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Sample records for level ecological study

  1. 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

  2. [Ecologically tolerable levels of abiotic factors. Study of freshwater bodies in Asiatic part of Russia and Uzbekistan].

    PubMed

    Maksimov, V N; Abakumov, V A; Bulgakov, N G; Levich, A P; Terekhin, A T

    2002-01-01

    Ecologically tolerable levels (ETL) of environmental factors have been determined for freshwater ecosystems in Asiatic part of Russia and neighboring countries (basins of Ob, Yenisei, Lena, Amur, and Syr-Darya rivers). Inobservance of ecologically tolerable levels degrades ecological status of the ecosystems manifested as deviation from normal saprobic indices of phytoplankton, zooplankton, and periphyton as well as biotic indices of zoobenthos. The basins were compared by the calculated ETL values for over 40 physicochemical indices. The revealed ecologically tolerable levels were compared with the standard maximum tolerable concentrations.

  3. Rational allocation of water resources based on ecological groundwater levels:a case study in Jinghui Irrigation District in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, H.; Zhou, W. B.; Dong, Q. G.; Liu, B. Y.; Ma, C.

    2016-08-01

    Aimed at the hydrogeological environmental problems caused by over-exploitation and unreasonable utilization of water resources in Jinghui Irrigation District, this paper discusses the ecological groundwater level of the study area and establishes a three-layer optimal allocation model of water resources based on the theory of large scale systems. Then, the genetic algorithm method was employed to optimize the model and obtain the optimal allocation of crop irrigation schedule and water resources under the condition of a 75% assurance rate. Finally, the numerical simulation model of the groundwater was applied to analyze the balance of the groundwater on the basis of the optimal allocation scheme. The results show that the upper limitation of the ecological groundwater in Jinghui Irrigation District ranged from 1.8m to 4.2m, while the lower limitation level ranged from 8m to 28m. By 2020, the condition of the groundwater imbalance that results from adopting the optimal allocation scheme will be much better than that caused by current water utilization scheme. With the exception of only a few areas, the groundwater level in most parts of Jinghui Irrigation District will not exceed the lower limitation of ecological groundwater level.

  4. 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.

  5. Income, income inequality, dental caries and dental care levels: an ecological study in rich countries.

    PubMed

    Bernabé, E; Sheiham, A; Sabbah, W

    2009-01-01

    Research has shown that beyond a certain level of absolute income, there is a weak relationship between income and population health. On the other hand, relative income or income inequality is more strongly related to health than absolute income in rich countries. The objective of this study was to assess the relationships of income and income inequality with dental caries and dental care levels in 35- to 44-year-old adults among rich countries. Income was assessed by gross domestic product and gross national income, income inequality by Gini coefficient and the ratio between the income of the richest and poorest 20% of the population, dental caries by DMFT and dental care levels by the care, restorative and treatment indices. Pearson and partial correlation were used to examine the relationships between income, income inequality, caries experience and dental care. Income measures were not related to either dental caries or dental care levels. However, income inequality measures were inversely and significantly related to number of filled teeth, DMFT, care index and restorative index, but not to number of decayed or missing teeth. It is concluded that DMFT scores were higher in more equal countries and may be explained by greater levels of restorative care in those countries.

  6. 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,…

  7. 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

  8. 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)

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. [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.

  12. Ecological Approaches to Studying Zoonoses.

    PubMed

    Loh, Elizabeth H; Murray, Kris A; Zambrana-Torrelio, Carlos; Hosseini, Parviez R; Rostal, Melinda K; Karesh, William B; Daszak, Peter

    2013-12-01

    Concern over emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) and a better understanding of their causes has resulted in increasing recognition of the linkages among human, animal, and ecosystem health. It is now well recognized that human activities can promote the emergence of infectious diseases through the large-scale modification of natural environments and inadvertent vectoring (e.g., international trade and travel). These perturbations can alter the ecological and evolutionary relationships among humans, wildlife, and the pathogens that move between them, resulting in disease emergence. In recent years, the rise in zoonotic EIDs has not only increased our awareness of the need for cross-sectoral collaborations, but has also highlighted the disconnect between current ecological theory and biological reality. As the One Health movement continues to gain steam, further integration of ecological approaches into the One Health framework will be required. We discuss the importance of ecological methods and theory to the study of zoonotic diseases by (i) discussing key ecological concepts and approaches, (ii) reviewing methods of studying wildlife diseases and their potential applications for zoonoses, and (iii) identifying future directions in the One Health movement.

  13. 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…

  14. Is income inequality 'toxic for mental health'? An ecological study on municipal level risk factors for depression.

    PubMed

    Hiilamo, Heikki

    2014-01-01

    Most inequality research on the relationship between inequality and mental health has focused on cross-country variation. Findings from within-country data are mixed. We examined whether changes in municipal Gini index or in the share of people living in relative poverty were linked to changes in the use of antidepressants in several Finnish municipalities between 1995 and 2010. We found that more young adult females used antidepressants in municipalities where relative poverty had increased. Changes in municipal-level Gini index were not positively associated with changes in the use of antidepressants in the municipalities between 1995 and 2010. However, fewer elderly females used antidepressants in municipalities where the Gini index increased. In addition, more young adults used antidepressants in municipalities where the number of those not being educated or trained had also increased. An increase in the number of persons over 65 years of age living alone was positively associated with an increase in the use of antidepressants among elderly females.

  15. Is Income Inequality ‘Toxic for Mental Health’? An Ecological Study on Municipal Level Risk Factors for Depression

    PubMed Central

    Hiilamo, Heikki

    2014-01-01

    Most inequality research on the relationship between inequality and mental health has focused on cross-country variation. Findings from within-country data are mixed. We examined whether changes in municipal Gini index or in the share of people living in relative poverty were linked to changes in the use of antidepressants in several Finnish municipalities between 1995 and 2010. We found that more young adult females used antidepressants in municipalities where relative poverty had increased. Changes in municipal-level Gini index were not positively associated with changes in the use of antidepressants in the municipalities between 1995 and 2010. However, fewer elderly females used antidepressants in municipalities where the Gini index increased. In addition, more young adults used antidepressants in municipalities where the number of those not being educated or trained had also increased. An increase in the number of persons over 65 years of age living alone was positively associated with an increase in the use of antidepressants among elderly females. PMID:24676058

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. [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.

  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. PMID:26535754

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  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

    2015-11-01

    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

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    2013-09-01

    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.

  13. HIV-, HCV-, and Co-Infections and Associated Risk Factors among Drug Users in Southwestern China: A Township-Level Ecological Study Incorporating Spatial Regression

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Yi-Biao; Wang, Qi-Xing; Liang, Song; Gong, Yu-Han; Yang, Mei-xia; Nie, Shi-Jiao; Nan, Lei; Yang, Ai-Hui; Liao, Qiang; Yang, Yang; Song, Xiu-Xia; Jiang, Qing-Wu

    2014-01-01

    Background The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are major public health problems. Many studies have been performed to investigate the association between demographic and behavioral factors and HIV or HCV infection. However, some of the results of these studies have been in conflict. Methodology/Principal Findings The data of all entrants in the 11 national methadone clinics in the Yi Autonomous Prefecture from March 2004 to December 2012 were collected from the national database. Several spatial regression models were used to analyze specific community characteristics associated with the prevalence of HIV and HCV infection at the township level. The study enrolled 6,417 adult patients. The prevalence of HIV infection, HCV infection and co-infection was 25.4%, 30.9%, and 11.0%, respectively. Prevalence exhibited stark geographical variations in the area studied. The four regression models showed Yi ethnicity to be associated with both the prevalence of HIV and of HIV/HCV co-infection. The male drug users in some northwestern counties had greater odds of being infected with HIV than female drug users, but the opposite was observed in some eastern counties. The ‘being in drug rehabilitation variable was found to be positively associated with prevalence of HCV infection in some southern townships, however, it was found to be negatively associated with it in some northern townships. Conclusions/Significance The spatial modeling creates better representations of data such that public health interventions must focus on areas with high frequency of HIV/HCV to prevent further transmission of both HIV and HCV. PMID:24687006

  14. The role of mesocosm studies in ecological risk analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boyle, T.P.; Fairchild, J.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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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. PMID:16704078

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. The individualistic fallacy, ecological studies and instrumental variables: a causal interpretation.

    PubMed

    Loney, Tom; Nagelkerke, Nico J

    2014-01-01

    The validity of ecological studies in epidemiology for inferring causal relationships has been widely challenged as observed associations could be biased by the Ecological Fallacy. We reconsider the important design components of ecological studies, and discuss the conditions that may lead to spurious associations. Ecological associations are useful and valid when the ecological exposures can be interpreted as Instrumental Variables. A suitable example may be a time series analysis of environmental pollution (e.g. particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of <10 micrometres; PM10) and health outcomes (e.g. hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction) as environmental pollution levels are a cause of individual exposure levels and not just an aggregate measurement. Ecological exposures may also be employed in situations (perhaps rare) where individual exposures are known but their associations with health outcomes are confounded by unknown or unquantifiable factors. Ecological associations have a notorious reputation in epidemiology and individualistic associations are considered superior to ecological associations because of the "ecological fallacy". We have argued that this is incorrect in situations in which ecological or aggregate exposures can serve as an instrumental variable and associations between individual exposure and outcome are likely to be confounded by unmeasured variables.

  20. The individualistic fallacy, ecological studies and instrumental variables: a causal interpretation.

    PubMed

    Loney, Tom; Nagelkerke, Nico J

    2014-01-01

    The validity of ecological studies in epidemiology for inferring causal relationships has been widely challenged as observed associations could be biased by the Ecological Fallacy. We reconsider the important design components of ecological studies, and discuss the conditions that may lead to spurious associations. Ecological associations are useful and valid when the ecological exposures can be interpreted as Instrumental Variables. A suitable example may be a time series analysis of environmental pollution (e.g. particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of <10 micrometres; PM10) and health outcomes (e.g. hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction) as environmental pollution levels are a cause of individual exposure levels and not just an aggregate measurement. Ecological exposures may also be employed in situations (perhaps rare) where individual exposures are known but their associations with health outcomes are confounded by unknown or unquantifiable factors. Ecological associations have a notorious reputation in epidemiology and individualistic associations are considered superior to ecological associations because of the "ecological fallacy". We have argued that this is incorrect in situations in which ecological or aggregate exposures can serve as an instrumental variable and associations between individual exposure and outcome are likely to be confounded by unmeasured variables. PMID:25745504

  1. 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. PMID:27170290

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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)

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Multi level ecological fitting: indirect life cycles are not a barrier to host switching and invasion.

    PubMed

    Malcicka, Miriama; Agosta, Salvatore J; Harvey, Jeffrey A

    2015-09-01

    Many invasive species are able to escape from coevolved enemies and thus enjoy a competitive advantage over native species. However, during the invasion phase, non-native species must overcome many ecological and/or physiological hurdles before they become established and spread in their new habitats. This may explain why most introduced species either fail to establish or remain as rare interstitials in their new ranges. Studies focusing on invasive species have been based on plants or animals where establishment requires the possession of preadapted traits from their native ranges that enables them to establish and spread in their new habitats. The possession of preadapted traits that facilitate the exploitation of novel resources or to colonize novel habitats is known as 'ecological fitting'. Some species have evolved traits and life histories that reflect highly intimate associations with very specific types of habitats or niches. For these species, their phenological windows are narrow, and thus the ability to colonize non-native habitats requires that a number of conditions need to be met in accordance with their more specialized life histories. Some of the strongest examples of more complex ecological fitting involve invasive parasites that require different animal hosts to complete their life cycles. For instance, the giant liver fluke, Fascioloides magna, is a major parasite of several species of ungulates in North America. The species exhibits a life cycle whereby newly hatched larvae must find suitable intermediate hosts (freshwater snails) and mature larvae, definitive hosts (ungulates). Intermediate and definitive host ranges of F. magna in its native range are low in number, yet this parasite has been successfully introduced into Europe where it has become a parasite of native European snails and deer. We discuss how the ability of these parasites to overcome multiple ecophysiological barriers represents an excellent example of 'multiple-level

  8. 40 CFR 159.165 - Toxicological and ecological studies.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... other non-target domestic organisms if, relative to all previously submitted studies, they show an... under the criteria of 40 CFR 156.62. (b) Ecological studies. The results of a study of the toxicity of...

  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.

  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. 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.

  12. Long-Term Ecological Research and Network-Level Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collins, Scott L.; Childers, Daniel L.

    2014-08-01

    With every passing year, the effects of global environmental change are becoming more pervasive and are occurring at a more accelerated pace. Climate change, land use change, atmospheric nitrogen deposition, ocean acidification and sea level rise, loss of biodiversity, and homogenization of Earth's ecosystems are all manifestations of human activities. These short- and long-term effects of environmental changes continue to mount.

  13. An ecological study of Paragonimus in Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Kim, Joung Soon

    1978-06-01

    An ecologic study on Paragonimus in Malaysia was attempted from May to September 1967. Seven streams located in various directions and distances from Kuala Lumpur were surveyed for the study of intermediate hosts, snail and crab. One Malayan village and one aborigine village where infected crabs were found, and two tuberculosis hospitals in K.L. were surveyed for the study of human population. Intradermal tests along with sputum or stool examination to detect human infection by Paragonimus were employed. Wild animals, only a few, were shot in the vicinity of the aborigine village and several domestic cats from the Malayan village were bought. These animals were autopsied and examined for adult Paragonimus. Among five species of crab collected from the study areas, only two species, Potamon jahorenes and Parathelphusa maculata were found to be infected with Paragonimus. P. maculata seemed to be better crab host for the Paragonimus because this species had higher infection rate and metacercarial density than the other in the very same area. Three out of seven streams had infected crabs and the infection rate as well as the infection intensity varied from one stream to another. Only avilable snail in the streams was identified as Brotia costula. The infection rate of the snail was very low, six snails out of 11,898, which is about the same rate reported from other countries. Infected snail, however, had thousands of rediae uncountable containing about twelve microcercocercariae in each redia, sufficient enough to maintain the life cycle of the parasite even with only a few infected snail, the amplifier. This is the first confirmed report on the snail host of Paragonimus from Malaysia where the existence of Paragonimus had been reported in 1923. The first trial to study human population by means of intradermal test, sputum and/or stool examinations in Malaysia showed no evidence of human infection of Paragonimus. The number of animals, wild and domestic, examined for

  14. STABLE ISOTOPES IN ECOLOGICAL STUDIES: NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN MIXING MODELS

    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 food sources for animals, water sources for plants, pollution sources...

  15. The semi-individual study in air pollution epidemiology: a valid design as compared to ecologic studies.

    PubMed Central

    Künzli, N; Tager, I B

    1997-01-01

    The assessment of long-term effects of air pollution in humans relies on epidemiologic studies. A widely used design consists of cross-sectional or cohort studies in which ecologic assignment of exposure, based on a fixed-site ambient monitor, is employed. Although health outcome and usually a large number of covariates are measured in individuals, these studies are often called ecological. We will introduce the term semi-individual design for these studies. We review the major properties and limitations with regard to causal inference of truly ecologic studies, in which outcome, exposure, and covariates are available on an aggregate level only. Misclassification problems and issues related to confounding and model specification in truly ecologic studies limit etiologic inference to individuals. In contrast, the semi-individual study shares its methodological and inferential properties with typical individual-level study designs. The major caveat relates to the case where too few study areas, e.g., two or three, are used, which render control of aggregate level confounding impossible. The issue of exposure misclassification is of general concern in epidemiology and not an exclusive problem of the semi-individual design. In a multicenter setting, the semi-individual study is a valuable tool to approach long-term effects of air pollution. Knowledge about the error structure of the ecologically assigned exposure allows consideration of the impact of ecologically assigned exposure on effect estimation. Semi-individual studies, i.e., individual level air pollution studies with ecologic exposure assignment, more readily permit valid inference to individuals and should not be labeled as ecologic studies. PMID:9349825

  16. Ecological survey for the siting of the Mixed and Low-Level Waste Disposal Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Hoskinson, R.L.

    1994-05-01

    This report summarizes the results of field ecological surveys conducted by the Center for Integrated Environmental Technologies (CIET) on the Idaho National Engineering Lab. (INEL) at two candidate locations for the siting of the Mixed and Low-Level Waste Disposal Facility (MLLWDF). The purpose of these surveys was to comply with all Federal laws and Executive Orders to identify and evaluate any potential environmental impacts because of the project. The boundaries of the candidate locations were marked with blaze-orange lath survey marker stakes by the project management. Global Positioning in System (GPS) measurements of the marker stakes were made, and input to the Arc/Info geographic information system (GIS). Field surveys were conducted to assess any potential impact to any important species, important habitats, and to any environmental study areas. The GIS location data were overlayed onto the INEL vegetation map and an analysis of vegetation classes on the locations was done. Two species of rare vascular plants have previously been reported to occur in the vicinity of the candidate locations. Two C2 species, the ferruginous hawk (Buteo regalis) and the loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) would also be expected to frequent the candidate locations. No significant ecological impact is anticipated if the MLLWDF were constructed on either candidate location. However, both candidate locations are in the central area of the INEL where there is minimal disturbance to the ecosystem by facilities or humans.

  17. 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

  18. Drawing ecological inferences from coincident patterns of population- and community-level biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Vellend, Mark; Lajoie, Geneviève; Bourret, Audrey; Múrria, Cesc; Kembel, Steven W; Garant, Dany

    2014-06-01

    Biodiversity is comprised of genetic and phenotypic variation among individual organisms, which might belong to the same species or to different species. Spatial patterns of biodiversity are of central interest in ecology and evolution for several reasons: to identify general patterns in nature (e.g. species-area relationships, latitudinal gradients), to inform conservation priorities (e.g. identifying hotspots, prioritizing management efforts) and to draw inferences about processes, historical or otherwise (e.g. adaptation, the centre of origin of particular clades). There are long traditions in ecology and evolutionary biology of examining spatial patterns of biodiversity among species (i.e. in multispecies communities) and within species, respectively, and there has been a recent surge of interest in studying these two types of pattern simultaneously. The idea is that examining both levels of diversity can materially advance the above-stated goals and perhaps lead to entirely novel lines of inquiry. Here, we review two broad categories of approach to merging studies of inter- and intraspecific variation: (i) the study of phenotypic trait variation along environmental gradients and (ii) the study of relationships between patterns of molecular genetic variation within species and patterns of distribution and diversity across species. For the latter, we report a new meta-analysis in which we find that correlations between species diversity and genetic diversity are generally positive and significantly stronger in studies with discrete sampling units (e.g. islands, lakes, forest fragments) than in studies with nondiscrete sampling units (e.g. equal-area study plots). For each topic, we summarize the current state of knowledge and key future directions. PMID:24750409

  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 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. California seabird ecology study. Volume 1. Feeding ecology of California nesting seabirds. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Tyler, W.B.; Spear, L.B.; Ferris, L.A.; Briggs, K.T.; Ainley, D.G.

    1988-11-15

    This studies comprise three elements designed to augment MMS' ability to predict impacts to nesting seabirds that might result from exploration and production of oil and gas on the California Outer Continental Shelf. The first element consisted of a synthesis of existing literature and an analysis of several unpublished sources of information on the feeding ecology of ten seabird species whose aggregate nesting populations at Castle Rock, the Farallon Islands, or the Channel Islands exceeded 2,000 individuals. Analyses of satellite images of ocean surface temperature and color to determine recurrence, persistence, and other aspects of coastal upwelling formed the second element. Based on these studies, the third element, a field study of feeding ecology of Common Murres and Cassin's Auklets in central California, was conducted in 1985. The present volume brings together the findings of the first and third elements, while the companion volume presents results of studies of satellite imagery.

  6. 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…

  7. 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...

  8. 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, ...

  9. 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.

  10. Comparison of deterministic and probabilistic calculation of ecological soil screening levels.

    PubMed

    Regan, Helen M; Sample, Brad E; Ferson, Scott

    2002-04-01

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) is sponsoring development of ecological soil screening levels (Eco-SSLs) for terrestrial wildlife. These are intended to be used to identify chemicals of potential ecological concern at Superfund sites. Ecological soil screening levels represent concentrations of contaminants in soils that are believed to be protective of ecological receptors. An exposure model, based on soil- and food-ingestion rates and the relationship between the concentrations of contaminants in soil and food, has been developed for estimation of wildlife Eco-SSLs. It is important to understand how conservative and protective these values are, how parameterization of the model influences the resulting Eco-SSL, and how the treatment of uncertainty impacts results. The Eco-SSLs were calculated for meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) and northern short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) for lead and DDT using deterministic and probabilistic methods. Conclusions obtained include that use of central-tendency point estimates may result in hazard quotients much larger than one; that a Monte Carlo approach also leads to hazard quotients that can be substantially larger than one; that, if no hazard quotients larger than one are allowed, any probabilistic approach is identical to a worst-case approach; and that an improvement in the quality and amount of data is necessary to increase confidence that Eco-SSLs are protective at their intended levels of conservatism. PMID:11951965

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Regime shift indicators fail under noise levels commonly observed in ecological systems.

    PubMed

    Perretti, Charles T; Munch, Stephan B

    2012-09-01

    Ecological regime shifts are rapid, potentially devastating changes in ecosystem state that last for extended periods of time. Previous theoretical work has generated numerous early-warning indicators of regime shifts, some of which have been empirically demonstrated in closed ecological systems. Here we evaluated a suite of indicators using a previously studied three-species model under conditions likely to be observed in field studies of open ecological systems. Simulations included large correlated fluctuations in extrinsic noise and a rapidly changing driving variable, while indicators were calculated using sparsely sampled time series. All indicators performed poorly under these conditions, particularly during the beginning of the regime shift. Overall, the best performing indicator was a rise in variance. Future research should focus on methods for setting benchmark values of early warning indicators and for identifying indicators that work for sparsely sampled data sets.

  18. 40 CFR 159.165 - Toxicological and ecological studies.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... under the criteria of 40 CFR 156.62. (b) Ecological studies. The results of a study of the toxicity of a... the median lethal dose (LD50), median lethal concentration (LC50) or irritation indices, are not... lethal dose (LD50), median lethal concentration (LC50), or median effective concentration (EC50). (2)...

  19. 40 CFR 159.165 - Toxicological and ecological studies.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... under the criteria of 40 CFR 156.62. (b) Ecological studies. The results of a study of the toxicity of a... the median lethal dose (LD50), median lethal concentration (LC50) or irritation indices, are not... lethal dose (LD50), median lethal concentration (LC50), or median effective concentration (EC50). (2)...

  20. 40 CFR 159.165 - Toxicological and ecological studies.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... terrestrial plants show adverse effects on plant life cycle functions and growth such as germination... effects on plant life cycle functions and growth such as germination, emergence, plant vigor, reproduction... under the criteria of 40 CFR 156.62. (b) Ecological studies. The results of a study of the toxicity of...

  1. 40 CFR 159.165 - Toxicological and ecological studies.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... terrestrial plants show adverse effects on plant life cycle functions and growth such as germination... effects on plant life cycle functions and growth such as germination, emergence, plant vigor, reproduction... under the criteria of 40 CFR 156.62. (b) Ecological studies. The results of a study of the toxicity of...

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Introduction to Environmental Studies, Human Ecological Problems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, J. Y.

    This introductory text of general readings for environmental studies is specifically prepared for undergraduate college students although useful also as a reference book for graduate students and instructors and as an information resource for the general public. The book is problem oriented emphasizing the interaction and interdependence of man…

  6. 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…

  7. Redesigning a Curriculum for Inquiry: An Ecology Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spronken-Smith, R. A.; Walker, R.; Dickinson, K. J. M.; Closs, G. P.; Lord, J. M.; Harland, T.

    2011-01-01

    This article reports on an interdisciplinary ecology degree that was redesigned to provide more research activity for undergraduates. A case study approach explored how the teaching team constructed a curriculum that used inquiry activities. The development of an inquiry curriculum was enabled by a University audit focusing on the links between…

  8. The Urban Ecology Institute's field studies program: utilizing urban areas for experiential learning and ecological research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Starry, O.

    2005-05-01

    The Urban Ecology Institute (UEI) promotes the stewardship of healthy urban ecosystems by improving science and civic education for middle and high school youth and by working with urban communities to protect and transform natural resources. Established in 1999, UEI's field studies program engages over 1000 youth in the greater Boston area. A substantial component of this program involves water quality monitoring. We have recently adapted protocols from published leaf breakdown studies for incorporation into the UEI water quality curriculum. A 2004 pilot study of these leaf breakdown activities, conducted at four sites, compared rates of red maple breakdown to those of Norway maple, a potentially invasive urban street tree. Preliminary data from this successful pilot study suggest that leaf litter inputs from the two different tree species have varying effects on stream ecosystem function. We present this study as an example of how urban areas can be utilized for both ecological research and inclusive experiential learning through which science and mathematic knowledge can be effectively communicated.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Landscape ecological risk assessment study in arid land

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Lu; Amut, Aniwaer; Shi, Qingdong; Wang, Gary Z.

    2007-09-01

    The ecosystem risk assessment is an essential decision making system for predicting the reconstruction and recovery of a damaged ecosystem after intensive mankind activities. The sustainability of environment and resources of the lake ecosystem in arid districts have been paid close attention to by international communities as well as numerous experts and scholars. The ecological risk assessment offered a scientific foundation for making the decision and execution of ecological risk management. Bosten Lake, the largest inland freshwater lake in China, is the main water source of the industrial and agricultural production as well as the local residence in Yanqi basin, Kuara city and Yuri County in the southern Xinjiang. Bosten Lake also provides a direct water source for emergency transportation in the Lower Reaches of Tarim River. However, with the intensive utilizations of water and soil resources, the environmental condition in the Bosten Lake has become more and more serious. In this study, the theory and method of landscape ecological risk assessment has been practiced using 3S technologies combined with the frontier theory of landscape ecology. Defining the mainly risk resource including flood, drought, water pollution and rich nutrition of water has been evaluated based on the ecosystem risk assessment system. The main process includes five stages: regional natural resources analysis, risk receptor selection, risk sources evaluation, exposure and hazard analysis, and integrated risk assessment. Based on the risk assessment results, the environmental risk management countermeasure has been determined.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. The influence of variability in species trait data on community-level ecological prediction and inference.

    PubMed

    Alofs, Karen M

    2016-09-01

    Species trait data have been used to predict and infer ecological processes and the responses of biological communities to environmental changes. It has also been suggested that, in lieu of trait, data niche differences can be inferred from phylogenetic distance. It remains unclear how variation in trait data may influence the strength and character of ecological inference. Using species-level trait data in community ecology assumes intraspecific variation is small in comparison with interspecific variation. Intraspecific variation across species ranges or within populations may lead to variability in trait data derived from different scales (i.e., local or regional) and methods (i.e., mean or maximum values). Variation in trait data across species can affect community-level relationships. I examined variability in body size, a key trait often measured across taxa. I collected 12 metrics of fish species length (including common and maximum values) for 40 species from literature, online databases, museum collections, and field data. I then tested whether different metrics of fish length could consistently predict observed species range boundary shifts and the impacts of an introduced predator on inland lake fish communities across Ontario, Canada. I also investigated whether phylogenetic signal, an indicator of niche-conservativism, changed among measures. I found strong correlations between length metrics and limited variation across metrics. Accordingly, length was a consistently significant predictor of the response of fish communities to environmental change. Additionally, I found significant evidence of phylogenetic signal in fish length across metrics. Limited variation in length across metrics (within species), in comparison with variation within metrics (across species), made fish species length a reliable predictor at a community-level. When considering species-level trait data from different sources, researchers should examine the potential influence of

  16. The influence of variability in species trait data on community-level ecological prediction and inference.

    PubMed

    Alofs, Karen M

    2016-09-01

    Species trait data have been used to predict and infer ecological processes and the responses of biological communities to environmental changes. It has also been suggested that, in lieu of trait, data niche differences can be inferred from phylogenetic distance. It remains unclear how variation in trait data may influence the strength and character of ecological inference. Using species-level trait data in community ecology assumes intraspecific variation is small in comparison with interspecific variation. Intraspecific variation across species ranges or within populations may lead to variability in trait data derived from different scales (i.e., local or regional) and methods (i.e., mean or maximum values). Variation in trait data across species can affect community-level relationships. I examined variability in body size, a key trait often measured across taxa. I collected 12 metrics of fish species length (including common and maximum values) for 40 species from literature, online databases, museum collections, and field data. I then tested whether different metrics of fish length could consistently predict observed species range boundary shifts and the impacts of an introduced predator on inland lake fish communities across Ontario, Canada. I also investigated whether phylogenetic signal, an indicator of niche-conservativism, changed among measures. I found strong correlations between length metrics and limited variation across metrics. Accordingly, length was a consistently significant predictor of the response of fish communities to environmental change. Additionally, I found significant evidence of phylogenetic signal in fish length across metrics. Limited variation in length across metrics (within species), in comparison with variation within metrics (across species), made fish species length a reliable predictor at a community-level. When considering species-level trait data from different sources, researchers should examine the potential influence of

  17. 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.

  18. [Ecological vulnerability of coal mining area: a case study of Shengli Coalfield in Xilinguole of Inner Mongolia, China].

    PubMed

    Quan, Zhan-Jun; Li, Yuan; Li, Jun-Sheng; Han, Yu; Xiao, Neng-Wen; Fu, Meng-Di

    2013-06-01

    In this paper, an ecological vulnerability evaluation index system for the Shengli Coalfield in Xilinguole of Inner Mongolia was established, which included 16 factors in ecological sensitivity, natural and social pressure, and ecological recovery capacity, respectively. Based on the expert scoring method and analytic hierarchy process (AHP), an ecological vulnerability model was built for the calculation of the regional ecological vulnerability by means of RS and GIS spatial analysis. An analysis of the relationships between land use and ecological vulnerability was also made, and the results were tested by spatial auto-correlation analysis. Overall, the ecological vulnerability of the study area was at medium-high level. The exploitation of four opencast areas in the Coalfield caused a significant increase of ecological vulnerability. Moreover, due to the effects of mine drained water and human activities, the 300 -2000 m around the opencast areas was turning into higher ecologically fragile area. With further exploitation, the whole Coalfield was evolved into moderate and heavy ecological vulnerability area, and the coal resources mining was a key factor in this process. The cluster analysis showed that the spatial distribution of the ecological vulnerability in the study area had reasonable clustering characteristics. To decrease the population density, control the grazing capacity of grassland, and regulate the ratios of construction land and cultivated land could be the optimal ways for resolving the natural and social pressure, and to increase the investment and improve the vegetation recovery coefficient could be the fundamental measures for decreasing the ecological vulnerability of the study area. PMID:24066564

  19. 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.

  20. Significance of ecological studies of wild animal reservoirs of zoonoses

    PubMed Central

    Abdussalam, M.

    1959-01-01

    The paucity of information on the ecology of wild animal reservoirs over most of the world is one of the factors that has led to hesitation and failure in controlling these diseases in many areas. Extensive application of ecological studies and methods would not only assist in zoonosis control but might well also lead to the discovery of new diseases, to the acquisition of fundamental knowledge capable of application in other fields of biology, and to the finding of new experimental animals for laboratory work. Although such studies properly require the co-operation of a wide variety of specialists—epidemiologists, ecologists, parasitologists, botanists, geologists and climatologists are among those who may to advantage be called upon—in practice much can be accomplished by a few interested and well-equipped field workers backed by a good museum and laboratory services. PMID:13791420

  1. 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

  2. Remote Sensing and Wetland Ecology: a South African Case Study

    PubMed Central

    De Roeck, Els R.; Verhoest, Niko E.C.; Miya, Mtemi H.; Lievens, Hans; Batelaan, Okke; Thomas, Abraham; Brendonck, Luc

    2008-01-01

    Remote sensing offers a cost efficient means for identifying and monitoring wetlands over a large area and at different moments in time. In this study, we aim at providing ecologically relevant information on characteristics of temporary and permanent isolated open water wetlands, obtained by standard techniques and relatively cheap imagery. The number, surface area, nearest distance, and dynamics of isolated temporary and permanent wetlands were determined for the Western Cape, South Africa. Open water bodies (wetlands) were mapped from seven Landsat images (acquired during 1987 – 2002) using supervised maximum likelihood classification. The number of wetlands fluctuated over time. Most wetlands were detected in the winter of 2000 and 2002, probably related to road constructions. Imagery acquired in summer contained fewer wetlands than in winter. Most wetlands identified from Landsat images were smaller than one hectare. The average distance to the nearest wetland was larger in summer. In comparison to temporary wetlands, fewer, but larger permanent wetlands were detected. In addition, classification of non-vegetated wetlands on an Envisat ASAR radar image (acquired in June 2005) was evaluated. The number of detected small wetlands was lower for radar imagery than optical imagery (acquired in June 2002), probably because of deterioration of the spatial information content due the extensive pre-processing requirements of the radar image. Both optical and radar classifications allow to assess wetland characteristics that potentially influence plant and animal metacommunity structure. Envisat imagery, however, was less suitable than Landsat imagery for the extraction of detailed ecological information, as only large wetlands can be detected. This study has indicated that ecologically relevant data can be generated for the larger wetlands through relatively cheap imagery and standard techniques, despite the relatively low resolution of Landsat and Envisat imagery

  3. 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. PMID:26566197

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Ecological interaction and phylogeny, studying functionality on composed networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruz, Claudia P. T.; Fonseca, Carlos Roberto; Corso, Gilberto

    2012-02-01

    We study a class of composed networks that are formed by two tree networks, TP and TA, whose end points touch each other through a bipartite network BPA. We explore this network using a functional approach. We are interested in how much the topology, or the structure, of TX (X=A or P) determines the links of BPA. This composed structure is a useful model in evolutionary biology, where TP and TA are the phylogenetic trees of plants and animals that interact in an ecological community. We make use of ecological networks of dispersion of fruits, which are formed by frugivorous animals and plants with fruits; the animals, usually birds, eat fruits and disperse their seeds. We analyse how the phylogeny of TX determines or is correlated with BPA using a Monte Carlo approach. We use the phylogenetic distance among elements that interact with a given species to construct an index κ that quantifies the influence of TX over BPA. The algorithm is based on the assumption that interaction matrices that follows a phylogeny of TX have a total phylogenetic distance smaller than the average distance of an ensemble of Monte Carlo realisations. We find that the effect of phylogeny of animal species is more pronounced in the ecological matrix than plant phylogeny.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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. ?? The American Ornithologists' Union, 2006. Printed in USA.

  12. 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.

  13. [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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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. PMID:26640661

  18. A Three-Level Mixed-Effects Location Scale Model With An Application To Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) Data

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xue; Hedeker, Donald

    2013-01-01

    In studies using Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA), or other intensive longitudinal data collection methods, interest frequently centers on changes in the variances, both within-subjects (WS) and between-subjects (BS). For this, Hedeker et al. (Biometrics 2008; 64: 627-634) developed an extended two-level mixed-effects model that treats observations as being nested within subjects and allows covariates to influence both the WS and BS variance, beyond their influence on means. However, in EMA studies, subjects often provide many responses within and across days. To account for the possible systematic day-to-day variation, we developed a more flexible three-level mixed-effects location scale model that treats observations within days within subjects, and allows covariates to influence the variance at the subject, day, and observation level (over and above their usual effects on means) using a log-linear representation throughout. We provide details of a maximum likelihood (ML) solution and demonstrate how SAS PROC NLMIXED can be used to achieve ML estimates in an alternative parameterization of our proposed three-level model. The accuracy of this approach using NLMIXED was verified by a series of simulation studies. Data from an adolescent mood study using EMA was analyzed to demonstrate this approach. The analyses clearly show the benefit of the proposed three-level model over the existing two-level approach. The proposed model has useful applications in many studies with three-level structures where interest centers on the joint modeling of the mean and variance structure. PMID:22865663

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  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. assessing contributions of jgofs; previewing Studies in Ocean Ecology, Biogeochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinberg, Deborah K.; Ducklow, Hugh W.; Buesseler, Ken O.; Bowles, Margaret C.

    Despite impediments to travel imposed by global political and health concerns, 332 scientists and students from 32 countries gathered in Washington, D.C. in early May to celebrate the conclusion of the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS), and to assess both its accomplishments and the future course of research in ocean ecology and biogeochemistry.Launched in 1987 under the auspices of the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR), JGOFS became the first core project of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) 2 years later as its first field studies were getting underway. Global in scope and multinational and interdisciplinary from its inception, JGOFS adopted two major goals: to understand the processes controlling the cycling of carbon and other biogenic elements in the ocean and their exchange with the atmosphere and the sea floor, and to advance our capacity to predict the response of ocean systems to anthropogenic perturbations.

  4. 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.

  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. Agriculture and snakebite in Bahia, Brazil - An ecological study.

    PubMed

    Mise, Yukari F; Lira-da-Silva, Rejâne M; Carvalho, Fernando M

    2016-07-15

    This study investigated the correlation between the incidence of snakebite and indicators of agricultural development in municipal districts of the State of Bahia, Brazil. An ecological study was conducted with the 27,347 cases of snakebite poisoning reported to the Reportable Diseases National Information System in municipalities from the State of Bahia, Brazil, 2000-2009. The unit of analysis was each one of the 417 State municipalities, and the outcome variable was the average annual incidence of snakebite. Data were analyzed by multiple linear regression technique. The average annual incidence of snakebite ranged from zero to 221.96 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the municipalities. The incidence of snakebite was positively and strongly associated with municipality characteristics: planted areas of cocoa and coffee, and the size of domestic bred chicken and bovine livestocks. It was concluded that several characteristics related to municipal agricultural profile were strongly associated with the incidence of snakebite. PMID:27660860

  7. Seasonal ecological changes and water level variations in the Sélingué Reservoir (Mali, West Africa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arfi, R.

    This work investigates the ecological modifications induced by the annual water level change as a consequence of hydrological regime and power production in Sélingué, a monomictic reservoir in Mali (West Africa). High waters occur from November, after the flood, while low waters occur from June, at the end of the dry season. Decrease of water level is linked to environmental factors (marked hydrological pattern, both for river flow and rain) and to human management of the reservoir during the dry season (irrigation, high hydropower demand). Difference in elevation between the high water and the low water phases is 9 m. To assess the ecological impact of such water level variations, environmental and biological descriptors were studied on water sampled biweekly from November 2000 to November 2001 in stations representative of the north part of this water body. As a consequence of high water and of regional meteorology (NE trade winds), the water column in Sélingué is stratified from March to May. Stratification can act as a trap for nutrients in the hypolimnion, preventing the euphotic epilimnion to be realimented in dissolved P and N mineral components. This process lasts until the beginning of the monsoon (SW trade winds) when progressive warming and energetic inputs through storms allow vertical mixing. The sink-phase is then replaced by a spring-phase when the water column is not anymore stratified and when the water level is low enough to allow wind-induced resuspension and vertical mixing. At the end of the low water phase, phytoplankton blooms are observed, allowed by the proximity of the productive euphotic layer and the deep mineralization layer and their possible mixing. Water level is also important for fisheries, since fishes are “diluted” in high water (i.e., more difficult to catch with the artisanal tools operated by the local fishermen) but are “concentrated” in low water (i.e., more easily over fished in the minor riverbed, where most

  8. 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.

  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. 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

  11. 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

  12. A dynamic study of earthworm feeding ecology -using stable isotopes.

    PubMed

    Briones; Bol; Sleep; Sampedro; Allen

    1999-07-01

    Changes in the specific diet of earthworms with time in relation to landuse changes and two different climates were studied by analysing (13)C and (15)N natural abundance in soils and animals. Soil samples from three depths (0-10, 10-20 and 20-30 cm) and earthworms were collected from two sites: Santiago (Northwest Spain) and North Wyke (Southwest England) both consisting of replicated long-term grasslands and recently converted to maize plots. Earthworms were hand-sorted in the field at the peak of the maize growth and after harvesting at both sites. In the Spanish plots, nine and eight earthworm species, all belonging to the three ecological categories (epigeic, anecic and endogeic), were found under maize and permanent pasture, whereas at the English site five and seven different species were, respectively, identified. At both sites (13)C isotopic values of the earthworm tissues reflected changes in diet from C(3) to C(4) with epigeic and epi/anecic worms in the maize plots showing one delta unit difference in relation to the ones found in the grassland plots. Anecic worms seemed to be less responsive to landuse changes. The higher (13)C values of the Spanish soils were also reflected in the earthworm tissues when compared with the English samples. (15)N values showed no clear relationship with the cropping treatments but were clearly related to the ecological grouping, with endogeic worms reaching the highest values whereas for the epigeic and epi/anecic species the lowest values were obtained. This finding was also previously recorded by other authors1 and suggests that, in the future, stable isotope techniques could also be a useful tool in taxonomic studies. Copyright 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:10407314

  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.

    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

  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.

    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

  15. [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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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. [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. PMID:25985673

  18. [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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. The need to integrate laboratory- and ecosystem-level research for assessment of the ecological impact of radiation.

    PubMed

    Bréchignac, François

    2016-10-01

    Despite the fact that the Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents have both stimulated research on the environmental impact of radiation, interpretations about the occurrence of ecological effects in the contaminated areas still do not converge. In an effort to improve the situation and progress toward better general scientific understanding of ecological impacts of radiation, reasons that may explain the disagreements and discrepancies are explored. The divergence in interpretations of the impacts from both nuclear accidents arises from differences in methodological and conceptual inference strategies (a cultural issue) more so than fundamental differences in the processes governing ecological harm. Improved integration of scientific communities that use different study approaches should be encouraged to better understand and monitor the determination of the ecological impacts of radiation. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2016;12:673-676. © 2016 SETAC. PMID:27640414

  2. The need to integrate laboratory- and ecosystem-level research for assessment of the ecological impact of radiation.

    PubMed

    Bréchignac, François

    2016-10-01

    Despite the fact that the Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents have both stimulated research on the environmental impact of radiation, interpretations about the occurrence of ecological effects in the contaminated areas still do not converge. In an effort to improve the situation and progress toward better general scientific understanding of ecological impacts of radiation, reasons that may explain the disagreements and discrepancies are explored. The divergence in interpretations of the impacts from both nuclear accidents arises from differences in methodological and conceptual inference strategies (a cultural issue) more so than fundamental differences in the processes governing ecological harm. Improved integration of scientific communities that use different study approaches should be encouraged to better understand and monitor the determination of the ecological impacts of radiation. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2016;12:673-676. © 2016 SETAC.

  3. Evaluation of community-level end points used in ecological risk assessments for Rocky Mountain streams impacted by mining

    SciTech Connect

    Clements, W.H.; Kiffney, P.M.; Medley, N.

    1994-12-31

    The objective of this research was to measure sensitivity and variability of community-level end points (e.g., species diversity, richness, abundance of dominant taxa) used in ecological risk assessments for Rocky Mountain streams impacted by mining. The authors used results from stream microcosm experiments and field biomonitoring studies to examine community responses of periphyton and benthic macroinvertebrates to heavy metals. In addition, they measured effects of potential confounding variables (e.g., stream size, elevation, discharge) on these responses. Field studies were conducted at six metal-impacted streams in central Colorado. Although all community end points were significantly affected at stations with the highest metal levels, results of multiple regression analysis showed that most variables were also affected by elevation. To validate benthic community end points and to measure sensitivity of these end points to metals, exposed periphyton and benthic macroinvertebrate communities to Cd, Cu, and Zn in stream microcosms. Results support findings of field studies and show that abundance of sensitive macroinvertebrates and tolerant diatoms were most useful for distinguishing among reference, impacted, and recovery sites. Because stream elevation confounds benthic community responses to metals, the authors suggest that experimental studies are necessary to validate the usefulness of community end points.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cross, Faul 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Evaluation study on the ecological security of land resources in Xingwen County

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Yali; Shui, Wei; Xiang, Yufei

    2011-02-01

    In case of Xingwen County in Yibin city, this paper the 15 single indicators of natural factor, economic factor, and social factor which affect the ecological safety of land resources were selected, constructing the index system of the ecological security evaluation of Xingwen County in Yibin city. On this basis, the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) was used to determine the weight of each index, and then to calculate the value of ecological security; and the weighting function method was used to obtain that the level of land resources ecological security in Xingwen County is "good" in 2008. Moreover, the clustering analysis method was used to analyze the 15 single indicators of land ecological security, showing that the economic factor is the main factor which affects the ecological security of land resources in Xingwen County, and the corresponding countermeasures were proposed.

  11. [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.

  12. [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. PMID:24881399

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. Ecological study of dietary and smoking links to lymphoma.

    PubMed

    Grant, W B

    2000-12-01

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Eye-size variability in deep-sea lanternfishes (Myctophidae): an ecological and phylogenetic study.

    PubMed

    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.

  4. 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

  5. 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. PMID:27596939

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Ecological study of isolation and suicide in Tuscany (Italy).

    PubMed

    Martiello, Michele Arcangelo; Giacchi, Mariano Vincenzo

    2012-06-30

    The purpose of the study was to investigate the association between suicide and demographic and socio-economic measures in Tuscany. Data on standardized rates of suicide from 1997 to 2005 in addition to census-derived variables, income and abstention were derived from the Mortality register, the 2001 Census, the Tax Agency and the Regional Electoral Office databases. Pearson's correlation and stepwise multiple regression analyses (unweighted and weighted by population) were used to analyze the association between suicide rates and demographic and socio-economic measures for the 34 health districts for both males and females. The correlation analyses showed that suicide was significantly associated with many variables in men, but only with old age in women. The multiple regression analyses showed that the best predictors in men were education, single person households and isolated houses (only education and single person households in the weighted model). For women, the best predictors were the proportion of elderly people and income (this was also true for the weighted model, but in the opposite order). An ecological correlation between suicide and measures of economic deprivation and social fragmentation was found in both men and women. Among the best predictors, isolated houses may act as a marker for remoteness and isolation on a small scale. PMID:22386571

  9. 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.

  10. Ecological study of isolation and suicide in Tuscany (Italy).

    PubMed

    Martiello, Michele Arcangelo; Giacchi, Mariano Vincenzo

    2012-06-30

    The purpose of the study was to investigate the association between suicide and demographic and socio-economic measures in Tuscany. Data on standardized rates of suicide from 1997 to 2005 in addition to census-derived variables, income and abstention were derived from the Mortality register, the 2001 Census, the Tax Agency and the Regional Electoral Office databases. Pearson's correlation and stepwise multiple regression analyses (unweighted and weighted by population) were used to analyze the association between suicide rates and demographic and socio-economic measures for the 34 health districts for both males and females. The correlation analyses showed that suicide was significantly associated with many variables in men, but only with old age in women. The multiple regression analyses showed that the best predictors in men were education, single person households and isolated houses (only education and single person households in the weighted model). For women, the best predictors were the proportion of elderly people and income (this was also true for the weighted model, but in the opposite order). An ecological correlation between suicide and measures of economic deprivation and social fragmentation was found in both men and women. Among the best predictors, isolated houses may act as a marker for remoteness and isolation on a small scale.

  11. On the discrepancy between epidemiologic studies in individuals of lung cancer and residential radon and Cohen's ecologic regression.

    PubMed

    Lubin, J H

    1998-07-01

    There is still substantial confusion in the radiation effects community about the inherent limitations of ecologic analysis. As a result, inordinate attention has been given to the discrepant results of Cohen, in which a negative estimate is observed for the regression of county mortality rates for lung cancer on estimated county radon levels. This paper demonstrates that Cohen's ecologic analysis cannot produce valid inference on the exposure-response relationship for individuals unless lung cancer risk factors (smoking, age, occupation, etc.) for individuals are statistically uncorrelated with indoor radon level within counties or unless risk effects for radon and other factors are additive. Both of these assumptions are contradicted in the literature. Thus, contrary to common assumption, when a linear no-threshold model is the true model for radon risk for individuals, higher average radon concentration for a county does not necessarily imply a higher lung cancer rate for the county. In addition, valid inference from county-level ecologic analysis and the elimination of the ecologic bias cannot be achieved with the addition of county-wide summary variables (including "stratification" variables) to the regression equation. Using hypothetical data for smoking and radon and assuming a true positive association for radon and lung cancer for individuals, the analysis demonstrates that a negative county-level ecologic regression can be induced when correlation coefficients for smoking and radon within county are in the range -0.05 to 0.05. Since adverse effects for radon at low exposures are supported by analysis of miner data (all data and data restricted only to low cumulative exposures), a meta-analysis of indoor radon studies, and molecular and cellular studies, and since ecologic regressions are burdened by severe limitations, the negative results from Cohen's analysis are most likely due to bias and should be rejected.

  12. 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. PMID:15073988

  13. 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

  14. The Social Side of Schooling: Ecological Studies of Classrooms and Schools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hamilton, Stephen F.

    This paper discusses findings of ecological studies of classroom learning drawn from the fields of anthropology, sociology, and ecological psychology. The aim of the studies is to illustrate the processes of teaching and learning rather than to establish generalizable rules for instruction by challenging the methodology and findings of traditional…

  15. Evaluation of a multiple ecological level child obesity prevention program: Switch® what you Do, View, and Chew

    PubMed Central

    Gentile, Douglas A; Welk, Greg; Eisenmann, Joey C; Reimer, Rachel A; Walsh, David A; Russell, Daniel W; Callahan, Randi; Walsh, Monica; Strickland, Sarah; Fritz, Katie

    2009-01-01

    Background Schools are the most frequent target for intervention programs aimed at preventing child obesity; however, the overall effectiveness of these programs has been limited. It has therefore been recommended that interventions target multiple ecological levels (community, family, school and individual) to have greater success in changing risk behaviors for obesity. This study examined the immediate and short-term, sustained effects of the Switch program, which targeted three behaviors (decreasing children's screen time, increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, and increasing physical activity) at three ecological levels (the family, school, and community). Methods Participants were 1,323 children and their parents from 10 schools in two states. Schools were matched and randomly assigned to treatment and control. Measures of the key behaviors and body mass index were collected at baseline, immediately post-intervention, and 6 months post-intervention. Results The effect sizes of the differences between treatment and control groups ranged between small (Cohen's d = 0.15 for body mass index at 6 months post-intervention) to large (1.38; parent report of screen time at 6 months post-intervention), controlling for baseline levels. There was a significant difference in parent-reported screen time at post-intervention in the experimental group, and this effect was maintained at 6 months post-intervention (a difference of about 2 hours/week). The experimental group also showed a significant increase in parent-reported fruit and vegetable consumption while child-reported fruit and vegetable consumption was marginally significant. At the 6-month follow-up, parent-reported screen time was significantly lower, and parent and child-reported fruit and vegetable consumption was significantly increased. There were no significant effects on pedometer measures of physical activity or body mass index in the experimental group. The intervention effects were moderated by child

  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 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Satellite Ecology (SATECO)-linking ecology, remote sensing and micrometeorology, from plot to regional scale, for the study of ecosystem structure and function.

    PubMed

    Muraoka, Hiroyuki; Koizumi, Hiroshi

    2009-01-01

    There is a growing requirement for ecosystem science to help inform a deeper understanding of the effects of global climate change and land use change on terrestrial ecosystem structure and function, from small area (plot) to landscape, regional and global scales. To meet these requirements, ecologists have investigated plant growth and carbon cycling processes at plot scale, using biometric methods to measure plant carbon accumulation, and gas exchange (chamber) methods to measure soil respiration. Also at the plot scale, micrometeorologists have attempted to measure canopy- or ecosystem-scale CO(2) flux by the eddy covariance technique, which reveals diurnal, seasonal and annual cycles. Mathematical models play an important role in integrating ecological and micrometeorological processes into ecosystem scales, which are further useful in interpreting time-accumulated information derived from biometric methods by comparing with CO(2) flux measurements. For a spatial scaling of such plot-level understanding, remote sensing via satellite is used to measure land use/vegetation type distribution and temporal changes in ecosystem structures such as leaf area index. However, to better utilise such data, there is still a need for investigations that consider the structure and function of ecosystems and their processes, especially in mountainous areas characterized by complex terrain and a mosaic distribution of vegetation. For this purpose, we have established a new interdisciplinary approach named 'Satellite Ecology', which aims to link ecology, remote sensing and micrometeorology to facilitate the study of ecosystem function, at the plot, landscape, and regional scale.

  4. Satellite Ecology (SATECO)-linking ecology, remote sensing and micrometeorology, from plot to regional scale, for the study of ecosystem structure and function.

    PubMed

    Muraoka, Hiroyuki; Koizumi, Hiroshi

    2009-01-01

    There is a growing requirement for ecosystem science to help inform a deeper understanding of the effects of global climate change and land use change on terrestrial ecosystem structure and function, from small area (plot) to landscape, regional and global scales. To meet these requirements, ecologists have investigated plant growth and carbon cycling processes at plot scale, using biometric methods to measure plant carbon accumulation, and gas exchange (chamber) methods to measure soil respiration. Also at the plot scale, micrometeorologists have attempted to measure canopy- or ecosystem-scale CO(2) flux by the eddy covariance technique, which reveals diurnal, seasonal and annual cycles. Mathematical models play an important role in integrating ecological and micrometeorological processes into ecosystem scales, which are further useful in interpreting time-accumulated information derived from biometric methods by comparing with CO(2) flux measurements. For a spatial scaling of such plot-level understanding, remote sensing via satellite is used to measure land use/vegetation type distribution and temporal changes in ecosystem structures such as leaf area index. However, to better utilise such data, there is still a need for investigations that consider the structure and function of ecosystems and their processes, especially in mountainous areas characterized by complex terrain and a mosaic distribution of vegetation. For this purpose, we have established a new interdisciplinary approach named 'Satellite Ecology', which aims to link ecology, remote sensing and micrometeorology to facilitate the study of ecosystem function, at the plot, landscape, and regional scale. PMID:18958540

  5. 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

  6. Ecology of the City: Urban Environmental Awareness Teacher's Guide, Intermediate Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Courreges, Eugenie; Scudder, Elizabeth

    This guide was developed for teachers to use in helping students understand components of the urban ecosystem. The guide is based on sequentially arranged performance objectives for each concept. Organization of the guide includes activities designed to link the urban units with the forest ecology unit which overlap in concepts and philosophy. A…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. Social determinants of tuberculosis in Europe: a prospective ecological study.

    PubMed

    Ploubidis, George B; Palmer, Melissa J; Blackmore, Charlotte; Lim, Tek-Ang; Manissero, Davide; Sandgren, Andreas; Semenza, Jan C

    2012-10-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) is considered to be a disease of poverty, since its incidence is exacerbated by socioeconomic factors, inconsistent or partial treatment practices, and immigration from endemic countries. A prospective country level study, using a comprehensive dataset of TB incidence and prevalence taken from countries within the World Health Organization (WHO) European region, was conducted. We employed quintile regression to investigate the prospective association between baseline (measured in 2000) and a nation's wealth, level of egalitarianism, migration rate, health-related lifestyle and social capital with TB incidence and prevalence over a 10-yr period (2000-2009). We found that ∼50% of TB variation is accounted for by a nation's wealth and level of egalitarianism. We observed a negative prospective association between logged gross domestic product and TB rates, and a positive prospective association between income inequality and TB. National income levels per capita and income inequality are important predictors for TB incidence and prevalence in the WHO European region. They account for 50% of country-level variation, indicating the importance of a combined absolute and relative socioeconomic disadvantage in the development of TB. These findings also provide a tool for forecasting potential fluctuations in the level of TB epidemics in the WHO European region, with respect to socioeconomic changes.

  14. 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…

  15. Bioremediation in marine ecosystems: a computational study combining ecological modeling and flux balance analysis

    PubMed Central

    Taffi, Marianna; Paoletti, Nicola; Angione, Claudio; Pucciarelli, Sandra; Marini, Mauro; Liò, Pietro

    2014-01-01

    The pressure to search effective bioremediation methodologies for contaminated ecosystems has led to the large-scale identification of microbial species and metabolic degradation pathways. However, minor attention has been paid to the study of bioremediation in marine food webs and to the definition of integrated strategies for reducing bioaccumulation in species. We propose a novel computational framework for analysing the multiscale effects of bioremediation at the ecosystem level, based on coupling food web bioaccumulation models and metabolic models of degrading bacteria. The combination of techniques from synthetic biology and ecological network analysis allows the specification of arbitrary scenarios of contaminant removal and the evaluation of strategies based on natural or synthetic microbial strains. In this study, we derive a bioaccumulation model of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the Adriatic food web, and we extend a metabolic reconstruction of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 (iJN746) with the aerobic pathway of PCBs degradation. We assess the effectiveness of different bioremediation scenarios in reducing PCBs concentration in species and we study indices of species centrality to measure their importance in the contaminant diffusion via feeding links. The analysis of the Adriatic sea case study suggests that our framework could represent a practical tool in the design of effective remediation strategies, providing at the same time insights into the ecological role of microbial communities within food webs. PMID:25309577

  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. 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. PMID:26700211

  18. 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.

  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. 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

  1. 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

  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. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Ecological Niche Transferability Using Invasive Species as a Case Study

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25785858

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Cho, Sungback; Hwang, Okhwa; Park, Sungkwon

    2015-09-01

    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

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. Ecological effects of cell-level processes: genome size, functional traits and regional abundance of herbaceous plant species

    PubMed Central

    Herben, Tomáš; Suda, Jan; Klimešová, Jitka; Mihulka, Stanislav; Říha, Pavel; Šímová, Irena

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Genome size is known to be correlated with a number of phenotypic traits associated with cell sizes and cell-division rates. Genome size was therefore used as a proxy for them in order to assess how common plant traits such as height, specific leaf area and seed size/number predict species regional abundance. In this study it is hypothesized that if there is residual correlation between genome size and abundance after these traits are partialled out, there must be additional ecological effects of cell size and/or cell-division rate. Methods Variation in genome size, plant traits and regional abundance were examined in 436 herbaceous species of central European flora, and relationships were sought for among these variables by correlation and path analysis. Key Results Species regional abundance was weakly but significantly correlated with genome size; the relationship was stronger for annuals (R2 = 0·145) than for perennials (R2 = 0·027). In annuals, genome size was linked to abundance via its effect on seed size, which constrains seed number and hence population growth rate. In perennials, it weakly affected (via height and specific leaf area) competitive ability. These relationships did not change qualitatively after phylogenetic correction. In both annuals and perennials there was an unresolved effect of genome size on abundance. Conclusions The findings indicate that additional predictors of regional abundance should be sought among variables that are linked to cell size and cell-division rate. Signals of these cell-level processes remain identifiable even at the landscape scale, and show deep differences between perennials and annuals. Plant population biology could thus possibly benefit from more systematic use of indicators of cell-level processes. PMID:22628380

  14. 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...

  15. Associations between Green Space and Health in English Cities: An Ecological, Cross-Sectional Study

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25775020

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  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. [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. PMID:26995922

  20. [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.

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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, ...

  5. STABLE ISOTOPES IN ECOLOGICAL STUDIES: NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN MIXING MODELS (BRAZIL)

    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, ...

  6. 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.

  7. 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)

  8. 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

  9. [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. PMID:26685609

  10. [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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Ecological study of solar radiation and cancer mortality in Japan.

    PubMed

    Mizoue, Tetsuya

    2004-11-01

    Geographic observation of the increased mortality of some cancers at higher latitudes has led to a hypothesis that vitamin D produced after exposure to solar radiation has anti-carcinogenic effects. However, it is unclear whether such association would be observed in countries like Japan, where fish consumption, and therefore dietary vitamin D intake, is high. Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated between averaged annual solar radiation levels for the period from 1961 through 1990 and cancer mortality in the year 2000 in 47 prefectures in Japan, with adjustments for regional per capita income and dietary factors. A moderate, inverse correlation with solar radiation was observed for cancers of the esophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, pancreas, and gallbladder and bile ducts in both sexes (correlation coefficient, ranging from -0.6 to -0.3). The results of this study support the hypothesis that increased exposure to solar radiation reduces the risk of cancers of the digestive organs. PMID:15551791

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Development of geospatial techniques for ecological analysis: A case study of sudden oak death in California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Qinghua

    With the recent advancement of geospatial techniques (e.g., remote sensing, Geographical Information Systems, and GPS), geodatasets have grown dramatically in size and number and become more widely distributed. This provides ecologists unprecedented opportunities to explore ecological problems at larger spatial scale than before. At the same time, the wealth of data demands improvements in geospatial techniques in order to fully explore the current data capacity. In this dissertation, I sought to refine, combine, and develop new geospatial techniques that when applied to a real-world ecological problem, generated new and more comprehensive understanding of the ecological system examined. First, I refined several commonly used spatial analytical techniques such as paired quadrat variance (PQV) and Ripley's K functions. I clarified some misinterpretations of PQV methods, and proposed a GIS approach in correcting the edge-effect problem associated with the Ripley's K function in irregular-shaped study areas. Second, I combined several methods to better understand spatial patterns: (1) I combined Ripley's K and semivariance to study point patterns, and (2) I combined PQV, two term local quadrat variance, new local variance, and their three-term counterparts to study transect data. Third, I developed a new environmental niche model to model potential niche using presence-only data. Fourth, I developed a hybrid classifier which integrated an object-based and a knowledge-based classification method in mapping dead trees from high spatial resolution images. Finally, these geospatial methods were applied to analyze and model the spread of a new forest disease "sudden oak death" in California at the landscape and regional scales. At the landscape level, I found that topographic factors were the most influential factors in controlling the presence of dead trees, followed by foliar hosts of the disease. At the regional scale, I found that the majority of disease risk would

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Environmental Air Pollution and Acute Cerebrovascular Complications: An Ecologic Study in Tehran, Iran

    PubMed Central

    Nabavi, Seyed Massood; Jafari, Batoul; Jalali, Mozhgan Sadat; Nedjat, Saharnaz; Ashrafi, Khosro; Salahesh, Alireza

    2012-01-01

    Background: In this study, we aimed to assess the association between air pollution and cerebrovascular complications in Tehran, one of the most air-polluted cities in the world, among different subgroups of patients with stroke in 2004. Methods: In this ecologic study, we calculated the daily average levels of different air pollutants including CO, NOX, SO2, O3, and PM10 and also humidity and temperature on the day of stroke and 48 hours prior to stroke in 1 491 patients admitted with the diagnosis of stroke in eight referral hospitals in different areas of Tehran. Then, we evaluated the association between the rate of stroke admissions and the level of the selected pollutants, humidity, and temperature on the day of stroke and 48 hours prior to stroke among different subgroups of patients. Results: There was no significant association between the same-day level of the pollutants and the rate of stroke admissions, but an association was seen for their level 48 hours before stroke. These associations differed among different subgroups of age, sex, history of underlying diseases, and type of stroke. Same-day temperature had a reverse association in patients with hemorrhagic stroke and in patients without a history of heart disease or previous stroke. A direct significant association was seen for humidity level 48 hours before stroke in patients with a history of heart disease. Conclusions: It is inferred that air pollution has a direct association with the incidence of stroke and these association differs among different subgroups of patients. The results of this study are not time-dependant and can be generalized to different times and regions. Moreover, these results may be useful for environmental health policy makers. PMID:23112900

  5. 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.

  6. Assessments of levels, potential ecological risk, and human health risk of heavy metals in the soils from a typical county in Shanxi Province, China.

    PubMed

    Pan, Libo; Ma, Jin; Hu, Yu; Su, Benying; Fang, Guangling; Wang, Yue; Wang, Zhanshan; Wang, Lei; Xiang, Bao

    2016-10-01

    A total of 128 surface soil samples were collected, and eight heavy metals, including As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni, Zn, and Hg, were analyzed for their concentrations, potential ecological risks, and human health risks. The mean concentrations of these eight metals were lower than the soil environmental quality standards in China, while they were slightly higher than the background values in Shanxi Province. The enrichment factor, coefficient variation, and potential ecological risk index were used to assess the pollution and eco-risk level of heavy metals, among which, Cd and Hg showed higher pollution levels and potential risks than the others in the studied area. Moreover, multivariate geostatistical analysis suggested that Hg originated mainly from point sources such as industrial emissions, while agricultural activity is the predominant factor for Cd. The human health risk assessment indicated that non-carcinogenic values were below the threshold values. The total carcinogenic risks due to As, Cr, and Ni were within the acceptable range for adults, while for children, they were higher than the threshold value (1.0E-04), indicating that children are facing higher threat to heavy metals in soils. These results provide basic information on heavy metal pollution control and human health risk assessment management in the study regions. PMID:27370534

  7. 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

  8. [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.

  9. 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

  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. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Larval ecology, geographic range, and species survivorship in Cretaceous mollusks: organismic versus species-level explanations.

    PubMed

    Jablonski, David; Hunt, Gene

    2006-10-01

    The observation that geographic range size in Cretaceous mollusks is correlated with species survivorship and is heritable at the species level has figured repeatedly in discussions of species selection over the past two decades. However, some authors have suggested that the relationship between mode of larval development and geographic range supports the reduction of this example to selection on organismic properties. Our reanalysis of Jablonski's work on heritability at the species level finds that geographic range is significantly heritable (using a randomization test) in both bivalves and gastropods, even within a single larval mode. Further, generalized linear models show that geographic range size is more important than larval mode in predicting extinction probability in both gastropods and bivalves. These results reaffirm the role and heritability of geographic range as a species-level property that can promote species selection; the model-based approach applied here may help to operationalize "screening off " and related approaches to evaluating hierarchical explanations in evolution.

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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 factor…

  19. Species sensitivity weighted distribution for ecological risk assessment of engineered nanomaterials: the n-TiO2 case study.

    PubMed

    Semenzin, Elena; Lanzellotto, Elisa; Hristozov, Danail; Critto, Andrea; Zabeo, Alex; Giubilato, Elisa; Marcomini, Antonio

    2015-11-01

    Societal concerns about the environmental risks of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) have recently increased, but nano-ecological risk assessments are constrained by significant gaps in basic information on long-term effects and exposures, for example. An approach to the ecological risk assessment of ENMs is proposed that can operate in the context of high uncertainty. This approach further develops species sensitivity weighted distribution (SSWD) by including 3 weighting criteria (species relevance, trophic level abundance, and nanotoxicity data quality) to address nano-specific needs (n-SSWD). The application of n-SSWD is illustrated for nanoscale titanium dioxide (n-TiO2 ), which is available in different crystal forms; it was selected because of its widespread use in consumer products (e.g., cosmetics) and the ample availability of data from ecotoxicological studies in the literature (including endpoints for algae, invertebrates, bacteria, and vertebrates in freshwater, saltwater, and terrestrial compartments). The n-SSWD application resulted in estimation of environmental quality criteria (hazard concentration affecting 5% and 50% of the species) and ecological risk (potentially affected fraction of species), which were then compared with similar results obtained by applying the traditional species sensitivity distribution (SSD) approach to the same dataset. The n-SSWDs were also built for specific trophic levels (e.g., primary producers) and taxonomic groups (e.g., algae), which helped to identify the most sensitive organisms. These results showd that n-SSWD is a valuable risk tool, although further testing is suggested. PMID:26058704

  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. [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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. [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.

  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. Correlation between Trichomonas vaginalis and Concurrency: An Ecological Study.

    PubMed

    Kenyon, Chris R; Hamilton, Deven T

    2016-01-01

    Objective. There is a large variation in the prevalence of Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) between different countries and between racial groups within countries. Sexual partner concurrency may play a role. We investigate the correlation between the prevalence of sexual partner concurrency and TV prevalence. Methods. Spearman's correlation to assess relationship between TV prevalence in women and point prevalence of concurrency in men in (1) 11 countries with comparable data (concurrency data from WHO Survey and TV prevalence data from Global Burden of Disease estimates) and (2) three racial groups in the United States (Add Health Study). Results. The prevalence of TV and concurrency was positively correlated in the international (rho = 0.84, P = 0.001) and USA study (rho = 1.0, P < 0.001). Conclusion. Prospective longitudinal studies that include measures of partner behavior are required to definitively establish the role of concurrency in the spread of TV. PMID:26949392

  8. Correlation between Trichomonas vaginalis and Concurrency: An Ecological Study.

    PubMed

    Kenyon, Chris R; Hamilton, Deven T

    2016-01-01

    Objective. There is a large variation in the prevalence of Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) between different countries and between racial groups within countries. Sexual partner concurrency may play a role. We investigate the correlation between the prevalence of sexual partner concurrency and TV prevalence. Methods. Spearman's correlation to assess relationship between TV prevalence in women and point prevalence of concurrency in men in (1) 11 countries with comparable data (concurrency data from WHO Survey and TV prevalence data from Global Burden of Disease estimates) and (2) three racial groups in the United States (Add Health Study). Results. The prevalence of TV and concurrency was positively correlated in the international (rho = 0.84, P = 0.001) and USA study (rho = 1.0, P < 0.001). Conclusion. Prospective longitudinal studies that include measures of partner behavior are required to definitively establish the role of concurrency in the spread of TV.

  9. The ecological model and the study of child abuse in Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Wilson-Oyelaran, E B

    1989-01-01

    Physical abuse and exploitative child labor are two common forms of child abuse in Nigeria. Exploitative child labor exists in both the formal and informal sectors where children work as hairdressers, beggars' assistants, hawkers, and as factory and agricultural workers under conditions characterized by long hours, hazardous environment, and meager remuneration. Research on the incidence of physical abuse in Nigeria is less systematic, and few empirical studies are available. Physical abuse is primarily the result of corporal punishment which has become excessive. Poverty and the existence of a dependent capitalist economy are often proffered as the primary causes of child abuse. While both explanations have some validity, their unidimensional nature limits their explanatory capacity. These explanations also lead to the belief that very little can be done to improve the quality of children's lives until the social order is restructured. The ecological model proposes that child abuse can best be understood if it is analyzed multidimensionally with emphasis on the individual, family, social environment, and cultural milieau, as well as the dynamic interaction between these levels. This model appears appropriate for the study of child abuse in Nigeria, and its application is advocated as a vehicle for improving the quality of child abuse research.

  10. 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

  11. Development and application of the SSD approach in scientific case studies for ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Del Signore, Anastasia; Hendriks, A Jan; Lenders, H J Rob; Leuven, Rob S E W; Breure, A M

    2016-09-01

    Species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) are used in ecological risk assessment for extrapolation of the results of toxicity tests with single species to a toxicity threshold considered protective of ecosystem structure and functioning. The attention to and importance of the SSD approach has increased in scientific and regulatory communities since the 1990s. Discussion and criticism have been triggered on the concept of the approach as well as its technical aspects (e.g., distribution type, number of toxicity endpoints). Various questions remain unanswered, especially with regard to different endpoints, statistical methods, and protectiveness of threshold levels, for example. In the present literature review (covering the period 2002-2013), case studies are explored in which the SSD approach was applied, as well as how endpoint types, species choice, and data availability affect SSDs. How statistical methods may be used to construct reliable SSDs and whether the lower 5th percentile hazard concentrations (HC5s) from a generic SSD can be protective for a specific local community are also investigated. It is shown that estimated protective concentrations were determined by taxonomic groups rather than the statistical method used to construct the distribution. Based on comparisons between semifield and laboratory-based SSDs, the output from a laboratory SSD was protective of semifield communities in the majority of studies. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:2149-2161. © 2016 SETAC. PMID:27144499

  12. 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)

  13. Oil spill studies: A review of ecological effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teal, John M.; Howarth, Robert W.

    1984-01-01

    We reviewed seven particularly well known and/or studied oil spills that have occurred since the National Academy of Sciences 1975 report, “Petroleum in the Marine Environment” or that occurred prior to that report but about which significant new information has since been acquired. The spills studied were from the barge Florida, and tankers Arrow, Argo Merchant, Amoco Cadiz, and Tsesis and blowouts from the Bravo and Ixtoc I platforms. These “best” studies yield only limited insight into effects because they lack controls and have a high degree of natural variability. The Tsesis, Florida, and Amoco Cadiz cases are exceptional since they occurred in areas of ongoing research programs and had nearby areas suitable for controls. Oil spills have produced measurable effects on ecosystems that have not been readily predictable from laboratory studies on isolated organisms. However, ecosystemlevel interactions are poorly understood even without the complications resulting from effects of pollution. These generalizations emerge: oil regularly reaches sediments after a spill; oil in anoxic sediments is persistent; oil regularly contaminates Zooplankton and benthic invertebrates; fish are also contaminated, but to a lesser extent; oil contamination decreases the abundance and diversity of benthic communities.

  14. Ecological success in stream restoration: case studies from the midwestern United States.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Gretchen G; Allan, J David

    2007-08-01

    Despite rapid growth in river restoration, few projects receive the necessary evaluation and reporting to determine their success or failure and to learn from experience. As part of the National River Restoration Science Synthesis, we interviewed 39 project contacts from a database of 1,345 restoration projects in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio to (1) verify project information; (2) gather data on project design, implementation, and coordination; (3) assess the extent of monitoring; and (4) evaluate success and the factors that may influence it. Projects were selected randomly within the four most common project goals from a national database: in-stream habitat improvement, channel reconfiguration, riparian management, and water-quality improvement. Roughly half of the projects were implemented as part of a watershed management plan and had some advisory group. Monitoring occurred in 79% of projects but often was minimal and seldom documented biological improvements. Baseline data for evaluation often relied on previous data obtained under regional monitoring programs using state protocols. Although 89% of project contacts reported success, only 11% of the projects were considered successful because of the response of a specific ecological indicator, and monitoring data were underused in project assessment. Estimates of ecological success, using three criteria from Palmer and others (2005), indicated that half or fewer of the projects were ecologically successful, markedly below the success level that project contacts self-reported, and sent a strong signal of the need for well-designed evaluation programs that can document ecological success.

  15. 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.

  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. 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)

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. A STUDY OF SOME ECOLOGICAL, ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL FACTORS INFLUENCING PARENTAL PARTICIPATION IN PROJECT HEAD START.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    JOHNSON, HENRY S.; PALOMARES, UVALDO H.

    THE MAJOR PURPOSE OF THIS STUDY WAS TO DETERMINE IF THERE WERE SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT RESPONSES TO CERTAIN ECOLOGICAL, ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY FACTORS BETWEEN PARENTS WHOSE CHILDREN PARTICIPATED IN THE HEAD START PROJECT AND THOSE WHOSE CHILDREN WERE ELIGIBLE BUT DID NOT PARTICIPATE. ALL PARENTS OF PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN, 2 1/2 TO…

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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)

  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. 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,…

  7. 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.

  8. Particulate air pollution and susceptibility to the development of pulmonary tuberculosis disease in North Carolina: an ecological study

    PubMed Central

    Schoenbach, Victor J.; Richardson, David B.; Gammon, Marilie D.

    2015-01-01

    Although Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the causative agent of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB), environmental factors may influence disease progression. Ecologic studies conducted in countries outside the USA with high levels of air pollution and PTB have suggested a link between active disease and ambient air pollution. The present investigation is the first to examine the ambient air pollution/PTB association in a country, where air pollution levels are comparatively lower. We used Poisson regression models to examine the association of outdoor air pollutants, PM10 and PM2.5 with rates of PTB in North Carolina residents during 1993–2007. Results suggest a potential association between long-term exposure to particulate matter (PM) and PTB disease. In view of the high levels of air pollution and high rates of PTB worldwide, a potential association between ambient air pollution and tuberculosis warrants further study. PMID:24387197

  9. Particulate air pollution and susceptibility to the development of pulmonary tuberculosis disease in North Carolina: an ecological study.

    PubMed

    Smith, Genee S; Schoenbach, Victor J; Richardson, David B; Gammon, Marilie D

    2014-04-01

    Although Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the causative agent of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB), environmental factors may influence disease progression. Ecologic studies conducted in countries outside the USA with high levels of air pollution and PTB have suggested a link between active disease and ambient air pollution. The present investigation is the first to examine the ambient air pollution-PTB association in a country, where air pollution levels are comparatively lower. We used Poisson regression models to examine the association of outdoor air pollutants, PM10 and PM2.5 with rates of PTB in North Carolina residents during 1993-2007. Results suggest a potential association between long-term exposure to particulate matter (PM) and PTB disease. In view of the high levels of air pollution and high rates of PTB worldwide, a potential association between ambient air pollution and tuberculosis warrants further study.

  10. Modeling naturalistic craving, withdrawal, and affect during early nicotine abstinence: A pilot ecological momentary assessment study.

    PubMed

    Bujarski, Spencer; Roche, Daniel J O; Sheets, Erin S; Krull, Jennifer L; Guzman, Iris; Ray, Lara A

    2015-04-01

    Despite the critical role of withdrawal, craving, and positive affect (PA) and negative affect (NA) in smoking relapse, relatively little is known about the temporal and predictive relationship between these constructs within the first day of abstinence. This pilot study aims to characterize dynamic changes in withdrawal, craving, and affect over the course of early abstinence using ecological momentary assessment. Beginning immediately after smoking, moderate and heavy smoking participants (n = 15 per group) responded to hourly surveys assessing craving, withdrawal, NA, and PA. Univariate and multivariate multilevel random coefficient modeling was used to describe the progression of craving, withdrawal/NA, and PA and to test correlations between these constructs at the subject level over the course of early abstinence. Heavy smokers reported greater craving from 1-4 hr of abstinence and greater withdrawal/NA after 3 or more hours as compared with moderate smokers. Level of withdrawal/NA was strongly positively associated with craving, and PA was negatively correlated with craving; however, the temporal dynamics of these correlations differed substantially. The association between withdrawal/NA and craving decreased over early abstinence, whereas the reverse was observed for PA. These findings can inform experimental studies of nicotine abstinence as well as their clinical applications to smoking cessation efforts. In particular, these results help to elucidate the role of PA in nicotine abstinence by demonstrating its independent association with nicotine craving over and above withdrawal/NA. If supported by future studies, these findings can refine experimental methods and clinical approaches for smoking cessation.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Occurrence of Legionella in groundwater: an ecological study.

    PubMed

    Riffard, S; Douglass, S; Brooks, T; Springthorpe, S; Filion, L G; Sattar, S A

    2001-01-01

    The natural habitat of Legionella is the water environment. Little is known about their presence in groundwater in spite of the fact that many millions around the globe regularly rely on groundwaters. This pilot study was aimed at evaluating the occurrence of Legionella in groundwater samples (water and biofilms) collected from various sites. Water and biofilm samples from selected groundwater sources were examined for Legionella using culture media (selective and non-selective) and a semi-nested PCR assay. Innovative approaches such as immunomagnetic separation (IMS) in combination with cultivation and flow cytometry were also evaluated. The findings available thus far show that (a) Legionella could be readily recovered from groundwater samples by cultivation even though their numbers showed considerable variations, (b) surprisingly, the PCR methodology was not yet as sensitive as cultivation and (c) flow cytometry was not directly applicable on natural samples because of debris and the high number of heterotrophic associated microflora from which some members were likely to cross-react with the monoclonal antibody used for separation procedures (IMS). PMID:11464778

  15. 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. PMID:25368083

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:26982442

  1. Muscular cholinesterase activities and lipid peroxidation levels as biomarkers in several Mediterranean marine fish species and their relationship with ecological variables.

    PubMed

    Solé, Montserrat; Baena, Miguel; Arnau, Susana; Carrasson, Maite; Maynou, Francesc; Cartes, Joan E

    2010-02-01

    Muscular cholinesterase activities, as potential markers of neurotoxic exposure, and lipid peroxidation levels, indicative of oxidative stress damage, both currently used in early-warning pollution monitoring, were characterised in eighteen fish species of ecologic and/or economic importance. These species comprise five orders and eleven families of teleosts and two species of elasmobranchs, feed using different strategies (benthic, epibenthic, endobenthic and pelagic), belong to different trophic levels and express different swimming behaviour. Their habitat ranges from 50 to 60 m (shallow or continental shelf) and 600 to 850 m (middle continental slope). Sampling took place in front of the Barcelona coast (NW Mediterranean) during four seasonal cruises in 2007. In the summer sampling, another site potentially exposed to a different pollution load (Vilanova) was included for comparison. Species, seasonal and site differences were tested and discussed in relation to chemical analysis of the local sediment, systematic position, habitat depth, feeding strategy, trophic level and swimming activity. Greater inter species differences rather than seasonal or site trends were seen in accordance to little pollution fluctuations. Higher cholinesterase activities were recorded in suprabenthos feeders, regardless of depth habitat, whereas LP levels were similar in all species except for the shark Scyliorhinus canicula in which they were consistently elevated. This study confirms and broadens former observations carried out with a more reduced number of fish species (Solé et al., 2008a). PMID:20022635

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:15556172

  7. Level and Contamination Assessment of Soil along an Expressway in an Ecologically Valuable Area in Central Poland.

    PubMed

    Radziemska, Maja; Fronczyk, Joanna

    2015-10-01

    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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. A School Level Environment Study in Australia.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cresswell, John; Fisher, Darrell

    This paper reports on a study that investigated the reliability and validity of a school-environment measuring instrument: the School Level Environment Questionnaire (SLEQ). Results were compared to teachers' and principals' perceptions of actual and ideal school environments. The questionnaire was sent to 60 schools throughout Australia where it…

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Assessing ecological land use and water demand of river systems: a case study in Luanhe River, North China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, D. H.; Wang, G.; Wang, H.; Qin, T. L.

    2012-08-01

    Economic and social development has greatly increased ecological water demand and modified land use of river systems worldwide, causing overall degradation of many of these systems. In this study, theoretical and technical frameworks for regionalization on the eco-environmental function of river systems are formulated and applied to the Luanhe River system. Based on its eco-environmental functions, this river can be regionalized into four types of first-class functional areas: ecological preservation areas, habitat restoration areas, ecological buffer areas and development and utilization areas. Considering the overall eco-environmental functions, we assessed the ecological land use of the Luanhe River system. The total area of basic ecological land use is 876.98 km2; the restrictive ecological land use is 1745.52 km2; ecological land use of the river system returned from farmland is 284.25 km2; and that returned from construction land is 17.35 km2. The average minimum ecological flow of mainstreams in upper and middle reaches of the Luanhe River is 4.896 m3 s-1 based on the habitat method. And the recommended minimum and suitable annual ecological water demand of channels in the lower reaches are 391 million m3 and 819.5 million m3, respectively. The evaporation and seepage consumption and vegetation consumption in riparian zones of the Luanhe River system are approximately 132.6 million m3 and 145.3 million m3 per year, respectively. Our results suggest that is crucial to regulate the instream ecological water use of the Luanhe River's mainstream starting from the Panjiakou-Daheiting Reservoir system. We recommend accelerating ecological land-use planning and strengthening the regulation of ecological water use on this river system focusing on important lower reaches under the condition of competitive water demand.

  16. Microbial ecology on the microcosm level: Activity and population dynamics of methanotrophic bacteria during early succession in a flooded rice field soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krause, S.; Frenzel, P.

    2009-04-01

    Methane oxidizing bacteria (methanotrophs) play an important role in natural wetlands and rice fields preventing large amounts of methane from escaping into the atmosphere. The occurrence of both type I and type II methanotrophs in the soil surface layer has been demonstrated in many studies. However, there is no profound understanding which of them are responsible for the oxidizing activity and how they differ ecologically. Hence, a gradient microcosm system was applied simulating oxic-anoxic interfaces of water saturated soils to unravel population dynamics in early succession of methanotrophs in a flooded rice paddy. Additionally, environmental parameters were analyzed to link environment, populations, and their specific activity. We measured pmoA-based (particulate methane monooxygenase) terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) profiles both on transcription and population level. DNA T-RFLP patterns showed no major differences in the methanotrophic community structure remaining relatively constant over time. In contrast the active methanotrophic community structure as detected by pmoA mRNA T-RFLP analysis clearly demonstrated a distinct pattern from DNA T-RFLP profiles. While type II represented the most prominent group on the population level it seems to play a minor role on the transcription level. Furthermore there were no clear implications towards a link between soil parameters (e.g. NH4+ concentration) and methanotrophic community structure.

  17. Contrasting levels of clonal and within-population genetic diversity between the 2 ecologically different herbs Polygonatum stenophyllum and Polygonatum inflatum (Liliaceae).

    PubMed

    Chung, Mi Yoon; López-Pujol, Jordi; Chung, Jae Min; Kim, Ki-Joong; Chung, Myong Gi

    2014-01-01

    Comparative studies on clonal and genetic structure between ecologically contrasting congeners may provide valuable insights into the mechanisms promoting the maintenance of genetic diversity in clonal plant species. Polygonatum stenophyllum has long rhizomes (ca. 30-40 cm long) and largely occurs on sandy soils in open river banks, whereas its congener Polygonatum inflatum has short ones (ca. 5-10 cm long) and occurs on humic soils under deciduous forests. Using 21 allozyme loci, we comparatively assessed levels of clonal and genetic diversity in the 2 clonal species. Seven populations of P. stenophyllum consisted of single clones, and levels of within-population clonal and genetic variation were considerably lower than those of P. inflatum. However, when samples were pooled, P. stenophyllum harbored higher genetic variation than P. inflatum, which is due to higher among-population genetic differentiation in the former species compared with the latter (FST=0.636 vs. FST=0.165). Our data suggest that populations of P. stenophyllum have been mainly founded by a single seed or rhizome (through river water) or by a few seeds, whereas populations of P. inflatum would have been established through multiple, repeated seedling recruitment. Moderate levels of genetic diversity in a population of P. stenophyllum located at the foot of the Baekdudaegan Mountains and in all the populations of P. inflatum are consistent with the previous hypothesis that these mountains served as a glacial refugium for many boreal species of the Korean Peninsula.

  18. 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,…

  19. Which population level environmental factors are associated with asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema? Review of the ecological analyses of ISAAC Phase One

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) Phase One showed large worldwide variations in the prevalence of symptoms of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema, up to 10 to 20 fold between countries. Ecological analyses were undertaken with ISAAC Phase One data to explore factors that may have contributed to these variations, and are summarised and reviewed here. In ISAAC Phase One the prevalence of symptoms in the past 12 months of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema were estimated from studies in 463,801 children aged 13 - 14 years in 155 centres in 56 countries, and in 257,800 children aged 6-7 years in 91 centres in 38 countries. Ecological analyses were undertaken between symptom prevalence and the following: Gross National Product per capita (GNP), food intake, immunisation rates, tuberculosis notifications, climatic factors, tobacco consumption, pollen, antibiotic sales, paracetamol sales, and outdoor air pollution. Symptom prevalence of all three conditions was positively associated with GNP, trans fatty acids, paracetamol, and women smoking, and inversely associated with food of plant origin, pollen, immunisations, tuberculosis notifications, air pollution, and men smoking. The magnitude of these associations was small, but consistent in direction between conditions. There were mixed associations of climate and antibiotic sales with symptom prevalence. The potential causality of these associations warrant further investigation. Factors which prevent the development of these conditions, or where there is an absence of a positive correlation at a population level may be as important from the policy viewpoint as a focus on the positive risk factors. Interventions based on small associations may have the potential for a large public health benefit. PMID:20092649

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Using molecular biology to study mycorrhizal fungal community ecology: Limits and perspectives

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26251887

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Factors associated with maternal mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa: an ecological study

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Maternal health is one of the major worldwide health challenges. Currently, the unacceptably high levels of maternal mortality are a common subject in global health and development discussions. Although some countries have made remarkable progress, half of the maternal deaths in the world still take place in Sub-Saharan Africa where little or no progress has been made. There is no single simple, straightforward intervention that will significantly decrease maternal mortality alone; however, there is a consensus on the importance of a strong health system, skilled delivery attendants, and women's rights for maternal health. Our objective was to describe and determine different factors associated with the maternal mortality ratio in Sub-Saharan countries. Methods An ecological multi-group study compared variables between many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa using data collected between 1997 and 2006. The dependent variable was the maternal mortality ratio, and Health care system-related, educational and economic indicators were the independent variables. Information sources included the WHO, World Bank, UNICEF and UNDP. Results Maternal mortality ratio values in Sub-Saharan Africa were demonstrated to be high and vary enormously among countries. A relationship between the maternal mortality ratio and some educational, sanitary and economic factors was observed. There was an inverse and significant correlation of the maternal mortality ratio with prenatal care coverage, births assisted by skilled health personnel, access to an improved water source, adult literacy rate, primary female enrolment rate, education index, the Gross National Income per capita and the per-capita government expenditure on health. Conclusions Education and an effective and efficient health system, especially during pregnancy and delivery, are strongly related to maternal death. Also, macro-economic factors are related and could be influencing the others. PMID:20003411

  9. 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. PMID:9654782

  10. Pike Esox lucius as an emerging model organism for studies in ecology and evolutionary biology: a review.

    PubMed

    Forsman, A; Tibblin, P; Berggren, H; Nordahl, O; Koch-Schmidt, P; Larsson, P

    2015-08-01

    The pike Esox lucius is a large, long-lived, iteroparous, top- predator fish species with a circumpolar distribution that occupies a broad range of aquatic environments. This study reports on a literature search and demonstrates that the publication rate of E. lucius research increases both in absolute terms and relative to total scientific output, and that the focus of investigation has changed over time from being dominated by studies on physiology and disease to being gradually replaced by studies on ecology and evolution. Esox lucius can be exploited as a model in future research for identifying causes and consequences of phenotypic and genetic variation at the levels of individuals, populations and species as well as for investigating community processes.

  11. High-Level Waste Melter Study Report

    SciTech Connect

    Perez, Joseph M.; Bickford, Dennis F.; Day, Delbert E.; Kim, Dong-Sang; Lambert, Steven L.; Marra, Sharon L.; Peeler, David K.; Strachan, Denis M.; Triplett, Mark B.; Vienna, John D.; Wittman, Richard S.

    2001-07-13

    At the Hanford Site in Richland, Washington, the path to site cleanup involves vitrification of the majority of the wastes that currently reside in large underground tanks. A Joule-heated glass melter is the equipment of choice for vitrifying the high-level fraction of these wastes. Even though this technology has general national and international acceptance, opportunities may exist to improve or change the technology to reduce the enormous cost of accomplishing the mission of site cleanup. Consequently, the U.S. Department of Energy requested the staff of the Tanks Focus Area to review immobilization technologies, waste forms, and modifications to requirements for solidification of the high-level waste fraction at Hanford to determine what aspects could affect cost reductions with reasonable long-term risk. The results of this study are summarized in this report.

  12. Ecological niches of Arctic deep-sea copepods: Vertical partitioning, dietary preferences and different trophic levels minimize inter-specific competition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laakmann, Silke; Kochzius, Marc; Auel, Holger

    2009-05-01

    The biodiversity of pelagic deep-sea ecosystems has received growing scientific interest in the last decade, especially in the framework of international marine biodiversity initiatives, such as Census of Marine Life (CoML). While a growing number of deep-sea zooplankton species has been identified and genetically characterized, little information is available on the mechanisms minimizing inter-specific competition and thus allowing closely related species to co-occur in the deep-sea pelagic realm. Focussing on the two dominant calanoid copepod families Euchaetidae and Aetideidae in Fram Strait, Arctic Ocean, the present study strives to characterize ecological niches of co-occurring species, with regard to vertical distribution, dietary composition as derived from lipid biomarkers, and trophic level on the basis of stable isotope signatures. Closely related species were usually restricted to different depth layers, resulting in a multi-layered vertical distribution pattern. Thus, vertical partitioning was an important mechanism to avoid inter-specific competition. Species occurring in the same depth strata usually belonged to different genera. They differed in fatty acid composition and trophic level, indicating different food preferences. Herbivorous Calanus represent major prey items for many omnivorous and carnivorous species throughout the water column. The seasonal and ontogenetic vertical migration of Calanus acts as a short-cut in food supply for pelagic deep-sea ecosystems in the Arctic.

  13. Concern about passive smoking and tobacco control policies in European countries: An ecological study

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Because of the magnitude of the global tobacco epidemic, the World Health Organisation developed the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), an international legally binding treaty to control tobacco use. Adoption and implementation of specific tobacco control measures within FCTC is an outcome of a political process, where social norms and public opinion play important roles. The objective of our study was to examine how a country’s level of tobacco control is associated with smoking prevalence, two markers of denormalisation of smoking (social disapproval of smoking and concern about passive smoking), and societal support for tobacco control. Methods An ecological study was conducted, using data from two sources. The first source was the Tobacco Control Scale (TCS) from 2011, which quantifies the implementation of tobacco control policies in European Union (EU) countries. Data on smoking prevalence, societal disapproval of smoking, concern about passive smoking, and societal support for policy measures were taken from the Eurobarometer survey of 2009. Data from Eurobarometer surveys were aggregated to country level. Data from the 27 European Union member states were used. Results Smoking prevalence rates in 2009 were negatively associated with a country’s TCS 2011 score, although not statistically significant (r = −.25; p = .21). Experience of societal disapproval was positively associated with higher TCS scores, though not significantly (r = .14; p = .48). The same was true for societal support for tobacco control (r = .27; p = .18). The TCS score in 2011 was significantly correlated with concern about passive smoking (r = .42; p =.03). Support for tobacco control measures was also strongly correlated with concern about passive smoking (r = .52, p = .006). Conclusions Smokers in countries with a higher TCS score were more concerned about whether their smoke harms others. Further, support for tobacco control measures is higher in

  14. Design of an ecological momentary assessment study of exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields and non-specific physical symptoms

    PubMed Central

    Bogers, Rik P; Bolte, John F B; Houtveen, Jan H; Lebret, Erik; van Strien, Rob T; Schipper, C Maarten A; Alkadhimi, Mehdi; Baliatsas, Christos; van Kamp, Irene

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance (IEI) attributed to electromagnetic fields (EMF) refers to self-reported sensitivity mainly characterised by the attribution of non-specific physical symptoms to low-level EMF exposure emitted from sources such as mobile phones. Scientific studies have not provided evidence for the existence of IEI-EMF, but these studies did not resemble the real-life situation or suffered from poor exposure characterisation and biased recall of health symptoms. To improve existing methods for the study of IEI-EMF, an Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) study is designed. Methods and analysis The study is an EMA study in which respondents carry personal exposure metres (exposimeters) that measure radiofrequency (RF) EMF, with frequent assessment of health symptoms and perceived EMF exposure through electronic diary registration during five consecutive days. Participants will be a selection from an epidemiological study who report to be sensitive to RF EMF. The exposimeters measure electric field strength in 12 frequency bands. Diary questions include the occurrence and severity of 10 non-specific physical symptoms, mood states and perceived exposure to (sources of) EMF. The relationship of actual and perceived EMF exposure and mood with non-specific physical symptoms will be analysed using multilevel regression analysis with time-shift models. Discussion The study has several advantages over previous studies, including assessment of personal EMF exposure and non-specific physical symptoms by an ecological method with a minimised chance of recall bias. The within-person design reduces confounding by time-stable factors (eg, personal characteristics). In the conduct of the study and the analysis and interpretation of its outcomes, some methodological issues including a high participant burden, reactivity, compliance to the study protocol and the potential of chance findings due to multiple statistical testing will be accounted for

  15. Population-level metrics of trophic structure based on stable isotopes and their application to invasion ecology.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Michelle C; Donohue, Ian; Jackson, Andrew L; Britton, J Robert; Harper, David M; Grey, Jonathan

    2012-01-01

    Biological invasions are a significant driver of human-induced global change and many ecosystems sustain sympatric invaders. Interactions occurring among these invaders have important implications for ecosystem structure and functioning, yet they are poorly understood. Here we apply newly developed metrics derived from stable isotope data to provide quantitative measures of trophic diversity within populations or species. We then use these to test the hypothesis that sympatric invaders belonging to the same functional feeding group occupy a smaller isotopic niche than their allopatric counterparts. Two introduced, globally important, benthic omnivores, Louisiana swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) and carp (Cyprinus carpio), are sympatric in Lake Naivasha, Kenya. We applied our metrics to an 8-year data set encompassing the establishment of carp in the lake. We found a strong asymmetric interaction between the two invasive populations, as indicated by inverse correlations between carp abundance and measures of crayfish trophic diversity. Lack of isotopic niche overlap between carp and crayfish in the majority of years indicated a predominantly indirect interaction. We suggest that carp-induced habitat alteration reduced the diversity of crayfish prey, resulting in a reduction in the dietary niche of crayfish. Stable isotopes provide an integrated signal of diet over space and time, offering an appropriate scale for the study of population niches, but few isotope studies have retained the often insightful information revealed by variability among individuals in isotope values. Our population metrics incorporate such variation, are robust to the vagaries of sample size and are a useful additional tool to reveal subtle dietary interactions among species. Although we have demonstrated their applicability specifically using a detailed temporal dataset of species invasion in a lake, they have a wide array of potential ecological applications.

  16. Ancient DNA from marine mammals: studying long-lived species over ecological and evolutionary timescales.

    PubMed

    Foote, Andrew D; Hofreiter, Michael; Morin, Phillip A

    2012-01-20

    Marine mammals have long generation times and broad, difficult to sample distributions, which makes inferring evolutionary and demographic changes using field studies of extant populations challenging. However, molecular analyses from sub-fossil or historical materials of marine mammals such as bone, tooth, baleen, skin, fur, whiskers and scrimshaw using ancient DNA (aDNA) approaches provide an opportunity for investigating such changes over evolutionary and ecological timescales. Here, we review the application of aDNA techniques to the study of marine mammals. Most of the studies have focused on detecting changes in genetic diversity following periods of exploitation and environmental change. To date, these studies have shown that even small sample sizes can provide useful information on historical genetic diversity. Ancient DNA has also been used in investigations of changes in distribution and range of marine mammal species; we review these studies and discuss the limitations of such 'presence only' studies. Combining aDNA data with stable isotopes can provide further insights into changes in ecology and we review past studies and suggest future potential applications. We also discuss studies reconstructing inter- and intra-specific phylogenies from aDNA sequences and discuss how aDNA sequences could be used to estimate mutation rates. Finally, we highlight some of the problems of aDNA studies on marine mammals, such as obtaining sufficient sample sizes and calibrating for the marine reservoir effect when radiocarbon-dating such wide-ranging species. PMID:21652193

  17. Ancient DNA from marine mammals: studying long-lived species over ecological and evolutionary timescales.

    PubMed

    Foote, Andrew D; Hofreiter, Michael; Morin, Phillip A

    2012-01-20

    Marine mammals have long generation times and broad, difficult to sample distributions, which makes inferring evolutionary and demographic changes using field studies of extant populations challenging. However, molecular analyses from sub-fossil or historical materials of marine mammals such as bone, tooth, baleen, skin, fur, whiskers and scrimshaw using ancient DNA (aDNA) approaches provide an opportunity for investigating such changes over evolutionary and ecological timescales. Here, we review the application of aDNA techniques to the study of marine mammals. Most of the studies have focused on detecting changes in genetic diversity following periods of exploitation and environmental change. To date, these studies have shown that even small sample sizes can provide useful information on historical genetic diversity. Ancient DNA has also been used in investigations of changes in distribution and range of marine mammal species; we review these studies and discuss the limitations of such 'presence only' studies. Combining aDNA data with stable isotopes can provide further insights into changes in ecology and we review past studies and suggest future potential applications. We also discuss studies reconstructing inter- and intra-specific phylogenies from aDNA sequences and discuss how aDNA sequences could be used to estimate mutation rates. Finally, we highlight some of the problems of aDNA studies on marine mammals, such as obtaining sufficient sample sizes and calibrating for the marine reservoir effect when radiocarbon-dating such wide-ranging species.

  18. Thermal ecology of montane Atelopus (Anura: Bufonidae): A study of intrageneric diversity.

    PubMed

    Rueda Solano, Luis Alberto; Navas, Carlos A; Carvajalino-Fernández, Juan Manuel; Amézquita, Adolfo

    2016-05-01

    Harlequin frogs (Bufonidae: Atelopus) are among the most threatened frog genus in the world and reach very high elevations in the tropical Andes and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (SNSM). Learning about their thermal ecology is essential to infer sensitivity to environmental changes, particularly climate warming. We report on the activity temperature and thermoregulatory behavior of three high-elevation species of harlequin frogs, Atelopus nahumae, Atelopus laetissimus and Atelopus carrikeri. The first two mentioned live in streams in Andean rain forests, whereas A. carrikeri inhabits paramo streams in the SNSM. We studied the thermal ecology of these species in tree localities differing in altitude, and focused on activity body, operative, substrate and air temperature. A main trend was lower body temperature as elevation increased, so that differences among species were largely explained by differences in substrate temperature. However, this temperature variation was much lower in forest species than paramo species. The Atelopus species included in this work proved to be thermoconformers, a trend that not extended to all congenerics at high elevation. This diversity in thermal ecology poses important questions when discussing the impact of climate warming for high-elevation harlequin frogs. For example, forest species show narrow thermal ranges and, if highly specialized, may be more susceptible to temperature change. Paramo species such as A. carrikeri, in contrast, may be more resilient to temperature change. PMID:27157338

  19. Bridging the theoretical divide in Holocene landscape studies: social and ecological approaches to ancient Oaxacan landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joyce, Arthur A.; Goman, Michelle

    2012-11-01

    In this article we discuss two theoretical approaches to landscape studies in archaeology: the ecological and social/symbolic. We suggest that an integrated approach can provide a more effective means through which archaeologists and earth scientists can model the complex interplay between people and the environment. Our perspective views peoples' engagements with the landscape as simultaneously ecological and social, material and symbolic. To illustrate this synthetic approach we discuss our research from the highland and lowland regions of the Mexican state of Oaxaca using archaeological, ethnographic, ethnohistorical, paleoecological, and geomorphological data. In highland Oaxaca we examine the ways in which political and religious principles were embedded in the landscape as well as the social, symbolic, and material dimensions of anthropogenic landscape change during the Formative period. For the coastal lowlands, we discuss the social and ecological implications of the transition to sedentism and the effects of anthropogenic landscape change during the Formative period. We also examine the interplay between politics and land use during the Classic and Postclassic periods.

  20. Ecological risk screening to prioritize sites for cleanup at Yorktown Naval Weapons Station: A case study

    SciTech Connect

    Pehrman, D.G.; Rowles, L.K.; Thomson, R.

    1995-12-31

    Federal facilities pose a unique and difficult problem for the Superfund (CERCLA/SARA/NCP) process in that most Federal facilities have a large number of suspect areas that require some form of environmental investigation to determine the potential risk these areas present to human health and the environment. Because Federal facilities are, on the average, larger in comparison to private Superfund sites, not all of the identified suspect areas of contamination have gone through the PA/SI evaluation. Thus, some mechanism for evaluating the potential risk presented by these suspect areas is needed to determine which areas should continue in the risk assessment process, thereby allowing the remedial investigation process to focus on areas presenting the greatest threat to human health and/or the environment. Developing an ecological risk screening methodology for an areas with known or suspect contaminated media is an integral part in assessing and characterizing existing and potential overall threat presented to the environment. Sites which indicate risk in the screening phase may be prioritized and carried into the remedial investigation (RI) process. Alternately, sites which indicate risk in the screening process may be characterized for limited ecological investigation or possibly eliminated from further evaluation. This paper presents a case study of the ecological risk screening process used at the Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown, Virginia, a NPL site, to assess the effects of organic contamination to Accipitridae (eagles and hawks) and shorebirds with habitats encompassing Lee Pond, a freshwater pond tributary to the York River estuary. This discussion will include the use of the ecological risk screening process at the facility as a method of prioritizing and directing environmental restoration activities at those areas determined to have a potential threat to human health or the environment.

  1. [Spatial-temporal pattern and obstacle factors of cultivated land ecological security in major grain producing areas of northeast China: a case study in Jilin Province].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Hong-Bo; Ma, Yan-Ji

    2014-02-01

    According to the cultivated land ecological security in major grain production areas of Northeast China, this paper selected 48 counties of Jilin Province as the research object. Based on the PSR-EES conceptual framework model, an evaluation index system of cultivated land ecological security was built. By using the improved TOPSIS, Markov chains, GIS spatial analysis and obstacle degree models, the spatial-temporal pattern of cultivated land ecological security and the obstacle factors were analyzed from 1995 to 2011 in Jilin Province. The results indicated that, the composite index of cultivated land ecological security appeared in a rising trend in Jilin Province from 1995 to 2011, and the cultivated land ecological security level changed from being sensitive to being general. There was a pattern of 'Club Convergence' in cultivated land ecological security level in each county and the spatial discrepancy tended to become larger. The 'Polarization' trend of cultivated land ecological security level was obvious. The distributions of sensitive level and critical security level with ribbon patterns tended to be dispersed, the general security level and relative security levels concentrated, and the distributions of security level scattered. The unstable trend of cultivated land ecological security level was more and more obvious. The main obstacle factors that affected the cultivated land ecological security level in Jilin Province were rural net income per capita, economic density, the proportion of environmental protection investment in GDP, degree of machinery cultivation and the comprehensive utilization rate of industrial solid wastes. PMID:24830253

  2. [Spatial-temporal pattern and obstacle factors of cultivated land ecological security in major grain producing areas of northeast China: a case study in Jilin Province].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Hong-Bo; Ma, Yan-Ji

    2014-02-01

    According to the cultivated land ecological security in major grain production areas of Northeast China, this paper selected 48 counties of Jilin Province as the research object. Based on the PSR-EES conceptual framework model, an evaluation index system of cultivated land ecological security was built. By using the improved TOPSIS, Markov chains, GIS spatial analysis and obstacle degree models, the spatial-temporal pattern of cultivated land ecological security and the obstacle factors were analyzed from 1995 to 2011 in Jilin Province. The results indicated that, the composite index of cultivated land ecological security appeared in a rising trend in Jilin Province from 1995 to 2011, and the cultivated land ecological security level changed from being sensitive to being general. There was a pattern of 'Club Convergence' in cultivated land ecological security level in each county and the spatial discrepancy tended to become larger. The 'Polarization' trend of cultivated land ecological security level was obvious. The distributions of sensitive level and critical security level with ribbon patterns tended to be dispersed, the general security level and relative security levels concentrated, and the distributions of security level scattered. The unstable trend of cultivated land ecological security level was more and more obvious. The main obstacle factors that affected the cultivated land ecological security level in Jilin Province were rural net income per capita, economic density, the proportion of environmental protection investment in GDP, degree of machinery cultivation and the comprehensive utilization rate of industrial solid wastes.

  3. A phylogeographic study of the endemic rodent Eliurus carletoni (Rodentia: Nesomyinae) in an ecological transition zone of Northern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Rakotoarisoa, Jean-Eric; Raheriarisena, Martin; Goodman, Steven M

    2013-01-01

    We conducted a mitochondrial phylogeographic study of the endemic dry forest rodent Eliurus carletoni (Rodentia: Nesomyinae) in an ecological transition zone of northern Madagascar (Loky-Manambato) and 2 surrounding regions (Ankarana and Analamerana). The main goal was to assess the evolutionary consequences on this taxon of the complex landscape features and Quaternary ecological vicissitudes. Three haplogroups were identified from the 215 specimens obtained from 15 populations. High levels of genetic diversity and significant genetic differentiation among populations were observed. The different geographical subdivisions of the study area by regions, by river catchment zones, and the physical distance between populations are not correlated with genetic patterns. In contrast, population structure is mostly explained by the geographic distribution of the samples among existing forest blocks. E. carletoni experienced a genetic bottleneck between 18 750 and 7500 years BP, which correlates with periods when moister climates existed on the island. Overall, our data suggest that the complex genetic patterns of E. carletoni can be explained by Quaternary climatic vicissitudes that resulted in habitat fluctuations between dry and humid forests, as well as subsequent human-induced fragmentation of forest habitat.

  4. Ecological effects on streams from forest fertilization; literature review and conceptual framework for future study in the western Cascades

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, C.W.

    2002-03-19

    Studies of the responses of stream biota to fertilization have been rare and have targeted either immediate, toxicity-based responses or used methods insensitive to ongoing ecological processes. This report reviews water-quality studies following forest fertilizations, emphasizing Cascade streams in the Pacific Northwest and documented biological responses in those streams. A conceptual model predicting potential ecological response to fertilization, which includes effects on algal growth and primary production, is presented. In this model, applied fertilizer nitrogen reaching streams is mostly exported during winter. However, some nitrogen retained in soils or stream and riparian areas may become available to aquatic biota during spring and summer. Biological responses may be minimal in small streams nearest to application because of light limitation, but may be elevated downstream where light is sufficient to allow algal growth. Ultimately, algal response could be greatest in downstream reaches, although ambient nutrient concentrations remain low due to uptake and benthic nutrient recycling. Ground-water flow paths and hyporheic processing could be critical in determining the fate of applied nitrogen. A framework is provided for testing this response in the Little River watershed, a tributary to the North Umpqua River, Oregon, at basic and intensive levels of investigation.

  5. Ecological effects on streams from forest fertilization; literature review and conceptual framework for future study in the western Cascades

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, C.W.

    2002-01-01

    Studies of the responses of stream biota to fertilization have been rare and have targeted either immediate, toxicity-based responses or used methods insensitive to ongoing ecological processes. This report reviews water-quality studies following forest fertilizations, emphasizing Cascade streams in the Pacific Northwest and documented biological responses in those streams. A conceptual model predicting potential ecological response to fertilization, which includes effects on algal growth and primary production, is presented. In this model, applied fertilizer nitrogen reaching streams is mostly exported during winter. However, some nitrogen retained in soils or stream and riparian areas may become available to aquatic biota during spring and summer. Biological responses may be minimal in small streams nearest to application because of light limitation, but may be elevated downstream where light is sufficient to allow algal growth. Ultimately, algal response could be greatest in downstream reaches, although ambient nutrient concentrations remain low due to uptake and benthic nutrient recycling. Ground-water flow paths and hyporheic processing could be critical in determining the fate of applied nitrogen. A framework is provided for testing this response in the Little River watershed, a tributary to the North Umpqua River, Oregon, at basic and intensive levels of investigation.

  6. Job level risk assessment using task level ACGIH hand activity level TLV scores: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Drinkaus, Phillip; Sesek, Richard; Bloswick, Donald S; Mann, Clay; Bernard, Thomas

    2005-01-01

    Existing upper extremity musculoskeletal disorder analytical tools are primarily intended for single or mono-task jobs. However, many jobs contain more than 1 task and some include job rotation. This case/control study investigates methods of modifying an existing tool, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Hand Activity Level (HAL) Threshold Limit Value (TLV), to assess the upper extremity risk of multi-task jobs. Various methods of combining the task differences and ratios into a job level assessment were explored. Two methods returned significant odds ratios, (p < .05) of 18.0 (95% CI 1.8-172) and 12.0 (95% CI 1.2-120). These results indicate that a modified ACGIH HAL TLV may provide insight into the work-related risk of multi-task jobs. Further research is needed to optimize this process. PMID:16219155

  7. Spatial epidemiology and spatial ecology study of worldwide drug-resistant tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) is a major public health problem caused by various factors. It is essential to systematically investigate the epidemiological and, in particular, the ecological factors of DR-TB for its prevention and control. Studies of the ecological factors can provide information on etiology, and assist in the effective prevention and control of disease. So it is of great significance for public health to explore the ecological factors of DR-TB, which can provide guidance for formulating regional prevention and control strategies. Methods Anti-TB drug resistance data were obtained from the World Health Organization/International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (WHO/UNION) Global Project on Anti-Tuberculosis Drug Resistance Surveillance, and data on ecological factors were collected to explore the ecological factors for DR-TB. Partial least square path modeling (PLS-PM), in combination with ordinary least squares (OLS) regression, as well as geographically weighted regression (GWR), were used to build a global and local spatial regression model between the latent synthetic DR-TB factor ("DR-TB") and latent synthetic risk factors. Results OLS regression and PLS-PM indicated a significant globally linear spatial association between "DR-TB" and its latent synthetic risk factors. However, the GWR model showed marked spatial variability across the study regions. The "TB Epidemic", "Health Service" and "DOTS (directly-observed treatment strategy) Effect" factors were all positively related to "DR-TB" in most regions of the world, while "Health Expenditure" and "Temperature" factors were negatively related in most areas of the world, and the "Humidity" factor had a negative influence on "DR-TB" in all regions of the world. Conclusions In summary, the influences of the latent synthetic risk factors on DR-TB presented spatial variability. We should formulate regional DR-TB monitoring planning and prevention and control strategies

  8. Benefits of studies of overwintering birds for understanding resident bird ecology and promoting development of conservation capacity.

    PubMed

    Latta, Steven C; Faaborg, John

    2009-04-01

    Funding of ecological research and monitoring of Neotropical migratory birds on their overwintering grounds has benefited both migratory and permanent-resident species. Using examples from our work in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, we demonstrate that ecological research of overwintering migrants often provides information about the ecology and demography of little-known tropical resident birds. Critically important long-term monitoring in Puerto Rico with a focus on winter residents has provided information on the relationships between annual rainfall and fluctuations in resident bird populations and survival rates. It also has alerted local biologists to declines in resident bird populations, including a decline apparently driven by the entry of a brood parasite. But migrant-focused research may also have had an underappreciated effect on the development of conservation capacity and conservation efforts in host countries. Investments in research on Neotropical migrants overwintering on Hispaniola have resulted in a huge increase in field training of students and wildlife professionals, promoted conservation awareness at local and national levels, played an important role in the growth and professionalization of key environmental organizations, spawned a growing ecotourism industry for bird-watching, and driven national park management planning and conservation efforts for all bird species. We encourage funding organizations and agencies to consider the broader impacts of funding migratory-bird research and monitoring efforts, and we encourage researchers in the tropics to use protocols that provide the most information about all the birds that use the study areas involved and to be aware of important opportunities that they may have to build capacity in host countries.

  9. Adrenocorticotrophic Hormone Levels in Ground Based Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Campbell, B. O.

    1972-01-01

    Baseline values of immunoreactive ACTH were established in the normal healthy adult. Normal levels of ACTH secretion were determined for both the male and the female in circulating plasma and serum. The data obtained in these studies are particularly significant in that the sampling was carefully controlled; only healthy employed individuals of both sexes were tested in a routine work situation that would not be considered conducive to stress. It has been found that alterations in the classically described circadian rhythm of ACTH secretion can occur when activities (such as work/rest cycles) are imposed on the individual studied. These changes can be demonstrated even when there is no appreciable change noted in the rhythm of hydrocortisone secretion.

  10. Low level tank waste disposal study

    SciTech Connect

    Mullally, J.A.

    1994-09-29

    Westinghouse Hanford Company (WHC) contracted a team consisting of Los Alamos Technical Associates (LATA), British Nuclear Fuel Laboratories (BNFL), Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), and TRW through the Tank Waste Remediation System (TWRS) Technical Support Contract to conduct a study on several areas concerning vitrification and disposal of low-level-waste (LLW). The purpose of the study was to investigate how several parameters could be specified to achieve full compliance with regulations. The most restrictive regulation governing this disposal activity is the National Primary Drinking Water Act which sets the limits of exposure to 4 mrem per year for a person drinking two liters of ground water daily. To fully comply, this constraint would be met independently of the passage of time. In addition, another key factor in the investigation was the capability to retrieve the disposed waste during the first 50 years as specified in Department of Energy (DOE) Order 5820.2A. The objective of the project was to develop a strategy for effective long-term disposal of the low-level waste at the Hanford site.

  11. Immunology in wild nonmodel rodents: an ecological context for studies of health and disease.

    PubMed

    Jackson, J A

    2015-05-01

    Transcriptomic methods are set to revolutionize the study of the immune system in naturally occurring nonmodel organisms. With this in mind, the present article focuses on ways in which the use of 'nonmodel' rodents (not the familiar laboratory species) can advance studies into the classical, but ever relevant, epidemiologic triad of immune defence, infectious disease and environment. For example, naturally occurring rodents are an interesting system in which to study the environmental stimuli that drive the development and homeostasis of the immune system and, by extension, to identify where these stimuli are altered in anthropogenic environments leading to the formation of immunopathological phenotypes. Measurement of immune expression may help define individual heterogeneity in infectious disease susceptibility and transmission and facilitate our understanding of infection dynamics and risk in the natural environment; furthermore, it may provide a means of surveillance that can filter individuals carrying previously unknown acute infections of potential ecological or zoonotic importance. Finally, the study of immunology in wild animals may reveal interactions within the immune system and between immunity and other organismal traits that are not observable under restricted laboratory conditions. Potentiating much of this is the possibility of combining gene expression profiles with analytical tools derived from ecology and systems biology to reverse engineer interaction networks between immune responses, other organismal traits and the environment (including symbiont exposures), revealing regulatory architecture. Such holistic studies promise to link ecology, epidemiology and immunology in natural systems in a unified approach that can illuminate important problems relevant to human health and animal welfare and production. PMID:25689683

  12. Trajectories of legitimate peripheral participation: Ethnographic case studies of learning ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowen, Gervase Michael Reynolds

    1999-09-01

    Current reform documents in education call for elementary and high school students to engage in "authentic" scientific practices. In the past several years a number of authors have suggested that science education research and curriculum development could benefit from insights gained by research in the social studies of science that documents and theorizes science as it is actually done. Yet, although practices of laboratory science are well understood and provide a foundation from which educational practices could be drawn, little is known about the practices of the science disciplines which deal with field research and how people are enculturated into those practices. This dissertation is constituted by a series of research papers on different (although inter-related) topics, in which I examine the enculturation into the practices of field ecology and the world-view that is associated with that enculturation. To better understand the practices of field ecology and how they develop, I conducted several projects: (i) a video ethnography of a second-year university ecology class and observations on research experiences undergraduates experience; (ii) ethnographic research with ecologists conducting field research; (iii) observations of graduate student and professional ecologists as they participated in conferences, engaged in interaction in their laboratory and social settings, and presented/discussed their findings in various settings; (iv) interviews with graduate student and professional ecologists discussing their field research experiences; (v) videotaped interviews with practicing researchers and under/graduate science and non-science students as they interpreted various ecology-related inscriptions; (vi) an analysis of the inscriptions and textual information present in the various texts (textbooks and journals) used to teach students about ecology; and, (vii) observations of elementary school students engaged in practices congruent with those of field

  13. ATRAZINE ECOLOGICAL EFFECTS ASSESSMENT FOR OPP LEVEL OF CONCERN AND OW WATER QUALITY CRITERION FOR AQUATIC LIFE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Atrazine is a relatively water-soluble and persistent herbicide that can reach concentrations of possible ecological concern for aquatic plants in vulnerable watersheds in regions with high agricultural usage of atrazine. As a consequence, the U.S. EPA Office of Water is current...

  14. Possibilities of the Integration of the Method of the Ecologically Oriented Independent Scientific Research in the Study Process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grizans, Jurijs; Vanags, Janis

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to analyse possibilities of the integration of the method of the ecologically oriented independent scientific research in the study process. In order to achieve the set aim, the following scientific research methods were used: analysis of the conceptual guidelines for the development of environmentally oriented entrepreneurship, interpretation of the experts' evaluation of the ecologically oriented management, analysis of the results of the students' ecologically oriented independent scientific research, as well as monographic and logically constructive methods. The results of the study give an opportunity to make conclusions and to develop conceptual recommendations on how to introduce future economics and business professionals with the theoretical and practical aspects of ecologically oriented management during the study process.

  15. Geographical variation in glaucoma prescribing trends in England 2008–2012: an observational ecological study

    PubMed Central

    Wormald, Richard; Khaw, Peng Tee

    2016-01-01

    Objectives To explore (1) the national trend in population-adjusted prescription rates for glaucoma and ocular hypertension (OHT) in England and (2) any geographical variation in glaucoma/OHT prescribing trends and its association with established risk factors for primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) at the population level. Design Observational ecological study. Setting Primary care in England 2008–2012. Participants All patients who received 1 or more of the 37 778 660 glaucoma/OHT prescription items between 2008 and 2012. Primary and secondary outcome measure methods Glaucoma/OHT prescription statistics for England and its constituent primary care trusts (PCTs) between 2008 and 2012 were divided by annual population estimates to give prescription rates per 100 000 population aged ≥40 years. To examine regional differences, prescription rates and the change in prescription rates between 2008 and 2012 for PCTs were separately entered into multivariable linear regression models with the population proportion aged ≥60 years; the proportion of males; the proportion of West African Diaspora (WAD) ethnicity; PCT funding per capita; Index of Multiple Deprivation 2010 score and its domains. Results Between 2008 and 2012, glaucoma/OHT prescriptions increased from 28 029 to 31 309 items per 100 000 population aged ≥40 years. Between PCTs, nearly a quarter of the variation in prescription rates in 2008 and 2012 could be attributed to age, WAD ethnicity and male gender. The change in prescription rates between 2008 and 2012 was only modestly correlated with age (p=0.003, β=0.234), and income deprivation (p=0.035, β=−0.168). Conclusions Increased population-adjusted glaucoma/OHT prescription rates in the study period were likely due to increased detection of POAG and OHT cases at risk of POAG. Between PCTs, regional variation in overall prescription rates was partly attributable to demographic risk factors for POAG, although the change in

  16. Mood dysregulation and affective instability in emerging adults with childhood maltreatment: An ecological momentary assessment study.

    PubMed

    Teicher, Martin H; Ohashi, Kyoko; Lowen, Steven B; Polcari, Ann; Fitzmaurice, Garrett M

    2015-11-01

    Childhood maltreatment increases risk for mood, anxiety, substance use and personality disorders and is associated with alterations in structure, function and connectivity of brain regions involved in emotional regulation. We sought to assess whether maltreatment was specifically associated with disturbances in positive or negative mood regulation. Ecological momentary ratings were collected with a wristwatch-like device with joy-stick (Seiko ecolog) approximately six times per day over a week in 60 unmedicated participants (22 control, 38 maltreated, 18-25 years old). Forty-five percent of maltreated subjects had a history of major depression but all were currently euthymic. Principal component analysis with varimax rotation was used to provide orthogonal measures of positive and negative valence, which were analyzed for indices of variability, circadian rhythmicity and persistence, using linear and non-linear hierarchical modeling and Hurst analysis. Groups did not differ in mean levels of positive or negative affect. Maltreated subjects had increased variability and circadian and hemicircadian abnormalities in ratings of positive but not negative affect. Conversely, they had higher estimated Hurst exponents for negative but not positive affect ratings indicating a greater degree of persistence. Abnormalities in variability, rhythmicity and persistence were present in both maltreated subjects with and without histories of major depression. These findings suggest that both positive and negative valence systems may be dysregulated in individuals with childhood maltreatment. However the nature of the dysregulation appears to differ fundamentally in these domains, as positive mood ratings were more variable and negative ratings more persistent. PMID:26424417

  17. Conserving the Greater Sage-grouse: A social-ecological systems case study from the California-Nevada region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Duvall, Alison L; Metcalf, Alexander L.; Coates, Peter S.

    2016-01-01

    The Endangered Species Act (ESA) continues to serve as one of the most powerful and contested federal legislative mandates for conservation. In the midst of heated debates, researchers, policy makers, and conservation practitioners champion the importance of cooperative conservation and social-ecological systems approaches, which forge partnerships at multiple levels and scales to address complex ecosystem challenges. However, few real-world examples exist to demonstrate how multifaceted collaborations among stakeholders who share a common goal of conserving at-risk species may be nested within a systems framework to achieve social and ecological goals. Here, we present a case study of Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) conservation efforts in the “Bi-State” region of California and Nevada, United States. Using key-informant interviews, we explored dimensions and drivers of this landscape-scale conservation effort. Three themes emerged from the interviews, including 1) ESA action was transformed into opportunity for system-wide conservation; 2) a diverse, locally based partnership anchored collaboration and engagement across multiple levels and scales; and 3) best-available science combined with local knowledge led to “certainty of effectiveness and implementation”—the criteria used by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to evaluate conservation efforts when making listing decisions. Ultimately, collaborative conservation through multistakeholder engagement at various levels and scales led to proactive planning and implementation of conservation measures and precluded the need for an ESA listing of the Bi-State population of Greater Sage-grouse. This article presents a potent example of how a systems approach integrating policy, management, and learning can be used to successfully overcome the conflict-laden and “wicked” challenges that surround at-risk species conservation.

  18. Ecological studies of bison in the Greater Yellowstone Area: Development and implementation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gogan, Peter J.; Mack, John A.; Brewster, Wayne G.; Olexa, Edward M.; Clark, Wendy E.

    2001-01-01

    Bison (Bison bison) of the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) are perhaps best known to the scientific community from the classic study of Meagher (1973) that reviewed their ecological status and management from the time of establishment of Yellowstone National Park in 1872 through the last National Park Service (NPS) removals of bison within the park in 1966. Since cessation of herd reductions in the park, bison numbers within Yellowstone increased (Dobson and Meagher 1996), as did range use (Meagher 1989b), including increased frequency and magnitude of movements beyond the park boundaries in winter (Meagher 1989a; Pac and Frey 1991; Cheville et al. 1998).

  19. An ecological study of the relationship between social and environmental determinants of obesity.

    PubMed

    Reidpath, Daniel D; Burns, Cate; Garrard, Jan; Mahoney, Mary; Townsend, Mardie

    2002-06-01

    There is growing concern with the increasing prevalence of obesity in industrialised countries, a trend that is more apparent in the poor than in the rich. In an ecological study, the relationship between an area measure of socioeconomic status (SES) and the density of fast-food outlets was examined as one possible explanation for the phenomenon. It was found that there was a dose-response between SES and the density of fast-food outlets, with people living in areas from the poorest SES category having 2.5 times the exposure to outlets than people in the wealthiest category. The findings are discussed. PMID:11943585

  20. [Dynamic monitoring of ecological environment in loess hilly and gully region of Loess Plateau based on remote sensing: A case study on Fuxian County in Shaanxi Province. Northwest China].

    PubMed

    Li, Fen-ling; Chang, Qin-rui; Shen, Jian; Liu, Jing

    2015-12-01

    Based on the principal component analysis (PCA), four ecological evaluation indicators including vegetation index, wet index, land surface temperature and soil index were combined to evaluate the ecological environment quality of Fuxian County in hilly and gully area of Loess Plateau from year 1995 to 2014. The results showed that the RSEI integrated RS and PCA method could reveal regional ecological changes objectively and quantitatively. The level of overall regional ecological status in Fuxian County was good with a high vegetation fraction and rich biodiversity. The synthetical ecological environment quality index increased from 3.17 to 3.53 indicating the ecological environment had been improved greatly in recent 20 years. The area with best ecological environment quality was located in Niuwu town. The magnitude of change increased progressively from northwest to southeast, and the biggest change occurred in Jiaodao and Nandaode towns. From 1995 to 2014, the areas with decreased and increased ecological environment quality were 16.7% and 42.7% of the study area, respectively, and the improved regions were mainly distributed in plateau and hilly area in the center, rocky low mountainous area in northeast and the Ziwuling Nature Reserve area in southwest of the county.

  1. Simulation of regionally ecological land based on a cellular automation model: a case study of Beijing, China.

    PubMed

    Xie, Hualin; Kung, Chih-Chun; Zhang, Yanting; Li, Xiubin

    2012-08-01

    Ecological land is like the "liver" of a city and is very useful to public health. Ecological land change is a spatially dynamic non-linear process under the interaction between natural and anthropogenic factors at different scales. In this study, by setting up natural development scenario, object orientation scenario and ecosystem priority scenario, a Cellular Automation (CA) model has been established to simulate the evolution pattern of ecological land in Beijing in the year 2020. Under the natural development scenario, most of ecological land will be replaced by construction land and crop land. But under the scenarios of object orientation and ecosystem priority, the ecological land area will increase, especially under the scenario of ecosystem priority. When considering the factors such as total area of ecological land, loss of key ecological land and spatial patterns of land use, the scenarios from priority to inferiority are ecosystem priority, object orientation and natural development, so future land management policies in Beijing should be focused on conversion of cropland to forest, wetland protection and prohibition of exploitation of natural protection zones, water source areas and forest parks to maintain the safety of the regional ecosystem.

  2. . Ecological conceptual models: a framework and case study on ecosystem management for South Florida sustainability

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gentile, J.H.; Harwell, M.A.; Cropper, W.; Harwell, C. C.; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Davis, S.; Ogden, J.C.; Lirman, D.

    2001-01-01

    The Everglades and South Florida ecosystems are the focus of national and international attention because of their current degraded and threatened state. Ecological risk assessment, sustainability and ecosystem and adaptive management principles and processes are being used nationally as a decision and policy framework for a variety of types of ecological assessments. The intent of this study is to demonstrate the application of these paradigms and principles at a regional scale. The effects-directed assessment approach used in this study consists of a retrospective, eco-epidemiological phase to determine the causes for the current conditions and a prospective predictive risk-based assessment using scenario analysis to evaluate future options. Embedded in these assessment phases is a process that begins with the identification of goals and societal preferences which are used to develop an integrated suite of risk-based and policy relevant conceptual models. Conceptual models are used to illustrate the linkages among management (societal) actions, environmental stressors, and societal/ecological effects, and provide the basis for developing and testing causal hypotheses. These models, developed for a variety of landscape units and their drivers, stressors, and endpoints, are used to formulate hypotheses to explain the current conditions. They are also used as the basis for structuring management scenarios and analyses to project the temporal and spatial magnitude of risk reduction and system recovery. Within the context of recovery, the conceptual models are used in the initial development of performance criteria for those stressors that are determined to be most important in shaping the landscape, and to guide the use of numerical models used to develop quantitative performance criteria in the scenario analysis. The results will be discussed within an ecosystem and adaptive management framework that provides the foundation for decision making.

  3. Clade-level Spatial Modelling of HPAI H5N1 Dynamics in the Mekong Region Reveals New Patterns and Associations with Agro-Ecological Factors.

    PubMed

    Artois, Jean; Newman, Scott H; Dhingra, Madhur S; Chaiban, Celia; Linard, Catherine; Cattoli, Giovanni; Monne, Isabella; Fusaro, Alice; Xenarios, Ioannis; Engler, Robin; Liechti, Robin; Kuznetsov, Dmitri; Pham, Thanh Long; Nguyen, Tung; Pham, Van Dong; Castellan, David; Von Dobschuetz, Sophie; Claes, Filip; Dauphin, Gwenaëlle; Inui, Ken; Gilbert, Marius

    2016-07-25

    The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus has been circulating in Asia since 2003 and diversified into several genetic lineages, or clades. Although the spatial distribution of its outbreaks was extensively studied, differences in clades were never previously taken into account. We developed models to quantify associations over time and space between different HPAI H5N1 viruses from clade 1, 2.3.4 and 2.3.2 and agro-ecological factors. We found that the distribution of clades in the Mekong region from 2004 to 2013 was strongly regionalised, defining specific epidemiological zones, or epizones. Clade 1 became entrenched in the Mekong Delta and was not supplanted by newer clades, in association with a relatively higher presence of domestic ducks. In contrast, two new clades were introduced (2.3.4 and 2.3.2) in northern Viet Nam and were associated with higher chicken density and more intensive chicken production systems. We suggest that differences in poultry production systems in these different epizones may explain these associations, along with differences in introduction pressure from neighbouring countries. The different distribution patterns found at the clade level would not be otherwise apparent through analysis treating all outbreaks equally, which requires improved linking of disease outbreak records and genetic sequence data.

  4. Clade-level Spatial Modelling of HPAI H5N1 Dynamics in the Mekong Region Reveals New Patterns and Associations with Agro-Ecological Factors

    PubMed Central

    Artois, Jean; Newman, Scott H.; Dhingra, Madhur S.; Chaiban, Celia; Linard, Catherine; Cattoli, Giovanni; Monne, Isabella; Fusaro, Alice; Xenarios, Ioannis; Engler, Robin; Liechti, Robin; Kuznetsov, Dmitri; Pham, Thanh Long; Nguyen, Tung; Pham, Van Dong; Castellan, David; Von Dobschuetz, Sophie; Claes, Filip; Dauphin, Gwenaëlle; Inui, Ken; Gilbert, Marius

    2016-01-01

    The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus has been circulating in Asia since 2003 and diversified into several genetic lineages, or clades. Although the spatial distribution of its outbreaks was extensively studied, differences in clades were never previously taken into account. We developed models to quantify associations over time and space between different HPAI H5N1 viruses from clade 1, 2.3.4 and 2.3.2 and agro-ecological factors. We found that the distribution of clades in the Mekong region from 2004 to 2013 was strongly regionalised, defining specific epidemiological zones, or epizones. Clade 1 became entrenched in the Mekong Delta and was not supplanted by newer clades, in association with a relatively higher presence of domestic ducks. In contrast, two new clades were introduced (2.3.4 and 2.3.2) in northern Viet Nam and were associated with higher chicken density and more intensive chicken production systems. We suggest that differences in poultry production systems in these different epizones may explain these associations, along with differences in introduction pressure from neighbouring countries. The different distribution patterns found at the clade level would not be otherwise apparent through analysis treating all outbreaks equally, which requires improved linking of disease outbreak records and genetic sequence data. PMID:27453195

  5. Clade-level Spatial Modelling of HPAI H5N1 Dynamics in the Mekong Region Reveals New Patterns and Associations with Agro-Ecological Factors.

    PubMed

    Artois, Jean; Newman, Scott H; Dhingra, Madhur S; Chaiban, Celia; Linard, Catherine; Cattoli, Giovanni; Monne, Isabella; Fusaro, Alice; Xenarios, Ioannis; Engler, Robin; Liechti, Robin; Kuznetsov, Dmitri; Pham, Thanh Long; Nguyen, Tung; Pham, Van Dong; Castellan, David; Von Dobschuetz, Sophie; Claes, Filip; Dauphin, Gwenaëlle; Inui, Ken; Gilbert, Marius

    2016-01-01

    The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus has been circulating in Asia since 2003 and diversified into several genetic lineages, or clades. Although the spatial distribution of its outbreaks was extensively studied, differences in clades were never previously taken into account. We developed models to quantify associations over time and space between different HPAI H5N1 viruses from clade 1, 2.3.4 and 2.3.2 and agro-ecological factors. We found that the distribution of clades in the Mekong region from 2004 to 2013 was strongly regionalised, defining specific epidemiological zones, or epizones. Clade 1 became entrenched in the Mekong Delta and was not supplanted by newer clades, in association with a relatively higher presence of domestic ducks. In contrast, two new clades were introduced (2.3.4 and 2.3.2) in northern Viet Nam and were associated with higher chicken density and more intensive chicken production systems. We suggest that differences in poultry production systems in these different epizones may explain these associations, along with differences in introduction pressure from neighbouring countries. The different distribution patterns found at the clade level would not be otherwise apparent through analysis treating all outbreaks equally, which requires improved linking of disease outbreak records and genetic sequence data. PMID:27453195

  6. [Landscape ecological security assessment of Beijing City based on RS and GIS].

    PubMed

    Song, Yu-qin; Cao, Ming-lan

    2010-11-01

    By using RS, GIS, and landscape ecology methods, and based on the landscape structure, function, vitality, ecological sensitivity, and landscape pressure, an evaluation index system of landscape ecological security was constructed to analyze the landscape ecological security level and its spatiotemporal distribution pattern in Beijing City in 1988-2004. During the study period, the ecological service value of Beijing City was on a relatively high level, while the landscape vigor index and landscape pressure were on a relatively low level. The stability of landscape structure dropped, and the ecological sensitivity was also on a relatively low level. In 1998 and 2004, the landscape ecological security index of Beijing City was on a medium level, with the average value being 0.410 and 0.403, respectively, suggesting a slight deterioration in the landscape ecological security during the study period.

  7. An Ecological Study of Food Desert Prevalence and 4th Grade Academic Achievement in New York State School Districts

    PubMed Central

    Frndak, Seth E.

    2014-01-01

    Background This ecological study examines the relationship between food desert prevalence and academic achievement at the school district level. Design and methods Sample included 232 suburban and urban school districts in New York State. Multiple open-source databases were merged to obtain: 4th 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. Results 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. Conclusions 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 health The 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

  8. Ecological consequences of carbon substrate identity and diversity in a laboratory study.

    PubMed

    Orwin, Kate H; Wardle, David A; Greenfield, Laurence G

    2006-03-01

    Plants return a wide range of carbon (C) substrates to the soil system. The decomposition rate of these substrates is determined by their chemical nature, yet few studies have examined the relative ecological role of specific substrates (i.e., substrate identity) or mixtures of substrates. Carbon substrate identity and diversity may alter soil chemistry and soil community composition, resulting in changes in belowground ecosystem functions such as decomposition and nutrient transfer, creating feedbacks that may affect plant growth and the aboveground community. A laboratory experiment was set up in which eight C substrates of varying chemical complexity were added to a base soil singly, in pairs, fours, or with all eight together every four days over a 92-day period. After 92 days these soils were analyzed for changes in chemistry, microbial community structure, and components of ecosystem functioning. The identity of the added C substrates significantly affected soil chemistry, microbial basal and substrate-induced respiration, and soil microbial community structure measured by either the catabolic response profile (CRP) technique or phospholipid fatty acid composition. These belowground changes strongly affected the ability of the soil microflora to decompose cellulose paper, probably because of differential effects of the C substrates on soil energy supplies and enzyme activities. The addition of C substrates to soils also reduced plant growth compared to the unamended control soil, but less so in soils amended with a tannin than those amended with other substrates. Carbon substrate diversity effects saturated at low diversity levels, tended to have neutral or negative effects on ecosystem functions, and depended strongly on which C substrates were added. It increased CRP compound use but had little effect on other measures of the soil microbial community. Overall, results showed that the chemical nature of C substrates added to soil, and sometimes their

  9. Administrative Ecology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGarity, Augustus C., III; Maulding, Wanda

    2007-01-01

    This article discusses how all four facets of administrative ecology help dispel the claims about the "impossibility" of the superintendency. These are personal ecology, professional ecology, organizational ecology, and community ecology. Using today's superintendency as an administrative platform, current literature describes a preponderance of…

  10. [Urban ecological risk assessment: a review].

    PubMed

    Wang, Mei-E; Chen, Wei-Ping; Peng, Chi

    2014-03-01

    With the development of urbanization and the degradation of urban living environment, urban ecological risks caused by urbanization have attracted more and more attentions. Based on urban ecology principles and ecological risk assessment frameworks, contents of urban ecological risk assessment were reviewed in terms of driven forces, risk resources, risk receptors, endpoints and integrated approaches for risk assessment. It was suggested that types and degrees of urban economical and social activities were the driven forces for urban ecological risks. Ecological functional components at different levels in urban ecosystems as well as the urban system as a whole were the risk receptors. Assessment endpoints involved in changes of urban ecological structures, processes, functional components and the integrity of characteristic and function. Social-ecological models should be the major approaches for urban ecological risk assessment. Trends for urban ecological risk assessment study should focus on setting a definite protection target and criteria corresponding to assessment endpoints, establishing a multiple-parameter assessment system and integrative assessment approaches.

  11. Use of RAMAS to estimate ecological risk: Two fish species case studies

    SciTech Connect

    Ferson, S.; Akcakaya, R.; Ginzburg, L.; Krause, M. )

    1991-02-01

    RAMAS, (Risk Analysis Management Alternative System), a microcomputer simulation package for stochastic age-structured population models, was used to assess the population-level ecological risks associated with anthropogenic mortality in two species of fish. RAMAS facilitated comparison of the effects of fishing and entrainment/impingement mortality on Hudson River striped bass populations. The highest likely mortality levels associated with power generation did not yield increases in risk of overall population decline as large as did the pressure from sport fishing alone (33 in. limit, 5/day). Qualitative differences associated with the life stages affected by these industries account for most of the variation observed. Simulations performed under a range of assumptions about density-dependent parameters for the striped bass population gave similar conclusions. However, strengthening density dependence decreased the probability of quasi-extinction slightly. Density-dependent stochastic demographic modeling of a bluegill population in selenium (Se) affected power plant cooling lake in North Carolina revealed intrinsic cycling of population abundance. This cycling increases the risk that population abundances will fall to low levels in natural as well as anthropogenically impacted populations. The dynamics of bluegills affected by Se contrasts sharply with that of the undisturbed fish. Continuation of the Se discharge will most likely result in the suppression of the affected bluegill population. The bluegill population, however, could recover to natural levels of abundance within two or three generations if Se discharge were significantly curtailed. 9 refs., 29 figs., 7 tabs.

  12. The role of geographical ecological studies in identifying diseases linked to UVB exposure and/or vitamin D

    PubMed Central

    Grant, William B.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Using a variety of approaches, researchers have studied the health effects of solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure and vitamin D. This review compares the contributions from geographical ecological studies with those of observational studies and clinical trials. Health outcomes discussed were based on the author's knowledge and include anaphylaxis/food allergy, atopic dermatitis and eczema, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, back pain, cancer, dental caries, diabetes mellitus type 1, hypertension, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, mononucleosis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson disease, pneumonia, rheumatoid arthritis, and sepsis. Important interactions have taken place between study types; sometimes ecological studies were the first to report an inverse correlation between solar UVB doses and health outcomes such as for cancer, leading to both observational studies and clinical trials. In other cases, ecological studies added to the knowledge base. Many ecological studies include other important risk-modifying factors, thereby minimizing the chance of reporting the wrong link. Laboratory studies of mechanisms generally support the role of vitamin D in the outcomes discussed. Indications exist that for some outcomes, UVB effects may be independent of vitamin D. This paper discusses the concept of the ecological fallacy, noting that it applies to all epidemiological studies. PMID:27195055

  13. The role of geographical ecological studies in identifying diseases linked to UVB exposure and/or vitamin D.

    PubMed

    Grant, William B

    2016-01-01

    Using a variety of approaches, researchers have studied the health effects of solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure and vitamin D. This review compares the contributions from geographical ecological studies with those of observational studies and clinical trials. Health outcomes discussed were based on the author's knowledge and include anaphylaxis/food allergy, atopic dermatitis and eczema, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, back pain, cancer, dental caries, diabetes mellitus type 1, hypertension, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, mononucleosis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson disease, pneumonia, rheumatoid arthritis, and sepsis. Important interactions have taken place between study types; sometimes ecological studies were the first to report an inverse correlation between solar UVB doses and health outcomes such as for cancer, leading to both observational studies and clinical trials. In other cases, ecological studies added to the knowledge base. Many ecological studies include other important risk-modifying factors, thereby minimizing the chance of reporting the wrong link. Laboratory studies of mechanisms generally support the role of vitamin D in the outcomes discussed. Indications exist that for some outcomes, UVB effects may be independent of vitamin D. This paper discusses the concept of the ecological fallacy, noting that it applies to all epidemiological studies. PMID:27195055

  14. Ecological relevance of biomarkers in monitoring studies of macro-invertebrates and fish in Mediterranean rivers.

    PubMed

    Colin, Nicole; Porte, Cinta; Fernandes, Denise; Barata, Carlos; Padrós, Francesc; Carrassón, Maite; Monroy, Mario; Cano-Rocabayera, Oriol; de Sostoa, Adolfo; Piña, Benjamín; Maceda-Veiga, Alberto

    2016-01-01

    Mediterranean rivers are probably one of the most singular and endangered ecosystems worldwide due to the presence of many endemic species and a long history of anthropogenic impacts. Besides a conservation value per se, biodiversity is related to the services that ecosystems provide to society and the ability of these to cope with stressors, including climate change. Using macro-invertebrates and fish as sentinel organisms, this overview presents a synthesis of the state of the art in the application of biomarkers (stress and enzymatic responses, endocrine disruptors, trophic tracers, energy and bile metabolites, genotoxic indicators, histopathological and behavioural alterations, and genetic and cutting edge omic markers) to determine the causes and effects of anthropogenic stressors on the biodiversity of European Mediterranean rivers. We also discuss how a careful selection of sentinel species according to their ecological traits and the food-web structure of Mediterranean rivers could increase the ecological relevance of biomarker responses. Further, we provide suggestions to better harmonise ecological realism with experimental design in biomarker studies, including statistical analyses, which may also deliver a more comprehensible message to managers and policy makers. By keeping on the safe side the health status of populations of multiple-species in a community, we advocate to increase the resilience of fluvial ecosystems to face present and forecasted stressors. In conclusion, this review provides evidence that multi-biomarker approaches detect early signs of impairment in populations, and supports their incorporation in the standardised procedures of the Water Frame Work Directive to better appraise the status of European water bodies.

  15. Connecting scales: achieving in-field pest control from areawide and landscape ecology studies.

    PubMed

    Schellhorn, Nancy A; Parry, Hazel R; Macfadyen, Sarina; Wang, Yongmo; Zalucki, Myron P

    2015-02-01

    Areawide management has a long history of achieving solutions that target pests, however, there has been little focus on the areawide management of arthropod natural enemies. Landscape ecology studies that show a positive relationship between natural enemy abundance and habitat diversity demonstrate landscape-dependent pest suppression, but have not yet clearly linked their findings to pest management or to the suite of pests associated with crops that require control. Instead the focus has often been on model systems of single pest species and their natural enemies. We suggest that management actions to capture pest control from natural enemies may be forth coming if: (i) the suite of response and predictor variables focus on pest complexes and specific management actions; (ii) the contribution of "the landscape" is identified by assessing the timing and numbers of natural enemies immigrating and emigrating to and from the target crop, as well as pests; and (iii) pest control thresholds aligned with crop development stages are the benchmark to measure impact of natural enemies on pests, in turn allowing for comparison between study regions, and generalizations. To achieve pest control we will need to incorporate what has been learned from an ecological understanding of model pest and natural enemy systems and integrate areawide landscape management with in-field pest management.

  16. Ecological conservation through aesthetic landscape planning: a case study of the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway.

    PubMed

    Hale, Brack W; Steen-Adams, Michelle M; Predick, Katie; Fisher, Nick

    2005-04-01

    A consequence of expanding residential development into rural areas is the potential alteration of ecological communities. Certain novel land-use policies seek practical solutions by accommodating social needs for housing while conserving biodiversity. This study investigates whether regulations designed to protect the aesthetic characteristics of a river corridor simultaneously mitigate negative effects of development on avian biodiversity, despite the absence of explicit conservation objectives. Using housing data from the US Census (1990 and 2000) and the Audubon Christmas Bird Count (1987-2000), we examined changes in housing density, avian communities, and the relationship between these two variables in a location that has adopted aesthetic landscape planning, the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway. We found that overall species diversity increased in the Riverway, but remained constant in reference areas, although the relative increase in housing density in the two areas did not differ. We also found that omnivore populations decreased in the Riverway and increased in reference sites. On the whole, our study provides preliminary evidence that aesthetic landscape planning, such as employed in the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway, might constitute a politically viable approach to conserve ecological resources.

  17. No simple answers for ecological immunology: relationships among immune indices at the individual level break down at the species level in waterfowl

    PubMed Central

    Matson, Kevin D; Cohen, Alan A; Klasing, Kirk C; Ricklefs, Robert E; Scheuerlein, Alexander

    2005-01-01

    Understanding immune function in the context of other life-history traits is crucial to understand the evolution of life histories, at both the individual and species levels. As the interest in assessing immune function for these comparative purposes grows, an important question remains unanswered: can immune function be broadly characterized using one or two simple measures? Often, interpretation of individual assays is ambiguous and relationships among different measures of immune function remain poorly understood. Thus, we employed five protocols to measure 13 variables of immune function in ten species of waterfowl (Anseriformes). All assays were based on a single blood sample subdivided into leukocyte (blood smear) and plasma (frozen until analysis) components. All assays were run using samples from every individual, and a nested analysis was used to partition variation/covariation at the levels of species and individuals within species. We detected positive correlations between functionally related measures of immunity within species, but these were absent from comparisons between species. A canonical correlation analysis revealed no significant relationships between the plasma and leukocyte assays at the levels of both individual and species, suggesting that these measures of immunity are neither competitive nor synergistic. We conclude that one measure of each assay type may be required to maximally characterize immune function in studies of a single species, while the same is not true in studies among species. PMID:16618674

  18. Ecology, Microbial

    SciTech Connect

    Konopka, Allan

    2009-05-15

    Microbial ecology is a relatively young discipline within the field of microbiology. Its modern history spans just the past 60 years, and the field is defined by its emphasis on understanding the interactions of microbes with their environment, rather than their behavior under artificial laboratory conditions. Because microbes are ubiquitous, microbial ecologists study a broad diversity of habitats that range from aquatic to terrestrial to plant- or animal-associated. This has made it a challenge to identify unifying principles within the field. One approach is to recognize that although the activity of microbes in nature have effects at the macroscale, they interact with their physical, chemical and biological milieu at a scale of micrometers. At this scale, several different microbial ecosystems can be defined, based upon association with particles, the presence of environmental gradients and the continuous availability of water. Principles applicable to microbial ecology reflect not only their population ecology and physiological ecology, but also their broad versatility and quantitative importance in the biosphere as biogeochemical catalysts and capacity for rapid physiological and evolutionary responses.

  19. Ecology, Microbial

    SciTech Connect

    Konopka, Allan

    2009-03-19

    Microbial ecology is a relatively young discipline within the field of microbiology. Its modern history spans just the past 60 years, and the field is defined by its emphasis on understanding the interactions of microbes with their environment, rather than their behavior under artificial laboratory conditions. Because microbes are ubiquitous, microbial ecologists study a broad diversity of habitats that range from aquatic to terrestrial to plant- or animal-associated. This has made it a challenge to identify unifying principles within the field. One approach is to recognize that although the activity of microbes in nature have effects at the macroscale, they interact with their physical, chemical and biological milieu at a scale of micrometers. At this scale, several different microbial ecosystems can be defined, based upon association with particles, the presence of environmental gradients and the continuous availability of water. Principles applicable to microbial ecology reflect not only their population ecology and physiological ecology, but also their broad versatility and quantitative importance in the biosphere as biogeochemical catalysts and capacity for rapid physiological and evolutionary responses.

  20. Heavy metal levels in dune sands from Matanzas urban resorts and Varadero beach (Cuba): Assessment of contamination and ecological risks.

    PubMed

    Díaz Rizo, Oscar; Buzón González, Fran; Arado López, Juana O; Denis Alpízar, Otoniel

    2015-12-30

    Concentrations of chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn) and lead (Pb) in dune sands from six urban and suburban Matanzas (Cuba) resorts and Varadero beach were estimated by X-ray fluorescence analysis. Ranges of metal contents in dune sands show a strong variation across the studied locations (in mg/kg(-1)): 20-2964 for Cr, 17-183 for Ni, 17-51 for Cu, 18-88 for Zn and 5-29 for Pb. The values of contamination factors and contamination degrees how that two of the studied Matanzas's resorts (Judio and Chirry) are strongly polluted. The comparison with Sediment Quality Guidelines shows that dune sands from Judio resort represent a serious risk for humans, due to polluted Cr and Ni levels, while sands from the rest of the studied resorts, including Varadero beach, do not represent any risk for public use. PMID:26481414

  1. Heavy metal levels in dune sands from Matanzas urban resorts and Varadero beach (Cuba): Assessment of contamination and ecological risks.

    PubMed

    Díaz Rizo, Oscar; Buzón González, Fran; Arado López, Juana O; Denis Alpízar, Otoniel

    2015-12-30

    Concentrations of chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn) and lead (Pb) in dune sands from six urban and suburban Matanzas (Cuba) resorts and Varadero beach were estimated by X-ray fluorescence analysis. Ranges of metal contents in dune sands show a strong variation across the studied locations (in mg/kg(-1)): 20-2964 for Cr, 17-183 for Ni, 17-51 for Cu, 18-88 for Zn and 5-29 for Pb. The values of contamination factors and contamination degrees how that two of the studied Matanzas's resorts (Judio and Chirry) are strongly polluted. The comparison with Sediment Quality Guidelines shows that dune sands from Judio resort represent a serious risk for humans, due to polluted Cr and Ni levels, while sands from the rest of the studied resorts, including Varadero beach, do not represent any risk for public use.

  2. Daily Emotional Dynamics in Depressed Youth: A Cell-Phone Ecological Momentary Assessment Study

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2010-01-01

    This study utilized a new cellular phone ecological momentary assessment approach to investigate daily emotional dynamics in 47 youth with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and 32 no psychopathology controls (CON), ages 7 – 17. Information about emotional experience in the natural environment was obtained using answer-only cellular phones while MDD youth received an 8 week course of cognitive behavioral therapy and/or psychopharmacological treatment. Compared to CON youth, MDD youth reported more intense and labile global negative affect, greater sadness, anger, and nervousness, and a lower ratio of positive to negative affect. These differences increased with pubertal maturation. MDD youth spent more time alone and less time with their families than CON youth. Although differences in emotional experiences were found across social contexts, MDD youth were more negative than CON youth in all contexts examined. As the MDD participants progressed through treatment, diagnostic group differences in the intensity and lability of negative affect decreased, but there were no changes in the ratio of positive to negative affect or measures of social context. We discuss methodological innovations and advantages of this approach, including improved ecological validity and access to information about variability in emotions, change in emotions over time, the balance of positive and negative emotions, and the social context of emotional experience. PMID:21112595

  3. Gambling, games of skill and human ecology: a pilot study by a multidimensional analysis approach.

    PubMed

    Valera, Luca; Giuliani, Alessandro; Gizzi, Alessio; Tartaglia, Francesco; Tambone, Vittoradolfo

    2015-01-01

    The present pilot study aims at analyzing the human activity of playing in the light of an indicator of human ecology (HE). We highlighted the four essential anthropological dimensions (FEAD), starting from the analysis of questionnaires administered to actual gamers. The coherence between theoretical construct and observational data is a remarkable proof-of-concept of the possibility of establishing an experimentally motivated link between a philosophical construct (coming from Huizinga's Homo ludens definition) and actual gamers' motivation pattern. The starting hypothesis is that the activity of playing becomes ecological (and thus not harmful) when it achieves the harmony between the FEAD, thus realizing HE; conversely, it becomes at risk of creating some form of addiction, when destroying FEAD balance. We analyzed the data by means of variable clustering (oblique principal components) so to experimentally verify the existence of the hypothesized dimensions. The subsequent projection of statistical units (gamers) on the orthogonal space spanned by principal components allowed us to generate a meaningful, albeit preliminary, clusterization of gamer profiles. PMID:26783225

  4. Assessing ecological water quality with macroinvertebrates and fish: a case study from a small Mediterranean river.

    PubMed

    Cheimonopoulou, Maria Th; Bobori, Dimitra C; Theocharopoulos, Ioannis; Lazaridou, Maria

    2011-02-01

    Biological elements, such as benthic macroinvertebrates and fish, have been used in assessing the ecological quality of rivers according to the requirements of the Water Framework Directive. However, the concurrent use of multiple organism groups provides a broader perspective for such evaluations, since each biological element may respond differently to certain environmental variables. In the present study, we assessed the ecological quality of a Greek river (RM4 type), during autumn 2003 and spring 2004 at 10 sites, with benthic macroinvertebrates and fish. Hydromorphological and physicochemical parameters, habitat structure, and riparian vegetation were also considered. Pollution sensitive macroinvertebrate taxa were more abundant at headwaters, which had good/excellent water quality according to the Hellenic Evaluation System (HES). The main river reaches possessed moderate water quality, while downstream sites were mainly characterised as having bad or poor water quality, dominated by pollution-tolerant macroinvertebrate taxa. Macroinvertebrates related strongly to local stressors as chemical degradation (ordination analysis CCA) and riparian quality impairment (bivariate analysis) while fish did not. Fish were absent from the severely impacted lower river reaches. Furthermore, external pathological signs were observed in fish caught at certain sites. A combined use of both macroinvertebrates and fish in biomonitoring programs is proposed for providing a safer assessment of local and regional habitat impairment.

  5. Daily emotional dynamics in depressed youth: a cell phone ecological momentary assessment study.

    PubMed

    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

    2011-10-01

    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 youths received an 8-week course of cognitive behavioral therapy and/or psychopharmacological treatment. Compared with CON youths, MDD youths reported more intense and labile global negative affect; greater sadness, anger, and nervousness; and a lower ratio of positive to negative affect. These differences increased with pubertal maturation. MDD youths spent more time alone and less time with their families than CON youths. Although differences in emotional experiences were found across social contexts, MDD youths were more negative than CON youths in all contexts examined. As the MDD participants progressed through treatment, diagnostic group differences in the intensity and lability of negative affect decreased, but there were no changes in the ratio of positive to negative affect or in measures of social context. We discuss methodological innovations and advantages of this approach, including improved ecological validity and access to information about variability in emotions, change in emotions over time, the balance of positive and negative emotions, and the social context of emotional experience.

  6. Incorporating ecological data and associated uncertainty in bioaccumulation modeling: methodology development and case study.

    PubMed

    De Laender, Frederik; Van Oevelen, Dick; Middelburg, Jack J; Soetaert, Karline

    2009-04-01

    Bioaccumulation models predict internal concentrations of hydrophobic chemicals by incorporating key gain/loss processes reflecting the ecology of the exposed species and the characteristics of the chemical. Here, we propose a new methodology that uses ecological data and the principle of mass balance in food webs to estimate bioaccumulation in food webs. To this end, we combine linear inverse models (LIMs) that estimate food web flows based on mass balance with a mechanistic bioaccumulation model (OMEGA). In a case study we show that uncertainty ranges on bioaccumulation predictions were on average estimated a factor of 4 lower by LIM-OMEGA than by an OMEGA application that does not consider mass balance within food webs, most notably for chemicals with log Kow > 5, reflecting an increasing importance of uptake through food ingestion for those chemicals. Ranges of internal concentrations predicted by LIM-OMEGA were smaller in enclosures with fish, as strong predation pressure from the latter on mesozooplankton constrains food web flows and thus bioaccumulation.

  7. Simulation and experimental studies of operators` decision styles and crew composition while using an ecological and traditional user interface for the control room of a nuclear power plant

    SciTech Connect

    Meshkati, N.; Buller, B.J.; Azadeh, M.A.

    1995-04-01

    The goal of this research is threefold: (1) use of the Skill-, Rule-, and Knowledge-based levels of cognitive control -- the SRK framework -- to develop an integrated information processing conceptual framework (for integration of workstation, job, and team design); (2) to evaluate the user interface component of this framework -- the Ecological display; and (3) to analyze the effect of operators` individual information processing behavior and decision styles on handling plant disturbances plus their performance on, and preference for, Traditional and Ecological user interfaces. A series of studies were conducted. In Part I, a computer simulation model and a mathematical model were developed. In Part II, an experiment was designed and conducted at the EBR-II plant of the Argonne National Laboratory-West in Idaho Falls, Idaho. It is concluded that: the integrated SRK-based information processing model for control room operations is superior to the conventional rule-based model; operators` individual decision styles and the combination of their styles play a significant role in effective handling of nuclear power plant disturbances; use of the Ecological interface results in significantly more accurate event diagnosis and recall of various plant parameters, faster response to plant transients, and higher ratings of subject preference; and operators` decision styles affect on both their performance and preference for the Ecological interface.

  8. Ecological Schoolyards.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Danks, Sharon Gamson

    2000-01-01

    Presents design guidelines and organizational and site principles for creating schoolyards where students can learn about ecology. Principles for building schoolyard ecological systems are described. (GR)

  9. Association between payments from manufacturers of pharmaceuticals to physicians and regional prescribing: cross sectional ecological study

    PubMed Central

    Agrawal, Shantanu; King, Marissa; Venkatesh, Arjun K; Krumholz, Harlan M; McKee, Douglas; Brown, Douglas; Ross, Joseph S

    2016-01-01

    greater prescribing of marketed drugs than payments for food and beverages or educational materials (484 v 110, P<0.001). Conclusions and study limitations Payments by the manufacturers of pharmaceuticals to physicians were associated with greater regional prescribing of marketed drugs among Medicare Part D beneficiaries. Payments to specialists and payments for speaker and consulting fees were predominantly associated with greater regional prescribing of marketed drugs than payments to non-specialists or payments for food and beverages, gifts, or educational materials. As a cross sectional, ecological study, we cannot prove causation between payments to physicians and increased prescribing. Furthermore, our findings should be interpreted only at the regional level. Our study is limited to prescribing by physicians and the two drug classes studied. PMID:27540015

  10. Sub-federal ecological modernization: A case study of Colorado's new energy economy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giannakouros, Stratis

    European nations have often employed policies of explicit government intervention as a preferred means of addressing environmental and economic challenges. These policies have ranged from grey industrial policies focused solely on industrial growth, competitiveness and innovation to policies of stronger ecological modernization, which seek to align industrial interests with environmental protection. In recent years these policies have been mobilized to address the threat of climate change and promote environmental innovation. While some US Administrations have similarly recognized the need to address these challenges, the particular historical and political institutional dynamics of the US have meant that explicit government intervention has been eschewed in favor of more indirect strategies when dealing with economic and environmental challenges. This is evident in the rise of sub-federal policies at the level of US states. Supported by federal laboratories and public research, US states have adopted policies that look very much like sub-federal versions of industrial or ecological modernization policy. This thesis uses the Colorado case to highlight the importance of sub-federal institutions in addressing environmental and economic challenges in the US and explore its similarities to, and differences from, European approaches. To achieve this goal it first develops an analytical scheme within which to place policy initiatives on a continuum from grey industrial policy to strong ecological modernization policy by identifying key institutions that are influential in each policy type. This analytical scheme is then applied to the transitional renewable energy policy period from 2004-2012 in the state of Colorado. This period starts with the adoption of a renewable energy portfolio in 2004 and includes the `new energy economy' period from 2007-2010 as well as the years since. Looking at three key turning points this paper interprets the `new energy economy' strategy

  11. Focusing ecological research for conservation.

    PubMed

    Cristescu, Bogdan; Boyce, Mark S

    2013-11-01

    Ecologists are increasingly actively involved in conservation. We identify five key topics from a broad sweep of ecology that merit research attention to meet conservation needs. We examine questions from landscape ecology, behavioral ecology, ecosystem dynamics, community ecology, and nutrient cycling related to key topics. Based on literature review and publication trend assessment, consultation with colleagues, and roundtable discussions at the 24th International Congress for Conservation Biology, focused research on the following topics could benefit conservation while advancing ecological understanding: 1. Carbon sequestration, requiring increased linkages to biodiversity conservation; 2. Ecological invasiveness, challenging our ability to find solutions to ecological aliens; 3. Individual variation, having applications in the conservation of rare species; 4. Movement of organisms, integrating ecological processes across landscapes and scales and addressing habitat fragmentation; and 5. Trophic-level interactions, driving ecological dynamics at the ecosystem-level. Addressing these will require cross-disciplinary research under the overarching framework of conservation ecology.

  12. Giving Back: Collaborations with Others in Ecological Studies on the Nevada National Security Site - 13058

    SciTech Connect

    Wade, Scott A.; Knapp, Kathryn S.; Wills, Cathy A.

    2013-07-01

    Formerly named the Nevada Test Site, the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) was the historical site for nuclear weapons testing from the 1950's to the early 1990's. The site was renamed in 2010 to reflect the diversity of nuclear, energy, and homeland security activities now conducted at the site. Biological and ecological programs and research have been conducted on the site for decades to address the impacts of radiation and to take advantage of the relatively undisturbed and isolated lands for gathering basic information on the occurrence and distribution of native plants and animals. Currently, the Office of the Assistant Manager for Environmental Management of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office (NNSA/NSO) oversees the radiological biota monitoring and ecological compliance programs on the NNSS. The top priority of these programs are compliance with federal and state regulations. They focus on performing radiological dose assessments for the public who reside near the NNSS and for populations of plants and animals on the NNSS and in protecting important species and habitat from direct impacts of mission activities. The NNSS serves as an invaluable outdoor laboratory. The geographic and ecological diversity of the site offers researchers many opportunities to study human influences on ecosystems. NNSA/NSO has pursued collaborations with outside agencies and organizations to be able to conduct programs and studies that enhance radiological biota monitoring and ecosystem preservation when budgets are restrictive, as well as to provide valuable scientific information to the human health and natural resource communities at large. NNSA/NSO is using one current collaborative study to better assess the potential dose to the off-site public from the ingestion of game animals, the most realistic pathway for off-site public exposure at this time from radionuclide contamination on the NNSS. A second

  13. Giving Back: Collaborations with Others in Ecological Studies on the Nevada National Security Site

    SciTech Connect

    Scott A. Wade; Kathryn S. Knapp; Cathy A. Wills

    2013-02-24

    Formerly named the Nevada Test Site, the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) was the historical site for nuclear weapons testing from the 1950s to the early 1990s. The site was renamed in 2010 to reflect the diversity of nuclear, energy, and homeland security activities now conducted at the site. Biological and ecological programs and research have been conducted on the site for decades to address the impacts of radiation and to take advantage of the relatively undisturbed and isolated lands for gathering basic information on the occurrence and distribution of native plants and animals. Currently, the Office of the Assistant Manager for Environmental Management of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office (NNSA/NSO) oversees the radiological biota monitoring and ecological compliance programs on the NNSS. The top priority of these programs are compliance with federal and state regulations. They focus on performing radiological dose assessments for the public who reside near the NNSS and for populations of plants and animals on the NNSS and in protecting important species and habitat from direct impacts of mission activities. The NNSS serves as an invaluable outdoor laboratory. The geographic and ecological diversity of the site offers researchers many opportunities to study human influences on ecosystems. NNSA/NSO has pursued collaborations with outside agencies and organizations to be able to conduct programs and studies that enhance radiological biota monitoring and ecosystem preservation when budgets are restrictive, as well as to provide valuable scientific information to the human health and natural resource communities at large. NNSA/NSO is using one current collaborative study to better assess the potential dose to the off-site public from the ingestion of game animals, the most realistic pathway for off-site public exposure at this time from radionuclide contamination on the NNSS. A second

  14. Methodological approaches for studying the microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems.

    PubMed

    Douterelo, Isabel; Boxall, Joby B; Deines, Peter; Sekar, Raju; Fish, Katherine E; Biggs, Catherine A

    2014-11-15

    The study of the microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems (DWDS) has traditionally been based on culturing organisms from bulk water samples. The development and application of molecular methods has supplied new tools for examining the microbial diversity and activity of environmental samples, yielding new insights into the microbial community and its diversity within these engineered ecosystems. In this review, the currently available methods and emerging approaches for characterising microbial communities, including both planktonic and biofilm ways of life, are critically evaluated. The study of biofilms is considered particularly important as it plays a critical role in the processes and interactions occurring at the pipe wall and bulk water interface. The advantages, limitations and usefulness of methods that can be used to detect and assess microbial abundance, community composition and function are discussed in a DWDS context. This review will assist hydraulic engineers and microbial ecologists in choosing the most appropriate tools to assess drinking water microbiology and related aspects.

  15. A novel method for identifying settings for well-motivated ecologic studies of cancer.

    PubMed

    Stang, Andreas; Kowall, Bernd; Rusner, Carsten; Trabert, Britton; Bray, Freddie; Schüz, Joachim; McGlynn, Katherine A; Kuss, Oliver

    2016-04-15

    A low within-country variability and a large between-country variability in cancer incidence may indicate that ecologic factors are involved in the etiology of the disease. The aim of this study is to explore the within- and between-country variability of cancer incidence to motivate high-quality ecologic studies. We extracted age-standardized incidence rate estimates (world standard population) from 135 regions for the ten most frequent invasive cancers in Europe for non-Hispanic white populations from Cancer Incidence in Five Continents, Volume X. We fitted weighted multilevel Poisson regression models with random country effects for each cancer and sex. We estimated intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs). A high ICC indicates a low within- and a high between-country variability of rates. The two cancer sites with the highest ICC among men were prostate cancer (0.96, 95% CI: 0.92-0.99) and skin melanoma (0.78, 0.64-0.93). Among women, high ICCs were observed for lung cancer (0.84, 0.73-0.95) and breast cancer (0.80, 0.69-0.91). The two most prominent sex differences for ICC occurred for cancers of the head and neck (men: 0.70, 0.55-0.85, women: 0.19, 0.08-0.30) and breast cancer (men: 0.04, 0.01-0.07, women: 0.80, 0.69-0.91). ICCs were relatively low for pancreatic cancer (men: 0.23, 0.10-0.35; women: 0.13, 0.04-0.21) and leukemia (men: 0.12, 0.04-0.21; women: 0.08, 0.02-0.14). For cancers with high ICC for which systematic factors of the health care system, screening and diagnostic activities are not plausible explanations for between-country variations in incidence, cross-country sex-specific ecologic studies may be especially promising.

  16. Diminishing returns to aggregate level studies.

    PubMed

    Gravelle, H

    1999-10-01

    The idea that the health of individuals depends on the characteristics of the society in which they live and on their own characteristics is important. The aggregate level relation between income inequality and population mortality has been examined by empirical works. However, if the individual level relation between risk of mortality and income is curvilinear, at least part of any association between population mortality and income inequality is artifactual in the sense that it could arise even if individual risk was due only to individual income and not to its distribution. Wolfson et al attempted to estimate how much of the variation in cross-sectional US state-level mortality could be due to the curvature of the relation between individual level mortality and income interacting with differences in the distribution of income within states. They concluded that the artifact is not the main reason for the frequently documented correlations between population mortality and income distribution. However, in the absence of any detailed information on the regressions, it is difficult to determine if the difference between actual and hypothetical mortality is significantly related to income equality. The individual risk of mortality is also affected by other individual characteristics, like climate or public health infrastructure. The authors suggest that investigations of the determinants of individual health test the effect of societal factors and that such testing requires both individual level and aggregate data.

  17. Three-Gorges-Dam: Studying the ecological impacts in a highly dynamic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholten, T.; Behrens, T.; Kaufmann, H.; King, L.; Rohn, J.; Schönbrodt, S.; Subklew, G.; Xiang, W.

    2009-04-01

    The impoundment of the Yangtze River in 2003 by the Three-Gorges-Dam (TGD) evokes ecological impacts alongside the Yangtze and its major tributaries that appear to be unforesseable in their dimension and dynamic. The scheduled water level elevation to 176 m in 2009 and the seasonal water level fluctuations at the TGD for the purpose of hydro power generation and flood control will still foster the typical aftermaths such as slope instability, mass movements, soil erosion, the expansion of infrastructure and land reclamation for subsistence agriculture and cash crops distant to the inundated area. Together, geoscientists from China and Germany try to develop an integrated risk assessment system for landslides, soil erosion, diffuse sediment and matter fluxes into the reservoir and land-use vulnerability. Since April 2008 the research activities take place within the Sino-German YANGTZE project funded by the German BMBF and initiated by the German Research Centre Juelich. The project proceeds in close collaboration with the Ministry of Land and Resources of the People's Republic of China (MRL). In four subprojects located at the universities of Erlangen, Giessen, Potsdam and Tuebingen main focus lies on the analysis and assessment of the mechanisms and trigger of landslides, the mechanisms of soil erosion for different landscape morphologies and soil associations and the multi-temporal land-use classification and land-use dynamic on the meso-scale. The research area is the highly dynamic and mountainous Xiangxi catchment (3.100 km²) close to the TGD. Using multi-level approaches by means of GIS, field investigations and remote sensing the Yangtze project aims to assess the spatial and temporal varying risk potential of soil erosion and the landslide susceptibility and risk for the infrastructure, people and agriculture. Finally, high-resolution risk potential maps will serve as a base for decision making. In close collaboration with our Chinese partner projects

  18. Ecology and Energy Action Pack.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McDonald's Corp., Oak Brook, IL.

    One of five McDonald's Action Packs, these elementary school-level instructional materials are for use as an introduction to existing units of study, supplements to a textbook, or a source of special projects for environmental education. Contents include these six units: Make Your Own Ecology Mini-spinner, Let's Look at a Food Chain, Drip the…

  19. An epidemiological and ecological study of human alveolar echinococcosis transmission in south Gansu, China.

    PubMed

    Craig, P S; Giraudoux, P; Shi, D; Bartholomot, B; Barnish, G; Delattre, P; Quere, J P; Harraga, S; Bao, G; Wang, Y; Lu, F; Ito, A; Vuitton, D A

    2000-11-01

    Human alveolar echinococcosis (AE) is usually a rare, highly pathogenic zoonotic disease, transmitted across the northern hemisphere between fox and rodent hosts. In China the first cases were described in 1965; however very few epidemiological studies have been undertaken since. Following identification in 1991 of a serious focus of human AE in south Gansu province, detailed village-based community and ecological studies were carried out between 1994 and 1997. Hepatic ultrasound mass screening with serological testing (five tests) identified 84/2482 new AE cases (3%). An overall prevalence of 4.1% (135/3331) was recorded for the area when previous cases were also included. Based on a seropositive result only, without an ultrasound scan indication, no additional AE cases were identified. Of the evolutive AE cases, 96% were seropositive in at least one test, while up 15-20% of individuals who exhibited hepatic calcified lesions and 12-15% exhibiting hepatic nodular lesions were seropositive for specific Em2 or Em18 antibodies. Village (n=31) human AE prevalence rates varied from 0 to 15.8%. Questionnaire analysis indicated that total number of dogs owned over a period was a risk factor (P<0.006), but not a history of red fox hunting (P>0.6). Rodent ecology studies revealed an association between density indices of voles (Microtus limnophilus) and village AE prevalence rates, on the one hand, and village landscape characterised by a ratio of scrub/grassland to total area above 50% (P<0.005). Long-term transmission of Echinococcus multilocularis and risk of zoonotic infection of south Gansu farmers may be related ultimately to a process of deforestation driven by agriculture. This in turn probably results in creation of optimal peri-domestic habitats for rodents that serve as intermediate host species (such as M. limnophilus) and subsequent development of a peri-domestic cycle involving dogs. PMID:11080507

  20. The fourth level of social structure in a multi-level society: ecological and social functions of clans in hamadryas baboons.

    PubMed

    Schreier, Amy L; Swedell, Larissa

    2009-11-01

    Hamadryas baboons are known for their complex, multi-level social structure consisting of troops, bands, and one-male units (OMUs) [Kummer, 1968. Social organization of hamadryas baboons. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. 189p]. Abegglen [1984. On socialization in hamadryas baboons: a field study. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press. 207p.] observed a fourth level of social structure comprising several OMUs that rested near one another on sleeping cliffs, traveled most closely together during daily foraging, and sometimes traveled as subgroups independently from the rest of the band. Abegglen called these associations "clans" and suggested that they consisted of related males. Here we confirm the existence of clans in a second wild hamadryas population, a band of about 200 baboons at the Filoha site in lowland Ethiopia. During all-day follows from December 1997 through September 1998 and March 2005 through February 2006, data were collected on activity patterns, social interactions, nearest neighbors, band fissions, and takeovers. Association indices were computed for each dyad of leader males, and results of cluster analyses indicated that in each of the two observation periods this band comprised two large clans ranging in size from 7 to 13 OMUs. All band fissions occurred along clan lines, and most takeovers involved the transfer of females within the same clan. Our results support the notion that clans provide an additional level of flexibility to deal with the sparse distribution of resources in hamadryas habitats. The large clan sizes at Filoha may simply be the largest size that the band can split into and still obtain enough food during periods of food scarcity. Our results also suggest that both male and female relationships play a role in the social cohesion of clans and that males exchange females within clans but not between them.

  1. Testing low cost OEM CO2 sensors for outdoor ecological studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macintyre, C. M.; Risk, D. A.

    2011-12-01

    IR (Infrared) gas sensors are used extensively in CO2 research but price and power requirement often limits low-cost distributed sensing. In the past three years, sensors have been introduced to the industrial market at prices as low as $100 US for air-handling and automotive application. These inexpensive sensors are small in size, and have low power demand making them potentially ideal for low-cost distributed deployments. However, the sensors are only tested and calibrated for indoor use and for industrial standards and may not show their true potential for outdoor ecological studies. This poster summarizes the results of a sensor inter-comparison test, to document functionality, response time, electrical noise, precision, and accuracy, under varying moistures and temperatures broadly representative of a wide range of outdoor settings. The three selected sensors were placed in a closed loop system with a valving system using a LiCor Li-7000 as reference, controlled by a CR1000 datalogger that controlled CO2 and moisture concentrations content within the cell on the basis of LiCor readings. To achieve different temperatures, the tests were repeated at room temperature, inside a freezer (-18°C) and incubator (40°C). The tests involved repeatedly stepping the sensors from 2000 ppm CO2 to 400 ppm CO2 in 200 ppm or 400 ppm increments, at various moisture contents, and under the various temperature regimes. Vaisala 222 and 343 sensors were also part of the test group as comparators, as both are used widely in ecological research. The OEM sensors displayed good linearity, fast response time, and results comparable to Vaisala probes. In most cases the sensors performed beyond our expectations with notably less electrical noise than the Vaisala sensors and excellent power thriftiness. Some sensors showed better response to extreme moisture and temperature conditions. Provided that suitable protective embodiments were built around them, and that they are deployed in an

  2. fNIRS measure of transitive and intransitive gesture execution, observation and imagination in ecological setting: A pilot study.

    PubMed

    Vanutelli, Maria E; Cortesi, Livia; Molteni, Erika; Balconi, Michela

    2015-08-01

    To explore the presence of differential cortical hemodynamic activations related to cognitive components of actions, we performed a fNIRS (functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy) study during Observation (O), Execution (E) and Imagination (I) of complex and meaningful (transitive and intransitive) gestures in ecological setting. A pilot sample of 5 healthy adults underwent an event-related study consisting of these 3 different conditions, with O set as first and followed by a randomized presentation of E or I. fNIRS measurements were performed using a 24 channel array of optodes (8 light injectors and 8 detectors) placed over the contralateral central, centro-parietal, parietal and temporal areas. Results showed that the premotor (PMC) and the sensory-motor cortices (SM1) were recruited selectively during E, with levels of oxygenated hemoglobin (oxy-Hb) higher than the other conditions, while the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) showed increased oxy-Hb levels for both E and O. These data suggest that variations in hemodynamic responses can be attributed to different neural processes underpinning these tasks, with PMC and SM1 being more involved in action preparation and performance, and PPC prevalently dedicated to attentive processes related to the execution and observation of limb movements. PMID:26737043

  3. Ecological studies of the bio-inoculant Trichoderma hamatum LU592 in the root system of Pinus radiata.

    PubMed

    Hohmann, Pierre; Jones, Elisabeth Eirian; Hill, Robert A; Stewart, Alison

    2012-06-01

    The plant health- and growth-promoting biological inoculant (bio-inoculant) Trichoderma hamatum LU592 was transformed with the constitutively expressed green fluorescent protein (gfp) and hygromycin B resistance (hph) genes to specifically monitor the isolate in the root system of Pinus radiata within a strong indigenous Trichoderma population. A modified dilution plating technique was developed to allow the determination of the mycelia proportion of total propagule levels. LU592 was shown to colonize the rhizosphere most effectively when 10(5)  spores per pot were applied compared with inoculum concentrations of 10(3) and 10(7)  spores per pot. LU592 extended its zone of activity beyond the rhizosphere to at least 1 cm away from the root surface. A positive relationship was shown between P. radiata root maturation and the spatial and temporal proliferation of LU592 in the root system. A steep increase in mycelia levels and proportion of penetrated root segments was observed after 12 weeks. This study reinforces the value of genetic markers for use in ecological studies of filamentous fungi. However, despite isolate-specific recovery of the introduced isolate, it was shown that total propagule counts do not always correlate with the amount of viable mycelium present in the root system. Therefore, it is proposed that the differentiation of mycelia from spores and root penetration is used as more accurate measures of fungal activity.

  4. Fostering Ecological Literacy: A Case Study of the Saint John Harbour in Two High School English Language Arts Classrooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Douglas, Velta

    Integrating environmental education into curriculum in a way that tackles the holistic and complicated nature of multi-dimensional issues continues to be a challenge for educators and administrators. There is potential in using ecological literacy to introduce local environmental case studies into English Language Arts high school classrooms. This research examines the experiences of two ELA classrooms in one Saint John, NB, high school with a two-week unit based on stakeholder relationships within the Saint John Harbour. Through presentations by guest speakers and research sourced from local community groups, students learned about the highly complex environmental issues that inform management decisions for the Harbour. Using these materials as background, students participated in a mock stakeholders meeting. Case study methodology was used to explore student learning in both a higher-level and a lower-level grade 10 ELA class. Data for the analysis included: cognitive mapping exercises; oral and written classroom assignments and activities; a videotape of the mock stakeholder meetings; a focus group interview with selected students; and researcher field notes. Data demonstrated significant student learning about environmental issues including increased sophistication in describing links between and among environmental issues affecting the harbour, and much more complex understandings of the positions and roles of the various stakeholder groups. Some important areas of resistance to new learning were also evident. Implications for practice and policy and recommendations for future research are discussed.

  5. Northwest Entry-Level Worker Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Owens, Thomas; Cohen, Carolyn

    A survey elicited workers' opinions in five areas: (1) essential skills, attitudes, and behaviors needed on the job by entry-level workers; (2) the purposes, content, and delivery of training needed and desired by workers; (3) productivity; (4) workplace environment; and (5) employee benefits. Information was gathered through written surveys of…

  6. [Ecological risk assessment of land use based on exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA): a case study of Haitan Island, Fujian Province].

    PubMed

    Wu, Jian; Chen, Peng; Wen, Chao-Xiang; Fu, Shi-Feng; Chen, Qing-Hui

    2014-07-01

    As a novel environment management tool, ecological risk assessment has provided a new perspective for the quantitative evaluation of ecological effects of land-use change. In this study, Haitan Island in Fujian Province was taken as a case. Based on the Landsat TM obtained in 1990, SPOT5 RS images obtained in 2010, general layout planning map of Pingtan Comprehensive Experimental Zone in 2030, as well as the field investigation data, we established an ecological risk index to measure ecological endpoints. By using spatial autocorrelation and semivariance analysis of Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA), the ecological risk of Haitan Island under different land-use situations was assessed, including the past (1990), present (2010) and future (2030), and the potential risk and its changing trend were analyzed. The results revealed that the ecological risk index showed obvious scale effect, with strong positive correlation within 3000 meters. High-high (HH) and low-low (LL) aggregations were predominant types in spatial distribution of ecological risk index. The ecological risk index showed significant isotropic characteristics, and its spatial distribution was consistent with Anselin Local Moran I (LISA) distribution during the same period. Dramatic spatial distribution change of each ecological risk area was found among 1990, 2010 and 2030, and the fluctuation trend and amplitude of different ecological risk areas were diverse. The low ecological risk area showed a rise-to-fall trend while the medium and high ecological risk areas showed a fall-to-rise trend. In the planning period, due to intensive anthropogenic disturbance, the high ecological risk area spread throughout the whole region. To reduce the ecological risk in land-use and maintain the regional ecological security, the following ecological risk control strategies could be adopted, i.e., optimizing the spatial pattern of land resources, protecting the key ecoregions and controlling the scale of

  7. Calling for an ecological approach to studying climate change and infectious diseases

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2009-01-01

    My Concepts and Synthesis paper (Lafferty 2009),which inspired this Forum, echoed the premise that earlyreviews about climate change exaggerated claims thatinfectious diseases will increase in the future (Randolph2009). The paper sparked five well-reasoned commen-taries from ecologists with considerable expertise ininfectious diseases (Dobson 2009, Harvell et al. 2009,Ostfeld 2009, Pascual and Bouma 2009, Randolph2009). These reviews illustrate several examples andcase studies which corr elate i ncreases in infectiousdisease with existing climate variation, though alterna-tive explanations exist for many of these patterns(Dobson 2009, Harvell et al. 2009, Ostfeld 2009, Pascualand Bouma 2009, Randolph 2009). A common messageis that an ecological approach is increasingly relevant tothe challenging topic of infectious disease.

  8. Quantifying Competitive Exclusion and Competitive Release in Ecological Communities: A Conceptual Framework and a Case Study.

    PubMed

    Segre, Hila; DeMalach, Niv; Henkin, Zalmen; Kadmon, Ronen

    2016-01-01

    A fundamental notion in community ecology is that local species diversity reflects some balance between the contrasting forces of competitive exclusion and competitive release. Quantifying this balance is not trivial, and requires data on the magnitude of both processes in the same system, as well as appropriate methodology to integrate and interpret such data. Here we present a novel framework for empirical studies of the balance between competitive exclusion and competitive release and demonstrate its applicability using data from a Mediterranean annual grassland where grazing is a major mechanism of competitive release. Empirical data on the balance between competitive exclusion and competitive release are crucial for understanding observed patterns of variation in local species diversity and the proposed approach provides a simple framework for the collection, interpretation, and synthesis of such data.

  9. Quantifying Competitive Exclusion and Competitive Release in Ecological Communities: A Conceptual Framework and a Case Study.

    PubMed

    Segre, Hila; DeMalach, Niv; Henkin, Zalmen; Kadmon, Ronen

    2016-01-01

    A fundamental notion in community ecology is that local species diversity reflects some balance between the contrasting forces of competitive exclusion and competitive release. Quantifying this balance is not trivial, and requires data on the magnitude of both processes in the same system, as well as appropriate methodology to integrate and interpret such data. Here we present a novel framework for empirical studies of the balance between competitive exclusion and competitive release and demonstrate its applicability using data from a Mediterranean annual grassland where grazing is a major mechanism of competitive release. Empirical data on the balance between competitive exclusion and competitive release are crucial for understanding observed patterns of variation in local species diversity and the proposed approach provides a simple framework for the collection, interpretation, and synthesis of such data. PMID:27536943

  10. Quantifying Competitive Exclusion and Competitive Release in Ecological Communities: A Conceptual Framework and a Case Study

    PubMed Central

    Henkin, Zalmen; Kadmon, Ronen

    2016-01-01

    A fundamental notion in community ecology is that local species diversity reflects some balance between the contrasting forces of competitive exclusion and competitive release. Quantifying this balance is not trivial, and requires data on the magnitude of both processes in the same system, as well as appropriate methodology to integrate and interpret such data. Here we present a novel framework for empirical studies of the balance between competitive exclusion and competitive release and demonstrate its applicability using data from a Mediterranean annual grassland where grazing is a major mechanism of competitive release. Empirical data on the balance between competitive exclusion and competitive release are crucial for understanding observed patterns of variation in local species diversity and the proposed approach provides a simple framework for the collection, interpretation, and synthesis of such data. PMID:27536943

  11. Daily life behaviors and depression risk following stroke: a preliminary study using ecological momentary assessment.

    PubMed

    Jean, François A M; Swendsen, Joel D; Sibon, Igor; Fehér, Kristoffer; Husky, Mathilde

    2013-09-01

    Approximately one-third of stroke survivors have symptoms of depression. A better understanding of the early risk factors implicated in this form of comorbidity may contribute to the development of early prevention strategies and to improving outcomes for this population. The current study uses ecological momentary assessment techniques to identify behavioral risk factors for depression 3 months after stroke. Thirty-six participants completed ambulatory monitoring of daily life circumstances (location, social environment, and activity) 5 times per day during a 1-week period after hospital discharge. Clinician-administered measures of depression were also provided before discharge and 3 months later. Ambulatory monitoring revealed that depression scores at 3 months were lower among individuals with more social interactions but higher among those who reported having sports activities and working in the week following hospital discharge. Daily life behaviors may have important implications for understanding the risk of poststroke depression, and mobile technologies may provide important contributions to their investigation.

  12. Ecological survey for the siting of the Mixed and Low-Level Waste Treatment Facility and the Idaho Waste Processing Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Hoskinson, R.L.

    1994-05-01

    This report summarizes the results of field ecological surveys conducted by the Center for Integrated Environmental Technologies (CIET) on the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) at four candidate locations for the siting of the Mixed and Low-Level Waste Treatment Facility (MLLWTF) and the Idaho Waste Processing Facility (IWPF). The purpose of these surveys was to comply with all Federal laws and Executive Orders to identify and evaluate any potential environmental impacts because of the project. The boundaries of the candidate location were marked with blaze-orange lath survey marker stakes by the project management. Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements of the marker stakes were made, and input to the Arc/Info{reg_sign} geographic information system (GIS). Field surveys were conducted to assess any potential impact to any important species, important habitats, and to any environmental study areas. The GIS location data was overlayed onto the INEL vegetation map and an analysis of vegetation classes on the locations was done. Results of the field surveys indicate use of Candidate Location {number_sign}1 by pygmy rabbits (Sylvilagus idahoensis) and expected use by them of Candidate Locations {number_sign}3 and {number_sign}9. Pygmy rabbits are categorized as a C2 species by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Two other C2 species, the ferruginous hawk (Buteo regalis) and the loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) would also be expected to frequent the candidate locations. Candidate Location {number_sign}5 at the north end of the INEL is in the winter range of a large number of pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana).

  13. Human and ecological risk assessment of a crop protection chemical: a case study with the azole fungicide epoxiconazole.

    PubMed

    Chambers, Janice E; Greim, Helmut; Kendall, Ronald J; Segner, Helmut; Sharpe, Richard M; Van Der Kraak, Glen

    2014-02-01

    Conventional risk assessments for crop protection chemicals compare the potential for causing toxicity (hazard identification) to anticipated exposure. New regulatory approaches have been proposed that would exclude exposure assessment and just focus on hazard identification based on endocrine disruption. This review comprises a critical analysis of hazard, focusing on the relative sensitivity of endocrine and non-endocrine endpoints, using a class of crop protection chemicals, the azole fungicides. These were selected because they are widely used on important crops (e.g. grains) and thereby can contact target and non-target plants and enter the food chain of humans and wildlife. Inhibition of lanosterol 14α-demethylase (CYP51) mediates the antifungal effect. Inhibition of other CYPs, such as aromatase (CYP19), can lead to numerous toxicological effects, which are also evident from high dose human exposures to therapeutic azoles. Because of its widespread use and substantial database, epoxiconazole was selected as a representative azole fungicide. Our critical analysis concluded that anticipated human exposure to epoxiconazole would yield a margin of safety of at least three orders of magnitude for reproductive effects observed in laboratory rodent studies that are postulated to be endocrine-driven (i.e. fetal resorptions). The most sensitive ecological species is the aquatic plant Lemna (duckweed), for which the margin of safety is less protective than for human health. For humans and wildlife, endocrine disruption is not the most sensitive endpoint. It is concluded that conventional risk assessment, considering anticipated exposure levels, will be protective of both human and ecological health. Although the toxic mechanisms of other azole compounds may be similar, large differences in potency will require a case-by-case risk assessment. PMID:24274332

  14. A Case Study: Using Authentic Scientific Data for Teaching and Learning of Ecology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wyner, Yael

    2013-01-01

    This article describes a culminating assignment for students enrolled in a human ecology course in a Masters in Science Education program. The goal of this assignment was for students to use published scientific data to link daily life, human impact, and sustainability to ecological function. This activity required students to consider the…

  15. Data Explorations in Ecology: Salt Pollution as a Case Study for Teaching Data Literacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harris, Cornelia; Berkowitz, Alan R.; Alvarado, Angelita

    2012-01-01

    Does working with first- and second-hand ecological data improve students' knowledge of ecological ideas, motivation and engagement in science, data exploration, and citizenship skills (students' ability to make informed decisions)? We have been exploring this question with high school science teachers in New York State for the past year using a…

  16. Writing to Learn Ecology: A Study of Three Populations of College Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Balgopal, Meena M.; Wallace, Alison M.; Dahlberg, Steven

    2012-01-01

    Being an ecologically literate citizen involves making decisions that are based on ecological knowledge and accepting responsibility for personal actions. Using writing-to-learn activities in college science courses, we asked students to consider personal dilemmas that they or others might have in response to how human choices can impact coastal…

  17. Hotspots of human-induced biomass productivity decline and their social-ecological types toward supporting national policy and local studies on combating land degradation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vu, Quyet Manh; Le, Quang Bao; Vlek, Paul L. G.

    2014-10-01

    Identification and social-ecological characterization of areas that experience high levels of persistent productivity decline are essential for planning appropriate management measures. Although land degradation is mainly induced by human actions, the phenomenon is concurrently influenced by global climate changes that need to be taken into account in land degradation assessments. This study aims to delineate the geographic hotspots of human-induced land degradation in the country and classify the social-ecological characterizations of each specific degradation hotspot type. The research entailed a long-term time-series (1982-2006) of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index to specify the extents of areas with significant biomass decline or increase in Vietnam. Annual rainfall and temperature time-series were then used to separate areas of human-induced biomass productivity decline from those driven by climate dynamics. Next, spatial cluster analyses identified social-ecological types of degradation for guiding further investigations at regional and local scales. The results show that about 19% of the national land mass experienced persistent declines in biomass productivity over the last 25 years. Most of the degraded areas are found in the Southeast and Mekong River Delta (17,984 km2), Northwest Mountains (14,336 km2), and Central Highlands (13,504 km2). We identified six and five social-ecological types of degradation hotspots in agricultural and forested zones, respectively. Constraints in soil nutrient availability and nutrient retention capability are widely spreading in all degradation hotspot types. These hotspot types are different from each other in social and ecological conditions, suggesting that region-specific strategies are needed for the formulation of land degradation combating policy.

  18. Applications of contaminant fate and bioaccumulation models in assessing ecological risks of chemicals: A case study for gasoline hydrocarbons

    SciTech Connect

    MacLeod, Matthew; McKone, Thomas E.; Foster, Karen L.; Maddalena, Randy L.; Parkerton, Thomas F.; Mackay, Don

    2004-02-01

    Mass balance models of chemical fate and transport can be applied in ecological risk assessments for quantitative estimation of concentrations in air, water, soil and sediment. These concentrations can, in turn, be used to estimate organism exposures and ultimately internal tissue concentrations that can be compared to mode-of-action-based critical body residues that correspond to toxic effects. From this comparison, risks to the exposed organism can be evaluated. To illustrate the practical utility of fate models in ecological risk assessments of commercial products, the EQC model and a simple screening level biouptake model including three organisms, (a bird, a mammal and a fish) is applied to gasoline. In this analysis, gasoline is divided into 24 components or ''blocks'' with similar environmental fate properties that are assumed to elicit ecotoxicity via a narcotic mode of action. Results demonstrate that differences in chemical properties and mode of entry into the environment lead to profound differences in the efficiency of transport from emission to target biota. We discuss the implications of these results and insights gained into the regional fate and ecological risks associated with gasoline. This approach is particularly suitable for assessing mixtures of components that have similar modes of action. We conclude that the model-based methodologies presented are widely applicable for screening level ecological risk assessments that support effective chemicals management.

  19. Association of rule of law and health outcomes: an ecological study

    PubMed Central

    Pinzon-Rondon, Angela Maria; Attaran, Amir; Botero, Juan Carlos; Ruiz-Sternberg, Angela Maria

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To explore whether the rule of law is a foundational determinant of health that underlies other socioeconomic, political and cultural factors that have been associated with health outcomes. Setting Global project. Participants Data set of 96 countries, comprising 91% of the global population. Primary and secondary outcome measures The following health indicators, infant mortality rate, maternal mortality rate, life expectancy, and cardiovascular disease and diabetes mortality rate, were included to explore their association with the rule of law. We used a novel Rule of Law Index, gathered from survey sources, in a cross-sectional and ecological design. The Index is based on eight subindices: (1) Constraints on Government Powers; (2) Absence of Corruption; (3) Order and Security; (4) Fundamental Rights; (5) Open Government; (6) Regulatory Enforcement, (7) Civil Justice; and (8) Criminal Justice. Results The rule of law showed an independent association with infant mortality rate, maternal mortality rate, life expectancy, and cardiovascular disease and diabetes mortality rate, after adjusting for the countries’ level of per capita income, their expenditures in health, their level of political and civil freedom, their Gini measure of inequality and women's status (p<0.05). Rule of law remained significant in all the multivariate models, and the following adjustment for potential confounders remained robust for at least one or more of the health outcomes across all eight subindices of the rule of law. Findings show that the higher the country's level of adherence to the rule of law, the better the health of the population. Conclusions It is necessary to start considering the country's adherence to the rule of law as a foundational determinant of health. Health advocates should consider the improvement of rule of law as a tool to improve population health. Conversely, lack of progress in rule of law may constitute a structural barrier to health improvement

  20. Ground level environmental protein concentrations in various ecuadorian environments: potential uses of aerosolized protein for ecological research

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Staton, Sarah J.R.; Woodward, Andrea; Castillo, Josemar A.; Swing, Kelly; Hayes, Mark A.

    2014-01-01

    Large quantities of free protein in the environment and other bioaerosols are ubiquitous throughout terrestrial ground level environments and may be integrative indicators of ecosystem status. Samples of ground level bioaerosols were collected from various ecosystems throughout Ecuador, including pristine humid tropical forest (pristine), highly altered secondary humid tropical forest (highly altered), secondary transitional very humid forest (regrowth transitional), and suburban dry montane deforested (suburban deforested). The results explored the sensitivity of localized aerosol protein concentrations to spatial and temporal variations within ecosystems, and their value for assessing environmental change. Ecosystem specific variations in environmental protein concentrations were observed: pristine 0.32 ± 0.09 μg/m3, highly altered 0.07 ± 0.05 μg/m3, regrowth transitional 0.17 ± 0.06 μg/m3, and suburban deforested 0.09 ± 0.04 μg/m3. Additionally, comparisons of intra-environmental differences in seasonal/daily weather (dry season 0.08 ± 0.03 μg/m3 and wet season 0.10 ± 0.04 μg/m3), environmental fragmentation (buffered 0.19 ± 0.06 μg/m3 and edge 0.15 ± 0.06 μg/m3), and sampling height (ground level 0.32 ± 0.09 μg/m3 and 10 m 0.24 ± 0.04 μg/m3) demonstrated the sensitivity of protein concentrations to environmental conditions. Local protein concentrations in altered environments correlated well with satellite-based spectral indices describing vegetation productivity: normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) (r2 = 0.801), net primary production (NPP) (r2 = 0.827), leaf area index (LAI) (r2 = 0.410). Moreover, protein concentrations distinguished the pristine site, which was not differentiated in spectral indices, potentially due to spectral saturation typical of highly vegetated environments. Bioaerosol concentrations represent an inexpensive method to increase understanding of environmental changes, especially in densely vegetated

  1. Soil Microarthropods and Their Relationship to Higher Trophic Levels in the Pedregal de San Angel Ecological Reserve, Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Callejas-Chavero, Alicia; Castaño-Meneses, Gabriela; Razo-González, María; Pérez-Velázquez, Daniela; Palacios-Vargas, José G.; Flores-Martínez, Arturo

    2015-01-01

    Soil fauna is essential for ecosystem dynamics as it is involved in biogeochemical processes, promotes nutrient availability, and affects the animal communities associated with plants. In this study, we examine the possible relationship between the soil microarthropod community on foliage production and quality of the shrub Pittocaulon praecox. We also examine the arthropods associated to its foliage, particularly the size of the main herbivores and of their natural enemies, at two sites with contrasting vegetation cover and productivity. The diversity of soil microarthropods was assessed from soil samples collected monthly under P. praecox individuals over 13 mo. Specimens collected were identified to species or morphospecies. Shrub foliage productivity was evaluated through the amount of litter produced. Resource quality was assessed by the mean content (percentage by weight) of N, C, S, and P of 30 leaves from each shrub. The mean size of herbivores and their natural enemies were determined by measuring 20 adult specimens of each of the most abundant species. We found a higher species richness of soil microarthropods and foliar arthropods in the open site, although the diversity of foliage arthropods was lower in the closed site. Shrubs growing in the closed site tend to produce more, larger, and nutritionally poorer (lower nitrogen content) leaves than open site. Herbivores and their natural enemies were also larger in the closed site. We found a significant positive relationship between the diversity and species richness of foliar arthropods and the nitrogen content of leaves. In general, species richness and diversity of both the foliar and soil fauna, as well as the size of organisms belonging to higher trophic levels, were affected by vegetation cover and primary productivity at each site. These findings highlight the need to simultaneously consider at least four trophic levels (soil organisms, plants, herbivores, and natural enemies) to better understand

  2. Soil microarthropods and their relationship to higher trophic levels in the Pedregal de San Angel Ecological Reserve, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Callejas-Chavero, Alicia; Castaño-Meneses, Gabriela; Razo-González, María; Pérez-Velázquez, Daniela; Palacios-Vargas, José G; Flores-Martínez, Arturo

    2015-01-01

    Soil fauna is essential for ecosystem dynamics as it is involved in biogeochemical processes, promotes nutrient availability, and affects the animal communities associated with plants. In this study, we examine the possible relationship between the soil microarthropod community on foliage production and quality of the shrub Pittocaulon praecox. We also examine the arthropods associated to its foliage, particularly the size of the main herbivores and of their natural enemies, at two sites with contrasting vegetation cover and productivity. The diversity of soil microarthropods was assessed from soil samples collected monthly under P. praecox individuals over 13 mo. Specimens collected were identified to species or morphospecies. Shrub foliage productivity was evaluated through the amount of litter produced. Resource quality was assessed by the mean content (percentage by weight) of N, C, S, and P of 30 leaves from each shrub. The mean size of herbivores and their natural enemies were determined by measuring 20 adult specimens of each of the most abundant species. We found a higher species richness of soil microarthropods and foliar arthropods in the open site, although the diversity of foliage arthropods was lower in the closed site. Shrubs growing in the closed site tend to produce more, larger, and nutritionally poorer (lower nitrogen content) leaves than open site. Herbivores and their natural enemies were also larger in the closed site. We found a significant positive relationship between the diversity and species richness of foliar arthropods and the nitrogen content of leaves. In general, species richness and diversity of both the foliar and soil fauna, as well as the size of organisms belonging to higher trophic levels, were affected by vegetation cover and primary productivity at each site. These findings highlight the need to simultaneously consider at least four trophic levels (soil organisms, plants, herbivores, and natural enemies) to better understand

  3. Specializations of birds that attend army ant raids: an ecological approach to cognitive and behavioral studies.

    PubMed

    O'Donnell, Sean; Logan, Corina J; Clayton, Nicola S

    2012-11-01

    Tropical birds forage at army ant raids on several continents. Obligate foraging at army ant raids evolved several times in the Neotropical true antbird family (Thamnophilidae), and recent evidence suggests a diversity of bird species from other families specialize to varying degrees on army ant exploitation. Army ant raids offer access to high prey densities, but the ant colonies are mobile and widely spaced. Successful army ant exploitation requires solving a complex foraging problem because army ant raids are unpredictable in space and time. Birds can counteract the challenges posed by the ants by using strategies that raise their chances of detecting army ant raids, and birds can use additional strategies to track army ant colonies they have located. Some features of army ant biology, such as their conspicuous swarms and columns, above-ground activity, and regular cycles of behavior, provide opportunities for birds to increase their effectiveness at exploiting raids. Changes in sensory, cognitive and behavioral systems may all contribute to specialized army ant exploitation in a bird population. The combination of specializations that are employed may vary independently among bird species and populations. The degree of army ant exploitation by birds varies geographically with latitude and elevation, and with historical patterns such as centers of distribution of obligate thamnophilid antbirds. We predict the set of specializations a given bird population exhibits will depend on local ecology, as well as phylogenetic history. Comparative approaches that focus on these patterns may indicate ecological and evolutionary factors that have shaped the costs and benefits of this foraging strategy. The development of army ant exploitation in individual birds is poorly understood, and individual expression of these specializations may depend on a combination of genetic adaptation with cognitive plasticity, possibly including social and experiential learning. Future

  4. Molecular Studies on the Ecology of Listeria monocytogenes in the Smoked Fish Processing Industry

    PubMed Central

    Norton, Dawn M.; McCamey, Meghan A.; Gall, Kenneth L.; Scarlett, Janet M.; Boor, Kathryn J.; Wiedmann, Martin

    2001-01-01

    We have applied molecular approaches, including PCR-based detection strategies and DNA fingerprinting methods, to study the ecology of Listeria monocytogenes in food processing environments. A total of 531 samples, including raw fish, fish during the cold-smoking process, finished product, and environmental samples, were collected from three smoked fish processing facilities during five visits to each facility. A total of 95 (17.9%) of the samples tested positive for L. monocytogenes using a commercial PCR system (BAX for Screening/Listeria monocytogenes), including 57 (27.7%) environmental samples (n = 206), 8 (7.8%) raw material samples (n = 102), 23 (18.1%) samples from fish in various stages of processing(n = 127), and 7 (7.3%) finished product samples (n = 96). L. monocytogenes was isolated from 85 samples (16.0%) using culture methods. Used in conjunction with a 48-h enrichment in Listeria Enrichment Broth, the PCR system had a sensitivity of 91.8% and a specificity of 96.2%. To track the origin and spread of L. monocytogenes, isolates were fingerprinted by automated ribotyping. Fifteen different ribotypes were identified among 85 isolates tested. Ribotyping data established possible contamination patterns, implicating raw materials and the processing environment as potential sources of finished product contamination. Analysis of the distribution of ribotypes revealed that each processing facility had a unique contamination pattern and that specific ribotypes persisted in the environments of two facilities over time (P ≤ 0.0006). We conclude that application of molecular approaches can provide critical information on the ecology of different L. monocytogenes strains in food processing environments. This information can be used to develop practical recommendations for improved control of this important food-borne pathogen in the food industry. PMID:11133446

  5. Study on O2-supplying characteristics of Azolla in Controlled Ecological Life Support System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Min; Deng, Sufang; Yang, Youquang; Huang, Yibing; Liu, Zhongzhu

    Azolla has high growth and propagation rate, strong photosynthetic O2-releasing ability and rich nutrient value. It is able to be used as salad-type vegetable, and can also be cultured on wet bed in multi-layer condition. Hence, it possesses a potential functioning as providing O2, fresh vegetable and absorbing CO2 for Controlled Ecological Life Support System in space. In this study, we try to make clear the O2-providing characteristics of Azolla in controlled close chamber under manned condition in order to lay a foundation for Azolla as a biological component in the next ground simulated experiment and space application. A closed test cham-ber of Controlled Ecological Life Support System and Azolla wet-culturing devices were built to measure the changes of atmospheric O2-CO2 concentration inside chamber under "Azolla-fish -men" coexisting condition. The results showed that, the amount of O2 consumption is 80.49 83.07 ml/h per kilogram fish, the amount of CO2 emissions is 70.49 73.56 ml/(kg • h); O2 consumption of trial volunteers is 19.71 L/h, the volume of respiration release CO2 18.90 L/h .Artificial light intensity of Azolla wet culture under 70009000 Lx, people respiration and Azolla photosynthesis complemented each other, the atmospheric O2-CO2 concentration inside chamber maintained equilibration. Elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations in close chamber have obvious effects on enhancing Azolla net photosynthesis efficiency. This shows that Azolla has strong photosynthetic O2-releasing ability, which equilibrates the O2-CO2 concentration inside chamber in favor of human survival, and then verifies the prospect of Azolla in space application.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Pechmann, J.H.K.; Scott, D.E.; McGregor, J.H.; Estes, R.A.; Chazal, A.C.

    1993-02-01

    The Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) was built on the Savannah River Site (SRS) during the mid-1980's. The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) has completed 12 years of ecological studies related to the construction of the DWPF complex. Prior to construction, the 600-acre site (S-Area) contained a Carolina bay and the headwaters of a stream. Research conducted by the SREL has focused primarily on four questions related to these wetlands: (1) Prior to construction, what fauna and flora were present at the DWPF site and at similar, yet undisturbed, alternative sites (2) By comparing the Carolina bay at the DWPF site (Sun Bay) with an undisturbed control Carolina bay (Rainbow Bay), what effect is construction having on the organisms that inhabited the DWPF site (3) By comparing control streams with streams on the periphery of the DWPF site, what effect is construction having on the peripheral streams (4) How effective have efforts been to lessen the impacts of construction, both with respect to erosion control measures and the construction of refuge ponds'' as alternative breeding sites for amphibians that formerly bred at Sun Bay Through the long-term census-taking of biota at the DWPF site and Rainbow Bay, SREL has begun to evaluate the impact of construction on the biota and the effectiveness of mitigation efforts. Similarly, the effects of erosion from the DWPF site on the water quality of S-Area peripheral streams are being assessed. This research provides supporting data relevant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, Executive Orders 11988 (Floodplain Management) and 11990 (Protection of Wetlands), and United States Department of Energy (DOE) Guidelines for Compliance with Floodplain/Wetland Environmental Review Requirements (10CFR1022).

  7. The epidemiology of drug abuse: current issues. Ecological studies of narcotic addiction.

    PubMed

    Richman, A

    1977-03-01

    Narcotic addiction is concentrated in certain places and among particular social groups. Heretofore it has not been possible to assess which environmental factors are critical for the initiation of narcotic use, its transition to narcotic addiction; and subsequently, entry into treatment or whether there are environments which select those particularly prone to social deviancy while others migrate out. There are few systematic descriptions of the social and environmental distribution of narcotic addicts. This paper describes the initial results of assessing the characteristics of the social environment (1970 Federal Census) of 3,000 individual narcotic addicts from the Lower East Side of Manhattan who were treated at the Beth Israel Medical Center. Pearson correlations between treated addiction ratios and 1970 Census characteristics were calculated for 13 health areas. Out of 103 socio-economic characteristics from the NIMH Mental Health Demographic Profile System, 29 were statistically significant at p less that 0.01 and 28 at 0.01 less than p less than 0.05. Highly significant correlations were found for households with children, female headed (r = .94, F= 90.3) and population in poverty (r = .89, F = 41.7). Correlations with density (over 1.01 persons per room) or population mobility (residing in different house five years ago) were not statistically significant. This paper has outlined some of the methodological and theoretical problems of ecological studies of narcotic addiction, and emphasized the need for concentration on the socio-dynamics of diffusion. Methodological problems include consideration of the time and place of onset; demographic standardization; ascertainment differentials; clinical characterization; and assessment within individuals of ecological correlations.

  8. Morphological, hydrological, biogeochemical and ecological changes and challenges in river restoration - the Thur River case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schirmer, M.; Luster, J.; Linde, N.; Perona, P.; Mitchell, E. A. D.; Barry, D. A.; Hollender, J.; Cirpka, O. A.; Schneider, P.; Vogt, T.; Radny, D.; Durisch-Kaiser, E.

    2014-06-01

    River restoration can enhance river dynamics, environmental heterogeneity and biodiversity, but the underlying processes governing the dynamic changes need to be understood to ensure that restoration projects meet their goals, and adverse effects are prevented. In particular, we need to comprehend how hydromorphological variability quantitatively relates to ecosystem functioning and services, biodiversity as well as ground- and surface water quality in restored river corridors. This involves (i) physical processes and structural properties, determining erosion and sedimentation, as well as solute and heat transport behavior in surface water and within the subsurface; (ii) biogeochemical processes and characteristics, including the turnover of nutrients and natural water constituents; and (iii) ecological processes and indicators related to biodiversity and ecological functioning. All these aspects are interlinked, requiring an interdisciplinary investigation approach. Here, we present an overview of the recently completed RECORD (REstored CORridor Dynamics) project in which we combined physical, chemical, and biological observations with modeling at a restored river corridor of the perialpine Thur River in Switzerland. Our results show that river restoration, beyond inducing morphologic changes that reshape the river bed and banks, triggered complex spatial patterns of bank infiltration, and affected habitat type, biotic communities and biogeochemical processes. We adopted an interdisciplinary approach of monitoring the continuing changes due to restoration measures to address the following questions: How stable is the morphological variability established by restoration? Does morphological variability guarantee an improvement in biodiversity? How does morphological variability affect biogeochemical transformations in the river corridor? What are some potential adverse effects of river restoration? How is river restoration influenced by catchment-scale hydraulics

  9. The Development of the Functional Literacy Experience Scale Based upon Ecological Theory (FLESBUET) and Validity-Reliability Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Özenç, Emine Gül; Dogan, M. Cihangir

    2014-01-01

    This study aims to perform a validity-reliability test by developing the Functional Literacy Experience Scale based upon Ecological Theory (FLESBUET) for primary education students. The study group includes 209 fifth grade students at Sabri Taskin Primary School in the Kartal District of Istanbul, Turkey during the 2010-2011 academic year.…

  10. Conceptualizing and Estimating Process Speed in Studies Employing Ecological Momentary Assessment Designs: A Multilevel Variance Decomposition Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shiyko, Mariya P.; Ram, Nilam

    2011-01-01

    Researchers have been making use of ecological momentary assessment (EMA) and other study designs that sample feelings and behaviors in real time and in naturalistic settings to study temporal dynamics and contextual factors of a wide variety of psychological, physiological, and behavioral processes. As EMA designs become more widespread,…

  11. Emotional Reactivity and Regulation in Anxious and Nonanxious Youth: A Cell-Phone Ecological Momentary Assessment Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tan, Patricia Z.; Forbes, Erika E.; Dahl, Ronald E.; Ryan, Neal D.; Siegle, Greg J.; Ladouceur, Cecile D.; Silk, Jennifer S.

    2012-01-01

    Background: Reviews have highlighted anxious youths' affective disturbances, specifically, elevated negative emotions and reliance on ineffective emotion regulation strategies. However, no study has examined anxious youth's emotional reactivity and regulation in real-world contexts. Methods: This study utilized an ecological momentary assessment…

  12. A Two-Year Ecological Study of Norway Rats (Rattus norvegicus) in a Brazilian Urban Slum

    PubMed Central

    Panti-May, Jesús A.; Carvalho-Pereira, Ticiana S. A.; Serrano, Soledad; Pedra, Gabriel G.; Taylor, Josh; Pertile, Arsinoê C.; Minter, Amanda; Airam, Vladimir; Carvalho, Mayara; Júnior, Nivison N.; Rodrigues, Gorete; Reis, Mitermayer G.; Ko, Albert I.; Childs, James E.; Begon, Mike; Costa, Federico

    2016-01-01

    The Norway or brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) is among the most ubiquitous of rodents. However, the lack of studies describing Norway rat populations from tropical areas have limited our understanding regarding their demography and seasonal dynamics. In this study, we describe seasonal pattern in the abundance, reproductive parameters, and morphometrics of Norway rat populations in Salvador, Brazil. Rodents were trapped over four seasonal trapping periods (2013–2014) from three valleys. A total of 802 Norway rats were trapped over the course of the study over 7653 trap-nights. Norway rat abundance was high, but there was no significant differences between seasons. The reproductive parameters (e.g. frequency of pregnant and lactating females) did not show statistical differences between seasons. Female rats collected in the rainy season were heavier and older than females from the dry season. Salvador rats had a high incidence of pregnancy and birth rate (estimated birth rate of 79 young per year) compared to previous studies. The information generated is critical for the understanding of the ecology of Norway rat, the main reservoir of Leptospira in Salvador. However, future studies examining the effect of rodent control programs aimed at reducing populations, and determining rates of recovery, will further clarify our understanding of population dynamics. PMID:27015422

  13. A Two-Year Ecological Study of Norway Rats (Rattus norvegicus) in a Brazilian Urban Slum.

    PubMed

    Panti-May, Jesús A; Carvalho-Pereira, Ticiana S A; Serrano, Soledad; Pedra, Gabriel G; Taylor, Josh; Pertile, Arsinoê C; Minter, Amanda; Airam, Vladimir; Carvalho, Mayara; Júnior, Nivison N; Rodrigues, Gorete; Reis, Mitermayer G; Ko, Albert I; Childs, James E; Begon, Mike; Costa, Federico

    2016-01-01

    The Norway or brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) is among the most ubiquitous of rodents. However, the lack of studies describing Norway rat populations from tropical areas have limited our understanding regarding their demography and seasonal dynamics. In this study, we describe seasonal pattern in the abundance, reproductive parameters, and morphometrics of Norway rat populations in Salvador, Brazil. Rodents were trapped over four seasonal trapping periods (2013-2014) from three valleys. A total of 802 Norway rats were trapped over the course of the study over 7653 trap-nights. Norway rat abundance was high, but there was no significant differences between seasons. The reproductive parameters (e.g. frequency of pregnant and lactating females) did not show statistical differences between seasons. Female rats collected in the rainy season were heavier and older than females from the dry season. Salvador rats had a high incidence of pregnancy and birth rate (estimated birth rate of 79 young per year) compared to previous studies. The information generated is critical for the understanding of the ecology of Norway rat, the main reservoir of Leptospira in Salvador. However, future studies examining the effect of rodent control programs aimed at reducing populations, and determining rates of recovery, will further clarify our understanding of population dynamics.

  14. Comparison of pollution levels on the Mississippi Gulf Coast during the 2010 Gulf BP oil spill to ecological and health-based standards.

    PubMed

    Beasley, Jerry; Reddy, Ramata S; Tchounwou, Paul; Kafoury, Ramzi

    2012-01-01

    To evaluate the possible impact that the BP Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill might have had on pollution levels in the State of Mississippi, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) analyzed surface water and ambient air quality pollutant data taken from MDEQ and EPA monitoring sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The data were compared with acute, chronic, and human health air and water quality standards to determine whether the pollutant levels occurring during the oil spill could cause ecological and/or human health effects. The water quality data indicated levels of nickel, vanadium, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and semivolatile organic compounds analyzed remained below acute and chronic levels for both aquatic life and human health. The air quality sampling data showed that the levels of VOCs and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons associated with the oil spill were well below EPA chronic and human health screening levels. A comparison of the air quality monitoring data taken before and after the oil spill showed that the concentrations of ozone and fine particulate matter were elevated for brief periods but remained below actionable levels.

  15. Comparison of pollution levels on the Mississippi Gulf Coast during the 2010 Gulf BP oil spill to ecological and health-based standards.

    PubMed

    Beasley, Jerry; Reddy, Ramata S; Tchounwou, Paul; Kafoury, Ramzi

    2012-01-01

    To evaluate the possible impact that the BP Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill might have had on pollution levels in the State of Mississippi, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) analyzed surface water and ambient air quality pollutant data taken from MDEQ and EPA monitoring sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The data were compared with acute, chronic, and human health air and water quality standards to determine whether the pollutant levels occurring during the oil spill could cause ecological and/or human health effects. The water quality data indicated levels of nickel, vanadium, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and semivolatile organic compounds analyzed remained below acute and chronic levels for both aquatic life and human health. The air quality sampling data showed that the levels of VOCs and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons associated with the oil spill were well below EPA chronic and human health screening levels. A comparison of the air quality monitoring data taken before and after the oil spill showed that the concentrations of ozone and fine particulate matter were elevated for brief periods but remained below actionable levels. PMID:23109537

  16. Capturing chloroplast variation for molecular ecology studies: a simple next generation sequencing approach applied to a rainforest tree

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background With high quantity and quality data production and low cost, next generation sequencing has the potential to provide new opportunities for plant phylogeographic studies on single and multiple species. Here we present an approach for in silicio chloroplast DNA assembly and single nucleotide polymorphism detection from short-read shotgun sequencing. The approach is simple and effective and can be implemented using standard bioinformatic tools. Results The chloroplast genome of Toona ciliata (Meliaceae), 159,514 base pairs long, was assembled from shotgun sequencing on the Illumina platform using de novo assembly of contigs. To evaluate its practicality, value and quality, we compared the short read assembly with an assembly completed using 454 data obtained after chloroplast DNA isolation. Sanger sequence verifications indicated that the Illumina dataset outperformed the longer read 454 data. Pooling of several individuals during preparation of the shotgun library enabled detection of informative chloroplast SNP markers. Following validation, we used the identified SNPs for a preliminary phylogeographic study of T. ciliata in Australia and to confirm low diversity across the distribution. Conclusions Our approach provides a simple method for construction of whole chloroplast genomes from shotgun sequencing of whole genomic DNA using short-read data and no available closely related reference genome (e.g. from the same species or genus). The high coverage of Illumina sequence data also renders this method appropriate for multiplexing and SNP discovery and therefore a useful approach for landscape level studies of evolutionary ecology. PMID:23497206

  17. Ascendency as an ecological indicator: a case study of estuarine pulse eutrophication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patrício, J.; Ulanowicz, R.; Pardal, M. A.; Marques, J. C.

    2004-05-01

    Increasingly, management agencies require that the remediation of eutrophic waters be addressed at the level of the whole ecosystem. One whole-system approach to quantify ecosystems is called ecological network analysis. Ascendency theory, the branch of the field that deals with the quantification of whole-system status, specifically addresses the definition of eutrophication. This definition has been applied to data taken over a gradient of eutrophication. Three separate areas were observed: a non-eutrophic area (with Zostera noltii meadows), an intermediate eutrophic area ( Z. noltii absent and macroalgae abundant at times) and a strongly eutrophic area (where Enteromorpha spp. blooms occur with regularity). Pulse eutrophication was considered as the major driving force behind a gradual shift in primary producers from a community dominated by rooted macrophytes ( Z. noltii) to a community dominated by green macroalgae. The measures associated with the intermediate eutrophic region turned out not to be intermediate to those at the gradient extremes. The most likely explanation appears to be the highly unstable nature of this area. Conditions along the spatial gradient are discussed as representing various stages in the temporal evolution of the system, and analysed in the framework of the Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis, Bifurcation, Chaos, and Catastrophe theories.

  18. Marine ecological-risk assessment pilot study for Allen Harbor, Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. Professional paper

    SciTech Connect

    Johnston, R.K.; Munns, W.R.; Mueller, C.; Nelson, W.G.; Pesch, G.G.

    1992-01-01

    An ecological risk assessment framework was applied to characterize aquatic risks associated with hazardous waste disposal at Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC) Davisville, Rhode Island. An initial screening phase (I) assessed exposure and related that exposure to toxicological endpoints for bivalves, amphipods, sea urchins, and biomarker assays. Results showed little evidence of major contamination in sediments or tissues except for relatively high levels of polychlorinated biphenols (PBC), butyltins compounds (TBT), and fecal coliforms observed in Allen Harbor. Effects were detected in mussel physiology, sea urchin fertilization and development, biomarker responses, and soft shell clam histology. Possible sources of contamination and toxicity from the landfill leachate, surface runoff, and recreational boating were examined using a temporaland spatial sampling scheme. Chemical and toxicological information obtained implicated all three sources as affecting Allen Harbor water quality. Laboratory bioassays of landfill exposure media, employing a variety of marine species using acute and chronic endpoints, are being used to provide data for the development of an exposure-response model for risk to the marine environment. The model will define current risk and provide an interpretive framework for long-term monitoring.

  19. ELF communications system ecological monitoring program: Litter decomposition and microflora studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruhn, Johann N.; Bagley, Susan T.; Pickens, James B.

    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 litter decomposition and soil microflora conducted near its transmitting antenna in Michigan. From 1982 through 1993 researchers from the Michigan Technological University (MTU) monitored overall litter decomposition, as well as microflora (bacteria and fungi) important both as processors of organic material and causative agents of tree disease. Studies were performed in areas near (treatment) and far (control) from the ELF antenna Study parameters included total number of streptomycete individuals and species; mass loss of maple, oak, and pine leaf litter; and frequency of red pine mortality from Armillaria root disease. The MTU research team used several statistical models; however, nested analysis of covariance was the most frequently used test. Based on the results of their study, MTU investigators conclude that the EM fields produced by the Naval Radio Transmitting Facility-Republic, Michigan did not affect soil bacteria populations or the spread of the root disease. Loss of foliar mass suggests a statistically significant, but modest, increase in the rate of litter decomposition, possibly associated with electromagnetic exposure.

  20. Prevalence of asthma symptoms in schoolchildren, and climate in west European countries: an ecologic study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnedo-Pena, Alberto; García-Marcos, Luis; Bercedo-Sanz, Alberto; Aguinaga-Ontoso, Inés; González-Díaz, Carlos; García-Merino, Águeda; Busquets-Monge, Rosa; Suárez-Varela, Maria Morales; Batlles-Garrido, Juan; Blanco-Quirós, Alfredo A.; López-Silvarrey, Angel; García-Hernández, Gloria; Fuertes, Jorge

    2013-09-01

    The aim of the present study was to estimate the associations between the prevalence of asthma symptoms in schoolchildren and meteorological variables in west European countries that participated in the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Children (ISAAC), Phase III 1997-2003. An ecologic study was carried out. The prevalence of asthma was obtained from this study from 48 centers in 14 countries, and meteorological variables from those stations closest to ISAAC centers, together with other socioeconomic and health care variables. Multilevel mixed-effects linear regression models were used. For schoolchildren aged 6-7 years, the prevalence rate of asthma decreased with an increase in mean annual sunshine hours, showed a positive association with rainy weather, and warm temperature, and a negative one with relative humidity and physician density (PD). Current wheeze prevalence was stronger in autumn/winter seasons and decreased with increasing PD. Severe current wheeze decreased with PD. For schoolchildren aged 13-14 years, the prevalence rates of asthma and current wheeze increased with rainy weather, and these rates decreased with increased PD. Current wheeze, as measured by a video questionnaire, was inversely associated with sunny weather, and nurse density. Severe current wheeze prevalence was stronger during autumn/winter seasons, decreased with PD, and indoor chlorinated public swimming pool density, and increased with rainy weather. Meteorological factors, including sunny and rainy weather, and PD may have some effect on the prevalence rates of asthma symptoms in children from west European countries.

  1. A high-level specification for adaptive ecological momentary assessment: real-time assessment of drug craving, use and abstinence.

    PubMed

    Lin, Jia-Ling; Vahabzadeh, Massoud; Mezghanni, Mustapha; Epstein, David H; Preston, Kenzie L

    2005-01-01

    In psychological research, efforts to capture day-to-day human experience traditionally relied on pen-and-paper diaries and questionnaires. Some current studies, however, incorporate handheld computers, which provide researchers with many options and advantages in addition to providing more reliable data. One advantage of using handheld computers is the programmability of the electronic diary, which, compared to old-fashioned paper diaries, affords the researchers with a wealth of possibilities. An important possibility is to construct a built-in mechanism in the computer-administered questionnaires that would allow transparent branching, in which question presentation is contingent on participants' answers to previous questions. The major hurdle in implementing such an approach is the limitations of the platform used for such assessments: inexpensive "low-end" handheld devices. We propose a high-level specification which enables non-programming researchers to "branch" their questionnaires without modifications to the source code in a highly user-friendly fashion, with backtracking capability and very modest hardware requirements. A finite state automaton approach was implemented, we believe for the first time, to create an auto-trigger mechanism for the real-time evaluation of the conditions. This solution provides our investigators with the capacity to administer efficient assessments that are dynamically customized to reflect participants' behaviors without the need for any post-production programming.

  2. ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Ecological Soil Screening Level (Eco-SSL) Work Group, composed of scientists and risk assessors from EPA, Environment Canada, DOE, Army, Navy, Air Force, states, industry, academia, and consulting companies, has been working on the development of scientifically sound, ecologi...

  3. The Study on Ecological Treatment of Saline Lands to Mitigate the Effects of Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Jiancang; Zhu, Jiwei; Wang, Tao

    2010-05-01

    The soil water and salt movement is influenced strongly by the frequent droughts, floods and climate change. Additionally, as continued population growth, large-scale reclaiming of arable land and long-term unreasonable irrigation, saline land is increasing at the rate of 1,000,000~15,000,000 mu each year all over the world. In the tradition management, " drainage as the main " measure has series of problem, which appears greater project, more occupation of land, harmful for water saving and downstream pollution. To response the global climate change, it has become the common understanding, which promote energy-saving and environment protection, reflect the current model, explore the ecological management model. In this paper, we take severe saline land—Lubotan in Shaanxi Province as an example. Through nearly 10 years harnessing practice and observing to meteorology, hydrology, soil indicators of climate, we analyze the influence of climate change to soil salinity movement at different seasons and years, then put forward and apply a new model of saline land harnessing to mitigate the Effects of Climate Change and self-rehabilitate entironment. This model will be changed "drainage" to "storage", through the establishment engineering of " storage as the main ", taken comprehensive measures of " project - biology - agriculture ", we are changing saline land into arable land. Adapted to natural changes of climate, rainfall, irrigation backwater, groundwater level, reduced human intervention to achieve system dynamic equilibrium. During the ten years, the salt of plough horizon has reduced from 0.74% to 0.20%, organic matter has increased from 0.7% to 0.92%, various indicators of soil is begining to go better. At the same time, reduced the water for irrigation, drainage pollution and investment costs. Through the model, reformed severe saline land 18,900 mu, increased new cultivated land 16,500 mu, comprehensive efficient significant, ensured the coordinated

  4. The influence of ecology on chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) cultural behavior: a case study of five Ugandan chimpanzee communities.

    PubMed

    Gruber, Thibaud; Potts, Kevin B; Krupenye, Christopher; Byrne, Maisie-Rose; Mackworth-Young, Constance; McGrew, William C; Reynolds, Vernon; Zuberbühler, Klaus

    2012-11-01

    The influence of ecology on the development of behavioral traditions in animals is controversial, particularly for chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), for which it is difficult to rule out environmental influences as a cause of widely observed community-specific behavioral differences. Here, we investigated 3 potential scenarios that could explain the natural variation in a key extractive tool behavior, "fluid-dip," among several communities of chimpanzees of the Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii subspecies in Uganda. We compared data from previous behavioral ecological studies, field experiments, and long-term records of chimpanzee tool-using behavior. We focused on the quality of the available food, dietary preferences, and tool sets of 5 different communities, and carried out a standardized field experiment to test systematically for the presence of fluid-dip in 4 of these communities. Our results revealed major differences in habitat, available diet, and tool use behavior between geographically close communities. However, these differences in ecology and feeding behavior failed to explain the differences in tool use across communities. We conclude that ecological variables may lead both to innovation and loss of behavioral traditions, while contributing little to their transmission within the community. Instead, as soon as a behavioral tradition is established, sociocognitive factors likely play a key maintenance role as long as the ecological conditions do not change sufficiently for the tradition to be abandoned.

  5. Ecological baseline studies in Los Alamos and Guaje Canyons County of Los Alamos, New Mexico. A two-year study

    SciTech Connect

    Foxx, T.S.

    1995-11-01

    During the summers of 1993 and 1994, the Biological Resource Evaluations Team (BRET) of the Environmental Protection Group (ESH-8) conducted baseline studies within two canyon systems, Los Alamos and Guaje Canyons. Biological data was collected within each canyon to provide background and baseline information for Ecological Risk models. Baseline studies included establishment of permanent vegetation plots within each canyon along the elevational gradient. Then, in association with the various vegetation types, surveys were conducted for ground dwelling insects, birds, and small mammals. The stream channels associated with the permanent vegetation plots were characterized and aquatic macroinvertebrates collected within the stream monthly throughout a six-month period. The Geographic Position System (GPS) in combination with ARC INFO was used to map the study areas. Considerable data was collected during these surveys and are summarized in individual chapters.

  6. On application of non—extensive statistical mechanics to studying ecological diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Xuan, Le; Lan, Nguyen Tri; Viet, Nguyen Ai

    2016-06-01

    The concept of Tsallis entropy provides an extension of thermodynamics and statistical physics. In the ecology, Tsallis entropy is proposed to be a new class of diversity indices Sq which covers many common diversity indices found in ecological literature. As a new statistical model for the Whittaker plots describing species abundance distribution, the truncated exponential distribution is used to calculate the diversity and evenness indices. The obtained results in new model are graphically compared with those in previous publication in the same field of interests, and shows a good agreement. A further development of a thermodynamic theory of ecological systems that is consistent with entropic approach of statistical physics is motivated.

  7. Social Studies Guide. Kindergarten-Level Twelve.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hazelwood School District, MO.

    GRADES OR AGES: Grades K-12. SUBJECT MATTER: Social studies. ORGANIZATION AND PHYSICAL APPEARANCE: The guide has three main sections: 1) kindergarten-grade 6; 2) required courses, grades 7-11; and 3) electives, grades 10-12. In each subsection the objectives are listed, an outline of the course is given, concepts and suggested activities are…

  8. Developing an Internet- and Mobile-Based System to Measure Cigarette Use Among Pacific Islanders: An Ecological Momentary Assessment Study

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Nasya; Sabado-Liwag, Melanie Dee; Orne, Annette; Toilolo, Tupou; Cen, Steven; May, Vanessa; Lee, Cevadne; Pang, Victor Kaiwi; Rainer, Michelle A; Vaivao, Dorothy Etimani S; Lepule, Jonathan Tana; Tanjasiri, Sora Park; Palmer, Paula Healani

    2016-01-01

    Background Recent prevalence data indicates that Pacific Islanders living in the United States have disproportionately high smoking rates when compared to the general populace. However, little is known about the factors contributing to tobacco use in this at-risk population. Moreover, few studies have attempted to determine these factors utilizing technology-based assessment techniques. Objective The objective was to develop a customized Internet-based Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) system capable of measuring cigarette use among Pacific Islanders in Southern California. This system integrated the ubiquity of text messaging, the ease of use associated with mobile phone apps, the enhanced functionality offered by Internet-based Cell phone-optimized Assessment Techniques (ICAT), and the high survey completion rates exhibited by EMA studies that used electronic diaries. These features were tested in a feasibility study designed to assess whether Pacific Islanders would respond to this method of measurement and whether the data gathered would lead to novel insights regarding the intrapersonal, social, and ecological factors associated with cigarette use. Methods 20 young adult smokers in Southern California who self-identified as Pacific Islanders were recruited by 5 community-based organizations to take part in a 7-day EMA study. Participants selected six consecutive two-hour time blocks per day during which they would be willing to receive a text message linking them to an online survey formatted for Web-enabled mobile phones. Both automated reminders and community coaches were used to facilitate survey completion. Results 720 surveys were completed from 840 survey time blocks, representing a completion rate of 86%. After adjusting for gender, age, and nicotine dependence, feeling happy (P=<.001) or wanting a cigarette while drinking alcohol (P=<.001) were positively associated with cigarette use. Being at home (P=.02) or being around people who are not

  9. Associations Between the Macroeconomic Indicators and Suicide Rates in India: Two Ecological Studies

    PubMed Central

    Rajkumar, Anto P.; Senthilkumar, P.; Gayathri, K.; Shyamsundar, G.; Jacob, K. S.

    2015-01-01

    Background: While western studies have focused on the importance of psychiatric illnesses in the complex pathways leading to suicides, several Indian studies have highlighted the important contributions by economic, social, and cultural factors. Hence, we tested the hypothesis that annual national suicide rates and suicide rates of the different states in India were associated with macroeconomic indices. Materials and Methods: Data from the National crime records bureau, Ministry of finance, labour bureau, Government of India, population commission, and planning commission official portals, World Bank and the United Nations were accessed. We assessed the correlations of annual national and state-wise suicide rates with macroeconomic, health, and other indices using ecological study design for India, and for its different states and union territories. Results: We documented statistically significant associations between the suicide rates and per capita gross domestic product, consumer price index, foreign exchange, trade balance, total health expenditure as well as literacy rates. Conclusions: As recent economic growth in India is associated with increasing suicide rates, macroeconomic policies emphasizing equitable distribution of resources may help curtailing the population suicide rates in India. PMID:26664075

  10. Frontiers of torenia research: innovative ornamental traits and study of ecological interaction networks through genetic engineering

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Advances in research in the past few years on the ornamental plant torenia (Torenia spps.) have made it notable as a model plant on the frontier of genetic engineering aimed at studying ornamental characteristics and pest control in horticultural ecosystems. The remarkable advantage of torenia over other ornamental plant species is the availability of an easy and high-efficiency transformation system for it. Unfortunately, most of the current torenia research is still not very widespread, because this species has not become prominent as an alternative to other successful model plants such as Arabidopsis, snapdragon and petunia. However, nowadays, a more global view using not only a few selected models but also several additional species are required for creating innovative ornamental traits and studying horticultural ecosystems. We therefore introduce and discuss recent research on torenia, the family Scrophulariaceae, for secondary metabolite bioengineering, in which global insights into horticulture, agriculture and ecology have been advanced. Floral traits, in torenia particularly floral color, have been extensively studied by manipulating the flavonoid biosynthetic pathways in flower organs. Plant aroma, including volatile terpenoids, has also been genetically modulated in order to understand the complicated nature of multi-trophic interactions that affect the behavior of predators and pollinators in the ecosystem. Torenia would accordingly be of great use for investigating both the variation in ornamental plants and the infochemical-mediated interactions with arthropods. PMID:23803155

  11. Microbial ecology studies of spontaneous fermentation: starter culture selection for prickly pear wine production.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Lerma, G K; Gutiérrez-Moreno, K; Cárdenas-Manríquez, M; Botello-Álvarez, E; Jiménez-Islas, H; Rico-Martínez, R; Navarrete-Bolaños, J L

    2011-08-01

    A procedure for designing starter cultures for fermentation is illustrated for prickly pear wine production. The illustration includes kinetic studies on inoculated and spontaneous fermentation, microorganism identification studies based on molecular biology tools, and microbial ecology studies, which led to the selection of strains that are capable of synthesizing alcohol and desirable volatile compounds. Results show that a mixed starter inoculum containing Pichia fermentans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae leads to a fermented product that contains 8.37% alcohol (v/v). The gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis shows the presence of 9 major volatile compounds (Isobutanol, Isopentanol, Ethyl acetate, Isoamyl acetate, Ethyl octanoate, Ethyl decanoate, Ethyl 9-decanoate, β-Phenylethyl acetate, and Phenylethyl alcohol) that have ethereal, fruity, aromatic notes that are considered to be essential for a fine wine flavor. These compounds harmonically synergize with the alcohol to produce a fermented product with a unique flavor and taste. Several assays using the mixed culture show that the process is stable, predictable, controllable, and reproducible. Moreover, the results show that a mixed culture leads to a broader range of aromatic products than that produced by a single, pure culture. Therefore, we conclude that combinations of Saccharomyces strains and non-Saccharomyces strains can be used to obtain high-quality fermented beverages from prickly pear juice. PMID:22417507

  12. Experience sampling and ecological momentary assessment studies in psychopharmacology: A systematic review.

    PubMed

    Bos, Fionneke M; Schoevers, Robert A; aan het Rot, Marije

    2015-11-01

    Experience sampling methods (ESM) and ecological momentary assessment (EMA) offer insight into daily life experiences, including symptoms of mental disorders. The application of ESM/EMA in psychopharmacology can be a valuable addition to more traditional measures such as retrospective self-report questionnaires because they may help reveal the impact of psychotropic medication on patients' actual experiences. In this paper we systematically review the existing literature on the use of ESM/EMA in psychopharmacology research. To this end, we searched the PsycInfo and Medline databases for all available ESM/EMA studies on the use of psychotropic medication in patients with DSM-III-R and DSM-IV disorders. Dissertations were excluded. We included 18 studies that applied ESM/EMA to study the effects of medication on patients with major depressive disorder, substance use disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, psychotic disorder, and anxiety disorder. We found that ESM/EMA may allow researchers and clinicians to track patients during different phases of treatment: before treatment to predict outcome, during treatment to examine the effects of treatment on symptoms and different aspects of daily life experience, and after treatment to detect vulnerability for relapse. Moreover, ESM/EMA can potentially help determine how long and in what contexts medications are effective. Thus, ESM/EMA may benefit both researchers and clinicians and might prove to be an effective tool for improving the treatment of psychiatric patients.

  13. Bladder cancer mortality and private well use in New England: an ecological study

    PubMed Central

    Ayotte, Joseph D; Baris, Dalsu; Cantor, Kenneth P; Colt, Joanne; Robinson, Gilpin R; Lubin, Jay H; Karagas, Margaret; Hoover, Robert N; Fraumeni, Joseph F; Silverman, Debra T

    2006-01-01

    Study objective To investigate the possible relation between bladder cancer mortality among white men and women and private water use in New England, USA, where rates have been persistently raised and use of private water supplies (wells) common. Design Ecological study relating age adjusted cancer mortality rates for white men and women during 1985–1999 and proportion of persons using private water supplies in 1970. After regressing mortality rates on population density, Pearson correlation coefficients were computed between residual rates and the proportion of the population using private water supplies, using the state economic area as the unit of calculation. Calculations were conducted within each of 10 US regions. Setting The 504 state economic areas of the contiguous United States. Participants Mortality analysis of 11 cancer sites, with the focus on bladder cancer. Main results After adjusting for the effect of population density, there was a statistically significant positive correlation between residual bladder cancer mortality rates and private water supply use among both men and women in New England (men, r = 0.42; women, r = 0.48) and New York/New Jersey (men, r = 0.49; women, r = 0.62). Conclusions Use of well water from private sources, or a close correlate, may be an explanatory variable for the excess bladder cancer mortality in New England. Analytical studies are underway to clarify the relation between suspected water contaminants, particularly arsenic, and raised bladder cancer rates in northern New England. PMID:16415269

  14. An Ecological Approach to Prospective and Retrospective Timing of Long Durations: A Study Involving Gamers

    PubMed Central

    Tobin, Simon; Bisson, Nicolas; Grondin, Simon

    2010-01-01

    To date, most studies comparing prospective and retrospective timing have failed to use long durations and tasks with a certain degree of ecological validity. The present study assessed the effect of the timing paradigm on playing video games in a “naturalistic environment” (gaming centers). In addition, as it involved gamers, it provided an opportunity to examine the effect of gaming profile on time estimation. A total of 116 participants were asked to estimate prospectively or retrospectively a video game session lasting 12, 35 or 58 minutes. The results indicate that time is perceived as longer in the prospective paradigm than in the retrospective one, although the variability of estimates is the same. Moreover, the 12-minute session was perceived as longer, proportionally, than the 35- and 58-minute sessions. The study also revealed that the number of hours participants spent playing video games per week was a significant predictor of time estimates. To account for the main findings, the differences between prospective and retrospective timing are discussed in quantitative terms using a proposed theoretical framework, which states that both paradigms use the same cognitive processes, but in different proportions. Finally, the hypothesis that gamers play more because they underestimate time is also discussed. PMID:20174648

  15. Bladder cancer mortality and private well use in New England: An ecological study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ayotte, J.D.; Baris, D.; Cantor, K.P.; Colt, J.; Robinson, G.R.; Lubin, J.H.; Karagas, M.; Hoover, R.N.; Fraumeni, J.F.; Silverman, D.T.

    2006-01-01

    Study objective: To investigate the possible relation between bladder cancer mortality among white men and women and private water use in New England, USA, where rates have been persistently raised and use of private water supplies (wells) common. Design: Ecological study relating age adjusted cancer mortality rates for white men and women during 1985-1999 and proportion of persons using private water supplies in 1970. After regressing mortality rates on population density, Pearson correlation coefficients were computed between residual rates and the proportion of the population using private water supplies, using the state economic area as the unit of calculation. Calculations were conducted within each of 10 US regions. Setting: The 504 state economic areas of the contiguous United States. Participants: Mortality analysis of 11 cancer sites, with the focus on bladder cancer. Main results: After adjusting for the effect of population density, there was a statistically significant positive correlation between residual bladder cancer mortality rates and private water supply use among both men and women in New England (men, r=0.42; women, r=0.48) and New York/New Jersey (men, r=0.49; women, r=0.62). Conclusions: Use of well water from private sources, or a close correlate, may be an explanatory variable for the excess bladder cancer mortality in New England. Analytical studies are underway to clarify the relation between suspected water contaminants, particularly arsenic, and raised bladder cancer rates in northern New England.

  16. A Video Ethnography Approach to Assessing The Ecological Validity of Neurocognitive and Functional Measures in Severe Mental Illness: Results From A Feasibility Study

    PubMed Central

    Bromley, Elizabeth; Mikesell, Lisa; Mates, Andrea; Smith, Michael; Brekke, John S.

    2012-01-01

    Background. The ecological validity of neurocognitive and functional measures in severe mental illness is poorly understood because of a lack of validated research methods to study community life-as-lived. We describe the development of a video ethnography method that measures naturalistic behaviors with codes called community performance indicators (CPIs). The method could provide a strategy to test the ecological validity of neurocognitive and functional assessments. Methods. We gathered up to 18.5 hours of video ethnography data on each of 9 subjects with schizophrenia selected for high or low composite scores on the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). We used video ethnography to capture subjects’ everyday behaviors in their usual environments. We established 4 CPIs that showed excellent inter-rater and promising test-retest reliability: (1) behavioral activity level, (2) goal pursuit, (3) social interaction, and (4) problem solving. Results. (1) High and low MCCB subjects showed statistically significantly differences on all 4 CPIs. (2) MCCB composite scores were correlated with all 4 CPIs (r = .54 to −.77, P < .01 to .07). (3) The MCCB domain scores demonstrated some specificity in their correlations with the CPIs; eg, verbal learning, reasoning/problem solving, and social cognition were correlated with CPI domains of social interaction and problem solving. Conclusions. We present a method for reliably measuring everyday functional performance in schizophrenia. Results from a small select sample suggest that CPIs capture skills associated with neurocognition, supporting their use in a larger study of ecological validity. PMID:21402723

  17. Spatial patterns, ecological niches, and interspecific competition of avian brood parasites: inferring from a case study of Korea.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jin-Won; Noh, Hee-Jin; Lee, Yunkyoung; Kwon, Young-Soo; Kim, Chang-Hoe; Yoo, Jeong-Chil

    2014-09-01

    Since obligate avian brood parasites depend completely on the effort of other host species for rearing their progeny, the availability of hosts will be a critical resource for their life history. Circumstantial evidence suggests that intense competition for host species may exist not only within but also between species. So far, however, few studies have demonstrated whether the interspecific competition really occurs in the system of avian brood parasitism and how the nature of brood parasitism is related to their niche evolution. Using the occurrence data of five avian brood parasites from two sources of nationwide bird surveys in South Korea and publically available environmental/climatic data, we identified their distribution patterns and ecological niches, and applied species distribution modeling to infer the effect of interspecific competition on their spatial distribution. We found that the distribution patterns of five avian brood parasites could be characterized by altitude and climatic conditions, but overall their spatial ranges and ecological niches extensively overlapped with each other. We also found that the predicted distribution areas of each species were generally comparable to the realized distribution areas, and the numbers of individuals in areas where multiple species were predicted to coexist showed positive relationships among species. In conclusion, despite following different coevolutionary trajectories to adapt to their respect host species, five species of avian brood parasites breeding in South Korea occupied broadly similar ecological niches, implying that they tend to conserve ancestral preferences for ecological conditions. Furthermore, our results indicated that contrary to expectation interspecific competition for host availability between avian brood parasites seemed to be trivial, and thus, play little role in shaping their spatial distributions and ecological niches. Future studies, including the complete ranges of avian brood

  18. Ecotoxicogenomics to Support Ecological Risk Assessment: A Case Study with Bisphenol A in Fish

    EPA Science Inventory

    Toxicogenomic approaches are being increasingly applied in the field of ecotoxicology. Given the growing availability of ecotoxicogenomic data, the Agency and the broader scientific community are actively engaged in considering how best to use those data to support ecological ris...

  19. Support for NATO Advanced Study Institute on molecular ecology of aquatic microbes, August 28--September 9, 1994. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Joint, I.

    1995-06-16

    This is a summary paper for a NATO Advanced Study Institute sponsored meeting entitled `The Molecular Ecology of Aquatic Microbes` held in Luccia, Italy from August 28 to September 9, 1994. A full reference book for the proceedings is to be published later.

  20. The Ecological Footprint as an Educational Tool for Sustainability: A Case Study Analysis in an Israeli Public High School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gottlieb, Dan; Vigoda-Gadot, Eran; Haim, Abraham; Kissinger, Meidad

    2012-01-01

    Education is widely acknowledged to be a means for advancing environmental sustainability. Many schools have recently introduced the idea of sustainability into their educational agenda and curriculum. This study uses an innovative method of communicating the principle of sustainability, the "Ecological Footprint" Analysis, which illustrates the…

  1. Switching on and Switching off in Mathematics: An Ecological Study of Future Intent and Disengagement among Middle School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Andrew J.; Anderson, Judy; Bobis, Janette; Way, Jennifer; Vellar, Rosemary

    2012-01-01

    Prompted by international concerns about school and postschool participation in mathematics, the authors of the present study sought to investigate factors predicting "switching on" and "switching off" in mathematics, operationalized through measures of future intent and disengagement, respectively. They drew from Bronfenbrenner's ecological model…

  2. The Effect of Recycling Education on High School Students' Conceptual Understanding about Ecology: A Study on Matter Cycle

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ugulu, Ilker; Yorek, Nurettin; Baslar, Suleyman

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study is to analyze and determine whether a developed recycling education program would lead to a positive change in the conceptual understanding of ecological concepts associated with matter cycles by high school students. The research was conducted on 68 high school 10th grade students (47 female and 21 male students). The…

  3. Hurricane Impacts on Ecological Services and Economic Values of Coastal Urban Forest: A Case Study of Pensacola, Florida

    EPA Science Inventory

    As urbanized areas continue to grow and green spaces dwindle, the importance of urban forests increases for both ecologically derived health benefits and for their potential to mitigate climate change. This study examined pre- and post- hurricane conditions of Pensacola's urban f...

  4. Studying Behavioral Ecology on High School & College Campuses: A Practical Guide to Measuring Foraging Behavior Using Urban Wildlife

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Mohammad A. Abu; Emerson, Sara E.; Brown, Joel S.

    2015-01-01

    We present a practical field exercise for ecology and animal behavior classes that can be carried out on campus, using urban wildlife. Students document an animal's feeding behavior to study its interactions with the surrounding environment. In this approach, an animal's feeding behavior is quantified at experimental food patches placed within its…

  5. The Association between Physical Fitness and Academic Achievement in Texas State House Legislative Districts: An Ecologic Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Janak, Jud C.; Gabriel, Kelley P.; Oluyomi, Abiodun O.; Peréz, Adriana; Kohl, Harold W.; Kelder, Steven H.

    2014-01-01

    Background: The association of physical fitness with cognitive function in children and adolescents is unclear. The purpose of this ecological study was to describe the association between academic achievement, body mass index (BMI), and cardiovascular fitness (CVF) in a large sample of elementary, middle, and high school students in Texas.…

  6. The Ecology of School Renewal. Eighty-Sixth Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, Part I.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goodlad, John I., Ed.

    This book comprises part I of the eighty-sixth annual yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education. Focusing on the theme of the ecology of school renewal, this volume consists of 12 articles by different authors. The first five articles focus on school improvement: "Structure, Process, and an Agenda" by John I. Goodlad; "Authority…

  7. Development of Knowledge Frameworks and Higher Order Cognitive Operations among Secondary School Students Who Studied a Unit on Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bischoff, Paul J.; Anderson, O. Roger

    2001-01-01

    Interviews 9th and 10th grade students (n=13) who studied an ecology unit and analyzed tape-recorded data for changes in organization of knowledge, represented by ideational networks and the development of higher cognitive operations. Provides insights into how students developed knowledge schemata, ideational networks, and the capacity to express…

  8. Characterization of Retention and Transfer of Protein Labels in the Saltcedar Leaf Beetle for use in Ecological Studies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Understanding dispersal and predator-prey associations of biological control agents can lead to a better understanding of the ecological services that they provide. Marking arthropods with labels facilitates studies of their activity in nature, and thus provides new insight into biological traits r...

  9. Molecular beacons: trial of a fluorescence-based solution hybridization technique for ecological studies with ruminal bacteria.

    PubMed Central

    Schofield, P; Pell, A N; Krause, D O

    1997-01-01

    Molecular beacons are fluorescent probes developed for solution rather than membrane hybridization. We have investigated the utility of these probes to study rumen microbial ecology. Two cellulolytic species, Ruminococcus albus and Fibrobacter succinogenes, were tested. Membrane and solution hybridizations gave similar results in competition experiments with cocultures of R. albus 8 and F. succinogenes S85. PMID:9055429

  10. A Case Study of Blended Teaching and Learning in a New Zealand Secondary School, Using an Ecological Framework

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zaka, Pinelopi

    2013-01-01

    This paper reports on the findings of a case study that investigated how blended teaching and learning was implemented in a New Zealand secondary school. An ecological perspective was taken to clarify the complexity of blended teaching and learning implementation by researching the roles of students, teachers, school leaders and other educational…

  11. Revisiting the Affect Regulation Model of Binge Eating: A Meta-Analysis of Studies Using Ecological Momentary Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haedt-Matt, Alissa A.; Keel, Pamela K.

    2011-01-01

    The affect regulation model of binge eating, which posits that patients binge eat to reduce negative affect (NA), has received support from cross-sectional and laboratory-based studies. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) involves momentary ratings and repeated assessments over time and is ideally suited to identify temporal antecedents and…

  12. The Preparation of Gelatine-Embedded Soil and Litter Sections and Their Application to Some Soil Ecological Studies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, J. M.

    1978-01-01

    A method is described for preparing large gelatine-embedded soil sections for ecological studies. Sampling methods reduce structural disturbance of the samples to a minimum and include freezing the samples in the field to kill soil invertebrates in their natural microhabitats. Projects are suggested for upper secondary school students. (Author/BB)

  13. Using Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Theory to Understand Community Partnerships: A Historical Case Study of One Urban High School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leonard, Jack

    2011-01-01

    Although the value of school-community partnerships is unquestioned, the reasons for success and failure are not sufficiently understood. This mixed-methods case study examines 60 years of partnering at one urban high school, using Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory to better understand the effect on student development as measured by…

  14. Quality assurance plan for 1991 pilot study of the ecological condition of municipal wastewater constructed wetland treatment systems

    SciTech Connect

    Sherman, A.D.; McAllister, L.S.

    1992-12-01

    The purpose of the quality assurance plan is to detail the methods and procedures to be used in the pilot study of the ecological condition in municipal wastewater constructed wetland treatment systems. It includes specific procedures for assuring that data are of known, high quality. Background material and description of the general approach are outlined in a separate project work plan.

  15. Global sensitivity analysis for complex ecological models: a case study of riparian cottonwood population dynamics.

    PubMed

    Harper, Elizabeth B; Stella, John C; Fremier, Alexander K

    2011-06-01

    Mechanism-based ecological models are a valuable tool for understanding the drivers of complex ecological systems and for making informed resource-management decisions. However, inaccurate conclusions can be drawn from models with a large degree of uncertainty around multiple parameter estimates if uncertainty is ignored. This is especially true in nonlinear systems with multiple interacting variables. We addressed these issues for a mechanism-based, demographic model of Populus fremontii (Fremont cottonwood), the dominant riparian tree species along southwestern U.S. rivers. Many cottonwood populations have declined following widespread floodplain conversion and flow regulation. As a result, accurate predictive models are needed to analyze effects of future climate change and water management decisions. To quantify effects of parameter uncertainty, we developed an analytical approach that combines global sensitivity analysis (GSA) with classification and regression trees (CART) and Random Forest, a bootstrapping CART method. We used GSA to quantify the interacting effects of the full range of uncertainty around all parameter estimates, Random Forest to rank parameters according to their total effect on model predictions, and CART to identify higher-order interactions. GSA simulations yielded a wide range of predictions, including annual germination frequency of 10-100%, annual first-year survival frequency of 0-50%, and patch occupancy of 0-100%. This variance was explained primarily by complex interactions among abiotic parameters including capillary fringe height, stage-discharge relationship, and floodplain accretion rate, which interacted with biotic factors to affect survival. Model precision was primarily influenced by well-studied parameter estimates with minimal associated uncertainty and was virtually unaffected by parameter estimates for which there are no available empirical data and thus a large degree of uncertainty. Therefore, research to improve

  16. Social vulnerability from a social ecology perspective: a cohort study of older adults from the National Population Health Survey of Canada

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Numerous social factors, generally studied in isolation, have been associated with older adults’ health. Even so, older people’s social circumstances are complex and an approach which embraces this complexity is desirable. Here we investigate many social factors in relation to one another and to survival among older adults using a social ecology perspective to measure social vulnerability among older adults. Methods 2740 adults aged 65 and older were followed for ten years in the Canadian National Population Health Survey (NPHS). Twenty-three individual-level social variables were drawn from the 1994 NPHS and five Enumeration Area (EA)-level variables were abstracted from the 1996 Canadian Census using postal code linkage. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used to identify dimensions of social vulnerability. All social variables were summed to create a social vulnerability index which was studied in relation to ten-year mortality. Results The PCA was limited by low variance (47%) explained by emergent factors. Seven dimensions of social vulnerability emerged in the most robust, yet limited, model: social support, engagement, living situation, self-esteem, sense of control, relations with others and contextual socio-economic status. These dimensions showed complex inter-relationships and were situated within a social ecology framework, considering spheres of influence from the individual through to group, neighbourhood and broader societal levels. Adjusting for age, sex, and frailty, increasing social vulnerability measured using the cumulative social vulnerability index was associated with increased risk of mortality over ten years in a Cox regression model (HR 1.04, 95% CI:1.01-1.07, p = 0.01). Conclusions Social vulnerability has important independent influence on older adults’ health though relationships between contributing variables are complex and do not lend themselves well to fragmentation into a small number of discrete factors. A

  17. Ecological study of gastric cancer in Brazil: Geographic and time trend analysis

    PubMed Central

    Amorim, César Augusto; Moreira, Jéssica Pronestino; Rial, Luisa; Carneiro, Antonio José; Fogaça, Homero Soares; Elia, Celeste; Luiz, Ronir Raggio; de Souza, Heitor Siffert Pereira

    2014-01-01

    AIM: To investigate the geographic distributions and time trends of gastric cancer (GC) incidence and mortality in Brazil. METHODS: An ecological study of the DATASUS registry was conducted by identifying hospitalizations for GC between January 2005 and December 2010. The data included information on the gender, age, and town of residence at the time of hospital admission and death. RESULTS: The GC rates, adjusted according to available hospital beds, decreased from 13.8 per 100000 in 2005 to 12.7 per 100000 in 2010. The GC rates decreased more among the younger age groups, in which the male-to-female difference also decreased in comparison to the older age groups. Although the lethality rates tended to increase with age, young patients were proportionally more affected. The spatial GC distribution showed that the rates were higher in the south and southeast. However, while the rates decreased in the central-west and south, they increased in the northern regions. A geographic analysis showed higher rates of GC in more urbanized areas, with a coast-to-inland gradient. Geographically, GC lethality overlapped greatly with the hospital admission rates. CONCLUSION: The results of this study support the hypothesis of a critical role for environmental factors in GC pathogenesis. The declining rates in young patients, particularly males, suggest a relatively recent decrease in the exposure to risk factors associated with GC. The spatial distribution of GC indicates an ongoing dynamic change within the Brazilian environment. PMID:24803816

  18. Radon in Drinking Water and Cancer Mortality: An Ecological Study in Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshinaga, Shinji; Ishikawa, Tetsuo; Tokonami, Shinji; Mizoue, Tetsuya; Narazaki, Yukinori; Mizuno, Shoichi; Akiba, Suminori

    2008-08-01

    There is limited information on the health effects of radon in drinking water in spite of their potential exposures. We conducted an ecological study in a small town in Japan where the groundwater with high concentrations of radon is supplied as utilities. A total of 607 cancer deaths were ascertained by vital statistics in that town from 1972 to 1997. Standardized mortality ratios on the basis of national rates were 1.01 (95% confidence interval; 0.93-1.09) for all cancers, 1.10 (0.95-1.28) for stomach cancer, 0.88 (0.70-1.10) for lung cancer, and 1.14 (0.87-1.48) for liver cancer. Mortality from liver cancer was significantly higher than that of two surrounding control cities combined, with a relative risk of 1.40 (1.04-1.89) based on Poisson regression analysis. Lack of information on possible confounders including diet, alcohol drinking, smoking and hepatitis virus infection, is the main limitation of the study, which precludes the evaluation of causal associations.

  19. Hydrology and ecology of pinyon-juniper woodlands: Conceptual framework and field studies

    SciTech Connect

    Wilcox, B.P.; Breshears, D.D.

    1994-09-01

    Pinyon-juniper woodlands represent an important ecosystem in the semiarid western United States. Concern over the sustainability of, and management approaches for, these woodlands is increasing. As in other semiarid environments, water dynamics and vegetation patterns in pinyon-juniper woodlands are highly interrelated. An understanding of these relationships can aid in evaluating various management strategies. In this paper we describe a conceptual framework designed to increase our understanding of water and vegetation in pinyon-juniper woodlands. The framework comprises five different scales, at each of which the landscape is divided into {open_quotes}functional units{close_quotes} on the basis of hydrologic characteristics. The hydrologic behavior of each unit and the connections between units are being evaluated using an extensive network of hydrological and ecological field studies on the Pajarito Plateau in northern New Mexico. Data from these studies, coupled with application of the conceptual model, have led to the development of a number of hypotheses concerning the interrelationships of water and vegetation in pinyon-juniper woodlands.

  20. A clinical case study of the use of ecological momentary assessment in obsessive compulsive disorder

    PubMed Central

    Tilley, P. J. Matt; Rees, Clare S.

    2014-01-01

    Accurate assessment of obsessions and compulsions is a crucial step in treatment planning for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). In this clinical case study, we sought to determine if the use of Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) could provide additional symptom information beyond that captured during standard assessment of OCD. We studied three adults diagnosed with OCD and compared the number and types of obsessions and compulsions captured using the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) compared to EMA. Following completion of the Y-BOCS interview, participants then recorded their OCD symptoms into a digital voice recorder across a 12-h period in reply to randomly sent mobile phone SMS prompts. The EMA approach yielded a lower number of symptoms of obsessions and compulsions than the Y-BOCS but produced additional types of obsessions and compulsions not previously identified by the Y-BOCS. We conclude that the EMA-OCD procedure may represent a worthy addition to the suite of assessment tools used when working with clients who have OCD. Further research with larger samples is required to strengthen this conclusion. PMID:24860521

  1. Spatial distribution of psychotic disorders in an urban area of France: an ecological study

    PubMed Central

    Pignon, Baptiste; Schürhoff, Franck; Baudin, Grégoire; Ferchiou, Aziz; Richard, Jean-Romain; Saba, Ghassen; Leboyer, Marion; Kirkbride, James B.; Szöke, Andrei

    2016-01-01

    Previous analyses of neighbourhood variations of non-affective psychotic disorders (NAPD) have focused mainly on incidence. However, prevalence studies provide important insights on factors associated with disease evolution as well as for healthcare resource allocation. This study aimed to investigate the distribution of prevalent NAPD cases in an urban area in France. The number of cases in each neighbourhood was modelled as a function of potential confounders and ecological variables, namely: migrant density, economic deprivation and social fragmentation. This was modelled using statistical models of increasing complexity: frequentist models (using Poisson and negative binomial regressions), and several Bayesian models. For each model, assumptions validity were checked and compared as to how this fitted to the data, in order to test for possible spatial variation in prevalence. Data showed significant overdispersion (invalidating the Poisson regression model) and residual autocorrelation (suggesting the need to use Bayesian models). The best Bayesian model was Leroux’s model (i.e. a model with both strong correlation between neighbouring areas and weaker correlation between areas further apart), with economic deprivation as an explanatory variable (OR = 1.13, 95% CI [1.02–1.25]). In comparison with frequentist methods, the Bayesian model showed a better fit. The number of cases showed non-random spatial distribution and was linked to economic deprivation. PMID:27189529