Science.gov

Sample records for metacommunity dynamics decline

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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. 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

  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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-07

    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.

  8. 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

  9. National-scale metacommunity dynamics of carabid beetles in UK farmland.

    PubMed

    Brooks, David R; Perry, Joe N; Clark, Suzanne J; Heard, Matthew S; Firbank, Les G; Holdgate, Ross; Mason, Neil S; Shortall, Chris R; Skellern, Matthew P; Woiwod, Ian P

    2008-03-01

    1. Understanding the wide-scale processes controlling communities across multiple sites is a foremost challenge of modern ecology. Here, data from a nation-wide network of field sites are used to describe the metacommunity dynamics of arable carabid beetles. This is done by modelling how communities are structured at a local level, by changes in the environment of the sampled fields and, at a regional level, by fitting spatial parameters describing latitudinal and longitudinal gradients. 2. Local and regional processes demonstrated independent and significant capacities for structuring communities. Within the local environment, crop type was found to be the primary determinant of carabid community composition. The regional component included a strong response to a longitudinal gradient, with significant increases in diversity in an east-to-west direction. 3. Carabid metacommunities seem to be structured by a combination of species sorting dynamics, operating at two different, but equally important, spatial scales. At a local scale, species are sorted along a resource gradient determined by crop type. At a wider spatial scale species appear to be sorted along a longitudinal gradient. 4. Nation-wide trends in communities coincided with known gradients of increased homogeneity of habitat mosaics and agricultural intensification. However, more work is required to understand fully how communities are controlled by the interaction of crops with changes in landscape structure at different spatial scales. 5. We conclude that crop type is a powerful determinant of carabid biodiversity, but that it cannot be considered in isolation from other components of the landscape for optimal conservation policy.

  10. Dispersal and life history strategies in epiphyte metacommunities: alternative solutions to survival in patchy, dynamic landscapes.

    PubMed

    Löbel, Swantje; Rydin, Håkan

    2009-09-01

    Host trees for obligate epiphytes are dynamic patches that emerge, grow and fall, and metacommunity diversity critically depends on efficient dispersal. Even though species that disperse by large asexual diaspores are strongly dispersal limited, asexual dispersal is common. The stronger dispersal limitation of asexually reproducing species compared to species reproducing sexually via small spores may be compensated by higher growth rates, lower sensitivity to habitat conditions, higher competitive ability or younger reproductive age. We compared growth and reproduction of different groups of epiphytic bryophytes with contrasting dispersal (asexual vs. sexual) and life history strategies (colonists, short- and long-lived shuttle species, perennial stayers) in an old-growth forest stand in the boreo-nemoral region in eastern Sweden. No differences were seen in relative growth rates between asexual and sexual species. Long-lived shuttles had lower growth rates than colonists and perennial stayers. Most groups grew best at intermediate bark pH. Interactions with other epiphytes had a small, often positive effect on growth. Neither differences in sensitivity of growth to habitat conditions nor differences in competitive abilities among species groups were found. Habitat conditions, however, influenced the production of sporophytes, but not of asexual diaspores. Presence of sporophytes negatively affected growth, whereas presence of asexual diaspores did not. Sexual species had to reach a certain colony size before starting to reproduce, whereas no such threshold existed for asexual reproduction. The results indicate that the epiphyte metacommunity is structured by two main trade-offs: dispersal distance vs. reproductive age, and dispersal distance vs. sensitivity to habitat quality. There seems to be a trade-off between growth and sexual reproduction, but not asexual. Trade-offs in species traits may be shaped by conflicting selection pressures imposed by habitat

  11. How does adaptive consumer movement affect population dynamics in consumer-resource metacommunities with homogeneous patches?

    PubMed

    Abrams, Peter A; Ruokolainen, Lasse

    2011-05-21

    This article uses simple models to explore the impact of adaptive movement by consumers on the population dynamics of a consumer-resource metacommunity consisting of two identical patches. Consumer-resource interactions within a patch are described by the Rosenzweig-MacArthur predator-prey model, and these dynamics are assumed to be cyclic in the absence of movement. The per capita movement rate from one patch to the other is an increasing function of the difference between the per capita birth minus death rate in the destination patch and that in the currently occupied patch. Several variations on this model are considered. Results show that adaptive movement frequently creates anti-phase cycles in the two patches; these suppress the predator-prey cycle and lead to low temporal variation of the total population sizes of both species. Paradoxically, even when movement is very sensitive to the fitness difference between patches, perfect synchrony of patches is often much less likely than in comparable systems with random movement. Under these circumstances adaptive movement of consumers often generates differences in the average properties of the two patches. In addition, mean global densities and responses to global perturbations often differ greatly from similar systems with no movement or random movement.

  12. Making sense of metacommunities: dispelling the mythology of a metacommunity typology.

    PubMed

    Brown, Bryan L; Sokol, Eric R; Skelton, James; Tornwall, Brett

    2017-03-01

    Metacommunity ecology has rapidly become a dominant framework through which ecologists understand the natural world. Unfortunately, persistent misunderstandings regarding metacommunity theory and the methods for evaluating hypotheses based on the theory are common in the ecological literature. Since its beginnings, four major paradigms-species sorting, mass effects, neutrality, and patch dynamics-have been associated with metacommunity ecology. The Big 4 have been misconstrued to represent the complete set of metacommunity dynamics. As a result, many investigators attempt to evaluate community assembly processes as strictly belonging to one of the Big 4 types, rather than embracing the full scope of metacommunity theory. The Big 4 were never intended to represent the entire spectrum of metacommunity dynamics and were rather examples of historical paradigms that fit within the new framework. We argue that perpetuation of the Big 4 typology hurts community ecology and we encourage researchers to embrace the full inference space of metacommunity theory. A related, but distinct issue is that the technique of variation partitioning is often used to evaluate the dynamics of metacommunities. This methodology has produced its own set of misunderstandings, some of which are directly a product of the Big 4 typology and others which are simply the product of poor study design or statistical artefacts. However, variation partitioning is a potentially powerful technique when used appropriately and we identify several strategies for successful utilization of variation partitioning.

  13. 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

  14. Linking metacommunity paradigms to spatial coexistence mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Shoemaker, Lauren G; Melbourne, Brett A

    2016-09-01

    Four metacommunity paradigms-usually called neutral, species sorting, mass effects, and patch dynamics, respectively-are widely used for empirical and theoretical studies of spatial community dynamics. The paradigm framework highlights key ecological mechanisms operating in metacommunities, such as dispersal limitation, competition-colonization tradeoffs, or species equivalencies. However, differences in coexistence mechanisms between the paradigms and in situations with combined influences of multiple paradigms are not well understood. Here, we create a common model for competitive metacommunities, with unique parameterizations for each metacommunity paradigm and for scenarios with multiple paradigms operating simultaneously. We derive analytical expressions for the strength of Chesson's spatial coexistence mechanisms and quantify these for each paradigm via simulation. For our model, fitness-density covariance, a concentration effect measuring the importance of intraspecific aggregation of individuals, is the dominant coexistence mechanism in all three niche-based metacommunity paradigms. Increased dispersal between patches erodes intraspecific aggregation, leading to lower coexistence strength in the mass effects paradigm compared to species sorting. Our analysis demonstrates the potential importance of aggregation of individuals (fitness-density covariance) over co-variation in abiotic environments and competition between species (the storage effect), as fitness-density covariance can be stronger than the storage effect and is the sole stabilizing mechanism in the patch dynamics paradigm. As expected, stable coexistence does not occur in the neutral paradigm, which requires species to be equal and emphasizes the role of stochasticity. We show that stochasticity also plays an important role in niche-structured metacommunities by altering coexistence strength. We conclude that Chesson's spatial coexistence mechanisms provide a flexible framework for comparing

  15. Metacommunity ecology meets biogeography: effects of geographical region, spatial dynamics and environmental filtering on community structure in aquatic organisms.

    PubMed

    Heino, Jani; Soininen, Janne; Alahuhta, Janne; Lappalainen, Jyrki; Virtanen, Risto

    2017-01-01

    Metacommunity patterns and underlying processes in aquatic organisms have typically been studied within a drainage basin. We examined variation in the composition of six freshwater organismal groups across various drainage basins in Finland. We first modelled spatial structures within each drainage basin using Moran eigenvector maps. Second, we partitioned variation in community structure among three groups of predictors using constrained ordination: (1) local environmental variables, (2) spatial variables, and (3) dummy variable drainage basin identity. Third, we examined turnover and nestedness components of multiple-site beta diversity, and tested the best fit patterns of our datasets using the "elements of metacommunity structure" analysis. Our results showed that basin identity and local environmental variables were significant predictors of community structure, whereas within-basin spatial effects were typically negligible. In half of the organismal groups (diatoms, bryophytes, zooplankton), basin identity was a slightly better predictor of community structure than local environmental variables, whereas the opposite was true for the remaining three organismal groups (insects, macrophytes, fish). Both pure basin and local environmental fractions were, however, significant after accounting for the effects of the other predictor variable sets. All organismal groups exhibited high levels of beta diversity, which was mostly attributable to the turnover component. Our results showed consistent Clementsian-type metacommunity structures, suggesting that subgroups of species responded similarly to environmental factors or drainage basin limits. We conclude that aquatic communities across large scales are mostly determined by environmental and basin effects, which leads to high beta diversity and prevalence of Clementsian community types.

  16. Metacommunity theory explains the emergence of food web complexity.

    PubMed

    Pillai, Pradeep; Gonzalez, Andrew; Loreau, Michel

    2011-11-29

    Food webs are highly complex ecological networks, dynamic in both space and time. Metacommunity models are now at the core of unified theories of biodiversity, but to date they have not addressed food web complexity. Here we show that metacommunity theory can explain the emergence of species-rich food webs with complex network topologies. Our analysis shows that network branching in the food web is maximized at intermediate colonization rates and limited dispersal scales, which also leads to concomitant peaks in species diversity. Increased food web complexity and species diversity are made possible by the structural role played by network branches that are supported by omnivore and generalist feeding links. Thus, in contrast to traditional food web theory, which emphasizes the destabilizing effect of omnivory feeding in closed systems, metacommunity theory predicts that these feeding links, which are commonly observed in empirical food webs, play a critical structural role as food webs assemble in space. As this mechanism functions at the metacommunity level, evidence for its operation in nature will be obtained through multiscale surveys of food web structure. Finally, we apply our theory to reveal the effects of habitat destruction on network complexity and metacommunity diversity.

  17. Metacommunity speciation models and their implications for diversification theory.

    PubMed

    Hubert, Nicolas; Calcagno, Vincent; Etienne, Rampal S; Mouquet, Nicolas

    2015-08-01

    The emergence of new frameworks combining evolutionary and ecological dynamics in communities opens new perspectives on the study of speciation. By acknowledging the relative contribution of local and regional dynamics in shaping the complexity of ecological communities, metacommunity theory sheds a new light on the mechanisms underlying the emergence of species. Three integrative frameworks have been proposed, involving neutral dynamics, niche theory, and life history trade-offs respectively. Here, we review these frameworks of metacommunity theory to emphasise that: (1) studies on speciation and community ecology have converged towards similar general principles by acknowledging the central role of dispersal in metacommunities dynamics, (2) considering the conditions of emergence and maintenance of new species in communities has given rise to new models of speciation embedded in the metacommunity theory, (3) studies of diversification have shifted from relating phylogenetic patterns to landscapes spatial and ecological characteristics towards integrative approaches that explicitly consider speciation in a mechanistic ecological framework. We highlight several challenges, in particular the need for a better integration of the eco-evolutionary consequences of dispersal and the need to increase our understanding on the relative rates of evolutionary and ecological changes in communities.

  18. The Dynamics of Neighborhood Change and Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grigsby, William; And Others

    The economic and physical decline of urban neighborhoods has become a widespread and widely misunderstood phenomenon in post-war America. It has not been restricted to aging central cities: most growing cities and many suburbs possess areas of decay as well. After decades of changing occupancy, dwellings have fallen into disrepair, and the quality…

  19. Biodiversity conservation in metacommunity networks: linking pattern and persistence.

    PubMed

    Economo, Evan P

    2011-06-01

    A central goal of conservation science is to identify the most important habitat patches for maintaining biodiversity on a landscape. Spatial biodiversity patterns are often used for such assessments, and patches that harbor unique diversity are generally prioritized over those with high community similarity to other areas. This places an emphasis on biodiversity representation, but removing a patch can have cascading effects on biodiversity persistence in the remaining ecological communities. Metacommunity theory provides a mechanistic route to the linking of biodiversity patterns on a landscape with the subsequent dynamics of diversity loss after habitat is degraded. Using spatially explicit neutral theory, I focus on the situation where spatial patterns of diversity and similarity are generated by the structure of dispersal networks and not environmental gradients. I find that gains in biodiversity representation are nullified by losses in persistence, and as a result the effects of removing a patch on metacommunity diversity are essentially independent of complementarity or other biodiversity patterns. In this scenario, maximizing protected area and not biodiversity representation is the key to maintaining diversity in the long term. These results highlight the need for a broader understanding of how conservation paradigms perform under different models of metacommunity dynamics.

  20. A comparative analysis of metacommunity types in the freshwater realm.

    PubMed

    Heino, Jani; Soininen, Janne; Alahuhta, Janne; Lappalainen, Jyrki; Virtanen, Risto

    2015-04-01

    Most metacommunity studies have taken a direct mechanistic approach, aiming to model the effects of local and regional processes on local communities within a metacommunity. An alternative approach is to focus on emergent patterns at the metacommunity level through applying the elements of metacommunity structure (EMS; Oikos, 97, 2002, 237) analysis. The EMS approach has very rarely been applied in the context of a comparative analysis of metacommunity types of main microbial, plant, and animal groups. Furthermore, to our knowledge, no study has associated metacommunity types with their potential ecological correlates in the freshwater realm. We assembled data for 45 freshwater metacommunities, incorporating biologically highly disparate organismal groups (i.e., bacteria, algae, macrophytes, invertebrates, and fish). We first examined ecological correlates (e.g., matrix properties, beta diversity, and average characteristics of a metacommunity, including body size, trophic group, ecosystem type, life form, and dispersal mode) of the three elements of metacommunity structure (i.e., coherence, turnover, and boundary clumping). Second, based on those three elements, we determined which metacommunity types prevailed in freshwater systems and which ecological correlates best discriminated among the observed metacommunity types. We found that the three elements of metacommunity structure were not strongly related to the ecological correlates, except that turnover was positively related to beta diversity. We observed six metacommunity types. The most common were Clementsian and quasi-nested metacommunity types, whereas Random, quasi-Clementsian, Gleasonian, and quasi-Gleasonian types were less common. These six metacommunity types were best discriminated by beta diversity and the first axis of metacommunity ecological traits, ranging from metacommunities of producer organisms occurring in streams to those of large predatory organisms occurring in lakes. Our results showed

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

    PubMed

    Mougi, A; Kondoh, M

    2016-04-13

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. Angular Declination and the Dynamic Perception of Egocentric Distance

    PubMed Central

    Gajewski, Daniel A.; Philbeck, John W.; Wirtz, Philip W.; Chichka, David

    2014-01-01

    The extraction of the distance between an object and an observer is fast when angular declination is informative, as it is with targets placed on the ground. To what extent does angular declination drive performance when viewing time is limited? Participants judged target distances in a real-world environment with viewing durations ranging from 36–220 ms. An important role for angular declination was supported by experiments showing that the cue provides information about egocentric distance even on the very first glimpse, and that it supports a sensitive response to distance in the absence of other useful cues. Performance was better at 220 ms viewing durations than for briefer glimpses, suggesting that the perception of distance is dynamic even within the time frame of a typical eye fixation. Critically, performance in limited viewing trials was better when preceded by a 15 second preview of the room without a designated target. The results indicate that the perception of distance is powerfully shaped by memory from prior visual experience with the scene. A theoretical framework for the dynamic perception of distance is presented. PMID:24099588

  4. Dynamic hub load predicts cognitive decline after resective neurosurgery

    PubMed Central

    Carbo, Ellen W. S.; Hillebrand, Arjan; van Dellen, Edwin; Tewarie, Prejaas; de Witt Hamer, Philip C.; Baayen, Johannes C.; Klein, Martin; Geurts, Jeroen J. G.; Reijneveld, Jaap C.; Stam, Cornelis J.; Douw, Linda

    2017-01-01

    Resective neurosurgery carries the risk of postoperative cognitive deterioration. The concept of ‘hub (over)load’, caused by (over)use of the most important brain regions, has been theoretically postulated in relation to symptomatology and neurological disease course, but lacks experimental confirmation. We investigated functional hub load and postsurgical cognitive deterioration in patients undergoing lesion resection. Patients (n = 28) underwent resting-state magnetoencephalography and neuropsychological assessments preoperatively and 1-year after lesion resection. We calculated stationary hub load score (SHub) indicating to what extent brain regions linked different subsystems; high SHub indicates larger processing pressure on hub regions. Dynamic hub load score (DHub) assessed its variability over time; low values, particularly in combination with high SHub values, indicate increased load, because of consistently high usage of hub regions. Hypothetically, increased SHub and decreased DHub relate to hub overload and thus poorer/deteriorating cognition. Between time points, deteriorating verbal memory performance correlated with decreasing upper alpha DHub. Moreover, preoperatively low DHub values accurately predicted declining verbal memory performance. In summary, dynamic hub load relates to cognitive functioning in patients undergoing lesion resection: postoperative cognitive decline can be tracked and even predicted using dynamic hub load, suggesting it may be used as a prognostic marker for tailored treatment planning. PMID:28169349

  5. Dynamic hub load predicts cognitive decline after resective neurosurgery.

    PubMed

    Carbo, Ellen W S; Hillebrand, Arjan; van Dellen, Edwin; Tewarie, Prejaas; de Witt Hamer, Philip C; Baayen, Johannes C; Klein, Martin; Geurts, Jeroen J G; Reijneveld, Jaap C; Stam, Cornelis J; Douw, Linda

    2017-02-07

    Resective neurosurgery carries the risk of postoperative cognitive deterioration. The concept of 'hub (over)load', caused by (over)use of the most important brain regions, has been theoretically postulated in relation to symptomatology and neurological disease course, but lacks experimental confirmation. We investigated functional hub load and postsurgical cognitive deterioration in patients undergoing lesion resection. Patients (n = 28) underwent resting-state magnetoencephalography and neuropsychological assessments preoperatively and 1-year after lesion resection. We calculated stationary hub load score (SHub) indicating to what extent brain regions linked different subsystems; high SHub indicates larger processing pressure on hub regions. Dynamic hub load score (DHub) assessed its variability over time; low values, particularly in combination with high SHub values, indicate increased load, because of consistently high usage of hub regions. Hypothetically, increased SHub and decreased DHub relate to hub overload and thus poorer/deteriorating cognition. Between time points, deteriorating verbal memory performance correlated with decreasing upper alpha DHub. Moreover, preoperatively low DHub values accurately predicted declining verbal memory performance. In summary, dynamic hub load relates to cognitive functioning in patients undergoing lesion resection: postoperative cognitive decline can be tracked and even predicted using dynamic hub load, suggesting it may be used as a prognostic marker for tailored treatment planning.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Density-dependent dispersal and relative dispersal affect the stability of predator-prey metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Hauzy, Céline; Gauduchon, Mathias; Hulot, Florence D; Loreau, Michel

    2010-10-07

    Although density-dependent dispersal and relative dispersal (the difference in dispersal rates between species) have been documented in natural systems, their effects on the stability of metacommunities are poorly understood. Here we investigate the effects of intra- and interspecific density-dependent dispersal on the regional stability in a predator-prey metacommunity model. We show that, when the dynamics of the populations reach equilibrium, the stability of the metacommunity is not affected by density-dependent dispersal. However, the regional stability, measured as the regional variability or the persistence, can be modified by density-dependent dispersal when local populations fluctuate over time. Moreover these effects depend on the relative dispersal of the predator and the prey. Regional stability is modified through changes in spatial synchrony. Interspecific density-dependent dispersal always desynchronizses local dynamics, whereas intraspecific density-dependent dispersal may either synchronize or desynchronize it depending on dispersal rates. Moreover, intra- and interspecific density-dependent dispersal strengthen the top-down control of the prey by the predator at intermediate dispersal rates. As a consequence the regional stability of the metacommunity is increased at intermediate dispersal rates. Our results show that density-dependent dispersal and relative dispersal of species are keys to understanding the response of ecosystems to fragmentation.

  9. The effects of colonization, extinction and competition on co-existence in metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Hunt, Julia J F G; Bonsall, Michael B

    2009-07-01

    1. The co-existence of competitors in heterogeneous landscapes depends on the processes of colonization, extinction and spatial scale. In this study, we explore the metapopulation dynamics of competitive interactions. 2. Rather than simply evaluating the outcome of interspecific competition in the traditional manner, we focus on both the local population dynamic effects and the regional metapopulation processes affecting species co-existence. 3. We develop a theoretical model of regional co-existence to generate a set of predictions on the patterns of colonization necessary for co-existence and the regional processes that can lead to competitive exclusion. We empirically test these predictions using metacommunity microcosms of the interaction between two bruchid beetles (Callosobruchus chinensis, Callosobruchus maculatus). 4. Using well-replicated time series of the interaction between the bruchids and statistical methods of model fitting, we show how the qualitative and quantitative pattern of interspecific competition between the bruchid beetles is shaped by the structure of the metacommunity. 5. In unlimited dispersal metacommunities, the global exclusion of the inferior competitor is shown to be influenced more by the processes associated with extinction rather than low colonization ability. In restricted dispersal metacommunities, we show how the co-existence of competitors in a spatially heterogeneous habitat (patches connected through limited dispersal) is affected by Allee effects and life-history [colonization (dispersal) - competition] trade-offs.

  10. 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

  11. Biodiversity and ecosystem stability across scales in metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shaopeng; Loreau, Michel

    2016-05-01

    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 stabilising effects for regional ecosystems, through local and spatial insurance effects respectively. We further show that at the regional scale, the stabilising 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 homogenisation) and biodiversity loss on ecosystem sustainability at large scales.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Remarks on metacommunity synchronization with application to prey-predator systems.

    PubMed

    Colombo, Alessandro; Dercole, Fabio; Rinaldi, Sergio

    2008-04-01

    The problem of synchronization of metacommunities is investigated in this article with reference to a rather general model composed of a chaotic environmental compartment driving a biological compartment. Synchronization in the absence of dispersal (i.e., the so-called Moran effect) is first discussed and shown to occur only when there is no biochaos. In other words, if the biological compartment is reinforcing environmental chaos, dispersal must be strictly above a specified threshold in order to synchronize population dynamics. Moreover, this threshold can be easily determined from the model by computing a special Lyapunov exponent. The application to prey-predator metacommunities points out the influence of frequency and coherence of the environmental noise on synchronization and agrees with all experimental studies performed on the subject.

  15. 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.

  16. Collapse of biodiversity in fractured metacommunities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, Charles; Mehta, Pankaj

    2014-03-01

    The increasing threat to global biodiversity from climate change, habitat destruction, and other anthropogenic factors motivates the search for features that increase the resistance of ecological communities to destructive disturbances. Recently, Gibson et al (Science 2013) observed that the damming of the Khlong Saeng river in Thailand caused a rapid collapse of biodiversity in the remaining tropical forests. Using a theoretical model that maps the distribution of coexisting species in an ecological community to a disordered system of Ising spins, we show that fracturing a metacommunity by inhibiting species dispersal leads to a collapse in biodiversity in the constituent local communities. The biodiversity collapse can be modeled as a diffusion on a rough energy landscape, and the resulting estimate for the rate of extinction highlights the role of species functional diversity in maintaining biodiversity following a disturbance.

  17. 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

  18. Investigating the Dynamics of Wandoo Crown Decline with Time Series Landsat Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zdunic, K.; Behn, G.; van Dongen, R.

    2012-08-01

    In the forests of south west Western Australia dramatic declines in tree health have been observed in recent years. The species Eucalyptus wando has exhibited loss of crown foliage in increasing stages of severity; this condition is referred to as wandoo crown decline and can lead to death. Determining the extent and timing of these declines is difficult on the ground due to the large distribution of E. wandoo and the observation of tree declines at a range of locations and dates over the last 40 years. Understanding the distribution, severity and timing of these declines is essential to the identification of the causes of these impacts. Investigation of time series Landsat imagery can inform on locations of crown foliage loss and the time periods these losses occurred in. Applying a vegetation index to a 20 year sequence of imagery enabled periods of decline to be identified. Employment of trend analysis of four date time series demonstrated the dynamics of wandoo crown cover. Comparisons of periods of decline with the variations of cover density over the entire image sequence facilitated the identification of possible locations and timing of wandoo crown decline impacts. Changes in crown cover observed by the imagery analysis were compared to field surveys.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Coronal Dynamic Activities in the Declining Phase of a Solar Cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jang, Minhwan; Woods, T. N.; Hong, Sunhak; Choe, G. S.

    2016-12-01

    It has been known that some solar activity indicators show a double-peak feature in their evolution through a solar cycle, which is not conspicuous in sunspot number. In this Letter, we investigate the high solar dynamic activity in the declining phase of the sunspot cycle by examining the evolution of polar and low-latitude coronal hole (CH) areas, splitting and merging events of CHs, and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) detected by SOHO/LASCO C3 in solar cycle 23. Although the total CH area is at its maximum near the sunspot minimum, in which polar CHs prevail, it shows a comparable second maximum in the declining phase of the cycle, in which low-latitude CHs are dominant. The events of CH splitting or merging, which are attributed to surface motions of magnetic fluxes, are also mostly populated in the declining phase of the cycle. The far-reaching C3 CMEs are also overpopulated in the declining phase of the cycle. From these results we suggest that solar dynamic activities due to the horizontal surface motions of magnetic fluxes extend far in the declining phase of the sunspot cycle.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23919177

  3. 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.

  4. Spatio-temporal environmental correlation and population variability in simple metacommunities.

    PubMed

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Strong spatial influence on colonization rates in a pioneer zooplankton metacommunity.

    PubMed

    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.

  17. 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

  18. Life history affects how species experience succession in pen shell metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Munguia, Pablo

    2014-04-01

    In nature, very few species are common and broadly distributed. Most species are rare and occupy few sites; this pattern is ubiquitous across habitats and taxa. In spatially structured communities (metacommunities), regional distribution and local abundance may change as the relative effects of within-habitat processes (e.g., species interactions) and among-habitat processes (e.g., dispersal) may vary through succession. A field experiment with the marine benthic inhabitants of pen shells (Atrina rigida) tested how common and rare species respond to succession and metacommunity size. I followed community development through time and partitioned species into sessile and motile based on their natural history. Rare species drive diversity patterns and are influenced by metacommunity size: there are strong abundance-distribution differences between common and rare species in large metacommunities, but motile species show lower rates of change than sessile species. In small metacommunities both common and rare species have similar changes through time; the dichotomous distinction of common and rare species is not present. Edge effects in metacommunities affect species' changes in distribution and abundance. In large metacommunities diversity is higher in edge habitats relative to small metacommunities during early succession. However, edge effects benefit motile species over time in small metacommunities showing a rapid increase in diversity. Individual mobility is sensitive to regional community size and allows individuals to sort among different communities. In contrast, sessile species do not show this edge effect. Metacommunity theory is a useful framework for understanding spatially structured communities, but the natural history of coexisting species cannot be ignored.

  19. Evolutionary dynamics of declining melanism in the peppered moth in the Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Brakefield, P M; Liebert, T G

    2000-10-07

    Populations of Biston betularia in the region of The Netherlands around Leiden and Rotterdam were resampled. A comparison of three sets of data for 1969-1973, 1988 and 1999 enabled a further examination of declines in melanism. Unlike parallel changes for the black carbonaria form of this species in urban regions of Britain, those inThe Netherlands involve substantial changes in frequencies of at least two of the intermediate insularia morphs as well as an increase in the non-melanic typica morph. The darkest of the three insularia morphs has shown a transitory pulse of increased frequency in The Netherlands. The dynamics are discussed in relation to the history of air pollution and to straightforward predictions about selection.

  20. 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.

  1. Macroevolutionary emergence of bathymetric gradients in molluscan metacommunity turnover (NE Atlantic)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    Although marine invertebrate lineages turn over at a higher rate in onshore than in offshore environments at macroevolutionary time scales, it remains unclear whether this pattern scales down to shorter time scales and whether it is linked to different sensitivity of onshore and offshore environments to climatic changes. We show that while turnover of molluscan metacommunities significantly declines with increasing depth between the tropical Eocene habitats and warm-temperate Pliocene habitats (>10 Myr) in the NE Atlantic Province, it does not change with depth at shorter time scales - within Eocene and Pliocene (<1 Myr). This offshore decline in long-term turnover is caused by a higher onshore extinction of genera and families and by an onshore expansion of genera and families that were frequent in offshore in the Eocene. Even when higher temporal climatic variation in shallower environments is counteracted by evolution favoring generalists at shorter scales, lineages inhabiting shallower environments should be less buffered against long-term regional-scale climatic fluctations that exceed the range of short-term climatic variability. We hypothesize that bathymetric differences in macroevolutionary turnover emerge only when assessed over temporal scales exceeding several Myr.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  3. Evolution of dispersal in a predator-prey metacommunity.

    PubMed

    Pillai, Pradeep; Gonzalez, Andrew; Loreau, Michel

    2012-02-01

    Dispersal is crucial to allowing species inhabiting patchy or spatially subdivided habitats to persist globally despite the possibility of frequent local extinctions. Theoretical studies have repeatedly demonstrated that species that exhibit a regional metapopulation structure and are subject to increasing rates of local patch extinctions should experience strong selective pressures to disperse more rapidly despite the costs such increased dispersal would entail in terms of decreased local fitness. We extend these studies to consider how extinctions arising from predator-prey interactions affect the evolution of dispersal for species inhabiting a metacommunity. Specifically, we investigate how increasing a strong extinction-prone interaction between a predator and prey within local patches affects the evolution of each species' dispersal. We found that for the predator, as expected, evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) dispersal rates increased monotonically in response to increasing local extinctions induced by strong predator top-down effects. Unexpectedly for the prey, however, ESS dispersal rates displayed a nonmonotonic response to increasing predator-induced extinction rates-actually decreasing for a significant range of values. These counterintuitive results arise from how extinctions resulting from trophic interactions play out at different spatial scales: interactions that increase extinction rates of both species locally can, at the same time, decrease the frequency of interaction between the prey and predator at the metacommunity scale.

  4. [Residue decline dynamics and safety utilization of carbendazim in cultivation of Anoectochilus roxburghii].

    PubMed

    Shao, Qing-Song; Liu, Hong-Bo; Zhang, Yu-Yun; Zhang, Ai-Lian; Li, Ming-Yan

    2014-05-01

    The paper aimed to study the residue decline dynamic and standards for safety utilization of carbendazim in roots, stems, leaves of Anoectochilus roxburghii and in growth media. Samples extracted with methanol were purified by liquid-liquid extraction and analysed by HPLC. The results showed that average rate of recovery was 82.9% - 95.7% and RSD were 2.0% - 6.3% with add of carbendazim in respectively diverse concentration, which meets inspection requirement of pesticide residue. Two kinds of dosages of carbendazim were treated, varying from recommended dosage (1.0 kg x hm(-2)) to 1.5 times recommended dosage (1.5 kg x hm(-2)). Results of two years test showed that the half-life period of carbendazim were 7.01 - 8.51 d in the growth media of A. roxburghii, 3.58 - 4.27 d in stems and 3.50 - 3.91 d in leaves, 4.93 - 5.71 d in roots. Providing max recommended residue of carbendazim in the cultivation of A. roxburghii is 0.5 mg x kg(-1), sprayed 4 times a year with the dosage of 1.0 kg x hm(-2), 28 days is proposed for the safety interval of the last pesticide application's and harvest's date.

  5. A climatic driver for abrupt mid-Holocene vegetation dynamics and the hemlock decline in New England.

    PubMed

    Foster, David R; Oswald, W Wyatt; Faison, Edward K; Doughty, Elaine D; Hansen, Barbara C S

    2006-12-01

    The mid-Holocene decline of eastern hemlock is widely viewed as the sole prehistorical example of an insect- or pathogen-mediated collapse of a North American tree species and has been extensively studied for insights into pest-host dynamics and the consequences to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems of dominant-species removal. We report paleoecological evidence implicating climate as a major driver of this episode. Data drawn from sites across a gradient in hemlock abundance from dominant to absent demonstrate: a synchronous, dramatic decline in a contrasting taxon (oak); changes in lake sediments and aquatic taxa indicating low water levels; and one or more intervals of intense drought at regional to continental scales. These results, which accord well with emerging climate reconstructions, challenge the interpretation of a biotically driven hemlock decline and highlight the potential for climate change to generate major, abrupt dynamics in forest ecosystems.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. (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.

  10. 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

  11. On neutral metacommunity patterns of river basins at different scales of aggregation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Convertino, Matteo; Muneepeerakul, Rachata; Azaele, Sandro; Bertuzzo, Enrico; Rinaldo, Andrea; Rodriguez-Iturbe, Ignacio

    2009-08-01

    Neutral metacommunity models for spatial biodiversity patterns are implemented on river networks acting as ecological corridors at different resolution. Coarse-graining elevation fields (under the constraint of preserving the basin mean elevation) produce a set of reconfigured drainage networks. The hydrologic assumption made implies uniform runoff production such that each link has the same habitat capacity. Despite the universal scaling properties shown by river basins regardless of size, climate, vegetation, or exposed lithology, we find that species richness at local and regional scales exhibits resolution-dependent behavior. In addition, we investigate species-area relationships and rank-abundance patterns. The slopes of the species-area relationships, which are consistent over coarse-graining resolutions, match those found in real landscapes in the case of long-distance dispersal. The rank-abundance patterns are independent of the resolution over a broad range of dispersal length. Our results confirm that strong interactions occur between network structure and the dispersal of species and that under the assumption of neutral dynamics, these interactions produce resolution-dependent biodiversity patterns that diverge from expectations following from universal geomorphic scaling laws. Both in theoretical and in applied ecology studying how patterns change in resolution is relevant for understanding how ecological dynamics work in fragmented landscape and for sampling and biodiversity management campaigns, especially in consideration of climate change.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Negative and matrix-dependent effects of dispersal corridors in an experimental metacommunity.

    PubMed

    Aström, Jens; Pärt, Tomas

    2013-01-01

    Negative effects of habitat fragmentation are well-known phenomena in ecology, and the use of corridors is one suggested remedy to ameliorate community disassembly. Most experiments of landscape structure, however, do not consider matrix quality and environmental conditions, despite their potential to affect both landscape permeability and population densities. For the first time in fragmented landscapes, we simultaneously investigated the effects of local disturbance, dispersal corridors, matrix quality, and environmental stress, as well as their interactions, on species richness and abundance. We used a natural micro-ecosystem of bryophyte patches with microarthropods as a model system. Contrary to expectations, there were no negative responses to fragmentation of large continuous habitats. Surprisingly, connecting fragmented patches with dispersal corridors had negative effects on the abundance and species richness of the most species-rich group, oribatid mites. It had also negative effects on the abundance of collembolans and predatory mites in landscapes with complex matrix, which was also generally detrimental. Environmental stress was detrimental for all taxa but interacted with matrix type for oribatid species richness and juvenile oribatid abundance. Our results indicate that interactions can strongly alter community responses to common explanatory factors such as fragmentation, disturbance, connectivity, and environmental quality. Future studies of metacommunity dynamics need to consider the potential for such interactions in order to produce robust predictions of spatially structured landscapes.

  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. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Emergence and decline of scientific paradigms in a dynamic complex network.

    PubMed

    Yao, Chao; Zhang, Mei

    2013-01-01

    We study the idea spreading process by extending a recent model proposed by Bornholdt et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 058701 (2011)] to the population on a two-dimensional square area either in the presence of static topological randomness or in which agents are allowed to freely move. We find that the static topological randomness induced by the random distribution of agents in the square area disfavors the common pattern of scientific paradigms, which is characterized by quick rise and slow decline of an arbitrary dominant idea. However, the common pattern of scientific paradigms is recovered when the movement of agents is enabled. In addition, we find that, when the moving speed of agents is low, the average lifetime of a dominant idea displays an optimal behavior. In contrast, the evolution of the model is no more sensitive to the movement speed once it is high enough.

  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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-07

    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.

  4. 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…

  5. The effects of temporal resolution on species turnover and on testing metacommunity models.

    PubMed

    Tomasových, Adam; Kidwell, Susan M

    2010-05-01

    Patterns of low temporal turnover in species composition found within paleoecological time series contrast with the high turnover predicted by neutral metacommunity models and thus have been used to support nonneutral models. However, these predictions assume temporal resolution on the scale of a season or year, whereas individual fossil assemblages are typically time averaged to decadal or centennial timescales. We simulate the effects of time averaging by building time-averaged assemblages from local dispersal-limited, nonaveraged assemblages and compare the predicted turnover with observed patterns in mollusk and ostracod fossil records. Time averaging substantially reduces temporal turnover such that neutral predictions converge with those of trade-off and density-dependent models, and it tends to decrease species dominance and increase the proportion of rare species. Observed turnover rates are comparable to an appropriately scaled neutral model: patterns of high community stability can be produced or reinforced by time averaging alone. The community attributes of local time-averaged assemblages approach those of the metacommunity. Time-averaged assemblages are thus unlikely to capture attributes arising from processes operating at small spatial scales, but they should do well at capturing the turnover and diversity of metacommunities and thus will be a valuable basis for analyzing the large-scale processes that determine metacommunity evolution.

  6. Dynamics of Social Group Competition: Modeling the Decline of Religious Affiliation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abrams, Daniel M.; Yaple, Haley A.; Wiener, Richard J.

    2011-08-01

    When social groups compete for members, the resulting dynamics may be understandable with mathematical models. We demonstrate that a simple ordinary differential equation (ODE) model is a good fit for religious shift by comparing it to a new international data set tracking religious nonaffiliation. We then generalize the model to include the possibility of nontrivial social interaction networks and examine the limiting case of a continuous system. Analytical and numerical predictions of this generalized system, which is robust to polarizing perturbations, match those of the original ODE model and justify its agreement with real-world data. The resulting predictions highlight possible causes of social shift and suggest future lines of research in both physics and sociology.

  7. The role of dispersal mode and habitat specialization for metacommunity structure of shallow beach invertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Lucena-Moya, Paloma; Jokinen, Henri; Ollus, Victoria; Wennhage, Håkan; Villnäs, Anna; Norkko, Alf

    2017-01-01

    Metacommunity ecology recognizes the interplay between local and regional patterns in contributing to spatial variation in community structure. In aquatic systems, the relative importance of such patterns depends mainly on the potential connectivity of the specific system. Thus, connectivity is expected to increase in relation to the degree of water movement, and to depend on the specific traits of the study organism. We examined the role of environmental and spatial factors in structuring benthic communities from a highly connected shallow beach network using a metacommunity approach. Both factors contributed to a varying degree to the structure of the local communities suggesting that environmental filters and dispersal-related mechanisms played key roles in determining abundance patterns. We categorized benthic taxa according to their dispersal mode (passive vs. active) and habitat specialization (generalist vs. specialist) to understand the relative importance of environment and dispersal related processes for shallow beach metacommunities. Passive dispersers were predicted by a combination of environmental and spatial factors, whereas active dispersers were not spatially structured and responded only to local environmental factors. Generalists were predicted primarily by spatial factors, while specialists were only predicted by local environmental factors. The results suggest that the role of the spatial component in metacommunity organization is greater in open coastal waters, such as shallow beaches, compared to less-connected environmentally controlled aquatic systems. Our results also reveal a strong environmental role in structuring the benthic metacommunity of shallow beaches. Specifically, we highlight the sensitivity of shallow beach macrofauna to environmental factors related to eutrophication proxies. PMID:28196112

  8. 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

  9. Prey dispersal rate affects prey species composition and trait diversity in response to multiple predators in metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Howeth, Jennifer G; Leibold, Mathew A

    2010-09-01

    1. Recent studies indicate that large-scale spatial processes can alter local community structuring mechanisms to determine local and regional assemblages of predators and their prey. In metacommunities, this may occur when the functional diversity represented in the regional predator species pool interacts with the rate of prey dispersal among local communities to affect prey species diversity and trait composition at multiple scales. 2. Here, we test for effects of prey dispersal rate and spatially and temporally heterogeneous predation from functionally dissimilar predators on prey structure in pond mesocosm metacommunities. An experimental metacommunity consisted of three pond mesocosm communities supporting two differentially size-selective invertebrate predators and their zooplankton prey. In each metacommunity, two communities maintained constant predation and supported either Gyrinus sp. (Coleoptera) or Notonecta ungulata (Hemiptera) predators generating a spatial prey refuge while the third community supported alternating predation from Gyrinus sp. and N. ungulata generating a temporal prey refuge. Mesocosm metacommunities were connected at either low (0.7% day(-1)) or high (10% day(-1)) planktonic prey dispersal. The diversity, composition and body size of zooplankton prey were measured at local and regional (metacommunity) scales. 3. Metacommunities experiencing the low prey dispersal rate supported the greatest regional prey species diversity (H') and evenness (J'). Neither dispersal rate nor predation regime affected local prey diversity or evenness. The spatial prey refuge at low dispersal maintained the largest difference in species composition and body size diversity between communities under Gyrinus and Notonecta predation, suggesting that species sorting was operating at the low dispersal rate. There was no effect of dispersal rate on species diversity or body size distribution in the temporal prey refuge. 4. The frequency distribution, but not

  10. 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…

  11. Season-specific and guild-specific effects of anthropogenic landscape modification on metacommunity structure of tropical bats.

    PubMed

    Cisneros, Laura M; Fagan, Matthew E; Willig, Michael R

    2015-03-01

    Fragmentation per se due to human land conversion is a landscape-scale phenomenon. Accordingly, assessment of distributional patterns across a suite of potentially connected communities (i.e. metacommunity structure) is an appropriate approach for understanding the effects of landscape modification and complements the plethora of fragmentation studies that have focused on local community structure. To date, metacommunity structure within human-modified landscapes has been assessed with regard to nestedness along species richness gradients. This is problematic because there is little support that species richness gradients are associated with the factors moulding species distributions. More importantly, many alternative patterns are possible, and different patterns may manifest during different seasons and for different guilds because of variation in resource availability and resource requirements of taxa. We determined the best-fit metacommunity structure of a phyllostomid bat assemblage, frugivore ensemble, and gleaning animalivore ensemble within a human-modified landscape in the Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica during the dry and wet seasons to elucidate important structuring mechanisms. Furthermore, we identified the landscape characteristics associated with the latent gradient underlying metacommunity structure. We discriminated among multiple metacommunity structures by assessing coherence, range turnover, and boundary clumping of an ordinated site-by-species matrix. We identified the landscape characteristics associated with the latent gradient underlying metacommunity structure via hierarchical partitioning. Metacommunity structure was never nested nor structured along a richness gradient. The phyllostomid assemblage and frugivore ensemble exhibited Gleasonian structure (range turnover along a common gradient) during the dry season and Clementsian structure (range turnover and shared boundaries along a common gradient) during the wet season. Distance

  12. Predators temper the relative importance of stochastic processes in the assembly of prey metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Chase, Jonathan M; Biro, Elizabeth G; Ryberg, Wade A; Smith, Kevin G

    2009-11-01

    Communities assemble through a combination of stochastic processes, which can make environmentally similar communities divergent (high beta-diversity), and deterministic processes, which can make environmentally similar communities convergent (low beta-diversity). Top predators can influence both stochasticity (e.g. colonization and extinction events) and determinism (e.g. size of the realized species pool), in community assembly, and thus their net effect is unknown. We investigated how predatory fish influenced the scaling of prey diversity in ponds at local and regional spatial scales. While fish reduced both local and regional richness, their effects were markedly more intense at the regional scale. Underlying this result was that the presence of fish made localities within metacommunities more similar in their community composition (lower beta-diversity), suggesting that fish enhance the deterministic, relative to the stochastic, components of community assembly. Thus, the presence of predators can alter fundamental mechanisms of community assembly and the scaling of diversity within metacommunities.

  13. Prior Dietary Practices and Connections to a Human Gut Microbial Metacommunity Alter Responses to Diet Interventions.

    PubMed

    Griffin, Nicholas W; Ahern, Philip P; Cheng, Jiye; Heath, Andrew C; Ilkayeva, Olga; Newgard, Christopher B; Fontana, Luigi; Gordon, Jeffrey I

    2017-01-11

    Ensuring that gut microbiota respond consistently to prescribed dietary interventions, irrespective of prior dietary practices (DPs), is critical for effective nutritional therapy. To address this, we identified DP-associated gut bacterial taxa in individuals either practicing chronic calorie restriction with adequate nutrition (CRON) or without dietary restrictions (AMER). When transplanted into gnotobiotic mice, AMER and CRON microbiota responded predictably to CRON and AMER diets but with variable response strengths. An individual's microbiota is connected to other individuals' communities ("metacommunity") by microbial exchange. Sequentially cohousing AMER-colonized mice with two different groups of CRON-colonized mice simulated metacommunity effects, resulting in enhanced responses to a CRON diet intervention and changes in several metabolic features in AMER animals. This response was driven by an influx of CRON DP-associated taxa. Certain DPs may impair responses to dietary interventions, necessitating the introduction of diet-responsive bacterial lineages present in other individuals and identified using the strategies described.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  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. 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.

  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. A landscape-scale field experiment reveals the importance of dispersal in a resource-limited metacommunity.

    PubMed

    Lancaster, Jill; Downes, Barbara J

    2017-02-01

    Dispersal may play a strong role in driving species diversity across landscapes. Theoretically, dispersal permits species to remain extant within a metacommunity, even if they are periodically excluded from some local communities. Field tests of dispersal effects are difficult, and most non-experimental data suggest that environmental conditions play the predominant role in setting species diversity. However, most such studies cannot differentiate between patterns caused primarily by dispersal constraints vs. abiotic factors vs. biotic constraints (e.g., priority effects). In 22 km of a sand-bed stream in southeastern Australia, strong longitudinal gradients in the abiotic environment and detritus densities (resources) mean that downstream locations have abiotic conditions that may be physiologically stressful, low resource densities and low species diversities. We experimentally increased the retention of detritus over 40 m stream lengths along the gradient, with other sites acting as controls. If dispersal is constrained, or abiotic or biotic factors primarily control community structure, then we predicted that increasing resources would result in no change in species composition. Alternatively, if dispersal is common, we predicted that species diversity would increase at treatment sites through colonization by species able to tolerate abiotic conditions downstream and able to invade established communities. Invertebrates were sampled prior to manipulation and then four times (1, 4, 9 and 12 months) following manipulation. Detrital standing stocks increased by an order of magnitude at treatment sites. Over 1 yr, invertebrate densities and species richness also increased in treatment sites. Effect sizes were strong in middle and downstream areas, which were colonized by upstream species. Thus, faunal composition of the downstream treatment sites became more similar to upstream locales, and β-diversity across treatment sites declined as α-diversity increased

  3. 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.

  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. 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

  7. 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

  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. 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.

  10. Predators modify biogeographic constraints on species distributions in an insect metacommunity.

    PubMed

    Grainger, Tess Nahanni; Germain, Rachel M; Jones, Natalie T; Gilbert, Benjamin

    2017-03-01

    Theory describing the positive effects of patch size and connectivity on diversity in fragmented systems has stimulated a large body of empirical work, yet predicting when and how local species interactions mediate these responses remains challenging. We used insects that specialize on milkweed plants as a model metacommunity to investigate how local predation alters the effects of biogeographic constraints on species distributions. Species-specific dispersal ability and susceptibility to predation were used to predict when patch size and connectivity should shape species distributions, and when these should be modified by local predator densities. We surveyed specialist herbivores and their predators in milkweed patches in two matrix types, a forest and an old field. Predator-resistant species showed the predicted direct positive effects of patch size and connectivity on occupancy rates. For predator-susceptible species, predators consistently altered the impact of biogeographic constraints, rather than acting independently. Finally, differences between matrix types in species' responses and overall occupancy rates indicate a potential role of the inter-patch environment in mediating the joint effects of predators and spatial drivers. Together, these results highlight the importance of local top-down pressure in mediating classic biogeographic relationships, and demonstrate how species-specific responses to local and regional constraints can be used to predict these effects.

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

    PubMed

    Omesová, Marie; Horsák, Michal; Helesic, 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.

  12. 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.

  13. The core microbiome bonds the Alpine bog vegetation to a transkingdom metacommunity.

    PubMed

    Bragina, Anastasia; Berg, Christian; Berg, Gabriele

    2015-09-01

    Bog ecosystems fulfil important functions in Earth's carbon and water turnover. While plant communities and their keystone species Sphagnum have been well studied, less is known about the microbial communities associated with them. To study our hypothesis that bog plants share an essential core of their microbiome despite their different phylogenetic origins, we analysed four plant community plots with 24 bryophytes, vascular plants and lichen species in two Alpine bogs in Austria by 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing followed by bioinformatic analyses. The overall bog microbiome was classified into 32 microbial phyla, while Proteobacteria (30.8%), Verrucomicrobia (20.3%) and Planctomycetes (15.1%) belonged to the most abundant groups. Interestingly, the archaeal phylum Euryarcheota represented 7.2% of total microbial abundance. However, a high portion of micro-organisms remained unassigned at phylum and class level, respectively. The core microbiome of the bog vegetation contained 177 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) (150 526 seq.) and contributed to 49.5% of the total microbial abundance. Only a minor portion of associated core micro-organisms was host specific for examined plant groups (5.9-11.6%). Using our new approach to analyse plant-microbial communities in an integral framework of ecosystem, vegetation and microbiome, we demonstrated that bog vegetation harboured a core microbiome that is shared between plants and lichens over the whole ecosystem and formed a transkingdom metacommunity. All micro- and macro-organisms are connected to keystone Sphagnum mosses via set of microbial species, for example Burkholderia bryophila which was found associated with a wide spectrum of host plants and is known for a beneficial plant-microbe interaction.

  14. 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.

  15. The Dilemma of Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abramowitz, Susan

    This paper, one of two related documents, examines the impact of declining enrollments on educational expenditures. It highlights population and social changes that have contributed to the decline and discusses the general financing of schools. Finally, the paper discusses strategies state policymakers can use to manage decline, including…

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Final Report for Dynamic Models for Causal Analysis of Panel Data. Internal Politics of Growth and Decline. Part II, Chapter 2.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hannan, Michael T.; Freeman, John

    The document, part of a series of chapters described in SO 011 759, describes a model that incorporates organizational politics and environmental dependence into a study of the effects of growth and decline on the number of school personnel. The first section describes the original model which assumes that as the number of students in a district…

  19. Metacommunity composition of web-spiders in a fragmented neotropical forest: relative importance of environmental and spatial effects.

    PubMed

    Baldissera, Ronei; Rodrigues, Everton N L; Hartz, Sandra M

    2012-01-01

    The distribution of beta diversity is shaped by factors linked to environmental and spatial control. The relative importance of both processes in structuring spider metacommunities has not yet been investigated in the Atlantic Forest. The variance explained by purely environmental, spatially structured environmental, and purely spatial components was compared for a metacommunity of web spiders. The study was carried out in 16 patches of Atlantic Forest in southern Brazil. Field work was done in one landscape mosaic representing a slight gradient of urbanization. Environmental variables encompassed plot- and patch-level measurements and a climatic matrix, while principal coordinates of neighbor matrices (PCNMs) acted as spatial variables. A forward selection procedure was carried out to select environmental and spatial variables influencing web-spider beta diversity. Variation partitioning was used to estimate the contribution of pure environmental and pure spatial effects and their shared influence on beta-diversity patterns, and to estimate the relative importance of selected environmental variables. Three environmental variables (bush density, land use in the surroundings of patches, and shape of patches) and two spatial variables were selected by forward selection procedures. Variation partitioning revealed that 15% of the variation of beta diversity was explained by a combination of environmental and PCNM variables. Most of this variation (12%) corresponded to pure environmental and spatially environmental structure. The data indicated that (1) spatial legacy was not important in explaining the web-spider beta diversity; (2) environmental predictors explained a significant portion of the variation in web-spider composition; (3) one-third of environmental variation was due to a spatial structure that jointly explains variation in species distributions. We were able to detect important factors related to matrix management influencing the web-spider beta

  20. Metacommunity Composition of Web-Spiders in a Fragmented Neotropical Forest: Relative Importance of Environmental and Spatial Effects

    PubMed Central

    Baldissera, Ronei; Rodrigues, Everton N. L.; Hartz, Sandra M.

    2012-01-01

    The distribution of beta diversity is shaped by factors linked to environmental and spatial control. The relative importance of both processes in structuring spider metacommunities has not yet been investigated in the Atlantic Forest. The variance explained by purely environmental, spatially structured environmental, and purely spatial components was compared for a metacommunity of web spiders. The study was carried out in 16 patches of Atlantic Forest in southern Brazil. Field work was done in one landscape mosaic representing a slight gradient of urbanization. Environmental variables encompassed plot- and patch-level measurements and a climatic matrix, while principal coordinates of neighbor matrices (PCNMs) acted as spatial variables. A forward selection procedure was carried out to select environmental and spatial variables influencing web-spider beta diversity. Variation partitioning was used to estimate the contribution of pure environmental and pure spatial effects and their shared influence on beta-diversity patterns, and to estimate the relative importance of selected environmental variables. Three environmental variables (bush density, land use in the surroundings of patches, and shape of patches) and two spatial variables were selected by forward selection procedures. Variation partitioning revealed that 15% of the variation of beta diversity was explained by a combination of environmental and PCNM variables. Most of this variation (12%) corresponded to pure environmental and spatially environmental structure. The data indicated that (1) spatial legacy was not important in explaining the web-spider beta diversity; (2) environmental predictors explained a significant portion of the variation in web-spider composition; (3) one-third of environmental variation was due to a spatial structure that jointly explains variation in species distributions. We were able to detect important factors related to matrix management influencing the web-spider beta

  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. Declining Enrollment. Research Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National School Boards Association, Washington, DC.

    Population growth in the United States has declined since the early 1970s. As a result of the lower birth rate and changing migration patterns, approximately one-third of the school districts in the country have experienced some drop in enrollment. Smaller districts are the hardest hit by enrollment decline, since they are less able to absorb the…

  3. Declining fertility in Nepal.

    PubMed

    Das Dangol, B; Retherford, R D; Thapa, S

    1997-03-01

    This article relies on data from the 1991 Nepal Fertility, Family Planning, and Health Survey (NFFPHS) and the 1996 Nepal Living Standards Survey (NLSS) to assess trends in fertility in Nepal. The NFFPHS shows heaping at ages 5, 8, 10, and 12 years and a larger proportion of infants. The NLSS shows a different pattern of misreporting of youth and a stronger but similar pattern of age heaping as the NFFPHS for adults. Children ever born by maternal age indicates a degree of completeness and the deletion by older women of deceased children and married children living outside the household. Findings suggest less complete reporting in the NLSS. Age-specific fertility rates are calculated based on birth histories (BH) and the own-children (OC) method based on life tables. Findings indicate that BH and OC estimates of the cumulative fertility rate (CFR) derived from the NLSS and the NFFPHS were comparable for estimating trends in the total fertility rate (TFR). The trends from the two data sets overlapped fairly well during 1983-89. Fertility trends by single years of age showed considerably annual fluctuations due to age misreporting. The CFR and TFR for aggregated time periods showed little or no decline for the earlier 5-year period, a steeper decline in the second period, and variations in trends by data set for the third period from 1983 to 1989. One curve showed no decline and the other showed fertility decline. Fitting a straight line to the trend for 1977-91 shows that CFR declined by 1.61 children from 5.29 children in 1977 to 3.68 children in 1991. TFR declined by 1.90 children from 6.68 children in 1977 to 4.78 children in 1991. The author cautions that the point of fertility decline was not determined exactly, but data suggest that decline occurred around 1980, and the rate was fast thereafter. TFR declined by 2.70 children in urban areas and 1.83 children in rural areas.

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. Declining Black Employment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vedder, Richard; Gallaway, Lowell

    1993-01-01

    Explores income inequality during declining African-American employment, examines current welfare systems, and suggests ways to improve the economic disadvantages of minority groups. Letting markets work can improve the economic status of African Americans. The present dual African-American economy, a market economy and an entitlement economy, is…

  8. Declining School Enrollments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fowler, Delbert H.

    Declining enrollment means that school districts must engage in thoughtful, thorough planning to cope with this trend, according to the author. His paper outlines a process for school closing, including ways to involve the community in the decision-making process, thereby reducing the likelihood of community conflict and preserving the school…

  9. [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

  10. 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

  11. Cardiac Mitochondrial Proteome Dynamics with Heavy Water Reveals Stable Rate of Mitochondrial Protein Synthesis in Heart Failure Despite Decline in Mitochondrial Oxidative Capacity

    PubMed Central

    Shekar, Kadambari Chandra; Li, Ling; Dabkowski, Erinne R.; Xu, Wenhong; Ribeiro, Rogerio Faustino; Hecker, Peter A.; Recchia, Fabio A.; Sadygov, Rovshan G.; Willard, Belinda; Kasumov, Takhar; Stanley, William C.

    2017-01-01

    We recently developed a method to measure mitochondrial proteome dynamics with heavy water (2H2O)-based metabolic labeling and high resolution mass spectrometry. We reported the half-lives and synthesis rates of several proteins in the two cardiac mitochondrial subpopulations, subsarcolemmal and interfibrillar (SSM and IFM), in Sprague Dawley rats. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that the mitochondrial protein synthesis rate is reduced in heart failure, with possible differential changes in SSM versus IFM. Six to seven week old male Sprague Dawley rats underwent transverse aortic constriction (TAC) and developed moderate heart failure after 22 weeks. Heart failure and sham rats of the same age received heavy water (5% in drinking water) for up to 80 days. Cardiac SSM and IFM were isolated from both groups and the proteins were separated by 1D gel electrophoresis. Heart failure reduced protein content and increased the turnover rate of several proteins involved in fatty acid oxidation, electron transport chain and ATP synthesis, while it decreased the turnover of other proteins, including pyruvate dehydrogenase subunit in IFM, but not in SSM. Because of these bidirectional changes, the average overall half-life of proteins was not altered by heart failure in both SSM and IFM. The kinetic measurements of individual mitochondrial proteins presented in this study may contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms responsible for mitochondrial alterations in the failing heart. PMID:24995939

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Ecological correlates of population genetic structure: a comparative approach using a vertebrate metacommunity

    PubMed Central

    Manier, Mollie K; Arnold, Stevan J

    2006-01-01

    Identifying ecological factors associated with population genetic differentiation is important for understanding microevolutionary processes and guiding the management of threatened populations. We identified ecological correlates of several population genetic parameters for three interacting species (two garter snakes and an anuran) that occupy a common landscape. Using multiple regression analysis, we found that species interactions were more important in explaining variation in population genetic parameters than habitat and nearest-neighbour characteristics. Effective population size was best explained by census size, while migration was associated with differences in species abundance. In contrast, genetic distance was poorly explained by the ecological correlates that we tested, but geographical distance was prominent in models for all species. We found substantially different population dynamics for the prey species relative to the two predators, characterized by larger effective sizes, lower gene flow and a state of migration-drift equilibrium. We also identified an escarpment formed by a series of block faults that serves as a barrier to dispersal for the predators. Our results suggest that successful landscape-level management should incorporate genetic and ecological data for all relevant species, because even closely associated species can exhibit very different population genetic dynamics on the same landscape. PMID:17015357

  15. Species interactions and the effects of climate variability on a wetland amphibian metacommunity.

    PubMed

    Davis, Courtney L; Miller, David A W; Walls, Susan C; Barichivich, William J; Riley, Jeffrey W; Brown, Mary E

    2017-01-01

    Disentangling the role that multiple interacting factors have on species responses to shifting climate poses a significant challenge. However, our ability to do so is of utmost importance to predict the effects of climate change on species distributions. We examined how populations of three species of wetland-breeding amphibians, which varied in life history requirements, responded to a six-year period of extremely variable precipitation. This interval was punctuated by both extensive drought and heavy precipitation and flooding, providing a natural experiment to measure community responses to environmental perturbations. We estimated occurrence dynamics using a discrete hidden Markov modeling approach that incorporated information regarding habitat state and predator-prey interactions. This approach allowed us to measure how metapopulation dynamics of each amphibian species was affected by interactions among weather, wetland hydroperiod, and co-occurrence with fish predators. The pig frog, a generalist, proved most resistant to perturbations, with both colonization and persistence being unaffected by seasonal variation in precipitation or co-occurrence with fishes. The ornate chorus frog, an ephemeral wetland specialist, responded positively to periods of drought owing to increased persistence and colonization rates during periods of low-rainfall. Low probabilities of occurrence of the ornate chorus frog in long-duration wetlands were driven by interactions with predators due to low colonization rates when fishes were present. The mole salamander was most sensitive to shifts in water availability. In our study area, this species never occurred in short-duration wetlands and persistence probabilities decreased during periods of drought. At the same time, negative effects occurred with extreme precipitation because flooding facilitated colonization of fishes to isolated wetlands and mole salamanders did not colonize wetlands once fishes were present. We demonstrate

  16. Species interactions and the effects of climate variability on a wetland amphibian metacommunity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davis, Courtney L.; Miller, David A.W.; Walls, Susan C.; Barichivich, William J.; Riley, Jeffrey W.; Brown, Mary E.

    2017-01-01

    Disentangling the role that multiple interacting factors have on species responses to shifting climate poses a significant challenge. However, our ability to do so is of utmost importance to predict the effects of climate change on species distributions. We examined how populations of three species of wetland-breeding amphibians, which varied in life history requirements, responded to a six-year period of extremely variable precipitation. This interval was punctuated by both extensive drought and heavy precipitation and flooding, providing a natural experiment to measure community responses to environmental perturbations. We estimated occurrence dynamics using a discrete hidden Markov modeling approach that incorporated information regarding habitat state and predator–prey interactions. This approach allowed us to measure how metapopulation dynamics of each amphibian species was affected by interactions among weather, wetland hydroperiod, and co-occurrence with fish predators. The pig frog, a generalist, proved most resistant to perturbations, with both colonization and persistence being unaffected by seasonal variation in precipitation or co-occurrence with fishes. The ornate chorus frog, an ephemeral wetland specialist, responded positively to periods of drought owing to increased persistence and colonization rates during periods of low-rainfall. Low probabilities of occurrence of the ornate chorus frog in long-duration wetlands were driven by interactions with predators due to low colonization rates when fishes were present. The mole salamander was most sensitive to shifts in water availability. In our study area, this species never occurred in short-duration wetlands and persistence probabilities decreased during periods of drought. At the same time, negative effects occurred with extreme precipitation because flooding facilitated colonization of fishes to isolated wetlands and mole salamanders did not colonize wetlands once fishes were present. We

  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. Local Environmental Conditions Shape Generalist But Not Specialist Components of Microbial Metacommunities in the Baltic Sea

    PubMed Central

    Lindh, Markus V.; Sjöstedt, Johanna; Casini, Michele; Andersson, Agneta; Legrand, Catherine; Pinhassi, Jarone

    2016-01-01

    Marine microbes exhibit biogeographical patterns linked with fluxes of matter and energy. Yet, knowledge of the mechanisms shaping bacterioplankton community assembly across temporal scales remains poor. We examined bacterioplankton 16S rRNA gene fragments obtained from Baltic Sea transects to determine phylogenetic relatedness and assembly processes coupled with niche breadth. Communities were phylogenetically more related over time than expected by chance, albeit with considerable temporal variation. Hence, habitat filtering, i.e., local environmental conditions, rather than competition structured bacterioplankton communities in summer but not in spring or autumn. Species sorting (SS) was the dominant assembly process, but temporal and taxonomical variation in mechanisms was observed. For May communities, Cyanobacteria, Actinobacteria, Alpha- and Betaproteobacteria exhibited SS while Bacteroidetes and Verrucomicrobia were assembled by SS and mass effect. Concomitantly, Gammaproteobacteria were assembled by the neutral model and patch dynamics. Temporal variation in habitat filtering and dispersal highlights the impact of seasonally driven reorganization of microbial communities. Typically abundant Baltic Sea populations such as the NS3a marine group (Bacteroidetes) and the SAR86 and SAR11 clade had the highest niche breadth. The verrucomicrobial Spartobacteria population also exhibited high niche breadth. Surprisingly, variation in bacterioplankton community composition was regulated by environmental factors for generalist taxa but not specialists. Our results suggest that generalists such as NS3a, SAR86, and SAR11 are reorganized to a greater extent by changes in the environment compared to specialists and contribute more strongly to determining overall biogeographical patterns of marine bacterial communities. PMID:28066392

  19. Ecological consequences of sea-ice decline.

    PubMed

    Post, Eric; Bhatt, Uma S; Bitz, Cecilia M; Brodie, Jedediah F; Fulton, Tara L; Hebblewhite, Mark; Kerby, Jeffrey; Kutz, Susan J; Stirling, Ian; Walker, Donald A

    2013-08-02

    After a decade with nine of the lowest arctic sea-ice minima on record, including the historically low minimum in 2012, we synthesize recent developments in the study of ecological responses to sea-ice decline. Sea-ice loss emerges as an important driver of marine and terrestrial ecological dynamics, influencing productivity, species interactions, population mixing, gene flow, and pathogen and disease transmission. Major challenges in the near future include assigning clearer attribution to sea ice as a primary driver of such dynamics, especially in terrestrial systems, and addressing pressures arising from human use of arctic coastal and near-shore areas as sea ice diminishes.

  20. Mobility decline in old age.

    PubMed

    Rantakokko, Merja; Mänty, Minna; Rantanen, Taina

    2013-01-01

    Mobility is important for community independence. With increasing age, underlying pathologies, genetic vulnerabilities, physiological and sensory impairments, and environmental barriers increase the risk for mobility decline. Understanding how mobility declines is paramount to finding ways to promote mobility in old age.

  1. 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.

  2. Forest decline from air pollution

    SciTech Connect

    Hileman, B.

    1984-01-01

    Scientists in West Germany and the USA are involved in intensive efforts to ascertain the cause or causes of the declines in their forests. Ongoing research was discussed at an October 1983 symposium on air pollution and forest productivity, held in Washington, D.C., and sponsored by the Izaak Walton League of America and Pennsylvania State University. The dieback of spruce in the Northeast is relatively well-known. It was revealed at the symposium, however, that forests in other areas of the U.S. may be showing signs of stress and damage and that species other than spruce are affected. Samuel B. McLaughlin of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) pointed out that red spruce, shortleaf pine, hickory, yellow birch, pitch pine, hemlock, and Fraser fir are declining in East Tennessee. He noted that these decline together with those in New England suggest that decreased productivity in several tree species has been occurring over a broad scale during the past two decades. One commonly held view is that acid deposition is causing the decline of forests in both Europe and the U.S. At the symposium, a number of different opinions about possible causes were expressed, ranging from drought to ozone to combinations of pollutants, including acid deposition, ozone and trace metals. Possible causes that were not subjects of active inquiry were disease and insects. Most researchers in the field believe there is little evidence that one of these is the primary damaging agent.

  3. Functional decline in old age

    PubMed Central

    Hébert, R

    1997-01-01

    Functional decline is a common condition, occurring each year in nearly 12% of Canadians 75 years of age and older. The model of functional health proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO) represents a useful theoretical framework and is the basis for the SMAF (Système de measure de l'autonomie fonctionelle or Functional Autonomy Measurement System), an instrument that measures functional autonomy. The functional decline syndrome, in which functional autonomy is diminished or lost, may present as an acute condition, i.e., a medical emergency for which the patient must be admitted to a geriatric assessment unit. The subacute form is a more insidious condition in which the patient requires comprehensive assessment and a rehabilitation program. A preventive approach based on screening of those at risk and early intervention should prevent or delay the appearance of functional decline or diminish its consequences. Effective strategies for the prevention of or rehabilitation from functional decline will help reduce the incidence of disabilities and the period of dependence near the end of life. These strategies are absolute prerequisites for controlling sociohealth expenses and, most importantly, for allowing people to live independently in old age. PMID:9347774

  4. 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.…

  5. Predicting Succession under Conditions of Enrollment Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berger, Michael A.

    1984-01-01

    Using 56 school districts that experienced enrollment declines, this study describes the variables in superintendent succession amidst declining enrollments and locates the strongest predictors of succession. (JW)

  6. Decline of the oil cartel

    SciTech Connect

    Fieleke, N.S.

    1986-07-01

    A review of the development that led to the current decline in oil prices concludes that sharp relative price changes have been a major source of world economic instability for the past 13 years. The results for oil-importing countries have been cycles of inflation and contraction followed by inflation and rapid growth. Some see the recent price decline as an effort by OPEC to regain enough power to bring about an eventual price rise. Although past price and production relationships indicate that OPEC has operated as a cartel, the author sees current efforts to persuade non-OPEC producers to lower their production as an indication of weakness. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve could help the US cope with any future supply disruption. 7 figures, 3 tables.

  7. Cognitive decline in Parkinson disease.

    PubMed

    Aarsland, Dag; Creese, Byron; Politis, Marios; Chaudhuri, K Ray; Ffytche, Dominic H; Weintraub, Daniel; Ballard, Clive

    2017-04-01

    Dementia is a frequent problem encountered in advanced stages of Parkinson disease (PD). In recent years, research has focused on the pre-dementia stages of cognitive impairment in PD, including mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Several longitudinal studies have shown that MCI is a harbinger of dementia in PD, although the course is variable, and stabilization of cognition - or even reversal to normal cognition - is not uncommon. In addition to limbic and cortical spread of Lewy pathology, several other mechanisms are likely to contribute to cognitive decline in PD, and a variety of biomarker studies, some using novel structural and functional imaging techniques, have documented in vivo brain changes associated with cognitive impairment. The evidence consistently suggests that low cerebrospinal fluid levels of amyloid-β42, a marker of comorbid Alzheimer disease (AD), predict future cognitive decline and dementia in PD. Emerging genetic evidence indicates that in addition to the APOE*ε4 allele (an established risk factor for AD), GBA mutations and SCNA mutations and triplications are associated with cognitive decline in PD, whereas the findings are mixed for MAPT polymorphisms. Cognitive enhancing medications have some effect in PD dementia, but no convincing evidence that progression from MCI to dementia can be delayed or prevented is available, although cognitive training has shown promising results.

  8. Emergence and Decline of Scientific Paradigms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bornholdt, S.; Jensen, M. H.; Sneppen, K.

    2011-02-01

    Scientific paradigms have a tendency to rise fast and decline slowly. This asymmetry reflects the difficulty in developing a truly original idea, compared to the ease at which a concept can be eroded by numerous modifications. Here we formulate a model for the emergence and spread of ideas which deals with this asymmetry by constraining the ability of agents to return to already abandoned concepts. The model exhibits a fairly regular pattern of global paradigm shifts, where older paradigms are eroded and subsequently replaced by new ones. The model sets the theme for a new class of pattern formation models, where local dynamics breaks the detailed balance in a way that prevents old states from defending themselves against new nucleating or invading states. The model allows for frozen events in terms of the coexistence of multiple metastable states.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Dietary Factors and Cognitive Decline.

    PubMed

    Smith, P J; Blumenthal, J A

    2016-03-01

    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.

  12. Adult attachment and declining birthrates.

    PubMed

    Draper, Thomas W; Holman, Thomas B; White, Whitney; Grandy, Shannon

    2007-02-01

    Attachment scores for 658 young adults living in the U.S.A. were obtained using the Experiences in Close Relationships scale. The participants came from a subsample of the RELATE data set, who had also filled out the adult attachment measure. Those young adults living in Utah County, Utah, an area of the country with a higher than normal birthrate (88% members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), also had higher than average adult attachment scores. While the methodology was not sufficient to assess causal direction nor eliminate the possibility of unidentified influences, an undiscussed psychological factor, adult attachment, may play a role in the numerical declines observed among nonimmigrant communities in the USA and Europe.

  13. 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.

  14. [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.

  15. 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)

  16. Recent advances in explaining fertility declines in the third world.

    PubMed

    Sharma, R K

    1984-01-01

    , following the work of Caldwell, to include the development of contextually and historically relevant theories of fertility decline that use methodologies which emphasize the importance of context in interpretation and understanding the factors responsible for fertility decline. Such an approach would also make the comparative testing of these theories considerably more meaningful. The context must be thought of in dynamic terms. A fundamental weakness shared by the theories reviewed is that they fail to explain fertility decline in terms of a broader theory of social and economic change. This is essential for fertility decline is part and parcel of the social change process.

  17. Advancing plant phenology and reduced herbivore production in a terrestrial system associated with sea ice decline.

    PubMed

    Kerby, Jeffrey T; Post, Eric

    2013-01-01

    The contribution of declining Arctic sea ice to warming in the region through Arctic amplification suggests that sea ice decline has the potential to influence ecological dynamics in terrestrial Arctic systems. Empirical evidence for such effects is limited, however, particularly at the local population and community levels. Here we identify an Arctic sea ice signal in the annual timing of vegetation emergence at an inland tundra system in West Greenland. According to the time series analyses presented here, an ongoing advance in plant phenology at this site is attributable to the accelerating decline in Arctic sea ice, and contributes to declining large herbivore reproductive performance via trophic mismatch. Arctic-wide sea ice metrics consistently outperform other regional and local abiotic variables in models characterizing these dynamics, implicating large-scale Arctic sea ice decline as a potentially important, albeit indirect, contributor to local-scale ecological dynamics on land.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. [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.

  1. 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

  2. Reversing Africa's Decline. Worldwatch Paper 65.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Lester R.; Wolf, Edward C.

    This paper highlights some of the themes that any successful strategy to reverse the decline of Africa must embrace. Africa is a continent experiencing a breakdown in the relationship between people and their natural support systems. Famine and the threat of famine are among the manifestations of this breakdown. This decline can be reversed. To do…

  3. Is University Research on the Decline?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ferne, Georges

    1980-01-01

    Decline in research emphasis in universities is tied to a number of factors: defensive apathy in the university scientific community; weakening links between teaching and research; declining enrollments; problems in interdisciplinary work; employment stability and aging faculty, obsolete equipment, support staff reduction, and growing bureaucracy.…

  4. Aging, Terminal Decline, and Terminal Drop

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Palmore, Erdman; Cleveland, William

    1976-01-01

    Data from a 20-year longitudinal study of persons over 60 were analyzed by step-wise multiple regression to test for declines in function with age, for terminal decline (linear relationship to time before death), and for terminal drop (curvilinear relationship to time before death). There were no substantial terminal drop effects. (Author)

  5. Drought-induced forest decline: causes, scope and implications

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Vilalta, Jordi; Lloret, Francisco; Breshears, David D.

    2012-01-01

    A large number of episodes of forest mortality associated with drought and heat stress have been detected worldwide in recent decades, suggesting that some of the world's forested ecosystems may be already responding to climate change. Here, we summarize a special session titled ‘Drought-induced forest decline: causes, scope and implications’ within the 12th European Ecological Federation Congress, held in Ávila (Spain) from 25 to 29 September 2011. The session focused on the interacting causes and impacts of die-off episodes at the community and ecosystem levels, and highlighted recent events of drought- and heat-related tree decline, advances in understanding mechanisms and in predicting mortality events, and diverse consequences of forest decline. Talks and subsequent discussion noted a potentially important role of carbon that may be interrelated with plant hydraulics in the multi-faceted process leading to drought-induced mortality; a substantial and yet understudied capacity of many forests to cope with extreme climatic events; and the difficulty of separating climate effects from other anthropogenic changes currently shaping forest dynamics in many regions of the Earth. The need for standard protocols and multi-level monitoring programmes to track the spatio-temporal scope of forest decline globally was emphasized as critical for addressing this emerging environmental issue. PMID:22171020

  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. 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…

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    Turchin, Peter; Scheidel, Walter

    2009-10-13

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Why did maternal mortality decline in Matlab?

    PubMed

    Maine, D; Akalin, M Z; Chakraborty, J; de Francisco, A; Strong, M

    1996-01-01

    In 1991, an article on the Maternity Care Program in Matlab, Bangladesh, reported a substantial decline in direct obstetric deaths in the intervention area, but not in the control area. The decline was attributed primarily to the posting of midwives at the village level. In this article, data are presented from the same period and area on a variety of intermediate events. They indicate that the decline in deaths was probably due to the combined efforts of community midwives and the physicians at the Matlab maternity clinic. Their ability to refer patients to higher levels of care was important. The data further indicate that the decline in deaths depended upon the functioning of the government hospital in Chandpur, where cesarean sections and blood transfusions were available. Midwives might also have made a special contribution by providing early termination of pregnancy, which is legal in Bangladesh.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. A Decline in Solar Cycle Strength

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapman, G. A.; de Toma, G.; Cookson, A.

    2013-12-01

    The strength of solar activity appears to be in decline over the past three solar cycles. The decline is seen in sunspot area, facular/network area and the sunspot number. In addition, cycle 24 has been unusual in that many, if not most, of the bipolar sunspot groups have had only a leader spot with no follower spot. This research was partially supported by grants from NSF and NASA. Corrected spot area from CFDT1 at the San Fernando Observatory

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Predicting how populations decline to extinction

    PubMed Central

    Collen, Ben; McRae, Louise; Deinet, Stefanie; De Palma, Adriana; Carranza, Tharsila; Cooper, Natalie; Loh, Jonathan; Baillie, Jonathan E. M.

    2011-01-01

    Global species extinction typically represents the endpoint in a long sequence of population declines and local extinctions. In comparative studies of extinction risk of contemporary mammalian species, there appear to be some universal traits that may predispose taxa to an elevated risk of extinction. In local population-level studies, there are limited insights into the process of population decline and extinction. Moreover, there is still little appreciation of how local processes scale up to global patterns. Advancing the understanding of factors which predispose populations to rapid declines will benefit proactive conservation and may allow us to target at-risk populations as well as at-risk species. Here, we take mammalian population trend data from the largest repository of population abundance trends, and combine it with the PanTHERIA database on mammal traits to answer the question: what factors can be used to predict decline in mammalian abundance? We find in general that environmental variables are better determinants of cross-species population-level decline than intrinsic biological traits. For effective conservation, we must not only describe which species are at risk and why, but also prescribe ways to counteract this. PMID:21807738

  20. 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.

  1. Global phytoplankton decline over the past century.

    PubMed

    Boyce, Daniel G; Lewis, Marlon R; Worm, Boris

    2010-07-29

    In the oceans, ubiquitous microscopic phototrophs (phytoplankton) account for approximately half the production of organic matter on Earth. Analyses of satellite-derived phytoplankton concentration (available since 1979) have suggested decadal-scale fluctuations linked to climate forcing, but the length of this record is insufficient to resolve longer-term trends. Here we combine available ocean transparency measurements and in situ chlorophyll observations to estimate the time dependence of phytoplankton biomass at local, regional and global scales since 1899. We observe declines in eight out of ten ocean regions, and estimate a global rate of decline of approximately 1% of the global median per year. Our analyses further reveal interannual to decadal phytoplankton fluctuations superimposed on long-term trends. These fluctuations are strongly correlated with basin-scale climate indices, whereas long-term declining trends are related to increasing sea surface temperatures. We conclude that global phytoplankton concentration has declined over the past century; this decline will need to be considered in future studies of marine ecosystems, geochemical cycling, ocean circulation and fisheries.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-05

    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.

  3. Biomarkers of cognitive decline in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chin-Hsien; Wu, Ruey-Meei

    2015-05-01

    Cognitive impairment is a frequent and devastating non-motor symptom of Parkinson's disease (PD). Impaired cognition has a major impact on either quality of life or mortality in patients with PD. Notably, the rate of cognitive decline and pattern of early cognitive deficits in PD are highly variable between individuals. Given that the underlying mechanisms of cognitive decline or dementia associated with PD remain unclear, there is currently no mechanism-based treatment available. Identification of biological markers, including neuroimaging, biofluids and common genetic variants, that account for the heterogeneity of PD related cognitive decline could provide important insights into the pathological processes that underlie cognitive impairment in PD. These combined biomarker approaches will enable early diagnosis and provide indicators of cognitive progression in PD patients. This review summarizes recent advances in the development of biomarkers for cognitive impairments in PD.

  4. THE HEALTH EFFECTS OF ECONOMIC DECLINE

    PubMed Central

    Catalano, Ralph; Goldman-Mellor, Sidra; Saxton, Katherine; Margerison-Zilko, Claire; Subbaraman, Meenakshi; LeWinn, Kaja; Anderson, Elizabeth

    2013-01-01

    The recent recession and lingering high unemployment will likely lead to a burst of research studying the health effects of economic decline. We aim to inform that work by summarizing empirical research concerned with those effects. We separate the studies into groups defined by questions asked, mechanisms invoked, and outcomes studied. We conclude that although much research shows that undesirable job and financial experiences increase the risk of psychological and behavioral disorder, many other suspected associations remain poorly studied or unsupported. The intuition that mortality increases when the economy declines, for example, appears wrong. We note that the research informs public health programming by identifying risk factors, such as job loss, made more frequent by economic decline. The promise that the research would identify health costs and benefits of economic policy choices, however, remains unfulfilled and will likely remain so without stronger theory and greater methodological agreement. PMID:21054175

  5. Flowering plants under global pollinator decline.

    PubMed

    Thomann, Michel; Imbert, Eric; Devaux, Céline; Cheptou, Pierre-Olivier

    2013-07-01

    There is now compelling evidence of a reduction of pollinator richness and density at a global scale. In this opinion article, we argue that such pollinator decline intensifies pollen limitation and reduces plant reproductive success, threatening natural populations of extinction. We use genetic architecture and selection experiments on floral traits and evaluate the potential for plant reproductive strategies to adapt rapidly to new pollination environments. We propose that plant reproductive strategies could adapt to the current pollinator decline by decreasing or increasing their reliance to pollinators, for example, increasing autonomous selfing or reinforcing interactions with pollinators. We further discuss if and how adaptation of plant reproductive strategies can buffer the demographic consequences of pollinator decline, and possibly rescue plant populations from extinction.

  6. Rate of decline in progressive supranuclear palsy.

    PubMed

    Litvan, Irene; Kong, Maiying

    2014-04-01

    The rate of patients' decline is critical to properly design trials of disease-modifying agents. We prospectively quantified the progression of 27 progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) patients for at least 1 year to determine the rate of decline of motor, ocular-motor, neuropsychological, and neuropsychiatric features. PSP patients meeting the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and the Society for Progressive Supranuclear Palsy criteria were assessed using the PSP Rating Scale (PSP-RS) and modified UPDRS. The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Frontal Assessment Battery assessed cognitive decline, the Neuropsychiatric Inventory assessed behavior, and the modified Schwab and England scale and UPDRS ADL assessed activities of daily living (ADL). The rate of change of each score was calculated as 1-year worsening score. Power and sample sizes were estimated. PSP patients showed a significant yearly decline in total and subtotal scores of the PSP-RS and UPDRS, as well as in MMSE, and UPDRS and Schwab and England ADL scores. In addition, they had significant deterioration of individual item scores reflecting major aspects of the disease (i.e., ocular-motor). The rate of decline reflected in the UPDRS mirrored that of the PSP-RS. The worsening of the ADL score was positively correlated with the PSP-RS progression of falls and ocular-motor subitem scores and with executive dysfunction. PSP patients showed a significant yearly decline in motor, ocular-motor, and ADL functions. Our findings suggest that using more-advanced technology to measure ocular-motor, postural instability, and ADL will be helpful in planning future therapeutic trials.

  7. 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…

  8. Growth and Decline Processes in Organizations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freeman, John; Hannan, Michael T.

    1975-01-01

    Formulates and tests a model that distinguishes effects of growth and decline among organizational components. Analysis of changes in sizes of personnel categories in 805 California school districts supports the model. (Available from Executive Office, American Sociological Association, 1722 N Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036, $15.00 per year…

  9. Must Declining Enrollment Mean Closing Schools?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fredrickson, John H.

    Effective long-range planning by school districts is an imperative in dealing with declining enrollments. School districts should (1) evaluate present programs in light of current statutory regulations and educational trends and innovations; (2) appraise the structural qualities of existing school facilities; (3) conduct communitywide surveys to…

  10. Predicting Succession under Conditions of Enrollment Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berger, Michael A.

    Three possible explanations for superintendent succession focus on poor administrative performance, district response strategies, and the politics of the chief executive's relationship with the school board. To analyze succession in the context of declining enrollment, a case study survey was conducted of 56 school districts whose peak enrollment…

  11. 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...

  12. Managing Decline and Staffing Standards for Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Costanzo, Matthew W.

    School boards, administrators, and representatives of the community should develop long-range plans that not only consider the present state of schools but attempt to project 10 years hence. Demographic changes in communities indicate that managing decline will require a willingness to pare expenditures and an attempt to win back citizens'…

  13. Cholesterol and late-life cognitive decline.

    PubMed

    van Vliet, Peter

    2012-01-01

    High cholesterol levels are a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, but their role in dementia and cognitive decline is less clear. This review highlights current knowledge on the role of cholesterol in late-life cognitive function, cognitive decline, and dementia. When measured in midlife, high cholesterol levels associate with an increased risk of late-life dementia and cognitive decline. However, when measured in late-life, high cholesterol levels show no association with cognitive function, or even show an inverse relation. Although statin treatment has been shown to associate with a lower risk of dementia and cognitive decline in observational studies, randomized controlled trials show no beneficial effect of statin treatment on late-life cognitive function. Lowering cholesterol levels may impair brain function, since cholesterol is essential for synapse formation and maturation and plays an important role in the regulation of signal transduction through its function as a component of the cell membrane. However, membrane cholesterol also plays a role in the formation and aggregation of amyloid-β. Factors that influence cholesterol metabolism, such as dietary intake, are shown to play a role in late-life cognitive function and the risk of dementia. In conclusion, cholesterol associates with late-life cognitive function, but the association is strongly age-dependent. There is no evidence that treatment with statins in late-life has a beneficial effect on cognitive function.

  14. Careerism and the Decline of Regional Geography.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fairweather, Malcolm; Rumney, Thomas

    The aim of this paper is to offer possible explanations for the declining interest in regional geography. One of the major contributing factors is employment potential. Employment is perceived as being relatively limited for persons defining their interests as "regional" within geography. Students, therefore, do not enroll in regional geography…

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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)

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. Management of Programs with Declining Enrollments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1980

    The time to begin caring about declining enrollments in community college programs is before the program is started. Program planning should take into account why industry is demanding a given program "right now," avoid developing crash programs, and obtain and utilize all of the information possible including survey data, Labor Department…

  1. Declining Enrollments: Staffing for the Eighties.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fowler, Delbert H.

    School districts that survive declining enrollments will be the ones who recognize that the problem exists and build their programs and plans to meet the problem. It is necessary to know community demography and develop farsighted, actuarily sound projections of the effects. As money is basic to the problem, it is necessary to know the fiscal…

  2. The Decline of Literature: A Public Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Albalawi, Mohammed

    2015-01-01

    After centuries of dominance, literature has not been in a robust health for the last few decades. Several scholars have addressed the decline of literature in a number of books and articles attributing it to institutional and economic reasons. However, a major factor has not been taken into account. It is the larger audience who receives and…

  3. UN projections assume fertility decline, mortality increase.

    PubMed

    Haub, C

    1998-12-01

    This article summarizes the latest findings from the UN Population Division's 1998 review of World Population Estimates and Projections. The revisions reflect lower future population size and faster rates of fertility and mortality decline. The medium variant of population projection for 2050 indicates 8.9 billion, which is 458 million lower than projected in 1996 and 924 million lower than projected in 1994. The changes are due to changes in developing countries. Africa's changes accounted for over 50% of the change. The UN medium projection assumes that the desire for fewer children and effective contraceptive practice will continue and that the availability of family planning services will increase. The revisions are also attributed to the widespread prevalence of AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa and greater chances for lower fertility in developing countries. AIDS mortality may decrease average life expectancy in 29 African countries by 7 years. The UN medium projection assumes a decline in fertility from 2.7 children/woman during 1995-2000 to 2.0 children/woman by 2050. The UN high variant is 10.7 billion by 2050; the low variant is 7.3 billion. It is concluded that efforts of national governments and international agencies have contributed to increased access to reproductive health services and subsequent fertility decline. Future declines will depend on accessibility issues. Despite declines, world population is still growing by 78 million annually. Even countries such as Botswana, with 25% of the population infected with HIV/AIDS, will double in size by 2050.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Is Canada's sex ratio in decline?

    PubMed Central

    Dodds, L; Armson, B A

    1997-01-01

    In this issue (see pages 37 to 41) Dr. Bruce B. Allan and associates report a small but statistically significant decrease--of about 0.2%--in the proportion of male live births in Canada over the period 1970-90. In this editorial, factors that have been reported in the literature to influence sex ratio are examined within a Canadian context. The authors suggest that although the reasons for the apparent decline in the sex ratio in Canada are unclear, the increasing use of ovulation induction may be a contributing factor. Data from the Nova Scotia Atlee Perinatal Database are discussed with a view to explaining the trend observed in Atlantic Canada, but no obvious explanation emerges. The authors argue that when the period of observation is extended no overall change in the sex ratio is apparent. This would suggest a tendency toward stabilization rather than decline. PMID:9006564

  10. Decline of the lunar core dynamo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tikoo, Sonia M.; Weiss, Benjamin P.; Cassata, William S.; Shuster, David L.; Gattacceca, Jérôme; Lima, Eduardo A.; Suavet, Clément; Nimmo, Francis; Fuller, Michael D.

    2014-10-01

    Recent analyses of Apollo samples have demonstrated that a core dynamo existed on the Moon between at least 4.25 and 3.56 billion years ago (Ga) with surface field intensities reaching ˜70 μT. However, it is unknown when the Moon's magnetic field declined. Determining the temporal evolution of the dynamo is important because it constrains secular changes in power at the lunar core-mantle boundary and, by implication, the Moon's thermal and orbital evolution and the field generation mechanism. Here we present paleomagnetic data from several younger mare basalts which demonstrate that the surface magnetic field had declined precipitously to <˜4 μT by 3.19 Ga. It is currently unclear whether such a rapid decrease in field strength reflects either the cessation of the dynamo during this period or its persistence beyond 3.19 Ga in a drastically weakened state.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

    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.

  13. 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

  14. Detection and Prevention of Cognitive Decline.

    PubMed

    Small, Gary W

    2016-12-01

    Current diagnostic and treatment strategies for cognitive decline can help patients maintain cognitive ability and higher levels of function longer. Despite advances in detection and early treatment strategies, many patients do not receive proper assessments and available therapies. A systematic assessment strategy will increase the likelihood of an accurate diagnosis, which can facilitate pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment plans that can have a meaningful impact on prognosis. Available data support the integration of healthy lifestyle strategies in the treatment plan to help to stabilize symptoms and potentially delay future cognitive decline. While investigators continue to pursue more effective detection, treatment, and prevention strategies, the scientific data support the use of symptomatic drug treatments and recommendations for healthy lifestyle behaviors to improve quality of life and potentially stave off future cognitive decline. Success of such healthy lifestyle programs involves educating participants on the connection between lifestyle and disease prevention, offering enjoyable exercises that target the patient's skill level, and providing feedback that motivates participants to continue their healthy behaviors so they become habits.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Ulysses orbit determination at high declinations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcelrath, Timothy P.; Lewis, George D.

    1995-01-01

    The trajectory of the Ulysses spacecraft caused its geocentric declination to exceed 60 deg South for over two months during the Fall of 1994, permitting continuous tracking from a single site. During this time, spacecraft operations constraints allowed only Doppler tracking data to be collected, and imposed a high radial acceleration uncertainty on the orbit determination process. The unusual aspects of this situation have motivated a re-examination of the Hamilton-Melbourne results, which have been used before to estimate the information content of Doppler tracking for trajectories closer to the ecliptic. The addition of an acceleration term to this equation is found to significantly increase the declination uncertainty for symmetric passes. In addition, a simple means is described to transform the symmetric results when the tracking pass is non-symmetric. The analytical results are then compared against numerical studies of this tracking geometry and found to be in good agreement for the angular uncertainties. The results of this analysis are applicable to the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission and to any other missions with high declination trajectories, as well as to missions using short tracking passes and/or one-way Doppler data.

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Intraguild Predation and Native Lady Beetle Decline

    PubMed Central

    Gardiner, Mary M.; O'Neal, Matthew E.; Landis, Douglas A.

    2011-01-01

    Coccinellid communities across North America have experienced significant changes in recent decades, with declines in several native species reported. One potential mechanism for these declines is interference competition via intraguild predation; specifically, increased predation of native coccinellid eggs and larvae following the introduction of exotic coccinellids. Our previous studies have shown that agricultural fields in Michigan support a higher diversity and abundance of exotic coccinellids than similar fields in Iowa, and that the landscape surrounding agricultural fields across the north central U.S. influences the abundance and activity of coccinellid species. The goal of this study was to quantify the amount of egg predation experienced by a native coccinellid within Michigan and Iowa soybean fields and explore the influence of local and large-scale landscape structure. Using the native lady beetle Coleomegilla maculata as a model, we found that sentinel egg masses were subject to intense predation within both Michigan and Iowa soybean fields, with 60.7% of egg masses attacked and 43.0% of available eggs consumed within 48 h. In Michigan, the exotic coccinellids Coccinella septempunctata and Harmonia axyridis were the most abundant predators found in soybean fields whereas in Iowa, native species including C. maculata, Hippodamia parenthesis and the soft-winged flower beetle Collops nigriceps dominated the predator community. Predator abundance was greater in soybean fields within diverse landscapes, yet variation in predator numbers did not influence the intensity of egg predation observed. In contrast, the strongest predictor of native coccinellid egg predation was the composition of edge habitats bordering specific fields. Field sites surrounded by semi-natural habitats including forests, restored prairies, old fields, and pasturelands experienced greater egg predation than fields surrounded by other croplands. This study shows that intraguild

  10. Antihypertensive treatments, cognitive decline, and dementia.

    PubMed

    Duron, Emmanuelle; Hanon, Olivier

    2010-01-01

    Chronic hypertension is associated with an increased risk of both vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this context, the role of anti-hypertensive therapy for the prevention and delay of cognitive decline and dementia is of central importance. Most longitudinal studies have shown a significant inverse association between anti-hypertensive therapies and dementia incidence and for some of these, particularly in AD. Seven randomized, double blind placebo-controlled trials have evaluated the benefit of antihypertensive treatments on cognition. Three of them found positive results in term of prevention of dementia (SYST-EUR) or cognitive decline (PROGRESS, HOPE). Others disclosed non-significant results (MRC, SHEP, SCOPE, HYVET-COG). This discrepancy emphasizes the difficulty to perform such trials: the follow-up has to be long enough to disclose a benefit, a large number of patients is needed for these studies, and because of ethical reasons some anti-hypertensive treatments are often prescribed in the placebo group. Results of the two more recent meta-analyses are inconsistent, possibly due to methodological issues. Antihypertensive treatments could be beneficial to cognitive function by lowering blood pressure and/or by specific neuroprotective effect. Three main antihypertensive subclasses have been associated with a beneficial effect on cognitive function beyond blood pressure reduction (calcium channel blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor, angiotensin-AT1-receptor-blockers). Further long-term randomized trials, designed especially to assess a link between antihypertensive therapy and cognitive decline or dementia are therefore needed with cognition as the primary outcome. A low blood pressure threshold that could be deleterious for cognitive function should also be determined.

  11. 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%.

  12. Species decline--but why? Explanations of carabid beetle (Coleoptera, Carabidae) declines in Europe.

    PubMed

    Kotze, D Johan; O'Hara, Robert B

    2003-03-01

    We investigated some of the causes of ground beetle decline using atlas data from Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands, countries in which natural environments have all but disappeared. We used ordinal regression to identify characteristics that are significantly correlated with the decline of carabid beetle species over the last 50-100 years, using a stepwise selection procedure to select the optimal model according to the Akaike Information Criterion. The results showed that large-bodied carabid populations have declined more than smaller ones, possibly because of their lower reproductive output and lower powers of dispersal. Habitat specialist populations (i.e. species with small niche breadths) have also decreased more than habitat generalist populations. Species with both long- and short-winged individuals have been less prone to decline than those that are exclusively either short-winged or long-winged. Dimorphic species may survive better in highly altered environments because long-winged individuals are good at dispersing between suitable habitats and short-winged individuals are good at surviving and reproducing in these newly colonised habitats. Finally, populations of large carabids associated with coastal, woodland or riparian habitat types were less prone to decline than populations of large carabids associated with various, open or grassland habitat types. The pattern is reversed for carabid species smaller than 8 mm in size. These results are explained in the context of habitat restoration and destruction in these highly modified western European countries.

  13. Catastrophic ape decline in western equatorial Africa.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Peter D; Abernethy, Kate A; Bermejo, Magdalena; Beyers, Rene; De Wachter, Pauwel; Akou, Marc Ella; Huijbregts, Bas; Mambounga, Daniel Idiata; Toham, Andre Kamdem; Kilbourn, Annelisa M; Lahm, Sally A; Latour, Stefanie; Maisels, Fiona; Mbina, Christian; Mihindou, Yves; Obiang, Sosthène Ndong; Effa, Ernestine Ntsame; Starkey, Malcolm P; Telfer, Paul; Thibault, Marc; Tutin, Caroline E G; White, Lee J T; Wilkie, David S

    2003-04-10

    Because rapidly expanding human populations have devastated gorilla (Gorilla gorilla) and common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) habitats in East and West Africa, the relatively intact forests of western equatorial Africa have been viewed as the last stronghold of African apes. Gabon and the Republic of Congo alone are thought to hold roughly 80% of the world's gorillas and most of the common chimpanzees. Here we present survey results conservatively indicating that ape populations in Gabon declined by more than half between 1983 and 2000. The primary cause of the decline in ape numbers during this period was commercial hunting, facilitated by the rapid expansion of mechanized logging. Furthermore, Ebola haemorrhagic fever is currently spreading through ape populations in Gabon and Congo and now rivals hunting as a threat to apes. Gorillas and common chimpanzees should be elevated immediately to 'critically endangered' status. Without aggressive investments in law enforcement, protected area management and Ebola prevention, the next decade will see our closest relatives pushed to the brink of extinction.

  14. Nutritional factors, cognitive decline, and dementia.

    PubMed

    Del Parigi, Angelo; Panza, Francesco; Capurso, Cristiano; Solfrizzi, Vincenzo

    2006-03-15

    Nutritional factors and nutritional deficiencies have been repeatedly associated with cognitive impairment. Most of the evidence is based on cross-sectional studies, which cannot prove whether a nutritional deficit is the cause or the consequence of an impaired cognitive status. In fact, cognitive impairment, in turn, can determine changes in dietary habits and consequent nutritional deficiencies. We reviewed clinical and epidemiological studies from January 1983 to June 2004. Several cross-sectional and fewer prospective studies reported an association between dietary or supplemental intake of antioxidants and protection from cognitive decline and dementia. There are negative reports as well and some methodological biases might have affected the consistencies across studies. Deficiencies of several B vitamins have been associated with cognitive dysfunction in many observational studies. More recently, deficiencies of folate (B9) and cobalamine (B12) have been studied in relation to hyperhomocysteinemia as potential determinants of cognitive impairment, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease (AD). A small number of studies assessed the association between intake of macronutrients and cognitive function or dementia. Among the others, the intake of fatty acids and cholesterol has received particular attention. Although the results are not always consistent, most studies have reported a protective role of dietary intakes of poly- and mono-unsaturated fatty acids against cognitive decline and AD. We point out that well designed intervention studies are warranted in order to establish specific levels of micro- and macronutrient deficiencies and to set general recommendations for the population.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Potential output and the recent productivity decline

    SciTech Connect

    Tatom, J.A.

    1982-01-01

    Recent revisions in the measures of the nation's output and capital stock, as well as minor changes in procedures, have altered the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis' measures of potential output. The major conclusions of earlier Bank studies, however, have been unaffected by these changes. In particular, the growth of potential output has been sharply reduced by the 1973 to 1974 and 1979 to 1980 energy shocks and subsequent adjustments in the desired capital intensity of production. These effects have been confirmed by the re-estimation of earlier production function coefficients, and, more important, the confirmation of the prior empirical estimates in the latest round of energy price increases. The decline in the growth of potential output since 1973 has, in recent years, been acknowledged by the Council of Economic Advisers, (CEA), but through a trend reduction rather than through sharp temporary declines in 1974 to 1975 and 1979 to 1980 as implied here. Nonetheless, the level of potential output estimated by the CEA in recent years is little different from this Bank's estimate. The slowing in potential output masks a sharper reduction in the growth of productivity in recent years. A detailed analysis of productivity developments shows a marked deterioration in growth relative to past trends. In the measurement of potential output, this deterioration has been partially offset by a more rapid growth of both potential and actual employment. 17 references, 5 figures, 6 tables.

  18. Declining suburbs in Europe and Latin America.

    PubMed

    Audirac, Ivonne; Cunningham-Sabot, Emmanuèle; Fol, Sylvie; Moraes, Sergio Torres

    2012-01-01

    Suburban shrinkage, understood as a degenerative urban process stemming from the demise of the Fordist mode of urbanism, is generally manifested in a decline in population, industry and employment. It is also intimately linked to the global restructuring of industrial organization associated with the rise of the post-Fordist mode of urbanism and, more recently, the thrust of Asian industrialization. Framed in the discourse of industrial urbanism, this article examines the first ring of industrial suburbs that developed around large cities in their most rapid Fordist urbanization phase. These industrial suburbs, although they were formed at different times, are today experiencing specific mutations and undergoing profound restructuring on account of their particular spatial position between the central area and the expanding peripheries of the post-Fordist metropolis. This article describes and compares suburban decline in two European cities (Glasgow and Paris) and two Latin American Cities (São Paulo, Brazil and Guadalajara, Mexico), as different instances of places asymmetrically and fragmentarily integrated into the geography of globalization.

  19. Trajectory of Cognitive Decline after Incident Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Levine, Deborah A.; Galecki, Andrzej T.; Langa, Kenneth M.; Unverzagt, Frederick W.; Kabeto, Mohammed U.; Giordani, Bruno; Wadley, Virginia G.

    2015-01-01

    Importance Cognitive decline is a major cause of disability in stroke survivors. The magnitude of survivors’ cognitive changes after stroke is uncertain. Objective To measure changes in cognitive function among survivors of incident stroke, controlling for their prestroke cognitive trajectories. Design, Setting, and Participants Prospective study of 23,572 participants aged ≥45 years without baseline cognitive impairment from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) cohort, residing in the continental United States, enrolled 2003–2007 and followed through March 31, 2013. Over a median follow-up of 6.1 years (25th–75th percentile: 5.0–7.1 years), 515 participants survived expert-adjudicated incident stroke and 23,057 remained stroke-free. Exposure Time-dependent incident stroke. Outcome Measures The primary outcome was change in global cognition (Six-Item Screener, SIS; range 0–6). Secondary outcomes were change in new learning (Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease Word List Learning; range 0–30), verbal memory (Word List Delayed Recall; range 0–10), and executive function (Animal Fluency Test; range ≥0), and cognitive impairment (SIS<5/impaired vs. ≥5/unimpaired). For all tests, higher scores indicate better performance. Results Stroke was associated with acute decline in global cognition (0.10 points; 95% CI, 0.04–0.17), new learning (1.80 points; 95% CI, 0.73–2.86), and verbal memory (0.60 points; 95% CI, 0.13–1.07). Participants with stroke, compared to those without stroke, demonstrated faster declines in global cognition (0.06 points per year faster; 95% CI, 0.03–0.08) and executive function (0.63 points per year faster; 95% CI, 0.12–1.15), but not in new learning and verbal memory, compared to prestroke slopes. Among survivors, the difference in risk of cognitive impairment acutely after stroke was not statistically significant (odds ratio, 1.32; 95% CI, 0.95–1.83; P=0

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Depressed Mood Mediates Decline in Cognitive Processing Speed in Caregivers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vitaliano, Peter P.; Zhang, Jianping; Young, Heather M.; Caswell, Lisa W.; Scanlan, James M.; Echeverria, Diana

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: Very few studies have examined cognitive decline in caregivers versus noncaregivers, and only 1 study has examined mediators of such decline. We evaluated the relationship between caregiver status and decline on the digit symbol test (DST; a measure of processing speed, attention, cognitive-motor translation, and visual scanning) and…

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Withering away--25,000 years of genetic decline preceded cave bear extinction.

    PubMed

    Stiller, Mathias; Baryshnikov, Gennady; Bocherens, Hervé; Grandal d'Anglade, Aurora; Hilpert, Brigitte; Münzel, Susanne C; Pinhasi, Ron; Rabeder, Gernot; Rosendahl, Wilfried; Trinkaus, Erik; Hofreiter, Michael; Knapp, Michael

    2010-05-01

    The causes of the late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions are still enigmatic. Although the fossil record can provide approximations for when a species went extinct, the timing of its disappearance alone cannot resolve the causes and mode of the decline preceding its extinction. However, ancient DNA analyses can reveal population size changes over time and narrow down potential causes of extinction. Here, we present an ancient DNA study comparing late Pleistocene population dynamics of two closely related species, cave and brown bears. We found that the decline of cave bears started approximately 25,000 years before their extinction, whereas brown bear population size remained constant. We conclude that neither the effects of climate change nor human hunting alone can be responsible for the decline of the cave bear and suggest that a complex of factors including human competition for cave sites lead to the cave bear's extinction.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Banguero, H

    1983-05-01

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

  13. 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).

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Multivariable network associated with cognitive decline and dementia.

    PubMed

    Licastro, Federico; Porcellini, Elisa; Chiappelli, Martina; Forti, Paola; Buscema, Massimo; Ravaglia, Giovanni; Grossi, Enzo

    2010-02-01

    Data mining of a large data base from the population longitudinal study named "The Conselice Study" has been the focus of the present investigation. Initially, 65 years old or older participants were interviewed, underwent medical and cognitive examination, and were followed up for 5 years: 937 subjects completed the follow-up. Relationships of 35 genetic and/or phenotypic factors with incident cognitive decline and dementia were investigated. The new mathematical approach, called the Auto Contractive Map (AutoCM), was able to show the differential importance of each variables. This new variable processing created a semantic connectivity map that: (a) preserved non-linear associations; (b) showed connection schemes; (c) captured the complex dynamics of adaptive interactions. This method, based on an artificial adaptive system, was able to define the association strength of each variable with all the others. Few variables resulted to be aggregation points and were considered as major biological hubs. Three hubs were identified in the hydroxyl-methyl-gutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGCR) enzyme, plasma cholesterol levels and age. Gene variants and cognate phenotypic variables showed differential degrees of relevance to brain aging and dementia. This data analysis method was compared with another mathematical model called mutual information relevance network and results are presented and discussed.

  17. Decline and depletion rates of oil production: a comprehensive investigation.

    PubMed

    Höök, Mikael; Davidsson, Simon; Johansson, Sheshti; Tang, Xu

    2014-01-13

    Two of the most fundamental concepts in the current debate about future oil supply are oilfield decline rates and depletion rates. These concepts are related, but not identical. This paper clarifies the definitions of these concepts, summarizes the underlying theory and empirically estimates decline and depletion rates for different categories of oilfield. A database of 880 post-peak fields is analysed to determine typical depletion levels, depletion rates and decline rates. This demonstrates that the size of oilfields has a significant influence on decline and depletion rates, with generally high values for small fields and comparatively low values for larger fields. These empirical findings have important implications for oil supply forecasting.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Clinical workout for the early detection of cognitive decline and dementia.

    PubMed

    Tsolaki, M

    2014-11-01

    Aging is the major risk factor for the development of human neurodegenerative maladies such as Alzheimer's, Huntington's and Parkinson's diseases (PDs) and prion disorders, all of which stem from toxic protein aggregation. All of these diseases are correlated with cognitive decline. Cognitive Decline is a dynamic state from normal cognition of aging to dementia. According to the original criteria for Alzheimer's Disease (AD) (1984), a clinical diagnosis was possible only when someone was already demented. The prevalence rates of Cognitive Decline (mild cognitive impairment plus dementia) are very high now and will be higher in future because of the increasing survival time of people. Many neurological and psychiatric diseases are correlated with cognitive decline. Diagnosis of cognitive decline is mostly clinical (clinical criteria), but there are multiple biomarkers that could help us mostly in research programs such as short or long, paper and pencil or computerized neuropsychological batteries for cognition, activities of daily living and behavior, electroencephalograph, event-related potentials, and imaging-structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and functional (fMRI, Pittsburgh bound positron emission tomography, FDG-PET, single photon emission computerized tomography and imaging of tau pathology)-cerebrospinal fluid proteins (Abeta, tau and phospho-tau in AD and α-synuclein (αSyn) for PD). Blood biomarkers need more studies to confirm their usefulness. Genetic markers are also studied but until now are not used in clinical praxis. Finally, in everyday clinical praxis and in research workout for early detection of cognitive decline, the combination of biomarkers is useful.

  2. 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…

  3. 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...

  4. Management of anthurium decline caused by Radopholus similis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Anthurium decline is a chronic problem in anthurium production in Hawaii. Anthurium decline has worsened with the removal of fenamiphos from the market. Growers need environmentally sound post-plant treatments to augment preplant management tactics. Avermectin (Avid, monthly), thiophanate-methyl (Cl...

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 34 CFR 303.405 - Parent right to decline service.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 34 Education 2 2011-07-01 2010-07-01 true Parent right to decline service. 303.405 Section 303.405... TODDLERS WITH DISABILITIES Procedural Safeguards General § 303.405 Parent right to decline service. The parents of a child eligible under this part may determine whether they, their child, or other...

  8. 34 CFR 303.405 - Parent right to decline service.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 34 Education 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Parent right to decline service. 303.405 Section 303... TODDLERS WITH DISABILITIES Procedural Safeguards General § 303.405 Parent right to decline service. The parents of a child eligible under this part may determine whether they, their child, or other...

  9. 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.

  10. Declining Coral Calcification on the Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Demographic, ecological, and physiological responses of ringed seals to an abrupt decline in sea ice availability

    PubMed Central

    Young, Brent G.; Yurkowski, David J.; Anderson, Randi; Willing, Cornelia; Nielsen, Ole

    2017-01-01

    To assess whether demographic declines of Arctic species at the southern limit of their range will be gradual or punctuated, we compared large-scale environmental patterns including sea ice dynamics to ringed seal (Pusa hispida) reproduction, body condition, recruitment, and stress in Hudson Bay from 2003 to 2013. Aerial surveys suggested a gradual decline in seal density from 1995 to 2013, with the lowest density occurring in 2013. Body condition decreased and stress (cortisol) increased over time in relation to longer open water periods. The 2010 open water period in Hudson Bay coincided with extremes in large-scale atmospheric patterns (North Atlantic Oscillation, Arctic Oscillation, El Nino-Southern Oscillation) resulting in the earliest spring breakup and the latest ice formation on record. The warming event was coincident with high stress level, low ovulation rate, low pregnancy rate, few pups in the Inuit harvest, and observations of sick seals. Results provide evidence of changes in the condition of Arctic marine mammals in relation to climate mediated sea ice dynamics. We conclude that although negative demographic responses of Hudson Bay seals are occurring gradually with diminishing sea ice, a recent episodic environmental event played a significant role in a punctuated population decline. PMID:28168119

  17. Healthy eating and reduced risk of cognitive decline

    PubMed Central

    Dehghan, Mahshid; O'Donnell, Martin; Anderson, Craig; Teo, Koon; Gao, Peggy; Sleight, Peter; Dagenais, Gilles; Probstfield, Jeffrey L.; Mente, Andrew; Yusuf, Salim

    2015-01-01

    Objective: We sought to determine the association of dietary factors and risk of cognitive decline in a population at high risk of cardiovascular disease. Methods: Baseline dietary intake and measures of the Mini-Mental State Examination were recorded in 27,860 men and women who were enrolled in 2 international parallel trials of the ONTARGET (Ongoing Telmisartan Alone and in Combination with Ramipril Global Endpoint Trial) and TRANSCEND (Telmisartan Randomised Assessment Study in ACE Intolerant Subjects with Cardiovascular Disease) studies. We measured diet quality using the modified Alternative Healthy Eating Index. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to determine the association between diet quality and risk of ≥3-point decline in Mini-Mental State Examination score, and reported as hazard ratio with 95% confidence intervals with adjustment for covariates. Results: During 56 months of follow-up, 4,699 cases of cognitive decline occurred. We observed lower risk of cognitive decline among those in the healthiest dietary quintile of modified Alternative Healthy Eating Index compared with lowest quintile (hazard ratio 0.76, 95% confidence interval 0.66–0.86, Q5 vs Q1). Lower risk of cognitive decline was consistent regardless of baseline cognitive level. Conclusion: We found that higher diet quality was associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline. Improved diet quality represents an important potential target for reducing the global burden of cognitive decline. PMID:25948720

  18. Tree decline and the future of Australian farmland biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Joern; Zerger, Andre; Gibbons, Phil; Stott, Jenny; Law, Bradley S

    2010-11-09

    Farmland biodiversity is greatly enhanced by the presence of trees. However, farmland trees are declining worldwide, including in North America, Central America, and parts of southern Europe. We show that tree decline and its likely consequences are particularly severe in Australia's temperate agricultural zone, which is a threatened ecoregion. Using field data on trees, remotely sensed imagery, and a demographic model for trees, we predict that by 2100, the number of trees on an average farm will contract to two-thirds of its present level. Statistical habitat models suggest that this tree decline will negatively affect many currently common animal species, with predicted declines in birds and bats of up to 50% by 2100. Declines were predicted for 24 of 32 bird species modeled and for all of six bat species modeled. Widespread declines in trees, birds, and bats may lead to a reduction in economically important ecosystem services such as shade provision for livestock and pest control. Moreover, many other species for which we have no empirical data also depend on trees, suggesting that fundamental changes in ecosystem functioning are likely. We conclude that Australia's temperate agricultural zone has crossed a threshold and no longer functions as a self-sustaining woodland ecosystem. A regime shift is occurring, with a woodland system deteriorating into a treeless pasture system. Management options exist to reverse tree decline, but new policy settings are required to encourage their widespread adoption.

  19. Tree decline and the future of Australian farmland biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Joern; Zerger, Andre; Gibbons, Phil; Stott, Jenny; Law, Bradley S.

    2010-01-01

    Farmland biodiversity is greatly enhanced by the presence of trees. However, farmland trees are declining worldwide, including in North America, Central America, and parts of southern Europe. We show that tree decline and its likely consequences are particularly severe in Australia's temperate agricultural zone, which is a threatened ecoregion. Using field data on trees, remotely sensed imagery, and a demographic model for trees, we predict that by 2100, the number of trees on an average farm will contract to two-thirds of its present level. Statistical habitat models suggest that this tree decline will negatively affect many currently common animal species, with predicted declines in birds and bats of up to 50% by 2100. Declines were predicted for 24 of 32 bird species modeled and for all of six bat species modeled. Widespread declines in trees, birds, and bats may lead to a reduction in economically important ecosystem services such as shade provision for livestock and pest control. Moreover, many other species for which we have no empirical data also depend on trees, suggesting that fundamental changes in ecosystem functioning are likely. We conclude that Australia's temperate agricultural zone has crossed a threshold and no longer functions as a self-sustaining woodland ecosystem. A regime shift is occurring, with a woodland system deteriorating into a treeless pasture system. Management options exist to reverse tree decline, but new policy settings are required to encourage their widespread adoption. PMID:20974946

  20. Birth of the cool: a two-centuries decline in emotional expression in Anglophone fiction.

    PubMed

    Morin, Olivier; Acerbi, Alberto

    2016-12-02

    The presence of emotional words and content in stories has been shown to enhance a story's memorability, and its cultural success. Yet, recent cultural trends run in the opposite direction. Using the Google Books corpus, coupled with two metadata-rich corpora of Anglophone fiction books, we show a decrease in emotionality in English-speaking literature starting plausibly in the nineteenth century. We show that this decrease cannot be explained by changes unrelated to emotionality (such as demographic dynamics concerning age or gender balance, changes in vocabulary richness, or changes in the prevalence of literary genres), and that, in our three corpora, the decrease is driven almost entirely by a decline in the proportion of positive emotion-related words, while the frequency of negative emotion-related words shows little if any decline. Consistently with previous studies, we also find a link between ageing and negative emotionality at the individual level.

  1. 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

  2. Compensatory responses to age-related decline in odor quality acuity: cholinergic neuromodulation and olfactory enrichment.

    PubMed

    Mandairon, Nathalie; Peace, Shane T; Boudadi, Karim; Boxhorn, Christine E; Narla, Venkata Anupama; Suffis, Sara D; Cleland, Thomas A

    2011-12-01

    The perceptual differentiation of odors can be measured behaviorally using generalization gradients. The steepness of these gradients defines a form of olfactory acuity for odor quality that depends on neural circuitry within the olfactory bulb and is regulated by cholinergic activity therein as well as by associative learning. Using this system as a reduced model for age-related cognitive decline, we show that aged mice, while maintaining almost the same baseline behavioral performance as younger mice, are insensitive to the effects of acutely elevated acetylcholine, which sharpens generalization gradients in young adult mice. Moreover, older mice exhibit evidence of chronically elevated acetylcholine levels in the olfactory bulb, suggesting that their insensitivity to further elevated levels of acetylcholine may arise because the maximum capacity of the system to respond to acetylcholine has already been reached. We propose a model in which an underlying, age-related, progressive deficit is mitigated by a compensatory cholinergic feedback loop that acts to retard the behavioral effects of what would otherwise be a substantial age-related decline in olfactory plasticity. We also treated mice with 10-day regimens of olfactory environmental enrichment and/or repeated systemic injections of the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor physostigmine. Each treatment alone sharpened odor quality acuity, but administering both treatments together had no greater effect than either alone. Age was not a significant main effect in this study, suggesting that some capacity for acetylcholine-dependent plasticity is still present in aged mice despite their sharply reduced ability to respond to acute increases in acetylcholine levels. These results suggest a dynamical framework for understanding age-related decline in neural circuit processing in which the direct effects of aging can be mitigated, at least temporarily, by systemic compensatory responses. In particular, a decline in

  3. Ecological regime shift drives declining growth rates of sea turtles throughout the West Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Bjorndal, Karen A; Bolten, Alan B; Chaloupka, Milani; Saba, Vincent S; Bellini, Cláudio; Marcovaldi, Maria A G; Santos, Armando J B; Bortolon, Luis Felipe Wurdig; Meylan, Anne B; Meylan, Peter A; Gray, Jennifer; Hardy, Robert; Brost, Beth; Bresette, Michael; Gorham, Jonathan C; Connett, Stephen; Crouchley, Barbara Van Sciver; Dawson, Mike; Hayes, Deborah; Diez, Carlos E; van Dam, Robert P; Willis, Sue; Nava, Mabel; Hart, Kristen M; Cherkiss, Michael S; Crowder, Andrew G; Pollock, Clayton; Hillis-Starr, Zandy; Muñoz Tenería, Fernando A; Herrera-Pavón, Roberto; Labrada-Martagón, Vanessa; Lorences, Armando; Negrete-Philippe, Ana; Lamont, Margaret M; Foley, Allen M; Bailey, Rhonda; Carthy, Raymond R; Scarpino, Russell; McMichael, Erin; Provancha, Jane A; Brooks, Annabelle; Jardim, Adriana; López-Mendilaharsu, Milagros; González-Paredes, Daniel; Estrades, Andrés; Fallabrino, Alejandro; Martínez-Souza, Gustavo; Vélez-Rubio, Gabriela M; Boulon, Ralf H; Collazo, Jaime A; Wershoven, Robert; Hernández, Vicente Guzmán; Stringell, Thomas B; Sanghera, Amdeep; Richardson, Peter B; Broderick, Annette C; Phillips, Quinton; Calosso, Marta; Claydon, John A B; Metz, Tasha L; Gordon, Amanda L; Landry, Andre M; Shaver, Donna J; Blumenthal, Janice; Collyer, Lucy; Godley, Brendan J; McGowan, Andrew; Witt, Matthew J; Campbell, Cathi L; Lagueux, Cynthia J; Bethel, Thomas L; Kenyon, Lory

    2017-04-04

    Somatic growth is an integrated, individual-based response to environmental conditions, especially in ectotherms. Growth dynamics of large, mobile animals are particularly useful as bio-indicators of environmental change at regional scales. We assembled growth rate data from throughout the West Atlantic for green turtles, Chelonia mydas, which are long-lived, highly migratory, primarily herbivorous mega-consumers that may migrate over hundreds to thousands of kilometers. Our dataset, the largest ever compiled for sea turtles, has 9690 growth increments from 30 sites from Bermuda to Uruguay from 1973 to 2015. Using generalized additive mixed models, we evaluated covariates that could affect growth rates; body size, diet, and year have significant effects on growth. Growth increases in early years until 1999, then declines by 26% to 2015. The temporal (year) effect is of particular interest because two carnivorous species of sea turtles - hawksbills, Eretmochelys imbricata, and loggerheads, Caretta caretta - exhibited similar significant declines in growth rates starting in 1997 in the West Atlantic, based on previous studies. These synchronous declines in productivity among three sea turtle species across a trophic spectrum provide strong evidence that an ecological regime shift (ERS) in the Atlantic is driving growth dynamics. The ERS resulted from a synergy of the 1997/1998 El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) - the strongest on record - combined with an unprecedented warming rate over the last two to three decades. Further support is provided by the strong correlations between annualized mean growth rates of green turtles and both sea surface temperatures (SST) in the West Atlantic for years of declining growth rates (r = -0.94) and the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) for all years (r = 0.74). Granger-causality analysis also supports the latter finding. We discuss multiple stressors that could reinforce and prolong the effect of the ERS. This study demonstrates the

  4. 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…

  5. 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)

  6. 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)

  7. DUI Rates Decline for U.S. Drivers

    MedlinePlus

    ... fullstory_162819.html DUI Rates Decline for U.S. Drivers But that doesn't mean roads will be ... 15 percent for 2002. Despite this decrease, however, drivers and their passengers remain at risk. An estimated ...

  8. 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.

  9. 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 ...

  10. Where Medical Pot Is Legal, Fatal Car Crashes Often Decline

    MedlinePlus

    ... 162675.html Where Medical Pot Is Legal, Fatal Car Crashes Often Decline It's possible that these state ... and Human Services. More Health News on: Marijuana Motor Vehicle Safety Recent Health News Related MedlinePlus Health ...

  11. Neuropsychological tests for predicting cognitive decline in older adults

    PubMed Central

    Baerresen, Kimberly M; Miller, Karen J; Hanson, Eric R; Miller, Justin S; Dye, Richelin V; Hartman, Richard E; Vermeersch, David; Small, Gary W

    2015-01-01

    Summary Aim To determine neuropsychological tests likely to predict cognitive decline. Methods A sample of nonconverters (n = 106) was compared with those who declined in cognitive status (n = 24). Significant univariate logistic regression prediction models were used to create multivariate logistic regression models to predict decline based on initial neuropsychological testing. Results Rey–Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (RCFT) Retention predicted conversion to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) while baseline Buschke Delay predicted conversion to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Due to group sample size differences, additional analyses were conducted using a subsample of demographically matched nonconverters. Analyses indicated RCFT Retention predicted conversion to MCI and AD, and Buschke Delay predicted conversion to AD. Conclusion Results suggest RCFT Retention and Buschke Delay may be useful in predicting cognitive decline. PMID:26107318

  12. Folic Acid Supplements: Can They Slow Cognitive Decline?

    MedlinePlus

    ... slow cognitive decline? I've heard that folic acid supplements can improve cognitive function in older adults. ... those with Alzheimer's disease also benefit from folic acid? Answers from Paul Y. Takahashi, M.D. There's ...

  13. A decomposition analysis of recent fertility decline in Fiji.

    PubMed

    Gubhaju, B; Shahidullah, M

    1990-12-01

    Over the period 1966-86, both the Fijian and Indian populations of Fiji demonstrated declines in fertility. Differentials in the decline were, however, noted with the total fertility rate (TFR) of the Fijian population declining by 26% over the period compared to a 50% decline in the Indian TFR. Moreover, rate declines were not smooth and consistent over the period. Faster fertility decline was experienced in the 1st decade for both groups, slowing in the 2nd decade for Indian women, and stabilizing among the Fijians. This paper decomposes these differential changes in fertility rate into marital structure and marital fertility. The study was conducted using data from the censuses of 1966, 1976, and 1986. For the period 1966-76, declines in marital fertility contributed most to overall TFR decline for both ethnic groups. Marital structure had a reducing effect upon TFR among Indian women in the 1st decaed, but not during the 2nd. Fijian women experienced an overall negative impact from marital structure. Contraception plays an important role in limiting fertility in these 2 populations. Accordingly, differentials in acceptance were noticed, the family planning acceptance rate for Indians being almost twice that of Fijians; 35.6% and 18.7%, respectively in 1986. Compared to Indian women, Fijian women were more literate, more economically active, had higher life expectancies, and experience lower infant mortality rates. Nonetheless, they are not motivated to use family planning. Motivational, cultural, religious, and behavioral factors are suggested as causal factors determining acceptance and use of modern contraceptive methods.

  14. Implications of Germany’s Declining Defense Spending

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2000-06-01

    security policy, defense spending is an important indicator. This thesis demonstrates that Germany’s defense expenditure seems to be inconsistent with its...Germany’s declining defense spending , it examines the reasons for and effects of Germany’s shrinking defense budget and suggests solutions for coping...Germany does not reverse the trend of declining defense spending it will probably decrease its political significance in Europe and in the world.

  15. 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

  16. A re-examination of the projected subtropical precipitation decline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Jie; Soden, Brian J.

    2017-01-01

    A large-scale precipitation decline in the subtropics is a widely accepted projection of future climate change, but its causes and implications are uncertain. Two mechanisms are commonly used to explain the large-scale subtropical precipitation decline: an amplification of moisture export due to the increase in moisture and a poleward shift of subtropical subsidence associated with the poleward expansion of the Hadley cell. In an idealized experiment with abrupt CO2 increase, we find that the subtropical precipitation decline forms primarily in the fast adjustment to CO2 forcing during which neither of the two proposed mechanisms exists. Permitting the increase in moisture and the Hadley cell expansion does not substantially change the characteristics of the large-scale subtropical precipitation decline. This precipitation change should be interpreted as a response to the land-sea warming contrast, the direct radiative forcing of CO2 and, in certain regions, the pattern of SST changes. Moreover, the subtropical precipitation decline is projected predominately over oceans. Over subtropical land regions, the precipitation decline is muted or even reversed by the land-sea warming contrast.

  17. Interpreting Gas Production Decline Curves By Combining Geometry and Topology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewing, R. P.; Hu, Q.

    2014-12-01

    Shale gas production forms an increasing fraction of domestic US energy supplies, but individual gas production wells show steep production declines. Better understanding of this production decline would allow better economic forecasting; better understanding of the reasons behind the decline would allow better production management. Yet despite these incentives, production declines curves remain poorly understood, and current analyses range from Arps' purely empirical equation to new sophisticated approaches requiring multiple unavailable parameters. Models often fail to capture salient features: for example, in log-log space many wells decline with an exponent markedly different from the -0.5 expected from diffusion, and often show a transition from one decline mode to another. We propose a new approach based on the assumption that the rate-limiting step is gas movement from the matrix to the induced fracture network. The matrix is represented as an assemblage of equivalent spheres (geometry), with low matrix pore connectivity (topology) that results in a distance-dependent accessible porosity profile given by percolation theory. The basic theory has just 2 parameters: the sphere size distribution (geometry), and the crossover distance (topology) that characterizes the porosity distribution. The theory is readily extended to include e.g. alternative geometries and bi-modal size distributions. Comparisons with historical data are promising.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Inquiry into terminal decline: five objectives for future study.

    PubMed

    Gerstorf, Denis; Ram, Nilam

    2013-10-01

    Notions of terminal decline propose that late-life change is primarily driven by processes closely tied to pathology and mortality rather than chronological age. We use the rationales of longitudinal research as outlined by Baltes and Nesselroade (Baltes, P., & Nesselroade, J. [1979]. History and rationale of longitudinal research. In J. R. Nesselroade & P. Baltes (Eds.), Longitudinal research in the study of behavior and development [pp. 1-39]. San Diego, CA: Academic Press) as a framework for organizing research on terminal decline. In doing so, we note that there are relatively robust descriptions of terminal decline across a variety of different domains, as well as the extent of interindividual differences in the levels of function, rates of change, and timing of terminal decline (research rationales 1 and 2). However, there is much more to learn about the interrelations among change in different domains, the underlying mechanisms of change, and the factors that contribute to interindividual differences in change (research rationales 3-5). Needed are new study designs and analytical models that better address the structural, temporal, and causal interrelations that contribute to and protect against terminal decline.

  5. 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

  6. Patterns of widespread decline in North American bumble bees

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. An Investigation of the Afternoon Decline in Tropical Forest Photosynthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doughty, C.; Goulden, M. L.; Miller, S. D.; Menton, M. C.; da Rocha, H.; Freitas, H.; Figueira, M. A.; da Sousa, C. A.; Maia, A.

    2002-12-01

    The recent use of eddy covariance to measure the net exchange of CO2 between the atmosphere and a tropical forest in Santarem Para, Brazil, has indicated a substantial decline in forest photosynthesis in the afternoon, even after taking light differences into account. Afternoon declines in leaf-level gas exchange have been reported for many ecosystems, including tropical forests. Potential causes for this decline include stomatal responses to VPD, low leaf water potential, changes in biochemistry due to elevated temperature, photoinhibition, photorespiration, or intrinsic circadian rhythm. This study attempts to understand this decline by using leaf gas exchange to measure photosynthesis while canopy leaves are kept under constant light, humidity, and temperature conditions for 24 to 36 hours hours.At constant light levels of 100 PAR æmol~m-2s-1, 7 of 12 species tested showed a substantial decline photosynthesis at night, and a subsequent recovery in photosynthesis during the next day. In most cases, the internal CO2 of these plants increased at night, indicating that this diel cycle was not simply an effect of a circadian rhythm in stomatal conductance. Rather, the photosynthesis of a significant fraction of the plants surveyed appears to be under the direct control of a circadian oscillator.

  10. 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.

  11. Forest declines: Some perspectives on linking processes and patterns

    SciTech Connect

    McLaughlin, S.B.

    1992-09-01

    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.

  12. Perceived Personal Control Buffers Terminal Decline in Well-Being

    PubMed Central

    Gerstorf, Denis; Heckhausen, Jutta; Ram, Nilam; Infurna, Frank J.; Schupp, Juergen; Wagner, Gert G.

    2015-01-01

    Recent research has repeatedly demonstrated that well-being typically evinces precipitous deterioration close to the end of life. However, the determinants of individual differences in these terminal declines are note well understood. In this study, we examine the role of perceived personal control as a potential buffer against steep terminal declines in well-being. We applied single- and multi-phase growth models to up to 25-year longitudinal data from 1,641 now deceased participants of the national German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP; age at death: M = 74 years; SD = 14; 49% women). Results revealed that perceiving more personal control over one’s life was related to subsequently higher late-life well-being, less severe rates of late-life declines, and a later onset of terminal decline. Associations were independent of key predictors of mortality, including age, gender, SES, and disability. These findings suggest that feeling in control may ameliorate steep end-of-life decline in well-being. We also discuss scenarios for when and how processes of goal disengagement and giving up control may become beneficial. PMID:25244480

  13. 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.

  14. State welfare reform policies and declines in health insurance.

    PubMed Central

    Chavkin, W; Romero, D; Wise, P H

    2000-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: This study sought to determine whether there is a relationship between state policies on Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), declines in both TANF and Medicaid caseloads, and the rise in the number of uninsured. METHODS: Extant data sources of state TANF policies, TANF and Medicaid participation, and uninsurance rates were analyzed, with the state as the unit of analysis. The independent variables included state TANF policies that directly address receipt of benefits or relate to health; dependent variables included changes in state TANF enrollment, Medicaid enrollment, and health insurance status since the enactment of the law. RESULTS: In the bivariate analysis, declines in Medicaid were associated with sanction for work noncompliance, lack of a child care guarantee, and strategies to deter TANF enrollment; this last factor was also associated with increased uninsurance. In the multivariate analysis, lack of a child care guarantee and deterrent strategies predicted TANF declines; deterrent strategies predicted Medicaid decline and uninsurance increases. CONCLUSIONS: This analysis suggests that policies deterring TANF enrollment may contribute to declines in Medicaid and increased uninsurance. To maintain health insurance for the poor, policymakers should consider revising policies that deter TANF enrollment. PMID:10846507

  15. Effects of whole-body vibration applied to lower extremity muscles during decline bench press exercise

    PubMed Central

    García-Gutiérrez, M.T.; Hazell, T.J.; Marín, P.J.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: To evaluate the effects of whole-body vibration (WBV) on skeletal muscle activity and power performance of the upper body during decline bench press exercise at different loads. Methods: Forty-seven healthy young and active male students volunteered. Each performed dynamic decline bench press repetitions with and without WBV (50 Hz, 2.2 mm) applied through a hamstring bridge exercise at three different loads of their 1-repetition maximum (1RM): 30%, 50%, and 70% 1RM. Muscle activity of the triceps brachii (TB), biceps brachii (BB), pectoralis major (PM), and biceps femoris (BF) was measured with surface electromyography electrodes and kinetic parameters of the repetitions were measured with a rotary encoder. Results: WBV increased peak power (PP) output during the 70% 1RM condition (p<0.01). Muscle activity was increased with WBV in the TB and BF muscles at all loads (p<0.05). There were no effects of WBV on BB or PM muscles. Conclusion: WBV applied through a hamstring bridge exercise increases TB muscle activity during a decline bench press and this augmentation contributes to an increased peak power at higher loads and increased peak acceleration at lower loads. PMID:27609035

  16. Association of coloration mode with population declines and endangerment in Australian frogs.

    PubMed

    Forsman, Anders; Hagman, Mattias

    2009-12-01

    Successful protection of biodiversity requires increased understanding of the ecological characteristics that predispose some species to endangerment. Theory posits that species with polymorphic or variable coloration should have larger distributions, use more diverse resources, and be less vulnerable to population declines and extinctions, compared with taxa that do not vary in color. We used information from literature on 194 species of Australian frogs to search for associations of coloration mode with ecological variables. In general, species with variable or polymorphic color patterns had larger ranges, used more habitats, were less prone to have a negative population trend, and were estimated as less vulnerable to extinction compared with nonvariable species. An association of variable coloration with lower endangerment was also evident when we controlled statistically for the effects of range size. Nonvariable coloration was not a strong predictor of endangerment, and information on several characteristics is needed to reliably identify and protect species that are prone to decline and may become threatened by extinction in the near future. Analyses based on phylogenetic-independent contrasts did not support the hypothesis that evolutionary transitions between nonvariable and variable or polymorphic coloration have been accompanied by changes in the ecological variables we examined. Irrefutable demonstration of a role of color pattern variation in amphibian decline and in the dynamics and persistence of populations in general will require a manipulative experimental approach.

  17. Speciation rates decline through time in individual-based models of speciation and extinction.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shaopeng; Chen, Anping; Fang, Jingyun; Pacala, Stephen W

    2013-09-01

    A well-documented pattern in the fossil record is a long-term decline in the origination rate of new taxa after diversity rebounds from a mass extinction. The mechanisms for this pattern remain elusive. In this article, we investigate the macroevolutionary predictions of an individual-based birth-death model (BDI model) where speciation and extinction rates emerge from population dynamics. We start with the simplest neutral model in which every individual has the same per capita rates of birth, death, and speciation. Although the prediction of the simplest neutral model agrees qualitatively with the fossil pattern, the predicted decline in per-species speciation rates is too fast to explain the long-term trend in fossil data. We thus consider models with variation among species in per capita rates of speciation and a suite of alternative assumptions about the heritability of speciation rate. The results show that interspecific variation in per capita speciation rate can induce differences among species in their ability to resist extinction because a low speciation rate confers a small but important demographic advantage. As a consequence, the model predicts an appropriately slow temporal decline in speciation rates, which provides a mechanistic explanation for the fossil pattern.

  18. Mechanisms of Age-Related Decline in Memory Search Across the Adult Life Span

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23586941

  19. Differential Effects of Declining Rates in a Per Diem Payment System.

    PubMed

    Besstremyannaya, Galina

    2016-12-01

    The paper demonstrates differential effects of a prospective payment system with declining per diem rates, dependent on the percentiles of length of stay. The analysis uses dynamic panel data estimates and a recent nationwide administrative database for major diagnostic categories in 1068 Japanese hospitals in 2006-2012 to show that average length of stay significantly increases for hospitals in percentiles 0-25 of the pre-reform length of stay and significantly decreases for hospitals in percentiles 51-100. The decline of the average length of stay is larger for hospitals in higher percentiles of the length of stay. Hospitals in percentiles 51-100 significantly increase their rate of nonemergency/unanticipated readmissions within 42 days after discharge. The decline in the length of total episode of treatment is smaller for hospitals in percentiles 0-25. The findings are robust in terms of the choice of a cohort of hospitals joining the reform. The paper discusses applicability of 'best practice' rate-setting to help improve the performance of hospitals in the lowest quartile of average length of stay. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  20. 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.

  1. Rate of change in kidney function and the risk of death: the case for incorporating the rate of kidney function decline into the CKD staging system.

    PubMed

    Al-Aly, Ziyad; Cepeda, Oscar

    2011-01-01

    Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with increased risk of death. A wave of recent studies used longitudinal data to examine the effect of the rate of decline of kidney function on the risk of death. The results from these studies show that there is an independent and graded association between the rate of kidney function decline and the risk of death. There is a need to incorporate the rate of decline in the definition of CKD. This redefinition of CKD will transform a static definition into a dynamic one that more accurately describes the disease state in an individual patient.

  2. Caries decline before fluoride toothpaste was available: earlier and greater decline in the rural north than in southwestern Norway.

    PubMed

    Birkeland, J M; Haugejorden, O

    2001-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate factors related to caries in 6-17-year-olds in 2 groups of Norwegian counties between 1966 and 1983. The average number of surfaces filled and permanent teeth extracted due to caries declined in the 4 northern counties from 1967. An increase was recorded in the 7 southwestern counties until 1971, then a decline. In the 1960s significantly more surfaces were filled and teeth extracted in the north compared to the southwest. Based on intra-county comparisons, the decline in surfaces treated was greater in the north between 1967 and 1983; 5.4 +/- 0.4 vs 3.7 +/- 0.7, P < 0.01. The averages were 1.9 surfaces treated in the north and the southwest in 1983. Higher infant mortality, lower percentage of people with completed senior secondary education, and more inhabitants per doctor and per dentist in the north indicate a less favorable situation than in the southwest. School-based fluoride programs had been implemented in both groups from the mid-1960s and around 60% participated when fluoride toothpaste became freely marketed in 1971. More fluoride programs and more fluoride tablets were available to children in the north; this may indicate a preventive attitude among dentists. The decline of caries started at different times in different parts of Norway. In the rural north with the most unfavorable situation, the decline was greater and started years before fluoride toothpaste came on to the market. The early decline may partly be ascribed to the school-based fluoride programs, the continued decline to several factors.

  3. On the decline of biodiversity due to area loss.

    PubMed

    Keil, Petr; Storch, David; Jetz, Walter

    2015-11-17

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Infectious diseases subspecialty: declining demand challenges and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Chandrasekar, Pranatharthi; Havlichek, Daniel; Johnson, Leonard B

    2014-12-01

    Recent match results from the National Resident Matching Program for the subspecialty of infectious diseases show an ongoing decline in the number of fellowship positions filled, and, more important, in the number of applicants, particularly from the pool of international medical graduates. The main reasons for this declining application rate are unclear; in the absence of hard data, we present our viewpoint on this issue. Difficulties in securing visas for permanent residency in the United States, perception of a limited job market, and the explosive growth in the number of hospitalist positions may be important contributing factors. Infectious Diseases Society of America members need to focus on medical students and medical residents in their formative years. We present potential solutions to this problem of declining interest in the field of infectious diseases.

  7. 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.

  8. Brain network changes and memory decline in aging.

    PubMed

    Beason-Held, Lori L; Hohman, Timothy J; Venkatraman, Vijay; An, Yang; Resnick, Susan M

    2016-06-18

    One theory of age-related cognitive decline proposes that changes within the default mode network (DMN) of the brain impact the ability to successfully perform cognitive operations. To investigate this theory, we examined functional covariance within brain networks using regional cerebral blood flow data, measured by (15)O-water PET, from 99 participants (mean baseline age 68.6 ± 7.5) in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging collected over a 7.4 year period. The sample was divided in tertiles based on longitudinal performance on a verbal recognition memory task administered during scanning, and functional covariance was compared between the upper (improvers) and lower (decliners) tertile groups. The DMN and verbal memory networks (VMN) were then examined during the verbal memory scan condition. For each network, group differences in node-to-network coherence and individual node-to-node covariance relationships were assessed at baseline and in change over time. Compared with improvers, decliners showed differences in node-to-network coherence and in node-to-node relationships in the DMN but not the VMN during verbal memory. These DMN differences reflected greater covariance with better task performance at baseline and both increasing and declining covariance with declining task performance over time for decliners. When examined during the resting state alone, the direction of change in DMN covariance was similar to that seen during task performance, but node-to-node relationships differed from those observed during the task condition. These results suggest that disengagement of DMN components during task performance is not essential for successful cognitive performance as previously proposed. Instead, a proper balance in network processes may be needed to support optimal task performance.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Decline in renal functioning is associated with longitudinal decline in global cognitive functioning, abstract reasoning and verbal memory

    PubMed Central

    Davey, Adam; Elias, Merrill F.; Robbins, Michael A.; Seliger, Stephen L.; Dore, Gregory A.

    2013-01-01

    Background Decreased estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and higher serum creatinine (sCR) levels have been associated with longitudinal decline in global mental status measures. Longitudinal data describing change in multiple domains of cognitive functioning are needed in order to determine which specific abilities are most affected in individuals with impaired renal function. Methods We conducted a 5-year longitudinal study with 590 community-living individuals (mean age 62.1 years, 60.2% female, 93.2% white, 11.4% with diabetes mellitus, mean eGFR 78.4 mL/min/1.73 m²) free from dementia, acute stroke and end-stage renal disease. To measure longitudinal change-over-time, cognitive performance measures were regressed on eGFR adjusting for baseline eGFR and cognitive performance, comorbidity and vascular risk factors. Outcome measures were scores from 17 separate tests of cognitive abilities that were used to index 5 theoretically relevant domains: verbal episodic memory, visual-spatial organization and memory, scanning and tracking, working memory and similarities (abstract reasoning). Results Declines in eGFR values were associated with cognitive declines, when adjusted for eGFR and cognitive function scores at baseline. Change in renal functioning over time was related to change observed in global cognitive ability [b = 0.21SD decline per unit ln(eGFR), 95% CI: 0.04–0.38, P = .018], verbal episodic memory [b = 0.28 SD decline per unit ln(eGFR), 95% CI: 0.02–0.54, P = 0.038] and abstract reasoning [b = 0.36 SD decline per unit ln(eGFR), 95% CI: 0.04–0.67, P = 0.025]. Decline in cognitive functioning in association with declining renal functioning was observed despite statistical adjustment for demographic variables and CVD risk factors and the exclusion of persons with dementia or a history of acute stroke. Conclusions Early detection of mild to moderate kidney disease is an important public health concern with regard to cognitive decline. PMID

  13. 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.

  14. [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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Sensorineural Organs Dysfunction and Cognitive Decline: A Review Article

    PubMed Central

    Wongrakpanich, Supakanya; Petchlorlian, Aisawan; Rosenzweig, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Vision, hearing, olfaction, and cognitive function are essential components of healthy and successful aging. Multiple studies demonstrate relationship between these conditions with cognitive function. The present article focuses on hearing loss, visual impairment, olfactory loss, and dual sensory impairments in relation to cognitive declination and neurodegenerative disorders. Sensorineural organ impairment is a predictive factor for mild cognitive impairment and neurodegenerative disorders in the elderly. We recommend early detection of sensorineural dysfunction by history, physical examination, and screening tests. Assisted device and early cognitive rehabilitation may be beneficial. Future research is warranted in order to explore advanced treatment options and method to slow progression for cognitive declination and sensorineural organ impairment. PMID:28053826

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. The future of species under climate change: resilience or decline?

    PubMed

    Moritz, Craig; Agudo, Rosa

    2013-08-02

    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.

  2. Demography of Symbiotic Nitrogen-Fixing Trees Explains Their Rarity and Successional Decline in Temperate Forests in the United States.

    PubMed

    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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Dinosaurs in decline tens of millions of years before their final extinction.

    PubMed

    Sakamoto, Manabu; Benton, Michael J; Venditti, Chris

    2016-05-03

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. Fast but fleeting: adaptive motor learning processes associated with aging and cognitive decline.

    PubMed

    Trewartha, Kevin M; Garcia, Angeles; Wolpert, Daniel M; Flanagan, J Randall

    2014-10-01

    Motor learning has been shown to depend on multiple interacting learning processes. For example, learning to adapt when moving grasped objects with novel dynamics involves a fast process that adapts and decays quickly-and that has been linked to explicit memory-and a slower process that adapts and decays more gradually. Each process is characterized by a learning rate that controls how strongly motor memory is updated based on experienced errors and a retention factor determining the movement-to-movement decay in motor memory. Here we examined whether fast and slow motor learning processes involved in learning novel dynamics differ between younger and older adults. In addition, we investigated how age-related decline in explicit memory performance influences learning and retention parameters. Although the groups adapted equally well, they did so with markedly different underlying processes. Whereas the groups had similar fast processes, they had different slow processes. Specifically, the older adults exhibited decreased retention in their slow process compared with younger adults. Within the older group, who exhibited considerable variation in explicit memory performance, we found that poor explicit memory was associated with reduced retention in the fast process, as well as the slow process. These findings suggest that explicit memory resources are a determining factor in impairments in the both the fast and slow processes for motor learning but that aging effects on the slow process are independent of explicit memory declines.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Early-Onset, Regular Cannabis Use Is Linked to IQ Decline

    MedlinePlus

    ... Is Linked to IQ Decline Early-Onset, Regular Cannabis Use Is Linked to IQ Decline Email Facebook ... that cannabis use may harm the developing brain. Cannabis Use Correlates With Cognitive Decline The study participants ...

  12. Ear length and kidney function decline after kidney donation.

    PubMed

    Katavetin, Pisut; Watanatorn, Salin; Townamchai, Natavudh; Avihingsanon, Yingyos; Praditpornsilpa, Kearkiat

    2016-11-01

    The preservation of kidney function after kidney donation depends on the kidney reserve - the potential of the remaining kidney to boost their function after loss of the other kidney. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, size and shape of the external ears are examined to evaluate the person's kidney health. We hypothesized that ear size might be a practical yet overlooked marker of kidney reserve. Fifty kidney transplantation donors were participated in this study. The length and width of both ears of all participants were measured during one of the post-donation visits. Pre-donation serum creatinine and post-donation serum creatinine as well as other relevant parameters (age, sex, weight, height, etc.) of the participants were extracted from medical records. The estimated GFR was calculated from serum creatinine, age and sex using the CKD-EPI equation. Ear length negatively associated with %GFR decline after kidney donation. For every 1 cm increase in ear length, it was associated with 5.7% less GFR decline after kidney donation (95% Confidence Interval 0.2 to 11.3, P = 0.04). Ear width, as well as age, sex, body weight, height, body mass index, and pre-donation eGFR did not significantly associate with the GFR decline. Our findings support the notion of Traditional Chinese Medicine that ear morphology may be associated with kidney health and suggest that ear length might be a useful predictor of kidney function decline after kidney donation.

  13. Are We Sure the Quality of Teacher Candidates is Declining?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gallegos, Arnold M.; Gibson, Harry

    1982-01-01

    Data suggest that self-selection is weeding out the poorer students in the teacher education program at Western Washington University. The grade point average of freshmen, although declining for the university as a whole, is rising in teacher education. (Author/JM)

  14. Coordinated responses to honey bee decline in the USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In response to successive years of high honey bee mortality, the United States Congress mandated the U.S. Department of Agriculture to increase funding for research and education directed at reducing honey bee decline. The funding followed two administrative streams within USDA – one through the USD...

  15. 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

  16. American Family Decline, 1960-1990: A Review and Appraisal.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Popenoe, David

    1993-01-01

    Draws from U.S. Census data to review family trends of past 30 years. Appraises evidence for family decline in three areas: demographic, institutional, and cultural. Argues that families have lost functions, power, and authority; that familism as cultural value has diminished; and that people have become less willing to invest time, money, and…

  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. The Decline in the Economic Rewards to College Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freeman, R. B.

    1977-01-01

    Analyzes the decline in the economic value of college training, using data from the 1969 and 1974 consumer income tapes from the Current Population Survey. Available from: North-Holland Publishing Company, P.O. Box 211, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; $19.00 annual subscription. (Author/JG)

  19. The Management of Decline in Education: The Case of Quebec.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crespo, Manuel; Hache, Jean B.

    1982-01-01

    Examines the social and organizational contexts of enrollment decline in Quebec (Canada) and describes the management strategies adopted by Quebec school districts to survive within reduced budgets and to try to increase budgets. Proposes a contingency model of the districts' management strategies and discusses the strategies' consequences and…

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. Declining Enrollment, a People Problem (Effective Strategies for Reducing Staffs).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, Donald

    School districts faced with declining enrollments can utilize several strategies for dealing with reductions in force while saving money, minimizing terminations, and creating new opportunities. Schools should be staffed on the basis of midyear projections to avoid too great a degree of overstaffing by year's end. An early retirement plan should…

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. Is Occupational Mobility Declining in the United States?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rytina, Steven

    2000-01-01

    Trends in occupational mobility for U.S. males, 1972-90, were analyzed using three occupational scales providing different indicators of occupational status and social stratification. Results indicate stable or increasing rigidity in U.S. occupational stratification, with a decline in education's importance, both as key to achieving high rank and…

  6. 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…

  7. 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)

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. Reasons for Declining Preconception Expanded Carrier Screening Using Genome Sequencing.

    PubMed

    Gilmore, Marian J; Schneider, Jennifer; Davis, James V; Kauffman, Tia L; Leo, Michael C; Bergen, Kellene; Reiss, Jacob A; Himes, Patricia; Morris, Elissa; Young, Carol; McMullen, Carmit; Wilfond, Benjamin S; Goddard, Katrina A B

    2017-03-17

    Genomic carrier screening can identify more disease-associated variants than existing carrier screening methodologies, but its utility from patients' perspective is not yet established. A randomized controlled trial for preconception genomic carrier screening provided an opportunity to understand patients' decisions about whether to accept or decline testing. We administered a survey to potential genomic carrier screening recipients who declined participation (N = 240) to evaluate their reasons for doing so. Two thirds of women declined participation. We identified major themes describing reasons these individuals declined to participate; the most common were time limitation, lack of interest, not wanting to know the information, and potential cause of worry or anxiety. Most women eligible for genomic carrier screening indicated that their reasons for opting out were due to logistical issues rather than opposing the rationale for testing. As expanded carrier screening and genomic sequencing become a more routine part of clinical care, it is anticipated there will be variable uptake from individuals for this testing. Thus, the advancement of clinical carrier screening from single genes, to expanded screening panels, to an exome- or genome-wide platform, will require approaches that respect individual choice to receive genetic testing for reproductive risk assessment.

  12. Which factors predict cognitive decline in Parkinson's disease?

    PubMed Central

    Caparros-Lefebvre, D; Pécheux, N; Petit, V; Duhamel, A; Petit, H

    1995-01-01

    The study assessed cognitive decline in non-demented, non-depressed patients with well defined Parkinson's disease and determined the predictive value for cognitive decline of different motor symptoms. Motor disability was measured with the Unified Parkinson's disease rating scale, impairment in activities of daily living, levodopa test, and long term clinical follow up. Neuropsychological evaluations included modified mini mental state, fluency, Wechsler logical memory, Wisconsin card sorting test, and the Montgomery and Asberg depression rating scale. Fifty three patients fulfilling clinical criteria for idiopathic Parkinson's disease were studied. Cognitive performance on initial testing was significantly correlated with education and disease duration but not with age at disease onset. Cognitive performance on retesting after three years of follow up was significantly reduced. This reduction was significantly greater in the late onset group, in patients with isolated dystonic dyskinesiae, and in patients with a lower percentage of motor improvement on levodopa. Cognitive decline in idiopathic Parkinson's disease may depend on both the prevalence of non-dopaminergic lesions and the topography of dopaminergic denervation. Predictive factors for cognitive decline, especially in executive tasks, relate more to non-dopaminergic than to dopaminergic lesions. PMID:7823067

  13. Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers mirror rate of cognitive decline.

    PubMed

    Rolstad, Sindre; Berg, Anne Ingeborg; Bjerke, Maria; Johansson, Boo; Zetterberg, Henrik; Wallin, Anders

    2013-01-01

    The ability to predict future decline in cognitive systems using the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers 42 amino acid form of amyloid-β (Aβ42) and total tau (T-tau) is not fully understood. In a clinical sample ranging from cognitively healthy to dementia (n = 326), linear regression models were performed in order to investigate the ability of CSF biomarkers to predict cognitive decline in all cognitive domains from baseline to 2-year follow-up. Gender, age, and years of education were included as covariates. In patients with subjective cognitive impairment, T-tau had a small impact on executive functions (r2 = 0.07). T-tau had a small to moderate influence (r2 = 0.06-0.11) on all cognitive functions with the exception of visuospatial functions in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). In patients with dementia, the impact of T-tau was large (r2 = 0.29) on semantic memory. Aβ42 had a small effect (r2 = 0.07) on speed and executive functions in MCI. In patients with dementia, Aβ42 had a moderate influence (r2 = 0.13-0.24) on semantic and verbal working memory/fluency. Our results speak in favor of the notion that CSF biomarkers reflect the rate of cognitive decline across the continuum of cognitive impairment from healthy to dementia. CSF predicted subsequent decline in more cognitive domains among MCI cases, but the impact was most pronounced in patients with dementia.

  14. 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

  15. 24 CFR 200.23 - Projects in declining neighborhoods.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 2 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Projects in declining neighborhoods... HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO FHA PROGRAMS Requirements for Application... Programs; and Continuing Eligibility Requirements for Existing Projects Miscellaneous Project...

  16. 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... HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO FHA PROGRAMS Requirements for Application... Programs; and Continuing Eligibility Requirements for Existing Projects Miscellaneous Project...

  17. History Jobs Decline 15% after Years of Growth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Robin

    2009-01-01

    This article reports that a five-year stretch of steady growth in the job market for academic historians is over. The number of job advertisements colleges have posted with the American Historical Association so far this academic year is down 15 percent from last year--the first decline since a slump that occurred in 2001-2002 and 2002-2003. The…

  18. 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

  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. Report of the Task Force on Declining Enrollment. Third Revision.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Highline Public Schools, Seattle, WA.

    The purpose of this task force was to study the program, facilities, and alternatives of the Highline School District as they relate to enrollment decline. Specifically, the task force was to establish criteria for identifying facilities where changes should be considered; identify and prioritize alternatives for use of excess classroom space; and…

  1. What Should We Do about the Decline in Vocational Enrollment?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lonza, Martin

    Vocational enrollment is declining because of an increase in academic requirements. Because job skills are changing so rapidly, employers are increasingly choosing to provide their own vocational training to students who have mastered standard academic requirements. However, the lack of hands-on methodology in academic curricula and the lack of…

  2. Are neonicotinoid insecticides driving declines of widespread butterflies?

    PubMed

    Gilburn, Andre S; 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.

  3. The Unusual Behavior of TT Arietis: 2009 October Decline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koff, Robert A.; Patterson, Joe

    This paper presents the results of the photometric study of TT Arietis during its decline phase of 2009 October, when the star exhibited very unexpected behavior. CBA observers and others provided time-series photometry to study the star and to complement the observations of the Swift and GALEX satellites.

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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 ...

  7. In a Decade of Decline: The Seven R's of Planning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peterson, Marvin W.

    1984-01-01

    Administrators must focus on the long-term effects of resource decline and identify a strategy to promote renewal and prevent stagnation. Redefinition of mission, rethinking models, reintegration of organizational processes, revitalizing members, reparations, recuperation and repatriation, and recommitment are discussed. (MLW)

  8. 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…

  9. 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...

  10. Yes, we can! Detect pollinator declines on a global scale

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recently there has been considerable concern about declines in bee communities, both in agricultural and natural habitats. The value of pollination to agriculture, provided primarily by bees, is > $200 billion US annually, and in natural ecosystems is thought to be even greater. However, because n...

  11. The Assessment of Behavioural Decline in Adults with Down's Syndrome.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McKenzie, Karen; Harte, Cyan; Patrick, Shona; Matheson, Edith; Murray, George C.

    2002-01-01

    A study examined two methods of using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales with people with Down syndrome at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Scoring the scales using the basal rule outlined in the manual resulted in highlighting significant declines in scores for those meeting the criteria for "probable Alzheimer's disease."…

  12. IANA task force on nutrition and cognitive decline with aging.

    PubMed

    Gillette Guyonnet, S; Abellan Van Kan, G; Andrieu, S; Barberger Gateau, P; Berr, C; Bonnefoy, M; Dartigues, J F; de Groot, L; Ferry, M; Galan, P; Hercberg, S; Jeandel, C; Morris, M C; Nourhashemi, F; Payette, H; Poulain, J P; Portet, F; Roussel, A M; Ritz, P; Rolland, Y; Vellas, B

    2007-01-01

    Cognitive impairment can be influenced by a number of factors. The potential effect of nutrition has become a topic of increasing scientific and public interest. In particular, there are arguments that nutrients (food and/or supplements) such as vitamins, trace minerals, lipids, can affect the risk of cognitive decline and dementia, especially in frail elderly people at risk of deficiencies. Our objective in this paper is to review data relating diet to risk of cognitive decline and dementia, especially Alzheimer's disease (AD). We chose to focus our statements on homocysteine-related vitamins (B-vitamins), antioxidant nutrients (vitamins E and C, carotenoids, flavonoids, enzymatic cofactors) and dietary lipids. Results of epidemiological studies may sometimes appeared conflicting; however, certain associations are frequently found. High intake of saturated and trans-unsaturated (hydrogenated) fats were positively associated with increased risk of AD, whereas intake of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats were protective against cognitive decline in the elderly in prospective studies. Fish consumption has been associated with lower risk of AD in longitudinal cohort studies. Moreover, epidemiologic data suggest a protective role of the B-vitamins, especially vitamins B9 and B12, on cognitive decline and dementia. Finally, the results on antioxidant nutrients may suggest the importance of having a balanced combination of several antioxidant nutrients to exert a significant effect on the prevention of cognitive decline and dementia, while taking into account the potential adverse effects of these nutrients. There is no lack of attractive hypotheses to support research on the relationships between nutrition and cognitive decline. It is important to stress the need to develop further prospective studies of sufficiently long duration, including subjects whose diet is monitored at a sufficiently early stage or at least before disease or cognitive decline exist. Meta

  13. 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.

  14. Subtle Cognitive Decline and Biomarker Staging in Preclinical Alzheimer's Disease.

    PubMed

    Edmonds, Emily C; Delano-Wood, Lisa; Galasko, Douglas R; Salmon, David P; Bondi, Mark W

    2015-01-01

    The NIA-AA criteria for "preclinical" Alzheimer's disease (AD) propose a staging method in which AD biomarkers follow an invariable temporal sequence in accordance with the amyloid cascade hypothesis. However, recent findings do not align with the proposed temporal sequence and "subtle cognitive decline," which has not been definitively operationalized, may occur earlier than suggested in preclinical AD. We aimed to define "subtle cognitive decline" using sensitive and reliable neuropsychological tests, and to examine the number and sequence of biomarker abnormalities in the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). 570 cognitively normal ADNI participants were classified based on NIA-AA criteria and separately based on the number of abnormal biomarkers/cognitive markers associated with preclinical AD that each individual possessed. Results revealed that neurodegeneration alone was 2.5 times more common than amyloidosis alone at baseline. For those who demonstrated only one abnormal biomarker at baseline and later progressed to mild cognitive impairment/AD, neurodegeneration alone was most common, followed by amyloidosis alone or subtle cognitive decline alone, which were equally common. Findings suggest that most individuals do not follow the temporal order proposed by NIA-AA criteria. We provide an operational definition of subtle cognitive decline that captures both cognitive and functional decline. Additionally, we offer a new approach for staging preclinical AD based on number of abnormal biomarkers, without regard to their temporal order of occurrence. This method of characterizing preclinical AD is more parsimonious than the NIA-AA staging system and does not presume that all patients follow a singular invariant expression of the disease.

  15. 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

  16. Specifically neuropathic Gaucher's mutations accelerate cognitive decline in Parkinson's

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ganqiang; Boot, Brendon; Locascio, Joseph J.; Jansen, Iris E.; Winder‐Rhodes, Sophie; Eberly, Shirley; Elbaz, Alexis; Brice, Alexis; Ravina, Bernard; van Hilten, Jacobus J.; Cormier‐Dequaire, Florence; Corvol, Jean‐Christophe; Barker, Roger A.; Heutink, Peter; Marinus, Johan; Williams‐Gray, Caroline H.; Scherzer, C.; Hyman, B.T.; Ivinson, A.J.; Trisini‐Lipsanopoulos, A.; Franco, D.; Burke, K.; Sudarsky, L.R.; Hayes, M.T.; Umeh, C.C.; Growdon, J.H.; Schwarzschild, M.A.; Hung, A.Y.; Flaherty, A.W.; Wills, A.‐M.; Mejia, N.I.; Gomperts, S.N.; Khurana, V.; Selkoe, D.J.; Yi, T.; Page, K.; Liao, Z.; Barker, R.; Foltynie, T.; Williams‐Gray, C.H.; Mason, S.; Winder‐Rhodes, S.; Barker, R.; Williams‐Gray, C.H.; Breen, D.; Cummins, G.; Evans, J.; Winder‐Rhodes, S.; Corvol, J.‐C.; Brice, A.; Elbaz, A.; Mallet, A.; Vidailhet, M.; Bonnet, A.‐M.; Bonnet, C.; Grabli, D.; Hartmann, A.; Klebe, S.; Lacomblez, L.; Mangone, G.; Bourdain, F.; Brandel, J.‐P.; Derkinderen, P.; Durif, F.; Mesnage, V.; Pico, F.; Rascol, O.; Forlani, S.; Lesage, S.; Tahiri, K.; van Hilten, J.J.; Marinus, J.; Liao, Z.; Page, K.; Franco, D.; Duong, K.; Yi, T.; Trisini‐Lipsanopoulos, A.; Dong, X.; Sudarsky, L.R.; Hutten, S.J.; Amr, S.S.; Shoulson, I.; Tanner, C.M.; Lang, A.E.; Nalls, M.A.

    2016-01-01

    Objective We hypothesized that specific mutations in the β‐glucocerebrosidase gene (GBA) causing neuropathic Gaucher's disease (GD) in homozygotes lead to aggressive cognitive decline in heterozygous Parkinson's disease (PD) patients, whereas non‐neuropathic GD mutations confer intermediate progression rates. Methods A total of 2,304 patients with PD and 20,868 longitudinal visits for up to 12.8 years (median, 4.1) from seven cohorts were analyzed. Differential effects of four types of genetic variation in GBA on longitudinal cognitive decline were evaluated using mixed random and fixed effects and Cox proportional hazards models. Results Overall, 10.3% of patients with PD and GBA sequencing carried a mutation. Carriers of neuropathic GD mutations (1.4% of patients) had hazard ratios (HRs) for global cognitive impairment of 3.17 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.60–6.25) and a hastened decline in Mini–Mental State Exam scores compared to noncarriers (p = 0.0009). Carriers of complex GBA alleles (0.7%) had an HR of 3.22 (95% CI, 1.18–8.73; p = 0.022). By contrast, the common, non‐neuropathic N370S mutation (1.5% of patients; HR, 1.96; 95% CI, 0.92–4.18) or nonpathogenic risk variants (6.6% of patients; HR, 1.36; 95% CI, 0.89–2.05) did not reach significance. Interpretation Mutations in the GBA gene pathogenic for neuropathic GD and complex alleles shift longitudinal cognitive decline in PD into “high gear.” These findings suggest a relationship between specific types of GBA mutations and aggressive cognitive decline and have direct implications for improving the design of clinical trials. Ann Neurol 2016;80:674–685 PMID:27717005

  17. Declines in Sexual Frequency among American Adults, 1989-2014.

    PubMed

    Twenge, Jean M; Sherman, Ryne A; Wells, Brooke E

    2017-03-06

    American adults had sex about nine fewer times per year in the early 2010s compared to the late 1990s in data from the nationally representative General Social Survey, N = 26,620, 1989-2014. This was partially due to the higher percentage of unpartnered individuals, who have sex less frequently on average. Sexual frequency declined among the partnered (married or living together) but stayed steady among the unpartnered, reducing the marital/partnered advantage for sexual frequency. Declines in sexual frequency were similar across gender, race, region, educational level, and work status and were largest among those in their 50s, those with school-age children, and those who did not watch pornography. In analyses separating the effects of age, time period, and cohort, the decline was primarily due to birth cohort (year of birth, also known as generation). With age and time period controlled, those born in the 1930s (Silent generation) had sex the most often, whereas those born in the 1990s (Millennials and iGen) had sex the least often. The decline was not linked to longer working hours or increased pornography use. Age had a strong effect on sexual frequency: Americans in their 20s had sex an average of about 80 times per year, compared to about 20 times per year for those in their 60s. The results suggest that Americans are having sex less frequently due to two primary factors: An increasing number of individuals without a steady or marital partner and a decline in sexual frequency among those with partners.

  18. 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.

  19. [Effect of different organic fraction on membrane flux declines].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xian-Jiao; Dong, Bing-Zhi

    2009-02-15

    Organic matter in the tap water was isolated into strongly hydrophobic acids, weakly hydrophobic acids, charged hydrophilic and neutral hydrophilic by DAX-8, XAD-4 and IRA-958 synthetic resins. Filtration tests using polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), polyethersulphone (PES) and cellulose acetate (CA) membranes were conducted to investigate the contribution of different organic fractions to membrane fouling. The results show that in filtration of raw water, flux declines with PES, PVDF and CA membrane are 67%, 59% and 19% of the initial flux, indicating that the more hydrophobic membrane resulted in more severe fouling. For the effect of different fractions on flux, flux decline with neutral hydrophilic is 41%-75% of the initial flux, whereas weakly hydrophobic acids is 6%-33%, suggesting that neutral hydrophilic has a great impact on filtration flux. Among three membranes tested, CA membrane shows the lowest flux decline compared with other membranes in spite of rejection of as high as 14.69% of neutral hydrophilic, suggesting that the extent of flux decline may not be associated with the total amount of NOM removed. The mechanism of fouling was discussed and found that the neutral hydrophilic fraction with greater than 3 x 10(4) of molecular weight caused a significant flux decline, through blocking the pore for the MF or UF having greater relative molecular mass cut-off (MWCO), but resulted in a little impact on flux with the UF having lower MWCO, through forming cake layer on the surface of membrane due to not entering the inside of pore.

  20. 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

  1. Is the Test Score Decline Responsible for the Productivity Growth Decline? Working Paper No. 87-05.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bishop, John

    This paper presents evidence that recent aptitude test score decline is signaling a significant deterioration in the quality of entering cohorts of workers. The impact of general intellectual achievement (GIA) on productivity; trends in the GIA of the adult populations, students, and working adults; accounting for the labor quality growth when…

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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°.

  11. Declining hepatitis A seroprevalence: a global review and analysis.

    PubMed Central

    Jacobsen, K. H.; Koopman, J. S.

    2004-01-01

    Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is spread by faecal-oral contact or ingestion of contaminated food or water. Lifelong immunity is conferred by infection or vaccination, so anti-HAV seroprevalence studies can be used to indicate which populations are susceptible to infection. Seroprevalence rates are highly correlated with socioeconomic status and access to clean water and sanitation. Increasing household income, education, water quality and quantity, sanitation, and hygiene leads to decreases in HAV prevalence. Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, and most European nations have low anti-HAV rates. Although anti-HAV rates remain high in most Latin American, Asian, and Middle Eastern nations, average seroprevalence rates are declining. Surveys from Africa generally indicate no significant decline in anti-HAV rates. Because the severity of illness increases with age, populations with a high proportion of susceptible adults should consider targeted vaccination programmes. PMID:15635957

  12. Improving Recruitment in Clinical Trials: Why Eligible Participants Decline

    PubMed Central

    Brintnall-Karabelas, Julie; Sung, Susanna; Cadman, Mary Ellen; Squires, Carol; Whorton, Katherine; Pao, Maryland

    2011-01-01

    There is a need to explore why protocol-eligible subjects refuse participation in clinical trials. Without a clear understanding, participation by representative populations will be an ongoing obstacle to recruitment. This descriptive research study analyzes frequency data regarding a sample of 965 individuals who, despite being eligible for studies with the National Institute of Mental Health intramural program, declined research participation. Overall, responses regarding reasons for declining fell into the following five categories: a result of specific protocol issues; inconvenience; for other reasons not mentioned; financial reasons; and, lastly, decided to participate elsewhere. The results of this study identify common factors which suggest there are steps that investigators can take to better accommodate the needs of the public and, consequently, improve research participation. PMID:21460590

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Air pollution and forest decline near Mexico City.

    PubMed

    Tovar, D C

    1989-04-01

    The forests of Abies religiosa Schl. et Cham. in the north and the northeast slopes of the mountains of the southwestern region of the Valley of Mexico are in an acute process of decline, particularly the fir forest of the Cultural and Recreational Park Desierto de los Leones. The mortality of the trees began in 1981, and by 1987 30% of the trees of the Park had died; the mortality continues. The surviving trees are in a very poor crown condition, having thin crowns with many dead branches. in the light of current knowledge air pollution, in particular the oxidant gases (ozone), are the primary cause of decline, but other conditions or agents (age of the trees and diseases) could be contributing factors in the dying of the trees.

  18. 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.

  19. Microglia mediate postoperative hippocampal inflammation and cognitive decline in mice

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Xiaomei; Valdearcos, Martin; Uchida, Yosuke; Lutrin, David; Maze, Mervyn; Koliwad, Suneil K.

    2017-01-01

    Surgery can induce cognitive decline, a risk that increases with advancing age. In rodents, postoperative cognitive decline (POCD) is associated with the inflammatory activation of hippocampal microglia. To examine the role of microglia in POCD, we inhibited the colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R) in adult mice, effectively depleting CNS microglia. Surgical trauma (tibial fracture) reduced the ability of mice to remember a conditioned response learned preoperatively, a deficit more pronounced and persistent in mice with diet-induced obesity (DIO). Whereas microglial depletion by itself did not affect learning or memory, perioperative microglial depletion remarkably protected mice, including those with DIO, from POCD. This protection was associated with reduced hippocampal levels of inflammatory mediators, abrogation of hippocampal recruitment of CCR2+ leukocytes, and higher levels of circulating inflammation-resolving factors. Targeting microglia may thus be a viable strategy to mitigate the development of POCD, particularly in those with increased vulnerability.

  20. Climate change, multiple stressors, and the decline of ectotherms.

    PubMed

    Rohr, Jason R; Palmer, Brent D

    2013-08-01

    Climate change is believed to be causing declines of ectothermic vertebrates, but there is little evidence that climatic conditions associated with declines have exceeded critical (i.e., acutely lethal) maxima or minima, and most relevant studies are correlative, anecdotal, or short-term (hours). We conducted an 11-week factorial experiment to examine the effects of temperature (22 °C or 27 °C), moisture (wet or dry), and atrazine (an herbicide; 0, 4, 40, 400 μg/L exposure as embryos and larvae) on the survival, growth, behavior, and foraging rates of postmetamorphic streamside salamanders (Ambystoma barbouri), a species of conservation concern. The tested climatic conditions were between the critical maxima and minima of streamside salamanders; thus, this experiment quantified the long-term effects of climate change within the noncritical range of this species. Despite a suite of behavioral adaptations to warm and dry conditions (e.g., burrowing, refuge use, huddling with conspecifics, and a reduction in activity), streamside salamanders exhibited significant loss of mass and significant mortality in all but the cool and moist conditions, which were closest to the climatic conditions in which they are most active in nature. A temperature of 27 °C represented a greater mortality risk than dry conditions; death occurred rapidly at this temperature and more gradually under cool and dry conditions. Foraging decreased under dry conditions, which suggests there were opportunity costs to water conservation. Exposure to the herbicide atrazine additively decreased water-conserving behaviors, foraging efficiency, mass, and time to death. Hence, the hypothesis that moderate climate change can cause population declines is even more plausible under scenarios with multiple stressors. These results suggest that climate change within the noncritical range of species and pollution may reduce individual performance by altering metabolic demands, hydration, and foraging effort

  1. Assessing the Decline in the National Saving Rate

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-04-01

    I1 8 ASSESSING THE DECLINE IN THE NATIONAL SAVING RATE April 1993 plain the connection between the processes of timber lands. Intangible assets include...increasing stocks of productive assets. And assets. The increase in assets can take place intangible assets contribute to living stan- either at home, through...obsolescence, physical deterioration, and acci- Both tangible and intangible assets are fi- dents. Because new investment involves ac- nanced from

  2. Dispositional optimism and terminal decline in global quality of life.

    PubMed

    Zaslavsky, Oleg; Palgi, Yuval; Rillamas-Sun, Eileen; LaCroix, Andrea Z; Schnall, Eliezer; Woods, Nancy F; Cochrane, Barbara B; Garcia, Lorena; Hingle, Melanie; Post, Stephen; Seguin, Rebecca; Tindle, Hilary; Shrira, Amit

    2015-06-01

    We examined whether dispositional optimism relates to change in global quality of life (QOL) as a function of either chronological age or years to impending death. We used a sample of 2,096 deceased postmenopausal women from the Women's Health Initiative clinical trials who were enrolled in the 2005-2010 Extension Study and for whom at least 1 global QOL and optimism measure were analyzed. Growth curve models were examined. Competing models were contrasted using model fit criteria. On average, levels of global QOL decreased with both higher age and closer proximity to death (e.g., M(score) = 7.7 eight years prior to death vs. M(score) = 6.1 one year prior to death). A decline in global QOL was better modeled as a function of distance to death (DtD) than as a function of chronological age (Bayesian information criterion [BIC](DtD) = 22,964.8 vs. BIC(age) = 23,322.6). Optimism was a significant correlate of both linear (estimate(DtD) = -0.01, SE(DtD) = 0.005; ρ = 0.004) and quadratic (estimate(DtD) = -0.006, SE(DtD) = 0.002; ρ = 0.004) terminal decline in global QOL so that death-related decline in global QOL was steeper among those with a high level of optimism than those with a low level of optimism. We found that dispositional optimism helps to maintain positive psychological perspective in the face of age-related decline. Optimists maintain higher QOL compared with pessimists when death-related trajectories were considered; however, the gap between those with high optimism and those with low optimism progressively attenuated with closer proximity to death, to the point that is became nonsignificant at the time of death.

  3. Persistent Ischemic Stroke Disparities despite Declining Incidence in Mexican Americans

    PubMed Central

    Morgenstern, Lewis B.; Smith, Melinda A.; Sanchez, Brisa N.; Brown, Devin L.; Zahuranec, Darin B.; Garcia, Nelda; Kerber, Kevin A.; Skolarus, Lesli E.; Meurer, William J.; Burke, James F.; Adelman, Eric E.; Baek, Jonggyu; Lisabeth, Lynda D.

    2015-01-01

    Objective To determine trends in ischemic stroke incidence among Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic whites. Methods We performed population-based stroke surveillance from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2010 in Corpus Christi, Texas. Ischemic stroke patients 45 years and older were ascertained from potential sources, and charts were abstracted. Neurologists validated cases based on source documentation blinded to ethnicity and age. Crude and age-, sex-, and ethnicity-adjusted annual incidence was calculated for first ever completed ischemic stroke. Poisson regression models were used to calculate adjusted ischemic stroke rates, rate ratios, and trends. Results There were 2,604 ischemic strokes in Mexican Americans and 2,042 in non-Hispanic whites. The rate ratios (Mexican American:non-Hispanic white) were 1.94 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.67–2.25), 1.50 (95% CI = 1.35– 1.67), and 1.00 (95% CI = 0.90–1.11) among those aged 45 to 59, 60 to 74, and 75 years and older, respectively, and 1.34 (95% CI = 1.23–1.46) when adjusted for age. Ischemic stroke incidence declined during the study period by 35.9% (95% CI = 25.9–44.5). The decline was limited to those aged ≥60 years, and happened in both ethnic groups similarly (p > 0.10), implying that the disparities seen in the 45- to 74-year age group persist unabated. Interpretation Ischemic stroke incidence rates have declined dramatically in the past decade in both ethnic groups for those aged ≥60 years. However, the disparity between Mexican American and non-Hispanic white stroke rates persists in those <75 years of age. Although the decline in stroke is encouraging, additional prevention efforts targeting young Mexican Americans are warranted. PMID:23868398

  4. Entorhinal cortex thickness predicts cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Velayudhan, Latha; Proitsi, Petroula; Westman, Eric; Muehlboeck, J-Sebastian; Mecocci, Patrizia; Vellas, Bruno; Tsolaki, Magda; Kłoszewska, Iwona; Soininen, Hilkka; Spenger, Christian; Hodges, Angela; Powell, John; Lovestone, Simon; Simmons, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease (AD) based on non-invasive methods are highly desirable for diagnosis, disease progression, and monitoring therapeutics. We aimed to study the use of hippocampal volume, entorhinal cortex (ERC) thickness, and whole brain volume (WBV) as predictors of cognitive change in patients with AD. 120 AD subjects, 106 mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 99 non demented controls (NDC) from the multi-center pan-European AddNeuroMed study underwent MRI scanning at baseline and clinical evaluations at quarterly follow-up up to 1 year. The rate of cognitive decline was estimated using cognitive outcomes, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Alzheimer disease assessment scale-cognitive (ADAS-cog) by fitting a random intercept and slope model. AD subjects had smaller ERC thickness and hippocampal and WBV volumes compared to MCI and NDC subjects. Within the AD group, ERC > WBV was significantly associated with baseline cognition (MMSE, ADAS-cog) and disease severity (Clinical Dementia Rating). Baseline ERC thickness was associated with both longitudinal MMSE and ADAS-cog score changes and WBV with ADAS-cog decline. These data indicate that AD subjects with thinner ERC had lower baseline cognitive scores, higher disease severity, and predicted greater subsequent cognitive decline at one year follow up. ERC is a region known to be affected early in the disease. Therefore, the rate of atrophy in this structure is expected to be higher since neurodegeneration begins earlier. Focusing on structural analyses that predict decline can identify those individuals at greatest risk for future cognitive loss. This may have potential for increasing the efficacy of early intervention.

  5. Scientific meeting raises awareness of amphibian decline in Asia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vredenburg, Vance; Wang, Yuezhao; Fellers, Gary M.

    2000-01-01

    Blood samples from 433 Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) during fall and spring migrations, 1976-80, indicated that most of their pesticide burden, primarily DDE, was accumulated on wintering grounds in Latin America. DDE in spring migrants returning from Latin America for the first time declined significantly from 1979 to 1980. Only about 10% of breeding-age females contained organochlorine residues likely to adversely affect reproduction. The organochlorine pesticide threat in Latin America may be diminishing.

  6. Hospital admissions and exercise capacity decline in patients with COPD.

    PubMed

    Ramon, Maria A; Gimeno-Santos, Elena; Ferrer, Jaume; Balcells, Eva; Rodríguez, Esther; de Batlle, Jordi; Gómez, Federico P; Sauleda, Jaume; Ferrer, Antoni; Barberà, Joan A; Agustí, Alvar; Gea, Joaquim; Rodriguez-Roisin, Robert; Antó, Josep M; Garcia-Aymerich, Judith

    2014-04-01

    Exercise capacity declines with time and is an important determinant of health status and prognosis in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We hypothesised that hospital admissions are associated with exercise capacity decline in these patients. Clinical and functional variables were collected for 342 clinically stable COPD patients. The 6-min walk distance (6MWD) was determined at baseline and after a mean±sd of 1.7±0.3 years. Information on hospitalisations during follow-up was obtained from centralised administrative databases. Linear regression was used to model changes in exercise capacity. Patients were mostly male (92%), with mean±sd age 67.9±8.6 years, post-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 s 54±17% predicted and baseline 6MWD 433±93 m. During follow-up, 6MWD decreased by 21.9±51.0 m·year(-1) and 153 (45%) patients were hospitalised at least once. Among patients admitted only for COPD-related causes (50% of those ever admitted), the proportion presenting a clinically significant loss of 6MWD was higher than in patients admitted for only nonrespiratory conditions (53% versus 29%, p=0.040). After adjusting for confounders, annual 6MWD decline was greater (26 m·year(-1), 95% CI 13-38 m·year(-1); p<0.001) in patients with more than one all-cause hospitalisation per year, as compared with those with no hospitalisations. Hospitalisations are related to a greater decline in exercise capacity in COPD.

  7. Species decline: A perspective on extinction, recovery, and propagation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carpenter, J.W.

    1983-01-01

    This keynote address was presented at the Conference on the Conservation of Endangered Species in Zoological Parks and Aquariums on April 18, 1982 at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. It outlines 1) future trends in the world's environment, resources, and population; 2) factors affecting species decline; 3) reasons for preserving life forms; and 4) techniques, with emphasis on captive propagation, used to assist in species recovery.

  8. Can education rescue genetic liability for cognitive decline?

    PubMed

    Cook, C Justin; Fletcher, Jason M

    2015-02-01

    Although there is a vast literature linking education and later health outcomes, the mechanisms underlying these associations are relatively unknown. In the spirit of some medical literature that leverages developmental abnormalities to understand mechanisms of normative functioning, we explore the ability of higher educational attainments to "rescue" biological/genetic liabilities in brain function through inheritance of a variant of the APOE gene shown to lead to cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease in old age. Deploying a between-sibling design that allows quasi-experimental variation in genotype and educational attainment within a standard gene-environment interaction framework, we show evidence that the genetic effects of the "risky" APOE variant on old-age cognitive decline are absent in individuals who complete college (vs. high school graduates). Auxiliary analyses suggest that the likely mechanisms of education are most consistent through changing brain processes (i.e., "how we think") and potentially building cognitive reserves, rather than alleviating old age cognitive decline through the channels of higher socioeconomic status and resources over the life course.

  9. Longitudinal association between hippocampus atrophy and episodic-memory decline.

    PubMed

    Gorbach, Tetiana; Pudas, Sara; Lundquist, Anders; Orädd, Greger; Josefsson, Maria; Salami, Alireza; de Luna, Xavier; Nyberg, Lars

    2017-03-01

    There is marked variability in both onset and rate of episodic-memory decline in aging. Structural magnetic resonance imaging studies have revealed that the extent of age-related brain changes varies markedly across individuals. Past studies of whether regional atrophy accounts for episodic-memory decline in aging have yielded inconclusive findings. Here we related 15-year changes in episodic memory to 4-year changes in cortical and subcortical gray matter volume and in white-matter connectivity and lesions. In addition, changes in word fluency, fluid IQ (Block Design), and processing speed were estimated and related to structural brain changes. Significant negative change over time was observed for all cognitive and brain measures. A robust brain-cognition change-change association was observed for episodic-memory decline and atrophy in the hippocampus. This association was significant for older (65-80 years) but not middle-aged (55-60 years) participants and not sensitive to the assumption of ignorable attrition. Thus, these longitudinal findings highlight medial-temporal lobe system integrity as particularly crucial for maintaining episodic-memory functioning in older age.

  10. Nutrition, the brain and cognitive decline: insights from epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Dauncey, M J

    2014-11-01

    Nutrition affects the brain throughout life, with profound implications for cognitive decline and dementia. These effects are mediated by changes in expression of multiple genes, and responses to nutrition are in turn affected by individual genetic variability. An important layer of regulation is provided by the epigenome: nutrition is one of the many epigenetic regulators that modify gene expression without changes in DNA sequence. Epigenetic mechanisms are central to brain development, structure and function, and include DNA methylation, histone modifications and non-protein-coding RNAs. They enable cell-specific and age-related gene expression. Although epigenetic events can be highly stable, they can also be reversible, highlighting a critical role for nutrition in prevention and treatment of disease. Moreover, they suggest key mechanisms by which nutrition is involved in the pathogenesis of age-related cognitive decline: many nutrients, foods and diets have both immediate and long-term effects on the epigenome, including energy status, that is, energy intake, physical activity, energy metabolism and related changes in body composition, and micronutrients involved in DNA methylation, for example, folate, vitamins B6 and B12, choline, methionine. Optimal brain function results from highly complex interactions between numerous genetic and environmental factors, including food intake, physical activity, age and stress. Future studies linking nutrition with advances in neuroscience, genomics and epigenomics should provide novel approaches to the prevention of cognitive decline, and treatment of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

  11. Assessing the Factors of Regional Growth Decline of Sugar Maple

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bishop, D. A.; Beier, C. M.; Pederson, N.; Lawrence, G. B.; Stella, J. C.; Sullivan, T. J.

    2014-12-01

    Sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh) is among the most ecologically, economically and culturally important trees in North America, but has experienced a decline disease across much of its range. We investigated the climatic and edaphic factors associated with A. saccharum growth in the Adirondack Mountains (USA) using a well-replicated tree-ring network incorporating a range of soil fertility (base cation availability). We found that nearly 3 in 4 A. saccharum trees exhibited declining growth rates during the last several decades, regardless of tree age or size. Although diameter growth was consistently higher on base-rich soils, the negative trends in growth were largely consistent across the soil chemistry gradient. Sensitivity of sugar maple growth to climatic variability was overall weaker than expected, but were also non-stationary during the 20th century. We observed increasingly positive responses to late-winter precipitation, increasingly negative responses to growing season temperatures, and strong positive responses to moisture availability during the 1960s drought that became much weaker during the recent pluvial. Further study is needed of these factors and their interactions as potential mechanisms for sugar maple growth decline.

  12. Flow rate decline of steam wells in fractured geothermal reservoirs

    SciTech Connect

    Bodvarsson, G.S.; Witherspoon, P.A.

    1985-01-01

    Decline curves are commonly used at The Geysers geothermal field to assess the generating capacity of a producing lease. It is generally assumed that wells will initially be drilled using 40-acre (400 m) spacing, with infill drilling used later to provide additional producing wells as needed. It is commonly believed that the final well spacing should not be less than 10 acres (200 m). Decline curves are used with this approach to estimate the number of make-up wells during a project lifetime (up to 30 years), as well as the appropriate plant size (MWe). A rather simple two-dimensional model was used to investigate the factors that control flow rate decline in steam wells. The effects of parameters such as fracture spacing and permeability are considered, as well as the effects of permeability, porosity and initial liquid saturation in the rock matrix. Also, the conventional P/z method that is commonly used in analyzing gas well production is investigated in terms of its applicability to fractured vapor dominated systems.

  13. Decline of speech understanding and auditory thresholds in the elderly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Divenyi, Pierre L.; Stark, Philip B.; Haupt, Kara M.

    2005-08-01

    A group of 29 elderly subjects between 60.0 and 83.7 years of age at the beginning of the study, and whose hearing loss was not greater than moderate, was tested twice, an average of 5.27 years apart. The tests measured pure-tone thresholds, word recognition in quiet, and understanding of speech with various types of distortion (low-pass filtering, time compression) or interference (single speaker, babble noise, reverberation). Performance declined consistently and significantly between the two testing phases. In addition, the variability of speech understanding measures increased significantly between testing phases, though the variability of audiometric measurements did not. A right-ear superiority was observed but this lateral asymmetry did not increase between testing phases. Comparison of the elderly subjects with a group of young subjects with normal hearing shows that the decline of speech understanding measures accelerated significantly relative to the decline in audiometric measures in the seventh to ninth decades of life. On the assumption that speech understanding depends linearly on age and audiometric variables, there is evidence that this linear relationship changes with age, suggesting that not only the accuracy but also the nature of speech understanding evolves with age.

  14. Diagnosing the decline in pharmaceutical R&D efficiency.

    PubMed

    Scannell, Jack W; Blanckley, Alex; Boldon, Helen; Warrington, Brian

    2012-03-01

    The past 60 years have seen huge advances in many of the scientific, technological and managerial factors that should tend to raise the efficiency of commercial drug research and development (RD). Yet the number of new drugs approved per billion US dollars spent on RD has halved roughly every 9 years since 1950, falling around 80-fold in inflation-adjusted terms. There have been many proposed solutions to the problem of declining RD efficiency. However, their apparent lack of impact so far and the contrast between improving inputs and declining output in terms of the number of new drugs make it sensible to ask whether the underlying problems have been correctly diagnosed. Here, we discuss four factors that we consider to be primary causes, which we call the 'better than the Beatles' problem; the 'cautious regulator' problem; the 'throw money at it' tendency; and the 'basic research-brute force' bias. Our aim is to provoke a more systematic analysis of the causes of the decline in RD efficiency.

  15. Theoretical explanations of the rapid fertility decline in China.

    PubMed

    Wu, C

    1986-07-01

    A 1982 population census recorded China's fertility rate in 1982 at 2.6; recent statistics of China's State Statistics Bureau record China's 1984 birth rate at 17 per 1000 and the total fertility rate at 1.94. Wu Cangping asserts that this world-recognized rapid fertility decline is not due to any compulsory governmental restrictions on fertility, but to the people's willingness to control fertility voluntarily. He cites a number of socioeconomic factors contributing to this voluntary decline in China's birth rates: 1) change of family function; 2) decline of mortality, particularly infant mortality; 3) improvement in the educational level; 4) improvement in women's social status, especially increased employment; 5) better social security services for the elderly; 6) the preference for modern ways of production and life; and 7) the availability of information on population and birth control. He attributes these factors to the socialist system with its nationalized production, centralized planning of the national economy, and the even distribution system which prevents polarization of earning. In addition, reforms have been carried out in all aspects of social life and recent advances have been made in science and technology. All of these factors have resulted in a more rapid fertility transition in China as compared to that of developed countries in their past and that of developing countries at present.

  16. Patterns and ecosystem consequences of shark declines in the ocean.

    PubMed

    Ferretti, Francesco; Worm, Boris; Britten, Gregory L; Heithaus, Michael R; Lotze, Heike K

    2010-08-01

    Whereas many land predators disappeared before their ecological roles were studied, the decline of marine apex predators is still unfolding. Large sharks in particular have experienced rapid declines over the last decades. In this study, we review the documented changes in exploited elasmobranch communities in coastal, demersal, and pelagic habitats, and synthesize the effects of sharks on their prey and wider communities. We show that the high natural diversity and abundance of sharks is vulnerable to even light fishing pressure. The decline of large predatory sharks reduces natural mortality in a range of prey, contributing to changes in abundance, distribution, and behaviour of small elasmobranchs, marine mammals, and sea turtles that have few other predators. Through direct predation and behavioural modifications, top-down effects of sharks have led to cascading changes in some coastal ecosystems. In demersal and pelagic communities, there is increasing evidence of mesopredator release, but cascading effects are more hypothetical. Here, fishing pressure on mesopredators may mask or even reverse some ecosystem effects. In conclusion, large sharks can exert strong top-down forces with the potential to shape marine communities over large spatial and temporal scales. Yet more empirical evidence is needed to test the generality of these effects throughout the ocean.

  17. Decline of ectomycorrhizal fungi following a mountain pine beetle epidemic.

    PubMed

    Treu, Roland; Karst, Justine; Randall, Morgan; Pec, Gregory J; Cigan, Paul W; Simard, Suzanne W; Cooke, Janice E K; Erbilgin, Nadir; Cahill, James F

    2014-04-01

    Forest die-off caused by mountain pine beetle (MPB; Dendroctonus ponderosa) is rapidly transforming western North American landscapes. The rapid and widespread death of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) will likely have cascading effects on biodiversity. One group particularly prone to such declines associated with MPB are ectomycorrhizal fungi, symbiotic organisms that can depend on pine for their survival, and are critical for stand regeneration. We evaluated the indirect effects of MPB on above- (community composition of epigeous sporocarps) and belowground (hyphal abundance) occurrences of ectomycorrhizal fungi across 11 forest stands. Along a gradient of mortality (0-82% pine killed), macromycete community composition changed; this shift was driven by a decrease in the species richness of ectomycorrhizal fungi. Both the proportion of species that were ectomycorrhizal and hyphal length in the soil declined with increased MPB-caused pine mortality; < 10% of sporocarp species were ectomycorrhizal in stands with high pine mortality compared with > 70% in stands without MPB attacks. The rapid range expansion of a native insect results not only in the widespread mortality of an ecologically and economically important pine species, but the effect of MPB may also be exacerbated by the concomitant decline of fungi crucial for recovery of these forests.

  18. Rapid body size decline in Alaskan Pleistocene horses before extinction.

    PubMed

    Guthrie, R Dale

    2003-11-13

    About 70% of North American large mammal species were lost at the end of the Pleistocene epoch. The causes of this extinction--the role of humans versus that of climate--have been the focus of much controversy. Horses have figured centrally in that debate, because equid species dominated North American late Pleistocene faunas in terms of abundance, geographical distribution, and species variety, yet none survived into the Holocene epoch. The timing of these equid regional extinctions and accompanying evolutionary changes are poorly known. In an attempt to document better the decline and demise of two Alaskan Pleistocene equids, I selected a large number of fossils from the latest Pleistocene for radiocarbon dating. Here I show that horses underwent a rapid decline in body size before extinction, and I propose that the size decline and subsequent regional extinction at 12,500 radiocarbon years before present are best attributed to a coincident climatic/vegetational shift. The present data do not support human overkill and several other proposed extinction causes, and also show that large mammal species responded somewhat individualistically to climate changes at the end of the Pleistocene.

  19. Both Financial and Cognitive Decline Predict Clinical Progression in MCI

    PubMed Central

    Gerstenecker, Adam; Triebel, Kristen L.; Martin, Roy; Snyder, Scott; Marson, Daniel C.

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the roles of financial/functional and cognitive abilities in predicting clinical progression in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). In a longitudinal sample of 51 patients with consensus-conference diagnosed MCI likely due to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Two-year change scores were calculated for a performance measure of functional ability, cognitive variables, and three outcome measures used to track progression in neurologic disorders. We examined patterns of financial and cognitive decline across the two-year study period, and used this data and the three outcome variables to construct discrete predictor models of clinical progression in MCI. We found that both financial skills and cognitive abilities declined over the two-year study period, were significantly associated with clinical progression, and contributed unique variance all three predictor models. The resulting models accounted for 40–75% of variance in clinical progression across outcome variables. Taken together, our results indicate that changes in both cognitive abilities and higher-order functional skills appear integral to understanding clinical progression in MCI likely due to AD. Specifically, declines in financial skills contribute unique variance to measures commonly used to track progression in neurological disorders associated with aging and thus represent an important functional marker of clinical progression in prodromal AD. PMID:26900988

  20. Cognitive decline, dietary factors and gut-brain interactions.

    PubMed

    Caracciolo, Barbara; Xu, Weili; Collins, Stephen; Fratiglioni, Laura

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive decline in elderly people often derives from the interaction between aging-related changes and age-related diseases and covers a large spectrum of clinical manifestations, from intact cognition through mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Epidemiological evidence supports the hypothesis that modifiable lifestyle-related factors are associated with cognitive decline, opening new avenues for prevention. Diet in particular has become the object of intense research in relation to cognitive aging and neurodegenerative disease. We reviewed the most recent findings in this rapidly expanding field. Some nutrients, such as vitamins and fatty acids, have been studied longer than others, but strong scientific evidence of an association is lacking even for these compounds. Specific dietary patterns, like the Mediterranean diet, may be more beneficial than a high consumption of single nutrients or specific food items. A strong link between vascular risk factors and dementia has been shown, and the association of diet with several vascular and metabolic diseases is well known. Other plausible mechanisms underlying the relationship between diet and cognitive decline, such as inflammation and oxidative stress, have been established. In addition to the traditional etiological pathways, new hypotheses, such as the role of the intestinal microbiome in cognitive function, have been suggested and warrant further investigation.

  1. Ectomycorrhizal fungal richness declines towards the host species' range edge.

    PubMed

    Lankau, Richard A; Keymer, Daniel P

    2016-07-01

    Plant range boundaries are generally considered to reflect abiotic conditions; however, a rise in negative or decline in positive species interactions at range margins may contribute to these stable boundaries. While evidence suggests that pollinator mutualisms may decline near range boundaries, little is known about other important plant mutualisms, including microbial root symbionts. Here, we used molecular methods to characterize root-associated fungal communities in populations of two related temperate tree species from across the species' range in the eastern United States. We found that ectomycorrhizal fungal richness on plant roots declined with distance from the centre of the host species range. These patterns were not evident in nonmycorrhizal fungal communities on roots nor in fungal communities in bulk soil. Climatic and soil chemical variables could not explain these biogeographic patterns, although these abiotic gradients affected other components of the bulk soil and rhizosphere fungal community. Depauperate ectomycorrhizal fungal communities may represent an underappreciated challenge to marginal tree populations, especially as rapid climate change pushes these populations outside their current climate niche.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Species in many ecosystems are facing declines of key resources. If we are to understand and predict the effects of resource loss on natural populations, we need to understand whether and how the way animals use resources changes under resource decline. We investigated how the abundance of arboreal marsupials varies in response to a critical resource, hollow-bearing trees. Principally, we asked what mechanisms mediate the relationship between resources and abundance? Do animals use a greater or smaller proportion of the remaining resource, and is there a change in cooperative resource use (den sharing), as the availability of hollow trees declines? Analyses of data from 160 sites surveyed from 1997 to 2007 showed that hollow tree availability was positively associated with abundance of the mountain brushtail possum, the agile antechinus and the greater glider. The abundance of Leadbeater’s possum was primarily influenced by forest age. Notably, the relationship between abundance and hollow tree availability was significantly less than 1∶1 for all species. This was due primarily to a significant increase by all species in the proportional use of hollow-bearing trees where the abundance of this resource was low. The resource-sharing response was weaker and inconsistent among species. Two species, the mountain brushtail possum and the agile antechinus, showed significant but contrasting relationships between the number of animals per occupied tree and hollow tree abundance. The discrepancies between the species can be explained partly by differences in several aspects of the species’ biology, including body size, types of hollows used and social behaviour as it relates to hollow use. Our results show that individual and social aspects of resource use are not always static in response to resource availability and support the need to account for dynamic resource use patterns in predictive models of animal distribution and abundance. PMID:23320100

  4. Long-term declines in an intertidal foundation species parallel shifts in community composition.

    PubMed

    Sorte, Cascade J B; Davidson, Victoria E; Franklin, Marcus C; Benes, Kylla M; Doellman, Meredith M; Etter, Ron J; Hannigan, Robyn E; Lubchenco, Jane; Menge, Bruce A

    2017-01-01

    The earth is in the midst of a biodiversity crisis, and projections indicate continuing and accelerating rates of global changes. Future alterations in communities and ecosystems may be precipitated by changes in the abundance of strongly interacting species, whose disappearance can lead to profound changes in abundance of other species, including an increase in extinction rate for some. Nearshore coastal communities are often dependent on the habitat and food resources provided by foundational plant (e.g., kelp) and animal (e.g., shellfish) species. We quantified changes in the abundance of the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis), a foundation species known to influence diversity and productivity of intertidal habitats, over the past 40 years in the Gulf of Maine, USA, one of the fastest warming regions in the global ocean. Using consistent survey methods, we compared contemporary population sizes to historical data from sites spanning >400 km. The results of these comparisons showed that blue mussels have declined in the Gulf of Maine by >60% (range: 29-100%) at the site level since the earliest benchmarks in the 1970s. At the same time as mussels declined, community composition shifted: at the four sites with historical community data, the sessile community became increasingly algal dominated. Contemporary (2013-2014) surveys across 20 sites showed that sessile species richness was positively correlated to mussel abundance in mid to high intertidal zones. These results suggest that declines in a critical foundation species may have already impacted the intertidal community. To inform future conservation efforts, we provide a database of historical and contemporary baselines of mussel population abundance and dynamics in the Gulf of Maine. Our results underscore the importance of anticipating not only changes in diversity but also changes in the abundance and identity of component species, as strong interactors like foundation species have the potential to drive

  5. Can individual and social patterns of resource use buffer animal populations against resource decline?

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Species in many ecosystems are facing declines of key resources. If we are to understand and predict the effects of resource loss on natural populations, we need to understand whether and how the way animals use resources changes under resource decline. We investigated how the abundance of arboreal marsupials varies in response to a critical resource, hollow-bearing trees. Principally, we asked what mechanisms mediate the relationship between resources and abundance? Do animals use a greater or smaller proportion of the remaining resource, and is there a change in cooperative resource use (den sharing), as the availability of hollow trees declines? Analyses of data from 160 sites surveyed from 1997 to 2007 showed that hollow tree availability was positively associated with abundance of the mountain brushtail possum, the agile antechinus and the greater glider. The abundance of Leadbeater's possum was primarily influenced by forest age. Notably, the relationship between abundance and hollow tree availability was significantly less than 1:1 for all species. This was due primarily to a significant increase by all species in the proportional use of hollow-bearing trees where the abundance of this resource was low. The resource-sharing response was weaker and inconsistent among species. Two species, the mountain brushtail possum and the agile antechinus, showed significant but contrasting relationships between the number of animals per occupied tree and hollow tree abundance. The discrepancies between the species can be explained partly by differences in several aspects of the species' biology, including body size, types of hollows used and social behaviour as it relates to hollow use. Our results show that individual and social aspects of resource use are not always static in response to resource availability and support the need to account for dynamic resource use patterns in predictive models of animal distribution and abundance.

  6. The Decline of Intelligence in America: A Strategy for National Renewal.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Itzkoff, Seymour W.

    It is argued that the United States is declining as a nation, a decline that can be confirmed by any of the criteria that historians have ever used to measure the state and condition of a nation and its people, and it is asserted that this decline is rooted in the overall decline of the intelligence capital of the nation, a decline in the levels…

  7. Imaging mass spectrometry demonstrates age-related decline in human adipose plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Fazeli, Pouneh K.; Kim, Soomin; Lun, Mingyue; Zuflacht, Jonah P.; Milian, Jessica; Lee, Hang; Francois-Saint-Cyr, Hugues; Horreard, Francois; Larson, David; Rosen, Evan D.; Lee, Richard T.; Lechene, Claude P.; Steinhauser, Matthew L.

    2017-01-01

    Quantification of stable isotope tracers has revealed the dynamic state of living tissues. A new form of imaging mass spectrometry quantifies isotope ratios in domains much smaller than a cubic micron, enabling measurement of cell turnover and metabolism with stable isotope tracers at the single-cell level with a methodology we refer to as multi-isotope imaging mass spectrometry. In a first-in-human study, we utilize stable isotope tracers of DNA synthesis and de novo lipogenesis to prospectively measure cell birth and adipocyte lipid turnover. In a study of healthy adults, we elucidate an age-dependent decline in new adipocyte generation and adipocyte lipid turnover. A linear regression model suggests that the aging effect could be mediated by a decline in insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). This study therefore establishes a method for measurement of cell turnover and metabolism in humans with subcellular resolution while implicating the growth hormone/IGF-1 axis in adipose tissue aging. PMID:28289709

  8. PTF 12gzk—A rapidly declining, high-velocity type Ic radio supernova

    SciTech Connect

    Horesh, Assaf; Kulkarni, Shrinivas R.; Corsi, Alessandra; Frail, Dale A.; Cenko, S. Bradley; Ben-Ami, Sagi; Gal-Yam, Avishay; Yaron, Ofer; Arcavi, Iair; Ofek, Eran O.; Kasliwal, Mansi M.

    2013-11-20

    Only a few cases of Type Ic supernovae (SNe) with high-velocity ejecta (≥0.2 c) have been discovered and studied. Here, we present our analysis of radio and X-ray observations of the Type Ic SN PTF 12gzk. The radio emission declined less than 10 days after explosion, suggesting SN ejecta expanding at high velocity (∼0.3 c). The radio data also indicate that the density of the circumstellar material (CSM) around the supernova is lower by a factor of ∼10 than the CSM around normal Type Ic SNe. PTF 12gzk may therefore be an intermediate event between a 'normal' SN Ic and a gamma-ray-burst-SN-like event. Our observations of this rapidly declining radio SN at a distance of 58 Mpc demonstrates the potential to detect many additional radio SNe, given the new capabilities of the Very Large Array (improved sensitivity and dynamic scheduling), which are currently missed, leading to a biased view of radio SNe Ic. Early optical discovery followed by rapid radio observations would provide a full description of the ejecta velocity distribution and CSM densities around stripped massive star explosions as well as strong clues about the nature of their progenitor stars.

  9. Growth decline linked to warming-induced water limitation in hemi-boreal forests.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiuchen; Liu, Hongyan; Guo, Dali; Anenkhonov, Oleg A; Badmaeva, Natalya K; Sandanov, Denis V

    2012-01-01

    Hemi-boreal forests, which make up the transition from temperate deciduous forests to boreal forests in southern Siberia, have experienced significant warming without any accompanying increase in precipitation during the last 80 years. This climatic change could have a profound impact on tree growth and on the stability of forest ecosystems in this region, but at present evidence for these impacts is lacking. In this study, we report a recent dramatic decline in the growth of hemi-boreal forests, based on ring width measurements from three dominant tree-species (Pinus sylvestris, Larix sibirica and Larix gmelinii), sampled from eight sites in the region. We found that regional tree growth has become increasingly limited by low soil water content in the pre- and early-growing season (from October of the previous year to July of the current year) over the past 80 years. A warming-induced reduction in soil water content has also increased the climate sensitivity of these three tree species. Beginning in the mid-1980s, a clear decline in growth is evident for both the pine forests and the larch forests, although there are increasing trends in the proxy of soil water use efficiencies. Our findings are consistent with those from other parts of the world and provide valuable insights into the regional carbon cycle and vegetation dynamics, and should be useful for devising adaptive forest management strategies.

  10. Growth Decline Linked to Warming-Induced Water Limitation in Hemi-Boreal Forests

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xiuchen; Liu, Hongyan; Guo, Dali; Anenkhonov, Oleg A.; Badmaeva, Natalya K.; Sandanov, Denis V.

    2012-01-01

    Hemi-boreal forests, which make up the transition from temperate deciduous forests to boreal forests in southern Siberia, have experienced significant warming without any accompanying increase in precipitation during the last 80 years. This climatic change could have a profound impact on tree growth and on the stability of forest ecosystems in this region, but at present evidence for these impacts is lacking. In this study, we report a recent dramatic decline in the growth of hemi-boreal forests, based on ring width measurements from three dominant tree-species (Pinus sylvestris, Larix sibirica and Larix gmelinii), sampled from eight sites in the region. We found that regional tree growth has become increasingly limited by low soil water content in the pre- and early-growing season (from October of the previous year to July of the current year) over the past 80 years. A warming-induced reduction in soil water content has also increased the climate sensitivity of these three tree species. Beginning in the mid-1980s, a clear decline in growth is evident for both the pine forests and the larch forests, although there are increasing trends in the proxy of soil water use efficiencies. Our findings are consistent with those from other parts of the world and provide valuable insights into the regional carbon cycle and vegetation dynamics, and should be useful for devising adaptive forest management strategies. PMID:22916142

  11. Decoupling of taxonomic diversity and morphological disparity during decline of the Cambrian trilobite family Pterocephaliidae.

    PubMed

    Hopkins, M J

    2013-08-01

    Although discordance between taxonomic diversity and morphological disparity is common, little is known about the underlying dynamics that drive this decoupling. Early in the history of the Cambrian trilobite family Pterocephaliidae, there was an increase in taxonomic diversity and morphological diversity. As taxonomic diversity declined in the later history of the clade, range of variation stayed high and disparity continued to increase. However, per-branch rates of morphological evolution estimated from a recent phylogeny decreased with time. Neither within-trait nor within-species variation increased or decreased, suggesting that the declining rates of morphological evolution were more likely related to ecological opportunity or niche partitioning, rather than increasing intrinsic constraints. This is further supported by evidence for increased biofacies associations throughout the time period. Thus, the high disparity seen at low taxonomic diversity late in the history of this clade was due to extinction - either random or targeting mean forms - rather than increased rates of morphological evolution. This pattern also provides a scenario that could account for instances of low taxonomic diversity but high morphological disparity in modern groups.

  12. Mathematical modelling of decline in follicle pool during female reproductive ageing.

    PubMed

    Thilagam, Alagu

    2016-03-01

    The factors which govern the subtle links between follicle loss and mammalian female reproductive ageing remain unclear despite extensive studies undertaken to understand the critical physiological and biochemical mechanisms that underly the accelerated decline in follicle numbers in women older than 37 years. It is not certain whether there is a sole control by the ovary or whether other factors which affect ageing also intersect with the ovarian effect. There is convincing experimental evidence for an interplay of several processes that seem to influence the follicle loss-female reproductive ageing links, with specific hormones (follicle-stimulating hormone, anti-Müllerian hormone, dehydroepiandrosterone) noted to play important roles in follicular dynamics and ovarian ageing. In this work, we examine the subtle links between the rate of follicular decline with ageing and the role of hormones via a series of non-autonomous equations. Simulation results based on the time evolution of the number of ovarian follicles and biochemical changes in the ovarian environment influenced by hormone levels is compared with empirical data based on follicle loss-reproductive ageing correlation studies.

  13. Near-Bottom Hypoxia Impacts Dynamics of Bacterioplankton Assemblage throughout Water Column of the Gulf of Finland (Baltic Sea)

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Over the past century the spread of hypoxia in the Baltic Sea has been drastic, reaching its ‘arm’ into the easternmost sub-basin, the Gulf of Finland. The hydrographic and climatological properties of the gulf offer a broad suite of discrete niches for microbial communities. The current study explores spatiotemporal dynamics of bacterioplankton community in the Gulf of Finland using massively parallel sequencing of 16S rRNA fragments obtained by amplifying community DNA from spring to autumn period. The presence of redoxcline and drastic seasonal changes make spatiotemporal dynamics of bacterioplankton community composition (BCC) and abundances in such estuary remarkably complex. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that analyses spatiotemporal dynamics of BCC in relation to phytoplankton bloom throughout the water column (and redoxcline), not only at the surface layer. We conclude that capability to survive (or benefit from) shifts between oxic and hypoxic conditions is vital adaptation for bacteria to thrive in such environments. Our results contribute to the understanding of emerging patterns in BCCs that occupy hydrographically similar estuaries dispersed all over the world, and we suggest the presence of a global redox- and salinity-driven metacommunity. These results have important implications for understanding long-term ecological and biogeochemical impacts of hypoxia expansion in the Baltic Sea (and similar ecosystems), as well as global biogeography of bacteria specialized inhabiting similar ecosystems. PMID:27213812

  14. Three decades of recurrent declines and recoveries in corals belie ongoing change in fish assemblages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamy, T.; Galzin, R.; Kulbicki, M.; Lison de Loma, T.; Claudet, J.

    2016-03-01

    Coral reefs are increasingly being altered by a myriad of anthropogenic activities and natural disturbances. Long-term studies offer unique opportunities to understand how multiple and recurrent disturbances can influence coral reef resilience and long-term dynamics. While the long-term dynamics of coral assemblages have been extensively documented, the long-term dynamics of coral reef fish assemblages have received less attention. Here, we describe the changes in fish assemblages on Tiahura reef, Moorea, from 1979 to 2011. During this 33-yr period, Tiahura was exposed to multiple disturbances (crown-of-thorns seastar outbreaks and cyclones) that caused recurrent declines and recoveries of coral cover and changes in the dominant coral genera. These shifts in coral composition were associated with long-term cascading effects on fish assemblages. The composition and trophic structure of fish assemblages continuously shifted without returning to their initial composition, whereas fish species richness remained stable, albeit with a small increase over time. We detected nonlinear responses of fish density when corals were most degraded. When coral cover dropped below 10 % following a severe crown-of-thorns sea star outbreak, the density of most fish trophic groups sharply decreased. Our study shows that historical contingency may potentially be an important but largely underestimated factor explaining the contemporary structure of reef fish assemblages and suggests that temporal stability in their structure and function should not necessarily be the target of management strategies that aim at increasing or maintaining coral reef resilience.

  15. A biphasic process of resistance among suspects: The mobilization and decline of self-regulatory resources.

    PubMed

    Madon, Stephanie; Guyll, Max; Yang, Yueran; Smalarz, Laura; Marschall, Justin; Lannin, Daniel G

    2017-04-01

    We conducted two experiments to test whether police interrogation elicits a biphasic process of resistance from suspects. According to this process, the initial threat of police interrogation mobilizes suspects to resist interrogative influence in a manner akin to a fight or flight response, but suspects' protracted self-regulation of their behavior during subsequent questioning increases their susceptibility to interrogative influence in the long-run. In Experiment 1 (N = 316), participants who were threatened by an accusation of misconduct exhibited responses indicative of mobilization and more strongly resisted social pressure to acquiesce to suggestive questioning than did participants who were not accused. In Experiment 2 (N = 160), self-regulatory decline that was induced during questioning about misconduct undermined participants' ability to resist suggestive questioning. These findings support a theoretical account of the dynamic and temporal nature of suspects' responses to police interrogation over the course of questioning. (PsycINFO Database Record

  16. The role of contaminants and pollution in species decline

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pattee, O.H.; Rattner, B.A.; Eisler, R.; Wegner, V.L.; Bounds, D.L.

    1999-01-01

    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. 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 a synoptic review of all recovery plans (n=517) with listing packages (n= 1180) 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 most of the available recovery plans for freshwater mussels (n=39), reptiles (n=26). and amphibians (n=6). We categorized 116 reasons fur the decline in freshwater mussels, subsuming them into 6 classes: habitat alteration/availability (44.4%);.contaminants (24.1%); pollution (18.0%); exploitation/harvest (1.7%); introduction of exotic species (2.7%); miscellaneous others (9.2%). The 171 causes of decline for reptiles can be subsumed into the same categories: habitat alteration/availability (32.7%); contaminants (6.4%); pollution (9.9%); exploitation/harvest (28.7%); introduction of exotic species (11.1%); miscellaneous others (11.1%). The 34 causes for amphibian decline fall into 5 classes: habitat alteration/availability (50.0%); contaminants (5.9%); pollution (5.9%); exploitation/harvest (5.9%); miscellaneous others (32.3%). The contaminant and pollution related causes for the decline in mussels can be attributed to four classes of alterations: water quality (47.2%); effluents/ spills (46.7%); biocides (3.3%); other toxic compounds (2.8%). For reptiles, the contamination and pollution

  17. Plasma Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and the Decline of Renal Function

    PubMed Central

    Lauretani, Fulvio; Semba, Richard D.; Bandinelli, Stefania; Miller, Edgar R.; Ruggiero, Carmelinda; Cherubini, Antonio; Guralnik, Jack M.; Ferrucci, Luigi

    2009-01-01

    Background Recent studies suggest an association between polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and the development of chronic kidney disease. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between PUFAs and renal function in older adults. Methods We performed a cross-sectional and prospective analysis of 931 adults, ≥65 years old, enrolled in the InCHIANTI study, a population-based cohort in Tuscany, Italy. Plasma PUFAs were measured at enrollment, and creatinine clearance was estimated by the Cockcroft-Gault equation at baseline and after 3-year follow-up. Results At enrollment, participants with higher creatinine clearance had higher concentrations of HDL cholesterol, total plasma PUFAs, plasma n-3 fatty acid (FA), and plasma n-6 FA and lower triglycerides. From enrollment to the 3-year follow-up visit, creatinine clearance declined by 7.8 (12.2) mL/min (P <0.0001). Baseline total plasma PUFAs, n-3 FA, n-6 FA, and linoleic, linolenic, and arachidonic acids were strong independent predictors of less steep decline in creatinine clearance from baseline to follow-up (P <0.0001, after adjusting for baseline creatinine clearance). After adjusting for baseline creatinine, baseline total plasma PUFAs, n-3 FA, and linoleic, linolenic, and arachidonic acids were negatively associated with creatinine at 3-year follow-up. Participants with higher plasma PUFAs at enrollment had a lower risk of developing renal insufficiency, defined by a creatinine clearance <60 mL/min, during 3-year follow-up. Conclusion High PUFA concentrations, both n-3 FA and n-6 FA, may attenuate the age-associated decline in renal function among older community-dwelling women and men. PMID:18202159

  18. Decline in Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Odds of Incident Depression

    PubMed Central

    Dishman, Rodney K.; Sui, Xuemei; Church, Timothy S.; Hand, Gregory A.; Trivedi, Madhukar H.; Blair, Steven N.

    2012-01-01

    Background Studies of physical activity and incidence of physician-diagnosed depression have been limited to a single estimate of self-reported physical activity exposure, despite follow-up periods lasting many years. Purpose To examine longitudinal change in cardiorespiratory fitness, an objective marker of habitual physical activity, and incident depression complaints made to a physician. Methods Cardiorespiratory fitness assessed at four clinic visits between 1971 and 2006, each separated by an average of 2–3 years, was used to objectively measure cumulative physical activity exposure in cohorts of 7936 men and 1261 women, aged 20–85 years, from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study who did not complain of depression at their first clinic visit in 1971–2003. Data were analyzed in August 2010. Results Across subsequent visits, there were 446 incident cases in men and 153 cases in women. After adjustment for age, time between visits, BMI at each visit, and fitness at Visit 1, each 1-minute decline in treadmill endurance (i.e., a decline in cardiorespiratory fitness of approximately 1 half-MET) between ages 51 and 55 years in men and ages 53 and 56 years in women, increased the odds of incident depression complaints by approximately 2% and 9.5%, respectively. The increased odds remained significant but were attenuated to 1.3% and 5.4% after further adjustment at each visit for smoking, alcohol use, chronic medical conditions, anxiety, and sleep problems. Conclusions Maintenance of cardiorespiratory fitness during late middle-age, when decline in fitness typically accelerates, helps protect against the onset of depression complaints made to a physician. PMID:22992353

  19. Habitat loss, trophic collapse, and the decline of ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Dobson, Andrew; Lodge, David; Alder, Jackie; Cumming, Graeme S; Keymer, Juan; McGlade, Jacquie; Mooney, Hal; Rusak, James A; Sala, Osvaldo; Wolters, Volkmar; Wall, Diana; Winfree, Rachel; Xenopoulos, Marguerite A

    2006-08-01

    The provisioning of sustaining goods and services that we obtain from natural ecosystems is a strong economic justification for the conservation of biological diversity. Understanding the relationship between these goods and services and changes in the size, arrangement, and quality of natural habitats is a fundamental challenge of natural resource management. In this paper, we describe a new approach to assessing the implications of habitat loss for loss of ecosystem services by examining how the provision of different ecosystem services is dominated by species from different trophic levels. We then develop a mathematical model that illustrates how declines in habitat quality and quantity lead to sequential losses of trophic diversity. The model suggests that declines in the provisioning of services will initially be slow but will then accelerate as species from higher trophic levels are lost at faster rates. Comparison of these patterns with empirical examples of ecosystem collapse (and assembly) suggest similar patterns occur in natural systems impacted by anthropogenic change. In general, ecosystem goods and services provided by species in the upper trophic levels will be lost before those provided by species lower in the food chain. The decrease in terrestrial food chain length predicted by the model parallels that observed in the oceans following overexploitation. The large area requirements of higher trophic levels make them as susceptible to extinction as they are in marine systems where they are systematically exploited. Whereas the traditional species-area curve suggests that 50% of species are driven extinct by an order-of-magnitude decline in habitat abundance, this magnitude of loss may represent the loss of an entire trophic level and all the ecosystem services performed by the species on this trophic level.

  20. Nonrandom extinction patterns can modulate pest control service decline.

    PubMed

    Karp, Daniel S; Moeller, Holly V; Frishkoff, Luke O

    2013-06-01

    Changes in biodiversity will mediate the consequences of agricultural intensification and expansion for ecosystem services. Regulating services, like pollination and pest control, generally decline with species loss. In nature, however, relationships between service provision and species richness are not always strong, partially because anthropogenic disturbances purge species from communities in nonrandom orders. The same traits that make for effective service providers may also confer resistance or sensitivity to anthropogenic disturbances, which may either temper or accelerate declines in service provision with species loss. We modeled a community of predators interacting with insect pest prey, and identified the contexts in which pest control provision was most sensitive to species loss. We found pest populations increased rapidly when functionally unique and dietary-generalist predators were lost first, with up to 20% lower pest control provision than random loss. In general, pest abundance increased most in the scenarios that freed more pest species from predation. Species loss also decreased the likelihood that the most effective service providers were present. In communities composed of species with identical traits, predators were equally effective service providers and, when competing predators went extinct, remaining community members assumed their functional roles. In more realistic trait-diverse communities, predators differed in pest control efficacy, and remaining predators could not fully compensate for the loss of their competitors, causing steeper declines in pest control provision with predator species loss. These results highlight diet breadth in particular as a key predictor of service provision, as it affects both the way species respond to and alter their environments. More generally, our model provides testable hypotheses for predicting how nonrandom species loss alters relationships between biodiversity and pest control provision.

  1. Siberian Pine Decline and Mortality in Southern Siberian Mountains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kharuk, V. I.; Im, S. T.; Oskorbin, P. A.; Petrov, I. A.; Ranson, K. J.

    2013-01-01

    The causes and resulting spatial patterns of Siberian pine mortality in eastern Kuznetzky Alatau Mountains, Siberia were analyzed based on satellite (Landsat, MODIS) and dendrochronology data. Climate variables studied included temperature, precipitation and Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) drought index. Landsat data analysis showed that stand mortality was first detected in the year 2006 at an elevation of 650 m, and extended up to 900 m by the year 2012. Mortality was accompanied by a decrease in MODIS derived vegetation index (EVI).. The area of dead stands and the upper mortality line were correlated with increased drought. The uphill margin of mortality was limited by elevational precipitation gradients. Dead stands (i.e., >75% tree mortality) were located mainly on southern slopes. With respect to slope, mortality was observed within a 7 deg - 20 deg range with greatest mortality occurring on convex terrain. Tree radial incrementmeasurements correlate and were synchronous with SPEI (r sq = 0.37, r(sub s) = 80). Increasing synchrony between tree ring growth and SPEI indicates that drought has reduced the ecological niche of Siberian pine. The results also showed the primary role of drought stress on Siberian pine mortality. A secondary role may be played by bark beetles and root fungi attacks. The observed Siberian pine mortality is part of a broader phenomenon of "dark needle conifers" (DNC, i.e., Siberian pine, fir and spruce) decline and mortality in European Russia, Siberia, and the Russian Far East. All locations of DNC decline coincided with areas of observed drought increase. The results obtained are one of the first observations of drought-induced decline and mortality of DNC at the southern border of boreal forests. Meanwhile if model projections of increased aridity are correct DNC, within the southern part of its range may be replaced by drought-resistant Pinus silvestris and Larix sibirica.

  2. Large Decadal Decline of the Arctic Multiyear Ice Cover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Comiso, Josefino C.

    2012-01-01

    The perennial ice area was drastically reduced to 38% of its climatological average in 2007 but recovered slightly in 2008, 2009, and 2010 with the areas being 10%, 24%, and 11% higher than in 2007, respectively. However, trends in extent and area remained strongly negative at -12.2% and -13.5% decade (sup -1), respectively. The thick component of the perennial ice, called multiyear ice, as detected by satellite data during the winters of 1979-2011 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% decade(sup -1), respectively, with a record low value in 2008 followed by higher values in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Such a high rate in the decline of the thick component of the Arctic ice cover means a reduction in the 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 3 times the global average in the Arctic but appears weakly correlated with the Arctic Oscillation (AO), which controls the atmospheric circulation in the region. An 8-9-yr cycle is apparent in the multiyear ice record, which could explain, in part, the slight recovery in the last 3 yr.

  3. Preterm infants' behavioural indicators of oxygen decline during bottle feeding

    PubMed Central

    Thoyre, Suzanne M.; Carlson, John R.

    2010-01-01

    Background During the time when preterm infants' oral feeding skills are developing they often experience physiological instability and need assistance from caregivers to maintain adequate oxygenation. Assisting infants to maintain optimal oxygenation during oral feeding requires an understanding of how they express and aim to self-regulate their oxygen status. Aim The purpose of this study was to identify potential behavioural indicators of declining oxygenation during preterm infant early bottle-feeding. Method The design was explorative. Data were collected from a secondary analysis of 20 videotapes of preterm infant bottle feedings which included concurrent oxygen saturation data. In this analysis infant behaviours and quality of breathing were coded and compared across three periods: high oxygen saturation, immediately preceding an oxygen desaturation event, and during an oxygen desaturation event. Findings Infants gave limited behavioural indicators of declining oxygenation. Immediately prior to a desaturation event, they had an increase in eye flutter and were typically sucking and apnoeic. During a desaturation event, they typically relaxed their arms/hands and stopped sucking. Conclusions Reliance on preterm infant behavioural cues will be insufficient for detection of oxygen desaturation during oral feeding. Attention to changes in breath sounds and to the pattern of sucking are potentially important intervention strategies for the prevention of and appropriate response to oxygen decline during feeding. Sucking pauses may be a time when preterm infants aim to regulate their breathing pattern and thereby increase oxygenation. Interventions that focus on detection and minimization of apnoea during feeding, and which aim to protect infant sucking pauses, may reduce the number and severity of desaturation events preterm infants experience during bottle feeding. PMID:12950569

  4. Cognitive decline and dementia in the oldest-old.

    PubMed

    Kravitz, Efrat; Schmeidler, James; Beeri, Michal Schnaider

    2012-10-01

    The oldest-old are the fastest growing segment of the Western population. Over half of the oldest-old will have dementia, but the etiology is yet unknown. Age is the only risk factor consistently associated with dementia in the oldest-old. Many of the risk and protective factors for dementia in the young elderly, such as ApoE genotype, physical activity, and healthy lifestyle, are not relevant for the oldest-old. Neuropathology is abundant in the oldest-old brains, but specific pathologies of Alzheimer's disease (AD) or vascular dementia are not necessarily correlated with cognition, as in younger persons. It has been suggested that accumulation of both AD-like and vascular pathologies, loss of synaptic proteins, and neuronal loss contribute to the cognitive decline observed in the oldest-old. Several characteristics of the oldest-old may confound the diagnosis of dementia in this age group. A gradual age-related cognitive decline, particularly in executive function and mental speed, is evident even in non-demented oldest-old. Hearing and vision losses, which are also prevalent in the oldest-old and found in some cases to precede/predict cognitive decline, may mechanically interfere in neuropsychological evaluations. Difficulties in carrying out everyday activities, observed in the majority of the oldest-old, may be the result of motor or physical dysfunction and of neurodegenerative processes. The oldest-old appear to be a select population, who escapes major illnesses or delays their onset and duration toward the end of life. Dementia in the oldest-old may be manifested when a substantial amount of pathology is accumulated, or with a composition of a variety of pathologies. Investigating the clinical and pathological features of dementia in the oldest-old is of great importance in order to develop therapeutic strategies and to provide the most elderly of our population with good quality of life.

  5. Inhibition of CaMKK2 Reverses Age-Associated Decline in Bone Mass

    PubMed Central

    Pritchard, Zachary J.; Cary, Rachel L.; Yang, Chang; Novack, Deborah V.; Voor, Michael J.; Sankar, Uma

    2016-01-01

    Decline in bone formation is a major contributing factor to the loss of bone mass associated with aging. We previously showed that the genetic ablation of the tissue-restricted and multifunctional Ca2+/calmodulin (CaM)-dependent protein kinase kinase 2 (CaMKK2) stimulates trabecular bone mass accrual, mainly by promoting anabolic pathways and inhibiting catabolic pathways of bone remodeling. In this study, we investigated whether inhibition of this kinase using its selective cell-permeable inhibitor STO-609 will stimulate bone formation in 32 week old male WT mice and reverse age-associated of decline in bone volume and strength. Tri-weekly intraperitoneal injections of saline or STO-609 (10 μM) were performed for six weeks followed by metabolic labeling with calcein and alizarin red. New bone formation was assessed by dynamic histomorphometry whereas micro-computed tomography was employed to measure trabecular bone volume, microarchitecture and femoral mid-shaft geometry. Cortical and trabecular bone biomechanical properties were assessed using three-point bending and punch compression methods respectively. Our results reveal that as they progress from 12 to 32 weeks of age, WT mice sustain a significant decline in trabecular bone volume, microarchitecture and strength as well as cortical bone strength. However, treatment of the 32 week old WT mice with STO-609 stimulated apposition of new bone and completely reversed the age-associated decrease in bone volume, quality, as well as trabecular and cortical bone strength. We also observed that regardless of age, male Camkk2−/− mice possessed significantly elevated trabecular bone volume, microarchitecture and compressive strength as well as cortical bone strength compared to age-matched WT mice, implying that the chronic loss of this kinase attenuates age-associated decline in bone mass. Further, whereas STO-609 treatment and/or the absence of CaMKK2 significantly enhanced the femoral midshaft geometry, the

  6. Crowdsourced estimation of cognitive decline and resilience in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Allen, Genevera I; Amoroso, Nicola; Anghel, Catalina; Balagurusamy, Venkat; Bare, Christopher J; Beaton, Derek; Bellotti, Roberto; Bennett, David A; Boehme, Kevin L; Boutros, Paul C; Caberlotto, Laura; Caloian, Cristian; Campbell, Frederick; Chaibub Neto, Elias; Chang, Yu-Chuan; Chen, Beibei; Chen, Chien-Yu; Chien, Ting-Ying; Clark, Tim; Das, Sudeshna; Davatzikos, Christos; Deng, Jieyao; Dillenberger, Donna; Dobson, Richard J B; Dong, Qilin; Doshi, Jimit; Duma, Denise; Errico, Rosangela; Erus, Guray; Everett, Evan; Fardo, David W; Friend, Stephen H; Fröhlich, Holger; Gan, Jessica; St George-Hyslop, Peter; Ghosh, Satrajit S; Glaab, Enrico; Green, Robert C; Guan, Yuanfang; Hong, Ming-Yi; Huang, Chao; Hwang, Jinseub; Ibrahim, Joseph; Inglese, Paolo; Iyappan, Anandhi; Jiang, Qijia; Katsumata, Yuriko; Kauwe, John S K; Klein, Arno; Kong, Dehan; Krause, Roland; Lalonde, Emilie; Lauria, Mario; Lee, Eunjee; Lin, Xihui; Liu, Zhandong; Livingstone, Julie; Logsdon, Benjamin A; Lovestone, Simon; Ma, Tsung-Wei; Malhotra, Ashutosh; Mangravite, Lara M; Maxwell, Taylor J; Merrill, Emily; Nagorski, John; Namasivayam, Aishwarya; Narayan, Manjari; Naz, Mufassra; Newhouse, Stephen J; Norman, Thea C; Nurtdinov, Ramil N; Oyang, Yen-Jen; Pawitan, Yudi; Peng, Shengwen; Peters, Mette A; Piccolo, Stephen R; Praveen, Paurush; Priami, Corrado; Sabelnykova, Veronica Y; Senger, Philipp; Shen, Xia; Simmons, Andrew; Sotiras, Aristeidis; Stolovitzky, Gustavo; Tangaro, Sabina; Tateo, Andrea; Tung, Yi-An; Tustison, Nicholas J; Varol, Erdem; Vradenburg, George; Weiner, Michael W; Xiao, Guanghua; Xie, Lei; Xie, Yang; Xu, Jia; Yang, Hojin; Zhan, Xiaowei; Zhou, Yunyun; Zhu, Fan; Zhu, Hongtu; Zhu, Shanfeng

    2016-06-01

    Identifying accurate biomarkers of cognitive decline is essential for advancing early diagnosis and prevention therapies in Alzheimer's disease. The Alzheimer's disease DREAM Challenge was designed as a computational crowdsourced project to benchmark the current state-of-the-art in predicting cognitive outcomes in Alzheimer's disease based on high dimensional, publicly available genetic and structural imaging data. This meta-analysis failed to identify a meaningful predictor developed from either data modality, suggesting that alternate approaches should be considered for prediction of cognitive performance.

  7. Diagnosing early cognitive decline-When, how and for whom?

    PubMed

    Allan, Charlotte L; Behrman, Sophie; Ebmeier, Klaus P; Valkanova, Vyara

    2017-02-01

    Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a term used to describe cognitive impairment in one or more cognitive domains that is greater than any expected age-related changes, but not of the magnitude to warrant a diagnosis of dementia. This review considers how early cognitive decline is diagnosed, focusing on the use of neuropsychological tests and neuroimaging, as well as the differential diagnosis. Potential treatments, including secondary prevention, post-diagnostic support and self-help are discussed. Finally, medico-legal matters such as driving, lasting power of attorney and employment are outlined.

  8. Can Policy Alone Stop Decline of Children and Youth Fitness?

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chunhua; Yang, Yang

    2017-03-01

    Various models and methods have been proposed to address the worldwide decline in children's and youth's physical fitness, and the social-ecological model has shown some promise. Yet, the impact of the policy intervention, 1 component of that model, has not been evaluated carefully. Using limited data from policy documents, the impact of policy related to children and youth fitness in China was examined, and it was found that the policy alone did not seem to work. Possible reasons are explored, and a call for more policy evaluation research is made.

  9. Decline in lead transport by the Mississippi River

    SciTech Connect

    Trefry, J.H.; Metz, S.; Trocine, R.P.; Nelsen, T.A.

    1985-10-25

    Inputs of pollutant lead to the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi River have declined by about 40% within the past decade. This decrease has been determined from annual lead loads of the Mississippi River and from the lead record in Mississippi Delta sediments. The observed trend is consistent with reduced consumption of lead in gasoline in the US. More than 90% of the riverborne lead is associated with suspended sediments. Most of this particle-bound lead is deposited within 50 kilometers of the river mouth and is not easily leached at pH values above 3. 15 references, 4 figures.

  10. Tracking health care costs: declining growth trend pauses in 2004.

    PubMed

    Strunk, Bradley C; Ginsburg, Paul B; Cookson, John P

    2005-01-01

    Health care spending increased 8.2 percent in 2004. This was virtually unchanged from 2003, which suggests that health care cost trends have stabilized. Hospital spending grew 10.1 percent in 2004, also virtually unchanged from 2003, reflecting a small increase in the hospital utilization trend and a small decline in hospital price inflation. Meanwhile, growth in prescription drug spending continued to fall as a result of slower growth in prices. Growth in health insurance premiums slowed again in 2005, likely reflecting earlier years' slowing in cost trends and signaling that a turn in the insurance underwriting cycle might be under way.

  11. Causes of maternal mortality decline in Matlab, Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Chowdhury, Mahbub Elahi; Ahmed, Anisuddin; Kalim, Nahid; Koblinsky, Marge

    2009-04-01

    Bangladesh is distinct among developing countries in achieving a low maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 322 per 100,000 livebirths despite the very low use of skilled care at delivery (13% nationally). This variation has also been observed in Matlab, a rural area in Bangladesh, where longitudinal data on maternal mortality are available since the mid-1970s. The current study investigated the possible causes of the maternal mortality decline in Matlab. The study analyzed 769 maternal deaths and 215,779 pregnancy records from the Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS) and other sources of safe motherhood data in the ICDDR,B and government service areas in Matlab during 1976-2005. The major interventions that took place in both the areas since the early 1980s were the family-planning programme plus safe menstrual regulation services and safe motherhood interventions (midwives for normal delivery in the ICDDR,B service area from the late 1980s and equal access to comprehensive emergency obstetric care [EmOC] in public facilities for women from both the areas). National programmes for social development and empowerment of women through education and microcredit programmes were implemented in both the areas. The quantitative findings were supplemented by a qualitative study by interviewing local community care providers for their change in practices for maternal healthcare over time. After the introduction of the safe motherhood programme, reduction in maternal mortality was higher in the ICDDR,B service area (68.6%) than in the government service area (50.4%) during 1986-1989 and 2001-2005. Reduction in the number of maternal deaths due to the fertility decline was higher in the government service area (30%) than in the ICDDR,B service area (23%) during 1979-2005. In each area, there has been substantial reduction in abortion-related mortality--86.7% and 78.3%--in the ICDDR,B and government service areas respectively. Education of women was a strong predictor

  12. Increasing metabolic rate despite declining body weight in an adult parasitoid wasp.

    PubMed

    Casas, Jérôme; Body, Mélanie; Gutzwiller, Florence; Giron, David; Lazzari, Claudio R; Pincebourde, Sylvain; Richard, Romain; Llandres, Ana L

    2015-08-01

    Metabolic rate is a positive function of body weight, a rule valid for most organisms and the basis of several theories of metabolic ecology. For adult insects, however, the diversity of relationships between body mass and respiration remains unexplained. The aim of this study is to relate the respiratory metabolism of a parasitoid with body weight and foraging activity. We compared the metabolic rate of groups of starving and host-fed females of the parasitoid Eupelmus vuilleti recorded with respirometry for 7days, corresponding to the mean lifetime of starving females and over half of the lifetime of foraging females. The dynamics of carbohydrate, lipid and protein in the body of foraging females were quantified with biochemical techniques. Body mass and all body nutrients declined sharply from the first day onwards. By contrast, the CO2 produced and the O2 consumed increased steadily. Starving females showed the opposite trend, identifying foraging as the reason for the respiration increase of feeding females. Two complementary physiological processes explain the unexpected relationship between increasing metabolic rate and declining body weight. First, host hemolymph is a highly unbalanced food, and the excess nutrients (protein and carbohydrate) need to be voided, partially through excretion and partially through respiration. Second, a foraging young female produces eggs at an increasing rate during the first half of its lifetime, a process that also increases respiration. We posit that the time-varying metabolic rate contributions of the feeding and reproductive processes supplements the contribution of the structural mass and lead to the observed trend. We extend our explanations to other insect groups and discuss the potential for unification using Dynamic Energy Budget theory.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal disease of deer, elk, and moose transmitted through direct, animal-to-animal contact, and indirectly, via environmental contamination. Considerable attention has been paid to modeling direct transmission, but despite the fact that CWD prions can remain infectious in the environment for years, relatively little information exists about the potential effects of indirect transmission on CWD dynamics. In the present study, we use simulation models to demonstrate how indirect transmission and the duration of environmental prion persistence may affect epidemics of CWD and populations of North American deer. Existing data from Colorado, Wyoming, and Wisconsin's CWD epidemics were used to define plausible short-term outcomes and associated parameter spaces. Resulting long-term outcomes range from relatively low disease prevalence and limited host-population decline to host-population collapse and extinction. Our models suggest that disease prevalence and the severity of population decline is driven by the duration that prions remain infectious in the environment. Despite relatively low epidemic growth rates, the basic reproductive number, R0, may be much larger than expected under the direct-transmission paradigm because the infectious period can vastly exceed the host's life span. High prion persistence is expected to lead to an increasing environmental pool of prions during the early phases (i.e. approximately during the first 50 years) of the epidemic. As a consequence, over this period of time, disease dynamics will become more heavily influenced by indirect transmission, which may explain some of the observed regional differences in age and sex-specific disease patterns. This suggests management interventions, such as culling or vaccination, will become increasingly less effective as CWD epidemics progress.

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

    PubMed

    Christianson, David; Creel, Scott

    2014-01-01

    The reintroduction of wolves (Canis lupus) to Yellowstone provided the unusual opportunity for a quasi-experimental test of the effects of wolf predation on their primary prey (elk--Cervus elaphus) in a system where top-down, bottom-up, and abiotic forces on prey population dynamics were closely and consistently monitored before and after reintroduction. Here, we examined data from 33 years for 12 elk population segments spread across southwestern Montana and northwestern Wyoming in a large scale before-after-control-impact analysis of the effects of wolves on elk recruitment and population dynamics. Recruitment, as measured by the midwinter juvenile∶female ratio, was a strong determinant of elk dynamics, and declined by 35% in elk herds colonized by wolves as annual population growth shifted from increasing to decreasing. Negative effects of population density and winter severity on recruitment, long recognized as important for elk dynamics, were detected in uncolonized elk herds and in wolf-colonized elk herds prior to wolf colonization, but not after wolf colonization. Growing season precipitation and harvest had no detectable effect on recruitment in either wolf treatment or colonization period, although harvest rates of juveniles∶females declined by 37% in wolf-colonized herds. Even if it is assumed that mortality due to predation is completely additive, liberal estimates of wolf predation rates on juvenile elk could explain no more than 52% of the total decline in juvenile∶female ratios in wolf-colonized herds, after accounting for the effects of other limiting factors. Collectively, these long-term, large-scale patterns align well with prior studies that have reported substantial decrease in elk numbers immediately after wolf recolonization, relatively weak additive effects of direct wolf predation on elk survival, and decreased reproduction and recruitment with exposure to predation risk from wolves.

  15. Agriculture intensifies soil moisture decline in Northern China

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Yaling; Pan, Zhihua; Zhuang, Qianlai; Miralles, Diego; Teuling, Adriann; Zhang, Tonglin; An, Pingli; Dong, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Jingting; He, Di; Wang, Liwei; Pan, Xuebiao; Bai, Wei; Niyogi, Dev

    2015-07-09

    Northern China is one of the most densely populated regions in the world. Agricultural activities have intensified since the 1980s to provide food security to the country. However, this intensification has likely contributed to an increasing scarcity in water resources, which may in turn be endangering food security. Based on in-situ measurements of soil moisture collected in agricultural plots during 1983–2012, we find that topsoil (0–50 cm) volumetric water content during the growing season has declined significantly (p<0.01), with a trend of -0.011 to -0.015 m3 m-3 per decade. Observed discharge declines for the three large river basins are consistent with the effects of agricultural intensification, although other factors (e.g. dam constructions) likely have contributed to these trends. Practices like fertilizer application have favoured biomass growth and increased transpiration rates, thus reducing available soil water. In addition, the rapid proliferation of water-expensive crops (e.g., maize) and the expansion of the area dedicated to food production have also contributed to soil drying. Adoption of alternative agricultural practices that can meet the immediate food demand without compromising future water resources seem critical for the sustainability of the food production system.

  16. Declining longevity advantage and low birthweight in Okinawa.

    PubMed

    Hokama, Tomiko; Binns, Colin

    2008-10-01

    The prefecture of Okinawa is known for the longevity of its population, for 30 years it had the longest life expectancy of all prefectures in Japan. However this advantage was lost in 2000 and male longevity is now ranked 26th among the 47 prefectures of Japan. The aim of this study was to explore whether the recent decline in Okinawan life expectancy advantage is due to the cohort effect of low birthweight infants becoming middle- and older- aged Okinawans. This is an observational study using existing demographic and health statistics. Data on life expectancy, mortality and low birthweight rates were obtained from the Okinawan Prefectural Department of Health and Welfare and the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. In the year 2000 the longevity advantage of Okinawan males over the Japanese mainland was lost and the relative life expectancy of females declines. The mortality ratio for heart disease has reversed showing a cohort effect, with younger Okinawans having higher death rates than those living in the rest of Japan. The low birthweight rate for Okinawa is 20% greater than mainland Japan. As the post World War cohort of low birthweight infants reaches middle age, the longevity advantage of Okinawans has been lost. The loss of the longevity advantage of Okinawa over the rest of Japan may be due to the increase in non-communicable disease in the post war cohort that has experienced a higher low birthweight rate.

  17. Agriculture intensifies soil moisture decline in Northern China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yaling; Pan, Zhihua; Zhuang, Qianlai; Miralles, Diego G; Teuling, Adriaan J; Zhang, Tonglin; An, Pingli; Dong, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Jingting; He, Di; Wang, Liwei; Pan, Xuebiao; Bai, Wei; Niyogi, Dev

    2015-07-09

    Northern China is one of the most densely populated regions in the world. Agricultural activities have intensified since the 1980s to provide food security to the country. However, this intensification has likely contributed to an increasing scarcity in water resources, which may in turn be endangering food security. Based on in-situ measurements of soil moisture collected in agricultural plots during 1983-2012, we find that topsoil (0-50 cm) volumetric water content during the growing season has declined significantly (p < 0.01), with a trend of -0.011 to -0.015 m(3) m(-3) per decade. Observed discharge declines for the three large river basins are consistent with the effects of agricultural intensification, although other factors (e.g. dam constructions) likely have contributed to these trends. Practices like fertilizer application have favoured biomass growth and increased transpiration rates, thus reducing available soil water. In addition, the rapid proliferation of water-expensive crops (e.g., maize) and the expansion of the area dedicated to food production have also contributed to soil drying. Adoption of alternative agricultural practices that can meet the immediate food demand without compromising future water resources seem critical for the sustainability of the food production system.

  18. Agriculture intensifies soil moisture decline in Northern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yaling; Pan, Zhihua; Zhuang, Qianlai; Miralles, Diego G.; Teuling, Adriaan J.; Zhang, Tonglin; An, Pingli; Dong, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Jingting; He, Di; Wang, Liwei; Pan, Xuebiao; Bai, Wei; Niyogi, Dev

    2015-07-01

    Northern China is one of the most densely populated regions in the world. Agricultural activities have intensified since the 1980s to provide food security to the country. However, this intensification has likely contributed to an increasing scarcity in water resources, which may in turn be endangering food security. Based on in-situ measurements of soil moisture collected in agricultural plots during 1983-2012, we find that topsoil (0-50 cm) volumetric water content during the growing season has declined significantly (p < 0.01), with a trend of -0.011 to -0.015 m3 m-3 per decade. Observed discharge declines for the three large river basins are consistent with the effects of agricultural intensification, although other factors (e.g. dam constructions) likely have contributed to these trends. Practices like fertilizer application have favoured biomass growth and increased transpiration rates, thus reducing available soil water. In addition, the rapid proliferation of water-expensive crops (e.g., maize) and the expansion of the area dedicated to food production have also contributed to soil drying. Adoption of alternative agricultural practices that can meet the immediate food demand without compromising future water resources seem critical for the sustainability of the food production system.

  19. Correlating precursory declines in groundwater radon with earthquake magnitude.

    PubMed

    Kuo, T

    2014-01-01

    Both studies at the Antung hot spring in eastern Taiwan and at the Paihe spring in southern Taiwan confirm that groundwater radon can be a consistent tracer for strain changes in the crust preceding an earthquake when observed in a low-porosity fractured aquifer surrounded by a ductile formation. Recurrent anomalous declines in groundwater radon were observed at the Antung D1 monitoring well in eastern Taiwan prior to the five earthquakes of magnitude (Mw ): 6.8, 6.1, 5.9, 5.4, and 5.0 that occurred on December 10, 2003; April 1, 2006; April 15, 2006; February 17, 2008; and July 12, 2011, respectively. For earthquakes occurring on the longitudinal valley fault in eastern Taiwan, the observed radon minima decrease as the earthquake magnitude increases. The above correlation has been proven to be useful for early warning local large earthquakes. In southern Taiwan, radon anomalous declines prior to the 2010 Mw 6.3 Jiasian, 2012 Mw 5.9 Wutai, and 2012 ML 5.4 Kaohsiung earthquakes were also recorded at the Paihe spring. For earthquakes occurring on different faults in southern Taiwan, the correlation between the observed radon minima and the earthquake magnitude is not yet possible.

  20. Asparagus decline: Autotoxicity and autotoxic compounds in asparagus rhizomes.

    PubMed

    Kato-Noguchi, Hisashi; Nakamura, Keisuke; Ohno, Osamu; Suenaga, Kiyotake; Okuda, Nobuyuki

    2017-03-01

    Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.) is a perennial vegetable, but its crop productivity and quality decrease gradually. One possible reason for "asparagus decline" is thought to be the autotoxicity of asparagus. However, the autotoxic property of asparagus rhizomes remains unknown. The objective of this study was to determine the potential role of rhizomes in the autotoxicity of asparagus. An aqueous methanol extract of asparagus rhizomes inhibited the growth of asparagus seedlings and six other test plants in a concentration-dependent manners: garden cress (Lepidum sativum L.), lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.), timothy (Phleum pratense L.) and barnyardgrass (Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) Beauv.). These results suggest that asparagus rhizomes contain autotoxic compounds. The extract was purified through several chromatographic steps with monitoring the autotoxic activity, and p-coumaric acid and iso-agatharesinol were isolated. These compounds inhibited the shoot and root growth of asparagus and two other test plants, garden cress and ryegrass, at concentrations higher than 0.1mM. The concentrations required for 50% inhibition of the root and shoot growth of these test plants ranged from 0.36 to 0.85mM and 0.41-1.22mM for p-coumaric acid and iso-agatharesinol, respectively. Therefore, these compounds may contribute to the autotoxicity caused by asparagus rhizomes and may be involved in "asparagus decline".

  1. Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Accelerated Cognitive Decline With Aging

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background. Growing evidence suggests that self-reported physical activity accounts for variability in cognitive function among older adults, and aerobic intervention may improve cognitive function in this population. However, much less is known about the longitudinal association between direct measures of cardiorespiratory fitness and cognitive function across the life span. The present study examined the prospective association between symptom-limited maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) and longitudinal performance on a comprehensive neuropsychological battery. Methods. Up to 1,400 participants aged 19–94 years underwent initial VO2max assessment and completed subsequent tests of memory, attention, perceptuomotor speed, language, and executive function, in addition to cognitive screening measures, on up to six occasions (mean, M = 2; standard deviation, SD = 1) for up to 18 years (M = 7, SD = 3). Mixed-effects regression models were adjusted for demographic, biomedical, and behavioral confounders. Results. Analyses revealed significant longitudinal associations between baseline VO2max and trajectory of performance on multiple measures of verbal and visual memory, as well as on a cognitive screening test (all ps < .05). Individuals with lower VO2max demonstrated accelerated trajectories of cognitive decline over time. Conclusions. Baseline cardiorespiratory fitness is related to longitudinal neuropsychological performance, and memory appears to be a particularly vulnerable domain. Evidence that aerobic fitness is associated with accelerated cognitive decline emphasizes the possible importance of behavioral interventions to optimize cognitive aging over time. PMID:24192540

  2. Visuomotor adaptability in older adults with mild cognitive decline.

    PubMed

    Schaffert, Jeffrey; Lee, Chi-Mei; Neill, Rebecca; Bo, Jin

    2017-02-01

    The current study examined the augmentation of error feedback on visuomotor adaptability in older adults with varying degrees of cognitive decline (assessed by the Montreal Cognitive Assessment; MoCA). Twenty-three participants performed a center-out computerized visuomotor adaptation task when the visual feedback of their hand movement error was presented in a regular (ratio=1:1) or enhanced (ratio=1:2) error feedback schedule. Results showed that older adults with lower scores on the MoCA had less adaptability than those with higher MoCA scores during the regular feedback schedule. However, participants demonstrated similar adaptability during the enhanced feedback schedule, regardless of their cognitive ability. Furthermore, individuals with lower MoCA scores showed larger after-effects in spatial control during the enhanced schedule compared to the regular schedule, whereas individuals with higher MoCA scores displayed the opposite pattern. Additional neuro-cognitive assessments revealed that spatial working memory and processing speed were positively related to motor adaptability during the regular scheduled but negatively related to adaptability during the enhanced schedule. We argue that individuals with mild cognitive decline employed different adaptation strategies when encountering enhanced visual feedback, suggesting older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) may benefit from enhanced visual error feedback during sensorimotor adaptation.

  3. Decline curve analysis of vapor-dominated reservoirs

    SciTech Connect

    Faulder, D.D.

    1997-05-01

    Geothermal Program activities at the INEEL include a review of the transient and pseudosteady state behavior of production wells in vapor-dominated systems with a focus on The Geysers field. The complicated history of development, infill drilling, injection, and declining turbine inlet pressures makes this field an ideal study area to test new techniques. The production response of a well can be divided into two distinct periods: transient flow followed by pseudo-steady state (depletion). The transient period can be analyzed using analytic equations, while the pseudo-steady state period is analyzed using empirical relationships. Yet by reviewing both periods, a great deal of insight can be gained about the well and reservoir. An example is presented where this approach is used to determine the permeability thickness product, kh, injection and production interference, and estimate the empirical Arps decline parameter b. When the production data is reinitialized (as may be required by interference effects), the kh determined from the new transient period is repeatable. This information can be used for well diagnostics, quantification of injection benefits, and the empirical estimation of remaining steam reserves.

  4. Agriculture intensifies soil moisture decline in Northern China

    DOE PAGES

    Liu, Yaling; Pan, Zhihua; Zhuang, Qianlai; ...

    2015-07-09

    Northern China is one of the most densely populated regions in the world. Agricultural activities have intensified since the 1980s to provide food security to the country. However, this intensification has likely contributed to an increasing scarcity in water resources, which may in turn be endangering food security. Based on in-situ measurements of soil moisture collected in agricultural plots during 1983–2012, we find that topsoil (0–50 cm) volumetric water content during the growing season has declined significantly (p<0.01), with a trend of -0.011 to -0.015 m3 m-3 per decade. Observed discharge declines for the three large river basins are consistentmore » with the effects of agricultural intensification, although other factors (e.g. dam constructions) likely have contributed to these trends. Practices like fertilizer application have favoured biomass growth and increased transpiration rates, thus reducing available soil water. In addition, the rapid proliferation of water-expensive crops (e.g., maize) and the expansion of the area dedicated to food production have also contributed to soil drying. Adoption of alternative agricultural practices that can meet the immediate food demand without compromising future water resources seem critical for the sustainability of the food production system.« less

  5. The decline and residues of hexaconazole in tomato and soil.

    PubMed

    Liang, Hongwu; Li, Li; Li, Wei; Wu, Yijun; Liu, Fengmao

    2012-03-01

    The decline and terminal residues of hexaconazole in tomato and soil in open field were studied. Hexaconazole residues were determined by gas chromatography coupled with an electron capture detector. Recoveries were between 89% and 110% with RSD of 2.99-5.88% in tomato and 90-119% with RSD of 1.15-5.76% in soil at spiked levels of 0.01, 0.1, and 1 mg/kg, respectively. The limit of detection of hexaconazole was 6.3 × 10(-12) g. The decline rates of hexaconazole were described using first-order kinetics and the mean half-lives of hexaconazole in tomato and soil were 4.3 and 18.1 days, respectively. The terminal residues in tomato at interval of 7 days at the dosage of 150 g.a.i./hm(2) for three or four times were all below 0.1 mg/kg. This work would be the guidance of establishing the maximum residue limit of hexaconazole in tomato in China.

  6. Court upholds mother's right to decline medicines for son.

    PubMed

    1998-12-25

    The Maine Supreme Judicial Court upheld the decision against granting custody of a 4-year-old to the Department of Human Services, who believe the child's life is in danger because his mother refused to give him HIV treatments. [Name removed] wants to protect her son, [name removed], from the harmful side effects she experienced on anti-HIV treatments and from the suffering her daughter endured on AZT before her AIDS-related death. The Department of Human Services was called in when Dr. [name removed] accused [name removed] of child neglect for declining to enroll [name removed] in a clinical trial involving three drugs. Another doctor agreed that the medical course of action prescribed was appropriate, but he conceded that HIV treatment is evolving, and long-term side effect studies on children are scant. The judge allowed the mother to refuse treatment, but said he will review the case again if the boy's health declines or if treatment options improve.

  7. Ecological genomics of mutualism decline in nitrogen-fixing bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Klinger, Christie R.; Lau, Jennifer A.

    2016-01-01

    Anthropogenic changes can influence mutualism evolution; however, the genomic regions underpinning mutualism that are most affected by environmental change are generally unknown, even in well-studied model mutualisms like the interaction between legumes and their nitrogen (N)-fixing rhizobia. Such genomic information can shed light on the agents and targets of selection maintaining cooperation in nature. We recently demonstrated that N-fertilization has caused an evolutionary decline in mutualistic partner quality in the rhizobia that form symbiosis with clover. Here, population genomic analyses of N-fertilized versus control rhizobium populations indicate that evolutionary differentiation at a key symbiosis gene region on the symbiotic plasmid (pSym) contributes to partner quality decline. Moreover, patterns of genetic variation at selected loci were consistent with recent positive selection within N-fertilized environments, suggesting that N-rich environments might select for less beneficial rhizobia. By studying the molecular population genomics of a natural bacterial population within a long-term ecological field experiment, we find that: (i) the N environment is indeed a potent selective force mediating mutualism evolution in this symbiosis, (ii) natural variation in rhizobium partner quality is mediated in part by key symbiosis genes on the symbiotic plasmid, and (iii) differentiation at selected genes occurred in the context of otherwise recombining genomes, resembling eukaryotic models of adaptation. PMID:26962142

  8. Agriculture intensifies soil moisture decline in Northern China

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yaling; Pan, Zhihua; Zhuang, Qianlai; Miralles, Diego G.; Teuling, Adriaan J.; Zhang, Tonglin; An, Pingli; Dong, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Jingting; He, Di; Wang, Liwei; Pan, Xuebiao; Bai, Wei; Niyogi, Dev

    2015-01-01

    Northern China is one of the most densely populated regions in the world. Agricultural activities have intensified since the 1980s to provide food security to the country. However, this intensification has likely contributed to an increasing scarcity in water resources, which may in turn be endangering food security. Based on in-situ measurements of soil moisture collected in agricultural plots during 1983–2012, we find that topsoil (0–50 cm) volumetric water content during the growing season has declined significantly (p < 0.01), with a trend of −0.011 to −0.015 m3 m−3 per decade. Observed discharge declines for the three large river basins are consistent with the effects of agricultural intensification, although other factors (e.g. dam constructions) likely have contributed to these trends. Practices like fertilizer application have favoured biomass growth and increased transpiration rates, thus reducing available soil water. In addition, the rapid proliferation of water-expensive crops (e.g., maize) and the expansion of the area dedicated to food production have also contributed to soil drying. Adoption of alternative agricultural practices that can meet the immediate food demand without compromising future water resources seem critical for the sustainability of the food production system. PMID:26158774

  9. Establishing conservation baselines with dynamic distribution models for bat populations facing imminent decline

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rodhouse, Thomas J.; Ormsbee, Patricia C.; Irvine, Kathryn M.; Vierling, Lee A.; Szewczak, Joseph M.; Vierling, Kerri T.

    2015-01-01

    Landscape keystone structures associated with roosting habitat emerged as regionally important predictors of bat distributions. The challenges of bat monitoring have constrained previous species distribution modelling efforts to temporally static presence-only approaches. Our approach extends to broader spatial and temporal scales than has been possible in the past for bats, making a substantial increase in capacity for bat conservation.

  10. Rainfall, Stemflow and Throughfall Chemistry at Declined and Non-Declined Areas of Japanese Red Pine (Pinus Densiflora)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiwa, M.; Sakugawa, H.

    2001-12-01

    Rainfall, stemflow and throgufhall were collected from 1996 to 1999 at seaward side, pine declined area, and mountain summit and inland side, non-declined area at Mt. Gokurakuji, western Japan. Rainfall deposition showed small differences among seaward side, mountain summit and inland side. Inorganic N (NO3-+NH4+) and S deposition of rainfall were estimated to be 5.6 kgNha-1yr-1 and 6.3 kg Sha-1yr-1, respectively at the seaward side and 5.8 kg Nha-1yr-1 and 5.9 kg Sha-1yr-1, respectively at non-declined area (mountain summit and inland side). NO3- and SO42- concentrations in stemflow were significantly higher at seaward side (34.4 and 25.0 EM, respectively) than at inland side (4.8 and 14.4 EM, respectively) and were several times higher compared to those of rainfall collected simultaneously. Throughfall deposition of NO3- and SO42- also significantly higher at seaward side, whereas bulk depostion showed small differences between study sites. Net throughfall (NTF) deposotion of NO3- and SO42- accounted for 80 and 53 % of total deposition at seaward side, respectively, while 47 and 33 % at inland side, respectively. From these results it can be concluded that there are small spatial changes for fluxes of wet deposition, while dry deposition is significantly higher at seaward side compared to at inland side at Mt. Gokurakuji. Inorganic N (NO3-+NH4+) deposition was estimated to be more than 20 kgNha-1yr-1 at seaward side, which was greater than the literature threshold of nitrogen deposition that could cause nitrogen saturation in Europe and United States.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Threats to migratory animals can occur at multiple periods of the annual cycle that are separated by thousands of kilometres and span international borders. Populations of the iconic monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) of eastern North America have declined over the last 21 years. Three hypotheses have been posed to explain the decline: habitat loss on the overwintering grounds in Mexico, habitat loss on the breeding grounds in the United States and Canada, and extreme weather events. Our objectives were to assess population viability, determine which life stage, season and geographical region are contributing the most to population dynamics and test the three hypotheses that explain the observed population decline. We developed a spatially structured, stochastic and density-dependent periodic projection matrix model that integrates patterns of migratory connectivity and demographic vital rates across the annual cycle. We used perturbation analysis to determine the sensitivity of population abundance to changes in vital rate among life stages, seasons and geographical regions. Next, we compared the singular effects of each threat to the full model where all factors operate concurrently. Finally, we generated predictions to assess the risk of host plant loss as a result of genetically modified crops on current and future monarch butterfly population size and extinction probability. Our year-round population model predicted population declines of 14% and a quasi-extinction probability (<1000 individuals) >5% within a century. Monarch abundance was more than four times more sensitive to perturbations of vital rates on the breeding grounds than on the wintering grounds. Simulations that considered only forest loss or climate change in Mexico predicted higher population sizes compared to milkweed declines on the breeding grounds. Our model predictions also suggest that mitigating the negative effects of genetically modified crops results in higher population size and

  12. Acidification of floodplains due to river level decline during drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mosley, Luke M.; Palmer, David; Leyden, Emily; Cook, Freeman; Zammit, Benjamin; Shand, Paul; Baker, Andrew; W. Fitzpatrick, Rob

    2014-06-01

    A severe drought from 2007 to 2010 resulted in the lowest river levels (1.75 m decline from average) in over 90 years of records at the end of the Murray-Darling Basin in South Australia. Due to the low river level and inability to apply irrigation, the groundwater depth on the adjacent agricultural flood plain also declined substantially (1-1.5 m) and the alluvial clay subsoils dried and cracked. Sulfidic material (pH > 4, predominantly in the form of pyrite, FeS2) in these subsoils oxidised to form sulfuric material (pH < 4) over an estimated 3300 ha on 13 floodplains. Much of the acidity in the deeply cracked contaminated soil layers was in available form (in pore water and on cation exchange sites), with some layers having retained acidity (iron oxyhydroxysulfate mineral jarosite). Post drought, the rapid raising of surface and ground water levels mobilised acidity in acid sulfate soil profiles to the floodplain drainage channels and this was transported back to the river via pumping. The drainage water exhibited low pH (2-5) with high soluble metal (Al, Co, Mn, Fe, Mn, Ni, and Zn) concentrations, in exceedance of guidelines for ecosystem protection. Irrigation increased the short-term transport of acidity, however loads were generally greater in the non-irrigation (winter) season when rainfall is highest (0.0026 tonnes acidity/ha/day) than in the irrigation (spring-summer) season (0.0013 tonnes acidity/ha/day). Measured reductions in groundwater acidity and increases in pH have been observed over time but severe acidification persisted in floodplain sediments and waters for over two years post-drought. Results from 2-dimensional modelling of the river-floodplain hydrological processes were consistent with field measurements during the drying phase and illustrated how the declining river levels led to floodplain acidification. A modelled management scenario demonstrated how river level stabilisation and limited irrigation could have prevented, or greatly

  13. Acidification of floodplains due to river level decline during drought.

    PubMed

    Mosley, Luke M; Palmer, David; Leyden, Emily; Cook, Freeman; Zammit, Benjamin; Shand, Paul; Baker, Andrew; W Fitzpatrick, Rob

    2014-06-01

    A severe drought from 2007 to 2010 resulted in the lowest river levels (1.75 m decline from average) in over 90 years of records at the end of the Murray-Darling Basin in South Australia. Due to the low river level and inability to apply irrigation, the groundwater depth on the adjacent agricultural flood plain also declined substantially (1-1.5 m) and the alluvial clay subsoils dried and cracked. Sulfidic material (pH>4, predominantly in the form of pyrite, FeS2) in these subsoils oxidised to form sulfuric material (pH<4) over an estimated 3300 ha on 13 floodplains. Much of the acidity in the deeply cracked contaminated soil layers was in available form (in pore water and on cation exchange sites), with some layers having retained acidity (iron oxyhydroxysulfate mineral jarosite). Post drought, the rapid raising of surface and ground water levels mobilised acidity in acid sulfate soil profiles to the floodplain drainage channels and this was transported back to the river via pumping. The drainage water exhibited low pH (2-5) with high soluble metal (Al, Co, Mn, Fe, Mn, Ni, and Zn) concentrations, in exceedance of guidelines for ecosystem protection. Irrigation increased the short-term transport of acidity, however loads were generally greater in the non-irrigation (winter) season when rainfall is highest (0.0026 tonnes acidity/ha/day) than in the irrigation (spring-summer) season (0.0013 tonnes acidity/ha/day). Measured reductions in groundwater acidity and increases in pH have been observed over time but severe acidification persisted in floodplain sediments and waters for over two years post-drought. Results from 2-dimensional modelling of the river-floodplain hydrological processes were consistent with field measurements during the drying phase and illustrated how the declining river levels led to floodplain acidification. A modelled management scenario demonstrated how river level stabilisation and limited irrigation could have prevented, or greatly lessened

  14. Immunity to malaria in an era of declining malaria transmission.

    PubMed

    Fowkes, Freya J I; Boeuf, Philippe; Beeson, James G

    2016-02-01

    With increasing malaria control and goals of malaria elimination, many endemic areas are transitioning from high-to-low-to-no malaria transmission. Reductions in transmission will impact on the development of naturally acquired immunity to malaria, which develops after repeated exposure to Plasmodium spp. However, it is currently unclear how declining transmission and malaria exposure will affect the development and maintenance of naturally acquired immunity. Here we review the key processes which underpin this knowledge; the amount of Plasmodium spp. exposure required to generate effective immune responses, the longevity of antibody responses and the ability to mount an effective response upon re-exposure through memory responses. Lastly we identify research priorities which will increase our understanding of how changing transmission will impact on malarial immunity.

  15. Possible red spruce decline: Contributions of tree-ring analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Van Deusen, P.C. ); Reams, G.A. ); Cook, E.R. )

    1991-01-01

    Debate continues about the cause of apparent unprecedented decreases in ring width at all elevations, and increasing levels of mortality at high elevations, in red spruce (Picea rubens) stands in the northeastern United States. These growth and mortality trends are often used as evidence of red spruce decline, but the possibility remains that they may be occurring naturally. Two hypotheses are being used to explain the causes of red spruce growth reduction across its range and increased levels of standing dead at some high-elevation sites. This article summarizes the basic evidence used by advocates of these hypotheses and discusses the strengths of their arguments. The information presented is based primarily on tree-ring studies sponsored by the Forest Response Program, which is part of the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-07-01

    The Panama Canal is near its vessel size and tonnage handling capacity, and Panamanians have decided to expand it. The expansion of the Canal may consider the historical long-lasting impacts on marine coastal habitats particularly on sensitive coral reefs. These potential impacts were discussed during the national referendum as were other equally important issues, such as its effects on forests, watersheds, and water supply. Coral growth rates provide a direct measure of coral fitness and past environmental conditions comparable to analyses of tree rings. We examined stable isotopes, metal geochemical tracers, and growth rates on a century-long (1880-1989) chronology based on 77 cores of the dominant reef-building coral Siderastrea siderea collected near the Caribbean entrance to the canal. Our results showed a gradual decline in coral growth unrelated to changes in sea surface temperature but linked to runoff and sedimentation to coastal areas resulting from the construction and operation of the Panama Canal.

  17. Solar Variability and the Decline of the Bubonic Plague

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2001-10-01

    The bubonic plague was responsible for the deaths of a very large percentage of the population of Europe in ancient times. Leaders of state made promises to “kill off” the plague, were all unsuccessful. It wasn’t the grand promise of a politician, or some new medicinal invention that was responsible for the final decline of the plague. It appears that a chain of events that began 93,000,000 miles away from Earth exerted an impact that lead to the end of the plague’s activity. Some simple changes in solar activity that began in the early 1300’s started the final to break the stranglehold that the plague had on most of Europe. This chain of events will be presented and discussed in this paper.