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Sample records for metacommunity dynamics decline

  1. Models for inference in dynamic metacommunity systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dorazio, Robert M.; Kery, Marc; Royle, J. Andrew; Plattner, Matthias

    2010-01-01

    A variety of processes are thought to be involved in the formation and dynamics of species assemblages. For example, various metacommunity theories are based on differences in the relative contributions of dispersal of species among local communities and interactions of species within local communities. Interestingly, metacommunity theories continue to be advanced without much empirical validation. Part of the problem is that statistical models used to analyze typical survey data either fail to specify ecological processes with sufficient complexity or they fail to account for errors in detection of species during sampling. In this paper, we describe a statistical modeling framework for the analysis of metacommunity dynamics that is based on the idea of adopting a unified approach, multispecies occupancy modeling, for computing inferences about individual species, local communities of species, or the entire metacommunity of species. This approach accounts for errors in detection of species during sampling and also allows different metacommunity paradigms to be specified in terms of species- and location-specific probabilities of occurrence, extinction, and colonization: all of which are estimable. In addition, this approach can be used to address inference problems that arise in conservation ecology, such as predicting temporal and spatial changes in biodiversity for use in making conservation decisions. To illustrate, we estimate changes in species composition associated with the species-specific phenologies of flight patterns of butterflies in Switzerland for the purpose of estimating regional differences in biodiversity.

  2. Models for inference in dynamic metacommunity systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dorazio, R.M.; Kery, M.; Royle, J. Andrew; Plattner, M.

    2010-01-01

    A variety of processes are thought to be involved in the formation and dynamics of species assemblages. For example, various metacommunity theories are based on differences in the relative contributions of dispersal of species among local communities and interactions of species within local communities. Interestingly, metacommunity theories continue to be advanced without much empirical validation. Part of the problem is that statistical models used to analyze typical survey data either fail to specify ecological processes with sufficient complexity or they fail to account for errors in detection of species during sampling. In this paper, we describe a statistical modeling framework for the analysis of metacommunity dynamics that is based on the idea of adopting a unified approach, multispecies occupancy modeling, for computing inferences about individual species, local communities of species, or the entire metacommunity of species. This approach accounts for errors in detection of species during sampling and also allows different metacommunity paradigms to be specified in terms of species-and location-specific probabilities of occurrence, extinction, and colonization: all of which are estimable. In addition, this approach can be used to address inference problems that arise in conservation ecology, such as predicting temporal and spatial changes in biodiversity for use in making conservation decisions. To illustrate, we estimate changes in species composition associated with the species-specific phenologies of flight patterns of butterflies in Switzerland for the purpose of estimating regional differences in biodiversity. ?? 2010 by the Ecological Society of America.

  3. Temporal dynamics of a local fish community are strongly affected by immigration from the surrounding metacommunity

    PubMed Central

    Stoffels, Rick J; Clarke, Kenneth Robert; Linklater, Danielle S

    2015-01-01

    A 5-year time series of annual censuses was collected from a large floodplain lake to determine how dynamics of the local fish community were affected by changes in hydrological connectivity with the surrounding metacommunity. The lake was disconnected from the metacommunity for 1 year prior to our study and remained disconnected until 3 months before our third annual census, when a flood reconnected the lake to the metacommunity. We determined how changes in connectivity affected temporal dynamics of (1) local community composition and (2) the population composition, condition, and growth of catfish, to shed light on how immigration of other species might affect local population dynamics. Before reconnection, the community was likely shaped by interactions between the local environment and species traits. The reconnection caused significant immigration and change in community composition and correlated with a significant and abrupt decline in catfish condition, growth, and abundance; effects likely due to the immigration of a competitor with a similar trophic niche: carp. The community was slow to return to its preconnection state, which may be due to dispersal traits of the fishes, and a time-lag in the recovery of the local catfish population following transient intensification of species interactions. The dynamics observed were concordant with the species sorting and mass-effects perspectives of metacommunity theory. Floods cause episodic dispersal in floodplain fish metacommunities, and so, flood frequency determines the relative importance of regional and local processes. Local processes may be particularly important to certain species, but these species may need sufficient time between floods for population increase, before the next flood-induced dispersal episode brings competitors and predators that might cause population decline. Accordingly, species coexistence in these metacommunities may be facilitated by spatiotemporal storage effects, which may in

  4. Species Turnover through Time: Colonization and Extinction Dynamics across Metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Nuvoloni, Felipe Micali; Feres, Reinaldo José Fazzio; Gilbert, Benjamin

    2016-06-01

    Island biogeography and metacommunity theory often use equilibrium assumptions to predict local diversity, yet nonequilibrium dynamics are common in nature. In nonequilibrium communities, local diversity fluctuates through time as the relative importance of colonization and extinction change. Here, we test the prevalence and causes of nonequilibrium dynamics in metacommunities of mites associated with rubber trees distributed over large spatial (>1,000 km) and temporal (>30-60 generations) scales in Brazil. We measured colonization and extinction rates to test species turnover and nonequilibrium dynamics over a growing season. Mite metacommunities exhibited nonequilibrium dynamics for most months of the year, and these dynamics tracked climatic conditions. Monthly shifts in temperature of more than 1°C resulted in nonequilibrium dynamics, as did mean temperatures outside of two critical ranges. Nonequilibrium dynamics were caused by a change in colonization with temperature change and changes in both colonization and extinction with absolute temperature. Species turnover showed different trends; high relative humidity increased both colonization and extinction rates, increasing turnover but not nonequilibrium dynamics. Our study illustrates that testing nonequilibrium dynamics can provide new insights into the drivers of colonization, extinction, and diversity fluctuations in metacommunities. PMID:27172597

  5. Constraints on food chain length arising from regional metacommunity dynamics.

    PubMed

    Calcagno, Vincent; Massol, François; Mouquet, Nicolas; Jarne, Philippe; David, Patrice

    2011-10-22

    Classical ecological theory has proposed several determinants of food chain length, but the role of metacommunity dynamics has not yet been fully considered. By modelling patchy predator-prey metacommunities with extinction-colonization dynamics, we identify two distinct constraints on food chain length. First, finite colonization rates limit predator occupancy to a subset of prey-occupied sites. Second, intrinsic extinction rates accumulate along trophic chains. We show how both processes concur to decrease maximal and average food chain length in metacommunities. This decrease is mitigated if predators track their prey during colonization (habitat selection) and can be reinforced by top-down control of prey vital rates (especially extinction). Moreover, top-down control of colonization and habitat selection can interact to produce a counterintuitive positive relationship between perturbation rate and food chain length. Our results show how novel limits to food chain length emerge in spatially structured communities. We discuss the connections between these constraints and the ones commonly discussed, and suggest ways to test for metacommunity effects in food webs.

  6. Species sorting and patch dynamics in harlequin metacommunities affect the relative importance of environment and space.

    PubMed

    Leibold, Mathew A; Loeuille, Nicolas

    2015-12-01

    Metacommunity theory indicates that variation in local community structure can be partitioned into components including those related to local environmental conditions vs. spatial effects and that these can be quantified using statistical methods based on variation partitioning. It has been hypothesized that joint associations of community composition with environment and space could be due to patch dynamics involving colonization-extinction processes in environmentally heterogeneous landscapes but this has yet to be theoretically shown. We develop a two-patch, type-two, species competition model in such a "harlequin" landscape (where different patches have different environments) to evaluate how composition is related to environmental and spatial effects as a function of background extinction rate. Using spatially implicit analytical models, we find that the environmental association of community composition declines with extinction rate as expected. Using spatially explicit simulation models, we further find that there is an increase in the spatial structure with extinction due to spatial patterning into clusters that are not related to environmental conditions but that this increase is limited. Natural metacommunities often show both environment and spatial determination even under conditions of relatively high isolation and these could be more easily explained by our model than alternative metacommunity models. PMID:26909428

  7. Species sorting and patch dynamics in harlequin metacommunities affect the relative importance of environment and space.

    PubMed

    Leibold, Mathew A; Loeuille, Nicolas

    2015-12-01

    Metacommunity theory indicates that variation in local community structure can be partitioned into components including those related to local environmental conditions vs. spatial effects and that these can be quantified using statistical methods based on variation partitioning. It has been hypothesized that joint associations of community composition with environment and space could be due to patch dynamics involving colonization-extinction processes in environmentally heterogeneous landscapes but this has yet to be theoretically shown. We develop a two-patch, type-two, species competition model in such a "harlequin" landscape (where different patches have different environments) to evaluate how composition is related to environmental and spatial effects as a function of background extinction rate. Using spatially implicit analytical models, we find that the environmental association of community composition declines with extinction rate as expected. Using spatially explicit simulation models, we further find that there is an increase in the spatial structure with extinction due to spatial patterning into clusters that are not related to environmental conditions but that this increase is limited. Natural metacommunities often show both environment and spatial determination even under conditions of relatively high isolation and these could be more easily explained by our model than alternative metacommunity models.

  8. Disturbance-mediated colonization-extinction dynamics in experimental protist metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Fukumori, Kayoko; Livingston, George; Leibold, Mathew A

    2015-12-01

    Colonization-extinction dynamics and species sorting among habitats deter- mine the distribution of species within metacommunities. Theory suggests that disturbances reduce the importance of species sorting and enhance spatial patterning and stochastic effects, however this has not yet been experimentally shown. We examined how extinctions in a heterogeneous landscape of patches affects the influence of environmental, spatial, and stochastic factors on community composition in a simple two-species, two-habitat, protist metacommunity where each species dominates in a different habitat type. We imposed four different levels of random extinctions on local patches and monitored changes in the metacommunity through time. We found that near-steady state patterns of community variability developed relatively rapidly (within nine colonization-extinction cycles) and that increased extinction rate produced altered patterns of community regulation by reducing environmental control and increasing spatial and stochastic effects. Our results indicate a possible explanation for the combination of environmental, spatial and stochastic effects observed in natural metacommunities.

  9. Organic fields sustain weed metacommunity dynamics in farmland landscapes.

    PubMed

    Henckel, Laura; Börger, Luca; Meiss, Helmut; Gaba, Sabrina; Bretagnolle, Vincent

    2015-06-01

    Agro-ecosystems constitute essential habitat for many organisms. Agricultural intensification, however, has caused a strong decline of farmland biodiversity. Organic farming (OF) is often presented as a more biodiversity-friendly practice, but the generality of the beneficial effects of OF is debated as the effects appear often species- and context-dependent, and current research has highlighted the need to quantify the relative effects of local- and landscape-scale management on farmland biodiversity. Yet very few studies have investigated the landscape-level effects of OF; that is to say, how the biodiversity of a field is affected by the presence or density of organically farmed fields in the surrounding landscape. We addressed this issue using the metacommunity framework, with weed species richness in winter wheat within an intensively farmed landscape in France as model system. Controlling for the effects of local and landscape structure, we showed that OF leads to higher local weed diversity and that the presence of OF in the landscape is associated with higher local weed biodiversity also for conventionally farmed fields, and may reach a similar biodiversity level to organic fields in field margins. Based on these results, we derive indications for improving the sustainable management of farming systems.

  10. Organic fields sustain weed metacommunity dynamics in farmland landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Henckel, Laura; Börger, Luca; Meiss, Helmut; Gaba, Sabrina; Bretagnolle, Vincent

    2015-01-01

    Agro-ecosystems constitute essential habitat for many organisms. Agricultural intensification, however, has caused a strong decline of farmland biodiversity. Organic farming (OF) is often presented as a more biodiversity-friendly practice, but the generality of the beneficial effects of OF is debated as the effects appear often species- and context-dependent, and current research has highlighted the need to quantify the relative effects of local- and landscape-scale management on farmland biodiversity. Yet very few studies have investigated the landscape-level effects of OF; that is to say, how the biodiversity of a field is affected by the presence or density of organically farmed fields in the surrounding landscape. We addressed this issue using the metacommunity framework, with weed species richness in winter wheat within an intensively farmed landscape in France as model system. Controlling for the effects of local and landscape structure, we showed that OF leads to higher local weed diversity and that the presence of OF in the landscape is associated with higher local weed biodiversity also for conventionally farmed fields, and may reach a similar biodiversity level to organic fields in field margins. Based on these results, we derive indications for improving the sustainable management of farming systems. PMID:25994672

  11. Organic fields sustain weed metacommunity dynamics in farmland landscapes.

    PubMed

    Henckel, Laura; Börger, Luca; Meiss, Helmut; Gaba, Sabrina; Bretagnolle, Vincent

    2015-06-01

    Agro-ecosystems constitute essential habitat for many organisms. Agricultural intensification, however, has caused a strong decline of farmland biodiversity. Organic farming (OF) is often presented as a more biodiversity-friendly practice, but the generality of the beneficial effects of OF is debated as the effects appear often species- and context-dependent, and current research has highlighted the need to quantify the relative effects of local- and landscape-scale management on farmland biodiversity. Yet very few studies have investigated the landscape-level effects of OF; that is to say, how the biodiversity of a field is affected by the presence or density of organically farmed fields in the surrounding landscape. We addressed this issue using the metacommunity framework, with weed species richness in winter wheat within an intensively farmed landscape in France as model system. Controlling for the effects of local and landscape structure, we showed that OF leads to higher local weed diversity and that the presence of OF in the landscape is associated with higher local weed biodiversity also for conventionally farmed fields, and may reach a similar biodiversity level to organic fields in field margins. Based on these results, we derive indications for improving the sustainable management of farming systems. PMID:25994672

  12. Disturbance-mediated colonization-extinction dynamics in experimental protist metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Fukumori, Kayoko; Livingston, George; Leibold, Mathew A

    2015-12-01

    Colonization-extinction dynamics and species sorting among habitats deter- mine the distribution of species within metacommunities. Theory suggests that disturbances reduce the importance of species sorting and enhance spatial patterning and stochastic effects, however this has not yet been experimentally shown. We examined how extinctions in a heterogeneous landscape of patches affects the influence of environmental, spatial, and stochastic factors on community composition in a simple two-species, two-habitat, protist metacommunity where each species dominates in a different habitat type. We imposed four different levels of random extinctions on local patches and monitored changes in the metacommunity through time. We found that near-steady state patterns of community variability developed relatively rapidly (within nine colonization-extinction cycles) and that increased extinction rate produced altered patterns of community regulation by reducing environmental control and increasing spatial and stochastic effects. Our results indicate a possible explanation for the combination of environmental, spatial and stochastic effects observed in natural metacommunities. PMID:26909429

  13. Predator identity influences metacommunity assembly.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Nicole K; Pu, Zhichao; Jiang, Lin

    2016-09-01

    Predation is among the most important biotic factors influencing natural communities, yet we have a rather rudimentary understanding of its role in modulating metacommunity assembly. We experimentally examined the effects of two different predators (a generalist and a specialist) on metacommunity assembly, using protist microcosm metacommunities that varied in predator identity, dispersal among local communities and the history of species colonization into local communities. Generalist predation resulted in reduced α diversity and increased β diversity irrespective of dispersal, likely due to predation-induced stochastic extinction of different prey species in different local communities. Dispersal, however, induced source-sink dynamics in the presence of specialist predators, resulting in higher α diversity and marginally lower β diversity. These results demonstrate the distinct effects of different predators on prey metacommunity assembly, emphasizing the need to explore the role of predator diet breadth in structuring metacommunities. PMID:27349796

  14. Invertebrate Metacommunity Structure and Dynamics in an Andean Glacial Stream Network Facing Climate Change

    PubMed Central

    Cauvy-Fraunié, Sophie; Espinosa, Rodrigo; Andino, Patricio; Jacobsen, Dean; Dangles, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    Under the ongoing climate change, understanding the mechanisms structuring the spatial distribution of aquatic species in glacial stream networks is of critical importance to predict the response of aquatic biodiversity in the face of glacier melting. In this study, we propose to use metacommunity theory as a conceptual framework to better understand how river network structure influences the spatial organization of aquatic communities in glacierized catchments. At 51 stream sites in an Andean glacierized catchment (Ecuador), we sampled benthic macroinvertebrates, measured physico-chemical and food resource conditions, and calculated geographical, altitudinal and glaciality distances among all sites. Using partial redundancy analysis, we partitioned community variation to evaluate the relative strength of environmental conditions (e.g., glaciality, food resource) vs. spatial processes (e.g., overland, watercourse, and downstream directional dispersal) in organizing the aquatic metacommunity. Results revealed that both environmental and spatial variables significantly explained community variation among sites. Among all environmental variables, the glacial influence component best explained community variation. Overland spatial variables based on geographical and altitudinal distances significantly affected community variation. Watercourse spatial variables based on glaciality distances had a unique significant effect on community variation. Within alpine catchment, glacial meltwater affects macroinvertebrate metacommunity structure in many ways. Indeed, the harsh environmental conditions characterizing glacial influence not only constitute the primary environmental filter but also, limit water-borne macroinvertebrate dispersal. Therefore, glacier runoff acts as an aquatic dispersal barrier, isolating species in headwater streams, and preventing non-adapted species to colonize throughout the entire stream network. Under a scenario of glacier runoff decrease, we

  15. Invertebrate Metacommunity Structure and Dynamics in an Andean Glacial Stream Network Facing Climate Change.

    PubMed

    Cauvy-Fraunié, Sophie; Espinosa, Rodrigo; Andino, Patricio; Jacobsen, Dean; Dangles, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    Under the ongoing climate change, understanding the mechanisms structuring the spatial distribution of aquatic species in glacial stream networks is of critical importance to predict the response of aquatic biodiversity in the face of glacier melting. In this study, we propose to use metacommunity theory as a conceptual framework to better understand how river network structure influences the spatial organization of aquatic communities in glacierized catchments. At 51 stream sites in an Andean glacierized catchment (Ecuador), we sampled benthic macroinvertebrates, measured physico-chemical and food resource conditions, and calculated geographical, altitudinal and glaciality distances among all sites. Using partial redundancy analysis, we partitioned community variation to evaluate the relative strength of environmental conditions (e.g., glaciality, food resource) vs. spatial processes (e.g., overland, watercourse, and downstream directional dispersal) in organizing the aquatic metacommunity. Results revealed that both environmental and spatial variables significantly explained community variation among sites. Among all environmental variables, the glacial influence component best explained community variation. Overland spatial variables based on geographical and altitudinal distances significantly affected community variation. Watercourse spatial variables based on glaciality distances had a unique significant effect on community variation. Within alpine catchment, glacial meltwater affects macroinvertebrate metacommunity structure in many ways. Indeed, the harsh environmental conditions characterizing glacial influence not only constitute the primary environmental filter but also, limit water-borne macroinvertebrate dispersal. Therefore, glacier runoff acts as an aquatic dispersal barrier, isolating species in headwater streams, and preventing non-adapted species to colonize throughout the entire stream network. Under a scenario of glacier runoff decrease, we

  16. Condition-dependent movement and dispersal in experimental metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Fronhofer, Emanuel A; Klecka, Jan; Melián, Carlos J; Altermatt, Florian

    2015-09-01

    Dispersal and the underlying movement behaviour are processes of pivotal importance for understanding and predicting metapopulation and metacommunity dynamics. Generally, dispersal decisions are condition-dependent and rely on information in the broad sense, like the presence of conspecifics. However, studies on metacommunities that include interspecific interactions generally disregard condition-dependence. Therefore, it remains unclear whether and how dispersal in metacommunities is condition-dependent and whether rules derived from single-species contexts can be scaled up to (meta)communities. Using experimental protist metacommunities, we show how dispersal and movement depend on and are adjusted by the strength of interspecific interactions. We found that the predicting movement and dispersal in metacommunities requires knowledge on behavioural responses to intra- and interspecific interaction strengths. Consequently, metacommunity dynamics inferred directly from single-species metapopulations without taking interspecific interactions into account are likely flawed. Our work identifies the significance of condition-dependence for understanding metacommunity dynamics, stability and the coexistence and distribution of species. PMID:26206470

  17. Condition-dependent movement and dispersal in experimental metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Fronhofer, Emanuel A; Klecka, Jan; Melián, Carlos J; Altermatt, Florian

    2015-09-01

    Dispersal and the underlying movement behaviour are processes of pivotal importance for understanding and predicting metapopulation and metacommunity dynamics. Generally, dispersal decisions are condition-dependent and rely on information in the broad sense, like the presence of conspecifics. However, studies on metacommunities that include interspecific interactions generally disregard condition-dependence. Therefore, it remains unclear whether and how dispersal in metacommunities is condition-dependent and whether rules derived from single-species contexts can be scaled up to (meta)communities. Using experimental protist metacommunities, we show how dispersal and movement depend on and are adjusted by the strength of interspecific interactions. We found that the predicting movement and dispersal in metacommunities requires knowledge on behavioural responses to intra- and interspecific interaction strengths. Consequently, metacommunity dynamics inferred directly from single-species metapopulations without taking interspecific interactions into account are likely flawed. Our work identifies the significance of condition-dependence for understanding metacommunity dynamics, stability and the coexistence and distribution of species.

  18. Ecological consequences of evolution in plant defenses in a metacommunity.

    PubMed

    Loeuille, N; Leibold, M A

    2008-08-01

    Dispersal can affect the assembly of local communities in a metacommunity as well as evolution of local populations in a metapopulation. These two processes may also affect each other in ways that have not yet been well studied and that may have novel effects on community structure. Here, we illustrate the interaction of these two processes on community structure with a model of adaptive evolutionary dynamics of plant defenses in a metacommunity food web involving multiple patches along a productivity gradient. We find an enhanced suite of adaptive plant types in our metacommunity model than is predicted in the absence of dispersal. We also find that this, and the movement of nutrients among patches via dispersal, alters patterns of food web architecture, trophic structure and diversity along the productivity gradient. Overall, our model illustrates that evolutionary and metacommunity dynamics may influence communities in complex interactive ways that may not be predicted by models that ignore either of these types of processes.

  19. Metacommunity dynamics of bacteria in an arctic lake: the impact of species sorting and mass effects on bacterial production and biogeography

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Heather E.; Crump, Byron C.; Kling, George W.

    2014-01-01

    To understand mechanisms linking ecosystem processes and microbial diversity in freshwater ecosystems, bacterial productivity and the metacommunity dynamics of species sorting and mass effects were investigated in an 18 ha headwater lake in northern Alaska. On most sampling dates, the phylogenetic composition of bacterial communities in inflowing streams (inlets) was strikingly different than that in the lake and the outflowing stream (outlet) (16S DGGE fingerprinting), demonstrating the shift in composition that occurs as these communities transit the lake. Outlet and downstream communities were also more productive than inlet and upstream communities (14C-leucine incorporation). Inlet bacteria transplanted to the outlet stream in dialysis bags were equally or less productive than control bacteria, suggesting that the inlet bacteria are capable of growing under lake conditions, but do not remain abundant because of species sorting in the lake. Outlet bacteria (representative of epilimnetic bacteria) transplanted to the inlet stream were less productive than control bacteria, suggesting that lake bacteria are not as well adapted to growing under inlet conditions. Based on water density, inlet stream water and bacteria generally entered the lake at the base of the epilimnion. However, during low to medium flow in the inlet stream the residence time of the epilimnion was too long relative to bacterial doubling times for these allochthonous bacteria to have a mass effect on the composition of outlet bacteria. The highest community similarity between inlet and outlet bacteria was detected after a large rain event in 2003, with over 61% similarity (average non-storm similarities were 39 ± 8%). While mass effects may be important during large storm events, species sorting appears to be the predominant mechanism structuring bacterial communities within the lake, leading to the assembly of a lake community that has lost some ability to function in stream habitats. PMID

  20. [Metacommunication in waking and hypnotic states].

    PubMed

    Granone, F

    1981-10-27

    A definition is given of the terms "communication" and "metacommunication", "language" and "metalanguage", and the several types of relationships that may arise in communication: "symmetrical competitive", "integrative complementary", "metacomplementary", and "paradoxical", Reference is made to the "spontaneity" and "simulation" that may arise in communication and metacommunication, during both wakefulness, conscious states in barbituric subnarcosis, and hypnosis. The question of metacommunication during the induction of hypnosis and during the hypnotic relationship is examined, stress being placed on the parapsycholgical metacommunications that may take place during some forms of self- or hetero-induced hypnotic consciousness.

  1. Lexical Acquisition with and without Metacommunication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ginzburg, Jonathan; Macura*, Zoran

    A central concern of work on the evolution of language has been to offer an account for the emergence of syntactically complex structure, which underwrites a compositional semantics. In this chapter we consider the emergence of one class of utterances which illustrate that semantic expressiveness is not correlated with syntactic complexity, namely metacommunicative interaction (MCI) utterances. These are utterance acts in which conversationalists acknowledge understanding or request clarification. We offer a simple characterisation of the incremental change required for MCI to emerge from an MCI-less linguistic interaction system. This theoretical setting underpins and motivates the development of an ALife environment in which the lexicon dynamics of populations that possess and lack MCI capabilities are compared.

  2. Urban amphibian assemblages as metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Parris, Kirsten M

    2006-05-01

    1. Urban ecosystems are expanding throughout the world, and urban ecology is attracting increasing research interest. Some authors have questioned the value of existing ecological theories for understanding the processes and consequences of urbanization. 2. In order to assess the applicability of metacommunity theory to urban systems, I evaluated three assumptions that underlie the theory - the effect of patch area, the effect of patch isolation, and species-environment relations - using data on assemblages of pond-breeding amphibians in the Greater Melbourne area of Australia. I also assessed the relative impact of habitat fragmentation, habitat isolation, and changes to habitat quality on these assemblages. 3. Poisson regression modelling provided support for an important increase in species richness with patch area (pond size) and a decrease in species richness with increasing patch isolation, as measured by surrounding road cover. Holding all other variables constant, species richness was predicted to be 2.8-5.5 times higher at the largest pond than at the smallest, while the most isolated pond was predicted to have 12-19% of the species richness of the least isolated pond. Thus, the data were consistent with the first two assumptions of metacommunity theory evaluated. 4. The quality of habitat at a pond was also important, with a predicted 44-56% decrease in the number of species detected at ponds with a surrounding vertical wall compared with those with a gently sloping bank. This demonstrates that environmental differences between habitat patches were also influencing amphibian assemblages, providing support for the species-sorting and/or mass-effect perspectives of metacommunity theory. 5. Without management intervention, urbanization may lead to a reduction in the number of amphibian species persisting in urban ponds, particularly where increasing isolation of ponds by roads and associated infrastructure reduces the probability of re-colonization following

  3. Community rescue in experimental metacommunities

    PubMed Central

    Low-Décarie, Etienne; Kolber, Marcus; Homme, Paige; Lofano, Andrea; Dumbrell, Alex; Gonzalez, Andrew; Bell, Graham

    2015-01-01

    The conditions that allow biodiversity to recover following severe environmental degradation are poorly understood. We studied community rescue, the recovery of a viable community through the evolutionary rescue of many populations within an evolving community, in metacommunities of soil microbes adapting to a herbicide. The metacommunities occupied a landscape of crossed spatial gradients of the herbicide (Dalapon) and a resource (glucose), whereas their constituent communities were either isolated or connected by dispersal. The spread of adapted communities across the landscape and the persistence of communities when that landscape was degraded were strongly promoted by dispersal, and the capacity to adapt to lethal stress was also related to community size and initial diversity. After abrupt and lethal stress, community rescue was most frequent in communities that had previously experienced sublethal levels of stress and had been connected by dispersal. Community rescue occurred through the evolutionary rescue of both initially common taxa, which remained common, and of initially rare taxa, which grew to dominate the evolved community. Community rescue may allow productivity and biodiversity to recover from severe environmental degradation. PMID:26578777

  4. Food-web complexity, meta-community complexity and community stability

    PubMed Central

    Mougi, A.; Kondoh, M.

    2016-01-01

    What allows interacting, diverse species to coexist in nature has been a central question in ecology, ever since the theoretical prediction that a complex community should be inherently unstable. Although the role of spatiality in species coexistence has been recognized, its application to more complex systems has been less explored. Here, using a meta-community model of food web, we show that meta-community complexity, measured by the number of local food webs and their connectedness, elicits a self-regulating, negative-feedback mechanism and thus stabilizes food-web dynamics. Moreover, the presence of meta-community complexity can give rise to a positive food-web complexity-stability effect. Spatiality may play a more important role in stabilizing dynamics of complex, real food webs than expected from ecological theory based on the models of simpler food webs. PMID:27071716

  5. Effects of Connectivity and Recurrent Local Disturbances on Community Structure and Population Density in Experimental Metacommunities

    PubMed Central

    Carrara, Francesco; Rinaldo, Andrea; Holyoak, Marcel

    2011-01-01

    Metacommunity theory poses that the occurrence and abundance of species is a product of local factors, including disturbance, and regional factors, like dispersal among patches. While metacommunity ideas have been broadly tested there is relatively little work on metacommunities subject to disturbance. We focused on how localized disturbance and dispersal interact to determine species composition in metacommunities. Experiments conducted in simple two-patch habitats containing eight protozoa and rotifer species tested how dispersal altered community composition in both communities that were disturbed and communities that connected to refuge communities not subject to disturbance. While disturbance lowered population densities, in disturbed patches connected to undisturbed patches this was ameliorated by immigration. Furthermore, species with high dispersal abilities or growth rates showed the fastest post-disturbance recovery in presence of immigration. Connectivity helped to counteract the negative effect of disturbances on local populations, allowing mass-effect-driven dispersal of individuals from undisturbed to disturbed patches. In undisturbed patches, however, local population sizes were not significantly reduced by emigration. The absence of a cost of dispersal for undisturbed source populations is consistent with a lack of complex demography in our system, such as age- or sex-specific emigration. Our approach provides an improved way to separate components of population growth from organisms' movement in post-disturbance recovery of (meta)communities. Further studies are required in a variety of ecosystems to investigate the transient dynamics resulting from disturbance and dispersal. PMID:21559336

  6. Metacommunity patterns in larval odonates.

    PubMed

    McCauley, Shannon J; Davis, Christopher J; Relyea, Rick A; Yurewicz, Kerry L; Skelly, David K; Werner, Earl E

    2008-11-01

    The growth of metacommunity ecology as a subdiscipline has increased interest in how processes at different spatial scales structure communities. However, there is still a significant knowledge gap with respect to relating the action of niche- and dispersal-assembly mechanisms to observed species distributions across gradients. Surveys of the larval dragonfly community (Odonata: Anisoptera) in 57 lakes and ponds in southeast Michigan were used to evaluate hypotheses about the processes regulating community structure in this system. We considered the roles of both niche- and dispersal-assembly processes in determining patterns of species richness and composition across a habitat gradient involving changes in the extent of habitat permanence, canopy cover, area, and top predator type. We compared observed richness patterns and species distributions in this system to patterns predicted by four general community models: species sorting related to adaptive trade-offs, a developmental constraints hypothesis, dispersal assembly, and a neutral community assemblage. Our results supported neither the developmental constraints nor the neutral-assemblage models. Observed patterns of richness and species distributions were consistent with patterns expected when adaptive tradeoffs and dispersal-assembly mechanisms affect community structure. Adaptive trade-offs appeared to be important in limiting the distributions of species which segregate across the habitat gradient. However, dispersal was important in shaping the distributions of species that utilize habitats with a broad range of hydroperiods and alternative top predator types. Our results also suggest that the relative importance of these mechanisms may change across this habitat gradient and that a metacommunity perspective which incorporates both niche- and dispersal-assembly processes is necessary to understand how communities are organized. PMID:18781330

  7. Confronting the Paradox of Enrichment to the Metacommunity Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Hauzy, Céline; Nadin, Grégoire; Canard, Elsa; Gounand, Isabelle; Mouquet, Nicolas; Ebenman, Bo

    2013-01-01

    Resource enrichment can potentially destabilize predator-prey dynamics. This phenomenon historically referred as the "paradox of enrichment" has mostly been explored in spatially homogenous environments. However, many predator-prey communities exchange organisms within spatially heterogeneous networks called metacommunities. This heterogeneity can result from uneven distribution of resources among communities and thus can lead to the spreading of local enrichment within metacommunities. Here, we adapted the original Rosenzweig-MacArthur predator-prey model, built to study the paradox of enrichment, to investigate the effect of regional enrichment and of its spatial distribution on predator-prey dynamics in metacommunities. We found that the potential for destabilization was depending on the connectivity among communities and the spatial distribution of enrichment. In one hand, we found that at low dispersal regional enrichment led to the destabilization of predator-prey dynamics. This destabilizing effect was more pronounced when the enrichment was uneven among communities. In the other hand, we found that high dispersal could stabilize the predator-prey dynamics when the enrichment was spatially heterogeneous. Our results illustrate that the destabilizing effect of enrichment can be dampened when the spatial scale of resource enrichment is lower than that of organismss movements (heterogeneous enrichment). From a conservation perspective, our results illustrate that spatial heterogeneity could decrease the regional extinction risk of species involved in specialized trophic interactions. From the perspective of biological control, our results show that the heterogeneous distribution of pest resource could favor or dampen outbreaks of pests and of their natural enemies, depending on the spatial scale of heterogeneity. PMID:24358242

  8. Confronting the paradox of enrichment to the metacommunity perspective.

    PubMed

    Hauzy, Céline; Nadin, Grégoire; Canard, Elsa; Gounand, Isabelle; Mouquet, Nicolas; Ebenman, Bo

    2013-01-01

    Resource enrichment can potentially destabilize predator-prey dynamics. This phenomenon historically referred as the "paradox of enrichment" has mostly been explored in spatially homogenous environments. However, many predator-prey communities exchange organisms within spatially heterogeneous networks called metacommunities. This heterogeneity can result from uneven distribution of resources among communities and thus can lead to the spreading of local enrichment within metacommunities. Here, we adapted the original Rosenzweig-MacArthur predator-prey model, built to study the paradox of enrichment, to investigate the effect of regional enrichment and of its spatial distribution on predator-prey dynamics in metacommunities. We found that the potential for destabilization was depending on the connectivity among communities and the spatial distribution of enrichment. In one hand, we found that at low dispersal regional enrichment led to the destabilization of predator-prey dynamics. This destabilizing effect was more pronounced when the enrichment was uneven among communities. In the other hand, we found that high dispersal could stabilize the predator-prey dynamics when the enrichment was spatially heterogeneous. Our results illustrate that the destabilizing effect of enrichment can be dampened when the spatial scale of resource enrichment is lower than that of organismss movements (heterogeneous enrichment). From a conservation perspective, our results illustrate that spatial heterogeneity could decrease the regional extinction risk of species involved in specialized trophic interactions. From the perspective of biological control, our results show that the heterogeneous distribution of pest resource could favor or dampen outbreaks of pests and of their natural enemies, depending on the spatial scale of heterogeneity. PMID:24358242

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

    With an estimated breeding population in 2010 of 383,000 pairs, the Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) is among the most vulnerable and steeply declining of North American passerines. This species also has exhibited among the most dynamic breeding distributions, with populations expanding and then contracting over the past 150 years in response to regional habitat changes, interactions with closely related Blue-winged Warblers (V. cyanoptera), and possibly climate change. Since 1966, the rangewide population has declined by >70% (-2.3% per year; latest North American Breeding Bird Survey data), with much steeper declines in the Appalachian Mountains bird conservation region (-8.3% per year, 98% overall decline). Despite apparently stable or increasing populations in the northwestern part of the range (Minnesota, Manitoba), population estimates for Golden-winged Warbler have continued to decline by 18% from the decade of the 1990s to the 2000s. Population modeling predicts a further decline to roughly 37,000 individuals by 2100, with the species likely to persist only in Manitoba, Minnesota, and possibly Ontario. To delineate the present-day distribution and to identify population concentrations that could serve as conservation focus areas, we compiled rangewide survey data collected in 2000-2006 in 21 states and 3 Canadian provinces, as part of the Golden-winged Warbler Atlas Project (GOWAP), supplemented by state and provincial Breeding Bird Atlas data and more recent observations in eBird. Based on >8,000 GOWAP surveys for Golden-winged and Blue-winged warblers and their hybrids, we mapped occurrence of phenotypically pure and mixed populations in a roughly 0.5-degree grid across the species’ ranges. Hybrids and mixed Golden-winged-Blue-winged populations occurred in a relatively narrow zone across Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, southern Ontario, and northern New York. Phenotypically pure Golden-winged Warbler populations occurred north of this

  10. Local community size mediates ecological drift and competition in metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Orrock, John L; Watling, James I

    2010-07-22

    The outcome of competitive interactions is likely to be influenced by both competitive dominance (i.e. niche-based dynamics) and ecological drift (i.e. neutral dynamics governed by demographic stochasticity). However, spatial models of competition rarely consider the joint operation of these two processes. We develop a model based on the original competition-colonization trade-off model that incorporates niche and neutral processes and several realistic facets of ecological dynamics: it allows local competition (i.e. competition within a patch) to occur within communities of a finite size, it allows competitors to vary in the degree of competitive asymmetry, and it includes the role of local migration (i.e. propagule pressure). The model highlights the role of community size, i.e. the number of competitors in the local community, in mediating the relative importance of stochastic and deterministic forces. In metacommunities where local communities are small, ecological drift is substantial enough that strong competitors become effectively neutral, creating abrupt changes in the outcome of competition not predicted by the standard competition-colonization trade-off. Importantly, the model illustrates that, even when other aspects of species interactions (e.g. migration ability, competitive ability) are unchanged, local community size can alter the dynamics of metacommunity persistence. Our work demonstrates that activities which reduce the size of local communities, such as habitat destruction and degradation, effectively compound the extinction debt.

  11. Onshore–offshore gradient in metacommunity turnover emerges only over macroevolutionary time-scales

    PubMed Central

    Tomašových, Adam; Dominici, Stefano; Zuschin, Martin; Merle, Didier

    2014-01-01

    Invertebrate lineages tend to originate and become extinct at a higher rate in onshore than in offshore habitats over long temporal durations (more than 10 Myr), but it remains unclear whether this pattern scales down to durations of stages (less than 5 Myr) or even sequences (less than 0.5 Myr). We assess whether onshore–offshore gradients in long-term turnover between the tropical Eocene and the warm-temperate Plio-Pleistocene can be extrapolated from gradients in short-term turnover, using abundances of molluscan species from bulk samples in the northeast Atlantic Province. We find that temporal turnover of metacommunities does not significantly decline with depth over short durations (less than 5 Myr), but significantly declines with depth between the Eocene and Plio-Pleistocene (approx. 50 Myr). This decline is determined by a higher onshore extinction of Eocene genera and families, by a higher onshore variability in abundances of genera and families, and by an onshore expansion of genera and families that were frequent offshore in the Eocene. Onshore–offshore decline in turnover thus emerges only over long temporal durations. We suggest that this emergence is triggered by abrupt and spatially extensive climatic or oceanographic perturbations that occurred between the Eocene and Plio-Pleistocene. Plio-Pleistocene metacommunities show a high proportion of bathymetric generalists, in contrast to Eocene metacommunities. Accordingly, the net cooling and weaker thermal gradients may have allowed offshore specialists to expand into onshore habitats and maintain their presence in offshore habitats. PMID:25297863

  12. Transitory versus Persistent Effects of Connectivity in Environmentally Homogeneous Metacommunities

    PubMed Central

    Limberger, Romana; Wickham, Stephen A.

    2012-01-01

    While the effect of habitat connectivity on local and regional diversity has been analysed in a number of studies, time-dependent dynamics in metacommunities have received comparatively little consideration. When local patches of a metacommunity are identical in environmental conditions but differ in initial community composition, dispersal among patches may result in homogenization of local communities. In a microcosm experiment with benthic ciliates, we tested the hypothesis that the effect of connectivity on diversity is time-dependent and only transitory, with the degree of connectivity affecting the time to homogenization but not the final outcome. Six microcosms were connected to a metacommunity with one of three levels of connectivity. The six patches differed in initial community composition but were identical in environmental conditions. We found a time-dependent and transitory effect of connectivity on local and regional richness and on local Shannon diversity, while Bray-Curtis dissimilarity and regional Shannon diversity were persistently affected by connectivity. Local richness increased and regional richness decreased with connectivity during the initial phase of the experiment but soon converged to similar values in all three connectivity treatments. Local Shannon diversity was unimodally related to time, with maximum diversity reached sooner with high than with medium or low connectivity. Eventually, however, local diversity converged to similar values irrespective of connectivity. At the regional scale, Shannon diversity was persistently lower with high than with low connectivity. While initial differences in community composition vanished with medium and high connectivity, they were maintained with low connectivity resulting in persistently high beta and regional diversity. The effect of connectivity on ciliate community composition translated down to the algal resource, as stronger dominance of the superior competitor with high and medium

  13. Climate change in metacommunities: dispersal gives double-sided effects on persistence.

    PubMed

    Eklöf, Anna; Kaneryd, Linda; Münger, Peter

    2012-11-01

    Climate change is increasingly affecting the structure and dynamics of ecological communities both at local and at regional scales, and this can be expected to have important consequences for their robustness and long-term persistence. The aim of the present work is to analyse how the spatial structure of the landscape and dispersal patterns of species (dispersal rate and average dispersal distance) affects metacommunity response to two disturbances: (i) increased mortality during dispersal and (ii) local species extinction. We analyse the disturbances both in isolation and in combination. Using a spatially and dynamically explicit metacommunity model, we find that the effect of dispersal on metacommunity persistence is two-sided: on the one hand, high dispersal significantly reduces the risk of bottom-up extinction cascades following the local removal of a species; on the other hand, when dispersal imposes a risk to the dispersing individuals, high dispersal increases extinction risks, especially when dispersal is global. Large-bodied species with long generation times at the highest trophic level are particularly vulnerable to extinction when dispersal involves a risk. This suggests that decreasing the mortality risk of dispersing individuals by improving the quality of the habitat matrix may greatly increase the robustness of metacommunities.

  14. Dispersal Ability Determines the Role of Environmental, Spatial and Temporal Drivers of Metacommunity Structure

    PubMed Central

    Padial, André A.; Ceschin, Fernanda; Declerck, Steven A. J.; De Meester, Luc; Bonecker, Cláudia C.; Lansac-Tôha, Fabio A.; Rodrigues, Liliana; Rodrigues, Luzia C.; Train, Sueli; Velho, Luiz F. M.; Bini, Luis M.

    2014-01-01

    Recently, community ecologists are focusing on the relative importance of local environmental factors and proxies to dispersal limitation to explain spatial variation in community structure. Albeit less explored, temporal processes may also be important in explaining species composition variation in metacommunities occupying dynamic systems. We aimed to evaluate the relative role of environmental, spatial and temporal variables on the metacommunity structure of different organism groups in the Upper Paraná River floodplain (Brazil). We used data on macrophytes, fish, benthic macroinvertebrates, zooplankton, periphyton, and phytoplankton collected in up to 36 habitats during a total of eight sampling campaigns over two years. According to variation partitioning results, the importance of predictors varied among biological groups. Spatial predictors were particularly important for organisms with comparatively lower dispersal ability, such as aquatic macrophytes and fish. On the other hand, environmental predictors were particularly important for organisms with high dispersal ability, such as microalgae, indicating the importance of species sorting processes in shaping the community structure of these organisms. The importance of watercourse distances increased when spatial variables were the main predictors of metacommunity structure. The contribution of temporal predictors was low. Our results emphasize the strength of a trait-based analysis and of better defining spatial variables. More importantly, they supported the view that “all-or- nothing” interpretations on the mechanisms structuring metacommunities are rather the exception than the rule. PMID:25340577

  15. Host-parasitoid evolution in a metacommunity.

    PubMed

    Start, Denon; Gilbert, Benjamin

    2016-05-25

    Patch size and isolation are predicted to alter both species diversity and evolution; yet, there are few empirical examples of eco-evolutionary feedback in metacommunities. We tested three hypotheses about eco-evolutionary feedback in a gall-forming fly, Eurosta solidaginis and two of its natural enemies that select for opposite traits: (i) specialization and poor dispersal ability constrain a subset of natural enemies from occupying small and isolated patches, (ii) this constraint alters selection on the gall fly, causing phenotypic shifts towards traits resistant to generalist and dispersive enemies in small and isolated patches, and (iii) reduced dispersal evolves in small, isolated populations. We sampled patches in a natural metacommunity and found support for all hypotheses; Eurosta's specialist wasp parasitoid attacked fewer galls in small and isolated patches, generating a selection gradient that favoured small galls resistant to predation by a dispersive and generalist bird predator. Phenotype distributions matched this selection gradient, and these phenotypic differences were maintained in a common garden experiment. Finally, we found lower dispersal abilities in small and isolated patches, a phenotypic shift that aids in the maintenance of local adaptation. We suggest that the trophic rank and the species traits of consumers are central to evolution in metacommunities.

  16. Host-parasitoid evolution in a metacommunity.

    PubMed

    Start, Denon; Gilbert, Benjamin

    2016-05-25

    Patch size and isolation are predicted to alter both species diversity and evolution; yet, there are few empirical examples of eco-evolutionary feedback in metacommunities. We tested three hypotheses about eco-evolutionary feedback in a gall-forming fly, Eurosta solidaginis and two of its natural enemies that select for opposite traits: (i) specialization and poor dispersal ability constrain a subset of natural enemies from occupying small and isolated patches, (ii) this constraint alters selection on the gall fly, causing phenotypic shifts towards traits resistant to generalist and dispersive enemies in small and isolated patches, and (iii) reduced dispersal evolves in small, isolated populations. We sampled patches in a natural metacommunity and found support for all hypotheses; Eurosta's specialist wasp parasitoid attacked fewer galls in small and isolated patches, generating a selection gradient that favoured small galls resistant to predation by a dispersive and generalist bird predator. Phenotype distributions matched this selection gradient, and these phenotypic differences were maintained in a common garden experiment. Finally, we found lower dispersal abilities in small and isolated patches, a phenotypic shift that aids in the maintenance of local adaptation. We suggest that the trophic rank and the species traits of consumers are central to evolution in metacommunities. PMID:27194705

  17. Metacommunity structure in a small boreal stream network.

    PubMed

    Göthe, Emma; Angeler, David G; Sandin, Leonard

    2013-03-01

    Current ecological frameworks emphasize the relative importance of local and regional drivers for structuring species communities. However, most research has been carried out in systems with discrete habitat boundaries and a clear insular structure. Stream networks deviate from the insular structure and can serve as excellent model systems for studying hierarchical community dynamics over different temporal and spatial extents. We used benthic invertebrate data from streams in a small northern Swedish catchment to test whether metacommunity dynamics change between seasons, across spatial hierarchies (i.e. at the whole catchment scale vs. the scales of first-order and second/third-order sites within the catchment) and between stream-order groups. We assessed metacommunity structure as a function of three relevant dispersal dimensions (directional downstream processes, along-stream dispersal and overland dispersal). These dispersal dimensions were related to species groups with relevant dispersal traits (flying capacity, drift propensity) and dispersal capacities (weak vs. strong) to elucidate whether the observed spatial signals were due to dispersal limitation or mass effects. Results showed complex community organization that varied between seasons, with the scale of observation, and with stream order. The importance of spatial factors and specific dispersal dimensions was highly dependent on the time of sampling and the scale of observation. The importance of environmental factors was more consistent in our analyses, but their effect on species community structure peaked at first-order sites. Our analyses of species dispersal traits were not unequivocal, but indicated that both mass effects and dispersal limitation could simultaneously contribute to the spatial signal at the scale of the whole catchment through different dispersal pathways. We conclude that the study of hierarchically organized ecosystems uncovers complex patterns of metacommunity organization

  18. Looking for hotspots of marine metacommunity connectivity: a methodological framework

    PubMed Central

    Melià, Paco; Schiavina, Marcello; Rossetto, Marisa; Gatto, Marino; Fraschetti, Simonetta; Casagrandi, Renato

    2016-01-01

    Seascape connectivity critically affects the spatiotemporal dynamics of marine metacommunities. Understanding how connectivity patterns emerge from physically and biologically-mediated interactions is therefore crucial to conserve marine ecosystem functions and biodiversity. Here, we develop a set of biophysical models to explore connectivity in assemblages of species belonging to a typical Mediterranean community (Posidonia oceanica meadows) and characterized by different dispersing traits. We propose a novel methodological framework to synthesize species-specific results into a set of community connectivity metrics and show that spatiotemporal variation in magnitude and direction of the connections, as well as interspecific differences in dispersing traits, are key factors structuring community connectivity. We eventually demonstrate how these metrics can be used to characterize the functional role of each marine area in determining patterns of community connectivity at the basin level and to support marine conservation planning. PMID:27029563

  19. Biodiversity and ecosystem stability across scales in metacommunities

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Shaopeng; Loreau, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Although diversity-stability relationships have been extensively studied in local ecosystems, the global biodiversity crisis calls for an improved understanding of these relationships in a spatial context. Here we use a dynamical model of competitive metacommunities to study the relationships between species diversity and ecosystem variability across scales. We derive analytic relationships under a limiting case; these results are extended to more general cases with numerical simulations. Our model shows that, while alpha diversity decreases local ecosystem variability, beta diversity generally contributes to increasing spatial asynchrony among local ecosystems. Consequently, both alpha and beta diversity provide stabilizing effects for regional ecosystems, through local and spatial insurance effects, respectively. We further show that at the regional scale, the stabilizing effect of biodiversity increases as spatial environmental correlation increases. Our findings have important implications for understanding the interactive effects of global environmental changes (e.g. environmental homogenization) and biodiversity loss on ecosystem sustainability at large scales. PMID:26918536

  20. Looking for hotspots of marine metacommunity connectivity: a methodological framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melià, Paco; Schiavina, Marcello; Rossetto, Marisa; Gatto, Marino; Fraschetti, Simonetta; Casagrandi, Renato

    2016-03-01

    Seascape connectivity critically affects the spatiotemporal dynamics of marine metacommunities. Understanding how connectivity patterns emerge from physically and biologically-mediated interactions is therefore crucial to conserve marine ecosystem functions and biodiversity. Here, we develop a set of biophysical models to explore connectivity in assemblages of species belonging to a typical Mediterranean community (Posidonia oceanica meadows) and characterized by different dispersing traits. We propose a novel methodological framework to synthesize species-specific results into a set of community connectivity metrics and show that spatiotemporal variation in magnitude and direction of the connections, as well as interspecific differences in dispersing traits, are key factors structuring community connectivity. We eventually demonstrate how these metrics can be used to characterize the functional role of each marine area in determining patterns of community connectivity at the basin level and to support marine conservation planning.

  1. Do Small Mammals and Vegetation Metacommunity Dynamics Determine the Extent and Pattern of Treeline in the High Elevation Zone of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klinger, R. C.; Chase, J. T.

    2014-12-01

    There has been a general expectation that warming temperatures will facilitate transformation of high elevation meadows to woody dominated communities. We have been using observational and experimental approaches to analyze potential state changes of meadows and the role seed and seedling predation play in conifer expansion in the high elevation zone of the Sierra Nevada mountain range of the western United States. The observational component consists of 256 plots spanning 3 degrees of latitude and an elevation range from 3000 m to 4000 m. The experimental component consists of mammal seed predator exclosures (N = 252) allocated among three arrays at each of two sites separated by > 100 km. Three cohorts of seeds at five seed densities (1, 2, 3, 5 and 10 seeds per 0.25 m2) and one seedling cohort were placed within and immediately outside the exclosures at each site. Trend surface and distance decay analyses of community composition indicate vegetation communities in the high elevation zone have not assembled predictably along environmental or spatial gradients. Rather, we have found strong support for neutral dynamics, implying that communities assemble more stochastically as a result of dispersal limitation or priority effects. Density of mature and sapling conifers decrease as a function of distance from conifer patches, but seedling density has no relationship with distance from conifer patches. Germination of seeds outside of the exclosures was 19% compared to 65% within, and these were mainly at densities of 1 seed per 0.25 m2. None of the seeds that germinated outside the exclosures survived more than 1.5 years compared to 23% within the exclosures. Virtually all of the seedlings planted outside the exclosures were removed within a year. Collectively, these findings indicate a highly patchy rather than uniform pattern of treeline extension in the high elevation zone of the Sierra Nevada. Moreover, smaller mammals appear to be playing a critical role in

  2. Environmental filtering determines metacommunity structure in wetland microcrustaceans.

    PubMed

    Gascón, Stéphanie; Arranz, Ignasi; Cañedo-Argüelles, Miguel; Nebra, Alfonso; Ruhí, Albert; Rieradevall, Maria; Caiola, Nuno; Sala, Jordi; Ibàñez, Carles; Quintana, Xavier D; Boix, Dani

    2016-05-01

    Metacommunity approaches are becoming popular when analyzing factors driving species distribution at the regional scale. However, until the popularization of the variation partitioning technique it was difficult to assess the main drivers of the observed patterns (spatial or environmental). Here we propose a new framework linking the emergence of different metacommunity structures (e.g., nested, Gleasonian, Clementsian) to spatial and environmental filters. This is a novel approach that provides a more profound analysis of how both drivers could lead to similar metacommunity structures. We tested this framework on 110 sites covering a strong environmental gradient (i.e., microcrustacean assemblages organized along a salinity gradient, from freshwater to brackish water wetlands). First we identified the metacommunity structure that better fitted these microcrustacean assemblages. Then, we used hierarchical variation partitioning to quantify the relative influences of environmental filters and the distance among wetlands on the identified structure. Our results showed that under strong environmental filtering metacommunity structures were non-random. We also noted that even passive dispersers, that are supposed to be poorly spatially filtered, showed spatial signals at a large geographical scale. However, some difficulties arose when inferring biotic interactions at finer-scale spatial signals. Overall, our study shows the potential of elements of metacommunity structure combined with variation partition techniques to detect environmental drivers and broadscale patterns of metacommunity structure, and that some caution is needed when interpreting finer-scale spatial signals. PMID:26781303

  3. Environmental filtering determines metacommunity structure in wetland microcrustaceans.

    PubMed

    Gascón, Stéphanie; Arranz, Ignasi; Cañedo-Argüelles, Miguel; Nebra, Alfonso; Ruhí, Albert; Rieradevall, Maria; Caiola, Nuno; Sala, Jordi; Ibàñez, Carles; Quintana, Xavier D; Boix, Dani

    2016-05-01

    Metacommunity approaches are becoming popular when analyzing factors driving species distribution at the regional scale. However, until the popularization of the variation partitioning technique it was difficult to assess the main drivers of the observed patterns (spatial or environmental). Here we propose a new framework linking the emergence of different metacommunity structures (e.g., nested, Gleasonian, Clementsian) to spatial and environmental filters. This is a novel approach that provides a more profound analysis of how both drivers could lead to similar metacommunity structures. We tested this framework on 110 sites covering a strong environmental gradient (i.e., microcrustacean assemblages organized along a salinity gradient, from freshwater to brackish water wetlands). First we identified the metacommunity structure that better fitted these microcrustacean assemblages. Then, we used hierarchical variation partitioning to quantify the relative influences of environmental filters and the distance among wetlands on the identified structure. Our results showed that under strong environmental filtering metacommunity structures were non-random. We also noted that even passive dispersers, that are supposed to be poorly spatially filtered, showed spatial signals at a large geographical scale. However, some difficulties arose when inferring biotic interactions at finer-scale spatial signals. Overall, our study shows the potential of elements of metacommunity structure combined with variation partition techniques to detect environmental drivers and broadscale patterns of metacommunity structure, and that some caution is needed when interpreting finer-scale spatial signals.

  4. From species distributions to meta-communities

    PubMed Central

    Thuiller, Wilfried; Pollock, Laura J.; Gueguen, Maya; Münkemüller, Tamara

    2015-01-01

    The extent that biotic interactions and dispersal influence species ranges and diversity patterns across scales remains an open question. Answering this question requires framing an analysis on the frontier between species distribution modeling (SDM), which ignores biotic interactions and dispersal limitation, and community ecology, which provides specific predictions on community and meta-community structure and resulting diversity patterns such as species richness and functional diversity. Using both empirical and simulated datasets, we tested whether predicted occurrences from fine-resolution SDMs provide good estimates of community structure and diversity patterns at resolutions ranging from a resolution typical of studies within reserves (250m) to that typical of a regional biodiversity study (5km). For both datasets, we show that the imprint of biotic interactions and dispersal limitation quickly vanishes when spatial resolution is reduced, which demonstrates the value of SDMs for tracking the imprint of community assembly processes across scales. PMID:26439311

  5. A Multiscale Approach to Plant Disease Using the Metacommunity Concept.

    PubMed

    Borer, Elizabeth T; Laine, Anna-Liisa; Seabloom, Eric W

    2016-08-01

    Plant disease arises from the interaction of processes occurring at multiple spatial and temporal scales. With new tools such as next-generation sequencing, we are learning about the diversity of microbes circulating within and among plant populations and often coinhabiting host individuals. The proliferation of pathogenic microbes depends on single-species dynamics and multispecies interactions occurring within and among host cells, the spatial organization and genetic landscape of hosts, the frequency and mode of transmission among hosts and host populations, and the abiotic environmental context. Here, we examine empirical evidence from these multiple scales to assess the utility of metacommunity theory, a theoretical framework developed for free-living organisms to further our understanding of and assist in predicting plant-pathogen infection and spread. We suggest that deeper understanding of disease dynamics can arise through the application of this conceptual framework at scales ranging from individual cells to landscapes. In addition, we use this multiscale theoretical perspective to synthesize existing knowledge, generate novel hypotheses, and point toward promising future opportunities for the study of plant pathogens in natural populations. PMID:27296140

  6. Redox-Specialized Bacterioplankton Metacommunity in a Temperate Estuary

    PubMed Central

    Laas, Peeter; Simm, Jaak; Lips, Inga; Lips, Urmas; Kisand, Veljo; Metsis, Madis

    2015-01-01

    This study explored the spatiotemporal dynamics of the bacterioplankton community composition in the Gulf of Finland (easternmost sub-basin of the Baltic Sea) based on phylogenetic analysis of 16S rDNA sequences acquired from community samples via pyrosequencing. Investigations of bacterioplankton in hydrographically complex systems provide good insight into the strategies by which microbes deal with spatiotemporal hydrographic gradients, as demonstrated by our research. Many ribotypes were closely affiliated with sequences isolated from environments with similar steep physiochemical gradients and/or seasonal changes, including seasonally anoxic estuaries. Hence, one of the main conclusions of this study is that marine ecosystems where oxygen and salinity gradients co-occur can be considered a habitat for a cosmopolitan metacommunity consisting of specialized groups occupying niches universal to such environments throughout the world. These niches revolve around functional capabilities to utilize different electron receptors and donors (including trace metal and single carbon compounds). On the other hand, temporal shifts in the bacterioplankton community composition at the surface layer were mainly connected to the seasonal succession of phytoplankton and the inflow of freshwater species. We also conclude that many relatively abundant populations are indigenous and well-established in the area. PMID:25860812

  7. Redox-specialized bacterioplankton metacommunity in a temperate estuary.

    PubMed

    Laas, Peeter; Simm, Jaak; Lips, Inga; Lips, Urmas; Kisand, Veljo; Metsis, Madis

    2015-01-01

    This study explored the spatiotemporal dynamics of the bacterioplankton community composition in the Gulf of Finland (easternmost sub-basin of the Baltic Sea) based on phylogenetic analysis of 16S rDNA sequences acquired from community samples via pyrosequencing. Investigations of bacterioplankton in hydrographically complex systems provide good insight into the strategies by which microbes deal with spatiotemporal hydrographic gradients, as demonstrated by our research. Many ribotypes were closely affiliated with sequences isolated from environments with similar steep physiochemical gradients and/or seasonal changes, including seasonally anoxic estuaries. Hence, one of the main conclusions of this study is that marine ecosystems where oxygen and salinity gradients co-occur can be considered a habitat for a cosmopolitan metacommunity consisting of specialized groups occupying niches universal to such environments throughout the world. These niches revolve around functional capabilities to utilize different electron receptors and donors (including trace metal and single carbon compounds). On the other hand, temporal shifts in the bacterioplankton community composition at the surface layer were mainly connected to the seasonal succession of phytoplankton and the inflow of freshwater species. We also conclude that many relatively abundant populations are indigenous and well-established in the area.

  8. Interaction strength and extinction risk in a metacommunity

    PubMed Central

    Guichard, Frédéric

    2005-01-01

    Species interactions and connectivity are both central to explaining the stability of ecological communities and the problem of species extinction. Yet, the role of species interactions for the stability of spatially subdivided communities still eludes ecologists. Ecological models currently address the problem of stability by exploring the role of interaction strength in well mixed habitats, or of connectivity in subdivided communities. Here I propose a unification of interaction strength and connectivity as mechanisms explaining regional community stability. I introduce a metacommunity model based on succession dynamics in coastal ecosystems, incorporating limited dispersal and facilitative interactions. I report a sharp transition in regional stability and extinction probability at intermediate interaction strength, shown to correspond to a phase transition that generates scale-invariant distribution and high regional stability. In contrast with previous studies, stability results from intermediate interaction strength only in subdivided communities, and is associated with large-scale (scale-invariant) synchrony. These results can be generalized to other systems exhibiting phase transitions to show how local interaction strength can be used to resolve the link between regional community stability and pattern formation. PMID:16048772

  9. Gastropod diversification and community structuring processes in ancient Lake Ohrid: a metacommunity speciation perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hauffe, T.; Albrecht, C.; Wilke, T.

    2015-09-01

    The Balkan Lake Ohrid is the oldest and most speciose freshwater lacustrine system in Europe. However, it remains unclear whether the diversification of its endemic taxa is mainly driven by neutral processes, environmental factors, or species interactions. This calls for a holistic perspective involving both evolutionary processes and ecological dynamics. Such a unifying framework - the metacommunity speciation model - considers how community assembly affects diversification and vice versa by assessing the relative contribution of the three main community assembly processes, dispersal limitation, environmental filtering, and species interaction. The current study therefore used the species-rich model taxon Gastropoda to assess how extant communities in Lake Ohrid are structured by performing process based metacommunity analyses. Specifically, the study aimed at (i) identifying the relative importance of the three community assembly processes and (ii) to test whether the importance of these individual processes changes gradually with lake depth or whether they are distinctively related to eco-zones. Based on specific simulation steps for each of the three processes, it could be demonstrated that dispersal limitation had the strongest influence on gastropod community structures in Lake Ohrid. However, it was not the exclusive assembly process but acted together with the other two processes - environmental filtering, and species interaction. In fact, the relative importance of the three community assembly processes varied both with lake depth and eco-zones, though the processes were better predicted by the latter. The study thus corroborated the high importance of dispersal limitation for both maintaining species richness in Lake Ohrid (through its impact on community structure) and generating endemic biodiversity (via its influence on diversification processes). However, according to the metacommunity speciation model, the inferred importance of environmental

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

    Tracking trends in the abundance of wildlife populations is a sensitive method for assessing biodiversity change due to the short time-lag between human pressures and corresponding shifts in population trends. This study tests for proposed associations between different types of human pressures and wildlife population abundance decline-curves and introduces a method to distinguish decline trajectories from natural fluctuations in population time-series. First, we simulated typical mammalian population time-series under different human pressure types and intensities and identified significant distinctions in population dynamics. Based on the concavity of the smoothed population trend and the algebraic function which was the closest fit to the data, we determined those differences in decline dynamics that were consistently attributable to each pressure type. We examined the robustness of the attribution of pressure type to population decline dynamics under more realistic conditions by simulating populations under different levels of environmental stochasticity and time-series data quality. Finally, we applied our newly developed method to 124 wildlife population time-series and investigated how those threat types diagnosed by our method compare to the specific threatening processes reported for those populations. We show how wildlife population decline curves can be used to discern between broad categories of pressure or threat types, but do not work for detailed threat attributions. More usefully, we find that differences in population decline curves can reliably identify populations where pressure is increasing over time, even when data quality is poor, and propose this method as a cost-effective technique for prioritizing conservation actions between populations.

  11. Effect of (a)synchronous light fluctuation on diversity, functional and structural stability of a marine phytoplankton metacommunity.

    PubMed

    Guelzow, Nils; Dirks, Merten; Hillebrand, Helmut

    2014-10-01

    Disentangling the mechanisms that maintain the stability of communities and ecosystem properties has become a major research focus in ecology in the face of anthropogenic environmental change. Dispersal plays a pivotal role in maintaining diversity in spatially subdivided communities, but only a few experiments have simultaneously investigated how dispersal and environmental fluctuation affect community dynamics and ecosystem stability. We performed an experimental study using marine phytoplankton species as model organisms to test these mechanisms in a metacommunity context. We established three levels of dispersal and exposed the phytoplankton to fluctuating light levels, where fluctuations were either spatially asynchronous or synchronous across patches of the metacommunity. Dispersal had no effect on diversity and ecosystem function (biomass), while light fluctuations affected both evenness and community biomass. The temporal variability of community biomass was reduced by fluctuating light and temporal beta diversity was influenced interactively by dispersal and fluctuation, whereas spatial variability in community biomass and beta diversity were barely affected by treatments. Along the establishing gradient of species richness and dominance, community biomass increased but temporal variability of biomass decreased, thus highest stability was associated with species-rich but highly uneven communities and less influenced by compensatory dynamics. In conclusion, both specific traits (dominance) and diversity (richness) affected the stability of metacommunities under fluctuating conditions.

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

    PubMed

    Bromaghin, Jeffrey F; Mcdonald, Trent L; Stirling, Ian; Derocher, Andrew E; Richardson, Evan S; Regehr, Eric V; Douglas, David C; Durner, George M; Atwood, Todd; Amstrup, Steven C

    2015-04-01

    In the southern Beaufort Sea of the United States and Canada, prior investigations have linked declines in summer sea ice to reduced physical condition, growth, and survival of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Combined with projections of population decline due to continued climate warming and the ensuing loss of sea ice habitat, those findings contributed to the 2008 decision to list the species as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Here, we used mark-recapture models to investigate the population dynamics of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea from 2001 to 2010, years during which the spatial and temporal extent of summer sea ice generally declined. Low survival from 2004 through 2006 led to a 25-50% decline in abundance. We hypothesize that low survival during this period resulted from (1) unfavorable ice conditions that limited access to prey during multiple seasons; and possibly, (2) low prey abundance. For reasons that are not clear, survival of adults and cubs began to improve in 2007 and abundance was comparatively stable from 2008 to 2010, with ~900 bears in 2010 (90% CI 606-1212). However, survival of subadult bears declined throughout the entire period. Reduced spatial and temporal availability of sea ice is expected to increasingly force population dynamics of polar bears as the climate continues to warm. However, in the short term, our findings suggest that factors other than sea ice can influence survival. A refined understanding of the ecological mechanisms underlying polar bear population dynamics is necessary to improve projections of their future status and facilitate development of management strategies. PMID:26214910

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.; McDonald, Trent L.; Stirling, Ian; Derocher, Andrew E.; Richardson, Evan S.; Regehr, Eric V.; Douglas, David C.; Durner, George M.; Atwood, Todd C.; Amstrup, Steven C.

    2015-01-01

    In the southern Beaufort Sea of the United States and Canada, prior investigations have linked declines in summer sea ice to reduced physical condition, growth, and survival of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Combined with projections of population decline due to continued climate warming and the ensuing loss of sea ice habitat, those findings contributed to the 2008 decision to list the species as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Here, we used mark–recapture models to investigate the population dynamics of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea from 2001 to 2010, years during which the spatial and temporal extent of summer sea ice generally declined. Low survival from 2004 through 2006 led to a 25–50% decline in abundance. We hypothesize that low survival during this period resulted from (1) unfavorable ice conditions that limited access to prey during multiple seasons; and possibly, (2) low prey abundance. For reasons that are not clear, survival of adults and cubs began to improve in 2007 and abundance was comparatively stable from 2008 to 2010, with ~900 bears in 2010 (90% CI 606–1212). However, survival of subadult bears declined throughout the entire period. Reduced spatial and temporal availability of sea ice is expected to increasingly force population dynamics of polar bears as the climate continues to warm. However, in the short term, our findings suggest that factors other than sea ice can influence survival. A refined understanding of the ecological mechanisms underlying polar bear population dynamics is necessary to improve projections of their future status and facilitate development of management strategies.

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

    PubMed

    Bromaghin, Jeffrey F; Mcdonald, Trent L; Stirling, Ian; Derocher, Andrew E; Richardson, Evan S; Regehr, Eric V; Douglas, David C; Durner, George M; Atwood, Todd; Amstrup, Steven C

    2015-04-01

    In the southern Beaufort Sea of the United States and Canada, prior investigations have linked declines in summer sea ice to reduced physical condition, growth, and survival of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Combined with projections of population decline due to continued climate warming and the ensuing loss of sea ice habitat, those findings contributed to the 2008 decision to list the species as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Here, we used mark-recapture models to investigate the population dynamics of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea from 2001 to 2010, years during which the spatial and temporal extent of summer sea ice generally declined. Low survival from 2004 through 2006 led to a 25-50% decline in abundance. We hypothesize that low survival during this period resulted from (1) unfavorable ice conditions that limited access to prey during multiple seasons; and possibly, (2) low prey abundance. For reasons that are not clear, survival of adults and cubs began to improve in 2007 and abundance was comparatively stable from 2008 to 2010, with ~900 bears in 2010 (90% CI 606-1212). However, survival of subadult bears declined throughout the entire period. Reduced spatial and temporal availability of sea ice is expected to increasingly force population dynamics of polar bears as the climate continues to warm. However, in the short term, our findings suggest that factors other than sea ice can influence survival. A refined understanding of the ecological mechanisms underlying polar bear population dynamics is necessary to improve projections of their future status and facilitate development of management strategies.

  15. Spatio-Temporal Environmental Correlation and Population Variability in Simple Metacommunities

    PubMed Central

    Ruokolainen, Lasse

    2013-01-01

    Natural populations experience environmental conditions that vary across space and over time. This variation is often correlated between localities depending on the geographical separation between them, and different species can respond to local environmental fluctuations similarly or differently, depending on their adaptation. How this emerging structure in environmental correlation (between-patches and between-species) affects spatial community dynamics is an open question. This paper aims at a general understanding of the interactions between the environmental correlation structure and population dynamics in spatial networks of local communities (metacommunities), by studying simple two-patch, two-species systems. Three different pairs of interspecific interactions are considered: competition, consumer–resource interaction, and host–parasitoid interaction. While the results paint a relatively complex picture of the effect of environmental correlation, the interaction between environmental forcing, dispersal, and local interactions can be understood via two mechanisms. While increasing between-patch environmental correlation couples immigration and local densities (destabilising effect), the coupling between local populations under increased between-species environmental correlation can either amplify or dampen population fluctuations, depending on the patterns in density dependence. This work provides a unifying framework for modelling stochastic metacommunities, and forms a foundation for a better understanding of population responses to environmental fluctuations in natural systems. PMID:24023615

  16. Reading between the Lines: Metacommunicative Aspects of Online Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hatcher, Sherry L.

    Whereas in a traditional university classroom, important features of interpersonal relationships are most readily communicated by body language or tone of voice, in electronically-mediated teaching environments, absent such real time cues, even subtle metacommunications may take on added importance and power. Although a growing number of studies…

  17. Metacommunication, Social Pretend Play and Children with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Douglas, Susan; Stirling, Lesley

    2012-01-01

    This article investigates processes of engagement in social pretend play between children with autism (age range 3.6 to 7.2 years) and adult play partners, using a large corpus of conversational data. We take a qualitative discourse analytic approach to investigate the metacommunicative strategies used by the children. Our initial framework for…

  18. The Importance of Metacommunication in Supervision Processes in Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baltzersen, Rolf K.

    2013-01-01

    In daily language use, we sometimes comment on the conversation with phrases such as "What do you mean by saying that?" or "That was nice of you to say." This communication about the communication is sometimes labeled as metacommunication. It can be used for many different purposes; for instance, to try and clarify or appraise…

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Spatial heterogeneity promotes coexistence of rock-paper-scissors metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Schreiber, Sebastian J; Killingback, Timothy P

    2013-06-01

    The rock-paper-scissors game-which is characterized by three strategies R,P,S, satisfying the non-transitive relations S excludes P, P excludes R, and R excludes S-serves as a simple prototype for studying more complex non-transitive systems. For well-mixed systems where interactions result in fitness reductions of the losers exceeding fitness gains of the winners, classical theory predicts that two strategies go extinct. The effects of spatial heterogeneity and dispersal rates on this outcome are analyzed using a general framework for evolutionary games in patchy landscapes. The analysis reveals that coexistence is determined by the rates at which dominant strategies invade a landscape occupied by the subordinate strategy (e.g. rock invades a landscape occupied by scissors) and the rates at which subordinate strategies get excluded in a landscape occupied by the dominant strategy (e.g. scissors gets excluded in a landscape occupied by rock). These invasion and exclusion rates correspond to eigenvalues of the linearized dynamics near single strategy equilibria. Coexistence occurs when the product of the invasion rates exceeds the product of the exclusion rates. Provided there is sufficient spatial variation in payoffs, the analysis identifies a critical dispersal rate d(∗) required for regional persistence. For dispersal rates below d(∗), the product of the invasion rates exceeds the product of the exclusion rates and the rock-paper-scissors metacommunities persist regionally despite being extinction prone locally. For dispersal rates above d(∗), the product of the exclusion rates exceeds the product of the invasion rates and the strategies are extinction prone. These results highlight the delicate interplay between spatial heterogeneity and dispersal in mediating long-term outcomes for evolutionary games. PMID:23474219

  2. Habitat dynamics, marine reserve status, and the decline and recovery of coral reef fish communities

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, David H; Ceccarelli, Daniela M; Evans, Richard D; Jones, Geoffrey P; Russ, Garry R

    2014-01-01

    Severe climatic disturbance events often have major impacts on coral reef communities, generating cycles of decline and recovery, and in some extreme cases, community-level phase shifts from coral-to algal-dominated states. Benthic habitat changes directly affect reef fish communities, with low coral cover usually associated with low fish diversity and abundance. No-take marine reserves (NTRs) are widely advocated for conserving biodiversity and enhancing the sustainability of exploited fish populations. Numerous studies have documented positive ecological and socio-economic benefits of NTRs; however, the ability of NTRs to ameliorate the effects of acute disturbances on coral reefs has seldom been investigated. Here, we test these factors by tracking the dynamics of benthic and fish communities, including the important fishery species, coral trout (Plectropomus spp.), over 8 years in both NTRs and fished areas in the Keppel Island group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Two major disturbances impacted the reefs during the monitoring period, a coral bleaching event in 2006 and a freshwater flood plume in 2011. Both disturbances generated significant declines in coral cover and habitat complexity, with subsequent declines in fish abundance and diversity, and pronounced shifts in fish assemblage structure. Coral trout density also declined in response to the loss of live coral, however, the approximately 2:1 density ratio between NTRs and fished zones was maintained over time. The only post-disturbance refuges for coral trout spawning stocks were within the NTRs that escaped the worst effects of the disturbances. Although NTRs had little discernible effect on the temporal dynamics of benthic or fish communities, it was evident that the post-disturbance refuges for coral trout spawning stocks within some NTRs may be critically important to regional-scale population persistence and recovery. PMID:24634720

  3. Habitat dynamics, marine reserve status, and the decline and recovery of coral reef fish communities.

    PubMed

    Williamson, David H; Ceccarelli, Daniela M; Evans, Richard D; Jones, Geoffrey P; Russ, Garry R

    2014-02-01

    Severe climatic disturbance events often have major impacts on coral reef communities, generating cycles of decline and recovery, and in some extreme cases, community-level phase shifts from coral-to algal-dominated states. Benthic habitat changes directly affect reef fish communities, with low coral cover usually associated with low fish diversity and abundance. No-take marine reserves (NTRs) are widely advocated for conserving biodiversity and enhancing the sustainability of exploited fish populations. Numerous studies have documented positive ecological and socio-economic benefits of NTRs; however, the ability of NTRs to ameliorate the effects of acute disturbances on coral reefs has seldom been investigated. Here, we test these factors by tracking the dynamics of benthic and fish communities, including the important fishery species, coral trout (Plectropomus spp.), over 8 years in both NTRs and fished areas in the Keppel Island group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Two major disturbances impacted the reefs during the monitoring period, a coral bleaching event in 2006 and a freshwater flood plume in 2011. Both disturbances generated significant declines in coral cover and habitat complexity, with subsequent declines in fish abundance and diversity, and pronounced shifts in fish assemblage structure. Coral trout density also declined in response to the loss of live coral, however, the approximately 2:1 density ratio between NTRs and fished zones was maintained over time. The only post-disturbance refuges for coral trout spawning stocks were within the NTRs that escaped the worst effects of the disturbances. Although NTRs had little discernible effect on the temporal dynamics of benthic or fish communities, it was evident that the post-disturbance refuges for coral trout spawning stocks within some NTRs may be critically important to regional-scale population persistence and recovery.

  4. Habitat dynamics, marine reserve status, and the decline and recovery of coral reef fish communities.

    PubMed

    Williamson, David H; Ceccarelli, Daniela M; Evans, Richard D; Jones, Geoffrey P; Russ, Garry R

    2014-02-01

    Severe climatic disturbance events often have major impacts on coral reef communities, generating cycles of decline and recovery, and in some extreme cases, community-level phase shifts from coral-to algal-dominated states. Benthic habitat changes directly affect reef fish communities, with low coral cover usually associated with low fish diversity and abundance. No-take marine reserves (NTRs) are widely advocated for conserving biodiversity and enhancing the sustainability of exploited fish populations. Numerous studies have documented positive ecological and socio-economic benefits of NTRs; however, the ability of NTRs to ameliorate the effects of acute disturbances on coral reefs has seldom been investigated. Here, we test these factors by tracking the dynamics of benthic and fish communities, including the important fishery species, coral trout (Plectropomus spp.), over 8 years in both NTRs and fished areas in the Keppel Island group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Two major disturbances impacted the reefs during the monitoring period, a coral bleaching event in 2006 and a freshwater flood plume in 2011. Both disturbances generated significant declines in coral cover and habitat complexity, with subsequent declines in fish abundance and diversity, and pronounced shifts in fish assemblage structure. Coral trout density also declined in response to the loss of live coral, however, the approximately 2:1 density ratio between NTRs and fished zones was maintained over time. The only post-disturbance refuges for coral trout spawning stocks were within the NTRs that escaped the worst effects of the disturbances. Although NTRs had little discernible effect on the temporal dynamics of benthic or fish communities, it was evident that the post-disturbance refuges for coral trout spawning stocks within some NTRs may be critically important to regional-scale population persistence and recovery. PMID:24634720

  5. A neighborhood analysis of the consequences of Quercus suber decline for regeneration dynamics in Mediterranean forests.

    PubMed

    Ibáñez, Beatriz; Gómez-Aparicio, Lorena; Stoll, Peter; Ávila, José M; Pérez-Ramos, Ignacio M; Marañón, Teodoro

    2015-01-01

    In forests, the vulnerable seedling stage is largely influenced by the canopy, which modifies the surrounding environment. Consequently, any alteration in the characteristics of the canopy, such as those promoted by forest dieback, might impact regeneration dynamics. Our work analyzes the interaction between canopy neighbors and seedlings in Mediterranean forests affected by the decline of their dominant species (Quercus suber). Our objective was to understand how the impacts of neighbor trees and shrubs on recruitment could affect future dynamics of these declining forests. Seeds of the three dominant tree species (Quercus suber, Olea europaea and Quercus canariensis) were sown in six sites during two consecutive years. Using a spatially-explicit, neighborhood approach we developed models that explained the observed spatial variation in seedling emergence, survival, growth and photochemical efficiency as a function of the size, identity, health, abundance and distribution of adult trees and shrubs in the neighborhood. We found strong neighborhood effects for all the performance estimators, particularly seedling emergence and survival. Tree neighbors positively affected emergence, independently of species identity or health. Alternatively, seedling survival was much lower in neighborhoods dominated by defoliated and dead Q. suber trees than in neighborhoods dominated by healthy trees. For the two oak species, these negative effects were consistent over the three years of the experimental seedlings. These results indicate that ongoing changes in species' relative abundance and canopy trees' health might alter the successional trajectories of Mediterranean oak-forests through neighbor-specific impacts on seedlings. The recruitment failure of dominant late-successional oaks in the gaps opened after Q. suber death would indirectly favor the establishment of other coexisting woody species, such as drought-tolerant shrubs. This could lead current forests to shift into

  6. A Neighborhood Analysis of the Consequences of Quercus suber Decline for Regeneration Dynamics in Mediterranean Forests

    PubMed Central

    Ibáñez, Beatriz; Gómez-Aparicio, Lorena; Stoll, Peter; Ávila, José M.; Pérez-Ramos, Ignacio M.; Marañón, Teodoro

    2015-01-01

    In forests, the vulnerable seedling stage is largely influenced by the canopy, which modifies the surrounding environment. Consequently, any alteration in the characteristics of the canopy, such as those promoted by forest dieback, might impact regeneration dynamics. Our work analyzes the interaction between canopy neighbors and seedlings in Mediterranean forests affected by the decline of their dominant species (Quercus suber). Our objective was to understand how the impacts of neighbor trees and shrubs on recruitment could affect future dynamics of these declining forests. Seeds of the three dominant tree species (Quercus suber, Olea europaea and Quercus canariensis) were sown in six sites during two consecutive years. Using a spatially-explicit, neighborhood approach we developed models that explained the observed spatial variation in seedling emergence, survival, growth and photochemical efficiency as a function of the size, identity, health, abundance and distribution of adult trees and shrubs in the neighborhood. We found strong neighborhood effects for all the performance estimators, particularly seedling emergence and survival. Tree neighbors positively affected emergence, independently of species identity or health. Alternatively, seedling survival was much lower in neighborhoods dominated by defoliated and dead Q. suber trees than in neighborhoods dominated by healthy trees. For the two oak species, these negative effects were consistent over the three years of the experimental seedlings. These results indicate that ongoing changes in species’ relative abundance and canopy trees’ health might alter the successional trajectories of Mediterranean oak-forests through neighbor-specific impacts on seedlings. The recruitment failure of dominant late-successional oaks in the gaps opened after Q. suber death would indirectly favor the establishment of other coexisting woody species, such as drought-tolerant shrubs. This could lead current forests to shift

  7. Dendritic connectivity controls biodiversity patterns in experimental metacommunities

    PubMed Central

    Carrara, Francesco; Altermatt, Florian; Rodriguez-Iturbe, Ignacio; Rinaldo, Andrea

    2012-01-01

    Biological communities often occur in spatially structured habitats where connectivity directly affects dispersal and metacommunity processes. Recent theoretical work suggests that dispersal constrained by the connectivity of specific habitat structures, such as dendrites like river networks, can explain observed features of biodiversity, but direct evidence is still lacking. We experimentally show that connectivity per se shapes diversity patterns in microcosm metacommunities at different levels. Local dispersal in isotropic lattice landscapes homogenizes local species richness and leads to pronounced spatial persistence. On the contrary, dispersal along dendritic landscapes leads to higher variability in local diversity and among-community composition. Although headwaters exhibit relatively lower species richness, they are crucial for the maintenance of regional biodiversity. Our results establish that spatially constrained dendritic connectivity is a key factor for community composition and population persistence. PMID:22460788

  8. Hierarchical drivers of reef-fish metacommunity structure.

    PubMed

    MacNeil, M Aaron; Graham, Nicholas A J; Polunin, Nicholas V C; Kulbicki, Michel; Galzin, René; Harmelin-Vivien, Mireille; Rushton, Steven P

    2009-01-01

    Coral reefs are highly complex ecological systems, where multiple processes interact across scales in space and time to create assemblages of exceptionally high biodiversity. Despite the increasing frequency of hierarchically structured sampling programs used in coral-reef science, little progress has been made in quantifying the relative importance of processes operating across multiple scales. The vast majority of reef studies are conducted, or at least analyzed, at a single spatial scale, ignoring the implicitly hierarchical structure of the overall system in favor of small-scale experiments or large-scale observations. Here we demonstrate how alpha (mean local number of species), beta diversity (degree of species dissimilarity among local sites), and gamma diversity (overall species richness) vary with spatial scale, and using a hierarchical, information-theoretic approach, we evaluate the relative importance of site-, reef-, and atoll-level processes driving the fish metacommunity structure among 10 atolls in French Polynesia. Process-based models, representing well-established hypotheses about drivers of reef-fish community structure, were assembled into a candidate set of 12 hierarchical linear models. Variation in fish abundance, biomass, and species richness were unevenly distributed among transect, reef, and atoll levels, establishing the relative contribution of variation at these spatial scales to the structure of the metacommunity. Reef-fish biomass, species richness, and the abundance of most functional-groups corresponded primarily with transect-level habitat diversity and atoll-lagoon size, whereas detritivore and grazer abundances were largely correlated with potential covariates of larval dispersal. Our findings show that (1) within-transect and among-atoll factors primarily drive the relationship between alpha and gamma diversity in this reef-fish metacommunity; (2) habitat is the primary correlate with reef-fish metacommunity structure at

  9. Metacommunity versus biogeography: a case study of two groups of neotropical vegetation-dwelling arthropods.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves-Souza, Thiago; Romero, Gustavo Q; Cottenie, Karl

    2014-01-01

    Biogeography and metacommunity ecology provide two different perspectives on species diversity. Both are spatial in nature but their spatial scales do not necessarily match. With recent boom of metacommunity studies, we see an increasing need for clear discrimination of spatial scales relevant for both perspectives. This discrimination is a necessary prerequisite for improved understanding of ecological phenomena across scales. Here we provide a case study to illustrate some spatial scale-dependent concepts in recent metacommunity studies and identify potential pitfalls. We presented here the diversity patterns of Neotropical lepidopterans and spiders viewed both from metacommunity and biogeographical perspectives. Specifically, we investigated how the relative importance of niche- and dispersal-based processes for community assembly change at two spatial scales: metacommunity scale, i.e. within a locality, and biogeographical scale, i.e. among localities widely scattered along a macroclimatic gradient. As expected, niche-based processes dominated the community assembly at metacommunity scale, while dispersal-based processes played a major role at biogeographical scale for both taxonomical groups. However, we also observed small but significant spatial effects at metacommunity scale and environmental effects at biogeographical scale. We also observed differences in diversity patterns between the two taxonomical groups corresponding to differences in their dispersal modes. Our results thus support the idea of continuity of processes interactively shaping diversity patterns across scales and emphasize the necessity of integration of metacommunity and biogeographical perspectives.

  10. Metacommunity versus Biogeography: A Case Study of Two Groups of Neotropical Vegetation-Dwelling Arthropods

    PubMed Central

    Gonçalves-Souza, Thiago; Romero, Gustavo Q.; Cottenie, Karl

    2014-01-01

    Biogeography and metacommunity ecology provide two different perspectives on species diversity. Both are spatial in nature but their spatial scales do not necessarily match. With recent boom of metacommunity studies, we see an increasing need for clear discrimination of spatial scales relevant for both perspectives. This discrimination is a necessary prerequisite for improved understanding of ecological phenomena across scales. Here we provide a case study to illustrate some spatial scale-dependent concepts in recent metacommunity studies and identify potential pitfalls. We presented here the diversity patterns of Neotropical lepidopterans and spiders viewed both from metacommunity and biogeographical perspectives. Specifically, we investigated how the relative importance of niche- and dispersal-based processes for community assembly change at two spatial scales: metacommunity scale, i.e. within a locality, and biogeographical scale, i.e. among localities widely scattered along a macroclimatic gradient. As expected, niche-based processes dominated the community assembly at metacommunity scale, while dispersal-based processes played a major role at biogeographical scale for both taxonomical groups. However, we also observed small but significant spatial effects at metacommunity scale and environmental effects at biogeographical scale. We also observed differences in diversity patterns between the two taxonomical groups corresponding to differences in their dispersal modes. Our results thus support the idea of continuity of processes interactively shaping diversity patterns across scales and emphasize the necessity of integration of metacommunity and biogeographical perspectives. PMID:25549332

  11. Strong Spatial Influence on Colonization Rates in a Pioneer Zooplankton Metacommunity

    PubMed Central

    Frisch, Dagmar; Cottenie, Karl; Badosa, Anna; Green, Andy J.

    2012-01-01

    The magnitude of community-wide dispersal is central to metacommunity models, yet dispersal is notoriously difficult to quantify in passive and cryptic dispersers such as many freshwater invertebrates. By overcoming the problem of quantifying dispersal rates, colonization rates into new habitats can provide a useful estimate of the magnitude of effective dispersal. Here we study the influence of spatial and local processes on colonization rates into new ponds that indicate differential dispersal limitation of major zooplankton taxa, with important implications for metacommunity dynamics. We identify regional and local factors that affect zooplankton colonization rates and spatial patterns in a large-scale experimental system. Our study differs from others in the unique setup of the experimental pond area by which we were able to test spatial and environmental variables at a large spatial scale. We quantified colonization rates separately for the Copepoda, Cladocera and Rotifera from samples collected over a period of 21 months in 48 newly constructed temporary ponds of 0.18–2.95 ha distributed in a restored wetland area of 2,700 ha in Doñana National Park, Southern Spain. Species richness upon initial sampling of new ponds was about one third of that in reference ponds, although the rate of detection of new species from thereon were not significantly different, probably owing to high turnover in the dynamic, temporary reference ponds. Environmental heterogeneity had no detectable effect on colonization rates in new ponds. In contrast, connectivity, space (based on latitude and longitude) and surface area were key determinants of colonization rates for copepods and cladocerans. This suggests dispersal limitation in cladocerans and copepods, but not in rotifers, possibly due to differences in propagule size and abundance. PMID:22792241

  12. Assembly processes of gastropod community change with horizontal and vertical zonation in ancient Lake Ohrid: a metacommunity speciation perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hauffe, Torsten; Albrecht, Christian; Wilke, Thomas

    2016-05-01

    The Balkan Lake Ohrid is the oldest and most diverse freshwater lacustrine system in Europe. However, it remains unclear whether species community composition, as well as the diversification of its endemic taxa, is mainly driven by dispersal limitation, environmental filtering, or species interaction. This calls for a holistic perspective involving both evolutionary processes and ecological dynamics, as provided by the unifying framework of the "metacommunity speciation model".The current study used the species-rich model taxon Gastropoda to assess how extant communities in Lake Ohrid are structured by performing process-based metacommunity analyses. Specifically, the study aimed (1) to identifying the relative importance of the three community assembly processes and (2) to test whether the importance of these individual processes changes gradually with lake depth or discontinuously with eco-zone shifts.Based on automated eco-zone detection and process-specific simulation steps, we demonstrated that dispersal limitation had the strongest influence on gastropod community composition. However, it was not the exclusive assembly process, but acted together with the other two processes - environmental filtering and species interaction. The relative importance of the community assembly processes varied both with lake depth and eco-zones, though the processes were better predicted by the latter.This suggests that environmental characteristics have a pronounced effect on shaping gastropod communities via assembly processes. Moreover, the study corroborated the high importance of dispersal limitation for both maintaining species richness in Lake Ohrid (through its impact on community composition) and generating endemic biodiversity (via its influence on diversification processes). However, according to the metacommunity speciation model, the inferred importance of environmental filtering and biotic interaction also suggests a small but significant influence of ecological

  13. Spatial scale of similarity as an indicator of metacommunity stability in exploited marine systems.

    PubMed

    Shackell, Nancy L; Fisher, Jonathan A D; Frank, Kenneth T; Lawton, Peter

    2012-01-01

    The spatial scale of similarity among fish communities is characteristically large in temperate marine systems: connectivity is enhanced by high rates of dispersal during the larval/juvenile stages and the increased mobility of large-bodied fish. A larger spatial scale of similarity (low beta diversity) is advantageous in heavily exploited systems because locally depleted populations are more likely to be "rescued" by neighboring areas. We explored whether the spatial scale of similarity changed from 1970 to 2006 due to overfishing of dominant, large-bodied groundfish across a 300 000-km2 region of the Northwest Atlantic. Annually, similarities among communities decayed slowly with increasing geographic distance in this open system, but through time the decorrelation distance declined by 33%, concomitant with widespread reductions in biomass, body size, and community evenness. The decline in connectivity stemmed from an erosion of community similarity among local subregions separated by distances as small as 100 km. Larger fish, of the same species, contribute proportionally more viable offspring, so observed body size reductions will have affected maternal output. The cumulative effect of nonlinear maternal influences on egg/larval quality may have compromised the spatial scale of effective larval dispersal, which may account for the delayed recovery of certain member species. Our study adds strong support for using the spatial scale of similarity as an indicator of metacommunity stability both to understand the spatial impacts of exploitation and to refine how spatial structure is used in management plans.

  14. Bird metacommunities in temperate South American forest: vegetation structure, area, and climate effects.

    PubMed

    Meynard, Christine N; Quinn, J F

    2008-04-01

    Spatial structure in metacommunities and their relationships to environmental gradients have been linked to opposing theories of community assembly. In particular, while the species sorting hypothesis predicts strong environmental influences, the neutral theory, the mass effect, and the patch dynamics frameworks all predict differing degrees of spatial structure resulting from dispersal and competition limitations. Here we study the relative influence of environmental gradients and spatial structure in bird assemblages of the Chilean temperate forest. We carried out bird and vegetation surveys in South American temperate forests at 147 points located in nine different protected areas in central Chile, and collected meteorological and productivity data for these localities. Species composition dissimilarities between sites were calculated, as well as three indices of bird local diversity: observed species richness, Chao estimate of richness, and Shannon diversity. A stepwise multiple regression and partial regression analyses were used to select a small number of environmental factors that predicted bird species diversity. Although diversity indices were spatially autocorrelated, environmental factors were sufficient to account for this autocorrelation. Moreover, community dissimilarities were not significantly related to distance between sites. We then tested a multivariate hypothesis about climate, vegetation, and avian diversity interactions using a structural equation modeling (SEM) approach. The SEM showed that climate and area of fragments have important indirect effects on avian diversity, mediated through changes in vegetation structure. Given the scale of this study, the metacommunity framework provides useful insights into the mechanisms driving bird assemblages in this region. Taken together, the weak spatial structure of community composition and diversity, as well as the strong environmental effects on bird diversity, support the interpretation that

  15. Recent changes in the dynamic properties of declining Arctic sea ice: A model study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jinlun; Lindsay, Ron; Schweiger, Axel; Rigor, Ignatius

    2012-10-01

    Results from a numerical model simulation show significant changes in the dynamic properties of Arctic sea ice during 2007-2011 compared to the 1979-2006 mean. These changes are linked to a 33% reduction in sea ice volume, with decreasing ice concentration, mostly in the marginal seas, and decreasing ice thickness over the entire Arctic, particularly in the western Arctic. The decline in ice volume results in a 37% decrease in ice mechanical strength and 31% in internal ice interaction force, which in turn leads to an increase in ice speed (13%) and deformation rates (17%). The increasing ice speed has the tendency to drive more ice out of the Arctic. However, ice volume export is reduced because the rate of decrease in ice thickness is greater than the rate of increase in ice speed, thus retarding the decline of Arctic sea ice volume. Ice deformation increases the most in fall and least in summer. Thus the effect of changes in ice deformation on the ice cover is likely strong in fall and weak in summer. The increase in ice deformation boosts ridged ice production in parts of the central Arctic near the Canadian Archipelago and Greenland in winter and early spring, but the average ridged ice production is reduced because less ice is available for ridging in most of the marginal seas in fall. The overall decrease in ridged ice production contributes to the demise of thicker, older ice. As the ice cover becomes thinner and weaker, ice motion approaches a state of free drift in summer and beyond and is therefore more susceptible to changes in wind forcing. This is likely to make seasonal or shorter-term forecasts of sea ice edge locations more challenging.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    Pathogens can drive host population dynamics. Chytridiomycosis is a fungal disease of amphibians that is caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). This pathogen has caused declines and extinctions in some host species whereas other host species coexist with Bd without suffering declines. In the early 1990s, Bd extirpated populations of the endangered common mistfrog, Litoria rheocola, at high-elevation sites, while populations of the species persisted at low-elevation sites. Today, populations have reappeared at many high-elevation sites where they presently co-exist with the fungus. We conducted a capture-mark-recapture (CMR) study of six populations of L. rheocola over 1 year, at high and low elevations. We used multistate CMR models to determine which factors (Bd infection status, site type, and season) influenced rates of frog survival, recapture, infection, and recovery from infection. We observed Bd-induced mortality of individual frogs, but did not find any significant effect of Bd infection on the survival rate of L. rheocola at the population level. Survival and recapture rates depended on site type and season. Infection rate was highest in winter when temperatures were favourable for pathogen growth, and differed among site types. The recovery rate was high (75.7-85.8%) across seasons, and did not differ among site types. The coexistence of L. rheocola with Bd suggests that (1) frog populations are becoming resistant to the fungus, (2) Bd may have evolved lower virulence, or (3) current environmental conditions may be inhibiting outbreaks of the fatal disease. PMID:26293680

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    Pathogens can drive host population dynamics. Chytridiomycosis is a fungal disease of amphibians that is caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). This pathogen has caused declines and extinctions in some host species whereas other host species coexist with Bd without suffering declines. In the early 1990s, Bd extirpated populations of the endangered common mistfrog, Litoria rheocola, at high-elevation sites, while populations of the species persisted at low-elevation sites. Today, populations have reappeared at many high-elevation sites where they presently co-exist with the fungus. We conducted a capture-mark-recapture (CMR) study of six populations of L. rheocola over 1 year, at high and low elevations. We used multistate CMR models to determine which factors (Bd infection status, site type, and season) influenced rates of frog survival, recapture, infection, and recovery from infection. We observed Bd-induced mortality of individual frogs, but did not find any significant effect of Bd infection on the survival rate of L. rheocola at the population level. Survival and recapture rates depended on site type and season. Infection rate was highest in winter when temperatures were favourable for pathogen growth, and differed among site types. The recovery rate was high (75.7-85.8%) across seasons, and did not differ among site types. The coexistence of L. rheocola with Bd suggests that (1) frog populations are becoming resistant to the fungus, (2) Bd may have evolved lower virulence, or (3) current environmental conditions may be inhibiting outbreaks of the fatal disease.

  18. Habitat destruction and metacommunity size in pen shell communities.

    PubMed

    Munguia, Pablo; Miller, Thomas E

    2008-11-01

    1. In spatially structured communities, habitat destruction can have two effects: first, a main effect that occurs because of the loss of habitat area within a larger region, and a secondary effect due to changes in the spatial arrangement of local communities. Changes to the spatial arrangement can, in turn, affect the migration and extinction rates within local communities. 2. Our study involved the experimental destruction of entire local communities within larger regions in natural marine microcosms. Large and small arrays of dead pen shells were created in a shallow bay in north Florida, and the colonization by both encrusting and motile species on this empty substrate were followed through time. After most species had become established, half of the large arrays were perturbed to create small arrays by removal of half the shells, simulating habitat destruction. 3. After 48 days of further community development, comparisons of the large arrays, reduced arrays and original small arrays suggested that the mechanisms by which habitat destruction affects diversity could depend upon the size of the region affected and the natural history of the species being studied. 4. Habitat destruction reduced the diversity of motile species to a level lower than that found in the undisturbed small arrays, suggesting that the species that assembled in the original large metacommunities negatively influenced the species that occurred ultimately in the converted small arrays. 5. With sessile species, habitat destruction created richness levels that were intermediate to those of small and large arrays. The initial predestruction richness appears to have had a positive effect; because sessile species cannot disperse as adults, they may not respond to significant shifts in metacommunity size later in succession. Initial metacommunity size may be important for allowing individuals to select appropriate habitats before they settle. PMID:18637972

  19. Effects of forest canopy on habitat selection in treefrogs and aquatic insects: implications for communities and metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Binckley, Christopher A; Resetarits, William J

    2007-10-01

    The specific dispersal/colonization strategies used by species to locate and colonize habitat patches can strongly influence both community and metacommunity structure. Habitat selection theory predicts nonrandom dispersal to and colonization of habitat patches based on their quality. We tested whether habitat selection was capable of generating patterns of diversity and abundance across a transition of canopy coverage (open and closed canopy) and nutrient addition by investigating oviposition site choice in two treefrog species (Hyla) and an aquatic beetle (Tropisternus lateralis), and the colonization dynamics of a diverse assemblage of aquatic insects (primarily beetles). Canopy cover produced dramatic patterns of presence/absence, abundance, and species richness, as open canopy ponds received 99.5% of propagules and 94.6% of adult insect colonists. Nutrient addition affected only Tropisternus oviposition, as females oviposited more egg cases at higher nutrient levels, but only in open canopy ponds. The behavioral partitioning of aquatic landscapes into suitable and unsuitable habitats via habitat selection behavior fundamentally alters how communities within larger ecological landscapes (metacommunities) are linked by dispersal and colonization. PMID:17622564

  20. Dynamics and genetics of a disease-driven species decline to near extinction: lessons for conservation

    PubMed Central

    Hudson, M. A.; Young, R. P.; D’Urban Jackson, J.; Orozco-terWengel, P.; Martin, L.; James, A.; Sulton, M.; Garcia, G.; Griffiths, R. A.; Thomas, R.; Magin, C.; Bruford, M. W.; Cunningham, A. A.

    2016-01-01

    Amphibian chytridiomycosis has caused precipitous declines in hundreds of species worldwide. By tracking mountain chicken (Leptodactylus fallax) populations before, during and after the emergence of chytridiomycosis, we quantified the real-time species level impacts of this disease. We report a range-wide species decline amongst the fastest ever recorded, with a loss of over 85% of the population in fewer than 18 months on Dominica and near extinction on Montserrat. Genetic diversity declined in the wild, but emergency measures to establish a captive assurance population captured a representative sample of genetic diversity from Montserrat. If the Convention on Biological Diversity’s targets are to be met, it is important to evaluate the reasons why they appear consistently unattainable. The emergence of chytridiomycosis in the mountain chicken was predictable, but the decline could not be prevented. There is an urgent need to build mitigation capacity where amphibians are at risk from chytridiomycosis. PMID:27485994

  1. Dynamics and genetics of a disease-driven species decline to near extinction: lessons for conservation.

    PubMed

    Hudson, M A; Young, R P; D'Urban Jackson, J; Orozco-terWengel, P; Martin, L; James, A; Sulton, M; Garcia, G; Griffiths, R A; Thomas, R; Magin, C; Bruford, M W; Cunningham, A A

    2016-01-01

    Amphibian chytridiomycosis has caused precipitous declines in hundreds of species worldwide. By tracking mountain chicken (Leptodactylus fallax) populations before, during and after the emergence of chytridiomycosis, we quantified the real-time species level impacts of this disease. We report a range-wide species decline amongst the fastest ever recorded, with a loss of over 85% of the population in fewer than 18 months on Dominica and near extinction on Montserrat. Genetic diversity declined in the wild, but emergency measures to establish a captive assurance population captured a representative sample of genetic diversity from Montserrat. If the Convention on Biological Diversity's targets are to be met, it is important to evaluate the reasons why they appear consistently unattainable. The emergence of chytridiomycosis in the mountain chicken was predictable, but the decline could not be prevented. There is an urgent need to build mitigation capacity where amphibians are at risk from chytridiomycosis. PMID:27485994

  2. A crucial step toward realism: responses to climate change from an evolving metacommunity perspective

    PubMed Central

    Urban, Mark C; De Meester, Luc; Vellend, Mark; Stoks, Robby; Vanoverbeke, Joost

    2012-01-01

    We need to understand joint ecological and evolutionary responses to climate change to predict future threats to biological diversity. The ‘evolving metacommunity’ framework emphasizes that interactions between ecological and evolutionary mechanisms at both local and regional scales will drive community dynamics during climate change. Theory suggests that ecological and evolutionary dynamics often interact to produce outcomes different from those predicted based on either mechanism alone. We highlight two of these dynamics: (i) species interactions prevent adaptation of nonresident species to new niches and (ii) resident species adapt to changing climates and thereby prevent colonization by nonresident species. The rate of environmental change, level of genetic variation, source-sink structure, and dispersal rates mediate between these potential outcomes. Future models should evaluate multiple species, species interactions other than competition, and multiple traits. Future experiments should manipulate factors such as genetic variation and dispersal to determine their joint effects on responses to climate change. Currently, we know much more about how climates will change across the globe than about how species will respond to these changes despite the profound effects these changes will have on global biological diversity. Integrating evolving metacommunity perspectives into climate change biology should produce more accurate predictions about future changes to species distributions and extinction threats. PMID:25568038

  3. Flow directionality, mountain barriers and functional traits determine diatom metacommunity structuring of high mountain streams.

    PubMed

    Dong, Xiaoyu; Li, Bin; He, Fengzhi; Gu, Yuan; Sun, Meiqin; Zhang, Haomiao; Tan, Lu; Xiao, Wen; Liu, Shuoran; Cai, Qinghua

    2016-04-19

    Stream metacommunities are structured by a combination of local (environmental filtering) and regional (dispersal) processes. The unique characters of high mountain streams could potentially determine metacommunity structuring, which is currently poorly understood. Aiming at understanding how these characters influenced metacommunity structuring, we explored the relative importance of local environmental conditions and various dispersal processes, including through geographical (overland), topographical (across mountain barriers) and network (along flow direction) pathways in shaping benthic diatom communities. From a trait perspective, diatoms were categorized into high-profile, low-profile and motile guild to examine the roles of functional traits. Our results indicated that both environmental filtering and dispersal processes influenced metacommunity structuring, with dispersal contributing more than environmental processes. Among the three pathways, stream corridors were primary pathway. Deconstructive analysis suggested different responses to environmental and spatial factors for each of three ecological guilds. However, regardless of traits, dispersal among streams was limited by mountain barriers, while dispersal along stream was promoted by rushing flow in high mountain stream. Our results highlighted that directional processes had prevailing effects on metacommunity structuring in high mountain streams. Flow directionality, mountain barriers and ecological guilds contributed to a better understanding of the roles that mountains played in structuring metacommunity.

  4. Flow directionality, mountain barriers and functional traits determine diatom metacommunity structuring of high mountain streams

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Xiaoyu; Li, Bin; He, Fengzhi; Gu, Yuan; Sun, Meiqin; Zhang, Haomiao; Tan, Lu; Xiao, Wen; Liu, Shuoran; Cai, Qinghua

    2016-01-01

    Stream metacommunities are structured by a combination of local (environmental filtering) and regional (dispersal) processes. The unique characters of high mountain streams could potentially determine metacommunity structuring, which is currently poorly understood. Aiming at understanding how these characters influenced metacommunity structuring, we explored the relative importance of local environmental conditions and various dispersal processes, including through geographical (overland), topographical (across mountain barriers) and network (along flow direction) pathways in shaping benthic diatom communities. From a trait perspective, diatoms were categorized into high-profile, low-profile and motile guild to examine the roles of functional traits. Our results indicated that both environmental filtering and dispersal processes influenced metacommunity structuring, with dispersal contributing more than environmental processes. Among the three pathways, stream corridors were primary pathway. Deconstructive analysis suggested different responses to environmental and spatial factors for each of three ecological guilds. However, regardless of traits, dispersal among streams was limited by mountain barriers, while dispersal along stream was promoted by rushing flow in high mountain stream. Our results highlighted that directional processes had prevailing effects on metacommunity structuring in high mountain streams. Flow directionality, mountain barriers and ecological guilds contributed to a better understanding of the roles that mountains played in structuring metacommunity. PMID:27090223

  5. (Meta)communication strategies in inclusive classes for deaf students.

    PubMed

    Kelman, Celeste Azulay; Branco, Angela Uchôa

    2009-01-01

    How can an inclusive classroom for deaf students be successful? The use of metacommunication strategies by teachers and hearing peers seems promising. Schools that promote this approach tend to improve deaf students' psychosocial development and academic achievement. However, this is not a general rule. The present study identifies the elements of success, with the investigators basing their analysis on extensive observation of 4 bilingual classes conducted by regular education and specialized teachers. The study was conducted in 3 public elementary schools in Brasilia, Brazil. Data were collected through direct observation (156 hours) and video recording (34 hours). Results were qualitatively analyzed from a microgenetic perspective. The investigators devised 14 categories of social interaction, e.g., visual contact and responsivity, multimodal communication, co-construction of meanings, flexible use of space, and sign language instruction for hearing students. PMID:20066919

  6. (Meta)communication strategies in inclusive classes for deaf students.

    PubMed

    Kelman, Celeste Azulay; Branco, Angela Uchôa

    2009-01-01

    How can an inclusive classroom for deaf students be successful? The use of metacommunication strategies by teachers and hearing peers seems promising. Schools that promote this approach tend to improve deaf students' psychosocial development and academic achievement. However, this is not a general rule. The present study identifies the elements of success, with the investigators basing their analysis on extensive observation of 4 bilingual classes conducted by regular education and specialized teachers. The study was conducted in 3 public elementary schools in Brasilia, Brazil. Data were collected through direct observation (156 hours) and video recording (34 hours). Results were qualitatively analyzed from a microgenetic perspective. The investigators devised 14 categories of social interaction, e.g., visual contact and responsivity, multimodal communication, co-construction of meanings, flexible use of space, and sign language instruction for hearing students.

  7. Colonization Rates in a Metacommunity Altered by Competition

    PubMed Central

    Jeganmohan, Shajini; Tucker, Caroline; Cadotte, Marc W.

    2014-01-01

    Competition and colonization are two mechanisms that are important for determining coexistence and species diversity in spatially structured habitats. However, these mechanisms may not be independent as species can exhibit behavioral or physiological changes in response to competition that alters their colonization rates. This study examines the effect of interspecific interactions on the colonization rates of four microscopic species (three ciliates and a rotifer) in aquatic microcosms. Two species showed significant reductions in the time to colonize patches when confronted with a competitor, one was a good disperser (Colpidium striatum) and the other was the slowest disperser (Philodina spp.). These results indicate that species’ colonization rates in a metacommunity can vary depending on the presence of competitors. Thus, we suggest that predictions based on heuristic tradeoffs between competition and colonization should consider effects of common biotic interactions such as competition. PMID:24551094

  8. Hydrology Affects Environmental and Spatial Structuring of Microalgal Metacommunities in Tropical Pacific Coast Wetlands

    PubMed Central

    Rojo, Carmen; Mesquita-Joanes, Francesc; Monrós, Juan S.; Armengol, Javier; Sasa, Mahmood; Bonilla, Fabián; Rueda, Ricardo; Benavent-Corai, José; Piculo, Rubén; Segura, M. Matilde

    2016-01-01

    The alternating climate between wet and dry periods has important effects on the hydrology and therefore on niche-based processes of water bodies in tropical areas. Additionally, assemblages of microorganism can show spatial patterns, in the form of a distance decay relationship due to their size or life form. We aimed to test spatial and environmental effects, modulated by a seasonal flooding climatic pattern, on the distribution of microalgae in 30 wetlands of a tropical dry forest region: the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Three surveys were conducted corresponding to the beginning, the highest peak, and the end of the hydrological year during the wet season, and species abundance and composition of planktonic and benthic microalgae was determined. Variation partitioning analysis (as explained by spatial distance or environmental factors) was applied to each seasonal dataset by means of partial redundancy analysis. Our results show that microalgal assemblages were structured by spatial and environmental factors depending on the hydrological period of the year. At the onset of hydroperiod and during flooding, neutral effects dominated community dynamics, but niche-based local effects resulted in more structured algal communities at the final periods of desiccating water bodies. Results suggest that climate-mediated effects on hydrology can influence the relative role of spatial and environmental factors on metacommunities of microalgae. Such variability needs to be accounted in order to describe accurately community dynamics in tropical coastal wetlands. PMID:26900916

  9. Hydrology Affects Environmental and Spatial Structuring of Microalgal Metacommunities in Tropical Pacific Coast Wetlands.

    PubMed

    Rojo, Carmen; Mesquita-Joanes, Francesc; Monrós, Juan S; Armengol, Javier; Sasa, Mahmood; Bonilla, Fabián; Rueda, Ricardo; Benavent-Corai, José; Piculo, Rubén; Segura, M Matilde

    2016-01-01

    The alternating climate between wet and dry periods has important effects on the hydrology and therefore on niche-based processes of water bodies in tropical areas. Additionally, assemblages of microorganism can show spatial patterns, in the form of a distance decay relationship due to their size or life form. We aimed to test spatial and environmental effects, modulated by a seasonal flooding climatic pattern, on the distribution of microalgae in 30 wetlands of a tropical dry forest region: the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Three surveys were conducted corresponding to the beginning, the highest peak, and the end of the hydrological year during the wet season, and species abundance and composition of planktonic and benthic microalgae was determined. Variation partitioning analysis (as explained by spatial distance or environmental factors) was applied to each seasonal dataset by means of partial redundancy analysis. Our results show that microalgal assemblages were structured by spatial and environmental factors depending on the hydrological period of the year. At the onset of hydroperiod and during flooding, neutral effects dominated community dynamics, but niche-based local effects resulted in more structured algal communities at the final periods of desiccating water bodies. Results suggest that climate-mediated effects on hydrology can influence the relative role of spatial and environmental factors on metacommunities of microalgae. Such variability needs to be accounted in order to describe accurately community dynamics in tropical coastal wetlands.

  10. Hydrology Affects Environmental and Spatial Structuring of Microalgal Metacommunities in Tropical Pacific Coast Wetlands.

    PubMed

    Rojo, Carmen; Mesquita-Joanes, Francesc; Monrós, Juan S; Armengol, Javier; Sasa, Mahmood; Bonilla, Fabián; Rueda, Ricardo; Benavent-Corai, José; Piculo, Rubén; Segura, M Matilde

    2016-01-01

    The alternating climate between wet and dry periods has important effects on the hydrology and therefore on niche-based processes of water bodies in tropical areas. Additionally, assemblages of microorganism can show spatial patterns, in the form of a distance decay relationship due to their size or life form. We aimed to test spatial and environmental effects, modulated by a seasonal flooding climatic pattern, on the distribution of microalgae in 30 wetlands of a tropical dry forest region: the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Three surveys were conducted corresponding to the beginning, the highest peak, and the end of the hydrological year during the wet season, and species abundance and composition of planktonic and benthic microalgae was determined. Variation partitioning analysis (as explained by spatial distance or environmental factors) was applied to each seasonal dataset by means of partial redundancy analysis. Our results show that microalgal assemblages were structured by spatial and environmental factors depending on the hydrological period of the year. At the onset of hydroperiod and during flooding, neutral effects dominated community dynamics, but niche-based local effects resulted in more structured algal communities at the final periods of desiccating water bodies. Results suggest that climate-mediated effects on hydrology can influence the relative role of spatial and environmental factors on metacommunities of microalgae. Such variability needs to be accounted in order to describe accurately community dynamics in tropical coastal wetlands. PMID:26900916

  11. Dynamic patterns and ecological impacts of declining ocean pH in a high-resolution multi-year dataset.

    PubMed

    Wootton, J Timothy; Pfister, Catherine A; Forester, James D

    2008-12-01

    Increasing global concentrations of atmospheric CO(2) are predicted to decrease ocean pH, with potentially severe impacts on marine food webs, but empirical data documenting ocean pH over time are limited. In a high-resolution dataset spanning 8 years, pH at a north-temperate coastal site declined with increasing atmospheric CO(2) levels and varied substantially in response to biological processes and physical conditions that fluctuate over multiple time scales. Applying a method to link environmental change to species dynamics via multispecies Markov chain models reveals strong links between in situ benthic species dynamics and variation in ocean pH, with calcareous species generally performing more poorly than noncalcareous species in years with low pH. The models project the long-term consequences of these dynamic changes, which predict substantial shifts in the species dominating the habitat as a consequence of both direct effects of reduced calcification and indirect effects arising from the web of species interactions. Our results indicate that pH decline is proceeding at a more rapid rate than previously predicted in some areas, and that this decline has ecological consequences for near shore benthic ecosystems.

  12. Dynamic patterns and ecological impacts of declining ocean pH in a high-resolution multi-year dataset

    PubMed Central

    Wootton, J. Timothy; Pfister, Catherine A.; Forester, James D.

    2008-01-01

    Increasing global concentrations of atmospheric CO2 are predicted to decrease ocean pH, with potentially severe impacts on marine food webs, but empirical data documenting ocean pH over time are limited. In a high-resolution dataset spanning 8 years, pH at a north-temperate coastal site declined with increasing atmospheric CO2 levels and varied substantially in response to biological processes and physical conditions that fluctuate over multiple time scales. Applying a method to link environmental change to species dynamics via multispecies Markov chain models reveals strong links between in situ benthic species dynamics and variation in ocean pH, with calcareous species generally performing more poorly than noncalcareous species in years with low pH. The models project the long-term consequences of these dynamic changes, which predict substantial shifts in the species dominating the habitat as a consequence of both direct effects of reduced calcification and indirect effects arising from the web of species interactions. Our results indicate that pH decline is proceeding at a more rapid rate than previously predicted in some areas, and that this decline has ecological consequences for near shore benthic ecosystems. PMID:19033205

  13. Coexistence of competitors in marine metacommunities: environmental variability, edge effects, and the dispersal niche.

    PubMed

    Aiken, Christopher M; Navarrete, Sergio A

    2014-08-01

    Theoretical studies have shown that coexistence between competitors can be favored in a spatially heterogeneous environment by a number of mechanisms, which ultimately allow the expression of persistent or transitory variation in species competitive abilities, colonization, or reproduction. Four distinctive paradigms to model metacommunities have been identified according to assumptions about the biology of the species and essential aspects of the environment. Missing from these are mechanisms of coexistence that can arise from the dispersal process itself without explicit spatial heterogeneity or biological trade-offs. These mechanisms have only recently received attention, but they may be common in marine communities and other systems in which dispersal is obligatory and modulated by the physical environment. We investigate coexistence in spatially homogeneous metacommunities where there is no partitioning of resources, no competition-colonization trade-off, and no possibility of source-sink dynamics. Coexistence is shown to be possible through three distinct mechanisms related to the dispersal process itself. Firstly, in a neutral scenario, inclusion of temporal variability in the connectivity matrix, emulating an intrinsic attribute of ocean character and other turbulent environments, can promote the invasion of an equally matched competitor and, in a hierarchical competition scenario, the persistence of an otherwise unviable, inferior competitor (the dispersal variability mechanism). Secondly, a sufficiently large difference in the shape of the time-independent dispersal kernels of the two species, which may result from differences in larval-release timing, buoyancy, or behavior, can produce stable coexistence in the center of their shared range (the dispersal-shape mechanism). Thirdly, asymmetry in the dispersal process due to biased advection renders the metapopulation model reactive, such that small variations in the upstream abundances can be sufficient

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

    Based on three ornithogenic sediment profiles and seabird subfossils therein from the Xisha Islands, South China Sea, the relative population size of seabirds over the past 1000 years was reconstructed using reflectance spectrum. Here we present an apparent increase and subsequent decline of seabirds on these islands in the South China Sea. Seabird populations peaked during the Little Ice Age (LIA, 1400–1850 AD), implying that the cool climate during the LIA appears to have been more favorable to seabirds on the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea. Climate change partly explains the recent decrease in seabird populations over the past 150 years, but the significant decline and almost complete disappearance thereof on most of the Xisha Islands is probably attributable to human disturbance. Our study reveals the increasing impact of anthropogenic activities on seabird population in recent times.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Based on three ornithogenic sediment profiles and seabird subfossils therein from the Xisha Islands, South China Sea, the relative population size of seabirds over the past 1000 years was reconstructed using reflectance spectrum. Here we present an apparent increase and subsequent decline of seabirds on these islands in the South China Sea. Seabird populations peaked during the Little Ice Age (LIA, 1400–1850 AD), implying that the cool climate during the LIA appears to have been more favorable to seabirds on the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea. Climate change partly explains the recent decrease in seabird populations over the past 150 years, but the significant decline and almost complete disappearance thereof on most of the Xisha Islands is probably attributable to human disturbance. Our study reveals the increasing impact of anthropogenic activities on seabird population in recent times. PMID:27748366

  16. Inferring species roles in metacommunity structure from species co-occurrence networks

    PubMed Central

    Borthagaray, Ana I.; Arim, Matías; Marquet, Pablo A.

    2014-01-01

    A long-standing question in community ecology is what determines the identity of species that coexist across local communities or metacommunity assembly. To shed light upon this question, we used a network approach to analyse the drivers of species co-occurrence patterns. In particular, we focus on the potential roles of body size and trophic status as determinants of metacommunity cohesion because of their link to resource use and dispersal ability. Small-sized individuals at low-trophic levels, and with limited dispersal potential, are expected to form highly linked subgroups, whereas large-size individuals at higher trophic positions, and with good dispersal potential, will foster the spatial coupling of subgroups and the cohesion of the whole metacommunity. By using modularity analysis, we identified six modules of species with similar responses to ecological conditions and high co-occurrence across local communities. Most species either co-occur with species from a single module or are connectors of the whole network. Among the latter are carnivorous species of intermediate body size, which by virtue of their high incidence provide connectivity to otherwise isolated communities playing the role of spatial couplers. Our study also demonstrates that the incorporation of network tools to the analysis of metacommunity ecology can help unveil the mechanisms underlying patterns and processes in metacommunity assembly. PMID:25143039

  17. Count data, detection probabilities, and the demography, dynamics, distribution, and decline of amphibians.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Benedikt R

    2003-08-01

    The evidence for amphibian population declines is based on count data that were not adjusted for detection probabilities. Such data are not reliable even when collected using standard methods. The formula C = Np (where C is a count, N the true parameter value, and p is a detection probability) relates count data to demography, population size, or distributions. With unadjusted count data, one assumes a linear relationship between C and N and that p is constant. These assumptions are unlikely to be met in studies of amphibian populations. Amphibian population data should be based on methods that account for detection probabilities.

  18. Language in the aging brain: the network dynamics of cognitive decline and preservation.

    PubMed

    Shafto, Meredith A; Tyler, Lorraine K

    2014-10-31

    Language is a crucial and complex lifelong faculty, underpinned by dynamic interactions within and between specialized brain networks. Whereas normal aging impairs specific aspects of language production, most core language processes are robust to brain aging. We review recent behavioral and neuroimaging evidence showing that language systems remain largely stable across the life span and that both younger and older adults depend on dynamic neural responses to linguistic demands. Although some aspects of network dynamics change with age, there is no consistent evidence that core language processes are underpinned by different neural networks in younger and older adults.

  19. Multiple Cues for Winged Morph Production in an Aphid Metacommunity

    PubMed Central

    Mehrparvar, Mohsen; Zytynska, Sharon E.; Weisser, Wolfgang W.

    2013-01-01

    Environmental factors can lead individuals down different developmental pathways giving rise to distinct phenotypes (phenotypic plasticity). The production of winged or unwinged morphs in aphids is an example of two alternative developmental pathways. Dispersal is paramount in aphids that often have a metapopulation structure, where local subpopulations frequently go extinct, such as the specialized aphids on tansy (Tanacetum vulgare). We conducted various experiments to further understand the cues involved in the production of winged dispersal morphs by the two dominant species of the tansy aphid metacommunity, Metopeurum fuscoviride and Macrosiphoniella tanacetaria. We found that the ant-tended M. fuscoviride produced winged individuals predominantly at the beginning of the season while the untended M. tanacetaria produced winged individuals throughout the season. Winged mothers of both species produced winged offspring, although in both species winged offspring were mainly produced by unwinged females. Crowding and the presence of predators, effects already known to influence wing production in other aphid species, increased the percentage of winged offspring in M. tanacetaria, but not in M. fuscoviride. We find there are also other factors (i.e. temporal effects) inducing the production of winged offspring for natural aphid populations. Our results show that the responses of each aphid species are due to multiple wing induction cues. PMID:23472179

  20. Mutualistic Interactions and Community Structure in Biological Metacommunities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rikvold, Per Arne; Filotas, Elise; Grant, Martin; Parrott, Lael

    2011-03-01

    The role of space in determining species coexistence and community structure is well established. However, previous studies mainly focus on simple competition and predation systems, and the role of mutualistic interspecies interactions is not well understood. Here we use a spatially explicit metacommunity model, in which new species enter by a mutation process, to study the effect of fitness-dependent dispersal on the structure of communities with interactions comprising mutualism, competition, and exploitation. We find that the diversity and interaction network undergo a nonequilibrium phase transition with increasing dispersal rate. Low dispersion rate favors spontaneous emergence of many dissimilar, strongly mutualistic and species-poor local communities. Due to the local dissimilarities, the global diversity is high. High dispersion rate promotes local biodiversity and supports similar, species-rich local communities with a wide range of interactions. The strong similarity between neighboring local communities leads to reduced global diversity. Supported by NSERC (Canada), FQRNT (Québec), NSF (U.S.A.)

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

    Understanding the mechanisms by which abiotic drivers, such as climate and pollution, influence population dynamics of animals is important for our ability to predict the population trajectories of individual species under different global change scenarios. We monitored four leaf beetle species (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) feeding on willows (Salix spp.) in 13 sites along a pollution gradient in subarctic forests of north-western Russia from 1993 to 2014. During a subset of years, we also measured the impacts of natural enemies and host plant quality on the performance of one of these species, Chrysomela lapponica. Spring and fall temperatures increased by 2.5-3°C during the 21-year observation period, while emissions of sulfur dioxide and heavy metals from the nickel-copper smelter at Monchegorsk decreased fivefold. However, contrary to predictions of increasing herbivory with climate warming, and in spite of discovered increase in host plant quality with increase in temperatures, none of the beetle species became more abundant during the past 20years. No directional trends were observed in densities of either Phratora vitellinae or Plagiodera versicolora, whereas densities of both C. lapponica and Gonioctena pallida showed a simultaneous rapid 20-fold decline in the early 2000s, remaining at very low levels thereafter. Time series analysis and model selection indicated that these abrupt population declines were associated with decreases in aerial emissions from the smelter. Observed declines in the population densities of C. lapponica can be explained by increases in mortality from natural enemies due to the combined action of climate warming and declining pollution. This pattern suggests that at least in some tri-trophic systems, top-down factors override bottom-up effects and govern the impacts of environmental changes on insect herbivores. PMID:27266523

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

    Understanding the mechanisms by which abiotic drivers, such as climate and pollution, influence population dynamics of animals is important for our ability to predict the population trajectories of individual species under different global change scenarios. We monitored four leaf beetle species (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) feeding on willows (Salix spp.) in 13 sites along a pollution gradient in subarctic forests of north-western Russia from 1993 to 2014. During a subset of years, we also measured the impacts of natural enemies and host plant quality on the performance of one of these species, Chrysomela lapponica. Spring and fall temperatures increased by 2.5-3°C during the 21-year observation period, while emissions of sulfur dioxide and heavy metals from the nickel-copper smelter at Monchegorsk decreased fivefold. However, contrary to predictions of increasing herbivory with climate warming, and in spite of discovered increase in host plant quality with increase in temperatures, none of the beetle species became more abundant during the past 20years. No directional trends were observed in densities of either Phratora vitellinae or Plagiodera versicolora, whereas densities of both C. lapponica and Gonioctena pallida showed a simultaneous rapid 20-fold decline in the early 2000s, remaining at very low levels thereafter. Time series analysis and model selection indicated that these abrupt population declines were associated with decreases in aerial emissions from the smelter. Observed declines in the population densities of C. lapponica can be explained by increases in mortality from natural enemies due to the combined action of climate warming and declining pollution. This pattern suggests that at least in some tri-trophic systems, top-down factors override bottom-up effects and govern the impacts of environmental changes on insect herbivores.

  3. Metacommunity structuring in stream networks: roles of dispersal mode, distance type, and regional environmental context

    PubMed Central

    Grönroos, Mira; Heino, Jani; Siqueira, Tadeu; Landeiro, Victor L; Kotanen, Juho; Bini, Luis M

    2013-01-01

    Within a metacommunity, both environmental and spatial processes regulate variation in local community structure. The strength of these processes may vary depending on species traits (e.g., dispersal mode) or the characteristics of the regions studied (e.g., spatial extent, environmental heterogeneity). We studied the metacommunity structuring of three groups of stream macroinvertebrates differing in their overland dispersal mode (passive dispersers with aquatic adults; passive dispersers with terrestrial adults; active dispersers with terrestrial adults). We predicted that environmental structuring should be more important for active dispersers, because of their better ability to track environmental variability, and that spatial structuring should be more important for species with aquatic adults, because of stronger dispersal limitation. We sampled a total of 70 stream riffle sites in three drainage basins. Environmental heterogeneity was unrelated to spatial extent among our study regions, allowing us to examine the effects of these two factors on metacommunity structuring. We used partial redundancy analysis and Moran's eigenvector maps based on overland and watercourse distances to study the relative importance of environmental control and spatial structuring. We found that, compared with environmental control, spatial structuring was generally negligible, and it did not vary according to our predictions. In general, active dispersers with terrestrial adults showed stronger environmental control than the two passively dispersing groups, suggesting that the species dispersing actively are better able to track environmental variability. There were no clear differences in the results based on watercourse and overland distances. The variability in metacommunity structuring among basins was not related to the differences in the environmental heterogeneity and spatial extent. Our study emphasized that (1) environmental control is prevailing in stream metacommunities

  4. Greenhouse gas impacts of declining hydrocarbon resource quality: Depletion, dynamics, and process emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, Adam Robert

    This dissertation explores the environmental and economic impacts of the transition to hydrocarbon substitutes for conventional petroleum (SCPs). First, mathematical models of oil depletion are reviewed, including the Hubbert model, curve-fitting methods, simulation models, and economic models. The benefits and drawbacks of each method are outlined. I discuss the predictive value of the models and our ability to determine if one model type works best. I argue that forecasting oil depletion without also including substitution with SCPs results in unrealistic projections of future energy supply. I next use information theoretic techniques to test the Hubbert model of oil depletion against five other asymmetric and symmetric curve-fitting models using data from 139 oil producing regions. I also test the assumptions that production curves are symmetric and that production is more bell-shaped in larger regions. Results show that if symmetry is enforced, Gaussian production curves perform best, while if asymmetry is allowed, asymmetric exponential models prove most useful. I also find strong evidence for asymmetry: production declines are consistently less steep than inclines. In order to understand the impacts of oil depletion on GHG emissions, I developed the Regional Optimization Model for Emissions from Oil Substitutes (ROMEO). ROMEO is an economic optimization model of investment and production of fuels. Results indicate that incremental emissions (with demand held constant) from SCPs could be 5-20 GtC over the next 50 years. These results are sensitive to the endowment of conventional oil and not sensitive to a carbon tax. If demand can vary, total emissions could decline under a transition because the higher cost of SCPs lessens overall fuel consumption. Lastly, I study the energetic and environmental characteristics of the in situ conversion process, which utilizes electricity to generate liquid hydrocarbons from oil shale. I model the energy inputs and outputs

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Consumptive and nonconsumptive effects of predators on metacommunities of competing prey.

    PubMed

    Orrock, John L; Grabowski, Jonathan H; Pantel, Jelena H; Peacor, Scott D; Peckarsky, Barbara L; Sih, Andrew; Werner, Earl E

    2008-09-01

    Although predators affect prey both via consumption and by changing prey migration behavior, the interplay between these two effects is rarely incorporated into spatial models of predator-prey dynamics and competition among prey. We develop a model where generalist predators have consumptive effects (i.e., altering the likelihood of local prey extinction) as well as nonconsumptive effects (altering the likelihood of colonization) on spatially separated prey populations (metapopulations). We then extend this model to explore the effects of predators on competition among prey. We find that generalist predators can promote persistence of prey metapopulations by promoting prey colonization, but predators can also hasten system-wide extinction by either increasing local extinction or reducing prey migration. By altering rates of prey migration, predators in one location can exert remote control over prey dynamics in another location via predator-mediated changes in prey flux. Thus, the effect of predators may extend well beyond the proportion of patches they visit. In the context of prey metacommunities, predator-mediated shifts in prey migration and mortality can shift the competition-colonization trade-off among competing prey, leading to changes in the prey community as well as changes in the susceptibility of prey species to habitat loss. Consequently, native prey communities may be susceptible to invasion not only by exotic prey species that experience reduced amounts of mortality from resident predators, but also by exotic prey species that exhibit strong dispersal in response to generalist native predators. Ultimately, our work suggests that the consumptive and nonconsumptive effects of generalist predators may have strong, yet potentially cryptic, effects on competing prey capable of mediating coexistence, fostering invasion, and interacting with anthropogenic habitat alteration.

  7. Organic Seston Dynamics in Upland Neotropical Streams: Implications for Amphibian Declines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peterson, S. D.; Colon-Gaud, C.; Whiles, M. R.; Hunte-Brown, M.; Connelly, S.; Kilham, S.; Pringle, C. M.; Lips, K. R.; Brenes, R.

    2005-05-01

    Organic seston represents food for filter feeders and a mechanism for downstream transport of energy and nutrients. As part of a study assessing the ecological impacts of stream-breeding anuran extirpations, we examined seston dynamics in 2 stream reaches with tadpoles (El Cope) and 2 without (Fortuna) in the Panamanian uplands. All reaches are high gradient with annual average discharge ranging from 46-102 L/s. Samples were collected multiple times per month at various discharges, sieved into fine (<754μm, >98μm) and very fine (<98μm, >1.6μm) fractions, and processed to estimate ash-free dry mass (AFDM), total C, and total N. Average annual concentrations ranged from 0.52- 2.51 mg/L (fine) and 2.04-3.14 mg/L (very fine), and total export ranged from 0.27-7,981 mg/s across all streams. On average, very fine particles comprised 78% of export from El Cope sites and 61% from Fortuna streams. Average total N export ranged from 5.32-30.53 mg/s in El Cope sites and 1.71-6.04 mg/s at Fortuna. Average particle quality (C/N) in El Cope streams was higher (7.6) than Fortuna streams (11.5). Lower export of very fine particles and lower seston quality in Fortuna streams suggests the loss of tadpoles may influence seston dynamics and quality in these systems.

  8. Under siege: Isolated tributaries are threatened by regionally impaired metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Merriam, Eric R; Petty, J Todd

    2016-08-01

    Pristine streams are often targeted as conservation priorities because of their ability to preserve regional biodiversity. However, isolation within heavily degraded regions likely alters important metapopulation and metacommunity processes (e.g., rescue and mass effects), affecting the ability of in-tact communities to boost regional conditions. To test this hypothesis, we sampled invertebrate communities and physicochemical conditions from 168 streams within the mountaintop removal-valley fill mining region of West Virginia. We used redundancy analysis to first test for significant effects of local (observed physicochemical conditions) and neighborhood (streams within a 5km buffer) degradation on assemblage structure across all taxa and stress tolerance (low, moderate, high) and dispersal (low, high) categories. We then used generalized linear and hurdle models to characterize changes in community metrics and individual taxa, respectively. Local condition consistently explained the majority of variation (partial R(2) up to 5× those of neighborhood condition) in community structure and was the only factor affecting sensitive taxa. Neighborhood condition explained significant variation in moderately tolerant taxa with low dispersal capacity and highly tolerant taxa, regardless of dispersal. Decreased occurrence (Baetis) and abundance (Maccaffertium) of key taxa and corresponding metrics (%E, %EPT) suggest decreased dispersal and associated mass and rescue effects within degraded neighborhoods. Decreased neighborhood conditions also resulted in the proliferation of tolerant taxa (Chironomidae, Chimarra, Hemerodromia). Our results suggest communities within even the most pristine streams are at risk when isolated within heavily impacted regions. Consequently, protection of regional species' pools in heavily impacted regions will require more than simply conserving un-impacted streams.

  9. Under siege: Isolated tributaries are threatened by regionally impaired metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Merriam, Eric R; Petty, J Todd

    2016-08-01

    Pristine streams are often targeted as conservation priorities because of their ability to preserve regional biodiversity. However, isolation within heavily degraded regions likely alters important metapopulation and metacommunity processes (e.g., rescue and mass effects), affecting the ability of in-tact communities to boost regional conditions. To test this hypothesis, we sampled invertebrate communities and physicochemical conditions from 168 streams within the mountaintop removal-valley fill mining region of West Virginia. We used redundancy analysis to first test for significant effects of local (observed physicochemical conditions) and neighborhood (streams within a 5km buffer) degradation on assemblage structure across all taxa and stress tolerance (low, moderate, high) and dispersal (low, high) categories. We then used generalized linear and hurdle models to characterize changes in community metrics and individual taxa, respectively. Local condition consistently explained the majority of variation (partial R(2) up to 5× those of neighborhood condition) in community structure and was the only factor affecting sensitive taxa. Neighborhood condition explained significant variation in moderately tolerant taxa with low dispersal capacity and highly tolerant taxa, regardless of dispersal. Decreased occurrence (Baetis) and abundance (Maccaffertium) of key taxa and corresponding metrics (%E, %EPT) suggest decreased dispersal and associated mass and rescue effects within degraded neighborhoods. Decreased neighborhood conditions also resulted in the proliferation of tolerant taxa (Chironomidae, Chimarra, Hemerodromia). Our results suggest communities within even the most pristine streams are at risk when isolated within heavily impacted regions. Consequently, protection of regional species' pools in heavily impacted regions will require more than simply conserving un-impacted streams. PMID:27101452

  10. Microcosms metacommunities in river network: niche effects and biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giometto, A.; Carrara, F.; Altermatt, F.; Rinaldo, A.

    2012-04-01

    Many highly diverse landscapes exhibit hierarchical spatial structures that are shaped by geomorphological processes. Riverine ecosystems, among the most diverse habitats on Earth, represent an outstanding example of such mechanisms. In these landscapes, in which connectivity directly influences metacommunity processes, habitat capacity contributes to control biodiversity at several levels. A previous study has already highlighted the effect of connectivity on species distribution at local and regional scales, but habitat capacity was kept uniform. We studied the interaction of connectivity and habitat capacity in an aquatic microcosm experiment, in which microbial communities were grown in 36-well culture plates connected by dispersal. Dispersal occurred by periodic transfer of culture medium among connected local communities, following river network topology. The effect of habitat capacity in these landscapes was investigated by comparing three different spatial configurations of local community volumes: 1. Power law distributed volumes, according to drainage area. 2. Spatial random permutation of the volumes in the above configuration. 3. Equal distribution of volumes (preserving the total volume with respect to the above configurations). The net effect of habitat capacity on community composition was isolated in a control treatment in which communities were kept isolated for the whole duration of the experiment. In all treatments we observed that varying volumes induced niche effects: some protozoan species preferentially occupied larger nodes (systematically in isolation). Nevertheless, there is evidence that position along the network played a significant role in shaping biodiversity patterns. Size distribution measurements for each community were taken with a CASY cell counter, and species abundances data on log scale precision were collected by direct microscope observation.

  11. Natural selection for costly nutrient recycling in simulated microbial metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Boyle, Richard A; Williams, Hywel T P; Lenton, Timothy M

    2012-11-01

    Recycling of essential nutrients occurs at scales from microbial communities to global biogeochemical cycles, often in association with ecological interactions in which two or more species utilise each others' metabolic by-products. However, recycling loops may be unstable; sequences of reactions leading to net recycling may be parasitised by side-reactions causing nutrient loss, while some reactions in any closed recycling loop are likely to be costly to participants. Here we examine the stability of nutrient recycling loops in an individual-based ecosystem model based on microbial functional types that differ in their metabolism. A supplied nutrient is utilised by a "source" functional type, generating a secondary nutrient that is subsequently used by two other types-a "mutualist" that regenerates the initial nutrient at a growth rate cost, and a "parasite" that produces a refractory waste product but does not incur any additional cost. The three functional types are distributed across a metacommunity in which separate patches are linked by a stochastic diffusive migration process. Regions of high mutualist abundance feature high levels of nutrient recycling and increased local population density leading to greater export of individuals, allowing the source-mutualist recycling loop to spread across the system. Individual-level selection favouring parasites is balanced by patch-level selection for high productivity, indirectly favouring mutualists due to the synergistic productivity benefits of the recycling loop they support. This suggests that multi-level selection may promote nutrient cycling and thereby help to explain the apparent ubiquity and stability of nutrient recycling in nature.

  12. Varying Patterns on Varying Scales: A Metacommunity Analysis of Nematodes in European Lakes.

    PubMed

    Dümmer, Birgit; Ristau, Kai; Traunspurger, Walter

    2016-01-01

    Ecological community patterns are often extremely complex and the factors with the greatest influence on community structure have yet to be identified. In this study we used the elements of metacommunity structure (EMS) framework to characterize the metacommunities of freshwater nematodes in 16 European lakes at four geographical scales (radius ranging from 80 m to 360 km). The site characteristics associated with site scores indicative of the structuring gradient were identified using Spearman rank correlations. The metacommunities of the 174 nematode species included in this analysis mostly had a coherent pattern. The degree of turnover increased with increasing scale. Ordination scores correlated with geographical variables on the larger scales and with the trophic state index on a regional scale. The association of the structuring gradient with spatial variables and the scale-dependent increase in turnover showed that nematode dispersal was limited. The different metacommunity patterns identified at the increasing geographical scales suggested different, scale-related mechanisms of species distribution, with species sorting dominating on smaller and mass effects on larger geographical scales.

  13. Varying Patterns on Varying Scales: A Metacommunity Analysis of Nematodes in European Lakes

    PubMed Central

    Dümmer, Birgit; Ristau, Kai; Traunspurger, Walter

    2016-01-01

    Ecological community patterns are often extremely complex and the factors with the greatest influence on community structure have yet to be identified. In this study we used the elements of metacommunity structure (EMS) framework to characterize the metacommunities of freshwater nematodes in 16 European lakes at four geographical scales (radius ranging from 80 m to 360 km). The site characteristics associated with site scores indicative of the structuring gradient were identified using Spearman rank correlations. The metacommunities of the 174 nematode species included in this analysis mostly had a coherent pattern. The degree of turnover increased with increasing scale. Ordination scores correlated with geographical variables on the larger scales and with the trophic state index on a regional scale. The association of the structuring gradient with spatial variables and the scale-dependent increase in turnover showed that nematode dispersal was limited. The different metacommunity patterns identified at the increasing geographical scales suggested different, scale-related mechanisms of species distribution, with species sorting dominating on smaller and mass effects on larger geographical scales. PMID:27008422

  14. Risk Communication, Metacommunication, and Rhetorical Stases in the Aspen-EPA Superfund Controversy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stratman, James F.; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Explores the relationship between current theoretical definitions of risk communication, the unique national role that EPA plays in defining health and environmental risks, and possible explanations for EPA's inability to persuade Aspen, Colorado, to accept a cleanup plan. Explores ownership messages conveyed through metacommunication conflict…

  15. Harvesting creates ecological traps: consequences of invisible mortality risks in predator-prey metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Abrams, Peter A; Ruokolainen, Lasse; Shuter, Brian J; McCann, Kevin S

    2012-02-01

    Models of two-patch predator-prey metacommunities are used to explore how the global predator population changes in response to additional mortality in one of the patches. This could describe the dynamics of a predator in an environment that includes a refuge area where that predator is protected and a spatially distinct ("risky") area where it is harvested. The predator's movement is based on its perceived fitness in the two patches, but the risk from the additional mortality is potentially undetectable; this often occurs when the mortality is from human harvesting or from a novel type of top predator. Increases in undetected mortality in the risky area can produce an abrupt collapse of either the refuge population or of the entire predator population when the mortality rate exceeds a threshold level. This is due to the attraction of the risky patch, which has abundant prey due to its high predator mortality. Extinction of the refuge predator population does not occur when the refuge patch has a higher maximum per capita predator growth rate than the exploited patch because the refuge is then more attractive when the predator is rare. The possibility of abrupt extinction of one or both patches from high densities in response to a small increase in harvest is often associated with alternative states. In such cases, large reductions in mortality may be needed to avoid extinction in a collapsing predator population, or to reestablish an extinct population. Our analysis provides a potential explanation for sudden collapses of harvested populations, and it argues for more consideration of adaptive movement in designing protected areas.

  16. Fertility decline and the changing dynamics of wealth, status and inequality

    PubMed Central

    Colleran, Heidi; Jasienska, Grazyna; Nenko, Ilona; Galbarczyk, Andrzej; Mace, Ruth

    2015-01-01

    In the course of demographic transitions (DTs), two large-scale trends become apparent: (i) the broadly positive association between wealth, status and fertility tends to reverse, and (ii) wealth inequalities increase and then temporarily decrease. We argue that these two broad patterns are linked, through a diversification of reproductive strategies that subsequently converge as populations consume more, become less self-sufficient and increasingly depend on education as a route to socio-economic status. We examine these links using data from 22 mid-transition communities in rural Poland. We identify changing relationships between fertility and multiple measures of wealth, status and inequality. Wealth and status generally have opposing effects on fertility, but these associations vary by community. Where farming remains a viable livelihood, reproductive strategies typical of both pre- and post-DT populations coexist. Fertility is lower and less variable in communities with lower wealth inequality, and macro-level patterns in inequality are generally reproduced at the community level. Our results provide a detailed insight into the changing dynamics of wealth, status and inequality that accompany DTs at the community level where peoples' social and economic interactions typically take place. We find no evidence to suggest that women with the most educational capital gain wealth advantages from reducing fertility, nor that higher educational capital delays the onset of childbearing in this population. Rather, these patterns reflect changing reproductive preferences during a period of profound economic and social change, with implications for our understanding of reproductive and socio-economic inequalities in transitioning populations. PMID:25833859

  17. Fertility decline and the changing dynamics of wealth, status and inequality.

    PubMed

    Colleran, Heidi; Jasienska, Grazyna; Nenko, Ilona; Galbarczyk, Andrzej; Mace, Ruth

    2015-05-01

    In the course of demographic transitions (DTs), two large-scale trends become apparent: (i) the broadly positive association between wealth, status and fertility tends to reverse, and (ii) wealth inequalities increase and then temporarily decrease. We argue that these two broad patterns are linked, through a diversification of reproductive strategies that subsequently converge as populations consume more, become less self-sufficient and increasingly depend on education as a route to socio-economic status. We examine these links using data from 22 mid-transition communities in rural Poland. We identify changing relationships between fertility and multiple measures of wealth, status and inequality. Wealth and status generally have opposing effects on fertility, but these associations vary by community. Where farming remains a viable livelihood, reproductive strategies typical of both pre- and post-DT populations coexist. Fertility is lower and less variable in communities with lower wealth inequality, and macro-level patterns in inequality are generally reproduced at the community level. Our results provide a detailed insight into the changing dynamics of wealth, status and inequality that accompany DTs at the community level where peoples' social and economic interactions typically take place. We find no evidence to suggest that women with the most educational capital gain wealth advantages from reducing fertility, nor that higher educational capital delays the onset of childbearing in this population. Rather, these patterns reflect changing reproductive preferences during a period of profound economic and social change, with implications for our understanding of reproductive and socio-economic inequalities in transitioning populations.

  18. Fertility decline and the changing dynamics of wealth, status and inequality.

    PubMed

    Colleran, Heidi; Jasienska, Grazyna; Nenko, Ilona; Galbarczyk, Andrzej; Mace, Ruth

    2015-05-01

    In the course of demographic transitions (DTs), two large-scale trends become apparent: (i) the broadly positive association between wealth, status and fertility tends to reverse, and (ii) wealth inequalities increase and then temporarily decrease. We argue that these two broad patterns are linked, through a diversification of reproductive strategies that subsequently converge as populations consume more, become less self-sufficient and increasingly depend on education as a route to socio-economic status. We examine these links using data from 22 mid-transition communities in rural Poland. We identify changing relationships between fertility and multiple measures of wealth, status and inequality. Wealth and status generally have opposing effects on fertility, but these associations vary by community. Where farming remains a viable livelihood, reproductive strategies typical of both pre- and post-DT populations coexist. Fertility is lower and less variable in communities with lower wealth inequality, and macro-level patterns in inequality are generally reproduced at the community level. Our results provide a detailed insight into the changing dynamics of wealth, status and inequality that accompany DTs at the community level where peoples' social and economic interactions typically take place. We find no evidence to suggest that women with the most educational capital gain wealth advantages from reducing fertility, nor that higher educational capital delays the onset of childbearing in this population. Rather, these patterns reflect changing reproductive preferences during a period of profound economic and social change, with implications for our understanding of reproductive and socio-economic inequalities in transitioning populations. PMID:25833859

  19. Intellectual Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guilford, J.P.

    In investigations of decline of intellectual status with age, cross-sectional and longitudinal studies give divergent results--the former show almost universal declines in test performances among older groups while the latter often show gains. Although few structure-of-intellect (SI) factors have been explored in relation to adult ages, two kinds…

  20. Intraspecific phenotypic variation in a fish predator affects multitrophic lake metacommunity structure

    PubMed Central

    Howeth, Jennifer G; Weis, Jerome J; Brodersen, Jakob; Hatton, Elizabeth C; Post, David M

    2013-01-01

    Contemporary insights from evolutionary ecology suggest that population divergence in ecologically important traits within predators can generate diversifying ecological selection on local community structure. Many studies acknowledging these effects of intraspecific variation assume that local populations are situated in communities that are unconnected to similar communities within a shared region. Recent work from metacommunity ecology suggests that species dispersal among communities can also influence species diversity and composition but can depend upon the relative importance of the local environment. Here, we study the relative effects of intraspecific phenotypic variation in a fish predator and spatial processes related to plankton species dispersal on multitrophic lake plankton metacommunity structure. Intraspecific diversification in foraging traits and residence time of the planktivorous fish alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) among coastal lakes yields lake metacommunities supporting three lake types which differ in the phenotype and incidence of alewife: lakes with anadromous, landlocked, or no alewives. In coastal lakes, plankton community composition was attributed to dispersal versus local environmental predictors, including intraspecific variation in alewives. Local and beta diversity of zooplankton and phytoplankton was additionally measured in response to intraspecific variation in alewives. Zooplankton communities were structured by species sorting, with a strong influence of intraspecific variation in A. pseudoharengus. Intraspecific variation altered zooplankton species richness and beta diversity, where lake communities with landlocked alewives exhibited intermediate richness between lakes with anadromous alewives and without alewives, and greater community similarity. Phytoplankton diversity, in contrast, was highest in lakes with landlocked alewives. The results indicate that plankton dispersal in the region supplied a migrant pool that was

  1. Species dispersal rates alter diversity and ecosystem stability in pond metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Howeth, Jennifer G; Leibold, Mathew A

    2010-09-01

    Metacommunity theory suggests that relationships between diversity and ecosystem stability can be determined by the rate of species dispersal among local communities. The predicted relationships, however, may depend upon the relative strength of local environmental processes and disturbance. Here we evaluate the role of dispersal frequency and local predation perturbations in affecting patterns of diversity and stability in pond plankton metacommunities. Pond metacommunities were composed of three mesocosm communities: one of the three communities maintained constant "press" predation from a selective predator, bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus); the second community maintained "press" conditions without predation; and the third community experienced recurrent "pulsed" predation from bluegill sunfish. The triads of pond communities were connected at either no, low (0.7%/d), or high (20%/d) planktonic dispersal. Richness and composition of zooplankton and stability of plankton biomass and ecosystem productivity were measured at local and regional spatial scales. Dispersal significantly affected diversity such that local and regional biotas at the low dispersal rate maintained the greatest number of species. The unimodal local dispersal-diversity relationship was predator-dependent, however, as selective press predation excluded species regardless of dispersal. Further, there was no effect of dispersal on beta diversity because predation generated local conditions that selected for distinct community assemblages. Spatial and temporal ecosystem stability responded to dispersal frequency but not predation. Low dispersal destabilized the spatial stability of producer biomass but stabilized temporal ecosystem productivity. The results indicate that selective predation can prevent species augmentation from mass effects but has no apparent influence on stability. Dispersal rates, in contrast, can have significant effects on both species diversity and ecosystem

  2. A Metacommunity Framework for Enhancing the Effectiveness of Biological Monitoring Strategies

    PubMed Central

    Roque, Fabio O.; Cottenie, Karl

    2012-01-01

    Because of inadequate knowledge and funding, the use of biodiversity indicators is often suggested as a way to support management decisions. Consequently, many studies have analyzed the performance of certain groups as indicator taxa. However, in addition to knowing whether certain groups can adequately represent the biodiversity as a whole, we must also know whether they show similar responses to the main structuring processes affecting biodiversity. Here we present an application of the metacommunity framework for evaluating the effectiveness of biodiversity indicators. Although the metacommunity framework has contributed to a better understanding of biodiversity patterns, there is still limited discussion about its implications for conservation and biomonitoring. We evaluated the effectiveness of indicator taxa in representing spatial variation in macroinvertebrate community composition in Atlantic Forest streams, and the processes that drive this variation. We focused on analyzing whether some groups conform to environmental processes and other groups are more influenced by spatial processes, and on how this can help in deciding which indicator group or groups should be used. We showed that a relatively small subset of taxa from the metacommunity would represent 80% of the variation in community composition shown by the entire metacommunity. Moreover, this subset does not have to be composed of predetermined taxonomic groups, but rather can be defined based on random subsets. We also found that some random subsets composed of a small number of genera performed better in responding to major environmental gradients. There were also random subsets that seemed to be affected by spatial processes, which could indicate important historical processes. We were able to integrate in the same theoretical and practical framework, the selection of biodiversity surrogates, indicators of environmental conditions, and more importantly, an explicit integration of environmental

  3. The effects of resource enrichment, dispersal, and predation on local and metacommunity structure.

    PubMed

    Cadotte, Marc W; Fortner, Allison M; Fukami, Tadashi

    2006-08-01

    Community structure is the observable outcome of numerous processes. We conducted a laboratory experiment using a microbial model system to disentangle effects of nutrient enrichment, dispersal, and predation on prey species richness and predator abundance at local and metacommunity scales. Prey species included: Chilomonas sp., Colpidium striatum, Colpoda cucullus, Paramecium tetraurelia, P. caudatum, Philodina sp., Spirostomum sp., Tetrahymena thermophila, and Uronema sp., and Stentor coeruleus was the predator used. We hypothesized that: (1) increased basal resources should maintain greater species richness and higher predator abundance; (2) dispersal should maintain greater species richness; and (3) predation should reduce species richness, especially in the high resource treatments relative to no-predator treatments. Our results support all three hypotheses. Further, we show that dispersal affects richness at the local community scale but not at the metacommunity scale. However, predation seems to have major effects at both the local and metacommunity scale. Overall, our results show that effects of resource enrichment, dispersal, and predation were mostly additive rather than interactive, indicating that it may be sometimes easier to understand their effects than generally thought due to complex interactive effects. PMID:16639564

  4. Metacommunity and phylogenetic structure determine wildlife and zoonotic infectious disease patterns in time and space.

    PubMed

    Suzán, Gerardo; García-Peña, Gabriel E; Castro-Arellano, Ivan; Rico, Oscar; Rubio, André V; Tolsá, María J; Roche, Benjamin; Hosseini, Parviez R; Rizzoli, Annapaola; Murray, Kris A; Zambrana-Torrelio, Carlos; Vittecoq, Marion; Bailly, Xavier; Aguirre, A Alonso; Daszak, Peter; Prieur-Richard, Anne-Helene; Mills, James N; Guégan, Jean-Francois

    2015-02-01

    The potential for disease transmission at the interface of wildlife, domestic animals and humans has become a major concern for public health and conservation biology. Research in this subject is commonly conducted at local scales while the regional context is neglected. We argue that prevalence of infection at local and regional levels is influenced by three mechanisms occurring at the landscape level in a metacommunity context. First, (1) dispersal, colonization, and extinction of pathogens, reservoir or vector hosts, and nonreservoir hosts, may be due to stochastic and niche-based processes, thus determining distribution of all species, and then their potential interactions, across local communities (metacommunity structure). Second, (2) anthropogenic processes may drive environmental filtering of hosts, nonhosts, and pathogens. Finally, (3) phylogenetic diversity relative to reservoir or vector host(s), within and between local communities may facilitate pathogen persistence and circulation. Using a metacommunity approach, public heath scientists may better evaluate the factors that predispose certain times and places for the origin and emergence of infectious diseases. The multidisciplinary approach we describe fits within a comprehensive One Health and Ecohealth framework addressing zoonotic infectious disease outbreaks and their relationship to their hosts, other animals, humans, and the environment.

  5. Metacommunity and phylogenetic structure determine wildlife and zoonotic infectious disease patterns in time and space

    PubMed Central

    Suzán, Gerardo; García-Peña, Gabriel E; Castro-Arellano, Ivan; Rico, Oscar; Rubio, André V; Tolsá, María J; Roche, Benjamin; Hosseini, Parviez R; Rizzoli, Annapaola; Murray, Kris A; Zambrana-Torrelio, Carlos; Vittecoq, Marion; Bailly, Xavier; Aguirre, A Alonso; Daszak, Peter; Prieur-Richard, Anne-Helene; Mills, James N; Guégan, Jean-Francois

    2015-01-01

    The potential for disease transmission at the interface of wildlife, domestic animals and humans has become a major concern for public health and conservation biology. Research in this subject is commonly conducted at local scales while the regional context is neglected. We argue that prevalence of infection at local and regional levels is influenced by three mechanisms occurring at the landscape level in a metacommunity context. First, (1) dispersal, colonization, and extinction of pathogens, reservoir or vector hosts, and nonreservoir hosts, may be due to stochastic and niche-based processes, thus determining distribution of all species, and then their potential interactions, across local communities (metacommunity structure). Second, (2) anthropogenic processes may drive environmental filtering of hosts, nonhosts, and pathogens. Finally, (3) phylogenetic diversity relative to reservoir or vector host(s), within and between local communities may facilitate pathogen persistence and circulation. Using a metacommunity approach, public heath scientists may better evaluate the factors that predispose certain times and places for the origin and emergence of infectious diseases. The multidisciplinary approach we describe fits within a comprehensive One Health and Ecohealth framework addressing zoonotic infectious disease outbreaks and their relationship to their hosts, other animals, humans, and the environment. PMID:25750713

  6. The effects of resource enrichment, dispersal, and predation on local and metacommunity structure.

    PubMed

    Cadotte, Marc W; Fortner, Allison M; Fukami, Tadashi

    2006-08-01

    Community structure is the observable outcome of numerous processes. We conducted a laboratory experiment using a microbial model system to disentangle effects of nutrient enrichment, dispersal, and predation on prey species richness and predator abundance at local and metacommunity scales. Prey species included: Chilomonas sp., Colpidium striatum, Colpoda cucullus, Paramecium tetraurelia, P. caudatum, Philodina sp., Spirostomum sp., Tetrahymena thermophila, and Uronema sp., and Stentor coeruleus was the predator used. We hypothesized that: (1) increased basal resources should maintain greater species richness and higher predator abundance; (2) dispersal should maintain greater species richness; and (3) predation should reduce species richness, especially in the high resource treatments relative to no-predator treatments. Our results support all three hypotheses. Further, we show that dispersal affects richness at the local community scale but not at the metacommunity scale. However, predation seems to have major effects at both the local and metacommunity scale. Overall, our results show that effects of resource enrichment, dispersal, and predation were mostly additive rather than interactive, indicating that it may be sometimes easier to understand their effects than generally thought due to complex interactive effects.

  7. Metacommunity and phylogenetic structure determine wildlife and zoonotic infectious disease patterns in time and space.

    PubMed

    Suzán, Gerardo; García-Peña, Gabriel E; Castro-Arellano, Ivan; Rico, Oscar; Rubio, André V; Tolsá, María J; Roche, Benjamin; Hosseini, Parviez R; Rizzoli, Annapaola; Murray, Kris A; Zambrana-Torrelio, Carlos; Vittecoq, Marion; Bailly, Xavier; Aguirre, A Alonso; Daszak, Peter; Prieur-Richard, Anne-Helene; Mills, James N; Guégan, Jean-Francois

    2015-02-01

    The potential for disease transmission at the interface of wildlife, domestic animals and humans has become a major concern for public health and conservation biology. Research in this subject is commonly conducted at local scales while the regional context is neglected. We argue that prevalence of infection at local and regional levels is influenced by three mechanisms occurring at the landscape level in a metacommunity context. First, (1) dispersal, colonization, and extinction of pathogens, reservoir or vector hosts, and nonreservoir hosts, may be due to stochastic and niche-based processes, thus determining distribution of all species, and then their potential interactions, across local communities (metacommunity structure). Second, (2) anthropogenic processes may drive environmental filtering of hosts, nonhosts, and pathogens. Finally, (3) phylogenetic diversity relative to reservoir or vector host(s), within and between local communities may facilitate pathogen persistence and circulation. Using a metacommunity approach, public heath scientists may better evaluate the factors that predispose certain times and places for the origin and emergence of infectious diseases. The multidisciplinary approach we describe fits within a comprehensive One Health and Ecohealth framework addressing zoonotic infectious disease outbreaks and their relationship to their hosts, other animals, humans, and the environment. PMID:25750713

  8. Bathing birds bias beta-diversity: frequent dispersal by gulls homogenizes fauna in a rock-pool metacommunity.

    PubMed

    Simonis, Joseph L; Ellis, Julie C

    2014-06-01

    Metacommunity theory generally predicts that regional dispersal of organisms among local habitat patches should influence spatial patterns of species diversity. In particular, increased dispersal rates are generally expected to increase local (alpha) diversity, yet homogenize local communities across the region (decreasing beta-diversity), resulting in no change in regional (gamma) diversity. Although the effect of dispersal on alpha-diversity has garnered much experimental attention, the influence of dispersal rates on diversity at larger spatial scales (beta and gamma) is poorly understood. Furthermore, these theoretical predictions are not well tested in the field, where other environmental factors (e.g., habitat size, resource density) likely also influence species diversity. Here, we used a system of freshwater rock pools on Appledore Island, Maine, USA, to test the effects of dispersal rate on species diversity in metacommunities. The pools exist in clusters (metacommunities) that experience different levels of dispersal imposed by gulls (Larus spp.), which we show to be frequent passive dispersers of rock-pool invertebrates. Although previous research has suggested that waterbirds may disperse aquatic invertebrates, our study is the first to quantify the rate at which such dispersal occurs and determine its effects on species diversity. In accordance with theory, we found that metacommunities experiencing higher dispersal rates had significantly more homogeneous local communities (reduced beta-diversity) and that gamma-diversity was not influenced by dispersal rate. Contrary to theoretical predictions, however, alpha-diversity in the rock pools was not significantly influenced by dispersal. Rather, local diversity was significantly positively related to local habitat size, and both alpha- and gamma-diversity were influenced by the physicochemical environment of the pools. These results provide an important field test of metacommunity theory, highlighting how

  9. Immigration rates and species niche characteristics affect the relationship between species richness and habitat heterogeneity in modeled meta-communities.

    PubMed

    Bar-Massada, Avi

    2015-01-01

    The positive relationship between habitat heterogeneity and species richness is a cornerstone of ecology. Recently, it was suggested that this relationship should be unimodal rather than linear due to a tradeoff between environmental heterogeneity and population sizes. Increased environmental heterogeneity will decrease effective habitat sizes, which in turn will increase the rate of local species extinctions. The occurrence of the unimodal richness-heterogeneity relationship at the habitat scale was confirmed in both empirical and theoretical studies. However, it is unclear whether it can occur at broader spatial scales, for meta-communities in diverse and patchy landscapes. Here, I used a spatially explicit meta-community model to quantify the roles of two species-level characteristics, niche width and immigration rates, on the type of the richness-heterogeneity relationship at the landscape scale. I found that both positive and unimodal richness-heterogeneity relationships can occur in meta-communities in patchy landscapes. The type of the relationship was affected by the interactions between inter-patch immigration rates and species' niche widths. Unimodal relationships were prominent in meta-communities comprising species with wide niches but low inter-patch immigration rates. In contrast, meta-communities consisting of species with narrow niches and high immigration rates exhibited positive relationships. Meta-communities comprising generalist species are therefore likely to exhibit unimodal richness-heterogeneity relationships as long as low immigration rates prevent rescue effects and patches are small. The richness-heterogeneity relationship at the landscape scale is dictated by species' niche widths and inter-patch immigration rates. These immigration rates, in turn, depend on the interaction between species dispersal capabilities and habitat connectivity, highlighting the roles of both species traits and landscape structure in generating the richness

  10. Fuzziness and Heterogeneity of Benthic Metacommunities in a Complex Transitional System

    PubMed Central

    Curiel, Daniele; Cossarini, Gianpiero; Melaku Canu, Donata; Rismondo, Andrea

    2012-01-01

    We propose an extension to the metacommunity (MC) concept and a novel operational methodology that has the potential to refine the analysis of MC structure at different hierarchical levels. We show that assemblages of species can also be seen as assemblages of abstract subregional habitat-related metacommunities (habMCs). This intrinsically fuzzy concept recognizes the existence of habMCs that are typically associated with given habitats, while allowing for the mixing and superposition of different habMCs in all sites and for boundaries among subregions that are neither spatially sharp nor temporally constant. The combination of fuzzy clustering and direct gradient analysis permits us to 1) objectively identify the number of habMCs that are present in a region as well as their spatial distributions and relative weights at different sites; 2) associate different subregions with different biological communities; and 3) quantitatively assess the affinities between habMCs and physical, morphological, biogeochemical, and environmental properties, thereby enabling an analysis of the roles and relative importance of various environmental parameters in shaping the spatial structure of a metacommunity. This concept and methodology offer the possibility of integrating the continuum and community unit concepts and of developing the concept of a habMC ecological niche. This approach also facilitates the practical application of the MC concept, which are not currently in common use. Applying these methods to macrophytobenthic and macrozoobenthic hard-substrate assemblages in the Venetian Lagoon, we identified a hierarchical organization of macrobenthic communities that associated different habMCs with different habitats. Our results demonstrate that different reference terms should be applied to different subregions to assess the ecological status of a waterbody and show that a combination of several environmental parameters describes the spatial heterogeneity of benthic

  11. A Long-Term Macroecological Analysis of the Recovery of a Waterbird Metacommunity after Site Protection

    PubMed Central

    Pagel, Janina; Martínez-Abraín, Alejandro; Gómez, Juan Antonio; Jiménez, Juan; Oro, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    We used the so called “land-bridge island” or “nested-subsets” theory to test the resilience of a highly fragmented and perturbated waterbird metacommunity, after legal protection of 18 wetlands in the western Mediterranean. Sites were monitored during 28 years and two seasons per year. The metacommunity was composed by 44 species during breeding and 67 species during wintering, including shorebirds, ducks, herons, gulls and divers (Podicipedidae). We identified a strong nested pattern. Consistent with the fact that the study system was to a large extent a spatial biogeographical continuous for thousands of years, fragmented only during the last centuries due to human activities. Non-random selective extinction was the most likely historical process creating the nested pattern, operated by the differential carrying capacity (surface-area) of the remaining sites. We also found a positive temporal trend in nestedness and a decreasing trend in species turnover among sites (β-diversity), indicating that sites are increasingly more alike to each other (i.e. increased biotic homogenization). This decreasing trend in β-diversity was explained by an increasing trend in local (α) diversity by range expansion of half the study species. Regional (γ) diversity also increased over time, indicating that colonization from outside the study system also occurred. Overall our results suggest that the study metacommunity is recovering from historical anthropogenic perturbations, showing a high long-term resilience, as expected for highly vagile waterbirds. However, not all waterbird groups contributed equally to the recovery, with most breeding shorebird species and most wintering duck species showing no geographical expansion. PMID:25133798

  12. A long-term macroecological analysis of the recovery of a waterbird metacommunity after site protection.

    PubMed

    Pagel, Janina; Martínez-Abraín, Alejandro; Gómez, Juan Antonio; Jiménez, Juan; Oro, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    We used the so called "land-bridge island" or "nested-subsets" theory to test the resilience of a highly fragmented and perturbated waterbird metacommunity, after legal protection of 18 wetlands in the western Mediterranean. Sites were monitored during 28 years and two seasons per year. The metacommunity was composed by 44 species during breeding and 67 species during wintering, including shorebirds, ducks, herons, gulls and divers (Podicipedidae). We identified a strong nested pattern. Consistent with the fact that the study system was to a large extent a spatial biogeographical continuous for thousands of years, fragmented only during the last centuries due to human activities. Non-random selective extinction was the most likely historical process creating the nested pattern, operated by the differential carrying capacity (surface-area) of the remaining sites. We also found a positive temporal trend in nestedness and a decreasing trend in species turnover among sites (β-diversity), indicating that sites are increasingly more alike to each other (i.e. increased biotic homogenization). This decreasing trend in β-diversity was explained by an increasing trend in local (α) diversity by range expansion of half the study species. Regional (γ) diversity also increased over time, indicating that colonization from outside the study system also occurred. Overall our results suggest that the study metacommunity is recovering from historical anthropogenic perturbations, showing a high long-term resilience, as expected for highly vagile waterbirds. However, not all waterbird groups contributed equally to the recovery, with most breeding shorebird species and most wintering duck species showing no geographical expansion.

  13. A long-term macroecological analysis of the recovery of a waterbird metacommunity after site protection.

    PubMed

    Pagel, Janina; Martínez-Abraín, Alejandro; Gómez, Juan Antonio; Jiménez, Juan; Oro, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    We used the so called "land-bridge island" or "nested-subsets" theory to test the resilience of a highly fragmented and perturbated waterbird metacommunity, after legal protection of 18 wetlands in the western Mediterranean. Sites were monitored during 28 years and two seasons per year. The metacommunity was composed by 44 species during breeding and 67 species during wintering, including shorebirds, ducks, herons, gulls and divers (Podicipedidae). We identified a strong nested pattern. Consistent with the fact that the study system was to a large extent a spatial biogeographical continuous for thousands of years, fragmented only during the last centuries due to human activities. Non-random selective extinction was the most likely historical process creating the nested pattern, operated by the differential carrying capacity (surface-area) of the remaining sites. We also found a positive temporal trend in nestedness and a decreasing trend in species turnover among sites (β-diversity), indicating that sites are increasingly more alike to each other (i.e. increased biotic homogenization). This decreasing trend in β-diversity was explained by an increasing trend in local (α) diversity by range expansion of half the study species. Regional (γ) diversity also increased over time, indicating that colonization from outside the study system also occurred. Overall our results suggest that the study metacommunity is recovering from historical anthropogenic perturbations, showing a high long-term resilience, as expected for highly vagile waterbirds. However, not all waterbird groups contributed equally to the recovery, with most breeding shorebird species and most wintering duck species showing no geographical expansion. PMID:25133798

  14. The evolution of the competition-dispersal trade-off affects α- and β-diversity in a heterogeneous metacommunity.

    PubMed

    Laroche, Fabien; Jarne, Philippe; Perrot, Thomas; Massol, Francois

    2016-04-27

    Difference in dispersal ability is a key driver of species coexistence in metacommunities. However, the available frameworks for interpreting species diversity patterns in natura often overlook trade-offs and evolutionary constraints associated with dispersal. Here, we build a metacommunity model accounting for dispersal evolution and a competition-dispersal trade-off. Depending on the distribution of carrying capacities among communities, species dispersal values are distributed either around a single strategy (evolutionarily stable strategy, ESS), or around distinct strategies (evolutionary branching, EB). We show that limited dispersal generates spatial aggregation of dispersal traits in ESS and EB scenarios, and that the competition-dispersal trade-off strengthens the pattern in the EB scenario. Importantly, individuals in larger (respectively (resp.) smaller) communities tend to harbour lower (resp. higher) dispersal, especially under the EB scenario. We explore how dispersal evolution affects species diversity patterns by comparing those from our model to the predictions of a neutral metacommunity model. The most marked difference is detected under EB, with distinctive values of both α- and β-diversity (e.g. the dissimilarity in species composition between small and large communities was significantly larger than neutral predictions). We conclude that, from an empirical perspective, jointly assessing community carrying capacity with species dispersal strategies should improve our understanding of diversity patterns in metacommunities. PMID:27122564

  15. The evolution of the competition-dispersal trade-off affects α- and β-diversity in a heterogeneous metacommunity.

    PubMed

    Laroche, Fabien; Jarne, Philippe; Perrot, Thomas; Massol, Francois

    2016-04-27

    Difference in dispersal ability is a key driver of species coexistence in metacommunities. However, the available frameworks for interpreting species diversity patterns in natura often overlook trade-offs and evolutionary constraints associated with dispersal. Here, we build a metacommunity model accounting for dispersal evolution and a competition-dispersal trade-off. Depending on the distribution of carrying capacities among communities, species dispersal values are distributed either around a single strategy (evolutionarily stable strategy, ESS), or around distinct strategies (evolutionary branching, EB). We show that limited dispersal generates spatial aggregation of dispersal traits in ESS and EB scenarios, and that the competition-dispersal trade-off strengthens the pattern in the EB scenario. Importantly, individuals in larger (respectively (resp.) smaller) communities tend to harbour lower (resp. higher) dispersal, especially under the EB scenario. We explore how dispersal evolution affects species diversity patterns by comparing those from our model to the predictions of a neutral metacommunity model. The most marked difference is detected under EB, with distinctive values of both α- and β-diversity (e.g. the dissimilarity in species composition between small and large communities was significantly larger than neutral predictions). We conclude that, from an empirical perspective, jointly assessing community carrying capacity with species dispersal strategies should improve our understanding of diversity patterns in metacommunities.

  16. Dispersal scales up the biodiversity-productivity relationship in an experimental source-sink metacommunity.

    PubMed

    Venail, Patrick A; Maclean, R Craig; Meynard, Christine N; Mouquet, Nicolas

    2010-08-01

    The influence of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning is a major concern of ecological research. However, the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship has very often been studied independently from the mechanisms allowing coexistence. By considering the effects of dispersal and niche partitioning on diversity, the metacommunity perspective predicts a spatial scale-dependence of the shape of the relationship. Here, we present experimental evidence of such scale-dependent patterns. After approximately 500 generations of diversification in a spatially heterogeneous environment, we measured functional diversity (FD) and productivity at both local and regional scales in experimental source-sink metacommunities of the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25. At the regional scale, environmental heterogeneity yielded high levels of FD and we observed a positive correlation between diversity and productivity. At the local scale, intermediate dispersal increased local FD through a mass effect but there was no correlation between diversity and productivity. These experimental results underline the importance of considering the mechanisms maintaining biodiversity and the appropriate spatial scales in understanding its relationship with ecosystem functioning.

  17. Ecological convergence in a rocky intertidal shore metacommunity despite high spatial variability in recruitment regimes

    PubMed Central

    Caro, Andrés U.; Navarrete, Sergio A.; Castilla, Juan Carlos

    2010-01-01

    In open ecological systems, community structure can be determined by physically modulated processes such as the arrival of individuals from a regional pool and by local biological interactions. There is debate centering on whether niche differentiation and local interactions among species are necessary to explain macroscopic community patterns or whether the patterns can be generated by the neutral interplay of dispersal and stochastic demography among ecologically identical species. Here we evaluate how much of the observed spatial variation within a rocky intertidal metacommunity along 800 km of coastline can be explained by drift in the structure of recruits across 15 local sites. Our results show that large spatial changes in recruitment do not explain the observed spatial variation in adult local structure and that, in comparison with the large drift in structure of recruits, local adult communities converged to a common, although not unique, structure across the region. Although there is no unique adult community structure in the entire region, the observed variation represents only a small subset of the possible structures that would be expected from passive recruitment drift. Thus, in this diverse system our results do not support the idea that rocky intertidal metacommunities are structured by neutral mechanisms. PMID:20937867

  18. Crying wolf? Biosecurity and metacommunication in the context of the 2009 swine flu pandemic.

    PubMed

    Nerlich, Brigitte; Koteyko, Nelya

    2012-07-01

    This article explores how the 2009 pandemic of swine flu (H1N1) intersected with issues of biosecurity in the context of an increasing entanglement between the spread of disease and the spread of information. Drawing on research into metacommunication, the article studies the rise of communication about ways in which swine flu was communicated, both globally and locally, during the pandemic. It examines and compares two corpora of texts, namely UK newspaper articles and blogs, written between 28 March and 11 June 2009, that is, the period from the start of the outbreak till the WHO announcement of the pandemic. Findings show that the interaction between traditional and digital media as well as the interaction between warnings about swine flu and previous warnings about other epidemics contributed to a heightened discourse of blame and counter-blame but also, more surprisingly, self-blame and reflections about the role the media in pandemic communication. The consequences of this increase in metacommunication for research into crisis communication are explored. PMID:21470893

  19. Crying wolf? Biosecurity and metacommunication in the context of the 2009 swine flu pandemic.

    PubMed

    Nerlich, Brigitte; Koteyko, Nelya

    2012-07-01

    This article explores how the 2009 pandemic of swine flu (H1N1) intersected with issues of biosecurity in the context of an increasing entanglement between the spread of disease and the spread of information. Drawing on research into metacommunication, the article studies the rise of communication about ways in which swine flu was communicated, both globally and locally, during the pandemic. It examines and compares two corpora of texts, namely UK newspaper articles and blogs, written between 28 March and 11 June 2009, that is, the period from the start of the outbreak till the WHO announcement of the pandemic. Findings show that the interaction between traditional and digital media as well as the interaction between warnings about swine flu and previous warnings about other epidemics contributed to a heightened discourse of blame and counter-blame but also, more surprisingly, self-blame and reflections about the role the media in pandemic communication. The consequences of this increase in metacommunication for research into crisis communication are explored.

  20. Interactive effects of disturbance and dispersal directionality on species richness and composition in metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Altermatt, Florian; Schreiber, Sebastian; Holyoak, Marcel

    2011-04-01

    Dispersal among ecological communities is usually assumed to be random in direction, or to vary in distance or frequency among species. However, a variety of natural systems and types of organisms may experience dispersal that is biased by directional currents or by gravity on hillslopes. We developed a general model for competing species in metacommunities to evaluate the role of directionally biased dispersal on species diversity, abundance, and traits. In parallel, we tested the role of directionally biased dispersal on communities in a microcosm experiment with protists and rotifers. Both the model and experiment independently demonstrated that diversity in local communities was reduced by directionally biased dispersal, especially dispersal that was biased away from disturbed patches. Abundance of species (and composition) in local communities was a product of disturbance intensity but not dispersal directionality. High disturbance selected for species with high intrinsic growth rates and low competitive abilities. Overall, our conclusions about the key role of dispersal directionality in (meta)communities seem robust and general, since they were supported both by the model, which was set in a general framework and not parameterized to fit to a specific system, and by a specific experimental test with microcosms.

  1. The dynamic range of biologic functions and variation of many environmental cues may be declining in the modern age: implications for diseases and therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Yun, Anthony J; Bazar, Kimberly A; Gerber, Anthony; Lee, Patrick Y; Daniel, Stephanie M

    2005-01-01

    We hypothesize that declining dynamic range and variation of environmental cues may contribute to health dysfunctions, and that judicious expansion of biologic dynamic ranges may be beneficial. Three disparate examples involving the endocrine, autonomic, and musculoskeletal systems are discussed. Daytime sheltering, optical shading, and nighttime use of artificial light may reduce circadian luminal variation. The resulting melatonin alterations may contribute to systemic dysfunctions. Loss of temporal variation of other hormones may contribute to biologic dysfunctions, especially those involving the hypothalamic-pituitary axis. Reduced variation of physical exertion, environmental stressors, and thermal gradients that characterize modern lifestyles may reduce the autonomic dynamic range resulting in lowered heart rate variability and a myriad of systemic dysfunctions. The health benefits of activities such as exercise, meditation, acupuncture, coitus, and laughter may operate through increasing autonomic variability. Reduced physical exertion also accounts for declining dynamic range of musculoskeletal function. The resulting muscle atrophy, fat infiltration, and sarcomere shortening may not only have deleterious local effects, but may also be involved in systemic metabolic dysfunctions such as insulin resistance. The extent to which our endogenous systems rely on environmental variation for self-tuning and the impact that under-utilization of compensatory mechanisms has on biologic function are not well understood. Modern therapeutic approaches generally result in reversion to the mean of physiologic functions and may buffer against variation. For example, beta-blockers are given to reduce adrenergic excess, insulin to treat insulin insufficiency, serotonin-reuptake inhibitors for depression, and refractive lenses for myopia. By undermining the demand for native compensatory functions, such therapeutic strategies may actually impair future ability to respond to

  2. Comparative Solar Wind Properties at 9AU between the maximum and late declining phases of the Solar Cycle and possible implications for the magnetospheric dynamics of Saturn

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Went, D. R.; Jackman, C. M.; Forsyth, R. J.; Dougherty, M. K.; Crary, F. J.

    2009-04-01

    We compare and contrast the general plasma and magnetic field properties of the solar wind upstream of Saturn (8.5-9.5 AU) at solar maximum (Pioneer-11 encounter) and the late-declining (Cassini approach) phase of the solar cycle. In both cases we find a highly structured solar wind dominated by co-rotating interaction regions (CIRs), merged interaction regions (MIRs) and Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejections (ICMEs) that temporarily disrupt an otherwise clear two sector interplanetary magnetic field structure. Solar rotations generally contain two CIR compressions with embedded crossings of the heliospheric current sheet. There is no conclusive evidence for (persistent) departures from the Parker Spiral IMF model in this region of the heliosphere at either phase of the solar cycle, consistent with previous analyses (Thomas and Smith 1980, Jackman et al. 2008). However it is clear that average plasma properties vary significantly between the maximum and late declining phases of the cycle and there are a number of small but notable deviations. In particular, the average dynamic pressure of the solar wind varies by a factor of roughly two between solar maximum and solar minimum with potentially important consequences for the dynamics of Saturn's magnetosphere. These consequences should become apparent as Cassini enters its extended Equinox Mission which should encompass the rising phase and eventually maximum of Solar Cycle 24. They will be discussed and predictions will be made for future Cassini observations.

  3. Seasonal and ontogenetic variation of skin microbial communities and relationships to natural disease dynamics in declining amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Longo, Ana V.; Savage, Anna E.; Hewson, Ian; Zamudio, Kelly R.

    2015-01-01

    Recently, microbiologists have focused on characterizing the probiotic role of skin bacteria for amphibians threatened by the fungal disease chytridiomycosis. However, the specific characteristics of microbial diversity required to maintain health or trigger disease are still not well understood in natural populations. We hypothesized that seasonal and developmental transitions affecting susceptibility to chytridiomycosis could also alter the stability of microbial assemblages. To test our hypothesis, we examined patterns of skin bacterial diversity in two species of declining amphibians (Lithobates yavapaiensis and Eleutherodactylus coqui) affected by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). We focused on two important transitions that affect Bd susceptibility: ontogenetic (from juvenile to adult) shifts in E. coqui and seasonal (from summer to winter) shifts in L. yavapaiensis. We used a combination of community-fingerprinting analyses and 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing to quantify changes in bacterial diversity and assemblage composition between seasons and developmental stages, and to investigate the relationship between bacterial diversity and pathogen load. We found that winter-sampled frogs and juveniles, two states associated with increased Bd susceptibility, exhibited higher diversity compared with summer-sampled frogs and adult individuals. Our findings also revealed that hosts harbouring higher bacterial diversity carried lower Bd infections, providing support for the protective role of bacterial communities. Ongoing work to understand skin microbiome resilience after pathogen disturbance has the potential to identify key taxa involved in disease resistance. PMID:26587253

  4. Scale-dependence of processes structuring dung beetle metacommunities using functional diversity and community deconstruction approaches.

    PubMed

    Silva, Pedro Giovâni da; Hernández, Malva Isabel Medina

    2015-01-01

    Community structure is driven by mechanisms linked to environmental, spatial and temporal processes, which have been successfully addressed using metacommunity framework. The relative importance of processes shaping community structure can be identified using several different approaches. Two approaches that are increasingly being used are functional diversity and community deconstruction. Functional diversity is measured using various indices that incorporate distinct community attributes. Community deconstruction is a way to disentangle species responses to ecological processes by grouping species with similar traits. We used these two approaches to determine whether they are improvements over traditional measures (e.g., species composition, abundance, biomass) for identification of the main processes driving dung beetle (Scarabaeinae) community structure in a fragmented mainland-island landscape in southern Brazilian Atlantic Forest. We sampled five sites in each of four large forest areas, two on the mainland and two on the island. Sampling was performed in 2012 and 2013. We collected abundance and biomass data from 100 sampling points distributed over 20 sampling sites. We studied environmental, spatial and temporal effects on dung beetle community across three spatial scales, i.e., between sites, between areas and mainland-island. The γ-diversity based on species abundance was mainly attributed to β-diversity as a consequence of the increase in mean α- and β-diversity between areas. Variation partitioning on abundance, biomass and functional diversity showed scale-dependence of processes structuring dung beetle metacommunities. We identified two major groups of responses among 17 functional groups. In general, environmental filters were important at both local and regional scales. Spatial factors were important at the intermediate scale. Our study supports the notion of scale-dependence of environmental, spatial and temporal processes in the distribution

  5. Scale-Dependence of Processes Structuring Dung Beetle Metacommunities Using Functional Diversity and Community Deconstruction Approaches

    PubMed Central

    da Silva, Pedro Giovâni; Hernández, Malva Isabel Medina

    2015-01-01

    Community structure is driven by mechanisms linked to environmental, spatial and temporal processes, which have been successfully addressed using metacommunity framework. The relative importance of processes shaping community structure can be identified using several different approaches. Two approaches that are increasingly being used are functional diversity and community deconstruction. Functional diversity is measured using various indices that incorporate distinct community attributes. Community deconstruction is a way to disentangle species responses to ecological processes by grouping species with similar traits. We used these two approaches to determine whether they are improvements over traditional measures (e.g., species composition, abundance, biomass) for identification of the main processes driving dung beetle (Scarabaeinae) community structure in a fragmented mainland-island landscape in southern Brazilian Atlantic Forest. We sampled five sites in each of four large forest areas, two on the mainland and two on the island. Sampling was performed in 2012 and 2013. We collected abundance and biomass data from 100 sampling points distributed over 20 sampling sites. We studied environmental, spatial and temporal effects on dung beetle community across three spatial scales, i.e., between sites, between areas and mainland-island. The γ-diversity based on species abundance was mainly attributed to β-diversity as a consequence of the increase in mean α- and β-diversity between areas. Variation partitioning on abundance, biomass and functional diversity showed scale-dependence of processes structuring dung beetle metacommunities. We identified two major groups of responses among 17 functional groups. In general, environmental filters were important at both local and regional scales. Spatial factors were important at the intermediate scale. Our study supports the notion of scale-dependence of environmental, spatial and temporal processes in the distribution

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The brush-tailed bettong or woylie (Bettongia penicillata) is on the brink of extinction. Its numbers have declined by 90% since 1999, with their current distribution occupying less than 1% of their former Australian range. Woylies are known to be infected with three different trypanosomes (Trypanosoma vegrandis, Trypanosoma copemani and Trypanosoma sp. H25) and two different strains of T. copemani that vary in virulence. However, the role that these haemoparasites have played during the recent decline of their host is unclear and is part of ongoing investigation. Methods Woylies were sampled from five locations in southern Western Australia, including two neighbouring indigenous populations, two enclosed (fenced) populations and a captive colony. PCR was used to individually identify the three different trypanosomes from blood and tissues of the host, and to investigate the temporal and spatial dynamics of trypanosome infections. Results The spatial pattern of trypanosome infection varied among the five study sites, with a greater proportion of woylies from the Perup indigenous population being infected with T. copemani than from the neighbouring Kingston indigenous population. For an established infection, T. copemani detection was temporally inconsistent. The more virulent strain of T. copemani appeared to regress at a faster rate than the less virulent strain, with the infection possibly transitioning from the acute to chronic phase. Interspecific competition may also exist between T. copemani and T. vegrandis, where an existing T. vegrandis infection may moderate the sequential establishment of the more virulent T. copemani. Conclusion In this study, we provide a possible temporal connection implicating T. copemani as the disease agent linked with the recent decline of the Kingston indigenous woylie population within the Upper Warren region of Western Australia. The chronic association of trypanosomes with the internal organs of its host may be

  7. Coral reef ecosystem decline: changing dynamics of coral reef carbonate production and implications for reef growth potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perry, Chris

    2016-04-01

    Global-scale deteriorations in coral reef health have caused major shifts in species composition and are likely to be exacerbated by climate change. It has been suggested that one effect of these ecological changes will be to lower reef carbonate production rates, which will impair reef growth potential and, ultimately, may lead to states of net reef erosion. However, quantitative data to support such assertions are limited, and linkages between the ecological state of coral reefs and their past and present geomorphic performance (in other words their growth potential) are poorly resolved. Using recently collected data from sites in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean, and which have undergone very different post-disturbance ecological trajectories over the last ~20-30 years, the differential impacts of disturbance on contemporary carbonate production regimes and on reef growth potential can be explored. In the Caribbean, a region which has been severely impacted ecological over the last 30+ years, our datasets show that average carbonate production rates on reefs are now less than 50% of pre-disturbance rates, and that calculated accretion rates (mm yr-1) are an about order of magnitude lower within shallow water habitats compared to Holocene averages. Collectively, these data suggest that recent ecological declines are now propagating through the system to impact on the geomorphic performance of Caribbean reefs and will impair their future growth potential. In contrast, the carbonate budgets of most reefs across the Chagos archipelago (central Indian Ocean), which is geographically remote and largely isolated from direct human disturbances, have recovered rapidly from major past disturbances (specifically the 1998 coral bleaching event). The carbonate budgets on these remote reefs now average +3.7 G (G = kg CaCO3 m-2 yr-1). Most significantly the production rates on Acropora-dominated reefs, which were most severely impacted by the 1998 bleaching event, average +8.4 G

  8. Environmental Controls on River Assemblages at the Regional Scale: An Application of the Elements of Metacommunity Structure Framework

    PubMed Central

    Tonkin, Jonathan D.; Sundermann, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    Understanding factors that structure regional biodiversity is important for linking ecological and biogeographic processes. Our objective was to explore regional patterns in riverine benthic invertebrate assemblages in relation to their broad positioning along the river network and examine differences in composition, biodiversity (alpha and beta diversity), and environmental drivers. We up-scaled methods used to examine patterns in metacommunity structure (Elements of Metacommunity Structure framework) to examine faunal distribution patterns at the regional extent for 168 low-mountain stream invertebrate assemblages in central Germany. We then identified the most influential environmental factors using boosted regression trees. Faunal composition patterns were compartmentalised (Clementsian or quasi-Clementsian), with little difference from headwaters to large rivers, potentially reflecting the regional scale of the study, by crossing major catchment boundaries and incorporating different species pools. While idealised structures did not vary, environmental drivers of composition varied considerably between river sections and with alpha diversity. Prediction was substantially weaker, and the importance of space was greater, in large rivers compared to other sections suggesting a weakening in species sorting downstream. Further, there was a stronger transition in composition than for alpha diversity downstream. The stronger links with regional faunal composition than with richness further emphasises the importance of considering the alternative ways in which anthropogenic stressors are operating to affect biodiversity patterns. Our approach allowed bridging the gap between local (or metacommunity) and regional scales, providing key insights into drivers of regional biodiversity patterns. PMID:26270550

  9. Environmental Controls on River Assemblages at the Regional Scale: An Application of the Elements of Metacommunity Structure Framework.

    PubMed

    Tonkin, Jonathan D; Sundermann, Andrea; Jähnig, Sonja C; Haase, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Understanding factors that structure regional biodiversity is important for linking ecological and biogeographic processes. Our objective was to explore regional patterns in riverine benthic invertebrate assemblages in relation to their broad positioning along the river network and examine differences in composition, biodiversity (alpha and beta diversity), and environmental drivers. We up-scaled methods used to examine patterns in metacommunity structure (Elements of Metacommunity Structure framework) to examine faunal distribution patterns at the regional extent for 168 low-mountain stream invertebrate assemblages in central Germany. We then identified the most influential environmental factors using boosted regression trees. Faunal composition patterns were compartmentalised (Clementsian or quasi-Clementsian), with little difference from headwaters to large rivers, potentially reflecting the regional scale of the study, by crossing major catchment boundaries and incorporating different species pools. While idealised structures did not vary, environmental drivers of composition varied considerably between river sections and with alpha diversity. Prediction was substantially weaker, and the importance of space was greater, in large rivers compared to other sections suggesting a weakening in species sorting downstream. Further, there was a stronger transition in composition than for alpha diversity downstream. The stronger links with regional faunal composition than with richness further emphasises the importance of considering the alternative ways in which anthropogenic stressors are operating to affect biodiversity patterns. Our approach allowed bridging the gap between local (or metacommunity) and regional scales, providing key insights into drivers of regional biodiversity patterns. PMID:26270550

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

    An intensive mark-recapture/resighting program has been carried out on the Roseate Terns nesting at Falkner Island, Connecticut, since the late 1980s as part of a regional study of the metapopulation dynamics and ecology of the endangered Northwest Atlantic breeding population of this species. Substantial losses of tern eggs and chicks to predation at this colony site began in 1996 when at least five Black-crowned Night-Herons started nocturnal raids. This depredation has been a major factor in the reduction of productivity from an average of about 1.0 chicks/pair for the 10 years before night-heron predation began to as low as about 0.2 chicks/pair in 2002. Recent capture-recapture modelling analyses have detected other important impacts on the population dynamics of the Roseate Terns at this site including a reduction by about half in the 'development-of-residency' rates of first-time breeders, and a substantial decline in the local 'survival-and-fidelity' rates of experienced breeders believed due mostly to increased immigration rates to other colony sites.

  11. Thermal genetic adaptation in the water flea Daphnia and its impact: an evolving metacommunity approach.

    PubMed

    De Meester, Luc; Van Doorslaer, Wendy; Geerts, Aurora; Orsini, Luisa; Stoks, Robby

    2011-11-01

    Genetic adaptation to temperature change can impact responses of populations and communities to global warming. Here we integrate previously published results on experimental evolution trials with follow-up experiments involving the water flea Daphnia as a model system. Our research shows (1) the capacity of natural populations of this species to genetically adapt to changes in temperature in a time span of months to years, (2) the context-dependence of these genetic changes, emphasizing the role of ecology and community composition on evolutionary responses to climatic change, and (3) the impact of micro-evolutionary changes on immigration success of preadapted genotypes. Our study involves (1) experimental evolution trials in the absence and presence of the community of competitors, predators, and parasites, (2) life-table and competition experiments to assess the fitness consequences of micro-evolution, and (3) competition experiments with putative immigrant genotypes. We use these observations as building blocks of an evolving metacommunity to understand biological responses to climatic change. This approach integrates both local and regional responses at both the population and community levels. Finally, we provide an outline of current gaps in knowledge and suggest fruitful avenues for future research.

  12. Nested patterns in hyporheic meta-communities: the role of body morphology and penetrability of sediment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Omesová, Marie; Horsák, Michal; Helešic, Jan

    2008-10-01

    Nestedness has been regarded as a common pattern of species distribution especially in terrestrial systems and vertebrate faunas. However, a significantly lower degree of nestedness has been reported for aquatic invertebrates. We analyzed the vertical distribution patterns of taxa in the upper 70 cm of the hyporheic zone. This biotope is abundantly inhabited by epigean fauna, which is morphologically pre-adapted to life within the limited space of sediment interstices. We tested the hypotheses that in the vertical profile of the hyporheic zone sediment acts as a physical barrier (filter), allowing only the morphologically pre-adapted and adapted (i.e., smaller, narrower, more flexible) taxa to penetrate to deeper layers. We demonstrated that this mechanism can promote a strongly nested and colonization-driven pattern at higher taxa levels. The sediment filter (1) constricted the body width: 0.50 mm appeared to be the upper limit for successful sediment colonization at the study site, and (2) favored elongated taxa against small sized taxa. We tested also the assumption that distribution of fine sediment affects the accessibility of hyporheic zone for fauna (“filter density”) and thereby influences nestedness. However, we found that nestedness could be sufficiently explained by the depth itself. Our study offers a possible explanation of depth patterns in hyporeic meta-communities as a result of morphological characteristics promoting nestedness at higher taxa level.

  13. The Aftermath of Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cameron, Kim S.; Chaffee, Ellen Earle

    Differences between declining colleges and colleges not experiencing decline were investigated, along with dysfunctional organizational consequences that may be associated with decline. Attention is directed to 12 negative attributes resulting from conditions of decline, seven of which were found to be significant: no innovation, scapegoating,…

  14. Metacommunity theory as a multispecies, multiscale framework for studying the influence of river network structure on riverine communities and ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brown, B.L.; Swan, C.M.; Auerbach, D.A.; Campbell, Grant E.H.; Hitt, N.P.; Maloney, K.O.; Patrick, C.

    2011-01-01

    Explaining the mechanisms underlying patterns of species diversity and composition in riverine networks is challenging. Historically, community ecologists have conceived of communities as largely isolated entities and have focused on local environmental factors and interspecific interactions as the major forces determining species composition. However, stream ecologists have long embraced a multiscale approach to studying riverine ecosystems and have studied both local factors and larger-scale regional factors, such as dispersal and disturbance. River networks exhibit a dendritic spatial structure that can constrain aquatic organisms when their dispersal is influenced by or confined to the river network. We contend that the principles of metacommunity theory would help stream ecologists to understand how the complex spatial structure of river networks mediates the relative influences of local and regional control on species composition. From a basic ecological perspective, the concept is attractive because new evidence suggests that the importance of regional processes (dispersal) depends on spatial structure of habitat and on connection to the regional species pool. The role of local factors relative to regional factors will vary with spatial position in a river network. From an applied perspective, the long-standing view in ecology that local community composition is an indicator of habitat quality may not be uniformly applicable across a river network, but the strength of such bioassessment approaches probably will depend on spatial position in the network. The principles of metacommunity theory are broadly applicable across taxa and systems but seem of particular consequence to stream ecology given the unique spatial structure of riverine systems. By explicitly embracing processes at multiple spatial scales, metacommunity theory provides a foundation on which to build a richer understanding of stream communities.

  15. Growth declines in red spruce

    SciTech Connect

    Zedaker, S.M.; Hyink, D.M.; Smith, D.W.

    1987-01-01

    Over the past two decades second-growth red spruce stands in the Northeast have demonstrated declines in radial increment. Some observers are implicating air pollution as a primary cause of the declines, based on recently acquired increment cores from dominant trees. Various forms of air pollution (O/sub 3/, NO/sub x/, SO/sub 2/, and trace metals) are known to reduce growth and development of tree species, but few studies have provided concrete evidence of regional pollution-caused declines in forest ecosystems. Recently published evidence of a synchronous, consistent, and unprecedented regional decline in red spruce should be weighed against the realization that radial increment in red spruce declines naturally as stands age. Separating anthropogenic stress-caused growth patterns from natural stand dynamics requires an in-depth knowledge of forest growth and yield, tree silvics, and forest ecosystem processes. Detailed analyses of growth by stand characteristics - site index, density, elevation, stand history - will be necessary to implicate air pollution as a primary cause of red spruce decline.

  16. Adolescence Intellectual Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Patricia B.

    The purposes of this study were to investigate adolescent intellectual decline, and to attempt to determine some of the sexual differences possibly inherent in the phenomenon. It was hypothesized that (1) girls would decline in greater numbers and to a greater degree than boys; and (2) areas and amounts of sex differences of the decliners would…

  17. The Management of Decline

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boulding, Kenneth E.

    1975-01-01

    With the probability of declining enrollments education needs, according to the author, to develop administrators skilled in adjusting to decline. He notes what educators can learn from the decline of agriculture and railroads and points up the need to get out from under the grants economy. (JT)

  18. Growth declines in red spruce

    SciTech Connect

    McLaughlin, S.B. ); Adams, H.S. )

    1987-10-01

    In this letter, the authors take issue with Zedaker, Hyink, and Smith who have indicated that observed red spruce growth declines can be expected based on growth trends for even-aged stands of red spruce as documented in Meyer (1929). Recently, an examination was made of stand stocking levels at 750 sites where red spruce were cored and neither the rate of growth decline nor the extent of mortality were found to be related to stand stocking levels or previous disturbance history. The authors conclude that the Meyer data do not represent an appropriate model for stand dynamics of old-growth, high-elevation stands and no not adequately explain the growth declines observed at many of those sites.

  19. Taxonomic and numerical sufficiency in a Lower and Middle Miocene molluscan metacommunity of the Central Paratethys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuschin, Martin; Nawrot, Rafal; Harzhauser, Mathias; Mandic, Oleg

    2015-04-01

    Among the most important questions in quantitative palaeoecology is how taxonomic and numerical resolution affect the analysis of community and metacommunity patterns. A species-abundance data set (10 localities, 213 bulk samples, 478 species, > 49,000 shells) from Burdigalian, Langhian and Serravallian benthic marine molluscan assemblages of the Central Paratethys was studied for this purpose. Assemblages are from two nearshore habitats (estuarine and marine intertidal) and three subtidal habitats (estuarine, fully marine sandy, and fully marine pelitic), which represent four biozones and four 3rd order depositional sequences over more than three million years, and are developed along the same depth-related environmental gradient. Double-standardized data subsampled to 19 samples per habitat, each with a minimum of 50 specimens, were used to calculate R²-values from PERMANOVA as a measure of differences between habitats at three taxonomic levels (species, genera and families) and at five levels of data transformation (raw abundances, percentages, square-root transformed percentages, fourth-root transformed percentages, presence-absence data). Species discriminate better between habitats than genera and families, but the differences between taxonomic levels are much stronger in the subtidal, where genera and families have more species than than in the intertidal. When all habitats are compared percentages and square-root transformed percentages discriminate equally well and perform better than higher levels of data transformation. Among nearshore and among subtidal habitats, however, the ability to discriminate between habitats increases with the level of data transformation (i.e., it is best for fourth-root transformed percentages and presence-absence data). The impact of decreasing taxonomic resolution is of minor importance in nearshore habitats, which are characterized by similar assemblages showing strong dominance of few widely distributed species, and many

  20. Effects of species’ similarity and dominance on the functional and phylogenetic structure of a plant meta-community

    PubMed Central

    Chalmandrier, L.; Münkemüller, T.; Lavergne, S.; Thuiller, W.

    2015-01-01

    Different assembly processes drive the spatial structure of meta-communities (β-diversity). Recently, functional and phylogenetic diversities have been suggested as indicators of these assembly processes. Assuming that diversity is a good proxy for niche overlap, high β-diversity along environmental gradients should be the result of environmental filtering while low β-diversity should stem from competitive interactions. So far studies trying to disentangle the relative importance of these assembly processes provided mixed results. One reason for this may be that these studies often rely on a single measure of diversity and thus implicitly make a choice on how they account for species relative abundances and how species similarities are captured by functional traits or phylogeny. Here, we tested the effect of gradually scaling the importance of dominance (the weight given to dominant vs. rare species) and species similarity (the weight given to small vs. large similarities) on resulting β-diversity patterns of an alpine plant meta-community. To this end, we combined recent extensions of the Hill numbers framework with Pagel’s phylogenetic tree transformation approach. We included functional (based on the Leaf-Height-Seed spectrum) and phylogenetic facets of β-diversity in our analysis and explicitly accounted for effects of environmental and spatial covariates. We found that functional β-diversity was high when the same weight was given to dominant vs. rare species and to large vs. small species’ similarities. In contrast, phylogenetic β-diversity was low when greater weight was given to dominant species and small species’ similarities. Those results suggested that different environments along the gradients filtered different species according to their functional traits, while, the same competitive lineages dominated communities across the gradients. Our results highlight that functional vs. phylogenetic facets, presence-absence vs. abundance structure

  1. Diagnosing School Decline

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duke, Daniel L.

    2008-01-01

    One of the most important strategies for stopping school decline is recognizing its signs early on and promptly applying appropriate interventions. In this article, the author identifies 11 indicators of school decline that are associated with inadequate and inappropriate responses to the challenges of budget cuts, state and federal mandates, loss…

  2. Coping with Decline

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boulding, Kenneth

    1977-01-01

    A quantitative decline is predicted because of the leveling off of industrial production and exhaustion of resources. Coping with these conditions requires flexibility and adaptability. Delusions of certainty zero in on catastrophe. (Author/MLF)

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

    We present an integrative measure of exposure and sensitivity components of vulnerability to climatic and demographic change for the African continent in order to identify “hot spots” of high potential population vulnerability. Getis-Ord Gi* spatial clustering analyses reveal statistically significant locations of spatio-temporal precipitation decline coinciding with high population density and increase. Statistically significant areas are evident, particularly across central, southern, and eastern Africa. The highly populated Lake Victoria basin emerges as a particularly salient hot spot. People located in the regions highlighted in this analysis suffer exceptionally high exposure to negative climate change impacts (as populations increase on lands with decreasing rainfall). Results may help inform further hot spot mapping and related research on demographic vulnerabilities to climate change. Results may also inform more suitable geographical targeting of policy interventions across the continent.

  4. Urban Decline and Durable Housing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Glaeser, Edward L.; Gyourko, Joseph

    2005-01-01

    Urban decline is not the mirror image of growth, and durable housing is the primary reason the nature of decline is so different. This paper presents a model of urban decline with durable housing and verifies these implications of the model: (1) city growth rates are skewed so that cities grow more quickly than they decline; (2) urban decline is…

  5. Decline of Northern Pintails

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hestback, Jay B.

    1995-01-01

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

  6. Rising Above Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wachtel, Betsy; Powers, Brian

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

  7. Declining Resources, Targeted Strategies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levenson, Nathan

    2011-01-01

    As resources shrink, the need to do more with less becomes critical. As a business CEO turned superintendent, this author has seen firsthand that many options exist, but none are fun, easy, or politically rewarding. He contends that the challenge of managing declining resources is not the choice between doing less for children or discovering new…

  8. [Fertility decline in Spain].

    PubMed

    Arango, J

    1987-01-01

    The historical processes of secular fertility decline in Spain and Portugal are not well understood. Very few microdemographic studies of small geographic regions or particular social strata have been done. A contribution by David Reher to the First Spanish-Portuguese-Italian Historical Demography Conference on the fertility decline in the interior province of Cuenca, Spain, uses the own-children method to analyze changes in marital fertility in the 19th and 20th centuries. Reher discovered a slight fertility decline of perhaps 15% which occurred between the end of the 18th century and 1860-75. The fertility decline did not resume until after the Spanish Civil War, and then it was a very gradual and continuous process. When instead of the total female population, women aged 35-39 were studied, unequivocal signs of fertility control appeared. Conscious fertility control thus appears to have begun among older women limiting rather than spacing births. Reher's analysis by social groups demonstrates that fertility declined first and more rapidly in the nonagricultural and urban populations and among the higher income groups. The fertility decline in Cuenca was certainly not identical to that in most of Spain, but may have been fairly typical of a large part of the interior. Another contribution to the Historical Demography Conference, by Anna Cabre and Isabel Pujadas, analyzes fertility trends and cyclical fluctuations in 20th century Cataluna, arguing that they must be placed in historical perspective if recent changes are to be understood and plausible projections made. Their work demonstrates the value of selecting a relatively homogeneous geographic unit for analysis. The contribution of Margarita Delgado to the conference analyzed interregional fertility differences in contemporary Spain. The high legitimate fertility of the south of Spain is accentuated by high nuptiality rates. In central Spain, the combination of high legitimate fertility rates and low

  9. 85 million years of pelagic ecosystem evolution: Pacific Ocean deep-sea ichthyolith records reveal fish community dynamics and a long-term decline in sharks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibert, E. C.; Norris, R. D.; Cuevas, J. M.; Graves, L. G.

    2015-12-01

    The structure and productivity of open ocean consumers has undergone major changes over the past 85 million years. Here, we present the first long-term detailed records of pelagic fish and sharks utilizing the record of ichthyoliths (teeth and dermal scales) from the deep Pacific Ocean. While the North and South Pacific Oceans show similar patterns throughout the 85 million year history, the North Pacific ichthyolith accumulation is significantly higher than the South Pacific, suggesting that the basin has been a more productive region for tens of millions of years. Fish and sharks were not abundant in the Pacific gyres until ~75 million years ago (Ma) suggesting that neither group was quantitatively important in oligotrophic pelagic food webs prior to the latest Cretaceous. Relative to ray-finned fish, sharks were common in the ancient ocean. Most ichthyolith assemblages have >50% shark dermal scales (denticles), but denticle abundance has been declining in both absolute and relative abundance since the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K/Pg) mass extinction. The accumulation rate of ichthyoliths of both sharks and ray-finned fish was highest in the Early Eocene, during the peak of the Cenozoic 'greenhouse' climate where production of shark dermal denticles and fish teeth increased almost five times over Paleocene production rates. Ichthyolith fluxes fell with cooler climates in the later Eocene and Oligocene, but fish production is almost always higher than in the Cretaceous and Paleocene reflecting the expanded ecological roles and importance of pelagic fish in marine ecosystems. Shark denticle production fell to less than half that of the Cretaceous by 20 Ma when it dropped abruptly to near-zero levels. Currently denticles make up <2% of the ichthyolith assemblages when present at all. Ecologically, pelagic sharks appear to be falling as major pelagic consumers over the Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic, and particularly over the past 20 Ma, perhaps reflecting demographic

  10. A Novel, Unbiased Analysis Approach for Investigating Population Dynamics: A Case Study on Calanus finmarchicus and Its Decline in the North Sea.

    PubMed

    Papworth, Danny J; Marini, Simone; Conversi, Alessandra

    2016-01-01

    Marine populations are controlled by a series of drivers, pertaining to both the physical environment and the biological environment (trophic predator-prey interactions). There is heated debate over drivers, especially when trying to understand the causes of major ecosystem events termed regime shifts. In this work, we have researched and developed a novel methodology based on Genetic Programming (GP) for distinguishing which drivers can influence species abundance. This methodology benefits of having no a priori assumptions either on the ecological parameters used or on the underlying mathematical relationships among them. We have validated this methodology applying it to the North Sea pelagic ecosystem. We use the target species Calanus finmarchicus, a key copepod in temperate and subarctic ecosystems, along with 86 biological, hydrographical and climatic time series, ranging from local water nutrients and fish predation, to large scale climate pressure patterns. The chosen study area is the central North Sea, from 1972 to 2011, during which period there was an ecological regime shift. The GP based analysis identified 3 likely drivers of C. finmarchicus abundance, which highlights the importance of considering both physical and trophic drivers: temperature, North Sea circulation (net flow into the North Atlantic), and predation (herring). No large scale climate patterns were selected, suggesting that when there is availability of both data types, local drivers are more important. The results produced by the GP based procedure are consistent with the literature published to date, and validate the use of GP for interpreting species dynamics. We propose that this methodology holds promises for the highly non-linear field of ecology. PMID:27366910

  11. A Novel, Unbiased Analysis Approach for Investigating Population Dynamics: A Case Study on Calanus finmarchicus and Its Decline in the North Sea

    PubMed Central

    Papworth, Danny J.; Marini, Simone; Conversi, Alessandra

    2016-01-01

    Marine populations are controlled by a series of drivers, pertaining to both the physical environment and the biological environment (trophic predator-prey interactions). There is heated debate over drivers, especially when trying to understand the causes of major ecosystem events termed regime shifts. In this work, we have researched and developed a novel methodology based on Genetic Programming (GP) for distinguishing which drivers can influence species abundance. This methodology benefits of having no a priori assumptions either on the ecological parameters used or on the underlying mathematical relationships among them. We have validated this methodology applying it to the North Sea pelagic ecosystem. We use the target species Calanus finmarchicus, a key copepod in temperate and subarctic ecosystems, along with 86 biological, hydrographical and climatic time series, ranging from local water nutrients and fish predation, to large scale climate pressure patterns. The chosen study area is the central North Sea, from 1972 to 2011, during which period there was an ecological regime shift. The GP based analysis identified 3 likely drivers of C. finmarchicus abundance, which highlights the importance of considering both physical and trophic drivers: temperature, North Sea circulation (net flow into the North Atlantic), and predation (herring). No large scale climate patterns were selected, suggesting that when there is availability of both data types, local drivers are more important. The results produced by the GP based procedure are consistent with the literature published to date, and validate the use of GP for interpreting species dynamics. We propose that this methodology holds promises for the highly non-linear field of ecology. PMID:27366910

  12. Inferring the effects of potential dispersal routes on the metacommunity structure of stream insects: as the crow flies, as the fish swims or as the fox runs?

    PubMed

    Kärnä, Olli-Matti; Grönroos, Mira; Antikainen, Harri; Hjort, Jan; Ilmonen, Jari; Paasivirta, Lauri; Heino, Jani

    2015-09-01

    1. Metacommunity research relies largely on proxies for inferring the effect of dispersal on local community structure. Overland and watercourse distances have been typically used as such proxies. A good proxy for dispersal should, however, take into account more complex landscape features that can affect an organism's movement and dispersal. The cost distance approach does just that, allowing determining the path of least resistance across a landscape. 2. Here, we examined the distance decay of assemblage similarity within a subarctic stream insect metacommunity. We tested whether overland, watercourse and cumulative cost distances performed differently as correlates of dissimilarity in assemblage composition between sites. We also investigated the effect of body size and dispersal mode on metacommunity organization. 3. We found that dissimilarities in assemblage composition correlated more strongly with environmental than physical distances between sites. Overland and watercourse distances showed similar correlations to assemblage dissimilarity between sites, being sometimes significantly correlated with biological variation of entire insect communities. In metacommunities deconstructed by body size or dispersal mode, contrary to our expectation, passive dispersers showed a slightly stronger correlation than active dispersers to environmental differences between sites, although passive dispersers also showed a stronger correlation than active dispersers to physical distances between sites. The strength of correlation between environmental distance and biological dissimilarity also varied slightly among the body size classes. 4. After controlling for environmental differences between sites, cumulative cost distances were slightly better correlates of biological dissimilarities than overland or watercourse distances between sites. However, quantitative differences in correlation coefficients were small between different physical distances. 5. Although environmental

  13. Fertility decline in Paraguay.

    PubMed

    Ishida, Kanako; Stupp, Paul; Melian, Mercedes

    2009-09-01

    Recent reproductive health surveys show that the fertility rate in Paraguay decreased precipitously from 4.3 lifetime births per woman in 1995-98 to 2.9 births in 2001-04. In this study, we establish data consistency between the 1998 and 2004 surveys by comparing a series of cohort-specific period rates and use the Bongaarts framework of proximate determinants of fertility to demonstrate that an increase in the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) between 1998 and 2004 fully accounts for the fertility decline. Decomposition of rates shows that changes in group-specific CPRs explain a greater proportion of the change in the overall CPR than do changes in population composition by educational attainment, urban residence, region, and language spoken at home. Finally, we show that younger cohorts of women in 2004 reported ideal completed fertility desires of less than 2.9 births, suggesting that the fertility rate is likely to continue to decrease.

  14. [Diabetes mellitus and cognitive decline].

    PubMed

    Iglseder, Bernhard

    2011-11-01

    From large epidemiological studies, it has been demonstrated that diabetes mellitus is a risk factor for cognitive decline: Compared to healthy controls, patients with diabetes perform worse on cognitive tests, they experience a pronounced cognitive decline over time and have a higher incidence of dementia. Mechanisms contributing to cognitive decline include vascular damage, negative consequences of hypo- and hyperglycemia, and various dysfunctions in insulin action, summarized as insulin resistance. Possible targets for prevention and treatment of cognitive decline have attracted scientific attention.

  15. Decomposing the seasonal fitness decline.

    PubMed

    Öberg, Meit; Pärt, Tomas; Arlt, Debora; Laugen, Ane T; Low, Matthew

    2014-01-01

    Seasonal fitness declines are common, but the relative contribution of different reproductive components to the seasonal change in the production of reproductive young, and the component-specific drivers of this change is generally poorly known. We used long-term data (17 years) on breeding time (i.e. date of first egg laid) in northern wheatears (Oenanthe oenanthe) to investigate seasonal reproductive patterns and estimate the relative contributions of reproductive components to the overall decline in reproduction, while accounting for factors potentially linked to seasonal declines, i.e. individual and habitat quality. All reproductive components-nest success (reflecting nest predation rate), clutch size, fledging success and recruitment success-showed a clear decline with breeding time whereas subsequent adult survival did not. A non-linear increase in nest predation rate caused nest success to decline rapidly early in the season and level off at ~80% success late in the breeding season. The combined seasonal decline in all reproductive components caused the mean production of recruits per nest to drop from around 0.7-0.2; with the relative contribution greatest for recruitment success which accounted for ~50% of the decline. Our data suggest that changing environmental conditions together with effects of nest predation have strong effects on the seasonal decline in fitness. Our demonstration of the combined effects of all reproductive components and their relative contribution shows that omitting data from later stages of breeding (recruitment) can greatly underestimate seasonal fitness declines. PMID:24013387

  16. Spatial structures of the environment and of dispersal impact species distribution in competitive metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Ai, Dexiecuo; Gravel, Dominique; Chu, Chengjin; Wang, Gang

    2013-01-01

    The correspondence between species distribution and the environment depends on species' ability to track favorable environmental conditions (via dispersal) and to maintain competitive hierarchy against the constant influx of migrants (mass effect) and demographic stochasticity (ecological drift). Here we report a simulation study of the influence of landscape structure on species distribution. We consider lottery competition for space in a spatially heterogeneous environment, where the landscape is represented as a network of localities connected by dispersal. We quantified the contribution of neutrality and species sorting to their spatial distribution. We found that neutrality increases and the strength of species-sorting decreases with the centrality of a community in the landscape when the average dispersal among communities is low, whereas the opposite was found at elevated dispersal. We also found that the strength of species-sorting increases with environmental heterogeneity. Our results illustrate that spatial structure of the environment and of dispersal must be taken into account for understanding species distribution. We stress the importance of spatial geographic structure on the relative importance of niche vs. neutral processes in controlling community dynamics.

  17. Spatial Structures of the Environment and of Dispersal Impact Species Distribution in Competitive Metacommunities

    PubMed Central

    Ai, Dexiecuo; Gravel, Dominique; Chu, Chengjin; Wang, Gang

    2013-01-01

    The correspondence between species distribution and the environment depends on species’ ability to track favorable environmental conditions (via dispersal) and to maintain competitive hierarchy against the constant influx of migrants (mass effect) and demographic stochasticity (ecological drift). Here we report a simulation study of the influence of landscape structure on species distribution. We consider lottery competition for space in a spatially heterogeneous environment, where the landscape is represented as a network of localities connected by dispersal. We quantified the contribution of neutrality and species sorting to their spatial distribution. We found that neutrality increases and the strength of species-sorting decreases with the centrality of a community in the landscape when the average dispersal among communities is low, whereas the opposite was found at elevated dispersal. We also found that the strength of species-sorting increases with environmental heterogeneity. Our results illustrate that spatial structure of the environment and of dispersal must be taken into account for understanding species distribution. We stress the importance of spatial geographic structure on the relative importance of niche vs. neutral processes in controlling community dynamics. PMID:23874815

  18. Feminine Intellectual Decline During Adolescence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Patricia B.

    The purpose of this study was to investigate further the relationship between sex and a decline of intellectual abilities during adolescence and to examine some personality differences between young women who declined in intellectual abilities during adolescence and those who did not. Differences examined were: need to be included, need to be…

  19. Parasitic driven heliostat mirror declinator

    SciTech Connect

    Rhodes, W.A.

    1983-09-06

    An automatic parasitically driven declinator is disclosed for changing the tilt angle of the mirror of a heliostat to provide solar declination tracking by the heliostat. The declinator includes an axial gear drive train coupled to the polar axial shaft of the heliostat, which shaft is rotated. A pendulum arrangement coupled via an input shaft to the axial gear drive train is substantially held in plumb position by gravity wherein the gear drive train is driven as it is rotated about the polar axis by the polar axial shaft. An output shaft coupled to the gear train is rotated to drive a skew bar linkage assembly that is connected to the mirror mounting assembly of the heliostat. The gear ratio of the gear drive train assembly is made 365:1 so that the mirror angle is annually nutated a predetermined number of degrees corresponding to the cyclic variations of solar declination.

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

    PubMed

    Juška, Alfonsas

    2011-01-21

    Dynamics of growth and decline of microbial populations were analysed and respective models were developed in this investigation. Analysis of the dynamics was based on general considerations concerning the main properties of microorganisms and their interactions with the environment which was supposed to be affected by the activity of the population. Those considerations were expressed mathematically by differential equations or systems of the equations containing minimal sets of parameters characterizing those properties. It has been found that: (1) the factors leading to the decline of the population have to be considered separately, namely, accumulation of metabolites (toxins) in the medium and the exhaustion of resources; the latter have to be separated again into renewable ('building materials') and non-renewable (sources of energy); (2) decline of the population is caused by the exhaustion of sources of energy but no decline is predicted by the model because of the exhaustion of renewable resources; (3) the model determined by the accumulation of metabolites (toxins) in the medium does not suggest the existence of a separate 'stationary phase'; (4) in the model determined by the exhaustion of energy resources the 'stationary' and 'decline' phases are quite discernible; and (5) there is no symmetry in microbial population dynamics, the decline being slower than the rise. Mathematical models are expected to be useful in getting insight into the process of control of the dynamics of microbial populations. The models are in agreement with the experimental data. PMID:21036180

  1. Bibliography on Decline and Retrenchment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, Boulder, CO.

    A bibliography on decline and retrenchment in higher education is presented that includes publications from the fields of higher education, the organization sciences, and public administration. The objective is to make available the reference tools that have been useful in conducting the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems'…

  2. Impact of Declining Rural Infrastructure.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McKenzie, Fiona Haslem

    A study investigated the impact of declining rural community infrastructure on social, environmental, and economic well-being in Western Australia's central wheatbelt. Questionnaires were completed by 398 residents of the central wheatbelt, on-farm interviews were conducted with 68 respondents, and 4 focus groups were held in area towns.…

  3. Chinese culture and fertility decline.

    PubMed

    Wu, C; Jia, S

    1992-01-01

    Coale has suggested that cultural factors exert a significant influence on fertility reduction; countries in the "Chinese cultural circle" would be the first to show fertility decline. In China, the view was that traditional Chinese culture contributed to increased population. This paper examines the nature of the relationship between Chinese culture and fertility. Attention was directed to a comparison of fertility rates of developing countries with strong Chinese cultural influence and of fertility within different regions of China. Discussion was followed by an explanation of the theoretical impact of Chinese culture on fertility and direct and indirect beliefs and practices that might either enhance or hinder fertility decline. Emigration to neighboring countries occurred after the Qing dynasty. Fertility after the 1950s declined markedly in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, and mainland China: all countries within the Chinese cultural circle. Other countries within the Chinese circle which have higher fertility, yet lower fertility than other non-Chinese cultural countries, are Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. Within China, regions with similar fertility patterns are identified as coastal regions, central plains, and mountainous and plateau regions. The Han ethnic group has lower fertility than that of ethnic minorities; regions with large Han populations have lower fertility. Overseas Chinese in East Asian countries also tend to have lower fertility than their host populations. Chinese culture consisted of the assimilation of other cultures over 5000 years. Fertility decline was dependent on the population's desire to limit reproduction, favorable social mechanisms, and availability of contraception: all factors related to economic development. Chinese culture affects fertility reduction by affecting reproductive views and social mechanisms directly, and indirectly through economics. Confucianism emphasizes collectivism, self

  4. Normal cognitive decline or dementia?

    PubMed

    Ebmeier, Klaus P

    2010-01-01

    Cognitive speed, inhibitory function, and memory decline with age while crystallised, particularly verbal, abilities remain largely intact. Poor health, fewer years of education, lower activity, the presence of the APOE E4 allele, and high BP appear to predict faster cognitive decline. Dementia is diagnosed in the presence of objective cognitive impairment, both long- and short-term memory, plus at least one additional (cortical) cognitive deficit, such as dysphasia, dyspraxia, agnosia, or disturbance in executive functioning. In addition, patients have to show significant impairment in social or occupational functioning and a significant decline from previous levels. Both smoking and diabetes increase the risk of all types of dementia, not smoking or even stopping smoking reduces this risk, but better control of type 2 diabetes does not appear to have a measurable effect. Drinking small to moderate amounts of alcohol appears to confer some benefit in ameliorating cognitive decline. There is some evidence that HRT, DHEA, BP lowering in patients without prior cerebrovascular disease, statins, vitamin B6 and procaine are NOT helpful. There is insufficient evidence to establish or refute a beneficial effect for exercise, treatment of type 2 diabetes, omega-3 fatty acids, folic acid with/without vitamin B12, antioxidant vitamins, or ginkgo biloba. Depressive symptoms are more prevalent than dementia. Clinical (major) depression can present with cognitive deterioration, often associated with subjective complaints. Patients with subjective or objective memory impairment, but without functional deterioration, can be referred to the local memory clinic, while demented patients eligible for acetylcholinesterase inhibitor treatment, patients whose diagnosis is unclear and who may need some specific investigations, as well as patients who may benefit from a combined approach with psychotropic drugs and behavioural support should be referred to the local mental health team.

  5. The fertility decline in Kenya.

    PubMed

    Robinson, W C; Harbison, S F

    1995-01-01

    In Sub-Saharan Africa Kenya is a prime example of a country experiencing a rapid decline in fertility and greater contraceptive prevalence. These changes have occurred since 1980 when fertility was high at 8.0 children per woman. In 1993 the total fertility rate (TFR) was 5.4, and the growth rate declined to about 2.0%. This transition is swifter than any country in contemporary Asia or historical Europe. The likely projection for Kenya is attainment of replacement level fertility during the 2020s and a leveling of population at about 100 million persons. Fertility has declined the most in urban areas and central and eastern regions. Bongaarts' proximate determinants (TFR, total marital fertility rate, total natural marital fertility rate, and total fecundity) are reduced to the proportion of currently married women using contraception, the proportion in lactational nonfecund status, and the proportion currently married. Actual fertility change is accounted for by total fertility change of 3.0 children. Lactational infecundability accounts for 0.5 potential births, and changes in marital fertility account for 1.0 reduced births per woman. About 70% of fertility reduction is accounted for by contraception and abortion. During 1977-78 80% of fertility control was due to lactational nonfecundity, 10% to nonmarriage, and 10% to contraception. In 1993 lactational nonfecundity accounted for 50% of the reduction, nonmarriage for 20%, and abortion about 30%. Future fertility is expected to be dependent on contraceptive prevalence. Kenya has experienced the Coale paradigm of preconditions necessary for demographic transition (willing, ready, and able). High fertility in Africa is not intractable. Creating the change in attitudes that leads to readiness is linked to education, health, and exposure to modernizing media and urban lifestyles. The public sector family planning program in Kenya has created the opportunity for access and availability of contraception. The key

  6. [Strategic factors in fertility decline].

    PubMed

    Genne, M

    1984-01-01

    This study examines income as an important but not exclusive determinant of demographic evolution, using the theoretical model of the demographic transition. Researches at the Population Center at Princeton and the authors of the Bachue dimulation models among others believe that acceleration of fertility decline can be achieved by a more equitable distribution of income, goods, and knowledge. Among the works of this school of thought, the studies of r. Repetto which give quantitative expression to the correlation are particularly interesting when they are placed in the framework of the demographic transition. Even if the significance of all factors involved in the fertility decline has not been specified, income distribution plays a certain role regardless of the definition given to transition: the classic model, the revised definition of the Princeton group, or the equitable development model. A study of the Hungarian case between 1870-1910 bears out the relationship. It is equally interesting to note that developing countries currently have a demographic configuration similar to that of European countries in general, and of Hungary in particular, as of the beginning of the last century, and that a more equalitarian distribution of land or of income could bring about the same effects over time.

  7. Arctic sea ice decline: Introduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeWeaver, Eric T.

    By any measure, the loss of Arctic sea ice cover in September 2007 was spectacular. The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) called it a loss "the size of Alaska and Texas combined," in comparison to the 1979-2000 September mean. Record-breaking minima in sea ice extent are not unexpected, given the declining trend of the past 30 years and its recent acceleration [e.g., Meier et al., 2007; Deser and Teng, this volume]. But the 2007 minimum was remarkable even compared to the decline, a full four standard deviations below the trend line (H. Stern, quoted by Schweiger et al. [2008]). Kerr [2007] reported an Alaska-sized loss compared to the previous record low in 2005, which was itself an Alaska-sized retreat from the value at the beginning of the satellite era in 1979. Deser and Teng point out that the loss between September 2006 and September 2007 is as large as the entire September extent loss from 1979 to 2006.

  8. Dietary Factors and Cognitive Decline

    PubMed Central

    Smith, P.J.; Blumenthal, J.A.

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive decline is an increasingly important public health problem, with more than 100 million adults worldwide projected to develop dementia by 2050. Accordingly, there has been an increased interest in preventive strategies that diminish this risk. It has been recognized that lifestyle factors including dietary patterns, may be important in the prevention of cognitive decline and dementia in later life. Several dietary components have been examined, including antioxidants, fatty acids, and B vitamins. In addition, whole dietary eating plans, including the Mediterranean diet (MeDi), and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, with and without weight loss, have become areas of increasing interest. Although prospective epidemiological studies have observed that antioxidants, fatty acids, and B vitamins are associated with better cognitive functioning, randomized clinical trials have generally failed to confirm the value of any specific dietary component in improving neurocognition. Several randomized trials have examined the impact of changing ‘whole’ diets on cognitive outcomes. The MeDi and DASH diets offer promising preliminary results, but data are limited and more research in this area is needed. PMID:26900574

  9. Ways of Dealing with Enrollment Decline

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phi Delta Kappan, 1978

    1978-01-01

    Two consultants and superintendents from Livonia (Michigan), New Orleans, Salt Lake City, and Seattle discuss the impact of declining enrollments on the schools and some of the actions school districts are taking to cope with the decline. (IRT)

  10. Declining Sunshine for Phoenix Lander

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    The yellow line on this graphic indicates the number of hours of sunlight each sol, or Martian day, at the Phoenix landing site's far-northern latitude, beginning with the entire Martian day (about 24 hours and 40 minutes) for the first 90 sols, then declining to no sunlight by about sol 300. The blue tick mark indicates that on Sol 124 (Sept. 29, 2008), the sun is above the horizon for about 20 hours.

    The brown vertical bar represents the period from Nov. 18 to Dec. 24, 2008, around the 'solar conjunction,' when the sun is close to the line between Mars and Earth, affecting communications.

    The green vertical rectangle represents the period from February to November 2009 when the Phoenix lander is expected to be encased in carbon-dioxide ice.

  11. [Functional decline in older people].

    PubMed

    Wada, Taizo

    2013-10-01

    World Health Organization(WHO) proposed to be used as an index of the health of elderly independence of functioning. Basic activities of daily living (BADL), such as bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, continence, and feeding are well known as the functioning of the elderly. However, not only BADL, there are a variety of levels, such as the ability to play a social role, intellectual activities and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), which are components of the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology Index of Competence(TMIG-IC). Functional decline in older people is associated with age, gender, depression, up and go test and manual dexterity. Smoking, body-mass index, and exercise patterns in midlife and late adulthood are predictors of subsequent disability. PMID:24261199

  12. [Ozone decline and UV increase].

    PubMed

    Winkler, P; Trepte, S

    2004-02-01

    The following results have been obtained from long-term observations on the ozone layer and UV at the Meteorological Observatory Hohenpeigenberg:The seasonally varying decline of the ozone layer determines the maximum exposure to UV. Since ozone decline shows the highest rates in the spring months the UV exposure has most strongly increased in this time of the year. This is especially important because in spring the human skin is not adapted to UV exposure. Weather changes from day to day can induce rapid ozone reductions in spring about -30% which in turn is followed by an increase in UV of about 40%. Clouds, especially the transparent cirrus clouds (high clouds consisting of ice particles) have increased in frequency during spring and fall while a decrease is observed in summer. This change in cloudiness reduces the daily UV dose in spring and fall while it is enhanced in summer. With increasing height above sea level UV rises by roughly 10% per 1000 m (rule of thumb). Snow reflects the UV-radiation by up to 80% enhancing the UV-doses at relevant conditions. Strong volcano eruptions destroy ozone in the stratosphere additionally during 1-2 years after the eruption. Therafter the ozone layer recovers. In April 1993, after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo (1991), the UV burden was still 40% higher than average. Miniholes and streamers can appear unexpected on a short-time scale and cross over Central Europe within 1-2 days, thus enhancing UV irradiation. The human skin reacts to UV exposure depending on the type of skin. The campaign "Sonne(n) mit Verstand" of the Bavarian Ministries for Environment, for Health and for Education informs about the danger of UV radiation (see www.sonne-mit-ver-stand.de). The German Weather Service informs the public on present developments of the ozone layer and relevant topics byits ozone bulletin, which is also available via internet under (www.dwd.de/deFundE/Observator/MOHp/hp2/ozon/bulletin.htm).

  13. [Ozone decline and UV increase].

    PubMed

    Winkler, P; Trepte, S

    2004-02-01

    The following results have been obtained from long-term observations on the ozone layer and UV at the Meteorological Observatory Hohenpeigenberg:The seasonally varying decline of the ozone layer determines the maximum exposure to UV. Since ozone decline shows the highest rates in the spring months the UV exposure has most strongly increased in this time of the year. This is especially important because in spring the human skin is not adapted to UV exposure. Weather changes from day to day can induce rapid ozone reductions in spring about -30% which in turn is followed by an increase in UV of about 40%. Clouds, especially the transparent cirrus clouds (high clouds consisting of ice particles) have increased in frequency during spring and fall while a decrease is observed in summer. This change in cloudiness reduces the daily UV dose in spring and fall while it is enhanced in summer. With increasing height above sea level UV rises by roughly 10% per 1000 m (rule of thumb). Snow reflects the UV-radiation by up to 80% enhancing the UV-doses at relevant conditions. Strong volcano eruptions destroy ozone in the stratosphere additionally during 1-2 years after the eruption. Therafter the ozone layer recovers. In April 1993, after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo (1991), the UV burden was still 40% higher than average. Miniholes and streamers can appear unexpected on a short-time scale and cross over Central Europe within 1-2 days, thus enhancing UV irradiation. The human skin reacts to UV exposure depending on the type of skin. The campaign "Sonne(n) mit Verstand" of the Bavarian Ministries for Environment, for Health and for Education informs about the danger of UV radiation (see www.sonne-mit-ver-stand.de). The German Weather Service informs the public on present developments of the ozone layer and relevant topics byits ozone bulletin, which is also available via internet under (www.dwd.de/deFundE/Observator/MOHp/hp2/ozon/bulletin.htm). PMID:14770335

  14. Mortality rates decline in Malaysia.

    PubMed

    1991-11-01

    Experiencing remarkable decreases in mortality rates over the past 3 decades, Malaysia currently has one of the lowest mortality rates among developing countries, a rate that compares favorably with those of developed countries. Between 1957 and 1989, the crude death rate dropped from 12.4/1000 population to 4.6. Over the same period, Malaysia recorded even greater decreases in the infant mortality rate, from 75.5/1000 births to 15.2. The Maternal mortality rate also declined from 1.48 in 1970 to 0.24 in 1988. The data indicates that mortality rates vary from state to state, and that rural areas have a higher mortality than urban areas. According to a study by the National Population and Family Development Board, the use of maternal and child health services has played an important role in reducing neonatal, perinatal, infant, child, and maternal mortality rates. Nearly all women in Malaysia receive antenatal services. While the country has achieved great gains on mortality rates, programs focusing on specific age and socioeconomic groups could lead to even greater reductions. The Minister for National Unity and Social Development, Dato Napsiah Omar, has called for the development of programs designed to improve the population's quality of life.

  15. Mortality rates decline in Malaysia.

    PubMed

    1991-11-01

    Experiencing remarkable decreases in mortality rates over the past 3 decades, Malaysia currently has one of the lowest mortality rates among developing countries, a rate that compares favorably with those of developed countries. Between 1957 and 1989, the crude death rate dropped from 12.4/1000 population to 4.6. Over the same period, Malaysia recorded even greater decreases in the infant mortality rate, from 75.5/1000 births to 15.2. The Maternal mortality rate also declined from 1.48 in 1970 to 0.24 in 1988. The data indicates that mortality rates vary from state to state, and that rural areas have a higher mortality than urban areas. According to a study by the National Population and Family Development Board, the use of maternal and child health services has played an important role in reducing neonatal, perinatal, infant, child, and maternal mortality rates. Nearly all women in Malaysia receive antenatal services. While the country has achieved great gains on mortality rates, programs focusing on specific age and socioeconomic groups could lead to even greater reductions. The Minister for National Unity and Social Development, Dato Napsiah Omar, has called for the development of programs designed to improve the population's quality of life. PMID:12284509

  16. Responses of riparian cottonwoods to alluvial water table declines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scott, M.L.; Shafroth, P.B.; Auble, G.T.

    1999-01-01

    Human demands for surface and shallow alluvial groundwater have contributed to the loss, fragmentation, and simplification of riparian ecosystems. Populus species typically dominate riparian ecosystems throughout arid and semiarid regions of North American and efforts to minimize loss of riparian Populus requires an integrated understanding of the role of surface and groundwater dynamics in the establishment of new, and maintenance of existing, stands. In a controlled, whole-stand field experiment, we quantified responses of Populus morphology, growth, and mortality to water stress resulting from sustained water table decline following in-channel sand mining along an ephemeral sandbed stream in eastern Colorado, USA. We measured live crown volume, radial stem growth, annual branch increment, and mortality of 689 live Populus deltoides subsp. monilifera stems over four years in conjunction with localized water table declines. Measurements began one year prior to mining and included trees in both affected and unaffected areas. Populus demonstrated a threshold response to water table declines in medium alluvial sands; sustained declines ???1 m produced leaf desiccation and branch dieback within three weeks and significant declines in live crown volume, stem growth, and 88% mortality over a three-year period. Declines in live Crown volume proved to be a significant leading indicator of mortality in the following year. A logistic regression of tree survival probability against the prior year's live crown volume was significant (-2 log likelihood = 270, ??2 with 1 df = 232, P < 0.0001) and trees with absolute declines in live crown volume of ???30 during one year had survival probabilities <0.5 in the following year. In contrast, more gradual water table declines of ~0.5 m had no measurable effect on mortality, stem growth, or live crown volume and produced significant declines only in annual branch growth increments. Developing quantitative information on the timing and

  17. [Concentration or decline in Puebla?].

    PubMed

    Cabrera Becerra, V

    1993-04-01

    Some doubts have been expressed over whether the slowing pace of urbanization suggested by the 1990 census of Mexico was an accurate reflection of changing conditions, or whether it resulted from some intentional or unintended bias. Comparison of data from succeeding censuses indicates that the growth rate of the city of Puebla declined from 6.32% in 1980 to 2.63% in 1990. This work argues that, in Puebla, a trend to deconcentration of the population within the city of Puebla during the 1980s was accompanied by rapid growth in smaller and medium sized nearby cities, resulting in increased overall concentration in Puebla's metropolitan area. The absolute population of the city of Puebla increased from 772,908 in 1980 to 1,007,170 in 1990. The central area of the state of Puebla, which surrounds the city, increased its share of the state population from 51.67% in 1980 to 52.21% in 1990. The number of places with over 5000 inhabitants in the area surrounding the city of Puebla increased from 27 in 1980 to 39 in 1990. Construction of the Puebla-Atlixco highway will undoubtedly attract growth to the area southwest of Puebla. Small cities to the east of Puebla have shown significant growth although their region remains strongly rural. The same process of deconcentration of population in Puebla and concentration in its surrounding metropolitan regions can probably also be detected in patterns of investment of public funds. The trend is likely to continue through the 1990s.

  18. An extended patch-dynamic framework for food chains in fragmented landscapes.

    PubMed

    Liao, Jinbao; Chen, Jiehong; Ying, Zhixia; Hiebeler, David E; Nijs, Ivan

    2016-09-09

    Habitat destruction, a key determinant of species loss, can be characterized by two components, patch loss and patch fragmentation, where the former refers to the reduction in patch availability, and the latter to the division of the remaining patches. Classical metacommunity models have recently explored how food web dynamics respond to patch loss, but the effects of patch fragmentation have largely been overlooked. Here we develop an extended patch-dynamic model that tracks the patch occupancy of the various trophic links subject to colonization-extinction-predation dynamics by incorporating species dispersal with patch connectivity. We found that, in a simple food chain, species at higher trophic level become extinct sooner with increasing patch loss and fragmentation due to the constraint in resource availability, confirming the trophic rank hypothesis. Yet, effects of fragmentation on species occupancy are largely determined by patch loss, with maximal fragmentation effects occurring at intermediate patch loss. Compared to the spatially explicit simulations that we also performed, the current model with pair approximation generates similar community patterns especially in spatially clustered landscapes. Overall, our extended framework can be applied to model more complex food webs in fragmented landscapes, broadening the scope of existing metacommunity theory.

  19. An extended patch-dynamic framework for food chains in fragmented landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Liao, Jinbao; Chen, Jiehong; Ying, Zhixia; Hiebeler, David E.; Nijs, Ivan

    2016-01-01

    Habitat destruction, a key determinant of species loss, can be characterized by two components, patch loss and patch fragmentation, where the former refers to the reduction in patch availability, and the latter to the division of the remaining patches. Classical metacommunity models have recently explored how food web dynamics respond to patch loss, but the effects of patch fragmentation have largely been overlooked. Here we develop an extended patch-dynamic model that tracks the patch occupancy of the various trophic links subject to colonization-extinction-predation dynamics by incorporating species dispersal with patch connectivity. We found that, in a simple food chain, species at higher trophic level become extinct sooner with increasing patch loss and fragmentation due to the constraint in resource availability, confirming the trophic rank hypothesis. Yet, effects of fragmentation on species occupancy are largely determined by patch loss, with maximal fragmentation effects occurring at intermediate patch loss. Compared to the spatially explicit simulations that we also performed, the current model with pair approximation generates similar community patterns especially in spatially clustered landscapes. Overall, our extended framework can be applied to model more complex food webs in fragmented landscapes, broadening the scope of existing metacommunity theory. PMID:27608823

  20. An extended patch-dynamic framework for food chains in fragmented landscapes.

    PubMed

    Liao, Jinbao; Chen, Jiehong; Ying, Zhixia; Hiebeler, David E; Nijs, Ivan

    2016-01-01

    Habitat destruction, a key determinant of species loss, can be characterized by two components, patch loss and patch fragmentation, where the former refers to the reduction in patch availability, and the latter to the division of the remaining patches. Classical metacommunity models have recently explored how food web dynamics respond to patch loss, but the effects of patch fragmentation have largely been overlooked. Here we develop an extended patch-dynamic model that tracks the patch occupancy of the various trophic links subject to colonization-extinction-predation dynamics by incorporating species dispersal with patch connectivity. We found that, in a simple food chain, species at higher trophic level become extinct sooner with increasing patch loss and fragmentation due to the constraint in resource availability, confirming the trophic rank hypothesis. Yet, effects of fragmentation on species occupancy are largely determined by patch loss, with maximal fragmentation effects occurring at intermediate patch loss. Compared to the spatially explicit simulations that we also performed, the current model with pair approximation generates similar community patterns especially in spatially clustered landscapes. Overall, our extended framework can be applied to model more complex food webs in fragmented landscapes, broadening the scope of existing metacommunity theory. PMID:27608823

  1. Perioperative Cognitive Decline in the Aging Population

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Maintaining Excellence in the Management of Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nyquist, Ewald B.

    Unless educators engage in thorough planning, in making the most efficient use of economic resources, and in interpreting to the public why education deserves high priority, public education is in for a long period of gradual decline. The central thrust of the current administrative era is the management of decline, or decremental planning. The…

  3. The Decline of Black Farming in America.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Browning, Pamela; And Others

    The rapid decline in the number of farms operated by blacks in the United States, and the consequences of this decline on the conditions of black farmers are the focus of this report. Chapter 1 compares the rate of agricultural land loss from 1900 to 1978 among blacks and whites. Chapter 2 outlines historical conditions, such as racism, lack of…

  4. 31 CFR 240.7 - Declination protest.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... bank may protest the declination of a check that it has presented to a Federal Reserve Bank for payment... presented for payment and a Federal Reserve Bank has reversed its provisional credit to the presenting bank, the presenting bank may file a protest challenging the factual basis for such declination....

  5. Novelty Seeking in Adulthood: Increases Accompany Decline

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reio, Thomas G., Jr.; Choi, Namok

    2004-01-01

    Using stereotypes, researchers have predicted that novelty seeking declines in adulthood. Through this cross-sectional study, the authors revealed that only the external sensational type of novelty seeking declined, whereas the internal sensational and internal and external cognitive types remained stable or increased. A population of 233 adults…

  6. Evidence of disease-related amphibian decline in Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muths, Erin; Corn, Paul Stephen; Pessier, Allan P.; Green, D. Earl

    2003-01-01

    The recent discovery of a pathogenic fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) associated with declines of frogs in the American and Australian tropics, suggests that at least the proximate cause, may be known for many previously unexplained amphibian declines. We have monitored boreal toads in Colorado since 1991 at four sites using capturea??recapture of adults and counts of egg masses to examine the dynamics of this metapopulation. Numbers of male toads declined in 1996 and 1999 with annual survival rate averaging 78% from 1991 to 1994, 45% in 1995 and 3% between 1998 and 1999. Numbers of egg masses also declined. An etiological diagnosis of chytridiomycosis consistent with infections by the genus Batrachochytrium was made in six wild adult toads. Characteristic histomorphological features (i.e. intracellular location, shape of thalli, presence of discharge tubes and rhizoids) of chytrid organisms, and host tissue response (acanthosis and hyperkeratosis) were observed in individual toads. These characteristics were indistinguishable from previously reported mortality events associated with chytrid fungus. We also observed epizootiological features consistent with mortality events associated with chytrid fungus: an increase in the ratio of female:male toads captured, an apparent spread of mortalities within the metapopulation and mortalities restricted to post metamorphic animals. Eleven years of population data suggest that this metapopulation of toads is in danger of extinction, pathological and epizootiological evidence indicates that B. dendrobatidis has played a proximate role in this process

  7. Climate Variations and Alaska Tundra Vegetation Productivity Declines in Spring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhatt, U. S.; Walker, D. A.; Bieniek, P.; Raynolds, M. K.; Epstein, H. E.; Comiso, J. C.; Pinzon, J. E.; Tucker, C. J.

    2015-12-01

    While sea ice has continued to decline, vegetation productivity increases have declined particularly during spring in Alaska as well as many parts of the Arctic tundra. To understand the processes behind these features we investigate spring climate variations that includes temperature, circulation patterns, and snow cover to determine how these may be contributing to spring browning. This study employs remotely sensed weekly 25-km sea ice concentration, weekly surface temperature, and bi-weekly NDVI from 1982 to 2014. Maximum NDVI (MaxNDVI, Maximum Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), Time Integrated NDVI (TI-NDVI), Summer Warmth Index (SWI, sum of degree months above freezing during May-August), atmospheric reanalysis data, dynamically downscaled climate data, meteorological station data, and snow water equivalent (GlobSnow, assimilated snow data set). We analyzed the data for the full period (1982-2014) and for two sub-periods (1982-1998 and 1999-2014), which were chosen based on the declining Alaska SWI since 1998. MaxNDVI has increased from 1982-2014 over most of the Arctic but has declined from 1999 to 2014 southwest Alaska. TI-NDVI has trends that are similar to those for MaxNDVI for the full period but display widespread declines over the 1999-2014 period. Therefore, as the MaxNDVI has continued to increase overall for the Arctic, TI-NDVI has been declining since 1999 and these declines are particularly noteworthy during spring in Alaska. Spring declines in Alaska have been linked to increased spring snow cover that can delay greenup (Bieniek et al. 2015) but recent ground observations suggest that after an initial warming and greening, late season freezing temperature are damaging the plants. The late season freezing temperature hypothesis will be explored with meteorological climate/weather data sets for Alaska tundra regions. References P.A. Bieniek, US Bhatt, DA Walker, MK Raynolds, JC Comiso, HE Epstein, JE Pinzon, CJ Tucker, RL Thoman, H Tran, N M

  8. Theoretical Analysis of Maximum Flow Declination Rate versus Maximum Area Declination Rate in Phonation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Titze, Ingo R.

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: Maximum flow declination rate (MFDR) in the glottis is known to correlate strongly with vocal intensity in voicing. This declination, or negative slope on the glottal airflow waveform, is in part attributable to the maximum area declination rate (MADR) and in part to the overall inertia of the air column of the vocal tract (lungs to…

  9. Patch quality and context, but not patch number, drive multi-scale colonization dynamics in experimental aquatic landscapes.

    PubMed

    Resetarits, William J; Binckley, Christopher A

    2013-11-01

    Colonization and extinction are primary drivers of local population dynamics, community structure, and spatial patterns of biological diversity. Existing paradigms of island biogeography, metapopulation biology, and metacommunity ecology, as well as habitat management and conservation biology based on those paradigms, emphasize patch size, number, and isolation as primary characteristics influencing colonization and extinction. Habitat selection theory suggests that patch quality could rival size, number, and isolation in determining rates of colonization and resulting community structure. We used naturally colonized experimental landscapes to address four issues: (a) how do colonizing aquatic beetles respond to variation in patch number, (b) how do they respond to variation in patch quality, (c) does patch context affect colonization dynamics, and (d) at what spatial scales do beetles respond to habitat variation? Increasing patch number had no effect on per patch colonization rates, while patch quality and context were critical in determining colonization rates and resulting patterns of abundance and species richness at multiple spatial scales. We graphically illustrate how variation in immigration rates driven by perceived predation risk (habitat quality) can further modify dynamics of the equilibrium theory of island biogeography beyond predator-driven effects on extinction rates. Our data support the importance of patch quality and context as primary determinants of colonization rate, occupancy, abundance, and resulting patterns of species richness, and reinforce the idea that management of metapopulations for species preservation, and metacommunities for local and regional diversity, should incorporate habitat quality into the predictive equation. PMID:23609801

  10. Patch quality and context, but not patch number, drive multi-scale colonization dynamics in experimental aquatic landscapes.

    PubMed

    Resetarits, William J; Binckley, Christopher A

    2013-11-01

    Colonization and extinction are primary drivers of local population dynamics, community structure, and spatial patterns of biological diversity. Existing paradigms of island biogeography, metapopulation biology, and metacommunity ecology, as well as habitat management and conservation biology based on those paradigms, emphasize patch size, number, and isolation as primary characteristics influencing colonization and extinction. Habitat selection theory suggests that patch quality could rival size, number, and isolation in determining rates of colonization and resulting community structure. We used naturally colonized experimental landscapes to address four issues: (a) how do colonizing aquatic beetles respond to variation in patch number, (b) how do they respond to variation in patch quality, (c) does patch context affect colonization dynamics, and (d) at what spatial scales do beetles respond to habitat variation? Increasing patch number had no effect on per patch colonization rates, while patch quality and context were critical in determining colonization rates and resulting patterns of abundance and species richness at multiple spatial scales. We graphically illustrate how variation in immigration rates driven by perceived predation risk (habitat quality) can further modify dynamics of the equilibrium theory of island biogeography beyond predator-driven effects on extinction rates. Our data support the importance of patch quality and context as primary determinants of colonization rate, occupancy, abundance, and resulting patterns of species richness, and reinforce the idea that management of metapopulations for species preservation, and metacommunities for local and regional diversity, should incorporate habitat quality into the predictive equation.

  11. Maryland striped bass: recruitment declining below replacement

    SciTech Connect

    Goodyear, C.P.; Cohen, J.E.; Christensen, S.W.

    1985-01-01

    A mathematical technique was developed to examined interrelationships among first-year survival rates, adult fecundity, and adult survival of striped bass Morone saxatilis based on indices of year-class strength. Application of this technique to striped bass in Maryland waters of the Chesapeake Bay provided evidence for reduced survival in the life cycle. If adult fecundity and survival have remained constant, first-year survival declined significantly from 1969 to 1983, and averaged less than that needed for replacement for the last 10 years. Treatment of the individual spawning grounds separately indicated that the downward trend in survival for the pooled data was the result of declines in the upper bay and, to a lesser extent, in the Choptank River. Alternatively, if first-year survival and adult fecundity were assumed to have remained constant, an annual decline of about 1.9% in adult survival would have been required to produce the observed trend in the pooled year-class data. This would be consistent with increased fishing mortality and implies declining recruitment because of declining stock size. Continuing declines in first-year or adult survival would eliminate the Maryland striped bass stock and the fishery it supports. Conversely, an increase in adult survival could offset of the unknown factor or factors responsible for the apparent decline in first-year survival. 25 references, 1 figure, 1 table.

  12. Asymmetric disassembly and robustness in declining networks

    PubMed Central

    Saavedra, Serguei; Reed-Tsochas, Felix; Uzzi, Brian

    2008-01-01

    Mechanisms that enable declining networks to avert structural collapse and performance degradation are not well understood. This knowledge gap reflects a shortage of data on declining networks and an emphasis on models of network growth. Analyzing >700,000 transactions between firms in the New York garment industry over 19 years, we tracked this network's decline and measured how its topology and global performance evolved. We find that favoring asymmetric (disassortative) links is key to preserving the topology and functionality of the declining network. Based on our findings, we tested a model of network decline that combines an asymmetric disassembly process for contraction with a preferential attachment process for regrowth. Our simulation results indicate that the model can explain robustness under decline even if the total population of nodes contracts by more than an order of magnitude, in line with our observations for the empirical network. These findings suggest that disassembly mechanisms are not simply assembly mechanisms in reverse and that our model is relevant to understanding the process of decline and collapse in a broad range of biological, technological, and financial networks. PMID:18936489

  13. Asymmetric disassembly and robustness in declining networks.

    PubMed

    Saavedra, Serguei; Reed-Tsochas, Felix; Uzzi, Brian

    2008-10-28

    Mechanisms that enable declining networks to avert structural collapse and performance degradation are not well understood. This knowledge gap reflects a shortage of data on declining networks and an emphasis on models of network growth. Analyzing >700,000 transactions between firms in the New York garment industry over 19 years, we tracked this network's decline and measured how its topology and global performance evolved. We find that favoring asymmetric (disassortative) links is key to preserving the topology and functionality of the declining network. Based on our findings, we tested a model of network decline that combines an asymmetric disassembly process for contraction with a preferential attachment process for regrowth. Our simulation results indicate that the model can explain robustness under decline even if the total population of nodes contracts by more than an order of magnitude, in line with our observations for the empirical network. These findings suggest that disassembly mechanisms are not simply assembly mechanisms in reverse and that our model is relevant to understanding the process of decline and collapse in a broad range of biological, technological, and financial networks.

  14. Coin hoards speak of population declines in Ancient Rome

    PubMed Central

    Turchin, Peter; Scheidel, Walter

    2009-01-01

    In times of violence, people tend to hide their valuables, which are later recovered unless the owners had been killed or driven away. Thus, the temporal distribution of unrecovered coin hoards is an excellent proxy for the intensity of internal warfare. We use this relationship to resolve a long-standing controversy in Roman history. Depending on who was counted in the early Imperial censuses (adult males or the entire citizenry including women and minors), the Roman citizen population of Italy either declined, or more than doubled, during the first century BCE. This period was characterized by a series of civil wars, and historical evidence indicates that high levels of sociopolitical instability are associated with demographic contractions. We fitted a simple model quantifying the effect of instability (proxied by hoard frequency) on population dynamics to the data before 100 BCE. The model predicts declining population after 100 BCE. This suggests that the vigorous growth scenario is highly implausible. PMID:19805043

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

    PubMed

    Turchin, Peter; Scheidel, Walter

    2009-10-13

    In times of violence, people tend to hide their valuables, which are later recovered unless the owners had been killed or driven away. Thus, the temporal distribution of unrecovered coin hoards is an excellent proxy for the intensity of internal warfare. We use this relationship to resolve a long-standing controversy in Roman history. Depending on who was counted in the early Imperial censuses (adult males or the entire citizenry including women and minors), the Roman citizen population of Italy either declined, or more than doubled, during the first century BCE. This period was characterized by a series of civil wars, and historical evidence indicates that high levels of sociopolitical instability are associated with demographic contractions. We fitted a simple model quantifying the effect of instability (proxied by hoard frequency) on population dynamics to the data before 100 BCE. The model predicts declining population after 100 BCE. This suggests that the vigorous growth scenario is highly implausible. PMID:19805043

  16. Atrial Fibrillation, Cognitive Decline And Dementia

    PubMed Central

    Alonso, Alvaro; Arenas de Larriva, Antonio P.

    2016-01-01

    Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common cardiac arrhythmia. Growing evidence supports a role for AF as a risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia. In this review, we summarize epidemiologic observations linking AF with cognitive outcomes, describe potential mechanisms, and explore the impact of AF treatments on cognitive decline and dementia. Community-based, observational studies show a consistent higher rate of cognitive decline and risk of dementia in persons with AF. These associations are partly due to the increased risk of clinical stroke in AF, but other mechanisms, including incidence of silent cerebral infarcts, microbleeds, and cerebral hypoperfusion, are likely additional contributors. Adequate oral anticoagulation and improved management of the overall cardiovascular risk profile in persons with AF offer the promise of reducing the impact of AF on cognitive decline and dementia. PMID:27547248

  17. Decline and conservation of bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Goulson, D; Lye, G C; Darvill, B

    2008-01-01

    Declines in bumble bee species in the past 60 years are well documented in Europe, where they are driven primarily by habitat loss and declines in floral abundance and diversity resulting from agricultural intensification. Impacts of habitat degradation and fragmentation are likely to be compounded by the social nature of bumble bees and their largely monogamous breeding system, which renders their effective population size low. Hence, populations are susceptible to stochastic extinction events and inbreeding. In North America, catastrophic declines of some bumble bee species since the 1990s are probably attributable to the accidental introduction of a nonnative parasite from Europe, a result of global trade in domesticated bumble bee colonies used for pollination of greenhouse crops. Given the importance of bumble bees as pollinators of crops and wildflowers, steps must be taken to prevent further declines. Suggested measures include tight regulation of commercial bumble bee use and targeted use of environmentally comparable schemes to enhance floristic diversity in agricultural landscapes.

  18. Understanding Amphibian Declines Through Geographic Approaches

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gallant, Alisa

    2006-01-01

    Growing concern over worldwide amphibian declines warrants serious examination. Amphibians are important to the proper functioning of ecosystems and provide many direct benefits to humans in the form of pest and disease control, pharmaceutical compounds, and even food. Amphibians have permeable skin and rely on both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems during different seasons and stages of their lives. Their association with these ecosystems renders them likely to serve as sensitive indicators of environmental change. While much research on amphibian declines has centered on mysterious causes, or on causes that directly affect humans (global warming, chemical pollution, ultraviolet-B radiation), most declines are the result of habitat loss and habitat alteration. Improving our ability to characterize, model, and monitor the interactions between environmental variables and amphibian habitats is key to addressing amphibian conservation. In 2000, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) initiated the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) to address issues surrounding amphibian declines.

  19. Problems Associated with Declining National Oil Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, J. S.

    2009-12-01

    Forecasts of peak oil production have focussed on the global impacts of declining production. Meanwhile, national oil production has declined in 20 countries, leading to local problems that receive little comment outside of the effected regions. Two problems deserve wider recognition: declining state revenues and fuel substitution. Most oil producing countries with large reserves adopted licensing practices that provide significant revenues to the host governments such that oil revenues generate from 40 to 80 percent of total government funds. Typically these governments allocate a fraction of this revenue to their state oil companies, utilizing the remainder for other activities. As oil revenues decline with falling production, host governments face a dilemma: either to increase state oil company budgets in order to stem the decline, or to starve the state oil company while maintaining other government programs. The declining oil revenues in these states can significantly reduce the government's ability to address important national issues. Mexico, Indonesia, and Yemen illustrate this situation in its early phases. Fuel substitution occurs whenever one fuel proves less expensive than another. The substitution of coal for wood in the eighteenth century and oil for coal in the twentieth century are classic examples. China and India appear to be at peak oil production, while their economies generate increasing demand for energy. Both countries are substituting coal and natural gas for oil with attendant environmental impacts. Coal-to-liquids projects are proposed in in both China, which will require significant water resources if they are executed. These examples suggest that forecasting the impact of peak oil at a regional level requires more than an assessment of proven-probable-possible reserves and a forecast of supply-demand scenarios. A range of government responses to declining oil income scenarios must also be considered, together with scenarios describing

  20. The continuing fertility decline in Sri Lanka.

    PubMed

    Fernando, D F

    1980-01-01

    The continued decline in fertility in Sri Lanka which began in 1960 is analyzed and documented. Data from recent consuses, the 1st report of the World Fertility Survey, and from vital statistics registration are used. The data are tabulated along with similar data from Taiwan to provide a basis of comparison. The birth rate in Sri Lanka has declined steadily since 1960, reaching an almost static level in 1974-76. During the 1970's there was a dramatic upward move in the age at marriage for women in both Sri Lanka and Taiwan. This factor, combined with a changing female age structure, had been responsible for fertility decline during the 1953-63 period. During 1963-68, female marriage postponement continued to influence fertility decline while the change in the female age structure retarded it. Declines in marital fertility began to have an effect by 1963 in the over 25 age groups. The Sri Lankan Family Planning Program began in 1965. The year 1972 is considered a turning point for the program with increasing use of modern contraceptive methods, especially the IUD and female sterilization. Even male sterilization began to increase substantially in 1974. All the fertility figures are higher for Sri Lanka than for Taiwan, but Sri Lanka is making extremely good progress. The decline in marital fertility is concentrated in the over-30 group, and attributed to increased practice of contraception.

  1. Local bumble bee decline linked to recovery of honey bees, drought effects on floral resources.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Diane M

    2016-10-01

    Time series of abundances are critical for understanding how abiotic factors and species interactions affect population dynamics, but are rarely linked with experiments and also scarce for bee pollinators. This gap is important given concerns about declines in some bee species. I monitored honey bee (Apis mellifera) and bumble bee (Bombus spp.) foragers in coastal California from 1999, when feral A. mellifera populations were low due to Varroa destructor, until 2014. Apis mellifera increased substantially, except between 2006 and 2011, coinciding with declines in managed populations. Increases in A. mellifera strongly correlated with declines in Bombus and reduced diet overlap between them, suggesting resource competition consistent with past experimental results. Lower Bombus numbers also correlated with diminished floral resources. Declines in floral abundances were associated with drought and reduced spring rainfall. These results illustrate how competition with an introduced species may interact with climate to drive local decline of native pollinators. PMID:27539950

  2. Local bumble bee decline linked to recovery of honey bees, drought effects on floral resources.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Diane M

    2016-10-01

    Time series of abundances are critical for understanding how abiotic factors and species interactions affect population dynamics, but are rarely linked with experiments and also scarce for bee pollinators. This gap is important given concerns about declines in some bee species. I monitored honey bee (Apis mellifera) and bumble bee (Bombus spp.) foragers in coastal California from 1999, when feral A. mellifera populations were low due to Varroa destructor, until 2014. Apis mellifera increased substantially, except between 2006 and 2011, coinciding with declines in managed populations. Increases in A. mellifera strongly correlated with declines in Bombus and reduced diet overlap between them, suggesting resource competition consistent with past experimental results. Lower Bombus numbers also correlated with diminished floral resources. Declines in floral abundances were associated with drought and reduced spring rainfall. These results illustrate how competition with an introduced species may interact with climate to drive local decline of native pollinators.

  3. Ideal men: masculinity and decline in seventeenth-century Spain.

    PubMed

    Lehfeldt, Elizabeth A

    2008-01-01

    This article examines how the experience and critique of their country's decline led Spaniards to craft a distinct discourse of masculinity in the seventeenth century. As they self-consciously examined Spain's crisis and offered political and economic solutions, these same writers also offered a scathing critique of standards of masculinity. Using the figure of the ideal nobleman as a case study, the article examines how moralists, arbitristas, and hagiographers constructed a dynamic code of manhood linked to questions of productivity, male chastity, and military performance. Further, it argues that this discourse was ultimately nostalgic and failed to adapt itself to the circumstances of the seventeenth century.

  4. The decline of fertility in Peninsular Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Hirschman, C; Fernandez, D

    1980-01-01

    A detailed analysis of fertility trends in Peninsular Malaysia from 1947 through 1974, based on annual period rates from vital statistics data and cumulative fertility measures from the 1947, 1957, and 1970 censuses, is presented. Fertility levels from 1947 to 1957 were quite high and possibly increasing, with a crude birth rate in the middle 40s. A rapid decline among all major ethnic groups brought the crude birth rate from 46 in 1956 to 31 in 1974, while over the same period the general fertility rate dropped from 210 to 130 births per 1000 women of reproductive age. Decomposition of changes in the crude birth rate from 1958 to 1970 indicates that most of the decline in the crude birth rate was due to rising average age at marriage, and the rest to small declines in marital fertility. The fall in total fertility rates ranged from 1.2 births per woman among Malays to 3.2 births per woman among Indians between 1958 and 1974. Signs of declining marital fertility among Malay and Indian women in their late 20s and 30s appeared in the late 1960s, but the principal element in their fertility decline was delayed marriage. In 1957 over half of Malay and Indian women aged 15-19 were married, while in 1970 only 1 in 5 were. Changes in age structure reinforced the decline of the Malay crude birth rate but offset part of the reduction of age-specific fertility among Chinese and Indians. Substantial reductions in proportions currently married were important for all ethnic groups. Future fertility declines will depend primarily on changes in marital fertility rates because the age structure will be favorable to higher fertility and marriage postponement is already advanced.

  5. Whole-body angular momentum in incline and decline walking.

    PubMed

    Silverman, Anne K; Wilken, Jason M; Sinitski, Emily H; Neptune, Richard R

    2012-04-01

    Angular momentum is highly regulated over the gait cycle and is important for maintaining dynamic stability and control of movement. However, little is known regarding how angular momentum is regulated on irregular surfaces, such as slopes, when the risk of falling is higher. This study examined the three-dimensional whole-body angular momentum patterns of 30 healthy subjects walking over a range of incline and decline angles. The range of angular momentum was either similar or reduced on decline surfaces and increased on incline surfaces relative to level ground, with the greatest differences occurring in the frontal and sagittal planes. These results suggest that angular momentum is more tightly controlled during decline walking when the risk of falling is greater. In the frontal plane, the range of angular momentum was strongly correlated with the peak hip and knee abduction moments in early stance. In the transverse plane, the strongest correlation occurred with the knee external rotation peak in late stance. In the sagittal plane, all external moment peaks were correlated with the range of angular momentum. The peak ankle plantarflexion, knee flexion and hip extension moments were also strongly correlated with the sagittal-plane angular momentum. These results highlight how able-bodied subjects control angular momentum differently on sloped surfaces relative to level walking and provide a baseline for comparison with pathological populations that are more susceptible to falling. PMID:22325978

  6. Whole-body angular momentum in incline and decline walking.

    PubMed

    Silverman, Anne K; Wilken, Jason M; Sinitski, Emily H; Neptune, Richard R

    2012-04-01

    Angular momentum is highly regulated over the gait cycle and is important for maintaining dynamic stability and control of movement. However, little is known regarding how angular momentum is regulated on irregular surfaces, such as slopes, when the risk of falling is higher. This study examined the three-dimensional whole-body angular momentum patterns of 30 healthy subjects walking over a range of incline and decline angles. The range of angular momentum was either similar or reduced on decline surfaces and increased on incline surfaces relative to level ground, with the greatest differences occurring in the frontal and sagittal planes. These results suggest that angular momentum is more tightly controlled during decline walking when the risk of falling is greater. In the frontal plane, the range of angular momentum was strongly correlated with the peak hip and knee abduction moments in early stance. In the transverse plane, the strongest correlation occurred with the knee external rotation peak in late stance. In the sagittal plane, all external moment peaks were correlated with the range of angular momentum. The peak ankle plantarflexion, knee flexion and hip extension moments were also strongly correlated with the sagittal-plane angular momentum. These results highlight how able-bodied subjects control angular momentum differently on sloped surfaces relative to level walking and provide a baseline for comparison with pathological populations that are more susceptible to falling.

  7. Periodontitis and Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer's Disease.

    PubMed

    Ide, Mark; Harris, Marina; Stevens, Annette; Sussams, Rebecca; Hopkins, Viv; Culliford, David; Fuller, James; Ibbett, Paul; Raybould, Rachel; Thomas, Rhodri; Puenter, Ursula; Teeling, Jessica; Perry, V Hugh; Holmes, Clive

    2016-01-01

    Periodontitis is common in the elderly and may become more common in Alzheimer's disease because of a reduced ability to take care of oral hygiene as the disease progresses. Elevated antibodies to periodontal bacteria are associated with an increased systemic pro-inflammatory state. Elsewhere raised serum pro-inflammatory cytokines have been associated with an increased rate of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease. We hypothesized that periodontitis would be associated with increased dementia severity and a more rapid cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease. We aimed to determine if periodontitis in Alzheimer's disease is associated with both increased dementia severity and cognitive decline, and an increased systemic pro inflammatory state. In a six month observational cohort study 60 community dwelling participants with mild to moderate Alzheimer's Disease were cognitively assessed and a blood sample taken for systemic inflammatory markers. Dental health was assessed by a dental hygienist, blind to cognitive outcomes. All assessments were repeated at six months. The presence of periodontitis at baseline was not related to baseline cognitive state but was associated with a six fold increase in the rate of cognitive decline as assessed by the ADAS-cog over a six month follow up period. Periodontitis at baseline was associated with a relative increase in the pro-inflammatory state over the six month follow up period. Our data showed that periodontitis is associated with an increase in cognitive decline in Alzheimer's Disease, independent to baseline cognitive state, which may be mediated through effects on systemic inflammation. PMID:26963387

  8. Periodontitis and Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer's Disease.

    PubMed

    Ide, Mark; Harris, Marina; Stevens, Annette; Sussams, Rebecca; Hopkins, Viv; Culliford, David; Fuller, James; Ibbett, Paul; Raybould, Rachel; Thomas, Rhodri; Puenter, Ursula; Teeling, Jessica; Perry, V Hugh; Holmes, Clive

    2016-01-01

    Periodontitis is common in the elderly and may become more common in Alzheimer's disease because of a reduced ability to take care of oral hygiene as the disease progresses. Elevated antibodies to periodontal bacteria are associated with an increased systemic pro-inflammatory state. Elsewhere raised serum pro-inflammatory cytokines have been associated with an increased rate of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease. We hypothesized that periodontitis would be associated with increased dementia severity and a more rapid cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease. We aimed to determine if periodontitis in Alzheimer's disease is associated with both increased dementia severity and cognitive decline, and an increased systemic pro inflammatory state. In a six month observational cohort study 60 community dwelling participants with mild to moderate Alzheimer's Disease were cognitively assessed and a blood sample taken for systemic inflammatory markers. Dental health was assessed by a dental hygienist, blind to cognitive outcomes. All assessments were repeated at six months. The presence of periodontitis at baseline was not related to baseline cognitive state but was associated with a six fold increase in the rate of cognitive decline as assessed by the ADAS-cog over a six month follow up period. Periodontitis at baseline was associated with a relative increase in the pro-inflammatory state over the six month follow up period. Our data showed that periodontitis is associated with an increase in cognitive decline in Alzheimer's Disease, independent to baseline cognitive state, which may be mediated through effects on systemic inflammation.

  9. Neural mechanisms of ageing and cognitive decline

    PubMed Central

    Bishop, Nicholas A.; Lu, Tao; Yankner, Bruce A.

    2010-01-01

    During the past century, treatments for the diseases of youth and middle age have helped raise life expectancy significantly. However, cognitive decline has emerged as one of the greatest health threats of old age, with nearly 50% of adults over the age of 85 afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. Developing therapeutic interventions for such conditions demands a greater understanding of the processes underlying normal and pathological brain ageing. Recent advances in the biology of ageing in model organisms, together with molecular and systems-level studies of the brain, are beginning to shed light on these mechanisms and their potential roles in cognitive decline. PMID:20336135

  10. Phylogenetic escalation and decline of plant defense strategies.

    PubMed

    Agrawal, Anurag A; Fishbein, Mark

    2008-07-22

    As the basal resource in most food webs, plants have evolved myriad strategies to battle consumption by herbivores. Over the past 50 years, plant defense theories have been formulated to explain the remarkable variation in abundance, distribution, and diversity of secondary chemistry and other defensive traits. For example, classic theories of enemy-driven evolutionary dynamics have hypothesized that defensive traits escalate through the diversification process. Despite the fact that macroevolutionary patterns are an explicit part of defense theories, phylogenetic analyses have not been previously attempted to disentangle specific predictions concerning (i) investment in resistance traits, (ii) recovery after damage, and (iii) plant growth rate. We constructed a molecular phylogeny of 38 species of milkweed and tested four major predictions of defense theory using maximum-likelihood methods. We did not find support for the growth-rate hypothesis. Our key finding was a pattern of phyletic decline in the three most potent resistance traits (cardenolides, latex, and trichomes) and an escalation of regrowth ability. Our neontological approach complements more common paleontological approaches to discover directional trends in the evolution of life and points to the importance of natural enemies in the macroevolution of species. The finding of macroevolutionary escalating regowth ability and declining resistance provides a window into the ongoing coevolutionary dynamics between plants and herbivores and suggests a revision of classic plant defense theory. Where plants are primarily consumed by specialist herbivores, regrowth (or tolerance) may be favored over resistance traits during the diversification process.

  11. Recent Declines in Induction of Labor by Gestational Age

    MedlinePlus

    ... rates at 38 weeks of gestation declined for all maternal age groups under 40. Trends in induction ... 38 weeks declined in nearly three-quarters of all states. The largest declines in labor induction for ...

  12. Exploring the Global Decline of Music Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aróstegui, José Luis

    2016-01-01

    This article seeks to explain the disjuncture between the decline of music education in schools and the importance music has in popular youth culture and in creativity within the new knowledge economy. The data discussed in this article have been derived from analyses of major documents on curriculum reform as well as e-mail responses from music…

  13. Student Writing: Strategies to Reverse Ongoing Decline

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carter, Michael J.; Harper, Heather

    2013-01-01

    This article reports on the decline in writing ability skills in secondary and higher education students. The author discusses changes that have affected student writing skills over the recent decades and offers recommendations for improving these skills, such as: implementing intensive freshman writing courses; adjusting existing course…

  14. Prevalence of Hunger Declines in Rural Households.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nord, Mark; Winicki, F. Joshua

    2000-01-01

    The prevalence of hunger in rural households declined slightly from 1995 to 1998, and food insecurity rates stayed constant. Food insecurity was almost three times as prevalent among rural Blacks as among rural Whites. For rural Hispanics, the rate was about twice that of Whites. Food insecurity was higher in single-parent families than in any…

  15. Declining Enrollments: National Problem--Local Response.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hess, Fritz; And Others

    American schools, after two decades of expansion, are now in the midst of an enrollment decline and inflation. The impact of the shift from growth to retrenchment and streamlining has been severe. An effective approach to this situation requires an understanding of the new conditions and of available alternatives for action. An overview of the…

  16. Migratory diversity predicts population declines in birds.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  17. Complexity versus certainty in understanding species’ declines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sundstrom, Shana M.; Allen, Craig R.

    2014-01-01

    Traditional approaches to predict species declines (e.g. government processes or IUCN Red Lists), may be too simplistic and may therefore misguide management and conservation. Using complex systems approaches that account for scale-specific patterns and processes have the potential to overcome these limitations.

  18. Afterword: The Management and Consequences of Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boyd, William Lowe

    1983-01-01

    Stresses the need for aggressive, farsighted management of decline and for more Federal and State aid to local school administrators to combat the negative effects of school closures and retrenchment, and to ensure that retrenched school systems still serve children effectively. (Author/MJL)

  19. The "Decline" of Private Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levy, Daniel C.

    2013-01-01

    No topic in private higher education study has attracted as great attention globally as has growth. This is appropriate as private growth has soared to nearly a third of the world's total higher education enrolment. But while private growth continues to be the dominant trend, important declines in private shares have emerged. These must be…

  20. Black Rural Land Decline in the South

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGee, Leo; Boone, Robert

    1977-01-01

    Notes that it is widely accepted that millions of blacks who migrated from the South contributed significantly to the decline of black rural land ownership. However, the less than altruistic behavior patterns of land officials has also contributed to the loss of rural land by blacks. (Author/AM)

  1. Why Employee Motivation Has Declined in America.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grant, Philip C.

    1982-01-01

    Examines possible reasons for declining employee motivation: greater instability and diversity of values; more guaranteed rewards; inability of rewards to satisfy emerging needs; disappearing work ethic; reduced costs of failure; rising income and progressive taxation; more group production and problem solving; decreased employee loyalty; less…

  2. Does Vocabulary Decline Qualitatively in Old Age?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Dowd, Sarah C.

    1984-01-01

    Tested both superior and average-ability subjects (N=112) from contrasting educational settings to examine the apparent decline in vocabulary skills of older adults. Results showed older adults performed better than the young, judged by either standard or qualitative criteria. (BH)

  3. The Decline of Direct Newspaper Competition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosse, James N.

    1980-01-01

    Describes the decline of direct newspaper competition in terms of the loss of effective newspaper market segmentation. Examines the following influences on market segmentation: shift in advertising demand, advertiser preferences for differentiated audiences, shift in subscriber demand, growth of alternative media, increasing production costs, and…

  4. Disease management strategy for macadamia quick decline

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Trees infected with Macadamia Quick Decline (MQD) exhibit excessive sap bleeding from the trunk, frass from ambrosia beetle feeding, orange fruiting bodies of the fungus Nectria rugulosa and yellowing and browning of the leaves within the tree canopy. MQD threatens commercial and residential product...

  5. Decline and conservation of bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Goulson, D; Lye, G C; Darvill, B

    2008-01-01

    Declines in bumble bee species in the past 60 years are well documented in Europe, where they are driven primarily by habitat loss and declines in floral abundance and diversity resulting from agricultural intensification. Impacts of habitat degradation and fragmentation are likely to be compounded by the social nature of bumble bees and their largely monogamous breeding system, which renders their effective population size low. Hence, populations are susceptible to stochastic extinction events and inbreeding. In North America, catastrophic declines of some bumble bee species since the 1990s are probably attributable to the accidental introduction of a nonnative parasite from Europe, a result of global trade in domesticated bumble bee colonies used for pollination of greenhouse crops. Given the importance of bumble bees as pollinators of crops and wildflowers, steps must be taken to prevent further declines. Suggested measures include tight regulation of commercial bumble bee use and targeted use of environmentally comparable schemes to enhance floristic diversity in agricultural landscapes. PMID:17803456

  6. Why NAD(+) Declines during Aging: It's Destroyed.

    PubMed

    Schultz, Michael B; Sinclair, David A

    2016-06-14

    NAD(+) is required not only for life but for a long life. In this issue, Camacho-Pereira et al. (2016) implicate CD38 in the decline of NAD(+) during aging, with implications for combating age-related diseases. PMID:27304496

  7. Violent Youth Crime May Be Declining.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    USA Today, 1979

    1979-01-01

    Reports the findings of Frank Zimring, director of the University of Chicago's Center for Criminal Justice, that the rate of four types of serious youth crime (homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) began to level off around 1970 and may now be declining. (SJL)

  8. Declining world fertility: trends, causes, implications.

    PubMed

    Tsui, A O; Bogue, D J

    1978-10-01

    This Bulletin examines the evidence that the world's fertility has declined in recent years, the factors that appear to have accounted for the decline, and the implications for fertility and population growth rates to the end of the century. On the basis of a compilation of estimates available for all nations of the world, the authors derive estimates which indicate that the world's total fertility rate dropped from 4.6 to 4.1 births per woman between 1968 and 1975, thanks largely to an earlier and more rapid and universal decline in the fertility of less developed countries (LDCs) than had been anticipated. Statistical analysis of available data suggests that the socioeconomic progress made by LDCs in this period was not great enough to account for more than a proportion of the fertility decline and that organized family planning programs were a major contributing factor. The authors' projections, which are compared to similar projections from the World Bank, the United Nations, and the U.S. Bureau of the Census, indicate that, by the year 2000, less than 1/5 of the world's population will be in the "red danger" circle of explosive population growth (2.1% or more annually); most LDCs will be in a phase of fertility decline; and many of them -- along with most now developed countries -- will be at or near replacement level of fertility. The authors warn that "our optimistic prediction is premised upon a big IF -- if (organized) family planning (in LDCs) continues. It remains imperative that all of the developed nations of the world continue their contribution to this program undiminished."

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2000-01-01

    The population estimate for greater (Aythya marila) and lesser (Aythya affinis) scaup (combined) has declined dramatically since the early 1980s to record lows in 1998. The 1998 estimate of 3.47 million scaup is far below the goal of 6.3 million set in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP), causing concern among biologists and hunters. We summarize issuesof concern, hypotheses for factors contributing to the population decline, and research and management needs recommended by participants of the Scaup Workshop, held in September 1999. We believe that contaminants, lower female survival, and reduced recruitment due to changes in food resources or breedingground habitats are primary factors contributing to the decline. These factors are not mutually exclusive but likely interact across seasons. Workshop participants identified seven action items. We need to further delineate where declines in breeding populations have occurred, with a primary focus on the western Canadian boreal forest, where declines appear to be most pronounced. Productivity in various areas and habitats throughout the breeding range needs to be assessed by conducting retrospective analyses of existing data and by intensive field studies at broad and local scales. Annual and seasonal survival rates need to be determined in order to assess the role of harvest or natural mortality. Effects of contaminants on reproduction, female body condition, and behavior must be investigated. Use, distribution, and role of food resources relative to body condition and reproduction need to be examined to better understand seasonal dynamics of nutrient reserves and the role in reproductive success. Affiliations among breeding, migration, and wintering areas must be assessed in order to understand differential exposure to harvest or contaminants, and differential reproductive success and recruitment. Biologists and agencies need to gather and improve information needed to manage greater and lesser

  10. Walking ability to predict future cognitive decline in old adults: A scoping review.

    PubMed

    Kikkert, Lisette H J; Vuillerme, Nicolas; van Campen, Jos P; Hortobágyi, Tibor; Lamoth, Claudine J

    2016-05-01

    Early identification of individuals at risk for cognitive decline may facilitate the selection of those who benefit most from interventions. Current models predicting cognitive decline include neuropsychological and/or biological markers. Additional markers based on walking ability might improve accuracy and specificity of these models because motor and cognitive functions share neuroanatomical structures and psychological processes. We reviewed the relationship between walking ability at one point of (mid) life and cognitive decline at follow-up. A systematic literature search identified 20 longitudinal studies. The average follow-up time was 4.5 years. Gait speed quantified walking ability in most studies (n=18). Additional gait measures (n=4) were step frequency, variability and step-length. Despite methodological weaknesses, results revealed that gait slowing (0.68-1.1 m/sec) preceded cognitive decline and the presence of dementia syndromes (maximal odds and hazard ratios of 10.4 and 11.1, respectively). The results indicate that measures of walking ability could serve as additional markers to predict cognitive decline. However, gait speed alone might lack specificity. We recommend gait analysis, including dynamic gait parameters, in clinical evaluations of patients with suspected cognitive decline. Future studies should focus on examining the specificity and accuracy of various gait characteristics to predict future cognitive decline. PMID:26861693

  11. Declining fertility and economic well-being: do education and health ride to the rescue?

    PubMed Central

    Prettner, Klaus; Bloom, David E.; Strulik, Holger

    2015-01-01

    It is widely argued that declining fertility slows the pace of economic growth in industrialized countries through its negative effect on labor supply. There are, however, theoretical arguments suggesting that the effect of falling fertility on effective labor supply can be offset by associated behavioral changes. We formalize these arguments by setting forth a dynamic consumer optimization model that incorporates endogenous fertility as well as endogenous education and health investments. The model shows that a fertility decline induces higher education and health investments that are able to compensate for declining fertility under certain circumstances. We assess the theoretical implications by investigating panel data for 118 countries over the period 1980 to 2005 and show that behavioral changes partly mitigate the negative impact of declining fertility on effective labor supply. PMID:26388677

  12. Almagest Declinations: Timocharis, Aristyllus, and Hipparcus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmer, Peter C.; Brandt, J. C.; Jones, P. B.

    2013-01-01

    Declinations in the Almagest provide an opportunity to determine the observational precision of the ancient observers and their epochs. The basic data are the original observations (O) and the declinations calculated (C) by precessing modern positions and including refraction. The plots of (O) - (C) can be analyzed using several different approaches. All of the original positions appear to be valid except Timocharis’s value for Arcturus. Consistent results for the precisions and epochs, respectively, are: Timocharis--8.1 arc min, near 296BC; Aristyllus--5.3 arc min, near 258BC; and Hipparcus--6.8 arc min, near 130BC. See the papers by Pannekoek (1955), Maeyama (1984), Rawlins (manuscript, c. 1983), and our earlier (Brandt, Zimmer, and Jones, 2011) report for the development of this subject. The precisions in the range 5-8 arc min are remarkable and the dates are compatible with historical evidence.

  13. Ecology: the proximate cause of frog declines?

    PubMed

    Di Rosa, Ines; Simoncelli, Francesca; Fagotti, Anna; Pascolini, Rita

    2007-05-31

    Pounds et al. argue that global warming contributes to amphibian declines by encouraging outbreaks of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Although our findings agree with the climate-linked epidemic hypothesis, this pathogen is probably not the only proximate factor in such cases: in the Trasimeno Lake area of Umbria in central Italy, for example, the water frog Rana lessonae first declined in the late 1990s, yet chytridiomycosis was not observed until 2003 (refs 5, 6). Here we show that the chytrid was common there throughout 1999-2002, in a previously unknown form that did not cause disease. We therefore think that the focus by Pounds et al. on a single pathogen is hard to justify because the host-parasite ecology is at present so poorly understood.

  14. Analysis of production decline in geothermal reservoirs

    SciTech Connect

    Zais, Elliot J.; Bodvarsson, Gunnar

    1980-09-01

    The major objectives of the Decline Curve project were to: (1) test the decline analysis methods used in the petroleum industry on geothermal production data; (2) examine and/or develop new analysis methods; and (3) develop a standard operating procedure for analyzing geothermal production data. Various analysis methods have long been available but they have not been tested on geothermal data because of the lack of publicly available data. The recent release to publication of substantial data sets from Wairakei, New Zealand, Cerro Prieto, Mexico and The Geysers, USA has made this study possible. Geothermal reservoirs are quite different from petroleum reservoirs in many ways so the analysis methods must be tested using geothermal data.

  15. The Decline in Maternal Mortality in Sweden

    PubMed Central

    Högberg, Ulf

    2004-01-01

    The maternal mortality rate in Sweden in the early 20th century was one third that in the United States. This rate was recognized by American visitors as an achievement of Swedish maternity care, in which highly competent midwives attend home deliveries. The 19th century decline in maternal mortality was largely caused by improvements in obstetric care, but was also helped along by the national health strategy of giving midwives and doctors complementary roles in maternity care, as well as equal involvement in setting public health policy. The 20th century decline in maternal mortality, seen in all Western countries, was made possible by the emergence of modern medicine. However, the contribution of the mobilization of human resources should not be underestimated, nor should key developments in public health policy. PMID:15284032

  16. The rise (and decline?) of biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Kinch, Michael S

    2014-11-01

    Since the 1970s, biotechnology has been a key innovator in drug development. An analysis of FDA-approved therapeutics demonstrates pharmaceutical companies outpace biotechs in terms of new approvals but biotechnology companies are now responsible for earlier-stage activities (patents, INDs or clinical development). The number of biotechnology organizations that contributed to an FDA approval began declining in the 2000s and is at a level not seen since the 1980s. Whereas early biotechnology companies had a decade from first approval until acquisition, the average acquisition of a biotechnology company now occurs months before their first FDA approval. The number of hybrid organizations that arise when pharmaceutical companies acquire biotechnology is likewise declining, raising questions about the sustainability of biotechnology.

  17. The decline of North American freshwater fishes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walsh, Stephen J.; Jelks, Howard L.; Burkhead, Noel M.

    2009-01-01

    North America has a broad array of freshwater ecosystems because of the continent's complex geography and geological history. Within a multitude of habitats—that include streams, large rivers, natural lakes, springs, and wetlands—rich assemblages of fishes reside, representing diverse taxonomic groups with unique ecological requirements. They face an unprecedented conservation crisis.1 In the last few decades, the proportion of inland fishes of North America, which are considered imperiled or extinct, increased from 20 to 40%.2 Although extinctions have occurred, many species and populations are declining in range size and abundance. The fish biota of the continent as a whole remains diverse; however, we can take action to stem any further declines.

  18. Emerging infectious diseases and amphibian population declines.

    PubMed Central

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

    1999-01-01

    We review recent research on the pathology, ecology, and biogeography of two emerging infectious wildlife diseases, chytridiomycosis and ranaviral disease, in the context of host-parasite population biology. We examine the role of these diseases in the global decline of amphibian populations and propose hypotheses for the origins and impact of these panzootics. Finally, we discuss emerging infectious diseases as a global threat to wildlife populations. PMID:10603206

  19. Reliability of indicators of decline in abundance.

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

  20. Family planning programs and fertility decline.

    PubMed

    Cuca, R

    1980-01-01

    A recently completed World Bank statistical study of family planning in 63 developing countries indicated that countries which experienced a large decline in birth rates between 1960-1977 were more likely to have a family planning program, an official population policy aimed at decreasing the birth rate, and a relatively high level of development than countries which experienced smaller or no decline in birth rates. The 65 countries represented 95% of the population of the developing world. Birth rate declines of 10% or more between 1960-1977 were experienced by: 1) 10 of the 26 countries which had a family planning program and a policy aimed at reducing the birth rate; 2) 6 of the 19 countries which had a family planning program but lacked clearly defined population objectives; and 3) 2 of the 18 countries without any population policy or program. Furthermore, the implementation of a family planning program and the adoption of a population policy were directly related to the development level of the country. This finding suggested that countries need to reach a certain level of development before they have the capacity to develop population programs and policies. When a country is sufficiently advanced to collect population data, awareness of population problems increases and they are more likely to adopt a population policy. In addition, government efficiency increases as development proceeds and governments must have a certain level of efficiency before they can implement effective programs.

  1. The decline of smoking in British portraiture

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, N; Thomson, G

    2004-01-01

    Methods: A compact disc produced by the National Portrait Gallery in London, UK, was systematically searched for artworks produced in the years 1950 to 1999. A "smoking portrayal" in an artwork was defined as having a cigarette, cigar or pipe in the mouth or hand of a named individual. Results: Out of 1063 artworks included in the analysis, 53 portrayed smoking by identifiable individuals (5.0%). The rate of portrayal was highest in the 1950s (10%) and 1960s (11%) and then declined sharply thereafter (p value for trend < 0.00001). Smoking virtually disappeared from portraiture in the 1990s (at 0.6%). The median age of the smokers portrayed was significantly higher in the 1970 to 1999 period when compared to the 1950 to 1969 period. Conclusions: The decline of smoking in this collection of portraiture is consistent with the decline in smoking in the UK over these decades, but contrasts with trends for increasing smoking portrayal described elsewhere for film and television. PMID:14985574

  2. Reversal of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease

    PubMed Central

    Bredesen, Dale E.; Amos, Edwin C.; Canick, Jonathan; Ackerley, Mary; Raji, Cyrus; Fiala, Milan; Ahdidan, Jamila

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease is one of the most significant healthcare problems nationally and globally. Recently, the first description of the reversal of cognitive decline in patients with early Alzheimer's disease or its precursors, MCI (mild cognitive impairment) and SCI (subjective cognitive impairment), was published [1]. The therapeutic approach used was programmatic and personalized rather than monotherapeutic and invariant, and was dubbed metabolic enhancement for neurodegeneration (MEND). Patients who had had to discontinue work were able to return to work, and those struggling at work were able to improve their performance. The patients, their spouses, and their co-workers all reported clear improvements. Here we report the results from quantitative MRI and neuropsychological testing in ten patients with cognitive decline, nine ApoE4+ (five homozygous and four heterozygous) and one ApoE4−, who were treated with the MEND protocol for 5-24 months. The magnitude of the improvement is unprecedented, providing additional objective evidence that this programmatic approach to cognitive decline is highly effective. These results have far-reaching implications for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, MCI, and SCI; for personalized programs that may enhance pharmaceutical efficacy; and for personal identification of ApoE genotype. PMID:27294343

  3. 26 CFR 1.167(b)-2 - Declining balance method.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 26 Internal Revenue 2 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Declining balance method. 1.167(b)-2 Section 1... Declining balance method. (a) Application of method. Under the declining balance method a uniform rate is... declining balance rate may be determined without resort to formula. Such rate determined under section...

  4. 26 CFR 1.167(b)-2 - Declining balance method.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 26 Internal Revenue 2 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Declining balance method. 1.167(b)-2 Section 1... Declining balance method. (a) Application of method. Under the declining balance method a uniform rate is... declining balance rate may be determined without resort to formula. Such rate determined under section...

  5. 26 CFR 1.167(b)-2 - Declining balance method.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 26 Internal Revenue 2 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Declining balance method. 1.167(b)-2 Section 1... Declining balance method. (a) Application of method. Under the declining balance method a uniform rate is... declining balance rate may be determined without resort to formula. Such rate determined under section...

  6. 26 CFR 1.167(b)-2 - Declining balance method.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 26 Internal Revenue 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Declining balance method. 1.167(b)-2 Section 1... Declining balance method. (a) Application of method. Under the declining balance method a uniform rate is... declining balance rate may be determined without resort to formula. Such rate determined under section...

  7. 26 CFR 1.167(b)-2 - Declining balance method.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 26 Internal Revenue 2 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Declining balance method. 1.167(b)-2 Section 1... Declining balance method. (a) Application of method. Under the declining balance method a uniform rate is... declining balance rate may be determined without resort to formula. Such rate determined under section...

  8. Widespread decline of Congo rainforest greenness in the past decade.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Liming; Tian, Yuhong; Myneni, Ranga B; Ciais, Philippe; Saatchi, Sassan; Liu, Yi Y; Piao, Shilong; Chen, Haishan; Vermote, Eric F; Song, Conghe; Hwang, Taehee

    2014-05-01

    Tropical forests are global epicentres of biodiversity and important modulators of climate change, and are mainly constrained by rainfall patterns. The severe short-term droughts that occurred recently in Amazonia have drawn attention to the vulnerability of tropical forests to climatic disturbances. The central African rainforests, the second-largest on Earth, have experienced a long-term drying trend whose impacts on vegetation dynamics remain mostly unknown because in situ observations are very limited. The Congolese forest, with its drier conditions and higher percentage of semi-evergreen trees, may be more tolerant to short-term rainfall reduction than are wetter tropical forests, but for a long-term drought there may be critical thresholds of water availability below which higher-biomass, closed-canopy forests transition to more open, lower-biomass forests. Here we present observational evidence for a widespread decline in forest greenness over the past decade based on analyses of satellite data (optical, thermal, microwave and gravity) from several independent sensors over the Congo basin. This decline in vegetation greenness, particularly in the northern Congolese forest, is generally consistent with decreases in rainfall, terrestrial water storage, water content in aboveground woody and leaf biomass, and the canopy backscatter anomaly caused by changes in structure and moisture in upper forest layers. It is also consistent with increases in photosynthetically active radiation and land surface temperature. These multiple lines of evidence indicate that this large-scale vegetation browning, or loss of photosynthetic capacity, may be partially attributable to the long-term drying trend. Our results suggest that a continued gradual decline of photosynthetic capacity and moisture content driven by the persistent drying trend could alter the composition and structure of the Congolese forest to favour the spread of drought-tolerant species. PMID:24759324

  9. Widespread decline of Congo rainforest greenness in the past decade.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Liming; Tian, Yuhong; Myneni, Ranga B; Ciais, Philippe; Saatchi, Sassan; Liu, Yi Y; Piao, Shilong; Chen, Haishan; Vermote, Eric F; Song, Conghe; Hwang, Taehee

    2014-05-01

    Tropical forests are global epicentres of biodiversity and important modulators of climate change, and are mainly constrained by rainfall patterns. The severe short-term droughts that occurred recently in Amazonia have drawn attention to the vulnerability of tropical forests to climatic disturbances. The central African rainforests, the second-largest on Earth, have experienced a long-term drying trend whose impacts on vegetation dynamics remain mostly unknown because in situ observations are very limited. The Congolese forest, with its drier conditions and higher percentage of semi-evergreen trees, may be more tolerant to short-term rainfall reduction than are wetter tropical forests, but for a long-term drought there may be critical thresholds of water availability below which higher-biomass, closed-canopy forests transition to more open, lower-biomass forests. Here we present observational evidence for a widespread decline in forest greenness over the past decade based on analyses of satellite data (optical, thermal, microwave and gravity) from several independent sensors over the Congo basin. This decline in vegetation greenness, particularly in the northern Congolese forest, is generally consistent with decreases in rainfall, terrestrial water storage, water content in aboveground woody and leaf biomass, and the canopy backscatter anomaly caused by changes in structure and moisture in upper forest layers. It is also consistent with increases in photosynthetically active radiation and land surface temperature. These multiple lines of evidence indicate that this large-scale vegetation browning, or loss of photosynthetic capacity, may be partially attributable to the long-term drying trend. Our results suggest that a continued gradual decline of photosynthetic capacity and moisture content driven by the persistent drying trend could alter the composition and structure of the Congolese forest to favour the spread of drought-tolerant species.

  10. Large Decadal Decline of the Arctic Multiyear Ice Cover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Comiso, Josefino C.

    2011-01-01

    The perennial ice area was drastically reduced to 38% of its climatological average in 2007 but recovered somewhat in 2008, 2009 and 2010 with the areas being 10%, 24%, and 11% higher than in 2007, respectively. However, the trends in the extent and area remain strongly negative at -12.2% and -13.5 %/decade, respectively. The thick component of the perennial ice, called multiyear ice, as detected by satellite data in the winters of 1979 to 2011 was studied and results reveal that the multiyear ice extent and area are declining at an even more rapid rate of -15.1% and -17.2 % per decade, respectively, with record low value in 2008 followed by higher values in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Such high rate in the decline of the thick component of the Arctic ice cover means a reduction in average ice thickness and an even more vulnerable perennial ice cover. The decline of the multiyear ice area from 2007 to 2008 was not as strong as that of the perennial ice area from 2006 to 2007 suggesting a strong role of second year ice melt in the latter. The sea ice cover is shown to be strongly correlated with surface temperature which is increasing at about three times global average in the Arctic but appears weakly correlated with the AO which controls the dynamics of the region. An 8 to 9-year cycle is apparent in the multiyear ice record which could explain in part the slight recovery in the last three years.

  11. Decline of subpolar North Atlantic circulation during the 1990s.

    PubMed

    Häkkinen, Sirpa; Rhines, Peter B

    2004-04-23

    Observations of sea surface height reveal that substantial changes have occurred over the past decade in the mid- to high-latitude North Atlantic Ocean. TOPEX/Poseidon altimeter data show that subpolar sea surface height increased during the 1990s, and the geostrophic velocity derived from altimeter data exhibits declining subpolar gyre circulation. Combining the data from earlier satellites, we find that subpolar circulation may have been weaker in the late 1990s than in the late 1970s and 1980s. Direct current-meter observations in the boundary current of the Labrador Sea support the weakening circulation trend of the 1990s and, together with hydrographic data, show that the mid- to late 1990s decline extends deep in the water column. Analysis of the local surface forcing suggests that the 1990s buoyancy forcing has a dynamic effect consistent with altimetric and hydrographic observations: A weak thermohaline forcing allows the decay of the domed structure of subpolar isopycnals and weakening of circulation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

    Bolbometopon muricatum, the largest species of parrotfish, is a functionally important species that is characterised by the formation of aggregations for foraging, reproductive, and sleeping behaviours. Aggregations are restricted to shallow reef habitats, the locations of which are often known to local fishers. Bolbometopon muricatum fisheries are therefore vulnerable to overfishing and are likely to exhibit hyperstability, the maintenance of high catch per unit effort (CPUE) while population abundance declines. In this study, we provide a clear demonstration of hyperstable dynamics in a commercial B. muricatum fishery in Isabel Province, Solomon Islands. Initially, we used participatory mapping to demarcate the Kia fishing grounds into nine zones that had experienced different historic levels of fishing pressure. We then conducted comprehensive underwater visual census (UVC) and CPUE surveys across these zones over a 21-month period in 2012-2013. The individual sites for replicate UVC surveys were selected using a generalised random tessellation stratified variable probability design, while CPUE surveys involved trained provincial fisheries officers and local spearfishers. A comparison of fishery-independent abundance data and fishery-dependent CPUE data indicate extreme hyperstability, with CPUE maintained as B. muricatum abundance declines towards zero. Hyperstability may explain the sudden collapses of many B. muricatum spear fisheries across the Pacific and highlights the limitations of using data-poor fisheries assessment methods to evaluate the status of commercially valuable coral reef fishes that form predicable aggregations.

  13. Decline of subpolar North Atlantic circulation during the 1990s.

    PubMed

    Häkkinen, Sirpa; Rhines, Peter B

    2004-04-23

    Observations of sea surface height reveal that substantial changes have occurred over the past decade in the mid- to high-latitude North Atlantic Ocean. TOPEX/Poseidon altimeter data show that subpolar sea surface height increased during the 1990s, and the geostrophic velocity derived from altimeter data exhibits declining subpolar gyre circulation. Combining the data from earlier satellites, we find that subpolar circulation may have been weaker in the late 1990s than in the late 1970s and 1980s. Direct current-meter observations in the boundary current of the Labrador Sea support the weakening circulation trend of the 1990s and, together with hydrographic data, show that the mid- to late 1990s decline extends deep in the water column. Analysis of the local surface forcing suggests that the 1990s buoyancy forcing has a dynamic effect consistent with altimetric and hydrographic observations: A weak thermohaline forcing allows the decay of the domed structure of subpolar isopycnals and weakening of circulation. PMID:15087505

  14. Long-term decline of the Amazon carbon sink.

    PubMed

    Brienen, R J W; Phillips, O L; Feldpausch, T R; Gloor, E; Baker, T R; Lloyd, J; Lopez-Gonzalez, G; Monteagudo-Mendoza, A; Malhi, Y; Lewis, S L; Vásquez Martinez, R; Alexiades, M; Álvarez Dávila, E; Alvarez-Loayza, P; Andrade, A; Aragão, L E O C; Araujo-Murakami, A; Arets, E J M M; Arroyo, L; Aymard C, G A; Bánki, O S; Baraloto, C; Barroso, J; Bonal, D; Boot, R G A; Camargo, J L C; Castilho, C V; Chama, V; Chao, K J; Chave, J; Comiskey, J A; Cornejo Valverde, F; da Costa, L; de Oliveira, E A; Di Fiore, A; Erwin, T L; Fauset, S; Forsthofer, M; Galbraith, D R; Grahame, E S; Groot, N; Hérault, B; Higuchi, N; Honorio Coronado, E N; Keeling, H; Killeen, T J; Laurance, W F; Laurance, S; Licona, J; Magnussen, W E; Marimon, B S; Marimon-Junior, B H; Mendoza, C; Neill, D A; Nogueira, E M; Núñez, P; Pallqui Camacho, N C; Parada, A; Pardo-Molina, G; Peacock, J; Peña-Claros, M; Pickavance, G C; Pitman, N C A; Poorter, L; Prieto, A; Quesada, C A; Ramírez, F; Ramírez-Angulo, H; Restrepo, Z; Roopsind, A; Rudas, A; Salomão, R P; Schwarz, M; Silva, N; Silva-Espejo, J E; Silveira, M; Stropp, J; Talbot, J; ter Steege, H; Teran-Aguilar, J; Terborgh, J; Thomas-Caesar, R; Toledo, M; Torello-Raventos, M; Umetsu, R K; van der Heijden, G M F; van der Hout, P; Guimarães Vieira, I C; Vieira, S A; Vilanova, E; Vos, V A; Zagt, R J

    2015-03-19

    Atmospheric carbon dioxide records indicate that the land surface has acted as a strong global carbon sink over recent decades, with a substantial fraction of this sink probably located in the tropics, particularly in the Amazon. Nevertheless, it is unclear how the terrestrial carbon sink will evolve as climate and atmospheric composition continue to change. Here we analyse the historical evolution of the biomass dynamics of the Amazon rainforest over three decades using a distributed network of 321 plots. While this analysis confirms that Amazon forests have acted as a long-term net biomass sink, we find a long-term decreasing trend of carbon accumulation. Rates of net increase in above-ground biomass declined by one-third during the past decade compared to the 1990s. This is a consequence of growth rate increases levelling off recently, while biomass mortality persistently increased throughout, leading to a shortening of carbon residence times. Potential drivers for the mortality increase include greater climate variability, and feedbacks of faster growth on mortality, resulting in shortened tree longevity. The observed decline of the Amazon sink diverges markedly from the recent increase in terrestrial carbon uptake at the global scale, and is contrary to expectations based on models.

  15. Long-term decline of the Amazon carbon sink.

    PubMed

    Brienen, R J W; Phillips, O L; Feldpausch, T R; Gloor, E; Baker, T R; Lloyd, J; Lopez-Gonzalez, G; Monteagudo-Mendoza, A; Malhi, Y; Lewis, S L; Vásquez Martinez, R; Alexiades, M; Álvarez Dávila, E; Alvarez-Loayza, P; Andrade, A; Aragão, L E O C; Araujo-Murakami, A; Arets, E J M M; Arroyo, L; Aymard C, G A; Bánki, O S; Baraloto, C; Barroso, J; Bonal, D; Boot, R G A; Camargo, J L C; Castilho, C V; Chama, V; Chao, K J; Chave, J; Comiskey, J A; Cornejo Valverde, F; da Costa, L; de Oliveira, E A; Di Fiore, A; Erwin, T L; Fauset, S; Forsthofer, M; Galbraith, D R; Grahame, E S; Groot, N; Hérault, B; Higuchi, N; Honorio Coronado, E N; Keeling, H; Killeen, T J; Laurance, W F; Laurance, S; Licona, J; Magnussen, W E; Marimon, B S; Marimon-Junior, B H; Mendoza, C; Neill, D A; Nogueira, E M; Núñez, P; Pallqui Camacho, N C; Parada, A; Pardo-Molina, G; Peacock, J; Peña-Claros, M; Pickavance, G C; Pitman, N C A; Poorter, L; Prieto, A; Quesada, C A; Ramírez, F; Ramírez-Angulo, H; Restrepo, Z; Roopsind, A; Rudas, A; Salomão, R P; Schwarz, M; Silva, N; Silva-Espejo, J E; Silveira, M; Stropp, J; Talbot, J; ter Steege, H; Teran-Aguilar, J; Terborgh, J; Thomas-Caesar, R; Toledo, M; Torello-Raventos, M; Umetsu, R K; van der Heijden, G M F; van der Hout, P; Guimarães Vieira, I C; Vieira, S A; Vilanova, E; Vos, V A; Zagt, R J

    2015-03-19

    Atmospheric carbon dioxide records indicate that the land surface has acted as a strong global carbon sink over recent decades, with a substantial fraction of this sink probably located in the tropics, particularly in the Amazon. Nevertheless, it is unclear how the terrestrial carbon sink will evolve as climate and atmospheric composition continue to change. Here we analyse the historical evolution of the biomass dynamics of the Amazon rainforest over three decades using a distributed network of 321 plots. While this analysis confirms that Amazon forests have acted as a long-term net biomass sink, we find a long-term decreasing trend of carbon accumulation. Rates of net increase in above-ground biomass declined by one-third during the past decade compared to the 1990s. This is a consequence of growth rate increases levelling off recently, while biomass mortality persistently increased throughout, leading to a shortening of carbon residence times. Potential drivers for the mortality increase include greater climate variability, and feedbacks of faster growth on mortality, resulting in shortened tree longevity. The observed decline of the Amazon sink diverges markedly from the recent increase in terrestrial carbon uptake at the global scale, and is contrary to expectations based on models. PMID:25788097

  16. Multispectral sensing of citrus young tree decline

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edwards, G. J.; Ducharme, E. P.; Schehl, T.

    1975-01-01

    Computer processing of MSS data to identify and map citrus trees affected by young tree decline is analyzed. The data were obtained at 1500-feet altitude in six discrete spectral bands covering regions from 0.53 to 1.3 millimicrons as well as from instrumental ground truths of tree crowns. Measurable spectral reflectance intensity differences are observed in the leaves of healthy and diseased trees, especially at wavelengths of 500 to 600 nm and 700 to 800 nm. The overall accuracy of the method is found to be 89%.

  17. Steeper declines in forest photosynthesis than respiration explain age-driven decreases in forest growth.

    PubMed

    Tang, Jianwu; Luyssaert, Sebastiaan; Richardson, Andrew D; Kutsch, Werner; Janssens, Ivan A

    2014-06-17

    The traditional view of forest dynamics originated by Kira and Shidei [Kira T, Shidei T (1967) Jap J Ecol 17:70-87] and Odum [Odum EP (1969) Science 164(3877):262-270] suggests a decline in net primary productivity (NPP) in aging forests due to stabilized gross primary productivity (GPP) and continuously increased autotrophic respiration (Ra). The validity of these trends in GPP and Ra is, however, very difficult to test because of the lack of long-term ecosystem-scale field observations of both GPP and Ra. Ryan and colleagues [Ryan MG, Binkley D, Fownes JH (1997) Ad Ecol Res 27:213-262] have proposed an alternative hypothesis drawn from site-specific results that aboveground respiration and belowground allocation decreased in aging forests. Here, we analyzed data from a recently assembled global database of carbon fluxes and show that the classical view of the mechanisms underlying the age-driven decline in forest NPP is incorrect and thus support Ryan's alternative hypothesis. Our results substantiate the age-driven decline in NPP, but in contrast to the traditional view, both GPP and Ra decline in aging boreal and temperate forests. We find that the decline in NPP in aging forests is primarily driven by GPP, which decreases more rapidly with increasing age than Ra does, but the ratio of NPP/GPP remains approximately constant within a biome. Our analytical models describing forest succession suggest that dynamic forest ecosystem models that follow the traditional paradigm need to be revisited.

  18. Complex causes of amphibian population declines.

    PubMed

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

    2001-04-01

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

  19. The cultural evolution of fertility decline

    PubMed Central

    Colleran, Heidi

    2016-01-01

    Cultural evolutionists have long been interested in the problem of why fertility declines as populations develop. By outlining plausible mechanistic links between individual decision-making, information flow in populations and competition between groups, models of cultural evolution offer a novel and powerful approach for integrating multiple levels of explanation of fertility transitions. However, only a modest number of models have been published. Their assumptions often differ from those in other evolutionary approaches to social behaviour, but their empirical predictions are often similar. Here I offer the first overview of cultural evolutionary research on demographic transition, critically compare it with approaches taken by other evolutionary researchers, identify gaps and overlaps, and highlight parallel debates in demography. I suggest that researchers divide their labour between three distinct phases of fertility decline—the origin, spread and maintenance of low fertility—each of which may be driven by different causal processes, at different scales, requiring different theoretical and empirical tools. A comparative, multi-level and mechanistic framework is essential for elucidating both the evolved aspects of our psychology that govern reproductive decision-making, and the social, ecological and cultural contingencies that precipitate and sustain fertility decline. PMID:27022079

  20. The impact of freedom on fertility decline.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Martha M; Prata, Ndola; Potts, Malcolm

    2013-01-01

    Although fertility decline often correlates with improvements in socioeconomic conditions, many demographers have found flaws in demographic transition theories that depend on changes in distal factors such as increased wealth or education. Human beings worldwide engage in sexual intercourse much more frequently than is needed to conceive the number of children they want, and for women who do not have access to the information and means they need to separate sex from childbearing, the default position is a large family. In many societies, male patriarchal drives to control female reproduction give rise to unnecessary medical rules constraining family planning (including safe abortion) or justifying child marriage. Widespread misinformation about contraception makes women afraid to adopt modern family planning. The barriers to family planning can be so deeply infused that for many women the idea of managing their fertility is not considered an option. Conversely, there is evidence that once family planning is introduced into a society, then it is normal consumer behaviour for individuals to welcome a new technology they had not wanted until it became realistically available. We contend that in societies free from child marriage, wherever women have access to a range of contraceptive methods, along with correct information and backed up by safe abortion, family size will always fall. Education and wealth can make the adoption of family planning easier, but they are not prerequisites for fertility decline. By contrast, access to family planning itself can accelerate economic development and the spread of education.

  1. The impact of freedom on fertility decline

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Martha M; Prata, Ndola; Potts, Malcolm

    2013-01-01

    Although fertility decline often correlates with improvements in socioeconomic conditions, many demographers have found flaws in demographic transition theories that depend on changes in distal factors such as increased wealth or education. Human beings worldwide engage in sexual intercourse much more frequently than is needed to conceive the number of children they want, and for women who do not have access to the information and means they need to separate sex from childbearing, the default position is a large family. In many societies, male patriarchal drives to control female reproduction give rise to unnecessary medical rules constraining family planning (including safe abortion) or justifying child marriage. Widespread misinformation about contraception makes women afraid to adopt modern family planning. The barriers to family planning can be so deeply infused that for many women the idea of managing their fertility is not considered an option. Conversely, there is evidence that once family planning is introduced into a society, then it is normal consumer behaviour for individuals to welcome a new technology they had not wanted until it became realistically available. We contend that in societies free from child marriage, wherever women have access to a range of contraceptive methods, along with correct information and backed up by safe abortion, family size will always fall. Education and wealth can make the adoption of family planning easier, but they are not prerequisites for fertility decline. By contrast, access to family planning itself can accelerate economic development and the spread of education. PMID:23296851

  2. [Major features of decline of Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica plantation on sandy land].

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiangyun; Jiang, Fengqi; Li, Xiaodan; Xue, Yang; Qiu, Sufen

    2004-12-01

    In view of the decline of man-made sand-fixation forest of Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica in Zhanggutai sand land of Liaoning Province, this paper studied the major characteristics of the decline. The appearance of the declining man-made sand-fixation forest of Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica was grey green, its needle leaf was very thin, the blooming and fruiting rate was low, the average quantity of cones per tree was only 10.4-16.5, with only 6.96 g to 7.39 g per thousand seeds, and there were many empty and astringent seeds. The seasonal dynamics of nutrients in 2-year-old pine needle leaf was similar, i.e., the N and P contents decreased, while K content increased, showing that the nutrient cycle was imbalance. The chlorophyll content in 2-year-old needle leaf of declined forest was high, while that in 1-year-old healthy forest was also high but with a wide increasing range. The infected harm of shoot blight was the clearest mark to the decline of man-made sand-fixation forest of Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica. After the forest declined, the height and the DBH of the pine trees decreased evidently, and the structure of DBH distribution moved "left". The quantity of weak pine trees increased by 15.9%-27.2%, the roots decreased by 22.9%-28.9%, and the absorbing roots (diameter < 0.5 cm) decreased most seriously. PMID:15825430

  3. Status and trends of amphibian declines and extinctions worldwide.

    PubMed

    Stuart, Simon N; Chanson, Janice S; Cox, Neil A; Young, Bruce E; Rodrigues, Ana S L; Fischman, Debra L; Waller, Robert W

    2004-12-01

    The first global assessment of amphibians provides new context for the well-publicized phenomenon of amphibian declines. Amphibians are more threatened and are declining more rapidly than either birds or mammals. Although many declines are due to habitat loss and overutilization, other, unidentified processes threaten 48% of rapidly declining species and are driving species most quickly to extinction. Declines are nonrandom in terms of species' ecological preferences, geographic ranges, and taxonomic associations and are most prevalent among Neotropical montane, stream-associated species. The lack of conservation remedies for these poorly understood declines means that hundreds of amphibian species now face extinction.

  4. Event- and time-dependent decline of outcome information in the primate prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Marcos, Encarni; Tsujimoto, Satoshi; Genovesio, Aldo

    2016-05-10

    The prefrontal cortex (PF) is involved in outcome-based flexible adaptation in a dynamically changing environment. The outcome signal dissipates gradually over time, but the temporal dynamics of this dissipation remains unknown. To examine this issue, we analyzed the outcome-related activity of PF neurons in 2 monkeys in a distance discrimination task. The initial prestimulus period of this task varied in duration, allowing us to dissociate the effects of time and event on the decline in previous outcome-related activity -previous correct versus previous error. We observed 2 types of decline in previous outcome representation: PF neurons that ceased to encode the previous outcome as time passed (time-dependent) and neurons that maintained their signal but it decreased rapidly after the occurrence of a new external event (event-dependent). Although the time-dependent dynamics explained the decline in a greater proportion of neurons, the event-dependent decline was also observed in a significant population of neurons.

  5. Event- and time-dependent decline of outcome information in the primate prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Marcos, Encarni; Tsujimoto, Satoshi; Genovesio, Aldo

    2016-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PF) is involved in outcome-based flexible adaptation in a dynamically changing environment. The outcome signal dissipates gradually over time, but the temporal dynamics of this dissipation remains unknown. To examine this issue, we analyzed the outcome-related activity of PF neurons in 2 monkeys in a distance discrimination task. The initial prestimulus period of this task varied in duration, allowing us to dissociate the effects of time and event on the decline in previous outcome-related activity —previous correct versus previous error. We observed 2 types of decline in previous outcome representation: PF neurons that ceased to encode the previous outcome as time passed (time-dependent) and neurons that maintained their signal but it decreased rapidly after the occurrence of a new external event (event-dependent). Although the time-dependent dynamics explained the decline in a greater proportion of neurons, the event-dependent decline was also observed in a significant population of neurons. PMID:27162060

  6. The decline and resurgence of vascular dementia.

    PubMed Central

    Hachinski, V C

    1990-01-01

    Arteriosclerotic narrowing of cerebral arteries was once viewed as the key to mental decline. As Alzheimer's disease gained recognition and the concept of multi-infarct dementia achieved acceptance, vascular dementia came to be regarded as uncommon. The changing nature of cerebral vascular disease, the aging of the population and the widespread use of brain imaging techniques have brought new prominence to vascular dementia, chiefly in the form of an epidemic of "Binswanger's disease". Growing evidence suggests that not only grey matter lesions but also white matter lesions contribute to dementia, that vascular factors commonly coexist and interact with Alzheimer changes and that Alzheimer's disease has a vascular and potentially treatable component. Vascular dementia needs to be redefined, reappraised and reinvestigated. PMID:2403832

  7. Consequences of Age-Related Cognitive Declines

    PubMed Central

    Salthouse, Timothy

    2013-01-01

    Adult age differences in a variety of cognitive abilities are well documented, and many of those abilities have been found to be related to success in the workplace and in everyday life. However, increased age is seldom associated with lower levels of real-world functioning, and the reasons for this lab-life discrepancy are not well understood. This article briefly reviews research concerned with relations of age to cognition, relations of cognition to successful functioning outside the laboratory, and relations of age to measures of work performance and achievement. The final section discusses several possible explanations for why there are often little or no consequences of age-related cognitive declines in everyday functioning. PMID:21740223

  8. Decline of radionuclides in Columbia River biota

    SciTech Connect

    Cushing, C.E.; Watson, D.G.; Scott, A.J.; Gurtisen, J.M.

    1980-03-01

    In January 1971, the last of nine plutonium production reactors using direct discharge of once-through cooling waters into the Columbia River was closed. Sampling was initiated at three stations on the Columbia River to document the decline of the radionuclide body burdens in the biota of the Columbia River ecosystem. The data show that in a river-reservoir complex, the measurable body burden of fission-produced radionuclides decreased to essentially undetectable levels within 18 to 24 mo after cessation of discharge of once-through cooling water into the river. On the basis of data from the free-flowing station, we believe that this decrease would be even more rapid in an unimpounded river.

  9. Global biodiversity: indicators of recent declines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Butchart, Stuart H.M.; Walpole, Matt; Collen, Ben; Van Strien, Arco; Scharlemann, Jorn P.W.; Almond, Rosamunde E.A.; Baillie, Jonathan E.M.; Bomhard, Bastian; Brown, Claire; Bruno, John; Carpenter, Kent E.; Carr, Genevieve M.; Chanson, Janice; Chenery, Anna M.; Csirke, Jorge; Davidson, Nick C.; Dentener, Frank; Foster, Matt; Galli, Alessandro; Galloway, James N.; Genovesi, Piero; Gregory, Richard D.; Hockings, Marc; Kapos, Valerie; Lamarque, Jean-Francois; Leverington, Fiona; Loh, Jonathan; McGeoch, Melodie A.; McRae, Louise; Minasyan, Anahit; Morcillo, Monica Hernandez; Oldfield, Thomasina E.E.; Pauly, Daniel; Quader, Suhel; Revenga, Carmen; Sauer, John R.; Skolnik, Benjamin; Spear, Dian; Stanwell-Smith, Damon; Stuart, Simon N.; Symes, Andy; Tierney, Megan; Tyrrell, Tristan D.; Vie, Jean-Christophe; Watson, Reg

    2011-01-01

    In 2002, world leaders committed, through the Convention on Biological Diversity, to achieve a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. We compiled 31 indicators to report on progress toward this target. Most indicators of the state of biodiversity (covering species' population trends, extinction risk, habitat extent and condition, and community composition) showed declines, with no significant recent reductions in rate, whereas indicators of pressures on biodiversity (including resource consumption, invasive alien species, nitrogen pollution, overexploitation, and climate change impacts) showed increases. Despite some local successes and increasing responses (including extent and biodiversity coverage of protected areas, sustainable forest management, policy responses to invasive alien species, and biodiversity-related aid), the rate of biodiversity loss does not appear to be slowing.

  10. The decline in child mortality: a reappraisal.

    PubMed Central

    Ahmad, O. B.; Lopez, A. D.; Inoue, M.

    2000-01-01

    The present paper examines, describes and documents country-specific trends in under-five mortality rates (i.e., mortality among children under five years of age) in the 1990s. Our analysis updates previous studies by UNICEF, the World Bank and the United Nations. It identifies countries and WHO regions where sustained improvement has occurred and those where setbacks are evident. A consistent series of estimates of under-five mortality rate is provided and an indication is given of historical trends during the period 1950-2000 for both developed and developing countries. It is estimated that 10.5 million children aged 0-4 years died in 1999, about 2.2 million or 17.5% fewer than a decade earlier. On average about 15% of newborn children in Africa are expected to die before reaching their fifth birthday. The corresponding figures for many other parts of the developing world are in the range 3-8% and that for Europe is under 2%. During the 1990s the decline in child mortality decelerated in all the WHO regions except the Western Pacific but there is no widespread evidence of rising child mortality rates. At the country level there are exceptions in southern Africa where the prevalence of HIV is extremely high and in Asia where a few countries are beset by economic difficulties. The slowdown in the rate of decline is of particular concern in Africa and South-East Asia because it is occurring at relatively high levels of mortality, and in countries experiencing severe economic dislocation. As the HIV/AIDS epidemic continues in Africa, particularly southern Africa, and in parts of Asia, further reductions in child mortality become increasingly unlikely until substantial progress in controlling the spread of HIV is achieved. PMID:11100613

  11. A review of the role of contaminants in amphibian declines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.; Hoffman, David J.; Rattner, Barnett A.; Burton, G. Allen; Cairns, John=

    2003-01-01

    CONCLUSIONS--Although there are no published studies that demonstrate beyond all doubt that contaminants are involved in long term population declines of amphibians, there is ample evidence and reason to encourage active research and concern about effects. Many contaminants are lethal to amphibians at environmentally realistic concentrations. Acute mortality from these compounds may be difficult to detect because investigators would have to be present shortly after exposures. Chronic mortality may be masked by metapopulation phenomena so that areas that serve as population sinks may be repeatedly recolonized and difficult to identify. Metapopulation dynamics also make it more difficult to define discrete populations. Contaminants also have many sublethal effects on behavior, energetics, malformations, and diverse effects on physiological pathways which, by themselves might not lead to overt death but could alter reproduction or interact with other factors to result in gradual declines in populations. Scientific understanding of these interactions, and of the ecotoxicology of amphibians in general is far behind what is known about birds, fish, and mammals, and research is desperately needed in this area. Some specific suggestions for critically needed research include: (1) Determination of lethal concentrations of common contaminants - pesticides, PAHs, metals--under environmentally realistic conditions of light, temperature, and water chemistry. (2) Better understanding of the effects of long term (weeks, months), low- concentration exposure of persistent pesticides and stable contaminants on amphibians. (3) Development and refinement of bioindicators in amphibians to use in monitoring and screening for potential effects of contaminants in declining amphibian populations. (4) Further studies on the interaction between contaminants and disease agents including immunosuppression in amphibians. (5) Additional research on the interaction between ultraviolet radiation

  12. Red spruce decline in the northeastern US: hypotheses regarding the role of acid rain

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, A.H.

    1983-11-01

    Red spruce have died in abnormal numbers in the high elevation forests of New York and New England during the past two decades while spruce in the southern Appalachians remain healthy. Investigations of insect damage, fungai pathogens, successional dynamics, competitive status, climate and weather patterns, and possible pollutant effects indicate that the decline was triggered by abiotic stress during the dry years of the 1960s. Tree response, as recorded in the pattern of annual rings, and the wide range of soil conditions in which spruce are declining, suggest drought or dry summers as key factors. Hypotheses regarding the role of acid deposition induced stress have been offered, but at present there is not evidence which clearly links acid deposition to spruce decline. Indirect effects of acid deposition on soils, direct effects of acid deposition on foliage, and interactions of acid deposition and drought stress are possible but unproven pathways by which acid deposition could be involved. 23 references, 6 figures, 1 table.

  13. Species decline: Contaminants and other contributing factors

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pattee, O.H.; Rattner, B.A.; Eisler, R.

    1998-01-01

    Members of over 1,200 taxa have been listed as Threatened or Endangered, and over 4,000 additional organisms have been identified as Candidate Species or Species of Concern. Identification of critical limiting factors may result in management actions that stabilize vulnerable populations and insure their perpetuation. Both naturally-occurring and anthropogenic activities (e.g., environmental contaminants and pollution) have been demonstrated to be a significant factor in depressing populations or catalyzing the final crash of some species. The objective of this project is to develop a synthesis document and database that lists and ranks the presumed causes of decline, with special emphasis on contaminants and pollutant-related situations. This will be accomplished by synoptic review of all recovery plans (n=479) with listing packages (n=1134) serving as a secondary source of information, followed by itemization, cross-referencing, enumeration, and ranking of contributing and limiting factors. To date we have analyzed all of the recovery plans for reptiles (n=26) and amphibians (n=6). 188 causes are defined, falling into 6 major categories: habitat alteration/availability (47.8%); exploitation/harvest (19.7%); introduction of exotic species (10.1%); contaminants (9.0%); miscellaneous others (6.9%); pollution (6.4%). The applicability of these data are extensive, including facilitating reviews of Section 7 consultations and Environmental Impact Statements, reviewing permit applications, conducting environmental contaminant risk assessments, identifying specific data gaps and research needs, selecting potential management actions, and establishing priorities for broad-based research on limiting factors applicable to groups of species rather than the current species-by-species approach. However. caution must be exercised in the use of this data because of the speculative nature of the causes; most of the causes (69.7%) are based on poorly documented expert opinion and

  14. The birth rate decline in developing countries.

    PubMed

    Robey, B

    1993-01-01

    Family planning programs historically have played an important role in providing information and counseling and supplying modern methods. Most programs are effective due to socioeconomic development and strong political support. Potential demand for services will be growing. This means that donor agencies must commit additional funding, and users must begin paying or paying more for contraceptives. Services and method choices need to be expanded, and quality of care needs to be improved. Three primary factors will impact on fertility decline: 1) the rate of social development, 2) the speed with which small family norms spread and contraception is adopted, and 3) the facility of private and public suppliers to meet contraceptive demand. Other factors influence reproductive decisions (women's roles and status, economic hardships or opportunities, religion, ethnicity, culture, and tradition). Contraceptive prevalence has increased from under 10% in the 1960s to 38% of all married, reproductive age women in the developing world, excluding China, which has contraceptive prevalence of 72%. Regional differences are wide. In Latin America, contraceptive use averages nearly 60% and ranges from over 50% in 10 countries and below 38% in Bolivia, Guatemala, and Haiti. Contraceptive prevalence is above average in Indonesia (50%), Sri Lanka (62%), and Thailand (68%) and just below average in Bangladesh (40%), India (45%), Philippines (34%), and Vietnam (53%). Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest prevalence, except for Zimbabwe (45%), Botswana (35%), and Kenya (27%). 80% of current users rely on modern methods. In most surveyed countries, 20-30% of married women have unmet demand. Fertility decline, unmet demand, and contraceptive use have all been affected by the diffusion of ideas about the use of family planning and the small family norm. Innovators are usually high status, educated women, who spread their views to other social groups or geographic areas. The spread can be rapid

  15. Regional-Scale Declines in Productivity of Pink and Chum Salmon Stocks in Western North America.

    PubMed

    Malick, Michael J; Cox, Sean P

    2016-01-01

    Sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) stocks throughout the southern part of their North American range have experienced declines in productivity over the past two decades. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that pink (O. gorbuscha) and chum (O. keta) salmon stocks have also experienced recent declines in productivity by investigating temporal and spatial trends in productivity of 99 wild North American pink and chum salmon stocks. We used a combination of population dynamics and time series models to quantify individual stock trends as well as common temporal trends in pink and chum salmon productivity across local, regional, and continental spatial scales. Our results indicated widespread declines in productivity of wild chum salmon stocks throughout Washington (WA) and British Columbia (BC) with 81% of stocks showing recent declines in productivity, although the exact form of the trends varied among regions. For pink salmon, the majority of stocks in WA and BC (65%) did not have strong temporal trends in productivity; however, all stocks that did have trends in productivity showed declining productivity since at least brood year 1996. We found weaker evidence of widespread declines in productivity for Alaska pink and chum salmon, with some regions and stocks showing declines in productivity (e.g., Kodiak chum salmon stocks) and others showing increases (e.g., Alaska Peninsula pink salmon stocks). We also found strong positive covariation between stock productivity series at the regional spatial scale for both pink and chum salmon, along with evidence that this regional-scale positive covariation has become stronger since the early 1990s in WA and BC. In general, our results suggest that common processes operating at the regional or multi-regional spatial scales drive productivity of pink and chum salmon stocks in western North America and that the effects of these process on productivity may change over time. PMID:26760510

  16. Regional-Scale Declines in Productivity of Pink and Chum Salmon Stocks in Western North America

    PubMed Central

    Malick, Michael J.; Cox, Sean P.

    2016-01-01

    Sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) stocks throughout the southern part of their North American range have experienced declines in productivity over the past two decades. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that pink (O. gorbuscha) and chum (O. keta) salmon stocks have also experienced recent declines in productivity by investigating temporal and spatial trends in productivity of 99 wild North American pink and chum salmon stocks. We used a combination of population dynamics and time series models to quantify individual stock trends as well as common temporal trends in pink and chum salmon productivity across local, regional, and continental spatial scales. Our results indicated widespread declines in productivity of wild chum salmon stocks throughout Washington (WA) and British Columbia (BC) with 81% of stocks showing recent declines in productivity, although the exact form of the trends varied among regions. For pink salmon, the majority of stocks in WA and BC (65%) did not have strong temporal trends in productivity; however, all stocks that did have trends in productivity showed declining productivity since at least brood year 1996. We found weaker evidence of widespread declines in productivity for Alaska pink and chum salmon, with some regions and stocks showing declines in productivity (e.g., Kodiak chum salmon stocks) and others showing increases (e.g., Alaska Peninsula pink salmon stocks). We also found strong positive covariation between stock productivity series at the regional spatial scale for both pink and chum salmon, along with evidence that this regional-scale positive covariation has become stronger since the early 1990s in WA and BC. In general, our results suggest that common processes operating at the regional or multi-regional spatial scales drive productivity of pink and chum salmon stocks in western North America and that the effects of these process on productivity may change over time. PMID:26760510

  17. Cognitive Decline and the Default American Lifestyle

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Objectives. Upward trends in IQ, education, and mental work suggest that cognitive function among seniors should be rising strongly across cohorts. There is little sign of such improvement in recent decades, and some analyses find poorer function in the newer cohorts. This essay explores possible explanations of the anomaly. Methods. Major long-term trends that might increase cognitive impairment are reviewed, and their implications are considered. Results. Physical activity is declining, food is increasingly manufactured, body fat is increasing, diabetes and metabolic syndrome are on the rise, the number of prescription drugs per person is increasing, and the proportion of the population either old or obese is growing. Discussion. Technological and economic development may lower the cognitive function needed for survival. They also lower physical activity in daily life. Sedentary work, transportation, and leisure undermine the aerobic and metabolic fitness required for the brain to perform well. Some prescription drugs impair cognitive function, and others do so when taken for many years or in combination with others. The growing fraction of the population that is either old or obese may further lower physical activity norms and requirements and substitute medical intervention for health, accelerating a trend toward cognitive impairment. PMID:21743052

  18. Neotropical Amphibian Declines Affect Stream Ecosystem Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Connelly, S.; Pringle, C. M.; Bixby, R. J.; Whiles, M. R.; Lips, K. R.; Brenes, R.; Colon-Gaud, J. C.; Kilham, S.; Hunte-Brown, M.

    2005-05-01

    Global declines of amphibians are well documented, yet effects of these dramatic losses on ecosystem structure and function are poorly understood. As part of a larger collaborative project, we compared two upland Panamanian streams. Both streams are biologically and geologically similar; however, one stream (Fortuna) has recently experienced almost complete extirpation of stream-dwelling frogs, while the other (Cope) still has intact populations. We experimentally excluded tadpoles from localized areas in each stream. We then compared chlorophyll a, algal community composition, ash-free dry mass (AFDM), inorganic matter, and insect assemblages in control and exclusion areas. Additionally, we sampled the natural substrate of both streams monthly for chlorophyll a, algal community composition, AFDM, and inorganic matter. At Cope, chlorophyll a, AFDM, and inorganic matter were greater in areas where tadpoles were excluded than in their presence. Numbers of dominant algal species (e.g., Nupela praecipua and Eunotia siolii) were greater in the exclusion versus control treatments. Monthly sampling of natural substrate indicated higher chlorophyll a and AFDM at Cope compared to Fortuna. Our data suggest that stream-dwelling anuran larvae have significant impacts on algal communities. These results also have implications for predicting the relevance of short-term experimental manipulations to long-term, whole-stream processes.

  19. Declining ecosystem health and the dilution effect

    PubMed Central

    Khalil, Hussein; Ecke, Frauke; Evander, Magnus; Magnusson, Magnus; Hörnfeldt, Birger

    2016-01-01

    The “dilution effect” implies that where species vary in susceptibility to infection by a pathogen, higher diversity often leads to lower infection prevalence in hosts. For directly transmitted pathogens, non-host species may “dilute” infection directly (1) and indirectly (2). Competitors and predators may (1) alter host behavior to reduce pathogen transmission or (2) reduce host density. In a well-studied system, we tested the dilution of the zoonotic Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) in bank voles (Myodes glareolus) by two competitors and a predator. Our study was based on long-term PUUV infection data (2003–2013) in northern Sweden. The field vole (Microtus agrestis) and the common shrew (Sorex araneus) are bank vole competitors and Tengmalm’s owl (Aegolius funereus) is a main predator of bank voles. Infection probability in bank voles decreased when common shrew density increased, suggesting that common shrews reduced PUUV transmission. Field voles suppressed bank vole density in meadows and clear-cuts and indirectly diluted PUUV infection. Further, Tengmalm’s owl decline in 1980–2013 may have contributed to higher PUUV infection rates in bank voles in 2003–2013 compared to 1979–1986. Our study provides further evidence for dilution effect and suggests that owls may have an important role in reducing disease risk. PMID:27499001

  20. Declining ecosystem health and the dilution effect.

    PubMed

    Khalil, Hussein; Ecke, Frauke; Evander, Magnus; Magnusson, Magnus; Hörnfeldt, Birger

    2016-01-01

    The "dilution effect" implies that where species vary in susceptibility to infection by a pathogen, higher diversity often leads to lower infection prevalence in hosts. For directly transmitted pathogens, non-host species may "dilute" infection directly (1) and indirectly (2). Competitors and predators may (1) alter host behavior to reduce pathogen transmission or (2) reduce host density. In a well-studied system, we tested the dilution of the zoonotic Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) in bank voles (Myodes glareolus) by two competitors and a predator. Our study was based on long-term PUUV infection data (2003-2013) in northern Sweden. The field vole (Microtus agrestis) and the common shrew (Sorex araneus) are bank vole competitors and Tengmalm's owl (Aegolius funereus) is a main predator of bank voles. Infection probability in bank voles decreased when common shrew density increased, suggesting that common shrews reduced PUUV transmission. Field voles suppressed bank vole density in meadows and clear-cuts and indirectly diluted PUUV infection. Further, Tengmalm's owl decline in 1980-2013 may have contributed to higher PUUV infection rates in bank voles in 2003-2013 compared to 1979-1986. Our study provides further evidence for dilution effect and suggests that owls may have an important role in reducing disease risk. PMID:27499001

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Thirteen decades of foliar isotopes indicate declining nitrogen availability in central North American grasslands.

    PubMed

    McLauchlan, Kendra K; Ferguson, Carolyn J; Wilson, Iris E; Ocheltree, Troy W; Craine, Joseph M

    2010-09-01

    *Humans are increasing both the deposition of reactive nitrogen (N) and concentrations of atmospheric CO(2) on Earth, but the combined effects on terrestrial ecosystems are not clear. In the absence of historical records, it is difficult to know if N availability is currently increasing or decreasing on regional scales. *To determine the nature and timing of past changes in grassland ecosystem dynamics, we measured the composition of stable carbon (C) and N isotopes in leaf tissue from 545 herbarium specimens of 24 vascular plant species collected in Kansas, USA from 1876 to 2008. We also parameterized a simple model of the terrestrial N cycle coupled with a stable isotope simulator to constrain processes consistent with observed patterns. *A prolonged decline in foliar N concentrations began in 1926, while a prolonged decline in foliar delta(15)N values began in 1940. Changes in the difference between foliar and atmospheric C isotopes reveal slightly increased photosynthetic water use efficiency since 1876. *The declines in foliar N concentrations and foliar delta(15)N suggest declining N availability in these grasslands during the 20th century despite decades of anthropogenic N deposition. Our results are consistent with progressive-nitrogen-limitation-type hypotheses where declines in N availability are driven by increased ecosystem N storage as a result of increased atmospheric CO(2).

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

    PubMed

    Banguero, H

    1983-05-01

    This work uses Keynesian principles and an analysis of the Colombian population in the 1970s to argue that the Colombian policy of slowing population growth, which was adopted with the aim of improving the general welfare of the population, has had shortterm negative effects on effective demand and thus on the level of employment and welfare. These negative effects were caused by the inflexibility of income distribution, which prevented expansion of the internal market, complicated by the stagnant condition of the external sector and the budget deficit. The results of the Colombian case study demonstrate how the deceleration of population growth beginning in the 1960s had a significant impact on the levels of consumption and savings and on the patterns of consumption, leading to low levels of investment and little dynamism. Although the current Colombian economic recession is aggravated by contextual factors such as the world economic recession, the high cost of capital, the industrial recession, and declining food production among others, at the core of the crisis are longer term structural determinants such as the decline in the rate of population growth and the highly unequal distribution of income and wealth, which have contributed to a shrinking of the internal market for some types of goods. Given the unlikelihood of renewed rapid population growth, the Keynesian model suggests that the only alternative for increasing aggregate demand is state intervention through public spending and investment and reorientation of the financial system to achieve a dynamic redistribution of income. Based on these findings and on proposals of other analysts, a stragegy for revitalization is proposed which would imply a gradual income redistribution to allow increased consumption of mass produced goods by the low income groups. Direct consumption subsidies would be avoided because of their inflationary and import-expanding tendencies; rather, incentives and support would be

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

    PubMed

    Banguero, H

    1983-05-01

    This work uses Keynesian principles and an analysis of the Colombian population in the 1970s to argue that the Colombian policy of slowing population growth, which was adopted with the aim of improving the general welfare of the population, has had shortterm negative effects on effective demand and thus on the level of employment and welfare. These negative effects were caused by the inflexibility of income distribution, which prevented expansion of the internal market, complicated by the stagnant condition of the external sector and the budget deficit. The results of the Colombian case study demonstrate how the deceleration of population growth beginning in the 1960s had a significant impact on the levels of consumption and savings and on the patterns of consumption, leading to low levels of investment and little dynamism. Although the current Colombian economic recession is aggravated by contextual factors such as the world economic recession, the high cost of capital, the industrial recession, and declining food production among others, at the core of the crisis are longer term structural determinants such as the decline in the rate of population growth and the highly unequal distribution of income and wealth, which have contributed to a shrinking of the internal market for some types of goods. Given the unlikelihood of renewed rapid population growth, the Keynesian model suggests that the only alternative for increasing aggregate demand is state intervention through public spending and investment and reorientation of the financial system to achieve a dynamic redistribution of income. Based on these findings and on proposals of other analysts, a stragegy for revitalization is proposed which would imply a gradual income redistribution to allow increased consumption of mass produced goods by the low income groups. Direct consumption subsidies would be avoided because of their inflationary and import-expanding tendencies; rather, incentives and support would be

  5. Cognitive Declines Precede and Predict Functional Declines in Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Zahodne, Laura B.; Manly, Jennifer J.; MacKay-Brandt, Anna; Stern, Yaakov

    2013-01-01

    Objective To investigate the temporal ordering of cognitive and functional declines separately in older adults with or without Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Design and Setting A community-based longitudinal study of aging and dementia in Northern Manhattan (Washington Heights/Hamilton Heights Inwood Columbia Aging Project) and a multicenter, clinic-based longitudinal study of prevalent AD at Columbia University Medical Center, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Hôpital de la Salpêtrière in Paris, France (the Predictors Study). Participants 3,443 initially non-demented older adults (612 with eventual incident dementia) and 517 patients with AD. Main Outcome Measures Cognitive measures included the modified Mini-Mental State Exam and composite scores of memory and language derived from a standardized neuropsychological battery. Function was measured with the Blessed Dementia Rating Scale, completed by the participant (in the sample of non-demented older adults) or an informant (in the sample of prevalent AD patients). Data were analyzed with autoregressive cross-lagged panel analysis. Results Cognitive scores more consistently predicted subsequent functional abilities than vice versa in non-demented older adults, participants with eventual incident dementia, and patients with prevalent AD. Conclusions Cognitive declines appear to precede and cause functional declines prior to and following dementia diagnosis. Standardized neuropsychological tests are valid predictors of later functional changes in both non-demented and demented older adults. PMID:24023894

  6. Declines in the Lethality of Suicide Attempts Explain the Decline in Suicide Deaths in Australia

    PubMed Central

    Spittal, Matthew J.; Pirkis, Jane; Miller, Matthew; Studdert, David M.

    2012-01-01

    Background To investigate the epidemiology of a steep decrease in the incidence of suicide deaths in Australia. Methods National data on suicide deaths and deliberate self-harm for the period 1994–2007 were obtained from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. We calculated attempt and death rates for five major methods and the lethality of these methods. Negative binomial regression was used to estimate the size and significance of method-specific time-trends in attempts and lethality. Results Hanging, motor vehicle exhaust and firearms were the most lethal methods, and together accounted for 72% of all deaths. The lethality of motor vehicle exhaust attempts decreased sharply (RR = 0.94 per year, 95% CI 0.93–0.95) while the motor vehicle exhaust attempt rate changed little; this combination of motor vehicle exhaust trends explained nearly half of the overall decline in suicide deaths. Hanging lethality also decreased sharply (RR = 0.96 per year, 95% CI 0.956–0.965) but large increases in hanging attempts negated the effect on death rates. Firearm lethality changed little while attempts decreased. Conclusion Declines in the lethality of suicide attempts–especially attempts by motor vehicle exhaust and hanging–explain the remarkable decline in deaths by suicide in Australia since 1997. PMID:22957084

  7. Conifer Decline and Mortality in Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kharuk, V.; Im, S.; Ranson, K.

    2015-12-01

    "Dark needle conifer" (DNC: Abies sibirica, Pinus sibirica and Picea obovata) decline and mortality increase were documented in Russia during recent decades. Here we analyzed causes and scale of Siberian pine and fir mortality in Altai-Sayan and Baikal Lake Regions and West Siberian Plane based on in situdata and remote sensing (QuickBird, Landsat, GRACE). Geographically, mortality began on the margins of the DNC range (i.e., within the forest-steppe and conifer-broadleaf ecotones) and on terrain features with maximal water stress risk (narrow-shaped hilltops, convex steep south facing slopes, shallow well-drained soils). Within ridges, mortality occurred mainly along mountain passes, where stands faced drying winds. Regularly mortality was observed to decrease with elevation increase with the exception of Baikal Lake Mountains, where it was minimal near the lake shore and increased with elevation (up to about 1000 m a.s.l.). Siberian pine and fir mortality followed a drying trend with consecutive droughts since the 1980s. Dendrochronology analysis showed that mortality was correlated with vapor pressure deficit increase, drought index, soil moisture decrease and occurrence of late frosts. In Baikal region Siberian pine mortality correlated with Baikal watershed meteorological variables. An impact of previous year climate conditions on the current growth was found (r2 = 0.6). Thus, water-stressed trees became sensitive to bark beetles and fungi impact (including Polygraphus proximus and Heterobasidion annosum). At present, an increase in mortality is observed within the majority of DNC range. Results obtained also showed a primary role of water stress in that phenomenon with a secondary role of bark beetles and fungi attacks. In future climate with increased drought severity and frequency Siberian pine and fir will partly disappear from its current range, and will be substituted by drought-tolerant species (e.g., Pinus silvestris, Larix sibirica).

  8. Do plasma melatonin concentrations decline with age?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zeitzer, J. M.; Daniels, J. E.; Duffy, J. F.; Klerman, E. B.; Shanahan, T. L.; Dijk, D. J.; Czeisler, C. A.

    1999-01-01

    PURPOSE: Numerous reports that secretion of the putative sleep-promoting hormone melatonin declines with age have led to suggestions that melatonin replacement therapy be used to treat sleep problems in older patients. We sought to reassess whether the endogenous circadian rhythm of plasma melatonin concentration changes with age in healthy drug-free adults. METHODS: We analyzed the amplitude of plasma melatonin profiles during a constant routine in 34 healthy drug-free older subjects (20 women and 14 men, aged 65 to 81 years) and compared them with 98 healthy drug-free young men (aged 18 to 30 years). RESULTS: We could detect no significant difference between a healthy and drug-free group of older men and women as compared to one of young men in the endogenous circadian amplitude of the plasma melatonin rhythm, as described by mean 24-hour average melatonin concentration (70 pmol/liter vs 73 pmol/liter, P = 0.97), or the duration (9.3 hours vs 9.1 hours, P = 0.43), mean (162 pmol/liter vs 161 pmol/liter, P = 0.63), or integrated area (85,800 pmol x min/liter vs 86,700 pmol x min/liter, P = 0.66) of the nocturnal peak of plasma melatonin. CONCLUSION: These results do not support the hypothesis that reduction of plasma melatonin concentration is a general characteristic of healthy aging. Should melatonin replacement therapy or melatonin supplementation prove to be clinically useful, we recommend that an assessment of endogenous melatonin be carried out before such treatment is used in older patients.

  9. The lognormal handwriter: learning, performing, and declining.

    PubMed

    Plamondon, Réjean; O'Reilly, Christian; Rémi, Céline; Duval, Thérésa

    2013-01-01

    The generation of handwriting is a complex neuromotor skill requiring the interaction of many cognitive processes. It aims at producing a message to be imprinted as an ink trace left on a writing medium. The generated trajectory of the pen tip is made up of strokes superimposed over time. The Kinematic Theory of rapid human movements and its family of lognormal models provide analytical representations of these strokes, often considered as the basic unit of handwriting. This paradigm has not only been experimentally confirmed in numerous predictive and physiologically significant tests but it has also been shown to be the ideal mathematical description for the impulse response of a neuromuscular system. This latter demonstration suggests that the lognormality of the velocity patterns can be interpreted as reflecting the behavior of subjects who are in perfect control of their movements. To illustrate this interpretation, we present a short overview of the main concepts behind the Kinematic Theory and briefly describe how its models can be exploited, using various software tools, to investigate these ideal lognormal behaviors. We emphasize that the parameters extracted during various tasks can be used to analyze some underlying processes associated with their realization. To investigate the operational convergence hypothesis, we report on two original studies. First, we focus on the early steps of the motor learning process as seen as a converging behavior toward the production of more precise lognormal patterns as young children practicing handwriting start to become more fluent writers. Second, we illustrate how aging affects handwriting by pointing out the increasing departure from the ideal lognormal behavior as the control of the fine motricity begins to decline. Overall, the paper highlights this developmental process of merging toward a lognormal behavior with learning, mastering this behavior to succeed in performing a given task, and then gradually

  10. The lognormal handwriter: learning, performing, and declining

    PubMed Central

    Plamondon, Réjean; O'Reilly, Christian; Rémi, Céline; Duval, Thérésa

    2013-01-01

    The generation of handwriting is a complex neuromotor skill requiring the interaction of many cognitive processes. It aims at producing a message to be imprinted as an ink trace left on a writing medium. The generated trajectory of the pen tip is made up of strokes superimposed over time. The Kinematic Theory of rapid human movements and its family of lognormal models provide analytical representations of these strokes, often considered as the basic unit of handwriting. This paradigm has not only been experimentally confirmed in numerous predictive and physiologically significant tests but it has also been shown to be the ideal mathematical description for the impulse response of a neuromuscular system. This latter demonstration suggests that the lognormality of the velocity patterns can be interpreted as reflecting the behavior of subjects who are in perfect control of their movements. To illustrate this interpretation, we present a short overview of the main concepts behind the Kinematic Theory and briefly describe how its models can be exploited, using various software tools, to investigate these ideal lognormal behaviors. We emphasize that the parameters extracted during various tasks can be used to analyze some underlying processes associated with their realization. To investigate the operational convergence hypothesis, we report on two original studies. First, we focus on the early steps of the motor learning process as seen as a converging behavior toward the production of more precise lognormal patterns as young children practicing handwriting start to become more fluent writers. Second, we illustrate how aging affects handwriting by pointing out the increasing departure from the ideal lognormal behavior as the control of the fine motricity begins to decline. Overall, the paper highlights this developmental process of merging toward a lognormal behavior with learning, mastering this behavior to succeed in performing a given task, and then gradually

  11. Mobile technologies in the early detection of cognitive decline.

    PubMed

    Allard, Michèle; Husky, Mathilde; Catheline, Gwénaëlle; Pelletier, Amandine; Dilharreguy, Bixente; Amieva, Hélène; Pérès, Karine; Foubert-Samier, Alexandra; Dartigues, Jean-François; Swendsen, Joel

    2014-01-01

    The identification of biological and pathophysiological processes implicated in different forms of dementia is itself dependent on reliable descriptions of cognitive performance and capacities. However, traditional instruments are often unable to detect subtle declines in cognitive functions due to natural variation at the time of testing. Mobile technologies permit the repeated assessment of cognitive functions and may thereby provide more reliable descriptions of early cognitive difficulties that are inaccessible to clinic or hospital-based instruments. This assessment strategy is also able to characterize in real-time the dynamic associations between cognitive performance and specific daily life behaviors or activities. In a cohort of elderly rural residents, 60 individuals were administered neuropsychological and neuroimaging exams as well as a one-week period of electronic ambulatory monitoring of behavior, semantic memory performance, and daily life experiences. Whereas imaging markers were unrelated to traditional neuropsychological test scores, they were significantly associated with mobile assessments of semantic memory performance. Moreover, certain daily life activities such as reading or completing crossword puzzles were associated with increases in semantic memory performance over the subsequent hours of the same day. The revolution in mobile technologies provides unprecedented opportunities to overcome the barriers of time and context that characterize traditional hospital and clinical-based assessments. The combination of both novel and traditional methods should provide the best opportunity for identifying the earliest risk factors and biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

  12. Projected continent-wide declines of the emperor penguin under climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

    Climate change has been projected to affect species distribution and future trends of local populations, but projections of global population trends are rare. We analyse global population trends of the emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri), an iconic Antarctic top predator, under the influence of sea ice conditions projected by coupled climate models assessed in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) effort. We project the dynamics of all 45 known emperor penguin colonies by forcing a sea-ice-dependent demographic model with local, colony-specific, sea ice conditions projected through to the end of the twenty-first century. Dynamics differ among colonies, but by 2100 all populations are projected to be declining. At least two-thirds are projected to have declined by >50% from their current size. The global population is projected to have declined by at least 19%. Because criteria to classify species by their extinction risk are based on the global population dynamics, global analyses are critical for conservation. We discuss uncertainties arising in such global projections and the problems of defining conservation criteria for species endangered by future climate change.

  13. Japan's declining fertility: "1.53 shock".

    PubMed

    Yanagishita, M

    1992-04-01

    In 1990, the Japanese were upset over the low 1989 total fertility rate (TFR) of 1.57 and continued to be so when they learned that the 1990 rate was even lower (1.53). This meant an annual population growth rate of only 0.33% with population decline beginning after 2010. In the early 1990s, Japan began to feel the demographic effects of such low fertility: a shortage of young workers and rising costs of health care for the elderly. Further, this shortage resulted in increasing business closings between 1988-1990 (1-6%). In 1990, the government began a survey to monitor the beliefs of the population on demographic concerns. The survey revealed that people wanted 2.2 children. Ideal family size was 2.6 which remained the same since 1977. Almost 40% found the falling TFR to be undesirable, especially because the population was aging. Moreover 65% of them though the government should undertake efforts to increase births. The major suggestions included reducing economic costs of raising a child (53%), a more favorable environment to have children such as affordable housing (29%), and developing child care facilities and child care leave (13%). 38% of 25-29 year old women were still unmarried, yet only 2% intended to never marry. Women in their late 20s and early 30s were critical of the 3 generation household with women doing all the housework. Women were more likely to be against premarital and extramarital sex than men. 25-33%, especially women 45 years old, felt the abortion law should be restricted. The 1990 abortion rate was 37.4/100 births. 7% relied on sterilization, yet 25-30% felt it to be an acceptable means of contraception. 75% of those that used a contraceptive used the condom. The government continued to ban oral contraceptives (OCs) claiming they would spread AIDS. Men were more in favor of OCs than women. 48% of those who found the falling population undesirable favored a pronatalist policy over importing foreign laborers. 41% wanted Japan to still help

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Declinations in the Almagest: accuracy, epoch, and observers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, John C.; Zimmer, Peter; Jones, Patricia B.

    2014-11-01

    Almagest declinations attributed to Timocharis, Aristyllos, Hipparchus, and Ptolemy are investigated through comparisons of the reported declinations with the declinations computed from modern positions translated to the earlier epochs. Consistent results indicate an observational accuracy of ≈ 0.1° and epochs of: Timocharis, c. 298 BC; Aristyllos, c. 256 BC, and Hipparchus, c. 128 BC.The ≈ 42-year difference between Aristyllos and Timocharis is confirmed to be statistically significant. The declinations attributed to Ptolemy were likely two distinct groups—observations taken c. AD 57 and observations taken c. AD 128. The later observations could have been taken by Ptolemy himself.

  16. DDT residues and declining reproduction in the Bermuda petrel.

    PubMed

    Wurster, C F; Wingate, D B

    1968-03-01

    Residues of DDT [1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane] averaging 6.44 parts per million in eggs and chicks of the carnivorous Bermuda petrel indicate widespread contamination of an oceanic food chain that is remote from applications of DDT. Reproduction by the petrel has declined during the last 10 years at the annual rate of 3.25 percent; if the decline continues, reproduction will fail completely by 1978. Concentrations of residues are similar to those in certain terrestrial carnivorous birds whose productivity is also declining. Various considerations implicate contamination by insecticides as a probable major cause of the decline. PMID:5635996

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

    PubMed

    Nieminen, Petteri; Huitu, Otso; Henttonen, Heikki; Finnilä, Mikko A J; Voutilainen, Liina; Itämies, Juhani; Kärjä, Vesa; Saarela, Seppo; Halonen, Toivo; Aho, Jari; Mustonen, Anne-Mari

    2015-09-01

    The dynamics of animal populations are greatly influenced by interactions with their natural enemies and food resources. However, quantifying the relative effects of these factors on demographic rates remains a perpetual challenge for animal population ecology. Food scarcity is assumed to limit the growth and to initiate the decline of cyclic herbivore populations, but this has not been verified with physiological health indices. We hypothesized that individuals in declining populations would exhibit signs of malnutrition-induced deterioration of physiological condition. We evaluated the association of body condition with population cycle phase in bank voles (Myodes glareolus) during the increase and decline phases of a population cycle. The bank voles had lower body masses, condition indices and absolute masses of particular organs during the decline. Simultaneously, they had lower femoral masses, mineral contents and densities. Hemoglobin and hematocrit values and several parameters known to respond to food deprivation were unaffected by the population phase. There were no signs of lymphopenia, eosinophilia, granulocytosis or monocytosis. Erythrocyte counts were higher and plasma total protein levels and tissue proportions of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids lower in the population decline. Ectoparasite load was lower and adrenal gland masses or catecholamine concentrations did not suggest higher stress levels. Food availability seems to limit the size of voles during the decline but they can adapt to the prevailing conditions without clear deleterious health effects. This highlights the importance of quantifying individual health state when evaluating the effects of complex trophic interactions on the dynamics of wild animal populations.

  18. Community-level education accelerates the cultural evolution of fertility decline.

    PubMed

    Colleran, Heidi; Jasienska, Grazyna; Nenko, Ilona; Galbarczyk, Andrzej; Mace, Ruth

    2014-03-22

    Explaining why fertility declines as populations modernize is a profound theoretical challenge. It remains unclear whether the fundamental drivers are economic or cultural in nature. Cultural evolutionary theory suggests that community-level characteristics, for example average education, can alter how low-fertility preferences are transmitted and adopted. These assumptions have not been empirically tested. Here, we show that community-level education accelerates fertility decline in a way that is neither predicted by individual characteristics, nor by the level of economic modernization in a population. In 22 high-fertility communities in Poland, fertility converged on a smaller family size as average education in the community increased-indeed community-level education had a larger impact on fertility decline than did individual education. This convergence was not driven by educational levels being more homogeneous, but by less educated women having fewer children than expected, and more highly educated social networks, when living among more highly educated neighbours. The average level of education in a community may influence the social partners women interact with, both within and beyond their immediate social environments, altering the reproductive norms they are exposed to. Given a critical mass of highly educated women, less educated neighbours may adopt their reproductive behaviour, accelerating the pace of demographic transition. Individual characteristics alone cannot capture these dynamics and studies relying solely on them may systematically underestimate the importance of cultural transmission in driving fertility declines. Our results are inconsistent with a purely individualistic, rational-actor model of fertility decline and suggest that optimization of reproduction is partly driven by cultural dynamics beyond the individual.

  19. Reconciling divergent interpretations of quaking aspen decline on the northern Colorado Front Range.

    PubMed

    Kashian, Daniel M; Romme, William H; Regan, Claudia M

    2007-07-01

    Ecologists have debated over the past 65 years whether quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) has or has not declined in abundance, vigor, or regeneration in western North America. Many studies have provided divergent interpretations of the condition of aspen forests, leading to difficulty in translating this ecological information into management recommendations. To reconcile these contrasting conclusions and to test the hypothesis that multiple types of aspen decline and persistence occur simultaneously on heterogeneous landscapes, we assessed 91 aspen stands across the northern Colorado Front Range to determine the range of ecological conditions that underlie aspen decline or persistence. Approximately 15% of aspen forest area in our sample exhibited dieback of mature stems coupled with a lack of young trees indicative of declining stands, most often at lower elevations where elk browsing is heavy and chronic, and where effects of fire exclusion have been most significant. However, 52% of the area sampled had multiple cohorts indicative of self-replacing or persistent stands. Conifer dominance was increasing in over 33% of all aspen forest area sampled, most often at high elevations among lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia Englem. ex Wats.) forests. Reconstructions of relative basal area and density of aspen and lodgepole pine in these stands suggest cyclical dominance of these species, where conifers gradually replace aspen over long fire intervals, and aspen vigorously re-establish following stand-replacing fires. The diversity of ecological contexts across the northern Colorado Front Range creates a variety of aspen dynamics leading to decline or persistence, and no single trend describes the general condition of aspen forests in appropriate detail for managers. Active management may be useful in preserving individual stands at fine scales, but management prescriptions should reflect specific drivers of decline in these stands.

  20. Will the unexpected and unexplained trend towards declining nitrate concentrations in New Hampshire streams soon reverse?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huntington, T. G.

    2005-05-01

    A recent report describes unexpected and unexplained declines in stream nitrate concentrations in forested watersheds of New Hampshire during recent decades. These declines are unexpected because continuing elevated atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition is believed to exceed plant nutritional requirements which should result in increasing (rather than decreasing) stream nitrate concentrations. These declines are unexplained because several hypotheses have either been ruled out or remain untested. Increased rates of tree uptake are unlikely because region-wide assessments indicate stagnant or decreasing forest growth rates. Additionally, rates of atmospheric N deposition have remained fairly constant in recent years. Forest maturation has also been rejected as a potential explanation. Increasing tree N uptake during forest recovery from disturbances like insect defoliations and severe drought were provisionally ruled out because they do not explain the regional nature of the decline. Atmospheric CO2 fertilization effects are thought to be too small, and have not been detected as increases in aboveground growth. Interannual climatic variability, including soil frost dynamics, could explain part of the declines, but these hypotheses remain untested. Regional trends towards warmer, wetter, and longer growing seasons are consistent with increasing N uptake, but there is no evidence for a corresponding increase in forest growth. Nitrogen sequestration in soil organic matter could explain the observed nitrate decline, and may have increased in recent years through stimulation of belowground carbon cycling due to CO2 fertilization. In addition, climate changes have favored an intensification of belowground N cycling that could lead to a narrowing of the C:N ratio and increased N sequestration. If increasing atmospheric CO2 and a warmer and wetter climate are at least partially responsible for increasing N sequestration, it is not likely that the current trends in stream

  1. Modeling climate impact on an emerging disease, the Phytophthora alni-induced alder decline.

    PubMed

    Aguayo, Jaime; Elegbede, Fabrice; Husson, Claude; Saintonge, François-Xavier; Marçais, Benoît

    2014-10-01

    Alder decline caused by Phytophthora alni is one of the most important emerging diseases in natural ecosystems in Europe, where it has threatened riparian ecosystems for the past 20 years. Environmental factors, such as mean site temperature and soil characteristics, play an important role in the occurrence of the disease. The objective of the present work was to model and forecast the effect of environment on the severity of alder Phytophthora outbreaks, and to determine whether recent climate change might explain the disease emergence. Two alder sites networks in NE and SW France were surveyed to assess the crown health of trees; the oomycete soil inoculum was also monitored in the NE network. The main factors explaining the temporal annual variation in alder crown decline or crown recovery were the mean previous winter and previous summer temperatures. Both low winter temperatures and high summer temperatures were unfavorable to the disease. Cold winters promoted tree recovery because of poor survival of the pathogen, while hot summer temperature limited the incidence of tree decline. An SIS model explaining the dynamics of the P. alni-induced alder decline was developed using the data of the NE site network and validated using the SW site network. This model was then used to simulate the frequency of declining alder over time with historical climate data. The last 40 years' weather conditions have been generally favorable to the establishment of the disease, indicating that others factors may be implicated in its emergence. The model, however, showed that the climate of SW France was much more favorable for the disease than that of the Northeast, because it seldom limited the overwintering of the pathogen. Depending on the European area, climate change could either enhance or decrease the severity of the alder decline.

  2. Polymorphism in the Human Major Histocompatibility Complex and Early Viral Decline during Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C ▿ ‡

    PubMed Central

    Yee, Leland J.; Im, KyungAh; Wahed, Abdus S.; Bugawan, Teodorica; Li, Jia; Rhodes, Shannon L.; Erlich, Henry; Rosen, Hugo R.; Liang, T. Jake; Yang, Huiying

    2009-01-01

    The dynamics of the viral decline immediately after the start of therapy for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection may have prognostic potential for ultimate sustained virologic response. Considerable interindividual variability in the decline has been reported, including differences by race. The human major histocompatability complex (MHC) genes encode the human leukocyte antigens, which are important in the immune response to viral infections. We examined whether carriage of specific human MHC alleles are associated with the rate of the early viral decline. Longitudinal viral level data (baseline and days 1, 2, 7, 14, and 28 of treatment), medium resolution MHC genotyping, and random coefficients models were used to examine associations between MHC class I and class II allele carriage and the dynamics of the viral decline in 180 African-Americans (AAs) and 194 Caucasian Americans (CAs) with genotype-1 HCV infection over the first 28 days of treatment with peginterferon α2a plus ribavirin. Baseline viral levels were similar by race, irrespective of allele carriage. However, the rate of change in the viral decline was associated with both allele and race. Among the four subgroups defined by race and specific allele, the fastest rates of decline were observed (in terms of estimated mean viral declines log10 IU/ml during the first four weeks) in CA noncarriers for A*03 (2.75; P = 0.018), in CA carriers for Cw*03 (2.99; P = 0.046), and in CA noncarriers for DQA1*04 (2.66; P = 0.018) or DQB1*0402 (2.65; P = 0.018). MHC alleles are associated with the viral decline during the first 28 days of peginterferon therapy. PMID:18852273

  3. Did the Decline in Social Connections Depress Americans' Happiness?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartolini, Stefano; Bilancini, Ennio; Pugno, Maurizio

    2013-01-01

    During the last 30 years US citizens experienced, on average, a decline in reported happiness, social connections, and confidence in institutions. We show that a remarkable portion of the decrease in happiness is predicted by the decline in social connections and confidence in institutions. We carry out our investigation in three steps. First, we…

  4. Why have ovarian cancer mortality rates declined? Part I. Incidence.

    PubMed

    Sopik, Victoria; Iqbal, Javaid; Rosen, Barry; Narod, Steven A

    2015-09-01

    The age-adjusted mortality rate from ovarian cancer in the United States has declined over the past several decades. The decline in mortality might be the consequence of a reduced number of cases (incidence) or a reduction in the proportion of patients who die from their cancer (case-fatality). In part I of this three-part series, we examine rates of ovarian cancer incidence and mortality from the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) registry database and we explore to what extent the observed decline in mortality can be explained by a downward shift in the stage distribution of ovarian cancer (i.e. due to early detection) or by fewer cases of ovarian cancer (i.e. due to a change in risk factors). The proportion of localized ovarian cancers did not increase, suggesting that a stage-shift did not contribute to the decline in mortality. The observed decline in mortality paralleled a decline in incidence. The trends in ovarian cancer incidence coincided with temporal changes in the exposure of women from different birth cohorts to various reproductive risk factors, in particular, to changes in the use of the oral contraceptive pill and to declining parity. Based on recent changes in risk factor propensity, we predict that the trend of the declining age-adjusted incidence rate of ovarian cancer in the United States will reverse and rates will increase in coming years. PMID:26080287

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  6. Creative Management in a Time of Economic Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Millett, John D.

    Economic decline is indicated by productivity per man-hour of work, per capita real personal income, and real gross national product. Unless new technology overcomes the force of a stable population and develops new sources of raw materials and of energy, economic decline seems a likely possibility. Creative management is a process of planning,…

  7. Declining Enrollments: Managing in the Period of Fiscal Retrenchment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Solomon, Margaret

    This guidebook for managing declining enrollment in an era of fiscal retrenchment is presented in three sections. Section 1 describes the extent of enrollment decline; analyzes its causes, including changes in birth rates, women's work roles, and migration and housing patterns; and explores its effects, including reduced school budgets and staffs,…

  8. Does Child Labor Decline with Improving Economic Status?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edmonds, Eric V.

    2005-01-01

    The rapid economic growth of Vietnam provides an interesting insight into the sharp decline in child labor. A study of the rising economic status of the population across Vietnam shows that children returned to school or stopped working as their family incomes grew. The decline in child labor is steep in poor households as they emerged from…

  9. Patterns of widespread decline in North American bumble bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Declining abundance and range shifts of bumble bee (Bombus) species have been observed in Europe and Asia. However, the status of North America’s bumble bee species has been largely unstudied. Recent reports based on local or regional observations suggest that parallel declines are taking place in N...

  10. Patterns of widespread decline in North America bumble bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Declining abundance and range shifts of bumble bee (Bombus) species have been observed in Europe and Asia. However, the status of North America’s bumble bee species has been largely unstudied. Recent reports based on local or regional observations suggest that parallel declines are taking place in N...

  11. The Decline of the Adult School Movement between the Wars

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freeman, Mark

    2010-01-01

    This article considers the decline of the adult school movement, one of the largest voluntary movements in the history of adult education, and critically examines some of the reasons that have been used to explain it. It explores various features of the decline, using records of selected adult schools, and discussing variations by region and…

  12. AMPHIBIAN DECLINE, ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION AND LOCAL POPULATION ADAPTATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Amphibian population declines have been noted on both local and global scales. Causes for these declines are unknown although many hypotheses have been offered. In areas adjacent to human development, loss of habitat is a fairly well accepted cause. However in isolated, seemingl...

  13. The SAT Score Decline: A Summary of Related Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Breland, Hunter M.

    The available evidence pertaining to the decline in scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and the American College Testing Program (ACT) is reviewed in terms of: the test, the test-taking population, the college bound population, the schools, and societal factors. The SAT score decline is described in both graphic and tabular form, and…

  14. Is Induced Abortion Really Declining in Armenia?

    PubMed

    Jilozian, Ann; Agadjanian, Victor

    2016-06-01

    As in other post-Soviet settings, induced abortion has been widely used in Armenia. However, recent national survey data point to a substantial drop in abortion rates with no commensurate increase in modern contraceptive prevalence and no change in fertility levels. We use data from in-depth interviews with women of reproductive age and health providers in rural Armenia to explore possible underreporting of both contraceptive use and abortion. While we find no evidence that women understate their use of modern contraception, the analysis suggests that induced abortion might indeed be underreported. The potential for underreporting is particularly high for sex-selective abortions, for which there is growing public backlash, and medical abortion, a practice that is typically self-administered outside any professional supervision. Possible underreporting of induced abortion calls for refinement of both abortion registration and relevant survey instruments. Better measurement of abortion dynamics is necessary for successful promotion of effective modern contraceptive methods and reduction of unsafe abortion practices.

  15. Characterizing declines in pediatric antidepressant use after new risk disclosures

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Richard G.; Martin, Andres; Barry, Colleen L.

    2010-01-01

    Steep declines in pediatric antidepressant use were documented following the 2004 release of new safety information associating antidepressants with a risk of suicidality. We examine whether declines in pediatric antidepressant use were steeper among individuals with certain clinical or family characteristics. We find that declines in antidepressant use were associated with new (as compared to ongoing) treatment episodes. Also, although rates of antidepressant use were higher among children of college educated parents prior to risk disclosures, these children were more likely to forgo antidepressant medication than children of less educated parents after risk disclosures. We find that both children with and without psychiatric impairment experienced declines in antidepressant medication use following the risk warnings, although the decline occurred more quickly in the latter group. Our findings highlight the need for additional data to assess the effects of risk disclosures on treatment patterns and health outcomes. PMID:20675349

  16. Declining coral calcification on the Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    De'ath, Glenn; Lough, Janice M; Fabricius, Katharina E

    2009-01-01

    Reef-building corals are under increasing physiological stress from a changing climate and ocean absorption of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide. We investigated 328 colonies of massive Porites corals from 69 reefs of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in Australia. Their skeletal records show that throughout the GBR, calcification has declined by 14.2% since 1990, predominantly because extension (linear growth) has declined by 13.3%. The data suggest that such a severe and sudden decline in calcification is unprecedented in at least the past 400 years. Calcification increases linearly with increasing large-scale sea surface temperature but responds nonlinearly to annual temperature anomalies. The causes of the decline remain unknown; however, this study suggests that increasing temperature stress and a declining saturation state of seawater aragonite may be diminishing the ability of GBR corals to deposit calcium carbonate.

  17. Analysis of pelagic species decline in the upper San Francisco Estuary using multivariate autoregressive modeling (MAR)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mac Nally, Ralph; Thomson, James R.; Kimmerer, Wim J.; Feyrer, Frederick; Newman, Ken B.; Sih, Andy; Bennett, William A.; Brown, Larry; Fleishman, Erica; Culberson, Steven D.; Castillo, Gonzalo

    2010-01-01

    Four species of pelagic fish of particular management concern in the upper San Francisco Estuary, California, USA, have declined precipitously since ca. 2002: delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus), longfin smelt (Spirinchus thaleichthys), striped bass (Morone saxatilis), and threadfin shad (Dorosoma petenense). The estuary has been monitored since the late 1960s with extensive collection of data on the fishes, their pelagic prey, phytoplankton biomass, invasive species, and physical factors. We used multivariate autoregressive (MAR) modeling to discern the main factors responsible for the declines. An expert-elicited model was built to describe the system. Fifty-four relationships were built into the model, only one of which was of uncertain direction a priori. Twenty-eight of the proposed relationships were strongly supported by or consistent with the data, while 26 were close to zero (not supported by the data but not contrary to expectations). The position of the 2‰ isohaline (a measure of the physical response of the estuary to freshwater flow) and increased water clarity over the period of analyses were two factors affecting multiple declining taxa (including fishes and the fishes' main zooplankton prey). Our results were relatively robust with respect to the form of stock–recruitment model used and to inclusion of subsidiary covariates but may be enhanced by using detailed state–space models that describe more fully the life-history dynamics of the declining species.

  18. Recent fertility declines in China and India: a comparative view.

    PubMed

    Kulkarni, P M; Rani, S

    1995-12-01

    This paper compares fertility transitions in China and parts of India. It is argued that China experienced a more rapid and more "impressive" decline than that of India. Socioeconomic conditions in China were more conducive to fertility decline. Kerala State in India experienced a similar decline as China but at a slower pace. The birth control campaign in China is credited with an important role in speeding the transition. It is posited that the political and administrative system and economic conditions in India are not compatible with the Chinese style program strategies. Both countries had similar fertility levels in the immediate post-revolutionary period. The most rapid decline occurred during the 1970s in China. The fertility transition was almost completed by 1981. In India, the total fertility rate (TFR) declined by only 1 point between the 1950s and 1981. In China TFR declined over 3 points during 1970-81. 76.7% of the decline in China during 1970-81 is attributed to a marked decline in marital fertility in all age groups, with the exception of ages 15-19 years. The decline in India is attributed to the decline in marital fertility. Female age at marriage rose in India, but less "impressively." In 1981 the mean age at marriage in India was 18.4 years, but it was 22.8 years in China. Marital fertility among women aged older than 30 years was considerably lower in China. Both countries experienced an increase in literacy, but in China the level of literacy was much greater. Both countries faced food shortages, but China improved food availability and calorie consumption per capita. Health services also improved in both countries, but the Chinese system of "barefoot" doctors brought services with easier reach of rural populations. Political structures differed in their dominance and organization. Family planning programs were introduced earlier in India, but prevalence was 64.4% in China in 1981 and about 22% in India.

  19. Decline of the Black Sea oxygen inventory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capet, Arthur; Stanev, Emil V.; Beckers, Jean-Marie; Murray, James W.; Grégoire, Marilaure

    2016-03-01

    We show that from 1955 to 2015, the inventory of oxygen in the Black Sea has decreased by 44 % and the basin-averaged oxygen penetration depth has decreased from 140 m in 1955 to 90 m in 2015, which is the shallowest annual value recorded during that period. The oxygenated Black Sea surface layer separates the world's largest reservoir of toxic hydrogen sulfide from the atmosphere. The threat of chemocline excursion events led to hot debates in the past decades arguing on the vertical stability of the Black Sea oxic/suboxic interface. In the 1970s and 1980s, when the Black Sea faced severe eutrophication, enhanced respiration rates reduced the thickness of the oxygenated layer. Re-increasing oxygen inventory in 1985-1995 supported arguments in favor of the stability of the oxic layer. Concomitant with a reduction of nutrient loads, it also supported the perception of a Black Sea recovering from eutrophication. More recently, atmospheric warming was shown to reduce the ventilation of the lower oxic layer by lowering cold intermediate layer (CIL) formation rates. The debate on the vertical migration of the oxic interface also addressed the natural spatial variability affecting Black Sea properties when expressed in terms of depth. Here we show that using isopycnal coordinates does not overcome the significant spatial variability of oxygen penetration depth. By considering this spatial variability, the analysis of a composite historical set of oxygen profiles evidenced a significant shoaling of the oxic layer, and showed that the transient "recovery" of the 1990s was mainly a result of increased CIL formation rates during that period. As both atmospheric warming and eutrophication are expected to increase in the near future, monitoring the dynamics of the Black Sea oxic layer is urgently required to assess the threat of further shoaling.

  20. A niche model to predict Microcystis bloom decline in Chaohu Lake, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zhicong; Li, Zhongjie; Li, Dunhai

    2012-07-01

    Cyanobacterial blooms occur frequently in lakes due to eutrophication. Although a number of models have been proposed to forecast algal blooms, a good and applicable method is still lacking. This study explored a simple and effective mathematical-ecological model to evaluate the growth status and predict the population dynamics of Microcystis blooms. In this study, phytoplankton were collected and identified from 8 sampling sites in Chaohu Lake every month from July to October, 2010. The niche breadth and niche overlap of common species were calculated using standard equations, and the potential relative growth rates of Microcystis were calculated as a weighted-value of niche overlap. In July, the potential relative growth rate was 2.79 (a.u., arbitrary units) but then rapidly declined in the following months to -3.99 a.u. in September. A significant correlation ( R =0.998, P <0.01) was found in the model between the net-increase in biomass of Microcystis in the field and the predicted values calculated by the niche model, we concluded that the niche model is suitable for forecasting the dynamics of Microcystis blooms. Redundancy analysis indicated that decreases in water temperature, dissolved oxygen and total dissolved phosphorus might be major factors underlying bloom decline. Based on the theory of community succession being caused by resource competition, the growth and decline of blooms can be predicted from a community structure. This may provide a basis for early warning and control of algal blooms.

  1. Rapid declines in metabolism explain extended coral larval longevity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graham, E. M.; Baird, A. H.; Connolly, S. R.; Sewell, M. A.; Willis, B. L.

    2013-06-01

    Lecithotrophic, or non-feeding, marine invertebrate larvae generally have shorter pelagic larval durations (PLDs) than planktotrophic larvae. However, non-feeding larvae of scleractinian corals have PLDs far exceeding those of feeding larvae of other organisms and predictions of PLD based on energy reserves and metabolic rates, raising questions about how such longevity is achieved. Here, we measured temporal changes in metabolic rates and total lipid content of non-feeding larvae of four species of reef corals to determine whether changes in energy utilization through time contribute to extended larval durations. The temporal dynamics of both metabolic rates and lipid content were highly consistent among species. Prior to fertilization, metabolic rates were low (2.73-8.63 nmol O2 larva-1 h-1) before rapidly increasing to a peak during embryogenesis and early development 1-2 days after spawning. Metabolic rates remained high until shortly after larvae first became competent to metamorphose and then declined by up to two orders of magnitude to levels at or below rates seen in unfertilized eggs over the following week. Larvae remained in this state of low metabolic activity for up to 2 months. Consistent with temporal patterns in metabolic rates, depletion of lipids was extremely rapid during early development and then slowed dramatically from 1 week onward. Despite the very low metabolic rates in these species, larvae continued to swim and retained competence for at least 2 months. The capacity of non-feeding coral larvae to enter a state of low metabolism soon after becoming competent to metamorphose significantly extends dispersal potential, thereby accruing advantages typically associated with planktotrophy, notably enhanced population connectivity.

  2. Decline and Local Extinction of Caribbean Eusocial Shrimp

    PubMed Central

    Duffy, J. Emmett; Macdonald III, Kenneth S.; Hultgren, Kristin M.; Chak, Tin Chi Solomon; Rubenstein, Dustin R.

    2013-01-01

    The tropical shrimp genus Synalpheus includes the only eusocial marine animals. In much of the Caribbean, eusocial species have dominated the diverse fauna of sponge-dwelling shrimp in coral rubble for at least the past two decades. Here we document a recent, dramatic decline and apparent local extinction of eusocial shrimp species on the Belize Barrier Reef. Our collections from shallow reefs in central Belize in 2012 failed to locate three of the four eusocial species formerly abundant in the area, and showed steep declines in colony size and increases in frequency of queenless colonies prior to their disappearance. Concordant with these declines, several nonsocial, pair-forming Synalpheus species increased in frequency. The decline in eusocial shrimp is explained in part by disappearance of two sponge species on which they specialize. Eusocial shrimp collections from Jamaica in 2012 showed similar patterns of decline in colony size and increased queenlessness compared with prior Jamaican collections. The decline and local extinction of eusocial shrimp happened against a backdrop of changes in coral assemblages during recent decades, and may reflect changes in abundance and quality of dead coral substratum and succession of the diverse cryptic organisms living within it. These changes document potentially worrisome declines in a unique taxon of eusocial marine animals. PMID:23418429

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

  4. Falling teen pregnancy, birthrates: what's behind the declines?

    PubMed

    Donovan, P

    1998-10-01

    About half of the almost 1 million US teenagers who become pregnant each year carry their pregnancies to term and give birth. However, after years of steady increases, teen birthrates in the US are lower and pregnancy rates have fallen to their lowest level in 20 years. Teenage sexual activity is also declining. Over the period 1991-96, the birthrate in the US among teens declined from the 20-year high of 62.1 births/1000 females aged 15-19 to 54.4/1000. This 12% decline comes after a 24% increase in the birthrate between 1986 and 1991. Declines in the teen birthrate were observed for the nation overall, as well as in each state, ranging from 6% in Alabama to 29% in Alaska. The teen birthrate among Blacks declined 21% to reach a record low of 91.4/1000 in 1996, while the rate for Hispanic teens barely changed during 1991-95, but eventually declined 5% during 1995-96 to 101.8/1000. The birthrate among non-Hispanic White teens declined 9% during the period to 48.1/1000, while the birthrate for teens aged 15-17 fell 13% during the period and 9% for 18-19 year olds. Pregnancy rates among women aged 15-19 years declined 14% between 1990 and 1995, to 101.1/1000, the lowest level since the mid-1970s. Although researchers are unsure why teen pregnancy and birthrates have fallen, recent survey data suggest that the declines have occurred because both fewer teens are having sex and more sexually active adolescents are using contraception.

  5. Methylprednisolone in patients with membranous nephropathy and declining renal function.

    PubMed

    Short, C D; Solomon, L R; Gokal, R; Mallick, N P

    1987-11-01

    Fifteen consecutive patients aged 24 to 70 years, with membranous nephropathy and a progressive decline in renal function, were treated with methylprednisolone, 1 g intravenously daily for five days, followed immediately by a tapering dose of oral prednisolone. Plasma creatinine levels fell by a mean of 46 per cent (range 21-65). In 10 patients the beneficial effect was sustained, but in three it had reversed by six months. In the other two patients the progressive decline of renal function was not influenced. These observations suggest that many patients with membranous nephropathy and declining renal function could benefit from intervention with high dose steroids. PMID:3455548

  6. Age-related decline in ovarian follicle stocks differ between chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and humans.

    PubMed

    Cloutier, Christina T; Coxworth, James E; Hawkes, Kristen

    2015-02-01

    Similarity in oldest parturitions in humans and great apes suggests that we maintain ancestral rates of ovarian aging. Consistent with that hypothesis, previous counts of primordial follicles in postmortem ovarian sections from chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) showed follicle stock decline at the same rate that human stocks decline across the same ages. Here, we correct that finding with a chimpanzee sample more than three times larger than the previous one, which also allows comparison into older ages. Analyses show depletion rates similar until about age 35, but after 35, the human counts continue to fall with age, while the change is much less steep in chimpanzees. This difference implicates likely effects on ovarian dynamics from other physiological systems that are senescing at different rates, and, potentially, different perimenopausal experience for chimpanzees and humans.

  7. Recent water level declines in the Lake Michigan-Huron system.

    PubMed

    Sellinger, Cynthia E; Stow, Craig A; Lamon, E Conrad; Qian, Song S

    2008-01-15

    Great Lakes water levels have fluctuated over thousands of years. High water levels were a problem in the 1980s, but a recent sudden drop in Lakes Michigan and Huron has caused particular concern, in part because lower water levels are consistent with many global climate change scenarios. We examined water level data (1860-2006) representing Lakes Michigan and Huron to evaluate changes in both long-term and seasonal patterns over time, and explore relationships with candidate predictor variables. Our tools for this analysis included both Seasonal Trend decomposition using Loess (STL), and dynamic linear models (DLM). In addition to the recent decline, STL results reveal a sustained decline around 1900, a long-term periodicity of approximately 30 years, and an unexpected correspondence with sunspot activity. DLM results indicate a relationship with precipitation over a three-year lagged period, which has been essentially unchanging from 1900 to present. Additionally, the DLM highlights an underlying lake level decline beginning in approximately 1973 and continuing to the present, which may have been obscured by concurrently increasing precipitation into the 1990s. The current underlying decline might be related to a simultaneous evaporation increase, however, our model could not confirm this relationship, possibly due to the shorter period of record for evaporation data. We cannot be certain that the present observed water level drop is caused by factors related to global climate change, orthat it portends a long-term problem. However, because the underlying decline has been ongoing for approximately 33 years it may be prudent to include lower lake levels in future management planning. PMID:18284132

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

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Understanding effects of harvest on population dynamics is of major interest, especially for declining species. European lapwing Vanellus vanellus populations increased from the 1960s until the 1980s and declined strongly thereafter. About 400,000 lapwings are harvested annually and it is thus of high conservation relevance to assess whether hunting was a main cause for the observed changes in lapwing population trends. We developed a multi-event cause-specific mortality model which we applied to a long-term ring-recovery data set (1960–2010) of > 360,000 records to estimate survival and cause-specific mortalities. We found no temporal change in survival over the last 50 years for first-year (FY) and older birds (after first-year; AFY) originating from different ringing areas. Mean survival was high, around 0.60 and 0.80 for FY and AFY individuals, respectively. The proportion of total mortality due to hunting was <0.10 over the study period and the estimated proportion of harvested individuals (kill rate) was <0.05 in each year. Our result of constant survival indicates that demographic processes other than survival were responsible for the pronounced change in lapwing population trends in the 1980s. Our findings lend support to the hypothesis that hunting was not a significant contributor to the large-scale decline of lapwing populations. To halt the ongoing decline of European lapwing populations management should focus on life history stages other than survival (e.g. productivity). Further analyses are required to investigate the contribution of other demographic rates to the decline of lapwings and to identify the most efficient conservation actions. PMID:27685660

  9. Which Language Declines More? Longitudinal versus Cross-Sectional Decline of Picture Naming in Bilinguals with Alzheimer’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Ivanova, Iva; Salmon, David P.; Gollan, Tamar H.

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we investigated dual-language decline in non-balanced bilinguals with probable Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) both longitudinally and cross-sectionally. We examined patients’ naming accuracy on the Boston Naming Test (BNT: Kaplan et al., 1983) over three testing sessions (longitudinal analysis) and compared their performance to that of matched controls (cross-sectional analysis). We found different longitudinal and cross-sectional patterns of decline: Longitudinally, the non-dominant language seemed to decline more steeply than the dominant language, but, cross-sectionally, differences between patients and controls were larger for the dominant than for the non-dominant language, especially at the initial testing session. This differential pattern of results for cross-sectional versus longitudinal decline was supported by correlations between decline measures and BNT item characteristics. Further studies will be needed to better characterize the nature of linguistic decline in bilinguals with AD; however, these results suggest that representational robustness of individual lexical representations, rather than language membership, might determine the time course of decline for naming in bilinguals with AD. PMID:24725624

  10. A Decline in Numeracy Skills among Bioscience Undergraduates.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tariq, Vicki N.

    2002-01-01

    Provides evidence of a decline in basic numeracy skills among first-year bioscience undergraduate students. Tests conceptualized numeracy skills which form a component of an introductory microbiology module. (Contains 23 references.) (Author/YDS)

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    Alien species (also referred to as exotic, invasive, introduced, or normative species) have been implicated as causal agents in population declines of many amphibian species. Herein, we evaluate the relative contributions of alien species and other factors in adversely affecting ...

  12. The Box Turtle: Room with a View on Species Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Belzer, Bill; Steisslinger, Mary Beth

    1999-01-01

    Surveys salient aspects of eastern box-turtle natural history. Explores the societal and ecological factors that have contributed to the decline of the box-turtle population. Contains 18 references. (WRM)

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

    Inferring the factors responsible for declines in abundance is a prerequisite to preventing the extinction of wild populations. Many of the policies and programmes intended to prevent extinctions operate on the assumption that the factors driving the decline of a population can be determined. Exogenous factors that cause declines in abundance can be statistically confounded with endogenous factors such as density dependence. To demonstrate the potential for confounding, we used an experiment where replicated populations were driven to extinction by gradually manipulating habitat quality. In many of the replicated populations, habitat quality and density dependence were confounded, which obscured causal inference. Our results show that confounding is likely to occur when the exogenous factors that are driving the decline change gradually over time. Our study has direct implications for wild populations, because many factors that could drive a population to extinction change gradually through time.

  14. DECLINE IN LAKE ONTARIO POPULATIONS OF BENTHIC MACROINVERTEBRATES

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  15. Decline in bloater fecundity in Southern Lake Michigan after decline of Diporeia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bunnell, D.B.; David, S.R.; Madenjian, C.P.

    2009-01-01

    Population fecundity can vary through time, sometimes owing to changes in adult condition. Consideration of these fecundity changes can improve understanding of recruitment variation. Herein, we estimated fecundity of Lake Michigan bloater Coregonus hoyi during December 2005 and February 2006. Bloater recruitment has been highly variable from 1962 to present, and consistently poor since 1992. We compared our fecundity vs. weight regression to a previously published regression that used fish sampled in October 1969. We wanted to develop a new regression for two reasons. First, it should be more accurate because it uses fish collected closer to spawning, thus minimizing the potential for atresia (egg reabsorption) which could bias fecundity high. Second, we hypothesized that fecundity would be lower in 2006 because adult condition was 41% lower in 2006 compared to 1969, likely owing to the decline of Diporeia spp, a primary prey for bloater. Although the slope of the fecundity versus weight regression was similar between the years, fecundity was 24% lower in 2006 than in 1969 for bloater weighing between 70 and 240??g. Whether this was the result of the difference in sampling time prior to spawning or of differences in condition is unknown. We also found no relationship between maternal size and mature oocyte size. Incorporating our updated fecundity regression into a stock/recruit model failed to improve the model fit, indicating that the low bloater recruitment that has been observed since the early 1990s is not solely the result of reduced fecundity. ?? 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. The historical decline of fertility in Eastern Europe.

    PubMed

    Leasure, J W

    1992-01-01

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

  17. Chesapeake Bay: an unprecedented decline in submerged aquatic vegetation

    SciTech Connect

    Orth, R.J.; Moore, K.A.

    1983-10-07

    Data on the distribution and abundance of submerged aquatic vegetation in Chesapeake Bay indicate a significant reduction in all species in all sections of the bay during the last 15 to 20 years. This decline is unprecedented in the bay's recent history. The reduction in one major species, Zostera marina, may be greater than the decline that occurred during the pandemic demise of the 1930's. 19 references, 2 figures.

  18. The cause of global amphibian declines: a developmental endocrinologist's perspective

    PubMed Central

    Hayes, T. B.; Falso, P.; Gallipeau, S.; Stice, M.

    2010-01-01

    Greater than 70% of the world's amphibian species are in decline. We propose that there is probably not a single cause for global amphibian declines and present a three-tiered hierarchical approach that addresses interactions among and between ultimate and proximate factors that contribute to amphibian declines. There are two immediate (proximate) causes of amphibian declines: death and decreased recruitment (reproductive failure). Although much attention has focused on death, few studies have addressed factors that contribute to declines as a result of failed recruitment. Further, a great deal of attention has focused on the role of pathogens in inducing diseases that cause death, but we suggest that pathogen success is profoundly affected by four other ultimate factors: atmospheric change, environmental pollutants, habitat modification and invasive species. Environmental pollutants arise as likely important factors in amphibian declines because they have realized potential to affect recruitment. Further, many studies have documented immunosuppressive effects of pesticides, suggesting a role for environmental contaminants in increased pathogen virulence and disease rates. Increased attention to recruitment and ultimate factors that interact with pathogens is important in addressing this global crisis. PMID:20190117

  19. The cause of global amphibian declines: a developmental endocrinologist's perspective.

    PubMed

    Hayes, T B; Falso, P; Gallipeau, S; Stice, M

    2010-03-15

    Greater than 70% of the world's amphibian species are in decline. We propose that there is probably not a single cause for global amphibian declines and present a three-tiered hierarchical approach that addresses interactions among and between ultimate and proximate factors that contribute to amphibian declines. There are two immediate (proximate) causes of amphibian declines: death and decreased recruitment (reproductive failure). Although much attention has focused on death, few studies have addressed factors that contribute to declines as a result of failed recruitment. Further, a great deal of attention has focused on the role of pathogens in inducing diseases that cause death, but we suggest that pathogen success is profoundly affected by four other ultimate factors: atmospheric change, environmental pollutants, habitat modification and invasive species. Environmental pollutants arise as likely important factors in amphibian declines because they have realized potential to affect recruitment. Further, many studies have documented immunosuppressive effects of pesticides, suggesting a role for environmental contaminants in increased pathogen virulence and disease rates. Increased attention to recruitment and ultimate factors that interact with pathogens is important in addressing this global crisis.

  20. Physical activity and motor decline in older persons.

    PubMed

    Buchman, A S; Boyle, P A; Wilson, R S; Bienias, Julia L; Bennett, D A

    2007-03-01

    We tested the hypothesis that physical activity modifies the course of age-related motor decline. More than 850 older participants of the Rush Memory and Aging Project underwent baseline assessment of physical activity and annual motor testing for up to 8 years. Nine strength measures and nine motor performance measures were summarized into composite measures of motor function. In generalized estimating equation models, global motor function declined during follow-up (estimate, -0.072; SE, 0.008; P < 0.001). Each additional hour of physical activity at baseline was associated with about a 5% decrease in the rate of global motor function decline (estimate, 0.004; SE, 0.001; P = 0.007). Secondary analyses suggested that the association of physical activity with motor decline was mostly due to the effect of physical activity on the rate of motor performance decline. Thus, higher levels of physical activity are associated with a slower rate of motor decline in older persons.

  1. Intimacy, Intentional Metacommunication and Second Order Change.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perlmutter, Morton S.; Hatfield, Elaine

    1980-01-01

    Argues that theorists have ignored insights of family therapists such as Bateson, Boszormenyi-Nagy and Spark, Satir, and Watzlawick and Weakland. Family therapy provides unique insights into the nature of intimacy. Existing case material adds to descriptions of intimate relations. Examples of how systems theorists could look at intimacy supplement…

  2. Thoracic dust exposure is associated with lung function decline in cement production workers

    PubMed Central

    Notø, Hilde; Eduard, Wijnand; Skogstad, Marit; Fell, Anne Kristin; Thomassen, Yngvar; Skare, Øivind; Bergamaschi, Antonio; Pietroiusti, Antonio; Abderhalden, Rolf; Kongerud, Johny; Kjuus, Helge

    2016-01-01

    We hypothesised that exposure to workplace aerosols may lead to lung function impairment among cement production workers. Our study included 4966 workers in 24 cement production plants. Based on 6111 thoracic aerosol samples and information from questionnaires we estimated arithmetic mean exposure levels by plant and job type. Dynamic lung volumes were assessed by repeated spirometry testing during a mean follow-up time of 3.5 years (range 0.7–4.6 years). The outcomes considered were yearly change of dynamic lung volumes divided by the standing height squared or percentage of predicted values. Statistical modelling was performed using mixed model regression. Individual exposure was classified into quintile levels limited at 0.09, 0.89, 1.56, 2.25, 3.36, and 14.6 mg·m−3, using the lowest quintile as the reference. Employees that worked in administration were included as a second comparison group. Exposure was associated with a reduction in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), forced expiratory volume in 6 s and forced vital capacity. For FEV1 % predicted a yearly excess decline of 0.84 percentage points was found in the highest exposure quintile compared with the lowest. Exposure at the higher levels found in this study may lead to a decline in dynamic lung volumes. Exposure reduction is therefore warranted. PMID:27103386

  3. [A decline in the French demographic situation in the context of a Europe also in demographic decline].

    PubMed

    Calot, G

    1994-01-01

    The author analyzes the decline in French fertility which has occurred over the past two years using data from official sources. Some comparisons are made with fertility trends in other European countries.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-05-01

    Declines in numbers by several wader species in Britain have been linked to climate change, but the mechanism for the declines has rarely been explored. Britain lies at the northern end of the East Atlantic Flyway, and supports 1.3 million out of the Flyway's 8.5 million coastal waders (Charadrii) in winter and the Purple Sandpiper is one of the species whose numbers have declined. Here, we examine the dynamics of the decline as observed in the Moray Firth, northeast Scotland, investigating whether the decline was due to poorer apparent survival (return rate) or poorer recruitment of young birds. The maximum number in the Moray Firth declined from 860 in 1987/88 to 236 in 2006/07, with some increase during winters 2007/08 and 2008/09. At the three main high-tide roosts (Balintore, Lossiemouth and Buckie) the maximum combined number declined from 574 to 90. Changes in survival and recruitment (percentage of first-year birds) were examined at these roosts from captured samples, which were ringed and recaptured. There were no significant changes between winters in survival rates, nor were there differences between the survival rates of age groups (first-year and adult) or bill size groups, which represented birds of different sex and breeding origin. Annual survival estimates for the three roosts ranged from 72 to 77%. The percentage of first-year birds varied among roosts and years; the lowest values were during the late 1980s/early 1990s and early 2000s. A free-running population model incorporating varying percentages of first-year birds and constant mortality for each roost provided a plausible explanation for the decline. Although modelled numbers followed the observed pattern, a discrepancy in one year was carried forward in subsequent years, so that the fit with the observed numbers was parallel rather than similar. However, it seems that the decline in numbers was largely due to poorer recruitment. We discuss whether breeding success had declined, whether the

  5. Kidney function decline and physical function in women

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Julie; Curhan, Gary C.

    2008-01-01

    Background. Cross-sectional analyses of kidney function and physical function have identified profound quality of life impairments in people with advanced kidney dysfunction. No data are currently available, however, on how kidney function decline may be associated with physical function. Methods. We undertook a study of kidney function decline and physical function in 2544 women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study. Glomerular filtration rates (GFR) were estimated using the four-variable MDRD equation from plasma creatinine measured in blood collected in 1989 and 2000. Physical function was assessed by the Physical Function Sub-Scale (PFS) score of the Short Form 36 (SF-36) in a questionnaire administered in the year 2000. PFS scores have been shown to correlate well with direct measures of physical function. Results. In the year 2000, the median age was 67 years, median body mass index (BMI) was 25.6 kg/m2, 48.5% had hypertension and 5.8% had diabetes. There were 427 women (16.8%) who experienced an ≥25% decline in eGFR between 1989 and 2000. Median PFS in 2000 for those with an eGFR decline of ≥25% was 80 compared to a PFS score of 85 for those without (P < 0.001). In fully adjusted models, the presence of an eGFR decline of ≥25% was independently associated with a 3.5-point lower PFS score (95% CI −5.4 to −1.5). Also, an eGFR decline of ≥25% was independently associated with an increased odds ratio of being in the lowest quartile of PFS score (OR 1.37; 95% CI 1.04–1.81). Conclusions. We conclude that an eGFR decline of ≥25% over 11 years is independently associated with lower physical function in women. PMID:18398018

  6. The 27-year decline of coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef and its causes.

    PubMed

    De'ath, Glenn; Fabricius, Katharina E; Sweatman, Hugh; Puotinen, Marji

    2012-10-30

    The world's coral reefs are being degraded, and the need to reduce local pressures to offset the effects of increasing global pressures is now widely recognized. This study investigates the spatial and temporal dynamics of coral cover, identifies the main drivers of coral mortality, and quantifies the rates of potential recovery of the Great Barrier Reef. Based on the world's most extensive time series data on reef condition (2,258 surveys of 214 reefs over 1985-2012), we show a major decline in coral cover from 28.0% to 13.8% (0.53% y(-1)), a loss of 50.7% of initial coral cover. Tropical cyclones, coral predation by crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS), and coral bleaching accounted for 48%, 42%, and 10% of the respective estimated losses, amounting to 3.38% y(-1) mortality rate. Importantly, the relatively pristine northern region showed no overall decline. The estimated rate of increase in coral cover in the absence of cyclones, COTS, and bleaching was 2.85% y(-1), demonstrating substantial capacity for recovery of reefs. In the absence of COTS, coral cover would increase at 0.89% y(-1), despite ongoing losses due to cyclones and bleaching. Thus, reducing COTS populations, by improving water quality and developing alternative control measures, could prevent further coral decline and improve the outlook for the Great Barrier Reef. Such strategies can, however, only be successful if climatic conditions are stabilized, as losses due to bleaching and cyclones will otherwise increase.

  7. Mechanisms of age-related decline in memory search across the adult life span.

    PubMed

    Hills, Thomas T; Mata, Rui; Wilke, Andreas; Samanez-Larkin, Gregory R

    2013-12-01

    Three alternative mechanisms for age-related decline in memory search have been proposed, which result from either reduced processing speed (global slowing hypothesis), overpersistence on categories (cluster-switching hypothesis), or the inability to maintain focus on local cues related to a decline in working memory (cue-maintenance hypothesis). We investigated these 3 hypotheses by formally modeling the semantic recall patterns of 185 adults between 27 to 99 years of age in the animal fluency task (Thurstone, 1938). The results indicate that people switch between global frequency-based retrieval cues and local item-based retrieval cues to navigate their semantic memory. Contrary to the global slowing hypothesis that predicts no qualitative differences in dynamic search processes and the cluster-switching hypothesis that predicts reduced switching between retrieval cues, the results indicate that as people age, they tend to switch more often between local and global cues per item recalled, supporting the cue-maintenance hypothesis. Additional support for the cue-maintenance hypothesis is provided by a negative correlation between switching and digit span scores and between switching and total items recalled, which suggests that cognitive control may be involved in cue maintenance and the effective search of memory. Overall, the results are consistent with age-related decline in memory search being a consequence of reduced cognitive control, consistent with models suggesting that working memory is related to goal perseveration and the ability to inhibit distracting information.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  9. Predicting functional decline in behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia.

    PubMed

    Josephs, Keith A; Whitwell, Jennifer L; Weigand, Stephen D; Senjem, Matthew L; Boeve, Bradley F; Knopman, David S; Smith, Glenn E; Ivnik, Robert J; Jack, Clifford R; Petersen, Ronald C

    2011-02-01

    Behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia is characterized by a change in comportment. It is associated with considerable functional decline over the course of the illness albeit with sometimes dramatic variability among patients. It is unknown whether any baseline features, or combination of features, could predict rate of functional decline in behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of different baseline clinical, neuropsychological, neuropsychiatric, genetic and anatomic predictors on the rate of functional decline as measured by the Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes scale. We identified 86 subjects with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia that had multiple serial Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes assessments (mean 4, range 2-18). Atlas-based parcellation was used to generate volumes for specific regions of interest at baseline. Volumes were utilized to classify subjects into different anatomical subtypes using the advanced statistical technique of cluster analysis and were assessed as predictor variables. Composite scores were generated for the neuropsychological domains of executive, language, memory and visuospatial function. Behaviours from the brief questionnaire form of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory were assessed. Linear mixed-effects regression modelling was used to determine which baseline features predict rate of future functional decline. Rates of functional decline differed across the anatomical subtypes of behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia, with faster rates observed in the frontal dominant and frontotemporal subtypes. In addition, subjects with poorer performance on neuropsychological tests of executive, language and visuospatial function, less disinhibition, agitation/aggression and night-time behaviours at presentation, and smaller medial, lateral and orbital frontal lobe volumes showed faster rates of decline. In many instances, the effect of the predictor

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

  11. Potential causes for amphibian declines in Puerto Rico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burrowes, P.A.; Joglar, R.L.; Green, David E.

    2004-01-01

    We monitored 11 populations of eight species of Eleutherodactylus in Puerto Rico from 1989 through 2001. We determined relative abundance of active frogs along transects established in the Caribbean National Forest (El Yunque), Carite Forest, San Lorenzo, and in the vicinity of San Juan. Three species (Eleutherodactylus karlschmidti, E. jasperi, and E. eneidae) are presumed to be extinct and eight populations of six different species of endemic Eleutherodactylus are significantly declining at elevations above 400 m. Of the many suspected causes of amphibian declines around the world, we focused on climate change and disease. Temperature and precipitation data from 1970a??2000 were analyzed to determine the general pattern of oscillations and deviations that could be correlated with amphibian declines. We examined a total of 106 tissues taken from museum specimens collected from 1961a??1978 and from live frogs in 2000. We found chytrid fungi in two species collected at El Yunque as early as 1976, this is the first report of chytrid fungus in the Caribbean. Analysis of weather data indicates a significant warming trend and an association between years with extended periods of drought and the decline of amphibians in Puerto Rico. The 1970's and 1990's, which represent the periods of amphibian extirpations and declines, were significantly drier than average. We suggest a possible synergistic interaction between drought and the pathological effect of the chytrid fungus on amphibian populations.

  12. Declining mortality from smoking in the United States.

    PubMed

    Rodu, Brad; Cole, Philip

    2007-07-01

    The proportion of Americans who smoke cigarettes has declined 50% since 1965. The effect on mortality of this considerable reduction has received little attention and is described in this study. U.S. national data were used to enumerate current, former, and never-smokers aged 35 years or older in 1987 and 2002. Mortality rate ratios were used to estimate smoking-attributable deaths among these groups, and corresponding age-adjusted smoking-attributable mortality rates (SAMRs) were calculated. There were 402,000 deaths attributable to smoking in 1987 and 322,000 in 2002. The SAMR for men aged 35 years or more was 556 deaths per 100,000 person-years in 1987, accounting for 24% of all male deaths. By 2002 the SAMR declined 41% to 329 and accounted for only 17% of deaths. The SAMR for women in 1987 was 175, accounting for 12% of deaths. By 2002 the SAMR among women had declined 30% to 122, representing 9% of deaths. The U.S. mortality rate attributable to smoking declined about 35% between 1987 and 2002. The impact of smoking on American society will diminish even further in the foreseeable future as smoking prevalence continues its decline among men and women. PMID:17577808

  13. Arctic Sea Ice Decline: Observations, Projections, Mechanisms, and Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeWeaver, Eric T.; Bitz, Cecilia M.; Tremblay, L.-Bruno

    This volume addresses the rapid decline of Arctic sea ice, placing recent sea ice decline in the context of past observations, climate model simulations and projections, and simple models of the climate sensitivity of sea ice. Highlights of the work presented here include • An appraisal of the role played by wind forcing in driving the decline; • A reconstruction of Arctic sea ice conditions prior to human observations, based on proxy data from sediments; • A modeling approach for assessing the impact of sea ice decline on polar bears, used as input to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision to list the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act; • Contrasting studies on the existence of a "tipping point," beyond which Arctic sea ice decline will become (or has already become) irreversible, including an examination of the role of the small ice cap instability in global warming simulations; • A significant summertime atmospheric response to sea ice reduction in an atmospheric general circulation model, suggesting a positive feedback and the potential for short-term climate prediction. The book will be of interest to researchers attempting to understand the recent behavior of Arctic sea ice, model projections of future sea ice loss, and the consequences of sea ice loss for the natural and human systems of the Arctic.

  14. Forest declines: Some perspectives on linking processes and patterns

    SciTech Connect

    McLaughlin, S.B.

    1992-01-01

    The regional decline in vigor of some species of forest trees has become an important component in the ecological, aesthetic, and economic criteria by which the costs of anthropogenic pollution are weighed. Because declines are often complex and virtually never without significant natural environmental modifiers, determining the role of specific anthropogenic stresses in initiating or enhancing the rate and direction of change in forest condition represents a significant research challenge. Separation of primary mechanisms that point to principal causes from secondary responses that result from internal feedbacks and the milieu of modifying agents is a critical issue in diagnosing forest decline. Air pollutant stress may have its most significant effects on forest processes by accelerating or amplifying natural stresses. Studies of changes in forest metabolic processes have played an important role in evaluating the role of air pollution in four regional forest declines that are the focus of this paper. The decline of ponderosa pine in the San Bernardino Mountains of California, Norway spruce and silver fir in Europe, loblolly and shortleaf pine in the Southeastern United States, and red spruce in the Eastern Appalachian Mountains provide case studies in which physiological responses to air pollutants under field and laboratory conditions have provided important analytical tools for assessing likely causes. These tools are most effective when both mechanistic explanations and larger scale patterns of response are evaluated in an iterative feedback loop that examines plausible mechanisms and patterns of response at levels ranging from cell membranes to plant populations.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-11

    Bumble bees (Bombus) are vitally important pollinators of wild plants and agricultural crops worldwide. Fragmentary observations, however, have suggested population declines in several North American species. Despite rising concern over these observations in the United States, highlighted in a recent National Academy of Sciences report, a national assessment of the geographic scope and possible causal factors of bumble bee decline is lacking. Here, we report results of a 3-y interdisciplinary study of changing distributions, population genetic structure, and levels of pathogen infection in bumble bee populations across the United States. We compare current and historical distributions of eight species, compiling a database of >73,000 museum records for comparison with data from intensive nationwide surveys of >16,000 specimens. We show that the relative abundances of four species have declined by up to 96% and that their surveyed geographic ranges have contracted by 23-87%, some within the last 20 y. We also show that declining populations have significantly higher infection levels of the microsporidian pathogen Nosema bombi and lower genetic diversity compared with co-occurring populations of the stable (nondeclining) species. Higher pathogen prevalence and reduced genetic diversity are, thus, realistic predictors of these alarming patterns of decline in North America, although cause and effect remain uncertain.

  16. Global amphibian declines: perspectives from the United States and beyond

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Densmore, Christine L.; Cipriano, R.C.; Bruckner, A.W.; Shchelkunov, I.S.

    2011-01-01

    Over recent decades, amphibians have experienced population declines, extirpations and species-level extinctions at an alarming rate. Numerous potential etiologies for amphibian declines have been postulated including climate and habitat degradation. Other potential anthropogenic causes including overexploitation and the frequent introductions of invasive predatory species have also been blamed for amphibian declines. Still other underlying factors may include infectious diseases caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, pathogenic viruses (Ranavirus), and other agents. It is nearly certain that more than one etiology is to blame for the majority of the global amphibian declines, and that these causal factors include some combination of climatological or physical habitat destabilization and infectious disease, most notably chytridiomycosis. Scientific research efforts are aimed at elucidating these etiologies on local, regional, and global scales that we might better understand and counteract the driving forces behind amphibian declines. Conservation efforts as outlined in the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan of 2005 are also being made to curtail losses and prevent further extinctions wherever possible.

  17. Decline in long-term growth trends of white oak

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Phipps, R.L.; Whiton, J.C.

    1988-01-01

    Quercus alba tree-ring collections from 89 locations throughout much of its range, from Connecticut to North Carolina to Iowa, were examined for evidence of growth decline initiated in the 1950s. The expected trend of annual basal area increments, based on pre-1950 growth, appears to be linear, with the slope varying among collections relative to site quality. Growth decline, defined as departure of actual growth below that expected, was identified in 40 to 60 collections judged to have not been affected by local site histories. The percentage of collections showing decline was essentially the same in the Northeast, the Midwest and the Southeast. Onset of decline began during a relatively narrow time window from the mid-1950's to the early 1960's. Since then the growth trend has been linear and appears unrelated to changes in regional sulfur and nitrogen oxide emissions. Events or conditions, unique to the 1950's, initiated a growth rate change in c 2/3 of the stands examined. Initiation of the decline appears to be unrelated to tree age, geographic location, site quality, climatic trends, or regional emissions of sulfur and nitrogen oxides. -from Authors

  18. The decline of teacher autonomy: Tears or cheers?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Lorin W.

    1987-09-01

    In the United States teacher autonomy has been declining for at least a decade. This decline can be attributed in large part to three factors. First, uniform staff development programmes based on research on effective teaching have become widespread. Second, classroom observations have become an integral part of imposed teacher evaluations. Third, school principals have been called on to assume the role of `instructional leader'. While some may perceive the decline of teacher autonomy negatively, at least two benefits of this decline have been identified. First, a `common language' by which teachers can discuss the problems and potential of instruction and teaching among themselves and with school administrators is developing. Second, the likelihood that teachers will achieve a truly professional status is enhanced. Many educators write as if the natural result of a decline in teacher autonomy is standardization; that is, the cloning of teachers. This article negates such pessimism. Teacher autonomy, like many educational variables, exists along a continuum. As a consequence, a midpoint on the autonomy continuum — a balance between uniqueness and standardization, between license and responsibility — is the desirable state of affairs. Finally, autonomy should be earned by teachers, not simply given to them. In this regard, greater concern should be given to teachers' preparation for, and induction into, their roles as school teachers. Similarly, increases in autonomy should mirror increases in teacher status; status defined in terms of teacher experience, expertise, and excellence.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-11

    Bumble bees (Bombus) are vitally important pollinators of wild plants and agricultural crops worldwide. Fragmentary observations, however, have suggested population declines in several North American species. Despite rising concern over these observations in the United States, highlighted in a recent National Academy of Sciences report, a national assessment of the geographic scope and possible causal factors of bumble bee decline is lacking. Here, we report results of a 3-y interdisciplinary study of changing distributions, population genetic structure, and levels of pathogen infection in bumble bee populations across the United States. We compare current and historical distributions of eight species, compiling a database of >73,000 museum records for comparison with data from intensive nationwide surveys of >16,000 specimens. We show that the relative abundances of four species have declined by up to 96% and that their surveyed geographic ranges have contracted by 23-87%, some within the last 20 y. We also show that declining populations have significantly higher infection levels of the microsporidian pathogen Nosema bombi and lower genetic diversity compared with co-occurring populations of the stable (nondeclining) species. Higher pathogen prevalence and reduced genetic diversity are, thus, realistic predictors of these alarming patterns of decline in North America, although cause and effect remain uncertain. PMID:21199943

  1. Detecting insect pollinator declines on regional and global scales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lubuhn, Gretchen; Droege, Sam; Connor, Edward F.; Gemmill-Herren, Barbara; Potts, Simon G.; Minckley, Robert L.; Griswold, Terry; Jean, Robert; Kula, Emanuel; Roubik, David W.; Cane, Jim; Wright, Karen W.; Frankie, Gordon; Parker, Frank

    2013-01-01

    Recently there has been considerable concern about declines in bee communities in agricultural and natural habitats. The value of pollination to agriculture, provided primarily by bees, is >$200 billion/year worldwide, and in natural ecosystems it is thought to be even greater. However, no monitoring program exists to accurately detect declines in abundance of insect pollinators; thus, it is difficult to quantify the status of bee communities or estimate the extent of declines. We used data from 11 multiyear studies of bee communities to devise a program to monitor pollinators at regional, national, or international scales. In these studies, 7 different methods for sampling bees were used and bees were sampled on 3 different continents. We estimated that a monitoring program with 200-250 sampling locations each sampled twice over 5 years would provide sufficient power to detect small (2-5%) annual declines in the number of species and in total abundance and would cost U.S.$2,000,000. To detect declines as small as 1% annually over the same period would require >300 sampling locations. Given the role of pollinators in food security and ecosystem function, we recommend establishment of integrated regional and international monitoring programs to detect changes in pollinator communities.

  2. Sea otter population declines in the Aleutian Archipelago

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

    Sea otter (Enhydra lutris) populations were exploited to near extinction and began to recover after the cessation of commercial hunting in 1911. Remnant colonies of sea otters in the Aleutian archipelago were among the first to recover; they continued to increase through the 1980s but declined abruptly during the 1990s. We conducted an aerial survey of the Aleutian archipelago in 2000 and compared results with similar surveys conducted in 1965 and 1992. The number of sea otters counted decreased by 75% between 1965 and 2000; 88% for islands at equilibrial density in 1965. The population decline likely began in the mid-1980s and declined at a rate of 17.5%/year in the 1990s. The minimal population estimate was 8,742 sea otters in 2000. The population declined to a uniformly low density in the archipelago, suggesting a common and geographically widespread cause. These data are in general agreement with the hypothesis of increased predation on sea otters. These data chronicle one of the most widespread and precipitous population declines for a mammalian carnivore in recorded history.

  3. Critical Decline of the Eastern Caribbean Sperm Whale Population

    PubMed Central

    Whitehead, Hal

    2016-01-01

    Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) populations were expected to rebuild following the end of commercial whaling. We document the decline of the population in the eastern Caribbean by tracing demographic changes of well-studied social units. We address hypotheses that, over a ten-year period of dedicated effort (2005–2015), unit size, numbers of calves and/or calving rates have each declined. Across 16 units, the number of adults decreased in 12 units, increased in two, and showed no change in two. The number of adults per unit decreased at -0.195 individuals/yr (95% CI: -0.080 to -0.310; P = 0.001). The number of calves also declined, but the decline was not significant. This negative trend of -4.5% per year in unit size started in about 2010, with numbers being fairly stable until then. There are several natural and anthropogenic threats, but no well-substantiated cause for the decline. PMID:27706153

  4. Decreased recall of primacy words predicts cognitive decline.

    PubMed

    Bruno, Davide; Reiss, Philip T; Petkova, Eva; Sidtis, John J; Pomara, Nunzio

    2013-03-01

    One of the cognitive changes associated with Alzheimer's disease is a diminution of the primacy effect, i.e., the tendency toward better recall of items studied early on a list compared with the rest. We examined whether learning and recall of primacy words predicted subsequent cognitive decline in 204 elderly subjects who were non-demented and cognitively intact when first examined. Our results show that poorer primacy performance in the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test delayed recall trials, but not in immediate recall trials, is an effective predictor of subsequent decline in general cognitive function. This pattern of performance can be interpreted as evidence that failure to consolidate primacy items is a marker of cognitive decline.

  5. Fertility decline in rural China: a comparative analysis.

    PubMed

    Harrell, Stevan; Yuesheng, Wang; Hua, Han; Santos, Gonçalo D; Yingying, Zhou

    2011-01-01

    Many models have been proposed to explain both the rapidity of China's fertility decline after the 1960s and the differential timing of the decline in different places. In particular, scholars argue over whether deliberate policies of fertility control, institutional changes, or general modernization factors contribute most to changes in fertility behavior. Here the authors adopt an ethnographically grounded behavioral-institutional approach to analyze qualitative and quantitative data from three different rural settings: Xiaoshan County in Zhejiang (East China), Ci County in Hebei, (North China), and Yingde County in Guangdong (South China). The authors show that no one set of factors explain differential timing by a combination of differences in social-cultural environments (e.g. spread of education, reproductive ideologies, and gender relations) and politico-economic conditions (e.g. economic development, birth planning campaigns, and collective systems of labor organization) during the early phases of the fertility decline.

  6. The widespread threat of calcium decline in fresh waters.

    PubMed

    Jeziorski, Adam; Yan, Norman D; Paterson, Andrew M; Desellas, Anna M; Turner, Michael A; Jeffries, Dean S; Keller, Bill; Weeber, Russ C; McNicol, Don K; Palmer, Michelle E; McIver, Kyle; Arseneau, Kristina; Ginn, Brian K; Cumming, Brian F; Smol, John P

    2008-11-28

    Calcium concentrations are now commonly declining in softwater boreal lakes. Although the mechanisms leading to these declines are generally well known, the consequences for the aquatic biota have not yet been reported. By examining crustacean zooplankton remains preserved in lake sediment cores, we document near extirpations of calcium-rich Daphnia species, which are keystone herbivores in pelagic food webs, concurrent with declining lake-water calcium. A large proportion (62%, 47 to 81% by region) of the Canadian Shield lakes we examined has a calcium concentration approaching or below the threshold at which laboratory Daphnia populations suffer reduced survival and fecundity. The ecological impacts of environmental calcium loss are likely to be both widespread and pronounced. PMID:19039134

  7. Factors influencing the declining trend of vasectomy in Sichuan, China.

    PubMed

    Nian, Cui; Xiaozhang, Liu; Xiaofang, Pan; Qing, Yang; Minxiang, Li

    2010-07-01

    Vasectomy was once the most common birth control method in both Sichuan Province, China and the world. However, since the 1990s the prevalence of vasectomy in Sichuan, has declined significantly compared to female sterilization in Sichuan and national prevalence of male/female sterilization during the same period. To explore possible reasons for this decline, 27 focus group discussions (FGDs) and 8 in-depth interviews (IDIs) were conducted in four strata of Sichuan. Procedures for qualitative data analysis were used. The findings reveal the decline in vasectomy in Sichuan Province is influenced by multiple factors, including shifts in demographics, changes in family planning working approach and people's perceptions of reproduction, lack of information and misunderstandings about vasectomy, the stereotype of male dominance, bias and preference of program and provider, and the impact of a market economy. Several implications arise from the study for future program development.

  8. The widespread threat of calcium decline in fresh waters.

    PubMed

    Jeziorski, Adam; Yan, Norman D; Paterson, Andrew M; Desellas, Anna M; Turner, Michael A; Jeffries, Dean S; Keller, Bill; Weeber, Russ C; McNicol, Don K; Palmer, Michelle E; McIver, Kyle; Arseneau, Kristina; Ginn, Brian K; Cumming, Brian F; Smol, John P

    2008-11-28

    Calcium concentrations are now commonly declining in softwater boreal lakes. Although the mechanisms leading to these declines are generally well known, the consequences for the aquatic biota have not yet been reported. By examining crustacean zooplankton remains preserved in lake sediment cores, we document near extirpations of calcium-rich Daphnia species, which are keystone herbivores in pelagic food webs, concurrent with declining lake-water calcium. A large proportion (62%, 47 to 81% by region) of the Canadian Shield lakes we examined has a calcium concentration approaching or below the threshold at which laboratory Daphnia populations suffer reduced survival and fecundity. The ecological impacts of environmental calcium loss are likely to be both widespread and pronounced.

  9. On the decline of biodiversity due to area loss

    PubMed Central

    Keil, Petr; Storch, David; Jetz, Walter

    2015-01-01

    Predictions of how different facets of biodiversity decline with habitat loss are broadly needed, yet challenging. Here we provide theory and a global empirical evaluation to address this challenge. We show that extinction estimates based on endemics–area and backward species–area relationships are complementary, and the crucial difference comprises the geometry of area loss. Across three taxa on four continents, the relative loss of species, and of phylogenetic and functional diversity, is highest when habitable area disappears inward from the edge of a region, lower when it disappears from the centre outwards, and lowest when area is lost at random. In inward destruction, species loss is almost proportional to area loss, although the decline in phylogenetic and functional diversity is less severe. These trends are explained by the geometry of species ranges and the shape of phylogenetic and functional trees, which may allow baseline predictions of biodiversity decline for underexplored taxa. PMID:26575347

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  12. Trajectory of Mobility Decline by Type of Dementia.

    PubMed

    Tolea, Magdalena I; Morris, John C; Galvin, James E

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive and physical aspects of functionality are closely related. However, whether physical decline differs by dementia type and progression rate is debatable. To address these issues, we conducted a longitudinal study of 766 older adults whose physical performance and cognitive status were assessed annually with standard assessment tools [eg, Physical Performance Test, Clinical Dementia Rate (CDR)] for 8 years. Compared with participants who remained cognitively normal, those progressing to later-stage dementia (CDR=1) declined in their mobility by a factor of 2.82 (P<0.001), followed by those who maintained a later-stage diagnosis (slope=-1.84, P<0.001), those progressing from early-stage to later-stage (CDR=0.5 to CDR=1) dementia (slope=-1.20, P<0.001), and those who progressed to early-stage dementia (slope=-0.39, P=0.038) suggesting a steeper physical decline with dementia progression, particularly in those with the fastest disease progression. Although all types of dementia experienced mobility decline, those progressing to non-Alzheimer disease (AD) dementias, especially vascular dementia declined faster than those who remained normal (slope=-2.70, P<0.001) or progressed to AD (slope=-2.18, P<0.001). These associations were better captured by the gait/balance component of physical functionality. Our findings suggest that rapidly progressing dementia patients particularly those with non-AD subtypes should be targeted for interventions to maintain or improve gait/balance and prevent functional decline and disability although AD patients may also benefit.

  13. Demography and decline of the Mentasta Caribou Herd, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jenkins, Kurt J.; Barten, Neil L.

    2005-01-01

    We evaluated population trends in the Mentasta caribou (Rangifer tarandus (L., 1758)) herd in Wrangell a?? St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska, from 1990 to 1997 and determined factors contributing to its decline. We postulated that predation-related mortality of adult females and juveniles was the proximate cause of the decline, and that survival of juvenile caribou reflected interactions with winter severity, calving distribution, timing of births, density of caribou, and physical condition of neonates at birth. The population declined at its greatest rate from 1990 to 1993 (r = a??0.32) and at a lower rate from 1994 to 1997 (r = a??0.09). Recruitment (number of calves/100 females during September) averaged 4/100 during the rapid population decline from 1990 to 1993 and 13/100 from 1994 to 1997. Parturition rate of adult females ranged from 65% to 97%. Survival of adult females and juveniles ranged from 0.77 to 0.86 and from 0.00 to 0.22, respectively. Approximately 43%, 59%, and 79% of all juvenile mortality occurred by 1, 2, and 4 weeks of age, respectively. We confirmed predation-related mortality as the primary proximate cause of population decline, with gray wolves (Canis lupus L., 1758), bears (species of the genus Ursus L., 1758), and other predators accounting for 57%, 38%, and 5%, respectively, of all juvenile mortality, and bears causing disproportionate mortality among 0- to 1-week-old neonates. We supported the hypotheses that timing of birth and habitat conditions at the birth site, particularly mottled snow patterns, affected vulnerability and survival of neonates, and birth mass affected survival of juveniles through summer. We speculate that the population will continue to decline before reaching a low-density equilibrium that is sustained by density-dependent changes in the functional responses of predators.

  14. Atrial Fibrillation, Neurocognitive Decline and Gene Expression After Cardiopulmonary Bypass

    PubMed Central

    Dalal, Rahul S.; Sabe, Ashraf A.; Elmadhun, Nassrene Y.; Ramlawi, Basel; Sellke, Frank W.

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVE Atrial fibrillation and neurocognitive decline are common complications after cardiopulmonary bypass. By utilizing genomic microarrays we investigate whether gene expression is associated with postoperative atrial fibrillation and neurocognitive decline. METHODS Twenty one cardiac surgery patients were prospectively matched and underwent neurocognitive assessments pre-operatively and four days postoperatively. The whole blood collected in the pre-cardiopulmonary bypass, 6 hours after-cardiopulmonary bypass, and on the 4th postoperative day was hybridized to Affymetrix Gene Chip U133 Plus 2.0 Microarrays. Gene expression in patients who developed postoperative atrial fibrillation and neurocognitive decline (n=6; POAF+NCD) was compared with gene expression in patients with postoperative atrial fibrillation and normal cognitive function (n=5; POAF+NORM) and patients with sinus rhythm and normal cognitive function (n=10; SR+NORM). Regulated genes were identified using JMP Genomics 4.0 with a false discovery rate of 0.05 and fold change of >1.5 or <-1.5. RESULTS Eleven patients developed postoperative atrial fibrillation. Six of these also developed neurocognitive decline. Of the 12 patients with sinus rhythm, only 2 developed neurocognitive decline. POAF+NCD patients had unique regulation of 17 named genes preoperatively, 60 named genes six hours after cardiopulmonary bypass, and 34 named genes four days postoperatively (P<0.05) compared with normal patients. Pathway analysis demonstrated that these genes are involved in cell death, inflammation, cardiac remodeling and nervous system function. CONCLUSION Patients who developed postoperative atrial fibrillation and neurocognitive decline after cardiopulmonary bypass may have differential genomic responses compared to normal patients and patients with only postoperative atrial fibrillation, suggesting common pathophysiology for these conditions. Further exploration of these genes may provide insight into the

  15. Examining differences between recovered and declining endangered species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2001-01-01

    Between 1973 and 1999, 43 species in the United States were reclassified from endangered to threatened or removed entirely from the Endangered Species List. Of these, 23 were identified as recovered. In 1999 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) published a list of 33 additional species for possible reclassification and/or delisting. We initiated this study to examine why some endangered species recover but others continue to decline and to identify differences in management activities between these two groups. We defined recovered/recovering species as previously recovered species and the additional recovered/recovering species listed by the USFWS. We defined declining species as those identified as declining in the most recent USFWS Report to Congress. Information on recovered/recovering and declining species was gathered from relevant literature, recovery plans, U.S. Federal Register documents, and individuals responsible for the recovery management of each species. We used this information to examine (1) the percentage of current and historic range covered by management activities; (2) threats affecting the species; (3) population sizes at the time of listing; (4) current versus historic range size; and (5) percentage of recovery management objectives completed. Although few statistical analyses provided significant results, those that did suggest the following differences between recovered/recovering and declining species: (1) recovered/recovering species face threats that are easier to address; (2) recovered/recovering species occupy a greater percentage of their historic range; and (3) recovered/recovering species have a greater percentage of their recovery management objectives completed. Those species with threats easier to address and that occupy a greater percentage of their historic range are recovered/recovering. In contrast, declining species face threats more difficult to address and occupy significantly less of their historic range. If this

  16. Decline in maternal mortality in Matlab, Bangladesh: a cautionary tale.

    PubMed

    Ronsmans, C; Vanneste, A M; Chakraborty, J; van Ginneken, J

    This study examines the impact of the Maternal-Child Health and Family Planning (MCH-FP) program in the Matlab, Bangladesh. Data were obtained from the Matlab surveillance system for treatment and comparison areas. This study reports the trends in maternal mortality since 1976. The MCH-FP area received extensive services in health and family planning since 1977. Services included trained traditional birth attendants and essential obstetric care from government district hospitals and a large number of private clinics. Geographic ease of access to essential obstetric care varied across the study area. Access was most difficult in the northern sector of the MCH-FP area. Contraception was made available through family welfare centers. Tetanus immunization was introduced in 1979. Door-to-door contraceptive services were provided by 80 female community health workers on a twice-monthly basis. In 1987, a community-based maternity care program was added to existing MCH-FP services in the northern treatment area. The demographic surveillance system began collecting data in 1966. During 1976-93 there were 624 maternal deaths among women aged 15-44 years in Matlab (510/100,000 live births). 72.8% of deaths were due to direct obstetric causes: postpartum hemorrhage, induced abortion, eclampsia, dystocia, and postpartum sepsis. Maternal mortality declined in a fluctuating fashion in both treatment and comparison areas. Direct obstetric mortality declined at about 3% per year. After 1987, direct obstetric mortality declined in the north by almost 50%. After the 1990 program expansion in the south, maternal mortality declined, though not significantly, in the south. Maternal mortality declined in the south comparison area during 1987-89 and stabilized. The comparison area of the north showed no decline. PMID:9428252

  17. Trajectory of Mobility Decline by Type of Dementia.

    PubMed

    Tolea, Magdalena I; Morris, John C; Galvin, James E

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive and physical aspects of functionality are closely related. However, whether physical decline differs by dementia type and progression rate is debatable. To address these issues, we conducted a longitudinal study of 766 older adults whose physical performance and cognitive status were assessed annually with standard assessment tools [eg, Physical Performance Test, Clinical Dementia Rate (CDR)] for 8 years. Compared with participants who remained cognitively normal, those progressing to later-stage dementia (CDR=1) declined in their mobility by a factor of 2.82 (P<0.001), followed by those who maintained a later-stage diagnosis (slope=-1.84, P<0.001), those progressing from early-stage to later-stage (CDR=0.5 to CDR=1) dementia (slope=-1.20, P<0.001), and those who progressed to early-stage dementia (slope=-0.39, P=0.038) suggesting a steeper physical decline with dementia progression, particularly in those with the fastest disease progression. Although all types of dementia experienced mobility decline, those progressing to non-Alzheimer disease (AD) dementias, especially vascular dementia declined faster than those who remained normal (slope=-2.70, P<0.001) or progressed to AD (slope=-2.18, P<0.001). These associations were better captured by the gait/balance component of physical functionality. Our findings suggest that rapidly progressing dementia patients particularly those with non-AD subtypes should be targeted for interventions to maintain or improve gait/balance and prevent functional decline and disability although AD patients may also benefit. PMID:25886717

  18. TDP-43 Pathology, Cognitive Decline, and Dementia in Old Age

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Robert S.; Yu, Lei; Trojanowski, John Q.; Chen, Er-Yun; Boyle, Patricia A.; Bennett, David A.; Schneider, Julie A.

    2013-01-01

    Importance Cognitive decline is a leading cause of disability and death in old age but its neurobiological bases are not well understood. Objective To test the hypothesis that transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) is related to late life cognitive decline. Design Longitudinal clinical-pathologic cohort study. Setting More than 40 Catholic groups across the United States. Participants A total of 130 older Catholic nuns, priests, and monks underwent annual clinical evaluations, including detailed cognitive testing, for a mean of 10.1 years prior to death. On neuropathologic examination, we collected semiquantitative measures of TDP-43 pathology, density of neuronal neurofibrillary tangles, area occupied by amyloid-beta plaques, and the presence of alpha-synuclein Lewy bodies from multiple brain regions. Gross and microscopic cerebral infarcts and hippocampal sclerosis were also identified. Main Outcome Measure Annual rate of change in a previously established composite measure of global cognition during a mean of 10.1 years of annual observation before death. Results TDP-43 pathology ranging from sparse to severe was identified in 46% of participants and was associated with amyloid plaques, tangles, and hippocampal sclerosis but not neocortical Lewy bodies or cerebral infarcts. After controlling for amyloid plaques, tangles, and hippocampal sclerosis, TDP-43 pathology was associated with more rapid cognitive decline and accounted for nearly as much of the variability in rates of global cognitive decline as did tangles. TDP-43 pathology had a distinct cognitive profile that differed from other neuropathologic processes (related to decline in episodic and working memory but not in other cognitive domains), and it was elevated in those who developed dementia but not in those with mild cognitive impairment. Conclusion The results suggest that TDP-43 is an important brain pathology underlying cognitive decline and dementia in old age. PMID:24080705

  19. Late Life Leisure Activities and Risk of Cognitive Decline

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background. Studies concerning the effect of different types of leisure activities on various cognitive domains are limited. This study tests the hypothesis that mental, physical, and social activities have a domain-specific protection against cognitive decline. Methods. A cohort of a geographically defined population in China was examined in 2003–2005 and followed for an average of 2.4 years. Leisure activities were assessed in 1,463 adults aged 65 years and older without cognitive or physical impairment at baseline, and their cognitive performances were tested at baseline and follow-up examinations. Results. High level of mental activity was related to less decline in global cognition (β = −.23, p < .01), language (β = −.11, p < .05), and executive function (β = −.13, p < .05) in ANCOVA models adjusting for age, gender, education, history of stroke, body mass index, Apolipoprotein E genotype, and baseline cognition. High level of physical activity was related to less decline in episodic memory (β = −.08, p < .05) and language (β = −.15, p < .01). High level of social activity was associated with less decline in global cognition (β = −.11, p < .05). Further, a dose-response pattern was observed: although participants who did not engage in any of the three activities experienced a significant global cognitive decline, those who engaged in any one of the activities maintained their cognition, and those who engaged in two or three activities improved their cognition. The same pattern was observed in men and in women. Conclusions. Leisure activities in old age may protect against cognitive decline for both women and men, and different types of activities seem to benefit different cognitive domains. PMID:22879456

  20. Litterfall 15N abundance indicates declining soil nitrogen availability in a free-air CO2 enrichment experiment.

    PubMed

    Garten, Charles T; Iversen, Colleen M; Norby, Richard J

    2011-01-01

    Forest productivity increases in response to carbon dioxide (CO2) enrichment of the atmosphere. However, in nitrogen-limited ecosystems, increased productivity may cause a decline in soil nitrogen (N) availability and induce a negative feedback on further enhancement of forest production. In a free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiment, the response of sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua L.) productivity to elevated CO2 concentrations [CO2] has declined over time, but documenting an associated change in soil N availability has been difficult. Here we assess the time history of soil N availability through analysis of natural 15N abundance in archived samples of freshly fallen leaf litterfall. Litterfall delta15N declined from 1998 to 2005, and the rate of decline was significantly faster in elevated [CO2]. Declining leaf litterfall delta15N is indicative of a tighter ecosystem N cycle and more limited soil N availability. By integrating N availability over time and throughout the soil profile, temporal dynamics in leaf litterfall delta15N provide a powerful tool for documenting changes in N availability and the critical feedbacks between C and N cycles that will control forest response to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

  1. Demography of Symbiotic Nitrogen-Fixing Trees Explains Their Rarity and Successional Decline in Temperate Forests in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Liao, Wenying; Menge, Duncan N. L.

    2016-01-01

    Symbiotic nitrogen (N) fixation is the major N input to many ecosystems. Although temperate forests are commonly N limited, symbiotic N-fixing trees (“N fixers”) are rare and decline in abundance as succession proceeds–a challenging paradox that remains unexplained. Understanding demographic processes that underlie N fixers’ rarity and successional decline would provide a proximate answer to the paradox. Do N fixers grow slower, die more frequently, or recruit less in temperate forests? We quantified demographic rates of N-fixing and non-fixing trees across succession using U.S. forest inventory data. We used an individual-based model to evaluate the relative contribution of each demographic process to community dynamics. Compared to non-fixers, N fixers had lower growth rates, higher mortality rates, and lower recruitment rates throughout succession. The mortality effect contributed more than the growth effect to N fixers’ successional decline. Canopy and understory N fixers experienced these demographic disadvantages, indicating that factors in addition to light limitation likely contribute to N fixers’ successional decline. We show that the rarity and successional decline of N-fixing trees in temperate forests is due more to their survival disadvantage than their growth disadvantage, and a recruitment disadvantage might also play a large role. PMID:27780268

  2. Amphibian decline: An integrated analysis of multiple stressor effects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

    Capturing the attention and imagination of the public and the scientific community alike, the mysterious decline in amphibian populations drew scientists and resource managers from ecotoxicology and chemistry, ecology and field biology, conservation biology, and natural resource policy to a SETAC–Johnson Foundation workshop. Facilitating environmental stewardship, increasing capacity of the sciences to explain complex stressors, and educating the public on relationships among communities of all types motivated these experts to address amphibian decline and the role of various stressors in these losses.

  3. How personal is the political? Democratic revolution and fertility decline.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Amy Kate

    2009-10-01

    Existing theory has identified the capacity of political revolutions to effect change in a variety of social institutions, although relationships between revolution and many institutions remain unexplored. Using historical data from twenty-two European and four diaspora countries, the author examines the temporal relationship between timing of revolution and onset of fertility decline. The author hypothesizes that specific kinds of revolutionary events affect fertility by engendering ideological changes in popular understandings of the individual's relationship to society and ultimately the legitimacy of couples' authority over their reproductive capacities. Results demonstrate that popular democratic revolutions -- but not institutionalized democratic structures -- predict the timing of the onset of fertility decline.

  4. Rapid cognitive decline: not always Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

    PubMed

    Randall, A; Ellis, R; Hywel, B; Davies, R R; Alusi, S H; Larner, A J

    2015-01-01

    A patient with rapidly progressive cognitive decline over an approximately four month period was suspected to have sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Features thought to support this diagnosis included psychiatric symptoms (anxiety and depression), visual hallucinations and a visual field defect. However, the finding of papilloedema broadened the differential diagnosis. Although standard brain imaging and electroencephalography had shown only non-specific abnormalities, subsequent cerebral angiography disclosed an intracranial dural arteriovenous fistula. Following embolisation, the patient made a good functional recovery. Intracranial dural arteriovenous fistula merits consideration in any patient with subacute cognitive decline, and should be included in the differential diagnosis of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. PMID:26517100

  5. The future of species under climate change: resilience or decline?

    PubMed

    Moritz, Craig; Agudo, Rosa

    2013-08-01

    As climates change across already stressed ecosystems, there is no doubt that species will be affected, but to what extent and which will be most vulnerable remain uncertain. The fossil record suggests that most species persisted through past climate change, whereas forecasts of future impacts predict large-scale range reduction and extinction. Many species have altered range limits and phenotypes through 20th-century climate change, but responses are highly variable. The proximate causes of species decline relative to resilience remain largely obscure; however, recent examples of climate-associated species decline can help guide current management in parallel with ongoing research.

  6. Genetic uniformity and the decline of red spruce

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1989-05-01

    This brief note examines current research that suggests genetic uniformity as a cause of red spruce decline. Although acid rain and ozone have been implicated in the decline of the species, dieback has been observed evening areas where pollution is low. In addition, the dieback is not observed in other species. Researchers have analyzed the seeds of approximately 500 red spruce trees representing 13 boreal and Montane populations from southern Appalachia to Canada. Of 42 gene loci examined, on the average only 8% of the genes were heterozygousand only 31% were polymorphic.

  7. [Fertility decline in Colombia: expression of a profound social change].

    PubMed

    De Llinas, H M

    1983-01-01

    Demographers have identified 3 phases in the evolution of human population growth: 1) high mortality and high fertility resulting in very slow growth, 2) declining mortality and high fertility, resulting in rapid growth, and 3) declining mortality and fertility, resulting in slower growth. From the beginning of the century until the 1930s, Colombia was in the 1st phase, while the greatest mortality declines were registered from 1930-60. Fertility did not decline commensurately, and from 1951-64 the rate of population increase was 3.14%. The National Fertility Survey in 1969 and the 1973 census indicated that the country had at last begun its fertility decline. The 1969 survey showed that the total fertility rate (TFR) had dropped from 7.0 in the early 1960s to 6.0 in 1967-68, with fertility declining in both rural and urban areas. The 1973 census showed a rate of growth of 2.8% and an average number of children/woman of 4.7, showing that the fertility decline was structural and reflected profound changes in the values, norms, and attitudes regarding children of the Colombian population. Urbanization, the increased educational level and labor force participation of women, and the influence of the mass media in propagating the values of a consumer society are factors in the reduction of family size. Fertility differentials by region and social group have been declining progressively. The TFR in 1960-64 was 7.0 overall, 6.1 in urban areas, and 7.9 in rural areas, while in 1980 it was 3.6 overall, 3.0 in urban areas, and 5.1 in rural areas. In 1968-69, the TFR was 7.8 in the Atlantic region, 7.9 in the Oriental, 6.8 in the Central, 5.9 in the Pacific, and 4.5 in Bogota, while in 1980 it was 4.1 in the Atlantic, 4.0 in the Oriental, 3.5 in the Central, 3.3 in the Pacific, and 2.8 in Bogota. The number of women using family planning programs increased from 83 in 1965 to 1,790,484 in 1980. The proportion using contraception increased from 53% in 1976 to 55% in 1980. The

  8. Evaluation of invasions and declines of submersed aquatic macrophytes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chambers, P.A.; Barko, J.W.; Smith, C.S.

    1993-01-01

    During the past 60 yr, sightings of aquatic macrophyte species in geographic regions where they had previously not been found have occurred with increasing frequency, apparently due to both greater dispersal of the plants as a result of human activities as well as better documentation of plant distribution. Intercontinental invasions, such as Myriophyllum spicatum and Hydrilla into North America, Elodea canadensis into Europe and Elodea nuttallii, Egeria densa and Cabomba caroliniana into Japan, have generally been well documented. However, the spread of an exotic species across a continent after its initial introduction (e.g., Potamogeton crispus in North America) or the expansion of a species native to a continent into hitherto unexploited territory (e.g.,the expansion of the North American native Myriophyllum heterophyllum into New England) have received little attention. Natural declines in aquatic macrophyte communities have also received little scientific study although there are many accounts of macrophyte declines. The best-documented example comes from the marine literature where extensive declines of eelgrass (Zostera) occurred in the 1930s along the Atlantic coast due to a pathogenic marine slime mold (''wasting disease''). The aim of this workshop was to identify examples of invasions or natural declines of aquatic macrophyte species throughout the world and assess the importance of environmental factors in their control. Forty-five scientists and aquatic plant managers from ten countries participated in the workshop. Eleven of the participants contributed written evaluations of species invasions and declines in their geo-graphic region. These were distributed to registered participants prior to the meeting and served as the starting-point of workshop discussions. To address the topics raised in the working papers, the participants divided into four working groups to evaluate: 1. Environmental controls of species invasions. 2. Biotic controls of species

  9. How Personal Is the Political? Democratic Revolution and Fertility Decline

    PubMed Central

    Bailey, Amy Kate

    2010-01-01

    Existing theory has identified the capacity of political revolutions to effect change in a variety of social institutions, although relationships between revolution and many institutions remain unexplored. Using historical data from 22 European and four diaspora countries, I examine the temporal relationship between timing of revolution and onset of fertility decline. I hypothesize that specific kinds of revolutionary events affect fertility by engendering ideological changes in popular understandings of the individual’s relationship to society, and ultimately the legitimacy of couples’ authority over their reproductive capacities. Results demonstrate that popular democratic revolution – but not institutionalized democratic structures – predict the timing of the onset of fertility decline. PMID:19999826

  10. [Fertility decline in Colombia: expression of a profound social change].

    PubMed

    De Llinas, H M

    1983-01-01

    Demographers have identified 3 phases in the evolution of human population growth: 1) high mortality and high fertility resulting in very slow growth, 2) declining mortality and high fertility, resulting in rapid growth, and 3) declining mortality and fertility, resulting in slower growth. From the beginning of the century until the 1930s, Colombia was in the 1st phase, while the greatest mortality declines were registered from 1930-60. Fertility did not decline commensurately, and from 1951-64 the rate of population increase was 3.14%. The National Fertility Survey in 1969 and the 1973 census indicated that the country had at last begun its fertility decline. The 1969 survey showed that the total fertility rate (TFR) had dropped from 7.0 in the early 1960s to 6.0 in 1967-68, with fertility declining in both rural and urban areas. The 1973 census showed a rate of growth of 2.8% and an average number of children/woman of 4.7, showing that the fertility decline was structural and reflected profound changes in the values, norms, and attitudes regarding children of the Colombian population. Urbanization, the increased educational level and labor force participation of women, and the influence of the mass media in propagating the values of a consumer society are factors in the reduction of family size. Fertility differentials by region and social group have been declining progressively. The TFR in 1960-64 was 7.0 overall, 6.1 in urban areas, and 7.9 in rural areas, while in 1980 it was 3.6 overall, 3.0 in urban areas, and 5.1 in rural areas. In 1968-69, the TFR was 7.8 in the Atlantic region, 7.9 in the Oriental, 6.8 in the Central, 5.9 in the Pacific, and 4.5 in Bogota, while in 1980 it was 4.1 in the Atlantic, 4.0 in the Oriental, 3.5 in the Central, 3.3 in the Pacific, and 2.8 in Bogota. The number of women using family planning programs increased from 83 in 1965 to 1,790,484 in 1980. The proportion using contraception increased from 53% in 1976 to 55% in 1980. The

  11. Consequences of declining snow accumulation for water balance of mid-latitude dry regions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schlaepfer, Daniel R.; Lauenroth, William K.; Bradford, John B.

    2012-01-01

    Widespread documentation of positive winter temperature anomalies, declining snowpack and earlier snow melt in the Northern Hemisphere have raised concerns about the consequences for regional water resources as well as wildfire. A topic that has not been addressed with respect to declining snowpack is effects on ecosystem water balance. Changes in water balance dynamics will be particularly pronounced at low elevations of mid-latitude dry regions because these areas will be the first to be affected by declining snow as a result of rising temperatures. As a model system, we used simulation experiments to investigate big sagebrush ecosystems that dominate a large fraction of the semiarid western United States. Our results suggest that effects on future ecosystem water balance will increase along a climatic gradient from dry, warm and snow-poor to wet, cold and snow-rich. Beyond a threshold within this climatic gradient, predicted consequences for vegetation switched from no change to increasing transpiration. Responses were sensitive to uncertainties in climatic prediction; particularly, a shift of precipitation to the colder season could reduce impacts of a warmer and snow-poorer future, depending on the degree to which ecosystem phenology tracks precipitation changes. Our results suggest that big sagebrush and other similar semiarid ecosystems could decrease in viability or disappear in dry to medium areas and likely increase only in the snow-richest areas, i.e. higher elevations and higher latitudes. Unlike cold locations at high elevations or in the arctic, ecosystems at low elevations respond in a different and complex way to future conditions because of opposing effects of increasing water-limitation and a longer snow-free season. Outcomes of such nonlinear interactions for future ecosystems will likely include changes in plant composition and productivity, dynamics of water balance, and availability of water resources.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  13. Verbal memory decline in Alzheimer's disease: a multiple-processes deficit.

    PubMed

    Pepin, E P; Eslinger, P J

    1989-11-01

    Memory dysfunction is a primary diagnostic criterion and one of the earliest clinical manifestations of dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT). The profile of progression of this memory deficit is assumed to represent a unitary decline. We studied the profile of verbal memory decline using an immediate free recall learning task in 18 DAT patients judged to be at 3 different stages of severity (mildly, moderately, and severely affected), using the serial-position function as the dependent measure. Results showed that the pattern of performance of DAT patients depended upon the severity of the disease. With mild dementia, the U-shaped curve was qualitatively similar to that observed in normals (presence of primacy and recency effects). With increasing severity of dementia, there was a consistent modification of the serial-position function with, in moderately affected subjects, a progression toward a unimodal curve devoid of a primacy effect and, later on, a decrease of the recency effect. These findings suggest that the serial-position function shows dynamic changes across stages of DAT. These dynamic changes may imply distinct disturbances of 2 or more learning-memory processes in this condition. The processes involved presumably reflect the temporal nature of the pathologic involvement of distinct neural systems, both structural and neurochemical.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Infectious diseases are intimately associated with the dynamics of biodiversity. However, the role that infectious disease plays within ecological communities is complex. The complex effects of infectious disease at the scale of communities and ecosystems are driven by the interaction between host and pathogen. Whether or not a given host–pathogen interaction results in progression from infection to disease is largely dependent on the physiological characteristics of the host within the context of the external environment. Here, we highlight the importance of understanding the outcome of infection and disease in the context of host ecophysiology using amphibians as a model system. Amphibians are ideal for such a discussion because many of their populations are experiencing declines and extinctions, with disease as an important factor implicated in many declines and extinctions. Exposure to pathogens and the host's responses to infection can be influenced by many factors related to physiology such as host life history, immunology, endocrinology, resource acquisition, behaviour and changing climates. In our review, we discuss the relationship between disease and biodiversity. We highlight the dynamics of three amphibian host–pathogen systems that induce different effects on hosts and life stages and illustrate the complexity of amphibian–host–parasite systems. We then review links between environmental stress, endocrine–immune interactions, disease and climate change. PMID:22566676

  15. Dinosaurs in decline tens of millions of years before their final extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakamoto, Manabu; Benton, Michael J.

    2016-05-01

    Whether dinosaurs were in a long-term decline or whether they were reigning strong right up to their final disappearance at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction event 66 Mya has been debated for decades with no clear resolution. The dispute has continued unresolved because of a lack of statistical rigor and appropriate evolutionary framework. Here, for the first time to our knowledge, we apply a Bayesian phylogenetic approach to model the evolutionary dynamics of speciation and extinction through time in Mesozoic dinosaurs, properly taking account of previously ignored statistical violations. We find overwhelming support for a long-term decline across all dinosaurs and within all three dinosaurian subclades (Ornithischia, Sauropodomorpha, and Theropoda), where speciation rate slowed down through time and was ultimately exceeded by extinction rate tens of millions of years before the K-Pg boundary. The only exceptions to this general pattern are the morphologically specialized herbivores, the Hadrosauriformes and Ceratopsidae, which show rapid species proliferations throughout the Late Cretaceous instead. Our results highlight that, despite some heterogeneity in speciation dynamics, dinosaurs showed a marked reduction in their ability to replace extinct species with new ones, making them vulnerable to extinction and unable to respond quickly to and recover from the final catastrophic event.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-19

    Infectious diseases are intimately associated with the dynamics of biodiversity. However, the role that infectious disease plays within ecological communities is complex. The complex effects of infectious disease at the scale of communities and ecosystems are driven by the interaction between host and pathogen. Whether or not a given host-pathogen interaction results in progression from infection to disease is largely dependent on the physiological characteristics of the host within the context of the external environment. Here, we highlight the importance of understanding the outcome of infection and disease in the context of host ecophysiology using amphibians as a model system. Amphibians are ideal for such a discussion because many of their populations are experiencing declines and extinctions, with disease as an important factor implicated in many declines and extinctions. Exposure to pathogens and the host's responses to infection can be influenced by many factors related to physiology such as host life history, immunology, endocrinology, resource acquisition, behaviour and changing climates. In our review, we discuss the relationship between disease and biodiversity. We highlight the dynamics of three amphibian host-pathogen systems that induce different effects on hosts and life stages and illustrate the complexity of amphibian-host-parasite systems. We then review links between environmental stress, endocrine-immune interactions, disease and climate change.

  17. Dinosaurs in decline tens of millions of years before their final extinction

    PubMed Central

    Sakamoto, Manabu; Benton, Michael J.; Venditti, Chris

    2016-01-01

    Whether dinosaurs were in a long-term decline or whether they were reigning strong right up to their final disappearance at the Cretaceous–Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction event 66 Mya has been debated for decades with no clear resolution. The dispute has continued unresolved because of a lack of statistical rigor and appropriate evolutionary framework. Here, for the first time to our knowledge, we apply a Bayesian phylogenetic approach to model the evolutionary dynamics of speciation and extinction through time in Mesozoic dinosaurs, properly taking account of previously ignored statistical violations. We find overwhelming support for a long-term decline across all dinosaurs and within all three dinosaurian subclades (Ornithischia, Sauropodomorpha, and Theropoda), where speciation rate slowed down through time and was ultimately exceeded by extinction rate tens of millions of years before the K-Pg boundary. The only exceptions to this general pattern are the morphologically specialized herbivores, the Hadrosauriformes and Ceratopsidae, which show rapid species proliferations throughout the Late Cretaceous instead. Our results highlight that, despite some heterogeneity in speciation dynamics, dinosaurs showed a marked reduction in their ability to replace extinct species with new ones, making them vulnerable to extinction and unable to respond quickly to and recover from the final catastrophic event. PMID:27092007

  18. Dinosaurs in decline tens of millions of years before their final extinction.

    PubMed

    Sakamoto, Manabu; Benton, Michael J; Venditti, Chris

    2016-05-01

    Whether dinosaurs were in a long-term decline or whether they were reigning strong right up to their final disappearance at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction event 66 Mya has been debated for decades with no clear resolution. The dispute has continued unresolved because of a lack of statistical rigor and appropriate evolutionary framework. Here, for the first time to our knowledge, we apply a Bayesian phylogenetic approach to model the evolutionary dynamics of speciation and extinction through time in Mesozoic dinosaurs, properly taking account of previously ignored statistical violations. We find overwhelming support for a long-term decline across all dinosaurs and within all three dinosaurian subclades (Ornithischia, Sauropodomorpha, and Theropoda), where speciation rate slowed down through time and was ultimately exceeded by extinction rate tens of millions of years before the K-Pg boundary. The only exceptions to this general pattern are the morphologically specialized herbivores, the Hadrosauriformes and Ceratopsidae, which show rapid species proliferations throughout the Late Cretaceous instead. Our results highlight that, despite some heterogeneity in speciation dynamics, dinosaurs showed a marked reduction in their ability to replace extinct species with new ones, making them vulnerable to extinction and unable to respond quickly to and recover from the final catastrophic event.

  19. Dinosaurs in decline tens of millions of years before their final extinction.

    PubMed

    Sakamoto, Manabu; Benton, Michael J; Venditti, Chris

    2016-05-01

    Whether dinosaurs were in a long-term decline or whether they were reigning strong right up to their final disappearance at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction event 66 Mya has been debated for decades with no clear resolution. The dispute has continued unresolved because of a lack of statistical rigor and appropriate evolutionary framework. Here, for the first time to our knowledge, we apply a Bayesian phylogenetic approach to model the evolutionary dynamics of speciation and extinction through time in Mesozoic dinosaurs, properly taking account of previously ignored statistical violations. We find overwhelming support for a long-term decline across all dinosaurs and within all three dinosaurian subclades (Ornithischia, Sauropodomorpha, and Theropoda), where speciation rate slowed down through time and was ultimately exceeded by extinction rate tens of millions of years before the K-Pg boundary. The only exceptions to this general pattern are the morphologically specialized herbivores, the Hadrosauriformes and Ceratopsidae, which show rapid species proliferations throughout the Late Cretaceous instead. Our results highlight that, despite some heterogeneity in speciation dynamics, dinosaurs showed a marked reduction in their ability to replace extinct species with new ones, making them vulnerable to extinction and unable to respond quickly to and recover from the final catastrophic event. PMID:27092007

  20. Post-war mortality decline and consumption expenditures in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Tsay, G

    1977-03-01

    With the objective of testing whether or not mortality decline is independent of economic development, changes are analyzed in mortality levels and consumption patterns in post-World War 2 Taiwan. According to the official statistics, the crude death rate in post-war Taiwan declined continuously from 11.5/1000 in 1950 to 6.8 in 1960, and then to 4.8 in 1974. During the same period, Taiwan also experienced impressive economic growth, with real per capita income rising from less than $150 in the early 1950s to almost $200 in the early 1960s, and then to more than $400 since 1973. Hence, it is hypothesized that mortality decline in post-war Taiwan was not independent of its economic development. The data for the study are annual aggregate statistics from official reports from 1950 to 1974. After eliminating the effect of the age composition from the mortality trend, the data show that the level of mortality improved much more during the 1st 1/2 of the study than during the last 1/2. Attempts were made to clarify the relationship between economic development and mortality decline by analyzing changes of mortality levels and consumption patterns. Although some weaknesses appear in the study, the preliminary results seem to imply that the mortality reduction in post-war Taiwan was not independent of economic progress. If more information becomes available, further investigation concerning this issue should lead to more conclusive results.

  1. Effects of invasive parasites on bumble bee declines.

    PubMed

    Meeus, Ivan; Brown, Mark J F; De Graaf, Dirk C; Smagghe, Guy

    2011-08-01

    Bumble bees are a group of pollinators that are both ecologically and economically important and declining worldwide. Numerous mechanisms could be behind this decline, and the spread of parasites from commercial colonies into wild populations has been implicated recently in North America. Commercial breeding may lead to declines because commercial colonies may have high parasite loads, which can lead to colonization of native bumble bee populations; commercial rearing may allow higher parasite virulence to evolve; and global movement of commercial colonies may disrupt spatial patterns in local adaptation between hosts and parasites. We assessed parasite virulence, transmission mode, and infectivity. Microparasites and so-called honey bee viruses may pose the greatest threat to native bumble bee populations because certain risk factors are present; for example, the probability of horizontal transmission of the trypanosome parasite Crithidia bombi is high. The microsporidian parasite Nosema bombi may play a role in declines of bumble bees in the United States. Preliminary indications that C. bombi and the neogregarine Apicystis bombi may not be native in parts of South America. We suggest that the development of molecular screening protocols, thorough sanitation efforts, and cooperation among nongovernmental organizations, governments, and commercial breeders might immediately mitigate these threats.

  2. Declining Enrollments: A New Dilemma for Educators. Fastback 116.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keough, William F., Jr.

    Twenty years after the baby boom, U.S. population is falling and school enrollment is declining. Contrary to public expectations, smaller enrollment does not mean smaller school budgets, and balancing the educational budget will require cutting programs, closing schools, and reducing teacher force. The experience of the East Meadow (New York)…

  3. Is the Value of College Going Really Declining?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Witmer, David R.

    1976-01-01

    The future economic value of college-going is examined in a reply to the pessimistic view offered by Freeman and Hollomon in a 1975 article. It is shown that the issue will remain urgent for years to come, but that the social return on the college investment has not declined. (LBH)

  4. Decline in Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Odds of Incident Sleep Complaints

    PubMed Central

    Dishman, Rodney K.; Sui, Xuemei; Church, Timothy S.; Kline, Christopher E.; Youngstedt, Shawn D.; Blair, Steven N.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose To examine longitudinal change in cardiorespiratory fitness and odds of incident sleep problems. Methods A cohort of 7368 men and 1155 women, aged 20–85 years, from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study. The cohort did not complain of sleep problems, depression, or anxiety at their first clinic visit. Cardiorespiratory fitness assessed at 4 clinic visits between 1971–2006, each separated by an average of 2–3 years, was used as a proxy measure of cumulative physical activity exposure. Sleep complaints were made to a physician during follow-up. Results Across visits, there were 784 incident cases of sleep complaints in men and 207 cases in women. After adjustment for age, time between visits, body mass index, smoking, alcohol use, chronic medical conditions, complaints of depression or anxiety at each visit, and fitness at Visit 1, each minute decline in treadmill endurance (i.e., a decline in cardiorespiratory fitness of approximately one-half MET) between ages 51 to 56 increased the odds of incident sleep complaints by 1.7% (1.0–2.4%) in men and 1.3% (0.0–2.8%) in women. Odds were ~8% higher per minute decline in people with sleep complaints at 2 or 3 visits. Conclusion The results indicate that maintenance of cardiorespiratory fitness during middle-age, when decline in fitness typically accelerates and risk of sleep problems is elevated, helps protect against the onset of sleep complaints made to a physician. PMID:25207930

  5. [Birth rates and fertility of foreigners: a trend of decline].

    PubMed

    Tribalat, M

    1986-01-01

    An analysis of the fertility of the foreign population resident in France is presented. The author estimates that fertility among foreigners is still higher than that for the population as a whole, but is declining to the same level. The data are from official sources and concern the period up to 1984.

  6. Long-Range Planning and the Enrollment Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fredrickson, John H.

    The current period of enrollment decline offers school districts an ideal opportunity for program and facility reevaluation and long-range planning. Any long-range plan should evaluate current programs in light of statutory and educational trends, estimate existing facilities' ability to accommodate change, determine the community's potential…

  7. Amphibian Decline: An Integrated Analysis of Multiple Stressor Effects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

    Although the effects of contaminants on amphibians have been studied for decades, relatively little is known about these effects compared to the more intensively studied mammals. and birds. Science has advanced its understanding of the complexities linked to declining amphibian populations; however, there are many remaining questions whose answers would directly benefit amphibians and adaptive management plans ministering to them. In an effort to answer those questions and focus on ecological risk assessment of amphibians, scientists, researchers, and resource management professionals from diverse fields participated in a Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC)-Johnson Foundation Wingspread conference with three goals: characterize a process that would bring a range of interdisciplinary technical and management tools to the tasks of causal analysis; demonstrate the current state of available technical tools to assess amphibian populations exposed to various environmental stressors; and focus on identifying research that would likely benefit sustainable populations through adaptive management programs. A result of the Wingspread conference, Amphibian Decline examines the ecotoxicology and stressors of amphibians in an attempt to address issues related to declining amphibian populations and the role that various stressors might have in those losses. It identifies gaps in current data, interprets information into an existing framework, and points toward critical areas for future research. Through the combined efforts of research and resource management communities, recommendations can be developed to change current policies and management actions to address the problem of amphibian decline.

  8. Connecting the Dots: The Decline in Meaningful Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Kenneth; Kilmartin, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    The authors describe cross-decades changes in the achievement attitudes and behaviors of average U. S. undergraduates that parallel the declines in meaningful learning reported by Arum and colleagues. Comparisons of pre-1987 and 2004-8 students on seven achievement-predictive measures revealed that (a) average 2004-8 undergraduates scored…

  9. Cognitive Decline in Older Persons Initiating Anticholinergic Medications

    PubMed Central

    Shah, Raj C.; Janos, Alicia L.; Kline, Julia E.; Yu, Lei; Leurgans, Sue E.; Wilson, Robert S.; Wei, Peter; Bennett, David A.; Heilman, Kenneth M.; Tsao, Jack W.

    2013-01-01

    Background This study examines the effect of initiating medications with anticholinergic activity on the cognitive functions of older persons. Methods Participants were 896 older community-dwelling, Catholic clergy without baseline dementia. Medication data was collected annually. The Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden Scale was utilized to identify use of a medication with probable or definite anticholinergic activity. Participants had at least two annual cognitive evaluations. Results Over a mean follow-up of 10 years, the annual rate of global cognitive function decline for never users, prevalent users, and incident users was −0.062 (SE = 0.005), −0.081(SE = 0.011), and −0.096 (SE = 0.007) z-score units/year, respectively. Compared to never users, incident users had a more rapid decline (difference = −0.034 z-score units/year, SE = 0.008, p<0.001) while prevalent users did not have a significantly more rapid decline (p = 0.1). Conclusions Older persons initiating a medication with anticholinergic activity have a steeper annual decline in cognitive functioning than those who are not taking these medications. PMID:23741303

  10. When Patients Decline Medical Student Participation: The Preceptors' Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tang, Tricia S.; Skye, Eric P.

    2009-01-01

    Patients' receptivity towards medical student participation has been examined predominantly from the patient and/or the medical student perspective. Few studies have investigated the preceptor's perspective. The study examined preceptors' experience with patients declining medical student participation in clinical care and identified…

  11. Responses of England, Germany and Switzerland to Declining School Enrolments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Michalski, Catherine

    Results of interviews with educators in England, Germany, and Switzerland are combined with statistical data in this study of the effects of declining enrollment and the development of multicultural programs in those countries. In all three countries, the author encountered a prevailing resistance to program change in the face of declining…

  12. Is There a Decline In the Reading Romance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krashen, Stephen; Von Sprecken, Debra

    2002-01-01

    Reviews research on the development of attitudes toward reading to investigate the idea that as children get older, their interest in reading declines. Highlights include research methodology; attitudes toward recreational reading; reading at home; reading autobiographies; and the need to provide interesting books to children. (LRW)

  13. Long-term declines in nutritional quality of tropical leaves.

    PubMed

    Rothman, Jessica M; Chapman, Colin A; Struhsaker, Thomas T; Raubenheimer, David; Twinomugisha, Dennis; Waterman, Peter G

    2015-03-01

    Global change is affecting plant and animal populations and many of the changes are likely subtle and difficult to detect. Based on greenhouse experiments, changes in temperature and rainfall, along with elevated CO2, are expected to impact the nutritional quality of leaves. Here, we show a decline in the quality of tree leaves 15 and 30 years after two previous studies in an undisturbed area of tropical forest in Kibale National Park, Uganda. After 30 years in a sample of multiple individuals of ten tree species, the mature leaves of all but one species increased in fiber concentrations, with a mean increase of 10%; tagged individuals of one species increased 13% in fiber. After 15 years, in eight tree species the fiber of young leaves increased 15%, and protein decreased 6%. Like many folivores, Kibale colobus monkeys select leaves with a high protein-to-fiber ratio, so for these folivores declining leaf quality could have a major impact. Comparisons among African and Asian forests show a strong correlation between colobine biomass and the protein-to-fiber ratio of the mature leaves from common tree species. Although this model, predicts a 31% decline in monkey abundance for Kibale, we have not yet seen these declines.

  14. Quantitative EEG and Cognitive Decline in Parkinson's Disease.

    PubMed

    Cozac, Vitalii V; Gschwandtner, Ute; Hatz, Florian; Hardmeier, Martin; Rüegg, Stephan; Fuhr, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive decline is common with the progression of Parkinson's disease (PD). Different candidate biomarkers are currently studied for the risk of dementia in PD. Several studies have shown that quantitative EEG (QEEG) is a promising predictor of PD-related cognitive decline. In this paper we briefly outline the basics of QEEG analysis and analyze the recent publications addressing the predictive value of QEEG in the context of cognitive decline in PD. The MEDLINE database was searched for relevant publications from January 01, 2005, to March 02, 2015. Twenty-four studies reported QEEG findings in various cognitive states in PD. Spectral and connectivity markers of QEEG could help to discriminate between PD patients with different level of cognitive decline. QEEG variables correlate with tools for cognitive assessment over time and are associated with significant hazard ratios to predict PD-related dementia. QEEG analysis shows high test-retest reliability and avoids learning effects associated with some neuropsychological testing; it is noninvasive and relatively easy to repeat.

  15. Decline of red spruce in the Adirondacks, New York

    SciTech Connect

    Scott, J.T.; Siccama, T.G.; Johnson, A.H.; Breisch, A.R.

    1984-01-01

    Thirty-two stands in the spruce-fir forests of Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondacks, originally sampled from 1964-66, were resurveyed in 1982. From 10-25 Bitterlich points were used in each stand in 1982 to obtain an estimate of basal area per hectare. Data were summarized for low elevation (<900m) and high elevation (> or = 900m) forests. Red spruce declined by 40-60% in basal area for the low elevation forests and by 60-70% above 900m. Balsam fir decreased by 35% at high elevations, due to natural disturbance in several of the stands, but was unchanged when only undisturbed stands were considered. The decline of red spruce accounted for about three quarters of the total decrease in basal area for both the high- and low-elevation forests. Spruce seedling frequency for the high-elevation sample decreased by 80%, but was unchanged below 900m. The pattern of spruce decline in the Adirondacks is similar to findings for New England. The cause of the decline is speculative at the time.

  16. Why Is the Divorce Rate Declining in Indonesia?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heaton, Tim B.; Cammack, Mark; Young, Larry

    2001-01-01

    This study examines trends in marital dissolution in Indonesia considering the impact of educational expansion; delayed marriage; urbanization; increasing employment before marriage; legislative change; and increased free choice in marriage on the decline in marital disruption. It suggests that traditional patterns sustaining high levels of…

  17. Evaluating Functional Decline in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosenblum, Sara; Weiss, Patrice L.

    2010-01-01

    Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease with a wide-ranging impact on functional status. The aim of the study was to examine the added value of simultaneously evaluating fatigue, personal ADL and handwriting performance as indicators for functional decline among patients with MS. Participants were 50 outpatients with MS and 26 matched healthy…

  18. A Longitudinal Examination of Performance Decline in Champion Golfers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, J.; Horton, S.; Pearce, W.; Deakin, J. M.

    2005-01-01

    The maintenance of skilled performance is of increasing interest and importance in our aging society. Bortz and Bortz (1996) suggested that cognitive and physical abilities decline at a rate of 0.5% per year from peak performance. However, examinations of expert performance in cognitive-motor activities suggest that performance in these areas can…

  19. Sobering up: A Quantitative Review of Temporal Declines in Expectations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sweeny, Kate; Krizan, Zlatan

    2013-01-01

    Although people's outlook on the future tends to be characterized by hope and optimism, over time this outlook often becomes more dire. We review multiple theoretical accounts of this tendency to "sober up" as feedback about outcomes draws near, and we explicate factors critical to promoting these temporal declines in expectations. We then…

  20. Stagnation in Mortality Decline among Elders in the Netherlands

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Janssen, Fanny; Nusselder, Wilma J.; Looman, Caspar W. N.; Mackenbach, Johan P.; Kunst, Anton E.

    2003-01-01

    Purpose: This study assesses whether the stagnation of old-age (80+) mortality decline observed in The Netherlands in the 1980s continued in the 1990s and determines which factors contributed to this stagnation. Emphasis is on the role of smoking. Design and Methods: Poisson regression analysis with linear splines was applied to total and…

  1. Declining Health Behavior of Adolescents: A Measure of Alienation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crase, Darrell

    1981-01-01

    Cites statistics on such adolescent problems as pregnancy, drugs, and obesity as evidence of the serious neglect and alienation of this age group in an era of family instability and declining social roles for youth. Urges educators to give concerted attention to the physical, mental, and health needs of adolescents. (SJL)

  2. Managing Enrollment Decline: Current Knowledge and Future Applications.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berger, Michael A.

    Although educational leaders have been coping with declining enrollment for almost a decade, educational researchers have begun to focus on the topic only recently. The first part of this introduction to a special issue of the Peabody Journal of Education briefly summarizes the contents of the subsequent essays, which are intended to bridge the…

  3. Declining Enrolments in Manitoba's Public Schools: Issues and Information.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Husby, P. J.; Riffel, J. A.

    In order to provide a basis for discussion of declining enrollment in the province of Manitoba, the Department of Education commissioned this background paper. Topics covered include student enrollment data, courses and programs, the teaching force and teaching career, student transportation, administrative arrangements, educational finance, and…

  4. Declining Enrollment: The Challenge of the Coming Decade.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abramowitz, Susan, Ed.; Rosenfeld, Stuart, Ed.

    The research reported in this volume covers a range of topics dealing with shifting and declining enrollments and their impact on the financing, organization, and management of schools. The papers have been sorted into three groups. Section 1 discusses the demographic background to changing enrollment patterns. Section 2 presents the view from the…

  5. IQ Decline Following Early Unilateral Brain Injury: A Longitudinal Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levine, Susan C.; Kraus, Ruth; Alexander, Erin; Suriyakham, Linda Whealton; Huttenlocher, Peter R.

    2005-01-01

    We examine whether children with early unilateral brain injury show an IQ decline over the course of development. Fifteen brain injured children were administered an IQ test once before age 7 and again several years later. Post-7 IQ scores were significantly lower than pre-7 IQ scores. In addition, pre-7 IQ scores were lower for children with…

  6. Infectious Burden and Cognitive Decline in the Northern Manhattan Study

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Clinton B.; Gardener, Hannah; Dong, Chuanhui; Yoshita, Mitsuhiro; DeCarli, Charles; Sacco, Ralph L.; Stern, Yaakov; Elkind, Mitchell S.V.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives To determine whether infectious burden (IB) is associated with worse performance and decline on a battery of neuropsychological tests. Design Prospective cohort study (Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS)). Setting Community. Participants A subsample of 588 stroke-free NOMAS participants with IB and cognitive data (mean age 71±8, 62% female, 14% white, 16% black, 70% Hispanic) and 419 with repeat cognitive testing. Measurements Samples used for IB data were collected at baseline. Two waves of neurocognitive assessments occurred during follow-up. Participants underwent a neuropsychological battery and had repeated testing (mean time span 6±2 years). Using factor analysis–derived domain-specific Z scores for language, memory, executive function, and processing speed, associations between a quantitative stroke risk-weighted IB index (IBI), based on five common infections (Chlamydia pneumoniae, Helicobacter pylori, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex viruses 1 and 2), and cognitive performance and decline in each domain was examined. Results Adjusting for demographic characteristics, socioeconomic status, crystallized cognitive abilities, and vascular risk factors, the IBI was inversely associated with executive function at baseline (beta=−0.10, p=.01) but not with baseline language, memory, or processing speed performance in adjusted analyses. The IBI was associated with cognitive decline in the memory domain, adjusting for demographic and vascular risk factors (p=.02). Conclusion A quantitative measure of IB explained variability in baseline executive function performance and associated with decline in memory. Past exposure to common infections may contribute to vascular cognitive impairment and warrants further study. PMID:26289683

  7. Pesticides and Population Declines of California Alpine Frogs

    EPA Science Inventory

    Airborne pesticides from the Central Valley of California have been implicated as a cause for population declines of several amphibian species, with the strongest evidence for the mountain yellow-legged frog complex (Rana muscosa and R. sierrae) in the Sierra Nevada. We measured ...

  8. Test Score Decline Among High Achievers: Policy Implications.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goldman, Jerrold; Hsia, Jayjia

    Since 1967, the mean Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) score has declined. Likewise, the numbers of candidates receiving high SAT scores have been decreasing steadily. The same downward trend in student achievement can be seen among student groups from grade 4 through post graduate studies. In recent years, policy has been directed towards making…

  9. 34 CFR 303.405 - Parent right to decline service.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... EDUCATION AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION EARLY INTERVENTION PROGRAM FOR INFANTS AND... parents of a child eligible under this part may determine whether they, their child, or other family members will accept or decline any early intervention service under this part in accordance with State...

  10. President Hails Continued Decline in Default Rate on Student Loans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burd, Stephen

    1997-01-01

    President Bill Clinton used the declining default rate on college student loans as a basis for proposing tax breaks for college costs. Reduced defaults have saved taxpayer money and helped reduce the federal deficit. Over 150 colleges and universities, including 25 private institutions, risk losing eligibility for federal grant and loan programs…

  11. Are neonicotinoid insecticides driving declines of widespread butterflies?

    PubMed Central

    Bunnefeld, Nils; Wilson, John McVean; Botham, Marc S.; Brereton, Tom M.; Fox, Richard; Goulson, Dave

    2015-01-01

    There has been widespread concern that neonicotinoid pesticides may be adversely impacting wild and managed bees for some years, but recently attention has shifted to examining broader effects they may be having on biodiversity. For example in the Netherlands, declines in insectivorous birds are positively associated with levels of neonicotinoid pollution in surface water. In England, the total abundance of widespread butterfly species declined by 58% on farmed land between 2000 and 2009 despite both a doubling in conservation spending in the UK, and predictions that climate change should benefit most species. Here we build models of the UK population indices from 1985 to 2012 for 17 widespread butterfly species that commonly occur at farmland sites. Of the factors we tested, three correlated significantly with butterfly populations. Summer temperature and the index for a species the previous year are both positively associated with butterfly indices. By contrast, the number of hectares of farmland where neonicotinoid pesticides are used is negatively associated with butterfly indices. Indices for 15 of the 17 species show negative associations with neonicotinoid usage. The declines in butterflies have largely occurred in England, where neonicotinoid usage is at its highest. In Scotland, where neonicotinoid usage is comparatively low, butterfly numbers are stable. Further research is needed urgently to show whether there is a causal link between neonicotinoid usage and the decline of widespread butterflies or whether it simply represents a proxy for other environmental factors associated with intensive agriculture. PMID:26623186

  12. Pesticides and amphibian population declines in California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2001-01-01

    Several species of anuran amphibians have undergone drastic population declines in the western United States over the last 10 to 15 years. In California, the most severe declines are in the Sierra Mountains east of the Central Valley and downwind of the intensely agricultural San Joaquin Valley. In contrast, coastal and more northern populations across from the less agrarian Sacramento Valley are stable or declining less precipitously. In this article, we provide evidence that pesticides are instrumental in declines of these species. Using Hyla regilla as a sentinel species, we found that cholinesterase (ChE) activity in tadpoles was depressed in mountainous areas east of the Central Valley compared with sites along the coast or north of the Valley. Cholinesterase was also lower in areas where ranid population status was poor or moderate compared with areas with good ranid status. Up to 50% of the sampled population in areas with reduced ChE had detectable organophosphorus residues, with concentrations as high as 190 ppb wet weight. In addition, up to 86% of some populations had measurable endosulfan concentrations and 40% had detectable 4,4'- dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene, 4,4'-DDT, and 2,4'-DDT residues.

  13. A Decline in Creativity? It Depends on the Domain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weinstein, Emily C.; Clark, Zachary; DiBartolomeo, Donna J.; Davis, Katie

    2014-01-01

    Earlier studies using psychometric tests have documented declines in creativity over the past several decades. Our study investigated whether and how this apparent trend would replicate through a qualitative investigation using an authentic nontest measure of creativity. Three-hundred and fifty-four visual artworks and 50 creative writing works…

  14. Detecting insect pollinator declines on regional and global scales.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recently, there has been considerable concern about declines in pollinator populations in both agricultural and natural habitats. The value of pollination services to agriculture, primarily by bees, is conservatively estimated to exceed $200 billion U.S. annually and the value of pollination servic...

  15. Fertility Decline in Rural China: A Comparative Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Harrell, Stevan; Yuesheng, Wang; Hua, Han; Santos, Gonçalo D.; Yingying, Zhou

    2014-01-01

    Many models have been proposed to explain both the rapidity of China’s fertility decline after the 1960s and the differential timing of the decline in different places. In particular, scholars argue over whether deliberate policies of fertility control, institutional changes, or general modernization factors contribute most to changes in fertility behavior. Here the authors adopt an ethnographically grounded behavioral–institutional approach to analyze qualitative and quantitative data from three different rural settings: Xiaoshan County in Zhejiang (East China), Ci County in Hebei (North China), and Yingde County in Guangdong (South China). The authors show that no one set of factors explains the differential timing and rapidity of the fertility decline in the three areas; rather they must explain differential timing by a combination of differences in social–cultural environments (e.g., spread of education, reproductive ideologies, and gender relations) and politico-economic conditions (e.g., economic development, birth planning campaigns, and collective systems of labor organization) during the early phases of the fertility decline. PMID:21319442

  16. Quantitative EEG and Cognitive Decline in Parkinson's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Cozac, Vitalii V.; Gschwandtner, Ute; Hatz, Florian; Hardmeier, Martin; Rüegg, Stephan

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive decline is common with the progression of Parkinson's disease (PD). Different candidate biomarkers are currently studied for the risk of dementia in PD. Several studies have shown that quantitative EEG (QEEG) is a promising predictor of PD-related cognitive decline. In this paper we briefly outline the basics of QEEG analysis and analyze the recent publications addressing the predictive value of QEEG in the context of cognitive decline in PD. The MEDLINE database was searched for relevant publications from January 01, 2005, to March 02, 2015. Twenty-four studies reported QEEG findings in various cognitive states in PD. Spectral and connectivity markers of QEEG could help to discriminate between PD patients with different level of cognitive decline. QEEG variables correlate with tools for cognitive assessment over time and are associated with significant hazard ratios to predict PD-related dementia. QEEG analysis shows high test-retest reliability and avoids learning effects associated with some neuropsychological testing; it is noninvasive and relatively easy to repeat. PMID:27148466

  17. Factors Contributing to Declining Enrollments at the University of Transkei.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Imenda, S. N.; Kongolo, M.; Grewal, A. S.

    2002-01-01

    Surveyed students about their decision to enroll at the Unitersity of Transkei in an attempt to determine causes for declining enrollment. Found that career directions and affordability were main criteria. Public image and stability, staff quality, facilities and resources, administrative efficiency, staff friendliness, admissions/registration…

  18. 24 CFR 200.23 - Projects in declining neighborhoods.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Projects in declining neighborhoods. 200.23 Section 200.23 Housing and Urban Development Regulations Relating to Housing and Urban... HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO FHA PROGRAMS Requirements for...

  19. Decadence, Scorn, and the Decline of Christian Practice on Campus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    French, David

    2010-01-01

    Religious practice dramatically decreases in college and students' positions on hot-button religious/cultural questions move appreciably to the left. There's no doubt that college students are on a quest for meaning. In this article, the author reports on new data that reveals unequivocally the decline of religious practice among college students.…

  20. Effects of invasive parasites on bumble bee declines.

    PubMed

    Meeus, Ivan; Brown, Mark J F; De Graaf, Dirk C; Smagghe, Guy

    2011-08-01

    Bumble bees are a group of pollinators that are both ecologically and economically important and declining worldwide. Numerous mechanisms could be behind this decline, and the spread of parasites from commercial colonies into wild populations has been implicated recently in North America. Commercial breeding may lead to declines because commercial colonies may have high parasite loads, which can lead to colonization of native bumble bee populations; commercial rearing may allow higher parasite virulence to evolve; and global movement of commercial colonies may disrupt spatial patterns in local adaptation between hosts and parasites. We assessed parasite virulence, transmission mode, and infectivity. Microparasites and so-called honey bee viruses may pose the greatest threat to native bumble bee populations because certain risk factors are present; for example, the probability of horizontal transmission of the trypanosome parasite Crithidia bombi is high. The microsporidian parasite Nosema bombi may play a role in declines of bumble bees in the United States. Preliminary indications that C. bombi and the neogregarine Apicystis bombi may not be native in parts of South America. We suggest that the development of molecular screening protocols, thorough sanitation efforts, and cooperation among nongovernmental organizations, governments, and commercial breeders might immediately mitigate these threats. PMID:21771075

  1. Types and Precipitants of Growth and Decline in Emerging Adulthood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gottlieb, Benjamin H.; Still, Eva; Newby-Clark, Ian R.

    2007-01-01

    To further explore central developmental themes of emerging adulthood, the authors conducted a study that combines qualitative and quantitative data about the types of personal growth and decline reported by a sample of emerging adults, who also described the life events and other experiences that brought about these personal changes. After…

  2. Rock mass response to the decline in underground coal mining

    SciTech Connect

    Holub, K.

    2006-01-15

    Geomechanical problems of mining in the Ostrava-Karvina Coal Basin were studied on the basis of longterm experience gained from seismological observations. They could serve as reasonable models of rock-mass response to temporary reduction and gradual decline in mining activities and mine closure.

  3. Breast Cancer Deaths Continue to Decline in U.S.

    MedlinePlus

    ... page: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_161468.html Breast Cancer Deaths Continue to Decline in U.S. And the ... 13, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The racial gap for breast cancer deaths is closing, particularly among younger women, U.S. ...

  4. Measuring the meltdown: drivers of global amphibian extinction and decline.

    PubMed

    Sodhi, Navjot S; Bickford, David; Diesmos, Arvin C; Lee, Tien Ming; Koh, Lian Pin; Brook, Barry W; Sekercioglu, Cagan H; Bradshaw, Corey J A

    2008-02-20

    Habitat loss, climate change, over-exploitation, disease and other factors have been hypothesised in the global decline of amphibian biodiversity. However, the relative importance of and synergies among different drivers are still poorly understood. We present the largest global analysis of roughly 45% of known amphibians (2,583 species) to quantify the influences of life history, climate, human density and habitat loss on declines and extinction risk. Multi-model Bayesian inference reveals that large amphibian species with small geographic range and pronounced seasonality in temperature and precipitation are most likely to be Red-Listed by IUCN. Elevated habitat loss and human densities are also correlated with high threat risk. Range size, habitat loss and more extreme seasonality in precipitation contributed to decline risk in the 2,454 species that declined between 1980 and 2004, compared to species that were stable (n = 1,545) or had increased (n = 28). These empirical results show that amphibian species with restricted ranges should be urgently targeted for conservation.

  5. Dietary patterns, cognitive decline, and dementia: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    van de Rest, Ondine; Berendsen, Agnes Am; Haveman-Nies, Annemien; de Groot, Lisette Cpgm

    2015-03-01

    Nutrition is an important modifiable risk factor that plays a role in the strategy to prevent or delay the onset of dementia. Research on nutritional effects has until now mainly focused on the role of individual nutrients and bioactive components. However, the evidence for combined effects, such as multinutrient approaches, or a healthy dietary pattern, such as the Mediterranean diet, is growing. These approaches incorporate the complexity of the diet and possible interaction and synergy between nutrients. Over the past few years, dietary patterns have increasingly been investigated to better understand the link between diet, cognitive decline, and dementia. In this systematic review we provide an overview of the literature on human studies up to May 2014 that examined the role of dietary patterns (derived both a priori as well as a posteriori) in relation to cognitive decline or dementia. The results suggest that better adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with less cognitive decline, dementia, or Alzheimer disease, as shown by 4 of 6 cross-sectional studies, 6 of 12 longitudinal studies, 1 trial, and 3 meta-analyses. Other healthy dietary patterns, derived both a priori (e.g., Healthy Diet Indicator, Healthy Eating Index, and Program National Nutrition Santé guideline score) and a posteriori (e.g., factor analysis, cluster analysis, and reduced rank regression), were shown to be associated with reduced cognitive decline and/or a reduced risk of dementia as shown by all 6 cross-sectional studies and 6 of 8 longitudinal studies. More conclusive evidence is needed to reach more targeted and detailed guidelines to prevent or postpone cognitive decline.

  6. Almagest Declinations: Ptolemy or “As found by us”

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, John C.; Zimmer, P. C.; Jones, P. B.

    2013-01-01

    Consistent results and compatibility with historical evidence were reported by Zimmer, Brandt, and Jones for Almagest declinations determined by Timocharis, Aristyllus, and Hipparcus. Unfortunately, this situation does not apply to the Almagest declinations (Book VII, Chapter 3; Toomer 1998) for Ptolemy or “As found by us.” Our formal solution gives a precision of 11.9 arc min and an epoch near 115AD. The precision is significantly worse than for the earlier observers and the date conflicts with historical data. Inspection of the (O) - (C) plots vs. year reveals that the natural clustering of trajectories seen for the other observers is not seen for the Ptolemy declinations. In addition, the spread in dates of observations estimated from the times of (O) - (C) = 0 shows a much larger value for Ptolemy than for the others. Historically, the Almagest was published around 150AD or perhaps a little later. Ptolemy’s life span was likely from c.100AD to c.175AD. Thus, the 115AD date for his observations is much too early. Maeyama (1984) moved the epoch from 115AD to 137/138AD by dropping stars from the analysis. Rawlins (manuscript, c. 1983) has an extensive discussion, drops several stars, and finds a preferred epoch of 137AD. He regards the observer as unknown. We prefer not to drop stars from the analysis unless the evidence is overwhelming. Our solution is to take Ptolemy literally. In Toomer (1998; tables on pages 331 & 332), these declinations are “As found by us” and in Taliaferro (1952; in the text) are as “we find it.” The idea of multiple observers has been suggested before and our analysis certainly supports the declinations coming from multiple observers through the years.

  7. Evaluating the links between climate, disease spread, and amphibian declines.

    PubMed

    Rohr, Jason R; Raffel, Thomas R; Romansic, John M; McCallum, Hamish; Hudson, Peter J

    2008-11-11

    Human alteration of the environment has arguably propelled the Earth into its sixth mass extinction event and amphibians, the most threatened of all vertebrate taxa, are at the forefront. Many of the worldwide amphibian declines have been caused by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and two contrasting hypotheses have been proposed to explain these declines. Positive correlations between global warming and Bd-related declines sparked the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis, which proposes that global warming increased cloud cover in warm years that drove the convergence of daytime and nighttime temperatures toward the thermal optimum for Bd growth. In contrast, the spatiotemporal-spread hypothesis states that Bd-related declines are caused by the introduction and spread of Bd, independent of climate change. We provide a rigorous test of these hypotheses by evaluating (i) whether cloud cover, temperature convergence, and predicted temperature-dependent Bd growth are significant positive predictors of amphibian extinctions in the genus Atelopus and (ii) whether spatial structure in the timing of these extinctions can be detected without making assumptions about the location, timing, or number of Bd emergences. We show that there is spatial structure to the timing of Atelopus spp. extinctions but that the cause of this structure remains equivocal, emphasizing the need for further molecular characterization of Bd. We also show that the reported positive multi-decade correlation between Atelopus spp. extinctions and mean tropical air temperature in the previous year is indeed robust, but the evidence that it is causal is weak because numerous other variables, including regional banana and beer production, were better predictors of these extinctions. Finally, almost all of our findings were opposite to the predictions of the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis. Although climate change is likely to play an important role in worldwide amphibian declines

  8. Dietary Patterns, Cognitive Decline, and Dementia: A Systematic Review12

    PubMed Central

    van de Rest, Ondine; Berendsen, Agnes AM; Haveman-Nies, Annemien; de Groot, Lisette CPGM

    2015-01-01

    Nutrition is an important modifiable risk factor that plays a role in the strategy to prevent or delay the onset of dementia. Research on nutritional effects has until now mainly focused on the role of individual nutrients and bioactive components. However, the evidence for combined effects, such as multinutrient approaches, or a healthy dietary pattern, such as the Mediterranean diet, is growing. These approaches incorporate the complexity of the diet and possible interaction and synergy between nutrients. Over the past few years, dietary patterns have increasingly been investigated to better understand the link between diet, cognitive decline, and dementia. In this systematic review we provide an overview of the literature on human studies up to May 2014 that examined the role of dietary patterns (derived both a priori as well as a posteriori) in relation to cognitive decline or dementia. The results suggest that better adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with less cognitive decline, dementia, or Alzheimer disease, as shown by 4 of 6 cross-sectional studies, 6 of 12 longitudinal studies, 1 trial, and 3 meta-analyses. Other healthy dietary patterns, derived both a priori (e.g., Healthy Diet Indicator, Healthy Eating Index, and Program National Nutrition Santé guideline score) and a posteriori (e.g., factor analysis, cluster analysis, and reduced rank regression), were shown to be associated with reduced cognitive decline and/or a reduced risk of dementia as shown by all 6 cross-sectional studies and 6 of 8 longitudinal studies. More conclusive evidence is needed to reach more targeted and detailed guidelines to prevent or postpone cognitive decline. PMID:25770254

  9. Evaluating the links between climate, disease spread, and amphibian declines.

    PubMed

    Rohr, Jason R; Raffel, Thomas R; Romansic, John M; McCallum, Hamish; Hudson, Peter J

    2008-11-11

    Human alteration of the environment has arguably propelled the Earth into its sixth mass extinction event and amphibians, the most threatened of all vertebrate taxa, are at the forefront. Many of the worldwide amphibian declines have been caused by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and two contrasting hypotheses have been proposed to explain these declines. Positive correlations between global warming and Bd-related declines sparked the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis, which proposes that global warming increased cloud cover in warm years that drove the convergence of daytime and nighttime temperatures toward the thermal optimum for Bd growth. In contrast, the spatiotemporal-spread hypothesis states that Bd-related declines are caused by the introduction and spread of Bd, independent of climate change. We provide a rigorous test of these hypotheses by evaluating (i) whether cloud cover, temperature convergence, and predicted temperature-dependent Bd growth are significant positive predictors of amphibian extinctions in the genus Atelopus and (ii) whether spatial structure in the timing of these extinctions can be detected without making assumptions about the location, timing, or number of Bd emergences. We show that there is spatial structure to the timing of Atelopus spp. extinctions but that the cause of this structure remains equivocal, emphasizing the need for further molecular characterization of Bd. We also show that the reported positive multi-decade correlation between Atelopus spp. extinctions and mean tropical air temperature in the previous year is indeed robust, but the evidence that it is causal is weak because numerous other variables, including regional banana and beer production, were better predictors of these extinctions. Finally, almost all of our findings were opposite to the predictions of the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis. Although climate change is likely to play an important role in worldwide amphibian declines

  10. Rate of CD4 Decline and Factors Associated with Rapid CD4 Decline in Asymptomatic HIV-Infected Patients.

    PubMed

    Chaiyasin, Natdanai; Sungkanuparph, Somnuek

    2016-01-01

    The accurate marker to assess the risk of disease progression in HIV disease is CD4 count. CD4 decline to <200 cells/mm3 prompts the patients to have risk of opportunistic infections. A retrospective cohort study was conducted in asymptomatic HIV-infected patients who had CD4 count>200 cell/mm3, were antiretroviral naive, and had ≥1-year follow-up. Eighty patients, with mean age of 36.4 (standard deviation [SD]=9.1) years and 58.8% females, were analyzed. The mean (SD) baseline CD4 count was 423 (119) cells/mm3. During the median (IQR) time of 29.0 (14.1-49.6) months, 26.3% had CD4 declined to <200 cells/mm3. From Cox proportional hazard model, only baseline CD4 count<350 cells/mm3 was significantly associated with rapid decline in CD4 count (HR 4.208; 95%CI, 1.428-12.397; P=.009). Age, gender, comorbid disease, risk of HIV infection, duration of HIV diagnosis, and body weight were not associated with rapid CD4 decline. This indicates that asymptomatic patients with CD4 count<350 cells/mm3 are at priority for antiretroviral therapy in resource-limited settings.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2000-01-01

    The population estimate for greater (Aythya marila) and lesser (Aythya affinis) scaup (combined) has declined dramatically since the early 1980s to record lows in 1998. The 1998 estimate of 3.47 million scaup is far below the goal of 6.3 million set in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP), causing concern among biologists and hunters. We summarize issues of concern, hypotheses for factors contributing to the population decline, and research and management needs recommended by participants of the Scaup Workshop, held in September 1999. We believe that contaminants, lower female survival, and reduced recruitment due to changes in food resources or breeding-ground habitats are primary factors contributing to the decline. These factors are not mutually exclusive but likely interact across seasons. Workshop participants identified seven action items. We need to further delineate where declines in breeding populations have occurred, with a primary focus on the western Canadian boreal forest, where declines appear to be most pronounced. Productivity in various areas and habitats throughout the breeding range needs to be assessed by conducting retrospective analyses of existing data and by intensive field studies at broad and local scales. Annual and seasonal survival rates need to be determined in order to assess the role of harvest or natural mortality. Effects of contaminants on reproduction, female body condition, and behavior must be investigated. Use, distribution, and role of food resources relative to body condition and reproduction need to be examined to better understand seasonal dynamics of nutrient reserves and the role in reproductive success. Affiliations among breeding, migration, and wintering areas must be assessed in order to understand differential exposure to harvest or contaminants, and differential reproductive success and recruitment. Biologists and agencies need to gather and improve information needed to manage greater and lesser

  12. The argon-induced decline in nitrogenase activity commences before the beginning of a decline in nodule oxygen uptake.

    PubMed

    Fischinger, Stephanie A; Schulze, Joachim

    2010-09-01

    Replacement of N(2) by argon in the air around nodules directs nitrogenase electron flow in its total onto H(+) resulting in increased nodule H(2) evolution (total nitrogenase activity (TNA)). However, argon application induces a so-called argon-induced decline in nitrogenase activity (Ar-ID) connected with decreased nodule oxygen permeability. Consequently, TNA measurements tend to underestimate total nitrogenase activity. It is unclear whether the decline in oxygen diffusion into nodules induces the Ar-ID, or whether a decline in nitrogenase activity is followed by lower nodule O(2) uptake. The objective of the present work was to examine the time sequence of the decline in nodule H(2) evolution and O(2) uptake after argon application. In addition, the reliability of TNA values, taken as quickly as possible after the switch to Ar/O(2), was tested through comparative measurement of (15)N(2) uptake of the same plants. Short-term TNA measurements in an optimized gas exchange measurement system yielded reliable results, verified by parallel determination of (15)N(2) uptake. A five min application of Ar/O(2) was without effect on the subsequent H(2) evolution in ambient air. A parallel experiment on control plants revealed that a decrease in nodule oxygen uptake began several minutes after the onset of the decline in H(2) evolution. We conclude that the primary effect of the replacement of N(2) by argon differs from oxygen diffusion control. A gas exchange system allowing an immediate taking of TNA yields reliable results and does not disturb nodule activity. Gas exchange measurements provide a powerful tool for studying nodule physiology and should be combined with material from molecular studies.

  13. Multiple stressor effects in relation to declining amphibian populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2003-01-01

    This book represents the work of several authors who participated in the symposium entitled 'Multiple Stressor Effects in Relation to Declining Amphibian Populations' convened 16-17 April, 2002, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Declines of amphibian populations of varying severity have been observed for many years, and in the last 8 to 10 years considerable progress has been made in documenting the status and distribution of a range of amphibian species. Habitat alteration and destruction are likely linked to many amphibian declines, but a variety of other factors, both anthropogenic and natural, have been observed or proposed to have caused declines or extinctions of amphibian populations. Unfortunately, determining the environmental causes for the decline of many species has proven difficult. The goals of this symposium were three-fold. First, highlight ASTM's historic role in providing a forum for the standardization of amphibian toxicity test methods and the characterization of adverse effects potentially associated with chemical stressors. Second, demonstrate through case studies the current state of technical 'tools' available to biologists, ecologists, environmental scientists and natural resource professionals for assessing amphibian populations exposed to various environmental stressors. And third, characterize a process that brings a range of interdisciplinary technical and management tools to the tasks of causal analysis, especially as those relate to a multiple stressor risk assessment 'mind-set.' As part of the symposium, scientists and resource management professionals from diverse fields including ecotoxicology and chemistry, ecology and field biology, conservation biology, and natural resource management and policy contributed oral presentations and posters that addressed topics related to declining amphibian populations and the role that various stressors have in those losses. The papers contained in this publication reflect the commitment of ASTM

  14. Hearing loss and cognitive decline in older adults.

    PubMed

    Lin, Frank R; Yaffe, Kristine; Xia, Jin; Xue, Qian-Li; Harris, Tamara B; Purchase-Helzner, Elizabeth; Satterfield, Suzanne; Ayonayon, Hilsa N; Ferrucci, Luigi; Simonsick, Eleanor M

    2013-02-25

    BACKGROUND Whether hearing loss is independently associated with accelerated cognitive decline in older adults is unknown. METHODS We studied 1984 older adults (mean age, 77.4 years) enrolled in the Health ABC Study, a prospective observational study begun in 1997-1998. Our baseline cohort consisted of participants without prevalent cognitive impairment (Modified Mini-Mental State Examination [3MS] score, ≥80) who underwent audiometric testing in year 5. Participants were followed up for 6 years. Hearing was defined at baseline using a pure-tone average of thresholds at 0.5 to 4 kHz in the better-hearing ear. Cognitive testing was performed in years 5, 8, 10, and 11 and consisted of the 3MS (measuring global function) and the Digit Symbol Substitution test (measuring executive function). Incident cognitive impairment was defined as a 3MS score of less than 80 or a decline in 3MS score of more than 5 points from baseline. Mixed-effects regression and Cox proportional hazards regression models were adjusted for demographic and cardiovascular risk factors. RESULTS In total, 1162 individuals with baseline hearing loss (pure-tone average >25 dB) had annual rates of decline in 3MS and Digit Symbol Substitution test scores that were 41% and 32% greater, respectively, than those among individuals with normal hearing. On the 3MS, the annual score changes were -0.65 (95% CI, -0.73 to -0.56) vs -0.46 (95% CI, -0.55 to -0.36) points per year (P = .004). On the Digit Symbol Substitution test, the annual score changes were -0.83 (95% CI, -0.94 to -0.73) vs -0.63 (95% CI, -0.75 to -0.51) points per year (P = .02). Compared to those with normal hearing, individuals with hearing loss at baseline had a 24% (hazard ratio, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.05-1.48) increased risk for incident cognitive impairment. Rates of cognitive decline and the risk for incident cognitive impairment were linearly associated with the severity of an individual's baseline hearing loss. CONCLUSIONS Hearing loss is

  15. Monounsaturated, trans & saturated fatty acids and cognitive decline in women

    PubMed Central

    Naqvi, Asghar Z.; Harty, Brian; Mukamal, Kenneth J.; Stoddard, Anne M.; Vitolins, Mara; Dunn, Julie E.

    2011-01-01

    Objectives Prospectively assess effects of select dietary fats on cognitive decline Design Prospective observational; 3-year follow-up Setting Subjects recruited at Northwestern University who participated in Women's Health Initiative Observational Study or control group of Diet Modification arm. Participants 482 women ≥ 60 years Measurements We averaged dietary intake from a validated food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) administered twice (mean=2.7 years apart) before baseline cognitive assessment (mean=2.9 years after 2nd FFQ). Testing of memory, vision, executive function, language, and attention was performed at 2 time points, 3 years apart. We created a global Z-score for both time points by averaging all Z-scores for each participant and defined global cognitive change as the difference between follow-up and baseline Z-scores. Results Median intakes of saturated fats (SFA), trans-fats, (TFA), dietary cholesterol (DC) and monounsaturated fats (MUFA) were 18.53 g/d, 3.45 g/d, 0.201 g/d and 19.39 g/d, respectively. There were no associations between degree of cognitive decline and intakes of SFA (p=0.69), TFA (p=0.54) or DC (p=0.64) after adjusting for baseline cognition, total energy, age, education, reading ability, Apolipoprotein E (ε4) allele, BMI, estrogen and beta-blocker use, and intake of caffeine and other fatty acids. In contrast, compared with participants in the lowest quartile, MUFA intake was associated with lower cognitive decline in fully adjusted linear regression models, with decline of 0.21 + 0.05 SE in the lowest versus 0.05 + 0.05 SE in the highest quartiles (p=0.02). This effect of MUFA intake was primarily in the visual and memory domains (p=0.03 for both). Conclusion Higher intakes of SFA, TFA and DC in these women were not associated with cognitive decline, while MUFA intake was associated with less cognitive decline. PMID:21568955

  16. Temporal dynamics of seed excretion by wild ungulates: implications for plant dispersal

    PubMed Central

    Picard, Mélanie; Papaïx, Julien; Gosselin, Frédéric; Picot, Denis; Bideau, Eric; Baltzinger, Christophe

    2015-01-01

    Dispersal is a key process in metapopulation dynamics as it conditions species’ spatial responses to gradients of abiotic and biotic conditions and triggers individual and gene flows. In the numerous plants that are dispersed through seed consumption by herbivores (endozoochory), the distance and effectiveness of dispersal is determined by the combined effects of seed retention time in the vector’s digestive system, the spatial extent of its movements, and the ability of the seeds to germinate once released. Estimating these three parameters from experimental data is therefore crucial to calibrate mechanistic metacommunity models of plant–herbivore interactions. In this study, we jointly estimated the retention time and germination probability of six herbaceous plants transported by roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), red deer (Cervus elaphus), and wild boar (Sus scrofa) through feeding experiments and a Bayesian dynamic model. Retention time was longer in the nonruminant wild boar (>36 h) than in the two ruminant species (roe deer: 18–36 h, red deer: 3–36 h). In the two ruminants, but not in wild boar, small and round seeds were excreted faster than large ones. Low germination probabilities of the excreted seeds reflected the high cost imposed by endozoochory on plant survival. Trait-mediated variations in retention time and germination probability among animal and plant species may impact plant dispersal distances and interact with biotic and abiotic conditions at the release site to shape the spatial patterns of dispersed plant species. PMID:26257875

  17. Temporal dynamics of seed excretion by wild ungulates: implications for plant dispersal.

    PubMed

    Picard, Mélanie; Papaïx, Julien; Gosselin, Frédéric; Picot, Denis; Bideau, Eric; Baltzinger, Christophe

    2015-07-01

    Dispersal is a key process in metapopulation dynamics as it conditions species' spatial responses to gradients of abiotic and biotic conditions and triggers individual and gene flows. In the numerous plants that are dispersed through seed consumption by herbivores (endozoochory), the distance and effectiveness of dispersal is determined by the combined effects of seed retention time in the vector's digestive system, the spatial extent of its movements, and the ability of the seeds to germinate once released. Estimating these three parameters from experimental data is therefore crucial to calibrate mechanistic metacommunity models of plant-herbivore interactions. In this study, we jointly estimated the retention time and germination probability of six herbaceous plants transported by roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), red deer (Cervus elaphus), and wild boar (Sus scrofa) through feeding experiments and a Bayesian dynamic model. Retention time was longer in the nonruminant wild boar (>36 h) than in the two ruminant species (roe deer: 18-36 h, red deer: 3-36 h). In the two ruminants, but not in wild boar, small and round seeds were excreted faster than large ones. Low germination probabilities of the excreted seeds reflected the high cost imposed by endozoochory on plant survival. Trait-mediated variations in retention time and germination probability among animal and plant species may impact plant dispersal distances and interact with biotic and abiotic conditions at the release site to shape the spatial patterns of dispersed plant species. PMID:26257875

  18. Declining resilience of ecosystem functions under biodiversity loss

    PubMed Central

    Oliver, Tom H.; Isaac, Nick J. B.; August, Tom A.; Woodcock, Ben A.; Roy, David B.; Bullock, James M.

    2015-01-01

    The composition of species communities is changing rapidly through drivers such as habitat loss and climate change, with potentially serious consequences for the resilience of ecosystem functions on which humans depend. To assess such changes in resilience, we analyse trends in the frequency of species in Great Britain that provide key ecosystem functions—specifically decomposition, carbon sequestration, pollination, pest control and cultural values. For 4,424 species over four decades, there have been significant net declines among animal species that provide pollination, pest control and cultural values. Groups providing decomposition and carbon sequestration remain relatively stable, as fewer species are in decline and these are offset by large numbers of new arrivals into Great Britain. While there is general concern about degradation of a wide range of ecosystem functions, our results suggest actions should focus on particular functions for which there is evidence of substantial erosion of their resilience. PMID:26646209

  19. Does conservation on farmland contribute to halting the biodiversity decline?

    PubMed

    Kleijn, David; Rundlöf, Maj; Scheper, Jeroen; Smith, Henrik G; Tscharntke, Teja

    2011-09-01

    Biodiversity continues to decline, despite the implementation of international conservation conventions and measures. To counteract biodiversity loss, it is pivotal to know how conservation actions affect biodiversity trends. Focussing on European farmland species, we review what is known about the impact of conservation initiatives on biodiversity. We argue that the effects of conservation are a function of conservation-induced ecological contrast, agricultural land-use intensity and landscape context. We find that, to date, only a few studies have linked local conservation effects to national biodiversity trends. It is therefore unknown how the extensive European agri-environmental budget for conservation on farmland contributes to the policy objectives to halt biodiversity decline. Based on this review, we identify new research directions addressing this important knowledge gap.

  20. A rapidly declining perennial sea ice cover in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Comiso, Josefino C.

    2002-10-01

    The perennial sea ice cover in the Arctic is shown to be declining at -9% per decade using satellite data from 1978 to 2000. A sustained decline at this rate would mean the disappearance of the multiyear ice cover during this century and drastic changes in the Arctic climate system. An apparent increase in the fraction of second year ice in the 1990s is also inferred suggesting an overall thinning of the ice cover. Surface ice temperatures derived from satellite data are negatively correlated with perennial ice area and are shown to be increasing at the rate of 1.2 K per decade. The latter implies longer melt periods and therefore decreasing ice volume in the more recent years.

  1. Social change and early fertility decline in Catalonia.

    PubMed

    Benavente, J

    1989-12-01

    "This article attempts a description of the fertility and nuptiality patterns of a group of selected localities in Catalonia [Spain] from the late eighteenth century to the mid-nineteenth century. The pattern of fertility transition in Catalonia can be described as starting from nuptiality conditions of early and quasi-universal marriage. The pattern of nuptiality is preserved throughout the process in its essentials. The transition, then, was largely limited to a decline in marital fertility. The evidence suggests an onset occurring in the 1830s, closer to the French experience than to that of any other Western European country. Finally, the analysis of the 84 local areas supports the proposition that structural factors had a significant effect on both the mid-nineteenth century level of marital fertility and the rate of decline during the 70-year period under study." (SUMMARY IN FRE)

  2. Nutritional management of older adults with cognitive decline and dementia.

    PubMed

    Ogawa, Sumito

    2014-04-01

    Age-related cognitive decline is a main predictor of disability among elderly people, and with the continued expansion of the aging population and the increase in life expectancy, the prevalence of mild cognitive impairment and dementia represented by Alzheimer's disease (AD), which is a multifactorial neurodegenerative disorder of older adults, have increased. Recent epidemiological and observational studies suggest a relationship exists between lifestyle factors, including nutrition and diet, and cognitive function in aging adults. It is also suggested that malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies are associated with cognitive decline in patients with dementia. There are a variety of nutritional factors, including nutritional status and dietary patterns, that might be associated with cognitive function, and specific micronutrients and dietary components have been suggested to have an association with cognitive function as well. Based on these findings and evidence, evaluation of nutritional state, as well as nutritional intervention, might be able to play a role in the management and prevention of dementia.

  3. Faint UBVRI Standard Star Fields at +50° Declination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clem, James L.; Landolt, Arlo U.

    2016-10-01

    Precise and accurate CCD-based UBVRI photometry is presented for ∼2000 stars distributed around the sky in a declination zone centered approximately at +50°. Their photometry has been calibrated to the standard Johnson UBV and Kron–Cousins RI systems through observations of the UBVRI standard stars presented in the various works of Landolt. The magnitude and color range for these stars are 12 ≲ V ≲ 22 and ‑0.3 ≲ (B ‑ V) ≲ 1.8, respectively. Each star averages 13 measures in each UBVRI filter from data taken on 41 different photometric nights obtained over a 21 month period. Hence, there now exists a network of faint UBVRI photometric standard stars centered on the declination zones δ = ‑50°, 0°, and +50°.

  4. Devastating decline of forest elephants in central Africa.

    PubMed

    Maisels, Fiona; Strindberg, Samantha; Blake, Stephen; Wittemyer, George; Hart, John; Williamson, Elizabeth A; Aba'a, Rostand; Abitsi, Gaspard; Ambahe, Ruffin D; Amsini, Fidèl; Bakabana, Parfait C; Hicks, Thurston Cleveland; Bayogo, Rosine E; Bechem, Martha; Beyers, Rene L; Bezangoye, Anicet N; Boundja, Patrick; Bout, Nicolas; Akou, Marc Ella; Bene, Lambert Bene; Fosso, Bernard; Greengrass, Elizabeth; Grossmann, Falk; Ikamba-Nkulu, Clement; Ilambu, Omari; Inogwabini, Bila-Isia; Iyenguet, Fortune; Kiminou, Franck; Kokangoye, Max; Kujirakwinja, Deo; Latour, Stephanie; Liengola, Innocent; Mackaya, Quevain; Madidi, Jacob; Madzoke, Bola; Makoumbou, Calixte; Malanda, Guy-Aimé; Malonga, Richard; Mbani, Olivier; Mbendzo, Valentin A; Ambassa, Edgar; Ekinde, Albert; Mihindou, Yves; Morgan, Bethan J; Motsaba, Prosper; Moukala, Gabin; Mounguengui, Anselme; Mowawa, Brice S; Ndzai, Christian; Nixon, Stuart; Nkumu, Pele; Nzolani, Fabian; Pintea, Lilian; Plumptre, Andrew; Rainey, Hugo; de Semboli, Bruno Bokoto; Serckx, Adeline; Stokes, Emma; Turkalo, Andrea; Vanleeuwe, Hilde; Vosper, Ashley; Warren, Ymke

    2013-01-01

    African forest elephants- taxonomically and functionally unique-are being poached at accelerating rates, but we lack range-wide information on the repercussions. Analysis of the largest survey dataset ever assembled for forest elephants (80 foot-surveys; covering 13,000 km; 91,600 person-days of fieldwork) revealed that population size declined by ca. 62% between 2002-2011, and the taxon lost 30% of its geographical range. The population is now less than 10% of its potential size, occupying less than 25% of its potential range. High human population density, hunting intensity, absence of law enforcement, poor governance, and proximity to expanding infrastructure are the strongest predictors of decline. To save the remaining African forest elephants, illegal poaching for ivory and encroachment into core elephant habitat must be stopped. In addition, the international demand for ivory, which fuels illegal trade, must be dramatically reduced.

  5. Devastating decline of forest elephants in central Africa.

    PubMed

    Maisels, Fiona; Strindberg, Samantha; Blake, Stephen; Wittemyer, George; Hart, John; Williamson, Elizabeth A; Aba'a, Rostand; Abitsi, Gaspard; Ambahe, Ruffin D; Amsini, Fidèl; Bakabana, Parfait C; Hicks, Thurston Cleveland; Bayogo, Rosine E; Bechem, Martha; Beyers, Rene L; Bezangoye, Anicet N; Boundja, Patrick; Bout, Nicolas; Akou, Marc Ella; Bene, Lambert Bene; Fosso, Bernard; Greengrass, Elizabeth; Grossmann, Falk; Ikamba-Nkulu, Clement; Ilambu, Omari; Inogwabini, Bila-Isia; Iyenguet, Fortune; Kiminou, Franck; Kokangoye, Max; Kujirakwinja, Deo; Latour, Stephanie; Liengola, Innocent; Mackaya, Quevain; Madidi, Jacob; Madzoke, Bola; Makoumbou, Calixte; Malanda, Guy-Aimé; Malonga, Richard; Mbani, Olivier; Mbendzo, Valentin A; Ambassa, Edgar; Ekinde, Albert; Mihindou, Yves; Morgan, Bethan J; Motsaba, Prosper; Moukala, Gabin; Mounguengui, Anselme; Mowawa, Brice S; Ndzai, Christian; Nixon, Stuart; Nkumu, Pele; Nzolani, Fabian; Pintea, Lilian; Plumptre, Andrew; Rainey, Hugo; de Semboli, Bruno Bokoto; Serckx, Adeline; Stokes, Emma; Turkalo, Andrea; Vanleeuwe, Hilde; Vosper, Ashley; Warren, Ymke

    2013-01-01

    African forest elephants- taxonomically and functionally unique-are being poached at accelerating rates, but we lack range-wide information on the repercussions. Analysis of the largest survey dataset ever assembled for forest elephants (80 foot-surveys; covering 13,000 km; 91,600 person-days of fieldwork) revealed that population size declined by ca. 62% between 2002-2011, and the taxon lost 30% of its geographical range. The population is now less than 10% of its potential size, occupying less than 25% of its potential range. High human population density, hunting intensity, absence of law enforcement, poor governance, and proximity to expanding infrastructure are the strongest predictors of decline. To save the remaining African forest elephants, illegal poaching for ivory and encroachment into core elephant habitat must be stopped. In addition, the international demand for ivory, which fuels illegal trade, must be dramatically reduced. PMID:23469289

  6. Bushmeat hunting, wildlife declines, and fish supply in West Africa.

    PubMed

    Brashares, Justin S; Arcese, Peter; Sam, Moses K; Coppolillo, Peter B; Sinclair, A R E; Balmford, Andrew

    2004-11-12

    The multibillion-dollar trade in bushmeat is among the most immediate threats to the persistence of tropical vertebrates, but our understanding of its underlying drivers and effects on human welfare is limited by a lack of empirical data. We used 30 years of data from Ghana to link mammal declines to the bushmeat trade and to spatial and temporal changes in the availability of fish. We show that years of poor fish supply coincided with increased hunting in nature reserves and sharp declines in biomass of 41 wildlife species. Local market data provide evidence of a direct link between fish supply and subsequent bushmeat demand in villages and show bushmeat's role as a dietary staple in the region. Our results emphasize the urgent need to develop cheap protein alternatives to bushmeat and to improve fisheries management by foreign and domestic fleets to avert extinctions of tropical wildlife.

  7. Progress, decline, and the public uptake of climate science.

    PubMed

    Rudiak-Gould, Peter

    2014-02-01

    Previous research has sought to explain public perception of climate change science in terms of individuals' "prior commitment" to such ideological stances as just-world belief, system justification, and liberalism/conservatism. One type of prior commitment that has received little formal attention in the literature is narratives of the moral trajectory of society. A theory of climate science uptake based on beliefs in societal progress or decline is more easily portable to non-Western settings; in a case study of global warming attitudes in the Marshall Islands, trajectory narratives indeed account for public belief, concern, blame, and response more aptly than existing theories, and accord well with qualitative analysis of Marshallese climate change discourse. In Western settings, progress/decline narratives may explain much of the variation in climate change attitudes previously accounted for by other ideological variables, promising a more penetrating explanation for the divergence of climate change attitudes within and between societies. PMID:23825241

  8. [Cognitive decline in elderly individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus].

    PubMed

    Sakurai, Takashi

    2013-11-01

    Cognitive decline in diabetes impairs the activity of daily living and shortens the healthy life expectancy. Once diabetes is accompanied by demented disorders, it becomes difficult to achieve good control of diabetes. Treatment for diabetes and demented disease should be provided concomitantly, because cognitive dysfunction worsens diabetic control and hyperglycemia worsens cognitive function vice versa, resulting in increased risks of acute metabolic failure. Compliance to medical treatment of diabetes is seriously impaired in the elderly with cognitive decline. Comprehensive approach with several medical specialists and care stuffs is thus needed. This manuscript briefly summaries the recent evidence for target of glycemic control and appropriate use of anti-diabetic medication in diabetic elderly with cognitive impairment.

  9. Veterans have less age-related cognitive decline.

    PubMed

    McLay, R N; Lyketsos, C G

    2000-08-01

    Military service involves exposure to a number of stresses, both psychological and physical. On the other hand, military personnel generally maintain excellent fitness, and veterans have increased access to education and health care. The overall effect on age-related cognitive decline, whether for good or ill, of having served in the armed forces has not been investigated previously. In this study, we examined a diverse population of 208 veterans and 1,216 civilians followed as part of the Epidemiologic Catchment Area Study in 1981, 1982, and 1993 to 1996. We examined change in Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score after a median of 11.5 years. Veterans were found to have significantly less decrease in MMSE scores at follow-up even after sex, race, and education were taken into account. These results suggest an overall positive effect of military service on the rate of age-related cognitive decline. PMID:10957857

  10. Continuing decline in acute asthma episodes in the community

    PubMed Central

    Sunderland, R; Fleming, D

    2004-01-01

    Aims and Methods: To report on trends in the incidence of asthma episodes in children reported to the WRS over the period 1980–2002. Results: Data confirm the steady upward trend from 1980 to 1993. The downward trend since 1993 was consistent in both male and female preschool and school age children, in all regions of the country simultaneously, and during all seasons until 1999 since when it has stabilised. No causative factor has been identified and no temporal association found between factors previously postulated as causing the increase in acute asthma. The decline in acute asthma episodes in children is consistent with observed declines in all other respiratory infections in this community. PMID:14977715

  11. Nutritional management of older adults with cognitive decline and dementia.

    PubMed

    Ogawa, Sumito

    2014-04-01

    Age-related cognitive decline is a main predictor of disability among elderly people, and with the continued expansion of the aging population and the increase in life expectancy, the prevalence of mild cognitive impairment and dementia represented by Alzheimer's disease (AD), which is a multifactorial neurodegenerative disorder of older adults, have increased. Recent epidemiological and observational studies suggest a relationship exists between lifestyle factors, including nutrition and diet, and cognitive function in aging adults. It is also suggested that malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies are associated with cognitive decline in patients with dementia. There are a variety of nutritional factors, including nutritional status and dietary patterns, that might be associated with cognitive function, and specific micronutrients and dietary components have been suggested to have an association with cognitive function as well. Based on these findings and evidence, evaluation of nutritional state, as well as nutritional intervention, might be able to play a role in the management and prevention of dementia. PMID:24650061

  12. Declining resilience of ecosystem functions under biodiversity loss.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Tom H; Isaac, Nick J B; August, Tom A; Woodcock, Ben A; Roy, David B; Bullock, James M

    2015-12-08

    The composition of species communities is changing rapidly through drivers such as habitat loss and climate change, with potentially serious consequences for the resilience of ecosystem functions on which humans depend. To assess such changes in resilience, we analyse trends in the frequency of species in Great Britain that provide key ecosystem functions--specifically decomposition, carbon sequestration, pollination, pest control and cultural values. For 4,424 species over four decades, there have been significant net declines among animal species that provide pollination, pest control and cultural values. Groups providing decomposition and carbon sequestration remain relatively stable, as fewer species are in decline and these are offset by large numbers of new arrivals into Great Britain. While there is general concern about degradation of a wide range of ecosystem functions, our results suggest actions should focus on particular functions for which there is evidence of substantial erosion of their resilience.

  13. A Rapidly Declining Arctic Perennial Sea Ice Cover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Comiso, Josefino C.; Koblinsky, Chester J. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The perennial sea ice cover in the Arctic is shown to be declining at -8.9 plus or minus 2.0% per decade, using 22 years of satellite data. A sustained decline at this rate would mean the disappearance of the multiyear ice cover during this century and drastic changes in the seasonal characteristics of the Arctic ice cover. An apparent increase in the fraction of second year ice in the 1990s is also inferred suggesting an overall thinning of the ice cover while co-registered satellite surface temperatures show a warming trend of 0.8 plus or minus 0.6 K per decade in summer and a good correlation with the perennial ice data.

  14. After some 350 years - zero declination again in Paris

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mandea, Mioara; Le Mouël, Jean-Louis

    2016-09-01

    The main part of the geomagnetic field - produced by a dynamo process in the Earth's outer core - changes its direction and strength in time, over timescales from months to centuries, even millennia. Its temporal variations, known as secular variation and secular acceleration, are crucial ingredients for understanding the physics of the deep Earth. Very long series of measurements therefore play an important role. Here, we provide an updated series of geomagnetic declination in Paris, shortly after a very special occasion: its value has reached zero after some 350 years of westerly values. Indeed, during October and November 2013, the declination at the Chambon la Forêt geomagnetic observatory changed from westerly to easterly values, the agonic line then passing through this place. We take this occasion to emphasize the importance of long series of continuous measurements.

  15. Devastating Decline of Forest Elephants in Central Africa

    PubMed Central

    Blake, Stephen; Wittemyer, George; Hart, John; Williamson, Elizabeth A.; Aba’a, Rostand; Abitsi, Gaspard; Ambahe, Ruffin D.; Amsini, Fidèl; Bakabana, Parfait C.; Hicks, Thurston Cleveland; Bayogo, Rosine E.; Bechem, Martha; Beyers, Rene L.; Bezangoye, Anicet N.; Boundja, Patrick; Bout, Nicolas; Akou, Marc Ella; Bene, Lambert Bene; Fosso, Bernard; Greengrass, Elizabeth; Grossmann, Falk; Ikamba-Nkulu, Clement; Ilambu, Omari; Inogwabini, Bila-Isia; Iyenguet, Fortune; Kiminou, Franck; Kokangoye, Max; Kujirakwinja, Deo; Latour, Stephanie; Liengola, Innocent; Mackaya, Quevain; Madidi, Jacob; Madzoke, Bola; Makoumbou, Calixte; Malanda, Guy-Aimé; Malonga, Richard; Mbani, Olivier; Mbendzo, Valentin A.; Ambassa, Edgar; Ekinde, Albert; Mihindou, Yves; Morgan, Bethan J.; Motsaba, Prosper; Moukala, Gabin; Mounguengui, Anselme; Mowawa, Brice S.; Ndzai, Christian; Nixon, Stuart; Nkumu, Pele; Nzolani, Fabian; Pintea, Lilian; Plumptre, Andrew; Rainey, Hugo; de Semboli, Bruno Bokoto; Serckx, Adeline; Stokes, Emma; Turkalo, Andrea; Vanleeuwe, Hilde; Vosper, Ashley; Warren, Ymke

    2013-01-01

    African forest elephants– taxonomically and functionally unique–are being poached at accelerating rates, but we lack range-wide information on the repercussions. Analysis of the largest survey dataset ever assembled for forest elephants (80 foot-surveys; covering 13,000 km; 91,600 person-days of fieldwork) revealed that population size declined by ca. 62% between 2002–2011, and the taxon lost 30% of its geographical range. The population is now less than 10% of its potential size, occupying less than 25% of its potential range. High human population density, hunting intensity, absence of law enforcement, poor governance, and proximity to expanding infrastructure are the strongest predictors of decline. To save the remaining African forest elephants, illegal poaching for ivory and encroachment into core elephant habitat must be stopped. In addition, the international demand for ivory, which fuels illegal trade, must be dramatically reduced. PMID:23469289

  16. Decline of spectacled eiders nesting in western Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stehn, Robert A.; Dau, Christian P.; Conant, Bruce; Butler, William I.

    1993-01-01

    Spectacled eider (Somateria fischeri) populations in western Alaska are now less than 4% of the numbers estimated in the early 1970s. In 1992, an estimated 1721 nesting pairs remained on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Causes of this rapid and continuing decline of -14% per year are undocumented. Many aspects of spectacled eider biology remain unknown, including their marine foraging habitats, food items, migratory movements, and population ecology. A review of some biological characteristics and possible threats to the species suggests the importance of quantifying potential impacts from parasites and disease, subsistence harvest, predation during brood rearing, and alteration of Bering Sea food resources. Factors causing the population decline of spectacled eiders must be determined and appropriate actions taken to reverse the trend.

  17. [Trends and correlates of fertility decline in the NIES].

    PubMed

    Tsuya, N O

    1991-05-01

    "Trends and correlates of dramatic fertility declines in the NIES [newly industrialized economies of Asia] from the 1960s to the 1980s are examined in this paper. Specifically, we first look at changes in the fertility effects of such demographic factors as age structure of fertility, age pattern of marriage, and marital fertility. Next, as major proximate determinants of fertility, we examine changes in contraception and induced abortion. We then examine the fertility effects of changes in infant mortality and family planning programs. Finally, by examining changes in such socioeconomic factors as educational attainment and female labor force participation as well as attitudinal changes toward marriage and the family, we seek to infer their effects on fertility declines in the NIES." The data primarily concern Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan. (SUMMARY IN ENG)

  18. Decline of maternal antibodies to plague in Norway rats.

    PubMed

    Williams, J E; Eisenberg, G H; Cavanaugh, D C

    1977-02-01

    The decline of maternal antibodies to the fraciton I antigen of Yersinia pestis was investigated in newly weaned Rattus norvegicus obtained from dams vaccinated with strain EV76(51F) of Y. pestis. IHA titre decreased by 50% each 7-3 days and CF titre declined 50% each 10-0 days in young rats. An analysis of available data indicated that maternal IHA and CF antibodies could persist to 3 months of age. Therefore, positive serologic reactions in young R. norvegicus, detected in the course of serological surveys, could be the result either of active immunization after exposure to the plague bacillus or of transient passive immunization (i.e. maternal antibody). PMID:264498

  19. Habitat split and the global decline of amphibians.

    PubMed

    Becker, Carlos Guilherme; Fonseca, Carlos Roberto; Haddad, Célio Fernando Baptista; Batista, Rômulo Fernandes; Prado, Paulo Inácio

    2007-12-14

    The worldwide decline in amphibians has been attributed to several causes, especially habitat loss and disease. We identified a further factor, namely "habitat split"-defined as human-induced disconnection between habitats used by different life history stages of a species-which forces forest-associated amphibians with aquatic larvae to make risky breeding migrations between suitable aquatic and terrestrial habitats. In the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, we found that habitat split negatively affects the richness of species with aquatic larvae but not the richness of species with terrestrial development (the latter can complete their life cycle inside forest remnants). This mechanism helps to explain why species with aquatic larvae have the highest incidence of population decline. These findings reinforce the need for the conservation and restoration of riparian vegetation.

  20. Forest productivity decline caused by successional paludification of boreal soils.

    PubMed

    Simard, Martin; Lecomte, Nicolas; Bergeron, Yves; Bernier, Pierre Y; Paré, David

    2007-09-01

    Long-term forest productivity decline in boreal forests has been extensively studied in the last decades, yet its causes are still unclear. Soil conditions associated with soil organic matter accumulation are thought to be responsible for site productivity decline. The objectives of this study were to determine if paludification of boreal soils resulted in reduced forest productivity, and to identify changes in the physical and chemical properties of soils associated with reduction in productivity. We used a chronosequence of 23 black spruce stands ranging in postfire age from 50 to 2350 years and calculated three different stand productivity indices, including site index. We assessed changes in forest productivity with time using two complementary approaches: (1) by comparing productivity among the chronosequence stands and (2) by comparing the productivity of successive cohorts of trees within the same stands to determine the influence of time independently of other site factors. Charcoal stratigraphy indicates that the forest stands differ in their fire history and originated either from high- or low-severity soil burns. Both chronosequence and cohort approaches demonstrate declines in black spruce productivity of 50-80% with increased paludification, particularly during the first centuries after fire. Paludification alters bryophyte abundance and succession, increases soil moisture, reduces soil temperature and nutrient availability, and alters the vertical distribution of roots. Low-severity soil burns significantly accelerate rates of paludification and productivity decline compared with high-severity fires and ultimately reduce nutrient content in black spruce needles. The two combined approaches indicate that paludification can be driven by forest succession only, independently of site factors such as position on slope. This successional paludification contrasts with edaphic paludification, where topography and drainage primarily control the extent and rate