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Sample records for level ecological study

  1. Ecological Soil Screening Level

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The Eco-SSL derivation process is used to derive a set of risk-based ecological soil screening levels (Eco-SSLs) for many of the soil contaminants that are frequently of ecological concern for plants and animals at hazardous waste sites.

  2. Aligning molecular studies of mycorrhizal fungal diversity with ecologically important levels of diversity in ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Sanders, Ian R; Rodriguez, Alia

    2016-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) occur in the roots of most plants and are an ecologically important component of the soil microbiome. Richness of AMF taxa is a strong driver of plant diversity and productivity, thus providing a rationale for characterizing AMF diversity in natural ecosystems. Consequently, a large number of molecular studies on AMF community composition are currently underway. Most published studies, at best, only address species or genera-level resolution. However, several experimental studies indicate that variation in plant performance is large among plants colonised by different individuals of one AMF species. Thus, there is a potential disparity between how molecular community ecologists are currently describing AMF diversity and the level of AMF diversity that may actually be ecologically relevant. We propose a strategy to find many polymorphic loci that can define within-species genetic variability within AMF, or at any level of resolution desired within the Glomermycota. We propose that allele diversity at the intraspecific level could then be measured for target AMF groups, or at other levels of resolution, in environmental DNA samples. Combining the use of such markers with experimental studies on AMF diversity would help to elucidate the most important level(s) of AMF diversity in plant communities. Our goal is to encourage ecologists who are trying to explain how mycorrhizal fungal communities are structured to take an approach that could also yield meaningful information that is relevant to the diversity, functioning and productivity of ecosystems. PMID:27128992

  3. Arsenic levels in ground water and cancer incidence in Idaho: an ecologic study.

    PubMed

    Han, Yueh-Ying; Weissfeld, Joel L; Davis, Devra L; Talbott, Evelyn O

    2009-07-01

    Long-term exposure to arsenic above 50 microg/L in drinking water has been related to multiple types of cancers. Few epidemiologic studies conducted in the US have detected an association between regional exposures below this level in drinking water and corresponding cancer occurrence rates. This county-level ecologic study evaluates arsenic levels in ground water and its association with targeted cancer incidence in Idaho, where some regions have been found to contain higher arsenic levels. Using cancer incidence data (1991-2005) from the Cancer Data Registry of Idaho and arsenic data (1991-2005) from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, we calculated the age-adjusted incidence rate for cancers of the urinary bladder, kidney and renal pelvis, liver and bile duct, lung and bronchus, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), and all malignant cancers according to arsenic levels in ground water. Multivariate regression analysis was applied to evaluate the relationship between arsenic levels in ground water and cancer incidence. For males, but not for females, age-adjusted incidence for lung cancer and all malignant cancers was significantly higher in the intermediate arsenic counties (2-9 microg/L, n = 16) and the high arsenic counties (>or=10 microg/L, n = 5) compared to the low arsenic counties (<2.0 microg/L, n = 23). When adjusted for race, gender, population density, smoking and body mass index (BMI), no relationship was found between arsenic levels in ground water and cancer incidence. In this ecological design, exposure to low-level arsenic in ground water is not associated with cancer incidence when adjusting for salient variables. For populations residing in southwestern Idaho, where arsenic has been found to exceed 10 microg/L in ground water, individual risk assessment is required in order to determine whether there is a link between long-term arsenic exposure at these levels and cancer risk.

  4. Maternal mortality in Colombia in 2011: a two level ecological study.

    PubMed

    Cárdenas-Cárdenas, Luz Mery; Cotes-Cantillo, Karol; Chaparro-Narváez, Pablo Enrique; Fernández-Niño, Julián Alfredo; Paternina-Caicedo, Angel; Castañeda-Orjuela, Carlos; De la Hoz-Restrepo, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Maternal mortality reduction is a Millennium Development Goal. In Colombia, there is a large disparity in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) between and into departments (states) and also between municipalities. We examined socioeconomics variables at the municipal and departmental levels which could be associated to the municipal maternal mortality in Colombia. A multilevel ecology study was carried out using different national data sources in Colombia. The outcome variable was the MMR at municipal level in 2011 with multidimensional poverty at municipal and department level as the principal independent variables and other measures of the social and economic characteristics at municipal and departmental level were also considered explicative variables (overall fertility municipal rate, percentage of local rural population, health insurance coverage, per capita territorial participation allocated to the health sector, transparency index and Gini coefficient). The association between MMR and socioeconomic contextual conditions at municipal and departmental level was assessed using a multilevel Poisson regression model. The MMR in the Colombian municipalities was associated significantly with the multidimensional poverty (relative ratio of MMR: 3.52; CI 95%: 1.09-11.38). This association was stronger in municipalities from departments with the highest poverty (relative ratio of MMR: 7.14; CI 95%: 2.01-25.35). Additionally, the MMR at municipal level was marginally associated with municipally health insurance coverage (relative ratio of MMR: 0.99; CI 95%: 0.98-1.00), and significantly with transparency index at departmental level (relative ratio of MMR: 0.98; CI 95%: 0.97-0.99). Poverty and transparency in a contextual level were associated with the increase of the municipal MMR in Colombia. The results of this study are useful evidence for informing the public policies discussion and formulation processes with a differential approach.

  5. Maternal Mortality in Colombia in 2011: A Two Level Ecological Study

    PubMed Central

    Cárdenas-Cárdenas, Luz Mery; Cotes-Cantillo, Karol; Chaparro-Narváez, Pablo Enrique; Fernández-Niño, Julián Alfredo; Paternina-Caicedo, Angel; Castañeda-Orjuela, Carlos; De la Hoz-Restrepo, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Objective Maternal mortality reduction is a Millennium Development Goal. In Colombia, there is a large disparity in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) between and into departments (states) and also between municipalities. We examined socioeconomics variables at the municipal and departmental levels which could be associated to the municipal maternal mortality in Colombia. Methods A multilevel ecology study was carried out using different national data sources in Colombia. The outcome variable was the MMR at municipal level in 2011 with multidimensional poverty at municipal and department level as the principal independent variables and other measures of the social and economic characteristics at municipal and departmental level were also considered explicative variables (overall fertility municipal rate, percentage of local rural population, health insurance coverage, per capita territorial participation allocated to the health sector, transparency index and Gini coefficient). The association between MMR and socioeconomic contextual conditions at municipal and departmental level was assessed using a multilevel Poisson regression model. Results The MMR in the Colombian municipalities was associated significantly with the multidimensional poverty (relative ratio of MMR: 3.52; CI 95%: 1.09-11.38). This association was stronger in municipalities from departments with the highest poverty (relative ratio of MMR: 7.14; CI 95%: 2.01-25.35). Additionally, the MMR at municipal level was marginally associated with municipally health insurance coverage (relative ratio of MMR: 0.99; CI 95%: 0.98-1.00), and significantly with transparency index at departmental level (relative ratio of MMR: 0.98; CI 95%: 0.97-0.99). Conclusion Poverty and transparency in a contextual level were associated with the increase of the municipal MMR in Colombia. The results of this study are useful evidence for informing the public policies discussion and formulation processes with a differential

  6. Air manganese levels and chronic liver disease mortality in North Carolina counties: an ecological study.

    PubMed

    Spangler, John G

    2012-09-05

    Manganese is an essential trace element which is toxic in high doses. Over the past several decades, manganese has replaced lead as the anti-knock agent in gasoline, raising concern about air and road-side contamination with this element. In addition, manganese is absorbed by the liver, making specific populations (e.g., pregnant women, infants and children, and patients with liver disease) susceptible to its toxic effects. Using data from the US Census Bureau, the North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics, and the US Environmental Protection Agency, this ecological study evaluated chronic liver disease mortality rates in North Carolina's 100 counties. It correlated these rates with county-level demographics as well as on-road and non-road air borne manganese concentrations. Median income by county was inversely associated with chronic liver disease mortality, while the logarithmically transformed airborne concentrations of on-road manganese were positively correlated with county-level chronic liver disease mortality. Because environmental manganese near roads is likely to increase over time, these pilot findings potentially have regulatory implications and argue for further research.

  7. Ecological baseline studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vickers, D.

    1980-01-01

    Environmental studies of Merritt Island are discussed. Five areas of the island's ecology are examined. They include: a terrestrial community analyses, a plant community study, a small mammal population study, a rainfall study, and an ichthyological analyses.

  8. Using the MitoB method to assess levels of reactive oxygen species in ecological studies of oxidative stress

    PubMed Central

    Salin, Karine; Auer, Sonya K.; Villasevil, Eugenia M.; Anderson, Graeme J.; Cairns, Andrew G.; Mullen, William; Hartley, Richard C.; Metcalfe, Neil B.

    2017-01-01

    In recent years evolutionary ecologists have become increasingly interested in the effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS) on the life-histories of animals. ROS levels have mostly been inferred indirectly due to the limitations of estimating ROS from in vitro methods. However, measuring ROS (hydrogen peroxide, H2O2) content in vivo is now possible using the MitoB probe. Here, we extend and refine the MitoB method to make it suitable for ecological studies of oxidative stress using the brown trout Salmo trutta as model. The MitoB method allows an evaluation of H2O2 levels in living organisms over a timescale from hours to days. The method is flexible with regard to the duration of exposure and initial concentration of the MitoB probe, and there is no transfer of the MitoB probe between fish. H2O2 levels were consistent across subsamples of the same liver but differed between muscle subsamples and between tissues of the same animal. The MitoB method provides a convenient method for measuring ROS levels in living animals over a significant period of time. Given its wide range of possible applications, it opens the opportunity to study the role of ROS in mediating life history trade-offs in ecological settings. PMID:28117373

  9. Small area-level variation in the incidence of psychotic disorders in an urban area in France: an ecological study.

    PubMed

    Szoke, Andrei; Pignon, Baptiste; Baudin, Grégoire; Tortelli, Andrea; Richard, Jean-Romain; Leboyer, Marion; Schürhoff, Franck

    2016-07-01

    We sought to determine whether significant variation in the incidence of clinically relevant psychoses existed at an ecological level in an urban French setting, and to examine possible factors associated with this variation. We aimed to advance the literature by testing this hypothesis in a novel population setting and by comparing a variety of spatial models. We sought to identify all first episode cases of non-affective and affective psychotic disorders presenting in a defined urban catchment area over a 4 years period, over more than half a million person-years at-risk. Because data from geographic close neighbourhoods usually show spatial autocorrelation, we used for our analyses Bayesian modelling. We included small area neighbourhood measures of deprivation, migrants' density and social fragmentation as putative explanatory variables in the models. Incidence of broad psychotic disorders shows spatial patterning with the best fit for models that included both strong autocorrelation between neighbouring areas and weak autocorrelation between areas further apart. Affective psychotic disorders showed similar spatial patterning and were associated with the proportion of migrants/foreigners in the area (inverse correlation). In contrast, non-affective psychoses did not show spatial patterning. At ecological level, the variation in the number of cases and the factors that influence this variation are different for non-affective and affective psychotic disorders. Important differences in results-compared with previous studies in different settings-point to the importance of the context and the necessity of further studies to understand these differences.

  10. Influences of population-level factors on suicides in older adults: a national ecological study from Australia.

    PubMed

    Law, Chi-Kin; Kõlves, Kairi; De Leo, Diego

    2016-04-01

    The relationship between older adult suicide rates and population-level variables has been examined in a few studies. Therefore, the objective of the present study is to analyse the extent to which population-level factors are associated with suicide by older persons in Australia, from an ecological perspective. Suicide rates for older adults aged 65 years and over were calculated for 68 observation units at Statistical Areas Level 4 in Australia for 2002-2011. The 2011 Census of Population and Housing was used for population-level variables. Analysis on standardised suicide mortality ratios and Poisson regression were performed to examine geographical and gender differences. Between 2002 and 2011, a total of 3133 suicides of persons aged 65 years and above (men: n = 2418, 77.1%) was identified with an average annual rate of 10.1 per 100,000 persons. Suicide rates in older adults vary widely between different geographical regions in Australia. The multivariate estimates of contextual factors showed that the risk of suicide was positively associated with the sex ratio (incidence risk ratio (IRR) = 1.053, 95%CI = 1.016-1.092), the proportion of those in tenant household (IRR = 1.120, 95%CI = 1.081-1.160) and Australian residents born in North-West Europe (IRR = 1.058, 95%CI = 1.022-1.095). Significant gender variations were found. Specific factors increasing risk of suicide for older adults on SA4 level in Australia were living in areas with a higher proportion of male population, a higher proportion of tenant household dwellers and a higher proportion of immigrants from North-West Europe. The different influences of population-level factor on suicide between older men and women indicate the need for targeted suicide prevention activities. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  11. Feasibility and utility of mapping disease risk at the neighbourhood level within a Canadian public health unit: an ecological study.

    PubMed

    Holowaty, Eric J; Norwood, Todd A; Wanigaratne, Susitha; Abellan, Juanjo J; Beale, Linda

    2010-05-10

    We conducted spatial analyses to determine the geographic variation of cancer at the neighbourhood level (dissemination areas or DAs) within the area of a single Ontario public health unit, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, covering a population of 238,326 inhabitants. Cancer incidence data between 1999 and 2003 were obtained from the Ontario Cancer Registry and were geocoded down to the level of DA using the enhanced Postal Code Conversion File. The 2001 Census of Canada provided information on the size and age-sex structure of the population at the DA level, in addition to information about selected census covariates, such as average neighbourhood income. Age standardized incidence ratios for cancer and the prevalence of census covariates were calculated for each of 331 dissemination areas in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph. The standardized incidence ratios (SIR) for cancer varied dramatically across the dissemination areas. However, application of the Moran's I statistic, a popular index of spatial autocorrelation, suggested significant spatial patterns for only two cancers, lung and prostate, both in males (p < 0.001 and p = 0.002, respectively). Employing Bayesian hierarchical models, areas in the urban core of the City of Guelph had significantly higher SIRs for male lung cancer than the remainder of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph; and, neighbourhoods in the urban and surrounding rural areas of Orangeville exhibited significantly higher SIRs for prostate cancer. After adjustment for age and spatial dependence, average household income attenuated much of the spatial pattern of lung cancer, but not of prostate cancer. This paper demonstrates the feasibility and utility of a systematic approach to identifying neighbourhoods, within the area served by a public health unit, that have significantly higher risks of cancer. This exploratory, ecologic study suggests several hypotheses for these spatial patterns that warrant further investigations. To the best of our knowledge, this

  12. Outdoor air pollution, subtypes and severity of ischemic stroke – a small-area level ecological study

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Evidence linking outdoor air pollution and incidence of ischemic stroke subtypes and severity is limited. We examined associations between outdoor PM10 and NO2 concentrations modeled at a fine spatial resolution and etiological and clinical ischemic stroke subtypes and severity of ischemic stroke. Methods We used a small-area level ecological study design and a stroke register set up to capture all incident cases of first ever stroke (1995–2007) occurring in a defined geographical area in South London (948 census output areas; population of 267839). Modeled PM10 and NO2 concentrations were available at a very fine spatial scale (20 meter by 20 meter grid point resolution) and were aggregated to output area level using postcode population weighted averages. Ischemic stroke was classified using the Oxford clinical classification, the Trial of Org 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment (TOAST) etiological classification, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score and a pragmatic clinical severity classification based on Glasgow coma score, ability to swallow, urinary continence and death <2 days of stroke onset. Results Mean (SD) concentrations were 25.1 (1.2) ug/m3 (range 23.3-36.4) for PM10 and 41.4 (3.0) ug/m3 (range 35.4-68.0) for NO2. There were 2492 incident cases of ischemic stroke. We found no evidence of association between these pollutants and the incidence of ischemic stroke subtypes classified using the Oxford and TOAST classifications. We found no significant association with stroke severity using NIHSS severity categories. However, we found that outdoor concentrations of both PM10 and NO2 appeared to be associated with increased incidence of mild but not severe ischemic stroke, classified using the pragmatic clinical severity classification. For mild ischemic stroke, the rate ratio in the highest PM10 category by tertile was 1.20 (1.05-1.38) relative to the lowest category. The rate ratio in the highest NO2 category was 1.22 (1

  13. Audubon Ecology Study Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    The materials in the set include a student reader "The Story of Ecology," a leaders' guide, and a large, pictorial wall chart. The student reader is divided into 10 units relating to a definition of ecology, the sun and life, air and the water cycle, major divisions of the earth, plants and food chains, distribution of plants and animals,…

  14. Audubon Ecology Study Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    The materials in the set include a student reader "The Story of Ecology," a leaders' guide, and a large, pictorial wall chart. The student reader is divided into 10 units relating to a definition of ecology, the sun and life, air and the water cycle, major divisions of the earth, plants and food chains, distribution of plants and animals,…

  15. Ecological concerns following Superstorm Sandy: stressor level and recreational activity levels affect perceptions of ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Burger, Joanna

    2015-06-01

    Coastal habitats are vulnerable to storms, and with increasing urbanization, sea level rise, and storm frequency, some urban populations are at risk. This study examined perceptions of respondents in coastal and central New Jersey to Superstorm Sandy, including: 1) concerns about ecological resources and effects (open-ended question), 2) information sources for ecology of the coast (open-ended), and 3) ratings of a list of ecological services as a function of demographics, location (coastal, central Jersey), stressor level (power outages, high winds, flooding) and recreational rates. "Wildlife" and "fish" were the ecological concerns mentioned most often, while beaches and dunes were most often mentioned for environmental concerns. Television, radio, and web/internet were sources trusted for ecological information. The data indicate 1) stressor level was a better predictor of ratings of ecological services than geographical location, but days engaged in recreation contributed the most to variations in ratings, 2) ecological services were rated the highest by respondents with the highest stressor levels, and by those from the coast, compared to others, 3) Caucasians rated ecological services higher than all others, and 4) recreational rates were highest for coastal respondents, and ratings for ecological services increased with recreational rates. Only 20 % of respondents listed specific ecological services as one of their three most important environmental concerns. These data will be useful for increasing preparedness, enhancing educational strategies for shore protection, and providing managers and public policy makers with data essential to developing resiliency strategies.

  16. Ecological concerns following Superstorm Sandy: stressor level and recreational activity levels affect perceptions of ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Coastal habitats are vulnerable to storms, and with increasing urbanization, sea level rise, and storm frequency, some urban populations are at risk. This study examined perceptions of respondents in coastal and central New Jersey to Superstorm Sandy, including: 1) concerns about ecological resources and effects (open-ended question), 2) information sources for ecology of the coast (open-ended), and 3) ratings of a list of ecological services as a function of demographics, location (coastal, central Jersey), stressor level (power outages, high winds, flooding) and recreational rates. “Wildlife” and “fish” were the ecological concerns mentioned most often, while beaches and dunes were most often mentioned for environmental concerns. Television, radio, and web/internet were sources trusted for ecological information. The data indicate 1) stressor level was a better predictor of ratings of ecological services than geographical location, but days engaged in recreation contributed the most to variations in ratings, 2) ecological services were rated the highest by respondents with the highest stressor levels, and by those from the coast, compared to others, 3) Caucasians rated ecological services higher than all others, and 4) recreational rates were highest for coastal respondents, and ratings for ecological services increased with recreational rates. Only 20 % of respondents listed specific ecological services as one of their three most important environmental concerns. These data will be useful for increasing preparedness, enhancing educational strategies for shore protection, and providing managers and public policy makers with data essential to developing resiliency strategies. PMID:27011729

  17. A Simulated Stream Ecology Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zampella, Robert A.

    1979-01-01

    Describes a simulated field experience to study stream ecology in the classroom. Secondary students determine the composition of the stream community, describe the distribution of the benthic invertebrates, and design a food web. (Author/MA)

  18. A Simulated Stream Ecology Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zampella, Robert A.

    1979-01-01

    Describes a simulated field experience to study stream ecology in the classroom. Secondary students determine the composition of the stream community, describe the distribution of the benthic invertebrates, and design a food web. (Author/MA)

  19. [Application of land economic ecological niche in landscape pattern analysis at county level: A case study of Jinghe County in Xinjiang, China].

    PubMed

    Yu, Hai-yang; Zhang, Fei; Wang, Juan; Zhou, Mei

    2015-12-01

    The theory of land economic ecological niche was used to analyze the regional landscape pattern in this article, with an aim to provide a new method for the characterization and representation of landscape pattern. The Jinghe County region, which is ecologically fragile, was selected as an example for the study, and the Landsat images of 1990, 1998, 2011 and 2013 were selected as remote sensing data. The land economic ecological niche of land use types calculated by ecostate-ecorole theory, combined with landscape ecology theory, was discussed in application of land economic ecological niche in county landscape pattern analysis. The results showed that, during the study period, the correlations between land economic ecological niche of farmland, construction land, and grassland with the parameters, including landscape patch number (NP), aggregated index (AI), fragmented index (FN) and fractal dimension (FD), were significant. Regional landscape was driven by the changes of land economic ecological niche, and the trend of economic development could be represented by land economic ecological niche change in Jinghe County. Land economic ecological niche was closely related with the land use types which could yield direct economic benefits, which could well explain the landscape pattern characteristics in Jinghe County when combined with the landscape indices.

  20. The ecological module of BOATS-1.0: a bioenergetically constrained model of marine upper trophic levels suitable for studies of fisheries and ocean biogeochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carozza, David Anthony; Bianchi, Daniele; Galbraith, Eric Douglas

    2016-04-01

    Environmental change and the exploitation of marine resources have had profound impacts on marine communities, with potential implications for ocean biogeochemistry and food security. In order to study such global-scale problems, it is helpful to have computationally efficient numerical models that predict the first-order features of fish biomass production as a function of the environment, based on empirical and mechanistic understandings of marine ecosystems. Here we describe the ecological module of the BiOeconomic mArine Trophic Size-spectrum (BOATS) model, which takes an Earth-system approach to modelling fish biomass at the global scale. The ecological model is designed to be used on an Earth-system model grid, and determines size spectra of fish biomass by explicitly resolving life history as a function of local temperature and net primary production. Biomass production is limited by the availability of photosynthetic energy to upper trophic levels, following empirical trophic efficiency scalings, and by well-established empirical temperature-dependent growth rates. Natural mortality is calculated using an empirical size-based relationship, while reproduction and recruitment depend on both the food availability to larvae from net primary production and the production of eggs by mature adult fish. We describe predicted biomass spectra and compare them to observations, and conduct a sensitivity study to determine how they change as a function of net primary production and temperature. The model relies on a limited number of parameters compared to similar modelling efforts, while retaining reasonably realistic representations of biological and ecological processes, and is computationally efficient, allowing extensive parameter-space analyses even when implemented globally. As such, it enables the exploration of the linkages between ocean biogeochemistry, climate, and upper trophic levels at the global scale, as well as a representation of fish biomass for

  1. The ecological module of BOATS-1.0: a bioenergetically-constrained model of marine upper trophic levels suitable for studies of fisheries and ocean biogeochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carozza, D. A.; Bianchi, D.; Galbraith, E. D.

    2015-12-01

    Environmental change and the exploitation of marine resources have had profound impacts on marine communities, with potential implications for ocean biogeochemistry and food security. In order to study such global-scale problems, it is helpful to have computationally efficient numerical models that predict the first-order features of fish biomass production as a function of the environment, based on empirical and mechanistic understandings of marine ecosystems. Here we describe the ecological module of the BiOeconomic mArine Trophic Size-spectrum (BOATS) model, which takes an Earth-system approach to modeling fish biomass at the global scale. The ecological model is designed to be used on an Earth System model grid, and determines size spectra of fish biomass by explicitly resolving life history as a function of local temperature and net primary production. Biomass production is limited by the availability of photosynthetic energy to upper trophic levels, following empirical trophic efficiency scalings, and by well-established empirical temperature-dependent growth rates. Natural mortality is calculated using an empirical size-based relationship, while reproduction and recruitment depend on both the food availability to larvae from net primary production and the production of eggs by mature adult fish. We describe predicted biomass spectra and compare them to observations, and conduct a sensitivity study to determine how the change as a function of net primary production and temperature. The model relies on a limited number of parameters compared to similar modeling efforts, while retaining realistic representations of biological and ecological processes, and is computationally efficient, allowing extensive parameter-space analyses even when implemented globally. As such, it enables the exploration of the linkages between ocean biogeochemistry, climate, and upper trophic levels at the global scale, as well as a representation of fish biomass for idealized studies

  2. Effect modification by drinking water hardness of the association between nitrate levels and gastric cancer: evidence from an ecological study.

    PubMed

    Chiu, Hui-Fen; Kuo, Chao-Hung; Tsai, Shang-Shyue; Chen, Chih-Cheng; Wu, Deng-Chuang; Wu, Trong-Neng; Yang, Chun-Yuh

    2012-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to (1) examine the relationship between nitrate levels in public water supplies and risk of death from gastric cancer and (2) determine whether calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) levels in drinking water might modify the effects of nitrate on the risk of gastric cancer development. A matched cancer case-control study was used to investigate the relationship between the risk of death attributed to gastric cancer and exposure to nitrate in drinking water in Taiwan. All deaths due to gastric cancer in Taiwan residents from 2006 through 2010 were obtained from the Bureau of Vital Statistics of the Taiwan Provincial Department of Health. Deaths from other causes served as controls and were pair-matched to cancer cases by gender, year of birth, and year of death. Information on the levels of nitrate-nitrogen (NO(3)-N), Ca, and Mg in drinking water were collected from Taiwan Water Supply Corporation (TWSC). The municipality of residence for cancer cases and controls was presumed to be the source of the subject's NO(3)-N, Ca, and Mg exposure via drinking water. Relative to individuals whose NO(3)-N exposure levels were <0.38 ppm, the adjusted odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for gastric cancer occurrence was 1.16 (1.05-1.29) for individuals who resided in municipalities served by drinking water with a NO(3)-N exposure ≥ 0.38 ppm. There was apparent evidence of an interaction between drinking water NO(3)-N levels and low Ca and Mg intake via drinking water. Our findings showed that the correlation between NO(3)-N exposure and risk of gastric cancer development was influenced by Ca and Mg levels in drinking water. This is the first study to report effects modification by Ca and Mg intake from drinking water on the relationship between NO(3)-N exposure and risk of gastric cancer occurrence. Increased knowledge of the mechanistic interactions between Ca, Mg, and NO(3)-N in reducing risk of gastric cancer development will aid in

  3. Association between arsenic, cadmium, manganese, and lead levels in private wells and birth defects prevalence in North Carolina: a semi-ecologic study.

    PubMed

    Sanders, Alison P; Desrosiers, Tania A; Warren, Joshua L; Herring, Amy H; Enright, Dianne; Olshan, Andrew F; Meyer, Robert E; Fry, Rebecca C

    2014-09-15

    Toxic metals including arsenic, cadmium, manganese, and lead are known human developmental toxicants that are able to cross the placental barrier from mother to fetus. In this population-based study, we assess the association between metal concentrations in private well water and birth defect prevalence in North Carolina. A semi-ecologic study was conducted including 20,151 infants born between 2003 and 2008 with selected birth defects (cases) identified by the North Carolina Birth Defects Monitoring Program, and 668,381 non-malformed infants (controls). Maternal residences at delivery and over 10,000 well locations measured for metals by the North Carolina Division of Public Health were geocoded. The average level of each metal was calculated among wells sampled within North Carolina census tracts. Individual exposure was assigned as the average metal level of the census tract that contained the geocoded maternal residence. Prevalence ratios (PR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated to estimate the association between the prevalence of birth defects in the highest category (≥90th percentile) of average census tract metal levels and compared to the lowest category (≤50th percentile). Statewide, private well metal levels exceeded the EPA Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) or secondary MCL for arsenic, cadmium, manganese, and lead in 2.4, 0.1, 20.5, and 3.1 percent of wells tested. Elevated manganese levels were statistically significantly associated with a higher prevalence of conotruncal heart defects (PR: 1.6 95% CI: 1.1-2.5). These findings suggest an ecologic association between higher manganese concentrations in drinking water and the prevalence of conotruncal heart defects.

  4. A truly ecological epigenetics study.

    PubMed

    Bossdorf, Oliver; Zhang, Yuanye

    2011-04-01

    Until a few years ago, epigenetics was a field of research that had nothing to do with ecology and that virtually no ecologist had ever heard of. This is now changing, as more and more ecologists learn about epigenetic processes and their potential ecological and evolutionary relevance, and a new research field of ecological epigenetics is beginning to take shape. One question that is particularly intriguing ecologists is to what extent epigenetic variation is an additional, and hitherto overlooked, source of natural variation in ecologically important traits. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Herrera & Bazaga (2011) provide one of the first attempts to truly address this question in an ecological setting. They study variation of DNA methylation in a wild population of the rare, long-lived violet Viola cazorlensis, and they use these data to explore interrelations between environmental, genetic and epigenetic variation, and in particular the extent to which these factors are related to long-term differences in herbivore damage among plants. They find substantial epigenetic variation among plant individuals. Interestingly, this epigenetic variation is significantly correlated with long-term differences in herbivory, but only weakly with herbivory-related DNA sequence variation, which suggests that besides habitat, substrate and genetic variation, epigenetic variation may be an additional, and at least partly independent, factor influencing plant–herbivore interactions in the field. Although the study by Herrera & Bazaga (2011) raises at least as many new questions as it answers, it is a pioneering example of how epigenetics can be incorporated into ecological field studies, and it illustrates the value and potential novel insights to be gained from such efforts.

  5. Social Studies: Ecology and Survival.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liftin, Elaine

    Designed as an elective course of study for grades seven through nine, this curriculum guide provides a study of the political, economic, and social aspects of ecological problems in the community, state, or nation. The focus is on the causes and effects of pollution and alternative courses of governmental and student (citizen) action. A suggested…

  6. The relationship between the location of pediatric intensive care unit facilities and child death from trauma: a county-level ecologic study.

    PubMed

    Odetola, Folafoluwa O; Miller, William C; Davis, Matthew M; Bratton, Susan L

    2005-07-01

    To describe the relationship between the location of Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) facilities and county-level child death from trauma in the contiguous USA. We conducted a cross-sectional ecologic study using county-level data on death due to trauma in children 0 to 14 years of age from 1996 to 1998. These data were linked to 1997 county-level data on availability of PICU facilities. In 1997, PICU facilities were present in 9% of USA counties. There were 18,337 childhood deaths from trauma in the study period. The presence of PICU facilities in a county was associated with lower mortality from trauma (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 0.72; 95% CI 0.67-0.78) compared to counties without PICU facilities. After controlling for residence in rural and low-income counties, and the presence of adult medicosurgical intensive care units, the presence of PICU facilities in a county remained associated with lower rates of death from trauma (IRR = 0.82; 95% CI 0.75-0.89). The presence of PICU facilities is related to lower mortality rates due to traumatic injuries at the county level. This finding may reflect the concentration of pediatric subspecialty care in counties with PICUs. This association merits further study with individual-level observations.

  7. A recirculating stream aquarium for ecological studies.

    Treesearch

    Gordon H. Reeves; Fred H. Everest; Carl E. McLemore

    1983-01-01

    Investigations of the ecological behavior of fishes often require studies in both natural and artificial stream environments. We describe a large, recirculating stream aquarium and its controls, constructed for ecological studies at the Forestry Sciences Laboratory in Corvallis.

  8. The effects of deprivation and relative deprivation on self-reported morbidity in England: an area-level ecological study

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Socioeconomic status gradients in health outcomes are well recognised and may operate in part through the psychological effect of observing disparities in affluence. At an area-level, we explored whether the deprivation differential between neighbouring areas influenced self-reported morbidity over and above the known effect of the deprivation of the area itself. Methods Deprivation differentials between small areas (population size approximately 1,500) and their immediate neighbours were derived (from the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD)) for Lower Super Output Area (LSOA) in the whole of England (n=32482). Outcome variables were self-reported from the 2001 UK Census: the proportion of the population suffering Limiting Long-Term Illness (LLTI) and ‘not good health’. Linear regression was used to identify the effect of the deprivation differential on morbidity in different segments of the population, controlling for the absolute deprivation. The population was segmented using IMD tertiles and P2 People and Places geodemographic classification. P2 is a commercial market segmentation tool, which classifies small areas according to the characteristics of the population. The classifications range in deprivation, with the most affluent type being ‘Mature Oaks’ and the least being ‘Urban Challenge’. Results Areas that were deprived compared to their immediate neighbours suffered higher rates of ‘not good health’ (β=0.312, p<0.001) and LLTI (β=0.278, p<0.001), after controlling for the deprivation of the area itself (‘not good health’—ß=0.655, p<0.001; LLTI—ß=0.548, p<0.001). The effect of the deprivation differential relative to the effect of deprivation was strongest in least deprived segments (e.g., for ‘not good health’, P2 segments ‘Mature Oaks’—β=0.638; ‘Rooted Households’—β=0.555). Conclusions Living in an area that is surrounded by areas of greater affluence has a negative impact on health in England. A

  9. The effects of deprivation and relative deprivation on self-reported morbidity in England: an area-level ecological study.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xin; Cook, Penny A; Lisboa, Paulo J; Jarman, Ian H; Bellis, Mark A

    2013-01-29

    Socioeconomic status gradients in health outcomes are well recognised and may operate in part through the psychological effect of observing disparities in affluence. At an area-level, we explored whether the deprivation differential between neighbouring areas influenced self-reported morbidity over and above the known effect of the deprivation of the area itself. Deprivation differentials between small areas (population size approximately 1,500) and their immediate neighbours were derived (from the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD)) for Lower Super Output Area (LSOA) in the whole of England (n=32482). Outcome variables were self-reported from the 2001 UK Census: the proportion of the population suffering Limiting Long-Term Illness (LLTI) and 'not good health'. Linear regression was used to identify the effect of the deprivation differential on morbidity in different segments of the population, controlling for the absolute deprivation. The population was segmented using IMD tertiles and P2 People and Places geodemographic classification. P2 is a commercial market segmentation tool, which classifies small areas according to the characteristics of the population. The classifications range in deprivation, with the most affluent type being 'Mature Oaks' and the least being 'Urban Challenge'. Areas that were deprived compared to their immediate neighbours suffered higher rates of 'not good health' (β=0.312, p<0.001) and LLTI (β=0.278, p<0.001), after controlling for the deprivation of the area itself ('not good health'-ß=0.655, p<0.001; LLTI-ß=0.548, p<0.001). The effect of the deprivation differential relative to the effect of deprivation was strongest in least deprived segments (e.g., for 'not good health', P2 segments 'Mature Oaks'-β=0.638; 'Rooted Households'-β=0.555). Living in an area that is surrounded by areas of greater affluence has a negative impact on health in England. A possible explanation for this phenomenon is that negative social comparisons

  10. Wealth-related Inequality in Utilization of Antihypertensive Medicines in Iran: an Ecological Study on Population Level Data.

    PubMed

    Hashemi-Meshkini, Amir; Kebriaeezadeh, Abbas; Jamshidi, Hamidreza; Akbari-Sari, Ali; Rezaei-Darzi, Ehsan; Mehdipour, Parinaz; Nikfar, Shekoufeh; Farzadfar, Farshad

    2016-02-01

    We aim to evaluate the trend of national and sub-national (provincial) utilization pattern of antihypertensive medicines in the Iranian population in the past decade and evaluate whether there is any wealth-related inequality in utilization of these medicines among different provinces. Either fixed effect or random effect linear panel data model was used to check the effect of wealth index on utilization of all antihypertensive medicines and each class, adjusting for other covariates including years of schooling, urbanization, mean age, and food type of provinces. The principal component analysis was applied to make summery measures for covariates using available national datasets. The effect of wealth category on the utilization of all antihypertensive medicines among Iranian provinces was positive and significant (0.84; 95% CI: 0.09, 1.59). Accordingly as subgroup analysis, in BBs and CCBs classes, the effects of wealth category on utilization of medicines were positive and significant (0.36; 95% CI: 0.12, 0.60 and 0.27; 95% CI: 0.07, 0.40, respectively). However in ACEIs and Diuretics classes, the effects of wealth category were positive but not significant. In ARBs class, the effect of wealth on utilization was negative and not significant (-0.04; 95% CI: -0.27, 0.18). According to this study, an inequality could be observed in Iran related to wealth category in utilization of total antihypertensive medicines between provinces.

  11. An Ecological Study of Community-Level Correlates of Suicide Mortality Rates in the Flemish Region of Belgium, 1996-2005

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hooghe, Marc; Vanhoutte, Bram

    2011-01-01

    An ecological study of age-standardized suicide rates in Belgian communities (1996-2005) was conducted using spatial regression techniques. Community characteristics were significantly related to suicide rates. There was mixed support for the social integration perspective: single person households were associated with higher suicide rates, while…

  12. An Ecological Study of Community-Level Correlates of Suicide Mortality Rates in the Flemish Region of Belgium, 1996-2005

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hooghe, Marc; Vanhoutte, Bram

    2011-01-01

    An ecological study of age-standardized suicide rates in Belgian communities (1996-2005) was conducted using spatial regression techniques. Community characteristics were significantly related to suicide rates. There was mixed support for the social integration perspective: single person households were associated with higher suicide rates, while…

  13. Current directions in screening-level ecological risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Carlsen, T M; Efroymson, R A

    2000-12-11

    Ecological risk assessment (ERA) is a tool used by many regulatory agencies to evaluate the impact to ecological receptors from changes in environmental conditions. Widespread use of ERAs began with the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund program to assess the ecological impact from hazardous chemicals released to the environment. Many state hazardous chemical regulatory agencies have adopted the use of ERAs, and several state regulatory agencies are evaluating the use of ERAs to assess ecological impacts from releases of petroleum and gas-related products. Typical ERAs are toxicologically-based, use conservative assumptions with respect to ecological receptor exposure duration and frequency, often require complex modeling of transport and exposure and are very labor intensive. In an effort to streamline the ERA process, efforts are currently underway to develop default soil screening levels, to identify ecological screening criteria for excluding sites from formal risk assessment, and to create risk-based corrective action worksheets. This should help reduce the time spent on ERAs, at least for some sites. Work is also underway to incorporate bioavailability and spatial considerations into ERAs. By evaluating the spatial nature of contaminant releases with respect to the spatial context of the ecosystem under consideration, more realistic ERAs with respect to the actual impact to ecological receptors at the population, community or ecosystem scale should be possible. In addition, by considering the spatial context, it should be possible to develop mitigation and monitoring efforts to more appropriately address such sites within the context of an ecological framework.

  14. Sewage impacts coral reefs at multiple levels of ecological organization.

    PubMed

    Reopanichkul, Pasinee; Schlacher, Thomas A; Carter, R W; Worachananant, Suchai

    2009-09-01

    Against a backdrop of rising sea temperatures and ocean acidification which pose global threats to coral reefs, excess nutrients and turbidity continue to be significant stressors at regional and local scales. Because interventions usually require local data on pollution impacts, we measured ecological responses to sewage discharges in Surin Marine Park, Thailand. Wastewater disposal significantly increased inorganic nutrients and turbidity levels, and this degradation in water quality resulted in substantial ecological shifts in the form of (i) increased macroalgal density and species richness, (ii) lower cover of hard corals, and (iii) significant declines in fish abundance. Thus, the effects of nutrient pollution and turbidity can cascade across several levels of ecological organization to change key properties of the benthos and fish on coral reefs. Maintenance or restoration of ecological reef health requires improved wastewater management and run-off control for reefs to deliver their valuable ecosystems services.

  15. Screening-Level Ecological Risk Assessment Methods, Revision 3

    SciTech Connect

    Mirenda, Richard J.

    2012-08-16

    This document provides guidance for screening-level assessments of potential adverse impacts to ecological resources from release of environmental contaminants at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL or the Laboratory). The methods presented are based on two objectives, namely: to provide a basis for reaching consensus with regulators, managers, and other interested parties on how to conduct screening-level ecological risk investigations at the Laboratory; and to provide guidance for ecological risk assessors under the Environmental Programs (EP) Directorate. This guidance promotes consistency, rigor, and defensibility in ecological screening investigations and in reporting those investigation results. The purpose of the screening assessment is to provide information to the risk managers so informed riskmanagement decisions can be made. This document provides examples of recommendations and possible risk-management strategies.

  16. Particulate air pollution and chronic ischemic heart disease in the eastern United States: a county level ecological study using satellite aerosol data

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background There are several known factors that cause ischemic heart disease. However, the part played by air pollution still remains something of a mystery. Recent attention has focused on the chronic effect of particulate matter on heart disease. Satellite-derived aerosol optical depth (AOD) was found to be correlated with PM2.5 in the eastern US. The objective of this study was to examine if there is an association between aerosol air pollution as indicated by AOD and chronic ischemic heart disease (CIHD) in the eastern US. Methods An ecological geographic study method was employed. Race and age standardized mortality rate (SMR) of CIHD was computed for each of the 2306 counties for the time period 2003–2004. A mean AOD raster grid for the same period was derived from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) aerosol data and the average AOD was calculated for each county. A bivariate Moran's I scatter plot, a map of local indicator of spatial association (LISA) clusters, and three regression models (ordinary least square, spatial lag, and spatial error) were used to analyze the relationship between AOD and CIHD SMR. Results The global Moran's I value is 0.2673 (p = 0.001), indicating an overall positive spatial correlation of CIHD SMR and AOD. The entire study area is dominated by spatial clusters of AOD against SMR (high AOD and high SMR in the east, and low AOD and low SMR in the west) (permutations = 999, p = 0.05). Of the three regression models, the spatial error model achieved the best fit (R2 = 0.28). The effect of AOD is positive and significant (beta = 0.7774, p = 0.01). Conclusion Aerosol particle pollution has adverse effect on CIHD mortality risk in the eastern US. High risk of CIHD mortality was found in areas with elevated levels of outdoor aerosol air pollution as indicated by satellite derived AOD. The evidence of the association would support targeting of policy interventions on such areas to reduce air pollution levels. Remote sensing

  17. Particulate air pollution and chronic ischemic heart disease in the eastern United States: a county level ecological study using satellite aerosol data.

    PubMed

    Hu, Zhiyong; Rao, K Ranga

    2009-06-12

    There are several known factors that cause ischemic heart disease. However, the part played by air pollution still remains something of a mystery. Recent attention has focused on the chronic effect of particulate matter on heart disease. Satellite-derived aerosol optical depth (AOD) was found to be correlated with PM2.5 in the eastern US. The objective of this study was to examine if there is an association between aerosol air pollution as indicated by AOD and chronic ischemic heart disease (CIHD) in the eastern US. An ecological geographic study method was employed. Race and age standardized mortality rate (SMR) of CIHD was computed for each of the 2306 counties for the time period 2003-2004. A mean AOD raster grid for the same period was derived from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) aerosol data and the average AOD was calculated for each county. A bivariate Moran's I scatter plot, a map of local indicator of spatial association (LISA) clusters, and three regression models (ordinary least square, spatial lag, and spatial error) were used to analyze the relationship between AOD and CIHD SMR. The global Moran's I value is 0.2673 (p = 0.001), indicating an overall positive spatial correlation of CIHD SMR and AOD. The entire study area is dominated by spatial clusters of AOD against SMR (high AOD and high SMR in the east, and low AOD and low SMR in the west) (permutations = 999, p = 0.05). Of the three regression models, the spatial error model achieved the best fit (R2 = 0.28). The effect of AOD is positive and significant (beta = 0.7774, p = 0.01). Aerosol particle pollution has adverse effect on CIHD mortality risk in the eastern US. High risk of CIHD mortality was found in areas with elevated levels of outdoor aerosol air pollution as indicated by satellite derived AOD. The evidence of the association would support targeting of policy interventions on such areas to reduce air pollution levels. Remote sensing AOD data could be used as an

  18. The Virtual Field Station (VFS): Using A Virtual Reality Environment for Ecological Fieldwork in A-Level Biological Studies--Case Study 3.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poland, Roger; La Velle, Linda Baggott; Nichol, Jon

    2003-01-01

    Describes a teacher-generated case study on the effectiveness of a Virtual Field Station for teaching an A Level biology topic. Argues that a Virtual Field Centre is an effective substitute for actuality in terms of the development of student knowledge and understanding for examination purposes. Discuses how science education is rapidly developing…

  19. Wildlife ecological screening levels for inhalation of volatile organic chemicals.

    PubMed

    Gallegos, Patricia; Lutz, Jill; Markwiese, James; Ryti, Randall; Mirenda, Rich

    2007-06-01

    For most chemicals, evaluation of ecological risk typically does not address inhalation because ingestion dominates exposure. However, burrowing ecological receptors have an increased exposure potential from inhalation at sites contaminated with volatile chemicals in the subsurface. Evaluation of ecological risk from contaminants like volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) is constrained by a lack of relevant ecological screening levels (ESLs). To address this need, inhalation ESLs were developed for 16 VOCs: Acetone, benzene, carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, chloromethane, dichlorodifluoromethane, 1,1-dichloroethane, 1,2-dichloroethane, 1,1-dichloroethene, methylene chloride, tetrachloroethene, toluene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, trichloroethene, trichlorofluoromethane, and total xylene. These ESLs are based on Botta's pocket gopher (Thomomys bottae) as a representative fossorial receptor. The ESLs are presented with an emphasis on the process for developing inhalation toxicity reference values to illustrate the selection of suitable toxicity data and effect levels from the literature. The resulting ESLs provide a quantitative method for evaluating ecological risk of VOCs through comparison to relevant exposure data such as direct burrow-air measurements. The toxicity reference value development and ESL calculation processes and assumptions detailed here are provided as bases from which risk assessors can use or refine to suit site-specific needs with respect to toxicity and exposure inputs.

  20. [Ecological studies in environmental health: Beyond epidemiology].

    PubMed

    Blanco-Becerra, Luis C; Pinzón-Flórez, Carlos E; Idrovo, Álvaro J

    2015-08-01

    Ecological studies provide important and frequent sources of evidence of environmental health, since their unit of analysis is populations. This review summarizes the foundations of ecological studies with the premise that they can be performed using quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods. It presents the logic behind their design, their role in exploring causality, the variables and categories of analysis and the design principles and techniques used to collect data. Examples of ecological studies performed in Latin America are then presented, as well as some common methodological problems and options to address them. Lastly, the relevance of quantitative and qualitative ecological studies to environmental health as a way to overcome the dominance of conceptual and methodological individualism is highlighted, though ecological studies alone do not suffice for studying population health.

  1. Integrating urbanization into landscape-level ecological assessments.

    Treesearch

    Jeffrey D. Kline; Alissa Moses; Ralph J. Alig

    2001-01-01

    Economists and ecologists are often asked to collaborate on landscape-level analyses designed to jointly assess economic and ecological conditions resulting from environmental policy scenarios. This trend toward multidisciplinary projects, coupled with the growing use of geographic information systems, has led to the development policy scenarios. This trend toward...

  2. ECOLOGICAL SOIL SCREENING LEVELS FOR SOIL INVERTEBRATES AND PLANTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological Soil Screening Levels (Eco-SSLs) are being developed for 24 inorganic and inorganic chemicals for soil invertebrates and plants using procedures developed by a Task Group of the USEPA Eco-SSL Work Group. The Eco-SSL Work Group is a collaboration among USEPA, DoD, DOE, ...

  3. Spatially Explicit Landscape-Level Ecological Risks Induced by Land Use and Land Cover Change in a National Ecologically Representative Region in China.

    PubMed

    Gong, Jian; Yang, Jianxin; Tang, Wenwu

    2015-11-09

    Land use and land cover change is driven by multiple influential factors from environmental and social dimensions in a land system. Land use practices of human decision-makers modify the landscape of the land system, possibly leading to landscape fragmentation, biodiversity loss, or environmental pollution-severe environmental or ecological impacts. While landscape-level ecological risk assessment supports the evaluation of these impacts, investigations on how these ecological risks induced by land use practices change over space and time in response to alternative policy intervention remain inadequate. In this article, we conducted spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis in Ezhou City, China. Our study area is a national ecologically representative region experiencing drastic land use and land cover change, and is regulated by multiple policies represented by farmland protection, ecological conservation, and urban development. We employed landscape metrics to consider the influence of potential landscape-level disturbance for the evaluation of landscape ecological risks. Using spatiotemporal simulation, we designed scenarios to examine spatiotemporal patterns in landscape ecological risks in response to policy intervention. Our study demonstrated that spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis combined with simulation-driven scenario analysis is of particular importance for guiding the sustainable development of ecologically vulnerable land systems.

  4. Spatially Explicit Landscape-Level Ecological Risks Induced by Land Use and Land Cover Change in a National Ecologically Representative Region in China

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Jian; Yang, Jianxin; Tang, Wenwu

    2015-01-01

    Land use and land cover change is driven by multiple influential factors from environmental and social dimensions in a land system. Land use practices of human decision-makers modify the landscape of the land system, possibly leading to landscape fragmentation, biodiversity loss, or environmental pollution—severe environmental or ecological impacts. While landscape-level ecological risk assessment supports the evaluation of these impacts, investigations on how these ecological risks induced by land use practices change over space and time in response to alternative policy intervention remain inadequate. In this article, we conducted spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis in Ezhou City, China. Our study area is a national ecologically representative region experiencing drastic land use and land cover change, and is regulated by multiple policies represented by farmland protection, ecological conservation, and urban development. We employed landscape metrics to consider the influence of potential landscape-level disturbance for the evaluation of landscape ecological risks. Using spatiotemporal simulation, we designed scenarios to examine spatiotemporal patterns in landscape ecological risks in response to policy intervention. Our study demonstrated that spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis combined with simulation-driven scenario analysis is of particular importance for guiding the sustainable development of ecologically vulnerable land systems. PMID:26569270

  5. Multi-level human evolution: ecological patterns in hominin phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Parravicini, Andrea; Pievani, Telmo

    2016-06-20

    Evolution is a process that occurs at many different levels, from genes to ecosystems. Genetic variations and ecological pressures are hence two sides of the same coin; but due both to fragmentary evidence and to the influence of a gene-centered and gradualistic approach to evolutionary phenomena, the field of paleoanthropology has been slow to take the role of macro-evolutionary patterns (i.e. ecological and biogeographical at large scale) seriously. However, several very recent findings in paleoanthropology stress both climate instability and ecological disturbance as key factors affecting the highly branching hominin phylogeny, from the earliest hominins to the appearance of cognitively modern humans. Allopatric speciation due to geographic displacement, turnover-pulses of species, adaptive radiation, mosaic evolution of traits in several coeval species, bursts of behavioral innovation, serial dispersals out of Africa, are just some of the macro-evolutionary patterns emerging from the field. The multilevel approach to evolution proposed by paleontologist Niles Eldredge is adopted here as interpretative tool, and has yielded a larger picture of human evolution that integrates different levels of evolutionary change, from local adaptations in limited ecological niches to dispersal phenotypes able to colonize an unprecedented range of ecosystems. Changes in global climate and Earth's surface most greatly affected human evolution. Precisely because it is cognitively hard for us to appreciate the long-term common destiny we share with the whole biosphere, it is particularly valuable to highlight the accumulating evidence that human evolution has been deeply affected by global ecological changes that transformed our African continent of origin.

  6. Paracoccidioidomycosis in Colombia: an ecological study.

    PubMed Central

    Calle, D.; Rosero, D. S.; Orozco, L. C.; Camargo, D.; Castañeda, E.; Restrepo, A.

    2001-01-01

    The natural habitat of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, agent of paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM), remains unknown. This study is aimed at establishing associations between the ecological variables present in all Colombian municipalities and the incidence of PCM. Records of 940 patients were studied and several ecological variables analysed, as well as their association to amount of patients per total rural population in each municipality, determined through a multivariate analysis. All 940 patients came from 216 municipalities (20-3%), out of which, 93 were birthplace and place of long-term residence for 121 patients. The Incidence Rate Ratio (IRR) was determined for these 93 municipalities. The following variables fitted the model: altitude from 1,000 to 1,499 metres above sea level (IRR = 6.37), rainfall from 2000 to 2999 mm (IRR = 2.15), presence of humid forests (Holdridge) (IRR = 1.79) and coffee (IRR = 1.95), tobacco (IRR = 3.59) crops. These results indicate that these municipalities constitute reservareas for P. brasiliensis (Borelli). PMID:11349982

  7. Interactions between temperature and nutrients across levels of ecological organization.

    PubMed

    Cross, Wyatt F; Hood, James M; Benstead, Jonathan P; Huryn, Alexander D; Nelson, Daniel

    2015-03-01

    Temperature and nutrient availability play key roles in controlling the pathways and rates at which energy and materials move through ecosystems. These factors have also changed dramatically on Earth over the past century as human activities have intensified. Although significant effort has been devoted to understanding the role of temperature and nutrients in isolation, less is known about how these two factors interact to influence ecological processes. Recent advances in ecological stoichiometry and metabolic ecology provide a useful framework for making progress in this area, but conceptual synthesis and review are needed to help catalyze additional research. Here, we examine known and potential interactions between temperature and nutrients from a variety of physiological, community, and ecosystem perspectives. We first review patterns at the level of the individual, focusing on four traits--growth, respiration, body size, and elemental content--that should theoretically govern how temperature and nutrients interact to influence higher levels of biological organization. We next explore the interactive effects of temperature and nutrients on populations, communities, and food webs by synthesizing information related to community size spectra, biomass distributions, and elemental composition. We use metabolic theory to make predictions about how population-level secondary production should respond to interactions between temperature and resource supply, setting up qualitative predictions about the flows of energy and materials through metazoan food webs. Last, we examine how temperature-nutrient interactions influence processes at the whole-ecosystem level, focusing on apparent vs. intrinsic activation energies of ecosystem processes, how to represent temperature-nutrient interactions in ecosystem models, and patterns with respect to nutrient uptake and organic matter decomposition. We conclude that a better understanding of interactions between temperature and

  8. Four opportunities for studies of ecological succession.

    PubMed

    Prach, Karel; Walker, Lawrence R

    2011-03-01

    Lessons learned from the study of ecological succession have much to offer contemporary environmental problem solving but these lessons are being underutilized. As anthropogenic disturbances increase, succession is more relevant than ever. In this review, we suggest that succession is particularly suitable to address concerns about biodiversity loss, climate change, invasive species, and ecological restoration. By incorporating modern experimental techniques and linking results across environmental gradients with meta-analyses, studies of succession can substantially improve our understanding of other ecological phenomena. Succession can help predict changes in biodiversity and ecosystem services impacted by invasive species and climate change and guide manipulative responses to these disruptions by informing restoration efforts. Succession is still a critical, integrative concept that is central to ecology.

  9. Levels of organization in biology: on the nature and nomenclature of ecology's fourth level.

    PubMed

    Lidicker, William Z

    2008-02-01

    Viewing the universe as being composed of hierarchically arranged systems is widely accepted as a useful model of reality. In ecology, three levels of organization are generally recognized: organisms, populations, and communities (biocoenoses). For half a century increasing numbers of ecologists have concluded that recognition of a fourth level would facilitate increased understanding of ecological phenomena. Sometimes the word "ecosystem" is used for this level, but this is arguably inappropriate. Since 1986, I and others have argued that the term "landscape" would be a suitable term for a level of organization defined as an ecological system containing more than one community type. However, "landscape" and "landscape level" continue to be used extensively by ecologists in the popular sense of a large expanse of space. I therefore now propose that the term "ecoscape" be used instead for this fourth level of organization. A clearly defined fourth level for ecology would focus attention on the emergent properties of this level, and maintain the spatial and temporal scale-free nature inherent in this hierarchy of organizational levels for living entities.

  10. Overcoming ecologic bias using the two-phase study design.

    PubMed

    Wakefield, Jon; Haneuse, Sebastien J-P A

    2008-04-15

    Ecologic (aggregate) data are widely available and widely utilized in epidemiologic studies. However, ecologic bias, which arises because aggregate data cannot characterize within-group variability in exposure and confounder variables, can only be removed by supplementing ecologic data with individual-level data. Here the authors describe the two-phase study design as a framework for achieving this objective. In phase 1, outcomes are stratified by any combination of area, confounders, and error-prone (or discretized) versions of exposures of interest. Phase 2 data, sampled within each phase 1 stratum, provide accurate measures of exposure and possibly of additional confounders. The phase 1 aggregate-level data provide a high level of statistical power and a cross-classification by which individuals may be efficiently sampled in phase 2. The phase 2 individual-level data then provide a control for ecologic bias by characterizing the within-area variability in exposures and confounders. In this paper, the authors illustrate the two-phase study design by estimating the association between infant mortality and birth weight in several regions of North Carolina for 2000-2004, controlling for gender and race. This example shows that the two-phase design removes ecologic bias and produces gains in efficiency over the use of case-control data alone. The authors discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the approach.

  11. Methodology Series Module 7: Ecologic Studies and Natural Experiments

    PubMed Central

    Setia, Maninder Singh

    2017-01-01

    In this module, we have discussed study designs that have not been covered in the previous modules – ecologic studies and natural experiments. In an ecologic study, the unit of analysis is a group or aggregate rather than the individual. It may be the characteristics of districts, states, or countries. For example, per capita income across countries, income quintiles across districts, and proportion of college graduates in states. If the data already exist (such as global measures and prevalence of diseases, data sets such as the National Family Health Survey, census data), then ecologic studies are cheap and data are easy to collect. However, one needs to be aware of the “ecologic fallacy.” The researcher should not interpret ecologic level results at the individual level. In “natural experiments,” the researcher does not assign the exposure (as is the case in interventional studies) to the groups in the study. The exposure is assigned by a natural process. This may be due to existing policies or services (example, one city has laws against specific vehicles and the other city does not); changes in services or policies; or introduction of new laws (such helmet for bikers and seat-belts for cars). We would like to encourage researchers to explore the possibility of using these study designs to conduct studies. PMID:28216721

  12. Ecology predicts levels of genetic differentiation in neotropical birds.

    PubMed

    Burney, Curtis W; Brumfield, Robb T

    2009-09-01

    Despite the theoretical link between the ecology and the population genetics of species, little empirical evidence is available that corroborates the association. Here, we examined genetic variation in 40 codistributed species of lowland Neotropical rain forest birds that have populations isolated on either side of the Andes, the Amazon River, and the Madeira River. We found widely varying levels of genetic divergence among these taxa across the same biogeographic barriers. Our investigation of the extent to which ecological traits predicted the amount of cross-barrier divergence revealed a strongly significant relationship between the forest stratum at which a species forages and the level of cross-barrier genetic differentiation. Canopy species had statistically lower genetic divergence values across the Andes and the two Amazonian rivers than did understory birds. We hypothesize that the association reflects an effect of dispersal propensity, which is greater in canopy birds, on the movement of alleles among demes (i.e., migration) and, consequently, on the interdemic proportion of the genetic variance. Differences in dispersal propensity may also explain the observation that understory species contain a significantly greater number of subspecies than do canopy species. This result indicates that higher rates of diversification may occur in lineages with lower dispersal propensity.

  13. A portable instrument shelter for ecological studies

    Treesearch

    Kenneth E. Hungerford

    1957-01-01

    In studies of an ecological nature, it is often desirable to make records of temperature or humidity on the site of the particular study. A standard instrument shelter, as used by the U. S. Weather Bureau (U. S. Weather Bureau 1941), is heavy, bulky and not adapted for short term use on field projects. This paper describes a small light instrument shelter, large enough...

  14. Ecological relevance of Sentinels' biomarker responses: a multi-level approach.

    PubMed

    Seabra Pereira, Camilo D; Abessa, Denis M S; Choueri, Rodrigo B; Almagro-Pastor, Victor; Cesar, Augusto; Maranho, Luciane A; Martín-Díaz, María Laura; Torres, Ronaldo J; Gusso-Choueri, Paloma K; Almeida, João E; Cortez, Fernando S; Mozeto, Antonio A; Silbiger, Helcy L N; Sousa, Eduinetty C P M; Del Valls, Tommas Angel; Bainy, Afonso C D

    2014-05-01

    In response to the need for more sensitive and rapid indicators of environmental quality, sublethal effects on the lowest levels of biological organization have been investigated. The ecological relevance of these responses assumes a prevailing role to assure effectiveness as indicator of ecological status. This study aimed to investigate the linkages between biomarker responses of caged bivalves and descriptive parameters of macrobenthic community structure. For this purpose a multi-level environmental assessment of marine and estuarine zones was performed in São Paulo coast, Brazil. Multivariate analysis was applied to identify linkages between biological responses and ecological indices, as well as to characterizing the studied stations. Individuals of the marine mussel Perna perna caged along Santos Bay showed signs of oxidative stress, lysosomal membrane destabilization, histological alterations and reduced embryonic development. The estuarine oyster Crassostrea rhizophorae caged along Santos Port Channel showed alterations on biotransformation enzymes and antioxidant system, DNA damage and lysosomal membrane destabilization. The benthic community analysis showed reduced richness and diversity in the same areas of the Santos bay and estuary where biomarker responses were altered. Our results revealed that xenobiotics are inducing physiological stress, which may lead to changes of the benthic community structure and deterioration of the ecological status over time. Integrating biomarker responses and ecological indexes improved certainty that alterations found at community level could be related to xenobiotic as stressors, which was very useful to improve the discriminatory power of the environmental assessment. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. [Ecology suitability study of Ephedra intermedia].

    PubMed

    Ma, Xiao-Hui; Lu, You-Yuan; Huang, De-Dong; Zhu, Tian-Tian; Lv, Pei-Lin; Jin, Ling

    2017-06-01

    The study aims at predicting ecological suitability of Ephedra intermedia in China by using maximum entropy Maxent model combined with GIS, and finding the main ecological factors affecting the distribution of E. intermedia suitability in appropriate growth area. Thirty-eight collected samples of E. intermedia and E. intermedia and 116 distribution information from CVH information using ArcGIS technology were analyzed. MaxEnt model was applied to forecast the E. intermedia in our country's ecology. E. intermedia MaxEnt ROC curve model training data and testing data sets the AUC value was 0.986 and 0.958, respectively, which were greater than 0.9, tending to be 1.The calculated E. intermedia habitat suitability by the model showed a high accuracy and credibility, which indicated that MaxEnt model could well predict the potential distribution area of E. intermedia in China. Copyright© by the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association.

  16. Ecological interactions affecting population-level responses to chemical stress in Mesocyclops leuckarti.

    PubMed

    Kulkarni, Devdutt; Hommen, Udo; Schäffer, Andreas; Preuss, Thomas G

    2014-10-01

    Higher tiers of ecological risk assessment (ERA) consider population and community-level endpoints. At the population level, the phenomenon of density dependence is one of the most important ecological processes that influence population dynamics. In this study, we investigated how different mechanisms of density dependence would influence population-level ERA of the cyclopoid copepod Mesocyclops leuckarti under toxicant exposure. We used a combined approach of laboratory experiments and individual-based modelling. An individual-based model was developed for M. leuckarti to simulate population dynamics under triphenyltin exposure based on individual-level ecological and toxicological data from laboratory experiments. The study primarily aimed to-(1) determine which life-cycle processes, based on feeding strategies, are most significant in determining density dependence (2) explore how these mechanisms of density dependence affect extrapolation from individual-level effects to the population level under toxicant exposure. Model simulations showed that cannibalism of nauplii that were already stressed by TPT exposure contributed to synergistic effects of biotic and abiotic factors and led to a twofold stress being exerted on the nauplii, thereby resulting in a higher population vulnerability compared to the scenario without cannibalism. Our results suggest that in population-level risk assessment, it is easy to underestimate toxicity unless underlying ecological interactions including mechanisms of population-level density regulation are considered. This study is an example of how a combined approach of experiments and mechanistic modelling can lead to a thorough understanding of ecological processes in ecotoxicology and enable a more realistic ERA.

  17. ECOLOGICAL SOIL SCREENING LEVELS (ECO-SSLS) FOR SUPERFUND

    EPA Science Inventory

    The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has established ecological soil screening values for 24 soil contaminants frequently of ecological concern for terrestrial plants and animals at hazardous waste sites. The Eco-SSL derivation process represents the collaborative effor...

  18. The Ecology of Study Areas.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sommer, Robert

    This project was conducted to determine the conditions that make a satisfying study environment in colleges and universities and to relay the findings to those who design and manage educational spaces. The investigation focused upon the process of studying and its relation to environmental setting, and data was primarily gathered through site…

  19. Predicting Dropout Using Student- and School-Level Factors: An Ecological Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wood, Laura; Kiperman, Sarah; Esch, Rachel C.; Leroux, Audrey J.; Truscott, Stephen D.

    2017-01-01

    High school dropout has been associated with negative outcomes, including increased rates of unemployment, incarceration, and mortality. Dropout rates vary significantly depending on individual and environmental factors. The purpose of our study was to use an ecological perspective to concurrently explore student- and school-level predictors…

  20. The ecological study of memory.

    PubMed Central

    Neisser, U

    1997-01-01

    The study of memory has long been dominated by the structural tradition, and especially by the experimental analysis of mechanisms of information processing. That dominance may soon be brought to an end by the progress of neuroscience, which offers more direct ways of studying the mechanisms in question. At that point functional issues may move to centre stage. Those issues include the act of remembering and its social functions, the skills and presuppositions of the remembered, the interaction of those skills and presuppositions with the particular material being remembered, and the determinants of accuracy and confabulation in recall. PMID:9415921

  1. Forest Community: An Ecological Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zipko, Stephen J.

    1974-01-01

    Discusses science activities designed to examine a balanced community in an unspoiled wooded section, including the study of physical and floral characteristics, shrubs, small and large trees, and animals. Indicates that the students' awareness of man's place in nature and nature's place in man is enhanced through such activities. (CC)

  2. Benchmarks for Developing Ecological Soil Screening Levels (ECO-SSL): Effects of Selenium on Soil Invertebrates

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-12-01

    use in developing an Eco -SSL for soil invertebrates; experimental design and results undergo quality assurance before inclusion of benchmarks in...BENCHMARKS FOR DEVELOPING ECOLOGICAL SOIL SCREENING LEVELS ( ECO -SSL): EFFECTS OF SELENIUM ON SOIL INVERTEBRATES Ronald T. Checkai, Michael...and Air Force, has established national guidance and SOPs for deriving Ecological Soil Screening Levels ( Eco -SSL) for ecological receptors

  3. Interior Least Tern (Sternula antillarum) breeding distribution and ecology: implications for population-level studies and the evaluation of alternative management strategies on large, regulated rivers

    PubMed Central

    Lott, Casey A; Wiley, Robert L; Fischer, Richard A; Hartfield, Paul D; Scott, J Michael

    2013-01-01

    Interior Least Terns (Sternula antillarum) (ILT) are colonial, fish-eating birds that breed within active channels of large sand bed rivers of the Great Plains and in the Lower Mississippi Valley. Multipurpose dams, irrigation structures, and engineered navigation systems have been present on these rivers for many decades. Despite severe alteration of channels and flow regimes, regulation era floods have remained effective at maintaining bare sandbar nesting habitat on many river segments and ILT populations have been stable or expanding since they were listed as endangered in 1985. We used ILT breeding colony locations from 2002 to 2012 and dispersal information to identify 16 populations and 48 subpopulations. More than 90% of ILT and >83% of river km with suitable nesting habitat occur within the two largest populations. However, replicate populations remain throughout the entire historical, geophysical, and ecological range of ILT. Rapid colonization of anthropogenic habitats in areas that were not historically occupied suggests metapopulation dynamics. The highest likelihood of demographic connectivity among ILT populations occurs across the Southern Plains and the Lower Mississippi River, which may be demographically connected with Least Tern populations on the Gulf Coast. Paired ecological and bird population models are needed to test whether previously articulated threats limit ILT population growth and to determine if management intervention is necessary and where. Given current knowledge, the largest sources of model uncertainty will be: (1) uncertainty in relationships between high flow events and subsequent sandbar characteristics and (2) uncertainty regarding the frequency of dispersal among population subunits. We recommend research strategies to reduce these uncertainties. PMID:24223295

  4. Ecological-level associations between highly processed food intakes and plasma phospholipid elaidic acid concentrations: results from a cross-sectional study within the European prospective investigation into cancer and nutrition (EPIC).

    PubMed

    Chajès, Véronique; Biessy, Carine; Byrnes, Graham; Deharveng, Geneviève; Saadatian-Elahi, Mitra; Jenab, Mazda; Peeters, Petra H M; Ocké, Marga; Bueno-de-Mesquita, H Bas; Johansson, Ingegerd; Hallmans, Göran; Manjer, Jonas; Wirfält, Elisabet; Jakszyn, Paula; González, Carlos A; Huerta, Jose-Maria; Martinez, Carmen; Amiano, Pilar; Suárez, Laudina Rodriguez; Ardanaz, Eva; Tjønneland, Anne; Halkjaer, Jytte; Overvad, Kim; Jakobsen, Marianne Uhre; Berrino, Franco; Pala, Valeria; Palli, Domenico; Tumino, Rosario; Vineis, Paolo; de Magistris, Maria Santucci; Spencer, Elisabeth A; Crowe, Francesca L; Bingham, Sheila; Khaw, Kay-Tee; Linseisen, Jakob; Rohrmann, Sabine; Boeing, Heiner; Nöethlings, Ute; Olsen, Karina Standahl; Skeie, Guri; Lund, Eiliv; Trichopoulou, Antonia; Zilis, Dimosthenis; Oustoglou, Erifili; Clavel-Chapelon, Françoise; Riboli, Elio; Slimani, Nadia

    2011-11-01

    Elaidic acid is the main unnatural trans fatty acid isomer occurring during partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils used as ingredients for the formulation of processed foods. The main objective is to assess associations between processed food intakes and plasma phospholipid elaidic acid concentrations within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study. A cross-sectional study was used to determine fatty acid profiles in 3,003 subjects from 16 centers. Single 24-h dietary recalls (24-HDR) were collected using a standardized computerized interview program. Food intakes were computed according to their degree of processing (moderately/nonprocessed foods, processed staple foods, highly processed foods). Adjusted ecological and individual correlations were calculated between processed food intakes and plasma elaidic acid levels. At the population level, mean intakes of highly processed foods were strongly correlated with mean levels of plasma elaidic acid in men (P = 0.0016) and in women (P = 0.0012). At the individual level, these associations remained but at a much lower level in men (r = 0.08, P = 0.006) and in women (r = 0.09, P = 0.0001). The use of an averaged 24-HDR measure of highly processed food intakes is adequate for predicting mean levels of plasma elaidic acid among European populations.

  5. The role of mesocosm studies in ecological risk analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boyle, Terence P.; Fairchild, James F.

    1997-01-01

    Mesocosms have been primarily used as research tools for the evaluation of the fate and effects of xenobiotic chemicals at the population, community, and ecosystem levels of biological organization. This paper provides suggestions for future applications of mesocosm research. Attention should be given to the configuration of mesocosm parameters to explicitly study regional questions of ecological interest. The initial physical, chemical, and biological conditions within mesocosms should be considered as factors shaping the final results of experiments. Certain fundamental questions such as the ecological inertia and resilience of systems with different initial ecological properties should be addressed. Researchers should develop closer working relationships with mathematical modelers in linking computer models to the outcomes of mesocosm studies. Mesocosm tests, linked with models, could enable managers and regulators to forecast the regional consequences of chemicals released into the environment.

  6. Advancing Ecological Models to Compare Scale in Multi-Level Educational Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woo, David James

    2016-01-01

    Education systems as units of analysis have been metaphorically likened to ecologies to model change. However, ecological models to date have been ineffective in modelling educational change that is multi-scale and occurs across multiple levels of an education system. Thus, this paper advances two innovative, ecological frameworks that improve on…

  7. Trends and missing parts in the study of movement ecology

    PubMed Central

    Holyoak, Marcel; Casagrandi, Renato; Nathan, Ran; Revilla, Eloy; Spiegel, Orr

    2008-01-01

    Movement is important to all organisms, and accordingly it is addressed in a huge number of papers in the literature. Of nearly 26,000 papers referring to movement, an estimated 34% focused on movement by measuring it or testing hypotheses about it. This enormous amount of information is difficult to review and highlights the need to assess the collective completeness of movement studies and identify gaps. We surveyed 1,000 randomly selected papers from 496 journals and compared the facets of movement studied with a suggested framework for movement ecology, consisting of internal state (motivation, physiology), motion and navigation capacities, and external factors (both the physical environment and living organisms), and links among these components. Most studies simply measured and described the movement of organisms without reference to ecological or internal factors, and the most frequently studied part of the framework was the link between external factors and motion capacity. Few studies looked at the effects on movement of navigation capacity, or internal state, and those were mainly from vertebrates. For invertebrates and plants most studies were at the population level, whereas more vertebrate studies were conducted at the individual level. Consideration of only population-level averages promulgates neglect of between-individual variation in movement, potentially hindering the study of factors controlling movement. Terminology was found to be inconsistent among taxa and subdisciplines. The gaps identified in coverage of movement studies highlight research areas that should be addressed to fully understand the ecology of movement. PMID:19060194

  8. A Single-Granule-Level Approach Reveals Ecological Heterogeneity in an Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket Reactor

    PubMed Central

    Mei, Ran; Narihiro, Takashi; Bocher, Benjamin T. W.; Yamaguchi, Takashi; Liu, Wen-Tso

    2016-01-01

    Upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor has served as an effective process to treat industrial wastewater such as purified terephthalic acid (PTA) wastewater. For optimal UASB performance, balanced ecological interactions between syntrophs, methanogens, and fermenters are critical. However, much of the interactions remain unclear because UASB have been studied at a “macro”-level perspective of the reactor ecosystem. In reality, such reactors are composed of a suite of granules, each forming individual micro-ecosystems treating wastewater. Thus, typical approaches may be oversimplifying the complexity of the microbial ecology and granular development. To identify critical microbial interactions at both macro- and micro- level ecosystem ecology, we perform community and network analyses on 300 PTA–degrading granules from a lab-scale UASB reactor and two full-scale reactors. Based on MiSeq-based 16S rRNA gene sequencing of individual granules, different granule-types co-exist in both full-scale reactors regardless of granule size and reactor sampling depth, suggesting that distinct microbial interactions occur in different granules throughout the reactor. In addition, we identify novel networks of syntrophic metabolic interactions in different granules, perhaps caused by distinct thermodynamic conditions. Moreover, unseen methanogenic relationships (e.g. “Candidatus Aminicenantes” and Methanosaeta) are observed in UASB reactors. In total, we discover unexpected microbial interactions in granular micro-ecosystems supporting UASB ecology and treatment through a unique single-granule level approach. PMID:27936088

  9. Community-level demographic consequences of urbanization: an ecological network approach.

    PubMed

    Rodewald, Amanda D; Rohr, Rudolf P; Fortuna, Miguel A; Bascompte, Jordi

    2014-11-01

    Ecological networks are known to influence ecosystem attributes, but we poorly understand how interspecific network structure affect population demography of multiple species, particularly for vertebrates. Establishing the link between network structure and demography is at the crux of being able to use networks to understand population dynamics and to inform conservation. We addressed the critical but unanswered question, does network structure explain demographic consequences of urbanization? We studied 141 ecological networks representing interactions between plants and nesting birds in forests across an urbanization gradient in Ohio, USA, from 2001 to 2011. Nest predators were identified by video-recording nests and surveyed from 2004 to 2011. As landscapes urbanized, bird-plant networks were more nested, less compartmentalized and dominated by strong interactions between a few species (i.e. low evenness). Evenness of interaction strengths promoted avian nest survival, and evenness explained demography better than urbanization, level of invasion, numbers of predators or other qualitative network metrics. Highly uneven networks had approximately half the nesting success as the most even networks. Thus, nest survival reflected how urbanization altered species interactions, particularly with respect to how nest placement affected search efficiency of predators. The demographic effects of urbanization were not direct, but were filtered through bird-plant networks. This study illustrates how network structure can influence demography at the community level and further, that knowledge of species interactions and a network approach may be requisite to understanding demographic responses to environmental change. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2014 British Ecological Society.

  10. Ecological performance of red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) larvae exposed to environmental levels of the insecticide malathion.

    PubMed

    Del Carmen Alvarez, Maria; Fuiman, Lee A

    2006-05-01

    Malathion is a highly soluble organophosphate insecticide that is widely used in agriculture and mosquito eradication campaigns. Fish species, such as red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), that use seagrass beds as nursery areas could be affected by runoff waters contaminated with malathion. We exposed red drum larvae at the size they reach in estuarine nursery areas to environmentally realistic and sublethal levels of malathion (0, 1, and 10 microg/L). We evaluated the effects of such exposure on ecologically significant behaviors (routine swimming and predator evasion), growth, and resting metabolism. Malathion exposure to relatively low but ecologically realistic concentrations did not affect routine behavior, escape behavior, resting metabolic rate, or growth, indicating that reported environmental levels may be safe for young fishes. However, a recent substantial increase in the use of malathion may elevate surface-water concentrations to levels above those tested in the present study.

  11. Summary Report: Risk Assessment Forum Technical Workshop on Population-level Ecological Risk Assessment

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    2008 technical workshop regarding development of additional guidelines or best practices for planning, implementing and interpreting ecological risk assessments that involve population-level assessment endpoints.

  12. Generalizing ecological site concepts of the Colorado Plateau for landscape-level applications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Duniway, Michael C.; Nauman, Travis; Johanson, Jamin K.; Green, Shane; Miller, Mark E.; Bestelmeyer, Brandon T.

    2016-01-01

    Numerous ecological site descriptions in the southern Utah portion of the Colorado Plateau can be difficult to navigate, so we held a workshop aimed at adding value and functionality to the current ecological site system.We created new groups of ecological sites and drafted state-and-transition models for these new groups.We were able to distill the current large number of ecological sites in the study area (ca. 150) into eight ecological site groups that capture important variability in ecosystem dynamics.Several inventory and monitoring programs and landscape scale planning actions will likely benefit from more generalized ecological site group concepts.

  13. Screening level ecological risk assessment for phenols in surface water of the Taihu Lake.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Wenjue; Wang, Donghong; Xu, Xiaowei; Luo, Qian; Wang, Bingyi; Shan, Xiaoquan; Wang, Zijian

    2010-08-01

    A number of approaches have been proposed for screening level ecological risk assessment. In this paper, we first established a mass spectrum library including 50 phenols using retention time locking (RTL) technology and deconvolution reporting software (DRS). Distribution of phenols in surface water of the Taihu Lake was screened. Among the 22 identified phenols, 14 phenols were quantified. The concentrations of total phenols ranged 675.2-3346.1 ng L(-1). The distributions of ecological effect quotients (EEQs) of 14 phenols were characterized in terms of the exposure concentration distributions (ECDs) and species sensitivity distributions (SSDs). Those phenols with EEQs exceeding the threshold proposed by Water Environment Research Foundation of Alexandria were selected as priorities. As a result, 2-nitrophenol (2-NP), p-chloro-m-xylenol (PCMX) and pyrocatechol were determined as potential ecological risk stressors in surface water of the Taihu Lake. Results of the present study suggested that the proposed approach is feasible for the screening level ecological risk assessment.

  14. Ecological risk assessments for watersheds: Lessons learned from case studies

    SciTech Connect

    Marcy, S.K.M.

    1994-12-31

    The USEPA Office of Water and Risk Assessment Forum are co-sponsoring the development of watershed level ecological risk assessments in Big Darby Creek, OH, Clinch River, VA, Middle Platte River Wetlands, NE, Snake River, ID, and Waquoit Bay Estuary, MA. The case studies are testing the Agency`s Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment at a watershed scale for multiple stressors. During case study development much has been learned about how to apply and modify the principles in the Framework to landscape scale risk assessments. Insights include how to select appropriate assessment endpoints to drive the risk assessment, how to effectively increase involvement by risk management teams, and provide decision opportunities for managers throughout development. The case studies demonstrate diverse ways to conduct watershed risk assessments, and illustrate the importance of multiple risk hypotheses in conceptual models addressing the combined and relative risk of chemical, physical and biological stressors. Issues the case studies highlight include the need for a process to determine when watershed risk assessments are appropriate and at what level of complexity they should be performed, how to increase the use of the ecological risk assessments in management decision-making and how to determine the best risk reduction strategy. An update on the watershed case studies will be provided and the insights and issues stated above, discussed.

  15. Impact of the recent recession on self-harm: Longitudinal ecological and patient-level investigation from the Multicentre Study of Self-harm in England.

    PubMed

    Hawton, Keith; Bergen, Helen; Geulayov, Galit; Waters, Keith; Ness, Jennifer; Cooper, Jayne; Kapur, Navneet

    2016-02-01

    Economic recessions are associated with increases in suicide rates but there is little information for non-fatal self-harm. To investigate the impact of the recent recession on rates of self-harm in England and problems faced by patients who self-harm. Analysis of data from the Multicentre Study of Self-harm in England for 2001-2010 and local employment statistics for Oxford, Manchester and Derby, including interrupted time series analyses to estimate the effect of the recession on rates of self-harm. Rates of self-harm increased in both genders in Derby and in males in Manchester in 2008-2010, but not in either gender in Oxford, results which largely followed changes in general population unemployment. More patients who self-harm were unemployed in 2008-10 compared to before the recession. The proportion in receipt of sickness or disability allowances decreased. More patients of both genders had employment and financial problems in 2008-2010 and more females also had housing problems, changes which were also largely found in employed patients. We have assumed that the recession began in 2008 and information on problems was only available for patients having a psychosocial assessment. Increased rates of self-harm were found in areas where there were greater rises in rates of unemployment. Work, financial and housing problems increased in people who self-harmed. Changes in welfare benefits may have contributed. None. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Evaluating area-level spatial clustering of Salmonella Enteritidis infections and their socioeconomic determinants in the greater Toronto area, Ontario, Canada (2007 - 2009): a retrospective population-based ecological study.

    PubMed

    Varga, Csaba; Pearl, David L; McEwen, Scott A; Sargeant, Jan M; Pollari, Frank; Guerin, Michele T

    2013-11-15

    There have been only a few region-level ecological studies conducted in Canada investigating enteric infections in humans. Our study objectives were to 1) assess the spatial clustering of Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) human infections in the Greater Toronto Area, and 2) identify underlying area-level associations between S. Enteritidis infection rates and socioeconomic status (SES) indicators that might explain the clustering of infections. Retrospective data on S. Enteritidis infections from 2007 to 2009 were obtained from Ontario's reportable disease surveillance database and were grouped at the forward sortation area (FSA) - level. A spatial scan statistic was employed to identify FSA-level spatial clusters of high infection rates. Negative binomial regression was used to identify FSA-level associations between S. Enteritidis infection rates and SES indicators obtained from the 2006 Census of Canada. Global Moran's I statistic was used to evaluate the final model for residual spatial clustering. A spatial cluster that included nine neighbouring FSAs was identified in downtown Toronto. A significant positive curvilinear relationship was observed between S. Enteritidis infection rates and FSA-level average number of children at home per census family. Areas with high and areas with low average median family income had higher infection rates than FSAs with medium average median family income. Areas with a high proportion of visible minority population had lower infection rates than FSAs with a medium proportion of visible minority population. The Moran's I statistic was not significant, indicating that no residual spatial autocorrelation was present after accounting for the SES variables in the final model. Our study demonstrated that FSAs with high and low average median family income, medium proportion of visible minority population, and high average number of children at home per census family had the highest S. Enteritidis infection

  17. Evaluating area-level spatial clustering of Salmonella Enteritidis infections and their socioeconomic determinants in the greater Toronto area, Ontario, Canada (2007 – 2009): a retrospective population-based ecological study

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background There have been only a few region-level ecological studies conducted in Canada investigating enteric infections in humans. Our study objectives were to 1) assess the spatial clustering of Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) human infections in the Greater Toronto Area, and 2) identify underlying area-level associations between S. Enteritidis infection rates and socioeconomic status (SES) indicators that might explain the clustering of infections. Methods Retrospective data on S. Enteritidis infections from 2007 to 2009 were obtained from Ontario’s reportable disease surveillance database and were grouped at the forward sortation area (FSA) - level. A spatial scan statistic was employed to identify FSA-level spatial clusters of high infection rates. Negative binomial regression was used to identify FSA-level associations between S. Enteritidis infection rates and SES indicators obtained from the 2006 Census of Canada. Global Moran’s I statistic was used to evaluate the final model for residual spatial clustering. Results A spatial cluster that included nine neighbouring FSAs was identified in downtown Toronto. A significant positive curvilinear relationship was observed between S. Enteritidis infection rates and FSA-level average number of children at home per census family. Areas with high and areas with low average median family income had higher infection rates than FSAs with medium average median family income. Areas with a high proportion of visible minority population had lower infection rates than FSAs with a medium proportion of visible minority population. The Moran’s I statistic was not significant, indicating that no residual spatial autocorrelation was present after accounting for the SES variables in the final model. Conclusions Our study demonstrated that FSAs with high and low average median family income, medium proportion of visible minority population, and high average number of children at home per census

  18. Towards quantitative ecological risk assessment of elevated carbon dioxide levels in the marine environment.

    PubMed

    de Vries, Pepijn; Tamis, Jacqueline E; Foekema, Edwin M; Klok, Chris; Murk, Albertinka J

    2013-08-30

    The environmental impact of elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) levels has become of more interest in recent years. This, in relation to globally rising CO2 levels and related considerations of geological CO2 storage as a mitigating measure. In the present study effect data from literature were collected in order to conduct a marine ecological risk assessment of elevated CO2 levels, using a Species Sensitivity Distribution (SSD). It became evident that information currently available from the literature is mostly insufficient for such a quantitative approach. Most studies focus on effects of expected future CO2 levels, testing only one or two elevated concentrations. A full dose-response relationship, a uniform measure of exposure, and standardized test protocols are essential for conducting a proper quantitative risk assessment of elevated CO2 levels. Improvements are proposed to make future tests more valuable and usable for quantitative risk assessment. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Guidance Manual for Conducting Screening Level Ecological Risk Assessments at the INEL

    SciTech Connect

    R. L. VanHorn; N. L. Hampton; R. C. Morris

    1995-06-01

    This document presents reference material for conducting screening level ecological risk assessments (SLERAs)for the waste area groups (WAGs) at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. Included in this document are discussions of the objectives of and processes for conducting SLERAs. The Environmental Protection Agency ecological risk assessment framework is closely followed. Guidance for site characterization, stressor characterization, ecological effects, pathways of contaminant migration, the conceptual site model, assessment endpoints, measurement endpoints, analysis guidance, and risk characterization are included.

  20. Ecological feasibility studies in restoration decision making.

    PubMed

    Hopfensperger, Kristine N; Engelhardt, Katharina A M; Seagle, Steven W

    2007-06-01

    The restoration of degraded systems is essential for maintaining the provision of valuable ecosystem services, including the maintenance of aesthetic values. However, restoration projects often fail to reach desired goals for a variety of ecologic, financial, and social reasons. Feasibility studies that evaluate whether a restoration effort should even be attempted can enhance restoration success by highlighting potential pitfalls and gaps in knowledge before the design phase of a restoration. Feasibility studies also can bring stakeholders together before a restoration project is designed to discuss potential disagreements. For these reasons, a feasibility study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of restoring a tidal freshwater marsh in the Potomac River near Alexandria, Virginia. The study focused on science rather than engineering questions, and thus differed in approach from other feasibility studies that are mostly engineering driven. The authors report the framework they used to conduct a feasibility study to inform other potential restoration projects with similar goals. The seven steps of the framework encompass (1) initiation of a feasibility study, (2) compilation of existing data, (3) collection of current site information, (4) examination of case studies, (5) synthesis of information in a handbook, (6) meeting with selected stakeholders, and (7) evaluation of meeting outcomes. By conducting a feasibility study using the seven-step framework, the authors set the stage for conducting future compliance studies and enhancing the chance of a successful restoration.

  1. Ecological Feasibility Studies in Restoration Decision Making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hopfensperger, Kristine N.; Engelhardt, Katharina A. M.; Seagle, Steven W.

    2007-06-01

    The restoration of degraded systems is essential for maintaining the provision of valuable ecosystem services, including the maintenance of aesthetic values. However, restoration projects often fail to reach desired goals for a variety of ecologic, financial, and social reasons. Feasibility studies that evaluate whether a restoration effort should even be attempted can enhance restoration success by highlighting potential pitfalls and gaps in knowledge before the design phase of a restoration. Feasibility studies also can bring stakeholders together before a restoration project is designed to discuss potential disagreements. For these reasons, a feasibility study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of restoring a tidal freshwater marsh in the Potomac River near Alexandria, Virginia. The study focused on science rather than engineering questions, and thus differed in approach from other feasibility studies that are mostly engineering driven. The authors report the framework they used to conduct a feasibility study to inform other potential restoration projects with similar goals. The seven steps of the framework encompass (1) initiation of a feasibility study, (2) compilation of existing data, (3) collection of current site information, (4) examination of case studies, (5) synthesis of information in a handbook, (6) meeting with selected stakeholders, and (7) evaluation of meeting outcomes. By conducting a feasibility study using the seven-step framework, the authors set the stage for conducting future compliance studies and enhancing the chance of a successful restoration.

  2. Organism and population-level ecological models for ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Ecological risk assessment typically focuses on animal populations as endpoints for regulatory ecotoxicology. Scientists at USEPA are developing models for animal populations exposed to a wide range of chemicals from pesticides to emerging contaminants. Modeled taxa include aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, fish, amphibians, and birds, and employ a wide range of methods, from matrix-based projection models to mechanistic bioenergetics models and spatially explicit population models. not applicable

  3. Herbivorous insects: model systems for the comparative study of speciation ecology.

    PubMed

    Funk, Daniel J; Filchak, Kenneth E; Feder, Jeffrey L

    2002-11-01

    Does ecological divergence drive species-level evolutionary diversification? How so and to what degree? These questions were central to the thinking of the evolutionary synthesis. Only recently, however, has the ecology of speciation become an important focus of empirical study. Here, we argue that ecologically specialized, phylogenetically diverse, and experimentally tractable herbivorous insect taxa offer great opportunities to study the myriad mechanisms by which ecology may cause reproductive isolation and promote speciation. We call for the development and integrated experimental study of a taxonomic diversity of herbivore model systems and discuss the availability and recent evaluation of suitable taxa. Most importantly, we describe a general comparative framework that can be used to rigorously test a variety of hypotheses about the relative contributions and the macroevolutionary generality of particular mechanisms. Finally, we illustrate important issues for the experimental analysis of speciation ecology by demonstrating the consequences of specialized host associations for ecological divergence and premating isolation in Neochlamisus bebbianae leaf beetles.

  4. Trace metal levels, sources, and ecological risk assessment in a densely agricultural area from Saudi Arabia.

    PubMed

    Al-Wabel, Mohammad I; Sallam, Abd El-Azeem S; Usman, Adel R A; Ahmad, Mahtab; El-Naggar, Ahmed Hamdy; El-Saeid, Mohammed Hamza; Al-Faraj, Abdulelah; El-Enazi, Khaled; Al-Romian, Fahad A

    2017-06-01

    The present study was conducted in one of the most densely cultivated area of Al-Qassim region in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to (i) monitor trace metal (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn) contents in surface and subsurface soils, (ii) assess the pollution and potential ecological risk levels of trace metals, and (iii) identify trace metal sources using enrichment factor (EF), correlation matrix, and principal component analysis (PCA). The pollution levels of the analyzed trace metals calculated by the geoaccumulation index (I geo) and contamination factor (C f) suggested that the soils were highly contaminated with Cd and moderately contaminated with Pb. Based on the average values of EF, soil samples were found to present extremely high enrichment for Cd, significant enrichment for Pb, moderate enrichment for Zn, and deficient to minimal enrichment for other trace metals. Among the analyzed trace metals, a very high ecological risk was observed only in the case of Cd at some sampling sites. Meanwhile, other investigated trace metals had a low ecological risk. The results of PCA combined with correlation matrix suggested that Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Cr Ni, Cu, and Co represent natural abundance in soil, but Cd, Pb, and Cu are of anthropogenic inputs, mainly due to agrochemical and fertilizer applications. It could be generally concluded that the obtained results can be useful for assessing and conducting a future program for trace metal monitoring in agricultural areas of Saudi Arabia.

  5. Personality, foraging behavior and specialization: integrating behavioral and food web ecology at the individual level.

    PubMed

    Toscano, Benjamin J; Gownaris, Natasha J; Heerhartz, Sarah M; Monaco, Cristián J

    2016-09-01

    Behavioral traits and diet were traditionally thought to be highly plastic within individuals. This view was espoused in the widespread use of optimality models, which broadly predict that individuals can modify behavioral traits and diet across ecological contexts to maximize fitness. Yet, research conducted over the past 15 years supports an alternative view; fundamental behavioral traits (e.g., activity level, exploration, sociability, boldness and aggressiveness) and diet often vary among individuals and this variation persists over time and across contexts. This phenomenon has been termed animal personality with regard to behavioral traits and individual specialization with regard to diet. While these aspects of individual-level phenotypic variation have been thus far studied in isolation, emerging evidence suggests that personality and individual specialization may covary, or even be causally related. Building on this work, we present the overarching hypothesis that animal personality can drive specialization through individual differences in various aspects of consumer foraging behavior. Specifically, we suggest pathways by which consumer personality traits influence foraging activity, risk-dependent foraging, roles in social foraging groups, spatial aspects of foraging and physiological drivers of foraging, which in turn can lead to consistent individual differences in food resource use. These pathways provide a basis for generating testable hypotheses directly linking animal personality to ecological dynamics, a major goal in contemporary behavioral ecology.

  6. Cascading ecological effects of low-level phosphorus enrichment in the Florida Everglades

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gaiser, E.E.; Trexler, J.C.; Richards, J.H.; Childers, D.L.; Lee, D.; Edwards, A.L.; Scinto, L.J.; Jayachandran, K.; Noe, G.B.; Jones, R.D.

    2005-01-01

    Few studies have examined long-term ecological effects of sustained low-level nutrient enhancement on wetland biota. To determine sustained effects of phosphorus (P) addition on Everglades marshes we added P at low levels (5, 15, and 30 ??g L-1 above ambient) for 5 yr to triplicate 100-m flow-through channels in pristine marsh. A cascade of ecological responses occurred in similar sequence among treatments. Although the rate of change increased with dosing level, treatments converged to similar enriched endpoints, characterized most notably by a doubling of plant biomass and elimination of native, calcareous periphyton mats. The full sequence of biological changes occurred without an increase in water total P concentration, which remained near ambient levels until Year 5. This study indicates that Everglades marshes have a near-zero assimilative capacity for P without a state change, that ecosystem responses to enrichment accumulate over time, and that downstream P transport mainly occurs through biota rather than the water column.

  7. Field Ecology Studies in the Rocky Mountains.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robertson, Philip A.

    1978-01-01

    Describes a six-week field plant ecology course in Montana which is offered by the Botany Department at Southern Illinois University. The goals of the course, how it is taught, and student evaluation are also presented. (HM)

  8. Calculating background levels for ecological risk parameters in toxic harbor sediment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leadon, C.J.; McDonnell, T.R.; Lear, J.; Barclift, D.

    2007-01-01

    Establishing background levels for biological parameters is necessary in assessing the ecological risks from harbor sediment contaminated with toxic chemicals. For chemicals in sediment, the term contaminated is defined as having concentrations above background and significant human health or ecological risk levels. For biological parameters, a site could be considered contaminated if levels of the parameter are either more or less than the background level, depending on the specific parameter. Biological parameters can include tissue chemical concentrations in ecological receptors, bioassay responses, bioaccumulation levels, and benthic community metrics. Chemical parameters can include sediment concentrations of a variety of potentially toxic chemicals. Indirectly, contaminated harbor sediment can impact shellfish, fish, birds, and marine mammals, and human populations. This paper summarizes the methods used to define background levels for chemical and biological parameters from a survey of ecological risk investigations of marine harbor sediment at California Navy bases. Background levels for regional biological indices used to quantify ecological risks for benthic communities are also described. Generally, background stations are positioned in relatively clean areas exhibiting the same physical and general chemical characteristics as nearby areas with contaminated harbor sediment. The number of background stations and the number of sample replicates per background station depend on the statistical design of the sediment ecological risk investigation, developed through the data quality objective (DQO) process. Biological data from the background stations can be compared to data from a contaminated site by using minimum or maximum background levels or comparative statistics. In Navy ecological risk assessments (ERA's), calculated background levels and appropriate ecological risk screening criteria are used to identify sampling stations and sites with contaminated

  9. Community Health Workers promoting physical activity: Targeting multiple levels of the Social Ecological Model

    PubMed Central

    Haughton, Jessica; Ayala, Guadalupe X.; Burke, Kari Herzog; Elder, John P.; Montañez, Jacqueline; Arredondo, Elva M.

    2015-01-01

    The effectiveness of Community Health Workers (CHWs) as health educators and health promoters among Latino populations is widely recognized. The Affordable Care Act created important opportunities to increase the role of CHWs in preventive health. This article describes the implementation of CHW-led, culturally specific, faith-based program to increase physical activity (PA) among churchgoing Latinas. The current study augments previous research by describing the recruitment, selection, training, and evaluation of CHWs for a PA intervention targeting multiple levels of the Social Ecological Model. PMID:26280587

  10. Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    This set of teaching aids consists of nine Audubon Nature Bulletins, providing teachers and students with informational reading on various ecological topics. The bulletins have these titles: Schoolyard Laboratories, Owls and Predators, The Forest Community, Life in Freshwater Marshes, Camouflage in the Animal World, Life in the Desert, The…

  11. Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    This set of teaching aids consists of nine Audubon Nature Bulletins, providing teachers and students with informational reading on various ecological topics. The bulletins have these titles: Schoolyard Laboratories, Owls and Predators, The Forest Community, Life in Freshwater Marshes, Camouflage in the Animal World, Life in the Desert, The…

  12. An ecologic study of parasuicide in Edmonton and Calgary.

    PubMed

    Newman, Stephen C; Stuart, Heather

    2005-04-01

    From 1986 to 1999, the suicide rate in the Edmonton Regional Health Authority (RHA) was greater than that in the Calgary RHA (mean rate ratio 1.4). We conducted a study to determine whether a similar relation holds for parasuicide, and if so, whether the pattern can be explained at the ecologic level by sociodemographic factors. The Edmonton and Calgary RHAs provided data on emergency department visits for nonfatal intentional self-injury for 1997. We obtained sociodemographic data from the 1996 national census for the Edmonton and Calgary census metropolitan areas (CMAs) from Statistics Canada's public-use files. In each CMA, which is nearly coterminous with the corresponding RHA, we created 10 geographic areas based on average income. We analyzed the data at the ecologic level, using linear regression and multilevel Poisson regression. The parasuicide rate in the Edmonton CMA was greater than that in the Calgary CMA (rate ratio 1.3). In both CMAs, the parasuicide rate decreased as average income increased. In the final regression models, the only independent variables were average income, CMA, and their interaction term (linear regression model R2 = 0.82). The parasuicide rate in the Edmonton CMA is elevated, compared with that in the Calgary CMA. At the ecologic level, much of the variation in rates can be explained by average income and CMA. The high degree of correlation among the sociodemographic variables suggests that it may not be low income per se that is affecting the parasuicide rate but, rather, the consequences of belonging to a socially disadvantaged stratum of society.

  13. Defining Acceptable Levels for Ecological Indicators: An Approach for Considering Social Values

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smyth, Robyn L.; Watzin, Mary C.; Manning, Robert E.

    2007-03-01

    Ecological indicators can facilitate an adaptive management approach, but only if acceptable levels for those indicators have been defined so that the data collected can be interpreted. Because acceptable levels are an expression of the desired state of the ecosystem, the process of establishing acceptable levels should incorporate not just ecological understanding but also societal values. The goal of this research was to explore an approach for defining acceptable levels of ecological indicators that explicitly considers social perspectives and values. We used a set of eight indicators that were related to issues of concern in the Lake Champlain Basin. Our approach was based on normative theory. Using a stakeholder survey, we measured respondent normative evaluations of varying levels of our indicators. Aggregated social norm curves were used to determine the level at which indicator values shifted from acceptable to unacceptable conditions. For seven of the eight indicators, clear preferences were interpretable from these norm curves. For example, closures of public beaches because of bacterial contamination and days of intense algae bloom went from acceptable to unacceptable at 7-10 days in a summer season. Survey respondents also indicated that the number of fish caught from Lake Champlain that could be safely consumed each month was unacceptably low and the number of streams draining into the lake that were impaired by storm water was unacceptably high. If indicators that translate ecological conditions into social consequences are carefully selected, we believe the normative approach has considerable merit for defining acceptable levels of valued ecological system components.

  14. Host-parasitoid spatial ecology: a plea for a landscape-level synthesis.

    PubMed

    Cronin, James T; Reeve, John D

    2005-11-07

    A growing body of literature points to a large-scale research approach as essential for understanding population and community ecology. Many of our advances regarding the spatial ecology of predators and prey can be attributed to research with insect parasitoids and their hosts. In this review, we focus on the progress that has been made in the study of the movement and population dynamics of hosts and their parasitoids in heterogeneous landscapes, and how this research approach may be beneficial to pest management programs. To date, few studies have quantified prey and predator rates and ranges of dispersal and population dynamics at the patch level--the minimum of information needed to characterize population structure. From host-parasitoid studies with sufficient data, it is clear that the spatial scale of dispersal can differ significantly between a prey and its predators, local prey extinctions can be attributed to predators and predator extinction risk at the patch level often exceeds that of the prey. It is also evident that populations can be organized as a single, highly connected (patchy) population or as semi-independent extinction-prone local populations that collectively form a persistent metapopulation. A prey and its predators can also differ in population structure. At the landscape level, agricultural studies indicate that predator effects on its prey often spill over between the crop and surrounding area (matrix) and can depend strongly on landscape structure (e.g. the proportion of suitable habitat) at scales extending well beyond the crop margins. In light of existing empirical data, predator-prey models are typically spatially unrealistic, lacking important details on boundary responses and movement behaviour within and among patches. The tools exist for conducting empirical and theoretical research at the landscape level and we hope that this review calls attention to fertile areas for future exploration.

  15. PROJECTING POPULATION-LEVEL RESPONSE OF PURPLE SEA URCHINS TO LEAD CONTAMINATION FOR AN ESTUARINE ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    As part of an ecological risk assessment case study at the Portsmouth naval Shipyard (PNS), Kittery, Maine, USA, the population level effects of lead exposure to purple sea urchin, Arbacia punctulata, were investigated using a stage-classified matrix population model. The model d...

  16. PROJECTING POPULATION-LEVEL RESPONSE OF PURPLE SEA URCHINS TO LEAD CONTAMINATION FOR AN ESTUARINE ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    As part of an ecological risk assessment case study at the Portsmouth naval Shipyard (PNS), Kittery, Maine, USA, the population level effects of lead exposure to purple sea urchin, Arbacia punctulata, were investigated using a stage-classified matrix population model. The model d...

  17. Monte Carlo Studies in Ecology and Epidemiology

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1961-01-01

    relevant to the Tribolium competition problem (at 29°C, 70% humidity) with N representing Tribolium castaneum and M Tribolium confusum . It has been...still rather provisional in regard to a specific purpose, such as fade-out times for measles or extinction probabilities for Tribolium confusum vs...of the ecological situation described in, say, [18] when two Tribolium species "compete," has been discussed in [5] and [9], and some comments about

  18. Ecological nanotoxicology: integrating nanomaterial hazard considerations across the subcellular, population, community, and ecosystems levels.

    PubMed

    Holden, Patricia A; Nisbet, Roger M; Lenihan, Hunter S; Miller, Robert J; Cherr, Gary N; Schimel, Joshua P; Gardea-Torresdey, Jorge L

    2013-03-19

    Research into the health and environmental safety of nanotechnology has seriously lagged behind its emergence in industry. While humans have often adopted synthetic chemicals without considering ancillary consequences, the lessons learned from worldwide pollution should motivate making nanotechnology compatible with environmental concerns. Researchers and policymakers need to understand exposure and harm of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs), currently nanotechnology's main products, to influence the ENM industry toward sustainable growth. Yet, how should research proceed? Standard toxicity testing anchored in single-organism, dose-response characterizations does not adequately represent real-world exposure and receptor scenarios and their complexities. Our approach is different: it derives from ecology, the study of organisms' interactions with each other and their environments. Our approach involves the characterization of ENMs and the mechanistic assessment of their property-based effects. Using high throughput/content screening (HTS/HCS) with cells or environmentally-relevant organisms, we measure the effects of ENMs on a subcellular or population level. We then relate those effects to mechanisms within dynamic energy budget (DEB) models of growth and reproduction. We reconcile DEB model predictions with experimental data on organism and population responses. Finally, we use microcosm studies to measure the potential for community- or ecosystem-level effects by ENMs that are likely to be produced in large quantities and for which either HTS/HCS or DEB modeling suggest their potential to harm populations and ecosystems. Our approach accounts for ecological interactions across scales, from within organisms to whole ecosystems. Organismal ENM effects, if propagated through populations, can alter communities comprising multiple populations (e.g., plant, fish, bacteria) within food webs. Altered communities can change ecosystem services: processes that cycle carbon

  19. Ecological Literacy through Critical/Place-Based Pedagogy in the Environmental Studies Program at a Small Liberal Arts College

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beeman-Cadwallader, Nicole

    2014-01-01

    Few studies have critically examined pedagogical practices for ecological literacy at the tertiary level (Adomssent, Godemann, Michelsen, 2007). The purpose of this study is to critically examine how students and faculty in the Environmental Studies/Science programs at Trueblood College pursue ecological literacy through place-based pedagogy. Two…

  20. Ecological Literacy through Critical/Place-Based Pedagogy in the Environmental Studies Program at a Small Liberal Arts College

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beeman-Cadwallader, Nicole

    2014-01-01

    Few studies have critically examined pedagogical practices for ecological literacy at the tertiary level (Adomssent, Godemann, Michelsen, 2007). The purpose of this study is to critically examine how students and faculty in the Environmental Studies/Science programs at Trueblood College pursue ecological literacy through place-based pedagogy. Two…

  1. [Ecology suitability study of Chinese materia medica Gentianae Macrophyllae Radix].

    PubMed

    Lu, You-Yuan; Yang, Yan-Mei; Ma, Xiao-Hui; Zhang, Xiao-Bo; Zhu, Shou-Dong; Jin, Ling

    2016-09-01

    This paper is aimed to predict ecology suitability distribution of Gentianae Macrophyllae Radix and search the main ecological factors affecting the suitability distribution. The 313 distribution information about G. macrophylla, 186 distribution information about G. straminea, 343 distribution information about G. dauricaand 131 distribution information about G. crasicaulis were collected though investigation and network sharing platform data . The ecology suitable distribution factors for production Gentianae Macrophyllae Radix was analyzed respectively by the software of ArcGIS and MaxEnt with 55 environmental factors. The result of MaxEnt prediction was very well (AUC was above 0.9). The results of predominant factors analysis showed that precipitation and altitude were all the major factors impacting the ecology suitable of Getiana Macrophylla Radix production. G. macrophylla ecology suitable region was mainly concentrated in south of Gansu, Shanxi, central of Shaanxi and east of Qinghai provinces. G. straminea ecology suitable region was mainly concentrated in southwest of Gansu, east of Qinghai, north and northwest of Sichuan, east of Xizang province. G. daurica ecology suitable region was mainly concentrated in south and southwest of Gansu, east of Qinghai, Shanxi and north of Shaanxi province. G. crasicaulis ecology suitable region was mainly concentrated in Sichuan and north of Yunnan, east of Xizang, south of Gansu and east of Qinghai province. The ecological suitability distribution result of Gentianae Macrophyllae Radix was consistent with each species actual distribution. The study could provide reference for the collection and protection of wild resources, meanwhile, provide the basis for the selection of cultivation area of Gentiana Macrophylla Radix. Copyright© by the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association.

  2. Levels and ecological risk assessment of metals in soils from a typical e-waste recycling region in southeast China.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Weituo; Ding, Lei; Gu, Xiaowen; Luo, Jie; Liu, Yunlang; Guo, Li; Shi, Yi; Huang, Ting; Cheng, Shenggao

    2015-11-01

    Due to the high threat to human health and the ecosystem from metals, the levels and distribution of As, Hg, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, Mn, V, Sn, Sb, Li and Be in various layers of soil from an e-waste recycling area in Guiyu, China were investigated. The extent of pollution from the metals in soil was assessed using enrichment factors (EFs) and the Nemerow pollution index (P N ). To determine the metals' integrated potential ecological risks, the potential ecological risk index (RI) was chosen. The concentrations of Hg, Ni, Cu, Cd, Pb, Sn and Sb were mainly enriched in the topsoil. EF values (2-5) of the elements Hg, Co, Ni, Zn, Sn, Li and Be revealed their moderate enrichment status in the topsoil, derived from e-waste recycling activities. P N presented a decreasing trend in different layers in the order topsoil (0-20 cm) > deep soil (100-150 cm) > middle soil (50-100 cm) > shallow soil (20-50 cm). With higher potential ecological risk factor (E(i)), Hg and Cd are the main contributors to the potential ecological risk. With respect to the RI, all the values in soil from the study area exceeded 300, especially for the soil at sites S2, S4, S5, S7 and S8, where RI was greater than 600. Therefore, immediate remediation of the contaminated soil is necessary to prevent the release of metals and potential ecological harm.

  3. The learning continuum of ecology based on teachers' opinion about student's level of competence and specific pedagogical learning material

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pramesti, Indah Cahaya; Subali, Bambang

    2017-08-01

    This study aims at designing learning continuum for developing a curriculum based on teachers' opinion about student's level of competence and specific pedagogical learning material on ecological aspect targeted for students of Primary and Secondary Education. This research is a descriptive research using survey methods. The researchers conducted a census by distributing questionnaires that had been validated from the aspects of construct validity and experts judgements to 147 natural science teachers at junior high school and 134 Biology teachers at senior high school as a population throughout 4 regencies and 1 city in Yogyakarta Special Region.. Data analysis techniques used descriptive analysis. In conclusion, teacher's opinion is influenced by curriculum that exist today. According to the opinions of Natural Science teachers at Junior High School, most of the ecological aspects such as characteristics of biomes, characteristics of ecosystems, characteristics of communities, characteristics of populations, etc. should be taught in grade VII with the level of competence: to understand (C2), while Biology teachers at Senior High School state that the ecological aspect should be taught in class X with the level of competence: to understand (C2), apply (C3) and analyze (C4). Teachers should be a privy in the formulation of the curriculum, so they're not only accept and apply the existing curriculum but also give opinions to improve the curriculum, especially in terms of ecology.

  4. Study of tourist motivation to Guangzhou urban ecological parks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Min; Wang, Fengtang

    2011-12-01

    Based on the push - pull theory, this article show the empirical studies of tourists' travel motivation to Guangzhou Ecological Park. We identified four push factors and three pull factors which are of the potential features of travel motivation, and on this basis, using analysis of variance to further test the significant differences of push and pull factors in the demographic characteristics of different groups. The conclusion has a certain reference value to the Ecological Park in Guangzhou to attract tourists.

  5. Study of tourist motivation to Guangzhou urban ecological parks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Min; Wang, Fengtang

    2012-01-01

    Based on the push - pull theory, this article show the empirical studies of tourists' travel motivation to Guangzhou Ecological Park. We identified four push factors and three pull factors which are of the potential features of travel motivation, and on this basis, using analysis of variance to further test the significant differences of push and pull factors in the demographic characteristics of different groups. The conclusion has a certain reference value to the Ecological Park in Guangzhou to attract tourists.

  6. [Preliminary study on ecological footprint in Bashang region of Zhangjiakou city].

    PubMed

    Hu, Mengchun; Zhang, Yongchun; Miao, Xubo; Shen, Weishou; Ma, Ronghua

    2003-02-01

    The ecological footprint and ecological carrying capacity in Bashang region of Zhangjiakou city were calculated with the statistical data of the region in 1999. Based on calculation, the balance between ecological footprint and ecological carrying capacity was analyzed, and the threshold values of the ecological carrying capacity and population capacity of the region at the current production level were determined. Strategies on reducing ecological deficit in this region were also brought forward.

  7. Ecological correlates of cortisol levels in two bat species with contrasting feeding habits.

    PubMed

    Lewanzik, Daniel; Kelm, Detlev H; Greiner, Sabine; Dehnhard, Martin; Voigt, Christian C

    2012-05-15

    The immediate release of adrenal glucocorticoids can be crucial for an animal's survival when facing a stressor, but constantly elevated or exceptionally high glucocorticoid levels are usually detrimental for health. Although baseline and maximal secretion of glucocorticoids are regulated within narrow ranges within species, plasma glucocorticoid levels vary largely across vertebrates. We asked what ecological factors affect baseline plasma cortisol levels (CortI) and maximum levels (CortMax) following a physiological challenge through administration of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). Specifically, we studied whether seasonal fluctuations in food abundance correlate with the capacity of cortisol increases in two phyllostomid bat species with contrasting feeding habits: the sanguinivorous vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus) and the frugivorous short-tailed fruit bat (Carollia perspicillata). Both species coexist in habitats with various levels of seasonality (dry and rainforest). On a seasonal basis, resource abundance is more stable for vampire than for fruit bats, but previous studies suggested that daily foraging success may vary more for vampire than for fruit bats. CortI and CortMax varied seasonally in C. perspicillata from dry and rainforests, with the exception of CortMax in rainforest bats. Although we expected food availability to be stable year-round for vampire bats, we found CortI and CortMax of vampires to be higher during the rainy season than during the dry season. Also, we found CortMax to be higher in vampires from the rainforest than in those from the dry forest. CortMax of vampires were among the highest measured for a free-ranging mammal; a pattern that could be related to the species' vulnerability to starvation. We conclude that food availability modulates cortisol levels in free-ranging species that face seasonally fluctuating resources; in species, however, that benefit from food which is constantly abundant, other factors than food may

  8. Homicide and impunity: an ecological analysis at state level in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Nadanovsky, Paulo; Celeste, Roger Keller; Wilson, Margo; Daly, Martin

    2009-10-01

    To assess a new impunity index and variables that have been found to predict variation in homicide rates in other geographical levels as predictive of state-level homicide rates in Brazil. This was a cross-sectional ecological study. Data from the mortality information system relating to the 27 Brazilian states for the years 1996 to 2005 were analyzed. The outcome variables were taken to be homicide victim rates in 2005, for the entire population and for men aged 20-29 years. Measurements of economic and social development, economic inequality, demographic structure and life expectancy were analyzed as predictors. An 'impunity index', calculated as the total number of homicides between 1996 and 2005 divided by the number of individuals in prison in 2007, was constructed. The data were analyzed by means of simple linear regression and negative binomial regression. In 2005, state-level crude total homicide rates ranged from 11 to 51 per 100,000; for young men, they ranged from 39 to 241. The impunity index ranged from 0.4 to 3.5 and was the most important predictor of this variability. From negative binomial regression, it was estimated that the homicide victim rate among young males increased by 50% for every increase of one point in this ratio. Classic predictive factors were not associated with homicides in this analysis of state-level variation in Brazil. However, the impunity index indicated that the greater the impunity, the higher the homicide rate.

  9. Umweltverschmutzung. German Ecology Packet: Resource Units and Materials for German Classes at All Levels.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Archer, Julie; And Others

    Supplementary resource materials for use in upper level secondary school German classes are presented in this text. Teachers who are seeking new content and are willing to adapt these instructional materials on ecology in Germany will find three self-contained units on: The Plight of the Polar Bear, Polluted Swimming Pools in Germany, and Dead…

  10. DEVELOPMENT OF TOXICITY REFERENCE VALUES FOR ECOLOGICAL SOIL SCREENING LEVELS (ECO-SSLS) FOR TERRESTRIAL WILDLIFE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological Soil Screening Levels (Eco-SSLs) protective of terrestrial wildlife were developed by the USEPA Superfund. The wildlife Eco-SSL is the soil contaminant concentration where the Effect Dose (TRV) and Exposure Dose are equal (amount of contaminant in the diet that is take...

  11. DEVELOPMENT OF ECOLOGICAL SOIL SCREENING LEVELS FOR SOIL INVERTEBRATES AND PLANTS FROM PEER-REVIEWED LITERATURE

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as part of a collaborative effort among government and industry representatives, is developing Ecologic Soil Screening Levels (Eco-SSLs) for approximately 25 of the most common pollutants found at Superfund sites. As part of this effort, ...

  12. DEVELOPMENT OF TOXICITY REFERENCE VALUES FOR ECOLOGICAL SOIL SCREENING LEVELS (ECO-SSLS) FOR TERRESTRIAL WILDLIFE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological Soil Screening Levels (Eco-SSLs) protective of terrestrial wildlife were developed by the USEPA Superfund. The wildlife Eco-SSL is the soil contaminant concentration where the Effect Dose (TRV) and Exposure Dose are equal (amount of contaminant in the diet that is take...

  13. Hierarchical approaches to the study of ecological process and pattern

    SciTech Connect

    Waterhouse, J.C.; Farrell, M.P.; DeAngelis, D.L.

    1986-08-01

    An approach based on hierarchy theory is applied to problems involving the relationships between levels of analysis in ecology. The first problem involves ''emergence'' - the inability to predict the behavior of the whole from its parts. To analyze emergence, a hierarchical conceptual model is developed, which is then used to clarify several controversies involving emergence and to help assess the benefits and pitfalls of higher level analyses. If a taxonomic hierarchy can be assumed to reflect a hierarchy of ecological similarity of species, then higher taxonomic levels may be useful in detecting larger scale ecological patterns. Patterns shown by specific and generic level binary similarity coefficients are compared for chironomid species data from a polluted Ohio stream. The ecological similarity of congenerics is assessed using the trend in the species:genus ratio along the pollution gradient. A hierarchical approach assumes that a hierarchy of pattern reflects a hierarchy of process. Simulation models of New England and Australian rocky intertidal communities were used to show how this assumption may be violated. The model results indicate that three characteristics of the Australian rocky intertidal community may allow small-scale ''stochastic'' processes to have larger scale effects than in the New England community.

  14. [Comprehensive medical and ecological studies in Pryel'brussi].

    PubMed

    Biloshyts'kyĭ, P V

    2003-01-01

    Research works in high-mountainous areas of Caucasus and, in particular, in Prielbrusie was initiated by N.N. Sirotinin as far back as in 1929. From the beginning the works were done in expeditionary conditions, from 1973--in further organized permanent Elbrus medical and biological station (EMBS). At the present time EMBS is a component of International Center for astronomical, medical and ecological research that was reorganized in 1999. EMBS is a unique scientific subdivision that has no analogues, it is located on different heights of Elbrus Mountain and complex fundamental scientific problems may be solved here using contemporary scientific methods. EMBS includes two-floor laboratory building, thermobaro-chamber, and the center organized for the recovery of patients from ecologically unfavorable regions and increasing of the sportsmen work capacity. Today the new stage of the EMBS activity starts and therefore there is a time to summarize some results of the research works here. Such results of EMBS activity are the fundamental studies in the field of oxygen insufficiency, which reveal the destructive and constructive mechanisms of the hypoxic state development in organisms. Such investigations became the base for the implementation for the first time in the world of the new highly effective methods of hypoxytherapy aimed on the patient treatment, prophylaxis, resistance increasing and improvement of athletic results for the sportsmen. There were suggested and proved the concept of step-by-step adaptation to hypoxia. Hypoxic states developed under the extreme condition influences as well as during different diseases here were studied comprehensively on the different organism levels. The methods of mathematic simulation of hypoxic states with prediction of organism states were elaborated at EMBS too. All these works transformed hypoxia studies from the descriptive-experimental science in exact one.

  15. Reproductive ecology of tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) with high levels of polychlorinated biphenyl contamination

    SciTech Connect

    McCarty, J.P.; Secord, A.L.

    1999-07-01

    Tree swallows(Tachycineta bicolor) breeding along the Hudson River forage extensively on PCB-contaminated insects that emerge from the river. The authors studied the reproductive ecology and behavior of tree swallows breeding at several sites along the Hudson River. Related work has shown that PCB levels in both eggs and chicks were among the highest ever reported in this species, with concentrations comparable to those found in aquatic organisms in the Hudson River. In 1994, reproductive success at PCB-contaminated sites was significantly impaired relative to other sites in New York. Reduced reproductive success was largely due to high levels of nest abandonment during incubation and reduced hatchability of eggs. In 1995, reproductive output was normal, but higher than expected rates of abandonment and supernormal clutches persisted. Growth and development of nestlings was not significantly impaired. Given the levels of contamination in this population, the success of most Hudson River tree swallows reinforces the importance of understanding interspecific differences in the effects of contaminants.

  16. Occam's shadow: levels of analysis in evolutionary ecology - where to next?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cooch, E.G.; Cam, E.; Link, W.A.

    2002-01-01

    Evolutionary ecology is the study of evolutionary processes, and the ecological conditions that influence them. A fundamental paradigm underlying the study of evolution is natural selection. Although there are a variety of operational definitions for natural selection in the literature, perhaps the most general one is that which characterizes selection as the process whereby heritable variation in fitness associated with variation in one or more phenotypic traits leads to intergenerational change in the frequency distribution of those traits. The past 20 years have witnessed a marked increase in the precision and reliability of our ability to estimate one or more components of fitness and characterize natural selection in wild populations, owing particularly to significant advances in methods for analysis of data from marked individuals. In this paper, we focus on several issues that we believe are important considerations for the application and development of these methods in the context of addressing questions in evolutionary ecology. First, our traditional approach to estimation often rests upon analysis of aggregates of individuals, which in the wild may reflect increasingly non-random (selected) samples with respect to the trait(s) of interest. In some cases, analysis at the aggregate level, rather than the individual level, may obscure important patterns. While there are a growing number of analytical tools available to estimate parameters at the individual level, and which can cope (to varying degrees) with progressive selection of the sample, the advent of new methods does not reduce the need to consider carefully the appropriate level of analysis in the first place. Estimation should be motivated a priori by strong theoretical analysis. Doing so provides clear guidance, in terms of both (i) assisting in the identification of realistic and meaningful models to include in the candidate model set, and (ii) providing the appropriate context under which the

  17. Ecological feedbacks can reduce population-level efficacy of wildlife fertility control.

    PubMed

    Ransom, Jason I; Powers, Jenny G; Thompson Hobbs, N; Baker, Dan L

    2014-02-01

    Anthropogenic stress on natural systems, particularly the fragmentation of landscapes and the extirpation of predators from food webs, has intensified the need to regulate abundance of wildlife populations with management. Controlling population growth using fertility control has been considered for almost four decades, but nearly all research has focused on understanding effects of fertility control agents on individual animals. Questions about the efficacy of fertility control as a way to control populations remain largely unanswered.Collateral consequences of contraception can produce unexpected changes in birth rates, survival, immigration and emigration that may reduce the effectiveness of regulating animal abundance. The magnitude and frequency of such effects vary with species-specific social and reproductive systems, as well as connectivity of populations. Developing models that incorporate static demographic parameters from populations not controlled by contraception may bias predictions of fertility control efficacy.Many population-level studies demonstrate that changes in survival and immigration induced by fertility control can compensate for the reduction in births caused by contraception. The most successful cases of regulating populations using fertility control come from applications of contraceptives to small, closed populations of gregarious and easily accessed species.Fertility control can result in artificial selection pressures on the population and may lead to long-term unintentional genetic consequences. The magnitude of such selection is dependent on individual heritability and behavioural traits, as well as environmental variation.Synthesis and applications. Understanding species' life-history strategies, biology, behavioural ecology and ecological context is critical to developing realistic expectations of regulating populations using fertility control. Before time, effort and funding are invested in wildlife contraception, managers may

  18. Ecological feedbacks can reduce population-level efficacy of wildlife fertility control

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ransom, Jason I.; Powers, Jenny G.; Hobbs, N. Thompson; Baker, Dan L.

    2014-01-01

    1. Anthropogenic stress on natural systems, particularly the fragmentation of landscapes and the extirpation of predators from food webs, has intensified the need to regulate abundance of wildlife populations with management. Controlling population growth using fertility control has been considered for almost four decades, but nearly all research has focused on understanding effects of fertility control agents on individual animals. Questions about the efficacy of fertility control as a way to control populations remain largely unanswered. 2. Collateral consequences of contraception can produce unexpected changes in birth rates, survival, immigration and emigration that may reduce the effectiveness of regulating animal abundance. The magnitude and frequency of such effects vary with species-specific social and reproductive systems, as well as connectivity of populations. Developing models that incorporate static demographic parameters from populations not controlled by contraception may bias predictions of fertility control efficacy. 3. Many population-level studies demonstrate that changes in survival and immigration induced by fertility control can compensate for the reduction in births caused by contraception. The most successful cases of regulating populations using fertility control come from applications of contraceptives to small, closed populations of gregarious and easily accessed species. 4. Fertility control can result in artificial selection pressures on the population and may lead to long-term unintentional genetic consequences. The magnitude of such selection is dependent on individual heritability and behavioural traits, as well as environmental variation. 5. Synthesis and applications. Understanding species' life-history strategies, biology, behavioural ecology and ecological context is critical to developing realistic expectations of regulating populations using fertility control. Before time, effort and funding are invested in wildlife

  19. Ecological feedbacks can reduce population-level efficacy of wildlife fertility control

    PubMed Central

    Ransom, Jason I; Powers, Jenny G; Thompson Hobbs, N; Baker, Dan L

    2014-01-01

    Anthropogenic stress on natural systems, particularly the fragmentation of landscapes and the extirpation of predators from food webs, has intensified the need to regulate abundance of wildlife populations with management. Controlling population growth using fertility control has been considered for almost four decades, but nearly all research has focused on understanding effects of fertility control agents on individual animals. Questions about the efficacy of fertility control as a way to control populations remain largely unanswered. Collateral consequences of contraception can produce unexpected changes in birth rates, survival, immigration and emigration that may reduce the effectiveness of regulating animal abundance. The magnitude and frequency of such effects vary with species-specific social and reproductive systems, as well as connectivity of populations. Developing models that incorporate static demographic parameters from populations not controlled by contraception may bias predictions of fertility control efficacy. Many population-level studies demonstrate that changes in survival and immigration induced by fertility control can compensate for the reduction in births caused by contraception. The most successful cases of regulating populations using fertility control come from applications of contraceptives to small, closed populations of gregarious and easily accessed species. Fertility control can result in artificial selection pressures on the population and may lead to long-term unintentional genetic consequences. The magnitude of such selection is dependent on individual heritability and behavioural traits, as well as environmental variation. Synthesis and applications. Understanding species' life-history strategies, biology, behavioural ecology and ecological context is critical to developing realistic expectations of regulating populations using fertility control. Before time, effort and funding are invested in wildlife contraception, managers

  20. Phylogeny, Seed Trait, and Ecological Correlates of Seed Germination at the Community Level in a Degraded Sandy Grassland

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhengning; Wang, Lixin; Liu, Zhimin; Li, Yanjuan; Liu, Qingqing; Liu, Bo

    2016-01-01

    Seed germination strongly affects plant population growth and persistence, and it can be dramatically influenced by phylogeny, seed traits, and ecological factors. In this study, we examined the relationships among seed mass, seed shape, and germination percentage (GP), and assessed the extent to which phylogeny, seed traits (seed mass, shape, and color) and ecological factors (ecotype, life form, adult longevity, dispersal type, and onset of flowering) influence GP at the community level. All analyses were conducted on the log-transformed values of seed mass and arcsine square root-transformed values of GP. We found that seed mass and GP were significantly negatively correlated, whereas seed shape and GP were significantly positively correlated. The three major factors contributing to differences in GP were phylogeny, dispersal type, and seed shape (explained 5.8, 4.9, and 3.1% of the interspecific variations independently, respectively), but GP also influenced by seed mass and onset of flowering. Thus, GP was constrained not only by phylogeny but also by seed traits and ecological factors. These results indicated that GP is shaped by short-term selective pressures, and long-term phylogenetic constrains. We suggest that correlates of phylogeny, seed traits, and ecology should be taken into account in comparative studies on seed germination strategies. PMID:27799934

  1. A watershed-level approach to evaluating ecological impacts at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland

    SciTech Connect

    Elias, M.C.; Thebeau, L.C.; Neubauer, J.; Drendel, G.; Paul, J.; Durda, J.L.

    1994-12-31

    Aberdeen Proving Ground is a US Army installation occupying approximately 32,400 hectares of relatively undeveloped coastal plain uplands, wetlands, and estuary on the upper Chesapeake Bay. The installation was established in 1917 and historically has been used for research, development, and testing of chemical warfare agents, conventional weapons, and other material. Past activities have resulted in several hundred known or suspected potential sources of contamination in numerous drainage basins of two main watersheds (the Gunpowder River watershed and the Bush River watershed) and several smaller watersheds. All of these watersheds discharge to the upper reaches of the Chesapeake Bay. Investigations are being conducted to evaluate risks to ecological resources in the drainage basins of these watersheds. Following these investigations, watershed-level risk assessments will be conducted to evaluate the individual and combined risks of these multiple sources of contamination to ecological resources within each watershed. Risks to ecological resources in the potentially affected regions of the upper Chesapeake Bay via the migration of contaminants from the watersheds will also be evaluated. The approach being used for the watershed-level ecological assessment is discussed along with the implications of applying this approach to the evaluation of hazardous waste sites.

  2. Ecologic studies of rodent reservoirs: their relevance for human health.

    PubMed Central

    Mills, J. N.; Childs, J. E.

    1998-01-01

    Within the past few years, the number of "new" human diseases associated with small-mammal reservoirs has increased dramatically, stimulating renewed interest in reservoir ecology research. A consistent, integrative approach to such research allows direct comparisons between studies, contributes to the efficient use of resources and data, and increases investigator safety. We outline steps directed toward understanding vertebrate host ecology as it relates to human disease and illustrate the relevance of each step by using examples from studies of hosts associated with rodent-borne hemorrhagic fever viruses. PMID:9866729

  3. A Novel Integrated Ecological Model for the study of Sustainability

    EPA Science Inventory

    In recent years, there has been a growing interest among various sections of the society in the study of sustainability. Recently, a generalized mathematical model depicting a combined economic-ecological-social system has been proposed to help in the formal study of sustainabili...

  4. A Novel Integrated Ecological Model for the study of Sustainability

    EPA Science Inventory

    In recent years, there has been a growing interest among various sections of the society in the study of sustainability. Recently, a generalized mathematical model depicting a combined economic-ecological-social system has been proposed to help in the formal study of sustainabili...

  5. Landowners' Perspectives on Coordinated, Landscape-Level Invasive Species Control: The Role of Social and Ecological Context.

    PubMed

    Niemiec, Rebecca M; Pech, Roger P; Norbury, Grant L; Byrom, Andrea E

    2017-03-01

    To achieve biodiversity gains, landowner engagement in coordinated invasive species control programs across private lands is needed. Understanding landowners' perspectives toward such coordinated control efforts is crucial to facilitating engagement. We conducted in person and mail surveys of 68 landowners in and adjacent to the area of a proposed invasive predator control program in New Zealand. We find that, similar to previous studies, landowners consider the potential socioeconomic and ecological benefits of invasive species control and express a strong desire to enhance native biodiversity. However, we also find that landowners take into account the complexity of the local social and ecological context in which a program will unfold in three ways: they consider (1) the level of contribution by other landowners and urban residents who are benefiting from collective control efforts; (2) the potential for the program to upset the local "ecological balance", leading to increases in other pests; and (3) the probability that the program will be successful given the likelihood of others participating and control tactics being effective. We suggest that managers of coordinated invasive species control efforts may benefit from devoting time and resources toward addressing beliefs about social and ecological context, rather than solely providing financial subsidies and information about control tactics or the impacts of invasive species.

  6. Landowners' Perspectives on Coordinated, Landscape-Level Invasive Species Control: The Role of Social and Ecological Context

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niemiec, Rebecca M.; Pech, Roger P.; Norbury, Grant L.; Byrom, Andrea E.

    2017-03-01

    To achieve biodiversity gains, landowner engagement in coordinated invasive species control programs across private lands is needed. Understanding landowners' perspectives toward such coordinated control efforts is crucial to facilitating engagement. We conducted in person and mail surveys of 68 landowners in and adjacent to the area of a proposed invasive predator control program in New Zealand. We find that, similar to previous studies, landowners consider the potential socioeconomic and ecological benefits of invasive species control and express a strong desire to enhance native biodiversity. However, we also find that landowners take into account the complexity of the local social and ecological context in which a program will unfold in three ways: they consider (1) the level of contribution by other landowners and urban residents who are benefiting from collective control efforts; (2) the potential for the program to upset the local "ecological balance", leading to increases in other pests; and (3) the probability that the program will be successful given the likelihood of others participating and control tactics being effective. We suggest that managers of coordinated invasive species control efforts may benefit from devoting time and resources toward addressing beliefs about social and ecological context, rather than solely providing financial subsidies and information about control tactics or the impacts of invasive species.

  7. [Stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen in soil ecological studies].

    PubMed

    Tiunov, A V

    2007-01-01

    The development of stable isotope techniques is one of the main methodological advances in ecology of the last decades of the 20th century. Many biogeochemical processes are accompanied by changes in the ratio between stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen (12C/13C and 14N/15N), which allows different ecosystem components and different ecosystems to be distinguished by their isotopic composition. Analysis of isotopic composition makes it possible to trace matter and energy flows through biological systems and to evaluate the rate of many ecological processes. The main concepts and methods of stable isotope ecology and patterns of stable isotope fractionation during organic matter decomposition are considered with special emphasis on the fractionation of isotopes in food chains and the use of stable isotope studies of trophic relationships between soil animals in the field.

  8. Ecologically relevant geomorphic attributes of streams are impaired by even low levels of watershed effective imperviousness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vietz, Geoff J.; Sammonds, Michael J.; Walsh, Christopher J.; Fletcher, Tim D.; Rutherfurd, Ian D.; Stewardson, Michael J.

    2014-02-01

    Urbanization almost inevitably results in changes to stream morphology. Understanding the mechanisms for such impacts is a prerequisite to minimizing stream degradation and achieving restoration goals. However, investigations of urban-induced changes to stream morphology typically use indicators of watershed urbanization that may not adequately represent degrading mechanisms and commonly focus on geomorphic attributes such as channel dimensions that may be of little significance to the ecological goals for restoration. We address these shortcomings by testing if a measure characterizing urban stormwater drainage system connections to streams (effective imperviousness, EI) is a better predictor of change to ecologically relevant geomorphic attributes than a more general measure of urban density (total imperviousness, TI). We test this for 17 sites in independent watersheds across a gradient of urbanization. We found that EI was a better predictor of all geomorphic variables tested than was TI. Bank instability was positively correlated with EI, while width/depth (a measure of channel incision), bedload sediment depth, and frequency of bars, benches, and large wood were negatively correlated. Large changes in all geomorphic variables were detected at very low levels of EI (< 2-3%). Excess urban stormwater runoff, as represented by EI, drives geomorphic change in urban streams, highlighting the dominant role of the stormwater drainage system in efficiently transferring stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces to the stream, as found for ecological indicators. It is likely that geomorphic condition of streams in urbanizing watersheds, particularly those attributes of ecological relevance, can only be maintained if excess urban stormwater flows are kept out of streams through retention and harvesting. The extent to which EI can be reduced within urban and urbanizing watersheds, through techniques such as distributed stormwater harvesting and infiltration, and the

  9. Ecological correlation between arsenic level in well water and age-adjusted mortality from malignant neoplasms

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, C.J.; Wang, C.J. )

    1990-09-01

    A significant dose-response relation between ingested arsenic and several cancers has recently been reported in four townships of the endemic area of blackfoot disease, a unique peripheral artery disease related to the chronic arsenic exposure in southwestern Taiwan. This study was carried out to examine ecological correlations between arsenic level of well water and mortality from various malignant neoplasms in 314 precincts and townships of Taiwan. The arsenic content in water of 83,656 wells was determined by a standard mercuric bromide stain method from 1974 to 1976, while mortality rates of 21 malignant neoplasms among residents in study precincts and townships from 1972 to 1983 were standardized to the world population in 1976. A significant association with the arsenic level in well water was observed for cancers of the liver, nasal cavity, lung, skin, bladder and kidney in both males and females as well as for the prostate cancer in males. These associations remained significant after adjusting for indices of urbanization and industrialization through multiple regression analyses. The multivariate-adjusted regression coefficient indicating an increase in age-adjusted mortality per 100,000 person-years for every 0.1 ppm increase in arsenic level of well water was 6.8 and 2.0, 0.7 and 0.4, 5.3 and 5.3, 0.9 and 1.0, 3.9 and 4.2, as well as 1.1 and 1.7, respectively, in males and females for cancers of the liver, nasal cavity, lung, skin, bladder and kidney. The multivariate-adjusted regression coefficient for the prostate cancer was 0.5. These weighted regression coefficients were found to increase or remain unchanged in further analyses in which only 170 southwestern townships were included.

  10. Human Ecology. Study Guide and Course Outline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zaki, Gamal

    An inservice course offered to elementary and secondary teachers and other concerned citizens in Rhode Island was presented in fifteen television programs. This study guide includes a description of the fifteen sessions. For each there is given a brief introduction and summary, an outline, questions for further study, and a bibliography of…

  11. Integration of the Problem of Medical Ecology on the Level of the Highly Urbanized Region

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rozenberg, Gennadiy S.; Lazareva, Natalya V.; Simonov, Yury V.; Lifirenko, Natalya G.; Sarapultseva, Lilija A.

    2016-01-01

    The urgency of the analyzed issue is due to the study of the basic issues of medical ecology: the dynamics of demographic indicators, the correlation of somatic and reproductive public health, depending on the influence of physical factors of the urban environment on public health on the basis of medical and geographic mapping. The article aims at…

  12. Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) in Studies of Substance Use

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shiffman, Saul

    2009-01-01

    Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) is particularly suitable for studying substance use, because use is episodic and thought to be related to mood and context. This article reviews EMA methods in substance use research, focusing on tobacco and alcohol use and relapse, where EMA has been most applied. Common EMA designs combine event-based…

  13. Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) in Studies of Substance Use

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shiffman, Saul

    2009-01-01

    Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) is particularly suitable for studying substance use, because use is episodic and thought to be related to mood and context. This article reviews EMA methods in substance use research, focusing on tobacco and alcohol use and relapse, where EMA has been most applied. Common EMA designs combine event-based…

  14. Ecological study of Vibrio cholerae in Vellore.

    PubMed

    Jesudason, M V; Balaji, V; Mukundan, U; Thomson, C J

    2000-04-01

    Vellore is endemic for cholera due to Vibrio cholerae O1 and O139. In a previous study the prevalence of Vibrio cholerae in drinking water, lakes and sewage outfalls in a single 2-months period in Vellore, India was determined. In addition water samples from three sites were also tested for the presence of V. cholerae O1 and O139 by fluorescent antibody staining. This follow on study has examined how the environmental distribution of V. cholerae at the same sites alters over a 12-month period and the relationship to the clinical pattern of cholera in Vellore. Samples of water were collected from fixed sites at three water bodies each month between April 1997 and March 1998. Bacteria isolated from samples were identified by standard biochemical tests and isolated strains of V. cholerae tested for their ability to agglutinate O1 and O139 antisera. Samples were also tested for the presence of V. cholerae O1 and O139 by fluorescent antibody staining. The clinical isolation rate of V. cholerae in Vellore, maximum temperature and rainfall were also studied. The results demonstrate the presence in the environment of viable but non-cultivable (VNC) V. cholerae in 10 of 12 months of the study year as well as their viability. Their prevalence in the environment also correlated with the isolation of these pathogens from clinical samples over the same study period.

  15. Ecological study of Vibrio cholerae in Vellore.

    PubMed Central

    Jesudason, M. V.; Balaji, V.; Mukundan, U.; Thomson, C. J.

    2000-01-01

    Vellore is endemic for cholera due to Vibrio cholerae O1 and O139. In a previous study the prevalence of Vibrio cholerae in drinking water, lakes and sewage outfalls in a single 2-months period in Vellore, India was determined. In addition water samples from three sites were also tested for the presence of V. cholerae O1 and O139 by fluorescent antibody staining. This follow on study has examined how the environmental distribution of V. cholerae at the same sites alters over a 12-month period and the relationship to the clinical pattern of cholera in Vellore. Samples of water were collected from fixed sites at three water bodies each month between April 1997 and March 1998. Bacteria isolated from samples were identified by standard biochemical tests and isolated strains of V. cholerae tested for their ability to agglutinate O1 and O139 antisera. Samples were also tested for the presence of V. cholerae O1 and O139 by fluorescent antibody staining. The clinical isolation rate of V. cholerae in Vellore, maximum temperature and rainfall were also studied. The results demonstrate the presence in the environment of viable but non-cultivable (VNC) V. cholerae in 10 of 12 months of the study year as well as their viability. Their prevalence in the environment also correlated with the isolation of these pathogens from clinical samples over the same study period. PMID:10813143

  16. Science and ecological literacy in undergraduate field studies education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mapp, Kim J.

    There is an ever-increasing number of issues that face our world today; from climate change, water and food scarcity, to pollution and resource extraction. Science and ecology play fundamental roles in these problems, and yet the understanding of these fields is limited in our society (Miller, 2002; McBride, Brewer, Berkowitz, and Borrie, 2013). Across the nation students are finishing their undergraduate degrees and are expected to enter the workforce and society with the skills needed to succeed. The deficit of science and ecological literacy in these students has been recognized and a call for reform begun (D'Avanzo, 2003 and NRC, 2009). This mixed-methods study looked at how a field studies course could fill the gap of science and ecological literacy in undergraduates. Using grounded theory, five key themes were data-derived; definitions, systems thinking, human's role in the environment, impetus for change and transference. These themes where then triangulated for validity and reliability through qualitative and quantitative assessments. A sixth theme was also identified, the learning environment. Due to limited data to support this themes' development and reliability it is discussed in Chapter 5 to provide recommendations for further research. Key findings show that this field studies program influenced students' science and ecological literacy through educational theory and practice.

  17. Ecological risk assessment as a watershed management tool -- Case study of middle Snake River, Idaho

    SciTech Connect

    Cirone, P.A.; Yearsley, J.; Filbin, G.J.; Norton, D.; Falter, C.M.; Minshall, W.; Brandt, D.

    1995-12-31

    Ecological risk assessment is a scientific tool designed to evaluate the ecological effects of human activities. Historically, risk assessments have been used as a tool to assess risks to human health from environmental exposures to toxic pollutants, or to assess the ecological effects of toxic releases. The middle Snake River has been used as one of five EPA case studies to demonstrate the applicability of risk assessment at the watershed level for assessing the relative effects of multiple stressors on key ecological components of the aquatic ecosystem. The state and federal resource managers and the public identified restoration and protection of native cold water salmonid species and rare and endangered invertebrate species as a management goal. The risk assessment sought to characterize the significance of reduced water flow, sedimentation, and increased nutrients on these ecological components through a process of problem formulation, stressor-effects analysis, and risk characterization. The desired outcome of the assessment is to identify conditions that must be attained to support the management goal as one step in evaluating management options for ecological protection in the watershed.

  18. Prediction of community mental health service utilization by individual and ecological level socio-economic factors.

    PubMed

    Donisi, Valeria; Tedeschi, Federico; Percudani, Mauro; Fiorillo, Andrea; Confalonieri, Linda; De Rosa, Corrado; Salazzari, Damiano; Tansella, Michele; Thornicroft, Graham; Amaddeo, Francesco

    2013-10-30

    Individuals with a more deprived socioeconomic status (SES) are more likely to have higher rates of psychiatric morbidity and use of psychiatric services. Such service use is also influenced by socioeconomic factors at the ecological level. The aim of this article is to investigate the influence of these variables on service utilization. All patients in contact with three Italian community psychiatric services (CPS) were included. Community and hospital contacts over 6 months were investigated. Socio-economic characteristics were described using a SES Index and two new Resources Accessibility Indexes. Low SES was found to be associated with more community service contacts. When other individual and ecological variables were controlled for, SES was negatively associated only with the number of home visits, which was about half the rate in deprived areas. An association between service utilization and the resources of the catchment area was also detected. The economic crisis in Europe is increasing inequality of access, so paying attention to SES characteristics at both the individual and the ecological levels is likely to become increasingly important in understanding patterns of psychiatric service utilization and planning care accordingly.

  19. School Sound Level Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    California State Dept. of Education, Sacramento.

    California has conducted on-site sound surveys of 36 different schools to determine the degree of noise, and thus disturbance, within the learning environment. This report provides the methodology and results of the survey, including descriptive charts and graphs illustrating typical desirable and undesirable sound levels. Results are presented…

  20. Temporal and Spatial Melanoma Trends in Austria: An Ecological Study

    PubMed Central

    Haluza, Daniela; Simic, Stana; Moshammer, Hanns

    2014-01-01

    Annual solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is mostly determined by latitude and altitude. Over the last decades, increasing UVR ground levels have been observed. Exposure to UVR is associated with a life-time risk to develop melanoma, a malign skin cancer. Thus, we hypothesized that melanoma incidence in Austria is associated with altitude of place of living and time of diagnosis. We investigated this hypothesis in an ecological study by district and year for Austrian melanoma incidence (1990–2010) and mortality (1970–2011) data. As expected, incidence rates increased with altitude (about 2% per 10 m) and year (about 2%). Additionally, melanoma incidence rates were about 50% higher in urban than in rural districts. In contrast, mortality rates decreased with altitude (for males: 0.4% per 10 m, for women: 0.7% per 10 m, respectively). The observed discrepancy between incidence and mortality data could partly be explained by melanoma diagnosis at earlier tumor stage in districts with higher altitude. Possible reasons for this finding include higher awareness of patients, better diagnostic performance of medical professionals working at higher altitudes, or slower tumor growth due to protective effects of sun light-associated vitamin D synthesis. PMID:24398911

  1. Residential radon and COPD. An ecological study in Galicia, Spain.

    PubMed

    Barbosa-Lorenzo, Raquel; Ruano-Ravina, Alberto; Ramis, Rebeca; Aragonés, Nuria; Kelsey, Karl T; Carballeira-Roca, Consuelo; Fernández-Villar, Alberto; López-Abente, Gonzalo; Barros-Dios, Juan M

    2017-02-01

    Radon is a human lung carcinogen but it might be linked with other respiratory diseases. We aimed to assess the relationship between residential radon exposure and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) prevalence and hospital admissions at a municipal level. We designed an ecological study where we included those municipalities with at least three radon measurements. Using mixed Poisson regression models, we calculated the relative risk (RR) for COPD for each 100 Bq/m(3) of increase in radon concentration and also the relative risk for COPD using a cut-off point of 50 Bq/m(3). We did not have individual data on cigarette smoking and therefore we used a proxy (bladder cancer standardized mortality rate) that has proved to account for tobacco consumption. We performed separate analyses for sex and also sensitivity analysis considering age and rurality. A total of 3040 radon measurements and 49,393 COPD cases were included. The relative risk for COPD prevalence was 0.95 (95% CI: 0.92-0.97) while for hospital admissions the RR was 1.04 (95% CI: 1.00-1.10) for each 100 Bq/m(3). Relative risks were higher for women compared to men. Using a categorical analysis with a cut-off point of 50 Bq/m(3), the RR for COPD prevalence was 1.06 (95% CI: 1.02-1.10) and for hospital admissions it was 1.08 (95% CI: 1.00-1.17) for women living in municipalities with more than 50 Bq/m(3). All risks were also higher for women. No relevant differences were observed for age, rurality or other categories for radon exposure. While the influence of radon on COPD prevalence is unclear depending on the approach used, it seems that residential radon might increase the risk of hospital admissions in COPD patients. Women have a higher risk than men in all situations. Since this is an ecological study, results should be interpreted cautiously.

  2. Complex distribution patterns, ecology and coexistence of ploidy levels of Allium oleraceum (Alliaceae) in the Czech Republic

    PubMed Central

    Duchoslav, Martin; Šafářová, Lenka; Krahulec, František

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims Despite extensive study of polyploidy, its origin, and ecogeographical differences between polyploids and their diploid progenitors, few studies have addressed ploidy-level structure and patterns of ecogeographical differentiation at various spatial scales using detailed sampling procedures. The pattern of coexistence of polyploids in the geophyte Allium oleraceum at the landscape and locality scale and their ecology were studied. Methods Flow cytometry and root-tip squashes were used to identify the ploidy level of 4347 plants from 325 populations sampled from the Czech Republic using a stratified random sampling procedure. Ecological differentiation among ploidy levels was tested by comparing sets of environmental variables recorded at each locality. Key Results Across the entire sampling area, pentaploids (2n = 5x = 40) predominated, while hexaploids (2n = 6x = 48) and tetraploids (2n = 4x = 32) were less frequent. The distribution of tetra- and hexaploids was partially sympatric (in the eastern part) to parapatric (in the western part of the Czech Republic) whereas pentaploids were sympatric with other cytotypes. Plants of different ploidy levels were found to be ecologically differentiated and the ruderal character of cytotypes increased in the direction 4x → 5x → 6x with the largest realized niche differences between tetra- and hexaploids. Most populations contained only one ploidy level (77 %), 22 % had two (all possible combinations) and 1 % were composed of three ploidy levels. The majority of 4x + 5x and 5x + 6x mixed populations occurred in sympatry with uniform populations of the participating cytotypes in sites with ecologically heterogeneous or marginal environment, suggesting secondary contact between cytotypes. Some mixed 4x + 6x populations dominated by tetraploids being sympatric and intermixed with uniform 4x populations might represent primary zones of cytotype contact. Almost no mixed accessions were observed on the fine

  3. Lessons from ecological and spatial studies in relation to occupational lung disease.

    PubMed

    Hansell, Anna L; Best, Nicky G; Rushton, Lesley

    2009-04-01

    The majority of epidemiological research into occupational lung disease has been advanced by the study of individuals, typically in a workplace setting. This review examines how recent advances in ecological and spatial study methodology and in the information held in routine databases could be used to enhance occupational health studies. Ecological studies often use routinely collected data, and this is becoming much more extensive and better validated with potential for increasing use in occupational health research. Improvements in computing power and statistical and geographical information systems methodology have led to more sophisticated mapping techniques and greater use of spatial information when investigating lung diseases usually related to occupational exposures. Ecological study methodology is experiencing a radical overhaul with supplementation of group-level data with information from small-scale individual-level studies. This hybrid design can be used to reduce bias and increase power and is directly applicable to the enhancement of aggregate information from job exposure matrices. Studies of occupational lung disease can be enhanced by incorporating methodological innovations from ecological and spatial studies.

  4. Urban Ecological Security Simulation and Prediction Using an Improved Cellular Automata (CA) Approach-A Case Study for the City of Wuhan in China.

    PubMed

    Gao, Yuan; Zhang, Chuanrong; He, Qingsong; Liu, Yaolin

    2017-06-15

    Ecological security is an important research topic, especially urban ecological security. As highly populated eco-systems, cities always have more fragile ecological environments. However, most of the research on urban ecological security in literature has focused on evaluating current or past status of the ecological environment. Very little literature has carried out simulation or prediction of future ecological security. In addition, there is even less literature exploring the urban ecological environment at a fine scale. To fill-in the literature gap, in this study we simulated and predicted urban ecological security at a fine scale (district level) using an improved Cellular Automata (CA) approach. First we used the pressure-state-response (PSR) method based on grid-scale data to evaluate urban ecological security. Then, based on the evaluation results, we imported the geographically weighted regression (GWR) concept into the CA model to simulate and predict urban ecological security. We applied the improved CA approach in a case study-simulating and predicting urban ecological security for the city of Wuhan in Central China. By comparing the simulated ecological security values from 2010 using the improved CA model to the actual ecological security values of 2010, we got a relatively high value of the kappa coefficient, which indicates that this CA model can simulate or predict well future development of ecological security in Wuhan. Based on the prediction results for 2020, we made some policy recommendations for each district in Wuhan.

  5. The human dimensions of climate change: A micro-level assessment of views from the ecological modernization, political economy and human ecology perspectives.

    PubMed

    Adua, Lazarus; York, Richard; Schuelke-Leech, Beth-Anne

    2016-03-01

    Understanding the manifold human and physical dimensions of climate change has become an area of great interest to researchers in recent decades. Using a U.S. nationally-representative data set and drawing on the ecological modernization, political economy, and human ecology perspectives, this study examines the impacts of energy efficiency technologies, affluence, household demographics, and biophysical characteristics on residential CO2 emissions. Overall, the study provides mixed support for the ecological modernization perspective. While several findings are consistent with the theory's expectation that modern societies can harness technology to mitigate human impacts on the environment, others directly contradict it. Also, the theory's prediction of an inverted U-shaped relationship between affluence and environmental impacts is contradicted. The evidence is somewhat more supportive of the political economy and human ecology perspectives, with affluence, some indicators of technology, household demographics, and biophysical characteristics emerging as important drivers of residential CO2 emissions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Peak HIV prevalence: a useful outcome variable for ecological studies.

    PubMed

    Kenyon, Chris; Colebunders, Robert; Voeten, Helene; Lurie, Mark

    2013-05-01

    A key question for ecological studies with HIV as the outcome variable is what measure of HIV prevalence to use. In this study we compared the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of measures of HIV prevalence, focusing on peak HIV prevalence and HIV prevalence measured at the same time as the exposure variable. We explored the theoretical problems with each of the two measures of HIV prevalence. We then investigated the difference that substituting one variable for the other made to two published ecological studies. One published study found a strong relationship between migration intensity and HIV prevalence measured at the time the migration was measured. When we repeated the analysis using peak HIV prevalence as the outcome variable, there was no evidence of an association. The second study found evidence of a strong relationship between concurrency and peak HIV prevalence. On repetition of the analysis (but utilizing HIV prevalence at the time the concurrency was measured as the outcome variable) there was no longer a significant association. The choice of HIV measure as outcome variable in ecological studies makes a large difference to the study results. The choice of peak HIV prevalence as outcome variable offers the advantage of avoiding the HIV introduction time bias.

  7. Threatened and Endangered Subspecies with Vulnerable Ecological Traits Also Have High Susceptibility to Sea Level Rise and Habitat Fragmentation

    PubMed Central

    Benscoter, Allison M.; Reece, Joshua S.; Noss, Reed F.; Brandt, Laura A.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Romañach, Stephanie S.; Watling, James I.

    2013-01-01

    The presence of multiple interacting threats to biodiversity and the increasing rate of species extinction make it critical to prioritize management efforts on species and communities that maximize conservation success. We implemented a multi-step approach that coupled vulnerability assessments evaluating threats to Florida taxa such as climate change, sea-level rise, and habitat fragmentation with in-depth literature surveys of taxon-specific ecological traits. The vulnerability, adaptive capacity, and ecological traits of 12 threatened and endangered subspecies were compared to non-listed subspecies of the same parent species. Overall, the threatened and endangered subspecies showed high vulnerability and low adaptive capacity, in particular to sea level rise and habitat fragmentation. They also exhibited larger home ranges and greater dispersal limitation compared to non-endangered subspecies, which may inhibit their ability to track changing climate in fragmented landscapes. There was evidence for lower reproductive capacity in some of the threatened or endangered taxa, but not for most. Taxa located in the Florida Keys or in other low coastal areas were most vulnerable to sea level rise, and also showed low levels of adaptive capacity, indicating they may have a lower probability of conservation success. Our analysis of at-risk subspecies and closely related non-endangered subspecies demonstrates that ecological traits help to explain observed differences in vulnerability and adaptive capacity. This study points to the importance of assessing the relative contributions of multiple threats and evaluating conservation value at the species (or subspecies) level when resources are limited and several factors affect conservation success. PMID:23940614

  8. Threatened and endangered subspecies with vulnerable ecological traits also have high susceptibility to sea level rise and habitat fragmentation.

    PubMed

    Benscoter, Allison M; Reece, Joshua S; Noss, Reed F; Brandt, Laura A; Mazzotti, Frank J; Romañach, Stephanie S; Watling, James I

    2013-01-01

    The presence of multiple interacting threats to biodiversity and the increasing rate of species extinction make it critical to prioritize management efforts on species and communities that maximize conservation success. We implemented a multi-step approach that coupled vulnerability assessments evaluating threats to Florida taxa such as climate change, sea-level rise, and habitat fragmentation with in-depth literature surveys of taxon-specific ecological traits. The vulnerability, adaptive capacity, and ecological traits of 12 threatened and endangered subspecies were compared to non-listed subspecies of the same parent species. Overall, the threatened and endangered subspecies showed high vulnerability and low adaptive capacity, in particular to sea level rise and habitat fragmentation. They also exhibited larger home ranges and greater dispersal limitation compared to non-endangered subspecies, which may inhibit their ability to track changing climate in fragmented landscapes. There was evidence for lower reproductive capacity in some of the threatened or endangered taxa, but not for most. Taxa located in the Florida Keys or in other low coastal areas were most vulnerable to sea level rise, and also showed low levels of adaptive capacity, indicating they may have a lower probability of conservation success. Our analysis of at-risk subspecies and closely related non-endangered subspecies demonstrates that ecological traits help to explain observed differences in vulnerability and adaptive capacity. This study points to the importance of assessing the relative contributions of multiple threats and evaluating conservation value at the species (or subspecies) level when resources are limited and several factors affect conservation success.

  9. Threatened and endangered subspecies with vulnerable ecological traits Also have high susceptibility to sea level rise and habitat fragmentation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Benscoter, Allison M.; Reece, Joshua S.; Noss, Reed F.; Brandt, Laura B.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Romañach, Stephanie S.; Watling, James I.

    2013-01-01

    The presence of multiple interacting threats to biodiversity and the increasing rate of species extinction make it critical to prioritize management efforts on species and communities that maximize conservation success. We implemented a multi-step approach that coupled vulnerability assessments evaluating threats to Florida taxa such as climate change, sea-level rise, and habitat fragmentation with in-depth literature surveys of taxon-specific ecological traits. The vulnerability, adaptive capacity, and ecological traits of 12 threatened and endangered subspecies were compared to non-listed subspecies of the same parent species. Overall, the threatened and endangered subspecies showed high vulnerability and low adaptive capacity, in particular to sea level rise and habitat fragmentation. They also exhibited larger home ranges and greater dispersal limitation compared to non-endangered subspecies, which may inhibit their ability to track changing climate in fragmented landscapes. There was evidence for lower reproductive capacity in some of the threatened or endangered taxa, but not for most. Taxa located in the Florida Keys or in other low coastal areas were most vulnerable to sea level rise, and also showed low levels of adaptive capacity, indicating they may have a lower probability of conservation success. Our analysis of at-risk subspecies and closely related non-endangered subspecies demonstrates that ecological traits help to explain observed differences in vulnerability and adaptive capacity. This study points to the importance of assessing the relative contributions of multiple threats and evaluating conservation value at the species (or subspecies) level when resources are limited and several factors affect conservation success.

  10. Evolutionary and ecological approaches to the study of personality

    PubMed Central

    Réale, Denis; Dingemanse, Niels J.; Kazem, Anahita J. N.; Wright, Jonathan

    2010-01-01

    This introduction to the themed issue on Evolutionary and ecological approaches to the study of personality provides an overview of conceptual, theoretical and methodological progress in research on animal personalities over the last decade, and places the contributions to this volume in context. The issue has three main goals. First, we aimed to bring together theoreticians to contribute to the development of models providing adaptive explanations for animal personality that could guide empiricists, and stimulate exchange of ideas between the two groups of researchers. Second, we aimed to stimulate cross-fertilization between different scientific fields that study personality, namely behavioural ecology, psychology, genomics, quantitative genetics, neuroendocrinology and developmental biology. Third, we aimed to foster the application of an evolutionary framework to the study of personality. PMID:21078646

  11. Urban Ecological Security Simulation and Prediction Using an Improved Cellular Automata (CA) Approach—A Case Study for the City of Wuhan in China

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Yuan; Zhang, Chuanrong; He, Qingsong; Liu, Yaolin

    2017-01-01

    Ecological security is an important research topic, especially urban ecological security. As highly populated eco-systems, cities always have more fragile ecological environments. However, most of the research on urban ecological security in literature has focused on evaluating current or past status of the ecological environment. Very little literature has carried out simulation or prediction of future ecological security. In addition, there is even less literature exploring the urban ecological environment at a fine scale. To fill-in the literature gap, in this study we simulated and predicted urban ecological security at a fine scale (district level) using an improved Cellular Automata (CA) approach. First we used the pressure-state-response (PSR) method based on grid-scale data to evaluate urban ecological security. Then, based on the evaluation results, we imported the geographically weighted regression (GWR) concept into the CA model to simulate and predict urban ecological security. We applied the improved CA approach in a case study—simulating and predicting urban ecological security for the city of Wuhan in Central China. By comparing the simulated ecological security values from 2010 using the improved CA model to the actual ecological security values of 2010, we got a relatively high value of the kappa coefficient, which indicates that this CA model can simulate or predict well future development of ecological security in Wuhan. Based on the prediction results for 2020, we made some policy recommendations for each district in Wuhan. PMID:28617348

  12. ELF communications system ecological monitoring program. Small vertebrate studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beaver, Donald L.; Hill, Richard W.; Hill, Susan D.

    1994-10-01

    The U.S. Navy has completed a program monitoring flora, fauna, and ecological relationships tor possible effects from electromagnetic fields produced by its Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) Communications System. This report documents studies of small mammals and nesting birds conducted near its transmitting antenna in Michigan. From 1982 through 1993 researchers from the Michigan State University (MSU) monitored organismal and population aspects of vertebrates in areas near (treatment) and far (control) from the Michigan antenna. They examined the reproductive, developmental, behavioral, and physiological characteristics of representative vertebrate species. Studied species were the deer mouse, chipmunk, tree swallow, and blackcapped - chickadee. Investigators had also monitored ecological aspects of the mammalian community until 1988 when this study element was discontinued due to highly variable results. In a different project, ornithologists from the University of Minnesota-Duluth monitored the ecological characteristics of the bird community near the ELF System. The MSU research team used several statistical tests to examine data; however, nested analysis of variance was the most often used test. Based on the results of their study, they conclude that the EM fields produced by the Naval Radio Transmitting Facility-Republic, Michigan did not affect small vertebrates.

  13. Students' exposure and career aspirations in ecology: A study using semi-structured interviews to gain knowledge of public school students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Heather C.

    Ecology as a field is dominated by white males, McCarter (2003) has noted that women and minorities are underrepresented in the discipline of ecology across the United States. The contribution of this research is to assess and quantify, in a scientific manner, students' exposure, and career aspirations towards ecology; 226 student responses were coded from semi-structured interviews. The main objectives of this study, using student interviews, were the following: (1) assess the importance of exposure to ecology and ecological related topics to: gender, ethnicity, region, grades in science, grades in non-science, grade level, and interest in ecology career. (2) determine if early exposure to ecology (i.e. gained in high school) and ecological related topics is related to an increased interest of students continuing in an ecologically related field and (3) assess if high school students who have been involved in more outdoor related activities such as camping, hiking, hunting, and/or fishing, will be more likely to be interested in an ecological career. Overall, the results indicated that students interviewed for this study generally responded in a positive manner, and were generally interested in ecology. Some students were even interested in pursuing a career in ecology. The study revealed significant differences in the exposure of ecology between school locations, girls and boys, and whites and non-whites. The results of this research and avenues for future research are discussed.

  14. Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise: Advancing coastal management through integrated research and engagement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kidwell, D. M.

    2012-12-01

    Rising sea level represents a significant threat to coastal communities and ecosystems through land loss, altered habitats, and increased vulnerability to coastal storms and inundation. This threat is exemplified in the northern Gulf of Mexico where low topography, expansive marshes, and a prevalence of tropical storms have already resulted in extensive coastal impacts. The development of robust predictive capabilities that incorporate complex biological processes with physical dynamics are critical for informed planning and restoration efforts for coastal ecosystems. Looking to build upon existing predictive modeling capabilities and allow for use of multiple model (i.e., ensemble) approaches, NOAA initiated the Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise program in 2010 to advance physical/biological integrative modeling capabilities in the region with a goal to provide user friendly predictive tools for coastal ecosystem management. Focused on the northern Gulf of Mexico, this multi-disciplinary project led by the University of Central Florida will use in situ field studies to parameterize physical and biological models. These field studies will also result in a predictive capability for overland sediment delivery and transport that will further enhance marsh, oyster, and submerged aquatic vegetation models. Results from this integrated modeling effort are envisioned to inform management strategies for reducing risk, restoration and breakwater guidelines, and resource sustainability for project planning, among other uses. In addition to the science components, this project incorporates significant engagement of the management community through a management applications principle investigator and an advisory management committee. Routine engagement between the science team and the management committee, including annual workshops, are focused on ensuring the development of applicable, relevant, and useable products and tools at the conclusion of this project. Particular

  15. Polychlorinated biphenyls and Hudson River white perch: implications for population-level ecological risk assessment and risk management.

    PubMed

    Barnthouse, Lawrence W; Glaser, David; DeSantis, Liane

    2009-07-01

    Risk assessments and risk management decisions concerning risks to wild fish populations resulting from exposures to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and related chemicals have been based primarily on observations of effects of chemicals on individual organisms. Although the development and application of population-level ecological risk-assessment methods is proceeding at a rapid pace, the organism-level approach is still being justified by arguments that population-level ecological risk assessment is in an early stage of development and has not been shown to be reliable. This article highlights the importance of including population-level effects in risk-management decision-making, by examining the effects of exposures to PCBs on fish populations inhabiting the Hudson River, New York, USA, a system in which data have been collected for approximately 30 y concerning both concentrations of PCBs in sediment and fish tissue and the abundance and reproduction of exposed fish populations. We previously tested hypotheses concerning the effects of PCBs on the striped bass population of the Hudson River, and found that the available data conflicted with all of these hypotheses. Here, we report results of similar analyses of effects of historic PCB exposures on the Hudson River white perch population, using an extended data set that recently became available. As with striped bass, we found no correlation between maternal PCB tissue concentrations and any measure of reproductive success in Hudson River white perch during the 30-y period covered by the data set. Together with results of studies performed on fish populations exposed to PCBs at other sites, our results clearly demonstrate that physiological and genetic adaptation, biological compensation, and other ecological processes influence responses of fish populations to PCB exposures and should be considered in risk management decision-making.

  16. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) concentration in soil from San Luis Potosi, Mexico: levels and ecological and human health risk characterization.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Vázquez, Francisco J; Orta-García, Sandra T; Ochoa-Martínez, Ángeles C; Pruneda-Álvarez, Lucia G; Ruiz-Vera, Tania; Jiménez-Avalos, Jorge Armando; González-Palomo, Ana K; Pérez-Maldonado, Iván N

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in soils from the city of San Luis Potosi in Mexico and perform an ecological and human health risk characterization. In order to confirm the presence of PBDEs, outdoor surface soil samples were collected and the concentrations of PBDEs in urban, industrial, agricultural, and brick kiln industry areas were determined. The mean total PBDEs levels obtained in the study sites were 25.0 ± 39.5 μg/kg (geometric mean ± standard deviation) in the brick kiln industry zone; 34.5 ± 36.0 μg/kg in the urban zone; 8.00 ± 7.10 μg/kg in the industrial zone and 16.6 ± 15.3 μg/kg in the agricultural zone. The ecological and human health risk characterization showed relatively low-hazard quotient values. However, the moderately high PBDEs levels found in soils highlight the necessity to establish a systematic monitoring process for PBDEs in environmental and biological samples.

  17. Composition profiles, levels, distributions and ecological risk assessments of trihalomethanes in surface water from a typical estuary of Bohai Bay, China.

    PubMed

    Niu, Zhiguang; Li, Xiaonan; Zhang, Ying

    2017-01-31

    To characterize the spatiotemporal distribution and potential ecological risk for trihalomethanes (THMs) in the surface water of a river estuary, surface water samples were collected over five consecutive months (from March to July 2016) from four sites in the Haihe River estuary of Bohai Bay. The potential ecological risks of THMs were evaluated quantitatively based on a species sensitivity distribution (SSD) model. The results demonstrate that trichloromethane (TCM) was the predominant THM in surface water of the Haihe River estuary (2.93±1.98μg/L) followed by tribromomethane (TBM) (0.42±0.33μg/L), bromodichloromethane (BDCM) (0.14±0.06μg/L) and dibromochloromethane (DBCM) (0.09±0.10μg/L). The concentration of TCM was higher in summer than that in spring, while TBM displayed the opposite trend. The TCM concentration decreased from the estuary to the adjacent sea. However, the levels of TBM and DBCM in the adjacent sea were higher than those in the estuary. The ecological risks of THMs in surface water of Haihe River were notably low, and the ecological risks of THMs in freshwater were generally higher than those in seawater. Compared with other contaminants in water and surface sediment from rivers and coastal areas, the ecological risk levels of THMs in surface water can be considered low. This study is a contribution to the progress of ecological risk assessment of THMs.

  18. Selection of ecologic covariates in the American Cancer Society study.

    PubMed

    Willis, Alette; Krewski, Daniel; Jerrett, Michael; Goldberg, Mark S; Burnett, Richard T

    The American Cancer Society (ACS) Study of the effects of long-term exposure to ambient air pollution on mortality used metropolitan areas to assign exposures to individual cohort members (Pope et al., 1995); these authors did not, however, control for any other place-specific variables in their analysis. Consequently, the study has been criticized on the basis that the association observed between air pollution and mortality may be confounded by other unmeasured ecologic covariates. To address this criticism, the reanalysis team selected a set of place-specific variables that measured determinants of health ranging from the biophysical environment to the social environment and the healthcare system. This article outlines the process by which place-specific ecologic covariates were selected; data measuring these variables were obtained and geographic boundaries for places were delineated. Issues involved in obtaining and using geographically based ecological data are examined within the context of the reanalysis of the ACS study. Both the ecological fallacy and the atomistic fallacy are addressed and an argument is made for the importance of studying the effects of place-specific variables that are integral or contextual in nature. Issues relating to the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP) are explored with reference to using ZIP codes and data from a variety of sources. It is argued that differences in the geographical scale of variability for various pollutants may prove to be the key to distinguishing between their relative impacts on health and that multilevel analyses are essential for understanding the impact of social and environmental determinants of health. A number of determinants of health are then briefly examined in terms of their association with mortality, the appropriateness of their being measured at the metropolitan scale, and the availability of data for the 1980s from U.S. sources. Finally, the article presents the database of place

  19. Socio-ecological factors correlate with levels of stereotypic behavior in zoo-housed primates.

    PubMed

    Pomerantz, Ori; Meiri, Shai; Terkel, Joseph

    2013-09-01

    Stereotypic behavior often indicates poor welfare. It may develop when the animal's ability to carry out appropriate behavioral responses is limited, despite a high motivation to express them. Behavioral motivations vary across species. Consequently, under similar captive conditions, the sustained inability of animals to express certain behaviors is likely to affect some species more than others. We used a phylogenetic comparative approach to evaluate the socio-ecological factors affecting the manifestation of stereotypic behavior in 24 species of zoo-housed primates. We examined the relationship between two stereotypic behaviors: hair-pulling and pacing, and the species' natural socio-ecological factors and captivity conditions. The degree of stereotypic behaviors was unaffected by phylogenetic relatedness between species. Stereotypic hair-pulling behavior levels were positively correlated with natural group size. Stereotypic pacing levels were positively correlated with the animals' natural day journey length. These findings suggest large-group and wide-ranging primate species are more prone to suffer in captivity. Our findings facilitate the detection of species that are more susceptible to behaving stereotypically in captivity. We suggest that providing appropriate social stimuli, and increasing the complexity of the captive environment rather than enlarging it, are both attainable and expected to improve the animals' welfare. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera) have low infestation levels of the mite Varroa destructor in different ecological regions in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Medina-Flores, C A; Guzmán-Novoa, E; Hamiduzzaman, M M; Aréchiga-Flores, C F; López-Carlos, M A

    2014-02-21

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies of African and European descent were compared for levels of Varroa destructor infestation in 3 different ecological regions in Mexico. The 300 colonies that were studied were located in subtropical, temperate sub-humid, and temperate dry climates. The morphotype and mitotype of adult bees as well as their rates of infestation by varroa mites were determined. Additionally, the number of combs with brood and covered with bees was recorded for each colony. The highest frequency of colonies that were classified as African-derived was found in the subtropical environment, whereas the lowest occurred in the temperate dry region. Overall, the colonies of African genotype had significantly lower mite infestation rates (3.5±0.34%) than the colonies of European genotype (4.7±0.49%) regardless of the region sampled. Significant effects of genotype and region on Varroa infestation rates were evident, and there were no differences in bee population or capped brood between genotypes. Mite infestation levels were significantly lower in the colonies of the temperate dry region than in the colonies of the other 2 regions. These results are discussed within the context of results from studies that were previously conducted in Brazil. This is the first study that demonstrates the effects of Africanization and ecological environment on V. destructor infestation rates in honey bee colonies in North America.

  1. [Ecology and ecologies].

    PubMed

    Valera, Luca

    2011-01-01

    Ecology (from the Greek words οιχοσ, "house" and λογια "study of") is the science of the "house", since it studies the environments where we live. There are three main ways of thinking about Ecology: Ecology as the study of interactions (between humans and the environment, between humans and living beings, between all living beings, etc.), Ecology as the statistical study of interactions, Ecology as a faith, or rather as a science that requires a metaphysical view. The history of Ecology shows us how this view was released by the label of "folk sense" to gain the epistemological status of science, a science that strives to be interdisciplinary. So, the aim of Ecology is to study, through a scientific methodology, the whole natural world, answering to very different questions, that arise from several fields (Economics, Biology, Sociology, Philosophy, etc.). The plurality of issues that Ecology has to face led, during the Twentieth-century, to branch off in several different "ecologies". As a result, each one of these new approaches chose as its own field a more limited and specific portion of reality.

  2. Will the Effects of Sea-Level Rise Create Ecological Traps for Pacific Island Seabirds?

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Michelle H; Courtot, Karen N; Berkowitz, Paul; Storlazzi, Curt D; Moore, Janet; Flint, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    More than 18 million seabirds nest on 58 Pacific islands protected within vast U.S. Marine National Monuments (1.9 million km2). However, most of these seabird colonies are on low-elevation islands and sea-level rise (SLR) and accompanying high-water perturbations are predicted to escalate with climate change. To understand how SLR may impact protected islands and insular biodiversity, we modeled inundation and wave-driven flooding of a globally important seabird rookery in the subtropical Pacific. We acquired new high-resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) and used the Delft3D wave model and ArcGIS to model wave heights and inundation for a range of SLR scenarios (+0.5, +1.0, +1.5, and +2.0 m) at Midway Atoll. Next, we classified vegetation to delineate habitat exposure to inundation and identified how breeding phenology, colony synchrony, and life history traits affect species-specific sensitivity. We identified 3 of 13 species as highly vulnerable to SLR in the Hawaiian Islands and quantified their atoll-wide distribution (Laysan albatross, Phoebastria immutabilis; black-footed albatross, P. nigripes; and Bonin petrel, Pterodroma hypoleuca). Our models of wave-driven flooding forecast nest losses up to 10% greater than passive inundation models at +1.0 m SLR. At projections of + 2.0 m SLR, approximately 60% of albatross and 44% of Bonin petrel nests were overwashed displacing more than 616,400 breeding albatrosses and petrels. Habitat loss due to passive SLR may decrease the carrying capacity of some islands to support seabird colonies, while sudden high-water events directly reduce survival and reproduction. This is the first study to simulate wave-driven flooding and the combined impacts of SLR, groundwater rise, and storm waves on seabird colonies. Our results highlight the need for early climate change planning and restoration of higher elevation seabird refugia to prevent low-lying protected islands from becoming ecological traps in the face of rising

  3. Will the effects of sea-level rise create ecological traps for Pacific Island seabirds?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reynolds, Michelle H.; Courtot, Karen; Berkowitz, Paul; Storlazzi, Curt; Moore, Janet; Flint, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    More than 18 million seabirds nest on 58 Pacific islands protected within vast U.S. Marine National Monuments (1.9 million km2). However, most of these seabird colonies are on low-elevation islands and sea-level rise (SLR) and accompanying high-water perturbations are predicted to escalate with climate change. To understand how SLR may impact protected islands and insular biodiversity, we modeled inundation and wave-driven flooding of a globally important seabird rookery in the subtropical Pacific. We acquired new high-resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) and used the Delft3D wave model and ArcGIS to model wave heights and inundation for a range of SLR scenarios (+0.5, +1.0, +1.5, and +2.0 m) at Midway Atoll. Next, we classified vegetation to delineate habitat exposure to inundation and identified how breeding phenology, colony synchrony, and life history traits affect species-specific sensitivity. We identified 3 of 13 species as highly vulnerable to SLR in the Hawaiian Islands and quantified their atoll-wide distribution (Laysan albatross, Phoebastria immutabilis; black-footed albatross, P. nigripes; and Bonin petrel, Pterodroma hypoleuca). Our models of wave-driven flooding forecast nest losses up to 10% greater than passive inundation models at +1.0 m SLR. At projections of + 2.0 m SLR, approximately 60% of albatross and 44% of Bonin petrel nests were overwashed displacing more than 616,400 breeding albatrosses and petrels. Habitat loss due to passive SLR may decrease the carrying capacity of some islands to support seabird colonies, while sudden high-water events directly reduce survival and reproduction. This is the first study to simulate wave-driven flooding and the combined impacts of SLR, groundwater rise, and storm waves on seabird colonies. Our results highlight the need for early climate change planning and restoration of higher elevation seabird refugia to prevent low-lying protected islands from becoming ecological traps in the face of

  4. Will the Effects of Sea-Level Rise Create Ecological Traps for Pacific Island Seabirds?

    PubMed Central

    Reynolds, Michelle H.; Courtot, Karen N.; Berkowitz, Paul; Storlazzi, Curt D.; Moore, Janet; Flint, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    More than 18 million seabirds nest on 58 Pacific islands protected within vast U.S. Marine National Monuments (1.9 million km2). However, most of these seabird colonies are on low-elevation islands and sea-level rise (SLR) and accompanying high-water perturbations are predicted to escalate with climate change. To understand how SLR may impact protected islands and insular biodiversity, we modeled inundation and wave-driven flooding of a globally important seabird rookery in the subtropical Pacific. We acquired new high-resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) and used the Delft3D wave model and ArcGIS to model wave heights and inundation for a range of SLR scenarios (+0.5, +1.0, +1.5, and +2.0 m) at Midway Atoll. Next, we classified vegetation to delineate habitat exposure to inundation and identified how breeding phenology, colony synchrony, and life history traits affect species-specific sensitivity. We identified 3 of 13 species as highly vulnerable to SLR in the Hawaiian Islands and quantified their atoll-wide distribution (Laysan albatross, Phoebastria immutabilis; black-footed albatross, P. nigripes; and Bonin petrel, Pterodroma hypoleuca). Our models of wave-driven flooding forecast nest losses up to 10% greater than passive inundation models at +1.0 m SLR. At projections of + 2.0 m SLR, approximately 60% of albatross and 44% of Bonin petrel nests were overwashed displacing more than 616,400 breeding albatrosses and petrels. Habitat loss due to passive SLR may decrease the carrying capacity of some islands to support seabird colonies, while sudden high-water events directly reduce survival and reproduction. This is the first study to simulate wave-driven flooding and the combined impacts of SLR, groundwater rise, and storm waves on seabird colonies. Our results highlight the need for early climate change planning and restoration of higher elevation seabird refugia to prevent low-lying protected islands from becoming ecological traps in the face of rising

  5. Study on ecological conservation planning of Xianyue Park in Xiamen City, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Naizhong; Xi, Rong; Ren, Tingyan; Zhao, Peng; Chuai, Zeyao

    2017-08-01

    The paper discusses the current situation and existing problems of ecological restoration and tourist infrastructure development of Xiamen Xianyue Park located in Xiamen Island, China. Issues of ecosystem restoration and landscape improvement, restoring habitats, and ecosystem management system are analyzed. Options of further optimization of the tourist-targeted infrastructure are proposed, which take into account the ecological system and landscape pattern optimization, promotion of ecotourism, and implementation of the ecological management system. The particular solution envisages the park zoning with three primary zones (ecological protection, ecological buffer, and general activity zones) and five secondary ones (scenic landscape, ecotourism, religious activity, buildings and structures, and entertainment zones). By integrating the ecological principles into other land use objectives, taking full advantage of the park ecological and cultural heritage, and improving its ecological management, it is expected to provide the ecological restoration of the park under study and optimize its contribution to the regional economic and social development.

  6. Ecological and physiological factors affecting brood patch area and prolactin levels in arctic-nesting geese

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jonsson, J.E.; Afton, A.D.; Alisauskas, R.T.; Bluhm, C.K.; El Halawani, M.E.

    2006-01-01

    We investigated effects of ecological and physiological factors on brood patch area and prolactin levels in free-ranging Lesser Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens caerulescens; hereafter “Snow Geese”) and Ross's Geese (C. rossii). On the basis of the body-size hypothesis, we predicted that the relationships between prolactin levels, brood patch area, and body condition would be stronger in Ross's Geese than in the larger Snow Geese. We found that brood patch area was positively related to clutch volume and inversely related to prolactin levels in Ross's Geese, but not in Snow Geese. Nest size, nest habitat, and first egg date did not affect brood patch area in either species. Prolactin levels increased as incubation progressed in female Snow Geese, but this relationship was not significant in Ross's Geese. Prolactin levels and body condition (as indexed by size-adjusted body mass) were inversely related in Ross's Geese, but not in Snow Geese. Our findings are consistent with the prediction that relationships between prolactin levels, brood patch area, and body condition are relatively stronger in Ross's Geese, because they mobilize endogenous reserves at faster rates than Snow Geese.

  7. Beyond urban legends: an emerging framework of urban ecology, as illustrated by the Baltimore Ecosystem Study

    Treesearch

    Steward T.A. Pickett; Mary L. Cadenasso; J. Morgan Grove; Peter M. Groffman; Lawrence E. Band; Christopher G. Boone; William R., Jr. Burch; Susan B. Grimmond; John Hom; Jennifer C. Jenkins; Neely L. Law; Charles H. Nilon; Richard V. Pouyat; Katalin Szlavecz; Paige S. Warren; Matthew A. Wilson

    2008-01-01

    The emerging discipline of urban ecology is shifting focus from ecological processes embedded within cities to integrative studies of large urban areas as biophysical-social complexes. Yet this discipline lacks a theory. Results from the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, part of the Long Term Ecological Research Network, expose new assumptions and test existing assumptions...

  8. ELF communications system ecological monitoring program: Michigan bird studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanowski, Joann M.; Niemi, Gerald J.; Blake, John G.

    1994-10-01

    The U.S. Navy has completed a program monitoring flora, fauna, and ecological relationships for possible effects from electromagnetic fields produced by its Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) Communications System. This report documents studies of the resident and migratory birds in Michigan. Researchers from the University of Minnesota,Duluth (UMD) used a line-transect method to simultaneously census the avian community present in areas near (treatment) and far (reference) from the Michigan transmitter. Monthly censuses (May to September) were performed annually from 1986 through 1993. Data collected over the entire period of study were analyzed using repeated analysis of variance. Study parameters included total species richness, species abundance, abundance of common bird species, and abundance of birds within selected guilds. Analyses showed a few statistically significant changes in the intersite relationship of parameters over time; however, the pattern of changes was not related to EM exposures. The number of significant changes was small, and not greater than that expected to occur by chance alone. Study results in Michigan are similar to those obtained by UMD for surveys performed near the Wisconsin transmitter UMD researchers conclude no effects on avian ecology from operation of the ELF Communications System.

  9. Dog ecology and population studies in Lagos State, Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Hambolu, Sunday Emmanuel; Dzikwi, Asabe A; Kwaga, Jacob K P; Kazeem, Haruna M; Umoh, Jarlath U; Hambolu, Dupe A

    2014-02-14

    Dog population dynamics have a major impact upon the effectiveness of rabies control strategies. As such, understanding domestic dog ecology has been recognized as central to the design of effective rabies control programmes. This study was conducted to determine the dog ecology in Lagos State using compound dog count and street dog count in the three senatorial districts (Lagos West, East and Central) of Lagos State from February, 2011 to January, 2012. A total of 546 questionnaires were distributed for the compound dog count and all were completed and returned. Various aspects of dog ecology were determined, including size, sex, breed of the dog population, management of dogs and rabies awareness among the respondents. Out of the 546 compounds surveyed, 518 (94.87%) owned at least one dog. A total of 1,427 dogs were counted from the street counts while a total of 1,447 dogs (2.8 dogs/compound) were counted from the compound count. The dogs comprised of 583 males and 864 females, out of which 64.10% are confined. The dog vaccination coverage in the dog population surveyed was 64.10% and administered majorly (91.30%) by veterinarians. Security (60%) and pets (26%) were the major reasons for keeping dogs. Majority (88.80%) of the respondents were aware of rabies and its mode of transmission, but still believed in the use of concoctions (40.40%), herbs (19.90%) and consumption of the organ of the offending dog (11.50%) for the treatment of rabies. The findings of this study showed a male: female ratio of dog to be 1:1.5 and a dog: human ratio of 1:5.6. There was also a responsible dog ownership as majority of the respondents do confine, vaccinate and provide food for their dogs. Vaccination coverage of the total dog population was however below the 70-80% target recommended by the World Health Organization to achieve herd immunity.

  10. Molecular ecology studies of species radiations: current research gaps, opportunities, and challenges.

    PubMed

    de la Harpe, Marylaure; Paris, Margot; Karger, Dirk N; Rolland, Jonathan; Kessler, Michael; Salamin, Nicolas; Lexer, Christian

    2017-03-18

    Understanding the drivers and limits of species radiations is a crucial goal of evolutionary genetics and molecular ecology, yet research on this topic has been hampered by the notorious difficulty of connecting micro- and macro-evolutionary approaches to studying the drivers of diversification. To chart the current research gaps, opportunities, and challenges of molecular ecology approaches to studying radiations, we examine the literature in the journal Molecular Ecology and re-visit recent high-profile examples of evolutionary genomic research on radiations. We find that available studies of radiations are highly unevenly distributed among taxa, with many ecologically important and species-rich organismal groups remaining severely understudied, including arthropods, plants, and fungi. Most studies employed molecular methods suitable over either short or long evolutionary time scales, such as microsatellites or Restriction site Associated DNA sequencing (RAD-seq) in the former case and conventional amplicon sequencing of organellar DNA in the latter. The potential of molecular ecology studies to address and resolve patterns and processes around the species level in radiating groups of taxa is currently limited primarily by sample size and a dearth of information on radiating nuclear genomes as opposed to organellar ones. Based on our literature survey and personal experience, we suggest possible ways forward in the coming years. We touch on the potential and current limitations of whole genome sequencing (WGS) in studies of radiations. We suggest that WGS and targeted ('capture') resequencing emerge as the methods of choice for scaling up the sampling of populations, species, and genomes, including currently understudied organismal groups and the genes or regulatory elements expected to matter most to species radiations. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  11. Study on the Change of Landscape and Ecology of Sitou Forestland by Using Remotely Sensed and Ecological Investigation Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Chiang; Lee, Chin-Ling; Liao, Huan-Chang; Tien, Pei-Ling; Huang, Yi-Ru; Tseng, Yu-San; Lai, Jing Rong; Shen, Chieh-Wen

    Due to natural disasters and anthropogenic disturbances in recent years, the landscape in Central Taiwan suffered certain kind of changes. In particular, landslides caused by earthquake and heavy rainfall, improper use and development in slope land enlarge and speed up the change of forest landscape. Few studies were focused on the interactions and relationships between change of ecosystem and landscape in Taiwan after natural disturbances in recent years. In this study, a pioneering research is accomplished by using Landscape Indices (LI) derived from FORMOSAT II Satellite imagery and GIS spatial coverage to describe the possible pattern of change between landscape and ecology. Located at the mountainous area in central Taiwan, ranging from 800 to 1,800 meter and comprising 2,349 hectares in size, Sitou Tract of the National Taiwan University Experimental Forest is selected as the study site. Four satellite images through 2004 to 2007 are used to compute LI, and analyzed with ecological investigation collected from five ground sites. The preliminary result shows that by using remotely sensed data and ground investigation, it is feasible to monitor and assess the relationship between change of landscape and ecology in forests. It indicates that the recovery and restoration of vegetation after the human and natural disturbances highly correlates with the value of NDVI (Normalized Differential Vegetation Index), the composition and diversity of birds and insects are highly correlated with the diversity of patches. The values of SHDI (Shannon Diversity Index), SIDI (Simpson Diversity Index), SHEI (Shannon Evenness Index) and SIEI (Simpson Evenness Index) show that the diversity of landscape is growing while the evenness of landscape remains stable between 2004 and 2007. The ecological investigation in 2006 and 2007 indicated that the species and relative abundance is decreasing. The proof for the obvious relationship between the change of ecology and landscape metrics

  12. Nested Levels of Adaptive Divergence: The Genetic Basis of Craniofacial Divergence and Ecological Sexual Dimorphism

    PubMed Central

    Parsons, Kevin J.; Wang, Jason; Anderson, Graeme; Albertson, R. Craig

    2015-01-01

    Exemplary systems for adaptive divergence are often characterized by their large degrees of phenotypic variation. This variation represents the outcome of generations of diversifying selection. However, adaptive radiations can also contain a hierarchy of differentiation nested within them where species display only subtle phenotypic differences that still have substantial effects on ecology, function, and ultimately fitness. Sexual dimorphisms are also common in species displaying adaptive divergence and can be the result of differential selection between sexes that produce ecological differences between sexes. Understanding the genetic basis of subtle variation (between certain species or sexes) is therefore important for understanding the process of adaptive divergence. Using cichlids from the dramatic adaptive radiation of Lake Malawi, we focus on understanding the genetic basis of two aspects of relatively subtle phenotypic variation. This included a morphometric comparison of the patterns of craniofacial divergence between two ecologically similar species in relation to the larger adaptive radiation of Malawi, and male–female morphological divergence between their F2 hybrids. We then genetically map craniofacial traits within the context of sex and locate several regions of the genome that contribute to variation in craniofacial shape that is relevant to sexual dimorphism within species and subtle divergence between closely related species, and possibly to craniofacial divergence in the Malawi radiation as a whole. To enhance our search for candidate genes we take advantage of population genomic data and a genetic map that is anchored to the cichlid genome to determine which genes within our QTL regions are associated with SNPs that are alternatively fixed between species. This study provides a holistic understanding of the genetic underpinnings of adaptive divergence in craniofacial shape. PMID:26038365

  13. How phylogeny and foraging ecology drive the level of chemosensory exploration in lizards and snakes.

    PubMed

    Baeckens, S; Van Damme, R; Cooper, W E

    2017-03-01

    The chemical senses are crucial for squamates (lizards and snakes). The extent to which squamates utilize their chemosensory system, however, varies greatly among taxa and species' foraging strategies, and played an influential role in squamate evolution. In lizards, 'Scleroglossa' evolved a state where species use chemical cues to search for food (active foragers), whereas 'Iguania' retained the use of vision to hunt prey (ambush foragers). However, such strict dichotomy is flawed as shifts in foraging modes have occurred in all clades. Here, we attempted to disentangle effects of foraging ecology from phylogenetic trait conservatism as leading cause of the disparity in chemosensory investment among squamates. To do so, we used species' tongue-flick rate (TFR) in the absence of ecological relevant chemical stimuli as a proxy for its fundamental level of chemosensory investigation, that is baseline TFR. Based on literature data of nearly 100 species and using phylogenetic comparative methods, we tested whether and how foraging mode and diet affect baseline TFR. Our results show that baseline TFR is higher in active than ambush foragers. Although baseline TFRs appear phylogenetically stable in some lizard taxa, that is a consequence of concordant stability of foraging mode: when foraging mode shifts within taxa, so does baseline TFR. Also, baseline TFR is a good predictor of prey chemical discriminatory ability, as we established a strong positive relationship between baseline TFR and TFR in response to prey. Baseline TFR is unrelated to diet. Essentially, foraging mode, not phylogenetic relatedness, drives convergent evolution of similar levels of squamate chemosensory investigation. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  14. Remote sensing of landscape-level ecological attributes at Ray Roberts Lake in north Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, David P.

    measures or between MSS data and any vegetation measures. Remote sensing provided information suitable for large scale projects concerning landscape-level ecological issues. Rectification and classification accuracies were the primary factors influencing meaningful interpretation. Project goals should determine the scale of remotely sensed data and acceptable level of accuracy.

  15. Unmanned Aircraft Systems complement biologging in spatial ecology studies.

    PubMed

    Mulero-Pázmány, Margarita; Barasona, Jose Ángel; Acevedo, Pelayo; Vicente, Joaquín; Negro, Juan José

    2015-11-01

    The knowledge about the spatial ecology and distribution of organisms is important for both basic and applied science. Biologging is one of the most popular methods for obtaining information about spatial distribution of animals, but requires capturing the animals and is often limited by costs and data retrieval. Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) have proven their efficacy for wildlife surveillance and habitat monitoring, but their potential contribution to the prediction of animal distribution patterns and abundance has not been thoroughly evaluated. In this study, we assess the usefulness of UAS overflights to (1) get data to model the distribution of free-ranging cattle for a comparison with results obtained from biologged (GPS-GSM collared) cattle and (2) predict species densities for a comparison with actual density in a protected area. UAS and biologging derived data models provided similar distribution patterns. Predictions from the UAS model overestimated cattle densities, which may be associated with higher aggregated distributions of this species. Overall, while the particular researcher interests and species characteristics will influence the method of choice for each study, we demonstrate here that UAS constitute a noninvasive methodology able to provide accurate spatial data useful for ecological research, wildlife management and rangeland planning.

  16. Toward Guidelines for Population-level Ecological Risk Assessment: Results of a U.S. EPA Risk Assessment Forum Workshop

    EPA Science Inventory

    The choice of levels of biological organization reflected in ecological risk assessment (ERA) is receiving increasing attention. Most ERAs conducted for chemicals by the U.S. EPA, and indeed by most organizations worldwide, focus on organism-level attributes (e.g., survival, gro...

  17. Toward Guidelines for Population-level Ecological Risk Assessment: Results of a U.S. EPA Risk Assessment Forum Workshop

    EPA Science Inventory

    The choice of levels of biological organization reflected in ecological risk assessment (ERA) is receiving increasing attention. Most ERAs conducted for chemicals by the U.S. EPA, and indeed by most organizations worldwide, focus on organism-level attributes (e.g., survival, gro...

  18. A Critical Review of Some Ecological Studies on Scientific Journals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamazaki, Shigeaki

    There have been hot discussions about the number and the rate of growth of scientific journals. The purpose of this review is intended to provide a critical assessment of those ecological studies on scientific journals. In 1961, Price presented his famous graph curve, and noted that rate of growth of journals had been fairly consisted at 5 per cent annum for nearly 300 years. But Price's graph curve has some primary error, and the author suggest to examine carefully his study. There is another problem that the loose definition of scientific journals is used. The author try to give a clear definition on the term ‘scientific journals’, and try to reestimate historically the growth rate in numbers of current scientific journals, referring several reliable studies previously conducted. The Author's estimation is about 1.85 per cent a year from the last of 18 century.

  19. ELF communications system ecological monitoring program: Aquatic ecosystem studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burton, Thomas M.; Stout, R. J.; Winterstein, Scott; Coon, Thomas; Novinger, Doug

    1994-11-01

    The U.S. Navy has completed a program that monitored biota and ecological miationships for possible effects from electromagnetic (EM) fields produced by its Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) Communications System. This report documents the results and conclusions of aquatic studies conducted near its transmitting antenna in Michigan. From 1982 through 1993 researchers from the Michigan State University (MSU) monitored aquatic flora and fauna on matched reaches of the Ford River. A treatment site was located immediately adjacent to the antenna, whereas a control site was situated at a distance downstream. Functional and structural components of the periphyton, insect, and fish communities were monitored. The research team also measured ambient factors such as temperature, discharge, and water quality indicators. Data were analyzed using a variety of statistical tests; however, BACI techniques were emphasized. Results indicated a relative increase in algal biomass at the treatment site after the antenna became fully operational, but no changes in any other parameter or organism. MSU concludes that algal biomass was affected by ELF EM exposure. Since neither the other ecological characteristics of the periphyton nor the insect and fish communities showed any effects, MSU infers little EM impact to riverine habitats.

  20. Studying sea otter foraging ecology: A review of some methodological approaches

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tinker, M.T.; Estes, J.A.; Bodkin, James L.; Staedler, M.M.; Monson, D.H.; Maldini, Daniela; Calkins, Donald; Atkinson, Shannon; Meehan, Rosa

    2004-01-01

    The study of foraging ecology plays a central role in our understanding of animal populations and natural communities, and can also provide information necessary for the effective conservation of rare or endangered species. Sea otter researchers are interested in foraging ecology for many different reasons, but for heuristic purposes we identify three general types of research questions: (1) questions about the implications of foraging decisions to individual fitness, the evolutionary significance of feeding strategies, and the selective forces and constraints that shape an individual’s diet and feeding behavior; (2) questions about the population- level implications of foraging ecology; for example, how is the status of a population (with respect to carrying capacity) reflected by the foraging success or diet composition of individuals within the population (Fig. 1); and (3) questions about the community-level consequences of sea otter foraging. Sea otters provide an excellent study system for all three types of questions because they are a tractable species to study (generally feeding near shore and bringing all prey to the surface to consume), they exhibit a wide range of diets and foraging strategies in different habitats and at different population densities, they tend to have strong trophic interactions with their prey species, and their foraging behavior can have profound effects on community structure in the nearshore marine community.

  1. Level and ecological risk of four common metals in surface water along the Qinhuangdao coastal areas, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Liping; Lei, Kun; Qiao, Yanzhen; Hao, Chenlin

    2017-01-01

    Heavy metals have been a widespread environmental contamination. Due to their associated ecological risk, the presence in water environment has attracted broad attention to public. Here 4 most common metals including copper (Cu), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd) and zinc (Zn) were determined in surface water along the Qinhuangdao coastal areas, China. And their ecological risk was assessed using species sensitivity distribution (SSD) method. Total 12 stations were designed near the main estuary in the study area. The results showed that the concentrations of Cu, Pb, Cd and Zn of surface water were in the range of 847.81-1602.81µg/L, 0.42-1.59µg/L, 1.82-7.99µg/L and 26.9 -59.36µg/L, respectively. According to the National Seawater Quality Standard of China (GB3097-1997), Cu concentration in each station was much higher than the standard value of IV level (50µg/L), thus Cu could not even met the lowest level of water quality. In contrast, Pb met the I or II level of water quality, Cd and Zn met the II or III level. The HC5 (hazardous concentration for 5% of species) of each metal was obtained from their corresponding SSD curve. In case of Cu and Zn, the concentration at all sites exceeded their HC5 values, suggesting both of them had adverse effect on the aquatic organism, especially Cu. While Pb concentration at all sites was much lower than its HC5 value, thus Pb had no negative effect on aquatic life. In case of Cd, the concentration at 5 sites was higher than its HC5 value, and the other 7 sites was lower than its HC5 value, suggesting that adverse effect only occur at partial region in the study area. The RQ (risk quotient) value of Cu varied between 1355.41 and 2621.28, far larger than 1, indicating that 100% of sites had a much higher risk. The RQ of Zn varied between 6.06 and 13.88 (>1) indicating that Zn had a high risk in the study area. In case of Cd, the RQ ranged from 0.94 to 4.41 and about 92% of sites were larger than 1, suggesting that Cd had a high risk

  2. Using ecology to inform physiology studies: implications of high population density in the laboratory.

    PubMed

    Newman, Amy E M; Edmunds, Nicholas B; Ferraro, Shannon; Heffell, Quentin; Merritt, Gillian M; Pakkala, Jesse J; Schilling, Cory R; Schorno, Sarah

    2015-03-15

    Conspecific density is widely recognized as an important ecological factor across the animal kingdom; however, the physiological impacts are less thoroughly described. In fact, population density is rarely mentioned as a factor in physiological studies on captive animals and, when it is infrequently addressed, the animals used are reared and housed at densities far above those in nature, making the translation of results from the laboratory to natural systems difficult. We survey the literature to highlight this important ecophysiological gap and bring attention to the possibility that conspecific density prior to experimentation may be a critical factor influencing results. Across three taxa: mammals, birds, and fish, we present evidence from ecology that density influences glucocorticoid levels, immune function, and body condition with the intention of stimulating discussion and increasing consideration of population density in physiology studies. We conclude with several directives to improve the applicability of insights gained in the laboratory to organisms in the natural environment.

  3. Packaging and distributing ecological data from multisite studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, R. J.; Voorhees, L. D.; Field, J. M.; Gentry, M. J.

    1996-01-01

    Studies of global change and other regional issues depend on ecological data collected at multiple study areas or sites. An information system model is proposed for compiling diverse data from dispersed sources so that the data are consistent, complete, and readily available. The model includes investigators who collect and analyze field measurements, science teams that synthesize data, a project information system that collates data, a data archive center that distributes data to secondary users, and a master data directory that provides broader searching opportunities. Special attention to format consistency is required, such as units of measure, spatial coordinates, dates, and notation for missing values. Often data may need to be enhanced by estimating missing values, aggregating to common temporal units, or adding other related data such as climatic and soils data. Full documentation, an efficient data distribution mechanism, and an equitable way to acknowledge the original source of data are also required.

  4. Selected Nucleic Acid Precursors in Studies of Aquatic Microbial Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Karl, David M.

    1982-01-01

    The use of radiolabeled nucleosides and nucleic acid bases to estimate the rates of RNA and DNA synthesis in naturally occurring microbial assemblages requires numerous assumptions, several of which are evaluated herein. Comparative time series analyses of the uptake and incorporation, labeling specificity, and extent of catabolism of [2-3H]adenine, [methyl-3H]thymidine, and [5-3H]uridine were performed with pure bacterial and algal cultures, as well as with environmental samples. [3H]thymidine yielded the most variable results, especially with regard to the extent of nonspecific macromolecular labeling. The pathways of [3H]thymidine and [3H]adenine metabolism were further evaluated by isotope dilution methods and by comparing incorporation patterns of thymidine labeled at different sites of the molecule. The advantages, uncertainties, and limitations of the use of radiolabeled nucleic acid precursors in studies of aquatic microbial ecology are discussed and a prospectus for future studies presented. PMID:16346114

  5. Ecological and sociological considerations of wind energy: A multidisciplinary study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bicknell, Lucas John

    Wind energy is quickly becoming a critical technology for providing Americans with renewable energy, and rapid construction of wind facilities may have impacts on both wildlife and human communities. Understanding both the social and ecological issues related to wind energy development could provide a framework for effectively meeting human energy needs while conserving species biodiversity. In this research I looked at two aspects of wind energy development: public attitudes toward wind energy development and wind facility impacts on local bat populations. These papers present aspects of wind energy development that have been the subject of increasing study. This preliminary research is intended to demonstrate the responsibility we have to making well-informed decisions as we continue to expand wind energy development. Additionally, I hope to generate interest in interdisciplinary study as a means to broaden the scope of research by making use of the diverse tools available within different disciplines.

  6. Dog Ecology and Population Studies in Lagos State, Nigeria

    PubMed Central

    Hambolu, Sunday E.; Dzikwi, Asabe A.; Kwaga, Jacob K.P.; Kazeem, Haruna M.; Umoh, Jarlath U.; Hambolu, Dupe A.

    2014-01-01

    Dog population dynamics have a major impact upon the effectiveness of rabies control strategies. As such, understanding domestic dog ecology has been recognized as central to the design of effective rabies control programmes. This study was conducted to determine the dog ecology in Lagos State using compound dog count and street dog count in the three senatorial districts (Lagos West, East and Central) of Lagos State from February, 2011 to January, 2012. A total of 546 questionnaires were distributed for the compound dog count and all were completed and returned. Various aspects of dog ecology were determined, including size, sex, breed of the dog population, management of dogs and rabies awareness among the respondents. Out of the 546 compounds surveyed, 518 (94.87%) owned at least one dog. A total of 1,427 dogs were counted from the street counts while a total of 1,447 dogs (2.8 dogs/compound) were counted from the compound count. The dogs comprised of 583 males and 864 females, out of which 64.10% are confined. The dog vaccination coverage in the dog population surveyed was 64.10% and administered majorly (91.30%) by veterinarians. Security (60%) and pets (26%) were the major reasons for keeping dogs. Majority (88.80%) of the respondents were aware of rabies and its mode of transmission, but still believed in the use of concoctions (40.40%), herbs (19.90%) and consumption of the organ of the offending dog (11.50%) for the treatment of rabies. The findings of this study showed a male: female ratio of dog to be 1:1.5 and a dog: human ratio of 1:5.6. There was also a responsible dog ownership as majority of the respondents do confine, vaccinate and provide food for their dogs. Vaccination coverage of the total dog population was however below the 70-80% target recommended by the World Health Organization to achieve herd immunity. PMID:24576383

  7. [Applications of stable isotope analysis in the trophic ecology studies of cephalopods].

    PubMed

    Li, Yun-Kai; Gong, Yi; Chen, Xin-Jun

    2014-05-01

    Cephalopods play an important role in marine food webs, however, knowledge about their complex life history, especially their feeding ecology, remains limited. With the rapidly increasing use of stable isotope analysis (SIA) in ecology, it becomes a powerful tool and complement of traditional methods for investigating the trophic ecology and migration patterns of invertebrates. Here, after summarizing the current methods for trophic ecology investigation of cephalopods, applications of SIA in studying the trophic ecology of cephalopods were reviewed, including the key issues such as standardization of available tissues for SIA analyzing, diet shift and migration patterns of cephalopods, with the aim of advancing its application in the biology of cephalopods in the future.

  8. The legacy of biosphere 2 for the study of biospherics and closed ecological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, J. P.; Nelson, M.; Alling, A.

    The unprecedented challenges of creating Biosphere 2, the world's first laboratory for biospherics, the study of global ecology and long-term closed ecological system dynamics, led to breakthrough developments in many fields, and a deeper understanding of the opportunities and difficulties of material closure. This paper will review accomplishments and challenges, citing some of the key research findings and publications that have resulted from the experiments in Biosphere 2. Engineering accomplishments included development of a technique for variable volume to deal with pressure differences between the facility and outside environment, developing methods of atmospheric leak detection and sealing, while achieving new standards of closure, with an annual atmospheric leakrate of less than 10%, or less than 300 ppm per day. This degree of closure permitted detailed tracking of carbon dioxide, oxygen, and trice gases such as nitrous oxide and ethylene over the seasonal variability of two years. Full closure also necessitated developing new approaches and technologies for complete air, water, and wastewater recycle and reuse within the facility. The development of a soil-based highly productive agricultural system was a first in closed ecological systems, and much was learned about managing a wide variety of crops using non-chemical means of pest and disease control. Closed ecological systems have different temporal biogeochemical cycling and ranges of atmospheric components because of their smaller reservoirs of air, water and soil, and higher concentration of biomass, and Biosphere 2 provided detailed examination and modeling of these accelerated cycles over a period of closure which measured in years. Medical research inside Biosphere 2 included the effects on humans of lowered oxygen: the discovery that human productivity can be maintained with good health with lowered atmospheric oxygen levels could lead to major economies on the design of space stations and

  9. The legacy of Biosphere 2 for the study of biospherics and closed ecological systems.

    PubMed

    Allen, J P; Nelson, M; Alling, A

    2003-01-01

    The unprecedented challenges of creating Biosphere 2, the world's first laboratory for biospherics, the study of global ecology and long-term closed ecological system dynamics, led to breakthrough developments in many fields, and a deeper understanding of the opportunities and difficulties of material closure. This paper will review accomplishments and challenges, citing some of the key research findings and publications that have resulted from the experiments in Biosphere 2. Engineering accomplishments included development of a technique for variable volume to deal with pressure differences between the facility and outside environment, developing methods of atmospheric leak detection and sealing, while achieving new standards of closure, with an annual atmospheric leakrate of less than 10%, or less than 300 ppm per day. This degree of closure permitted detailed tracking of carbon dioxide, oxygen, and trace gases such as nitrous oxide and ethylene over the seasonal variability of two years. Full closure also necessitated developing new approaches and technologies for complete air, water, and wastewater recycle and reuse within the facility. The development of a soil-based highly productive agricultural system was a first in closed ecological systems, and much was learned about managing a wide variety of crops using non-chemical means of pest and disease control. Closed ecological systems have different temporal biogeochemical cycling and ranges of atmospheric components because of their smaller reservoirs of air, water and soil, and higher concentration of biomass, and Biosphere 2 provided detailed examination and modeling of these accelerated cycles over a period of closure which measured in years. Medical research inside Biosphere 2 included the effects on humans of lowered oxygen: the discovery that human productivity can be maintained with good health with lowered atmospheric oxygen levels could lead to major economies on the design of space stations and

  10. Lab experiments for the study of social-ecological systems.

    PubMed

    Janssen, Marco A; Holahan, Robert; Lee, Allen; Ostrom, Elinor

    2010-04-30

    Governance of social-ecological systems is a major policy problem of the contemporary era. Field studies of fisheries, forests, and pastoral and water resources have identified many variables that influence the outcomes of governance efforts. We introduce an experimental environment that involves spatial and temporal resource dynamics in order to capture these two critical variables identified in field research. Previous behavioral experiments of commons dilemmas have found that people are willing to engage in costly punishment, frequently generating increases in gross benefits, contrary to game-theoretical predictions based on a static pay-off function. Results in our experimental environment find that costly punishment is again used but lacks a gross positive effect on resource harvesting unless combined with communication. These findings illustrate the importance of careful generalization from the laboratory to the world of policy.

  11. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) in studies of substance use.

    PubMed

    Shiffman, Saul

    2009-12-01

    Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) is particularly suitable for studying substance use, because use is episodic and thought to be related to mood and context. This article reviews EMA methods in substance use research, focusing on tobacco and alcohol use and relapse, where EMA has been most applied. Common EMA designs combine event-based reports of substance use with time-based assessments. Approaches to data organization and analysis have been very diverse, particularly regarding their treatment of time. Compliance with signaled assessments is often high. Compliance with recording of substance use appears good but is harder to validate. Treatment applications of EMA are emerging. EMA captures substance use patterns not measured by questionnaires or retrospective data and holds promise for substance use research.

  12. Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) in Studies of Substance Use

    PubMed Central

    Shiffman, Saul

    2010-01-01

    Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) is particularly suitable for studying substance use, because use is episodic and thought to be related to mood and context. This paper reviews EMA methods in substance use research, focusing on tobacco and alcohol use and relapse, where EMA has most been applied. Common EMA designs combine event-based reports of substance use with time-based assessments. Approaches to data organization and analysis have been very diverse, particularly regarding their treatment of time. Compliance with signaled assessments is often high. Compliance with recording of substance use appears good, but is harder to validate. Treatment applications of EMA are emerging. EMA captures substance use patterns not measured by questionnaires or retrospective data, and hold promise for substance use research. PMID:19947783

  13. Effect of hypoxia and anoxia on invertebrate behaviour: ecological perspectives from species to community level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riedel, B.; Pados, T.; Pretterebner, K.; Schiemer, L.; Steckbauer, A.; Haselmair, A.; Zuschin, M.; Stachowitsch, M.

    2014-03-01

    Coastal hypoxia and anoxia have become a global key stressor to marine ecosystems, with almost 500 dead zones recorded worldwide. By triggering cascading effects from the individual organism to the community- and ecosystem level, oxygen depletions threaten marine biodiversity and can alter ecosystem structure and function. By integrating both physiological function and ecological processes, animal behaviour is ideal for assessing the stress state of benthic macrofauna to low dissolved oxygen. The initial response of organisms can serve as an early warning signal, while the successive behavioural reactions of key species indicate hypoxia levels and help assess community degradation. Here we document the behavioural responses of a representative spectrum of benthic macrofauna in the natural setting in the Northern Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean). We experimentally induced small-scale anoxia with a benthic chamber in 24 m depth to overcome the difficulties in predicting the onset of hypoxia, which often hinders full documentation in the field. The behavioural reactions were documented with a time-lapse camera. Oxygen depletion elicited significant and repeatable changes in general (visibility, locomotion, body movement and posture, location) and species-specific reactions in virtually all organisms (302 individuals from 32 species and 2 species groups). Most atypical (stress) behaviours were associated with specific oxygen thresholds: arm-tipping in the ophiuroid Ophiothrix quinquemaculata, for example, with the onset of mild hypoxia (< 2 mL O2 L-1), the emergence of polychaetes on the sediment surface with moderate hypoxia (< 1 mL O2 L-1), the emergence of the infaunal sea urchin Schizaster canaliferus on the sediment with severe hypoxia (< 0.5 mL O2 L-1) and heavy body rotations in sea anemones with anoxia. Other species changed their activity patterns, for example the circadian rhythm in the hermit crab Paguristes eremita or the bioherm-associated crab Pisidia

  14. Effect of hypoxia and anoxia on invertebrate behaviour: ecological perspectives from species to community level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riedel, B.; Pados, T.; Pretterebner, K.; Schiemer, L.; Steckbauer, A.; Haselmair, A.; Zuschin, M.; Stachowitsch, M.

    2013-08-01

    Coastal hypoxia and anoxia have become a global key stressor to marine ecosystems, with almost 500 dead zones recorded wordwide. By triggering cascading effects from the individual organism to the community and ecosystem-level, oxygen depletions threat marine biodiversity and can alter ecosystem structure and function. By integrating both physiological function and ecological processes, animal behaviour is ideal for assessing the stress state of benthic macrofauna to low dissolved oxygen. The initial response of organisms can serve as an early-warning signal, while the successive behavioural reactions of key species indicate hypoxia levels and help assess community degradation. Here we document the behavioural responses of a representative spectrum of benthic macrofauna in the natural setting in the Northern Adriatic Sea, Mediterranean. We experimentally induced small-scale anoxia with a benthic chamber in 24 m depth to overcome the difficulties in predicting the onset of hypoxia, which often hinders full documentation in the field. The behavioural reactions were documented with a time-lapse camera. Oxygen depletion elicited significant and repeatable changes in general (visibility, locomotion, body movement and posture, location) and species-specific reactions in virtually all organisms (302 individuals from 32 species and 2 species groups). Most atypical (stress) behaviours were associated with specific oxygen thresholds: arm-tipping in the ophiuroid Ophiothrix quinquemaculata, for example, with the onset of mild hypoxia (< 2 mL O2 L-1), the emergence of polychates on the sediment surface with moderate hypoxia (< 1 mL O2 L-1), the emergence of the infaunal sea urchin Schizaster canaliferus on the sediment with severe hypoxia (< 0.5 mL O2 L-1) and heavy body rotations in sea anemones with anoxia. Other species changed their activity patterns, i.e. circadian rhythm in the hermit crab Paguristes eremita or the bioherm-associated crab Pisidia longimana. Intra- and

  15. [Ecological compensation based on farmers' willingness: A case study of Jingsan County in Hubei Province, China].

    PubMed

    Yu, Liang-liang; Cai, Yin-ying

    2015-01-01

    Farmland protection is a pressing issue in China' s major agricultural regions because of the strategic importance of these regions for national food security. This study quantified the appropriate ecological compensation criteria for farmland protection by way of estimating farmers' opportunity cost and willingness to adopt environment-friendly farming practices. Based on survey data collected from Jingsan County, Hubei Province, a Tobit model was constructed to identify factors affecting farmers' willingness to accept (WTA). The result showed that with appropriate economic compensation for farmland protection, 77.1% and 64.7% of the surveyed households were willing to reduce usage of fertilizers and pesticides. When the reduced rates of fertilizer and pesticide increased from <10% to >50%, farmers' opportunity costs of production respectively increased from 1198 and 5850 yuan to 9698 and 9750 yuan per hectare per year, and their WTA increased from 4750 and 7313 yuan to 9781 and 12393 yuan per hectare per year. Farmers' opportunity cost and WTA in reducing pesticide inputs were larger than those in reducing the same rate of fertilizer inputs, and in each case farmers' WTA was greater than their opportunity cost. A farm' s distance from township, farmers' knowledge about the ecology of farmland, and their expectation to improve the ecological environment of farmland had positive, significant effect on the farmers' WTA to reducing fertilization, while farmers' education level and the overall economic condition of the village had significantly negative effect. The proportion of agriculture income, farmers' knowledge about the ecology of farmland, and their expectation to improve the ecological environment of farmland had positive, significant effect on the farmers' WTA to reducing pesticide, while household' cash income and the overall economic condition of the village had significantly negative effect.

  16. Discovering ecologically relevant knowledge from published studies through geosemantic searching

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    It is easier to search the globe for research on genes of a local plant or animal than to find local field research on that plant’s ecology. While internet applications can find the closest coffee shop, it is difficult to find where the nearest relevant research was conducted. As a result, ecologi...

  17. Association Between Air Temperature and Cancer Death Rates in Florida: An Ecological Study.

    PubMed

    Hart, John

    2015-01-01

    Proponents of global warming predict adverse events due to a slight warming of the planet in the last 100 years. This ecological study tests one of the possible arguments that might support the global warming theory - that it may increase cancer death rates. Thus, average daily air temperature is compared to cancer death rates at the county level in a U.S. state, while controlling for variables of smoking, race, and land elevation. The study revealed that lower cancer death rates were associated with warmer temperatures. Further study is indicated to verify these findings.

  18. Study on decision making of ecological environment protection and sustainable development based on measurement and assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yan-fang; Niu, Ji-qiang; Hu, Chang-jie; Liu, Yao-lin; Nong, Yu; Wei, Li-jun

    2008-10-01

    The key problem for implementation of the sustainable development is to design the strategy and policy which incorporates the environmental impacts. This paper puts forward a new model about decision making of ecological environment protection and sustainable development based on estimating and assessment. The environmental carrying capacity and developing intensity of studied area are analyzed, the ecological security and the level of sustainable development are evaluated, and also the constraints are discussed. According to this analysis, the range of Lichuan is divided into four regions. On the foundation of distinctive characteristics of each area, the designation of the industrial development and environment protection have been ensured; after that, the environmental impact of the given strategies has been identified and predicted; finally, several mitigation measures are suggested.

  19. Comparative Study of the Natural Habitat Behaviors of Children with Autism and Children with Down Syndrome: An Ecological Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruble, Lisa Ann

    A study involving eight boys with autism and eight boys with Down syndrome (ages 6-10) with similar adaptive behavior levels used an ecological approach to study the in-depth structure of the behavior stream. Narrative records were collected and analyzed based on duration and frequency of behaviors. Each record was analyzed by marking the behavior…

  20. A Methodology to Evaluate Ecological Resources and Risk Using Two Case Studies at the Department of Energy's Hanford Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael; Bunn, Amoret; Downs, Janelle; Jeitner, Christian; Pittfield, Taryn; Salisbury, Jennifer; Kosson, David

    2017-03-01

    An assessment of the potential risks to ecological resources from remediation activities or other perturbations should involve a quantitative evaluation of resources on the remediation site and in the surrounding environment. We developed a risk methodology to rapidly evaluate potential impact on ecological resources for the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Site in southcentral Washington State. We describe the application of the risk evaluation for two case studies to illustrate its applicability. The ecological assessment involves examining previous sources of information for the site, defining different resource levels from 0 to 5. We also developed a risk rating scale from non-discernable to very high. Field assessment is the critical step to determine resource levels or to determine if current conditions are the same as previously evaluated. We provide a rapid assessment method for current ecological conditions that can be compared to previous site-specific data, or that can be used to assess resource value on other sites where ecological information is not generally available. The method is applicable to other Department of Energy's sites, where its development may involve a range of state regulators, resource trustees, Tribes and other stakeholders. Achieving consistency across Department of Energy's sites for valuation of ecological resources on remediation sites will assure Congress and the public that funds and personnel are being deployed appropriately.

  1. A Methodology to Evaluate Ecological Resources and Risk Using Two Case Studies at the Department of Energy's Hanford Site.

    PubMed

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael; Bunn, Amoret; Downs, Janelle; Jeitner, Christian; Pittfield, Taryn; Salisbury, Jennifer; Kosson, David

    2017-03-01

    An assessment of the potential risks to ecological resources from remediation activities or other perturbations should involve a quantitative evaluation of resources on the remediation site and in the surrounding environment. We developed a risk methodology to rapidly evaluate potential impact on ecological resources for the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Site in southcentral Washington State. We describe the application of the risk evaluation for two case studies to illustrate its applicability. The ecological assessment involves examining previous sources of information for the site, defining different resource levels from 0 to 5. We also developed a risk rating scale from non-discernable to very high. Field assessment is the critical step to determine resource levels or to determine if current conditions are the same as previously evaluated. We provide a rapid assessment method for current ecological conditions that can be compared to previous site-specific data, or that can be used to assess resource value on other sites where ecological information is not generally available. The method is applicable to other Department of Energy's sites, where its development may involve a range of state regulators, resource trustees, Tribes and other stakeholders. Achieving consistency across Department of Energy's sites for valuation of ecological resources on remediation sites will assure Congress and the public that funds and personnel are being deployed appropriately.

  2. Hydrodynamic and Ecological Assessment of Nearshore Restoration: A Modeling Study

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Zhaoqing; Sobocinski, Kathryn L.; Heatwole, Danelle W.; Khangaonkar, Tarang; Thom, Ronald M.; Fuller, Roger

    2010-04-10

    Along the Pacific Northwest coast, much of the estuarine habitat has been diked over the last century for agricultural land use, residential and commercial development, and transportation corridors. As a result, many of the ecological processes and functions have been disrupted. To protect coastal habitats that are vital to aquatic species, many restoration projects are currently underway to restore the estuarine and coastal ecosystems through dike breaches, setbacks, and removals. Information on physical processes and hydrodynamic conditions are critical for the assessment of the success of restoration actions. Restoration of a 160- acre property at the mouth of the Stillaguamish River in Puget Sound has been proposed. The goal is to restore native tidal habitats and estuary-scale ecological processes by removing the dike. In this study, a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model was developed for the Stillaguamish River estuary to simulate estuarine processes. The model was calibrated to observed tide, current, and salinity data for existing conditions and applied to simulate the hydrodynamic responses to two restoration alternatives. Responses were evaluated at the scale of the restoration footprint. Model data was combined with biophysical data to predict habitat responses at the site. Results showed that the proposed dike removal would result in desired tidal flushing and conditions that would support four habitat types on the restoration footprint. At the estuary scale, restoration would substantially increase the proportion of area flushed with freshwater (< 5 ppt) at flood tide. Potential implications of predicted changes in salinity and flow dynamics are discussed relative to the distribution of tidal marsh habitat.

  3. Development of stressor-response models for an ecological risk assessment case study

    SciTech Connect

    Nacci, D.E.; Munns, W.R.; Cayula, S.; Serbst, J.; Johnston, R.K.; Walker, H.A.

    1994-12-31

    An estuarine ecological risk assessment for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (Kittery, ME) is being conducted following the US EPA`s Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA). As part of the Analysis phase of the ERA, laboratory studies were conducted to develop stressor-response models for lead, the primary contaminant of concern. Thirty-day exposures to adult sea urchins, Arbacia punctulata, occurred via food or suspended sediment. Exposure media were amended with lead sulfate to 10--100 or 100--300 times uncontaminated levels for the Feeding or Sediment Experiments, respectively. The sea urchin experimental model was selected because it permitted the measurement of biological endpoints with significance at the population level (e.g., adult survival and reproduction success), including those used in standard marine bioassays (i.e., fertilization and larval development). Feeding Experiment treatments produced few effects. Sediment Experiment treatments resulted in reductions in survival, growth and reproductive output of exposed adults and were directly toxic to early lifestages. However, in uncontaminated sea water, gametes from Sediment Experiment adults fertilized and completed larval development normally. Data from these experimental systems will be used to produce models relating lead exposure to specific biological responses and, ultimately, ecological risk.

  4. Ecological risk perception in the societies in transition: Case study of Baltic States

    SciTech Connect

    Klavins, M.; Cimdins, P.; Rodinov, V.

    1994-12-31

    The state of the environment and human health in countries that arise after the collapse of the USSR in influenced by different factors. The heritage of the previous regime can be characterized with a high environmental pollution level. However the transition from centrally planned to a free market economy is accompanied not only with changes in the political and social system, but also with changes in attitudes and in environmental values. All these processes have been analyzed on example of Baltic states analyzing the changes in ecological risk perception in societies of different economical and political structure. The ecological risk perception at first is associated with education level, especially regarding environmental education. However another important aspect is the perception of ecological risk at level of state policy. Just now this aspect can be regarded as the most important factor in ecological risk perception. Surprisingly low is the role of scientifical expertise in the ecological risk identification.

  5. Plant toxicity testing to derive ecological soil screening levels for cobalt and nickel.

    PubMed

    Kapustka, Lawrence A; Eskew, David; Yocum, Joan M

    2006-03-01

    Phytotoxicity tests were performed to set ecological soil screening levels for cobalt (Co) and nickel (Ni) following the American Society for Testing and Materials international E1963-98 Standard Guide for Conducting Terrestrial Plant Toxicity Tests. Two soils (a modified artificial soil mixed with 5% organic matter, pH 5.01, and a native riverine sandy soil with 0.1% organic matter, pH 6.3) were treated with cobalt(II) chloride or nickel chloride and allowed to age for four weeks before initiating tests. Alfalfa, barley, radish, perennial rye, and brassica were used to determine the appropriate range of concentrations and to select the most sensitive plant species for definitive tests. The tests were designed to have one to three test concentrations below the 20% effects concentration (EC20), and five to six test concentrations above the EC20. Definitive tests for each chemical used two soil matrices, three plant species, and replicates at 10 nominal concentrations, including negative control. Soil chemical concentrations were determined before planting and on completion of the phytotoxicity tests. Threshold responses interpreted as the EC20 for each species endpoint were calculated from regression analyses. The geometric mean of the EC20 values (excluding emergence, mortality, and nodule numbers) for each species resulted in values of 30.6 mg/kg for Co and 27.9 mg/kg for Ni.

  6. Ecological studies of ultraviolet B, vitamin D and cancer since 2000.

    PubMed

    Grant, William B; Mohr, Sharif B

    2009-07-01

    The purpose of this review is to summarize ecological studies of solar ultraviolet B (UVB), vitamin D and cancer since 2000. The journal literature is surveyed and summarized. The ecological approach has been the primary tool used during the past two decades to extend the applicability of the UVB-vitamin D-cancer theory to include at least 18 types of cancer. Many of these studies were conducted in the United States, which has the advantages of availability of reliable age-standardized cancer incidence and mortality rate data for geographic areas at various spatial resolutions, and an asymmetric solar UVB dose pattern, with higher UVB irradiance in the west and lower in the east, at any particular latitude. In addition, indices for other cancer risk-modifying factors are readily available including those for smoking, alcohol consumption, ethnic background, urban/rural residence, socioeconomic status, air pollution, and in limited fashion, diet. The ecological approach has also been used to identify latitudinal variations in cancer mortality rates in Australia, China, Japan, and Spain, and in multicountry studies. It has been used to investigate the relative roles of solar UVB and dietary factors on a global scale. The ecological approach has also been applied to cancer survival. Studies in Norway and England found that individuals diagnosed with cancer in summer or fall, when serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels are highest, had a milder clinical course and longer survival than those diagnosed in winter or spring. These findings provide strong evidence that vitamin D status plays an important role in controlling the outcome of cancer. Support for the UVB-vitamin D-cancer theory is now scientifically strong enough to warrant use of vitamin D in cancer prevention, and as a component of treatment. More research studies would help to explore whether there are benefits beyond the substantial effects that have been observed.

  7. [Study on ecological risk assessment technology of fluoride pollution from arid oasis soil].

    PubMed

    Xue, Su-Yin; Li, Ping; Wang, Sheng-Li; Nan, Zhong-Ren

    2014-03-01

    According to translocation regulation of fluoride in the typical oasis soil-plant system under field, an ecological risk assessment model of fluoride was established, and this model was used to assess ecological risk to fluoride pollution from suburban oasis soils in Baiyin City, which was specifically expressed with the potential ecological risk of bioavailability (ER(bc)) model to assess ecological risk of fluoride pollution in oasis regions. Results showed that the ecological risk indices of fluoride pollution from this region were 1.37-24.81, the level of risk at most sites was high to very high, the average ecological risk index was 11.28, belonged to very high risk. This indicated that in the suburb soil of Baiyin City needs to be concerned about the remediation of fluoride pollution.

  8. Understanding Children and Adolescents’ Victimizations at Multiple Levels: An Ecological Review of the Literature

    PubMed Central

    Sabri, Bushra; Hong, Jun Sung; Campbell, Jacquelyn C.; Cho, Hyunkag

    2013-01-01

    This article examines children and adolescent exposure to violence in various contexts. A systematic review of the literature was conducted to identify the definitions and types of violence reported in studies on victimization using the ecological systems framework. Sources included research studies and/or reports from scholarly journals (n = 140), books (n = 9), conference/workshops (n = 5), and web sources, such as Uniform Crime Reports (n = 23). The findings indicated that research differed in terminologies, conceptual and operational definitions, sample sizes and age group classification for children and adolescents. Further, studies lacked focus on the co-occurrence and inter-relatedness of victimization, and how these factors might affect the outcomes. Many studies employed a cross-sectional design, which limits strong conclusions about the temporal order of victimization experiences and outcomes. Future research efforts need more consistency among researchers in conceptual and operational definitions and the use of more rigorous designs. Increased holistic assessments are critical for effective prevention and intervention strategies for at-risk children and adolescents PMID:24065867

  9. Investigating Cooperative Behavior in Ecological Settings: An EEG Hyperscanning Study

    PubMed Central

    Petti, Manuela; He, Eric J.; De Giusti, Vittorio; He, Bin; Astolfi, Laura; Babiloni, Fabio

    2016-01-01

    The coordinated interactions between individuals are fundamental for the success of the activities in some professional categories. We reported on brain-to-brain cooperative interactions between civil pilots during a simulated flight. We demonstrated for the first time how the combination of neuroelectrical hyperscanning and intersubject connectivity could provide indicators sensitive to the humans’ degree of synchronization under a highly demanding task performed in an ecological environment. Our results showed how intersubject connectivity was able to i) characterize the degree of cooperation between pilots in different phases of the flight, and ii) to highlight the role of specific brain macro areas in cooperative behavior. During the most cooperative flight phases pilots showed, in fact, dense patterns of interbrain connectivity, mainly linking frontal and parietal brain areas. On the contrary, the amount of interbrain connections went close to zero in the non-cooperative phase. The reliability of the interbrain connectivity patterns was verified by means of a baseline condition represented by formal couples, i.e. pilots paired offline for the connectivity analysis but not simultaneously recorded during the flight. Interbrain density was, in fact, significantly higher in real couples with respect to formal couples in the cooperative flight phases. All the achieved results demonstrated how the description of brain networks at the basis of cooperation could effectively benefit from a hyperscanning approach. Interbrain connectivity was, in fact, more informative in the investigation of cooperative behavior with respect to established EEG signal processing methodologies applied at a single subject level. PMID:27124558

  10. Investigating Cooperative Behavior in Ecological Settings: An EEG Hyperscanning Study.

    PubMed

    Toppi, Jlenia; Borghini, Gianluca; Petti, Manuela; He, Eric J; De Giusti, Vittorio; He, Bin; Astolfi, Laura; Babiloni, Fabio

    2016-01-01

    The coordinated interactions between individuals are fundamental for the success of the activities in some professional categories. We reported on brain-to-brain cooperative interactions between civil pilots during a simulated flight. We demonstrated for the first time how the combination of neuroelectrical hyperscanning and intersubject connectivity could provide indicators sensitive to the humans' degree of synchronization under a highly demanding task performed in an ecological environment. Our results showed how intersubject connectivity was able to i) characterize the degree of cooperation between pilots in different phases of the flight, and ii) to highlight the role of specific brain macro areas in cooperative behavior. During the most cooperative flight phases pilots showed, in fact, dense patterns of interbrain connectivity, mainly linking frontal and parietal brain areas. On the contrary, the amount of interbrain connections went close to zero in the non-cooperative phase. The reliability of the interbrain connectivity patterns was verified by means of a baseline condition represented by formal couples, i.e. pilots paired offline for the connectivity analysis but not simultaneously recorded during the flight. Interbrain density was, in fact, significantly higher in real couples with respect to formal couples in the cooperative flight phases. All the achieved results demonstrated how the description of brain networks at the basis of cooperation could effectively benefit from a hyperscanning approach. Interbrain connectivity was, in fact, more informative in the investigation of cooperative behavior with respect to established EEG signal processing methodologies applied at a single subject level.

  11. The industrial ecology of asset management: A case study

    SciTech Connect

    Hunsaker, D.B. Jr.; Curlee, T.R.; Ensminger, J.T.; Rivera, R.G.; Yuracko, K.L.

    1996-09-01

    Closure of materials cycles (one key goal in industrial ecology) to produces environmental and economic benefits. An interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers at ORNL developed a life-cycle approach to examine the environmental and economic aspects of using purchased metal boxes for disposal of low-level radioactive waste vs a proposed process of fabricating boxes from metal already contaminated and destined for disposal as LLRW. This proposal would plug a leak in the steel materials cycle in which steel is removed from the commercial cycle for permanent disposal with LLRW. It was found that fabricating boxes out of the contaminated metal could (1)result in a direct savings of $80 million over prompt total disposal of the metal; (2)add an additional 100 jobs and about $10M/year to the regional economy compared to direct disposal; (3) result in lower particulate matter and SO{sub 2} emissions; (4) face reduced regulatory barriers; and (5)face public acceptance issues in local communities due to perceptions of risk from private sector metal recycling operations.

  12. Cultural Studies and Media Ecology: Meyrowitz's Medium Theory and Carey's Cultural Studies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flayhan, Donna P.

    2001-01-01

    Examines work of two communication and media studies scholars, Joshua Meyrowitz and James Carey. Suggests their studies represent media ecology with analyses of the dynamic interaction between communication, consciousness, and culture. Highlights how their work embodies a North American cultural studies approach to media studies (moving away from…

  13. Inferential consequences of modeling rather than measuring snow accumulation in studies of animal ecology.

    PubMed

    Brennan, Angela; Cross, Paul C; Higgs, Megan; Beckmann, Jon P; Klaver, Robert W; Scurlock, Brandon M; Creel, Scott

    2013-04-01

    It is increasingly common for studies of animal ecology to use model-based predictions of environmental variables as explanatory or predictor variables, even though model prediction uncertainty is typically unknown. To demonstrate the potential for misleading inferences when model predictions with error are used in place of direct measurements, we compared snow water equivalent (SWE) and snow depth as predicted by the Snow Data Assimilation System (SNODAS) to field measurements of SWE and snow depth. We examined locations on elk (Cervus canadensis) winter ranges in western Wyoming, because modeled data such as SNODAS output are often used for inferences on elk ecology. Overall, SNODAS predictions tended to overestimate field measurements, prediction uncertainty was high, and the difference between SNODAS predictions and field measurements was greater in snow shadows for both snow variables compared to non-snow shadow areas. We used a simple simulation of snow effects on the probability of an elk being killed by a predator to show that, if SNODAS prediction uncertainty was ignored, we might have mistakenly concluded that SWE was not an important factor in where elk were killed in predatory attacks during the winter. In this simulation, we were interested in the effects of snow at finer scales (< 1 km2) than the resolution of SNODAS. If bias were to decrease when SNODAS predictions are averaged over coarser scales, SNODAS would be applicable to population-level ecology studies. In our study, however, averaging predictions over moderate to broad spatial scales (9-2200 km2) did not reduce the differences between SNODAS predictions and field measurements. This study highlights the need to carefully evaluate two issues when using model output as an explanatory variable in subsequent analysis: (1) the model's resolution relative to the scale of the ecological question of interest and (2) the implications of prediction uncertainty on inferences when using model predictions

  14. Inferential consequences of modeling rather than measuring snow accumulation in studies of animal ecology

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cross, Paul C.; Klaver, Robert W.; Brennan, Angela; Creel, Scott; Beckmann, Jon P.; Higgs, Megan D.; Scurlock, Brandon M.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract. It is increasingly common for studies of animal ecology to use model-based predictions of environmental variables as explanatory or predictor variables, even though model prediction uncertainty is typically unknown. To demonstrate the potential for misleading inferences when model predictions with error are used in place of direct measurements, we compared snow water equivalent (SWE) and snow depth as predicted by the Snow Data Assimilation System (SNODAS) to field measurements of SWE and snow depth. We examined locations on elk (Cervus canadensis) winter ranges in western Wyoming, because modeled data such as SNODAS output are often used for inferences on elk ecology. Overall, SNODAS predictions tended to overestimate field measurements, prediction uncertainty was high, and the difference between SNODAS predictions and field measurements was greater in snow shadows for both snow variables compared to non-snow shadow areas. We used a simple simulation of snow effects on the probability of an elk being killed by a predator to show that, if SNODAS prediction uncertainty was ignored, we might have mistakenly concluded that SWE was not an important factor in where elk were killed in predatory attacks during the winter. In this simulation, we were interested in the effects of snow at finer scales (2) than the resolution of SNODAS. If bias were to decrease when SNODAS predictions are averaged over coarser scales, SNODAS would be applicable to population-level ecology studies. In our study, however, averaging predictions over moderate to broad spatial scales (9–2200 km2) did not reduce the differences between SNODAS predictions and field measurements. This study highlights the need to carefully evaluate two issues when using model output as an explanatory variable in subsequent analysis: (1) the model’s resolution relative to the scale of the ecological question of interest and (2) the implications of prediction uncertainty on inferences when using model

  15. Organism and population-level ecological models for chemical risk assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological risk assessment typically focuses on animal populations as endpoints for regulatory ecotoxicology. Scientists at USEPA are developing models for animal populations exposed to a wide range of chemicals from pesticides to emerging contaminants. Modeled taxa include aquat...

  16. Organism and population-level ecological models for chemical risk assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological risk assessment typically focuses on animal populations as endpoints for regulatory ecotoxicology. Scientists at USEPA are developing models for animal populations exposed to a wide range of chemicals from pesticides to emerging contaminants. Modeled taxa include aquat...

  17. Assessing the regional ecological security: methodology and a case study for the western Jilin Province, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xiaoyan; Xue, Linfu; Wang, Xikui

    2008-10-01

    Ecological security can be investigated in both broad sense and narrow sense. Because of the wide area and regional discrepancy in influencing factors and ecological background, the investigation on regional environment hasn't been done systematically. Assessment on regional security in fragile region is important content of sustainable development. The western Jilin Province lines in the semi-arid agro-pastoral interweaving belt (APIB),within which agriculture and animal husbandry interplay or frequently alternate with each other. Study on the regional ecological security of this region offer the scientific support for protecting the regional environment and sustainability. This article set up the Pressure-State-Response model according to the interaction between human and environmental system, and assessed the ecological safety degree in the western part of Jilin Province in year 2000, using compound model and Grid method based on GIS and RS. The Ecological Security Index (ESI) was calculated by multilayer synthesis with liner weighting function method, which divided the area into the following five different conditions: highly damaged, moderately damaged, early stages of damage, relative safely, and safety, regarding change of environmental key point as the threshold value that varied under the stress of human activity. The results show that eco-environment in study area is at medial level. The early stage of damage and relative safely level occupies the largest area proportion accounting for 68.61%. Furthermore, the condition in the eastern part is better than that of the western part and the most serious degradation is found in the middle part of the study area. When talking about the ten counties in the region, highly damaged area accounts for a very small percentage. The county that has the widest area of relatively secured area is Qian'an, and that of the smallest is Da'an. The areas of highly damaged area in Tongyu, Zhenlai and Da'an have exceeded 10% and

  18. ECOLOGIC STUDY OF MESOSCALE ENVIRONMENTS WITH EXCESS DISEASE PREVALENCE

    EPA Science Inventory

    This work employs an ecologic epidemiological approach to assess the relationship between environmental stressors and excess disease prevalence in small communities. Specifically, the childhood leukemia cluster in Fallon Nevada is used as an example; heavy metals (tungsten and c...

  19. ECOLOGIC STUDY OF MESOSCALE ENVIRONMENTS WITH EXCESS DISEASE PREVALENCE

    EPA Science Inventory

    This work employs an ecologic epidemiological approach to assess the relationship between environmental stressors and excess disease prevalence in small communities. Specifically, the childhood leukemia cluster in Fallon Nevada is used as an example; heavy metals (tungsten and c...

  20. Relationships between black tea consumption and key health indicators in the world: an ecological study

    PubMed Central

    Beresniak, Ariel; Duru, Gerard; Berger, Genevieve; Bremond-Gignac, Dominique

    2012-01-01

    Objectives The aim of this study was to investigate potential statistical relationships between black tea consumption and key health indicators in the world. The research question is: Does tea consumption is correlated with one or more epidemiological indicators? Design Ecological study using a systematic data-mining approach in which the unit of the analysis is a population of one country. Setting Six variables, black tea consumption data and prevalence data of respiratory diseases, infectious diseases, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, have been studied at a global level. Participants Data from 50 participating countries in the World Health Survey were investigated. Primary and secondary outcomes measures Level of statistical relationships between variables. Results Principal component analysis established a very high contribution of the black tea consumption parameter on the third axis (81%). The correlation circle confirmed that the ‘black tea’ vector was negatively correlated with the diabetes vector and was not correlated with any of the other four health indicators. A linear correlation model then confirmed a significant statistical correlation between high black tea consumption and low diabetes prevalence. Conclusions This innovative study establishes a linear statistical correlation between high black tea consumption and low diabetes prevalence in the world. These results are consistent with biological and physiological studies conducted on the effect of black tea on diabetes and confirm the results of a previous ecological study in Europe. Further epidemiological research and randomised studies are necessary to investigate the causality. PMID:23138107

  1. Ecological genomics meets community-level modelling of biodiversity: mapping the genomic landscape of current and future environmental adaptation.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, Matthew C; Keller, Stephen R

    2015-01-01

    Local adaptation is a central feature of most species occupying spatially heterogeneous environments, and may factor critically in responses to environmental change. However, most efforts to model the response of species to climate change ignore intraspecific variation due to local adaptation. Here, we present a new perspective on spatial modelling of organism-environment relationships that combines genomic data and community-level modelling to develop scenarios regarding the geographic distribution of genomic variation in response to environmental change. Rather than modelling species within communities, we use these techniques to model large numbers of loci across genomes. Using balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera) as a case study, we demonstrate how our framework can accommodate nonlinear responses of loci to environmental gradients. We identify a threshold response to temperature in the circadian clock gene GIGANTEA-5 (GI5), suggesting that this gene has experienced strong local adaptation to temperature. We also demonstrate how these methods can map ecological adaptation from genomic data, including the identification of predicted differences in the genetic composition of populations under current and future climates. Community-level modelling of genomic variation represents an important advance in landscape genomics and spatial modelling of biodiversity that moves beyond species-level assessments of climate change vulnerability. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  2. The pros and cons of ecological risk assessment based on data from different levels of biological organization.

    PubMed

    Rohr, Jason R; Salice, Christopher J; Nisbet, Roger M

    2016-10-01

    Ecological risk assessment (ERA) is the process used to evaluate the safety of manufactured chemicals to the environment. Here we review the pros and cons of ERA across levels of biological organization, including suborganismal (e.g., biomarkers), individual, population, community, ecosystem and landscapes levels. Our review revealed that level of biological organization is often related negatively with ease at assessing cause-effect relationships, ease of high-throughput screening of large numbers of chemicals (it is especially easier for suborganismal endpoints), and uncertainty of the ERA because low levels of biological organization tend to have a large distance between their measurement (what is quantified) and assessment endpoints (what is to be protected). In contrast, level of biological organization is often related positively with sensitivity to important negative and positive feedbacks and context dependencies within biological systems, and ease at capturing recovery from adverse contaminant effects. Some endpoints did not show obvious trends across levels of biological organization, such as the use of vertebrate animals in chemical testing and ease at screening large numbers of species, and other factors lacked sufficient data across levels of biological organization, such as repeatability, variability, cost per study and cost per species of effects assessment, the latter of which might be a more defensible way to compare costs of ERAs than cost per study. To compensate for weaknesses of ERA at any particular level of biological organization, we also review mathematical modeling approaches commonly used to extrapolate effects across levels of organization. Finally, we provide recommendations for next generation ERA, submitting that if there is an ideal level of biological organization to conduct ERA, it will only emerge if ERA is approached simultaneously from the bottom of biological organization up as well as from the top down, all while employing

  3. New frontiers in nematode ecology.

    PubMed

    Ferris, H

    1993-09-01

    Future areas of emphasis for research and scholarship in nematode ecology are indicated by pressing agricultural and environmental issues, by new directions in applied nematology, and by current technological advances. Studies in nematode ecology must extend beyond observation, counting, and simple statistical analysis. Experimentation and the testing of hypotheses are needed for understanding the biological mechanisms of ecological systems. Opportunities for fruitful experimentation in nematode ecology are emerging at the ecosystem, community, population, and individual levels. Nematode ecologists will best promote their field of study by closely monitoring and participating in the advances, initiatives, developments, and directions in the larger field of ecology.

  4. New Frontiers in Nematode Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Ferris, Howard

    1993-01-01

    Future areas of emphasis for research and scholarship in nematode ecology are indicated by pressing agricultural and environmental issues, by new directions in applied nematology, and by current technological advances. Studies in nematode ecology must extend beyond observation, counting, and simple statistical analysis. Experimentation and the testing of hypotheses are needed for understanding the biological mechanisms of ecological systems. Opportunities for fruitful experimentation in nematode ecology are emerging at the ecosystem, community, population, and individual levels. Nematode ecologists will best promote their field of study by closely monitoring and participating in the advances, initiatives, developments, and directions in the larger field of ecology. PMID:19279783

  5. Genetic and ecological studies of animals in Chernobyl and Fukushima.

    PubMed

    Mousseau, Timothy A; Møller, Anders P

    2014-01-01

    Recent advances in genetic and ecological studies of wild animal populations in Chernobyl and Fukushima have demonstrated significant genetic, physiological, developmental, and fitness effects stemming from exposure to radioactive contaminants. The few genetic studies that have been conducted in Chernobyl generally show elevated rates of genetic damage and mutation rates. All major taxonomic groups investigated (i.e., birds, bees, butterflies, grasshoppers, dragonflies, spiders, mammals) displayed reduced population sizes in highly radioactive parts of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. In Fukushima, population censuses of birds, butterflies, and cicadas suggested that abundances were negatively impacted by exposure to radioactive contaminants, while other groups (e.g., dragonflies, grasshoppers, bees, spiders) showed no significant declines, at least during the first summer following the disaster. Insufficient information exists for groups other than insects and birds to assess effects on life history at this time. The differences observed between Fukushima and Chernobyl may reflect the different times of exposure and the significance of multigenerational mutation accumulation in Chernobyl compared to Fukushima. There was considerable variation among taxa in their apparent sensitivity to radiation and this reflects in part life history, physiology, behavior, and evolutionary history. Interestingly, for birds, population declines in Chernobyl can be predicted by historical mitochondrial DNA base-pair substitution rates that may reflect intrinsic DNA repair ability.

  6. Ecological study of dietary and smoking links to lymphoma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grant, W. B.

    2000-01-01

    The ecological approach is used to investigate dietary and smoking links to lymphoma. International mortality rate data for 1986 and 1994 by gender and age group are compared with national dietary supply values of various food components for up to 10 years prior to the mortality data as well as per capita cigarette consumption rates 5 and 15 years earlier. The non-fat portion of milk, 3-9 years prior to the 1986 mortality data and 4 years prior to the 1994 data, was found to have the highest association with lymphoma, with r as high as 0.89. The results imply that 70 percent of lymphoma mortality may be related to this dietary component. Cigarette smoking in 1980 was found to have a weaker association with 1994 lymphoma mortality rates, being most important for younger men and statistically insignificant for younger women. The non-fat milk result is consistent with both case-control studies and a Norwegian prospective study, and with the often-observed finding that abnormal calcium metabolism, hypercalciuria, and dysregulated calcitriol production are common in normocalcemic patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). It is hypothesized that excess dietary calcium from milk is a significant risk factor for lymphoma.

  7. Distance makes the difference in thermography for ecological studies.

    PubMed

    Faye, E; Dangles, O; Pincebourde, S

    2016-02-01

    Surface temperature drives many ecological processes and infrared thermography is widely used by ecologists to measure the thermal heterogeneity of different species' habitats. However, the potential bias in temperature readings caused by distance between the surface to be measured and the camera is still poorly acknowledged. We examined the effect of distance from 0.3 to 80m on a variety of thermal metrics (mean temperature, standard deviation, patch richness and aggregation) under various weather conditions and for different structural complexity of the studied surface types (various surfaces with vegetation). We found that distance is a key modifier of the temperature measured by a thermal infrared camera. A non-linear relationship between distance and mean temperature, standard deviation and patch richness led to a rapid under-estimation of the thermal metrics within the first 20m and then only a slight decrease between 20 and 80m from the object. Solar radiation also enhanced the bias with increasing distance. Therefore, surface temperatures were under-estimated as distance increased and thermal mosaics were homogenized at long distances with a much stronger bias in the warmer than the colder parts of the distributions. The under-estimation of thermal metrics due to distance was explained by atmospheric composition and the pixel size effect. The structural complexity of the surface had little effect on the surface temperature bias. Finally, we provide general guidelines for ecologists to minimize inaccuracies caused by distance from the studied surface in thermography.

  8. Controlled Ecological Life Support Systems (CELSS) conceptual design option study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Melvin; Olson, Richard L.

    1986-01-01

    Results are given of a study to explore options for the development of a Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) for a future Space Station. In addition, study results will benefit the design of other facilities such as the Life Sciences Research Facility, a ground-based CELSS demonstrator, and will be useful in planning longer range missions such as a lunar base or manned Mars mission. The objectives were to develop weight and cost estimates for one CELSS module selected from a set of preliminary plant growth unit (PGU) design options. Eleven Space Station CELSS module conceptual PGU designs were reviewed, components and subsystems identified and a sensitivity analysis performed. Areas where insufficient data is available were identified and divided into the categories of biological research, engineering research, and technology development. Topics which receive significant attention are lighting systems for the PGU, the use of automation within the CELSS system, and electric power requirements. Other areas examined include plant harvesting and processing, crop mix analysis, air circulation and atmosphere contaminant flow subsystems, thermal control considerations, utility routing including accessibility and maintenance, and nutrient subsystem design.

  9. Ecological study of dietary and smoking links to lymphoma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grant, W. B.

    2000-01-01

    The ecological approach is used to investigate dietary and smoking links to lymphoma. International mortality rate data for 1986 and 1994 by gender and age group are compared with national dietary supply values of various food components for up to 10 years prior to the mortality data as well as per capita cigarette consumption rates 5 and 15 years earlier. The non-fat portion of milk, 3-9 years prior to the 1986 mortality data and 4 years prior to the 1994 data, was found to have the highest association with lymphoma, with r as high as 0.89. The results imply that 70 percent of lymphoma mortality may be related to this dietary component. Cigarette smoking in 1980 was found to have a weaker association with 1994 lymphoma mortality rates, being most important for younger men and statistically insignificant for younger women. The non-fat milk result is consistent with both case-control studies and a Norwegian prospective study, and with the often-observed finding that abnormal calcium metabolism, hypercalciuria, and dysregulated calcitriol production are common in normocalcemic patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). It is hypothesized that excess dietary calcium from milk is a significant risk factor for lymphoma.

  10. AUV based study on physical and ecological processes at fronts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tippenhauer, Sandra; Wulff, Thorben; Von Appen, Wilken-Jon

    2017-04-01

    Small-scale processes and their effects get more and more attention when it comes to understanding processes and changes in the (Arctic) ocean. Here we present a study on physical processes and ecological responses at submesoscale frontal systems in the Fram Strait investigated using an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). The AUV is equipped with physical and biogeochemical sensors such as an acoustic Doppler current profiler, a turbulence probe, a conductivity-temperature-depth probe, and sensors for Oxygen, Nitrate, Chlorophyll a, and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). The study is designed such that the AUV covers tracks of several kilometers length in cross-frontal direction with the front roughly located in the middle of the track. On its way, the AUV records high-resolution vertical or zigzag profiles of the physical and biogeochemical properties in the upper 50 m which includes the euphotic zone. In both, physical and biogeochemical terms, the measurements revealed a complex structure of the water column. At the fronts the distribution of phytoplankton and nutrients was highly inhomogeneous, possibly due to wind-driven frontogenesis or the growth of mixed layer eddies. To set the observations into a larger context we also examine ship-based and satellite data. We investigate how the observed patterns of the potential vorticity and the biogeochemical properties may be formed and which processes could lead to a smoothing of the observed gradients.

  11. Backyard Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elser, Monica; Musheno, Birgit; Saltz, Charlene

    2003-01-01

    Describes the Ecology Explorers, the community education component of Arizona State University's Central Arizona Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research project, which offers teacher internship programs that link university researchers, K-12 teachers, and students in studying urban ecology. Explains that student neighborhoods are dynamic ecosystems…

  12. Backyard Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elser, Monica; Musheno, Birgit; Saltz, Charlene

    2003-01-01

    Describes the Ecology Explorers, the community education component of Arizona State University's Central Arizona Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research project, which offers teacher internship programs that link university researchers, K-12 teachers, and students in studying urban ecology. Explains that student neighborhoods are dynamic ecosystems…

  13. Eye-Size Variability in Deep-Sea Lanternfishes (Myctophidae): An Ecological and Phylogenetic Study

    PubMed Central

    de Busserolles, Fanny; Fitzpatrick, John L.; Paxton, John R.; Marshall, N. Justin; Collin, Shaun P.

    2013-01-01

    One of the most common visual adaptations seen in the mesopelagic zone (200–1000 m), where the amount of light diminishes exponentially with depth and where bioluminescent organisms predominate, is the enlargement of the eye and pupil area. However, it remains unclear how eye size is influenced by depth, other environmental conditions and phylogeny. In this study, we determine the factors influencing variability in eye size and assess whether this variability is explained by ecological differences in habitat and lifestyle within a family of mesopelagic fishes characterized by broad intra- and interspecific variance in depth range and luminous patterns. We focus our study on the lanternfish family (Myctophidae) and hypothesise that lanternfishes with a deeper distribution and/or a reduction of bioluminescent emissions have smaller eyes and that ecological factors rather than phylogenetic relationships will drive the evolution of the visual system. Eye diameter and standard length were measured in 237 individuals from 61 species of lanternfishes representing all the recognised tribes within the family in addition to compiling an ecological dataset including depth distribution during night and day and the location and sexual dimorphism of luminous organs. Hypotheses were tested by investigating the relationship between the relative size of the eye (corrected for body size) and variations in depth and/or patterns of luminous-organs using phylogenetic comparative analyses. Results show a great variability in relative eye size within the Myctophidae at all taxonomic levels (from subfamily to genus), suggesting that this character may have evolved several times. However, variability in eye size within the family could not be explained by any of our ecological variables (bioluminescence and depth patterns), and appears to be driven solely by phylogenetic relationships. PMID:23472203

  14. Correlates between feeding ecology and mercury levels in historical and modern arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus).

    PubMed

    Bocharova, Natalia; Treu, Gabriele; Czirják, Gábor Árpád; Krone, Oliver; Stefanski, Volker; Wibbelt, Gudrun; Unnsteinsdóttir, Ester Rut; Hersteinsson, Páll; Schares, Gereon; Doronina, Lilia; Goltsman, Mikhail; Greenwood, Alex D

    2013-01-01

    Changes in concentration of pollutants and pathogen distribution can vary among ecotypes (e.g. marine versus terrestrial food resources). This may have important implications for the animals that reside within them. We examined 1) canid pathogen presence in an endangered arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) population and 2) relative total mercury (THg) level as a function of ecotype ('coastal' or 'inland') for arctic foxes to test whether the presence of pathogens or heavy metal concentration correlate with population health. The Bering Sea populations on Bering and Mednyi Islands were compared to Icelandic arctic fox populations with respect to inland and coastal ecotypes. Serological and DNA based pathogen screening techniques were used to examine arctic foxes for pathogens. THg was measured by atomic absorption spectrometry from hair samples of historical and modern collected arctic foxes and samples from their prey species (hair and internal organs). Presence of pathogens did not correlate with population decline from Mednyi Island. However, THg concentration correlated strongly with ecotype and was reflected in the THg concentrations detected in available food sources in each ecotype. The highest concentration of THg was found in ecotypes where foxes depended on marine vertebrates for food. Exclusively inland ecotypes had low THg concentrations. The results suggest that absolute exposure to heavy metals may be less important than the feeding ecology and feeding opportunities of top predators such as arctic foxes which may in turn influence population health and stability. A higher risk to wildlife of heavy metal exposure correlates with feeding strategies that rely primarily on a marine based diet.

  15. Correlates between Feeding Ecology and Mercury Levels in Historical and Modern Arctic Foxes (Vulpes lagopus)

    PubMed Central

    Krone, Oliver; Stefanski, Volker; Wibbelt, Gudrun; Unnsteinsdóttir, Ester Rut; Hersteinsson, Páll; Schares, Gereon; Doronina, Lilia; Goltsman, Mikhail; Greenwood, Alex D.

    2013-01-01

    Changes in concentration of pollutants and pathogen distribution can vary among ecotypes (e.g. marine versus terrestrial food resources). This may have important implications for the animals that reside within them. We examined 1) canid pathogen presence in an endangered arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) population and 2) relative total mercury (THg) level as a function of ecotype (‘coastal’ or ‘inland’) for arctic foxes to test whether the presence of pathogens or heavy metal concentration correlate with population health. The Bering Sea populations on Bering and Mednyi Islands were compared to Icelandic arctic fox populations with respect to inland and coastal ecotypes. Serological and DNA based pathogen screening techniques were used to examine arctic foxes for pathogens. THg was measured by atomic absorption spectrometry from hair samples of historical and modern collected arctic foxes and samples from their prey species (hair and internal organs). Presence of pathogens did not correlate with population decline from Mednyi Island. However, THg concentration correlated strongly with ecotype and was reflected in the THg concentrations detected in available food sources in each ecotype. The highest concentration of THg was found in ecotypes where foxes depended on marine vertebrates for food. Exclusively inland ecotypes had low THg concentrations. The results suggest that absolute exposure to heavy metals may be less important than the feeding ecology and feeding opportunities of top predators such as arctic foxes which may in turn influence population health and stability. A higher risk to wildlife of heavy metal exposure correlates with feeding strategies that rely primarily on a marine based diet. PMID:23671561

  16. 'Ecological embeddedness' and Its Public Health Implications: Findings From an Exploratory Study.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Marina; Townsend, Mardie

    2015-06-01

    Western culture over the last two centuries has become significantly ecologically 'dis-embedded', with nature increasingly reduced to resources for human use. The consequence is global environmental degradation, including accelerating climate change. Much recent research supports associations between nature contact and human health and well-being, and between feelings of nature-connectedness and pro-environmental attitudes and behaviours. The oft-cited Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion (WHO, Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, 1986) emphasises human-environment inextricability; however public health discourse and response has not fully engaged with this recognition. This qualitative study explored the attitudes, motivations, and experiences-including formative influences-of six individuals whose behaviour was congruent with recognition of human-nature interconnectedness; such individuals may be understood as ecologically embedded. Key aspects of participants' experience, identified through grounded theory thematic analysis, were (i) connecting with nature (especially in childhood); (ii) seeing the threat and taking it personally; (iii) the nature of reality; (iv) dedicated beyond the ego-oriented self; and (v) sustaining the eco-centric self. The findings highlight the necessity for cross-sectoral advocacy at all levels of government policy development focused on recognition of human-environment connectedness, especially bridging health, planning and education policies affecting children. Only thus will both population health and ecological health on which population health depends be possible.

  17. Ecological carrying capacity assessment of diving site: A case study of Mabul Island, Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Li-Ye; Chung, Shan-Shan; Qiu, Jian-Wen

    2016-12-01

    Despite considered a non-consumptive use of the marine environment, diving-related activities can cause damages to coral reefs. It is imminent to assess the maximum numbers of divers that can be accommodated by a diving site before it is subject to irreversible deterioration. This study aimed to assess the ecological carrying capacity of a diving site in Mabul Island, Malaysia. Photo-quadrat line transect method was used in the benthic survey. The ecological carrying capacity was assessed based on the relationship between the number of divers and the proportion of diver damaged hard corals in Mabul Island. The results indicated that the proportion of diver damaged hard corals occurred exponentially with increasing use. The ecological carrying capacity of Mabul Island is 15,600-16,800 divers per diving site per year at current levels of diver education and training with a quarterly threshold of 3900-4200 per site. Our calculation shows that management intervention (e.g. limiting diving) is justified at 8-14% of hard coral damage. In addition, the use of coral reef dominated diving sites should be managed according to their sensitivity to diver damage and the depth of the reefs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Migration intensity has no effect on peak HIV prevalence: an ecological study.

    PubMed

    Kenyon, Chris; Colebunders, Robert; Voeten, Helene; Lurie, Mark

    2014-06-24

    Correctly identifying the determinants of generalized HIV epidemics is crucial to bringing down ongoing high HIV incidence in these countries. High rates of migration are believed to be an important determinant of HIV prevalence. This study has two aims. Firstly, it evaluates the ecological association between levels of internal and international migration and national peak HIV prevalence using thirteen variables from a variety of sources to capture various aspects of internal and international migration intensity. Secondly, it examines the relationship between circular migration and HIV at an individual and population-level in South Africa. Linear regression was used to analyze the association between the various measures of migration intensity and peak national HIV prevalence for 141 countries and HIV prevalence by province and ethnic group in South Africa. No evidence of a positive ecological association between national migration intensity and HIV prevalence was found. This remained the case when the analyses were limited to the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. On the whole, countries with generalized HIV epidemics had lower rates of internal and external migration. Likewise, no association was found between migration and HIV positivity at an individual or group-level in South Africa. These results do not support the thesis that migration measured at the country level plays a significant role in determining peak HIV prevalence.

  19. Migration intensity has no effect on peak HIV prevalence: an ecological study

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Correctly identifying the determinants of generalized HIV epidemics is crucial to bringing down ongoing high HIV incidence in these countries. High rates of migration are believed to be an important determinant of HIV prevalence. This study has two aims. Firstly, it evaluates the ecological association between levels of internal and international migration and national peak HIV prevalence using thirteen variables from a variety of sources to capture various aspects of internal and international migration intensity. Secondly, it examines the relationship between circular migration and HIV at an individual and population-level in South Africa. Methods Linear regression was used to analyze the association between the various measures of migration intensity and peak national HIV prevalence for 141 countries and HIV prevalence by province and ethnic group in South Africa. Results No evidence of a positive ecological association between national migration intensity and HIV prevalence was found. This remained the case when the analyses were limited to the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. On the whole, countries with generalized HIV epidemics had lower rates of internal and external migration. Likewise, no association was found between migration and HIV positivity at an individual or group-level in South Africa. Conclusion These results do not support the thesis that migration measured at the country level plays a significant role in determining peak HIV prevalence. PMID:24961725

  20. ELF communications system ecological monitoring program: Upland flora studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mroz, Glenn D.; Cattelino, Peter J.; Gale, Margaret R.; Jones, Elizabeth A.; Jurgensen, Martin F.

    1994-10-01

    The U.S. Navy has completed a program monitoring flora, fauna, and ecological relationships for possible effects from electromagnetic (EM) fields produced by its Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) Communications System. This report documents studies of upland flora conducted near the Navy's transmitting antenna in Michigan. From 1982 through 1993 researchers from the Michigan Technological University (MTU) monitored tree, herb, and fungal species dominant in areas near (treatment) and far (control) from the ELF antenna. Above-ground parameters included the productivity, physiology, and phenology of trees, as well as the morphology and phenology of an herb. Below-ground, the important association between tree roots and fungi were monitored. Investigators also measured ambient weather conditions, soil nutrients, and EM field intensities. The MTU research team used analysis of variance and covariance to examine the data. When site-by-year interactions were significant, correlations and regressions were used to determine whether residuals were related to EM exposure. Results suggest a possible subtle EM effect to the cambial and stemwood growth of some tree species but not to any other parameter. MTU investigators conclude no short-term, adverse effects on forest health from exposure to EM fields produced by the Naval Radio Transmitting Facility-Republic, Michigan.

  1. An ecological study on suicide and homicide in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Bando, Daniel Hideki; Lester, David

    2014-04-01

    The objective was to evaluate correlations between suicide, homicide and socio-demographic variables by an ecological study. Mortality and socio-demographic data were collected from official records of the Ministry of Health and IBGE (2010), aggregated by state (27). The data were analyzed using correlation techniques, factor analysis, principal component analysis with a varimax rotation and multiple linear regression. Suicide age-adjusted rates for the total population, men and women were 5.0, 8.0, and 2.2 per 100,000 inhabitants respectively. The suicide rates ranged from 2.7 in Pará to 9.1 in Rio Grande do Sul. Homicide for the total population, men and women were 27.2, 50.8, and 4.5 per 100,000, respectively. The homicide rates ranged from 13.0 in Santa Catarina to 68.9 in Alagoas. Suicide and homicide were negatively associated, the significance persisted among men. Unemployment was negatively correlated with suicide and positively with homicide. Different socio-demographic variables were found to correlate with suicide and homicide in the regressions. Suicide showed a pattern suggesting that, in Brazil, it is related to high socioeconomic status. Homicide seemed to follow the pattern found in other countries, associated with lower social and economic status.

  2. Factors associated with hospitalisations in chronic conditions deemed avoidable: ecological study in the Spanish healthcare system

    PubMed Central

    Angulo-Pueyo, Ester; Ridao-López, Manuel; Martínez-Lizaga, Natalia; García-Armesto, Sandra; Peiró, Salvador; Bernal-Delgado, Enrique

    2017-01-01

    Objectives Potentially avoidable hospitalisations have been used as a proxy for primary care quality. We aimed to analyse the ecological association between contextual and systemic factors featured in the Spanish healthcare system and the variation in potentially avoidable hospitalisations for a number of chronic conditions. Methods A cross-section ecological study based on the linkage of administrative data sources from virtually all healthcare areas (n=202) and autonomous communities (n=16) composing the Spanish National Health System was performed. Potentially avoidable hospitalisations in chronic conditions were defined using the Spanish validation of the Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ) preventable quality indicators. Using 2012 data, the ecological association between potentially avoidable hospitalisations and factors featuring healthcare areas and autonomous communities was tested using multilevel negative binomial regression. Results In 2012, 151 468 admissions were flagged as potentially avoidable in Spain. After adjusting for differences in age, sex and burden of disease, the only variable associated with the outcome was hospitalisation intensity for any cause in previous years (incidence risk ratio 1.19 (95% CI 1.13 to 1.26)). The autonomous community of residence explained a negligible part of the residual unexplained variation (variance 0.01 (SE 0.008)). Primary care supply and activity did not show any association. Conclusions The findings suggest that the variation in potentially avoidable hospitalisations in chronic conditions at the healthcare area level is a reflection of how intensively hospitals are used in a healthcare area for any cause, rather than of primary care characteristics. Whether other non-studied features at the healthcare area level or primary care level could explain the observed variation remains uncertain. PMID:28237952

  3. Indicators of violence and asthma: An ecological study.

    PubMed

    Tabalipa, Fábio de Oliveira; Daitx, Rodrigo Boff; Traebert, Jefferson Luiz; Meyer, Adriano Schaefer; da Silva, Jane

    2015-10-01

    Global studies on asthma point to socioeconomic status as one of the main variables in terms of prevalence and disease severity in various parts of the world. Social factors related to community violence have been linked to higher incidence of asthma in the current studies. This study investigates the relationship between indicators of both community violence and development and hospital admissions due to asthma. This was an analytical ecological study of multiple groups, using public databases with information up until 2006. All Brazilian municipalities with more than 100,000 inhabitants were considered as units of analysis. The main index used as socioeconomic indicator was the FIRJAN Index of Municipal Development (FIMD). The Index of Youth Vulnerability to Violence (IYVV) was used as indicators of community violence. The rate of admissions due to asthma was used as the outcome. Pearson's correlation was used for multivariate analyses. The coefficient of determination (R(2)) was calculated and the simple linear regression model adjusted for significant correlations. There was an inverse correlation between asthma admissions and FIMD (r = -0.354, p < 0.001), with statistical significance for all dimensions of the index. Admissions due to asthma were associated with the IYVV (r = 0.240, p < 0.001) and its component related to school attendance and employment (r = 0.315, p < 0.001), homicides (r = 0.112, p = 0.034), and poverty (r = 0.303, p < 0.001). There was a direct correlation between indicators of violence and rates of admission due asthma, and an inverse correlation with indicators of development. These results suggest that social detriment can act as a risk factor for hospital admissions due to asthma. Copyright © 2015 Japanese Society of Allergology. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Diary of a Dabbler: Ecological Influences on an EFL Teacher's Efforts to Study Japanese Informally

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Casanave, Christine Pearson

    2012-01-01

    In this diary study, the author draws from journals written over the course of 8 years working as an English instructor at a Japanese university, with the aim of documenting the influences on her desire to invest effort in the self-study of Japanese (what she refers to as the "ecology of effort"). An ecological perspective reveals the…

  5. Integrated Modeling for the Assessment of Ecological Impacts of Sea Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagen, S. C.; Lewis, G.; Bartel, R.; Batten, B.; Huang, W.; Morris, J.; Slinn, D. N.; Sparks, J.; Walters, L.; Wang, D.; Weishampel, J.; Yeh, G.

    2010-12-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) has the potential to affect a variety of coastal habitats with a myriad of deleterious ecological effects and to overwhelm human settlements along the coast. SLR should be given serious consideration when more than half of the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of the coast. SLR effects will be felt along coastal beaches and in estuarine waters, with consequences to barrier islands, submerged aquatic vegetation beds, sand and mud flats, oyster reefs, and tidal and freshwater wetlands. Managers of these coastal resources must be aware of potential consequences of SLR and adjust their plans accordingly to protect and preserve the resources under their care. The Gulf Coast provides critical habitats for a majority of the commercially important species in the Gulf of Mexico, which depend on inshore waters for either permanent residence or nursery area. The ecosystem services provided by these coastal habitats are at risk from rising sea level. Our team will assess the risk to coasts and coastal habitats from SLR in a 5-year project. We will apply existing models of circulation and transport from the watershed to the sea. The ultimate prediction will be of sediment loadings to the estuary as a result of overland flow, shoreline and barrier island erosion, and salinity transport, all of which will be used to model the evolution of intertidal marshes (MEM II). Over the five-year course of our research we will be simulating hydrodynamics and transport for all three NERRS reserves, including: Apalachicola, Weeks Bay and Grand Bay. The project will result in products whereby managers will be able to assess marshes, oyster reefs, submerged aquatic vegetation, predict wetland stability and indentify restoration locations for marsh and oyster habitats. In addition, we will produce Decision Support tools that will enable managers to predict future coastal erosion rates for management-specified shorelines. Project outcomes will enable the management

  6. Morphologically Cryptic Amphipod Species Are "Ecological Clones" at Regional but Not at Local Scale: A Case Study of Four Niphargus Species.

    PubMed

    Fišer, Žiga; Altermatt, Florian; Zakšek, Valerija; Knapič, Tea; Fišer, Cene

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that morphologically cryptic species may be ecologically more different than would be predicted from their morphological similarity and phylogenetic relatedness. However, in biodiversity research it often remains unclear whether cryptic species should be treated as ecologically equivalent, or whether detected differences have ecological significance. In this study, we assessed the ecological equivalence of four morphologically cryptic species of the amphipod genus Niphargus. All species live in a small, isolated area on the Istrian Peninsula in the NW Balkans. The distributional ranges of the species are partially overlapping and all species are living in springs. We reconstructed their ecological niches using morphological traits related to feeding, bioclimatic niche envelope and species' preference for epi-hypogean habitats. The ecological meaning of differences in niches was evaluated using distributional data and co-occurrence frequencies. We show that the species comprise two pairs of sister species. All species differ from each other and the degree of differentiation is not related to phylogenetic relatedness. Moreover, low co-occurrence frequencies in sympatric zones imply present or past interspecific competition. This pattern suggests that species are not differentiated enough to reduce interspecific competition, nor ecologically equivalent to co-exist via neutral dynamics. We tentatively conclude that the question of ecological equivalence relates to the scale of the study: at a fine scale, species' differences may influence dynamics in a local community, whereas at the regional level these species likely play roughly similar ecological roles.

  7. Morphologically Cryptic Amphipod Species Are “Ecological Clones” at Regional but Not at Local Scale: A Case Study of Four Niphargus Species

    PubMed Central

    Fišer, Žiga; Altermatt, Florian; Zakšek, Valerija; Knapič, Tea; Fišer, Cene

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that morphologically cryptic species may be ecologically more different than would be predicted from their morphological similarity and phylogenetic relatedness. However, in biodiversity research it often remains unclear whether cryptic species should be treated as ecologically equivalent, or whether detected differences have ecological significance. In this study, we assessed the ecological equivalence of four morphologically cryptic species of the amphipod genus Niphargus. All species live in a small, isolated area on the Istrian Peninsula in the NW Balkans. The distributional ranges of the species are partially overlapping and all species are living in springs. We reconstructed their ecological niches using morphological traits related to feeding, bioclimatic niche envelope and species’ preference for epi-hypogean habitats. The ecological meaning of differences in niches was evaluated using distributional data and co-occurrence frequencies. We show that the species comprise two pairs of sister species. All species differ from each other and the degree of differentiation is not related to phylogenetic relatedness. Moreover, low co-occurrence frequencies in sympatric zones imply present or past interspecific competition. This pattern suggests that species are not differentiated enough to reduce interspecific competition, nor ecologically equivalent to co-exist via neutral dynamics. We tentatively conclude that the question of ecological equivalence relates to the scale of the study: at a fine scale, species’ differences may influence dynamics in a local community, whereas at the regional level these species likely play roughly similar ecological roles. PMID:26226375

  8. Socioeconomic factors, morbidity and drug utilization--an ecological study.

    PubMed

    Henricson, K; Stenberg, P; Rametsteiner, G; Ranstam, J; Hanson, B S; Melander, A

    1998-07-01

    The aim of the present study was to elucidate the relations between demographic and socioeconomic factors, morbidity and the utilization of major drug groups in an urban Swedish population. The study was performed as an ecological analysis during November 1991 in the 17 different districts of Malmö, the third largest Swedish city (235,000 inhabitants). The material comprised 86,228 ACT-coded drug items which corresponded to 76% of all prescriptions dispensed during the study month. Of these, 43,032, dispensed to patients aged 15-64 years, were analysed in the present work. Age standardized drug utilization was expressed as the number of dispensed Defined Daily Doses per 1000 inhabitants per day. Morbidity was measured in terms of reimbursed days on sick leave. The sociodemographic parameters used were socioeconomic status (SES), employment rate, median income per family, households on social allowance, and ethnicity. For four of the five major pharmacological groups (ATC-groups A, C, J, N and R, i.e. alimentation, circulation, infectious diseases, nervous system and respiration), most pronouncedly group N and least so group R, utilization correlated positively with not only the extent of morbidity but also with an unfavourable socioeconomic situation, high proportion of immigrants, and households on social allowance or with low income and/or with a low employment rate. The utilization of antibiotics (group J), however, instead correlated negatively with these parameters. For all five drug groups, these trends were similar among men and women, albeit with varying strength. In conclusion, socioeconomic factors may have a profound influence on the utilization of several major drug groups. At least in the case of antibiotics, the consequence of this influence is irrational drug use.

  9. Ciguatera fish poisoning in la Habana, Cuba: a study of local social-ecological resilience.

    PubMed

    Morrison, Karen; Aguiar Prieto, Pablo; Castro Domínguez, Arnaldo; Waltner-Toews, David; Fitzgibbon, John

    2008-09-01

    Following the collapse of the Cuban economy in the early 1990s, epidemiologists in the Cuban Ministry of Health noticed dramatic increases in reported outbreaks of ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) in some coastal communities. This article summarizes the results of a comparative case study which applied an ecosystem approach to human health to investigate this issue. Situated learning and complexity theories were used to interpret the results of the investigation. CFP outbreaks are influenced by a complex set of interactions between ecological and socioeconomic processes. This study found that the level of organization of the local sports fishing community and the degree of degradation of the local nearshore marine ecosystem appear to be key factors influencing the diverging levels of CFP outbreaks recorded in the 1990s in the communities studied.

  10. Ecological risk assessment of trace elements in sediment: A case study from Limpopo, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Dahms, S; Baker, N J; Greenfield, R

    2017-01-01

    This study aimed to determine the ecological risk posed by metals, in sediments from the Nyl River system in Limpopo, South Africa. Metals were extracted from sediment samples by aqua regia microwave digestion and were analysed using standard ICP-OES techniques. The ecological risk indices applied to the data included Contamination Factor, Pollution Load Index, Geo-accumulation Index and Enrichment Factor. The results showed that the levels of Ni at STW and NYL in the HF period exceeded the Canadian Sediment Quality Guidelines by a factor of 1.36 and 1.83 respectively whereas NYL and MDD had 2.57 and 1.32 times the allowed limit of Ni in the LF period. During the HF period, the GC site exceeded the allowed limit of Zn by a factor of 1.04 and NYL had 1.21 times the allowed Zn in the LF period. The levels of metals are generally low near the origin of the river and increase moving downstream. The levels of metals in the Nyl River floodplain, a Ramsar accredited wetland, were high with CF scores ranging between 0.905 and 5.82, Igeo values with a range of -0.541 to 2.441 and EF scores ranging from 0.959 to 6.171. and posed a greater risk than the other sites. This indicated that the wetland is performing its ecological function by trapping and removing toxins from the water body. The Pollution Load Index determined that the Golf Course (PLI=4.586) and STW (PLI=2.617) sites were polluted only in the low flow period whereas the Nyl River floodplain (HF PLI=79.845; LF PLI=30378.768) and Moorddrift Dam (HF PLI=1.903; LF PLI=9.256) sites were polluted in high flow and low flow periods. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Low levels of hybridization between sympatric Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) and Dolly Varden char (Salvelinus malma) highlights their genetic distinctiveness and ecological segregation.

    PubMed

    May-McNally, Shannan L; Quinn, Thomas P; Taylor, Eric B

    2015-08-01

    Understanding the extent of interspecific hybridization and how ecological segregation may influence hybridization requires comprehensively sampling different habitats over a range of life history stages. Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) and Dolly Varden (S. malma) are recently diverged salmonid fishes that come into contact in several areas of the North Pacific where they occasionally hybridize. To better quantify the degree of hybridization and ecological segregation between these taxa, we sampled over 700 fish from multiple lake (littoral and profundal) and stream sites in two large, interconnected southwestern Alaskan lakes. Individuals were genotyped at 12 microsatellite markers, and genetic admixture (Q) values generated through Bayesian-based clustering revealed hybridization levels generally lower than reported in a previous study (<0.6% to 5% of samples classified as late-generation hybrids). Dolly Varden and Arctic char tended to make different use of stream habitats with the latter apparently abandoning streams for lake habitats after 2-3 years of age. Our results support the distinct biological species status of Dolly Varden and Arctic char and suggest that ecological segregation may be an important factor limiting opportunities for hybridization and/or the ecological performance of hybrid char.

  12. Low levels of hybridization between sympatric Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) and Dolly Varden char (Salvelinus malma) highlights their genetic distinctiveness and ecological segregation

    PubMed Central

    May-McNally, Shannan L; Quinn, Thomas P; Taylor, Eric B

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the extent of interspecific hybridization and how ecological segregation may influence hybridization requires comprehensively sampling different habitats over a range of life history stages. Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) and Dolly Varden (S. malma) are recently diverged salmonid fishes that come into contact in several areas of the North Pacific where they occasionally hybridize. To better quantify the degree of hybridization and ecological segregation between these taxa, we sampled over 700 fish from multiple lake (littoral and profundal) and stream sites in two large, interconnected southwestern Alaskan lakes. Individuals were genotyped at 12 microsatellite markers, and genetic admixture (Q) values generated through Bayesian-based clustering revealed hybridization levels generally lower than reported in a previous study (<0.6% to 5% of samples classified as late-generation hybrids). Dolly Varden and Arctic char tended to make different use of stream habitats with the latter apparently abandoning streams for lake habitats after 2–3 years of age. Our results support the distinct biological species status of Dolly Varden and Arctic char and suggest that ecological segregation may be an important factor limiting opportunities for hybridization and/or the ecological performance of hybrid char. PMID:26356310

  13. Suicide attempts in Brazil, 1998-2014: an ecological study.

    PubMed

    Martins Junior, Davi Félix; Felzemburgh, Ridalva Martins; Dias, Acácia Batista; Caribé, André C; Bezerra-Filho, S; Miranda-Scippa, Ângela

    2016-09-15

    Attempted suicide is the main predictor of suicide constituting a major public health issue worldwide. It is estimated that for every completed suicide, 10 to 20 suicide attempts occur. Important part of the occurrences of suicide attempts in Brazil are registered in the hospital information system for coverage of more than 70 % allows to evaluate the extent of this problem in the country. The scope of this article is to analyse hospitalizations resulting from suicide attempts at public hospitals or services contracted out by the public health system (SUS) in Brazil from 1998 to 2014. This is an ecological study of secondary morbidity data obtained from the Hospital Information System. The overall rate of suicide attempts per 100 000 (10(5)) individuals and rates stratified by age group and sex were calculated. To measure trends, simple linear regression coefficients were calculated. The hospital mortality rate was calculated per 100 individuals. The overall rate of hospitalization decreased from 1998 to 2014. The young and adult age groups had the highest hospitalization rates. Men were admitted more and the elderly had higher hospital mortality rates. The main cause of hospitalization was poisoning, accounting for 70.4 % of hospitalizations. Among the people who used poisoning by non-medical drugs as the method of attempted suicide, 58 178 (69.6 %) were men and 49 585 people who are poisoned by medical drugs (60.1 %) were women. Although hospitalization rates for attempted suicide have declined in Brazil, it remains a serious public health problem. Because a suicide attempt is the main predictor of suicide, studies to identify those most vulnerable to attempted suicide will help in the development of prevention strategies for mental health.

  14. An ecologic study of dietary links to prostate cancer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grant, W. B.

    1999-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The etiology of prostate cancer has not been fully resolved in the scientific and medical literature, although the non-fat portion of milk and calcium are emerging as leading dietary risk factors, with lycopene (found in tomatoes) and vitamin D apparently being risk reduction factors. METHODS: The ecologic (multi-country statistical) approach is used to study dietary links to prostate cancer. Mortality data from 1986 for various age groups in 41 countries are compared with national consumer macronutrient supply values for 1983 and tomato supply values for 1985. RESULTS: For 28 countries with more than five Kcal/day of tomatoes in the consumer supply, a linear combination of non-fat milk (risk factor) and tomatoes (risk reduction factor) was found to have the highest statistical association with prostate cancer mortality rates for men over the age of 35, with the Pearson regression coefficient (R2) for those aged 65-74 years = 0.67 and p < 0.001. For the 13 countries with fewer than six Kcal/day of tomatoes, non-fat milk had the highest association (R2 = 0.92, p < 0.001 for men aged 65-74 years). For 41 countries combined, the non-fat portion of milk had the highest association with prostate cancer mortality rates (R2 = 0.73, p < 0.001 for men aged 65-74 years). CONCLUSIONS: These results support the results of several cohort studies which found the non-fat portion of milk to have the highest association with prostate cancer, likely due to the calcium, and tomatoes to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, most likely due to lycopene.

  15. An ecologic study of dietary links to prostate cancer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grant, W. B.

    1999-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The etiology of prostate cancer has not been fully resolved in the scientific and medical literature, although the non-fat portion of milk and calcium are emerging as leading dietary risk factors, with lycopene (found in tomatoes) and vitamin D apparently being risk reduction factors. METHODS: The ecologic (multi-country statistical) approach is used to study dietary links to prostate cancer. Mortality data from 1986 for various age groups in 41 countries are compared with national consumer macronutrient supply values for 1983 and tomato supply values for 1985. RESULTS: For 28 countries with more than five Kcal/day of tomatoes in the consumer supply, a linear combination of non-fat milk (risk factor) and tomatoes (risk reduction factor) was found to have the highest statistical association with prostate cancer mortality rates for men over the age of 35, with the Pearson regression coefficient (R2) for those aged 65-74 years = 0.67 and p < 0.001. For the 13 countries with fewer than six Kcal/day of tomatoes, non-fat milk had the highest association (R2 = 0.92, p < 0.001 for men aged 65-74 years). For 41 countries combined, the non-fat portion of milk had the highest association with prostate cancer mortality rates (R2 = 0.73, p < 0.001 for men aged 65-74 years). CONCLUSIONS: These results support the results of several cohort studies which found the non-fat portion of milk to have the highest association with prostate cancer, likely due to the calcium, and tomatoes to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, most likely due to lycopene.

  16. Targeted Acoustic Data Processing for Ocean Ecological Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sidorovskaia, N.; Li, K.; Tiemann, C.; Ackleh, A. S.; Tang, T.; Ioup, G. E.; Ioup, J. W.

    2015-12-01

    The Gulf of Mexico is home to many species of deep diving marine mammals. In recent years several ecological studies have collected large volumes of Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) data to investigate the effects of anthropogenic activities on protected and endangered marine mammal species. To utilize these data to their fullest potential for abundance estimates and habitat preference studies, automated detection and classification algorithms are needed to extract species acoustic encounters from a continuous stream of data. The species which phonate in overlapping frequency bands represent a particular challenge. This paper analyzes the performance of a newly developed automated detector for the classification of beaked whale clicks in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Current used beaked whale classification algorithms rely heavily on experienced human operator involvement in manually associating potential events with a particular species of beaked whales. Our detection algorithm is two-stage: the detector is triggered when the species-representative phonation band energy exceeds the baseline detection threshold. Then multiple event attributes (temporal click duration, central frequency, frequency band, frequency sweep rate, Choi-Williams distribution shape indices) are measured. An attribute vector is then used to discriminate among different species of beaked whales present in the Gulf of Mexico and Risso's dolphins which were recognized to mask the detections of beaked whales in the case of widely used energy-band detectors. The detector is applied to the PAM data collected by the Littoral Acoustic Demonstration Center to estimate abundance trends of beaked whales in the vicinity of the 2010 oil spill before and after the disaster. This algorithm will allow automated processing with minimal operator involvement for new and archival PAM data. [The research is supported by a BP/GOMRI 2015-2017 consortium grant.

  17. An ecologic analysis of county-level PM2.5 concentrations and lung cancer incidence and mortality.

    PubMed

    Vinikoor-Imler, Lisa C; Davis, J Allen; Luben, Thomas J

    2011-06-01

    Few studies have explored the relationship between PM2.5 and lung cancer incidence. Although results are mixed, some studies have demonstrated a positive relationship between PM2.5 and lung cancer mortality. Using an ecologic study design, we examined the county-level associations between PM2.5 concentrations (2002-2005) and lung cancer incidence and mortality in North Carolina (2002-2006). Positive trends were observed between PM2.5 concentrations and lung cancer incidence and mortality; however, the R2 for both were <0.10. The slopes for the relationship between PM2.5 and lung cancer incidence and mortality were 1.26 (95% CI 0.31, 2.21, p-value 0.01) and 0.73 (95% CI 0.09, 1.36, p-value 0.03) per 1 μg/m3 PM2.5, respectively. These associations were slightly strengthened with the inclusion of variables representing socioeconomic status and smoking. Although variability is high, thus reflecting the importance of tobacco smoking and other etiologic agents that influence lung cancer incidence and mortality besides PM2.5, a positive trend is observed between PM2.5 and lung cancer incidence and mortality. This suggests the possibility of an association between PM2.5 concentrations and lung cancer incidence and mortality.

  18. Insights into population ecology from long-term studies of red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Padilla, Jesus; Redpath, Steve M; Zeineddine, Mohammed; Mougeot, François

    2014-01-01

    Long-term studies have been the backbone of population ecology. The red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus is one species that has contributed widely to this field since the 1950s. This paper reviews the trajectory and profound impact that these studies have had. Red grouse research has combined long-term studies of marked individuals with demographic studies over wide geographical areas and replicated individual- and population-level manipulations. A main focus has been on understanding the causes of population cycles in red grouse, and in particular the relative importance of intrinsic (behaviour) and extrinsic (climate, food limitation and parasite) mechanisms. Separate studies conducted in different regions initially proposed either the nematode parasite Trichostrongylus tenuis or changes in male aggressiveness in autumn as drivers of population cycles. More recent experiments suggest that parasites are not a necessary cause for cycles and have highlighted that behavioural and parasite-mediated mechanisms are interrelated. Long-term experiments show that parasites and aggressiveness interact. Two outstanding questions remain to be tested experimentally. First, what intrinsic mechanism causes temporal variation in patterns of male aggressiveness? The current favoured mechanism is related to patterns of kin structuring although there are alternative hypotheses. Second, how do the dual, interacting mechanisms, affect population dynamics? Red grouse studies have had an important impact on the field of population ecology, in particular through highlighting: (1) the impact of parasites on populations; (2) the role of intrinsic mechanisms in cyclic dynamics and (3) the need to consider multiple, interacting mechanisms.

  19. Estimating Bacterial Diversity for Ecological Studies: Methods, Metrics, and Assumptions

    PubMed Central

    Birtel, Julia; Walser, Jean-Claude; Pichon, Samuel; Bürgmann, Helmut; Matthews, Blake

    2015-01-01

    Methods to estimate microbial diversity have developed rapidly in an effort to understand the distribution and diversity of microorganisms in natural environments. For bacterial communities, the 16S rRNA gene is the phylogenetic marker gene of choice, but most studies select only a specific region of the 16S rRNA to estimate bacterial diversity. Whereas biases derived from from DNA extraction, primer choice and PCR amplification are well documented, we here address how the choice of variable region can influence a wide range of standard ecological metrics, such as species richness, phylogenetic diversity, β-diversity and rank-abundance distributions. We have used Illumina paired-end sequencing to estimate the bacterial diversity of 20 natural lakes across Switzerland derived from three trimmed variable 16S rRNA regions (V3, V4, V5). Species richness, phylogenetic diversity, community composition, β-diversity, and rank-abundance distributions differed significantly between 16S rRNA regions. Overall, patterns of diversity quantified by the V3 and V5 regions were more similar to one another than those assessed by the V4 region. Similar results were obtained when analyzing the datasets with different sequence similarity thresholds used during sequences clustering and when the same analysis was used on a reference dataset of sequences from the Greengenes database. In addition we also measured species richness from the same lake samples using ARISA Fingerprinting, but did not find a strong relationship between species richness estimated by Illumina and ARISA. We conclude that the selection of 16S rRNA region significantly influences the estimation of bacterial diversity and species distributions and that caution is warranted when comparing data from different variable regions as well as when using different sequencing techniques. PMID:25915756

  20. Supercharged Snails for Stream Ecology & Water-Quality Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Arthur J.; Ryon, Michael G.

    2003-01-01

    Gill-breathing freshwater snails (Family "Pleuroceridae") are ecologically important, abundant in many streams in the United States, and easy to collect and maintain under classroom conditions. These snails can be used in classroom tests to demonstrate effects of pollutants on aquatic organisms. In more advanced classes, students can cage the…

  1. A Longitudinal Study of Students' Conceptualization of Ecological Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hellden, Gustav F.

    During the last decades, an increasing awareness has developed that humankind will have to make important decisions about the environment which will demand substantive knowledge of critical ecological phenomena such as the production and decomposition of biomass (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987). As a biology teacher the…

  2. Introducing Future Engineers to Sustainable Ecology Problems: A Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Filipkowski, A.

    2011-01-01

    The problem of Earth environmental destruction by human activities is becoming dangerous. Engineers responsible for the production of any goods should be well aware of the negative influence of their activities on the state of the planet. This is why the understanding of ecological problems is essential for people responsible for production and…

  3. A Study of the St. Lawrence River Ecological Habitat

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mesires, Maria

    2010-01-01

    Save the River, a grassroots advocacy group established in 1978, lobbies for policies to preserve the upper St. Lawrence River and uses the community's help to keep an eye on the existing habitats. Recently, they procured the Fresh Sound Foundation grant to support the development of new K-12 ecology curricula by local area teachers to educate…

  4. Supercharged Snails for Stream Ecology & Water-Quality Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Arthur J.; Ryon, Michael G.

    2003-01-01

    Gill-breathing freshwater snails (Family "Pleuroceridae") are ecologically important, abundant in many streams in the United States, and easy to collect and maintain under classroom conditions. These snails can be used in classroom tests to demonstrate effects of pollutants on aquatic organisms. In more advanced classes, students can cage the…

  5. Ecological Methods in the Study of Administrative Behavior.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scott, Myrtle; Eklund, Susan J.

    Qualitative/naturalistic inquiry intends to discover whatever naturally occurring order exists rather than to test various theories or conceptual frameworks held by the investigator. Naturalistic, ecological data are urgently needed concerning the behavior of educational administrators. Such data can considerably change the knowledge base of the…

  6. A Study of the St. Lawrence River Ecological Habitat

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mesires, Maria

    2010-01-01

    Save the River, a grassroots advocacy group established in 1978, lobbies for policies to preserve the upper St. Lawrence River and uses the community's help to keep an eye on the existing habitats. Recently, they procured the Fresh Sound Foundation grant to support the development of new K-12 ecology curricula by local area teachers to educate…

  7. Ecological Validity in Eye-Tracking: An Empirical Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spinner, Patti; Gass, Susan M.; Behney, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    Eye-trackers are becoming increasingly widespread as a tool to investigate second language (L2) acquisition. Unfortunately, clear standards for methodology--including font size, font type, and placement of interest areas--are not yet available. Although many researchers stress the need for ecological validity--that is, the simulation of natural…

  8. Ecological Validity in Eye-Tracking: An Empirical Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spinner, Patti; Gass, Susan M.; Behney, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    Eye-trackers are becoming increasingly widespread as a tool to investigate second language (L2) acquisition. Unfortunately, clear standards for methodology--including font size, font type, and placement of interest areas--are not yet available. Although many researchers stress the need for ecological validity--that is, the simulation of natural…

  9. Introducing Future Engineers to Sustainable Ecology Problems: A Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Filipkowski, A.

    2011-01-01

    The problem of Earth environmental destruction by human activities is becoming dangerous. Engineers responsible for the production of any goods should be well aware of the negative influence of their activities on the state of the planet. This is why the understanding of ecological problems is essential for people responsible for production and…

  10. Method for Studying a Human Ecology: An Adaptation of the Grounded Theory Tradition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCaslin, Mark L.; Scott, Karen Wilson

    Constructivist grounded theory is focused on discovery through understanding data in a human ecology. The procedures outlined in this paper are designed to guide the beginning theorist through the process of creating a theory grounded in data that is a product of the human ecology under study. These new procedures extend grounded theory, providing…

  11. An Exploratory Study of Elementary Preservice Teachers' Understanding of Ecology Using Concept Maps

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zak, Kevin M.; Munson, Bruce H.

    2008-01-01

    Classroom teachers serve a critical role in developing environmentally literate citizens. In this study, the authors assessed K-8 preservice teachers' understanding of basic ecological concepts. Participants (N = 56) constructed concept maps describing the inter-relationships among 16 ecological concepts. The authors analyzed the concept maps to…

  12. An Exploratory Study of Elementary Preservice Teachers' Understanding of Ecology Using Concept Maps

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zak, Kevin M.; Munson, Bruce H.

    2008-01-01

    Classroom teachers serve a critical role in developing environmentally literate citizens. In this study, the authors assessed K-8 preservice teachers' understanding of basic ecological concepts. Participants (N = 56) constructed concept maps describing the inter-relationships among 16 ecological concepts. The authors analyzed the concept maps to…

  13. Concentration Levels and Ecological Risks of Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Surface Sediments of Tianjin Coastal Area, China

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Xiaoxia; Chen, Chaoqi; Zhang, Shu; Hou, Zhen; Yang, Junjun

    2013-01-01

    Sediments were sampled from different surface water bodies in Tianjin coastal area, China, and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were measured using GC/MS or GC/ECD. The purposes were to investigate the concentration levels of the POPs and to assess their ecological risks. The results showed that all the 16 priority PAHs were detected from the 10 sediments sampled with the total concentrations of the 16 PAHs ranging from 274.06 μg/kg to 2656.65 μg/kg, while the concentrations of the halogenated POPs were generally low except in the Dagu waste discharging river where the total concentrations of 24 OCPs, 35 PCBs, and 14 PBDEs were 3103.36 μg/kg, 87.31 μg/kg, and 13.88 μg/kg, respectively. In the studied sediments, PAHs exhibited risks to benthonic organisms; particularly the concentrations of naphthalene and/or acenaphthene exceeded their probable effect concentrations in several locations. In comparison, only in the Dagu waste discharging river, OCPs exhibited risks with the concentrations of heptachlor epoxide and lindane exceeding their probable effect concentrations. PCBs and PBDEs posed rare risks in the studied area. PMID:23401668

  14. Concentration levels and ecological risks of persistent organic pollutants in the surface sediments of Tianjin coastal area, China.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xiaoxia; Chen, Chaoqi; Zhang, Shu; Hou, Zhen; Yang, Junjun

    2013-01-01

    Sediments were sampled from different surface water bodies in Tianjin coastal area, China, and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were measured using GC/MS or GC/ECD. The purposes were to investigate the concentration levels of the POPs and to assess their ecological risks. The results showed that all the 16 priority PAHs were detected from the 10 sediments sampled with the total concentrations of the 16 PAHs ranging from 274.06 μg/kg to 2656.65 μg/kg, while the concentrations of the halogenated POPs were generally low except in the Dagu waste discharging river where the total concentrations of 24 OCPs, 35 PCBs, and 14 PBDEs were 3103.36 μg/kg, 87.31 μg/kg, and 13.88 μg/kg, respectively. In the studied sediments, PAHs exhibited risks to benthonic organisms; particularly the concentrations of naphthalene and/or acenaphthene exceeded their probable effect concentrations in several locations. In comparison, only in the Dagu waste discharging river, OCPs exhibited risks with the concentrations of heptachlor epoxide and lindane exceeding their probable effect concentrations. PCBs and PBDEs posed rare risks in the studied area.

  15. Animal behaviour shapes the ecological effects of ocean acidification and warming: moving from individual to community-level responses.

    PubMed

    Nagelkerken, Ivan; Munday, Philip L

    2016-03-01

    Biological communities are shaped by complex interactions between organisms and their environment as well as interactions with other species. Humans are rapidly changing the marine environment through increasing greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in ocean warming and acidification. The first response by animals to environmental change is predominantly through modification of their behaviour, which in turn affects species interactions and ecological processes. Yet, many climate change studies ignore animal behaviour. Furthermore, our current knowledge of how global change alters animal behaviour is mostly restricted to single species, life phases and stressors, leading to an incomplete view of how coinciding climate stressors can affect the ecological interactions that structure biological communities. Here, we first review studies on the effects of warming and acidification on the behaviour of marine animals. We demonstrate how pervasive the effects of global change are on a wide range of critical behaviours that determine the persistence of species and their success in ecological communities. We then evaluate several approaches to studying the ecological effects of warming and acidification, and identify knowledge gaps that need to be filled, to better understand how global change will affect marine populations and communities through altered animal behaviours. Our review provides a synthesis of the far-reaching consequences that behavioural changes could have for marine ecosystems in a rapidly changing environment. Without considering the pervasive effects of climate change on animal behaviour we will limit our ability to forecast the impacts of ocean change and provide insights that can aid management strategies.

  16. USDOE study: Human health and ecological risk assessment for produced water discharges

    SciTech Connect

    Meinhold, A.F.; Holtzman, S.; DePhillips, M.; Hamilton, L.D.

    1994-12-31

    Produced water generated during the production of oil and gas can contain high concentrations of radionuclides, organics and heavy metals. There are concerns about potential human health and ecological impacts from the discharge of these contaminants to the Gulf of Mexico. Data collected in the United States Department of Energy (USDOE) field study are being used in a series of human health and ecological risk assessments. These assessments will support scientifically-based regulation and risk management. This presentation: summarizes risk assessments performed for produced water discharges; describes how uncertainties in these assessments are guiding data collection efforts in the USDOE field study; and outlines ongoing risk assessment studies. In these studies, risk assessment is treated as an iterative process. An initial screening-level assessment is performed to identify important contaminants, transport and exposure pathways, and parameters. These intermediate results are used to guide data collection efforts and refinements to the analysis. At this stage in the analysis, risk is described in terms of probabilities; the uncertainties in each measured or modeled parameter are considered explicitly.

  17. Ecological factors and adolescent marijuana use: results of a prospective study in Santiago, Chile.

    PubMed

    Delva, Jorge; Lee, Wonhyung; Sanchez, Ninive; Andrade, Fernando H; Grogan-Kaylor, Andrew; Sanhueza, Guillermo; Ho, Michelle

    2014-03-21

    Despite the growing evidence that ecological factors contribute to substance use, the relationship of ecological factors and illicit drugs such as marijuana use is not well understood, particularly among adolescents in Latin America. Guided by social disorganization and social stress theories, we prospectively examined the association of disaggregated neighborhood characteristics with marijuana use among adolescents in Santiago, Chile, and tested if these relationships varied by sex. Data for this study are from 725 community-dwelling adolescents participating in the Santiago Longitudinal Study, a study of substance using behaviors among urban adolescents in Santiago, Chile. Adolescents completed a two-hour interviewer administered questionnaire with questions about drug use and factors related to drug using behaviors. As the neighborhood levels of drug availability at baseline increased, but not crime or noxious environment, adolescents had higher odds of occasions of marijuana use at follow up, approximately 2 years later (odds ratio [OR] = 1.39; 95% CI = 1.16-1.66), even after controlling for the study's covariates. No interactions by sex were significant. The findings suggest that "poverty", "crime", and "drug problems" may not be synonyms and thus can be understood discretely. As Latin American countries re-examine their drug policies, especially those concerning decriminalizing marijuana use, the findings suggest that attempts to reduce adolescent marijuana use in disadvantaged neighborhoods may do best if efforts are concentrated on specific features of the "substance abuse environment".

  18. A Socio-Ecological Approach for Identifying and Contextualising Spatial Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Priorities at the Sub-National Level

    PubMed Central

    Bourne, Amanda; Holness, Stephen; Holden, Petra; Scorgie, Sarshen; Donatti, Camila I.; Midgley, Guy

    2016-01-01

    Climate change adds an additional layer of complexity to existing sustainable development and biodiversity conservation challenges. The impacts of global climate change are felt locally, and thus local governance structures will increasingly be responsible for preparedness and local responses. Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) options are gaining prominence as relevant climate change solutions. Local government officials seldom have an appropriate understanding of the role of ecosystem functioning in sustainable development goals, or access to relevant climate information. Thus the use of ecosystems in helping people adapt to climate change is limited partially by the lack of information on where ecosystems have the highest potential to do so. To begin overcoming this barrier, Conservation South Africa in partnership with local government developed a socio-ecological approach for identifying spatial EbA priorities at the sub-national level. Using GIS-based multi-criteria analysis and vegetation distribution models, the authors have spatially integrated relevant ecological and social information at a scale appropriate to inform local level political, administrative, and operational decision makers. This is the first systematic approach of which we are aware that highlights spatial priority areas for EbA implementation. Nodes of socio-ecological vulnerability are identified, and the inclusion of areas that provide ecosystem services and ecological resilience to future climate change is innovative. The purpose of this paper is to present and demonstrate a methodology for combining complex information into user-friendly spatial products for local level decision making on EbA. The authors focus on illustrating the kinds of products that can be generated from combining information in the suggested ways, and do not discuss the nuance of climate models nor present specific technical details of the model outputs here. Two representative case studies from rural South Africa

  19. A Socio-Ecological Approach for Identifying and Contextualising Spatial Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Priorities at the Sub-National Level.

    PubMed

    Bourne, Amanda; Holness, Stephen; Holden, Petra; Scorgie, Sarshen; Donatti, Camila I; Midgley, Guy

    2016-01-01

    Climate change adds an additional layer of complexity to existing sustainable development and biodiversity conservation challenges. The impacts of global climate change are felt locally, and thus local governance structures will increasingly be responsible for preparedness and local responses. Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) options are gaining prominence as relevant climate change solutions. Local government officials seldom have an appropriate understanding of the role of ecosystem functioning in sustainable development goals, or access to relevant climate information. Thus the use of ecosystems in helping people adapt to climate change is limited partially by the lack of information on where ecosystems have the highest potential to do so. To begin overcoming this barrier, Conservation South Africa in partnership with local government developed a socio-ecological approach for identifying spatial EbA priorities at the sub-national level. Using GIS-based multi-criteria analysis and vegetation distribution models, the authors have spatially integrated relevant ecological and social information at a scale appropriate to inform local level political, administrative, and operational decision makers. This is the first systematic approach of which we are aware that highlights spatial priority areas for EbA implementation. Nodes of socio-ecological vulnerability are identified, and the inclusion of areas that provide ecosystem services and ecological resilience to future climate change is innovative. The purpose of this paper is to present and demonstrate a methodology for combining complex information into user-friendly spatial products for local level decision making on EbA. The authors focus on illustrating the kinds of products that can be generated from combining information in the suggested ways, and do not discuss the nuance of climate models nor present specific technical details of the model outputs here. Two representative case studies from rural South Africa

  20. Breast feeding initiation rate across Western countries: does religion matter? An ecological study

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Emmanuel; Kramer, Michael S

    2016-01-01

    Background Breast feeding initiation rates remain below 80% in some Western countries. Many individual-level determinants are known; however, less is known regarding cultural and societal determinants, such as religion, that could explain population-level variations. We examined the correlations of the proportions of Catholics and Protestants with the breast feeding initiation rates across and within Western countries. Methods Using publicly available data, we carried out an ecological study comparing the proportions of Catholics and Protestants with the rates of breast feeding initiation. We correlated data at the country level, and additionally explored within-country data in five Western countries: France (Departments), Ireland (counties), the UK (countries), Canada (provinces) and the USA (states). Our analyses accounted for human development index, gross domestic product and population density. Results We observed a negative correlation (r=−0.30) between the proportion of Catholics and the rate of breast feeding initiation in Western countries. This correlation was consistent when using within-country data in France (r=−0.27), Ireland (r=−0.23), the UK (r=−0.79) and Canada (r=−0.62). In the USA, the positive correlation (r=0.26) between a state's proportion of Catholics and its breast feeding initiation rate was confounded by race, education and socioeconomic status (SES). After controlling for education and SES, the state proportion of non-Hispanic white Catholics was negatively correlated (r=−0.29) with the rate of breast feeding initiation. Conclusions In this ecological study, we found consistent negative correlations between Catholicism and breast feeding initiation rates. Qualitative and quantitative studies at the individual level are needed to confirm and explain our findings. Our results suggest that women living in a country or region where Catholicism has historically dominated are less likely to initiate breast feeding, and that breast

  1. Ecological network analysis of an urban water metabolic system: model development, and a case study for Beijing.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yan; Yang, Zhifeng; Fath, Brian D

    2010-09-15

    Using ecological network analysis, we analyzed the network structure and ecological relationships in an urban water metabolic system. We developed an ecological network model for the system, and used Beijing as an example of analysis based on the model. We used network throughflow analysis to determine the flows among components, and measured both indirect and direct flows. Using a network utility matrix, we determined the relationships and degrees of mutualism among six compartments--1) local environment, 2) rainwater collection, 3) industry, 4) agriculture, 5) domestic sector, and 6) wastewater recycling--which represent producer, consumer, and reducer trophic levels. The capacity of producers to provide water for Beijing decreased from 2003 to 2007, and consumer demand for water decreased due to decreasing industrial and agricultural demand; the recycling capacity of reducers also improved, decreasing the discharge pressure on the environment. The ecological relationships associated with the local environment or the wastewater recycling sector changed little from 2003 to 2007. From 2003 to 2005, the main changes in the ecological relationships among components of Beijing's water metabolic system mostly occurred between the local environment, the industrial and agricultural sectors, and the domestic sector, but by 2006 and 2007, the major change was between the local environment, the agricultural sector, and the industrial sector. The other ecological relationships did not change during the study period. Although Beijing's mutualism indices remained generally stable, the ecological relationships among compartments changed greatly. Our analysis revealed ways to further optimize this system and the relationships among compartments, thereby optimizing future urban water resources development.

  2. Introducing future engineers to sustainable ecology problems: a case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filipkowski, A.

    2011-12-01

    The problem of Earth environmental destruction by human activities is becoming dangerous. Engineers responsible for the production of any goods should be well aware of the negative influence of their activities on the state of the planet. This is why the understanding of ecological problems is essential for people responsible for production and industrial design. The energy, which they consume, is increasing the greenhouse effect and the waste poisons the environment. So far, most courses on ecology are offered to specialists in environmental engineering. These courses are filled with many details. The Warsaw Academy of Computer Science, Management and Administration teaches students in the direction of management and production engineering. Upon completion, the students receive the degree of 'engineer'. Their future work will mainly concern management of different types of industrial enterprises and they will be responsible for organising it in such a way as to avoid a dangerous contribution to environmental pollution and climate change. This is why it was decided to introduce a new course entitled 'Principles of Ecology and Environmental Management'. This course is quite broad, concerning almost all technical, law and organisational aspects of the problem. The presentation is made in a spectacular way, aiming to convince students that their future activity must be environmentally friendly. It contains information about international activities in ecology, legal aspects concerning pollution, technical and information methods of monitoring and, finally, the description of 'green' solutions. Altogether, 27 hours of lectures and 15 hours of discussions and students' presentations complete the course. Details of this course are described in this paper.

  3. Ecological niche transferability using invasive species as a case study.

    PubMed

    Fernández, Miguel; Hamilton, Healy

    2015-01-01

    Species distribution modeling is widely applied to predict invasive species distributions and species range shifts under climate change. Accurate predictions depend upon meeting the assumption that ecological niches are conserved, i.e., spatially or temporally transferable. Here we present a multi-taxon comparative analysis of niche conservatism using biological invasion events well documented in natural history museum collections. Our goal is to assess spatial transferability of the climatic niche of a range of noxious terrestrial invasive species using two complementary approaches. First we compare species' native versus invasive ranges in environmental space using two distinct methods, Principal Components Analysis and Mahalanobis distance. Second we compare species' native versus invaded ranges in geographic space as estimated using the species distribution modeling technique Maxent and the comparative index Hellinger's I. We find that species exhibit a range of responses, from almost complete transferability, in which the invaded niches completely overlap with the native niches, to a complete dissociation between native and invaded ranges. Intermediate responses included expansion of dimension attributable to either temperature or precipitation derived variables, as well as niche expansion in multiple dimensions. We conclude that the ecological niche in the native range is generally a poor predictor of invaded range and, by analogy, the ecological niche may be a poor predictor of range shifts under climate change. We suggest that assessing dimensions of niche transferability prior to standard species distribution modeling may improve the understanding of species' dynamics in the invaded range.

  4. Studies on marine oil spills and their ecological damage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mei, Hong; Yin, Yanjie

    2009-09-01

    The sources of marine oil spills are mainly from accidents of marine oil tankers or freighters, marine oil-drilling platforms, marine oil pipelines, marine oilfields, terrestrial pollution, oil-bearing atmosphere, and offshore oil production equipment. It is concluded upon analysis that there are two main reasons for marine oil spills: (I) The motive for huge economic benefits of oil industry owners and oil shipping agents far surpasses their sense of ecological risks. (II) Marine ecological safety has not become the main concern of national security. Oil spills are disasters because humans spare no efforts to get economic benefits from oil. The present paper draws another conclusion that marine ecological damage caused by oil spills can be roughly divided into two categories: damage to marine resource value (direct value) and damage to marine ecosystem service value (indirect value). Marine oil spills cause damage to marine biological, fishery, seawater, tourism and mineral resources to various extents, which contributes to the lower quality and value of marine resources.

  5. Ecological periodic tables for benthic macrofaunal usage of estuarine habitats : Insights from a case study in Tillamook bay, Oregon, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study validates the ecological relevance of estuarine habitat types to the benthic macrofaunal community and, together with previous similar studies, suggests they can serve as elements in ecological periodic tables of benthic macrofaunal usage in the bioregion. We compared...

  6. Ecological periodic tables for benthic macrofaunal usage of estuarine habitats : Insights from a case study in Tillamook bay, Oregon, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study validates the ecological relevance of estuarine habitat types to the benthic macrofaunal community and, together with previous similar studies, suggests they can serve as elements in ecological periodic tables of benthic macrofaunal usage in the bioregion. We compared...

  7. Assessing Conifer Ray Parenchyma for Ecological Studies: Pitfalls and Guidelines

    PubMed Central

    von Arx, Georg; Arzac, Alberto; Olano, José M.; Fonti, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Ray parenchyma is an essential tissue for tree functioning and survival. This living tissue plays a major role for storage and transport of water, nutrients, and non-structural carbohydrates (NSC), thus regulating xylem hydraulics and growth. However, despite the importance of rays for tree carbon and water relations, methodological challenges hamper knowledge about ray intra- and inter-tree variability and its ecological meaning. In this study we provide a methodological toolbox for soundly quantifying spatial and temporal variability of different ray features. Anatomical ray features were surveyed in different cutting planes (cross-sectional, tangential, and radial) using quantitative image analysis on stem-wood micro-sections sampled from 41 mature Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris). The percentage of ray surface (PERPAR), a proxy for ray volume, was compared among cutting planes and between early- and latewood to assess measurement-induced variability. Different tangential ray metrics were correlated to assess their similarities. The accuracy of cross-sectional and tangential measurements for PERPAR estimates as a function of number of samples and the measured wood surface was assessed using bootstrapping statistical technique. Tangential sections offered the best 3D insight of ray integration into the xylem and provided the most accurate estimates of PERPAR, with 10 samples of 4 mm2 showing an estimate within ±6.0% of the true mean PERPAR (relative 95% confidence interval, CI95), and 20 samples of 4 mm2 showing a CI95 of ±4.3%. Cross-sections were most efficient for establishment of time series, and facilitated comparisons with other widely used xylem anatomical features. Earlywood had significantly lower PERPAR (5.77 vs. 6.18%) and marginally fewer initiating rays than latewood. In comparison to tangential sections, PERPAR was systematically overestimated (6.50 vs. 4.92%) and required approximately twice the sample area for similar accuracy. Radial cuttings

  8. Assessing Conifer Ray Parenchyma for Ecological Studies: Pitfalls and Guidelines.

    PubMed

    von Arx, Georg; Arzac, Alberto; Olano, José M; Fonti, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Ray parenchyma is an essential tissue for tree functioning and survival. This living tissue plays a major role for storage and transport of water, nutrients, and non-structural carbohydrates (NSC), thus regulating xylem hydraulics and growth. However, despite the importance of rays for tree carbon and water relations, methodological challenges hamper knowledge about ray intra- and inter-tree variability and its ecological meaning. In this study we provide a methodological toolbox for soundly quantifying spatial and temporal variability of different ray features. Anatomical ray features were surveyed in different cutting planes (cross-sectional, tangential, and radial) using quantitative image analysis on stem-wood micro-sections sampled from 41 mature Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris). The percentage of ray surface (PERPAR), a proxy for ray volume, was compared among cutting planes and between early- and latewood to assess measurement-induced variability. Different tangential ray metrics were correlated to assess their similarities. The accuracy of cross-sectional and tangential measurements for PERPAR estimates as a function of number of samples and the measured wood surface was assessed using bootstrapping statistical technique. Tangential sections offered the best 3D insight of ray integration into the xylem and provided the most accurate estimates of PERPAR, with 10 samples of 4 mm(2) showing an estimate within ±6.0% of the true mean PERPAR (relative 95% confidence interval, CI95), and 20 samples of 4 mm(2) showing a CI95 of ±4.3%. Cross-sections were most efficient for establishment of time series, and facilitated comparisons with other widely used xylem anatomical features. Earlywood had significantly lower PERPAR (5.77 vs. 6.18%) and marginally fewer initiating rays than latewood. In comparison to tangential sections, PERPAR was systematically overestimated (6.50 vs. 4.92%) and required approximately twice the sample area for similar accuracy. Radial cuttings

  9. Ecological Factors and Adolescent Marijuana Use: Results of a Prospective Study in Santiago, Chile

    PubMed Central

    Delva, Jorge; Lee, Wonhyung; Sanchez, Ninive; Andrade, Fernando H.; Grogan-Kaylor, Andrew; Sanhueza, Guillermo; Ho, Michelle

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: Despite the growing evidence that ecological factors contribute to substance use, the relationship of ecological factors and illicit drugs such as marijuana use is not well understood, particularly among adolescents in Latin America. Guided by social disorganization and social stress theories, we prospectively examined the association of disaggregated neighborhood characteristics with marijuana use among adolescents in Santiago, Chile, and tested if these relationships varied by sex. Methods: Data for this study are from 725 community-dwelling adolescents participating in the Santiago Longitudinal Study, a study of substance using behaviors among urban adolescents in Santiago, Chile. Adolescents completed a two-hour interviewer administered questionnaire with questions about drug use and factors related to drug using behaviors. Results: As the neighborhood levels of drug availability at baseline increased, but not crime or noxious environment, adolescents had higher odds of occasions of marijuana use at follow up, approximately 2 years later (odds ratio [OR] = 1.39; 95% CI = 1.16–1.66), even after controlling for the study’s covariates. No interactions by sex were significant. Discussion: The findings suggest that “poverty”, “crime”, and “drug problems” may not be synonyms and thus can be understood discretely. As Latin American countries re-examine their drug policies, especially those concerning decriminalizing marijuana use, the findings suggest that attempts to reduce adolescent marijuana use in disadvantaged neighborhoods may do best if efforts are concentrated on specific features of the “substance abuse environment”. PMID:24662965

  10. Drinking water contamination and the incidence of leukemia: An ecologic study

    SciTech Connect

    Fagliano, J.; Berry, M.; Bove, F.; Burke, T. )

    1990-10-01

    An ecologic study was performed to examine the relation between the incidence of leukemias and the occurrence of volatile organic chemical (VOC) contamination of drinking water supplies within a study area comprised of subpopulations differentially exposed to drinking water VOCs (trichloroethylene and related solvents). Populations served by community water supplies were classified into exposure categories according to VOC contamination status based on 1984-85 sampling data. Leukemia incidence data (1979-84) were collected from a population-based cancer registry. For females, the standardized incidence ratio was elevated only in towns in the highest of three exposure categories. No association was observed in males in any of the exposure categories. A Poisson regression analysis of the data, using finer exposure strata, indicated an increase in risk among females with increasing level of contamination which appeared to be distributed evenly across all age strata. The rate ratio for females at the highest exposure stratum for total non-THM VOCs compared to the least exposed stratum was 1.68. The observed association appears to suggest that drinking water contaminated with VOCs may increase the incidence of leukemia among exposed females, but caution is advised in the interpretation of these results because of the uncertainties inherent in ecologic studies.

  11. Drinking water contamination and the incidence of leukemia: an ecologic study.

    PubMed

    Fagliano, J; Berry, M; Bove, F; Burke, T

    1990-10-01

    An ecologic study was performed to examine the relation between the incidence of leukemias and the occurrence of volatile organic chemical (VOC) contamination of drinking water supplies within a study area comprised of subpopulations differentially exposed to drinking water VOCs (trichloroethylene and related solvents). Populations served by community water supplies were classified into exposure categories according to VOC contamination status based on 1984-85 sampling data. Leukemia incidence data (1979-84) were collected from a population-based cancer registry. For females, the standardized incidence ratio was elevated only in towns in the highest of three exposure categories. No association was observed in males in any of the exposure categories. A Poisson regression analysis of the data, using finer exposure strata, indicated an increase in risk among females with increasing level of contamination which appeared to be distributed evenly across all age strata. The rate ratio for females at the highest exposure stratum for total non-THM VOCs compared to the least exposed stratum was 1.68. The observed association appears to suggest that drinking water contaminated with VOCs may increase the incidence of leukemia among exposed females, but caution is advised in the interpretation of these results because of the uncertainties inherent in ecologic studies.

  12. White Paper: Summary of the NOAA Workshop - Ecological Effect of Sea Level Rise in the Florida Panhandle and Coastal Alabama: Research and Modeling Needs

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research (CSCOR) is addressing current and future impacts to ecological systems due to the long term effect of sea level rise due to climate change and subsidence on coastal ecosystems through the peer-reviewed research program, the Ecologic...

  13. White Paper: Summary of the NOAA Workshop - Ecological Effect of Sea Level Rise in the Florida Panhandle and Coastal Alabama: Research and Modeling Needs

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research (CSCOR) is addressing current and future impacts to ecological systems due to the long term effect of sea level rise due to climate change and subsidence on coastal ecosystems through the peer-reviewed research program, the Ecologic...

  14. Effect of Dietary Protein Levels on Composition of Odorous Compounds and Bacterial Ecology in Pig Manure

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Sungback; Hwang, Okhwa; Park, Sungkwon

    2015-01-01

    This study was performed to investigate the effect of different levels of dietary crude protein (CP) on composition of odorous compounds and bacterial communities in pig manure. A total of 48 male pigs (average initial body weight 45 kg) fed diets containing three levels of dietary CP (20%, 17.5%, and 15%) and their slurry samples were collected from the pits under the floor every week for one month. Changes in composition of odorous compounds and bacterial communities were analyzed by gas chromatography and 454 FLX titanium pyrosequencing systems, respectively. Levels of phenols, indoles, short chain fatty acid and branched chain fatty acid were lowest (p<0.05) in CP 15% group among three CP levels. Relative abundance of Bacteroidetes phylum and bacterial genera including Leuconostoc, Bacillus, Atopostipes, Peptonphilus, Ruminococcaceae_uc, Bacteroides, and Pseudomonas was lower (p<0.05) in CP 15% than in CP 20% group. There was a positive correlation (p<0.05) between odorous compounds and bacterial genera: phenol, indole, iso-butyric acid, and iso-valeric acid with Atopostipes, p-cresol and skatole with Bacteroides, acetic acid and butyric acid with AM982595_g of Porphyromonadaceae family, and propionic acid with Tissierella. Taken together, administration of 15% CP showed less production of odorous compounds than 20% CP group and this result might be associated with the changes in bacterial communities especially whose roles in protein metabolism. PMID:26194219

  15. [Assessment of landscape ecological security and optimization of landscape pattern based on spatial principal component analysis and resistance model in arid inland area: A case study of Ganzhou District, Zhangye City, Northwest China].

    PubMed

    Pan, Jing-hu; Liu, Xiao

    2015-10-01

    Starting from ecological environment of inland river in arid area, the distribution of ecological security pattern of Ganzhou District was obtained by using the theory of landscape ecology, spatial principal component analysis (SPCA) and GIS techniques. Ten factors such as altitude, slope, soil erosion, vegetation coverage, and distance from road, were selected as the constraint conditions. According to the minimum cumulative resistance (MCR) model of landscape, the ecological corridor and nodes were established to optimize the structure and function of ecological function network. The results showed that the comprehensive ecological security situation of the research area was on the average. Area of moderate level of security was 1318.7 km2, being the largest and accounting for 36.7% of the research area. The area of low level of security was mainly located in the northern part and accounted for 19.9% of the study area. With points, lines and surfaces being interlaced, a regional ecological network was constructed, which was consisted of six ecological corridor, 14 ecological nodes, a large ecological source region and a plurality of small area source region, and could effectively improve ecological security level of the study area.

  16. Coastal urban lighting has ecological consequences for multiple trophic levels under the sea.

    PubMed

    Bolton, D; Mayer-Pinto, M; Clark, G F; Dafforn, K A; Brassil, W A; Becker, A; Johnston, E L

    2017-01-15

    Urban land and seascapes are increasingly exposed to artificial lighting at night (ALAN), which is a significant source of light pollution. A broad range of ecological effects are associated with ALAN, but the changes to ecological processes remain largely unstudied. Predation is a key ecological process that structures assemblages and responds to natural cycles of light and dark. We investigated the effect of ALAN on fish predatory behaviour, and sessile invertebrate prey assemblages. Over 21days fish and sessile assemblages were exposed to 3 light treatments (Day, Night and ALAN). An array of LED spotlights was installed under a wharf to create the ALAN treatments. We used GoPro cameras to film during the day and ALAN treatments, and a Dual frequency IDentification SONar (DIDSON) to film during the night treatments. Fish were most abundant during unlit nights, but were also relatively sedentary. Predatory behaviour was greatest during the day and under ALAN than at night, suggesting that fish are using structures for non-feeding purposes (e.g. shelter) at night, but artificial light dramatically increases their predatory behaviour. Altered predator behaviour corresponded with structural changes to sessile prey assemblages among the experimental lighting treatments. We demonstrate the direct effects of artificial lighting on fish behaviour and the concomitant indirect effects on sessile assemblage structure. Current and future projected use of artificial lights has the potential to significantly affect predator-prey interactions in marine systems by altering habitat use for both predators and prey. However, developments in lighting technology are a promising avenue for mitigation. This is among the first empirical evidence from the marine system on how ALAN can directly alter predation, a fundamental ecosystem process, and have indirect trophic consequences. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. The population ecology of infectious diseases: pertussis in Thailand as a case study.

    PubMed

    Blackwood, J C; Cummings, D A T; Broutin, H; Iamsirithaworn, S; Rohani, P

    2012-12-01

    Many of the fundamental concepts in studying infectious diseases are rooted in population ecology. We describe the importance of population ecology in exploring central issues in infectious disease research including identifying the drivers and dynamics of host-pathogen interactions and pathogen persistence, and evaluating the success of public health policies. The use of ecological concepts in infectious disease research is demonstrated with simple theoretical examples in addition to an analysis of case notification data of pertussis, a childhood respiratory disease, in Thailand as a case study. We stress that further integration of these fields will have significant impacts in infectious diseases research.

  18. Sensitivity of ecological soil-screening levels for metals to exposure model parameterization and toxicity reference values

    PubMed Central

    Sample, Bradley E; Fairbrother, Anne; Kaiser, Ashley; Law, Sheryl; Adams, Bill

    2014-01-01

    Ecological soil-screening levels (Eco-SSLs) were developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) for the purposes of setting conservative soil screening values that can be used to eliminate the need for further ecological assessment for specific analytes at a given site. Ecological soil-screening levels for wildlife represent a simplified dietary exposure model solved in terms of soil concentrations to produce exposure equal to a no-observed-adverse-effect toxicity reference value (TRV). Sensitivity analyses were performed for 6 avian and mammalian model species, and 16 metals/metalloids for which Eco-SSLs have been developed. The relative influence of model parameters was expressed as the absolute value of the range of variation observed in the resulting soil concentration when exposure is equal to the TRV. Rank analysis of variance was used to identify parameters with greatest influence on model output. For both birds and mammals, soil ingestion displayed the broadest overall range (variability), although TRVs consistently had the greatest influence on calculated soil concentrations; bioavailability in food was consistently the least influential parameter, although an important site-specific variable. Relative importance of parameters differed by trophic group. Soil ingestion ranked 2nd for carnivores and herbivores, but was 4th for invertivores. Different patterns were exhibited, depending on which parameter, trophic group, and analyte combination was considered. The approach for TRV selection was also examined in detail, with Cu as the representative analyte. The underlying assumption that generic body-weight–normalized TRVs can be used to derive protective levels for any species is not supported by the data. Whereas the use of site-, species-, and analyte-specific exposure parameters is recommended to reduce variation in exposure estimates (soil protection level), improvement of TRVs is more problematic. Environ Toxicol Chem 2014

  19. Sensitivity of ecological soil-screening levels for metals to exposure model parameterization and toxicity reference values.

    PubMed

    Sample, Bradley E; Fairbrother, Anne; Kaiser, Ashley; Law, Sheryl; Adams, Bill

    2014-10-01

    Ecological soil-screening levels (Eco-SSLs) were developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) for the purposes of setting conservative soil screening values that can be used to eliminate the need for further ecological assessment for specific analytes at a given site. Ecological soil-screening levels for wildlife represent a simplified dietary exposure model solved in terms of soil concentrations to produce exposure equal to a no-observed-adverse-effect toxicity reference value (TRV). Sensitivity analyses were performed for 6 avian and mammalian model species, and 16 metals/metalloids for which Eco-SSLs have been developed. The relative influence of model parameters was expressed as the absolute value of the range of variation observed in the resulting soil concentration when exposure is equal to the TRV. Rank analysis of variance was used to identify parameters with greatest influence on model output. For both birds and mammals, soil ingestion displayed the broadest overall range (variability), although TRVs consistently had the greatest influence on calculated soil concentrations; bioavailability in food was consistently the least influential parameter, although an important site-specific variable. Relative importance of parameters differed by trophic group. Soil ingestion ranked 2nd for carnivores and herbivores, but was 4th for invertivores. Different patterns were exhibited, depending on which parameter, trophic group, and analyte combination was considered. The approach for TRV selection was also examined in detail, with Cu as the representative analyte. The underlying assumption that generic body-weight-normalized TRVs can be used to derive protective levels for any species is not supported by the data. Whereas the use of site-, species-, and analyte-specific exposure parameters is recommended to reduce variation in exposure estimates (soil protection level), improvement of TRVs is more problematic.

  20. Implementation of basic studies in the ecological restoration of surface-mined land

    SciTech Connect

    Tischew, S.; Kirmer, A.

    2007-06-15

    This paper focuses on attempts to encourage a new state of the art in the ecological restoration of surface-mined land in Germany. On most of these sites, the application of traditional recultivation methods often destroys valuable ecological potential by leveling of the surface, ameliorating of nutrient-poor substrates, and seeding or planting of species not suited to the present habitat conditions. Many studies have shown that even highly disturbed ecosystems, such as large mining areas, can regenerate spontaneously over long-term periods. Colonization processes were influenced by the availability of diaspore sources as well as the suitability of sites for establishment. The predictability of succession could be improved by the identification of switch points in successional pathways depending on age and conditions of the sites. Based on the developmental potential, orientation by nature and biodiversity are selected as main targets for priority areas for nature conservation in mining sites. On priority areas restoration measures must be restricted to the use of near-natural methods (e.g., application of fresh, diaspore-rich plant clipping material, dumping of overburden with seed bank and vegetative propagules, seeding of site-specific, local seed mixtures) that are very successful in preventing erosion and accelerating vegetation development. Despite the success of these methods, the transfer of knowledge between scientists, practitioners, and administrative organizations has proved to be insufficient. Therefore, one of the main tasks in ecological restoration must be the inclusion of all stakeholders involved in decision-making processes and the establishment of a network of excellence to enhance the exchange of knowledge.

  1. “Real time” genetic manipulation: a new tool for ecological field studies

    PubMed Central

    Schäfer, Martin; Brütting, Christoph; Gase, Klaus; Reichelt, Michael; Baldwin, Ian; Meldau, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    Summary Field experiments with transgenic plants often reveal the functional significance of genetic traits important for plant performance in their natural environments. Until now, only constitutive overexpression, ectopic expression and gene silencing methods have been used to analyze gene-related phenotypes in natural habitats. These methods do not allow sufficient control over gene expression to study ecological interactions in real-time, genetic traits playing essential roles in development, or dose-dependent effects. We applied the sensitive dexamethasone (DEX)-inducible pOp6/LhGR expression system to the ecological model plant Nicotiana attenuata and established a lanolin-based DEX application method to facilitate ectopic gene expression and RNAi mediated gene silencing in the field and under challenging conditions (e.g. high temperature, wind and UV radiation). Fully established field-grown plants were used to silence phytoene desaturase and thereby cause photobleaching only in specific plant sectors, and to activate expression of the cytokinin (CK) biosynthesis gene isopentenyl transferase (ipt). We used ipt expression to analyze the role of CK’s in both the glasshouse and field to understand resistance to the native herbivore Tupiocoris notatus, which attack plants at small spatial scales. By spatially restricting ipt expression and elevating CK levels in single leaves, T. notatus damage increased, demonstrating CK’s role in this plant-herbivore interaction at a small scale. As the arena of most ecological interactions is highly constrained in time and space, these tools will advance the genetic analysis of dynamic traits that matter for plant performance in nature. PMID:23906159

  2. 'Real time' genetic manipulation: a new tool for ecological field studies.

    PubMed

    Schäfer, Martin; Brütting, Christoph; Gase, Klaus; Reichelt, Michael; Baldwin, Ian; Meldau, Stefan

    2013-11-01

    Field experiments with transgenic plants often reveal the functional significance of genetic traits that are important for the performance of the plants in their natural environments. Until now, only constitutive overexpression, ectopic expression and gene silencing methods have been used to analyze gene-related phenotypes in natural habitats. These methods do not allow sufficient control over gene expression for the study of ecological interactions in real time, of genetic traits that play essential roles in development, or of dose-dependent effects. We applied the sensitive dexamethasone (DEX)-inducible pOp6/LhGR expression system to the ecological model plant Nicotiana attenuata and established a lanolin-based DEX application method to facilitate ectopic gene expression and RNA interference-mediated gene silencing in the field and under challenging conditions (e.g. high temperature, wind and UV radiation). Fully established field-grown plants were used to silence phytoene desaturase and thereby cause photobleaching only in specific plant sectors, and to activate expression of the cytokinin (CK) biosynthesis gene isopentenyl transferase (ipt). We used ipt expression to analyze the role of CKs in both the glasshouse and the field to understand resistance to the native herbivore Tupiocoris notatus, which attacks plants at small spatial scales. By spatially restricting ipt expression and elevating CK levels in single leaves, damage by T. notatus increased, demonstrating the role of CKs in this plant-herbivore interaction at a small scale. As the arena of most ecological interactions is highly constrained in time and space, these tools will advance the genetic analysis of dynamic traits that matter for plant performance in nature.

  3. Population-level ecological risk assessment of planar polychlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons in great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) around Tokyo Bay, Japan.

    PubMed

    Murata, Mariko; Masunaga, Shigeki; Nakanishi, Junko

    2003-10-01

    Assessment of population-level ecological risk posed by planar polychlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons (p-PCAHs; including polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans, and dioxintike polychlorinated biphenyls) in sediment of Tokyo Bay (Japan) and rivers via fish ingestion to the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) population was conducted by means of a probabilistic approach. Population decline risk was used as an indicator of population-level effects and compared with other indicators of effects. The increment of egg mortality risk posed by current p-PCAH levels was estimated to be 11.7%. This risk was interpreted in terms of both the increase of the risk of population decline in a 10-year period on a recently abundant cormorant population, and the reduction in population growth rate (r). Population decline risks of 20% and below were estimated to be 16% for the reference population and 32% for the exposed population, whereas the reduction in r was estimated to be 10%. The risk expressed in terms of population viability is a more susceptible measure and a more easily understandable indicator than both egg mortality risk as an individual-level risk and the reduction in r. Translating the effects due to pollutants into the risk on population viability will make ecological risk assessment more conductive to risk management.

  4. Detecting the Ecological Effects of Environmental Impacts: A Case Study of Kelp Forest Invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Schroeter, Stephen C; Dixon, John D; Kastendiek, Jon; Smith, Richard O; Bence, James R

    1993-05-01

    among species; (3) there were two Impact sites, and effects were larger at the site nearest the discharge; (4) the observed effects accorded with physical changes that could be linked with the source of impact; and (5) a number of alternative mechanisms, unrelated to the source of impact, were examined and rejected. Relative to control populations, there were statistically significant reductions in density of snails, sea urchins, and sea stars, all of which occurred primarily on rocky substrates. All of the reductions were larger at the Impact station about 0.4 km from the discharge than at a second Impact station 1.4 km away. The most plausible mechanisms for the declines seem to be linked to the turbidity plume created by the power plant and the resultant increase in suspended inorganic and organic materials (+46% at the Impact site nearest the discharge). Any associated flux of fine particles on rocks would have deleterious effects on many of the hard benthos. Populations of two filter-feeding species, a gorgonian coral and a sponge, showed relative increases in density. Although the increase in populations of filter feeders could be related to the ingestion, killing, and discharge of tons of plankton by the cooling system, an alternative natural mechanism was also considered reasonable. Monitoring studies or relatively long-lived organisms will often have low power to detect ecologically significant changes in density. The present study of kelpforest organisms extended over nearly 6 yr, yet the resulting statistical tests generally had power of <30% to detect a doubling or halving in density at a significance level of .05. In such a community it would be a mistake to conclude that there were no significant ecological effects based on conventional hypothesis tests. Unless there is a willingness to accept the fact that changes in natural populations on the order of 50% will often go undetected, the standards and types of evidence used to demonstrate environmental

  5. Biochemical Study of Mixed Culture Prototype in a Closed Ecological System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tischer, R. G.

    1960-01-01

    Since June 1, 1960, the date of initiation of this research project, efforts have been directed toward studying cultural and fermentation patterns and the methodology of pure culture isolation of prototype microorganisms to be employed in closed ecological systems.

  6. STABLE ISOTOPES IN ECOLOGICAL STUDIES: NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN MIXING MODELS (URUGUAY)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Stable isotopes are increasingly being used as tracers in ecological studies. One application uses isotopic ratios to quantify the proportional contributions of multiple sources to a mixture. Examples include pollution sources for air or water bodies, food sources for animals, ...

  7. STABLE ISOTOPES IN ECOLOGICAL STUDIES: NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN MIXING MODELS (URUGUAY)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Stable isotopes are increasingly being used as tracers in ecological studies. One application uses isotopic ratios to quantify the proportional contributions of multiple sources to a mixture. Examples include pollution sources for air or water bodies, food sources for animals, ...

  8. Ecological studies related to construction of the Defense Waste Processing Facility on the Savannah River Site

    SciTech Connect

    Scott, D.E.; Pechmann, J.H.K.; Knox, J.N.; Estes, R.A.; McGregor, J.H.; Bailey, K.

    1988-12-01

    The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory has completed 10 years of ecological studies related to the construction of the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) on the Savannah River Site. This progress report examines water quality studies on streams peripheral to the DWPF construction site and examines the effectiveness of refuge ponds'' in ameliorating the effects of construction on local amphibians. Individual papers on these topics are indexed separately. 93 refs., 15 figs., 15 tabs. (MHB)

  9. Wetlands in the ecological risk assessment process: A case study

    SciTech Connect

    Saban, L.B.

    1995-12-31

    In the past few years, the ecological risk assessment (ERA) process as outlined in the EPA document Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment has been successfully used to assess risk to birds, mammals, aquatic organisms, plants, and to a limited extent, reptiles and amphibians, but has only recently been applied to wetlands. Due to the unique role that wetlands play in the environment as sources and sinks for nutrients, sediment retention, high productivity, habitat transition zones, aquifer recharge, high diversity and richness of biota, and aesthetic value, it is important to consider the entire wetland system in the ERA process. Because nearly sixty percent of Superfund sites are located in or near wetlands, a comprehensive approach is proposed to evaluate potential risks to flora and fauna in these wetland environments. Using the delineation and functional assessment techniques developed by wetland scientists, an estuarine wetland in western Washington was evaluated within the scope of ERA`S. The ERA was applied to the wetland using functional assessments as an integral part of the problem formulation phase of the risk assessment process. Applying the ERA process to wetlands enhances the functional assessment process and helps to define critical elements to evaluate within wetland systems. The results of this risk assessment help to define patches within a landscape that are potentially at risk and how to prioritize remedial actions.

  10. A case study on the ecological evaluation of water conservation facilities on the basis of plant diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, C. Y.; Xia, G. J.; He, T. H.; Yu, J.; Qiao, B.

    2017-08-01

    In this experiment, water conservation facilities in the Yinchuan Plains were studied to establish ecological evaluation criterion for water conservation facilities based on plant diversity indexes. Among the tested indexes, the Margalef and the Simpson indexes were found to effectively characterize the ecological degree of water conservation facilities. Natural lake plant diversity has been used to as a metric; the ecological criteria degree of water conservation facilities can be divided into 4 grades. The results showed that the ecological level of the field ditch, primary furrow, and second furrow qualified as class A, which is the highest grade. The branch canal was grade B, which is good. The lateral canal and flood furrow were grade C, which is a medium level. The trunk canal was grade D, which is the poorest. In addition, the results establish an ecologicalization evaluation system based on the plant diversity composite index of the original lake. Metrics such as biomass, carbon and nitrogen fluctuations, temperature, and humidity could be used to comprehensively evaluate the ecologicalization degree of water conservation projects, such as large reservoirs.

  11. Associations between green space and health in English cities: an ecological, cross-sectional study.

    PubMed

    Bixby, Honor; Hodgson, Susan; Fortunato, Léa; Hansell, Anna; Fecht, Daniela

    2015-01-01

    Green space has been identified as a modifiable feature of the urban environment and associations with physiological and psychological health have been reported at the local level. This study aims to assess whether these associations between health and green space are transferable to a larger scale, with English cities as the unit of analysis. We used an ecological, cross-sectional study design. We classified satellite-based land cover data to quantify green space coverage for the 50 largest cities in England. We assessed associations between city green space coverage with risk of death from all causes, cardiovascular disease, lung cancer and suicide between 2002 and 2009 using Poisson regression with random effect. After adjustment for age, income deprivation and air pollution, we found that at the city level the risk of death from all causes and a priori selected causes, for men and women, did not significantly differ between the greenest and least green cities. These findings suggest that the local health effects of urban green space observed at the neighbourhood level in some studies do not transfer to the city level. Further work is needed to establish how urban residents interact with local green space, in order to ascertain the most relevant measures of green space.

  12. [The results of complex social and ecologic study in the city of Ufa].

    PubMed

    Zakharov, I D; Magasumov, A M; Simonova, N I; Eĭdel'man, Ia L; Simenido, Iu V

    1997-01-01

    The authors present results of social and ecologic study carried out in Ufa. The results describe the course of ecologically important processes and phenomena in correlation with the public subjective understanding. Public health is influenced by hygienic parameters of food and water quality as well as a complex of social, economic and psychologic factors. Weak correlation between those parameters and ambient air pollution necessitates more accurate approach to ecologic mapping of cities and to manipulation with data on lower atmosphere pollution with chemical hazards.

  13. Applications of the rep-PCR DNA fingerprinting technique to study microbial diversity, ecology and evolution.

    PubMed

    Ishii, Satoshi; Sadowsky, Michael J

    2009-04-01

    A large number of repetitive DNA sequences are found in multiple sites in the genomes of numerous bacteria, archaea and eukarya. While the functions of many of these repetitive sequence elements are unknown, they have proven to be useful as the basis of several powerful tools for use in molecular diagnostics, medical microbiology, epidemiological analyses and environmental microbiology. The repetitive sequence-based PCR or rep-PCR DNA fingerprint technique uses primers targeting several of these repetitive elements and PCR to generate unique DNA profiles or 'fingerprints' of individual microbial strains. Although this technique has been extensively used to examine diversity among variety of prokaryotic microorganisms, rep-PCR DNA fingerprinting can also be applied to microbial ecology and microbial evolution studies since it has the power to distinguish microbes at the strain or isolate level. Recent advancement in rep-PCR methodology has resulted in increased accuracy, reproducibility and throughput. In this minireview, we summarize recent improvements in rep-PCR DNA fingerprinting methodology, and discuss its applications to address fundamentally important questions in microbial ecology and evolution.

  14. Linking stroke mortality with air pollution, income, and greenness in northwest Florida: an ecological geographical study

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Zhiyong; Liebens, Johan; Rao, K Ranga

    2008-01-01

    Background Relatively few studies have examined the association between air pollution and stroke mortality. Inconsistent and inclusive results from existing studies on air pollution and stroke justify the need to continue to investigate the linkage between stroke and air pollution. No studies have been done to investigate the association between stroke and greenness. The objective of this study was to examine if there is association of stroke with air pollution, income and greenness in northwest Florida. Results Our study used an ecological geographical approach and dasymetric mapping technique. We adopted a Bayesian hierarchical model with a convolution prior considering five census tract specific covariates. A 95% credible set which defines an interval having a 0.95 posterior probability of containing the parameter for each covariate was calculated from Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulations. The 95% credible sets are (-0.286, -0.097) for household income, (0.034, 0.144) for traffic air pollution effect, (0.419, 1.495) for emission density of monitored point source polluters, (0.413, 1.522) for simple point density of point source polluters without emission data, and (-0.289,-0.031) for greenness. Household income and greenness show negative effects (the posterior densities primarily cover negative values). Air pollution covariates have positive effects (the 95% credible sets cover positive values). Conclusion High risk of stroke mortality was found in areas with low income level, high air pollution level, and low level of exposure to green space. PMID:18452609

  15. Linking stroke mortality with air pollution, income, and greenness in northwest Florida: an ecological geographical study.

    PubMed

    Hu, Zhiyong; Liebens, Johan; Rao, K Ranga

    2008-05-01

    Relatively few studies have examined the association between air pollution and stroke mortality. Inconsistent and inclusive results from existing studies on air pollution and stroke justify the need to continue to investigate the linkage between stroke and air pollution. No studies have been done to investigate the association between stroke and greenness. The objective of this study was to examine if there is association of stroke with air pollution, income and greenness in northwest Florida. Our study used an ecological geographical approach and dasymetric mapping technique. We adopted a Bayesian hierarchical model with a convolution prior considering five census tract specific covariates. A 95% credible set which defines an interval having a 0.95 posterior probability of containing the parameter for each covariate was calculated from Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulations. The 95% credible sets are (-0.286, -0.097) for household income, (0.034, 0.144) for traffic air pollution effect, (0.419, 1.495) for emission density of monitored point source polluters, (0.413, 1.522) for simple point density of point source polluters without emission data, and (-0.289,-0.031) for greenness. Household income and greenness show negative effects (the posterior densities primarily cover negative values). Air pollution covariates have positive effects (the 95% credible sets cover positive values). High risk of stroke mortality was found in areas with low income level, high air pollution level, and low level of exposure to green space.

  16. Exploring the Mechanisms of Ecological Land Change Based on the Spatial Autoregressive Model: A Case Study of the Poyang Lake Eco-Economic Zone, China

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Hualin; Liu, Zhifei; Wang, Peng; Liu, Guiying; Lu, Fucai

    2013-01-01

    Ecological land is one of the key resources and conditions for the survival of humans because it can provide ecosystem services and is particularly important to public health and safety. It is extremely valuable for effective ecological management to explore the evolution mechanisms of ecological land. Based on spatial statistical analyses, we explored the spatial disparities and primary potential drivers of ecological land change in the Poyang Lake Eco-economic Zone of China. The results demonstrated that the global Moran’s I value is 0.1646 during the 1990 to 2005 time period and indicated significant positive spatial correlation (p < 0.05). The results also imply that the clustering trend of ecological land changes weakened in the study area. Some potential driving forces were identified by applying the spatial autoregressive model in this study. The results demonstrated that the higher economic development level and industrialization rate were the main drivers for the faster change of ecological land in the study area. This study also tested the superiority of the spatial autoregressive model to study the mechanisms of ecological land change by comparing it with the traditional linear regressive model. PMID:24384778

  17. Exploring the mechanisms of ecological land change based on the spatial autoregressive model: a case study of the Poyang Lake Eco-Economic Zone, China.

    PubMed

    Xie, Hualin; Liu, Zhifei; Wang, Peng; Liu, Guiying; Lu, Fucai

    2013-12-31

    Ecological land is one of the key resources and conditions for the survival of humans because it can provide ecosystem services and is particularly important to public health and safety. It is extremely valuable for effective ecological management to explore the evolution mechanisms of ecological land. Based on spatial statistical analyses, we explored the spatial disparities and primary potential drivers of ecological land change in the Poyang Lake Eco-economic Zone of China. The results demonstrated that the global Moran's I value is 0.1646 during the 1990 to 2005 time period and indicated significant positive spatial correlation (p < 0.05). The results also imply that the clustering trend of ecological land changes weakened in the study area. Some potential driving forces were identified by applying the spatial autoregressive model in this study. The results demonstrated that the higher economic development level and industrialization rate were the main drivers for the faster change of ecological land in the study area. This study also tested the superiority of the spatial autoregressive model to study the mechanisms of ecological land change by comparing it with the traditional linear regressive model.

  18. A study of ecological red-line area partitioning in the Chishui River Basin in Guizhou

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, S. F.; An, Y. L.

    2016-08-01

    Maintaining ecosystem balance and realizing the strategic goal of sustainable development are key objectives in the field of environmental sciences. Accordingly, drawing ecological red lines in sensitive and vulnerable environmental areas and important ecological function areas, determining the distribution range of ecological red-line areas, providing scientific guidance for developmental activities, and effectively managing the ecological environment are significant work tasks supported by policy guidance from the State Council and from knowledge gained in educational circles. Taking the Chishui River Basin in Guizhou as the study object, this research selected water and soil loss sensitivity, as well as assessments of karst rocky desertification sensitivity as background assessments of the eco-environment. Furthermore, the functions of soil conservation, water conservation, and biodiversity protection were integrated with exploitation-prohibited areas, and an organic combination of ecological needs and social service functions was created. Spatial comprehensive overlay analysis and processing revealed that the combination marked nine major ecological red-line areas in a total area of 5,030.58 km2, which occupied 44.16% of the total basin area. By combining the current eco-environmental situation of the Chishui River Basin with the marked out red-line areas, this research proposed corresponding ecological red-line area management suggestions. These suggestions are expected to provide a scientific foundation for eco-environmental protection and subsequent scientific research in Chishui River Basin.

  19. [Assessment and early warning of land ecological security in rapidly urbanizing coastal area: A case study of Caofeidian new district, Hebei, China].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Li; Chen, Ying; Wang, Shu-tao; Men, Ming-xin; Xu, Hao

    2015-08-01

    Assessment and early warning of land ecological security (LES) in rapidly urbanizing coastal area is an important issue to ensure sustainable land use and effective maintenance of land ecological security. In this study, an index system for the land ecological security of Caofeidian new district was established based on the Pressure-State-Response (P-S-R) model. Initial assessment units of 1 km x 1 km created with the remote sensing data and GIS methods were spatially interpolated to a fine pixel size of 30 m x 30 m, which were combined with the early warning method (using classification tree method) to evaluate the land ecological security of Caofeidian in 2005 and 2013. The early warning level was classed into four categories: security with degradation potential, sub-security with slow degradation, sub-security with rapid degradation, and insecurity. Result indicated that, from 2005 to 2013, the average LES of Caofeidian dropped from 0.55 to 0.52, indicating a degradation of land ecological security from medium security level to medium-low security level. The areas at the levels of insecurity with rapid degradation were mainly located in the rapid urbanization areas, illustrating that rapid expansion of urban construction land was the key factor to the deterioration of the regional land ecological security. Industrial District, Shilihai town and Nanpu saltern, in which the lands at the levels of insecurity and sub-security with rapid degradation or slow degradation accounted for 58.3%, 98.9% and 81.2% of their respective districts, were at the stage of high early warning. Thus, land ecological security regulation for these districts should be strengthened in near future. The study could provide a reference for land use planning and ecological protection of Caofeidian new district.

  20. Ecological studies on the mosquito vectors of Japanese encephalitis

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, C. J.; Chen, P. S.

    1973-01-01

    These studies were conducted in China (Province of Taiwan) to assess the populations of known and potential mosquito vectors of Japanese encephalitis in a typical endemic area, and to evaluate a variety of sampling techniques, some of which were new. Culex annulus was found to be the predominant vector species in the study area during the epidemic season; C. tritaeniorhynchus was never abundant, and C. fuscocephalus was rare. C. annulus and C. tritaeniorhynchus were active throughout the year, although populations were at a low level during the cool season. The results show that attention must be given to C. annulus as a possible vector where it is present in JE foci. The collection of mosquitos during the early evening hours from buffalo bait tethered outdoors was found to be the most efficient and sensitive means of monitoring vector populations throughout the year. During the JE epidemic season remarkable results were obtained with a vacuum sweep-net. PMID:4367779

  1. Tolerance of suicide, religion and suicide rates: an ecological and individual study in 19 Western countries.

    PubMed

    Neeleman, J; Halpern, D; Leon, D; Lewis, G

    1997-09-01

    Negative associations between religion and suicide, in individuals and countries, may be mediated by the degree to which suicide is tolerated. Linear regression was used to examine ecological associations between suicide tolerance, religion and suicide rates in 19 Western countries in 1989/90. Logistic regression was used to study associations between suicide tolerance and strength of religious belief in 28085 individuals in these countries. The concept of effect modifying function was used to examine whether the strength of the association between suicide tolerance and religious belief in individuals depended on the extent of religious belief in their country. Higher female suicide rates were associated with lower aggregate levels of religious belief and, less strongly, religious attendance. These associations were mostly attributable to the association between higher tolerance of suicide and higher suicide rates. In the 28085 subjects suicide tolerance and the strength of religious belief were negatively associated even after adjustment for other religious and sociodemographic variables and general tolerance levels (odds ratios: men 0.74 (95% CI 0.58-0.94), women 0.72 (95% CI 0.60-0.86)). This negative individual-level association was more pronounced in more highly religious countries but this modifying effect of the religious context was apparent for men only. Ecological associations between religious variables and suicide rates are stronger for women than men, stronger for measures of belief than observance and mediated by tolerance of suicide. In individuals, stronger religious beliefs are associated with lower tolerance of suicide. Personal religious beliefs and, for men, exposure to a religious environment, may protect against suicide by reducing its acceptability.

  2. Environmental manganese and cancer mortality rates by county in North Carolina: an ecological study.

    PubMed

    Spangler, John G; Reid, Jeffrey C

    2010-02-01

    Manganese is an element essential for health in trace amounts, but toxic at higher exposures. Since manganese is replacing lead in gasoline globally, evaluation of potential cancer effects is essential. To determine whether environmental manganese is related to cancer at the county level in North Carolina (n = 100 counties; North Carolina 2000 population = 8,049,313), we carried out an ecological study using data from the North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics, North Carolina Geological Survey, US Geological Survey, and US Census. County-level all-cause and cancer mortality rates between 1997 and 2001 reported in deaths per 100,000 population associated by multivariable regression with logarithmically transformed groundwater (microgram per liter) and airborne (microgram per cubic meter) manganese concentrations by county measured between 1973 and 1979 (water) and in 1996 (air). Models controlled for county characteristics. Median all-cause and cancer mortality rates by county in North Carolina (1997-2001) exceeded those of the USA (2000). For each log increase in groundwater manganese concentration, there was a corresponding county-level increase of 12.10 deaths/100,000 population in all-site cancer rates, 2.84 deaths/100,000 in colon cancer rates, and 7.73 deaths/100,000 in lung cancer rates. For each log increase in airborne manganese concentration, there was a corresponding county-level decrease of 8.10 deaths/100,000 population in all-site cancer rates, 3.28 deaths/100,000 in breast cancer rates, and 3.97 deaths/100,000 in lung cancer rates. Neither groundwater nor air concentrations of manganese correlated with county-level all-cause or prostate cancer death rates. These are the first data we know of to document a potential relationship between environmental manganese and population-level cancer death rates. The positive association between groundwater manganese and specific cancer mortality rates might be a function of the high concentrations

  3. Studying the Complex Communities of Ants and Their Symbionts Using Ecological Network Analysis.

    PubMed

    Ivens, Aniek B F; von Beeren, Christoph; Blüthgen, Nico; Kronauer, Daniel J C

    2016-01-01

    Ant colonies provide well-protected and resource-rich environments for a plethora of symbionts. Historically, most studies of ants and their symbionts have had a narrow taxonomic scope, often focusing on a single ant or symbiont species. Here we discuss the prospects of studying these assemblies in a community ecology context using the framework of ecological network analysis. We introduce three basic network metrics that we consider particularly relevant for improving our knowledge of ant-symbiont communities: interaction specificity, network modularity, and phylogenetic signal. We then discuss army ant symbionts as examples of large and primarily parasitic communities, and symbiotic sternorrhynchans as examples of generally smaller and primarily mutualistic communities in the context of these network analyses. We argue that this approach will provide new and complementary insights into the evolutionary and ecological dynamics between ants and their many associates, and will facilitate comparisons across different ant-symbiont assemblages as well as across different types of ecological networks.

  4. An ecological study for Sri Lanka about health effects of coconut.

    PubMed

    Athauda, L K; Wickremasinghe, A R; Kumarendran, B; Kasturiratne, A

    2015-09-01

    An ecological correlation study was conducted to determine the association between consumption of coconut products and cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths in Sri Lanka. Data on coconut consumption patterns from 1961 to 2006 were abstracted from the FAO database, and mortality data from reports of the Department of Census and Statistics, and UN databases. Correlational and regression analyses were carried out. There was no increase in the per capita consumption of coconut products from 1961 to 2006 (range 54.1-76.2kg/ capita/year). The CVD death rates and the proportionate mortality rate due to CVD increased from 1961 to 2006. CVD death rates were significantly associated with per capita GDP, percentage of urban population, and elderly dependency ratio but not consumption of coconut products after adjusting for the other variables (R2=0.94). The results do not provide evidence at the population level that consumption of coconut products increases mortality due to cardiovascular diseases.

  5. On the application of multilevel modeling in environmental and ecological studies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Qian, S.S.; Cuffney, T.F.; Alameddine, I.; McMahon, G.; Reckhow, K.H.

    2010-01-01

    This paper illustrates the advantages of a multilevel/hierarchical approach for predictive modeling, including flexibility of model formulation, explicitly accounting for hierarchical structure in the data, and the ability to predict the outcome of new cases. As a generalization of the classical approach, the multilevel modeling approach explicitly models the hierarchical structure in the data by considering both the within- and between-group variances leading to a partial pooling of data across all levels in the hierarchy. The modeling framework provides means for incorporating variables at different spatiotemporal scales. The examples used in this paper illustrate the iterative process of model fitting and evaluation, a process that can lead to improved understanding of the system being studied. ?? 2010 by the Ecological Society of America.

  6. Ecological speciation in the tropics: insights from comparative genetic studies in Amazonia

    PubMed Central

    Beheregaray, Luciano B.; Cooke, Georgina M.; Chao, Ning L.; Landguth, Erin L.

    2015-01-01

    Evolution creates and sustains biodiversity via adaptive changes in ecologically relevant traits. Ecologically mediated selection contributes to genetic divergence both in the presence or absence of geographic isolation between populations, and is considered an important driver of speciation. Indeed, the genetics of ecological speciation is becoming increasingly studied across a variety of taxa and environments. In this paper we review the literature of ecological speciation in the tropics. We report on low research productivity in tropical ecosystems and discuss reasons accounting for the rarity of studies. We argue for research programs that simultaneously address biogeographical and taxonomic questions in the tropics, while effectively assessing relationships between reproductive isolation and ecological divergence. To contribute toward this goal, we propose a new framework for ecological speciation that integrates information from phylogenetics, phylogeography, population genomics, and simulations in evolutionary landscape genetics (ELG). We introduce components of the framework, describe ELG simulations (a largely unexplored approach in ecological speciation), and discuss design and experimental feasibility within the context of tropical research. We then use published genetic datasets from populations of five codistributed Amazonian fish species to assess the performance of the framework in studies of tropical speciation. We suggest that these approaches can assist in distinguishing the relative contribution of natural selection from biogeographic history in the origin of biodiversity, even in complex ecosystems such as Amazonia. We also discuss on how to assess ecological speciation using ELG simulations that include selection. These integrative frameworks have considerable potential to enhance conservation management in biodiversity rich ecosystems and to complement historical biogeographic and evolutionary studies of tropical biotas. PMID:25653668

  7. Ecological speciation in the tropics: insights from comparative genetic studies in Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Beheregaray, Luciano B; Cooke, Georgina M; Chao, Ning L; Landguth, Erin L

    2014-01-01

    Evolution creates and sustains biodiversity via adaptive changes in ecologically relevant traits. Ecologically mediated selection contributes to genetic divergence both in the presence or absence of geographic isolation between populations, and is considered an important driver of speciation. Indeed, the genetics of ecological speciation is becoming increasingly studied across a variety of taxa and environments. In this paper we review the literature of ecological speciation in the tropics. We report on low research productivity in tropical ecosystems and discuss reasons accounting for the rarity of studies. We argue for research programs that simultaneously address biogeographical and taxonomic questions in the tropics, while effectively assessing relationships between reproductive isolation and ecological divergence. To contribute toward this goal, we propose a new framework for ecological speciation that integrates information from phylogenetics, phylogeography, population genomics, and simulations in evolutionary landscape genetics (ELG). We introduce components of the framework, describe ELG simulations (a largely unexplored approach in ecological speciation), and discuss design and experimental feasibility within the context of tropical research. We then use published genetic datasets from populations of five codistributed Amazonian fish species to assess the performance of the framework in studies of tropical speciation. We suggest that these approaches can assist in distinguishing the relative contribution of natural selection from biogeographic history in the origin of biodiversity, even in complex ecosystems such as Amazonia. We also discuss on how to assess ecological speciation using ELG simulations that include selection. These integrative frameworks have considerable potential to enhance conservation management in biodiversity rich ecosystems and to complement historical biogeographic and evolutionary studies of tropical biotas.

  8. Performance of primary dental care services: an ecological study in a large Brazilian city.

    PubMed

    Esteves, Rita Sibele Souza; Mambrini, Juliana Vaz Melo; Oliveira, Ana Cristina Borges; Abreu, Mauro Henrique Nogueira Guimarães

    2013-01-01

    This study explored the association between area-level primary dental care performance and area-level demographics, dental treatment need, and health care service indicators. An ecological cross-sectional study was performed in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in 2010. The 142 primary health care (PHC) units were grouped based on the following variables: access to individual dental treatment, frequency of dental emergencies, and frequency of individual preventive procedures. The independent variables analyzed were demographic variables, dental treatment need, and health care service indicators. The data were obtained from the information systems of the Brazilian Ministry of Health and the city of Belo Horizonte. We explored the associations between membership in a specific PHC cluster type and the independent variables using multinomial logistic regression with a significance level of 5%. Variables such as the high/very high vulnerability of population, rate of completed treatment, and rate of referrals of users to secondary care were independently associated with the clusters (P < 0.05). The performance of primary dental care services was associated with patient demographics, dental treatment need, and referrals. The results of this study have implications for the planning of public policies.

  9. Automated experimentation in ecological networks

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background In ecological networks, natural communities are studied from a complex systems perspective by representing interactions among species within them in the form of a graph, which is in turn analysed using mathematical tools. Topological features encountered in complex networks have been proved to provide the systems they represent with interesting attributes such as robustness and stability, which in ecological systems translates into the ability of communities to resist perturbations of different kinds. A focus of research in community ecology is on understanding the mechanisms by which these complex networks of interactions among species in a community arise. We employ an agent-based approach to model ecological processes operating at the species' interaction level for the study of the emergence of organisation in ecological networks. Results We have designed protocols of interaction among agents in a multi-agent system based on ecological processes occurring at the interaction level between species in plant-animal mutualistic communities. Interaction models for agents coordination thus engineered facilitate the emergence of network features such as those found in ecological networks of interacting species, in our artificial societies of agents. Conclusions Agent based models developed in this way facilitate the automation of the design an execution of simulation experiments that allow for the exploration of diverse behavioural mechanisms believed to be responsible for community organisation in ecological communities. This automated way of conducting experiments empowers the study of ecological networks by exploiting the expressive power of interaction models specification in agent systems. PMID:21554669

  10. Ecological risk caused by land use change in the coastal zone: a case study in the Yellow River Delta High-Efficiency Ecological Economic Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di, X. H.; Wang, Y. D.; Hou, X. Y.

    2014-03-01

    China's coastal zone plays an important role in ecological services production and social-economic development; however, extensive and intensive land resource utilization and land use change have lead to high ecological risk in this area during last decade. Regional ecological risk assessment can provide fundamental knowledge and scientific basis for better understanding of the relationship between regional landscape ecosystem and human activities or climate changes, facilitating the optimization strategy of land use structure and improving the ecological risk prevention capability. In this paper, the Yellow River Delta High-Efficiency Ecological Economic Zone is selected as the study site, which is undergoing a new round of coastal zone exploitation and has endured substantial land use change in the past decade. Land use maps of 2000, 2005 and 2010 were generated based on Landsat images by visual interpretation method, and the ecological risk index was then calculated. The index was 0.3314, 0.3461 and 0.3176 in 2000, 2005 and 2010 respectively, which showed a positive transition of regional ecological risk in 2005.

  11. [Impact of air pollution in paediatric consultations in Primary Health Care: Ecological study].

    PubMed

    Martín Martín, Raquel; Sánchez Bayle, Marciano

    2017-08-09

    To study the correlation between the levels of environmental pollutants and the number of paediatric consultations related to respiratory disease in Primary Health Care. An ecological study is performed, in which the dependent variable analysed was the number of paediatric consultations in an urban Primary Health Care centre in Madrid over a 3 year period (2013-2015), and specifically the consultations related to bronchiolitis, recurrent bronchospasm, and upper respiratory diseases. The independent variables analysed were the levels of environmental pollutants. Coefficients of correlation and multiple lineal regressions were calculated. An analysis has been carried out comparing the average of paediatric consultations when the levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) were higher and lower than 40μg/m(3.) RESULTS: During the period of the study, there were a total of 52,322 paediatric consultations in the health centre, of which 6,473 (12.37%) were related to respiratory diseases. A positive correlation was found between SO2, CO, NOx and NO2 and benzene levels and paediatric consultations related to respiratory diseases, and a negative correlation with temperature. The number of consultations was significantly higher when NO2 levels exceeded 40μg/m(3). In the multiple lineal regression (P=.0001), the correlation was only positive between consultations and NO2 levels (3.630, 95% CI: 0.691-6.570), and negative with temperature (-5,957, 95% CI: -8.665 to -3.248). NO2 environmental pollution is related to an increase in respiratory diseases in children. Paediatricians should contribute to promote an improvement in urban air quality as a significant preventive measure. Copyright © 2017. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U.

  12. Ecological risk assessment guidance for preparation of remedial investigation/feasibility study work plans

    SciTech Connect

    Pentecost, E.D.; Vinikour, W.S.

    1993-08-01

    This guidance document (1) provides instructions on preparing the components of an ecological work plan to complement the overall site remedial assessment investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) work plan and (2) directs the user on how to implement ecological tasks identified in the plan. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), as amended by the Superfired Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), an RI/FS work plan win have to be developed as part of the site-remediation scoping the process. Specific guidance on the RI/FS process and the preparation of work plans has been developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA 1988a). This document provides guidance to US Department of Energy (DOE) staff and contractor personnel for incorporation of ecological information into environmental remediation planning and decision making at CERCLA sites. An overview analysis of early ecological risk assessment methods (i.e., in the 1980s) at Superfund sites was conducted by the EPA (1989a). That review provided a perspective of attention given to ecological issues in some of the first RI/FS studies. By itself, that reference is of somewhat limited value; it does, however, establish a basis for comparison of past practices in ecological risk with current, more refined methods.

  13. Health Risks to Ecological Workers on Contaminated Sites - the Department of Energy as a Case Study

    PubMed Central

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Background At most contaminated sites the risk to workers focuses on those ‘hazardous waste workers’ directly exposed to chemicals or radionuclides, and to the elaborate approaches implemented to protecting their health and safety. Ecological workers generally are not considered. Objectives To explore the risks to the health and safety of ecological workers on sites with potential chemical and radiological exposures before, during or after remediation of contamination. To use the U.S. Department of Energy as a case study, and to develop concepts that apply generally to sites contaminated with hazardous or nuclear wastes, Methods Develop categories of ecological workers, describe their usual jobs, and provide information on the kinds of risks they face. Ecological activities include continued surveillance and monitoring work on any sites with residual contamination, subject to institutional controls and engineered barriers following closure as well as the restoration. Results The categories of ecological workers and their tasks include 1) Ecological characterization, mapping and monitoring, 2) biodiversity studies, 2) Contaminant fate and transport, 3) On-going industrial activities 4) Remediation activities (environmental management), 5) Environmental restoration, 6) Post-cleanup surveillance and monitoring, and 7) Post-closure future site activities. There are a set of functional activities that can occur with different frequencies and intensities, including visual inspection, collecting biological samples, collecting media physical samples, collecting biological debris, restoration planting, and maintaining ecosystems. Conclusions Ecological workers face different exposures and risks than other environmental cleanup workers. Many of their tasks mimic shift work with long hours leading to fatigue, and they are exposed to biological as well as chemical/radiological hazards. DOE and other entities need to examine the risks to ecological workers on site with an

  14. [Application of FISH-NanoSIMS technique in environmental microbial ecology study].

    PubMed

    Chen, Chen; Bai, Yao-hui; Liang, Jin-song; Yuan, Lin-jiang

    2015-01-01

    With the development of microbial ecology techniques, it is possible to analyze the distribution and function of microorganisms simultaneously in complex ecosystems. To explore the application of FISH-NanoSIMS in environmental microbial ecology study, our study used the stable isotope labeled compounds 13C-C6H12O6, and 15N-NH4Cl as C and N sources for cultivating the pure culture (manganese oxidizing bacteria, Pseudomonas sp. QJX-1) and environmental samples (the shallow soil and anaerobic sludge). FISH-NanoSIMS was used to detect the distribution of microorganisms and relatively quantify secondary ions (12C-, 13C-, 12C(14)N-, 12C15N-) in cultivated samples, in order to explore the utilization of C and N isotopes sources by the pure culture and microorganisms in environment samples. The results showed that the contents of 13C and 5N in the area of bacteria were significantly greater than the natural abundance in all samples. It indicated that Pseudomonas sp. QJX-1 and some specific bacteria in environmental samples could metabolize 13C-C6H12O6 and 15N-NH4C1. Furthermore, this study revealed that for Pseudomonas sp. QJX-1, the manganese oxidation only occurred when the carbon and nitrogen were consumed to a low level. For environmental samples, the bacterial nitrification and denitrification were both observed in the shallow soil and anaerobic sludge. In a word, our study demonstrated that the combination of FISH and NanoSIMS could simultaneously examine microbial distribution and microbial metabolic activity in environmental samples, which will help us to obtain the eco-physiology information of microbial community.

  15. Climate Change, Sea-Level Rise and Implications for Coastal and Estuarine Shoreline Management with Particular Reference to the Ecology of Intertidal Benthic Macrofauna in NW Europe.

    PubMed

    Fujii, Toyonobu

    2012-11-05

    In many European estuaries, extensive areas of intertidal habitats consist of bare mudflats and sandflats that harbour a very high abundance and biomass of macrobenthic invertebrates. The high stocks of macrobenthos in turn provide important food sources for the higher trophic levels such as fish and shorebirds. Climate change and associated sea-level rise will have potential to cause changes in coastal and estuarine physical properties in a number of ways and thereby influence the ecology of estuarine dependent organisms. Although the mechanisms involved in biological responses resulting from such environmental changes are complex, the ecological effects are likely to be significant for the estuarine benthic macrofauna and hence the consumers they support. This paper reviews the utilisation patterns of estuarine intertidal habitats by shorebirds, fish and crustaceans, as well as factors affecting the distribution, abundance and biomass of estuarine macrobenthos that is known to be important food source for these estuarine predators. This study also provides simple conceptual models of the likely impacts of sea-level rise on the physical and biological elements of estuarine intertidal habitats, and implications of these results are discussed in the context of sustainable long term flood and coastal management in estuarine environments.

  16. Climate Change, Sea-Level Rise and Implications for Coastal and Estuarine Shoreline Management with Particular Reference to the Ecology of Intertidal Benthic Macrofauna in NW Europe

    PubMed Central

    Fujii, Toyonobu

    2012-01-01

    In many European estuaries, extensive areas of intertidal habitats consist of bare mudflats and sandflats that harbour a very high abundance and biomass of macrobenthic invertebrates. The high stocks of macrobenthos in turn provide important food sources for the higher trophic levels such as fish and shorebirds. Climate change and associated sea-level rise will have potential to cause changes in coastal and estuarine physical properties in a number of ways and thereby influence the ecology of estuarine dependent organisms. Although the mechanisms involved in biological responses resulting from such environmental changes are complex, the ecological effects are likely to be significant for the estuarine benthic macrofauna and hence the consumers they support. This paper reviews the utilisation patterns of estuarine intertidal habitats by shorebirds, fish and crustaceans, as well as factors affecting the distribution, abundance and biomass of estuarine macrobenthos that is known to be important food source for these estuarine predators. This study also provides simple conceptual models of the likely impacts of sea-level rise on the physical and biological elements of estuarine intertidal habitats, and implications of these results are discussed in the context of sustainable long term flood and coastal management in estuarine environments. PMID:24832510

  17. Ecologically relevant levels of multiple, common marine stressors suggest antagonistic effects.

    PubMed

    Lange, Rolanda; Marshall, Dustin

    2017-07-24

    Stressors associated with global change will be experienced simultaneously and may act synergistically, so attempts to estimate the capacity of marine systems to cope with global change requires a multi-stressor approach. Because recent evidence suggests that stressor effects can be context-dependent, estimates of how stressors are experienced in ecologically realistic settings will be particularly valuable. To enhance our understanding of the interplay between environmental effects and the impact of multiple stressors from both natural and anthropogenic sources, we conducted a field experiment. We explored the impact of multiple, functionally varied stressors from both natural and anthropogenic sources experienced during early life history in a common sessile marine invertebrate, Bugula neritina. Natural spatial environmental variation induced differences in conspecific densities, allowing us to test for density-driven context-dependence of stressor effects. We indeed found density-dependent effects. Under high conspecific density, individual survival increased, which offset part of the negative effects of experiencing stressors. Experiencing multiple stressors early in life history translated to a decreased survival in the field, albeit the effects were not as drastic as we expected: our results are congruent with antagonistic stressor effects. We speculate that when individual stressors are more subtle, stressor synergies become less common.

  18. An Ecological Study of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction, Part 1

    PubMed Central

    McGrath, Timothy M.; Waddington, Gordon; Scarvell, Jennie M.; Ball, Nick; Creer, Rob; Woods, Kevin; Smith, Damian; Adams, Roger

    2016-01-01

    Background: Additional high-quality prospective studies are needed to better define the objective criteria used in relation to return-to-sport decisions after synthetic (ligament advanced reinforcement system [LARS]) and autograft (hamstring tendon [2ST/2GR]) anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction in active populations. Purpose: To prospectively investigate and describe the recovery of objective clinical outcomes after autograft (2ST/2GR) and synthetic (LARS) ACL reconstructions, as well as to investigate the relationship between these clinimetric test outcomes and return-to-sport activity (Tegner activity scale [TAS] score) at 12 and 24 months postoperatively. Study Design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: A total of 64 patients who underwent ACL reconstruction (32 LARS, 32 2ST/2GR autograft) and 32 healthy reference participants were assessed for joint laxity (KT-1000 arthrometer), clinical outcome (2000 International Knee Documentation Committee [IKDC] knee examination), and activity (TAS score) preoperatively and at 12, 16, 20, and 24 weeks and 12 and 24 months postoperatively. Results: There was no significant correlation observed between clinical results using the 2000 IKDC knee examination and TAS score at 24 months (r s = 0.188, P = .137), nor were results for side-to-side difference (r s = 0.030, P = .814) or absolute KT-1000 arthrometer laxity of the surgical leg at 24 months postoperatively (r s = 0.076, P = .553) correlated with return-to-sport activity. Nonetheless, return-to-sport rates within the surgical cohort were 81% at 12 months and 83% at 24 months, respectively. No statistically significant differences were observed between physiological laxity of the uninjured knee within the surgical group compared with healthy knees within the reference group (P = .522). Conclusion: The results indicate that although relatively high levels of return-to-sport outcomes were achieved at 24 months compared with those previously reported in

  19. An Ecological Study of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction, Part 2

    PubMed Central

    McGrath, Timothy M.; Waddington, Gordon; Scarvell, Jennie M.; Ball, Nick; Creer, Rob; Woods, Kevin; Smith, Damian; Adams, Roger

    2017-01-01

    Background: Additional high-quality prospective studies are needed to better define the objective criteria used in relation to return-to-sport decisions after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction in active populations. Purpose: To investigate prospectively the relationship between functional performance test results at 24 weeks postoperative and return-to-sport activity (Tegner activity score) at 12 and 24 months, respectively, after synthetic (ligament advanced reinforcement system [LARS]) and autograft (doubled semitendinosus/gracilis [2ST/2GR]) ACL reconstructions. Study Design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: A total of 64 patients who underwent ACL reconstruction (32 LARS, 32 2ST/2GR autograft; mean age, 27.9 years; body mass index [BMI], 24.9 kg/m2) were assessed preoperatively and at staged intervals postoperatively up to 24 weeks for isokinetic testing of quadriceps and hamstring average power per repetition at 60 deg/s and 180 deg/s, a battery of hop tests, peak vertical ground-reaction force (vGRF), and time to peak vGRF (in seconds) during a step- and jump-down task onto a force platform and peak speed (m/s) using a global positioning system (GPS unit) during a running task. A cohort of 32 healthy matched participants (mean age, 26.31 years; BMI, 25.7 kg/m2) were also tested to act as reference. Pearson correlation was calculated to assess correlation of each performance measure at 24 weeks postoperative with activity outcomes (Tegner score) at 12 and 24 months. Results: The strongest correlation between physical performance tests and return-to-sport outcomes was observed with peak speed during running. Large correlations were also observed for hamstring isokinetic power and hop test for distance. Moderate correlations were observed for timed hop, peak vGRF during a jump-down task, and quadriceps isokinetic power. No statistical correlations were observed for time to peak vGRF during a step-down and jump-down task as well as peak v

  20. Ecological studies of cadmium and nutrient enrichment in laboratory microcosms

    SciTech Connect

    Hendrix, P.F.

    1981-01-01

    Phase I was a 4 x 4 factorial experiment with static microcosoms designed to test the subsidy-stress hypothesis and focused on the interactive effects of cadmium and nutrient enrichment. Phase II was a 2 x 4 factorial experiment with flowthrough microcosms designed to test the biomass-increment hypothesis and focused on temporal aspects of system behavior in response to phosphorus enrichment and chronic versus acute cadmium perturbations. Phase I results supported the subsidy-stress hypothesis with respect to cadmium inputs. There was a significant interaction effect of cadmium and nutrients, with high nutrient levels reducing the stress effect of cadmium. Phase II results generally supported the biomass-increment hypothesis with the exception that the element most limiting in system inputs (phosphorus) showed little or no output response to cadmium perturbations. The general community level response to cadmium pertubations was a shift from a grazing to a detritus food chain. Conclusions relevant to toxicity screening in microcosms are: (1) of the variables measured, community metabolism, community composition by trophic groups, and output/input rations for NO/sub 3/-N, Mn and Fe, provided the most consistent indicators of system response to cadmium. (2) Nutrient enrichment and phosphorus limitation significantly influenced cadmium effects on most of the variables studied. (3) Pulsed cadmium inputs early in succession significantly affected system response to cadmium pulses later in succession. A hierarchical procedure for screening a suspected toxic substance is discussed, which includes: (1) static microcosms, (2) flowthrough microcosms, and (3) microcosm subsamples from specific natural ecosystems. Each step results in increased information about effects of a toxicant and each step more closely approximates natural ecosystems.

  1. Emerging synthesis themes from the study of social-ecological systems of a tropical city

    Treesearch

    Tischa A. Munoz; A.E. Lugo; B. Quintero

    2014-01-01

    The synthesis of the contributions in this special issue about the tropical city of San Juan has resulted in five themes. First, the city is subject to multiple vulnerabilities, but socioeconomic factors and education level affect the perception of citizens to those vulnerabilities, even in the face of imminent threat. Second, in light of the social-ecological...

  2. Ecological effects of variable retention harvests in the northwestern United States: the DEMO study.

    Treesearch

    Keith B. Aubry; Charles B. Halpern; Douglas A. Maguire

    2004-01-01

    The retention of trees in harvest units is an integral part of forest management practices on federal lands in the northwestern United States (U.S.), yet the ecological benefits that result from various levels or patterns of retained trees remain speculative. Large scale and long term silviculture experiments are needed to evaluate the effects of alternative forest...

  3. Drinking water contamination from perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS): an ecological mortality study in the Veneto Region, Italy.

    PubMed

    Mastrantonio, Marina; Bai, Edoardo; Uccelli, Raffaella; Cordiano, Vincenzo; Screpanti, Augusto; Crosignani, Paolo

    2017-05-23

    : Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a heterogeneous group of highly stable man-made chemicals, have been widely used since 1960s and can be detected almost ubiquitously in all environmental matrices. In Italy, on January 2014, drinking water contamination in an area of the Veneto Region was detected mainly due to the drain of fluorinated chemicals by a manufacturing company operating since 1964. : The present ecological mortality study was aimed at comparing mortality for some causes of death selected on the basis of previous reported associations, during the period 1980-2013, in municipalities with PFAS contaminated and uncontaminated drinking water on the basis of the levels indicated by the Italian National Health Institute (ISS). Sex-specific number, standardized mortality rates and rate ratios (RR) for PFAS contaminated and uncontaminated areas were computed for each cause of death through the ENEA epidemiological database. : In both sexes, statistically significant RRs were detected for all causes mortality, diabetes, cerebrovascular diseases, myocardial infarction and Alzheimer's disease. In females, RRs significantly higher than 1.0 were also observed for kidney and breast cancer, and Parkinson's disease. Increased risk, although not statistically significant, was observed for bladder cancer in both sexes, and for testicular cancer, pancreatic cancer and leukemia in males only. : Higher mortality levels for some causes of death, possibly associated with PFAS exposure, were detected in contaminated municipalities in comparison with uncontaminated ones with similar socioeconomic status and smoking habits. These results warrant further individual level analytic studies to delineate casual associations.

  4. Multidimensional approaches for studying plant defence against insects: from ecology to omics and synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Barah, Pankaj; Bones, Atle M

    2015-02-01

    The biggest challenge for modern biology is to integrate multidisciplinary approaches towards understanding the organizational and functional complexity of biological systems at different hierarchies, starting from the subcellular molecular mechanisms (microscopic) to the functional interactions of ecological communities (macroscopic). The plant-insect interaction is a good model for this purpose with the availability of an enormous amount of information at the molecular and the ecosystem levels. Changing global climatic conditions are abruptly resetting plant-insect interactions. Integration of discretely located heterogeneous information from the ecosystem to genes and pathways will be an advantage to understand the complexity of plant-insect interactions. This review will present the recent developments in omics-based high-throughput experimental approaches, with particular emphasis on studying plant defence responses against insect attack. The review highlights the importance of using integrative systems approaches to study plant-insect interactions from the macroscopic to the microscopic level. We analyse the current efforts in generating, integrating and modelling multiomics data to understand plant-insect interaction at a systems level. As a future prospect, we highlight the growing interest in utilizing the synthetic biology platform for engineering insect-resistant plants.

  5. Contrasting effects of rising CO2 on primary production and ecological stoichiometry at different nutrient levels.

    PubMed

    Verspagen, Jolanda M H; Van de Waal, Dedmer B; Finke, Jan F; Visser, Petra M; Huisman, Jef

    2014-08-01

    Although rising CO2 concentrations are thought to promote the growth and alter the carbon : nutrient stoichiometry of primary producers, several studies have reported conflicting results. To reconcile these contrasting results, we tested the following hypotheses: rising CO2 levels (1) will increase phytoplankton biomass more at high nutrient loads than at low nutrient loads, but (2) will increase their carbon : nutrient stoichiometry more at low than at high nutrient loads. We formulated a mathematical model to predict dynamic changes in phytoplankton population density, elemental stoichiometry and inorganic carbon chemistry in response to rising CO2 . The model was tested in chemostat experiments with the freshwater cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa. The model predictions and experimental results confirmed the hypotheses. Our findings provide a novel theoretical framework to understand and predict effects of rising CO2 concentrations on primary producers and their nutritional quality as food for herbivores under different nutrient conditions. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  6. [System construction of early warning for ecological security at cultural and natural heritage mixed sites and its application: a case study of Wuyishan Scenery District].

    PubMed

    You, Wei-Bin; He, Dong-Jin; Qin, De-Hua; Ji, Zhi-Rong; Wu, Li-Yun; Yu, Jian-An; Chen, Bing-Rong; Tan, Yong

    2014-05-01

    This paper proposed a new concept of ecological security for protection by a comprehensive analysis of the contents and standards of world heritage sites. A frame concept model named "Pressure-State-Control" for early warning of ecological security at world heritage mixed sites was constructed and evaluation indicators of this frame were also selected. Wuyishan Scenery District was chosen for a case study, which has been severely disturbed by natural and artificial factors. Based on the frame model of "Pressure-State-Control" and by employing extension analysis, the matter-element model was established to assess the ecological security status of this cultural and natural world heritage mixed site. The results showed that the accuracy of ecological security early warning reached 84%. Early warning rank was I level (no alert status) in 1997 and 2009, but that in 2009 had a higher possibility to convert into II level. Likewise, the early-warning indices of sensitive ranks were different between 1997 and 2009. Population density, population growth rate, area index for tea garden, cultivated land owned per capita, level of drought, and investment for ecological and environmental construction were the main limiting factors to hinder the development of ecological security from 2009 to future. In general, the status of Wuyishan Scenery District ecological security was relatively good and considered as no alert level, while risk conditions also existed in terms of a few early-warning indicators. We still need to pay more attention to serious alert indicators and adopt effective prevention and control measures to maintain a good ecological security status of this heritage site.

  7. Ecological studies of polyploidy in the 100 years following its discovery

    PubMed Central

    Ramsey, Justin; Ramsey, Tara S.

    2014-01-01

    Polyploidy is a mutation with profound phenotypic consequences and thus hypothesized to have transformative effects in plant ecology. This is most often considered in the context of geographical and environmental distributions—as achieved from divergence of physiological and life-history traits—but may also include species interactions and biological invasion. This paper presents a historical overview of hypotheses and empirical data regarding the ecology of polyploids. Early researchers of polyploidy (1910s–1930s) were geneticists by training but nonetheless savvy to its phenotypic effects, and speculated on the importance of genome duplication to adaptation and crop improvement. Cytogenetic studies in the 1930s–1950s indicated that polyploids are larger (sturdier foliage, thicker stems and taller stature) than diploids while cytogeographic surveys suggested that polyploids and diploids have allopatric or parapatric distributions. Although autopolyploidy was initially regarded as common, influential writings by North American botanists in the 1940s and 1950s argued for the principle role of allopolyploidy; according to this view, genome duplication was significant for providing a broader canvas for hybridization rather than for its phenotypic effects per se. The emphasis on allopolyploidy had a chilling effect on nascent ecological work, in part due to taxonomic challenges posed by interspecific hybridization. Nonetheless, biosystematic efforts over the next few decades (1950s–1970s) laid the foundation for ecological research by documenting cytotype distributions and identifying phenotypic correlates of polyploidy. Rigorous investigation of polyploid ecology was achieved in the 1980s and 1990s by population biologists who leveraged flow cytometry for comparative work in autopolyploid complexes. These efforts revealed multi-faceted ecological and phenotypic differences, some of which may be direct consequences of genome duplication. Several classical

  8. Adverse Outcome Pathways and Ecological Risk Assessment: Bridging to Population-Level Effects

    SciTech Connect

    Kramer, Vincent J.; Etterson, Matthew A.; Hecker, Markus; Murphy, Cheryl A.; Roesijadi, Guritno; Spade, Daniel J.; Spromberg, Julann A.; Wang, Magnus; Ankley, Gerald T.

    2010-11-24

    The viability of populations of plants and animals is a key focus for environmental regulation. Population-level responses integrate the cumulative effects of chemical stressors on individuals as those individuals interact with and are affected by their con-specifics, competitors, predators, prey, habitat and other biotic and abiotic factors. Models of population-level effects of contaminants can integrate information from lower levels of biological organization and feed that information into higher-level community and ecosystem models. As individual-level endpoints are utilized to predict population responses, this requires that biological responses at lower levels of organization be translated into a form that is useable by the population modeler. In this paper we describe how mechanistic data, as captured in adverse outcome pathways, can be translated into modeling focused on population-level risk assessments. First, we present a succinct overview of different approaches to population modeling, and discuss the types of data needed for these models. Then we discuss how toxicity data are used currently for population modeling, and provide recommendations as to how testing might be modified to better generate information to support modeling. From this we describe how different key processes measured at the level of the individual serve as the bridge between mechanistic toxicology data and predictions of population status, and provide case examples of how this linkage has been/can be achieved.

  9. Ecological optimization and performance study of irreversible Stirling and Ericsson heat engines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tyagi, S. K.; Kaushik, S. C.; Salhotra, R.

    2002-10-01

    The concept of finite time thermodynamics is used to determine the ecological function of irreversible Stirling and Ericsson heat engine cycles. The ecological function is defined as the power output minus power loss (irreversibility), which is the ambient temperature times, the entropy generation rate. The ecological function is maximized with respect to cycle temperature ratio and the expressions for the corresponding power output and thermal efficiency are derived at the optimal operating conditions. The effect of different operating parameters, the effectiveness on the hot, cold and the regenerative side heat exchangers, the cycle temperature ratio, heat capacitance ratio and the internal irreversibility parameter on the maximum ecological function are studied. It is found that the effect of regenerator effectiveness is more than the hot and cold side heat exchangers and the effect of the effectiveness on cold side heat exchanger is more than the effectiveness on the hot side heat exchanger on the maximum ecological function. It is also found that the effect of internal irreversibility parameter is more than the other parameters not only on the maximum ecological function but also on the corresponding power output and the thermal efficiency.

  10. Ecological studies on the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) on the Savannah River Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Seigel, R.A.; Brandt, L.A.; Knight, J.L.; Novak, S.S.

    1986-06-01

    The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is the largest vertebrate of the Savannah River Plant (SRP), reaching a maximum length of 3.7 meters (12 feet) and weighing up to 175 kg (385 pounds). Currently, populations in coastal South Carolina are considered Threatened, whereas populations in inland areas (such as the SRP) are still Endangered. Because of their legal status and economic and ecological importance, it is important to determine the environmental impacts of SRP operations on the local alligator population. The major objectives under the Endangered Species Program of the Comprehensive Cooling Water Study (CCWS) were as follows: (1) document and compare the present status and distribution of alligators on the SRP to previous surveys, in order to determine long-term changes in population abundance; (2) establish baseline population and ecological parameters of the Steel Creek population so that the ecological effects of L-Reactor operations can be determined, and (3) conduct ecological research on the immediate impacts of thermal effluents on American alligators. Gladden et al., (1985) summarized data on previous population surveys, temporal changes in the Par Pond population, preliminary results of the Steel Creek surveys and Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) research on the effects of thermal effluents. This report summarizes the current status of the SRP population, presents data on the abundance, movement patterns and activity cycles of the Steel Creek population, and presents additional data on the effect of cooling water releases on alligator ecology and behavior.

  11. Ecology, ethics, and professional environmental practice: The Yucca Mountain, Nevada, project as a case study

    SciTech Connect

    Malone, C.R.

    1995-09-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is proposing to develop a geologic repository for disposing of high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. In this commentary, the ecology program for the DOE`s Yucca Mountain Project is discussed from the perspective of state-of-the-art ecosystem analysis, environmental ethics, and standards of professional practice. Specifically at issue is the need by the Yucca Mountain ecology program to adopt an ecosystem approach that encompasses the current strategy based on population biology and community ecology alone. The premise here is that an ecosystem approach is essential for assessing the long-term potential environmental impacts at Yucca Mountain in light of the thermal effects expected to be associated with heat from radioactive decay.

  12. BReast Ecology Assessment in the STudy of local MicroFlora - Study Protocol

    PubMed Central

    Jianu, Dana Mihaela; Streinu-Cercel, Anca; Blidaru, Alexandru; Filipescu, Maria; Florescu, Ioan Petre; Berciu, Ioana; Cobani, Oltjon; Dorobăţ, Olga; Jianu, Ştefan Adrian; Streinu-Cercel, Oana; Stăniceanu, Floria; Streinu-Cercel, Adrian

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Recent articles have described an endogenous breast flora, particularly in the nipple ducts, with potential implications in the outcome of aesthetic breast surgery. To characterize the ecology of the breast, we designed a study to assess the microbial species identified on the breast skin and parenchyma in patients undergoing breast surgical interventions. Methods After obtaining informed consent and background data on concurrent diseases, previous contact with the hospital system and prior use of antibiotics, samples are collected preoperatively from three areas of the breast skin, bilaterally: the inframammary fold, the areola and the axilla, prior to decontamination. These samples will serve as positive controls and will aid in characterizing the normal breast skin flora. After preoperative decontamination, samples are again collected, to check for any residual bacterial flora and the nipple is sealed with Tegaderm (3M, USA) and betadine ointment, to reduce any putative bacterial load. Intraoperatively, samples are collected from: a) the incision line (dermal level): 1. superficially, 2. medium depth in the breast parenchyma, 3. deep parenchyma, and b) axillary parenchyma (where possible), together with a bioptic fragment. Postoperatively, a second nipple sample is collected. For secondary breast augmentation surgeries, capsular biopsy is also performed (where relevant), and the implants undergo sonication, to allow biofilm identification. In the laboratory, all samples are cultured on blood agar incubated with CO2, cystine lactose electrolyte deficient medium and Sabouraud gentamicin-chloramphenicol agar. For positive culture samples, the number of colonies and their morphologic characteristics are reported. Identification will be carried out with MALDI-TOF and VITEK (bioMérieux, France), yielding automated antibiotic sensitivity profiles. For all germs with sensitivity profiles differing from the wild-type strain, E-tests will be performed

  13. Assessment of the U. S. outer continental shelf environmental studies program. 2. Ecology. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-01-01

    In 1986, the Minerals Management Service (MMS) requested that the National Research Council (NRC) evaluate the adequacy and applicability of studies conducted in the Environmental Studies Program (ESP), review the general state of knowledge in the appropriate disciplines, and recommend future studies. Under the auspices of the NRC Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, the Committee to Review the Outer Continental Shelf Environmental Studies Program was formed to conduct the assignment. Three panels-dealing with ecology, physical oceanography, and socioeconomics--were established to review specific aspects of the assessment. The Ecology Panel investigated the main questions of ecological relevance to OCS oil and gas activities and ecological aspects of the ESP. The panel was divided into three working groups: on marine birds, mammals, turtles, and endangered species; on benthic processes; and on fisheries and ecosystems. The panel conducted workshops on each of those topics, focused on the progress of the ESP in assessing the environmental impacts of OCS oil and gas activities, evaluated shortcomings of the ESP, and identified future information needs. The report, the second in a series, presents the findings and recommendations of the Ecology Panel.

  14. Metagenome-based analysis: a promising direction for plankton ecological studies.

    PubMed

    Yan, QingYun; Yu, YuHe

    2011-01-01

    The plankton community plays an especially important role in the functioning of aquatic ecosystems and also in biogeochemical cycles. Since the beginning of marine research expeditions in the 1870 s, an enormous number of planktonic organisms have been described and studied. Plankton investigation has become one of the most important areas of aquatic ecological study, as well as a crucial component of aquatic environmental evaluation. Nonetheless, traditional investigations have mainly focused on morphospecies composition, abundances and dynamics, which primarily depend on morphological identification and counting under microscopes. However, for many species/groups, with few readily observable characteristics, morphological identification and counting have historically been a difficult task. Over the past decades, microbiologists have endeavored to apply and extend molecular techniques to address questions in microbial ecology. These culture-independent studies have generated new insights into microbial ecology. One such strategy, metagenome-based analysis, has also proved to be a powerful tool for plankton research. This mini-review presents a brief history of plankton research using morphological and metagenome-based approaches and the potential applications and further directions of metagenomic analyses in plankton ecological studies are discussed. The use of metagenome-based approaches for plankton ecological study in aquatic ecosystems is encouraged.

  15. The effect of outdoor air pollution on mortality risk: an ecological study from Santiago, Chile.

    PubMed

    Salinas, M; Vega, J

    1995-01-01

    The aim of this ecological study was to investigate the effect of outdoor air pollution on the mortality risk of metropolitan inhabitants in Santiago de Chile. Cause-specific deaths by the day for the years 1988-1991 in Santiago de Chile were extracted from mortality data tapes of the National Center for Statistics. Deaths from accidents were excluded. Total and some specific respiratory diseases deaths were compared calculating the risk of death by municipality and month of the year using age-adjusted standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) controlling for socioeconomic level. Daily counts of deaths were regressed using a Poisson model on the total and fine suspended particles, SO2, CO and ozone on the preceding day, controlling for temperature and humidity. A clear pattern in the geographical distribution of risk of death, both for general mortality and specific respiratory causes (pneumonia, COPD and asthma) was found using SMR, with higher values in the most polluted areas regardless of socioeconomic and living conditions. A highly significant positive association was found between total mortality and both fine suspended particles and CO level. The association remained significant for those days with fine suspended particles levels below 150 micrograms/dl suggesting a no-threshold effect for the total number of deaths. These results are in agreement with previously reported associations, and they add to the body of evidence showing that particulate pollution is associated with increases daily mortality.

  16. Collective trauma in northern Sri Lanka: a qualitative psychosocial-ecological study

    PubMed Central

    Somasundaram, Daya

    2007-01-01

    Background Complex situations that follow war and natural disasters have a psychosocial impact on not only the individual but also on the family, community and society. Just as the mental health effects on the individual psyche can result in non pathological distress as well as a variety of psychiatric disorders; massive and widespread trauma and loss can impact on family and social processes causing changes at the family, community and societal levels. Method This qualitative, ecological study is a naturalistic, psychosocial ethnography in Northern Sri Lanka, while actively involved in psychosocial and community mental health programmes among the Tamil community. Participatory observation, key informant interviews and focus group discussion with community level relief and rehabilitation workers and government and non-governmental officials were used to gather data. The effects on the community of the chronic, man-made disaster, war, in Northern Sri Lanka were compared with the contexts found before the war and after the tsunami. Results Fundamental changes in the functioning of the family and the community were observed. While the changes after the tsunami were not so prominent, the chronic war situation caused more fundamental social transformations. At the family level, the dynamics of single parent families, lack of trust among members, and changes in significant relationships, and child rearing practices were seen. Communities tended to be more dependent, passive, silent, without leadership, mistrustful, and suspicious. Additional adverse effects included the breakdown in traditional structures, institutions and familiar ways of life, and deterioration in social norms and ethics. A variety of community level interventions were tried. Conclusion Exposure to conflict, war and disaster situations impact on fundamental family and community dynamics resulting in changes at a collective level. Relief, rehabilitation and development programmes to be effective will

  17. Social differences in avoidable mortality between small areas of 15 European cities: an ecological study.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Rasmus; Borsboom, Gerard; Saez, Marc; Mari Dell'Olmo, Marc; Burström, Bo; Corman, Diana; Costa, Claudia; Deboosere, Patrick; Domínguez-Berjón, M Felicitas; Dzúrová, Dagmar; Gandarillas, Ana; Gotsens, Mercè; Kovács, Katalin; Mackenbach, Johan; Martikainen, Pekka; Maynou, Laia; Morrison, Joana; Palència, Laia; Pérez, Gloria; Pikhart, Hynek; Rodríguez-Sanz, Maica; Santana, Paula; Saurina, Carme; Tarkiainen, Lasse; Borrell, Carme

    2014-03-12

    Health and inequalities in health among inhabitants of European cities are of major importance for European public health and there is great interest in how different health care systems in Europe perform in the reduction of health inequalities. However, evidence on the spatial distribution of cause-specific mortality across neighbourhoods of European cities is scarce. This study presents maps of avoidable mortality in European cities and analyses differences in avoidable mortality between neighbourhoods with different levels of deprivation. We determined the level of mortality from 14 avoidable causes of death for each neighbourhood of 15 large cities in different European regions. To address the problems associated with Standardised Mortality Ratios for small areas we smooth them using the Bayesian model proposed by Besag, York and Mollié. Ecological regression analysis was used to assess the association between social deprivation and mortality. Mortality from avoidable causes of death is higher in deprived neighbourhoods and mortality rate ratios between areas with different levels of deprivation differ between gender and cities. In most cases rate ratios are lower among women. While Eastern and Southern European cities show higher levels of avoidable mortality, the association of mortality with social deprivation tends to be higher in Northern and lower in Southern Europe. There are marked differences in the level of avoidable mortality between neighbourhoods of European cities and the level of avoidable mortality is associated with social deprivation. There is no systematic difference in the magnitude of this association between European cities or regions. Spatial patterns of avoidable mortality across small city areas can point to possible local problems and specific strategies to reduce health inequality which is important for the development of urban areas and the well-being of their inhabitants.

  18. Social differences in avoidable mortality between small areas of 15 European cities: an ecological study

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Health and inequalities in health among inhabitants of European cities are of major importance for European public health and there is great interest in how different health care systems in Europe perform in the reduction of health inequalities. However, evidence on the spatial distribution of cause-specific mortality across neighbourhoods of European cities is scarce. This study presents maps of avoidable mortality in European cities and analyses differences in avoidable mortality between neighbourhoods with different levels of deprivation. Methods We determined the level of mortality from 14 avoidable causes of death for each neighbourhood of 15 large cities in different European regions. To address the problems associated with Standardised Mortality Ratios for small areas we smooth them using the Bayesian model proposed by Besag, York and Mollié. Ecological regression analysis was used to assess the association between social deprivation and mortality. Results Mortality from avoidable causes of death is higher in deprived neighbourhoods and mortality rate ratios between areas with different levels of deprivation differ between gender and cities. In most cases rate ratios are lower among women. While Eastern and Southern European cities show higher levels of avoidable mortality, the association of mortality with social deprivation tends to be higher in Northern and lower in Southern Europe. Conclusions There are marked differences in the level of avoidable mortality between neighbourhoods of European cities and the level of avoidable mortality is associated with social deprivation. There is no systematic difference in the magnitude of this association between European cities or regions. Spatial patterns of avoidable mortality across small city areas can point to possible local problems and specific strategies to reduce health inequality which is important for the development of urban areas and the well-being of their inhabitants. PMID:24618273

  19. Influence of ecological factors and of land use on mercury levels in fish in the Tapajós River basin, Amazon.

    PubMed

    Sampaio da Silva, D; Lucotte, M; Paquet, S; Davidson, R

    2009-05-01

    Mercury (Hg) contamination of riparian communities and of environmental compartments of the Amazon can be directly related to the occupation of the territory. The objective of this study was to identify the characteristics of aquatic environments that are associated with high levels of Hg in ichthyofauna. Our research aimed at determining the influence of variables related to fish ecology, types of aquatic environment, fishing activities by local riparian populations, and watershed use on the levels of contamination of ichthyofauna. Six sites were sampled during two distinct periods of the hydrological cycle: at the beginning of descending waters and during low waters. We focused on ten dominant fish species representing four trophic levels: Curimata inornata, Geophagus proximus, Schizodon vittatum, Leporinus fasciatus, Anostomoides laticeps, Hemiodus unimaculatus, Caenotropus labyrinthicus, Hoplias malabaricus, Plagioscion squamosissimus, Acestrorhynchus falcirostris. The study sites, which included lotic and lentic habitats, are exploited year-round by local riparian communities. Spatial variations in Hg contamination in ichthyofauna were determined by factorial analysis of variance taking into account fish diets, seasons, and sampling sites. Multiple regressions were used to check the influence of ecological and anthropogenic variables and variables related to watershed uses, on Hg levels in key species representing the four trophic groups. Each variable was checked independently. Next, multiple regressions were used to verify the concomitant influence of selected variables. Independently of the study site and the phase of the hydrologic cycle, fish Hg contamination followed the trend piscivores>omnivores>herbivores>detritivores. In all the aquatic study sites, Hg levels measured in predatory species were often higher than the 500 ng/g fresh weight threshold. Mean Hg levels in key species were significantly higher during descending waters in lotic environments

  20. Violent relationships at the social-ecological level: A multi-mediation model to predict adolescent victimization by peers, bullying and depression in early and late adolescence.

    PubMed

    Oriol, Xavier; Miranda, Rafael; Amutio, Alberto; Acosta, Hedy C; Mendoza, Michelle C; Torres-Vallejos, Javier

    2017-01-01

    From the social-ecological perspective, exposure to violence at the different developmental levels is fundamental to explain the dynamics of violence and victimization in educational centers. The following study aims at analyzing how these relationships are produced in the Peruvian context, where structural violence situations exist. A multi-mediation structural model with 21,416 Peruvian adolescents (M = 13.69; SD = 0.71) was conducted to determine the influence of violence in the school environment on violence perceived within school and violence exercised by teachers. In addition, it was also intended to determine whether these violent relationships predict depression through loneliness, and bullying through peer victimization. The existence of differences between early and late adolescence was also verified. Results confirm that violence in the school setting has high influence on violence exercised by adolescents and teachers within the school. Teacher violence is the most important predictor of depression through loneliness, and encourages peer victimization and the emergence of aggressive behavior. Exposure to violence exercised by support sources-teachers and classmates-explains more than 90% of the total variance explained in bullying behavior. Differences were found between early and late adolescence models. The high prevalence of structural violence in school settings facilitates the bullying/victimization dynamics within school. From a social-ecological perspective, this result suggests the importance of network cooperation at a mesosystem level, with teachers from educational centers playing a crucial role in the prevention of bullying/victimization.

  1. Violent relationships at the social-ecological level: A multi-mediation model to predict adolescent victimization by peers, bullying and depression in early and late adolescence

    PubMed Central

    Oriol, Xavier; Miranda, Rafael; Acosta, Hedy C.; Mendoza, Michelle C.; Torres-Vallejos, Javier

    2017-01-01

    Background From the social-ecological perspective, exposure to violence at the different developmental levels is fundamental to explain the dynamics of violence and victimization in educational centers. The following study aims at analyzing how these relationships are produced in the Peruvian context, where structural violence situations exist. Methods A multi-mediation structural model with 21,416 Peruvian adolescents (M = 13.69; SD = 0.71) was conducted to determine the influence of violence in the school environment on violence perceived within school and violence exercised by teachers. In addition, it was also intended to determine whether these violent relationships predict depression through loneliness, and bullying through peer victimization. The existence of differences between early and late adolescence was also verified. Results Results confirm that violence in the school setting has high influence on violence exercised by adolescents and teachers within the school. Teacher violence is the most important predictor of depression through loneliness, and encourages peer victimization and the emergence of aggressive behavior. Exposure to violence exercised by support sources—teachers and classmates—explains more than 90% of the total variance explained in bullying behavior. Differences were found between early and late adolescence models. Conclusion The high prevalence of structural violence in school settings facilitates the bullying/victimization dynamics within school. From a social-ecological perspective, this result suggests the importance of network cooperation at a mesosystem level, with teachers from educational centers playing a crucial role in the prevention of bullying/victimization. PMID:28358905

  2. Do Metacognitions and Intolerance of Uncertainty Predict Worry in Everyday Life? An Ecological Momentary Assessment Study.

    PubMed

    Thielsch, Carolin; Andor, Tanja; Ehring, Thomas

    2015-07-01

    Cognitive models of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) suggest that excessive worry is due to positive and negative metacognitive beliefs and/or intolerance of uncertainty. Empirical support mainly derives from cross-sectional studies with limited conclusiveness, using self-report measures and thereby possibly causing recall biases. The aim of the present study therefore was to examine the power of these cognitive variables to predict levels of worry in everyday life using Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA). Metacognitions and intolerance of uncertainty were assessed using well-established self-report questionnaires in 41 nonclinical participants who subsequently completed ratings on worry intensity and burden on a portable device for 1week at seven times a day once every 2hours. Results showed significant associations of negative metacognitive beliefs and intolerance of uncertainty, but not positive metacognitive beliefs, with worry in everyday life. In multilevel regression analyses, a substantial proportion of variance of everyday worry could be accounted for by negative metacognitions over and above trait worry and daily hassles. Intolerance of uncertainty likewise emerged as a valid predictor when tested in isolation, but did not explain additional variance once negative metacognitions were controlled. The findings support current cognitive models of excessive worry and highlight the role of negative metacognitions. By using EMA to assess levels of worry in everyday life, they extend earlier findings focusing exclusively on retrospective questionnaire measures. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  3. Adverse Outcome Pathways and Ecological Risk Assessment: Bridging to Population Level Effects

    EPA Science Inventory

    The viability of populations of plants and animals is a key focus for environmental regulation. Population-level responses integrate the cumulative effects of chemical stressors on individuals as those individuals interact with and are affected by their con-specifics, competitor...

  4. Adverse Outcome Pathways and Ecological Risk Assessment: Bridging to Population Level Effects, Journal Article

    EPA Science Inventory

    The viability of populations of plants and animals is a key focus for environmental regulation. Population-level responses integrate the cumulative effects of chemical stressors on individuals as those individuals interact with and are affected by their con-specifics, competitor...

  5. Adverse Outcome Pathways and Ecological Risk Assessment: Bridging to Population Level Effects

    EPA Science Inventory

    The viability of populations of plants and animals is a key focus for environmental regulation. Population-level responses integrate the cumulative effects of chemical stressors on individuals as those individuals interact with and are affected by their con-specifics, competitor...

  6. Levels of Influence: Applying an Ecological Model in Pediatric Primary Care

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buchholz, Melissa; Ehmer, Amy; Noniyeva, Yuliana; Stein, Rachel; Ashby, Bethany; Talmi, Ayelet

    2017-01-01

    Young children are influenced by the world around them and they, in turn, have an impact on their environment. Clinicians must consider all levels of influence on a young child's development when implementing interventions for young children and their families. Infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) clinicians integrated into primary…

  7. Adverse Outcome Pathways and Ecological Risk Assessment: Bridging to Population Level Effects, Journal Article

    EPA Science Inventory

    The viability of populations of plants and animals is a key focus for environmental regulation. Population-level responses integrate the cumulative effects of chemical stressors on individuals as those individuals interact with and are affected by their con-specifics, competitor...

  8. Student Conceptions of Assessment by Level of Schooling: Further Evidence for Ecological Rationality in Belief Systems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Gavin; Harris, Lois

    2012-01-01

    Student beliefs about assessment may vary according to the level of schooling. The "Students Conceptions of Assessment" version 6 (SCoA-VI) inventory elicits attitudes towards four beliefs (assessment: improves teaching and learning, measures external factors, has affective impact/benefit, is irrelevant). Using multi-group confirmatory…

  9. Affect regulation and purging: An ecological momentary assessment study in purging disorder.

    PubMed

    Haedt-Matt, Alissa A; Keel, Pamela K

    2015-05-01

    Research suggests that affect may play an important role in the propensity to purge among women with purging disorder (PD). However, prior work has been constrained to cross-sectional or laboratory designs, which impact temporal interpretations and ecological validity. This study examined negative affect (NA) and positive affect (PA) in triggering and maintaining purging in PD using ecological momentary assessment. Women with PD (N = 24) made multiple daily ratings of affect and behavior for 2 weeks. Multilevel models examined associations between affect and purging at different levels of analysis, including a novel analytic approach to address the specificity of changes in affect relative to purging behavior by comparing trajectories of change on purge versus nonpurge days. For trajectories of affect over time, NA increased before purging and decreased following purging on purge days; however, only the decrease in NA following purging was significantly different from the trajectory of NA on nonpurge days. Conversely, PA failed to increase before purging on purge days compared with a matched time-point on nonpurge days. These findings suggest unique roles of PA in triggering and NA in maintaining purging in PD and support models in which purging functions to regulate affect. For comparisons of ratings before and after purging, NA increased and PA decreased after purging, highlighting how different analytic strategies produce different findings requiring integration into affect regulation models. These data provide insight into why women with PD purge after consuming normal amounts of food, a crucial first step for developing effective interventions. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  10. Affect Regulation and Purging: An Ecological Momentary Assessment Study in Purging Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Haedt-Matt, Alissa A.; Keel, Pamela K.

    2015-01-01

    Research suggests that affect may play an important role in the propensity to purge among women with Purging Disorder (PD). However, prior work has been constrained to cross-sectional or laboratory designs which impact temporal interpretations and ecological validity. This study examined the role of negative affect (NA) and positive affect (PA) in triggering and maintaining purging in PD using ecological momentary assessment. Women with PD (N=24) made multiple daily ratings of affect and behavior for two weeks. Multilevel models examined associations between affect and purging at different levels of analysis, including a novel analytic approach to address the specificity of changes in affect relative to purging behavior by comparing trajectories of change on purge versus non-purge days. For trajectories of affect over time, NA increased before purging and decreased following purging on purge days; however, only the decrease in NA following purging was significantly different from the trajectory of NA on non-purge days. Conversely, PA failed to increase before purging on purge days compared to a matched time-point on non-purge days. These findings suggest unique roles of PA in triggering and NA in maintaining purging in PD and support models in which purging functions to regulate affect. For comparisons of ratings before and after purging, NA increased and PA decreased after purging, highlighting how different analytic strategies produce different findings requiring integration into affect regulation models. These data provide insight into why women with PD purge after consuming normal amounts of food, a crucial first step for developing effective interventions. PMID:25688426

  11. Herbarium-based studies on taxonomy, biogeography and ecology of Psilochilus (Orchidaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Naczk, Aleksandra M.; Jaskuła, Radomir

    2016-01-01

    Background Psilochilus is a poorly studied orchid genus distributed from southern Mexico to south-eastern Brazil. A taxonomic revision of this Neotropical endemic based on morphological data is presented. Material and Methods Over 170 dried herbarium specimens and flowers preserved in liquid of Psilochilus were analyzed. Morphological variation among examined taxa was described based on multivariate analysis. To evaluate the similarity between niches occupied by various Psilochilus species ecological niche modeling (ENM) was applied. Species richness and the distribution patterns of Psilochilus representatives were analyzed based on squares of 5° latitude and longitude while similarities among floras between biogeographical units were measured using the Bray-Curtis index for presence/absence data. Results and Discussion A new species of the P. physurifolius-complex is described based on Central American material. Psilochilus crenatifolius is reduced to the rank of variety as P. macrophyllus var. crenatifolius. A key to 18 accepted Psilochilus species is provided. The illustrations of perianth segments of all recognized taxa are presented. The climatic niches preferred by the particular Psilochilus representatives are well separated based on ecological niche modeling analysis. Their distribution is limited mainly by the isothermality and temperature seasonality. The highest Psilochilus species richness is observed in the North Andean, Panamanian, Brazilian Planalto and Central American biogeographical provinces. A high level of endemism is observed in all those regions as well as Yungas biogeographical province. Most Psilochilus species occur in areas above 800 m of elevation. The populations were most often reported from the tropical rain forest and tropical moist deciduous forest. PMID:27843710

  12. Constructing ecologies.

    PubMed

    Cropp, Roger; Norbury, John

    2012-02-07

    We synthesize the generic properties of ecologically realistic multi-trophic level models and define criteria for ecological realism. We define an "ecospace" in which all ecologically realistic dynamics are confined, and construct "resource rays" that define the resources available to each species at every point in the ecospace. Resource rays for a species are lines from a vertex of maximum resource to the opposite boundary where no resources are available. The growth functions of all biota normally decrease along their resource rays, and change sign from positive to negative. This property prescribes that each species must have a zero isosurface within the ecospace. We illustrate our conditions on a highly cited three trophic level model from population dynamics, showing how to extend this system biologically consistently to a closed ecological system. Our synthesis extends the concept of carrying capacity of population models to explicitly include exhaustion of limiting resources, and so allows for population biology models to be considered as ecologically closed systems with respect to a key limiting nutrient. This approach unifies many theoretical and applied models in a common biogeochemical framework, facilitates better understanding of the key structures of complex ecologies, and suggests strategies for efficient design of experiments.

  13. [Study on distribution characteristics and potential ecological risk of soil heavy metals in the Yellow River beach region in Kaifeng City].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Peng-yan; Qin, Ming-zhou; Chen, Long; Hu, Chang-hui; Zhao, Ya-ping; Dong, Wei-jun

    2013-09-01

    The distributions, soil environment status and potential ecological risk of heavy metals were studied in beach soil of returning the cropland into Yellow River beach region in Kaifeng by the Nemerows and Håkansons methods. The results showed that (1) as Among the average contents of the five heavy metals Pb, Cr, Hg, As and Cd, the highest was the average content of Cr, and the lowest was the average content of Pb and Hg. In addition to Hg, the coefficients of variation of other heavy metals were relatively small, indicating that the content of heavy metals was quite different at different sites, and to some extent, relecting that Hg, As and Pb were the major elements polluting the soil, among which, Pb pollution was the pollution with universality. There was little difference in the contents of Cr and Cd from village to village the coefficient of variation was small, and the contents were below the national standard level. (2) There was significant difference in the spatial distribution of soil heavy metal elements in the upper, the middle and lower sections of the study area. The upper section was clean, the middle section was slightly polluted, and the lower section was enriched with pollutants. (3) The distribution of heavy metals in the beach region inside and outside the levees of Yellow River was closely related to the distribution of the residential regions. In the upper section of the beach region (southwest), the population was large and the contents of heavy metals were high. The contents of heavy metals were lower in the near river zone than outside the levees of Yellow River. And the heavy metal contents in the middle and lower section were higher than those outside the levees of Yellow River, while the lower section (northwest) showed a tendency of pollution enrichment. (4) In the view of the average individual potential ecological risk index of heavy metals (E(r)i), the potential ecological risk of Hg reached intense levels, and the potential

  14. A Methodology to Evaluate Ecological Resources and Risk Using Two Case Studies at the Department of Energy’s Hanford Site

    SciTech Connect

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael; Bunn, Amoret; Downs, Janelle; Jeitner, Christian; Pittfield, Taryn; Salisbury, Jennifer; Kosson, David

    2016-11-30

    An assessment of the potential risks to ecological resources from remediation activities or other perturbations should involve a quantitative evaluation of resources on the remediation site and in the surrounding environment. We developed a risk methodology to rapidly evaluate potential impact on ecological resources for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hanford Site in southcentral Washington State. We describe the application of the risk evaluation for two case studies to illustrate its applicability. The ecological assessment involves examining previous sources of information for the site, defining different resource levels from 0 to 5. We also developed a risk rating scale from nondiscernable to very high. Field assessment is the critical step to determine resource levels or to determine if current conditions are the same as previously evaluated. We provide a rapid assessment method for current ecological conditions that can be compared to previous site-specific data, or that can be used to assess resource value on other sites where ecological information is not generally available. The method is applicable to other Department of Energy’s sites, where its development may involve a range of state regulators, resource trustees, Tribes and other stakeholders. Achieving consistency across Department of Energy’s sites for valuation of ecological resources on remediation sites will assure Congress and the public that funds and personnel are being deployed appropriately.

  15. Comprehensive Cooling Water Study: Volume 7, Ecology of Par Pond, Savannah River Plant: Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Wilde, E.W.

    1987-10-01

    The Comprehensive Cooling Water Study (CCWS) was initiated in 1983 to evaluate the environmental effects of the intake and release of cooling water on the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems at the Savannah River Plant. The initial report (Gladden et al., 1985) described the results from the first year of the study. This document is the final report and concludes the program. The report comprises eight volumes. The first is a summary of environmental effects. The other seven volumes address water quality, radionuclide and heavy metal transport, wetlands, aquatic ecology, Federally endangered species, ecology of Par Pond, and waterfowl. 222 refs., 31 figs., 67 tabs.

  16. On the relationship between productivity and food chain length at different ecological levels.

    PubMed

    Arim, Matías; Marquet, Pablo A; Jaksic, Fabian M

    2007-01-01

    The effects of energy on food web structure have been debated for at least 80 years. Nevertheless, the empirical evidence is meager, especially from terrestrial ecosystems. We analyzed long-term temporal variation in food chain length in a semiarid continental ecosystem, where productivity shows large interannual variations. Incidence of nonherbivorous prey in predator diet was used as a proxy of trophic position, allowing us to analyze the effect of productivity on food chain length within the assemblage of top predators (which comprises the most abundant and persistent top predators in the system) and to compare observed patterns at the species and assemblage levels. At the species level, the relationship between trophic position and productivity took different forms, varying in magnitude and shape. This pattern contrasts with the consistent increase in food chain length, with productivity observed at the assemblage level. Our results indicate that productivity can be a main determinant of food chain length, but not necessarily because of energy limitation. Further, the increase in food chain length with available energy probably represents an aggregate attribute, driven to a large extent by predators with higher consumption rates, rather than being the result of compensatory responses among predators.

  17. [Analyzing spatial-temporal dynamics of the ecological niche: a marten (Martes martes) population case study].

    PubMed

    Puzachenko, Iu G; Zheltukhin, A S; Sandlerskiĭ, R B

    2010-01-01

    A potential of discriminant analysis is demonstrated in a case study of the common marten (Martes martes L., 1758) ecological niche within the Central Forest Reserve and its buffer zone. The analysis is aimed at identifying how the probability to encounter a marten's footprint along a walking route depends on the relief and other parameters of the environment discerned by remote sensing. The analyses that were done individually for each of the eleven months from a three-year observation period have revealed the pattern of the species spatial distribution and a measure of its association with the environment to be dependent, to a large extent, on the weather conditions. In general, associations with the environment do increase under unfavorable conditions. The methods are suggested that integrate outcomes of the monthly analyses into a general map of habitat types. The technique presented has wide application opportunities in studying the ecology of populations and solving problems of practical ecology.

  18. Validation of self-reported cannabis dose and potency: an ecological study.

    PubMed

    van der Pol, Peggy; Liebregts, Nienke; de Graaf, Ron; Korf, Dirk J; van den Brink, Wim; van Laar, Margriet

    2013-10-01

    To assess the reliability and validity of self-reported cannabis dose and potency measures. Cross-sectional study comparing self-reports with objective measures of amount of cannabis and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration. Ecological study with assessments at participants' homes or in a coffee shop. Young adult frequent cannabis users (n = 106) from the Dutch Cannabis Dependence (CanDep) study. The objectively measured amount of cannabis per joint (dose in grams) was compared with self-reported estimates using a prompt card and average number of joints made from 1 g of cannabis. In addition, objectively assessed THC concentration in the participant's cannabis was compared with self-reported level of intoxication, subjective estimate of cannabis potency and price per gram of cannabis. Objective estimates of doses per joint (0.07-0.88 g/joint) and cannabis potency (1.1-24.7%) varied widely. Self-reported measures of dose were imprecise, but at group level, average dose per joint was estimated accurately with the number of joints made from 1 g [limit of agreement (LOA) = -0.02 g, 95% confidence interval (CI) = -0.29; 0.26], whereas the prompt card resulted in serious underestimation (LOA = 0.14 g, 95% CI = -0.10; 0.37). THC concentration in cannabis was associated with subjective potency ['average' 3.77% (P = 0.002) and '(very) strong' 5.13% more THC (P < 0.001) than '(very) mild' cannabis] and with cannabis price (about 1% increase in THC concentration per euro spent on 1 g of cannabis, P < 0.001), but not with level of intoxication. Self-report measures relating to cannabis use appear at best to be associated weakly with objective measures. Of the self-report measures, number of joints per gram, cannabis price and subjective potency have at least some validity. © 2013 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  19. Case Study: Crazy about Cryptids--An Ecological Hunt for Nessie and Other Legendary Creatures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rowe, Matthew P.

    2015-01-01

    This column provides original articles on innovations in case study teaching, assessment of the method, as well as case studies with teaching notes. This hybrid case has three overarching and interrelated goals. First, it can be used to familiarize students with a range of ecological concepts and terms. Second, it is intended to engage students in…

  20. Case Study: Crazy about Cryptids--An Ecological Hunt for Nessie and Other Legendary Creatures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rowe, Matthew P.

    2015-01-01

    This column provides original articles on innovations in case study teaching, assessment of the method, as well as case studies with teaching notes. This hybrid case has three overarching and interrelated goals. First, it can be used to familiarize students with a range of ecological concepts and terms. Second, it is intended to engage students in…

  1. An Ecological Study of Social Fragmentation, Socioeconomic Deprivation, and Suicide in Rural China: 2008-2010.

    PubMed

    Li, Lydia W; Xu, Hongwei; Zhang, Zhenmei; Liu, Jinyu

    2016-12-01

    China accounts for a large number of suicides worldwide, and most occur in rural areas. Suicide research in China has primarily focused on individual-level risk factors, few have studied the influence of neighborhood contexts. This ecological study examines the association of suicide rates with social fragmentation and socioeconomic deprivation in Chinese rural villages. Data from the community survey of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study were analyzed using negative binomial regression. A total of 307 rural villages were included. The community survey collected data about the villages from local leaders. Suicide counts were measured by the leaders' report of the number of suicide deaths in the villages. Social fragmentation was indicated by out-migration, in-migration and ethnic diversity; socioeconomic deprivation was indicated by physical infrastructure, illiteracy rates and public transit accessibility. The results show that higher incidence rates of suicide occurred in villages with high proportions of out-migration (vs. low), inflow of migrants (vs. no migrants), mixes of Han and ethnic minority residents (vs. Han only), high degrees of infrastructure deficiency (vs. low) and poor access to public transportation (vs. excellent). Villages with higher percentages of older adults also had higher suicide rates. This is one of the first studies to examine the association between neighborhood contexts and suicide in China. The findings have implications for suicide prevention in rural China.

  2. Examining Ecological and Ecosystem Level Impacts of Aquatic Invasive Species in Lake Michigan Using An Ecosystem Productivity Model, LM-Eco

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological and ecosystem-level impacts of aquatic invasive species in Lake Michigan were examined using the Lake Michigan Ecosystem Model (LM-Eco). The LM-Eco model includes a detailed description of trophic levels and their interactions within the lower food web of Lake Michiga...

  3. Examining Ecological and Ecosystem Level Impacts of Aquatic Invasive Species in Lake Michigan Using An Ecosystem Productivity Model, LM-Eco

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological and ecosystem-level impacts of aquatic invasive species in Lake Michigan were examined using the Lake Michigan Ecosystem Model (LM-Eco). The LM-Eco model includes a detailed description of trophic levels and their interactions within the lower food web of Lake Michiga...

  4. PhD-level education in Wageningen: the approach at graduate school Production Ecology and Resource Conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Temme, Arnaud; van de Vijver, Claudius; Jetten, Theo; Suselbeek, Lennart

    2016-04-01

    Wageningen University's PhD programme is organized by Graduate Schools that are defined based on topics. The C.T. de Wit Graduate School for Production Ecology and Resource Conservation (PE&RC) focussed on topics ranging from ecology and soil science to crop modelling. The Graduate School's offering of PhD courses comprises methodological courses, topical courses, skills courses and international on-site courses. All courses are characterized by a high degree of ownership by PhD candidates themselves. In many cases, candidates apply the skills that they learn on datasets from their own studies, during the course. This allows them to get hands-on experience while working towards their own results. The international on-site courses uniquely bring together Wageningen PhD candidates from a wide range of disciplines to jointly discuss and learn with local PhD candidates. Candidates also highly value the extensive attention for candidates' wellbeing during their time in Wageningen, for instance through PhD weekends.

  5. Application of the LUminometric Methylation Assay to ecological species: tissue quality requirements and a survey of DNA methylation levels in animals.

    PubMed

    Head, Jessica A; Mittal, Krittika; Basu, Niladri

    2014-09-01

    The LUminometric Methylation Assay (LUMA) measures global DNA methylation. LUMA depends on digestion of DNA with methyl-sensitive and methyl-insensitive restriction enzymes, followed by pyrosequencing. Until recently, LUMA has been principally used for biomedical research. Here, we use chickens as a model to investigate sample quality issues relating to LUMA and then apply the method to ecological species. First, we assessed the effect of tissue storage conditions on DNA methylation values. This is an important consideration for ecological species because samples are not always ideally preserved and LUMA is sensitive to poor DNA quality. We found that good quality LUMA data could be obtained from chicken liver and brain tissues stored at 21 °C for at least 2 and 12 h, respectively. Longer storage times introduced nonspecific peaks to pyrograms which were associated with reduced DNA methylation. Repeatedly, freezing and thawing the tissues did not affect LUMA data. Second, we measured DNA methylation in 12 species representing five animal classes: amphibians (African and Western clawed frog), reptiles (green anole lizard), fish (yellow perch, goldfish, lake trout), mammals (American mink, polar bear, short-beaked common dolphin, Atlantic white-sided dolphin) and birds (chicken, Japanese quail). We saw a pattern of high DNA methylation in fish (84-87%), and intermediate levels in mammals (68-72%) and birds (52-71%). This pattern corresponds well with previous measures of DNA methylation generated by HPLC. Our data represent the first CpG methylation values to be reported in several species and provide a basis for studying patterns of epigenetic inheritance in an ecological context. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Assessment of ecological security based on soil and water conservation: a case study from Gansu Province, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Z. J.; Tian, Q.; Song, L. L.

    2016-08-01

    In this study, the analytic hierarchy process (ahp), ecological security index(S) and PSR model were used to evaluate Gansu's ecological security based on the large number of survey data. The results indicated that Gansu's ecological security index increased from 0.31 in 1986 to 0.66 in 2013, which reflected ecological security was in sensitive state (0.7༞S≥⃒0.5). The main reason was that national policy on protecting the ecological environment has played a crucial role, especially the national project of returning farmland to forest and grass carried out in recent years. Moreover, the environmental issues such as the higher PM2.5, sand storms and climate extremes, had significantly improved people's environmental awareness in the study area. The regional difference of ecological security index was significant in Gansu Provinces, and the part of Yangtze river basin was higher than the part of Yellow River basin, whiles the in-land river basin was the lowest value. In a world, Gansu's ecological security had improved in recent years, but there was strong need for paying more attention to policy for ecological environment protection and increasing the propaganda to ensure the Gansu's ecological security in the future. This study will provide a scientific basis for the sustainable development of regional social economy and ecological environment.

  7. Temporal variation in the biochemical ecology of lower trophic levels in the Northern California Current

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, J. A.; Peterson, W. T.; Copeman, L. A.; Du, X.; Morgan, C. A.; Litz, M. N. C.

    2017-06-01

    There is strong correlative evidence that variation in the growth and survival of secondary consumers is related to the copepod species composition within the Northern California Current. Potential mechanisms driving these correlations include: (1) enhanced growth and survival of secondary consumers when lipid-rich, boreal copepod species are abundant, with cascading effects on higher trophic levels; (2) the regulation of growth and condition of primary and secondary consumers by the relative proportion of certain essential fatty acids (FAs) in primary producers; or (3) a combination of these factors. Disentangling the relative importance of taxonomic composition, lipid quantity, and FA composition on the nutritional quality of copepods requires detailed information on both the consumer and primary producers. Therefore, we collected phytoplankton and copepods at an oceanographic station for 19 months and completed species community analyses and generated detailed lipid profiles, including lipid classes and FAs, for both groups. There was strong covariation between species and biochemistry within and across trophic levels and distinct seasonal differences. The amount of total lipid within both the phytoplankton and copepod communities was twice as high in spring and summer than in fall and winter, and certain FAs, such as diatom indicators 20:5ω3 and 16:1ω7, comprised a greater proportion of the FA pool in spring and summer. Indicators of bacterial production within the copepod community were proportionally twice as high during fall and winter than spring and summer. Seasonal transitions in copepod FA composition were consistently offset from transitions in copepod species composition by approximately two weeks. The timing of the seasonal transition in copepod FAs reflected seasonal shifts in the species composition and/or biochemistry of primary producers more than seasonal shifts in the copepod species composition. These results emphasize the importance of

  8. Incorporating ecological risk assessment into remedial investigation/feasibility study work plans

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-06-01

    This guidance document (1) provides instructions on preparing the components of an ecological work plan to complement the overall site remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) work plan and (2) directs the user on how to implement ecological tasks identified in the plan. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), as amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), and RI/FS work plan will have to be developed as part of the site-remediation scoping process. Specific guidance on the RI/FS process and the preparation of work plans has been developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA 1988a). This document provides guidance to US Department of Energy (DOE) staff and contractor personnel for incorporation of ecological information into environmental remediation planning and decision making at CERCLA sites.

  9. The Population Ecology of Technology: An Empirical Study of US Biotechnology Patents from 1976 to 2003

    PubMed Central

    van den Oord, Ad; van Witteloostuijn, Arjen

    2017-01-01

    A detailed understanding of technological change as an evolutionary process is currently not well understood. To increase our understanding, we build upon theory from organizational ecology to develop a model of endogenous technological growth and determine to what extent the pattern of technological growth can be attributed to the structural or systemic characteristics of the technology itself. Through an empirical investigation of patent data in the biotechnology industry from 1976 to 2003, we find that a technology’s internal (i.e., density and diversity) ecological characteristics have a positive effect on its growth rate. The niche’s external characteristics of crowding and status have a negative effect on its growth rate. Hence, applying theory from organizational ecology increases our understanding of technological change as an evolutionary process. We discuss the implications of our findings for the study of technological growth and evolution, and suggest avenues for further research. PMID:28081570

  10. The Population Ecology of Technology: An Empirical Study of US Biotechnology Patents from 1976 to 2003.

    PubMed

    van den Oord, Ad; van Witteloostuijn, Arjen

    2017-01-01

    A detailed understanding of technological change as an evolutionary process is currently not well understood. To increase our understanding, we build upon theory from organizational ecology to develop a model of endogenous technological growth and determine to what extent the pattern of technological growth can be attributed to the structural or systemic characteristics of the technology itself. Through an empirical investigation of patent data in the biotechnology industry from 1976 to 2003, we find that a technology's internal (i.e., density and diversity) ecological characteristics have a positive effect on its growth rate. The niche's external characteristics of crowding and status have a negative effect on its growth rate. Hence, applying theory from organizational ecology increases our understanding of technological change as an evolutionary process. We discuss the implications of our findings for the study of technological growth and evolution, and suggest avenues for further research.

  11. Transition to Postgraduate Study: Postgraduate Ecological Systems and Identity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tobbell, Jane; O'Donnell, Victoria L.

    2013-01-01

    This paper explores and examines the distal and proximal systems which construct social science postgraduate study in the UK and analyses the emergent identities of postgraduate students as they negotiate the multiple and interacting practices in their transition to study. The data represent part of a one-year research project, funded by the…

  12. An Ecological Study of Crime in Rural Ohio.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Shu-O W.; Phillips, G. Howard

    In order to contribute to the sparse literature on factors associated with crime in rural communities, an exploratory study analyzed the relation between demographic, social, and economic factors of selected rural townships in Ohio and their rates of crime. Data for the study were collected from three sources: daily offense reports from nine Ohio…

  13. [A study on feeding ecology and migration patterns of Dosidicus gigas off Peru using stable isotope analysis].

    PubMed

    Gong, Yi; Chen, Xin-jun; Li, Yun-kai; Han, Meng-jie

    2015-09-01

    As a pelagic cephalopod and one of the main target species of Chinese distant water fishery, jumbo squids (Dosidicus gigas) play a major role in the marine ecosystems of the eastern Pacific. Understanding the feeding ecology and migration patterns of jumbo squids is of importance for better utilizing the resources. The isotopic signatures of gladius, have been proved to be a powerful tool to reveal high resolution and ontogenic variations in individual foraging strategies of squids; which is an archival tissue with no elemental turnover after formation. In this study, the growth equation of gladius proostracum was established based on the age information determined by statolith. Gladius was cut successionally by the growth curve of gladius proostracum, the stable isotopic values of the gladius profiles were determined, and the feeding ecology and migration patterns of jumbo squids during its growth process were investigated. Results showed that the jumbo squids began to migrate after 180 days of postnatal, and their trophic levels tended to decrease throughout the life span. These results demonstrated the feasibility of using continuous sampling hard tissue to study the feeding ecology and habitat transfer of jumbo squids.

  14. Cognitive ecology.

    PubMed

    Hutchins, Edwin

    2010-10-01

    Cognitive ecology is the study of cognitive phenomena in context. In particular, it points to the web of mutual dependence among the elements of a cognitive ecosystem. At least three fields were taking a deeply ecological approach to cognition 30 years ago: Gibson's ecological psychology, Bateson's ecology of mind, and Soviet cultural-historical activity theory. The ideas developed in those projects have now found a place in modern views of embodied, situated, distributed cognition. As cognitive theory continues to shift from units of analysis defined by inherent properties of the elements to units defined in terms of dynamic patterns of correlation across elements, the study of cognitive ecosystems will become an increasingly important part of cognitive science.

  15. Ecological study of rotifers from Kor river, Fars, Iran.

    PubMed

    Shayestehfar, A; Soleimani, M; Mousavi, S N; Shirazi, F

    2008-09-01

    In the present study, water samples from 3 stations of Kor river, Iran were analyzed for seasonal fluctuation of physico-chemical parameters, i.e. air and water temperature, dissolved oxygen, BOD, COD, total nitrogen, total hardness, pH, alkalinity, acidity, total dissolved solid and water current. Effect of physico-chemical parameters on surface water density of rotifers was also studied. During one year study 13 species of rotifers belonging to 2 classes and 3 orders, 6 families and 10 genera were recognized. Maximum population density belongs to Lecane luna and the minimum population density was observed in Keratella valga and Monostyla lunaris. An inverse relationship between the population density of rotifera and the water current as wall as a direct relationship between the water temperature and the population density of rotifers was observed in all sampling stations and throughout the study period.

  16. Ecological momentary assessment of tinnitus using smartphone technology: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Michael B; Kallogjeri, Dorina; Joplin, Conor N; Gorman, Mitchell D; Krings, James G; Lenze, Eric J; Nicklaus, Joyce E; Spitznagel, Edward E; Piccirillo, Jay F

    2015-05-01

    To explore the feasibility of ecological momentary assessments (EMAs) as a tool to more accurately assess the level of bother from tinnitus. Longitudinal observational study. Washington University Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery faculty practice plan. Twenty participants with moderately to severely bothersome tinnitus were enrolled. All participants owned a smartphone device, and all communications were conducted via email, phone, and text messaging. Participants received 4 EMAs per day for 2 weeks via text message and a final survey on the 15th day. In each survey, participants recorded their level of tinnitus bother, their location at the time of response, their stress level, how they were feeling, and what they were doing. Response rates as a proxy for the feasibility of the program. There were a total of 1120 surveys sent to 20 participants (56 surveys per participant), and 889 (79.4%) of the surveys were completed and returned. The median time to response from the moment of receiving the text message was 7 minutes. The distribution of responses to the EMA question, "In the last 5 minutes, how bothered have you been by your tinnitus?" displayed both high between- and within-subject variability. At the end of 2 weeks, the median score on the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory was 37, with a range of 10 to 82 points; the median Tinnitus Functional Index score was 43, with a range of 10 to 82 points. This study suggests bothered tinnitus patients will use smartphones as part of EMA. © American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation 2015.

  17. The Cultural Ecology of Scholar-Practitioner Leaders: An Ethnographic Study of Leadership

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jenlink, Patrick M.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this critical ethnographic study was to examine the nature and meaning of cultural ecology in relation to preparing scholar-practitioner leaders. The ethnography focused on how the discourses and practices within the disciplinary setting of leadership preparation shape the identity of social scholar-practitioner leaders. The…

  18. Science and Ecological Economics: Integrating of the Study of Humans and the Rest of Nature

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Costanza, Robert

    2009-01-01

    Ecological economics is a transdisciplinary field that seeks to integrate the study of humans and the rest of nature as the basis for the creation of a sustainable and desirable future. It seeks to dissolve the barriers between the traditional disciplines and achieve a true "consilience" of all the sciences and humanities. This consilient,…

  19. Daily Emotional Dynamics in Depressed Youth: A Cell Phone Ecological Momentary Assessment Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Silk, Jennifer S.; Forbes, Erika E.; Whalen, Diana J.; Jakubcak, Jennifer L.; Thompson, Wesley K.; Ryan, Neal D.; Axelson, David A.; Birmaher, Boris; Dahl, Ronald E.

    2011-01-01

    This study used a new cell phone ecological momentary assessment approach to investigate daily emotional dynamics in 47 youths with major depressive disorder (MDD) and 32 no-psychopathology controls (CON) (ages 7-17 years). Information about emotional experience in the natural environment was obtained using answer-only cell phones, while MDD…

  20. Science and Ecological Economics: Integrating of the Study of Humans and the Rest of Nature

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Costanza, Robert

    2009-01-01

    Ecological economics is a transdisciplinary field that seeks to integrate the study of humans and the rest of nature as the basis for the creation of a sustainable and desirable future. It seeks to dissolve the barriers between the traditional disciplines and achieve a true "consilience" of all the sciences and humanities. This consilient,…

  1. Ignorance of Hedonic Adaptation to Hemodialysis: A Study Using Ecological Momentary Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riis, Jason; Loewenstein, George; Baron, Jonathan; Jepson, Christopher; Fagerlin, Angela; Ubel, Peter A.

    2005-01-01

    Healthy people generally underestimate the self-reported well-being of people with disabilities and serious illnesses. The cause of this discrepancy is in dispute, and the present study provides evidence for 2 causes. First, healthy people fail to anticipate hedonic adaptation to poor health. Using an ecological momentary assessment measure of…

  2. Advances in the application of amino acid nitrogen isotopic analysis in ecological and biogeochemical studies

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Compound-specific isotopic analysis of amino acids (CSIA-AA) has emerged in the last decade as a powerful approach for tracing the origins and fate of nitrogen in ecological and biogeochemical studies. This approach is based on the empirical knowledge that source AAs (i.e., phenylalanine), fractiona...

  3. Energize It! An Ecologically Integrated Approach to the Study of the Digestive System and Energy Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Derting, Terry L.

    1992-01-01

    Develops a research-oriented method of studying the digestive system that integrates species' ecology with the form and function of this system. Uses problem-posing, problem-probing, and peer persuasion. Presents information for mammalian systems. (27 references) (MKR)

  4. Undertaking an Ecological Approach to Advance Game-Based Learning: A Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shah, Mamta; Foster, Aroutis

    2014-01-01

    Systematic incorporation of digital games in schools is largely unexplored. This case study explored the ecological conditions necessary for implementing a game-based learning course by examining the interaction between three domains (the innovator, the innovation, and the context). From January-April 2012, one in-service teacher learned and…

  5. Undertaking an Ecological Approach to Advance Game-Based Learning: A Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shah, Mamta; Foster, Aroutis

    2014-01-01

    Systematic incorporation of digital games in schools is largely unexplored. This case study explored the ecological conditions necessary for implementing a game-based learning course by examining the interaction between three domains (the innovator, the innovation, and the context). From January-April 2012, one in-service teacher learned and…

  6. Daily Emotional Dynamics in Depressed Youth: A Cell Phone Ecological Momentary Assessment Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Silk, Jennifer S.; Forbes, Erika E.; Whalen, Diana J.; Jakubcak, Jennifer L.; Thompson, Wesley K.; Ryan, Neal D.; Axelson, David A.; Birmaher, Boris; Dahl, Ronald E.

    2011-01-01

    This study used a new cell phone ecological momentary assessment approach to investigate daily emotional dynamics in 47 youths with major depressive disorder (MDD) and 32 no-psychopathology controls (CON) (ages 7-17 years). Information about emotional experience in the natural environment was obtained using answer-only cell phones, while MDD…

  7. Organisms for Teaching: "Artemia salina": An Easily Cultured Invertebrate Ideally Suited for Ecological Studies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ward-Booth, Kirsty; Reiss, Michael

    1988-01-01

    This paper includes a general account of the biology of the brine shrimp, instructions on how the organism may be cultured, the results of some experiments on the ecology and population biology of the species, and some suggestions for further studies. (Author/CW)

  8. Algal culture studies related to a Closed Ecological Life Support System (CELSS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Radmer, R. O.; Ollinger, O.; Venables, A.; Fernandez, E.

    1982-01-01

    Studies with algal cultures which relate to closed ecological life support systems (CELSS) are discussed. A description of a constant cell density apparatus for continuous culture of algae is included. Excretion of algal by-products, and nitrogen utilization and excretion are discussed.

  9. Research Plan for Study of Biological and Ecological Effects of the Solar Power Satellite Transmission System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newsom, B. D.

    1978-01-01

    A programmatic research plan for a three year study is presented to generate knowledge on effects of the continuous wave 2.45 GHz microwave power transmission that the Solar Power Satellite might have on biological and ecological elements, within and around the rectenna receiving site.

  10. Organisms for Teaching: "Artemia salina": An Easily Cultured Invertebrate Ideally Suited for Ecological Studies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ward-Booth, Kirsty; Reiss, Michael

    1988-01-01

    This paper includes a general account of the biology of the brine shrimp, instructions on how the organism may be cultured, the results of some experiments on the ecology and population biology of the species, and some suggestions for further studies. (Author/CW)

  11. Environmental Education as Facilitator of the Use of Ecological Information: A Case Study in Mexico.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Castillo, Alicia; Garcia-Ruvalcaba, Salvador; Martinez R., Luis M.

    2002-01-01

    Proposes that in the context of developing countries such as Mexico, one role of environmental education is to facilitate the utilization of ecological information in the solution of problems. Conducts a case study to outline the role of environmental education as the linkage between science and different sectors of society involved in the…

  12. STABLE ISOTOPES IN ECOLOGICAL STUDIES: EXPANDING THE SCOPE OF MIXING MODELS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Stable isotopes are increasingly being used as tracers in ecological studies. One common application uses isotopic ratios to quantify the proportional contributions of multiple sources to a mixture. Examples include pollution sources for air or water bodies, food sources for an...

  13. [Quantitative study on ecological suitability of Chinese herbal medicine based on GIS].

    PubMed

    Xie, Caixiang; Suo, Fengmei; Zhou, Yingqun; Wang, Lizhi; Xiang, Li; Dong, Liang; Jia, Guanglin; Sun, Chengzhong; Chen, Shilin

    2011-02-01

    The quality of Chinese herbal medicine is closely related to its producing region. In order to apply mathematical models to do a quantitative study on the suitability of Chinese herbal medicine, it is necessary to study on the ecological factors and the interpolation of climatic data, which influence the Chinese herbal medicine growth. The paper firstly studied the judgment standard of ecological index from the points of ecology and statistics, and how to calculate the optimum range values and the weight of each ecological factor. Secondly, meteorological element data is essential data in analyzing the suitable region of Chinese herbal medicine, and the spatial distribution of meteorological elements is closely related to terrain environment, so, in order to make the results close to true value by the greatest degree. The paper adopted multiple linear regression interpolation method which based on DEM. The paper distinguished the factor system of suitable region and interpolation on the point of datumization, and made a study on it about some key issues.

  14. Revitalizing Traditional Ecological Knowledge: A Study in an Alpine Rural Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ianni, Elena; Geneletti, Davide; Ciolli, Marco

    2015-07-01

    This study aims to contribute to the debate on the value and the role of ecological knowledge in modern conservation strategies, with reference to the results of a case study conducted in the community of Montagne, located within a World Heritage site in the Italian Alps. This community is a paradigmatic example of the multiple transformations experienced by cultural landscapes in Alpine areas under the influence of global change. This study seeks to understand whether ecological knowledge is still in place in the community, and what the relationship is between the knowledge transmission and land use and social changes that have occurred in recent decades. To that end, the community is described by identifying the key variables (social, institutional, and ecological) that have historically shaped the landscape and the future priorities of the residents. Forest expansion, the most significant change in land use in the last 60 years, is analyzed using aerial photos; changes in biodiversity-related knowledge in the community are quantified by analyzing the inter-generational differences in plant species recognition. Results are discussed in the context of the current situation of the Montagne community, and the recommendation is made that policies and actions to promote traditional ecological knowledge protection or recovery in Europe be viewed as an important part of the recovery of community sovereignty and vitality. Lastly, concrete actions that can be implemented in our case study are proposed.

  15. Joint Action in Didactics and Classroom Ecology: Comparing Theories Using a Case Study in Physical Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Amade-Escot, Chantal; Venturini, Patrice

    2015-01-01

    This paper examines the respective contribution of two theoretical approaches to teaching and learning: the classroom ecology (CE) framework from Anglo-American research and the joint action in didactics (JAD) framework, which is part of French "didactique" research. This theoretical comparison is grounded in data from a case study in a…

  16. Ignorance of Hedonic Adaptation to Hemodialysis: A Study Using Ecological Momentary Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riis, Jason; Loewenstein, George; Baron, Jonathan; Jepson, Christopher; Fagerlin, Angela; Ubel, Peter A.

    2005-01-01

    Healthy people generally underestimate the self-reported well-being of people with disabilities and serious illnesses. The cause of this discrepancy is in dispute, and the present study provides evidence for 2 causes. First, healthy people fail to anticipate hedonic adaptation to poor health. Using an ecological momentary assessment measure of…

  17. Heterozygote Advantage Probably Maintains Rhesus Factor Blood Group Polymorphism: Ecological Regression Study

    PubMed Central

    Flegr, Jaroslav

    2016-01-01

    Rhesus factor polymorphism has been an evolutionary enigma since its discovery in 1939. Carriers of the rarer allele should be eliminated by selection against Rhesus positive children born to Rhesus negative mothers. Here I used an ecologic regression study to test the hypothesis that Rhesus factor polymorphism is stabilized by heterozygote advantage. The study was performed in 65 countries for which the frequencies of RhD phenotypes and specific disease burden data were available. I performed multiple multivariate covariance analysis with five potential confounding variables: GDP, latitude (distance from the equator), humidity, medical care expenditure per capita and frequencies of smokers. The results showed that the burden associated with many diseases correlated with the frequencies of particular Rhesus genotypes in a country and that the direction of the relation was nearly always the opposite for the frequency of Rhesus negative homozygotes and that of Rhesus positive heterozygotes. On the population level, a Rhesus-negativity-associated burden could be compensated for by the heterozygote advantage, but for Rhesus negative subjects this burden represents a serious problem. PMID:26811928

  18. Smartphone-based ecological momentary assessment for Chinese patients with depression: An exploratory study in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Hung, Shan; Li, Min-Shan; Chen, Yen-Lin; Chiang, Jung-Hsien; Chen, Ying-Yeh; Hung, Galen Chin-Lun

    2016-10-01

    Mobile mental health has a potential to improve the recognition and management of Chinese patients with depression. Currently, evidence regarding ecological momentary assessment (EMA) for depressive disorder mostly originates from Western studies. Herein, we examined the validity of smartphone-based EMA for depression in Chinese patients and explored the determinants of use. A smartphone application, iHOPE, was used to perform daily EMA of depression, anxiety, sleep and cognitive performance. Outpatients with depressive disorder were recruited to use iHOPE for 8 weeks. Clinical characteristics and smartphone use patterns were assessed at baseline. We enrolled 59 Chinese patients with depression. In 8 weeks, participants interacted with iHOPE for an average of 10.8 (SD=12.3) days; a trend of decreased frequency of use (p=0.03) was observed. Scores of HAM-D at baseline was associated with, of the first 2 weeks, scores of PHQ-9 (p=0.005), EMA of depression (p=0.003) and anxiety (p<0.001), and poorer sleep quality (p=0.023). Among the demographic, clinical and smartphone-use variables examined, only limited internet package for smartphone (<500M per month) predicted higher use of iHOPE (p=0.04). The present study provides initial evidence for the feasibility of smartphone-based EMA in Chinese patients with depression. Level of engagement needs to be improved before determining its clinical usefulness.

  19. Ecological studies on the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) on the Savannah River Plant. Comprehensive Cooling Water Study: Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Seigel, R.A.; Brandt, L.A.; Knight, J.L.; Novak, S.S.

    1986-06-01

    The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is the largest vertebrate of the Savannah River Plant (SRP), reaching a maximum length of 3.7 meters (12 feet) and weighing up to 175 kg (385 pounds). Currently, populations in coastal South Carolina are considered Threatened, whereas populations in inland areas (such as the SRP) are still Endangered. Because of their legal status and economic and ecological importance, it is important to determine the environmental impacts of SRP operations on the local alligator population. The major objectives under the Endangered Species Program of the Comprehensive Cooling Water Study (CCWS) were as follows: (1) document and compare the present status and distribution of alligators on the SRP to previous surveys, in order to determine long-term changes in population abundance; (2) establish baseline population and ecological parameters of the Steel Creek population so that the ecological effects of L-Reactor operations can be determined, and (3) conduct ecological research on the immediate impacts of thermal effluents on American alligators. Gladden et al., (1985) summarized data on previous population surveys, temporal changes in the Par Pond population, preliminary results of the Steel Creek surveys and Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) research on the effects of thermal effluents. This report summarizes the current status of the SRP population, presents data on the abundance, movement patterns and activity cycles of the Steel Creek population, and presents additional data on the effect of cooling water releases on alligator ecology and behavior.

  20. Project CHOICE: #100. A Career Unit for Grades 3 and 4. Ecology Workers. (Agriculture and Ecological Studies Occupations Career Cluster).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Bakersfield, CA.

    This teaching unit, Ecology Workers, is one in a series of career guides developed by Project CHOICE (Children Have Options in Career Education) to provide the classroom teacher with a source of career-related activities linking third and fourth grade elementary classroom experiences with the world of work. Part of the Agriculture and Ecological…

  1. An Experimental Ecological Study of a Garden Compost Heap.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Curds, Tracy

    1985-01-01

    A quantitative study of the fauna of a garden compost heap shows it to be similar to that of organisms found in soil and leaf litter. Materials, methods, and results are discussed and extensive tables of fauna lists, wet/dry masses, and statistical analyses are presented. (Author/DH)

  2. An Experimental Ecological Study of a Garden Compost Heap.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Curds, Tracy

    1985-01-01

    A quantitative study of the fauna of a garden compost heap shows it to be similar to that of organisms found in soil and leaf litter. Materials, methods, and results are discussed and extensive tables of fauna lists, wet/dry masses, and statistical analyses are presented. (Author/DH)

  3. Comprehensive Cooling Water Study: Volume 5, Aquatic ecology, Savannah River Plant: Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Specht, W.L.

    1987-10-01

    The Comprehensive Cooling Water Study (CCWS) was initiated in 1983 to evaluate the environmental effects of the intake and release of cooling water on the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems at the Savannah River Plant. The initial report (Gladden et al., 1985) described the results from the first year of the study. This document is the final report and concludes the program. The report comprises eight volumes. The first is a summary of environmental effects. The other seven volumes address water quality, radionuclide and heavy metal transport, wetlands, aquatic ecology, Federally endangered species, ecology of Par Pond, and waterfowl. This report documents the results of the Aquatic Ecology Program of the Comprehensive Cooling Water Study. The purpose of the Aquatic Ecology Program was to determine the environmental impacts of cooling water intake and release on the biological communities of SRP streams and swamps and the Savannah River, and the significance of these impacts on the SRP environment. 171 refs., 132 figs., 165 tabs.

  4. Effect of dried rumen digesta pellet levels on feed use, rumen ecology, and blood metabolite in swamp buffalo.

    PubMed

    Seankamsorn, Anuthida; Cherdthong, Anusorn; Wanapat, Metha; Supapong, Chanadol; Khonkhaeng, Benjamad; Uriyapongson, Sutipong; Gunun, Nirawan; Gunun, Pongsatron; Chanjula, Pin

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this experiment was to determine the effect of dried rumen digesta pellet levels on feed intake, digestibility, rumen ecology, and blood metabolites in swamp buffalo. Four 2-year-old male swamp buffalo with an initial body weight (BW) of 150 ± 10.0 kg were randomly assigned according to a 4 × 4 Latin square design to receive four levels of dried rumen digesta pellets (DRDPs). The dietary treatments were supplementation of DRDP at 0, 50, 100, and 150 g dry matter/day, respectively. Total feed intake was significantly different among treatments (p < 0.05) and was highest in the 150 g/day DRDP supplement (2.68 kg/day). Intakes of neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber did not affect DRDP levels, while intakes of organic matter and crude protein (CP) were altered significantly when 150 g of DRDP was used (p < 0.05). Buffalo fed with DRDP at 150 g/day had the highest CP and NDF digestibility (p < 0.05). DRDP supplementation did not affect rumen pH, and temperature and the concentration of ruminal ammonia-nitrogen and blood urea nitrogen were not altered among the treatments. The mean value of fungal zoospores in the buffalo was significantly different among treatments and was highest in supplementation with DRDP at 150 g. The mean value of propionic acid was significantly different at various levels of DRDP; it was highest in the group fed with 150 g DRDP (p < 0.05). Thus, supplementation of DRDP at 150 g improved feed use and increased fungal zoospore population. In addition, DRDP feeding is recommended, since it has positive economic impacts and helps control environmental pollution.

  5. An ecological study of bacteriophages of Vibrio natriegens.

    PubMed

    Zachary, A

    1978-03-01

    Effects of temperature and anaerobic conditions on the replication of two bacteriophages, nt-1 and nt-6, of the estuarine bacterium Vibrio natriegens were studied. Reduction in temperature resulted in longer latent periods and reduced burst sizes for both phages. Replication under anaerobic conditions resulted in longer latent periods; however, phage nt-6 had a reduced burst size, whereas phage nt-1 had an increased burst size, resulting in a rate of phage production nearly equal to that observed under aerobic conditions. Therefore the distribution of the phages in marsh areas could be influenced by temperature and anaerobiosis.

  6. Vulnerability of Oyster Resource Users to Ecological Change: Case Study from Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humphries, A.; La Peyre, M.; Hall, S.; Dowty Beech, R.

    2016-02-01

    Knowledge of vulnerability provides the foundation for developing actions that minimize impacts on people while maximizing the sustainability of ecosystem goods and services including fisheries. As a result, it is becoming increasingly important to determine if resource-dependent people are vulnerable to ecological change as anthropogenic and climate-induced stressors affect resources in different ways. In coastal Louisiana, the current era of rapid marsh loss and abrupt environmental variation (e.g., sediment diversions) has the potential to undermine oyster-associated livelihoods for those most vulnerable. To evaluate vulnerability, we examined dimensions of social sensitivity and adaptive capacity using semi-structured interviews with three stakeholder groups in the oyster fishery of Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. Results indicate that oyster owners/operators are highly dependent, and thus sensitive, to changes in the ecological conditions of the fishery due to high levels of occupational identity; however they are likely adaptable, reflected in their willingness to learn about new practices and evolve over time. In contrast, oyster fishers that do not own any portion of the business in which they operate are bad at coping with change and frequently hold negative or fatalistic views on financial planning. Overall, oyster resource users most vulnerable to ecological change will be those with high levels of stewardship, open-minded values, and a balanced perception of environment, as well as low to moderate levels of personal and financial buffers and trust. These results suggest that resource users with higher sensitivity to change are not necessarily most vulnerable because sensitivity may be offset by adaptive capacity. In other words, while sensitivity may determine the potential impact of a climate- or human-induced ecological change to the oyster fishery, adaptive capacity can be a major influence on what impacts actually eventuate.

  7. Ecological study of peat landforms in Canada and Alaska

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glaser, Paul H.

    1989-01-01

    Over 20 percent of the land surface of Canada and Alaska is covered by peatlands, which may be defined as any waterlogged ecosystem with a minimum thickness of 20 cm of organic matter in the soil. Past investigations have demonstrated the value of aerial photographs in identifying the major vegetation types and analyzing the biotic and hydrogeologic processes that control the development of these peatlands. In the present study, LANDSAT TM imagery was used in conjunction with field studies to determine the utility of this satellite sensor for detecting these important processes. Although the vegetation landforms within these major peat basins are visible on aerial photographs, LANDSAT TM imagery provides essential new evidence for their analysis. Spectral data from the LANDSAT TM system provides: (1) synoptic views of the patterns across large portions of these peat basins, indicating important physiographic controls on peatland development, (2) more sensitive detection of the major vegetation types, allowing rapid quantitative estimates to be made of their distribution and aerial extent, (3) discrimination of bog areas with potentially rapid or slow rates of peat accumulation, (4) identification of discharge zones for groundwater, which apparently represents the most important source of alkalinity in these peat basins, and (5) detection of flow patterns in water tracks that appear nearly uniform on standard aerial photographs.

  8. Decision-making in child protective services: Influences at multiple levels of the social ecology.

    PubMed

    Font, Sarah A; Maguire-Jack, Kathryn

    2015-09-01

    Decision-making in the child protection system is influenced by multiple factors; agency and geographic contexts, caseworker attributes, and families' unique circumstances all likely play a role. In this study, we use the second cohort of the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being to explore how these factors are associated with two key case decisions-substantiation and removal to out-of-home care. Analyses are conducted using weighted hierarchical linear models. We find that substantiation is strongly influenced by agency factors, particularly constraints on service accessibility. Substantiation is less likely when agencies can provide services to unsubstantiated cases and when collaboration with other social institutions is high. This supports the concept that substantiation may be a gateway to services in some communities. Agency factors contributed less to the probability of removal among substantiated cases, though time resources and constraints on decision-making had some influence. For both substantiation and removal risks, county, caseworker, and child characteristics were less influential than agency characteristics and family risk factors. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. A screening level probabilistic ecological risk assessment of PAHs in sediments of San Francisco Bay

    SciTech Connect

    Febbo, E.J.; Arnold, W.R.; Biddinger, G.R.

    1995-12-31

    As part of the Regional Monitoring Program administered by the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI), sediment samples were collected at 20 stations in San Francisco Bay and analyzed to determine concentrations of 43 PAHs. These data were obtained from SFEI and used to calculate the potential risk to aquatic organisms using probabilistic modeling and Monte Carlo statistical procedures. Sediment chemistry data were used in conjunction with a sediment equilibrium model, a bioconcentration model, biota-sediment accumulation factors, and critical body burden effects concentrations to assess potential risk to bivalves. Bivalves were the chosen receptors because they lack a well-developed enzymatic system for metabolizing PAHs. Thus, they more readily accumulate PAHs and represent a species at greater risk than other taxa, such as fish and crustaceans. PAHs considered in this study span a broad range of octanol-water partition coefficients. Results indicate that risk of non-polar narcotic effects from PAHs was low in the Northern Bay Area, but higher in the South Bay near the more urbanized sections of the drainage basin.

  10. Decision-making in Child Protective Services: Influences at multiple levels of the social ecology

    PubMed Central

    Font, Sarah A.; Maguire-Jack, Kathryn

    2015-01-01

    Decision-making in the child protection system is influenced by multiple factors; agency and geographic contexts, caseworker attributes, and families' unique circumstances all likely play a role. In this study, we use the second cohort of the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being to explore how these factors are associated with two key case decisions—substantiation and removal to out-of-home care. Analyses are conducted using weighted hierarchical linear models. We find that substantiation is strongly influenced by agency factors, particularly constraints on service accessibility. Substantiation is less likely when agencies can provide services to unsubstantiated cases and when collaboration with other social institutions is high. This supports the concept that substantiation may be a gateway to services in some communities. Agency factors contributed less to the probability of removal among substantiated cases, though time resources and constraints on decision-making had some influence. For both substantiation and removal risks, county, caseworker, and child characteristics were less influential than agency characteristics and family risk factors. PMID:25726323

  11. [Food intake and colorectal cancers; an ecological study in Romania].

    PubMed

    Fira-Mladinescu, Corneluţa; Fira-Mladinescu, O; Doroftei, Sorina; Sas, Felicia; Ursoniu, S; Ionuţ, R; Putnoky, Salomeia; Suciu, Oana; Vlaicu, Brigitha

    2008-01-01

    The aim of the present study performed in a Romanian population was to identify the food which can be either associated with or protect against colorectal carcinoma. Correlation and regression analysis were used to examine the association between dietary intake and the rate of incidence for colon, rectum and anus cancers, in study groups from 7 regions of Romania. A strong and positive association was observed for colonic cancer and the intake of coffee, tea and cocoa (r = 0.77, p = 0.042) whereas statistical significance of borderline value was found for margarine (r = 0.73, p = 0.06) and sweets (r = 0.74, p = 0.066) intake. A potential protective effect can be attributed to wine consumption ( r = -0.75, p = 0.03). The malignancies of the rectum and anus showed both a strong positive correlation with the intake of red meat ( r = 0.76, p = 0.048), sausages ( r = 0.87, p = 0.012), margarine (r = 0.97, p = 0.0004), butter ( r = 0.76, p = 0.049), sweets ( r = 0.93, p = 0.003), beverages (r = 0.97, p = 0.0003), coffee, tea, cocoa ( r = 0.94, p = 0.002). Negative correlations were reported for the recto-anal cancer and the consumption of: fish (r = -0.8, p = 0.032), cheese (r = -0.9, p = 0.006), wine (r = -0.85, p = 0.015). The need for reducing the dietary intake of margarine, red meat, sausages and sweets while the beneficial effects of wine consumption have been also confirmed.

  12. Microclimatic Variation Within Sleeve Cages Used in Ecological Studies

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Lori A.; Rieske, Lynne K.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Sleeve cages for enclosing or excluding arthropods are essential components of field studies evaluating trophic interactions. Microclimatic variation in sleeve cages was evaluated to characterize its potential effects on subsequent long-term experiments. Two sleeve cage materials, polyester and nylon, and two cage sizes, 400 and 6000 cm 2 , were tested on eastern hemlock, Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carrière. Temperature and relative humidity inside and outside cages, and the cost and durability of the cage materials, were compared. Long-term effects of the sleeve cages were observed by measuring new growth on T. canadensis branches. The ultimate goal was to identify a material that minimizes bag-induced microclimatic variation. Bagged branches whose microclimates mimic those of surrounding unbagged branches should have minimal effects on plant growth and may prove ideal venues for assessing herbivore and predator behavior under natural conditions. No differences were found in temperature or humidity between caging materials. Small cages had higher average temperatures than large cages, especially in the winter, but this difference was confounded by the fact that small cages were positioned higher in trees than large cages. Differences in plant growth were detected. Eastern hemlock branches enclosed within polyester cages produced fewer new growth tips than uncaged controls. Both polyester and nylon cages reduced the length of new shoot growth relative to uncaged branches. In spite of higher costs, nylon cages were superior to polyester with respect to durability and ease of handling. PMID:25368083

  13. Microclimatic variation within sleeve cages used in ecological studies.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Lori A; Rieske, Lynne K

    2014-01-01

    Sleeve cages for enclosing or excluding arthropods are essential components of field studies evaluating trophic interactions. Microclimatic variation in sleeve cages was evaluated to characterize its potential effects on subsequent long-term experiments. Two sleeve cage materials, polyester and nylon, and two cage sizes, 400 and 6000 cm(2), were tested on eastern hemlock, Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carrière. Temperature and relative humidity inside and outside cages, and the cost and durability of the cage materials, were compared. Long-term effects of the sleeve cages were observed by measuring new growth on T. canadensis branches. The ultimate goal was to identify a material that minimizes bag-induced microclimatic variation. Bagged branches whose microclimates mimic those of surrounding unbagged branches should have minimal effects on plant growth and may prove ideal venues for assessing herbivore and predator behavior under natural conditions. No differences were found in temperature or humidity between caging materials. Small cages had higher average temperatures than large cages, especially in the winter, but this difference was confounded by the fact that small cages were positioned higher in trees than large cages. Differences in plant growth were detected. Eastern hemlock branches enclosed within polyester cages produced fewer new growth tips than uncaged controls. Both polyester and nylon cages reduced the length of new shoot growth relative to uncaged branches. In spite of higher costs, nylon cages were superior to polyester with respect to durability and ease of handling.

  14. Temperature variability and childhood pneumonia: an ecological study.

    PubMed

    Xu, Zhiwei; Hu, Wenbiao; Tong, Shilu

    2014-06-11

    Few data on the relationship between temperature variability and childhood pneumonia are available. This study attempted to fill this knowledge gap. A quasi-Poisson generalized linear regression model combined with a distributed lag non-linear model was used to quantify the impacts of diurnal temperature range (DTR) and temperature change between two neighbouring days (TCN) on emergency department visits (EDVs) for childhood pneumonia in Brisbane, from 2001 to 2010, after controlling for possible confounders. An adverse impact of TCN on EDVs for childhood pneumonia was observed, and the magnitude of this impact increased from the first five years (2001-2005) to the second five years (2006-2010). Children aged 5-14 years, female children and Indigenous children were particularly vulnerable to TCN impact. However, there was no significant association between DTR and EDVs for childhood pneumonia. As climate change progresses, the days with unstable weather pattern are likely to increase. Parents and caregivers of children should be aware of the high risk of pneumonia posed by big TCN and take precautionary measures to protect children, especially those with a history of respiratory diseases, from climate impacts.

  15. Study on mating ecology and sex ratio of three internally ovipositing fig wasps of Ficus curtipes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, F P; Yang, D R

    2010-04-01

    Studies on mating ecology and sex allocation in fig-parasitizing wasps ovipositing from outside the fig have given valuable insights into known factors that are responsible for the theory of sex ratio. Similarly, internally ovipositing fig-parasitizing wasps and fig-pollinating wasps provide interesting models for comparative analysis. In addition to the fig-pollinating wasp Eupristina sp., we found that Ficus curtipes hosts two species of internally ovipositing fig-parasitizing wasps: D. yangi and Lipothymus sp. Eupristina sp. males showed less aggression. Eupristina sp. has wingless males that mate only within the natal patch, providing excellent examples of full local-mate competition. D. yangi males showed high levels of aggression and lethal combat. D. yangi has winged males but mate mostly within the natal patch. Only a few matings occur after male dispersal. Its sex ratio was lower than the prediction of partial local mate competition theory. Wingless male Lipothymus sp., which mate partly after dispersal, did not present fatal fight. Therefore, the mating behaviour of D. yangi and Lipothymus sp. did not follow predicted patterns, based on wing morph. The mating pattern of D. yangi and Lipothymus sp. should follow the partial local mate competition theory. Furthermore, there was not a significant correlation between the proportion of males and the proportion of fruit parasitized in both winged D. yangi males and wingless Lipothymus sp. males.

  16. Sweetened Drink and Snacking Cues in Adolescents: A Study Using Ecological Momentary Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Grenard, Jerry L.; Stacy, Alan W.; Shiffman, Saul; Baraldi, Amanda N.; MacKinnon, David P.; Lockhart, Ginger; Kisbu-Sakarya, Yasemin; Boyle, Sarah; Beleva, Yuliyana; Koprowski, Carol; Ames, Susan L.; Reynolds, Kim D.

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study was to identify physical, social, and intrapersonal cues that were associated with the consumption of sweetened beverages and sweet and salty snacks among adolescents from lower SES neighborhoods. Students were recruited from high schools with a minimum level of 25% free or reduced cost lunches. Using Ecological Momentary Assessment, participants (N=158) were trained to answer brief questionnaires on handheld PDA devices: (a) each time they ate or drank, (b) when prompted randomly, and (c) once each evening. Data were collected over 7 days for each participant. Participants reported their location (e.g., school grounds, home), mood, social environment, activities (e.g., watching TV, texting), cravings, food cues (e.g., saw a snack), and food choices. Results showed that having unhealthy snacks or sweet drinks among adolescents was associated with being at school, being with friends, feeling lonely or bored, craving a drink or snack, and being exposed to food cues. Surprisingly, sweet drink consumption was associated with exercising. Watching TV was associated with consuming sweet snacks but not with salty snacks or sweet drinks. These findings identify important environmental and intrapersonal cues to poor snacking choices that may be applied to interventions designed to disrupt these food-related, cue-behavior linked habits. PMID:23583312

  17. Sweetened drink and snacking cues in adolescents: a study using ecological momentary assessment.

    PubMed

    Grenard, Jerry L; Stacy, Alan W; Shiffman, Saul; Baraldi, Amanda N; MacKinnon, David P; Lockhart, Ginger; Kisbu-Sakarya, Yasemin; Boyle, Sarah; Beleva, Yuliyana; Koprowski, Carol; Ames, Susan L; Reynolds, Kim D

    2013-08-01

    The objective of this study was to identify physical, social, and intrapersonal cues that were associated with the consumption of sweetened beverages and sweet and salty snacks among adolescents from lower SES neighborhoods. Students were recruited from high schools with a minimum level of 25% free or reduced cost lunches. Using ecological momentary assessment, participants (N=158) were trained to answer brief questionnaires on handheld PDA devices: (a) each time they ate or drank, (b) when prompted randomly, and (c) once each evening. Data were collected over 7days for each participant. Participants reported their location (e.g., school grounds, home), mood, social environment, activities (e.g., watching TV, texting), cravings, food cues (e.g., saw a snack), and food choices. Results showed that having unhealthy snacks or sweet drinks among adolescents was associated with being at school, being with friends, feeling lonely or bored, craving a drink or snack, and being exposed to food cues. Surprisingly, sweet drink consumption was associated with exercising. Watching TV was associated with consuming sweet snacks but not with salty snacks or sweet drinks. These findings identify important environmental and intrapersonal cues to poor snacking choices that may be applied to interventions designed to disrupt these food-related, cue-behavior linked habits.

  18. Comprehensive Evaluation of Urban Sprawl on Ecological Environment Using Multi-Source Data: a Case Study of Beijing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Hao; Ning, Xiaogang; Zhu, Weiwei; Li, Fei

    2016-06-01

    With urban population growing and urban sprawling, urban ecological environment problems appear. Study on spatiotemporal characteristics of urban sprawl and its impact on ecological environment is useful for ecological civilization construction. Although a lot of work has been conducted on urban sprawl and its impact on ecological environment, resolution of images to extract urban boundary was relatively coarse and most studies only focused on certain indicators of ecological environment, rather than comprehensive evaluation of urban ecological environmental impact. In this study, high-resolution remote sensing images of Beijing from aerial photography in 2002 and 2013 respectively are employed to extract urban boundary with manual interpretation. Fractional Vegetation Coverage (FVC), Water Density (WD), Impervious Surfaces Coverage (ISC), Net Primary Production (NPP), and Land Surface Temperature (LST) are adopted to represent ecological environment. The ecological environment indicators are measured with some general algorithms by combining Landsat images, GIS data and metrological data of 243 day, 2001 and 244 day, 2013. In order to evaluate the impact of urban sprawl on ecological environment, pseudo changes due to metrological variation and other noise in this time period are removed after images calibration. The impact of urban sprawl on ecological environment is evaluated at different scales of urban extent, Beijing ring road and watershed. Results show that Beijing had been undergoing a rapid urbanization from 2002 to 2013, with urban area increase from 600 square kilometres to 987 square kilometres. All ecological environment indicators except LST became terrible in urban sprawl region, with carbon reduction of approximate 40508 tons. The Beiyun River watershed of Beijing degraded seriously since ISC increased to 0.59. Gratifyingly, ecological environment indicators including NDVI, NPP, and LST inside of 4th Ring Road became well.

  19. Epidemiological Trends in Colorectal Cancer in China: An Ecological Study.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jinzhou; Tan, Zhengqi; Hollis-Hansen, Kelseanna; Zhang, Yong; Yu, Chaohui; Li, Youming

    2017-01-01

    Due to the changes in lifestyle and dietary behaviors, the incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) has been rapidly increasing in China. This study is to present the trends of CRC in China over the past decade. It used a series of nationally representative data, including the National Central Cancer Registry of China, the GLOBOCAN project and the Global Burden of Disease. The age-standardized rate of CRC incidence increased from 12.8 in 2003 to 16.8 per 100,000 in 2011, while the mortality rose from 5.9 to 7.8 per 100,000. The age group most affected by incident CRC cases were those aged 60-74 years old, whereas CRC death was most associated with those >74 years. Furthermore, the east coast of China presented a higher mortality rate (>15 and 10-14.9 per 100,000 in men and women) than central and west China (5-14.9 and 5-9.9 per 100,000). Compared with other countries worldwide, China indicated lower rates of incidence (14.2 per 100,000), mortality (7.4 per 100,000), and 5-year prevalence (52.7 per 100,000) than most developed countries. However, China had a higher case-fatality ratio (14.0 %) and mortality/incidence ratio (52.1 %). Lastly, disability-adjusted life years attributed to CRC in China was 224.2 per 100,000. It presents a steady increase in CRC in China over the past decade. It also reveals the domestic diversity of age, gender, and geography and finds the differences between China and developed countries, which may yield insights for national programs and policies.

  20. A comparative analysis reveals weak relationships between ecological factors and beta diversity of stream insect metacommunities at two spatial levels.

    PubMed

    Heino, Jani; Melo, Adriano S; Bini, Luis Mauricio; Altermatt, Florian; Al-Shami, Salman A; Angeler, David G; Bonada, Núria; Brand, Cecilia; Callisto, Marcos; Cottenie, Karl; Dangles, Olivier; Dudgeon, David; Encalada, Andrea; Göthe, Emma; Grönroos, Mira; Hamada, Neusa; Jacobsen, Dean; Landeiro, Victor L; Ligeiro, Raphael; Martins, Renato T; Miserendino, María Laura; Md Rawi, Che Salmah; Rodrigues, Marciel E; Roque, Fabio de Oliveira; Sandin, Leonard; Schmera, Denes; Sgarbi, Luciano F; Simaika, John P; Siqueira, Tadeu; Thompson, Ross M; Townsend, Colin R

    2015-03-01

    The hypotheses that beta diversity should increase with decreasing latitude and increase with spatial extent of a region have rarely been tested based on a comparative analysis of multiple datasets, and no such study has focused on stream insects. We first assessed how well variability in beta diversity of stream insect metacommunities is predicted by insect group, latitude, spatial extent, altitudinal range, and dataset properties across multiple drainage basins throughout the world. Second, we assessed the relative roles of environmental and spatial factors in driving variation in assemblage composition within each drainage basin. Our analyses were based on a dataset of 95 stream insect metacommunities from 31 drainage basins distributed around the world. We used dissimilarity-based indices to quantify beta diversity for each metacommunity and, subsequently, regressed beta diversity on insect group, latitude, spatial extent, altitudinal range, and dataset properties (e.g., number of sites and percentage of presences). Within each metacommunity, we used a combination of spatial eigenfunction analyses and partial redundancy analysis to partition variation in assemblage structure into environmental, shared, spatial, and unexplained fractions. We found that dataset properties were more important predictors of beta diversity than ecological and geographical factors across multiple drainage basins. In the within-basin analyses, environmental and spatial variables were generally poor predictors of variation in assemblage composition. Our results revealed deviation from general biodiversity patterns because beta diversity did not show the expected decreasing trend with latitude. Our results also call for reconsideration of just how predictable stream assemblages are along ecological gradients, with implications for environmental assessment and conservation decisions. Our findings may also be applicable to other dynamic systems where predictability is low.

  1. A comparative analysis reveals weak relationships between ecological factors and beta diversity of stream insect metacommunities at two spatial levels

    PubMed Central

    Heino, Jani; Melo, Adriano S; Bini, Luis Mauricio; Altermatt, Florian; Al-Shami, Salman A; Angeler, David G; Bonada, Núria; Brand, Cecilia; Callisto, Marcos; Cottenie, Karl; Dangles, Olivier; Dudgeon, David; Encalada, Andrea; Göthe, Emma; Grönroos, Mira; Hamada, Neusa; Jacobsen, Dean; Landeiro, Victor L; Ligeiro, Raphael; Martins, Renato T; Miserendino, María Laura; Md Rawi, Che Salmah; Rodrigues, Marciel E; Roque, Fabio de Oliveira; Sandin, Leonard; Schmera, Denes; Sgarbi, Luciano F; Simaika, John P; Siqueira, Tadeu; Thompson, Ross M; Townsend, Colin R

    2015-01-01

    The hypotheses that beta diversity should increase with decreasing latitude and increase with spatial extent of a region have rarely been tested based on a comparative analysis of multiple datasets, and no such study has focused on stream insects. We first assessed how well variability in beta diversity of stream insect metacommunities is predicted by insect group, latitude, spatial extent, altitudinal range, and dataset properties across multiple drainage basins throughout the world. Second, we assessed the relative roles of environmental and spatial factors in driving variation in assemblage composition within each drainage basin. Our analyses were based on a dataset of 95 stream insect metacommunities from 31 drainage basins distributed around the world. We used dissimilarity-based indices to quantify beta diversity for each metacommunity and, subsequently, regressed beta diversity on insect group, latitude, spatial extent, altitudinal range, and dataset properties (e.g., number of sites and percentage of presences). Within each metacommunity, we used a combination of spatial eigenfunction analyses and partial redundancy analysis to partition variation in assemblage structure into environmental, shared, spatial, and unexplained fractions. We found that dataset properties were more important predictors of beta diversity than ecological and geographical factors across multiple drainage basins. In the within-basin analyses, environmental and spatial variables were generally poor predictors of variation in assemblage composition. Our results revealed deviation from general biodiversity patterns because beta diversity did not show the expected decreasing trend with latitude. Our results also call for reconsideration of just how predictable stream assemblages are along ecological gradients, with implications for environmental assessment and conservation decisions. Our findings may also be applicable to other dynamic systems where predictability is low. PMID:25859329

  2. Compliance to a Cell Phone-Based Ecological Momentary Assessment Study: The Effect of Time and Personality Characteristics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Courvoisier, Delphine S.; Eid, Michael; Lischetzke, Tanja

    2012-01-01

    Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) is a method that is now widely used to study behavior and mood in the settings in which they naturally occur. It maximizes ecological validity and avoids the limitations of retrospective self-reports. Compliance patterns across time have not been studied. Consistent compliance patterns could lead to data not…

  3. Compliance to a Cell Phone-Based Ecological Momentary Assessment Study: The Effect of Time and Personality Characteristics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Courvoisier, Delphine S.; Eid, Michael; Lischetzke, Tanja

    2012-01-01

    Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) is a method that is now widely used to study behavior and mood in the settings in which they naturally occur. It maximizes ecological validity and avoids the limitations of retrospective self-reports. Compliance patterns across time have not been studied. Consistent compliance patterns could lead to data not…

  4. Ecological Divergence, Adaptive Diversification, and the Evolution of Social Signaling Traits: An Empirical Study in Arid Australian Lizards.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Danielle L; Melville, Jane; Joseph, Leo; Keogh, J Scott

    2015-12-01

    Species diversification often results from divergent evolution of ecological or social signaling traits. Theoretically, a combination of the two may promote speciation, however, empirical examples studying how social signal and ecological divergence might be involved in diversification are rare in general and typically do not consider range overlap as a contributing factor. We show that ecologically distinct lineages within the Australian sand dragon species complex (including Ctenophorus maculatus, Ctenophorus fordi, and Ctenophorus femoralis) have diversified recently, diverging in ecologically relevant and social signaling phenotypic traits as arid habitats expanded and differentiated. Diversification has resulted in repeated and independent invasion of distinct habitat types, driving convergent evolution of similar phenotypes. Our results suggest that parapatry facilitates diversification in visual signals through reinforcement as a hybridization-avoidance mechanism. We show that particularly striking variation in visual social signaling traits is better explained by the extent of lineage parapatry relative to ecological or phylogenetic divergence, suggesting that these traits reinforce divergence among lineages initiated by ecologically adaptive evolution. This study provides a rare empirical example of a repeated, intricate relationship between ecological and social signal evolution during diversification driven by ecological divergence and the evolution of new habitats, thereby supporting emergent theories regarding the importance of both ecological and social trait evolution throughout speciation.

  5. Level and Contamination Assessment of Soil along an Expressway in an Ecologically Valuable Area in Central Poland

    PubMed Central

    Radziemska, Maja; Fronczyk, Joanna

    2015-01-01

    Express roads are a potential source of heavy metal contamination in the surrounding environment. The Warsaw Expressway (E30) is one of the busiest roads in the capital of Poland and cuts through the ecologically valuable area (Mazowiecki Natural Landscape Park). Soil samples were collected at distances of 0.5, 4.5 and 25 m from the expressway. The concentrations of cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) were determined in the soils by the flame atomic absorption spectrometry method (FAAS). Soils located in the direct proximity of the analyzed stretch of road were found to have the highest values of pH and electrical conductivity (EC), which decreased along with an increase in the distance from the expressway. The contents of Cd, Cu and Zn were found to be higher than Polish national averages, whereas the average values of Ni and Pb were not exceeded. The pollution level was estimated based on the geo-accumulation index (Igeo), and the pollution index (PI). The results of Igeo and PI indexes revealed the following orders: Cu < Zn < Ni < Cd < Pb and Cu < Ni < Cd < Zn < Pb, and comparison with geochemical background values showed higher concentration of zinc, lead and cadmium. PMID:26512684

  6. Level and Contamination Assessment of Soil along an Expressway in an Ecologically Valuable Area in Central Poland.

    PubMed

    Radziemska, Maja; Fronczyk, Joanna

    2015-10-23

    Express roads are a potential source of heavy metal contamination in the surrounding environment. The Warsaw Expressway (E30) is one of the busiest roads in the capital of Poland and cuts through the ecologically valuable area (Mazowiecki Natural Landscape Park). Soil samples were collected at distances of 0.5, 4.5 and 25 m from the expressway. The concentrations of cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) were determined in the soils by the flame atomic absorption spectrometry method (FAAS). Soils located in the direct proximity of the analyzed stretch of road were found to have the highest values of pH and electrical conductivity (EC), which decreased along with an increase in the distance from the expressway. The contents of Cd, Cu and Zn were found to be higher than Polish national averages, whereas the average values of Ni and Pb were not exceeded. The pollution level was estimated based on the geo-accumulation index (Igeo), and the pollution index (PI). The results of Igeo and PI indexes revealed the following orders: Cu < Zn < Ni < Cd < Pb and Cu < Ni < Cd < Zn < Pb, and comparison with geochemical background values showed higher concentration of zinc, lead and cadmium.

  7. Applications of C and N stable isotopes to ecological and environmental studies in seagrass ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Lepoint, Gilles; Dauby, Patrick; Gobert, Sylvie

    2004-12-01

    Stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen are increasingly used in marine ecosystems, for ecological and environmental studies. Here, we examine some applications of stable isotopes as ecological integrators or tracers in seagrass ecosystem studies. We focus on both the use of natural isotope abundance as food web integrators or environmental tracers and on the use of stable isotopes as experimental tools. As ecosystem integrators, stable isotopes have helped to elucidate the general structure of trophic webs in temperate, Mediterranean and tropical seagrass ecosystems. As environmental tracers, stable isotopes have proven their utility in sewage impact measuring and mapping. However, to make such environmental studies more comprehensible, future works on understanding of basic reasons for variations of N and C stable isotopes in seagrasses should be encouraged. At least, as experimental tracers, stable isotopes allow the study of many aspects of N and C cycles at the scale of a plant or at the scale of the seagrass ecosystem.

  8. Increasing Public Access to Scientific Research through Stakeholder Involvement: Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagen, S. C.; Stephens, S. H.; DeLorme, D. E.; Ruple, D.; Graham, L.

    2013-12-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) has the potential to have a myriad of deleterious effects on coastal ecology and human infrastructure. Stakeholders, including managers of coastal resources, must be aware of potential consequences of SLR and adjust their plans accordingly to protect and preserve the resources under their care. Members of the public, particularly those who live or work in coastal areas, should also be informed about the results of scientific research on the effects of SLR. However, research results are frequently published in venues or formats to which resource managers and the broader public have limited access. It is imperative for scientists to move beyond traditional publication venues in order to more effectively disseminate the results of their research (Dennison, W. 2007, Estu. Coast. Shelf Sci. 77, 185). One potentially effective way to advance public access to research is to incorporate stakeholder involvement into the research project process in order to target study objectives and tailor communication products toward stakeholder needs (Lemos, M. & Morehouse, B. 2005, Glob. Env. Chg. 15, 57). However, it is important to manage communication and clarify participant expectations during this type of research (Gawith, M. et al. 2009, Glob. Env. Chg. 19, 113). This presentation describes the process being undertaken by an ongoing 5-year multi-disciplinary NOAA-funded project, Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (EESLR-NGOM), to improve accessibility and utility of scientific research results through stakeholder engagement. The EESLR-NGOM project is assessing the ecological risks from SLR along the Mississippi, Alabama and Florida Panhandle coasts, coastal habitats, and floodplains. It has incorporated stakeholder involvement throughout the research process so as to better target and tailor the emerging research products to meet resource managers' needs, as well as to facilitate eventual public dissemination of results. An

  9. The inter-relationship among economic activities, environmental degradation, material consumption and population health in low-income countries: a longitudinal ecological study

    PubMed Central

    Chuang, Ying-Chih; Huang, Ya-Li; Hu, Ching-Yao; Chen, Ssm-Ching; Tseng, Kuo-Chien

    2015-01-01

    Objectives The theory of ecological unequal exchange explains how trade and various forms of economic activity create the problem of environmental degradation, and lead to the deterioration of population health. Based on this theory, our study examined the inter-relationship among economic characteristics, ecological footprints, CO2 emissions, infant mortality rates and under-5 mortality rates in low-income countries. Design A longitudinal ecological study design. Setting Sixty-six low-income countries from 1980 to 2010 were included in the analyses. Data for each country represented an average of 23 years (N=1497). Data sources Data were from the World Development Indicators, UN Commodity Trade Statistics Database, Global Footprint Network and Polity IV Project. Analyses Linear mixed models with a spatial power covariance structure and a correlation that decreased over time were constructed to accommodate the repeated measures. Statistical analyses were conducted separately by sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and other regions. Results After controlling for country-level sociodemographic characteristics, debt and manufacturing, economic activities were positively associated with infant mortality rates and under-5 mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa. By contrast, export intensity and foreign investment were beneficial for reducing infant and under-5 mortality rates in Latin America and other regions. Although the ecological footprints and CO2 emissions did not mediate the relationship between economic characteristics and health outcomes, export intensity increased CO2 emissions, but reduced the ecological footprints in sub-Saharan Africa. By contrast, in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, although export intensity was positively associated with the ecological footprints and also CO2 emissions, the percentage of exports to high-income countries was negatively associated with the ecological footprints. Conclusions This study suggested that environmental

  10. [The distribution of cervical cancer mortality in Spain (1981-1986). An ecological study].

    PubMed

    Vioque, J; Fenollar, J

    1995-03-04

    The aim of the present study was to analyze the geographic distribution of mortality by cervical cancer in Spain from 1981-1986 and to examine the relationship with a group of variables such as per capita income, the occurrence of sexually transmitted diseases, the number of hotel rooms, and the prescriptions of oral contraceptives at a provincial level. The causes standardized of death for cervical cancer in each Spanish province during the period from 1981 to 1986 were estimated. Multivariate analysis by Poisson regression was performed to determine the relationship between mortality and the variables collected. To do so the provinces were classified into four categories according to quartile distribution of each independent variable considered with the relative risk for each category created being estimated. A characteristic mortality pattern was observed in cervical cancer with the greatest mortality being found in the island and some coastal provinces and the lowest mortality in the peninsular inland provinces. Upon simple analysis of the relationship of mortality with the ecologic variables an important positive association was found with the number of hotel rooms and, to a lesser degree, with the oral contraceptive prescriptions, provincial per capita income, the percentage of urban population and the rate of illiteracy. A distribution of mortality by cervical cancer which appears to correspond to a certain leisure-tourism pattern, in addition to greater urban and lesser cultural development is reported. This may be in agreement with the hypothesis that cervical cancer is more frequent in more urban areas in which women demonstrate greater promiscuity and relaxation of sexual behaviours, together with the persistence of a low education level.

  11. Toward a practical method for setting screening-level, ecological risk-based water temperature criteria and monitoring compliance.

    PubMed

    Fleming, Sean W; Quilty, Edward J

    2007-08-01

    We integrated basic concepts from fisheries science and toxicological risk assessment to form a potential method for setting screening-level, risk-based, site-specific water quality objectives for temperature. In summary, the proposed approach: (a) uses temperature impacts upon specific growth as a measure of chronic (cumulative) temperature effects; (b) explicitly incorporates the consequences of both magnitude and cumulative duration of exposures; (c) adjusts the result for local watershed conditions, reducing the likelihood that naturally warm systems are identified as thermally polluted while helping to ensure that naturally cool systems are closely monitored for ecologically harmful changes in thermal regime; and (d) expresses the net result both graphically and as a risk quotient, RQ, closely analogous to that used in toxicological risk assessments. The latter yields a site-specific, risk-based water quality objective and may serve as a straightforward decision rule for environmental managers. The method was applied to historical data from a small British Columbia stream subject to increasing urban development pressures. We also illustrate how the technique might be used to explore potential climatic change impacts, using coupled general circulation model predictions in conjunction with empirical downscaling. Overall, the method and results are presented as an introduction and illustration of concept, intended as a step toward the development of a logistically feasible risk-based approach to establishing screening-level, site-specific water temperature objectives, and monitoring compliance, in the context of large-scale, many-site, environmental monitoring networks. With further work, the technique offers potential to fill the gap between the temperature threshold-based targets typically specified in regulatory guidelines, which may be hydroecologically unrealistic, and detailed biophysical modelling, which typically is logistically infeasible in a day

  12. A pilot study of Aboriginal health promotion from an ecological perspective

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background For health promotion to be effective in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities, interventions (and their evaluation) need to work within a complex social environment and respect Indigenous knowledge, culture and social systems. At present, there is a lack of culturally appropriate evaluation methods available to practitioners that are capable of capturing this complexity. As an initial response to this problem, we used two non-invasive methods to evaluate a community-directed health promotion program, which aimed to improve nutrition and physical activity for members of the Aboriginal community of the Goulburn-Murray region of northern Victoria, Australia. The study addressed two main questions. First, for members of an Aboriginal sporting club, what changes were made to the nutrition environment in which they meet and how is this related to national guidelines for minimising the risk of chronic disease? Second, to what degree was the overall health promotion program aligned with an ecological model of health promotion that addresses physical, social and policy environments as well as individual knowledge and behaviour? Methods Rather than monitoring individual outcomes, evaluation methods reported on here assessed change in the nutrition environment (sports club food supply) as a facilitator of dietary change and the 'ecological' nature of the overall program (that is, its complexity with respect to numbers of targets, settings and strategies). Results There were favourable changes towards the provision of a food supply consistent with Australian guidelines at the sports club. The ecological analysis indicated that the design and implementation of the program were consistent with an ecological model of health promotion. Conclusions The evaluation was useful for assessing the impact of the program on the nutrition environment and for understanding the ecological nature of program activities. PMID:21961906

  13. An ecological study of food desert prevalence and 4th grade academic achievement in new york state school districts.

    PubMed

    Frndak, Seth E

    2014-12-02

    This ecological study examines the relationship between food desert prevalence and academic achievement at the school district level. Sample included 232 suburban and urban school districts in New York State. Multiple open-source databases were merged to obtain: 4(th) grade science, English and math scores, school district demographic composition (NYS Report Card), regional socioeconomic indicators (American Community Survey), school district quality (US Common Core of Data), and food desert data (USDA Food Desert Atlas). Multiple regression models assessed the percentage of variation in achievement scores explained by food desert variables, after controlling for additional predictors. The proportion of individuals living in food deserts significantly explained 4th grade achievement scores, after accounting for additional predictors. School districts with higher proportions of individuals living in food desert regions demonstrated lower 4th grade achievement across science, English and math. Food deserts appear to be related to academic achievement at the school district level among urban and suburban regions. Further research is needed to better understand how food access is associated with academic achievement at the individual level. Significance for public healthThe prevalence of food deserts in the United States is of national concern. As poor nutrition in United States children continues to spark debate, food deserts are being evaluated as potential sources of low fruit and vegetable intake and high obesity rates. Cognitive development and IQ have been linked to nutrition patterns, suggesting that children in food desert regions may have a disadvantage academically. This research evaluates if an ecological relationship between food desert prevalence and academic achievement at the school district level can be demonstrated. Results suggest that food desert prevalence may relate to poor academic performance at the school district level. Significant variation in

  14. Rapid Industrial Development, Competition, and Relative Economic Status: A Study in Human Ecology. Working Paper RID 73.10.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Summers, Gene F.; Clemente, Frank

    The document has 3 goals (1) to examine the distribution of economic benefits of industrial development as reflected by the concept of competition in human ecology; (2) to provide an empirical test of the ecological model, and (3) to relate the findings to public policy. Two Illinois study areas were identified. First, as an experimental region,…

  15. The Effect of Inappropriate Calibration: Three Case Studies in Molecular Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Simon Y. W.; Saarma, Urmas; Barnett, Ross; Haile, James; Shapiro, Beth

    2008-01-01

    Time-scales estimated from sequence data play an important role in molecular ecology. They can be used to draw correlations between evolutionary and palaeoclimatic events, to measure the tempo of speciation, and to study the demographic history of an endangered species. In all of these studies, it is paramount to have accurate estimates of time-scales and substitution rates. Molecular ecological studies typically focus on intraspecific data that have evolved on genealogical scales, but often these studies inappropriately employ deep fossil calibrations or canonical substitution rates (e.g., 1% per million years for birds and mammals) for calibrating estimates of divergence times. These approaches can yield misleading estimates of molecular time-scales, with significant impacts on subsequent evolutionary and ecological inferences. We illustrate this calibration problem using three case studies: avian speciation in the late Pleistocene, the demographic history of bowhead whales, and the Pleistocene biogeography of brown bears. For each data set, we compare the date estimates that are obtained using internal and external calibration points. In all three cases, the conclusions are significantly altered by the application of revised, internally-calibrated substitution rates. Collectively, the results emphasise the importance of judicious selection of calibrations for analyses of recent evolutionary events. PMID:18286172

  16. Site study plan for ecology, Deaf Smith County Site, Texas: Environmental Field Program: Preliminary Draft

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1987-06-01

    The Ecology Site Study Plan describes a field program consisting of studies which include surveys for endangered, threatened, and candidate species; vegetation characterization, including mapping and cover typing, plant succession, wetlands description, and preexisting stresses; and wildlife community characterization, including availability and quality of habitats and descriptions of mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, and invertebrate populations. The plan for each study describes the need for the study, study design, data management and use, schedule and personnel requirements, and quality assurance. These studies will provide data needed to satisfy requirements contained in, or derived from, the Salt Repository Project Requirements Document (SRP-RD). 83 refs., 3 tabs.

  17. Using Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) to Assess Situation-Level Predictors of Alcohol Use and Alcohol-Related Consequences.

    PubMed

    Wray, Tyler B; Merrill, Jennifer E; Monti, Peter M

    2014-01-01

    Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) has afforded several important advances in the field of alcohol research, including testing prominent models of alcohol abuse etiology in "high resolution." Using high-tech methods for signaling and/or assessment, such as mobile electronic diaries, personal data assistants, and smartphones, EMA approaches potentially can improve understanding of precipitants of drinking, drinking patterns, and consequences. For example, EMA has been used to study complex drinking patterns and dynamic predictors of drinking in near-real time. Compared with other methods, EMA can better sample and capture changes in these phenomena that occur in relatively short time frames. EMA also has several potential applications in studying the consequences of alcohol use, including physical, interpersonal, behavioral, and legal problems. However, even with all these potential capabilities, EMA research in the alcohol field still is associated with some limitations, including the potential for measurement reactivity and problems with acceptability and compliance. Despite these limitations, electronically based EMA methods are versatile and are capable of capturing data relevant to a variety of momentary influences on both alcohol use and consequences. Therefore, it will be exciting to fully realize the potential of future applications of EMA technologies, particularly if the associated costs can be reduced.

  18. Ecological versus case-control studies for testing a linear-no threshold dose-response relationship.

    PubMed

    Cohen, B L

    1990-09-01

    The two basic problems with ecological studies are (A) individuals studied are not necessarily the individuals who are at risk, and (B) they are very vulnerable to confounding factors. It is shown that where the study is designed to test a linear-no threshold dose-response theory, (A) does not apply. Where the ecological study deals with the average dose and response in a large number of US counties, the available data and computer capability for reducing effects of confounders are so powerful that (B) may be no more important for the ecological than for a case-control study. The migration problem is treated and found to be relatively unimportant.

  19. Are Oligotypes Meaningful Ecological and Phylogenetic Units? A Case Study of Microcystis in Freshwater Lakes.

    PubMed

    Berry, Michelle A; White, Jeffrey D; Davis, Timothy W; Jain, Sunit; Johengen, Thomas H; Dick, Gregory J; Sarnelle, Orlando; Denef, Vincent J

    2017-01-01

    Oligotyping is a computational method used to increase the resolution of marker gene microbiome studies. Although oligotyping can distinguish highly similar sequence variants, the resulting units are not necessarily phylogenetically and ecologically informative due to limitations of the selected marker gene. In this perspective, we examine how oligotyping data is interpreted in recent literature, and we illustrate some of the method's constraints with a case study of the harmful bloom-forming cyanobacterium Microcystis. We identified three Microcystis oligotypes from a western Lake Erie bacterial community 16S rRNA gene (V4 region) survey that had previously clustered into one OTU. We found the same three oligotypes and two additional sequence variants in 46 Microcystis cultures isolated from Michigan inland lakes spanning a trophic gradient. In Lake Erie, shifts in Microcystis oligotypes corresponded to spatial nutrient gradients and temporal transitions in bloom toxicity. In the cultures, Microcystis oligotypes showed preferential distributions for different trophic states, but genomic data revealed that the oligotypes identified in Lake Erie did not correspond to toxin gene presence. Thus, oligotypes could not be used for inferring toxic ecotypes. Most strikingly, Microcystis oligotypes were not monophyletic. Our study supports the utility of oligotyping for distinguishing sequence types along certain ecological features, while it stresses that 16S rRNA gene sequence types may not reflect ecologically or phylogenetically cohesive populations. Therefore, we recommend that studies employing oligotyping or related tools consider these caveats during data interpretation.

  20. Are Oligotypes Meaningful Ecological and Phylogenetic Units? A Case Study of Microcystis in Freshwater Lakes

    PubMed Central

    Berry, Michelle A.; White, Jeffrey D.; Davis, Timothy W.; Jain, Sunit; Johengen, Thomas H.; Dick, Gregory J.; Sarnelle, Orlando; Denef, Vincent J.

    2017-01-01

    Oligotyping is a computational method used to increase the resolution of marker gene microbiome studies. Although oligotyping can distinguish highly similar sequence variants, the resulting units are not necessarily phylogenetically and ecologically informative due to limitations of the selected marker gene. In this perspective, we examine how oligotyping data is interpreted in recent literature, and we illustrate some of the method’s constraints with a case study of the harmful bloom-forming cyanobacterium Microcystis. We identified three Microcystis oligotypes from a western Lake Erie bacterial community 16S rRNA gene (V4 region) survey that had previously clustered into one OTU. We found the same three oligotypes and two additional sequence variants in 46 Microcystis cultures isolated from Michigan inland lakes spanning a trophic gradient. In Lake Erie, shifts in Microcystis oligotypes corresponded to spatial nutrient gradients and temporal transitions in bloom toxicity. In the cultures, Microcystis oligotypes showed preferential distributions for different trophic states, but genomic data revealed that the oligotypes identified in Lake Erie did not correspond to toxin gene presence. Thus, oligotypes could not be used for inferring toxic ecotypes. Most strikingly, Microcystis oligotypes were not monophyletic. Our study supports the utility of oligotyping for distinguishing sequence types along certain ecological features, while it stresses that 16S rRNA gene sequence types may not reflect ecologically or phylogenetically cohesive populations. Therefore, we recommend that studies employing oligotyping or related tools consider these caveats during data interpretation. PMID:28337183

  1. Managers' summary - ecological studies of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range, 1992-1997

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Singer, F.J.; Schoenecker, K.A.

    2000-01-01

    Ecological Studies of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range, 1992-1997 provides a synthesis of key findings of landscape-scale, interdisciplinary studies of the effects of wild horses and native ungulates on a rugged, mountain ecosystem. This is perhaps the most comprehensive study of a wild horse herd conducted. This was a complex study and one involving a truly interagency approach. Six agencies either provided input to research priority setting, funding, or both. The agencies included the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and U.S. Forest Service. The major research direction and effort came from the U.S. Geological Survey and Natural Resources Ecology Lab, Colorado State University with Montana State University and the University of Kentucky also participating. Ungulate monitoring was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, Bureau of Land Management, Billings Field Office and the Montana Fish and Wildlife Parks, with funding by Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. Many other individuals and groups were involved and deserve credit. The report printing was made possible with funds from the Bureau of Land Management, Wild Horse and Burro Program, Washington Office. This report was prepared by the Information Management Project, Midcontinent Ecological Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey.

  2. Metabolomics and Natural-Products Strategies to Study Chemical Ecology in Nematodes

    PubMed Central

    Edison, Arthur S.; Clendinen, Chaevien S.; Ajredini, Ramadan; Beecher, Chris; Ponce, Francesca V.; Stupp, Gregory S.

    2015-01-01

    This review provides an overview of two complementary approaches to identify biologically active compounds for studies in chemical ecology. The first is activity-guided fractionation and the second is metabolomics, particularly focusing on a new liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry-based method called isotopic ratio outlier analysis. To illustrate examples using these approaches, we review recent experiments using Caenorhabditis elegans and related free-living nematodes. PMID:26141866

  3. Metabolomics and Natural-Products Strategies to Study Chemical Ecology in Nematodes.

    PubMed

    Edison, Arthur S; Clendinen, Chaevien S; Ajredini, Ramadan; Beecher, Chris; Ponce, Francesca V; Stupp, Gregory S

    2015-09-01

    This review provides an overview of two complementary approaches to identify biologically active compounds for studies in chemical ecology. The first is activity-guided fractionation and the second is metabolomics, particularly focusing on a new liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based method called isotopic ratio outlier analysis. To illustrate examples using these approaches, we review recent experiments using Caenorhabditis elegans and related free-living nematodes.

  4. A socio-ecological model for unintentional injuries in minorities: a case study of Arab Israeli children.

    PubMed

    Baron-Epel, Orna; Ivancovsky, Michal

    2015-01-01

    Minority children have often been reported to be at high risk of injury. The higher levels of reported unintentional injuries among Arab children compared to Jewish children in Israel are mainly due to pedestrian traffic crashes, falls and burns. Arab children aged 1-4 years have a higher relative risk of injury compared to Jews. We suggest a socio-ecological model to explain these differences in risk based on individual, interpersonal, community and societal ecological levels of society. Each level is divided into social and physical environments and behaviour. Two main factors may contribute to the high rates of injury among Arab children: the quality of the physical environment in which the children live and play and the levels of child supervision. Socio-economic status may contribute to these differences at all ecological levels of society. This approach could be useful for researchers and practitioners to analyse similar issues in other communities and help develop appropriate interventions.

  5. Case study of building of conservation coalitions to conserve ecological interactions.

    PubMed

    Chen, Gao; Luo, Shihong; Mei, Nianshu; Shen, Dingfang; Sun, Weibang

    2015-12-01

    We engaged experts in various fields of study (pollination ecology, chemical ecology, and ethnobotany), invited community participation, and provided environmental education in an effort to conserve an endangered birthwort (Aristolochia delavayi) and a vulnerable pipevine swallowtail (Byasa daemonius). Scientists studied the uptake and sequestration of the secondary metabolites aristolochic acids from A. delavayi leaves by different stages of pipevine swallowtail as a defense mechanism; low fruit set of the myophilous A. delavayi due to pollinator limitation; and the emission of chemical signals that attract parasitic wasps by the prepupae of B. daemonius. The results of these studies were part of an education program delivered by personnel of non-governmental organizations. The program was devised to deliver information to the public about the health risks of consuming A. delavayi individuals (aristolochic-acid-associated cancers) and to establish a bridge between the public and scientific research. Following delivery of the program, the behavior of residents changed considerably. Community residents were involved in management activities, including participation in a program to promote understanding of ecological interactions between A. delavayi and B. daemonius; designing an in situ conservation site; monitoring A. delavayi and B. daemonius individuals; and promoting the natural fruit set of A. delavayi by scattering animal excrement to attract fly pollinators. The integration of scientific information and community participation appears to have resulted in an increase in abundance of threatened A. delavayi and B. daemonius populations. We believe the involvement of local people in conservation is necessary for successful species conservation.

  6. New strategies for drug discovery in tropical forests based on ethnobotanical and chemical ecological studies.

    PubMed

    Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino; Ramos, Marcelo Alves; Melo, Joabe Gomes

    2012-03-06

    Hypotheses from ethnobotany and chemical ecology can increase our ability to predict the pharmaceutical potential of tropical flora. In order to illustrate how bioprospecting studies can benefit from the incorporation of these hypotheses, especially in tropical dry forests, we discuss evidence from ethnobotanical studies that examine hypotheses about the ecology of plant defense against herbivory. We focus on two hypotheses regarding defense patterns in plants-the plant apparency hypothesis and the resource availability hypothesis-and analyze how these can help us understand the use of medicinal plants by traditional communities. The evidence suggests that medicinal plants in the dry forest are a rich source of drugs in which phenolic compounds, especially tannins, are directly responsible for the therapeutic activity. Phenolic compounds and their potential therapeutic activity are likely good candidates for bioprospecting efforts. We believe that following strategies to link ethnobotanical and chemical ecological approaches will increase the efficiency of bioprospecting studies in tropical forests. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Studying the neurobiology of human social interaction: Making the case for ecological validity.

    PubMed

    Hogenelst, Koen; Schoevers, Robert A; aan het Rot, Marije

    2015-01-01

    With this commentary we make the case for an increased focus on the ecological validity of the measures used to assess aspects of human social functioning. Impairments in social functioning are seen in many types of psychopathology, negatively affecting the lives of psychiatric patients and those around them. Yet the neurobiology underlying abnormal social interaction remains unclear. As an example of human social neuroscience research with relevance to biological psychiatry and clinical psychopharmacology, this commentary discusses published experimental studies involving manipulation of the human brain serotonin system that included assessments of social behavior. To date, these studies have mostly been laboratory-based and included computer tasks, observations by others, or single-administration self-report measures. Most laboratory measures used so far inform about the role of serotonin in aspects of social interaction, but the relevance for real-life interaction is often unclear. Few studies have used naturalistic assessments in real life. We suggest several laboratory methods with high ecological validity as well as ecological momentary assessment, which involves intensive repeated measures in naturalistic settings. In sum, this commentary intends to stimulate experimental research on the neurobiology of human social interaction as it occurs in real life.

  8. An ecological study of Bithynia snails, the first intermediate host of Opisthorchis viverrini in northeast Thailand.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yi-Chen; Ho, Richard Cheng Yong; Feng, Chen-Chieh; Namsanor, Jutamas; Sithithaworn, Paiboon

    2015-01-01

    Infection with the food-borne trematodiasis, liver fluke Opisthorchis viverrini, is a major public health concern in Southeast Asia. While epidemiology and parasitic incidence in humans are well studied, ecological information on the O. viverrini intermediate hosts remains limited. This study aimed to investigate the factors affecting the distribution and abundance of the first intermediate host, Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos snails. Water quality and snails were sampled in 31 sites in Muang District, Khon Kaen Province, Thailand from June 2012 to January 2013 to characterize the B.s. goniomphalos snail habitats. Species relative abundance and Shannon's diversity and evenness indices were employed to describe snail compositions and diversities across different habitat types. Statistical analyses were conducted to examine the extent to which the water quality variables and species interactions account for the relative abundance of B.s. goniomphalos snails. The results showed that the freshwater habitats of ponds, streams and rice paddies possessed significantly different abiotic water qualities, with water temperature and pH showing distinct statistical differences (P<0.05). Different habitats had different snail diversity and species evenness, with high B.s. goniomphalos snail abundance at rice paddy habitats. The differences in snail abundance might be due to the distinct sets of abiotic water qualities associated with each habitat types. The relative abundance of B.s. goniomphalos snails was found to be negatively correlated with that of Filopaludina martensi martensi snails (r=-0.46, P<0.05), underscoring the possible influence of species interaction on B.s. goniomphalos snail population. Field work observations revealed that rice planting seasons and irrigation could regulate snail population dynamics at rice paddy habitats. This study provides new ecological insights into the factors affecting Bithynia snail distribution and abundance. It bridges the

  9. A Multicountry Ecological Study of Cancer Incidence Rates in 2008 with Respect to Various Risk-Modifying Factors

    PubMed Central

    Grant, William B.

    2013-01-01

    Observational and ecological studies are generally used to determine the presence of effect of cancer risk-modifying factors. Researchers generally agree that environmental factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, poor diet, lack of physical activity, and low serum 25-hdyroxyvitamin D levels are important cancer risk factors. This ecological study used age-adjusted incidence rates for 21 cancers for 157 countries (87 with high-quality data) in 2008 with respect to dietary supply and other factors, including per capita gross domestic product, life expectancy, lung cancer incidence rate (an index for smoking), and latitude (an index for solar ultraviolet-B doses). The factors found to correlate strongly with multiple types of cancer were lung cancer (direct correlation with 12 types of cancer), energy derived from animal products (direct correlation with 12 types of cancer, inverse with two), latitude (direct correlation with six types, inverse correlation with three), and per capita gross national product (five types). Life expectancy and sweeteners directly correlated with three cancers, animal fat with two, and alcohol with one. Consumption of animal products correlated with cancer incidence with a lag time of 15–25 years. Types of cancer which correlated strongly with animal product consumption, tended to correlate weakly with latitude; this occurred for 11 cancers for the entire set of countries. Regression results were somewhat different for the 87 high-quality country data set and the 157-country set. Single-country ecological studies have inversely correlated nearly all of these cancers with solar ultraviolet-B doses. These results can provide guidance for prevention of cancer. PMID:24379012

  10. Using molecular biology to study mycorrhizal fungal community ecology: Limits and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Chagnon, Pierre-Luc; Bainard, Luke D

    2015-01-01

    Molecular tools have progressively replaced morphological approaches to characterize microbial communities in nature. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are no exception to this rule. Yet, one challenge posed by these symbionts is that they colonize simultaneously both plant roots and soil, which complicates their detection and quantification. In most studies conducted to date, AM fungal communities have been characterized from roots only, soil only or spores only. Here, we discuss the pitfalls associated to drawing ecological inferences using such datasets. We also conclude by arguing that molecular biology will contribute most to advance knowledge in AM fungal ecology if it is integrated into broader perspectives taking into account the natural history of these organisms. This calls for a better merging of molecular and morphological approaches, and the establishment of intensive, long-term research programs.

  11. Identifying ecological barriers in marine environment: The case study of Dasyatis marianae.

    PubMed

    Costa, Tiego L A; Pennino, M Grazia; Mendes, Liana F

    2017-04-01

    Ecological barriers are important determinants of the evolution and distributions marine organisms, and a challenge for evolutionary ecologists seeking to understand population structure in the sea. Dasyatis marianae is an endemic Brazilian species that indicates certain restrictions on its distribution probably due to marine barriers. In this study, Bayesian hierarchical spatial models, jointly with environmental and occurrence species data, are used to identify, which elements could generate these barriers on Dasyatis marianae distribution. Results show that salinity and temperature are the most important drivers that play an essential role to limit the distribution of this species. Indeed, low salinity values restrict Dasyatis marianae distribution in the north of the Brazilian coast, while in the south are colder temperatures. These results highlight the need to better define the distribution of marine species, especially for the ones affected by ecological barriers that are more sensitive to environmental changes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. The importance of ecological studies in the control of tsetse flies*

    PubMed Central

    Glover, P. E.

    1967-01-01

    The author reviews recent ecological research on tsetse flies in East Africa and Northern Nigeria, particularly in connexion with the flies' sensory reactions, and stresses the importance of an accurate knowledge of their daytime and night-time resting-sites and of identifying the sources of their blood meals in order to elucidate the reservoirs of trypanosomiasis. The epidemiology of the disease is considered in the light of studies of trypanosome infections in host and fly. The control of tsetse flies must be based on the practical application of ecological knowledge by methods involving either a direct attack upon the fly (such as trapping or the use of insecticides) or an indirect attack (such as bush clearing or game destruction to eliminate the fly's habitat or food supply); these methods are dealt with in some detail. The author concludes with a discussion of modern trends in research, and a number of lines of research are suggested. PMID:4874781

  13. Ecological epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Kilvitis, Holly J; Alvarez, Mariano; Foust, Christy M; Schrey, Aaron W; Robertson, Marta; Richards, Christina L

    2014-01-01

    Biologists have assumed that heritable variation due to DNA sequence differences (i.e., genetic variation) allows populations of organisms to be both robust and adaptable to extreme environmental conditions. Natural selection acts on the variation among different genotypes and ultimately changes the genetic composition of the population. While there is compelling evidence about the importance of genetic polymorphisms, evidence is accumulating that epigenetic mechanisms (e.g., chromatin modifications, DNA methylation) can affect ecologically important traits, even in the absence of genetic variation. In this chapter, we review this evidence and discuss the consequences of epigenetic variation in natural populations. We begin by defining the term epigenetics, providing a brief overview of various epigenetic mechanisms, and noting the potential importance of epigenetics in the study of ecology. We continue with a review of the ecological epigenetics literature to demonstrate what is currently known about the amount and distribution of epigenetic variation in natural populations. Then, we consider the various ecological contexts in which epigenetics has proven particularly insightful and discuss the potential evolutionary consequences of epigenetic variation. Finally, we conclude with suggestions for future directions of ecological epigenetics research.

  14. An ecology of text: using text retrieval to study alife on the net.

    PubMed

    Best, M L

    1997-01-01

    I introduce a new alife model, an ecology based on a corpus of text, and apply it to the analysis of posts to USENET News. In this corporal ecology posts are organisms, the newsgroups of NetNews define an environment, and human posters situated in their wider context make up a scarce resource. I apply latent semantic indexing (LSI), a text retrieval method based on principal component analysis, to distill from the corpus those replicating units of text. LSI arrives at suitable replicators because it discovers word co-occurrences that segregate and recombine with appreciable frequency. I argue that natural selection is necessarily in operation because sufficient conditions for its occurrence are met: replication, mutagenicity, and trait/fitness covariance. I describe a set of experiments performed on a static corpus of over 10,000 posts. In these experiments I study average population fitness, a fundamental element of population ecology. My study of fitness arrives at the unhappy discovery that a flame-war, centered around an overly prolific poster, is the king of the jungle.

  15. Deconstructing the relationships between phylogenetic diversity and ecology: a case study on ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Davies, T Jonathan; Urban, Mark C; Rayfield, Bronwyn; Cadotte, Marc W; Peres-Neto, Pedro R

    2016-09-01

    Recent studies have supported a link between phylogenetic diversity and various ecological properties including ecosystem function. However, such studies typically assume that phylogenetic branches of equivalent length are more or less interchangeable. Here we suggest that there is a need to consider not only branch lengths but also their placement on the phylogeny. We demonstrate how two common indices of network centrality can be used to describe the evolutionary distinctiveness of network elements (nodes and branches) on a phylogeny. If phylogenetic diversity enhances ecosystem function via complementarity and the representation of functional diversity, we would predict a correlation between evolutionary distinctiveness of network elements and their contribution to ecosystem process. In contrast, if one or a few evolutionary innovations play key roles in ecosystem function, the relationship between evolutionary distinctiveness and functional contribution may be weak or absent. We illustrate how network elements associated with high functional contribution can be identified from regressions between phylogenetic diversity and productivity using a well-known empirical data set on plant productivity from the Cedar Creek Long-Term Ecological Research. We find no association between evolutionary distinctiveness and ecosystem functioning, but we are able to identify phylogenetic elements associated with species of known high functional contribution within the Fabaceae. Our perspective provides a useful guide in the search for ecological traits linking diversity and ecosystem function, and suggests a more nuanced consideration of phylogenetic diversity is required in the conservation and biodiversity-ecosystem-function literature.

  16. Comparing Selections of Environmental Variables for Ecological Studies: A Focus on Terrain Attributes

    PubMed Central