nicolas J; Robertson, Bruce C

    2015-01-01

    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

  3. Population-specific demographic estimates provide insights into declines of Lark Buntings (Calamospiza melanocorys)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yackel Adams, A.A.; Skagen, S.K.; Savidge, J.A.

    2007-01-01

    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.

  4. Role of egg predation by haddock in the decline of an Atlantic herring population.

    PubMed

    Richardson, David E; Hare, Jonathan A; Fogarty, Michael J; Link, Jason S

    2011-08-16

    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.

  5. Climate change selects for heterozygosity in a declining fur seal population.

    PubMed

    Forcada, Jaume; Hoffman, Joseph Ivan

    2014-07-24

    Global environmental change is expected to alter selection pressures in many biological systems, but the long-term molecular and life history data required to quantify changes in selection are rare. An unusual opportunity is afforded by three decades of individual-based data collected from a declining population of Antarctic fur seals in the South Atlantic. Here, climate change has reduced prey availability and caused a significant decline in seal birth weight. However, the mean age and size of females recruiting into the breeding population are increasing. We show that such females have significantly higher heterozygosity (a measure of within-individual genetic variation) than their non-recruiting siblings and their own mothers. Thus, breeding female heterozygosity has increased by 8.5% per generation over the last two decades. Nonetheless, as heterozygosity is not inherited from mothers to daughters, substantial heterozygote advantage is not transmitted from one generation to the next and the decreasing viability of homozygous individuals causes the population to decline. Our results provide compelling evidence that selection due to climate change is intensifying, with far-reaching consequences for demography as well as phenotypic and genetic variation. PMID:25056064

  6. Climate change selects for heterozygosity in a declining fur seal population.

    PubMed

    Forcada, Jaume; Hoffman, Joseph Ivan

    2014-07-24

    Global environmental change is expected to alter selection pressures in many biological systems, but the long-term molecular and life history data required to quantify changes in selection are rare. An unusual opportunity is afforded by three decades of individual-based data collected from a declining population of Antarctic fur seals in the South Atlantic. Here, climate change has reduced prey availability and caused a significant decline in seal birth weight. However, the mean age and size of females recruiting into the breeding population are increasing. We show that such females have significantly higher heterozygosity (a measure of within-individual genetic variation) than their non-recruiting siblings and their own mothers. Thus, breeding female heterozygosity has increased by 8.5% per generation over the last two decades. Nonetheless, as heterozygosity is not inherited from mothers to daughters, substantial heterozygote advantage is not transmitted from one generation to the next and the decreasing viability of homozygous individuals causes the population to decline. Our results provide compelling evidence that selection due to climate change is intensifying, with far-reaching consequences for demography as well as phenotypic and genetic variation.

  7. Demographic models and IPCC climate projections predict the decline of an emperor penguin population

    PubMed Central

    Jenouvrier, Stéphanie; Caswell, Hal; Barbraud, Christophe; Holland, Marika; Strœve, Julienne; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2009-01-01

    Studies have reported important effects of recent climate change on Antarctic species, but there has been to our knowledge no attempt to explicitly link those results to forecasted population responses to climate change. Antarctic sea ice extent (SIE) is projected to shrink as concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs) increase, and emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri) are extremely sensitive to these changes because they use sea ice as a breeding, foraging and molting habitat. We project emperor penguin population responses to future sea ice changes, using a stochastic population model that combines a unique long-term demographic dataset (1962–2005) from a colony in Terre Adélie, Antarctica and projections of SIE from General Circulation Models (GCM) of Earth's climate included in the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report. We show that the increased frequency of warm events associated with projected decreases in SIE will reduce the population viability. The probability of quasi-extinction (a decline of 95% or more) is at least 36% by 2100. The median population size is projected to decline from ≈6,000 to ≈400 breeding pairs over this period. To avoid extinction, emperor penguins will have to adapt, migrate or change the timing of their growth stages. However, given the future projected increases in GHGs and its effect on Antarctic climate, evolution or migration seem unlikely for such long lived species at the remote southern end of the Earth. PMID:19171908

  8. Demographic models and IPCC climate projections predict the decline of an emperor penguin population.

    PubMed

    Jenouvrier, Stéphanie; Caswell, Hal; Barbraud, Christophe; Holland, Marika; Stroeve, Julienne; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2009-02-10

    Studies have reported important effects of recent climate change on Antarctic species, but there has been to our knowledge no attempt to explicitly link those results to forecasted population responses to climate change. Antarctic sea ice extent (SIE) is projected to shrink as concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs) increase, and emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri) are extremely sensitive to these changes because they use sea ice as a breeding, foraging and molting habitat. We project emperor penguin population responses to future sea ice changes, using a stochastic population model that combines a unique long-term demographic dataset (1962-2005) from a colony in Terre Adélie, Antarctica and projections of SIE from General Circulation Models (GCM) of Earth's climate included in the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report. We show that the increased frequency of warm events associated with projected decreases in SIE will reduce the population viability. The probability of quasi-extinction (a decline of 95% or more) is at least 36% by 2100. The median population size is projected to decline from approximately 6,000 to approximately 400 breeding pairs over this period. To avoid extinction, emperor penguins will have to adapt, migrate or change the timing of their growth stages. However, given the future projected increases in GHGs and its effect on Antarctic climate, evolution or migration seem unlikely for such long lived species at the remote southern end of the Earth.

  9. Global climate change, war, and population decline in recent human history

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, David D.; Brecke, Peter; Lee, Harry F.; He, Yuan-Qing; Zhang, Jane

    2007-01-01

    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

  10. Further evidence for historical decline of Antarctic sea ice prior to satellite survey era?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gersonde, Rainer; Esper, Oliver; Lohmann, Gerrit; Knorr, Gregor

    2013-04-01

    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 [3] and combinations of observations with numerical modeling [4]. 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. [1] de la Mare, W. K. 2009. Clim. Change 92,461-493; [2] Cotté, C., Guinet, C. 2007. Deep

  11. Declines of greater and lesser scaup populations: issues, hypotheses, and research needs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Austin, J.E.; Afton, A.D.; Anderson, M.G.; Clark, R.G.; Custer, Christine M.; Lawrence, J.; Pollard, J.B.; Ringelman, J.K.

    2000-01-01

    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

  12. Toxicity of two insecticides to California, USA, anurans and its relevance to declining amphibian populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.; Fellers, G.M.

    2009-01-01

    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.

  13. Mixed Fortunes: Ancient Expansion and Recent Decline in Population Size of a Subtropical Montane Primate, the Arunachal Macaque Macaca munzala

    PubMed Central

    Chakraborty, Debapriyo; Sinha, Anindya; Ramakrishnan, Uma

    2014-01-01

    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

  14. Mixed fortunes: ancient expansion and recent decline in population size of a subtropical montane primate, the Arunachal macaque Macaca munzala.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Debapriyo; Sinha, Anindya; Ramakrishnan, Uma

    2014-01-01

    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

  15. Mixed fortunes: ancient expansion and recent decline in population size of a subtropical montane primate, the Arunachal macaque Macaca munzala.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Debapriyo; Sinha, Anindya; Ramakrishnan, Uma

    2014-01-01

    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

  16. Causes and consequences of marine mammal population declines in southwest Alaska: a food-web perspective.

    PubMed

    Estes, J A; Doak, D F; Springer, A M; Williams, T M

    2009-06-27

    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

  17. Causes and consequences of marine mammal population declines in southwest Alaska: a food-web perspective

    PubMed Central

    Estes, J.A.; Doak, D.F.; Springer, A.M.; Williams, T.M.

    2009-01-01

    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

  18. Historic occurrence of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in hellbender Cryptobranchus alleganiensis populations from Missouri.

    PubMed

    Bodinof, Catherine M; Briggler, Jeffrey T; Duncan, Mary C; Beringer, Jeff; Millspaugh, Joshua J

    2011-08-29

    The pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) was recently detected in Missouri hellbender Cryptobranchus alleganiensis populations that have declined precipitously for unclear reasons. The objective of this study was to determine whether Bd occurred historically in Missouri hellbender populations or is a relatively novel occurrence. Epidermal tissue was removed from 216 archived hellbenders collected from 7 Missouri streams between 1896 and 1994. Histological techniques and an immunoperoxidase stain were used to confirm historic occurrence of Bd infection in hellbenders from the North Fork of the White (1969, 1973, 1975), Meramec (1975, 1986), Big Piney (1986), and Current rivers (1988). Bd was not detected in hellbenders from the Niangua, Gasconade or Eleven Point rivers. The study detected no evidence for endemism of Bd in Missouri hellbender populations prior to 1969, despite the fact that nearly one third of the hellbenders sampled were collected earlier. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that Bd is a non-endemic pathogen in North America that was introduced in the second half of the twentieth century. PMID:21991660

  19. A plant toxin mediated mechanism for the lag in snowshoe hare population recovery following cyclic declines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeAngelis, Donald L.; Bryant, John P.; Liu, Rongsong; Gourley, Stephen A.; Krebs, Charles J; Reichardt, Paul B

    2015-01-01

    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.

  20. Quantifying behavioral changes in territorial animals caused by sudden population declines.

    PubMed

    Potts, Jonathan R; Harris, Stephen; Giuggioli, Luca

    2013-09-01

    Although territorial animals are able to maintain exclusive use of certain regions of space, movement data from neighboring individuals often suggest overlapping home ranges. To explain and unify these two aspects of animal space use, we use recently developed mechanistic models of collective animal movement. We apply our approach to a natural experiment on an urban red fox (Vulpes vulpes) population that underwent a rapid decline in population density due to a sarcoptic mange epizooty. By extracting details of movement and interaction strategies from location data, we show how foxes alter their behavior, taking advantage of sudden population-level changes by acquiring areas vacated due to neighbor mortality, while ensuring territory boundaries remain contiguous. The rate of territory border movement increased eightfold as the population declined and the foxes' response time to neighboring scent reduced by a third. By demonstrating how observed, fluctuating territorial patterns emerge from movements and interactions of individual animals, our results give the first data-validated, mechanistic explanation of the elastic disc hypothesis, proposed nearly 80 years ago. PMID:23933730

  1. Infection dynamics in frog populations with different histories of decline caused by a deadly disease.

    PubMed

    Sapsford, Sarah J; Voordouw, Maarten J; Alford, Ross A; Schwarzkopf, Lin

    2015-12-01

    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. PMID:26293680

  2. Infection dynamics in frog populations with different histories of decline caused by a deadly disease.

    PubMed

    Sapsford, Sarah J; Voordouw, Maarten J; Alford, Ross A; Schwarzkopf, Lin

    2015-12-01

    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.

  3. Life-history traits and population decline of the Atlantic mackerel Scomber scombrusin the Adriatic Sea.

    PubMed

    Meneghesso, C; Riginella, E; La Mesa, M; Donato, F; Mazzoldi, C

    2013-11-01

    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.

  4. Mammoth tracks indicate a declining Late Pleistocene population in southwestern Alberta, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNeil, Paul; Hills, L. V.; Kooyman, B.; Tolman, Shayne M.

    2005-05-01

    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.

  5. Declining wild salmon populations in relation to parasites from farm salmon.

    PubMed

    Krkosek, Martin; Ford, Jennifer S; Morton, Alexandra; Lele, Subhash; Myers, Ransom A; Lewis, Mark A

    2007-12-14

    Rather than benefiting wild fish, industrial aquaculture may contribute to declines in ocean fisheries and ecosystems. Farm salmon are commonly infected with salmon lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis), which are native ectoparasitic copepods. We show that recurrent louse infestations of wild juvenile pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha), all associated with salmon farms, have depressed wild pink salmon populations and placed them on a trajectory toward rapid local extinction. The louse-induced mortality of pink salmon is commonly over 80% and exceeds previous fishing mortality. If outbreaks continue, then local extinction is certain, and a 99% collapse in pink salmon population abundance is expected in four salmon generations. These results suggest that salmon farms can cause parasite outbreaks that erode the capacity of a coastal ecosystem to support wild salmon populations.

  6. Population declines lead to replicate patterns of internal range structure at the tips of the distribution of the California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Richmond, Jonathan Q.; Backlin, Adam R.; Tatarian, Patricia J.; Solvesky, Ben G.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2014-01-01

    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

  7. Chytridiomycosis and amphibian population declines continue to spread eastward in Panama.

    PubMed

    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

    2008-09-01

    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.

  8. Chytridiomycosis and amphibian population declines continue to spread eastward in Panama.

    PubMed

    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

    2008-09-01

    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. PMID:18807089

  9. Physiological condition of bank voles (Myodes glareolus) during the increase and decline phases of the population cycle.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-09-01

    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.

  10. Declines in fertility levels evident in Africa, notes UN Population Fund.

    PubMed

    Ofosu-amaah, V

    1998-01-01

    This article reports on the UN Population Fund's (UNFPA) African regional meeting that was held in November 1997. The meeting was attended by an assortment of UNFPA representatives and program staff. This meeting followed up the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and 1995 regional meetings on the 1994 Plan of Action. These prior meetings emphasized the link between population and development and the urgency of meeting the needs of individual women and men in a people-centered approach to development, rather than a target oriented one. The 1997 meeting reviewed the progress made toward achieving the goals of the 1994 plan of action by the UNFPA. UNFPA aims to decentralize operations, to play a role in emergency situations, to encourage South-to-South cooperation, to advocate for reproductive rights, and to promote gender equity and women's empowerment. The meeting discussed UNFPA's role in reproductive health, population and development strategies, and advocacy in detail. Participants agreed that there were signs of fertility decline in Africa. Countries are beginning to adopt a reproductive health and rights approach and to address female genital mutilation as a human and reproductive right's issue. Population policies are being changed to include ICPD goals. 32 countries adopted new programs in 1996 and 1997, that integrated the 1994 strategies and selectively focused on issues of concern. Partnerships confirm that population issues are becoming an agenda for all. The major challenge ahead is the mobilization of resources, while dealing with civil strife and political instability.

  11. Employment problems under declining population growth rates and structural change: the case of Yugoslavia.

    PubMed

    Macura, M

    1974-01-01

    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

  12. Extensive population decline in the Tasmanian devil predates European settlement and devil facial tumour disease

    PubMed Central

    Brüniche-Olsen, Anna; Jones, Menna E.; Austin, Jeremy J.; Burridge, Christopher P.; Holland, Barbara R.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25376800

  13. Chronic Wasting Disease Drives Population Decline of White-Tailed Deer.

    PubMed

    Edmunds, David R; Kauffman, Matthew J; Schumaker, Brant A; Lindzey, Frederick G; Cook, Walter E; Kreeger, Terry J; Grogan, Ronald G; Cornish, Todd E

    2016-01-01

    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

  14. Chronic Wasting Disease Drives Population Decline of White-Tailed Deer.

    PubMed

    Edmunds, David R; Kauffman, Matthew J; Schumaker, Brant A; Lindzey, Frederick G; Cook, Walter E; Kreeger, Terry J; Grogan, Ronald G; Cornish, Todd E

    2016-01-01

    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.

  15. Chronic Wasting Disease Drives Population Decline of White-Tailed Deer

    PubMed Central

    Kauffman, Matthew J.; Schumaker, Brant A.; Lindzey, Frederick G.; Cook, Walter E.; Kreeger, Terry J.; Grogan, Ronald G.; Cornish, Todd E.

    2016-01-01

    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

  16. Cognitive decline in short and long sleepers: A prospective population-based study (NEDICES)

    PubMed Central

    Benito-León, Julián; Louis, Elan D.; Bermejo-Pareja, Félix

    2013-01-01

    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

  17. Evidence for declines in human population densities during the early Upper Paleolithic in western Europe

    PubMed Central

    Morin, Eugène

    2008-01-01

    In western Europe, the Middle to Upper Paleolithic (M/UP) transition, dated between ≈35,000 and ≈40,000 radiocarbon years, corresponded to a period of major human biological and cultural changes. However, information on human population densities is scarce for that period. New faunal data from the high-resolution record of Saint-Césaire, France, indicate an episode of significant climatic deterioration during the early Upper Paleolithic (EUP), which also was associated with a reduction in mammalian species diversity. High correlations between ethnographic data and mammalian species diversity suggest that this shift decreased human population densities. Reliance on reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), a highly fluctuating resource, would also have promoted declines in human population densities. These data suggest that the EUP represented for humans a period of significant niche contraction in western Europe. In this context, the possibility that a modern human expansion occurred in this region seems low. Instead, it is suggested that population bottlenecks, genetic drift, and gene flow prevailed over human population replacement as mechanisms of evolution in humans during the EUP. PMID:18172204

  18. Agriculture modifies the seasonal decline of breeding success in a tropical wild bird population

    PubMed Central

    Cartwright, Samantha J; Nicoll, Malcolm A C; Jones, Carl G; Tatayah, Vikash; Norris, Ken

    2014-01-01

    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

  19. Assay dependence of Brucella antibody prevalence in a declining Alaskan harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) population

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    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

  20. Modeling routes of chronic wasting disease transmission: Environmental prion persistence promotes deer population decline and extinction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Almberg, Emily S.; Cross, Paul C.; Johnson, Christopher J.; Heisey, Dennis M.; Richards, Bryan J.

    2011-01-01

    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.

  1. Vitamin D as a marker of cognitive decline in elderly Indian population

    PubMed Central

    Vedak, Tejal Kanhaiya; Ganwir, Vaishali; Shah, Arun B.; Pinto, Charles; Lele, Vikram R.; Subramanyam, Alka; Shah, Hina; Deo, Sudha Shrikant

    2015-01-01

    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

  2. Activity patterns and time budgets of the declining sea otter population at Amchitka Island, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gelatt, Thomas S.; Siniff, Donald B.; Estes, James A.

    2002-01-01

    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.

  3. West Nile virus emergence and large-scale declines of North American bird populations.

    PubMed

    LaDeau, Shannon L; Kilpatrick, A Marm; Marra, Peter P

    2007-06-01

    Emerging infectious diseases present a formidable challenge to the conservation of native species in the twenty-first century. Diseases caused by introduced pathogens have had large impacts on species abundances, including the American chestnut, Hawaiian bird species and many amphibians. Changes in host population sizes can lead to marked shifts in community composition and ecosystem functioning. However, identifying the impacts of an introduced disease and distinguishing it from other forces that influence population dynamics (for example, climate) is challenging and requires abundance data that extend before and after the introduction. Here we use 26 yr of Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data to determine the impact of West Nile virus (WNV) on 20 potential avian hosts across North America. We demonstrate significant changes in population trajectories for seven species from four families that concur with a priori predictions and the spatio-temporal intensity of pathogen transmission. The American crow population declined by up to 45% since WNV arrival, and only two of the seven species with documented impact recovered to pre-WNV levels by 2005. Our findings demonstrate the potential impacts of an invasive species on a diverse faunal assemblage across broad geographical scales, and underscore the complexity of subsequent community response.

  4. Can Individual and Social Patterns of Resource Use Buffer Animal Populations against Resource Decline?

    PubMed Central

    Banks, Sam C.; Lindenmayer, David B.; Wood, Jeff T.; McBurney, Lachlan; Blair, David; Blyton, Michaela D. J.

    2013-01-01

    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

  5. Optimum contribution selection for conserved populations with historic migration

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background In recent decades, local varieties of domesticated animal species have been frequently crossed with economically superior breeds which has resulted in considerable genetic contributions from migrants. Optimum contribution selection by maximizing gene diversity while constraining breeding values of the offspring or vice versa could eventually lead to the extinction of local breeds with historic migration because maximization of gene diversity or breeding values would be achieved by maximization of migrant contributions. Therefore, other objective functions are needed for these breeds. Results Different objective functions and side constraints were compared with respect to their ability to reduce migrant contributions, to increase the genome equivalents originating from native founders, and to conserve gene diversity. Additionally, a new method for monitoring the development of effective size for breeds with incomplete pedigree records was applied. Approaches were compared for Vorderwald cattle, Hinterwald cattle, and Limpurg cattle. Migrant contributions could be substantially decreased for these three breeds, but the potential to increase the native genome equivalents is limited. Conclusions The most promising approach was constraining migrant contributions while maximizing the conditional probability that two alleles randomly chosen from the offspring population are not identical by descent, given that both descend from native founders. PMID:23153196

  6. [A determinant study on population increasing and declining in Chinese feudal society].

    PubMed

    Zhai, Z

    1991-02-01

    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

  7. Habitat split as a cause of local population declines of amphibians with aquatic larvae.

    PubMed

    Becker, C Guilherme; Fonseca, Carlos R; Haddad, Célio F B; Prado, Paulo I

    2010-02-01

    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.

  8. Ecophysiology meets conservation: understanding the role of disease in amphibian population declines

    PubMed Central

    Blaustein, Andrew R.; Gervasi, Stephanie S.; Johnson, Pieter T. J.; Hoverman, Jason T.; Belden, Lisa K.; Bradley, Paul W.; Xie, Gisselle Y.

    2012-01-01

    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

  9. Ecophysiology meets conservation: understanding the role of disease in amphibian population declines.

    PubMed

    Blaustein, Andrew R; Gervasi, Stephanie S; Johnson, Pieter T J; Hoverman, Jason T; Belden, Lisa K; Bradley, Paul W; Xie, Gisselle Y

    2012-06-19

    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.

  10. Microbial infections in a declining wild turkey population in Texas (USA)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, T.E.; Yuill, Thomas M.

    1987-01-01

    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.

  11. COST ESTIMATION FOR WASTEWATER TREATMENT SYSTEMS FOCUSING ON POPULATION DECLINING IN SANITATION COVE RAGE AREA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  12. UV repair and resistance to solar UV-B in amphibian eggs: a link to population declines?

    PubMed

    Blaustein, A R; Hoffman, P D; Hokit, D G; Kiesecker, J M; Walls, S C; Hays, J B

    1994-03-01

    The populations of many amphibian species, in widely scattered habitats, appear to be in severe decline; other amphibians show no such declines. There is no known single cause for the declines, but their widespread distribution suggests involvement of global agents--increased UV-B radiation, for example. We addressed the hypothesis that differential sensitivity among species to UV radiation contributes to these population declines. We focused on species-specific differences in the abilities of eggs to repair UV radiation damage to DNA and differential hatching success of embryos exposed to solar radiation at natural oviposition sites. Quantitative comparisons of activities of a key UV-damage-specific repair enzyme, photolyase, among oocytes and eggs from 10 amphibian species were reproducibly characteristic for a given species but varied > 80-fold among the species. Levels of photolyase generally correlated with expected exposure of eggs to sunlight. Among the frog and toad species studied, the highest activity was shown by the Pacific treefrog (Hyla regilla), whose populations are not known to be in decline. The Western toad (Bufo boreas) and the Cascades frog (Rana cascadae), whose populations have declined markedly, showed significantly lower photolyase levels. In field experiments, the hatching success of embryos exposed to UV radiation was significantly greater in H. regilla than in R. cascadae and B. boreas. Moreover, in R. cascadae and B. boreas, hatching success was greater in regimes shielded from UV radiation compared with regimes that allowed UV radiation. These observations are thus consistent with the UV-sensitivity hypothesis. PMID:8127883

  13. Fertility rates and future population trends: will Europe's birth rate recover or continue to decline?

    PubMed

    Lutz, Wolfgang

    2006-02-01

    Europe has long completed its demographic transition from high birth and death rates to low birth and death rates. But the demographic transition paradigm that has been very useful for explaining global demographic trends during the 20th century and that still has strong predictive power when it comes to projecting future trends in countries that still have high fertility, has nothing to say about the future of fertility in Europe. The currently popular notion of a 'second demographic transition' is a useful way to describe a bundle of behavioural and normative changes that recently happened in Europe, but it has no predictive power. The social sciences have not yet come up with a useful theory to predict the future fertility level of post-demographic transition societies. We even do not know whether the trend will be up or down. Given the lack of a predictive theory, this paper will try to do two things: (i) Summarize different substantive arguments that would either suggest the assumption of a recovery of fertility rates in Europe or alternatively, imply further declines. (ii) Convert this discussion of the uncertainty of future fertility trends into probabilistic population projections for Europe, thus highlighting the implications of alternative fertility levels over the coming years. We will also discuss trade-offs between fertility and immigration, and the phenomenon that Europe now has entered a period of negative momentum of population growth.

  14. Population Dynamics of the Critically Endangered Golden Lancehead Pitviper, Bothrops insularis: Stability or Decline?

    PubMed Central

    Guimarães, Murilo; Munguía-Steyer, Roberto; Doherty, Paul F.; Martins, Marcio; Sawaya, Ricardo J.

    2014-01-01

    Little is known about vital rates of snakes generally because of the difficulty in collecting data. Here we used a robust design mark-recapture model to estimate survival, behavioral effects on capture probability, temporary emigration, abundance and test the hypothesis of population decline in the golden lancehead pitviper, Bothrops insularis, an endemic and critically endangered species from southeastern Brazil. We collected data at irregular intervals over ten occasions from 2002 to 2010. Survival was slightly higher in the wet season than in the dry season. Temporal emigration was high, indicating the importance of accounting for this parameter both in the sampling design and modeling. No behavioral effects were detected on capture probability. We detected an average annual population decrease ( = 0.93, CI = 0.47–1.38) during the study period, but estimates included high uncertainty, and caution in interpretation is needed. We discuss the potential effects of the illegal removal of individuals and the implications of the vital rates obtained for the future persistence and conservation of this endemic, endangered species. PMID:24755842

  15. Unravelling the annual cycle in a migratory animal: breeding-season habitat loss drives population declines of monarch butterflies.

    PubMed

    Flockhart, D T Tyler; Pichancourt, Jean-Baptiste; Norris, D Ryan; Martin, Tara G

    2015-01-01

    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

  16. Unravelling the annual cycle in a migratory animal: breeding-season habitat loss drives population declines of monarch butterflies.

    PubMed

    Flockhart, D T Tyler; Pichancourt, Jean-Baptiste; Norris, D Ryan; Martin, Tara G

    2015-01-01

    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

  17. Population Structure, Historical Biogeography and Demographic History of the Alpine Toad Scutiger ningshanensis in the Tsinling Mountains of Central China

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Hongzhe; Li, Xiaochen; Qiao, Penghai

    2014-01-01

    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

  18. Population structure, historical biogeography and demographic history of the alpine toad Scutiger ningshanensis in the Tsinling Mountains of Central China.

    PubMed

    Meng, Hongzhe; Li, Xiaochen; Qiao, Penghai

    2014-01-01

    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

  19. Pathogens, nutritional deficiency, and climate influences on a declining moose population

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murray, D.L.; Cox, E.W.; Ballard, W.B.; Whitlaw, H.A.; Lenarz, M.S.; Custer, T.W.; Barnett, T.; Fuller, T.K.

    2006-01-01

    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

  20. Local and global influences on population declines of coastal waders: Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima numbers in the Moray Firth, Scotland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Summers, Ron W.; Foster, Simon; Swann, Bob; Etheridge, Brian

    2012-05-01

    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

  1. Allegheny woodrat (Neotoma magister) captive propagation to promote recovery of declining populations.

    PubMed

    Smyser, Timothy J; Swihart, Robert K

    2014-01-01

    The Allegheny woodrat (Neotoma magister) is endemic to the eastern United States with local distributions restricted to rocky habitats within deciduous forests. Over the last 40 years, woodrats have declined precipitously due to an array of human-mediated pressures. There is growing interest in the captive propagation of woodrats as a tool to promote in situ conservation, but their solitary social structure, territorial behavior, and low fecundity present challenges for the attainment of levels of ex situ reproduction sufficient to support reintroduction programs. In 2009 we established a captive breeding program with 12 wild-caught individuals (4.8) collected from Indiana and Pennsylvania. Restricting breeding to wild-caught individuals, over 26 months we produced 19 litters comprised of 43 pups (26.17), of which 40 (24.16) survived to weaning. In sum, wild-caught individuals readily habituated to the captive environment and the low fecundity of woodrats was offset by high survival rates for both adults and juveniles. Therefore, when managed appropriately, captive Allegheny woodrat populations should be capable of supporting the release of surplus individuals to augment in situ conservation measures. PMID:24391017

  2. Projected risk of population declines for native fish species in the Upper Mississippi River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Crimmins, S.M.; Boma, P.; Thogmartin, W.E.

    2015-01-01

    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.

  3. Dual-pathogen etiology of avian trichomonosis in a declining band-tailed pigeon population.

    PubMed

    Girard, Yvette A; Rogers, Krysta H; Woods, Leslie W; Chouicha, Nadira; Miller, Woutrina A; Johnson, Christine K

    2014-06-01

    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.

  4. Allegheny woodrat (Neotoma magister) captive propagation to promote recovery of declining populations.

    PubMed

    Smyser, Timothy J; Swihart, Robert K

    2014-01-01

    The Allegheny woodrat (Neotoma magister) is endemic to the eastern United States with local distributions restricted to rocky habitats within deciduous forests. Over the last 40 years, woodrats have declined precipitously due to an array of human-mediated pressures. There is growing interest in the captive propagation of woodrats as a tool to promote in situ conservation, but their solitary social structure, territorial behavior, and low fecundity present challenges for the attainment of levels of ex situ reproduction sufficient to support reintroduction programs. In 2009 we established a captive breeding program with 12 wild-caught individuals (4.8) collected from Indiana and Pennsylvania. Restricting breeding to wild-caught individuals, over 26 months we produced 19 litters comprised of 43 pups (26.17), of which 40 (24.16) survived to weaning. In sum, wild-caught individuals readily habituated to the captive environment and the low fecundity of woodrats was offset by high survival rates for both adults and juveniles. Therefore, when managed appropriately, captive Allegheny woodrat populations should be capable of supporting the release of surplus individuals to augment in situ conservation measures.

  5. A review of possible causes of nutrient enrichment and decline of endangered sucker populations in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bortleson, Gilbert C.; Fretwell, Marvin O.

    1993-01-01

    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.

  6. Benzodiazepine use and risk of incident dementia or cognitive decline: prospective population based study

    PubMed Central

    Dublin, Sascha; Yu, Onchee; Walker, Rod; Anderson, Melissa; Hubbard, Rebecca A; Crane, Paul K; Larson, Eric B

    2016-01-01

    Objective To determine whether higher cumulative use of benzodiazepines is associated with a higher risk of dementia or more rapid cognitive decline. Design Prospective population based cohort. Setting Integrated healthcare delivery system, Seattle, Washington. Participants 3434 participants aged ≥65 without dementia at study entry. There were two rounds of recruitment (1994-96 and 2000-03) followed by continuous enrollment beginning in 2004. Main outcomes measures The cognitive abilities screening instrument (CASI) was administered every two years to screen for dementia and was used to examine cognitive trajectory. Incident dementia and Alzheimer’s disease were determined with standard diagnostic criteria. Benzodiazepine exposure was defined from computerized pharmacy data and consisted of the total standardized daily doses (TSDDs) dispensed over a 10 year period (a rolling window that moved forward in time during follow-up). The most recent year was excluded because of possible use for prodromal symptoms. Multivariable Cox proportional hazard models were used to examine time varying use of benzodiazepine and dementia risk. Analyses of cognitive trajectory used linear regression models with generalized estimating equations. Results Over a mean follow-up of 7.3 years, 797 participants (23.2%) developed dementia, of whom 637 developed Alzheimer’s disease. For dementia, the adjusted hazard ratios associated with cumulative benzodiazepine use compared with non-use were 1.25 (95% confidence interval 1.03 to 1.51) for 1-30 TSDDs; 1.31 (1.00 to 1.71) for 31-120 TSDDs; and 1.07 (0.82 to 1.39) for ≥121 TSDDs. Results were similar for Alzheimer’s disease. Higher benzodiazepine use was not associated with more rapid cognitive decline. Conclusion The risk of dementia is slightly higher in people with minimal exposure to benzodiazepines but not with the highest level of exposure. These results do not support a causal association between benzodiazepine use and

  7. Culturable bacterial populations associated with ectomycorrhizae of Norway spruce stands with different degrees of decline in the Czech Republic.

    PubMed

    Avidano, Lorena; Rinaldi, Maurizio; Gindro, Roberto; Cudlín, Pavel; Martinotti, Maria Giovanna; Fracchia, Letizia

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine which species of culturable bacteria are associated with ectomycorrhizae (ECM) of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst) in the Sudety Mountains, exposed for years to atmospheric pollutants, acid rain, and climatic stress, and to identify particular species that have adapted to those conditions. Biolog identification was performed on bacterial species from ECM of adult spruce trees and seedlings of stands with low, intermediate, and high forest decline. Bacterial diversity in ECM associated with adult spruce trees, seedlings, and seedlings grown on monoliths was calculated; although the expected values appeared to vary widely, no significant differences among sites were observed. Dendrograms based on the identified bacterial species showed that stands with low forest decline clustered separately from the others. Principal component analysis of the normalized data for ECM-associated species showed a clear separation between stands with high forest decline and stands with low forest decline for seedlings and a less evident separation for adult spruce trees. In conclusion, shifts in ECM-associated culturable bacterial populations seem to be associated with forest decline in Norway spruce stands. Some bacterial species were preferentially associated with mycorrhizal roots depending on the degree of forest decline; this was more evident in seedlings where the species Burkholderia cepacia and Pseudomonas fluorescens were associated with, respectively, ECM of the most damaged stands and those with low forest decline.

  8. Genetic Diversity of Plasmodium falciparum Populations in Malaria Declining Areas of Sabah, East Malaysia

    PubMed Central

    Mohd Abd Razak, Mohd Ridzuan; Sastu, Umi Rubiah; Norahmad, Nor Azrina; Abdul-Karim, Abass; Muhammad, Amirrudin; Muniandy, Prem Kumar; Jelip, Jenarun; Rundi, Christina; Imwong, Mallika; Mudin, Rose Nani; Abdullah, Noor Rain

    2016-01-01

    .532). The genetic data from the present study highlighted the limited diversity and contrasting genetic pattern of P. falciparum populations in the malaria declining areas of Sabah. PMID:27023787

  9. Genetic Diversity of Plasmodium falciparum Populations in Malaria Declining Areas of Sabah, East Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Mohd Abd Razak, Mohd Ridzuan; Sastu, Umi Rubiah; Norahmad, Nor Azrina; Abdul-Karim, Abass; Muhammad, Amirrudin; Muniandy, Prem Kumar; Jelip, Jenarun; Rundi, Christina; Imwong, Mallika; Mudin, Rose Nani; Abdullah, Noor Rain

    2016-01-01

    .532). The genetic data from the present study highlighted the limited diversity and contrasting genetic pattern of P. falciparum populations in the malaria declining areas of Sabah.

  10. Managing habitat to slow or reverse population declines of the Columbia spotted frog in the Northern Great Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pilliod, David S.; Richard D. Scherer,

    2015-01-01

    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

  11. Mitochondrial DNA Regionalism and Historical Demography in the Extant Populations of Chirocephalus kerkyrensis (Branchiopoda: Anostraca)

    PubMed Central

    Ketmaier, Valerio; Marrone, Federico; Alfonso, Giuseppe; Paulus, Kirsten; Wiemann, Annika; Tiedemann, Ralph; Mura, Graziella

    2012-01-01

    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

  12. Falling Back: The Declining Socioeconomic Status of the Mexican Immigrant Population in the U.S., 1980-1990.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rivera-Batiz, Francisco L.

    This report presents data showing that the socioeconomic status of Mexican immigrants in the United States fell sharply behind that of the total native-born population during the 1980s and also declined relative to that of Mexican Americans. Data from the 1980 and 1990 censuses demonstrate that during the 1980s, the earnings and per capita income…

  13. Loss of sagebrush ecosystems and declining bird populations in the Intermountain West: Priority research issues and information needs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    U.S. Geological Survey

    2002-01-01

    Sagebrush lands in the Intermountain West are declining rapidly in quality and extent. Consequently, populations of many bird species dependent on these ecosystems also are declining. The greater sage-grouse has been petitioned for listing as a threatened and endangered species, and other species of sagebrush-obligate birds have special conservation status in most states. We identified the primary issues and information needs during a multi-agency workshop, conducted in response to concerns by management agencies related to declining bird population trends in sagebrush habitats. Priority needs were to (1) obtain a better understanding of bird response to habitat and landscape features, (2) develop monitoring designs to sample habitats and bird populations, (3) determine the effects of land use on sagebrush habitats and dependent bird species, and (4) identify linkages between breeding and wintering ranges. This agenda will identify causes and mechanisms of population declines in birds dependent on sagebrush ecosystems and will lead to better management of the ecosystems upon which they depend.

  14. Airborne Pesticides as an Unlikely Cause for Population Declines of Alpine Frogs in the Sierra Nevada, California

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

  15. Contaminants in eggs of western snowy plovers and California least terns: Is there a link to population decline?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hothem, R.L.; Powell, A.N.

    2000-01-01

    Patterns of reproductive failure in declining populations of several European and North American raptorial species were duplicated experimentally with captive American sparrow hawks Falco sparverius that were given a diet containing two commonly used organochlorine insecticides. Major effects on reproduction were increased egg disappearance, increased egg destruction by parent birds, and reduced eggshell thickness.

  16. Sudden deaths and colony population decline in Greek honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

    Bacandritsos, N; Granato, A; Budge, G; Papanastasiou, I; Roinioti, E; Caldon, M; Falcaro, C; Gallina, A; Mutinelli, F

    2010-11-01

    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.

  17. Dual-pathogen etiology of avian trichomonosis in a declining band-tailed pigeon population.

    PubMed

    Girard, Yvette A; Rogers, Krysta H; Woods, Leslie W; Chouicha, Nadira; Miller, Woutrina A; Johnson, Christine K

    2014-06-01

    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. PMID:24632451

  18. Sudden deaths and colony population decline in Greek honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

    Bacandritsos, N; Granato, A; Budge, G; Papanastasiou, I; Roinioti, E; Caldon, M; Falcaro, C; Gallina, A; Mutinelli, F

    2010-11-01

    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. PMID:20804765

  19. Fewer but not smaller schools in declining fish and krill populations.

    PubMed

    Brierley, Andrew S; Cox, Martin J

    2015-01-01

    Many pelagic species (species that live in the water column), including herring and krill, aggregate to form schools, shoals, or swarms (hereafter simply "schools," although the words are not synonyms). Schools provide benefits to individual members, including locomotory economy and protection from predators that prey on individuals, but paradoxically make schooling species energetically viable and commercially attractive targets for predators of groups and for fishers. Large schools are easier to find and yield greater prey/catch than small schools, and there is a requirement from fields as diverse as theoretical ecology and fisheries management to understand whether and how aggregation sizes change with changing population size. We collated data from vertical echosounder surveys of taxonomically diverse pelagic stocks from geographically diverse ecosystems. The data contain common significant positive linear stock-biomass to school-number relationships. They show that the numbers of schools in the stocks change with changing stock biomass and suggest that the distributions of school sizes do not change with stock biomass. New data that we collected using a multibeam sonar, which can image entire schools, contained the same stock-biomass to school-number relationship and confirm that the distribution of school sizes is not related to changing stock size: put simply, as stocks decline, individuals are distributed among fewer schools, not smaller schools. Since school characteristics affect catchability (the ease or difficulty with which fishers can capture target species) and availability of prey to predators, our findings have commercial and ecological implications, particularly within the aspirational framework of ecosystem-based management of marine systems.

  20. Anthropometric Studies on the Turkish Population - A Historical Review

    PubMed Central

    Neyzi, Olcay; Saka, Hatice Nurçin; Kurtoğlu, Selim

    2013-01-01

    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

  1. Dramatic declines in neotropical salamander populations are an important part of the global amphibian crisis

    PubMed Central

    Rovito, Sean M.; Parra-Olea, Gabriela; Vásquez-Almazán, Carlos R.; Papenfuss, Theodore J.; Wake, David B.

    2009-01-01

    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

  2. Declines in moose population density at Isle Royle National Park, MI, USA and accompanied changes in landscape patterns

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    De Jager, N. R.; Pastor, J.

    2009-01-01

    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.

  3. Decline in endangered species as an indication of anthropic pressures: the case of European mink Mustela lutreola Western population.

    PubMed

    Lodé, T; Cormier, J P; Le Jacques, D

    2001-12-01

    Populations of threatened species, especially predators at the top of the food chain, may be affected by anthropic pressures. The endangered western population of European mink Mustela lutreola has shown a large decline over 50% of its natural range. M. lutreola disappeared from northwestern France between 1984 and 1997, and the decline was associated with an increase in mustelid trapping, changes in watercourse quality, and habitat modifications due to agricultural practices. The pattern of decline showed a fragmentation restricting the minks into very small areas. Trapping was the first known cause of mortality. Although feral American mink Mustela vison may compete with autochthonous carnivores, M. lutreola had disappeared from streams before the introduction of the American species, suggesting that competitive interactions were not responsible. Furthermore, American mink has never been found or has remained rare in 62.4% of the area from which M. lutreola has disappeared. During the past 25 years, permanent grassland surfaces were reduced by 40%, whereas fodder culture increased by 470%, causing considerable habitat changes. Furthermore, 55.7% of water courses were classified as being of bad quality or polluted. Therefore, our data suggests that a conjunction of intensive trapping, alterations in water quality and habitat modification was critical for the European mink's decline. Although there are difficulties in ascribing specific cause to distribution changes in a top predator, this decline can be regarded as an indication for anthropic pressures on natural habitats.

  4. [Fertility decline in Spain].

    PubMed

    Arango, J

    1987-01-01

    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

  5. Improved Analysis of Long-Term Monitoring Data Demonstrates Marked Regional Declines of Bat Populations in the Eastern United States.

    PubMed

    Ingersoll, Thomas E; Sewall, Brent J; Amelon, Sybill K

    2013-01-01

    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

  6. Ancient DNA reveals genetic stability despite demographic decline: 3,000 years of population history in the endemic Hawaiian petrel.

    PubMed

    Welch, Andreanna J; Wiley, Anne E; James, Helen F; Ostrom, Peggy H; Stafford, Thomas W; Fleischer, Robert C

    2012-12-01

    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. PMID:22844071

  7. Ancient DNA reveals genetic stability despite demographic decline: 3,000 years of population history in the endemic Hawaiian petrel.

    PubMed

    Welch, Andreanna J; Wiley, Anne E; James, Helen F; Ostrom, Peggy H; Stafford, Thomas W; Fleischer, Robert C

    2012-12-01

    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.

  8. Declining Snow Cover Reduces Radiative Cooling from Historic Land Use Change in the Western Great Lakes Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blakely, B.; Rocha, A. V.; McLachlan, J. S.

    2015-12-01

    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.

  9. The population decline of Gyps vultures in India and Nepal has slowed since veterinary use of diclofenac was banned.

    PubMed

    Prakash, Vibhu; Bishwakarma, Mohan Chandra; Chaudhary, Anand; Cuthbert, Richard; Dave, Ruchi; Kulkarni, Mandar; Kumar, Sashi; Paudel, Khadananda; Ranade, Sachin; Shringarpure, Rohan; Green, Rhys E

    2012-01-01

    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.

  10. Infectious disease and worldwide declines of amphibian populations, with comments on emerging diseases in coral reef organisms and in humans.

    PubMed

    Carey, C

    2000-03-01

    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.

  11. Declining Fertility and the Use of Cesarean Delivery: Evidence from a Population-Based Study in Taiwan

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Ke-Zong M; Norton, Edward C; Lee, Shoou-Yih D

    2010-01-01

    Objective To test the hypothesis that declining fertility would affect the number of cesarean sections (c-sections) on maternal demand, but not medically indicated c-sections. Data Sources The 1996–2004 National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan for all singleton deliveries. Study Design Retrospective population-based, longitudinal study. Estimation was performed using multinomial probit models. Principal Findings Results revealed that declining fertility had a significant positive effect on the probability of having a c-section on maternal request but not medically indicated c-section. Conclusions Our findings offer a precautionary note to countries experiencing a fertility decline. Policies to contain the rise of c-sections should understand the role of women's preferences, especially regarding cesarean deliveries on maternal request. PMID:20545781

  12. Infectious disease and worldwide declines of amphibian populations, with comments on emerging diseases in coral reef organisms and in humans.

    PubMed Central

    Carey, C

    2000-01-01

    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

  13. Populations of migratory bird species that did not show a phenological response to climate change are declining.

    PubMed

    Møller, Anders Pape; Rubolini, Diego; Lehikoinen, Esa

    2008-10-21

    Recent rapid climatic changes are associated with dramatic changes in phenology of plants and animals, with optimal timing of reproduction advancing considerably in the northern hemisphere. However, some species may not have advanced their timing of breeding sufficiently to continue reproducing optimally relative to the occurrence of peak food availability, thus becoming mismatched compared with their food sources. The degree of mismatch may differ among species, and species with greater mismatch may be characterized by declining populations. Here we relate changes in spring migration timing by 100 European bird species since 1960, considered as an index of the phenological response of bird species to recent climate change, to their population trends. Species that declined in the period 1990-2000 did not advance their spring migration, whereas those with stable or increasing populations advanced their migration considerably. On the other hand, population trends during 1970-1990 were predicted by breeding habitat type, northernmost breeding latitude, and winter range (with species of agricultural habitat, breeding at northern latitudes, and wintering in Africa showing an unfavorable conservation status), but not by change in migration timing. The association between population trend in 1990-2000 and change in migration phenology was not confounded by any of the previously identified predictors of population trends in birds, or by similarity in phenotype among taxa due to common descent. Our findings imply that ecological factors affecting population trends can change over time and suggest that ongoing climatic changes will increasingly threaten vulnerable migratory bird species, augmenting their extinction risk.

  14. Populations of migratory bird species that did not show a phenological response to climate change are declining.

    PubMed

    Møller, Anders Pape; Rubolini, Diego; Lehikoinen, Esa

    2008-10-21

    Recent rapid climatic changes are associated with dramatic changes in phenology of plants and animals, with optimal timing of reproduction advancing considerably in the northern hemisphere. However, some species may not have advanced their timing of breeding sufficiently to continue reproducing optimally relative to the occurrence of peak food availability, thus becoming mismatched compared with their food sources. The degree of mismatch may differ among species, and species with greater mismatch may be characterized by declining populations. Here we relate changes in spring migration timing by 100 European bird species since 1960, considered as an index of the phenological response of bird species to recent climate change, to their population trends. Species that declined in the period 1990-2000 did not advance their spring migration, whereas those with stable or increasing populations advanced their migration considerably. On the other hand, population trends during 1970-1990 were predicted by breeding habitat type, northernmost breeding latitude, and winter range (with species of agricultural habitat, breeding at northern latitudes, and wintering in Africa showing an unfavorable conservation status), but not by change in migration timing. The association between population trend in 1990-2000 and change in migration phenology was not confounded by any of the previously identified predictors of population trends in birds, or by similarity in phenotype among taxa due to common descent. Our findings imply that ecological factors affecting population trends can change over time and suggest that ongoing climatic changes will increasingly threaten vulnerable migratory bird species, augmenting their extinction risk. PMID:18849475

  15. Linking temporal changes in the demographic structure and individual growth to the decline in the population of a tropical fish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sirot, Charlotte; Darnaude, Audrey M.; Guilhaumon, François; Ramos-Miranda, Julia; Flores-Hernandez, Domingo; Panfili, Jacques

    2015-11-01

    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

  16. Patterns of growth and body condition in sea otters from the Aleutian archipelago before and after the recent population decline

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laidre, K.L.; Estes, J.A.; Tinker, M.T.; Bodkin, J.; Monson, D.; Schneider, K.

    2006-01-01

    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.

  17. Long-term decline of the populations of Fucales (Cystoseira spp. and Sargassum spp.) in the Albères coast (France, North-western Mediterranean).

    PubMed

    Thibaut, Thierry; Pinedo, Susana; Torras, Xavier; Ballesteros, Enric

    2005-12-01

    Only five of fourteen species of Fucales reported at the end of the XIXth century are currently present in the Albères Coast (France, NW Mediterranean). According to historical data there has been a steady decrease of all the populations since the 1940s. Seven taxa now extinct (Cystoseira crinita, Cystoseira barbata, Cystoseira foeniculacea f. tenuiramosa, Cystoseira spinosa, Cystoseira spinosa var. compressa, Sargassum hornschuchii and Sargassum vulgare) were considered frequent and some of them were the dominant and engineering species in several phytobenthic assemblages. Moreover, only one of the five species left, shows no signs of regression (Cystoseira compressa), two are considered as rare (Cystoseira caespitosa, Cystoseira zosteroides), and one is very rare (Cystoseira elegans). Cystoseira mediterranea, a species that was reported to make a continuous belt along the shores of the Albères coast, has almost disappeared from some areas. Overgrazing by sea urchins, outcompetition by mussels, habitat destruction, scientific research sampling and, probably, human trampling and chemical pollution are to be blamed for the decline of populations thriving in shallow waters. Deep-water species have been affected by an increase in water turbidity and, probably, chemical pollution and direct plant destruction attributed to net fishing. If degradation of the environmental conditions continues, the remaining Cystoseira species will face a most unwelcome prospect. Even after the removal of the causes that led to its die-off, natural restoration of extinct species seems not to be possible because the decline has also affected populations from nearby areas and zygotes are unable to disperse over long distances. Urgent management actions have to be designed in order to improve the current situation of the populations of Fucales in the Albères coast.

  18. Long-term decline of the populations of Fucales (Cystoseira spp. and Sargassum spp.) in the Albères coast (France, North-western Mediterranean).

    PubMed

    Thibaut, Thierry; Pinedo, Susana; Torras, Xavier; Ballesteros, Enric

    2005-12-01

    Only five of fourteen species of Fucales reported at the end of the XIXth century are currently present in the Albères Coast (France, NW Mediterranean). According to historical data there has been a steady decrease of all the populations since the 1940s. Seven taxa now extinct (Cystoseira crinita, Cystoseira barbata, Cystoseira foeniculacea f. tenuiramosa, Cystoseira spinosa, Cystoseira spinosa var. compressa, Sargassum hornschuchii and Sargassum vulgare) were considered frequent and some of them were the dominant and engineering species in several phytobenthic assemblages. Moreover, only one of the five species left, shows no signs of regression (Cystoseira compressa), two are considered as rare (Cystoseira caespitosa, Cystoseira zosteroides), and one is very rare (Cystoseira elegans). Cystoseira mediterranea, a species that was reported to make a continuous belt along the shores of the Albères coast, has almost disappeared from some areas. Overgrazing by sea urchins, outcompetition by mussels, habitat destruction, scientific research sampling and, probably, human trampling and chemical pollution are to be blamed for the decline of populations thriving in shallow waters. Deep-water species have been affected by an increase in water turbidity and, probably, chemical pollution and direct plant destruction attributed to net fishing. If degradation of the environmental conditions continues, the remaining Cystoseira species will face a most unwelcome prospect. Even after the removal of the causes that led to its die-off, natural restoration of extinct species seems not to be possible because the decline has also affected populations from nearby areas and zygotes are unable to disperse over long distances. Urgent management actions have to be designed in order to improve the current situation of the populations of Fucales in the Albères coast. PMID:16026805

  19. Co-infection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium leprae in human archaeological samples: a possible explanation for the historical decline of leprosy

    PubMed Central

    Donoghue, Helen D.; Marcsik, Antónia; Matheson, Carney; Vernon, Kim; Nuorala, Emilia; Molto, Joseph E.; Greenblatt, Charles L.; Spigelman, Mark

    2005-01-01

    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

  20. On the decline of the Rusty Blackbird and the use of ornithological literature to document long-term population trends

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greenberg, R.; Droege, S.

    1999-01-01

    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.

  1. Removal of nonnative fish results in population expansion of a declining amphibian (mountain yellow-legged frog, Rana muscosa).

    PubMed

    Knapp, Roland A; Boiano, Daniel M; Vredenburg, Vance T

    2007-02-01

    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

  2. Natural and sexual selection in a monogamous historical human population.

    PubMed

    Courtiol, Alexandre; Pettay, Jenni E; Jokela, Markus; Rotkirch, Anna; Lummaa, Virpi

    2012-05-22

    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.

  3. Factors affecting population dynamics of leaf beetles in a subarctic region: The interplay between climate warming and pollution decline.

    PubMed

    Zvereva, Elena L; Hunter, Mark D; Zverev, Vitali; Kozlov, Mikhail V

    2016-10-01

    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. PMID:27266523

  4. Factors affecting population dynamics of leaf beetles in a subarctic region: The interplay between climate warming and pollution decline.

    PubMed

    Zvereva, Elena L; Hunter, Mark D; Zverev, Vitali; Kozlov, Mikhail V

    2016-10-01

    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.

  5. Amphibian populations in the terrestrial environment: Is there evidence of declines of terrestrial forest amphibians in northwestern California?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Welsh, H.H.; Fellers, G.M.; Lind, A.J.

    2007-01-01

    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.

  6. Ecosystem scale declines in elk recruitment and population growth with wolf colonization: a before-after-control-impact approach.

    PubMed

    Christianson, David; Creel, Scott

    2014-01-01

    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.

  7. Ecosystem scale declines in elk recruitment and population growth with wolf colonization: a before-after-control-impact approach.

    PubMed

    Christianson, David; Creel, Scott

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25028933

  8. Ecosystem Scale Declines in Elk Recruitment and Population Growth with Wolf Colonization: A Before-After-Control-Impact Approach

    PubMed Central

    Christianson, David; Creel, Scott

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25028933

  9. Spatio-Temporal Variation in Age Structure and Abundance of the Endangered Snail Kite: Pooling across Regions Masks a Declining and Aging Population

    PubMed Central

    Kendall, William L.; Fletcher, Robert J.; Kitchens, Wiley M.

    2016-01-01

    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

  10. Summary of the evidence on modifiable risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia: A population-based perspective.

    PubMed

    Baumgart, Matthew; Snyder, Heather M; Carrillo, Maria C; Fazio, Sam; Kim, Hye; Johns, Harry

    2015-06-01

    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.

  11. Catastrophic Decline of World's Largest Primate: 80% Loss of Grauer's Gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri) Population Justifies Critically Endangered Status

    PubMed Central

    Nixon, Stuart; Kujirakwinja, Deo K.; Vieilledent, Ghislain; Critchlow, Rob; Williamson, Elizabeth A.; Nishuli, Radar; Kirkby, Andrew E.; Hall, Jefferson S.

    2016-01-01

    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

  12. Adaptive landscapes and density-dependent selection in declining salmonid populations: going beyond numerical responses to human disturbance

    PubMed Central

    Einum, Sigurd; Robertsen, Grethe; Fleming, Ian A

    2008-01-01

    Theory suggests an important role for population density in shaping adaptive landscapes through density-dependent selection. Here, we identify five methodological approaches for studying such selection, review the existing empirical evidence for it, and ask whether current declines in abundance can be expected to trigger evolutionary responses in salmonid fishes. Across taxa we find substantial amounts of evidence for population density influencing the location of adaptive peaks for a range of traits, and, in the presence of frequency dependence, changing the shape of selection (stabilizing versus disruptive). For salmonids, biological and theoretical considerations suggest that the optimal value of a number of traits associated with juvenile competitive ability (e.g. egg size, timing of emergence from nests, dominance ability), may depend on population density. For adults, more direct experimental and comparative evidence suggest that secondary sexual traits can be subject to density-dependent selection. There is also evidence that density affects the frequency-dependent selection likely responsible for the expression of alternative male reproductive phenotypes in salmon. Less is known however about the role of density in maintaining genetic variation among juveniles. Further efforts are required to elucidate the indirect evolutionary effects of declining population abundances, both in salmonids and in other anthropogenically challenged organisms. PMID:25567629

  13. Declining trends in prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection by birth-year in a Japanese population.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Miki; Ito, Hidemi; Hosono, Satoyo; Oze, Isao; Ashida, Chieko; Tajima, Kazuo; Katoh, Hisato; Matsuo, Keitaro; Tanaka, Hideo

    2015-12-01

    Gastric cancer incidence and mortality have been decreasing in Japan. These decreases are likely due to a decrease in prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection. Our aim was to characterize the trends in prevalence of H. pylori infection focused on birth-year. We carried out a cross-sectional study that included 4285 subjects who were born from 1926 to 1989. We defined H. pylori infection by the serum H. pylori antibody titer. Individuals having H. pylori infection and those with negative H. pylori antibody titer and positive pepsinogen test were defined as high-risk individuals for gastric cancer. We estimated the birth-year percent change (BPC) of the prevalence by Joinpoint regression analysis. The prevalence of H. pylori infection among the subjects born from 1927 to 1949 decreased from 54.0% to 42.0% with a BPC of -1.2%. It was followed by a rapid decline in those born between 1949 (42.0%) and 1961 (24.0%) with a BPC of -4.5%, which was followed by those born between 1961 (24.0%) and 1988 (14.0%) with a BPC of -2.1%. The proportion of high-risk individuals for gastric cancer among the subjects born from 1927 to 1942 decreased from 62.0% to 55.0% with a BPC of -0.8%. A subsequent rapid declining trend was observed in those born between 1942 (55.0%) and 1972 (18.0%) with a BPC of -3.6%, and then it became stable. These remarkable declining trends in the prevalence of H. pylori infection by birth-year would be useful to predict the future trend in gastric cancer incidence in Japan.

  14. [A historical survey of international migration of China population].

    PubMed

    Zhu, G

    1987-07-01

    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.

  15. [A historical survey of international migration of China population].

    PubMed

    Zhu, G

    1987-07-01

    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. PMID

  16. Historical applications of induced sterilisation in field populations of mosquitoes

    PubMed Central

    Dame, David A; Curtis, Christopher F; Benedict, Mark Q; Robinson, Alan S; Knols, Bart GJ

    2009-01-01

    Research on sterile mosquito technology from 1955 to the 1980s provided a substantial body of knowledge on propagation and release of sterile mosquitoes. Radiation sterilisation and chemosterilisation have been used effectively to induce dominant lethality and thereby sterilise important mosquito vectors in the laboratory. Experimental releases of chemosterilised males provided complete control of Anopheles albimanus in a small breeding population (14-15 sq km) in El Salvador. Releases of radiation sterilised males failed to control either Aedes aegypti or Anopheles quadrimaculatus in the USA. Releases of radiation-sterilised and chemosterilised male Culex quinquefasciatus in the USA and India were successful in some instances. Development of genetic sexing systems for Anopheles and improved physical separation methods for Culex have made it possible to rear and release males almost exclusively (> 99%) minimizing the release of potential vectors, the females. Factors that affected efficacy in some field programmes included reduction of competitiveness by radiation, immigration of fertilized females from outside the release zones, and inability of laboratory-bred males to perform in the wild. Despite significant progress, institutional commitments to carry the process further were generally lacking in the late 1970s and until recently. Now, with renewed interest and support for further assessment of this technology, this paper summarizes the current knowledge base, prioritizes some areas of investigation, and challenges scientists and administrators to maintain an awareness of progress, remain realistic about the interpretation of new findings, and make decisions about the sterile insect technique on the basis of informed scientific documentation. Areas recommended for priority research status include the establishment of genetic sexing mechanisms that can be transferred to other mosquito species, re-examination of radiation sterilisation, aerial release technology

  17. Bottlenecked but long-lived: high genetic diversity retained in white-tailed eagles upon recovery from population decline.

    PubMed

    Hailer, Frank; Helander, Björn; Folkestad, Alv O; Ganusevich, Sergei A; Garstad, Steinar; Hauff, Peter; Koren, Christian; Nygård, Torgeir; Volke, Veljo; Vilà, Carles; Ellegren, Hans

    2006-06-22

    Most of the white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) populations in Europe experienced dramatic declines during the twentieth century. However, owing to intense conservation actions and the ban of DDT and other persistent pollutants, populations are currently recovering. We show that despite passing through demographic bottlenecks, white-tailed eagle populations have retained significant levels of genetic diversity. Both genetic and ringing data indicate that migration between populations has not been a major factor for the maintenance of genetic variability. We argue that the long generation time of eagles has acted as an intrinsic buffer against loss of genetic diversity, leading to a shorter effective time of the experienced bottleneck. Notably, conservation actions taken in several small sub-populations have ensured the preservation of a larger proportion of the total genetic diversity than if conservation had focused on the population stronghold in Norway. For conservation programmes targeting other endangered, long-lived species, our results highlight the possibility for local retention of high genetic diversity in isolated remnant populations.

  18. A historical review of managed honey bee populations in Europe and the United States and the factors that may affect them.

    PubMed

    Vanengelsdorp, Dennis; Meixner, Marina Doris

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:19909973

  19. Decline in abundance and health state of an Atlantic subtropical gorgonian population.

    PubMed

    Erni Cassola, Gabriel; Pacheco, Matheus S C; Barbosa, Moysés C; Hansen, Dennis M; Ferreira, Carlos E L

    2016-03-15

    Losses in coral cover have been widely reported for the Caribbean. In contrast, much less is known about the health state of the Brazilian reef fauna, which was declared as a priority for Atlantic biodiversity conservation due to its high degree of endemism. In the present study, we assessed the general health state of Phyllogorgia dilatata assemblages at the subtropical reefs of Arraial do Cabo (southeastern Brazil), where observations suggest that the abundance of this endemic gorgonian species has declined. We found that about 49% of the sampled colonies were dead, and 73% of the living colonies were affected by tissue loss. Tissue loss initially manifested as multifocal holes in the planar colonial coenenchyme and peripheral tissue retraction leaving denuded skeletal axes. In combination with other recent studies, our results raise the awareness for an increasingly threatened Southwestern Atlantic reef coral fauna. PMID:26822908

  20. De novo lipogenesis is suppressed during fasting but upregulated at population decline in cyclic voles.

    PubMed

    Nieminen, Petteri; Rouvinen-Watt, Kirsti; Harris, Lora; Huitu, Otso; Henttonen, Heikki; Mustonen, Anne-Mari

    2016-04-01

    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

  1. [Cities and oil. Historical and prospective aspects of the urban population of Venezuela].

    PubMed

    Papail, J; Picquet, M

    1989-01-01

    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)

  2. Population structure and genotype-phenotype associations in a collection of oat landraces and historic cultivars.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  3. Genetic attributes of midwife toad (Alytes obstetricans) populations do not correlate with degree of species decline

    PubMed Central

    Tobler, Ursina; Garner, Trenton W J; Schmidt, Benedikt R

    2013-01-01

    Genetic diversity is crucial for long-term population persistence. Population loss and subsequent reduction in migration rate among the most important processes that are expected to lead to a reduction in genetic diversity and an increase in genetic differentiation. While the theory behind this is well-developed, empirical evidence from wild populations is inconsistent. Using microsatellite markers, we compared the genetic structure of populations of an amphibian species, the midwife toad (Alytes obstetricans), in four Swiss regions where the species has suffered variable levels of subpopulation extirpation. We also quantified the effects of several geographic factors on genetic structure and used a model selection approach to ascertain which of the variables were important for explaining genetic variation. Although subpopulation pairwise FST-values were highly significant even over small geographic scales, neither any of the geographic variables nor loss of subpopulations were important factors for predicting spatial genetic structure. The absence of a signature of subpopulation loss on genetic differentiation may suggest that midwife toad subpopulations function as relatively independent units. PMID:24101974

  4. Comment on "Declining wild salmon populations in relation to parasites from farm salmon".

    PubMed

    Riddell, Brian E; Beamish, Richard J; Richards, Laura J; Candy, John R

    2008-12-19

    Krkosek et al. (Reports, 14 December 2007, p. 1772) claimed that sea lice spread from salmon farms placed wild pink salmon populations "on a trajectory toward rapid local extinction." Their prediction is inconsistent with observed pink salmon returns and overstates the risks from sea lice and salmon farming.

  5. CATASTROPHIC DECLINE OF A HIGH-DENSITY POPULATION OF COTTON RATS (SIGMODIN HISPIDUS) IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

  6. RENO, NV, JANUARY 15, 2004: FACTORS IMPLICATED IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES IN THE UNITED STATES

    EPA Science Inventory

    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 the forthcoming book, 'Status and Conservation of U.S. Amphibians'. Spec...

  7. Estimating the long-term historic evolution of exposure to flooding of coastal populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevens, A. J.; Clarke, D.; Nicholls, R. J.; Wadey, M. P.

    2015-02-01

    Coastal managers face the task of assessing and managing flood risk. This requires knowledge of the area of land, the number of people, properties and other infrastructure potentially affected by floods. Such analyses are usually static; i.e. they only consider a snapshot of the current situation. This misses the opportunity to learn about the role of key drivers of historical changes in flood risk, such as development and population rise in the coastal flood plain and sea-level rise. In this paper, we develop and apply a method to analyse the temporal evolution of residential population exposure to coastal flooding. It uses readily available data in a GIS environment. We examine how population and sea level change modify exposure over two centuries in two neighbouring coastal sites: Portsea and Hayling Islands on the UK south coast. The analysis shows that flood exposure changes as a result of increases in population, changes in coastal population density and sea level rise. The results indicate that to date, population change is the dominant driver of the increase in exposure to flooding in the study sites, but climate change may outweigh this in the future. A full analysis of flood risk is not possible as data on historic defences and wider vulnerability are not available. Hence, the historic evolution of flood exposure is as close as we can get to a historic evolution of flood risk. The method is applicable anywhere that suitable floodplain geometry, sea level and population datasets are available and could be widely applied, and will help inform coastal managers of the time evolution in coastal flood drivers.

  8. Estimating the long-term historic evolution of exposure to flooding of coastal populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevens, A. J.; Clarke, D.; Nicholls, R. J.; Wadey, M. P.

    2015-06-01

    Coastal managers face the task of assessing and managing flood risk. This requires knowledge of the area of land, the number of people, properties and other infrastructure potentially affected by floods. Such analyses are usually static; i.e. they only consider a snapshot of the current situation. This misses the opportunity to learn about the role of key drivers of historical changes in flood risk, such as development and population rise in the coastal flood plain, as well as sea-level rise. In this paper, we develop and apply a method to analyse the temporal evolution of residential population exposure to coastal flooding. It uses readily available data in a GIS environment. We examine how population and sea-level change have modified exposure over two centuries in two neighbouring coastal sites: Portsea and Hayling Islands on the UK south coast. The analysis shows that flood exposure changes as a result of increases in population, changes in coastal population density and sea level rise. The results indicate that to date, population change is the dominant driver of the increase in exposure to flooding in the study sites, but climate change may outweigh this in the future. A full analysis of changing flood risk is not possible as data on historic defences and wider vulnerability are not available. Hence, the historic evolution of flood exposure is as close as we can get to a historic evolution of flood risk. The method is applicable anywhere that suitable floodplain geometry, sea level and population data sets are available and could be widely applied, and will help inform coastal managers of the time evolution in coastal flood drivers.

  9. Mixing Plants from Different Origins to Restore a Declining Population: Ecological Outcomes and Local Perceptions 10 Years Later

    PubMed Central

    Maurice, Anne-Claire; Abdelkrim, Jawad; Cisel, Matthieu; Zavodna, Monika; Bardin, Philippe; Matamoro, Alexis; Dumez, Richard; Machon, Nathalie

    2013-01-01

    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

  10. King penguin population on Macquarie Island recovers ancient DNA diversity after heavy exploitation in historic times.

    PubMed

    Heupink, Tim H; van den Hoff, John; Lambert, David M

    2012-08-23

    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.

  11. Contaminants in eggs of western snowy plovers and California least terns: is there a link to population decline?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hothern, R.L.; Powell, A.N.

    2000-01-01

    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.

  12. Historical Analysis of Genetic Variation Reveals Low Effective Population Size in a Northern Pike (Esox Lucius) Population

    PubMed Central

    Miller, L. M.; Kapuscinski, A. R.

    1997-01-01

    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

  13. Can Citizen Science Assist in Determining Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) Presence in a Declining Population?

    PubMed Central

    Flower, Emily; Jones, Darryl; Bernede, Lilia

    2016-01-01

    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

  14. Signature of a pre-human population decline in the critically endangered Reunion Island endemic forest bird Coracina newtoni.

    PubMed

    Salmona, Jordi; Salamolard, Marc; Fouillot, Damien; Ghestemme, Thomas; Larose, Jerry; Centon, Jean-François; Sousa, Vitor; Dawson, Deborah A; Thebaud, Christophe; Chikhi, Lounès

    2012-01-01

    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.

  15. Signature of a Pre-Human Population Decline in the Critically Endangered Reunion Island Endemic Forest Bird Coracina newtoni

    PubMed Central

    Salmona, Jordi; Salamolard, Marc; Fouillot, Damien; Ghestemme, Thomas; Larose, Jerry; Centon, Jean-François; Sousa, Vitor; Dawson, Deborah A.; Thebaud, Christophe; Chikhi, Lounès

    2012-01-01

    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-km2 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. PMID:22916272

  16. Reproductive characteristics and population decline of four species of skate (Rajidae) off the eastern coast of Canada.

    PubMed

    Mcphie, R P; Campana, S E

    2009-07-01

    Four of the most common species of skate (Rajidae) were studied off eastern Canada to determine if their reproductive characteristics were linked to their population trajectories. The fecundity of the winter skate Leucoraja ocellata, the little skate Leucoraja erinacea, the thorny skate Amblyraja radiata and the smooth skate Malacoraja senta averaged between 41 and 56 egg cases per year for each species. For all species but L. ocellata, males matured at larger sizes and at later ages than females. Theoretical rates of population increase for non-equilibrium populations of L. ocellata (c. 0.07), M. senta (c. 0.14) and L. erinacea and A. radiata (c. 0.20) were low compared to most fishes, indicating that north-west Atlantic skates are intrinsically unproductive, yet are theoretically capable of supporting low-level fisheries. Nevertheless, the results of 36 years of research surveys indicate that the abundance of mature L. ocellata, A. radiata and M. senta all decreased by >90% since 1970, indicating that past fishing mortality (both directed and undirected) has outstripped the net productivity of the skate populations on the eastern Scotian Shelf. The relationship between maximum age (t(max)) and age of maturity (t(mat)) was a better predictor of population growth rate than was body size, with the species exhibiting the highest ratios of t(mat) :t(max) (L. ocellata = 0.68, M. senta = 0.66) having the lowest predicted population growth rates. L. ocellata appears to have the lowest productivity and has experienced the greatest population decline, thus raising concerns over its future status.

  17. Can Citizen Science Assist in Determining Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) Presence in a Declining Population?

    PubMed

    Flower, Emily; Jones, Darryl; Bernede, Lilia

    2016-01-01

    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.

  18. Can Citizen Science Assist in Determining Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) Presence in a Declining Population?

    PubMed

    Flower, Emily; Jones, Darryl; Bernede, Lilia

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27429008

  19. Historical and Contemporary Patterns of Mercury in a Hydroelectric Reservoir and Downstream Fishery: Concentration Decline in Water and Fishes.

    PubMed

    Green, Derek J; Duffy, Mark; Janz, David M; McCullum, Kevin; Carrière, Gary; Jardine, Timothy D

    2016-08-01

    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. PMID:27272416

  20. Historical and Contemporary Patterns of Mercury in a Hydroelectric Reservoir and Downstream Fishery: Concentration Decline in Water and Fishes.

    PubMed

    Green, Derek J; Duffy, Mark; Janz, David M; McCullum, Kevin; Carrière, Gary; Jardine, Timothy D

    2016-08-01

    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.

  1. Long-term data reveal a population decline of the tropical lizard Anolis apletophallus, and a negative affect of el nino years on population growth rate.

    PubMed

    Stapley, Jessica; Garcia, Milton; Andrews, Robin M

    2015-01-01

    Climate change threatens biodiversity worldwide, however predicting how particular species will respond is difficult because climate varies spatially, complex factors regulate population abundance, and species vary in their susceptibility to climate change. Studies need to incorporate these factors with long-term data in order to link climate change to population abundance. We used 40 years of lizard abundance data and local climate data from Barro Colorado Island to ask how climate, total lizard abundance and cohort-specific abundance have changed over time, and how total and cohort-specific abundance relate to climate variables including those predicted to make the species vulnerable to climate change (i.e. temperatures exceeding preferred body temperature). We documented a decrease in lizard abundance over the last 40 years, and changes in the local climate. Population growth rate was related to the previous years' southern oscillation index; increasing following cooler-wetter, la niña years, decreasing following warmer-drier, el nino years. Within-year recruitment was negatively related to rainfall and minimum temperature. This study simultaneously identified climatic factors driving long-term population fluctuations and climate variables influencing short-term annual recruitment, both of which may be contributing to the population decline and influence the population's future persistence.

  2. Historical contingency affects signaling strategies and competitive abilities in evolving populations of simulated robots.

    PubMed

    Wischmann, Steffen; Floreano, Dario; Keller, Laurent

    2012-01-17

    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.

  3. Genetic structure of introduced populations: 120-year-old DNA footprint of historic introduction in an insular small mammal population

    PubMed Central

    Simpson, Siobhan; Blampied, Nick; Peniche, Gabriela; Dozières, Anne; Blackett, Tiffany; Coleman, Stephen; Cornish, Nina; Groombridge, Jim J

    2013-01-01

    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

  4. Disentangling the effects of historic vs. contemporary landscape structure on population genetic divergence.

    PubMed

    Zellmer, A J; Knowles, L L

    2009-09-01

    Increasing habitat fragmentation poses an immediate threat to population viability, as gene flow patterns are changed in these altered landscapes. Patterns of genetic divergence can potentially reveal the impact of these shifts in landscape connectivity. However, divergence patterns not only carry the signature of altered contemporary landscapes, but also historical ones. When considered separately, both recent and historical landscape structure appear to significantly affect connectivity among 51 wood frog (Rana sylvatica) populations. However, by controlling for correlations among landscape structure from multiple time periods, we show that patterns of genetic divergence reflect recent landscape structure as opposed to landscape structure prior to European settlement of the region (before 1850s). At the same time, within-population genetic diversities remain high and a genetic signature of population bottlenecks is lacking. Together, these results suggest that metapopulation processes - not drift-induced divergence associated with strong demographic bottlenecks following habitat loss - underlie the strikingly rapid consequences of temporally shifting landscape structure on these amphibians. We discuss the implications of these results in the context of understanding the role of population demography in the adaptive variation observed in wood frog populations.

  5. Historical sketch of Slovak Haban (Hutterite) population based on autosomal STR analysis.

    PubMed

    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

    2011-10-01

    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.

  6. Future Estimation of Convenience Living Facilities Withdrawal due to Population Decline all Over Japan from 2010 TO 2040 - Focus on Supermarkets, Convenience Stores and Drugstores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishimoto, Yuka; Akiyama, Yuki; Shibasaki, Ryosuke

    2016-06-01

    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.

  7. Population Of US Practicing Psychiatrists Declined, 2003-13, Which May Help Explain Poor Access To Mental Health Care.

    PubMed

    Bishop, Tara F; Seirup, Joanna K; Pincus, Harold Alan; Ross, Joseph S

    2016-07-01

    A large proportion of the US population suffers from mental illness. Limited access to psychiatrists may be a contributor to the underuse of mental health services. We studied changes in the supply of psychiatrists from 2003 to 2013, compared to changes in the supply of primary care physicians and neurologists. During this period the number of practicing psychiatrists declined from 37,968 to 37,889, which represented a 10.2 percent reduction in the median number of psychiatrists per 100,000 residents in hospital referral regions. In contrast, the numbers of primary care physicians and neurologists grew during the study period. These findings may help explain why patients report poor access to mental health care. Future research should explore the impact of the declining psychiatrist supply on patients and investigate new models of care that seek to integrate mental health and primary care or use team-based care that combines the services of psychiatrists and nonphysician providers for individuals with severe mental illnesses. PMID:27385244

  8. De novo lipogenesis is suppressed during fasting but upregulated at population decline in cyclic voles

    PubMed Central

    Rouvinen-Watt, Kirsti; Harris, Lora; Huitu, Otso; Henttonen, Heikki; Mustonen, Anne-Mari

    2016-01-01

    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

  9. Effects of illegal harvest of eggs on the population decline of leatherback turtles in Las Baulas Marine National Park, Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Tomillo, Pilar Santidrián; Saba, Vincent S; Piedra, Rotney; Paladino, Frank V; Spotila, James R

    2008-10-01

    Within 19 years the nesting population of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) at Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas declined from 1500 turtles nesting per year to about 100. We analyzed the effects of fishery bycatch and illegal harvesting (poaching) of eggs on this population. We modeled the population response to different levels of egg harvest (90, 75, 50, and 25%) and the effect of eradicating poaching at different times during the population decline. We compared effects of 90% poaching with those of 20% adult mortality because both of these processes were present in the population at Las Baulas. There was a stepwise decline in number of nesting turtles at all levels of egg harvest. Extirpation times for different levels of poaching ranged from 45 to 282 years. The nesting population declined more slowly and survived longer with 20% adult mortality (146 years) than it did with 90% poaching (45 years). Time that elapsed until poaching stopped determined the average population size at which the population stabilized, ranging from 90 to 420 nesting turtles. Our model predicted that saving clutches lost naturally would restore the population when adult mortality rates were low and would contribute more to population recovery when there were short remigration intervals between nesting seasons and a large proportion of natural loss of clutches. Because the model indicated that poaching was the most important cause of the leatherback decline at Las Baulas, protecting nests on the beach and protecting the beach from development are critical for survival of this population. Nevertheless, the model predicted that current high mortality rates of adults will prevent population recovery. Therefore, protection of the beach habitat and nests must be continued and fishery bycatch must be reduced to save this population. PMID:18637915

  10. Bird population declines due to radiation exposure at Chernobyl are stronger in species with pheomelanin-based coloration.

    PubMed

    Galván, Ismael; Mousseau, Timothy A; Møller, Anders P

    2011-04-01

    Eumelanin and pheomelanin are the most common pigments providing color to the integument of vertebrates. While pheomelanogenesis requires high levels of a key intracellular antioxidant (glutathione, GSH), eumelanogenesis is inhibited by GSH. This implies that species that possess the molecular basis to produce large amounts of pheomelanin might be more limited in coping with environmental conditions that generate oxidative stress than species that produce eumelanin. Exposure to ionizing radiation produces free radicals and depletes antioxidant resources. GSH is particularly susceptible to radiation, so that species with large proportions of pheomelanic integument may be limited by the availability of GSH to combat oxidative stress and may thus suffer more from radiation effects. We tested this hypothesis in 97 species of birds censused in areas with varying levels of radioactive contamination around Chernobyl. After controlling for the effects of carotenoid-based color, body mass and similarity among taxa due to common phylogenetic descent, the proportion of pheomelanic plumage was strongly negatively related to the slope estimates of the relationship between abundance and radiation levels, while no effect of eumelanic color proportion was found. This represents the first report of an effect of the expression of melanin-based coloration on the capacity to resist the effects of ionizing radiation. Population declines were also stronger in species that exhibit carotenoid-based coloration and have large body mass. The magnitude of population declines had a relatively high phylogenetic signal, indicating that certain groups of birds, especially non-corvid passeriforms, are particularly susceptible to suffer from the effects of radioactive contamination due to phylogenetic inertia. PMID:21136083

  11. Disruption of Rhino Demography by Poachers May Lead to Population Declines in Kruger National Park, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Sam M; Greaver, Cathy; Knight, Grant A; Knight, Mike H; Smit, Izak P J; Pienaar, Danie

    2015-01-01

    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.

  12. Disruption of Rhino Demography by Poachers May Lead to Population Declines in Kruger National Park, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Sam M; Greaver, Cathy; Knight, Grant A; Knight, Mike H; Smit, Izak P J; Pienaar, Danie

    2015-01-01

    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

  13. Disruption of Rhino Demography by Poachers May Lead to Population Declines in Kruger National Park, South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Sam M.; Greaver, Cathy; Knight, Grant A.; Knight, Mike H.; Smit, Izak P. J.; Pienaar, Danie

    2015-01-01

    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

  14. Bird population declines due to radiation exposure at Chernobyl are stronger in species with pheomelanin-based coloration.

    PubMed

    Galván, Ismael; Mousseau, Timothy A; Møller, Anders P

    2011-04-01

    Eumelanin and pheomelanin are the most common pigments providing color to the integument of vertebrates. While pheomelanogenesis requires high levels of a key intracellular antioxidant (glutathione, GSH), eumelanogenesis is inhibited by GSH. This implies that species that possess the molecular basis to produce large amounts of pheomelanin might be more limited in coping with environmental conditions that generate oxidative stress than species that produce eumelanin. Exposure to ionizing radiation produces free radicals and depletes antioxidant resources. GSH is particularly susceptible to radiation, so that species with large proportions of pheomelanic integument may be limited by the availability of GSH to combat oxidative stress and may thus suffer more from radiation effects. We tested this hypothesis in 97 species of birds censused in areas with varying levels of radioactive contamination around Chernobyl. After controlling for the effects of carotenoid-based color, body mass and similarity among taxa due to common phylogenetic descent, the proportion of pheomelanic plumage was strongly negatively related to the slope estimates of the relationship between abundance and radiation levels, while no effect of eumelanic color proportion was found. This represents the first report of an effect of the expression of melanin-based coloration on the capacity to resist the effects of ionizing radiation. Population declines were also stronger in species that exhibit carotenoid-based coloration and have large body mass. The magnitude of population declines had a relatively high phylogenetic signal, indicating that certain groups of birds, especially non-corvid passeriforms, are particularly susceptible to suffer from the effects of radioactive contamination due to phylogenetic inertia.

  15. A retrospective perspective: evaluating population changes by repeating historic bird surveys

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Igl, Lawrence D.; Johnson, Douglas H.

    2005-01-01

    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.

  16. Contemporary and historical separation of transequatorial migration between genetically distinct seabird populations.

    PubMed

    Rayner, Matt J; Hauber, Mark E; Steeves, Tammy E; Lawrence, Hayley A; Thompson, David R; Sagar, Paul M; Bury, Sarah J; Landers, Todd J; Phillips, Richard A; Ranjard, Louis; Shaffer, Scott A

    2011-01-01

    Pelagic seabirds are highly mobile, reducing the likelihood of allopatric speciation where disruption of gene flow between populations is caused by physically insurmountable, extrinsic barriers. Spatial segregation during the non-breeding season appears to provide an intrinsic barrier to gene flow among seabird populations that otherwise occupy nearby or overlapping regions during breeding, but how this is achieved remains unclear. Here we show that the two genetically distinct populations of Cook's petrel (Pterodroma cookii) exhibit transequatorial separation of non-breeding ranges at contemporary (ca. 2-3 yrs) and historical (ca. 100 yrs) time scales. Segregation during the non-breeding season per se appears as an unlikely barrier to gene flow. Instead we provide evidence that habitat specialization during the non-breeding season is associated with breeding asynchrony which, in conjunction with philopatry, restricts gene flow. Habitat specialization during breeding and non-breeding likely promotes evolutionary divergence between these two populations via local adaptation. PMID:21629265

  17. Declining HIV Prevalence in Parallel With Safer Sex Behaviors in Burkina Faso: Evidence From Surveillance and Population-Based Surveys

    PubMed Central

    Kirakoya-Samadoulougou, Fati; Nagot, Nicolas; Samadoulougou, Sekou; Sokey, Mamadou; Guiré, Abdoulaye; Sombié, Issiaka; Meda, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    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

  18. Malignant tumors in two ancient populations: An approach to historical tumor epidemiology.

    PubMed

    Nerlich, Andreas G; Rohrbach, Helmut; Bachmeier, Beatrice; Zink, Albert

    2006-07-01

    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

  19. Frequency of Dental Caries in Four Historical Populations from the Chalcolithic to the Middle Ages

    PubMed Central

    Grimoud, A.-M.; Lucas, S.; Sevin, A.; Georges, P.; Passarrius, O.; Duranthon, F.

    2011-01-01

    The majority of dental carie studies over the course of historical period underline mainly the prevalence evolution, the role of carbohydrates consumption and the impact of access to dietary resources. The purpose of the present investigation was to compare population samples from two archaeological periods the Chacolithic and Middle Age taking into account the geographical and socio economical situation. The study concerned four archaelogical sites in south west France and population samples an inlander for the Chalcolithic Age, an inlander, an costal and urban for the Middle Age. The materials studied included a total of 127 maxillaries, 103 mandibles and 3316 teeth. Data recorded allowed us to display that the Chalcolithic population sample had the lowest carie percentage and the rural inlander population samples of Middle Age the highest; in all cases molars were teeth most often affected. These ones differences could be explained according to time period, carious lesions were usually less recorded in the Chalcolithic Age than the Middle because of a lesser cultivation of cereals like in les Treilles Chacolithic population sample. In the Middle Age population samples, the rural inland sample Marsan showed the highest frequency of caries and ate more cereal than the coastal Vilarnau and the poor urban St Michel population samples, the first one ate fish and Mediterranean vegetal and fruits and the second one met difficulties to food access, in both cases the consumption of carbohydrates was lesser than Marsan population sample who lived in a geographical land convice to cereals cultivation. PMID:22145000

  20. 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.

    PubMed

    Nishizawa, Hideaki; Okuyama, Junichi; Kobayashi, Masato; Abe, Osamu; Arai, Nobuaki

    2010-01-01

    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.

  1. Climate-associated population declines reverse recovery and threaten future of an iconic high-elevation plant

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krushelnycky, Paul D.; Loope, Lloyd L.; Giambelluca, Thomas W.; Starr, Forest; Starr, Kim; Drake, Donald R.; Taylor, Andrew D.; Robichaux, Robert H.

    2013-01-01

    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.

  2. New Sources for Comparative Social Science: Historical Population Panel Data From East Asia

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Hao; Campbell, Cameron; Kurosu, Satomi; Yang, Wenshan; Lee, James Z.

    2016-01-01

    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

  3. Moving beyond the historical quagmire of measuring infant mortality for the First Nations population in Canada.

    PubMed

    Elias, Brenda

    2014-12-01

    Infant mortality is a metric influenced by societal, political and medical advances. The way vital events are collected and reported are not always uniform. A lack of uniformity has disadvantaged some groups in society. In Canada, a multi-jurisdictional vital statistics system has truncated our ability to produce infant mortality rates for the Indigenous population. To understand how this evolved, this paper outlines the history of infant mortality, generally and internationally, and then documents the efforts to harmonize the collection and reporting of vital statistics (births and deaths) in Canada. Following this analysis is a historical review of vital event reporting for Canada's Indigenous population. A major finding of this paper is that racism, reframing, and jurisdictional posturing has limited our ability to accurately estimate live births and infant deaths for the Indigenous population. To improve Indigenous infant mortality estimation, Canada's governments need to transcend multijurisdictional challenges and fulfill international reporting obligations to Indigenous communities.

  4. Canopy Defoliation has More Impact on Carbohydrate Availability than on Hydraulic Function in Declining Scots Pine Populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poyatos, R.; Aguadé, D.; Gómez, M.; Mencuccini, M.; Martínez-Vilalta, J.

    2013-12-01

    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

  5. A Method for Investigating Population Declines of Migratory Birds Using Stable Isotopes: Origins of Harvested Lesser Scaup in North America

    PubMed Central

    Hobson, Keith A.; Wunder, Michael B.; Van Wilgenburg, Steven L.; Clark, Robert G.; Wassenaar, Leonard I.

    2009-01-01

    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

  6. Estimating trends of population decline in long-lived marine species in the Mediterranean Sea based on fishers' perceptions.

    PubMed

    Maynou, Francesc; Sbrana, Mario; Sartor, Paolo; Maravelias, Christos; Kavadas, Stefanos; Damalas, Dimitros; Cartes, Joan E; Osio, Giacomo

    2011-01-01

    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.

  7. Estimating Trends of Population Decline in Long-Lived Marine Species in the Mediterranean Sea Based on Fishers' Perceptions

    PubMed Central

    Maynou, Francesc; Sbrana, Mario; Sartor, Paolo; Maravelias, Christos; Kavadas, Stefanos; Damalas, Dimitros; Cartes, Joan E.; Osio, Giacomo

    2011-01-01

    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

  8. Estimating trends of population decline in long-lived marine species in the Mediterranean Sea based on fishers' perceptions.

    PubMed

    Maynou, Francesc; Sbrana, Mario; Sartor, Paolo; Maravelias, Christos; Kavadas, Stefanos; Damalas, Dimitros; Cartes, Joan E; Osio, Giacomo

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21818268

  9. Genetic effective size of a wild primate population: influence of current and historical demography.

    PubMed

    Storz, Jay F; Ramakrishnan, Uma; Alberts, Susan C

    2002-04-01

    A comprehensive assessment of the determinants of effective population size (N(e)) requires estimates of variance in lifetime reproductive success and past changes in census numbers. For natural populations, such information can be best obtained by combining longitudinal data on individual life histories and genetic marker-based inferences of demographic history. Independent estimates of the variance effective size (N(ev), obtained from life-history data) and the inbreeding effective size (N((eI), obtained from genetic data) provide a means of disentangling the effects of current and historical demography. The purpose of this study was to assess the demographic determinants of N(e) in one of the most intensively studied natural populations of a vertebrate species: the population of savannah baboons (Papio cynocephalus) in the Amboseli Basin, southern Kenya. We tested the hypotheses that N(eV) < N < N(eI) (where N = population census number) due to a recent demographic bottleneck. N(eV) was estimated using a stochastic demographic model based on detailed life-history data spanning a 28-year period. Using empirical estimates of age-specific rates of survival and fertility for both sexes, individual-based simulations were used to estimate the variance in lifetime reproductive success. The resultant values translated into an N(eV)/N estimate of 0.329 (SD = 0.116, 95% CI = 0.172-0.537). Historical N(eI), was estimated from 14-locus microsatellite genotypes using a coalescent-based simulation model. Estimates of N(eI) were 2.2 to 7.2 times higher than the contemporary census number of the Amboseli baboon population. In addition to the effects of immigration, the disparity between historical N(eI) and contemporary N is likely attributable to the time lag between the recent drop in census numbers and the rate of increase in the average probability of allelic identity-by-descent. Thus, observed levels of genetic diversity may primarily reflect the population's prebottleneck

  10. Streamflow Flashiness in the Mid-Atlantic Region: A Historical Analysis of Flashiness and Population Density, Imperviousness and Urban Development

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

  11. Defining population structure and genetic signatures of decline in the giant garter snake (Thamnophis gigas): implications for conserving threatened species within highly altered landscapes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wood, Dustin A.; Halstead, Brian J.; Casazza, Michael L.; Hansen, Eric C.; Wylie, Glenn D.; Vandergast, Amy

    2015-01-01

    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

  12. Historic hybridization and introgression between two iconic Australian anemonefish and contemporary patterns of population connectivity

    PubMed Central

    van der Meer, M H; Jones, G P; Hobbs, J-P A; van Herwerden, L

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22957165

  13. Detecting warning signs of trouble within population fluctuations: using capture-recapture modeling to uncover changes in population dynamics leading to declines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spendelow, J.A.; Nichols, J.D.; Kendall, W.L.; Hines, J.E.; Hatfield, J.S.; Nisbet, I.C.T.

    2004-01-01

    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.

  14. Foraging Habitat Quality Constrains Effectiveness of Artificial Nest-Site Provisioning in Reversing Population Declines in a Colonial Cavity Nester

    PubMed Central

    Catry, Inês; Franco, Aldina M. A.; Rocha, Pedro; Alcazar, Rita; Reis, Susana; Cordeiro, Ana; Ventim, Rita; Teodósio, Joaquim; Moreira, Francisco

    2013-01-01

    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

  15. Mechanisms of population differentiation in marbled murrelets: historical versus contemporary processes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Congdon, B.C.; Piatt, J.F.; Martin, K.; Friesen, V.L.

    2000-01-01

    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.

  16. Noninvasive Central Systolic Blood Pressure Is More Strongly Related to Kidney Function Decline Than Peripheral Systolic Blood Pressure in a Chinese Community-Based Population.

    PubMed

    Fan, Fangfang; Qi, Litong; Jia, Jia; Xu, Xin; Liu, Yan; Yang, Yang; Qin, Xianhui; Li, Jianping; Li, Haixia; Zhang, Yan; Huo, Yong

    2016-06-01

    This study aimed to investigate the association of noninvasive central aortic blood pressure with kidney function decline in a Chinese community-based population with normal kidney function at baseline. A total of 3153 Chinese participants from an atherosclerosis cohort were included in our analysis. The primary outcome was renal function decline defined as a drop in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) category accompanied by a ≥25% drop in eGFR from baseline; or a sustained decline in eGFR of >5 mL/min per 1.73 m(2)/y. The secondary outcomes were rapid eGFR decline (a decline in eGFR of >3 mL/min per 1.73 m(2)/y) and new incidence of chronic kidney disease. Participants were 56.6±8.5 years old, 36.0% were males, and 48.8% had hypertension. Mean (SD) baseline eGFR was 101.2±10.6 mL/min per 1.73 m(2) After a mean 2.35-year follow-up, the incidence of renal function decline, rapid eGFR decline and chronic kidney disease were 7.3%, 19.7%, and 0.7%, respectively. In multivariate logistic-regression analyses, central and peripheral systolic blood pressure (SBP) were both independently associated with all outcomes after adjustment for various confounders. When peripheral SBP was forced into the model with central SBP simultaneously, its significant association with the 3 outcomes all disappeared; however, central SBP was still significantly related with all outcomes even after further adjusting peripheral SBP. In conclusion, central SBP is a stronger predictor compared with peripheral SBP for early kidney function decline in a Chinese community-based population with normal kidney function at baseline.

  17. Spawning of Bluefin Tuna in the Black Sea: Historical Evidence, Environmental Constraints and Population Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    MacKenzie, Brian R.; Mariani, Patrizio

    2012-01-01

    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

  18. Population Structure and Historical Demography of the Oriental River Prawn (Macrobrachium nipponense) in Taiwan

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Ta-Jen; Wang, Daryi; Lee, Ying-Chou; Tzeng, Tzong-Der

    2015-01-01

    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

  19. Historical dimensions of population structure in a continuously distributed marine species: The case of the endemic Chilean dolphin

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Alvarez, M. J.; Olavarría, C.; Moraga, R.; Baker, C. S.; Hamner, R. M.; Poulin, E.

    2016-01-01

    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

  20. Neuropsychological Decline in Schizophrenia from the Premorbid to Post-Onset Period: Evidence from a Population-Representative Longitudinal Study

    PubMed Central

    Meier, Madeline H.; Caspi, Avshalom; Reichenberg, Abraham; Keefe, Richard S.E.; Fisher, Helen; Harrington, HonaLee; Houts, Renate; Poulton, Richie; Moffitt, Terrie

    2013-01-01

    Objective Despite widespread belief that neuropsychological decline is a cardinal feature of the progression from the premorbid to the chronic form of schizophrenia, few longitudinal studies have examined change in neuropsychological functioning from before to after the onset of schizophrenia. We addressed the following unresolved questions: Is neuropsychological decline generalized versus confined to particular mental functions? Is neuropsychological decline unique to schizophrenia? Do individuals with schizophrenia also have cognitive problems in everyday life? Method Participants were members of a representative cohort of 1,037 individuals born in Dunedin, New Zealand between 1972-73 and followed prospectively to age 38, with 95% retention. Assessment of IQ and other specific neuropsychological functions was conducted at ages 7-13, before the onset of schizophrenia, and again at age 38. Informants also reported on cognitive problems at age 38. Results Individuals with schizophrenia showed decline in IQ as well as a range of different mental functions, particularly those tapping processing speed, learning, executive functioning, and motor functioning. There was little evidence of decline in verbal abilities or delayed memory, however, and the developmental progression of deficits in schizophrenia differed across mental functions. Processing speed deficits increased gradually from childhood to beyond the early teen years, whereas verbal deficits emerged early but remained static through midlife. Neuropsychological decline was specific to schizophrenia, as no evidence of decline was apparent among individuals with persistent depression, children with mild cognitive impairment, individuals matched on childhood risk factors for schizophrenia, and psychiatrically healthy individuals. Informants also reported cognitive problems for individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia. Conclusion There is substantial neuropsychological decline in schizophrenia from the premorbid to

  1. Reliability of indicators of decline in abundance.

    PubMed

    Porszt, Erin J; Peterman, Randall M; Dulvy, Nicholas K; Cooper, Andrew B; Irvine, James R

    2012-10-01

    Although there are many indicators of endangerment (i.e., whether populations or species meet criteria that justify conservation action), their reliability has rarely been tested. Such indicators may fail to identify that a population or species meets criteria for conservation action (false negative) or may incorrectly show that such criteria have been met (false positive). To quantify the rate of both types of error for 20 commonly used indicators of declining abundance (threat indicators), we used receiver operating characteristic curves derived from historical (1938-2007) data for 18 sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) populations in the Fraser River, British Columbia, Canada. We retrospectively determined each population's yearly status (reflected by change in abundance over time) on the basis of each indicator. We then compared that population's status in a given year with the status in subsequent years (determined by the magnitude of decline in abundance across those years). For each sockeye population, we calculated how often each indicator of past status matched subsequent status. No single threat indicator provided error-free estimates of status, but indicators that reflected the extent (i.e., magnitude) of past decline in abundance (through comparison of current abundance with some historical baseline abundance) tended to better reflect status in subsequent years than the rate of decline over the previous 3 generations (a widely used indicator). We recommend that when possible, the reliability of various threat indicators be evaluated with empirical analyses before such indicators are used to determine the need for conservation action. These indicators should include estimates from the entire data set to take into account a historical baseline. PMID:22741815

  2. Investigations of fine-scale phylogeography in Tigriopus californicus reveal historical patterns of population divergence

    PubMed Central

    Willett, Christopher S; Ladner, Jason T

    2009-01-01

    Background The intertidal copepod Tigriopus californicus is a model for studying the process of genetic divergence in allopatry and for probing the nature of genetic changes that lead to reproductive isolation. Although previous studies have revealed a pattern of remarkably high levels of genetic divergence between the populations of this species at several spatial scales, it is not clear what types of historical processes are responsible. Particularly lacking are data that can yield insights into population history from the finest scales of geographic resolution. Results Sequence variation in both cytochrome b (CYTB, mtDNA) and the rieske iron-sulfur protein (RISP, nuclear) are examined at a fine scale within four different regions for populations of T. californicus. High levels of genetic divergence are seen for both genes at the broader scale, and genetic subdivision is apparent at nearly all scales in these populations for these two genes. Patterns of polymorphism and divergence in both CYTB and RISP suggest that selection may be leading to non-neutral evolution of these genes in several cases but a pervasive pattern of neither selection nor coadaptation is seen for these markers. Conclusion The use of sequence data at a fine-scale of resolution in this species has provided novel insights into the processes that have resulted in the accumulation of genetic divergence among populations. This divergence is likely to result from an interplay between a limited dispersal ability for this copepod and the temporal instability of copepod habitat. Both shorter-term processes such as the extinction/recolonization dynamics of copepod pools and longer-term processes such as geological uplift of coastline and sea level changes appear to have impacted the patterns of differentiation. Some patterns of sequence variation are consistent with selection acting upon the loci used in this study; however, it appears that most phylogeographic patterns are the result of history and

  3. Historical Pedigree Reconstruction from Extant Populations Using PArtitioning of RElatives (PREPARE)

    PubMed Central

    Shem-Tov, Doron; Halperin, Eran

    2014-01-01

    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, , 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 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. PMID:24945698

  4. Ethnically distinct populations of historical Tibet exhibit distinct autosomal STR compositions.

    PubMed

    Tsering, Thupten; Gayden, Tenzin; Chennakrishnaiah, Shilpa; Bukhari, Areej; Garcia-Bertrand, Ralph; Herrera, Rene J

    2016-03-01

    At an average altitude of 4000m above sea level, the Tibetan plateau is one of the highest plains on the planet. It is surrounded on three sides by massive mountain ranges: the Kunlun, the Karakoram and the Himalayas. These natural barriers have kept Tibet relatively isolated. In the present study, 15 autosomal STR loci were genotyped in 338 unrelated individuals from three traditional provinces of historical Tibet: Amdo (86), Kham (101) and U-Tsang (151). All the studied loci were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium except for the D19S433 locus in the Kham province. FGA, D21S11 and D2S1338 show the highest observed heterozygosity values in Amdo (0.8954), Kham (0.9208) and U-Tsang (0.8940), respectively, whereas TPOX is the least variable marker displaying the lowest value for the same parameter. U-Tsang exhibits the highest total numbers of alleles (139) followed by Kham (130) and Amdo (128) groups. The allele frequency data from this study were compared to relevant global reference populations. Our results indicate that although these three Tibetan populations group together in both the Correspondence Analysis (CA) plot and the Neighbor Joining (NJ) tree, they exhibit some degree of genetic differentiation among themselves congruent with their unique dialects, cultures and traditions. The 15 autosomal STR loci studied were found to be informative and discriminating, thereby providing a useful set of markers for population genetic studies. PMID:26688553

  5. Historical and contemporary mating patterns in remnant populations of the forest tree Fraxinus excelsior L.

    PubMed

    Bacles, Cecile F E; Burczyk, Jaroslaw; Lowe, Andrew J; Ennos, Richard A

    2005-05-01

    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.

  6. Historic and forecasted population and land-cover change in eastern North Carolina, 1992-2030

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Claggett, Peter R.; Hearn,, Paul P.; Donato, David I.

    2015-01-01

    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.

  7. Rate of decline of the Oriental white-backed vulture population in India estimated from a survey of diclofenac residues in carcasses of ungulates.

    PubMed

    Green, Rhys E; Taggart, Mark A; Senacha, Kalu Ram; Raghavan, Bindu; Pain, Deborah J; Jhala, Yadvendradev; Cuthbert, Richard

    2007-08-01

    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.

  8. Rate of Decline of the Oriental White-Backed Vulture Population in India Estimated from a Survey of Diclofenac Residues in Carcasses of Ungulates

    PubMed Central

    Green, Rhys E.; Taggart, Mark A.; Senacha, Kalu Ram; Raghavan, Bindu; Pain, Deborah J.; Jhala, Yadvendradev; Cuthbert, Richard

    2007-01-01

    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. PMID:17668064

  9. Population Structure and Genotype–Phenotype Associations in a Collection of Oat Landraces and Historic Cultivars

    PubMed Central

    Winkler, Louisa R.; Michael Bonman, J.; Chao, Shiaoman; Admassu Yimer, B.; Bockelman, Harold; Esvelt Klos, Kathy

    2016-01-01

    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

  10. Have Historical Climate Changes Affected Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua) Populations in Antarctica?

    PubMed Central

    Peña M., Fabiola; Poulin, Elie; Dantas, Gisele P. M.; González-Acuña, Daniel; Petry, Maria Virginia; Vianna, Juliana A.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24759777

  11. Population Structure and Genotype-Phenotype Associations in a Collection of Oat Landraces and Historic Cultivars.

    PubMed

    Winkler, Louisa R; Michael Bonman, J; Chao, Shiaoman; Admassu Yimer, B; Bockelman, Harold; Esvelt Klos, Kathy

    2016-01-01

    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

  12. The influence of historical climate changes on Southern Ocean marine predator populations: a comparative analysis.

    PubMed

    Younger, Jane L; Emmerson, Louise M; Miller, Karen J

    2016-02-01

    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

  13. Have historical climate changes affected Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua) populations in Antarctica?

    PubMed

    Peña M, Fabiola; Poulin, Elie; Dantas, Gisele P M; González-Acuña, Daniel; Petry, Maria Virginia; Vianna, Juliana A

    2014-01-01

    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.

  14. The influence of historical climate changes on Southern Ocean marine predator populations: a comparative analysis.

    PubMed

    Younger, Jane L; Emmerson, Louise M; Miller, Karen J

    2016-02-01

    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

  15. Population Structure and Genotype-Phenotype Associations in a Collection of Oat Landraces and Historic Cultivars.

    PubMed

    Winkler, Louisa R; Michael Bonman, J; Chao, Shiaoman; Admassu Yimer, B; Bockelman, Harold; Esvelt Klos, Kathy

    2016-01-01

    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

  16. An examination of Bayesian statistical approaches to modeling change in cognitive decline in an Alzheimer’s disease population

    PubMed Central

    Bartolucci, Al; Bae, Sejong; Singh, Karan; Griffith, H. Randall

    2009-01-01

    The mini mental state examination (MMSE) is a common tool for measuring cognitive decline in Alzhiemer’s Disease (AD) subjects. Subjects are usually observed for a specified period of time or until death to determine the trajectory of the decline which for the most part appears to be linear. However, it may be noted that the decline may not be modeled by a single linear model over a specified period of time. There may be a point called a change point where the rate or gradient of the decline may change depending on the length of time of observation. A Bayesian approach is used to model the trajectory and determine an appropriate posterior estimate of the change point as well as the predicted model of decline before and after the change point. Estimates of the appropriate parameters as well as their posterior credible regions or regions of interest are established. Coherent prior to posterior analysis using mainly non informative priors for the parameters of interest is provided. This approach is applied to an existing AD database. PMID:20161460

  17. [Human resources in Latin America: a historical focus on the relations among population, education, and employment].

    PubMed

    Oteiza, E

    1989-01-01

    employment has declined abruptly. The residual category of labor in the informal sector is large and growing rapidly in countries of the region. These distortions express the structural incapacity of economies on the region to employ their available human resources in a context of rapid population growth and considerable (though still insufficient) investment in education. A different development strategy, oriented toward satisfaction of basic needs of the population, would mobilize human resources and create employment. In the case of educaiton, available data point to a continuing disarticulation between population dynamics, employment, and education. The existence of some 40 million illiterates in Latin America and the Caribbean and the wasted investment in large numbers of highly educated persons who either emigrate or remain underemployed in their own countries express 2 facets of this problem. PMID:12284020

  18. [Human resources in Latin America: a historical focus on the relations among population, education, and employment].

    PubMed

    Oteiza, E

    1989-01-01

    employment has declined abruptly. The residual category of labor in the informal sector is large and growing rapidly in countries of the region. These distortions express the structural incapacity of economies on the region to employ their available human resources in a context of rapid population growth and considerable (though still insufficient) investment in education. A different development strategy, oriented toward satisfaction of basic needs of the population, would mobilize human resources and create employment. In the case of educaiton, available data point to a continuing disarticulation between population dynamics, employment, and education. The existence of some 40 million illiterates in Latin America and the Caribbean and the wasted investment in large numbers of highly educated persons who either emigrate or remain underemployed in their own countries express 2 facets of this problem.

  19. [Features' dental status population of the territory of Ukraine in different historical epochs].

    PubMed

    Kas'kova, L F; Artem'ev, A V; Berezhnaia, E E; Amosova, L I

    2014-12-01

    In recent decades, domestic and foreign dentistry actively developing direction associated with the study of the ancient population health. As part of this special issue of the informative value of acquiring individual are extremely fragmented findings of human remains. Therefore the aim of the study was to determine the characteristics of the course of dental caries in the historical aspect by considering anthropological remains of Ukrainian citizens from copper age to the late Middle Ages. During the Bronze Age, Early Iron Age (EIA) in adults caries cavities (CC) are fixed at an age close to 40 years and above. In the copper age population in Ukraine manual were apparently extremely rare, their traces, we have not found. As a continuation of the tightening properties of caries in the EIA (except Class II) have already taken place and CC of V class (many combinations of class II and V) appear damaged teeth and lost, probably as a complication of tooth decay. All of the above prompts to seek new development study of the state of skeletal remains.

  20. [Features' dental status population of the territory of Ukraine in different historical epochs].

    PubMed

    Kas'kova, L F; Artem'ev, A V; Berezhnaia, E E; Amosova, L I

    2014-12-01

    In recent decades, domestic and foreign dentistry actively developing direction associated with the study of the ancient population health. As part of this special issue of the informative value of acquiring individual are extremely fragmented findings of human remains. Therefore the aim of the study was to determine the characteristics of the course of dental caries in the historical aspect by considering anthropological remains of Ukrainian citizens from copper age to the late Middle Ages. During the Bronze Age, Early Iron Age (EIA) in adults caries cavities (CC) are fixed at an age close to 40 years and above. In the copper age population in Ukraine manual were apparently extremely rare, their traces, we have not found. As a continuation of the tightening properties of caries in the EIA (except Class II) have already taken place and CC of V class (many combinations of class II and V) appear damaged teeth and lost, probably as a complication of tooth decay. All of the above prompts to seek new development study of the state of skeletal remains. PMID:25617098

  1. Ergothioneine levels in an elderly population decrease with age and incidence of cognitive decline; a risk factor for neurodegeneration?

    PubMed

    Cheah, Irwin K; Feng, Lei; Tang, Richard M Y; Lim, Keith H C; Halliwell, Barry

    2016-09-01

    Ergothioneine (ET), a naturally occurring thione, can accumulate in the human body at high concentrations from diet. Following absorption via a specific transporter, OCTN1, ET may accumulate preferentially in tissues predisposed to higher levels of oxidative stress and inflammation. Given its potential cytoprotective effects, we examined how ET levels change with age. We found that whole blood ET levels in elderly individuals decline significantly beyond 60 years of age. Additionally, a subset of these subjects with mild cognitive impairment had significantly lower plasma ET levels compared with age-matched subjects. This decline suggests that deficiency in ET may be a risk factor, predisposing individuals to neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27444382

  2. The effective population sizes of the anthropoid ancestors of the human-chimpanzee lineage provide insights on the historical biogeography of the great apes.

    PubMed

    Schrago, Carlos G

    2014-01-01

    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.

  3. Trypanosomes genetic diversity, polyparasitism and the population decline of the critically endangered Australian marsupial, the brush tailed bettong or woylie (Bettongia penicillata).

    PubMed

    Botero, Adriana; Thompson, Craig K; Peacock, Christopher S; Clode, Peta L; Nicholls, Philip K; Wayne, Adrian F; Lymbery, Alan J; Thompson, R C Andrew

    2013-12-01

    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

  4. Trypanosomes genetic diversity, polyparasitism and the population decline of the critically endangered Australian marsupial, the brush tailed bettong or woylie (Bettongia penicillata)

    PubMed Central

    Botero, Adriana; Thompson, Craig K.; Peacock, Christopher S.; Clode, Peta L.; Nicholls, Philip K.; Wayne, Adrian F.; Lymbery, Alan J.; Thompson, R.C. Andrew

    2013-01-01

    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

  5. Serologic surveillance of pathogens in a declining harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) population in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, USA and a reference site.

    PubMed

    Hueffer, Karsten; Holcomb, Darce; Ballweber, Lora R; Gende, Scott M; Blundell, Gail; O'Hara, Todd M

    2011-10-01

    The harbor seal population in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, has declined by over 70% since 1992. The reasons for this decline are not known. We examined serum antibodies and feces for evidence of exposure to multiple pathogens in this population. We also studied harbor seals from a reference site on Kodiak Island. In 2007, we found antibodies against Leptospira spp. in 31% of specimens from harbor seals in Glacier Bay, but no detectable serum antibodies in samples from Kodiak. In 2008, no samples had detectable antibodies against Leptospira spp. No serum antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii, morbilliviruses, or presence of Cryptosporidium in fecal samples were detected. However, Giardia was found in 6% of the fecal samples from Glacier Bay. Our results indicate that the harbor seal population in Glacier Bay National Park could be immunologically naïve to distemper viruses and therefore vulnerable to these pathogens. Given the relatively low prevalence of antibodies and low titers, pathogens likely are not the reason for the harbor seal decline in Glacier Bay. PMID:22102671

  6. Serologic surveillance of pathogens in a declining harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) population in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, USA and a reference site.

    PubMed

    Hueffer, Karsten; Holcomb, Darce; Ballweber, Lora R; Gende, Scott M; Blundell, Gail; O'Hara, Todd M

    2011-10-01

    The harbor seal population in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, has declined by over 70% since 1992. The reasons for this decline are not known. We examined serum antibodies and feces for evidence of exposure to multiple pathogens in this population. We also studied harbor seals from a reference site on Kodiak Island. In 2007, we found antibodies against Leptospira spp. in 31% of specimens from harbor seals in Glacier Bay, but no detectable serum antibodies in samples from Kodiak. In 2008, no samples had detectable antibodies against Leptospira spp. No serum antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii, morbilliviruses, or presence of Cryptosporidium in fecal samples were detected. However, Giardia was found in 6% of the fecal samples from Glacier Bay. Our results indicate that the harbor seal population in Glacier Bay National Park could be immunologically naïve to distemper viruses and therefore vulnerable to these pathogens. Given the relatively low prevalence of antibodies and low titers, pathogens likely are not the reason for the harbor seal decline in Glacier Bay.

  7. Pattern of declining blood pressure across replicate population surveys of the WHO MONICA project, mid-1980s to mid-1990s, and the role of medication

    PubMed Central

    Tunstall-Pedoe, Hugh; Connaghan, John; Woodward, Mark; Tolonen, Hanna; Kuulasmaa, Kari

    2006-01-01

    Objective Declining mean systolic and diastolic blood pressures were observed in most populations of the World Health Organization MONICA (monitoring trends and determinants in cardiovascular disease) project from the mid-1980s to mid-1990s. We tested whether pooled results would show mean change associated with decline in high readings only, resulting from better antihypertensive medication, or with similar falls in low, middle, and high readings, implying other causes. Design Independent, random sample, cross sectional population surveys, each end of the MONICA decade. Setting 38 populations in 21 countries across four continents. Participants Design target in each survey of 200 participants in each 10 year age and sex group from age 35 to 64 Main outcome measures Changes in the population in mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and in low, middle, and high readings—the 20th, 50th, and 80th centiles—and the differences between these changes. Results Individual populations differed considerably, but pooling the 38 population results gave mean changes in systolic blood pressure of -2.2 mm Hg in men, -3.3 mm Hg in women, and in diastolic blood pressure of -1.4 mm Hg in men and -2.2 mm Hg in women (overall average -2.26 mm Hg, population median -1.55 mm Hg). Antihypertensive medication, associated with high readings, rose by 0.5% to 11.4%. However, average falls in low and middle blood pressure readings were so similar to those in high readings and in the mean that no effect from improving treatment of hypertension was detected. Results in contrasted subgroups were consistent. Conclusions Blood pressure fell across 38 MONICA populations at all levels of readings, with no differential fall in high readings attributable to better control of hypertension. Despite the importance of medication to individuals, in that decade other determinants of blood pressure lowering must have been more pervasive and powerful in whole populations. PMID:16531419

  8. Decline of Northern Pintails

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hestback, Jay B.

    1995-01-01

    Changes in the size of the continental pintail population result from changes in production, survival, or both. Consequently, understanding population changes involves detecting variation in survival and production over time and relating that variation to changes in population size. Once the cause of the decline is determined, appropriate management strategies can be developed to reverse it.

  9. An integrated approach to historical population assessment of the great whales: case of the New Zealand southern right whale.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Jennifer A; Carroll, Emma L; Smith, Tim D; Zerbini, Alexandre N; Patenaude, Nathalie J; Baker, C Scott

    2016-03-01

    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

  10. An integrated approach to historical population assessment of the great whales: case of the New Zealand southern right whale.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Jennifer A; Carroll, Emma L; Smith, Tim D; Zerbini, Alexandre N; Patenaude, Nathalie J; Baker, C Scott

    2016-03-01

    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.

  11. An integrated approach to historical population assessment of the great whales: case of the New Zealand southern right whale

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Jennifer A.; Carroll, Emma L.; Smith, Tim D.; Zerbini, Alexandre N.; Patenaude, Nathalie J.; Baker, C. Scott

    2016-01-01

    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

  12. A spatial analysis of population dynamics and climate change in Africa: potential vulnerability hot spots emerge where precipitation declines and demographic pressures coincide

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    López-Carr, David; Pricope, Narcisa G.; Aukema, Juliann E.; Jankowska, Marta M.; Funk, Christopher C.; Husak, Gregory J.; Michaelsen, Joel C.

    2014-01-01

    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.

  13. Temporal and spatial dynamics of trypanosomes infecting the brush-tailed bettong (Bettongia penicillata): a cautionary note of disease-induced population decline

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    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

  14. Long-term trends in survival of a declining population: the case of the little owl (Athene noctua) in the Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Le Gouar, Pascaline J; Schekkerman, Hans; van der Jeugd, Henk P; Boele, Arjan; van Harxen, Ronald; Fuchs, Piet; Stroeken, Pascal; van Noordwijk, Arie J

    2011-06-01

    The little owl (Athene noctua) has declined significantly in many parts of Europe, including the Netherlands. To understand the demographic mechanisms underlying their decline, we analysed all available Dutch little owl ringing data. The data set spanned 35 years, and included more than 24,000 ringed owls, allowing detailed estimation of survival rates through multi-state capture-recapture modelling taking dispersal into account. We investigated geographical and temporal variation in age-specific survival rates and linked annual survival estimates to population growth rate in corresponding years, as well as to environmental covariates. The best model for estimating survival assumed time effects on both juvenile and adult survival rates, with average annual survival estimated at 0.258 (SE = 0.047) and 0.753 (SE = 0.019), respectively. Juvenile survival rates decreased with time whereas adult survival rates fluctuated regularly among years, low survival occurring about every 4 years. Years when the population declined were associated with low juvenile survival. More than 60% of the variation in juvenile survival was explained by the increase in road traffic intensity or in average temperature in spring, but these correlations rather reflect a gradual decrease in juvenile survival coinciding with long-term global change than direct causal effects. Surprisingly, vole dynamics did not explain the cyclic dynamics of adult survival rate. Instead, dry and cold years led to low adult survival rates. Low juvenile survival rates, that limit recruitment of first-year breeders, and the regular occurrence of years with poor adult survival, were the most important determinants of the population decline of the little owl.

  15. Failure to Respond to Food Resource Decline Has Catastrophic Consequences for Koalas in a High-Density Population in Southern Australia.

    PubMed

    Whisson, Desley A; Dixon, Victoria; Taylor, Megan L; Melzer, Alistair

    2016-01-01

    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.

  16. Failure to Respond to Food Resource Decline Has Catastrophic Consequences for Koalas in a High-Density Population in Southern Australia.

    PubMed

    Whisson, Desley A; Dixon, Victoria; Taylor, Megan L; Melzer, Alistair

    2016-01-01

    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

  17. Failure to Respond to Food Resource Decline Has Catastrophic Consequences for Koalas in a High-Density Population in Southern Australia

    PubMed Central

    Whisson, Desley A.

    2016-01-01

    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

  18. Re-Examining Mortality Sources and Population Trends in a Declining Seabird: Using Bayesian Methods to Incorporate Existing Information and New Data

    PubMed Central

    Reid, Tim; Hindell, Mark; Lavers, Jennifer L.; Wilcox, Chris

    2013-01-01

    The population of flesh-footed shearwaters (Puffinus carneipes) breeding on Lord Howe Island was shown to be declining from the 1970's to the early 2000's. This was attributed to destruction of breeding habitat and fisheries mortality in the Australian Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery. Recent evidence suggests these impacts have ceased; presumably leading to population recovery. We used Bayesian statistical methods to combine data from the literature with more recent, but incomplete, field data to estimate population parameters and trends. This approach easily accounts for sources of variation and uncertainty while formally incorporating data and variation from different sources into the estimate. There is a 70% probability that the flesh-footed shearwater population on Lord Howe continued to decline during 2003–2009, and a number of possible reasons for this are suggested. During the breeding season, road-based mortality of adults on Lord Howe Island is likely to result in reduced adult survival and there is evidence that breeding success is negatively impacted by marine debris. Interactions with fisheries on flesh-footed shearwater winter grounds should be further investigated. PMID:23573188

  19. Effects of Cougar Predation and Nutrition on Mule Deer Population Declines in the Intermountain Province of the Columbia Basin, 2001-2002 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Wielgus, Robert B.; Shipley, Lisa

    2002-07-01

    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

  20. Effects of Cougar Predation and Nutrition on Mule Deer Population Declines in the IM Province of the Columbia Basin, Annual Report 2002-2003.

    SciTech Connect

    Wielgus, Robert; Shipley, Lisa; Myers, Woodrow

    2003-09-01

    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

  1. Social Participation and the Prevention of Decline in Effectance among Community-Dwelling Elderly: A Population-Based Cohort Study

    PubMed Central

    Tomioka, Kimiko; Kurumatani, Norio; Hosoi, Hiroshi

    2015-01-01

    Background We examined the association between a decline in effectance and social participation (SP) from the perspective of the number and the type of SP in a prospective cohort study. Methods Included in this analysis were community-dwelling elderly aged ≥65 without dependency on the basic activities of daily living and reporting a perfect baseline effectance score (n = 4,588; mean age 72.8±5.7). SP was categorized into 5 types: neighborhood associations, hobby groups, local event groups, senior citizen clubs, and volunteer groups. Effectance was evaluated using the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology Index of Competence. Using logistic regression analysis, odds ratio (OR) and a 95% confidence interval (CI) for a decline in effectance were calculated. Age, family, BMI, pensions, medical history, medications, alcohol, smoking, cognitive function, depression, social support, ADL, and IADL were used as covariates. Results During the 3-year follow-up, 17.8% of eligible participants reported a decline in effectance. After adjustment for covariates, participation in various groups was associated with the preservation of effectance for both genders. Regarding the type of SP, among females, participation in neighborhood associations (OR: 0.62, 95%CI: 0.48–0.81), hobby groups (0.58, 0.43–0.77), local event groups (0.63, 0.47–0.86), and volunteer groups (0.53, 0.35–0.82) was inversely associated with a decline in effectance. Among males, the beneficial effect was more likely limited to hobby groups (0.59, 0.43–0.81) and volunteer groups (0.57, 0.39–0.83). Conclusions Our results suggest that participation in a variety of social groups is effective for maintenance of older people’s effectance, while the beneficial effect of each type of SP on effectance is stronger for females than for males. Recommending community-dwelling elderly to participate in social groups appropriate for their gender may be effective for successful aging. PMID:26406326

  2. Intellectual Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guilford, J.P.

    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…

  3. Cognitive and Functional Decline among Individuals 50 Years of Age or Older in Cambé, Paraná, Brazil: A Population-Based Study

    PubMed Central

    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

    2016-01-01

    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

  4. Population biology of establishment in New Zealand hedgehogs inferred from genetic and historical data: conflict or compromise?

    PubMed

    Bolfíková, Barbora; Konečný, Adam; Pfäffle, Miriam; Skuballa, Jasmin; Hulva, Pavel

    2013-07-01

    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.

  5. The possible correlation between dental enamel hypoplasia and a historic natural disaster in the Roman population of Herculaneum (79 AD - central Italy).

    PubMed

    D'Anastasio, R; Cesana, D T; Viciano, J; Sciubba, M; Nibaruta, P; Capasso, L

    2013-01-01

    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.

  6. FACTORS IMPLICATED IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES IN THE US, AND AN EVALUATION OF THE CASE FOR INVASIVE SPECIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    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 ...

  7. Divergence genetics analysis reveals historical population genetic processes leading to contrasting phylogeographic patterns in co-distributed species.

    PubMed

    McGovern, Tamara M; Keever, Carson C; Saski, Christopher A; Hart, Michael W; Marko, Peter B

    2010-11-01

    Coalescent samplers are computational time machines for inferring the historical demographic genetic processes that have given rise to observable patterns of spatial genetic variation among contemporary populations. We have used traditional characterizations of population structure and coalescent-based inferences about demographic processes to reconstruct the population histories of two co-distributed marine species, the frilled dog whelk, Nucella lamellosa, and the bat star, Patiria miniata. Analyses of population structure were consistent with previous work in both species except that additional samples of N. lamellosa showed a larger regional genetic break on Vancouver Island (VI) rather than between the southern Alexander Archipelago as in P. miniata. Our understanding of the causes, rather than just the patterns, of spatial genetic variation was dramatically improved by coalescent analyses that emphasized variation in population divergence times. Overall, gene flow was greater in bat stars (planktonic development) than snails (benthic development) but spatially homogeneous within species. In both species, these large phylogeographic breaks corresponded to relatively ancient divergence times between populations rather than regionally restricted gene flow. Although only N. lamellosa shows a large break on VI, population separation times on VI are congruent between species, suggesting a similar response to late Pleistocene ice sheet expansion. The absence of a phylogeographic break in P. miniata on VI can be attributed to greater gene flow and larger effective population size in this species. Such insights put the relative significance of gene flow into a more comprehensive historical biogeographic context and have important implications for conservation and landscape genetic studies that emphasize the role of contemporary gene flow and connectivity in shaping patterns of population differentiation. PMID:21040048

  8. PROTOPLANETARY DISK MASSES IN IC348: A RAPID DECLINE IN THE POPULATION OF SMALL DUST GRAINS AFTER 1 Myr

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Nicholas; Williams, Jonathan P.; Cieza, Lucas A.

    2011-08-01

    We present a 1.3 mm continuum survey of protoplanetary disks in the 2-3 Myr old cluster, IC348, with the Submillimeter Array. We observed 85 young stellar objects and detected 10 with 1.3 mm fluxes greater than 2 mJy. The brightest source is a young embedded protostar driving a molecular outflow. The other nine detections are dusty disks around optically visible stars. Our millimeter flux measurements translate into total disk masses ranging from 2 to 6 Jupiter masses. Each detected disk has strong mid-infrared emission in excess of the stellar photosphere and has H{alpha} equivalent widths larger than the average in the cluster and indicative of ongoing gas accretion. The disk mass distribution, however, is shifted by about a factor of 20 to lower masses, compared to that in the {approx}1 Myr old Taurus and Ophiuchus regions. These observations reveal the rapid decline in the number of small dust grains in disks with time and probably their concomitant growth beyond millimeter sizes. Moreover, if IC348 is to form planets in the same proportion as detected in the field, these faint millimeter detections may represent the best candidates in the cluster to study the progression from planetesimals to planets.

  9. Combining Population Structure with Historic Abitoic Processes to Better Understand Species and Community Range Shifts in Response to Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graham, N. M.

    2015-12-01

    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.

  10. Channel change as a response to reforestation and population decline in the rural Toulourenc basin, southern French Prealps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubin, Z.; Janes, K.; Kondolf, G. M.; Natali, J.; Radke, J.

    2011-12-01

    As a result of demographic changes, forest cover in the southern French Prealp mountains has increased dramatically during the 20th century. Over the same time period stream morphology within these sub-Mediterranean mountain basins has also changed. At two mainstem locations and eight upstream tributary sites within the Toulourenc basin (~150 km2), we investigated the relationship between hillslope erosion processes and the evolution of stream channel morphology through analysis of historic cadastral maps (circa 1850), aerial photographs (1950-current), topographic surveys (2009-2011), dendrochronolgy of vegetative establishment on abandoned terraces, and bed material size distribution. We observed narrowing of the active channel width, channel degradation, and pavement development along the Toulourenc mainstem and upstream tributaries. On the mainstem Toulourenc, the active channel has narrowed approximately 50% (30m) between 1950 and 2011. As with other studies within the southern French Prealps, the channel modifications appear to be induced by a decrease in the coarse sediment supply as agricultural and logging lands were reforested between 1890 and 1945.

  11. African buffalo maintain high genetic diversity in the major histocompatibility complex in spite of historically known population bottlenecks.

    PubMed

    Wenink, P W; Groen, A F; Roelke-Parker, M E; Prins, H H

    1998-10-01

    Historical population collapses caused by rinderpest epidemics are hypothesized to have resulted in notable genetic losses in populations of the African buffalo. Polymorphism in the major histocompatibity complex (MHC) DRB3 gene was probed by means of restriction analysis of the sequence encoding the peptide-binding region. Nucleotide substitution patterns agreed with a positive selection acting on this fitness-relevant locus. Buffalo populations from four National Parks, situated in eastern and southern Africa, each revealed a surprisingly high allelic diversity. Current high levels of heterozygosity may be reconciled with historical bottlenecks by assuming that local extinctions were followed by fast recolonization, in accordance with the high dispersive capabilities of buffalo. The specific amplification of DRB3 alleles also enabled the assignment of individual genotypes. For each population sample a deficiency in the expected number of heterozygous animals was found. As overdominant selection on the MHC is predicted to yield an excess of heterozygous individuals, this may not be a locus-specific effect. Several other explanations are discussed, of which increased homozygosity caused by nonrandom mating of buffalo in populations seems the most probable.

  12. Detecting declines in the abundance of a bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) population: Understanding the accuracy, precision, and costs of our efforts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Al-Chokhachy, R.; Budy, P.; Conner, M.

    2009-01-01

    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.

  13. Effective population size dynamics reveal impacts of historic climatic events and recent anthropogenic pressure in African elephants.

    PubMed

    Okello, J B A; Wittemyer, G; Rasmussen, H B; Arctander, P; Nyakaana, S; Douglas-Hamilton, I; Siegismund, H R

    2008-09-01

    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.

  14. Effective population size dynamics reveal impacts of historic climatic events and recent anthropogenic pressure in African elephants.

    PubMed

    Okello, J B A; Wittemyer, G; Rasmussen, H B; Arctander, P; Nyakaana, S; Douglas-Hamilton, I; Siegismund, H R

    2008-09-01

    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. PMID:18643879

  15. The impact of socio-economic status on net fertility during the historical fertility decline: a comparative analysis of Canada, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, and the USA.

    PubMed

    Dribe, Martin; Hacker, J David; Scalone, Francesco

    2014-01-01

    We used micro-level data from the censuses of 1900 to investigate the impact of socio-economic status on net fertility during the fertility transition in five Northern American and European countries (Canada, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the USA). The study is therefore unlike most previous research on the historical fertility transition, which used aggregate data to examine economic correlates of demographic behaviour at regional or national levels. Our data included information on number of children by age, occupation of the mother and father, place of residence, and household context. The results show highly similar patterns across countries, with the elite and upper middle classes having considerably lower net fertility early in the transition. These patterns remain after controlling for a range of individual and community-level fertility determinants and geographical unobserved heterogeneity.

  16. Historical backcasting of metal concentrations in the Chattahoochee River, Georgia: Population growth and environmental policy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Neumann, K.; Lyons, W.B.; Graham, E.Y.; Callender, E.

    2005-01-01

    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.

  17. Local Recurrence in Women With Stage I Breast Cancer: Declining Rates Over Time in a Large, Population-Based Cohort

    SciTech Connect

    Canavan, Joycelin; Truong, Pauline T.; Smith, Sally L.; Lu, Linghong; Lesperance, Mary; Olivotto, Ivo A.

    2014-01-01

    increased. These changes contributed to the observed declining LR rates among patients treated with breast-conserving therapy.

  18. Contrasts in genetic structure and historical demography of marine and riverine populations of Atherina at similar geographical scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Francisco, Sara M.; Cabral, Henrique; Vieira, Maria Natividade; Almada, Vítor C.

    2006-09-01

    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.

  19. A Draft De Novo Genome Assembly for the Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) Reveals Evidence for a Rapid Decline in Effective Population Size Beginning in the Late Pleistocene

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2014-01-01

    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

  20. Resource Guide: Historical Trauma and Post-Colonial Stress in American Indian Populations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brave Heart, Maria Yellow Horse; Deschenie, Tina

    2006-01-01

    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…

  1. Examining differences between recovered and declining endangered species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Abbitt, R.J.F.; Michael, Scott J.

    2001-01-01

    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

  2. The role of selection and historical factors in driving population differentiation along an elevational gradient in an island bird.

    PubMed

    Bertrand, J A M; Delahaie, B; Bourgeois, Y X C; Duval, T; García-Jiménez, R; Cornuault, J; Pujol, B; Thébaud, C; Milá, B

    2016-04-01

    Adaptation to local environmental conditions and the range dynamics of populations can influence evolutionary divergence along environmental gradients. Thus, it is important to investigate patterns of both phenotypic and genetic variations among populations to reveal the respective roles of these two types of factors in driving population differentiation. Here, we test for evidence of phenotypic and genetic structure across populations of a passerine bird (Zosterops borbonicus) distributed along a steep elevational gradient on the island of Réunion. Using 11 microsatellite loci screened in 401 individuals from 18 localities distributed along the gradient, we found that genetic differentiation occurred at two spatial levels: (i) between two main population groups corresponding to highland and lowland areas, respectively, and (ii) within each of these two groups. In contrast, several morphological traits varied gradually along the gradient. Comparison of neutral genetic differentiation (FST ) and phenotypic differentiation (PST ) showed that PST largely exceeds FST at several morphological traits, which is consistent with a role for local adaptation in driving morphological divergence along the gradient. Overall, our results revealed an area of secondary contact midway up the gradient between two major, cryptic, population groups likely diverged in allopatry. Remarkably, local adaptation has shaped phenotypic differentiation irrespective of population history, resulting in different patterns of variation along the elevational gradient. Our findings underscore the importance of understanding both historical and selective factors when trying to explain variation along environmental gradients.

  3. Historical and contemporary population genetics of the invasive western corn rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in Croatia.

    PubMed

    Lemic, D; Mikac, K M; Bažok, R

    2013-08-01

    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.

  4. Patterns of widespread decline in North American bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Cameron, Sydney A; Lozier, Jeffrey D; Strange, James P; Koch, Jonathan B; Cordes, Nils; Solter, Leellen F; Griswold, Terry L

    2011-01-11

    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.

  5. Patterns of widespread decline in North American bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Cameron, Sydney A; Lozier, Jeffrey D; Strange, James P; Koch, Jonathan B; Cordes, Nils; Solter, Leellen F; Griswold, Terry L

    2011-01-11

    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

  6. The fertility decline in Kenya.

    PubMed

    Robinson, W C; Harbison, S F

    1995-01-01

    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

  7. Rising Above Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wachtel, Betsy; Powers, Brian

    This volume attempts to document ways in which several communities have dealt with the problems of declining school enrollments. Each case study outlines some type of public participation in the task of adjusting to population changes and fiscal pressures. The first chapter supplies an introductory overview of issues related to declining…

  8. Biological and Cultural Causes of Seasonality of Deaths in Historical Populations From Poland.

    PubMed

    Budnik, Alicja; Liczbińska, Grazyna

    2015-09-01

    Seasonal fluctuations in mortality and their causes in the nineteenth century Polish rural populations: wealthy, agriculturally and economically advanced populations from Wielkopolska, and poor populations from Silesia and Galicia (southern Poland) were described. Data-sources included parish death registers from the Roman Catholic parish of Dziekanowice in the region of Wielkopolska, Prussian statistical yearbooks for the Pozna Province as well as information from previous publications regarding Silesia and Galicia. The 19th century patterns were compared with those in present-day Poland. The occurrence of seasonality of deaths was assessed with: the Chi-squared test, the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, and the Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average Models (ARIMA). In all populations there was a winter maximum of the number of deaths, while the minimum occurred in early summer. In the poor populations of Silesia and Galicia another statistically significant increase in the incidence of deaths was observed in the early spring. In the rich and modern villages of Wielkopolska there was no spring increase in the number of deaths, however, in all populations of Wielkopolska, irrespective of a particular pattern, a secondary mortality peak occurred in the late summer and autumn. Statistical tests used in this study did not show any clear differences in the distribution of the seasonality of deaths between the populations of Wielkopolska on the one hand, and the populations from Galicia and Silesia, on the other hand. The statistical significance of differences was, however, evident between populations representing the two distinguished by secondary peaks death seasonality patterns. Seasonal death increase split the populations under study into two groups according to the criterion of wealth. PMID:26898041

  9. Historical and contemporary population genetic connectivity of the European short-snouted seahorse Hippocampus hippocampus and implications for management.

    PubMed

    Woodall, L C; Koldewey, H J; Shaw, P W

    2011-06-01

    This first genetic study of Hippocampus hippocampus covers the species' entire geographic range and employs two mtDNA markers (control region and cytochrome b) to establish patterns of population structuring. A total of 255 specimens from 21 locations were used to obtain 89 concatenated haplotypes. The common haplotype was present in all but one population, however, most haplotypes were unique. The haplotype network had a star-like construction, suggesting expansion from a bottleneck event. F(ST) and AMOVA revealed population subdivision into three geographic regions (English Channel + Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean Sea + Atlantic Ocean Iberian coast + Macaronesian Islands, and West Africa) with barriers to gene flow indentified at Cape Finisterre and the Cape Verde frontal zone. Neutrality tests and nested clade analysis suggest a complex demographic history, with both historic events and contemporary processes shaping patterns of genetic differentiation. The genetic population subdivision detected in this study indicates that H. hippocampus should be managed as three separate units. This is especially pertinent as H. hippocampus populations within the West African region are the only ones known to be specifically targeted for exploitation.

  10. Historical and modern epidemiological studies on populations exposed to N-substituted aryl compounds.

    PubMed Central

    Cartwright, R A

    1983-01-01

    The historical exposures to aromatic amines of various occupational groups are briefly reviewed. Modern studies indicate that other occupational groups might have risks worth investigating; these include machinists and workers in the chemical industry. Details of a recent investigation into the exposure of dye workers are given which indicate a lowered risk in recent years since the introduction of safety measures. Nonoccupational exposures to the aromatic amines are also discussed. They include cigarette smoking and phenacetin abuse, the former being a potent causal agent in bladder cancer. PMID:6339220

  11. The potato's contribution to population and urbanization: evidence from a historical experiment.

    PubMed

    Nunn, Nathan; Qian, Nancy

    2011-01-01

    We exploit regional variation in suitability for cultivating potatoes, together with time variation arising from their introduction to the Old World from the Americas, to estimate the impact of potatoes on Old World population and urbanization. Our results show that the introduction of the potato was responsible for a significant portion of the increase in population and urbanization observed during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. According to our most conservative estimates, the introduction of the potato accounts for approximately one-quarter of the growth in Old World population and urbanization between 1700 and 1900. Additional evidence from within-country comparisons of city populations and adult heights also confirms the cross-country findings. PMID:22073408

  12. Effects of the population pedigree on genetic signatures of historical demographic events.

    PubMed

    Wakeley, John; King, Léandra; Wilton, Peter R

    2016-07-19

    Genetic variation among loci in the genomes of diploid biparental organisms is the result of mutation and genetic transmission through the genealogy, or population pedigree, of the species. We explore the consequences of this for patterns of variation at unlinked loci for two kinds of demographic events: the occurrence of a very large family or a strong selective sweep that occurred in the recent past. The results indicate that only rather extreme versions of such events can be expected to structure population pedigrees in such a way that unlinked loci will show deviations from the standard predictions of population genetics, which average over population pedigrees. The results also suggest that large samples of individuals and loci increase the chance of picking up signatures of these events, and that very large families may have a unique signature in terms of sample distributions of mutant alleles. PMID:27432946

  13. Effects of the population pedigree on genetic signatures of historical demographic events

    PubMed Central

    Wakeley, John; King, Léandra; Wilton, Peter R.

    2016-01-01

    Genetic variation among loci in the genomes of diploid biparental organisms is the result of mutation and genetic transmission through the genealogy, or population pedigree, of the species. We explore the consequences of this for patterns of variation at unlinked loci for two kinds of demographic events: the occurrence of a very large family or a strong selective sweep that occurred in the recent past. The results indicate that only rather extreme versions of such events can be expected to structure population pedigrees in such a way that unlinked loci will show deviations from the standard predictions of population genetics, which average over population pedigrees. The results also suggest that large samples of individuals and loci increase the chance of picking up signatures of these events, and that very large families may have a unique signature in terms of sample distributions of mutant alleles. PMID:27432946

  14. POPULATION DECLINE IN STREAM FISH

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

  15. Effects of historic PCB exposures on the reproductive success of the Hudson River striped bass population.

    PubMed

    Barnthouse, Lawrence W; Glaser, David; Young, John

    2003-01-15

    Scientists and regulatory agencies have expressed concern that exposures to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) might be contributing to reductions in the abundance of fish populations exposed to these chemicals. The specific effects of concern involve impairment of fish reproduction, including both reduced egg production and decreased viability of eggs and larvae. We tested hypotheses concerning the effects of PCBs on fish populations using long-term data sets available for the striped bass population of the Hudson River, NY, a population that has long been a subject of regulatory concern because of potential effects of PCB exposures. The data sets examined include both measurements of PCB concentrations in adult female striped bass over the period from 1976 through 1997 and estimates of the numbers of striped bass eggs, larvae, and juveniles produced annually during this same period. We found strong correlations between estimates of the abundance of spawners and the number of eggs and larvae produced by those spawners and also between independent estimates of year-class strength derived from different sampling programs. However, we found no relationships between PCB exposure and any measure of striped bass abundance or reproduction. Although inconsistent with the expected effects of PCB exposures, trends in all measures of striped bass abundance and reproductive success were consistent with the expected effects of striped bass harvest restrictions that were imposed during the 1980s. Our results demonstrate a need for caution in inferring risks to populations in nature from effects observed in laboratory studies.

  16. At-sea and on-shore cycles of juvenile Steller sea lions ( Eumetopias jubatus) derived from satellite dive recorders: A comparison between declining and increasing populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Call, Katherine A.; Fadely, Brian S.; Greig, Angie; Rehberg, Michael J.

    2007-02-01

    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.

  17. Mitochondrial analysis of a Byzantine population reveals the differential impact of multiple historical events in South Anatolia.

    PubMed

    Ottoni, Claudio; Ricaut, François-X; Vanderheyden, Nancy; Brucato, Nicolas; Waelkens, Marc; Decorte, Ronny

    2011-05-01

    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

  18. Mitochondrial analysis of a Byzantine population reveals the differential impact of multiple historical events in South Anatolia

    PubMed Central

    Ottoni, Claudio; Ricaut, François-X; Vanderheyden, Nancy; Brucato, Nicolas; Waelkens, Marc; Decorte, Ronny

    2011-01-01

    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

  19. Climate, not Aboriginal landscape burning, controlled the historical demography and distribution of fire-sensitive conifer populations across Australia.

    PubMed

    Sakaguchi, Shota; Bowman, David M J S; Prior, Lynda D; Crisp, Michael D; Linde, Celeste C; Tsumura, Yoshihiko; Isagi, Yuji

    2013-12-22

    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.

  20. Climate, not Aboriginal landscape burning, controlled the historical demography and distribution of fire-sensitive conifer populations across Australia

    PubMed Central

    Sakaguchi, Shota; Bowman, David M. J. S.; Prior, Lynda D.; Crisp, Michael D.; Linde, Celeste C.; Tsumura, Yoshihiko; Isagi, Yuji

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24174110

  1. Population genetic structure and historical demography of Oratosquilla oratoria revealed by mitochondrial DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Zhang, D; Ding, Ge; Ge, B; Zhang, H; Tang, B

    2012-12-01

    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. PMID:23516902

  2. Population genetic structure and historical demography of Oratosquilla oratoria revealed by mitochondrial DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Zhang, D; Ding, Ge; Ge, B; Zhang, H; Tang, B

    2012-12-01

    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.

  3. HISTORICAL ANALYSIS OF THE RELATIONSHIP OF STREAMFLOW FLASHINESS WITH POPULATION DENSITY, IMPERVIOUSNESS, AND PERCENT URBAN LAND COVER IN THE MID-ATLANTIC REGION (1)

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

  4. LINKING HISTORICAL ORGANOCHLORINE EXPOSURES IN THE GREAT LAKES CAUSALLY TO MAJOR FISH POPULATION CHANGES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Great Lakes of North America are large aquatic ecosystems that have been greatly impacted by human activities in the 20th century. Introduction of non-native species, both advertently and inadvertently; reduction in populations through commercial fishing; habitat alternation...

  5. Historical and contemporary demography of United States populations of Western Corn Rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera)

    EPA Science Inventory

    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. ...

  6. Historical rise of waterpower initiated the collapse of salmon stocks

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2016-01-01

    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

  7. Historical rise of waterpower initiated the collapse of salmon stocks.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-01-01

    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 19(th) and 20(th) century. However, other causes have rarely been quantified, especially those acting before the 19(th) 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

  8. Driving a hard bargain: sex ratio and male marriage success in a historical US population.

    PubMed

    Pollet, Thomas V; Nettle, Daniel

    2008-02-23

    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.

  9. Genetics of population exchange along the historical Portuguese-Spanish border.

    PubMed

    Román-Busto, J; Tasso, M; Caravello, G; Fuster, V; Zuluaga, P

    2013-01-01

    The present analysis compares the distribution of surnames by means of spatial autocorrelation analysis in the Spain-Portugal border region. The Spanish National Institute of Statistics provides a database of surnames of residents in the western Spanish provinces of Zamora, Salamanca, Cáceres, Badajoz and Huelva. The Spanish and Portuguese patterns of surname distribution were established according to various geographic axes. The results obtained show a low diversity of surnames in this region - especially in the centre - which can be explained by the absence of any major geographic barriers, with the exception of the mountain ranges between hydrographic basins, and by the presence of traditional roads that have existed since Roman times. The latter have resulted in a constant migratory flow over short-median distances, which, as can be deduced from the surnames, fits two north/south territorial axes running parallel to the border between Spain and Portugal. The distribution patterns of Portuguese and Spanish surnames differ with regard to their frequencies in the five provinces studied, which can be attributed to their respective historical, economic and social conditions. It is concluded that the border delimiting these two countries has affected the migratory flow, thereby conditioning the demographic and genetic structure of the western Spanish regions. PMID:22874007

  10. Historical decline and altered congener patterns of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans in fish and sediment in response to process changes at a pulp mill discharging into Jackfish Bay, Lake Superior.

    PubMed

    Dahmer, Shari C; Tetreault, Gerald R; Hall, Roland I; Munkittrick, Kelly R; McMaster, Mark E; Servos, Mark R

    2015-11-01

    Improved regulations for pulp and paper mill effluents and an industry shift away from elemental chlorine bleaching in the 1990s greatly reduced the release of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) into the environment. However, the high potential of these contaminants to persist in sediment and bioaccumulate in biota means that they have remained a concern. To document current contamination from bleached kraft pulp mill effluent, PCDD/Fs were measured in white sucker (Catostomus commersoni) collected from Jackfish Bay, Lake Superior. These values were contrasted to historically reported fish data as well as PCDD/F patterns from dated sediment cores. Patterns of PCDD/Fs in sediment cores from Jackfish Bay and reference sites demonstrated a relationship between contamination and mill process changes. During the peak PCDD/F contamination period (1991), when the mill was still using elemental chlorine, the contamination patterns in fish and sediment were distinct and dominated by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzofuran. Following the reduction in the use of elemental chlorine during the early 1990s, a rapid decline was observed in PCDD/F contamination of fish tissue, and levels are now approaching background conditions with congener patterns more reflective of atmospheric sources. Although surface sediments from Jackfish Bay continue to have elevated PCDD/Fs, with some locations exceeding sediment quality guidelines, they do not appear to be highly bioavailable to benthic fish. PMID:26468966

  11. Historical decline and altered congener patterns of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans in fish and sediment in response to process changes at a pulp mill discharging into Jackfish Bay, Lake Superior.

    PubMed

    Dahmer, Shari C; Tetreault, Gerald R; Hall, Roland I; Munkittrick, Kelly R; McMaster, Mark E; Servos, Mark R

    2015-11-01

    Improved regulations for pulp and paper mill effluents and an industry shift away from elemental chlorine bleaching in the 1990s greatly reduced the release of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) into the environment. However, the high potential of these contaminants to persist in sediment and bioaccumulate in biota means that they have remained a concern. To document current contamination from bleached kraft pulp mill effluent, PCDD/Fs were measured in white sucker (Catostomus commersoni) collected from Jackfish Bay, Lake Superior. These values were contrasted to historically reported fish data as well as PCDD/F patterns from dated sediment cores. Patterns of PCDD/Fs in sediment cores from Jackfish Bay and reference sites demonstrated a relationship between contamination and mill process changes. During the peak PCDD/F contamination period (1991), when the mill was still using elemental chlorine, the contamination patterns in fish and sediment were distinct and dominated by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzofuran. Following the reduction in the use of elemental chlorine during the early 1990s, a rapid decline was observed in PCDD/F contamination of fish tissue, and levels are now approaching background conditions with congener patterns more reflective of atmospheric sources. Although surface sediments from Jackfish Bay continue to have elevated PCDD/Fs, with some locations exceeding sediment quality guidelines, they do not appear to be highly bioavailable to benthic fish.

  12. Antipodean white sharks on a Mediterranean walkabout? Historical dispersal leads to genetic discontinuity and an endangered anomalous population.

    PubMed

    Gubili, Chrysoula; Bilgin, Rasit; Kalkan, Evrim; Karhan, S Ünsal; Jones, Catherine S; Sims, David W; Kabasakal, Hakan; Martin, Andrew P; Noble, Leslie R

    2011-06-01

    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

  13. Antipodean white sharks on a Mediterranean walkabout? Historical dispersal leads to genetic discontinuity and an endangered anomalous population

    PubMed Central

    Gubili, Chrysoula; Bilgin, Raşit; Kalkan, Evrim; Karhan, S. Ünsal; Jones, Catherine S.; Sims, David W.; Kabasakal, Hakan; Martin, Andrew P.; Noble, Leslie R.

    2011-01-01

    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

  14. Extreme population subdivision in the crown conch (Melongena corona): historical and contemporary influences.

    PubMed

    Karl, Stephen A; Hayes, Kenneth A

    2012-07-01

    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.

  15. Extreme population subdivision in the crown conch (Melongena corona): historical and contemporary influences.

    PubMed

    Karl, Stephen A; Hayes, Kenneth A

    2012-07-01

    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. PMID:22573792

  16. The prevalence of pulp stones in historical populations from the middle Euphrates valley (Syria).

    PubMed

    Tomczyk, Jacek; Komarnitki, Julian; Zalewska, Marta; Wiśniewska, Ewa; Szopiński, Kazimierz; Olczyk-Kowalczyk, Dorota

    2014-01-01

    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.

  17. Height of skull base as an indicator of living conditions in historical native populations from Europe, Australia and Africa.

    PubMed

    Senator, Małgorzata; Kwiatkowska, Barbara; Gronkiewicz, Stanisław

    2009-01-01

    Flattening and lowering of the skull base in response to improper bone growth is called platybasis, and is considered a sensitive and reliable indicator of adverse living conditions such as malnutrition and disease during the prenatal period and early childhood. The degree of platybasis was assessed in three series of skulls representing geographically distinct historical native populations from Europe, Australia and Africa. Platybasis was determined by measuring the height of the base of the skull. The degree of platybasis varied among the populations examined, and was the lowest in the Australian group, and the highest in the African group. This may be due to either variability of living conditions or genetic factors, which have an influence on robusticity and cranial architecture. There were also differences among the groups in terms of the other skull measurements and indices examined. The height of the base of the skull was generally greater in males than in females, which indicates sexual dimorphism or fact that females had worse living conditions. Correlation coefficients between the height of the base of the skull and other measurements including skull length and skull width were also calculated indicating significant relationships. The differences between the height of the base of the skull and height/length index and height/width index, were statistically significant.

  18. 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.

    PubMed

    Zheng, D-J; Xie, L-S; Zhu, J-H; Zhang, Z-L

    2012-09-01

    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.

  19. A method of estimating the time of marital fertility decline and associated parameters.

    PubMed

    Friedlander, D; Pollak, M; Schellekens, J

    1993-01-01

    Significant research attention has been given to historical patterns of marital fertility transitions in currently industrialized countries. Specifically, studies consider the time of the onset of fertility decline and its distribution among populations or population subgroups; the distribution of pre-decline parital fertility levels; and/or the rate of marital fertility decline. Analyses of pre-decline fertility level and its rate of decline, however, depend upon the procedure used to estimate the time of fertility decline. The Princeton European Fertility Project is the most prominent historical fertility study ever conducted. The procedure employed to estimate the timing parameter in these Princeton studies is described. An alternative statistical procedure is then proposed for detecting the onset of the transition from high to low marital fertility; the method may also be used to find the termination point of decline where the sequence of fertility variables is long enough. Both methods produce maximum likelihood least squares estimates, but the form proposed in the text has conceptual advantages.

  20. Historical Trend of Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Meeting Medicare Medication Therapy Management Eligibility Criteria in Non-Medicare Population

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Junling; Surbhi, Satya; Zhang, Zhiping; Spivey, Christina A.; Chisholm-Burns, Marie

    2014-01-01

    Background Prior research examining racial and ethnic disparities in meeting Medicare medication therapy management (MTM) eligibility criteria among the non-Medicare population suggests minorities have lower likelihood of being eligible than non-Hispanic Whites (Whites). However, such research has not examined trends in disparities and whether these disparities may be expected to decrease over time based on historical data. Objectives To examine trends in MTM eligibility disparities among the non-Medicare population from 1996-1997 to 2009-2010. Methods This retrospective observational analysis used Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data from the study periods. The MTM eligibility criteria used by health insurance plans in 2008 and 2010 were analyzed. Trends in disparities were examined by including interaction terms between dummy variables for 2009-2010 and non-Hispanic Blacks (Blacks)/Hispanics in a logistic regression. The effect of interaction was estimated on both the multiplicative and additive terms. Main and sensitivity analyses were conducted to represent the ranges of the Medicare MTM eligibility thresholds used by health insurance plans. Results According to the main analysis, Blacks and Hispanics were less likely to be eligible than Whites for both sets of eligibility criteria in 1996-1997 and in 2009-2010. Trend analysis for both sets of criteria found that on the multiplicative term, there were generally no significant changes in disparities between Whites and Blacks/Hispanics from 1996-1997 to 2009-2010. Interaction on the additive term found evidence that disparities between Whites and Blacks/Hispanics may have increased from 1996-1997 to 2009-2010 (e.g., in the main analysis between Whites and Hispanics for 2010 eligibility criteria: difference in odds= -0.03, 95% CI: [-0.03]-[-0.02]). Conclusions Racial and ethnic minorities in the non-Medicare population experience persistent and often increasing disparities in meeting MTM eligibility criteria

  1. Pattern of dental caries in the historical human population of Kujawy in the Polish lowland (north-central Poland).

    PubMed

    Kurek, Marta; Borowska-Strugińska, Beata; Mazurkiewicz, Julia; Nieczuja-Dwojacka, Joanna; Zadzińska, Elzbieta

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the dental caries rates in the skeletal human population who lived in north-central Poland in modern times (16th-18th century). The material consisted of 297 skeletons (4,783 permanent teeth) from the archeological site of K. Compared material was coming from two different sites located in the same region: early mediaeval Kolonia--39 skeletons and Swiety Duch (dating to the same historical period as K population)--417 skeletons. All three series are part of the osteological collection of the Department of Anthropology. For each skeletal sample, caries rates were calculated by individual (frequency index) and by tooth count (intensity index). Dental caries was scored also according to a procedure in which the initiation sites are recorded. The highest frequency of dental caries was observed in Swiety Duch (70%) and the lowest in the early mediaeval sample (almost 59%). The intensity of caries fluctuated from above 8% observed in Kolonia to 22% observed in the sample from Swiety Duch. However, in all three samples the caries initiation site was most often noticed on fissure and pits (type 1) the K population was characterised by a different caries pattern (chi2=17.88, p<0.05 when compared with that of Kolonia; chi2=218.73, p<0.01 when compared with that of Swiety Duch), which could be the effect of diet (high frequency of CEJ caries probably means starch-rich plant food diet), oral hygiene, fluoride level, economic status or genetic factors (resistance/sensitivity to cariogenic bacteria).

  2. Who and What Is a “Population”? Historical Debates, Current Controversies, and Implications for Understanding “Population Health” and Rectifying Health Inequities

    PubMed Central

    Krieger, Nancy

    2012-01-01

    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

  3. The Decline of Black Farming in America.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Browning, Pamela; And Others

    The rapid decline in the number of farms operated by blacks in the United States, and the consequences of this decline on the conditions of black farmers are the focus of this report. Chapter 1 compares the rate of agricultural land loss from 1900 to 1978 among blacks and whites. Chapter 2 outlines historical conditions, such as racism, lack of…

  4. Multi-level sexual selection: individual and family-level selection for mating success in a historical human population.

    PubMed

    Moorad, Jacob A

    2013-06-01

    Precopulatory sexual selection is the association between fitness and traits associated with mate acquisition. Although sexual selection is generally recognized to be a powerful evolutionary force, most investigations are limited to characters belonging to individuals. A broader multilevel perspective acknowledges that individual fitness can be affected by aspects of mating success that are characters of groups, such as families. Parental mating success in polygynous or polyandrous human societies may exemplify traits under group-level sexual selection. Using fitness measures that account for age-structure, I measure multilevel selection for mate number over 55 years in a human population with declining rates of polygyny. Sexual selection had three components: individual-level selection for ever-mating (whether an individual mated) and individual- and family-level selection for polyandry and polygyny. Family- and individual-level selection for polygyny was equally strong, three times stronger than family-level selection for polyandry and more than an order of magnitude stronger than individual-level selection for polyandry. However, individual-level selection for polyandry and polygyny was more effective at explaining relative fitness variance than family-level selection. Selection for ever-mating was the most important source of sexual selection for fitness; variation for ever-mating explained 23% of relative fitness variance.

  5. Urban park characteristics, genetic variation, and historical demography of white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) populations in New York City.

    PubMed

    Munshi-South, Jason; Nagy, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    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

  6. Urban park characteristics, genetic variation, and historical demography of white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) populations in New York City

    PubMed Central

    Nagy, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    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

  7. Urban park characteristics, genetic variation, and historical demography of white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) populations in New York City.

    PubMed

    Munshi-South, Jason; Nagy, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    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

  8. Reconstructing the historical distribution of the Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) in Northeast China based on historical records.

    PubMed

    Yang, Li; Huang, Mujiao; Zhang, Rui; Lv, Jiang; Ren, Yueheng; Jiang, Zhe; Zhang, Wei; Luan, Xiaofeng

    2016-01-01

    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.

  9. Reconstructing the historical distribution of the Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) in Northeast China based on historical records.

    PubMed

    Yang, Li; Huang, Mujiao; Zhang, Rui; Lv, Jiang; Ren, Yueheng; Jiang, Zhe; Zhang, Wei; Luan, Xiaofeng

    2016-01-01

    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

  10. Reconstructing the historical distribution of the Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) in Northeast China based on historical records

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Li; Huang, Mujiao; Zhang, Rui; Lv, Jiang; Ren, Yueheng; Jiang, Zhe; Zhang, Wei; Luan, Xiaofeng

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. Flood samples from a three-parameter lognormal population with historic information: The asymptotic standard error of estimate of the T-year flood

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Condie, Robert

    1986-06-01

    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.

  12. Extensive long-distance pollen dispersal and highly outcrossed mating in historically small and disjunct populations of Acacia woodmaniorum (Fabaceae), a rare banded iron formation endemic

    PubMed Central

    Millar, Melissa A.; Coates, David J.; Byrne, Margaret

    2014-01-01

    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

  13. A historical perspective concerning population-based and clinical studies of early arthritis and early rheumatoid arthritis.

    PubMed

    Sokka, T; Pincus, T

    2003-01-01

    Research concerning early arthritis and early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may be considered to have begun with population-based studies in the United Kingdom, the United States and Scandinavia, from the late 1950s to the late 1960s. These studies indicated that the majority of people with clinical findings of RA had no evidence of disease 3-5 years later, and that only about 25% to 30% of people in a population who met the criteria for RA had rheumatoid factor. These findings may have contributed to an underestimation of RA until the severity of long-term outcomes of clinical RA were recognized in the 1980s on the basis of clinical cohorts. The first major early RA clinical cohort was established in 1957-1963 in Bath, England. Although results at 3 and even 11 years were not overly unfavorable, by 15 and 20 years most patients had severe outcomes of functional declines and premature mortality. The Middle-sex (UK) early RA cohort established in 1966-1971 indicated that radiographic abnormalities were observed in about 70% of patients by 2 years of disease, and were seen in most patients initially in the feet. The Memphis (Tennessee, USA) early RA cohort established in 1967-1971 suggested that a progressive course of RA is predicted by a higher number of involved joints at baseline. The Lund (Sweden) early RA cohort established in 1985-1989 indicated rather severe long-term outcomes in patients treated according to traditional conservative approaches to use of disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). The early RA study (ERAS) involving nine National Health Service trusts in the UK was established in 1987-93, and showed associations of education level and socioeconomic status with clinical status. The movement towards early arthritis clinics was given great impetus following the work by Emery in the early 1990s. These studies and others described elsewhere in this supplement have contributed to the foundations for the clinical approach to early arthritis in the

  14. Modelling socio-metabolic transitions: The historical take-off, the acceleration of fossil fuel use, and the 1970s oil price shock - the first trigger of a future decline?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiedenhofer, Dominik; Rovenskaya, Elena; Krausmann, Fridolin; Haas, Willi; Fischer-Kowalski, Marina

    2013-04-01

    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

  15. Declines of the California red-legged frog: Climate, UV-B, habitat, and pesticides hypotheses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davidson, C.; Shaffer, H.B.; Jennings, M.R.

    2001-01-01

    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.

  16. Motor Phenotype of Decline in Cognitive Performance among Community-Dwellers without Dementia: Population-Based Study and Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Beauchet, Olivier; Allali, Gilles; Montero-Odasso, Manuel; Sejdić, Ervin; Fantino, Bruno; Annweiler, Cédric

    2014-01-01

    Background Decline in cognitive performance is associated with gait deterioration. Our objectives were: 1) to determine, from an original study in older community-dwellers without diagnosis of dementia, which gait parameters, among slower gait speed, higher stride time variability (STV) and Timed Up & Go test (TUG) delta time, were most strongly associated with lower performance in two cognitive domains (i.e., episodic memory and executive function); and 2) to quantitatively synthesize, with a systematic review and meta-analysis, the association between gait performance and cognitive decline (i.e., mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia). Methods Based on a cross-sectional design, 934 older community-dwellers without dementia (mean±standard deviation, 70.3±4.9years; 52.1% female) were recruited. A score at 5 on the Short Mini-Mental State Examination defined low episodic memory performance. Low executive performance was defined by clock-drawing test errors. STV and gait speed were measured using GAITRite system. TUG delta time was calculated as the difference between the times needed to perform and to imagine the TUG. Then, a systematic Medline search was conducted in November 2013 using the Medical Subject Heading terms “Delirium,” “Dementia,” “Amnestic,” “Cognitive disorders” combined with “Gait” OR “Gait disorders, Neurologic” and “Variability.” Findings A total of 294 (31.5%) participants presented decline in cognitive performance. Higher STV, higher TUG delta time, and slower gait speed were associated with decline in episodic memory and executive performances (all P-values <0.001). The highest magnitude of association was found for higher STV (effect size  =  −0.74 [95% Confidence Interval (CI): −1.05;−0.43], among participants combining of decline in episodic memory and in executive performances). Meta-analysis underscored that higher STV represented a gait biomarker in patients with MCI (effect size  =  0

  17. Urban social and built environments and trajectories of decline in social engagement in vulnerable elders: findings from Detroit's Medicaid home and community-based waiver population.

    PubMed

    Kim, MinHee; Clarke, Philippa

    2015-05-01

    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. PMID:25651577

  18. The Aftermath of Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cameron, Kim S.; Chaffee, Ellen Earle

    Differences between declining colleges and colleges not experiencing decline were investigated, along with dysfunctional organizational consequences that may be associated with decline. Attention is directed to 12 negative attributes resulting from conditions of decline, seven of which were found to be significant: no innovation, scapegoating,…

  19. Substantial effects of apolipoprotein E ε4 on memory decline in very old age: longitudinal findings from a population-based sample.

    PubMed

    Praetorius, Marcus; Thorvaldsson, Valgeir; Hassing, Linda B; Johansson, Boo

    2013-12-01

    We examined associations between the apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele and levels of performance and rates of change in cognition in late life taking incident dementia into account. The sample consisted of 482 nondemented individuals, aged 80 years and older at baseline, drawn from the OCTO twin study. A battery of 10 cognitive tests was administered at 5 occasions with measurements intervals of 2 years. We fitted hierarchical linear models with time specified as time to death and controlled for baseline age, sex, education, stroke, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and incident dementia. The ε4 allele was significantly associated with lower levels of performance or steeper rate of decline in all 7 memory tests. Largest effect sizes were found in tests of delayed recall and recognition memory. The effects of the APOE ε4 allele were, however, reduced to a nonsignificant level in all tests except 1 after accounting for incident dementia. The findings support the notion that the APOE ε4 allele is associated with substantial memory decline in very old age, but as expected, the effect is largely related to incident dementia.

  20. Fertility decline in Paraguay.

    PubMed

    Ishida, Kanako; Stupp, Paul; Melian, Mercedes

    2009-09-01

    Recent reproductive health surveys show that the fertility rate in Paraguay decreased precipitously from 4.3 lifetime births per woman in 1995-98 to 2.9 births in 2001-04. In this study, we establish data consistency between the 1998 and 2004 surveys by comparing a series of cohort-specific period rates and use the Bongaarts framework of proximate determinants of fertility to demonstrate that an increase in the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) between 1998 and 2004 fully accounts for the fertility decline. Decomposition of rates shows that changes in group-specific CPRs explain a greater proportion of the change in the overall CPR than do changes in population composition by educational attainment, urban residence, region, and language spoken at home. Finally, we show that younger cohorts of women in 2004 reported ideal completed fertility desires of less than 2.9 births, suggesting that the fertility rate is likely to continue to decrease.

  1. Modeling senescence changes of the pubic symphysis in historic Italian populations: a comparison of the Rostock and forensic approaches to aging using transition analysis.

    PubMed

    Godde, Kanya; Hens, Samantha M

    2015-03-01

    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 appro